Sunday, 20 July 2014

Throwing Bricks

Being a tourist isn't normally how I like to spend my weekends (books, movies, and a rousing bout of shopping are the norm), but this weekend I decided not to be my anti-social self and tag along with my fabulous coworkers on a trip to the historic Claybank Brick Plant. I won't bore you with the story of the place (you can read all about it on their website), but suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting a setting it is and a great opportunity to break out my fancy new digital SLR camera!

The entrance house, with explanatory plaque

The clay for which the plant made its bricks has many interesting textures

I think that Catherine has found her dream house!

Donald, at the top of the clay bank
(apparently climbing is allowed)

Rafters inside the plant

Who knew that brick textures could be so numerous and interesting?
This is just one of the examples

Paula on her way inside the giant kiln
(Don't worry, it hasn't be active in years)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sandals & Sherbet: a Sunday Shoe Story

Some days it's just too hot to do anything but lounge around and eat sherbet. 
Welcome to summer,  
the time of year when we sweat and curse because there's only so naked we can get in public.

Aldo "Lansing" sandals in silver mock-snakeskin; 
Icing nail polish in neon green; 
President's Choice Blue Menu sherbet in Key Lime

Sunday, 29 June 2014

You Know You Have too Many Shoes When… (a Sunday Shoe Story)

…you’re trying to upload all the photos (112, if you’re wondering) to your brand new Shoe Gallery section, and it takes forever.Then again, I haven’t run out of storage space yet, so HAH!

But yes, the Shoe Gallery has gone live, and it’s taking up (a lot of) space in the panel/bar/menu/thingy right there at the top of this page - all for your amusement, dear readers, so go check it out! 

It used to live exclusively on Facebook (as a chronologically ordered photo album) and my hard drive, but since some of you don’t have access to either of those sources I figured that I should share my shoes with the world. That’s why you all read my blog anyways, isn’t it? Wait, you’re not here for the shoes? Well, too bad, shoes is what you’re getting. 

If you want, I can give you Dead Shoes (as in shoes that I used to own, but wore out/gave away/ruined/etc) too, but I haven’t decided whether to upload those. What do you lot think: are we into Dead Shoes, or do we only want Live Shoes? 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Importance of Being Accurate

A few weeks ago we got a crop of new employees at work. I’m always sceptical of new people (clearly I have trust issues), but I figured that it’s also about time our office stopped feeling half empty. Even if they weren’t that great as employees or friends they would at least bring food to the regular lunchtime potlucks - and I’m always in favour of more food. So I decided to play nice. Make sure to remember their names, include them in conversations, and with-hold my bitchy-ness. And that worked out just fine - I was actually starting to think that they were nice - until one of them made a confession. 

He asked me one day whether I stood at a bus-stop on Albert Street every morning at around 8:15am. I confessed that indeed, I did. And then he told me that he and his girlfriend had been seeing me standing there every morning at the same time for long enough to give me a nickname: Aviators, because I wear big sunglasses. 

Now, I don’t like nicknames at the best of times. There are only two people in this world who are allowed to give me unwarranted nicknames without complaint - my mother (because I can’t stop her) and my BFF (also because I can’t stop her). Some of you may even remember what happened the last time that someone gave me an unapproved nickname; I didn’t speak to her for three days, until she apologized and promised to stop. 

But this nickname has to be the worst nickname ever. Besides the fact that I wear sunglasses for two very specific reasons (avoiding eye contact with the weirdo who tries to chat me up most days, and avoiding going sun blind thank-you-very-much), the sunglasses in question are #FashionNerdAlert NOT AVIATORS. They are in fact, just regular, big lensed, sunglasses of the non-aviator persuasion. Great for keeping the sun out of my eyes, but not great for impersonating Tom Cruise in Top Gun. In fact, a little internet research has deduced that this type of sunglasses is simply called “over-size,” because the lenses are much bigger than the eye to the point of providing excess coverage. 

And really, isn’t it the point of a nickname to accentuate something that is obvious? I would have tolerated being called “Sunglasses,” because I do wear them almost every day, but continuing to call me “Aviators” really just accentuates the fact that the nickname-r can’t get his (and her) facts right. 

