California Adventures: Pismo Beach

June 14, 2019


When we started planning our trip to California, I had grand dreams of landing in San Francisco and driving along the coastal highway. But sometimes money is an object and you've got to adjust those dreams. My mom mentioned that when she visited California for my aunt and uncle's wedding, they made a stop at a place called Pismo Beach and she absolutely loved it there, so we decided to check it out. We thought it would be the perfect location to introduce our son to the ocean and a great place to act as home base while exploring the California coast.

While the weather wasn't as perfect as we had hoped it would be, we enjoyed walking along the beach near our hotel (which was absolutely lovely) every day, got some amazing family photos on the beach from local photographer Austyn Elizabeth, and it wasn't too far to drive along the coast to Big Sur (more on that later) from there. We also really enjoyed the drive to Pismo Beach (more on that later too), and really wish that we had had more time to explore California as a whole. Like I said in the post about Los Angeles, we will be back!
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Shop Update: Simply the Best T-shirts and Pride Month

June 05, 2019


The David and Patrick shirts are always available in the shop, and proceeds from each sale of the shirt will always be donated to OUTSaskatoon, but for the entire month of June, all profits from the sale of the Simply the Best t-shirt will be donated.

OUTSaskatoon provides opportunities to develop social connections and community support through social groups and events, counseling and psychiatry, educational training for local businesses, schools (including educators and administrators) and health care professionals, as well as the Pride Home, Canada's first long-term care home for LGBTQ2S+ youth, among many other things.

In his Canadian Screen Awards speech upon winning the award for Best Comedy Series, Dan Levy said “In Schitt’s Creek, we are writing a world that examines the transformational effects of love when the threat of hate and intolerance has been removed from the equation. And while that’s not a reality for many, our goal is to shine a light out there that asks the question: ‘What if it was?’ Wouldn’t we all be happier if we were able to love out loud?”

Inspired by what Dan and Eugene Levy created for CBC (a national network funded by the Government of Canada), the drawing on this shirt was created out of love for a show that has opened so many doors and windows for so many people across this country and around the world. They have created something beyond special with Schitt's Creek.


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Behind the Art: You Helped Make Me Who I Am

May 30, 2019


While this card could be applied to anyone, I originally made it for my dad for the first Father's Day after I opened up the shop (8 years ago!). My dad was a computer programmer while I was growing up, but his passion was always working with carpentry tools: building things, or fixing something (he made the boxes that I use for my shop display at handmade markets). Now that he is retired he finally gets to do the work that he loves so much every day!


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California Adventures: Los Angeles

May 28, 2019


Our time in Los Angeles was too short, and this blog post would be too long if I showed you all of the amazing art work that we got to see at LACMA. I was unbelievably pumped to see an original Kandinsky (several, in fact), along with The Treachery of Images from Rene Magritte. I got as close to that pipe as I could without getting in trouble to be able to see the brush strokes (swoon). There was also this incredible structure that had car tracks and train tracks all around it where cars just swerved, swooped, and circled around structures made out of tile, metal and glass. It was like a massive Hot Wheels track, and it was mesmerizing! The first several images in my Caliventures stories on my Instagram have a lot more artwork that I saw.

We also explored the area where we were staying. The first image in this post is the view from our hotel window. It was stunning. One of the things that I really enjoyed about California was the flora. A mixture of cacti, bushes, trees (the cypresses were my favourite) and flowers. I loved the massive hedges around some of the houses and the trees with the purple flowers. It really was a beautiful place with a calming effect, and I really wish that we had had more time to explore, but I know that we will be back!



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What We Love: Spring 2019

May 19, 2019


While the Puma's that I've been sporting would be classified as "vintage", these pink sneakers are the closest thing to what I've got, I've been loooving them this Spring. It's not quite warm enough to have my toes or the top of my foot exposed, but they look super cute with my jeans. In fact, I love them so much that I think I might go out and find another cute pair of sneakers to start rotating with the ones I've already got.


I am really enjoying the Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack right now, including this song from Post Malone and Swae Lee. As I've mentioned in the past, I'm a huge fan of a solid beat and this song has a good one that gives me the 80s teen movie vibe, along with some beautiful harmonious vocal work.


In an attempt to by more conscious of what I'm purchasing and not just throwing away a shirt because it has a hole in it, I've been trying to find fun patches to put on the holes in my shirts. I've got my eyes on this cute little fry patch from the shop Silly Rice. They have a ton of super colourful, fun, sparkly patches!


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Shop Update: Schitt's Creek Inspired T-Shirts and Tank Tops (Simply the Best)

May 01, 2019


Guess what?!! I am so excited to be able to share with you that t-shirts and tank tops have joined the buttons with the art print of David and Patrick on them in the shop. They come in a variety of sizes, but are currently only available in white (unisex t-shirts and tank tops) and white fleck (women's sizes).

