Apr 22, 2013

Thoughts on Last Week

I was mostly inactive on Instagram and this blog last week. Last Monday morning I felt energized and inspired by all I hoped to accomplish (as I mentioned in this post). I felt ready to take on the week.

Then on the way home from work, I heard the news about Boston.

I spent the duration of that bus ride reading all of the news updates that I could. I knew there were videos, but I could not bring myself to watch them. My heart sank. For the lives lost. For the wounded who's lives have been dramatically and irreversibly changed. For a city that now lived in fear. Last week was a nightmare for so many. And the bad news did not stop with Boston. Tragedies occur daily around the world- that is the harsh reality. It's hard not to become discouraged, not to worry, not to wonder what kind of world our children will grow up in.

So I did not take many pictures last week. I tried many times to write a quick light hearted post on this blog and could not do it. There are no words that I could write here that would make any sense of these situations, so I took a break. What I could do, was spend time with my loved ones, and so I did. I know how lucky I am to even be able to do that, and I did not take a single joyful moment for granted.

Today, Boston has my prayers while so many try to pick up the pieces and move on. On this Monday, (which also happens to be Earth Day) I hope that people remember to be kind. To hug their loved ones close. To appreciate what they have. To send a friend an encouraging note. To plant some flowers in honour of a loved one. To buy coffee for a stranger. Just do something, a small act of kindness can go a long way.

Hello Monday

Hello being happy to see the kiddos at work.

Hello sunshine (even thought it's still chilly outside).

Hello planning some healthier meals for the week.

Hello making progress on my bedroom re-do.

Hello ordering sandals in anticipation of warmer weather.

Hello long to-do list, I'm trying not to get overwhelmed.

Hello Monday, I could have used some more sleep last night, so please be kind:)

I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Apr 18, 2013

On being Impulsive

This week has been really busy- because I made it that way. After a particularly lazy weekend, (though I did leave the apartment twice to go to the Ottawa Women's Show with some girlfriends and to go for brunch with my parents and Aunt) I made myself a to-do list this week. I just feel SO behind- and I'm a terrible procrastinator. I did pretty well to stick to the list on Monday (even got my taxes done, wohoo!) but Tuesday I crashed.

Between the events in Boston weighing heavily on my heart (they are in my prayers) and fatigue left over from the day before, it looked like I wasn't going to accomplish anything that night. Then around 9pm when I should have been getting ready for bed I decided to move furniture. Because I do things like that. And it was a bad idea. I spent at least an hour pushing heavy furniture against our carpeted floors because I suddenly couldn't stand (what I felt) was a cluttered wall in our bedroom. When I was finished, I stood back...and realized that I hated what I had done! That's what I get for making an impulsive decision right before bed. Sadly this is not out of the norm for me either...

All was remedied last night, when, after having a day to think about it I was able to come up with a solution. (I need to pause here to note that Ben is a very kind and patient man for putting up with my frequent need for change in our apartment, and for helping me when I need it. Poor guy.) It took most of last night, and a lot more moving of furniture but I am SO happy with the way our room is coming together. I'll share pictures when it is all finished. I actually thought to take before photos on my phone a couple of weeks ago (when I thought the changes to the room would be more minor), so it will be fun to compare!

The problem here though, is this. I can often be impulsive in my decision making and then want instant gratification. If that doesn't happen, I mope and get into a funk. I am not proud to admit this. At 26 years old I am still not able to overcome this habit. Sometimes it can be useful- like when I decided that the apartment MUST be clean right then and there and don't stop until it is:) But obviously I can't always get what I want, when I want it. I want to be that person who is totally ok with letting things happen in time, with being patient. But I'm not. That doesn't mean that I won't be someday though.

My issues are minor to many, especially when compared to the struggles of the world (my what a sad week it has been), but they are not just unique to me I'm sure. Frankly I don't know of anyone who is perfectly patient at all times. It does help me to get it all out in the open here sometimes. If I write out what I am feeling, I can feel the weight of it being lifted as I release the words onto the page. One of many reasons that I am so grateful for this little space of mine.

