Happy Birthday to me!

It has been an incredibly busy weekend chez Heather. This weekend I turned 28, and despite plans to take it easy, ended up having a three day birthday extravaganza!

Friday, my co-workers showered me with song, praise and gifts, which prepped me for the beginning of the weekend. That evening, Pat and I cleaned and got the “real world stuff” done before I could be swept up into the festivities.

Saturday, I woke up early so as to attend that last of Charles de Lint’s annual book and yard sales. We ended up snagging a soft guitar case and a whole wack of books. (A wack, btw, is more than several, but less than a ton). Had a great time wandering other near by sales too, and just barely managed to drag ourselves away in time for me to meet up with S at my place. She and I ran off to pick up ze travelling L at the train station. We then had an amazing day of shopping, eating (namely at my favourite pub, Patty’s), catching up and movie watching (Bridesmaids. Go see it. Right now). We got L back to her hotel, hung out for a bit and then went home.

Sunday I woke up to my lovely husband making me breakfast <3 <3 This was followed by a trip to the movie theater to see X-Men First Class (liked it a lot) and then back downtown to pick up L for dinner at Jean Albert’s (which was AMAZING). We then went on a hunt for wine, but ended up back at L’s hotel room empty handed until Isaac arrived with a bottle of red to save the day! We hung out for a while until it was late, and then the boys fled and me and L started our sleepover.

Today has been mainly errands and catching up on housework and my journal entries. Overall, one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. I feel so blessed to have these amazing people in my life! <3  And now, because this has mainly been a “Woo, my birthday was awesome!” kind of post, here are my journal entries to spice things up:

Journal Prompt 7:  Write a love letter to someone special!  This letter can be to anyone.  Share your love with someone today and let them know that you care :

This was written to a dear family friend, Mila. She was our live-in Nanny from the time that I was about 3 months old until I was about 8. She is family to me, and one of the people that I hold most dear.

Journal Prompt 8:  Time Capsule!  If you were to make a time capsule today, that wouldn’t be opened for at least another 100 years, what would you put in it??  You can be as outlandish with this as you want because it’s pretend.  What are some things that make you, you!

Journal Prompt 9:  Completely fill your page with something random.  Leave your pen in your desk today and find beauty in the every day random things around you.  

This to be completed! I want to do this one at work!

Journal Prompt 10:  Illustrate your all time favorite song :)  

Journal Prompt 11:  What is your heart full of?  What are the things that are consuming your heart these days.  This could be things that are hurting your heart, breaking your heart, or making your heart so full of love.

Journal Prompt 12:  Completely fill your page with line design!  Line design and geometrics have complete consumed my inspiration boards for awhile now.  The simple, yet complex designs are so aesthetically pleasing for me.  Have fun trying out line design, patterns, and geometric shapes on your page today.

Journal Prompt 13:  Create a simple family tree.  Do this in a way that works best for you.  You can write names, doodle portraits, place actual photos, whatever!! It’s up to you :)  Use this prompt to document your family; as small or as large as it may be!!

Big Tuesday Post

Another freezing winter’s day. Yesterday was especially tough. Made it that much harder to get out of bed and return to work when the wind chill is around -34C (about -33F).  Add to that some more dead parent nightmares. Yeah, it was a fun morning. Despite my post the other day, my whole day had this downness to it. I discovered around lunch time that my iphone has a massive crack on the back from it falling out of my purse over the weekend. My new iphone. Sigh. Then, on the way home from workmy new purse had its strap break. Literally as I was walking off the bus into the freezing cold night.

So, I went home, sat in front of the television, and refused to do anything. I didn’t cook. I didn’t clean. I didn’t do anything more than lay my ass down with an afghan, two cats and the dog. The husband forced me to eat something when he got home from karate (which he cooked because I refused otherwise. Yes, really mature, I know. I know my limits, and I know that in the mood I was in, I was likely to hurt myself if I tried to make anything more complicated than open-and-microwave)

On the plus side, I had a great weekend. Friday night, the hubby and I went to my mother’s home/estate to work on things there. Afterwards, as a treat, we went to see The Rite. I have a strange love for demon related movies (Constantine, Devil’s Advocate, you get the idea) and really enjoyed it. I love Anthony Hopkins, and really enjoyed him in another creepy role.

