Links I Love

Happy Passover and Easter for those who celebrate!  I recall last year at this time we were in the condo preparing for our move and we decided to make a silly ridiculous Easter Egg Hunt for Barkley.  

Now that we're having more nice days than cold, we've been enjoying long walks (dragging our lazy dog behind us) along the neighbourhood trails.  Everyone seems to be out and about lately and life seems happy as warm weather approaches.

By the way, here's what Barkley would like to be doing instead of joining us for walks:

These past couple of weeks have flown by in a frenzy of work, renos and wedding preparations.  I will have updates on our washroom progress soon and I'm hoping to have lots of wedding news to share in the coming months.

We've been in our new/old house for nearly a year and yet we're pretty sure the next year will be even more productive and eventful!  So I'm sorry for neglecting this blog but I can promise some exciting posts and updates to our new/old house in the months to come.  Our heads are just buzzing with ideas for this summer!

What are you doing over the long weekend?  Don't long weekends make you feel spectacular and relaxed?  I tend to have trouble relaxing but I have been feeling indulgent this weekend and even rented a couple of horror movies to watch without any guilt that I should be working.  ;)

Again, these weeks have slipped away from me and I just had to publish some of the links I've been hoarding for you guys!  More to follow... promise!

This sad story serves as a good reminder that we don't really know what's happening in the lives of others.  I think this also applies to idealized versions of lives that we see on Facebook.

How many of these do you already do?

Should we all start celebrating some of these unconventional occasions?  I think some of these are more important than birthdays and anniversaries.

These hashtags for thirty-somethings made me laugh! #PaperworkOnAFridayNight

Dogs + Magic = Amazeballs!

Did anyone else bawl their eyes out while watching this April Fools "Prank"?

This April Fools prank made me laugh.

I want this mirror fence.

Who else lives in an old house?  Ours was built in 1926.  Check out these 27 things that only "old house" people will understand.

10 ways to show love to someone with depression.

Don't you just love Toronto in the Spring?

This block puzzle would be a fun gift to DIY (or buy) for a child.

Oh no, it's almost bee season!  Here is a list of the worst places to get stung.  Hint: nostril-lip-penis... Ouch!
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I Haven't Disappeared

Hi guys!  This has been a crazy week at work... You know, that job that pays for our house and DIY projects so I can blog about them on Sundays...  I am sorry for being such a lame-o the past couple of weeks and there may still be one week left of very sparse posts before I get my regular routine back.

How do you unwind from work?  I like to blog and work on crafty projects.  In fact, a few weeks filled with long work hours have left me wanting nothing more than to make jewelry or paint or reupholster a chair...

Here's what I have in mind for some upcoming projects (top photo:)

1.  Some friends and clients of mine recently gave me a cool retro chair that I can't wait to reupholster in a modern fabric.

2.  I have a stash of funky stone beads in quartz, malachite, lapis and many other semi-precious stones that I'm dying to play with on a lazy afternoon.  I'll look for some good tutorials to share.

3.  I bought some vintage plates at Value Village to make some fun cake stands for our wedding cupcakes... It's cheaper than renting serving ware and people can take them home!

4.  We really need to get cracking on our wedding invitations!  I've played around with photoshop a little since my last post but I haven't had time for much more.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend!  It's supposed to be sunny and warm in Toronto tomorrow!

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Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Did you get one?  Ours flew by with Corey working on the bathroom and me just... working.  We did start the process of booking our honeymoon, which is really exciting!  I can't wait to share our plans with you guys.

I've been forgetting to post Friday links and I have been terrible at prepping posts.  This has been the second Sunday in a row that I found myself working with no time to blog.  I've still managed to collect some fun links to share with you guys:

The photo (above) was sent to me via Pinterest by my friend Miranda who knows how much I love succulents.  Isn't it a cute idea?

I would love to try this easy DIY.

Are you depressed about not making enough money?  Here's a fresh perspective on how much money you should actually be making.

Tomorrow is April Fools!  Do you have any pranks planned?

I want to try these 3 Ingredient Recipes.

I've posted this to Facebook before, but this guy just cracks me up!

Have you read this theory about the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet?

This is a crazy way to think about your family.

Are you safe enough?

Do you know how dogs drink?

Is it weird that I want the sushi bazooka?

