Saturday, 31 October 2015

My Body has Changed

Photo by JoyD.
If you read the last post, you know that I wore my beige sheath style dress to a wedding. However I must tell you that it was difficult to zip up.

I haven't gained any weight. 

Let me explain. I wore this dress at the beginning of the summer (June) and it fit perfectly. Truly, I am now exactly the same weight. However . . . when I put it on, it's now the middle of October, it was very tight across the shoulders and chest. Did I tell you I have been working out? I have been enjoying the feeling of how much weight I can pull down and press in my back and chest exercises; and so I believe the exercises have changed my width across my back - I don't think I will continue those wide grip pull-downs. However, I may change my routine to include, more reps and less weight.

Photo by JoyD.

Now the very fact that it was difficult to zip up caused me some problems. I hate, absolutely hate, when someone wears something so tight that it causes those pulled creases across the back. And yes, I had those. So what's a girl to do but find a blazer that will cover all the offending pulls and creases?

I decided to wear my red blazer. I wouldn't wear a black one because it was a wedding. The blazer hid everything I wanted it to hide.  

Unfortunately I had purchased a new scarf at Notti in Ste. Foy La Grande, with not a hint of red in it. 

Pink, orange and browns in my new scarf.
Photo by JoyD.
Now, I couldn't wear the new scarf because of the blazer; I needed to find a scarf in my stash. I didn't mind wearing the red blazer but I began to regret that I purchased this new silk scarf, especially since it definitely did not match. 

There will be another time for it.

I do plan to take my new scarf to Optique Martin so that I can match up a new pair of clips for my Zenka glasses to my new scarf. Funny, Anthony (the owner of Optique Martin) told me about a woman who came into his shop to buy a new pair of clips every time she bought a new "foulard". I have become his second client to do so.

Photo by JoyD.
My red, blue and beige scarf from my closet was the best choice since the red in the scarf was a perfect match to the red of the blazer. In addition, there were three shades of beige that tied the dress to the shoes. I was happy with the combination of beige dress, red blazer and this scarf. It fit the season and was appropriate for the wedding. I wore my beige Jimmy Choo heels and felt quite festive for the occasion.

Photos by JoyD. Collage created using PhotoCollage.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

What to Wear to a Fall Wedding


Friends in France are getting married this week and the day temperatures are scheduled to be perfect. She is Chinese and so I imagine she will probably wear red and he is French and I expect him to be fairly traditional although he is rather avant garde. It is a second marriage for him, a first for her. Everything will be beautiful, bien sur.

The big question for me is what to wear. There is a certain informality since it is an afternoon wedding and the reception will be at the groom's house, a modern renovation of a nineteenth century girls' boarding school. I don't want to wear my LBD - no matter what the circumstances or how I interpret things; black just doesn't feel right for a wedding. Other than that, my dresses tend to be sheath style and that's fine but for the most part summery. I have a beige sheath dress that could be dressed up with a scarf or jewellery. That may be the best alternative.

Beige Sheath Dress, circa 2001.
Photo by JoyD.
This dress is pretty nondescript, simple, sheath, nothing to date it, that's a certainty. In fact, I wore this dress in 2001 at a 25th wedding anniversary I attended while I was in France. Go figure, it's 2015, and I am thinking that maybe I can wear it to this particular fall wedding.

NEED: I know I will need a scarf in more festive colours and preferably in a lightweight silk.

The question is, can I bear to wear this dress, knowing how old it is. Some things may be timeless, but when is it time to just say "no; I need a new dress"? At the same time, knowing my personality type, I'd probably come home with something similar after the shopping trip.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Essential Oils in my Closet

NICE in response to a NO THANKS

Essential Oil Diffuser
in my closet (Photo by JoyD)
It's just part of the housekeeping strategy, here in the south-west of France, to keep the lavender, both in sachets and on diffusers, fresh and regenerated. I keep sachets of lavender hanging in my closet with my clothing and in the armoire that houses my bed and bath linens. Beds that are not used regularly have sachets of lavender tucked into pillows and duvets. I also add a drop or two of lavender to the clay essential oil diffusers that are in my closet and in my armoires.

Lavender Sachet and Oil Diffuser in my Linen Armoire
Photo by JoyD
Lavender is my oil of choice because it deters insects and the aroma is perfect for bed linens but peppermint was added over the summer when several different types of spiders made their way into the house. Now I know spiders are good since they trap and dispose of insects in a very natural way; however my bedroom is my space and I prefer that they keep to the outside or at the very least the periphery. I would do a spider sweep of corners with peppermint essential oil on the duster and that made them keep their distance.

