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Thursday, March 29, 2012

pretty girlie things: yummy spring nails.

when it comes to nail polish, i am an 'essie' girl through and through. don't get me wrong, i still love a lil' 'opi' in my life, but the brush size and consistency of essie's polish is what keeps me coming back for more. last month, essie launched the prettiest palette of some of the yummiest colours that are undeniably "spring". a lovely combo of soft pastels for every day, and bold pops of colour for special occasions, i like the idea of using them on their own or together to create patterns.

the green, peach and lilac for easter? yes please.

'navigate her'. 'a crewed interest'. 'to buy or not to buy'. 'tour de finance'. 'ole caliente'. 'orange, it's obvious'.

Monday, March 26, 2012

what i want to be when i grow up.

image found here.

these last few days i have spent even more time than i normally do, thinking about what the hell i want to be when i grow up. i feel like i'm the epitome of the saying "jackass of all trades, master of none", or however it goes. i don't want to be confined to just one thing for all of time, i want my filthy little hands in every single pot i can, which i have decided, is an absolute curse. paul has pretty well stopped entertaining my ideas entirely. there is only so much that kid can take. only so many times i can say "i want to do this" or "i think i figured it out". he's a simple man, who likes stability, continuity, security and a wife with a steady job. do i blame him? yes. no. does this stop me from constantly daydreaming about being a wedding coordinator? or writing a column for a magazine? or a window display designer for anthropologie? or becoming an apprentice to martha stewart? no. it's not possible. i'm a pisces for christ sakes.

now don't get me wrong. i have a job that i don't despise going to everyday, and for me, that's a great thing. that's a fucking great thing. i make money that i can't possibly shake a stick at. i work with amazing people, including my brother, and people who have become very important to me. my boss is the best i've ever had. one of those bosses who expects you to do your job as best you can, and so i do. not only because i have to, but because i want to. she's the kind of boss i hope to be one day. 
that is, when i am doing whatever it is i am destined to do.

and what exactly is that thing?
beats the shit outta me.

i once told paul i want to visit a psychic. not just your run of the mill, telling 'stories' from the comfort of her living room for some extra bingo money psychic, but a real life, creepy as all hell, wart on her nose, scarf on her head in a tiny little tent at a fair, psychic. i want her to gaze into her crystal ball and tell me:

 "amanda. i see a bright future for you, full of happiness, wealth, a family and a husband with a full head of hair...and yes, i see you doing what you love, you love it very much, yes, you will become                         ".

shit woman! don't shoot blanks on me now! i just want to be told what to do! 

however amidst all the confusion and craziness that is my brain, there is something that i always come back to. something that i have thought of, but pushed to the back of my mind for as long as i can remember. something that would bring everything i love into the same room, give me the ability to share it with others, and, that could make money (an important part of all this. i guess). i want to open my own shop. i want a little place to call my own. i want to sell vintage jewelry and accessories out of pretty fabric lined show cases. i want to sell cheeky, funny cards and fabulous coffee table books. i want to sell unique home decor and special little pieces that will look perfect in that special little spot. i want to sell refinished antique furniture, local art and anything else that tickles my fancy. i want to have "fleur fridays" where i pick up fresh flowers from the market, make up hand tied bouquets and sell them first come first serve. how about "treat tuesdays" where i sell a 1/2 dozen cupcakes or gourmet decorated cookies, get em' while they're hot, or you're shit out of luck. teach classes seasonally--'working with fondant', 'make your own spring planter' or 'fresh christmas wreath'. i could do that. i know i could.

and i'm not the only one who believes that. paulie does too. he thinks it would be an amazing way to spend my life. in my own little place, surrounded by pretty things, being my own boss. so why the hesitation you ask? well, when i asked him to let me go to the bank and get a loan, he said "after the babies". 

the babies.
i forgot about those.

i think i can swing both. i'm a woman, this shit is in my blood. so i'm going to work on this, and paulie. it will happen for me. i know it. i don't want to be gazing into paulie's crystal balls until the end of time. praying for something to land in my lap that will finally make me say 
"this is it amanda. this is fucking it". 

to be continued.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

mixed march bag.

