How you see yourself

LogoWe were on the way to the city to finish up our Christmas shopping earlier this week when the cell phone rang. It was the call we’d been waiting for for a month and a half. A space had finally been found for my very frail 96-year-old father to move into a long term care facility in Burnaby, the suburb of Vancouver that has been his home for over 30 years. He would be moving before the end of the week!

So here I am back on the road again today heading for the coast (wasn’t I just there?) to clean out the little assisted living apartment where Dad has spent the past six years and to make sure that he’s comfortably settled into his new surroundings.

There wasn’t time to write the fashion post that I had planned for today, so it will have to wait for another time. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this thought.

How you see yourself

Gram’s in nesting mode!

The urge to clean and organize is commonly known as nesting and usually comes upon a woman in the final weeks of pregnancy. I don’t remember actually experiencing this overwhelming desire to get my home ready for a new baby. I worked up until a few days before baby #1 arrived. It’s a good thing that that was back in the day when they kept mom and baby in hospital for several days because hubby was still putting up a wall to separate the nursery from the living room when she was born! I was a bit more prepared when baby #2 arrived 19 months later. Babies #3 and #4 arrived at very busy times in our life (there are long stories behind both of those) when nesting was the furthest thing from my mind.

So, what does all that have to do with anything? The whole family comes home for Christmas every third year and this is that year! Suddenly I find myself cleaning and organizing, decorating, planning menus, and buying ingredients for all sorts of Christmas baking. Yes, Gram is definitely in nesting mode!

It started with the teeny tiny playroom in the corner of our basement that only gets used when grandchildren come to stay. It hadn’t had a thorough cleaning in a long time. I sorted through the old wooden toy box that was lovingly made for my siblings and I by a great uncle of ours in the 1950s discarding broken toys and putting away ones that are too babyish for our growing grandkids. I washed down the play kitchen that our children got for Christmas in the 1980s. Dolls that had been mine and our daughters’ when we were little girls were bathed and their clothes went through the laundry. Then the tiny toy dishes were washed.

10807616

Just as the toys spill out into the rest of the basement when the grandkids are here, my cleaning frenzy has also moved on into other areas. Since we retired, Richard has taken over much of the day to day housework, but I’m attacking those nooks and crannies that don’t get regular attention. Why wait for spring cleaning when the family’s coming home and Gram is in nesting mode?

What are you doing to prepare for the holiday season?

 

A little piece of Paris

LogoEverywhere we went when we were in Paris in May, I saw people wearing berets. Most of them were women, but I did see at least one man sporting one. I hadn’t worn a beret since a pastel green one I had in high school, but before long, I decided that I needed to bring one home with me. It was easy to do as there were inexpensive ones available in almost every souvenir shop. My only dilemma was deciding what colour to buy. I finally settled on navy blue, but now that winter has arrived and I’m seeing more and more berets being worn here in Canada, I wish I’d bought more than one!

IMG_0407

Wearing pins or brooches on knit caps (or toques as we call them here in Canada) is a trend this year, so when image consultant and fashion blogger, Brenda Kinsel, suggested adding them to berets, I decided to give it a try. I don’t often wear pins, but I knew that there were a few hiding in the back of one of my drawers. Here, I’ve added a silver rose to my little piece of Paris.

IMG_0401

There are several ways to style a beret. It can be worn as I’m wearing mine or tilted to one side or the other. Every beret has a brim that fits snug to the head and holds it in place. Though I’ve seen them worn with the brim to the outside, the “correct” way is to tuck it inside.

IMG_0399

 

Inspiration everywhere

LogoEarlier this week, image consultant and fashion blogger, Brenda Kinsel, offered readers of her Tips & Teasers Facebook page this challenge:

“See all the colors in the background of this pic? Using any colors in this palette create an imaginary outfit – pants, top, jacket, jewels, etc. Tell us what it looks like!”

77053039_2451793418266594_1912915452237971456_n

Rather than creating an imaginary outfit, I shopped my closet and this is what I came up with.

IMG_0411

It’s a casual look built entirely of neutrals, but I think the pattern in the top lifts it out of drab. The grey skinny jeans, oatmeal cardigan, and black pearl necklace are all cabi from previous seasons. The taupe ankle boots are also several years old. Only the sleeveless V-neck top from Cleo, one of my favourite Canadian brands, is new.

Who would have thought that anyone could take fashion inspiration from a rusty old wall of corrugated metal? Brenda, that’s who! I absolutely love her blog and have learned so much from her. She seems to find inspiration everywhere!