Saturday involved first going out with our friends S&K to see The Green Hornet (which was better than I was expecting. It was lots of fun) followed by some hardcore knitting to finish up a project that I’ve been super excited about. My Super Sekrit Knitting Project? It was a gift a friend of mine who had a baby shower this weekend. Pat and I are good friends with her and her husband and often give each other gag gifts at birthdays and the like. For the baby, I wanted to do something that was functional, handmade and hilariously awesome.  So,  I made this:

Cole the unwilling Viking

Pattern: Bella Knitting’s Viking Boy Hat

Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino 120 Super Wash

My Rav Project Page

And, as you can see, I also made some matching booties. I altered a pretty straight forward pattern to match the hat details. I’m really happy with how it all turned out, and have since had a few requests for more from a few of my other friends. Woo!

Pattern:  Textured Cuff Bootees by Zoë Mellor (from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino 120 Super Wash

My Rav Project Page

Yay for actual crafting content! Sunday was the shower, and the gifts were very well received. :D

Unfortunately, the weekend also held some really sad news. The father of one of our friends passed away on Friday night. He had been fighting cancer for a while, and had a very similar experience as Pat’s Dad (healthy guy, suddenly afflicted with a very aggressive cancer). This Imbolc I’ll be lighting a candle in his honour and for his family. It’s so hard when close friends are going through such a difficult time.  I may, if we can afford it and if I have the time, make them a meal or a snack. It’s not much, but I know when I lost my parents, not having to prepare a meal was a god send.

Speaking of Imbolc, the lovely Laura Marjorie Miller shared another one of her great posts. Definitely check it out. My plans are pretty basic, actually. I’ll probably have a cleansing bath, maybe do a reading. I’m debating doing some kind of fertility thing…any recommendations?  I’ve heard that it’s traditional to open all the doors and windows to welcome Bridget in. Are we supposed to do that tonight, or tomorrow? I may also make a list of things that I’d like to have gone from my life and then feed the list to a fire.

We have plans with friends to visit my favourite Irish pub in town, Patty’s. It happens to be the very same Pub that Charles de Lint, his wife, MaryAnn and their band play at occasionally. Afterwards, we’ll be visiting L & S as an after-funeral gathering. It’s going to be a busy today.

Anyway, to wrap up this post, here’s my Tuesday Day Book entry:

Outside my window… is the impending storm.  It’s not supposed to be as bad here in Ottawa as other places (I hear apocalypse is being thrown around as a descriptor in the states for the storm. Really? It’s going to be bad, but not that bad people.)

I am thinking…about my upcoming trip to New Orleans! I haven’t talked about this here yet, because it was still being planned. One of my closest friends in the world is this lovely gentleman by the name of Isaac.

Isaac and I, about 7 years ago. Neither of us look much like this anymore.

He is currently in a fantastic job that earns him an obscene number of aeroplan points. He has invited me on a 5 day trip to New Orleans with him! We’ve been talking about traveling there together for as long as we’ve been friends (going on 12 years now). It’s going to be EPIC. We’re leaving in March and will be there for about 5 nights. SO EXCITED.

I am thankful for… my husband. I know, I say that a lot, but he puts up with a whole bucket of crazy for me. He’s super sweet and very good at helping me through crap times.

From the kitchen… I’m super happy with how my first attempt at home made Beef Stroganoff went.  I’ve been eating it happily for days now.

I am wearing… Plaid pants with a dark blue top. I have my wedding flats on too. Woo

I am creating… Hopefully tonight, the Guiness Gingerbread. YUM. I love you, Nigella.

I am going… to be running around like mad tomorrow.

I am reading… First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher.  Last in the series, I think.

I am hoping… to have enough money for both of my trips in the coming months. New Orleans in March, Calgary in May. Busy busy

I am hearing… A lot of crazy people freaking out over the weather.

Around the house… I’m hoping to keep the house clean for longer than a day. yeah. Right.

