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bienseance

Monday, March 11th, 2019

I chatted with bienseance for their Fashion Spectrum special.

Everything: vintage

Go check it out.

Sweatsuit

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

I just needed to wear a sweatsuit (comfy) this weekend and not look like I was wearing a sweatsuit (cute), so I broke out my two favourite locally made pieces.

Pants – Odeyalo
Top – Eliza Faulkner
Necklace – Goye
High-Tops – Adidas
“Belt Bag” (Fanny pack) – Zara

They’re both made in Montreal! I’m super in love with the Raffi top, I wear it probably more often than I should, but I feel so good in it! Comfy and stylish and fantastic, no complaints. The finishing work on it is incredible, the seams are covered with ribbon, can you imagine? The inside of my top is as pretty as the outside.

These pants are new and so cozy, but I’m not 100% sold on the quality of them, I’ve worn them twice and already the thighs are pilling – and I haven’t washed them yet! Hopefully this is the extent of the deterioration, but we’ll see. They’re 10/10 for comfort, though.

I love that I can now put together entire outfits of locally made, conscious consumerism stuff that isn’t “crunchy” in style. There’s been a major movement the past few years toward responsible fashion, and I am so for it. Part of me is still super maximalism, and that makes it really hard to not go for fast-fashion, but I am proud to say with very few exceptions, I haven’t bought anything Fast Fashion for going on seven years. I scratch my cheapie deepie itch with thrifted pieces, and really only make a clothing purchase every few months. Far cry from when this started, I was shopping almost daily at F21 or H&M. I’m really pleased I’ve managed to curb that, while staying true to my OTT fashion heart.

No more.

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

So we had to flee after the snowstorm, it was just too much. Luckily, Lauren and Mike were in Cancun and we joined them for a little long weekend!

Sorry for my butt. Swimsuit from Simons.

It was our first time going down south for a holiday, and it was pretty great. We stayed at an all-inclusive, which was not my style but very relaxing. Had some great food and really disconnected.

I brought a few swimsuits with me, to make this a little bit closet-y. One from Asos’ Fuller Bust line, which is SUPER cute but doesn’t really offer as much support as I would like. If you are looking for something sexy or cute and not matronly, I highly recommend them. They size up to G (UK)!

I have a super soft spot for bathing suits, even though I live in a climate where they are not super useful, and the Asos ones make me want hundreds. Yay for inclusive sizing on cute things!

Sunrise! Swimsuit is the Eloise from Rosa Faia.

My favourite is quite matronly but makes me feel like a million bucks so I don’t care. I got it at Lingerie Debra, and it’s the Eloise by Rosa Faia.

I thought for sure because the back is quite low cut it would offer me nothing, but everything feels super great. I would even consider a run along the beach in it. The butt goes see-through on me, not sure if this is a common issue or just the size of my ace.

If you’ve never been to Lingerie Debra, it changed my life. They’re beyond wonderful.

I sat on the pier for so long the birds accepted me as one of their own. I, however, did not accept them.

So, it was our first time in Mexico, first time at an all-inclusive, and first time doing a mini-break in winter, I think. Lots of firsts! We should definitely do it again, I had a wonderful time. Lauren and Mike are spectacular travel companions – so positive and fun.

Lauren & Mike – travel buds

If we were to do Mexico again, I’d definitely do it a bit differently : The All-inclusive vibe isn’t for me, I tend to think of my hotel / airbnb as a base for sleeping and nothing else, whereas this time we left the resort only once! For a four-day reset, though, it was perfect.

Snowmageddon 2: The Snowman

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Well,our record-breaking 37cm in one night snowfall is ongoing. This morning our house looked like so:

Shoveling out the house

And the car looked like so:

Car lost forever

Right now I am glad to be in my heated hoodie, in my heated office, drinking my heated tea.

How’s winter treating you?

January 2019 Recap

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

Somehow it’s already a) February b) 2019!

I don’t know how either of these things happened but I’m OK with it. So what did I do in January?

We started the year in NB with Mina & Don! We had an awesome time playing Catan, meeting their new (to us) bb Lupin, and staying indoors because Ice Storm!

Made it to Midnight!

Julien got a Vive for Christmas, so we did quite a bit of VR, including showing my nephew the ropes:

Move with the controllers, not with your feet.

