Friday, August 31, 2007

coolest kicks in the cave

i am in love with these converse high tops. Designed by CamillaEngman for Converse as part of the ongoing project red efforts. You can think whatever you want about consumption-based efforts to help with social issues, but you have to like these shoes.

stuck at home

this cold is beating me senseless...and i need to take it easy. Especially since i'm supposed to be hosting a party this evening. My brother's girlfriend Shannon is moving to England (but not forever, we have a deal!) and we want to send her off in style. So for this evening's festivities, although I've not been well enough to do as much fun stuff as I would have liked, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve. British candy, british booze, british music, a lovely centrepiece based on the one with all of the bowls from this month's blueprint, and of course good food. My mom's helping me out, so her stuff will totally rock! (I believe that baked brie and hot spinach-artichoke dip are on the menu). If it works out, I'll post pics on Monday.

Other than that, I wish you all a fabulous Labour Day weekend. I for one have gloriously few plans and hope to keep it that way. Here's some highlights:

  • setting up my vintage Singer and fixing some clothes
  • Replacing the lost buttons on my flats with cute songbird ribbon
  • Cleaning and spraying all of my shoes for fall
  • Cleaning, spraying and stuffing all of my bags for fall
  • Organizing our sun porch
  • Organizing all mittens, scarves and hats for winter
And in case you think that it's all work and no play, here's the fun stuff:
  • long real estate bike rides with LB
  • going to our favourite breakfast spot, the Lieutenant's Pump, on Sunday
  • Short runs each morning
  • last chance to wear fun summer stuff
  • flip flops
  • a 'beef potluck' with my family to rehash our time at the ranch. (and although LB and Patricia came up with the wonderful idea that all dishes should have beef in them, my appetizers WON'T.)
So have a great one, and I'll post when possible, but back on Monday since I'll be working around the house.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mazel Tov!

To our dear friends, Adam and Daphna, who will be getting married on February 2nd. We couldn't be happier for them if we were getting married again ourselves.

Love you guys, and thanks for making me a bridesmaid, I can't wait!!!!

a little stuffy

and not in the country club/polo-playing sense of the word unfortunately. My bro seems to have shared his summer cold, lucky me! so I'm heading to bed for some rest and vitamin candy.

Hope that you all have a lovely day and enjoy the sunshine!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

house hunting...

we've been looking for over a year now and it's been a very frustrating on I can assure you. We are going to see a potential little gem tomorrow night - I'll keep you posted!!!!!

blueprint mag

it's really my personal favourite on the shelves right now. and while not every article rocks my world, i can't say enough good stuff about the blueprint approach to things. you should check it out if you haven't already, the new issue's just out with some great ideas for thrifting, bedding and capsule wardrobes.

If I could run away to New York and work for them, we'd be gone in a heartbeat!

because I can't ever just sit and relax

I have already flipped my fall and winter clothes into my closet. And now there's a mini heatwave goin' on in Ottawa. Just my luck. Oh well, I can't tell you how satisfying it was to clean out my closet. I took my summer stuff to the cleaners, brought my shoes to Merhi so he could revitalize them for me, and took a hard look at what I own. And despite the fact that I have cracked and bought shoes and a dress, I am very please with what I own so my efforts continue.

But just between you and me dear internet, the leopard print skirt with the pockets at Banana Republic really floats my boat. It would be such a statement piece, can you imagine!!! Black tneck and tights, my prada boots...wowzas!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

oh the humanity!

They are discontinuing kate spade across the entire Holt Renfrew chain. While this is good news for my pocketbook, I am crushed. I love kate spade, the designs, the style, the witty irreverant approach to higher end fashion... but don't fear ottawans! I'm trying to get trustfund to carry kate spade as they already carry jack spade. i'll keep you posted.

because I sometimes read while walking down the street

once again, jcrew.

ah paris...

j'adore paris, je pourrais vous en parler pendant des heures, mais hélas...

I know that everyone's blogged the jcrew fall campaign, but I wanted to add my two cents. If you have three minutes to kill, visit their site, there's a little film about the making of their fall ad campaign in paris and it's totally worth your time. The clothes are beautiful, and it just feels like Paris. It makes you want to jump on the next plane to Paris with only the bare essentials of a fabulous French wardrobe and just walk around for days on end, eating and drinking and just living... how i love Paris so!!!!!

this green dress adds just the right hint of sophisticated colour into an otherwise classically simple outfit. and the contrasting sash, magnifique!

