Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year! Last Outfits, and My Reading Resolution Recap

H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R! 

Well, here we are - 2018! We live in the future! Wishing you all a very Happy 2018 - all the best to you and your families (furry and/or human) from me and Vizzini!
"My fans appreciate an action shot."
 He wouldn't be Vizzini if he didn't go after my earrings! That is my New Year's Eve outfit above (more deets below), but first, we have Saturday's brunch outfit, plus how I did on my 2017 New Year's resolutions (always rather loosey-goosey). Let's get 'er going, so that I can go sit on the couch.

The above outfit is my entry for the first "Visible Monday" of 2018! Thank you to dear Patti of Not Dead Yet Style for reminding me and so many others, year after year, that we need to stay visible, be true to our own style, and that age ain't nothing but a number.

Saturday brunch! L and I took it easy all weekend - both of us are feeling the impending doom-laden weight of the spectre of work looming in our very near futures. I'm trying not to think about it!
 My last outfit of the year features some of my favourite things - as should most of my outfits, best intentions, ya know.

  • Wool sweater - Rino Rossi, thrifted; last seen here in January 2017 with black and magenta
  • Skirt - Leifsdottir, Anthropologie, Vancouver; last worn here in August 2017 with the jelly-deer sweater
  • Shoes - Hispanitas; last seen here in November 2017 with soft textures
  • Coat (below) - Rodarte for Opening Ceremony, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) in December 2017

This vintage sweater is very nice quality - I like the higher neck (usually doesn't work on me), and the long length of it.
 What long length, you say? I've tucked the hem under to shorten the sweater by about 3 inches.
 Here is it at full length. Too long - I lose the detail on the skirt, and it visually lowers my proportions oddly. I tried tucking it in, but nah, not quite. I made do with a tuck.

And coffee, lots of coffee.
 It was crisp and cold for our walk to town - our last brunch at Floyd's for the year.
 I grocery shopped for New Year's Eve, and then we came home and watched movies and played board games. Heaven!

A dramatic skirt calls for a dramatic coat! Ringmaster coat to the rescue!
 I rarely do a back shot of my outerwear, but this is just such a wonderful piece.
 I wore my new-to-me pink leather gloves for the first time. I like the bright contrast to all the black and the turquoise.

The stuff:
 This year, I made a conscious effort to buy more flats for my wardrobe. Be kind to your feet!

Brass bling:
 The diamond-shaped brass earrings have skeletons on them, and were a stocking present from L. They're locally made!

  • Poe cuff - Jezebel Charms, gift from L
  • Brass/leather cuff - c. 1968, Mom's
  • Spinner ring - Twang & Pearl
  • Earrings - HollyHawks, gift from L

I had been in a conundrum over what to wear for New Year's Eve. With all the shopping I did, I was kind of hoping to find a new piece to wear, but after I found these boots, I knew that they would be the centrepiece of my 2017/2018 outfit.
I've had this dress for going on 8 years (bought it in London, England here in 2010), but have never worn it to a party. It was a big hit, along with my velvet blue boots!

  • Dress - Desigual, 2010, London; last seen here (2nd outfit) in June 2017 for the opening of the Victoria Fluevog store
  • Boots - Ishshoes Chatterbox, Fluevog; purchased here for $199.99 in gift cards
  • Coat (below) - T Tahari, thrifted; purchased for $69.95 and first worn here last week

 2017 was full of so many anniversaries, from my 20th wedding anniversary with L, to my 10 years of keeping my weight off, to the 20th anniversary of my Dad's death (and the ensuing tattoo with Dave to commemorate that), to my 50th birthday (and our trip! And my custom dress!). I'm exhausted just looking at all those round numbers.

2018 has only one anniversary, but it's a biggie - it is 10 years since I started this blog. I can't express how much this has changed my life, and how much it's meant to me to be able to grow and evolve my style in such a supportive an encouraging environment (that's you, family, friends, readers, commenters). I love that I have this archive life, basically. I've been through several haircolours (red, burgundy, blonde and shades of purple), we're on our 3rd cat (RIP Othello and Inigo), and well...10 years is a lot! I'm thankful for this platform to put myself out there.

