Hyena in Petticoats. The Story of Suffragette Nellie McClung.

by Willow Dawson

"Women are going to be given the vote; either by you or by someone else.  It's just a matter of time."

This graphic novel tells the life of Nellie McClung, Canadian suffragette and crusader for women's rights.  The novel follows her life story, beginning in rural Ontario and Manitoba.  She knew from an early age that there were inequalities between the sexes; her brothers got to take part in races and games at a community fair while she had to help prepare the food with the women.  When she was 16, Nellie went to teacher's college and became a school teacher.  While most of her classmates were getting married and being forced to leave the profession, Nellie was getting involved in politics and writing.  She fell in love with one Wes McClung, the son of a prohibition and women's rights activist.  He, too, was a suffragist and told Nellie that marrying him would not get in the way of her ideas, or goals.  

Nellie went on to birth three children, and write several best-selling novels.  She used her influence as an author to speak to women about the prohibition of alcohol, as she was now a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union.  It was this platform which helped propel her into the world of politics.  She spoke, marched and rallied for votes for women.  She wrote petitions, talked to politicians, and unveiled the poor working conditions women had in factories.  She staged a mock parliament saying how strange it would be for men to get the vote.  It gained her many supporters and helped people to see that women asking for the vote were not unnatural or wrong.  After women in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta got the right to vote in 1916 (and the other provinces after that) Nellie went to on to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Alberta.  She didn't stop with the vote though; after finding out that women were not considered "persons" by the Government of Canada she, along with four friends, appealed to the Privy Court in England.  For their efforts, they became known as the Famous Five.  

I love Nellie McClung.  She's one of my favourite Canadian suffragettes.  I first learned about her in elementary school, and I immediately fell in love.  She was tough and headstrong.  She fought for what she believed in when people - men and women - thought she was crazy.  She managed to be a wife, a mother, a suffragette, a politician, and an author, in a time when this was unheard-of. She paved the way for women everywhere, and for her, and her sister suffragettes, I am eternally grateful.  This graphic novel was a new and fun way to read about Nellie's tremendous life.  As well, it could act as a nice introduction into the story behind women's rights in Canada. 

♥ Meg xoxo


Polka dot tent

My love for polka dots is no secret.  Everyone knows I love them.  Sometimes, I feel that I need to wear a lot of polka dotted things at once. . . like I did here. I think that a whole lot of one pattern together can work, but it doesn't always.  You can make up your own mind about this one.  haha.

Headband: Ardene // Dress: Jones of NY {thrifted} //

When I thrifted this dress I was super excited.  It's a very pretty red.  It has polka dots.  It has a trail of buttons going down the middle of the back.  And it's a very nice, below-the-knee length.  On paper.

Headband: Ardene // Dress: Jones of NY {thrifted} // 

In reality though, and as indicated in the title, this dress is a bit of a tent. I thought that it was fun and girly.  I felt fun and girly when I wore it.  Then I looked at these photos.  Sigh*  While I still believe in my $2 dress, I think that it may need some alterations or remixing to make it work more successfully in the future.  lol.

Shoes: Ardene and DIY // Socks: gift // 

See: the dots are so pretty and random.  Maybe this dress would work better as a skirt. . .

Headband: Ardene // Sunnies: Target // 

My love of the little dots even extended to my shades. I heart* these sunglasses.  Ha. Sometimes I crack myself up.  

Look forward to seeing this dress on its second voyage out of my closet -  I hope that its trip will be less rocky than its first. :P

♥ Meg xoxo


Everything I Needed To Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume

edited by Jennifer O'Connell

"I think what Judy has tried so hard to say: you are not any one thing. You are many. Don't let them make you believe that this is an either/ or world" - Laura Ruby

This book is a collection of essays, written by women writers who have been influenced by another woman writer - Miss Judy Blume.  Each essay is written by an acclaimed writer, who reveals something that she has learned in her childhood or formative years by reading the works of Judy Blume.  These writers explain that it was Blume who helped them through risqué topics such as puberty, menstruation and masturbation.  It was Blume who taught them about friendships, first loves, and first losses. Blume presented them with difficult topics such as sex, divorce, racism, and bullying.  

The essays all make reference to different lessons that the women learned from a Blume novel.  While the novels that they make reference to are different, the essays have some common threads.  The first is that Blume helped them through adolescence when it seemed like no one else could.  The second is that Blume's books were often contraband items in classrooms or in households.  The third is that Blume's books, and the messages in them, stayed with these women forever. 

