Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lost unanswered questions

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Lost finale, but it did leave me with more than a few questions. I appreciate the inherent mystery that exists in order for Lost to be a good show, but really....they could have given us a bit more to work with. This video is painstakingly accurate with regards to the feelings of millions of viewers like myself. I only know the answer to the very last question, and the a resounding NO!

Birdcage card holder

DIY Wedding Project: Birdcage card holder

We found this white birdcage at Home Outfitters this weekend. I've actually been searching for a birdcage for months now, and this one fit the bill perfectly. It's large enough to fit cards from guests, small enough that it's not gawdy, an easy-to-open lid, vintage feel, part wood/part metal, and plain enough to decorate without looking too busy....

I stuck with the theme from our wedding invitations and printed a simple design on our invitation cardstock, embossed the strips on the side, lined it with ribbon and mounted it on silver cardstock. I used double sided tape to line the birdcage itself with two strips of ribbon.

These are my favourite kind of DIY Projects- they tie together the theme of your wedding decor, they're dead easy and they add a great personal touch from the couple. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

DIY Wedding Invitations Phase 2

DIY Wedding Project: Invitations

We're about half-way through printing all of our invitations- we ended up buying a new printer that could print with a full bleed because nobody in the lower mainland seems to have the simple capability of doing so, despite their big, fancy printing equipment. It's been a long, stressful, frustrating process, but I'm really pleased with the results.

After printing the card, we rounded all four corners.

Next was the most finicky part: running the card through the embossing machine.

I loved adding texture to the invitations...probably my favourite feature.

We used ribbon to tie in the eggplant colour because I wanted the print design to be mostly silver and black.

Once the ribbon was secure, we mounted the card on a piece of heavy, silver cardstock.

There is a lot of labour that goes into each invitation, but seeing our stack grow higher is incredibly satisfying.

We also have two 3.5"x5" cards: the RSVP card and the reception card. We haven't even started to think about printing those, and we're hoping that it will be simpler than the invitations.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bon voyage, mes amis!

Last night we spent the evening with our best buds who are heading off to Europe for 5 weeks. We're going to miss them dearly, but I was so excited to hear that they're starting a travel blog! Kate just got a new DSLR camera (very jealous!) so I'm looking forward to seeing their amazing photos. They wanted me to make a banner for the new site, and I was more than happy to oblige:

Sleepy meerkats

We've been watching BBC's new series called "Life", which I just think of as "Planet Earth" 2.0. The best segment so far has been on meerkats. Check out this video of meerkats falling asleep standing up when they're supposed to be on the watch for predators. Too cute. Too. Damn. Cute.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

DIY Wedding Invitations Phase 1

DIY Wedding Project: Invitations

We've dedicated this weekend to finally getting our invitations done. We sent out our save-the-dates last September, and we also did those ourselves. They were pretty low-key though; the design wasn't a full bleed and there was no ribbon/embossing/tricky printing involved. And one envelope. We made sticker address labels and sticker seals for the back of the save-the-date envelopes. They were easy to print, easy to apply. The save-the-dates were a cake walk.

The invitation design, however, is a full bleed. And our printer, it turns out, is a worthless piece of junk. They've printed out sideways, crooked, half on the page, blurred...and then at one point the invitation printed out and all it said was: Screw you Kristen. From, your shitty printer.

The envelopes this time are acting as the proverbial monkey on my back. Partially my own fault. Rather than print address label stickers, I wanted to print the design directly on the envelopes as we printed the address of the guest. It won't print the return address though, not without being cut off every single time. We've tried InDesign, jpegs, pdfs and even bloody Microsoft Word. It might be the thick envelopes that are throwing off the printer. I eventually gave up and decided to use the reject address labels that I didn't like for the save-the-dates. The back of the envelopes look cute, though.

We used our custom-made stamp that I designed back in February rather than an envelope seal like we used for the STDs. I like the look, but mostly I was just excited to use the stamp for the first time on something! Printing the RSVP mini-envelopes was relatively problem-free, so that was a nice surprise.

So we currently have roughly 170 envelopes and nothing to put inside. I don't want to post any photos of the actual invitations until we have the printer issues figured out. Right now all I have to show are some poorly assembled mock-ups and an InDesign file that looks pretty bland without the embossing, ribbon and silver cardstock-backing that make the invitation complete.

Listening to

Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Friday, May 21, 2010

Going on around the web

The trip home from work these days usually leaves me with my feathers a bit ruffled. It's a one hour and fifteen minute two-bus, bumpy journey that frequently involves running for and missing buses, suffering through stinky co-passengers, and coffee-umbrella-book-bag juggling acts. Today, however, was pleasant as can be and has left me in a great pre-long weekend mood. To put a cherry on top of the seamless bus ride home,  I stopped in at Cobbs for a butter croissant. I crossed paths with a friendly neighbour on my way into the apartment and had a great chat. I'm in such a great mood and wearing such a big smile, and I want to pass on the pleasantry with some fun stuff I've been enjoying this week from all over the web.

