Friday, 26 October 2012

Vivian Vendredi - Happy (almost) Halloween!

It's nearly Halloween, which means it's nearly time to wrestle Vivian into a costume.  Last year she was a shark, and this year she's supposed to be a butterfly.  I am, however, completely prepared for her to just go as an "Angry Toddler".  We'll see how we make out.  I got her this costume from Old Navy.  They seem to be the best bet for kids costumes - they're cheap and warm and comfortable.  I went with the butterfly because all the other costumes seemed to have a hood or a hat, and I figured that would be a recipe for disaster with Vivian, and the costume wouldn't make much sense.  At least with the butterfly she can take off the antennae and it will still make sense.  I am a little worried that she'll freak out about the wings though.  I'm still convinced that Vivian has sensory issues, so you never know how she's going to react to different clothes.  You should have seen the meltdown that happened when I put her in overalls.

Anyway, there's no big plans for Halloween - trick or treating at my mom's with her cousin and my mom's kids is the plan.  It's supposed to be cold and rainy so we might only get out to a couple of houses.  Hopefully I can manage to get at least one picture of her in the costume!

I was showing Vivian how we could take pictures of ourselves with the camera.  It actually went really well, and I got nice pictures like this one...

But then on our last picture, she decided to show me her eye (we're big on the "Where's your eyes?  Where's your mouth?  Where's your nose?" game.)  Resulting in this somewhat spooky shot.

Sorry to anyone who gets grossed out by eye stuff.

Happy Halloween!  Any tips on trick or treating with a toddler?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Vintage sheets put to good use

 I finally got around to hanging up my vintage sheet fabric boards!  I was intending to get some fancy pants Command picture hanging strips, but then I got cheap and lazy.  So instead I just used some heavy-duty velcro strips that I had instead.  They were cheaper, and are meant to hang things on the wall, only they're not as easy to remove.  I checked around online and it seems like it's easy enough to break down the glue to remove them at some point if I want to.  I'm not planning on moving them though, so whatevs.

I hung the big ones over the couch in the living room...

And get this - I actually used a level.  I feel so grown up and professional.  Look at how straight those boards are - it's a thing of beauty I tell you.

I hung the rest of the small boards in the master bedroom using my patented random planning.  I basically just threw them up there.  Seems to be working, and there's lots of room to add on in the future.

And I got those sheets up in Vivian's room too!  She loves them, she goes in and says "Hi baby!" to them.  She calls all other kids "Baby".

I was decidedly unfancy and precise with them.  I didn't want to do any cutting and sewing, so I just guessed at how much length I needed to loose, then folded them over and pinned them in place.  I used the old curtain rod from the master bedroom since it has the clips on the curtain rings, so I just clipped the sheets up there and called it a day!

They are thin, so they don't block much light, but I already have a darker sheet hanging behind them to act as a blackout curtain, so all is good.

What do you think?  Are people finally on board with my vintage sheets now?  Call me crazy, but I think they look awesome! (and are so cheap!)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Outfit of the Day - Fun with stripes

It's been awhile since I've done an outfit post!  I've been recycling a lot of outfits lately and just feeling kind of blah so I haven't gotten around to taking pictures.  I'll get back into the habit though!

Things have been cooler, so the fall wardrobe is out in full force.  Sometimes I get these ideas in my head of something that I need and I have to go on the hunt to get it.  Recently I got the bright idea that I needed to get the perfect black dress.  Something simple that could be dressed up or down, something that I could just swap out different tights and cardigans and boots to change it up.  It would be so simple, my whole winter wardrobe would be set.

Of course, the hunt for the perfect Little Black Dress can be one of those lifelong searches (see also - the search for the perfect white t-shirt).  So while I was searching I checked out Old Navy.  They're always good for cheap dresses that usually fit me well.  And while I didn't find a black dress, I found this black and white dress all by its lonesome.  

