Monday, February 16, 2009

Moving Day!

I've moved blogs, I don't want to lose you so please follow me over to Gingham Skies. Same me, different location!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Here and There

My attempts at keeping two blogs alive have been pathetic at best. My plan is to move everything over to Gingham Skies so be prepared to arrive here one day soon to find a big SOLD sign telling you to head on over to Gingham Skies. For the time being I'll share my posts on both blogs... saying goodbye to JJ is going to take some getting used to on my part but I figure it's a smart business move to lead people back to my biz blog. Originally I had planned to keep GS all bizzzzzzzznezzzzzz but I realize that's a silly idea considering I like to yap mostly about my life and useless other bits that make me smile and all I have to say about business is "look what a I made."

I hope you will follow me when I move!! AND I hope that you lovely lurkers will say hello... there are an awful lot of regular international visitors but I rarely hear from you. Hello? Anybody out there?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Gingham Skies New Style

I'm excited to announce that I have some new vegan designs in the works. Tess will be hitting the shop today:

Anyone planning on working with vinyl? Let me save you a world of frustration: buy a teflon foot for your sewing machine!

Here's Tess in pink. This little lady will be sold in the shop at a significant discount - she was one of my first attempts at Tess therefore she has a few minor issues with less than perfect top stitching and an off-centre interior pocket.

Fab Pick of Last Week

Artsy Rubbish has an array of glass mixed media mosaic tiles perfect for gift giving and they are reasonably priced to boot. There is the option to order custom tiles as well - what a lovely idea for a wedding gift!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Two Years Today

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Another fabulous new-for-me blog that I'm lovin': Color Me Katie. She creates the best photo ops, like these thought bubbles stuck on the streets of NYC.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feelin It

I don't know how you could feel anything but love towards MGMT. Jackie included them on her list of favs and seeing their name reminded me of how much I adore their music. I think it's nearly impossible to listen to these tracks and not bop your head and tap your toes. Love it!

What would you classify MGMT as, electro pop maybe?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mmmm This Week

Stuck to the menu once again this week, minor changes but nothing that entailed a trip to the grocery store. High five for me.

I skipped Tantalizing Tuesday this week but will try to remember to post a goodie for you this round.

Here's the menu, yum.

Monday: mini pita pizzas
Tuesday: Kim's Nana's Parmesan Chicken chicken recipe along with wee roasties - newbie
Wednesday: broccoli soup with sandwiches on fresh crusty buns - didn't bother with the soup last week so it's a newbie
Thursday: tacos
Friday: Soy Glazed Beef with Green Bean stirfry - so yum!
Saturday: Saturday: Chicken breasts with egg noodles on the side
Sunday: Anniversary dinner - order in

Glub, glub.

Sounds Like Candy

Soko is simply adorable and has a voice that is so sweet your teeth are liable to ache after consumption.

Listen to her loveliness:

I found Soko thanks to Liss over at Daydream Lily, after watching the interview she posted I was smitten.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fab Pick of Last Week

These super sweet vintage zip earrings are right up my alley! I intend to break the primary school teacher trend of tacky holiday sweaters and light up snowmen earrings but still sneak in some kid friendly fashion: these are perfect, don't you think? Choosing a colour will be the difficult part, check out the selection at Amalia Versaci's shop

Friday, January 23, 2009

No Doubt About It

I might be alone on this one, but this commercial kills me every time I watch it. I was starting to feel blue again today and then I went downstairs and flipped on the tv right as the... well, right as the funny part happened and out popped the belly laugh from my grumpy mug. I can't help it, the immature part of me finds this terribly funny. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sew Lovely!

I've found a new medium and I have fallen sew in love. My second mom suggested I create some beach bags for the summer and off I went to hunt for some water resistant material: faux leather was my fab find. I have to hit the sewing shop for some advice - sewing through a few layers of vinyl was not the easiest task so I'm curious to hear what the experts suggest: a teflon foot maybe? I managed okay but my finished edge is a bit wonky on the inside and there was a bit of a drag visible on the inside.

Vegan bags are going to be my focus this spring/summer. Here's the beach bag proto-type: vinyl inside and out for easy cleaning and to keep your goods dry. What do you think?

I wish I could find a little bit of time to sew every day, it's such a great stress reliever and helps to wash the sads away.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is it really only January?!

Originally uploaded by sharna.

PMS is a crazy thing. I spent a good chunk of last night crying my eyes out and then wilted once again today but this time it was in front of one of my professors. Nope, I wasn't in her office as one might think, I was standing at the front of the lecture room. Thankfully class was over and my back was turned to the majority of my peers. Oh the joys of hormones.

