Monday, 29 September 2014

Reunion 2014 .... Hellos, Good-byes, and What I Wore

The fall always makes me nostalgic... but even more so this year. You see I travelled home to the east coast this September for my 40th high school reunion. For a whole weekend of nothing but nostalgia.

Things have changed a lot in 40 years, as you might expect. This is a shot looking out over the Saint John River and the islands from the top of the hill on our farm. It was taken in the 1970's...

...back when I was still in high school and looked like this....all big eyes, thick unruly hair and skinny legs. 

Thanks to forty years and flattening irons, I have changed considerably.... although I still have skinny legs.They run in the family. 

I was pretty shy in high school; not with friends, but in class or with new people I was often tongue-tied. That certainly has changed. I remember a few years ago counselling one of my students who was painfully shy and dreaded doing oral presentations; I told him that I had been the same in school. And he looked at me surprised and said..."What happened to you?" 

So... although I'm not shy anymore, I will admit I was a little nervous about attending the reunion... nervous and excited. For one thing, I'd stressed (privately and publicly on this blog) about what to wear. 

On the Friday night I met up with my old friend, Colleen, and her partner and we went together to the "Meet and Greet" at a local hotel. I was glad not to be going case I didn't see anyone I knew. Or who knew me. 

Funny... thinking that. Once we arrived, I do believe I didn't shut up all night. Or for most of the next two days. Shrieks, hugs, tears, lots of laughs. I was so busy talking that I took only two photos... one of which is blurry... and although there were lovely appetizers and snacks served I didn't eat a thing, having been taught, of course, that one doesn't talk with one's mouth full. I finally left around 11 o'clock, only because I was so hoarse I couldn't speak anymore.

For the "Meet and Greet," I wore my J-Brand skinny jeans, my new black gingham shirt from Gap, and my red Banjo and Matilda sweater. Oh...and my new Stuart Weitzman loafers. 

That's me below taking a selfie with Sheree who was in my grade eleven French class. Sheree's a very successful writer now. And she was our class valedictorian in '74.

On Saturday afternoon, I met Colleen and her beau (below) at our old high school for the buffet lunch and tour of the school. Colleen and I have been best buds since grade two. Over the course of our long friendship we have drifted apart, sometimes for years, but have always come back together as if we had spoken just the day before. Whether step dancing and wearing matching outfits in grade school, swapping tales of broken hearts, or stressing over major life and career changes.... we have always supported each other. She's my "little" sister.  Cute isn't she? And she was stylin' on Saturday afternoon, in her textured sweater, skinny jeans and little black, ballet flats.

That's my friend Alice below. She and I met in grade nine when my mum married my stepfather and we moved to the farm. We survived three years of  English classes together in high school. I remember her with long, straight hair. But I really like the bob, Alice... and the red lip. 

On Saturday afternoon, I wore my camel sweater with lace applique from J Crew; we have a store in Ottawa, now. And my new Yoga jeans made by Second Clothing Company in Montreal. They're called Yoga jeans because they're so comfortable. These are black "overdyed" with brown which gives them that lovely, faded, kind of  distressed, look. And they're high rise. The search for high rise jeans I like is finally over. Yah!

On Saturday evening we all danced (and talked) up a storm in the hall at the Boyce Farmer's Market in downtown Fredericton. This was pure 70's style. And a ton of fun. I loved that it was casual and comfortable. Hard to dance to those old songs all dressed up. I was excited when they played The Hollies' "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress"... my absolute favourite song from my high school days. It reminded me of the dances we went to in Nackawic. Yep... when we drove the 40+ km. there in the back of someone's truck. Whaaat...were we crazy?! No.. just sixteen and invincible.

For the dance on Saturday night, I wore my black leather pants (my investment piece from fall 2013) and a cobalt blue top that I bought at Zara last Christmas. The top has leather trim at the neck and on the cuffs. It was a steal. I love the cut and the longer shirt tail in the back.  

So I stressed about what to wear needlessly. All that wondering about which dress to wear for the Saturday night event...whether to wear my black Lida Baday or to buy something new. All for nothing. When the reunion newsletter came saying that Saturday night was to be "comfortable" problems were solved. 


With no flash on my i-pad this is the best shot I have of Saturday night. The dance floor... before the crowd.

