The Upside to Confinement

Who would have thought it would come to this?  And now we are all in it together- even though we must keep apart.  Can it be that this confinement due to Covid-19 can actually bring us back to a newfound quality-time? We shall not be defeated!

Here are some ideas for how this Montreal girl spends her time:

  • Exercise. It doesn’t have to be something too strenuous (unless you want it to be).   I started taking long walks on a more regular basis.  This helps with the cabin fever and to refresh my mind.  Try taking a different route than usual and start observing the nature around you with more intent- it’s beautiful. Or- my favourite…dance to some 80’s fab music!
  • Cooking! Oh how cooking releases my stress, I can’t say enough about this!  Comfort food and the whole process- I’m loving it.  Why not cook up a recipe that you’ve been dying to make?
Check out the Highlights over at my Instgram feed @lucybertoldi under Yummy and Yummy 2 for tasty recipes
  • Start journaling.  This can be in written form, art, or other.  I make art.  Can anything be more cathartic?  The whole creative process keeps you in the moment (which weirdly enough makes time fly!).  I do mixed media art on canvas but also a lot of journaling.  If you’re interested on seeing more just head on over to my Instagram: @mtl.diva.art

Art heals

  • Meditate- keep your faith.  In the same lines with journaling or making art- try some meditating.  For some this could be in form of prayer, yoga, or whatever other form you get into.  This helps us refocus, regenerate and ultimately brings us inner strength- leading to hope and positivity!
  • DIY’s and projects!  Why not work on some of the things that always get set aside because of no time- can’t use that excuse right now!  Revamp your stuff and feel a self of renewal and accomplishment.  This is probably my favourite thing to do lol!  But projects can also be cleaning out something (like your closet!) …which btw, can also be cathartic!!
  • Sit down with a good book you’ve been longing to read! A bit of quiet time to indulge in the topics you want to learn more about.  Researching new things can be so much fun to help open your horizon for your present job, career, sport or hobby.
Adorned in Dreams, by Elizabeth Wilson is a fashion historian’s dream for real.

Click on link below to watch a clip of my review of Illustration Now! Fashion by, Julius Wiedermann Taschen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2dP8zuPSHI&feature=youtu.be
  • On these same lines, on your own (or with those you’re cooped up with!)- maybe watch a movie (or finish a Netflix series- or start one!) And why not play a game of sorts: cards, monopoly, backgammon…
  • Pamper yourself.  Take the time to finally indulge (without a darn schedule to follow!).  I think I will finally start trying those 12 different masks I have piling up in my try and review bin!
  • Heart-to-heart time with those you love (at home with you- or through Skype, messenger…). What better time to tell those you love how much you care for them?  This could be a good time for those talks you’ve been setting aside for ‘the right time’.
  • Lastly, try to remain positive, thankful and appreciative.  So difficult to do- but certainly doable!  Look at all the positive things you can actually do within this confinement period.  We’ve been geared up to always be on the go-go-go that we’ve forgotten how to stop, be still and appreciate.  Maybe a forced situation such as this one, just maybe, can bring light upon the things that are good around us.  For once we don’t have to say: I don’t have time.

#Confessionoftheday: Reminding myself that the sun always rises. Working hard on not letting anyone or anything take away my joy. A constant battle well worth the fight.

Stay Safe

10 Reasons Why Montreal Women Look So Stylish

Don’t want to brag here…but there is some truth to what you’ve probably already heard…Montreal ladies have great style.  I honestly don’t think it’s an overworked or overdone thing on our part.  What is certain though is that we want to look fabulous…all the time.

People always comment on how they Love Montreal fashion. I hear it all the time; whether it’s while at work (tourists from the rest of Canada or the US- and Europe…).  And, when I’m the one traveling in the rest of Canada- I feel the stares!  Is it that we are over-dressed?  Or do we really look that different (style-wise)?  Even on a regular dressed-down day, people visiting me have commented and asked:  How is it that women here always look so put together? Uhmm…what?!  Well, ok, we’ll take it…but hey, we know when we’re not looking our best (who knew that wasn’t so bad at all to some on the outside loll!).

When I used to work as Fashion Stylist for the largest department store here in Montreal, it was mandatory that I assist all the Product Knowledge sessions with reps from the different clothing lines.  It struck me that they would ALL say that the orders shipped out to Montreal were different form the rest of Canada!  How so?