Of course she said all the right things as I blubbered my shaky embarrassed apology while wiping at the never ending stream of tears: you're tired, you're frustrated, you have a tonne on your plate etc. She then assured me that she would help me with my most major issue and suggested I not stress about handing in a proposal that's due tomorrow. Of course I will get the proposal done but at the time hearing those words was exactly what I needed.

One of my girlfriends assured me that I wasn't alone in the 'weeping in front of the prof department' - nevertheless I'm still pretty embarrassed. I need to get some sleep, wipe a few assignments off my plate, finish up the resumes and cover letters that need to be sent out and drink a glass of wine... then I'll feel much better. Ugh.

I would much prefer to drink the wine, go to bed and wake up in May. I know I'm almost there and that I'll get through it but hell, I'm allowed to have the odd self-pity day, right?!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I promised more new music and here I am just a few days later delivering, lucky you!

My fab friend Jackie is the Queen of Indie and I've asked her to send me a list of band names so that I can update my collection of tunes. She and her man Ian are always at concerts and listening to the up and coming before they rise to the top so I'll be sure to share my new finds with all of you.

Mother Mother is a band from Vancouver, British Columbia which just happens to be the home of three of my most favourite ladies (Jackie being one of them). The band isn't just fabulous by association of location, they have catchy songs that I intend to listen to over and over again. Check them out...

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Wallpaper

I change my laptop's wallpaper on a regular basis; being a full-time student and a blog addict - so says Mike, therefore it must be at least a partial truth - I spend a ridiculous amount of time looking at my monitor so I like to mix things up a bit. How About Orange posted a link to PokeStudio where you can find a load of cute wallpapers. Just click on the pic you like the best and choose an appropriate size for your computer, bigger is usually better, right click and save as your desktop background. Ta da!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Keep an Eye Out for Little People

"They're Not Pets, Susan" by Slinkachu

Mike sent me a link to the coolest blog; some people are just too clever. Slinkachu is an artist who places tiny people alongside other tiny bits in the city of London and then photographs them: little people in a big world. The shots above are found on his blog - pop over to see more of Slinkachu's work or take a chance and buy this book.

Mmmm This Week

As promised I'm here to post my menu for the week. I know you've been chomping at the bit just dying to hear what we'll be eating this week. Hold onto your hats kids, it's going to be a yummy week with lots of new recipes because I'm crazy like that.

Monday: spaghetti
Tuesday: chicken fajitas
Wednesday: beef and broccoli stir-fry - newbie #1 of the week
Thursday: Gordon Ramsay's broccoli soup & wraps - newbie #2
Friday: rosemary-garlic chicken, Buttered Noodles with Chives - newbie #3
Saturday: chicken caesar salad using Fergie's delish dressing
Sunday: broiled chops, wee roasties

We managed to follow the menu this week, I switched a couple days around but only ate what was on the the plan. The new peanut noodle recipe we tried was yummy but I heated the ingredients in a pan to avoid drenching myself while whisking - sticky peanut butter doesn't whisk well - next time I would use less soy sauce than is called for, it was a little too salty for us.
Oh, and we ate it warm - with the temperature being minus 20 and colder this week we needed all the warmth we could get.

Monday was the one and only shopping day which was certainly a nice change and for once I didn't find myself tossing a bunch of wilted veggies on garbage day. I only bought what we actually intended to use and guess what, we used it: what a simple yet brilliant concept. Any new recipes out there that you want to share? Be sure to leave me a link!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Likey Lykkee Li

I'm smitten. Thanks to Liss from Daydream Lily I have been introduced to a new artist to obsess over. I can finally set Todd Terje aside (at least temporarily). Listening to this lovely Swede's voice gets my creative juices flowing... watch her video below for Little Bit and check out her myspace page to hear a few more of her songs.

Fab Pick of Last Week

Buttons and the beach are two of my most favourite things so this soap by HelloCrafty is right up my alley. Not only is the design eye catching, the scent description sounds lovely: "similar to Coppertone suntan lotion and many customers have told me it has a slight lilac fragrance as well." Heavenly!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Yesterday I ranted and today I will rave. Last night Mike and I watched a special on the most amazing young man: Stephen Wiltshire. Stephen is a brilliant artist who happens to be autistic; when I say brilliant artist I mean brilliant.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about Stephen's art all day; while out for lunch with Mike I was thinking again about the phenomenal talent Stephen has for drawing from memory (he has been referred to as a human camera) when Mike blurted out: I can't stop thinking about that artist. My point is, this young man is worthy of awe... maybe you have heard of him over the years but Mike and I hadn't.

We have every intention of purchasing a copy of one of Stephen's prints down the road and had no trouble agreeing on the panorama of England which the filming of the documentary circled around.

