Navy Stripe Powder Room

Navy Stripe Powder Room

Earlier this year I had decided that the main floor of our house needed to be redecorated. We made a plan and committed to three main areas, our kitchen, living/dining room and main entry hallway. Each presented challenges, like the arduous task of removing popcorn ceilings (more on that in a future post), and like many projects, it seemed to drag on and on. 

The Best of This Weekend's L.L. Bean Sale

l.l.bean sale

Have I got big, Big, BIG news for you! This weekend only, everything on L.L.Bean is 25% off! That includes sale items, new items and, wait for it...Bean Boots! OMG, this never happens! Add in free shipping and well, let's just say there will be some shopping this weekend!

Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Tea

typhoo tea

After last night's snowfall and this morning's below freezing temperature, I thought today would be the perfect time to talk about brewing the perfect cup of tea. Yes, there is a true art to making a soul stasfiying cuppa that will leave a smile on your face.

This Life: Episode 1

celebrating this life

It's the start of a new month, a very busy month that leads into an even busier month, which is why I took a much needed few days off from blogging last week so I could prepare myself for everything that is coming up. In doing this I thought of a new column where I could keep you all up date on everything going on in This Life!

Not So Scary Candy Apples

bloggers

My dear friend Kendra, of Kendra Bester Design, and I share a love of being in the kitchen. We try to coordinate a day every few months where we can whip up a few treats (remember our lemon drop party?). It's always fun to come with ideas and then spend the day creating in the kitchen while catching up on what's going on in our lives.

Trend To Try for fall Leopard


Leopard is a perennial fall favourite. From large patterned outerwear to small touches in your accessories. Leopard is everywhere right now so let's see how we can incorporate this classic print into our everyday wardrobes! 

Foliage Forest Floor

old navy

After an unusual start to fall it looks like it's finally here! The nights are cool, there's frost in the mornings and the leaves are all starting to change. Of course there is a slight downside to all of this, we have to put our vintage car into storage very soon. We are making the most of it and last weekend we drove out to Oxford county and did a little leaf peeping. 

Homemade Apple Fritters

apple recipes

Now that the days are growing shorter and cooler, I am finding myself returning to my kitchen to bake up treats to satisfy my family's sweet tooth. One of our favourite treats, that was inspired by the region we live in, is apple fritters.

For Whom The Bell Sleeve Tolls

REitmans

Ah, bell sleeves. You couldn't turn around this summer without seeing them on cute printed shirt or dresses. Some where so big that I'm sure if a swift breeze blew they would inflate and carry their occupant away! Headed into fall I found the perfect size for everyday at my favourite Canadian women's retailer, Reitman's

Skyfall Scottish Highlands

Searching for Skyfall in Glen Etive

After two (yes count 'em, two) trips to Scotland, I have finally made it to the famed filming location for James Bond's Skyfall. This was pretty important to me and my husband as it is one of our most favourite movies! You know the kind, if you see it on tv even if it's halfway through, you still watch it to the end. 

Searching For The Great Pumpkin

Barbour

The countdown to Halloween is on and nowhere was it more felt then at our local pumpkin patches this past weekend. It's probably our last weekend with our vintage 1970 Mercury Montego so we made the most of it by visiting not one, but two pumpkin patches on Saturday! You might be wondering why two different pumpkin patches...it's because I am searching for The Great Pumpkin!

Marching in Merchant City

fall style

Once we knew we were headed to Glasgow the search started for just the right area to stay in. I am so lucky that I have quite a bit of family in the area so I was able to run ideas past them. AMH and I found a flat right in Merchant City that had incredible reviews on Airbnb. Our family said that the area would be perfect for us, and they were right!

Stirling, Scotland

fall style

On our trip to Glasgow we knew the best thing to do was stay right in the city so we could walk to everything but we also wanted to do some adventuring. We picked three days to do that, rented a car and headed out. One of those places was a day trip to Stirling to visit the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle, which I last visited when I was 12 or 13 years old! 

