rabbit rabbit cat

Thank goodness it’s June! May was just the worst. Not to be outdone but the rest of the month, the last weekend was the biggest trash weekend ever. Remember how last week on Tuesday I was sick with the flu? So it would be reasonable to assume that I wouldn’t get sick again that week but nope. NOPE. On Friday night I developed a horrible cold-slash-sinus infection and was in agony all weekend long. WOW GREAT SUPER FUN. I got more sick more times in that one week than I did all winter long. I’m finally starting to feel better I SERIOUSLY BETTER NOT GET SICK AGAIN BECAUSE O M G

Some actual good things that happened on the weekend…

In case you don’t follow me on instagram (and if not why not like come on…) I got a cat! His name is Mark Fluffalo and he’s black and fluffy and hopefully soon he will stop hiding and be friends with us all.

SML + UP Whatever Forever full
On Friday I shipped the first bunch of Sara M Lyons + Unicorn Parade banners! I have a few more to make & ship this week and then I thiiiiiiiink we are going to restock the currently sold out “Whatever Forever” banners, so if you missed them the first time around be on the lookout!

ALSO Sara sent me a pair of her new enamel pins, Sad Ghost and Happy Ghost. They are also currently sold out available for pre-order but you can get your hands on her Witch Hat and 2 Sides of the Same Board pins right now.

On Saturday night Taylor and I watched “What We Do In the Shadows” and I literally cannot recommend this movie enough. WATCH IT. RIGHT NOW. Also, Halt and Catch Fire is back! Does anyone else watch it? It’s so good.

I put up my June calendar page, I’ve been so busy I didn’t think I’d get it done but being sick all weekend gave me a lot of inside time.
You can download the full size here.

Hmm this was kind of a bonus “five things” post ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

the worst






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.





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.


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.

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.








Gwen’s flamingo swimsuit is from Old Navy




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.

monday morning









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.









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.



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.

rise & shine





my jean jacket has a theme for spring; (sold out) pins by Sad Ghost Club & Sara M. Lyons












Gwen is officially an early bird. She wakes up at 5:30 or 5 or 4:30 in the morning. For a few days the other week we tried putting her to bed later but it really made no difference to what time she woke up. The later bedtime also meant that by the time whatever housework was done and the dogs were walked and we’d both decompressed from parenting a rambunctious toddler, Taylor and I barely had any time to hang out together as grown-ups (ie fall asleep on the couch watching tv). Now we’re back to putting her to bed at around 7:30-8 and she’s still waking up in the pre-dawn hours.

Last Tuesday Gwen woke me up at 5:45 and I was like “this is a good thing.” I got her up and changed, gave her some milk and put on Pee-Wee for her to watch while I had a quick shower (something that never happens in the mornings) and it was GLORIOUS. Just for that one day though, and then I was back to hating it. I’m just really not a morning person. In the latter half of the week she started waking up even earlier (ARGH NO) so now if she wakes up earlier than 6 we put her back to bed and cross our fingers that she’ll actually let us sleep. This morning she was up at 5:45 again, but after a quick diaper change & reading one Olivia book she went back to sleep until 6:45. It was kind of a miracle.

• • •

I have so much work on the go right now. Last week I ran out of every single colour of glitter for (almost) every banner I needed to make, and had to wait until the weekend to get more. I was so dumb about it too, there was plenty of OTHER work I could have done instead of the banners (like sewing boots and making patches) but in my vast intelligence I decided to do nothing instead. SO STUPID UGH. So now while I’m not technically that behind on things… I am kind of behind on things. Then yesterday I accepted a rush order on a time-consuming banner AND an order for twenty banners. TWENTY. Like I didn’t already have enough on the go! So I have no time for slacking this week. This month, even. So if you see me slacking around on the internet STOP ME!

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.
Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 8.23.55 PM
I mean… COME ON.

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.”


One thing about the nicer weather recently (it is full, glorious spring) is that I am always out, always doing stuff, and always have my camera. The result is I have no time to write posts and too many pictures to share. I have stuff from earlier this week and even stuff from last week, but I’m going to skip over it all and post today’s pictures.

Yesterday I had no clean bowls for Gwen’s breakfast so I used her Green Toys play dishes (they’re foodsafe!) and now she wants to use them for every breakfast. She set the table herself today. Fun story about these dishes: I ordered them along with a tea set with same-day delivery from amazon, but the tea set ended up not being available. They refunded my same day shipping, but still delivered the dishes so I got same day delivery on them for free.




Oil on the surface of the water.






I read online this morning that there was an oil spill in English Bay last night and so of course this morning I had to go see if the beach was okay. Usually I take the kids to Sunset Beach, where there are lots of rocks and sticks for them to “chuck it in the ocean!” but today we went to English Bay Beach. Up on the sand you’d never know there’d been a spill, but up close you can see the oily sheen on the water. Gross! It’s a “minor” spill so hopefully the damage won’t be too bad/the cleanup won’t take too long.

On English Bay Beach there are only things to chuck in the ocean at the waterline, and I didn’t want Gwen or her lil friend handling anything too close to the water so we just ran around in the sand. Gwen took of her jacket and boots and socks and couldn’t have been happier. She also tried to take off her shirt but I have to draw the line somewhere, I mean it’s spring, not summer!