Friday, March 28, 2014

All the Frills: Office Style

My job has been crazy busy and demanding over the last few months – which I don’t really mind but it has meant a lot of late nights at the office (as in I’ve been there until after 10 pm on more than one occasion).

But when I first started I spent a little time sprucing up my work space with things that put a smile on my face.

Things that make me smile are, apparently, portraits of Elizabeth I, Anna of Denmark, and several other Elizabethan and Jacobean ladies and what is perhaps the most ridiculous calendar ever created. It’s called Plutocats and it’s insane. For example, the name of March’s cat is Max von Bucks. February’s cat was a train baron. Seriously. I am both highly intelligent and easily amused by idiotic things. It’s a potent combination.

And now for some link love:

  • Woman who claims to be famous steals 22 pairs of high-end leggings. The headline really says it all.
  • Speaking of leggings, one school (in a veritable orgy of short-sighted, misogynistic (yeah, I’m going to boldly term it that) reasoning, has banned them. You can read about that here and here.
  • And here’s someone weighing in on the awesomeness of leggings.
  • This story of high society, forced servitude, and the former residents of mental institutions is fascinating, chilling, and horrifying.
  • Watching an academic’s life work get confirmed and validated (not to mention being proved scientifically correct) is amazing.
  • What’s missing from this is my favourite New Haven tombstone, “Phyllis Sandine, What a Woman!”
  • This past week was a big one in terms of the anniversaries of death dates of characters in early modern British history. Topping that list is Queen Elizabeth I, who died on March 24, 1603. March 25 marks the anniversary of the death of the Catholic martyr Margaret Clitherow. When arrested for recusancy and suspected Catholicism she actually refused to enter a plea and was killed for that – the legal penalty in early modern England for refusing to plea being pressing to death. Yup, she was pancaked to death. I did some work on Margaret last year for the website Executed Today and they’re reposted it this week to mark the occasion. You can read it here.
  • I love working for the Graduate Students’ Association – especially when our President does awesome things like speak out about sexism and misogyny.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


You would think that I would be able to get my act together enough on the weekends to actually get some decent photos done outside in natural light. But I got so super busy running errands this past weekend that I forgot all about photos until I pulled back into our parking garage at the end of the day and belatedly recalled that I had brought the camera with me.

Okay, so I wasn't so much running errands as shopping at local favourite Gravity Pope and the Strathcona Antique Mall (where I scored an amazing old edition of Middlemarch, thank you very much). Whatever. The end result is the same: parking garage glam shots!

leggings: ASOS / top: ASOS / boots: Steve Madden / cardigan: Zara

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bundle Up

I’ve been living in this coat lately. Winter here in northern Canada will soon coming to a close (I for one will actually be sad to see it go) so I’m getting in a few wears out this jacket while I still can. And we did just get hit with what I imagine is the last cold snap of the season.

jacket: Century 21 / snood: Simon’s / boots: Target / purse: Zara

Friday, March 21, 2014

All the Frills: Vintage Cocktail

There’s this awesome antique mall here in Edmonton that I’ve taken to visiting every few weeks on the hunt for interesting things. Which is how I stumbled across this little gem. Cocktail anyone?

Weekend Reading:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Workin' It

I had a string of meetings at work the day that I wore this (paired with a black blazer while I was at the office) – I think it looks rather handily professional, no?

blouse: ModCloth / pants: Banana Republic / heels: Marshall’s / watch: La Mer / bracelet: my grandmother's / glasses: Clearly Contacts

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Curved Arrow

These plaid pants I picked from Zara are fast becoming a favourite of mine and I love pairing them with this textured sweatshirt from Winners (I love the zipper details on both the pants and the sweatshirt). Pile on a few gold accessories and I’m all set! This lovely arrow ring is my other recent item from XO Veronika - I wrote about the other lovely ring I received in my last post. I’m equally as smitten with this delicate beauty. Seriously, go check her wares out!

pants: Zara / shoes: Payless / sweatshirt: Winners / necklace: Monserat de Lucca via ShopBop / watch: Kenneth Cole / bracelets: Aldo / ring: c/o XO Veronika

Friday, March 14, 2014

All the Frills: Scents

This week’s edition of the All the Frills Friday is about scents – more specifically, my little home perfume station (also known as the oversized plate I bought at Target 5 years ago as a Halloween decoration and just loved too much to box up when the holiday was over). Like many, I’ve experimented with a lot of different scents over the years but have landed on 4 as my signature ones: Fendi, the classic Chanel No. 5, and Thierry Mugler’s Angel and Alien (these are special favourites as the bottles are refillable via a perfume pump that most major department stores have, so repeat purchases are less costly and wasteful in terms of packaging. They also have a little perfume club going where they send free stuff on your birthday…that’s why I have the lotion versions of both scents, as you can see in the photos). 

