Blustery day

I stepped out of my warm car, took off my warm coat, and posed for these pictures like a madwoman.  It's below freezing and super windy in my part of the world.  People were staring. 

This morning seemed like a grey sort of day to me, when I woke up.  The weather was grey and I made my outfit to match.  At the last minute, I added this aqua cardigan for a little life.  I'm glad I did.  Every cloud has an aqua lining, or something like that. 

Shirt: gift // Cardigan: Zeller's // Skirt: Metro // Infinity scarf: Topshop //

Oh skirts.  I can't help myself around them. I loved this one for its pretty houndstooth pattern, its pleats, and its old-school shape. I decided that it could be mixed with stripes and lace.

Tights: CK // Shoes: Nine West //

See how windy it is? I was having a bit of a Marilyn moment in this shot.

I hope that you had a lovely, if blustery, day. 
♥ Meg xoxo



by Alan Glynn

Firstly, please excuse the movie cover.  I hate movie covers on books.  BUT I only picked up this book after I saw the movie.  Usually, I'm the one who has read the book first, and then watched the movie.  I was disappointed by the movie, and figured (/hoped) that the source material must be better. 

"I had a sense that I - or, rather my life - was expanding exponentially and that before long the various spaces I occupied, physical and otherwise, were not going to be sufficient to contain me..."

Eddie Spinolo is an almost middle-aged copywriter who lives in a rundown apartment in New York City.  He has an ex-wife from a short-lived cocaine marriage from a decade ago.  He smokes a lot and eats unhealthy foods. Generally, he lives a mediocre life. 

One day he bumps into his ex-brother-in-law (and ex dealer), Vernon Grant.  Eddie is introduced to a new drug, a "smart drug", called MDT-48.  Through a series of rather quick and unfortunate events, Eddie comes into possession of Vernon's entire supply and his list of clients.  Eddie takes one hit, and his life is changed forever.  He produces his best quality of writing ever in his first two days on the drug.  He can read and understand complicated materials in minute amounts of time and can learn other languages in days.  He finds himself taking more and more MDT-48 to stay sharp, intelligent and witty.  

Taking out a loan from a Russian mobster, Eddie delves into the world of the stock market.  He seems to be able to accomplish anything, with the help of his secret pill.  His quick success skyrockets him into a billion dollar corporation, advising the head of the company.  

Suddenly, Eddie begins to feel these lags in time. He'll be walking down the street and suddenly find himself two blocks over.  He "comes to" in the middle of conversations, in which he is entertaining a group of people.  He experiences more and more lapses in time, in addition to crushing headaches.  Eddie is having troubles with his Russian backer, who now wants MDT-48 for himself, and with his performance in the company.  

Eddie's stash is dwindling, so he turns to the names in Vernon's book.  He finds that each one of them is now dead or sick.  Eddie's fate seems to be sealed.  He ignorantly believes, though, that he can go one being brilliant forever.  

When Eddie's MDT-48-fueled success story comes crashing to a close, I felt satisfied.  Eddie burned too fast and too brightly, for a short while.  Were his short months of success, fame, power, and intelligence worth it?  Or should he have remained mediocre forever?  I liked the ending of the book a lot.  It was real, unlike the Hollywood ending presented in the movie.  The author allowed me, as the reader, to come to the conclusion that lying to your brain was bad.  Eddie was a misguided dreamer for thinking that it could go on forever. 

Limitless is a very fast-paced read that I recommend whole-heartily.  Read it. Don't watch it.  Unless you're just interested in a movie with a bad ending and a good-looking Bradley Cooper.

♥ Meg xoxo


Winter brights

I dread the changing of fashion seasons between summer and fall.  All of these muted, brownish-coloured outfits surface and the brights of summer fade away. These autumnal colours used to carry into winter. I've found that there has been this sweet switch from dark winter clothes to jewel toned winter brights.  
Or maybe I'm just wearing summer clothes in winter.  Oh well. 

Shirt: Garage // Skirt: H&M //

You can't see it in the picture, but this shirt has see-through shoulders.  The whole shirt is jersey and then the shoulders are chiffon.  I like the mixed media nature of it. Also, I should have tucked it in better.  I promise it looked less bulky around the middle at work.  haha.

Tights: Joe Fresh // Boots: Charlotte Russe //

Here are those lovely jewel tones I was going on about.  This skirt was a love at first sight Boxing Day find.  It looks like someone was playing around with their paintbrushes on material and then added pockets.

I think that there are a lot of possibilities for this skirt.  I mean, there are so many colours on it that it could be paired with almost anything.  I'm not sure about pattern mixing with this guy, but I may change my mind about that one. :)

♥ Meg xoxo


A.A. aime H.H.

by Patti Farmer

"Il va être enchanté" {"He will be enchanted."}

This is my favourite French picture book.  It's actually translated from English* to French, but I like the French version better. I read it to my class on V Day.

The story is about a girl named Amélie Archambault who has a crush on a boy named Henri Héroux.  She wants to tell him that she likes him, but is persuaded by her friends to show him in different ways.  The girls say not to tell him or else bad things will happen, for example he would remain cross-eyed for the rest of his life. 

