Year’s End

Don’t worry; this isn’t going to be one of those endless year-in-review posts where I recap every single thing I did this year and post all the same pictures over again. idk why people even make those posts, like if people wanted to see everything you did they could just look at your old blog posts. I mean, that’s what they’re for, right? I’m just gonna talk about a few memorable things.

1. I Got Bangs
… by which I mean I cut them myself, just like when I was in middle school.


I still love them, I wear my hair up a lot and it’s nice not to have it all scraped back from my forehead.

2. I Visited the South

Us on the roof of the Peabody

Before this year, I’d never been to any part of the United States that wasn’t directly adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Washington, Oregon, California: that’s it. So in March Taylor and I flew to Memphis, Tennessee to spend a week stuffing our faces with meat and booze. We also had connecting flights on this trip (normally the bane of my life) so technically I was in Utah and Minnesota as well.

3. I Quit Eating Meat
This summer I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and I haven’t eaten meat since.


I’ve also been mostly buying local and/or organic dairy products and eggs. It’s been seven months now, and the only time I REALLY crave meat is when I walk past McDonalds. tbh I don’t even think that counts as meat though.

4. I Moved My Blog


Once I realized that there were ads on my blog that I wasn’t benefitting from when I was paying for a ~premium~ account, I was like I’M OUTTA HERE. Moving the blog was an endless nightmare of GoDaddy said/Dreamhost said and it didn’t get resolved until a FREAKED OUT all over the internet about it. I guess it’s true what they say: the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

5. I Dyed My Hair Blue

Blue Sunday

My hairstylist was P I S S E D. I don’t really know why I did it, I just thought it would be fun? And it is! I just recoloured it a couple of days ago because it was looking very faded and green.

Curlz MT

It was actually quite easy being green.

6. I Cooked Christmas Dinner
It seems silly to recap something I just posted about four days ago, but it was SUPER important to me that it be a success.

XMas Dinner

I’d never done it before and now that I have I think I might be confident to host other family members at Christmas. Maybe. As long as they don’t want any meat.

Soooo that’s my year. Pretty much the only other thing I did was make a ton of glitter banners, especially in the last couple weeks! Today is the last day of the Cat Aid 25% off sale on my etsy, it finishes tonight at midnight Pacific, so if you’ve been thinking about ordering one NOW IS THE TIME.

Glitter Banners
Glitter BannersOmbre Banners
Ombre Glitter Banners

One other super important thing that happened this year: Sym turned ten.


Double digits! I can’t believe it! 2001 basically seems like yesterday, what happened to my tiny baby??? She’s so grown up now, maybe it’s time I get a new one…

Christmas Weekend

Official 2011 Family XMas Portrait

Our official Christmas Eve Family Portrait. For some sweet outtakes check Taylor’s flickr

The Tree (with Presents)
Christmas Eve Dinner (Japanese Takeout)

No one wanted to cook Christmas Eve so we got Japanese takeout. Ignore these miserable faces; it was delicious. We did bake though, we made gingerbread cookies and mini chocolate donuts (I used a boxed whoopie pie mix and they turned out great).

Christmas Donuts

There were tree shaped gingerbreads as well but I didn’t get a picture before Santa ate them.

Christmas Gingerbread cookies

We all opened our traditional Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.

Taylor Opening his Christmas Pajamas
Sym Opening her Christmas Pajamas
Georgie Helping Sym Open Her Pajamas
Sym's Christmas Pajamas
Me Opening my Christmas Pajamas

Sym and Taylor both got red & green plaid and I got red with white snowflakes. I also got a new bathrobe so I wasn’t expecting to get pajamas. Basically I’m spoiled!

After we ate and decorated cookies and opened our pajamas and took our family portrait we all bundled onto the couch to watch A Christmas Story. We also had the NORAD Santa Tracker on my computer and Sym was getting up every two minutes all evening to check where he was. I tell you, that thing almost screwed us! We didn’t get Sym to bed until around 10:30 and Santa hit Vancouver before eleven! It was nerve-wracking, to say the least.

I told Sym that she wasn’t allowed to wake me up on Christmas morning until AT LEAST seven; two years ago she and Taylor woke me up at 5:30 nd I was not pleased. So guess what time I woke up? FIVE-THIRTY. What the eff. Anyway Sym woke up at like, 3:30, and even though I’d told her she could open her stocking if she woke up early, she didn’t. When I asked her why she said it was because she wanted us all to open our stockings together, as a family. CUE WATERWORKS.

Sym in her Christmas Pajamas

She also paused while opening her own presents to watch Taylor and I opening the gifts she got for us, so she could see our faces. So basically she’s the sweetest child in the world.

Sleepy Christmas Morning Taylor

Taylor slept the latest, so he’s sleepy here, not stoned. Really.

