Stonecrop Sister

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


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Starting Over

Supermoon-Tower-Bridge

Supermoon-Tower-Bridge

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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A Place to Call Home

What kind of house do you dream of?  Growing up, I would read books about houses with secret passageways, opulent bathrooms adjoining each bedroom, multiple staircases leading to different parts of the house.  My mom collected Better Homes and Gardens for years, clipping pictures of beautiful exteriors and while I cannot say that I have her talent for decorating, I do love lingering over the images of comfortable rooms, nooks and crannies.

I have always been a lover of books, re-reading favourites, accumulating them, first in bookshelves, then on the floor in piles by my bed.  Libraries big and small captivate me.  I could easily disappear into the fantasy land of Downton Abbey, and reside forever in the library.

 

 

A balcony view of water is something many of us would not mind having at the end our day. It’s a reminder that the world is a big place, and our troubles for the most part are small.

 

 

Do you have plans for creating a relaxing area outside where you can lounge with friends and family?  Backyards have come a long way since the days of cement patios and the lone red topped barbecue set up against the fence.

 

 

I dream of a space I can call my own some days.  A room with a big white couch, paintings on the wall, a lovely desk for writing, french doors, fur rugs, throws and pillows.

 

A small bathroom with personal touches can be the perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine and a good book.

 

 

I love the look of neutrals in a bedroom, with different textures of a patterned rug, high ceilings, chandeliers, crystal based lamps, fur throws.

 

A New York living room.  Enough said.

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Do you have a favourite room or project you would like to take on? Home is a special place, a sanctuary for us at the end of the day, and it provides a blank canvas to express a bit of our own personality if we so desire. If you have a picture or comment you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.


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Time for Reflection

IMG_7337It’s been a busy two weeks.  I was at the cabin for the first week and a half, and then had a few days puttering around home.

I had the best of intentions to do exercise everyday – the type that would yield results at the end of two weeks for arms and abs.

I had a list of songs I was intent on downloading for a new playlist – like The Pretenders Back on the Chain Gang, Robert Palmer’s Mercy Mercy Me.  Oldies I know but how can you not love them? I did get some reading done – Elin Hilderbrand’s The Matchmaker, Jussi Adler Olsen’s The Purity of Vengeance.  But I still have Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, and Robin Galbraith’s The Silkworm on my nightstand.

But time slipped by and I remained unoccupied.  Instead, I did a lot of thinking, watching water and children and dogs playing. Not a bad way to pass the time.  It was a different vacation from any other.  I had to say goodbye to our dog Molly, a beautiful family member. She had been sick in the spring and we knew that these would be her last few weeks with us.  Still when that day came, my birthday no less, I was not ready for it. It came quick, there was no one other than me at the cabin, so it was a hard day, and affected all of us for many days afterward.  But I believe that’s okay.  She deserved our sadness.

So this post is to say a brief hello to all, and to post our Molly’s picture one more time.  The best dog in the world.


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Stonecrop Sister Beauty

NewHealthyWomanSmall I saw a woman walking on the beach the other day.  She had a youthful stride, her hair was short and styled naturally, and attractively cut.  She automatically smiled as she approached us, and stopped to pass a few words, curious in who we were, where we were from, and wanted to know more about our little yellow cabin. She was naturally curious, and smiled when she spoke. Her skin was not free of wrinkles, but it was healthy with good natural colour brought about no doubt from the beach wind, and I like to believe, a certain contentment with her day and life in general.

Beauty has become synonymous with a holistic approach to living consciously and making choices that will keep you in good health so you can lead the best life possible for you and your loved ones.

image004There is a lot of buzz about how to live a healthy life, to take time for oneself, to nurture what we value, what we feel brings us joy.  I think a big part of this to find ways of building restorative periods into one’s life.  Some people are early risers, and go for walks before their working day begins.  Others head to the gym or a yoga class after dinner.  Some of us have hobbies that they enjoy solo or with friends. Book Clubs or taking a fitness class, taking photographs of strangers to record a moment in time are all great ways to view life from a healthy lens.

