Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019! Out With a Bang, and Books Read in 2018

Happy New Year!
 Welcome to 2019! Here's to another year of:

  • Cat pictures
  • Groovy outfits
  • Colour experimentation
  • Rash purchases
  • Fabulous finds
  • Rambling text

That's my blog resolution, anyway - my personal resolution has been the same every year for a few years: Meet or Beat last year's book-reading total. How did I do for 2018? We shall see...

 But primarily, this is an outfit blog, featuring pictures of Vizzini, my shopping expeditions, my travels, my friends, and anything else I feel like including.

  • Dress - Tangerine Jill, consignment; last worn here in July 2018 for Pride Week
  • Booties - Lena Parfait Luxury Freeze, Fluevog; first worn here in October 2018 with my PANK dress
  • Coat (below) - Apparence, vintage, thrifted; last seen here in December 2018

It's basically a blog of my life, since 2008 (that seems so long ago!).
 And I thank you all so much for following, reading, commenting, lurking, and connecting with me this way.

It's been a blast so far, and I see no reason why I should stop, so another year? Bring it on!
 Speaking of blasts, I wore my firecracker dress for New Year's Eve! Let's go out with a bang! I had fully planned to wear this outfit (as seen here) for New Year's, then as I was getting dressed, I thought about how I did not want to be fussing with a long dress all night, and I said, "SCREW IT!" and changed to this comfy dress.

I'm so glad I did. I felt so much more "me" and more comfortable chilling out with my best gang of friends in this fun piece.
 I did my hair up in hot rollers for the occasion (I am klassy that way!), and I asked L to take a few shots for me.

Make sure to get in all the rings (I wore a lot of them).
 Okay, we're good, stop taking pictures!

You are still taking pictures.
 My pursed lips - that means "Danger!" My mom is laughing right now.

Just take a picture of my curly-ish hair!
 It doesn't stay this way for long, even with all the miracle products my hairdresser can push on me.

Look how nice the back looked!
 I was left with a few curls (just my usual) by the end of the night, which was at 3am, in case you were wondering.

Yvonne and Randall hosted our gang, and plied us with food for hours. I feel like a slug today.
 Elegant outerwear shot, there. You know I didn't actually look like this.

  • Cashmere beret - Club Monaco, thrifted
  • Fur scarf - thrifted
  • Leather gloves - consignment

The stuff:
 My friends were delighted to see these shoes in person, and they all had to try them on. I practically had to pry them off of Caro's feet. Give back my shoes!

Ring bling:
All my faves, including my rarely-worn engagement ring from 1996. I bought it myself (ha) and wore it for several years, but a bit of the gold around the sapphire has pulled away, and I'm worried it will snag and fall out, so I seldom wear it.

  • Cuff - JPA, vintage fair
  • Earrings - vintage fair
  • Silver thumb ring - thrifted
  • Engagement ring - 1996, locally made
  • Pearl ring - Erth, consignment
  • Amethyst/gold ring - Frances Jewellers, Dad's, 1965
  • Swear rings - Wendy Brandes

What I really looked like, all bundled up for our walk to Yvonne and Randall's house.  
"What about me? I feel so left out."
Aw, the Unsafe Polar Bear hugs the Velvet Man. 

Look how awesome my guy is! So serious! 
 I bought him the burgundy velvet jacket and the floral shirt for Christmas. So dapper!

With the jacket undone.
"I'm right here! My turn!"
Thank you for being my partner in everything, my dear L.

Can't forget you, buddy!
"Happy New Year to all my fans."

As noted above, I always review my books read every year. I did not meet or beat my total from last year (here), which was 36, but I was close! I read 33 books, with my last one finished on Dec 31st (I spent the whole day reading - heaven!).

Here's what I read. 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 (in red), and really enjoyed the 4/5 ones (bolded); you probably will too!

