Monday, December 30, 2013

See ya, 2013!

So, 2013, eh?

Ok, with one day left in the year, I suppose I should revisit my 2013 Get 'er Done List goals. Here's how we're looking:


COMPLETE - One more class to obtain certificate in Digital Media Marketing

Yup, I checked this one off and got my little certificate. Hoo-rah!

The GGs:

Laura Salverson, The Dark Weaver
YUP - Winifred Bambrick, Continental Revue
YUP - David Walker, The Pillar
YUP - Hugh Garner, Hugh Garner's Best Stories
YUP - Douglas LePan, The Deserter
YUP - Dave Godfrey, The New Ancestors
YUP - Linda Spalding, The Purchase

Yee-ha, I finished off my GG project, reading all but one that I couldn't find anywhere. And of course, the book that won the 2013 award: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (which I got for Christmas!)

Baby Goals:

DUNZO - Finish nursery
FINITO - Have this baby
PANIC BE DAMNED! - Don't panic about having this baby
I THINK SO - Figure out how to be a mom
SO FAR, SO GOOD - Figure out how to be a working mom

Misc. Goals

NOPE - Save money
NOSIREE - Figure out how to save money with a baby

So, those last few goals were a little out there. Saving money with a baby! HAHAHA! Babies are expensive. And not getting paid for a chunk of maternity leave is expensive. And daycare is really friggin expensive. So, no, we did not save much money. In fact, our little nest egg took quite a bruising. Dangit.

But that's ok, because I finish off the year with the biggest success of all. 
 And what next? 2014 goals! They are lofty! Here they are:

1. Get a driver's license. Yes friends, I will be 35 in February and I do not have a driver's license. I've never needed one. I grew up in downtown Toronto with a Metropass and strong walkin' legs. And I now live in NYC with a Metrocard and.. uh... taxi fare. 

But the time has come to do what most 16 year-olds can do. Because. But you know what holds me back? FEAR. 16 years olds are stupid and so not scared. I am old and wise and scared, so scared. But I'm going to do it. 

Well, part of this is true. Via crassXstitch on Etsy
2. Learn Photoshop. Yeah, I have it. And sometimes when I have the time to figure it out, I will be able to figure it out to a basic degree. But I'd like to be better. So, yeah, Photoshop.

3. Write more bloggy posts. This year I wrote, I believe, 34 posts. Lame. I'm not going to write every day, but I am going to aim high! 100+ posts in 2014! That's 100+ sweet, sweet nothings!
4.  Go a month without sugar. Friends, I am an addict. Sugar. Sugar sugar sugar. This is probably the loftiest goal, but I would like to go a month without sugar. If I can do this, I will treat myself to something really special. Like a DSLR camera. 

Ok, there we go. The 2014 Get 'er Done List. Perhaps the most challenging list to date. But I feel like I can do it! Maybe!

Happy New Year, friends! I wish you lots and lots of this:

(that's LOVE not graffiti)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Making Spirits Bright

Today I'm home from work, thanks to a husband with a stomach bug and a baby who had a bad reaction to his rota-virus vaccination. READ: Barf City, USA.

Needing a little Christmas cheer, I turned to the cheeriest place on the internet: YouTube. There I dug up some Christmas classics. Enjoy!

Twisted Sister - Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Run DMC - Christmas in Hollis

Bing Crosby and David Bowie - Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth

Billy Idol - Jingle Bell Rock

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Digging around in my old posts, I found this from June 2012, where I proclaimed "I am not an ebook reader, I am a print-book reader, and I can't really imagine I'll change." Ha! How things change.

When did they change? I guess it started when I got an iPad for my birthday, and a few weeks later I had to go on a business trip while 6 months pregnant. Ain't no way I'm packing a Franzen in my suitcase. That's where it started.

Then L. was born, and I found that I couldn't even hold paper books. Babe in one hand, tablet in another, I managed to actually plow through quite a few books while on maternity leave! I was pretty, pretty pleased with myself.

I told myself that I would still read paper books when it was something I wanted to have on my shelf. And I think I stand by that. In fact, I pre-ordered Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam so I would get it the day it came out. And when my copy I arrived, I was so excited to get going on it, and on my commute home I started to read, and... and then I got sleepy. And then I wanted to listen to music. And in bed at night I wanted to sleep. And then carrying a book was so heavy. And then, and then, and then. And then I bought the ebook. And then I could read it while I fed L. And then I realized I had converted to ebooks.

I still want the books I love on my shelf. And I still love beautiful print books. But oh my, I can't even believe I ever claimed I would never be into ebooks.

self portrait with cat

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It all falls apart (and how to ignore it)

So, got a funny email this morning. But not funny. They forgot the funny. Our daycare has been closed. Like, forcefully closed. Their license was suspended and as of right this second we have nowhere to put L. come Monday. So, that's nice, right?

