Snowy snow snow (with a side of brutal cold)

A couple of weeks ago, I wished for snow in Toronto. Yeah, that’s right. I like snow. It’s pretty. This city is really ugly in the winter and needs a blanket to cover up. Mother Nature obliged with a few light snowstorms (nowhere near the 80 inches that Boston has, that’s way taller than my sister), and I was happy.

{via} (Don’t ask me what episode this is from, I’m not good with the newer ones)

Prettier, right?

I did not, however, wish for this.

That’s fucking cold. Almost to the point that the “feels like” temperature is about the same in Fahrenheit. (-13F, feels like -36F.) I don’t think I’m leaving my condo today. Even my recently-purchased parka (I finally caved and bought one, on sale) won’t help.

Soia & Kyo Delphie coat – it’s a little long on me, a little puffy, maybe not the most flattering thing I’ve ever put on my body, but it is WARM. It’s like wearing a duvet. Or a sleeping bag.

And I love the hood (it’s made of Asiatic raccoon fur--sorry, PETA):


I know spring will come soon enough, so I’ll enjoy the snow while it’s here, and stay inside on the couch under four layers of quilts until then.


Cleanin’ out my closet

I think I gave the impression in my previous post that applying the principle of “does it spark joy?” when deciding what to keep in my closet was really easy. It was easy, for 90% of it. I started running into trouble with the remaining 10% and started to think and question too much. So although the KonMari Method recommends cleaning in one fell swoop, I had to put that pile aside, clear my head (which meant ignoring it for a few days), and coming back later.

What I learned from that:

- If I answer “I don’t know” to the question “Does it spark joy”, then the answer is really “No.”

- It’s ok to say goodbye to something I loved before but no longer love now. I used to worry sometimes that my tastes are too fickle, but now I’m just going to go with it. Things change, that’s always ok.

Kit & Ace sleeveless top // Mexx cardigan // J.Crew necklace // Gap ponte leggings // eric michael booties

Some other important things I learned when going through the exercise of going through my closet:

- Neutrals rule. As much as I like colour, I prefer to keep it as an accent and stick (mostly) to a palette of black and grey. I know, it’s not very adventurous, it’s not out of my comfort zone, but it works for me, and my life needs my closet to be safe and easy right now. I love this, but not right now. Maybe later.


- Things that spark joy don’t have to be fancy, or really unique, or really different. I love a simple pair of black leggings or black ballet flats. A basic black pencil skirt makes me happy. Just because they’re simple pieces doesn’t mean they can’t spark joy. I used to think that basics were mere necessities, but maybe I used to have the wrong ones.

- I’m never ever paying attention to those lists of "Wardrobe Essentials" or "10 Things Every Woman Must Own" again. Every woman is different, and while these guides might be helpful for some people, they don’t work for me. I don’t have a blazer (never found one I liked), I don’t have any button-down shirts (shocker for someone who works in an office), and I won’t get any unless I find ones I love.


Anthropologie on Queen St West

My tastes have been moving away from Anthro recently so I haven’t been in a store (or on the website for that matter) in ages. I’m so out of the loop I didn’t even know that a new store opened in a converted church on Queen St West (a hipster area of Toronto) in December until I stumbled upon it while looking for the Kit & Ace store. Not a bad coincidence, since I had a Christmas gift card from Will in my pocket.

I didn’t buy anything (nothing caught my eye, so the gift card will keep), but the store is gorgeous and so Anthro it hurts.

It’s perfect, right?

On the inside, exposed brick with a view of the TD Canada Trust across the street.

This did catch my eye, but a tulle skirt is completely impractical for me.

Can I live here?


does it spark joy?

It’s a simple concept: only surround yourself with things you love.

Club Monaco silk top // J.Crew cardigan // J.Crew necklace // J.Crew fluted skirt // Wolford tights // Tory Burch Reva flats

For instance, I love this outfit.

One of the major principles of the KonMari Method is to go through everything you own and ask “Does it spark joy?” and if it doesn’t, get rid of it. Go with your gut and don’t rationalize. It really did make going through my clothes easy; I didn’t have to ask if I could make three outfits with an item or if I’d worn it within the past six months, I could ignore the rationalization that sometimes goes on in my head (people at work really like this skirt!), and just ask it I love it or not now. Not if I loved it before. So a few dresses I haven’t worn in ages stay. Anything I wore just because I felt I should or pieces I used to love but don’t anymore went.

But it’s much harder with other areas of the house. In the kitchen, do these oven mitts spark joy? Well, not really, but I need to have oven mitts. I don’t think it means I should throw them out and buy oven mitts I love (or should I?). In the bathroom, do I love this bottle of glasses lens cleaner? Does this nail file spark joy? Do I have strong feelings for this Revlon Pedi-Expert? (Actually I do, it’s essentially a cheese grater for your heels and it’s the best thing I’ve tried to deal with my terrible feet.)

So there’s stuff I love, and stuff I need. I don’t know if it’s possible to have 100% stuff I love. But 85-90% is probably ok, right?


