Button Button

When Sym was in the first grade she and I made button necklaces. We took large buttons and strung them on yarn and wore them for a day. Last year she rediscovered her button necklace and started wearing it everyday. All the time. She also started chewing on the (wooden) button and fiddling with the yarn and as you can imagine, it became quite disgusting.

I decided enough was enough and it was time to replace it with a new button necklace, one more suitable for a ten-year-old. I wanted something small, simple and silver, and after searching etsy I found this sweet little one from Andy’s House. It was also one of the more affordable options with the most reasonable shipping costs.

It arrived yesterday (sooner than the 2-3 weeks’ shipping time I was originally told) and it is perfect. Sym loves it, it has that button look she likes and it’s so tiny and cute!

Sym's New Necklace

Panthers vs. Coyotes

Last weekend Taylor and I watched the ultimate double bill of Texas high school football movies: Friday Night Lights and Varsity Blues.

FNL/VB

I realized something while I watched them: these movies are basically the same movie*. They are both set in Texas. Everyone is Odessa and West Canaan is obsessed with the high school football team and the players are treated like celebrities. In both movie football players shoot at things while discussing their lives & problems. There’s racism against the black players on both teams. A star player on each team blows out a knee and ends his football career before it’s really begun, but still comes to the final game in a show of solidarity and support. Each team has to struggle to recover from the loss of an important member to try to make it to the championships (state in FNL and division in VB).

Of course there ARE differences. FNL is based on a book about real events that happened to real people so the characters are more realistic, believable and sympathetic. The characters in VB are not. Coach Gaines (FNL) is a pretty good guy, Coach Kilmer (VB) is the Devil. Varsity Blues is rated R and is rife with boobs, butts and cursing (or as Taylor bizarrely and grandmotherly called them, “effs and jeffs”), Friday Night Lights is rated PG-13 and I don’t remember much swearing at all (although I’m pretty sure there were some racial slurs). In FNL, in spite of their best efforts the Panthers lose the state championship, in VB the Coyotes win the division championship** without the evil Coach Kilmer. One of these movies is good. One of these movies is stupid (yet entertaining). And only one of these movies has this classic line:

* I may have had this epiphany while drunk on wine.
** In the voiceover at the end of the movie it’s stated that they never played football together again, but like… if they won the division then they would go on to the state championships, and would therefore play together AT LEAST one more time. IDK MAN, I CAN’T DEAL WITH THESE PLOT HOLES.

Rebirth and Taxes

Crocuses and Snowdrops

Spring is springing up all over the place, crocuses and snowdrops and baby daffodils and bluebells are everywhere. Sadly, I don’t think all the bluebell seeds Sym and I planted last year are going to grow, but at least some of them will, and maybe they’ll have baby seeds and next year there will be more. Circle of life, ya know?

Along with all this springiness going on, there is also the inevitability of taxes. Fun fact: I haven’t filed in two years. OOPS. I also didn’t keep my records and papers properly organized, so this afternoon I was confronted by this:

Papers

A BASKET CRAMMED FULL OF RANDOM PAPERS. And that wasn’t even it! There was also a drawer of random papers and a loose pile of random papers. Business stuff I need to file my taxes, but also business stuff I DON’T need, millions of credit card statements, drawings by Sym, vet bills, junk mail. Clearly my filing system leaves much to be desired.

After about three hours of sorting, recycling, shredding, inputting into spreadsheets, typing up lists and printing stuff out I’m finally done and ready to go see my accountant! Unfortunately it took me so long to get everything ready that his office was closed by the time I called to make an appointment, but there’s always tomorrow, and after everything I did today the hard part is done.

I also made a new resolution today, a late-February resolution: KEEP TRACK OF MY PAPERWORK AND FINANCES SO THIS MESS DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN NEXT YEAR.

Tassels & Fringe

Angled Office Garland

Last week I decided I wanted to try my hand at making some Confetti System-style tassel garlands. I really like the way they look but I DON’T like the $130 price tag, so I figured I’d DIY it. I found a couple tutorials, combined them, used what I liked, ignored the rest and eventually came up with my own technique. I haven’t perfected it yet, but I think I’m close!

The first thing I need was some tissue paper and mylar. I couldn’t decide what colours I wanted to use, so I bought all of them. No, really.

