five things | thirteen

Today is the last day of school! Or rather, it is the last day I will be doing the school drop off/pick as the little girl I’ve been looking after got into the group out-of-school care she’s been on the waiting list for since September. In June, the last month of school. Crazy! I will miss her (she’s a great kid, who I’ve looked after on & off since she was just one year old) but I won’t miss having to drag Gwen and her lil friend and my giant stroller down the hill and back twice a day. Anyway, no more school runs makes me feel like summer has arrived early so HOORAY!

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Mermaids!

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Disappointed in myself for missing this perfect black tunic with lace insets before it sold out in my size, I guess I’ll just have to stalk the site every day and hope someone returns one.

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Gwen has a lot of jumpsuits, but none with a watermelon print sooooooo she could prob use this one.

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You can post gifs on facebook now and I know my feed is FREAKIN OUT about it.


Really loving this video for She’s Not Me, I just wish Jenny Lewis would stop making me second guess my decision to grow out my bangs.

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Sym’s grandma brought Gwen a little bunny-print pajama set of shorts & a kimono-style top from Japan and Gwen wants to wear the top ALL THE TIME.

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Earlier this week we went to a park down the hill with this one single piece of playground equipment and we had more fun with it than we ever have with the huge, idiotic structure in the park by our house.

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Look, idk what is going on with this month but it can stop like anyyyyyytime now. I am trying my hardest to keep my chin up and stay positive and look on the bright side but so many things keep going wrong and it is really starting to wear me down. Between Gwen getting sick, Taylor getting sick, me getting sick, the dog getting sick TWICE, working piling up, projects piling up, things getting screwed up, things getting wrecked, like I just can take it anymore! Really all I want to do is crawl into bed for the rest of this garbage month and stay there but when I was sick on Tuesday I had no choice but to spend the day in bed and as a result I am SO BEHIND on a lot of things I need to finish but like… tomorrow. I feel like I just can’t catch a break! The one bright light rn is Sym, who didn’t get sick and also does things like be very helpful when others are sick, is an effective babysitter of little sisters, and goes to school an hour early in the morning so she can study? WHO EVEN IS THIS SUPERKID?

I really don’t want to dwell on things like oh idk the TERRIBLE morning I had today that started with Gwen waking me at 5:30 crying her eyes out, moved on to finding dog diarrhea all over the dining room floor, continued with Gwen getting into the banners I spent all of yesterday scrambling to finish and mangling one of them, and finished with finding more dog diarrhea, this time in the foyer AND one of the shoes I was gonna wear today. I DON’T WANT TO DWELL ON IT OK. Instead lets think about how in spite of Gwen’s mangling I was able to save all the banners, and the dog didn’t get any diarrhea on the carpet, and my shoes are washable, and I’m really and truly almost caught up on everything I needed to do this week (although I feel like I say this all the time), and then next week everything will be gravy. Next month, even! Forget May; here’s to June.

bear creek

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While we were in Kelowna over the long weekend we went hiking in Bear Creek Park. It was implied to me that it would be an easy breezy stroll, and I guess maybe it would have if we weren’t the crazy people pushing a stroller up narrow, steep trails! Although it was safe it was a little nerve-wracking at times, but in the end COMPLETELY worth it for the gorgeous views.

five things | twelve

Even though it was a short week, it’s been a suuuuuuuuuper long one. I only worked three days (Monday was a holiday & I took Wednesday off) but I’ve been really busy with orders and in spite of my excellent lullaby-singing, Gwen has had some MAJOR sleeping issues week that have been very draining- on Tuesday night it took me SEVEN HOURS to get her to sleep. Thankfully things are looking up. Gwen has slept well with minimal fussing the past two nights, it’s almost the weekend, I FINALLY finished the huge 20-banner order I’ve been working on AND I just got approved to adopt a cat!

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I’m back with another dress! I actually already bought this one on a weird whim a few weeks ago so I can tell you it is the best summer dress everrrrrrrr. I bought the black but I’m thinking of getting the white as well.

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Hoodie with a dedicated pocket for a cat (or small dog)? SIGN ME UP!

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First pics from the new Wet Hot American Summer prequel series.

