A DIY Christmas

November 30, 2015

Last Christmas -- I gave you my heart -- I decided to either make a gift for someone, or buy handmade and purchase items from local shops. It took a lot of prep, and awareness of where I was shopping -- luckily Flock & Gather comes in quite handy. Keep checking back over the next few weeks to learn the stories and DIY tutorials behind each of these photos for your own DIY Christmas.


Instagram Stories: Thoughts on "Back and Forth" in Vogue October 2015

November 29, 2015

You know the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Since hearing it, I have always thought of how powerful some images can be without having any words associated with it. But then I realised that if there are no words to go with it, then you are missing out on the amazing story behind it.

When I read the View piece called "Back and Forth" about photographer Peter Schlesinger in the October 2015 issue of Vogue, I was taken by the beautiful images that he has shot. They have such rich colours, textures and layers and a language all their own. Then I reached the end of the article and read his thoughts on Instagram -- he said that he hates Instagram and that he "like[s] pictures that have more of a story behind them." -- and it got me thinking how unfortunate it is that he doesn't like Instagram based on the fact that he doesn't think there are any photos with stories behind them. 

It's not that I'm defending Instagram or anything. There are certainly a lot of photographs on there that have no depth to them what-so-ever. But I feel like -- if you are looking in the right place -- you can find some accounts that share wonderful photographs that have rich colours, textures and layers that have a language all their own. I follow fantastic people that have beautiful stories following them, and they are sharing them with the world. Some of them have made wonderful new friends because they have shared a piece of their life with people that they may have never had the opportunity to all because of Instagram. 

If you dig deep enough into Instagram and sift through all of the selfies and food photos, you will find photographs that look quite similar to the photos that Peter Schlesinger takes that have just as good of a story behind them -- or even better. 

Jess Butler of _jssb  -  Ellie Cox of the mommyequation 
Brandon of humansofny  -  Kelle Hampton of etst





November 20, 2015

He is a fan of all things Mario. So when I spotted a goomba toque on Pinterest, I contacted my friend Karis of Odd Duck Creations to make one for him. He was so excited to wear it when I showed him what had arrived in the mail. He has barely taken it off since.



November 14, 2015

Yesterday was a day for the two of us. I took the following two days after Remembrance Day off of work, and yesterday we decided to go mini golfing. We quickly stopped at a local paper shop to find some Christmas cards, gift wrap, and some Christmas gifts, and then made our way to the mall to have some lunch and play some mini golf. This photo was taken when we got home. He was exhausted, and eating a candy -- don't tell the dentist.


Read It: I Am Malala

November 12, 2015

By now most of us are familiar with the young woman, Malala Yousafzai. I remember being on my break at work and reading a report about a girl who had been shot in the head by the Taliban while on her way to school in Pakistan, and I remember being worried for her. Then, after her recovery, I remember when someone on my Facebook posted a video of her on The Daily Show with John Stewart, and I was amazed by how passionate she is, and yet so humble and forgiving. She has a beautiful heart, and is someone that I am inspired by and aspire to be like.

I learned a lot about the history of Pakistan in I Am Malala, and how they came to be at the place that they currently are. There are a lot of political steps, and missteps, that were taken that have put the country in a different place from the countries west of them. I also learned a lot about Islam, and the culture of Pakistan -- especially in the Swat Valley. I work with a couple of women from Pakistan that come from the Southern part of the country, and have experienced quite different struggles from Malala -- no less, or more, important -- but I really liked being able to speak with them about the history of their country and their experiences as Muslim women.

Her father is just as passionate as she is about education, and the importance, especially, of education for girls and women. I really like that Malala wrote about her father's past, and, despite his struggles, how he became a strong man that was incredibly valued within his community. He was a voice for equality, and helped give Malala her voice as well. I respect him very much.

There were a lot of parts in the book that made me emotional, specifically when Malala would talk about her love of education, and her call for educational equality. I realised how fortunate I am to have grown up in a country where it is my right to get a high school education, and where I can freely go into post-secondary education. I always had a desk, I always had books, and no one ever told me that I wasn't allowed to go. We really do not know how fortunate we are, and it is Malala's dream that every child is able to have the same experience as I had -- a dream that I think is attainable. Peace.


Fall Into Fashion

November 09, 2015

As the autumn weather approaches, I grab the Rubbermade tubs from the basement that I had just taken my summer clothing from, and bring it upstairs so that I can switch out all of the warm weather clothes for sweaters, pants, and long-sleeved t-shirts. It is pretty much the last goodbye to the summer.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good sweater, a warm scarf, and a beautiful pair of gloves as much as the next girl that is forced to transition to winter. I usually like to wear cardigans and sweater vests -- as I mentioned here -- but this year I found a light-weight sweater with cats on it that was too awesome to pass up.

Another favourite thing about transitioning to fall is being able to wear my boots again. I have a pair of tall riding boots, as well as these cute lace-up boots that I picked out a couple of years ago. I am also planning on going to find myself a pair of cute suede booties in a fun colour.

Accessories wise I find myself wearing more jewellery again -- because I don't have to worry about getting sunscreen all over them -- and I start having fun with different colours of eye shadow and nail polish. Another way to change with the season is to have some fun with your hair colour. Madison Reed has a colour advisor that helps you pick the right shade for your hair -- it's really fun to do too, and I love the colours that they suggested for me.

similar jacket: Gap
cat sweater: RW & CO
similar boots: Aldo
infinity scarf: Warman's Winter Wovens 


Shop Update: 2015 Christmas Cards

November 02, 2015

It's time to start thinking about Christmas and the holiday season! Start playing those Christmas carols -- anything by Bing Crosby is a favourite of mine -- and start stocking up on Christmas cards. There are four new Christmas cards in the shop this year -- which is perfect because then you can create your own Mix and Match Set of 5

This year, a few of the cards were inspired by Christmas carols -- it seems to be a trend of mine. Three gold stars if you can figure out which ones. Enjoy the beginning of the season!



November 01, 2015

He had so much fun Trick-or-Treating. He collected 9lbs of candy -- oh my word. Once he and Dad came home, he was also quite eager to hand out the candies to the groups of children that were coming to our door. Hopefully his feet won't get so sore next year, and he can stay out much longer.

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