Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Faux Fashion | Sparkles

        After I completed my strand of hanging crystals over half a box of beads remained unused. It's not in my nature to keep sparkly objects in the dark so I quickly threw together this double strand bracelet. It's a simple accessory to brighten any outfit.
*The beads are from Michaels and are faux crystals made of plastic.

Indoor Day | Little People

One baby is down with a cold so an indoor activity wasn't only for fun but for survival. Levi and I created little clothespin people using acrylic paint, left over fabric, puff balls and googly eyes. While Levi was painting his "abstract" people I created a Mrs. and Mr.. I'm quite taken with them and thinking about creating an entire family. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Vegan Ventures: The Acorn

Dear readers, if I could wish any food to fill your belly with delight it would be from the table of The Acorn Restaurant on Main Street, Vancouver. 

I was afraid I would never be able to eat out again with my dietary restrictions until I stumbled across The Acorn's gluten free, vegan, and raw food menu options online. Arriving at the restaurant, the cue outside the door was a sign Ben and I were in for a treat. The atmosphere was airy and bright and the crowd was surprisingly distinguished for a hipster hub. Kids were in the mix making me hopeful for a return visit with our boys. 

I started with the Lightening Dust cocktail. The drink arrived looking like my grandma's garden, complete with strawberries and blueberries, frozen inside the ice cubes. The mix of lemon, agave, lavender, gin and cilantro made for the perfect amount of tart and sweet. 

The entrees boast names like Zucchini and Aubergine but should not be mistaken for bland vegetables on a plate. The Zucchini was in the form of tagliatelle, topped with candied olives, blossoms and cashew rose sauce. On the side was a colourful pinenut and tomato salad. 

Desert was Peanut, or rather the chocolate peanut terrine, accented with coconut whip, blueberries, raspberry coulis and lemon thyme. It was raw, vegan and gluten free, which may as well be code for yummy, delicious and to die for.

Are you licking your chops yet? 

The Acorn is locate at 3995 Main Street, Vancouver. Menu is seasonal and subject to change. No reservations.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

City Circus | Master Suite

Have I mentioned we sleep on the front porch? Well, technically it's the sunroom but when Jet was keeping me up all night long we hastily cleaned out the space and transformed it into our "master" suite. It doesn't have a closet and it could literally be called a "bed" room because that is all it fits. Despite it's simplicity and cabin feel, the room is a place of refuge for me and I've put effort into making it a special space for my hubby and I. One of the unique features of the room is a window connecting it to the living room. When the house was built over 100 years ago the front porch was open and the window looked directly to the outside. Our current land lord closed it in and didn't bother to fill the window. 

My favourite part of having an indoor window is that when Ben gets up with the boys, Levi will move the curtain aside and line up his toys for me to see when I wake up. One morning I found flowers on the sill. Another time I opened my eyes to find a pair of huge blue orbs staring at me through the glass. Sounds freaky but I thought it was adorable that Levi was so quietly and patiently waiting for me to wake up.

The sunroom has brilliant light through out the day and because my decorating motto is the "the whiter, the brighter, the better" I decided to hang some crystals from the frame to reflect the light. These photos were taken in the early evening and I can't wait to see how the crystals reflect light during the day. Kind of dreamy, isn't it? Do you live in a character home? What's your favourite feature?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vignette: Battle of the Mantle

 I have finally won The Battle of the Mantle. In our five years of marriage Ben and I have attempted to balance his desire for practicality and my desire for decor. Ben views a mantle as a great speaker mount, and a place to drop guitar picks and loose change. I look at a mantle and see a vignette waiting to happen. My first strategy to win back my mantle was to put a little bit of greenery on display. Next we went on a beach vacation and I dragged home a driftwood keepsake. Naturally, it ended up on the mantle. Then one day I disappeared to the thrift store and returned with a shelve's worth of knick knacks. Shortly after Ben came home and his little speakers were discreetly placed out of sight. The great man that he is, he only made a passing comment and relented to the aesthetic appeal of my vignette. He was even happy that his picks had a new home in the brass apple. 

I think another plant is still in order but my desire for decor is satisfied.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mommy Musing | Real

I initially took this head shot for a post I was preparing on a home made facial toner. I wanted to have a before and after photo to see if the toner was shrinking my pores and tightening my skin. The close-up of my face frightened me - the shadows under my eyes, sun damage, red spots and wrinkles are all evidence that I am aging. What!? When did this happen? Even to get a shot where I didn't look half asleep required me to widen my eyes until I felt like a deer in the head lights. My dismay with my au naturale image led me to do a little bit of editing.