with march coming to an end, i thought i would share a clusterfuck of instagram pics from over the last wee bit. it's fun to see how these little collages change as the seasons pass. january and february seem dull and bland compared to this july, i'll be burning retinas.

hope you're having a happy weekend!
crocuses in bloom. red. tree lined. good egg. guess who? two lips. before/after. tuna melt. hot shit.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

spring fever.

my animals are not the only ones going stir crazy with spring fever (india literally bolts out the door if you're not out it within 1.4 milliseconds, and lennon has made our open bedroom window his permanent home). i think everyone is feeling the effects of the sunshine and beautiful weather we have had over the last two weeks.

maxi's in march? sure. why the hell not.

i have even reached into the back of my closet for some summer dresses and skirts a few times this week, only to become even more excited for the permanent warm weather to come. here are just a few of the items i have a hairy eyeball on, that need to make their way into my closet. i am loving all the prints, bold colours and the tropical feel to everything coming out for spring.
{from left to right} h&m satin floral print dress. /modcloth hibiscus messenger bag. /essie spring 2012 collection. /

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

tuesday tit for tat: antique & flea market shopping.

this past sunday i spent the better part of the day with one of my favourite girls, jules. she's the best. we made plans to grab breakfast, hit up a flea market and a few antique shops in the sweetest little town called 'jordan village', which is 20 minutes from home. we enjoyed eggs benny for two at 'butterballs', a little diner in the hollow of the village, and chat chitted about paint colours for the home she will be moving into in the next little bit. we have plans to refinish some furniture, which should be interesting and good fun for sure. once we were full, we headed next door to the flea market. besides the obvious reasons i love flea markets (treasures, bargains and oddities) it's the characters not only working, but attending the flea market, that never let me down. you're bound to see at least one mullet, two if you're lucky. although we didn't score on the mullet front, jules walked away with some vintage turquoise door pulls for one of the pieces we plan to work on. 
i was happy with just the people watching.
we moved onto some of the antique shops in the village, and with no list of things to look for, or specific purchases in mind, i kind of soaked everything up even more than i usually do. it was such a perfect, sunny day, that even the buildings themselves, and their details, added to the whole day. the entire process of shopping for antiques is my favourite kind of shopping. when you find something that no one else will have, or something that will look perfect in a certain spot, and you get it for a deal so good you're convinced you have stolen it, i can't tell you what that does to me. ps-i want tin ceiling tiles in the kitchen of my big girl home. and maybe my bedroom. and the bathroom too.
we made our way to an antique shop in 'vineland', appropriately named 'vineland antiques'. it is my new favourite antique store, and was our most successful stop of the day. in a big ol' house, everything was displayed perfectly for our viewing pleasure. tidy, clean, and organized in small collections, it was easy to fall in love with everything in the store; from furniture, to vintage jewelry, glassware and unique bits & bobs. i spotted a white vintage mirror, trimmed with wooden moulded roses. i'm not sure how old it is, but it's not in perfect shape by any means. the mirror has started to go spotty, and there are pieces of the moulding that have come away, but i love how all of that adds to the character. for now, it hangs on the wall at the stairs landing, but will one day work perfectly in a white on white powder room. 
again, in my big girl house.
because they only wanted $22 for all six, i stole a set of 10" dinner plates made by 'sovereign  potters canada' from 1945. they are so pretty, i had no other choice. they look great with the rest of my dinnerware and are the perfect set to have out this spring and summer. jules purchased some pyrex bowls and a sweet little soap dish, all in all, a very successful day if you ask me.
shopping tips & tricks: fill your home with things you love.
keep an open mind and be willing to scavenge like it's your job. sometimes the best stuff is buried beneath tons of shit, so sift through thoroughly, opening boxes, looking under shelves and in drawers.

don't be afraid to take something home that you aren't sure what you will do with right away. if you love it, and can afford it, bring it home and you will find a use for it. you may never come across something like it again.

when you have a plan, and know what you are looking for, you can usually find it. don't hesitate to ask the staff if there is anything in their storage you may want to look at. once while looking for a dining room set, we asked the owner if they had anything else we could see. he ended up taking us around the block to an old barn that was full of furniture that didn't fit in the store. unreal.