Apr 15, 2013

Hello Monday

- Hello gorgeous sunrise that filled my room with an amber glow

- Hello warmer temperatures making up for Friday's snow storm, (and promising spring!)

- Hello decaf caramel macchiato that hit the spot on my way to work

- Hello piles and piles of laundry waiting for me at home

- Hello empty canvases waiting to be covered in paint. (Ben bought me an easel, new paint and canvases Friday night and I feel so inspired!)

- Hello not needing to cook this week- my Mom sent over some meals (she's awesome!), and Ben made a big pot of spaghetti sauce this weekend, wohoo!

- Hello long to-do list (never enough hours in the day)

Hello Monday- I'm not quite ready for you, but let's do this!

I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Apr 14, 2013

Life via Instagram

I'm linking up with Jeannett today to share my Instagram pictures from the week. Or in my case this week and last weekend;) I get behind sometimes. 

 This necklace was one of my first Lisa Leonard purchases. I got the M initial for my late grandmother Marguerite. I ordered this maybe a year after she had passed away from breast cancer and the hurt was still fresh. I loved being able to represent her this way. I think of her every time I put it on.
 Last week was rough, and I was just so completely exhausted by the end of it. These treats after work were necessary. Oh and decaf caramel frappucino's are my new love!

 Poor Huck had surgery to have a couple things removed;) Friday night all he wanted was his fluffy pillow, and to be next to me.

 Another necessary treat last Friday;) Hagen Daz strawberry ice cream is SO good! Oh and that gorgeous bracelet I'm wearing is from Lisa Leonard's new Hope(full) line. She's doing some amazing work with this line, check it out!

 Saturday morning, I woke up to this. Yes they are both on my pillow. They managed to leave me that small space in the bottom left to rest my head.

 Running errands in my new cowl from Melody Joy Designs! I also have this one in red. I love her work, these cowls are so so soft and keep me warm! Check out her nest jewellery too (I have a necklace and it's very special to me).

 I tried Mucho Burrito for the first time on Saturday. It's been in Ottawa for maybe 3 or more years now, and for some reason I was never feeling it. I am here to tell you that I have been CRAZY for 3 years because this was hands down one of the best freaking burritos I have ever had!! I loved that I got to choose my toppings, and they had so many other options like gourmet tacos, salad bowls etc. I HAVE to go back!

Did a bit of thrifting last weekend and I really, really wanted to take this beautiful sewing machine home with me! It was attached to the table underneath it, and since we live in an apartment I just couldn't figure out where on earth we would put it! Sigh.

 First signs of spring around here. These are the tiniest little blue flowers poking through the soil. I was so excited to see them. After today's freak snow storm though, I'm sure they've gone back into hiding:( I'm hoping next week things will turn around!

 While I mostly failed at my attempts to eat healthy this week....this breakfast made up for it. So happy to have berries back in season and tasting good again.

My Pen and Paint print arrived this week and I am SO in love with it! Lindsay is so talented, I want so many more prints from her shop! Also inspired to get back to some drawing of my own:)

This picture wasn't taken with my phone, but I posted it on Instagram for National Siblings Day. My siblings mean so so much to me.

This weekend is going to be filled with some girl time with my friends, yummy meals out, cooking, painting and hopefully cleaning. In the meantime I'm patiently waiting for the snow to melt (again) and looking forward to the warm temperatures in the forecast for next week!

life rearranged

Apr 12, 2013

Falling for Friday

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

It's Friday again! I am SO ready for the weekend. Here's a mix of what I am loving this week.

1 & 3. Ok that open living space in the first and third pictures? It's the home of Drea from Ohdeardrea. I am obsessing over this- that skylight, the built in bookshelves, the stained glass windows, that hanging chair ( I WILL own it someday), and that huge kitchen island! Such a beautiful home!!

2. I have a thing for geode necklaces lately, and this one is so gorgeous! Especially surrounded by gold:)

4. Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy released her new "Gold Rush" line and I am so in love with this zippered pouch! I adore the black and white combination and along with the gold and pink I think it's just beautiful.

