Stonecrop Sister

From the corner of my eye, I seek the reason why.


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Brides, Gowns, and Everyday Elegance

 

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I love dresses, and this stunning wedding gown by Ralph and Russo Couture caught my eye. How many of us have a favourite memory hanging in a special place in our closet, bought for weddings, anniversaries, first dates, proms, or birthdays? This dress is a story unto itself, requiring 3900 hours of hand embroidery.  For the full story, click here. The images of this gown create once again the oohs and aahs we might have felt as small girls dreaming of maybe one day looking like a princess bride.

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They say it all starts with the dress, and I think that follows through for our regular day-to-day lives as well.  We look for that dress or skirt or leather jacket that will tell a little story about us, about what we like, our preference for hour glass shapes, or for loose fitting linens, chunky jewelry or delicate strands of chains.

I found a few images that are my favourites.  What style do you prefer?  Do you have a ball gown in the back of your closet?

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Eye Spy Colour and Light

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The Beauty of Home – chez Mary Ellen and Rich

How has everyone’s week been? Have you been able to find some time and enjoy the Fall season, no matter what the weather where you reside? Don’t you love the picture above of my brother and sister-in-law’s home, showing off the wonderful fall plumage.  Those rockers look so inviting!

I was able to get to the beach today.  It was warm and sunny, and somehow that type of weather is always a gift on a Sunday.

I left work early on Friday, and dropped by Grandview Corners to Casbah Spa.  They carry my favourite lip balm, Eminence Citrus Lip Balm.  When I arrived home, I downloaded Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand onto my iPad.  I was so looking forward to wrapping myself up in warm throw, with a glass of wine, and getting lost with her characters in Nantucket.  It’s a great read! What’s on your list?  Next up for me is Gone Girl.  I have yet to read this, so I’m going to dive in tonight.

When I go out for a walk and take our camera, rather than just my phone for pictures, I am more mindful of what I am seeing, and I think less about my woes, and more about the little things that make the walk interesting.

Like this wooden adornment just under an eave of an old shed backing onto an alley.  It’s unlikely many would notice it, but it’s there for the pleasure of those who do.

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Goose

I loved the light at the beach today, the feeling of people enjoying life with each other and their pets.

People and Pets enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

Fall at Crescent Beach

I’ve walked this beach a million times, and it never fails to amaze me how I must have missed something so unique on previous passes, like this little keyhole entrance to someone’s front walk right on the beach.

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Secret Garden

 

I was alone for that hour on the beach today, but never felt lonely.  The beautiful day and scenery affected us all, and there were many people who smiled and chatted with me, as I tried to capture the freshness of the day.

I hope your Monday goes well!

Bright Light of Fall

Bright Light of Fall

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City and North Shore Mountains

House with a View

Beachfront Elegance

 

Fall Wonders - don't forget to look up now and again

Big Skies

 

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Summer is Over

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Cheery Welcome

 

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What’s around that bend? I think I spy…


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What’s Your Style?

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It was one of those mornings.  I had it all planned.  I was going to wear my James Perse black dress, tights, and little ankle boots.  I ended up looking like a really old version of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.  I will not bore you with what was behind Door Number 2, 3 or 4, but suffice to say, I went through a lot of doors before I found something that I felt looked half decent.

Is this down to not knowing one’s own style?  I would have to agree, and also to lack of planning, which is rather hilarious as that’s my day job.  It always seems to look better in my head than in the mirror.

Tomorrow will be anyone’s guess.  But I’m thinking simple is the way to go: black Sandro pants, little ankle boots, mid-length sweater.

Here are a few of the inspiring images I found this week.  I wish I had a pair of red Rag & Bone boots.  I think I have greyish black tights that I could pair with a…..

 


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Eye Spy the Whimsy of Fall

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Have you ever been so caught up in the little annoyances of life, that before you know it, hours have gone by, and you have not cracked a smile or said a kind word to anyone?  It can be difficult to break away from the negative energy when you are so wrapped up in negative thoughts.

