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

Bridal Shower Tea Party [Maison Birks Café Montréal]…

I had the pleasure and honour of attending my sister-in-law’s bridal shower this past Saturday!

It’s always more fun of course, when it is in the theme of an afternoon tea party, and the dress code practically insists that you dress up and have fun doing so!  The invitation called for a hat and summer dress, and I was more than happy to oblige.  You see, not many know that in a deep, dark corner of my wardrobe, I harbour several frothy creations –hats and fascinators.  Once in a while, on a rare occasion, I will take them out and wear them for the world to see.  More often though, I am to be found covertly trying them on in front of the full-length mirror in our bedroom when no one is around.  I suppose it’s my secret, guilty pleasure.  But it is certainly nice not having to act about my collection as if it were illicit.  My mum-in-law even joined in on the fun when I brought my fascinators over and wore a particularly stunning one to the party!
Cathie - Pink Penny Flower FascinatorI am notoriously picky when it comes to clothes, and I currently have only one summer dress in my possession which sadly didn’t feel quite right for the occasion.  So I bent the dress code rules a bit, and went for a ruffly silk georgette blouse and a flirty skirt in pinkish hues.  In the below picture, I’m posing with the two shoes I was trying to decide between.  I finally went with the pink ones (which were also my wedding shoes) as they seemed more fun, but I promise I didn’t go to the shower in Pippi Longstocking mode, although that probably would have been hilarious, too!
Cathie Maud - Tea Party Outfit 2015

Top:  Aritzia ‘Ainsley’ blouse in Mauve Chalk (2015)

Skirt:  Club Monaco ‘Talley’ lace skirt in Eclipse/Lotus (2014)

Shoes:  Salvatore Ferragamo platform pump in metallic calfskin, Dusty Gold (2013)

Jewellery:  Tiffany heart key charm with enamel finish (2014)

Fascinator:  Fashion Addict ‘Penny’ pink flower fascinator (2015)

***

The affair was held at Birks Café in Montréal, inside the jewellery store.  It was like feasting among glittering chandeliers, sparkling treasures, and beautiful presentation boxes.

At $26.50 per person, the menu included:

Selection of teas from Mariage Frères

Milk and lemon

Mini sandwich with cucumber and shrimps

Finger appetizer with Duck foie gras and chutney

Finger appetizer with smoked salmon and Abitibi Temiscamingue caviar

Mini club sandwich with crispy prosciutto

2 scones

Devonshire cream

Homemade jam

A dessert in a verrine

A macaroon

A chocolate from our selection

A bag of sweets to take homeBirks Afternoon Tea PartyI chose the menthe tea, which was one of their herbal choices.  I recall ‘healing’ being used in the description, and since I had a headache, thought it perfect for me.  It was light, and refreshingly cooling.  While the food was exquisitely delicious, they were incredibly petite, even by afternoon tea standards.  For about $6 extra, you get a more substantial serving at the Fairmont Laurier and Fairmont Queen Elizabeth.  However, I suppose the upside is that you go away feeling not overly full, and as a once in a while treat, say if you were shopping for a beautiful ring at Birks and wanted some refreshments, the Café is a sophisticated and convenient choice.

A photo posted by Cathie Maud (@cathiemaud) on

 xoxo,

— Cathie

Über Casual Work Outfits of the Week…

So much to say, so little blogging time!!

By now, any readers I have must know every excuse under the sun that all bloggers give at one time or another, so I will spare you the detailed details.  Suffice to say that work keeps me occupied!

The dress code for work was casual, as was mentioned before my first day.  But being me, I came in with what I thought was dressed down, and the environment of dusty files, boxes, and bits of paper, were not kind to my sartorial error.  By Tuesday, I knew better.  I traded in my silk blouses and crisp office skirts for jeans and easy-to-wash button-downs and tees.  To keep the ‘sleek professional’ look, I went for fitted pieces in more casual fabrics with ‘echoes’ of the office, things I would normally wear on casual Fridays with nicer bottoms, …and then paired them with my jeans.  Which are absolutely amazing, but that’s another post for another time!
Uber Casual Office Outfits - Cathie Maud

 Top:  Gap fitted boyfriend shirt (2013) | C&C California tee (2009) | Zara organic cotton top (2012)

Jeans:  Second Clothing Co. high rise straight wide waistband Yoga Jeans™ in Rinse Indigo (2013)

Shoes:  Gap classic wool ballet flats in Steel Grey (2014)

Nothing too avant-garde (if I ever am that) or exciting to be seen here, but I would like to impart a bit of my ‘wisdom’.  Even if your workplace seems to be hemming you in when it comes to style options, you can still make an effort to look respectable and pulled together.  Please don’t go to work in your pyjamas, over-sized Taco Bell t-shirts, or ill-fitting, worn out jeans.  I have seen those, and a great impression they do not make!

Remember, dress for the job you want –or deserve!– and not the one you have.  🙂  Unless you actually have the one you want/deserve, or are in the military (I don’t think swiping insignia for higher ranks is smiled upon!).  Even then, always keep your outfit clean and pressed, hair coiffed, nails tidy, and your demeanour positive and professional.  Best foot forward, and you will be a difficult person to pass over for the finer things in life!