Although I'm not a huge fan of this dress (Shannon, here's some argyle for you!), I do love this photograph. And the tote with the two baguettes poking out. I want to say that this is shot from the Pont-neuf, but I might have it wrong.

another confession

internet, i've cracked again. and i'm confessing only because i want to share the excitement! I bought the loveliest black dress on thursday!!!!! It's by a brand that is new to me and to Ottawa, Tiger of Sweden. I bought it at one of my favourite boutiques, trustfund (no site, but they're on Sussex across from the American embassy). I can't resist anything in that store. I wish that LB liked clothes, there are so many fab boy things that i would buy for him there. I will take a picture of it, it is that lovely. i'm bad but it's a big improvement. so far for fall i've only bought one pair of shoes and a dress. you don't even want to know what i had purchased at this time last year.

so my experiment, while deeply flawed in its execution, remains in progress.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

and I wouldn't have it any other way

It was just over 9 years ago that LB and I first started dating. We've been married for two, and he says that the dating anniversaries don't count anymore, but I still like to honour them. Without those first seven years we wouldn't have the rest of our lives to look forward to. I love him even more now than I did then, which I never would have thought was possible as a head-over-heels in love 18-year old. but I'm glad that i was wrong about that one. i love him and our life together and what's yet to come.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

my favourite man...

...shot by my favourite photographer, my lil' bro Liam. This is from the last leg of our BC trip, at Kristie and Eric's wedding beach party. It was a blast and I'll post pics, but Liam's a way better photographer than I. This little girl is not related to us but she latched onto LB right away and they had a lot of fun playing at the beach together.

This is our family picture from the ranch, what a great clan!

And this is me, with my new best friend, Grif, the 13-week old Border Collie pup. She'll be trained to herd cattle in the spring. We had an amazing time, I'll post more later!

Monday, August 20, 2007

When your gaze wanders...

...out the window, and you start daydreaming about things that you could be doing. I think that I'm in need of a little trip. But we're trying to buy a condo, so it will have to be somewhere close. I have friends who have been raving about Washington, D.C. and Chicago lately, and these seem palatable. I also don't want to fly, I've been down that road too much lately. The train is eco friendly and enjoyable, and you don't need to arrive two hours early.

Plus, who doesn't love the train? It's like going to Hogwarts!

San Pellegrino

Maybe I'm just splitting hairs, or my Mondays are so busy that I have lost the ability to think rationally, but the San Pellegrino bottle has changed. And this makes me sad. It was such a cute, little stout bottle before, fit nicely in the palm of my hand. And please allow me to be clear, I don't drink bottled water as a rule tap's fine for me, but San Pellegrino is my little treat. And I like to drink water out of a glass bottle and drinking glass at work rather than spill all over myself with my Nalgene, which is something I do all of the time.

The new San Pellegrino bottle is tall, slender, presumably to look better on the tables of nice restaurants where it can stand porudly beside the wine bottle. But I miss good ol' stouty mcroundy. we were buds.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

downtown living...

i'm at home working on work stuff this aft (many deadlines looming in a short period of time), but man am I having a good time!!! While I am stuck working, I've been listening to lots of summer favourite cds, highlights include the new Immaculate Machine disc Fables and everyone's summer fave Peter Bjorn and John's Writer's Block and enjoying a lovely snack prepared for me by LB of veggies and dip, cheese and a piece of fresh raisin bread.

But what's most important is that although I am sequestered in the office, I am certainly not alone. We live on one of downtown Ottawa's busiest streets, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the distractions of kids and parents, the guy blaring "teenage wasteland" from his minivan (and I can totally appreciate the ironic juxtaposition of those two things), the people currently going through my recycling for empty bottles (someone in our building must have had a party!), and the clearly inebriated man shouting about how he doesn't need to get a job because he already has one.

Now to finish my work, just in time to get ready for bed and then go to work. Oh well, c'est la vie, non?

Hope that you're all enjoying your Sundays!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

hoping for a rainy day...

my cousin tara just sent me the link to the most beautiful umbrellas i've ever seen - pare umbrella. Go and visit their site right now, I can't believe the complete and utter loveliness they have put together there. Tara thought that I should get this one, called "my neighbourhood", to match my new campers. I think that she might be right - thanks tara!!!!

