oh hello, march

march

dreaming: of vacation destinations.

cooking: pork chops, roasted potatoes, and salad is on the menu this week.

drinking: an iced latte; finally. I’ve been craving one for weeks, and as crazy as it sounds, -6C and sunny is “warm”, so I finally stopped into Starbucks on Sunday. And oh my goodness it was fabulous.

reading: nothing at the moment. Any suggestions?

wanting: a new couch.

looking: for new jeans. aka: the worst shopping excursions of life.

wishing: a cleaning lady would magically appear at my door.

enjoying: comforts of home.

crushing: dark chocolate covered pomegranate.

waiting: for a day above freezing. Next week I think…

liking: big cozy blankets.

loving: my 3pm coffee break.

baking: oatmeal banana chocolate chunk cookies.

marveling: that I finally found a lipstick (lip crayon) that actually looks good.

needing: some flowers. But not tulips. I’ve had enough tulips for now. Slim pickins in the burbs though…

hoping: the new daytime moisturizer doesn’t make me breakout and alleviates some winter skin redness.

smelling: fresh cotton candles.

wearing: mittens. And multiple sweaters and two pairs of socks and fleece lined pants. I’m really tired of multiples. And really tired of boots.

knowing: that spring is around the corner even if it is going to snow tomorrow.

watching: The West Wing. Very likely the best show I’ve ever seen; brilliant!

feeling: unsettled.

listening: to Homegrown by Zac Brown Band. On repeat. It likes to come on the radio when I’m in a parking lot and then I jam out.

noticing: how much better the days are when it’s sunny.

thinking: about all my lovely friends and fabulous cafes we’ll visit once hibernation is over.

opening: a new container of kiwis; my absolute favourite fruit at the moment.

friday, i’m in love

fiil.feb27

  • why is it still winter? It’s never NOT going to be winter is it?
  • what’s your go to snow storm snack? Eastern Canada has “storm chips” (btw: I’m totally a plain ripple kind of girl, too, and let’s not make #stormkale a thing, k?, and and everyone I know in the Maritimes are proud #stormchips supporters) and, of course, there’s stew. I’m definitely a snack your way through a snow storm with carbs for dinner girl
  • sister and I were commiserating yesterday; first that yoga sucked for both of us this week (you know the days it just seems really HARD?) and second, our abandonment issues with Target Canada leaving us. Distraught. I will never not be sad. Fake boyfriends come and go but there is (soon-to-be was) only one Target Canada.
  • there aren’t many things I wouldn’t do for someone to come over and wash and blowdry my hair right now. Other than being incredibly lazy and too cold to want to get in the shower (I’ve actually taken to brushing the snow off my car and freezing outside then I come in and have a shower because my limbs are so cold I don’t feel the cold of my apartment as much…) there is nothing better than the head massages at the salon. If I were rich, like really rich, someone else doing my hair would be high on the list of indulgences.
  • it’s a miracle I somehow haven’t dislocated a shoulder putting on a sports bra; I mean thank goodness for its snugness, but damn.
  • all the middle (aka: “working”) hours of the day have been re-classified as the hours I don’t watch West Wing. Aka: the saddest hours of the day. I was watching in my office during the day while I worked (yes I work from home, please don’t hate me) but I couldn’t concentrate. Concentrate on work you ask? No actually, on West Wing (I’ve been work busy with lots of organizational spreadsheets, which is good) and since that IS a problem because the writing IS that fantastic, I’m only watching when I can give it my full attention. Yes it’s that good. And yes, I’m nearly done the series. THE WHOLE SERIES. The one I was banking on lasting 7 weekends didn’t make it a full month because I watch a good 4-5 hours every night.
  • other tv things: I haven’t seen Mindy Project (blame West Wing) or Chicago PD (blame Suits), but Suits! Alltheyeses! If Mike hasn’t made it to jail yet Donna’s isn’t headed there, either. Did you see a bunch of Mindy’s exes are in the season finale? Hello Josh and Pastor Casey!
  • have I told you a friend of mine lives in the same building or building next to Patrick Adams (Mike from Suits)? (imnotacreeperimnotacreeperimnotacreeper – I swear. You can blame instagram for me knowing that) Well, now he’s moving – the friend – and I’ve lost all hope of accidentally running into him – Patrick Adams – on the rooftop/street corner/etc etc and us being in love forever. Even though he’s engaged. Whatever. Life is hard.
  • (remember that one time it was so cold outside and I had no life so I just rambled on about stuff on tv)

so best storm snacks? and go…

easy gifts: greeting cards

I love shopping for gifts; being able to find that something special that a friend or relative wasn’t asking for and didn’t know they needed, but it’s absolutely perfect. More than anything though, I like celebrating the little things – cookies on Fridays, cards just to say hello, and treats for all occasions.

