Thursday, February 23, 2012

Two Things

On Monday, two things happened. 

First, Hazey decided to spend her nap time smearing a Costco-sized vat of Vaseline all over her hair, her face, her body, her blanket, her pillow, and her wall.  While cleaning I also discovered that she had smeared some over the electrical socket.

Hazey's the kind of 3-year old who I thought could be trusted with a vat of Vaseline beside her bed (she uses it as lippy, which isn't good I know, but doesn't matter, because the damage is done.  She will forever have chapped lips) .  She has never coloured on a wall, cut her own hair, ripped anything up, etc.  Nada, zilch.  When we moved into our new place and set up a play room for her, she asked "can I make a mess?".  So, this Vaseline thing was totally out of character.  Except, I guess I'm learning that as pre-schoolers get older, plenty of things can be out of character...they're only just developing their personalities, and testing the waters.  I mean, when grilled, the girl gave a good defence.  She said she did it because "it felt good".  And the walls, I asked?  "I thought it would feel good for them too."  And the electrical outlet?  "I thought it would feel good."  You know what doesn't feel good?  Getting your hair scrubbed 3 times a day everyday with a myriad of products to try and remove that greasy patina.  She is still greasy.  We have used everything, other than industrial strength grease remover and lemon juice, only because I fear for her scalp, her eyes, the rest of her body. 

Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore, my husband came home with a pizza, and thing number two, which made my day slightly less terrible.  My new Tom's. 

They had arrived in the mail, my lovely, sweet, dear little ballet flats in burlap and black.  So sweet, so dear, and quite a pair when set against Hazey's turquoise corduroy Tom's.  My husband's opinion?  "How practical!". Har har hubby dear, just because we live in the Arctic and wear boots for 10 months of the year does not diminish the practicality of these shoes.  These are my Mr. Rogers' shoes!  The shoes you take with you and wear inside at playgroup or at a friends house!  Come on!

And so with that, my Monday was a little less tedious.  The grease in Hazey's hair seemed a little less greasy.  Hub was going to look after the girls so I could head out to a 90 minute yoga class, which was bliss.  There was a nice bit of weekend in that day.

Tom's other ballet flats are really cute too, plus the whole one-for-one premise makes me feel good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

"I Use Antlers in All of My DECOOOORating..."

That line has only been running through my head for the past 24 hours...ugh!  If it seems familiar and you were ever a 10-year-old girl, you may recognize it from Beauty and the Beast.  I took the kidlets to see it in 3D yesterday (side note: watching a 3-year-old watch a 3D cartoon is HI-larious!  There was the yelling of questions, declarations of who was a bad guy and who was friendly, and lots of half-chewed popcorn spilling out of tiny mouths).

3 things struck me while watching the movie:  1)  Cartoons in 3D aren't really that impressive, just blurry. 2) I knew E.V.E.R.Y. word to E.V.E.R.Y song in that film, which makes me want to reclaim those brain cells for other uses.  And 3) Maybe Gaston was onto something in terms of his aesthetic tastes.  Antlers are kind of hot right now (like that damn Hansel...).

In my house, we seem to veer towards animal hides, and, I kid you not, within ten feet of me at this very moment there are two seal skins, a caribou pelt and what I (very un-lovingly) refer to as a beef skin, but what Ikea will sell to you as a cow hide.  Oh, and two sheepskins. Fact: My husband is very fond of animal pelts.

 ( I live in the Canadian Arctic, hence the abundance of seal and caribou skins)

So, maybe hub would be keen to finish off his huntsman's lodge look with some Antler accesories? 

Here's what I found while browser shopping:
(Antler hook from Urban Outfitters )

(Caribou handle from Anthro)

Hand Embroidered Linen Antler Throw Cushion.  Deary me!
(antler pillow from Magpie Miller)

LIFESTYLE: Brass Antler Bottle Opener
(antler bottle opener from Indigo )

Ha!  I actually stuffed his stocking with that bottle opener this Christmas! I'm clearly embracing the huntsman's lodge look in our house.