It was the only dress in that style.  It was on a rack with some other similar dresses that I had actually tried on before, but they were colour-blocked dresses, so they had a wide coloured band across the shoulders and a boatneck on it, neither of which work for me.  Those dresses were on sale for $20, but this one was still marked at $34.99.  Too pricey for me!  Of course I tried it on since it was the only one in the store and it  was a large.  I figured I would try it out - I never know with Old Navy sizes, sometimes I'm a medium, sometimes a large, sometimes and XL.  I try not to take it personally.

The dress freaking fit perfectly.  It's a bodycon dress, so it's meant to cling and hug in all the right places.  I couldn't believe how flattering it was (at least I thought so).  When you have curves at all, you're generally advised to stay far, far away from horizontal stripes.  This one works though.  And the best part?  It is so freaking soft and comfortable, it's literally as comfortable as laying around in my comfy clothes.

Turns out the dress was a return of an online-only style, so that's why there was only one.  And since it was basically the exact same as the dresses that were on sale, they let me have it for the $20!  Woot!

I've been pairing it with these blue tights and my black boots (they're this season's boots from Payless.  Payless seems to be the only place I can find boots to fit my monster calves).

So while it may not be the perfect Little Black Dress, I think it's the perfect Little Black and White Striped Dress.

What say you?  Do you dare wear horizontal stripes?  I recommend it!

Dress - Old Navy
Tights - Got them out of a clearance bin at Zellers
Boots - Payless

Monday, 22 October 2012

Thrifting Finds!

I took a swing out to Talize the other day on my lunch break.  I usually kind of avoid the thrift stores around Halloween, just because they're so busy and picked over, but I was bored so I took my chances.

And I'm so glad that I did!

Check out my new coffee carafe that I really don't need and who knows if I'll ever use it but it's so darn cute I just couldn't turn it down and it was only $3.99.

So pretty, right?

Then of course I had to stop to check out the sheet situation.  And I saw this sheet from down the aisle and practically ran to it.  A woman in a wheelchair asked for my help, and of course I did help her, but if someone else had started to move in on my sheets I would have dove right over her to grab them!

Observe, vintage Rainbow Brite sheet!

Can you believe it?  I'm so excited - I had the matching comforter when I was little!  And the best part?  THERE WERE TWO.  Two vintage Rainbow Brite twin sized flat sheets.  And they're in perfect condition.  I'm thinking curtains for Vivian's room.  Because obviously I bought them both - there was no way I was leaving one behind!  The best part?  When I showed them to Vivian she said, "Oh wow, Mommy!  Nice!"  So yeah, she gets me.

I grabbed this vintage sheet too.  Something about pairing the feminine flowers with the bold, graphic masculine colours really spoke to me.  It's a fitted twin sheet - I think it could look great as pillows!

So that was my score from this time.  I mean, come on.  VINTAGE RAINBOW BRITE, PEOPLE!

Anyone else do any thrifting?  There's a few shops in London that I've been meaning to check out, hopefully I can get to them soon!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Vivian Vendredi-ish - Potential blankie surgery?

I've mentioned before about Vivian's "Bibby".  Bibby is Vivian's best friend/blankie.  He's hideous and green and a frog, but she loves him.  The biggest problem with Bibby is that he's just too big.  He gets dragged around and is constantly gross and disgusting.  As the weather gets colder and wetter, it's getting harder and harder to keep him clean.  My mom keeps suggesting that I just cut him in half.  That way I would have a backup and Vivian would have a smaller, more manageable blanket to carry around with her.

But would he lose his magic if I did that?

I would feel better if I had a second Bibby as a backup in case she freaks if he was cut in half.  If anyone knows where to find a blanket like this, let me know.

An old pic of Vivian and Bibby
Has anyone had any experience in blankie surgery?  Is it just asking for trouble?  Vivian's a little, shall we say, particular about things.  She sleeps with Bibby every night, so the thought of messing with that scares me just a little bit.  Of course, the idea of dragging around a soaking wet blanket that's got salt and slush and god only knows what else all over it seems even worse.

And now some pictures of Vivian this week.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Fall 2012 TV thus far...