I’m trying to think up – and share – lots of ideas for easy handmade gifts that say hi, thanks, welcome, celebrate, and everything else!

First up: greeting cards.

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I adore sending cards. While it’s lovely when a note from a friend pops up between work emails there’s no better feeling than turning the key on my mailbox and seeing a note or card.

We don’t exchange big gifts for Christmas so I made these for sister figuring something small and handmade would fit easily into her carry-on for the trip home. And even though I just said I love finding a perfect gift, I do not love finding said perfect gift at Christmas. And we were going to be in Georgia, home of much cooler, much cheaper stuff.

I collected some of her favourite photos, a few that would be great for birthdays but most from our travels that are perfect to say hello; I was thinking about you.

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They couldn’t be easier to make. I bought blank cards and envelopes from a craft store (I got ‘em from Michaels, the link is from JoAnn, just get some blank cards) and printed square photos from Blacks. Some doubled sided tape and done. It’s actually that easy.

 

cards1

Have a friend who loves sending cards? I really think this would be the perfect gift for them. Wrap it up in some cute cellophane and a big ribbon. Or just ribbon. Just make sure there’s ribbon…it’s so pretty. And maybe a few rolls of washi tape and a book of stamps?

Wanna make your friends remember you forever while they pick up glitter from their countertops and bookshelves? Try one of these sparkly DIYs!

friday, i’m in love

fiil.a29

  • remember when it wasn’t cold? no? me neither. I broke down and sobbed earlier this week when it was -32 and I scraped ice off my car and my toes tingled for an hour afterwards they were so frozen. I know, I know, I’m grateful to have a home and clothes and food, but it is really cold and it has been for weeks. Like not warmer than -10C/12F (and usually much colder) all month and snowing most days.
  • I should probably stop complaining (I won’t) because my pookie bear, Megan, moved back to PEI 3 years ago (saaad) and they’ve had some epic snowstorms lately. Considering I’m about 20cm and 2 more days below freezing away from a full blown tantrum, I’d have lost my mind.
  • for the last 2 weeks I’ve gone to hot yoga 25 minutes early so I can be somewhere warm.
  • remember Wednesday when I was all I want these wood floors from Anthropologie but I’m totes not re-decorating/renovating my apartment? I.can.not.stop.thinking.about.renovating.my.apartment. I want wide plank light wood floors (like, nice ones, not light as in birch, you know), my kitchen cabinets to be painted, I’d like a new couch, the leaky toilet repaired, the heat to work (work more efficiently??) in my bedroom and bathroom, and oh, a large lump sum of cash money to pay for it all. Oh oh, and a non-swindler, genuinely reliable Scott McGillivray/Jonathan Scott type-a-fella to do it. Easy peasy.
  • this kitty! ahhhh. It reminds me of our old kitty because she was super cute but totally didn’t understand mirrors.
  • tv things: The West Wing! I just finished season 3 and it’s amazing. Most notably, how powerful the writing and acting is without sex or scandal, and how I’m watching an episode that went live 12 years ago and the topics are still of political relevance. (we all love Josh, right?) Scandal: whoa. Nice. But because sometimes I really fixate on the details; where exactly did Liv have her hair relaxed and pick up that sweet outfit? The captors swing by Topshop for some Olivia Pope inspired Scandal collection items on the way to Iran?
  • you’ll be happy to know I’m over M&Ms and now I’m in love with Brookside dark chocolate pomegranate. It’s pretty much baby pomegranate ju-jubes covered in dark chocolate. Yah. They should really just call them antioxidant nuggets.
  • I’m not a great Christian and probably a worse Catholic and I will not be giving up anything for Lent, but can I just say (rant) this? Know WHY you’re giving up something. Lent isn’t 40 days of peer pressured non-chocolate eating. Maybe instead of an insignificant cocoa fast you just try to be a nicer human? Be somewhat selfless, do nice things for other people. Or at least do some research. (rant over)
  • have you always wanted a fitbit charge? Today is your lucky day; someone (ahem, sister) is hosting a giveaway. I’d enter but a) it would probably look bad if I won, and b) sometimes the farthest I walk is from my office to my bedroom to gaze longingly at my bed and back and I’m sure that damn (read: lovely) fitbit would mock me all day long. Soooo, you enter to win it instead.  She really, really likes hers and won Telus’ #everystepcounts contest because she’s a crazy person whose competitive alter-ego freaky side was recently awakened. I mean, fiiiiit-biiiiit. Free stuff! Wooooo!
  • but West Wing! Seriously. Josh Lemon Lyman! I’m such a binge watcher. Suits and WW, can’t recommend either enough. Do it. It’s gonna snow tomorrow. Dooo ittttt.

that one time we went to oakville on a sunday

There are two things that are true 90% of the time for me:

1. I love having a plan; one that’s made in advance and doesn’t get changed or cancelled at the last minute, and
2. I do not leave the house when the morning temperature is -42C

On Sunday, when I woke up and it was -42C, Emily and I made last minute plans to make a trip to Anthropologie and Whole Foods about 45 minutes away.