2015: mindfulness, gratitude, simplicity, reading, and lots of tidying

I agree with Oh Joy, I don’t believe in making promises I can’t keep, so the first 10 days of 2015 have been all about stuffing my face. And now I feel like this:


It could be worse, it could be like this:


Seriously, I’ve been eating everything that isn’t nailed down in the last week (carbs rule!). I think it’s been a combination of the cold weather (I’m packing on another layer of fat to keep warm), starting to exercise a bit more again, PMS, and anxiety about starting my new job on Monday. I have a lot of anxiety. I want change, but then change freaks me out. Everyone is telling me it’s good to feel nervous and it’s not enough of a change if I’m not feeling nervous, but is it normal to feel as panicked as I do?

I’m dealing with the panic with tacos from La Carnita on College St, in Toronto (amazing tacos):

So I’ve already failed on the “eat better” New Year’s resolution and I’m effed until next year (kidding, I’ll get back to it eventually), but here is my short (and somewhat vague) resolutions for 2015: practice mindfulness (live in the moment), be grateful every day (I’m very lucky to have what I have), keep things simple (everything), read two books a month (up from last year’s quota of one a month), and tidy a lot.

The overwhelming urge to tidy comes from the first book I read this month, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It’s adorable and completely bonkers (she’s cuckoo but I love her), but it’s also the first “self-help” book I’ve read in a long time that actually made complete sense to me. I’ve already started on the KonMari method (or a variation of) and attacked my kitchen, and so far, no relapse. I’ll post more about this as I attack the rest of my condo.


2014: food, books, dogs

Of course, it’s all about recapping the year right now. At first I wasn’t going to do that, because 2014 sucked hard and I didn’t want to acknowledge it even existed. Bring on 2015, I say. But I can’t erase a year from existence, so I’ve decided to celebrate the good things, in food, books, and dogs.

My favourite food photos of the year:

smoked meat sandwich at Caplansky’s, Toronto // burger at Allen’s, Toronto // churros and chocolate at Xoco, Chicago // fried chicken at momofuku noodle bar, Toronto // birthday key lime pie // beet caprese salad at Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto // pizza at Pizzeria Libretto // birthday ice cream // ice cream sandwich at Moo Milk Bar, Toronto

Amazing grapefruit juice at Fat Pasha, Toronto // the rotisserie duck at momofuku ssäm bar, NYC // poutine in Ottawa // the Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffin that got me a new job// amaretto-chocolate budino with whipped cream, sour cherry compote, and chocolate at Pizzeria Libretto // a meal I actually made myself in the summer

I decided that I spent too much time watching TV and on my iPad and not reading enough, so I set a goal of reading at least one book a month in 2014. I surpassed that, while still watching too much TV and spending too much time on my iPad.

  • Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham – the book every blogger was pictured with, it was fine and entertaining, but pretty self-involved. I liked Tina Fey’s and Amy Poehler’s better.

And finally, my favourite random dogs of the year (just call me doggie paparazzi):

Like I said, bring on 2015. It can’t be any worse than this year. In fact, I’m determined that it be better.

Thanks everyone for reading my insane thoughts and looking at all the photos I post this year. Happy New Year!

December 2014 in pictures

December, you were a good month. Even if I did catch bronchitis and was out of commission for a week, with a lingering cough for over two.

J.Crew Bliss sweatshirt // R is for Rachel (or Roots, really) // gus and abby coaster and notepad // Quimby sleeping with his paws up // Quimby and his sister, Echo // trying to detox a little // LOL // yum // yum again

I’ll be back later with a 2014 recap of sorts.


Christmas: a recap in photo form

Many photos of puppies and food ahead; you’ve been warned.

Travelling in Hugo Guinness for J.Crew Springer spaniel tee (I thought it was a basset hound but I think it’s a chubby Springer spaniel)

A really pretty tuna sashimi bowl for lunch before going to the Boston Pops

An actual Springer spaniel at Quimby’s daycare, where we left him before going to the Boston Pops.

The Boston Pops

My sister and her sleeping puppy



Laziest dog ever.

Christmas Eve prime rib roast.

Ginger-cherry white chocolate chip cookies, adapted from this Ming Tsai recipe.

Christmas duck, puppy wants some too.

Still the laziest dog ever.

Homemade poutine on Boxing Day (or as it’s called in the U.S., the day after Christmas).

Will and a lapful of labradoodle.

Waiting for Shake Shack ice cream.


After Shake Shack, a play date with his sister Echo, who lives in the same Cambridge neighbourhood. My brother-in-law met her in the park by accident, and he and Echo’s human realized that they’d both gotten the puppies at the same breeder in Maine. What are the chances?

What did I say about Quimby being the laziest puppy ever? But after playing hard with his sister, he deserves a little lie-down.

Making the NY Times chocolate chip cookies.

They are delicious, and worth leaving in the fridge for 72+ hours.

Quimby and his big buddy hanging out before we left. He (the puppy) and I got depressed afterwards. Perhaps 2015 is the year I finally get a dog.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas too!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...