Don't judge me by what is currently on my PVR
So we're a few weeks into the new fall TV schedule and I've been doing pretty well to keep up with the shows.  Of course, there have already been some casualties.  I'm trying not to watch shows because I feel like I should watch them, and only watch because I actually enjoy them.  It's tough for me though, because I hate feeling like there is some major pop culture experience that I'm missing out on.

So here in no real order is a quick blurb on all the shows I've been watching.

Arrow - Wow, loved this pilot.  I thought it set up a great backstory without getting too bogged down, and it really set up some great stuff for the future.  The gratuitous shirtless training scene definitely helped.  Katie Cassidy is her usual awesome self, and she should be in every show.  I'm definitely signing up for more adventures with Arrow!

Modern Family - I wasn't totally sold on sticking with this show.  I kind of felt like it was running out of steam at the end of last season, but the first few episodes seem to feel fresh.  I'm not crazy about Haley just being around on webcam though (really?) and was pretty frustrated that there was a whole plotline about Cam needing to find a job because Lily is in school now, but no one ever questions Claire about being home when Luke is what, like 12?  Weird.

Nashville - We've only seen the pilot episode so far, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  A lot of critics are calling this the best show of the season, and while I'm not quite at that level yet, I'm definitely planning on keeping up with it for a few more weeks at least.

The Simpsons - I mean, come on.  The Simpsons is The Simpsons.  Either you buy into it or you don't.  I've given up my other Animation Domination shows (at least for now) but I can't give up on The Simpsons.  I thought this year's Treehouse of Horror was pretty decent, and it was nice to actually see it before Halloween for once.

30 Rock - I actually really like the direction they're taking 30 Rock for its final season.  I love that feeling of a show that is in its final season and knows it.  Everything seems to land a little bit better, because there's a definite goal in mind.  Long live Liz Lemon.

The Big Bang Theory - It's cute, it's light, it's fluffy.  I am a big fan of half hour comedies, they're just comfort food for me.  I do hope that they don't break up Penny and Leonard again though, only because I can't stand the sitcom will-they-or-won't-they dance.

Last Resort - While I really enjoyed the pilot, the following episodes didn't quite do it for me.  For now I've officially let go of this show, only because I found I would start doing something while I was watching it, and would have no idea what was happening.  It's still getting good reviews, although the ratings haven't been great.  TV is just so different now, that there are a lot of shows that I'm letting go on the basis of "If I find out later that it is worth watching, I'll just marathon through a season on DVD or Netflix or something."  

Grey's Anatomy - Oh Grey's.  The drama continues.  I don't like how there's all these new people wandering around, and I really wish that they had an end date for this show.  I really think that it's run its course.  I did love the one monologue that Cristina gave where she questioned how Meredith keeps going with all the terrible things that have happened to her and why she stays at that hospital when so many terrible things have happened.  Seriously, there is no way that anyone would be able to be anywhere close to normal if they had gone through half of that.  That place is getting a little ridiculous.

Glee - Glee.  You were on such thin ice with me for this season.  I was fully prepared to cut you loose, and now somehow I'm still watching.  You're on a short leash though.  There seem to be a lot of shenanigans in the wings just waiting to start.  I will not tolerate your shenanigans.

Fringe - Again, I love when a show is working towards an end date.  Fringe seems so driven now that there are only a handful of hours left and I am loving it.

SNL - I am so, so not looking forward to the Bruno Mars episode this weekend.  I just don't get Bruno Mars.  The Daniel Craig episode was pretty terrible, but Christina Applegate and Joseph Gordon Levitt were pretty great.  Really hoping for some Jon Hamm still!

Once Upon a Time - I actually wasn't totally loving Once at the end of the first season, but after the season 2 premiere, I am back in it.  I really like the new dynamic and storytelling devices, even though Emma is pretty much the dumbest thing ever and I can't stand her.  More Jefferson, please.

Happy Endings - Doesn't come back until next week!  But I'm going to go ahead and give it an A+, because it's always awesome.

Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 - Doesn't come back until next week either!  But I was just reading today that we're going to see a little bit of a crossover between Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B, so that should be fun.

Revenge - I'm really surprised at how well they are pulling off the second season.  After an unbelievable season finale, they have really changed things up, and yet it's the same old Revenge soapy fun.  Nolan has been awesome, Charlotte is distinctly less annoying, and there hasn't been as much Declan!  Hooray!

Boardwalk Empire - Can someone please tell me what the hell has been going on with Boardwalk lately?  It is so weird.  I just feel like I have no one to root for.  And it's so weird and disappointing because I love this show, like really love it.  I'm hoping it will start to build to something awesome and will be better as a marathon re-watch.

Dexter - After 2 subpar seasons, Dexter has actually been pretty decent this year.  I'm enjoying the new direction (especially after this week's episode) and I think they could really build to something great by the end of the season.  As with so many other shows though, I really think they need to wrap this one in plastic very soon - like 1 or 2 more seasons tops.  

666 Park Avenue - I'm actually loving this show.  It's creepy and campy and just kind of fun.  Terry O'Quinn is awesome, as per usual.  I have a feeling this show is going to break my heart though - it hasn't been getting great ratings and some are putting it on the bubble.  Check out this show!

Ben and Kate - This show is surprisingly cute and funny, plus it has a completely adorable kid.  It makes a perfect pair on Tuesday nights with New Girl and is quickly becoming a show that I really look forward to watching.

How I Met Your Mother - While it isn't for sure that this is the last season (there is a potential for one more) they are really moving forward like it could be.  It's the usual combination of funny and sweet, with that special combination of HIMYM mythology.

Partners - Again, a goofy, fluffy comedy, but I'm actually really enjoying it.  I find the cast to be really solid (including a surprisingly funny Brandon Routh) and the writing has been decent.  It's pretty formulaic and sitcom-y, but it's cute and really benefits from its timeslot.

2 Broke Girls - I love this show, even though it's also formulaic and sitcomy.  I just can't resist Kat Dennings.

Revolution - I hate to admit it, but I've dropped this show.  I really, really, really wanted to like this show, but I just couldn't click with it.  The weird yellow filters, the characters who seem to all look the same and somehow do nothing...I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just didn't work for me.  I wasn't looking forward to it, I missed an episode and didn't care...yeah.  Again, maybe it will be more of a marathon later and then I'll be fully supportive of season 2.  It's been getting great reviews and ratings, so we'll see.

The Mindy Project - I am enjoying this show so far, but not 100 percent loving it.  Something isn't quite right for me, but it's like 75 percent of the way there.  It's been picked up for a back half of the season though, so I'm hoping it will really find find its stride.

New Girl - Pretty much the cutest thing on TV.  It regularly has me laughing out loud, pausing and rewatching scenes and quoting lines to my friends.  Love this show.

Go On - NBC has not had a good track record with me this season!  While I thought this was okay, I just didn't care about it.  I love Matthew Perry, but I thought it hit a weird middle ground.  Too funny to be serious, too serious to be really funny.  With all the other great Tuesday comedies, I let this one go.

The New Normal - This show really got on my nerves.  While it had its funny moments (and Andrew Rannells is fantastic) it was just too politically charged for me.  Every episode just seemed to be too focused on proving a point.  I think it would be a better show if it ignored the politics and just focused on the family as being that "new normal" family.  Is that naive of me to think?  I'll just get my Andrew Rannells fix in January when Girls returns.

The Mob Doctor - Couldn't even make it through the pilot.  Sigh.

The Walking Dead  - I haven't gotten around to watching the season 3 premiere yet, but I've heard good things.  I really hope it is better than the snoozefest that was season 2.

Comic Book Men - It seems goofy and pretty heavily scripted, but I actually really like this show.  Probably mostly because I love Kevin Smith and have always wanted to go to Redbank to see the Secret Stash.  Yes, I'm the only person in the world who dreams of a vacation in New Jersey.

