Tuesdays are for Tapping and a Giveaway

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday, my wedding photographer dropped off a little surprise. Even though we had not ordered prints, she dropped off a photo book, a frenchie card, and an orchid.



I love dealing with creative entrepreneurs. They always have a lovely personal touch. If you need a great wedding photographer in the Oakville, Toronto, Southwestern Toronto, I highly recommend Tara at Photo Booth by TM.

I've struggled with anxiety for years and this year I've decided focus on putting it behind me for good. Like every good Wounded Healer archetype, I'll bring y'all along for the ride since I know lots of you out there struggle with it too.


Weekends, Prezzies, Easter Memories, and Fatigue

I hope y'all had a nice weekend. We had a busy but good one. We are having a bizarro string of weather. Hot cold. Hot cold. It's the Joan Crawford of winters. I fear our ski days may be over as there's been a lot of rain.

My daughter returned home from the school trip. They stayed at the Fairmont. The Fairmont! In middle school! What's with that? In my day, we stayed at Short Emmet's on the Highway, way out of town and were bussed in for boring walking tours. We did not ski and go to Circus School and visit the Ice Hotel. You can tell I'm secretly outraged I was not part of the fun.

I recently added to my bag collection. I maintain that it's an asset class. The Mr. bought me a Gucci Boston bag for our first Valentine's Day as husband and wife. Naturally, Serena lay claim to the box.



Are any of you watching Nashville? I'm beyond devastated. I will have to only watch reality TV going forward. Much more predictable.

I can't believe it's Pancake Tuesday tomorrow. The year is flying by! It will be Easter before we know it, which is fabulous as it's such a lovely holiday. I grew up in Calgary and every year at Easter time, they'd have pastel dyed chicks and rabbits at the mall. I'm sure it's a terrible practice (although I can personally attest to the fact that hair colour seems harmless...) but it was incredibly cute. I used to win the local Easter colouring contest, after studying the previous year's winners and coming up with a formula that worked. I came home with a few child-sized stuffed animals as my victory spoils over the years. Most years we'd also drive to visit my maternal grandparents in Saskatchewan: these are the Swedish-Lancashire bloodline, not the Duke of Devonshire bloodline, just in case you are keeping track. My memories of the holiday are all quite fond and now I love to facilitate a good egg hunt for my kids.

We met with a contractor over the weekend about making a few changes to the house and I felt a little overwhelmed. I think I might be too tired to renovate. Doesn't that sound like an excellent pulp fiction title.



I've generally been very tired lately. I used to suffer from wildly elevated cortisol levels and my doctor had put me on an adrenal boosting program at the time. I think I will return to it with lots of good food, Rooibos tea, vitamins, more sleep, and less intense exercise (I'll switch one of my cardio classes for more yoga.) I'll let you know how it goes. Perhaps it's just age...

I hope you have a terrific start to the week.

xo



Spring is like a perhaps?

No, not spring yet. But with 18 degree celsius (65 degree) temps here yesterday and brilliant sunshine, it felt like May.

I'm so done with the winter woolens and dark colours and am currently lusting over this little number by Gucci.

Gucci bow dress 2017 Saks

I know, right? Gorgeous. 

Alas, my budget expenses runneth over with furniture for Lunenburg, so I'll have to content myself with a Ladies Who Lunch scent like good old Fracas, one of my very favourite spring perfumes. 

Fracas Robert Piguet Saks Perfume
/via/



If you love Diptyque's Tuberose candle, you will love Fracas. It's so pretty. I've been wearing it since the early 2000s, back when I was a fancy pants banker. It always makes me feel like the world is an abundant place, which is always a good thing. 

I hope you have some fun things planned this weekend. We are heading to Big Smoke for the Honest Ed's final weekend art maze and plan to watch the Daytona 500 on Sunday. My son is a big racing fan. I was always an F1 gal as I've been lucky enough to attend a couple of F1 races, but I love NASCAR's heart. Besides, I love to celebrate just about anything. 

