Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cold Comfort

And so goes the Canadian spring winter.

We've had some beautiful spring days already but winter it seems, doesn't want to loosen her icy grip just yet.  Friday there was heavy snow, once again.

It was back to a cashmere sweater and jeans to ward off the chill.  It wasn't super cold so I doffed the scarf and went for a silver necklace instead.  Not to be too matchy-matchy with my accessories, I paired brown Chie Mihara shoes with the Hermes Dogon clutch wallet in electric blue.  

Although my shape has changed somewhat that was to be expected and I am fine with it at this point.  I took a gamble on these Vince Baby Bell jeans while I was pregnant and I am so glad I did because they are sold out now.  They fit like a glove and are incredibly comfortable.

I am a huge fan of Calgary phenom Jari Love and kept up with her Get Ripped Slim & Lean workout while I was expecting, although I opted out of the ab segment halfway through my second trimester.  I love her workouts because they don't take a lot of equipment, just some free weights and "the step" if you want to use it.

Now I want to take it to the next level and I will start this Get Extremely Ripped Lean Machine workout on Monday.  I would have started today but I don't want to be stiff and sore on Easter Sunday.  Jari can really put you through the paces if you're willing to push yourself.

Eating sensibly makes a big difference too and is so important while breastfeeding.  Fortunately I don't have a sweet tooth so I should be able to avoid the temptation of Easter candy and other treats.  There will be plenty of goodies on offer at the in-laws tomorrow.  There always is, holiday or any day.

This Easter I will be focusing on enjoying those precious family moments and not on the food for a change.  I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, whatever you do.  

Happy Easter!  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dyeing Easter Eggs Naturally

I love this hand-painted ostrich egg.  You can see the whole collection HERE.  These eggs are meant as artwork and not edible.  They are not naturally dyed of course, but I think they are fun.

Image courtesy of Rose
Rose of 1MoreShoppingBlog shared a method to dye Easter eggs using food-based ingredients in THIS POST.  The leaf motif makes these eggs very special and I'm going to try them this year.  I may need to find some leaves at the florist or the grocery store because the trees are still in bud at this point.

Matching Le Creuset colors: Soleil, Cassis, Caribbean
Le Creuset also has a method to dye Easter eggs naturally.  You can see it on their website HERE.  The ingredients are simple enough, turmeric for yellow, grape juice for purple and red cabbage for turquoise.

Rose let me know that she has also tried the turmeric yellow eggs but the shade was more green and that it somehow peeled off the eggs.  She suggested scrubbing the eggs first to help the yellow color adhere.  I'm going to try making these eggs, but I won't have time until Friday so I don't have any images to show you yet.  I thought it would be nice to share the method early in case you want to give them a try before Easter.  I'd love to hear how you make out, if you try any of these colors.

If you don't have the time or the inclination to dye your eggs, perhaps a rainbow of egg cups are all the color you need.  They appear to be sold out online but several stores around here have them in stock.  Check with your local Le Creuset dealer if you are interested.

Do you "do up" special eggs for Easter?  Any tips you would like to share?

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Vince Spring Lookbook

Sak's is tempting me with the Vince Spring lookbook, you can see it HERE.

UPDATED: JulieStyles was so kind to let us know that Vince is currently offering a 25% discount for Friends and Family on using code FRIEND25.  Thank you Julie!!

How did they know I am pining away for easy summer days?  Well everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is right now, aren't they?  As expected, Vince and other lines are offering a lot of washed out palettes of pastels and neutrals.  Regardless, there are a few things I quite like.

Draped Linen Cocoon Cardigan
This open cardi comes in silver, shown above and also coastal blue, which looks navy to me.  I like the unique style on this one.  Most open cardigans are a bit too "flowy" for my taste, this one looks like it would mostly stay in place.

Striped Cotton Slub Maxi Dress
Maxis are everywhere this season.  They are a perennial summer favorite but this year I'm seeing more maxis than minis, which are also usually popular for summer.  I'm not complaining, it's nice to have options.  The stripes are cute.  Curious how they would look on my non-model figure.  We have 3D printing, when is someone going to perfect real-time photoshopping?

Long Sleeve Linen Tee
Would a loosely woven linen tee like this offer much sun protection?  I like the idea of sunscreen that can be easy on and off, and not applied to the skin.  Maybe in the darker colors...