Tissue Paper Colours

Since this picture was taken I’ve actually bought two more colours- a bright orange and a dark purple. I know, I have a problem.

Then, I spent a lot of time turning that into this:

Cut Paper

Can I just say, this paper cutter is INDISPENABLE. I picked it up a couple of weeks ago for $25 at Homesense (a discount housewares store) and I’ve used it so much already! It’s so much faster and easier for this than using scissors, an exacto knife or a rotary cutting tool.

Tissue Paper Cutting

The first garland I made was for Sym’s room, using three colours of tissue paper (white, grey and mint green) and one shade of mylar (silver). I made all the tassles the same size and strung them in a repeating pattern.

Tissue Tassel Garland for Sym

It’s pretty, but not really the look I wanted. Next I wanted to make one for my bedroom, but I don’t have the right colours of paper. Yes, you read that correctly, none of the 23 colours of tissue and mylar are right. Okay, SOME of them are, but I need a turquoise blue and a taupe or greige. YES I AM AWARE THAT I HAVE A PROBLEM.

Instead I decided to make one for the office. Taylor’s side of the office is grey and black (black-brown really, but black is close enough) with a little bit of yellow. My side of the office is grey, yellow and white. I decided to use more yellow and white on my side of the garland and more black on Taylor’s side. I made tassels in five colours of tissue (white, grey, silver grey, yellow and black) and one shade of mylar (silver), and three different sizes (regular, long and mini), and strung them randomly on 3 meters silver cord.

Full Office Garland

I like the effect of this a lot better, but like I said, my technique still isn’t perfect, so I guess I’ll have to keep making more until I get it right!

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

I hate bananas. I don’t hate banana bread though, and since we had more bananas than we knew what to do with I figured I’d give it a try (I’ve never made it myself).

Banana Bread

After some googling I found this simple recipe that looked pretty good (ie I already had all the ingredients, no walnuts were involved, and the picture was nice looking) and I did what I do best: I MADE IT MINI.

Banana Bread

I bought this 8-cavity loaf pan on my birthday especially for banana bread baking, although I may have to use it for regular bread baking because Sym is desperate for some tiny sandwiches..

Banana Bread

She likes the banana bread though, she sai dit was “pretty good” and had some last night, for breakfast this morning and she took some to school for lunch. Taylor ate a couple whole like rectangular muffins (Sym and I prefer them sliced), and I sent some home with a couple of my daycare clients and got rave reviews. I definitely recommend the recipe AND making it mini!

Banana Bread

Note: If you do make mini loaves, bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, not 60.

Die Hard

I bet you thought I forgot about my one and only new year’s resolution to make two non-custom banners per month for my etsy shop. NOT SO.

Originally I was going to make something St Patrick’s Day-ish for February, but then I decided that’s a bunk holiday for drunken bros so instead I did something else. My two banners for February turned out to both be semi-musically inspired, so I’ve included the pertinent youtubes.

Born To Die Banner Full

For this banner I used the same two-tone ombre technique I used for last month’s “True Love” banner, but instead of using two shades of the same colour I used two completely different colours. I really like the way it turned out. I haven’t made a listing yet but custom two-tone ombre banners are available for $2.75 per letter, with a minimum order of $13.75 for five of fewer letters.

Party Hard Fancy Banner Full

I didn’t do anything super special for this fancy banner. I’ve only made a few of these- okay, I made a TON that said “Merry Christmas,” but they were all the same and making the same thing over and over is kind of a snooze. This is actually the first fancy letter banner I’ve made this isn’t silver or red, so it was a nice, albeit small, change.

Manicure Monday

Essie Master Plan + Shine of the Times
Essie Shine of the Times & Master Plan

Essie Shine of the Times + Master Plan

I’ve been meaning to use these colours for a couple of weeks now- ever since my birthday (they were my gift from Symphony).

Shine of the Times seems to be huge this spring (is it spring? In Vancouver people start wearing shorts and putting the tops down on their convertibles in February so I get confused), it’s already sold out at my drugstore and I’ve seen people posting about how they “finally found it.” I guess I’m lucky I got it when I did! Anyway, it’s obviously very similar to Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, but I find the iridescent flecks in SotT are smaller and more plentiful.

