Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fashion Bow......................all shimmery

Quite simply the most stunning bow.

Photo via Pinterest/ Marchesa Gown- no photo source found.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Narcissistic reasons why I love the heat

 ~ Clare's Parisian Boots ~ 

Even though I was able to bypass the extreme humidity and heat last week by heading up north and going for sunset cruises, that only bought me some time. Like many of you, we are heading towards even more heat and that darn humidity in the week ahead. Our region and city (Windsor) which is located in the most southern point of Canada is actually situated below the City of Detroit, Michigan. So if you picture Canada cold all year long, think of our geographical location and you will surprisingly find we are Canada's most humid hot spot. Though Toronto beat us last Thursday with a whopping 51 Celsius (with humidex) we are still hitting triple digit temperatures this week and for the next week at least. We are breaking heat records so why am I not complaining?

Narcissistic reasons why I won't complain about the Heat

Humidity does wonders for my skin, makes it look dewy which I haven't seen for at least 20 years. 
It is actually a fine layer of perspiration but why be picky?

I can comfortably wear the Eileen Fisher gauzy linen items that I bought this season.

Hair maintenance has become non-existent, shower and and wet-slick it has become my style of choice.
What a time saver. And my husband loves it this way.

Because of slicked-back hairstyle, I wear all my summer hats more. Everywhere.

Because of said hairstyle, I wear my collection of earrings more.

 I finally have a tan this year. Not something I do on a regular basis but it makes me feel
like I am on March break. Mental perk. 

A tan means I can wear all my fun summer lipsticks in hot pink and bright orange.

Too hot, lighter dinners. A lot less cooking.

Makes me drink more water, something I forget to do.

You can lose weight just by sitting there. 

It is so hot you need nightly ice cream to cool you down.  Even Daisy gets a little bowl. 

Can't cycle during a heat advisory. Ok, that's not a good thing but I will make it up when it cools down.

My main reason? It's summer, it's supposed to be hot and that long, cold Canadian winter is just ahead. 

Put your feet up this weekend and stay cool.
A summery welcome to new readers and thank you
to readers who commented this week. Always lovely
to hear from you. 

Photo by Sande Chase ~ Percy Lake, Ontario

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lovely evenings...........with friends and twinkle lights

Maryann is my happiest friend. Always a smile, always pleasure in her voice, always looking to bring people together. And she does, each and every summer she and her husband gather us together for a annual outdoor party. A large group of lively friends, fabulous food, twinkle lights everywhere, a different table theme each year, and after dinner...............her husband's famous hummers. Which are most decadent and perfect at about 11 pm on a hot summer night. 

Maryann is a working girl so pulling together this annual feast is no small effort. She gets her ever-changing garden in order, the colour scheme picked, the menu planned, the weather tracked, the twinkle lights strung, the wine selected, the food prepared, and this year they even provided take-home containers. Nothing more perfect than having a few bites of an incredible meal the next day. 

Her delicious shrimp appetizer was a big hit this year.

Her husband Ken grilled the most incredible veal chops we ever tasted. You get these at a butcher in the Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan. Yes.............those divine potatoes are simmered in cream.

Don't you just love wonderfully gracious and happy people? 

Photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nature Girl(s) Percy Lake

Just checking in to say hello from Northern Ontario and share a few relaxing pics of Daisy at my friends cottage because no one is enjoying this rustic setting more than Daisy. This group of 5 women (my friend, her 2 daughters, me and Daisy) are being exceptionally well-fed by my friend's son who is a gourmet cook, a culinary feast each and every night. My friend and her family are healing in this peaceful setting, they lost their husband and father a few months ago and being at the place where they enjoyed so many family memories is good and right.

~ Lovely Fiona with Daisy ~

We sleep in, drink morning coffee for hours, sunbathe on the dock, walk, girl chat, boat Daisy over to a stretch of beach, lake swim, eat a gourmet dinner, then boat over to the middle of the lake to watch the nightly sunset. That's it. None of us have gained weight by indulging in nightly ice cream sundaes and even if we did I don't think we would care. We also don't care about make-up, our hair, or what we wear. Nature girl(s)............times five. 

