Psychologists agree, the secret to healthy aging is maintaining strong social contacts. Making new friends, and keeping the old. Same with our wardrobe, don’t you think?
A healthy, workable wardrobe means that we acquire a few new pieces each season and the rest is comprised of wearable, older pieces which we still love. And, I might add, which still fit, and are in good condition. We welcome the new, and take good care of the old.
woman in black leggings, charcoal sweater, checkered tee and burgundy scarf
Smile, smile, big smile.

Just before Christmas I made friends with this long-sleeved tee shirt from Noujica, a Montreal company. I love the loose fit, and narrow cut. I like the different pattern across the shoulders, and the fringe trim on the arms. It’s a pretty basic piece, but it has unique features, which make it cool, I think. And as Rosie always says (hope you don’t mind me quoting you, Rosie) it’s “versatile.” I wore it with my leather pants out to supper, with my black leggings to book club, and I can see wearing it with my white jeans or my Rag and Bone cropped pants in the spring.
woman in black pants and sweater, checkered tee, holding a charcoal sweater
My old Vince leggings, my new Noujica tee, and my old Vince coat sweater.
But if the new tee is to be a valuable part of my closet team, it will need to play well with others who’ve been around a while. Like my Vince coat sweater bought at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in 2015.
Last weekend, my book group was meeting for lunch at a restaurant in a lovely, old stone building, in historic Almonte, a town not far from Ottawa. The building is actually an old mill; we watched the river rushing by directly below our window. But, lovely though they are, stone buildings can get a bit chilly in winter. And my old Vince coat sweater solved that issue. Luckily my new friend and my old friend got along like a house on fire. As if they were made for each other.
But with black leggings, black and white checkered top, and charcoal sweater… I needed some colour. So I added silver and burgundy Anne Marie Chagnon earrings and bracelet, my burgundy scarf, and my burgundy down coat. I felt pretty snazzy. And comfortable. And warm.
woman in black leggings, charcoal sweater, burgundy scarf, holding a burgundy down coat
Adding my burgundy scarf, and my old burgundy down coat to this old/new outfit.
I felt so snazzy in fact that I wore the same outfit yesterday. Snazzy on repeat. Oh, it’s lovely when everyone gets along, isn’t it? When the whole wardrobe team just pitches in and pulls together. Old friends and new.
woman in black leggings, charcoal sweater, burgundy scarf, holding a burgundy down coat
Happily on my way out yesterday.
And speaking of new friends, when I was on my way to the library yesterday, I stopped off for a latte at a new little coffee shop on Bridge Street, right across from Manotick Public School. Mimi’s in Manotick. I met the two young owners, David and Emily, and we had a great chat. It was lovely to see them so excited about their plans. They serve great coffee and tea, fresh pastries, ice cream, and fresh doughnuts (I lo-ove doughnuts.) That’s what Emily was doing when I was there, making the doughnuts. As soon as the weather warms up a bit, we’ll be able to sit with our coffee and doughnut on their deck in front of a fire blazing in the outdoor fireplace. And if pastries are not what you fancy, they also own Fitz’s Fries, the chip wagon right next door. So I’m thinking fresh hot chips, and then coffee and doughnuts. What about you?
woman and man smiling behind the counter of a coffee shop
Emily Sousa and David Patafie partners in pastries, and coffee… in Manotick.

I hope they make a go of it, these two local kids who are working so hard. As I said, they are excited, and have a million creative ideas. And I’m thinking, instead of sitting in your car in that mile long line-up at the Tim Horton’s drive-through, why not spend your money at Mimi’s? Local owners, friendly staff, tasty food and coffee… and you’d be supporting a Manotick community business, not a huge faceless corporation. I know my walking buddies and I will be there after our labours on Thursdays. Maybe I’ll see you.

You know, building strong connections is really important as we age. Isolation can be devastating, and even more so the older we get. And the secret to building a strong healthy community is strong connections too. Old friends and new pitching in and pulling together. And of course, the secret to a healthy closet is… well.. the same thing. A closet where the new pieces work well with the old pieces can make your life so much easier. And happier.

Yeah, I know, I’m pushing it a bit with that last comment. But a cohesive closet, where the new pieces play well with the old, really does make me happy.

I’m shallow like that…. I can’t help it.

Now, I have to go and finish my packing. Tomorrow, Hubby and I are off for a week of skiing. We hope. With the freezing rain, followed by the rain, followed by the deep freeze we’ve had, we may not be skiing for a few days. So we’ve packed our skates too. Along with everything but the kitchen sink. Books, DVDs, work-out gear, tons of food and wine. It will be a multi-activity ski holiday. Whatever. We’re flexible.

So over to you my friends. Any thoughts? On community, or closets, or making connections with people or with clothes… either way. We’re all ears.

FYI… If you’re interested, I noticed on-line that the tee shirt I’m wearing from Noujica is on sale. I’m wearing a size small so the sizing is generous. And when I was on the Anne Marie Chagnon website, I saw that her jewellry is available outside of Canada, in lots of stores in the States, and in France and even in a few other places in Europe.

