Being a couple apart has been both hard and easy in that bittersweet fashion that life excels so wonderfully at. There are moments of vexation and slight annoyance that hugs aren’t so easy to give or to get, that sharing one’s day means catching each other at certain times, and that all the other little joyful things of having another’s heart that one takes for granted when they’re there, (because they’re there and you don’t need to make an extra-special effort…) are impossible. You see, sometimes not even extra-special efforts can accomplish them through distance, time, and Skype. So you have to find other ways. And they make beautiful moments – there are beautiful moments to being apart. Writing him letters, seeing his face for a few moments after a long day of commuting and work, being flirty and funny in our weekend video chats, and especially looking forward to our two weeks of golden summer time together. (Next month!)
‟I think things are beautiful when you don’t plan them, and you don’t have any expectations, and you’re not trying to get somewhere in particular.”
So I plan to not plan… and let our summer escapade shape itself. Perhaps it will be a little romantic romp in ‘La Belle Province’, à la Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. Still, a girl can’t help dreaming and weaving her little fantasies…
We’ll rush at each other in true classic, romantic fashion…
After a wonderful night’s sleep, we’ll have breakfast in bed, and talk, and laugh, and cuddle…
Then we might explore the town, drink in the summer air, and finally find a little grassy knoll to have a little picnic on…
Or perhaps we could spend our afternoon reading books, watching movies, and falling asleep out-of-doors in each other’s company…
And he’ll teach me how to ride a bike again, and this time, I’ll learn and we can go places like the Europeans do…
We’ll go out for dinner, and maybe stay at some enchanting hotel, and have a quiet night together…
Whatever the weather, we’ll do things together…
And cherish every second of our time in each other’s company.
I will quite possibly let a tear or two escape when it is all over, and I board my plane back to the other side of the country.
But it’s still bittersweet. Because come Christmas,
My Special Man will be home again.
– Miss Cathie
Image credits: tumblr, weheartit, LIFE magazine, Tiffany & Co.
It’s true what they say –do something good for yourself, and it will energise you… despite your initial reluctance. After a thoroughly refreshing Ballet Beautiful workout (which I was loathe to begin after a tiring day!) I found myself full of creativity and the itch to blog.
Well, it’s too late to take photos of my most recent goodies in natural light, but here’s a photo taken a week or two ago when some visiting relatives were in town. I wore this outfit to another casual dinner, which consisted of a glorious bento box of sushi and other Japanese delights that were light enough, yet satisfying.
So sorry for the skinny photo… trying to protect the privacy of other people. :)
Scarf: Postcript silk scarf from Victoria Trading Company (2011) Warning: Incorrect use of apostrophe to be found on scarf. I’m probably the only one who proofreads writing on clothes…
Jeans: J Brand ‘Kiki’ in shadow ($2012)
Shoes: Not even in picture, and I won’t even speak about them because they were so poorly made — a waste of good leather! But they were nude ballet flats.
Bag:Rebecca Minkoff mini Morning After Clutch (M.A.C.) in black for Spring 2013 via Revolve Clothing (sold out but buy at Shopbop here)
Couldn’t help but take my Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C. out for a night about town again… it’s quickly become my new favourite bag, even though old ones still have a lasting, special place in my wardrobe and sartorial heart. This is not simply because of its looks, but because it has the ability to hold just what I need for a night out, and absolutely no more. So no greedy ‘may-as-well-put-this-in-just-in-case’ tendencies can be entertained. Granted, I don’t have them often –I would rather go to a party simply holding my phone in my hand because I think most evening bags can be so unwieldy, but this one isn’t. Can I just claim clutch/bag perfection for this little thing right now?
Hope to come back soon with more exciting pictures and a longer post! Happy Monday evening!
– Miss Cathie
P.S. I promise upon pain of… sartorial death… that Rebecca Minkoff isn’t paying me to write these glowing words.
