Friday, February 27, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 27, 2009

Aah Friday, how I love thee. Abs are sore from my workout yesterday. That is good news! Seeing Seth MacFarlane on Saturday night, so am looking forward to the weekend. Busy day to get through first - have to find some eco products around town for my Shopping Guide for April's magazine...anyhoo, links follow!

Amazing. There was a link in a story on Gwyneth's GOOP in a post yesterday on What Would Tyler Durden Do, to my first post on her newsletter and site. My hits increased astronomically. Hi new people!
Something to make you giggle - Divine Caroline brings us wedding photos to remember.
EcoStiletto found probiotic tea - two great health items combined in one.
Oh Joy! Who doesn't love chandeliers?
Love a glamorous little side project's delicate underthings.

Coming later today, a post on LONG pants and solutions.
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 26, 2009

Just a few this morning, I am actually going to do the DVD again! See the update of how it goes on the diary of a workout. I'll be updating this for a month or so (let's say until the wedding in April), and it'll be linked in the left-hand column this morning so you can quick-link to it to read updates! Most recent at the bottom. Links follow!

Low carb or low fat? Calories are king, HuffPo reports.
Do you think primers are a waste, or helpful? Not sure. Face Candy talks about Smashbox's new Photo Finish Lid Primer. I'll have to test it to decide.
A great project from Little Green Notebook - making fabric shades out of mini blinds. I might have to try this for our new house.
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I couldn't agree more...

Maybe I can actually walk in a pair of Louboutins one day...

Of course there's still the small matter of being able to afford to!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 25, 2009

Good day! Happy Wednesday. All is well on the home front...pitching an article to Oprah magazine - a publication that is very difficult to break into. I'll try! Wish me luck. Links below!

Care 2 has 5 causes of brain fog. I have been experiencing this lately!
This freaks me out. A razor that becomes a vibrator, called Tinge?? How about cringe? As seen on Globe and Mail Style Counsel.
Divine Caroline talks about the science of sex - can you sniff out a good mate?
Not Martha got to test Starbucks new instant coffee VIA ReadyBrew last week, and liked it. Now she is giving some samples away!
Are you ready for neon in the fall?
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 24, 2009

So I didn't get up and work out this morning. When the alarm rang at 5am, there was really no way. Besides, as I told my husband, I really did want to get up gingerly and see if anything hurt from - tight quads. Otherwise, nuttin'. To make up for the early morning laziness, I'm biking to work! Links below, YUMMY recipe to come today. It's worth coming back for.

A really wonderful news piece - Vina Monastery Resurrects 800-year-old building.
Forbes tells us how to score secret airline perks.
Cathy of California is going on the Martha show!
Real Simple has tasty winter produce, along with some recipes for said veggies.
NieNie posts again. I check every day, and it's so nice when she is back with a story or a word that she is doing okay.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 23, 2009

Good Monday morning! Feeling great today - had half of a workout, finally have a pup chilling out on the couch instead of eating it, will have a recipe later today, it just started raining, and am about to hop into a warm bath and get to my really cool job. It's not so bad, all around. Links below.

I am really loving Lainey Gossip's inside Oscars scoop this morning.
It's a little chilly in the house this morning, and I wouldn't mind these Prairie Boots. But don't worry, Love It A Lot - I know you found them first!
I am a greedy girl wishes her life was like this photo. Me too, honey. Me too.
Not that I have a lot of time, but a nice escape is to check out all the shows from NY Fashion Week, here at
If I lived in Brooklyn, I'd visit this shop today. Look at these beautiful bars Oh Joy! is sharing. The call of chocolate is strong, but these are so pretty I wouldn't open them.
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ModernGear Health: Working out with Gwyneth and Madonna's trainer

I wrote about the Tracy Anderson exercise DVDs a while ago, and I ordered the mat one a few weeks ago, and am finally getting my lazy ass in gear to try it. Honestly, I might not even have done so if we didn't have a wedding to go to in Cancun at the beginning of April...
I keep seeing pictures of an amazingly fit Gwyneth Paltrow and frankly, I didn't know she had it in her. So, it's time to see how she's doing it.

