Monday, January 15, 2018

Renewal: refreshed, recharged, re-energized and "retail-ed!"

The past weekend was full to the brim with simple joys and bright moments which have left me feeling energized.
I have come out of a dark mood and into the light...

My morning cafe creme routine starts with counting my blessings,
I sit quietly reflecting on all the good things in life embracing and adopting the attitude of gratitude to set the tone for the day. I have found this to be very powerful and it changes the way that I see and interpret life events.

Mr HB and I walked in Chinatown...through Fan Tan Alley.


Victoria's Fan Tan Alley


My husband took me out for lunch at The Fan Tan Cafe, a popular Chinese food restaurant in our city's historic chinatown. It was busy, the service was great and we sipped our tea and chatted while we waited for our food. The food was not "totally WW friendly" (noodles were involved!) but the seafood chow mien was chock full of veggies which were so lightly cooked that they were still rich in colour, crisp and delicious.


Here's my fortune cookie and the fortune inside...

I did a wee bit of shopping at the Fan Tan Home Decor and Style shop.


A black dress by Angela Mara made in Italy.
Soft, cozy and the fabric is heavy enough that it does not cling but skims the body which is just the way I like a dress to fit.
It feels like a warm hug.

It was 50% off so I pounced on it and I said YES to the dress!
I plan to keep my eye on this shop as they have quite a few styles that I like.

I wore it out to dinner on Saturday evening when we dined with friends.


This lovely bouquet was a thoughtful gift from my nearest and dearest friend.
She bought it from those darling gals who run Thorn and Thistle Flowers.
They carry such pretty flowers and their plants are amazing...
our Christmas Amaryllis is an indication of their high quality plants.
They sell other things too and now offer coffee and treats
and they now located are in my old neighbourhood.

Sunday I cleaned house and went for my walk.
I opened a new bar of fragrant Verbena soap 
 it is currently scenting our main bathroom.


This soap was from my Mom's condo...
she loved the Verbena scent but she never used it as she loved her Pears soap.

While on the topic of fragrance and scents...


It was time to open a new scented candle.
This one was in the box from 
My Stylish French Box.

I am busy trying to finish my latest knitting project so that I can start my new one!

Have you got a project on the go?

Hope that your week ahead is positive
and filled with 
 lightness and cheer.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

54 comments:

  1. Love the dress; great shape (and color, of course)!

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    1. Black never goes out of fashion...and all the shops that I frequent have tons of clothing in black!

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  2. Glad to hear you're feeling brighter, and I love that new dress!
    I'm finishing a pair of socks right now, but mentally reviewing the possibilities for my next project. Always fun, the anticipating and the winnowing. . .

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    1. My next project is going to be socks! I hope that you share your finished socks on your blog.
      The gals in my knitting group are encouraging me to try them...if I have any problems there are helpers available.

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  3. The dress is gorgeous.
    The flowers, too!

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    1. The dress was a lucky find and the flowers a sweet gift...am feeling very grateful.

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  4. Love the dress and flowers. Chinatown looks so interesting and fun! Lis

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    1. I love browsing, shopping and eating in our local Chinatown...there are great deals on veggies and fun things to buy. Beautiful bowls, baskets and now some clothing too!

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  5. I really love that dress! It's so flattering, the shape of it and the drape of the fabric. You'll wear that often I'm guessing!
    I'm so happy to know you're feeling better. I think it is of great benefit to positively frame our days before we start them, it's funny that such a simple thing is so powerful.
    I have a busy week getting my house in order and I'm really enjoying it, that's my project for now. Take care dear Hostess xx

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    1. I will wear it a lot! I plan to wear it to the bridge luncheon at the golf course this week.
      Feeling so much more optimistic...back to my "usual" self.
      Have fun getting your house organized and I hope your neck pain eases soon.

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  6. Winter is difficult for me to navigate emotionally. Glad you're out of your dark mood and are doing YOUR part to keep your spirits bright. The dress is PERfect. (I wear a lot of blacks and greys - just feel my best in them.)

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    1. Do you think that you suffer from SAD? Many people here in the PNW have it as we get such grey gloomy weather for months on end...hence the snowbird trek to sunnier climates like Florida and California. I hope that you feel more energy and perk up soon. I read that Spring is about 65 days away!

