MAGNOLIA’S FESTIVE TRAIL | How to spend your xmas season in Victoria

I’m back on the west coast in Victoria, BC for Christmas this year! I’m so excited to be spending my xmas season in this city – I love it. One of my first stops was the Magnolia Hotel & Spa (where I had a stay last June). In my room was their Magnolia’s Festive Trail guide of what to do this December in Victoria. Of course, I had to check it out.

First, I enjoyed a Bailey’s hot chocolate compliments of the hotel – a signature staple for their holiday stays. It was beautifully presented with a packet of delicious hot cocoa powder, a mini bottle of Bailey’s and came with an individual packet of mini marshmallows. Oh, and served in a glass mug. How charming is that?

Get to know the city of Victoria better and dive head first into the Christmas spirit with Magnolia’s Festive Trail.

MAGNOLIA’S FESTIVE TRAIL | How to spend your xmas season in Victoria

MAGNOLIA'S FESTIVE TRAIL | How to spend your xmas season in Victoria | melina morry the lady-like leopard

Magnolia’s Festive Trail: 25th Annual Festival of Trees

“Discover a forest of festive trees – watch for Magnolia Hotel’s tree and vote for your favourite!” These trees are actually amazing! There are so many to look at too so make sure you grab a hot cocoa (Bailey’s optional) to sip while you take in the sights.

Where: The Bay Centre, 1117 Government St. and Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
When: Until January 5th 2017

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Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Christmas at Royal BC Museum

“Explore the Old Town gallery with its festive holiday decor.” I went to the Royal BC Museum last time I was in Victoria, so unfortunately I didn’t go this time but if you go, let me know how it is! I’m sure it looks super cute with all the holiday decor.

Where: 675 Belleville St.
When: Until December 31st 2016

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Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase

“Wander through amazing all-gingerbread works of art and watch for Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar’s creation!” Warning: Do not go to this exhibit on an empty stomach! The gingerbread houses look good enough to eat, but unfortunately you’re not allowed to touch. End of story.

Where: Inn at Laurel Point, 680 Montreal St.
When: Until January 2nd 2017

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Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Free Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

“Weekend horse-drawn rides circulate downtown with stops!” I always feel like I’m in a movie when I go on a horse-drawn carriage. It doesn’t help that I’m obsessed with horses and wish I could take one home with me! It’s always been my dream to own a horse, but a short & sweet winter ride will have to do (for now).

Where: 50 Bastian Square, 3 Centennial Square, Willie’s Bakery and Capital Iron

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Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Christmas in Old Victoria Walking Tours

“Discover how Christmas was observed in early Victoria with a leisurely 90-minute historical walking tour through Old Town with Discover the Past.” This is a fantastic way to really get to know the history of Victoria! It’s a beautiful city that is best seen by walking through it. If you only have time for a couple of activities from this list, make sure this one is on it.

Where: 26 Bastian Square
When: Until December 31st 2016, 2pm-3:30pm, $15/person

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Other Festive Activities

  • Take in the sights and sounds of the holidays with a stroll around the inner harbour
  • The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens
  • Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle
  • A holiday cocktail in the lounge by the fireplace at Catalano

For more about Christmas in Victoria, visit the Magnolia Hotel’s website here.

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All photos by Morgan Cross Photography at Magnolia Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.

GLO RESTAURANT & LOUNGE | My fabulous waterfront meal in Victoria

When you’re vacationing in a city as picturesque as Victoria, BC you definitely want to find a spot where you can enjoy a great view and get a fabulous meal (no one wants to sightsee when they’re hangry). I’ve got the perfect place for you: Glo Restaurant & Lounge.

Glo Restaurant is located right on the Selkirk waterfront, just opposite downtown Victoria. They have an amazing patio that looks right over to the inner harbour and down along the Gorge waterway. That’s where I sat, of course.

I had the chance to have lunch at Glo Restaurant a couple of weeks ago. I was really impressed with everything – from the food, to the service, to the interior and the overall layout of the restaurant. So, let me tell you a little bit more.