Sym Opening Presents Christmas Morning
Claire & Georgie Playing
Me Christmas Morning
Opening Presents Christmas Morning

Sym always gets a ton of presents, from me & Taylor and her dad & stepmom, and all her extended family including about six sets of grandparents. It can get out of control and sometimes I worry that I’m getting into a “present off” with her dad to see who can get her the best stuff. To keep myself in control I set two rules this year: everything from Santa had to fit in her stocking (which it did, except for a bunch of socks), and she would get three present from Taylor and I: something to wear, something to read and something to play with. I got that idea off some blog or the other but I can’t remember which one. Taylor took it a step further and decided we should get each other three gifts as well.

Sym got:
1. a pink sweater with swans from Urban Outfitters (her first clothing item NOT from a children’s’ store/department)
2. Wildwood, by Colin Melloy
3. the Calico Critters Buckley Deer Family and Cozy Cottage

Sym's Calico Critters

This was an emergency replacement gift because the gift I’d originally ordered for her from Build-a-Bear didn’t arrive in time since apparently they use the most inefficient shipping ever and it takes OVER A MONTH for things to get to Canada from OHIO. idgi.

Taylor got:
1. a Burton Groton jacket (full disclosure: I got it for about 80% off)
2. Reamde, by Neal Stephenson
3. DOMINION, which I thought was a board game but is actually some kind of super nerdy card game which I unfortunately already agreed to play with him

I got:
1. tri-blend ~leisure~ pants from American Apparel
2. a new Kindle!!!
3. hot rollers, although he originally bought the wrong kind so yesterday we went and exchanged them for these ones

We also had all our stocking presents and gifts from our families, but I don’t want to list everything since that’d be pretty tacky. Thank you to everyone though; we all appreciate and love everything! Especially Sym, who still got the crud spoiled out of her with clothes and Playmobils.

The dogs also got presents: for Georgie a stuffed Tiki man and makes weird drumming/chanting noises when squeezed, for Kichou a cool tank top, and for Dougal a theoretically indestructible bone for chewing (we’ll have to wait and see how indestructible it is, he just opened it today since he spent Christmas with Clay).

Kichou's Christmas Shirt

Taylor’s moms sent them edible rawhide Christmas cards. Georgie especially loves them and has been carrying them everywhere and burying them in beanbag chairs and blankets.

Georgie & the Edible Christmas Card

After presents I made a delicious brunch of goat cheese and chive mini frittatas, fried potatoes and chia seed toast, plus mimosas. SO MANY MIMOSAS.

XMas Brunch

I’m not ashamed to say I got trashed and then laid on the couch watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks all afternoon.

This year was the first time in my life that I attempted to make a big Christmas dinner. I planned on it two years ago but I was so tired from my 5:30 wake up call that I slept all day and we had potato chips for dinner. This year I was DETERMINED to do it.

the menu:
– a Field Roast celebration roast (I’m so glad I became a vegetarian before I ever had to cook a turkey!) and gravy (from a packet, but it was POUTINE gravy and therefore delicious)

XMas Dinner

-roasted carrots & broccoli

XMas Dinner

-pierogis (Taylor is of Ukrainian descent)
-yorkshire puddings (I’m of British descent)

XMas Dinner

-mashed potatoes

XMas Dinner

Sooooooo basically everything was PERFECT. Okay, the carrots could have been a little more cooked but they were still good. The celebration roast was delicious and easy to cook; I mean it’s already cooked so I just basted it with some oil and heated it for 35 minutes. There were barely even any leftovers, Taylor ate so much he needed a side plate just for his veggies!

XMas Dinner

I’m so happy with how everything went this Christmas; I just really wanted it to be fun and amazing for my little family and almost melt-down free, and I think I pulled it off!

Curly Sue

When I was a kid my mom used to curl her hair every day. I’ve never curled mine, but after getting some encouragement from my internet friend Christina, who is an amazing stylist, I figured I’d give it a try. I’m hopeless with a curling iron, so she suggested hot rollers. I’ve tried them before but I’ve never been able to figure out how to use those weird wire hook things to keep them in place. Christina’s solution: get the kind with clips. Duh. Taylor actually bought them for me for Christmas (fun fact: all my hair appliances were gifts, idk why).

Curlz MT

I felt very silly doing this. I was worried I’d run out of rollers so I made some of the sections too big but in the end it all worked out.

Curlz MT
Curlz MT

I pretty much love it, and I feel much more like a cartoon character than ever. Namely, this one:

Sailor Neptune

Flawless, like all Sailor Senshi.

And yes, I am wearing the most amazing t-shirt known to man. It was my Christmas gift from Sym, she picked it out and paid for it herself.

My Christmas Gift from Sym

I can’t believe I never had a category for my hair until just now, I talk about it ALL the TIME.

Almost Ready

Happy Christmas Eve Afternoon!

Gin o'Clock Again

I just got back from the very last Christmas shopping trip and now I’m steeling myself with a greyhound (gin & grapefruit juice) before I finish wrapping the last few gifts and cleaning the house, and then mess it all up again baking cookies & donuts with Sym. We’re all wishing everyone out in internet land a happy holiday weekend!