  1. Men Walking on Water – Emily Schultz – 3/5 (BC)
  2. The Turn – Kim Harrison – 2/5
  3. The Rule of Luck – Catherine Cerveny – 2/5
  4. Homesick for Another World (short stories) – Ottessa Moshfegh – 5/5
  5. Light Lifting (short stories) – Alexander Macleod – 4/5 (BC)
  6. The Frozen Thames – Helen Humphries – 4/5
  7. The Book of Cthulhu (short story anthology) – 2/5
  8. The Everything Box – Richard Kadrey – 2/5
  9. Whit – Iain Banks – 3/5
  10. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Land – Lisa See – 3/5 (BC)
  11. Dangerous Women (short story anthology) – 3/5
  12. Sleeping Beauties – Stephen King and Owen King – 3/5
  13. Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color (short stories) – Chuck Palahniuk – 3/5
  14. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferriante – 3/5
  15. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan – 3/5 (BC)
  16. Complicity – Iain Banks – 3/5
  17. The Fifth Heart – Dan Simmons – 3/5
  18. How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran – 3/5 (BC)
  19. Dr. No – Ian Fleming – 3/5
  20. Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh – 4/5
  21. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen – Lois McMaster Bujold – 2/5
  22. A Borrowed Man – Gene Wolfe – 3/5
  23. Emerald City (short stories) – Jennifer Egan – 3/5
  24. All the Birds In the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders – 4/5
  25. American Gods – Neil Gaiman – 4/5 (BC)
  26. The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin – 5/5
  27. Hard Candy (short stories) – Harlan Ellison – 2/5
  28. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards – 2/5 (BC)
  29. The Obelisk Gate – NK Jemisin – 4/5
  30. The Stone Sky – NK Jemisin – 4/5
  31. Galaxy Jane – Ron Goulart – 1/5
  32. Nightlife – Rob Thurman – 2/5
  33. This Book is Full of Spiders – David Wong – 4/5

Any that you've read? Two of my new favourite writers - Otessa Mossfegh and NK Jemisin - are represented, and are well worth seeking out. Mossfegh has a talent for the weird and beautiful (I have one more book by her that is on the shelf to be read soon), and Jemisin is a writer in the sci-fi/futurist genre - all three of her books noted above (they are called The Broken Earth Trilogy) each won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, 3 years in a row! I bought them purely on that basis (a reasonable risk), and I will be getting more by her for sure.

Other favourite writers represented here are: David Wong, Jennifer Egan, Dan Simmons, Iain Banks, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk - I have a backlog of books to read by them still. I'm also a fan of Harlan Ellison (been reading some older books/short stories), Neil Gaiman (re-read American Gods for Book Club, but I've read everything by him), Lois McMaster Bujold (I'm a fan of her Vorkosigan series, but this was a weak one), and Kim Harrison (the Rachel Morgan books; this was a story set in that world, and not as good). I tend to read my favourite authors, with some branching out. Book Club gave me 7 books this year, with mixed results, but I love that it pushes my boundaries with authors/genres that I wouldn't normally be drawn to.

I'll be back to my regular daily posting schedule again as I head back to work tomorrow (UGH), but I'll leave you with one last shot that L took. 
"Okay, stop, give me the camera!"
All the best for the New Year! Here's to 2019!


  1. Ha ha, guilty...I’m in the lurker category Sheila. Always enjoy your posts so thought I’d come out of the shadows and wish you an awesome 2019 and a year of amazing thrift finds. You are the queen of thrifting!! Jen

    1. Jen, thank you so much for commenting! I really do appreciate it! You're such a sweetheart!

  2. Well, I'm delighted you;'re carrying on doing what you've been doing since 2008! I'm a year behind you but have no intentions to stop either - blogging is the best!
    Happy New Year to all three of you! I'm so glad you wore that phenomenal dress for NYE, it's all what New Year's Eve is about in dress form. L looked wonderful in his velvet and floral combo, too. I'd have tried to steal those boots of yours if I'd been at the party!
    I used to record the books I'd read on Goodreads but fell out of the habit, I must try harder as a few times I bought books from chazzas I've already read - gah! On your list I've read nos 9,15,16,18 and 19. I'm a fan of Chuck Palahniuk ever since I saw Fight Club all those years ago.
    Hope the return to work isn't too taxing for you - not long till the weekend. xxx

    1. Vix, blogging brings me such joy - isn't it just the best? Thank you so much - you truly leave the nicest, juiciest comments!

      I tried Goodreads, but I prefer my little book for recording them. I love Palahniuk!

  3. Congratulations on your long blogging career! I thoroughly enjoy your blog and all you blog about so keep it up, Sheila!

    What an amazing dress and shoes - no fear of you ending up looking the same as every other woman...

    I've read two on your list - one of the Iain Banks and the Elena Ferrante one which I got as part of the four book book set in Christmas 2016. I loved the whole series. I've also got the Neil Gaiman on my shelves to be read - must add that to my pile of TBRs!

    You and L look wonderfully festive in your photo - Happy New Year to you both.

    1. Thank you so much, Vronni! I truly do treasure every comment from you.

      Nice - I enjoyed the Ferrante book, and am looking forward to watching the series on TV (I've recorded it). Gaiman is wonderful, enjoy!

      Happy New Year to you!

  4. My favorite dress of yours! I feel honored to have been present at its discovery. Best wishes for the New Year.

    1. That's one of the reasons why I wore it! Your visit was a highlight of my year!

  5. Happy New Year, and again, gratitude for all that you do with this blog! I love that NYE outfit; wish mine had been as colorful, but I did my best with black and silver.

    I just realized that not only have I been following you for some years now, you are in the elite category of bloggers that I have followed--and stayed interested in. There is not enough time in my life to waste on following people who don't live as richly as you, and don't create so wonderfully in the medium of ensemble creation. I've gotten increasingly picky about the blogs I follow! You are authentic on every level.

    2019 is going to be a big year for me. At the end of the spring semester, I am retiring. My first grandchild is due right after that, and I have lots of ideas for other new adventures. Maybe I'll even try blogging myself! But one thing for sure is travel. One place that's been on my informal bucket list for many, many years, is Victoria. Perhaps I'll even have a chance to meet you, eh?

    1. Aw, thank you, Linda! Your outfit sounds great! Your comment - wow, high praise, thank you again. I try to "keep it real".

      That's big! Retiring is something I'm starting to think about now. Your year ahead sounds awesome, and YES! If you come to Victoria, I will make the time to see you! Please drop me a line - my email's in my profile.

  6. Way to end the year with a bang! You both look great.

    Thank you for your book recommendations! I'll have to check some of them out. I enjoy book club for the same reason - definitely books I would not normally read. I LOVE NK Jemisin. Her books are so dreamy. I don't know if you listen to podcasts but 'Levar Burton Reads' is great and he recently read an early short story of hers.

    Do you use Goodreads at all? I'd love to follow. I've read quite a few of the books you read this year.

    1. Thank you, Charlotte! And thanks for reading and commenting all these years! I need to get more Jemisin - I just love her writing. Thanks for the podcast recommendation. No, sorry, I don't Goodread - I try to keep my life offline as much as possible (says the woman with a 11 year old blog).

  7. THOSE SHOES *covet* And what a handsome fella! I hope David and I are that cute together when we grow up ;)

    I really should finish reading Neverwhere... And I would always, a hundred times over, recommend Good Omens, but I have a feeling that'd be a re-read for you. Happy new year!


    1. I am still waiting to see how I'll turn out when I grow up, ha ha! Thank you, Bat!

      Neverwhere is great - do yourself a favour and read the whole thing! I have read Good Omens, of course. :)

  8. Happy New year, Sheila! You and L sure look sharp in your party gear! How funny your friends wanted to try on your shoes! A mark of closeness, I'd say!
    I've read The Memory Keeper's Daughter-- it is quite memorable to me! I see families with children with Down's Syndrome differently after reading it. I'm currently reading Tell No One by Harlan Coben for my book club. I'm not a fan of creepy lot, but I do like being enticed to turn the page!

    1. Aw, Mel-Bee, thanks for dropping by! My friends always want to try my shoes!

      I liked that book, but didn't love it. I love a good page-turner too!

  9. Breathing a sigh of relief that you'll carry on blogging in 2019. I intend to do the same, as it's one of the best things I ever did. So sad that a lot of bloggers seem to have lost their mojo lately. If I have one resolution this year, it's to try and read more. I seem to read less and less books each year. Must do something about that. Love your New Year's Eve outfit, that amazing dress and those shoes together are just fabulous. I would have liked to try them on too! L is looking awesome too. Love his floral skirt. Must try to find something similar for Jos! xxx

    1. Oh, yeah, no fear. I enjoy this and love all the people. Glad you are sticking around too, Ann! I know, bloggers come and go, sadly. I miss some of them (mostly I miss all the comments).

      These floral shirts have been the rage for men here for years - every guy I know has a few. They are pricey but lovely on.

  10. Love that dress and it sounds like a great way to welcome in the new year! :)

    Your book reading resolution is a good one even if you didn't quite make it this year - I asked for and received some books for Christmas so I'm hoping that helps me with reading a bit more regularly!

    1. Thanks, Mica! I know, I don't mind that I didn't meet or beat - I'm still happy with all the books I did read. Good luck with your goal!

  11. I've been a lurker for a few years now, but I'm trying to come out of my lurk-cave this year.Love that gorgeous dress! You and L look awesome in your New Year's Eve outfits.
    I read Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy back in high school, but just reread them again plus the three new Earthsea books she wrote. I should start keeping track of how many books I read each year. I also read Kevin J. Anderson's Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives about 4 times each 'cause they're really cool. I don't know if that counts as 2 books or 8 books... haha!

    1. Cheryene, thank you so much for de-lurking and saying hello! I so appreciate it, and thank you for your kind words.

      I enjoyed all of those books too! I would count them as 8, ha ha!

  12. Haha I love that last shot !
    You two are a killer couple :)
    and OMG I feel awful. I read one book.

    1. Ha, L was enjoying himself far too much - should never let that man near the camera.

      Eh, not a huge deal - you have lots of room for improvement. ;-P

  13. I've not read ANY of those books and only heard of Dr No!!!
    Your orange and pink dress is such a joy! I think of it as a modern spin on a Flapper dress! You look gorgeous in it and I loved your coiffed curls (Plus cute pink beret!) Your man looks so dapper and handsome!!x

    1. Hey, to each her own! Thanks, hon - it is sort of like a flapper dress! L is getting all full of himself with these compliments, ha ha!

  14. Whoa, that firecracker dress is aptly named. You and L, in his velvet and that fab shirt, are rockstars! There would have been a brawl around you, Sheila, as we fight over your shoes, although it would be a shame to take them away from this stunning combo.

    I read lots of books this year too - I'm always reading - but I'm sure not as many as you have read. I should keep track at risk of re-getting them.

    Happy New Year to you and L! May it be full of style adventures, travel adventures, games, parties, feasting, success - you name it. And of course catnip for Vizzini.

    1. Happy New Year, Mel! Thank you so much - and I know you wear the same size shoes as me!

  15. Whenever I see that dress I think of post-it notes, so to me, it shall hearbye be referred to as the post-it note dress. L looks positively dashing! Excellent choice on your part with the velvet blazer and shirt.

    I read a lot of books this year, none of which are on your list, but I did read American Gods a few years back and really enjoyed it. Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors. I've been working my way through Terry Pratchett's DiscWorld series, which I love.

    Wishing you, L and Vizzini a wonderful 2019!

    1. Yes, I get that from other people - I may have to change the name.

      Happy reading, Shelley!


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