Tuesday, June 27, 2006

lady blogs


Ooh! I just love all the lady blogs out there. You know the ones, where women blog about their gardens and their homes and what they are knitting or sewing or baking, etc.

I love all things domestic.

I even found this group of women in England who do vintage tea swaps and send each other cool packages wrapped up. I mean, how cool is that? Check it out...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tea Time

I love a cup of tea.

But I need a new kettle and I am wondering whether or not you think I should get one of these traditional stove-top kettles or one of the electric kettles.

I am leaning heavily towards a whistling stove-top kettle, but am afraid that I may burn the house down. I am one of those people who "puts the kettle on" and then runs downstairs to do a load of laundry, gets sidetracked by the weeds in the garden, decides to walk to get the mail, etc. I am very easily sidetracked and have been known to leave home with the garage door open, the front door unlocked, etc.

If I let the kettle run dry and then burn down the house, zee husband, he would not be happy, non?

Also, I am worried that a stove-top kettle will be constantly splattered by things being cooked on the stove. I need kettle advice.

Perhaps I should play it safe and get one of these ghastly electric things... Then I won't burn down the house.

What do you have? Electric or stovetop?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Butter vs Margarine

Okay. For years and years, I would only eat a non-hydrogenated, "low fat" margarine like Becel. Now I have switched to butter and I have no idea which one is really better for me. So I open the debate. Which is better? Margarine or Butter?

Here's what the experts think:

Dr. Weil is in favour of butter
Mayo clinic is in favour of margarine...
American Medical Association research shows margarine lowers LDL.

What do you think?

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Art of the Picnic?

Summertime and the time is perfect for picnics and farmer's markets. We usually head up to the farmer's market every Saturday morning to buy some organic stuff and to replace the organic honey that I managed to eat during the week. Every week. Tsk. Tsk.

I get obsessed with picnicing at the beach in the summer. I love, love, love picnicing. It is the hilight of my summer and we have at least one picnic a week.

This year we bought a pass to our local provincial park beach ($75) and we get up there as often as we can. Because we live out in the boondocks, this beach is only 15 minutes for us yet too far away for the city crowd, so it is usually deserted and gorgeous. It's like having your own beach! Why pay $500,000 for a cottage? I always pack a simple picnic, but I am getting more and more sophisticated with the picnicing.

For instance, last summer we bought this portable BBQ called the Cobb Cooker. It comes with recipes for stuffed roast chicken, lamb curry, roast beef, baked apples, etc. It's a gourmet, portable BBQ and uses only four pieces of charcoal. You can cook rice, potatoes, bread, cakes you name it! Yay!

We are heading up to the beach tonight so I am on the hunt for an old-fashioned wicker picnic basket and a gorgeous summery table cloth (no vinyl) and those clips you can secure the table cloth to the table with. I want to picnic like Martha.

Sometimes we bring our bikes because the beach is located in a massive provincial park, so we cruise the trails afterwards.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Toxic Fairways

Okay -- so I was starting to feel like a hypochondriac because I am vehemently opposed to a owning a house backing onto a golf course, despite how pretty it looks, all I see is a pesticide farm. Yet I am the only person I have asked who feels golf courses are evil. Perhaps I am a hypochondriac?

Then I found out the following:
  • golf courses spray more pesticides than any other industry, even farms
  • the pesticides can blow from the golf course into your house
  • golf courses pollute water tables
SF gets organic with truly "green" golf course - Laws trim exposure to toxic chemicals
Toxic Fairways

I am not buying a house anywhere near a golf course up here. Hypochondriac or not!

new neighborhood, potentially?


We are looking at houses in an area with a lot of golf course. In fact, almost half the houses back onto a golf course.

Question: would you live near or backing directly onto a golf course or do you associate "golf course" with "pesticide testing ground"? I do. Am I crazy? I see a lot of nice places, but when I find they back on to the golf course, despite the great view, I cross them off the list. Maybe I am crazy.

