Monday, December 31, 2007

Division of Labour

I'm the planner, he's the cook. Even if I choose the recipes, and shop for the groceries, he always finds a way to make things a bit better, or uses the same ingredients in a different iteration. I love it. So for his housewarming gift {not that we were doing housewarming gifts, I just needed an excuse!} I gave into his male fantasies and picked up the Cuisinart Griddler for him. Every time we saw the commercial and his eyes would get all wistful, like - "it's too bad that we already own a grill, isn't it hon?" and so on...I couldn't resist, he never actually wants anything! I'm looking forward to seeing what ridiculous sandwich concoctions he's going to come up with on it!

Always read the fine print

And ask before you marry a comic book geek. Now that we have a house his parents will no longer store them for us. {But thanks for keeping them out of my life for the last 9+ years!}

ps - this is the office in the new house. Other than the comics, I love the room.

Goals for 2008

I'm not much of a grand scale resolutions kind of gal, but i am one heck of a list-maker. My boss and husband have both joked that if I stopped working so hard on my fabulous to-do lists that I'd have more free time on my hands. But then what would I do with that free time? Must make list...

I've tried to come up with things that are achievable but still require some effort, and that I can do without costing myself an arm and a leg.
  • Lose 10 pounds by Feb 29, 2008. This is not a big challenge, I have done weight watchers before with much success, so I know what to do, I just have to suck it up and do it.
  • Workout 5 times a week. This does not have to take place at a gym, my folks kindly got me some x-country skis and I plan on heading outside as much as possible. I'm also planning on doing the half marathon again this May, so I'll need to keep running to avoid embarrassing myself.
  • Wardrobe rescue by February 1, 2008. I love my clothes, and I think that I have a pretty darned good wardrobe. I do however need to get rid of a few pieces that don't look top notch on me and acquire a few more to round everything out.
  • Work on my knitting skills - so many half-finished projects!
  • Finish LB's skully sweater before March 20.
  • Work on my sewing skills - so many imagined projects!
  • Take 1 Spanish class - I need to brush up on my Spanish so that I can travel more.
  • Go to London, England to visit Shannon {and make side trip to Cambridge to see Brynn!}
  • Figure out how to fix my sewing machine so that I can sew at home {mine's a yard sale special 1960s Singer and we aren't quite the friends that I'd like to be}
  • Stick to budget - owning a home has brought about many unexpected costs!
  • Stick to meal plan - I make a plan of all of our meals one week at a time, and we shop accordingly. We are 85% good at sticking to it, but every once in a while a last-minute dinner out comes up, or something unexpectedly comes our way...
  • Read 20 books - I feel like I haven't read nearly enough this year and it makes me sad.
  • Participate in at least one cultural event per month - there's so much great stuff to do in Ottawa and we never take advantage of it.
  • Be more adaptive at work. Things are never going to turn out exactly as I hope, and I've been very fortunate to strike the right balance between skills, ability, personality and opportunity and I don't want to get cynical or check out and miss out on some great stuff.
  • Get out of bed when the alarm goes off. This is actually my biggest challenge for the year, and I'm going to have to figure out how to reward {bribe} myself {almond croissants, Daph?} to make it possible to achieve this one...
Any goals? Resolutions? Happy new year!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chair dilemma

I love the Louis Ghost chair by Philip Starck, and they are currently on sale at Phillip van Leeuwan, the store where we got our fabulous couch {the Starck, not a repro}. I think that it's such a classic piece that it will always have a place in our home, and it goes perfectly with the Lucite/wood combo console table that bro Liam just finished for us. LB's not so sure, so keep your fingers crossed for me! If we go tomorrow, we could have it in front of our fireplace by tomorrow evening!

Mushy minute

I can't believe the kindness and generosity that people have shown us since we moved into our new house. As mentioned earlier, it's been a bit of a rough transition, and the love and support we've gotten has enabled us to get over that hump. We love our house now and I'm working on some pics to share with you, it's really coming together!! Thanks to all for everything.

kate spade christmas

My name is Kaili, and I have a problem. But I'm not looking to stop, just to share. Word is out in my family- if it's kate spade, chances are that I would love to receive it as a gift.

