2/26/10

SPRING = CANNING?

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Well to me it does. The fruit trees are all starting to bloom here in Vancouver and I am already thinking of the harvest. My co-workers and I are excitedly scoping out the selection of potted herbs on a daily basis, figuring out which ones to buy. I've really wanted to get into canning for the last couple of years. Our mom makes jams and jellies and sauces almost every year and Elizabeth too has tried her hand at spicy pickles and other treats.
It's not just what's in the jars that thrills me, nor the process of creating and preserving something of your own (one must prepare for the harsh winters of Vancouver, right?) but I also love the jars themselves. The old standard masons are very pretty indeed, but I felt inspired to see a little note on the beautiful and unique Weck jars in Martha Stewart. Now to get my hands on some those.... unfortunately it's still several months before I can start using them.

2/25/10

CUT MA' HAIR

I've been having hair issues. I'm in the middle of an awkward grow-out phase that feels like it will never end. I bleached my hair light blond two summers ago and am still dealing with the aftermath. I LOVED being blond, but the upkeep was killer so I eventually, reluctantly, went back to brown. Two years later and the bleach is still there and my ombre, fried-end hair is making me nuts. At this point all I want is a healthy head of natural hair before it goes somewhat-prematurely grey, as does all hair of the women in my family. I'm also growing my bangs out which is probably the worst possible thing one can do for their self esteem. Clearly, I'm having issues.

Today was a bad hair day. They do exist. I hit a breaking point and walked into a salon without an appointment. "Cut out the blonde, don't touch the bangs, clean it up and please, please let's attempt to make it frame my face". Half an hour later I walked out with perhaps the most boring haircut I've had in 10 years....and it was EXACTLY what I wanted. One length, terrifically straight, slightly shaped long bob and no more pretending my hair is something it's not. I feel so much better.

Now to get used to a centre part again without feeling like I should be sitting in my parents basement, watching My So Called Life on tv (and I don't mean re-runs) and pretending to study for a math test.

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Excuse the absolutely crap-tastic photos, I'm too lazy to set up my camera and tripod. Also, photobooth has a nice way of blurring imperfections & that's my favorite kinda headshot tonight.

NOW MINE

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It feels like all my posts of late simply show recent purchases - hardly well-rounded blogging. Oh well, why change a good thing?

Last week I stopped by Nokomis and picked up two pieces from the new Osei-Duro collection, a favorite line/collaboration between Canadian designers Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh along with West African Women's cooperatives, Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative and Baba Blankets Social Enterprise.

Osei-Duro is a line of sustainable clothing integrating hand-spun & dyed West African textiles with contemporary Western fashion concepts. The pieces are conceived and designed by Mathias and Keogh and manufactured in Ghana for an equitable wage by local Women's groups. You can read more about their work on their website. Personally I'm a big fan of their blog which documents their travels throughout Africa and feeds my overwhelming desire to visit there soon.

I got the above Sachel top in black as well as a long, loose tank top in the nebulous purple print on the left. Lovely.

2/24/10

I DREAM OF GARDENS

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The March 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living has some very inspiring garden ideas. This property in New York state is stunning. I love the use of colour blocking and the design that allows wanderers to weave through hidden paths and admire each carefully chosen grass and flower and shrub up close. It's my dream to have a property like this that does so well to defy the lines of structure and ownership -- it looks as though it is a naturally occurring part of the countryside and that it is nurtured by nature herself. (And that pool!)

2/22/10

LITTLE GEM

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Found this pretty little Balmain scarf at the Antique Mall last week. What a lucky find - and with Paris in my near future too! I think it was a sign.

2/20/10

AND H.B. TO R.B. TOO

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Slovenia love, hanging off of a balcony at the Olympic Village.

2/19/10

FOR ANNE ON HER BIRTHDAY

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Thank you for lullaby singing and rocking us to sleep. Thank you for reading to us and supplying us with every material possible to nurture our imaginations. Thank you for always listening to and showing us unconditional affection. You are a fantastic mother and one of our most favorite people.

You have shown us what a full and modest life one can lead, that one can see the world and still love their home, that there is room for many people in one's heart.

We wish you continued happy years, proud achievements, and hope we have countless opportunities to thank you for all you have shared and taught us.

Mom, from the bottom of our hearts, we wish you a very happy birthday.

xoxo

2/17/10

METHOD + MADNESS

If you're at all interested in design/production process I think you'll find this an amazing video. Filmed over the course of three days, it shows Gareth Pugh's painstaking method of creation - it would make me absolutely crazy. Enjoy.


