Sailing Through Summer {Outfit Post}…

Happy first day of Summer, my friends!! ^_^

I do not remember if I have ever explicitly mentioned it in this blog, but I Detest warm weather.  I do not deal well in it at all.  I feel uncomfortable, hot, and sticky and become prone to nosebleeds and headaches.  It has always seemed easier to stay warm than it is to stay cool.  You can’t tote around an air conditioner (if you’ve found a way, please let me know), but a coat and some stylish layers are much easier to carry.

Complaining aside, it is the perfect weather for pretty sundresses, and all things sailor.  I have a soft spot for nautical garments as you can see if you look at some of my older posts, and it seems fitting for those blazing days when only the cool waters of a pool or lake and a good iced tea or popsicle can assuage the heat.

Today is one of those sailor days, and so I have on a new pair of shorts from Banana Republic.  Shorts seem to be the article of clothing that like to taunt me most.  Either too short, too boxy, too thickening at the waist, etc.  I have gone through quite the hunt to find the perfect pair.  I seem to have found them in this beautifully buttoned baby; may it last me a good many summers!  On the downside, it does wrinkle somewhat, and it likes to attract wandering pieces of fluff and fur as you can see in the picture.  It just requires a bit of checking on here and there, but it hasn’t become too annoying yet.  Who could be annoyed at having to look down on such lovely shorts?  Not I!
Summer's Outfit - 2016 - Cathie Cabot

I paired this top with another piece from Banana Republic –this has been in my archives (wardrobe) since 2013.  After not wearing it for a few years –I can’t think why I haven’t more often– I am giving it an airing and a day out in the sunshine.  It’s a soft cream but looks whiter in the pictures.  It complements the deep blue of the shorts quite nicely, and I still love the be-ribboned Eiffel Tower graphic composed entirely out of lovely French words and phrases.

For a dressier version of a casual sneaker –which I think is perfect for Summer, I am wearing these high-heeled sneakers by Keds.  I love the soft grey colour, and can’t help thinking, “The higher the heel, the better I feel!”  Not always true, if you’ve ever actually worn heels, but in this pair?  Definitely!
Summer's Outfit - 2016 - Cathie Maud

I’m awful at accessorising with jewellery, but in summer, I have a wonderful excuse.  In my opinion, it is too hot and icky to wear bits of metal against your skin for long periods of time.  I do without completely, and rely on accessories such as interesting shoes, silk scarves, and straw hats.  This one from Gap is casual but with a refined, ladylike feel.

Hat:  GAP straw floppy hat in natural (2016)

Top:  Banana Republic Eiffel Tower tee (2013)

Shorts:  Banana Republic sailor short in navy (2016)

Shoes:  Keds ‘Damsel’ wedges in pewter chambray (2016) [in black here]

Swingin’ and sailin’ my way through summer

I wish you all an auspicious start to your summer!

Fairmont Chateau Laurier – Tea at Zoe’s Lounge…

A few weeks ago, during the Winterlude festival here in Ottawa, Alex and I decided to break the monotony of winter in our own little way — afternoon tea.  We were joined by his brother –whose first time it was– at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, and had a wonderfully soothing and refined few hours.
Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Group
Chateau Laurier - Afternoon Tea - MenuThere are very few places (as of yet) to have afternoon tea here in Ottawa, and Zoe’s Lounge is certainly one of the most elegant places to have it in.

The experience started with a glassful of seasonal fresh fruit; delicious, and refreshing!  It definitely whet the appetite, especially as I have a habit of not eating anything at all before tea, otherwise I find I get too full, too quickly to do all the tiers justice!
Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Tea TrayI chose the jasmine tea –which was lovely and light in the beginning, but as time wore on, started to grow incredibly bitter.  I hope that Fairmont will consider implementing a little dish or tray to put your tea strainers in so that it doesn’t get over-steeped.  Apart from that, and the fact that the bread for the butter chicken salad seemed a bit dry and stale, everything was lovely.  I tried not to indulge too much in the Devonshire cream and strawberry jam (too scrumptious to be sparing), and savoured every bit of my scones.
Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Alex, Cathie, GuillaumeThe staff were very friendly and attentive, and helped to elevate the experience.  Many thanks to the lovely lady (I did not get a chance to peek at her name-tag!) for patiently letting us sniff our way through almost their entire tea repertoire!

The ambiance was restful –soft music (both classical and more modern piano pieces) played in the background, although I did notice that the television on the wall was on as well; it usually isn’t, which I prefer, as it can be distracting to one’s focus on and pleasure in the moment.

All in all, such an incredibly enjoyable way to brighten one’s day and shake off the winter blues.

Afternoon Tea:
Monday to Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.