Linen tee, back view
A vent in the back should give this a bit of swing and keep it away from the body.  Built-in air conditioning.

Cotton and Modal Tee
I can always use a few more basic tees, especially with long sleeves.  I imagine these are very soft but what about the shirt tail hem?  Can anyone comment on whether the curved hem would lie flatter than a straight hem, under a jacket or sweater?

Vince Claire calf hair d'Orsay pump
Last October I posted about the Claire d'Orsay pump in calf hair.  It sold out quickly but is now back in stock at Neiman Marcus.  I wore these shoes often and have been very impressed with the quality and comfort.  Many people have complimented me on the shoes and I see that Vince is again offering other d'Orsay styles this season.

There is the same Claire d'Orsay pump in all leather, available in black and also in a light peachy beige called Cappuccino.

Vince Claire in Cappucino

The Celeste is a suede d'Orsay option with less coverage on the vamp than Claire.  It gives just a hint of toe cleavage.  Last season this style was available in a few colors including burgundy and blue.

This season the web page lists black and Oyster, shown here, as well as Woodsmoke, which doesn't have an online image at this point.  It's probably close to the leather d'Orsay flats in Woodsmoke, shown further below.

Vince Aurelian
If Claire and Celeste are too high for you, the Aurelian is available with a much more modest heel, in both Black and White.  This style is reminiscent of Chie Mihara's Orinoco from 2012.

If heels are not your thing you can go totally Flat in basic black or another color option.

Woodsmoke and Cafe, available HERE.


Striped Snakeskin

Salmon Skin and Leather
You can see more Vince shoes and handbags at Sak's HERE.  It is definitely a brand I would buy again.

From the lookbook I really like the textured look of the salmon skin flats and I love the draped linen cocoon cardigan.  I haven't made up my mind which would be the better color choice, navy or silver.  What do you think?

Looking through this post everything appears pretty drab.  I am happy for the death knell of crazy brights in colorblocked patterns.  There are still some saturated colors to be found, just not in this line, this season.  I see plenty of bright shoes and handbags hitting the racks, always a fun way to get your color fix.  As usual I will keep wearing the colors that suit me best, along with some neutral pieces.  I'm quite thrilled with the "anti-Normcore" Equipment Sullivan cardigan in Magenta that I bought recently.  If anyone wants a review of the Sullivan sweater or Equipment Signature Silk Blouses just let me know.  Both styles are a fun way to add a jolt of color.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easy Formula For April Outfits

Our April weather is all over the place.  We had 20C/68F a couple of days this week and then woke up to a light dusting of snow and freezing temps.  Thankfully the snow melted within hours and the sun was shining again.  As of today all the snow has melted in the city but that is certainly not the end of it.

Spring calls for transitional outfits.  I start with a lightweight sweater and go from there.  On this day I added a soft skirt and a scarf to keep the chill off the neck.

I love the violet in the Brazil Maxi Twilly with chunky silver bangles from T&CO.  The scarf shows up as cobalt blue in photos but it is violet IRL.  The colorway is sold out so I can't find a stock photo but you can scroll down to the images in THIS POST from TPF if you want to see a better representation.  Some day, I will learn to master a camera.

There are very few graphic tees or sweaters that catch my eye.  I thought this one was fun and it it's inexpensive so why not?  If it is destined to be covered in spit-up and tossed, so be it.  Let me tell you, life is anything but glamorous lately.  The skirt is by Filippa K, supremely comfortable and machine-washable.

Jeans are not my usual go-to outfit but I am enjoying a pair of trouser jeans from Koral with another lightweight sweater and a scarf.

The denim is stretchy and super soft.  Koral was created by the founders of 7 For All Mankind and the fit is similar, maybe just a touch looser.

This old Bulova watch was my father's and although it is masculine I like the chunky feel.  The scarf is a silk/cashmere blend, picked up onboard a KLM flight via the Duty Free selection.  I fell in love with the paisley print and light-as-air weave, it is smooshy soft.  Although it was a rare impulse buy it has served me well.  Sometimes you just know when it's meant for you and I didn't want to let this one get away.  Anyone else buy from the onboard Duty Free?  I can't be the only one or they would have canceled the service ages ago.