And I am going to keep a blog diary through the process - in the pursuit of journalistic excellence, commitment to storytelling and...who am I kidding...a chance to rest once in a while.

Whew! Let's go.

10 minutes in

Just the warm-up kicked my ass. I am seriously out of shape.

I only got through the first leg sequence by calling Tracy a bitch a few times. Duane is licking my yoga mat - he has never seen this pink thing, and he's been with us for what - 8 months? Yuh.

Time for a drink of water, grabbing my 3-lb weights and I am back at it. An update next rest.

30 minutes in
Loved the standing abs section. Once I get into a good routine of sticking to workouts, I am an abs machine. I once had a four-pack but the elusive six-pack was not mine. I like what Tracy said about abs - something about having a nicely-shaped tummy but not necessarily having a six-pack. I like dreaming about results that I can actually achieve.

Also finished up the arms sequence. She switches up the movements quickly and you have to really follow along, but that will get easier with each subsequent workout with the DVD as I'll get to know the moves. I can see how this part of the workout can achieve results, as you are required to keep your arms up and moving for quite a while. I found this part really enjoyable.

It could be because I had about ten breaks though, because Duane didn't enjoy the sequence so much. He can't seem to figure out why my arms and legs have been flailing about, and has been acting out in frustration. He's bitten the couch, and there's a new hole in a rug my husband brought back from a trip to Afghanistan years ago.

With that and the fact that the next sequence needs three-pound weights and the drawer in my bedroom that they're in is stuck and I can't get it open (that's kind of ironic and funny - because clearly I need to get stronger), I think I'll end it here for today, and get up while hubby and the pooch are still sleeping. Less collateral damage this way.

The good part is I already have the shakes and am pretty sure this is a great workout. If I can stick to it, which frankly is always the issue, then I'm sure I'll see some great results. And since I am admitting my plans and sharing them here, now I'll just have to give updates so that ought to keep me going. That and the idea of getting myself into a swimsuit in April.

Stay tuned. And no, do not even ask to see before-and-after pictures. Not gonna happen!!

February 26

I had a grand notion of getting up at 5am the next morning to do the DVD again. But I forgot to ask hubby to help me with the stuck drawer where the weights are held, and my legs felt awfully tight...and come on, like I was getting out of bed at 5am!!

I decided to ride my bike to work instead - about 45 minutes and 4 miles worth of cardio to get there, with a slower-paced ride for 4 miles home. THAT was fun - I'll be supplementing the home workouts and swimming when it gets a bit warmer, with the biking. I'm also going to start pilates after we move into our new place as well.

So, on with today's workout. I still didn't get the weights, so I'll be doing the DVD up until that point. And hoping that Duane stays napping on the chair instead of eating it out of frustration and confusion as to why I'm flapping around.

Thought: I love how Tracy says, "It should really start burning about now." Oh, I am a step ahead of you then because it started burning about three minutes ago. I'm an overachiever.

Finished legs, am shaky but feel good. Number of rests: um...between 5 and 10. LESS than first time! And didn't call her names, just uttered, "Oh, Mother" one time. Onto standing abs, woot!

I really do like this standing abs section! It's not easy, but it's not hard either. I can feel that it is working my abs, and I am not laying on the floor like a jerk, cranking my neck up. It would be hard to get these wrong. And there are some sexy moves in here. If this whole journalist thing doesn't work out, I could always get a job as a stripper.

Finished the arms part without the weights. There's a whole other section with weights, for the arms! Oops. Half an arm workout is probably better than none, but still. Have to get that drawer unstuck. On to the mat.

Done! After the mat legs workout (really good, and hard, I am shaking), to my great shock, there was a floor abs session! So there I was laying on the floor like a jerk, cranking my neck up. You really have to watch her closely as she'll switch it up without saying anything. Two rest breaks, not a bad section.