antique dealers shop for new merchandise regularly, so if you have exhausted all options, and still can't find what you're looking for, give the staff your contact info and tell them what you're looking for. i did this while hunting for vases for the centrepieces at our wedding, and ended up with the best vases of my collection all because i asked for someone to help me find it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

i ♥ breakfast for dinner: ma's ham & spinach strata.

i'm going to call it sunday brunch, as that's when most normal people would eat such an animal, but we love breakfast & brunch for dinner, so that's when we got down and dirty with not one, but two, of my 'ma's ham & spinach strata'. a 'strata' is basically a layered casserole/quiche-like dish, made with a mixture of eggs, veggies, meat and sometimes bread. my mom has been making this recipe since we were wee, and it was always such a big deal when she did. it's delicious, fresh and not completely terrible for you, but is an absolute pain in the ass to make, hence why it was always a treat when she pulled one (or two) out of the oven on sundays. over a couple of white wine spritzers, my ma and i whipped up two strata's for sunday dinner yesterday. buon appetito.

how we do: ma's ham & spinach strata
{serves 6 italians or 10 mangia cakes.}
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 1 hour
rest time: 15 minutes
eating time: fast enough that you're complaining about how 
full you are before you even finish

you will need:
1 x 397 g package of puff pastry
2 x 300 g packages of frozen spinach
6 large or 8 small eggs
250 g  of cheddar cheese
1 large red pepper
pound of shaved black forest ham
salt & pepper
10" spring form pan
rolling pin
pastry brush

*pop bob marley's 'gold' album on. 
when it's 22°and the sun is shining on march 18th, you have no choice.
i'm going to preface this post with an apology for the amount of pictures, but with the number of steps involved to make this beast, i felt it was necessary. preheat your oven to 350°. getting your ingredients prepped is the key to making this process as smooth and painless as possible. this includes grating your cheese, slicing your red pepper into thin rings, prepping the eggs and spinach.
when i asked my mom why she uses frozen spinach over fresh, she basically told me 'because she does'. so just use the frozen shit and don't ask any questions. take your packages of spinach out of the freezer the night before to defrost. once it has thawed, you can remove it from the packaging and place in a strainer while you prep your other ingredients. once that's done, come back to your spinach. you want to remove as much water from the spinach as humanly possible, which requires a little elbow grease. take your spinach in handfuls, and squeeze the hell out of it, until it stops dripping. if your spinach is wet when you make your strata, the water will come out while cooking, and make for a shlip shloppy strata. barf.
now that all your ingredients are ready, you can start working on your puff pasty. keep your pastry in the fridge right up until the time you need to use it, you want it nice and chilled. flour your counter and rolling pin, and roll out your pastry until it is large enough to cover the bottom and up the sides of your spring form pan, without being tight. ensure you have about an inch of pastry over the edge of your pan, so you can pinch it to the lid you will make in a bit. there is no need to grease your pan, as the pastry is 99.9% butter and will not stick. the only place it actually will stick, is your thighs. and boy does it stick real good.
you will build two full layers of  all your ingredients, so do your best separating everything evenly in two. basically half your cheese, ham and pepper, 1 package of spinach and half the eggs per layer. take your eggs and whip them in a bowl with a little salt and pepper. your strata starts with a layer of black forest ham, then your grated cheese, the spinach, the egg mixture and the red peppers on top. season with salt and pepper and start your layers over again.
ham. cheese. spinach. eggs. red peppers. salt & pepper. delish.
with your layers complete, you can roll out a lid for your strata. basically the same steps as the base you made, making sure it's big enough to cover the entire top of your pan, with enough extra to pinch the two layers together. you almost want to roll them together so they form a seal that won't leak or let too much air out while it's cooking. at the same time, you don't want too much excess pasty, so trim off any longer pieces and make it as uniform as you can. with a sharp knife, make a few slits or "vents" as ma calls them on the top to allow any steam to escape while cooking. without the vents, your strata would be mushier than a full diaper. if you wanna get crafty, you can use your extra pastry and some cookie cutters to make cut outs to decorate the top of your strata. my mom has used the same clover cutters since the beginning of time, and it just wouldn't taste the same without them.
pop your strata in the oven for 1 full hour, so the egg cooks and sets, and until your pastry turns lovely and golden and crisp. after an hour, you can take it out and let it rest for 15 minutes. you want everything to stop cooking and have a chance to cool for a bit before you start cutting that sucker up and letting all the juices run out. this step is the difference between a fluffy, flaky strata, and one that is completely and utterly caca.
while it's hot, slice up some nice generous pieces (don't be shy) and serve with breakfast wieners, peameal bacon and fresh tomato slices. i like to slather some "frank's hot sauce" on mine (i put that shit on everything). it's buttery, crisp, fresh and light, and tastes like sundays growing up at my parents house. i love it, and i hope you love it too.