It's hard in retrospect to capture the buoyant feeling that suffused the hall that night. Old acquaintances and classmates that I hadn't seen in many, many years became friends again. People who seemed, at first glance, like strangers, emerged from the camouflage of changed hairstyles and laugh lines as the same old friends I knew way back when. I talked to people I first met in primary school, or in grade six when several classes of kids from our overcrowded school were bused to a school in another part of the city. I laughed with women who reminisced about my birthday pyjama parties in junior high. And to classmates who remembered that I didn't attend my high school graduation because I had been in a car accident the week before. And everywhere I turned I heard: "Susan Burpee... you haven't changed one bit." 

How I wish that were true. Or do I?  Maybe not. I'm quite comfortable being 58 and not 18. 

Like the old house at home on the farm... after 40 years my classmates and I are a little more blurred at the edges, maybe in need of a fresh coat of paint (by midnight on Saturday night I definitely needed a new coat of "paint"), sagging in a few new places... but still essentially ourselves. 

Quite comfortable in our camouflage. 

At midnight on Saturday night, exhausted, ready to go home, I circled through the hall saying good-bye to everyone I had said hello to only the day before. Old friends made new again. I climbed into my brother's company car ("Burpee Drilling" painted on its side) fiddled in the dark to turn on the lights.... and smiled all the way home to my mum's.

Have you ever been to a school reunion? 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Murder, She Writes

I know, I know... I wrote a post on "murder" only a few weeks ago. It must be all this shopping for jeans... frustration, failure, more frustration. I can't sit still to read a literary novel and so fall back on my love of mysteries. Murder and mayhem, to use a cliché, more befitting of my mood at the moment.

Last week I read an interesting article by Laura Miller on "Why Today's Most exciting Crime Novelists Are Women." You can read the article yourself here. Miller explains that she has become tired of "[picking] up much-praised new crime novels about some tough, tough guy, usually in a car, with a gun. Pretty soon will be more guns, some fistfights, assorted criminals snarling threats of various degrees of scariness and wit." In fact Miller says the genre has become very, very "tired, " except for a few writers who all happen to be women. Hmmmm. 

To some extent, I agree with her. I was a big fan of the Jo Nesbo novels at first, and yet I could hardly get through his last book. Nesbo has upped the ante so much that his plots have become barely believable... to me, anyway. And Stuart McBride, whose writing style is witty and "atmospheric" (as book blurbs love to say), I had to abandon because...well... some of his plots are so bizarre.... he's lost my interest. Just gore for the sake of gore.... would that be gratuitous gore?

And when I'd finished reading Miller's article, I took a look at my own book pile (tower might be a better word... √† la leaning tower of Pisa, maybe.) Tana French, Sharon Bolton, Elly Griffiths, Robert Rotenberg, Denise Mina, Ruth Rendell: the pile of books I was currently reading, about to start reading, or had recently finished were almost all by women authors. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Turn, Turn, Turn?

I have a friend who... every year when I arrived at work in a fall blazer for the first time that season...would exclaim..."Sue! You've turned your closet!" 

It became a joke in our teacher prep room, and the men with whom we worked eventually began competing with her; trying to be the first to notice that I had officially ushered in the new wardrobe season, or chastising each other for wearing white after Labour Day. Their teasing was gentle, like the kind you'd get from a favourite uncle, and I'd always play the fashionista role, giving a twirl to show off my new fall outfit, replying that summer was "So over, Dahling!"

"Turning one's closet" is a rite of passage in a four season climate. Especially when you live in a small house with minimal closet space, like me. I remember so clearly, each year when we were kids, my mum opening the big cedar chest in which were stored our winter or summer clothes. It marked the beginning of the new season. And was almost as exciting as back to school shopping... almost.

Now that I'm not going to work anymore... my wardrobe is evolving and, for several reasons, I'm trying to decide how I "turn my closet" these days. 

For one thing it seems as if I wear many of the same things year round. Like jeans. 

For another.....what do I do about all my jackets? An important staple in my former work wardrobe was the jacket. I'm definitely a jacket and blazer kind of girl or, as Stacey and Clinton on What Not To Wear called them, "completer pieces." I'm with Stacey and Clinton on that.... I don't feel like an outfit is pulled together without a jacket or a sweater. And when I worked, I always had one or the other on at the beginning of the day. (Although I confess, in the past few years, I often took my jacket off when I started experiencing what a friend calls my "personal tropical moments.") 

