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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

proposal production: the sweetest shit i have seen all week.

i received an email from one of the girlies i work with, telling me to "get the tissues out", and attached was a link to the video below. now, i feel like i have seen some pretty adorable proposals pop up over the last few years, and it appears there are a lot of boys out there willing to get down with their creative selves, to give the girl of their dreams a proposal she couldn't forget (or say no to).

this is one of those proposals. the holy shit package of all proposals.

i tell paul all the time, that if i was a guy, i would do this kind of shit for my girlfriend all day long. 
and it would get me laid on the regular like i was ryan fucking gosling.

get the tissues out.

Friday, May 25, 2012

classic beach bummin'.

{image found here}

it's amazing how one day at the beach has me craving the sand in my toes, hair, ass crack and everywhere else it so elegantly ends up. nothing like peeling your bathing suit off at the end of a long beach day, to reveal the sand bikini you have been wearing underneath. so to celebrate the start of this special season,  here are a few of my favourite beach images to get me by until the next glorious day in the sun. 
my god the 50's were good.
{images found here, here & here}
{images found herehere & here}

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

grouplove: lovely cup.

even in the dead of winter, this song could make me feel like short shorts, bikinis and hot pink toes.
roll your windows down & turn the music up.

so i'll drink you up my dear,
we got it all right here.
here is now and now is where i wanna be.

Friday, May 18, 2012

because words mean everything.

“he’s not perfect. you aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. but if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. he isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. don’t analyze. smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. love hard when there is love to be had. because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” 

--bob marley.

Monday, May 14, 2012

hearts & crafts: photo on canvas art.

i am a total slacker when it comes to decorating our home (back to the "i don't want to fall more in love with it then i already am if we don't plan on staying here forever" bidness), and considering it's been almost a year since we got married, and i still didn't have a single photo on the walls, it was time to do something about it. while visiting a friend in toronto, we stopped at an art supply shop to snoop around, and i snagged a 5 pack of 8x10 canvases for $20. i wasn't sure what i was going to do with them at the time, but i couldn't resist the deal and brought them home with me. fatefully, i came across this diy project on 'a beautiful mess' blog, and knew it would be a quick & easy project to tackle, and a great way to use the canvases. i may have even pulled off an easier project than the one that inspired me, 
and i am really happy with the finished product.

how we do: photo on canvas art
before i start, i have to say these would never have turned out as lovely as they did if it weren't for our photographer nataschia wielink. she captured our special day and all of it's important moments exactly how i hoped she would, and using high quality images is the key to making these puppies perfect. 

this project took me half an hour to make all four, plus about an hour for drying time. i'm a big fan of projects that are quick and satisfying, where in one afternoon you can go from a blank wall, to your own little gallery. use this technique with freebie prints off the net, images from glossy magazines or anything you see fit.
decide which photos you want for your series, keeping in mind orientation, colour and variety. i chose some images that were landscape and some that were portrait, all with the same pop of colour and feel. once you're happy with your choices, the rest of the project is a breeze.
*please don't judge my unpainted nails. they needed a break to be naked & free.
because my photos were the same size as the canvas, i chose to trim a tiny bit off each photo to leave an edge around it on the canvas. it created a border that allows you to easily see the canvas sides, which is my favourite thing about the prints. using a ruler, mark off how much you need to cut off, and with sharp scissors cut as straight of a line as you can.
apply matte mod podge glue to the back of your photo, and using a sponge brush, spread it out evenly and fully. flip the photo onto the canvas, and adjust it until it's as square and centered as possible, smoothing over the image with your hands, pressing out any bubbles or creases. photo paper is thick enough that you don't get much creasing, but if you are using printer paper or anything less heavy than photo paper, it may cause you some grief.
once in place, apply a good amount of mod podge to the photo and smooth it out. it will look opaque at first, but within minutes it begins to go clear (dry, the glue leaves a matte and textured finish). make sure you apply enough glue along the edges of the image so it doesn't lift or peel up. i let the glue dry overnight before hanging them, but after an hour, they were  definitely dry enough to handle.
 they look so sweet grouped at the top of our stairs, and bring some much needed colour to a once very white wall. lennon watched me hang them, and gave them his yawn of approval. i plan on buying some larger canvases, to make some nice sized prints of the whole wedding party to add to the grouping. once i have children, i will have 6000 of these made up and hung on every inch of wall we own.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

paul & amanda's feisty fish tacos.