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The return of Clearly Canadian is giving me serious 90s flashbacks.

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I have way to many mugs but I might need some of these Wilderness mugs from Superfex.

unlikely lullabies

On Monday night Gwen put on a repeat performance of her refusing to sleep act from Saturday. After over an hour and a half of struggling to get her to stay in bed by changing her, redressing her, reading to her and laying down with her I finally tried singing to her. Why did I not try this sooner? It worked like a charm! Fifteen minutes of singing the non-Coca-Cola version of “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” (it’s been stuck in my head since Sunday night) over and over and she fell asleep and didn’t wake up until seven in the morning (a miracle!). While I’ve sung some traditional lullabies to my girls over the years I’ve had the best luck with regular songs, some of which might seem like odd choices. These have all worked for us though:


The New Seekers- I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing
I actually remember this song from when I was a kid, like I don’t think they were still airing the ad on tv at that time but I DEF heard this version. It works great as a lullaby: the sweet lyrics, folky melody and short, repetitive verses are overtired toddler Kryptonite. A song like this you can sing the verses over and over in any order which is perfect for soothing a frantic lil one to sleep.


The Ditty Bops- Because We Do
idk that the lyrics of this song are really lullaby material but other than that it has all the same positives as ILTTTWTS.


Depeche Mode- Enjoy the Silence
This is what I used to sing to Gwen when she was a tiny baby. Go ahead and laugh but “all I ever wanted, all I ever needed, is here in my arms” is just what I was feeling at the time.


Guns n Roses- Sweet Child o’ Mine
… and this is what I would sing to little Symmie. GO AHEAD AND LAUGH HARDER but this song is the best lullaby.

went away|came back

First of all, thank you everyone for the incredible response to the Sara M Lyons + Unicorn Parade banners that Sara and I released last week! I sold out of the Whatever Forever banner in about fifteen minutes, and Sara has just one left in her shop. We both have some Out of this World and Best Buds banners still available so please visit shop.unicornpara.de or shop.saramlyons.com to get one of your very own.

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Gwen’s flamingo swimsuit is from Old Navy

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I actually have a degree in taking pictures of scenery through the window of a moving car.

For the long weekend Taylor and I packed up Gwen and the little dogs and headed up to his moms’ place in Kelowna. Since both of us were off work Friday (I’d booked it as a vacation day but as it turned out I had no kids coming, what a waste!) we planned to leave early in the day and avoid traffic, but due to certain circumstances we didn’t actually leave the house until about 1pm. It took us two and a half hours just to get out of the city and across the Fraser Valley, ugh. After a quick visit to Hope to buy snacks and to enact a complicated standing-up diaper-changing maneuver on a screaming toddler in a truck-stop bathroom we made good time the rest of the way and arrived at dinnertime.

Saturday was beautiful and sunny and Gwen was up bright and early at 6am and ready to hit the backyard. She spent some quality time with the water table and then after breakfast we headed out to go hiking in Bear Creek Park. Back at the house Gwen had a very short nap (she’d fallen asleep in the car briefly and non-nap time sleeps always mess up her nap). She spent most of the rest of Saturday playing with water in the backyard and watching her fave shows with her grandmas while Taylor and I ran some errands.

At bedtime we started to have some problems. She’d gone down easily on Friday night but Saturday night it was a HUGE struggle to get her to sleep in her bed. In fact, I never did. At her grandmas’ she sleeps in a crib in a spare room but since she can climb out of cribs it only took about five seconds after we closed the door before she turned on the light and started knocking to be let out. Taylor had some work to do so I tried myself for an hour to get her to bed in her room, but it just wasn’t happening and I was so tired and stressed out that I was starting to get mad, so in the end I let her come lay down with me in the other bedroom. Of course, she still didn’t go to sleep- she stayed up goofing around for at least another hour before settling down to what would be a long, nearly-sleepless night for Taylor and I.

