Thursday, 11 August 2011

Mad Men Period Pieces

Ok, I admit that I don't really watch the show Mad Men (but I want to start watching it!). However, I just heard about the Mad Men Collection by Banana Rebuplic and the clothes are gorgeous! I love how they are a modernized take on sixties fashion. And everything is so ladylike and figure flattering. Here are some of my favourite peices from the collection:

This leather print trench looks feminine and classy.

I love how these cigarette pants are cropped. They look amazing with pumps. I would wear these to work if I didn't wear scrubs every day.

The print on this cardigan is subtle. I bet it would look just as good dressed down with jeans and a white t-shirt.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

That's Bananas

Apparently, the banana is on its way to becoming extinct. According to Popular Science, this is because the fruit has been genetically engineered to be "too perfect" and can't defend itself to fungal and bacterial diseases. A Panama disease called Race 4 has already eradicated bananas in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australian and Taiwan. They could be wiped out as early as 2015!

I am not sure how to take this news. Bananas aren't my favourite fruit or anything, but it would weird to have a world without them. They are a part of life like clouds and trees and puppies. And I think I would miss peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Sigh.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

My New Roommate

Meet my (relatively) new roommate, Mouse. We adopted her a couple of months ago. She's about seven months old.

She sometimes (unfrequently) takes naps...

But more then often spends her time being up to no good!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Real vs. Presented

Photographer Sacha Goldberger assembled a team to shoot before and after pictures of joggers in a park called Bois de Boulogne in Paris. He asked the joggers to sprint and then pose directly afterwards for his camera. Then, one week later he invited the participants to pose for him in his studio similarly to how they had for their previous jogging photo. I think the results are so interesting. Goldberger stated the idea of the project was to "show the difference between our natural and brute side versus how we represent ourselves to society". To me, all the pictures taken while jogging look more beautiful. Here are some examples from the series:

Isn't this series interesting?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Happy weekend!

This weekend, I am doing nightshifts so my favourite hang out place will be my bed when I am not working. Sleeping has been much more comfy lately since I bought egyptian cotton sheets and a down duvet and have blinds that actually block out sunlight (oh the fun aspects to consider when being a nurse!) As anyone else who works the graveyard shift can understand, staying up all night is pretty tiring so sleeping becomes majorly important. And I know for the rest of you that work 9-5, Saturdays and Sundays are important catch-up days for sleep.

Here's some tips from Apartment Therapy for creating calm in your bedroom:

  • Consider taking the TV out of the bedroom: Or, if you simply can't stand the thought of not watching movies in bed at night before you go to sleep, make sure your TV is on a timer and limit your pre-sleep watching to stuff that won't disturb your sleep (ie Glee rather than Walking Dead)
  • Put away the clothes, make the bed in the morning and keep your nightstands clutter free: The calmer your bedroom, the better your sleep. Rethink your bedding so making the bed is easier, clear the nightstands of anything but the necessities (or consider a box to corral the messy stuff) and practice putting away the clothes.
  • Break out the scents: Those candles you got as gifts, that cologne you love but never wear, those gift soaps you never use, can all be put to good use here. Burn a candle to gently scent your room in the few minutes while you're getting ready for bed, spray a few spritzes of perfume on your sheets when you make your bed in the morning, tuck the soaps in among your sheets in your closet.
  • Put a glass of water by your bed: It's an easy way to add a glass to your daily eight and with a glass handy, you are less likely to need to get up in the middle of the night (which means more chances of falling right back to sleep if you wake up with a parched throat).
  • Think quality not quantity: Toss the threadbare sheets and indulge in the good stuff. Nix the poly blends and go for all cotton. Try different textures until you find one you like. Sateen's smooth and soft, linen gets softer with each washing, cotton jersey's like wearing that favorite battered t-shirt to bed and flannel is warm and cozy.
  • Consider a fan: Yes, even in the winter. Apparently we all sleep better when the temperature is a little cooler and, if like me, you live in a neighborhood that's a little noisy, the gentle whirr of the fan can block out the sounds that prevent a good night's sleep.
  • Turn off the heat at night: Not only will you save a little energy, you won't wake up parched and sweating in the morning. If you're cold, try an extra blanket, a down mattress on top of your regular mattress (I swear, it's like sleeping in a cloud!), a hot water bottle, a hat or socks (which both work to keep your body heat in).
  • Make sure you have enough pillows: While you don't want your bed to resemble that of a teeny bopper, two pillows per person is a good rule of thumb (I'm a big fan of IKEA's Pinje side sleeper pillows which are inexpensive enough that you can treat yourself to new pillows every year or so).
  • Check your bedroom's lighting A light on either side of the bed and one across the room or overhead means you can change the lighting to suit your mood and your needs. If you can't sleep unless the room's pitch black, consider black out shades or curtains.
  • Change your art: If the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning (or the last thing you see when you close your eyes at night) doesn't make you smile, replace it with something that does.
  • Bring some of your weekly flowers in here: There's something about a few flowers that makes a room seem ultra-luxurious.
  • Consider a rug: What do your feet touch when you get up in the morning? Something soft and cozy will make the transition to morning a little less painful.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

