21. The Story of Roberto Clemente

By Wilfred Santiago

I don't really know anything about baseball. At all. Last year, I thought that Roberto Alomar was dead. He isn't.

To be honest, I chose this graphic novel from the autumnal display in the library, which involved orange books. I was surprised by how much I liked it.

"It's not a bad pitch if I hit it."

This story isn't just about baseball. It is about one man and the obstacles he overcomes in his life. Jumping back and forth between the USA and Puerto Rico, we see pieces of Roberto's story come together. The stories range from childhood experiences in the 1930s in San Juan to Major League Baseball games in the 1950s.

I have to say that I knew nothing about Clemente before reading this book. Now, I feel like I understand him and his story. He left the land of his birth to follow his dream of playing baseball professionally. He dominated on the diamond, played passionately, and had impressive record-breaking statistics. Santiago brilliantly depicts Clemente's life as Latin American player in the USA, his struggles with English and his consistent homesickness. Clemente never forgot his family and his home; he is national hero who took care of his own.

Coincidentally, I just read that Roberto's family paid a visit to Roberto Clemente Academy in Detroit today. Read more about their visit here.

♥ Meg xoxo


"But Debbie... pastels?"

Oh Morticia Addams... how pastels offend you.

Usually pastels are saved for Easter dresses. I thought that I would wear them in October to mix things up.

Shirt: Forever XXI // Pants: American Eagle Outfitters Outlet // Belt: Garage //

Polka dot PANTS. Finally, my wardrobe is complete. Okay, that's a lie. But I am in love with these pants. Most often, polka dots on pants are saved for the pyjama section. Here they are on a pair of cropped jeans. ♥

Heels: Charlotte Russe //

I kind of love all things "Tiffany" blue. Why wouldn't I love heels in the colour?

I think that it is okay to wear jeans to work for casual days, but not to dress them down too much.  I like pairing jeans with heels on Fridays to keep up an air of professionalism. I mean, wearing a pair of Converse with this outfit would work on the weekend but, from Monday to Friday, it might have people confusing me for a student. . . 

Happy [rainy] weekend!
♥ Meg xoxo

PS. Watch Morticia's reaction to pastels here


The Lover's Dictionary

by David Levithan

"Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough."

This book is not a dictionary.  It is a collection of words, which happen to occur in alphabetical order.  Each word is joined with an anecdote or sentiment about love and relationships, which is linked to it.  Readers find themselves attempting to piece these emotions together to form a narrative. It is impossible.

I loved this book. It was so charming.  I read it all at once, even before I had gotten home from the library.  It speaks to the delicious madness that is real love. It was messy and unorganized. It was real. 

♥ Meg xoxo

PS I just found out that, along with Rachel Cohn, Levithan wrote Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist! Love. 


Black and Yellow

No, no. Not a song about the Steelers, nor about the Ticats... my outfit today!

Shirt: Vintage // Dress: Vintage

I guess I was having a vintage-inspired kind of day.  Last year, one of my students was complaining about having to wear hand-me-downs.  When I introduced her to the term "vintage," she came to love her second-hand clothes. I always think about her when I pronounce that something is vintage.

Leggings: Tag // Boots: Winner's // Umbrella: a gift from T

Have I mentioned that I love these boots? Because I do. They're so cheery and polka dotty for a rainy day!

Headband: Claire's //

Polka dots and a bow? Love.

Sidenote: Check out the fog in the background. Creeeeeepy.

♥ Meg xoxo


Withering Tights

by Louise Rennison

"It seems like a really mean world, where some people get born with average knees and proper corkers and some people can't even find a category for their head in a magazine. Like me." 

Tallulah Casey is a 14 year old emerging artiste who is spending her summer break in rural Yorkshire.  She is enrolled in a summer drama program which acts as an audition for the following school year. Withering Tights chronicles her adventures in the wilderness of Yorkshire, her new eclectic group of mates, and her first experiences with blokes.

Tallulah is a laugh a minute. She thinks her knees are too high.  She peppers her speech with quirky sayings, that she invents.  She tries to have the same "northern grit" as the Bronte sisters, while rooming with her host family in the "squirrel room."

Rennison is delightful to read, as usual. I adored her debut series on the confessions of Georgia Nicolson, and was very excited to find that Rennison was now writing about Georgia's cousin, Tallulah.

