Monday, March 4, 2013

Birthday Boy

It was Husband's birthday on Saturday.  We both took Friday off in order to feel like we had time for some birthday celebrating as well as all of the usual weekend jobs.  Here are a few bits and pieces from our weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Remembering Spring

Last week I tried to make up for my lack of outfit photography with a retrospective of Winter 2012's outfit photos.  Well, this week I'm ready for Spring to arrive.  How about the rest of you?  So here's a look back at last Spring.

Linking up for What I Wore Wednesday with The Pleated Poppy as usual.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Perfume Potential

This weekend I attended a student leadership conference.  I'm not a student.  I was there as a professional who works with, and brought, some student leaders.  It makes one feel very oddly old! At the same time it's fun to be around that much young energy, keen to impact the world in a positive way.  Plus the keynote speakers were generally at least slightly older than me so it gave me a sense that I still have a little time!!

The keynote speaker on Saturday morning was an east coast Canadian business woman named Barbara Stegemann who's company, The 7 Virtues, successfully gained funding on the Canadian version of the Dragons Den.  She spoke to students for an hour and a half so I'm not going to attempt to summarize but the students were captivated by her message of the virtues needed to be leaders, and individuals, who will positively impact their communities. 

Stegemann's Book which I've just started reading

We were all also taken with her business and its mission.  Stegemann had a good friend who was seriously injured in Afghanistan where he was serving with the Canadian military.  While he traveled the long road to recovery Stegemann felt strongly that she needed to take up his cause of helping to create peaceful and self-sustaining communities in Afghanistan.  Stegemann was unsure what she could do to help the country rebuild until she saw a news piece on a tribal leader who was attempting to help local farmers switch from growing illegal poppies (Afghanistan grows the poppies that provide something like 75% of the world's heroin) to legal crops like orange blossom.  Suddenly Stegemann had an idea.  She would buy Afghan orange blossom oil and use it to make high quality perfume. Her goal was that the farmers would make money, those who provided it to her would make money,  the retail businesses that sold the perfume would make money and her company would make money. 

Afghanistan Orange Blossom was The 7 Virtues first perfume. With the slogan, Make Perfume Not War, the company has so far created three more fragrances, Noble Rose of Afghanistan, Vetiver of Haiti and Middle East Peace.  Her perfume is sold online but also at The Bay across Canada, Lord and Taylor in New York and by air Canada's On Board Duty Free.

I haven't ready the book yet but will report back when I have.  Of the four scents, Middle East Peace, featuring Sweetie Grape Fruit from Israel and Lime from Iran is my favourite.  I love grape fruit in a perfume.  I have a bottle of Clinique Happy that Husband bought me because it makes me nostalgic for my high school days.  I like the Middle East Peace more!

The 7 Virtues also has a facebook page as well as their website.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Peanut Butter

Husband is British.  I have a British mother and was very close to my British grandmother so there are times when our upbringing and childhoods seem very similar.  We've been together for 6 years now so most of the time I forget the differences we had to deal with at the beginning.  However, about 2 years ago we were out with friends and everyone got discussing their significant-others' quirks and strange habit. 

I'm sure I told some story or other about Husband so he replied "Well, what's that strange thing you like to eat?  Peanut butter and.... jam, is it?"  Everyone else at the table cracked up.  It took us quite awhile to stop laughing.  Actually, whenever it's mentioned in front of Bestie she still laughs uncontrollably. 

You see, the Brits don't really get our love of peanut butter and it's because they've failed to understand that Peanut Butter just cannot handle being single.  Peanut Butter is always in a relationship and is its best self when presented as a couple.  Peanut butter and banana, Peanut Butter and honey, Peanut butter and chocolate (or nutella... yum) and the iconic pairing  Peanut Butter and Jelly.

So earlier this week I came across this Small Bird Studios free printable on her facebook page I knew I just had to print it off for Husband for Valentine's Day.  When you're married to a man who cannot handle mushy emotion then Valentines that mock are pretty much perfect!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heart Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.  This post is not going to be a gushy, emotional letter to Husband.  Husband can't really cope with earnest. Seriously, I think it causes him physical pain. 

So instead I thought I'd use this day of love and romantic prettiness to talk about blood. One of my favourite things about this time of year is that the season of Hearts tends to bring with it numerous blood drives.  I don't know about where you're from but it seems pretty standard here in Canada that in February there are any number of opportunities to make a difference and help save a life by giving blood. 

Blood donation is a topic that is near and dear to our hearts (does that count as a pun?) since neither Husband or I can give blood.  Husband was a regular blood donor in the UK and would be able to give blood if we still lived there but Canada doesn't allow individuals who lived in Britain during certain periods of time to donate blood.  Certain things were more common in the UK so they screen for them whereas our system isn't set up to identify them.  So Husband can't give blood. 

I gave blood several times in my mid-20s before I moved to the UK.  When I moved back I went to give blood (the mid to late 2000s weren't a time they were concerned about) as before.  Was fine while giving blood, went to get my juice and cookies and fainted. This is highly uncommon but there are a few people out there who can't handle losing the small amount of blood that they take for donation.  I tried several months later and the same thing happened so the staff (who were awesome and spent crazy amounts of time putting my feet up and providing cold cloths and juice and such) told me I should find another way to support blood services. 

The majority of people are able to give blood and suffer nothing more than a little pin prick.  In return you get to know that someone dealing with a major health issue stands a better chance because you gave blood.  Before she eventually passed away my Grandmother was getting regular blood transfusions that helped to prolong and improve the quality of her life.  Plus you get free juice and cookies and other types of treats. 

To find out more about giving blood in Canada visit Canadian Blood Services.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Retro Winter

So it is Wednesday which is usually outfit post day. I like having that regular blog theme to depend on. The thing is, I spent all weekend at home.  I was still trying to kick the never ending killer cold and Husband was coming down with it so we didn't feel inclined to go very far.  Then there was the snow storm that solidified our decision.  No outfit photos were taken.  No photos of humans were taking.  I'm sure the pets did something funny and I'm sure i tried to take photos of the snow storm and failed (gusting winds are hard to capture).

I never did an end of 2012 outfit photo recap since we were busy with Christmas and then traveling and also, I had a lousy head cold then too (this is our second round with it... unimpressed).  So here are a few bits and pieces from outfit posts from this time last year.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday as usual.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


They can sense weakness and fatigue. 
They can tell when you just don't have the strength.
They can tell when you are alone. 
Then run rough-shod over you.
Husband was out at a meeting last night.  I was left alone and defenseless.

 This one attempted to crawl into my dinner and when I wouldn't let her stalked around the counter tops and the stove looking for left overs. I was required to carry my plate with me when going to remove her because if I left it unattended her brothers would have finished it off.

This one knocked over the garbage can and managed to retrieve the chicken bone from the bottom.  Why was the chicken bone not in the compost?  Well, they'd manage to get to the compost bin and I'd be forced to take it outside. 

This one assisted his brother with the garbage can caper.  He also chased his sister around and tried to jump on her head.  Then he convinced his canine sister to chase him around to give him an excuse to climb on my shelves of knick-knacks.

This one mostly watched the kitty cats who were being highly entertaining.... and maybe chased Spock just a little bit but he did ask her to do it.

I tried chasing the cats when they were messing around by the garbage bin but they just stared at me from under the table.  I am not scary. I am the pushover.  It is official.