Jan. 31, 2012

Our Favourite Places: Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food

Our favourite place in St. John's for a casual lunch and chat? The Rocket! We fit in at least one meal a week at this bakery. Images by Lisa Moffat and Matt Jiggins.

A way to share our favourite places (shops, restaurants, hangouts, vacation spots etc.), I'll be posting images of the locations where we make (and have made) our favourite memories occasionally here on Horizontal Stripes.

What We're Reading: Fox in Socks

I can't say that I brought a love of Mr. Seuss into parenthood, but when Greg was given a box set of Dr. Seuss books for his last birthday (a kind, soon-you're-going-to-be-a-parent type gift from my brother and his girlfriend) I discovered how fun these books are! Now I love the fun rhymes and illustrations. It's hard not to get tongue-twisted though!

Jan. 30, 2012

How to: Knock Down the Last Bowling Pin

As a kid, I took one informal bowling lesson, and this one tip has stuck with me forever. I guarantee it will improve your score! Want to hear? So, after your first (or second) ball, only 1 pin on the far right (or left) remains. To hit it, aim the ball towards dead centre, and launch it from the opposite corner. So if you want to hit the far right pin, release the ball in the far left corner of the beginning of the lane aimed towards the centre. It works every time! Image via Westheights.


Right now, this is Thomas' favourite clutching toy. I can't say enough good about it!

Jan. 29, 2012


Found: the perfect swimsuit for a new mom - forgiving and flattering, without looking too matronly. Saturday (yes in a snowstorm), I splurged on a Gossip monokini at Le Boudoir. Greg suggested I try it on (shock!) and surprisingly it was super flattering. It's perfect for when you want a little more coverage, but still want to be stylish.

Jan. 27, 2012


I'm getting my bangs cut next Thursday (whoo for excitement in the mundane), but have no other changes to my hairstyle planned in the short term. I haven't coloured my hair in almost 4 years (which still sounds odd because before then I'd been colouring it every few months (or less) since I was 13!) and I've been wearing it long with bangs (of some sort) for as long as I can remember. However, I'm loving Wit + Delight's Hairspirations for 2012. I second every single one.

Local Business

This building has been vacant in downtown St. John's for years (post-reno). I'm so curious why something hasn't opened in it yet. The space looks amazing and the facade is so much fun! Image via Rebfoto.

Speaking of local business, Greg and I daydream about all sorts of businesses that we'd love to see in St. John's such as:
  • A casual and current men's clothing store that targets the young professional
  • More restaurants with patios and ocean views
  • A modern housewares and furniture store
  • An antique shop focusing on mid-century modern pieces
  • A true diner
  • A blowout salon
Do you think about the same? What businesses would you like to see open in our community?



Jan. 26, 2012


We have hardwood (new on the main, original on the third floor) and laminate (in the basement) so rugs are a necessity in our home. As Thomas starts to crawl we want to make sure his little knees and elbows are protected, so I've been thinking about increasing the amount of square footage in our home that's clothed in rugs. Aren't these Turkish rugs beautiful? Found via Little Green Notebook.

Jan. 25, 2012

New Parent Must Haves

As Thomas approaches six months (gasp!), I look around his nursery and our home, and am surprised by the things that I find infinitely useful (jumperoo purchased second hand on the cheap) and useless (no scratch mittens that never fit my son's big hands). I am always thinking about how we can pare down our baby gear, while also ensuring that we're prepared for every stage that's to come. It's a challenge simultaneously wanting to always be prepared AND keep my possessions to a minimum. Like many new moms, I love momfilter. Of course, they had this great post on the one (or two) item(s) that parents cannot live without. What is your must have for raising a baby? It's random, but I couldn't live without Sir Bubbadoo Burping Cloths. Seriously. As someone with an abundant supply (aka leakage issues), disdain for wearing a bra to bed (the horror!), and a boy who loves to feed in bed at night, these cloths are the perfect replacement for nursing pads. I think they should be on every breastfeeding mom's must have list.


