linky love + weekend!

goodness! i'm so incredibly glad it's friday. i need to find myself a place like this to curl up and unwind. possibly with a good book (from my booklist!) and a good glass of wine.

(canadian bookworms, if you haven't heard, stores affiliated with chapters/indigo are having double discount day for irewards members. 20% off cover price of everything? i haven't had discounts like that since i worked there! sweeeeeet.)

late post today; it's been a busy week of wrap-ups and new beginnings. my internet connection at home got fixed (turns out you need to re-set routers once in a while to keep them from getting out of line!) but then the power flickered and my wireless connection was MIA once again. so much for getting work done at home!

however, in the brief window of time that i had to kick back and read some blogs, i managed to get quite a bit of catch up and commenting done (i do try to comment on a regular basis but sadly, i become a lurker when i'm tight for time!) and let me tell you - it's like visiting friends that i haven't seen in a while.

i've included a few links that i love below - check em out cause they rock!
oh weekend, i'm so glad you're here.

image via taylor, via black eiffel

assume hope

i love this poem. i came across it yesterday while looking through my older posts, and since it's one of my absolute favourite poems ever, i wanted to share it again with my newer readers.

for those of you who've seen it already - it's worth the re-read!

yes, a dandelion
because they are the flower
of wishes. you blow that ball
of seeds and the wind carries them to the one
assigned to grant or reject
and it's a good thing
that it's the dandelions
who have this power
because they are tough
and sometimes you have to be tough
to even remember
that you have any desires left at all,
to believe that only one
could be satisfied, would not turn
to an example of
"be careful what you wish for,
it might come true"
maybe that's exactly why
there are so many of them --
the universe gives us extra chances
to keep dreaming
each one an uprising,
a burst of colour
in the cracks of our hearts
at an unexpected time,
in an unexpected place.

by Ellie Schoenfeld; exerpted from Getting to Maybe : How the World is Changed by Frances Westley,
Brenda Zimmerman and Michael Quinn Patton

image via urban design


feeling a bit bookish

i was going through a few of my old posts and found this one from last may, and it's astounding really how many of them i haven't gotten to yet. given that i've just received a promo email from chapters for 20% off all of their books in-store, i felt it was high time to review and re-prioritize my list.

here we go!

all things slow:
01. beyond 9 to 5: your life in time by sarah norgate
02. the age of speed: learning how to thrive in a more-faster-now world by vince poscente {yes, i know this seems interesting given my slow living penchant, but i like to know what's going on in The Other Camp if for no other reason than for informational purposes}

i haven't read either of these books, but they're sort of at the bottom of my list in terms of priorities so it's a-ok.

new on the list (and a bit higher up, too) is under pressure: putting the child back in childhood, carl honore's newest book. if you loved in praise of slow, this one looks to be a promising extension of slow living to the parenting world.

green, green, and green. (and a bit slow too):
03. the world without us by alan weisman
04. deep economy: the wealth of communities and the durable future by bill mckibben
05. cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things by william mcdonough & michael braungart
06. building the green economy: success stories from the grassroots by kevin danaher

again, it seems i had high aspirations last year. i haven't read any of them, but deep economy is sitting on my bookshelf, waiting patiently for it's turn. (don't worry lil guy, i'll get to you soon enough!) the others are still definitely on the list.

this year, i've added michael pollan's new(ish) books, the botany of desire and second nature: a gardener's education.

for pensive digestion:
07. the omnivore's dilemma by michael pollan
08. in defense of food by michael pollan

09. stuffed and starved by raj patel.

i read both of the pollan books; love love loved them. they're most definitely worth the hype (and so, so informative!) i'd received stuffed and starved for my birthday last october, and now that i'm done in defense of food, it's next on my hit list.