If you want a little blast from the past, I plan to do a throwback to Bliss Notes, my newsletter from 2008 in Saturday's newsletter. Sign up at the top of my sidebar so you don't miss out on the fun. 

XO





#TBT and too much TV

For Throwback Thursday, I thought I'd show a photo of Serena as a puppy.


Isn't she sweet? We got her as an adult dog when she retired from showing, so we missed out on the puppy years. I let her get away with a lot now: I can't imagine how much I'd have let her get away with then. So stinking cute! 

Here she is being shown with her sister. (Serena was the top Canadian frenchie and her sister the top American one when they debuted.) 


And here is a photo of her in the ring. 


She still gets excited when I get out the leash. 

She's now off the meds and we are letting her have a good rest before resuming her therapy work. She's older now and does not bounce back as quickly. She's not the only one!

Are any of you out there Bachelor fans? It's a guilty pleasure of mine. I thought Corinne would be this season's villain but I've really warmed to her. I love her joie de vivre. She'd be the best match for Vile Nick even if he had to get three jobs to keep her in shoes. So happy Rachel is the next Bachelorette. Hopefully they will bring in a better calibre of men for her than the men in the past few seasons. She seems too smart for the beefy protein-shake type. 

I'm missing my Ladies of London. They are still showing new shows in the UK but we are woefully behind in the colonies. I'll have to watch RHoToronto, which should provide fun coverage of my old stomping ground. And, of course, RHONY should be returning soon with La Tinsley. Until then, I simply have to satisfy myself with the antic of Ms. Vanderpump and her fleet of Pomeranians. 

Enjoy your Thursday, lovely people. 

XO




Reading Eating Writing Wearing

Reading


The pool is empty when my kids have lessons so I always bring my Kindle. 




Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined is a YA book written by one of my fellow Trinitarians (Danielle and I went to high school together.) I love the premise of Wild meets The Breakfast Club.

Eating

Pineapple and low fat coconut yogurt. Because who needs a tropical vacation?

Dark chocolate. Because.

Writing

My latest post on 1010ParkPlace is up. It's provocatively titled The Secret Lives of Wives of Widowers.

Wearing

Momiform of jeans, jumping boots, trench coat, Everlane T. Plus Jewellery with a capital J and hot rollered hair.

Enjoy your Wednesday, kittens.

XO





Spring has sprung

Hello y'all!

It's been positively balmy around here. I fear that ski season may be coming to a premature end, but I'm happy to see the sunshine. We had a long weekend and instead of going up north to ski, we drove to a beach and ate ice cream. (I was in a jacket: it's not that warm!)

I'm so looking forward to spring this year. I love between Valentine's day and Easter. I guess I'm a Lent kind of girl. I find that the light is bright, the spring fashions are arriving, and everyone feels hopeful since the days are growing longer.

I had to bring home these shoes from J Crew's spring sale in anticipation.



I also picked up another one of these oval clips in the pink lucite (I have the dark tortoise.)



On Saturday, the Mr. and I went to Hamilton to try out Mattson and Co. on Locke Street. What a lovely spot. The food was delicious and I had a terrific viognier. I can't drink red wine but like something a bit more complex that most whites and, for me, a good viognier fits that bill. We chatted briefly with Ronn, the owner. We then snuck over to Detour for their vegan Hello Dolly bar. Because I can't eat egg, I have to skip most restaurant desserts so this was a treat. We also popped into Pure Home. The Vintage Peony candle smells delicious for spring and I love to shop locally.

The rest of the weekend was kid focused with country drives, the auto show, Forza, tv-marathons, shopping, and restaurant visits. If you have a chance to watch the Tiny House doco on Netflix do: it's very good. Ditto for Minimalism and Tony Robbins I Am Not Your Guru. Bring tissues for all of them.

