for all those who had to bundle up..

i think everyone had to deal with the characteristic snowsuit-under-halloween costume deal, unless you lived somewhere warm. this, however, is one of the best accounts of a first halloween that i've seen in a long time.
"... I knew what costumes were. I loved costumes. They wore costumes in the Wizard of Oz. Glenda the Good Witch - now that broad had a costume! I was a reasonable, rational child, mind you. I didn't get my hopes up that high. I knew four year olds were supporting cast, not feature players. I would be satisfied with pretty much anything the chorus girls wore in any of the musicals my mother used to watch on Sunday afternoons. That's along the lines of what I figured a novice Halloweener would be outfitted in. Surely you didn't get feature dancer quality costumes until you were at least five. Fine with me. Anything would be an improvement on the big, brown, uncomfortable snow suit I usually had to wear when we went out ..."
to read more, check out tattytiara's blog.


wading in possibility

'nuff said.

have an awesome weekend, all. xo

image via i can read, which i found on perfect sentiment.


simply sublime

all yesterday, i was thinking about what i should post up next, and the overwhelming feeling was that i needed to get something pretty up there, given the fact that the majority of my blog's main page right now is likely taken up by screen shots of my blogger dashboard.

(and yes, as exciting as that may be, i'm well aware of the need for a change.)

what perfect timing, then, was it when i came home from work & running errands today and decided to read a few blog posts that i came across this one by miss blair at delight by design that had been inspired by the shoes that
paula from two ellie had shot for a wedding.

a job well done, ladies - thanks for the inspiration! xo

today: i've got a few things on the go, including the ever-present paintings that i need to finish up, as well as figuring what the heck i want to do with my recipe book, looking up ideas & inspirations for the pregnancy photos i'm going to take of jess next week, making some thank-you cards for her shower last weekend, and then getting started on some christmas cards as well.

alright thursday. i'm gonna take you down.


how-to number three: blog prettification (part 2)

one of the biggest pet peeves i have about not being fluent in html is the fact that i know what i want out of my blog - i know exactly what i want it to look like, and have very strong opinions about what looks good and what looks ridiculous, and not quite knowing exactly what to do with it (or what the proper terminology is to google in order to find the solution).

and so, one of those nagging little features that bothered me was that, whenever i tried to upload a photo with a link to anything in my sidebar, it would never align the way i wanted it to. that is, it'd be all higglety-pigglety.

and if there's one thing i hate most, it's higglety-piggletyness. i like my images to line up nicely, one after the other.

and so, ladies and jellybeans, i bring you part two in my blog prettification series:

de-higglety-piggletying your sidebar (or more commonly known as adjusting the sidebar justification).

as per usual, go under template > edit html, and scroll to any part of the segment. copy the following code and past it into the template.

/* Sidebar Boxes */

.sidebar img {
border:5px solid #e8baba;

the portion in blue adjusts the position of the image - you can change it to margin-right too, if you'd like. The attribute text-align:center; is tricky since it's not supported in some browsers, so i stayed away from it given the difficulties i had with browser compatibility when i first started blogging. (it sucks to find out that all of the poor firefox users weren't seeing things the way i was while using IE.. i promptly switched over and try to fix any overly problematic old posts as i need to)

while i didn't do this particular part of the coding for my blog, the text in
red is the styling that you can do as an additional option - for example, you can use this if you want the sidebar pictures to be different from the blog post pictures, with a different coloured border.

you can play around with border thickness and colour, if it's what floats your boat - just be sure to do with with the 'preview' button in the template tab rather than by saving the changes and then having to go back and manually revert them one by one if you don't like it.

special thanks goes out to this site for the step-by-step instructions on how to get my sidebars rockin' again.

my next step is to create a navigation bar in blogger - that'll have to be my next research project, and don't you worry - i'll be sure to simplify and share my discoveries here with you too!


how-to number two: blog prettification (part 1)

holla! so this post took me a lot longer than i'd expected it to , but better late than never, right?

my blog has gone through a series of design changes and steps since i started it a year and a half ago, and will continue to be in flux while i figure out everything i need to know about design, html coding and typography in order to make it look just the way i like it. i'll document it all here - but for now, here's how to add or change a background in blogger. (woot!)

step one to this whole process is by far the easiest one ... find an image that you'd like to use. if you know how to use photoshop or illustrator, i just looked up some swatches and patterns that i liked and then did them as a small sample image using the paint bucket, then saved it to my desktop.

however, if you don't know how to use either of these programs, you can always google 'tileable background images/textures/patterns' and find something that suits your fancy. save the image to your computer so that you have your own copy of it, and let's get this show on the road.

for step two, you need to upload your image to the interweb. you can do this using photobucket or flickr, but if you don't have an account with either, you can start a new post in blogger, upload the image as a photo in that draft post, and save it - don't publish it.

