Sunday, 20 May 2018

What Goes With Vanilla?

The answer to that question is, of course, everything. Everything goes with vanilla... ice cream. But vanilla crocheted cropped sweaters can be a bit more problematic.

vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries, and mint
I bought this vanilla crocheted sweater by Vince a few weeks ago and it's been "seasoning" in my drawer ever since. I love a crisp white or creamy sweater for summer. I have visions of this one over a loose sleeveless cotton dress, or with a creamy camisole and a pair of high-waisted pants, or over a long, loose tank ala Eileen Fisher with cropped jeans and sandals. 

My grandmother taught me to crochet squares very similar to this pattern.
But in the meantime, I'm trying it with what I already have in my closet. 

Try #1. I have a creamy vanilla camisole, below, which is the perfect colour, but not as loose as I'd like around the middle. I love the cream sweater and cami with white jeans. These are my old favourite Hudson jeans. But they're a bit too lumpy and rumply in the abdominal area. The cami is quite snug and shows every ripple. Ha. Wish I could say that there were only ripples under there, my friends. 

woman in white sweater, white jeans, and red loafers
Try #1. Okay for colour, bit too snug around the middle age middle.
Try #2. Better. These are my NYDJ white, cropped jeans from 2015, below. They fit more smoothly around the middle and look better under that stretchy cami. It's too cool yet for sandals, so I'm wearing my soon to be ubiquitous, red Earth brand loafers, my new red cross-body bag, and a pair of old red and gold hoop earrings. I'll wear this outfit with sandals later in the season. For now it's good enough to wear shopping for something else to wear under the sweater.

woman in white sweater, white jeans, red shoes, and red bag
Try #2. Better. Good enough to go shopping and look for a long loose tank
Try #3. I swapped the cream camisole for a black one, crepe joggers which I bought at Aritzia in 2015, and my black, suede Paul Green flats from last year. The joggers have lovely flat pleats in the front which help hide middle age middle. And the cami has a band of extra stretchy fabric in the stomach area which smooths out all the ripples. The bottom four inches or so of the cami is loose and looks good peeking out from under sweaters and such. It's called a "Yummie Tummie." I know. Dreadful name. I bought it at a store here in Ottawa owned by a former student, and when she called into the dressing room, "Ms Burpee, try this Yummie Tummie under that top," I barked back: "I am NOT wearing anything called Yummie Tummie." Ha. Turns out I loved it.  

woman in black pants, black flats, and cream crocheted sweater.
Try #3. I like this look okay. 
I like this outfit. I love black and cream or black and white. I'd probably wear this with my structured black and white Kate Spade bag for a lunching lady look. 

I tried the sweater and cream cami with my striped A.L.C. midi-skirt. I tried it with my pink Elie Tahari cropped pants. I tried it with my black, cropped Rag and Bone pants. I didn't like it with any of them. That's okay. I've lots of tops to go with those bottoms.

And this week, I'm going shopping to find something else to wear with my vanilla crocheted sweater. I'm using these shots from Pinterest to inspire me. 

Shots from Pinterest to give me ideas. 
I have a gift certificate from Escape, a lovely shop in downtown Ottawa. I won the gift certificate at a lunch/fashion show a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I'll find a summery dress or a long loose tank to wear with my sweater. Or even a pair of summery khaki or tan pants? Who knows, I may just get lucky. This store is totally new to me. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Meanwhile, I may not be the picture of cutting edge fashion in this outfit. But I am definitely the picture of contentment. With my clothes. With myself... at least this week. Ha. And certainly with the spring sunshine. 

woman sitting on steps in black pants, shoes and while crocheted sweater
Spring sunshine feels so very good.
All this talk of vanilla has made me hungry for ice cream. Maybe for dessert tonight with some strawberries and a shot of chocolate sauce? Vanilla ice cream goes with everything. It's so easy.

Unlike a vanilla sweater, where I not only have to worry about the colour and shape of the vanilla scoop, but also the size and shape of the bowl. And if I don't lay off the chocolate sauce, not to mention the ice cream, the bowl will only get bigger and bigger. Ha. Okay, that's definitely stretching the metaphor too far. 

Now, I have to wrap this up, Hubby and I are off to visit our 95 year old former next door neighbour. She lives in a seniors apartment complex in the village, and has invited us over this afternoon for a glass of wine. 

Isn't that lovely?

Now it's your turn my friends. What's new in your wardrobe? 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Romancing the Readers

Okay, be honest with me here folks. How many of you like to read romance novels? I ask this because I heard an interesting segment on CBC radio the other morning. All about the romance novel, the genre so many of us love to laugh at, openly scorn, and then often read in secret.

shelf of several romance novels
I like a good romance although I've never been a fan of the Harlequin variety.
In an episode of The Current, host Anna Maria Tremonti explored the much despised and derided genre that has spawned a billion dollar, global industry by speaking to its detractors and its defenders. And all of this was triggered by the fact that the Toronto Public Library has recently announced its next Writer-In-Residence will be a romance writer. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Message Tees and Other Trends

I'm not much for jumping on trend bandwagons. I love to keep up with trends, in that I love to research, read, and look at pictures of what is on trend. But shelling out my money for trends, especially of the 'here today gone tomorrow' variety... not so much. 

smiling woman in white tee and navy jacket
I'm looking pleased with myself, aren't I? 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Childless By Choice or By Chance

At my book club a week or so ago, we discussed the use of the term "childless." I say "we" but, actually, I started the discussion. Someone used the term innocently, in a comment, and I admit I ranted a little. I hate that word. And the slightly condescending implications it packs. Not that my friend was being condescending in any way. Not at all. Still... use of that particular term to describe a couple who do not have children always rankles. 

Hubby and I do not have children, a fact I'm sure you've surmised if you've read my blog before. I don't usually discuss the fact that we don't have kids. Or the reasons why that happened, or didn't happen as the case may be. It's nobody's business but ours. But what I am not shy about discussing are all the assumptions made by people, by society, if you will, about the state of not having kids. I'm sure that most people, friends, and even some family, have no idea why we never had children, or how I feel or have felt about it. They just think they do. 

I love my nieces to pieces.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

My Blue and Yellow Period

Wasn't it Picasso who had a blue period? Supposedly inspired by his "emotional turmoil and financial destitution," partly triggered by the suicide of a dear friend and by his own struggle to survive as an artist, he painted mostly in blue for a while (source.) 

Me, I seem to be having a blue and yellow period. Or blue and red. But always blue, more specifically navy. Suddenly everything in my wardrobe is navy. Which can be a good thing because I love navy. Navy and white, navy and red, navy and yellow. But it can be a bad thing for blog post variety. "Ah well," the blogger sighs, "in this case art is supposed to imitate life, and not the other way round." That's if blogging can be considered art, I might add. So if I'm wearing navy in real life, then navy it must be on the blog as well. 

Triple navy outfits. Does that skirt look a little too short to you?