Pretty Reads: Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo


I hope you’re all having a terrific Saturday so far! Unfortunately, I am not. My throat is so scratchy and awful. It’s been tea & soup for me all day. I’m hoping I feel better tomorrow. ūüė¶

Anyway, on to the topic of the post at hand. As you may recall, this is the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice and I’m participating in a year round challenge that’s hosted by Austenprose.

For January, (I’m a bit behind), I read Jane Austen’s Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo. I selected this book because it was a new release written by a Canadian. Surprisingly, I hadn’t heard of this book until it was mentioned in a magazine article right before this challenge kicked off. It was a great excuse to pick it up from the local library.

marraigemanual{Image from Goodreads}

This book tells the story of Kate, a magazine editor in her late 30s who has recently lost her job. Well, she’s more like a freelancer who prefers¬†short term contracts than toiling away at the same organization for too long. After she loses her job, she suffers another personal loss that propels her into action to marry for money. Since she was able to secure a freelance article to write an article on how young women are using Austen’s techniques to marry for money, she decides she still has some gas in the tank and she should try to snag a rich husband for herself. Alright for some.

Naturally, all does not go accordingly plan. Yet, miraculously, it all works out in the end. I hope I’m not spoiling anything but we all knew that was going to happen.

I really enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons. I enjoyed that the lead character was more than 26 years old. I have nothing against 26 year olds but it seems that most single lady stories are centered around women under 30 and it’s nice to read something different. I also liked that although she had a bit of a glamourous job (beauty editor) she wasn’t really all about fashion & celebrity. Again, not that those are bad things (I love them!), just that those are very common interests for a book characters.

I also loved her new bff Fawn Chamberlain. Fawn’s an older woman who’s married for money a few times. She’s sort of Kate’s fairy godmother dispensing invaluable advice to Kate. I’d love to see a book of Fawn’s exploits.

The one part of the story that seemed to disconnect was her relationship with Mr. Money. I can’t tell you more than that!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was¬†a fun read without becoming ridiculous. Although there’s the typical bit of writing magic, the story itself is fairly believable.

Are you taking the Pride & Prejudice challenge? What are you reading at the moment?

Add me on Goodreads!


WIPW: Winterfell scarf is complete!

Well, we’re halfway through winter and my Winterfell scarf is finally complete. Just in case you needed evidence of how nerdy I am, here you go.


This is a follow up from this post. This scarf came together quite quickly. I just had to keep putting it on the side to work on other things. Can you believe there was a time when I thought I would run out of things to knit or crochet? Seems so ridiculous now.

An adjustment I made to the pattern was to line the back with fleece. Yay for $5 remnants at Fabricland!¬†I also added a crochet picot edge. It wasn’t the exact edging I wanted. I could see it in my mind, but I didn’t know what it was called so I did this in the meantime.


In other nerd news, I was way too excited by the confirmation of the identity of Richard III. History + Who Do You Think You Are? + Science=AWESOME!

What’s on your needles at the moment?

Instagraming January!

Hello hello!

I’ve started to paint my kitchen red. I’m loving how it’s looking so far. Such a relief considering how dark the colour is. It’s a bit scary to paint the first stripe. I can’t wait to show you!

Anyway, here’s what I was up to in January:


Coffee on New Year’s Day!¬†//¬†Mittens in progress. Now frogged because I don’t like how they turned out. The yarn is so pretty though. // Enjoying the gorgeous big blue Manitoba sky //¬†Working on Missoni blanket¬†again. It’s been over a year already! // First day back to class // Winter is coming scarf // Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Obsessed with this book. // Isn’t it cute that I thought -34C was cold when -44C was just around the corner? // I love my Travel & Leisure subscription but sometimes they’re rubbing it in. // Sprinkles! // Making scones // Treated parents to Creme Brulee French Toast. Recipe here. // Tea Cozy! Post here // Born to be Brad – Love this book! // Chevron NOTD // Sundogs!

What have you been up to this January? I love following new instagrammers.¬†Follow me on instagram @Lesleylu and I’ll be sure to follow back! x

NOTD: Suncoat Peelable in Mulberry


I received this bottle of Suncoat Peelable nail polish in a Glymm box last month. The photo is true to real life. I’m always a bit wary of peelable nail polish. I find that one little scrap can take the whole nail off. This wasn’t the case with Suncoat. In fact, I was able to have a shower & wash the dishes and keep the polish on.