In her books, Blume doesn't tell you what do to about your problem.  She presents a situation and has her character respond to it in a certain way.  She helps her reader see that she (or he, I guess) is not alone, which sometimes is enough for a teenager in crisis.  Blume writes about things that teenagers are talking about, in a very natural way.  I think that's why her books were so shocking (for adults) and popular (for adolescent girls).  

I loved this collection of essays.  I liked learning about my favourite popular women writers of today.  I also loved reading about Blume's novels; it made me want to go back and read them all again.  At the time when I devoured these books, they were not new.  I hope that I will find, like the essay-writers in this collection, that the characters, messages, and sentiments are timeless.  I wonder what Judy Blume will manage to teach me this time around. 

♥ Meg xoxo

PS.  In case you've never heard of her... Check out Judy Blume's books on Amazon. 


"Ariel, listen to me; the human world - it's a mess..."

My all-time favourite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid.  She's a curious collector.  She's a forgetful dreamer. She goes after what she wants, and she's stubborn about it. Oh yeah, her voice is lovely and her hair is gorgeous too.
I ♥ Ariel.

Jacket: Dress Barn // Tank top: Hot Topic // Jeans: Winner's // Sunnies: LW {and lost forever now...}//

When I saw this tank top a couple of weeks ago, I wanted it immediately.  It's Ariel.  She's perfect.  I even know the exact part of the movie from which this picture is taken.  I held off on buying it for a few weeks because I already have a Little Mermaid top.  I eventually caved; my other shirt is a black t-shirt and completely different :)

Jacket: Dress Barn // Tank top: Hot Topic // Jeans: Winner's //

My floral jean jacket was an outlet shops purchase from many months ago.  Since then, I've purchased its [almost] matching jeans.  I love how the addition of a floral pattern can take a simple jean jacket or pair of jeans to a whole new level.  Erin wants me to wear them as a suit... lol.  I'm not sure about that one just yet.

Boots: Burlington Coat Factory //

I was looking down at my boots in this picture... and my hair caught the light just right to make it seem a little bit reddish.  Instead of summers spent hooking my ankles together while swimming to look like a mermaid, I should've worked on my hair colour instead ;)

I totally want to watch Little Mermaid now... or at least sing some of its amazing songs
♥ Meg xoxo

Sidenote: isn't the yellow wall cool?  It belongs to a store which I didn't go into, nor note the name of... haha. 


The Body Artist

by Don DeLillo

"The things she saw seemed very doubtful - not doubtful but ever changing, plunged into metamorphosis, something that is also something else, but what, and what."

Lauren Hartke is an artist of the body.  She works daily on breathing, bending, and sanding away at her body.  Her story takes place in a rented seaside house, where she is staying with her husband and later without her husband, after his death.  

While alone in the house, she comes across a bizarre man, who is seemingly without age.  He appears in her house, and mimics her speech.  As well, he eerily mimics the speech, cadence, and gestures of her deceased husband.  Lauren decides to keep this man hidden, and to tape record him.  In her loneliness and despair after her husband's death, Lauren is consoled by the puzzle of this strange man.  He speaks words without syntax.  He repeats entire conversations that Lauren had had with her husband.  He seems to take over Lauren's life.

When she presents a theatrical art piece at the end of the novel, Lauren is the man.  Her voice is his voice and her actions are his actions. 

This book is very hard to understand at times.  It gives you a better appreciation for the rules of language and the reason why they exist.  It makes you think about time, and how the passing of time is felt by different individuals.  It makes you wonder about what the loss of love can do to a person, and if that person can remain him or herself at all. 

An interesting and thought-provoking read. 
♥ Meg xoxo


Stripes on replay

M and I walked past this lovely door on Friday... and I was all, "Oooh, take my outfit pic in front of this door."  Then I realized that I've blogged this dress a few times already, and it's not even remixed here. Well... it is with different footwear.  So, without further ado, I present to you: the pretty door and a dress I love. :)

Dress: Old Navy // Sneakers: Converse // Socks: unknown // 

This dress is just so easy.  It's cotton and stretchy, and I feel that it matches anything.  Like pink socks, for example.

Dress: Old Navy // Sneakers: Converse // Purse: Target // 

I love this gold purse times one million.  It's gold.  The inside of it is bright pink.  What more is there to say on the subject?!

M and I matched, coincidentally.  Sometimes we're cute like that.   