I did a konmari cleanup of my closet, but ended up putting everything right back in because it ALL SPARKS JOY. This is okay according to the KonMari philosophy. Those petticoats? Make my tummy do flipflops. Two onesies? Make my heart sing! Keeping. Them.

It was a really useful exercise actually – I found a few outfits I would not have thought of otherwise and I really connected with each item while I was holding it and going “Joy?” I’m also pretty proud that I don’t seem to buy a lot that I don’t genuinely love!

Let’s see. I read ten books – befriend me on GoodReads! My favourite of the month was definitely The Handmaid’s Tale, and least favourite was Game of Scones. Cozy mysteries, they’re not for me.

	
	

We had a big ol’ snowstorm and could barely get the mini out of the alley.

And I did a boatload of cooking! Marmalade from The Preservation Society cookbook, Simple Ribollita from BA, were highlights.

Jar of sunshine. And sugar.

Ladies’ Trip to Paris

Monday, January 28th, 2019

This November, Lauren and I did our first solo-ladies trip together! We decided to go to Paris because neither of our husbands are super keen on Paris. We (I) had an amazing time.

At Point Zero – the point from which all distances in France are measured. Center of Paris 2300 years ago.

There were days we walked more than 30 kilometers, and I think we did a great job of seeing all the major touristy parts. We did Versailles, the Louvre, the Tour Eiffel, Invalides, all the fancy ponts, we went to Shakespeare & Co., Notre Dame, The Bon Marché, Petit and Grand Palaises, Jardins of Luxembourg and Tuileries, and we spent a bunch of time just wandering around stumbling on cool things.

Hall of Mirrors in Verailles

We managed to make it to Versailles while it was open! (Last time I went with Julien, we got there at like 15h and they were like “ah mais non.”) You really do need all-day to see it. It was just OK for me? Like a lot of gold rooms I guess but too samey-same for me.

The Gardens were once again under construction, and part of me hopes I never get to see it in the high season. As far as I know the gardens of Versailles is just a bunch of weird tarps. We did get some fog which made everything look super creepy, and met a Raven who stayed long enough for me to get a (sharp!) photograph of him.

The Louvre was super fantastic. I’m not a big museum person, but it is room after room of incredible things housed in a palace, so even if you’re not a museum person there’s stuff for you.

Louvre pyramid at night! Lauren was super patient while I long-exposured this.

FOR EXAMPLE. In the (19th) century, a bunch of feet were ACCIDENTALLY replaced by dogs during the restoration of these tomb things. This happened more than once:

Then when you’re done with the dogfoot statues, there’s a few cool paintings and stuff.

Long hair, don’t care, she handle the business and don’t ever tell

We took a break midway on Louvre day to get outside and get lunch, walk over to the Invalides, see some town, do some shopping. In the Tuileries, there were goats!

These goats were literally stolen the day we met them.

All in all we (I) had a fantastic time! I really hope Lauren is up for more ladytrips because she is a wonderful travelling companion. Never a complaint, always up to Go! Go! Go! and full of research. We ate, made merry, and saw so much.

End of the week, Lauren finally saw the Tour Eiffel, and was so Parisian she didn’t care.

SNOWSTORM 2019

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

We did it, we brought a snowstorm.

We dug the mini out of the alley, twice. Made it, though!

We had been complaining about the middling winter this year – not very snowy, not good enough for winter activities. We complained about it and we got what we deserve for it.

Sorry about that.

We ventured out in the snow to drop my sewing machines off for repair. I have a tonne of projects planned once I get them back! It was terribly stupid to go out though, it was full-on blizzarding.

Road Trip – Coast of Spain

Monday, January 21st, 2019

We did an amazing road trip down the coast of Spain this summer. Starting in Barcelona, where we dropped friends off for their flight to Sweden, then down to Javea & Alicante. Four days. Amazing time!

Peniscola at night.

We started in Peniscola, about a three hour’s drive from our starting point. It was so crowded and touristy! I was really surprised. Though it was the end of June, so the height of vacation period, I suppose!

The second morning I woke up just before dawn, and decided I may as well wake Julien for sunrise. We walked through the old town streets, no one else around – that was something else!

Penis-Verd was a must-see.

Obviously, we had to stop around Peniscola for all the penis-themed signs. Of which there were many.

The roads in Spain are twisty.

It turns out I get super carsick. The roads in Spain are twisty and my tummy was not built for it. It was also in the mid-40s C, and our AC was fritzy at best.

