cry now, cry later

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GET READY because the new Sara M Lyons + Unicorn Parade “Cry Now Cry Later” banner will be available for sale in both our shops tomorrow, October 1st at 10am Pacific time. This banner features black glitter letters with a white & black glitter Sad Ghost at either end. They are hung on black satin ribbon and finished on the reverse with custom Sara M Lyons-designed patterned paper in a black, white and pink “ghost” motif. The letters are 3.5″ tall and 2.5″ to 4.5″ wide. The ghosts are 4.75″ tall and 2.75″ wide, and the full width of the banner is 78″.

You can also still get the Whatever Forever, Out of the World and Best Buds banners!

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Was not able to get a pic of the two of us with Gwen’s face.

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Gwen in the treetops.

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There is a version of this pic where she is NOT making a weird face but I couldn’t resist this silly look.

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The plaid shirt I wore was WAY too similar to the plaid shirts the park staff wears.

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A snack request.

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On Monday I took Gwen up to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver. I was a little daunted by the cost; adult admission to the park is almost $40 with tax, but as a BC resident I was able to get an annual membership at no additional cost so I figured it would be worth it. I’d never actually been up there before but there is a free shuttle bus that stops a block and a half from our house so I was like WHAT THE HECK. I had originally wanted Taylor to come with us as well but he’s back to working nights, and plus he is PETRIFIED of heights so I’m guessing that a freaky-ass wobbly bridge stretching over a canyon isn’t high on his must-do activities list.

Since we went on a weekday morning I was hoping that it wouldn’t be too busy but the nice weather meant it was pretty packed. The shuttle bus was full before the last stop on the way there and there were tons of people on the bridge. It was pretty wobbly; I’m not sure if more people make it more wobbly but that thing felt like Galloping Gertie! I was a little worried Gwen would be flipped out but she wasn’t afraid at all, and happily tromped across bridge with no hesitation. She was actually more scared of the totem poles in the park and wouldn’t go anywhere near them.

After crossing the canyon we walked through the Treetop Adventure, past the trout ponds and along the boardwalk through the forest. Gwen went up and down tons of stairs and over all the little bridges on her own, but after a couple of hours of walking she was getting pretty tired and grumpy. I knew she was in no mood to check out the Cliffwalk, but she also refused to go in the gift shop and was chanting “home. home. home.” That was a pretty clear indicator that she was 100% done by that point so we just hopped back on the shuttle bus and headed back downtown.

Overall I really liked the park; there was a lot to see and do- we were there for hours and still didn’t do everything, and for locals who can get the annual pass it’s actually pretty reasonably priced. If I go once a month for the next year that’s only $3.33 a visit! I plan on going a lot (maybe next time on a day with less flawless weather when it’s not as busy) and hope to find a way to convince Taylor and Sym to come too, possibly for the Canyon Lights at Christmastime.

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family dinner

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Sunday potato & corn chowder with bacon
Monday chicken with white wine garlic sauce; roasted potatoes, carrots and butternut squash; butter lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes
Tuesday lasagne
Wednesday chili with cornbread muffins
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday mini pizzas
Saturday TBD ofc

Sunday’s soup was made to use up a bunch of leftovers/things about to go bad, and tbh I didn’t love it. Too much corn, not enough potatoes. // About once a year I decide to make something with squash and I guess today is the day. I’ve been trying to branch out with some of these meals, and make something different from scratch each week. This week it is Tuesday’s lasagne, so if anyone has a good recipe for one please send me a link so I don’t have to try and fudge my way through it! // Friday we are having mini pizzas since we never had them last week- I never even bought the ingredients! Last week’s meals were a total disarray; as it turned out there wasn’t enough tortellini so I made mac & cheese again (and redeemed myself but not fucking it up this time, haha), so we had leftovers of that on Tuesday and did breakfast for dinner on Wednesday, thus postponing the sliders YET AGAIN until Friday. The onions were still good, the buttermilk was NOT. Those baked onion rings were kind of a bust anyway. Only about 1/3 of them were good, and even the good ones were a little dry.

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The baby bear says “hey come & check out this post, it has way more than five things in it!”

DOG TRAIN. Also, this boy & his puppy.