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My waterfront meal at Glo Restaurant & Lounge

It was a gorgeous day when I went to Glo Restaurant & Lounge. Everyone was sitting on the patio so I decided to get the full Glo experience and sit out there too (fun fact: not only did I get a delicious meal but I left with one hell of a tan).

We decided to start out the meal with a glass of prosecco – because there’s always a reason to celebrate, right? We then moved on to appetizers: crispy parmesan polenta sticks and bacon wrapped prawns, which are served with chipotle aioli and fresh pineapple salsa.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

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After appetizers, it was time to order our mains. We decided on the Thai Peanut Salad and the Tan City Salad. I was this close to ordering the Buddha Bowl but in the back of my mind I knew I wouldn’t have room for dessert. That would’ve been terrible.

Thai Peanut Salad: “Your choice of either grilled chicken or pan-seared tofu, served with shaved red onion + carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, seasonal greens + snow peas with farkay noodles in a Thai peanut lime dressing.”

Tan City Salad: “Moroccan-style blackened chicken, chopped dates, roasted almonds, avocado, goat cheese, seasonal greens, oranges + fresh mint in a key lime dressing. Substitute blackened sockeye salmon.”

The salads were incredibly satisfying. The protein we ordered with them (chicken with the Thai, blackened salmon with the Tan) were both cooked to absolute perfection. The chicken was still moist and the salmon was so delicious I even ate the skin (and I never eat the skin).

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Last but not least it was time for dessert. My salad was honestly so filling that I didn’t think I could possibly eat another bite – until I saw the dessert menu. I have a sweet tooth in the best of times, and the worst of times.

The two we decided on were the Cinnamon Fritters and the Torched Brulee Cheesecake. Even being as full as we were, the desserts were still divine. Ultimately we couldn’t finish them and had to take them home. They were even better later on.

Cinnamon Fritters: “Cooked fresh to order, tossed in sugar + cinnamon, served with smooth cream cheese icing.”

Torched Brulee Cheesecake: “New York style cheesecake made in-house with a crisp brulée topping.”

What totally sold me on the cinnamon fritters was the cream cheese icing – so delicious. The only thing I would change next time is to ask for caramel sauce instead of chocolate. That’s just my personal preference, they were still delightful.

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Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

I don’t think we even walked out of Glo Restaurant after out meal, we rolled. It was definitely worth every single bite! Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals and definitely want to go back – hello, there’s a million other things on the menu to try!

Thanks for having us, Glo! I’ll definitely be back next time I’m on the West Coast.

Other photos from Glo Restaurant & Lounge

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

The front doors at Glo Restaurant.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

My favourite piece of art at Glo!

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Another interior shot.

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A view of the back patio.

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The view from the back patio.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

A beautiful spot to do a post-meal stroll.

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Just me, thinking about how great that meal was.

Melina Morry, fashion blogger at The Lady-like Leopard.

 

CLEANING OUT YOUR CLOSET | What to keep, what to toss and what to wonder why you ever bought it

Cleaning out your closet can be such a hassle. Have you ever just looked at your wardrobe and wondered how the hell you collected so many new, used and barely-worn garments? That happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I returned back to my Harry-Potter-sized apartment after being in Sydney for the past couple months. Obviously I had done a bit (er – a lot) of shopping while overseas so I was faced with the question of where on earth everything was going to go.

The first time I thought I had too many clothes I just bought more hangers and squished everything in (it was to the point where things were so tightly hung together I could barely reach for a thin cotton tee). The next time I had too many clothes I bought a 2nd clothing rack from Ikea.  This time, it was time to take action.

So, where to begin cleaning out your closet?

I’ll admit, I was having a bit of trouble. Take this coat for example:

Cleaning out your closet: What to keep, what to toss. Toronto Fashion Blogger, Melina Morry, of The Lady-like Leopard.

I bought this fuzzy little number six years ago from The Patch in Victoria, BC. I haven’t worn it for at least a year and wear it only sporadically anyways (tonight, perhaps). It has a growing gape in the left shoulder and the clasp fell off around year #3. But I love it. I thought I had made up my mind to toss it – and then I put it on and realized there was no way! Never! How could I betray the coat that a college professor once told me looked like a ‘wet dog’?!