Friday, March 16, 2012

pretty pinterest things: st.patrick's day edition.

with so much inspiration at my fingertips, i have no idea how i let these last few days fly by without getting in the kitchen and baking something up for st.patty's day. i almost feel guilty going in to work empty handed, but those bastards get something every holiday, i can't possibly whip my martha out every damn time. paulie even said he needs some rainbow bit cupcakes with rainbow bit icing in his life, so i will probably spend tomorrow morning making those and drinking beer. yes, i said morning. it's st.patty's, you can drink whenever the hell you want. maybe put the beer in the cupcakes? now we're talkin'.

 if you're in need of some last minute inspiration, or just to remind yourself how much time other people have on their hands, here's some of my favourite st.patty's 'pins' i would have attempted, had i not laid on the couch and watched 3 hours of television last night (after a spin class and pooch walk mind you, i'm not that lazy).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

me lucky charms: a wee st.patty's day mani.

i think i looked at 648 st.patty's day mani's before i decided to just try my own. i wanted something cute & colourful, 
with a st.patty's day nod and matte finish, and after some fiddle fartin' around, this is what i came up with. 

aye sha shy sha shy! 
(i don't know why i say this whenever i think of anything irish, but i do.)

how we do: st.patty's day mani
you will need:
clear base coat
matte (or clear) top coat 
green nail polish
colours for your rainbow~whatever combo you like
white nail art pen
q-tips for clean up
start by choosing which colours you want to use for your rainbow. i was happy with only a few colours, and chose red, orange, yellow and teal blue. i made sure i liked how they looked with the green i was using on all my other nails, and choose the order i would paint them in.
step 1. start with fresh, clean nails that you have filed and shaped to your liking. paint a clear coat onto all of them.

step 2. paint 2 coats of green polish onto every nail except your ring finger-this will to be your rainbow nail.

step 3. create your rainbow by painting stripes of your chosen colours. i couldn't do this step & photograph it at the same time--i apologize, but i know you can do it! if taping off the lines and painting them is easier for you than freehand, go for it. i tried, but found it faster and easier to do them without the tape. i also like how it didn't turn out perfectly, which is hard for even me to believe. i made the last stripe of my rainbow, the teal blue colour, a little wider than the others so the clouds wouldn't cover the entire stripe. paint a coat of matte top coat (or clear top coat if you want them shiny) over all your nails. i have fallen in love with the "sephora by opi" matte coat. it dries quickly, and lasts 5 days without chips or scratches. beauty effin' product ($12 at sephora).

step 4. once your matte coat (or top coat) is dry, you can get all cloudy up in here. i used a white "sally hansen nail art pen" ($7 at shopper's drug mart) to create an outline of the clouds on the tip of my nail.

step 5. once the outline is dry, you can fill it in and repeat this step to ensure full coverage.

*note: the reason i applied my top coat before the clouds and not after was purely a trial and error discovery. the first time i attempted this, i made the clouds and then applied my matte top coat.  i don't know if it's the nail art pen, or the matte coat, but the combo of the two resulted in the clouds cracking and splitting apart. not nice. not happy. you mani, & you learn.
i hope you love them as much as i do.
and if you don't get lucky this st.patty's day, your nails sure as shit did!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

tuesday tit for tat: keep your fleurs friggen' fresh.

