Saturday, December 18, 2010

Moving In Before and Afters

Now that we're mostly settled in, I've got a few photos to share. There wasn't much to do prior to moving in—we had crown mouldings and new baseboards installed, painted a couple walls in the living room, and repainted the two bedrooms.

The kitchen doesn't look too different in the before and after, but I love the finished look of the mouldings and bigger baseboards.

We're planning to put a sectional in the living room in place of the brown couch. Other than that, we're done. Next up, furniture and a BBQ for the patio.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Obsessed with

The angry birds iPhone app.

The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

As we get closer to being all moved in, we've finally been able to hang some art on the walls and begin to decorate. Since Christmas is just around the corner, we've also begun trimming the tree and strategically placing santas and snowmen around various rooms. Our first dilemma was realizing that our current Christmas tree is...slightly more diminutive than its surroundings.

It just felt so much bigger in our last place. And here's where I make myself sound like a total Grinch: I just don't feel like buying a bigger tree and more decorations and more lights. Next year for sure, but with all of the moving and boxes and buying and unpacking and selling old stuff, I don't think I have the energy.

So rather than upgrade, I propped up the little guy, and I think he's quite happy now sitting on the wine rack. It's a classic holiday solution: wine fixes everything.

Friday, December 10, 2010

That Just Happened

Last weekend I sat next to a guy at the movie theatre who spoke in web-speak. Rather than laugh, he would say "LOL." I'm not kidding.

Monthly Photo - December 2010

Could be mistaken for a reindeer: a friendly bull elk.

December 2010 Banner

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm [kind of] back

Alas, I have an internet connection. We moved last weekend and after three failed attempts by Telus, they finally showed up for our install. You'll notice I don't have a new monthly banner up, but that's only because I'm not acknowledging that December has officially begun until we no longer have stacks of cardboard boxes in our kitchen. This move-in has been exhausting. Let me give you a taste...

We got the keys last Wednesday and did nothing more than show up and rub our faces on the granite countertops. Thursday we painted. By we, I mean not me. I was at work while Luc and my Mom handled the painting. Friday we started installing the crown mouldings and new baseboards. And by we, I mean our finishing carpenter who happens to be my old baseball coach and who, I have to say, did an impeccable job. Saturday was moving day—out of the old place, into the new. Saturday was also part two of the moulding/base board installation. Sunday was the Grey Cup and, to the dismay of my CFL-fan husband, we didn't have a TV signal. So, despite walls to be painted and boxes to be unpacked, we got mildly drunk downtown watching our dear Saskatchewan Roughriders crumble once again. Monday I was at work, distracted by the to-do list awaiting me at home. After a long Monday, the crowns and baseboards were done. Tuesday through Friday were spent unpacking and organizing, and this weekend, I'm happy to report that we're 80% moved in and organized. 

We're moved in enough to relax in front of a fire with a bottle (or two) of wine this evening. Our TV and internet were at long last installed this afternoon so I have some catching up to do! The December banner is on its way. The monthly photo is coming down the pipes. But forgive me if it takes a while, I'm bloody exhausted!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Listening to

"Treats" — Sleigh Bells

Friday, November 19, 2010

Learning to eat all over again

Tonight my obliging husband gave me my first technical hamburger-eating lesson. I was a vegetarian from age ten until I was twenty-three. And yes, if you speak with some of my closest friends, they will divulge stories about me eating hotdogs when I've been drinking too much...but I digress. The point is that I don't have the years of experience that others have. My hamburger eating skills didn't evolve with me as I grew old. The shameful results are that when I indulge in handheld food items, most of it ends up on the table and my lap, some of it ends up in my mouth, and the remainder is smeared on my face. Sometimes when a small child eats they mysteriously end up with food bits in their hair, on their forehead, and in many other unsuspecting places. I am that child. But I'm a twenty-six year-old woman.

After watching me struggle through the first quarter of a hamburger, Luc dispensed some bite-by-bite advice to help me navigate the terrain.

Luc: "OK, start with the left side there."
Me: "Here? OK..." (takes a bite)
Luc: "All right...where do you think you should bite next?"
Me: "Here?"
Luc: "No, that's a common mistake, you have to bite again from this side." (pointing)
Me: (takes an enormous bite) "Ohhhh...." (eyes wide, mouth full, face smeared with food, hamburger still falling to pieces in my hands)
Luc: "OK, take it slow, don't get too excited..."

I think learning to eat hamburgers cleanly in your adult years is like learning new languages. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes and the more ridiculous you look when you try.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A [watermarked] sneak peek

Hunter Welly Socks

I got some little cable knit sweaters for my rubber boots. Boot liners are, without a doubt, the kind of thing that once you have them, you can't fathom living without them.