I also love this one, the deer place. It would work so well in my eclectic canadiana house, but I guess that I don't need any more indoor umbrellas, as I already have parasols.


it opens tonight and i can't wait to see it! that michael cera, our own canadian master of the uncomfortable and awkward look, be 19 again - then i could have a full blown crush. but alas...i loved him as george michael on arrested development, and as "mikey cera" on clark and michael, and now he's going to get down with his superbad self. We won't be going tonight though, LB noted that it will probably be full of teenagers. (and we're afraid of teenagers)

I can't post the actual youtube clip, but here's the link. Enjoy the San Diego dial the combo of Cera and Conan!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

in case you're wondering

this is the particular bag that's got my attention. I have many structured bags from kate spade, and what i love about this one is two-fold. One, I love its slouchy yet structured shape, its soft and fits well under the arm; and two, I love the silver and chocolate contrast, it's one of my favourite themes for this fall, the other being navy and black.

ahhhh kate spade...

...she really is far and away my absolute favourite designer. i really can't say enough good things about her. when i got married i wore kate spade shoes and a coordinating clutch, and even though i really don't remember using the clutch at all, it was so worth it just to have the excuse to buy it.

and while I'm trying to be good and not shop, the new dot noel collection is calling my name. all day and everyday. i'm trying to figure out how to justify one, given the myriad bags at's hard being a junkie. but here's a breath of fresh crisp fall air for you to enjoy this afternoon.


I wore the campers today and everyone loved them, they went over like gangbusters! Hurrah for throwing caution to the wind and buying some very different I needed any persuading!

It poured rain today, during the exact time that I would normally be running...I took it as a sign and went back to bed until 7am. then I walked to work in the sun at 8am -such bizarre weather!

I had a fabulous lunch with Brooke at one of my favourite lunchtime haunts, the Green Papaya. Try the combination platter - 2 spring rolls, the curry of the day, the stirfry of the day and aromatic sticky rice -- just the right amount of food and you don't feel like you should have tried something else!!! We decided that dessert was definitely in order, so we hit Laura Secord for some ice cream. I absolutely recommend the crème brûlé, it was a stray away from my usual mint chocolate and the gamble paid off.

Bad work day, no bloggy about it though....happy Thursday everyone!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My new shoes...

well, internet...we share everything. i can't stay mad at you, nor can i keep a secret. i cracked while in vancouver and bought a fabulous pair of shoes. i couldn't help it... they're so purdy, and they were on sale at one of the coolest shoe stores i've ever been to, gravity pope on west 4th in Vancouver. Like many women I'm sure, I have a life long weakness for campers. and the twins are even cooler...i couldn't resist, even though it meant buying something. but i'll keep them for a looooong time...i promise.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Mountain Air...

We're up in Squamish at Gen and Pat's now. It's incredible to look out your bedroom window and see that kind of scenery. Gen says that anytime she thinks about moving back to Ontario, she just looks up and remembers why she loves it here so much.

We went up to Whistler and chilled on the Beach at Alta Lake (a glacier lake, so cold but refreshing!) and took their adorable dog Lily to swim at the Canine Cove - except she really refuses to swim, it's quite hilarious!!!! While we had a lovely picnic of brie, baguette, salami, veggies and hummus, Pat was getting his sleeve tattoo worked on - needless to say, I think that we lucked out in terms of afternoon activities, but his tat is coming along and starting to really take shape! We headed home for a delicious dinner of steak and veggies and watched The Office and laughed so hard we could barely, that show is just fantastic, but Steve Carrell needs to stop spreading himself so thin - save it for the Office!!!!

Tuesday morning we visited Squamish, walked around town, went to a really cool ocean inlet where people were windsurfing, wakeboarding, etc... - it was cold but they didn't seem to mind! Then Pat took us to the everglades, which were just amazing, and where adventure white water rafting tours take their clients. We visited and Lily played, and we saw the cutest little field mouse! And there were waterfalls everywhere - it was like "oh, there's one, and there's one, and oh yeah...there's another!" Then we went home for a lovely dinner of jambalaya and the boys played video golf while Gen and I had time to get silly.

It was lovely, and great to see Gen, but now we're off to Kelowna for wine tours!!!