When someone says “She’s wearing pink and black,”… I think the image that typically comes to mind is one of a very bright or hot pink à la Elle Woods or Barbie. Though I like pink, hot or bright pink is just not something I gravitate towards at all; I prefer softer, dusty shades of pink. So here is my outfit, in lovely soft pink coupled with camel, stripes, polished black, and my new Rebecca Minkoff clutch for what I like to think is a very Parisian ensemble. I wore this to a casual family dinner! :)
Blazer:Vero Moda ’Redondi’ peplum blazer via Simons (2013)
Scarf:Portolano or Magaschoni (Also known as “I don’t remember.”…) (2010)
Jeans: J Brand ’Kiki’ in Shadow (2012)
Shoes: Via Neroli pumps via Winners (2013)
Bag:Rebecca Minkoff mini Morning After Clutch (M.A.C.) in black for Spring 2013 via Revolve Clothing (sold out but buy at Shopbop here)
As for my Rebecca Minkoff clutch bag, am absolutely fond of it! The leather is luxurious with a capital L, and it’s so cute in a slightly edgy sort of way, but with a very structured and ladylike shape with what I think are modern echoes of a Chanel 2.55. This could just be my mind working in weird ways and pulling together adjectives and descriptions that are totally off… but whatever you or I think this bag reminds us of, HEARTS all the way. I also adore the ‘morning after’ appellation. Usually, morning afters are all about… well, affaires de coeur… but since I’m not married yet, let’s pretend that it’s about me travelling to some fascinating and mysterious place and falling asleep at some old, grand hotel, then waking up the next morning looking forward to a day of adventure and excitement. :)
I’ve heard that all Rebecca Minkoff M.A. bags come with a ‘card’ sporting a picture of a cute guy on the front (though from what I see online, he’s not really to my taste. ) and his ‘number’ on the back. Now I’m not sure why mine didn’t come with one, but that is ok. I do have a beau, and I can put his picture and number in it instead. ;)
Going to stop my ramblings about a bag here with a promise to do a video review of the bag at some point in time, and that I do hope to post more often. ^_^
And alright, yes. I will mention Rebecca Minkoff one more time to ask –do you own one of her bags, and are you as obsessed as I am?
It’s official –the excitement for the newest addition to a long line of Gatsby films has reached fever pitch. Almost every fashion magazine I’ve bought, from Elle Canada to Fashion, has a Great Gatsby contest, or articles on the movie, the actresses/actors and the fashion. Every e-store online has an editorial with ‘Gatsby-ish things to buy’. And Chapters has book bags, journals, and the actual book to satisfy one’s craving…
The funny thing is, I’ve always meant to read this book, but never found a copy that I liked enough to buy. Call me a snob of sorts, but I like reading books that are bound prettily when reading them for the first time. I just automatically make a connection from the story to the edition I read it in when recalling them, and it just makes sense to choose the prettiest one possible, right? With the frenzy, several editions have come out –from movie ‘tie-ins’ that I refuse to buy because I just don’t like Leonardo DiCaprio and he’s on the cover, to this gorgeous blue, properly-bound, cloth-covered edition that I picked up at Chapters yesterday. (It’s only 15.00 and if you’re a ‘snob’ like me, pick one up post-haste!) The movie was released two days ago, but I will not watch until I have read the book. I don’t think I’ve ever broken this resolution, except with Harry Potter because I just found the books so boring. (Please don’t hurt me…)
At any rate, I’m really looking forward to transporting myself to the Jazz Age as a Bright Young Thing and watching Daisy and Gatsby’s dance of social manners (and possibly ridiculousness) from behind a gauzy curtain.
Now wouldn’t I need an outfit to match? I’ve picked out a few pieces that a modern day Daisy might wear. My personal favourites are all those lovely headpieces she wore –they seem to suit her like tiaras would suit a princess. Enjoy!
I’ve been absent; you can tell, I’m sure. It isn’t as if I had been churning out a gazillion posts in the first place, but the writing well is looking pretty drier than usual due to my New Job. Hopefully my weekends will become my new haven for blogging –I’ve got so many ideas and plans for discovering Vancouver!
In the meantime, here are a few pictures that I took (Unabashedly. Because no one could see.) in the fitting room at Marshalls when we crossed the border yesterday.
I’ve needed new PJs for a while, so even though finding some work appropriate blouses was a more pressing task (I didn’t find any, sadly) I took some time to browse the nightwear section. Sleeping well is important too, right?
✿ I came across this adorable blue robe-and-gown set with what looked like cherry blossoms sprayed all over the robe, and soft blue stripes on the gown itself.
