Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;

Brown paper packages tied up with strings;

These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels;

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles;

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings;

These are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes;

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes;

Silver-white winters that melt into springs;

These are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog bites,

When the bee stings,

When I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember my favorite things,

And then I don’t feel so bad.

Well, Julie Andrews had a few of them right (like ponies), but I can’t say I’m in 100% agreement with her list (schnitzel with noodles?)  So, I will join the ranks of Ms. Andrews and Oprah and share with you some of my current favorite things:

1. OPI “You’re such a Budapest” nail polish.  Is it blue?  Is it purple?  Maybe it’s “blurple?”  Either way, I’m loving this colour for spring.  Had a pedi done in this colour, then had to go out and buy it for home.

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2.  “Through the Looking Glass” ring by Avon.  I bought the grey one for myself.  Currently priced at $14.99 and comes in small, medium, and large.  (Van Island peeps can contact me to order).

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3.  Any of Target’s fab spring dresses!  Most are around $30.  I bought two different ones.  My fave is pictured below.  Lots of fun colours and patterns, and so many style options to choose from depending on your body type and preference.dress

dress dress

4. Free 02 eau de toilette spray. Another great Avon product. I haven’t worn perfume in years, as I can be sensitive to some scents, but I LOVE this one. It’s a very subtle, non-flowery scent, somewhat reminds me of CK One by Calvin Klein, in that it’s almost gender neutral. Regular $20, sale $9.99. I just feel lovely when I wear it:)

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5. Anything in mint or seafoam green! Loving this trend for spring/summer. Just be careful to stay away from shades that resemble “hospital green” (think Grey’s Anatomy scrubs).

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6.  Whimsical print blouses and dresses.  Anything from elephants, to hummingbirds, to nautical prints!

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blouse bird print

7.  Summer drinks, bellinis in particular.  There is just something fun about an adult slushy drink!  Pair it with a night of gabbing with friends for best results;)

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So there you have it!  My lucky 7 list of favorite things for May-June!  What would you add?

Craft Wars, Sister Edition

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Ever since I can remember, my sister Ang and I have been B.E.F. Yes, you read that right. It stands for Best Elephants Forever. It was an inside joke between the two of us that dates so far back, that neither of us can remember its actual origins. Wait, I thought elephants never forget?! Anyhow, Best Elephants has stood the test of time, and last year, for Ang’s 30th birthday, we marked the occasion by getting matching elephant tattoos in Whistler that look like this:

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This past weekend, I took the ferry to visit my sister and have a girls’/elephants’ weekend. We had a fabulous time (obviously) doing some shopping, going out for dinner, taking a long and scenic bike ride, sipping numerous Starbucks bevvies, and crafting.

The first night, I had an idea. We would each complete a Best Elephants themed craft on canvas. But, to give things a fun twist, we would do so without seeing what the other was making until The Big Reveal! We put up a divider between us so we could craft, snack, and chat, but not peek. It was neat to see how different our final creations turned out.

Kim

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Ang

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We had so much fun playing our version of “Craft Wars,” that we did the same thing the next night after dinner out. This time, the theme was spring. Mine is the first pic, Ang’s is second:

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ang spring

I truly love my little sister. It is so comforting to know that there will always be someone who shares so many childhood memories with me, laughs at my jokes, tolerates my quirks, and is always up for some B.E.F. (and B.F.F) fun:)

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Toddler Nap Mat

napIf my recent posts about shopping and exercise have left you wondering, “What happened to the crafting and sewing?!” look no further. I’m still at it;) Last night, I finally finished a travel nap mat for my daughter. I started it months ago, first aiming to complete it in time for Christmas, then later for her birthday. It wasn’t that it was a difficult or overly time-consuming project, but simply that I lost interest and/or got distracted by other projects when I was about 3/4 finished.

The nap mat features an attached blanket and built in pillow, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. The mat rolls and buttons up for easy travel, and has a strap to carry it on your shoulder. Surprise surprise, I chose a purple unicorn fabric;) The body of the mat has a piece of 1″ foam inserted inside, and the pillow is made nice and “poufy” with polyfil stuffing.

When I completed the project, Kay was already asleep for the night. Fortuitously, she woke a short time later and was calling for me. It was like she knew I had made something for her, and she wanted to see it right away! She loved it so much that she went to sleep in her new nap mat on her bedroom floor:)

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If you would like to try this project for yourself, you can find the tutorial I used here:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=221179.0#axzz2TTQ9OuuM

Happy napping everyone!

