Fall is in the air – chilly mornings, changing leaves and of course, everything pumpkin spice. As much as I hate seeing “plaid and cozy sweaters” coming in to the stores in July, at the beginning of September – you have to admit – there is a bit of a thrill in seeing all the fun new fall fashions and trends hitting the stores. It makes the anticipation of cooler weather somewhat more bearable. In anticipation of the season, Danni and I recently visited one of the cool local boutiques in Calgary to bring you the FALL FIVE! Stacey and the amazing staff at Bamboo Ballroom pulled together some fun fall looks to show some of the trends we are seeing this fall – and ways to wear the trend if you are “not 20 anymore!” Continue reading “Your FALL FIVE – 5 trends to check out this Fall”→
My oldest is graduating from high school this year and with the big day only days away, I have been spending some time thinking (ok, maybe panicking) about what to wear on the big day of the dinner and dance (which is an entirely different and separate event from the ceremony (ugh). I consider myself a mildly fashionable person – on the edgier side of classic but aware of the trends that work and don’t with my body as well as my age. The age thing has been a difficult one to grasp in recent years. Man, would I love to wear the high waisted pants and a short midriff top with some fun accessories out for dinner. But I refer to my famous saying, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” I’m having trouble accepting this, but truth is, I hate trashy more than I hate getting older so I am slowly getting used to looking at certain things in the stores and recognizing that it may not be age appropriate anymore. Shorty rompers – I’m looking at you…
So for graduation, my search had to have a few parameters. Something comfy – meaning I feel good in it, classy and current – oh – and probably I should pick something that meets the approval of my son – because just the fact that he will be eating and drinking with his parents is mortifying enough, he may as well think I look “decent.”
SO – in the search for my own outfit as mother of the graduate (wow, that is crazy) I have put together 5 looks for you to check out. Maybe one of these will inspire you for the upcoming graduation, shower, wedding, garden party season! Make sure you let me know what you think in the comments below! When the big day comes, I will be sure to post my outfit on our Instagram story…
The Wrap Dress
Perennial fav for most women – and I love that you can pretty much get this dress in any price range. From the “original” from Diane Von Furstenberg at the higher end, to some of our “old standby” retailers like The Gap, a wrap dress is pretty perfect for all body types and for all budgets. Hugs the curves, shapes the booty and something you can wear again. Go into your fav store and I bet you find one! I love the high / low detail in this one. Don’t forget your spanx for this dress – smoothes everything out and keeps you looking your best.
Ok – so here’s the thing – if you are going to wear a suit (can you say COMFORT!) in my opinion it needs to be special. It can’t be the suit you wear to the office – or should I say, it can’t be worn the way you wear it to the office. Add a silky camosole, a gorgeous statement jewelry piece, a killer pair of shoes – make it special with a funky clutch / bag. I am loving the vibrant pinks in the stores this year, and that mustard colour you keep seeing – to die for. Nothing like a pink suit to make a statement. If you go for a vibrant colour, keep your accessories to a minimum…let the suit do the talking. However, I wouldn’t say no to the addition of a white pump (the shoe of the Summer). I guarantee it will be a hit.
Who doesn’t love a jumpsuit – so flattering and classy. In a jumpsuit, you never have to worry about being uncomfortable. Until you have to use the bathroom – then its a whole different story – you are naked in the stall, trying to figure out how to get re-dressed and put it all back together in suitable fashion to return to your function. If you have noticed – one of the latest trends these days is the matching two piece top and bottom. Looks remarkably like the jumpsuit but with the ease of a pant suit. Pajama inspired, these “almost jumpsuits” are a great option for grad. Check out the one I found below from Ted Baker… I love the Bardot neckline. Universally flattering and has a dressy feel to it. You might just see me in this one at my son’s grad in May..
