Category Archives: Shopping

Friday I’m in Love: Tea

I have had a *wonderful* two weeks off over the holidays during which time I’ve accomplished very very little. But that’s ok. I wanted this time to rest, relax, catch up on some much needed sleep, and to properly distance myself from work (you know…to stop the constant hum of work-related crap constantly circling the back of my mind).

In these respects, my vacation was a grand success. A large part of which is due to the time I took to just sit, read, watch old movies, or play World of Goo, Contre Jour or Machinarium on my new iPad (thank you Stuart!). Regardless what I was doing, though, I did it with a cup mug of tea…and with homemade cookies (thank you Aunt Paige!).

Since I’ve been so tea-focused of late, here are few tea-related items I’m currently loving:

Pinned by Kaitlyn Titus via Beauty and Grace

hairbrainedschemes’ A Cup of Tea and a Long Book print

Pinned by Emma Edkins via Marley.and.Me

Skinny laMinx’s Everyone Came to Tea tea towel

Pinned by lorentsia via source

Teresa Doyle performing “You’re My Cup of Tea” (skip to about 1m 45sec to go immediately to the song).


Chair Challenge

Of all the household items I need to purchase for my house, I never thought that dining/kitchen chairs would be the most difficult. Without exaggerating, I’ve been searching for months. Why is it so very complicated? Here’s why:

1. The chairs must be aesthetically pleasing to me.
If this were the only criteria, I’d be done. But, alas, many of the chairs I think look beautiful, don’t necessarily feel beautiful once you actually sit on them. Or else they send shivers up my boys’ spine, making him feel like he’s been thrown back in time and is sitting in high school detention. I’m looking at YOU fiberglass shell chairs.

(I should note at this moment that I LOVE these chairs. As in, I abso-freaking-lutely ADORE them, and still harbour the hope that we’ll end up buying a mix of chairs for our dining room table, these included…though as a purist, I insist they be made of fiberglass and not plastic.)

2. The chairs must be well-constructed and sturdy.
We’ve sat in a lot of chairs over the last few months. And every single one of them has been subjected to the “wiggle test”…as in, sit down, and wiggle about. Does the chair feel solid? Does it feel like you might topple off it? Or that it might bust?

Alas, one of my most budget-friendly picks from IKEA failed the wiggle test.

(IKEA’s transparent Tobias chair was too wobbly and, according to the boy, too prone to scratches.)

It also means that the chair needs to look like it’s well-made. If we’re going to spend $300+ on a chair, it’s gotta look like it’s worth it. Though it was comfortable (and passed the wiggle test), the Calligaris Flair chair did not pass the “it looks like it’s worth it” test.

(Surprisingly, the Flair Chair‘s seat upholstery was rather cheap looking once we really examined it.)

3. The chairs must “fit” us.
In other words they need to be comfortable for both a 6-footer and a 5-footer…the length of our respective legs and bodies play a big role in how each chair “fits”. Unfortunately, what is comfortable for one of us can be pretty uncomfortable for the other. A chair back that reaches my shoulder can jab my boy in the middle of his back…or one that is deep enough to sit comfortably and support his thighs leaves my feet dangling like a kid.

(These vintage chairs from Antiquités Curiosités on Montreal’s Amherst street were beautiful….but just didn’t fit my boy’s long legs.)

Add all of these criteria up, and suddenly you’re rejecting chairs left, right, and centre….but not all of them. Our current front-runner is sohoConcept’s Patara chair:

It looks great; doesn’t look like a detention/school chair; passes the wiggle test; looks well-made; and mostly fits us both…it’s a touch tall for me, but as a shrimp I’m used to it and can totally live with it.

We’ve yet to pull the trigger, though, as they carry a pretty hefty price tag…here’s where my “mix and match” idea may come into play!


Friday I’m in Love: Cats

I’ve been lacking motivation to post these days, and have been overall kinda blah.

I think a large contributing factor has been the death of my cat. Not long after our move, my little Weasley developed complications resulting from his rippling skin syndrome….and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to put him down.

He was an amazing cat. His fur was sublimely soft, he had beautiful long whiskers, and he loved to talk. You could hold an entire conversation with him, and never once feel like you were being silly because he listened…and answered. He was just so full of personality.

