summer’s end

I really need to deadhead these hydrangeas, last year my neighbor took pity on my pregnant self and did it for me but this year I have no excuses.

I know the last day of summer isn’t TECHNICALLY until a little later this week but my gosh, summer just ended HARD this weekend. It’s so cold in the mornings, and at night! I sent Gwen off to school wearing a new-to-her winter coat and I’m REALLY regretting not putting the duvet on the bed last night. My light little summer bedspread just isn’t going to cut it anymore, already. Last week I was perusing the Old Farmer’s Almanac website to try predicting whether I should get Nicky a puffer winter suit and it said this winter will be slightly warmer than normal but after the past couple of days I don’t know if I buy that!

Helping the fall feeling along is the fact that Gwen, Nicky and myself all got colds this weekend. Gwen is the least affected with just a stuffy nose, but Nicky and I feel like crap. On Sunday we took a family trip to Ikea* and fully half the stuff we bought (cheap fleece throw blankets, emergency rain ponchos) were just to help us make the trek back after it started raining. Gwen wasn’t wearing the right shoes for walking in the rain so we crammed her into the stroller and I had Nicky in the Ergo and let me tell you, both of sick and almost fever-y, sneezing & sniffling the whole way home was… not ideal. Once we got back to the house I took up residence on the couch with a mug of cinnamon tea spiked with honey whiskey and stayed there until bed time.

*I wanted to get a few of these little greenhouses to put in my window so I can grow herbs inside this winter but they had sold out! The other, cheaper greenhouse was in stock but it is THREE CENTIMETERS too deep to fit on my windowsill, so frustrating! They are in stock at the other Ikea so maybe I can pick them up there soon.

september days

It’s been chaotic & busy around here lately. Gwen has started kindergarten, I have two new kids starting daycare and I’m still trying to figure out a new schedule for meals, naps, and now drop-offs and pick-ups that works for everyone. This has felt like the longest week of my life, no joke.

I had wanted Gwen to go to the little school across the street, the one that Sym went to, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get a space there so we’re at the main school. It’s only five blocks down the hill, but when you have an 11-month old in an Ergo and two toddlers in a double stroller five blocks might as well be five miles. Combine that with her classroom being up three flights of stairs and… Let’s just say it has been a struggle.

I’m also in a real conundrum with Nicky as the drop off & pick up times line up just perfectly with his regular nap times. Because it takes so long to go to & from the school I have to put him down for his morning nap really late and his afternoon nap really early, and those of you with babies will know that doesn’t really work! He’s too little to drop his morning nap entirely but the past couple days I’ve woken him up after about a half hour of sleep and it seems like it’s going to work. I feel really guilty about it but the alternative- letting him sleep for longer in the morning but then he has such a short afternoon nap or skips it altogether and meltsdown before dinner- is much, much worse.

Right now it’s a very challenging situation for us and I have a lot of unpleasant feelings about a few aspects of it, but I’m hopeful I can get a good routine going soon. Just don’t make me think about what it’ll be like once it starts raining.

eleven

Two days late but OH WELL.

Nicky is now eleven months old, can you believe it’s been almost a year already??? I cannot.

At 11 months old Nicky is into e v e r y t h i n g. He’s pulling himself up into a standing position on everything her can reach, and he’s tall enough that when he does, he can get at things on our desks and the dining room table. We had to move everything off the sideboard in the dining room because he was thisclose to pulling my whole Lego Disney castle (that took forever to build) onto the floor.

He is also walking while assisted, and loves when we clap for him and loves to clap for us. He is finally taking a break from teething THANK GOODNESS. He’s a super eater, enjoys almost every food we give him, but given the option, will always eat meat over anything else. He hates diaper changes and sitting still to get dressed and wants to be on the go all the time. He’s got places to be, I guess.

sun & moon


Being lazy and also very, very forgetful, I totally blanked on the eclipse until about 9:45 this morning, when I glanced outside and was like “… wtf is happening out there?” Gwen was playing int he yard so I went out to make sure she didn’t look at the sun, and we ended up getting to see the eclipse through one neighbour’s pinhole viewer and another’s actual eclipse glasses! It was pretty cool, I’m not sure that Gwen appreciated it and Nicky slept through the whole thing, but I liked it.


Gwen demonstrating proper eclipse viewing if you don’t have glasses.


Sorry to my camera for taking this picture lol.


I think this was my favourite thing, the partially eclipsed sun visible in the shadows of the leaves.

plus & minus

The past week has been really hectic and difficult, with some really high highs and some low lows.

It started last Tuesday when my full time childcare client gave notice that they were leaving, which is something that always sends me into a panic because I typically only have about a month to find someone new. After a lot of meetings I ended up booking a new full time family AND a part time client as well, which is a huge relief.

I was accepted into a local art market to sell my tiaras, and was offered a table at this past weekend’s show. I was very excited and realistically optimistic about it but unfortunately it ended up being a bust for me and I only made one sale, which was discouraging. I know that these types of event can be very hit and miss, and a lot of the other people around had a similarly disappointing day so it wasn’t just me, but working so hard to get ready for the event to have it be a flop… I mean there are better ways I could have spent seven weekend hours, you know?

While all this was going on we attended a wedding, which was super fun, but I also spent time at not one but TWO hospital emergency rooms. Last Friday from the early afternoon until very late at night at one hospital with my sister, and then again today at a different hospital with Gwen, who had been pushed off the back of the couch, hit her head on the floor and split her scalp open. Thankfully she was just able to have it glued shut, rather than get stitches, but like… can I get a break? I’m hoping that the rest of this week will be uneventful.