10. little cakes from the whimsical bakehouse by kaye & liv hansen
11. barefoot contessa at home by ina garten

i received little cakes for christmas; it's every bit as sweet as it looks. haven't had the time to try out any recipes but it's still very pretty. i have boatloads of wish-list cookbooks to add but don't want to overwhelm my list (or myself!). that's for another day.

everybody needs a little fiction in their lives:
12. in her shoes by jennifer weiner
13. the birth of venus by sarah dunant

jess bought me in her shoes for christmas last year - it's waiting patiently on my shelf. i'm saving that one for some vacation reading. last summer i devoured philippa gregory's the other boleyn girl
by the poolside on vacation, and plan to do just the same this summer with this book.

tell me - what's your favourite book? what's on your to-read list this summer?


thoughtfully, thoughtfully

i love this quote.

think about it for a little bit. marinate in it. what would you do?


weekend wrap-up

hello monday!

this weekend was so incredibly lovely, i'm surprised that i didn't get sunburned. i got up super early on saturday to hit up some garage sales (my alarm went off at 6:30am, but i'd actually woken up twice before that because i was so excited for my first non-rainy garage-saleing day of the year). we grabbed a coffee and headed off in search for some great discoveries.

no spectacularly great finds were found this weekend, however. we did have a chance to meet a sweet old lady named kelly and her husband who were hosting a sale, so we stood and chatted with them about real estate and how lovely the trees were in their neighbourhood for a good twenty minutes. after that, we made a trip to the stouffville flea market where i bought some hand sanitizer. (yeah. i know. par-tay!) it smelled better than the one i was currently using, and the bottle was smaller so i can carry it around in my bag. 24/7 sanitization.

i now laugh in the face of swine flu. (bring it!)

sunday was spent pulling weeds from our veggie garden. it's not quite as cool (or big!) as the one in the photo above (which i used only because a shot of a veggie garden without any veggies is just a shot of dirt, which isn't particularly interesting, even if you get all spiritual about it and call it soil or earth). i'll be sure to post a shot when it's a bit more ... populated. this year's crop : tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, snow peas and string beans. oh my!

for now, though, i've dedicated whatever spare time i can come up with today to catching up with blog reading.

how was your weekend? are there any riveting must-read posts that i've missed?
leave the link!

photo via deirdre


flat-footed friday, found, plus three

oh hello friday! you rock so unbelievably hard. you're pretty much my favourite day of the week.

to celebrate, i'm wearing flat shoes today. for those of you who follow me on twitter, you'll already know that i didn't even make it to noon in my high wedges - those babies came off at about 9:30am. i put them under my desk and was sure to show anyone who complimented my flats what i started out the day wearing, just to be sure that both pairs got equal amounts of attention and love. i'd say i'm going to wear them this weekend but with all of the garage-saleing that i have planned for 7 AM, it's likely not a good idea.

crippling myself would definitely not be conducive to getting the best deals on all the awesome finds that will be lying in wait. nope.

it's scheduled to be a pretty decent weekend (not as sunshiney as yesterday but hey - my toes have seen the light of day and there's no turning back now) so i'm not going to complain. so long as it doesn't rain, i'm a happy camper.

speaking of happy, guess who found her camera in a ridiculously obvious place that i'm pretty sure i'd already checked? yeah. feels kind of silly that i'd overlooked it, yet awesome that i have my trusty sidekick back with me. i carry that thing everywhere and i can't even begin to tell you the number of times over the past few days that i've missed great photo ops because it wasn't in my bag.

but no more. i'm blister-free with camera in hand + ready for some secondhand finds. let the weekend adventure begin!

also - three awesome blogs that i'd recommend you discover today:
  1. simple lovely - cause the name says it all. the colours, the mood, the tone. simple and beautiful.
  2. two ellie - cause it always makes me happy. paula always seems to find a fantastic combination of things i love - or that i don't know i love yet, but fall very quickly. how does she do it?
  3. haus maus - the personal blog of holly from decor8. if you read decor8 and haven't checked it out yet, run - don't walk. actually, check it out even if you don't read decor8. it won't take you long to get hooked.



i love shoes.

so much so, in fact, that i'm wearing a pair today that are completely going to beat up my feet. and i knew it when i slipped them on for the first time this morning, but they were too cute to wait around until they got broken in.

the culprits? the black wedges on the middle left. except they're teal, and they're peep toe, and they're beautiful. i bought them when i was in buffalo last weekend (along with the brown slingbacks on the top right). they match my bracelets perfectly, and for today, our very first thirty-degree sunny day, they had to be worn. i really didn't have much of a choice.

(except for the fact that i did, and i ignored it.)

good thing i brought a cute lil pair of strappy (flat!) backups. would anyone care to take bets to see if i can make it til noon?

all of the above shoes are either recent acquisitions of mine, or are near the top of my hit list.
starting with those turquoise flats (bottom right) and then the ivory sandals (bottom left).
the bunch of them can be found at
aldo , clarks, and payless.


holy moly

hello wednesday - could it be true? is that really you?

