i heart, hardcore

forever ago, erin from reading my tea leaves challenged me to find one image that best defines my style.

eesh! it's taken me a while to look around for images that i felt covered many of my bases, but i've still only been able to narrow it down to three images. sorry kittens - it's the best i could do!

each of these photos incorporates a favourite style of mine into their design:
i love the muted colours and the exotic feel of many of these pieces in the first photo. even though i haven't traveled much at all, i like to incorporate exotic pieces into my decor. it keeps things interesting!

photo numba two: what's
not to love? i know i've posted it like three times and linked back to it a million more, but come on - bright, airy, crisp, clean. and with a kick-ass window. could it get any better?

numba three: now, my dilemma prior to this post was that i was feeling a little bit like goldilocks - every room that i saw was either too bright, or too muted, too busy or too modern. none of them ever seemed to strike a balance that i felt was just me.

this last photo, though, does a great job - i love the fact that it's eclectic and eco-friendly - a lot of it's salvaged and repurposed furniture that can be dressed up or dressed down while still being laid back. i love natural wood and exposed brick, and bright sunlit rooms are always huge with me. if there was anything i'd change about this room, i'd switch up the glass side table and add in some more pops of bright colour, but other than that, it's pretty freakin great.

now, if these three rooms got together and had a love child, i'd be sitting pretty.

now - i'd like to pass on this challenge to someone else, but was having a ton of trouble choosing just a few people to tag. so - i'll tag all of you! if you're up to this challenge, post it up on your blog and send me a link to the post so i can check it out.

just a lil reminder - only one day left in my giveaway, so be sure to check it out!

top and bottom image via canadian house and home, middle by david allee via design*sponge


this little piggy went to market

goodness! that's all i have to say. good. ness.

i'm only gonna post one post about swine flu, and then i'm done. only because i don't want to add to any hype that's already created - ha, like this lil blog is gonna cause a tsunami of debate over the matter -

(meanwhile, on CNN: "this just in - toronto blogger creating unnecessary hype over swine flu. she must be stopped!")

but mostly because i think people need a break from the ad nauseum doomsday-esque coverage. everybody and their brother has weighed in on the matter; even paris hilton has thrown her two cents in about her level of concern, responding to reporters that she "doesn't eat that". (um, what?)

i almost cheered when the radio announcer on my morning radio station announced that he's not going to talk about the swine flu just because firstly, everyone else is more than covering it, and secondly, it's getting a little too much hype from people who don't know what they're talking about. epidemiologists and molecular biologists have said that, although it'll get worse before it gets better, this likely isn't gonna turn into any spanish flu pandemic. i'll take their word over any reporter, any day.

furthermore, i haven't heard any mention of the fact that mexico city is an incredibly densely populated area with less health care than what we've got in the states and canada (not to mention the many, many other differences between the countries). it sounds insensitive, but i'm pretty confident with the fact that our health care systems can handle it.

c'mon everyone - let's give the poor pigs a break.

images above, clockwise from top left:
one, two, three, four, five, six, middle

spring cleaning and then some

i've been really focused on the idea lately of spring cleaning, almost to the point where it's become an obsession. i've been spending inordinate amounts of time in the hardware store's paint section ogling new and bright colours and staying up all hours helping my sisters paint their rooms.

one of our goals is to re-organize one of their closets - she's got a pressing need for space and i conveniently have a pressing need to make it look pretty. we've recently pulled up her ugly old carpet and replaced it with lovely new laminate flooring and the next victim on our hit-list is the closet.

i've been looking through some of martha's organizing and creative ideas and am completely in love with the notion of painting a lil bit of colour in peekaboo places like the closet - it's like a slightly-less-committal solution for my love for bright colours. when i came across the picture above, we decided to use it as inspiration for the closet - a lil burst of unexpected pink makes everything just a little bit more fun! i'll be sure to post pics of it when we're done.

meanwhile - in the spirit of spring cleaning, what's your best de-cluttering and organizing tip?