Fall In Kirkcudbright

patagonia

On a grey and rainy day, we decided to head south of Glasgow to the coastal town of Kirkcudbright. This small town (population is less than 4000) is anything but. The town boasts some of the most amazing views of the Isle of Man, a castle, colourful homes, public art everywhere and some amazing shopping. 

Bean On A Scottish Safari

utility jacket

It's been less than 48 hours since I returned from Scotland and while I am so happy to be home with my boys, my dogs and my bed (I missed ya you comfy beauty!) I am already missing this beautiful country. I have a mild case of jet lag which is actually working to my advantage right now. When you work full time and have a never ending list of to-do's, it can be hard to find time to blog. Well, I'm finding the time now since I am up at 4am (9am in Scotland) so let me take you along on my Scottish Safari!

October Reading List

reading lists

After a short hiatus the #CTLReadingList is back! Each month I select five titles that are a mix of old and new. Sometimes there is a theme and other times the selections are totally random. This month, we fall somewhere in between with two books perfect for scares in October, one hotly anticipated tale of WTF happened, and a classic all the way from 1966.

You might be thinking "Hey Rox-Anne, you're cheating us here. There's only four books!" Well aren't you observant. I am actually planning a scary Halloween themed reading list for later in the month! I'll be scouring my local library for just the right creepy tales to get you in the Halloween spirit. Also, I am leaving (on a jet plane...) for Scotland and I only plan on bringing two of these with me on the plane. So that gives me the other two to read at home and when I'm done, it will be time for the spooky books!

The Names of Dead Girls - Eric Rickstad "In a remote northern Vermont town, college student Rachel Rath is being watched. She can feel the stranger’s eyes on her, relentless and possessive. And she’s sure the man watching her is the same man who killed her mother and father years ago: Ned Preacher, a serial rapist and murderer who gamed the system to get a light sentence. Now, he’s free."

I won't even share more from the jacket as I don't want to spoil anything! This is one of two books I will be bringing as reading material on my vacation. I picked it up for 40% off at Walmart after hearing some great reviews from friends at work (you can also pick it up here). I love a good mystery and I am really hoping this one lives up to the hype...and doesn't give me too many nightmares in the process.

Valley of the Dolls - Jacqueline Susann I know this is a pop culture classic book but I actually don't know anything about it! I found it second hand so I am giving it a shot.

"The novel tells the story of three young women who become fast friends in the turbulent post-war worlds of Broadway and Hollywood"

According to Wikipedia, the story is loosely based on Judy Garland (who I adore), Carole Landis, Dean Martin and Ethel Merman. I'm actually pretty excited to see why this book as remained relevant so long (order The 50th Anniversary Edition)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving I had to slip in a little spooky Halloween book and this one, by my all time favourite author, is just what you need to get into the spirit! Irving wrote many short stories (The Wife is my favourite!) but he is most know for creating the characters Icabod Crane and The Headless Horseman. I have a few copies of this book, mostly different collections of Irving's short stories (I believe that The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon is the most well known) if you need a copy, it will be easy to find. I spot them in antique stores, Goodwill, even at yard sales! Chapters Indigo does a great job of making classic books affordably priced to attract young readers. You can pick up a copy for a mere $4.50.

We all know the story, Icabod lives in the small hamlet of Sleepy Hollow and falls in love with Katrina Van Tassel. On a night ride, he encounters the Headless Horseman and is never heard from again. It was a local fable that was recounted to Irving. He embellished and added his signature use of incredibly descriptive words (one of the reasons I love him so much!) and a classic tale was born!

