Apr. 30, 2009


Image via Le Love.

Greg sweetly took me out for yummy Vietnamese food after meeting me at the airport this evening. In reviewing my daily blog roll tonight, these snaps warmed my heart. They remind me of why I came to Edmonton. They remind me of how the best way to show someone you love them is in your everyday gestures. They remind me of impromptu Vietnamese dinners.

Image via This is Glamorous.

Apr. 28, 2009


I'm off to Regina tomorrow for work. As a result, my blog will be on hiatus for a short spell, but I'll return with a full recap of the MPA sister's reunion this past weekend on Friday. Have a happy midweek!

Image via This is Glamorous.


I've never worked the night shift. I head to bed around 10 pm every night. I enjoy the dark evenings of fall, but treasure long days and sunshine even more. For safety reasons, I don't spend much time outside at night. In sum, I'm not a night owl.

Whenever I catch a 5 am flight, I'm always amazed at how quiet the city is: the hustle and bustle of commerce and commuting, of living and the daily grind, is washed away. The streets are empty save for a few late night bakery delivery trucks and cab drivers. There's a calm hum about town under the moonlight.

These amazing photos by Albertan photographer Levi Wedel capture the calm of places that are normally filled with noise when the sun is shining. These are places I rarely feast my eyes upon at night.

I am particularly struck by the photo of Tim Hortons - a place associated with anti drive-thru bylaws, massive lineups for double doubles, timbits and Boston cream donuts, and roll up the rim, it seems strangely beautiful when not jam packed with customers.


Do you have a favourite flower? I've gone through spells where I've adored towering mustard sunflowers, soft pink peonies, vibrant stargazer lilies, wild and tall foxgloves, and full rhododendrons. I love Vancouver for the fact that bouncy blue hydrangeas line the sidewalks in the residential West End. Greg calls me Sweet Pea. The sight of a new flower arrangement or blooming stem often leaves me pondering whether I should change which flower is my favourite. There are so many beautiful floral inspirations.

Right now, I'm adoring ranunculus. I think they'd look great organized in a collection glass and white ceramic vases, some short and others taller, and placed in the middle of your dining table. The image of a table dressed with ranunculus makes me want to cook mushroom, chicken and white wine crepes and serve a tart homemade lemon meringue pie for dessert.

Image via Wren and Chickadee.

Apr. 27, 2009


The Killers. Tonight at Rexall. Yay!

Image via Marquee Magazine.

P.S. This concert had the most fantastic light show. The Killers come highly recommended (not that you didn't know that already).


The Walrus has a current feature on vintage Harlequin romance novels and their covers. The design of the novels captures stereotypes of love and romance at the time of publication. I've also noticed the prevalence of blonds on the covers. Greg pointed out the article to me on Friday and flagged two particular covers - one that represents our relationship (Bitter Masquerade) and another that represents his brother's relationship with his wife (The Sheik and The Vixen).

As Bitter Masquerade more represents our shared love for vibrant colours and artwork, than any actual occurrence during our relationship, it might suit Greg to think of this modern cover as a more accurate representation of us.

Apr. 24, 2009


This weekend Greg and I will be hosting two of my great friends (and sisters) Cheryl and MaryBeth from Toronto. They're fantastic ladies who I had the pleasure of meeting while studying at Queen's School of Policy Studies a few years back. We bonded over memorandums to cabinet, briefing notes and statistics assignments. We ate ice cream on Wolfe Island. Some of us tried to make it to Washington D.C., but ended up on a bus in a snowstorm outside Scranton, PA. Others of us went dancing at Menage in Toronto. We held many parties at Amy's place on Ontario Street. We've been making trips across the country to keep in touch ever since.

This visit is part two of the 'MPA sisters come to Edmonton', as the third - Amy - was here just last month from Fredericton. To you all, thank you for coming to visit me in my new home in Edmonton!


Another song that I'm loving this week. Thank you for introducing me to it, Gregory.

Image via Hello, Lolla.

Apr. 23, 2009

Poster VI

I think this poster is a fun alternative to the popular 'For Like Ever'. To purchase see here.


I grew up in a house stocked full of plants. My mother has quite a green thumb and is often found tending to the plants inside her home and in the garden. While in university I often could be found helping my mother in her garden. We added new flower beds, planted cherry trees, dug up dandelions and munched on bbq'd lunches while admiring our hard work. Her adventures in the garden continue and I have thought quite a bit about launching into patio gardening in Edmonton.

A chilly spell has arrived in town thus turning my attention from outdoor plants to indoor. The prospect of expanding our green responsibilities beyond one ivy plant and a burgeoning tomato plant intrigues me. At first I thought of the orchid garden my Aunt has cultivated in her dining room in Okotoks, Alberta. The elegant, refined beauty of an orchid is definitely appealing. However, I tried my hand at sustaining a singular pink phalaenopsis orchid in grad school with little success. The pink stem bloomed only once and subsequently dried up and died.