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  7. Your blog is a real bright spot in my day, which has been dreary, gray and a little depressing lately, so I really appreciate your bright outlook. It reminds me to be more grateful and to 'count my blessing's as, you do.....Thanks again for a great blog !

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    1. Its been grey mostly here too...the sun shone today and I enjoyed my walk so much more than usual! We can see Mount Baker from Willows Beach and it looked like an ice cream Sundae today...I would have taken a picture of it to share on the blog but I do not have a telephoto lens on my IPhone!

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  8. I really like your new dress! Fan Tan Alley is great. Daughter and I just shared lunch and tried on lingerie together. I have not new lingerie for a while so I bought a bit. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling brighter. Some things we can not change. I was thinking of ordering a box as a treat. Do you have to pay much duty?

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    1. Lingerie shopping and lunching with your daughter sounds divine!
      I think the duty came to about $65 on the last box...and they are a luxurious treat...since you are back working you might like to splurge! Try one and see if you like the contents...Sharon has an Instagram page dedicated to her Stylish French Box so you read what other people think and see some of the things that were sent out in the previous boxes.

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  9. I'm happy to hear that you're feeling better. The flowers are lovely. Dress looks great on you. Your Chinese restaurant sounds fantastic - right up my alley. I'd love to smell that new candle! I have finally gone back to my knitting which I laid aside for so long that I was sure I wouldn't know how to pick it back up again. I'm working on dishcloths. Small, but useful and able to be accomplished in fairly short order - even for me, a very slow knitter. I'm also working on quilting projects. I just pulled fabric to make a small heart to hang at work. Need to get on it, before Valentine's Day has come and gone!

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    1. I love making those dish cloths...I've made dozens!
      Do you find them relaxing to knit? I kind os zone out when I am knitting them...its almost as meditative as Yoga!
      I found huge balls of cotton yarn at Walmart for under $10 and you can knit up many cloths...they make great Hostess gifts with a nice tea towel and some soap,
      Happy Knitting Jeannine!
      XO

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  10. What a nice weekend. Love the dress. I am always amazed that you are able to find such cute and well-fitting petite clothing. I have been very tempted to subscribe to My Stylish French Box but so far I have resisted temptation. I have bought her books through which I really enjoy.

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    1. The dress would be short on a taller person...I see many shorter length dresses in the shops and wonder if the mini lengths are in vogue right now...wide pants are coming back too...My Stylish French Box is a splurge...it is how I am "travelling to France" right now...through these lovely curated items, selected by Sharon...and I love her books too.

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  11. We were in China Town also. It was The Green Leaf for lunch for us though. These few almost spring like days pull me out to the garden like a magnet to search for snowdrops and plan a few changes...
    Ali

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    1. Oh wouldn't it have been fun if we had bumped into each other?
      I saw snowdrops in a neighbours garden...mine are not up yet...are yours?
      There are lots of bulbs popping up through the soil...spring is on its way.
      I have been tempted to buy some cheery primulas...all the garden shops have masses of them in stock.
      We must try to arrange for a lunch date sometime soon...it might be March though before I can pop over to you or if you are planning to be here maybe give me a heads up and we can see if that might work out sooner.

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  12. So glad to read that you are feeling better and I really like the new dress.
    No specific projects on the go at the moment but I do have a lot of odds & ends that I'm trying to sort through. Problem is, I'm feeling rather lethargic & keep procrastinating. I have my lists, and I have managed some small jobs but just can't seem to get going on some other things that need done. It's so cold & grey here that I just feel like pulling the covers up and going back to bed most days. I miss not being able to get out every day for a long walk - it really does shake off the cobwebs. Guess I'll try again tomorrow! :-)

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    1. Oh I know how you feel...lists can be daunting and procrastination is often necessary. The gloomy weather seems to conspire to make us want to cocoon and stay in bed...maybe you can give yourself permission to have a PJ day...stay at home, relax, maybe have a day of tea and pampering...indulge in some at home spa treatments.
      My sister has been after me to resume my longer walks now that my shin splints have healed...she is down in Palm Springs where it is sunny and warm and its easier when one does not have to don a ton of rain gear, and walk into the driving rains and wind! I have been making the effort to get out more and walk longer...I think it helps. Good Luck Margie.