After all: “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Urban Nomad

A month ago my boss and his wife went on a sojourn to Europe, and asked me to look after their house. I’ve stayed at their place before to dog sit - their adorable dogs Oscar & Felix are routinely referred to as my boyfriends - but never for more than a weekend. Now, you all know how much I love my own apartment, but I decided that this would be a fun experiment to see if I could handle living out of a suitcase (and away from my computer, books, regular food, and bed) for a month. After all, everyone else seems to be going on vacation, and this is the closest I was going to get for the near future. 

So I packed my Louis Vuitton mini-backpack and hopped a bus from Cathedral to Lake View. (Okay, so I took a suitcase full of carefully coordinated outfits as well. What, did you really think that I wake up looking this fabulous and coordinated?)

The first night was fabulous. Cable tv, coordinated sheets, amazing shower pressure, a stash of Northlanders graphic novels on the table (the boss is a comic book junkie too), and a case of Coke Classic in the fridge. As a treat I also ordered pizza - which is a rarity for me, since I normally make it from scratch. 

Day two was equally as wonderful. Walks in the neighbourhood park, reading in the yard, and seemingly endless episodes of Island Hunters, House Hunters International, and Property Virgins. Clearly I was developing an addiction to HGTV and being talked into the idea of buying a house (or an island). 

And let me tell, you I absolutely loved it. 

Until I hit day three. The pizza had run out and I was starting to feel an acute case of ennui. Apparently there is such a thing as too much of the same thing - even when it’s a new thing. 

So I went home (it was a long weekend). I spent the day catching up on my RSS-reading list, watching episodes of Orange is the New Black, and planning more outfits. And when I was done all that I packed up a bunch of my regular food and hopped on the Southbound bus feeling energized and ready for another volume of Northlanders. 

As I fell asleep that night on borrowed sheets I came to a stunning realization. You can be bored anywhere if you don’t have the drive or motivation to do anything else. So with that in mind, I spent the merry month of May taking many many buses between two houses, grocery shopping every few days instead of once a week, and making an effort to try new things. 

Some of these things (like experimental pasta recipes) were not a success, but I proved to myself that I can live a slightly nomadic life. I don’t think that I could pack up my life into a suitcase (girl’s got too many shoes for that, right), but I can throw a little chaos into my life without feeling too thunderstruck. 

tank top by Seductions, sunglasses by Betsey Johnson, sandals and bracelets by Aldo, mini-backpack by Louis Vuitton, earrings by Claire's, maxiskirt by Andrea Jovine Portfolio

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Sounds of Summer

It may not look like Summer yet (or even Spring) outside, but something says its time. Time to swap my boots for sandals, bring the shorts out of hibernation, and start slathering on the SPF 115 (yes, it does go that high). But the most important thing about summer is listening to a differsnt type of music. You know the kind I’m talking about. The Beach Boys just don’t sound the same when there’s snow on the ground. So even though I’m not beach-bound yet (not that we have real beaches in Regina anyways), I’ve picked up the second slushy of the summer and am turning up the summer jams in the hopes that Mother Nature will get the memo. 

No matter how old you are, Summer always feels like a time of youth and rejuvenation. Our skin darkens (hiding blemishes), the days are longer (more time to get into trouble), and the mood is exploratory. Whether we’re delving into a new book, a new relationship, or just new pathways through our city, everything becomes about growing. 

The summers of the ‘90s were some of the best of my life, so my summertime playlist isn’t complete without at least one song from the album that defined those summers. I’m not talking Backstreet Boys, *nsync, or Britney Spears, but Much Dance 1997. It played in the background to front yard dance parties, was choreographed into cheesy routines, and sung on road and boat trips alike - Andria & Beth will know exactly what I’m talking about.

A classic reinvented, this song is all about the driving home after a day at the beach with your best friends, the lingering smell of campfires and cheap coolers, and sunsets after a day spent doing a whole lot of nothing - and everything at once. All summers have to end, but the memories never fade. 

Driving around looking for adventure was always a part of summers as we got older. And driving has to have music to sing along to. ‘80s hair metal is the best because it’s best listened to at a loud volume and screamed along to. We all know the lyrics (you’re lying if you deny it), so sing along kids. We won’t laugh too hard if you’re out of tune.

Chilling on the beach or at a friends place requires something a little more mellow, preferably with a smooth guitar and a decent backbeat. The latest from Mr Probz (expertly remixed by Robin Schulz) fills these requirements perfectly, and is sure to be a choice track this summer. 