If you like Brit humour and slang, teenage drama, and laugh out loud dialogue, check out any of Rennison's books. Start with Angus, thongs, and full-frontal snogging to meet Georgia, or Withering Tights, to meet Tallulah. Both girls are full of wisdomosity on all sorts of subjects, such as fringes, dances from Och Aye Land, and snogging scales.

Toodle pip,
♥ Meg xoxo


When I grow up...

I saw this little empty lot near the lake shore yesterday, and kind of fell in love. It was like a little piece of autumn had been gifted to me. I wanted to stay and frolic in the leaves and wildflowers forever.

Shirt: Loft // Dress worn as a skirt: Winner's //

I used to want to be a gypsy when I grew up. Like, the fortune-teller, flowy-skirt-wearer archetype of a gypsy. Sometimes I want to dress like one still.

Shoes: Forever XXI // Tights: Joe Fresh //

Shades of pink and orange (from left): L'Oréal in Trust Fund Baby // Avon in Lullaby // L'Oréal in Hard Core // NYC in Orangesicle // Nicole by OPI in Traffic Cone

I also used to want to be the person who names the nail polish colours, when I grew up. It seemed like an admirable profession at the time. I still really like the names of polishes.

Daisies make me smile.
I curled my [super straight] hair in the morning. It had turned to waves by the time I took these pictures. C'est la vie. Waves are pretty too. 

♥ Meg xoxo


Her Fearful Symmetry

by Audrey Niffenegger

Julia and Valentina Poole are twenty-one year old mirror image twins, from Chicago. Julia is outgoing and strong where Valentina is shy and weak. They have a huge attachment for each other, and a sort of twin telepathy.

"The thing that made the twins peculiar was hard to define. People were uneasy when they saw them together without knowing exactly why."

The girls inherit their deceased aunt's flat in London, with the condition that they have to live there for a year before they sell it.  The flat borders on Highgate Cemetery and also, as the girls come to learn, on a supernatural world. 

Their aunt was their mother's identical twin, from whom she had been estranged for two decades. The flat, Aunt Elspeth's life and death, her lover Robert, and the cemetery are shrouded in mystery for the twins. 

Niffenegger tells the lifestories of two generations of twins, and the perpetual pull between the need to be together and the desire to be independent. She unravels the lies that are woven between twins and the rest of the world. Her story tells the blurred line between life and afterlife, and the notion that love can break all natural barriers. 

I loved the details the author included about London and the cemetery, about the twins and their inner thoughts. I gave myself over to this novel; I was completely immersed in Julia and Valentina's London. I'm not sure if I was totally satisfied with the conclusion of the novel, though. I allowed myself to believe in ghosts and souls moving bodies, and then I was not rewarded in the way that I had anticipated. 

A thought-provoking read. Let's hope that it doesn't get a movie adaptation. I'm not sure that it would successfully translate to film. 

♥ Meg xoxo


Bowling and Houndstooth

I pass this bowling alley everyday on the way to work. I think it's really cute.  Actually, I think a lot of things about bowling are cute: the shoes with the numbers on the back, the team bowling shirts with the name embroidered on the pocket, and the colourful bowling balls.  Bowling, as a sport or pass-time, isn't really my thing, though. . . You can't really wear a dress to bowl. :)

 Dress: H&M // Leggings: Vintage //

Leggings are here! One of my students told me yesterday that I haven't worn pants to school yet; I only wear dresses or skirts. I think leggings are a helpful article of clothing, meant to be worn under dresses or long skirts, when the seasons are a changin'.

Boots: Sterling (during their Closing Sale. tear*) //
I love houndstooth, as a pattern. I was in love with this pink and black version of it, the moment I laid eyes on it in the store.

Happy weekend!
♥ Meg xoxo



By Toni Morrison

Morrison is like a magician with words. When I read any of her books I am transported to another time and another place. Her descriptions are so rich that I can become her characters. I can smell the sea, and taste the food. Every emotion of every character weighs on my heart and stays with me after I have turned the last page.

"She was as lonely as a twelve-year old watching waves suck away her sand castle."

Love tells the interwoven stories of six women and their love for one man. Heed, May, Christine, Junior, Vida and L. all share love for Bill Cosey.  They love him in different ways; they love him as husband, father, grandfather, lover, guardian, and friend.

