Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cat Therapy, Tassel Attack, and Velvet Venture

Hello, my friends! Yesterday/Friday was a rough day for me, mentally. I foolishly read way too much media, and my anxiety came zooming in like a freight train. 
"Woman, I'm right here! Come rub my warm fur!"

I had a little cry and hugged L and Vizzini a lot.
"Just chill - you can only control yourself. And rub my tum."

It really brought home to me that I need to practice self-care and look after my mental health EVERY DAY.
"This cat is here for cuddling."

A cat really does put things into perspective.
"Oh, is that the treat cupboard opening?"

His Lordship has been loving having us around.
"MY pillow."

L and I have been playing boardgames, listening to music and enjoying our long weekend. L wore his fez to cheer me up while we played Arkham Horror last night.
"I'll sit here - totally not in anyone's way."

I have to do all the reaching for cards when Vizzini gets ensconced, and moving things around for L when he's flopped on L's lap. He rarely flops on mine, as I'm a jumpy person and can't stay still for more than a few minutes.
"I love the Man...but what's that yellow thing?"

Tassel attack!
"This is a delightful toy! Gimme!"

Later on, L changed to his cowboy hat, so Vizzini had to come around to check on that.
"Where did my toy go?"

Finally, he settled down to wait for Kitty Treat Time (which is once a day, at 9pm exactly). 
"It's 8:45pm. I want my treats!"
He only gets 6 tiny treats at a time: 3 on the floor right away, and 3 in a puzzle ball. We're rationing him at 5 a day, though, as his treats are getting low. 

Today/Saturday, L and I ventured to town to get groceries and a few things we were low on, like Reactine. I've been dealing with pollen allergies, including sneezing, which is very alarming to other people! I can breathe again now, thank goodness. 

Learning my lesson from Friday, I got dressed up. This is a big part of my self-care, and not to be underestimated for its impact on my well-being.  
I know that it helps y'all as well, to see my outfits and posts. It's a little corner of normalcy. Today, I did a velvet outfit.


  • Jacket - Le Chateau, consignment; last worn here in October 2019 with frilly flamenco
  • Sweater - Tabi, vintage 90s, thrifted; last seen here in February with colour, pattern, texture and shine
  • Skirt - Le Chateau, thrifted; last worn here in October 2019 for a hoe-down at work
  • Boots - Matisse, consignment; last seen here (6th outfit) in February for a weekend consignment shop


It was gorgeous and bright out, so I didn't even need a coat. I also knew that L and I would be schlepping a lot of groceries home on foot (in purse, backpack and a plethora of bags), and that I'd get sweaty. Better not to have to many layers on.
My black velvet blazer is fully-embroidered on the front - I love embroidery detail. The green cotton mock-neck sweater was a nice layer underneath.

As you can see, the skirt has panels of black velvet that are connected by crochet-work, as well as scallops of crochet around the hem.
It's a nice swooshy skirt. I'm not sure if I'll keep it - I have a lot of black skirts! - but there's no need to make that decision right now. I'm not going to be having a giveaway any time soon.

My tactic of "Clothing as Armour" helps me keep my sh*t together.
 Even when my brain really wants to give into the anxiety.

A floppy hat works wonders! I also felt a bit more incognito, like a secret agent going to get groceries.
My thin leather gloves made me feel more secure. We are well-stocked now, ready in case of a full lock-down.


  • Hat - consignment
  • Gloves - vintage, thrifted


The stuff:
Good walking boots.

Blue bling:
Wearing a gift from a loved one feels like a warm hug. 

  • Earrings - don't remember
  • Pendant - Miracle, gift from L


Vizzini retreated to his house for a nap this morning. 
"Really? More pictures?"

I'm always delighted when I find him snuggled in there. We lined it with my old bathrobe (the belt is a toy - you see it hanging down off the top of his house), so that it's softer for him and smells like me.
"Snug as a bug in a...leopard house."

And now, time for some more cat therapy.
"This spot is mine."

L and I have a fun photo-shoot planned for Sunday, which I'm excited to share.

In the meantime, if you're casting about for some blogs to read that aren't fashion-related, these are three that I check on/read daily:

  • Cake Wrecks - "When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong" is the motto of this daily blog. I have read this entire site (I've been following them since they started), and it never fails to make me feel happy. 
  • Epbot - the same writer as Cake Wrecks, only Jen writes here about "Geekery, Girliness, and Goofing Off." Today's post (here) is a great one, with advice from a person who already lives a "social distancing" lifestyle. Introverts know the best advice for coping! 
  • The Bloggess - I've been a fan of Jenny Lawson's for 9 years, and have read both of her books. She's funny as heck, and also gets the whole introverting/anxiety thing. 


Stay safe out there, my friends, and take care of your mental health. Virtual hugs and good vibes to you all!

