Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday musings

Well Happy Saturday!  And that means - more odd ramblings about disparate items I am thinking of!

1) Javier Bardem

We watched Skyfall again last night.  I find Javier Bardem's villain just so perfect and feel badly that he didn't make it to the shortlist for the Oscars!  

How did they make this gorgeousness


Into this? 


Oh I know - makeup.  But he completely disappears into the role and pretty much steals every scene is in, which is a great tribute when you are acting with Judi Dench and Daniel Craig!

2. Sandwich Suppers

When we were talking about books last week, I happened to mention Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series, which is an amazing group of books that start out as children's books and then change as the main characters age, until the books are really young adult/adult fiction, ending in the first years of Betsy's married life.  In my opinion, the series is the equal of the Anne of Green Gables books or the Little House books and I cannot recommend them enough, but it is critical that you start at the beginning to get the whole story.  I started them with my daughter when she was around 9 or 10 and then she continued with the latter books when she was ready.  They have also been re-released by Harper Collins with the original illustrations, which are very lovely.



 So anyhow, every Sunday night, Betsy's father,  commandeers the kitchen and makes trays of sandwiches for the family and any friends they would like to invite along.  This is quite a tradition in the book and I thought of it last night when we made our Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches.

We make these sandwiches every 5 or 6 weeks - they are a great favourite of all - everything is prepared in advance and each person makes their own sandwich to their own liking.  It is also very nice in the summer when you don't feel like cooking..

My recipe:

1.  fry up 8 slices of bacon and let cool
2.  Buy a store cooked BBQ chicken and cut all the meat off into bite-sized pieces (oh you could make your own chicken but this is supposed to be easy!)
3.  Slice tomatoes - I usually assume that there will be 3 slices per sandwich
4. wash and then tear up a small bowl of romaine lettuce
5. Shave large slices of parmesan cheese
6. prepare your caesar salad dressing of choice - we like a creamy one - but I will leave it to you to determine your recipe of choice!  Place it in a nice little pitcher
7. have "stations" with all of the fixings above at strategic places around your kitchen island or counter
8. Cut a baguette cross-wise into 4 pieces.  cut each of the 4 pieces in half length wise - butter lightly and then toast quickly in oven. 
9. Once you have your toasted baguette - make the sandwich!  I usually go in this order: chicken, dressing, bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce
10. Wash down with drink of choice!

I always feel very much like Mr. Ray when we have these and everyone loves them!  But beware - these are messily fun to eat!

D0 you ever eat sandwiches for supper?

3) An Update on Spring Shopping Shenanigans

As you know, I had whittled my core shopping list for spring to three central items:

1) a new, mid-sized purse
2) a new dress
3) new shoes

At the advice of people in the know of these things -  GetFreshPress and Lois Joy Johnson (Wardrobe Wakeup Author) - I have decided to give Banana Republic leather purses a try this Spring.  My budget this year, while more than reasonable, is much less than last year's due to renos and people in university.  So investment bag is just not in the picture for me this year!  But I still want a nice one!  GF mentioned the BR Melina bag and I went to take a look online and fell in love with the bag below, priced at $240 CDN:

Melina hobo

I love that it is neutral and I love the details.  But here is the best thing.  It went on sale 40% off on Valentine's Day, so with taxes and free shipping it came in at only $164 CDN!  And the even better thing is that it will arrive well in advance of my trip to NYC and can be returned for free, so if it turns out to not be so lovely in real life, I will simply return it and look in NYC.  If I do like it, I will have gotten a lovely leather purse that is helping center my spring colour story...I will certainly do a review when it arrives this week and let you know what I think!

And finally, in response to your glowing comments of a WMM living in the neutral zone, and having been working in my closet, I have decided to gradually add more neutrals to my wardrobe.  What I really wanted was a soft cashmere cardigan in a camel or flax colour to go with my various navys and ivories this spring and summer.  So lucky me - the JCrew cashmere cardigan in heather flax popped back on the sale this week, and with my rewards and credit, came in at a whopping $28 CDN.  I am looking at this as a very sensible choice.  It is clear to me that I OD'd on the JC colour spectrum last year and while I love colour and always will, I want to break away from that to a certain extent and have some neutral pieces in my wardrobe.  I have navy and black and grey neutrals, but very little in the camely-beige-ivory category and this sweater will help.

Collection cashmere crewneck cardigan

So keeping it honest with you all, I have thus spent $192, taxes in, of my spring shopping budget.  that leaves about $400, unless I am able to get a bit more funding from consignment.  Will keep you posted and would love your thoughts!