The little skull box is one that I snagged at a super kitschy shop in Salem, MA, the last time I was there – back when I was still living in Connecticut and finishing the PhD. It’s where the helpmeet and I keep our wedding bands. And, strangely, we actually have multiple ones. When we got married we purchased replica sixteenth-century English poesy rings (yeah, that was my idea) that are very nice but not at all costly. Well, over the past 8 years of marriage we’ve both lost our bands at least once and replaced them, only to have the originals resurface. So we each have a few of those. Then my helpmeet’s friend won a gift certificate for two wedding bands at a wedding expo and gave it us as he and his fiancĂ© had already picked their bands. Well we ordered a new set of bands and they arrived with a gift certificate for another set! So we ordered another and they came with a new certificate, and so on. Seriously, we still have an unused gift certificate to use and that will end up with us having another new one to use! I keep meaning to email the company with a friendly suggestion that they rethink that policy but I’ve been too busy cashing in on wedding bands that I don’t really need. 

Suggested Weekend Reading:

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I made a recent trip to Edmonton’s West Edmonton Mall and scored this awesome (if a few sizes to big) plaid jacket from Target for a whopping $4. And whilI was thrilled to get this coat, I have had my fill of that mall for a good six months or so. I can’t believe how insanely busy and crowded that place it. Just stepping through the door ups my anxiety level.

leggings: ASOS / booties: Target / blouse: Dynamite / jacket: Target / glasses: Clearly Contacts / silver ring: gift from my BFF / lighting bolt ring: XO Veronika

I also recently won a giveaway hosted by the lovely Veronika of By the Shore. She runs a wonderful little shop and I was able to pick myself up a few items. I’ll show my other find in a later post but one of the items that I acquired was this little lightning bolt ring which I’ve been wearing pretty much non-stop – I love it! So, if you haven’t yet checked out Veronika’s shop, I would get on that because there are some great items to be found!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fancy Pants in Studs

I wore this grocery shopping last week. I wanted to feel fancy. And, yes, studs make me feel fancy. Don’t ask why.

leggings: Dynamite / booties: Target / tank: F21 / blazer: Zara

Friday, March 7, 2014

All the Frills: Home Cathedral

For this edition of All the Frills Fridays, I’d like to feature a few of my favourite pieces of art that adorn the walls of my home. In particular, these five gorgeous pieces by my Calgary-based uncle, Kenneth Thomas.

Growing up, Uncle Ken was a hero of mine, and he still is. Ken is a polymath and world traveler in the truest sense of those terms. He’s read almost every academic thing I’ve ever written and loves to talk about them analytically. He spends a large measure of his visits to Edmonton scouring used book shops for treasures (which has become a favourite pastime of mine as well) and has gifted me some of my most treasured editions of volumes. Also, the man lives for travel. Having lived abroad in Europe for many years (mainly in Vienna) and making extensive trips back there over the past few decades, his work life now is pretty much entirely geared to simply setting aside enough extra cash in a given year to jet off somewhere he’s never been before (most recently it was a few months in Mongolia and surrounding areas of the globe).

He’s also a gifted artist who has done a breathtaking series of sketches (some simply in pencil and others in coloured pencil) of churches and cathedrals across Europe. I have a large number of his pencil sketches of churches packed away carefully in storage (his various depictions of Durham Cathedral are a personal favourite), waiting until I have enough walls in my home to frame and display them all but I also have these two lovely series that he’s done of various architectural details of cathedrals. Every time I walk by the walls on which these hang, I get a smile on my face and want desperately to plan a jaunt to Cambridge or Edinburgh.

And, now, onto some links!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dinner Date

Worn to a dinner date with the lovely Sandy, the beauty and brains behind The Pretty Secrets.

leggings: ASOS / tank: thrifted, Value Village / cardigan: Modcloth / booties: Target / necklace: E-mitiations 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Shivering in Faux Leather

You guys, it’s been super cold lately.

Don’t worry, I’m still a huge fan of winter though…it’s hard not to be when winter coats and chunky scarves are just so cozy and fashionable.

coat: Century 21 / scarf: Star-Crossed Smile / boots: Steve Madden / gloves: Safeway (that’s right, I buy my gloves where I buy my groceries!) / leggings: Dynamite