"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, June 25, 2018

Mop Philosophy Monday

 How's your week shaping up?  Any big plans?  Lists as long as your arms?
I got caught up with some work yesterday so today I have more time for meal-planning and poking around in the garden.
Last week I made this roasted tomato and asparagus salad, you can throw in bocconcini if you are so inclined.
Roasted tomato and asparagus salad.
With lots of herbes de Provence.
Last week I rearranged our kitchen shelves.  I love using this small set of shelves to change up the colour scheme of the kitchen, and to bring out things I use seasonally.

But why did I put that electrical plug on the first shelf?
Kitchen shelves.
With an electrical plug in an odd place.
It's even a bit crooked.
When we designed the kitchen I had an older radio that I used to listen to the cbc, and the shelf seemed the perfect place for just such a radio.

But times change... do they ever.  I should have known that a wifi, hands free, robot thing was going to enter my life... sooner rather than later.
"Hey Siri"
"Mm-hmm" (it actually says mm-hmm)
"Can you please play me some Classic Rock?"
Can you see my new HomePod?  It's the grey thing on the far right.  If I talk to it it pretty much anything I want to listen to blasts from it.  That little thing really puts out an incredibly clear sound.

The uncomfortable thing is the talking to it.  I feel so rude just barking orders at it.  It makes no difference, I know it rationally, if I say please to a robot but I feel like a jerk just ordering it around.

Do you feel weird talking to robots?

Happy Monday, may your week be filled with civility.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Summer Wedding Outfit: Greens and Blues

 Next weekend we have a family wedding to attend and we couldn't be more excited about it.

My cousin is getting married and this is a really big event in our relatively small family, we've been looking forward to it for a year.

I knew from the get-go that I wanted to wear my green silk dress that is my absolute favourite summer outfit, not least because it was a gift from my dear friend Tabs.

I typically wear this dress with my little gold handbag and some neutral and gold flats with a small heel... but for this wedding that didn't feel quite exuberant enough.

I own some navy patent Repetto dancing heels that are my absolute favourite shoes to wear, I can dance in them and practically run in them, and they are so comfortable despite the three and a half inch heel.
 I also like to wear this dress with my Kate Spade necklace in greens and blues with a turtle clasp... so what about a bag in greens and blues?

I decided to go on a search for just such a little bag and I looked everywhere.  I searched every online store I could think of, every vintage shop on eBay and Etsy, until finally I decided to try Handmade shops on Etsy.

I found this seller out of the UK who constructs these amazing little silk pouch bags.  She dreams up absolutely beautiful colour schemes and lines the bags with a cotton sateen, finishing them with lovely little drawstring cords.  I LOVE THEM.
Bag in green and blue.
Handmade by TheOccasionalPurl.
 I have to say too that these bags remind me of Picasso's Harlequin paintings, a favourite series of mine.
Kate Spade necklace.
My one Kate Spade item... that I shall treasure forever. 

 The bag has these dreamy ocean tones of green and blue that to me really echo the spirit of the Kate Spade necklace.
Do you have any weddings to attend this summer?  If so are you excited about your outfit planning?

Have a really lovely weekend,

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Fiddlehead season is over and once again I haven't lived up to my solemn vow to eat lots of fiddleheads while the going is good.  Instead, we had them exactly one time.

This season I really wanted to incorporate fiddleheads into some kind of pizza topping.  I tend to like them roasted rather than steamed or sautéed so this was a good method, and the pairing with smoked salmon (lots of it) and plenty of capers was perfect.

I buy our pizza dough now from our favourite bakery, it's just so much better than my homemade stuff, and the purchased dough made this a really easy dinner.  This might be my favourite sort of dinner to throw together theses days, because I literally threw the toppings on the rolled dough and shoved it in the oven.

A nice sprinkling of a good olive oil over the top meant the fiddleheads were crispy and not charred.

I'm having one of those phases in the kitchen when I need inspiration... it's time to hit the cookbooks today.
If you have any easy dinner ideas please share them!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer Colour

 After spending the entire fall and winter in monochromatic black outfits I feel like summer is an entirely new world, and I'm a new person in that world.
It's at the very least a mindset shift!
Decorating the garden, the porch and the house has all been an exercise in colour flow this spring.  I like to make sure the colours of the flowers, dishes and linens I'm using flow together yet they need to be vibrant and summery.  I guess it's a decorative colour story, and it's not dissimilar to the colour story I'm wearing these days.
Embroidered jacket by Velvet.
Kayu bag.

