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Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't wait to go back to the mountains, this was taken while we were in Banff this past August.

Hope your holiday was relaxing and lovely. Mine certainly was, which is why I took such a long break. Back to it now, I suppose! The new year is here, and although there are frustrating things on the horizon (coming to mind are the Olympics and the suspension of Parliament until MARCH so as to try and let some controversies “disappear”…democracy? here in Canada? sorry, you must be mistaken) I think that this year has immense potential for positivity. I hope to accomplish a few things, not resolutions, but life goals.

  • Pass my RN examination: this is an essential step, as I can’t work as an RN unless I have certification.
  • Find a RN job in Vancouver that I like, not just one that will pay the bills. This will be a tough one, because I’m sure I’ll feel obligated to take the first job that comes along in order to pay the bills, but I’m going to try to hold out for something I feel that I will really enjoy. There isn’t any point in taking on a job I won’t like, no matter how tempting the offer may be.
  • Find an apartment in Vancouver (easier said than done, but I’m sure there has to be a decently-priced, dog-friendly, central apartment somewhere in Vancouver…right? Fingers crossed!
  • Travel! Even if I just get out of town for some short trips to the mountains and into the Okanogan wine country, I’d like to do some traveling while I save up for the next big trip.

These should be achievable, so I’m making those my goals for the year. Beyond that, any other good things that happen are just gravy. Have a safe and happy new year’s eve!

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Holiday break.

from Sustainable Melbourne's website

Well, I’m going to take a holiday break and enjoy this time off with loved ones. I’ll return a few days after Christmas Day. Enjoy your holiday. 🙂

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Ol’ iron gut.

This little angel got into an entire box of dark Baker’s chocolate and lived to tell the tale. Apparently no one passed on the memo that chocolate is supposed to be dangerous for certain breeds of dogs. Granted, he had no pupils to speak of and ran around the house in a deranged state for at least two hours. Oh, and then threw up. While we had guests over.

“Everyone, meet Sherlock. Sherlock, everyone. Sherlock…NO! NO! NOT ON THAT RUG!”

Le sigh.

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from EcoChicHandKnits on Etsy

I’m sticking to the handmade pledge this xmas and buying only handmade gifts or creating them myself. I did find a few awesome things on Etsy that I couldn’t pass up, so I’ve purchased the above “scrubbies” for my mom and some for me. They replace the little scrub pads and cotton pads that you would use once and toss away. These can be put in the wash (gentle cycle I believe) and reused over and over. They come in a whole bunch of different colours, so I bought a set in almond for me and some soft green ones for my mom.

Considering we use the little disposable ones on a daily basis, these little scrubbies will reduce the amount of waste involved in our daily beauty routines by a large amount. Every little bit helps!

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Donate a gift.

from Country Living

At this time of year I try to think of alternatives to the material side of giving. Some people in my life, especially parents, are hard to buy for because they often have everything they need (or three of everything). So a gift I like to give is a donation in the person’s name to a charity or rescue group. I’m not saying that anyone has to give up buying gifts altogether, but just consider making one of those gifts a donation to a group that could really use it.

My favourites include:

  • Dog Bless Dog Rescue: Dog Bless has a beautiful calendar that can be purchased for only $15, and the proceeds go to cover the costs of rescuing and caring for the dogs that they take in before they are adopted out. I received this calendar from a friend and I LOVE it, it’s beautifully made and was a thoughtful gift. They also accept  monetary donations that go to cover the costs of supplies, vet bills and spay/neuter procedures for their dogs.
  • Misty Creek Dog Rescue: This rescue agency in Alberta also has a beautifully made calendar that raises money for the dogs they take in from around the province and the USA. They also take monetary donations that go to cover the costs of supplies, vet bills and spay/neuter procedures for their dogs.
  • World Vision: Monetary donations can be given in the recipient’s name, and you can select where you would like the money to go. My favourite is “stock a medical clinic” which for $100, stocks a medical clinic in an impoverished community.

Other options for making the world a little bit better:

  • Local outreach centres and shelters: Nick and I are going to bake a few batches of cookies and bags of coffee to take down to Our Place, an outreach shelter downtown. Donations of food, warm clothes and toiletries can be donated as well.
  • Local SPCA: donations of gift cards to pet stores, pet food, collars, leashes, bedding and towels can be donated to help care for the animals in the shelter.
  • Food banks: donations of non-perishables are always appreciated.
  • Toy donations: This is one of the more fun kinds of shopping to do at xmas. You select a name of a child from a family in need and shop for a toy/gift that the volunteer group then donates to their family. This ensures that every child then wakes up to Christmas morning with a special gift under the tree.

There! That’s my soapbox. 🙂

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Macy’s scores.

from Country Living

While in the states this past weekend I picked up a couple ornaments for my small but much-adored ornament stash. While wandering through the massive xmas section at Macy’s and perusing the many tree themes (including a girly-feather obsession and one that consisted entirely of cowboy paraphernalia) I found some inspiration for my tree at home. My dream xmas tree would be a mix of white and vintage ornaments, with white fairy lights, similar to the dreamy one above. Actually, while I’m dreaming, let’s just take the whole room. Swap out the coffee table for a more modern one and we’d have a deal. And maybe use the spinning wheel for kindling.

I think my two new additions to the xmas collection would be perfect on a tree like the one above.

I make no effort to hide my love of owls, so two owls were exactly what I came home with. The white owl is soft and plush, so will have to be hidden far up in the high boughs to prevent  a certain canine from claiming him as his new chewie.

The second was a little vintage fellow which I’ve decided to name Morris. He just looks like a Morris.

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Can I make this?

from Etsy shop brandensams

I mean, without swearing and throwing craft tools? This wreath is gorgeous, but unfortunately out of my price range (especially when shipping to Canada is factored in…ouch!). Plus I think that this particular wreath is also sold out. Darn. This Etsy shop has beautiful and eye-popping wreaths, and I desperately want to replicate one. I’m not one for traditional red & green xmas colours, so the stark white/blue/silver combination of this one is a dream come true.

from Etsy shop brandensams

This one is gorgeous too…and I’m certain that if I dug around in my mother’s endless (and I mean endless) stores of xmas decorations I’d find some colourful xmas balls that would work in a wreath like this. Then all I’d need would be yarn and styrofoam balls.

I think I’ll set out to make something like this this week, and if it works (i.e. no swearing or throwing of things) I’ll post pictures and instructions on here. If you would rather score one of these beauties without the work involved, then visit Etsy and search brandensams shop.

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