share it in the comments section and i'll randomly draw a winner on friday to win a set of my favourite lil magnet clips - in any colour of your choosing!


tiffany's story

whoa! hello monday - how did you get here so fast?

it was, in many ways, a whirlwind weekend. i got some errands done, yes, but most of it was spent trying to catch up from what i didn't get to through the week, and then sitting and waiting for five hours on saturday for the power to come back on after our first spring thunderstorm. (actually, it was more like giving up and going to bed early.)

today's fabulous what's your story feature comes to you from tiffany of the would-be writers guild.
I took my first trip to New York City at 21 years old. Though I had seen the city a million times on TV and movies, I was not prepared for the rapture I would feel standing there and soaking in the city's electricity. I was with my husband and a good friend and the three of us made our way around the city in complete awe, though we wore dark glasses and made it a point to avoid eye contact with anyone (a safety measure in our minds). Without realizing it, my perspective had changed drastically - the world was so much bigger than my hometown and it wasn't nearly as scary as I'd feared. That was a pleasant surprise.

Having my perspective changed has, at times, been painful. When my husband's mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003, I was absolutely certain that she would not die. Why? Because my husband had already lost his father prematurely in 1996, and I thought that there must be some universal rules in place that decreed that while tragedy might strike, it would only happen once. I thought that there was a limit to the suffering one person or family would have to endure. (Go ahead. I'll wait while you say, "DUH!")

She didn't even make it six months.

My perspective changed again - life offers absolutely no guarantees or promises of fairness and equality. At first this was devastating, but eventually it became sort of freeing. No more keeping arbitrary cosmic scores in my head; it was time to live life in the moment. Today is the gift. Most of the time, I'm good at remembering that.

However, last year I lost my grip. My husband had landed his long-anticipated first real job after grad school 2200 miles away from where we lived. We had a complicated laundry list of Things That Absolutely Had To Fall Into Place In a Very Short Period of Time before we moved. I became consumed with the list and obsessed with fear and worry that things would not, could not work out. I became an Olympic-caliber worrier. I imagined thousands of tragic scenarios and lived them out in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep. I offered myself up as a sacrifice to Worry and it swallowed me whole.

My perspective a year later is changed, yet again. This is what I learned: things work out. Either the way we hope, or the way we fear, or a way we never even thought of, things work out. That is the nature of things - time passes and stuff happens. Worry is a robber of time, sleep, and stomach lining. It takes all of your energy and gives you nothing in return. I am most peaceful when I let tomorrow happen tomorrow.

I'm a different person than I was at 20, 25, 30, and even yesterday. Most of the time I'm taking two steps forward, then one step back. Or, one step forward and two steps back. Or, one step forward that actually results in a face plant. But that's the great thing about life, isn't it? It's always moving us somewhere.

remember - everyone has a story. i'd love for you to tell me yours. email me and let's talk - new features get posted every monday.


to-do list two: brunchtime is anytime

every year around christmastime, we have an awesome lil tradition that i love so much, i wanna repeat it at other times throughout the year. not because i'm a glutton for good things (but really, who isn't?) but because it's a fantastic opportunity to slow down and reconnect with the people that make our lives better and happier.

and really, when you can combine reconnecting
with food? all the better, i say!

we send out invites to all of our friends - people that we haven't seen in years and would love to have a chance to catch up with, people that we see every day, people we see sometimes but would like to get to know better. all types of people. we pick a saturday morning in early december and tell people that if they'd like, the can swing by anytime between 8 and 1pm. that way, they can get in some visiting while at the same time being able to get some christmas shopping done too.

it's much much easier for people to just pop by for a few minutes (or a few hours!) according to their own schedules, have some breakfast and good company (cause everyone needs a lil bit of both no matter what their plans for the day hold!), have a few laughs and reminisce.

now yes, christmas is a great time to catch up, but why should it be the only time?

the next item on my to-do list: let's do another brunch, but in the sunshine of an early summer morning, out in the backyard. mm. now that's a plan.


to-do list one: ode to my unused running shoes

if you really think about it, running is likely one of the strangest things that we humans do.

i can't help but think about the fact that if aliens were to be watching us from their far-away-galaxies in their super-powered telescopes that spanned light years, they'd see people leaving their house, stretching, jumping around, and then running away for no apparent reason.