while you're still in edit mode, preview your draft post. you should see your image displayed in the preview page. right click this image and view the properties, then click on 'copy image location' in order to copy the photo's url to the clipboard. you'll need this url to paste into the HTML template in the next step. alternatively, if you've uploaded the image with flickr or photobucket, take the same steps with right-clicking and saving the image location.

now you can safely delete this draft. Choose not to delete the image when prompted, otherwise you will be unable to use this url for referencing your background image.

step three is adding the background image to your template code.

to do this, we'll need to edit a small part of your template's html code to add this image to the background. before you do this, go to layout > edit html in your blogger dashboard, and download a copy of your current template for safekeeping.

once your original template is safe and sound on your computer, look for the following lines in the code:

body {
you'll find it near the top, just below the 'variable definitions' section of code.

in order to get the image to show as the background image, we need to paste the url from step two (since it's still copied to the clipboard, right?) into the code, using the following format:
In my demonstration template, the additional code appears like this:

of course, your own url will be different from mine listed up there. just be sure to follow the same format, and make triple sure that the semi-colon (;) appears at the end of the statement. (this is an important step - i forgot it the first few times round and couldn't figure out why the changes weren't reflected in the preview).

now, preview your blog to see the changes. do you like what you see?

sometimes adding a texture or patterned background to your blog makes it tough to read the text - which is pretty counterproductive to redecorating, right? you've uploaded a kick-ass image for your background but nobody can read what you're trying to say. how unfortunate!

the solution to this is to customize the background colour of the main body.

to work with this part of your blog, find this line in your template's HTML code:

#outer-wrapper {

(in some templates, this may be "#outer-wrap" instead). directly below this line, add the following line of code:
background: #ffffff;
this adds a white background to the main content of your blog (which includes both the blog posts and the sidebar). you can easily use a different color if you prefer by changing the hex value for white (#ffffff) to a different hex value instead. you'll need to know the code that corresponds with each colour, but a nifty little firefox add-on that i came across that you can use is colorzilla - it lets you use an eyedropper tool on any website to pull the corresponding colour code. once you have that specific code, you can use it in your template.

i opted to use a plain white background, so the code i used was #fffff, but if you wanted to use a different colour (like light blue), your complete code would look a little something like this:

#outer-wrapper {
background: #E3F2FB;
width: 660px;
margin:0 auto;
font: $bodyfont;

furthermore, if you want to make the foreground stand out even more from the background image, you can add a border to the left and right hand sides of the outer wrapper by adding the line (highlighted in red) to the same section we've been working with, which would make it look like this when you're done:

#outer-wrapper {
background: #E3F2FB;
border-left: 2px solid #cccccc;
border-right: 2px solid #cccccc;

width: 660px;
margin:0 auto;
font: $bodyfont;
and that, my darlings, is what took me forever to figure out on saturday night at three in the morning. special thanks to this site for the oh-so-helpful information, which i've based this post on.

(am i a computer programmer yet?)


three so beautiful things

1) so very thankful for everyone who attended jess' baby shower yesterday - for their support and encouragement, and of course, for the oh-so-generous gifts. she and jose are truly blessed. xo

2) my time on saturday was spent just the way i like it - getting a few errands done and then settling into doing something creative. my original plans were to paint, but i wasn't quite feeling it. besides, it was high time to do some redecorating 'round these here parts, and i'd been meaning to learn some basics of Illustrator. after spending a bit of time googling the HTML needed to make some changes and downloading various Illustrator swatches and Photoshop patterns, i managed to pull it all together and finally get it looking more like how i'd been wanting it to look. for all of you restless kindred spirits out there - i'll be posting a tutorial up tomorrow - it's much, much easier than you'd think!

3) am enjoying some delicious coffee that i bought on the weekend from timothy's - caramel vanilla nut. it's love at first taste. yum.

image by me


new, bright & shiny

i came across these images via blueprint bliss this morning - they were posted on a blog that i've never been to before (but i can tell already that it's gonna become addictive), wanderings of a wannabe.

i can't decide what i like more about this house - the fact that it's a small space but is still bright & airy, or the goooorrrrgeous palette that they've used. want it. need it.

this weekend: at the tail end of the longest week in history, i'm looking forward to kicking back and relaxing. i've entertained the thought of talking mike into going on a driving adventure with me, maybe taking a visit to the mug & truffle cafe and doing some reading or drawing, or maybe catching up on some of the tv shows i've missed since i started my no-cable kick.

what about you?


resolution, find, thought

resolution: i was telling mike the other day that i'm going to stop saying how busy i am all the time - it's become a standard response, i think, for so many people, and it loses it's meaning after a while.

