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the green bows

Living Colourfully. The Lessons I Learned from Kate Spade

I was devastated when I heard the news about Kate Spade's passing yesterday. I was in disbelief for most of the afternoon. After work, as I was scrolling through Twitter and reading articles on her life and career, I found myself getting very emotional. I had never considered how much she had impacted my life until she was gone. 

Kate spade, what Kate spade meant to me,

Like many girls (and boys) my age, my first designer handbag was from Kate Spade. I was working at a garden centre, making minimum wage when I got an email for one of their coveted surprise sales. I wanted something simple and timeless, and after much deliberation with my mom, I opted for a tan satchel purse as a present to myself for landing my first ever job. I used it on a daily basis for years, and still have it to this day. 

Years later, I started a corporate job on a social media team. I was terrified of starting a new job, my first full-time position. I had just finished school and had no idea what to expect in a corporate environment. I opted for a Kate Spade dress on my first day. I wanted to feel confident and empowered while still looking professional. It’s the dress I’m wearing in the picture on my security pass and it’s a subtle reminder every day that you can be a #bosslady while wearing a bow. 

Kate Spade was founded in 1993 in Kate's Tribeca apartment, the year I was born. She cashed in her 401K to make her dreams of owning a handbag company come true, and steadily advanced it into a multi-million dollar business. 

In this vein, I felt like I grew up with the brand and with Kate. As the assortment grew and new retail stores opened,  I too undertook new endeavours in my life. I started junior high, learned new skills and made new friends. There were awkward stages and growing pains, but also learning experiences and opportunities I’d never experienced before. The company was sold in 2007, the year I started high school, but it was like Kate and I were undertaking these changes together. Life was uncertain, but the possibilities were endless. 

Kate spade

To me, Kate Spade represented so much more than a pretty designer brand. Kate Spade, the woman, was an inspiration to me and many other people my age. She embodied the notion that you can be a feminist while still being feminine. That you could wear pink polka dots to a meeting and still be taken seriously. That bringing your work home was less daunting in a floral bag. She inspired a generation to pursue their dreams in the most colourful fashion. 

I hated pink when I was a teenager. I thought it was too girly, too childish. But Kate elevated it to a sophisticated shade, something to be coveted, not mocked. Despite having been removed from the company for 11 years, Kate still represented the colourful aesthetic that I abide by: live colourfully. 

Kate Spade was an innovator, entrepreneur, and inspiration to so many. It’s heartbreaking to think that she shaped my life in such a positive way, yet she was trapped in her own darkened corner. Kate exemplified everything I wanted to be as an adult, and the lessons I’ve learned will remain with me for years to come. 

May she finally find her colourful lining and may she rest in peace. 

xoxo K

Recently Read: March

After a very slow reading month in February (I only read one book!), I finally found my groove again and got through 6 books in March, and I attribute a lot of the de-slumpness to Ruth Ware, as I read two of her novels and wanted to devour so many more.

recently read, what I'm reading, books I've read, books, reviews, the woman in cabin 10, the death of mrs. westaway, ruth ware, birdbox, josh malerman, the room on rue ameile, Mata Hari

recently read, what I'm reading, books I've read, books, reviews, the woman in cabin 10, the death of mrs. westaway, ruth ware, birdbox, josh malerman, the room on rue ameile, Mata Hari

recently read, what I'm reading, books I've read, books, reviews, the woman in cabin 10, the death of mrs. westaway, ruth ware, birdbox, josh malerman, the room on rue ameile, Mata Hari

The Woman in Cabin 10: 4/5
I've quickly become a huge fan of Ruth Ware, and have read all of her books now (considering her latest comes out in May and I've already read it--reviewed below--I'll probably be waiting quite a while for her next one). Her writing style is reminiscent of Agatha Christie, but with modern twists, and they're some of the most engaging stories in the thriller genre, in my opinion.

