new shop + around town

i just came across the most awesome lil shop via modish - the found paper company. the retro-chic stuff featured in the shop is just too awesome for words - be sure to check out the shop as well as the blog!

today - although i'm on vacation, arianne and i are heading back onto campus for her first-year enrolment appointment. she's starting her undergrad degree in kinesiology in september and her schedule is shaping up to be super interesting (albeit busy). (uh, taking yoga and ballroom dance as part of your degree?! heck yeah!) after that, we're gonna go out for lunch and then there's that blue jays game with our student staff.

i could most definitely do with a few more days like this.


au naturel

well, c'est tout - i'm back from my retreat and am now taking a few days off before the orientation insanity starts. typically, we're booked solid from this point onwards until early september, so i make it a priority to be sure that i'm all rested up while i can - cause from here on in, it's go-go-go. awesome.

while i was technically working throughout the retreat, i was sure to get out early a few mornings to snap a few pics of the lake and grounds before they were abuzz with other visitors. of the shots i took, these four are my favourite - i love the way that the grounds were well-kept but were still rustic enough to not feel resort-y. don't get me wrong - i like resorts, but there's just something about the natural landscape that makes me feel totally relaxed and rejuvenated.

not to mention, the weather absolutely kicked ass.

today: the rain will give me the chance to get some cleaning and organizing done inside. tomorrow night, we're going to see the blue jays play against the tampa bay rays with our student staff but other than that - it's an open week. we can fill it up doing pretty much whatever we feel like.

hello, open road! suh-weet.


je lis

gorgeous, gorgeous day once again.

yesterday was fantastic; i powered through my to-do list and then mike and i sat and caught up on some reading on his balcony. (him, a comic book; me, i'm finishing up getting to maybe. more on that later.) i've decided that before i buy more books, i should finish up on the books that i've accumulated and haven't read yet. getting to maybe is step one on this list; next up is raj patel's stuffed and starved, and then jennifer weiner's in her shoes. (i lovelovelove the movie which means the book will likely be devoured within four days.)

today: more to-do list stuff at work; the retreat starts tomorrow and goes to friday so i'll be away 'til then (with a new post likely to be seen on friday evening - chock full of photos and thoughts, ideas and inspirations.)

this evening: laundry and packing, and then likely more reading. there's so many good ideas and great quotes - i can't put it down!

image via two ellie


relaxed + refreshed

monday! you are so shiny and vibrant and full of potential for the week!


so - i had an absolutely fantastic weekend. slept in on saturday, got some errands done, baked a luscious lemon meringue pie and - despite the rainy weather - a great evening with some bbq'ed gourmet burgers, some good friends and good wine.

sunday was absolutely gorgeous - i went up to my dad's place and sat out in the sunshine all day with jess, christian and jose. jess' lil tummy is getting bigger - her baby is apparently the size of a small melon and i actually felt a limb of some sort the other day. (how crazy is that?!) we're referring to him as a 'he' by default, if for no other reason than the fact that we're all getting boy vibes.

anyhow, we sat around, played cards, swung in the hammock, and did all of the things you're supposed to be doing on a sunny sunday in june. perfection.

this week: i'm off and running (again) on wednesday - we're running a training retreat for our newly-elected college council presidents so that they can know everything they need to know to have a rockin' year. we're going up north to a YMCA location and are gonna spend some time getting to know each other (and, provided the thunderstorms they're calling for on thursday don't happen), i'll get a chance to learn me some kayaking. i'm totally stoked - other than the thunder on thursday, it's shaping up to be a week of gorgeous weather spent outside the office. suh-weet.

today's summery image via delight by design


welcome back to me!

what? what's that you say? after almost a full week of silence, who's this i see in my google reader?

is it courtney? is she back and posting again?

goodness, going away on a four-day conference really takes a lot out of a girl. it was my first conference ever as a non-contract student affairs professional (excluding the one for orientation directors that i went to last year, because i was on a contract at that point) and it was a great time. i'll definitely go again next year. suh-weet. (er - that is, so long as there's money for it in the budget.)

anyhow, good times. let's play catch up now.

biggest news: last weekend, i went garage saling and found a treasure of epic proportions. you may be aware of my mild obsession with typewriters. as great as computers are, they just dont have the architectural and sculptural beauty that an old school typewriter has. i'm naturally drawn to typewriters in all kinds of art - gocco prints, paintings, and photos.

and so you can imagine my supreme excitement when, driving around in stouffville looking for treasures, we passed a garage sale with a dust-covered typewriter shining with what seemed to be an otherworldly glow.

