Stationary Drifting


Best Of: March

best of March

last of winter

march doggies

flowers & cards

/// quality time in Jarry Park && sun for longer && the last of winter /// Mars and Josie being adorable /// dog parking at Marche Jean Talon /// Consulting the cards /// Spring flowers to brighten grey days ///

I can’t believe its the end of March already! I feel like I just wrote the Best of Feb and Best of Blogs: Feb posts. If this blog is any indication of what my life is like, I pretty much DID just write those posts….March flew by and I have been fighting to keep on track with my life schedule. I didn’t blog as much as I would have liked to unfortunately. It slipped away in a flurry of sewing, applying for jobs, marking, and writing. And a little friend and couple time mixed in.

Here are some highlights:

Life:

march bowling

/// me lovin my new talent. Is it possible to be a bowling alley shark? /// Mars celebrating yet another spare, he is also better at bowling than pool ///

I think the thing I was the most excited about this month (besides sewing) was the oncoming spring. Winter is not my favourite. At all. I get really depressed with all the grey and I hate trying to get around in the snow. Montreal is a walking/biking city, the transit is decent but ALL of these modes of transport are a pain in the winter. Walking is hard, biking is impossible (for me, some people I know still do it), and transit is packed, hot and often late. Because of all of this I stay home a lot, taking my vitamin D pills and trying to remember times when I could go outside without 18 layers. Spring was in the air early this year, and although we got one last snow storm this month it has been warmer, sunnier and the snow is mostly gone. Which pleases me to no end. Also daylight savings means its lighter in the hours I’m awake, which does wonders for my mood. Saskatchewan has it right with the no daylight savings, its the worst.

2 of my favourite friends have birthdays in March. My platonic wife Corrie lives in Winnipeg so I didn’t get to celebrate her like I want to but my longest friend Felicia moved back to Montreal and we went bowling like a bunch of REALLY COOL 30 year olds. I turned out to be a lot better at bowling than pool and got TONS of strikes! It was a black light, jams from 1999 kind of night and we all danced and sang and cheered on each other for hours. I loved it. More bowling on the menu from now on.

Speaking of birthdays, we had a very belated birthday party for Mars on Corrie’s birthday. Since we were out west for his birthday and he didn’t get to celebrate with friends I wanted to make sure that he was celebrated properly in Montreal. An awesome group of people showed up to our favourite Salvadorian restaurant to eat a ridiculous amount of pupusas, then came back to our place for cake (a flourless chili chocolate cake I should post about), tequila sunrises and late night confessions of childhood crushes (mine was Leonardo Dicaprio). It was really lovely and I think my guy had a nice, if very bemused time. The flowers above are the leftovers from the bouquet I got him in celebration. The next day we went and saw a play about Mahalia Jackson. Which felt fancy and was a nice night out for the two of us.

I went to a few great shows this month, including a jam packed with talent show headlined by Invincible (Detroit) and hometown hero Akua. I got to meet a bunch of really talented people and sway to really great music (including my all time favourite MC who jumped on stage for a track <3).

Other than that it was all job applications, academic articles, marking and sick days on the couch. A classic March.

Crafts:

Sewing away to my heart’s content, which I’m planning a whole separate post for. So far I’ve made 3 dresses and 2 skirts. They turned out really well and I wear them all the time! I love planning up new things and trying to figure out how to make them. I’m still pretty impatient when I sew. I want to wear them immediately! I have to learn how to enjoy the process more, and also iron… I’m pretty proud of myself for not using patterns and still having pretty awesome results. I could use access to a serger though, jersey is kind of hard to sew with a regular machine.

Books:

Still reading White Teeth. BUT I’m almost done!

Recipes:

march food

/// my winning ribs before they were cooked, no after picture. I was too ready to eat a million ribs by the time they were done and forgot to take a photo /// one of my favourite, filling soup recipes from 101 cookbooks. Its especially good when sick like I was a few times this month ///

Mid month a group of friends and us had a rib off, where we all submitted a rack of ribs, ate our faces off and voted. I WON!! It was my first time ever making ribs and I won! I’m pretty damn chuffed with myself for it because I had some stiff competition. Also, I’m not usually the come-in-first type so it did wonders for my ego. Everyone’s were really really good though and the real winner was my stomach! We’ve been organizing chosen-family get togethers pretty often these days and its awesome. I love having amazing people to laugh with and talk about real shit with. Makes life so much sweeter.

