tip top














Last week I had a lot of work to do so of course I thought it’d be smart to spend an entire day dismantling my desk. It needed to be cleaned off anyway and I was really sick to death of the yellow. I’ve been planning on repainting it for a while, but I figured I could enact a quick change by swapping out the old desktop of a couple spare white Ikea desk tops I had. They had previously been on top of the kitchen island (from before we got a real dining room table) so they aren’t in great condition, but then again, neither was the yellow top and did I mention I was sick of it? SO SICK.

Of course what I thought would be an easy breezy simple swap turned out to be anything but. After removing the old top I realized there was only one small board holding the two halves of the desk together, and that the seam between the two new desktops would fall over open space and bee all wobbly so I needed to first attach them to some sort of stabilizing piece. Luckily I had a big heavy piece of wood stashed behind my bed that worked perfectly, and after only a brief struggle I was able to get my new desk top on place. It’s much longer so I have space on it for the printer now without feeling crowded and even though it’s a little scratched up it still looks much cleaner than the yellow one. Eventually I’d like to replace the two cobbled-together 1 meter-long desktops with one 2-meter long desktop, but baby steps. I also still need to paint the base of the desk, which is still bright yellow. Did I mention I was sick of the yellow? I’m thinking of doing it either a black-brown or a dark grey.


When I was screwing the new desktop into place from underneath I needed something to weigh it down so the screws would go in properly, and I made the mistake of sitting Gwen on it as my weight. It worked perfectly, and she was pretty thrilled with the experience. So thrilled that she’s added climbing onto my desk to her repertoire of things she knows she’s not supposed to do but does anyway. With the new desktop she can no longer get into my drawer full of pens and markers and scissors so I guess it’s kind of a trade off? Her climbing up on my desk was an inevitability anyway as she has great enthusiasm for climbing things.

five things | eight

Some things I’m loving this week…

Oracle Tunic Top in Soft Sage
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Technically this is not a dress, it’s a shirt. The oversized comfiness speaks to my slovenly heart, and the print says “casual spring witch” which is a p. good aesthetic imo.

Cookies & Cream Baked Donuts
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I haven’t made donuts in forever but this recipe has inspired me to mayyyyyybe break out my donut pans this weekend.

In Taiwan, Pet Owners Are Giving Their Dogs Perfectly Round & Square Haircuts
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Sacred Hearts by Jessica Sea
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I can’t get over these drawings by my friend Jessica, there are even more on her instagram.

102 y/o Dancer Sees Herself on Film for the First Time


mole hill lives!





that lil red spec is Gwen

watching seaplanes take off is a favourite activity


Amazing news: Last night after work went out to run a quick errand and on my way home the executive director for Mole Hill CHASED me down to tell me the best thing. So remember when I told you about the developers who want to put up a big, ugly monstrosity right next to my apartment? Well, that wasn’t the ONLY place in the block where people were looking to build something- at the west end of my block there is an apartment building with a little bungalow next door- the bungalow used to be the caretaker’s home but now it is rented to a family. Behind the buildings is a little open area and those owners wanted to put up a huge monstrosity as well. They were actually further along in the process, had put in their development proposal and were supposed to have their public hearing (and the city’s vote) in June. WELL, their plan was such a mess (too big and ugly, no concept of following by-laws, where is ur fire lane, etc) that the city DESCHEDULED it and told them to start from scratch and come back with a new plan for a building no more than two storeys high.

So what does this mean for the developers next door? Well, seeing as how their idea is just as big and ugly, in all likelihood if they try to make this proposal to the city they are gonna get the same result: go away and come back when you’ve got a plan for a TEENY TINY HOUSE FOR ANTS. Basically they bought this property with the idea of putting in a big ol’ condo building they could make a huge profit from, but instead they got a 2.1 million dollar development lemon. They’ll probably keep trying (or maybe they’ll just sell it, WHO KNOWS) but I think the result from this other building shows that when it comes to developments in Mole Hill the city is on the right side.

Accidental Twins








Can I just state for the record that I really don’t deliberately dress Gwen and I in matching outfits all the time. I buy most of her clothes though so OBVIOUSLY I get her things that are to my taste so yes, it does happen. Often. For example, on Sunday morning Taylor got up with her (at 5:30am , kill me pls) and dressed her in grey sweatpants and a green shirt. A few hours later when I got up I dressed myself in grey jeans and a green tank top. Sometimes our matching is more subtle- I’ll wear a blue-green plaid shirt, she’ll wear a blue AND green plaid shirt. Sometimes I’m even twinsies with Sym- on Friday we were both wearing grey jeans, denim jackets and black shoes with teal shirts (mine was a flannel and hers was a hoodie but still). The best though was on Saturday, Gwen was already dressed and ready to go to the Lego Store but when I put on my fringed black suede Minnetonka booties she ran and changed out of her sparkly pink Vans into her fringed black leather booties so she could be like me!

This picture is actually from a couple of weeks ago when I deliberately matched our footwear, yes fine I admit it, sometimes I do it on purpose.