The Woman in Cabin 10 was reminiscent to In A Dark Dark Wood, insofar as it's a closed circuit crime scene, so if you liked that novel, then I think you'll really enjoy this. It begins with a group of eccentric characters boarding the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise ship, whilst being introduced one by one a la Agatha Christie style. A crime seemingly takes place on the first night of the cruise, but no one on the ship believes what Lo saw, and attributes her claim to the excessive amount of alcohol she consumed. Throughout the course of the novel, Lo attempts to prove what she saw and alienates herself from other passengers.

While I love Ware's writing, I think you do need to suspend disbelief when going into her novels. There are twists and turns galore, and a very large one near the end of the book that was a bit farfetched. There was also quite a few red herrings in the book that was very annoying and didn't necessarily add to the value of the novel.

I think Ware's books are great escapists though. Although the storylines are repetitive, I love how quick they are to read, and I find the implausible storylines are just what I'm looking for when I need to get out of a slump.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway: 4/5
I won't go on about my love of Ruth Ware again, but I will say this book was one of the most far-fetched and somehow most enjoyable. It starts with Hal Westaway, fending for herself as a Tarot card reader after her mother's sudden death three years earlier. After falling behind on rent and bills, she turns to a loan shark for help, but despite having paid him back three-fold, he is still looking for more money when an unexpected letter arrives saying the grandmother she never met has passed away and bequeathed her money. While Hal know's that she isn't her biological granddaughter after doing some quick research into her mother's records, she attempts to con the family out of enough money to pay off her debt.

As the novel progresses and Hal meets her unknown family while spending time at the Westwood Estate, Trespassen, she discovers things about her mother that she never knew, and uncovers the lengths that families will go to protect each other.

While I recognize that the loan shark element of the story was necessary to explain Hal's actions, I felt like it wasn't well written. After arriving at Trespassen, that part of the storyline essentially died out and was never resolved. I also found the writing to be very repetitive (you could take a shot every time Ware wrote "suddenly" and be drunk a few chapters in). The family dynamic and family tree were also very far fetched. Yet, despite all these glaring problems, I really enjoyed this book. It's a very quick read and I didn't actually see the ending coming (although there were multiple twists). I also appreciated that it wasn't just another alcoholic unrelatable narrator, yet a strong-willed female who was trying her best to make a life on her own.

Bird Box: 4/5
Wow, just wow. I've heard so many BookTubers rave about this book, and it's been sitting on my shelf for a while before I finally gave it a go. I'll start by saying that I don't read a lot of science fiction, so this apocalyptic style book took me for a bit of a ride. News travels fast around the world as people begin killing themselves and others after seeing "something" outside. People begin to lock themselves in houses, covering all blinds and doors and must learn to adapt to this new world where seeing could kill you.

While I love the premise of this book, I thought there were a few things that were tied up too neatly for my liking, and some elements of the story were just too convenient. For example, what are the odds that both Malorie and Olympia would enter the safe house pregnant and be due around the same time? What are the odds that Malorie and some of the others could have found their way to the house and to grocery stores and other places while blindfolded? Unless you knew the area like the back of your hand, which admittedly Malorie didn't, then it would be a near-impossible feat. Especially when they tried driving there. The housemates did attempt to calculate steps and distances based on a map they had, but I wonder how accurate that actually would have been.

There were also a series of events near the end of the book that I won't mention for spoiler reasons that seemed to tie everything up too quickly for my liking. It left me feeling unsatisfied and even more confused than I was with the rest of the book.

All those negatives aside, I really did enjoy the book, and it's one that has stayed with me long after reading it. I've been telling friends and family all about it and questioning how I would react in a similar situation. Would I turn violent like some of the people? Would I be able to adapt to the new world? Or would I have just decided I didn't want to live in a world where you had to stay hidden and blindfolded at almost all costs? I think the sign of a good book is when you start questioning your own role in it, and this book did not disappoint in that regard.

The Less you Know, the Sounder you Sleep: 5/5
I have so many thoughts on this book that I'm going to share in a stand-alone post, coming soon!

The Room on Rue Amelie: 3.5/5
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. As you can probably tell from previous reading roundups, I'm a huge fan of historical fiction but I felt like this book was a bit too repetitive for my liking. It tells the story of an American woman, British RAF pilot and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in German-occupied Paris during World War II.