"where are they running to," they'd ask. "or what are they running from?"

they'd scratch their bald alien heads in confusion when, in 45 minutes, the humans run right back into the house again. why do they take off as if the house is on fire, or like they've got someone to save from drowning? and then - just as quickly as it all starts off, it ends. they resume life as if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened.
they'd ask themselves in their alien language (or maybe they use telekinesis, who knows), what the point was.

the answer is that, to the outsider, there is no real point outside of fitness. we just run. who does that? did any ancient egyptians jog? i assume the ancient greeks must have, considering how they invented the olympics and all that.. but really, at what point did western culture decide that running around in circles was a great form of exercise?

don't get me wrong - it's gotta be one of the most convenient ways to get yourself in shape. you don't need anything to run; just a pair or running shoes, really. but then, if you're really hardcore i suppose you wouldn't even need that. just a pair of willing legs and feet that will move you from one place to the next and back again. i love that kind of simplicity in a workout.

i also love the fact that you can get all sorts of cool running gear; you see those hardcore runners in all types of weather, wearing all kinds of apparel that's sleek and awesome; that perfectly fitting zippy, with water bottles or hand weights or whatever suits their fancy. and that ipod nano setup with nike running shoes? suh-weet. it doesnt get much better, my friend. you can join the local running club and go for group runs - i always see them stretching and chatting and cooling down in the parking lot as i'm on my way home from work. i love that it can be a lil bit of a social thing, but i'd likely just end up running alone. just me and my shoes hitting the pavement.

it's just a shame, then, that someone who loves the idea of running as much as i do would hate the actual activity. i feel messy and sloppy and uncoordinated and often like my lungs are going to explode. i'd love to get past that part and get to the exhilarating freedom that is shangri-la for runners, except for the fact that i just cant get over that feeling like i'm gonna toss my breakfast all over lawn.

i'm planning on making that transition from running poser to running enthusiast. it's gonna happen this summer, and it's gonna start out slow.
i have the running shoes, the lululemon pants, my ipod with arm band, and a coordinating hoodie to get me started. i think i'm pretty much 3/4 of the way there, no? (ha - kidding!)

here i go, one foot in front of the other.

(and in the meanwhile, any of you runners out there - please feel free to give me any tips to help get me to the good part!)

tues + day

goodness. hello tuesday!

monday was such a higglety-pigglety day, i barely know where to start. oh wait - i do. it was a freezing cold wind and rainy day where i decided (once again) to ignore the weather dude and wear ballet flats with bare feet? sorry, weather dude. one of these days, i'll trust your forecasts are accurate. until then, chilly toes.

once i got to work, i had more MS Access training. (ha! just when you thought it was over. it's like a never-ending nightmare that keeps coming back when you think you've won.)

ok. so it's not really that bad. after wednesday, it'll be the last of the last of these trainings, unless they come up with an advanced advanced course or some other sort of ridiculousness to suck me back in. but after this, i'll know how to chart me some riveting relationships tables and queries. (i know, i know. i lead a charmed life. please try not to be jealous.)

once the training was over and done with, i tried to get through a pile of stuff on my desk - mostly budgetary and meeting-making stuff. again, charmed life. i have this huge pet peeve of messy desks, and yet somehow mine's been a minefield for the past week. how'd that happen? it's on my to-do-list for today, for sure. (along with check the weather and be sure to wear appropriate foot gear for warmth and comfort.)

the afternoon flew by, which was pretty sweet; minestrone with turkey sammiches for dinner, then an evening of attempted productivity which somehow got sidetracked by dancing with the stars. i've never even watched that show in my life - until somehow mike came across it and started watching it, at which point i got sucked in and was awed by the sheer number of sequins in the episode. (but seriously though, it was really good.)

after all of that was over, i headed home to my nice warm bed. in the wake of today, i'm feeling really antsy and want to rip through that to-do list like nobody's business. heck - i might even be adventurous and add a few new things.