New Mirror.


This new mirror. It's $100. Too much? Hmmm. I mean, with things like this, they can stay with you for YEARS, right!

On second thought, I don't know if it is too churchy or too country or too granny looking.

I always give myself a week. If I want it next week as badly as I want it now, then I'll get it, methinks.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Advertising

Corporate Domination.


I just watched the Corporation for my Sociology class. If you ever get the chance to see this movie, you really should. It's a big eye-opener about capitalism, globalism and environmental polution. Especially disturbing is the bovine-growth hormone being used in U.S.A. where it is banned in Europe and Canada. Although, trust me, bovine growth hormone is one of the least of our worries.

Check out the trailer or their official website.

Winner of 24 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, 10 of them AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS including the AUDIENCE AWARD for DOCUMENTARY in WORLD CINEMA at the 2004 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, blah, blah, blah.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Looby Lu Blog

Check out the gorgeous children's illustrations by illustrator Claire Robertson on her blog Looby Lu. The illustrator lives in Melbourne, Australia and also has the most gorgeous kid that I think I have seen.

I never used to find children so gorgeous. Lately I find them all so cute! I wonder what that means?

These illustrations linked from LoobyLu.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Burt's Bees

I love Burt's Bees Milk and Honey Lotion. I regularly get obsessed with different products, but this is the one product that I have stayed addicted to for 3 years.

Oh! and it doesn't have any of those nasty chemicals in it. I don't understand how people can wear moisturizer that doesn't at least *try* to be organic. They have dermal patches for medication, so I try not to slather chemicals all over myself because in my simple mind I figure that if a dermal patch can transmit meds, why can't a chemical slather of nasty moisturizer end up inside you?

I'm no rocket scientist, but I figure I have enough to worry about with my pesticide spinach salads.

The other product I love is BB's Citrus Face Scrub. Love it. You should try it, it also makes a great gift. It really scrubs well, much better than the microbead scrubs.

Another good thing about Burt's Bees, I bought the Baby Bee Soap for my sister's kid and she said that it was the only thing that cleared up his eczema. All natural, too.

Damn Colony with Dismal Shopping...


You would think I would be able to find a simple, chocolate brown, wooden pillar candle in my country? Anywhere? Nope.

I am dying to have two or three of these in different heights. Been looking for years. We don't *have* them, anywhere.

The other item I have been looking for for at least five years is a nice wrought-iron headboard. I love wrought iron. We don't have any of these, either... This headboard (below) is a bit fussy, but I can't find anything close to it up here, anyway. None. Nada.

I have, however found really cheap, nasty looking iron headboards with bad welding jobs and spray-painted "rust finishes" on them. I've looked everywhere, high end and low end to no end.

Oh, and I can't find any nice wrought-iron wall sconces, either. My kingdom for some nice wrought-iron wall sconces.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Cat fight!

Did you see The View this Friday with Sandra Bernhard? I missed it.

Damn. I just stepped out of the room and missed the big cat fight between Prissy Elisabeth and Potty Mouth Bernhard.

Aparently Joy walked off the stage. Joy is my favorite, with Star and Elisabeth both tied for most annoying.

Cotswolds Christmas Village Tour, Darlink.



These are photos from my 05 Christmas trip. I know, I know, it was six months ago.

I love English villages. When I am not touring English villages, I am reading about English villages in my British Cozy murder mysteries. The murder plot is always such a detraction from the description of the villages.

There is nothing, NOTHING, in my country to compare with the beauty of a historic English village. These photos are from the Cotswolds, the most picturesque villages in England (arguably) are found in this area.

It's not just the cobblestoned streets and the honey-coloured stone, the gardens, the horses, the tea shops serving fresh baked scones. When you go in the winter, the weather is also a bonus. There are flowers blooming. You can walk outside.

Year-round gardening and hiking... the perfect society, I say!

Now these are a wee bit boring if you aren't as fond of English villages as I am.