P.S. By the time you read this, Hubby and I will have already headed for the hills. And the internet is sketchy there. So my replies to your comments might be sketchy, or non-existent. My apologies in advance.


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27 thoughts on “Old Friends and New”

  1. I love these friends you've got playing together today. I love shallow, it's the glue that holds my head together when all around is mayhem. And I love chips!
    Wishing you a happy week in the hills, whatever you get up to. Hugs, x.

  2. Have fun skiing! Your friends look wonderful together — and I really like your support of the new enterprise in your neighbourhood. So much better than Tim Horton's in so many ways. . .

  3. Have a wonderful time skiing! We're off to Colorado for same a week from tomorrow. And I love that you've found a local "hangout," always the best!

    1. For some reason out little village has trouble supporting a local coffee place. Have fun in Colorado. I gave up downhill skiing a few years ago, but sometimes I miss it.

  4. Hi Sue
    When I winter in Nelson there are no Tim's but fabulous independent coffee shops, bread shops and craft beers. 😉
    Love this and support!
    Enjoy your holidays!

    1. Good for Neslon to be able to support those independent places. I'd kill for a good local bakery. Keep thinking of all those villages in France which had so many small local shops. …especially bread shops.

  5. Loneliness is bad of course but I love the aloneness of our winter holidays in Scotland . We go next month & I hope there is still some snow . Not for skiing , we’re not sporty , but just to be in a snowy , quiet world watching the variety of birds – especially masses of Geese . You don’t need to leave home for that but I know birds don’t hold the same delights for you 🙂 Friends head to the sun but we like to watch the dogs play in the snow on their walks then afterwards it’s coffee & cake somewhere . Sometimes it has to be a flask in remote areas , then we bless the inventor whoever he was . Here in York we are awash with coffee & tea shops , plenty of chains , but independents are best . There’s nothing like a friendly owner who remembers your face & has a chat .So I hope your local place is successful . Have a great holiday & good skiing .
    Wendy in York

    1. PS I’ve just checked to see who invented the vacuum flask – James Dewer , a Scot . Very appropriate .

    2. Thanks, Wendy. We tend to like the small villages, and empty-ish trails. Nothing like a trail-side lunch… unless it's coffee and cake on the way home. Not surprised it was a canny Scot who invented the thermos flask.

  6. Hi Sue, hope you're both having a great time skiing. Lucky you,all that snow. Sounds as though you've packed for all eventualities. I always find it so much easier to pack when travelling by car…space for all the "what if" things and no worries about weight or liquids.:)
    Your old and new friends compliment each other perfectly… you're all obviously happy together!
    Of course, I don't mind you quoting me. I use that word such a lot here ,as when you buy new things they're always so …well versatile! 🙂
    You're such a great teacher and I'm trying hard to be a diligent student, shopping wise!
    Really good to hear about your new coffee shop. I'm always keen to support local independent businesses and I seem to remember, when we met in Ottawa, that you didn't have a really good local coffee shop. I hope it does well.
    Take care and have fun!

    1. Thanks, Rosie. There's tons of snow here, and we've had sunny cold days which are perfect for cross-country skiing. And we found a lovely small coffee shop yesterday, right at the end of the trail!

  7. I love the burgundy added to the black and white. Black and white on their own tend to be too stark on me, but adding a little colour through accessories can make a huge difference.

    Your new local coffee shop looks great! Tim Hortons has been good to our family in terms of summer jobs — our kids saved up a good chunk of their university expenses through working there — but it can be really hard for independent shops in our small town to compete.

    Have fun skiing!

    Denise L.

  8. Not to be a copycat…well, maybe. I just ordered that top. Thank you for helping me find another Canadian brand. I wont wear it when I visit your coffee shop in Manotick. And, since one of my best friends lives in Russell, that might not be as random as it first appears. Shop and support Canadian and local always. Enjoy your trip.

  9. You always look so fabulous. Those are the colours that I seem to live in. Sue, whenever you speak of Manotick I get a twinge of homesickness….a very small twinge mind you. It has grown up so much. We lived on the other side of Osgoode, it was called Second Line Road then. The next time we visit family in Ottawa, we will do a walk around in Manotick. Just might see you there.

  10. I'm in complete agreement with your idea of purchasing a few new pieces each season that play well with older ones. I seldom buy anything that doesn't go with several items that are already in my closest.

    Mimi's sounds like my kind of place!

  11. Yes I love it the way my closet surprises me, and the old is happy to embrace the new. You've got such a clear style, I bet this gets easier and easier for you.

  12. Enjoy the hills, the snow and skiing(the only place I actually love the snow is in the nature,hills or plains,nordic walking……..)
    You've made a great connection between life and closet-I love your friends,old and new, in a perfect harmony
    Fingers crossed for Emily and David

    1. Thanks, Dottoressa. I love the hills and valleys in winter. The part of Quebec where we are is in the Laurantian mountains, very old, and not as breathtakingly beautiful as the Rockies out west, but lovely and cosy.

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