Through a series of missteps Henri looses a tooth, has an allergic reaction, and gets sent to the principal's office. Amélie is sent down as well.  On the way they finally get to talk... What happens, you ask?  You'll have to read it and see if H.H. loves A.A., back. ☻

This book is a great book for a read-aloud.  It uses the same repetitious style that Robert Munsch has made famous. Students are able to catch along, and say repeated phrases with you.  Also, after each piece of advice from Amélie's friends, it is easy to make predictions out loud, using the text and colourful pictures.  The story is really cute, and funny.  Kids and adults always fall in love with Amélie, Henri, and their elementary romance. 

♥ Meg xoxo

*In English the book is called "Amanda Adams loves Herbie Hickle". Ew. Their French names are so much cuter. 


Happy Belated (Anti-) Valentine's Day

Usually M and I wear black on Valentine's Day, as a statement against the commercialized day of love. I mean, there's so much societal pressure to demonstrate your love on V Day.  I like showing it on all of the other days.

That being said, it was red, pink and white day at school.  So, I saved my black outfit for after school.  My Grade 4s aren't really ready to understand why I'd be wearing black on a Spirit Day. :)

Cardigan, Dress and Tights: Forever XXI  //

Yay festive holiday spirit :)  Turns out that most of this outfit is from Forever XXI.  It just sort of happened that way.  They have so many fun pieces and bright colours and patterns.  I bought all of these items at different times, at different stores, and just put them all together for Heart Day.

This pretty blue wall is the back of a vacuum store.  I first took pictures here on my 50s housewife inspired outfit post, but forgot to mention the location. I just like the colour of the walls; they magically change shades in different lights.

Necklace: Forever XXI // Belt: Walmart //

Heart-shaped accessories were all the rage today.  I like hearts all of the time.  Today it seemed that everyone else liked them too.

Ring: Accessorize NYC //

Double-finger ring :D I love this ring.  It is super hard for me to find a double finger ring that fits, since I have huge knuckles.  haha. I really want one that says "hate," so I can wear one on each hand.

Heels: vintage and crafted //

I know I just wore these, but they are black and red glittery and perfect for [A]V Day.

I hope you kicked up your heels and celebrated AV Day in style. Enjoy the long weekend, if you have one! 

♥ Meg xoxo


hush, hush (aka Twilight?)

by Becca Fitzpatrick

"Even though it would probably come back to haunt me, I was curious enough about Patch to go almost anywhere with him."

Nora Grey is a normal high school student in Coldwater, Maine.  She writes for her school's ezine and is biology partners with her best friend Vee.  One day, Nora's world gets altered forever when the dark, brooding, mysterious transfer student named Patch becomes her new biology partner.  She is thrown into a world where she hears and sees things that aren't really there.  She knows that Patch seems dangerous, but is drawn to him nonetheless.  She acts irrationally; she lies to her mother and puts herself into dangerous situations. She comes to realize that Patch is not human... and she is completely okay with it.  

Alright.  I picked this TEEN book up for a quick read.  Teen fiction is like a little junk food for me.  But the girl-falls-for-supernatural-guy thing has gone on too long for me.  This book, and many others like it, is Twilight. Spoiler-alert: don't read on if [somehow] you don't know the story of Bella and Edward. 

Hush, hush
- Patch transfers to new school, falls in love with Nora                      
- Bella transfers to new school, Edward falls in love (/blood lust) with her       
-  Patch is partnered with Nora for Bio
- Edward is partnered with Bella for Bio
- Nora finds Patch mysterious / sexy 
- Bella finds Edward mysterious / sexy
-Nora goes to Portland for research and gets saved by Patch
- Bella goes to Port Angeles for research and gets saved by Edward
- People from Patch’s past try to kill Nora
- People from Edward’s past try to kill Bella
- Patch is a couple hundred years old, falls in love with a teenager
- Edward is 104 years old, falls in love with a teenager
- Patch turns out to be a fallen angel
- Edward turns out to be a vampire

I read and enjoyed the entire Twilight series when it came out.  I recognize that it is teen fiction, and should be judged as exactly that.  Twilight haters always go on about Meyer's poor writing style and Bella as a weak heroine.  I know and understand those arguments, but still liked the series. What I don't understand is how this genre is still going.  I mean, the ending of this novel was super predictable. And the author used the word "angel" tons of times - hitting the reader over the head with obviousness.

I only recommend this book to you if you like a "junk food" sort of plot wherein you don't really have to think at all, a teenage romance, and a mysterious bad guy with a secret. 

OR if you're a girl in Grade 8. :P

♥ Meg xoxo



Everyone who knows me is aware of my love for dresses and skirts.  Well, some people who don't really know me may know about my love for all things dress/skirt related too.  BUT, it is still a tiny bit annoying to have tens or twenties of people point out the fact that I am wearing pants to me.  I know. I put them on this morning. :P  hahaha

Pants (with suspenders): Mexx // Shirt: Garage // 

See the jungle gym behind me in this photo?  I wanted to be suspended in it for this picture.  Get it? Suspenders + suspended?  Brilliant, oui?  Not so much.  It didn't quite work with the heels, the 12 second timer on my camera, and the minus 10 degree weather.  So here I am... in front of the cool play structure.  Maybe I'll come back here in the summer, with a photographer.  (M, you reading this? :P)

Shoes: thrifted and crafted //

People always love these shoes.  I am always proud to let them know that I crafted them myself... enhancing them with Mod Podge and glitter.