And because I’m a firm believer is sharing recipes I’m going to post my Keetha’s 2 Die 4 Dry Rubbed Ribs this week!

In the meantime check out 101 cookbooks for the above soup’s recipe, Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. 101 cookbooks is one of the best cooking sites I know. I have one of Heidi’s books [super natural every day] and its great but you don’t need to buy a book (though I recommend it!) to access her recipes. The 101 cookbooks site is incredible, searchable, and super varied. Her food is healthy, simple, seasonal,and delicious. I really like this soup because its so hearty with the lentil and rice, it has greens and is flavoured with tumeric, cumin and mustard seeds. Add a the suggested spinach, and some yogurt or peppers goat cheese and its basically the best ever.¬† I ate it for 2 whole days when I was sick this month and it made me feel so much better. I actually made it again yesterday and I’m still loving it.

Music:

I’m still obsessed with songza and have been exploring all sorts of genres. My current favs (besides 90ies), are latin lady MCs, reggae, and bluegrass.

Sidenote:

I’m still trying to figure out good ways to post pictures. Sorry if things are weird. I’m struggling with sizing…

March in a nutshell. I can’t believe its over. April is going to have to be a bang up month so that I can catch up!


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Best Of: February

best of_feb collage
For such a short month February sure seemed long. I always feel this way about February though, when I’m dying from the cold and grey. February is the month that I most want to hibernate. Its too far past the holidays to still have that excitement in my system and too far from spring to feel like winter might possibly end. I still had an interesting month regardless of that. Mars and I took a short trip to Ottawa, I started swimming a few times a week to beat the trap of living and working in the same place and the inertia that came with that. I started thinking about what it means to be truly happy in what I do (no answers to that yet though, I image it will take more than a month), Mars and I had a really cute, at home, homemade Valentine’s day. It snowed A LOT. I baked a fair bit. February in a nutshell.

Here are some highlights:

Life:

pool triptech

Mars and I drove up to Ottawa for the weekend. He took me on a date to a pool hall and we both discovered we are far FAR worse at pool than either of us imagined (and I had no illusions of being a pool shark). It was super funny and I think we scandalized the other patrons by laughing so much…and kissing.

I’ve been working on creating a schedule for myself so that I am in a routine. Working from home is a trap of constantly flexible time and its easy to sleep in really late, get groceries at 9pm, clean the house at 3pm on a wednesday, etc. I’m trying to create a work/life/play schedule that is regular and consistent. I hear that that’s good for me or whatever. Part of this is getting exercise so I started taking myself off to the pool 3 times a week to swim 45mins of laps. Its a nice quiet time where I can kind of zone my brain out and remind my body that as much as I’d like to be hibernating, I’m not that kind of creature. Mars and I have been huge homebodies this month, partly because we’re broke and partly because its winter. We’re both working away on projects, watching a fair bit of netflix and having couch dates. Sometimes its nice to not go out for a while.

Crafts:

With the exception of massive amount of sewing I started on the night of the last day of Feb (and am therefore counting as a March activity). The only thing I think I made this month was the crochet heart mobile for Mars’ Valentine’s day present. Which I mostly made in January anyway. It was a variation of this pattern but I’m not much for following patterns (with the exception of lace, I don’t toy with those patterns!) so I can’t exactly say out to make it. Basically I made a bunch of hearts of different sizes, then made a crocheted top part (based kind of on this collar pattern). I attached the hearts to the top and to each other with crochet chains. That’s it! It took a while to make, partly because I was hiding it from Mars but it was nice to do in front of tv shows at night (I’m not super good at just sitting and watching tv without doing anything else).

Sorry for the fuzzy phone photo, its all I have.