A surprise urn tucked around a corner.

Dress by Velvet.
It's not black!

Begonias on the porch. 

Table for two on the terrace.

Plummy blue and white.

Coral pink and blue.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mop Philosophy Monday

New statue in the garden.
 Who doesn't like the gentle look of St. Francis of Assisi?  I feel like we could use more of his vibes in the world these days.
Speaking of a gentle but wise take on things, did you see Laura Bush's op-ed in The Washington Post?  I was somewhat encouraged when I read it, especially when she brings up the example of her mother-in-law Barbara Bush.
 I've been spending lots of time in our garden lately.  Some of our plants suffered from the various ice storms we had this past winter and we lost a few things.  We've replaced plants and nurtured others and planted some annuals in the window boxes of the garden shed.
Purple shamrock annuals.
 I like the way Rebecca looks behind the flowering irises:
 How was your Father's Day?  I missed my Dad but we had a lovely chat and just knowing that he is just about fully recovered from his stroke made for a really happy Father's Day.

I bought some new statues for MrBP.  He loves them:
New Lions for the garden.
There's one on the other side too.
 It has taken us three years to finish these stone steps which lead to our kitchen.  See the iron railing?  We finally had that installed last fall and then just had to decide what to place on the stone pillars.  In the end we went for statuary over an urn, an urn would stand empty for most of the year due to our long winters.
Winter seems a distant memory now and the best part of the heat and sunshine in our garden is hanging laundry out to dry, one of my favourite activities.

I'll definitely be doing some of that today, what are you up to?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Packing Up for New Orleans

Kayu Tote
 After obsessively checking the weather in New Orleans during the weeks before we left I decided that many of the items I'd planned on packing up were in fact going to be too warm to wear.

I only had a few days at home in between my trip to Atlanta to be with my Dad after his illness and our departure for New Orleans.  The trip to Atlanta definitely influenced my realization: it was so warm and sunny there and I realized it would be even hotter in New Orleans.  Long skirts in heavy twill and full-length hemp fabric dresses would be suffocating.
I found that when I was in Atlanta my little dress from Horses Atelier (that I wear as a top) was a perfect hot-weather outfit with my white Everlane jeans.  It was really comfortable and fairly cool to wear.  I wore it on the airplane just like this:
Flight to NOLA outfit.
 I wore my raincoat on the flight as well but that was the last I saw of it during our trip.  It didn't rain when we were in New Orleans, and even if it had the coat would have been boiling hot to wear.

My raincoat... that I didn't need.
 One surprise out of this trip was how comfortable these espadrilles ended up being.  It turns out I wore them everywhere, they are so easy to walk in and they keep the feet really cool.  I thought I'd find the ankle ties annoying but nope, very comfortable.
Castaner espadrilles in black.
Surprisingly comfortable.
 I brought my Mara Hoffman black hemp linen dress, which functions as a bathing suit cover-up as well.  I knew it would be too warm to wear for an entire day out however, I realized this after wearing it in Atlanta.
Hemp linen dress which ended up being quite warm to wear.
 In a search for a summery black dress I visited ShopB in Guelph before our trip.

ShopB carries Velvet by Graham and Spencer, which is an American brand that actually manufactures in the USA.  The brand is very much a California aesthetic, pretty dresses and tops that are casual and produced with light fabrics.
 Considering that the manufacturing takes place in the USA the prices for this brand are really reasonable.
I found two dresses, the black one above, and this pretty off-white dress, below:
 I was so happy I picked up these dresses, I wore them the entire time, alternating days.  They were really comfortable and appropriate for sightseeing as well as restaurants, and they kept me cool when it was 95 and sunny.

Before I left the shop the day I bought the two dresses I spied this little embroidered linen jacket, also from Velvet by Graham and Spencer:
I almost didn't buy it, I tend to buy unembellished clothing first of all, and I had no intentions of adding a summery jacket-thing to my closet.

Of course it ended up being the thing I loved the best, and it pairs so well with the black dress as well as the white dress that I wore it constantly, especially in the evenings.