I hope you all have a great week.  Thinking of all the my teacher friends who will have to deal with classroom pranks in the morning. ;)  Don't pick up that chalk- It's actually toothpaste!!!
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Etsy Crush: Lea Marie Designs

Do you ever browse Etsy?  I do sometimes, and I totally did when I wrote the post about Geode Necklaces a few weeks ago.  If you recall, the easy winner was the necklace below (Yes, I am now the proud owner!) by Lea Marie Designs.  I've been wearing this necklace for about a week and I keep getting compliments and requests to know where I found it, so here goes:

Isn't it unique?  Please check out Lea Marie's shop and look for upcoming sales through her
Facebook and Twitter pages.  Lea Marie is lovely to deal with and I am thrilled with my new necklace... in "Fresh Coat of Paint" colours, no less!

Here are some of my current favourites from her shop:

1. Sliced Blue Agate Pendant, 2. Sliced Amethyst Geode Necklace, 3. Sliced Hot Pink Agate Necklace, 4. Coral Bezel Gold Necklace, 5. Purple Sliced Agate Necklace, 6. Gold Geode Necklace, 7. Sparkly Aquamarine Quartz Necklace, 8. Quartz Crystal Point Necklace, 9. Dark Purple Druzy Geode Necklace, 10. Lavendar Druzy Gold Necklace, 11. Natural Brazilian Purple Amethyst Necklace, 12. Turquoise Silver Necklace, 13. Sliced Hot Pink Agate Necklace

Not seeing what you're looking for?  Remember that the beauty of working directly with an artist is that you can always request a custom item.

Some of my favourite features of Lea Marie's creations are the gold plating around the edges of her pendants, the longer chain options she offers, the fact that she takes individual pictures of each piece of jewelry so you know exactly what you're purchasing... and the fact that she's lovely to deal with.

Who's your "Etsy Crush?"
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Advice to My 20-Year-Old Self

Would you ever go back to your early twenties?  I feel like I barely survived the first time, although I'd probably do a few things differently if I had the option to go back.  What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?  Here's my advice:

Keep studying but try to actually enjoy school more.  You won't end up where you thought you would, so don't worry about taking all the required science and maths.  Maybe expand your horizons with some humanities or even fine arts courses.  You'll be surprised by how much you enjoy them.

Chemistry does not equal love and neither does comfort.  You are not going to end up with any of the guys you think might be right for you right now.  You won't even end up with the same TYPE of guy.  You wouldn't believe me if I told you where your future husband is right now... (Probably in the high school English class your best friend is working in as a student teacher) so don't worry so much about meeting the right guy and just enjoy dating in general and keep an open mind.  Try not to hurt the guy you're with and try to appreciate him more.  You are not in love with him, so try to be strong enough to let him go so that he can be happy. 

Focus on your friends.  You'll be surprised by how many of them will still be important to you in many years.  They are smart, so listen when they speak and try to be a good friend to them.  You will learn a lot from them.  You may think you're "one of the guys" but it is your friendships with other women that will end up fulfilling you and making you grow the most.

You will eventually become friends with your brother.  It may seem like you may never get along but you will both eventually grow up and realize that you're much more similar than you think.  I promise things will get better between you.  You will be incredibly close with him and mom and they will be your most trusted advisors.

Be sympathetic and kind to your mom and try to be a better friend to her.  This is not an easy time in her life.  One day, when you are a little less selfish you will understand how hard she works and how much weight is on her shoulders and you will wish you had opened your eyes to it sooner.  Be more respectful of her, because in a few years you will hope to be as smart and strong as she is.

You are tougher and more resilient than you think.  There are some big challenges ahead, but you have exactly what you need to push through.  Life is hard but it is also amazing!  I promise that many of your dreams will come true... they just may be dreams you haven't dreamed yet.  Love yourself because you are amazing!

Try to learn to like exercising.  You will eventually need to do it and it may be easier if you start a little earlier.  Also, wear sunscreen... you'll be terrified of sun damage and wrinkles in a decade.  Don't be so vain.  If you think it's a good idea to cut your own bangs to cover up a pimple, you are tragically wrong!

Most of all, enjoy the next few years... REALLY ENJOY THEM!  This chapter will be over in an instant.

