A is coming home and I’m super excited. It is about time. I made an Old English Apple Pie (see Darren McGrady’s Eating Royally) at 1:30 am as a welcome back, because I know he is crazy about apple pie. I also wanted to ‘show off’ the kitchen utility table that my dad-in-law made. I gave him a quick sketch to work off of and picked out the designs, but he made some modifications that made it ten times better! Doesn’t it look like something a German woodworker would carve?? We also had a lot of fun painting the details together. I think I like working with wood… it’s another avenue of artistic expression, and the smell of freshly shaved wood doesn’t hurt, either! 😉
Scarf:Lochaven Official Warner Bros. Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf 170g (2014)
Top:Loft eyelet sweatshirt in Forever Navy (2014)
Skirt:Club Monaco ‘Talley’ lace skirt in Eclipse/Lotus (2014)
Tights:Club Monaco lace tights (2014)
Booties:DUO ‘Tova’ shoe boot with mid-heel, collar and bow in Navy (2014)
Oh, and yes. This is just what I will be wearing when I rush out into the icy cold to GLOMP him when he arrives…
I am a hug fan of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. From books, to movies, to BBC’s television series, the detective has always been a hard and fast favourite of mine. There’s just something mysterious and charismatic about the character that has always fascinated me. And if you know me well enough, you know that I like to dress up as a character from movies and novels, if a story resonates with me particularly. Today, I am Irene Adler (BBC Sherlock version!) because she is such a dynamic, razor-witted and glamorous femme. Who doesn’t want to be perceived as such, even if only for a day? Hopefully you can’t tell that I’m actually a fantastic klutz, even when dolled up. *sigh* The shame of it all… but then, things are always in my way. 😛 (You really ought to start listening to the music, if you haven’t already!) I actually wore this outfit (minus the coat that I *ahem*, borrowed without permission) when A proposed to me. It brings back many lovely memories! The dress is a 1950’s reproduction; very sleek, glam, and yet business-like. The shoes are a sheer fabric decorated with swiss dots and a moderately high heel –perfect for a hint of peek-a-boo flirting. And yes, I am using my man’s coat to evoke that risqué scene. In my opinion, Irene almost looked way better in Sherlock’s coat, than even Sherlock himself did! Hopefully the same is somewhat true in my case… oh come now, can’t you use your imagination to humour me? 😉
On a side note, I think Sherlock needs to wear a Mackage coat. They’re truly a Canadian brand to boast about with their stylish, fitted cuts and leather trimmings!
Coat:Mackage ‘Seal’ men’s coat with leather trimmings (2011) <– I picked this for him!
Jewellery:Pandora charm bracelet –birthday gift from husband (2014)
Shoes:ZARA Swiss Dot court shoe (2014)
I also wanted to share my love of Prtty Peaushun, which –though it isn’t instantly obvious– I had applied to my skin before this shoot. What is it, you ask? It’s a 100% natural ‘skin tight’ body lotion, that has subtle light-reflecting particles which help give the skin a nice, gorgeous glow. Among other things, the natural plant extracts in the mixture also help to lift, firm, and tighten your skin. And you may not think the package is pretty at first sight, but it’s designed so that you can squeeze out every last bit of it. It’s definitely grown on me, and I highly recommend this product!
Alright, that’s enough prancing around in borrowed coats and high heels. I’m going to go back to doing French revisions, and reading “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” on the side.
Those who grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books all felt a tremendous amount of both joy and grief when the series finally came to an end, but the wizarding world and Hogwarts never left us. In the years since the last book was released and the last movie was shown, we’ve all but said goodbye to the wonderful, inspiring world of magic, and all we Muggles can do now is look back at the books and celebrate them for the masterpieces that they are. Of course, J.K. Rowling hasn’t let us down, and she continues to release new content for Potterheads via Pottermore. In fact, over Halloween, she released an essay relating to Dolores Umbridge – a fitting choice for the occasion – revealing more information about Harry’s world and adding to the bits of trivia we all have acquainted ourselves with.
