Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!


When I see a goofy chair, there's no stopping me from parking my butt there. So when my girlfriends and I were out of town last week and we saw this gem in the mall, Mishelle and I both beelined toward it, each handing off our phones to our pal Sarah, who wanted nothing to do with this creepy duck throne.

Now, ordinarily, this chair is home to an equally as creepy Easter Bunny mascot—I know this only because I saw an ad in the local paper that was accompanied by a terrifying photo—he must have been on his lunch break while we were there, though. In a way I'm sad we missed our opportunity to pose with him, but in another breath, this photo is equally as awesome. It truly is something to cherish, that's for sure.

To celebrate Easter (as in, eat chocolate, not praise the heavens for Jesus' resurrection) we are going for, what sounds like, a delicious brunch at a resort 10 minutes from our house. Ian and I haven't eaten there yet, so we're excited for a big buffet of decadent dishes. I intend to stuff my face and tummy until I can't even lift my fork to eat another morsel. Wish me luck!

How are you spending your Easter long weekend? 
Are there any creepy bunnies or ducks to hang out with where you are?

Friday, March 29, 2013

At this time last year: February and March

With February being a short month, I didn't have a chance to do a recap of what was going on with me at this time in 2012, so I thought I would make up for that by putting two months together. That way you-all don't miss out on any of last year's escapades.

As you can see in the photo above, Ian and I did some light painting in early February at Patricia Lake. It was my first time ever attempting such a thing, but, for Ian, it was old news. So, he set up the camera and just let me run around like a fool, flinging my headlamp around in hopes of creating something cool.


Last February was also the month of Jasper's annual Pride Weekend, which culminates on the Saturday night with a huge masquerade ball. Ian and I made our own masks for the event and his, in particular, was a huge hit with the men in the room who were often drawn to stroking the beak.
Still to this day, Ian and I talk about the ball. It was by far the best event of 2012. From the energy in the room to the amazing drag show by Guys in Disguise, it was a hoot and a half. This year's Pride Weekend is next month. The theme is legends and fairy tales and we already know what we'll be wearing. (You'll see in due time, friends. I'm not going to spoil the surprise!)

In February of 2012, I won an award for the above photo. I took it while working in Yellowknife, NWT in 2011. The photo depicts two women who were struck by a taxi while they were crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.


In March, I made it on Craftgawker.com for the first time with this easy needlebook made out of scrap felt. A year later, I'm still getting all kinds of traffic because of that project.


I also made this earring holder that now hangs in my bathroom with a butt-tonne more earrings on it than are pictured here. I absolutely adore having every pair I own organized and displayed. When friends come over, I get so many compliments on my collection. One of my girlfriends even confessed to modelling a bunch of them in the mirror one night. She said she only confessed because she was scared I would noticed they had all been shifted around. I can honestly say I'm not that observant. It did make for a good laugh, though.


My career as a fashion blogger started a year ago with What to Wear on a first date. At that time, the series was being organized by two lovely ladies, Jill and Alana. Since then, they have both shuttered the windows on their blogs, while I've done my best to keep the series going strong. Over the year, I've watched What to Wear go from three ladies all the way up to 15. It's been quite the adventure and I'm so happy to see it grow from post to post.

You-all have heard of the Double Down, right? You know, that totally disgusting sandwich from KFC that instead of a bun has two pieces of fried chicken. Yeah. Well, we made our own last year ... and they were AH.MAZING! I totally recommend making one at least once in your life. You won't regret it.

This photo is funny for a number of reasons: a) currently my closet is nowhere near this tidy—the entire top shelf is currently covered in my ski gear; b) what is going on with my hair under that hat?; c) I have so many more clothes now; and finally, d) I'm wearing flared jeans!!!

Anyway, last year I showed all of you how I organize my closet and I explained how I learned my organizational approach during my years as a Value Village employee. I can honestly say, my closet still follows the exact same rules today.

That's what I was up to last year. Do you remember what you were doing?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY: knotted headband

It's that time again, folks, where all the Crochet Along-ers post their completed assignment. This month, Alicia gave us the task of making a crocheted headband. If you recall, I've been making headbands for sometime now, so this was a quick and easy project for me. I finished it up in the time it took us to watch an episode and a half of Justified. (Have you seen that show?! We're hooked.)