Julien pulled over for me to vom on the side of the road often, and luckily got many photographs of it. 😐

😀 in Valencia

Valencia’s City of Arts & Sciences is incredible. It comes from the future, like an episode of TNG (or, you know, Doctor Who!). It’s super beautiful and we spent hours wandering around. Julien took a wee nap on a bench while I explored by myself a bit. Which was scary for me, not speaking Spanish, but not bad.

The food! My goodness the food. I had my first Paella in Alicante, on St Jean Baptiste day, which they also celebrate with the most amazing floats and bonfires, and food tents! The food offerings stretched on forever and we managed to partake. It was amazing, I love streetfood. We also got Sangrias the size of our noggins.

The second Paella was in Denia, who claim to be the inventors of Paella. I bet loads of places make that claim, but it was a darn fine Paella.

We spent one night in an actual castle in Tortosa! The Paradores are these hotels that are in converted historic buildings. This one was a tenth century castle, Castillo de La Zuda. We book everything in the car as we drive up to it, and because it was super last minute, we got it at like 60% off. Tortosa doesn’t seem to be a big Tourism place, so we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. We dined on the terrace and didn’t explore the city at all. Have to go back, I guess!

Tarragona

Our last stop was Tarragona, where we hoped to see the human towers, but missed them by one day! Julien was moderately disappointed, but since we saw so much, I don’t feel too badly about it. I know we’ll be back, and I suppose we’ll time it better next time around.

This was definitely a top-trip for me. We often spend a lot of our holidays driving, but this one we had planned so many stops that it didn’t feel like a long car ride at all, even though it was about 1600 km.

Winter Hikes

Monday, January 14th, 2019

I find that I kindof like outdoorsy things these days. I used to be not one for such – I was an indoor person: I read, I shop, I’m cozy. As time goes on, though, I look forward to walks in the woods, forest bathing, and, in the winter, a bit of the ol’ snowshoeing. 

It was -30C when these were taken! We were brave and intrepid Canadians, though, and traipsed around the mountain like it was a piece of frozen cake. 

Worth it for the views.

This year, winter is going by so quickly! I have a hard time believing it’s already mid-January. Pretty soon everything will be melting and we’ll already be late in planting the garden. 

My mom got me this winter coat and it is super warm. It’s my third year with it, and I am really happy with it. Even on the coldest of days, it keeps me cozy. Add three or four scarves and a hat or two and you don’t even realize how cold it is. (You do.)

Friends Trip!

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

We’re the luckiest people in the world, so we had the opportunity to offer our great friends Aaron and Leah a place to stay rent-free on holiday to the South of France.

It was Leah’s gift to Aaron for his 40th birthday. Can you believe he’s 40? It doesn’t show. He’s a vampire or something. I think they had a good time. We’ll know more if they ever agree to travel with us again.

We stayed in this amazing bastide in Provence for a few days, because I deeply wanted to see the lavender in bloom in July! It was just as amazing as you imagine. It’s FULL of bees, the fields buzz all the time. You smell it when you roll down the windows of the car! Heavenly. Provence is heavenly.

Julien enjoying the Bastide’s pool.

We spent a lot of time just relaxing, which is super unusual for us on holiday! Normally, we go-go-go and this time since we were with people we had to let them chill out a bit, so we spent a day on the beach in Cadaques, and lounging by the pool in Banon. It was difficult to let go, feel like there is nothing else we need to be doing or seeing, but not that difficult. I often find it hard to slow down and relax, though. It was nice to be forced to do some of that.

One day, we drove around the vineyards locally and picked up a few cases of wine here and there. Did tastings in the caveaus, met the vineyard dogs. It was probably my favourite day of the trip. At Domaine Villepeyroux, they took the time not only to show us around the caveau and deguste right from the stills, but also recommended three other local vineyards who are making interesting wines. I really appreciated it. They sent us to Domaine Sibille, where we found the most amazing Chardonnay, and Pierre Cros, where their Veille Vignes spoke to me. Super wonderful day.

Finally, we did get a road trip in, to see Tommy Cash perform in Clermont-Ferrand. On the way, we stopped at VOLVIC – where they make the best water. There was a little musée of water and you can fill up from non-source water at their old fountain. Man, I miss Volvic water. It sounds silly but the mouthfeel is really different from our water here. Seriously! Try it. You’ll see.

Tommy Cash was a pretty great show, highly recommended if you’re into that kind of thing.


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