Baby portraits: the perfect balance of looking like an adult yet being a baby makes these both eerie, adorable and hilarious.

An amazing boutique hotel on a rock face in Jamaica.

The new Wintersleep album

The cool monthly market I'm going to visit this weekend.

Some priceless commentary and photos on the fashion-impaired citizens of Vancouver.

A super-dorky, yet somehow endearing kid whose photo I stumbled across at work while doing some image research for an article.

This ultra-quirky music video for Grizzly Bear's song "Two Weeks."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The saying "when it rains, it pours" must have been thought up in Vancouver.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Voicing my opinion

These are four of my favourite voices in music. A uniquely enduring voice is the staple to any band that plans on holding your interest for more than one album. They spin a vocal rhythm into songs that could never sound the same sung by anyone else. When a song comes on by any of these singers/bands, I can never bring myself to skip forward or stop listening....and I maybe even sing along in my quivering wannabe-singer voice. It's not pretty...just ask Luc.

Gord Downie (The Tragically Hip)

There was a point in my life, back in my early naive high school years, when I didn't like the Hip. I can't remember the reasons why, but somewhere along the way I was educated in the smooth pitchiness of Gord Downie's unmistakable vocals. His collaboration with City and Colour on "Sleeping Sickness" always puts me into a trance of musical appreciation. Gordie makes his grand entrance at 1:40 in this music video.

Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)

I could never talk about my favourite singers without fawning over Eddie Vedder. He can do that sing-really-fast thing where you can't even tell what he's saying, his low notes are hypnotic and his high notes are effortless. I have my older brother to thank for leaving all his Pearl Jam albums lying around his bedroom when we were younger.

Ed Roland (Collective Soul)

Ed Roland is one of those singers whose voice is so distinctive that you can recognize him in a word. I've seen Collective Soul in concert innumerable times, one time going to concerts so close together I think it was the exact same lineup...didn't phase me though, he always blows the roof off.

Fiona Apple

How very 1990's of me to talk about Fiona Apple. At least I didn't bring up The Cranberries....another time, though. I love the way you can feel Fiona Apple's raw talent when you listen to her music. Her tone is deep and sometimes raspy without making you think (or say aloud), "wow, her voice is....really deep and raspy." You know what I mean. Check out the surprise guest star in this video.


Watching animals rip each other apart on Planet Earth isn't a good idea when you're eating dinner.


Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

#62 - Bringing my A game from the ladies tee

62: Golf on a real golf course (not a pitch and putt)

Our good friend Justin was visiting us from Saskatchewan this past week, so we were motivated to do something exciting on the weekend. Not that I'm saying golf is's a funny, frustrating game for me. If I had a lesson or two, I might enjoy it more, but as it stands, I would label my abilities as poor to moderately poor. Please, don't let the plaid shorts fool you, I'm a hopeless duffer.

The entire day was nearly over before it began. On our way to the greens on the first hole a neighbouring golfer hollered "fore"...and with good reason. I was busy checking out my surroundings and the rogue ball came swooping down and landed right at my feet, missing my face by a matter of inches. I think if I had been looking up for the ball, I may have actually gotten it right in the teeth. Good thing I'm oblivious!

Despite the sketchy start and my weak performance, I'm still calling the game a success because I only had to scream "fore" once at the top of my lungs. In retrospect though, I would have been OK with my crooked shot nailing the guy on the opposite fairway. He was milling around on his cellphone and probably could have used a little tap on the head from a golf ball. Or at least in the shins so that he got off his phone and started paying attention. I'm no pro, but the last time I checked, cellphones were frowned upon when you're mid-game, standing in the fairway. 

I learned a few important lessons that I will take with me for next time:
1. Always go pee before you start 18 holes of golf
2. When someone yells "fore", duck and cover
3. Plaid shorts do not elevate your game
4. The ball washer never gets old, nor does asking your friends if they would like their balls washed

Listening to

Costa Rica - Vince Vaccaro

Monday, May 10, 2010

I present to you, mini Kristen and Luc!

Our adorable cake topper made by the talented samyii. I love these kinds of quirky details- they're easy to arrange and they make weddings fun and unique. Can you believe our countdown is at less than four months? We've got the cake toppers, now all we need is a baker to make us a cake!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dan Mangan plays the Vogue theatre

Our miniature plastic dinosaur, Norman, came to the Vogue theatre on Saturday evening to enjoy the Dan Mangan concert.