At the time of the story, Bill Cosey has passed away. It is in the memories of these six women that he lives on, and is glorified as a sort of savior. He was the owner and proprietor of a hotel in Up Beach. He created a space in which people could go to celebrate the easier things in life - dancing, music, partying, fishing. He knew everyone and everyone knew and respected him. He had the ability to save a brother from wrongly going to jail, and the heart to support a family who was crippled by disease. The women's memories of Bill are vivid paintings. He was beautiful, he was charming, he was witty, and he was strong. 

Morrison uses a lot of free indirect discourse in her writing, making her reader privy to the inner most thoughts and emotions of her characters. I love this style of writing because it helps me to connect to the characters. A lot of times in Love, Morrison tells a story from one character's perspective, and then later reveals something more about it from another's.  I felt as if I was one of the people in the story; I was often shocked at a revelation and embarrassed that I, too, had judged someone falsely. 

I think that this novel is worthy of a high shelf in the bookcase that is Toni Morrison's remarkable canon. 

♥ Meg xoxo


Road trippin'

Oh hey friends.

A rainy drive. We had sweet tunes, though, so don't worry.

I was on a road-trip this past weekend with my mom, for a little shopping and girl time. We had so much fun together.

New trend alert. Socks and flip flops.

It was so warm and sunny out when we left home, so I only packed flip flops. When we got there, it was practically winter. Solution: wear a pair of Mum's socks with my flip flops. So stylish, I know. 

I have loads of library books to finish reading, and loads more outfits to create. Looking forward to sharing both with you!

♥ Meg xoxo


Stars and sand

I was rocking some very high heels today. Then, I decided to head to the beach after school. I know, it doesn't really seem to make sense, but I love both super high heels and the beach. 

Dress: H&M // Shirt: Forever XXI
Toe polish: Joe Fresh in 'Lagoon' //

When I started sinking into the sand, I decided it was time to take off the heels.

Heels: Aldo //
They are some of my faves. I usually save them for dancing on the weekend, but felt that my outfit was profesh enough for some party shoes.

Necklace: Borrowed from Mum, and the 1980s //

I styled a simple black dress for the second time this week. I think that wearing a basic dress shirt under a summer dress makes for a polished outfit. Also, layering any long-sleeved shirt under a summer dress is a good way to transition your favourite summer pieces to autumn. Sometimes I forget this option and can get stuck in a cardigan rut. . .

Off to dust the sand off of my shoes
♥ Meg xoxo



by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a 16 year old cyborg and mechanic from New Beijing, in the far future. She lives with her evil stepmother and works in the market fixing hover crafts and androids.

"'I just spent my life savings on a new foot. But even if I did have money, why would I spend it on  a dress or shoes or gloves? What a waste.'"

One sweltering day at the market, handsome Prince Kai, son of the dying Emperor and heir to the throne, comes to have a droid repaired.  Hiding her metal hand and visible wires, Cinder flirts with Prince Kai and with a dream.

In a greater scale, New Beijing is being ravaged by a murderous plague. A race of moon-dwellers and brain-washers named "Lunars" are hedging in on Earth, seeking to gain power while Earth is at is weakest.

Alright... I love a good fractured fairy tale or reworking.  This one was creative, futuristic, and... a bit predictable. I mean, in the first chapter, Cinder was going on about how her cyborg foot was ill-fitting and loose. And I called it; she lost her foot instead of a glass slipper. So, there was all this other sci-fi stuff and plague stuff that I didn't see coming. But I called the foot thing.

When the book ended, I actually turned to the next [empty] page. haha. I guess you're supposed to infer the ending for yourself. I don't think there is going to be a sequel . . . So, I guess I didn't like the ending. It did have a cool concept, and great characters though.  What did you think of Cinder?

♥ Meg xoxo


Neon pink cardi

I thought that my outfit was a little uninspired today. I mean, this dress doesn't even have pockets...

BUT then, ten zillion people asked me where I got my sweater. Okay, that might be a bit of a hyperbole. Maybe twelve people. And by "people" I mean, children under the age of 14. haha.

Dress: Alfred Sung for Zeller's // Cardigan: Forever XXI //

Sorry for this tragic foot-cut-off photo. I didn't look at the pictures until waaaaay later, when it was dark and I had already changed.

Belt: Old Navy // Sandals: Walmart //

Feet! I still have them.

This is a very basic dress. It has been called a "bag dress" in the past, by some of its haters. I thought that I would liven it up with some on-trend neon pink, and green. 

I hope there was some neon in your day today!
♥ Meg xoxo