What Happened - Hillary Rodham Clinton What happened indeed. There isn't much I can say about this book as everyone knows the story. Clinton lost what should have been a slam dunk and I am interested to hear her take on that. I try to stay impartial and non-political because this is a blog about fashion and such but let's face it, you all know #imwithher. This is how I have always thought of politicians and parties. I listen to what they have to say and then watch how they conduct themselves and if they live the words they speak or if they just use them as sound bites. My kids asked me why I would read this book, when there is just so much of this information out there in the media. I told them that I have never followed anyone blindly and I believe in Hillary because I have grown up watching her live the things she preaches. I'd like to read her take on this most unbelievable event. And if you don't agree with me don't worry. It's not my country and I can't vote. On sale for $23.33

Leave some of the titles you've been loving lately in the comments below!

5 Netflix Titles to Stream This Weekend

As busy as I am running a blog/business while holding down a full time job and raising teenagers with my husband, I always seem to find time to watch tv and movies! I think it has a lot to do with growing up in the 80's and 90's when film really hit it's stride. Whatever the reason, I am always on the look out for new titles to watch and I am more than happy to share what I am loving! Today, I give you the 5 Netflix titles to stream this weekend. Enjoy!

netflix shows


White Gold


"Set in a showroom in Essex in the mid-80s, charismatic salesman Vincent Swan leads his unscrupulous sales team. Smart, handsome and confident, Vincent will happily break the rules if it guarantees a sale."

With a name like White Gold I thought the show was going to be about 80's nose candy but they are actually salesman peddling new plastic windows. Hence, white gold. The show is fantastic, especially for fans of GG who would watch Chuck Bass read the phonebook. Chuck, I mean Ed Westwick, is fantabulous. There is no other word. The show is smart, retro and hilarious as Ed's character Vincent talks into the screen often. There are only six episodes in season 1 but fear not, season 2 is already in the works. 

shows to stream

This Is Us


"Jack and his wife -- who is very pregnant with triplets -- have just moved into their new home in Pittsburgh. Successful and handsome television actor Kevin is growing increasingly bored with his bachelor lifestyle. Randall -- who was abandoned at a fire station by his father as an infant -- is a stylish New York-based businessman working to raise two daughters with his wife, Beth. These people are among a group, several of whom share a birthday, of seemingly random individuals whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways."

I am only a few episodes in but I am hooked. I've actually stopped watching, just waiting for AMH to catch up as I think this is not just some "girly" show but a great drama/comedy for everyone. Plus, parts of it take place in the 70's and my hubby is obsessed with all things 70's (which explains why we have a vintage 1970 Mercury Montego). The show is worthy of the hype, do yourself a favour and don't google anything before watching. The second season is on tv now and there were some spoilers floating around (thankfully I've dodged them all). Best to get caught up so that we know what everyone is talking about around the water cooler, or coffee line.

F is For Family


f is for family

"Set in the 1970s, this animated raunchy comedy is inspired by the life of stand-up comic Bill Burr, who is a co-creator and executive producer of the series. Burr also voices the character of Frank Murphy, a short-tempered veteran who lives in the suburbs with his wife, Sue (Laura Dern) and their three children. Frank, who works at an airport, has a penchant for shouting and profanity-filled rants. The series celebrates all things 1970s, including the lifestyle, the music, and all sorts of other nostalgic details."
If you love adult style animation (The Simpson's, American Dad, Family Guy) then you will love F is For Family. My husband and I (we've kept this one away from the kids) have watched both Season 1 and 2 so many times, we are actually quoting it to each other (which is a terribly geeky thing that we've done since we were teenagers). The family dynamic is hilarious and set in the 70's, during so much economic downturn, it's a little glimpse into how live was then. I love the mom character, who goes out into the workforce to make something of herself, a little old fashion girl power! The dad is voiced by comedian Bill Burr so you know it's funny and the supporting characters are just as hilarious! The next door neighbour Vic, their teenager son Kevin, even the star of the tv show, within the tv show, Colt Lugar with his catch phrase "Sometimes a man's gotta go, what a man does". So many laugh out loud moments in this sweet family, yet slightly raunchy, comedy. Don't judge me.