I have to thank Patricia for linking me to the Widower of the Parish columns at the Observer: very relevant and very well written! It's well worth a read even if you don't share his experience. I also finished The Color of Rain. I liked the movie better (which is rare for me!) but it's still a good read.

I've done up a little printable as I practice my design skills. Feel free to download and print!

Have a lovely Tuesday. 

xo




Life's a Party

OK, enough with all the serious. Sometimes, I just want to be lighthearted.

Like these guys.



Seriously, are these two not the laziest dogs ever? They are both old - Sailor is 11 and Serena is 9 - but still! It's nice how they've become good friends. Sailor is Yin to Serena's Yang. They've taken on each other's bad habits and gang up on me when they want food. It's all very adorable. 

I'm getting spring fever and craving some punches of colour. I'm kind of loving J. Crew's newest collection. This is not an affiliate link since I find their affiliate program complicated and I'm really quite lazy. (Update: Someone sent me details of how to make this less complicated so the links might actually work now!) 

This is what I wear in the life I tend to live in my head. 


Love pink tulle ballgown skirt even though it's not even remotely practical for a 45 year old from Stepford. Perhaps I can wear it in Lunenburg...


Loving the Eyelet Dress in Soft Blossom even though Soft Blossom is a weird name for a colour. Blush, people, it's blush! I like the black colour even better, but this post is all about pink. 



Loving this one shoulder number even though I'm sure I'd have to snap my fingers in the air and shout Olé every time I wore it. 


These are positively super looking flats - very Chanel. The Pale Petal is a very pretty colour, I think. They are now on sale and I'd get them if I did not already own 752* pairs of J. Crew ballet flats. 

*number may be a slight exaggeration. 

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend. If you've not subscribed to the newsletter, please do so in the sidebar on the right. I'll be sending it out tomorrow if the tech gods are kind. 

XO





The Color of Rain

So just when I was going around mocking a work day filled with Lifetime movies, yesterday I watched The Color of Rain, a made-for-Hallmark movie from 2014. I had it on as background noise while I was watching some graphic design how-to videos, but the story pulled me in.




It's based a memoir written by Michael and Gina Spehn, a widow and a widower who lost their spouses around the same time and were connected by their grief. Within the year, they'd fallen in love and were married.

The movie brought up the opposition the couple encountered and showed how when someone dies, people who've brought over a casserole feel entitled to voice their opinions on how the family moves forward.   

Hardly anyone ever talks about this aspect of widow/widowerhood so it was refreshing to see it onscreen. I've just started reading their memoir since I want to find out more about their story. 



Throughout my life, I've always found it to be such a comfort when I hear someone tell a story that mirrors something happening in my life. I remember as a child, struggling with something and then reading a story in my aunt's copy of Woman's Day magazine that caused me to run into the living room and shout "this is happening to somebody else too." It's not so much about misery loves company, but about the true meaning of empathy, which Brené Brown defines as "communicating that incredibly healing message of 'you're not alone.'"

I loved the message of the film that hard things do not have to define us even when people find it uncomfortable for us to find happiness after loss. We are more than our disappointments and we are more than our scars. We can reframe our narrative any time we want to and find our happily ever after in the end. 

***

If you haven't already, sign up for my email newsletter, sent out each Saturday, featuring links to the blog and exclusive content. This week's issue will include a free printable on how to make a vision board that works. (Look at the fancy graphics. I didn't just watch movies this week.)


A New Vision


One of the best ways that I find to hit the reset button is to make a new vision board. I've been doing them for years.



I used to do the whole magazine, glue stick, and poster board thing, but I hated how they looked. I finally bought one of those ribbon bulletin boards. You can buy them at HomeSense/HomeGoods or you can channel your inner Martha and make one here. The nice thing about it is that you can add and subtract things as you wish.

I used to have pictures of things I wanted or places I wanted to visit. Now the board is much more about they way I want to feel. It's a literal mood board...