In addition to the sunglasses, Laurin managed to get the 2008 agenda shipped to Canada just for me {yay!}, my mum surprised me with the perry street clock in turquoise, after going on about how she couldn't make it to Toronto to get it, and it was too small, etc...It's going to be the centre of my new mantel display.And my Aunt Linda shocked me {seriously, I cried I was so surprised!} with the new set of kate spade festive peacock ornaments {out of stock, so no link available}. I'm pretty sure that Tara had a big hand in that, thanks to you both!

Sunny days...

I've always wanted a pair of designer sunglasses, but was afraid of breaking or losing them. When I realized that I've had the same pair of $20 Alfred Sung glasses from Zellers for the past 3 years, I started looking for a pair of shades that I loved. I got the kate spade Mattie glasses for christmas, and they're perfect. Mine even have pink on the inside, for that extra-special bit of kate spade charm. They're not showy, no big logos or anything, just perfectly chic and classic.

I hate plastic waterbottles

They're ugly, wasteful, and since Nalgene has been discovered to be toxic, they've been banned from our house. We use glasses at home, and I have a pretty pink mug at work for water and tea. For those in-between times, LB picked up a SIGG waterbottle for me. The lovely powder-coated aluminum bottles are pretty, lightweight, and good for you, at least until they figure out the next bad thing for us. Which could be any second...

Colander

In our house, the kitchen is the original cabinetry from the 50s, which is perfect for us, but there is an empty hook just hanging over the sink that begged for something pretty to hang on it. I found the perfect steel coated with enamel colander at Zone a few weeks ago, and got it today for 50% off, only $12.50. It looks perfect in the window!


It's almost the same as this, but by Danesco.

Juno

We always try to see a movie over the christmas holidays, taking full advantage of the fact that I'm far less likely to fall asleep during a movie when I'm relaxed and well-rested. This year we headed to the good ol' AMC to see Juno on boxing day. I love love love love this movie. It is the sweetest, a little bittersweet and funniest movie I've seen in a long time. It also just feels like Canada in the movie, with director Jason Reitman and stars Ellen Page and Michael Cera. {Still have my secret not so secret crush on Michael Cera!} The soundtrack is amazing, I've just picked it up on itunes and know that it will be a fixture on my ipod over the next while.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Huzzah for the shopkeep

I have been tagged to compile a personal "best of" list for 007, and will do shortly, but until then, I want to give lots of hugs and kisses to my favourite boutique {heck, to my favourite store, period} in Ottawa, trustfund. Stewart and Stephanie go out of their way to bring unique items into town, and don't saturate the market. For example, I bought a pricey but adorable summer top there one day on my lunch. When I was trying it on, Stephanie confirmed that they were the only store in Ottawa that carried this particular line and that they had only received 4, 1 in each size from XS-L, thus reducing the chances that I would run into many colourful silk doppelgangers at any summer events. It's a great environment, a lovely place to shop, and you couldn't ask for better store owners who have become friends. {Even though I now have a house and no money to buy lovely things, they still welcome me with open arms!}

Object of my desire

I've wanted a pair of honest to gosh wellies for so long now that I couldn't even tell you, and now they are here in Ottawa! How exciting is that! Thanks to the fabulous Stewart and Stephanie of trustfund, you can now get the Hunter wellies in green and in black. Although LB argues that my two current pairs of rubber boots are sufficient, he just doesn't get how lovely these are. And while I think that the black is lovely and glossy and very classic, I'm leaning towards the green. I've got so many black jackets and coats that the green boots would really give my spring wardrobe a bit of a punch. YAY!

Envirosax

The Australian bag that's rocking my world these days is Envirosax! I spied one in this month's issue of chatelaine and really liked it, and it appeared to me yesterday while browsing in my favourite paper shop, paper papier. Although the last thing I need in the whole wide world is another enviro-friendly reusable shopping tote {it kinda defeats the purpose if I have a zillion}, this one folds down to the size of a deck of playing cards, and weighs next to nothing, which is fabulous when you're cramming it with the assorted junk of errand running. I took mine out this morning, kept it in my pocket until I bought something , and then wowed all of the staff and customers as I unfurled mine in this lovely gucci-esque print.