4) Polka Dot Blouses

Do not ask how, but I have two navy and white polka dot blouses:

this one:


and this one:



They are both silk and both nice.  But I really do not need two navy polka dot silk blouses unless you can convince me otherwise :-)  My tendency is to go with #2, as it is more casually dressy.  But would love your thoughts!    As you know, I am working to lighten my load these days and two of the exact same kind of blouse in exact same colourway seems superfluous to me. 

5) And the purge continues...

This week, I did the linen closets.  I am sorry to tell you that I will no longer be able to outfit every bed in my subdivision.  I cleared out 2 LARGE bags of linens, sheets, old towls, old curtains.  It felt magnificent.  Isn't it funny how we hang on to things "just in case?"  Well, for me it is not funny!  I guess we all have a little hoarder in us (not your mum Tabs!) and she needs to be shaken up now and then!

So those are my Saturday musings!  What do you have on tap today?  Stay Safe out there!

48 comments:

  1. Your sweater was a terrific buy! I really like the JCrew heather flax shade and their heather cashmere is much better quality overall, as compared to their solid colours (the reason for this is not clear, but I have noticed it!)
    AND it will be so pretty with your new bag!
    I popped in to BR this week and was very impressed with their offerings. I saw many items whose quality surprised me and you can't beat free ship/ free returns.
    We may watch Skyfall today! I can't wait!
    And now I must go find those books for our little Miss. Thank you so much for the recommendations once more.

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    1. Dani - you will love them, too!

      I agree - I have a heather green cashmere pullover from two years ago that is a much lovelier quality of cashmere than some others - must be dye or something - GF will know!

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    2. SPIN IT Bean says dyeing the cashmere hardens the fibres, which is why poorer quality black and navy cashmere can often feel a bit "stiff". However, it is mainly because the lightest colours of cashmere are forced to use better yarn since dye won't hide fibre/ combing variance. Finally, not the most experienced by any means, but I suspect that JC buys cashmere in different lots and from different suppliers, and may have downgraded its cashmere grade(s) buy in recent years. Since "thickness" varies from about 10 to 18 microns for knitwear, you would feel/ see a difference in colour and loft.

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    3. Oh, and that's all before you get to the actual weaving, gauge etc.

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    4. HA! I Knew you would know that! Makes perfect sense to me!

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    5. There's a great specialty shop not far from me called Romni Wools. Although I don't knit, go there fairly often to help a friend pick colours, patterns etc. And they really know their stuff - I can't take credit.

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  2. TOP SHOP WMM, thanks, I really do think you'll like the bag style, so I hope *fingers crossed* the size and new colourway - which I have not seen in person yet - work for you.

    Regarding the navy polka dots, I have tried both versions and own one. If you are going to wear with cardigans and jackets more, then I would keep the shell, which I generally find easier to wear (no sleeve bunch.) IMO, the ruffles are small and the neckline of the shell is more flattering/ less competitive with your hair than the closed bow - since you can open it into a bit of a V. My only caveat for sleeves would be if you don't like your upper arms, or if you would tend to wear it more solo.

    I hadn't even thought of Betsy-Tacy for yonks until your post this week - potential re-visit with a good sammie. (When I was on the road, we used to enjoy sub-stantial sandwich and breakfast for dinner meals a lot. I like not facing piles of clearing up!)

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    1. I was thinking shell for same reason. The one blessing of beetle body is that arms are not large at all - kind of like legs! Need to be toned more again, but am working on that! Plus, the all-important V - cannot get that with bow top!

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  3. Beetle bod, you're cracking the pear up!

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    1. I can't take credit - I am sure it is a Tab-ism!

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  4. When our kids still lived at home, we had taco nights, as our version of sandwich nights. Same idea, and yes, I bought rotisserie chicken and just shredded it up, to keep it all simple.
    Great purse, love your neutral cardigan, and the second version of the polka dot blouse.

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    1. I love taco night too - it is good, because now that son is vegan, my meal planning is getting much more complex. Vegetarian seems easy in comparison, but I am really supporting him - certainly makes me healthier!

      I KNEW you would love the neutral cardigan - I thought of you when I hit "submit"!

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  5. WMM, great purchases and that's my boyfriend! And just because I like you so much we can share :) I'm sure my husband appreciates that!
    I may not be any help when I tell you I really wish I hadn't missed out on the bow polka dot top, it is perfect for my chic librarian style, so I would hang on to it. Ok, no more enabling from me!

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    1. Anthro blogger, if you can fit into an 8, it is yours! I think the Naomi sleeveless is the keeper!