When I worked, I'd start wearing jackets and blazers as outer wear in early fall; later in the season and throughout the winter, I'd wear them under my winter coat, and, of course, lose the coat as soon as I entered the building. But now that I'm retired, most of the time the outside layer of an outfit remains the outside layer. I don't often go somewhere and shed my coat or jacket, so the coat or jacket has to be part of the outfit, if you see what I mean. In winter, if I'm going shopping, or to a museum, or even out for lunch or dinner... I'm unlikely to wear a jacket under my heavy coat. Too bulky and too uncomfortable. And that means a major shift in my thinking about how I dress, especially in winter. And it means that I wear my beloved jackets and blazers for a much shorter time each year. 

So plan. (It seems like I'm making all kinds of new plans these days; see my post on "Slippage" and my new fitness plans.) 

Early September is too early to "turn my closet." I traditionally do this right after Thanksgiving...Canadian Thanksgiving, of course, which is early October. But it's not too early to wear my spring blazers and jackets, which are lighter than my fall ones and will work in temperatures in the low to mid twenties. And if I combine them with darker tops, instead of white and pastels, and dark bottoms (like navy) and heavier jewellry, I will feel fall-ish...but still be cool. 

This is my black Holt Renfrew brand cropped spring jacket. It's years old, but in really good shape. I tried it here with a navy and white gingham shirt that I recently bought at Gap (40% gotta love those e-mail coupons), a white Theory cami, my skinny J-brand jeans, and my black flat sandals that I've been wearing all summer.

The jacket has a self belt in the back, patches on the elbows and two buttons on the cuffs. It's really well made...all the Holt Renfrew brand items are (at least in my experience) and was a great buy at a fraction of the cost of a designer jacket. Not to mention the fact that I've had it for at least ten years. 

I've had this vintage brooch for several years too. I can't remember where or when I bought it. I love vintage jewellry, especially bracelets and brooches. I wore this outfit shopping the first week of September and was perfectly comfortable, not too hot... not too cold....just right. 

In the shot below I'm wearing my blue Smythe boyfriend blazer. I'm pulling it into my early fall rotation...immediately. I love this jacket; I've had it since 2009 and I do not wear it enough. It's long, with a single button closure, three button cuffs and the most beautiful silky vanilla lining. Here I decided to wear it with my cropped, skinny J-brand cords, and a cream, 3/4 sleeve, ruffled silk blouse by Elie Tahari...also bought in 2009. And my vintage brooch. Even though I'm wearing a light top, I think that the navy cords and the boots make the outfit fall-ish.

If it's too warm to wear this outfit with the Cole Haan boots, I can change them up for my new, black Stuart Weitzman loafers.

Smythe (who made my blazer) is a very successful Canadian design company; they just celebrated their tenth anniversary. Smythe clothes are beloved by many...including Kate Middleton... and me. If you're not familiar with their line, you can check out their Fall 2014 collection here. 

These are just two of the jackets that I'm going to be wearing for the next few weeks. Then I'll transition into my real fall jackets, tweeds and leather in browns and golds and burgundy. Yum. 

And the exciting thing is that, in my new life, once I put together an outfit, with jacket, scarf, and bag... it will stay put together. The bag won't be stashed under my desk at work until I leave for the day. The jacket and scarf will stay on, not be draped on the back of my chair because I have to carry piles of books or chart paper and markers from the book room to my classroom, or stand on a chair to tack posters on the wall, or because talking to a room full of 28 teenagers and 28 computers all giving off heat has become too darn hot! 

I'm looking forward to "turning my closet" this year. Pulling out some of my older jackets and sweaters, and combining them with a few new purchases. My new black loafers, which will star in a future post. Maybe a new, soft, camel or cream cashmere sweater. I've a couple of beautiful tweed blazers, and a great leather jacket that I can wear as outerwear with jeans, scarves and boots until well into the fall.

 Provided it's not raining. Or snowing.

Let's all take a moment here to contemplate snow in the first week of September. And sympathize with my poor sister who lives in Calgary and woke up to this the morning before last.

Brrrrr. Talk about scrambling for boots and gloves when your closet has NOT been "turned" and you think you won't need them for another two months!