Vegas - I've let this one go too.  I find I get really bogged down with hour long shows and have to be really selective.  I liked the pilot, but it went downhill from there for me.  It was another show that I just found myself doing other things while watching it and all of a sudden 20 minutes would go by and I had no idea what was happening.  It didn't seem vintage enough for me - there were some scenes where you honestly couldn't tell that it was supposed to be in the '60s.  It just seemed inconsistent to me.

Elementary - Liking but not loving this.  I think the BBC Sherlock sets such a high bar that it's hard for anything else to compete.  I do love Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller, I think it's more that I'm not a huge fan of procedurals in the first place.  It definitely seems fun though, and they're promising that we won't see a gross Sherlock/Watson hook-up.

Scandal - I was actually prepared to drop this one, but it has me loving it now.  It's juicy and fun and sexy and doesn't make me cry like that other Shonda Rhimes show.  If you're not watching it, try to get caught up on the first season, it's really fun.

The Office - What was that about shows finding new life when they're faced with the final season?  I've been enjoying this final season so far even though it should have actually ended at least two seasons ago.

Up All Night - What happened to this show?  I loved this show last year and now it seems so weird.  Will Arnett is overly skinny and now there's this random brother character?  Couldn't we have just had Jason Lee back?

Parks and Recreation - Oh this show.  So fantastic, so well-written, so amazing.  I miss this one when there isn't a new episode.

America's Next Top Model - I had to let it go.  It was just too crazypants this year.  No Mr. or Miss J?  And no Nigel?  No thank you.

Suburgatory - Is on right now, as I'm typing this!  I do really enjoy this little show, again I love my half hour comedies!  Hopefully they can keep up the light/snarky feel that they established in the first season.

Is that everything?  I think that's all my shows.  Damn, I still watch a lot of TV.  Except for what you can see on my PVR screen up there - yes, I've developed a sick obsession with the Kardashians.  And yes, I record the old Batman episodes (Adam West!).  And yes, I record Bubble Guppies for Vivian.  No idea how I ever lived before the PVR.

What have you been enjoying this fall season?  Any new shows?  Had to drop any shows?  I always feel so badly when I have to give up on one.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I don't like blank walls and I cannot lie.

I've been doing some rearranging lately.  Not necessarily anything major, just kind of shuffling things around to see how they work.  I've been meaning to blog about it, but I've kind of been waiting until I'm happy with where things are before doing a reveal.

But now I'm kind of stuck.  Stuck with three overly large, overly blank walls and it's kind of driving me crazy.  What is it about a blank wall that irritates me so much?  My go-to response is to just do some sort of crazy arrangement of some sort on it, but I'm actually running low on things to hang on the wall, so I'm struggling.  I have a bunch of posters still, but I feel like because I'm turning 30 in a couple of weeks, I have reached the point where all posters should be in frames, and not just stuck on the wall.  

So anyway, I have this big boring blank slate in the bedroom...

Yes, I've set up a little hipster corner for myself.  More about that another day.

And the living room has this expanse of nothing...

And the other side of that wall is this the big green bore...

 Still not happy with that thing on the wall.  It needs a new mat and it's way too small for the space.

I still have all those boards that I wrapped in the sheets that I haven't hung up yet, but can't quite find a place for them.  I don't want a huge cluster of them in the living room, since my gallery wall is already in the living room and I feel like the two would be a little crazytown together.  I also don't think they should go in the kitchen, because the idea of hanging fabric on the wall where bacon is cooked seems like a recipe for disaster.  There is the chance of putting them in the bedroom, but I think the duvet cover might compete too much.  There may need to be some re-shuffling of the stuff in the office to accommodate them in there.

However, the three big sheet boards just might find a home in the living room.  What do you think?  I just leaned them up there before actually sticking them on the wall (because I'm too lazy to actually get a level and measure them out so they're evenly spaced.  It's much more my style to just girl-measure everything and eyeball it.  This is why I end up hanging everything in crazy gallery walls.)

