Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

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Secondhand Sunday – November 13, 2011

Oh how I love to thrift. I love finding treasures amidst heaps of junk (which might just be someone else’s treasure!). I wonder about the stories behind what I find. Who owned it before me? Why did they get rid of it? What can I do with it?

Here’s a few recent finds…

I found these lovely handbags at one of my favourite local thrift stores, The Opportunity Foundation Thrift Store. I find that they have the best sales in town – regular percent off days & of course, their wonderful $4 per bag clothing sales once a month. The two smaller bags were $3 each & the large bag was $2! What?! Yes, please. I love the cool details on vintage handbags.

At the same store, not too long ago, they were having a random linens sale for $2 per bag. Bins & bins of sheets, blankets & fabric. Spread out over several bins I pieced together this amazing 80s rainbow sheet set. I love vintage sheets, and mostly just use the fabric for projects because it’s not easy to find complete sets. This set is for a double bed. We only have one double bed in our house & it’s in the Guest Room/Sewing Room/Library/Dress Up Room. Whoever comes for a visit next gets to enjoy these great sheets! When I was growing up, I really wanted to have rainbow sheets – I was a bit obsessed with rainbows. Now I have rainbow sheets!

I also love vintage suitcases. I love the really old wooden ones, the flowery 60s ones, the 70s vinyl ones & the hardcase 80s ones. I have quite a few, but they are a bit bulky & take up space. I also want to be able to see & enjoy them. I saw this idea on Pinterest to use stacking suitcases for storage. They also live in our Guest Room/Sewing Room/Library/Dress Up Room and I use them to store fabric for future projects. I think they look so cool.

Have you found any thrifted treasures lately?


Fashion on Friday – 11-11-11

I love rediscovering my wardrobe as the season changes. I need to have a proper sort through my clothes to find those treasures lurking at the back of the closet. I also love coloured tights! They brighten cold days & keep my legs nice & warm.

I also love wearing more of my shoes! I definitely get tired of flip flops in the Summer. Boots, wedges, heels! I love shoes.

Shorts with tights is one of my favourite looks. Super comfortable & fun.

T-shirt: Target
Top: Torrid
Shorts: Source of Wisdom
Tights: We Love Colors
Wedges: Forver 21
Earrings: ?
Ring: World Market

I put the following outfit together in my mind, thinking it would be both warm & stylish. I put it on & it was absolutely warm & comfy & I thought it looked pretty good in the mirror. Then I took my pics & was sorely disappointed. I don’t think it’s doing me any favours & I wasn’t going to post pics, but I showed it to my Sister & she said it looked cute, so it made the cut this week. Besides, I wasn’t going to change it, because it is so comfortable!

Sweater: Old Navy
Dress: street market in London
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Payless
Hairclip: Claires

Can’t go wrong with denim & black – one of my favourite combos. Throw in a bit of grey & I’m very happy.

Jacket: Thrifted
Dress: Ebay
Leggings: Walmart
Boots: Ross
Hairband: H&M
Sweater Clip: DIY (to be featured on the next Make It Monday)

This is my favourite vintage shawl that I own & I own a few! I love the asymmetrical shape, the colour, but mostly I love the pom poms! It’s super fun to wear & keeps me nice & warm. I did some cat eye eyeliner for a 60s look, but I’m still not very good at it. I need to get some make-up skills!

Shawl: Vintage/Thrifted
T-shirt: Target
Dress: street market in London
Boots: ?
Tights: ?
Earrings: ?

Here’s to fashion inspiration from across time & geography & from right at the back of your closet.


Words on Wednesday – On Being an Introvert Mom

I’ve had these thoughts tumbling around in my head for a long time.  I know I’m not the first one to think about this or to address it. I purposely didn’t have a look around the interwebs because I wanted to get my own thoughts on “paper” before I started investigating the thoughts of others. I’m sure when I do have a look, I’ll find lots of helpful & intriguing ideas.

So I’m an introvert. That simply means that I recharge be spending time alone. It does not mean that I am shy. It does not mean that I am anti-social. It does not mean that I don’t need relationships.  It was fairly easy for me to be an introvert before I became a Mom. I had good relationships, but I could always find time to be alone.

