Thursday, August 26, 2010

"It Was...Convenient"

This is how we wash our clothes.
It is a tiny washing machine that does about 1/4 of a regular washing machine load.

This is how we dry our clothes.
There's nothing like crispy underwear.

Does it sound awful? It's actually wonderful. We use to pay close to $100.00 a month on laundry. Now we pay nothing. We're saving $1200 per year (Not counting dryer use on rainy days)! As a family we are adjusting to cardboard clothing.

Our culture perpetuates the idea that life is supposed to be convenient. How often do we hear convenience described as a motivator for behavior? I'm rebelling against convenience ideology. It is more work to keep a family clean with a tiny-ass washing machine and a clothesline, but we save money which allows us to continue living in the city at an affordable price.

I also sometimes don't like eating beans, but hey, one can is a meal for Levi and I at about $1.50 per person. We may fart more but we also laugh a lot.

My point: At the end of my life I don't want someone to ask me the question, "How would you describe your life?" And my answer to be, "It was...convenient."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Style Profile

  I need friends to remind me that getting dressed can be fun. For every mom it is a slippery slope into yoga pants. Oh the shame! Elastic waist bottoms are my uniform fallback. However, once in a while I come out of my mommy haze to notice the fashion of those around me. Case in Point: Jennie. I usually only see Jennie in passing but that's all it takes to notice her fun, chic style. Jennie was kind enough to humor me with pics of herself in a few of her favorite outfits and to answer some of my questions about her personal style. Thanks Jennie! 
How would you describe your personal style?

Random. Eclectic. My snowboarder past keeps me young I think... Surfer girl + musician + artist. I like mixing things. You'll find me loving J.Crew, Aritzia, Quiksilver, Toms, Joe, Target, Matix.. (I keep all my JCrew catalogues for inspiration!)  
What do you consider to be must-haves in your wardrobe?

Key pieces... things you save up for. A nice leather bag. A wicked watch. Leather boots. Pearls. Jeans that you feel amazing in. Quality pieces that last blended with what's in now. As a Vancouver girl, one simply must have a Lululemon Apres Yoga Jacket (for our rainy falls/winters - trust me you will not be disappointed), Hunter Wellies, and an umbrella you adore. If you haven't tried Wunder Unders yet (can you smell my love for Lululemon?), they are a must have as well. Did I forget a toque? I wear mine all year round :) 
On an inward note, I think 1 Peter 3:4 helps balance out all the exterior fuss and helps keep me focused on true beauty. 

You love physical fitness. What do you do to stay in shape? (every mom loves workout ideas)

I do love working out... it is how I stay sane.  I love meditating & praying when I'm running. I dabble in trail running, snowboarding, swimming, Bikrams yoga, bootcamp, spin, hiking, mtn biking... lately I've been falling more and more in love with surfing. I find the greatest motivator for a faithful fitness regime is accountability - I am so much more likely to work out if I know I'm meeting someone at the pool or gym than dragging myself out the door. I also think it's a great thing to share with your spouse as a way to unwind or recreate. I'm thankful that my line of work these days (landscaping) helps keep me strong and fit as well.  
As an artist do you consider fashion as another venue to express yourself artistically? 

Absolutely. It's a matter of balance, proportion, personal taste and meaning. I think accessories help personalize looks - it's all about what you do with what. I really enjoy following a couple fashion blogs -  my friend Elim's (a local rising fashion guru) is fun: If I am feeling utterly decadent, is worth a browse. 

If you could dig through anyone's wardrobe, who would it be?

Hmmm... probably my grandmother (Barbara Councell). She has Alzheimers and has been living with it since I was a teenager. I know she was stunning and would have loved to know more about her. It would have been neat to check out her wardrobe when she was my age. As for stars, anytime I see Rachel Bilson, she always dresses well. If I was raiding someone's closest in the present day (who I know), it would be my friend Sarah Cameron for sure.

 * If you want to know what Jennie is wearing e-mail me at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hits the Spot

I am always looking for ways to take yummy recipes for my family and and make them as healthy as possible. One of my most recent experiments was zucchini loaf. Here is the original recipe from and how I turned into a health-lovers delight:

3 eggs - use eggs that are a rich source of omega-3 polyunsaturates
  • 1 cup vegetable oil - substitute with coconut oil
  • 2 cups white sugar- Instead use 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract - substitute with 2 teaspoons of agave nectar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour - substitute with organic, whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt-subsitute with sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

I couldn't help myself. I also added a 1/4 cup organic, raw coco powder for chocolate flavor.

Basic Home Ec:  Mix together dry ingredients. Beat together wet ingredients, adding grated zucchini to the wet. Add wet to the dry. Beat together until smooth. Makes enough for two loafs. Pour into bread pan, greased with coconut oil. Bake at 325 degrees, until bread rises and is slightly cracking on top. Do the toothpick test. 

Voila! It tastes sooo good!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Sun Always Comes Out Tomorrow

When looking at art for a child's room I have found it hard to find anything other than stereotypical pastel prints featuring butterflies, flowers and elephants. That's why when I stumbled across Rifle Paper Co. I was so excited about their timeless prints. They are quirky, colorful and unique. I would love to frame and feature them on Levi's bedroom wall. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fashion is Art

This may be my all time favorite editorial. The combination of photography and graphic design creates a visual masterpiece. And then there is the fashion. I love the styling in every single shot. The accessories, tailored pieces, use of brocades and prints are everything I would want to find in my closet. Even the make-up is done to perfection. I am inspired. 

*Milena Kardas by Krzysztof Wyzynski in La Flor de Su Secreto via fashiongonerogue

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Whole New World

Friend's of ours invited us to their lovely home in Squamish for a little family retreat. They spoiled us with delicious food, hot-tubbing and treated me to a pilates class. Levi was able to meet a couple of my aunts and uncles and boy, did they spoil the little gaffer! 
Things that I would have once found mundane and boring are now fascinating to observe through the eyes of Levi. Each day he discovers a new element of the world with pure delight and awe. We visited the Train Museum while in Squamish. To the undiscriminating eye it looks like a dingy old train yard full of musty smelling train cars, cracked vinyl benches, and faded carpet. Exactly the kind of place I would normally loathe to visit. But as we explored, observing Levi's awestruck expressions and exclamations entirely changed my experience. What at first seemed a dreary place became a world full of colour and discovery. I know there is an analogy for life somewhere in there, but I'll let you dig it out.