Archives for category: entertainment

Vanity Boom and I went to see The Dinner Belles on Friday night at The Casbah. It was their CD release party for their newest album, West Simcoe County. I love live music and The Dinner Belles put on one of the best shows I have seen! Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

If you like good foot-stompin’ folk music, The Dinner Belles are right up your alley! They’re Vaudeville Tattoo approved!


Downton Abbey is magnificent.

I am three episodes in and I never want it to end.

What I Liked
I am continuing to challenge myself with my sewing and shopping habits; trying to be smarter and more eco-conscious. I’ve implemented my Building a Lifetime Wardrobe plan, which has had a ripple effect on my sewing. A few investment pieces I have in the works are an organic cotton/bamboo cowl neck dress and an organic cotton/bamboo ruffle hem skirt from Econica.

What I Did Well

I finished my Christmas shopping with a minimum of fuss and a more responsible budget than I had last year. I did buy several ready-made things for Miss Friday; however, the remainder of everyone’s gifts will be handmade by me, baked by me, or bought handmade.

Click here to read Part 1 of Have a Handmade Holiday. Part 2 is here. See my Links for my favourite handmade, eco-consious, and paraben-free resources.

What Needs Improvement
There is always room for improvement when it comes to fabric buying. Since starting my Lifetime Wardrobe project, I have really become a very specific colour and pattern purchaser, but I am still getting seduced (fabric lovers understand) by pretty new prints. Staying focused on my two wardrobe capsules will keep me on the straight and narrow.

My Fall/Winter Wardrobe Capsule

My Spring/Summer Wardrobe Capsule

Thrifty Entertainment
I read and watched these this month and thought you may enjoy them, too. All were borrowed from my local library.

Victoria’s Daughters
We Two

Flushed Away

Discovered in November
Alternatively Lovely
Did You Make That?
Puttin’ On the Ritz
Sewing Adicta
Simple Bear
Sweet Sunday Mornings

Intertwine Designs
Puttin’ On the Ritz (shop)

Plans for November

  • Make Christmas gifts for my family and friends.
  • Focus on getting my To Do List finished.

December 1, 2010 marks one year in my Thrifty365 Project. There have been many successes, some failures, and a whole lot of lessons learned. Look for my year in review post in December. If you have joined me in this, I would love to hear how you are progressing.

Newport’s pretty harbour

A few days ago, I returned from a gorgeous 7-day New England and Atlantic Canada cruise. My mum organized this amazing trip and took me along as a treat. I can honestly say, it was one of the best vacations of my life, bar the seasickness.

Our first port of call was the picturesque Newport, RI. What a beautiful place! It was like a postcard and it has no mosquitoes. None! As the harbour is too shallow for the Caribbean Princess, mum and I had to go ashore by tender:

The tender

It may look big in the photo, but that is basically a small ferry. People who know me will be amazed to find out that 1) I was on a ship at all, and 2) I voluntarily boarded a smaller ship. I am not a big fan of sailing, but mum convinced me that cruising was different and the tender was perfectly fine. It actually was perfectly comfortable and a good size, so I wasn’t too nervous. Besides, the beautiful scenery and a promised tour of The Breakers kept my mind occupied during the short journey.

The Breakers

The Breakers was definitely the highlight of the excursion. It is simply so immense that it’s nearly impossible for me to describe it’s size. At over 136,000 sq ft, it was staggering, as well as beautiful and completely over-the-top. I loved it all.

We couldn’t take photographs of the inside; however, we had a magnificent and very informative audio tour. There were entire rooms made of marble, clawfoot tubs with faucets for both salt and fresh water, platinum wallpaper, a 2-storey butler’s pantry, and an incredible loggia that looked out over the sea. Not to mention an adorable children’s cottage that was nearly the same square footage as the first floor of our home!

Image from Wikipedia

I loved hearing the stories from members of the Vanderbilt family and how they spent their summers there. Hearing stories of Vanderbilt children sliding down the Main Staircase on trays in the Great Hall, as well as playing croquet on the lawn made The Breakers feel more personal, despite it’s huge size. I still can’t imagine, though, sleeping in a room that is over 600 sq ft and has 15 foot ceilings!

Just to get an idea of the size of the home, here is the layout of the first floor:

  • Entrance Foyer
  • Gentlemen’s Reception Room
  • Ladies’ Reception Room
  • Great Hall (50 ft x 50 ft (15 m) x 50 ft)
  • Main Staircase (though visitors may not use them)
  • Arcade
  • Library
  • Music Room
  • Morning Room
  • Porch
  • Lower Loggia
  • Billiard Room
  • Dining Room
  • Marriage Chest
  • Breakfast Room
  • Pantry
  • Kitchen

While The Breakers is now owned outright by the Preservation Society of Newport County, members of Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s family still summer there, privately tucked away on the third floor of the mansion. Only the first two floors are open to the public. Even so, it took mum and I well over an hour to complete the audio tour.

I highly recommend visiting Newport and all its attractions. I also highly recommend cruising with Princess. The entire experience was incredible!

never losing your sense of fun. 🙂

My favourite cabaret and burlesque troupe, Vaudeville Tattoo, has an amazing summer show planned for August 7, 2010. From their website:
“The naughty ladies of Vaudeville Tattoo have put together an evening of sand, surf, psycho ladies, and mental men. Come and join us at This Ain’t Hollywood and turn up the heat of your summer nights….if you dare.
From Vaudeville Tattoo:
Shy and refined Vanity Boom
Insolent minx Chaos Divine
Delectably mysterious Miss Savoy Truffles
Dangerously sexy Stella Semiautomatic
Feisty fatale Dolores del Fuego
and introducing our man-about-town, Patrick a-go-go!
We are delighted to be performing with:

Fionna Flauntit, she’s got it and she does flaunt it!
Neytiri, her snake-like moves will hypnotize you!
Special guest – the fabulous DJ Pam DeSadist.
Your host and singing sensation for this event is the man we all love to hate – and hate to love – 70s pop icon Vance Vallance!
The evening will be broadcast LIVE on
Where: This Ain’t Hollywood, Hamilton, ON

When: August 7, 2010

Peter, over at Male Pattern Boldness, is having a style crisis. Despite an extensive makeover from his identical cousin Cathy, he can’t seem to pinpoint his personal style icon. (*hint* Jimmy Stewart, Peter! *hint*)

He’s written an interesting post on female style icons and he makes an excellent point. Time and time again we see The Big Three listed as style icons: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. There are good reason these ladies are The Big Three: 1) they are timeless; 2) they portray attainable glamour and effortless style; 3) they thumbed their noses at fashion and made their own. In doing so, however, they seem to have become almost a fashion fallback.

I love Audrey Hepburn’s style. It is classic, comfortable, and a bit quirky. She kept is simple and wearable. I’ve always loved clothing from the past and I’ve never really followed fashion.

Peter asked us to name our style icons, not including The Big Three:

Katharine Hepburn

Sassy and confident. She wore trousers and scandalized a nation! She never wavered in what she loved to wear and often told people exactly what they could do if they didn’t like it.

Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones)

Velma Kelly is an unapologetic bad girl with great fashion sense. The dresses! The hats! The coats! Not to mention the fabulous hair.

Winona Ryder

Cute pixie cut, red lipstick, little black dresses, sparkly hairbands, and her amazing wardrobe in Girl, Interrupted.

Kate Hudson

Dressed up or down, she always look comfortable in her own skin. She wears what flatters her figure and that’s a great confidence boost to us ‘small framed’ ladies.

* * * * *

Now, who are your style icons? I’d love to know!