One of my favorite things… Planning and plotting for trips! I have a list of things we should do/see/eat while in NO. :D

A few plans for the rest of the week: Wednesday holds Imbolc, a pub trip and comforting friends. Friday is work on the estate, with Sunday holding the return of Family Dinners with Jan and co.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


A sicky Sunday

Pardon me…I have a tendency to ramble when sick. I woke up this morning with a bad sore throat and chest congestion. I think my constant running around has finally caught up with me. It has been a very busy week. Tuesday, I picked up my sister from the airport, did some groceries with her and then relaxed at the family home in the east end of town. Wednesday, my brother and I went to the lawyers to sign some documents to do with the estate, and then Tracy and I were off to Kemptville for my next hair trial. Luckily, this one went really well. It’s not quite perfect, but with a few tweeks, I think I’ll be 100% pleased. I finally have a hair stylist for the wedding, so that’s a massive weight off of my shoulders. My new inspirational pic:

Emmy Rossum <3

After my successful hair trial, we made our way to Merrickville to check out the construction that’s going on right outside my venue. We discovered it should be done by the end of June, so fingers and toes crossed that it’s done a bit early. We also investigated the nearby ruins to see if they are what we wanted for portraits the morning of the wedding. Here’s a picture done by Barb Cameron, an Ottawa photographer, of a wedding she covered in Merrickville:

Beautiful, right? Hopefully we’ll have some good weather for photos, because I definitely want to get down there for a few.

Gorgeous!

And lucky for us, they are only about a 5 minute walk from the venue :D. After wandering all over town, we popped into the lovely little icecream shop on St. Lawrence (a couple of buildings down from the Baldachin) and had the very best icecream I’ve ever had. Yes, seriously. I had Carnival Popcorn and Dandelion. The popcorn one tasted exactly like caramel kettlecorn, and the dandelion one was light, herby and citrusy. Absolutely perfect.

Yum! A small peek at my hair. T and I eating ice cream in the van

Wednesday night I went home, as I had an interview on Thursday morning. The interview was for a clerical position with the Canadian Cancer Foundation. It was a totally random posting I came across one day and applied to on a whim. The interview went so well, they want me to start next week. :D I’m going to ask to have them push it back, to give me more time with Tracy and to finish wedding prep. Plus, as it turns out, I’ve managed to get sick. Fun times :P

So, I’m finally employed! Woo! I honestly feel like it’s a gift from Mum. It just feels like her, ya know? The pay is exactly what I was looking for, with great hours and a job I do really well. I’m excited :) Oh, and it’s a 20 minute drive from  home! Now, I just need to get a car!

Friday, after my computer test with them, Pat and I went to get our marriage license! Woo! Which means we can now meet with the Officiant and get this show on the road. After that, we did some running around and went out to celebrate my new found job.  After a yummy dinner we watched Valentine’s Day, which was ok. Anne Hathaway stole the show for me. Her accents were hilarious.

Yesterday, I drove out to Orleans (I’ve been using the family van), and took Tracy out for shopping. Picked up a cute dress for my Bridal shower, dropped it off at the tailor’s (curse my itty bitty shoulders), had lunch with my old friend Tyler and bought my wedding perfume.

It’s been such a search for me, trying to find a Big Girl’s Perfume. For the last 5 years or so I’ve been using the amazing scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It was an obsession really. My collection is HUGE and eventually, I had to stop visiting the site because I had way more scents than I could possibly ever wear and was spending way too much money on them.

This was from 4 years ago. The collection is actually much bigger than this now

While I absolutely adore my BPALs, I wanted a spritzable Real Perfume for the wedding. Something sophisticated, that I could wear for special events after the wedding, like our anniversary, etc… Tracy and I visited a million perfume counters before we both agreed that one was the right one for me and the wedding. We both agreed on:

Dolce & Gabbana L'eau The One

It’s so light, fresh and pretty. Not at all what I thought I’d want. Amusingly, it is very similar to a blend created for me at a Dancing with the Elements workshop I attended a couple of years ago. There was an aromatherapy component to the event, and each person had a blend created especially for them. The one made for me had basil, lavender and something sort of fruity.

After our running around, we returned back to the house in orleans for a BBQ with Pat. I had picked up some great Angus sirloin, which we marinaded for about 45 minutes. Together with fries and salad, we had a great dinner. We enjoyed a dessert of Drumsticks and then made our way out to see the new Robin Hood movie.

