Thursday, November 20, 2014

Of Weird Slumps.


I am in a weird slump.

I haven't written letters in over a month. But I want to. I miss my pen pal friends.

I've barely been reading this month. But I want to. I have an insane pile of books that I'm really excited about.

I haven't been blogging this past year. I have things that I want to talk about, but I'm out of practice and I can barely remember this writing thing that I like to do. I also started a channel on YouTube a few months ago where I talk about books, and I haven't posted anything this month.

I haven't even been knitting this autumn (now winter here), and I want to because I need a new hat!

I'm not sure what's going on. Maybe it's because I'm tired, and the shorter days are just kicking my energy levels in the butt. Maybe I just need some inspiration. But I feel pretty inspired about things!! Which just makes it all so weird.

I hope that soon I will be able to get back to doing things that I love. I miss them.

Some good news though, I'm painting my kitchen cabinets! I can't wait to share photos with you when it's all done! It's taking forever, but we'll get there. We'll get there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kitchen re-do inspiration (and a vote!)

Over the past 6 months, we've been working on various projects around our house. We've been living there for 3 years now, and I felt like it was time for a refresh. I love changing the physical space around me from time to time, even if it's just to shuffle the furniture around. I think part of this has to do with the fact that I'm such an indecisive person. Which is one of the reasons that this process has taken 6+ months.

Back in April, we painted our living room/kitchen area, and all the way down the hall. It was previously a light yellow, but because we had painted over a strong blue colour, it always read as a greenish tinge. I wanted to make everything white because then I could change whatever colours I feel like in the future. I chose Mercury Glass by Benjamin Moore, and I just loooooove it! Seriously, it's the perfect white! It makes everything feel a million times brighter in our main area, which I just love.

The above is the current state of my kitchen. #reallife

The next thing to tackle is painting the kitchen cabinets. They're okay, but I just don't love them. They're just a stock, builder's grade fake oak, and I need to get rid of them! I've been putting off painting them since April, but it has to happen because I already painted some swatches on them to see what I liked better. I am just the most indecisive person about this, though. I've been wavering between 3 options. I need help! I seriously can't decide!!

Option one: all white

Option two: white on top, navy or charcoal on the bottom

Option three: all grey/greige or some such

I really am leaning toward the white/navy/charcoal combination, but those two grey ones are almost enough to sway me. And then I see the all white, and then I just get sooooo confused all over again! I keep going back and forth! 

So I need your help! Choose your favourite in my survey down below - so easy! If I chose white, do I go with a shade darker than the walls, or just paint it all the same white? Do I chose charcoal or navy if I go that way? Or do I go with a greige? I'm really into greige these days. I am just so lost. I just want something that I'm going to love for the next 5+ years - hopefully before that time is up we'll be living in another home! So please, help this indecisive lady out! 

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book review: If I Stay - Gayle Forman

I've been wanting to do book reviews for a while, and I don't think I've ever done any. Which is completely ridiculous, considering how much I love books and how many I read. So, here I commence.

I just finished reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I didn't go into the book knowing a lot about it, which I like to do. And I was not disappointed! I really enjoyed it. It's not a book to read if you're in the mood for a happy story, that's for sure. It does have happy moments in it, but the story certainly isn't. (TFIOS, much?)

A brief summary: Mia is 18, in her final year of high school. During a snow day, her family decides to drive to their friends' place to spend the day with them. But the day turns out much differently than anyone would have imagined...

The story takes place over the span of 24 hours. The author uses flashbacks to draw out the story, and I felt that she used the method really effectively. They never felt forced, and always flowed very naturally, to the point where you hardly realize that it's a flashback. I thought that overall the story flowed really well. It's a shorter book, but because the author knew how to draw the story out, it doesn't feel like it lacks for information or details at all.

The previous edition cover. I think I almost like this one better.
I did like the characters in the book for the most part. The main character, Mia, is a very thoughtful teenager. She is a cellist, going to be attending Julliard after she graduates high school. Her life revolves around her family, her boyfriend Adam, her best friend Kim, and her musical career. She doesn't have much use for partying and staying out late, which is funny because her parents were in the music scene when she was growing up, and she was going to parties when she was a child. Her father was in a punk rock band for many years, and her boyfriend is in an up-and-coming band, as well. She just can't get away from music, it is steeped into every part of her life. It plays a considerable role in the book as well. I did enjoy the contrast between reserved and serious Mia, and her eccentric rocker parents. It's so reversed from what you usually see. The relationships in this book played out really well. It was definitely easy for me to connect to the characters.