(how on earth did it get to be wednesday so soon?!)

things continue to be nonstop here. am gonna get a more quality blog post up tonight.

in the meanwhile, a few things i've been up to:
  • arianne dyed my hair last night but it doesn't quite show as much as i'd hoped. will re-attempt again soon.
  • am looking at the ikea + martha websites for small-space shelving ideas for jess' closet. it's ridiculously tiny but i want to maximize the space without it looking jam-packed. do any of you oh-so-creative souls have any recommendations of where to look for affordable storage + shelving ideas for a teensy closet? (recommendations are appreciated!)
  • didn't get a chance to get any drawing done the other night because my internet connection was still down. am going to have to look into that asap.
  • i haven't had a chance to shred nor get out for a run since last friday. eesh. note to self: get on that. as in, tonight.
  • another thing on my to-do list is catch up on blog reading. i find that when things get busy, i fall so far behind and then feel out of the loop with all of my daily reads. i miss you guys!
what's going on in your world today?


hullo, hullo!

goodness, i went MIA for a few days!

as i've been mentioning a few times earlier last week, work has been slowly-but-surely ramping up to super-busy and no matter how i tried, i just couldn't grab myself a spare moment to post.

which is ok. because i've had a great long weekend of relaxing and refreshing and road-tripping to target (and some outlet shopping) in buffalo with both sisters, jose, and my mom. it proved to be a highly successful mission, resulting in three new pairs of summer shoes and a sweet coral purse for me, as well as some new clothing for everyone else. on the way back into canada, we stopped in for a visit and pizza with jason, margaret and hannah (who has just lost both of her front teeth!)

yesterday was finally spent getting some work done around the house - i started prepping and painting jess' closet in a sweet sweet shade of pink called lovable. it's gonna look fantastic with her new floor and wall colour, and once we get some fresh white shelves in there it's gonna be great. before and after pics will ensure, i promise!

speaking of pics, i've managed to misplace my camera. (crap!) which is a real kicker because i've been wanting to get some new drawings done. i'd found a few new lil houses that i wanted to paint but my reference photos were still saved on the memory card, so i'll have to find something else to draw. after that, mike and i are going out for an early dinner at our favourite restaurant in unionville, which i believe is slowly becoming a victoria day tradition.

how was your weekend?


early to rise

getting up super early in the morning to work out is proving to be more enjoyable than i'd thought.

my alarm goes off at 5:25 AM and i roll out of bed right with a few moans and groans. groggy, i stumble into the washroom to splash some water on my face and brush my teeth. my hair gets pulled back in a ponytail and i pull on my workout gear. (read: lululemon pants and a t-shirt made out some space age breathable stay-dry material. i bought it because i liked the design on the front; it says 'run' in many different languages. awesome.)

i go downstairs and tie on my running shoes, which are slowly getting a little more broken in. then comes my favourite part.

outside, the air is still fresh, dew clinging to the grass. the early birds are busy getting their worms, and are boasting proudly to boot. i start off with a brisk walk, eventually breaking into a slow jog. the road is a little wet - maybe it rained last night? most other people on my street are just barely waking up; there are even fewer getting into their cars. it's just me and my avian buddies, watching the sun come up.

the morning sky is gorgeous - it's all muted shades of pink and purple. it often reminds me of sunset, but holding more energy and promise for the day to come.

my running time is a little slice of me-time, slipped in before anyone else awake. it's my quiet time. my slow time. the best part is, i don't really notice the lungs-exploding feeling as much as i thought i would.

yeah, i'm starting to like this running thing.

(what lil things do you do in the morning to set yourself up for a good day?)

image by jaredks


quiet post

am loving this shot today. the colours, the feeling, the texture. fantabulous.

am also loving my raspberry fig newtons. mm.

busy day today. back tomorrow.

photo by nika fadul


the new normal

i've been meaning to pass this post on for a lil while now - i came across the most beautiful post on simple lovely last month and bookmarked it; it was only yesterday while i was going through my bookmarks that it refreshed my memory and intentions. i'm just going to go ahead and quote it because i think she captures the notion absolutely.

joslyn says:
"I loved this piece entitled “The New Normal” from Tuesday’s All Things Considered... I've been thinking a lot about the idea of recalibrating our lives due to the economic situation and what specifically that means for my family (beyond the spending hiatus.) Call me an optimist, but I'm convinced that this period of re-thinking how we live, dialing back and becoming more mindful (whether forced or voluntary) will absolutely change our lives for the better.