Right now, mine has:

  • some greeting cards/notes from family, friends, and mentors
  • a photo of an older couple dancing at the beach, because #lifegoals
  • a picture of a potential book cover for my next book
  • my core desired feelings for this year
  • a trip I want to take
  • favorite quotes
  • favourite scripture verses
  • the view from the ocean house

I also have pictures of family tucked in the corners.

I have it over my desk so I can see it every day. Just looking at it makes me feel calm and gives me focus because, without goals, it's way too easy to spend the day watching Lifetime movies.

If you are feeling stuck, try making a vision board and see what happens.

XO






Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, lovely people.



I hope you are having a good one. It's a day that can be fraught with peril, isn't it.

The Mr. added a new bird to my collection. He knows me well.

/via/


It's a pink lipstick kind of day, no?



I've started Pilates classes. I never knew moving my leg an inch in the air could be so bloody painful. Serious respect to you reformer gals.

I'm starting research on my next book. I'm such a research geek. The book is all about how our personal narrative shapes how we live, although that does not sound sexy enough to sell. I'll have to glam up the title over the next little while. In the meantime, I get to lie around on the sofa reading Joseph Campbell.

I'm also trying to figure out marketing stuff since it's an inevitable part of the whole writing process and it's been years since I sat in a marketing class. I made a little PDF ebook based on my article, the Reversal of Fortune Survival Guide. I've set it up so you can get it if you subscribe to my weekly email. Look at me being all marketing-y. Marie Forleo would be proud.

Are y'all watching the new Nashville? I had a bit of trouble getting into it because the film quality is not as good as when it was on ABC. It's all sort of sepia-toned like The Beachcombers use to be and I'm used to my bubblegum-coloured Real Housewives shows. But it's the same cast and even better music and now I'm hooked again.

I hope you are having a happy Tuesday. Can you believe we are already half way through February? Where does the time go?

XO







Bringing Street Style to Stepford, inspired by NYFW

I've loved fashion since my high school and university days, when I sewed my own pencil skirts using Vogue patterns since I had a limited budget and hated the offerings at the mall. I moved away from fashion for a while. Because life. But in 2017, I plan to kick it up a notch. When I dress better, I feel better. That's part of my new narrative too.

I've always loved fashion week (I used to skip school in high school to attend Toronto fashion week) but my favourite part of fashion week is seeing the accompanying street style. It seems a much more achievable look for everyday life in Stepford than attempting haute couture. I once - once - wore a pair of cage shoes to school pickup and, I swear, never again. Street style is much more doable. These are some of my favourite street style looks from New York Fashion Week via The Cut.








Basically, I love an oversized classic coat, a tiny boxy bag, and stripes.

It's a look one could create from choices from The RealReal, which is an online luxury consignment shop I've shopped from in the past. They've asked me to be an Influencer, which is awesome since, around these parts, I rarely influence anything. It's an affiliate program so if you click the links and buy things, apparently I get paid which, again, is awesome because the local Whole Foods is no longer accepting smiles as payment. The link is in my sidebar and, right now, they are offering an extra 20% off most items with the code NYFW.


I've also had lots of compliments on my Goyard St. Louis bag, which is the patron saint of this blog. If you want your own, they have one of the fancy pants burgundy ones right now (they tend to sell out quickly.) They take great pains to authenticate their pieces so you can shop confidently with them.

I hope you have a good week ahead. I plan to dig into the new book with a lot of research into neuroplasticity. I'm also becoming a Certified Crystal Reader since I like to keep things fresh.

Keep on smiling, kittens.


Big storm, Still standing

The former neighbours of a friend of mine have moved to the south shore of Nova Scotia and we connected when they learned we bought our place. There was a big storm the other day and they drove out to where we are located and sent us some photos to show us that our house was still standing.

Nova Scotia Ocean House


In spite of the facts that we've never met and we have a property manager who keeps an eye on the place, they still checked in to make sure we were OK.

That's really all we need in life, isn't it: to have someone make sure that we are OK, following the storm.