My dress-loving heart adored the robe, but found the gown a bit lacking. It looks a bit like it’s trying to softly skim the figure, but isn’t quite successful in doing so. If only they had it in XS! For $19.99, I actually considered buying it just for the robe, but wasn’t sure if being happy with only half of what I paid for was really worth it. It was reluctantly left behind. What do you think? A yay or a nay? And yes, I was having a moment –completely forgot to look and see the label to share. If it’s still there when I go back, I will definitely update, at least for my own benefit, if no one else is interested. :P
❀ And then I came across this divinely silky soft creation by Cynthia Rowley. I’m really not one for pants, but I barely even notice that I’m wearing anything in these!
Shoes: Lucky Brand ‘Emmie’ ballet flats in metallic powder (2012)
My mum thinks it’s something Angelina Jolie would wear –I’m not a fan of hers, and in all honesty, I rather doubt she wears anything to bed , but that can only be a compliment/good thing. It goes without saying that this set came home with me, and I think my beau will like it.
Still… the case of the ‘Second Thoughts’ has begun to bug me.
Should I go back for that robe? Me and my silly ‘problems’…
It’s been a while since I shared with you what I got in the mail (August 2012!!) but I hadn’t ordered anything online since last year until this month. I don’t know what it is about Spring and spring cleaning, but it always makes me re-evaluate everything in my closet, and then finally bends my discipline a bit and I go and order some pretties. At any rate, I like making ‘what I got in the mail’ posts, and I hope you do too. If you don’t, suffer!!!(I jest!…)
1. I finally have a belt!! It’s by Club Monaco, and is called the ‘Laura’ Crackled Skinny Belt in crackled metallic. This belt is perplexing because the tag that I ripped off of the belt proclaims the colour to be ‘light pink/rose clair’, so I’ve decided to dub it ‘Gunmetal Rose’. Other than that, I can’t wait to finally play around with sprucing up dresses and skirts with a belt. Sometimes, an outfit can be so boring without a belt, and I’ve really felt the absence of this item in my wardrobe for a while. It’s still in the sale section online if you fancy one for yourself!
2. This piece is the Darling Bow Skirted shorts by Ya Los Angeles that I got via Tailor and Stylist. That site has the most romantic clothes, and the prices aren’t too steep, either! If I ever go golfing or play tennis again, I’m going to bust out the vintage sports glam of the 30′s in this…
3. I finally had my business card updated! It’s the one on the left… Nothing can beat a professionally designed business card, I must say. On the right, you can see my attempt at editing some images made for my site into a business card –not too bad, but not the best either! I’m quite glad to have something crisp and official to pull out when making friends and connections. ♥ Thanks, Diane!
Getting pretties in the mail is always exciting for me –did you get anything lovely this month?
“I don’t know what it is, but I always manage to feel just a little bit Audrey Hepburn-esque when I wear a trench coat.” – Kerrie Hess
Trench coats are absolutely timeless, and this is a ‘true story’ because they’ve been around since WWI! I think women adore the fact that it cinches and emphasises one’s waist, and that they are quite elegant and dressy, but will cooperate with your casual clothes without any fuss.
Personally, nothing says springtime more (wardrobe-wise) than a trench coat and a pair of ballet flats. Just to be clear, I don’t buy a new trench coat every spring –that would be slightly ridiculous! — but I do indulge in a new pair of ballerina shoes.
Focusing on the trench coat though, I have dreamed of owning one since I was a little girl – it was the ultimate grown-up, young lady’s coat to me, full of sophistication and polish. My dreams have not changed much, it seems, because I grew up to buy two! (So far. Yes, still trying to steer away from being utterly ridiculous…) And I will always feel elegant and mysterious and grown-up in mine.
Dress:Simons Twik funnel collar pinstripe navy dress (2012)
Some people say your trench coat should be longer than the hem of your skirts, unless you’re wearing a mini-trench. I beg to disagree. Take care to look at yourself carefully in the mirror, but skirts CAN peek out from underneath your trench coat and still look cute. Not too much that the coat looks short, and not too little that the ensemble looks untidy, though.
Whatever you do, don’t buy a trench coat that makes you look like you played dress-up in mommy’s wardrobe. It has to be fitted –but not too fitted that it could be mistaken for a dress!
If you’re busty like I am, smaller lapels help balance things out on top.
Try tying the belt instead of buckling it –into a simple knot, a full bow, or half a bow… whatever strikes your fancy!
POP that collar!!