I wouldn't have wanted to wear a cardigan or something to go for dinner (too warm), but with the air-conditioning in the restaurants and bars something was really necessary.  This ended up being the perfect light layer.
Linen jacket over the black dress.
In front of Pat O'Brien's.
I cropped out my face because I look pie-eyed.
 We did end up spending afternoons by the pool, and I ended up wishing that I had more than one bathing suit.
I'm keeping this in mind as we plan a resort holiday for February!
Another huge favourite on this trip was an Emerson Fry caftan that was gifted to me by a friend a couple of months ago.
I wore it constantly on the trip, it's so lovely with such a soft fabric and pretty colours, and so comfortable to wear in the heat.
Emerson Fry caftan.
Gifted to me by a friend, thank you A!
In the end I didn't bring many outfits which worked out fine, as I wore the two dresses on repeat and was able to change up the look for evenings by adding the embroidered linen jacket.  The espadrilles were my number one choice for a shoe, even with all of the walking that we did.

I carried the Kayu black straw tote for the entire holiday, although I'm sad to say it was dropped on the stone floor near the swimming pool while filled with glass bottles of beer... yes it was that kind of holiday.  I tried to give it a good cleaning but it's looking worse for the wear now!

As we head into summer I'm getting ready for a longer trip to Europe... I'll be posting a travel colour story for that trip soon.
Have a lovely weekend Tooties,

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Orleans

 We returned home from New Orleans a couple of weeks ago and it was a super fun holiday: lots of sunshine, lots of cocktails and lots of delicious food.
I thought I'd write a quick post featuring our favourite restaurants and bars... the places we'll go back to if we visit again.  
Jackson Square

Garden District

Black Dress Brigade in Jackson Square.
Me and my bestie pals The Lauras.

The Supreme Court of Louisiana
 There's a super little oyster bar right across the street from the Supreme Court.  We fell in love with the signature chargrilled oysters served all over town... so delicious with some cocktails.
Royal House Oyster Bar
 I loved the lighting in that spot too:
 Perhaps our most memorable evening was at Commander's Palace.  We had spent the morning touring the Garden District (where the restaurant is located) and we were able to make a reservation for that evening.
I took the picture below, of these amazing wall panels, when we entered the building.  After that I simply forgot to take any pictures at all.  It was a really amazing experience, we were ushered in through a series of rooms and suddenly it was like we were in a film: perhaps The Great Gatsby or something.  The pace was fast, colourful, always moving.  Drinks flowed, plates for six arrived at the table with a flourish of perfect timing... it was all so wonderfully distracting and festive.
The wall panels at Commander's Palace in the entry.
 We spent a day at the National WW2 Museum which I would highly recommend.  There are so many good exhibits and you'll want to pause and celebrate liberty and freedom in their well-run restaurant.  We ordered Veuve Cliquot and ate some fried okra with crab salad:
The American Sector Restaurant and Bar
 Pat O'Briens is a famous landmark bar in New Orleans.  It was the number one place people recommended we visit, and I can understand why.  The whole place has the spirit of a New Orleans good time.  We spent some time on their terrace drinking cocktails, meeting some other tourists and just generally having a laugh.
 My friends were drinking the signature Hurricanes but I stuck to my usual white wine.  I wanted to avoid passing out under the table.
Sorry no Hurricanes for me.

Fire fountain in the terrace at Pat O'Brien's.
 I absolutely loved our dinner at Superior Seafood in Uptown New Orleans.  It was a bit of a cab ride but totally worth it.  Such a fun atmosphere and the food was excellent.  I particularly loved the bar:
The bar at Superior Seafood.
 If you love jazz you have to make your way over to Frenchman Street.  We walked up from our hotel  at around 11pm and the whole street was hopping.  Our favourite was The Spotted Cat:
Late night at The Spotted Cat.
 On the last day of our visit we ended with the most wonderful and civilized lunch at Galatoire's.  You must go here for lunch if you are in New Orleans on holiday, you will not be disappointed.
Classic shrimp cocktail at Galatoire's.
 The fish in the lemon-butter caper sauce was to die for.  Order it for your main course!
Lemon Caper Sauce at Galatoire's.
I'll have to write a post about my packing up for this trip, of course I panicked at the last minute and added some lighter clothes.  It was a good thing I did as it was super-hot and sunny the entire time we were there.
I hope that you've been well and up to something fun.