But enough of that, let's get to my New Year's Eve outfit.
 One of my New Year's resolutions for 2017 was to do my nails - it's a bit of self-care that makes me feel good (shiny! glitter! colour!), but after about 3-4 months, I got thoroughly sick of doing it. Plus, Ultimate Frisbee season started! I enjoyed this challenge to myself, but I'll pass on doing my nails unless I really want to do it, or need a lift. I thought I'd do a call-back to that with my blue and glitter nails for this New Year's.

In addition to shopping my closet and wearing this "old" (and getting to be home-grown vintage) dress, I wore a cami under it that my former coworker Ruth gave me well over 7 years ago. She was the person who pushed me to start my blog ("your outfits are just as good as those!" she said, after getting me hooked on fashion blogs back in early 2008). So, thank you, Ruth, for encouraging me to explore this creative outfit.
 We went to a small gathering with some friends for New Year's Eve - it was perfect. I'm so grateful for "the family I choose."

L and I bundled up with all of our libations, food, shoes and other necessary party items, and walked to the venue.
 Yeah, baby! Of course, I did not walk there in my new boots - I wore my white floral Doc Martens.

Fully bundled. I was snuggly warm in this lovely down-filled coat.
 Furry accessories for the win! We staggered home with our friends at around 3am.

  • Fur toque/scarf - Danier Leather
  • Wool gloves - vintage, thrifted

The stuff:
 The party had disco lights which really accentuated the colour of my boots - it's hard to see the colour, sorry, but they are a very deep rich blue. Most of our friends stroked the soft velvet at least once!

Party bling:
 I think of my Wendy Brandes rings as anniversary rings too - the lapis lazuli one was bought by me for my 5th anniversary of my weight loss in Feb 2012, and the Fulvia Ring was bought to commemorate 5 years of keeping my weight off in March 2013. And since Wendy is someone I've known through blogging for nearly the entire time I've had Ephemera, it also seemed appropriate to wear these for my last/first outfit of the years.

  • Lapis lazuli ring/Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Earrings - vintage fair

I have to share this picture that Yvonne took - I made deviled eggs and even brought my own vintage yellow Indiana Glass Company egg display plate!
We had to change the lighting scheme shortly after this - it was really making the food look weird!
 I brought the egg whites in a Tupperware, and the yolk mixture in a Ziploc baggie - I arrayed them on the plate, and piped the yolks into the eggs (I cut a small hole in the baggie), then sprinkled smoked paprika on them.
 Always a hit, and so klassy!

My New Year's picture with L.
 Looking stylish as always. Much love to my dear best friend and most amazing husband - thank you for another wonderful year.

And my other guy...
"What a noble profile I have. What intriguing earrings the Woman has provided for me to play with."
 My other New Year's resolution has been ongoing for a few years now - to "meet or beat" the number of books I've read from the previous year. I read 45 books last year, but I didn't beat that this year - that's a lot of books!

I did read 36 books, and here's a list. Most of them were my choice, but some were my Book Club books (marked "BC"). I have been writing down all the books I've read since late 2007 - the ratings below are out of 5. I'm a hard marker - not many books get a 5! I strongly recommend the 5/5 books (bolded), and really enjoyed the 4/5 ones (you probably will too!).

  1. Devil's Right Hand - Lilith Saintcrow - 3/5
  2. Saint City Sinners - Lilith Saintcrow - 2/5
  3. To Hell and Back - Lilith Saintcrow - 1/5
  4. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night - Heather O'Neill - 4/5 (BC)
  5. Boneshaker - Cheri Priest - 2/5
  6. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams - Stephen King - 4/5
  7. Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits - David Wong - 4/5
  8. The Fireman - Joe Hill - 4/5
  9. Tales From the Darkside - Joe Hill - 3/5
  10. Black Coffee Blues - Henry Rollins - 3/5 (BC)
  11. The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 2/5
  12. Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons - 1/5
  13. The Death of Bunny Munro - Nick Cave - 4/5
  14. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer - 4/5
  15. The Hatmaker's Heart - Carla Stewart - 1/5
  16. Orphans of the Sky - Robert A. Heinlein - 2/5
  17. Matter - Iain M. Banks - 4/5
  18. Make Something Up...Stories You Can't Unread - Chuck Palahniuk - 4/5
  19. Finders Keepers - Stephen King - 4/5
  20. End of Watch - Stephen King - 3/5
  21. Stonemouth - Iain Banks - 4/5
  22. The Sellout - Paul Beaty - 3/5 (BC)
  23. Redshirts - John Scalzi - 3/5
  24. The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn - Alison Weir - 3/5 (BC)
  25. The First Bad Man - Miranda July - 5/5
  26. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins - 2/5
  27. Hidden Figures - Margo Lee Shetterly - 5/5
  28. The Business - Iain Banks - 4/5
  29. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? - Maria Semple - 3/5 (BC)
  30. Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English - Rebecca Gowers - 4/5
  31. I Remember Nothing...and Other Reflections - Nora Ephron - 3/5
  32. Trigger Warning - Neil Gaiman - 4/5
  33. Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman - 4/5
  34. The Wind Through the Keyhole - Stephen King - 3/5
  35. The Abominable - Dan Simmons - 3/5
  36. Sweet Tooth - Ian MacEwan - 2/5