The Client List


netflix

"The series follows Riley Parks who begins work in a day spa in a local town after her husband abandons her and their children, leaving her in financial debt. She quickly realizes that the spa gives much more than massages, but works with the parlor's owner in order to keep food on the table. While helping to run the business, she struggles to discreetly balance two lives – a single mother who must provide for her family and a strong businesswoman working in a unique and frowned-upon business."

If you're a big Ghost Whisperer fan (which I am, remember this old post?) it might take you a minute to see Jennifer Love Hewitt as anything other than sweet loveable Melinda. JLH takes the character of Riley and really gets your sympathy right away. I mean, I went into this show being judgemental (I'll totally admit it) but by the end of season 2 even I was thinking, well, if you have to do it you might as well get paid! Lots of drama, friendship, family and romance. It's well acted by all and I'm sorry to say that they only got 2 seasons to tell the story (you can read all about why season 3 was a no-go here).

Friends From College


netflix shows

"Years after becoming friends at Harvard, Ethan, Lisa, Sam, Nick, Max and Marianne are heading into a new era -- their 40s. This series, directed and executive produced by Nicholas Stoller, delves into interwoven and complicated relationships, including former romantic entanglements and comedic explorations of old bonds. As everyone tries to manage their lives as adults, they also experience nostalgia."

If I could sum up this series in a word, it would be "messy". And isn't that what life is? Well, if your life resembles the shambles of these people, reach out and get help! Ha! There are only 8 episodes of the show, making it a quick watch on a rainy day with nothing else to do. I recommend watching while drinking hard liquor, some of the moments in this show just require a stiff drink! It's funny and cringeworthy and makes you appreciate how normal your friends from college really are.


And now for some sad news out of Netflix. Disney is removing all of their titles with the provider to start their own streaming service. It's not happening until the end of 2019 so you still have lots of time to re-watch Tangled and Star Wars!

Oh! And have I mentioned how much I love Stranger Things? Oh, I have? Well, that's because it is a totally tubular 80's throwback highly influenced by some of the greatest movies of our generation! The second season is back on October 27th and yes, everyone at work already knows not to expect much out of me as I'll be watching at 12:01am when it's released.

Do you have any Netflix recommendations for me?

Celebrating Valmont at Langdon Hall

Celebrating Valmont at Langdon Hall

About a year ago I started to notice some fine wines on my forehead. It didn't cause me too much alarm, I had just turned 36 and figured this is all part of the aging process. Fast forward a few months and those lines went from fine to thick and started to worry me. How could I have aged so quickly in such a sort period of time? Whatever the reasons, this lead me on a crusade to protect my skin from further damage, which is why when Valmont Cosmetics and Langdon Hall invited me to come and celebrate their recent collaboration, I jumped at the chance!

L.L.Bean Boots Buying Guide

L.L.Bean Boots Buying Guide


You've heard me preach about reusing and rewearing your clothing and paying attention to cost-per-wear, well here's a pair of boots that I wear in all four seasons (you can imagine that my cost-per-wear is almost in the pennies at this point!), the famous L.L.Bean Boots. While I do enjoy wearing them splashing in puddles in the spring and hiking in the summer with the dogs, L.L.Bean Boots are most commonly associated with fall...which also means this is when the demand for these iconic shoes goes through the roof! 

Quick & Healthy Breakfast Options

quick breakfast options

There is just something about fall that makes life feel a little more hectic than usual in the mornings. The lazy days of summer are over, the kids are back to school and at work, it's the last few months before the end of the year rush. I found myself stuck in a breakfast rut and craving some very quick, easy and healthy breakfast options.

The Best Fall Items at Old Navy


at old navy right now

If it's been a while since you've checked out the fashions at Old Navy, get thyself there this fall! I stopped in last week when I received an email alert that their frost free vests were on sale for $15 (it's a one day only sale, make sure they have your email address!) and I left with a few cute items that I can wear to work and I plan on packing for my trip to Scotland.

