Monday, February 16, 2009

Something Lost, Something Found.

I was awoken at 4 this morning by my pseudo husband telling me that the keys to his vehicle were missing and he was going to take my car instead. Which left me to deal with the mess when I woke up 2 hours later. Where were the keys and what was I going to do if I didn't find them? The last time I saw them they were...oh!...sitting in the very cute Urban Barn plate I photographed for my last post. So I loggeed onto my blog post from last nightnand sure enough there they were. I did my best sleuthing and deducted that the photo was taken between 8 and 9 p.m. so now all I needed to do was figure out what happened to them in the meantime? And all this before my first cup of coffee. Long story short, I found them in the enormous u-brew wine jug we keep in the livingroom for spare change. So after dumping our 2 lbs. of loose change, I got the keys and was off and running. But it just shows you the kind of life I lead: nothing organized, nothign ever in it's place. The fact that our tiny apartment has no storage to speak of and is kind of an agonizing dump with tiny closets, terrible blue-grey burber carpet and cigarette burned linoleum. Not to mention the other crazies in our building...yikes! So we went rental hunting after work today and say three places. They were all overpriced and one smelled of BO and cigarettes. Oh, Duncan, is this all you have to offer? Dejected, I came home and half-heartedly coninued my search on UsedCowichan. I found a one bedroom + den that sounded neat and modern but, alas, it really was a den and not a bedroom (re: small, windowless, and nary a closet in sight) so I guess we continue our search another day. But I will not give up hope. The smell of Spring in the air rejuvenates me. I have stopped reading the cheesy shopping novels and smutty romances that keep me warm in the winter and turn to thicker, heartier fare. Sounds the opposite of most people, but I am one of those people who love to hibernate in the shade of warm days, choosing to enjoy the summer in a cocoon of literature. Not that it is exactly summer here yet (it snowed for a few seconds today) but the air does have that special feeling about it that only the spring can bring. Some of my favorite Spring reads: Diary of Anais Nin (not for the faint of heart or people with no patience. For a taste of the time and for Nin, rent the movie about her, starring Uma Thurman as a young woman: Henry and June) The Great Gatsby (a classic that can be enjoyed by everyone) The Sun Also Rises (I dare you to read this book and NOT daydream of an exotic summer approaching) The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (maybe it will encourage you to do something off the beaten path this summer?) There are a million other cliched "great reads" out there that I could recommend that are all, truely, great reads; but sometimes your favorite books are those silly ones you pick up for $1 at the flea market and when aksed why you like them so, you can't quite put your finger on it. It just makes you think of something... Roxanne

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Housethrifty Housebeautiful

A white Superstore vase that lurks like a beautiful and frail ghost in the shadow of my enormous hulk of a TV:
A teal and chocolate Urban Barn serving dish cum door-drop plate for our keys and other sundries:
The cutest and most-most used serving dishes in our house, from Superstore, and just the right size for 2 types of pickles and some olives, or Bridge Mixture, Gummy Bears, and pretzels. Mmmm...a trifecta of yummy:
A leaf shaped beautiful plate bought at Superstore. Colour is a rich green and even though it's probably seasonal, I use it year-round for everything from votive candles to serving deviled eggs:
Not that I think that I am the purveyor of taste, or not that I have a bunch (any!) money to spend decorating my tiny apartment but I have been called a fabulous bargain basement shopper in not so many words on many occasions and I'd like to feel I do the very best with what I have so I'd like to share some of my houseware-shopping tips with you. If you have a Superstore (Extra Foods or any subsidiary that is lining the pockets of Gaylen Weston) in general area, you probably already know how great (and cheap) there stuff is. From black pants to Homo milk, I have spent hours in this store, combing for style and deals, neither of which hard to find. There housewares go on sale often and are ever changing with the seasons. Last summer I bought a beautiful set of patio dishes with matching serving bowls and placemats, all teal and white with a tasteful damask pattern on some. I must admit I originally bought the set to give as a wedding present but loved it so much (and housed it so long in my closet) I decided to give the happy couple a chunk of change and keep the set for myself. I have recently bought other great housewares from my local Superstore. After Thanksgiving I picked up a whimsical gourd-shaped gravy boat and matching pumpkin bowl in a luxurious burnt orange colour. Maybe they are only good for a small portion of the year but at the price I paid (both under $10), who cares? And I like to think they give a certain je ne cais quoi to their home on top of my kitchen cabinets. Other places to search for deals are the ever-obnoxious Costco (especailly at Christmas) where I picked up a great spice rack and an absolutely sexy wine decanter. Urban Barn has delicious reed diffusers in subtle scents of the sea and sandlewood (a far cry from the vanilla one I bought from WalMart that makes my hallway smell like a cupcake factory on the Goodship Lollipop). They also have a great sale section that often has opened stationary for cheap, mix and match linenes, scratch and dent items, and usually gorgeous decorative plates for around $15. And when worse comes to worst, there's always to the local Sally Anne to perk up your home's wardrobe. One man's trash is another man's treasure, right? And the world the way it is now, doesn't it make sense to recycle and save your pennies? We got a beautiful dresser from a shop in our town run by the Lion's Club and my husband and I can't stop looking at it and bragging to each other about the price (under $50), a small price to pay for the happiness and beauty it brings us. So in these thin days, don't sacrifice your fabulous. Happy Hunting! Roxanne

The Good Life

I have decided to take a incredibly GOOPy blog of the celebrity sort and use it as a sort of jumping off point for my own little lifestyle newsletter. Of course, mine won't be anywhere as ridiculous as Gwyneth Paltrow's as my life is nowhere near as ridiculous as hers: my husband is a shift supervisor at Starbucks, not a rock star. My daughter is named Ava and not Apple (???!!!) and I am a part-time administrative assistant at a scrap metal recycling plant, not an incredibly thin, fabulous, movie star. But why split hairs? I love the good life just as much as Gwyneth and I would love to share my ideas and findings with those close to me, espeically since those close to me will not be going to the Guggenheim tomorrow as they are in making a cornish game hen. So I thought maybe I would try and be a little more, oh, I dunno, down to earth? I hope you like what I have to share with you in regards to my favorite recipes, things to do and see, wisdom I've found, movies I like to watch, and books I like to read. Of course, not all of these things will just be from my little old self, but also ones gleaned from those around me, whom I think to be purveyors of these sorts of things. Anyway, I hope you enjoy and welcome any feedback or ideas you may have. Roxanne