Goal: To bake homemade bread

On my to-do list this year is to make homemade bread. Hannah's photos and step-by-step instructions for crusty white bread, baked in a cast iron pan, might be the motivation I need. Hmm - good bread.
(Photo + inspiration via honey & jam)


Birthday weekend

The Hub and I played hooky to celebrate the start to my birthday weekend. Mimosas and poached egg-bacon sandies on the freshest chiabata. A funny homemade card alongside a potted gerbia daisy and two milk chocolate bars. We went to Canatera Park in hopes I could skate on the pond but the ice looked a little dodgey. I indulged @ Adora Day Spa while the Hub drank pints and watched the men's Australian Open semi-final. Tonight - Italian indulgence in Point Edward at the much reputed Salvatores' - there is no menu but you are brought heaps of fresh-made pasta. Oh, and we bought each other handmade moccasins from the Aboriginal gift shop.

And tomorrow, my dear friend Lindz descends for some cross-border shopping.

I am so lucky. Happy Birthday to ME.


Travel daydreaming: Dunton Hot Springs

In seven years, my university girlfriends - The Brushcuts - and I are planning to take a fabulous trip together to celebrate our fortieth year. Lots of time to save and decide where we would like to meet up - somewhere between Canada and Australia. Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado looks absolutely breathtaking - and so rugged and rustic at the same time. Plus, it's located in a place called "Dolores" which is my mother's fabulous 1950s-inspired name.


Wish list

I was at the Sarnia Library tonight hoping that the quietness would help me focus on a freelance project. Unfortunately, they have such an extensive magazine collection, I got caught up in the glossy pages of a couple of publications. Now on my wish list are subscriptions to Sunset Magazine and Yoga Journal. While I appreciate the convenience and zero-cost nature to online editions, it's no substitute for the printed page.


An ideal wardrobe

My Toronto girlfriend Lindz is coming down to Sarnia to help celebrate my birthday this weekend. On our list of birthday to-do's is a cross-border trip to the stores at Birch Run Outlet Mall. I'm hoping to add some essentials to my ideal wardrobe list. Above are photos of pieces that appeal to me but they were collected two years ago so unfortunately, I don't remember the source for most.


Savour...it's Sunday

The Hub is home and we had a lazy start to the day - and he cooked me up a lovely breakie of poached eggs, spinach, mini-tomates and breakfast sausage from the Market. I'm glad he is home. Off to tea with the Sarnia lifesaver and some antiquing - and then a three-hour pit stop @ the library so I can finally get my freelance assignment completed. Hopefully there will be a few good hours to savour before the start of another work week.

Images of gray bedrooms from Apartment Therapy. The middle one is my favourite.


Relax...it's Saturday

Saturday morning spent buying local goodness @ the Farmers' Market and trinkets @ the Goodwill, and then a massage with Amanda @ In Motion (my shoulder and neck are already starting to feel better after two sessions). A skinny vanilla decaf latte and a breakfast croissant with poached egg, tomatoes and spinach. Plans made for antiquing tomorrow morning with my Sarnia lifesaver Chris. And a call that the Hub is coming home tonight and not tomorrow.

I want to snuggle up in my bed and relax but a looming freelance deadline propels me to my computer. {sigh}.


Bounce...it's Friday!

Yipee! The weekend is finally here. It's been a busy week @ work and the Hub has been in T.O. since Tuesday night for training. I thought I would have the evening hours to relish in my own craftiness but my tank engine emptied early on. Going to enjoy a me-date tonight with a bowl of popcorn and Paul Newman in the Hustler. Enjoy the weekend.
(Photo via courtneydawn)


four-month mark

On this day, five months ago, I said "I do" at Nebesa.


the 2010 list

Thirty-3 goals for a new + 33rd year

Hangovers from 2009 that I think are worth putting down again this year include:

1. Bake homemade bread at least once

2. Move out of Sarnia

3. Organize movie nights in honour of New Zealand, Bangladesh and Paul Newman

4. Continue to stretch my shoulder and arm to wellness

5. Make a NZ rock mat

6. Crosswords @ night

7. One me-date per week

And new ones:

8. Start saving for the Girls’ 40 – seven years to do it

9. Only take the trips I really want to with the people I really want to be with – it’s not worth going somewhere with someone just because I think I should