Dan is a Vancouverite, and appropriately enough, played to a sold out crowd this weekend. His nine-piece band was stellar and Dan was charismatic and hit every right chord, whether it was on his guitar or on a raspy high note. He's got a natural, comfortable stage presence that makes you laugh at his jokes and want to clap along to every song. Check out the video at the bottom.

Dan Mangan performs "Robots" with much help from an enthusiastic crowd.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

#30 - Everything tasty has coconut milk

30: Come up with 12 healthy "go to" dinner recipes (6/12)

If you love coconut milk as much as I do, do yourself a favour and avoid the nutritional information. Go straight to the light coconut milk- it's just as tasty and wayyyyy less fattening. This recipe is really great served with pita bread and a glass of Gewurztraminer. A nice, light, spring dinner, if I might say so. 

African Curried Coconut Soup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeƱo chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, canned 
  • 1 tablespoon curry paste (or powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup cooked basmati or brown rice
In a medium-large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and chili; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, curry paste, salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to ensure curry paste is mixed in well. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (coconut milk and rice) and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5-7 minutes. 

(Editor's note: due to a white onion shortage I had to use red onions....yellow would have been even better)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Frank's Red Hot Sauce changed my life

Tomorrow marks the first day of my summer internship with a magazine publisher. And I think that to distract myself from getting too nervous my mind is trying to fixate on other things. All I can focus on is the chicken burger I ate tonight and the hot sauce that I put on it. Why has it taken me 25 years to put hot sauce on a chicken burger? Now I finally get that commercial with the old lady...take my word friends, I am going to put that shit on everything.

But back to the internship.....I've been nervously awaiting this for a while now. A first day anywhere is nerve wracking, but this is the first day that actually matters in my career. And this job comes with a scary new bus route. The trip planner on the bus website gave me about five different options, so I'm going with the one that only requires two buses, rather than bus/bus/skytrain. If the bus route makes me least I have four more to try, right?

A new baby boy

Our best friends welcomed their first nephew into the world today. Congrats Kate and Tom!! And after seeing her sister-in-law go through 2 days of labour, I think Kate will be waiting a bit longer before she jumps on the baby train. I, on the other hand, still live in a fantasy world where babies come out of the womb looking like this:

Hat and all. And in my fantasy world, they aren't so much birthed as they appear magically with no pain or inconvenience, pooping rainbows and giggling softly. We've spent a lot of time with the babies in our family, but for some reason I still have this skewed vision of what it means to be a parent and what it takes to literally have a baby. Needless to say, I think we'll get married and see what transpires before we start talking babies, but for now it sure is fun to hang out other people's children! I'm so excited for our friends to see how great it is to be an Auntie and an Uncle.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Listening to

You've got the love - Florence and the Machine

I think I was born in the wrong country

Watching House Hunters on HGTV makes me want to move to the US. A young couple not unlike Luc and myself were searching for their first home so I figured it would be a particularly relateable episode. I read the blurb in the TV guide before watching the show and it said "a new couple search for a home that reflects both their personalities." But the home buying experience is significantly different in the US, and especially different from Vancouver! It's funny the things that the couple was quibbling over: "A 2 car garage? I would have liked 3..... Hmm, no sinker tub in the master bathroom? ......" When we've gone to see condos it sounds more like this: "Is there a dishwasher? I don't think I could live without a dishwasher. Could we fit a queen-sized bed in the second bedroom?"

One of the houses was a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 2800 sq foot house with a huge backyard with a pool, master bedroom with a fireplace, walk-in closet....the list goes on. And the price? $380,000. You can't even get a tiny 2-bedroom condo in Vancouver for less than about $425,000. In the end, they chose a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2600 sq foot house, completely updated and beautifully landscaped for $303,000. And then I threw the remote at the TV and poured myself a drink.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Return of the wedding chatter

There hasn't been much wedding talk lately. I've been wrapping up the school year (I start my internship next week) and I've had some time to get back into wedding mode, which means registries, cakes, decor, invitations.....a whole whack of little projects to finish and decisions to make! While we were visiting Luc's family in Saskatchewan, we found some amazing, wooden vintage frames in his parents' basement. His mom had just repurposed one to use as a chalkboard, and she was kind enough to pass on the other two that she didn't need. We've sprayed them silver and we're going to "antique" them with black paint. I'm sure it will be smelly and messy...and Luc has convinced me that we need to do this indoors. We'll see about that...

Ever since our engagement I've been on a crusade to find the perfect birdcage to use on our welcome table- it'll be decor and also a card holder. I found one at Pier One, on sale...but let me ask your opinions. Is this thing worth $89? We're going to spray it silver (if we buy it), and the top easily pops on and off to put cards inside.

Monthly Photo - May 2010

Flying over the Rockies.

May 2010 Banner