Oh fun! Our wedding is being used in promotional materials!

Wee Clothes III

Jan. 24, 2012

Q: How Many Children Do You Hope to Have?

This afternoon while chatting with some friends after a nice snowy winter walk (joy!), the topic of having more kids (we're all 1+ at this point) came up. Our answers were varied: maybe, no, yes (soon) and yes (in the future). Greg and I seriously wax and wane on this daily (the amount of sleep we've had the night before seems to be a contributing factor), but I suspect we'll have another some day and we also give serious consideration to adopting. Our life doppelgangers have four kids all within a five year span (or thereabouts), but I'm not sure that's in the cards for us.

How many children do you have? Do you hope to have more? If you have more than one, any recommendations on the ideal age spacing? Is there a magic number? Picture via Nienie Dialogues.


Loving this installation art!

Jan. 23, 2012

Q: Will your children share a room?

I grew up with my own bedroom, but my little brother often slept in my room with me. We'd stay up late secretly listening to my mom chat on the phone or talking to each other. I knew friends who shared a room with a same-sex sibling though, which I thought (probably until my mid-teens) would be a lot of fun.

We presently have a three bedroom house, and use one of those rooms as a tv den (I adore retiring upstairs in the evening to our private family space, and being able to nap in bed and overhear Greg and Thomas playing next door in the den in the early mornings). If we have a second child and still live in our present home, we debate moving ourselves into the tiny nursery and giving our kids our master bedroom (which would have plenty of space for two single beds, dressers and play space). What are your sleeping arrangements?

Image via Apartment Therapy.

How To: Mingle

I'm the worst at talking to strangers in a social or work setting. I clam up, get sweaty palms and never know what to say. Are you like that too?

However, I meet my now-husband at a conference (thankfully he's bold and never has any problem talking to anyone), which makes me realise that plunging into a conversation with a stranger or not might mean the difference between finding the love of your life or not!

When we first chatted, I felt awkward, but looking back he recalls nothing of the sort. The moral? Just do it -- introduce yourself with a line something like "Hi, I'm Katie, a co-worker of Elle's (the host), how do you know Elle?". Chances are the person you're chatting with doesn't perceive your feeling of awkwardness, and even if they do, they're very likely glad that someone struck up a conversation first to save them from hovering around the snack table (which really is awkward!). Image via The Dirty Apple.

Jan. 22, 2012


I noticed this cartoon on Facebook, and had to share. I think it is brilliant. Cartoon via How To Be Dad.

Wee Clothes II

Jan. 21, 2012

Q: Suggestions For New Pizza Toppings?

Every weekend (including tonight), Greg and I make pita shell pizzas with an expected roster of vegetables, cheese and meat (peppers, mushroom, parmesan and pepperoni). However, we recently started ordering a takeaway pizza with pear and onion compote from our neighbourhood pizza shop - Pi - and now we're addicted. I now want to try other new pizza toppings, like grapes, leek and toasted walnuts. I'd love to hear your tips on fun, new pizza toppings to add new colour to our routine! xo Image via A Life of Beauty and Grace.

Stripes: For a Casual Saturday Night Date

Stripes: For a Casual Saturday Night Date

Perhaps you're meeting your crush for a glass of white wine tonight? If so, you might want to wear something like this. xo

Dress - Net-a-Porter / Boots - Madewell / Cardigan - Uniqlo / Hoops - Dana Rebecca / Bag - Net-a-Porter. Layout via Polyvore.

St. John's

This is where we call home. See what I mean about remote, windswept, frosty and exotic? Photograph by Sally LeDrew (our amazing wedding photographer!).

Jan. 20, 2012

Wee Clothes I

It's hard to decide how much of T's wardrobe to keep and to give away. Our friends and family have been so generous with presents that our boy has a wardrobe that rivals any stylish babe in the country. In a first step effort to keep close my memories of his earliest days, this post is the beginning of a project to chronicle our lad's wardrobe.