(plus, everyone's busy. what makes me think that my busy-ness warrants more attention than anyone else's?)

great find: i've been listening to accuradio at work to keep things relatively mellow - it's an internet radio station i came across a few years ago that doesn't play as many commercials as regular radio, and lets me choose what genre of music i want to listen to.
(sidenote: now, i know that people in the states have access to pandora, but we canadians are restricted from it because of our copyright laws (says the message that pops on on pandora.com when you visit it from a canadian IP address). awesome.

a thought: i've been thinking it's been a while since i did an artist or blog feature ... are you interested? email me!

image by simply hue


bonne fete a moi!

while i'd never really & truly admit it, i like it when people make fusses over birthdays. i think people should be made to feel special every day of their lives ... but particularly so on their birthday.

which is why today is an especially lovely day. birthday well-wishes all over facebook, birthday texts and msn messages, and then surprise cupcakes from the resident cupcake guru, genevieve . how yummy!

tonight: dinner with the fam, followed up by some quality time with my all-time favourite peeps in the world (yep - still my fam).

thanks to everyone who's made my day more special in their little individual ways!



consider it cran-tastic

and i'm back from our bala weekend away with debbie, cassandra, jess, arianne and my mom; couldn't have asked for a more beautiful weekend. i think it was the first time there was no rain or clouds throughout the entire weekend. we stayed in the marriott residence inn in gravenhurst - i'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for someone to stay up in muskoka. the suites were gorgeous, the view breathtaking, and the complimentary breakfast in the morning had waffles, french toast, fresh fruit and eggs. need i say more?

we checked out the pig race, the fire eater, the craft show where i bought some of my favourite craft-show snack, christy's milk chocolate crunch, and a new necklace by jewelery artisan christophe poly. (he doesn't have a website, but you can check out a few of his pieces here.)

the colours were gorgeous, and the view from the suite's balcony was to die for.

my yearly deep-fried mars bar. calories don't count when you're at the cranberry festival.

i love love love these rings, found at saturday afternoons in orillia. i cant decide which one i prefer - the double-stacked thicker band, or the thinner multi-stacked version. (my favourite thing about these is that they only look like stacker rings - but they're not. that way, i won't lose them piece by piece)

am starting to believe that the only way to solve this dilemma is to get them both.

had a wonderful, lovely weekend. can't wait til next year.


i see famous people!

woody harrelson's coming to campus tonight for a pre-screening of his new movie, defendor ... and i've got tickets to check it out! he's gonna be receiving an honorary degree from us as well, which i think is pretty cool.

tomorrow: going to bala for the cranberry festival. gonna take a bunch of pictures, possibly buy some stuff from the craft show, eat a deep-fried mars bar, and laugh my face off with the girls. it's gonna rock. stay tuned.


gorgeous, darling!

today: i don't want to speak too soon, but i think i'm actually going to leave work on time and not stay late. that's awesome.

yesterday: there was frost on my windshield, which is less awesome ... although strangely enough, i'm getting into a christmas mood just a little bit early this year. must be all the christmas baking recipes i've been pulling out of my magazines lately. i've got a little side project going on right now; am making a recipe book instead of having shelves upon shelves of magazines filled with ads and other unnecessary stuff mixed in with the recipes. consolidating. creating room. and not to mention, making it pretty.

this weekend: although it's a bit early to be posting about the weekend, i can't help it. i'm going up north to the 25th annual Bala Cranberry Festival. we've gone every year for the past five - excluding last, because jess had to go ahead and graduate that day (the nerve!) so this year we're making a triumphant return. more on that later.

for now, let's just enjoy the airy brightness of this house, featured on desire to inspire.

le sigh.



my mom, arianne and i went for a walk in the rouge valley yesterday.

turned out it's a great way to work off our turkey dinner from sunday, and to simultaneously work up an appetite for my mom's birthday dinner of chinese take-out. mm.


gobbledy gobble!

four-day weekend. awesome. loved the time off and the change of pace, and the shoe tree pit stop on the way up to ian's century-barn-turned-antique-shop. road trips rock.

paige, jess, my mom and i took saturday to drive up to the teensy town of coulson, ontario and the goodies that i always find inside.

this sideboard was an incredible deal - i didn't buy it at the time (mostly because i don't have anywhere to put it since i don't have a house or apartment of my own), but am now strongly reconsidering calling ian back to see if it sold ... and if he could put it aside for me. it's too gorgeous not to, don't you think? i'll find a space - where there's a will, there's a way.

i did, however, buy these chairs ... $69 for the pair! i'm going to get different pillows to use with them - i'm thinking something solid, but am not sure about the colour yet. black? white? mustard yellow? what about a tone-on-tone stripe?

