Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lately... Around the House

By and large, not much has changed around our home - but there have been a few new additions. And a few losses... I had an infestation of some sort in my indoor plants - as well as a fungus on my herbs - so I practically had to start from scratch with everything. So sad..

First, I bought a new polka dot plant (having lost the first last summer due to lack of water... oops.):

I picked up a new basil plant and some thyme next:

At the same time, I grabbed some flowers for our balcony, which I placed on a small table Pat's parents gave us:
My Christmas cactus is still kicking though - and growing wonderfully:

Besides plants, last time I was at the mall I absolutely could not resist picking up this little lady:
Her name tag is "soar" and I just love her! A perfect addition to my collection.

Last but not least, here's a shot of my new laptop (and you can just barely see a sweet little green-striped pitcher in the background - a gift from my mom last time I was up North):
I'm very happy with my new laptop. I've been using it everyday - and so I expect I'll be blogging a lot more now that I'm back into the swing of things. I have quite a few journal pages to post; I just need to sit down and edit some photos. But it's much too nice out to be doing that now - off for a hike we go!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Goals

Since summer is basically almost half over, it seems a little silly posting my summer goals. But I really do like keeping track of them here as well as in my "Lists & Plans" notebook, so why not?

First, let's recap my spring goals:
  1. Read the eight books on my Spring Reading list. I read 4 of 8 plus 2 that weren't on this list.
  2. Get back into yoga. 
  3. Finish a canvas. 
  4. Complete six pages in my Amber altered art book. Completed 2 pages in March, 1 in June and have 2 half finished pages from April.
  5. Visit an art gallery or museum. 
  6. Cook recipes from February, March, April and May Bon App├ętit magazine. 
  7. Blog a workshop. 
  8. Stitch two squares in the 2013 Woodland sampler and work on the spring sampler. 
  9. Go for at least three hikes. Only went for 1 hike this spring.
  10. Organize my closets. 
  11. Find a dentist and make an appointment. Also book a massage. 
  12. Finish going through the Art of Spring workshop.
Let's just say this spring wasn't the most productive season of my life. Here's hoping the summer is a touch busier!

Summer Goals:
  1. Read eight books:
    1. Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adachie
    2. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
    3. Hawthorn & Child - Keith Ridgeway
    4. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - Anne Fadiman
    5. Shadow of the Alchemist - Jeri Westerton
    6. Various Positions - Martha Schabas
    7. Written in my Own Heart's Blood - Diana Gabaldon
    8. August book club pick
  2. Have Pat's aunt and uncle over for supper.
  3. Get back into blogging.
  4. Get back into daily yoga and start exercising regularly.
  5. Complete 5 pages in my Amber book.
  6. Go for at least 5 hikes.
  7. Organize craft room and closet.
  8. Plant polka dot plant and restart herb garden.
  9. Cook recipes from March-August Bon Appetit magazines + another recipe from the Jerusalem cookbook + pickle something + preserve some fruit
  10. Go swimming.
I'm pretty happy to see how many items I've already crossed off! I was able to go swimming (albeit very briefly) when I was at my gramma's cottage at the end of June, I've gotten back into some good habits and we had Pat's aunt & uncle over for dinner last weekend. I had some bugs and fungus attack some of my plants, including my basil and mint... so I had to restart my herb garden from scratch. The basil and thyme I have now are doing wonderfully - as is my cute polka dot plant. Now I just have to replace some of the other plants I lost.

In terms of goals, I've been reviewing my 28 List and crafting a new list of 29 Things To Do Before Turning 29... more on that later!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Last Published on May 4th

Gosh... it has been a long while, hasn't it? So much has happened in the last 2.5 months... both good and bad, exciting and sad. I've been wanting to get back on here but haven't had much motivation. It's always hard to get back into things like this when you feel like there's just so much to catch up on but where do you start???

I'm choosing to start randomly, listing things in no particular order. I miss blogging... nothing but to get back into it, head first.