Et voila. A cool down, and I am hitting the showers!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 20, 2009

Early morning meeting - more links and a post, I swear, later this morn and aft.

Links below!

Who What Wear shares who wore what at NY Fashion Week. These images make me feel terribly un-chic...
Tongue in Cheek's terribly chic husband models an apron (well, he works in it, anyway!).
NieNie is on her way back, slowly. What a story of love and strength.

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So great! Happy Friday...

Now this guy has a bright future! This is at a Celtics game...

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it. Click here to read rest of story...

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it. Click here to read rest of story...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 19, 2009

Good morning, kittens! So I'll actually have time for a post later this morning, whew! This whole Editor-in-Chief thing isn't to be taken lightly.


Links below.

Wow. What a changing world. Huff Po asks is this the end of Swiss banks as we know them? launches a new-and-improved site.
Soon your man can dress like Charlie Sheen, in DaVinci shirts.
It's NY Fashion Week, so you really ought to head over to The Sartorialist to live vicariously.
A link just for the spectacle of it - a "Magical Carpet" made out of jewels that will fetch millions. Just what I needed to complete my home decor!
Web MD has sore throat treatments.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 18, 2009

It's slowing down - I might even get a) a breather and b) time to post, today. Links are below, til then.

Ohhh boy, Ideal Bite stepped into it royally with this post on supposedly "humane" foie gras and veal. And they have the hate mail to show for it.
Aaah, I need this. From A Cup of Jo.
Danielle, on White Hot Truth, asks what part of you would you like to revive?
Do you take vitamins? I do. Of course like anything else, there is disagreement about it.
Would more women work out if they knew a coregasm was waiting for them at the end?!
I love street style sites like The Sartorialist, and Flare's version.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Great e-Roundup February 17, 2009

WOW is it ever rainy here in SoCal. So stormy yesterday that I wondered what a hurricane must feel like, if it wasn't this. It's pouring out there again but at least the house isn't shaking.
And what do you know - links below!

Globe and Mail's Style Counsel covers Smashbox's Artist Palette in Muse. So beautiful for spring.
LouLou Magazine talks to Giorgio Armani makeup artist Joëlle Barakat about what kind of makeup application is appropriate for the office.
eDiet's has 7 foods to NEVER eat.
The Kitchn has a great project for YOUR kitchen - how to paint ugly laminate countertops. Wow, what an improvement!

Gotta run, post later.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

ModernGear Food: Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto

I've come to realize that around the 15th of the month, until I get things under control and working a few months in advance, I'm going to be way overworked. That's when we finalize the next month's issue of the magazine, and right now I should be finishing that up but wanted to post this amazing recipe.

It's from our friend Kiki of Kiki's Kitchen again (my little cooking angel), and I won't keep you from it any longer!

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto


4 to 5 cups chicken/turkey stock (I used turkey because we had a turkey carcass in the freezer from Thanksgiving, dropped it in a roasting pan with some carrots, onions, celery and some herbs, roasted it for an hour and then simmered it on the stove for another 2 - perfect stock)
4 cups assorted wild mushrooms, chopped - I used porcini, shittake & oyster

2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
olive oil & butter
fresh thyme

2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine - whatever you have kicking around the house is fine

2 cups frozen green peas
4 to 6 slices prosciutto, finely chopped

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy bottomed pan, then add mushrooms - cook until soft and set aside in a bowl

2. add 4 tablespoons (approx) olive oil and another 2 tablespoons butter to pan and add shallots, garlic and rice - stir until shallots are translucent and rice slightly browned - BE CAREFUL not to burn the garlic

3. de-glaze the pan with the white wine, stirring constantly

4. add the stock ladle by ladle, stirring after each addition until combined

5. continue this step until the rice is almost cooked - then stir in the reserved mushrooms & peas