10. Celebrate the 19th every month

11. Get the wedding albums completed and a print blown up for the house

12. Frame our remaining prints – Croatia and the B.C. stones

13. Reinstate the ‘Friend’ Jar

14. Hope that it snows again so I can cross-country ski and snowboard @ least once more

15. Reduce the dairy

16. Stay committed to running and swimming and yoga

17. Try to explore Kundalini on a deeper level or auyverdic medicine

18. Another article published

19. Surprise Jasmine @ least once this year

20. Go to a wicked out door concert

21. Make a point of relaxing with the Hub

22. Read a book a month

23. Start a favourite phrase and word book

24. Homemade wedding gifts

25. More phone and less e-mail

26. Chip away at laser eye saving

27. Chip away at the ideal wardrobe list

28. Honour Adie, Jaye, Em, Kate and Jobu

29. Make a birthday calendar

30. Practice my rhythm with the Hub outdoors during the warm weather

31. Take the Hub to the cottage as much as possible to windsurf

32. Give energy and care to myself

33. Indulge in massage as much as I can afford


the 2009 list

Fly-by. That's this week's theme with work-work, freelance-work, tea with my Sarnia lifesaver, the treadmill and meetings. But now it's Friday night. The Hub and I watched The Cove (and I also multi-tasked with laundry, dinner, belated Christmas gifts and weekend plans). We are in bed with the Hub tucked into 'his spot' (which is the crook of my right arm) and I'm finally opening my neglected journal. The last entry dates August 16, 2009 and I'm ashamed at my neglect of the pen. The Hub asked if I would promise to pick it up more often, to return to my daily practice, and I asked back: where do I find the time? I just need to make it...

...so in review of 2009, when on January 4, I set 32 goals for my 32nd year...this is how I did:

1. I got my EU passport
2. I cross-country skied once a month (while there was snow)
3. I savoured homemade soups and stews
4. I continued to run and swim
5. I painted my toes and waxed my eyebrows (consistently)
6. I continued to stretch my arm and shoulder to wellness
7. I ran my second half-marathon
8. WE GOT MARRIED in an intimate celebration of two in Europe
9. I started this blog
10. I saved our empties money and made a donation to a local food bank
11. I made lots of homemade jam - blueberry and raspberry
12. I borrowed books from the library
13. I made a mix CD for Jasmine (but not Peter)
15. We saved lots of money (because of living in Sarnia)
16. I had many fun visits with Jasmine and Rio
17. I actually got prints from all our digital photos made
18. I indulged in massage as much as I could afford to
19. I laughed with my girls

What didn't get experienced:

20. I stopped taking myself out on Artists' Dates (about August of last year)
21. I stopped exploring rewarding career opportunities
22. My 'Bounce' manuscript is in a drawer
23. The second 'level' coat rack never got assembled (but I bought the old level and brass hooks)
23. I don't do a crossword a night as I use to
24. I didn't watch any Paul Newman movies
25. While the old dresser was bought, I never refinished it in the spring b/c of lack of space
26. The NZ rock mat still hasn't been made
27. I haven't organized an India movie night with my Bangladeshi photos
28. I haven't organized a NZ movie night
29. I haven't attempted to bake homemade bread
30. We are still in Sarnia (21 months and counting...)
31. There isn't a morning ritual of writing and warm lemon water....

...but there is another year. Welcome to 2010.
(print by MaryKateMcDevitt via Mint)


Sarnia hair salons

On our downtown neighbourhood walks, it’s hard not to notice the plethora of hair salons with play-on-word names: Hairizona, Hair It’s At, Hairmoves, The Hair Stop, Hair Sculptors, Head Office, Tanglz, Cutting Cabin and my personal fave…Psycho-hairapy. {Giggle}.

The names all have an 80s’esque feel and I can only imagine what kind of cut I’d end up with if I dared to get one in Sarnia.

(Picture via nicholasnova)


No. 13

Drink boozy eggnog.

mandy's craft studio - part two

mandy's craft studio - part one

No. 11

Take pictures of all our winter outings. Here is one of the mailbox at the end of the lane way of the rented farmhouse in the Eastern Townships.

Christmas morning

We created our own Christmas tree with cedar clippings and a ceramic water pitcher at the rented farmhouse in the Eastern Townships. The Hub was surprised by the perpetual calendar; I ordered it from Lucky Little Dot. A protein-packed breakfast to energize us for a day on the slopes.


lost and found

I'm hoping the lost mitten fairy was watching over me tonight as I fumbled with all my gym gear, struggling to race out of my car and into the gym. I lost one of my brand new leather mittens - for my right hand - just six days old. Maybe this is a message that I need to slow down already?

a new year

It's my favourite month of the year and a new year at that. January is making lists, starting out on some new projects, celebrating my birthday, enjoying the snow and cross-country skiis.

Over the next couple of days I'll be posting some photos from our Eastern Township holiday escape and sharing my 2010 grow and enjoy list.
(Illustration by Julia Rothman via Design Sponge)