If you're interested in making your own or if you want to see how the other Crochet Along-ers interpreted the pattern, swing by Alicia's new blog Habitual Homebody.

Habitual Homebody

LOTM: hiking treat

When I'm out in the wilderness, I love me a good granola bar, especially one that I've made myself. Ian and I have been making our own granola bars for awhile now, although, I'll admit until this week it had been a few months since our last batch. I love these for breakfast or out on the trail. It's something easy to munch on while you're still moving. Brilliant, yes?
 
Plus, they taste like a treat when you make them with marshmallows and cranberries. Nom nom nom. (OK, you caught me, they are a treat. They're basically just the fanciest, most delicious Rice Crispie squares you'll ever find.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups oats
  • 3 cups Rice Crispies
  • 1 cup Honey Nut Cheerios
  • .5 cup cranberries
  • .5 cup crushed cashews
  • .5 cup sunflower seeds
  • 250 gram bag of marshmallows
  • .25 cup butter

Directions:

  • Toast wheat germ and oats on a baking sheet in the oven for a few minutes
  • In the meantime, melt butter and marshmallows on low heat
  • Add everything else to the butter and marshmallows and mix well
  • Pack the mixture into two well-greased loaf pans
  • Leave to sit until hardened
  • Cut around the edges and bang the bottom of the pan to get the loaf out
  • Slice into bars and individually wrap for a quick snack on the go


Om nom nom nom. I can't wait to get these in my belly. They're going to be a perfect snack to munch on in Lake Louise this weekend. Have I mentioned I'm going to Lake Louise? No? Oh. Well, yeah, I'm going tomorrow and it's going to be glorious! (I promise plenty of gorgeous photos upon my return!)

Well folks, that's it for me this edition of Ladies of the Mountains. If you want to check out what the other mountainistas put together as their favourite hiking treat, mosey your cute butts over to their blogs for a look-see.


Gentri of Gentri Lee
Kelley of A Crooked Trail
Lena of Musings
Meagan of The Egg Out West
Michelle of On The Adventure
And, guest blogger Jorie of Charmed Life

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pinterest-worthy 1st birthday

Recently, I was invited to a first birthday party for a lovely little lady named Alice. Alice is my friends Lynn and Andrew's daughter. Because of her parents, Alice knows everyone in Jasper, or, maybe I should say, we all know her. I dare say, she is most popular one-year-old around these parts. So, needless to say, the party was nuts. When I arrived there were at least 25-30 people in the house already and as the party went on, new faces were constantly appearing. It was incredible. (And totally daunting. First of all, I don't mingle with the parents in this town, so I was stuck in a room with a bunch of strangers. And, second of all, I don't know how to talk to people about children, nor do I know how to talk to children or deal with them. So, I basically just lifted my camera anytime Alice did anything adorable, I ate the delicious food and I talked to non-parent types about non-parent type things.)

But more incredible than Alice's popularity was the party. Lynn went over the top in the best possible ways. She is, hands down, the best party planner I have ever met. When she commits to something, she goes balls out.

The theme of the party was the circus, which was immediately evident when I arrived at the house because there was a circus tent set up outside the door. So, before making it inside, you had to walk right through it. (Amazing! Why didn't I think to take a photo of that!?!) There was also a smaller circus tent inside for kids to crawl around in. There was a popcorn machine, with stereotypical popcorn boxes. There were corn dogs. There were cupcakes that each had a little flag on top. There were balloons everywhere and there were handmade games outside. There were hand punched signs all over the place. There was a lemonade dispenser. And there were buttons with Alice's face on them and others that said "Alice's 1st birthday" on them.


Basically, what I'm saying is, this party was off the charts amazing... and when October rolls around, I want Lynn to throw a repeat, replacing Alice's name with mine. That's not too much to ask is it?

Oh! And I also want Lynn to make me an adult version of this skirt. I think I could totally rock Alice's outfit—jean jacket, Converse sneakers and a wicked awesome tattered skirt, count me in!

