Monday, March 28, 2011

Life and Paper Dolls

It's a slow start to spring in Thornhill. It was wonderful for a couple weeks (temps in the 50's and low 60's Fahrenheit), and once spring actually arrived, it went below freezing again and we got more snow. Thankfully, most of the days have remained sunny, and even though they've all been below freezing, the snow has receded again. According to the week's forecast, I can put away my down jacket again as of today... hopefully for good!

Our close friend Kent held a potluck at his place in celebration of his upcoming birthday. There were 14 people crammed into his dining area, but we really enjoyed each other's company and the good food that we all brought. We honoured Earth Hour by turning off all the lights and eating by candlelight.

I really cherish the time we get to spend with our friends like this. I had missed it terribly when I was in the US.

I think my accent has mostly faded away again. I hope I don't offend anyone reading this, but I've never really been fond of southern accents, and for all the years I lived in Kentucky and Virginia I tried to prevent myself from obtaining one. Of course, it's quite impossible. But it was to the point that locals assumed that I was nothern, and the Canadians could very easily tell that I certainly wasn't from the north! When I was here on visitor status in 2008-early 2009, I had made myself assimilate so quickly that I took care to lose my accent and assume the inflections and certain pronunciations that southern Ontarians speak with. When I had to return to Virginia and was there for 18 months, of course I regained the southern accent.

Upon my return to Canada, everyone began squealing over my accent all over again and told me how cute and charming it was. Apparently it gets really intense when I'm worked up or angry or am talking to my mom on the phone, ha!

I find it a little strange at how enthusiastic I was - and still am - about trying to become a Canadian. Even though I've been a resident for three months now, I still feel my chest swell with pride every time I see a Canadian flag wafting in the early spring wind. I even call myself a Canadian, even though I'm still a citizen of the US. My grandfather (well, genetically great-grandfather) was a Canadian citizen born and raised. He fought for the US in World War II, but he never became a US citizen. According to several of our friends, I've done my grandfather well and have returned home. I think I may want to apply for full Canadian citizenship once I'm eligible, which won't be for three years.

And onto other subjects, how about some childhood nostalgia for you?? I love when I remember things and then find them on this glorious thing called the internet.

If you're a girl reading this, you probably remember paper dolls, which seem to have gradually disappeared and are no longer a staple in our own daughters' world of play and imagination. Paper dolls were a special part of my childhood. There was just more for the imagination to create than when I played with Barbies. My paper dolls had personalities, friends and enemies, and they were problem solvers. My Barbies never had such extensive stories (but my My Little Ponies and Littlest Pet Shop critters did!!).

Do you remember The Ginghams, a series of paper dolls released in the 70s and 80s? They were four Victorian girls - I don't think anyone really knew if they were sisters or cousins or best friends - who had a few books and some themed boxed sets. They were done in the sweet, soft colours and simple black outlines of the vast majority of artwork for children at the time, and a lot of their clothing was gingham fabric, hence the name.

Minx has a great fan page devoted to these paper dolls!

I had two of the boxed sets, which are apparently worth a nice bit of money now. I wish I still had them!! I had Carrie's Boutique and Katie at the Seashore. I haven't been able to find printable scans of the contents of the boxed sets yet, but I did discover great scans of the books here! So now I have a folder on my computer full of paper doll files, ready to be printed out and saved for my future daughter(s). She'd better appreciate them, or I'll just take them and play all by myself!!

Trevor didn't quite understand how excited I got yesterday when I finally remembered what my paper doll sets were called and found them via Google :) It really made my day and brought back so many memories of the simplistic joys of childhood. Why can't we ever take that into our adult lives? It's so precious and so quickly lost.

And so I'm posting this long entry now ;) Have a great start to your week, everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Time to Get Personal Again!

Grr. Our nice bare ground is covered in snow again. It's supposed to be spring, Canada, what the heck!!!

