Monday, May 4, 2015

May is a lovely month to....



Have a baby.....

Welcome Charlotte Elizabeth Diana!

I do love a baby!



I see that Jamie Oliver had made a special cake for the Princess of Cambridge

The Royal Charlotte Lemon Drizzle Cake!

How scrumptious does that look?

You can find the recipe here.

Since I just got my order of edible violets and roses and flowers from Amazon.com, you KNOW this cake is going to be made here and likely this week!

Welcome Charlotte - we wish you a long and healthy life!


Clean the Garden...

The weather has finally turned and I have been raking and cleaning beds.  I am nowhere near done and I'm not going to lie - cleaning an acre + of lawn and gardens was not so bad at 42, but at 52, oy vey!

The first flower of the season - a Christmas Rose (Hellebore)
All of my gardening friends in Southern England - can't you weep for me?

This was outer banks of the garden on Sunday.  Yes - that is still snow.  It is nearly
gone today, thanks to 25+ C temperatures

We had so much snow and the winter was so hard that we had a lot of damage to our property. 

Our swimming pool must be replaced - the walls caved due to the weight of the snow.

Our grape arbour also died and we cut the grapes back drastically so Barry could build a new one.





Still, the joy of being outdoors in short sleeves can never be overstated.  It is magical.  My hummingbird feeders are back up and awaiting customers and the golden hawks arrived this past week.


Discover new (old) shows....

I finally discovered Call the Midwife!  I am crazy about this show!  It is always such a treat to find something new that you just adore and this is a goody!  I see a lot of binge-watching on Netflix in the coming weeks!

The plucky heroine reminds me of Dani in face and style:

Perhaps not as pretty as our Dani!


If you are like me and have been dithering whether to watch or not, cease the dither and do it!


Let other people cook for you.....

I have been invited out to dinner for the last three Saturdays and I highly recommend it!  All three meals were fantastic and what a treat to have a Saturday where you are cleaning or - ahem - reading and just not thinking about cooking at all!

At the last one, Barry was so well fed and comfortable he actually napped in the middle of it.  In this case, it was a sign of a very comfortable dinner!




Read something new....

Mostly these days I am reading middle grade and young adult, as per my writing genre (one must know one's market, particularly what is selling and what is winning awards!) but I like to intersperse with some classics and new books.

I am currently reading The Professor's House by Willa Cather.  I do not think I have read Cather before, so it was high time and I am really enjoying the book!  Any Cather lovers out there?






Make a plan for the summer....

Summer goes so fast, especially in a climate like mine, where it won't get warm and stay warm for at least another two or three weeks.  This year I have decided to make a list of things I would like to do/go/see/eat and actually do them. 

First thing on my list?  Make sure I go see one of the movies they show outdoors here in the summer time.  Called Movies Under the Stars, it is popular, and yet I have never been.  I will make it to one for sure!



Other things?  I wine tour of the Motts Landing winery, a trip to my favourite garden, Kingsbrae, a weekly drink downtown with Barry and any of our friends we can line up.  We don't do that enough, so I think it's time we did it!

Do you have any fun plans for the summer?


Blog more...

I have been so busy writing and rewriting that I haven't been here are much.  I promise 3 posts a week, and I think I will start with my latest adventure in style, which I am calling How Jennifer got Wendy's Groove back.  Stay tuned....


Other than that... T-14 days till Wendy and David McCullough finally meet and T-15 days till Wendy and Lane meet.  But who's counting...

Have a wonderful day!

xoxo wendy

Oh and I am posting more outfits these days over in Instagram @wendymacknight.  See you there!








Friday, April 24, 2015

Miller Time Friday: Flying High


Happy Friday!!!

It is a cold rainy day here but never mind, I'll be locked in my office writing all day anyway.

First I thought I would write to you!
I am about to cross another thing off my bucket list.

Some women dream of meeting movie stars, others dream of meeting rock stars, but I dream of meeting

him:

That is the face of a content man!

David McCullough!

As you know, I am crazy about McCullough and his work.  And happily for me, he has a new book coming out May 5th about the Wright Brothers.


The Wright Brothers
You can read more about the book here

Best of all, Mr. McCullough is going to be in Boston towards the end of May and I will be there!  (well Barry too, but he doesn't seem quite as giddy as me).  I was hovering over my keyboard the morning the tickets went on sale, and was giddy when I got mine (What?  You think I was crazy to think there might have been a run on this engagement? tosh!).  When I got to the part in the online form where I had to say where I'd heard about the talk I dutifully wrote in "I follow David McCullough" at which point my daughter stopped me and made me add "on facebook" lest Mr. McCullough get some kind of restraining order for me. 

I hope to meet the man in person and have Barry get a picture of him signing my book and if I do, you know I will post it here. 

Adding to the jolliment of two nights in Boston, we plan to stop in and see our lovely Lane en route home.  She has seen Mr. McCullough live and assures me he lives up to my hype.