(ok, it wasn't shining. it was pretty covered in dust and a few dead leaves. but it was an old school underwood with all of the keys intact, and the first i've come across at a garage sale, which is pretty sweet nonetheless.)

either way, i threw the car into park (sorry, mike), and played it cool. oh, awesome typewriter? yeah, i guess i could use one. i guess. shrug.

i hovered over it until the other dude eyeing it left and then i asked the lady how much she wanted for it. she looked completely flabbergasted. for a minute i thought she was going to ask an extravagant price that would break my heart.

"four?" she says.

four? i think - as in, four... ty? four... hundred? i know sometimes these collector types will drop the 'thousand' off of the end of the price to be sneaky. did she look sneaky to me? shifty-eyed, perhaps? i decided to push my luck.

"how about two?"

she shrugged and said sure. dumbfounded, i handed her a toonie and tried to avoid giving mike the thumbs-up with a huge smile to signal that i'd sealed the deal. as i'd picked up the typewriter (and almost broke my back in the process since it's got a heavy iron frame), i felt like the lady from the ikea commercials who, when she's leaving the store, starts screaming to her hubby, "start the car! start the caaaaaaar!" lest the store realize it's foolishness in selling her something at such an incredible price.

check out my victory shot here.

yeah, i rock. i'll be sure to do a before/after once it's cleaned up.


pick 3. spend 50.

ladies and gentlemen, if you'd be so kind to direct your attention to your right and scroll down a little bit, you'll notice a spiffy new badge for a fantastic initiative called the 3/50 project.

i can't remember who's blog i'd initially seen the badge on, but i really liked the tagline so i clicked through and found this kickin project that i just had to share. (being pretty big on locally sourced foods and materials, i quickly sponged up all of the information on the website and now feel the need to pass the word on to you.)

the 3/50 project's primary goal is to redirect a portion of your daily spending to locally owned businesses. according to their site, for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $60 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and and other expenditures. spend $100 in a national chain, and only $43 stays here. spend it online, and nothing comes home.

it all began with a post on cinda baxter’s alwaysupward.com blog. five days later, she threw together a flyer. a week later, a website. once the site went live, things got interesting—in its first week, more than 6,600 “absolute unique visitors” found their way to it's online home (7,600+ if you count repeat visits).

needless to say, the project has since picked up momentum and has gained it's fair share of media exposure.

i won't spoil all the fun, but i will recommend that you check out the site to find out ways that you can support the project - even if it is just by making a few small changes to where you shop, and adding that sweet lil badge to your blog's sidebar.


not a drop to drink

erin posted about this awesome documentary and i just had to share it.

this one's another one i've been wanting to see for a while.

i'm a documentary fanatic, so please - if you've come across any recently (or not so recently!) that you'd recommend, please please let me know!


attempting a re-connect

oh, wow. wednesday? can it be true?

i still don't have my wireless connection at home or at mike's, which makes getting any work on my laptop done next to impossible. (whatever did we do before there was an internet?!) it's looking more and more like i'm going to have to buy a new router. crap.

the busy week continues: i'm going to waterloo for a conference for student affairs professionals next sunday, which i'm so completely looking forward to ... i love waterloo. more specifically, i love st jacobs, which is a teensy town just outside of waterloo. it's got farmers markets and amish and all sorts of handmade goods and food which, of course, totally makes me day.

(not to mention, it's also got one of the coolest salvaged stuff stores known to man, artefacts.)

what's more, is that it's finally looking like it's going to start warming up here with some actual sunshine (woot!). rock on, weather. rock freakin on.

and some good good news: come november, this particular lil blogger is gonna be an aunt for the first time ever! as of november 21st, i'm now going to have even more reasons to buy that super-cute baby stuff on etsy. (and just in time for christmas!)

that's about it for me. how's your week going?

photo by me


happy monday!

hello you big beautiful world!

i'm back and the conference is finito. i've still got quite the to-do list but i always find that running events takes the biggest chunk out of my time, energy and attention span. it ran super-smoothly and had great feedback and
generated some fantastic ideas , so i consider it to be a success. high five!

i have a lil bit of exciting news for today - a lil while ago, marta had asked me to be part of her blog panel on beauty, and i was more than honoured to accept! be sure to check out all of my expert (ha!) advice, along with the answers from the other awesome panelists here.