If you’re a Harry Potter Trivia Buff and have friends who are Potterheads too, you might want to test your mettle with this Harry Potter Bingo game. Bingo has already brought magic to the lives of its players, as Free Bingo Hunter reveals that some online bingo sites have already given away Standard Merlin Passes to lucky players, allowing them to “unleash their inner wizards” with all-access passes to the UK’s top tourist spots. You and your friends can relive your Harry Potter fantasies and revisit key points in the story with this game too.
Playing the game can be both fun and challenging. To prepare for it, make a list of trivia items that you’ll want to include in the game. It’s best if you use trivia about certain characters (or maybe even the actors), and lay the answers out on a bingo card. You can use the template on Print-Bingo.com as a guide, and remove and add words accordingly. You should come up with something like this:
Turn your trivia questions into call cards, and put them in a bag or box (or a Sorting Hat if you’ve got one!) to draw from later. Once you’re ready to play, distribute the bingo cards, draw questions from the Sorting Hat, and have the players mark off who they think the answers to your trivia questions are. The first to complete a pattern, be it vertical, horizontal, or diagonal, wins the game.
You could also add spells and magical items to your bingo card. For an added challenge, add bits about the personal lives of the actors as well. For example, who knew that Daniel Radcliffe could rap? This would make an interesting item in your Harry Potter Trivia Bingo game!
**This is a guest post. Remember to know your limit, and play within it!
Growing up, we kids didn’t really celebrate Hallowe’en, or do anything special on that day. Our parents didn’t approve of the pagan background of the holiday, the ‘occult’ things associated with it, and the fact that it could be scary… at least when we were little. But there was still candy! Molasses chews, caramel apple pops, tootsie rolls, and popcorn candy. So maybe my little kid heart desperately yearned to dress up as someone else for a day, but a satisfied sweet tooth helps you forget some things. 😉 (My dad did relent once when I was three, and my mum decorated a bit of blackish-blue fabric, and that was my little witch costume.) When we were a little more grown up, we were slowly allowed to dabble a bit more in the spooky holiday happenings, but it wasn’t until I was 23 that I finally went all out and got all fancied up for the occasion. I can’t imagine not dressing up for Hallowe’en now, if I can help it!
This year, I’m dressing up as Hermione Granger/ a plain ol’ Gryffindor student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Because I’m pretty obsessed/passionate about Harry Potter now, and you just have to thank J.K. Rowling for coming up with a character that would inspire costumes that are cool and won’t freeze your skin blue. Honestly, some of the costumes out there are pretty ridiculous!
On a frugal note, I’m pretty stinkin’ proud of myself because my costume uses elements of my real-life wardrobe, pieces that I already own, coupled with a tie and scarf that I bought for the occasion. Although, I am absolutely going to wear my Gryffindor scarf everywhere this winter –it’s not going to be just for the holiday!
I added a few personal touches to the ensemble –instead of plain, black shoes, I wore my favourite cherry-blood red pumps, to bring out the colours in my scarf and tie. I am also wearing black tights with a back-seam running partway up the lower half of the legs, and ending in a cute little bow. I’m such a rebel when it comes to uniforms. 😛
Shirt:Gap fitted boyfriend shirt (2013)
Tie:Lochaven Official Warner Bros. Harry Potter Gryffindor House tie (2014)
Scarf:Lochaven Official Warner Bros. Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf 170g (2014)
Skirt:Club Monaco ‘Caroline’ skirt in soot black (2014)
Tights:Pretty Polly bow back-seam tights (2014)
Shoes:Vaneli ‘Lenita’ pump in red Soffio patent (2013)
Jewellery: Pandora charm bracelet –birthday gift from husband (2014); wedding + engagement ring from my husband. White gold swirl ring with diamonds. (2014)
I might do an in-depth review of the items from Lochaven, but quickly summed up, delivery was lightning quick, items are good quality, and I am very pleased!