Canadian Thanksgiving Tablescape

tablescape

Something I really enjoy, and only discovered in my 30's, is creating tablescapes. When the boys were younger our Thanksgiving table consisted of cardboard cut out leaves and pumpkins that the boys and I spent all day working on (have I mentioned I was a stay at home mom for five years and consider myself to be the Canadian Martha Stewart? :)

Last Fall...

fall style

It looks like we are *finally* going to see some fall weather this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! This weekend AMH and I have some fall activities planned and you know me, I am knee deep into fall outfit planning. 

Vests for Fall

fall vests

I am a few days away from heading out on my Scotland vacation (I can't wait to be where it is actually cold!). While planning everything I need to bring with me I went on a little vest buying adventure, which has inspired today's post! 

The White T-Shirt Co.

white long sleeve

You might be asking yourself "What's so special about a white t-shirt?". Well, let me tell you...

Celebrating This Life Turns 3!

ontario

This month I am celebrating three whole years of blogging! *cue the champagne and confetti*

Early Mornings With The Dogs

bernese

The early risers in the house are not me, my husband or my kids, it's the dogs! The second the sun is up they are ready to start their day and go for a walk. Normally I try to quiet them so I can catch a few more zzzz's but on the weekend, it's the perfect excuse to go for a Starbucks run! 

Fall Sunglasses

fall sunglasses

I've mentioned many times my commitment to re-wearing and re-using my clothing in all four seasons (well, except for shorts because I just can't rock them in the cold Canadian winters), but I do have a little exception to my own rule. I like switching out my sunglasses based on the season. And now I'd like to share with you my deepest, darkest secret...

IT's Covered Bridge

IT covered bridge

Last week the family and I went to see the remake of Stephen King's IT (which I highly recommend) and we were all totally surprised to see our favourite local landmark on screen, the West Montrose Covered Bridge! (I last posted about it in 2015) Now, I know this thing happens all the time for my American readers but in Canada, it's not something that happens often so it's kind of a big deal.

Pearls and Peplum

fall ootd

I am trying to soak up as many of these don't-need-a-coat days as I possibly can. Not only so I can feel comfortable but the colder it gets that means we are closer to putting our vintage car in storage and I am NOT ready to say goodbye. Luckily, we still have a few more weeks before that happens so you can expect to see me and AMH on the road until then. 

One Item, Two Ways: L.L.Bean Soft Cotton Rugby

summer

I'm so excited to tell you that I am starting a new series here on Celebrating This Life and it's one that is very close to my heart. We all know about cost-per-wear and getting the best value out of an item so that's exactly what I am here to show you, how to style this L.L.Bean Soft Cotton Rugby right now, and in a few weeks when fall officially arrives!

Princess Margaret Lotto Home Designed By Brian Gluckstein

pmlotto

Last week I had the immense pleasure of meeting Mr. Brian Gluckstein and was able to tour the home that he designed for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Home Lottery. For those not familiar, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is a world class cancer research facility and teaching hospital in Toronto, Ontario. Each year donors give generously through product, expertise and time which can be won by purchasing a ticket. This is all in the hopes of raising funds to allow the good doctors of PMCC to continue their work. They see more than 1,000 patients a day and more than 400,000 a year. 

The First Nip of Fall

vest

The Labour Day weekend brought us so many first signs of fall. First, the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte returned to Starbucks, the temperatures fell quickly and the Paris Road Antiques held their annual Labour Day sale!

Fall In Love With Camel

camel

Camel or tan brown is one of my favourite transitional colours. It has this warm feel that makes it perfectly at home in the late summer early fall.

Sunflowers On My Shoulders

stripe dress

Nature gives us many signs to show us that summer is slowly turning into fall and in my area one of those signs is sunflowers at our local farm stands.

How To Wear Blush This Fall

Everywhere you looked this spring it was blush this and blush that. Like many of you, I was drawn in by this dreamy hue and bought a few items in the unofficial colour of Spring17. Now that the temperature is dropping by the minute, what to do with all these blush beauties? Store them until next spring, give them away? No way! I say let's wear some blush this fall!

L.L.Bean Pullover Weather Is Here!

