Here's where I post tales of daily life....
When I was in high school some of my friends and I would try to find activities that were free, or close to it. Even though I’m pretty sure I had way more spending money back then (the general lack of bills), I was saving up for other things and didn’t want to sacrifice fun when trying to pinch pennies. We got pretty creative at times (all legal).
Whether you are starting out dating or are in a long-term relationship, but still make time for date nights (I strongly suggest it), you can wind up doing the same things over and over. Most common ‘date-like’ activities like going out for dinner or to the movies can get expensive over time. So, I thought I would share a few ideas with you that you can try when you are trying to save money or are bored with the usual and are in need of some new ideas!
- Picnic Challenge: The usual park picnic can be lovely, but I challenge you to think outside of the box on this one. Try having a picnic in a different place like your family room, a historical site in your town, a baseball or football field. You can even theme your picnic to match the site. When one of my bff’s, Hannah, and I first moved to Australia years ago we tried to eat dinner in a different room/spot in the house every night. We even had a picnic in the bathtub (sans water). I think our Australian roommate thought this was some weird Canadian custom :)
- Star Gazing: Grab some quilts and a thermos of hot chocolate and go find a spot for star gazing. Fields, hills, and even the hood of your car are good spots for this. Play a fun word game like ‘Twenty Questions’ or write different topics on pieces of paper and draw from a hat.
- Make Sundaes: Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned sundae? (lactose intolerant people likely). Be creative.
- Thrift Store Dress-Up: This was a fun game we invented in high-school. Split up in a favoured thrift store (bigger ones are better for this). You each have an allotted amount of time to dress-up and then meet back in an agreed spot in the store. The challenge is to come up with the craziest outfit. The winner has to buy the other a hot drink (or cold one, depending on the season). Make sure you return all items, or better yet, buy some things while you’re there!!!!
- Costco Dinner: Have a Costco Membership? Why not plan on going on a Friday night with a date and eat some samples, while doing a bit of shopping. Dinner, check!
- Make a Fort: Forts are endless fun. Gather pillows, blankets, candy, whatever you want to build the ultimate fort. This is a great exercise in teamwork!! Read or tell stories.
- Poetry Reading: What ever happened to romanticism through the great art of poetry? Grab some Byron or Whitman and read aloud. Or, write each other poems or limericks. When Ry and I first started dating I wrote him all sorts of funny stories and poems.
- Dollar Store Crafts: Each pitch in a few dollars and go get some fun children’s craft packages from the dollar store like paint-your-own-piggy-bank or felt puppets. Make together and then exchange.
- Scavenger Hunt: Take turns going on a scavenger hunt. If you are still getting to know each other, try taking the other to all your favourite places or childhood landmarks. You can make this as creative as you want.
- Movie Swap: Ry and I love watching movies but we have watched ours soooo many times. Try swapping movies with another couple to save on rental costs. This way you can have a new selection of films and also contribute to someone else’s date night.
Ry and I have a date night every week and I find this is absolutely key. With me running a small business, which can leave me always in ‘work-mode’, and Ry starting a new job, we are both very wrapped up in our work. So, date night lately has looked more like this: come home and work, break for dinner, work some more, met up again in bed to watch Colbert or Chappelle. Fun, but not exactly what we created Date Night for. I really suggest treating date nights as a total change of pace from your usual routines. Go out, or make intentional activities at home. Sometimes I even have Ry pick me up like a real date. This really is important and something I feel pretty strongly about for long-term couples; you should never stop dating!!!
***** Post-Script: When visiting thrift stores (or any place of business really), please respect the items and the shop. I also suggest doing some shopping and not use the store just for dress-up. We started this game in highschool because we thrifted so much already, so we made it more of an event with adding the game!
Fourteen Years Ago today my life changed. A whole lot. This not-so-lil' man came into my life and I gained one of my most favouritest people in my life. ever. I have enjoyed every age for different reasons and although I miss the pudgy cheek days (like in the picture above - one of my favourites), I am so enjoying him at this age. We get to watch different movies, talk about different things and him and Ry are like two peas in a pod, which is just so awesome to witness. So I don't get as many quirky drawings and handmade necklaces, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.
