I’ve been super stressed out and frazzled this week so I don’t have any faves to share (except for maybe my keen ability to not barf during a panic attack). Instead, here are five goals I want to accomplish this year:
1. The first and most important thing, that I really need to do, is improve my job-slash-financial situation. I need to get my child care license again and get some more clients! At the moment I only have one little boy in care part-time, and I just found out this week that they will be leaving the country at the end of February (originally they’d planned on staying here until late spring/early summer). I have been hustling hard to find some new families to work with and I finally, FINALLY sent in my license application (it only took me five months).
2. Replace my dishwasher. This is contingent on #1 going well but I really need to do this. My current one, which I inherited from the previous tenant and was secondhand to her, is super decrepit and barely works. Like it doesn’t even wash the dishes anymore, just rinses and sterilizes (I need the dishes sterilized for work) them, so I have to completely pre-wash everything. It is SO not energy/water efficient, and I read online that modern dishwashers are SO GOOD that the only way a human could equal their efficiency level would be if they could wash all the dishes with the water running for just two minutes. I WANT THAT.
3. Fix all the holes/dings/gouges in the walls. I used to keep on top of fixing this kind of small damage but I’ve majorly slacked on it in the past couple years. There are a bunch of places where things bashed into the walls or I’d moved shelves or furniture from one place to another, and it really doesn’t look cute having holes all over the place.
4. Repaint the half-bath and the hallway. I’m so sick to death of the orange bathroom and yellow hallway! The hallway is the worst because when I painted it I accidentally used the high-gloss yellow paint left over from my desk instead of the eggshell yellow paint left over from idek what. It’s horrible, this shiny yellow hallway. And the orange in the bathroom is not fun anymore and when the light is on the whole room glows like the surface of the sun. I want to paint them both white or light grey or something else inoffensive.
5. CANCEL MY GYM MEMBERSHIP. I put this on my list of goals last year and did not accomplish it, thereby wasting $240 on fees that could have gone towards my dishwasher fund or hallway paint or literally anything at all. I’m going to do it this year, for reals this time.
I have been LOVING this new ready-to-ship banners change I instituted in my shop earlier this month! I love not feeling bogged down with making the same banners every week, I love being able to ship orders so much faster, and I love love love all the extra time I have to work on different projects!
On the weekend I started embroidering a little grumpy fox and I just find it so fun and relaxing. I hadn’t really done any embroidery since I made the patches for Taylor’s anniversary gift two years ago, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it. I even like buying the embroidery thread; the subtle variations of the colours make choosing just the right shade fascinating AND they only cost sixty cents each (less with a coupon; I got the new oranges I needed for this fox for 45 cents each)! Combine that with how inexpensive the wooden hoops are and the fact that I’m upcycling the fabric from a torn pair of linen shorts and this is a very cheap hobby.
Bad news for poor lil Symmie: after two weeks having her palate expanded with a palate expander she went to the orthodontist to get it removed… or so she thought. Turns out that while we don’t have to adjust it anymore, she has to keep it in the whole rest of the time she has her braces! I feel really bad for her, it makes it hard to talk and hard to eat and it leaves a weird impression on her tongue that really bothers her. Thankfully she only has four months of braces left, or maybe less! Everyone cross their fingers that it’s less.
At the end of last year I was so busy with orders I really didn’t have any time to spend on myself. Some days I literally couldn’t even squeeze in a shower, let alone any pampering. This year I want to make a more conscious effort to get a little more me time. For me a perfect opportunity to do this is right after Gwen goes to bed; while Taylor takes the dogs for a walk I love to hop in the bath with some fizzy salts, a mask on my face and a good book, then afterwards wrap myself in a cozy towel.
Bison Fresh Grapefruit hot bath salts // Tony Moly Choco Mushroom face mask // The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman // Bespoke Post Turkish bath towel
It’s been a while! This week’s faves are all things I would be super pleased to get for my birthday in two weeks.
This Tales from Moomin Valley poster would fit perfectly in my house.
BOTH of my favourite pairs of boots totally disintegrated this winter, so I need something new that will last for ever and ever, like these classic Blundstones.
There was a sample of this Lvnea L’Alchemie perfume in my Christmas stocking and I am just IN. LOVE. with it and will definitely need a full-size bottle.
I would live in this Simka Sol Sonia Robe Dress.