What I Order: Bivver

Bivver, Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, Cavendish Square, St. John's, NL
Sunday - Wednesday 12:00 pm - 12:00 am / Thursday - Saturday 12:00 pm - 1:00 am

Club Sandwich with home fries and chipotle aioli


Images courtesy of Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland.

Jan. 19, 2012

Stripes: For A Warm Winter Day

For fun, I thought I'd share a dream outfit of mine for an unseasonably warm winter day (hopefully we'll have more such days soon!), complete with a dash of horizontal stripes! xo

Scarf - Debenhams / Jeans - Far Fetch / Turtleneck - Aritzia / Watch - Jules B / Jacket - The Outnet / Boots - Aldo / Satchel, Neiman Marcus. Layout constructed at Polyvore.

What We're Reading: Hug Time

Thomas' first word was hug. Well, technically he babbled hug, but we're choosing to remember it as his first word. Before T was born, I wondered what his first word might be and assumed one of the usual suspects - mama or dada. When hug popped out one day while out little family was relaxing in our living room, Greg and I looked at each other gobsmacked -- Did Tom just say hug?? Sure enough, a few minutes later he said it again. These days hug is part one his vocal repertoire alongside kiss and hi. I like to think we have a very affectionate and friendly boy on our hands. Given that I'd emailed our entire family exclaiming that T had proclaimed his first word, when my brother saw this book -- Hug Time -- he told me he knew he had to give it to Tom as a present. We love it. It is a perfect reflection of the kind and loving boy we're striving to raise.

If you have children, what was their first word? What was your first word? I'm so curious! xo

Jan. 18, 2012


Every day Thomas and I take naps in our queen size bed. I also am 99.9% of the time in bed by 8:30 pm each night. This amounts to a lot of time in our (inherited) baby blue bedroom. I'm (meaning as of today) consumed with wanting to give our master bedroom a makeover. I want it to be eclectic and cozy. I'd like to mount one of the above photos of Vancouver above our bed.

Jan. 17, 2012

Ice Typography

I think Vancouverite Nicole Dextras' ice sculptures are quite thought-provoking.

Jan. 16, 2012

How To: Keep Your Wedding on Budget

One of the first things Greg and I did in the days following our engagement was to talk budget. We decided on a short six month engagement so our planning had to happen quickly.

We chose to pay for our own affair so we each determined what we could afford to contribute from our savings ($5000 from me and $15,000 from my generous then-fiance), added those two numbers together ($20,000 in total) and divided by two ($10,000). We took one half and spent it on our wedding day and took the other half and spent it on our honeymoon, which made for a modest wedding budget (compared to the present Canadian average of $23,330) and a larger honeymoon budget (compared to the present Canadian average of $5,287).

In deciding how to spend our budget on our wedding, we used the following percentages (I think these would be a great guideline for any wedding planning, no matter what the budget):
  • Reception venue rental fee - 8%
  • Food and service - 30%
  • Beverages - 8%
  • Cake and Cutting Fee - 2%
  • DJ - 3%
  • Decor - 3%
  • Gown, Accessories, Hair and Make Up- 10%
  • Groom's Attire - 5%
  • Ceremony (including music, officiant, verger etc.) - 2%
  • Flowers - 5%
  • Photography - 5%
  • Stationary (including invitations, menu and program) - 3%
  • Wedding Rings - 8%
  • Transportation and Lodging (including rental car and hotel room) - 4%
  • Gifts for parents and attendants - 4%
We stayed on budget by sticking to these broad categories, eliminating line items entirely (like a DJ and tux rental -- our venue's bartender played from an iPod of our favourite tunes for free and Greg chose to wear a suit he'd recently purchased for another purpose) when we wanted to splurge on something special (like flowers and photography), keeping our guest list small (56 including ourselves and our bridal party) and undertaking many DIY decor projects. How did you save and spend for your special day? xo

Viva & Co

I'm reading Tom Frank Viva's children's book, and am also adoring his packaging design and identity development. There's something in me that really appreciates when a company presents their wares and identity in a thoughtful and pleasing way.