45 comments:

  1. Hang in there, we will get through this. You are on the right track dressing up and enjoying your clothes. By the way you look fabulous! I love the blue necklace and your kitty always brings a smile to my face!

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    1. Thank you, Carol - it was a lesson learned for me to take better care of myself. Expect lots of cat pictures in the coming days/weeks!

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  2. I share your anxiety Sheila, one minute I'm sure we will all be ok, then I get anxious that life will never be the same again, then I get angry that we're all panicking over what amounts to another strain of flu. Pets do help though, I just sit and stroke my lovely dogs, they have no idea whats going on. Vizzini is beautiful. That was kind of L to cheer you up. We're stronger than we think Sheila. Stay calm and well :-) x

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    1. It's hard, isn't it, Polly? My mind races! My good boy Vizzini really helps, and so does L. Thank you, my dear!

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  3. PS thanks for the links, the cake wrecks is hilarious.

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    1. Isn't it funny? I can always rely on them to cheer me up.

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  4. I am so happy that you are finding comfort in being with your husband and Vizzini. This is a completely overwhelming situation and it is probably unusual for most of us to know that we have so little control over what is going to happen in the world as a whole and our more immediate world in particular. I know that we all need to hear the facts and be up-to-date on any new restrictions, but I fear we are falling victim to the never ending news cycle. Personally I am only watching the news at 5:00 and I am no longer reading news during the day. For me this has lessened the anxiety.

    Dressing beautifully brings you joy and I'm glad you are doing things that make you happy. Your posts make me happy and from all the lovely comments you receive I know that you bring happiness to others also. That is no small thing. It may sound weird as we've never met, but I wish I could give you a hug. As a nana I'm qualified, lol. Since I can't I will wish you well. We're all in this together and we'll come out of it stronger.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nana! Yes, and I realize how lucky I am to have someone to be with - so many of my friends and relatives (hi, Mom!) are alone right now, and here I am, moping with both a cat and an awesome hubby. I am taking all this good advice and not looking at the news more than a couple times a day.

      Yes, it really does! It makes me feel happy, and I'm so grateful that others find solace in my little piece of "normality" - so I'm striving to help in my own way. Aw, thank you, my dear! These kinds of relationships are just as valid - virtual hugs to you! We can do this!

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  5. I feel you! Between the constant talk at work and all the news pushed at me, it's easy for me to get in a vortex of "catastrophic thinking." Good job using your coping skills! :) You're lucky to have your 2 dudes with you to help. Hope you have a great and relaxing weekend!
    Ps- love all the velvet! And cat pictures of course.

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    1. It's hard to remember that self-care, isn't it? I really liked your post about your daily routine and how it helps you stay sane! Thank you!! I know I am lucky to have my boys.

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  6. Virtual hugs! It's an anxious time for sure and unprecedented. Kitty helps and way to go with the outfit! Keep them coming!

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    1. Thank you, Jenna! I will keep the posts coming, thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

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  7. I like your outfit, and I'm even more glad you got the supplies you needed. It's tricky here to find things at the supermarkets so I'm taking advantage of hubby working from home and leaving the kids with a movie on as he listens out for them as he works so that I can get to the super markets. I don't want them to see the empty shelves, it's been like that for a few weeks and it's getting me a bit upset. I will say that I've been able to find similar things to what I was looking for most of the time though so it's not too bad yet.

    We had my little one's party at home with no grandparent guests which was a shame but necessary in this climate - his park party was cancelled. It did mean there was less people to view my cake fail though, haha! I am not a skilled baker or decorator! Sites like the one you shared always make me smile, and feel less alone when things don't work out as I planned!

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    1. Thanks, Mica, me too! I get anxious when I feel like I'm running out of things. I'm glad that you can get out and get what you need as well - it must be even harder with kids! Good to keep the grandparents safe, for sure. Ha! Was your cake a wreck??

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  8. I'm glad you have two good companions to ride out these rough times. Many people are becoming depressed from watching the news, so it's prudent not to over-do that. And, as you discovered, it's healthy to find ways to restore normalcy like dressing up. On Twitter, Michelle Wolf just tweeted: "Remember when you used to have to wear pants?"

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    1. I know, I'm really lucky, and I need to count my blessings. Lol, yes, wear pants!

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  9. Your lovely outfits certainly cheer me up as do Vizzini pictures and L's hats!
    The velvet outfit is fabulous, that blazer especially so. I've salivating over your blue necklace.
    I'm sorry you've had a bit of a wobble, you're right about needing self-care every day. I pondered on the point of dyeing my roots and painting my nails this morning but they make me feel better and ready to face the day even if only the cats, Jon & the tortoise get to see them.
    Much as I like to stay informed, like you, I'm limiting my news intake to the daily government Q&A session and breakfast news otherwise it's just all too overwhelming.
    Our treat supply is running low too, how on earth do we explain social distancing to our cats? xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vix! I know you liked that blue necklace last time I wore it too. I know it's okay to wobble, but I also know it's important to let others know that they are not wobbling alone. I really have realized that I need to do my self-care every day! You have a tortoise? I need to see that!