I finally consider myself an adult, purely based on the fact that I’m now going to be the one handing sweets out to the little kiddies. 🙂 I’m pretty excited to be experiencing the ‘grown-up side’ of Hallowe’en, and am looking forward to ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘aah-ing’ over their cute little costumes.
I’m also going to be scaring myself silly with some spooky movies. I’ve got Edward Scissorhands, Coraline, and The Corpse Bride all lined up. I’m not really into adult horror movies, so I think these strike just the right note. Does anyone have any favourites to suggest?? 🙂
I hope everyone stays safe and warm. I’m really dancing with impatience for tonight!! Because a day that requires you to eat candy, dress up and get spooked, is always a winner in my books.
As the little red bar in the thermometer continues to plummet down towards the bottom, I find myself constantly raiding my beloved tea stash. Sometimes in the evenings though, just to make myself feel a bit more sophisticated, I reach for my man’s bottle of Baileys Irish Cream, and make a tea toddy. It makes sipping tea more interesting. 😉
I’ve put my own spin on this recipe, but if you look for Baileys Tea Toddy recipes, you’ll likely find the original. While I use DAVIDsTEA’s ‘the earl’s garden’ Earl Grey blend because it has extra subtle essences in it, you can easily substitute with a Twinings’ Earl Grey tea bag, or whichever brand you prefer. Don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with your own recipe! That’s what makes this so much fun!
Without further ado, I present my Irish Tea Toddy!
1 cup Earl Grey tea
¼ teaspoon sugar/honey (optional)
1 tsp milk (optional)
1 shot Baileys (That’s 44.36 milliliters, if you want to be fussy/pretentious like me)
1 shot Scotch whiskey (In my opinion, completely optional; I rarely add this!)
1 pinch cinnamon
Your favourite cup
Brew the tea as usual, stir in the milk, then add the sugar. Pour the Baileys, and add the dash of Scotch, which should be used sparingly, as too much ruins the flavour. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Settle yourself on the sofa or in bed, and enjoy with a book or while daydreaming! And why not wear an Irish jumper while at it?
Without colors, the works of a Nashville photographer or a London painter, would not make any sense. When it comes to art, all the colors are important and vital. But, when we talk about fashion and trends, there are always colors that are ‘the thing’ and colors that are ‘out’. So let’s talk about yellow –a shade that’s been absent in our favorite fashion magazines for a while.
This summer, trends and fashion managed to make us totally forget about the cheery color of the sun. Light yellow is the hue seen most often in stores, because it’s pastel and is actually as far from the real yellow, as it is from blue. This is one of the troubled colors, as there are only a few women that name it as their favorite one.
It’s true that yellow is not the most wearable color. It’s good to know what kind of colors suit you and how to wear them in a way that makes you look your very best: yellow daffodil, mustard and fluorescents work really well for brunettes and redheads; banana and lemon yellow for the ladies with blonde or light brown hair. In addition, it is strictly recommended to wear yellow on days when you’re in shape. It’s not a colour that hides or changes the curves, so be careful!
However, if you try several shades of yellow or if you go for yellow prints, you will see that it’s not just about the color itself. It is also about the fabric you choose, its glow, and the makeup you’re wearing. For example, a cotton matte shirt might give you a sickly air, unlike a slightly shiny silk scarf or a veil of muslin, which reflects a different hue. Finally, the last option is to dress up only the lower half of your body in yellow: pants, accessories, shoes, skirts…
In case you’re thinking about wearing yellow from head to toe, that’s not the best idea. But then again, the streets are full of all black and white looks, why not make a bold departure from the norm?
If you’re not afraid to take a sartorial risk, then make sure your skin is tanned and your makeup palette is in glowing, golden shades.
It’s been a lovely, quiet birthday so far. The quietest birthday I’ve ever had, actually… not what I had hoped for at all, but there are still little things to enjoy and appreciate. I’m grateful for all the family and friends who have sent their warm wishes my way.
