Tuesday, July 30, 2013

etsy finds | nautical by nature

I don't often browse through Etsy. Oh, but when I do, I always find stuff I like. Lately, I've come across some pretty little shops via blogs and BRIKA - a curated online marketplace. Full post on BRIKA to come later!

After collecting the names of shops to check out, I finally made time to browse. My favorite items were these mostly eco-friendly, unintentionally nautical pieces. 

Something wearable for you, for your furry friend and two blue hand-lettered pieces of art for your home. 

1. tank | bark decor | $27.40 CAD
2. original watercolour | laura frances designs | $42.16 CAD
3. throw pillow | brightjuly | $57.97 CAD
4. rope leash | RESQ/CO | $52.70 CAD

Do you have any favorite Etsy shops? 

A few local sellers I love are Thief&Bandit (screenprinted goodies), Sarah Phelps Creative (bright, eye-catching, clean design cards) & My Handbound Books (got my sister a mini silver notebook from here last Christmas. it was so soft.).

Happy not-Monday!
xx Janelle

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

currently | frivolous with a side of serious

Now seems like a good time for a little life update. Want to come and virtually sit with me for a minute?

Listening to | Can't Hold Us. I know this Macklemore song came out a few months ago, but I was a bit late to the game. This has been my morning jam lately. I first thought John Legend was the featured artist, but it's Ray Dalton who has that smooth, soulful sound. I need to look up more of his other work. Fun fact: He used to be a gospel singer.

Craving | Anything from Humani-T Cafe. Can I just live there? Or better yet, can their chef come live with me? My current favorite treat is an iced vanilla soy latte. I gulped mine down in less than ten minutes last time. So yummy. It was the first time I had tried an iced latte and I'm already dreaming of my next one.

Yesterday I had their African Peanut Stew and was pleasantly surprised. I have a go-to recipe for this soup, so I was worried it would taste "off" to me, you know what I mean? Thankfully, the flavour was completely different from my recipe and I loved it! It had just the right amount of spice and had big pieces of sweet potato and celery.

Procrastinating | on a project. I've been pretty creatively productive lately - ever since I took a night class at NSCAD in the Spring. But, I've been slow to make progress on a new creative expression program I'm building. More to come on this in a few months... I can't wait to share more with you.

Wishing | I could sleep better. A few situational factors have resulted in me sleeping a little over half of what I normally would. Yesterday I survived the afternoon on chai and a dark chocolate energy boost around 3:00. I trained myself to love the dark, smooth bars by Lindt. Right now I'm loving the 70% plain, but the one with almonds in it is also worth stealing from your coworkers treat drawer. Not that I would ever do that.

Thinking about | how to truly acknowledge and more importantly, dissect white privilege. I thought I understood the term before, but I didn't. Last week, I read this post about how to be an anti-racist ally and could not stop thinking about it. The article is very accessible and it helped me recognize a few areas which I needed - and still need to - read up on. 

Although I have been involved in diverse community groups for some time, only now do I realize my own limitations in facilitating diversity workshops. It may sound obvious but as a White person I will never be able to understand what it is like to live as a person of colour. I can assume, carefully listen to others' experiences, read every existing journal article on racism, and even empathize but I will never truly know. This is the very first step to humility. Baby steps.

In the same way, confronting my own biases and prejudices is a never-ending process. It can be uncomfortable at times, but is so necessary. There is still so much I need to learn about diversity, racism and how to advocate respectfully and appropriately for and alongside those who are systemically oppressed. With time and patience...

Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate you stopping by and reading my rants and rambles. Especially when they are about things that are so important to me.

xx Janelle

Post idea credit to Dani at Sometimes Sweet.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a birthday pool party

This is where I spent most of my day Saturday and it was heavenly. 

Last Wednesday was D's niece's 10th birthday and next Wednesday is his nephew's 4th birthday, so their parents threw a joint pool party for friends and family. 

I had been looking forward to some time in the water, since we're not able to get to the beach for lack of a vehicle and I'm practically a mermaid. Being away from the water just feels weird to me. I was born near the ocean and plan to leave near it always. 

Although I now think I'm inseperable from the sea, or any water really, it wasn't always this way. When I was about five or six years old, I spent the first 4 weeks of swimming lessons on the side of the pool. Crying. My parents persisted though, and I went on to finish all levels. My mom can't swim and for this reason she was determined to make sure we could. It worked, Mom!

Back to the party: When we first got there, the kids were in the pool, but they quickly came out to fill their hungry bellies with hotdogs, hamburgers and cake - of course! Soon after the younger one (let's call him C) opened his presents, we hopped in the pool. By default (as the oldest person in the pool area) I was appointed the unofficial lifeguard/babysitter/water-gun police. At this point, I was lucky enough to be befriended by the most talkative, adorable, energetic four year old. She wanted me to catch her every single time she jumped in and was my shadow for the next hour or so. And..... cue baby fever.

1 | D being climbed on, as usual
2 | me keeping an eye out
3 | C telling begging us to spray him in the face with his water gun. no fear...

All in all, it was a perfect summer day. A little BBQ, a little swimming and a lot of sunshine. Hope you all had a great weekend!

xx Janelle

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

summer intentions | less of this and more of that


Okay, so remember a month ago when I posted about wanting to cut down on clutter in the apartment? Well, I still haven't made much progress. Here come the excuses - brace yourselves! I've been either hosting guests (both family & friends) or away for each of the last 4-5 weekends. This doesn't exactly leave me with much energy during weeknights to decide whether or not I can live without my flower-y boxer shorts from high school. Spoiler alert: I can't!

Sometimes when people try to live with less, others tend to focus on what they're doing without, what they're giving up. We're not buying anymore clothes. Spending freeze. Less is more. Give it away! Purge it ALL. This man only owns 55 things. No really, he does. 

But at its core, minimalism is centered on what you gain. It's about having more. For me, the desire to get rid of some stuff and monitor what comes into my apartment comes from wanting more space, physically and mentally. I'm easily distracted - especially by shiny and/or sparkly things - and so leaving room for some empty space in my home leaves me room to think and create. To spread o u t but also to get out. Less stuff in a smaller home means less time spent cleaning/organizing and more time doing. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather be free to gallivant around on an unusually nice day instead of trying to make sense of pile of clothes ready to morph into a blob of some sort. 

In keeping with this theme, I made a list (surprise!) of what I want less of this summer and this lead to another list of what I want more of. Want to see?

Do any of you ever feel that wanting less leads you experience more? What do you want to do more of this summer? Read, swim, craft, travel? I'd love to know.

As always, thanks for reading.

xx Janelle