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  13. Bravo on your excellent self-care. Thank you for being honnest about your stress and sadness. It is positive and inspirational to read all you are doing to look after yourself. Sometimes I forget, with the days business and looking after others, that I matter too. Then I wonder why I feel cranky or sad. Today I treated myself to a silk scarf from the recycle store for all my hard work cleaning and careing and gardening today. It was a lucky find and such pretty colours. I am really going to have to work on changing my mindset about self care.

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    1. Sounds like you are in touch with what you need to do to give yourself a boost...women are notorious for putting their needs last!

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  14. Woo woo~here's to happier times! Embrace the winter and all that it holds-it doesn't last forever :)!

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  15. And I am in Central IL and it is 4 below this morning but a few of my spring flowers already have their little green heads popping up :).

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    1. Thats very cold...hope you managed to keep warm and cozy.

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  16. That sounds like a wonderful day! I will have to take a walk over to that shop.

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    1. Hope you enjoy browsing ...and maybe there will be something nice for you to purchase!

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  17. Not knowing Victoria as it now is, I love seeing the photos of Fan Tan Alley. So cool!
    I'm adding that to my list of things to do while in Victoria. The dress is beautiful. And it is great to know that the "blues" or "greys" have passed and you're back on your feet again. For myself,
    I have been working on learning the new lens etc. It is so high tech that I often feel intimidated. Yesterday I watched a good explanation on You Tube and by the time it was over, I realized that I had messed up as I followed and implemented the directions. So I undid them all and started from scratch. Lots of very cold fingers and toes from sitting outside but today the weather is warmer so I'm hoping to have better luck. I want to know how to do it before the bluebirds and swans get back in April. It is always good to seize the joy on a daily basis!

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    1. There is a tea room in Chinatown called Venus Sophia...I have not been there but have heard that it is good.
      There seems to be a steep learning curve with new high tech things...I still have not figured out how everything works on my car!

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  18. Glad to see you are feeling better, Leslie. I love the dress on you...great find!
    My project is repotting three aloe vera plants and a bromeliad - not sure why I am procrastinating. Today will be the day I get it done!

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    1. I wonder what makes us procrastinate...and then we obsess about not doing the job and feel badly...it is so much easier just to do it!

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  19. So pleased you are feeling brighter. The dress is a great find. The flowers are so cheering. My late husband used to come home with a bunch occasionally so I intend to buy myself them in memory of him.

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    1. Hope that you found a cheery posey for yourself this week.

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  20. Interesting, your China alley. In Auckland, New Zealand, where I'm from, there is a major everyday sort of street which is full of different types of Chinese cuisine, from very expensive through to very humble. On Friday and Saturday evenings it is impossible to get any parking near that street!! Dominion Road. btw - love renewal, refreshed, recharged.

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    1. I read a book The Luminaries which was set in NZ and focused on the gold rush with some characters of Chinese descent...have you read it?

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  21. Very HAPPY you are HAPPY................XX

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  22. Lunch out and a new dress that is warm and flattering - win win!

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    1. Just what I needed...not what I was expecting, but sometimes these are the unexpected random gifts that make the difference.

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  23. Oh, I love a comfy dress like that with tights and boots. One of my favorite winter combos. And those flowers are lovely. Glad you are feeling better. xo Deborah

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    1. Thank you Deborah...I think they call it retail therapy for a reason! Mom used to say when she felt low that she needed to go and buy a new hat!

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  24. The dress is lovely! Sounds like wonderful days...
    hugs,
    Janice

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  25. What a good day you had, a delicious meal and a lovely bargain dress. Your flowers are beautiful. My ongoing project is quilting.

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    1. I play bridge with a woman who is a quilter and she has made such wonderful quilts...so creative and a great way to use up scraps too. Her group donate a quilt every year to the local Hospice as they have them on all the patients beds.

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  26. glad I only have to figure out a camera and not a car. Still if the manual for my camera is about 400 pages, how long is the manual for a car?

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  27. I've been following and loving your blog for ages without ever commenting. What finally broke the ice was your mention of Fan Tan Alley and Venus Sophia (You would love this tea room I'm sure!) Do you know Julie Lawson's children's book "Jade Tiger?" She describes that wonderful gift shop shop in Fan Tan Alley as the "never-ending store.' Ever since I read that book with my son, we've called it by that name, though I understand it's not as "never-ending" as it used to be.
    Frances in Sidney

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  28. Venus Sophia looks wonderful. I think you should definitely try it. I wonder if they have gift certificates. I'm thinking of next year's Christmas gift for my nephew's wife!

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