plus & minus

The past week has been really hectic and difficult, with some really high highs and some low lows.

It started last Tuesday when my full time childcare client gave notice that they were leaving, which is something that always sends me into a panic because I typically only have about a month to find someone new. After a lot of meetings I ended up booking a new full time family AND a part time client as well, which is a huge relief.

I was accepted into a local art market to sell my tiaras, and was offered a table at this past weekend’s show. I was very excited and realistically optimistic about it but unfortunately it ended up being a bust for me and I only made one sale, which was discouraging. I know that these types of event can be very hit and miss, and a lot of the other people around had a similarly disappointing day so it wasn’t just me, but working so hard to get ready for the event to have it be a flop… I mean there are better ways I could have spent seven weekend hours, you know?

While all this was going on we attended a wedding, which was super fun, but I also spent time at not one but TWO hospital emergency rooms. Last Friday from the early afternoon until very late at night at one hospital with my sister, and then again today at a different hospital with Gwen, who had been pushed off the back of the couch, hit her head on the floor and split her scalp open. Thankfully she was just able to have it glued shut, rather than get stitches, but like… can I get a break? I’m hoping that the rest of this week will be uneventful.

Aside- while dealing with everything in my life I was mostly offline & unaware of the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. I hope this goes without saying but for the record I absolutely abhor and condemn this racist, white supremacist terrorist attack and all the literal pieces of Nazi trash who participated in it. There is no place in my life for anyone who feels otherwise so if that’s you, kindly log off from my blog and re-examine your values.

five faves

Full disclosure I only read the first sentence of my Zodiacal “Mom Type” (Aquarius) but what more do you need to hear?

I showed a friend who was looking for one this black denim jacket and now I’m like… maybe I need a black denim jacket?

Three good reads.

I need a new desk chair (I’ve been using one of our dining room chairs which is not ideal) and I’m trying to decide if I should get the regular version or the armchair version of Gwen’s tiny desk chair. What do you think?

A little bit of exciting news: I’ll be vending this Sunday at the West End Arts Market from 11-6 at Jim Deva Plaza! I’ve never done anything like this before (previously I’ve only sold online) but I’m pretty excited about it!

I’ll be selling my handmade raw crystal point tiaras as well as some suede & leather and machine embroidered patches I have. It’s a little last minute though, so hopefully I’ll be able to get everything for my display ready in time. If you are local I hope to see you there!

Sitting Room

Having new floors installed in April has really inspired me to refresh the decor of the apartment. Unfortunately I’ve been pretty broke this year so right now it’s all just daydreams and pinterest boards, but I’m pretty sure the tide will be turning soon (knock on wood that I’m not hit with anymore financial disasters) and I’ll be able to turn at least some of my ideas into reality.

I definitely want to repaint/finish painting most of the house, and with the full bath and our bedroom already halfway done I feel like we could get those out of the way pretty quickly, and with my faux-tile backsplash in the kitchen the amount of painting to be done in there is very minor. The hideous yellow hallway is another story; there’s not a lot of wall to paint but with a whopping SEVEN doors opening off it the taping job is monumental. My biggest plans though, are for the living room.

With our open plan living area we don’t so much have “rooms” as just four different designated areas within the space: dining room, living room, playroom and office. My plan is to switch the living room area with the playroom, and hang some black-out roller blinds between the two so the playroom can also be used as a nap room for the daycare kids. I’m not sure yet if my plan will work (I’d have to relocate the tv under a window that might be too low?) but a big part of it hinges on getting a new sofa.

Our current big sectional is completely caved in on one side and the colour (brown) and shape (HUGE and curved) don’t go with what I’m envisioning. Initially I wanted to get a blue sofa but now I’m thinking a neutral colour would be better in case I get sick of blue. Obviously with the kids and the dogs and my own propensity for spilling drinks/salsa/gravy all the time a light colour won’t do, so in a shocking twist I’m thinking… dark grey. I know, I know. Such a surprise.

Of course, the colour isn’t the only thing to consider. Since we’re not getting another sectional Taylor has just one criteria our new sofa has to meet: it has to be long enough for him to sleep on fully stretched out. He’s 6’4″ or 193cm so it’s kind of a tall order HA HA PUN INTENDED.

I’ve been idly browsing for something I liked that would also be long enough and affordable (the tide of my murky financial waters hasn’t turned THAT much) so of course I’m looking at Ikea because you know what? I love Ikea! I’ve read a lot of articles about how when you grow up you are supposed to graduate from Ikea but to what? West Elm??? Our current sofa is not from Ikea and cost a ton and it didn’t really last that long before becoming un-sit-on-able.

Ikea has quite a few options in dark grey that I’ve been comparing, and I think I may have narrowed it down to just the right sofa for our space and our family.

1. One I was looking at is the Stocksund. It comes in two different solid greys and also a lighter grey & white floral pattern that I actually really like. Unfortunately, the full width of the sofa is 199 cm and once you subtract the arms there’s no way Taylor could fit on it.

2. The new 2017 Stockholm sofa is interesting, and with a seat width of 190cm it’s very close to the right size, but as much as I love the idea of velvet, our fluffy pets and messy children preclude it. Also, ten cushions? I woudl spend my entire day putting them back in place!

3. I had almost decided on the Norsborg and really like the little pockets on the outside of the arms for remotes, books, etc, but the height of the legs and all that space underneath throws me, and when I calculated the seat width it’s only about 180cm, which is not even close. NOT EVEN.

4. With the Kivik the too-much-space-under-the-sofa problem is eliminated, and those wide, flat arms would be perfect to hold a little tray with my drink or snack or whatever craft I’m working on at the time. Tragically though, the seat width once again comes in at just 180cm.