I'm no expert at photoshop, but what a difference an eraser makes. It was eye opening to see how with minimal skill I was able to transform my face into a more youthful version. It was a stark reminder that what the media portrays as beauty is often far from the reality. 

As a grown woman I desire to look at the first unedited photo and be satisfied, to see the beauty within the lines and shadows. All the marks on my face tell a story of my life experience. The shadows under my eyes remind me of the nights I spend nursing my baby boy. Those moments are precious and what makes life beautiful, why would I want to erase them?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Indoor Day | Keep it Simple

My theory for craft time is that it should be simple, require supplies that are readily found in the home (That is, a home with toddlers) and provide entertainment for at least 30 minutes. I saw this motor skills activity on Pinterest and stored it in my mental library of Ways To Drink a Cup of Coffee in One Sitting. All that's required is a strainer and pipe cleaners. You may notice  beans and a tin can on the table. They're a remnant of a shaker gone bad, disregard them.

 That look of concentration is a sure sign of synapses firing as hand-eye coordination takes place. Levi was pretending the pipe cleaners were worms burrowing into their holes. 

The best part of this activity was turning the strainer right side up and discovering the colourful pattern the "worms" made on the inside, a life lesson waiting to happen.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

City Circus | Hot and Happening

1. Check out local Vancouverite Sarah Cameron's Etsy shop to find some gorgeous, gold and glittering arm candy. 

2.  The world's largest outdoor dining event, Diner en Blanc, is coming to Vancouver! Consider it a flash mob picnic where friends and acquaintances are invited to a secret locale, announced the day of the event, to converge for a public dinner. Guests dress all in white and are expected to conduct themselves with the highest elegance and dining etiquette. The general public can register here to be on a waiting list for the August 30th event. 

3. Huffington Post Canada just launched a British Columbia edition. 

British Columbia, HuffPost "will go beyond the superficial comment to truly reflect the wide-ranging social, ethnic and economic makeup of our province," B.C. news editor Andree Lau wrote in a blog posting. "We're here to present B.C.'s diversity of experience without judgment or limitation. But we also won't be afraid to cheer for the underdog." - The Huffington Post Canada

I'm intrigued. Read B.C.'s HuffPost here.

4. Vancouver celebrates Fashion's Night Out 2012 on Thursday, September 6th. Originally started in NYC in 2009, FNO is a global initiative to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, and boost the industry's economy during the recession. Vancouver FNO will kickoff with a fashion show featuring international and local retailers as well as design talents. Participating retailers will have exclusive one-night only events and restaurants will showcase fashion inspired menus for the evening. To find out more info, visit the Facebook page

5. The Mama Blogs, Finding Your Voice and Inspiration event is happening at the Cactus Club (Broadway and Granville, Private Room) on the evening of September 12th. Experienced mom bloggers and entrepreneurs will be on a panel to offer their expertise to moms currently blogging or wanting to start a blog. You can read their bios and register here for this event (Early Bird tickets end September 1!).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Faux Fashion: Granny Shorts

Photo from here.

My husband finds my fashion choices puzzling at times and with good reason. Why would I want to wear shorts that give me a saggy bottom and are circa my-mom-wore-them-in-the-80s? I saw these floral print shorts on the rack and I had an inkling that they were so ugly they might be cool. I tried them on and decided, yes, they were a fashion risk I was willing to take. The reason mom's sported these shorts at one time is the pleated front serves to conceal a camel bump. The saggy bottom is awesome because it leaves room for the question, maybe she has a tight butt hidden under there? 

I wasn't sure how to style my granny shorts but then I came across the picture of this cool, young chica above and followed her lead. I also showed my hubby the photo to reassure him that I wasn't a complete fashion rogue. He felt better knowing that socks with sandals are okay.

A little shortening of the hem might be necessary...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mommy Musing | Be Gentle

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
(Isa 40:11)

I have been a mother for three and a half years. In the course of that time my life has felt like it is in a state of upheaval, with steep learning curves followed by wonderful aha! moments when I've gotten it right. "It" being some form of parenting that worked for the situation. 

I feel daily more confident in my role as a mother, but that confidence has not come from the bombardment of information and opinions on parenting, or, to throw down one giant blanket, Google. 

