Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Laurie Dress; Adventure Day With Mom - Finnerty Gardens

Today/Tuesday was such a great day, kicked off with the notification for booking my second jab! I'll be joining the ranks of the fully-vaccinated as of July 13th. Woo! 

I also must thank Lucy AGAIN, as she submitted our Fashion Conversation (link here, 'cause I love) to the International Fashion Bloggers (IFB) e-newsletter, and we are featured! So cool! 

And of course, good things come in threes, and while my province/BC is doing REALLY well, Covid-wise, my company is waiting till fall to bring my colleagues back to the office. This means I'll continue to work my 3 days a week until September, and it also means that things are opening up more as my fellow Canucks get their second jabs...and that means, I can, should and will be doing more in-person activities with my friends...and Mom!
Back in my retail days (30 years ago), Mom and I used to go on hikes, walks and explored parks around Victoria on my days off. We have had a lot of growth in our relationship this past year through our Zoom calls, and realizing how much we both need and want to see each other, we're going to start doing this again this summer. There are so many amazing places in Victoria, and I'm excited to share them with you! 

  • Laurie Dress - no label, vintage 60s, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit) for the Mrs. Roper Pool Party last July 2021
  • Sandals - Born, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) with a beaded kimono for Nick's 60th birthday in August 2021

So, today I got dressed ready for an adventure with Mom. I completely love this wonderful vintage maxi dress.
And I finally came up with a name for it. 

It's the Laurie Dress! Why? Because Laurie is one of my favourite blog readers - and I wore this when I met her! 
Laurie mentioned in the comments one day back in late 2017/early 2018 that she and her husband, Fred, and their son Robin were going to be coming to Victoria! We connected and met up here (scroll down a bit) in June 2018. 
My blog-friends (readers and fellow bloggers) have been hugely important to me over the past 18+ months. A sincere "Thank you" to all of you - your blogs, your comments and your good vibes have been a lifeline for me. 

*big mushy virtual hugs*

Anyway, Laurie, this is for you! I hope you'll come back here one day! To any of my other friends out there, if you happen to make it out to the west coast of Canada (Vancouver or Victoria), drop me a line (my email's in my profile) and we'll connect for a coffee if you're shy, or a full-on shopping expedition and lunch if you're not. I love meeting up with y'all! 
Masked up for brief forays indoors around people. I forgot my sunglasses at work on Monday - I'm not used to having them yet.

  • Mask - Lazy Susan's
  • Leather purse - Arcadia, consignment

The stuff: 
These poor sandals have been neglected over the past year - they're one of my most comfortable pairs of Ulti/shopping/traveling/walking footwear. I've had them for around 8 years, and have easily worn them a hundred times (I will not inflict a Flashback of them on you!).

Copper and white bling: 
I got a raised eyebrow and a nod, as Mom recognized this 70s belt of hers. I still get the business for "liberating" a bunch of her stuff in the 80s, ha ha! Hey, she wasn't wearing it! 

  • Belt - vintage 70s, Mom's
  • Copper cuff - Karen's
  • Copper ball cuff - vintage 70s, vintage expo
  • Silver/amethyst ring - vintage mall
  • Wood ring - Dots
  • Copper/enamel necklace and earrings - Matisse by Renoir, vintage 60s, vintage expo

I did take only the best stuff, though - Mom has good taste. 

For our first Adventure Day, Mom suggested Finnerty Gardens. They are on the University of Victoria (UVic) campus - official website here and the 4.5 minute walk-around video of springtime there is a must for garden lovers. 

Both Mom and I are graduates of UVic; me with a BA in Linguistics, and Mom with a BEd in Early Childhood and Art Education (updated from Mom).
When she attended in the early 60s (thanks for the update, Mom), it was mostly swampland. She crossed the campus on boards, and some of the buildings were quonset huts. It was slightly better when she went back in the 70s.

It had about 8 actual buildings when I first attended in 1985, and even more when I went back in 1998 (grad 2000!). 
It's filled with buildings now! UVic's campus is based in and around Ring Road, which is a giant circle. It's pretty cool to drive and gawk at everything. 