Antler Globe Antique Brass
(antler globe from Indigo)

Whah-whah-WHAHHHHH!  That's totally sold out right now...or I would have ordered it for our mantle

(cardboard taxidermy head from Urban Outfitters)

(deer collage wall art from Urban Outfitters)

Now that I'm all antler-ed out, here is a gorgeous home that gives wads of inspiration in the Mountain Lodge/Huntsman Chic category:

(Aerin Lauder's Aspen home via Vogue)
If you follow the link, note the antlers up high on the bookshelf in picture 4.

Are antlers the new birds?  (Did you ever see that episode of Portlandia..."Put a bird on it!")  What's next?  My prediction...beavers.  I say beavers have their day.  They're the new Fox or Owl.  We'll be seeing whole nurseries done up in Beaver themes, Beaver pillows, Beaver furs, little play pens shaped like beaver dams.  It will be glorious! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Flick Pick: Planet Yoga

Believe it or not, even though I live on the unBELIEVABLY remote Baffin Island, I make it to a movie screening or two.

Last night, Daph and I attended a screening of the documentary "Planet Yoga".  The film maker travelled all over North America and India filming yogis (people who practice yoga) while illustrating how they came to fall in love with yoga.  It was a very sweet, positive and beautiful film, and the best part I think was that everyone practices yoga for different reasons, but they all indirectly linked back to a balance in one's life (at least that's what I got out of it).  There was the man who did hot yoga to train his body, the instructor who helped a gentleman with 'locked-in syndrome' to be more in touch with the body he was no longer able to control, and the woman who shuttled between Nunavut, India and Nova Scotia and spent much of her time leading yoga sessions for young offenders and prison inmates.  There was Dr. Bali, who was leading a group of breast cancer patients through yoga practice in an effort to help them increase their own healing abilities.  This same Dr. Bali was the yoga instructor for the Montreal Canadians in the '70's.

(official planet yoga trailer...that gentleman is known as " the white hindu")

It was all really very good, plus it was a treat to get out of the house, and Daph slept the entire time, except for right at the end, when they were telling the fable of the blind men and the elephant.  We know that one!  She's such a little trooper!  It definitely has me eager to start my 4-week yoga practice that my friend Karen is putting on in town.  I'm going to start limbering up now so I'm nice and stretchy come Monday night!

PSYou want to know the sweetest scene in the entire movie?  There is a woman who teaches yoga in San Fran.  Clearly she's pretty open about people bringing their kids with them to class.  When they were doing their relaxation poses, corpse pose, etc. one mom had her little boy, maybe 6, on her tummy for a cuddle while she relaxed, and he was giving her nice kisses on her cheek.  It was just such a lovely moment, following a lovely yoga practice, laid-back enough that you could bring a 6 year old boy to class and no one would be bothered.  I loved that!

Friday, February 10, 2012

On My Nightstand

I am a total libriophile.  Maybe I made that word up, maybe I didn't.  Regardless, I love libraries.  I should make a tote like that.  A tote to carry my library books. point is, I love libraries, I love my local public library, and I can be found there AT LEAST once a week either to check out new releases (which come out on Tuesday) or to take Hazey to storytime.  We're a cable-free household, so our tv is really only for watching DVD's, which are in abundant supply at our library.  We're currently watching the first season of Treme on loan from our library, and it is every kind of awesome.  I also love to borrow the back copies of Conde Nast Traveler so I can plan fantasy travels while watching Hazey play in her bubble baths.

But the most important part of a library are the books it contains.  I love when Hazey runs to the kid's section and picks out her own books.  I always wonder what she sees in the books she picks.  For myself, I always go to the New Release section first, mainly because hardly anyone ever borrows the new releases!  Crazy, I'm telling you!  You can rest assured that these books have never been flagged!  I also like to check the non-fiction and the cookbooks/food section. 

So, what am I reading right now?  Currently on my nightstand:

Image of MR. FOX
(photo: Penguin Books)

I've read nothing but good things about this book, its been reviewed everywhere, and seems like a great book by a young, female writer.  I'm a few chapters in, and it is hard to put down (sleep deprivation caused by a 3 month old makes it slightly easier to put away, though).