Now I’m a Mom. One part of being an introvert Mom that has been a huge revelation is that kids are people too & being with them doesn’t really constitute being alone. I don’t know yet if my boys are introverts or extroverts, they both enjoy time alone, but they are both pretty social too. One of their favourite people to be with is me! I love that, but it can also be tough on me when I need to find a few minutes alone.

Being a Mom has widened my social networks. I have conversations with strangers in the supermarket, with people I might never have interacted with before I had kids & I am involved in groups that I never thought I would be involved in before I had kids. I love it.

I’m also a bit more isolated than I was before I had children. I used to work full-time, did lots of social stuff, went “out” a lot more. Now I’m a stay at home Mom & let me tell you, I stay at home a lot. I tend to be a bit reclusive at times & sometimes it’s just easier to stay at home than to load up the boys & head out – I never knew what an undertaking it was to go out with kids.

Relationships are incredibly important to me. I’m also not always very good at cultivating relationships. Given time, I can develop deep relationships, but as most Moms know, time is a rare commodity. My children have opened doors to relationships that I would never have developed before & I am so thankful for the Moms that I have met & gotten to know. It’s still a struggle at times to develop those relationships. I crave the interaction, the fun, the shared experiences, but I also have a hard time reaching out, putting myself out there & being consistent.

I am committed to doing better though. For my sake – I need my friends! I need new friends! I need deep relationships! For the sake of my boys – they need relationships too & they need to see real relationships modeled. Introverts can come across as being very independent & may seem like they don’t need much in the way of relationships, but don’t let our love of being on our own deceive you, we need people. We are all created to be in relationship.

Being introverted or extroverted is neither good nor bad – it’s simply a way of being in the world. It’s important to be aware of what you are. There are also differing levels of introvertedness & extrovertedness. Moms who are extroverts may find that they feel isolated too, not getting out enough & having face time with people.

We have this amazing privilege & responsibility as parents. When you have children some things seem easier & some things become a lot more difficult. Sometimes we do need to sacrifice our own comfort for the sake of our children, but at the same time, they need to see us caring for ourselves & making sure that we are healthy.

I know that I need to find that time to truly be on my own. I need it for my own mental health – I’m a better wife, mother, person when I get regular time by myself. It means that sometimes on the weekends when Zane has a nap in the afternoon, I head out the door to go thrifting while Jude & Colin hang out. It means that most weeks, one evening a week, you’ll find me at a coffee shop with a book or my laptop.  I don’t get time alone while I’m home with the boys so I have to make the time. This is actually a recent thing that I’ve started doing, I don’t know why I didn’t do it before – it’s amazing!

I’m married to an extrovert & we brought balance to each other’s lives. I’m so thankful that Colin gets me & understands my needs & helps me to find the time I need. It will be interesting to see on which end of the spectrum my boys fall.

So what does it all mean? If you have friends who are introverts, don’t give up on them. Keep asking them to spend time with you – they may say no a few times, but trust me, they want to make it work! Be persistent & consistent – go deeper. For those who are introverts, reach out, take risks, be vulnerable. Be persistent & consistent – go deeper!

One of my favourite places in the world. St Martin in the Fields Crypt, London. I don't have any recent photos of me being alone!

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Tasty Tuesday – So Many Tasty Things!

It’s been a quiet week here in Bend, at least for my family. The boys have been a bit sick, so outings have been minimal. Which means lots of time to be cozy at home & try new recipes!

I made roast butternut squash to go with a crock pot roast that I did. The squash was lovely – I would have liked it to crisp up a bit, but I think that the water content is too high for it to do much crisping – it was super yummy though. I made a beef roast in the crockpot as well. I didn’t use a recipe, but I did put a can of cranberries in while it cooked – so very good. Crock pot roasts aren’t always pretty to photograph, but the truth is in the tasting!

I also mulled some apple cider. I looked at several recipes, but just kind of added things until I liked it. Here’s what I added to our hot cider:

  • cinnamon sticks
  • whole cloves
  • nutmeg
  • all spice
  • lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • splash of vanilla

It turned out quite lovely! I love mulled drinks – wine or cider. So warm & comforting as the weather gets colder.