I really enjoyed following each of the three main characters storylines. I think they were three unique perspectives, and the interconnection between them and the sacrifices they made during were remarkable. I love how the novel showed the effect war had on people of different ages and ethnicities as well, and particularly loved the strength of Charlotte, the 11-year-old Jewish neighbour to Ruby and the bond they developed. The story of what her family went through and the disbelief her community felt were some of the most heartbreaking scenes in the novel.

And while I did absolutely love the first half to two-thirds of the novel, I found it got very repetitive towards the end. The same events happened multiple times, whether to different or the same characters, and it felt like it cheapened the novel a bit. And for these reasons, I felt like it dragged on too much. It could have told an equally compelling story by taking out a hundred or so pages and keeping it quicker paced and more engaging. I also found the romance to be a bit too much in this book, where every character needed to find a romantic partner to help them through the horrors of the war, whereas I would have liked to see the focus remain on friendship for some of the characters.

Mata Hari's Last Dance: 2/5
I feel bad giving this book such a negative review, especially as someone loaned it to me, but if you don't like it, then you don't like it, right? Mata Hari is sold as a captivating novel about the infamous exotic dancer, and possible spy Mata Hari. The description talks about her sitting in a cell in 1917 in Paris, after being charged with treason leading to the death of thousands of French soldiers.

However, and this is a big however, there was next to nothing about her being a spy in the novel. I think the first reference was about 180 so pages in. It primarily focused on her role as an exotic dancer, the men she slept with and the woman she wooed to work her way up the social ladder. She always seemed too willing to create this new life for her self and would do almost anything to get what she wanted, including leaving her children behind. Ultimately, I found she came across as desperate. The flashback scenes to her abusive husband did provide some sympathetic moments and explained, to a degree, her eagerness and urgers to begin a new life. I found this novel to be like a historical fiction version of Pretty Woman, where there were certain rich suitors who wanted to help this poor, beautiful woman and bring her from rags to riches through her provocative dancing.

I think had the description of the novel been different, and it not been sold as her being a spy, then I would have enjoyed it more. But I went into it expecting a brave heroine like in The Alice Network and was left with a woman who spent more time on her back than fighting for her country.

What have you been reading lately? I'm just about to start Three Things About Elsie after hearing Simon from SavidgeReads rave about it.

xoxo K

Bedroom Makeover: The Reveal

I'm so excited to finally share my bedroom reveal with you! Like I said in my inspiration post, I was sponsored by Wayfair to redecorate my space, and I couldn't be happier with the results! Keep scrolling to see before and after photos, all the products I purchased, and what I still want to get!

Wayfair, bedroom, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere

My before picture isn't the greatest--I was so excited to get everything set up that I forgot to take some proper pictures of the space! But you can tell from this picture that I didn't have a headboard, and I only had one "night stand", which was just the Ikea Alex drawers. They are great for holding all of your junk, but they're massive and take up so much space.  I really wanted something smaller and more streamlined.

Despite the inspiration pictures I had found, I actually ordered this bed first, after seeing it on Pinterest. I absolutely loved the look of it, but I just didn't think it went with my room or my taste. The Lark Manor Cavaillon Panel Bed was gorgeous, sturdy and very easy to put together, but it just felt too large in my small room. I think had it just been the headboard, then I would have kept it, but the footboard needed to be attached and it made the space between my dresser and bed too tight. 

Before we get into things, there are a few topics I want to talk about. I was tentative to order furniture online, which I'm sure a lot of you can relate to. I had only ever purchased Ikea furniture before and that involved going to a store, seeing the items first, testing the quality, and comparing them to the online pictures. I was nervous that I would order furniture online and have it show up and be entirely different than what I was expecting. But I was so pleasantly surprised when all of my Wayfair orders arrived because the three things I purchased looked exactly like their pictures.  

Wayfair also has so many customer reviews on each product so you can do your research ahead of time and see what other people liked and didn't like about the product before you commit. Because of this, I felt confident going into my purchase that I had all the answers I was looking for. And they also have an amazing return policy, which was what I was also really worried about, especially after ordering and wanting to return the metal bed. You can schedule a free pick up for items and receive the full value of the item back on store credit. I scheduled a pick up on Sunday, the FedEx truck came Monday, and by Monday night, I had the credit on my account. That's insanely quick customer service! 