As with the pins, proceeds from the shirts will be donated to an amazing local organization for the LGBTQ2S+ community called OUTSaskatoon. They provide opportunities to develop social connections and community support through social groups and events, counseling and psychiatry, educational training for local businesses, schools (including educators and administrators) and health care professionals, and the Pride Home, Canada's first long-term care home for LGBTQ2S+ youth, among many other things.

Stay tuned for one more item that will be available, plus some exciting news for the month of June!

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Behind the Art: Bird on a Wire

April 29, 2019


As I'm sure you are aware, I am a huge fan of drawing penguins. There's a rather large selection of penguin themed items available in the shop, including this little art print I titled "Bird on a Wire". 

"Bird on a Wire" was inspired by the Pixar short "For the Birds", except that these little birds do not mind the penguin being with them at all, despite his obvious differences from their own appearances.

This print is one of my favourites, and, in fact, hangs in a collection of art in the hallway of my house.


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Now He Is 8

April 20, 2019


It is unbelievable, isn't it? Time seems to move so slowly, but then all of a sudden you are celebrating your child's 8th birthday and wondering what happened to that little two year-old fella that you snuggled in your arms only yesterday.

Looking at last year's post, I see a lot of physical changes. I mean, he still doesn't have all of his front teeth, but even the shape of his face has changed, and the colour of his hair is much darker than it used to be (I'm having to get used to the idea that I won't have a little blondie like me anymore). 

I also notice a lot of mental and emotional changes. He's gone from ready easier books with short stories, to reading chapter books. He loves telling jokes, and has developed a really fun sense of humour. He's still working on being thoughtful and putting others first, developing skills beyond being kind to someone by helping them out one time and understanding what it means to be a good friend for a long time (without expecting something in return).

This year has had it's struggles, and there have been so many developments that are probably him getting into that phase of life where other things are more important than family and I'm gonna fight with you about everything, but, like always, I'm excited to see where we are headed and what kind of guidance (and frustration) will be in the future.



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The Shop: Schitt's Creek Inspired Pin and OUTSaskatoon

April 16, 2019


In his Canadian Screen Awards speech upon winning the award for Best Comedy Series, Dan Levy said “In Schitt’s Creek, we are writing a world that examines the transformational effects of love when the threat of hate and intolerance has been removed from the equation. And while that’s not a reality for many, our goal is to shine a light out there that asks the question: ‘What if it was?’ Wouldn’t we all be happier if we were able to love out loud?”

Inspired by what Dan and Eugene Levy created for CBC (a national network funded by the Government of Canada), this pin was created out of love for a show that has opened so many doors and windows for so many people across this country and around the world. They have created something beyond special with Schitt's Creek.

When I first shared the drawing last year on Instagram, there were requests for t-shirts and art prints from people that shared the same sentiments as I do about the show. While there are definitely other plans in the works, these pins that Bayleaf Buttons put together for me are the first in the shop.

Now comes the exciting part!

Proceeds from the buttons (and anything else that joins them in the shop) will be donated to an amazing local organization for the LGBTQ2S+ community called OUTSaskatoon. They provide opportunities to develop social connections and community support through social groups and events, counseling and psychiatry, educational training for local businesses, schools (including educators and administrators) and health care professionals, and the Pride Home, Canada's first long-term care home for LGBTQ2S+ youth, among many other things.

It is important to use this artwork in a way that enhances at least a little bit of the love that has been shown on Schitt's Creek, as that is most definitely one of the most powerful uses of art.


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On The Hunt: The 5th Annual U of S Alumni Bunny Brunch & Egg Hunt

April 14, 2019


Every year I eagerly await the email from my alumni association letting me know that tickets are available for the Annual Bunny Brunch where alumni and their families get to enjoy time having food together and then watch their children hunt for eggs in the large outdoor space at the centre of multiple campus buildings that everyone refers to as The Bowl. It is such a popular even that if you do not get your tickets when the email arrives in your inbox, you are out of luck! 

We have not attended since the 2nd Annual Bunny Brunch in 2016. So this year when the email arrived in my inbox just as I was getting ready to leave work, I forwarded the email to my husband and asked him to purchase the tickets on my behalf. Our son was excited to be able to go back again, and even remembered the balloon animal that he requested last time -- a dinosaur.

This year he moved so quickly while collecting eggs that it was virtually impossible to catch him at it, and he loved the balloon bunny that he requested from Warren the Balloon Guy. As we left campus he asked if he could go to university there. I told him he was more than welcome! I hope that the Bunny Brunch will continue to be a tradition of ours, even if only sometimes.


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Behind the Art: Happy Mother's Day

March 26, 2019


I designed this Mother's Day card a couple of years ago when I felt like the shop needed a simple Mother's Day card that is direct beyond the ones that are a little more specific, and I was also going through a phase where I liked making flower wreaths and garlands (I still do! If I'm being honest).