I hope your weekend was as sunny as mine.
♥ Meg xoxo


Summer breeze

I'm breathing in summer right now.  The sky is that perfect shade of blue. The wind is whipping through my hair, but it's that warm kind of wind, so I'm okay with it.  I can smell the freshly cut grass.  And I can't help but spin in circles.

Shirt: Garage // Skirt: Suzy Shier // Necklace: Claire's //

This skirt is SO old.  I thought about getting rid of it a few times, but saved it from the "donate" pile.  It hangs in this cool kind of drapey way, and is really light and floaty.

See how it dances around in the wind?  That's the reason I've held on to it for so long.  Thankfully it has a built-in underskirt/slip, because I had some Marilyn moments today :)

Sandals: Aldo // 

I need some new strappy sandals.  I kind of default to these ones on school days, because they are almost flip flops, but not quite.  They have a back strap which make them suitable for work. Maybe I'll get some neon ones . . .

Get outside and enjoy the long weekend (if you have one:))

♥ Meg xox

BlogLovin' ♥

Hey Pals,

All of my blogs are gone from GoogleReader.  tear*  I thought I'd hop on the BlogLovin love train... Follow me if you please! Just press the little button on the right sidebar.

♥ Meg xoxo


Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

by Ron Koertge

"We're very, very happy. But I have to admit there's not much to do in Ever After.  It's always sunny and 78. Every night the fireworks light themselves."

This book is a collection of poems - retellings of and additions to classic fairy tales.  Each one is told as if it happened yesterday.  Some read as though they are being retold by chatty teenagers, while others follow a more traditional poetic form.

Koertge tells the stories behind the stories - those of the wolves, the rescued maidens, the ugly stepsisters.  He tells them in a dark and gruesome way. There is nothing tidy about these tales; they are graphic and real.  The Little Match Girl sells CDs on the corner beside drug addicts.  Little Red Riding Hood loves danger and kind of wants to know what it would be like to be swallowed whole.  The Ugly Stepsisters were forced by their mother to have foot surgeries in hopes of marrying the prince.  The Beast dreams of having his fangs back.  

I loved the creativity in this collection.  Fracture fairy tales are not new by any stretch, so it takes a lot to write them in an inventive way.  I think that Koertge is extremely successful in his choice of tales, his use of voice and his selection of narrators.  Each piece is different and alarming in a unique way.  

♥ Meg xoxo


"Is this a shirt or a dress?"

That's the ever-present question in my mind when shopping nowadays.  I mean, there are tunics and long tops meant to go with leggings, and then there are some extremely short dresses.  I think the lines are often blurred in the shirt/dress question... which may result in some questionable outfits. . .

Dress: H&M // Tights: CK // this one, for example.  This morning, I felt really good about this article of clothing being a dress.  So certain, in fact, that I paired it with stockings and not leggings.  As the day went on though, I became less and less sure.  Oh well. There were no wardrobe malfunctions - read: no one saw my undies, so I think I made it out okay.

Tights: CK // Flats: Globo Shoes //

See?  It looks long enough from my point of view. 

Fickle spring is getting in the way of bare legs.  Bare legs would have made it clear to me that this was not, in reality, a dress at all.  ha ha.  

♥ Meg xoxo



by Emma Donoghue

"Door's made of shiny magic metal, he goes beep beep after nine when I'm meant to be switched off in Wardrobe."

"Room" is the place where Jack lives with Ma.  It's where he's lived for his entire life, all five years of it.  He and Ma are the only people in Room, except for Old Nick who comes in at night and does bad things to Ma while Jack sleeps in Wardrobe. During the day, Jack and Ma fill their time with all sorts of activities, such as Physical Education - running track around Room for example, making crafts, reading, watching TV, and doing laundry by wearing their clothes into Bath.  On his fifth birthday, Jack becomes aware of Outside for the first time.  This understanding opens the doors to a whole world that Jack has been unaware of for five years - the world outside of Room, a world with other people, and a world free from captivity. 

This story is narrated by Jack, the son of a woman who has been held captive for seven years.  Through his innocent eyes, the reader is allowed to understand how Jack's mother was kidnapped from her university campus when she was 17 years old, and held captive in a locked shed in her kidnapper's backyard. We learn about her poor dental health, "Bad Tooth" to Jack, and her need to take painkillers, "killers" to Jack.  Also, the reader can only make assumptions about how Jack came to be, and what takes place at night when Jack is hidden away in the wardrobe.  

