October Fun…

Goodness, October is always such a busy month!

There’s Thanksgiving, Hallowe’en, my birthday (and two of my family members’ birthdays!), as well as being in the swing of French classes.

There is so much fun and exciting energy that, coupled with the absolute beauty of autumn, there is no surprise that October is my favourite month.

Let’s start with my favourite picture –the pie I made for Thanksgiving!  It is Jane Austen themed, with Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett cut out of the crust.  I am quite proud of my ‘skills’ in making this!
Canadian Thanksgiving Pie

If you would like these Austen themed cookie cutters, I got mine from the Jane Austen Centre’s gift shop here and here.  I could browse the lovelies there all day!

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I always love dressing up for my birthday weekend even if nothing grand is planned, and when it is to work, a less frilly outfit must be worn of course!  I still have fun through the details –combining my love for a sleek fit-and-flare silhouette with sheer tights, polka-dots and bows.  I hereby present to you my ‘practical’ birthday outfit: Cathie 27 Birthday

Jacket:  Danier ‘Bree’ lamb leather jacket in Port (2014)

Top:  Kate Spade ‘abree’ cashmere sweater in black (2014)

Skirt:  Club Monaco ‘Minkie’ skirt (2013)

Tights:  Gap polka-dot tights (2015)

Shoes:  Vaneli ‘Lenita’ pump in black 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)

Cathie 27 Birthday Outfit

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We went for sushi for my birthday lunch at 168 Sushi Buffet.  It isn’t our top favourite place to go for sushi in Ottawa, but it is a convenient location, and when the staff is not too busy, the food is fresh and very tasty.  If you catch them on a busy afternoon though, prepare to have missing items from your order and/or the food to not be up to its usual standards.  Following-up usually leads to them bringing the order in, so if you are not in a hurry, it isn’t ideal but not truly awful either –especially if you pay the all-you-can-eat price.  We sometimes simply re-order what was missing.

Sushi Couple
We two.
Autumn Heels
An autumn perspective.

Birthday 2015 Sushi
The sushi.

October was a beautiful month; I hope you enjoyed yours!  I will write in soon with my November happenings…

— Cathie

Stitches of Frost & Magic [An October Outfit]…

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!

Cathie Maud - October Outfit

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!

Cathie Maud - October 2014 OutfitBooks are a huge source of inspiration for my outfits, and this one is actually a ‘Muggle’ interpretation of the Hogwarts uniform.

Cardigan? ☑

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!

Are you a Harry Potter fan?

xoxo,

— Cathie

A Gibson Girl — and My Autumn Fashions Wishlist…

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.
Put my hair up in a Gibson twist at the back. Super easy #hairstyle!!
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!

Sparkly DividerNow on to the exciting part! 🙂

Cathie Maud's Autumn Wardrobe Wishlist 2014Colour 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!

The pieces:

(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.

This Ballet Beautiful x Ivory Row pointelle wrap is cozily delicious for chillier nights.  Made of cashmere, it would be hard not to feel like the graceful White Swan when you put this on!

DUO’s ‘Fia’ Spanish-style riding boots  are perfect for riding or strolling off stylishly into a new adventure this Fall.

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?

xoxo,

— Cathie

Ode to Autumn…

I know I’m 18 days early, but who doesn’t like to dream ahead?  🙂  And we have so little a time to prepare for this glorious, burnished season that is just around the corner!
Is the Coast ClearWhat makes Autumn special to me:

♥ The cooler weather, the blustery breezes, the dancing leaves, the melancholy rain, the crisp tang in the air.  The world is a feast for the senses in autumn!

♥ The intermingled scents of spices in the kitchen, bakeries, and coffee/tea shops — cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom… they are the prelude to winter.

♥  Pretty scarves, sleek boots, and being able to wear coats and layer clothes!  I was never an expert at dressing for summer; my uniform in summer consists of skirts, light tops, dresses, sandals and ballet flats.  With fall, my wardrobe gets to explode and come out in a myriad of colourful, crazy ways!  And I always enjoyed trying to stay warm more than I did trying to keep cool.  😉

♥ Books!  I read books all year, but every autumn, I pull out my beloved Anne of Green Gables and walk through Lovers’ Lane and Balsam Hollow together while the leaves float down day by day.  I also complete my yearly reading challenge at around my birthday –for every year that I’ve been alive, I read so many books for the year.  This year’s count is 26!!