I still look for him everywhere and miss him like crazy. A side effect that I think might be exacerbated by the fact that I still find his fur everywhere, is that I’ve become a little cat crazy. Like, crazy cat lady crazy.

Case in point:

On my recent vacation in Barbados I befriended a stray whom my boyfriend dubbed Kittimus Cattimus. We were staying in a little cottage on the beach, and she became a regular: there to greet us every morning, and insisting we pet her just a little more before we went to bed every night.

She was a hyper, yet endearing, little bugger. If I could have, I’d have packed her up in my suitcase and brought her home. Since I couldn’t, I’ve been obsessing about cats in other ways…

1. Clockwork Kitty / 2. Patchwork calico cat / 3. Vintage cat medical model
4. Cat bead charms / 5. Golden kitten ring

So what’s the verdict? Am I a crazy cat lady? Or is that moniker reserved for ladies actually owning multiple cats (either real or ceramic)? In my defence, I haven’t actually purchased any of the above items…though the steampunk kitty is pretty tempting (he looks remarkably like Weasley, doesn’t he?)


Friday I’m in Love: Bicycles

I haven’t had a bike for a really long time…and truthfully, for most of my adulthood I haven’t really wanted one. I just couldn’t see myself riding it in downtown Montreal, battling for my right not to get run over (and possibly slamming into parked cars as I attempt to do so).

But now that I’m moving to a slightly less busy area of the city, I find myself dreaming of a bicycle….not a mountain bike or racer, mind you. I want a city bike, that doesn’t necessarily have speed, but that’ll allow me to ride upright, and take in my surroundings.

Oh, and in my dreams, my bike is pretty (and maybe has a basket and some tassels on the handlebars). Here are a couple I’ve got my eye on:

The Public J7 in bright orange

The Holymoly lady’s solo by CreamCycle (love that name!)

Globe’s Daily 3 step thru bike in blue-grey

Linus Bikes’ Dutchie 3 in cream

Abici’s classic Italian Granturismo city bike – in special edition Kate Spade green!


Decor Dreams: Office

I think it goes without saying that I’ll be spending a lot of time in my home office…between computer use and crafting, it’ll be a very important room. Besides enjoying spending time in it, I want it to inspire me.

I also want to have a space for everything: my computer, my beading supplies, my sewing machine, my scrapbooking stuff, whatever…all in the hopes that if it has a place, I can keep it there and keep it organized….rather than creating a great big mess…(which I am very prone to do).

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Ivar shelving unit from IKEA…I bought two of these way back for my first apartment…they’ve since been painted white, but I’m going to refresh them once more and paint them red.
  2. I love love love chalkboard walls. I’m going to paint a full wall in chalkboard paint, and use it to attempt to organize myself, and for fun.
  3. Behr’s Embellished Blue
  4. I’ve always got tons of little papers, cut outs and ephemera hanging around that I either need, or can’t bear to get rid of just yet…in lieu of, or maybe in addition to, a corkboard, I’d like to hang a series of clipboards on the wall for fast and easy access, without putting holes in anything.

  5. Ikea’s Forsa work lamp for my desk. I’ve already picked this up….because I can’t remember what kind of lighting is in the room (I seem to think it may be wall-mounted rather than ceiling-mounted), I’m not dreaming too much about the main lights.
  6. A table…or a desk….or both. I need two dedicated workspaces so I’m not always having to move everything: one for my computer and one for my crafts. I’ve already got my eye on a vintage desk that’s currently in storage at my in-laws…and until I find something else to serve as my second workspace, I’ll keep my Ikea worktable.
  7. Ron Burns’ Toby…back when I worked at a search engine one of my co-workers had ordered this print for his wife…only to discover that the seller had cropped off the names of the artist and of the piece…I can’t recall if it was due to laziness, or because maybe they were advertisers on our website, but they sent him a new one without requiring the return of the old one….which I got (for free!). I like the bright use of colours.
  8. A quilt…this one is from Anthropologie, but if I can find a handmade one in the right colours, I’d prefer it. Why do I need a quilt in my home office? Because I’ll be setting up a spare bed in there…it’s a single/twin that I just can’t bear to get rid of (it’s just too comfy). I’ll dress it up as a daybed, and use it for reading and naps with my cat!

Is it wrong that I’m *soo* excited about my new office?!