Gwen continues to be a suuuuuuuuuuper early riser. On Sunday night we tried putting her to bed a little later than normal but she was raring to go at 5:30 again this morning. Thankfully Taylor working from home so I didn’t have to get up myself, but I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. I’m going to have to start just changing her and putting her back to bed, because when she’s up and unsupervised (like in the instance that her very tired mother falls asleep on the couch watching Sesame Street) she goes around the house like a little whirlwind of destruction, using her chairs and ride-on toys as step stools to naughtiness, granting her access to things on our desks, the kitchen counters and even the windowsills. Nothing is safe!

Some other things…

Taylor and I were FINALLY able to see Furious 7 and it was as good as I’d imagined. I laughed, I cried, I’m pretty sure it literally bit my knuckles? Movie of the year, for sure.

While eating breakfast yesterday Gwen sneezed out a small snot-covered rock. Truly, a classic toddler move. We have no idea how long it was in her nose, but at least it came out on it’s own?

Sym had her braces tightened last week and it was the worst one yet I think. She said she couldn’t even eat popsicles. Poor Symmie 🙁

Also poor Symmie: her stupid Ikea bed slats are officially disintegrated to the point of no return, small wonder as they are ten years old. We can’t just get new slats because they’ve changed the configuration over the years- we’d have to get a whole new frame. Instead, I’ve opted to get her a mattress & boxspring (her old mattress was an atrocious mass of spranged-out springs) and just bypass the slats altogether. Her new bed is gonna be so comfy, and should last until she’s in college and it’s not my problem anymore (that’s how it works, right?).

Taylor has finally agreed that we (I) should get a new cat. Now I just need to find a rescue that will give me a cat when I have a house full of dogs and small children and who won’t try to check with the landlord if I’m allowed to have more pets. SHOULD BE A BREEZE. I’ve been trolling petfinder a lot, but it really only takes a few pages of cats that I definitely can’t have before I’m suddenly viewing pets in California, like this row of excellent cats in San Francisco.
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I mean… COME ON.

five things | seven

Some things I’m loving this week…

Spring’s Best Highlighters & Bronzers
Brittany Holloway-Brown for racked.com
I’m not a huge makeup person (I literally just added tinted moisturizer to my routine and I dilute it with regular moisturizer bc I CAN’T HANDLE THAT MUCH COVERAGE) but I just had my ID renewed and my picture is ROUGH so I think I need to step up my game.

Things I’ve Learned About Heterosexual Female Desire From Decades Of Reading. STOP I’M CREYING.

It Looks Like PEI’s Backwards Anti-Abortion Policy Is Here to Stay. I know “Jane” online and watching her go through this incredibly stupid and complicated process to get the healthcare to which she is entitled was beyond frustrating (secondhand frustration? Is that a thing?).

Printed Boho Mini Dress
I think I’ve posted a dress every week. It’s that time of year, I guess! The question is, how many hippy witch dresses is too many hippy witch dresses? I already have two, oops. I’m waiting for a sale/coupon code before I even consider buying this one, although tragically last time there was one it was sold out in my size ie STORY OF MY LIFE.

The Warning– Exterminated

people who look like their dogs


Every morning when I walk down the hill to the elementary school I see a man who looks like his dogs. One time I talked to him and petted his dogs, but he’s usually on the opposite side of the street as me so I don’t often get the opportunity, which is unfortunate because they are some very cute and friendly pups. He has two Brussels Griffons, and if you’ve never seen one before then click that link because you are in for a treat for the eyes. The man who owns these two dogs has a beard and I swear, it is styled in the exact same way that his Griffons’ “beards” are styled. I actually wonder which came first: does he style his beard that way because of his dogs, or does he style his dogs that way because of his beard?

He’s an older man and with some wrinkles and character in his face (I would describe him as rugged and outdoorsy), and all his features, not just his beard, have a real Brussels Griffon look, especially his eyes. It’s kind of uncanny! Last Friday Taylor and I were in a little cafe down the street getting coffee before we went to the aquarium, and the man walked by. Taylor had never seen him so I LUNGED towards the window and was like “LOOK LOOK IT’S THE MAN WHO LOOKS JUST LIKE HIS DOGS” and two girls sitting nearby started laughing because the one girl had literally just said the same thing to her friend.

Now the question is, do I look like my dog? There was a point a few years ago when I was slowly lightening my hair from dark brown to blonde and one of the in-between colours was a very Georgie reddish brown, but idk. I don’t know if people see me and Georgie walking down the street and say “There’s the woman who looks just like her Pomeranian!” Here are some pics of us together, so you can judge for yourself.

The day I picked her. I’ve gotten a lot of flack over the years for getting a dog from a breeder but I’m not even exaggerating when I say that no rescue would give me a small dog with my house full of children.


We were both in the puppy uglies with this hair lol.


When I was pregnant with her future bff Gwen

Anyway. Today is Georgie’s birthday, she is five years old! Happy birthday to LITERALLY the greatest dog ever, beloved by all.