I deeply appreciate every one who has informed me of the parenting techniques that worked for them, but I often felt beat up by the sense that I was "failing," when those methods didn't work for my kids. Heck, my baby still doesn't sleep through the night and since I have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, my toddler is being pre-schooled by me. I could get down on myself for not giving them the "right" opportunities but instead I am reminded of the above scripture. 

God gently leads me. God is not sitting up in heaven with a gigantic list of requirements that guarantee my kids will succeed in life. He guides me with wisdom when I seek it, He reminds me that my greatest task is to teach my children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul and mind and to love their neighbour as themselves.

Sigh of relief.

 I can do that. I can point out the beauty of creation that points to their Creator, I can speak the scriptures I love into their lives, I can fill our house with songs of praise, I can love my neighbours.

And I think my kids are pretty happy : )

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Faux Fashion | A Gift

Miu Miu's - A very generous gift from the most lovely person.

Do you remember the moment your sister, friend, self tried on the wedding dress that was the one? Tears filled your eyes because it was a fairy tale moment. That's the way my feet felt when they stepped into these lovelies. The sparkles caught the light in such a magical way that the ladies in the shop huddled around my feet to admire their bedazzling effect. These shoes are probably the prettiest thing I'll ever own and I could never afford them, but as a could I say no?!

Friday, August 10, 2012

DIY Hanging Planter

I recently learned how to decorate a mason jar with nautical knots and I decided to go one step further by creating a hanging planter using the same concept. It turned out quite beautiful so I thought I'd post some pictures of the process.

Supplies: Large jar, jute twine, chain, hooks to attach the chain to the jar and to hang the jar from the ceiling (I asked for specifics at my local hardware store), rocks, dirt, plant that can thrive with poor drainage (i.e. air plants or succulents).  

The instructions I followed from this site are quite clear so I recommend following the link for the first steps in creating the jute knots around the jar.

To bring all the knots together I tied one large knot at the bottom of the jar. 

I filled my jar with stones at the bottom then a layer of moss to help improve drainage. I bought a plant (you'll hate me 'cause I can't remember the name of this beauty) that would need minimal water and light and hang nicely from a hook. I placed the plant in the jar before attaching the chain. My hubby put the hook in our bedroom ceiling and voila! There's nothing like a bit of greenery to brighten up a small space! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Indoor Day | Butterflies

During the morning Jethro naps, forcing us to stick around the home. Craft time has become an activity  to keep Levi entertained and I relish the quality time spent with my eldest. Today we made butterflies with water colour paint, coffee filters and clothes pins. I love when craft supplies are readily available around the house! 

The butterflies I painted followed specific patterns but in the end Levi's "abstract" designs were the prettiest. For me it was a lesson in thinking outside the box!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

City Circus | Make Over

Elasticpantcity is going through some internal and external surgery right now and it's going to come off the table with a whole new look. It's been my dream to turn Elasticpantcity into a highly personalized online magazine with consistent columns and special features. 

Indoor Day - Creative kid activities for rainy days (Of which there are many in Vancouver).

Ventures into Veganism - I've posted many vegetarian and vegan recipes in the past but with my faulty gall bladder I'm having to get extra creative with our menu planning. 

 Faux Fashion - My personal style is a re-creation of fashion ideas that come from designers, stylists and fellow bloggers who are far cooler than myself. Faux fashion is my ongoing experimentation in creating personal style and a place for featuring my style inspirations.

City Circus - Urban living is one of my favourite topics. I love to write about raising kids in the city and the many challenges it presents. 

Elasticpantcity is not the only thing getting a facelift, our house has also gone through a mini make over. Try as I might to be organized, every nook and cranny of our place gets piled up with debris; decapitated figurines, cords with no home and unfinished craft projects. We were having a hard time maximizing the square footage in our living space because of two Ikea arm chairs that were awkwardly placed in a bay window. The chairs were impossible to clean around and little toys would disappear into their depths. I couldn't justify the cost of new seating and so there they sat, taunting me with their uselessness. Until a great thing happened, or rather great people, Tami and Josh. Tami and Josh are my treasure hunting friends, and they find amazing free stuff. When Cafe Nuba was renovating, they picked up a gazillion of the arm chairs in the photo above. I mentioned I would take a few off their hands and the next thing I knew, my Ikea chair problem was solved. For free, free, free! I cleaned the chairs up with a bit of elbow grease using this concoction. Voila! Good as new.

What are some of your favourite free finds?