Medium Raw By Anthony Bourdain
(photo: HarperCollins)

What is it about Anthony Bourdain?  This guy is great!  I love to watch his travel show (caveat: I've only ever seen it on airplanes, so maybe its just the recycled air and crappy plane food that make it seem great) and my husband and I both loved his book Kitchen Confidential, so this is one that we'll both be reading.  My husband is a major foodie and loves to cook (although I do all the weekday cheffing at the mo').  I spent too many years waitressing to ever get really excited about eating in restaurants, so I love his sordid tales of kitchen life.  I'm like, "preaching to the choir, Tony!".  I'm especially looking forward to what he has to say about the Top Chef phenomenon, or the local/100 mile movement.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Flick Pick: V-Day Edition (the dark side)

While Valentine's Day has turned into a bit of a commercial sap-fest (but only if you let it!), the origin of this very heart-y day is actually fairly macabre

In honour of the less than pleasant, slightly dark side of Valentine's Day, I've compiled a list of some of my favourite movies with a romantic twist.  The yin to loves yang is pain or loss, so these movies all deal with a little bit of that.  No rom-com's here!

The Talented Mr. Ripley
(photo: wikipedia )

I think it is fair to say that I LOVE this movie.  Let me count the ways.  One.  Matt Damon in all his youthful glory.  Two. Jude Law in all his yothful glory. Three.  Everything's always better with a little Phil Sey Hoff.  Four.  I'm a Gwyneth apologist.  Five.  Cate Blanchett.  Six.  The viewer gets stressed out with Tom as he tries to keep up with his lies and false identities.  Seven.  It does not end happily ever after.  Eight.  Keeping with the theme, Matt Damon singing My Funny Valentine.  Whatta film!

Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann's version)
Romeo + Juliet Poster
(photo: IMDb )

Oh, this movie.  I actually only like to watch the first half of this film, because I really just love the happy lovey-dovey part.  But it falls within the context of this list.  This movie is sad.  But overall it is awesome, and it reminds me of being young, and dreamy.  And it had the best soundtrack.  I still get shivers when I hear Radiohead's "Exit Music (for a film).  And any cover of a Prince song is like a big slab of chocolate cake to me.  Also, any cover that Prince does, also like chocolate cake.  (Prince's cover of Joni Mitchell's "Case of You" is what they will play as I head through those pearly gates of Heaven).  But, Baz Luhrmann is my main man, I TOTALLY forgive him for Australia, which is why pick number 3 is...

Moulin Rouge! 

Moulin Rouge!
                                                                                               (photo: IMDb)
Alas!  Even true love cannot survive communicable diseases!  Plus Ewen McG singing "Your Song" is lovely.  And I love Kylie Minogue as the Green Fairy.  Baz is a proud Aussie who likes to support his fellow countrypersons. 

Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures Poster
                                                                                             (photo: IMDb )
Heavenly Creatures is a haunting film, made even more shivery by the fact that it's based on a true story.  I love that it stars a young Kate Winslet, that it is a Peter Jackson creation, and that it was filmed in New Zealand, and it deals with that intense infatuation that young girls are prone to (although usually not with such drastic outcomes).  This flick is dark and twisty, just like Sir Jackson's mind.

Anyone else keen on these flicks?  I've got a few picks for the lighter side of V-Day as well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mama Styles: Pink Jeans

While I continue to languish in the world of post partum transition wear, I am still a woman who is interested in looking nice, and maybe even slightly stylish?

And right now, I'm kind of loving coloured skinny jeans.  They totally remind me of all the Guess Jeans I rocked in elementary school...I had to have every new colour that came out...I was a total brat, by the way.  I remember at one point having the red jeans, bright blue, a light blue pair (my Easter jeans!) two pairs of green jeans, in different hues (Cue Larry David..."F**k Hue!!!!").

So, where does an in transition, pink jean lovin' lady like myself go to find rainbow denim?  Old Navy, of course.  Because, let's be honest, pink skinny jeans will have their moment, and that moment will be fleeting.  We're talking half-life of a fruit fly here.  And I believe that when you determine the price per wear of a particular garment, or an accessory, or a shoe, it should be pretty minimal on a day to day basis.  How frugal of me!
photo: Old Navy

I will totally wear these with my chambray denim top and a tank underneath.  I will also wear these with any of my one million gray sweaters.  I might even locate a camel sweater and rock them with that.  Or with a white shirt. Of course with a white shirt!  And maybe with a red blouse and lipstick for Valentine's Day (but probably not).  And flats and flats and flats and flats and flats.  And probably with boots as well. 

