January 31, 2011

January 29, 2011

Rag rug project

I've embarked a new project of making a rag rug. This is my first time making one ever. I had to do a bit of research to find out how to make one that wasn't too complicated and was easy to learn. I found a tutorial online that explains how to make a rag rug entirely out of knots. No sewing needed, which cuts down on steps and materials. Here is my progress so far. My rug is only a few inches in diameter right now, but once I got the hang of it, its been coming along fairly quickly. It's nice to be using my hands again and making something unique. I will keep you all posted on the progress, but since this is my first one, please bear with me. I'm sure its not going to be the most attractive rug, and I'm hoping not to get frustrated and give up on it.

I'm using old vintage sheets, one dark blue and the other a beautiful floral.

Cutting out strips! Tedious.

Progress so far. It's a little messy, but it seems to look nicer the bigger it becomes.

January 28, 2011

Financial advice

Recieved a bit of financial advice from the Mennonite Foundation of Canada yesterday that I would love to share with you:

Give 10%, save 10%, live faithfully on 80%.

This will be my new montra. I don't mind if you want to steal it for your own ;)

January 26, 2011

Thrifty finds

Yesterday my sister and I made in impromptu trip to Goodwill. I'm off classes this week because the building where ALL my classes are held had a pipe burst and got completely flooded. As a result, my classes have been cancelled until they can repair the damage. So this provided a perfect opportunity for lunch and thrift shopping! We decided to head out of the downtown because often the larger thrift stores are fairly picked over and its hard to find a real collection of treasure.

Inevitably, we came away with several items each. I surprised myself and only purchased two items of clothing, while the rest of my findings were household items.

And now I want to share my discoveries with you!

A lovely colourful throw blanket, a yellow apron, a brown oven-proof stoneware bowl, a handmade cream lace tablecloth, a white Brown Betty teapot, and 4 cream cloth napkins. (Sorry the picture is a bit blurry)


The colourful throw on my couch! Fits right in! (And covers up my yucky futon!)

January 24, 2011

Take care of each other

I was feeling at a loss for blog topics over the last few days, and then I had a conversation with a friend today that really left me thinking afterwards. I have to say, she may be one of the most selfless people I have ever met. I won't go into details, but she takes care of those closest to her even when its a strain on her emotionally and financially. She goes beyond just doing her duty. It made me think about how really caring for those people who are most important to us in our lives goes beyond just doing it out of a sense of responsibilty or obligation.

I'm thinking now of my parents and how for so long they took care of me when I was a child. Invested in me in so many ways, and I never really understood or appreciated that. As I've gotten older, I've become aware of ways that my parents need my help and assistance. It seems so reversed, and some people may think that when it comes to your parents, you will always be their child and they should always care for you. Even now, my parents do more for me than I could ever repay, often going beyond their own means or resources. However, when you begin to see your parents as more than just the people who raised you, and more as the real people that they are, with their faults and struggles and joys, it gives you a bit of a wake up call. I've noticed myself wanting to take care of my parents more the last year or so, partly resulting from some major changes in my family, but also because I'm beginning to feel that for the first time in my life I'm working towards finally having the means to provide for them in some way. And not to say that I'm looking down on them, but just trying to show my intense gratitude for the amazing life I've been given.

I could probrably write so much more, but I really just want to leave this in your memory. Take care of each other. There's nothing more important in life that I can think of than to be really caring for each other, even when it seems to be wearing us thin. Family can change and fluctuate over time, and its easy to try and hold on to how things used to be, but I think the one thing the remains consistent is the love that is there. And that should compel us to care for each other beyond anything else.

So go and hug a sibling or call your mom or plan a visit to see you dad...whatever you need to do to show that you care.