Blu Studio Photography

While waiting to get our wedding photos back from Blu Studio, I repeatedly asked myself, How long is too long? Part of the excitement in seeing your wedding photos for the first time is the anticipation, but there comes a point when anticipation diminishes into frustration and eventually disappointment. Our friends and family stopped asking us if we had them yet, our work colleagues gave up on their inquiries after two months, and I quit checking my email after nine weeks. We didn't get so much as a one-photo preview. The email that promised the photos in six weeks certainly proved anticlimactic. All of the guests' thank-you cards have sat on my desk collecting dust, waiting for their 4x6 photo inserts. (And who knows how much longer it will take to get those prints for the thank-you cards?)

After ten weeks and one day, our photos finally arrived to sighs of relief.

My advice to wedding photographers: if you're running behind, at least give your clients a taste of what's to come. When the promise of wedding photos becomes so stale that their arrival begets only relief rather than excitement, the magic has been sucked out of the experience.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I sure do like birds

I think this set of panel bird prints from the Callaghan Art Gallery on Etsy would look so cute in our new living room.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ew, what's that?

.... It's the worst commercial on television these days, that's what it is...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What ever happened to aging naturally?

The November issue of Vanity Fair features a one-page excerpt from Lesley M. M. Blume's newly released book Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By. Blume is a style contributor at the Huffington Post, and the book is the eponymous extension of her online series.

The first item that struck me as worthy of revival was the Stork Club in New York—or, an aspect of it, at least.

"Each little table sported a discreet telephone, on which you could dial the other tables: That is a charming feature."

Every item includes its own description and commentary, many with chic, old-timey illustrations. They had me nodding in agreement, especially the idea that umbrellas should be "[beautiful] with carved handles, instead of those silly guaranteed-to-break-immediately quasi-disposable ones that you always see jutting out of street-corner garbage cans."

I have yet to read the entire book, but surely will some time soon.

Other favourites...
Radio Plays
Aging Naturally
Wearing White Gloves to Lunch
Skating Parties

Friday, November 5, 2010


On the recommendation of my friend Megan Lau:
The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

Do you have this book?

Sometimes I play a fun game. I open to a random page, then buy that book. This round's pick was Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov. If any time is a good time for Russian literature, it's the winter. While we're at it, can I confess something? I've never read Lolita. Maybe that'll be next?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

True story

At his bachelor party, Luc and his friends got drunk, stole a golf cart and drove around—Luc fell off the back of the cart and cut open his leg and arm, soaking his white shorts in blood and dirt. A lot of blood and dirt. He let the blood dry on the shorts, and three days later when he was home, got the stains out completely.

This morning I got a small dab of liquid concealer on a white dress shirt. I immediately applied stain remover, soaked it, scrubbed it, soaked it again...continued the process when I got home, washed it in detergent and oxyclean....and the stain is still there.

I realize I'm blogging about clothing stains, but a practically week-old mud and blood stain vs. a small, quickly attended-to makeup stain? Come on, Universe, you're killing me here!

Katherine Heigl?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Getting friendly with the animals

While in the Okanagan on my work trip, I fed some BC wildlife and wrote about it for BCLiving online magazine.

Shardik the grizzly bear

Dharma the moose

Big-ass camel

Big-ass bull elk

Before they were trendy

Princess Diana in Hunter wellies.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls

Who invited the creepy dude?

Winner for best Halloween costume of the night....our friend Tom the sexual predator.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Okanagan: Day one in photos

My digs at the Eldorado Hotel in Kelowna, a cosy, boutique-style inn.

It was a late harvest for wineries in the Okanagan this year, and many vines are still heavy with bunches of grapes.

Lunch at Quails' Gate Winery was decadent and memorable.

A behind-the-scenes look at the beer making process and bottling at Tree Brewery.

Tasting a little bit of everything.

Strolling through the vineyard overlooking Lake Okanagan at Tantalus.

Sampling juice from the vats before it becomes wine.

Lining up some light, young reds at Tantalus Vineyards.

Checking out the drying process at the Okanagan Lavender Farm.