Photo 2013-03-03 2 19 18 PM

Books:

I’m still reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith on my kobo. I’m going to have to pick up the pace a little if I want to reach my reading goal for the year. I’m enjoying the book but I have been busy with other things (and reading things on the internet). I mostly only read when I’m on the metro.

Photography:

I’ve recently become a huge fan of astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield who is currently in space and is taking absolutely incredible photos of the earth. He posts several a day to his facebook page and I check them every day. They are humbling and beautiful. A daily reminder that the world is a really special place.

Here’s an example from yesterday of the southernmost tip of Canada (click the photo to be taken to the source):

Recipes:

(photo belongs to smitten kitchen. Click to be taken to the site/recipe)

I love soup in the fall/winter and this carrot soup with lemon tahini and crisped chickpeas from smitten kitchen is my new absolute favourite. The lemon tahini is what really makes it. The light lemon flavour and the creaminess of the tahini in the soup is amazing. I had some difficulty with the chickpeas because they kept popping like pop corn in my oven and I was afraid of causing a fire so they didn’t get as crispy as I would have liked them. But still a nice texture. I made it with this flat bread (also from smitten kitchen) instead of pita because its fast and a staple in our house. We eat it a couple of times a week usually.

Music:

I was introduced to songza this past month and have been obsessed with it ever since. Its a curated site of SO many playlists. Basically when I log in it asks me what kind of mood I’m in then suggests playlists that work for that mood. I’ve been discovering lots of new (to me) music in between listening to hours and hours of 90ies jams. I’ve been on songza about a week and have a whole bunch of playlists saved. I think songza is my favourite new music this past month but here are some individual artists that got me toe tapping.

Nerina Pallot

Haim

So long February. Looking forward to March, I can feel the spring in the air….


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Weekend Roundup: Feb 23/24

This weekend was incredibly quiet. It was snowy and grey and neither Mars or I were particularly interested in leaving our bed let alone the house.

snow alleywinter groceries

I did a little baking, making a variation of these dulce de leche chocolate banana muffins minus the chocolate but plusing some very liquid vanilla buttercream. With some a couple muffiin/cupcakes and a cup of my absolute favorite cream earl grey tea with honey and milk I spent most of Saturday reading the archives of my new favourite blog Pencil Box. I came across Katie’s blog through some references from other blogs I read and its really so wonderful. Her writing is so lovely and real, I really want to enjoy things like she does. Her photography is pretty incredible as well, I’m already trying out new photo editing techniques based on her advice. I highly recommend reading her blog for a sweet insight into life as a artistic mom of 2 in Ohio.

tea and muffins

We spent all day Sunday at our next door neighbour and good friend Jackie’s house. We were supposed to only do brunch but brunch went from eating, to doing nails, to Mars braiding Jackie’s hair to dinner. It was a nice vacation from our winter homebody-ing.

I don’t have any pictures of that day but I made crepes and thought I would share my recipe which came from a mix of advice from friends and my dad’s method. My base recipe is 1cup of flour, 1cup of milk (or water), 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Whisk until well blended and refrigerate for at least 30mins. Pour a small amount of batter onto a grease pan and tilt to spread the batter around as thin as possible. I use a cast iron pan and butter, or an oil (I use olive or coconut). Cook on one side until it doesn’t look raw then flip to cook the other side. Makes about 8 or 9 crepes. Serve with whatever toppings you like. This sunday we made a strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry syrup by cooking down frozen berries with maple syrup. Mixed that with yogurt and some dulce de leche and we had a really good sweet brunch. For savoury, I really like scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese wrapped in crepes with maple syrup on top.

Hope you had a nice weekend and are beating the winter doldrums.

 


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Craft Projects for Fall

As it gets colder I start wanting to work with fabrics again. I also really get into staying home more and chilling out with a good movie and making something. Its like I’m easing myself into winter and the dark, snowy days that leave me feeling quiet and homebody-like. Though I’m not the hugest fan of winter, I am excited for making things again (like finishing Corrie’s bday present).