We missed our parking turn-off, so we went around again! Good, I missed some stuff. 
Ah, the Student Union Building, aka The Sub. I have many memories of this place. Cheap fries, cheap beer, and cheap movies (Cinecenta is an awesome movie theatre). 

We found our parking lot and entered the gardens from the gate beside the Interfaith Chapel. 
This is where L and I got married! 

I peeked through the glass, as it was closed. 
Aw, L and I said our vows right there at the end (pic here). We had a ton of pictures taken in Finnerty Gardens after the wedding, but it was a rainy day, and I was highly distracted by the whole Wedding Day Thing, so I didn't really pay attention to my environment, and I've never been back here. 

There were a few of these helpful maps around. We kind of wandered chaotically. 
There are areas for specific species of plants (like rhododendrons, maples) and environment (like a bog and ponds). It looked like a huge walk, but ended up being around 90 minutes at a slow, meandering pace. We didn't do the entire thing, more like two-thirds. 

The temperatures have finally broken! We woke up to a light breeze, and that stifling heat is gone. It was still hot for this time of year (in the mid-20s), but so much more bearable with the breeze.
There are benches all over, with dedication plaques on them. 
The trees loomed over us at all times, with the hot sun forking through the branches. 
The air was abuzz with insects. 
Doesn't Mom look fabulous? I love those genie pants. She had a pop of red in her purse. 

We peeked into algae-covered ponds,
All of the plants are enormous. 
See the fish swimming upstream?
I felt so calm and happy. Thanks for the pic, Mom!

Mom was scouting for spots for her painting group. 
They like to paint "en plein air", something Mom and I have done many times together. 
All this in the corner of a university campus.
Nature is so soothing. 
Aren't the paths enticing?
I'll have to bring L here. 
Mom forgot her hat so she borrowed mine. 

The plants and trees smelled rich and warm. Lots of pollen (I'm stuffed up).
There were butterflies and dragonflies flitting about. 
It's a swallowtail! Look at that show-off.

I heard a very sharp twirping near us. 
I do not know what kind of bird this is. 
But he seemed to like posing. 

It's almost like a jungle in places.
Giant white irises. 

Mom and I sat on this bench for a while and just soaked it in. 
I kicked off my shoes and laid on the grass. It felt amazing. 

I love these big spiking things. 
This will not surprise you if you remember my Christmas decorations.

So green!
There are watering systems throughout the gardens.
Spring's bright colours have faded into a thousand greens. 
I spotted lichen in this tree. 

Cedars are so west coast. 
I watched an osprey circle far overhead. A pair built a nest in the lights of the athletic field - check out the amazing webcam here from the University.

This makes me want to wear a blue and green outfit.
So inspiring. 

This bamboo stand appealed to me.  
Green algae on the pond behind it.
This might have been my favourite spot. 

A stream gurgling over rocks. 
The mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow. 

These are my favourite trees. I love the gnarled branches. 
They are arbutus (are-byoo-tiss) trees, and are only found in this part of the world. They shed their bark (you can peel it like paper) and have big leaves (link here).

And as we turned the corner...
Our path led back to the gate. 

Even outside of the gardens, Victoria has enormous trees all over.
Those white blooms on the tree outside the Chapel were bigger than my hand. 

More arbutus trees in the parking area. 
We drove through the chi-chi Uplands neighbourhood, along Beach Drive to the Oak Bay Marina. 
The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is across the bay. I've been there many times (both the old OBBH and the new one).

A perfect day for a sail. 
When I was a kid there was a tourist attraction called "Sealand of the Pacific" on this site in addition to the marina. It featured performing orcas, seals, sea lions, otters and tanks full of octopi and local sealife. It was a different time...and you should check out the short Wikipedia page on it (here) - some pretty shocking stuff went down here with the whales! 