**Out of respect for Lynn and Andrew, I decided not to post any photos of Alice (aside from the one above). But, I can assure you, she is the cutest little munchkin you ever did see—or you ever would see, if I'd show her to you. Like, for serious, and this is coming from someone who doesn't dig kids, I think I could actually hang out with Alice and have a good time. That kid's the bees knees. I guess that's what happens when you have totally rad parents.**

Do your friends ever throw over the top, totally impressive Pinterest-worthy parties?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Puddling around town

A puddle right outside our apartment door. How convenient!
Sometimes, even when you have looming deadlines, you just need to have a little fun. And, sometimes, that fun just happens to come in the form of a pair of apple red rain boots.



On Sunday afternoon my girlfriends and I drove to the next town to do some shopping, and while we were there I found said rain boots FOR TWO DOLLARS. I think we can all agree that I win the bargain of the week award with these babies.

A tiny puddle can make such a big splash.
When I got home, I proudly showed them to Ian and said, in jest, that we should head out puddle jumping. I was in part joking because Ian hurt his knee over the weekend, so there would clearly be no jumping for him, and also because how silly would I look running around town jumping in all the puddles. But, then Ian said, "Let's go. I'll grab the camera." So, without much further thought, we hopped in the car, drove around town, stopped every time we saw an amazing puddle, and I jumped and jumped and jumped, whether people were watching or not. Talk about a weird sight for passersby.

Your eyes aren't deceiving you. That's an elk chillin' out in the background like a bro. This is my life, folks. Be jealous!
For this last photo (which is actually one of about 30 amazing ones), Ian actually knocked on someone's car window to ask them to back-up, so they wouldn't be in the shot. Yeah. We take this puddle jumping thing pretty seriously!

As you can see, the adventure was a great success. By the end, my pants were soaked through to my knickers, my boots were full of water and the smile on my face couldn't be kicked.


When was the last time you went puddle jumping?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Foundation, you dirty, dirty minx

Here we are up close and personal with my skin. No makeup, just me.
Remember way back in August when I ditched foundation for the first time in my adult life? If not, go read about that and then come back...

Back? OK. Let's continue.

I'm sad to admit that after five months I went back to that dirty stuff. I caved while getting ready for Ian's work Christmas party. I looked in the mirror and felt unpolished—something I never want to feel when I'm going somewhere fancy. I just felt that my regular old freckled skin didn't fit the part with my fancy blue dress and my perfect up-do. So, I took out the sponge and foundation bottle that had been collecting dust for months and went to town, just like in the old days. I thought it was just for one night. I thought I could go straight back to being happy in the skin I'm in, but I'm sad to report, foundation's my drug. If I give in a wee bit, it's no time before I find myself right back to my old addiction.

So, when I looked in the mirror the day after the party, I again felt unpolished—and even though I had nowhere to be and no fancy dresses to wear—I again I went straight for Mr. Fix It. This sad morning routine went on for months.

In fact, it was just last week that I decided enough was enough for the second time. And, for now, I can say I've kicked the habit. I can't guarantee I won't go back, but, for now, I'm done with applying a mask every morning. So it's back to being natural, with just a wee bit of mascara and a good coat of chapstick.

Do you find it hard to kick the foundation habit?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project Life: Week 10


Bah! I'm getting behind on my PL updates. I apologize to all of you waiting on the edge of your seats each week. It seems that I just have so much to gab about that I've let this project fall to the wayside. At least on the blog, anyway. In real life, I've been doing a fairly good job of keeping up with laying things out each week, which I've come to realize is really important. If I leave myself a couple weeks to catch up on, I lose track of what happened when and I tend to forget the fun little bits and pieces that I would otherwise mention on a journaling card.


Week 10 was spent entirely in the office, which is so totally unusual, since I've been working from home since November. If you recall, my internet was down for an entire week, so I had no other choice but to go to work like a normal person. (It was totally brutal putting pants on each morning, let me tell you!) The upside of leaving the house every day, though, was that I got to enjoy the amazing icicles that had formed on all the buildings in town, and I was also in the office when Jasper's fire chief came by to drop off a little gift for me—a Leatherman!! Too cool. Oh! And, on the Friday, when I finished my coffee, the stain in the bottom of my cup was in the shape of a heart. Gotta love it!





You might also recall the awesomeness of our upside down snowman. He was the best, wasn't he!? Week 10 was also the week of the cabane a sucre, International Women's Day and Tristan Overy's show—where he was giving out customized name tags with his characters on them! How awesome do they look in my spread!? I'm so stoked that Ian let me have his as well.