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    2. Oooooooh, *grabby hands* Alas, I cannot fit a size 8, though you are making me wish I could! I'm sure there'll be many takers in the JCA looking to sell, but I say keep. I bet the bow looks lovely framed by your gorgeous curls. Plus, with full skirts, under blazers and cashmere cardigans (like that flax one!) and as I get older, I certainly appreciate the less harsh navy against my face. keep keep! Ok, enabling rant over :)

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  6. As you know Betsy, Tacy and Tib hold a special place in my heart. As the mother of boys, there was no rereading in my household, so thank you for the images now. I love the Banana bag, and they are hit or miss for quality, but I have some leather pieces that they have executed beautifully. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, because the picture is gorgeous, and every think you could want in a S/S bag.And, knowing the Gap family, it very well might be much cheaper by March 5th, and they seem to run that 40% easily once a week. Although, I wouldn't rip the tags off right away- something might catch your eye in NYC!I can't imagine why you wouldn't keep both tops- unless you are returning one for credit. I have the shell and agree with Get Fresh because I only buy sleeveless to wear year round under cardigans, or solo with capri pants or skirts. However, if it is opt returnable, you should keep both. They really don't look that similar to me, and they are both pretty layering pieces. I am sure you probably have 2 striped shirts and don't worry about that, so why not 2 polka dot ones? BTW WHen I travel, I can squeeze quite a few shells in a suitcase because they take up so little room. YOU will wear that cardigan with everything, and I love how well it goes with your bag.

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    1. Hi Knityarns - thought of you as well when I was writing this morning! It is such a wonderful series!! Neither are returnable. I am okay either way, but if Anthro Blogger wants it, it is hers!

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    2. Just a thought. If it is a fit or comfort issue with the tie front blouse, have a tailor remove the sleeves. A simple fix that will give you another shell, and make it sportier. Unless it is on its way to Anthro blogger! Please excuse my terrible typing in my previous post. I have on a rather large band aid>

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    3. uh - rather large bandaids are not a good thing! Well if Anthro blogger doesn't want it, I will certainly keep it in mind - I would never have thought of that!

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  7. Oh he's stunning looking, I think that's what I'd look like too if I went blonde - horrendous!
    I love sarnies, I much prefer them to real grown up food.

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    1. Ha - have never heard the term sarnies!!!

      He is what a real man looks like. Oh Tabs - I once went almost blonde. FOund the pictures around my dad's funeral - just awful! That is when I switched hair dressers!

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    2. Oh did it look awful? I've always wanted to try it but my face is quite pink and the big black eyebrows - I'd be a sight.
      Sarnies is the usual word here, didn't realise it was a Brit word only.

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    3. well it looked awful on me - I think you would have to do your brows - the whole nine yards. If I ever went blonde, I think I would go platinum! I might go blue someday (and not in an old lady way!)

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  8. I do think you will love your BR bag. I have one from a few years ago that I use often...they do get their leather products right for the price point. Hard to get excited about a "flax" cardigan (whoohoo I got me a white t shirt) but still a necessity and everyone loves a steal. We liken body shapes to flowers...Pear = Dewdrop/Tulip, Apple = Rose, etc.

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    1. BB - I love your flower metaphors. I am not so much a rose right now as a peony, but love peonies so that is grand!

      I bought a lovely BR clutch last summer at end of season - little shells sewn all over - it is quite stunning - never used it as it came too late for Paris, but will get lots of use out of it this summer!

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    2. Aw peonies - big beautiful blooms with wonderful foliage, fragrant, colorful, a favorite in any garden or display. Peonies are perfect! Good call on your comparison.

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    3. Well i am hoping to be a slightly smaller rose soon enough!

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  9. Hubs and I do fish tacos. YUMMY.

    I have downloaded songs on my Ipod this morning to tackle the purge of the spare room! :)

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    1. Oh good luck! No doubt the fringe (NOT bangs!) will spur you on! I have been working away at things and I still have a ways to go - it is quite humbling!

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  10. Wendy Do Not get rid of either blouse. They are both gorgeous and serve completely different purposes. Enjoy them!
    I cleaned out my linnen closet during our power outage after the hurricane. It felt great and I only kept the stuff that I absolutely love!
    Have a fabulous weekend!

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  11. And ps - Javier is gorgeous!

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    1. HI A! It is quite cleansing to give up 20 year old pillow cases - don't even ask... My issue is that I am the most sentimental creature ever! It is quite sad actually! I am working on it, but it always pains me a little to see things go!

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  12. I agree with A; don't get rid of any blouse. I have the first one and find it so versatile. Plus, you can wear it alone or with a blazer or cardigan. The 2nd one is more for casual wear. I say keep them both.

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    1. Thanks Wendy - hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

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  13. That was Javier Bardem? I didn't even recognize him! LOL

    My sandwich of choice is grilled cheese & slice of tomato - one slice of each: bread, cheese, tomato placed under the broiler until the cheese starts to melt. I like bacon, so I may use your recipe next time I roast a chicken.