I also asked several smart women in my life the same question.  I told them their responses could be anonymous.  They came back to me with brutally honest advice that made me both laugh and cry.  Here they are:


  • Love and sex are not interchangeable
  • The man you're with will break your heart, but don't leave him yet.  The children you have with him will be the best part of your life.
  • An open heart can receive love.
  • Find someone you can love more with each year that passes.  And remember, you marry the family, not just the man.  Make sure it's a family you feel comfortable joining.
  • Look for strength and stability first, excitement second.  Motorcycle-driving "bad boys" are fun to read about, but that's all they are; works of fiction and pop culture.  The truth is, there is nothing more appealing than a man who stands for his family and works hard every day to provide the best for them.  There is nothing sexier than having your own personal hero come rescue you and your car out of your own driveway (for the third time in one winter.)
  • Dear 20 year old self: A friend once told you that to meet a man, you need to look your best, stand a certain way, and to never act silly.  She was wrong, especially about the acting silly part - your life will be so much better the more you dance, play, sing and explore.  
  • Sorrow is not forever, love is.

  • Try and make an effort to stay in touch with high school friends. They were there for you for four years, and even though they are all at different universities, staying in touch is important.
  • Stay in touch with your friends.  It may seem hard while you are busy right now, but it will be harder to reconnect with them later.
  • Hang out with people who make you laugh until you cry.

  • Everything you thought you knew about baby headbands was wrong.
  • Take time to get as much information out of your grandparents as possible before they pass away. Their generation went through hardships we can't even imagine, and it will put things in perspective when you learn about their lives when they were 20-Something.
  • Stop thinking you're fat. You don't even know what fat is.
  • Drink more.  Hangovers only get worse with age.
  • Travel as much as possible when you are this age (young). You wont be able to travel the same way once you have kids or even a secure career. Use university summers to explore the world.
  • I want to say "Don't go so far away for grad school," but I can't because then I wouldn't have my job or some of my closest friends
  • Don't forget your social graces.  Say "please" and "thank you!"
  • Let go of your barriers, don't be afraid to emote and feel.  It's okay to cry for joy or sadness, no one will think you are weak.  And, if they do, who cares.  
  • Have more sex with different guys.  Be safe, but experiment a little more.  You'll look back at those days fondly, rather than with shame.

  • One of my friends felt her advice was best reflected through a song:

  • Let go and don't be afraid-no venture, no gain.  All you can do is live the best you can in the moment.  Be your truest self, and be a little hopeful that life will bring you sweet surprises. 
  • Let go of the past and any harm that's been done to you and let Karma do the rest.
  • The hard times are not necessarily bad times.  The difficult times will pass and you will learn so much!
  • Only YOU can fulfill your potential.
  • Trust yourself.
  • Every challenge is an opportunity in disguise.  No matter what befalls us, WE choose how to react to it.  Happiness is a choice.
  • Follow your instinct, not the pack.
  • Recognize the things in life that make you happy vs. the things that you think are supposed to make you happy.
  • Never lose sight of your goals and dreams.  They will change, but so will your priorities and you'll be much happier going with the flow.
  • 30 isn't as old as you think it is.
  • Don't take everything so seriously, be a little less intense.   Age allows us to mellow, and that gives us time to consider everything before speaking. It's not a race to the finish and often little kindnesses get overlooked when you are constantly rushing.
  • At least twice before you're 30, you will think your world has ended.  You will be wrong.  
  • Take chances!  Rejection hurts less than regret.
  • Confront your mistakes.  Nothing is worse than the time you lose hiding from them.
  • My anonymous advice would be without a doubt to have more confidence.  Confidence in who I am, what I like and to trust my own decisions. I think that I second guessed everything I did in my twenties and only when 30 hit did I fully feel ownership over my life. At 30 I felt so happy with everything and that I was exactly where I wanted to be.  I loved turning 30!

One of the things I found most interesting about all the responses I received is how similar so much of the advice is and how true it rang for my own experience.  Isn't it funny how similar we all are?  I'll end with what might be my favourite last sentence from my friends' responses:

  • Don't worry, you got this!

But wait, there's more:

In addition to wanting to hear from some of the very smart women in my life, I'd love to hear from other bloggers, so I'm making this a link party.  I'd love to see your own version or variation of this post, so please feel free to add your link below and either grab a button, or link back here.  Make sure to share the love by visiting (and commenting on) other blogs!

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

Advice to My 20-Year-Old Self

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