Churchyard in Chipping Campden, I believe. All of the stone in the Cotswolds is this beautiful golden-honey colour.


We always tour the churchyards in England. Very peaceful.


This was a flowering cabbage adorning a grave.


Another back alley. BACK alley. Not front alley. The back alleys of England villages are more beautiful than anything I have seen in my entire city. I know that this is a tourist area, but this was off the main drag. People just have a different aesthetic here.


Everybody hangs a fresh, organic (no plastic) wreath on their door. I believe that the tacky Christmas lights are outlawed in this village. Historic preservation and all...


The village of Chipping Campden is in the Cotwolds. Highly recommended. It is the most picturesque village. You have to be loaded to live here, though.


Every cottage has a name. To post a letter, you just write "Mill Cottage, Chipping Camden". If you're loaded, that is!


I don't miss the snow. I'll take a beautiful wreath on the door of a heritage cottage any day. Gorgeous, I tell you. Everybody had a different wreath. To contrast with my neighbourhood... everybody does blow-up Frosty's and multi-coloured lights. Ugh.


Oooh! A series of breathtaking door wreaths. Am I getting too old? I find these were gorgeous. These were all taken in the very posh village of Chipping Camden, darlink...


This is where the rich people park their cars at night. Even their garages are covered in blooming flowers. Now remember, this is Chrismastime.


These are typical of villages in England. Even the back alleys are gorgeous. This is where you put your rubbish. Much prettier than where I put my garbage in North America, let me tell you...


It is my one wish and life to live in this village. Helmsley. This is my favorite shop in the entire world. They make killer sandwiches and you can buy a pint and a sandwich and wander around the village. I love it. I love this place, Helmsley. It is also where my Grandparents had their honeymoon after WWII.

Can't wait to sell...

(no, that is not my house)

Yay! We are getting ready to sell our house.

Finally! This is our first house and we have only been here three years, but the honeymoon ended very quickly with this place. One thing after another, horrible neighbours, you name it.

I would love to post a picture of my neighbour with their three huge mongrel/pitbull dogs, or maybe a post on the same morbidly obese neighbours climbing into their pool. Now that would make for some interesting blogging.

Motherhood


I am completely addicted to all of those trashy magazines beside the checkout counter. My husband has to unload the groceries while I stand idly by reading this crap... including stuff about ole' Britney. Now I am not a Britney fan, I am much more into Brangelia, personally...

Check out the fake public relations portrait of motherhood, compared with the reality, below. Yikes! Poor kid.

Reality




and the reality.... Poor baby! Look at his little hat flying off. I am sure this is just an unfortunate picture, but poor Brit's been having a rough time lately with the child protection workers coming to her house and all.

And why is the baby facing forward in the car seat and so slumped over?


I finally nailed down this exact shade of yellow for our bedroom. I love yellow. Would love to restoration hardware our entire bathroom, but will have to wait until new house. This house is not worth spending the money on. Can't wait to get out.


Ah, social work. Is it the right choice? Lowest paid master's degree out of them all.


Mama Cat! This is my cat that I had to give away because the new cat and she weren't getting along. She died recently, but she was really old. Mama Cat!


okay -- it's all about the linen-coloured wallpaper and the wainscotting for me. I guess this is more moulding than wainscotting. Also, have to have the banister with the white spindles.


okay, same house with built in cabinets. The funny thing is that the chandelier hanging in the foreground is a $29.99 Home Depot special.


want the french doors. but this house is out of our pricerange. Kitchens that have been redone are always nicer than builder kitchens. I want this kitchen with glass cabinets and the French patio doors. No more sliding padio doors. Yech.

I am going to learn how to make these gorgeous little felt bags. How hard can it be? I've got a lot of baby shower-type things in my immediate future. Thank God everybody is married. Onwards to baby-having. I think these would be pretty easy to do.

must stay off of e-bay




No more e-bay! Another article that I just don't need but bid on for fun. Oh well. It wasn't *that* much, it was practically free!