Scarf: Irelandseye scarf from Celtic Traditions (2013)
Tights:Club Monaco lace tights (2014)
Booties:DUO ‘Tova’ shoe boot with mid-heel, collar and bow in Navy (2014)
Every year, I treat myself to footwear from DUO. Since I discovered them in 2011, they have been my go-to for stylish, comfortable boots for the autumn and winter seasons. This is my third pair, and while I dislike playing favourites with my wardrobe, let’s just say that I’ve been reaching for these quite often. 🙂
Though nothing will ever replace my beloved Mackage ‘Leane’ leather jacket, I did fall quite hard for this elegant, sleek number from Danier a few weeks ago. Huge thank you to my lovely dad and mum in-laws, who decided to surprise me with it as a birthday present! ♥♥
This Lularoe dress that I got from my friend Taron (check out her page here) feels like liquid silk! It’s a polyester/spandex blend and my longtime readers know I NEVER wear polyester. But for this dress, I shall make an exception. It’s cute, comfy, easy to wear and care for… I can definitely see myself bringing this dress along when I do the Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle trail in a few years. For now, I am content to wear it here in chilly Ottawa, while twirling around where no one can see me. 😉
The obligatory twirling photo…
Have a fantastic Saturday!! 🙂 And a very happy birthday to me! ^_^
Hello, hello! Just a quick little outfit post today, as I haven’t done one in months!! I am feeling a bit more inspired lately, so that is something to be cheery about!
Top:Loft Petite Melange V-Neck Pima Cotton Cardigan – XS in Blue Creek (2014)
Skirt: Club Monaco ‘Minkie’ skirt (2013)
Shoes: Bloch two-toned ballet flats (2011)
Necklace:Chamilia Mother’s Day 2011 Pink Designer Necklace Gift Set
Ring: Wedding + engagement ring from my husband. White gold swirl ring with diamonds. (2014)
I’ve been putting down the year that I bought an item in, alongside its description. I thought it would be a great way to visualise just how much (or how little, eep!) I reuse clothes, and how long they last. At least the ones that make it onto this blog, anyway! I’m happy to say that the Bloch ballet flats I bought back in 2011 are still as cute and in as great a shape as they were the day I bought them.
This Club Monaco skirt has also aged quite well, considering I wore it almost every day for months –to work and weekend shenanigans. I did have to do a tiny repair on the side where the stitches had come loose, but now it looks brand new again; I love mending my clothes and keeping them in good condition, it makes me feel so thrifty and industrious!
Highly recommend this skirt! (Click image to buy…)
In other news, the weather has taken a sharp turn for the chillier, and you can feel the sharp sting of frost and ice in the air. Coupled with the intensely stunning colours of autumn foliage, it always reminds me why I’m so lucky to have my birthday in October! I challenge myself every year –to read as many books as my age for that year will be. So this year, I must read 26 books since I’m turning 26!
Speaking of which, it is almost Hallowe’en. I’m fourteen books into the challenge, and have finally decided to read the Harry Potter series. This is something I’ve held off doing since I am not one for joining hypes or trends (even though I did watch the movies –not my normal modus operandi!). However, the series seems to still be as beloved as ever, so it is definitely time I became literate in the magical world of Hogwarts. I’m really enjoying it, I must admit!
Books are a huge source of inspiration for my outfits, and this one is actually a ‘Muggle’ interpretation of the Hogwarts uniform.
Preppy skirt? ☑
Classic Mary Janes or Ballet Flats? ☑
I’ll see you lovelies next time soon! In the meantime, hope you are having a magical October!
I’ve been re-reading Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott, and it has come to my attention that my packing methods are very much in line with her 10-item wardrobe philosophy. Inspired by this, as well as my thoughts of gallivanting in foreign lands, here are my tips on how to pack as little as possible, while avoiding feeling limited in any way!
The first step of course, is to get a moderately sized bag suitable for your needs. The smaller the suitcase, the more you will edit what you want to bring, and the more harmonious the items will be with each other. And that is what we hope will result in our choices –refined elegance! In fact, the greatest compliment someone can give me when I travel is when they say, “I didn’t know you were a tourist!”