But the best part, the part that will totally make you gag and cause your eyes to roll, is that they also come in kids size!!!  So I will be dressing Hazey in the 3T version, because when I was shopping online she said "those are pretty pink jeans!" and I said, "Yes, Hazey, they are!", which means we are matchy-matchy-mommy-and-daughter meant to be!   I can't wait to see the kinds of outfits she comes up with!

(photo: Old Navy)
Anyone else out there enjoying the pink jeans?  Will they still be cool when Daph can fit her sister's hand me downs?  I've seen a lot of love for red jeans lately.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Art for Kids: Hirst & Matisse

Over our holidays, I happened to catch an interview with Damien Hirst on Charlie Rose.  Hirst was promoting his series of Spot Painting installations happening at Gagosian galleries in 11 major cities across the globe.

While Mr. Hirst is a controversial artist, I think his spot paintings are a perfect way to introduce young children to contemporary art.

Damien Hirst - The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011
Cupric Nitrate, 2007
Household gloss on canvas

And while my 3 year old may not ensure all spots are equilateral in distance, she knows how to draw a circle, and how to colour within the lines, so spending some of our (many hours a day of) art time working on something like this could be incredibly fun, and perhaps we'll have a gallery showing of our own ( the's super exclusive!)

Or you can make like Jordan and develop some grown-up spot paintings to adorn your walls,  for, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars less than buying a new Hirst.
(photo by: Oh Happy Day! )
Of course, if Mr. Hirst is not your thing, there are still other great artists whose works translate well with children.  What about Monsieur Henri Matisse?  Any toddler can pay homage to Monsieur Matisse with some kiddie scissors, coloured cardboard and a glue stick (and then eat brie avec baguette for lunch, with une petite tasse de grape juice).

I remember seeing a Matisse exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery when I was just a tyke.  At the end they had an excellent art area where you could attempt to make your own Matisse-inspired creation. What fun!  I love kid-friendly museums and galleries!

Henri Matisse
The Snail, 1953
gouache on paper

(I mean, look at that!  Totally kid do-able!)
Are there other artists, classical or contemporary, that you think translate well into kid art? 

We've a Sick House

Back in the day, I took a weekly step class with my best friend Michi, from a woman who was so completely stuck in the 80's but didn't give a shoot, and our favourite blaster was to Rick James' "Brick House"...we'd tighten our tushes to that tune any day of the week...hence the above title. 

We're starting what looks to be the 3rd week of illness in our house, with the toddler getting feverish just as the dad is getting over the flu.

(photo by Karen via sewmamasew blog)

Sometimes I want to throw surgical masks on my entire family, so their germs are contained to themselves.  I'm down with the cute ones en vogue in Asia.  Anything that is adorable and hygenic is alright by me.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me Chandeleur-Style!

Today is February 2, a day forever associated with Bill Murray, burrowing rodents with ridiculous names, and my birthday.  And today is my 30th birthday.  And it has taken me 30 years to realize that there is a better way to celebrate my birthday than by determining whether or not we're in for another 6 weeks of Winter*. 

There are crepes!

                                                                                                 (photo credit: Association Fabrication)

In France, Chandeleur (which I gather is essentially Candlemas day?) is celebrated by cooking and eating crepes.  Although, they have to be cooked after 8 PM and the story goes (according to the lore of wiki) that if the cook can flip a crepe in the pan while holding a coin in the other hand, the family will have a prosperous year.

Our crepes will be of the sweet variety, and we won't be waiting until 8 PM to eat them (wouldn't that be cruel to the 3 year old?  Wait until she goes to bed to have dessert??  Not happening.) but I think we'll try our luck at the crepe flipping, and we'll see who can come up with the most delicious flavour combination.

Joyeux Chandeleur!

* when you think about it, we don't even need the Groundhog to make his predictions.  If he sees his shadow, there's 6 more weeks of Winter.  Well, if he sees his shadow, its likely because the sun is shining because it is too cold for cloud cover.  Therefore he ASSUMES that we're in for 6 more weeks of Winter (or people ASSUME for him, yeah I know its a hoax, I'm just venting 30 year's of groundhog aggression).

Thanks to everyone's favourite DesignMom for turning me onto this new (to me) celebration!