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

Monday, May 13, 2019


I'm moving house!  The house of the blog that is.
I have a new site that is a tabula rasa to be sure, one I'm hoping will free us from the problematic commenting system and massive amounts of spam attacks suffered on the blogger site.
You can find me here.

I'll continue to write about domestic chores, colour stories, outfits, recipes and the occasional book recommendations.
As always it is my personal blog, it will be free of ads and links.
I hope you will join me there.  Please subscribe and join in order to comment.  If you would ever like to email me please do so, you can find me here:


See you at the new place,

Friday, April 26, 2019

Uniform... Choosing Identity

What we wear on a daily basis might be our most authentic expression of our own identity, and not just as expressed to others, but maybe more significantly as an indication to the self.

I am, as you know if you've been with me for some time, sort of obsessed with "outfits".  What is an outfit?  An arrangement of clothes and accessories put forward as a shield: to the day, to others, to work and to travel, to emotion and judgement.

I went through a long period of time when I did not even own anything denim.  My goal was to armour myself with a dress of some kind, or a skirt and jacket.  Perhaps I would wear a powerful coat ( a trench for example) over really basic pieces like a pair of black slim pants and a top that would never be viewed out of my house: the outfit was the coat, not what lay underneath.

None of this was ever about anybody else, rather it was an indication to my self as to how to approach my day, it was an elevation out of potential anxiety, it was a prompt towards confidence.

For the last several months my daily uniform has slowly evolved into something sort of unexpected: denim on denim, otherwise known as the Canadian tuxedo.  It's my most favourite uniform yet, it feels like my authentic self.

Every morning I grab a chambray shirt and throw it on over jeans, so simple.  I will layer on a sweater and some boots (I live in Aigle rubber boots for most of the year, wearing them with LLBean wool socks all winter)  a coat or jacket, sometimes a bag, sometimes a scarf.

Now that summer is approaching I'll switch out the jeans from a skinny leg (the only option when wearing knee high rubber boots) to more of a straight leg.  The chambray shirts will remain the same.

What does it signify to wear such a utilitarian outfit?

The truth is anything can be tackled in this outfit, it is the outfit it of a worker, of production, of walks through any weather, of cleaning, of cooking.  It's an outfit that actually gives me energy for tasks both mental and physical.

That might be giving a lot of weight to a simple outfit, but really, think about how your outfit makes you feel.  Tell me in the comments what your current uniform is, and why, and how does that indicate to you your own identity and purpose.  I would love to know!

I did buy a fancy skirt to wear with those chambray skirts, and I have yet to wear it:
Wrap skirt, JCrew Collection
 I love the silver and grey tones, and they way the floral pattern picks up the chambray fabric.
It's pretty exciting to be able to plan summer accessories around the uniform, now we can have a bit of fun:
I found those madras sandals at JCrew, and the straw bags were bargains from Gilt.
JCrew sandal in cerise.
My current choice of uniform has answered some essential questions I've been grappling with for the last year (a late mid-life crisis of sorts).  As the Rascals have entered adulthood (even Lil Rascal is turning 17!) I've been trying to figure out my next steps.  Do I continue to work at home and further embrace domestics?  Will that even be needed?  Do I go back to school, look for a job outside the home?  Will I be able to be as productive with less of my family under our roof to look after?  How will that make me feel?  How do choices I make now affect MrBP's planned retirement in a few years?
JCrew suede sandal in a dusty chambray blue.
My uniform, and my comfort in it, has indicated my choice.  I love the domestic life, and the feeling of being productive, and the role of carer of a family.  One thing that has delighted me is that my Rascals aren't too far off, we see them, we make plans, the nest is still busy even when they're not here.

That has surprised me, in part due to my own family's history, but that's a topic for another post.

Another topic to mull over is another kind of uniform: the PARTY uniform.  Let's get into that another time.

Please fill me in on your uniform choice of late, and perhaps the meaning behind it.  Any thoughts on (late) mid-life crisis situations would also be most appreciated.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Easter Decorating

 After a long winter it seems particularly thrilling to bring some colour into the house by way of greenery, flowers and Easter pastels.

I found the giant blue hydrangea at the warehouse store and I could barely carry it in the house it's so heavy.  Everything else came from Sweet Violets, my favourite flower store in Guelph.
Foyer Flowers
 It's safe to say that I'm obsessed with adding a very pale blue colour to my house right now.  It sets off the wood tones and dark neutrals that we've layered the rooms with.  Contrast is everything.
Good Friday Dinner
 For dinner last evening I made a very simple potato salad with a shallot vinaigrette (with lots of lemon), chopped fennel and radish.  I topped it all with dill and some optional smoked salmon.  We started with a leek and cauliflower soup topped with sautéed shallots.
It was exactly the sort of dinner I like to throw together these days, composed of dishes I can prepare ahead of time.

 We have a large collection of these cute wool creatures that I collected over many years for the Rascals.  I guess it's me that plays with them now... I like to set them up for holidays on the kitchen shelf.
Dark turquoise candles in the dining room.
 I was never one to think of lighting candles during daylight hours, how does that make any sense at all?  MrBP finds it enchanting however and I've realized he's right, there's something so festive about it.
Pale blue tapers, tall ones!
I love these pale blue taper candles, they are very tall at eighteen inches.  Again that pale blue colour, here juxtaposed to red in the painting, a favourite colour combination of mine.

I hope you have a really wonderful Easter weekend.  We'll be celebrating on Sunday with The Rascals and Poppa.  It's meant to rain all weekend so I'll definitely be lighting lots of candles.
May the sun (or candlelight) shine on you!


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.