What a fabbo way to start my day (at 5:30 am, no less), a day when H. was heading off to a conference for 4 days. A day when my cat was secretly plotting to barf all over the floor. Great. Fantastique.

What I had wanted to do this morning, before H. caught his train, was create these nifty little flower sachets that I had spotted on the Purl Bee blog:

Image via Purl Bee
Last night I spent a very long time watching crappy Friday night tv, and some weird Werner Herzog documentary that H. put on, cutting millions of little petals

We are doing an office Secret Santa. Don't you love Secret Santa? But my department is international, so it's an international Secret Santa. And the spend limit is $8. What can you buy for $8? No really, I want to know. Not even a book. Not even a palatable bottle of wine. Not even a decent box of chocolates. So, I thought I'd make these, and give my secret person one.

Anyhou. This morning's news kind of distracted me. But I thought I would try and make some headway. I had materials for 16 sachets.

My little helper by my side:

But I was distracted, and things went slightly awry.

Felt is tricky, it sticks to other felt, so not my fault.

But some turned out nicely.

But I'm not done. I haven't turned them into little pillows of scented bliss yet. In fact, I haven't even chosen what scented bliss I'm going to stuff them with. Probably lavender, because I like it. That's the only reason.

So, yes, I'm posting about shiz I haven't even finished. But it's Saturday night, I'm waiting for my dinner to arrive, my husband is out of town and I'm trying not to think about the impending doom of childcare. FML.

So, tell me what you would buy your Secret Santa for $8.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My for real Christmas wish list

Christmas is such a nice time with family and friends and food, and presents. Most importantly presents. I'm not going to dance around the fact that I love presents. I cultivate my wish list year-round like a garden. Adding things, taking things out, nurturing my list so that when November comes around it is a perfectly-selected list of things I wish for in my life. Besides, you know, peace, happiness, health, food, Oreos, etc.

I actually debated whether it would be tacky to post my Christmas wish list here. But once upon a time I started my blog to list the things I wanted and couldn't have because I was saving money. So, effff that, I decided I would share my materialistic/consumerist greed list right here for all to see. This is my Christmas wishlist:

The to-wear stuff:

The books:

For my home:

The mom gear:

The never gonna happen:

I think I've had a digital SLR camera on my wish list for about ten years. For some reason my family isn't keen to drop so many benjamins on one for me. Weird.

Anyhou, that's my wishlist. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

OK, now I really am hoarding furniture

We have a nice, big apartment. Bigger than many NYC apartments. And it is totally full of stuff. Totally. And completely. And we don't need any furniture. But yet...

You may recall how hard we looked for record cabinets, or you can read about it here and here. Anyhou, it was hard. And H. likes to collect records. So, when I spotted an unusual mid-century record cabinet online recently, well, I thought we had better buy it. Right now, we don't have any records to put in it, and we don't really have anywhere to put it. But, we have it.

It's not going to live in this spot, because it doesn't fit. But it's a decent enough photo of it.

Next year, we probably won't be living in this apartment anymore. While we love our big, sunny apartment - lugging a baby up four flights is one thing, lugging a toddler will be another. And, it's nice to think about a time when naps and sleeps won't be interrupted by the constant scream of sirens. So, next year, we will likely move to the (gasp!) 'burbs.

We're assuming that we'll have more space when we move. So, thinking ahead, and knowing how hard it was to find a record cabinet last time, we went ahead and bought something we had no space for, and no immediate need for.

We decided on a space in the living room, which meant moving the microwave cart, and a bookshelf in the kitchen, and then the record player itself - which is now in the kitchen, just to make space. But here she is:

Don't look too closely - besides the fact that it's just storing stuff at the moment (read: unstyled!), there's a dust bunny convention in the corner.

But there we have it: I am a furniture hoarder. Does this mean I can have a china cabinet now?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

C'est L'Halloween

Seems about time for my monthly blog post. And good news, it's more baby stuff.

I'm a firm believer that Halloween costumes should be made, not bought. Or "made" by being cobbled together with stuff you found at the Goodwill. And until L. decides he wants to be Batman every year until he's 15, he will have to put up with my whims when it comes to costumes.

This year, L. attended a baby Halloween gathering in Sunset Park. He had/has a cold so he wasn't in a party mood, poor thing.

Do you see what Mr. L. is? Hes a tree. A damn cute tree.

The single sock look was his choice.
As you can tell, I totally made this costume from a toddler pajama pattern (with adjustments to make it smaller for a baby, and velcro instead of snaps).

