DIY: Flag Sign

June 30, 2014
I made a little flag for my shop sign for Flock & Gather using this tutorial on how to draw a flag. It was super simple to follow -- just make sure you sketch it out in pencil first. The only tricky part was figuring out how to split up the word shop so that the flag still looked like it was flowing in the wind.

Once I had finished drawing the sign I glued it to a shishkebab skewer by wrapping the paper around the skewer and holding it in place with mini-clothes pins while the glue dried. It's as easy as that!


Listen, Look, Love: June

June 26, 2014

I am probably late to get on the Metric train, but I guess you could say that it's never too late to hop on any music train. I heard "Clone" while on the drive home from work. It was later in the day -- ironically among the lyrics in the song -- and the radio segment that I often listen to on the drive home was over for the day, luckily they had another segment full of great songs that I had never heard before and this was one of them. It was a perfect song for the drive.


I really like the look of a strapless one-piece swimsuit and a floppy, broad-brimmed hat. It is so classy in so many ways.


I love the dreamy quality of this outdoor space: the white doors and windows, the giant pots of flowers, the little sofa. It is everything that I wish our space will feel like when we are finally done with it.


The Summer List 2014

June 23, 2014
A couple of years ago I made a Summer List after reading about it on the blog Meg + Andy. I decided to make another one this year because I remembered how much fun it was to plan those little activities for us to do with our son, and I'm excited to do some more. While we do have a big trip with lots of fun activities planned for this Summer, it's still nice to have fun things to do at home too. Don't worry, we'll keep you updated with all of our adventures!


French Macarons: The Remake

June 17, 2014
It was two years ago that I first attempted to make French macarons, and I learned a lot from that one time. Sometimes it takes a couple more years of experience with other things in the same art form before you learn your mistakes.

This time I used a hand-held mixer to help froth up the eggs and sugar to make my meringue, and I also used a recipe from a legit French cookbook called The Bistro Cookbook. It is filled with fascinating and delicious looking recipes, but it is the deserts and breads that really caught my eye -- I can't wait to make more!


Shop Update: Hand Drawn Brooches

June 16, 2014
I am so excited to share with you some new items that I have put in the shop today. It feels like I have been working on these brooches for ages trying to perfect them for you, and now here they are! It feels amazing to be able to finally show them all to you, and not just little peeks here and there.

Each brooch is one-of-a-kind, and all of the artwork in the brooches are hand drawn by me on 44lb matte paper with coloured pencils and/or an archival ebony marker. They are then sealed in a beautiful wooden bezel, that is made of mahogany or cherry wood, with resin, and a pin is attached to the back of each one with an industrial strength adhesive.

Each bezel is handmade by the shop ArtBase and sold with finishing. They are very smooth to the touch with no sharp edges, and sealed and polished by hand for a natural luster. They use premium sustainable hardwood.


Weight Update: Make A Fitness Goal

June 13, 2014
I found that it was very important to make a fitness goal for myself to help me lose weight. I decided that I would run a 5K, and I did a lot of training to be able to run it -- although I wasn't able to run it in it's entirety. Training for the 5K helped me lose a lot of weight besides watching what I ate, and although I am at the lowest weight that I will ever be -- unless I completely cut out candy and all the good stuffs and go hard at the gym for 5 hours a day -- I still enjoy doing 5K events and continue to make fitness goals for myself.

This past Sunday I completed a 5K, without walking once, in 40:23. That was the fitness goal that I had set for myself, and although I run at a much slower pace than my husband -- he ran the 5K in 25:57 -- I am very proud of my mind for pushing my body to run/jog the entire time. My next goals will be to make my pace a little bit faster and beat that time, and I plan on doing another 5K run this Summer -- I normally just do one.

What else has helped me with my running is getting toned and building the muscles that are needed to help keep you moving when you start to feel exhausted. Weak muscles are not able to run long distances.

These are the goals I have at the moment, and these are the goals that keep me excited about exercise and help me maintain my weight. I will also have a one-up when the zombie apocalypse comes.


Make It Yourself: Raspberry Lemonade

June 09, 2014
This recipe is much like the recipe for strawberry lemonade that I made for my son's first birthday except that it has raspberries instead, and there's a little extra work involved once you puree the raspberries.

What you will need:

1 cup sugar
1 cup of water
1 container of raspberries (6oz/170g)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4-6 cups cold water (this will vary depending on your taste)
In a pot on the stove and combine the sugar and the water over medium heat to make a syrup, stirring occaionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it cool before using it.

While you are combining the sugar and water you can squeeze the juice out of your lemons. You will need between 8-10 lemons to get a cup of juice. Once you've got your lemon juice, you can puree your raspberries using a blender. I put a little bit of water in with the raspberries to help them puree a little better. Strain your raspberries through a mesh strainer to get rid of most of the seeds -- the lemonade is alright with the seeds in there, but there are a lot of them and it is much more pleasant without them.

Add the raspberry puree, lemon juice, syrup and 4-6 cups of cold water into a pitcher and stir it all up. I originally made this recipe for sparkling raspberry lemonade, but I decided to double the syrup as I found it a little bit tart. It tastes just a delicious with water, too.


Thoughts on "Boys Will Be Boys"

June 06, 2014
This phrase is something I've heard tossed around in different places -- at my job, on clothing, on the internet -- a lot lately, and I've noticed that it's starting to get under my skin. The reason why it's starting to bother me is because it seems to be used as an encompassing phrase that acts as an excuse for the misbehaviour of boys: getting into physical fights with other people; purposely hurting someone even though the other person did nothing to warrant it; generally being rude, distasteful and/or thoughtless.

It will take a lot of work to rid the world of this kind of excuse and the behaviours that it allows society to shrug off, but it can start with you. I do not use this phrase at all, and do not tolerate the kinds of behaviours listed above from anyone, especially my son. When it comes to the expectations that I have for the children that I work with, they are for everyone. There is not one single expectation that I spare from any child, and likewise I do not have any excess expectations of any child. We are all on equal ground, and that's where the change will begin.


The Pregnancy Wardrobe

June 04, 2014
I know that it was a long time ago that I was pregnant, but I've noticed a lot of people lately on blogs and Instagram sharing pregnancy photos and outfits where they say they're still wearing their pre-pregnancy clothes and using a belly-band despite being 39 weeks pregnant. I was not that fortunate, and I can imagine for some women that it is quite frustrating to find out that other people are still wearing the clothes they had before the baby belly while you are wearing your husband's t-shirt and sweats for your pyjamas.

While I had been pregnant during the winter months and didn't get to have fun wearing little summer dresses a lot of the time, I found a few essentials that I used during my pregnancy to share with you. I had a pair of maternity jeans that I loved, a few t-shirts, a couple of nice shirts, and I wore a lot of sweaters and other things from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe that didn't need to be done up over my belly. I also had fun with accessories like brooches and belts.

It can be hard to justify spending a few hundred dollars on a wardrobe that you are going to wear only once or twice for five or so months, but it is worth it to make yourself feel good about the changes that your body is going through and you only need to grab a few essentials and a couple of pieces that make you feel extra special -- because, let's face it, what you are doing with your body makes you a whole new kind of special.

Bird Top  -  Belt  -  Kimono  -  Jeans  -  White T-Shirt  -  Brooch

*this is not a pregnancy announcement :)

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