    BR has good purses. Some of their hardware doesn't appeal to me, but you have to see it in person to decide. And good move to add a few neutrals. I cannot wear the camel colour next to my face, but have the merino pencil skirt from last year that is close.

    I would go for blouse #1. I try to stay away from sleeveless ones just because I tend to stain the blazers with deodorant and that can become costly. It's much easier to clean a blouse.

    You are cracking me up with that linen closet purge! I was just looking for a new set that has some poly in it, just because I discovered I waste way too much time ironing cotton sheets.

    I am just finishing the documentary Food Inc. on Netflix. I encourage everyone to read this. There are other documentaries related to this on Netflix that I intend to watch.

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  14. Just enjoyed this post overall! Keep blogging -- I love to read your posts!

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  15. I didn't even recognize him in that role!!

    I agree and would keep both blouses. They take very little space in your closet and you obviously love polka dots. Navy is a great neutral and a well fitting blouse can be hard to find. Especially in a core color for you in a favored pattern!

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    1. Thanks! i realized that Miss Anthro Blogger is also a wee tiny thing - I don't think the 8 would fit her at all! :-)

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  16. I absolutely loved Skyfall, I thought it was the best Bond movie to date. My husband bought the DVD yesterday, we shall be watching it tonight!

    I loved the Betsy-Tacy books when I was a kid. I plan to buy the set for my daughter when she's a bit older.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. HI Louise! I am so glad your daughter will have them! That is always my greatest joy - buying good books for kids!!

      You hacve a great weekend, too!

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  17. And you know what? I have two sets of bedlinen and that's it, Lordy I should be flipping rich!

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    1. And just two sets of towels, I'm the heir and spare type it seems.

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    2. Well that's all I have now! Flannel for winter and really fabulous soft cotton ones for summer. A set of sheets for spare bed, 2 sets of sheets for each of the kid's bed, summer and winter and that's it. My linen closet looks so happy and calm now!!

      I have more towels for sure! There are 4 people here and my kids shower constantly! I probably have about 14 towels and 6 beach towels for the pool. The are all stored in the bathroom they belong in and the beach towels are in my downstairs linen cupboard! I think an heir and spare type is a smart type!

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  18. Hi WMM! Well, I absolutely love Skyfall and definitely plan on watching it again soon. I did watch War Horse the night before last and thought it was really heartwarming and enjoyable. On your recommendation I did have the tissues handy and of course needed them, too.

    Your purchases a quite lovely. I have a BR handbag from several years ago that I still carry on a regular basis and it has held up really well. The leather is incredibly soft, too.

    The Cesear salad sandwiches sound delicious! I am going to be serving them to my family soon. We do have sandwich nights occasionally, usually BLT's, Tuna Melts, or Paninis. We also have burrito night, pizza night, soup and cornbread or homeade bread night, etc. They have ended up being some of my boys' favorite meals, too.

    I am with others who say to keep both polka-dot blouses. It is usually very difficult to find navy anything, not to mention that polka-dots are not always so prevalent, so you should keep them for the time of navy/polka-dot famine that is bound to come eventually.

    Hope you're having a wonderful Saturday! :)

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    1. Thanks FFM!

      I think you are right re: blouses!

      I am SO glad you liked War Horse - I loved it and just thought it was wonderful! We are having pizza night tonight and my kids like yours love this, especially when they choose own toppings!

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  19. Happy Saturday!

    I had a fun day wandering around Zurich with my husband. I did do some shopping, with all of these conversations we've all been having in mind, and I am more pleased with my purchases than I perhaps have ever been. Cool!

    In response to all your disparate thoughts (which I always love):

    1. Javier Bardem was so good! And funny, too.

    2. Sandwich suppers, fun. I loved the Anne and the Little House books, so thank you for the recommendation.

    3. Nice purse, I like how simple it is. I hope that it is just right. I was re-folding my cardigans the other day and realized that a long time favourite is Nougat of London! I didn't notice that brand before you started posting about it.

    I like your cardigan pick. I have an old Gap one in that colour, merino wool, and it is a workhorse.

    4. I love that first blouse. I see it on the blogs and it is the one J. Crew item I consistently want.

    5. That will be so nice to have more room in your cupboards!

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    1. Hi Abby! Ah Zurich - just sounds so exotic and romantic! So glad all the great advice we have all been getting from these smart ladies is helping you too! I agree - both are keepers!!!

      I am crossing fingers on purse - will let you know! ANd yay for Nougat London - I am dying to see their spring line!

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Kindness is a virtue...