~ Snail Digging

We joke that city girl Daisy is going to need what we call "freedom re-hab" when she gets back home. She loves swimming, the no leash policy, following the girls, napping on the deck, boat rides, and digging holes at the beach, snails we think. We now call her "nature girl" and she might have a hard time adjusting to restrictions when she gets back home. Me too. 

As my good friend says " life is good at Percy Lake". And it is. Just ask Daisy. 

Photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Driving Miss Daisy

Daisy and I are packed and ready for our big "girly" adventure in Northern Ontario, driving away from the heat and humidity just in time. I hope to do a bit of blogging but much will depend on internet connection and my degree of relaxation. See you soon.

Have any wonderful summer plans?

Photo via Pinterest

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glass Votives.............a paintery project

Now that I know you clever girls love glass, I am on the outlook for creative glass projects. I adore these votives created by the popular wedding blog Once Wed which was inspired by the beautiful talent of Atlanta artist Michelle Armnis. See the instructions here.

Her colorful canvases which you can see here inspired Once Wed to create a paintery tableau that I thought was too gorgeous for words. So did everyone else as it is easily the most popular photo on Pinterest these days. See how it inspiration spread from painting, to flowers, to table setting here (just in case you missed it). Love it when that happens. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

petite french yogurt sweet little vases

When I saw this project of painting the insides of plain glass jars, I knew there was a story I had to tell you. When my sister-in law Louise met up with me in Paris last fall during my second week, we would slip down the narrow winding stairs to the most charming hotel restaurant each morning and order our breakfast of yogurt, granola, fruit, orange juice, croissants, and several pots of robust coffee.

Louise is a very practical and clever woman of Dutch background and when she slipped out to the restaurant washroom to rinse out the yogurt jar I thought perhaps in an amusing way she was taken the Dutch work ethic a bit too far. Silly me, she was taking what she found to be the sweet little jar back home as a sweet little vase clever but even I could see that one wasn't going to be enough. Change of morning plans.

In order to add to the collection without convert bathroom trips, we resorted to room service, something I happen to adore anyways and made her mission a bit easier to acomplish. By the end of the week, she has a nice little clean collection no yogurt traces no label to line up along her kitchen window when we got home. Sometimes they hold flowers, sometimes little bunches of fresh herbs, but I do have to say I wish I had done the same. Now you might ask, why this jar? 

Unlike North America, the French package their yogurt in glass jars so much smarter. Since it isn't a screw top, there is only a nice curved top lip exposed when you remove the foil top. It is one sweet little glass jar to line up along a windowsill and remind you of everyday Paris. 

When I saw this technique on the blog Hidden In Paris which I found through Vicki Archer's book recommendation here I knew I would send it along to Louise, perhaps she wants to add some colour to her sweet little Paris vases? It looks really easy and as you will see by clicking here, it works on all types of glass shapes. Especially the petite ones you bring home from Paris.

Photo 1 and 5 via Hidden in France/Photo 4 via electricmom//Photo 2 and 3 by Sande Chase

Friday, July 8, 2011

simple summer gift wrapping

I so enjoyed your comments from my last post on style re-invention. It seems we all think alike, it is never too late to change your personal style thank heavens. Of course, keeping things simpler is never easier than in the relaxed summer month and this certainly applies to gift wrapping. In fact, overly-embellished gift wrapping can look too contrived this time of year when bringing along a gift for a poolside afternoon, a cottage weekend, or an impromptu dinner. With that in mind I gathered a few gift wrapping ideas of a more relaxed beauty. 

If I had to pick a classic summer ribbon, this duo in black and white stitched grosgrain would do the trick nicely. It is a classic pick and looks so instantly chic on kraft paper, a humble type of gift wrap that  shows it's simple charm so well during the summer months. 

Don't forget the natural beauty of twill as a summer ribbon of choice. Use it to gather a handful of fresh garden flowers as a gift embellishment, wildflowers will suit this type of gift presentation beautifully.