Capping off the day with a delicious meal at the Eldorado on the waterfront.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Okanagan: Day one

Day one of my trip in the Okanagan was fantastic - we visited 2 wineries, one brewery, and dined at the Eldorado Hotel where the Chef made up a custom menu for us. I posted a photo from Quails' Gate Winery on the BCBusiness Daily Photo blog, and you can check it out HERE.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Travel writing assignment

Tomorrow morning I'm hopping on a plane to Kelowna—I'll be on a 3-day tour of the Thompson Okanagan to write a travel guide for I'll be in the company of four other local writers, none of whom I have met. We'll be drinking beer and wine, going to farmer's markets, museums and restaurants together. The publishing industry is notoriously small, so I'm looking forward to making some new writer friends and discovering the inevitable friends-of-friends connections and colleagues/former colleagues that we have in common. I always find those to be fun conversations.

Luc's already informed me that he's going to eat at Wendy's every night that I'm away—thank the lord it's only two.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kristen Hilderman was I distracted today...

Distractions at work are plentiful, but today I met my mortal enemy of distractions: pop-culture wordplay. Local musician Dan Mangan, whom I follow on Twitter, started a game by creating puns with famous people and bands. Example: Betty Whitesnake. He began with incessant tweets, pun after pun...eventually he branded the tweets with the hash tag #punmangan, and in a matter of minutes, all of his followers—myself included—had caught on and joined in the game. If you look up #punmangan on Twitter, you can see the witty mass of wordplay. Eventually, the puns were made up of anything notable in pop culture—songs, TV series, movies, characters, albums...this made for some sweet trifecta puns.

My favourites were...
Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle
Aretha Franklin the Turtle
Bat out of Hellen Keller

Here were my contributions...

Bad teenage mustaches are only the beginning

Because I'm in a crotchety mood, and because I haven't posted in a week, I'm going to share with you a few of the things that really grated my nerves today. Don't get me wrong, they always make me cringe, but today more than usual.

Bad Teenage Mustaches

The irony of the bad teenage mustache is that these guys are always deemed "cool" because of their mustache. The only thing that would make me feel slightly less repulsed by the bad teenage mustache, is that when in their 20's and onwards, these men look bad and feel remorse for having made the public regard their prepubescent upper lip hairs on a daily basis.

Mixing the oil into a new jar of natural peanut butter

You would think they would leave a couple inches of oil-spill room. Hasn't anyone written to the peanut butter companies about this? I'm going to be that person. I've had enough.

Elevator "close door" buttons

I'm not sure I've ever encountered an elevator "close door" button that actually works. It's not that I'm in a rush, it's just that if you're going to put a button there, make it work!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

#16 - We're Home Owners!!

16: Buy a home

When people say that buying a home is stressful, I think they actually mean unnerving. I found it incredibly disconcerting to fall so hard for a condo and not know whether or not we could actually have it in the end! Because no matter how much you want it, someone else just might want it more (throw down a bigger offer if you end up in competition,) or just have luck on their side and get their offer accepted first (like we did!)

We got word of this place from our realtor the morning it was posted on the market (for realtors' eyes only), but before it was actually available to the public. We booked a viewing for the next day, and when we walked in, I believe my words were something like, "whooaaaahhaaOOOHH myyy god. Wow. Can we get it? I think this it, I want this place, Luc...I WANT IT!" Something resembling a little kid seeing a power wheels car for the first time. The really nerve-wracking part though, for me, was after signing countless documents with the realtor to get our offer in writing....then waiting to hear back from the sellers. Would they counter? Would they outright reject our offer? Would they accept right away?? Needless to say, it was a rather sleepless night and what followed was a distracted day at work, wherein I checked my cellphone more often than I check my twitter feed.

We had put in the offer at 8pm on Monday night, and by about 3pm on Tuesday afternoon we had received a counter from the sellers - and word from our agent that 3 other viewings had been arranged for the next day, two of which were second viewings. The good thing was, the counter-offer was fantastic, so we accepted it immediately, signed the documents, and were whisked away into more paperwork...a home inspection...more paperwork...yadda yadda yadda, we move in on November 24th!

The night that we accepted the offer, Luc and I played a little game called, "I'm most excited for..." The list was long and included things like:
-Having an island in the kitchen
-Being able to blow dry my hair without shorting out all of the power
-Being able to walk to work rather than take 2 skytrains and a bus
-The enormous patio (and the BBQ that we're going to put out there)
-Having in-suite laundry rather than battling it out with neighbours for washer time
-A concrete buliding...meaning, no worries about noise
-Having an ensuite bathroom so I don't have to walk into the dark, scary hallway at night

The only hard part left...waiting another 6 weeks to move in!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Movies made in 1995 were meant to be watched in 1995.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Home Decor Dilemma

I really like these lamps from Pottery Barn. Luc, unfortunately, does not like them one bit.

How does one circumvent her husband in order to buy something pretty?