How's your PL album coming along?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Freak out

*Insert obligatory freak out over the death of Google Reader.*

(I assume said freak out looks a bit like this:) 

OK. Now that that's out of our systems, how about we all settle down and just venture over to Bloglovin? You can follow me there. I promise it will be pain free and you'll still get your daily (or almost daily) dose of that crazy face up there.

Phew. Crisis averted.

Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, March 22, 2013

Destiny and the universe

As someone who doesn't spend a lot of time with children, I often forget how insightful and smart they really are. I watched this video yesterday morning and was blown away. I was surprised in part by the nine-year-old boy's vocabulary and in part by his wisdom. When asked what the meaning of life is, he says, "The meaning of your life is what you make it—what you want your life to be. Nobody can decide what you will do except for you. You have control over yourself. You may not be lucky enough and the odds may be against you, but there is never a definite 'no' that you cannot do [something]."

At the moment, my life is a little crazy, with some big changes likely coming around the corner, so there really was no better time for me to see this video. Right now I need to remember the above sentiment and I need to live by it. I'll admit, I'm a bit terrified the odds will turn against me, but even if they do, I need to be true to myself and my own worth and I need to embrace change, whichever way it goes. (Sorry to be so vague. I'll fill you-all in when I've made my decisions.)

Anyway, that's enough of my ominous jibber-jabber. Go ahead, watch the video. 
I promise you won't regret it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What to Wear: floral


What to Wear is back and this week we've joined the cool kids by adding a link-up to the mix. Now it's easier than ever for anyone and everyone to take part in this little series of ours. All you need is the occasion and the date of our next post (which I'll fill you in on a wee bit later) and then you're ready to rock. But, wait! Before you get too excited and scroll straight to the bottom to find out the details, why not check out how I rock a floral skirt? I promise, this outfit is worth your time, friends.



When it came to picking this outfit, I decided to go with a skirt and tights that scream spring, since, well, you know, it's SPRING!! I love dressing for spring. It's all about bright, cheery colours... and floral, of course. I adore this skirt. I bought it at Value Village the last time I was in Edmonton, and I'm so excited that it's spring, so I can finally wear it! It has tiny little flower blossoms and leaves on it. Too cute!




From top to bottom:
Tank top: Bluenotes
Cardigan: Value Village
Pin: Handcrafted by Suki from The Owl Club
Skirt: Value Village
Tights: Value Village
Shoes: Ardenes


Now, if you want to join the What to Wear party, link up with your own floral outfit. We'd love to see it. And if you can't make it this time around, we'll be back with What to Wear: to work on April 4. So, be sure to join us then!

Tell me, what are your thoughts on floral? Big flowers, little flowers or no flowers at all?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A ski day

So this is what the lifties see when I head up the mountain. It hasn't always been this way. In fact, the hat, moustache and sunglasses are new developments from Sunday's ski trip. You (and I) can thank Ian for the alterations. He personalized his own first, adding an afro and some other fun accessories and features.

I'm bummed to say I didn't have a single liftie mention my fancy shmancy pass. I blame their bad eyesight on the fact that there was a huge Marmot staff party the night before. Better luck next time, I guess.



Now, this is what I actually look like at the hill, all geared up in my matching coat, goggles and helmet. Yeah. I'm one of those girls. (If you could see my entire jacket, you would see there's a purple stripe and a black stripe. Matchy, matchy, matchy!)



We spent a good amount of the day on the bunny hills teaching Ian's best friend to ski. Scratch that, Ian was teaching him how to ski. I was basically just watching and giggling the whole time. "Pizza, french fry. Pizza, french fry. Stop! Turn. Ahhhh..."

That all sounds pretty dramatic, but Allan actually did a really awesome job. He had a rough start, falling in a really public, ungraceful way, but by the end of the day, he was ripping down the hill faster than me. It was fun to see him progress. I didn't spend the whole day with the boys, though. I had a couple of girlfriends on their boards, so I was able abandoned the bunny hill for some harder terrain that had me eating snow time and time again. (No joke, I fell more times on one run than I have in years of skiing!)

All in all, despite the falls and the sore legs, it was a good day. The weather was great. The snow was fluffy. The mountains were visible and the sky was blue. What more can you ask for?