6. meanwhile flash fry the prosciutto and add to the risotto

7. stir in 2 tablespoon butter and the Parmesan cheese until melted and combined

8. serve in warmed bowls and ENJOY!
And finally, don't forget to scratch behind the ears of your sous-chef! This is Tully...indispensable for tasting, but not so good with chopping...what with the no opposable thumbs and all.
Tully worked hard with this recipe!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

ModernGear Fashion: expanding my horizons

I've lived in the US for 14 months now, and I've never set foot into a Kohl's. I don't know why that is - I guess I didn't think they would have anything for me. But it turns out, I might have been too hasty in such a pronouncement.

Not only does Kohl's carry Vera Wang, which has some lovely pieces:

ribbed cardigan, was $64, now $38.40
satin trench coat, was $118, now $59
chiffon jacket, was $98, now $49
floral shirred top, was $58, now $29

But now there is also a very wearable collection from Dana Buchman. Maybe not all of the pieces appeal to me to suit my age and tastes, but there is certainly a lot that I would happily wear.

printed batwing tunic $60
flawless fit capris $46
fold over convertible clutch $66
sardinia strappy heel $66.99

cardigan sweater with belt $72
woven capris $46
charleston clutch $46
sardinia strappy heel $66.99

stand collar jacket with zebra lining $116
3/4 sleeved woven blouse $46
woven capris $46
evil double-strap heel sandal $64.99
straw dana tote $96
audra square sunglasses $36

grosgrain-pleat top was $40, now $27.99
bohemian tunic was $52, now $34.99
striped cardigan was $76, now $52.99
crop pants were $50, now $34.99

I'll pop into to Kohl's some time in the next few weeks and check it out in person. Pictures are always nice but it's truly all in the fabric, cut, and execution that an item passes muster. If I like what I see in person as much as I do in the pictures, I'll happily add a few of these items to my wardrobe! I know the Simply Vera Vera Wang line is of good quality, so I am sure this one will be too.
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The Great e-Roundup February 12, 2009

Happy Thursday - the weekend is closer and closer...mine will be spent packing! That's right, we're moving...but not back to Canada for the time being. With me now in the new Editor-in-Chief position, we've decided to stick around SoCal for a little longer. And hey! Your links are below.

LouLou says cotton is key this spring.
Flare has Spring's greatest hits - 9 items they're craving.
Dare you to not smile at A Cup of Jo's new humans post.
black*eiffel says maybe to Stockholm's Jumbo Hostel. I say definitely! I'll do a video when I get there some day.
Oh my, I am hopeful that I can achieve such organization as in this room shown on Steph modo's blog in our new house!
Want to make something special and homemade for your Valentine? Check out How About Orange's Origami Heart Bookmarks!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

With shoes like these, who needs artwork?

Balenciaga, 750 euro, from Département Féminin.

Totally unrealistic, but completely incredible.
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ModernGear Food: A healthy sweet treat

Working at home is wonderful - when you get a little peckish, you can make your way into the kitchen and nosh on whatever you can scrounge around and find. Hopefully that's something nutritious and delicious, but that's up to you when you're at the grocery store stocking up on supplies! The fact is, if you buy potato chips and Oreos, that might just be what you grab when your tummy starts to growl. I always try to keep this in mind when navigating the store aisles.

Now that I am transitioning from working at home all the time into working at an office half-time, I am having to put a lot more thought into how to pack my handbag for the day. If I don't grab at least an apple and a protein bar, I'm done for. There's a Pinkberry down the street and its siren song has lured me in a few times, and there's a cheap sub shop downstairs. But sometimes, and in fact, most times, all I need is just a little pick-me-up.

I recently found something special, that has been my mid-afternoon slump snack of choice lately: sweetriot's 100% cacao nibs.

They're billed as "'peaces' of intense yum, 1-2 calories per 'peace'". Each little nib is about half the size of a chocolate-covered raisin and has a crunch closer to a chocolate-covered espresso bean, without that caffeine kick.