I think that might solve the living room wall problem.  I keep considering some sort of painted accent wall somewhere (mostly the bedroom) but the idea of having an accent wall kind of freaks me out because then I feel like I can't rearrange the furniture, and I enjoy rearranging furniture often.

Any suggestions?  Anyone else struggling with massive expanses of blank walls?  Don't even get me started on the pit that is the basement.

Monday, 15 October 2012


I literally was just working on another blog post and had to stop to immediately write this one because I saw this commercial it was just too crazy to ignore.

Brad Pitt.  Scruffy, long haired Brad Pitt selling Chanel No. 5.  Looking very confused and uncomfortable.  And somehow it is the creepiest, weirdest thing ever.  Why is it that perfume commercials end up sounding so much like a serial killer's manifesto or something?  Can't they just describe what it smells like?  Why do they have to try and invoke such feeling out of it?  Because honestly, I don't think I've ever gone out to buy some perfume because there was a cool commercial for it.  You buy it because it smells nice.  (Actually, this is all a lie.  I have a rule that I don't buy perfume for myself, just body mist.)  But still.  You smell, you buy.

Seriously.  What the fuck is this?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Vivian Vendredi-ish - Free child labour

Vivian is solidly in the "helpful toddler" phase, where she constantly wants to help with whatever I'm doing.  Sometimes it's good, like when I want something put in the blue box and she'll toddle off to do it for me, and other times it's not so good like when I just want to put some dishes in a sink and she has to dive right in to wash them right away.  While the sentiment is wonderful, it usually ends up in soapy water being everywhere and a costume change being required for her.

It is really sweet seeing her be so proud of herself though.  So far her chores include the dishes, taking things to the blue box or putting things in the garbage can, feeding the cats and helping load and unload the dishwasher.  If I could get her to do the laundry then I would really be in business.

The above picture is her warning me that the water is hot.  Safety first!

What are some other good toddler chores?  Sometimes I feel like she wants to help more, but there's only so much I can let her do.  I do pretty much all of my cleaning with vinegar and water though, so I suppose I could set her loose with a spray bottle and a cloth and just let her go to town.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Ocean Liner

Ever since moving in here, I've been on a slow quest to repaint all of the rooms.  It was never that there was anything really wrong with them, it was just that the colour choices of the previous owners were so "not me". Most of them weren't even colours (except for the two lime green bedrooms, whatevs).  Instead of real, rich colours, they were washed out, pale, non-colours.

Take the bathroom, for example.

It was blue, I guess?  But like the palest shade of blue.  Like a shade that makes you wonder why they even bothered.  And the worst part is I don't think they used kitchen and bath paint, so in certain spots the moisture was getting to it and the paint was cracking and spiderwebbing to reveals hints of the colour underneath - 80s burgandy.


So last week I finally decided to tackle the little bathroom before having family over for Thanksgiving.  Nothing like a little family judgment to get moving.

I picked out the paint colour over a year ago - Ocean Liner, from Sarah Richardson's line for Para Paints.

I loooove it.

I think it looks so much better against the white - makes everything look cleaner.  And yes, I took the colour right up onto the ceiling.  I'm actually a big fan of painting the ceiling the same colour in small bathrooms.  I tried to leave this one white, but it just looked bizarre to have the white ceiling against the rich walls and then have half a wall in white tile.  I dunno, it just felt wrong.

Plus, I'm kind of a lazy, sloppy painter, and painting the ceiling is easier than being careful.

I still have some little touchups to do, and could stand to redo the caulking around the tile to give me a cleaner line (I also have to re-caulk the tub, but I hate that chore).  I'm also considering painting the cabinet - maybe a light grey colour?  It just feels weird to me to have all that white on the bottom half of one wall.  Plus, I got a quart of mis-tinted paint for $2.50, and it's light grey and now I want to use it.