West coast livin'

LB and I are in BC and are having a lovely time. We left super early Saturday morning and arrived with a slight delay in Vancouver at 11am local time. We grabbed our bags and a quick cab ride later (with the absolutely nicest cab driver we've ever had, who drives a hybrid cab and took the time to explain to me how the car's computer worked!) we were at our friend Phil's apartment, just a few short blocks from Kits beach. We spent the afternoon walking around the neighbourhood, hitting some cool boutiques (I admit it! I caved and bought a pair of shoes - if you've ever been to gravity pope on west 4th you'd understand!!!! but this doesn't mean that I'm not going to be good again - I am, just a small slip up!) and then having beer and nachos on the water at granville island.

Saturday night we took Phil to dinner at a local restaurant karv, where we had the best fries I've had in a long time - hand cut potatoes, dipped in a lemon pepper beer batter and served with garlic aioli, and a delicious gooseberry crème brûlé. Then it was time for the finale of the Celebration of Light competition, where different countries compete in a fireworks competition. Update: I just checked the site to link it, and it turns out that Canada won this year! Yay us!!! They are set off in English Bay, which just happens to be in perfect viewing range from Kits beach. Phil's friend Jay invited us up to sit on the roof of his building and watch, and it was spectacular!!!! By that time, our poor bodies were so jet lagged that it was all we could do to walk the few blocks home and throw ourselves into bed.

Sunday, we were up bright and early, and we had breakfast at Sophie's Cosmic Cafe on West 4th where we had one of the best breakfasts we'd both had in a long time, thanks to Daph for the recommendation! Then, we grabbed a bus (the girl next to us had the most beautiful Goyard tote, I kept wondering whether it was real or not - how I covet one!) to downtown and walked up to Denman Street, where we rented a tandem mountain bike to ride around Stanley Park on! Now, one of the ladies whose blog I read regularly, emilystyle, has a tandem bike and she makes it sound like a lot of fun. And since LB and I bike 3 or 4 times a week, we figure that it would be a piece of cake. It was NOT. It was awkward and wobbly, and things weren't looking good for the first 10 minutes...but then we hit our stride and we had a beautiful ride around the park, the devastation is terrible, I'll post pics when we are back to a computer with a card reader or a USB port. We stopped at the totem poles, and the beaches, and then headed back after 2 hours. They were shocked at the store that we lasted the full two hours- they said that most couples last 10 minutes and then come back to get single bikes...they didn't know what stubborn people they were dealing with! Thanks to Shannon for the idea, and to emily for the courage to try it and stick it out!

After all of our walking and cycling, we decided that ice cream was certainly in order. On Phil's recommendation, we headed up Denman towards English Bay to check out the Marble Slab Creamery. It was quite possibly the best ice cream we've ever had. First, you pick a flavour - I picked birthday cake, and it honestly tasted like one!, and then you pick a fixin', including all sorts of candies, chocolates, fruit and nuts, and they mix your scoop with your fixin'. I had mine with a Reese's peanut butter cup, and LB had praline with coconut mixed in. We both got giant waffle cones and can't say enough things about it - I'm having a love affair with this ice cream sandwich!!!!

Then, it just so happens that we landed in Vancouver at the same time as Pride. And the parade went across Denman to English Bay. So we partied it up, walked around Vancouver's Gay district, and celebrated with style. Everyone was in such a great mood, and it was fabulous to be in a city that actually celebrates its gay community, unlike Ottawa, with its Draconian approach to festival funding and ridiculous demands on non-profit community groups... Of course there were a ton of gay people there celebrating which was amazing, but what struck us far more was the number of families and people who just came down to show support and have a good time - it was heart-warming and lovely. A great day.

Friday, August 03, 2007

take a deep breath...

...and remember that you only have one day of work left before your holiday, Kaili. Today is Friday, and while that in and of itself is usually cause for celebration, it's the Friday before I leave on holiday. LB and I are headed to the West Coast for a BC adventure!!! We leave tomorrow morning at 8:20 and will spend two days in Vancouver with Phil, who stood for LB at our wedding and lives in the great neighbourhood of Kitsilano, then off to Whistler with my one and only Geneviève, then across to Kelowna, where we will have drinks with our friends Jen and Dante and then spend Thursday touring wineries in the Okanogan, and then Friday we are headed up to Kamloops where the aforementioned wedding of Kristie and Eric will take place. So much excitement I don't even know if I can stand it!

