Friday, December 28, 2012

these two

D & Abs couldn't drive up because of the winter storm that hit the Maritimes last night/today. This means I am without them until Monday when we will meet in Moncton for New Year's Eve. I am enjoying spending time with family but I feel like a part of me is in Nova Scotia. I keep thinking I'm forgetting to take the dog out, but D is being a "single [dog] dad" for now. I keep denying that I treat my dog like my baby, but I think the joke is on me...

My new toy kept me busy this afternoon - I got the Bamboo Create tablet for Christmas. Now I can add my handwriting to my photos. So you can expect to see a sequence of photos with quotes or sayings on them in the future. I'm exploring graphic design with baby steps. There is definitely a steep learning curve, but I can't wait to practice more. The picture you see above is the result of a large number of tries.

I hope you're all doing well.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas & a virtual hug

I hope Santa found you and that you're all enjoying time with family and loved ones today. We hosted our annual Christmas Eve celebration and are hosting Christmas dinner in about an hour or so. I'm hoping my man and Abby-dog will be able to come up for the weekend, but a storm is brewing. Northern NB always gets hit hard with snow around this time of year, and 30cm is nothing to laugh at. We're trying to work something out so that we can keep our plans to celebrate New Year's Eve in Moncton with some of our closest friends.

Speaking of friends, a big congratulations to my "sucia" Em & her new fiance (!!) on their engagement yesterday. To quote my favorite Christmas movie, love really is all around.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

4 Step DIY Glitter Garland - with no mess!

When I posted my Christmas decor sneak peek a few weeks ago, I had no idea what to do with the supplies. All I had was a colour scheme, paper, some ribbon and a strict budget. Inspired by the image of "c'est noel" posted on someone's front door, I decided to make a glitter garland with the same expression.

I grew up in a French town in New Brunswick and my father's parents are/were Francophone so we have always kept traditions, customs and carols from our French culture. Apparently, my French spelling skills need some practice though, because on my banner the two little dots are supposed to be over the E and not the O. Oops! This year, I decided that I would like to try to work this into our own (me & D's) celebrations and what better place to start, than with decorating? 

The trick to keeping this glitter craft mess-free is to use pre-made glitter paper, instead of gluing loose glitter to plain paper. I bought a large sheet of gold glittery gift wrap (made by the adorable Rifle Paper Co) from my favorite local stationery store Duly Noted. Rifle Paper Co doesn't seem to be carrying any in their online shop at the moment, but you can find some at Paper Source or at your local paper shop. Read on for instructions!

Step 1: Once you've decided on your words or expression, make template letters out of bristol board or cardstock. 

Step 2: Trace templates on the backside of your glitter paper. Remember to place them backwards, so that they read properly when turned around!

Step 3: Glue glittery letters to templates.

Step 4: Measure your ribbon to fit the wall or doorway where you want to hang it. Starting at the center, tape letters to the ribbon.

Hang it up and you're done! I've found that it hangs well if you leave a bit of slack between the letters and while hanging it. The garland may take a bit of time to make, but the best part is that you can use it over and over. In January, I'll pop mine in a Ziplock bag to keep it safe until next Christmas.

If you want to add a 3D star, like I did, this tutorial by Grey Luster Girl is handy. Why buy one when they're so easy to make? I only made one piece and not two, like she did. Just sketch or trace a star on the back of a piece of thick cardstock or heavy paper, then draw a line connecting each point to the opposite side, as if you were going to fold it in half. Then score along the lines you drew on the backside of the paper using a ruler and a butter knife. Then just fold each point individually. I hung mine with fishing line so it looked like it was suspended in thin air. Magic!

Sidenote: After I made my garland, I came across this Lauren Conrad tutorial for a similar one using a different method.

What do you think of the garland phase in the blogworld? Have you ever made one? If so, feel free to link it up in the comments.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

stormed in?

Today was an unexpected day. A big kicker of a storm put a wrench in my travel plans, which meant that I suddenly had an extra day with nothing to do. So, I did stuff. I'm a Maritimer. No storm is going to keep me inside.

Abby needed to go get a routine "procedure" at the vet, so I called to see if they had an opening and two people had cancelled because of the weather. Around ten, I bundled up, zipped up my rain coat, pulled on my rubber boots and we were on our way through the rain, snow and slush to the vet's. I think it's quite amazing how in the span of ten minutes, the weather in Halifax can pass through almost every type of precipitation/cloud cover. Oh, and top it all off with some heavy winds. It's not so fun to walk through, but I do enjoy listening to a good storm rage while I'm inside under the covers.