Do you "turn your closet?" How does your wardrobe mark the changing season?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Slippage ...Beginnings, Endings, and Beginnings Again

I've already used the opening lines from Dickens A Tale of Two Cities in a post on my blog. But it's amazing how often those words can be applied to one's life. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." 

With those words Dickens perfectly sums up my very first semester of teaching during the winter of 1985. The best of that I finally had a full time teaching job; I was over the moon about that, so keen and excited to go to work each day. The worst of times... in that I worked day and night, literally (I taught 2/3 at day school, 1/3 at night school.) It seemed as if I never stopped working.Teaching is a hard job, especially so at the beginning of one's career. Plus, I couldn't afford a car and it took me two hours and three buses to get to my day job, two buses from my day job to my night school job and then two more home after night school, all during a very cold and snowy winter. So I was always tired, always sitting on a bus or waiting for a bus, and always wading through snow.... or so it seemed. 

Ah well...I was young and keen, and soon enough it was spring, and I had met my husband and, well...the rest, as they say, is history... I wrote about all that in my very first post on this blog. You can read about it here.

I retired from teaching a year and a half ago. That was tough. I loved my job; I threw my heart and soul into it. And I loved it right to the end. But I knew I was ready. I'd prepared; I started to scale down my commitments two years before. I resigned from board-wide committees and gave up several school-based extra curricular activities. Then in the last year I resigned my headship, and in my last semester taught only a two thirds timetable. 

I made a perfect exit. With a fabulous surprise party organized by three lovelies whom I had worked with and mentored when they were fledgling teachers, a luscious department brunch attended by all my favourite "peeps" (as I was wont to call them) and the official staff goodbye party with lots of laughs and funny speeches.... and tears (not all mine.) Perfect. 

My speech at my staff retirement party. Telling funny stories, waving my hands and tearing up. 

Off to my new life. Then the day after my staff retirement party and final farewell, my very athletic-skiing-canoeing-hockey-playing Hubby was diagnosed with a major heart blockage. This was the last thing we expected. But s**t happens, right? And, as Scout says in To Kill a Mockingbird, "thus began our longest journey together." 

Beginnings... Again:
So my retirement, at least initially, was not the "best of times" as anticipated. The winter of 2013 definitely was the "winter of despair" for us. But now, after a long recovery, Hubby is back doing all the things he loves, and we started travelling again last winter. Yep, all is well. We're living the "Pura Vida," as they say in Costa Rica. 

Definitely the "best of times"...except for ... well... the slippage. 

Let me explain. Keeping fit has been an integral part of my life for the last thirty years. I had, after all, married an athlete/phys.ed. teacher who was very supportive of my efforts - my very own personal coach. So, I ran for years until my knees gave out. I joined a gym for a few years; then we bought gym equipment and had it installed in our basement. I learned to canoe and ski, which we do together... along with cycling, hiking...and whatever. 

And while we've had tons of fun doing all these things, being active has its challenges.

Example #1... That's me below in Algonquin Park on a canoe trip sometime in the 80's. I'm trying to finish the last of my breakfast which is impaled on my fork... and shelter from the rain under the tarp...and I'm definitely NOT having fun.

Example #2. Me...on Mount Kosciuszko in Australia in 2008. The reason I'm walking like Herman Munster is that the wind was so strong it almost knocked me over. Later it rained. Enough said.

Example #3. Me and Hubby hiking in the CairnGorms in Scotland in 2005. We hurried to take this shot before the mist descended. Then it did. Hubby has another shot of me where all you can see, really, are my ankles and feet. Then it rained.

Example #4. Doing a canopy walk in the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica in December 2013. I'm soaked. Of course it rained. We were there weren't we? 

Example #5. Hiking King's Canyon in Australia in 2003. It didn't rain. Weather was beautiful, as a matter of fact. We were on a 3-day outback safari; we camped in permanent tents, had wonderful suppers around the campfire.... and had to get up at 5:00 A.M. each day to drive to our next destination and still fit four hours of hiking in before it got too hot. Five o'clock....A.M.! And each morning the guide strolled between the tents shouting "Wakey, wakey, wakey." I muttered to my husband the last morning, "He doesn't know how close he is to death right now!" In our photo album Hubby has annotated this picture with the caption..."Don't jump! You can sleep in tomorrow!"