♥ My birthday!!  I am an October Girl.  ^_^  I haven’t stopped being excited for my birthdays yet…

♥ Thanksgiving.  There is always much to be thankful for… but in such a vibrant season as this, I find myself being conscious of gratitude more often!  How lovely that we have a special day to do so.

♥ Hallowe’en!  To me, it is the last autumn ‘holiday’, full of fun, frights, and fantasies.

I am just so inspired by this time of the year –my heart pitter-patters at the thought of it!
Love Fall

**Tomorrow I will be back with a post on my Fall purchases and wishlist!

Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t love Autumn?!

xoxo,

— Cathie

The Boot, the Flats, and the Cuddly…

I just adore a styling challenge.  It’s not often I get to feel or act like an expert in an area I’m interested in, so when someone asks me to put together a few looks with their items… well, I get to live a dream for a few hours.  Or a few days, actually!

DUO recently issued a challenge to UK bloggers, to pick their favourite looks for the season that would go with any of the many pairs of stylish footwear by DUO.  I heard about this competition from a PR company based in the UK that I’ve collaborated with before, and while it is open only to UK-based bloggers, I was so inspired by all the beautiful items that they offer (seriously how have I not heard of DUO before?!) that I decided to join in on the fun anyway… even if I can’t win anything because I’m Canadian!  (Our countries go back a long way, though… that’s my (hi)story, and I’m sticking to it!)

Update:  Apparently, I can enter, according to the PR company!! 🙂  Thank you so much for letting me know!!

So here are three looks that I put together, and honestly… it’s taken much discipline and effort on my part, trying to keep myself from adding everything to the basket and hitting the checkout button!
Miss Cathie Styles 3 Looks for DuoBoots ♡ Edgy Glam…

For my first look, I wanted to see if I could make an edgy ensemble look more feminine while keeping a bit of its innate cheeky attitude.  I was inspired by the outfit Crown Princess Mary wore this past March when she and Camilla (the Duchess of Cornwall) visited the set of the Danish TV show ‘The Killing’.
Crown Princess Mary & Duchess of Cornwall March 27, 2012 -- Set of Danish TV Series 'The Killing'I think the combination of an A-line skirt coupled with a very fitted, elegant pair of boots does wonders for lengthening and flattering one’s legs.  Instead of a tweed jacket and woolen skirt, I opted for a leather jacket with an interesting collar detail, as well as a pleated leather skirt.  I think it looks absolutely fabulous!

Leather jacket:  Wyatt | Skirt: Alice + Olivia | Boots: ‘Louvre’ by DUO

♡ Classic Lady…

I swear I’m not trying to make this all about royalty, but this second look, where I was trying to channel Audrey Hepburn (she loved her simple lines) with a bit of modern sensibility, seemed very familiar.  I finally remembered that Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) wore a similar ensemble, albeit along more casual lines, during a shopping trip last year.
Kate Middleton Shopping 2011The outfit I’ve put together is of course, a bit more dressed up than Kate’s since it’s for all those bright, merry parties and evening functions I might be lucky enough to attend… I’ve added a clean yet bold chain necklace to add interest and a bit of sparkle to the throat and neckline area, as well as a soft ice pink and green quartz cuff bracelet for wrist candy.  Pink and black is such an irresistibly girly pairing!

Necklace and bracelet cuff: Ice | Dress: Kate Spade | Court pumps: ‘Audrey’ by DUO

Short ‘n Sweet…

For my last look, perfect for impromptu brunches, casual dates, or running errands in, is this simple, cute outfit.  I’m really crazy about a-line skirts this season… they’re just all-around flattering and feminine.  Here, I’ve paired a cashmere cardigan with a tweed skirt, both in cream tones to let the shoes and the scarf catch the eye.  The crimson red scarf and leopard print ballet flats are the two ‘attention seekers’ in this outfit, and the monochrome palette of the cardigan and skirt are the perfect complementary, soft background/canvas that really lets the accessories stand out.  Lastly, I thought a pair of tights with an interesting bow detail running up the back were the perfect way to add an extra finishing touch, as well as keep one’s legs a bit warmer.

No royal figures were, er, used in the making of this ensemble.

P.S. If you want to glam things up a bit, try using the cardigan as a wrap sweater, with a sparkly brooch acting as a pin.  Check out Olivia Palermo’s blog post here for this amazing tip!!