Inner Child

Although I have weaned myself {mostly} of the practice of wearing shirts with pictures and logos, I caved yesterday. After a long hard week at work {and a long month!} I rewarded myself with a funny "I heart Smurfette" t at my favourite store, trustfund. Similar to the one below, it's actually even more retro looking, with longer sleeves, white t, and very 70s red shoulders and stripes around the arms. Much fun!

I will wear it over Christmas break with jeans and yoga pants, but I'm also planning on having some fun with it and pairing it with a suit, much like Carrie did in Season 6 of SATC when she introduced Berger to the girls while wearing a faded yellow mickey mouse t with tuxedo pants and a blazer.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Desktop Pizzazz

Ever since we got the imac and moved to a house that allows us to have a proper office with a wooden desk, our sad little standard issue mouse pad just isn't cutting it anymore. While browsing our local paper shop last weekend, LB spotted this persian rug mouse pad. I'm tempted to get it for him, because he's usually the one hesitant to spend on little touches of whimsy for the house, that's my department.

Persian Carpet Mouse Pad - Temporarily out of stock

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Style 101

I bought this book at the Superstore last weekend. From the editors of In Style, a magazine that I stopped subscribing to and no longer buy due to the disproportionate amount of ads to text, it actually surprised me. There was enough good material during a few once overs at Chapters that I decided to get it when I saw it 25% off while picking up frozen pizza. It's a good mix of useful tips for home, beauty, style, including step by step instructions for creating the perfect smokey eye, something that I do hope to achieve someday. Mostly I usually look like I have a black eye.

I highly recommend it as a reference material, there is nowhere near the amount of celebrity coverage which was part of my dislike for the magazine. I'm going to try and perfect the "how to take a perfect picture" page, since I hate how I look in photos. The other part of that however is brushing my hair.

desperately seeking time off

I'm running on fumes. That point in time when you honestly can't see how you're going to make it through the next couple of days and then it's christmas? And the thought of that makes you even more tired? That's where I am. Nothing in particular has happened, I'm a bit fluey, but not really sick, but I can't seem to get out of bed, the gym and I are not on speaking terms, and then I get to work and I feel like a zombie. I wasn't going to take much time off over the holidays, but I've just decided to use what I've got left and not worry about carrying over days into next year. I think that I need the time far more than I need a couple extra days' holidays, just in case. I think that I'm going to move into Tara's house, she sounds like she's got a good thing going on there...

what the...?

As mentioned, we got over 37cm of snow this weekend. Someone, I will find you, STOLE our snow shovels from our backyard. That's right, they had the gall to open our gate, go into our yard, and help themselves to our shovels. During the biggest snow storm of the year. What kind of people live in my supposedly safe and hip neighbourhood? The junkies never stole anything from us...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wrapper's delight

Although I do not use wrapping paper {we make our own reusable cloth bags- mine are hello kitty christmas!} I love this set by Peculiar Paper Press. If you are a last minute wreck, then their Paper Patisserie will leave you with a lovely pile of beautifully wrapped and coordinated gifts. And no one needs to know that you got them on amazon instead of in a beautiful Parisian papetrie.


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Big Rock and Roll Swindle

I just finished reading Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre, by Dana Thomas, her examination of the luxury "industry" and how/why they make us want more and more stuff all the time. Why? To make money of course. The how is much more interesting. I'm a middle market consumer, and I've played right into their hands, consuming as many luxury handbags, cosmetics, perfumes, shoes and sunglasses as can be permitted under my budget. In the past, I've even been known to buy when there was no money to back it up. I'm a sucker for purses, I used to love to buy expensive bags, it would be such a high. But, like any junkie, the thrill went away, and I found myself buying more and more, and increasingly expensive in order to satisfy the urge. Now, they just don't do it for me the same way. I look and I still find them adorable and beautiful but I can't be tempted to throw down the plastic in the same way. I've saturated my own personal market, I suppose. I highly recommend this book, it's a fascinating read. I couldn't put it down, reading it on the bus while wearing my Prada boots and carrying my Jimmy Choo bag. I'm aware of the irony.