The coat stays.

As for my pink, blue and silver sequinned blazer? Toss. My enormously oversized baby pink Neiman Marcus coat? Toss (when do I ever wear baby pink?). My emerald green chunky lace a-line Zara skirt? Almost kept, but ultimately, toss.

Cleaning out your closet: What to keep, what to toss. Toronto Fashion Blogger, Melina Morry, of The Lady-like Leopard.

I now have three large bags filled with my unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories to be donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association. I’m resisting the urge to open them up and double check that I really want to give it all away because I know I’ll probably end up pulling a couple items back out and there’s just no room for that. Literally, no room.

A helpful way I found for choosing between what goes and what stays is to create a moodboard filled with images of what you want your style to be inspired from – street style pics, different cities, colour palettes. Everything that doesn’t work with your new scheme, toss it. It’s hard but I promise it’s worth it.

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INTERVIEW | 7 Questions with Catherine Ryczkiewicz of KINIGLAM

Hello everyone, I’d like you to meet Catherine Ryczkiewicz, the founder and creative director behind the swimwear e-boutique KINIGLAM – but you can call her the beauty & the brains. After studying business in university and igniting a love for fashion when spending a term abroad in Shanghai, starting up her own business seemed right. Not to mention, the lack of creative swimwear readily available (see questions below).

Soon she was on her way to being her own boss – and rocking the Republic One Piece.

“The first sample suit I ordered I wore to a pool party at Wet Republic in Las Vegas. I got so many compliments on it, all the girls were asking me where I bought it. With this feedback I knew I was on the right track!” she says.

She’s got all her friends wearing KINIGLAM (“Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful!”) and I guarantee after browsing the site, you’ll be wearing it too. And just to add a little more incentive, you can get 25% off with the code LLL25. Happy shopping!

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

The Lady-like Leopard: What inspired you to start KINIGLAM?

In the last 2 years I have lost over 30lbs, I was uncomfortable in leading such an unhealthy lifestyle so I began learning about proper nutrition and exercise. This summer I was ready to wear something that flattered my body and new-found confidence.

The Lady-like Leopard: What are three words you would use to describe your swimsuits?

Unique, desirable, charming.

The Lady-like Leopard: Who is your ideal KINIGLAM girl?

The average woman who is tired of the same old triangle bikini and old fashioned cut, monochromatic one piece. She is ready for swimwear and loungewear that is exciting and truly one-of-a-kind.

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

The Lady-like Leopard: Which suit do you think flatters all (or at least most) body types?

Whether it’s in a bikini, one piece or cover up, I think if you feel comfortable and feel good [about yourself] the result is a flattering article of swim or loungewear.

However, if I would have to pick one suit that has all the right features I would choose the Cypress One Piece. One pieces are very popular this summer! This suit has an empire waist and sweet heart top in white fabric lines which draw the eyes towards the decal and face.

These details also define your body’s natural curves. Lastly, the Cypress One Piece has the wired bra support with the option of a halter top for carefree comfort – if you decide to cannon ball into a pool or something.

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

The Lady-like Leopard: How does your brand plan on competing with other swimwear brands? What sets you apart?

That’s simple! We differentiate from most stores because we are purely online.

This allows us to:

1) Easily hand select the styles on a daily basis. We do not have to wait for a catalogue, hold suits and inventory for more than one season and then try to sell last seasons styles.

2) Easily upload our unique, desirable and charming styles as soon as they become available from any of our international suppliers.

3) To extend savings to our customers and provide free shipping and sales!

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

The Lady-like Leopard: What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?

If you can dream it, you can do it! You do not need to know how to do everything, but, you do need to know where to find these people and resources. Find and become part of communities who are able to provide you with support. I did this by joining start up groups in my neighbourhood. I am also extremely fortunate to have knowledgeable and patient mentors.

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

The Lady-like Leopard: Where do you hope your business will be in the next 5 years?

KINIGLAM will realize its full potential. I will work to ensure that we can provide free next day delivery with many more products being uploaded daily. We will continue to provide high quality customer service and cater to the customers changing needs and desires. 