Once I was back inside, I took a few photos of myself hoping you would be able to see how cozy I was in my gray sweater, favorite heart shirt and sweats but they turned out blurry. This was the best one. Here's what I look like with my hair up while I'm loungin.

After a bit of blog browsing, I followed through on my plans to bake some cookies. Some to bring to my family's home, some to give to D for his parents. Okay, a lot to bring home - probably about 30 cookies. I made a double batch!

Once all of the cookies had come out of the oven, I set out again to pick up my brother's gift from a local shop. While downtown, I also swung by the library to pick up a few books for the slow moments while at home.

Tonight, once D came back from work, I decided to finish up the rest of my wrapping. I'm happy with how it turned out. We had the snowflake wrap left over from last year and I bought a couple of rolls of kraft paper, some washi tape and some teal ribbon to go with my Christmas colour scheme. I didn't have any gift tags, so I just cut some letters out of card stock and wrote my nickname on them. Done and done!

I tackled my wrapping in three short spurts. Although I confessed to enjoying wrapping last week, it still takes a bit of time to get the packages ready with all the embellishments, tags, bows and ribbon. Time well spent though, it was fun.

What did you guys do today? Any holiday adventures?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Currently | the holiday homestretch

a pic from an october training session

Watching: Nothing right at the moment. I am very much looking forward to watching Dexter later on tonight though. I won't spoil it for you, but the past few episodes have been picking up. Shit is gonna go down very soon and I can't wait to see how it will play out.

I've also started watching the Mindy Project (Canadian friends can watch here!) and am hooked. Mindy Kaling (aka Kelly Kapoor from the Office) plays a bubbly, ditzy private-practice gyno living the single life. To be honest, the first few episodes are not so great. Stick it out though! Episode 4-6 are laugh-out-loud funny - this coming from a girl who rarely laughs during TV shows. I rewound the opening scene of episode 7 an embarrassing amount of times. Even D watched a few episodes with my friend, C & I.

Listening to: All Ellie Goulding, all the time. I can't help myself. Her new album, Halcyon, is really, really good. Figure 8 is the best song on the album, I think, with Hanging On (ft. Tinie Tempah) a close second. I like the tone of her voice and how she uses it as an instrument in many of her songs.

I'm also enjoying Nicki Minaj & Cassie's new collaboration Boys. It makes me want to get my ass back to hip-hop class.

Planning: Christmas gifts! I love shopping for other people, more than I like shopping for myself. Today I took advantage of my lunch break to pick up a few things for my sister downtown. I have my mom & brother left to buy for and then I'm done.

My favorite part of the gift-giving is wrapping. I miss working in retail for that very reason. I once wrapped 100 ornaments in one day - and loved every second of it. Anyone need help wrapping? Haha. This year I'm going to do kraft paper wrap with gold glitter tags & teal ribbon to tie in with my decorations. No one notices these things, but I do it just for myself!

Thinking about: Work stuff. There are some pretty big changes going on right now and I'm trying to tie up loose ends before our last day of 2012. Lots to do, but it makes the days go by quickly. I can't complain.
Reading: In The Falling Snow by Caryl Phillips, a novel on race, family and love set in Britain. I'm not quite a quarter of the way through but I'm invested in the main character already. In the most recent chapter, the protagonist is asked to take a leave of absence from his job in the public sector. He put an end to a romantic fling with one of his employees and as a result, she forwarded all of their personal (ie. explicit) emails to everyone in their department. I now realize that this makes it sound like a cheap romance novel, but it's not at all. The novel serves to examine the complexities of interracial relationships and how they can test familial loyalties.

Making me happy: Being cozy. Now is the time of year when I crave comfort. Give me a meatpie & some wool socks and I'm set. I spent last Saturday night curled up on the couch with my Christmas pajamas on, S'mores hot chocolate in a tree mug, a fluffy blanket, my dog at my feet and some candles. It was so relaxing, just what I needed.

There is nothing I love more than coming home on a rainy/snowy blustery night and putting on some warm sweats or leggings and cozying up on the couch. As much as I say summer is my favorite season, I love the Fall/Winter, before it gets too cold. Just chilly enough to make me appreciate my nice, warm bed and a hot drink.

What have you been up to lately? Have you been enjoying any snuggly nights at home?

Thanks to Danielle @ Sometimes Sweet & Megan @ meganislove for the post idea!