I had heard some mixed reviews, but I have to say: We loved it. Seriously. I want to own it. I was especially impressed with Alan from Great Big Sea who really brought the Merry men together in a really believable way. Also, Friar Tuck, with his bees, was such a pleasant surprise for me. <3  Cate Blanchett is probably my favourite Marion to date.

After that, Pat and I returned home and went to bed. This morning I woke up with a very sore throat and congested chest. I’ve been using Oil of Oregano, hoping that it will kill off whatever has moved in to the back of my throat. I have a very busy week ahead, so I really need to get better ASAP. Any home remedies that you recommend?

This week holds: A couple of appointments throughout the week, my BFFs coming to town (S is in Calgary. Her Oma is quite sick, L lives in Montreal) for the Shower, which is this coming weekend. Eek! Tracy and I need to get as much wedding stuff done as we can before I start work the following week.

So,  in the mean time. Lots of rest and knitting.

A lazy Saturday

Lazy, perhaps, because I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night. Pat and I had a bit of a date night last night. We rented some movies, bought some wine and sat around, enjoying each other’s company. We stayed up watching Mel Gibson’s new flick, which was good but very sad. Unfortunately, the ending triggered one of my flashbacks and we ended up a crying mess, talking on the couch about our dead parents. I have PTSD, and while it’s usually under control, every now and then a trigger is just too great to breathe my way through. It was a good conversation, but a hard one. It’s all so raw still, for both of us.

This morning, I woke up at 5am, unable to sleep anymore. I fought it as best I could, but eventually I gave in and got up a bit earlier than I needed to. Pat, being the great guy that he is, drove me to my hair trial this morning in Kemptville (about 45 minutes away) for 9am. Unfortunately, this hair thing is the one part of the wedding that is cursed. It can’t seem to be resolved.

A repost from one of my wedding forums. The hair saga:

Booked one mobile stylist who came highly recommended. In February when we found out that Mum was not doing well and we had to move the wedding, I emailed her letting her know. She replied, saying that she was about to contact me because she was MOVING OUT OF THE COUNTRY and was cancelling all of her bookings for the year. She had two other mobile stylists covering her appointments, but because of my changed date, they were already booked for me. So, I essentially lost 3 of the city’s best mobile stylists.

I booked with a stylist near the venue. The DAY OF MY TRIAL, I got a phone call. She had gotten a new job…outside of hair styling. She cancelled on me, but promised that another girl could take me and she was “pretty good with up-dos”

… Yeah. So, I get my friend who is from the area to recommend me a stylist. I call the salon, and it turns out it’s CLOSED the day of my wedding…because the lead stylist is in a wedding herself! I tell her my sob story and she offers to keep the salon open and books me with the only other stylist. She warns me though…Gertie is a bit “older”. I ask how old and she responds with “Well, everyone wants a grandmother there on their wedding day. She can be your granny for the day!”. From my research, Gertrude is actually pretty highly regarded in the area, so I’m still doing the trial this Saturday with her. I will post pictures…I just hope it’s not a blue buffont :P

So, I was sharing all of this with my SiL, who I guess mentioned it to her fab hairstylist in the city. He recommended a friend of his and it turns out, this downtown Ottawa stylist does freelance! So, I have a trial next Wednesday! I’m really excited about it! Hopefully, it turns out! I really really really wanted to get ready with the girls in the hotel room, rather than having to drive everywhere. Yaaaay!

So, how did it work out? This is what I brought in for reference:

This is what I got:

Um...not quite.

...No product, you can see the pins, the braids are crooked and there's weird empty spaces

Good times. Meanwhile, the Hopeful Hairstylist called me last night with his pricing. Apparently, because he has to travel (a legitimate issue, it is about an hour drive) and would miss a full day of work at the salon (well, kind of. He’d be done by 10am), he wants to charge us $850 FOR FOUR FREAKIN PEOPLE! Yeah. No.

So, I have one more salon that I want to try and then it’s going to be begging and pleading time.

After the disappointment, I’ve decided to do some cleaning, work on some other wedding stuff and hopefully, watch Young Victoria. <3 Sounds like a lovely day. Hopefully, I stay motivated. We’ll see ;)

Have a good one everyone!