Pretty good! That's my 2nd most books read in 10 years, so I'm happy with that. I made a good dent in my piles of "to read" books. Let's do it again this year!

Vizzini, anything to add?
"Wishing all of you good stretches, and many tummy rubs."
That sounds lovely. Here's to 2018!


  1. Oh, the warmth in this post, Sheila. Thank you for this great recap - it triggers thoughts of my own on these topics. The photos of you and L is EXCELLENT. Your blue boots are stunning. Your friend who encouraged you to blog, I thank her too. I'd have eaten all your deviled eggs. I love your giraffe-y top. Gaaa, too much to remember. And big tummy rubs for Vizzini. May you and L and Vizzini have a fanastic 2018. I look forward to more adventures with you!!

    1. Thank you, darlin'! Yes, I'm very grateful for Ruth for pushing me to try this - it was so outside my comfort zone at the time. More adventures, for sure, my dear! Thank you!

  2. Happy 2018, Sheila! I think you have one of the very best blogs, and I am so grateful for the inspiration you give constantly. I shop second hand way more because of you, for instance. . . I mix and match what is in my closet much more creatively, because I watch how you do it. . . Thanks for all of the care you put into creating this blog! I've been following you for some time--not all your years of blogging, but quite a few of them. If I ever start a blog myself (a dream I flirt with but can't quite pull together) I think it will be inspired by yours, more than anyone else's.

    BTW, I have to note that I had a few anniversaries last year that paralleled yours, such as 10 years at WW (tomorrow is my 11th anniversary there), and turning a new decade (I had my 60th birthday in August.)

    I wish you health and joy in 2018!!!

    1. Oh, Linda, what a sweet comment - thank you! I love hearing that you've been inspired - I am so flattered. I say go for your dream - if you start a blog, I will come visit, I promise! Happy anniversaries/birthday to you, m'dear! All the best in 2018.

  3. I forgot to say--those new blue velvet boots are AWESOME!

  4. Wonderful recap, and I love the love in your home. Two fab guys! And that ringmaster coat, how perfec is that? Hoping your year is full of delights and treasures, xox


    1. Aw, thank you, Patti! Hugs to you and all good things right back at you!

  5. Wow, you started 2018 with a fabulous bang!
    LOVE the brunch ensembles, very cool teal skirt.
    Dynamite dress for NYE, loved the red tights, and the blue velvet boots...

  6. Happy New Year! That's a lot of books. Respect!

    March 29th. That's your anniversary day. Ten years! Respect again.

    I'm gonna e-mail you about possibly visiting in the next few months, both to help you celebrate your blog-iversary and to pet your new velvet boots. And, most of all, to coax you into giving me a lesson on styling a cylindrical body.

    1. Thank you! I hope I can meet or beat that this year! You got it, March 29th, how time flies. Yay! I got your email - I so want to see you! We can totally dress your fab bod, girlfriend.

  7. Happy New Year!!! Yo both look amazing!!! The boots are gorgeous and the deviled eggs look so yummmmm!!!

  8. Happy new year Sheila! What an incredible year you've had, with so many anniversaries. It's amazing to think you'll have been blogging 10 years this year! I often wonder how long I'd be blogging for if I'd kept the first blog I had. My current one just hit 6 years and I'm impressed as I've never stuck with a blog (or any hobby other than reading!) so long.

    Here's to many more years of blogging for us both!