On that note, the very next day, the handle of my Jimmy Choo BROKE. This should never happen on a $1500 bag. NEVER EVER NEVER. I was crushed. Luckily, my shoe guy was able to fix it, but that's not the point. It should be built to last. Which, as Dana Thomas points out, only a few of the luxury brands strive for anymore. The rest just want to be the it bag of the season, rake in the $$$, and start over again. Hmmmm....

Need for Warmth

It's not even winter and Ottawa has already gotten 148cm of snow this month! Although I've already splurged on my Uggs, I think that a splurge on a ridiculously expensive and ridiculously warm coat is next in line. I've always wanted a Canada Goose jacket, a desire made worse when Monica wore one over her bridesmaid's dress at Phoebe's wedding. I am such a crazy Canadian gal - need to have all of the puffy and furry things for winter fun and cuteness- no streamlined wool jackets for me! I've tried them on before, so incredibly warm!!!! Winter officially starts this Saturday at 1:08am according to Environment Canada, so it might be a long haul until we see the sun again!!!!

Weekend Post Mortem: Snow snow snow!

What a busy weekend that was. Being sick didn't help things much, but I managed to keep my head down and power through, just like Michael Bluth would. Friday was spent doing things in slow motion, as getting out of bed alone took a couple of hours. But I had to soldier on, as our annual chrismukkah potluck was that night and 12 hungry people were showing up, whether I was in my bathrobe or not! We had a fabulous time, here we are in the classy wood-panelled rec room in the new place. We ate, we drank, we danced, we talked, we collapsed with fatigue. All in all, a success.

Saturday morning was a little slow, but LB made some fabulous eggs and toast, we cleaned up, watched some tv, and then headed down to Westboro for some shopping. {we can walk to lululemon in less than 10 minutes peeps!!!} After a delish coffee from bridgehead and some free cocoa camino chocolate at MEC {thanks Colleen!} we managed to find a package of mustaches for Bob and Nicole's party that night.

The theme was tacky Christmas sweater/mustache, take your pick, or do both! Since I'm not really a tacky sweater kind of gal {I did make a necklace out of an ornament} I opted for the 'stache, super hot, as you can see. Some took it more to extremes...


Sunday was a total snow day. We got 37cm of snow yesterday - we shovelled twice, people got stuck in our street, it was one big party! I took advantage of the sequestration and cooked - I made a roasted chicken, chicken potpie, and carrot butternut squash soup. I managed to use up almost all of the leftovers, huzzah! Last night, we relaxed, wrote thank yous and holiday cards, organised all of our filing and paperwork, and watched the Polar Express. It was actually a pretty good movie, far exceeding my expectations...Only 1 week till Christmas eve- I can't wait!!!!

Oh the Humanity!

They're shutting down Blueprint. It's over. The Jan/Feb issue will be the last. And unlike gawker, I mind very much. I've come to await with great anticipation its arrival in my mailbox. And while it has been hit and miss, I think that the hits greatly outnumbered the misses. The number of magazines that I find relevant to me are dwindling. While there are still a bunch of mags that occasionally have pieces that jump out at me, there are very few that speak to me as a whole. It's like it was made for me, and I guess that I'm not a very big demographic.

Long live the back issues.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Junior Mint: Before

We've dubbed our house the Junior Mint. It's small and minty green, and so obvious a nickname that we couldn't think of it sooner! i'm at home sick today {thanks to all of my colleagues who shared their flus!} so I thought that I'd share some befores in order to follow up with the afters...

Here's the office, with the most important thing:


And here's the living room, with a million boxes and some of our moving team jammed in:

I'll share some afters on Monday. Things have come such a long way, I can't believe that we've only been here for two weeks today!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Push Prezzies

I just read about this phenomenon in the New York Times, called the "Push Present", where large baubles {and in one case a giant piece of art} are presented as rewards for childbirth. I will defer judgement and let you read for yourself. My dad actually gave my mom one when I was born, but it wasn't anything big, it was a teeny diamond pinkie ring that she gave to me when I turned 16. It's sweet, but I still don't know how I feel about the whole thing. I totally understand wanting to mark that momentous occasion, but I also think that the baby might remind you of said occasion from time to time. Like every 30 seconds.