I don't know if you're into dark chocolate, but I've developed a real taste for it, and it doesn't hurt that it's incredibly healthy and provides a powerful antioxidant punch as well. WebMD says so, says so, Dr. Weil says so. One thing they all say, though, is that like a lot of things that are healthy in moderation (red wine, olive oil, etc.) to limit your portion size.

If you have the sort of self-control where you can allow yourself a small taste of something and feel that it satisfies the craving, then sweetriot's cacao nibs are perfect. I carry a baggie of almonds with me, and pop a handful of nibs and almonds into my mouth for a few moments of pure bliss.

Here are some quick facts from their web site:
140 calories
12 - 14 carbs
11 - 12g fat
6 - 10g sugar
3 - 4g fiber
2g protein
0mg sodium
3 points WeightWatchers
And my own fact: 100% flavour!

My only caveat is that if you don't have much portion control, then you might eat the whole small canister in one go, and that wouldn't be so good. I'd say mine lasted about a week and a half...

You can choose between:
'flavor 50', which has 50% dark chocolate
'flavor 65', cacao nibs covered in 65% dark chocolate (these are the ones I chose, and they're YUH-MEEE!)
and 'flavor 70', lightly roasted cacao nibs, covered in 70% dark chocolate with a hint of espresso. Oh yeah, these are the ones I am going to try next time.
For a small 1 oz. (28g.) canister, they cost $3.99. I found mine at Whole Foods, but you can also order online (and in bulk, hello!) on their web site, and you can also find other bricks-and-mortar retail locations here. You can collect and re-use the artwork-covered tins, too, for breath mints, spare change, hairpins or anything else that would fit.

I love their other products like the unBAR, and I am definitely going to have to try their baking "peaces" for chocolate chip cookies.

I would also like to point out sweetriot's even sweeter side. The company's values leave an even better taste in my mouth than their chocolate, if that's possible:
*use premium, high-quality, and all-natural ingredients
*practice fair trade with developing countries
*celebrate culture and diversity through their products
*create sweet experiences for customers, partners and employees
*are young at heart, energetic, down-to-earth and contribute to the greater good
You can read even more about why the company itself is worthy of your support, here.

I'm such a fan I'd even wear their t-shirt and show my love of the dark chocolate nib and sweetriot, across my chest!

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The Great e-Roundup February 11, 2009

How are you this Wednesday? All is well here, and links are below!

Don't you want to move to a village in the South of France? I do, and I always get more ammunition for this dream when I see pictures of where (and how) American-in-France blogger Corey lives.
I know it might not be the case exactly, but I imagine that in my French chateau I'd feel inspired to wear things like this, and bake things like this, seen in This is Glamorous's heart-shaped post today.
Martha Stewart is moving - so interesting to get a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes on in her offices. Looks like a very organized move, and why am I not surprised?!
Design*Sponge reports that another magazine is going under - craft magazine. Siiigh.
I have been enjoying White Hot Truth with Danielle LaPorte since she started the blog. Yesterday's post about saying sorry only if you mean it and today's about how to apologize, are deep, meaningful and helpful. This is real, face-your-demons sort of writing and wisdom, about getting real. It's time for this.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

ModernGear Food: Turkey Schnitzel and Wild Rice Pilaf

I've been so busy lately with work and trying to take advantage of my weekends to actually relax that I've not only not been photographing my cooking for recipe posts, I've actually not even been cooking! Lucky for me, I have a husband who loves to cook and is great at it, and a wonderful friend Kathryn from Kiki's Kitchen, who has graciously provided me with three new recipes from her recent trip home to Montreal!

And now, heeeeere's Kiki!

This is an easy and light dinner recipe I adapted from one I found in Gourmet Magazine many years ago - turkey breasts are a great bargain and if you freeze them slightly before cutting it is super easy to make cutlets from them.