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

Fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard wears a KINIGLAM leopard print one piece at Deep Bay, British Columbia. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

leopard digital print one piece | KINIGLAM
leopard print sunglasses | VINTAGE
straw hat | VINTAGE

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All  photos taken by Morgan Cross Photography at Deep Bay, British Columbia.

INTERVIEW | Get trendy summer hair courtesy of Revlon hair stylist, Adrian Carew

For Revlon hairstylist Adrian Carew, helping you get the perfect hairstyle is nothing new – he’s been working in the industry for over 26 years. With a top Barbados-based hairstylist for a mother, working with hair was pretty much in his blood from day one. “The berry hasn’t fallen far from the tree,” he says.

I caught up with Adrian for a few tips & tricks for getting gorgeous summer tresses. Enjoy!

The Lady-like Leopard: What are the top three hairstyles this summer?

Beach Waves are holding on but more of an alternative direction with a looser feel to it. The natural curly hair vibe is being embraced worn to the effect of an Afro.

The Lady-like Leopard: How could you achieve these looks in a few simple steps?

Use a large barrel curling iron, wrap the hair around it in one direction and then wrap the other in the other direction (alternate directions). The use of setting hair in alternate size perm rods to attain different curl patterns and sizes to give you and amazing Afro.

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The Lady-like Leopard: What’s the best way (or product) yo get sea salted hair when you’re miles from the ocean? 

There are so many good products out there that cater to sea salt spray but nothing better than the original and authentic thing – straight from the ocean!

The Lady-like Leopard: After a weekend away with lots of sun, how can you replenish your healthy locks?

Condition! Get to know your products and how they can work for you. Use moisture and fatty acid based products to help to replenish and infuse some repair after exposure to the sun.

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WHAT I’M WEARING:

floral print kimono | KINIGLAM
white retro glam swimsuit | A BOUTIQUE IN SYDNEY (it was a bday gift)
statement ring | MIZDRAGONFLY

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All photos shot by Morgan Cross Photography in Deep Bay, British Columbia. 

TRAVEL DIARIES | Sasha Leah Nails: The best place for a leopard print manicure in Victoria, BC

A leopard print manicure? That’s right up my alley. So how did this come about from a person who usually sticks to neutral nails? Let me tell you.

Getting my nails done is one of my favourite ways to spend a relaxing afternoon – unless your manicurist has no idea what they’re doing and then it gets a little stressful. Thankfully I didn’t have to worry about that this time. My good friend, Sasha, recently started her at-home esthetics business Sasha Leah Nails & Waxing and she’s amazing!

I’m used to getting rather plain nails (nude, black, white, grey or red are my go-tos) but Sasha is a nail art master so I decided to go a little crazy. The first thing she suggested was a leopard print manicure – I couldn’t say no! I’m so happy with the way my nails turned out and definitely would recommend that you have Sasha do your nails when you’re in Victoria, BC.

Here’s a look at my leopard print manicure process!

Check out her Facebook page for prices and services.

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PHOTO DIARY | Ringing in the new year from Vancouver, BC

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

I can’t believe that 2014 is over – what a crazy year it was. I spent the first month finishing my year long stay in Australia, moved back to Victoria, BC, bought a one-way ticket to Toronto and then ended up going back and forth from TO to Victoria four times during the year.

My blog also started taking off and I made a ton of friends along the way. Although there were plenty of negatives, I prefer to let the positives shine through and overall 2014 was a year to remember.

I spent New Years Eve in Vancouver with two of my beautiful blonde friends, Rae and Jordan. It was so good to get out of Victoria for a night and have laughs, champagne and matching fur #OOTNs with some of my good girlfriends. Unfortunately we didn’t get many photos – guess we were too busy living in the moment.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years Eve and makes all their dreams come true in 2015.

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THRIFTY + TRENDY | How to look like a million dollars for only $10

Whenever I come to Victoria, BC one of my favourite things to do is go to the Thrift Store (yes, it’s literally called Thrift Store) that my Grammy volunteers at on Fridays. Even though it’s only Wednesday she brought me there today to browse through. Without fail, every time we go she says “Oh, I don’t think there will be much there” and every time I leave with at least one bagful of clothing, jewellery and accessories.