I wanted to thank everyone who commented on my last blog post or reached out to me in some way. I've discovered that in life, no matter how hard we try to control things, the storms are inevitable: people get sick, jobs are lost, relationships fail. The key is to cultivate a tribe who will make sure that after the storm you are still standing, and, if not, they will help you back up.








Change your story, change your life

It's never too late to change your story

I've been thinking a lot about narrative and about the stories we tell ourselves. This is, in part, because I am a writer and have recently decided to switch from fiction to non-fiction. But, mainly, it's because I did not like the story I was telling myself about my life.

Here is the thing: I have had a lot of crappy things happen to me: miscarriage, infertility, postpartum depression, divorce, and an episode of dating abuse that left me with significant trauma. So when I moved to town and met the Mr., I was really looking forward to leaving it all behind. But here is the thing about partnering with a widower that very few people will tell you: some people are not very nice as a result.

Since we got together, I've been shoved, had mean comments written on my blog, and been confronted at a party with someone wearing my husband's deceased wife's clothing to make some sort of point. I was taken out to lunch by a woman who brought along another woman who had never quite comes to grips with my husband's wife's death. The woman who organized the lunch kept buying her more and more beer until she was asking me about ghostly apparitions in my garden. I get it: they miss her. That's their story, I suppose. For me, it knocked me back into a story from my childhood where I'd experienced pretty serious bullying by my peers. It allowed the greek chorus of She'll Never Measure Up to get under my skin even though I knew that those espousing this view had met me only once, if at all.

I started to get ground down by their comments that I was "the other woman" and that the news of our engagement must have "devastated" my partner's kids. I started to slip into victim mode, which is easy when you've been a victim in the past. I was starting to believe the narrative that life was hard, I'd never have it good, and that this was my cross to bear. Not only was I telling myself this story, but I spent a year writing a novel trying to make sense of it all, which only gave this story more power.

And then we went to Cuba. With the warm waters and the freedom of anonymity, I relaxed. In spite of the fact that we were getting torrential rainstorms, I felt happy -- something I'd not felt in a long time. The Mr. and I decided that having a spot to get away to, ideally near the ocean, was something we both needed.

On a weekend trip to Halifax, we saw a property right on the ocean that looked like a lovely retreat. We decided to buy it as we'd recently sold down our properties when we combined homes, and it was being sold for about a quarter of the price of summer homes near us.

And in that moment, my narrative switched. Instead of Surviving Suburbia, I'd been Saved by Saltwater: two names I've used for this blog.

That little mind switch made a huge difference to my way of thinking. Last weekend, when I went north to a yoga retreat, I had a different mindset. I no longer shied away from being me: trying to hide my light under a bushel so I could avoid being criticized for not being someone else. I felt freer and more open. I was the slightly zany girl with the hyper-mobile elbows who had several baths and squirrelled herself away to write. And you know what? I was not hated - even when I had to ask every single person to move her car so I could exit the driveway in the morning.

I realized that what helpful people had told me about the unsupportive people was true: it was really about them, not me. I'd watered myself down to be this benign, faded, quiet version of myself lest I risk offending, and still they were unaccepting. In that moment, I decided to rewrite my narrative. I decided that I'd never again not be myself.

And so I spent the weekend journaling and figuring out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. The universe is very good at providing you lots of wonderful opportunities to be yourself once you decide who you are. Where I'd had writers block, the ideas were suddenly flowing. Where my connections had been stalled, they flourished once again. Since returning from the retreat with my brand-new story, I've had two successful pieces of writing and a couple of enriching social engagements. I'm in the state that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls Flow.

And here is my point: no matter what life has thrown at you, you can reframe your narrative and change the way you live. Story is really that powerful. What is your story? Are you the hero? Or the villain? The martyr? Or the victim? Is your story a tragedy or a comedy?

This year, I urge you to make your story a great adventure. Start to write an ending so happy that Hallmark will knock at your door. And please, above all else, make yourself the hero. Heaven knows, the world needs more of those.