Anyway, here's a weekly meme I just discovered! I love these things :)

1. Have you ever traveled outside of the Canada?
Until 2008, I'd lived in the US all my life. I lived in western New York, north-central Kentucky, and southwest Virginia. I've also visited Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

2. If you could pack up today on a vacation and money was no issue where would you go?
Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Italy, the Caribbean, Vancouver, or NYC.

3. Is there somewhere in Canada that you have never been that you would like to visit?
I've only ever travelled in/lived in Ontario. One of my life goals is to visit every province and territory, but the tops on my list are Vancouver, Newfoundland, and Montreal.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



1. Have you ever had a professional massage before?
Never! I would love to get one, though, especially on my perpetually-tense upper back and shoulders.

2. When drinking bottled water do you have a preference on which brand you drink?
Nope. I'll drink whatever's available.

3. What is your favorite kind of soup?
Minestrone, New England clam chowder, chicken & rice, and seaweed (bet you weren't expecting that one!!)

4. Do you have a preference on which Kleenex brand you use?
I can't stand cheap tissues, especially when I have a cold. They grate on my skin and hurt me. I like the Kleenex with lotion!

5. What is your favorite breakfast food?
I love so many breakfast foods. But I'll have to say my faves are potato patties, bacon, and homemade pancakes with real maple syrup!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life and Incoming Spring

Hi there! It looks like spring is already kicking into high gear here. Geese returning home, robins singing, sunny days, and buds appearing on the trees. I think winter's last hurrah came and went at the beginning of this month, and despite how OVER the season as I was, I still took some pics to capture the beauty of our sideyard.

That day it couldn't decide whether it wanted to rain or snow. It would literally change every minute or so!

I know it's all part of the package of living in Ontario, but I REALLY hate bundling up! And before you say anything, I also hated it during the first eight years of my northern-born life, so ha!

In other life news, Trevor's finally been promoted! It took long enough, and we're both breathing a sigh of relief now that his training begins next week. I still haven't found a job yet, and I still haven't applied for OHIP, but I need to deal with my severe anxiety for the former and I still need a bank statement for the latter. So some things have been delayed, which frustrates me a bit, but as I keep trying to tell myself: one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. That's the only way I can function!

And, like many other people, I'm praying hard for the people of Japan right now and everyone else who has been/is being affected by the disaster. Whether you pray or offer positive thoughts, it's all good energy being directed toward the stricken region. So I ask you to please spare a few moments every day to send your prayers or thoughts. And to be incredibly thankful for what you have, because in one horrible moment it could all be taken away.

I am so, so thankful for all that I have, including being in Canada with my husband. It's so easy to take for granted the little things, but I know I never will again.

Have a great weekend, friends.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm so ready for shabby DIY!

Now that spring is slowly crawling into southern Ontario, I want to bring some diy charm into our home.

Some? Okay, I mean a LOT of it.

I'm the kind of woman who already embraces simplistic beauty, antique and vintage things, and celebrating holidays and seasons with passion and creative fervour. I adore shabby chic and want to get into making adorable diy things for our home and refurbishing old furniture. I feel like I'm really going to get into all of this hardcore as soon as the weather begins to warm up more.

I like to look around blogs to find inspiration for what I want to do in the next few months. I always get so jealous of how creative people are and how they turn old (and often very ugly) pieces into something so fresh and appealing that I would easily do drastic things to have them in my home.

Here's some inspiration from the lovely Liz Marie...

And this grey table and framed blackboard by Fern Creek Cottage...

And this inspiration board from Burlap and Blue...

I would LOVE to turn our craft area into something like this, which can be found at Yellow Songbird...

I must make this charming spool jewellery holder by Knock Off Decor...

There's also this book, which isn't out until April but can be pre-ordered here.

The biggest thing I've done on the diy/refurbishing front has been this little old frame that my mom gave me last year:

I turned it into this and intend upon finding all kinds of odd little ornate frames to paint black and join it on the wall in the hallway of our house:

I'll definitely be keeping you guys up to date with all the diy projects I want to accomplish this year! I'm getting so many ideas now that I need to go jot them all down onto paper and start planning and plotting!