THRIFTY + TRENDY | How to look like a million dollars for only $10

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Today I scored this incredible three piece outfit by Algo – a Swiss brand specializing in elegant womenswear. Want to take a wild guess at how much it cost me? $3.

Yes, that’s right – a dollar a piece. My shoes are a different story because I bought them new from Wittner shoes in Sydney for about $200 but you can hardly feel bad about how much your shoes cost when your outfit was less than a Big Mac meal.

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Fashion Friday: “Sunday Outing” editorial photographed by Mario Szabo

I first met photographer Mario Szabo 3 years ago when I was rushing to class at Pacific Design Academy in Victoria, British Columbia. I had probably taken too long choosing an outfit or something, which is why I was late. But turns out it was well worth it because Mario stopped me as I was speed walking down Yates Street (and praying that “I couldn’t decide which shoes” was a good enough excuse for my tardiness) and asked to take my photo for his street style blog. That was the first time anyone had ever asked to do that and I was extremely flattered.

Mario is an excellent photographer. From high fashion editorials and street style to studio and candids, he nails them all. And that is why I am honoured to feature his latest shoot here on The Lady-like Leopard! Let me know what you think and hopefully we can have more of Mario’s photography featured in the future. x

Sunday Outing

Hair & Make Up by Yangi Kang
Model is Adam Chotemyenski for LUXE Models and Seattle’s Model Guild
Styling by Sam Dyer
Photography by Mario Szabo

Suit, TOPSHOP. Turtleneck, Stylists Own. Shoes, ADIDAS.

LEFT: Shirt, AMERICAN APPAREL. Pants and jacket, TOPSHOP. Shoes, TOPSHOP.
RIGHT: Shirt, AMERICAN APPAREL. Jeans, A.P.C. Shoes, Adidas.


Oxford Shirt, TOPSHOP. Jeans, A.P.C. Shoes, ADIDAS.

Oxford Shirt, TOPSHOP. Suit, TOPSHOP. Shoes, TOPSHOP.

Suit, TOPSHOP. Sweater, TOPSHOP. Shoes, ADIDAS.

Check out more of Mario Szabo’s photography here.

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HAIR TRENDS | The men’s hairstyle that could take more time than yours

Until recently I hadn’t ever been attracted to a man with long, luscious locks – hello, do I really need to be competing for the Moroccan oil with my boyfriend? I don’t think so. On the other hand there are plenty of women who love a man with a messy bun. Guest blogger Emma Reading is one of them. Here Emma tells us about the different style of man buns and how to wear them (mostly for guys, but hey, ladies can use these tips too).

The man bun is literally taking over from the west to the east coast this year with athletic men, musical men, bearded men, pretty men, and men that don’t quite fit under any label all rocking this trend. At first, I wasn’t impressed with this trend – actually, I was counting down the days until it ended – but I have to say that I’m becoming more and more of a fan of the man bun.

In order to pull off the man bun you’ve got to have pretty long hair, and most of the men I know usually don’t do much to tame their manes on a day-to-day basis. So, another pro to the man bun is that it’s a sexy alternative to a snapback when dressing up for situations that are more professional – or a date.

I don’t think anyone is complaining about men like Jared Leto and Bradley Cooper pulling their luscious locks up and revealing more of their gorgeous faces – plus, any man who is confident enough to rock this hair style is probably also rocking a killer personality. So, if you’re a skeptical, check out these pics and try to give the man bun a chance.

The high bun

A more relaxed style, and you’ve got to have a lot of confidence to try and pull this one off.

The messy bun

Best for a beach bum or active guy.

The low bun

This style can be worn with anything. It is also the best style of man bun to wear in a professional setting. Try this slicked back or messy depending on the look you’re going for.

The half-up bun

Often sported by European soccer players, the half-up bun is great to keep eyes out of the face during activities. Also creates a sexy, badass look when paired with leather and a cool pair of shades.

The half shaved bun

I think I still need a little bit of time to get used to this one, but some men can definitely rock it!

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This article was written by Emma Reading for The Lady-like Leopard.