So about that rug I bought...

I like it a lot!

It's bright but not gaudy. It cheers up the mudroom/laundry room on a gloomy day.



Here's how you get your own.


Sunspot Solutions

Whenever I bump into people I know from the yoga studio or gym in the real world, they always seem to take a minute to recognize me. I have a fairly generic Middle-Aged-Stepford-Wife look so I've always attributed it to that. But recently, I had dinner with a woman from my gym and when I sat down, she did a double take. "Wow!" she said, in a way that was less "you look good" and more "you look like a totally different person."

Apparently, I am one of those people who looks really different when I'm wearing makeup and have my hair hot rollered. I have quite a few sunspots and I go from mottled drowned rat to English Rose with a hot shower and a few sweeps of my concealer stick.

I find the array of available make-up overwhelming and I'm always fascinated to peek in other women's makeup bags. Over the years of reading makeup blogs and magazines, I've come up with my current mix:

Chanel Perfection Concealer in 10 (to cover sunspots)
Chanel Les Beiges Blush in 21 (swept on apples of cheeks)
Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc Pink Mosaic (layered over blush stick: when you are as pale as I am, you need to layer your blush!)
Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory (under the eye and in inner corner of eye.)
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Tuxedo (to line eyes)
Blinc Mascara in Black (top and bottom - this stuff will not give you panda eyes)
Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper in Brunette (I tissue off the wand so I don't look like Ernie/Burt)

I just slap it all on in 5 minutes. I choose pretty idiot proof stuff. Lash curlers and tight-lining and eye shadow are only for Fancy Dress nights.

On those sunspots: apparently, they are from wearing aviator glasses my whole life. The skinny non-protective, reflecting arms create a lot of sun damage on women. I had the spots YAG lasered several years ago. It was expensive and painful and after I spent two weeks healing, looking like someone on Botched, I looked about the same. I know there are lots of other lasers available, and I have done IPL, but I find that concealer is really a lot easier. Plus a lot of sunscreen, which I now sport daily, year round.

I also try to wear larger arm sunglasses when I'm outside a lot (although I still love my gold aviators!) I'm thinking of trying out these Warby Parkers by Amanda de Cadenet. (I'm a Warby Parker affiliate, so if you buy them through my site, I get credit.) I love the pink. So cheerful for spring and fabulous on pale blondes.



Amanda de Cadenet is a very cool and talented lady and does midlife beautifully. If you have not seen her interviews on The Conversation, they are fabulous. A percentage of sales supports #girlgaze, which aims to get more women behind the camera.

Anyhow, if you are looking for a pair of glasses, these look  quite cute and are a decent price. In the words of Mean Girls's Gretchen, all of their styles are quite Fetch. (Why did that not become a thing?)






From Engage the Fox to Zero Fox Given: Lessons from a Retreat

This weekend, I was at a yoga retreat in Collingwood. As some of you know I've been hemming and hawing about finishing my novel and the time away helped me make that decision. I made a lot of other decisions too. Time away can give one much-needed perspective.

I wrote about that all in my latest piece, How to Never Hate Your Life, at 1010 Park Place.

The super healthy vegan, gluten-free food at the retreat was amazing. Like ridiculously tasty and filling. But I also learned that I really really really like cheese and carbs and a good steak after a day of physical activity. I've moved in and out of vegetarianism and, at one point, was a gluten-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free vegan (friends just love having you over for dinner when you tell them you are that...) but I really love having, say, jerk chicken poutine as a treat. On the drive home, I may or may not have stopped for a fresh chocolate chip cookie. And then I may or may not have gone to a Super Bowl party where I hung out beside the pulled pork. It's good to know one's self...

While I was at the retreat, I finished The Desire Map. My Core Desired Feelings for 2017 are:


If something does not evoke one of those five feelings, it ain't gonna happen this year. No more Yeses out of guilt and obligation. This will free up time to give what Cheryl Richardson calls an Absolute Yes to those things that matter.