Now that it is fall their numbers have dwindled but I still do my peppermint spider sweep and keep the lavender refreshed.

Another successful use of peppermint against insects was when I found a few of the tiniest ants in a cupboard this summer. It appears there was a tart tin that was not cleaned properly and the wee smudge of grease was enough to attract the little beasts. I was happy I found them few in number and was able to halt any further progress. Essentially I discombobulated them with peppermint oil. I washed the pans and entire area with a few drops added to the soapy wash water and then left a clay diffuser with peppermint oil in the cupboard. I kept on checking and if I saw any who were following their comrades' paths, I stifled them with more peppermint on a paper towel. After attending to the cupboard diligently for three days, I eradicated the little pests and have not seen any since. Mind you I do look into this seldom used cupboard to see if there are any who are exploring. No food, no greasy smudges, everything spotless clean and the aroma of peppermint has kept them from re-attending. 

I love the idea of keeping everything fresh with essential oils.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Crossing the Stupid Line


For the most part, you, who have been following this blog, know that I have a reputation for writing about dress appropriateness at work. As a result, I often get emails about "work" attire; but really, I think we (women in general) are doing alright as far as choosing appropriate attire for our work situations. There will always be 3% of the population who doesn't see the harm in cleavage, sheer garments or short skirts or whatever. However, sometimes those who complain about particular dress or dress malfunctions just "need a life".

And so I believe you may agree with me when I write, "Are you kidding me?" in response to a correspondence I received about nipples.

An email related a "situation" about this "point"  or would that be "points" at a workplace? Apparently, at a workshop for the department, someone's nipples were protruding and another someone decided that this was inappropriate and decided to inform her that there are "bandages" that would help rectify this problem. "Excuse me . . . "

Sometimes it's cold in buildings and yes, the female body responds to cold in a way that a male's body might; except there would be differential in direction. One must acknowledge that a woman could be wearing a proper bra and a cotton shirt and find herself in this predicament. I need to ask, who is it who is so attentive as to notice this as a problem?

At any rate, there are some work attire considerations that we as women have control over and others that we do not. In this case, I have to wonder about the professionalism of the person who was paying more attention to the breasts of the women in the group than on the speaker at the professional development seminar.

So, NO THANKS, to band-aids or plasters or pasties for nipples. Sometimes it's just cold where one has to work and there are physiological repercussions.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Back from Sunny London

NECESSARY          NICE          NO THANKS  

Disregard the "rainy" in my What to Pack for a Rainy Long Weekend in London. It wasn't! 

NO THANKSLondoners were enthused that the weather was more summer-like than fall and I found that I did not need my North Face jacket and could have easily left my Burberry 3/4 length jacket at home. My husband lamented that he took a heavy jacket (heavier than his North Face jacket).

Travel Advice - forget about what you think you know about a region's climate and login to the weather channel of the city or town, particularly if you are only going for three or four days. My personality type would still take the extra jacket, but perhaps not two.

NICE:  What did I pack? Because of the weather, my cashmere shawl was all I needed in the evening. Instead of two pairs of skinny jeans, I took a pair of black linen classic trousers and a pair of purple skinny jeans and was happy for that. As well, besides my black blazer, I took a jean jacket and in all likelihood could have managed well enough without the blazer. I took two colourful scarves and was glad for that also. 

I wore one scarf with the linen pants and jean jacket one afternoon of eating at Barrafina on Firth Street in Soho and shopping. The two scarves I did take were worn when out for dinner, with my LBD. We enjoyed Barrafina so much we ate at the Drury Lane location in Covent Garden a second time. I suppose the only negative was that there are no reservations at Barrafina and time spent cueing is at the least, a tad annoying. Londoners themselves are becoming a bit peeved at standing in line in what seems to be a trend of no reservations restaurants, whether it be breakfast or burgers. Amy Grier wrote an entertaining piece, End of the Line, on cueing in Stylist magazine and reveals how Londoners really feel.

NECESSARY I definitely needed to take another pair of good walking shoes. After wearing the only pair of loafers I took, the first day and walking 14 km, I needed a change into a different pair of flats the next day. Never anticipate that you will not walk that much because when you are visiting and the tram lines are closed or delayed, other than cabs or Uber, there's not much choice but to walk.

Speaking of (writing of) Uber, it seems that London is looking to tighten its rules with Uber. Search "uber" in the Financial Times. My experiences, after taking both cabs and Uber in London, leads me to support the Uber initiative.

It was a great four days in sunny London.