Happy Birthday Buddy!
Love you lots and lots and lots... aren't you glad I didn't show any bathtub shots?
I have this card in the shop. I don't really care if it ever sells, as long as it works it's way into the unconscious minds of women who read it. Of course my hope it that the unconscious thought eventually turns into a general approach and motto in their life and then they spread the good news: YOU ARE JUST LOVELY... even if you don't like your thighs. Okay, so maybe I just made it for me. Regardless, you can insert a different word for thighs: maybe it's 'butt', 'boobs', 'double-chin', or 'chin hairs' (no really, you should probably get rid of those)
Working in a women's shop is like field research for the many myths that women come to believe about their bodies; how they are too big there, too small here, too lumpy, bumpy and frumpy. I cannot talk them out of these beliefs mostly because I can't even talk myself out of them. It comes from within; an internal measure stick which has surely been created by an external (and completely unrealistic) measuring stick of female beauty. I realize I am not uncovering some great realization or discovery about how women typically come to feel about their bodies; women having been writing and exploring this issue for decades, I just want to deliver the message the only way I know how: the art of doodle!
So... I gently encourage you (and myself) to make peace... and have a great weekend!
p.s, 'blech' is my word (I'd like to think I created it, but the 'goog' tells me that I most definitely did not) for when things are generally crappy and you need some good news and/or inspiration!
It's been a hodge-podge of activity around here. Summer tends to take on a speed of it's own for most people I think, and we are certainly no exception. Ry and I try to take a vacation to the Niagara region every summer since we have spent so many of our past summers away from each other or in transition. This has become an important component to staying sane... and connected. Plus, I think we both get itchy feet a lot and feel the need to take mini vacations. This summer has been a bit more challenging with me taking over the shop and conflicting schedules, so day trips have become the name of the game. This past weekend we decided to take our usual trip to the Niagara region but this time we went to Niagara-on-the-Lake, to which I had never been. It was seriously a perfect day. Which is to say we had fun. It was perfect weather and we did a lot more nature-ee things rather then the usual thrift shopping (which is always what I want to do). I loved it. This mini-vacay was of course, wedged in there with some other activities... see...
1. Alex's Camp Concert : bad lighting + me trying to snap photos in a dress (awkwardly bending to get the right shot) = less then perfect shots, 2. Mom's b-day cake and burnt 'Happy Birthday' sign which I put a lil' too close to the candles.
1. On the Boardwalk (a neat, super quiet lil' trail with a boardwalk), 2. The same dragonfly landed on Ry's shoulder and then mine, 3.This lil' grasshoppper was quite cooperative with me as I took photos, 4. Bamboo-like grass, 5. Picnic (Pear, Swiss Cheese and Arugula on Fresh Croissants - I recommend as an easy picnic lunch idea), 6. Fun in the lake, 7. Waterfall... again, off the beaten track, 8.Boots (obviously there has to be a 'foot shot' in there), 9. First Women's Institute (WI) and 10.Cow's Ice Cream. This was a big deal for me since I spent a lot of my childhood wondering what the whole 'Cow's' t-shirt fad was all about. So, the visit to Cow's answered years of confusion.
*** I apologize if the numbers do not exactly correlate with the photos... but you get the idea.
So... that's what i've been up to. And you???
p.s... Part Two of my Tattoo Story is coming in the next couple of days... promise!!!
This darling photo was taken of my mom on her eighteenth birthday. She gave me this photo one year when I was having a particularly hard birthday (as you can see she's not smiling in her photo either). I keep this pic hung up in my studio because it reminds me of all the stories she's told me over the years that have helped me through certain situations. You know how some things just stick? Happy Birthday Mama!!!! You are simply one of my most favouritest people around!!!! I hope you enjoy your day! Mucho Love-o! XXOO
I got my first tattoo when I was sixteen and I had my mama come with me (much to her chagrin). That's when it all started. If you have a number of tattoos then you know what I mean. It's like getting really excited to go on a ride, feeling like you are starting to change your mind when it's too late because you're already strapped in, having a love/hate relationship with the experience because it's scary and yet exhilarating, and then leaving the ride saying "Let's do that again". This, to me, is what it's like getting a tattoo; it's extremely addicting. That being said, I lasted another two years and got what I have only recently (yes, I live mostly outside of 'the loop') heard called the 'tramp stamp'. ugh. I hate that phrase. Anyway, I got one of those (that i'm getting expanded and worked on in an attempt to make it less like said phrase:) Then, I lasted another two years before I got another pelvic-ish area tattoo while in Australia with Hannah. So, it's surprising that I went seven years without getting stamped again. This time around I gave it lots of thought, especially since I had to be creative with a location.