LOVE these suitcases. love. and if you look real close, you can see the reflection of yours truly in the mirror.

a distance shot of my mom, a very pregnant jess and paige in front of the old farmhouse. the building is 130 years old - surrounded in huge trees and fall colours. with their homemade fudge and chocolate macaroons, it was most definitely worth the trip.


mighty + mini

it seems as though a lil baking is just what the doctor ordered.

after i left work yesterday, i was super wound up and just couldn't shake it ... so i decided to bake some lil treats to bring into the office today for our weekly snack in the back. (ok, and to snack on last night while i watched a lot like love for the eighty-fifth time. i love that movie.). in honour of thanksgiving this weekend, i baked some mini apple pies and pumpkin pies and brought them into work today with some french vanilla ice cream - to pair with the apple pies - and some whipped cream for the pumpkin.

aside from awesome snacks at work, i'm taking the day off tomorrow to unwind and feel a bit more like myself, so you can expect a post a bit later in the day instead of my usual early-bird post .. you know, after i sleep in, go out for breakfast with jess, and get a massage.

hello four-day weekend filled with awesome plans, tons of food and relaxing; i'm ready to take you on.

shyeah - it's gonna be a good day, i can feel it.


hup, two

it's been way too long since i've had time to go through my blogroll and catch up - but i sure got a chance to last night, over a cup of earl grey vanilla tea and a few arrowroot cookies.

highlights include:

  • need less, via concrete and honey.
  • elise's super-helpful tutorial here. ever wonder how she accomplishes some of the awesomeness that she accomplishes? check it out. honestly.
  • are you a chicago-area artist? check out 1154 lill studio's holiday market on saturday nov 14th, either as a vendor or a shopper. i'd go but a) i don't live anywhere near chicago and b) i'm running a national conference that weekend. someone go and have some extra fun for me?
  • such accessible luxury via down and out chic. (and i like accessible!)


more where that came from

how lovely. here are some more photos by the photographer who's beets i featured yesterday - i think i'm in love.

yesterday: hectic. ohhh dear, how hectic. but i got some essential stuff done (even though i had to work late to get it done) and now we're rolling forward faster now. awesome. not to mention, i got another commission for a painting from my cousin kerri, who just recently moved into her new house and outted herself as a "stalker of my blog". (hi kerri!)

today: continuing to roll along. i had a genius thought that i'm going to try to take one picture per day. of something. anything. i used to think that, if i carried my lil camera with me everywhere, something beautiful and strange and unexpected would come out of the woodwork and whack me in the face so that i'd capture it on camera.

nothing's jumped out yet, and i've been carrying my camera in my bag now for at least a month. so now i'm going to settle on simple things. it's a start.

(and then i wonder if i'm really just crazy and trying to pile too many things onto my plate when what i should be doing is scooping it off).

know what's great, though, for today? i have some delisch low-fat cream of cauliflower soup for lunch. with cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top, just enough so it gets melty. mm. recipe to follow. it makes me happy.

let's challenge my photo-taking skills now, in attempting to get a decent shot of it in my office-sans-fenĂȘtres
(that's my fancy way of saying my cubicle is entirely artificially lit by flourescent bulbs. how industrial-chic).

images from here


pumpkins and porridge

hi lovies - how was your weekend? i realized yesterday it's been a while since i did a 3 beautiful things post.

and so, without further ado, my three for this weekend are:

1. wind and clouds and grey sky all day today. i stepped outside to pick the rest of my tiny tomatoes and, to my surprise, the sun had come out and cast a golden glow over the early october evening. the freshly-planted marigolds rejoiced.

2. pumpkins are at the farmers market. piles upon piles on wagons and bales of hay.

3. homemade porridge for breakfast; just a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar along with a cup of earl grey vanilla gets my day off on the right foot.

how about you?

images from here, here and here


get what you give (tasty edition)

i wanted to have some great fantastic first-day give of the 29-day challenge ready to share with you all today, but i didn't.

yesterday's gift: i came across some contraption today after work that my mom had been looking for, and bought it for her as a little gift ... i know she'd been looking for it and hadn't been able to find it elsewhere, and (as far as i knew) had given up on it.

future gives: i'm trying to focus my gives, though, on things that aren't purchased. it makes it seem too easy ... almost thoughtless, in a way. (and, not to mention, more expensive!) so, from here on in, my gives are going to be of a non-monetary kind. or, if they do require money, i'm going to make sure to put some thought behind it. something a lil more like the super-sweet surprise that arianne's friend sarah dropped off last night, in honour of her (belated) birthday. it was every bit as delicious as it looks - i need to find me some friends of my own who are in the cake-decorating industry!

today: totally busy, but i'm up for it. i'm contemplating attempting to find more hours in the day. does anyone have any suggestions?

bring it, thursday!

photo by me, cake by sarah


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