Thursday, April 18, 2013

You can go your own way.

OK *breathes deeply*, here it is. I haven't touched this blog in weeks (months, even). I was on an unannounced hiatus, but I'm ready to talk.

This is a place for whimsy, sharing pretty things I love, talking about clothes I can't afford, laughing at my own neuroses, and dissecting semi-serious issues with silliness. I'm not a private person. Look, you know my bra size. I have a post in the works about my gastro-intestinal woes. It's the interpersonal stuff; the hard relationship battles just don't belong here.

But, well, something big happened. So big, that I have to break my own rule and let you know what's up. I will soon want to start blogging about the transformation of my new apartment, complete with curiously hyper-feminine colour schemes and my polka-dot fridge. There will be questions. 

Here's the thing *hard swallow*: two months ago, I left my husband. 

"I'm OK."

"It's totally OK." 

I will reassure you. I will manage your grief because it's almost harder to bear than my own. I will convince you, with my laughing and with my business-as-usual tweets about puppies and pretty wallpaper and eating burritos in my underwear, that everything is normal. That I am thriving. That I do not have doubts or fears or sadness.

But I do. Sometimes.

You may not think that I am weeping outwardly enough. My level of drama might not befit the tragedy. But while you and my mother and my friends are hearing this news for the first time, know I have suffered an entire year in silence, as doubts and questions about my marriage simmered well-hidden under my lid. By the time it happened, I was already making my way towards acceptance. Not sharing much about my feelings with anyone meant that there was silent bathroom crying, private-blogging, and other out-of-sight coping. I was wearing black on the inside.

I'm at a place now where I'm not going to waste full Sundays in sweats, eating Costco-sized bags of Sour Cream n' Bacon Ruffles, watching back-to-back-to-back episodes of Being Erica (and relating to her, like, bigtime). I will be OK. But please know this: it is the hardest thing I've ever done. Ever. The decision did not come easily.

Put very simply, we grew apart. In an opposites-attract scenario, meeting in the middle sometimes involves too much compromise. You expect to grow and settle into a beautiful happy middle-ground (and we did for a while), but fiercely stubborn people will sometimes grow straight up, towards the sun, independently. We are proud sunflowers with woody, rigid stalks and we are growing in different fields, miles apart.

I spent 7 years with Alex. I love him. I have possibly too-optimistic hopes that we will stay good friends. We are co-parenting two dogs, after all. But so far, so good, you guys! I could maybe write a book on the subject of clean, mature break-ups. Or at least a future blog post. (I'm managing your expectations here.)

 Two weeks ago, I moved into my new apartment. 

Two weeks ago, I started a brand new life as a 33-year-old single girl. *gulp* 

My ensuing posts and tweets on the subject will return to the style you expect from me: "Dying alone with cats since 2013." and "Who's gonna open my jars, now!?" and "Dude, I have sooooo much legroom in bed!" and "Eating all the chips because I live alone." and "Off to get my eggs frozen, you guys!*  

But please don't think I'm being insensitive or making light of a really, really hard situation. It's a protective shell, and it's how I cope. Sarcasm = drugs.

If you know me IRL, here's some advice: I love your texts and your hugs and your visits to my tiny new pad (avec wine, please). OK, shower me with ALL THE attention, aiiiight? I need that more than I let on. And trust me, it's not an awkward subject. Ask me outright. Not a private person, remember? Not at all.

(Bra size: 34A. Current chequing account balance: $8.06. Number of meals involving tacos in the past week: 6.)

 *builds IKEA furniture by herself* *makes it on her own*

Monday, February 11, 2013

Supper Club!

Kay. Bear with me here.

This is an experiment and you are my test subjects. No, I will not force to you inhale pollen and then inject you with a new trial antihistamine. No, you will not be poked. Nor prodded. No, you will not be paid.

I will, however, force to you read what will likely be gibberish, as my typing is fueled by tequila and white wine. The experiment is as follows: I blogging in a timely fashion. As in, fresh. Like, ALMOST LIVE, YOU GUYS. *gasp*

This never happens.