January 21, 2011

Beating the winter blues

Here in Toronto it has been very cold and very windy. At this time of year people tend to be grumpier, more tired, and much more anti-social. It's tempting to just be a hermit and not venture out into the winter wilderness. I've been trying to think of ways to beat the negative winter mood, so that I can try and remain sane until spring. I do tend to stay inside, but have been trying to do activities that are productive or relaxing, instead of just defaulting and watching a movie. I LOVE movies, I'm a big film buff, but I like to have variety in my life. Some things I DO appreciate about winter are:

  1. Hot chocolate
  2. Cute vintage winter coats and hats
  3. All the reading I get done
  4. Cuddling 
  5. Warm flannel pjs
  6. Being buried under layers of blankets
  7. Homemade soup
A few things that I want to do this winter:
  1. Learn to crochet
  2. Keep a cleaner bedroom!
  3. Get back into photography
  4. Cuddle more!
  5. Continue to learn gluten-free cooking/baking
  6. Re-design my blog!
  7. Do all the mending I've been putting off for months

Today was a busy day of rushing from meeting to meeting and being subjected to the "feels like minus a bazillion degrees" weather and braving the horrible winds. When I finally reached the safety and warmth of home, I decided to do two of my favourite things.

Reading in bed!

Baking (and then eating) cupcakes!

And in the spirit of trying to embrace winter, I'm actually going o-u-t-s-i-d-e! I've decided that while being a hermit can lead to wonderful things, its also nice to get out and see friends every once in awhile. So I'm heading out to see a friends band play.

See ya!

January 20, 2011

Thoughts of spring...

I've been feeling the effects of winter these past few weeks, and have been dreaming of warmer, sunnier weather. I can't wait for spring, when I don't have to wear a million layers, when I can ride my bicycle, and when I don't have to be in hibernation anymore. And when I can wear shoes like these:

Think positive spring thoughts!
Shoes from Lu Lu's.

January 19, 2011

The World of Louis Vuitton

This ad campaign from Louis Vuitton is just a GORGEOUS snippett of the Fall/Winter 2010-2011 collection. I love that Marc Jacobs is channeling the 50s and 60s. Keep it up! I'm a fan!

January 18, 2011

Winnie the Pooh Day!

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.”

So I found out that today is officially Winnie the Pooh day in celebration of the creator A.A. Milne's birthday. I have many memories of Winnie the Pooh from when I was a child. My mom had some old copies of the books, with beautiful old illustrations. I remember also at one point Petro Canada would give out little Winnie the Pooh books when you bought a certain amount of gas (which is kind of strange when you think about it).

A.A. Milne based the characters on his son's (Christopher Robin Milne) stuffed animal toys. Christopher named his stuffed toy after a Canadian bear that he saw in the London Zoo in England. The bear was named Winnie, after his owner's home town Winnipeg (the story of which was featured in a Canadian Heritage Moment commercial which was on tv in the 90s). The "Pooh" came from a swan that Milne and his son saw while on holiday. And hence, the names were combined and the famous character of Winnie the Pooh was born!

I think one of the most charming aspects of the book series and the characters is the aspect of friendship.  Even as a kid, I understood the loyalty and love that existed between Pooh and Christopher Robin (even when Pooh messed up, which was often):

Below I've posted some vintage Pooh pictures. Enjoy celebrating Winnie the Pooh day!

This is what my copies looked like when  I was a kid.

January 17, 2011


So unfortunatly I don't have anything too interesting to write. I have a whole weekend blog mapped out in my head and then I got frustrated and discouraged by the appearance of my blog. I've been trying to personalize and customize my blog, but as you can see its been fairly unsuccessful. And, as I wrote about in my post on Commitment Issues, I tend to quit things when I get discouraged or when it seems too hard. However I'm forcing myself to write even this tiny, non-topical post in order to see this whole blog thing through. I find that if I visit others blog, I get a little jolt of inspiration and I think once again that I can do this! And if anyone has any suggestions or pointers for how I can spice up my blog, I would love to hear it!

Anyway, all that to say that I'm about to show you some adorable pug photos, because thats what I'm thinking about.

January 14, 2011

Photos from the past

I know it may seem a few weeks too late to do the whole "looking back at 2010" thing, but I guess better late than never?! Also, I think that my reflections are more about the past rather than just this past year. I don't really make new years resolutions, but I think its important to reflect on the previous year and then look ahead and make goals and dreams for the new one. 2010 brought alot of changes and challenges into my life. I don't know if I can say that its been the hardest year that I ever had, but it was definitely a tough one. Not to sound negative or all gloom-and-doom, because there were many beautiful and wonderful things about it as well.