Montreal orders were made up of more outlandish colours, patterns and styles.  Nothing was standard.  We were not so big on neutrals- unless they were staple high quality items (or black!); otherwise for the trendier, evening, cocktail and even work attire:  unique colours, patterns and styles came here first and always did better in sales.  Montreal women wanted originality in their wardrobes.  They wanted to stand out fashionably.  And- this was also true for cosmetics, skincare, nails, hair and accessories.

One day I just might do an in-depth study on this.  But right now, purely for your interest, I’ll just go with my personal and professional Styling experience to give you an ‘in’ on what, I guess you could say, sets us apart.  Here goes!

  • Fashion Does Not equal Style- We have a very discerning eye for detail. Two women can buy the exact same top or dress and wear it in completely different ways (just because we’re thinking that the last thing we want is to bump into someone who’s wearing the same clothes), so we need to change it up (think accessories, make-up or hairdo).  The way we style it will make all the difference.  So we don’t care as much for the fashion as we do for the style and in the details.
  • We don’t buy something just because it’s designer or prestigious. We buy because it looks amazing on us (whether it’s an evening gown or basic underwear!).  We are not defined by labels.  In fact, we avoid them as much as possible unless it’s  a plus factor (ethical, local…) to something that already looks terrific.
  • We Don’t shop for our age. We shop for the look that best represents how we feel and that we want to portray.  We emphasize our assets without hiding what we like least.  So, what ends up happening is that, that which we like least, becomes completely unnoticeable.
  • The outlet we shop from is of no importance to us. The piece of clothing that we fall in love with (coz that’s what usually happens with us- more on that in the next point) So-It can be found in designer boutique, retail chain, second-hand shops, vintage, thrift, passed-me down, while traveling, or sometimes, online.  Brand loyalty is not necessarily a thing with us- unless you nail it for us every time.  We are a challenge for designers and businesses alike.  Heads up:  Give us a reason to stay.
  • When we purchase- it’s because we are completely in love with it- Price is the least of the determining factors. Meaning:  if we leave the place without it, we know we will regret it.  We will obsess about it.  We will go back and get it. (And when price really is the road block, we will hunt for something similar to pull off the look in mind!).
  • Montreal women actually wear what they shop. Whether this is an outrageous colour or out of the ordinary pattern- if we bought it, means we loved it- so we’re wearing it.  We keep our stuff – think quality- think sustainable here.
  • There’s no such thing as spending too much on hair, skincare, cosmetics, NAILS. Montreal women know that if those aren’t put together, you can wear Chanel and look like hell.  Hair is our Number One accessory.
  • Montreal women don’t wait on each other to start a trend. First one to wear it gets the applause.  You wanna be that girl.  And from there, we edge our sisters on to go ahead and take the look a step further in their own way! It’s all about originality and that Ahh! effect.
  • You can never be too overdressed or be wearing too much makeup- or your hair overdone. Why?  Well because even if it takes you tons of products to achieve one look, it’s got to turn out looking effortless and on-point.  So that could never look overdone (even if your daily look is a dramatic smokey eye with statement black eyeliner).  Enjoy!
  • We mean what we wear. Purpose is key.  Styling is intentional.  The intention for how we’ll wear the item was set the day we got it, even if things might change along the way.  We wear the clothes- they don’t wear us.  We own our style and feel comfortable in whatever setting we choose to wear it.  I think this last point is key: We just do our own thing!  I think you’ll recognize that in our stride😉

So that was the scoop, ladies!  So what do you think?  Is this stylish Montreal women really a thing? Do you recognize these traits in Montreal Women?  How do you approach style?  And- if you are a Montreal Woman, how accurate is this for you?

You just know- I gotta know loll!

Here’s a short clip of my look the other evening for a friendly going-away party at a restaurant. If you like the look- you can also follow me on the liketoknow.it app. http://www.liketoknow.it/lucybertoldi

#Confessionoftheday: Montreal women love fashion- in fact we Adore following the trends via runways, magazines- you name it.  We’re just Big on adapting and somewhat reinventing it!

Make Time for Besties…

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Having good friends is everything. Family comes first, but true friendship is a close runner up. This is true for every stage of our lives…but I think it’s especially important in midlife. Most of our baggage almost empty; we’ve got so much less of a load to carry.  At this stage we’ve pretty much eliminated the irrelevant and kept the most precious. Friendships have had many purposes in life. Most often related to: work, kids, neighbours, hobbies and interests, higher education, community…Let’s just say that more often than not, these relationships flourished for a particular time and period of our lives. And once these stages done, so was the friendship.