My favorite line from the piece is the prediction that we will "drive smaller cars and live larger lives."

Larger lives…I like that."
sometimes i think, despite all of the hardships and job loss that this recession has caused, that a careful analysis and re-calibration of one's life is always beneficial and - provided that people actually stick with their resolutions - better for them in the long run.

take a moment today and read through the comments in both simple lovely and npr - i think that a lot of them tie in with the story of stuff so very well.

smaller cars and larger lives... i'll most definitely second that motion.

photos via victoria pearson


get ready, get set...

hello world!

this weekend was pretty good - lost a bit of momentum with the to-do list but we did get to check out the new star trek movie which was actually really good. i'm not much of a star trek fan to begin with, but i really enjoyed it.

i got tagged by julia on friday and so without further adieu...

1. My current obsession
: in case you haven't noticed, current obsessions include painting, maxi dresses, and all things yellow. specifically, yellow shoes. (i'm still hunting for a pair!)

2. One item from my wardrobe I wear most often: my wide leg jeans from RW & Co. they're the most comfy jeans i've ever worn in my life. ever. (and they never lose their shape, unlike their counterparts from american eagle!)

3. The last thing I bought: does my morning coffee count? if not, then it'd have to be a bunch of sweet lil tops for my sister jess from h&m. arianne and i were commissioned yesterday as her personal shopper and it was a-ok with us.

4. I’m listening to: mayonaise by the smashing pumpkins - i came across it while listening to accuradio.com's alternative 90's subchannel. they always play the music that i love but have forgotten about over the years. (and no, i'm not their spokesperson or anything - i genuinely love that site. it's the only online radio i listen to.)

5. Any Pets? Why or why not? there's always my brother, but the jury's still out as to whether or not he's housebroken. (i kid! i kid! i love that guy.) most of my fam is allergic to a ton of animals. as for the few species that we're not allergic to, we've already had as pets and they've either flown away (our blue budgie) or they've eaten each other (uh, yeah. mice apparently do that). that's another story for another time.

6. My favorite holiday spot: last summer's trip to mont tremblant was pretty fantastic, but so was our quick weekend away to port elgin and southampton. it's pretty much a toss-up, but the latter was cheaper and closer and that probably makes it the winner.

7. 4 words to describe me: quirky, optimistic, caring and gut-bustingly hilarious. (ha!)

8. Guilty Pleasure: playing the sims 2. i freakin love that game and could (and have) played it for 8 full hours. my siblings and i actually all play it and then discuss the characters and families like they're normal people that we know. over dinner.

9. The best thing I’ve had to eat or drink lately: i haven't had it lately, but hands down my favourite meal is oven-baked garlic cheese shrimp and nachos with salsa, steak fajitas and a light beer with a lime wedge from the lone star texas grill.

10. Favorite film: sliding doors and in her shoes

11. Favorite song: super hard to answer, so i'm going to give you four that i can listen to on repeat for days on end. my ipod's dead this morning so i'm going to guess from off the top of my head. in no particular order:
  • motorcycle drive-by by third eye blind (from their debut album - it's actually really awesome despite their supposed one-hit-wonder status)
  • hide and seek by imogen heap (dear, dear god. she's so awesome.)
  • the artist in the ambulance by thrice.
  • 9 crimes by damien rice
12. Favorite Flower: i'm an equal-opportunity kind of girl, so it really depends on the time of year. i'll say either hyacinth or daffodils for now, though.