I’m trying to save all my money to get a new raincoat for myself (gave my old one to Sym because I literally cannot get her to wear a raincoat otherwise) buuuuuuuuuut I really wanna get this pin form The Disaster Life.

2015 is really Rose McGowan’s year I think.

Maybe one day I will be like THAT’S IT! NO MORE CUTE WHIMSICAL HOUSEWARES! Today, though, is not that day.

Or how about a whimsical diy?

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My October calendar page! I made two versions, a Canadian one and one for people who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in October for some weird reason. Download both here.

summer’s last day

00 sunlight thru trees

01 gween and squirrel

02 fern & fungus stump

03 gwen on the path 1

04 ducks on the lagoon

05 gwen on the path 2

06 gwen pushing her stroller

07 lagoon reflection

08 willow

09 gwen on the path 3

10 raccoon

11 trees and sky

12 gwen swings 1

13 yellow tree

14 gwen slides

15 leaves and sky

16 gwen swings 2

17 ocean

Yesterday was beautiful out so instead of doing stuff around the house I took Gwen to Stanley Park/the playground at Second Beach. I didn’t even realize that it was the last day of summer. Anyway I was so tired when we got back that I couldn’t be bothered to do anything. I couldn’t even be bothered to make my to-do list. I mean, I did a little work on etsy orders, but not as much as I could/should have, and I didn’t do any housework. OOPS. Today I woke up to unfinished banners, piles of laundry, mountains of dirty dishes and toys strewn everywhere. Not cool, but I busted my butt all morning and managed to get most of the mess cleaned up before nap time.

chill

… as in there’s one in the air, and it’s also all I wanna do rn. I have a lot of stuff to do today, but first for a little Monday morning treat: you can stream the new CHVRCHES on NPR, and bless their hearts, it’s not geolocked like the Beach House First Listen was (of course, I got around that in the end, but it was still annoying).

01 taylor & gwen

02 white flower

03 squirrel tree
I feel that a lot of squirrels must live here.

04 moss tree

05 green coat gwen

06 new boots
My beloved Kodiak boots have finally disintegrated so I’ve been wearing this pair instead. I’ve had them for a while but never wore them because the soles leave scuff marks everywhere. Maybe if I get them resoled I’ll like them more?

07 green leaves

08 cedar branches

09 white berries

10 gwen thru the trees

Taylor has been working days for the past week and it’s been weird but nice. He’s been getting up at like… 5am, working for a couple of hours at home, going into the office for 8 and getting home by 2 or 3 most days. I think tomorrow or Wednesday he goes back to working nights, but he had his review last week and the HR department expressed some concerns about how many hours he has been working (ie TOO MANY). It’s been decided that unless there is a super serious systems administrating emergency he has to leave the office by 9 each day. He actually used to leave that early (or even earlier) most days- there was a year when he came home by 8:30 three days a week so he could walk Sym to school. It’s kind of amazing to think he will be coming home every day in the morning and theoretically getting more than 3 hours sleep a day.

I’m still working on getting used to using this camera of Taylor’s. My camera is tiny and has a wrist strap, so it’s strange not being able to fit it in my pocket, or hold it easily in one hand (especially with my sprained finger, ow). I do think it takes better pictures though? Probably it would be even better if I could be bothered to ACTUALLY learn how to use it properly, but ughhhhhhhhhh. I wish there was some way to combine Taylor’s technical knowledge with my artistic eye and steady hand, but other than my actually reading the instruction manual (LOL NO) I don’t think there’s a way it’s ever gonna happen.

FINALLY I should prob stop releasing new things on the weekend bc it seems like no one is on the internet but O WELL I’m just a very impatient person (I actually have my October calendar page finished and it’s making me bonkers waiting until the end of the week to post it) but I listed a new set of hand painted wooden blocks on Saturday. I actually made these ones for myself as a ~desk accessory~ or w/e and have them in a little wooden bowl by my computer. They are in a forest/woodland theme and the set of twenty-one blocks includes seven blocks painted in shades of green with leaves on one side, seven blocks painted in shades of brown with two metallic sides (one copper and one bronze), three blocks painted red with white spots, and four blocks painted as animals: a dark brown bear, a medium brown deer, a red-brown squirrel and an orange fox.
woodland blocks pyramid
Get a set for yourself here.

