Monday, January 28, 2008

vapid at NU

I went to fancy pantsy NU earlier this month for Dine Out Vancouver. Little did I know that NU hosted punk bands...and an awesome punk band at that. Lead singer? Awesome. Her moves? Amazing. Next Vapid show, I'm there.

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online projects

I'm a big fan of people doing crazy/cool projects and then documenting them online. This morning I discovered some guy in "beautiful" Hamilton, Ontario who made it his goal to make a dance video every day for a year. You can watch some of them on his website or check out YouTube for the rest of 'em.

My friend Ryan (or should that be Mr. Anonymous) started up his own online project, The Anonymous Photo Project.
The Anonymous Photo Project is a playful project in which camera packages are left in public places. People find the packages, take pictures, and return the cameras to the Project. Then we post them here!
Cameras have been placed in 8 countries (so far!) and it's wonderful to see what photos people will take with a found camera. It's an awesome project, so participate, donate and check it out!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

etsy seller: PataPri

I don't need new kitchen towels or a new table cloth for my kitchen, but if I did, I'd certainly shop at this etsy sellers shop. Total eye candy! I love all the prints, especially this dancing elephants kitchen towel, this fantastic mushroom kitchen towel and the pear table cloth! Perfect to give as gifts!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

why you should ditch your car and ride a bike & other frugal lessons

While I've got a handle on my debt load, I'm all about how to save more and spend less. Despite the fact that I went on a shopping jaunt the other day, I'm also just as likely to haul free shit out of the garbage so that I can re-purpose it into something awesome. What can I say, I'm a frugal gal. I grew up in a home where we sometimes had to roll up pennies to buy milk and groceries and money was always a constant worry. While I still have some organizational issues about money that I'm trying to work out, I think I've been doing okay.

This morning I set aside some time to research where I will buy some savings investments this year, I found a bunch of really useful articles on how to save more, spend less and even a great article on renting vs buying. And before I give you the links, I thought I'd list some of my top money saving tips (most of which are covered in the articles below).

Top money saving tip #1: Get rid of your car + ride a bike instead.
Seriously, a car is a money suck, it ruins the environment and it makes you lazy. Having a bike is fun. It makes your quality of life go way get exercise, you smile more and it's kinda fast.

Top money saving tip #2: Get rid of cable + go to the library more.
The library is full of great books and dvds that you can put on hold, so every week you can go to your local branch and pick up a ton of good stuff. And there's always the endless ways of finding great movies and tv online for free.

Top money saving tip #3: Rent cheaply.
Vancouver is such an expensive city to live in and there is no way that we could ever buy cheaply, so we rent. Looking for inexpensive rent is time consuming but it pays off in the end. You should only be paying a third of your monthly income in housing costs, any more and it's too much. We live in a co-op so not only do we pay an affordable monthly housing charge, we get a say in where we live, we know our neighbours and we are building a community.

Top money saving tip #4: Work from home.
I may be a homebody, but I'm no longer tempted into buying $4 lattes with my co-workers just so that I can escape the office drone. I can cook a great lunch at home without going out to buy something wrapped in plastic already prepared. I don't spend my lunch hours window shopping. Working from home means that I can eat a great home-cooked lunch and go for days without buying a damn thing.

Top money saving tip #5: Live where you work.
Huh? How is this different from #4? I live right outside of Chinatown which is right outside of the downtown core. I have all the necessities at my doorstep which means I can get everything I need on foot. Everything is walkable. I don't even need to get on my bike to get groceries or hop on transit to fill a prescription. My neighbourhood has a great walkability score so not only am I a viable part of my community, I'm saving money too!

Top money saving tip #6: Save.
I have one chequing account at my local credit union, but I also have several savings accounts at another bank where it's really easy to open accounts and set up automatic deposits. My husband and I love to travel, so we have set up a travel account, so every week money automatically gets deposited into our vacation account. We want to buy a new couch in one year, so we have set up a "new couch" account that is set up the same way. Larger savings are put into higher interest GICs or other investments. We're still shopping around for what to do with these larger savings, but it's a good idea to earmark your goals with an account and start saving for those things today.