L.L.Bean Soft Cotton Rugby

When we first purchased our vintage car, a 1970 Mercury Montego, we knew that we instantly had all of our summer weekends booked with visiting car shows. With visits to Michigan, New York and in our home province of Ontario, we've been lucky enough to visit some beautiful towns and make new friends. While our travels have been measured in the hours it takes to get there, this weekend's show was measured in the minutes it would take. The Waterloo Region Museum held their annual historic car show and I'll admit it was nice to stay so close to home this weekend (we actually got our grocery shopping done after the show!)

L.L.Bean Soft Cotton Rugby

L.L.Bean

Soft cotton rugby

L.L. Bean outfit

L.L.Bean

L.L.Bean late summer

Celebrating This Life

summer to fall

pullover

late summer outfit

pullover sweater

L.L.Bean



Most car shows have an admission fee, anywhere from a few dollars to $20. The admission to this weekend's show was a donation to our local food bank, something that we support generously throughout the year. We were only too happy to oblige especially when they said we would get free admission to the museum and the Doon Heritage Village! It is a living history village that depicts life in Waterloo Region in 1914. I have to say I feel incredibly lucky to live in this area for so many reasons, but one is that we have two covered bridges! I have friends who have had to drive many hours to see some of the last surviving covered bridges in Vermont! Locally, we have the Kissing Bridge (I photographed it last fall) and a smaller version here at the Doon Heritage Village where I not only photographed my new L.L.Bean pullover (more on that later) but I also decided that another requirement of the country house I buy (oh I have so many requirements for my future dream country house) is a creek so I can build my own covered bridge!

The car show started early in the morning and we were up and ready to go, until we stepped outside our house and felt how cool the air was, L.L. Bean pullover weather is here friends! The weather app was reading like the middle of September, not the middle of August and I'm not even complaining because extreme heat and I just do not mix. Give me a crisp cool morning any day of the week! It just meant a quick outfit change into long pants and my new L.L. Bean pullover! I had been eyeing this pullover ever since the L.L.Bean summer catalogue came out and I was thanking my lucky stars it arrived on Friday. Just in time to keep me warm this weekend!

I had heard through the Internet grapevine that this was the softest cotton sweater you'll ever own, so of course I had to see for myself! Well, the Internet was right! It really is the softest cotton and it's just the right weight for layering. I am a big fan of layering because that way I can control my own temperature. This means that when I buy clothing, I am looking for anything that does not have a lot of bulk to it. The pullover is thin enough to add a long sleeve underneath and a jacket on top and you can still bend your arms! And just because it's thin doesn't mean it doesn't provide warmth, it is exactly the sweater you want this time of year. In the cool morning, it was 10 degrees Celsius or 50 Fahrenheit, I wore a long sleeve underneath and the pullover and I was perfectly comfortable. Later in the afternoon I did some gardening (I cleared out my pots and urns as all my summer flowers were spent) and I wore a pair of shorts and just the pullover with the sleeves rolled up. Again, perfectly comfortable and because the cotton is so soft, there was no need for a layer underneath!

As for the fit, I am wearing a Large and I did so because I plan on wearing a few layers underneath as the days grow colder. If I was looking to have a snug fit, I would have gone with a Medium, it's all about personal preference. I would say the L.L.Bean Soft Cotton Rugby fits true to size (TTS) size up if you like a little room to play with (like me!)

L.L.Bean has some amazing sales going on. Right now, save an extra 20% on clearance items and starting on Thursday, The L.L.Bean Labor Day Event 25% Off When You Spend $50 Stock up on everything you need for fall – outdoor gear, cozy clothing and more. Includes sale items. Promo Code: LABORDAY. Ends 9/5. Plus, enjoy free shipping.

There are so many great items I am looking to add to my L.L.Bean cart, like this flannel lined barn coat, this Hearthside robe for cool fall mornings, and this cute-as-can-be duck print fair isle sweater from the L.L.Bean Signature collection.