Not too flashy, just above the knee – the key to this dress will be in the added details – that is what will take it from something you might wear to the office to something special. Find one you love with a flutter sleeve, a little lace, or subtle button or exposed zipper detail. I love this one because the bell sleeve just takes it up a notch. Add a choker or a large pair of earrings (not both!) and some shoes you plan to stand in for more than a few hours! Hint – if you are not fond of your legs – the higher the heel, the better they look…
Here we are – almost into mid May and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. For those of you in denial, or still staring at the last remnants of snow in your yard, it is THIS WEEKEND! In our house, logistically, Mother’s Day is a bit of a challenge every year. How do we see and celebrate all the moms in our family and do the day and them, justice? My mom, my husband’s mom, our sister’s and brother’s wives, and of course – the most important mom, ME (!)
I love to host (can you say control freak) so I usually forgo a dinner or brunch out for a dinner at our home and invite the whole clan over. On Mother’s Day it is fun to create a more “feminine” angle to the meal – lighter and fresher with a special dessert. I also like creating a fun table with some “girly” flower arrangements paired with special items that have been handed down from “moms” over the past years.
I really like to bake as healthy as possible, but this time of year, I get a craving for my favourite, super easy shortbread and lemon tarts (which are not healthy but yummy and sometimes you have to say, “what the hell!”) If you are a child of the 80’s in Calgary, there is a good chance you were brought up on the Best of Bridge cookbooks and these are a star recipe of theirs. My mom (who consulted these cookbooks religiously) used to make these tarts for special occasions, and they hold a special place in my heart. These are perfect for wedding and baby showers, the Mother’s Day tea at school, and bringing to an office potluck. They look really pretty and as a bonus, they come together quick and easy. If you have teenage boys, they could disappear if you turn your back – don’t say I didn’t warn you…
I love a homemade crust but I HATE rolling out dough. These have the bonus of being a homemade crust that just gets patted into a mini tart pan. I’m really not lazy – but when I bake, even though I really enjoy it – I want to get IN and OUT and end up with something everyone loves.
You can prick the bottom of these with the tines of a fork, or a toothpick – to prevent them from puffing up too much halfway through cooking. Another option is to place the pan in the fridge while your oven is heating up. Either way has worked for me.
The lemon curd filling IS NOT intimidating! I know many people read a recipe – see the words “DOUBLE BOILER” and turn the page. Fear not – as you can see, I do not own a double boiler. I simply put a bowl over a small pot of boiling water and it worked perfect. The key to preparing the lemon curd is to have all the ingredients measured and ready. Then you can keep whisking without worrying about whether or not you are going to burn or scorch the mixture.
As I’m sure all moms of teens can appreciate – I don’t get much time with my daughter doing just “regular” stuff. You know – emptying the dishwasher, making dinner, setting the table kind of time. She is just not around due to her busy schedule. I have to say, having her just hanging around – wanting to help with baking, was a real treat. So I put the expectation of the “perfect lemon shortbread tart” to the back of my head and just enjoyed the moment. She wanted to use a piping bag – but just fill and decorate as you wish and enjoy.
If you want to, you can freeze these tarts (I think unfilled is best) and use them at a later date as well.
Mix all ingredients in your mixer until it comes together. Pat a heaping teaspoon into mini tart tins with your fingers to create a shell. Either prick the bottoms with a fork, or place in fridge while heating your oven to 325 F. Bake for 20 minutes – check them after 10 and prick the bottoms again if the shells puff up.
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP lemon zest
1 cup sugar
3 eggs well beaten
1/2 cup butter cut up and at room temp.
Put juice and zest into a double-boiler or a bowl on top of a pot of gently boiling water, as shown. Whisk in sugar, eggs and butter and blend well. Whisk constantly until mixture becomes lighter and thickens.
Cool. Store in the fridge until you are ready to fill tarts!
A note about setting our table!
I set my table up to honour the moms that were going to be sitting at it. It is not stylized nor is it set for a magazine cover shoot. It is set for a family that loves to enjoy a meal together and for real life. Who has the time to spend three hours creating the perfect table? But it is always nice to make it a little special. I used simple, inexpensive daisy’s, cut them short and tied them tight with an elastic band. Using an elastic band really works to keep the arrangement tight and full looking. I dropped them in the vase and that is it! Pair with some pretty napkins and you are good to go!
Special things for Special occasions.
Now you are ready to host the moms in your life with just a little added Mojo and Moxie…