Anyway, I don't want this post to be about all the bad things about last year, because I think in order to move forward its important not to dwell. All this is to say that I've been thinking alot about family and growing up and relationships. Over Christmas my mom discovered two boxes of old photographs of my Grandmother's. Most of them we had never even seen before, because she had them hidden away until she moved into her retirement home. There were pictures of her and my Grandfather in their younger days, ones of my mom and her siblings, and many of me and my sister and our cousins. My sister was sick the day we pulled them all out, so I went and sat with her on her bad and we went through the photos together. It made me feel like a kid again. We laughed at the ridiculous ones, and picked out our favourites. With everything that my family has been through this past year, it was almost surreal to look at how things had once been, and then think about how things have changed so much. But it was no longer painful to think about, and that makes me feel like I've come a long way.

With all this reflection, I'm excited about what this year, 2011, has in store. I feel like a stronger and more resilient person, and ready to take on the world. I went back to school into a graduate program in September, and in one of our classes we have been talking about measureable goals for this year ahead. I think this is really fitting for me right now. I finish school in August and will have many decisions to make, but they are all in my hands. I've been thinking alot about my goals and dreams for this new year, and when I have these more solidified I will make a post about them on here, so all my readers can keep me accountable ;)
It really is exciting, feeling like you're getting a new and fresh start. A tad scary, but exciting none-the-less.

I want to share with you some of my favourites of the photos that we pulled out that day. Just a warning, I took photos of the pictures using my phone, so I appologize for the poor quality. Enjoy!

Handsome Grandpa Sansom

Another of my Grandpa
My nana

Nana and Grandpa

My mom in the 70's

Mom, me, my older sister, and my dad

January 13, 2011


I just visited the hair salon, which I haven't done since the summer (shameless plug for my lovely Grateful Head). I tend to only go when my hair is at the point of driving me crazy. I always say that I don't have the time or money to go, and most often this is true. HOWEVER, I wonder why sometimes we/I feel guilty about just allowing ourselves to be pampered. Sometimes we need it. Goodness knows we are always in SUCH a hurry and life gets out of control. I don't think I could justify going to the salon or getting a massage or what have you every week, but sometimes its just what we need. What's so bad about feeling pretty sometimes? Or even just good about ourselves? I mean, I got to drink nice hot tea and sit by a fire while my hair gal blew dry my locks (which, I will have you know, is not a task to take lightly. I have alot of hair). I don't do it often, but every once in awhile I like to get my hair done, or my nails done, or even get a nice massage. I'm not trying to sound spoiled or anything, but maybe being a LITTLE spoiled isn't all that bad? What do you think?

                                            The finished product

January 12, 2011

Urban Eccentric Vintage

Oh the wonders of Etsy! Discovering lovely little vintage sellers in Canada may be a VERY dangerous idea for me! This lovely shop, Urban Eccentric Vintage, is out of Vancouver Canada, and has some real little gems. Here are some of my favs:

So go check the shop out, and explore some others on Etsy.

January 11, 2011

Craving of the Week

I love pretty much anything by The National, but my beau and I were listening to this tonight, and I don't think I ever fully appreciated it as much as I do now. So, this live vid of The National performing Slow Show is my craving for this week.

January 10, 2011

Kitchen Adventure #1

I've decided to keep things interesting (keep my food interesting) by posting a weekly "kitchen adventure" (which hopefully won't turn into "weekly kitchen nightmares"). I`ve been totally gluten-free since the summer and this has forced me to be more creative with my food, since I can`t just eat store-bought frozen foods anymore. It has also forced me to be much HEALTHIER for the same reasons. I recently aquired two gluten-free cook books and am feeling inspired to try the recipes, so for now none of these will be of my own creation. Tonight I made the good ol` fashioned comfort food, tuna-noodle casserole. This is entirely made from scratch and comes from the book "Gluten-free Girl and the Chef" by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern. The recipe starts with a great opening line that I totally relate to from my childhood: "This isn`t the tuna-noodle casserole my mother made. That was cream of mushroom soup..." (sorry mom!). Below is the recipe (with some of my own modifications):

Gluten-free Tuna-Noodle Casserole

2 tbls. olive oil
2 cups quartered cremini mushrooms
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbls. sweet rice flour
2 cups milk
1 cup fish stock (I used chicken stock)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cayenne
1 tsp. salt and pepper
2 cans tuna
1 and 1/2 cups grated cheese (the recipe calls for fresh parmesan and goat cheese, but I used what I had, chedder and havarti)
8 ounces gluten-free pasta