Last week, I had down to make meatloaf on our weekly menu. I wanted something different though. I checked around Pinterest and found heaps of great recipes, but none were what I was really looking for. Then I had the idea of doing a Cheeseburger Meatloaf – I was going to just figure it out for myself & was so proud that I’d come up with this “original” idea. I decided to quickly Google it only to find tons of recipes. Sigh, so much for my originality. I went with the Paula Dean Recipe. I used ground turkey instead of beef & stuffing mix instead of bread crumbs. It was a hit! So yummy. Of course the true test of a good meatloaf is whether it makes good meatloaf sandwiches & boy, does this meatloaf pass the test!

For a weekend meal I made Taco Pizza using this recipe. I don’t have a hard time coming up with stuff to make during the week, it’s the weekends that are tough for me. Our plans are a bit more fluid on the weekends so I need recipes that take minimal planning and time. This Taco Pizza was easy to pull together & very tasty!

Finally, we had a Dessert Dash & Auction for the Moms group that I am involved in, Moms, Inc. I made a super fun cake that I call the Candy Cake. I didn’t have a lot of time to work on it, so I used a box cake mix. It is so easy & I found the idea on Pinterest. You start with any cake you like – frost it, add Kit Kat bars around the outside & fill the top with M&Ms. I tied a ribbon around it & it looked so fun. I hope the people who won it in the auction enjoyed it. Colin really wants me to make another one for us!

I hope you have a tasty week ahead!

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Fashion on Friday – November 4, 2011

How I love these fabulous days of Fall (though winter is “hot” on its heels – we’ve had a bit of snow already!). The food, the temperatures, the colours, the clothes…

Headband: Ross
Top: Kohls
Capris: Ross
Boots: Ross

Scarf: Kohls
Jacket: Thrifted
Leggings: Walmart
Skirt: Old Navy
Bootes: Avenue
Brooch: Vintage

Hat: Vintage
Earrings: Vintage
Brooch: Vintage
Jacket: Thrifted
Skirt: Torrid
Tights: We Love Colors
Shoes: Target


Thankful Thursday – You Tube!

You Tube might be a bit of an odd thing to be thankful for, but I really am. I have instant access to music that I love that brings back memories, makes me dance, makes me cry & inspires. I have access to really funny videos that are always good for a laugh. The boys love You Tube too. They love to watch OK GO videos, especially the Rube Goldberg machine one & the treadmill one. If they have a question about something or want to see an example of something, I can find a video for them. They love to watch Rube Goldberg machines & domino creations. It’s inspiring for them.

I know there is lots of rubbish on there as well, so beware & be careful, but there’s heaps of good stuff too.

It seems a small thing, but it’s the small things that often make a big impact.

In honour of You Tube, here’s our two favourite OK GO videos…

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Tasty Tuesday – Lettuce Wraps, Mug Brownies & Smashed Potatoes

It’s November! We have been having a lovely Fall. Busy completing items on our Autumn Bucket List. I have to say, I love having the bucket list – it is a great reminder of the things that make this season special & of course, it’s a list so I get to check things off – one of my most favourite things to do ever.

I love lettuce wraps & so I finally attempted to make them myself. I have never been to PF Changs, but I found a recipe that is a PF Changs Lettuce Wrap copycat. It has heaps of ingredients & is a bit involved, but very manageable with some planning. They turned out great & we all enjoyed them. I made some rice as the boys weren’t too sure about eating from a leaf of lettuce.

I also found an incredibly dangerous recipe on Pinterest. Seriously, I kind of wish I could unlearn this. It’s a recipe for Mug Brownies – made in the microwave, in about a minute. Um, danger, danger, danger! It was really nice & we all loved it. Super easy to make & not in the least bit healthy. Now to forget the recipe…

Another lovely recipe I spotted on Pinterest was for Smashed Roasted Potatoes. Potatoes really deserve their own food group. This recipe didn’t disappoint at all. I thought it was pretty easy & smashing the potatoes was very satisfying.

I hope you had a great October & that November holds lots of warm drinks (if you are in the Northern Hemisphere), good books & thankfulness.