Sigh* I do love a good craft. 
♥ Meg xoxo


All Roads Lead to Austen

by Amy Elizabeth Smith

I read this books weeeeeks ago.  Then, I lost it in the backseat of my car.  So, as it turns out... all roads really do lead to Austen. :)  (Don't worry, I paid the overdue fine at the library.)

"When I'd asked them whether Pride and Prejudice could have taken place in Guatemala, just as it was, with appropriate name changes, the ladies' unanimous answer was yes."

This book is the true story of one English professor from California who set off to Latin America, Spanish versions of Jane Austen's novels in hand.  Amy Elizabeth Smith is a Jane Austen professor, who gives her students unusual term projects to apply their knowledge of Jane to their lives. One year, she decides to take the challenge herself.  She wants to know if the themes and messages in Jane's books carry weight centuries later in a different part of the world.  

Armed with the her high school Spanish from decades past and a five-week long beginner Spanish course, she sets off on a year-long journey through Latin America. She visits cities in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. Along the way, she hosts reading groups in different schools, teaches a study abroad program, and meets up with friends of friends.  She meets all sorts of different women and men who react passionately to Austen.  Amy struggles, at times, to express her strong opinions about Jane in her second language.  She worries that she may not be doing Jane justice in the the beginning of her trip; she is unable to explain the nuances of Jane's writing, her style and characters. Throughout her journey, she comes to understand that Jane's characters are timeless - they can be understood and identified with even now, in countries worlds away from England. She meets with women who could connect to themes in Jane's writing, and could feel passionate about their love (or hatred) for Jane's characters.  

I liked this book a lot.  Amy was very open in her recollection of her visits through Latin America.  She didn't hold back about discouraging moments with speaking Spanish, her ability to do Jane justice, and her choice between her versions of Bingley and Darcy.  I thought that it was magical that Jane could translate so well across time and cultures. I mean, I love Austen's works, her characters, her wit and her style.  But I didn't know that so many other people shared my love.  I mean, I know of the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America), but was totally unaware of JASBA (Jane Austen Society of Buenos Aires).  The world really is a lot smaller than it used to be and love of Jane Austen is just one minute (and really cool) way that people are connected.  

♥ Meg xoxo


Library lace

I adore libraries.  I mean, it's a bit of an obvious sort of love.  I love books and reading.  At the library, you can borrow books, read them, return them, and then get new ones --- for free.  :)  And, there are these cool people at the library who can help you find books. ♥ 

I wish that there was a library for dresses.  

Cardigan: Loft outlet // Shirt: Winner's // Skirt: Forever XXI //

I got this skirt with a Christmas gift card.  It's adds a perfect amount of femininity to an outfit.  I paired it with some staples of mine - stripes and polka dots, and then added a lacy-style cardigan for good measure.  This outfit put me in a cheery sort of mood all day long.

Tights: Joe Fresh // Heels: Nine West //

When I wore this yesterday, a lot of people commented that I was wearing my Valentine's outfit ten days early.  Not so much.  I'm in love everyday and, therefore, can wear hearts and lace any day I please. So there.  haha.

Necklace: Forever XXI //

This beauty was also part of my giftcard purchase.  It combines my favourite flower, rhinestones, and a giant statement necklace all in one.  What's not to love?

♥ Meg xoxo


French Milk

So, I read another book about Paris.  I can't help it; the city is so endearing.  And this book was a lovely perspective on the city of lights. 

"I've always loved good graffiti, - it's nice to see legalized street art walls of Paris, where people can really make beautiful work. In Chicago, it's not even legal to BUY spray paint."

French Milk is the story about Lucy, a twenty-three year old art student, and her mother, and their six week long trip to Paris.  It is a delightful diary in drawings, photographs and prose, which details the thoughts and experiences of an American twenty-something in Paris.  

Lucy and her mother take their trip to Paris over Christmas, New Year's, and Lucy's birthday.  Lucy's diary is somewhat typical at times, for a travel journal.  She draws museums they visit, and food that they eat. She writes about Parisians, their style and culture.  She writes and draws about things that they purchase, and the haircuts that they get.  

At the same time, Lucy lets her readers in on her thoughts and emotions.  She writes about disagreements with her mother.  She tells the reader about how cold her feet were in her inappropriate footwear, one day.  She writes about missing her friends and boyfriend, and then about how she is guilty for being miserable in Paris.  

I liked the honesty imbued in Knisley's account of her trip.  She writes openly about her relationship with her mother. She is truthful about how many croissants and orders of foie gras she eats during her trip.  Kinsley's depiction of Paris wasn't all shiny lights and romance; she told the real story of her trip with her mother without rose-coloured glasses on, and I adored her for it. 

♥ Meg xoxo