up until about a year ago, i hadn't tried (or wanted to try) a fish taco. ew, fish tacos? that just sounds dirty and wrong. and now i crave them about once a week. we gave them a whirl at home, and they turned out so good, that they have made their way into our dinner rotation. they are the perfect mix of spicy & smokey, with a creamy coolness that evens everything out. the ingredients are  healthy and fresh, and they are a great alternative when you're bored of the same old same old. if you're a fan of fish and tacos, give these a chance. you'll shit.

how we do: paul & amanda's feisty fish tacos
{serves one couple with a very healthy appetite.}
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 6-8 minutes
eating time: 1/2 an episode of wheel of fortune

you will need:
3 fillets of tilapia
chipotle chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil
red cabbage
2 jalapenos
2 heaping tablespoons of greek yogurt
2 avocados
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon
1 small tomato
small whole wheat tortillas

*my brother has me addicted to phil collins right now. if my itunes is on, it's probably playing this.

first, pour yourself a glass of wine, and try not to make eye contact with the world's cutest pooch sitting outside the back door. she clearly wants you to stop what you're doing, and throw that damn ball to her until your arm falls off.
take your fresh tilapia fillets, and slice each one in half down the middle. this will give you 6 pieces, which will make you 6 really nice sized tacos. i am not a fan of really fishy fish, which is why we use the tilapia. you know what they say, "if it smells like chicken, keep on lickin'. if it smells like trout, get the hell out!" we have also tried this with monk fish, but it doesn't flake the same way, and they weren't nearly as good. 
to give the fish that smokey taste with some heat behind it, we use a combo of chipotle chili powder and cumin (about 3 tablespoons of each) and some salt & pepper to taste. throw your fillets into a ziploc freezer bag, coat with some olive oil and add your seasonings. massage the spices into the fish until covered, and pop your fish in the fridge to keep cool while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
to take away some of the heat (but not all, the spice is my favourite thing about these babies) we make up a simple slaw. we usually use about 1/8th of a red cabbage, a good handful of cilantro, 2 jalapenos, 2 heaping tablespoons of greek yogurt and some salt & pepper. combine it all and let it sit while you get your fish in the pan.
 heat a nonstick pan on high and add a tablespoon of coconut oil. we used to use olive oil when cooking the fish for this recipe, but we tried the coconut oil, and it is delicious! it adds a nice flavour, and makes the fish perfectly crispy on the outside. once the oil is hot lay your fillets down and leave them be. the more you move them around, the better chance of them breaking apart. let them go for about 4 minutes on the first side, and then flip them with a spatula. let the other side go for around 3 minutes. paulie does the ol' fork trick to see if they're done. pick the thickest filet, and insert a fork into it, put the fork to your lip and it should be about as hot as a "cuppa tea" (as he would say).
if it is, they are done and you are golden. 
while your fish is cooking, you can whip up a quick guacamole. we use 2 medium avocados, 1 clove of garlic, juice from 1/2 a lemon and some salt & pepper to taste. mash everything together with a fork and voila! this guac recipe is also perfect with nachos, on a burger, in any kind of wrap or sandwich.
layer your ingredients on a small whole wheat tortilla, starting with a blob of guac, your fish, the slaw, some diced tomatoes and a squirt of lemon. they have a good amount of heat behind them, and are dynamite with a frosty beer. or 2. or 10. ole!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

pretty things for ma's day.

my mom has always had incredibly expensive taste (i swear i have no idea where i get it from). it's a bad thing for my dad, but a great thing for her, as she has always had really nice stuff, that she keeps forever. she is a fan of classic items that never lose their style, and hardly ever has to get rid of something because it's 'out of date' or 'not in style any longer'. i think this is one of the best qualities i have picked up from my ma, and is something i try to carry with me through all aspects of my life. she has also taught me to 'be the better person', 'make more food than you think you would ever need' and if someone is pissing you off and just won't stop, it's ok to tell them to 'eat shit and die'.

with ma's day just around the corner, i thought i would put together a selection of some of the prettiest gift ideas i could think of. i know it seems cliché to throw perfume, flowers and jewelry in there, but done well, they are some of my mom's favourite gifts to receive, and some of my favourite gifts to give. any woman who tells you otherwise, is totally lying to you.