      Yes, limiting my news is even more important for me - it stresses me out so much.

      I'll try to get more treats this week...

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  10. Dressing up does make us feel better as we navigate these challenging times.
    I am going to check out those blogs...thank you.
    I am only listening to the CBC noon reporting from Dr Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix as that is the latest stats and updates. The rest of the time I am gardening, walking, reading, knitting or playing with the cats.
    Take care

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    1. Hey, L, yes, it sure does. It's a little bit of normal in our crazy world. Good for you - those all sound like really good things for your mental and physical well-being!

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  11. I am having good days and bad days, Sheila, and I have cried my fair share these last couple of days. It certainly helps you be calmer if you severely limit your news intake. For every genuine news report, there are at least ten which are fake and only accentuate the negative, blowing up things beyond all proportion. Still, I had a great(ish) and very productive day yesterday, while today everything seems like too much effort. I've started a new blog post but so far I only have photos as the words fail me, so I am procrastinating! But I got dressed up and I will continue to do so, even if it's only for sprawling on the couch! Clothing as armour does help. And who wants to be looking at boring beige mediocrity anyway? I've got a lot of love for your outfit: the skirt which I hope you will keep, the embroidered jacket, the green jumper and - my favourite - that fabulous pendant! Thank you for cheering me up, my dear! Take care xxx

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    1. Yeah, me too, Ann. It's rough, isn't it? I'm trying not to let the bleak thinking get to me, but it's been really hard, and it will probably only get harder. Don't worry too much about your post, just DO IT! Clothing as Armour is a cure-all, says Dr. Sheila!

      Hugs to you!

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  12. I avoid the news nearly 100%. When it is really necessary to hear what I have to do or not do, Ron warns me. I have been doing that for decades as I am too sensitive and I cannot choose what I read. A headline of something awful will play as a movie in my head. I visualize everything and it sticks with me all my live. So I have to defend myself. No news on TV, no newspapers. A bit radio but there are even times when I have to quickly turn it off.
    I am now reading a Dutch book called: Most people are good. As I was convinced of the opposite, I didn't bother buying it until a very nice friend encouraged me to do so. It has raving reviews. Even after 30 pages my spirits were lifted. With a lot (and I mean a lot) of research to back things up, the simple message is: people are not bad in essence, even soldiers rather not kill than kill (a staggering amount never killed anybody in a war). One story was about 6 boys of 16 which were stranded on a deserted island for 15 months before they were rescued. There was no violence, all tasks were carried out properly, no big leader and a lot of fun. Quite the contrary of a famous book (fiction) that the worst would come out in people in such a situation. Accepting the situation was my first step, now I am enjoying the things that it brings, like time and no stress. Man is resilient and we will work it out after the storm is down. Probably with more focus (and money) on healthcare, education and environment. Did I cheer you up?
    Oh and please continue dressing up and blogging. I do the same and for the same reasons.
    Greetje

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    1. Addendum:
      1) live=life
      2) The story of the 16 year old boys is a true story. It really happened.
      3) Acception the situation is about the situation now.

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    2. Yes, I love that way of getting the news - I'm having L filter it all down to me too. I'm like that as well - I get so emotionally affected by the news that I can only really read the headlines before I get too stressed out. It's a good thing to know about oneself.

      That sounds like a really good book - I'm a natural pessimist so it helps to be reminded that yes, people are mostly good. A bunch of our fellow owners in our condo have volunteered to help some of our seniors who are stuck at home - I nearly cried at that kindness. I'm reminding myself that I can only control myself, not others.

      I will continue dressing up! Believe it!

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  13. Arkam horror? Sounds like the perfect game! Gerben has a fez too, ha ha. I woke up the other night at 3.00 and I was convinced I wouldn't live the virus. I lay awake for 1hour and 15 minutes, until I talked myself some courage, that I would servive. It's a scary world at the moment. Stay strong.

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    1. It's an awesome game, and really distracting, Nancy! Nice, I would love to see a picture of Gerben in his fez!

      Oh, I hate that - I do that too. My mind keeps spinning! Hang in there, Nancy! Hugs to you.

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  14. We have similar taste in blogs, I read this blog first followed by the others. Be happy & be safe.

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    1. Awesome! I love knowing other people like funny and silly stuff too!