While Sealand has been closed for decades, the Marina has carried on. 
I believe there are proposals to redevelop it, so it's nice to be able to check it out before that happens. 

I adore this 1964 polygonal building. About it here, from UVic. The zigzag roofline - eee!
I have memories of a few family dinners in the Marina restaurant on the top level. 

The level below it is a café, which is where we each enjoyed a fizzy water and a salmon salad/arugula sandwich (all local salmon). 
A sweet view. Many folks were loading up for a Canada Day vacation. 

Here's to more Adventure Days! 
Love you, Mom - thank you for such a wonderful day! 

Vizzini was happy to see me when I got home. 
"I approve of this temperature, thank you."

He'll be scampering around again soon. 
"You had SALMON for lunch and you didn't bring any for me?"

Here's to warm - but not TOO warm - days ahead. 
"I will allow this."

Thanks so much for stopping by, my friends! 


  1. You look amazing in the Laurie dress, and it sounds like you and your mom had a wonderful time at the gardens!

  2. What a nice trip you had with your mom!

    Good to hear also that the temperature is going to be lower there. I've been so worried when reading the headlines about Canadian weather. Here in Finland we also have very untypical warm weather right now, too warm in my opinion. Hard to pick what to wear since in the office we have A/C but outside it's hot.
    Wishing all the best!

    1. It was wonderful, thanks, Maria!

      Yes, we are so happy that the "heat dome" has moved away. It's the high temps combined with very few homes having AC here. I know, I have that same issue - I always need a cardigan or scarf in the office! Stay chill! Thanks!

  3. You look simply divine in that maxi dress. So great you have taken up walking in the nature with your mother again. I'm staying with a friend and old coworker on island Hvar at the moment...I might do some 'en plain air' location browsing today as well. I will write a longer comment when I get back home, I can't type quickly on a cellphone.

    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! I'm glad we're able to do this, as Mom has some mobility issues. That sounds like a lovely plan for you - I thought of you, how you would see this scenery with your artist's eye! No worries, thank you as always for your wonderful comments.

  4. I'm so happy for you that the heat has finally broken!

    You and your mum look amazing and I do love your mum's red purse. Once again you prove that it is possible to look fabulous and glamorous when enjoying a long walk and the great outdoors. I think your mum should liberate your hat - it looks amazing on her. You are so lucky; Victoria is full of lush gardens and magazine worthy scenery.

    1. It is such a relief, Nana. I slept properly for the first time in days.

      Aw, thank you! Mom is so stylin'! I actually find it pretty easy to stay snazzy-looking - dresses are awesome for that! Ha ha, stop giving my mom ideas! Victoria is a gorgeous place - I'm excited to check out some other scenic areas.

  5. Research is showing that people who get their second vaccine shot after a long delay (as is happening in Canada) are getting greater immunity to the virus than people who get it sooner (as is happening in my country). So, good for you!

    1. In my province especially, we have been doing really well. Everyone I know has now been booked for their 2nd jabs. Thanks, Ally!

    2. When you say a long delay Ally, how long is long? I had mine after 9 weeks and 3 days.

  6. What a great day with your mom! Beautiful gardens and grounds!
    I'm in Texas and we have arbutus trees however we call them madrones. They are very unique!
    Thank you for your wonderful blog and style inspiration!

    1. Thank you so much, Ella, I'm glad you enjoyed them!

      Yes, they are the same species, although our type are limited to this specific region. I love them.

      Aw, thank you for reading and commenting. I hugely appreciate it.

  7. Ahh Sheila, what a tonic your post is today! I can feel the happy vibes through the screen! We have been hearing about your weather on the news! You look amazing in the Laurie dress!! I always read the other comments and Laurie comes across as a lovely person. I finally got to listen to your voice the other day and you sound great! so enthusiastic. I spoke to my sis in Aus today and yes we have all learned how important our connections with our loved ones are this last year. Your mum and you are great. Blimey wittering on today (done the same to Vix lol) Loving the accessories you "liberated" ha ha so glad your second shot is booked. Going back for another scroll xx Shaz (as I have said to Vix in the past you thank your readers but it is us who should thank you such a bright spot in the day!