The Story Behind Tattoo Number One: The Diamond
A few years back my longest bff Jo and I went out for breakfast and decided that someday we wanted matchy-matchy tattoos. Then, years went by, she got more and more stamped and we never went together. Then, one night we started talking about how we still really wanted to get tattoos together. We wanted something that resembled our friendship and that was also something we could live with for the years to come (I hear they're permanent). We came up with matching diamonds because A: Just in case we never get our dream of having diamonds from Tiffany's, we'll always have a diamond on us, B: Diamond's are a girl's best friend and we are each other's best friends and C: Diamonds are forever, just like us (she's like a sister). I wanted to get uber cheesy and have each other's initials in the diamonds, but she would have none of that plan and I'm glad... looks much more classy this way!
The Story Behind Tattoo Number Two: The Peacock Feather
I have to admit, I'm a sucker for collections and passing obsessions. Um, read here and here and here. However, my love of peacocks, isn't one that will likely ever vanish. I like them because they look highly attractive but have some serious attitude. They remind me of an 18th century woman dressed for a high-class social outing; looks great, but don't be too fooled. Perhaps I like them because I find them ironical and I am a great lover of irony. Anyway, now i'm on a tangent. I decided on the peacock feather for a more important reason as well; the last year has been a major growing experience for me. My life took a direction I could have never expected. I was on a totally different work-life path and had completely different plans for my career. I wouldn't change a thing because I am so happy to be where i'm at and having the chance to do what I love and be creative every single day. So, when I came up with my simple artist's pledge: "I Will Live a Handmade Life" (read here), I made an embroidery with "A Handmade Life" and a peacock feather on it . That was the image that came to mind. Having the Peacock feather placed on my right arm/wrist is so I remember my simple promise to myself to create my life every single day. Plus... it's preeeetty :)
So there you have it... the story behind my tattoos. They're not for everyone (Ry for instance is not a tattoo man, but he likes mine). I think tattoos are extremely personal and that you shoud get images, words that you like. Sometimes a tattoo doesn't have to have some extrodinary meaning, you just have to like it. As I change, so do the meanings of my tattoos. And the way I would like to have my tattoos added to reflect these changes. That's the beauty of getting inked: you can alter, add to... but it is hard to erase the original image, so I wouldn't suggest getting anything that you could potentially hate one day.
Here's your photo series for Part One:
Finding a tattoo place and tattoo artist is a VERY important part of the tattoo process. I think this is why it took me awhile to get more; it's just so important. I suggest asking around and getting feedback from others (while surveying their tats). We went to see Steve over at Prestige Tattoo Studio because I had heard so many good things from a variety of people. It just seemed that when I would like someone's tattoo, or overhear someone, that was the name that kept coming up. You have to pay attention to these things. So, when it came time to book, that's where we went. It was a good sign that there was a three month waiting list (we wanted them done for our May birthdays, and only just got them a few weeks ago). I love the quaint/apothecary feel to the place; it's very comforting and quiet. Plus, we both LOVED our tattoos when we left!
Corey ,Jo's partner, brought us coffees (a staple of the experience) and when I went out to meet him (Jo was getting inked), I met a surprise: Charlie, the newest member of the fam. I kept trying to get photos of her and she kept getting super close to the camera. So cute.
That's all for Part One! When I get tattooed I like to make a full day of it (hence being broken down into two parts). So, stay tuned and I'll share Part Two with you next week. I'm leaving you with bated breath I'm sure :)
Have a Fabulous Friday
One can hope :) I don't typically like to leave that much time between Part One and Part Two, my apologies. I have a tendency to move onto to the next thing while last thing is uncompleted (the many half-done projects in my studio and around the house come to mind). Anyway, to refresh your memory, or get you up to speed, you can read Part One HERE
Since I like to make a whole day outta getting inked, the fun did not stop after we left the parlour (Prestige) ...