I also used the flowers and design of this card to make an invitation for my second niece's baby shower. I love that it can be customized and used in so many different ways.


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Mexico 2019: The Excursions

March 17, 2019


Earlier this year, my friend and I took a trip to Los Cabos. While we were there, we did two excursions. The first one took us on a tour of San Jose del Cabo where we explored shops in the art district and learned about pearls that are found in the Sea of Cortez, and Cabo San Lucas where we had the most delicious lunch at a spot called Stop Light, explored a small area of shopping, watched glass blowers at work, and went on a water tour of the Sea of Cortez and saw the iconic Lovers Rock and a ton of Sea Lions.

The second excursion was a snorkeling trip that took us to a remote and quiet spot in the Sea of Cortez to explore fish and coral in the area. After we were done snorkeling, we were able to use paddle boards and kayaks. We were even lucky enough to see some Humpback Whales pop up before diving down to look for food. 




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Selecting a Child Care Provider: Trust Your Gut

March 10, 2019


I was recently asked if I had any advice on what to look for when visiting an early learning centre or day home. I told the parent to trust their gut. If something feels off, it probably is, even if you aren't able to put your finger on it.

My biggest piece of advice, after doing all of the research, making visits, and asking questions is that you don't go with a child care provider you aren't quite comfortable with just because it's closer to your work or your child's school, or because the cost is cheaper for you, or because your child has a friend that goes there, too. None of these are benefits when it comes to finding someone to look after your child. Absolutely none.

If you feel uncomfortable with leaving your child with a child care provider, and do so anyway because of one of these reasons, you are going to continue to feel uncomfortable and anxious. It is best to find someone you trust and have to pay a little more, or have to drive a little farther, because nothing is more important than the safety of your child.

If something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't. Don't feel bad about it either. Everyone has different feelings, and although some people might not have a problem with the same place that you are considering leaving your child, it doesn't mean that you won't. We all have different values and expectations, and you should find a child care provider that mirrors that. It doesn't mean that the places you are considering are filled with awful people or are a dirty environment (though you might encounter some of those), it just means that the provider that you are considering isn't the right fit for you. And that's okay!


For more information, check out these posts as well:
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Little Shop of ElleSee is 8!

March 03, 2019

Can you believe it? 

The shop is now 8 years old!

It's been quite the roller-coaster of growth, and I'm glad that you have been riding along with me. There are so many new and exciting things that are being planned this year that I can't wait to share with you (including a special birthday giveaway). 

I hope you will stick around for the rest of the ride!


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What We Love: Winter 2019

February 26, 2019

Bob the Husky Socks from Bath & Body Works

I'll be honest, I am not the biggest fan of socks. But as they are basically a necessity where I live in the winter, I suffer through them (the snagging on the heels is the wooorst). The socks my feet love best are those soft, velvety-like socks. I grabbed a pair of the shea-infused socks from Bath & Body works a few years ago, but with how cold it's been this winter, they have been my go-to comfy thing to put on when I get home from work.



When I first heard Traveling On by The Decemberists, my mind instantly went to the 60s with The Monkees and The Beatles. It is one of those songs that comes on in the car (thanks CBC), and gives me the perfect driving vibe. There are few songs for me that are the best kind of driving song (When the Levee Breaks and Sweet Emotion top the list), but this one is definitely right up there!


Bamboo Facial Pads from Picoti

Since becoming more conscious of the throw-away factor involved in cleaning my face at the end of the day (among other things we throw away), I have been eyeing up these beautiful bamboo facial pads from the shop Picoti. Not only are they washable, but they are way softer than the old washcloth that I've been using (we must be good to the delicate skin on our eyes!).

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Behind the Art: Dachshunds Rule

February 18, 2019


If I'm being honest, I thought it was a funny concept to have the body of a really long dog marked as a ruler. Of course the dog would have to be adorable (as all dogs are) and long. A Dachshund worked perfectly for the previously mentioned requirements, and the art print Dachshunds Rule was born!



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Mexico 2019: On the Resort

February 10, 2019


Back at the beginning of January, I took my first trip to Mexico. A friend and I stayed at RIU Santa Fe in Los Cabos and absolutely loved our time there. We lived by the pool, or on the beach, and just soaked up the sun while enjoying free drinks and delicious food (my favourite is the pico de gallo and nachos). 

When we weren't at the resort, we were out exploring Los Cabos either snorkeling and getting a tour of the Sea of Cortes, or in one of the cities (Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo). As you may recall from my trip to Hawaii a few years ago, I fell in love with the ocean and everything it taught me. I was cautious of the water in Cabo as it reminded me a lot of a place we swam in in Hawaii. We enjoyed letting it wash up onto our feet, but the pull of the water could be quite intense and tried to pull us along with it a few times. 

I love laying on the sand listening to the waves as much as I love being in the water, and wandering up and down the beach in search of seashells was an excellent workout. The beach is a peaceful place for me. What is your peaceful place?



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