... like catching up on a few of the things that i've let fall by the wayside.

it's a new day. i'm on my way. bibbity-bobbity boo!


katie's story

hello monday!

this week's installment of what's your story was submitted by katie of katelynjane's notebook. enjoy!

When I was 19, my Mom found out she was pregnant. She had given birth to six other kids at that point and didn't go in for an ultra-sound until several months into the pregnancy because she had a feeling that something was wrong with the baby or herself. When she finally went in for her ultra-sound, the nurse - thinking that Mom knew already - mentioned the two heartbeats. Mom's eyes popped "Two heartbeats?"

She was 43 and expecting twins.

I was working at a hardware store at the time, and clearly remember her coming to see me after the appointment, tears falling, with a panicked expression on her face. "What am I going to do? We can't handle this - it's too much!" We were standing in the middle of the store, leaning on laminate flooring. The only thing I could think to say to her was, "Mom, God know's what he's doing. He won't give you what you can't handle".

Four months later, my Mom gave birth to two beautiful baby girls; Sophia and Victoria. Twenty years younger than me, they could have been my own babies. Nonetheless, they were adorable and precious and more than a huge part of our family.

I remember holding them for the first time and thinking, "What if Mom had gotten an abortion? What if she had given into the thought that she couldn't handle these babies?" This had never been an option for her - but what if - I couldn't imagine giving up one or both of these little lives. Their little hands, their little feet, their little smiles. I thought that if a woman would just hold her baby first, before making the decision for abortion, there was no way she would go through with it.

The twins are almost six and just as beautiful as ever. Tory is the mirror image of me when I was little, and Fofie (this is what Tory calls her) looks just like my other sister when she was her age. I can still hardly tell them apart.

remember - everyone has a story. i'd love for you to tell me yours. email me and let's talk.


blink and it's gone

things i did this weekend:
  1. painted my nails
  2. did some more work on my naked slipper chair. i lubricated the springs so that they weren't squeaky anymore, stapled on the foam and batting, and now all that's left to do is to put the on the fabric. once it's all done, i'll post a slew of photos along with a complete how-to. (please keep in mind that i don't claim to be the alpha and omega of furniture upholstery; i just happened upon a sweet lil chair that i couldn't let pass me by without trying my hand at a new project.)
  3. lent a hand doing some demolition work in my sisters bedroom, where she's installing some sweet sweet laminate floors. it's just the perfect colour that suits her 'signature' colours - i can see her finishing off her room with creamy whites, dusty pinks and chocolate browns. my specific job was to rip up the wood-and-nails combo that goes along the perimeter of the room to keep the carpet down (or something). after that, i swept up some dust and the boys took over the actual laying of the floors. great job, boys. (before and after pictures to come once the room's re-assembled!)
  4. received some sweet lil cinnamon bears from marta. they're every bit as delicious as she promised they'd be, and helped sustain our lil construction team throughout the course of the weekend!
  5. learned how to curl my hair with my flatiron.
  6. shopping with my sister - got a sweet lil black jacket from h&m. very pleased. goes well with the above-mentioned painted nails.
what fun things did you get up to?


ivoire et nacre

holy hannah! this week positively dragged by in many many different ways. even though i took last monday off, i still feel like i could use another long weekend. yeesh!

there's a few big things going on in my world right now - perspective-shifting things - that i'm working through. when i'm ready, i'll likely have a new story of my own to post up for what's your story. by the way, your submissions keep rolling in, and you all continue to amaze me. stay tuned for the next installment on monday from katelyn jane.

today, in my interwebs exploration, i came across these absolutely beautiful rooms. their biggest appeal, i think, is
the way that they look clean and crisp, yet laid back and casual at the same time. i like that in a room - particularly since i'm the farthest thing from starched, stiff and stuffy - so why should my house be that way?