Given my limited success with somewhat fussy plants, and our penchant for taking frequent weekend trips and the scattered longer vacation from home, I have now turned my attention to growing cacti and succulents. I'm feeling inspired by these photos from Ellyy.

Aren't they delightful? On a related note, if I ever find myself in Arizona, I'll be sure to check out this monument.

Apr. 22, 2009


Last night while discussing banking policy in Canada (I wish I was lying), Greg and I briefly arrived on the topic of initials and the sound pronouncing your initials makes - he's GEC, but I'm less pronounceable in English with the string of KJN. Try it, it's fun!

Despite being unable to pronounce my own initials, I think initials and monograms are used far less frequently than they should be in modern society. There is an elegance to a name like e.e.cummings that I enjoy. I swoon at the idea (and execution) of joint monograms for couples. Though people don't carry silk handkerchiefs or order (and use!) personalized stationary to write to friends far away as they did in the past, I think there are other ways to revive the beauty of the monogram.

You could place Alexandra Ferguson throw pillows on your bed or sofa to exclaim your stylish status as a couple. I also enjoy these pillow cases and these graphic custom portraits to express your love.

You could snap a Olive and Ollie colourful bib on your child to catch spills during mealtime. I like the colours and think one of these bibs would be a great shower present (or similarly, as a gift for friends who might benefit from a bib themselves while eating buffalo wings).

You could decorate your walls with a Household Words decal. This monogram would allow you to celebrate the fun of typography. If you're the type to have serious opinions about fonts (ie. the 'I send out my resume in Trebuchet so that it stands out' type), check out a documentary that I've also been wanting to see, Helvetica.

Apr. 20, 2009


Is it a problem that I like a number of these worst Valentine's gifts? To be clear, I consider bicycles built for two, tandem umbrellas, ice cream cones, matching clothes (and shoes), and smittens to be lovely presents! 

Photo via Joanna Goddard


Feeling a little 'kd lang's Anywhere But Here', my mind is drifting to getaways, and new adventures and possibilities that exist beyond my current place. I need to reinvigorate my soul.

If I could be anywhere but here, I wouldn't mind being:
  • On a sail boat wearing horizontal stripes on the Caribbean
  • At the Manukubra Ranch participating in cooking glasses
  • Seated at a desk writing short stories while eating peppermint sticks
  • On the beach in Dubai meeting Greg's twin brother and his wife
  • Exposed to new tastes and smells in Greece and Turkey on a culinary tour
  • With my whole extended family laughing around a campfire after a delicious cook up
  • Creative by making fun film videos on Super 8 like these
  • In the United Kingdom on a Rothermere Fellowship

Photo via Courage My Love.


Loving this song.

Photo via Le Love Image.

Apr. 19, 2009


Yum! It is Girl Guide cookie season. Greg purchased some yesterday afternoon and we've been munching on them ever since. For just two toonies, you can have your own box. Check out this retro cookie package for a flashback:

Speaking of cookies, Cookie magazine is a great website for families and those with baby fever. I love their home tours: the interiors are as expressive and graphic as Design Sponge's sneak peeks, while also being kid-centric.


I have a bit of a chair fetish. In thinking about one day owning a house larger than 1000 sq feet (the size of our current home), there are so many fantastic seating options to ponder. For some seriously swoon-worthy pieces try Unica. For a full guide on beautiful seating options across all price ranges, see this guide

This Cappellini Rainbow Chair by Patrick Norquest is a sheer delight. This chair typifies art in the everyday

Apr. 18, 2009


I am loving this Aldo model's haircut. I'll be giving my hair straightener a Saturday off today. Loose waves are in order for a casual day of cooking good food and browsing the Farmer's Market. 


This Playboy 1961 photo is a fantastic retrospective who's who of modern design. 

George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames & Jens Risom

To read the accompanying article click here. Photo via The Selvedge Yard.

Apr. 17, 2009

Poster V

In case you're wondering, yes you can. 

To purchase see here


I feel confident to proclaim that spring has arrived in Edmonton. The weather forecast no longer suggests temperatures below zero. There's talk of light snow tomorrow, but I'm ignoring it. I'm choosing to focus on the fact that I have been wearing light jackets all week. How glorious it is to rid oneself of the confines of a drab down parka!

In honour of the season, here are some beautiful photographs from Kari Herer to celebrate the newness and sense of renewal spring brings. For me, spring conjures up images of vibrant Dutch tulip fields, fuzzy yellow chicks, crocuses poking their heads up from muddy lawns and pasty exposed knees below flouncy floral skirts. Right now is the time when there's promise that summer is around the corner. Spring is a farewell celebration to the arctic dessert that is Edmonton from December to March.