For my second round of purchasing, I knew I wanted to keep it simple and go back to the inspiration photos I had originally sourced. I went with the Mercury Row Zoe Upholstered Panel Headboard in Linen in the full/queen. Because my mattress is a full, you can see a bit of the black panelling peeking out at the side, but it doesn't bother me that much. One day I'll be able to get a queen size bed and it will completely cover it. It's such a gorgeous, transition piece that way, and it was under $250 Canadian! 

I also ordered two of the Cupcakes and Cashmere Stick 22 Table Lamp's to go along with my new West Elm Penelope Bedside Tables. I was afraid they would look too little girl-ish with the pink bases, but I freaking love them. They're so streamlined and classy and are the perfect size for the tables and the perfect height for the headboard. Lastly, I purchased a new duvet cover from H&M Home. Their prices are so reasonable, and the bedding always washes up amazingly. I've had 3-4 pieces from the bedding collection and have loved all of them. 

Now that I've explained all the new items in the room, keep scrolling to see them all in action! 

Wayfair, bedroom, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere

Wayfair, bedroom, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere

Wayfair, bedroom, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere

Wayfair, bedroom, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere

Wayfair, bedroom, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere
I love the detail work on this headboard! It looks so much more expensive than it is.

Wayfair, bedroom, west elm, H&M home, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere

Wayfair, bedroom, west elm, H&M home, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere
The subtle lace on the duvet cover is gorgeous, and elevate an otherwise plain white bedspread.
Wayfair, bedroom, west elm, H&M home, new furniture, bedroom reveal, headboard, cupcakes and cashmere

I'm so happy with all the products that I choose and with how my room looks. Next, I really want a new storage unit to replace the dresser that I've had for 23 years. While I think I'll miss having the top to display books and my TV, I'm really looking forward to getting a taller cabinet to keep books, sweaters and all kinds of things in. I hope you like my space as much as I do and leave a comment below telling me what your favourite thing is!

xoxo K

Bedroom Makeover: The Bed

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I first started talking about wanting to redo my bedroom. But with the help of Wayfair, I've finally started the daunting process. For today's post, I'm going to show you the inspiration for my re-do, and I'll be sharing the completed look on Wednesday! 



I thought a lot about what I wanted for my bedroom before I actually started purchasing furniture. I spent hours on Pinterest and felt like I was pinning a million different things. I was scrolling through Instagram and saving all the bedroom and home decor pics that I thought I wanted, and throwing up IG stories and polls left, right and center. I really wanted to get a metal bedframe to begin with, and I did (will show that Wednesday!) but soon realized that it wasn't really my style. 

Then, I started going through all the saved posts to see what similarities there were, and what was appearing most often. I realized that I was drawn to beigey-greys, with pops of pink and metallic (which shouldn't have surprised me at all, to be honest). I think, being the newb that I am at designing, I was afraid that having white and beige and creams would look too similar and one-dimensional, which was why I really wanted to add some colour. I was also worried that adding pops of pink would be too juvenile, but knew that sine it was my favourite colour, I would regret trying anything else. 

I wanted to pick pieces for my room that could transition with me through different stages of my life; things that were neutral enough to pair with other colours and textures and would withstand the test of time. A simple upholstered headboard with brass nail heads and some white end tables were the perfect solution. I fell in love with some pink Kate Spade lamps, and stalked a million Home Sense locations for them, but could only find the green or black and white stripped ones in store.

Enter Wayfair. I was kindly contacted asking if I wanted to do a sponsored post, and I was over the moon excited. They have an insane collection for everything you could possibly want. The website can be a bit overwhelming, but if you go into it with a clear vision, you can easily use the drop down filters to find just what you're looking for. 

I'm so excited to share the final pictures with you in a few days! If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen some sneaky pictures in my stories. 

How would you redo your bedroom? What pictures and styles inspire you the most? 

xoxo K