Have you been up to any painting lately?  Now I only have the office to paint and then the entire upstairs has been repainted.  I also think I might have to repaint the background on my poor John Locke picture - his green isn't really working with the room anymore.  Maybe he just needs a new home.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Vivian Vendredi-ish - How to give a toddler coffee

If there's one thing that I've learned about toddlers, it's that you can never be sure how they'll react to something.  Vivian is really, really into her cars right now.  She loves her cars - especially her Little Tikes ones.  She calls them her "Beep Beeps" and loves to carry them around everywhere with her.  Usually when we're out somewhere I put them in her Hello Kitty purse so she doesn't have to hold them the entire time.  But when I finished one of those big resealable plastic Folgers coffee containers, I thought it would be the perfect spot for her to hold her cars so she can find them easily instead of digging through her toy bin.

Did she like this idea?  Oh no, she loved this idea.  Instead of just putting her cars in the little bucket and being satisfied with that, she had to carry the entire thing around the house with her, happily bringing her entire beep beep collection along with her every step.  Then we had to go to WalMart.  And did the bucket stay home?  Oh no, we had to go through WalMart with her bucket sitting beside her in the cart.  She was so darn proud of it.  Then the whole thing had to come into the bathtub wither her, of course.  My favourite part though was when she tried to balance the container on her cupholder of her car seat.  When it inevitably fell she was completely shocked and yelled, "Oh noooooo!"  It was pretty traumatic.

Between this and her obsession with buckles (seriously, the kid is obsessed with buckles right now.  She climbs back into the car after I get her out of her carseat so she can do the buckles back up) and now her obsession with a Folgers coffee can, she's well on her way to being the weirdest kid around.  I'm hoping that some stickers on the container will make it seem a little more normal, and not so much like she's a toddler with a serious coffee habit.

Also, I don't have a picture of Vivian and her coffee can, but I'll try to get one for next week.  This was Vivian today at Kusterman's farms playing in a bunch of corn, which she found thrilling, even though she was freezing.  Also, there's a huge blurry spot, which I thought was a problem with my camera, but I think now it was just a smudge on the lens.  I'm a genius.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hey, remember how I went to Montreal?

...and then never blogged about it?  Well, wait no longer - the blog you've been waiting for is here!

So I went to Montreal for a quick girls weekend to celebrate my friend Jenn's birthday.  We took the train there on Friday and came back on Sunday, so it was a pretty compact trip, but we fit in a lot of awesome stuff and somehow managed to have the most perfect vacation ever.  The weather was perfect, we all got along perfectly, our hotel was perfect, our location was perfect, meals were perfect - we really couldn't have asked for anything better.

So we took the train there, which was definitely the way to go.  No muss, no fuss.  We had a lovely relaxing ride there and didn't have to worry about parking or driving in Montreal (which seemed crazy).  We also completely lucked out with having out hotel be at an awesome location - right at the corner of Sherbrooke and St. Laurent - so we were able to walk the whole weekend, only taking a cab to and from the train station.

When we got to our super swank hotel (the Opus at Montreal) our room wasn't ready yet, so we headed down the street for the first order of business - poutine.

Followed swiftly by some booze shopping at the gas station across from our hotel.

Oh, and our hotel?

Yeah.  Swank.

Isn't it beautiful?  It was so awesome and boutique-y and classy, and the service was amazing.  Seriously, I don't think that concierge ever left the building - she was so super helpful.

And the room?  A little glass-walled shower action...

Amazing cozy beds...

Gigantic mirrors - definitely a must for 3 ladies in one room.

And a view overlooking the hotel's club - that's it under that canopy.

And the industrial unfinished concrete ceilings?  I die.

So after a little resting up in our awesome hotel room (where I watched the Adam West Batman movie and could have stayed in all night just doing that) and a little pre-drinking, it was time to put the pretty on to head out for dinner and our evening's events.

We decided to stick close and do dinner at Koko, the hotel restaurant/club.  Fridays are pretty dead, so had no problem getting a table and had a super-delicious dinner.

I had a lobster tail, and all our meals came with a weird kind of beef jerky bacon strip thing.  Sounds weird, but it was yummy.

Pretty ladies!

The restaurant/club was also super classy and fancy - and see that that horse in the corner?  We named him Gene, he makes another appearance later.