a few things to note that i'm particularly loving: the window in the shot in the top right. something about it reminds me of the window featured in this post, which i also happen to really enjoy. i also love the dark floors. mm!

secondly: the shot on the bottom left. hello, pretty lil wicker side tables (are those even wicker? they look too cool to be wicker. grapevine, maybe?) and hello, check out that VIEW! i'd camp out on that couch anyday, with a view like that!

finally, i looove the writing on the wall on the bottom right image. mostly cause it's white-on-white. i'm a big fan. big big.

bon week-end!


list(less) and linky love

since today is ridiculously busy, i'm living off of my lists.

i'm a bit of an obsessive list-maker, and it honestly makes a huge difference in my productivity; particularly because when i get stressed i tend to feel like i'm spinning in circles ...which, needless to say, is very counterproductive.

during a (rare) moment to breathe today, i came across (ta daaa!) more lists. check out one here
(sidenote: i enrolled in her get crafty course and am lovin it so far!) and dare i say - if only my lists looked half as pretty as hers!

something else completely unrelated, but i came across these small-space ideas from julia on red otter and couldn't resist but to include them. they're not lists per se, but they sure are organized. i'd consider them to be a close relative of the sweet lil list.

how do you stay calm when you feel like there's not enough hours in your day?

keep your lists lookin pretty with the above list maker and coupon taker by watermelon wishes


long live bright and cheery

while browsing through the blogosphere yesterday, i came across this sweet lil b&b in holland called bed of flowers
via decor8 - i'm absolutely smitten with the bright, vibrant colours. they're the perfect thing to feature on this lovely post-easter tuesday. there's gotta be some sort of great-vacation-guarantee while staying in a place like this - how could you not feel compelled to get out and enjoy the weather (cause it's gotta be always sunny there, with walls that colour) or even stay inside and read a great book?

i'd love paint my walls this vibrant but i'm not quite sure if i have the guts to commit to it.

what do you think?

images via decor8


tea's story

i'm absolutely thrilled to present to you the first installment in my tell me a story series. without further adieu - today's feature is from tea from everyday sugar.

Traveling the world has a way of changing you. Like an earthquake, it can rattle your foundations; I was fourteen and I was rattled. Until then I’d spent my entire life in Canada. I was born in Canada and had never ventured farther than a few trips to the USA. My parents, having spent most of their adult life in North America, were still immigrants, and often spoke of visiting "home". So there I was in the Philippines, seeing "home" for the first time in my life, sticky with sweat, and covered in hundreds of mosquito bites.

I stuck out. Not only was I awkwardly tall for my age, but I couldn’t speak the language - though I could understand it. I didn’t know what manners were expected of me, my clothes were different, and everywhere I went, I felt like people were staring. Even the mosquitoes could tell I was a foreigner.

Never in my life had I felt so uncomfortable. When I was younger, whenever anyone had asked me what my nationality was, and I would answer ‘Filipino’ and never thought twice about it. My friends were a diverse bunch and it never really mattered. Now, in the midst of my relatives, my family, and in the face of my heritage staring back at me, I felt like a tall, sweaty, itchy alien.

When I came back to Canada, the awkward feeling did not go away. Who was I really? I didn’t feel quite Filipino enough, but just calling myself Canadian didn’t seem right either.

It wasn’t until almost ten years later that I found my answer. One day I was in class and the professor took out a piece of string and started winding it around two push pins. There are different kinds of maps, she explained. This was a map of a journey between two points. As she ran her fingers along the string, the answer hit me like a slap in the face. I could feel my foundations settle back into place.

It was simple, really.

I didn’t have to be one or the other. On any given day I could see myself sliding back and forth on the string cradle between two cultures. I could be both Filipino and Canadian simultaneously. I didn’t need a hyphen or a dash. Both cultures made me who I am, and the string would hang limp if one of those pins were missing.

People are complex and full of unexpected contradictions, but that’s part of what makes us human and interesting. You can be an artist, scientist, mother, child, or student… we are all many things at once.