House By the Sea

Recently I've been feeling a little cramped in my 650 square foot condo. This has prompted me to look at larger, more permanent places. If I had a lot of money, I think I'd build a simple house by the ocean like this Nova Scotia cottage feautured in the New York Times. Can you imagine being so close to the sea you could go outside in your own backyard and feel the sea spray and smell the salt air?

And in the spring, you could walk among all these pretty, purple flowers...

And at the end of the day, relax on one of these deck chairs and  take in the beautiful sunset.

Monday, 18 July 2011

My Happy Place

My happy place is my grandparent's cabin.

In appearance, it looks more like a small house than a cottage. It has a faded blue colour, with a large window overlooking the dark, greener-than-green grass. The cabin is bordered by small evergreen trees. In the backyard, there is my grandmother's garden, where she plants flowers along the bank. Beyond the frontyard, a downhill wooded slope takes you to an expansive pond covered in lilypads and inhabited by ducks. Off to the side of the cabin, there is a stone path made by my grandfather that leads to another pond less crowded by lilypads and more suitable for swimming.

I guess it's my happy place because I spent the best parts of my childhood there. In the summer, we played hide and go seek with my cousins. I roasted marshmallows and picked blueberries and went swimming in the pond when it was most likely too cold to swim. In the winter, we'd take rides on my grandfather's skidoo and go sliding down the snowy banks and ice skate. My grandparents would spoil us by feeding us Poptarts for breakfast and desserts for every meal. It was my happiest time, because it was a time I felt the most like myself, and the biggest worries would be sunburns or fly bites or being forced to go to bed too early.

Ny two sisters and I are planning to go to the cabin for a weekend in September. I can't wait. Do you have any places like this?

Friday, 15 July 2011

Summer Rain

I am only off every second weekend, so I was really looking forward to some sunshine and warm weather! But as my luck would have it, it's pouring rain outside. The national weather forecast is calling for a rainfall warning. I almost feel like staying inside, catching up on some books I've neglected so far this summer, and watching old reruns of Sex and the City.

Or, I could...

Put on a yellow raincoat, like this one:

And a pair of pink rainboots, like these Wellies:

And maybe find a big, bright umbrella:

And go jumping in puddles!

Much more fun then staying in!
Happy weekend!!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sunshine Wedding

My mother's bridesmaids dresses and flowers were yellow, and my future mother-in-law's bridesmaids dresses and flowers were also yellow. And since I love yellow and gray, I think it would be a nice tradition to continue with the same colour scheme and have a sunshiney wedding.

Sweet, yellow bridesmaids dresses from J-Crew:

Bright yellow flats would be pretty and unexpected under a wedding dress, don't you think? This pair is from the YOOX Collection.

Vases filled with bunches of assorted yellow wildflowers would be beautiful on the tables.

And to top it all off, lemon meringue pie for desert:

What do you think?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Honeymoon Ideas

Since Kyle and I spent a ton of money on a trip to Costa Rica a couple of months ago, we are thinking about going more low-key for our honeymoon and staying in Newfoundland.
I really want to go to Gros Morne National Park. I've been there when I was little, but I don't remember much of it. And I love hiking and camping and being by the ocean. We would take a twelve-hour road trip there. It would be a pretty unconventional, outdoorsy vacation.

We could go hiking up Gros Morne Mountain.

Swim in the cool ocean.

Go sea kayaking, and see some whales.

And sleep in a tent under the stars.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Happy Friday!

Well, it's not really Friday for those who work twelve hour shifts and weekends (like me). Oh the joys of being a nurse. For all of you who are lucky to be off, have lots of adventures for me! I'll try to live vicariously through them, as I am slugging away at the hospital.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Oh, pretty.

My wedding is August 25th, 2012 at Murray's Pond Country Club. We are still in the early planning stages, having only the venue and photographer booked. But that doesn't mean I am not constantly daydreaming about the details.

I would like an icecream bar instead of a three-tiered cake (being such a big fan of icrecream!)

Also, if Kyle and I sat at a sweetheart table, it would seem more intimate.

Simple decorations, like lots of tiny fairylights and paper laterns.

To walk down the aisle to Hear Comes the Sun by the Beatles.

A campfire by the beach instead of a rehearsal dinner.