5. If you know me, you know I love black and white. So if you were to throw me a party, I would love this table set-up! The touches of gold are awesome too.

6. I have been thinking a lot lately about not wanting to take all these moments I have in my life for granted. Then I came across this quote. It sums up my feeling perfectly.

7.  This kitchen is again speaking to my love of black and white. I love everything about it.

Well that's it for me- I can't wait to check out what everyone else is loving this week!
I'm liking up with Just Dawnelle, Westover Manor and Imprintalish

Apr 11, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

So we're supposed to get a huge snow storm tomorrow. That is not cool. Just a few days ago I figured Spring had finally arrived and was here to stay...but I see warm temperatures on the horizon this weekend so I figure this snow will melt fast and we'll consider this a blip. In the meantime my outfit choices have been switching from heavy sweaters, darker colours and many many layers to lighter clothing and bright pops of colour. In terms of how I dress, there are aspects from each season that I love, and I certainly was excited for cable knit sweaters, long boots and scarves this past winter. I love being warm and comfortable. But as I've mentioned before, I am tired of the dreary weather now, and I'm over bundling up, so I'm pretty excited to be dressing for Spring! (Don't even get me started on how much I love it when summer rolls around and I can live in dresses.)

Here's a couple of my outfits this week. I'm posting this for What I Wore Wednesday, (a day late because I decided I would join in only this morning). So please excuse the poor quality photos- my apartment has terrible lighting and I really need to get someone to take pictures for me... or to set up my tripod.

 Top: Gift from Mom
Floral Cardigan: Gift from Mom
Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters
Gold Chevron Necklace: Lisa Leonard Designs
Golden Wrap Head Scarf: Just Lovely Things

 Top: Smart Set
Aqua Sweater: Joe Fresh
Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters
Ruby Red Necklace: Lisa Leonard Designs
Headband: Aerie

Sweater: American Eagle Outfitters
Jeans: Smart Set
Watch: Fossil- gift from Ben
Modern Pearl Rosette Necklace: Allora Handmade

I'm linking up with Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy this week!

pleated poppy

Apr 9, 2013

Welcome Spring!

I snapped this outside yesterday, so happy to see these tiny blue flowers poking out of the soil!

I am so happy to finally be saying goodbye to winter these past couple of weeks. We still haven't experienced many warm, sunny days around here, but the snow is melting and it's no longer below zero so I'll take it! I love winter, don't get me wrong, but my enthusiasm for it wavers around February. Sometimes January. It is now April. So about time for us to enjoy some glorious spring weather! (And about time for my pressure headaches to go away- I get them on gloomy, rainy days.)

I got started on some spring cleaning this past weekend. It felt so good. I finally tackled my closet and filled a large garbage bag with any clothing I no longer wore or loved. It wasn't easy. I hung on to many items out of guilt- because I spent good money on them, because they were a gift, because I hope they would fit me later. Finally letting go of that guilt and removing those items from my closet was very freeing. I'm sure you've heard all about this before or have experienced spring cleaning yourselves. But seriously, de-cluttering is awesome! I honestly wish that I had the guts to empty my entire closet and start from scratch, but that's going a little too far for me. I'd miss my striped shirts and dresses too much;) The point is that I started, and now I cannot wait to tackle other areas of my home, like my bookshelves!

More and more it feels like we have too much stuff that we don't use. Recently we found out that my sister will be moving out in a couple of months and we might have a move of our own on the horizon. If needing more space wasn't motivating me enough to get rid of clutter, the prospect of packing sure is!

In the mean time, I know that the arrival of Spring is going to do us some good around here. More walks outside, picnics, cold drinks and lighter clothing are all making me happy right now. Spending more time outside is always good for my soul, I'm so happy that the long days stuck indoors are over!

Five Things

I've done a post like this before, this post was inspired by the lovely Casey Weigand.