Well, beloved by most.

five in the morning


















On Saturday we made the trek to Ikea and bought Gwen her big-girl bed. After setting it up I’m really glad we went with a toddler bed (in spite of my previous reservations about them) as there is literally NO WAY a twin would have fit in her room. Hopefully she will fit the toddler bed until we move to a place with a bigger bedroom for her, or Symphony moves out in like five years. It’s okay for a 7-year-old to be in a toddler bed, right?

Anyway. So far the transition is going pretty smoothly. She has been going to bed well at nap- and bedtime, and although sometimes she gets up for silly reasons (for example to shove 500 books into her lil friend’s crib) other times it’s to let us know she needs a diaper change, which is good. Once the problem has been resolved she will generally go back to bed without a fuss.

The part that is going less well is the mornings. I’m REALLY not a morning person, and having to get up at 7 or 7:30 for work is pretty much the earliest I can do and remain functional & conscious for the entire day. Gwen was also waking up at 7 or 7:30, OR SO WE THOUGHT. But since moving to her big girl bed she’s been getting up earlier and earlier every day: 6:45, 6 and in a grand coup this morning, FIVE AM. Has she been waking up this early all along and just hanging out quietly in her crib? Or is this a new, special, big-girl-bed-only wake up time?

When she wakes up she gets out of bed, turns on the light and knocks on her door while yelling (not angrily/sadly, just LOUDLY) to be set free since she can’t open her door yet THANK GOODNESS. This morning after I changed her diaper and her jammies and her bedsheets (it was a very wet diaper) and read her a story and played “this little piggy,” I tried putting her back to bed. I could hear her playing quietly until about 5:50 and then it was knock knock, who’s there? A yelling toddler, so you better wake up. RIGHT NOW.

little fishies




so many jellies






sloth spotting




On Friday Taylor, Gwen and I went to the aquarium. Ostensibly we were there with Taylor’s dad and sister & her husband & kids, but they have three kids younger than Gwen (a 2-year old boy and twin baby girls) so we didn’t actually spend too much time together. Those kids just need to keep moving! Gwen had a lot of fun climbing up to peer into all the tanks of fish and frogs and eels, and she LOVED the Amazon Gallery. She found a spot on the pathway near the hyacinth macaws, some scarlet ibis (ibises? ibisi?) and ringed teals and was happy to sit down and watch the “birs.”

five things | six

Some things I’m loving this week…

“Mystery Plane”
I can’t get over the details in this piece by my girl Sara M Lyons (and I kind of think I should prob make that “Out Of This World” banner).

Liz & LJ on “Severance”
I just really enjoy what they have to say about Stan.

In Celebration of Old-School Livejournal
Almost all of my internet friends are livejournal friends. Even though I haven’t updated my journal in yearsssss I was still in an active community until very recently (well, I’m still in it but it moved the facebook late last year? earlier this year? Basically what I’m saying is that I was definitely still using livejournal in 2014.)

North Forty Designs Framehouse
HOW COOL IS THIS PLAYHOUSE? I love the idea of the moon & stars hung from it, or you could do sun & clouds, or leaves. I don’t $725 love it tho (or maybe I DO $725 love it but my bank account doesn’t $725 love me), but maybe I could like… make one myself? Haha I always think I have these carpentry skills that I so don’t but you have to start somewhere, right?

My amazing & talented niece Zabrina…

youtube channel // facebook

big girl bed | coal harbour

I hung up a disco ball in the living room window, the sun hits it between 11am & 1pm, aka PRIME DISCO HOURS.



Gwen’s new sandals, she is O B S E S S E D with them (from Zara)


The li’lest blackheart


On Wednesday afternoon I went to go wake Gwen up from her nap and she greeted me at the door to her room. She’d never (to our knowledge) even attempted to climb out of her crib before so this was surprising, to say the least! In my experience, once kids realize they can climb out of their crib they want to do it all the time so I knew it was time to convert her crib to a toddler bed. She was horrified while I was taking the crib apart but pleased with the results. I was a little apprehensive about making the switch to a non-crib sleeping arrangement in the middle of the week (I have to get up early for work) but so far it’s been fine. She’s always been a good sleeper (KNOCK ON WOOD) so hopefully we won’t have any problems.

Obviously she is fine with the converted crib buuuuuuuut I reallyyyyyyyyyyyyy want to get her this adorable mini canopy toddler bed. Actual toddler beds are kind of ridic but like… her room isn’t really big enough for a twin bed (I have to have a second crib for her lil friend in there is why) so maybe I can justify it? It’s not on the Ikea Canada website anymore but it is available in stores (I confirmed with them via tweet) so maybeeeeeeeeeeee I can get it for her? I mean I DO have a new baby starting daycare next week and if Gwen is in a new bed, her lil friend can have her old crib and the new baby can use the mini crib. See, look? It’s practically a business expense!






A few pics from a walk along the Coal Harbour Seawall. Gwen wants to get out and walk all the time now so it takes five-ever to get anywhere but she has fun. We all have fun, really.