Of course, it didn’t last for as long as non peelable polish but I really liked this formula.¬†I would definitely pick up a few more colours if I had an idea where to find them. It would be great for the really dark shades like red that seem to dye the area around my nails when I try to take it off with remover. Something to think about if you’re like me and often plan your polish changes a few days in advance. It is definitely the best peelable polish I’ve ever tried.

According to their website, the polish is “Completely VOC free.¬†Free of toulene, formaldehyde (no formaldehyde donors), acetates, acetone or any other chemical solvents.” This particular colour is vegan. Suncoat is a Canadian company and their cosmetics are cruelty-free.


What is your favourite polish at the moment?

Project: Cutest Tea Cozy ever!!

005 I don’t know about you, but when the temperature stays below -35C for an entire week, I drink my weight in tea. I don’t know what it is but when I’m very cold tea warms me up in¬† a way that coffee never does. It has the same effect on me as soup. Since I’ve been drinking so much tea lately, I’ve started using my teapot. Before, I would just only want the odd cup so a teapot seemed excessive. Unforunately, by the time I got around to the second cup, the tea in the pot was often cold. Hmm….what to do.

I started to wonder if perhaps tea cozies were actually effective. I always assumed they were just for decoration. Since I have quite a lot of time on my hands (and a lot of yarn I need to use), I decided to search for a cute tea cozy pattern. This is what I found:

006 007

How cute is this?! Honestly, it brings me such joy everytime I use my teapot now. I’m absolutely thrilled with it. Naturally, I found this pattern on Ravelry.

Also, although I have no scientific data to back this up, it does seem that the tea stays hotter for a lot longer thanks to the tea cozy. I’m now determined to make cozies for my mugs. Functional & fashionable! Who knew?

Are you working on any current crochet projects? I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice!

Today’s marks the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice! Do you think that our dear Ms. Austen had any idea that we’d be reading her works¬†so many years in the future? It almost seems as though she’s had a renaissance over the past few years. Starting really (in my opinion) with Bridget Jones’s Diary which reminded everyone about Pride & Prejudice and the mini series it inspired. I know this might be sacrilege to some but I prefer the 2005 film because Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy actually makes me nervous.

 {This moment of flirtation is everything.}

I think I was first really made aware of Pride & Prejudice in the Meg Ryan / Tom Hanks film, You’ve Got Mail. It was Kathleen’s (Meg Ryan) favourite book and she described Elizabeth Bennet as, well I’ll let her tell you.

Actually, now I really want to watch that movie! I do love Elizabeth more than Mr.¬†Darcy. She’s¬†such a modern woman.¬†If you would take her exact words and characteristics from¬†200 years ago, she would still be considered modern and relevant today.¬†Casee did a¬†great post today on how amazing Elizabeth is which sums up my thoughts perfectly.

pride-prejudice-bicentenary-challenge-2013-x-200If you’re looking to celebrate 200 years of Pride & Prejudice, please join me with this Bicentary Challenge hosted at Austenprose. I came across it a couple of weeks back and it sounds like so much fun. I’m going whole hog and signing up for the Aficionada challenge (9-12 selections). I’m actually hoping to focus more on new items as opposed to re-reads although there are a few of those. I’m so excited to read Bridget Jones’s Diary again, I can’t even tell you.

January: The Jane Austen Marriage Manual – Kim Izzo (book)
February: Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (book)
March: Bride & Prejudice (film)
April: Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen (book)
May: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife – Linda Berdoll (book)
June: Pride & Prejudice (2005 film) (I love this movie so much I’m sure I’ll watch it more than once.
July: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart – Beth Pattillo (book)
August: Lost in Austen (miniseries)
September: Midnight in Austenland – Shannon Hale (book)
October: TBD
November: TBD
December: TBD

Since there are always so many new Austen adaptations I didn’t want to set anything in stone so early on. I’ll update my list as more ideas come in. If you have anything you’d recommend, please let me know!

Are you a Pride & Prejudice fan? What do you love about it?

January’s Music Mix!

Hi all!

I hope you’ve all had a great week. My highlight was definitely seeing Les Mis in the theatre even though it left me feeling mopey for the rest of the night. No word of a lie, I was one step away from this:

Anyway, I’ve decided to retire Music Mondays mostly because the songs I loved at the moment didn’t always have videos and it just was becoming a bit of a chore. Instead, I’m going to arrange some of my favourites by monthly. I don’t about you but in January I’m always feeling very mellow and melancholy. I think it might have something with the cold. Seriously, it’s been -30C with the wind all week.
Hope you enjoy it!

What song are you loving at the moment?