I like to write a bunch of nonsense, edit it 60 times over the course of 4 months until the content is irrelevant and stale, and if I'm not toooootally bored of it, post it sheepishly and hope you'll read it.

I suck at punctuality.

But, I'm kiiiiinda excited and energized by a pretty lovely group of gals that just whooshed out of my house  (literally 10 minutes ago!) after an awesome night of nibbles and drinks prepared by me!

Here's the thing: I'm left-brained, so I'm supposed to be a better cook than a baker. True. But I'm so repelled by rules that I frequently botch meals due to over-experimentation. (I think I know everything. I will not be convinced otherwise.)

But sometimes, I'm lucky.

Tonight, I hosted Supper Club – a monthly food-centric get-together with seven of my gal-pals. The previous hosts decided to work around themes (Mexican, Thai, Paleo), but I elected to use my night to try out some recipes I'd spied (and pinned) on Pinterest. A social media-themed meal? How very, very predictable.

Because the recipes were so well-received (even though, of course, I meddled with them), I decided to share them with not only my Supper Club, but also with you. 

Thanks, internet.

The Menu:

Goat Cheese Balls (note: ran outta time and didn't make these, but they're too cute to skip)

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes
Roasted Butternut & Coconut Soup
Lemony Avocado Tomato Chick Pea Salad

Cucumber Lime Fizz


PS. The whole meal is gluten-free (I subbed rice flour for wheat flour in the quinoa cakes), and vegetarian!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

virgin (tattoo) diaries, pt. 5

If you're following my adventures in ink, you'll remember my latest dilemma: to colour or not to colour.

As if it was even a question! C'mon. I am actually incapable of monochromatic, let alone grayscale. Hubby puts his foot down at one accent colour in each space (*pout*) so my house is definitely a compromise. When it comes to my body, though, he has zero say. I'm a walking bag o' Skittles, mostly. He's OK with it, provided I don't push it on him too much.

I try, though, because I'm a giant pain in the ass.

I had the remainder of the work done in October (yeah, I'm shit at timeliness) and I am absolutely in love. Smitten! I decided 5 minutes into my appointment, however, that I just wouldn't be totally satisfied to leave it as-is. I like to meddle with things, over-work them. It's why I can't make pastry to save my life (I'm my mother's biggest failure). But David's a total pro and won't lead me astray. I'm saving up to get some additions to it, maybe in the fall. More flowers, more confetti, more awesome.

I'm probably not going as far as getting sleeves, but I definitely feel like it has the potential to be even more spectacular if we expand it. Just a little.

It feels right. It feels like me. It was worth the pain. (It hurts, you guys. A lot. Like hot Exacto-knife slashes, over and over. Don't let anyone tell you that it's like "a million bee stings" because that's an understatement. And a bloody lie.)

I may be reconsidering my original tattoo body map. I'm thinking that I like concentration: fewer, bigger pieces. David does amazing things with poppies and I'm so very fond of his animals. He'll be seeing a lot more of me.

Of course, now that I'm hooked, I'm stocking up on inspiration. Here are some gems, for your eye-feasting pleasure:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cuz I Rhyme Tight

I used to read Word Up magazine.

(No, I didn't.)

It's really no secret that I think I'm kiiiiiinda gangsta. Before you have a chance for rebuttal, I'll help you (I'm aware; I just like my delusions):

  • I grew up in the middle-class suburbs of Ottawa.
  • My dog wears a little tartan coat.
  • Clueless is, like, one of my favourite films.
  • I like Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" and I'm not sorry.
  • I'm into yoga. And lattes.
  • Sometimes, I have to use the Urban Dictionary. Like, for real. 

But guys, can I puhhlease get some props for my latest sorta-gangsta gig? I was in a muthafuckin' hip hop video, yo! Canadian hip-hop, but STILL. You can read more here about how any of this is even possible considering the facts above.

Well, this is it:

Directed by the ever-lovely and talented Dan Jardine, pulled together by a cast and crew of some of the awesomest people around, this is the newest vid for Muneshine's track, There is Only Today. Check him out! (Ignore that snarky bit about "Canadian hip-hop". I was being facetious.)