2/15/10

MEAL OF LOVE

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Valentine's dinner, chock-full of more farmer's market bounty.
We made pan-roasted potatoes with peppercorns and white wine, a simple spinach salad with green beans, walnuts & blueberries, and a caramelized onion and lentil wellington, a favorite of RB's and mine. Lentil wellington is a special-occasion-only recipe as it's so bloody time-consuming to put together, especially when you factor in the vegan gravy, always well worth the effort though.

Happy love blah blah blah. Go eat something nice.

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2/14/10

LAZY SATURDAY DINNER

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We went to the Farmer's Market Saturday morning and bought these beautiful rainbow carrots that inspired a dinner of cumin-roasted carrots with dill & pumpkinseed pesto and perogies, all from the market. Lazy Saturday dinners are the very best.

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2/12/10

NEWBIES

Gravity Pope is having an insane sale, buy 1 get 1 free. I know, crazy right? Perfect for someone like me who doesn't earn an income at present. I stopped in on Wednesday and left with these two perfect black basics, a Modern Vintage ankle boot (my go-to height for mostly everything):

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And these super simple Les Lolitas black knee-highs, a wear-with-anything sort of boot I've been looking for for quite some time.

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Total savings? $420. Not bad.

2/10/10

ROMANCING

Jessica is having a Valentine's day contest on her blog, nokomis, for to find the love-i-ist video of all time. There's a prize and everything, just post your favorite romantic scene on film.

I shared this treasured gem:



However, if I'd been smart I would've posted this beauty:



In case anyone wants to win this contest, heed my advice: sometimes you want prime rib, sometimes you want meatloaf - especially if you're the lovely Jessica and it's Valentine's day.

2/9/10

THIS JUST IN:

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Scarf season in Vancouver is over as of today! I just declared it. Now I can go back to wearing scarves by choice, not out of necessity (because they're just so pretty, aren't they?)

2/8/10

YOUTH PROLONGED

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I am a 30-year-old, married woman who still thinks the best thing under the sun is a slumber party with girlfriends on a Saturday night. Sometime last week I invited Laurel and I over to Genevieve's house for a sleepover. Manners. I'm good at those too.

Anyway, Genevieve was up for it so we all congregated on her place this weekend and had a blast (at least I did), dancing and talking and eating endless junkfood. I had a university flashback when opening a bottle of wine with a screwdriver and a hammer (I will buy you a corkscrew Genevieve) and spilled pizza pop down the front of my shirt. Ahhh, just like old times. Except for the wine.

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And now for the required dress-up portion of the evening...ever wondered how one might look wearing four fur coats, a fur hat and fox fur stole? Now you know:

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2/7/10

SUNDAY MORNINGS AND SMOOTHIES

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I have a cat beside me, chirping at the birds outside the window and a boyfriend still sleeping in bed. My plan for the morning is to make an avocado smoothie and listen to the hair soundtrack, on high (I think it's time for someone to wake up). White boys is my favorite number.

Avocado Smoothie:
Makes 2 big servings

1 ripe avocado cut into medium-sized pieces
2 bananas
1/2 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
1 - 2 cups milk (depending on how thick you like it)
1/2 - 1 cup orange or pineapple juice (see above)
1/4 cup frozen blueberries (optional)
1 Tbsp honey (optional)

Blend the avocado with some milk first, to make sure there are no lumps, then add all the remaining ingredients to your blender, blending on high for about a minute.

If you choose to add the blueberries (and all the nutrition that goes with them) this will be one of the least attractive smoothies out there, but it truly does tastes amazing.

2/6/10

2/5/10

CRAFTY SISTERS

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I have really been enjoying the guest blog over on Design*Sponge this week. All the gifts seems like as much fun to create as they would be to receive -- and who doesn't want a personalized pickling kit? Those Blessings sisters sure are crafty.

2/4/10

FOR MMH FROM ERH

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Speaking of baking... I can't wait to get into my kitchen with my brand new, one-of-a-kind apron. So thank you Elizabeth, it's perfect.

2/3/10

MADE A CHOCOLATE PIE

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Why? Well, it's Wednesday, for one. Also, I don't feel like doing laundry and baking is an excellent procrastination tool (no one complains). Third, chocolate is good for what ails you and I know someone who needs a little pampering. Finally, I just happened to have the necessary ingredients on hand.

Bam! Chocolate pie.

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p.s. Mary, love the new tart pans.