My original plan was that he would be a log and I would be the Log Lady from Twin Peaks (greatest show ever).

My log saw something that night.
HOWEVER, I got a bit lazy and couldn't even be bothered to go looking for the perfect vintage cardigan that would basically encompass the entire costume. **THAT** is how lazy I can be. So, L. was a tree, and I was nothing.

But that's not all. I was inspired to do a second costume for L. Basically, just for you since he can't really go outside in this thing.

Bow before me.
Recognize him? Yes, he's Prince George!

You don't have to be a royal to have a fancy doily dress.

You may be wondering if I glued a bunch of paper doilies together for this costume. NO. I sewed a bunch of paper doilies together. And if you're wondering how long a paper doily dress lasts on a four month old, the answer is about 30 seconds.

Mmmm, rippy.
Ok, Happy Halloween! And to sign off, if you were ever a French immersion student, or French (maybe just French Canadian?), you've probably been singing this old gem all day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Oh, blog you say?

Sorry friends, it’s been a crazy month (!!). The new life routine of working mom is hard. And tiring. Do you want to hear about my daily schedule for a minute?

5:30 AM – Wake up. Shower, if necessary. Feed cat. Prepare bottles for daycare. Eat breakfast, if possible.
6 AM – Make sure kid and husband are up. Blow dry hair, if necessary.
6:20 AM – Get dressed.
6:30 AM – Feed kid. Get kid dressed.
6:50 (ish) AM – Leave house. Get on train. Go one stop. Get off train. Walk 5 blocks to daycare.
7:15 (ish) AM – Drop kid off at daycare. Walk 5 blocks back to train. Get on train.
8 AM – Be at work
8 AM – 4 PM - Work work work all day, drink lots of coffee, pump pump pump.
4 PM – Leave work (repeat subway, walk 5 blocks)
4:45 PM – Get kid (repeat 5 block walk, subway)
5 PM – Feed kid.
6-7 PM – Eat dinner, play with kid.
7 PM – Bath and bed time.
7-8 PM – Try to make kid go to sleep time!
8 PM – Relax time. And by “relax” I mean clean and prep bottles for the next day, tidy the apartment if necessary, stare into space, write on blog, if necessary.
10 PM – Bed time, if I can last that long.

Oh, and I didn’t include the fun parts of the night when I’m up and feeding the kid again. Thanks, sleep regression!

Ok, well that was longer than I had intended.

Also this past month we’ve enjoyed one barfing disease and two colds. Daycare!

Anyway. On top of that, we flew to Seattle due to a family emergency for 5 days. Don’t worry, it’s ok. But the crazy part is, we came back from Seattle, and then had to fly there AGAIN 3 days later for my best friend’s wedding. Ay carumba. So, my little 4 month old man has already logged about 9,632 miles in the air. In a span of 10 days. And can I tell you? He was a pro. 

You know, when you travel with a baby on a plane, there is a look of absolute fear on the face of the person sitting next to you when they realize they just got on a cross-country flight next to a baby. And all of the people who sat next to us on those flights, after getting to the other side and hearing hardly a peep from the little mister, congratulated us on having such a good baby. And I accept those congratulations as though I did anything to make him so good.

Once it became apparent that the family emergency was under control, it became an odd little unexpected vacation. Except, that sounds really strange to say because we flew there under such stress. But anyway, my sister-in-law was keeping a Seattle secret from me: Seattle has the greatest Goodwill EVER. The most giant, the most well-organized, the best collection of pure, magical junk. Just look at my treasures!

Dansk coffee pot

pottery pitcher

Brass vase
And yes, I took those pics on top of the record player, hence the reflection of a record in the shiny bits. 

The Goodwill was so good, in fact, that when we flew back for the wedding a few days later, I demanded we go again! Second trip not as successful, but it was good to look at the junk again. I do love junk.

And my friend’s wedding, on an island 100 miles north of Seattle, was pretty magic too. This was the view we woke up to in the mornings:

And this is the view of my little man dressed up for his first wedding. That smile! That round little face! That bow-tie (made by yours truly)!
 And this is a view of the Naqvis, all dressed up. We clean up nice, eh?

Anyhous. I have 3 sewing projects at the moment. If I ever finish any of them, I might even have something to blog about. Fancy that!

Friday, September 6, 2013


"It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city only for the very young." -- Goodbye to All That, Joan Didion

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Check it out!

I'm over on casacaudill sharing some tips about traveling to Turkey!

So, go over there and read it! That's an order!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sumertime Sadness

Warning: if you get annoyed when people have babies and suddenly their blog is TOO MUCH about that baby, then click next NOW because it's about to get very bebe up in here.