    1. Aw, I'm glad you enjoyed it, Shaz! I am feeling so much more positive now - it's been a long slog of 18 months to starting to feel normal again. What crazy weather, and I'm boggled that it went world-wide.

      Thank you - I love this dress, and I could not think of a better name, since every time I think of that visit with Laurie I smile. Oh, thanks for checking out my interview - there I am! No worries about "wittering" (love that!), my dear! I love nice juicy comments! :)

      Mom is good about not being too annoyed about all of her missing things from the 80s, lol. What a relief to get the second shot booked, phew. Aw, thanks so much - I appreciate your comments immensely, my friend.

  8. It looks as if we'll be joining the ranks of the fully vaccinated at around the same time, Sheila, as I'm getting my second jab on the 9th! Yay! But I'll be going back to work full-time as from next week, which is yikes!
    Glad to hear it's cooled down a bit. Those high temperatures must have been unbearable.
    The Laurie dress is delightful, and I'm loving your copper and white bling, including your Mum's 1970s belt. And speaking of your Mum, what a stylish lady she is!
    I loved tagging along to Finnerty Gardens. So green, lush and shady, and I can imagine it was the perfect place to cool down after the hot weather. xxx P.S. My readers and blog pals have been a lifeline for me as well, so I'm sending a big mushy virtual hug right back.

    1. What great timing, Ann! I'm so excited. Yikes, good luck going back to work full-time. I'm dreading it - it's going to be SO MUCH work getting the office ready, and it's going to be a shock to the system to go back to full-time with all the people!

      It was unimaginably hot - we are just not prepared to deal with temps that high here.

      Thank you so much! Mom has always had a great flair to her dress - comes from being an artist!

      So glad you enjoyed it - did you watch the video? I thought of you!

      Hasn't the fashion blogger world been amazing during this time? What would we have done without each other? *big hugs*

  9. Can you see my ear-to-ear smile! The minute I opened your blog and saw the dress it brought back all the joy of our visit with you and the time we spent on your beautiful island. Then I read your blog title and had to show it to Fred. Aw gee, I am tickled and honored to be part of your dress naming. :) You likely already have heard me gush over the dress, but I’ll add a bit more gushing for the fun of it!

    The dress cannot help but promote positive vibes and you wear it with panache. Thanks to your Mom (with appreciation of her good taste) for the very long term loan of accessories. :) In addition to the belt, the copper jewelry is exquisite.

    Most of all, I get goosebumps of delight for you and your Mom to be spending time together again on an adventure and to be planning more to come. How perfect that you both have similar sun glasses and that you are both wearing long outfits. Your Mom’s genie pants are super (I would definitely wear those if I had a pair, they look comfortable and cool with room for air flow).

    Thank you for the backstory of your alma mata and the tour of the gardens, so refreshing and lush! I am now starting a new list of places to visit in Victoria for our next visit! After all, we must return so Robin’s partner Katryna can be a part of the adventure. :)

    Last, but no less important, YEEHAH for vaccine number 2! Coupled with cooling temps there is much to induce a relaxed, soothing, happy sigh. :)

    1. I could think of no better name, Laurie, as I think of our wonderful day together every time I look at that dress. I wore it with my solid copper belt when I met you!

      I am so happy that we are doing our outings this summer, at least until I go back to work fulltime. I so appreciate the time that Mom and I have together, more now post-pandemic than ever before. We're both into Big Drama, haha! I would also wear the genie pants!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it - the UVic campus is really gorgeous, and there is a wonderful bay/beach a short walk from there called Cadboro Bay/Gyro Park that you would enjoy. Add it to the list for next time, and yes, Katryna needs to come too!

      SUCH a relief, Laurie, to be finally booked for my 2nd jab, to know that the end is in sight. I'm in the mood to celebrate. *hug*

  10. How wonderful you and your mum can meet up and go walking together again. I walk with my daughter quite a lot; we both really enjoy it and I hope when I'm gone she'll remember our walks with the same love you remember your walks with your mum. I'm sure she will!