for now, i have to get to writing a few reports and articles, but a bit of bloggy love before i go:

holly from decor8 loves canadian house and home, and so do i.
some kickin photos over at please sir (love that airstream!)
i'm loving blair's schoolroom design obsession

how was your weekend? i've missed you guys!

images above via decor8, via H&H



is it seriously only wednesday?

things have most definitely continued to pick up speed this week at work, and to make matters worse, i can't stop sneezing. allergies most definitely are a buzzkill when you're busy.

belated weekend recap: garage sale success! i found an awesome solid wood side table and paid $15 for it. it's a bit scratched up and needs a lil bit of love right now, but it's got some kick-ass shape to it and i can't wait to get it pretty again.

my to-do list just keeps on growing. i won't be posting this friday because i'm running a conference on friday/saturday (and, consequently, missing the annual community street sale to end all street sales) and i won't have a chance to get at a computer, but i'll try to get a post up on sunday, if i'm not dead asleep by then.

i need to get outside and enjoy some june!

perfectly themed print by vol 25


jennifer's story

my typical monday weekend update has been pushed back 'til tomorrow, because i have the pleasure of posting another story for the series.

i came across jennifer's blog when kal linked her for purchasing one of her pieces of tiny art. upon first visit, i gobbled it all up. even though she's got a few other projects goin on in her busy life right now that keep her from posting regularly, there's more than enough great stories and old posts to keep a girl busy for a good long while. she's a super talented writer with a kickin sense of humour, and is the epitome of bloggy crush.

without further adieu - jennifer's story.
When I was thinking about what story I wanted to share with you, it suddenly occurred to me that this year marks a significant anniversary for me: ten years ago, I chopped off my hair.

Before the cut, my hair was coarse and thick, with a barely perceptible wave, and hung several inches past my shoulders. It had been more or less the same my whole life, with slight variations – a rolled-under-bangs phase in high school, a spiral perm in college, and a big, loose curls period that required a thick-barreled extra-hot curling iron. I was tired of spending hours trying to get it just right, tired of pulling it into a ponytail out of frustration, tired of all the products and gadgets that cluttered my bathroom counter.

And so, one sunny morning in early summer, I marched into a salon in Los Gatos, California, and asked a stylist to cut it off.

“How short to you want it?” she asked.

“Really short,” I replied. “Like an inch or two long.”

She wasn’t convinced. “How about if we start with a few inches, and see how you feel,” she said.

“Okay,” I smiled, “but I’ve made up my mind.”

Her scissor blades made thick slicing sounds as chunks of my hair fell to the floor. A few stray pieces floated in the air and stuck to my lip gloss. I glanced down; three inches of mousy brown hair lay at my feet.

The stylist hovered over me. “Are you okay?” she said, biting her lip.

“Yes,” I laughed. “Keep going.”

She snipped the next three inches. More stray hairs clung to my lips, and now I had a bob. I could have asked the stylist to stop and curl it into a pageboy, but: I could feel a breeze tickle the back of my neck.

“More,” I said, in response to her question.

Finally, when most of my hair was scattered on the floor around my feet, I ran my fingers through the short tufts that remained; I shook my head, amazed at how light my neck felt. When I stood up to brush the last bit of hair off of my cape, everyone in the salon cheered.

I didn’t walk out of the salon that afternoon – I floated. I felt free, strong, invincible. Is this what boys wake up feeling like every day? I wondered. How have they kept this a secret all these years?

Ten years later, I’m still wearing my hair in the same boyish style. Sometimes I look at women with gorgeous long hair – sleek and straight, lustrous and wavy, or shiny and curly – and I feel a pang of envy. Then I remember all the things I love about this cut: I don’t own a comb. Or a blow dryer. It takes me all of five minutes to get my hair “walk out the door” ready. I can’t imagine going back to the wash/dry/style/fuss routine.

But most of all, I keep my hair short because of this: every five or six weeks, when I walk out of the swanky San Francisco salon where I go to get it trimmed, I feel that same sense of freedom and invincibility that I felt that first day I got my hair cut. I wish I could bottle that sensation and bathe in it every day.

Though I have been thinking that it might be fun to get a wig… just for fun. Every decade or so, a girl should shake it up. Don’t you think?

everybody has a story. i'd love for you to tell me yours. if you have something to share, email me and let's talk!


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