Master Plan is a nice neutral. I looks taupe in the bottle but on my nails it’s more of a warm grey, or greige. For me it’s perfect with SotT as I prefer these kind of topcoats of lighter colours (although Kelly-Anne at Tiny Tangerines put it over rainbow leopard nails and it is AMAHZING).

I know some of you guys sometimes do Manicure Monday posts, if you do, leave me a comment with a link to your post!
Jinah’s Manicure Monday

Bits & Pieces

Some pictures from this quiet, rainy afternoon:

Monogram

I saw this adorable customizable monogram from The Wedding Chicks on Sometimes Sweet this morning and IMMEDIATELY knew I needed one. I want to put it up in my bedroom (is that cheesy? yes, but I don’t care) but the colours were wrong so I tweaked it a little, and then printed it out on some nice paper I tore out of a sketchbook and trimmed to size.

Penny Hartz

Yesterday I FINALLY set up my new computer. It’s a little different that my old one and it’s taking some getting used to, but so far I love it. The real question is how long can I keep my desk clean? (The answer: probably not long)

Do Work

This purple-on-purple banner is getting ready for a wedding in Los Angeles next month. My motto these days is basically “Always Be Ombre-ing!”

Shop Stickers

Teeny-tiny stickers covered in teeny-tiny bunting.

Dog Friends

Dougal and Georgie are still bffs. I love when they snuggle.

Sym in her Room

Sym had the day off school and spent most of it holed up in her room colouring. She was supposed to have her friend Ali over to play but she had an audition (you might have seen Ali in last Friday’s Fringe episode. Hint: she was the only kid).

Sym's Nails

Sym wanted me to post a picture of her Valentine’s Day manicure to show the colours she chose- normally I’d save this for Monday but I’m too happy about the fact that she stopped biting her nails! We actually had to trim and file them last weekend because they were too long! I’m really proud of her for breaking the habit.

Paper Frog

She got this inflatable paper frog in a Kinder Egg, it’s so odd!

The Nap Room

These paper palm trees were leftover from Sym’s Luau birthday in 2008, but I recently unearthed them and put them up in the nap room.

New Life

Last summer the housepainters stomped all my plants to death, but the remains of my hydrangea somehow survived and it’s putting out little leaves! There’s hope for my garden yet.

Failentine’s Day

Hearts

I’m not really that big on Valentine’s Day. Especially this year- Taylor bought me loads of wonderful presents for Christmas and my birthday, then he just bought the new mattress and I just bought my new computer…. we’re kind of strapped. HOWEVER I did want Sym to have a nice Valentine’s Day, so on the weekend we went out shopping and I bought her some gold sparkly shoes and a twirly blue dress for the dance, and while I was scrambling to finish my etsy orders on Monday I was ALSO scrambling to make white chocolate confetti popcorn for her class party.

Chocolate Heart Popcorn

I used white, pink and red heart-shaped confetti sprinkles to make mine more Valentine-y, and it turned out SO GOOD, cute and delicious.

But! Her Valentine’s Day sucked! Normally the grade fives and sixes have a dance and the grade sevens have their own dance, but there were too many after school activities going on this week so they just had one dance together. I guess having the older kids there made everyone shy/too busy trying to be cool, because Sym told me no one even danced except for her and her friends, and this group of girls they don’t like who were apparently doing inappropriate dance moves.

And the party? Everyone was supposed to bring food to share, but guess what? NO ONE DID. That’s right, Sym was the only person who brought anything! Plus, only three other kids brought Valentine’s cards to give out. WHAT IN THE WHAT??? Sym gave out these fortune tellers from Design Mom and spent Monday night at her dad’s folding thirty of them for everyone in her class, and one of her friends had the audacity to complain that there was no difference between them. OH REALLY? AND WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOSE AND NOT BRINGING ANYTHING AT ALL, HMMMM? Anyway I’m really annoyed and disappointed. Sym left the popcorn at school because they’re going to have a do-over and try to have the party today, but I told her to bring it home. NONE OF THESE UNGRATEFUL VALENTINE GRINCHES DESERVE MY CHOCOLATE POPCORN TBH. Plus I want to eat it myself (shhh).

HOWEVER Sym did make awesome cards for Taylor and me, because she is the best kid in the world.

Valentine Cards