A Rant

I hate the Club Monaco site. Clearly they are not interested in having people gush about their products on their blogs. The whole thing is in flash, I can't save any of the pics, and it's making me crazy! Especially because I wanted to show you the lovely leather and animal-print notebooks they have right now. At $39 they are quite a steal, with thick, creamy paper and my favourite cover is a big zebra pattern in a classic cream and black. If you check out their current look book, it's on page five of the accessories section, called the small notebook.

Awww shucks

My fabulous cousin Tara just shared some more pictures with me from her fabulous June wedding. We had such a great time!!!! I love these two and wanted to share. It's so rare that LB and I take good pictures {we are both terribly unphotogenic, it's just the way it is} that I had to post this one. Check out their yard, it's gorgeous!
Tara calls LB the baby whisperer. Kids absolutely adore him! They like me, but they love him. For fans of the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, to kids, LB and I are the difference between Skechers and a Prada backpack. Here he is with my cousin Melissa, she's a total cutie!

This just in!

I'm gonna be a millionaire, cause I've got a recipe for healthy candy! I was sitting at the breakfast table this morning, looking in my recipe box for ideas. I keep a few handwritten recipes of my grandmother's in there, and I miss her most at this time of year, so I went through them. I guess that I had never looked at this one recipe in particular, that she called Healthy Candies. Here it is:
  • 6 oz chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups granola

Melt chocolate chips, corn syrup and water. When melted, add granola and shape into balls. Refrigerate.

Now I don't know about you, but chocolate and corn syrup are always the first things that I reach for when I'm looking for a nice light snack. I love old recipes! I love my grandma more though.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Stories

Since I'm sharing traditions today, let's keep 'em coming. In our family, on Christmas, we always read T'was the Night Before Christmas at dinner. Uncle Terry reads it, we all ooh and aah over the pop-ups in the book, and it's really a blissful moment. However, a couple of years ago, we also introduced another story.


Stuart McLean, Canada's answer to Garrison Keillor, hosts a radio program called the Vinyl Café. Some people hate it with a passion, but most Canadians {who listen to public radio, of course} all know who Dave and Morley are, and if you're like me, Sunday's not Sunday without "Hello, I'm Stuart McLean, and you're listening to the Vinyl Café." Well, eleven years ago, Stuart introduced a Christmas concert, and started the holiday story tradition with a story about Dave cooking the turkey, with disastrous results. {of course} The reading of this story has since become a tradition, where we each read a page and pass it around on Christmas eve.

Last year, LB and I decided to mix things up a bit, with our new favourite holiday story, "6 or 8 Black Men" by the one and only David Sedaris. We're also going to bring it to our last night of Hanukkah party tonight - good times! It's a fabulously funny story about cultural differences, threatening to beat children, and all of the good stuff that you need at this time of year.

Holiday Movie Fun

Thanks to Shannon for reminding me with this fabulous Nightmare Before Christmas pic. I keep wanting to have a holiday movie night and keep forgetting. I am hosting a big turkey dinner on Friday night and am contemplating running Christmas movies on mute in the background, kind of like that ubiquitous burning log DVD...

My favourite holiday movies are, in no particular order:

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas - it's lovely, it's beautiful, it's unconventional, and it conveys the true simple pleasures of the holiday. The music, the characters, the stop-motion animation, I have nothing bad to say about this. It's also good to watch on both Hallowe'en and Christmas, essentially halving the purchase price since it's a two for one.
  • Elf, starring Will Ferrell- We watched this on Sunday night and were really just happy while doing so. It's a cheerful movie, very silly, the jokes are pretty fantastic...It's actually the movie that made me not hate Will Ferrell. "So, great news. I saw a dog today" is a line that comes out all of the time at family dinners and gatherings. There are so many quotable lines that you can't stop laughing. The only thing that I don't like is the ending...too corny.
  • Bad Santa, starring Billy Bob Thornton - it's crass, it's crude, it's rude, but it's hilarious and also leaves with hope. When he fixes Thurman's advent calendar "It's candy corn. Well, they can't all be winners, kid."; when he fixes dinner for the "I said that it was LIKE a tostada"; when he first takes Thurman home, "Is granny spry?", this movie is actually very uplifting at its core, but in a fabulously dark and cynical way.
  • The Muppets Christmas Carol. My brother Liam and I were sent to the movies to see this when it first came out, in December of 1992. I was stuck babysitting, and we were just basically being chased out of the house. But we had a great time and we still both share it as a favourite. When Scrooge threatens to fire the rats because they ask for more coal for the fire and the next scene is them, dressed in Hawaiian gear, yelling "Heat Wave! This is my island in the sun", or when they sing the opening song and the mice in the little cranny chime in with "no cheeses for us meeces", it's just lovely and cute and all of your favourite muppets make an appearance.