How sweet and easy. A bag of summer fun (bubbles, chalk, sparklers, movie tickets, ice cream vouchers) would make for a welcome hostess gift. The lace bag edge is made with scrapbook scissors. 

It seems we all love Pom Poms and they take on a crisp summer look when crafted from wax paper! Go here to see how blogger Slim Paley got tulle-inspired by my Pom Pom post.

Enjoy the weekend in a most relaxing way. 
Which includes your gift wrapping efforts. 

A warm welcome to new readers and followers. 
So lovely that you joined me this summer.

Photo 1 from trendtablet/Photo 2 and 5 from Pinterest/Photo 3 from here/Photo 4 from thepartystudio

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer White and Linen..............and a style intervention

I don't have to see the whole outfit to know I would buy this outfit in 5 seconds flat. I can tell by the  distinctive sheen that this is white cotton at its most luxurious. It reminds me of my bed sheets, so perfect and white that every night when I get into bed I say to my husband "I love my bed, do you love our bed?" I will spare you his response which quickly veers from the subject of sheet quality to a more adolescent male response and we have the chuckle that qualifies a very long marriage. For me, there is a sense as I slide between our cotton sheets yes, we iron them that the day is ending blissfully, I am cocooned between crisp layers of white cotton and soft layers of goose feathers. Not a bad way to end the day. In other words, I want to wear what will make me feel the way I do each night when I tuck myself into my wonderful bed. Not a bad way to dress. 

All this white and ivory got me to thinking how I love white, ivory and shades of taupe or greige, especially during the hot summer months. But you wouldn't know this by looking in my purged closet which I am finding dreadfully boring at the moment perhaps I over-purged. I look at my clothes and think to myself "these clothes are not me at all". It can be interesting how long it takes to see your personal style emerge. It is only recently that I have gained a sense of what I am most comfortable wearing. And that is the distinction right there..........what suits me. My body, my life, my taste. As it is now. 

My style is much simpler than I would have guessed even a few short years ago. Over the years as I shopped and filled my closet,  I don't think it was with any particular style or thought in mind. Always rushed, always impressed by the latest find on the rack, I was more focused on the item, the fashionable whim of the moment than how it would fit into my undefined personal style. So what has changed? Why at 57 years. old am I thinking about personal style for heavens sake

Because I have changed. Because I recognize that my eye rests on simplicity and fabric structure in fashion more often than it does on bling and boastful fashion. Because I wear the same items in my closet over and over again ruled by comfort. Not necessarily the comfort that comes with loose fit and easy maintenance but the comfort that comes with giving way towards what feels right, looks right, without giving up style that effortless look. Realizing that I am far simpler in my style taste than I thought. More willing to edit my purchases. Spend time to think it through. Looking to be smarter about how I spend my fashion dollars. Funny how that happens.

So, my question is this. Is it too late to change a personal style and re-invent yourself later in life? 
Do you know your personal style?

Photos via Pinterest

Friday, July 1, 2011

.......... Red White (and Blue)

Happy Holiday weekend to my fellow Canadians and American neighbors!
Hope you are wearing the most stylish of summer colours.
It is the weekend for red, white (and blue).

Don't forget the hats and sunblock. And the groovy outfits.

The most gorgeous bit of nature.............a blue wren. Isn't she beautiful? It just looks like a girl to me, something in the way her brilliant feathers are fluffed! I thought she just perched perfectly in this patriotic post.

We are going to hit 113 degrees tomorrow (with humidex) so we are going to need some yummy hydration. Dog walking, golfing, and cycling will have to take place very early in the day. We have had the most incredibly perfect weather the past week but our geographical humidity is bound to get sticky and stay that way. Speaking of good drinks............have your tried Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita (ready to serve no less)? Going down a bit too easy I might add.

Too hot for satin, but this would be my choice of a patriotic ensemble if I got the opportunity
to wear red and white. I adore this outfit. Make that covet this outfit.

Enjoy the weekend! 

Will be back to my regular blogging schedule very soon (I promise) with a exciting new feature I think you will enjoy. 

images via Pinterest


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