Thursday, March 31, 2011

-- My Favorites: March Edition --

A bunch of the blogs that I read post their monthly goals... its the popular thing to do... Kim from the Newlywoodwards does it, so does Emily at Imperfect and even Kristen at Miss Prissy Page.  But, I'm more of a procrastinator than a goal-maker... so I figure its safer for me to be retrospective and instead, recap my favorites from the month.  Here's the March edition.

1) Amazing on my skin, and an amazingly time-saver for my morning routine:  Bare Minerals...

2) Looks like a work-appropriate jean, feels like yoga pants when they are on...

3) Adventure, Mystery, Captivating story, and a very good love story...

4) Finally finding a sewing machine that doesn't make me cry - even if it is Baby Pink...

5) Last but not least - This great new song "Collide" By Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock... love it almost as much as their first collaboration.

Tomorrow starts April!  WooHoo!  I'm looking forward to cleaning up the yard, seeing some new green growth outside, making progress on our master and guest bedrooms and basically getting some fresh air!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

-- Stella and Dot WishList --

I've got to say, I'm a lucky girl.  My mom called a few days ago to say that she wants to pick a little something to give me to commemorate my graduation that it coming up in a couple months.  So, as per her instructions, I spent some time this morning making a Stella and Dot wishlist!  So much fun!

In looking through their website, I noticed that I'm drawn most to the more delicate designs - maybe because I think they are more timeless?

Here's what I bookmarked for my wishlist:

Starry Night Necklace
I think that this one has got to be my most favorite.  So shiny, but feminine and definitely something I can see wearing for many years into the future.

Glint Flower Necklace
 This one is similar to the Starry Night necklace, its in silver (I wear more silver/white gold usually) and at less than half the price its a nice compromise.  I only wonder about how "cubic zirconia" looking the pendant is...

Teardrop Necklace

Together Forever Necklace
These two necklaces are also gorgeous in my opinion.  And the bangle below is also something that I can see myself wearing on a regular basis.  I think it would look just as great with a nice dress as it would with some dark wash jeans and a tee.

Signature Clover Bangle
 This last item on my wishlist is something that I really hadn't previous considered, but am finding quite appealing.  Its a serious of charms that can be worn on any chain or bangle.  If it were up to me, I would pick the 'a' charm, the wishbone, the pearl of wisdom and/or the hope charm, which looks a lot like the one pictured below.

 So many excellent choices - I'm definitely hoping that Mom can settle on one that she likes for me *hint*hint*

Do any of you have Stella and Dot jewelry?  What's your favorite?  Have you tried on any of the ones that I've put on my wishlist?

Monday, March 28, 2011

-- Right Now --

** I enjoy blogging and I want to do more of it.  But, I often feel the need to over-explain / over-narrate things I think.  So I am going to adopt this post format that Natalie at The Gossetts has used a bit over the last few weeks.  We'll see how it goes...**

  • watching: Dancing With the Stars - another season...
  • procrastinating: writing a proposal for funding for a summer student in the lab.
  • feeling: energized with research ideas after attending Day 3 of the Rotman Conference
  • wondering: if Husband will ever conquer his website - its frustrating him right now :S
  • wishing: that my puppy would stop licking the furniture (actually virtually everything...)
  • trying: to take one day at a time and be patient.
  • missing: the warm weather from a week or so ago.
  • loving: that Husband cleaned up dinner and loaded/started the dishwasher without being asked!!

What are you loving/wishing/wondering right now?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

-- CWC: Wall Hanging Cabinet --

Remember how months ago I blogged about our bathroom renovation and how it was *almost* finished?  Well three months later, I can check one more thing off that list of things to complete.

Lucas hung the bathroom wall-hanging cabinet late last week and I am in love!

Here is a look at how it looked before hanging it on the wall.

He built it out of walnut to match the bathroom vanity.  It has some beautiful grain to it and has tons of practical storage as well.

The shelves are adjustable so we should have no trouble storing all the medicines, extra shampoo bottle etc... that I have planned to stash away in here.  Check out the dove-tailed drawers...

We don't have pictures yet of it hanging on the wall, but I'll try to get some soon.  Only one more project to go before the bathroom is finished.  Lucas is making a hamper for towels with all the leftover walnut from the vanity and this cabinet.  He hasn't started it yet, but I'm hoping its finished before my family comes to visit for my convocation in June.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

-- Yummy! --

I found Dlish via a Toronto based blog (that I can't seem to track down) and I was immediately smitten.  The cupcakes look just like the ones from the TLC show "DC Cupcakes".  So when my sister suggested a little afternoon get together, I suggested that she take a gander over to Dlish and pick some up for us to share.