Yesterday, somehow, my little L. baby turned 12 weeks old.

12 weeks ago
Today marks the end of summer (though, not technically) and also the last day of my maternity leave. Tomorrow I go back to work, and L. goes to daycare full time.

12 weeks old!
I've harped on enough about how the absence of paid maternity leave in this country infuriates me, and now it also depresses me. My baby will now spend most of his waking hours with someone else.

Do you have any Grey Poupon?
I've told myself everything I can think of to be positive about this: that it's easier on babies this young, that it's harder on mothers than on babies, that he has no concept of time, that I can wear lady clothes an new shoes and get back into grown up thinking. Nothing really makes me feel any better.

Laugh it off.
So, my only option is to win the lottery. Or become president. Or write to the president? Or maybe a woman president would right this wrong against working mothers? Hillary 2016? I don't know. I'll stop rambling and go back to sulking. As of tomorrow, that will be sulking at my desk.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Random Things (7)

Every time we go to the cottage we stop into nearby Rosseau, ON to visit the general store and scope out the antiques.

  A few years ago I found this guy:

It's hard to take a photo with the reflection. Let's try and angle:

As you can see, this is a dapper gent standing in the snow, taking a swig of something that I bet is quite warming.

They told me this had originally been from a set of three photos, one was a man playing a banjo. Argh! I wish I had all three! They also told me the photos were taken in Orrville, which is closer to where our family cottage is located. It's my cottage souvenir.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bethlehem Steel

Being on maternity leave, I spend a lot of time on the internet. A lot of that time is on Twitter, or on Facebook, or reading blogs. And a lot of it is spent on eBay.

I've mentioned before that I spent some of my childhood in Bethlehem, PA, where my dad worked for the steel company. And sometimes I like to browse eBay for old Bethlehem Steel tchotkes. Recently I discovered old photos being sold by the archives of The Morning Call and Baltimore Sun newspapers. I think some of them could make cool, inexpensive artwork.

My faves:

From The Morning Call archives, item #AAU-111-MC

From the Baltimore Sun archives - item #BJF-901-BS
From The Morning Call photo archives - item #AAU-074-MC
From The Baltimore Sun photo archives - item #AEB-844-BS

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Floor Toupee

When it comes to buying stuff, especially furniture, I really don't have to give it too much thought before I buy. I just tell H. what's going to happen, and buy it. For some reason though, this impulsive furniture shopping doesn't apply to rugs. With a rug I need to hmm, and mmm and uhhhhhh for months or years before taking a leap.

When we got married, H's aunt and uncle in Pakistan gave us a lovely little rug that's been in our living room ever since. Izzy loves this rug. Maybe a little too much, and over the years its location in a high traffic area has left it a little worse for wear than we'd like.

Recently I shared my concerns about the state of the rug with H, and we decided to give it a good shampoo, and move it to a safer spot like the bedroom. Izzy still loves it, and carefully weaves his furs deep into it, but there will no longer be dinners dropped on it while we eat in front of the tv.

But then I needed to replace the rug in the living room. Ages ago I admired this bright red rug that I saw in an Apartment Therapy home tour:

Danielle and Derek's Somerville Sanctuary, Apartment Therapy
One of my biggest regrets after visiting Turkey was that we didn't buy a rug. So much regret. But we were so poor. So very poor. Next time I go to Turkey I will buy a rug! Anyway, I had an idea that I could get a similarly bright Turkish kilim-type rug for our living room, and sought out some options.

Aksaray kilim from Furbish Studio
Diamond kilim from Pottery Barn
But knowing that I have a wicked little cat who likes to sharpen his razor-like claws on rugs, I didn't want to get too spendy on something that might not live too long. So, I started looking at cheaper alternatives, like these:

Diamond red jute rug from Overstock

Indo kilim from Overstock
But no, nothing seemed right. And then, I saw a rug at West Elm, ran it past H. quickly, and purchased it.

Yeah, I went in a totally different direction. From the idea of bright red, to a neutral with the "Mini Pebble Wool Jute" rug from West Elm. And I loooove it. And Izzy can't get his little claws into it. Happiness!

Yes, I realize that I have a dark cat and a little kid and I bought a light colored rug, which I probably will curse about in a few months. But I don't care. Not yet, anyway!

Anyway, because it makes me laugh, I want to share the "before" photo of my living room before I took that picture of the new rug. Because, let's be real, my living room never actually looks like that. It looks like this:

And while I was taking that staged photo, this is what was off to the side - all variety of baby seating!

So, how long do you think it will be before I have to buy a new rug because my cat and kid have destroyed this one? Any guesses?
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