IMG_0409 2.jpg

Thank you, Brenda! Obviously I need to start looking at old walls and other random things with a new eye!

 

Pendants for a Cause

LogoOne of the things that I enjoy about blogging is connecting with readers and other bloggers around the world. This week, I “met” Dr. Phoebe Chi, an internal medicine and public health physician and author, when she liked last Friday’s post and began following my blog.

In September of this year, after hearing about the devastation in the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian, Phoebe wanted to do something. She was aware of the dire need for medical care and resources, but even with her formal training as a physician, she felt helpless to do anything to meet these needs.

With nothing but a few small pieces of sea glass, a pair of pliers, an assortment of wires, and a deep desire to give hope and help to those whose lives had been devastated, Phoebe decided to put her artistic skills to work and Pendants for a Cause was born!

frameseaglass-1

For the first month, all proceeds from the sale of the necklaces were donated to help meet the emergency health needs of Hurricane Dorian victims. Once those needs were met, the focus of Pendants for a Cause changed to another passion of Dr. Chi’s. Proceeds now go toward helping children around the world with heart conditions get the life-saving surgeries they need.

All Pendants for a Cause are available here. I think the wire wrapped necklaces are my favourites. I absolutely love these two.

Sea glass comes in every colour imaginable and some of Phoebe’s pendants are personalized with tiny charms. Perhaps it’s time to do some Christmas shopping!

In addition to necklaces, there are also earrings to choose from.

As one who loves to wander a beach looking for bits of glass that have been softened by the sea, I wondered how Phoebe was able to find enough to continue producing her jewelry. She told me that she has two sources. Most of her pieces are genuine, bought from a friend who lives in Italy. “She literally has a beach in her backyard that is full of them,” said Phoebe. I must admit that I’m terribly envious! The round pieces, used to make earrings like the ones shown on the left above, are cultured glass produced in a tumbler and purchased from a distributor.

img_8292

Dr. Phoebe Chi wearing one of her own creations.

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated in any way. Information and photographs provided by Pendants for a Cause.

Canada’s going black and white for NET Cancer Day!

November 10 is World NET Cancer Day, a day set aside to raise awareness of neuroendocrine cancer, the uncommon disease that I’ve been fighting for the past six years. It’s our day to be heard by decision makers, health professionals and the general public. In addition to raising awareness, we want to encourage more funds for research, treatments, and patient support; and to advocate for equal access to care and treatment for NETS patients around the world.

ncd-logo-new

Zebra stripes symbolize how this rare cancer can go undetected for many years. Medical students are taught when hearing hoofbeats, to think of horses, not zebras. Neuroendocrine tumours are difficult to diagnose. Though they are the fastest growing class of cancers worldwide, their symptoms are usually vague and similar to more common health problems.  Many family doctors have never encountered a NETs patient. When presented with symptoms like stomach pain and diarrhea, they naturally think of things like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease or lactose intolerance. They think of horses, not zebras. As a result, NETs is frequently misdiagnosed.

unnamed

It would appear, however, that through the tireless efforts of NETs patients and advocates, we’re beginning to be heard. This year on November 10, the following landmarks across Canada are lighting up in black and white for NET Cancer Day!

  • City Hall  –  Vancouver, British Columbia
  • High Level Bridge  –  Edmonton, Alberta
  • Calgary Tower  –  Calgary, Alberta
  • City Hall  –  Lethbridge, Alberta
  • CN Tower  –  Toronto, Ontario
  • City Hall Towers  –  Toronto, Ontario
  • Niagara Falls  –  Niagara Falls, Ontario
  • Hamilton Signature Sign  –  Hamilton, Ontario
  • Tower of Olympic Stadium (Parc Olympique)  –  Montreal, Quebec

If you’re near one of these locations on Sunday, I hope you’ll stop, take a photo, and post it on social media with the hashtag #LetsTalkAboutNETs @cnetscanada. Every bit of exposure helps raise awareness and may contribute to someone getting a quicker diagnosis.

 

 

I want to age like sea glass

LogoOne of the things that I love doing whenever I’m at the coast is beachcombing; walking the shoreline listening to the surf and searching for shells, driftwood, and bits of sea glass. Sharing that time with my two coastal grandsons is even better!

IMG_0373

IMG_0382

Spending time with my very elderly father as well as these two boys doesn’t leave much time for writing about fashion, so this week I’m simply going to share this beautiful poem that was found on a fitting room door in a shop on Sanibel Island off the west coast of Florida.

Age like sea glass