i'm going to try and make tuesdays more fun with what i'm calling 'tuesday tit for tat'.  if i learn something worth sharing, i'm gonna give it to ya straight up--sharing is caring, so be excited. i figured i would start with something i know...and i know flowers. while working as a floral designer a few years back (i miss it a lot, and often) i learned a handful of tips & tricks when it comes to keeping your flowers fresh, and for as long as possible. the difference between having fresh flowers in my home and not, is actually quite amazing. walking past them in the morning or having them there during meals, especially during the colder months, is just that little extra somethin' somethin' that makes me happy, it's the little things right? so here ya dutch roots are just giddy about this.
i couldn't resist picking up a couple bunches of lovely white tulips from the market this weekend, and at $3.99/bunch, you can't possibly go wrong. i spend more money on a bottle of wine, and that only lasts...well, let's be honest, it doesn't last long. i made sure to pick the bunches with the tightest buds, and checked that none of the stems were broken or badly bruised. once i got them home, i removed all the packaging, and laid them out. choose the vase you want to display your flowers in, and fill it 3/4 full, having your vase ready to go will help you get your flowers into the water as soon as they are freshly cut. this is key, as you don't want them hanging out in the air to dry up and start to seal. this makes it difficult for the stems to drink up all the water they need. start by removing all the leaves that would sit below the water line. leaves that sit in the water will form bacteria, which your stems drink up, and causes them to parish faster.  
once all your lower leaves have been removed, you can organize your stems into the shape you are going for. if you want your flowers even and compact, line them up by bloom. if you prefer them helter skelter and natural, line them up so the stems are even, and hold it up to your vase to make sure you like where they will sit. with my flowers being all the same, and to suit the vase i was using, i wanted them as tidy and as even as possible, so i lined up the blooms.
*tip for fresh cut tulips* before cutting your stems, add a shot of either vodka, gin or whatever clear alcohol you may have into your vase of water. tulips continue to grow even after they have been cut, and unfortunately, they don't grow nice and straight. adding a shot of clear booze keeps them from going all willy-nilly. i know, total opposite to what booze does to me too. rule of thumb: one for me, one for you, a step worth doing for the shot alone. give your stems a nice fresh cut with sharp scissors or a knife, and on as much of an angle as you can. an angled cut prevents the stems from sitting flush on the bottom of your vase, which makes it harder for them to drink, and it increases the surface area that your stem can drink from. i know. who knew?
now you can arrange your flowers in the vase the way you like. i prefer them as full and clean as possible, which is why i chose simple white tulips, perfect for spring. they look lovely in this turquoise vase i found at an antique shop in my neighbourhood, and couldn't be prettier.
a few more tips & tricks.

every 2-3 days, dump out the water and wash your vase with a splash of bleach and hot water. don't use soap, as it gets stuck in the cracks and crevasses of your vase, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. bleach will kill anything in the vase, keeping your water cleaner, longer. give your fleurs a fresh cut before putting them back in the vase.

unlike most potted houseplants or planters, you want to keep your fresh cut flowers out of direct sunlight, and in the coolest place you can. sunlight heats up the water, causing bacteria to form, again, depreciating their lifespan.
flowers that have the longest shelf life: carnations (i know how some people feel about them, but i have really come to like them done in a simple, monochromatic posey), alstromeria and chrysanthemum's will last you 1.5-2 weeks easily. peonies, lilies, roses and daisies seem to last around a week before they get all funky. 

don't wait for your man (or old lady) to buy you flowers to have them in your life. for some of us, it happens few and far between, so buy them for yourself and love every minute of them. hey! a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. hell, they may even get the hint and start buying them for you more often. but probably not.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

sunday brunch: bubble & squeak.

during the christmas holidays, my boyfriend jamie oliver ran the sweetest series called "jamie's family christmas". from the comfort of his stunning english cottage, he had his family & friends help him make some of his favourite festive meals. his home was perfectly decorated, the series was beautifully filmed, and really inspiring, filled with lots of british comfort food classics. one of the meals that really stood out, was jamie's "boxing day bubble & squeak", first because of how delicious it looked, and second for the name. so i did a little research, and learned that "bubble & squeak" is a traditional english meal, made from leftover vegetables and basically whatever the hell you want. conveniently, we had some friends over for the best roast dinner paulie has ever made the night before, and had everything we needed to give this recipe a whirl. we tweaked jamie's recipe just a wee bit, and voila. enjoy.

how we do: amanda & paul's sunday brunch bubble & squeak
{serves 4. even though there was only 2 of us.}
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 45 minutes
eating time: done before your coffee

you will need:
olive oil
1 pound of leftover mixed veg
1 pound of leftover potatoes
8 strips of bacon
8 breakfast sausages
3 medium sized tomatoes
4 large free range eggs
salt & pepper