Grab yourself a glass of vino and be prepared to let your jaw drop. The video is 40 minutes but well worth the time. I think it would be impossible for you to watch this and not be impressed. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ann Coulter: Wicked Witch of the Right-Wing

We all have those moments where we watch something on TV and wish more than anything that we had access to Jeanie - from I Dream of Jeanie - so that we could pop back in time to the studio where the show being viewed was filmed just long enough to slap someone upside the head. Don't we? Well I don't know about you but it happens to me and when I watched this infuriating woman today I wished I had a lamp. As nasty as it may be I so wished I could hurl some hate Ann Coulter's way; she's throwing enough of it out to the single mothers in our world. See for yourself.

Here we have an ignorant woman who has no children of her own judging all single mothers and suggesting they are selfish women raising rapists and thieves. A chapter in her book titled Victim of a crime? Thank a single mother?! Single mothers must be the root of all problems in the USA; the disgustingly high poverty rates have everything to do with women raising children on their own and nothing to do with Ann's much loved right-wing "give to the rich and take from the poor" approach to running a country. Give me a break.

I should clarify that I don't paint all right-wing conservative women with the same brush, and I assume - please let me be right - that a huge number of republican women would be appalled by Coulter's words. Unfortunately for women sharing the political standpoint of Coulter the two females who are currently hold the spotlight are Coulter and Palin. Certainly not the sort of strong female role models I would want representing me.

Nevermind Sarah Palin, she's dim but relatively harmless, it's Ann Coulter who gets my vote as the wicked witch of the right-wing women.

Sadly, this sneak peek leaves me wanting more. I'm curious to know what else is written in her book, there was just one chapter on single mothers so who else does she condemn? It's sort of like a traffic accident, it's gruesome but you can't help but stare. Of course I won't support this crazy woman by purchasing her book; sharing this video might be seen by some as promotion but more than anything I want to hear what you have to say about this. Feel free to disagree with my opinion.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why I Love Grade One

I've moved from the junior division to the primary at my PDS. I'll be teaching six weeks straight in the grade one class after March break, until then I'm at the school one and a half days a week shadowing two phenomenal teachers (grade 1 & grade 2)

Kids kill me. I'm going to post memorable quotes and questions here, figure I may as well share the laughs and my "uh oh" moments with you.

Things that make you go hmmmm....
If Christ was Jesus' last name are there still people over there named Christ?
Why does your nose run when you go outside in the cold?
Do teachers get dressed when they leave school?
Did Jesus have a son?

So serious but so funny.
That monkey worries me.

Child who struggles with reading, after flipping very quickly through a book responds to my
request that he read the story to me, "I don't want to read it aloud, I read it in my head so now you read it to me and I'll tell you if you're right."

You've gotta love 'em.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tantalizing Tuesday

Originally uploaded by Dennis Ferry

The only thing healthy about this recipe is the broccoli but it's uber yummy so really, what does it matter?

Creamy Broccoli Salad
this is a dish I bring to every immediate-family meal because they all love it!

What You Need:
2 small broccoli
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp vinegar
chopped red onion
1 cup grated cheese
bacon bits (optional)

What You Do:
Now read this very carefully because it's easy to mess up.
1. Mix.
2. Eat.

In all seriousness, I suggest you mix up the wet bits with the sugar before adding the veggies.
That's all!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

*insert sarcasm here* I Know You're Dying to Know...

An old pic from a trip to Jamaica 3 years ago: bliss.

I'm back on my organization kick. I went hunting for a post to link to as proof of past attempts at organization and laughed when I realized my disorganization stretches beyond the real world and into my little bit of property in cyberspace. In other words I can't find what I'm looking for so I'll give up and trust that you'll take my word for the fact that every now and then I attempt to get organized.

Now that we are a one car couple I am finding it more important than ever to know what it is I need when I make a trip to the shops; it stinks when I realize I forgot to pick up 'such and such' and then remember I don't have a car available to take a quick trip. I've decided that the way I am going to limit the number of grocery store stops we have to make is by scheduling one visit to the grocer a week: Mondays will be shopping day. The only way I'll actually be able to stick to this is if I start making weekly menus that we actually use. I figure this will not only save us headaches and a ton of time - considering I hit the grocer at least 4 days a week now - it ought to save us a bunch of money. How often do I pick up extra things because I'm hungry when I shop after school? Every visit.

I'm posting my weekly menu here not because I think you actually care to read it but for myself, if I post my menu every Sunday I'm more likely to stick to it. I'm keeping with my other plan of more healthy eating and attempting new recipes each week so I'll be sure to link to any recipes that can be found on-line if I use any.