Cardigan: Qi | Skirt: Topshop | Scarf: Amicale | Tights: Pretty Polly | Ballet flats: ‘Tierney’ by DUO

If you’re in the UK, you have a chance to (properly) enter this contest until midnight, October 22, 2012!  If you aren’t in the UK, I hope you at least enjoyed the looks I put together.  ♥

xoxo,

— Miss Cathie

Credits:  With special thanks to Search Laboratory for the contest information!

Checks & Tweeds…

For some reason, this top and scarf are one of my favourite outfit pairings come autumn.  You may have seen them before in the post where Kate Middleton stole my clothes… (I joke!)
Checks & TweedsNow I’m not sure why I like these two together so much.  Perhaps it is because blue is a cool colour, and therefore ties in with the weather?  However, the bottom half is sporting a tweedy skirt this time around, and a pair of cool, metallic flats.  I also decided to make a point of accessorising (I am so bad at wearing jewellery!) this season, and I enjoy putting on this acorn necklace that I found at Nedda and Aaron’s lovely shop, Enchanted Leaves earlier this year.  I do love buying ahead of seasons, and a good find just makes the hunt so thrilling!!

I’ve also wanted to grow my ‘layering skills’… I find the interplay between the many textures (brushed cotton, soft lambswool, nubbly tweed, buttery leather and a glass ball that is cold when I first put it on, and then turns into a sphere of warmth after a while) are much more interesting than last year’s outfit, although it did have a very Audrey Hepburn vibe to it!  What do you think, dear readers –am I finally getting the hang of sporting layers? 😛

Swing Into AutumnScarf:  Aquascutum Club Check scarf in navy

Necklace:  Enchanted Leaves chocolate and copper pearl acorn

TopVelvet baby jersey classic boatneck

Skirt:  JACOB tweed A-line mini skirt

Shoes:  Lucky Brand ‘Emmie’ ballet flats in metallic powder

In closing, (because long posts are not a possibility since the internet connection here in the outskirts of town is a bit unreliable) I’m really enjoying autumn in Quebec… the cold is so much more intense here than it is in Vancouver or the Island.  I adore it!!  I just didn’t realise how chilly it was, and I suppose my last visit here when the heat wave was in full force did something to my common sense… because I brought half my summer wardrobe over thinking the weather would be at the very least, still quite mild.  I’m telling you all, the skies around here don’t do things by halves… it’s all or nothing!!  So tomorrow, Little Man and I are going to the stores to see if I can’t find another skirt and a warm sweater or two to add to my wardrobe rotation while we’re here.  Wish me luck against the chill, in the meantime!

See you all soon when I’m back in Vancouver!!

Much love,

~ Miss Cathie~

November Pastimes…

“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”

–  Elizabeth Coatsworth

This Friday, I am enjoying my day off from work, as well as catching up on some French assignments.  I earned a 90% grade on my French mid-term and am terribly pleased about it — thank you to all who wished me luck and encouraged me. ♥

I adore reading poetry, but it is around the autumn and winter months that I really get into the mood for thoughts and sentiments in rhyme.  It must be the nippy winds, the blankets and candle-lights, as well as cupfuls of steaming hot tea.  Just being surrounded by such comfort is poetry in itself, I feel.  It seems some old enchantment wakes at this time of year… and so in November, here is what I like to do or be…

I love to go for walks. You can think thoughts and dream dreams, and no one is there to interrupt the spell of solitude.

Funny Face - 1956I love reading and writing… sometimes I will bring book, pen and paper with me on my little autumnal jaunts.  This is one of my most favourite books to read:

A Little PrincessI like to sleep… blushful, I know, but how else is one to dream without being brought back to ‘reality’? (Sadly, I don’t look glamorous in my sleep.  I don’t know how Grace Kelly manages it.)

High Society

I like to write letters to friends and loved ones… putting little presents in each missive is something I adore doing.

Birdies

I love travelling –but never to warmer climates.  I am a cold-weather girl through and through. 🙂  P.S. You’ll never find me in sweats and runners on a voyage.  I am a huge proponent of the idea that one must be dressed respectfully and to the nines during voyages.

Paris, France

What do you like doing in November?

Joe Fresh Steps Out, & Meets an Autumn Leaf…

Joe Fresh Steps Out..These are my birthday shoes — I call them that, even though I really just needed a new pair, and my man kindly got these for me!  He is the dearest.

So, I went outside with the purpose of taking a few snapshots, in order to show you my new pretties.  An autumn leaf fluttered down as I stepped out in my new wool Joe Fresh ballet flats, and it just feels like I greeted Autumn in style!Autumn Leaf!Have a beautiful week!