Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life, home, thrift finds & style these days

Dress: UK, charity shopped
Wedges & cross-body purse: France, retail (sale)
Brass & ribbon bracelet: France, artisan
Shades & necklace: vintage.

I suggested to hubs before we moved back to the UK that we'd have to go on tropical holidays so I can wear all my sundresses. But much to my happy surprise, we've had (note continuous tense: I'm being optimistic here) a glorious summer - even a heat wave - and I ended up donning a good many, and even buying a few in the charity shops, like this pretty cotton made-in-India frock.

Close-up of my 1970s shades purchased years ago in Toronto from an optician.
The necklace is 1980s by Carol Dauplaise (via Etsy).
I have a collection of Dauplaise necklaces that I'll one day show you.

Thanks for all your super sweet comments about our happy news. After more confusion over my due date, I can now say with as much certainty as a woman can ever have about these matters that I'm now 27 weeks. Wow, time has flown by.


The new home is slowly coming along. The place had been renovated but had no closets or wardrobes, so we put them in. Above are mine - aren't I a diva? They take up a whole wall. You can see hubby's double wardrobe reflected in the mirror. ;)

I've never been into new, shiny stuff in the home, but I must say, the house has a clean, contemporary look to it now, and with the craziness of life these days, I'm really starting to appreciate crisp lines, neutral shades and minimalisn. Never fear, the bohemian clutterbug in me will reemerge at some point (when we have time), and Persian carpets, artwork, pillows and beautiful bric-a-brac will complement and enliven the white spaces.


Though there hasn't been heaps of time for decorating or adding those artsy flourishes I so love, our home, I'm happy to report, gets amazing light throughout the entire day - a welcome change from our cavernous French apartment hewed in by the charming but light-inhibiting ancient walls of the Old Town. So I've taken to decorating the ledge of this monstrous and wonderful window (which is only partially visible here) with a selection of glass paperweights. I love seeing the sunlight dance through them.


Some are from my Toronto days, while others, like these little guys, were picked up for a few pounds each in local charity shops. I must say, they're a current charity shop obsession.


I haven't been doing a ton of thrifting, aside from finding some great clothing for Adam, but I have picked up a few (mostly vintage) baubles. When I saw this purple-stoned bracelet for a fiver, I had to examine it more closely. The oval stone is huge. At first I thought it was plastic, but upon closer inspection, the murky, mottled tone of the purple told me it was amethyst. Quelle deal, eh?


This was a bit more pricey but so beautiful I couldn't leave it there. The woman at the charity shop who sold it to me said I was "really big."

I wonder why it's considered socially acceptable to levy what any one else would consider an insult at a pregnant woman? Not the most polite thing in the world to say, especially to a woman who already feels like the Titanic (but in truth could look way worse - I'm all bump). I sure felt like telling the lady she was over-tanned and ugly, but I held my tongue. Maybe she was just jealous of my pretty necklace.


This is a bit old-fashioned but I couldn't resist the purple, nor the shiny bits. I'm not sure if I'll wear it, honestly, and that's rare for me as I'm usually like a little kid with thrifted bling: I find a way to incorporate it into a look right away.


I've had plenty of wear out of this turquoise and silver extra long necklace by Swiss maker Rita & Zia (contemporary, not vintage). It was a b-day pressie from my hubby, which I picked out and told him to buy me, bossy wifey that I am.

These necklaces are hideously expensive and all the range in Geneva and Annecy, so I was informed - not that I wanted it for that. I just loved it on sight (the Celtic knot stands for serenity, methinks - and I could use a dose of that!). This one would have retailed for over 500 Euros but we got a special deal on it as a pal who used to wholesale them was liquidating her stock.


Speaking of bling, my new wardrobe includes a jewellery drawer. I know, I said it before: Diva! It holds only a fraction of my necklaces and rings, and they are crammed in, but I still love it. I find that if you don't see it, you don't wear it, so it's a functional thing as well as an aesthetically-pleasing one.