Sunday morning Taylor’s sister came over with her three kids for a little visit, and after they left we tried giving Gwen lunch and putting her down for a nap again but it was just more of the same as the night before, she wouldn’t stay in bed. We tried both the crib AND the actual bed in the room but there was no way. Taylor and I had already decided that if she wouldn’t nap we’d have to leave early because all of us were pretty much at the end of our ropes, emotionally. It sucked because leaving early meant missing out on more time with Taylor’s family and a barbecue I was really looking forward to, but the alternative was a toddler on the brink of a constant meltdown and two even more exhausted adults making the drive back the next day. So we quickly packed up all our stuff (forgetting only Taylor’s tablet and notebook) and headed out.

As soon as we put Gwen into her carseat she got MAJOR sleepy-eyes, and I think she fell asleep before we’d driven 50 feet. She slept all the way to Merritt, two hours away. After she woke up she was mostly good the rest of the way, only making a serious fuss when she needed her diaper changed, again in Hope and again a complicated standing-up endeavour, this time in the back seat because it was raining and I didn’t want to get out of the car. We drove through rain- and thunderstorms until we reached the sun in Metro Vancouver, again arriving just in time for dinner. We were a little worried that Gwen would be difficult to get to bed again but she went straight to sleep without a problem and didn’t wake until 7am.

Since we still had the rental car for another day we made a quick trip to Ikea this morning to snag a couple items we forgot on our last trip, a pair of waterproof mattress protectors and a second duvet for Gwen’s toddler bed. as well as a new sheepskin for her room. We had to chuck out her old one because SOMEONE’S little dog peed on it, and we ended up getting a fake (ie WASHABLE) one this time. Since we were saving money on the sheepskin ($15 vs $40) we also picked up a cute rack for Taylor’s hats, a frame for a poster he ordered last month and some 600lm LED lightbulbs for our bedroom. I’m OBSESSED with these bulbs; they last for basically ever and make CFLs look like the literal worthless trash bulbs they are. I buy a few every time I go to Ikea and plan on eventually replacing every CFL bulb in my house with them.

five things | eleven

Sara M Lyons + Unicorn Parade
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Is it tacky to post my own link in one of these posts? Probably but I DON’T EVEN CARE because I am in love with these banners Sara and I designed together! They are based off three of her original illustrations (I actually just posted about one a couple weeks ago) and they are available today in limited quantities in both our shops, here and here.

Bestie Row

How To Accept Compliments

Hermit of the Jungle Guards a Brazilian Ghost City

The Magicians! This book series is one of my absolute favourites and I’m just really really really hoping the tv adaptation doesn’t suck.

april kawaii box

We (Sym and I) received the April Kawaii Box in the first week of May but I’ve been too busy to post about it until now. I think I liked this box a little better than the March one; with the exception of one item everything is pretty good! I took these pics in Sym’s room in the middle of setting up her new bed so they aren’t great but oh well. I think Sym got more stuff than me, but I’m okay with that. In this box we got:

– “Love Rabbit” stickers, these are super puffy and very cute (Sym’s pick)
– squishy cat paw cellphone charm, chocolate(???) scented? weird (my pick, stolen by Gwen)
– Collon cookies, I’ve had the chocolate and vanilla ones before, these were (I assume) green tea. Pretty good, sweet at the start with a very tea-ish aftertaste. (shared with everyone)
– stick on gems for cellphone decoration (Sym’s pick)
– little plush cat (my pick, stolen by Gwen)
– Rilakkuma notebook with pink pages (my pick)
– orange macaron trinket box, at first I thought this might have lipgloss in it but it’s just empty (my pick)
– another pen, this one with a little pony on it (Sym’s pick)
– sheep-themed pencil case, at first I thought these were knock off Arkapassos but it helpfully says “ovis aries” on it (the scientific name for domestic sheep) (Sym’s pick)
– pink & white polkadot vinyl bow hair clip, I love how this looks in her hair with the pink tips! (Sym’s pick)
– not pictured: a pack of assorted colours of loose glitter, this was shedding all over Sym’s bed so we left it in the box. The flop item, very messy and neither of us wanted it (I have enough glitter & Sym is not into glitter-based crafts)

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monday morning

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My hairdresser went on a month-long vacation and in that time my bangs grew OUT OF CONTROL. They got so long I had to start pinning them to the side and now I’m considering growing them out, oops. I just got them in December, and getting bangs once my hair reached a certain length was always the plan but idk you guys, I don’t love them this time. I guess we’ll see how it goes- failing at growing out my bangs was part of the reason I cut all my hair off two years ago.