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Pour oil into a sauce pan, and add mushrooms until hissing and steaming, about 5 min. Add onions, garlic, and leeks and cook until onion and leek are soft and translucent. Stir in chopped thyme. Sprinkle the veggies with the rice flour (helps thicken liquids), stirring constantly.  Add milk, fish/chicken stock, cream, and cayenne, stirring constantly. Bring sauce to a boil, and then reduce to low (always stirring). Allow mixture to then simmer until it thickens, about 10 min. Season with salt and pepper, and add cheese to the sauce, which will add thickness as well. Place cooked pasta in large casserole dish and pour sauce over top, mixing well. The recipe says you can add crushed potatoe chips on top, but I added gluten-free bread crumbs. Bake until the top is bubbling and brown, approximately 10 min.

As I write this, I am enjoying my creation. The great thing about this recipe is you can easily replace the gluten-free ingredients with regular gluten-ous ingredients if you so choose. I hope that this recipe has inspired you and will keep you warm on these cold winter nights. Stay tuned next week to see what I create in my kitchen!

deliciously yours,

 A pic of my kitchen, so you can picture me standing by my stove as you read. And yes, I realize we need curtains....
 The finished casserole! I'm sorry the photo is so blah and makes the food look blah. I need to take some classes on food photography apparently.
 nom nom nom!

January 9, 2011

Commitment Issues

So when I started this blog a few days ago, I made three posts in the first day....because I had ideas. And now I don't, and am therefore afraid that the novelty of having a blog will wear out quickly, as has been the case with every other hobby in my life. I start so many projects and never finish them. I think I have about 5 different scarves in my knitting basket that I started knitting and then never finished. In fact, I think I've done that so often, I've totally forgotten how end a scarf! Sigh. I think its partly my personality, in that I can be so impetuous and ambitious, but once something no longer seems exciting, or it gets hard, I drop it (like its hot). I also think that this came about as a result of the many extra-curricular activities that I plowed my way through as a child. Here's the list:

1.  Highland (Scottish) Dancing
2. Skating lessons
3. Piano lessons
4. Swimming lessons
5. Gymnastics
6. Awana's (kind of like girl guides)
7. Piano lessons (again)
8. Drama camp

All of these activities held my attention for about 2 months each, and then I would tell my mom I wanted to quit. I hated practicing for things or having to work hard at something (this is making me sound VERY lazy!). After awhile, when I would tell my mom that there was a new activity I wanted to sign up for, she refused because she said I would only quit after a short time. I'm sure I pouted, but it was very true. And sometimes the truth hurts.

Anyway, as an adult the goal is to try and actually stick to something, and I think I'm getting there. I've grown tired of moving apartments every year or so and having various jobs that I quit on a whim. I've gone back to school to pursue a practical and long-term career path. AND....wait for it....I'm in a committed relationship. I know. Shocking, coming from someone who for so long had serious committment issues....even towards her knitted scarves (damn those scarves!).

So, you may be wondering where this indepth and revealing look into my childhood and my inner-most subconcious, pyschological being, has come from. It's from starting this blog. Because the moment I made the first post, I committed to this thing, and I intend to stick with it. And hopefully along the way people will actually read it and maybe even appreciate it. And don't worry, I won't bore you with loooooong and verbose postings. Most likely this kind of novel-like post will only happen every once in awhile, and hopefully it will be of more interesting things like I've posted previously. But if anyone out there is reading this, please give me feedback and suggest ways that I can make this better/more interesting. I mean its not like my life resembles Sex and the City or anything.

Adios for now.

January 7, 2011

January 6, 2011

Dear Creatures

This little gem was actually discovered via Twitter. I always wondered whether Twitter would enhance or benefit my life in any way, and I think I'm starting to see its effectiveness. I (NOT so shamelessly) follow Zooey Deschanel, and she posted the link to this lovely boutique in LA along with a special promo code for 40% off for any therealzooeyd followers. So I decided to indulge....

                                          ....by purchasing this lovely little "Cafe Romper":


Pearl Lowe

This chick had a love child with Gavin Rossdale, was a kick-ass rocker-chick, and now has a small fashion line that I just discoved and ADORE. Her daughter (the aforementioned love child) Daisy Lowe is her main model and muse.