So cheesy, but I can’t help but love it, since every awesome summer day feels like it is the best day of your life. Until that hangover hits tomorrow morning…

Ed Sheeran surprised me with this track, which reminds me a lot of Sexyback-era Justin Timberlake. It’s groovy, it’s jammin,’ and it’s beats are pretty damned infectious. I have no idea what’s playing in the clubs anymore (seriously, I’m too old for that, since the place is always filled with 19 year olds), but I would totally dance to this. 

Circa Waves is a new band that I’m totally obsessed with right now. Their sound is very California sounding (think the OC and Yellowcard), and goes right along with a day at the beach playing beach volleyball and sipping Coronas. 

Oh, summer romances. They’re doomed to end, but we just can’t resist them, can we? For when they inevitably end, this track epitomizes the bittersweet summer breakup. Like they say “together we saw the end in sight.”

Summer romances, playtime at the beach, dancing the night away, and road trips are all great, but we can’t have any of that without our girls, am I right? And for that we need some never-to-be-retired Spice Girls! Girl power!

If you want to check out what else I’m listening to right now head right on over the Socialize page (see that link? right but there at the top of the page? never mind, just click this link) and mosey on over to my BBC iPlayer track list (hosted on Youtube). You’ll also find all my social media links up and working, so come and hang out! Virtually, of course (haha).

Sunday, 13 April 2014


As some of you know I had a birthday last week. Unlike most people, I don’t have any issue with growing older. In fact I relish it, because it means that I get to experience more, learn more, and just BE more as I become more and more the person that I am. 25 was definitely the most interesting year so far, and I feel like I’ve gotten closer to the settled person that I want to be even though I had to go through some chaos to get there. I could regale you with lengthy tales of my adventures (some of which I’ve already shared with you, and the rest which will end up in my memoirs), but I’m going to take a page from Andria Parker’s playbook and give you a list of 25 things I learned at 25. After all, I like my lists just as much as she does!

I. It is absolutely possible to pack up your life and move across the country in 7 days. (Or 3 days).
II. The best bosses are bosses with dogs &; graphic novels. Chances are they’ll loan you both.
III. Missing your graduation ceremony is nothing to get upset over, but when they misspell your name on your diploma some Hell better be raised. 
IV. Whistler has three sub-categories of “bros:” snowboard bros, mountain bike bros, and intellectu-bros.
V. Never judge a band by their hipster reputation. 

VI. Hanging out with your psycho-Duck BFF is awesome, but exhausting. We are all getting too old for shenanigans.
VII. Playgrounds are always a good time.
VIII. Cosmopolitans are not to be consumed in doses more than two, or you will end up in the ER.
IX. Playing BBC Radio 1 at work is totally okay, as long as you contain your uproarious laughter when Zane Lowe belts out BSB’s “I Want it That Way” or Greg James imitates Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video.
X. There are still places in Canada without proper postal service (I’m looking at you Whistler…)
XI. If you walk your badly behaved dog people will always stop and coo over her, even when you explain to them that she is called “bad dog” (you’ll still love her anyways).
XII. Skateboarders are the scions of Hell.
XIII. If you ride the same bus every day with a person they will eventually start talking to you. Whether you like it or not. This is a great opportunity to tell them your name is Anastacia Beaverhousen.

XIV. Birthdays are not complete without Marble Slab ice cream or Denny’s Grand Slams.
XV. With age comes an increased fear of irrational death, if not realistic death. (Though maybe we should just stop watching so much tv).
XVI. Going to the club still requires the use of a fake name to fend off random guys. 
XVII. When you least expect it, you’ll find yourself crushing on the blonde barista-boy at Starbucks. (Since when do we like blondes???)
XVIII. Star Wars pizza nights never get old.
XIX. We’ll never get back to the Disney Renaissance if they keep releasing such terrible films. (I’m looking at you Frozen). 
XX. There’s no such thing as too many pairs of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars.

XXI. Waiting for 3-inches of cable from China can drive a person mad. 
XXII. The frustration of explaining to people that you need a Master’s degree for your job will never go away. Thankfully you’ve honed your “look of incredulity.”
XXIII. Famous people are just like regular people in that they are extremely weird when they are around their best friends (looking at you Hemsworth-Hiddleston-Cumberbatch).

XXIV. -40°C is no big deal. 
XXV. Self-checkouts are the best thing ever. Especially when you’re only buying a slice of cake.

images from Tumblr