And a send off with sparklers.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Love You Forever

What's your favourite childhood book?

Mine is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, a Canadian author. I remember being as young as four or five years old and my mother reading it to me before I went to sleep. My mom used to always cry a bit before she finished it. The book starts out with a young mother rocking her baby to sleep and singing "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be".

The mother sings the song to her son when he is asleep at each stage of his life, as he grows from a brand new infant, to a toddler experiencing terrible-twos, and then to a raucous teenager. Near the end, the son is an adult and he has moved into his own house. At night, the mother drives across town to to her son's house, picks him up as he is sleeping, and sings him the song. Finally, the mother becomes older and sicker and the son realizes that it's his turn to rock his mother and sing to her. The last page, the son is singing to his own brand-new baby.

The picture of the son singing to his mother always makes me a little teary. I admit it, now that I've moved out on my own and miss my mom, I read it sometimes. I'd love to read it to my own children someday.

What books did you love as a child?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

What I love...

When Kyle and I first met, I think it weirded him out a bit that I liked baths so much  more than showers.

I am in love with taking baths. I usually take one a day. If I have a crazy day at work and my mind is racing in a million different directions, lying in warm water really calms me down and relaxes me. The bath is where I do almost all of my reading, books or magazines or whatever. It's also where I do most of my thinking, or where I sometimes don't think at all. I think that if every stressed out, strung out mother or antsy kid or harried young professional or lonely old person took baths more often, there would be a lot more calmness and happiness in the world.

Are you a bath or a shower person?

P.S. I don't think this kitten likes baths all that much though...


Monday, 4 July 2011

Summer Bucket List

Happy belated Canada Day, and happy American Fourth of July!

I am inspired by the blog Mighty Girl, where Maggie Berry has created a Mighty Life List of a hundred things to do before she dies. In her list, she includes adventurous goals such as "see a glacier in antarctica" and "wear a sequin bikini to Carnival", as well as more humble ambitions like "make a peaceful living space for our family".

So I've decided to do a short list for things I would like to achieve this summer. Each time I am successful with crossing something off the list, I'll let you know. Here goes:

1. Go to the Brigus Blueberry Festival, and eat lots of blueberry pie and blueberry pancakes.

2. Go camping in a tent and sleep under the stars.

3. Take long hikes, up Signal Hill and Butterpot Mountain and Topsail Bluff.

4. Eat as much icecream as I can. Every day. Maybe twice a day.

5. Make some weddings plans! Read Once Wed and Project Wedding daily.

6. Buy a pretty summer dress, like this one from J-Crew.

7. Make deserts that are edible for my fiance, Kyle. Starting with this deep dish cookie. You bake it in the oven in a ramakin, top with cold icecream, and eat straightaway. Yum.

8. Start my application for a Masters of Nursing program.

9. Have loads of dinner parties, with results that are also edible. And sit by a campfire afterward.

10. ...and continue to write in this blog every day!

What are your plans for this summer?


Sunday, 3 July 2011

Water Baby

When I was a kid, it seemed like I was always swimming during the summers. I used to vacation at my grandparent's cabin, which is surrounded by a two beautiful ponds. Even during cold summer days, when the water temperature was too cool for swimming, my sisters and I used to beg my grandfather to take us down to the pond for a dip. He would eventually relent to our continued persistance, and we'd happily get in the water and play even though we were practically freezing.
I am not brave enough to get in the water now when it's cold. And I am not a big fan of polar dips. I wonder how this man does it:

Until our chilly Newfoundland water finally warms up, I am daydreaming about swimming in a hot spring in Iceland...

...or imagining myself floating in the Dead Sea, while reading the newsapaper. Aren't these pictures lovely?

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Things that I Am/Not

My name is Laura.

Some of the things that I love:
reading a good book in the bath, drinking tea, sleeping in tents under the stars, birthday cakes, and some decidedly grandmotherly things.

I am not a grandmother, I am twenty-four years old and I have no children (yet).

Some of the things that I am not:
a good dancer, a rockstar, a small-taker, a go-getter, a comedian who always gets the punch line right.

Some of the things that I am:
a nurse, a fiancee, a sister, a daydreamer, and a crazy cat lady.

I live in St. John's, Newfoundland. It's a rocky, mostly snowy island on Canada's east coast, for anyone that is dusty on their Canadian geography. With icebergs!

I love that in my city you can smell the ocean wherever you go, see rows of candy-coloured jellybean townhouses, and say hello to strangers on the street like they are your friend.

I do not live in one of the aforementioned jellybean houses, but maybe I will someday.

This blog might turn out to be a muddled, incomprensible mess like most of my thoughts, but I am writing this for me, unless you want to read this too. By all means!