A still of Chloe Grace Moretz, who plays Mia in the film adaptation.
One of the things that bothered me most about the book - there is a character that is never given a name! Mia's parents' friends have a baby, and the baby is always referred to that - "the baby!" It drove me crazy!! I mean, there are characters just mentioned in passing that play less of a role than this baby, and they got names! Why, Gayle Forman, why??

Overall, I would recommend this book if you're looking for a story that draws you in. I could probably connect with the story in a deeper way than a lot of people would, because of things that have happened to me and others close to me. (Trying not to be spoilery here!!) I will probably be thinking about this story for a few more days. The movie version came out on Friday and I am looking forward to seeing it.

Plot: original, very well paced
Emotions: you will feel them
Characters: mostly realistic and well-rounded

And for those who like to be prepared for these things (I appreciate a heads up, for sure!)

Language: moderate, as there are a few f-bombs and other choice words
Sex: one scene that's not explicit but there is a lot of stuff implied
Drugs/alcohol: social drinking, no drug use that I can recall
Spiritual content: Mia's grandma believes that loved ones who have passed on come back as angels (in the form of animals); the family attends a funeral at a church where the officiant talks about the deceased going to be with the Lord.

My overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Art for a gallery wall.

I've been wanting to do a gallery wall in our kitchen for about a year already. It's a long, blank, open space, just begging for tons of beautiful art! I've been sourcing out things that I want, and there's just too much gorgeous stuff out there for me to choose. I thought I would share some of my favourites with you today.

[via whatkatiedoes]
This one has been on my list for ages and ages! I just love it! There are 3 colours to pick from, and I think I like this one the best. I can't wait to order this print.

[via OldEnglishCo]
This is my second favourite, and I can't wait to get it on the wall! This one has 20 different colours you can get it in, and you can choose to flip the negative space as well. I'm having a hard time choosing my colour, but I think I might just go with this one.

[via Alice X. Zhang]
Tangled is my favourite Disney animated film, and this is my favourite scene in the movie. I love the feel of this piece.

[via PrettyPrintShop]
I actually bought this one already! (I actually plan to put this in my office, but I still wanted to show you.) It's an instant download for you to print out at home, which is totally my speed. The faster I can get it, the better. Plus it was only $2ish. Score!

[via David Fleck]
I have a thing for hot air balloons. Someday I will go on a ride in one! But for now, I'll settle for some art.

[via WatercolorBook]
See? Hot air balloons. I also have a thing for watercolours.

[via unravelleddesign]
This store has tons of beautiful quote prints like this. It's so hard to choose. These are two of my favourites.

[via Mareike Bohmer Graphics]
Another shop with so much pretty. She also has some photography, but I like her geometric prints.

[via thebigharumph]
I think it's only fitting to have one of these prints in my kitchen. And the difference from all the rest I've shown, which are digital prints, this one is a linocut. This shop has lots of other lovely lino prints of food.

[via penandpaper]
There is a variety of different prints on this shop. Quotes and illustrations, which she also makes as cards.

[via KellyVentura]
I love ice cream and I love watercolours, so it seems only natural that I would desire this lovely thing.

[via Korrina Carmona]
Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favourite shows, and Appa definitely has my heart. I enjoy this wanted poster that is featured in the show.

I totally have a bent towards quotes and watercolours, and more feminine looking pieces, so I'm sure I'll get Chris to find a few he likes, and maybe he'll make one or two as well. I'm planning on getting a variety of sizes. I got some frames from the thrift store that I will (eventually) paint the same colour, and probably get some Ribba frames from IKEA to mix in. All of these pieces were found on Etsy or Society6, and that's only a fraction of the ones I found. If you care to see, I made an Etsy collection. I haven't spent as much time on Society6, and I'm not sure if I should because I get overwhelmed with options pretty quickly. I'm pretty excited to start curating my gallery wall! If you have some favourite shops I should know about, leave me a comment and I'll check it out!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

And now we return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Hola, blog! ...half a year later, she says.

Well, there have been a lot of changes around here in the past 6 months. I intend to put my blogging hat back on after a much needed break. I still have my days where I just feel really down, but that's normal. For the most part, life is really great around here, and I can't wait to share bits and pieces of it with you! Also, I really miss writing. I've realized that it helps me a lot to process my thoughts and empty out my chaotic mind a little bit. I have some ideas about where I want things to go with this blog, but for now, I just thought I would pop in and say hi. Feel free to comment if you still read this.

This is a picture of me like 2 months ago, with our niece Sadie. I'll probably write a post about her story, it's pretty cool.