What's been going on since I last posted:

  1. The greatest reason I quit blogging for a bit: we lost my aunt Caroline on May 7th. After 5 long years courageously battling cancer, she is finally at peace. Those left behind will forever feel the hole that she once filled in our family and in our hearts. I made a sketchbook page similar to the page I made for my grandpa last year - that deserves its own post though, so more later.
  2. Another reason I quit blogging: my laptop was so old, it just became extra frustrating to use it. I don't think I used it more than once or twice in the last 2 months (and only because I absolutely had to). Lucky for me, Pat bought me an early (very early) birthday gift: a new Lenovo ideapad S400 touch. A beautiful laptop that runs at lightning speed (at least compared to the old one!). Pat even made it better by switching the hard drive to an SSD one and installing Ubuntu on it (no more Windows!). I love it!
  3. Promotion and raise. I love my job!
  4. A few of the girls at work and I wrote an abstract about our program and submitted it to a large international conference. It was accepted within days. Unfortunately, no one expected us to get in, so we can't go present it because there isn't money in the budget to send us. Frustrating and disheartening to say the least.
  5. My brother and his girlfriend came to visit and we went to Wonderland (among other tourist-y Toronto things). I love roller coasters! We had a great time! I especially love when our family stays at our place: they get a taste of the big city (and visit us here as opposed to the usual opposite where we go North to visit them) without having to worry about crazy hotel costs.
  6. Pat and I took a few days off to make Canada Day an extra long weekend. We went North for about half of it. I was able to spend a night with gramma at her cottage. We had a lovely time. It had been so long since I was last there. I went swimming (alone) for approximately 7 seconds, visited with family, had a delicious supper (and wine) and had a great chat with gramma, spending the evening (and half the night) in the gazebo. I wish I could spend 2 weeks there like the old days...
  7. We bought a new car! Pat's been wanting a new one for almost a year now... and he finally settled on one. We pick it up on Thursday. I can't wait! It's beautiful!
  8. We hosted Pat's aunt & uncle for supper last Saturday. It was such a nice visit. We always say we need to do these things more often... let's hope we do. If point #1 has taught me anything, it's to spend more quality time with family. 
  9. I started a book club at work. This was one of my goals for a while now and I finally organized it a few months ago. It's been quite a success so far! More on this later (probably when I recap my 28 List).
  10. Pat and I celebrated 13 years this July. We went out for dinner and the waitress was shocked - no, not just shocked, she was absolutely flabbergasted - with how much food we ordered. Which was basically an app and meal each (Greek food, so there was salad, rice potatoes and meat with each meal + the app - hummus for me & a souvlaki skewer for Pat)... and although the portions were big, it wasn't that much food. Very odd. You'd think she'd try to sell us more food, not less...?
OK... that's all I can think of right now - I'm sure there's more, but these are the high(& low)lights. I have quite a few posts lined up in my mind though, so I think I'm back in the blogging groove. Fingers crossed anyway!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Coffee Table Glass

Over Easter my brother had a surprise for us - he finally brought in the template and had the glass cut for our coffee tables (part of our Christmas gift from my parents, but Matt had the glass cut since he works next to a glass cutting company). It looks SO nice:

The cute little chicken was an Easter gift from my sister-in-law.

Now if only we had a place for this gorgeous piece of furniture! As it is, it's sitting behind our couch... not ideal, but it works for now. It will certainly be getting a place of honour when we eventually get a bigger place! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Sketchbook Project 2015

I have much updating to do, but I don't feel like taking about any of that. Instead, I want to mention the Sketchbook Project. I skipped 2014, but kind of missed it, so I made sure not to skip again this year. Especially since the tour is coming to Toronto again. And one of the themes (which I signed up for) is "parts of a whole." I can't wait to get started... I've already been brainstorming, as you can see!
Have you signed up for this year's tour? If your sketchbook is going to be in Toronto, let me know, I'll check it out!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sketchbook Pages: Spring Doodles

Some doodling in my sketchbook:
This last one is from the next page, as yet unfinished. I love these simple doodles - they are a very relaxing way to spend an hour or so!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring has Sprung

I don't know about you, but where I am, spring has finally sprung. I've switched to my spring jacket and started wearing short sleeves on a regular basis. I even painted my toenails in bright, spring colours:
I think I'm going to open my window a crack and let in a fresh breeze! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Our New Couch

After nine years of service, it was time to retire our old couch. Cheap to begin with (my first big furniture purchase, on a student budget), it was too small and hardly comfortable. Actually, it was pretty bad - we were well overdue for a new one!

And here it is:
 
We went to have a look at La-Z-Boy two weekends ago, and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. I had browsed their site online and didn't really see anything I liked. But we saw this sectional - with a chaise like I wanted and a recliner like Pat wanted - and were sold. It was delivered on Saturday and it's a perfect fit! We're really happy - it's SO comfortable! The imitation leather feels really nice and the dark brown fits in well with our decor. 
I'll be sure to share more photos once we have the rest of the room finished. Since a coffee table won't work with the chaise-recliner combo, we're looking to add a nice end table and a removable wooden tray for the end of the chaise. I also plan on stitching up a new pillow cover or two.. I just need to decide on fabric!