One of the topics of conversation up north was how many women - now that we are in our 40s and early 50s - are becoming homebodies. Part of it is an energy thing. Part of it is a reluctance to engage in BS.  This year, I plan to stay home a lot, hanging with my family and close friends, doing a lot of writing on my new project, and readying the Lunenburg house. As Mike on The Middle says, "Nothing good ever happens when you leave the house." I think that can be sage advice. I won't be a hermit, but I will be a lot more careful with my time and my energy than I've been in the past. It feels like a sea change. My first book, about critical thinking, was called Engage the Fox: A Business Fable about Thinking Critically and Motivating Your Team. The working title for this next book is Zero Fox Given: Changing it all in Midlife. Because I think in midlife, we learn to give zero fox...

I hope y'all had a good weekend. It's getting increasingly difficult to not get sucked into the mire that is the news (or fake news depending on your bent!) but I'm trying to keep my head above the clouds. 

Stay strong, my friends.







Fashion Friday

Well apparently, Guelph is the new Dundas. At least it is in my book. I went to lunch with a pal there yesterday. She is in a beautiful historic home she's just renovated after selling the family abode in Big Smoke. After a charming lunch at Miijidaa (the crispy eggplant sandwich is To Die) I thought I recogized a certain Brora beret in the mid-distance. Sure enough, it was the Incomparable DaniBP running errands. She walks her #abroraforlife talk and looked divine as always.

All of the new spring fashions are starting to show up on blogs and on retailer emails. I really do not need any new clothes but I can never resist the siren song of the new spring line. I'd like to write a modern day version of The Odyssey where Penelope, on her way back home to Odysseus, is tempted by offerings from J. Crew and Saks. After all of those years of weaving and unweaving the same damned piece, fresh textiles would surely lure her up on the rocks.

Right now this is the soft music calling me ashore. It's the Lady Jacket with Liberty Trim by J Crew and I think it's simply divine. It's 20% off right now and in the words of a any QVC host worth her salt, Girls, run to the phone... I think I've found where to spend my birthday money!


And speaking of QVC, I'm missing Joan Rivers after rewatching Joy on Netflix (I know it was panned, but I found it very motivating). I used to watch Joan on TV whenever I was studying for exams in university. While I was doing my MBA, I flirted with auditioning to be a host on the shopping network (I ended up as an investment banker instead. Sort of wish I did the shopping thing!) Anyhow, they have a few of Joan's pieces left on The Shopping Network. This jaunty bird may make it's way into my cart. 
It reminds me of the Audubon pins Brooks Brothers sells. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend. I have some relaxation in the works. And maybe a snowshoe or a nice hike is in order. 

Take care, lovely people...














Drunk Tank Pink

/via/


Lately, I've been drawn to pink. I have a feeling the Baker-Miller Pink effect is at work as I do find the colour strangely restful. Perhaps that's why it's such a popular colour around Valentine's Day. It keeps everybody chill during an emotionally charged time! It also works in drunk tanks...

I don't wear a lot of pink but I love it as an accent colour in interior spaces. I love this chair, agate coasters, and Audubon flamingo print. Shall I make the Ocean House a pink paradise?



Wellness Wednedays: 7 Tips to Reignite Your New Year's Goals

I tend to fight the good fight through my writing. When I'm feeling down, I think about what could kick start me into positivity. And then I write it down and share it on the internet. I'm sure there is a 12 step program for this kind of thing, but, for now, I'll just keep on typing away.

My newest piece, on reigniting your New Year's resolutions, is currently featured on the Huffpo Living Title Page, which is always exciting. And I'm kitty-corner to the Queen, which is fitting since I'm so closely related to the Duchess of Devonshire.


If you like it, feel free to share.






Christmas Traditions: The Nutcracker Ballet

Every year, I take my daughter to see the Nutcracker. (I took my youngest son once, but he loudly complained that there was too much dancing...