The weirdest part about the restaurant?  It had this funny bathroom - see those black doors in the background?  There was a male and female door, and it just had a single stall bathroom, then the sinks were out in the open.  Very bizarre.

After some posing in front of the restaurant (as you do)...

 We walked down to our real destination of the evening - Club 281.

Seems a little unassuming, right?  Don't be fooled - this is Magic Mike land.  And that seems to be me in the lower right corner charging towards the entrance.

So the deal with the 281 was simple - no touching, no pictures.  They were very, very clear on the pictures thing.  You couldn't even take out your cellphone in there, which was a shame because we were all too drunk to be able to remember all of the intricate details of the evening.  So naturally I started taking notes on a coaster to be deciphered later.

Basically, it was a riot.  It was a perfect atmosphere for women - no one approached you for anything, the drinks weren't super expensive, there were a lot of props used and it was just all around hilarious and awesome.

Our plan for the evening was supposed to be to go back to the hotel and go out to the club there for the evening.  But it was pretty dead there, and we were pretty dead, so it was early to bed for us.

The next morning was the start of our "Big Day".  Saturday was our only full day in Montreal, so we intended to make the most of it.  Of course, we got a late start, but we ended up walking to the legendary Schwartz's for lunch.

 And holy crap - was it ever worth it.  The sandwiches were amazing.  We got ours to go and then parked it out on a bench to enjoy our smoked meat and pickles.

I don't know why they even bother putting bread on these things, because by the end we were all literally scooping handfuls of meat into our mouths.

And the pickles?  Good lord.  These pickles made you blush.

After our smoked meat heaven, we checked out a few vintage clothes shops - apparently Montreal is hipster-haven, because they were everywhere.

Our plan was to keep walking and head down to Old Montreal to explore for the day, but since we were going to be walking right by our hotel, we stopped in for a quick freshening-up/midday alcohol.

Then we were off and walking - and continued to walk through Old Montreal for the whole afternoon.

Of course I took pictures of the most random things.

French Homer Simpson signs?  Love.

Amazing vintage French strip club sign?  Love.

Nerding out over the Quebec Court of Appeal?  Love.

The architecture was awesome - every building was so amazing and unique and just spectacular.

Dreadlocked and kilted street performers...

It was so nice to be able to walk right down to the waterfront.

After allllll our walking, it was back up to the hotel to relax and get ready for our Saturday night out.  We tried to figure out a restaurant that was close and what we were looking for, but we ended up just stumbling out to the first restaurant we could find, that just happened to be across from the hotel.

Factory Bar-Resto was awesome - totally what we needed.  Something light and quick.  It was so good that we didn't even have a chance to take pictures of our food, but here's the aftermath of our awesome cold cut plate (which sounds boring, but was actually unbelievable) and salad and wings.

 Then it was time to wander down to the Metropolis to pick up our comped tickets to see The Cult.  Jenn's cousin's band was opening for them, so we ended up checking out the show.  Totally amazing way to close out the trip!

The show was awesome and the venue was really great - very similar to the Opera House in Toronto.

Of course by this time there had been a lot of drinking - did I mention that Factory had a martini special that night?  So I was doing a lot of this...

The plan after the concert was supposed to be to go check out a fancy club that had multiple levels, but by the time the show was over, we were ready for bed.  An entire day of walking and drinking had done us in, and we were all in bed eating poutine by midnight.  

Sunday morning was getting packed up and ready to catch our 11:50 a.m. train.  Of course we had to have some yummy breakfast before we left...

Mmm, smoked salmon bagel.

Then it was a quick cab ride to the train station and we were on our way home.

It was a great trip, with great Jenns (yes, there were three of us, and I was the only one not named Jenn).  I learned a lot - like you should always pack more cardigans, holding cameras at high angles is very important,  and apparently people in Montreal leave clothes on bus benches for some odd reason.

Yay for girls weekends!  Have you ever been to Montreal?  I would go back in a heartbeat - maybe it should be an annual girls trip?