NOTD: Revlon – Powder Puff

Hello hello!

In December’s Glossybox I received another nail polish.¬† Love that! I don’t even know the last time I purchased nail polish myself. December’s glossybox was a bit weird. There was some controversy about it on their Facebook page regarding old products. It should be interesting to see what comes this month. Anyway, I was really excited when I saw this colour because as much as I love having white nail polish, I really don’t like to buy it. You know, it’s a basic everyday and not all that fun. I like to spend my money on the fun polishes.


This colour isn’t exactly as I had imagined. It’s very pretty and sheer. There is some iridescence. The photo above¬†is of two coats. You can still see the nail through but I really liked the way it looked. So even though it’s not the bright solid white I hoped for, I think it’s much more wearable and I’ll get a¬†lot of use out it.¬†¬†It is a matte shade but there is still some shimmer from the colour.

What is your favourite polish at the moment? What did you receive in your Glossybox last month?

Instagraming December!

Hello hello!

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. I’ve been asked to help out on my friend’s curling team tonight. Very nervous since I’ve never curled before. Do I need my own broom? What do I wear? lol I’m not really sure how I can grow up in Manitoba and never thrown a rock before but there you have it.

Anyway, here’s what I was up to in December:

Loving the beautiful pastel sunsets we get in the winter¬†¬†//¬†Decorated my front window¬†based on a pin I can no longer find. ūüė¶¬†¬†//¬†Latest Glossybox¬†// First chocolate of the advent calendar. Still not sure what it’s meant to be // New (to me) dining table & chairs – post here //¬†Working on baby blanket¬†// Baby blanket complete¬† – pattern here // Working on term paper // Hot chocolate! // Very¬† cute owl in my parents’ front yard // University // Another pretty day full of hoar frost // More blue skies // Christmas morning cinnamon buns – recipe here¬†// Red velvet trifle inspired by this pin (used box red velvet mix instead of madelines & whipped cream instead of cream cheese & marscapone) // My kobo smiling

What have you been up to this December? I love following new instagrams.¬†Follow me on instagram @Lesleylu and I’ll be sure to follow back! x

2013 Resolutions!

Hello hello!

As much as I’d like to say I’m not one to make resolutions, I totally am. I am, however, much less likely to just start & stop on January 1. I’m more likely to start on the following Monday. I don’t know why but Monday’s always seem like a good day to start something new.

Anyway, first things first. Here were my 2012 resolutions. So how did I do?

Actually not that bad!

1. Did I wear heels more often? Yes! Although it took me awhile to find more wearable daily heels. I found an excellent selection at The Bay and ended up buying three pairs of shoes in five minutes. I also found that Aldo is bringing in more low to mid heels. Fantastic.
One pair of my resolution shoes. A bit more boring than the usual party heels I lean to but a worthy investment since I wore them often.¬†Heel’s still a bit high.

2. Project 365? Nope. I just can’t get it together with that. I’m not sure what it is with me. I think I just have a problem finding content that I think is worth a photo and in the end I take nothing.

3. Buy a home/condo? Result! Yes and it was the best thing I did all year, hands down.

4. Finished Rosetta Stone Italian? Nope. I had problems with my computer and ended up getting a little netbook to tide me over. I didn’t realized until after that there’s no CD drive. I’ll have to pick up an external and get back on it.

Onwards and upwards!

2013 Resolutions:

1. Learn how to sew!


This has been on my list for¬†a long time now. I was so fortunate to receive a sewing machine from my parents for Christmas. How fantastic is it?! I’m terrified though. It looks like such a foreign object to me. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials!

2. Be more active

This is such a vague resolution but it it’s kind of along the lines of saying yes more often or trying new things. I don’t mean active in an exclusively physical way but that wouldn’t hurt either.

3. Reduce clutter

I am such a clutter bug. I can’t stand dirty dishes or a dirty kitchen but a stack of six months worth of magazines? No bother at all. My condo has gotten so full of clutter over the past few months that it was really overwhelming. I’ve spent the past few days de-cluttering and it feels so freeing! I’m really going to make it my personal mission to stay on top of it.

4. Make more to-do lists!

I am a to-do list fiend when it comes to work. I’ve always got a notebook beside me full of all the things I need to focus on. Now, I need to start doing that in my personal life starting with all the things I still need to do in my condo. Ooh maybe I can turn that into a critical path…or is that too nerdy?
One of the many little things I want to update in my condo. Digital thermostat please!

That’s it! What are your personal goals / resolutions for 2013?