    Loved your dress and what a totally brilliant name for it. Both you and your mum looked tres fab. And the University of Victoria's gardens looked gorgeous; thank you for the tour.

    I've been to the Oak Bay Marina! I recognised it from your photos.

    1. I'm so glad we are doing these outings, Vronni. It may be morbid, but I do think of our mortality, and I want to save these memories for days when Mom is not with us.

      Thank you! It's so shiny too! I really loved the calm and soothing space of the gardens.

      Oh, how awesome!! Come visit again! :)

  11. That is such an amazing dress on you and it's great you can go walking with your mum again - and that you have your second vaccine booked! My colleague let me know they've opened up the waitlist so that even if you're too young to get the current round of vaccines you can put your name on the waitlist and they might call you the day before if they have a spare vaccine - that's how he got his a few weeks ago! I've put my name on the list but haven't heard anything since sadly. They are only doing over 60s in my area and have none of the vaccine for younger people (we are only allowed to get one vaccine if over 60, and before that was announced that was the only vaccine our government had bought....) Luckily my parents are half vaccinated but I think I'll be waiting a lot longer sadly. Hoping the waitlist comes through soon!

    1. Thank you, Mica! So many good things!

      Oh, that is really exciting - I hope you get a call! Maybe more vaccines will be available in the near future. Here's hoping!

  12. What a lovely tribute to your meeting with Laurie! I'd definitely like to come to Canada one day so you're ON for that shopping trip!
    The dress is so opulent!
    What a nice way to spend time with your mum. My mum would like to do similar but for her knee replacement not healing so well.
    Such beauty you saw on your trip. I value time with my mum too and I'd definitely like to spend more time with her. She's coming to stay over at mine on the weekend before my birthday!

    1. Thank you, Kezzie! I hope you make it over here - I'd love to meet up!

      Thanks - it's so fun to wear. Aw, sorry to hear about your mum's knee - sending her good vibes for speedy healing.

      I'm really focused on spending time with my loved ones, and building memories. Life is so short.

  13. Finnerty Gardens looks absolutely spectacular and I'm thrilled you and your fabulous mum let us join you for a virtual visit. Everything looks so green and lush despite those crazy temperatures you had earlier in the week, what a talented team of gardeners they must have.
    Both you and your mum look wonderful, photos of treasure forever (the ones of Mr V are rather lovely, too!) xxx
    PS The video wasn't working for me this morning but I'll try again later.

    1. Isn't it amazing, Vix? I hope the video works for you. Thanks so much!

  14. What a lovey day out with your mom! Finnerty Gardens looks beautiful, as does your glamourous dress. I'm so glad you're able to get your vaccinations! Life is slowly returning to somewhat normal, so strange (but fantastic!).

    1. Great to see you, Ashley! It was such a perfect day. Life is good. Thank you!

  15. I'm so pleased to turn up in time to see the link through to the podcast with Lucy. How wonderful to hear your voice, but goodness I didn't expect you to sound like you do. I had you down as a much more husky tone, but oh what a lovely voice you have!
    I had planned to leave you lots of comments on your blog, but instead I have been wrapped up in your podcast, feeling so much closer to you than I could ever have wished. It was so good to hear your ethos on dressing and the influences within your family. You're such an inspiration Sheila and talk so well on your favourite subject. I'm so grateful to have found your blog when I did and know that I wouldn't have developed my own style without you paving the way first. I'm going through a blah spell at the moment where exhaustion is leaching all of my passion for dressing. I'm taking the easy road to often and know that I'm not firing on all cylinders. A visit to your blog is like a breath of fresh air and I will revisit the podcast whenever I feel I need an injection of style inspiration. You're a star!

    1. Anna! So glad you were able to listen to the podcast! That is funny about my voice - yes, it's high and girly, isn't it? I wish it were husky, ha ha!