Now for the links:

50 Tips for Frugal Living
73 Great Debt Elimination Tips
Renting vs Buying: The Realities of Home Ownership

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Friday, January 18, 2008

love all year round

Why put all your eggs in one basket? Let your love shine all year 'round...not just Valentine's Day! Check out my brand new card over at my etsy shop.

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beautiful film week: harlan county usa + daybreak express

Continuing the beautiful film week, I've taken Abby's lead and went with a couple documentaries. The first is Harlan County USA. If you haven't seen this amazing film, get to it! It's one of my favorites.

Daybreak Express is a short experimental documentary by D.A. Pennebaker. If you've watched his other films, you know he makes film beautiful. This film is especially great because of the soundtrack and it's a nice little portrait of a long forgotten New York City morning. Highly recommended.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

beautiful film week: 3-iron & days of heaven

Okay, so I'm a definitely late-comer to this party, but I love the idea of posting a beautiful film for each day of the week. And to start things off, my beautiful film for this grey day is 3-Iron (Bin-jip), a Korean love story. The story and cinematography is beautiful, subtle and quiet. Perfect.

And I'll post one more today to make up for lost time. My most favorite movie ever is another quiet and oh-so beautiful movie, Days of Heaven directed by the master director of the beautiful shot, Terrence Malick. I could lick the screen on this one.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

polka dot crazy

Lately, I've been pretty obsessed by polka-dots. I saw these sheets and wept because they were freakin' expensive. Most of my sheets come from the thrift shop because I love vintage patterns, but these are so lovely and nice on the eyes. Too bad they are more than I would ever spend on sheets.

Then, I just happened to click on an email from Boden and after perusing the sale section, I made my polka-dot dreams a reality. I bought 2 things....a very lovely rain coat and a silk top. So cute! Unfortunately Boden doesn't ship to Canada from their US site (they do through their UK site but it's crazy frickin' expensive!), so I had a little helping hand in a little postal magic. Thanks Maven!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

the perfect weekend.

This weekend was pretty fun. On Saturday, I went geocashing for the first time and had a very fun little adventure that included breaking into fences, discovering a new island and searching under rocks. I stupidly left my camera at home.

After we put away our bikes and dried off, we headed out again for groceries around our 'hood and we discovered that construction workers had been ripping out all the vintage school fixtures from an old elementary school a few blocks away. I picked up a couple of vintage wall art hangings and an old cloakroom shelf/coat hook thingy. As we were leaving, I noticed an old vintage wood and glass cupboard, so i hid it as best I could and after Cornelius and I returned our groceries back home, we went back for it. Oooh, it was so heavy, but we managed to carry it back home the 4 blocks with much stopping. After a small bit of wiping down we had found the perfect spot in our hallway as our booze cabinet/bar ware holder/cookbook shelf! I love it. One day I'll repaint it white and paint the insides a nice light blue, but for now, it's perfect as is.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

the foundation - bad, bad service

I get sad when a good restaurant goes bad. I always have high praise for The Foundation, a local vegetarian restaurant here in Vancouver. I've worked it into various posts on my other blog and while the service is always slow, I put up with it. I mean, look at that photo of some huge ass nachos I shared with Cornelius in October of 2006. But hey, that was then.

Last night after our first option for a birthday dinner was closed, we headed for our old standby favorite, The Foundation. There was a line up and we waited and waited. And then we got seated and then we waited some more and then our order was taken and we waited for our drinks. After our drinks arrived we kept on waiting. Over an hour passed before 1 meal hit the table...problem was that we ordered 2 meals for our 2 persons. So we tucked into what was on the table (we were freakin' hungry after all). When we finished my meal, Cornelius' meal finally arrived so we ate that up, begrudgingly. The server took the late meal off the bill as compensation. Was that enough? I don't think so. Should we just put up with bad service? Is a place that is hipper-than-thou untouchable? Or am I just a coward, a wimp? Right now I'm holding a serious grudge against this place.