Late last week, I had an opportunity to escape the office, and attend a course downtown.  I love cities – the bigger the better.  I  thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air, the good looking men in suits and ties, the women in shiny new fall boots, cars whizzing by, store windows all dressed up in fall colours, decorated for Halloween and Thanksgiving, the downtown vibe.  It was a warm day, and people were eating at sidewalk patio cafes, smiling, laughing, groups of women enjoying each other’s company.  I felt re-energized just being around this scene, and grateful that I had stumbled on this realization that it was making a difference to how I was feeling about life.

It is not always possible to have a change like this in a daily routine, but you can do it on a smaller scale.  I chose to eat my lunch by the water yesterday, just outside our offices, and had packed a lovely salad, and included a lemon bar as a treat.  I watched sea planes take off, and felt the warm sun on my face, and tasted that tangy zest of lemon filling, and for a while I was in heaven.

I hope you are able to spy a break in the clouds when you feel like this.  Those little things that will catch you by surprise and make you smile are the signs that you are on the right path.  Seek them out, and let them work their magic.  This little “Speak No Evil” Garden Gnome was playing hide-and-seek with me as I wandered by a display, and I could not resist capturing his image.  It was another perfect little reminder of how the whimsy in life can make all the difference to how you view the next few hours.

Enjoy your week!

- Nancy

 

 

 


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Glamour

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Glamour

Now and again, I think back to my twenties and wish I had appreciated that time in my life more.  At twenty, you can throw something on that is over the top, and absolutely no one would think to question you.  If people could not figure it out, they would probably just assume that it is a new version of street cool, and give you points for coming up with the combination.

I wonder if I will ever get to dress up to the nines again, a full length gorgeous dress, with jewelry to match.  Perhaps that is why we love to see beautiful women in gowns with perfect hair, and accessories that speak as much to their personal taste as the clothes they are wearing.  We wistfully think about our lives and for a moment see our faces without the lines, lips that can carry off the candy red lipstick, hands with beautifully manicured nails, feet in red-soled shoes.  We picture a night out without wiping sticky peanut butter and jam off the counter, or want to look down and not see the dog licking it off our pant leg.  We love our lives, but we want glamour occasionally as well.  Fall is upon us, and not far away, the holiday season. I hope you all find a little glamour in the upcoming months.

 


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Casual Weekend Wear – 5 Items to Pull It Together

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Weekend Style

 

A casual look  that allows comfort and self confidence can be difficult to pull together.  On weekends, I want to take a break from heels, but not compromise on style.  Traipsing around the grocery store in even a low heel can make my feet ache at the end of an hour.

Weekend casual can start with an attractive pair of flats.  I have a pair of Softinos, a dark grey-black soft leather that compliments either boy jeans rolled up, or I can wear with khakis. I also have a fabulous pair of soft suede neutral flats with toe studs that elevate the look in style.

 

I always look to a great sleeveless tank as my go-to top for the weekend runs of groceries and errands, and I pair it with a different cardigans, or even a casual blazer.  Layers work well for allowing a person to adjust their need for throwing on a sweater if you feel cool, or peeling it off if you find yourself outside on a sunlit balcony, enjoying a nice glass of wine.

I have a two styles of jeans that I prefer.  The first is both a light and dark version of a boy jean that is rolled slightly above the ankle.  For errands on the weekend, I wear these loose jeans for comfort with a black tank, and my favourite James Perse sweater.  I also have a straight-leg skinny Kut jean , which is perfect for a weekend dinner out, dressed up with a heel. Kut jeans are very comfortable and giving, and dark jeans are generally considered dressier than a lighter colour.  Pair it with a well cut blazer, and you are ready to enjoy a night on the town.

Sunglasses, necklace and clutch purse nail it.

Sunglasses, necklace and clutch purse nail it.