      No worries, m'dear. I am eternally grateful to have connected with so many other fashion-loving people out there, including you! It's okay to just wear easy outfits - this is a mentally taxing time as we figure out what our new normal is. Thank you so much for your kind words. *hug*

  16. Shiela, I love that line "Spring's bright colours have faded into a thousand greens".

    You have such a beautiful relationship with your mum and it's so nice to see you two out and about on a little adventure. X

    1. I get carried away in the presence of beauty, Jess! Thank you!

      I am grateful for my relationship with my mom - we have not always seen eye to eye.

  17. Lovely to read good news! and lovely to see you looking so fabulous in your dress and copper jewellery and the 'liberated' belt (my mother still gives me the side-eye when I wear her 'liberated' beads or bags!, ;DD)
    Love to see this park looking so lush and green, and love to see you going back to your walks with your mom!, lots of beautiful photos!

    1. Thank you so much, Monica! Ha, glad I'm not the only daughter who "liberated" her mon's stuff, heh heh.

      I'm making memories, and treasuring our time together while we have it. :)

  18. Perfect that you and your mum got so close through Zoom meetings. Even more perfect that you can hike through such a glorious park together again. Things are very open again in the Netherlands. No masks anymore, apart from in public transport. Shops are open normal hours, restaurants are open, terraces and inside. Meanwhile the contamination figures keep going down, but the government is afraid of a fourth lockdown in the fall, due to people who went on holiday and bring back the mutant versions.

    1. It really helped to be able to talk face to face. I loved going to the park and look forward to our next adventure.

      That's awesome that things are so open. We are in our (hopefully) final stage before we get to "normal" again. We'll see how it goes!

  19. What a fabulous vintage dress, Sheila. And I absolutely adore that you named it the Laurie dress in honor of a blog reader friend! It is so fun to meet blogging buddies in real life. I hope to get to meet many more of you in the future! Your mom's genie pants are really fantastic, too! I recently am really liking the genie pant style. I just photographed a pair that I will be sharing soon. It looks like such a wonderful day out with your mom. The pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for linking with me, my sweet friend!


    1. It is wonderful to meet blog-friends in real life, and I hope I'll get to meet more over the next while, as we open up again to real life, Shelbee!

      I love them too - funny, my girlfriend was wearing an old pair of mine this past weekend! Mom and I had such a great day together.

  20. That dress really is glorious, and definitely deserves a name. What a nice adventure you had with your Mom - beautiful walking locations there! My mother is not able to get around without a walker, and she has also refused to get vaccinated, so I don't know what the future holds for us spending time together.

    1. I can't believe I haven't named it before now! It was such a lovely day, Shelley. Oh no, I hope your mom changes her mind!

  21. This was such a heartwarming post!! Love that you got to spend thhis precious time with your mom. Love all the details!!! And that Laurie dress is superb on you- Im dying over this gorgeousness! And, yes, how cool was that, that we were featured. We must do it again. xx

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Lucy! I want to spend as much quality time with Mom as I can, while I am working part-time - that will change eventually.

      Thanks so much - I love that dress.

      I know, totally! Let's do it!

  22. What a lovely day you had with your mother. It is nice to be able to enjoy time with family and friends again. And I certainly hope to be able to take you up on your offer to meet up sometime in the future whenever I get to visit western Canada.


    1. It was an awesome day, thanks, Rena! Yay, definitely come out for a visit! :) I'd love to meet up!

  23. Jaw droppingly gorgeous outfit + natural setting alike. You know, come to think of it, I don't believe I've been to that particular corner of Victoria before (at least not that I can recall). It is going straight to the top of my itenery for a future trip. Thank you for the (gorgeous!) travel inspiration.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    PS: That is sooo sweet about the interfaith chapel being where you and L tied the knot. How awesome that you live nearby to such a meaningful spot.

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Autumn! I was so surprised at how big and lush the gardens were. I'd definitely love to go back there.

      I know, isn't that nice? I can't believe it's been that long since I was there!


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