No, weather does not hold us back. (Nor early mornings, for that matter.) As my husband is fond of saying, you can't let weather stop you from doing what you want to do. I'm lucky that Hubby is so determined to stay active; I have to stay in shape just to be able to keep up with him. And years of keeping up with him has fringe benefits with respect to good health, positive state of mind and being able to fit into my jeans. Or it should have.

But despite one's best efforts, the body changes and all my hard work at staving off "slippage" can not stop it. At age 28, I weighed 125 lbs. Then as the years crept by... 130 for a while, then 135 for a few years...then...138... well, you get the idea. 

And then I retired. And the fact is folks, that teaching is a high energy job, and motivating a room full of teenagers... talking, organizing, waving one's hands around while telling stories that are mostly relevant to the lesson, running up and down stairs and up and down hallways... burns a lot of calories. 

While retirement....does not. 

Even though I found I had a lot more time to work out... we cycle more, I pedal my exercise bike more, I started skating last winter.... when I'm not working out.... I'm, well, sitting. Sitting for that hour in the morning with my cup of tea and a book, sitting for that other hour in the late afternoon with a cup of tea and a book, sitting at the computer writing this blog....all adds up to a lot of sitting. 

So I have to do something about that. Diet is not the problem. We ate a pretty healthy diet before Hubby's heart problems; now we eat a really healthy diet. 

Nope... I just have to find a way to get moving. And not get injured in the process. This is the real challenge with staying active.

Like many of you know, I'm sure, being active can hurt. I've had physio over the years for problems with knees, upper back, lower back, etc etc. As a result I have a pretty good understanding of what I can ask my body to do and what I can't. For instance, I can cross-country ski two days in a row... but a third day will kill my knees. Too much paddling hurts my upper back... years of marking have taken their toll there. And thanks to physiotherapists, I know how to manage these problems.

So (clap hands briskly here) it's time for a new plan. Oh, I love planning. Moving my butt more will be my fall project. A new beginning, again, fitness-wise. 

I mean... if I can handle a difficult class of 36 fifteen year olds ... if I can survive the rain in Algonquin Park and gale force winds on a mountain in Australia... what's a little slippage, eh?

And lest you think that it will be all work and no relaxation... I'm sure I'll still find time for that glass of wine after a hard day fishing... or cycling...or whatever.

Back country fishing in the Yukon, 2006
Trust won't be all work and no play. And slippage or no slippage... I'm determined that retirement should be "the best of times." Just with a little more movement that's all.

How do you stave off "slippage?"

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The End of Jeans

Recently NBC news ran a story on the end of jeans. 

Or rather, they reported, in a story by Courtney Reagan and Sabrina Korben, that Denim is in Real Danger of Going Out of Fashion. You can read the original on-line story here. That story was picked up by other media sources; I actually heard it in a CBC clip. And now it's everywhere. Just Google it and see in how many variations and permutations of that headline pop up. 

Talk about "click bait." The details of the story explain that "domestic [U.S.] sales of jeans dropped 6% last year." Okaaay. So maybe the real story is that the iconic American company Levi Strauss is, according to the article, "struggling," with "net profit falling a whopping 76%." Well, that's sad. I remember wearing Levis in high school in the 70's. In fact we wouldn't wear anything else, all other forms of jeans being devastatingly uncool. The article blames the fall of denim on yoga pants... citing a survey taken by investment bank Piper Jaffray which said that, among affluent teens, leggings and yoga-wear were the "top fashion trend for two seasons in a row." Good news for Lululemon, I guess. And no surprise to those of us who walk down crowded high school hallways behind an army of teenage girls all in black yoga pants.

But still.... denim going out of style? Really? On behalf of jeans everywhere, I just want to misquote Mark Twain and say that reports of the death of denim have been greatly exaggerated! 

This montage of shots appeared on the fashion blog The Trend Spotter . Trend Spotter is a great blog. I love that the writers show a range of shots which helps me to wrap my brain around the trend they are currently spotting. 

Looks like what they are spotting this year is that denim is definitely NOT going out of style.

Well, duh. I mean, seriously, how many pairs of jeans do you have in your closet? I have a TINY closet and I have five pairs. Five. I don't have five of anything else. 

Mind you, two pairs are are on their way out. Meaning that I might pull them on for a quick trip to the grocery store or the library...with a tee shirt and sneakers, but that's it. And one of the two is destined for the Goodwill bag when I do the fall "cull" of my closet in a couple of weeks.