Then Jo and I went to yet another favourite spot of mine in Guelph, With the Grain. I lived with Ry and his dad for awhile and he lived in walking distance from the bakery. Hooked for life. It's the only bread we buy and I usually get a muffin every weekend.
After a simply GLORIOUS lunch, Jo and I parted ways and I returned to life of puppy/cat/house sitting we were doing that week. I had to keep my tats all bundled up for 12 hours which gave me a 'kid-on-christmas-morning' sort excitement the next morning when I got to unravel and reveal.
I simply love them. The diamond reminds me of lifelong friendship and the peacock feather reminds me of a lifelong commitment to myself. I see these babies daily and I love that! My other tattoos are fairly hidden and every once in awhile I'll catch sight in a mirror and remember they're there. These on the other hand are daily reminders. I hope to have more added to the Peacock feather to make it even more unique and distinct to me (I have a thing with copying - so please don't copy if you can help it) and I also hope to have some of my other tattoos added to over the next year.
For now I'll bask in the glory of my new additions.
Thanks for your patience...
p.s... I love looking at other tattoos, so if you have done a post on your tattoos, feel free to link here!!!
Today is Ryan's birthday. Since his birthday falls in July and he was a treeplanter for seven years, there were a lot of years in our early relationship that we spent out West and then there were a few that we missed altogether. I tend to think one day isn't enough for birthdays, so we spread them out for a few days... or in my case, a week :) We started the festivities yesterday with coffee and cribbage at The Java Garden.
Then reading philosophy on a blanket in the yard (well, Ry read, I listened and painted my nails :)
Then, out for dinner at our favourite restaurant in Guelph, Samura Sushi with our families. Check out Alex trying wasabi for the first time!
Festivities of today: coffee, thrifting and lounging. Oh, and watching Tommy Boy (Ry had never seen it)
Happy Birthday Ryan, you are a WONDERFUL man!!!
I had a hard time when he turned ten, and then thirteen, but now going into high-school?. oh dear. I was his age when my sister had him, and I have been fortunate enough to watch Alex very closely through all his stages in life. I will spare him and try not to embarrass him too much with regaling stories (especially since while I was taking pictures of his grad he kept saying "are you going to blog about this t?",to which I replied "darn tuttin'). I will tell you, however, that I am so stinkin' proud of this young man who is almost taller then me. From changing his diapers to watching him graduate, being apart of Alex's life has given me great insight into what it would be like to be a parent and how quickly these stages pass. Oh, was that diaper part embarrassing?... whoops :) Anyway, before i contribute to some form of unhealthy ego on his part, I'll just say: Ry and I love him to bits!!! He also won an award last night at grad. woo hoo.
p.s... we took a BUNCH of photos and a good deal of them have alex blurred in an attempt to escape us and return to his much cooler friends. Ry said it was like we were all like Pepe le Pew and Alex was the cat trying to get away.
So, I decided it was time to breathe some fresh colour into this place. It had got out of hand around here in the last little while. The mess started in my studio (read post here). Then the mess slowly invaded the other rooms until we were left with just plain mess. Once I let go of my need for order (and not for very long), and make a mess, I tend to get carried away. Anyway, it was time to clean and I wanted to have some fun.
Here's my recipe for fun while cleaning:
1. Have a Cool Outfit:
2. Music and Caffeine
3. Make a (bigger) Mess
Sometimes you have to get even messier before you get clean. I take everything off shelves, pull out items I want to include in decor, and basically have everything strewn around the house. I find it's helpful to make piles and draw upon them when you're creating new areas and vignettes. Then, once you're done, put the remaining items away in containers or on a shelf that you can draw from later.
4. Feel Pleased with Your Finished Look... but still live!
After I have spent time cleaning and re-arranging, I often treat our home like a showcase, making sure everything looks 'just so'. This is not realistic to living life. So, I give myself 24hours to be a bit 'museum-like' with our place and then I let it go. We don't have kids or pets, so I realize this is a luxery!
