Stonecrop Sister

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


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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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Cakes

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I love all things chocolate, and on a weekend, baking is one of my favourite things to do.  I love how the house smells when I bake, and having a sweet treat at the end of a meal is always a welcome end to the day.

Last weekend I went to my favourite bookstore and picked up Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.  This recipe collection takes its name from the bakery in Vancouver that opened in 2007.  They soon became known worldwide to have the best gourmet marshmallows in North America, and are currently in more than 300 stores throughout the US, Canada and Japan.  Recipes like homemade-you-know-what‘The Homemade You-Know-What” cookie (yes, it really is called that) made it to Oprah’s attention, and was on Vancouver Magazine’s list of the 101 things to Taste Before You Die.

I made Butter’s Chocolate Cake and while it was a long afternoon, the end result had my daughter and her friends filling their plates with this four-layer piece of heaven.

photoLike most of us, I have to watch what I eat.  The temptation to indulge regularly in this type of dessert is not something that I can do if I want to maintain my weight, given I am not an active person.  But I enjoy baking as an outlet for stress, and life is short.

So expect to see Stonecrop Decadence as a regular feature going forward.

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Costume Party

748bb53b0efa413da0614913c4bdfa32On the weekend,  I reorganized my closet with the goal of letting go of those pieces that I no longer wear, and making room for some of the warmer clothing I’ve had hanging at the back, or hidden away in drawers.  It was a good exercise to put some order to it, and as I took each piece off the hangar to consider whether it was a keeper or in the discard pile, I gave some thought as to what I had envisioned for myself when I made the purchase.  Clothes are costumes, they provide us with an opportunity to try out a different facet of our personality.  I must have a lot of personalities. I could give Sybil a good run for her money judging by the bags I gave away.

Taking some time to clean out a drawer, throw away that blue mascara, hand wash and iron those few pieces you have tucked away on a shelf awaiting your attention, can help bring you back down to ground zero, and remind you of what your core image is.  It is hard to justify buying a new sweater, or outfits for work, if you have lost view of what is most important to you.

I get pleasure out of drifting through a few of my favourite stores and eyeing what catches my interest.   Paring down and making some mental notes about what is still working for me has been a good thing — it has reminded me of how much I have, and that buying more costumes is not always the correct or only avenue for making changes for the new and improved me.

Here are a few style images that appealed to me this week:

 

 

 


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Sisters

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You might have guessed from the title of my blog that I believe that it is a magnificent thing to be part of a sisterhood.  I have two sisters, and one very patient brother.  I live on the opposite side of the country, and I am not often in their neighbourhood, nor they in mine.  But I have good memories that are particular to these women, and it is from sitting on a bench at lunch that I watch those memories float past me, all those holiday dinners, like a movie reel, the nuances of their strengths, and complex personalities come forth, and for a brief time in my day, I am with them once again.

It is waiting at the window, pulling back that white cafe curtain just a bit more, was that a car, are they here yet?  And the first car spilling out it’s occupants, sisters and family, platters of foil covered dishes, corning ware, tupperware, bags of rolls, salads, wine yes I would love a glass, packs of beer, slip those down to the basement would you, pies, always pies, cakes, bars, pots of potatoes.  Busyness in the kitchen while others arrive, voices, voices, long table cheerfully set, we’ve 18 this year, imagine, lucky for the second table as well.  Not much time to socialize before dinner, younger days younger children, always a child at a sister’s skirt, looking up, wanting a snack a drink let me in let me out.  Snowsuits on, snowsuits off, will uncle rich toboggan as well? And then the food is on the table, hurry now, eat while it’s hot and sisters resemble a game of whack-a-mole, one is sitting down but another is up and out to clear a dish, refill a plate, check on the mug of water in the microwave, are you ready for that now Dad, pour a glass of wine, clear the passthrough of turnip casserole, hand through that carrot cake, who wants apple, and who wants lemon? One sister washing, one sister drying, let’s get these done so presents can be next.  Sisters talk as the dishes are done, it’s an interwoven dance, an invisible folk weaving of habits and patterns ingrained from a hundred years of dinners like this one, it was Evelyn and Rita and Bernadette before us, and it is Marie and Carolyn and Nancy and Mary Ellen and Kate and Jenny and Elaine and the girlfriends and new wives of the boys, and Naomi and Kyra, and Sammy and Gabby.  Sisters, my beginning and my end.

 

 

 

 

 


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Time for Fall Dresses

 

 

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Time to shop for the perfect fall dress! Dresses are my choice of clothing for work.  I love showing off  heels, and as the seasons change, so does my style of dress.  In summer, my eye goes to linen shifts, or beautiful floor-touching maxi skirts with simple white Tee’s and a little bolero jacket.  In the fall I look for dresses, and I prefer solid colours, accessorized with earrings and rings, watches and bracelets.

I like the look of the day dresses in the 1950’s.  Cinched waists, flaring skirts, three-quarter length sleeves, materials like gingham and light wools, to crepes and satins.  Figure flattering no matter what your shape.

I bought a Diane von Furstenberg dress because of this throw-back in style to a fuller skirt, pockets, and wrapped bodice.  I really love it, and think it will last throughout the years as a staple in my wardrobe.

Here are a few images that my eye spied this week.  Enjoy!

 

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Starting Over

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I am excited for a few things this weekend.  First, it’s pay day tomorrow, so I feel less guilty about heading out to my favourite shopping strip to see if there are any great early finds for fall.  I love this upcoming season.  The need for cozy, soft sweaters in hues of burgundy, greens, browns, or ambers.  Throws you can reach for in the evening to wrap around shoulders as you sit outside with the outdoor fireplace on, or on the couch with a good book or maybe watching the fall TV shows as they come out of hiding.

I like the dark mornings, and the early sunsets.  I like putting a bit of brown into my blonde to tone down the vibe from summer.  Autumn seems to represent new beginnings to me.  I think September should be the start of the New Year.  I feel like a year completes the circle at the end of August, and regardless of our age or stage, it signifies a psychological shift in the board game of life.  It’s time once again to pass GO, and to stop, stand still, watch and listen.  And then act on what will give you pleasure.  Maybe if you are solitary and sometimes feel lonely, it is joining a group to push yourself out of the comfortable, just to see if new friendships are in order.  If it doesn’t work out, then maybe you will in turn be grateful for what you have discovered about yourself – that you enjoy your own company.  There is certainly nothing wrong with that.

Maybe it is about taking a course, or committing to some regular exercise after dinner, even if only for a quick 10 minute walk.  The fall is a great time to begin the thought process of what will enrich your life.

The world has been a chaotic place this summer.  Fighting in the middle East has been devastating; the loss of the Malaysian plane over the Ukraine took with it one of our beloved managers from my company.  I look for images that give hope, that remind of us that no matter what, we have beauty all around us, that it is only waiting for our eyes to spy the moment in time.  These moments are snapshots, and we are the lens.  Hope is in the super moon, and in fabulous boots, gorgeous dresses,  beautiful women, and breathtaking landscapes.  I am so lucky to be a woman.  Enjoy the beauty.

 

 

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