Even though I have a cat of my own I still really want to check out the Catfe which opened here a few months ago… and on my birthday I will! I actually made the reservation during Christmas break, and February 5th was the first day they had space for all four of us (serendipity!).
Last fall I got super into making to-do lists for myself so I wouldn’t forget things I had to do. I fell out of the habit in late November (because at that point every list was like… “MAKE ONE THOUSAND MINI KILLJOY BANNERS, MAKE ONE THOUSAND EVERYTHING IS OK BANNERS” so it seemed pointless). Yesterday I made my first to-do list in months and WOW did I ever get a lot done. Like so much cleaning and work and organizing and meal prep. It was amazing and inspired me to get a jumpstart on spring cleaning, and also force Taylor and Sym to get a jumpstart on helping me with spring cleaning, by posting a big household to-do list on the fridge.
It took me two days but I finally sorted through all of Gwen’s old clothes. I think living with the messy piles and bins everywhere for weeks really helped to take the sentimentality out of the process and I was able to ruthlessly pare down the precious keepsakes down to just one huge bin. I didn’t even include the little footie pants you guys. I sorted everything else (four other huge bins and one medium bin) by size and it’s all ready to take back to storage or get rid of, whichever I decide.
There is a lot going on with Gwen this week. She’s decided she no longer naps in the afternoons and after a couple of days of fighting to get her to nap just a little I gave up and now I just let her quietly watch videos in her room during quiet time. TERRIBLE PARENTING I KNOW but like… it works so whatever. I just set her up in bed with my phone and turn out the lights and she won’t get up until I go get her. Yesterday I discovered she had subscribed me to like a billion of those toy-opening youtube channels. Why do kids like those toy-opening videos so much??? It’s weird. Anyway I’m making the executive decision that little girls who don’t need a nap don’t need to wear diapers either (except for quiet- and bedtime). So far we’ve had no luck with going on the potty but no accidents either as she will hold it all day if she has to. I had also meant to quit giving her pacifiers (she only has them at sleep time) but I swear the very day I decided this she started asking for them, which she’d never done before. COOL MOVE, KID. So rn I’m just being stricter with the sleeping-only rule for them, because I think NO naps NO diapers and NO binkies all in the same week is too much.
Sym is doing well with her palate expander; she’s having less trouble eating and is almost halfway there. It’s less painful for her and I’m getting better at cranking it without getting the little tool jammed in it. This morning she did stamp her feet in a little huff when I reminded her we had to do it, but I think that was mostly because she was trying to leave for school and I’d made her “late” by making her take Georgie out for a pee (not really late, she leaves for school like an hour early and it only takes ten minutes to walk there). Teens!
This week has been a weird one; most of us (especially Gwen) were/are sick with a gruesome cold, and for most of the week it’s felt like the wrong day. The former was a nightmare of coughing, sneezing, runny noses and nowhere near enough sleep for anyone. The latter was because Sym switched the days she stays at her dad from Tuesday & Thursday to Wednesday & Thursday- there was a good reason for it though, and that reason is PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. It’s basically the one show we watch together, it airs on Tuesdays and we’ve always had to wait until Wednesday or sometimes even Saturday to watch it. It was actually my suggestion she change her schedule and spend PLL nights here so I can’t really complain, but it made Wednesday feel like Thursday and Thursday feel like Friday and it all just made the week seem extra long.
Also this week (just yesterday in fact) Sym got a palate expander added to her braces, which sucks and she hates it. We have to adjust it twice a day for two weeks and she’s having a helluva time eating because every food gets stuck in it. I have no idea what to make for dinner now, like should I make her favourite foods so the hassle of having to clear it out of the expander is worth it, or should I just make a blended soup to reduce the amount of hassle? I’m reminded of the time my high school boyfriend’s older brother had his jaw wired shut and their mother would just take whatever the family was eating and blend it up with milk into like a ham-peas-barley smoothie. NASTY. Anyway I’m going to wait until she gets home from school and then figure it out together.
I’ve been adding more things to my shop and society6 but I don’t want to make constant picture posts about it; maybe just once a month? With my new shop policy I just have all this extra time and I’m feeling super ~inspired~. Most things I do post on instagram so you can follow me there to keep informed. This weekend I plan on working on EVEN MORE new things, as well as finally figuring out what the heck I’m gonna do with all the baby clothes; the bins of them are still all over my kitchen and dining room and even though I took some things out of them (I gave Gwen some of her tiniest sleepers to dress her “babies” in instead of her current size 4 pajamas) somehow they’ve expanded and no longer fit in the same bins? It’s a mess.