One night, Jack and his mother stage a triumphant escape from Room, after their living conditions go from bad to worse. In this haunting story, Jack's mother is the true hero.  She makes a full life for her son out of a horrendous situation.  She teaches him everything she knows, and she gives him all of her love. Most of the story takes place after Jack and Ma have broken out of Room, and focuses on Ma's rehabilitation and Jack's introduction to his extended family, to the common cold, to cars and shoes, and to the rest of the wonders the real world has to offer. 

When I finished this book last week, I couldn't get it out of my mind.  Ma was so strong to go on living for so long in such a gruesome manner.  I could not imagine life for Jack; he didn't even know about the outside world or about other people.  I couldn't imagine a person like Old Nick who would do such terrible things to a young girl.  Then, I heard about the news story in Cleveland, which is so eerily similar to Room, except three women were held captive for 10 years, and one of them had given birth to a daughter.  It's unfathomable to me that this story I had just read was mirrored in reality.  I feel that through Room, I am better able to understand and sympathize with these women.  Just like Ma, they are incredibly strong and resilient.  And just like Ma, in the story, they still have a long way to go to be okay again.  I recommend reading this poignant and current novel to read about something real and horrible through the eyes of an inventive and funny narrator, Jack.  

♥ Meg xoxo


At the pier

I know that it's May, and that there are two more months until summer vacation.  I can't help my obsession with all things summer right about now, though; the weather's warming up, the sun is staying up later and later, and my closet is bulging with summer dresses. 

Dress: Anthro // Infinity scarf: Target // 

I love the bright floral pattern on this dress. I know that florals are not inventive or anything for spring, but I love them nonetheless. Also, this dress is super light and cotton - perfect for a warm summer spring day.
It has these really cute cut-outs in the front and back, which unfortunately had to get covered up for work.   Adding a scarf on top of a low[ish] cut dress is my solution for making many summer dresses school-appropriate. :D

Tights: Forever XXI // Flats: Zeller's // 

This pier was filled with people fishing, and one crazy lady taking photos of herself. . . haha. But really, it was such a gorgeous day that people were everywhere.  I like that there are seasonal activities that people have to wait with anticipation for during the long winter months.  Like, if I could go to the beach all year long, it might not seem that awesome to me anymore.

Pretty rocks. 

Spinning away! 

I love a good twirly dress. This one makes me feel like a ballerina... but a little less graceful.
♥ Meg xoxo


Wedding Night

by Sophie Kinsella

"You booked a special table and ordered champagne to talk about airmiles?"

Charlotte Graveney, better known as "Lottie", is sure that her boyfriend is about to propose to her, one afternoon at a fancy restaurant.  In fact, she is so sure that she has bought an engagement ring to present to him when he proposes. And she's messaged her older sister Felicity, better known as "Fliss", from the loo.  When Richard proposes sharing his airmiles with Lottie, she spirals off into her worst post-break-up activity yet.

Fliss, as Lottie's constant protector, is extremely concerned when Lottie splits from Richard and seems to take the break-up very well.  Usually Lottie thinks up some harebrained scheme to solve all of her life's problems, in true Sophie Kinsella style.  Fliss is distracted by her own divorce, career, young son, and solicitor to notice when Lottie meets up with an old flame from her gap-year - one passionate summer in Greece.  Before Fliss can stop her, Lottie is off to Greece with her new beau.  Hilarity ensues when Fliss does everything in her power to stop Lottie and Ben from consummating their new marriage. As a hotel reviewer, it turns out that her power is pretty great; Lottie is treated to two single beds in her honeymoon suite, a persistent butler, and very strong beverages, along with many other roadblocks.  

Kinsella's style is carried out very well in the character of Lottie.  She is a little bit hopeless, and a little bit mad.  She dives feet first into extreme situations, much like Ms. Becky Bloomwood of Shopaholic.  As usual, I love Kinsella's use of free indirect discourse - she writes just as Lottie thinks and it works spectacularly.  In this book, though, I did find myself wishing that the problems got wrapped up a little bit faster.  I was feeling too badly for Lottie and Fliss for a little too long.    

Will Richard make the big gesture and fight for Lottie's love?  Will Lottie ever forgive her big sister for ruining her honeymoon?  Will Fliss ever stop stressing out about her divorce and find love again?  Read Wedding Night to find out. 

♥ Meg xoxo