What is your favourite way to unwind and add some appreciation and gratitude to your day? 

007 copyRestfulness can come from taking that pause to see the colour in life, and to actively seek ways to bring it into your life in a real and tangible way.  Taking a walk on a week night during these lovely summer evenings, or on a weekend can truly be a way to gain some perspective from the day’s trials. I like walks, I like looking up at the trees above me, passing people and saying hello to fellow walkers, observing flowers and how my neighbourhood has dressed up their yards to display the beauty of summer at its best.

 

Eucalyptus Cleanser

Eucalyptus Cleanser

Apricot Whip Moisturizer

Apricot Whip Moisturizer

It is good to nurture that connection inside you that makes you a better person.  But equally important is to take time for a skincare routine.  I am lazy when it comes to makeup and hair on the weekend, but I think this is a good thing. I feel my eyelashes deserve a break from coating and the subsequent dousing in eye makeup removal at the end of the day.  And I forgo foundation and blush.  Instead, I take a little extra time to spend on caring for my skin, and conditioning my hair.  It makes me feel good in the end.  I like Eminence products, and use the Eucalyptus Cleanser, the Apricot Whip moisturizer, the Strawberry-Rhubarb exfoliant, and the citrus lip balm.

Enjoy your day and I would love to hear how you incorporate beauty into your day.

 

Cheers!

Nancy

 

 

 

 

 


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Style Elements for the Chameleon

olivia-palermo-vogue-21jul14-rex_b_592x888Finding a style is a process of trying things out and seeing if they fit with how you feel about where you are in your everyday life, what makes you feel good, what will give you confidence.  Not everyone is about heels all the time, and there a few among us with either the bodies or wallets of the Victoria Secret models.  I think we all look for role models for being advocates of fashion at any age.  Diane Keaton and Annette Bening are two of my favourites. 

MV5BMTc4ODQ1ODM5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTU2NDk3OQ@@._V1_SX100_CR0,0,100,100_AL_I watched recently a movie with Annette Bening called The Face of Love.  What a beautiful woman! She has eyes that crinkle when she smiles, and while I could be wrong, she does not appear to have had ‘work’ done to her face to prevent the progress of aging.  What I enjoyed throughout the movie was noticing the elements she wove into her look: her scarves, her boat-necked tops, her rings.  Oh, her rings, I love observing how some women can effortlessly pull off wearing silver rings on the middle finger of a hand, and know how to tie a scarf so it flows just so, and never seems to droop or become misshapen. 68e417d1baf184234585f38673e8990cThe layering of necklaces also intrigue me.  Knowing how one necklace will compliment another, and having that eye for detail for getting it right is something that I really admire.  If any of you have pictures you would like to share on your own personalized looks, I would love to post them with your comments on Stonecrop Sister!

 

Hair is another feature that creates a person’s signature style. Whether you decide you look best with hair that is short, mid-length or long, or decide to pull it back and to show off the clean lines of your face and neck, your choice du jour can become the one element that pulls your look together for that day.

Who can forget Keri Russell’s hair in Felicity?  It was her trademark style and many of us wanted those beautiful flowing tresses that seemed so effortless.  I enjoy people watching and am always on the look out for how a woman does their hair.  It can make or break a look.

Signature Fashion pieces can be the key to bringing some snap to your look for the day! I love this purse, and these Hermes Sandals are on my if-I-win-the-lottery wish list.  Simple and elegant, they are timeless in their design.  Enjoy the hunt for that perfect mid-summer outfit!

HERMES-CLASSIC-SANDAL-430-on-u-hermes-vogue-6jun14-pr_b_426x639hbz-the-lst-prefall-9-PS-smhbz-style-secret-miranda-rhWjYb-kerr-lghbz-style-secret-Ming-Xi-lg


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Summer Days

IMG_0595

Ferry to summer Cabin

Hi Everyone,

I have two blissful weeks off from my day job, and I must say, I am looking forward to sitting back and enjoying some time off.  Last night my daughter, her friend and I caught a ferry to head to our summer cabin.  On Saturday, I had the day to myself, and did a bit of errand shopping, laundry, and packing.  It was a beautiful ferry trip over with one of those red-tinged cloud skylines as the sun was setting.  We arrived before midnight, and it was lovely to climb into bed with the sound of waves rhythmically moving in with the tide, and the wild geese that populate the bay having one last conversation before shutting down the party for the night.