Target Extravaganza!

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Today is the day of our local Target’s much anticipated, hush-hush “soft opening.” It is sort of a trial run for the store, to work out any kinks before the grand opening in two week’s time. Despite the lack of advertising and media coverage, there has been much rumour and speculation circulating on the various Moms’ and women’s Facebook groups. We all worked together to unravel the mystery, and learned that today is the day! I am sad that I have to work, and could not be there when the doors opened at 8:00am. I had visions of charging the doors ahead of all others, like a bull seeing red, a rather appropriate analogy. I am even sadder to have heard that there was a special opening last night for employee friends and family. Clearly, I’m slipping and need to work on my connections in this town;) So, I guess I will have to settle for my two-hour extended lunch break and shop alongside the good old general public, or “the masses” as my Dad liked to refer to them in his superior tone. (Thinking of you today, Dad).

My coworkers have been hearing about today for weeks. I even marked my time off in red in the scheduling binder. One of my coworkers tells me, “I think you have a problem.” I feel slightly sorry for her, for she has not had the fortune to experience the special kind of joy/inner peace that comes only with shopping nirvana. By
11:50am, I am waiting impatiently at my desk, having already changed out of my fabulous sample sale studded heels into my no-nonsense power-shopping black flats. Just then the phone rings. My daughter’s daycare is on the line. Seriously? Seriously. Apparently, she has a fever and needs to come home, today of all days. I call my friend to cancel our shopping date. Her toddler was up at 5:00am and is currently having a meltdown, so she is OK to reschedule.

I make the 20 minute drive home to pick up Kay. I call my Mom to tell her about my failed plans. She and I believe that my brilliant and eerily intuitive daughter is obviously faking sick so she can come along to Target. I bring her home, give her some milk with baby Tylenol, then some ice cream to cool her down. I tuck her in for naptime, and wait, nearly vibrating at this point, and hope that she will be good to go in a couple of hours. I know my girl, and there is nothing that would cure her more than a shopping trip!

We are finally en-route, and the now 30 minute ride seems to take forever. As we pull into the parking lot, I see the familiar bullseye logo. My last shopping trip to the States was an unacceptable four months prior tsk, tsk. I pause to take in the sights and sounds before we enter the motherland of good deals. I mentally promise to keep my purchases in check, as I will be travelling to visit my Mom this weekend, where Kay and I will spend some fabulous Mother’s Day bonding time with Grammy, at yet another new Target store;)

Target did not disappoint. While the prices weren’t as low as in the States, they were on par with our Walmart and Superstore. The selection was fabulous- all the things I had “previewed” on the American website, were indeed right in front of my eyes in the store. For around $80, I came home with a spring dress for myself, as well as two complete outfits for Kay, and a pair of Dora the Explorer rain boots that she insisted on. The clothes were bright, colourful, and right on trend for this season. I didn’t have much time to check out the housewares section, as Kay was getting hungry and a tad cranky, but we shall return!

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Happy shopping to all, and to all a good night!

Can’t Wait to Meet You Neighbour!

Today is the day, my friends! Two years in the making and Target finally arrives in my Canadian hometown:)
I’m counting down the minutes til my (extended) lunch hour! Stay tuned for exciting details from my inaugural visit!

My Magical (Almost) Perfect Day!

shoes and buttons

I’m sure we’ve all had special days that we’ve planned months in advance, down to the very last detail, eagerly awaiting, only to have the day fail to live up to our expectations. Birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, you name it. I’ve certainly been there, and it sucks. In reality, sometimes the very best days cannot be planned. Today was one of those days.

My friend Anna and I both had the day off work and were greatly in need of “me” time. So, we dropped off our little ones at their respective daycares and headed for a nearby town, about 45 minutes away, with vague plans of grabbing lunch and checking out a thrift store for funky buttons. We were looking forward to the day, but in kind of a laid-back, non-committal way.

We hit up the thrift store first, and we were pleasantly suprised. We sat down on the floor and sorted through bin after bin of buttons. Lots of cute and vintage finds to be had, and we walked away with several pounds of buttons for only $6 each!