And the highlight of my week is the fact that I was asked to write an article for Adornabelle, a site started by my friend Chantel from Beautiful Song, and the aim is to be a site that gives advice on how to be both fashionable and modest — where brand names aren’t important, and one’s wardrobe is simply an echo of one’s inner beauty. My article went live this morning, so I hope you’ll go and take a look at a more in-depth expounding of a trench coat’s virtues and how to buy the right one for you.
Please do take a look at the other articles as well –each one has been so inspiring, and I’ve learned a few things and added a few items to my wishlist along the way –those Lilla Rose flexi hairclips, for example!
What comes to mind when you hear ‘Japan’ mentioned? Is it some old and tired image of samurais, ninjas, geishas and tea? Of course these are all a part, but there is more to the intricate weave of Japanese culture and history. And besides all the ancient traditions, I am also fascinated by how Japan has adapted to and forged ahead in modern times as well. Are you curious to explore the lesser known facets of this enigmatic country?
Presenting both traditional and modern Japan and its enigmatic people, this video from the Japanese Tourist Agency is an enticing visual journey asking “Do you really know the people of Japan?”
I hope you enjoy this video and the images I’ve shared. If you want to see more videos and photos that give a glimpse of this beautiful country, go to Visit Japan. Personally, I would like to witness a tea ceremony and walk in a Japanese Garden to enjoy the Sakura blossoms, and shop in one of their underground malls!
What would you do in Japan?
Image Credits: All images provided by Japanese Tourist Agency.
When my beau took me to Victoria two weekends ago, the last on our to-do list was to go and have afternoon tea at The Empress hotel.
After checking out of our room, we had an hour to while away before the clock struck noon so off we went for some sightseeing and window-shopping. It was St. Patrick’s day, but oddly enough not many people were out celebrating! I wonder why? We still enjoyed the Celtic music that played on the sidewalks and poured out of pubs.
Victoria may never boast the abundance of cherry blossom trees that Vancouver can, but the city has her fair share, and against the backdrop of Victorian/Edwardian architecture, the trees seemed twice as ethereal; an idyllic scene to be sure. The one thing that ‘marred’ the beauty of the city was the fact that there were literally several dinky little ‘tourist’ shops that sold almost nothing but junk, to be quite frank. In my opinion, when you start catering to tourists too much, you lose the beauty of the city and what attracts visitors in the first place. I would really like to see most of those shops shut down and some quaint little boutiques to take over and attract discerning travellers!
This tree was the only one of its kind on the block. The intense reddish-brown colour of the bark is very different!
Finally, it was noon! We were particularly ravenous as we had had no breakfast, and so we made all haste towards our tea…
Since it opened on January 20, 1908, The Empress has carried on the beloved English ritual of afternoon tea. On summer months, the Empress serves Afternoon Tea to more guests than most hotels in London, England –can you imagine! This was quite surprising to hear, and I’m very curious to know –if there are any English tourists out there who have had tea here,… what was your impression of the standards in authenticity and service? I managed to take a short (and rather shaky — my apologies!) video to share the ambience of the tea room. You can hear me whispering, “Hang on!” to my man who was offering to take my picture. Oops… I suppose the more ladylike reply would have been, “Just one moment!” :P My excitement turns me into a two year old, I swear!
The hotel has seen some very important people, including Rita Hayworth, Douglas Fairbanks, Harrison Ford, Shirley Temple, and Her Majesty the Queen, herself! The place certainly has an exclusive though welcoming atmosphere!
Everyone in the tea room enjoys their scones and jam under the benign gaze of a young Queen Mary.
Our tea started with a dish of seasonal fruit –being strawberries and cream, which is quite delicioius and my personal favourite. The thought that I was now ready for kissing (you know how they write that ‘her breath smelled of strawberries’, or something along those lines…) flitted through my mind. :) Then came the tea itself, and we chose the ‘Empress Blend’. (Exclusive to The Fairmont Empress, this delightful blend boasts a bright coppery colour and takes milk exceedingly well. The Assam component lends a rich malty character, while the Kenyan black tea provides subtle floral hints. Kenyan green tea infuses this blend and lively aroma, complemented by fruity, sprightly and airy piquant flavors of Dimbula from Sri Lanka. Small amount of Keemun draws the elements together with burgundy depth and light oaky notes.)