There you have it; that's my recipe for a fun time Spring cleaning!!!
Then of course I woke up to more snow!
Being a beginner blogger, I have spent a lot of time over the last little while accessing what it means for me to blog. I touched on the subject in this post . Blogging has been a great way for me to hone in on some important areas of my life, and I've only been doing it for a couple of months. Blogging has also been a source of inspiration and helps my creativity flow. I try to keep my blog about fun things; full of colour and inspiration. However, my blog is called True Becoming because I want to live my life intentionally, based on my own truths. I thought I would do a post about some of the real-life things I struggle with, both quirky and average. I love reading the writing of those that are willing to risk being a little vulnerable by sharing. So, without further ado, here are a few things I struggle with...
No matter how much I do in a day, how many things I cross off my 'To Do List' (let's face it, I have like ninety of them:), I never feel like I have done enough. This of course means that I have a hard time 'turning off' and just enjoying the spontaneity of life. "How can I turn off if I still have to get the clothes from the dryer... and then of course I'll have to clean the lint trap while I'm at it, then folding...", you get the idea. I struggle with this. Daily.
Have I mentioned I play Roller Derby? Read more in this post. Yah, it's not just for the tights. Playing on this team has meant facing my intense competitive nature. I feel the need to be the best... all the time. So, derby has helped me hone that competitive side of myself onto the track. I do my best not to let it determine how I look at my progress or keep me from celebrating other's advancements. I try. it's an ongoing journey!
As i'm sure most people in any sort of artistic or creative realm face, I go through intense ebbs and flows of creativity. There are times when there simply is not enough paper around the house for me to write down ideas and sketches. Then there are times when I feel bogged down by the feeling that there is simply nothing left for me to create, that everything has already been thought of. Ahem, remember that competitive part? In these times I try to remember my own theory of creativity, shown here. I create to fulfill an inner need and also as a way of communicating with the world. I can determine how I do the latter, I just need to get it out of me first!
I'm shy. There are situations where I can be very outgoing and boisterous (okay, maybe not boisterous), but I am ultimately a very quiet person. I very much value my time alone, which is why I adore late nights at the computer or in my studio (shown here). I sometimes have to mentally prepare for social situations. I have weird habits like: when I'm at the library, I get pre-occupied with the librarian's assessment of my choice in books (it's a random selection, believe me). I'm chronically late. I also get overwhelmed rather easily. Lastly, I do not like answering my phone.
So, there you have it. Those are some of my struggles.I hope you can find some inspiration or, at the very least, a bit of comfort in knowing that we all have things we struggle with, quirks and eccentricities. I figure that if we knew more about other's strugglse with we would realize that we're actually pretty normal :)
March 27th, 2011
A fun hour indeed!!
Go learn some new hitting tactics with a group of hard-core Derby Women and then go see the opening night of Sucker Punch! Sounds like a splendid evening indeed.
And of course... there simply HAS to be corresponding accessories.
Above: Sucker Punch Hair Piece and Necklace, made by me!
Have a GREAT Friday!!
So there was a lot of snow today and it's what everyone is buzzing about around here. I mean, it's supposed to be Spring, right? Don't get me wrong, I am eager for spring to arrive. But... Wednesday is Date Night in our house, so a snow day meant Ry couldn't go to work and we had the whole day together. A rarity.
Then a bit of thrifting... of course!
Outfit: all from our store
We finished our date by going to see the Yes Men at the University of Guelph!
Good date day. Sigh... now I'm ready for the real Spring!
I made a mess today. A BIG mess. It was great! I have a lovely desk in my studio, but I like the floor best! There's something about releasing the need to keep things in order and just getting everything out and onto the floor! I had Barenaked Ladies playing (fav) and colour everywhere.
Have a good night :)
It was a busy weekend around here. We had Alex for two nights, which was awesome! Saturday we hit up our first Garage Sale of the season and made copious amounts of cupcakes... only to discover the bake sale is actually next Sunday, lol. Saturday night we had some friends over for dinner and today has been spent resting (feeling blah), watching Veronica Mars and drinking lots of earl grey tea.