We got back in the car, stomachs rumbling, in search of a place to eat. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I spot a small and unassuming sign on the side of the road announcing: “Sample Shoe Sale Ahead!” I quickly swerved into the far right lane, so as not to miss the turnoff, cutting off another car in the process. I offered a friendly “thank-you” wave, and all was well. As we followed the signs, I could feel my heart starting to race. Fireworks went off in my head, and I can’t be sure, but I may have heard angels singing softly in my ear….okay maybe not, but it was a magical moment.

As we parked the car, and walked up to the hotel where the sale was being held, I sternly told myself out loud “Don’t get your hopes up.” I prepared myself for dissapointment, speculating that the shoes were probably hideous, out of style, and either size 5 or size 11. Well, when we walked into the room, we couldn’t have been more pleased. Tables and tables of neatly organized, high-end European leather shoes, in dozens of fabulous, fashionable colours and styles. My eyes glazed over, and it’s possible that I may have been drooling a bit. The bulk of the shoes were size 7 (hence sample sale), but still many styles to choose from in a range of sizes.

Decisions, decisions. It was tough, but we finally settled on a few pairs each. Three pairs for Anna and two for me. But wait, at the last minute, the salesman (and my new BFF) throws in my third pair for FREE, thus relieving the great angst I suffered in trying to narrow it down to two pairs. I even managed to barter on the already rock-bottom prices, despite the saleswoman’s urging that “we don’t do that.” End result, I scored close to $500 worth of shoes for $100. Booyah! Clearly, the shopping gods were watching over us today.

Bags in hand, we headed to a nearby resort and spa for lunch. Fabulous food and super reasonably priced. I’ve honestly spent more for lunch in mall food courts! We topped off the day by stopping off at a local market, where we picked up some cheap art supplies.

Driving home, I remarked to Anna, “You know, we really couldn’t have planned a more perfect day if we tried,” and she agreed.

But alas, all good things come to an end. I came home to an uncharacteristically grumpy toddler. Normally a nap-loving, bed-time requesting delight of a girl, she needed not one, not two, but three visits from mom to help her settle in for the night. Our new puppy Patrick was jumping, nipping, peeing, and digging in the plants. Our neurotic 8 year-old dog senses things aren’t quite right (hubby is out of town for the weekend). So, he barks his awful Stanley bark MUCH more than usual. It truly sounds like the devil himself is trapped in the body of a 20lb terrier and trying to escape. I’m exhausted. The house is not up to my OCD standards. But, I had a wonderful day, and I will tune out the chaos by admiring my shoes.

The Magic of Buttons

I heart buttons

Lately, I’ve become totally addicted to making button art. I think I’ve found my perfect craft! Why?

1. Organizing and sorting my buttons makes my OCD side VERY happy;)
2. You really can’t go wrong, and there is room for mistakes. This is an activity where I can truly give my perfectionism a holiday. It is not needed, and I think taking a more relaxed approach leads to a more creative and successful result. Definitely not the case with sewing, by the way.
3. I find the repetitive task of adding and layering buttons is very relaxing, almost meditative if you will.
4. Best of all, this simple little pastime has had a ripple effect, allowing me to give back to my community and strengthening an already close friendship.

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With regard to the latter, I have been attending a weekly ladies’ sewing night in my community for over a year, which is funded by a great program called Ladysmith Family and Friends (LaFF) . I had so many people interested in my button art, that I took a friend’s suggestion and decided to host a button art class at a recent LaFF sewing night. I purchased canvases, paint, buttons, and brushes at the dollar store. I typed up a brief tutorial on the steps involved in making a button animal. Since a few of the participants were new to crafting, I created animal templates for them to trace using poster board. I charged $10 per person to cover the cost of supplies and to allow me to make a donation to LaFF at the end of the evening. I got great feedback from all the ladies. It was nice to see how others used different techniques and made different colour and style choices than my own. Everyone’s projects turned out great, as you can see below. I made the zebra, which was a custom order.

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The best thing, is that my good friend Anna is now as hooked on button art as I am! She and I get together regularly to craft. She is very talented and I’ve learned a lot from her style, which is bolder and more colourful than my own. I look forward to seeing many more creations from “Anna-Rama Art”! This shared interest has become a major topic of conversation between us, and I think we’ve grown closer because of it. Recently, we took a toddler-free trip out of town for a weekend of shopping, dining, gabbing, and a few drinks. It was fabulous! We even found some treasures at a button store, recommended by another good friend, Marcy.