Other personal classics include: Scrooged, the Rudolph that's on tv with the terrible animation, Charlie Brown, and A Christmas Story {the leg lamp!}. I'm not a big fan of the traditional movies, they never did much for me.

45

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday "baking"

This year, I'm not sweating it so much. Usually, I like to whip up a bunch of different treats for everyone and for the different occasions, but with the new house and all, perfection is not the name of the game here people. I found this recipe for peppermint bark and plan on making it tonight at Daphna's. Peppermint bark is simple, looks great in a cello bag with ribbon on it, and is always delish at this time of year. Even if you don't like white chocolate {or wax, as my mum calls it}, it's still fab.

Peppermint Bark

Sunday, December 09, 2007

peet's feet

I just received my new issue of Domino {the mail found us!!!} and although I've not yet cracked the spine, Amanda Peet looks fabulous on the cover, especially those SHOES. Wow!!! I need to find those so I can drool over them...

Breakfast in Bed

Although it's no Breakfast at Tiffany's, I'll pick breakfast in bed 9 times out of 10. To celebrate our new home, Daphna and Adam bought us something I've been pining for for years - a breakfast in bed tray!!!! I'm a big fan of not getting up, of bringing everything I need into the bed and staying there for as long as humanly possible. When LB and I started dating, he was appalled by the amount of crap that I would keep next to the bed so that at a moment's notice I could make lists, write notes, read any of a couple of books, call friends, read magazines, etc... I also can't tell you how much I love to read in bed. It's my guilty pleasure. Doesn't matter what it is, I will eat any meal in bed, any time of the day. I've managed to convert him slowly, over the years, to the idea that staying in bed forever is the best thing ever... It's not quite this tray, but it's similar in design and function. YAY bed!

dark satin bed tray open for reading

Wifi and Fancy Free

Last night we had a big hannukkah party at my in-laws with my family and our surrogate family, Daphna and Adam. We had the loveliest night, the food was incredible, the wine flowed, my mother in law made three chickens for 10 people and more latkes than even we could eat. And we took the opportunity to exchange gelt for the holiday. Since I joined the family,we've started making a bigger deal of the holiday because I'm used to the whole gifts thing and such, so we did the gifts thing. I am so thrilled this morning because my in laws got me a wifi card for my laptop, so I am currently blogging in bed...It's fabulous!!!!

Wrap yourself in warmth

I cannot tell you how much I love my Supermaggie scarf. They are warm, stylish,felted, and look really impressive. I get compliments on mine all of the time, including from the people at my local yarn store who are picky about projects. I have the Millie scarf in pink and fuchsia... They've just released a new collection of scarves in time for the holidays {although we're all finished all of our shopping,right?} They also have an etsy shop with a smaller selection of goods...

Ochre and Peach Frill Felt Scarf

Friday, December 07, 2007

Latkes!!!

Now that the hanukkah part of chrismukkah has wound down, I'm finally getting around to sharing some pics. As mentioned, I made the Martha sweet potato latkes, which I highly highly recommend,
And then we turned our living room sideways and lit the candles with our fabu chrismukkah menorah Liam and Shan bought us, which for some reason blogger is insisting on publishing sideways. You get the idea! We lost our zeal for photography after the first night, it looked much lovelier all lit up...

Wreaths!