Have you been out skiing this season?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An empty house (cute dog photos)


The lovely Lola left our humble abode on Sunday morning, leaving us to yet again relish in our freedom. I'll admit, during her stay, there were moments where I really enjoyed having her around, especially in the morning. She was a sneaky little lady, so she knew that as soon as Ian was out the door, she was welcome on the bed for snuggles with me. I also didn't mind having her snuggle up next to me while I was working on the couch. Basically, anytime she was in a snugly mood, I was all for having a dog. It was the other parts of being a dog owner that I didn't enjoy. The walking early in the morning and before bed. The picking up poo (ICK!). The playing for HOURS. The whining when you're too busy or too tired to play. The yelping when you hide the toys because you're just so done with having your arm pulled out of its socket.

Lola loved Ian. When no one would play with her, she'd end up on his lap while he played video games. Half the time, she'd even watch the screen.
Oh yeah... and then there were the really stressful incidents. Let me tell you, I could have lived without those. Curious? Long story short, she likes to herd cars and on Wednesday night she jumped over our balcony and was loose for an HOUR running after moving vehicles! It was 8 p.m., we had a pizza in the oven and we were expecting a chill evening of eating, laughing and hanging out. Well, things didn't turn out that way. Instead, I sprinted for the first time since high school track and field, and anytime I got near Lola, she would bolt off in the opposite direction, leaving us to jump in front of the vehicles she was attempting to herd by biting at their tires and running into their headlights. Not only was it totally stressful because, obviously, we didn't want this dog to get run over and die, it was also totally embarrassing. Ian kept saying, "It's not my dog. It's my friend's dog." He was basically begging everyone we encountered not to judge us as bad dog owners.

To catch her, we finally jumped in the car, drove toward her, opened the passenger door and called her name. Turns out she likes more than herding cars. She also likes riding in them. So, she hopped right in. What an adventure!

The other incident wasn't quite so traumatic or dramatic for that matter. It just involved her pulling the leash out of my hands and bolting. I managed to catch her that time, but when I did, I slipped on a piece of ice and smoked my lower back. Did I mention that happened on Saturday morning... after I had been out until 4:30 a.m. on Friday night. No. I didn't. Well, yeah... that happened, and I wasn't pleased.

Moral of the story: dogs aren't for me... unless there's a breed that only wants to cuddle.

**When I came home Sunday night after skiing all afternoon, I will admit, I did miss having Lola waiting for me at the door. And, there have been moments in the last two days where I've waited for the jingle of her collar in the hallway making its way to my side. But, despite those small things, I'm happy to be back to enjoying my freedom, I swear!**

Monday, March 18, 2013

Para-bevie: drink delivery from the sky


A couple weeks ago, while my girlfriends and I were checking out an art show, we got into a ridiculous and hilarious conversation about an untapped market in town: swim up bars. We pictured tourists swimming in any number of beautiful lakes in Jasper National Park this summer, thinking something along the lines of, "What I wouldn't give for a margarita right now" and then POW, there they are at an amazing bar without even having to leave the water. Brilliant, right!? We thought so.

But then we realized, "Oh yah, we live in a national park in Canada, not a resort in Mexico, so it would probably be frowned upon to sell liquor to people swimming in a lake, with really, really deep, made-for-drowning areas. (Can I assume the swim up bars in Mexico are limited to really shallow pools where all drinkers are able to stand up if they so choose?)

Now, despite our initial defeat, it didn't stop us from brainstorming. We asked ourselves, "how else can we make drinking in public easier in the park?" And then it dawned on us... drinks from the sky! Imagine this, you're parched, you're walking around and you're dying for a beverage and then suddenly an adorable little parachute comes drifting down and attached to it is your beverage of choice. Nice, right?



Enter para-bevie. I made this hot air balloon inspired drink delivery system as a birthday gift for one of my girlfriends last week. She had totally forgotten about the previously mentioned conversation, so she had a good laugh when I pulled this out from behind my back.

I have to admit, I'm pretty stoked with how it turned out. It perfectly fits a mini bottle of wine.

To make your own, check out this pattern (I enlarged the pieces by about a third). For my basket, unlike the one in the pattern, I hot glued felt around a plastic flower pot and then just used a needle to thread the twine through. The whole project took me about three hours to complete, which—considering I did all of the stitching by hand—is pretty good, I'd say.

Have you made any fun crafts lately?