I woke a few hours later.  I have the most dreadful insomnia lately.  When it happens on a night when I know I have to be up by 5:45, it can be frustrating watching the minutes tick by, knowing it is getting closer to the time I must get up to begin my work day.   But knowing I could just go with the flow and not have  to worry about an early rise, I instead was able to listen to the silence: the tide had gone out, the geese were asleep except for one lone partier who would honk forlornly but receive no answering cry in return.  I eventually went back to sleep without having to get up and wander around and make toast at 3:30 am.

Today, I have been trying to decompress and get into that mindspace where my automatic thoughts do not veer towards difficult encounters that happened at work this week or thinking about what awaits me when I return.  When I am at the cabin, I like to park myself in a chair and do large tapestries of needlepoint.  I am working on a Jill Gordon design from a book I purchased years ago.  Here is a picture of my progress. IMG_0609

 

51V72FoO2-L._AA160_I have picked up a paperback of Diana Gabaldon’s The Outlander as it has been years since I read this book and I am excited to hear about the TV series that will soon debut on the Starz cable network on August 9.

 

 

 

Tomorrow I hope to go kayaking if the weather holds.  The girls went out today after lunch.  There were a lot of kayak enthusiasts out on the bay today.  Not much wind, and a changeover.IMG_0607

 

Then we might drive to Coombs to visit the market place with the goats on the roof.  There is a wonderful Italian restaurant called Cuckoo that has a shaded alfresco outdoor courtyard and really great fresh pizza, pasta, and fish dishes.  I always feel I’m in a bit of Europe heaven when I sit out back and enjoy the first glass of wine under the big shade umbrellas.

Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know how your summer is going.

 

Here are a few more pictures of our first day of down time.

 

 

 


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What Inspires You?

Emma Watson - United Nations spokesperson for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. You go Girl!

Emma Watson – United Nations spokesperson for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. You go Girl!

How has everyone’s week been?  Almost Friday, and I am looking forward to some time off.

What has inspired you to think good thoughts this week? I am so grateful for this blog because it has become The Pause in my rumination of life, and takes me to a place that always brings me joy, and sense of seeing things with fresh eyes.  I find that as I make the focused effort to sit at a keyboard and reflect about what is around me, I am never disappointed with the images and the actions of people and events that create a positive vibe in the world we share.

I find people that are stretching themselves and giving of their time and effort to help others.  I find Art uplifts me, even if it is photos of Damian Lewis posing with a beautiful brunette.  The beauty of the moment is intriguing.

Oh, and then there is the fashion.  I do love women wearing pretty things.  What is not to love?

Take a look at what I found that tickles my fancy!

 

 

Damian Lewis and Eliza Cummings.  Damian is Yum.

Damian Lewis and Eliza Cummings. Damian is Yum.

Dasha Zarivnaya Vogue 9July14 Dvora_b

Ulyana Sergeenko dress with Christian Louboutin shoes

Kate! thank you, finally you look tired.  We're grateful.

Kate! thank you, finally you look tired. We’re grateful.

Keira Knightley visits South Sudan on the third anniversary of its independence to see first hand the plight of its people who are struggling to survive the famine.

Keira Knightley visits South Sudan on the third anniversary of its independence to see first hand the plight of its people who are struggling to survive the famine.

Oh to catch a flight and go wander the streets of Tunisia.

Oh to catch a flight and go wander the streets of Tunisia.

 

 

Chanel Dress, Prada Shoes.  Oh I want to put on the dress.

Chanel Dress, Prada Shoes. Oh I want to put on the dress.

Ksenia Solovieva, editor, what a beautiful woman, wow!

Ksenia Solovieva, editor, what a beautiful woman, wow!

And finally, thank you Brazil, for the most wonderful World Cup!

And finally, thank you Brazil, for the most wonderful World Cup!

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