Oh yeah, and I wrote a review of my experience over at I'm kickpleat, if you hadn't already guessed. While not a restaurant reviewer, I sure don't like to be disappointed at a restaurant. Hopefully someone at the Foundation hears my cries and banishes the slow service so I can get back to enjoying a Spicy Peanut or a Rogue Grain. Grrrrrr.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

end of year meme time

I saw this meme on a lot of journals this year and decided I was bored enough to fill it out. Yikes! No more memes if I want to keep up with my new year's resolutions, though.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

I went to Europe, kept a garden along with 3 houseplants thriving and walked on crutches!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did make 3 resolutions last year: get rid of cable, lose weight, be more productive and I while I did cut cable and lose a few pounds, I wasn't as productive as I wanted to be. This year my resolutions are to be more productive (take classes, do more fun things and less lazy things), more organized and more focused on work and play.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

One friend did and another friend will have her baby very very soon.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
USA, Germany, Belgium, Holland, England, Lithuania.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Cuter shoes, a nice travel bag, gumption.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Landing on European soil in August and knowing that the next 35 days would be filled with adventure.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Selling more of my cards on etsy than I ever thought possible. Bigger and better is always ahead! Hooray.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not trusting in myself more, not being more of a people person and being poorly organized.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, a stupid fall off my bike ended up with me spraining my ankle and walking on crutches for a week and limping for a month.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A plane ticket to Europe, a pair of $200 Nikes in London which saved my feet, flannel sheets, a new 24" iMac.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Kanye West, he can do no wrong (and I'm kind of only half kidding!)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Hmmm, no one personally. World-wise, so many.

14. Where did most of your money go?

I'm thrifty, but I did spend a lot on travel this year. I also hate debt, so everything was paid off lickety split.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Travelling! Road trips! Board games!

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

Kissing Like It's Love by the Voyces, Stronger by Kanye West, Black Mirror by Arcade Fire, Put a Penny in the Slot by Fionn Regan, Hip Hop is Dead by NAS.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

Happier. Thinner. Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Bike riding, bike trips, camping, eating out.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sitting in front of the computer.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Spent it at my in-laws and afterwards watching The Shop Around the Corner on tv.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

I'm always in love.

22. How many one-night stands?


23. What was your favorite TV program?
TV on dvd is where it's at: Flight of the Conchords, The Wire, Big Love. Of course, there is always ANTM!

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I'm a lover not a hater.

25. What was the best book you read?
Oh so many! You can check out my Good Reads account for more, but I did really love Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer, The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin, Truth and Beauty by Anne Patchett, The Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I wasn't into music so much as I used to be, but I did love Lily Allen, The Voyces,

27. What did you want and get?

A great haircut, lots of travel time, great jeans, a new 24" iMac, a conical burr grinder for my morning coffee, flannel sheets, an accountant.

28. What did you want and not get?
Cute shoes, a new Wacom tablet.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

I saw some good ones: The Real Dirt on Farmer John, The Wonderful & Frightening World of Mark E Smith, The Science of Sleep, Word Play, Thieves Highway, Superbad.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I had a cold on my birthday but that didn't stop me from enjoying a lovely lunch at a french cafe with Cornelius of moules et frites and then a bit of exploration at the Vancouver Art Gallery. A few days later, I had a picnic party with friends! Hooray! My age? Well, that's a secret.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Shoes that were comfortable yet cuter than all hell.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Tall socks.

33. What kept you sane?

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Michael Cera and my always fave, Mark Ruffalo.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
God, what doesn't?

36. Who did you miss?

My mom, my friend who moved to NC.

37. Who was the best new person you met?


38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.

I'm stronger than I think.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.

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