*Reservations are required for Afternoon Tea. Please call the hotel directly at (613) 241-1414 to reserve.


Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Cathie Maud

Fascinator:  Monsoon ‘Vivian’ velvet pillbox fascinator (2015)

Coat:  DKNY cascading ruffle wool ¾ length coat (2013) [buy here]

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

Skirt:  J. Crew flounce skirt in bonded wool in cerise (2014)​

Shoes:  ALDO ‘Loralee’ ballet flats in red (2015)

For my outfit, I went a bit farther in my choices than I normally would, even for afternoon tea.  I remember feeling that day that I wanted to wear something ‘outrageous’ (for me, at any rate!) and pull it off because I liked it, whether or not anyone else giggled, smirked, or thought me odd in the belfry.  Wearing a substantial headpiece definitely was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but either people in Ottawa are incredibly kind, or being confident and forgetting that I am wearing lots of fabric on my head makes other people feel that this is normal fare.  I’m not sure which, but I truly felt that I had grown up just a little bit more.  It’s nice to try something with aplomb!

I wore my ‘Duchess of Cambridge-esque’ ruffle coat from DKNY — love the ruffle detail on the bodice, and all that is missing is for me to add a belt to the ensemble, and then the ‘copy-Kate-ing’ will be complete.  😉

For shoes, I really wanted to wear a pair of pumps, but knowing that I would be walking through wet, slushy streets, I decided for the still not-quite-sensible, yet slightly more practical ballet flats.  I was all about the pops of red as well; my skirt was the same bright hue, and it is a shame it didn’t get documented, because it has the most beautiful flouncy, ruffly hem!

Do you have any favourite afternoon tea spots?

Speak soon!

— C.x

Lace & Pink (With a Happy Accident)…

Dear readers,

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Summer.

Of course you have!  How could anyone fail to notice?  My sister reports that it is “Super hot!” in Vancouver, and we’ve just come out, slightly tanned and toasted, from a week of humid heat waves that are ever the hallmark of the season in Ottawa.

Now that temperatures have returned to below boiling state, a soft, light jacket is always nice to have on hand for breezy days or summer nights when the temperature dips to something just a touch warmer than chilly.

I happen to have worn this particular lacy one from LOFT Lou & Grey quite a lot.  But you know what makes me really happy?  I shrunk it in the dryer (on purpose) and it fits me even better now.  The size I purchased was a petite small because the XS sold out while I was deliberating said purchase, and I wasn’t sure what the fit would be anyway.  I figured that if I ordered up from my usual size, I could always rely on the dryer to do some magic since it was 100% cotton.  Yes, I know this method is very tricky.  😛

When I got it in the mail, I almost sent it back.  It was so huge and loose and shapeless on me.  You can see it here in this picture of my hubby and me in Banff, standing right beside Lake Louise!
Alex and Cathie in BanffI suppose it’s hard to see in this ‘after’ photo since I don’t have it zipped up, but it has more definition now and doesn’t hang so loosely anymore.  I am one happy girl as I never know when the dryer plan will backfire on me!

Lace & Pink
The sleeves are still the right length; I only scrunched them up because I like wearing the jacket that way!

Jacket:  LOFT Lou & Grey ‘Hint of Lace’ moto jacket (2014)

Jewellery:  Tiffany Heart Key Charm pendant (2013)

Top:  Moon sleeveless patch blouse (2013)

Skort:  Ya Los Angeles ‘Darling’ bow skirted shorts (2013)

Shoes: TOMS ‘Splatter’ wedges (2013)

I like wearing pale neutrals and pastel colours in the summer heat… I’m sure pretty much everyone feels the same, although I have spied a few ladies walking down the street clad in the darkest colours.  I don’t know how they do it!  You are also probably sick of seeing this pink skort on me, but I can’t help it.  It’s comfy, cute, and too easy to throw on –I suppose you could call me lazy.  And it’s not like I do jumping jacks or cartwheels in the street, but I certainly appreciate the added peace of mind of not having to move in ladylike ways (or remember to) all the time.

Happy Summer!


– Cathie

Popping By to Say Hello with Neutrals…

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.  🙂
Another Night Out with the M.A.C.

Sweater: Roots Canada ’Pure Comfort’ wrap jacket in canyon (2012)

Top:  Michael Stars jersey knot front top (2012)

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.

A Dose of Dusty Pink & Black + a Dash of Rebecca Minkoff…

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!  🙂
Dusty Pink and Black with Rebecca Minkoff

Blazer:  Vero Moda ‘Redondi’ peplum blazer via Simons (2013)

Top:  Zara organic cotton top (2012 –first seen here.)

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. :P) 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?


— Miss Cathie

P.S.  Thanks for taking my picture, mum!