Alright. Week one of menu planning... GO!
Monday: taco salad
Tuesday: Sesame Peanut Noodles - new yum for the week
Wednesday: balsamic chicken, brown rice, asparagus
Thursday: out
Friday: pork stir fry
Saturday: Steak, baked potatoes, salad
Sunday: salmon and homemade fries

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Terrific Taste of India

Photo taken and uploaded by Kristian Rasmussen

Tanya left us a box full of lovely edibles when she took off to Russia. One of the treats found in the mix was Gourmantra's boxed Tandoori mix. I followed the simple directions printed on the box and the end result: DELISH. Mike gobbled down his plate of chicken and rice announcing how fantastic the chicken was appx. 8 million times before suggesting this become a weekly meal; it really was fabulous. If you like Indian food you have to give Gourmantra's boxed mixes a shot.

Fab Pick of Last Week

I fell in love with this design found in Terry Graziano's Etsy shop. The Sweetheart in merlot is sure to turn heads; it's super stylish with an awesome cut that will frame your face perfectly. This isn't Terry's only design so be sure to slip over to etsy to see what else is available. Beautiful!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I won! I won! I WON! I rarely win things so when I slipped over to the ultra lovely Daydream Lily this evening to see what pretty post she had to share today, I was thrilled to see that she had oh so generously drawn an extra international name for her giveaway! J-A-I-M-E. That's me!

I won a copy of the Australian magazine Frankie, a magazine I've coveted for some time now thanks to its mention by so many fabulous Aussie bloggers. I literally squealed when I saw my name.

Thank you so sO SO very much!

Keeping Track of the Days

Just a few of the lovely wallpapers for your desktop available for free over at Smashing Magazine.

February calendars will be posted here later this month so stay tuned; I'll be sure to let you know when they are available.

(found via the Blog Specialist)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tantalizing Tuesdays are Biggity Back!

Ceasar Salad
Originally uploaded by sonialena

Tantalizing Tuesdays retired a few months back but it's returning for 2009. One of my 8 thousand plans for the new year is to try at least one new recipe a week, what better way to keep track of my new favs than to post them here for you to try yourselves? If all goes well I'll post more than one recipe each week... we'll see though, that might be pushing things.

I've started a blog link list for food blogs I like down on the right side of this page, feel free to leave links for yummy blogs and/or recipes in the comment section and I'll be sure to check them out.

My first TT post for the year is a recipe for a excellent caesar salad with an amazing vinaigrette dressing. Our friend Fergie brought the salad to our annual Christmas with the Crazies pah-tay and was kind enough to pass the recipe my way. Double yum.

Fergie's Fabulous Caesar Salad

What You Need for the Dressing

6-8 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
3-4 splashes of Worcestershire
3-4 splashes Tabasco
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp sugar
(you have free range for the following ingredients - add what you want to taste, the amounts are ranges recommended by the chef)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp tarragon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

What You Do
Easy peasy: mix it all up

What You Need for the Salad (serves 8)
3 romaine hearts
1/2 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
mozzarella cheese - as much as you like

What You Do
Tear it, cook it, shred it, pour it, toss it

Monday, January 5, 2009

Beautiful Paper
Originally uploaded by words & pictures
You know how I love papercutting? Well I'll now add paper twirling (I'm pretty sure that's not the technical name for it) to my list of paper art loves.

Yulia Brodskaya's work is beautiful, don't you think?

Thanks to Black Eiffel (one of my new reads) for sharing these amazing finds.

An Adorable Girl with a Wonderful Mission

The most adorable French child on earth - not that I know many French children but I think it's safe to guess she would be ranked as one of the all-time cutest if some sort of freakish ranking system was put in place - as seen here, is back. This time she has more than a story to tell, she has a cause. Check out her video and then click here if you want to help out with her 'friends in Mongolia'. Adorable.

Capucine for Edurelief in Mongolia from Capucha on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Soy Good

Picture from

First new recipe of the year was one I found through Dinner Tonight. Oh Yum Yum Yum. Super easy and really yummy. I served it over rice and used a crazy cheap steak and it was delish. This puppy has been written out and stuffed in my recipe binder, now it's your turn to try it out. Enjoy! p.s. Stay tuned for more recipes with the return of Tantalizing Tuesdays

Soy Glazed Beef with Green Beans
Serves 4

What You Need
3 tablespoons soy sauce
5 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Asian garlic-chili sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 (about 1 1/2 pounds) skirt steaks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
4 ounces bean sprouts

What You Do

1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and chili sauce in a small bowl; set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat; swirl to coat pan. Season steaks with salt and pepper; cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Pour off fat from pan; add green beans and 1/3 cup water. Reduce heat to medium. Cover; cook until beans are crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes (add more water if pan becomes dry).
4. Thinly slice beef. Pour soy mixture into pan; toss. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pan; cook (uncovered) until heated through. Add bean sprouts; toss to combine.

Eat it and love it. Oh and then let me know what you thought of it.