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The other weekend I finally got around to weeding my terrible garden and seeing which of my plants have survived another year of my neglect, so now we’re in the part of the year when I pretend to care about it and buy some new plants and remember to water it every day. Last year I bought a ton of groundcover plants but lost interest in them too quickly and they all withered and died. This year I bought just one, a Corsican mint, as well as this cool-looking little fern. My upstairs neighbor also gave me a bunch of pansies that I planted in the worst spot in my garden, right under the foyer window where the roof overhang means no rain reaches the plants there (it’s where all my groundcovers died last year). Will I be able to keep any of these plants alive? ONLY TIME WILL TELL but probably not.

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This is not our cat, it belongs to some of our neighbors and sometimes they bring him down to the backyard so Gwen can pet him. She is absolutely obsessed with kitties right now, and when I hold him (his name is Theo) she climbs into my lap and lays there quietly, softly petting his little paws and ears. It also helps that he is the chillest cat in the world, but she is much nicer to him than she is to any of the dogs. Seeing her gently patting him and whispering “ki-y” is so sweet and really makes me want to get a cat even more.

I haven’t had much time to post lately because I’ve just been so busy with real work. I am mostly caught up on orders but so behind on other things, it’s ridiculous. I actually put my shop on vacation temporarily to try and give myself some time to catch up!

The thing I’m focussing on right now is finishing a pair of bunny boots. They were ordered by one of my kickstarter backers, and I SWEAR TO GOD THEY ARE CURSED. Little things keep going wrong with them so they are taking me forever to finish. First, when I went to attach the little black studs for the eyes, they would not set right and just crumpled and bent and eventually I had to pull the mangled remains out so many times that the leather of the vamp (the toe section of the boot) tore. I had to cut whole new vamps, but I’d already attached the muzzles & noses to the old ones so I had to unstitch them to put on the new vamps, but then I discovered I’d accidentally hit one of the noses with my mallet, ruining it (they are small triangular studs). I was so frustrated that I ended up doing a completely different face, with appliquéd features instead of the studs. Then, when I went to sew the first finished vamp onto it’s shaft, I sewed almost halfway across before realizing I’d forgotten to put the ears into the seam, so I had to unstitch that! And for the final curse, after finishing the upper of the first boot I went to assemble the second and discovered the other pair of ears was missing. Now, I’m 90% sure that I did make four ears, and in all likelihood Gwen got ahold of them and put them somewhere so clever I won’t find them for months. HOWEVER there is also a slight chance that I only ever made two ears, and any time spent searching for the allegedly missing pair would be a waste I can’t afford. So now I have to make another pair of ears, which I probably already made, making it also a waste of time.

It’s just really frustrating and exhausting and as a consequence I am at the end of my rope with everything in my life. I’m tired and have zero patience for nonsense from anyone. Last night I ended up so frustrated by little things Taylor and Sym and even Gwen said and did that after making and serving dinner for everyone I shut myself in the bedroom to read this supremely boring book I’ve been slogging through and didn’t have anything to eat myself until later. Not very mature or productive, I know. Also not productive is the work avoidance procrastination I’ve been doing: running errands with Taylor that I don’t need to go on, rearranging the foyer, deciding the most valuable use of my time is to take Gwen shoe shopping, gardening. NOT THE WAY TO GET THINGS DONE. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get properly back on track, because lord knows right now I just want to go back to bed and pull the blankets over my head and go “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” to all my responsibilities.

five things | ten

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls
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WOW THESE ARE NOT AT ALL CREEPY.

Meet the Funny, Unfussy Woman Behind ‘Crepes of Wrath’

The Price of Nice Nails

INTENSE JUDO ACTION

What Frida Wore

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Bonus sixth thing! I totally forgot to link to my calendar page for May- I actually didn’t even print one out for myself until the 5th, oopsssss. Anyway you can find it here and I’ll try to be more timely in June.