Two Sundays ago, Laurin, Daphna and I headed out to the country to make our very own fresh Christmas wreaths at Kings Creek Trees. Despite being late, we city slickers managed to be the first ones to finish the task at hand. It's quite remarkable, as we all had the same materials to work with, but we all managed to turn out three very individual wreaths, each reflecting our own individual personalities.


I'm going back next year for sure, it was such a beautiful day, it made me feel all happy and christmassy!!!!

How full is your plate?

I'm always looking to drop a couple of pounds here and there. I'm generally pretty satisfied with my look, and all of my clothes fit, and I'm in good shape, but I could always use a bit of improvement. I was introduced to the daily plate, a site that allows you to track your eating, caloric intake, weight loss goals and activity levels by a couple of my svelte and lookin' fabulous friends. I signed up for a free account, put in my weight, activity level and desired rate of weight loss, and it told me how many calories I should be consuming every day. And it has a ton of name brand products in the database, and you can upload more if need be. For example, they even had the one chocolate mint girl guide cookie I ate with coffee break this morning, as well as my favourite yogurt, activia with prunes.

If it goes well, I'll report back. If it doesn't, I'll be curled under the christmas tree with a tube of cookie dough.

Shabu-tastic!

Last night was a big night in terms of holiday fun. although not at the start. We started the evening with a trip to Sears, where we managed to acquire the right fridge and stove for a decent price. Mission accomplished, although I did feel a bit nauseous at the thought of it all... It's still a little overwhelming sometimes. But the rest of the night made up for it in spades!

We had dinner at Suisha Gardens with our book club plus a few dear friends, where we indulged in much good food, some cold Japanese beer, and learned the joys of shabu shabu and sukiyaki cooked at the table. Those of us who hadn't ordered those dishes were greatly disappointed...next time I won't let LB talk me out of it! We followed that up by overwhelming a nearby Starbucks for assorted festive drinks {centred around my desire for a peppermint mocha} and then hit Parliament hill to check out the lights. Although it was lovely, it was kind of anticlimactic. I was hoping for more dazzle. but, at least we're all being eco-conscious and LED-rific...It was a great evening, lots of fun, and a festive spirit was certainly in the air...

Christmas Lights in Canada's Capital Region

Thursday, December 06, 2007

LBD dream come true!

Those fabulous folks at Real Simple have done it again, putting together a list of 10 bewitching black dresses to help ease some of your holiday shopping angst. There are some real gems here, and they make me wish that I had access to US stores!!!

Simply Vera by Vera Wang:

10 Bewitching Black Dresses

Chrismukkah is here!

Well it was a busy night last night at KLB industries, as we launched the 21-day long festivities of this year's Chrismukkah!!!!! We lit the first candles on the fabulous chrismukkah menorah that Liam and Shannon bought us at Habitat in London - no pics online, unfortunately... {I'm coming for some shopping soon Shan, I promise! Oh, and to visit you of course}, then we sat down to a dinner of butternut squash soup, cauliflower and our very first batch of latkes! I made sweet potato ones from Martha, and they were incredible! I'm not used to frying things in oil though, so I did set the tone nicely with some smoke alarm music...Then we decorated our tree. It was lovely. I have a tree and LB has a tree - mine is green and six feet tall, his is black and from the Nightmare Before Christmas. He has further spiffed it up with some Spiderman, Wolverine and Incredible Hulk ornaments that I put in his stocking a couple of years ago. That tree goes in the office, while my fabulous vintage/kate spade decked tree sits in the living room...

I will post pics of the latkes and trees tomorrow, I'm having photo upload issues today.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cooking up a storm

One of the gambles that you make when you buy a house with the appliances included is that they might not work. And in our case, it is our oven. The burners work, but not the oven...Given that they are over 30 years old and a lovely shade of harvest gold, I'm not heartbroken, but it's still stressful. Right now I'm leaning towards a good ol' reliable Kenmore fridge and stove {it's self cleaning too!!!!}. In white of course, to keep things good and clean and pretty. Of course I can dream of expensive and lovely appliances, but I'm being realistic about budgets and such right now. For once.
'KenmoreSmoothtop Range <br>223 660 622' src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31itURv3MoL._SS500_.jpg" width=500 border=0>

A side of smut

When I'm having a bad day, my lunch routine usually helps to put me in a better mood. I warm up some lovely leftovers, fill my water bottle, and then park myself for some lovely reading. I do my blogroll, maybe write a few things, but my favourite part is reading lainey's take on the smutty, smutty world of celebrity. And she's Canadian to boot!