Sharing Five things you may not know about me today:

1. I haven't dyed my hair in two years and I love my natural hair colour.

2. I am a terrible procrastinator. It's a tough habit for me to break.

3. I would live in dresses all summer if I could- ok maybe longer than that.

4. I cannot stand scary movies. Ben loves them. I am such a wimp that I usually have to leave the room if he is watching one.

5. I sometimes miss school. No for the exams/deadlines/papers aspect of it, but I miss learning. I would love to take more psychology and anthropology classes, they intrigued me the most. However, photography is one of my current passions and I am signing up for a class soon, I cannot wait!

And one bonus: I actually write all of my blog posts in a notebook first, because I love the physical act of writing. Explains why I love making lists so much;)

Apr 5, 2013

Falling for Friday

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Oh it's been quite a week for me. I'm feeling tired, and a little stressed tonight, but I'm telling you putting this collage together picked up my mood!

1. I know that the whole egg shell garden thing is old news, but I am really wanting to try it, especially with mini succulents!

2. The combination of white, gold and mint in the runway photo is something I am really loving right now- I really want to incorporate mint into my wardrobe.

3. I know I post ring pictures a lot- but I cannot get enough of these ones.

4. I profess my love for Lisa Leonard's work often on my blog, this what I currently have my eye on from her gold collection.

5. Gorgeous messy hairstyle that I'd like to try soon.

6. These DIY geometric print bags are so fun and bright! On my to-do list:)

7. These bowls from Anthropology need to get in my cupboards asap, blue is my favourite colour.

Bright spring colours mixed with gold jewellery, that's what I'm loving this week. Cannot wait to see what everyone is is loving! I'm joining Just Dawnelle, Westover Manor and La Petite Lulu.

Without You

This morning on my way to work the song "Without You" by David Guetta came on my I-pod. In the morning I'm usually too tired to pay attention to the lyrics of the song I'm listening to, so I'll zone out and daydream. For whatever reason this morning, I paid attention. The following lyrics really got to me:

"I am lost, I am vain. 
I will never be the same
Without you"

Now I know that this song is, in essence, a song about the aftermath of a breakup. And realizing how much you need the other person. Obviously that's not what I relate to, but even still, it got me thinking. 

About how truly blessed I am to have found someone to share my life with. Someone who tolerates all my quirks and is there for me on the good days as well as the bad. About how I do not want to take one single day of our life together for granted. About how flawed I truly am, but am lucky to be loved and accepted anyway. And about how I know this to be true- without Ben in my life, I really would not be the same.

He challenges me, humbles me, and encourages me to follow my passions. I am so grateful for all of this. We have our challenges like any other couple, but at the end of the day, there is great love there. 

I hope that I never have to be without Ben. This song made me think about that too- and it's a thought that I really do not like to explore for very long. Really, who does? Right now, I know that I love him completely, and that he makes me want to be a better version of myself. I hope he knows that:)

Apr 3, 2013

March Madness- Life Via Instagram

I did not fully prepare myself for how busy March was going to be. In the span of a few weeks we had my birthday, our anniversary, friends' birthdays, a special little girl's first birthday, and then Easter last weekend! Just a brief explanation for my silence over here this last week or so. I'm craving a couple nights of quiet right now, to gather my thoughts and process all of the wonderful moments that have occurred over the last month.

I posted about our anniversary the other week- and we celebrated well. We grabbed dinner at "The Works" on the actual day- and agreed that their gourmet burgers hit the spot! Since our anniversary fell on a Wednesday this year, (and we're old now and don't like to stay up too late- ha!) a movie and snuggles on the couch was the perfect end to the evening for us. If you must know, we watched "Wreck it Ralph" , because we're cool like that. We loved it. I was touched to receive quite a few sweet messages wishing us well that day- it meant a lot. Like I said before, I'm feeling extra sentimental about our anniversary this year, so it was so nice to know that our friends were thinking of us.

As we usually do, we continued the anniversary celebrations over the following weekend. We got lunch at "The Grand" downtown, and then Ben bought me the Fossil watch I had been wanting (and mentioned in this Falling for Friday post), he spoils me!

