Things I learnt

I got engaged a year ago and have been trying to plan the wedding ever since. I was heartily sick of the whole process about two weeks into it; with two months to go before the wedding, my one piece of advice for newly engaged couples is simple – elope! 

I’ve learnt lots of things over the past twelve months, most of them variations on the same theme: the mere mention of the word “wedding” automatically triples the price of anything. It also makes the simplest things difficult, and reasonable people irrational. But that’s a rant for another day.

One of the things I learnt is that hydrangeas are damn expensive. You wouldn’t think so … or, at least, I didn’t think so (though, clearly, I was woefully uninformed in regards to floral matters). Sadly for my wedding budget, I love hydrangeas. Like peonies, they look so exuberant and lush that they can instantly transform the look of a room. They’re also pretty hardy; some hydrangeas I bought at Costco recently lasted nearly four weeks – which must be some kind of record seeing as how I have no green thumb whatsoever. They come in a variety of colours (from white to green to purple and blue), which can be handy for any kind of accessorizing you might want to do. In our living room, for example, we have used hydrangeas to pick up the blue of a painting, making it a subtle accent colour in an otherwise monochromatic setting. The “frilliness” of the flowers also provided a nice counterpoint to the minimalist décor (because the couch we ordered in February is still missing in action).

Hydrangeas – pretty and functional.

Martha minus opposable thumbs

I wish I had cooler hobbies. I really do. Like sky-diving or abstract oil painting. Or at least karaoke. But no. I bead. It’s worse than admitting that I occasionally watch CSI: Sunglasses Edition. Which, um, let’s pretend I didn’t just admit.

Anyway, the beading. It’s less homemade-arts-n-crafts-project-gone-bad than it sounds, no?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

May … snow storms?

You wouldn’t always know it from the weather, but May has finally arrived. It’s an important time of year around here; the May long weekend is considered the traditional start of Edmonton’s hybrid spring-summer season (sprummer?) – short-lived, capricious and much-anticipated. Unlike the fashion labels, the average Edmontonian’s wardrobe only has two seasons – winter and … not-winter. May is the month when style-minded people start to think about the latter component of their closets and look to stores for inspiration.

For sprummer, I am obsessed with two things: neutrals and florals. Cream and beige are quickly overtaking grey as my go-to colours – they’re my new “new black”. I never used to wear neutrals much because they can be tricky colours for intensely pale people like me; the wrong shade can make you look, well, dead. I got over my fear, though, and I haven’t looked back. There are lots of lovely neutrals out there in everything from jackets to bags to shoes to, well, everything. Ditto with neutrals. I am still waiting to find the perfect floral pencil skirt (or, rather, waiting to find it at a reasonable price), but in the meantime I am enjoying the profusion of floral prints – big and small – that are cropping up everywhere.

Two pieces in my closet perfectly embody my current obsessions. The first is a Banana Republic necklace I found last year, which reminds me of a Lanvin necklace from a couple of seasons ago. It’s a soft eggshell colour, and it’s definitely a statement piece. I adore it because it reminds me of one of my all-time favourite outfits, worn by Claire Danes at the 2009 Independent Spirits Awards. Those clothes I will never get to wear, but I do get a tiny bit of satisfaction every time I wear my “inspired” piece.
The second piece is also, as it happens, a Banana item – a silk cami from their Factory Outlet with a delicate floral print on a cream background. I got a few weeks ago, and have been wearing the hell out of it. It feels so summery … and I’m an eternal optimist.