By the way, I do realize this makes me a history geek.  But I care not.  My only warning to the Bostonians in attendance will be this: best not block my view of the great man....

In honour of Mr. McCullough's new book, let's make a cocktail, shall we?

Paper Airplane

Have a happy Friday!

xoxo wendy

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shoesday


There is something profoundly delightful about not wearing socks for the first time in Spring.  There is a giddiness about it that is only matched by the giddiness one feels when one is rewarded by a free dessert at a restaurant or discovers that Ben Affleck is in Cape Breton, a mere six hours away, and probably staying with GetFresh's dad. 

EVERYONE has Spring Fever these days.  Even Ben it seems, who is visiting a monastery.  Namaste Ben!

Today was that day.

I sashayed forward in skinny navy trousers, a t-shirt and a jacket and a pair of trusty J Crew Kiki ballet flats - AND NO SOCKS!

Never mind that the backyard is still snow filled.  It was 15 Celsius and the sun was calling to me with the siren call of one who knows that her victim wants nothing more than no socks...

Yippee!!!


I was so giddy that I also purchased a lovely new pair of sandals, having tossed a bunch that had seen a better day... 

They have left me for that great shoe store in the sky, and I salute them...


The sandals?  Sam Edelman's GAREN sandals, jewelry for one's feet!
Excuse the chipping on the left big toe...



There is nothing I love so much as a blingy flat sandal.  It is perfection - it can be worn with jeans, dresses, shorts.  You can walk for miles in it (thanks Sam E for the padded sole) and be as happy as a clam.

I cannot recommend this shoe enough!

In other news - the 30th wedding anniversary that we are hurtling towards in September now has a destination.  Paris and Bruges.

More details to come, but flights are booked, accommodation secured, walking and drinking regimen underway.  Please let it be warm enough for sandals....

How about you - bought any shoes lately?

Have a fabulous evening!
xoxo wendy



 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Miller Time Friday - In the Navy


Another week has flown by, and it has been a busy one!  Revisions, staring out the window to help the snow melt, counting the hours till the season 3 premier of Orphan Black.

And dressing up a little.

After a winter of hibernation, the beast has been released and I am trying to dress up a little more these days.  Kind of that, "don't save it for an occasion" thing.

I thought I would share a recent purchase, the J Crew drapey oxford dress, which I snagged for a ridiculous price, something like $45CDN.  The material is described as crepe, but it actually feels like a viscose/linen blend and breathes very well.

I'm kind of blurry here.... Maybe I'm airbrushing myself these days....

I love this dress.  It is a true navy with black piping.  It is bringing out my inner Parisienne.  I am wearing it very simply today with my old Donald K. Pliner stretchy boots and a JCrew navy featherweight cashmere cardigan I bought a couple of years ago. 



A close-up of the material.  I can't wait till I can wear bare legs again!

I love this dress so much, and it was so cheap (and yet does not feel cheap on!) that I've ordered it in ivory as well. 

J.Crew Pre-order Drapey oxford crepe sleeveless dress
 
 
 
What's up for your weekend?  We are working around the house and I will be writing, writing, writing.
 
Since it's Friday and I haven't done this in a while, how about a Navy Blue Blazer Cocktail?
 
MAKES 2 COCKTAILS
INGREDIENTS
2 oz. navy-strength rum, preferably Smith & Cross (available at Drink Up NY)
2 oz. blackstrap rum, preferably Cruzan (available at Drink Up NY)
1½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. orgeat syrup
¾ oz. cinnamon syrup (see recipe)
1 oz. 151-proof rum, preferably El Dorado

INSTRUCTIONS

Fill 2 tempered-glass mugs with boiling water; set aside for 2 minutes. Discard water; add navy-strength and blackstrap rums, juices, syrups, and 4 oz. hot water and stir. Add 151-proof rum; ignite
 
 
When I got to the ignite part, I became afraid.  Perhaps I will stick to pinot noir....
 
Have a happy Friday!
 
xoxo wendy
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Some portents of Spring...



Well we are in Spring here, regardless of the four feet of snow that cover the ground.

Signs of Spring:

1) Barry and I are walking outdoors again. 

There is nothing like a good hour-long walk to re-invigorate the world.  We are back walking regularly now that the ice has finally left the streets (i.e. last week) and this is a wonderful thing).

2) I am attracted to all things floral:

I picked up this scarf at Chapters yesterday:



Lovely, light and long, this is like wearing a flower garden around your neck.

Interested in another colour way?  Chapters has you covered:

Garden Floral Scarf

or

Signature Floral Scarf — Multi


Or perhaps a pillow would do?

Daydream Floral Pillow
 
 

I also picked up the sweetest coin purse that can attach to your purse or key ring:




3) New Sneakers

I needed new white sneakers and I found them by Vans:


So fresh, for now...

4) Muscari or Grape Hyacinths

Mine won't be blooming till mid to late May, but for now, I am cheered by a little pot on the table:



5) Longer days

I don't know about you, but in the winter I am practically hibernated.  Now I have all of the energy and enthusiasm that a gal could be want...  Even the label on my salt is making me feel cheery...