13. Who makes me laugh: any of my siblings, cause they're off-the wall like me.

15. First sign of spring: jewels, you said the smell was worms... i always thought it was an earthy soil smell!

new peeps to tag: quaint handmade, heart of light, and summer harms

happy monday!


early bird

i'm in a really good mood today. i went to the mall last night and found a super cute maxi dress at h&m (arianne handed it to me as a joke cause she thinks they're ugly, but i tried it on anyhow and to her surprise - and mine - it was really cute!), and i also found a sweet lil polka-dot dress that i'm going to have to pick up too. i'm big into the polka dots lately.

i got up super early this morning and did a lil bit of shredding, except i had to stop when we got to the cardio because my brother's friend (who lives in the basement) likely wouldn't appreciate being woken up at 5:30 am to me doing jumping jacks over his bedroom. i still had 15 minutes left before i had to get ready for work, so i went for a (very quick) impromptu run. awesome. so far, so good. it was fantastic weather - i'm really enjoying having the sun up at 6am nowadays.

it's set the tone for my day, and i plan on continuing it throughout the weekend. not quite sure what i'm doing yet, but i'm sure it'll involve some garage sale-ing, some celebrating my mom, meeting up with aunts and cousins for some girlie time, some seeing star trek with mike, some running, and some spending some time outside. awesome.

what about you?


dresses to the max(i)

ever have one of those days where you have a brilliant idea for a blog post but when you're reading through blogs first thing in the morning, someone else has taken the words right out of your mouth?

yeah. that's me today. it's not entirely surprising though, because emily always has great taste and fantastic style and knows lil tips and tricks to make things work that other people may not even consider. i dare you to not love her finds. and not get addicted to her blog. (yeah, it's a whole boatload of awesome.)

although i thought they looked somewhat silly at first (read: i couldn't pull them off and thus held a grudge), maxi dresses are starting to grow on me. i see them more and more and can't help but wonder if i was too hasty with my original judgement?

i have a daydream of wearing one at my cottage... lounging around on a hammock in the sun, reading a good book with my oh-so-stylin sandals kicked off into the grass.

yeah. maybe i'll give them a second chance after all.

be sure to have a look at emily's original post about them over at cupcakes and cashmere!

other links i'm lovin today:
what blogs and links are you loving today? now that i'm moderately caught up on my blog reads, it's time to add some new ones to my list!

stuff and more stuff

alright, tuesday. you listen and listen good. monday was a super productive day, and you're gonna follow suit whether you like it or not.

yesterday i went for another "run" - except this time i'm a lil more confident saying it was a run because i actually ran. yeah. woot! and it felt good. my legs are a lil achy, but in the good-girl-you've-been-productive way. gonna do it again tonight.

(yeah, i knew this stuff would quickly get addictive!)

i didn't get around to picking up the shredding DVD because my cousin paige and her son liam were coming over for dinner, so i scrapped my original plans and went to the grocery store instead to pick up some chicken and veggies to barbecue. (i love barbecued veggies. barbecued anything, really. i'd barbecue all year round if it wasn't frigid for 7 months of the year.) we got some catch-up time, which was awesome cause you can never really get too much of it.

i've been trying to be more aware of how much i consume, so last night i found some time to try on all of my pairs of work pants to see which ones still fit, which ones need a visit to the tailor and which ones i can give to goodwill. i've been fighting the urge to buy yet another pair of work pants to add to the already good-sized section of variations of black, grey, brown and khaki in my closet, and figured that doing this would help suppress that urge. i kept most of them since i plan on fitting into them within the next two months, but i brought a few pairs with me to drop off at the tailors this evening. with a lil TLC, they'll be as good as new (and i won't have to spend as much money for new pants plus i'll be saving myself some closet space!)

speaking of consciously attempting to not spend money, i was sent the link for the story of stuff the other day by one of my colleagues and think it's absolutely fantastic. you need to check it out - it's very informative and very well done.

today: after work, i'm gonna catch up on my blog reading, which i've been sorely behind on this week. i'm gonna pick up my new glasses and sunglasses (woo! new frames!) and i'm gonna run again. round it all out with a trip to the post office to mail out clip sets to the giveaway winners and we'll be all set.

shyeah. it's gonna be awesome.


a confession and a to-do

i heart photos. i especially heart not having to sift through tons of photos i'm not really looking for or interested in, in order to find shots that i want. it's for this reason that i'm outting myself as a flickr creeper. i creep your photostream and your favourites and add them to my own. some of my current favourite haunts are elise's photostream (well, how could you blame me? her blog's a freakin work of art in and of itself!) and jennifer's too. love love.

tell me (and for goodness' sake, save me hours of aimless wandering through flickr uploads) - what are your some of your faves?