Please, leave those cheesy shirts and caps at home (or better yet, in the rag bag/rubbish bin!), and don’t even think about buying them as souvenirs. For ideas on ‘classier’ souvenirs, watch my old video here.
You must know –I am a huge believer in travelling with only a carry-on. Who has time to waste at the check-in or baggage claims? Don’t you just want to zip out into the fresh, free air after all those hours in a canned flying tube? I thought so!!
If it helps, make a list of what you will be doing, where you’ll be going, whom you’ll be meeting, and what the weather will be like. Then make your choices with that in mind.
The Ideal Bag:
A roomy, capacious carry-on bag that is within airport regulations and that you can still wield with relative comfort. Preferably with plenty of pockets! My favourite is Longchamp’s Le Pliage travel-sized bags because they are ridiculously light, come in plenty of lovely colours, and are (to my mind) incredibly Parisian!!
** Remember to resist the urge to fill the bag up with unnecessary articles. The extra space will be perfect later on when you go a-spending at your final destination(s)!
1-2 diverting books. If you’re a fast reader like I am, you may be done before you’re halfway through your flight, so consider including that one novel you’ve always wanted to read but never had time for. No need to worry about space constraints though, if you’ve gone to the dark side with e-readers. Heathens. (I jest!)
An iPad. So useful and a great source of entertainment. 🙂
Snacks and an empty bottle for water. Chances are you can find a free water dispenser at any little snack bar/restaurant past the security gate. (For pop machines, it’s usually the little tab right under the iced tea.)
Jewellery. You should never check this anyway, especially if you’re bringing sentimental and or very valuable pieces.
4-5 tops in natural fabrics.
2 basic t-shirts.
3-4 versatile sweaters.
3 skirts in varying lengths and shapes. A-lines are always a classic, flattering, and comfy choice.
3 dresses –one smart casual, one dressy, one formal (though not necessarily floor-length).
2 light jackets or 1 heavy coat, depending on the season. This is my weak spot –I do like my coats, and have a modest collection. It pains me to bring just one change! But vanity may die when all I have is a carry-on…
Accessories: A clutch, a watch, a pair of sunglasses. Gloves for the winter. Scarves are a must in any season. A cashmere scarf and throw are perfect for staying cozy and looking chic!
Undergarments – 7 pairs. For socks, bring 2. For stockings, bring 5. For bras, bring 3. Undergarment bags are my best friend!
Shoes are another tricky area that requires a magician’s skill. For warm weather, I bring 2 pairs of ballet flats, 1 pair of sandals, and 2 pairs of heels: classic pumps and espadrille wedges. In colder seasons, I take 2 pairs of ballet flats, 2 pairs of pumps, and then I wear the boots. Forget the running shoes if you don’t think you’ll go to the gym. They will just become a dead weight in the bottom of your bag! I highly recommend finding a workout program you can do in the comfort of your hotel room –my favourite is Ballet Beautiful –you can do these exercises without weights, and in bare feet (or ballet slippers, which are far lighter and easier to pack!). Plus the results are pretty amazing!
Laundry soap flakes/soap nuts. They are brilliant.
Toiletries. The little pint-sized ones to get you through TSA. You can either bring these, or buy them when you land –I’m a bit of a stickler for natural-based toiletries, so this isn’t always an option for me! It’s hard to find quality travel-sized antiperspirants, but erbaviva has organic deodorants that are in glass spray bottles. This means they are easy to get into, unlike the standard rollerballs or ‘smear’ versions. Unscrew the cap, pour it into a travel-sized atomizer, and you are good to go! Fragrance samples are the perfect way to bring your signature scent with you.
** The Body Shop has a travel sized set of bottles and jars. Alternatively, bring a shampoo bar and soap bar! No worries over spillage (not that my set has ever leaked…) and you can skip declaring anything to TSA, plus they last a while.
