...happy new year!

 We will open the book. Its pages are blank. 
The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is 
New Year's Day.  
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce


...wednesday wish: books and a break!

I'm taking a blogging break to to catch up on some reading. I can't wait to read Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy. If you've read it, please let me know what you thought of it.

The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 

I suppose I could reflect on the past year, and start my resolutions for 2011. But more honestly, I'll probably be uncluttering.

Isn't that the best way to start a new year?


...tuesday shoes day: ankle boots and tidbits

R and I spent a glorious day yesterday, alone on the couch, watching 'The Godfather' DVDs and eating leftovers. I couldn't have been happier.

So, back to our regularly scheduled program...

chloe two tone ankle boots, net-a-porter
I've been looking for something 'masculine' to balance the frilliness of my new Anthro sweater, below. This might work.

And, imagine this...you're lining up at the Burlington, Ontario Best Buy looking to score a $300 flatscreen tv, and who do you find in line with you? None other than Ryan Gosling. Yes, it's entirely possible. Read here. This kills me.


...sunday sale: boxing day!

It's finally Boxing Day, the best darn Canadian holiday ever.

The Christmas rush is done, the presents are wrapped and distributed, meals prepared and consumed, and you even survived the dreaded family get togethers with most of your sanity intact. Yes, the giving and caring and sharing is finally over and it's time to think about yourself once again.

My Boxing Day ritual used to mean waking up at 6:30a, donning the shopping outfit I'd carefully chosen the night before, leaving the house as quickly as I could, arriving at the busiest mall at least 45 minutes before the doors open. Back in the day, I preferred to do this alone. Any companion would just slow me down; no one could possibly keep up with me. I was a woman with a mission. When Rorygilmore was about 12, she started joining me. This girl was trained by the best. We knew the few choice stores worth visiting, stake out the goods, buy whatever we wanted, and skedaddle out of there quickly. By 1pm when lesser, slower beings would just arrive at the mall, we'd be back home napping on the couch.

But not this year. I am shopped out.

Except for one thing...if I can talk the watch store owner into giving me 40% off (and it doesn't hurt to ask), this is coming home with me today.

How are you celebrating Boxing Day? Are you hitting the malls? Or making like a couch potato and eating all the leftover treats? More importantly, if you didn't get what you wanted, do you just go out and buy it for yourself anyway? Or do you really just want peace on earth?

I'm not judging.


...merry christmas!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make your
Yuletide gay.
- Ralph Blane


...thursday: tree!

cdn house and home
This, to me, is the most beautiful room with the best Christmas tree--small, unadorned, tucked in the corner out of the way. Perfection.


...wednesday wish: nothing!

Because I've been shopping.

anthro pinafore pullover
j. crew double cloth dollop coat
All the post-Christmas sales have already started. Anthropologie is offering an additional 25% off all reduced merchandise, here. Jcrew is offering an additional 30% off final sale and free shipping, with the promo code SHOPNOW (thanks JCA), here.

That's enough. I am staying home on Boxing Day.


...tuesday shoes day: leather and shearling sandals?


reed krakoff leather and shearling sandals, now $475 from net-a-porter
Reed Krakoff is head designer of Coach, which was once considered a 'designer' brand but is a now completely ubiquitous handbag store that can be found in any mall in North America, like Nine West. Still, I can't believe he actually had anything to do with these ridiculous and ugly shoes.

I suppose, from this picture, that these are meant to be 'work' footwear. Can you imagine wearing these on the subway?


...monday music: ella sings sleigh ride

Listen to the swingiest and coolest version of the traditional Christmas song, by the one and only Ella Fitzgerald. Doesn't this remind you of Elf?

If, like me, you hate Christmas shopping and are still not finished with your lists, do have a look at this little stocking stuffer that was suggested to me by that upscale Canadian retailer.

$400 for a f*ing candle?! That better be a typo... 
Elf : Widescreen Edition


...sunday supper: beef mami

Beef mami is beef brisket soup, Filipino style. Yummy and comforting this time of year and always.

beef mami from panlasang pinoy
Get the recipe here.


...saturday silver screen: love actually

Love Actually is a Christmas-themed romantic comedy with a mix of touching and humorous love stories, and really big movie stars with classy Brit accents. I mean... Hugh Grant! Colin Firth! Liam Neeson! Bill Nighy! Emma Thompson! Keira Knightley! the guy who shoots zombies on Walking Dead!... all in the same 2 hours. What could be better?

all you need is love

On a personal note, I saw this at the theatre on sort of a 'girls night', with then 11yr old Rorygilmore, my mom-in-law the Empress, and my own mother--3 generations of movie lovers. We enjoyed the movie except of course for the bits with the 'porn film stand ins', which we thought was unnecessary and tarnished what would otherwise have been a perfect chick flick. 

Still, at the time I would have paid to see Hugh Grant in anything, loved Keira Knightley's romantic story, and I found Colin Firth's story the funniest and most charming. I would have posted clips, but for some reason all were 'not available' for sharing. Just watch them here and here. Enjoy!

Love Actually (Widescreen Edition)


...fashion friday: the glamourai

Style and glamour. You've either got it, or you...have better things to do. Some however, live for glamour and have it in spades.

Let me introduce you to the glamourai, a fashion blogger whose stylings I admire. I was always impressed by her outfit of the day fashion photos, like these...

and then she posts pictures of her apartment, all decked out for Christmas. I am completely blown away!

The look says 'single girl in the city with budget spent mostly on clothes', but what she's done with her apartment is so glam. Follow her blog here.

And geez, do you think it was a slow news day at people.com?
today on people.com


...thursday talk: marriage

Why did they even bother?