oh, and an update to my to-do list: i went running last night. it wasn't so much running as mostly walking quickly, but i did run a little bit. and by a little bit, i mean across the street and then up to the next stop sign (which really wasn't all that far at all). but it's a start. i speedy-walked and my lungs didn't explode, which was pretty sweet. i'm not even aching today (which i'm starting to think is a sure sign that i really didn't push myself yesterday, which i kind of already knew anyways).

so - tonight - i'm going to run again. and i'm going to actually aim for half a block, maybe with a few stops to lay down and die along the way. but it's gonna be great. it is. really.

in the meanwhile, i'm strongly considering buying this workout video because there's a whole bunch of comments on kal's blog saying that it's a pretty awesome workout. and it's 2o mins of shredding. shredding. come on - could it get any cooler?

1. Toolshed at the Secret Garden {64.365}, 2. Mission Street Lightscape 8:20 pm {22.365}, 3. Hooded Man Beside Road, 4. Full S-T-O-P {49.365}, 5. Esther, red hallway, Seattle Library, 6. starlings, 7. Where the Sidewalk Ends, 8. ...and they all lived happily ever after. `, 9. day three o nine. leave me be., 10. day three o seven. add color to my sunset sky., 11. Untitled, 12. tropical punch and orange, 13. the line-up at the singles bar., 14. Untitled, 15. Untitled, 16. seckel pear and hazelnut frangipane tart, 17. and the morning light fell into my tea..., 18. teacups, 19. 1958 Italian tea cups, 20. teal + orange, 21. The Current Stack, 22. [028] moleskines galore!, 23. Fifteen accounts of life, death, and everything that interferes., 24. book 2, 25. ...An opened book..., 26. llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam - HDR, 27. Untitled, 28. Untitled, 29. Birds, 30. egg & nest, 31. Pussy Willows, 32. Watering cans, 33. Watering-cans in two rows, 34. Watering Cans, 35. Watering Can, 36. The blue watering can


and the winner is...

good morning, good morning, good morning!

this particular monday is shaping up to be a pretty sweet one. not for any particular reason, either; just bright and sunny with that just-right morning temperature; the leaves are starting to pop out in their bright bursts of green, the robins are hopping all over the place, and the coffee i got was darn-near perfection (even though it wasn't my regular hazelnut cream - they were all out so i got french vanilla instead. am considering a switch.)

i'd like to announce the winners from my spring giveaway - the random number generator chose comment numba ten, which was the lovely marta. but of course, all of your tips were absolutely awesome so i decided i want to give away two more sets of clips, the winners of which were polly jones and rachel. sweet! ladies, i'll be emailing you shortly to get your colour choices.

this weekend: i spent saturday working, doing some training for a kick-ass team of students that help run an equally kick-ass program at the university. on sunday, mike and i went on a mini driving adventure and found a local organic farm that makes me very, very happy. they looked like they were in the middle of building a roadside shop to sell their stuff, which makes me even happier. i spent the rest of the day learning some sweet new photoshop tricks (that i'm sure are passé to all you graphic designers out there), but got sidetracked and never got around to putting up a sunday post. oops.

(oh well, at least i have the above two crinkly-paper images to show off the winners' original comments, right?) and can i get a woot for the pen tool and new brushes!?

today i'm gonna give my to-do list a swift kick in the rear (and then likely start a new one, which honest-to-goodness is cool with me).

huzzah! how was your weekend?


oh, how i heart

so, yesterday was a designerly day - it only seems fit that today's a day to let out the inner fashionista.

i like to think that if i were to choose an outfit that i felt most represents me and my style, this would be one would be very close. i love comfortable, classic clothes mixed with bright colours and different textures. one of my fa-fa-favourite things is this wooden clutch by stella mccartney. fantastique! the combination of neutral colours, white, with bursts of bright is reminiscent of the boardwalk on a gorgeously sunny summer day.

because it's a comfortable yet not sloppy it'd also be the perfect outfit for going garage-saleing; which, by the way, i'm not able to do yet because it's supposed to be chilly and wet all weekend. (boo!) i'm sure i can find some other things to fill my time. like painting and organizing closets, and making a custom set of pretty clips for the winner of my giveaway! (did you enter it yet? the deadline's tonight!)

what are you doing this weekend?


Related Posts with Thumbnails