6) Return of the Winter Folks...

Just as mine is finally ending, theirs is just beginning, and I can't wait...Getting ready to geek out tonight!



So those are my signs of spring.  How about yours????

xoxo wendy

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spots, Stripes, Style


When last we spoke I was eating buttercream frosting.  It was good.  Too good.  But never mind...

I have been meaning to share how much I love the J Crew Indigo Stripe t-shirt - it really is divine - so soft and just the loveliest shade of blue...



From the website:



Since it is on sale today for 25% off in  few sizes, thought I would spread the love!  I'm wearing it above with my Joe Fresh wide-legged trousers and my old J Crew navy featherweight cashmere cardigan.

As promised, I finally remember to take a picture of myself in the leopard print coat I bought at the end of February before I headed to NYC:

I like the coat because it is a very muted leopard print, and being darker, looks better with my colouring.  I think.  There is lots of camel, brown, black and grey, and it kept me plenty warm during my trip and looked good with a dress and with the grey and black Ponte pants I wore.  Since I wore my burgundy Aquatalia boots, I chosen a raspberry coloured scarf to wear with it.



For you Jennifer!



The coat was from a store called Le Chateau and was actually made in Canada,
as are a lot of their clothing, apparently


I have been thinking a lot about style, thanks to the Spring weather and Jennifer's lovely new blog series Women with Confident Style.   Now that the doldrums of winter have passed, I have turning my attention to my wardrobe and thinking about what did/didn't work last spring and summer and the kind of clothes I want to wear now.

I have a serious crush on navy these days, blue of any kind really, as evidenced by this season's shoe purchases and my new theory dress.

But I do feel that I am still transitioning from my workdrobe, and still kind of missing the dressing up. 

I think I went completely casual for awhile, likely in response to the suits and pencil skirts, but I am missing dressing up, so have been taking pains lately to start putting on the dog again. 

I want to be comfortable, since I spend so much time sitting at a desk writing, but I want to feel like me again, and I think the pieces I have purchased this Spring, which I would describe as being in the dressy-casual vein, are slowly but surely getting me there. 

What I also realized was that I tended to not wear some of my nicer things because I was "just home".  But then they sat there, unloved, and what good is that?  So I am trying hard to try to wear them and trying hard to try to add the extras again - the necklaces, earrings, bracelets - that I always loved.

While I wait to find my style guru in Jennifer's series, I am starting to see how this new homedrobe is going to work and what I do and don't feel comfortable in, which, as Jennifer would say, is a good thing, since being comfortable in your clothing, physically and spiritually, gives you confidence. 

I also want to give a shout out to the Chic at Any Age blog, which today has the most fabulous post on what women 50+ want from their retailers.  This has been something I have been thinking a lot about lately when shopping.  I walked into a local shop here lately, one that is targeting itself to the older woman demographic, and was horrified to see that everything was billowy and boxy.  I have tried both and they look wretched on me.  I do not want to dress dully, but I also do not want to dress in a way that is inconsistent with who I am.  And frankly, I'm not loving a lot right now.  So bravo to both of these wonderful blogs for raising issues that are definitely on my radar these days!

So - how is your spring shopping coming along?  Do tell?  I am still on the lookout for another dress and maybe a skirt.

xoxo wendy


 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter, and the living is snowy....

Oh whatever - have decided to start offering igloo overnighters to make a quick buck...

We did Easter this morning since that was the only time we could get DD, DS and DS'GF all in one place.

We take what we can get!



There was a veritable feast.

Homemade hot cross buns (less cross-y but am sure I am still in good with the Big Man or Woman):


This was a Nigella Lawson recipe so I got all swanky whilst doing it
You will note no raisins.  Raisins are an abomination to mine eyes!
 

Quiche Lorraine:



We made two kinds of muffins, bacon, a massive fruit bowl and drank Mimosas.

The piece de resistance was the white cake with buttercream (or as I liked to call it Easter Chick) frosting and edible flowers:



I'm calling it - this is Pinterest worthy!


Barry getting ready to dig in...

 
Bunnies galore:





And pink flowers...



And the odd chick running around



I dressed for Dani in my new Theory dress and the navy satin jacket I scored from J Crew on sale from $310 CDN to $50 CDN on one of those crazy sales.  I love its swingy-ness and plan to wear it a lot - especially with skinny jeans!





The hardware is rose gold.  I like it and am wearing it with my Fossil rose gold watch Barry bought me for Christmas.




The shoes are Stuart Weitzman slingos.  I almost wore my new wedges, but it was snowing...

A lovely cobalt colour.  Here the jacket and shoes are paired with the printed skirt I bought at
& Other Stories in NYC

I am quite sure I don't need to eat now till Mother's Day....

Wake me up when Spring actually comes, will you???

Happy Easter!  Blowing kisses your way!

xoxo wendy