 

For jewelry, I have a rose gold Wilson watch, but I like to layer it with other bracelets.  My choice for earrings are my gold discs from La Vie Parisienne.  Hair up or down, these little gems seem to fit into whatever look I am trying to create. I also have my Tree of Life gold earrings for casual running around days.

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Tree of Life earrings

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Finally, although the weekends are usually makeup free, now and again it’s fun to take the time to create a different look to wear out for  shopping or lunch.  I love Bobby Brown makeup.  This week I picked up the Electric Pink Art Stick for lips, and it’s great to line and fill, and then add a bit of clear gloss to tone down the matte.  For eyes, I use the Brow Kit in the Saddle/Mahogany palette, and two eyeshadows – the Champagne Quartz and Ballet Pink.  For a blush, I like the Pale Pink.

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Bobby Brown Makeup; Sephora Mascara

 

Here a few outfits I spied this week, and you can check out my pinterest board for more fashion stylings. Let me know what your favourites are!

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Stress Busters: 5 Ways to Wind It Down

The World can be a stressful, balancing act.

The World can be a stressful, balancing act.

Life has a way of throwing small curve balls, and this past week has been no exception.  Meet our newest addition to the family –  Addie, a black labrador puppy, who is now 3 months old.  Last week she decided to enthusiastically greet a couple on a walk, and rebounded on her leash, fracturing her back leg.  It did not need surgery, but with the thick bandage, she resembles a puppy who is dressed for a game of ice hockey but on one leg only.  Three to six weeks of inactivity was prescribed. Bring on the stress.

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Addie – future Walmart greeter

 

While this is a small trial in the scheme of life events, it’s a reminder that  stress can originate from things big and small.  Events that are minor can pile up and before you know it, you are feeling like you are trying to navigate through one of those abandoned-car highways on the Walking Dead.  Temper flareups, impatience, snapping at the spouse, the children, the barista.  Talking to yourself in the grocery lineup, (why would they not open more than two tills at 5:00 at night?).  You’ve become a bit of a crazy person, and it isn’t pretty.

So I wanted to share a few of my favourite things that I do, rightly or wrongly, when I start to notice that the person in the mirror isn’t smiling back.

Wine – I know, I know, I can hear the judgement from here.  But seriously, one’s perspective on life can alter a bit if you can come home from work, and sit for a few minutes with a glass of wine, pet the puppy, hold a sock that she can pull, and just take in the moment.  My favourite wine is a Spanish Campo Viejo, I’ve been drinking this now for a few years.

Bathtime – My sister gave me this card when I gave birth to one of my daughters, and it said when the baby was cranky, put it in water.  (It was a really lovely card, not a Gary Larson funny one, so I am fairly certain the card writer meant it in a nice way). A bubble bath and a candle and a paperback book are a great way to slow down thoughts. Thyme’s Kimono Rose bubble bath has a light airy scent, not too heavy.  It is a bit pricey, but you only need a little, and  I figure in another twenty years, I might not be able to bend to get into the tub, so seize the day.

Susanna Kearsley novels –  I have read all of her books but in a pinch, when I’m feeling the train at my heels, I will pick out a backlist favourite, snuggle down and begin again.  Susanna writes about historical places with a modern heroine and adds elements of going back in time.  I love her style, it reminds me of Mary Stewart.

Getting On – HBO series – we are given a birdseye view of life on a women’s geriatric hospital ward, and all the pathos involved in this stage of life for those just trying to make a living, and those having to endure the illness that brought them to this particular doorstep.  It is outrageous, heartbreaking, painful, funny, awful, and endearing.

Sisters Episode 2: Husky (The Kloons) – humour gets me every time.  Two thirty year guys lip sync a conversation they have overheard from their aunt and mother.  This is the second video and it is just as funny as the first.

These are just a few of the distractions that will sometimes put me in a calmer place.  Let me know if you have any suggestions, would love to hear about them.

Have a great week everyone!

- Nancy

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