Ever since I got my full time job I’ve had zero time on my hands. This week alone I’ve had meetings before and after work pretty much every day. So I’ve been leaving the house by 8:30-9am and getting home around 9:30-10pm. That doesn’t leave me a lot of time for seeing my husband, eating or decompressing (and writing my thesis) let alone making anything so I’ve picked a few crafts I want to do this fall that are relatively quick but still really nice.

[click on the blue links or on the pictures to get to the original sites with instructions]

Bed Pockets

from a case of the mundays {click photo to go to blog}

I have too much stuff on my bedside table. Books I’ve been wanting to read, sleeping socks, ear plugs, mouth guard, whatever it is I feel necessary to hoard by my bedside. M has an equal if not greater amount of stuff by his bed. While we both need to learn the beauty of less equaling more, I still want to make these to free up some surface space and tuck away the things that don’t need to be in plain sight. We’re planning on switching the office and the bedroom this month so maybe I’ll make them from our new space.

Bracelets

(gold tube & macrame)

from honestly WTF {click photo for link to blog post instructions}

 

same deal. From Honestly WTF & click photo

Honestly WTF has great bracelet tutorials, none of which I’ve ever made but many of which I’ve put up on my pinterest. Sidebar: I saw a thing the other day that said pinterest was a place for virtual hoarders and I was all “no, I totally do my pinterest stuff!”. I’ve since come to accept the fact that that meme was mostly right though. I mean, its not completely useless, I’ve made a few of the recipes that I pinned, and posted a few of the things from my ‘like’ board here. But I mostly pin things that I would LIKE to do, not things that I have the time, money or skill to do. I’m being self-deprecating here but whatever, its late and I’m tired.

MOVING ON.

I’ve gotten into flattish bracelets this year (have I ever mentioned how much bracelets with any weight or rigidity annoy me?). It started when I when on a friendship bracelet making kick when M and I decided to get married and couldn’t afford engagement rings. We joked that the friendship bracelets would be that thing so I made us some. The joke stuck around though because I’ve never taken mine off.¬† I’ve recently had some desire to stack my wrists with bracelets and these seem like reasonable, one-episode-of-dexter-a-night kind of projects.

Tie-Dyed Leggings

Martha Stewart. Click photo

Been wanting to get into tie-dying, and have been curious about the whole legging as pants phenomenon that I’ve eschewed for so long. While I would never wear them as pants, MAYBE with a long shirt or short dress…..god, what have I become? I give you Martha Stewart tie-dye legging instructions, the 20 year old me would be horrified. The 30year old me is both intrigued and slightly uncomfortable. In another 10 years maybe I’ll be voting Conservative. JUST KIDDING. I would never go that far.

Woven Sweatshirt

HA! fooled you. This one doesn’t have a link because for some reason the website doesn’t work anymore. You’ll just have to enjoy this pinterest photo

The site linked from pinterest for this photo isn’t working anymore so I’m just going to give you this picture, tell you its from pups-paris.com and hope that that’s enough. I like the idea of dressing up a sweatshirt. That way I can continue to wear sweatshirts AND look like I care about my appearance. Win-Win right? I mean, I guess unless I wear it with leggings as pants. I’m going to have to improvise this pattern but it doesn’t look to difficult. If I manage to pull it off I’ll post my own tutorial about it. Now to find a good, plain sweater that is cheap enough that I feel fine about cutting it up and experimenting on.

I should also work on a knitting project. I do like knitting projects…

 


Small Things Project: Day 62 (sept 22)

So today it feels like fall, its rainy and grey and cooling off. I’m happy I got to sleep in and fuck around most of the day. I got to have brunch with my boo and spend some time watching dexter, doing some photoshop stuff for coming posts, and send some emails. Its been just over a week and I am already r.e.a.l.l.y missing the amount of time I used to have to myself to do things like cook and blog and whatever else. I miss home. Now that its fall I want to start knitting/crafting again so maybe I need to get that going. Its funny because now that I’m out all day during the week I’ve become even more of a home body. Like I need to soak up the time I have now that I have it. I’m trying to push myself to do more things though, this life needs to be more involved.

So yeah, happy for cool fall days and for time at home.

// I made a SMP logo and am testing it out to see if I like it in the posts, trying to style up the text a bit for when I don’t have photos ///