family dinner

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Sunday roasted red pepper soup w/tomato & arugula salad
Monday tortellini with cheese sauce
Tuesday breakfast for dinner: eggs, bacon, hashbrowns
Wednesday veggie sliders with baked onion rings
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday mini pizzas
Saturday TBD ofc

Sunday’s soup is one I made myself from scratch, using the peppers I roasted last week, plus some leftover chicken, carrots and onion from the previous week. One of my goals for this whole meal-planning experiment is to waste less food, so I am pretty pleased with myself for using up a bunch of leftovers in such a delicious way. Pre-roasting all those peppers was also a genius move, so I bought EVEN MORE on Friday and I’m going to roast them all too. Hopefully I can make the cheese sauce for Monday’s dinner without RUINING MY LIFE. Wednesday’s meal is obviously last Friday’s meal that was never made due to the whole salmon/macaroni & cheese incident. I had to bump last Wednesday’s salmon to Friday so as not to waste it (it turned out so good, I made a glaze with some leftover honey hoisin sauce, orange juice, ginger and white pepper), so Friday’s sliders are now Wednesday’s. This is sure to annoy Sym, as I made sliders on Fridays all summer so when I made salmon last Friday she was like THIS SEEMS WRONG, and she’s bound to feel the same way about sliders on a Wednesday. HOWEVER I don’t want to wait until the end of the week to use the onions I already bought so she’ll just have to deal with it.

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The canis lupus crew welcomes you to this post…

An interesting article on what happens when grief goes viral.

I have a bunch of iron-on unicorn patches up in the shop for superrrrr cheap.

Facebook is introducing a “dislike” button, I can’t wait to not like things.

I wish this baby name generator had been around when I was preg with Gwen, we had so much trouble picking a name for her.

FULL LENGTH, bless

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Taylor has graciously offered to let me use one of his cameras, the Canon EOS M, instead my little one, so I’ve been trying it out. All of these pictures are of very small things and none of them has anything to do with this post.

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We had mini blueberry jelly donuts for breakfast & Gwen ate just as many as I did.

02 white pumpkins
DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON. Local ppl, Independent Grocer on Davie has mesh bags of 6 white mini pumpkins for $3.

03 little deer
I ordered this little ceramic deer from etsy about a million years ago, I’d completely forgotten about it until it arrived in the mail. Now it lives in the glass pyramid that was formerly home to my air plant which spontaneously died this week? Like it was doing great for almost two months, I was taking care of it the way I’d been instructed and then one day it was just all shrivelled up? RIP, air plant (my fern still lives tho).

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Miniature wooden bowl, itty-bitty seashells, tiny silver ring from Little Pancakes.

05 baby bear
Gwen is super into doing whatever I do, so when I put on a knit hat today she had to put on a knit hat too. This meant I had to get the bag of all last winter’s accessories down, and all morning she’s been treating me too a winter accessories fashion show, including these brown bear crochet ear warmers from Tiny Tangerines. From her digging through all her cold weather gear I’ve learned two things: she needs new snow boots as last year’s are too small (this has not stopped her from wearing them all morning though), and she does not need a new green jacket as last year’s still fits. Of course, I’d forgotten that I saved it and already ordered a new one so that’s cool. I’m not sure if I’ll be returning the new one; the old one is a size three and she’s growing out of that size pretty quickly, the new one (which hasn’t arrived yet) is a four and will fit her all winter.

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Dougal folds up very small.

07 blurred bedroom
Gwen climbed up and stole the camera off the dresser in my bedroom to take this picture.

Maybe I was just too cocky. Maybe I was feeling overconfident after the cornbread muffins I’d made for the first time the day before turned out so perfect and delicious that Taylor, Gwen and I ate all twelve in one sitting. Maybe Sym’s compliment when I told her we were having homemade mac & cheese for dinner that my “cheese is the fluffiest!” went to my head. idk what it was, but last night dinner got me right in the hubris. I flew too close to the sun and screwed it up to the point of disaster THREE TIMES.