Symmie, Georgie & Me
Christmas Kisses

Symphony, the Christmas Elf, and Dogs

This way originally gonna be like, three posts AT LEAST but what with the whole cat thing and all the banners I had to make I’m running out of time before Christmas so instead I’m making one big SUPER POST.

A Pirate’s Christmas
Last Thursday was Sym’s school play, which was about pirates and elves and tbh was quite terrible. As she wrote in her journal, “I give myself an A, and the group a C+.” lol. The insane set design meant that a little tent was completely blocking Sym from our seats.

Sym's School Xmas Pagent

Fortunately she and three other girls came out and did a little dance during her class’s song.

Sym's School Xmas Pagent
Sym's School Xmas Pagent

Sym’s New Hair
On Saturday (after the whole emergency vet thing) I took her to the salon to get her hair cut. It was all one length and really heavy, plus her ends were all frayed looking for swimming and also because she chews on them. Our stylist took off a ton of length and added some layers, and then offered to give her some feather extentions.Now, I personally would never get them, but lots of Sym’s classmates have them and I didn’t want to be the buzzkill mom who says “You know they kill the birds to get those feathers,” so I just held my tongue. She loves her new hair and that’s what’s important anyway. YES MY CHILD IS MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THAN THE WELFARE OF BIRDS.

Sym's New Hair x 2

She’s on winter break now and has only been a little bit annoying. She wants to have grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch everyday and after I threatened to make her scrub the toilets she stopped complaining about being bored (although that means I have to scrub them, woe).

A Visit From the Christmas Elf
The elf came pretty late this year, I can’t imagine why.

Christmas Elf Visit
Christmas Elf Visit
Christmas Elf Visit

Sym got a mystery Playmobil which turned out to be a creepy witch.

Playmobil Witch

And I got giant rockets! Normally I prefer mini versions of my favourite things, but this jumbo version was pretty great.

Giant Rockets

Excuse my nails, I did say they were trashed up!

Cuddle Dog
Dougal’s been really into snuggling things this week. Here he is with Georgie’s disgusting Humpy Bear (for those of you who watch Wilfred, Georgie has the same relationship with Humpy Bear as Wilfred does with Ted/Bear).

Dougal Snuggling with Bear

… and here he is with Georgie. SO CUTE OMG.

Dougal Snuggling with Georgie

Okay, he was actually chewing on her, but it was still adorable.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it. I’m still trying to catch up on all the pre-holiday stuff I let slide because I was busy with work and the cat. Today I cleaned off my disaster area of a desk, including cleaning the keyboard for the first time in four years, which was basically just an exercise in grossing myself out and spilling rubbing alcohol on my jeans.

Clean Desk

It looks great now though! And my craft table…

Messy Desk

… oops.

Riot Diva Trash

I had a real post planned for today, something about Sym and the dogs and the Christmas Elf, but I’ve spent LITERALLY every spare second finishing up and photographing six (SIX!) glitter banners so I can send them out today.

Riot Grrrl Ombre Banner
Rust Belt Diva Banner
High Class White Trash Ombre Banner

To see more check out my shop’s fb page, and to order your own had to my etsy! Until December 31st you can still use the code CATAID25 for 25% off your purchase.

I still have a few (six more, actually) to make, but I’m going to take a teeny crafting break until after this weekend. I just have so much Christmas stuff to do still! BUT!! I swear I’ll make a REAL post tomorrow! Maybe.

Manicure Monday on Tuesday


I did these nails on Friday, but I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to take a real photograph of them before they got all trashed up.

Photo on 2011-12-16 at 18.50 #2

Hard Candy in Mushroom + Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love

I choose this colour because I wanted something more neutral for Taylor’s office holiday party. Recently I’ve been matching my nails to my hair, but since my shirt also matched my hair I didn’t want to go overboard with the turquoise!

Photo on 2011-12-16 at 18.49 #3

Back Where She Belongs

Under the Tree

Claire is doing really well today. I took her to my regular vet this morning for a follow-up and to learn about the exciting world of glucose curves! If you don’t know, that’s when you get a glucose testing meter and test your blood every 1-2 hours all day and track your blood sugar levels on a fun chart. Except they aren’t my levels, they’re the cat’s, so I have to hold her down while I prick her ear and try to collect enough blood in the little test strip. It sucks pretty hard and I have the utmost sympathy for any diabetic humans or parents of diabetic humans who have to do this.

Home Cat

In other great news, I’ve taken down the donation button from my blog & the original post because GUESS WHAT? I don’t need any more donations! Everyone who donated or bought something, thank you so much for all your help. If anyone is still feeling charitable please consider making a donation in Claire’s name to a no kill shelter or emergency veterinary hospital in your area, or even a charity that helps humans in need.

I am still running the sale on my etsy shop for the rest of December (use the code CATAID25 for 25% off your order!), but please know that there is currently a 1- to 2 week lead time on any new banner orders as I am swamped in glitter. SWAMPED!