The season of gifting (and other stories)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I've been haphazardly posting these last few months. Pinky swear they will be coming much more frequently (pending my 'borrowed' internet doesn't cut out) in the next little while. 

Even though I mentioned I was finally settled, turns out I'm still missing a few key things like a way to change my front hall closet light... and maybe some light bulbs and tongs that don't melt when you put them in hot oil (oops). Other than that, I'm basically set. It feels so good!

This past weekend I was out looking for 2 important gifts (for my little sisters)-- you'd think they'd be easy to buy for, but they are not. I've come up with a few great ideas, but I still haven't purchased them. Last minute shopper, indeed. But I did stop into the Gap and managed to score these sweet boots:

Sincere apologies for the horrific BB quality of these photos lately (the boots shot included), my camera is out of batteries and I haven't re-charged them yet. But I digress-- these were on the 40% off sale, and were already on sale, so I ended up with beautiful boots for very little. Happy Birthday to me!

Cleaning supplies and vitamins aside, I only bought myself one other gift-- a birthdaynewsyears dress! This crazy, tight, black with mesh dress... with fringe. Unreal.

It's like Morticia Addams meets a Pterodactyl and I love it. So. Much. Fringe. Oh, and a crown. Because I'm a true believer that it doesn't matter how old you are, you can always wear a crown on your birthday.

So this is the week-- the final week before I really really need to buy those presents. Online shopping for gifts commences in ...5...4...3...2...1

 Why am I so late minute this year? Just me? 

Snaps from around Toronto town

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I have neglected my actual camera lately. The last bunch I uploaded were Chicago and that was 4 months ago.  So, here are a few cell phone pictures from the last few months:

Trinity Bellwoods... home.

Dinner with Dave. Also, his first instagram photo. BAM!

Dinner nights with Wojie. 

Bedroom view from Wojies

Toronto besties!

More pictures! More pictures! 

MTV cribs

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Well, I'm a few months behind. Nearly 3 months to be exact. Never really sure where the time goes, but suddenly  I've been living here for 3 months and have seen my fair share of couches in that time. But now I'm settled in my new digs.

I landed up in the area I wanted to live in since the day I arrived back in the city. It's close to everything (food, drink, hangouts & work). And it's nearly full of all the stuff I love.

Like this clock:

And my favourite painting in the world:

I'm still in the midst of collecting more things. I need a vintage chair for beside the lamp and perhaps a bedside table (mirrored... you're feeling this right?)  so my book and water can have a home!

It's tiny but it's all mine. And A lives 2 floors above my place, so there's always company. (And a gym and sauna and court yard and about 700 other people).

I'm feeling pretty good! 

Where in the world...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ah ha! I haven't updated nearly enough...

There will be a post of epic proportions very, very soon.

Excited? I am! 

Travel Bug.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

These are some seriously inspiring videos. STA Travel Australia--you make me want to go back even more.

Time to hit the road... again.

Stop and smell the flowers; or, I love life

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

After realizing I have been in front of the television more than I have with a book in my hand, I decided to take a trip to Chapters. There's something so wonderful about being in a huge room filled with non-spine cracked books just waiting to be read. Yep, nerdy to the max(xx), but still terribly enjoyable! 

I was actually looking for A Good Year (the film that was based on this book is one of my favourites-- it's up there with You've Got Mail and Serendipity for feel good films I could watch over and over again) the novel by Peter Mayle, but they didn't have it. I ended up buying THE BOOK OF AWESOME, which, *surprise surprise* was pretty amazing, How to lose friends and alienate people: A memoir (loving it at the moment), the newest Nick Hornby and a random book by an Australian author I have never heard of.  That was Sunday. Today and Wednesday and I'm already a book 1/2 into my latest collection. 

I really needed the switch up: sitting down, tea in hand with a book. It just feels so good; so awesome (see: THE BOOK OF AWESOME reference above)! 

And so, I've been thinking about all the awesome little things. And clearly, this guy does, too:

Frank gets me every time!

Light show in the capitol

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The other evening a few friends and I went to Parliament to see the brand new light show, Mosaika! It was pretty cool-- and there were lots of people, especially for a free show at 10pm on a Wednesday night.

