Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...and the giveaway goes to...

My sister and I took Mom to see the "Festival of Trees" at the Empress and we were most definitely impressed.
I thought you might like to see the pretty trees...

The lobby of the Empress with a grand tree...very "Empressive!"

Love the white lights on the tree outside the hotel.

The Crystal ballroom.

I've never considered decorating a tree with shoes...

a little window shopping...

I think this coat is sumptuous.

Cashmere makes a great gift for those on your Christmas list...
socks, a scarf or perhaps a sweater.

Oodles of luxurious gifts...
and speaking of gifts it's time to draw for the giveaway.

I chose our Finel modernist bowl which is made in Finland.

Wrote out the names of those who entered the draw...

All the names went into the bowl and after a good mix up of the entires 
I pulled out this one.

Congratulations to Madame La-Bas, the author of the blog New Year New Dreams.
Please email me your mailing address at

Hope you are all keeping cozy and warm...
we awoke to a dusting of snow
which is so pretty
but cold and icy.
Winter coats, cashmere socks, down vests, lined boots, gloves and wooly scarves are required 
when we venture out for a walk and we need to tread carefully as the ice is very slippery.

I'll be back soon.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Wardobe oxygen ~ Orange you glad you tuned in?

Let's just get one thing straight...I love black, grey and white.
I have considered that there may be some "merit" to inviting a wee bit of colour into my closet.

A bright bold and vibrant shade...
Orange Crush,
my current fave
that may have been influenced by Hermes boxes

or perhaps my need for Vitamin C.

Fasten your seat belts...

Cashmere cardigan
from Lands' End

Ribbed sleeve detail
a longer length which is cozy with skinny jeans.

Getting "friendly" with the fridge!

The cardigan might be just what I need to grab on a cold rainy day.

I can think of pairings with my classic Lanvin scarf...

or with some beautiful roses!

or a lily

I will be wearing this cashmere cardigan to French class...

I forgot that this Coach scarf had orange in the pattern
it was a lovely Xmas gift from my son and his wife many years ago.

 If you could only see how chic my French instructor is you'd understand why I am studying not only the language but her Parisian style.

She wears simple understated clothing...
tosses a scarf on in a way that one might think she just "threw it on"
wears a minimum of jewelry...
(a wedding band and beautiful pearl or hoop earrings)
she wears flats...and not just the iconic ballerinas...loafers too
her trench coat looks vintage as does her Max Mara wool coat...
she is not reed thin, she has womanly curves
she's a brunette in the style of much younger Catherine Deneuve.

I am most impressed by her haircut...
it reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina when she returns from Paris...
it looks like she didn't do a thing other than wash it
but I am sure that cannot be true.

She exudes Parisian Chic...
I am learning a lot in French Class...
much more than I signed up for!

She tells me that our trips to Paris will overlap for a few days and that we should meet up for coffee!

A bientot.

Don't forget about the Humble Bungalow giveaway...
details are in the previous post.

Bonne Chance!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A rabbit hole...and a 5 year blog anniversay giveaway.

On a grey day while walking I almost fell into a "rabbit hole" that appeared on the path right in front of me.
Looking around I noticed the grey gloom, the cold and heavy mist hanging like curtains almost hiding the trees.

On a day like this we could use some sunshine and light,
a bright punch of colour would be a great mood lifter...



Autumn Trees on a sunny day so much lovelier and distinctly more beautiful.

Colour is Mother Nature's best accessory...
which got me thinking
about some of my choices 
which at the time seemed sensible and prudent 
but now feel "boring and plain."

A prime example here is "the clutch."

I own several clutches and most are black except
 for this vintage gun metal grey bag...

This one is hands down the most useful due to it's size but it could be in a brighter shade...

Looks like there's a bit of a copy cat thing happening here with the ridges in bedding and the bag.

Vintage Nordstrom

Paired with the Lisa Campione skirt

Chanel inspired tweed jacket Jeremy Spenser
I'd opt for one of the black bags with this jacket.

It works with the black Velvet Jones of NY fancy pants.

not so much with the wrap top by Laura Petites...
I'd use one of the black bags with this top.

Sherman brooch

Aurora Borealis Sherman brooch

Boucher pin

unknown maker
I like to think of it as my St.Tropez brooch

Gumball Freshwater Pearls...
anniversary gift from my husband several years ago

Vintage coin necklace

Salt Spring Island silversmith artisan designed silver bangle

Venus flytrap necklace J Crew

I'm going to keep my eyes open for a classic clutch in a brighter shade.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you'll know how much I love drinking tea.
I find teatime a wonderful opportunity to sit in peace and quiet. 
I count my blessings
and reflect on all that is good in my life.

If I am having a gloomy day I always reach for a cheerful bone china cup and saucer.
Sipping tea out of a pretty cup is so soothing to the soul.

 I try lots of different teas...
I have developed a fondness for Lapsang Souchong Tea.
It is a smokey tea and quite different from others that I have tried and I highly recommend it.

Abraham Darby Rose

You might also know that I am a passionate rose grower and I love David Austin roses.

Climbing Iceberg with Lady's Mantle on the table and in the background atop the cabinet Abraham Darby.

It's been quite a journey...
since I started blogging back in November of 2009.
I've learned a lot about myself in these 5 years.
I lost 30 pounds through Weight Watchers
took up walking for fitness
discovered my personal style
 honed my wardrobe 
I retired
I decided to follow my dream and plan a trip to Paris
I've started taking French lessons
and am trying to figure out how to pack for 3 weeks in France in a carry on!

I hope you come back frequently and read my humble blog

In celebration of the blog's 5 year anniversary I have decided to give a gift to one of my readers.
Please leave a comment telling me what you like best about my blog.

A Bone China mug with roses, of course, and a tea towel.

All the entries will go into a bowl and I'll draw one name.
The giveaway closes on November 29th, 2014 at midnight PST.
If you are the winner you'll need to email me at with your mailing address.

Good luck!