Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Celebration time

We'll be heading off to the airport soon and boarding the plane for the UK. I still can't believe we'll be in England when we get up in the morning (or rather, when we get off the plane). It seems like ages ago when J booked the tickets as an end-of-school celebration.

While I have two classes yet to finish, I feel that this trip is still very much a celebration. Aside from getting what I consider my "dream job", thus far and accomplishing the goal I set out for myself when I first entertained the idea of enrolling into my studies, I think even without that, there's so much to be grateful and happy about in my life. I get to spend every day with my two favorite people (my best friend + special little person), I have my health, I have a wonderful family, extended family (including my in-laws) and friends...and I still believe in daydreams and adventures.

I'm looking forward to ringing in the New Year with J+H and our friends in the UK on the streets of London and even more excited to see what this year will bring. Until then, I hope that you're taking time to celebrate the special things in your life. Take care and talk soon. xo

P.S. Wheeeehoooo! We're going to London AND Paris!!!! I can't wait!

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to say thank you

One of my favorite things about Christmas is watching H's eyes light up over Santa's visit but I especially love seeing her spend time with her grandparents. She loves them so much and it's always so heartbreaking to see how sad she gets when they leave.

She told me tonight that she doesn't know how to say thank you to them for all of the nice things they do for her and for us. She's such a conscientious and sensitive soul with a kind heart. I tear up just thinking about it. ♥

Brown paper packages

When we got home from visiting with one of J's best friends today, we were greeted by two bulky packages - one from Japan and the other from NYC. (Joy!) I love to receive anything in the post, let alone packages wrapped in parcel paper! There were so many sweet surprises in each...literally! A tin of Jacques Torres' delicious hot chocolate, two packages of Kaki No Tane Choco and TEN glorious, magnificent, soon-to-be-empty boxes of my all-time favorite treat - Meiji chocolate covered almonds! (Somebody pinch me!)

[I should also mention that there were some awesome CDs, a really interesting book and two very beautiful cards included, as well!]

We're so lucky to have such special and thoughtful people in our lives. In fact, this is how I felt during the holidays this year when both J's family and mine came together to celebrate Christmas in Kingston.

My parents and sister flew in to spend the holidays with us and we all drove down to celebrate with J's family including his parents, sisters, brother-in-laws and his adorable niece. This is the first time we've celebrated with both families and J's family were so warm and welcoming, not to mention, the most amazing hosts. On Christmas morning, we all sat around the tree opening our Secret Santa gifts, emptying our stockings and watching lil' B celebrate her first Christmas. There was so much food (including munchies and goodies!) and the wine was flowing throughout the visit. There were also about a hundred pictures taken and some good laughs shared, as well.

So, this is how our holidays have been, thus far. Hope you've been having a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. And for those who can't be with us during this time of year, we're thinking of you and remembering you in our hearts.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you peace, love and happiness today...and always. xo

[Wonder if this is what Santa looks like in London. Guess I'll find out soon. Teehee.]

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday snaps

We got up early to sit among the 400 (or so) viewers who were at the IMAX this morning to watch Avatar. I won't give away any spoilers but I thought it was definitely worth seeing. I especially love that the film took twelve years to make it to the screen for the technology to catch up with James Cameron's vision.

It's really quite a simple plot but an amazing ride with incredible special effects. Did I leave feeling inspired and moved beyond words? To be honest - not really. I found that I couldn't entirely connect with the characters, though, I did tear up a few times. I really wanted to connect to this movie but I just couldn't. The one thing that did blow me away was the fact that I was sitting there in the theatre with my daughter and in awe that I was alive to share the experience with her and the technology required to create such a film. It kind of blew my mind and that brought me to tears.

We were starving after the show and headed to Hosu on Queen for some delicious Japanese food. Of course, it was also an opportunity to debrief about how we felt about the movie and provide our feedback (but mostly, it really was to eat).

We then headed over to my friend G's "Christmas-tree-with-real-candles-mulled-wine-too-many-cookies Open House". If you take a look at the pictures, you can even see the candles being lit on the tree which is a German tradition. (Of course, in my family, it would be known as a fire hazard as there is no way we children would have been trusted with such a thing!) There were all kinds of homemade cookies, snacks and savoury finger foods not to mention, the most delicious mulled wine (too bad it's a work day tomorrow).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday snaps

Here's a peek at what I've been up to today...just in case you were wondering.
Eating tofu bacon with pancakes for breakfast and listening to old school eighties music.
Visiting the Drake General Store...and taking pictures of strangers.
Eating fries with H at Poutine's while people watching on Queen West.
Going for a walk...and noticing bursts of color.
Looking for inspiration at City of Craft...and buying Christmas gifts.
Admiring vintage toy boxes.

Hope you're having a lovely Saturday - wherever you are and whatever you're doing. Talk soon. xo

Friday, December 11, 2009

No shave and a haircut

My husband cut off his shaggy mop today. He looks so cute (not that he wasn't already handsome but just sayin'). ♥

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It snowed last night and then, it rained off and on during the day. It was so miserable and wet out.

I'm glad the day's over and I'm at home - all cozy and warm. G'night, all. Sleep tight. xo

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brotherly Love

J & I had a nice little date night on Saturday evening which included dinner at Commensal and watching the movie Brothers. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. The cast is amazing and so is the film. Watch it but make sure you give yourself time to process it and debrief, afterwards.