Pretty neat, right?

Never ending Bluesfest feat. John Butler Trio!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I think it's been about a month since I've posted. Terrible, I know. I have so many photos to upload, too. And a few stories to share. Like how on Canada day, A got us backstage passes to Parliament Hill celebrations. Unreal. 

Things have been hectic in the capitol... just how I like it. Speeding right through most of June and half of July-- The last 2 weeks were Bluesfest. I saw GirlTalk (seriously love) and Steve Miller Band (I'm pretty sure I was transported back to my childhood for that hour and a half!) and danced the night away. I picked two days. That one and the final night-- Lupe Fiasco, Cheap Trick, John Butler Trio and Death Cab for Cutie. A freak rain-lightening-ish storm hit and the main stage-- the one we were about 30 ft from, crashed to the ground (see the vid). I was shaking. It was intense. The night was cancelled  (so no JBT or Death Cab) and we dragged our soaking wet, completely shocked selves home.

Today, I get home from work, looked at Twitter and I see a guy I follow (thanks JF) had posted about John Butler playing a free show at 7pm about a 10 mins walk from me. I looked a the clock, it was 6:50. I grabbed my bag and ran(!) to the park. I made it just in time and was about 6 people back.

Such a great hour! He went though the crowd, made everyone sing a long and was just awesome to watch.

Love Australians!

From the Inspiration Files

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How stunning is this hummingbird picture? I love the colours. And I'm loving the black and white chevron pattern and, as always, black and white stripes. 

I need to own a place. Soon.

Nail art

Monday, June 13, 2011

One of my current roomies is an artist. And not just any artist but one of those artists that are good at all kinds of art. Like painting, sculptures, drawing, oh and NAIL ART, too! I've posted my absolute favourite nails before (I'll post them again), then she created these:

JM referred to them as my "Go get 'em tiger" nails. Hand painted. Unreal, right? These are the other ones that I loved:

And, finally, I borrowed O.P.I crackle from LB at work. And the crackle gave me these amazing nails:

What to do next?


Tuesday Night Dinner: Coconut Shrimp

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I have lucked out (knock on wood) in the last little while. I filled out a survey that someone at work had e-mailed out about one of my favourite local fair trade (and co-op) chocolate places... And I won!

I walked over to the La Siembra office (their office is about 3 blocks from mine) and picked up my basket: Chocolate, coffee,  sugar, coconut and more chocolate! Yum.  I promised them I would send over my recipes and pictures of the delicious food I made using their products.

First up: Coconut Shrimp

All you need: egg, flour, coconut, shrimp, oil for frying 

 sizzle. sizzle. sizzle.

A quick, yet perfectly delicious, dinner.

It takes about 10 minutes to do this: Peel the shrimp and throw it into a bowl with a little flour. Dip the flour coated shrimp into a bowl with beaten egg whites. Take them out and roll in fair trade coconut. Pop them into a frying pan with a little oil. Keep an eye on them as they burn quick! Serve on lettuce, or rice. A nice addition would be sweet chili dipping sauce, but I love them just as they are.

So, will you be over for the next round?

☮ & love.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A collection of images on my desktop that I can now file into the inspiration folder.
 Hand painted leopard nails. Best. Room mate. Ever.

Barbie shoes. Just because. 

Super tempted to grab a paint brush at this moment...



Long weekend fun: Montreal

Saturday was a fabulous day of shopping, eating, seeing the gorgeous tulips around Parliament and drinking wine on a rooftop patio. J, F & I spent the afternoon lounging and enjoying the weather (seriously, the first day of sunshine in what felt like forever) and discussing our weekend plans. We decided to take the opportunity and drive to Montreal. I haven't been since I was young and none of us had any Sunday plans. The weather was supposed to be so/so (not too hot, not too cold, maybe a little rain). Plans we're made, drinks were had.

Turns out that Sunday was actually a perfect day. We arrived around 11am, parked and took the metro into the heart of the city. We got off at a top near the art gallery (which I'm sure would have been the first stop had it started to rain) and had fun playing on the musical swings. First 2 minutes and I remembered how much I loved this city. 