And it was a great day!

anthro

Me: Em! I want this couch! We’ll put it on your roof rack!

Em: Sure.

Walk around Anthropologie, mentally calculate net worth to figure out how many pairs of pants one can buy without going broke. It’s about 9.5 (keep in mind I own a home and a car). Pet some pants (LAUR! they have very petable pants!) Pick up and admire every single plate, bowl, and mug. Think about all the dinner parties I’m (never) going to have.

Me: Look at these salad tongs. God I wish I tossed salad. Ugh, how are 2 pieces of painted wood nearly $40? Pass.

Em: We should spell out our entire names with these mugs; they’re prefect!

(side note: they ARE. Laura gave me my “a” a few years ago and I gifted Emily an “e” last year. I know, I KNOW I went on and on about how monograms are dumb….but pink!)

Em: Is everything kind of boho or African safari?

Me: You also need to be about six feet tall to wear that dress. On safari. In Africa. Nowhere else.

Pet some more pants, look a dish towels.

Me: I need these dish towels, they’re on saaaaaale! No I don’t. They’re white (with stripes). I can’t have more light dish towels, I never want to use them.

Em: Right?!

Sit in a great chair while Emily tries on soft pants and jeans and the greatest white dress shirt.

Me: This chair is fabulous. Except the god-awful pattern. Will it fit on your roof rack?

Em: Yup!

Wait in line. Figure out how exactly linked metal and a leather tassel is $90. Soap. I hate bars of soap, but it smells so good.

Me: Ohhhhh. I’ll need that painting behind the cash register, too! Roof rack? Surely it folds in half. It’ll fit. (Have you seen them? 20 foot canvases in the most gorgeous cream and teal and coral and gold and white and grey)

Em: I’m sure it’ll work.

Me: Oh, and when I renovate (which I’m not doing) I NEED these floors. I don’t think they’re gonna fit on the roof.

Em: I’m sure the print folds in half. We may be just fine.

Walking out.

Em: Is your new couch even that comfortable?

Both sit on couch.

Me: Huh. Not comfortable. Shame.

And then we had burgers for lunch, cause -30s and all. And cause burgers are delicious. And then to Whole Foods where the real fun began. Let me preface this by saying no one caught on, which was really for the better.

WFjuicebar

Em: Ah, Whole Foods, I already feel more important than everyone else I know.

Me: We just did they most Oakvillian things today. Except eat burgers. I don’t think people in Oakville eat burgers. I just want some flowers. And $8 apples. They’re so much better than everything at No Frills. We’re gonna have to go to yoga to really round out this day.

Em: Where are all the smart cars?

Em: $25 for tulips? Is it not the day AFTER Valentine’s Day? Why is nothing half price? Do they know they’re $7 at Zehrs?

Even their flowers are elitist.

Em: I’m gonna need some coconut water to get through today. Wait. How do they not have MY brand of coconut water how will I live? Is she wearing lululemons? Typical.

Me: But they DO have aloe water. Cause that doesn’t sound like the most disgusting thing ever.

Me: Why are there children here? Why are they better dressed than I am? I’m even wearing my cute Target necklace to be classy.

Em: Organic whole chickens! $28? Are you kidding?

Me: Let’s go find some gluten and dairy!

Walking around…

Em: I’m really going to need that coconut water, STAT.

Em: Butter London nail polish. Of course. OF COURSE. All for the low low price of $19.99.

Me: Hey, that book was free at Starbucks last week. But why would you download it for free when you could buy the hardcover at WHOLE FOODS?!

Em: Everything here is better!

Me: They just bought a $15 pizza. Fif-teen dollars. And it’s probably gluten free with some non-dairy cheese and fake meat.

Me: How much is that? (Em checks and tells me the price) So, you’re telling me I can buy a fully cooked whole chicken for half the price of a raw one? There’s something really, really wrong with that.

Me: Where are the macarons? (And now I’m totally serious. Hmm, no salted caramel  no lemon, no thank you!)

Em: But actually….do they have fresh pressed grapefruit juice? (They don’t)

Me: Coconut water?

Em: No.

We left with nothing.

Me: But how ever will we make it back to Guelph without coconut water?

Em: I don’t know. I feel so weak.

 

Please please please tell me a crazy story. Or does your WF have more than 4 macarons? (and aren’t the chocolate croissants the greatest? and the iced coffee! vacation staples.) And how exactly can I get one of those Anthro canvases? 

A few (many) years ago, on a Sunday, while completely hung over, a friend and I meandered through Toronto talking only in Buffalo accents. Some days are just more fun than others.