Saturday, March 30, 2013

currently : a long, long weekend.

Photo from April 2012 - Point Pleasant Park

I hope you're all enjoying your long weekend so far! D & I escaped to the country for a few days of relaxation at his parents' place. I slept in until 9 this morning (!!) - which is somewhat rare because I usually wake up at 8 on weekends for doggie business. 

I have a fun details post coming up for you tomorrow with the little hints of Spring I've been spotting around here. For now, here's what I've been up to lately...


Drinking: The most bitter coffee I've ever tasted. I was maybe a little too excited to try out D's mom's new Keurig machine and was let down hard with the first sip - swamp water. She said it has something to do with their water supply, since they have a well and a softener. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I am a diva and bring my own bottle of city water when I come here. Because of that, I probably should have used it to make the coffee. Oh well!

The rest of this post will be less whiny. I promise!

Thankful for: Scoring things I want to buy, for free. A series of coincidences yesterday resulted in me acquiring three new things - two of which I planned on buying soon. I noticed a bunch of pill cases in the living room and mentioned that it reminded me that I needed to buy one. Sure enough, D's mom had one stashed that she wasn't using and offered it to me. All it needs is a good scrubbing and it'll be just like new.

Later on that night as we were talking about coffee, I mentioned that I was going to buy a little french press, so I could have some on weekends. And what does D's mom pull out of her armoire but a perfect stainless steel and glass press with a black handle - the exact colour and size I would have bought. Although I refused to take it several times, she insisted. She actually had never used it before and it had just been hidden away for the past few years. So lucky!

Thinking about: Going on vacation. Everyone I know is going or has recently been on a trip. I'm sure some of you are experiencing the same thing! My parents just got back from Cuba, my sister is going in May and my co-workers seem to be on a never-ending, rotating vacation schedule. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, but I am planning a trip with the ladies in my Dad's family in November. I haven't been down south in six years so I am very much looking forward to a fun, family trip. I can't even tell you how excited I am to be reunited with the Caribbean sea. I'm a mermaid at heart.

PS - I have a fun post of my bathing suit picks coming up soon!

Watching: The Killing. Once again we've been "binge-watching" a TV series on Netflix. Most nights we watch one or two episodes and we're now nearing the season finale of the first season. So much has happened this season and the last episode even had me tearing up, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it all works out. Have you ever watched it?

Wearing: Jeans on Fridays! With my new job, comes a new dress code. At my workplace, we have casual Fridays which I love. Since I've only been there four weeks, it's still a novelty to be able to wear jeans to work. I usually pair mine with a breezy button up and a cardigan or blazer. I try to keep it professional, but I get to have a little bit of fun with it. Do you have casual Fridays too? What do you wear? I'd love some ideas!

xx Janelle

**Props to Megan & Danielle for the post inspiration.

Monday, March 18, 2013

just try : first attempts at collage art

When I was in grade six I made collages on old wine bottles. Did any of you guys do that too? I thought I was so sophisticated. 

I gave one of my "art bottles" to my Nanny as a gift with a burgundy ribbon tied around it's neck and she still has it! I couldn't believe it when I spotted it on top of her kitchen cupboards. The pictures give quite an insight into 90s trends with an NYSYNC CD and some glitter nailpolish. Oh, and alongside words like style, love and pretty shoes is a carefully cut out photo of a tub of Cool Whip. Yep, I was a pretty typical eleven year old.

Anyway, that was the last thing I remember collaging... until this:
Sometime in May 2011, I hatched the idea that I was going to make a world map out of recycled magazine pages punched into little circles. Two years later and I am still working away at it. I shouldn't say working - as if it were actually in progress. I do it for an hour one day and then don't touch it again for 3 months. If I sit down to work on it, I have to commit to at least an hour, otherwise I spend more time setting up the circles than pasting them.

Last fall, I wanted to branch out a bit and explore collage outside of my map project. This was around the same time I discovered the incredibly talented, Patrick Bremer. And so, without too much thought I churned out this piece:

© Janelle @ Two Cups of Happy, 2012

Yep, cereal. I tried to make all of the colours "normal" inside the bowl and a bit technicolour on the outside, including blue milk! I ripped pieces by hand from old magazines and pasted them down with Mod Podge. I kept it pretty one dimensional with an aerial view and didn't get into shading very much. Keeping it simple on the first second try was a great idea. It was finished in two sessions and was fairly easy to put together.

Soon to follow was this next one, inspired by an old travel photo my parents took. You already had a sneak peek of it here.

© Janelle @ Two Cups of Happy, 2013

I took more time to plan this second one. I chose a scene I loved, sketched out a basic outline and decided to keep the colors muted like in the photo. The triangles around the edge were an impulsive choice, but I actually like how they extend the borders of the scene and give it some continuation.