But then, there are those that stuck around through it all- or at least popped back in here and there- but never, ever disappeared. Those are the friends I’m talking about. The kind that may have been on break while we were busy making other ‘necessary’ or ‘timely’ friendships. The kind of friends that you could pick up the phone at any time for whatever reason. Recognise them? You know who they are. So that’s who I’m talking about.

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Now more than ever, these people add so much more to our lives. Now because, having peeled off our mandates and all the responsibilities that those entailed, we are clear and free for Part 2 of our lives. A much carefreer self, we come full circle and those friends are part of that. To laugh, share, care and confide as though not a day had passed. Doesn’t the mere thought of that bring a smile to your face?

Darlings, let’s enjoy these precious beings that we call soul sisters; besties, partners in crime- or whatever term of endearment you’d like to use. We need these girls now more than ever, if just to bring back the laughs or remember the tears. They’ve seen us at both our best and our worst- lived through tears and joys, and, seen us evolve.  They just love us infinitely for who we are. Time to celebrate this friendship- call your bestie now and set up a date (just like back in the day!)

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Good friends remind you of who you really are and where you started off. Good friends bring out the truest, most beautiful you. And you know what is so awesome about that? That’s the part you really love most about yourself too!

Make time for your true friends Darlings. It just makes life that much sweeter.

#Confessionoftheday: I’m not always so good at picking up the phone…Thank goodness for text and social media!

Part 2 of Your Life… Are You an Empty Nester?

Middleage Divas…Welcome to Part 2 of your life. This is what I call the part of life where almost all the kids have grown and have either moved out for school, or to be on their own, or for marriage…

I’m not quite the empty nester yet; my eldest daughters got married last year but since I still have 3 kids at home, the next two are seemingly very close to leaving the nest. So, the exiting part I’m kinda getting used to, or rather expecting. And perhaps I’m not quite phased about this because I never really imagined my husband and I ever being on our own.

With 5 children, there’s always been a full house. And, the fact that we had our last at 40, I simply never even thought about living in an ‘empty’ house. It often feels like that little one will be with us forever. So, my darlings, the real thing I never even thought about or imagined was…being an empty nester.

Where has time flown? My youngest is still only 17. And by the time she moves out, I’ll probably be at the grandma stage from at least one of my four other children. But this one is my baby. So this is what is drumming on my mind and soul- when she leaves the house one day- that will truly be the end of this act for me.

Did I think she would be a baby forever? Yes I did. Of course she’s not leaving anytime soon- but still, I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared. This one has been around for my better part of my parenting years. I love all my children equally, yet sometimes I feel I was granted a second chance to do things a bit different. With my first four – all were very close in age, and I was much younger myself. Life was more hectic and what I did for one, I did for all. With my last, she had the stage pretty much to herself. Maybe she had it a bit easier and better- Not that she would agree of course…when you’re 17 you don’t realize any of this. So right now I feel quite grateful that I still have a few more years of this fantastic time. But I know it won’t be for long…

It’s all bittersweet and part of life. So as I realize this, I find it all the more important that women over 50 find something meaningful to call their own. Personally I don’t believe I’ll ever find anything more important than the raising of my kids; the citizens of tomorrow’s world. And yet! Maybe this is the time to rethink our paths. All that devotion and care taking took first place and consequently, many of our personal passions we learned to simply forget or closet away somewhere.

Today, I do feel wiser, more assertive, more spiritual, more carefree and more accepting of myself. I like to believe that all those years of mothering paved the way for this. This is the new me. Darlings, there’s so much we put on the back-burner (because of love and devotion!)- And now we get a second chance! So let’s get out there and live our dreams – big or small- the time is right! And that’s the best part…TIME- we finally have some! So, take up a course, catch up on your reading, make art, travel, start up a business, volunteer, exercise, become a chef- the sky’s the limit!

And, dear Darlings, if like me, you still have a young one at a home, then all the more reason for getting a start in planning ahead. Hopefully, by being prepared, when we hug and kiss her as we send her off one day, that dreadful lump we fear so much will be that much easier to swallow. It might just help make things seem a little less empty. We can do this. Let nothing or no one stop you. Remember: If God is for us, who can be against us? Rom.8:31

#confessionoftheday: letting go is the hardest part for my mommy heart

 

Are you an Empty Nester yet? If not…are you prepared?

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