*throw the 'young the giant'  album on while cooking. good brunch making music i feel.
make yourself a cup of coffee already.
 heat your oven to 450°. in a large oven-safe skillet or frying pan heat up a nice amount of olive oil. add you mixed veg to the pan, and tamp it down with a potato masher. we had carrots, red peppers, asparagus, red onions and mixed shrooms that had been roasted in salt & pepper, and topped with a splash of balsamic vinegar, but you can use whatever blows your hair back. on top of your veg, add the potatoes. we had leftover roasted garlic mash, but roasted or even scalloped potatoes would be equally delicious. tamp the potatoes into your veg, until it's evenly incorporated and your mix is covering your entire pan. the point of this step is to create almost a "hash", that will crisp on the bottom and sides, and give you a crust. let this do it's thing for around 25-30 minutes, pressing it down every once in a while.
while the veg is frying, you can get your sides ready to rock. lay out your bacon and wieners on a non-stick baking sheet, and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. we had never cooked bacon in the oven like this before, and loved the way it turned out--crispy, less greasy and a lot less messy. once cooked, pull them out and lay them on some paper towel.
with your oven still hot, core and half your tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt & freshly cracked pepper. my favourite part of breakfast or brunch is always having a side of tomatoes. fried with your scrambled eggs or just fresh and seasoned, i like having a lighter side with such a greasy meal. pop these in the oven for 7-9 minutes, or until soft.
at this point your potato and veg mix should be perfect, so tamp it down flat, and use the back of a soup spoon to make 4 little evenly spaced pockets. crack an egg into each one, and put the entire pan in the oven along with your tomatoes. the eggs will take about 10 minutes to cook them sunny side up.
are you so hungry you could eat your pets?! i was. but come on, look at them! especially india. 
she has become quite the full figured girl over the winter.
a little hot sauce, a mug of coffee (or a mimosa. or 2. or 3) and you are bubblin' & squeakin' for the rest of the damn day. 
thanks jaime. you're more than just a pretty face with the cutest speech impediment i have ever laid eyes (and ears) on. 
happy sunday.

Friday, March 09, 2012

happy fuckin' friday: marchstagrammin'.

i have been a busy little instagram bee! trying to stay creative when you are given such a simple task is the hardest yet most fun part of the 'march photo a day challenge'. choosing whether to interpret the item assigned for that day literally, ironically or creatively can change the entire outcome of your photo, and i like that. i think the best shots that have come out of this little challenge are the ones that are taken simply, and in the moment. if you're participating in the challenge too, i hope you are able to step outside of that little square display screen on your iphone or camera, and are looking at the world from a fresh perspective.
keep snappin'.

ps-happy fuckin' friday!
{from left to right} a smile. your neighbourhood. something you wore. window. 5pm. fruit. up. bedside.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

first comes love, then comes marriage, then my uterus tries to exit the building.

in the wake of my turning another year older, i have been inundated by a question that seems everyone in my life wants me to answer: when are you and paul having a baby? normally the question is presented in a polite manner: "do you want to have kids right away? are you and paul trying yet?", and as much as i appreciate that it's on the minds of my friends, family and colleagues, translated literally, "are you and paul trying yet?" means "is paul frequently tapping that ass without a one-piece overcoat?". and i don't know how i feel about that. is it appropriate to ask non-newlyweds if they are getting down and dirty on the regular, sans protection? something tells me no. no, it's not.

now if i would have been asked even a year ago if i wanted to have kids, i would have told you that there was a better chance of throwing myself down the stairs before getting knocked up. i actually can't remember ever wanting to be a mom. even when i was little, i can remember 'playing house', and never wanting to be the mom-i preferred being the kid, or the student, even the pet cat. but over the last year, specifically the last six months, i have changed my tune. it's like my hormones have shifted and it sparked my maternal clock to stark ticking. at first i could shut it up with a glass of wine, but the wine now has reverse effects...the more drunk i get, the more i find myself talking about having a baby. i've even caught myself asking paul the same questions everyone is asking me "well, are you going to tap my ass or what?". just last week paul came downstairs to find me bawling my eyes out in front of the tv, watching tori spelling (who i lovegive birth to their third baby:

paul: "um. are you crying?"
me: "wahhhh! i want one"
paul: "you're fucked"

these conversations make paulie an awkward little boy, even more so than he already is, if you can believe it. he doesn't ever seem to say when he wants to start a family, he just says "when it happens, it happens". the truth is, we could get pregnant today, and he would be happier than if the jays won the world series--and  for paul, that is really fucking happy. i see how he interacts with kids and animals...and i like the way they are drawn to him and his kind, sweet nature. if he's in a room with either, you can bet your ass, they are all over him. i want to be the mama to his babies, i want to see him hold a wee paulie in his arms (we're only having boys. 3 of them).

so why the hesitation to get off the bench and onto the field? because i'm scurred! shitless! 
we can't be the only friends in our group avec baby! there's only a handful of us who are married, never mind being two steps ahead of the game. i know, i know, what a pathetic excuse to put my life the next step on hold, but i really want to enjoy that part of my life surrounded by the people i love. have kids that are the same age, that can grow up together and develop the kind of friendship i have with my friends. i want more "paul and amanda" time to do our thing. shallow? maybe. selfish? sure.  the truth? 100%.

for now i have come up with a list of things i will say when asked "are you trying yet?". 
so if i pull any of these out on you, don't be alarmed.

"unfortunately, paul has no testicles."
"kids are in our 15 year plan."
"i'm allergic."
"can't. i'm totally barren."
side note: when i do get knocked up, i will own this t-shirt.

Monday, March 05, 2012

pretty birthday things.

i think i said "i'm spoiled" about 84 times this weekend. make that 85.

the birthday festivities started off with a thoughtful little gift from paulie; a macro lens for my camera, saying "i thought you might want it so you can take nice close up pictures for your blog. i know you like doing that". this melted me. i don't know why, it just did. i don't need expensive jewelry (although i'd take it) or fancy perfume (i'd take that too) to make me feel like i'm spoiled rotten, my man knows the shit that's gonna turn my crank. on top of the lens, he signed me up for a 'canon camera' workshop at a local camera shop. it's only for a few hours, but i think it will help me learn some of the terminology and functions that i have avoided learning since we got the camera over a year ago. 
i just want to be able to pick it up and do my thing, but i guess a little education never hurt anyone.

he also took me to east for sushi, where i was able to cross off another item on my 30 by 30 list. i was a little apprehensive about trying it, but once i smashed the first piece in my mouth, i couldn't stop. from shrimp tempura to salmon sashimi, i was loving all of it. my favourite was their 'king of fish' roll, which was avocado and asparagus with salmon. because we had never tried sushi before, i didn't want to lead on that we were newbies, so we watched how everyone else ordered and ate their dishes. the couple next to us mixed their wasabi right into their soya sauce, which absolutely blew my brains. of course i copied and could not get enough of it. i could put that little combo on anything. steak? sure. pasta? fuck yes. i'm drooling. once we were stuffed to the point we had become "rolls" ourselves, we headed to "the office" for some after dinner drinks--including a dirty martini with a fly in it. hell, i asked for it dirty.
 now, you know how you have that one friend who always seems to top the last present they bought you? whether it was for christmas, or your birthday...or just because they saw it and it made them think of you, they always manage to find a gift that makes you say "this is so me. this is perfect". it just so happens that all of my friends are that kind of friend. for reals. and it was never more true than on this birthday. with a house full of my favourites, we busted out a 'dance central' pre-party, a couple of cocktails, the yummiest homemade cake pops and a few of the prettiest gifts. bottles of wine (my fave), sticky notes for listing (also my fave), a beautiful book of crochet gift ideas "so you can cross off #9 on your 30 by 30 list and make us all gifts" and a mirror made up of hand mirrors for my dining room. i said i was spoiled. 
we ended the night with a quick trip to the casino for some gambling and dancing. which both ended quickly as no one hit the jackpot, and the cougars at the bar in the casino were burning holes through us with their skeeving eyes. come on ladies, we aren't all after your prospective man meat. if all my birthdays could be this special, i wouldn't hate every minute of getting older. 
but we all know what they say about "ifs": if!? if!? if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle.
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