That’s just a bit of my story. The story continues, changes countries, involves letters mailed across continents, and a kiss with a mysterious stranger, but that’s something I’ll save for another day.

remember - everyone has a story. i'd love for you to tell me yours. email me and let's talk.


beautiful friday

i'm taking today to refresh and rejuvenate - stay tuned for a post later on this weekend. in the meanwhile, i was looking through some of my older posts the other day and found some that i felt were really important to dust off and re-post in order to share with you guys all over again.

also - fantastic news - the first-ever post in my tell me a story series will be going up on monday and i couldn't be more excited!

have a fantastic belated passover or easter weekend, everyone. xo


think like a seven-year-old

"I'd never heard of life lists until my seven-year-old daughter made one. One day Rachael produced a piece of poster board with the title: "Things I Want to Do." The entries were ambitious: Go to Paris. Go to China. Learn to scuba dive. Be in a movie.

I didn't want to dash her dreams, but it seemed like a good dashing was in order. I was a single parent without much money. We lived in a rented cabin in the Missouri Ozarks. "That's nice," I told her.

By age 12 she'd checked everything off her list. I snagged a writing assignment in Hawaii, and she tagged along and took diving lessons. We were invited on a group trip to China, then used the frequent flier mileage for a trip to Paris. She scored a role as a zombie in a low-budget horror flick being filmed near where we lived (her list didn't stipulate that the movie had to be good).

The point is, Rachael made her list when she was too young to fret about limits. It's a lesson we can all take: Get back to that place you were in as a child, when "limitations" was a word grown-ups said. When you think like a child, you expose your limits as mirages."

i'm thinking of erasing my limits today. what about you?


i heart muffins

we do this little thing at work every thursday called 'snack in the back', where each person takes a turn bringing in lil goodies for the office to share.

the funny thing is, is that there's not really a back in which to snack. i'd say it's more of a snack-in-the-galley-kitchen-spilling-into-the-hallway-and-sometimes-into-courtneys-cubicle.

either way, i like to come up with a lil something homemade whenever it's my week. and today happens to be my snack day, so i've made one of my favourites - orange chocolate-chip muffins.

1 whole medium-sized orange
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 egg
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar

  1. preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. cut the orange into pieces and remove the seeds.
  3. put the pieces in a blender (vintage model as pictured above optional) with orange juice and whirl (yes, that's what it actually says in my recipe book. whirl.) until finely chopped.
  4. drop in the egg and softened butter. whirl it again. yep - whirl it good.
  5. stir together the dry ingredients. if it tickles your fancy, sifting everything together but the sugar makes it a lil nicer - but is by no means absolutely necessary. whatever floats your boat.
  6. pour the orange mixture over the dry ingredients and add in the chocolate chips. Stir only until moistened.
  7. at this point, if i'm feelin saucy, i like to add some more chocolate chips.
  8. fill muffin cups halfway full with batter; bake for 15-20 mins at 375F.
the original recipe used dates, but i switched them out for chocolate chips. if you'd like to use dates or even raisins, just use a half cup and no chocolate chips.

makes 12 muffins, so you may want to make extras because they'll go quickly

a word to the wise, though - this recipe tends to work best as a single batch. if you need to make more, don't just double the ingredients on a wing and a prayer ... do it in separate bowls for best results.


belle vert


i was thinking last night that i haven't posted anything decor-y in a little while, and was planning a short n sweet post for it today, when voila, what was posted on one of the first blogs that i'd visited this morning?

balcony decor! and gorgeous balcony decor to boot!

if you ask anyone i know, i have a severe weakness in my heart for anything patio or balcony related - likely because i don't have one of my very own. while shopping, you can constantly find me in the garden & patio section of stores, gazing longingly at the chairs, recliners, pots and plants. one day, i'll have a container garden. and a patio and/or balcony. mark my words.

this morning's awesomeness brought to you by cupcakes and cashmere (balcony items) and martha stewart


quiet post

am in a peaceful kind of mood today.

love this photo by steph parke. it's quiet brooding way reminds me of an entry from three beautiful things:

"a little rain is mixed up in the fog, and people walk behind umbrellas and sour expressions."



lets get our collective spring on.

yep - it's yet another oogly day in toronto. and for some ridiculous reason, i decided to assume that the weather guy was overreacting (as they tend to do) about the weather, and opted to wear my lil black ballet flats.

that's right. ballet flats in slush. yecch. (hey! mother nature! you can quit it with the bipolar thing anytime you'd like. i'm ready for some straight-up sunshine. some buds on the trees would be nice too, whenever you get a chance.)

i don't know if i've mentioned it before, but i'm most definitely ready for some non-wintery weather. ha.

i had fantastic plans to make a lil collage of the purchases i'm dying to make for my post this morning, but the photos on the website just didn't do them justice. instead, i mcguivered the outfit in polyvore. it at least gives you the general idea - i'm still digging that yellow (there's honestly no escape for me!) and absolutely cannot wait until it's warm enough out to wear it without covering it up with a winter coat.

another beauty that i've stumbled across this morning is tallulah, who's gorgeous earrings are featured over at reading my tea leaves.

what springtime purchases are you anxiously awaiting?

(lil update - thanks so much to Cindy over at quaint handmade who is making an oh-so-generous donation to the muscular dystrophy association on behalf of my cousin (even when i didn't win their birthday giveaway!). i just received the email now - their kindness really touched my lil heart. from deep deep down - thank you.)


sunshine + errands

hello sunday!

you are bright + beautiful, which is a fantastic change from the cold + super windy that we've been having around these parts lately.

the plans to visit my dad fell through and so yesterday was spent waking up early and being more or less productive. got some errands done, and in the afternoon, my sister and i rented atonement (because there were no copies of marley and me left at blockbuster and that was what she'd originally intended to see), then i made fajitas for dinner.

i love fajitas. especially when they're paired with coronas with lime - makes for a lil bit of summertime on an otherwise oogly day.

i've received quite a few email responses for tell me a story, which i'm working through responding to today as well. i think that's pretty awesome. if you haven't heard from me yet, don't worry - you will

today: more housework. likely some twittering. even more likely is some exploring on the kindred site + forums, which i came across earlier today and i'm fascinated. i'm gonna download one of their oh-so-pretty desktop images for my laptop - it's time for spring cleaning, after all!


my attention span needs a GPS

oh, wow. i can't believe it's friday already - this week flew by insanely quickly. i'm super behind on my daily blog reads, which makes me kind of antsy because i really look forward to finding out what everyone has to share. i'll be trying to catch up as much as possible this weekend when i get back from visiting my dad. he's only got dial-up, though, so i can't make any promises at this stage in the game.

if you haven't already, check out my new concept for my featured artist/blogger series, and let me know what you think. (even better, if you'd like to participate, email me!). the responses i've received so far have been very positive - even though i kind of figured it anyhow, it's refreshing (and encouraging!) to see that most blog readers out there like to read about other people's lives. a few people mentioned that they used to think blogs were somewhat silly (whoever would wanna read about MY life?! - i know, i used to be one of those) but after having blogged for a year and gotten to know people in the blogosphere, i get it. and it's good.

before i scamper off today, i wanted to share a few bloggy highlights with you that i've enjoyed this week:
  1. the images i've posted above are of an absolutely incredible vintage gym locker set that i tripped over at please sir (don't you just LOVE it?!)

  2. brooklyn diptychs by cindy : quaint

  3. book worm by katelynjane (ok so MAYBE the fact that i suspect this post may or may not be referencing last saturday's bookstore adventure is an awesome ego boost, but the biggest reason that i love it is because of my love affair with all things book. post about a bookstore or library, and i'll likely set up camp outside your blog and attempt to elope with it. (is it possible to elope with something? you certainly don't elope it. there's a word somewhere in there that makes sense, but it eludes me right now. moving on.)

  4. marta's anna freud quote fits nicely with the theme of yesterday's post, and ditto her ever-insightful lil captions that go with it:
    knowing that you, alone,
    do all that you can
    with all that you have.
    in your space
    in your time.
    (she's a smart cookie, that miss marta.)

