Thursday, 27 April 2017

Just Messin' With Black and White

I'll never forget my first encounter with the Irish writer Roddy Doyle. Back in the nineties, Hubby and I watched the movie The Commitments, based on Doyle's book of the same name. We loved it. It has great music, quirky characters, humour and pathos (uh...of course.. it's Irish), lots of swearing, and that weird combination of despair and hope that the Irish do so well. I was off to the library the next day to find Roddy Doyle's books. One expression that stuck with me from that movie, and from its sequel The Snapper, is "messin' with ya." You know, as in "Don't get mad. I'm just messin' wit' ya." I don't really mean it. I'm just playing around, teasing.  

So that's what I've been doing this week with some of my new wardrobe pieces. Just messin' with them. Playing around. Seeing what works and what doesn't. 

Monday, 24 April 2017

On Winning the Birth Lottery

When Hubby and I were in Peru a few weeks ago, we ate supper in a near empty dining room one night at our hotel in Ollantaytambo, and chatted to an American lady at the next table. She sat alone engrossed in her i-pad until Hubby called over to her, "We haven't seen many jackets like yours down here." She had on a zippered, athletic jacket with a logo Hubby recognized from a college in upstate New York, just over the border from where we live. She raised her head, and laughed. That friendly comment of Hubby's began one of the most interesting conversations we had with a fellow traveller on this trip. 

farm field with melting snow
Early spring on the farm in New Brunswick where I grew up.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

How to Make DIY Jeans... When You Don't Sew

The other day when Hubby came home I greeted him excitedly at the door with the words: "Guess what? I made myself a new pair of pants!" He looked incredulous. And well, he should. Me, sew? Me... who hates sewing. Me... who, after a few years of his waiting and waiting and my procrastinating and procrastinating, refused to ever hem another pair of his pants again.

But before I go on with my story, folks, I need to go back.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Peru Under My Skin

Without too much exaggeration I think I can say that I've got Peru under my skin. And I won't be done with thinking about it, and processing our experiences there, for a while. I guess this is one of the benefits of travel. You come home a slightly different person than when you left. 

But enough philosophizing, as my friend Nancy says. Let's continue with our trip. This is a shot I took as we were leaving Colca Canyon. Before we hit the highway for Puno. Lovely, isn't it?

 Inca terraces, near Colca Canyon, Peru
Inca terraces near Colca Canyon

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Moving On... Style Wise

Spring is supposed to be a time of renewal, of rebirth, isn't it? And yet this spring I've been feeling that I'm stuck in a rut. Not a big rut. Not a huge car-swallowing pothole that I'll never climb out of ... bit of Canadian springtime imagery there. Just a certain sense of ennui, of style fatigue. And a vague feeling that everything I wear is a bit samey. Repetitive. Unadventurous. I think it's time to move on... style wise. 

So in my spring shopping research I looked for ideas that might change up my style. Maybe move away from the narrow silhouette I've been clinging to, away from slim pants with a long slim top or blazer. I mean if my research is correct, this is the year to go big. And so I thought that wide-legged pants might be in order. Okay, that didn't work out, as you'll know from my last fashion post. Bu-ut a longer skirt might create the same effect. I almost always opt for a knee length skirt or dress. Since I despise maxi skirts... that meant midi length. And when I visited Liz at Nordstrom last week I did indeed come home with a black and white, striped midi-skirt from A.L.C.
So now the problem becomes ... what the heck am I going to do with this new longer, fuller skirt? How can I style it so that it doesn't do exactly what the wide-leg pants did? Namely cover up my assets, and highlight the bits I'd rather hide. How can I make this skirt look modern, not matronly? 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Peru. We Love You.

Now where were we? Oh yes. South America. Not scaling a garden wall in Salta. But exiting in a more decorous manner. Ha. And thankfully not missing our very, very early morning flight for Peru, after three and a half wonderful weeks in Argentina. Hubby actually sang "Don't cry for me Argentina," very softly, as we boarded the plane. He ain't Evita, folks. But he ain't bad either.

A couple of hours later, we saw the sun rise over Lima. Then after a short lay-over we boarded another flight for Arequipa. A city of almost a million people which locals call Peru's "second city." After Lima.

view from plane coming in to Lima at dawn
Dawn over Lima.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Spring Fashion Sorted... Sort of

It's finally spring. And it ain't pretty, folks. Not yet. The sky is grey with low cloud today. I can hear the rain pelting against my window. And outside, I see brown grass, bare branches, melting swaths of dingy snow. And a couple of unhappy doves huddled in our mock orange tree. Bu-ut... I know that soon the sun will shine again. The grass will green up, the leaves bud, the birds sing. And I want to be ready.

So I've been preparing for spring shopping season this past week. Taking an inventory of my closet. Doing my research. Trying to get a feel for the season. What's new? What's not new, but still in style? And hoping to glean some ideas. For what I want, or need, to buy. And how I might restyle pieces I already own. I do love my seasonal rituals, as you well know if you read this blog regularly.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Argentina: Best Ever Back-Road Road Trip

So. We're home, after six weeks in South America. We arrived a few days ago. Exhausted. Utterly spent. And happy to be back in Canada, even if it did snow a day or so later. I slept for two days straight, in between unpacking and doing the laundry. We've been enjoying cooking our own meals again. And binge watching all the television shows recorded on our PVR. Hubby has been skiing every day, so he's happy. And I've been on my exercise bike doing my spring shopping research, so I'm happy. Sigh. It's good to be home.

And after my Sunday phone call to Mum this morning, I've been trying to cast my mind back almost a month ago to our sojourn in Salta, in northern Argentina. In particular the back-road road trip we'd planned. This was to be one of the highlights of our trip and believe me it did not disappoint. I snapped this shot of Iglesia San Francisco just a few blocks from our accommodation, on our way to dinner our first night in Salta. Beautiful, eh? 

Iglesia San Francisco, Salta, Argentina
Iglesia San Francisco, Salta