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  15. Awesome velvet outfit! I always look forward to seeing your outfits. Glad you have L and Vizzini to help you feel better. Love L's hats. My parents were big ol' news freaks when I was growing up and my mom still is. I used to hang out in my room alot and listen to music or play my guitar to get away from it. Now I never watch the news at all. I figure if something is super important I'll hear about it somehow. I've never played Arkham Horror. We've been playing the card game Onirim lately and I just bought Fox in the Forrest. I also bought a board game called Launcelot, but it's kinda confusing. I might have to make up a few house rules if I can't figure it out. Just don't let King Arthur know. The winner gets to be called Lancelot. It's the closest I'll ever get to being a knight. Reading about your mental health walk the other day made me want to do my nails. I'd been letting them go the past couple weeks and I haven't let them go since the early 90's. Keep up the self care and virtual hugs to you too!

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheryene - my boys definitely cheer me up! As Simon & Garfunkle said, "I get all the news I need from the weather report" - and it's true!

      Games are an excellent distraction and keep our minds agile. Those sound like fun. I haven't done my nails in ages, but I might come around to it! Self-care = happy!

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  16. Lovely velvet jacket, those embroidered flowers are so fabulous, and also lovely skirt!, lots of details and textures and Fabulousness!, your rock and also look really comfy and ready to do stuff (groceries shopping is becoming a hard work!)
    And totally understand that reading too much media made your anxiety worsen quickly!, totally normal reaction!. Actually I never watch tv news and now I even avoid radio programmes that I usually listened to. If something really important happens, somebody is going to tell it me anyway.
    We have to take care of ourselves, so I'm glad that you have L. (so lovely that he wears his hats to cheer you up) and Vizzini to keep your mood up!
    besos & abrazos

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    1. Thank you so much, Monica! Groceries were tough - my shoulders are still sore from carrying everything. I avoid the news, and wait for L to tell me stuff. I am lucky to have that guy! Hang in there, honey! Hugs!

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  17. Oooh, that velvet is amazing! I've been dressing properly every day too; it definitely helps.

    It's okay to be upset, these are strange and frightening times. I had a smol cry this morning, and decided to forgo social media (aside from blogs) and news for a bit. It's good that L and Vizzini are taking care of you.

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    1. I was inspired by you, Mim! I really do have to dress every day, though, or my mind quickly goes into darkness.

      Thank you - I've had little cries here and there, as well as a few "despair" naps. My guys are so good to me.

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  18. Your fashion posts make up for my total absence from the fashion scene! 👋 Since my 93 year old father moved in with us, my "uniform" had gotten even MORE simple! I'm good with that, but continue to be inspired by your delight in a beautiful and quirky wardrobe!

    Stay well. 3 cheers for self-care!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Rebecca, and I'm so glad to see you! Wow, that sounds really rough, please take care of yourself. Even a uniform can be jazzed up a bit! I'm so glad I can inspire - it helps me to know that I'm helping in my own way.

      I agree! Huzzah! Hugs to you, my dear.

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  19. It is important to not lose what makes us unique in this challenging time, and I love seeing all your outfits. I had a little cry the other day while reading the NY Times, which I do every day. The situation there is so terrible, and I worry about the health of my friends there. Otherwise, I'm trying to stay focused on one day at a time, which for me lessens the anxiety, as we really don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, much less next week or next month. I'm so glad I have Sylvester home with me, he is very good company and makes it less lonely working from home.

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    1. Yes, it's helping me to have the routine of getting dressed and posting, Shelley. I know, I worry about so many people too. One day at a time is the only way to go. Our fur fam is the best, isn't it?

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  20. These are such unprecedented and uncertain times for us all and it's natural to feel overwhelmed. I'm glad that your outfits ease your anxiety levels somewhat (I love your jacket!) and I'm very grateful for my virtual connections, especially in times like these. Take care xx

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    1. Thanks for understanding, Fay! Getting dressed fulfills a creative need for me, as well as normalcy in my life. Hugs to you, and thank you so much for the comment.

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  21. My dear Sheila, indeed clothing is a form of self care, i like how you related it to armour.
    I cried too, last week was overwhelming. We had a Cruise (google Zandaam) in the bay with over a thousand people, some infected and some dead. They had been denied port all over South America and we were about to deny it port and passage through the Canal. I could not believe it, where was our humanity? Finally they were given fuel, food, medical assistance and were allowed to cross the Canal to disembark in Florida.

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    1. Clothing has always been armour for me, a way to make a barrier between myself and the real world/other people. It's been a crazy world, hasn't it? Oh no, that's horrible - I've heard of that ship because there are Canadians on it. That's so stressful!

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  22. I hit a wall on Saturday and think it was due to too much brutal news and social media input in my life. Like you, I work hard at keeping myself mentally stable and somehow had forgotten to do the right things. I stepped back and treated myself to a different type of day and it worked. Our clothes are indeed our armour so I'd say " keep dressing up, gal" - it works! xxx

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    1. It really does! I'm off to get ready now for my daily does of dressing up! Thanks, Anna! I so appreciate the time it takes to make all these comments. Hugs, She

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Cheers,
Sheila