The Stylish and Practical Travel Outfit, according to Cathie…
A silk shell with a cardigan on top when it’s cooler or a nice shirt with special details when it’s warmer.
A skirt. I hate wearing jeans or trousers on a flight, especially when you have to go and use the washroom. I’m sorry, but dragging your trousers on a dirty floor just isn’t a pretty sight. I always wonder why no one else seems to think of this…
A scarf! You can never go wrong with one.
Socks or stockings. These are for when you have to take your shoes off for security, and don’t want to stand on the cold and dirty floor. Once you’re safely on the flight, you can take them off and stow them away in your carry-on.
Jacket or coat. You decide whether you want to have another coat in your bag to switch it up, or whether you’d rather have just the one and ease up on burdening your bag.
** Most often you will hear that now is the time to stick to basics and neutrals when your closet choices are limited. I think that pastels marry well with neutrals, and so do certain bright colours as well, so please don’t feel the need to be ‘boring’ or safe!
*** Very last tip –don’t be afraid to wear the same outfit twice. Instead, revel in the beauty and quality of the clothes that you have carefully chosen. Be creative, and no one will know they are repeats…except you! 😉
Today, I’m going to be sharing my Autumn clothing purchases, and those elusive dreams that I hope will make their way into my closet someday soon!
But first, I wanted to share this picture of my first attempt at a Gibson Girl hair do! You see, all this Anne of Green Gables reading has rather affected me, and once I get an idea into my head, I have to act on it.
So there I am… It’s not quite perfect, but I thought I got the general idea down pat. Of course, when I went down and Alex saw me, he did a double-take. Then he said, “Was there a thunderstorm upstairs?” This man is adorable, but he Torments me!
Now on to the exciting part! 🙂
Colour palette: Mostly neutral colours. I truly love the simplicity of neutrals. My wardrobe used to be all about dark, vibrant, vivid colours, and I still know the stunning effect of a deep, dark red… But I also appreciate the quiet elegance of neutral shades, and with lots of textures and patterns, they are flattering and invite one to take a deeper inspection in order to understand their whispered loveliness!
(click on the bolded text to shop!)
This Aritzia Babaton ‘Spencer’ black wool coat is anything but ordinary. It has a sleek funnel collar (you can fold it to lay flat, too) and interesting seam details. The lines are sleek and the buttons simple, but if you look closer, you find all the hidden beauty in this gem of a coat!
Kate Spade has a gorgeous sense of ladylike yet whimsical style and taste, end of story. I absolutely love her ‘Madison Ave.’ collection watercolour rose scarf. The dusty, rosy pinks are reminiscent of an olde-fashioned Autumn spent walking in a secret garden.
There is a story connected to this Fisherman Out of Ireland Aran Criss Cross Rib Polo Sweater! Allow me to regale you with it. 🙂 I stumbled upon a picture of the pullover last year, and it was the perfect chunky piece that I had envisioned but could not find! I wanted it so badly, I scoured all the Irish gift and clothing shops online. Only one had it (supposedly), but they never shipped it, and I ended up cancelling the order after waiting for two months! I gave up on it, and decided that it was one of those elusive things that would remain an unfilled wish. Two weeks ago, I was browsing my favourite Irish gift shop, Blarney.com, inspired by a friend’s upcoming visit to Ireland. Well you can guess what I saw, the squealing I did, and the impatience that gripped me. You see, I wanted to be good with my budget, so I had banned myself from shopping for two weeks. Anything could happen in that time! But happily, it was meant to be. And as of yesterday, it is now on its way to me!! ^_^ I can’t wait.
The last piece that I am coveting this Autumn is this House of Bruar Ladies Plaid Short Kilt, specifically in the blue/lilac/camel colourway. I’ve always had a weakness for plaid and kilt-like skirts, and this just seems so classic and preppy-cute, and perfect! Another thing about it is that it is pure wool, so will be quite nice and warm!
What are you dreaming of having in your closets this Autumn?