There are some mistakes in these that seem to glare at me (esp. in the last one), but I am learning to appreciate each piece for what it is. They're the result of a challenge. And I have to say, I'm a little proud of that last one. It's not terrible! Sometimes I surprise myself when I just try.
What's one creative thing you've always wanted to try but were a little intimidated? Crafty/artsy/DIY or whatever... Let me know in the comments!

xx Janelle

Thursday, March 14, 2013

a good day : all the little things

I don't really have a picture to go with today's post, so hope you don't mind the random one above.

How was your Thursday? Are any of you still reeling from the time change, like me? A lot of the girls at work have said that they've been feeling extra tired this year. I can't decide if I think everyone is having a harder time adjusting this year or if we just forget how it affects us each year. I'm not trying to be negative, just something I noticed.

Anyway, despite sleeping through my alarm once again and almost missing my bus, I had a pretty good day. Here are some little things that made it special:

- As I stepped onto our front stoop to take Abby out for her morning business, I noticed a five dollar bill plastered to the wood. It must have fallen out of one of our neighbour's pockets during the rain. You can bet I bent right over and picked up the sopping wet bill and put it in my pocket. Since we do have a few neighbours that use that door, I'm not sure who it belongs to so I think I'll keep it. Is that bad (karma)?

- I got to see the cutest little boy at work today. Every kid I see is the cutest. #babyfeverallthetime. He was waiting with his mom and he dropped his tiny blue eater egg on the ground - or so I thought. When I picked it up and gave it back to him, he tossed it once again. And then I gave it to his mom. C'mon little one, I'm smarter than that... But you're just too cute.

- Follies at the dog park again tonight. There was a whole pack of them tonight. They drank a lot of puddle water, ate a lot of sticks and spent the majority of the time marking their territory. That pretty much sums it up!

- My hairdresser is awesome. It took a long time for me to find her and now I won't let anyone else touch my hair. She's the first person I ever let colour my hair when I got ombre last Dec. Today I just got a little trim, but it feels really good.

- After my appointment, I got to catch up with a friend of mine, who is like a sister to me at Humani-T, a cafe downtown. We kind of have a bit of a history: Our moms were best friends in high school, lost touch in college and then reconnected when they were pregnant. They are a family of three girls and then there is me and my sister and brother. We used to go camping every year for a week since we were in diapers, so they truly feel like family. I feel like I can be 100% myself around her and we can talk about all of the family stuff and we just get it, you know what I mean? It's always nice to chat with her... I enjoyed it very much. And I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich.

- Oh, and I started a new book today, Before I Go to Sleep. So far, the first ten pages are very intriguing and remind me quite a bit of the Notebook, but it's a thriller, not a romance so I know the tables will turn. I'm already thinking about what might happen, so that's a good sign. Have you read it?

So this post is a bit random, I suppose, but I like to keep track of the small, simple pleasures. It helps keep me optimistic and I truly believe that positivity breeds good things.

I hope you all have a great Friday, whether your at work, school, home or traveling. Be safe!

xx Janelle

Monday, March 11, 2013

mondays are for quick suppers & dog park adventures

I have news! Usually, I keep all work info off the blog, but I'm ready to share just a little bit. I started a new job in Education Coordination! I accepted the position at the end of January, but only started two weeks ago. I'm not going to spill all the details, but I am very happy with my new position and I think that it was a smart decision.

One of the perks of my new job is that I get home at 5, instead of 5:30 which gives me a little extra time to get supper ready or... get caught up on all the blogs that went up during the day. Today we had some hamburger left over from our burritos last night and we had big plans for it. Nachos.

Complete with dairy-free cheese. My belly thanked me. And it was ready in less than twenty minutes!

Although all I wanted to do after eating half a pan of nachos was curl up in the fetal position, D suggested taking advantage of the extra daylight (thank you, DST) by bringing Abs to the off-leash park. So, I dragged my lazy butt off the couch and off we went.

Lately we haven't had much luck at the dog park. This past weekend we went up two or three times, but there just weren't any dogs for Abby to romp with. I think people may have been avoiding it, since the field was/is full of mud, muck and dirt.

Oh, but tonight there were no less than five (!!) dogs for her to play with. She had a blast. A big muddy, blast. She is really making progress with her recall training and she comes more often than not when we call her. We are so happy for that. She has come a long way! I couldn't stop talking about what a good girl she was being...

After she got a little spray down with a waterbottle and a towel off, she polished off her food. Too busy to even look up for the paparazzi. Divaaa.

To get warmed up from our walk, I grabbed a hot drink and cuddled up on the couch with D. While he watched the newest episode of Walking Dead, I hurried through as much of the last few chapters of The Rainbow Troops as I could. It's due back at the library on Wednesday and I still have about 60 pages to finish tomorrow... It's doable. Sometimes I can get through a chapter or two on my commute, since the chapters are only about 5 pages long max.

On the right is my current bookmark. It's a photo of me and my mom at the beach near our house when I was a little one. Check out our eighties style.

And we topped our night off by doing some dishes. We live a wild life of adventure.

I hope your Monday went well. The hardest day of the week is over! That's something to celebrate.

xx Janelle