Aside- while dealing with everything in my life I was mostly offline & unaware of the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. I hope this goes without saying but for the record I absolutely abhor and condemn this racist, white supremacist terrorist attack and all the literal pieces of Nazi trash who participated in it. There is no place in my life for anyone who feels otherwise so if that’s you, kindly log off from my blog and re-examine your values.

five faves

Full disclosure I only read the first sentence of my Zodiacal “Mom Type” (Aquarius) but what more do you need to hear?

I showed a friend who was looking for one this black denim jacket and now I’m like… maybe I need a black denim jacket?

Three good reads.

I need a new desk chair (I’ve been using one of our dining room chairs which is not ideal) and I’m trying to decide if I should get the regular version or the armchair version of Gwen’s tiny desk chair. What do you think?

A little bit of exciting news: I’ll be vending this Sunday at the West End Arts Market from 11-6 at Jim Deva Plaza! I’ve never done anything like this before (previously I’ve only sold online) but I’m pretty excited about it!

I’ll be selling my handmade raw crystal point tiaras as well as some suede & leather and machine embroidered patches I have. It’s a little last minute though, so hopefully I’ll be able to get everything for my display ready in time. If you are local I hope to see you there!

Sitting Room

Having new floors installed in April has really inspired me to refresh the decor of the apartment. Unfortunately I’ve been pretty broke this year so right now it’s all just daydreams and pinterest boards, but I’m pretty sure the tide will be turning soon (knock on wood that I’m not hit with anymore financial disasters) and I’ll be able to turn at least some of my ideas into reality.

I definitely want to repaint/finish painting most of the house, and with the full bath and our bedroom already halfway done I feel like we could get those out of the way pretty quickly, and with my faux-tile backsplash in the kitchen the amount of painting to be done in there is very minor. The hideous yellow hallway is another story; there’s not a lot of wall to paint but with a whopping SEVEN doors opening off it the taping job is monumental. My biggest plans though, are for the living room.

With our open plan living area we don’t so much have “rooms” as just four different designated areas within the space: dining room, living room, playroom and office. My plan is to switch the living room area with the playroom, and hang some black-out roller blinds between the two so the playroom can also be used as a nap room for the daycare kids. I’m not sure yet if my plan will work (I’d have to relocate the tv under a window that might be too low?) but a big part of it hinges on getting a new sofa.

Our current big sectional is completely caved in on one side and the colour (brown) and shape (HUGE and curved) don’t go with what I’m envisioning. Initially I wanted to get a blue sofa but now I’m thinking a neutral colour would be better in case I get sick of blue. Obviously with the kids and the dogs and my own propensity for spilling drinks/salsa/gravy all the time a light colour won’t do, so in a shocking twist I’m thinking… dark grey. I know, I know. Such a surprise.

Of course, the colour isn’t the only thing to consider. Since we’re not getting another sectional Taylor has just one criteria our new sofa has to meet: it has to be long enough for him to sleep on fully stretched out. He’s 6’4″ or 193cm so it’s kind of a tall order HA HA PUN INTENDED.

I’ve been idly browsing for something I liked that would also be long enough and affordable (the tide of my murky financial waters hasn’t turned THAT much) so of course I’m looking at Ikea because you know what? I love Ikea! I’ve read a lot of articles about how when you grow up you are supposed to graduate from Ikea but to what? West Elm??? Our current sofa is not from Ikea and cost a ton and it didn’t really last that long before becoming un-sit-on-able.

Ikea has quite a few options in dark grey that I’ve been comparing, and I think I may have narrowed it down to just the right sofa for our space and our family.

1. One I was looking at is the Stocksund. It comes in two different solid greys and also a lighter grey & white floral pattern that I actually really like. Unfortunately, the full width of the sofa is 199 cm and once you subtract the arms there’s no way Taylor could fit on it.

2. The new 2017 Stockholm sofa is interesting, and with a seat width of 190cm it’s very close to the right size, but as much as I love the idea of velvet, our fluffy pets and messy children preclude it. Also, ten cushions? I woudl spend my entire day putting them back in place!

3. I had almost decided on the Norsborg and really like the little pockets on the outside of the arms for remotes, books, etc, but the height of the legs and all that space underneath throws me, and when I calculated the seat width it’s only about 180cm, which is not even close. NOT EVEN.

4. With the Kivik the too-much-space-under-the-sofa problem is eliminated, and those wide, flat arms would be perfect to hold a little tray with my drink or snack or whatever craft I’m working on at the time. Tragically though, the seat width once again comes in at just 180cm.

5. Enter the Vimle. I don’t think this product was available when I started looking so it’s new to me. It comes in a medium grey and in spite of not looking particularly oversized it is actually the longest of all the sofas I’ve been looking at (at Ikea and elsewhere). Minus the arms and the seat comes in at a whopping 211cm! I’m pretty sure this is going to be the perfect piece for us, pending a sit-down test next time we’re actually in the store.

If you have any honest opinions about any of these pieces, sofa suggestions under $1000 (Canadian) dollars or why Taylor is so obsessed with sleeping on the couch, let me know!

A Fish, a Fish

The other weekend Taylor went on a fishing retreat for work and came back with a Chinook salmon too big to fit in our freezer. We have SO MUCH salmon right now, we gave some to friends and still have close to three kilograms. I only have one go to salmon recipe so I asked my friends to give me some of their faves and now I think have enough recipes to for all that fish!

Salmon Pita with Hummus // Big Omega Sandwich // Roasted Salmon with Creamy Greens // Maple Salmon (this one is so easy & SO GOOD) // Baked Salmon with Parmesan Herb Crust // Crispy Salmon // Seared Salmon and Sauce Gribiche // Indoor Grilled Salmon // Blackened Salmon Tacos