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Finally, I’m very excited to announce that Unicorn Crossing and Anna-Rama Art will have a table at the Ladysmith Spring Fair on May 3rd and 4th!

http://www.harbourliving.ca/event/ladysmith-spring-fair-your-one-stop-shop-with-local-home-based-businesses/2013-05-03/

Hope to see some of you there:)

A 1950s Birthday Extravaganza!

50s music

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After much planning and great anticipation, my daughter’s second birthday party was a fun-filled blast from the past! I chose the theme carefully, knowing full well that this was likely my last year to have free reign over her party planning. For that reason, I wanted to choose a theme that adults and kids alike would enjoy. Like any good mom, I will throw a Dora the Explorer party should my little one desire, but it certainly isn’t something I’m going to offer up as a suggestion;)

Now that K and all her friends are rambunctious toddlers, I made the decision to rent a hall for the party, rather than host another party in our home. This was probably one of the single best decisions I have made all year! Words cannot describe how wonderful it was not to fret over spilled popcorn, cupcake crumbs, and sticky fingerprints. Bliss I tell you, pure bliss.

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Guests entered the hall to upbeat 1950s classics, such as “Rockin’ Robin,” “Hound Dog,” and “Stand by Me.” A candy shoppe was set up where guests could help themselves and fill their own bag of treats. Party favours included a record with each child’s name on it, a jar of 1950s party mix, and for the girls, a custom made poodle hair clip. For lunch and snacks we served hot dogs, veggies and dip, deviled eggs, chips, and popcorn in little theatre-style boxes. I purchased Coca-Cola six packs in the retro glass bottles. Dessert included an ice cream cake with a poodle on it and cupcakes.

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Throughout the hall, I displayed several of K’s baby photos in frames. Two large posters were hung on the walls- one was from K’s first birthday “cake smash” and the second was a picture of K in front of a jukebox. I made a large Happy Birthday sign using coroplast and old records. We hired a photographer (Courtney Hawkins Photography) who set up a photo booth for families to have their pictures taken. Photo props included hula hoops, an inflatable guitar, and cateye glasses. K and I dressed in the full 1950s attire- poodle skirts and all. I found my skirt at Value Village and K’s on a Facebook Swap and Shop group, then added poodle appliques. We were delighted that friends and family got right into the theme, with many of them dressing up as well.

Overwhelmed with gifts from her first birthday, we decided to make this year a “Toonie Party.” Guests brought one toonie for K’s piggy bank and one for charity. Of course, some guests couldn’t resist bringing a gift as well. Our talented friend Marcy sewed matching dresses for K and her American Girl doll. In keeping with the theme, Mommy and Daddy bought K a pink retro play kitchen from Costo and her Grammy stocked it with play food, pots and pans, and utensils.

All in all, I think everyone had a great time. We were so happy to share K’s special day with good friends and family. Looking forward to seeing what the year will bring for her:)

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Hot off the press

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My new business cards are on order from Vistaprint.ca So excited!

I’m a sucker for new office supplies, especially personalized stuff. My current business card count is now at 4 (insert sheepish grin here):

-one for my day job as a psychologist

-one for my crafty stuff

-one for my sewing stuff

-one for Avon

I’m betting it won’t be long before my two year-old has a business card of her own;) I’m not even sure if that is a joke or a fact.

One of my fondest memories is perusing the aisles of Staples with my Dad every year for school supplies. We always had to find the “best” pen and the “best” binders. We could spend hours in that place. Even when I was working on my Masters and PhD degrees, he still insisted that I needed “school supplies.” And I certainly wasn’t going to argue with that. I hope that this is a tradition that my daughter and I can enjoy together once she begins school. Miss you always, Dad. K and I will find the “best” of everything and make you proud:)
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Cute as a BUTTON!

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Buttons!!! My newest obsession. In particular, I heart making button animal art. I started off with a couple basic elephants (which you can check out in my J’adore Paris post from earlier this month). I have seen a few variations on Etsy and Pinterest, but nothing that really wowed me. So, I decided to experiment with a few different designs of my own. I also added interest with “bling”, lettering, and other crafty bits. I received so many compliments and comments from friends that “you should really sell those,” that I am now taking custom orders locally.

Check out my button animal art projects below. Which one is your favourite? What new animal do you think I should attempt next?

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buttonowl

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As a bonus, buttons have become an activity that my toddler and I can share. She loves to sort them by colour into jars with me. When she finishes sorting another handful, she refers to them as adding “more friends.” It’s beyond cute. Not that I’m biased or anything;)
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