The other week I hypothesized on twitter that I could make a campfire-scented stovetop simmer using evergreen sprigs & liquid smoke. I finally got around to testing my theory on the weekend and you can! This simmer gives a subtle campfire or woodstove scent that totally reminded me of my childhood growing up in the country WITHOUT the risk of setting off my city apartment smoke detectors.
campfire stovetop simmer
• 2 cups water
• 10 to 15 4″ fresh sprigs of evergreen
• 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp liquid smoke
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and place on the stove over low heat. Leave to simmer, adding more water as necessary. Never leave a stovetop simmer unattended!
For my simmer I used western redcedar; you can use whatever is indigenous to your area- just make sure it is fragrant! I didn’t want it to be overwhelmingly smokey so I used just 1/4 teaspoon of liquid hickory smoke but feel free to adjust to your smokiness preference, just remember that a little liquid smoke goes a LONG way.
Ready to ship Everything Is Okay and Feminist Killjoy mini banners are now available for purchase in the shop. I will probably only be making these once or twice a month from now on so once these are sold they will be out of stock until the next update. Don’t miss out on these perennial faves!
New! Fun! Products!
The main reason I switched the popular banners to pre-made ready-to-ship instead of made-to-order was to give myself more time to work on creative projects, as I’ve felt pretty stagnant for a while. This weekend I was able to make a bunch of fun new things that I’m really excited about.
When Life Gives You Lemons… I Say Fuck the Lemons and Bail Inspired by the classic Kunu scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I’ve been wanting to make this for literally months. Dark green text and yellow lemons on a light green background. Available on my Society6 as a print AND MORE.
Mountain Road This is available as a print BUT it’s actually designed as a rug! As you may know I’ve been planning on hand-painting a road play mat for Gwen since the fall but I never got around to it. Last night as I was uploading the “Lemons” print I was like HANG ON, Society6 does rugs??? I quickly finished up the rough design I’d started working on, adding mountains, trees, an alligator-infested lake and a sly little fox. This design only works in the 2×3′ and 3×5′ size (the 4×6′ aspect ratio is wrong so it crops weird). I ordered one myself last night and if I like how it looks once it arrives I will probably design more- those roads that drive off the edge need to go somewhere!
Watercolor Ring Donut Banner Another idea that’s been brewing for a while! This fun new banner features six assorted watercolour donuts hung on red & white baker’s twine. The watercolour donuts are printed on a glossy paper and affixed to 2mm EVA foam. This makes them sturdy and prevents the donuts from curling up. Each donut is glued to the baker’s twine and finished on the reverse with plain paper. The donuts are 3″ wide and 2 1/2-2 3/4″ wide, and the full width of the banner is 42″, including 8 1/2″ of twine on either end for hanging.
I have lots more ideas that I’ll be working on in the upcoming months; follow me on instagram or like me on facebook to keep up with the latest!
On Saturday Taylor, Gwen and I went for a magical walk in Stanley Park…
All pics by Taylor.
I so wish I didn’t have my eyes closed in that last one but OH WELL. Maybe I will just photoshop my eyeballs into it. We may have not had any real snow this winter but at least we had some good frost, right? Taylor took these photos one morning during our break after we walked the dogs. These were actually all taken in the alley behind our house; it’s very picturesque.
I’m trying something new with my shop this month. I’ve deactivated the listings for some of my most popular banners (the mini feminist killjoy, everything is ok & what is the point) YES I KNOW THAT SOUNDS INSANE but there’s a reason! Instead of making them to order one at a time I’m going make a bunch of them all at once. Then I’ll list them and hopefully they’ll sell out, at which point I’ll make more.
Honestly I should have switched to this type of business model long ago but once my shop became semi-popular I never had the time to get a bunch of banners pre-made. I’m committed to doing it now though and
feel it will allow me to a) make my customers happier with faster shipping times, and b) allow me more time to work on other projects, either for the shop or just for myself! I have a lot ideas for different things I want to make but it’s hard to justify spending an evening painting or sewing or appliquéing when I have outstanding banner orders; hopefully this new direction will change that.