I love him.

After that, a quick trip to Ikea where I spent some birthday money to give our room a little makeover (pictures to come). When we got home, I was in my happy place setting up our bedroom (yes, you can all laugh if you want- Ben sure does).

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and had my family over for a visit and quite the intense game of cards Sunday afternoon.

Seriously, this necklace is one of the most meaningful pieces of jewellery I own. Find it here. I love Melody's work.

He took a nap in an abandoned lamp box- just the cutest!

It was SUCH a great weekend, and I loved every moment of celebrating with my man.

The week after was still very busy, in a good way. I did some baking.

 Enjoyed quite a few white hot chocolates from Starbucks.

Worked on a banner for Jill's first birthday party.

And celebrated my friend Brittany's birthday by going to see "OZ- The Great and Powerful" (second time for me, no complaints!)

I feel like that whole weeks went by in a blur- and I still feel so behind at home despite  my efforts. Does that feeling ever go away? Probably not.

By Friday I was on my way to Kingston for Jill's first birthday party! Ben couldn't make it because he suddenly became really sick- ear infections are the worst! I spent the weekend with Morgan, Dan, Paul and Jill, celebrating her first year of life with their family. That is going to be a separate post- I have a ton of adorable photos to go through.

This pretty much catches us up until last week- which was largely uneventful. I spend most of my nights playing catch up at home with chores, e-mails etc. Then we were preparing for Easter - a time to spend with loved ones, to reflect, and to eat a lot of chocolate:) I posted about how our Easter weekend went here. I wish I could say we welcomed Spring in time for Easter, but the snow stuck around. We cannot wait for Spring around here- it will be another reason to celebrate.

A Very Different Easter

I don't have a whole lot of Easter pictures to show you this year. In fact, I don't even have much of a story to tell. Nevertheless, here goes.

The weekend started out promising enough- meeting friends for coffee and lunch at a favourite restaurant with two of my loves.

We had  Easter brunch with my family on Saturday and purchased all the necessary groceries for our indulgent Easter Sunday meals.

This was to be our first Easter just the two of us- since we did our meal with my family on Saturday and Ben's family was out of town. 

I woke up Sunday morning feeling more tired than usual, but figured I would be fine if I just took it easy for most of the day.

Seriously gorgeous sunrise.

We had our hash brown casserole breakfast (a tradition we started last year).

We stayed in pyjamas well past noon. Quickly consumed some insanely delicious stuffed peppers for lunch (obsessed!) that I had made the night before. We watched movies. Nibbled on Easter chocolate (OK, more than nibbled- Ben picked out my favourites!)

We made plans to go shopping for our Easter presents the next day. 

Throughout the day, that heavy, tired feeling hung on no matter what I did. Around 5pm, Ben suggested we go for a walk- I thought that would help, so I agreed. Thirty minutes later I was curled up in bed with a high fever.

That horrible, achy fever persisted throughout the night- accompanied by it's friends nausea, ear aches and sore throat. I got two hours of sleep that night. 

We never had our special Easter dinner of butter chicken, rice and naan bread. Poor Ben spent all of Monday waiting on me hand and foot instead of us going out for the day. I didn't leave the couch. Not exactly the Easter either of us had in mind. 

Today I feel better (I'm sure all the rest on Monday helped), but I don't feel great. At least the kiddos I look after are now at an age where they understand what being sick means- and they like to help me clean up:) 

It was hard seeing everyone's cheery Easter photos on Instagram the last couple of days when I was miserable and wishing our day could have gone differently. The white lace dress I had picked out was only worn for 20 minutes before the fever hit and I felt bummed that I never got the pictures I wanted.

But you know what? We can still have our dinner, dress up and go shopping. Those are just activities. Getting sick did not take away the fact that I have a wonderful man in my life who is so thoughtful and great at taking care of me when I need it. I know what the true meaning of Easter is, and feeling awful did not change that. Despite a less than perfect day, I am grateful. 

I hope that everyone had a truly wonderful Easter, no matter what surprises came their way:)