Bah Humbug!

We are planning a non-denominational holiday party at work in order to celebrate the season. I am part of the organizing committee {of course}, and we have been doing all kinds of fun stuff to raise money for the party - 50/50 draws, movie rentals, silent auction, and this morning I organized a big breakfast. For $5, people got juice, coffee/tea, yogurt, fruit, muffins, pancakes and sausages. It went over like gangbusters! I was cooking up a storm all morning with a big toile apron to protect my clothes, and little elves who were running the food for me. However, as always when you do one of these things, I also heard complaints and it just makes me so sad. And of course the complainers are also the ones who refuse to get involved or do anything to improve our esprit de corps.

I find it especially challenging when I spent yesterday evening running to the store and then bringing in all of the food and then came in really early to get cookin'. Bah humbug to them I say!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

hmmm...

splurge or save? you decide...

kate spade portia flats:
old navy women's sequined ballet flats:

pretty remarkably close, if you're scrimping this holiday season, or want to spend your $275 in more than one place!

shoes

I dream of shoes like these. As always, kate spade.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Gratitude

Thanks to belette, I've been tagged{!!} to list seven things for which I am grateful. It might be hard to limit myself to 7, but I'll try!

  1. LB - he's there for me no matter what, he loves me unequivocally, and he supports me in everything I do {which sometimes includes standing up to me in order to make me realize that what I want to do might not be the best option}, he is a true partner and the love of my life.
  2. My parents - they're just beyond special to me. They deserve their own mention.
  3. My family - immediate, extended, and those who have become like family to me over the years. Over our move, I just couldn't believe how many people were there and willing to help out and take the day off work and just support us in any way they could. It was really moving.
  4. My friends - both in person and virtual. A true support circle of people I can count on and who can count on me.
  5. My health - I'm a lucky lucky gal {knock wood}
  6. My career - it has opened so many doors for me - travel, friends, acquiring new skills, the income required to do other things like buy a house and many many bags...
  7. kate spade. My life is so much more whimsical and fun and stylish for having been introduced to that brand oh so many years ago. {I was getting a little uppity there, had to turn it down a notch!}

I tag Tara and Shannon...List em off ladies! Thank you belette for the opportunity to take a break and be happy for everything I have, rather than fret about those things that I don't. What a waste of time...

For the true cat lover

I am still laughing about this, and thought that you might need a Monday morning chuckle...cat wigs!

Sigh of Relief

It took some work and a lot of tears and feeling nauseous, but I got my engagement ring back {see below}. I am so so so so grateful {and thanks to belette for the tag, I will enumerate shortly other reasons for my extreme gratitude}. Thanks to all for your good wishes - it was a very stressful experience on an already jam-packed day...

New Boots

It has not stopped snowing all weekend. I had to shovel for the first time in eleven years this morning in order to make it to the street, and I walked {I believe the correct term is trudged} along the snowy bike path to make it to the bus. All this to say that LB called me at 7:30 to suggest that I purchase the boots I've been campaigning for since September. I'm excited because I get to buy my boots and I don't have to fight about it with my man, as that's the last thing that I want to do now. I need him to shovel the driveway tonight while I snuggle under a blanket.

Double Take

I posted about the $14K Canadian Chanel bike about a month ago. To my surprise, I opened Saturday's globe and mail {one of two national Canadian newspapers} to see that the people who get paid to notice these things finally did too. This is my plea to the Globe to hire me - I could write a fabulous lifestyle column, and I'd do it for free - just product samples and party invites please!!!!

Why has no one invented this until now?

This tool is a dream. I hung like a million pictures in under 5 minutes with this tool, and they are all perfectly level. Thanks to mum for the best little housewarming gift a gal could ask for: the hang and level!!!!

Step 4

Ornaments

I know that some of you really liked the discontinued kate spade ornaments that I posted about earlier. Well good news! There are new ones for this winter, so check them out!