Spring means cleaning, removing snow tires, filing taxes and weeding unkempt flowerbeds. There are herbs to plant, bulbs to water, and soon lawns to cut. I enjoy reacquainting myself with the outdoors after hibernating inside with artificial heating during the winter.

Spring is also a great time to think about what you want in your life. It is a fun time to look ahead to the hazy days of summer and the harvest moons of fall.

I'm a spring baby so perhaps that explains why I associate the season with newness and beginnings. Spring, you've been a long time coming and I'm happy to see that you've finally arrived. I'll be celebrating your warmer temperatures and sunny evenings tonight at the Sugar Bowl.

Apr. 16, 2009


I am loving this house. The colours, the accessories, the white walls, the graphic art, the design sensibility... it is perfect. 


Though I'm not one for tea or for collecting, I do think it would be quite lovely to have a collection of mismatched vintage china tea cups, like this one above from Etsy. To build a collection, you could ask friends and family to give you cups for your birthday or wedding shower. I like the idea of each cup having a distinct meaning or memory associated with it, and the idea of making a formal event - like high tea - less matchy matchy.

These sorts of cups beg to be sipped from on a sunny afternoon in a pastel coloured dress surrounded by your closest female family and friends, while munching on cucumber sandwiches, scones and petits fours. Such an afternoon sounds like a delightful occasion to me.

Apr. 15, 2009


Last evening I received a birthday present from my dear friend Amy in the mail. Inside was a fun book of games for adult parties, and vibrant blue stationary cards and a matching notebook both emblazoned with my initial - K. Upon opening the present, I sat down to write a spring shopping list on the first page of the blue notebook. After some brainstorming and considering the clothes I already have in my own closet, I decided my spring wardrobe will consist of full, airy skirts, long v-neck cardigans, fitted tank tops and belts cinched at the waist. Flats or strappy sandals suit underfoot. This J Crew model is my muse.

To purchase this outfit click here. Image via J Crew.

As frosting for this spring/summer wardrobe, I'm loving bib necklaces. My love of chunky jewelry is being satisfied at every turn at retailers such as J Crew, Banana Republic, Club Monaco, Anthropologie, Jacob and French Connection.

Here are some of my favourite interpretations of the bib:

J Crew's Primrose Garden Necklace.

Banana Republic's Adjustable Beaded Necklace.

J Crew's Sunray Necklace.

Anthropologie's Garnish Necklace.

Apr. 14, 2009

Polka Dots

I am feeling reinvigorated by the looks of Club Monaco's new spring collection. Blush, white and black form the pallet and polka dots are the pattern of choice for scarves and skirt waists. Here are some of my favourite outfits from the line:

To catch the springy, yet melancholy vibe of the collection, listen to Morrissey's Throwing My Arms Around Paris from the shop's April play list. Images via Club Monaco.

Poster IV

I am now resuming my regularly scheduled programming with this delightful poster from Blancucha.

Apr. 3, 2009


At just about midnight Greg and I will be departing Edmonton to head to St. John's for Easter and birthday celebrations. We plan to eat fish and chips, drink in salt air, cut cake with my Grandma for her 80th birthday and catch up with family and friends. I'm quite looking forward to it!

As a result, this blog will be on hiatus for awhile.

However, before departing to munch on the last of my unagi roll, I thought I'd send you off with a list of things I'm enjoying right now.

1. Smutty Slice TV - I've been enjoying this channel for awhile. My top picks are The Real Housewives of Orange County and Millionaire Matchmaker.

2. Adventures in vino-land - For our joint birthday party, Greg and I received many lovely bottles of wine and champagne. I declared last night that our overflowing wine rack is plenty reason to indulge in an education lesson on wine. I'm hopelessly uneducated on the subject. We plan on finding recipes to match each type and to hold dinner parties with friends to explore the bottles. I'll post more on this as we delve into the project. If you're looking to explore wine too, begin with this cheese fry recipe to devour with salt and red wine or this tomato tarte tatin recipe to savour with a chilled white wine.

3. Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle - I am thoroughly enjoying this book. Run to your library to pick it up now if you haven't read it already. I promise you will need to continually remind yourself that this is a memoir.

4. Carter Williamson Interiors (via Desire to Inspire) - These kitchens brighten my mood! I love the warm wood, clean lines, colourful art and light fixture.

5. Comfort Food - shortbread cookies with icing and grilled cheese sandwiches with old cheddar (image via Reader's Digest).

6. The Residential Interiors Program at the University of Alberta - I'm thinking of beginning the program during the evenings next fall.

7. These vintage bowling pins from Sweetshorn Vintage - Bowling is my favourite sport!