Musical swings.

Having way too much fun on the swings

Exploring Old Montreal.

The view from our dinner dining spot 

Oh yes, we rent Bixi bikes and rode around the city for hours! 

I made them take breaks for picture opportunities. They made me bike up steep hills.  

It was a very impromptu day. We decided we were either going to end up in NYC or Montreal (8 hours vs. 1 1/2 hours) but ended up deciding that crossing the boarder in a car that didn't belong to either of us probably wasn't the best idea. I have a feeling that NYC will happen soon, though.  So it was a great day. A bit of shopping (why has no one told me about Simons before?), lots of walking and oh so much time spent biking in and around the city. A perfect long weekend day.

I need to buy a bicycle.
And maybe live here. 

Tulip Festival

I love May 2-4. It's sort of like the official start to summer and the beginning of (hopefully) amazing hot weather. It's been raining for the past week and finally(!) let up on Saturday. So much, in fact, I (the one that rarely tans and barely had any colour from a year in Australia) got a tan. Well, perhaps more of a burn-tan, but close enough for my liking. 

So, Saturday I ended up spending the day getting food at my new favourite lunch stop (made on the spot, Italian sandwiches) and stopping by the Tulip Fesitval with J & F. I had told *Shopgirl that I would do a post on my favourite summer dress for her blog, so I seized the opportunity and had a mini photoshoot in the park with the guys.

Of course, the man with children walked into my favourite photo. 

Animal bits. Perhaps of the water-bear kind?

Being sills. 

The shoes which, for some reason, I did not get an outdoor picture of...

Alley way full of the most wonderful shops.

I'm not sold on this city in the winter. It's cold, bland and no one leaves their houses (err, me, anyway). But in the summer, it becomes this picture perfect place where everyone go outside and walks around and it's just really nice most of the time. I can deal with the summer here, for sure. 

Summer, please never end.

From the Inspiration Files

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Step one: get my own loft apartment

Step two: purchase large chandelier 

Step three: Buy white things and accessorize with pink accents. 

A girl can dream, right?

Girl Talk, revisited.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oh yeah, that happened! 

Designs 'n stuff

I found this online the other day and it made me want to make an Ontario version. That being said, I've decided that I need to up my photoshop skills. I have been neglecting them lately, but after playing around with some images at work, I've realized how much I actually enjoy playing around with colours and images.

So, I'm going to attempt an Ontario "love" poster.
Wish me luck!

Listen to this: Girl Talk

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I was introduced to the musical selections of Girl Talk one Christmas party. Friends of mine all lived (or was it just that everyone was always there?) in one house downtown and there was always music on. This one particular party I remember hearing a mash up and asking one of them who it was. Girl Talk. I went home and myspaced (back in the day when myspace was still pretty cool, especially for getting great music). It was, as they say, music to my ears. I've been listening non-stop ever since... maybe even too much. Especially to this song:

Back in my Australia days (I long for those days) DS & I hit up Big Day Out and, of all the bands playing, the only one I was adamant about seeing was Girl Talk. It was unreal. We danced around. Sang to the songs and enjoyed the hecticness that is a Girl Talk set. 

Fast forward a year and a bit and I'm looking at my Twitter feed and notice: 

Yes, yes, yesssss! So, I'll hopefully catch this show. Maybe even go on stage (can anyone help me out with this?). Consider this an open invitation to anyone that would like to come to the party! S + Girl Talk + Bluesfest + You.

 Let's do this! 

Post-Summer Plans

Monday, April 11, 2011

I have no idea what my plans are come September. I'm not sure if I love this, or hate this. It's sort of just... there. In the back of my mind. There are a few things on my wish list: I'd love to do an abroad work experience with my current work (although I need to get my self in gear and actually ask about the possibilities), I've  been invited to meet up with some of my Australian (well, British and South African) mates in South America in September. And finally, I'm thinking that perhaps a visit to my Australian family in Adelaide may be in order. Rundle Street in the summer; love it.

I recently was looking though a friends pictures of his current Sydney adventure and it reminded me how much I love Sydney as a city. The Rocks are my absolute favourite part. I want to live here. 

Decision, decisions...

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