How was your weekend?
Pictures: 1. The copious amounts of aforementioned cupcakes, 2.Those doilies I found thrifting, shown in this post, are shown here in one of those old craft and sewing series books (now we have Google); notice how it says this form of applique originated in the 1930's?, 3. A blurry picture of one of our Saturday dinner guests... she loved trying on this hat, 4. From our first garage sale of the season I got a box full of crafting and sewing magazines (bonus) plus a little bunny for Easter decor, 5. Newest flavour of Skittles called Blenders, which remind me of fun summer drinks (my fav is Green Apple Watermelon Freeze...mmm)
I have played for the Royal City Roller Girls for almost a year now. The team started up last May as Guelph's First Ever Roller Derby League. All by one woman, you know who you are... you are our hero!
Derby has made a profound difference in my life, as it has for many, and has challenged me in ways I didn't know were possible. I admit that the glamour of fishnets and female empowerment were intriguing factors in getting me to seek such an opportunity, however, the reality of hard work set in pretty quickly and I have thought of quitting a few times. Alas, these are the reasons that have kept me going:
1. Finally, a sport where having a large rump is an asset!
2. I don't have to play nice. In fact, it's expected that I don't!
3. Practical purpose for fishnets. Of course by practical, I mean then look good while we play (they are breathable too).
5. It's vintage. Read about it's history
6. It's a place for all women, of different sizes, shapes ages, etc., to feel empowered.
7. It's the only time I don't care if I smell... it actually makes me feel victorious.
8. It's exercise, but I don't even realize that until I'm really sore and bruised hours later.
9. Sugar, spice and everything nice is overrated. Strong women, that's what it's about!
10. No matter what I'm going through, how frustrated I get or what else is going on in my life... the track is therapy!
To all the women out there that play, and everyone else who supports this magnificent sport... roll on!!!
This entry is dedicated to the founder of our league and all the wonderful people that populate and support our newest sport in Guelph!!!!!
When I was younger I lived around the corner from a convenience store. This was not always a good thing. Both my older sister Alison and I had (and still have) a pretty big sweet tooth. So, whenever we would find extra change, or even more commonly, when we were in such dire need of candy we would make a point of somehow coming up with change, we would walk to the candy store. We would each pick out various sorts of candies and then come home, get two bowls, and split them up. This was a very common event for us, even after we moved further away from that store. In fact, even as adults, we do this exact same thing and it makes me very happy.
Here are a few things I picked up at the Bulk Barn today...
Sigh... I have no dental coverage!
They actually state on the package: "It still tastes like soap" Now, i'd like to say that I bought these because I do secretly LOVE the taste of this gum. But, I have also fallen for their very clever marketing scheme. Or perhaps I'm just impressed at a candy that doesn't try to hide it's true colour, or flavour. I do really like the taste of them though.
And, for my not-so-sweet-but-intensely-hot new favourite bulk item:
Wasabi Peanuts. Oh my word. I love the intense nasal heat of wasabi. I'm not much of a fan of super spicy things, but wasabi is just a whole other arena. Put that with a crunchy peanut and you have a good, albiet burning, time.
What's your favourite bulk item ?
I have been trying to take more time to enjoy the small pleasures throughout my day (a common goal for a lot of people). I have always been a somewhat easily amused person; there's childhood tales about being able to leave me in the same spot for long periods of time. Easily amused, or on a different planet?... hmmmm.... Oh well!
Here are a few things I am lovin' right now:
Cinnamon in my coffee.... sooooo very good!
Catching up on books that are past the "in" stage. I'm pretty sure books are always in, but it's like reading the Twilight Series after everyone has moved onto the movies...or are we past those yet? lol.
Cranberry Gingerale... limited edition. Thanks Jo :)
Scrabble. We finally found a "has-all-the-letters" Scrabble game (believe me, it took forever; Ryan even asked one of the staff if it really, truly had all the pieces) during a thrifting afternoon.
Since Ry takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R carefully choosing his words, we have decided to keep a running game on our coffee table. I love it. We just keep adding words on our own time; it's another form of communication.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a Store update