And I should probably say something about those ridiculous Golden Globe nominations, but I won't. Because although it's the most entertaining awards show by far, the awards are meaningless. Seriously, Burlesque? The Tourist? ... I almost wish they'd nominated Justin Timberlake. Enough said.


...wednesday wish: NOT a black coat

I took the train to go to the office last week. I haven't regularly taken public transportation since 1987, so in the last 23 years I've taken the subway maybe 20 times. On this particular dark and dreary weekday morning, I was shocked to see that 8.5 out of 10 commuters now wear black coats. Of the others, 1 out of 10 wore grey, and .25 wore brown or camel (me), and the remaining .25 dared to wear an actual color, like red or green (thankfully not together).

To go with all that black outerwear, are matching black accessories--black purses, black knapsacks and laptop bags, black shoes and boots, black lunch bags, black phones. Ugh. I'll admit that black is practical, neutral and slimming. But it is also damn depressing. It was as if I'd walked onto the set of Schindler's List...

And then when I finally arrived at the office, all the women were wearing combinations of black and grey. Myself included. Can we just buy and wear something other than black please?

May I suggest this lovely coat from Anthro?

anthro handpainted poppies sweatercoat,
Priced at $298 in the US, so will likely be $398 in Canada.

Retailers continue to rip Canadians off and we just take it!

My beloved Nora Ephron says, "you can't own too many black turtlenecks." I agree. But do we have to wear these black turtlenecks all the time? Can we just mix it up a little?

Now, let's not go overboard. I am related to/acquainted with someone who only wears pastels and light colors, and that is even sillier, given her age.

But for the rest of us...consider red, pink, or blue. Imagine how much prettier our world would be.


...tuesday shoes day: cole haan boots

Winter arrived early this year. There's at least a foot of snow that's either on the ground or blowing around with the wind chill.

cole haan oleanna, $448 from piperlime
These are almost the perfect winter boots-- NikeAir technology, padded leather sock for warmth, lovely rich color that's not black, inner zipper, and smooth leather. Leather may not seem practical, but I'm telling you from experience, it sure beats suede in the snow. Which is why, aside from being ugly and overpriced, Uggs never made sense to me.


...monday music: jazzy christmas

"There's nothing classier than boring jazz music," said Michael Scott. True!


...saturday silver screen: urban cowboy

Urban Cowboy. John Travolta at his sexiest. Watch.

"I wanna apologize, clear back to when I hit you the first time."

Debra Winger is wonderful too, as Sissy.  She and Travolta had unbelievable chemistry.

Urban Cowboy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 
I'm not a country music fan, but this is a terrific soundtrack. Are you humming that song?


...fashion friday: holiday by cassis

What do you do if you need a new holiday outfit and you've got neither the time, energy nor the mood to shop? That was my dilemma last weekend, so I headed straight to Cassis.

l to r: black sleeveless dress (unfortunately styled here with a wrap sweater that I would never wear) $120, red dress $130, gold top $80

Don't let their terrible website and dull pictures stop you, Cassis is a great store. It's full of stylish, well made, and reasonably priced apparel for women of a certain age. And it's conveniently located about 35 feet from Bulk Barn. You can drive to the mall, pick up dried oregano and sponge toffee, and then 5 minutes later have a classy new outfit. Where else can you do that? 

I took the black sleeveless dress, red dress, and gold top to the fitting room. Something is up with these rooms. I'm convinced the dim lighting and 3 way mirrors are rigged to make you look slimmer, taller, and younger. Everything looked great, and I'm suddenly swimming in a size 4. That can't be right.

I bought the black dress in case you were wondering. You can't have enough black dresses.


...thursday tune: always and forever

Christmas is days away and there's so much work to do. It's party time and major maintenance is required, if you know what I mean. I'll leave you today with 2 versions of one of the sweetest, saddest love songs of all time. I realize that this is not at all Christmasy, but I am just NOT IN THE MOOD. I'd rather listen to this...

Great live version by Heatwave, in their funny 70s performance outfits. The funny looking dude at keyboard wrote all their songs.

Mista Lutha Vandross... I miss this voice.

Heartbreaking! Which version do you prefer?

And this has nothing to do with anything, but evidence suggests that the two pictured below are now a couple. This is very disturbing.


...wednesday wish: sienna's look

Behold the lovely Sienna...
harper's bazaar
Big hair, bright red smile, black fur jacket, black jeggings tucked into high black boots: she's never looked lovelier. Or happier. If my true love Jude and I swallowed our pride, forgave each other's public indiscretions--nanny and new baby for him, ugly Notting Hill actor and countless hookups for her--and reconciled, I'd smile too. Ain't love grand?

Get her look for less: 

Complete the look with red lipstick and big hair, instructions here. True love not included.

Question: Is this an appropriate look if you're over 45? Discuss.


...tuesday shoes day: alexander mcqueen boots

alexander mcqueen leather boots, net-a-porter, $2098 on sale

Alexander McQueen boots, described as 6" heel including 1.5" platform. What I really want to know is how much these babies weigh. Currently on sale here for 50% off, so now only $2098. As if.

Alexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation


...monday musical: sinatra sings 'the lady is a tramp'

If my life were a movie, this version of Frank Sinatra's 'Lady is a Tramp' should be played during the opening credits. Listen, sing along, snap your fingers, dance like nobody's watching...instant great mood on a chilly Monday morning!

Sinatra's voice and style are the epitome of cool. If you're not convinced, watch him sing to Rita Hayworth in this delightful scene from 1957's Pal Joey.

'Come now, beauty...' Rita's pretty cool herself.

They don't make 'em like they used to.

Classic Sinatra