Speaking of which, I am fortunate enough to have been the succesful applicant of a job more suited to my experience and career aspirations.  I think dressing up will be in order again, and I can’t wait.  🙂

Speak soon,

Cathie

Nautical Lounging Outfit 2015 + Thoughts on Threading…

Hello everyone!  Just a super quick first outfit post of the year!!  *throws confetti*

I’m busy sending out more job applications as well as working on a few creative endeavours on the side.  I don’t really have to go outside today, so I’m sporting a laid-back luxe look.  On top, I decided to go nautical with a striped shirt with light french blue and white stripes.  I love the button details, and the fact that it’s not your same old black and white stripes!  For the bottom, I’m wearing a navy wool/cotton blend tweed skirt that’s really warm, cute and ladylike.  It helps keep the outfit look more pulled together, and less like I am going to be spending my day on the sofa.  Which I’m actually not, whatever this photo says.  😉

Cathie Maud - Nautical Lounging Outfit 2015

 Top:  Tommy Hilfiger long sleeved multi-stripe knit top with buttons in French Blue/White (2012)

Skirt:  Rebecca Taylor tweed flounce skirt in Navy (2013)

I also decided to put my hair up –something I rarely do because my locks are not the obedient sort.  This of course, means that when I put my hair up and it actually works, I have no idea how I managed it.  It’s a lot of trial, and a lot of error(s).  I’ve gotten a few hair tutorial requests and can’t oblige for that very reason.  Please, you honestly have the wrong person!  Youtube is your friend, as is Pinterest.  I… wish to be, but cannot.  😉

Cathie Maud - Helix ThreadeasePutting my hair up came in handy though when this baby came in the mail today.  It’s the Helix ThreadEase hair removal system.  Basically, for us ladies who are looking to try fixing our brows at home while achieving salon-quality results, this kit promises to help you get just that!

A video posted by Cathie Maud (@cathiemaud) on


Being rather timid on my first attempt, I’ve decided to stick to gently shaping my brows.  You can still see a difference in the video above –my left brow shows more shape while my right brow is still untouched.  With a bit more practise under my belt, I hope to be back in a week or so to share more of my thoughts with you!  Thanks so much to the Helix team for kindly sending me this complimentary kit.  ♥

In the meantime, it’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, and the snow is finally melting which means that Spring is just around the corner!

Have a cheery Monday!

xoxo,

— Cathie

Feeling Audrey…

Sometimes we emulate our personal heroines (or heroes) in their tastes and styles.  It is unavoidable.  Something in them resonates with us, and reminds us of ourselves or something we hope to be.  Perhaps if we dress like them, people will see in us those qualities that we admire in our role models.

I recently went for an interview at a movie/media company.  I decided to dress up as Audrey Hepburn –classic, elegant, full of fun, yet you know she is capable of great things.  Sadly, I didn’t get the position, but I feel as if I’ve still gleaned something from the entire experience.  And you know, simple pleasures…dressing up is lots of fun.

Cathie Maud - Audrey-esque

Can’t you just see Audrey in this elegant cashmere turtleneck, and these pointed kitten heels?  The skirt however, is most definitely a ‘me’ touch.  🙂

Top:  Club Monaco ‘Selma’ Italian Cashmere Sweater (2014)

Skirt:  Club Monaco ‘Talley’ lace skirt in Eclipse/Lotus (2014)

Tights:  Pretty Polly ribbon backseam tights (2014)

Shoes:  Zara high heel leather court shoe with pointed toe (2014)

Jewellery:  Pandora charm bracelet –birthday gift from husband (2014)

Cathie Maud - Audrey-esque Tights

What could be more cinematic than a dramatic exit?  I am absolutely crazy about details, and tights with lovely patterns fit this criteria beautifully.

Please send some prayers and positive vibes my way, that I might find my path in life!

xoxo,

— Miss Cathie

A Table, A Pie, and a Homecoming…

Really quick post today!

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.
Cathie Maud - Apple Pie for Alex - 2014I 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!  😉
Cathie Maud - Olde English Apple Pie

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…

xoxo,

— Cathie

 

[SHER]Locked – An Irene Adler Shoot…

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.
Cathie Maud - Sherlock - The WomanToday, 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!)
Cathie Maud - Sherlock - Smart is the New SexyI 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!
Cathie Maud - Sherlock - Irene Adler

 Coat:  Mackage ‘Seal’ men’s coat with leather trimmings (2011) <– I picked this for him!

Dress:  CheriseDesign 1950’s reproduction walking dress (2013)

Clutch:  Danier mini envelope clutch (2013)

Gloves:  Soia&Kyo ‘Stella’ bow leather gloves (2009)

Jewellery:  Pandora charm bracelet –birthday gift from husband (2014)

Shoes:  ZARA Swiss Dot court shoe (2014)

Cathie Maud - Irene's AccessoriesI 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!
Prtty Peaushun

 

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.

After all…
Brainy is the New Sexy

 

xoxo,

The Woman Cathie

My 26th Birthday Outfit [Plus Review of Taron’s Threads by Lularoe]…

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.

Cathie Maud - Taron's Threads - Lularoe - Nicole dress
Jacket:  Danier ‘Bree’ lamb leather jacket in Port (2014)

Jewellery:  Pandora charm bracelet –birthday gift from husband (2014)

Dress:  Lularoe ‘Nicole’ dress (from Taron’s Threads) (2014)

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.  🙂

My Pandora Charm Bracelet

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!  ♥♥

Cathie Maud - Taron's Threads - LularoeThis 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.  😉

Cathie Maud - Taron's Threads - Lularoe - Obligatory Twirl PhotoThe obligatory twirling photo…

 Cathie Maud Cabot - Taron's Threads - Lularoe

Have a fantastic Saturday!!  🙂  And a very happy birthday to me!  ^_^

xoxo,

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