I visited Vancouver two summers ago and didn't really like it. But it's a city that I will have to learn to like, since it's likely that my brother and his girlfriend will end up there (she's from Vancouver but we love her anyways...) and it doesn't look like Gen's coming home anytime soon so we'll have to keep trekking across the country -that's going to mean a lot of carbon offsets!!! But I am determined to give Vancouver another really fair shot. It's a very active city, great shops, restaurants, fresh seafood, art, etc... it seems impossible that I not like it, but yet, here we are. I just didn't feel like it was a cohesive city, one with a feeling or a palpable vibe. Montreal has one, New York has one, Paris has one, even small towns like Guelph have one, so size isn't the only indicator. I'm really hoping that it sticks this time. We're going to eat at White Spot and ride tandem bikes around the seawall in Stanley Park, so it sounds like I could be back on track.

I will post while we're away to keep you in the loop...I will miss you, but not work!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I've been Simpsonized!

It's pretty darned good, except for the hair - I didn't know that I could make it red. I guess that I'm unsavvy.

a true jonah day...

When Anne of Green Gables has children, I believe that it is in the 6th book - Anne of Ingleside, she has a terrible day where everything goes wrong, the kids are terrors, and if I remember correctly, someone sits on a cake, and she calls it a "jonah day" - when things seem almost as bad as if you were living inside a whale...

I'm having a jonah day, blogosphere. I woke up with a bad IBS attack, courtesy of a lovely dinner topped with wine and cheese at the in-laws' last night, and then managed to get up and get ready thanks to my pre-selected outfit and accessories, and throw some toast in the toaster. Things were starting to look up - big multigrain toast with pb and my mom's homemade raspberry jam. I go to sit down, wearing my lovely cream satin dress from Zara and manage to flip my toast into my lap. So of course I start freaking out b/c I've pre chosen this outfit and now it's ruined and now what else can I wear today and it'll never come clean, etc...poor LB. Then I proceed to get up and head to the bedroom to inspect the damage - nothing doing, it needs to be washed ASAP. As I turn away, I manage to poke myself in the eye with the TV antenna and then in a Hulk-like moment snap the end off b/c I've been kinda blinded and don't know what my hands are doing. I subsequently scrub the stain and soak the dress, and settle in for a lovely breakfast of cold toast (couldn't make more, we are out of bread as we're eating up what's in the house prior to holiday), cold coffee, cherry yogurt and banana. It was at least satisfying.

Then we walk to work (LB walks me every day, it's super cute, but today I should have known that I needed to cool down with the ipod) and I proceed to pick a couple of fights with him for no reason, and then manage to make it to work unscathed. Anne and I head down for coffee at 10am, but first we check out the new kate spade bags at Holt Renfrew (they are FAB!) and I manage to set off the alarm attached to the bag by touching it. It's a sign, I'm really not supposed to buy anything new. Now, I'm hunkered at my desk and plan on staying that way.

Forgive me an my foul mood...I've vented and now I feel better - hopefully if you're having a bad day it will make you feel better to laugh at me? Oh well... but see- it is a super cute dress...!!!!

Update: Just talked to LB - he rinsed out the dress and it appears to be fine. phew!

your challenge, should you choose to accept it...

Alright, if I tell you guys, then I have to stick to it, right? I've decided that it's time for me to challenge myself to do something that I've been wanting to do for a bit. I'm challenging myself to not buy any clothes for this coming fall/winter season. I will report back here often, on how it goes. The only exceptions are socks, underwear, tights and plain tank tops for wearing as undershirts.

I'm trying this for two reasons: 1- we are saving for a house, and my clothes habit is a bit crazy, especially the purses...2- I am trying to consume less in general, and this is a way to remind myself of all the great stuff I already have.

I have made a complete inventory of all of my clothes and accessories, and realized that I have tons of great stuff that I never wear, in part b/c I'm always buying new things and cycling them into my wardrobe. We'll see how this goes - I shop for many reasons - happiness, boredom, sadness, Mondays, Tuesdays, get the picture. I'll keep you posted.

PS - I've just re read this and I am worried that I sound like a middle class girl having an eco existential crisis of sorts - poor me, I have so much stuff that I have to stop buying. I'm doing this for me, to help me take a deep breath and a step back.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

change of space...

anyone who knows me knows that I compulsively rearrange furniture around my apartment. I've managed to come up with more configurations than one can imagine, all within our 650 sq feet of urban bliss. Lately, we've been wondering whether we need to rush finding a house before having a baby (as we can't find anything that we like, okay, that I like...) or whether we could live within our existing confines. We've been doing a lot of work lately and I can't wait to show you!