The other lightweight sweater by 424 Fifth from Lord & Taylor.  Very comfy and cozy, although I think this "petit chien" looks more like a cat.  I thought the boys would like the white on black and it does seem to capture their attention.  Typical lads, they are getting all "handsy" around the bust area.  But then, I'm encouraging them with this sweater aren't I?  Oh the Freudian and Oedipus complexities of which motherhood is fraught.

I realized after taking the outfit photos earlier this week that I was cutting myself short in an attempt to better focus the graphic sweaters in the frame.  So what was on my feet then?  With the skirt I wore the Chie Mihara Zosh heels and Hue tights that are just a shade lighter than the sweater.

The inseam on the trouser jeans is only 33", which requires low-heeled shoes if I want a slight break in the pants, which I do.  Sirene brogues from Robert Clergerie with Burlington argyle socks in the softest pima cotton made for happy feet.

Trusted Black Fleece Short Cotton Trench
I'm afraid the forecast is calling for snow showers and cooler temps again for the weekend but at least it is not parka weather.  It will be trench coats and boots at the ready for a few more weeks.  I've been sourcing some warm weather clothing including a couple of delightful prints that I will share with you.  I have always been challenged by prints on anything larger than accessories but I believe I have discovered the key and it was right in front of me all along.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tweedy Bird

The big melt is on!  Balmy temps and a warm wind are making short work of the snow around here.

We're into puddles and spongy earth now.  It's definitely wellie weather.  Harris Tweed + Aigle wellies = perfection.

100% Wool tweed in a beautiful shade of blue woven with emerald green, black and red accents.

The collab is from 2012.  I wish they would have continued it instead of limiting to a one-season collection.  I stumbled across a pair in my size at Gravity Pope as they were literally cleaning out the back room.  If you're interested there are a few sizes left online HERE, but the store staff have cautioned me - the inventory may not be accurate since this is old stock.  Fit is TTS, I took size 38, which is my usual size 8.

The tweed could make these boots more appropriate for fall rather than spring but since we're not out of the winter woods yet, I'm wearing them now.

Aigle Miss Juliette Liberty Low in Blue
I used to be a staunch Hunter Wellingtons fan but I'm an Aigle convert now.  The comfort factor is exponentially higher with Aigle, the footbed is softer and the shaft doesn't flop around on my narrow calves.  Aigle are equally as durable as Hunter and they have a more streamlined look than a basic wellie.  I highly recommend the brand.

Aigle Miss Juliette Liberty Knee-High in Cedre
If you're a fan of Liberty prints you might like the Miss Juliette boot that I posted about HERE in either a high or low version in a green or blue Liberty print.  There are several other Aigle styles and colors to choose from at Gravity Pope online.

Although no longer the favorite my Hunter wellies are still in use for the muckiest conditions at the country house.  It has been a real mess venturing outside of the yard lately thanks to a great deal of snow melting quickly while the ground is still mostly frozen and unable to absorb all the moisture.  The boots are certainly earning their keep.

Whether showers or snow melt, April weather calls for special footwear to keep us warm and dry.  What are you wearing on your feet this wet month?

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Say No To Normcore

So the hipsters that inspire fashion trends have determined we should all dress in stylized blandness.

This is just goth in grandma's shoes, without the piercings and makeup.
Dark, shapeless layers styled to evoke a lack of style or personality, stripped free of trends.

Totally normcore - gawkiness verging on ugly, or perhaps beyond the verge...
Larry David as the poster-boy for a fashion trend.  Who woulda thunk it?  Well, not me!

You can even meet "Norma Normcore" over HERE at Vogue.  It's literally on every fashion website.

Celine skater shoes
Once it goes mainstream, everyone hops on board.  To be fair, Celine was at the forefront of the trend last year.  It's supposed to be about eschewing trends and brands, being unnoticed.  Given the pace of prevailing fashion, time's long been up on that angle I suppose.  And hey, wasn't Grunge also about blandness rather than "brand-ness"?  So this isn't really new, but what is new in the fashion world?

Just ordered - Anti-Normcore
With all the vibrant colors the past few seasons I had a feeling we were in for a movement to the blahs because fashion does not stand still, even for a moment.  Early spring pastels were the harbinger of a weaker color palette.  I'll will still be wearing my favorite saturated colors, just like I did when khakis, camels, pastels and makeup nudes were all the rage.  What about you, ready for a paradigm shift?  Will you be Norma Normcore?

Have a wonderful day!


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