This huge glass box was perfect to manage some of the overflow, found at the online version of Brighton-based gift and housewares shop, Horsefall and Wright.


I still have a whack of 1970s necklaces in boxes. They're collectible costume pieces so I keep them there to protect them, for now. I haven't shown you hardly any of them, so hopefully one day soonish I'll do a wee show-and-tell.

Denim jacket: Canada, thrifted
Tie-dye sweater, pendant and purse: gifts
Shoes: Toronto $2 sale, used Kenneth Cole
Maternity jeans: retail, H&M.

On the style front, when it hasn't been heat-waving, I've been doing my best with maternity jeans and whatever top suits my fancy. I've been feeling rather flat when it comes to my wardrobe, but I realize I'm fueled by a need for comfort and also am facing diminishing options!

Black swing sweater: UK, retail half-off sale
Maternity leggings: Pebbles.co.uk
Maternity skirt: Canada, thrifted
UGG suede/cork wedges: Annecy, consignment
Bling: France, vide grenier
(Blackboard: Horsfall and Wright).

With really sore and tired legs, I've recently rediscovered the joy of compression leggings and tights (they prescribe them as a matter of course in France for pregnant women, to prevent varicose veins, but they also relieve discomfort and fatigue in your legs like you wouldn't believe).

Since I now cannot live without them and have banished my maternity jeans to the back of my closet, I have to say that this new development has precipitated a bit of a style dilemma: what the hell do I wear with them? Skirts and dresses, yes, but again, they need to fit over my growing belly ....


I've also been dealing with the aftermath of two of the worst haircuts I've ever had. Look at this shaggy mop - only a couple weeks since the last cut!

As you may know, I've been growing my hair out for some time. And I've been to TWO places since moving back, asking the stylists to thin out my mass of straggly hair into layers. Both failed abysmally. Depressing to to realize after a few days post-cut that your hair looks just as bad and unflattering as it ever did.


By the way, this was what I was wearing when the woman called me big. Sorry for the headless shot but I was sans photog and couldn't use the auto-time as my battery had died and I have no idea where the bloody charger is!

This French-made wool vest with darling front tie does accentuate my belly, I can't deny that. But I thought I looked pretty chic, especially with a barely-pink knit sweater and black skirt and tights. I found the vest at the Annecy thrift shop I used to frequent.

Rayban sunnies: France, antique market
Dress: Toronto end-of-the-line store
Blue swing sweater (yes, I bought several): UK, half-off retail sale
Tights: maternity compression, Pebbles
The rest: below.

Anyway, this is the made-over me, the product of haircut no. three and the ensuing wardrobe inspiration that often comes from a chic, new do.

I've discovered in the two months living here that no matter the weather, layering is the best wardrobing option. So I've layered a swingy cashmere sweater over a dress, and added my fave new thrift shop find, a colossal wool-blend scarf with ethnic print.

Funny, I was Googling "purple ethnic scarf" just the other day, in search of something similar that a crummy ex-boyfriend kept after I left him. And a day later, I find this in a Lytham charity shop, with the tags still on. I call that Thrifting Karma. It's my "new" Fall statement piece.


Aside from the amazing scarf, I'm accessorizing with one of my collectible costume pieces, a 1970s Cadoro necklace found for a song on Ebay (they normally sell for about $100 USD).

The boots you've seen a thousand times, my blue suede Italian boots thrifted in Toronto for $14.99 CAD years ago. Since one pair of my compression leggings are blue, I figure I'll be wearing these booties a lot.


The bag, of course, is vintage 1970s Mulberry found in the Annecy thrift shop for 10 Euros.

Little man's hoodie was thrifted locally (other items gifts). He matches Mommy!

So for now, that's my life! I keep wishing I can post more regularly, but I can never find the time. So for now, these mega-posts may be the norm. Hope you're all well. I'm checking in with your blogs, but not often commenting. xoxo