So that leaves three decent pairs of jeans. 

One pair is fairly new. I bought them in the spring. They are Paige Hidden Hills with a straight leg, and a high rise. I actually wrote about these in a blog post in May.

I love them. Love, love. I can keep them up, for one thing.  A person without a waist, like moi, is never totally happy in low rise jeans. 

Although not skinny, the leg in these jeans is still narrow. Perfect with boots. And they come up high enough in the waist to disguise my middle age middle.

My second pair are skinny jeans. Even though I have embraced the straight leg jean wholeheartedly ... I still love my J-Brand skinny jeans. The problem with them is that they are low-rise. Drat! 

So I couldn't possibly wear them with anything that did not give full mid-section coverage. Like this red Banjo and Matilda sweater that I bought two years ago. I love this sweater. It's a light knit, narrowly cut, and not bulky. I really like the proportions of this sweater with skinny pants. And it has wooden buttons and some lovely ribbing on the shoulders and pockets that can't be seen in this shot.

I think that with flats or loafers the width of the leg of J-brand jeans is perfect. They're "skinny" but not skin tight like leggings. You can actually slip them off instead of having to peel them off. Seriously, some skinny jeans feel as if you're wearing support hose. 

And check out my thirty year old loafers! Oh my, thirty years...."is't possible?" (to quote Toby Belch from Twelfth Night

Okay... I must digress here for a moment. When I was teaching Twelfth Night to grade nine English classes, every year (and I mean every year) as I was trying to rouse their interest in the play, I would introduce the characters with my own version of their stories. When I got  to Toby Belch... I would always say he was "no relation" and then wait for the first kid to get the joke. Belch... Burpee... get it? Sigh... some days I do miss that room full of fourteen year-olds.

Now back to jeans and loafers.... yesterday I dug around in my old blue trunk and found these penny loafers. I bought them at the Dexter shoe outlet on a visit to Maine in 1984! And I've never been able to bring myself to throw them out. 

My third pair of jeans are 7-For All Mankind, boot cut. I like them a lot. But like the J-Brand jeans... they do not have a high enough rise. They're not low rise, so I don't have to keep hiking them up every five minutes. But they're low enough to require a longer top. I like them with my long Vince turtleneck from last fall. I also will wear them with a short jacket... but only with an untucked shirt underneath. 

The leg in these 7-For All Mankind jeans is fitted, which I like, and the flare at the bottom is not too wide. I have had boot cut jeans which are much wider, more like flares. Or what we called in the old days...bell bottoms. Remember bell bottoms? 

So I have five pairs of jeans in my highly edited wardrobe. And even with five pairs, what am I shopping for this fall?  Yep... jeans. 

I would love to find a pair of jeans that are high rise and a bit distressed. And maybe in a looser fit.  I love this shot of Olivia Palermo on the fashion blog Trend Survivor. The look is ladylike and a bit slouchy at the same time. I think I might be able to pull that off...maybe. 

My friend Liz who is the personal shopper at Holt Renfrew tells me that it will be hard to find jeans with both a high rise and a loose fit because the loose fit naturally sits lower on the hip. I'm hoping then that the loose fit itself will disguise middle age middle and maybe the higher rise won't be necessary? Or I may find that the loose fit is too low rise and feels like it's falling off me. And I will have to settle for high rise and distressed and abandon the loose fit idea. 

We'll see.

Funny, isn't it? Some say that denim is going out of style. Experts say that sales of jeans are dropping. That this might be the end of jeans. Yet jeans seem to be everywhere. 

Just what IS the truth here?  I guess VF Corp which owns Wrangler and Lee Brand jeans is going to do its darnedest to figure this out. According to the article I mention above, VF Corp is creating a denim "think tank," their so-called "global denim innovation center," which they plan to open soon. 

Well, let's leave them to it. As Viola says in Twelfth Night..."Time must untangle this knot, not I; / It is too hard a knot for me to untie" (II,ii.) Isn't it amazing how Shakespeare helps us to solve these little problems in life? 

Now... I really have to go. I have shopping to do, people! Hubby is away this week in the wilds of Algonquin Park. 

And I have all week to shop. And read. And watch reruns of Downton Abbey. 

Do tell... how many pairs of jeans do you have in your closet?

Linking up this week with Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style  and What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy