Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! Mad Hattery and King L, Plus 2019 Reading Resolution Recap


"Hello to all my fans."

Here's to another year of having fun with our clothes!

This New Year's Eve, as with all our New Year's Eves, we spent with our group of friends, aka Party in a Box, so-called because if you invite us to anything, you get an instant party. They are the "family we choose," and I love them dearly.
We all met up at Cactus Club for dinner, and then went to Justin's studio for dancing and laughing and drinking till the wee hours.

As you can see, I went subtle (snort).
I'm demanding comfort first from my clothes for 2020, so we have a bigass tulle and netting skirt on the bottom - it even has an elastic waist.

  • Sweater - Maison Scotch, thrifted; purchased here for $22.99
  • Skirt - Twinset, consignment; purchased here for $78.00
  • Boots - Prepare 2.0 Tracker, Fluevog; purchased here with gift cards
  • Leather trenchcoat (below) - vintage 70s, thrifted; last seen here just over a week ago

I felt a little Stevie Nicks in this.

Sexy pose!

This is the first wearing of my new-to-me cotton sweater, and I loved the loose but also fitted (sleeves/waist) cut of it. I struggle with baggy shapes on top, but this one works.
I adored this wonderful netting/tulle skirt - it was very swooshy, and fun for dancing (which I did a lot of!). For walking anywhere, I rolled the waistband up - no dragging in the gutters for this Klassy chic!
Compared to other New Year's Eves, this is a dark, covered-up look for me. I'm deploying Clothing as Armour, of course, and being rather introverted. I haven't been around people for nearly a week (only in small doses). I have a feeling going back to work will be a shock to my system!
Due to the low brim of the hat, I was able to engage in eye contact as I felt like it.

Wonderful hat, isn't it? I took it off at the restaurant, but otherwise wore it the whole night.
I wore solid black tights under it, and I have a black cami on under the sweater for extra warmth/smoothing.

Here's your New Year's couple: the Mad Hatter and His Royal Highness, King L.
Yeah, baby! Here's to another year of shenanigans with my best guy.

Doesn't he look wonderful? He spotted the brass crown while out Christmas shopping for me at the Antique Mall. It was labeled a Mardi Gras crown.
L is quite good at outfits in his own right, and put this outfit together all on his own, with only a few snide snarky helpful comments from me.

I bought him the gold lame (lah-MAY, darling!) cummerbund and bow tie from WIN about a year ago, for only $1.95 each, and the shirt was a Christmas present this year that I picked up at House of Savoy.
The trousers are from Turnabout, can't remember where we got that dark blue velvet blazer, though. The lion head pendant is from the late 90s, and I can't remember where the dragon pin came from, but it's been with us for a while. His shiny blue shoes are Fluevog, of course!

I love this picture. This is L losing patience with me, but doing what I'm asking anyway.
"As you wish." 

I might steal that crown!

Bundled up for outdoors. We had the worst weather! Pelting rain, gusts of wind up to 60 km/hour. I carried an umbrella in addition to this and it inverted several times (and I have a good quality brolly that doesn't do that). There was much plaintive whining as I hobbled along taking very small, cautious steps.
My bag is loaded up with cans of soda water, Fresca and Lindt chocolate balls, and I carried more soda in a separate bag. Heavy! It was an ordeal, walking to town, then to the party venue, then home at 3am (although with much less chocolate and fewer cans!).

  • Hat - vintage, thrifted
  • Scarf - gift from Mom
  • Gloves - Cejon
  • Purse - vintage 80s, vintage mall

The stuff:
It had mostly stopped raining by the time we walked home, so I let the hat get wet (it's wool, no worries). These shoes were fabulous, although by the end of the evening, my feet were pretty tired! They performed admirably in the rain.

Loaded bling:
A little bit of everything! I loaded up my bling - more armour.

  • Belt - Gap, thrifted
  • Acrylic cuff - Alexis Bittar, consignment
  • Leather cuff - Guess, thrifted
  • Studded cuff - vintage 80s
  • Necklace - vintage 60s, Robert Larin, gift from L
  • F#@! rings - Wendy Brandes
  • Earrings - Glee
  • Brolly brooch - vintage, gift from L
  • Onyx/silver ring - Tocarra, vintage fair

And without further ado, here's my recap of my 2019 Reading Resolution. It's the same every year: Meet or Beat the number of books read the previous year. I've been tracking my reading for over 10 years; here's last year's New Year's Eve outfits and books, if you're interested.

Last year I read 33 books and this year, it's...31! I didn't reach my goal, but still a respectable amount. Here's my list - I highly recommend any (bolded) 5/5 books and 4/5 books (I'm a hard marker), but avoid any 1/5's like the plague. Any books labeled "(BC)" are one chosen by Book Club members.

  1. Small Favor - Jim Butcher - 2/5
  2. Walking on Glass - Iain Banks - 3/5
  3. The German Girl - Armando Lucas Corea - 2/5 (BC)
  4. Dead Air - Iain Banks - 2/5
  5. Ghost Story - Jim Butcher - 3/5
  6. The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star - Nikki Sixx w/Ian Gittens - 4/5
  7. Asymmetry - Lisa Halliday (BC) - 3/5
  8. Lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk - 2/5
  9. The Last Adventure of Constance Verity - A. Lee Martinez - 3/5
  10. Transition - Iain M. Banks - 3/5
  11. From the Land of Fear - Harlan Ellison - 2/5
  12. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon - 4/5
  13. Mary - Vladimir Nabokov - 4/5
  14. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot - 4/5 (BC)
  15. The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shrove - 2/5
  16. Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology - Suzy Menkes - 4/5
  17. Winter's Tale - Mark Helprin - 3/5
  18. Raingod and Other Delusions - Harlan Ellison - 2/5
  19. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline - 4/5
  20. The Girl With Ghost Eyes - M.H. Boroson - 3/5
  21. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? - N.K. Jemisin - 4/5
  22. Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff - 5/5 (BC)
  23. Surface Detail - Iain M. Banks - 2/5
  24. The Curse of Chalion - Lois McMaster Bujold - 3/5
  25. The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith - 4/5
  26. Moonraker - Ian Fleming - 1/5
  27. The Battle of Versailles - Robin Givhan - 3/5 (BC)
  28. Cloud Chamber - Howard L. Myers - 1/5
  29. French Lessons - Monica Belle - 2/5
  30. Chelsea Girl Murders - Sparkle Hayter - 2/5
  31. Fluevog: 50 Years of Unique Soles for Unique Souls - John Fluevog - 4/5

I read five Book Club books last year - my lone 5/5 book came from that list. I also worked at getting through the stacks gathering dust beside my bed, so picking up some of Harlan Ellison, Chuck Palahniuk and Iain Banks (with and without the "M") as backlog. A bunch of the titles there are books I got as gifts (i.e. not picked out myself), as well as interesting books that I spotted in the thrift stores.

So, my goal for next year: Meet or Beat this year's total! Totally doable!

Well, there you have it. We'll be back to our usual programming tomorrow, as I am back to work. I hope you all had a very Happy New Year, and thank you again for joining me on this ride.


  1. The weather was positively beastly last evening. Wow and you walked in it!!!
    Happy New Year.
    Love the hat and that skirt with the red accessories. Sounds like a fun evening.

    1. It was horrendous! Thank you so much, Leslie! I hope you had a wonderful New Year! Thank you!

  2. What a lovely look! The sweater and the tulle skirt is such a nice combo. I also really like how you accessorized with a red belt and boots. The coat is fabulous as well.
    A friend group that is always a party group when they get together, well that sounds great.
    Family we choose...that's a great term. I do believe that good friends are as important as family, sometimes even more (depending on how close one actually is with one's family). In one way, we do choose our family.
    Your reading list is very impressive. I haven't read any of the books from it, but I did recognize some authors and read some of their books. I think I read about 80 books this year. My reading goal was 100 but I feel a bit short of it. I wish you all the best in 2020 and many more fabulous outfits and books.

    1. Thank you, Ivana! It's fairly sedate for me, but it felt right. I love my family that I choose! I'm not super-close with my family. Wow, 80 books is amazing! I can't even fathom reading that many!

      Happy New Year!

    2. Same here, but I won't be anywhere near 80. :)

  3. Heh, I was thinking, 'That's very Stevie Nicks' and then you said it. An icon's an icon... King L looks very spiffy too.

    Some good books there - I love the Jim Butcher ones; they're trashy but sometimes a bit of trash is needed. My favourite Banks books are The Wasp Factory, The Player of Games and Espedair Street.

    1. Lol, great minds...thanks, Mim! I like the Jim Butcher too - easy reads. I've read all the "good" Banks books, and am now working on the...less good ones.

  4. What a great hat! You're such a rock-star. Hey, I know book No. 31. :)

    1. We are rock stars, for sure! I know you know that book! :)

  5. I like this belted knit over a maxi skirt outfit I never tried that this winter, I knotted a knot a few times and belted a cardigan but never tried a belted jumper. Next winter perhaps! If it ever cools down here...looking pretty crazy at the moment and it's still just the start of summer. We are safe though from the fires.

    Happy new year Sheila!

    1. It was a new thing for me too, Mica - most sweaters are too bulky to belt properly. I am glad to hear you are safe from the fires!

      Happy New Year!

  6. Happy New Year to you, L and Vizzini, dear Sheila!
    Love your NYE outfit, that skirt is brilliant and the boots are killer and hats off (or should that be crowns) to L's party gear!
    I used to be obsessed with Ian Banks and (like Mim) loved The Wasp Factory and also The Crow Road which the BBC televised back in the 1990s. Love Patricia Highsmith, always grab her stuff in charity shops. I think I've read most of Chuck Palahniuk's stuff, he can be a bit hit or miss but mostly hit.
    Hope work isn't too taxing! xxx

    1. Thank you, and a Happy New Year to you, Vix! Thank you so much - L really rocked his look. I love those Banks books too - I've read all the best ones, and am now working on...the rest, lol. Agreed on Chuck P - can you believe I picked "Snuff" once for Book Club?? Bad choice!