From their online menu, I chose 3 cupcakes, a Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, and Red Velvet.  The Cookies and Cream was my favorite!

Red Velvet was a close second though - I can't believe that this was my first opportunity to try Red Velvet cake (it definitely won't be my last...)

So Yummy!

If you are in the Toronto area, I'd suggest to run, not walk, over to Dlish!  But check their website because they only make certain flavors on certain days...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

-- Snow Day --

Today is March 23, the second day of spring.  I've been reading on other blogs about daffodils, garden planting and even some swimming and shorts-wearing.  But here in the Great White North, our alarm went off as usual at 5:25am this morning and I got up to take a look out the window before dragging myself stumbling into the shower.  This glimpse out the window looked like the middle of winter.  Despite hearing the warning on the news, it was still surprising to see the roads covered in snow and the car with a good 5 inches on top and around the tires.  I did a quick mental review of my schedule for the day, realized I didn't have any pressing that required me to be physically at the office, and heaved myself back into bed announcing "I'm staying home".

He put on a brave face and said he couldn't work from home, but he soon changed his tune when he heard the traffic reports.  See out commute is an hour the highway and with crazy, winter traffic, that can easily multiply to 2 or 3 hours - each way.

So instead of spending the morning staring at brake lights on the 401, we are in our jammies, sipping coffee, eating bagels and staring out the window looking at this:

Yep, winter's not over yet - this is Canada after all...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

-- Long Time, No See --

I'm due for a full scale blog update with progress pictures of our laundry area, our bathroom and our bedroom, but for now, I'll show-and-tell my weekend accomplishment.

Don't get too excited - this wasn't exactly a weekend full of triumphs.  Instead it was a weekend full of frustrations and heartache, but I think its all been worked out...

See, I started Friday morning with this:

A stack of dishtowels that I found at Crate and Barrel while shopping with my sister, matching blue fabric from Fabricville and a long string of cording.

The plan was to transform those dishtowels and fabric into throw pillows for our bed.  Three pillows to be exact.  I was hoping they would look something like this:

But here is where it gets interesting.  My mom did lots of sewing in my childhood.  She's made wedding dresses, bags, curtains... she even made the bridesmaid and flowergirl dresses for my wedding.  So, naturally, I assumed that sewing abilities must be in my genes and that I couldn't mess up that bad... But I was wrong.

After watching a few YouTube videos, I figured out how to make the piping for the pillows.  And it went off without much of a hitch, in fact, I was actually feeling pretty good about myself because it looked quite nice.  But then I started sewing it onto the dishtowel and this is where it all started falling apart.  It wasn't long before the needle got bent (which I promptly replaced - no sweat), but then I was getting the threads in the machine all knotted and eventually, the machine got totally jammed up and it refused to continue working.  I spent the remainder of the night trying to diagnose and fix the issue, but I failed.  The machine was broken.

Saturday was a new day.  I was resolved to give up the project and turn to some professionals on Etsy for throw pillows instead.  But Lucas had other plans, he had gotten up early, done some research and was ready to head out to buy a new machine (rated 5 out of 5 on Amazon for those that are wondering). So, I caved.  We went out, got the new machine, and returned home where I brought out all the sewing supplies again.  I was sewing right along for about 15 minutes before I head a loud 'clink' in the machine, following by that dreaded sound of the machine jamming up all over again.  After a few hours of trying to figure out the issue, Lucas and I agreed, I'd broken another one!

To say I was angry is an understatement.  By this point, I'd sewed on the piping to the pillow front (the dishtowel) and I was seeing that this could end up looking quite nice.

So on Sunday, off we went to exchange the machine (it had a warranty for adjustments etc...).  Unfortunately though, no store in the area had another one and I was heartbroken... and lets be honest, even more angry (... some in my family would say thats what I get for shopping on Sunday :)  But Lucas saved the day, we went to Sears found a great sewing machine - and purchased a nice extended warranty that includes regular maintenance and adjustments (it seemed a good investment considering my previous experiences from the weekend).

Less than an hour later, this was the result:

Success at last.

** Since taking this picture, I've now purchased a bigger 23" feather insert for the pillow and it fills out beautifully (ie, no longer looks like it needs to meet an iron).  Considering the frustration in making it, I've got to say - I love it!

Now I've only got 2 more cushions to make... Lets hope my experience will be better than that with the first :)
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