Turkey Schnitzel
4 turkey cutlets
1/2 cup flour
salt & pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs - Panko work best
olive oil (for frying)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons capers
plastic wrap
meat pounder/rolling pin/cleaver
3 shallow bowls for dredging
wax paper
skillet for frying
over-proof platter
paper towel

1. place each cutlet between plastic wrap and gently pound to 1/8 inch thick with a meat pounder/rolling pin/flat side of a cleaver (that's what I used)
2. toss together flour, salt & pepper in a shallow bowl
3. beat eggs with a pinch of salt in second shallow bowl
4. pour bread crumbs in third shallow bowl
5. dredge each cutlet in flour, shake of excess, then dip in eggs, then in the crumbs making sure the cutlet is completely coated

6. place each coated cutlet on a tray lined with wax paper and chill for 10 minutes
7. heat the oil in the skillet until HOT but not smoking and quickly fry the cutlets in as many batches as needed - DO NOT CROWD THEM
8. place the cooked cutlets on your oven-proof platter separated by paper towel in a pre-heated oven (200)
9. once all cutlets are cooks melt the butter in the skillet and add capers
10. place cutlets on plate and spoon over caper "sauce" - serve with a fresh lemon wedge
I served the turkey cutlets with flash-fried fresh spinach and this delicious wild rice pilaf.

Wild Rice & Cranberry Pilaf
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery spear, finely chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used regular button mushrooms because that's what I had handy, but you can use any kind you like - wild would be AWESOME!)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup wild rice
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown rice
black pepper, 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp thyme
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almonds - toasted and chopped

1. melt butter in heave-bottomed, 2 inch deep sautee pan
2. add onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and garlic and cook 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and aromatic

3. meanwhile (my sister HATES when she reads this in a recipe because she always forgets about the "meanwhile") bring 4 cups of water to the boil and add the wild rice, cooking for about 10 minutes or until it begins to open - drain

4. add the wild rice, stock, brown rice, pepper, sage & thyme to the vegetables

5. bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cook, tightly covered, for about 35 minutes
6. stir in cranberries and almonds
7. ENJOY!!

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The Great e-Roundup February 9, 2009

Just a few today on this busy Monday! Posting this aft, a new recipe from Kathryn at Kiki's Kitchen! Links below.

InStyle has some cute budget-friendly dresses.
Circuit City and Linens 'n Things have already gone under - which big businesses are next?
eDiets says BREAK that FAST as the first step to losing weight!
Yahoo posts about a study that suggests why gut instincts work.
Valentine's Day is nearing. Maybe not "romantic" but a great amount of advice: HuffPo has 8 ways to affair-proof your marriage.
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

ModernGear Women: I love Made With Love by Hannah

A few years ago now, I discovered Made With Love by Hannah. My first (and to date, only) purchase was the beautiful Bukarest skirt, in white with black.

The Romanian birds and flowers print is just so pretty, and the quality was even better than I thought it would be. I loved wearing it with a plain black top and black ballet flat, or boots. But my berth widened (!) and I haven't been able to wear it for some time. I'm working on that but in the meantime, Hand Made by Hannah has some new designs that I am going to just go ahead and order a size larger.

Here are some of the prettiest:

April Showers skirt, $68

Dutch Treat skirt, $58
Tree Top skirt, $68

Ribbon print skirt, $68

My favourites have to be the Polish-inspired Wycinanki skirt, $68
and the Polish Pottery skirt, $62.

I'd also love to see the Wycinanki dress, $110.

I'd love to don one of these and see the look on MGTV Hubby's face, as he hails from Poland.

I also love the made with love by Grandma section, and I am over the moon for the Polish Pottery Apron. Officially the first purchase I'll make after next payday. SO perfect to wear when making borscht.

The patterns are whimsical, ultra feminine and just plain sweet. I'd wear any of these with a plain tee or tank top, and they'd be perfect in the summer. I'll be making some purchases to stock my wardrobe for the warm months to come...
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