  5. another smart cookie is the ever-witty, ever-awesome miss tiffany, who writes - and i quote:
    "The other day Max and I were meandering around in the front yard, waiting for the school bus, when we noticed a dead fish lying on the grass. It was such an absurd sight. I think it was a sun fish, about six inches long. I was baffled. How did it get here? I guess because if its proximity to the mailbox, Max was absolutely sure that the mailman had brought it. I left the fish there and the next day it was gone. Is this, perhaps, a message from the mob? It seems like it could be a message from the mob. Even though I got out of the mob years ago and started living legit."
  6. elise's get crafty workshops are something i'm seriously considering signing up for, even though i have never scrapbooked anything in my life and don't particularly plan on starting. i'm just thinking she might have some nifty ideas for creative things... and besides, i always like what she makes. i'm practicing being a little creative sponge lately, and just trying to absorb all of the great ideas that float around online.

  7. i like the word nifty. just thought you should know.

  8. speaking of fantastic creative ideas, have you picked up your copy of kal's you-are-awesome mini print set yet?

  9. super-duper engagement photos featured over at delight by design. the top one's my favourite - how bout you?
k, that's it, i'm outtie. gotta get some work done.

because i'll be up north to visit my dad tomorrow, so i'll be sure to post my weekend post on sunday this week. if you're around - swing by!


tell me a story

so over the past few weeks, i've been thinking about people's stories. not just any kind - but the kind that people tell about the things that define them, that make them who they are. their personal narratives. at work, i've been finding out all of these super-interesting facts about people's lives; one of my coworkers is a jazz singer, another one has his black belt, and yet another taught high school before she came to work at the university. all of their experiences and histories - no matter how seemingly small - have contributed somehow to who they are today, and i think that's super interesting.

or maybe i'm just a huge creeper.

a bit of my own back-story behind this whole idea - i started university as an english major but dropped as soon as i discovered that one of the prerequisites was 'approaches to english grammar'. (how many approaches can there be!? i was taught in grade six that there was one - the teacher's approach.) i took sociology instead and, over the course of my studies, i'd encountered the notion of the personal narrative and how, with the advent of new and wonderful forms of technology, it's evolved in several different ways.

(stay with me here, this isn't an academic essay. it's goin somewhere - i promise!)

with the advent of blogging/twitter/facebook/msn and all of the other creative and techy ways to keep in touch, old-school critics have lamented the diminishing amount of daily face-to-face interaction (admit it - how often have you sent an email to a coworker who's office is just around the corner from you?), mostly because it reduces the number of chances that we have to chat. chatting turns to discussion, which eventually helps you get to know people and their lives and their stories, and somewhere during that process, their personal narrative is formed. in turn, when shared, these narratives can help us learn and develop ourselves in ways we might not have the chance to do while limiting ourselves to online interactions alone.

furthermore, let's be honest - more often than not, people heavily edit what they publish to the web. (case in point: how many people put a positive spin on their blog content or facebook updates?) to a certain extent, it's necessary to maintain readers. after all - nobody likes a debbie downer. but at the same time, it leaves me (and i'm gonna make a massive generalization here and expand it to 'us') sometimes feeling inadequate. we start comparing ourselves to everyone else, based on what we see and read.

and this, i think, is absolute crap. i find that my favourite blogs to read are ones that, while including great creative content of all shapes and sizes, also includes posts about their lives, including some of the less glossy-magazine-page type of content.

and so, instead of featuring the traditional question/answer feature interviews, i'd like to delve a bit deeper into those things that helped make you the way you are. it doesn't have to involve a tragic or earth-moving incident of some sort. big or small, simple or otherwise. heck - it could just be about how your love of gardening helps keep you grounded when you're stressed. whatever. i'd love to feature some of that kind of information about the oh-so-talented bloggers and artists and other types of awesome peeps out there.

in short: everyone has a story. what's yours?

email me (notice my new lil email link in the left column!) and let's talk.


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