[I ♥ Jake Gyllenhaal...especially with facial hair]

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hello Cupcakes

It's been a while since we've been to Fresh so it was nice to get reacquainted again. I had the Simple on Soba with grilled tempeh and J+H had their favorite, Magic Tofu Wraps. For dessert, we had two very delicious chocolate cupcakes - one had mint icing and the other was creme-filled (and both were vegan). We washed it down with a nice cup of Hojicha tea...ahhh. ♥

This weekend, I'm taking a course in Constructivist Counselling during the day and watching movies at night. :)

Hope you have a nice weekend. Talk soon. xo

(Can you believe it's already December?!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pimpin' and primpin'

Stuck a feather in his hat and called it Pimparoni.

(Looks courtesy of JCPenney. Seriously.)

Oh, snap!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Get your schrank on

Why, I've got my Schrank on right now. Ahhh, this "Living Loungerie" is the life! Time to indulge in life's fondest pleasure!

[Translation: Bedtime. I've decided to get up an hour earlier tomorrow to read over material for the exam. I'm just not absorbing anything! G'night! xo]

I should be studying

I'm sure I've used this photo before but it really captures how I'm feeling right now. I'm supposed to be studying but I just feel like daydreaming.

I have a three-hour exam tomorrow (right after work) on the different legislation surrounding employment including exciting things like Diversity and Human Rights, Employment Standards and legislation surrounding Employment Equity and Health & Safety. We need to keep our codes and acts straight, like knowing when they came down the pipes, as well as remembering all of the nitty gritty details that make up each and when to apply them to the different case studies we'll be presented.


I promise to write more soon. I feel like I've been neglecting you, my Dear Blog and I have so many wonderful things to share. Talk soon. xo

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Revisiting Bergen ♥

Our lovely friend, HM, is visiting us from Norway right now. It's so nice to see her again and spend time with her. We're finally able to return just a teeny bit of the wonderful hospitality she bestowed on us while we were visiting her a few summers ago.

On Sunday, we introduced her to breakfast at Sadie's and went on a little road trip to Niagara Falls for a tour of the city and an intimate dinner at Canyon Creek overlooking the falls. Today, J took her on a walking tour to some of the special highlights of Toronto such as Kensington Market, the OCAD building, the redesigned AGO and lunch at the beautiful Kalendar Restaurant and Bistro. I'm not sure where they'll end up during the day tomorrow but in the evening, we're looking forward to taking her to one of our favorite restaurants, The Real Jerk. (I can already taste the plantain, jerk shrimp, dumplings and Ting!)

Having HM here has me reminiscing about the amazing and special trip we had in Bergen that included exchanging our vows (which were unofficially officiated by HM), hiking Ulriken, moments shared with her & little J and not to mention, all of the amazing places HM took us to such as Hardanger where we got engaged. ♥

Here are some pictures from our trip that I posted in the past but wanted to share with you again.

Coffee is an evil suitor

I should've known better to fall for the sweet seduction of the late day latte. Oh, you're an evil suitor for keeping me up so late! I won't fall prey to your wooing and courting again!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not the actor Andy Garcia

I'm obsessing about handlettering and calligraphy these days. I could spend hours looking at beautiful script (and I do). It's almost an illness, really. I've always loved nice penmanship and all of its permutations. This is just an extension of my affection.

Speaking of which, I am loving this piece by Andy R. Garcia - art director, graphic designer and illustrator extraordinaire.

Almost beach weather!

Hello friends! Hope this finds you well and happy. Just wanted to touch base and say "hello". I had a really wonderful time last week - both at work and at home - but I'll fill you in on those details in my next post. I just stopped by to wish you a good day and a lovely start to the week.

It's going to be 19 degrees and sunny today here in Toronto. I can't wait to get out and enjoy it!

Take care and talk soon. xo

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

origami+tea=pure genius

I love this concept of origami tea bags created by Russian designer Natalia Ponomareva. It's so lovely and clever. It's also the perfect marriage of two of my passions (tea+paper).

(Info and image courtesy of popsop)

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Wishing all my ghoulfriends and little goblins a Happy Halloween! Have a spooktacular day! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) Have fun tonight! xo

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hallow's Eve

I can't believe Halloween is here in four days! It's so exciting! Tonight, I bought a big, poofy wig and a handful of snakes for H's Medusa costume. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Thanks to FBP for coming on the search with me tonight! Good times!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Does the body good

Part of this weekend was spent writing my final paper of the year. I had requested an extension on the paper when I was offered my job and finally got around to doing it this weekend. It was a slow start but things eventually got rolling and I was pleased with the final copy.

When I handed it in today at lunch, I ran into some of my friends. It was great to see them and have a few laughs and hugs. I'll be seeing them again on Thursday night when I join them at a pub to celebrate their final course of the year.

As for work...it's been really great and incredibly busy. The transition has been smooth, thus far and I'm really enjoying it. At the end of the day, I feel like I've accomplished something and that the work I'm doing is worthwhile. It's a wonderful feeling and one that I don't think I've experienced before.

Hope you had a lovely weekend and a nice start to the week! Talk soon, friends. xo

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish we were celebrating Thanksgiving with my family right now. I miss the spread of food and laughing with my cousins. It was always so loud and boisterous and the food never seemed to end. Despite being away from them today, I do feel there is so much to celebrate and be thankful for here at home such as my wonderful little family (J+H), a new job, great friends, J's lovely family, being healthy and enjoying the little things in life. ♥

[Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky.]

Wishing all of my Canadian friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving. xo

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vintage Sexism (aka Pure Madness)

I just had to share this with you. It's hard to believe these kind of articles were circulated not so long ago.

This gem is from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine, written for male supervisors of women during World War II. These were "helpful tips" on supervising women at work (I think #10 is my favorite):

1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they're less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It's always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.

5. Stress at the outset the importance of time the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.

6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they'll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.

7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.

9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can't shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she'll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.

11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too much in keeping women happy.

(Source: feministing.org)