Smoked salmon celeriac pinwheel* Mango & curried chicken sandwich Ham & roasted apple mustard* Free range egg salad croissant* Duck rillette with brandied apricot* Freshly baked raisin scone with strawberry jam & Empress cream* Rose petal chocolate filled swans Opera cake Checker board shortbread* Chocolate caramel mandarin tart* Sacher torte
(* denotes personal favourites.)
It was so much fun eating things in little quantities, and I was actually glad that we didn’t have breakfast as we were quite full afterwards, and had some untouched goodies which we took home with us along with two complimentary boxes of the tea we had! It came out to about $80 for the two of us (I had a Friends of the Empress discount, otherwise it is $100) and I feel that you are paying slightly more for the environment, the history, and the Fairmont name. Whether it is worth it or not is up to you and what you are looking for! Personally, I enjoy history, fine dining, and am a bit of a ‘Closet Brit’ so for me, it was worth every penny. Even though we Canadians no longer have pennies!
Last weekend, my beau took me for a little weekend getaway in Victoria, B.C.. The capital city of British Columbia is one of my favourite places to visit –it has almost everything one could wish for: waterfront views and pathways, beautiful horticultural marvels, fine dining, and darling little boutique shops, all with a very yesteryear flare.
Having visited Craigdarroch Castle and The Butchart Gardens in 2008, (it’s where A took me for our first few dates!) we decided that the focus of our two-day stay in Victoria would primarily be relaxation, a good dinner somewhere, and tea at The Empress on the ‘morrow. Since we would be spending most of our time at a hotel, we wanted our room to feel like home as much as possible, and went through a long list of hotels, motels and inns to find the perfect one. I was so torn between a room at the Empress, and the Delta Hotel’s ModeDeluxe room that A preferred… but in the end, we decided on Delta Hotel‘s Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa. He preferred a more modern room, and I remembered in time that the Empress was reputedly haunted. :P (Although I would still love to stay there someday!)
It’s a good few hours’ drive from Comox, and I stayed warm in my favourite Mackage ‘Edmi’ trench coat. In my opinion, there’s no coat more stylish for Spring than a trench, most likely due to the influence Miss Audrey Hepburn has on me. I can’t tell you how excited I was to get to the hotel –it’s probably one of my most favourite parts in any trip I make because it makes me feel like a cultured jet-setter, and it satisfies that part of me that is interested in interior decorating and design. And bouncing on the bed is always a must!
Our room had the most beautiful view of downtown Victoria…
One ‘rule’ I adhere to is that one should never be afraid to poke one’s nose around the hotel, provided you’re not infringing on someone else’s privacy, or crashing parties! It’s a great way to figure out what the hotel has to offer! Nosing around, I found the lovely ‘Ivy Ballroom’:
It’s quite small for dancing, but the tables can either be cleared away, or perhaps people don’t dance like they used to… *sigh*
The one great disappointment we had during our stay was how the bed was made. As you can see in the pictures, it didn’t boast the crispest of corners or the most well-placed pillows… I’ve seen better made beds at a Best Western or Super 8! However, the bed was still luxuriously comfy, and I adored the fact that the little shampoos and soap bars provided were by philosophy, they always have the cutest inspirational messages on the packaging. We also enjoyed their spacious indoor swimming pool –clean, at a good temperature, and with a spectacular view of the harbour. My man feels it is important that I also mention the fact that the internet service was outstanding; he used it a fair bit for gaming!
Now for my outfit, I wanted to be as classic as possible to be in keeping with the olden days flavour of the city. Since it was very chilly, (and in hindsight, I still wasn’t dressed warmly enough!) I settled on a wool skirt, a light sweater and a pair of ballet flats since I knew we would be doing some walking. And Victoria being a very romantic city, pink tones fit right in.
Going for a steak or lobster dinner is pretty romantic for the two of us, and so a trip to The Keg on Fort St. was a must. I had a New York striploin with roasted garlic mashed potato, and A had a grilled top sirloin with baked potato on the side. What I like about The Keg is that I can ask for raspberry iced tea to be made. I came across this drink while dining in restaurants stateside during my road trip from California to Vegas. Apparently, it is not something to be had here in Canada, but the staff at The Keg always manages to whip it up for me. So thank you!
Nighttime harbour city view… just stunning!
Coming up next — tea at The Empress!!
I hope you all are having a fantastic weekend — whether you’re on a mini-getaway or at home!