It's been a fairly ridiculous and (almost) completely unattainable goal of mine to dance in a music video. Janet Jackson was my longtime spirit guide. My friend Vivek cast me in the never-released video for one of his tracks, and Sweet Thing pretty much stopped making vids before I could weasel my way into a bit role.

But this finally happened. It's not dancing, I know. And I requested minimal camera time because I felt a bit drag in all of that makeup. Whatevs. I'm close to being "mid-30s" so these kind of opps are rare, amiright?

I also have wardrobe credits on the vid for the Pan Am looks I pulled together for the fly girls (including me)!


Now I drink champagne when I'm thirst-ay? (Nope again.)

p.s. I will also have you know, in an effort to gain additional gangsta points, that I once lyrically KILLED Bust a Move at Hip Hop Karaoke. Like live DJ, no-bouncing-ball-stylez. Only looked at the lyric sheet once. Wut-wut. That is some hard shit, you guys. Also received a high-five from a HHK veteran with some spot-on Dead Prez rap steez. I haven't been brave enough to return to the stage because it got all profesh somehow, but I could pull out some mean Salt N Pepa lyrics in an emergency. Just so you know.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Oh, awesome.

I have a new hobby. Let's add that to the 598624 other hobbies that end up in labeled Rubbermaid containers in our basement. OK, wait. Really, my hobby du jour is merely a branch of my umbrella hobby: "makin' stuff". Anything that involves getting paint on my clothes or hot glue burns on my hands or a staple through the thumb is my idea of spare-time-awesome. But where is my spare time? What am I DOING with it? (I smell a resolution comin' on.) Clearly I'm not blogging enough. I even worry that my dogs and my husband get neglected. How do people add kids to this mix?

Magic, obvi.

I don't have/make enough time to cut and paste and bedazzle, but I'm getting better with the help of my equally crafty friends. We've been combining socializing (something I won't forfeit for extra time) with sewing and crafting to help encourage each other. 

{ the fruits of my labour and too much day-drinking }

Thanks to these mostly-wholesome get-togethers (OK, there's still booze and raunchy convo topics), I pumped out 2 dresses, a handful of necklaces, a pendant lamp, and a chair over the summer. More than I could (would) do on my own. Whee!

The chair in question was my chosen piece for a 2-day upholstery workshop that I took with Bunce this summer. I've dabbled in some furniture recovering (self-taught, trial-by-error-style as usual) but wanted to really dive into the guts of upholstery.

{ before aaaaaand after! }

I'm kind of in love with every part of it. Pneumatic staplers! Rotary sanders! Upholstery tacks! In 2 days, I took a deflated and stained chair seat and gave it back its confidence. Springs tightened, foam refreshed, webbing reinforced. It's also pretty chic now with a light sanding, fresh coat of varnish, new ikat fabric and a clean row of finishing tacks. It's my new sewing chair. It's divine.

I also started a little footstool – a confusingly small piece that I picked up from a thrift store. Like hobbit-sized. Before and after pics to come!

Bunce, that ambitious little beaver, tackled a bench and two chairs in the same amount of time. They were more straightforward (no guts and springs) but proved to be a major challenge due to immovable stain and grit (this bench once belonged to a fast food chain!)

After the workshop, I asked for a pneumatic stapler and compressor for Christmas. "Santa" was kind enough to oblige! Guess I was on the nice list this year? (A slip-up, for sure.)

No chair, couch or footstool is safe now. Neither are your eyes, BTW; wear goggles at all times, my friends. 

Two chairs rescued roadside will finally get a proper makeover, and I may even tackle our couch this year (it's the victim of two terriers). 

 { Pinterest gems // Jane Hall Designs }
As usual, I've also been stacking my Pinterest boards with inspiration. The total of all of the projects in my Crafts + DIY board would take me into the next century to complete, but the secret to eternal life will be discovered in my lifetime, yeah? I'm counting on it.



For Torontoites looking to learn the craft, I recommend contacting Andrea at RE:Style Studio. Her workshops are self-directed, casual, and really hands-on. 

If you already know your way around a tool belt and a sewing machine, check out this online tutorial via Better Homes and Gardens.

 Also, this handy yardage estimator is a must. See the full chart here.