Monday, May 07, 2012

a sunday date with the world's tallest flower.

about a week ago, i got an email from paulie that started off "you're gonna love this you huge nerd", and with that, i was in love with it and i didn't even know what the hell it was. attached was this article, explaining that the floral showhouse (a greenhouse in niagara falls), was nursing two of the 'world's tallest flower', the titan arum, and one of them was on the cusp of blooming for the first time in canada. i followed the updates on the greenhouse's blog for a few days, and we made a plan to go see it yesterday.

even though i was slightly incredibly hungover, we got our asses  in gear and drove to the falls. it was a beautiful day, and we made it there early enough that there wasn't too long of a line to get in. the grounds surrounding the greenhouse itself are just as incredible as what's inside, a collection of japanese maples, crab apples in full bloom and the style of the greenhouse itself, i was loving everything. it reminded me of our first date, which was also in may, when we were babies. we started off at the butterfly conservatory, which is also on the parkway, and went for a walk on the grounds of the always lovely school of horticulture. afterwards, he took me to a diner for ice cream sundaes, it was so sweet, and so perfectly high school. until i spilled a giant spoonful of chocolate ice cream directly onto my hammers. while wearing a white tank top. i'm pretty sure that was the moment he knew i was the one. yes, the floral showhouse yesterday reminded me a lot of that day, sans the ice cream tits of course.
the flower was in the main entrance of the building, and you could smell a definite funk as soon as you stepped through the doors. it hadn't been in bloom for over 24 hours, yet the smell was very much there. the nickname for the titan arum is "corpse flower" because when it blooms, the scent resembles the smell of rotting meat. how romantic. it wasn't enough to keep us away, and i couldn't believe the sheer size of it when it was finally my turn to get up close and personal with it. the plant grew at a rate of 7" per day, but while blooming, the flower moves around 8cm every half-hour, so you can actually watch it happening. luckily, someone was smart and time lapse photographed (my fave) the flower blooming. i asked one of the employees why it had only lasted 36 hours in bloom, when they were expecting it to stick around for at least four days, and she explained that the bloom was getting too much sun, and as a result flopped prematurely and began to close. they have high hopes for the second bloom, and expect it to last longer than the first, blooming in about a week. if you live in the area, it's worth it to make the trip out to see this beast. once they update the blog that the flower has bloomed, i plan on going back to see her in all her pride and glory. fingers crossed this happens on sunday, nothing says 'happy mother's day' 
like taking my ma to see a giant flower that smells like death.
the spent bloom in front, and the second in the back. moi. adorable boy in plaid. 
malaysian orchid. the greenhouse that i want added as an extension to the back of my house.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

if all you did for yourself today was this, it would be enough.

remember that time i wrote about going to see oprah? i have thought about that day ever since, and will probably think about it everyday going forward, specifically the "emotional flooding" exercise tony robbins did with us. jules and i have been scouring the internet for a clip of this moment from the show, with no such luck. until today!


i have a feeling oprah waited to post this until the lifeclass we attended aired on her network, which was this past monday, and almost as incredible to watch in my living room alone, as it was to be there. i took advantage of my empty house, and when it came to this exercise, i fully participated. without curtains on my front room window, anyone who may have seen me from the street would have seen me standing there, hand on heart, crying like an idiot, and i still wouldn't have looked out of place. not in my neighbourhood.

if today, all you did for yourself was participate in this for 5 minutes, it would be enough.

enough to change your state of mind. 
enough to get you through. 
enough to make you feel. 
it's just enough.

"breathe deep in your heart. feel the power of your heart. feel the strength of your heart. feel grateful for your heart, and what it's guided you to do in this life. to give and to be. think about how you didn't have to buy this heart, you didn't have to earn it--something thought enough of you, to give you this gift of life."
{view from original source
ps-if you can get past the semi-cheesiness of it, you will see what i saw.
pss-thank the lord the camera didn't find it's way to me during this exercise. not pretty. not pretty at all.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

because words mean everything.

something simple & sweet for your wednesday.
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