  7. Stevie Nicks! It's the first thing that popped in my head when I saw your post's thumbnail. That hat is magnificent! So is the rest of your outfit (those shoes are to die far) and King L.'s attire is pretty fabulous too! I wanted to keep track of my reading last year, but I forgot after the first couple of books. Not sure I even reached 30. Reading is definitely something I want to make more time for. The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of my all-time favourites and I loved both books I read by Ian Banks, which are The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road. I hope going back to work wasn't too painful! I survived, if only just ;-)) xxx

    1. Ha! I had a few comments like that in person. Thank you so much! I actually keep a notebook by the bed for jotting down my books. I love making time for reading. I loved those books too.

      Barely surviving work...

  8. Again happy new year! Lol. Celebrating with friends is always good. Although we were just the two of us. Didn't feel like all the fuss and Gerben had to work that day. L is a real rocker isn't he.

  9. Both you and L look fabulous! Sounds like you had a wonderful New Year's Eve. It's funny; we were talking about house parties on NYE and none of us could remember the last house party we'd been to except me - on NYE 1999 to welcome in the new Millenium! It seems like no one has house parties here anymore...

    I have read 4 on your list and I managed 81 books in 2019. I find it strange that I seem to read less since I retired than when I worked; it doesn't make sense as I have more time to read now...

    Happy New Year!

    1. We had an awesome NYE, thanks so much, Vronni, and a very Happy New Year to you and your family! We only go to house parties now - since we have such a big group of friends, we rotate venues. Wow, 81 books is amazing! I wish I could read that many books!

  10. Happy New Year to you and L!

    Loooove your Stevie Nicks look, Shiela.

    31 books- that’s heaps! I track the books I read too and I read 16 in 2019, which is good for me as I seem to be a very slow reader. I try to spend less time on the internet and more time reading, but it’s a balancing act for me. X

    1. Thank you so much, Jess! I was happy with 31 books, even though lots of people read more. I think any books read is a good thing!

  11. You read some interesting books! I'd like to see the Fluevog one! I am still writing my end of year book post-but there are 109 to go through's taking a while!
    I love your outfit- so glam! I did wonder if you'd turned Vizzini into a cat so I am glad to see he was in your arms WITH the hat on!
    L looks amazing too!1x

    1. Wow, 109 is a LOT, Kezzie! I'm impressed. The Fluevog book is gorgeous, and has just enough text to make it worth reading and not just a coffee table book.

      Thank you! We had fun dressing up! We only got two pictures with the unicorn horn on him - Vizzini is very squirmy.

  12. Lovely hat, it totally rocks! and you look particularly adorable wearing it! and this tulle skirt and Fabulous Boots!, so cool!
    And His Majesty L. looks so elegant and very rock'n'roll!.
    So interesting books, some of them look really appealing to me. I'm not good at taking notes of what I read, but keep a notebook of titles I want to have a look at.

    1. Thank you so much, Monica! I hope you find a couple of good ones in my list.

  13. Well darned, my comments has gone. I said I adored your hat. I would never have kept it on all evening, but I am glad you did. It so makes the outfit.
    Funnily enough I wore a tiered ruffle skirt on New Years Eve as well. With a bright pink sweater.
    I think your outfit was superb. From hat to shiny boots and everything in between.
    Your lovely husband did an excellent job as well.

    1. Oh, dear, sorry to hear that! Thank you, Greetje! I liked having it on - I didn't have to make eye contact if I didn't feel like it. I'm looking forward to seeing your outfit! It sounds awesome.

      Thank you!!

  14. A belated Happy New Year to you too my darling. The hat is outrageously gorgeous and you look totally fabulous in this Stevie Nicks ensemble. You make a beautiful couple my dear xxx

  15. That's plenty of reading ! How amazing. I am still dragging a biography...
    I loved L's look, very regal :)

    1. Hey, no judgment, Lorena! I tend to stop reading a book if I can't make it through it.

      Isn't it awesome? He came up with the look on his own, too!

  16. Glad you had a nice NYE, despite the crappy weather. I enjoy seeing your end of year book lists. I enjoyed the Adventures of Kavalier and Klay too. I've been reading a lot but nothing that I would say was a "Must Read". I did find a book by Kinky Friedman (writer, musician, counter culture figure) who I saw perform a couple of years ago in Denver when I last visited Judith, and it was actually quite entertaining. Apparently he's written a few mysteries.

    1. Thanks, we did, in spite of the weather! Thanks for the recommendation! - it sounds interesting, and I do love a good mystery. :)


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