    1. Thanks so much, Mica! I know, it's been so long - I'm impressed at your 6 years, wow! Yes, here's to both of us!

  9. Happy New Year for you all!
    I noticed that even your coffeecup is matching with skirt. Coincidence, I don't think so.
    I have really enjoying following your blog, it gives me so much inspiration to my own style and mixing clothing item many new, different ways. Especially now that my new year resolution for year 2018 is to buy less clothes and instead try to enjoy what I already have.
    Lots of pats to Vizzini and I wish all the best for you for year 2018!

    1. Thank you, Mujeril! Ha, actually it is coincidence (I have a red mug just like it, and I alternate them) about the mug. Aw, thank you - that is so sweet. What a great resolution. Vizzini appreciated the pats, and best to you too!

  10. Happy Everything Sheila! Great round up post...I'm now thinking of keeps notes of the books I read. Actually, there is an option with my library account to record keep all my book loans.

    1. Aw, thank you, Sue! That sounds like a plan - go for it! I like looking back at my books read - it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

  11. Happy New Year, Sheila! I absolutely adore what you wore on NYE! The dress is fab and the boots are amazing! Ten years blogging is such a fantastic achievement, Sheila! Here's to the next ten and a wonderful 2018! Also, lots of hugs and pats to Vizzini too, of course! :) XXX

    1. Thank you so much, Sasha! I can't believe how the time has flown. Vizzini sends thanks for the hugs!

  12. Sheila - Thank you for what you give to all of us every day. I always check in and honestly, it makes my life better! LOVE the shot of you in the pink lighting! Liz

    1. Wow, that is so nice of you to say! Heh, I look good in pink!

  13. Happy New Year, Sheila! I love your New Year's Eve outfit. You and L. make a stylish couple! I have to go back to work tomorrow, so I'm totally feeling the impending doom-laden weight ... xxx

    1. Thanks so much, Ann! I hope your day back was relatively painless!

  14. Happy New Year, dear Sheila!! that first photo of you and Vizzini is just adorable!
    Devilled eggs? Yes, please! velvet boots, hell. yeah!
    What a year 2017 was for you. Here's to a wonderful, spectucular and fabulous 2018!!! xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Vix! Vizzini is so photogenic. I love deviled eggs, and velvet boots - both awesome! Happy 2018 to you and Jon.

  15. Happy new year to you too! I love the Desigual dress, and the picture of you and L. is so nice! I am looking forward to lots of new outfits and inspiration. Best wishes and take care!

    1. Thank you so much, Sabine. I plan on many more outfits! Happy 2018 to you!

  16. Oh wow, already 10 years ?!?! congrats.
    I loved the picture of you two, those orange trousers are outstanding.

  17. Excellent recap! Congratulations on 10 years of blogging; I'm impressed at how much you post, and that you are still enjoying it. I've kept my blog going for 9 years, and I'm afraid I've lost my enthusiasm, partly because I haven't found anyone to collaborate with, or take photos. Wish I lived closer to you and Mel!

    The book list was cool - oddly enough, I've only read one of the books on it (the Nora Ephron one). I like Neil Gaiman a lot, but haven't read the two on the list, and I like Miranda July, so I will have to look for the one you mentioned.

    Great NYE outfit; the boots are definitely the stars! You and L are one of the most stylin' couples I know. Tell Vizzini that Sylvester sends New Years wishes for lots of tummy rubs for him too!

    1. Thank you! My blog has kept my writing alive, and the feedback from readers keeps me coming back, plus my creativity in my appearance has improved (in my mind, ha). I wish you lived closer too.

      I didn't really like the Nora Ephron one, but I would recommend both Gaimans for you. I ADORE Miranda July's writing.

      Thank you! Vizzini just stared at me when I told him that.

  18. Fab New Year's outfit! Those boots...

    I managed 92 books this year - well I am retired! I have read 21, 26 and 29 on your list and have one or two of the others; the Nick Cave, for example waiting to be read.

    L looks very dapper, too!

    Happy New Year to Vizzini - get him a pair of dangley earrings for himself....

    1. Wow, that's a lot of books - I'm jealous of all your reading time, Veronica! I hope you like the Nick Cave one -it's hilarious (L read it too). Thank you, Happy New Year to you! No earrings for Vizzini!

  19. The boots! I forgot to mention the boots in the last comment. OMG how amazing these babies are! Blue and velvet and those funky soles too - utterly amazing and all thanks to your gift vouchers, lucky you.
    Happy New Year to you too. Lovely, lovely post x

    1. Thanks, Anna! I love them too - can't wait to wear them again! Hugs to you, m'dear.


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