The first disaster was that I wasn’t even supposed to make mac & cheese for dinner, I was going to make salmon. I forgot to take the salmon out of the freezer though, and by 4pm it was still rock hard, leaving me scrambling to find a replacement meal. I decided on this roasted red pepper mac & cheese I’d made before; it always turns out great, I already had the roasted peppers and I knew everyone would eat it. I’d made this particular meal so many times I didn’t even have to think about it, which I guess explains how the second disaster happened.

I forgot the milk. I made my roux, it looked great, and then I just dumped a bunch of shredded cheese right into it? I was like “hmm this cheese hasn’t melted right, let me just check the recipe-OH GOOD LORD.” The recipe calls for three and a half cups of milk and I’d put in precisely zero and zero half cups of milk. I tried to salvage it by adding the milk after buuuuut that didn’t exactly work as the cheese had already formed into weird grainy unmeltable clumps. It was beyond nasty and there was nothing to do but toss the sauce and start over.

This time I measured out the milk in advance so I wouldn’t somehow make the same mistake again. I had Taylor shred all the rest of the cheese* and got ready. One problem: I had no butter left. It was already after 6pm and I really didn’t want to run out to the store so I was like “oh I’ll just use margarine, I’m sure it will turn out.” Well as it turns out, it WON’T turn out. The roux looked alright and I remembered the milk, but when I added the cheese it still didn’t all melt properly no matter how much I stirred. It seemed good enough though, so I poured it over the noodles and peppers and popped it in the oven. When I pulled it out I realized it was disaster number three.

I guess the margarine didn’t form the right cohesive bonds or something, because the sauce was still 100% liquid. Okay not 100% because there were some thicker, cheesy parts stuck to the noodles, but underneath it was all watery with an oily surface. SO GROSS. By this point I was so frustrated I was almost in tears, and was just about to toss the whole thing and send Taylor to get takeout, when I decided to try one last thing: I strained it. I strained the noodles and peppers and cheese and ended up with a colander of edible mac & cheese, and a bowl of REPULSIVE SLOP. Thank goodness I was able to salvage it at the last minute but GOOD GRIEF.

*I couldn’t do it myself because earlier in the day I sprained the middle finger on my right hand while cleaning the bathroom (SOMETHING ONLY I COULD DO) and it was (and still is) super painful. Clearly yesterday was Not My Day.

autumn’s beginning

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It’s cold again. Back when we had that storm a couple of weeks ago I declared summer over but then the sun came back and we had some beach days and I had to pull my Birkenstocks back out from under the bed*. Now it’s cold again. Putting-away-your-summer-gear, drinking-hot-tea-all-day, wearing-socks-to-bed cold. This morning when we took Georgie for a walk Gwen wanted to wear her wolf suit, which is SUPER warm and cozy, and I allowed it (then halfway through the walk she decided she DIDN’T want to wear it after all and started whining “suit off, suit off”). It was almost starting to rain and I am not looking forward to going out to run errands later.

Gwen has started calling me “Ma” instead of “Mum.” I don’t know why, maybe Taylor taught her as revenge for my thinking it was so funny when she stopped calling him “Dadda” and started calling him “Taylor.” Maybe she just finds the single syllable more efficient since she says it so many times every day. I just hear “Ma. Ma. MA!” all day long.

I still don’t have a job. I mean, I DO, I just don’t have any clients. I’ve gotten a lot of calls and messages and even taken a bunch of meetings with potential clients but so far everything has been a bust. I’m starting to feel really discouraged, like WHY BOTHER trying to make a super-good impression and like really talk myself up as an aces child care provider when nothing comes of it? It just feels like a waste of everyone’s time. With each facebook messenger or text message conversation that peters out, each meeting that leads to nothing, each person who almost commits but then ghosts me, I get less motivated, and the longer I go on not working the less I’m going to enjoy it when I start again.

*Getting things out from under the bed is extra tricky nowadays. A bunch of the castors had snapped off the frame and I worried the whole thing would collapse and crush the cat who lives under it, so a few weeks ago Taylor and I took off the mattress and the boxspring (much to the chagrin of the aforementioned cat), flipped up the frame and pulled off the remaining castors. Now the bed is much more stable, but it’s also a couple of inches shorter and the boxes of shoes underneath it don’t slide out as easily anymore.