5. Enter the Vimle. I don’t think this product was available when I started looking so it’s new to me. It comes in a medium grey and in spite of not looking particularly oversized it is actually the longest of all the sofas I’ve been looking at (at Ikea and elsewhere). Minus the arms and the seat comes in at a whopping 211cm! I’m pretty sure this is going to be the perfect piece for us, pending a sit-down test next time we’re actually in the store.

If you have any honest opinions about any of these pieces, sofa suggestions under $1000 (Canadian) dollars or why Taylor is so obsessed with sleeping on the couch, let me know!

A Fish, a Fish

The other weekend Taylor went on a fishing retreat for work and came back with a Chinook salmon too big to fit in our freezer. We have SO MUCH salmon right now, we gave some to friends and still have close to three kilograms. I only have one go to salmon recipe so I asked my friends to give me some of their faves and now I think have enough recipes to for all that fish!

Salmon Pita with Hummus // Big Omega Sandwich // Roasted Salmon with Creamy Greens // Maple Salmon (this one is so easy & SO GOOD) // Baked Salmon with Parmesan Herb Crust // Crispy Salmon // Seared Salmon and Sauce Gribiche // Indoor Grilled Salmon // Blackened Salmon Tacos

Gwen & Ballet

On Monday Gwen had her last ballet class. It was a twice-weekly class at the community centre with 3-6 other little kids and oh my god did she love it. It was so adorable too, all these tiny kids concentrating and trying so hard to get the positions and movements right. I don’t think Gwen is ready for “real” ballet class at the dance school yet, but I’ve already picked out another community centre class for her to start in September.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone: A First Impression

Before you think I’ve suddenly become some kind of fancy beauty blogger that gets sent products for review REST ASSURED, I ordered a different product and was sent this one by mistake. I received my order last Friday, so I’ve only been using it for a few days and can’t speak to it’s efficacy in reducing the signs of aging, but I wanted to share my experience with it so far for anyone who was considering trying this product.

Although I haven’t tried the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (because… they sent me this instead? haha), many of the complaints I’ve read about that product is the gritty texture, poor absorbency, greasiness, inability to use in the morning due to the aforementioned poor absorbency & greasiness, and difficulty dispensing the proper amount leading to wasted product. In my opinion this new suspension neatly sidesteps these problems. It’s a medium-weight white cream that comes packaged in a tube. The consistency is thick enough that it’s easy to dispense only the small, pea-sized amount I want to apply with no product wasted, yet light enough that I can easily smooth it over my face. There is a little texture too it, but it’s very fine rather than gritty, so it’s not unpleasant. There is a light prickling/tingling sensation when the product is first applied applied, which is to be expected. It absorbs quickly and has a matte finish with no greasiness at all and therefore can be easily used in a morning routine, which is great because I’m definitely lazier about skincare at night than in the morning!

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone, $6.80/£5.80 for 30mL

And Then He was Ten (Months)

The closer Nicky gets to being one year old the more I’m surprised by how fast his first year is going. This is so silly but with the two girls born in early November in my mind that’s the “birthday month,” so September seems like too soon for him to be one!

July has been a pretty epic month for milestones with Nicky. He finally graduated from army crawling (on his belly) to crawling crawling (on his hands and knees). He still drops down to his belly when he gets tired or wants to put on a burst of speed (he’s so fast!). He also started pulling himself up into a standing position and can climb on top of low furniture (like my little mushroom table). We lowered the mattress support in his crib and have had to do another “layer” of baby-proofing for all the new things he can reach.

He’s growing in leaps and bounds and is now about 75cm tall and weighs a whopping 10kg (approximately). He’s unsurprisingly tall, so much so that I actually gave some of his old clothes as hand-me-downs to a friend’s baby who just turned one! Another friend gave me a big box of her one-year-old grandson’s hand-me-downs and almost everything was already too small.

The most progress he made this month though was with teeth. TEETH. SO many teeth. In his 9 month post I believe I said he was getting three new teeth, bring his total to five. Well, he did get those three, and another, and another, and then this past weekend, ANOTHER. This brings his total tooth count to eight, and getting six teeth in five weeks? Seems excessive.

Even with all the teething his personality continues to delight us. Nicky is such a happy, friendly baby, with smiles and giggles for everyone.

Life Lately


Nicky can stand!

I made some quartz crystal tiaras for my friend to sell at a music festival next month, and this week I’ve been working out how to package them. I settled on dyeing some muslin bags black and putting together some labels for them. I’m going to print the labels onto iron-on fabric and iron them onto the bags, which I think will work well. I’m like 90% sure I’m going to keep making these to sell in my shop soon, I just need to figure out the best way to ship them; they need to be protected but the way I was doing it before was really complicated and it actually took longer to pack them up than it did to make them!

How does Gwen’s Garden Grow

At the end of June I was offered a raised garden box for myself & the kids. My neighbourhood had received a grant to build some for people who can’t access any of the community gardens for whatever reason, so it was totally free and even came with all the dirt it needed! I’m notoriously terrible at gardening but I figured WHAT THE HECK and said yes. The garden box was built and left in the part of the yard I’d specified, and over the long weekend Gwen and I went to pick out some plants. We got two tomato plants, a yellow pepper, a green pepper, one pumpkin, a strawberry, a blueberry, sage, parsley and chives. I put Gwen in charge of watering them and she’s very diligent about doing it every day.

We’ve had our garden for two weeks and amazingly, not only have I managed not to kill any, some are even starting to bear fruit! The pumpkin seems like it might not be long for this world, and I have my doubts about the blueberry (which is basically a single twig with some leaves that squirrels have dug up twice, but I dearly want it to live and grow because it is actually a PINK blueberry bush) but everything else is growing and thriving. The tomatoes especially, but the yellow pepper looks like it’s ready to blow up, and the sage and chives are doing well enough to use in meals already.