New Favourites at the One of a Kind Show - Winter 2015

December 04, 2015

It’s that time of year again – the one where I wrack my brain for gift ideas for the people on my list and pretty much always come up empty. The trouble is, whenever I ask what they might like, the invariable answer is that they don’t need or want anything.  This makes gift giving VERY difficult. Handily this time of year coincides with the Winter One of a Kind Show.

I’ve blogged about the show in the past- it’s always helped me find gifts for at least some of the people on my list, and this year was no different. I went Thursday evening after work to take advantage of their later hours, and I’m pleased to say I think my gift list is now about 90% complete.

I bought my ticket online (after finding a $1 off coupon via google) and printed it out before going. Best $12 I’ve spent in a while – no battling through malls which always seems to make me grumpy. While busy, the show wasn’t really crowded until I got to the aisle with all the food vendors who were giving out all the tasty samples. I might have definitely indulged in way too many samples, but it was worth it .

I thought I’d share a few of the ‘New to me’ vendors I found this time at the show just in case you’ll be visiting this weekend (the show closes Dec 6). (The pictures I’m sharing are mostly via the vendor’s websites as sadly my cell phone doesn’t take the greatest pictures)

Russell Hackney bear cookie jar
Russell Hackney Ceramics – Booth Z19
A new vendor at the show, Russell’s booth was actually one of the first I visited (I always do the show from right to left, or aisle Y though A). Given my love of matte white ceramic vases it’s unsurprising that his work caught my eye.  I need to figure out a way for this Bear cookie jar to grace my kitchen counter. Hopefully he’ll be back at the spring show and I can get myself a present.

C is for clean in lavender
C is for Clean – Booth I13
I actually somehow missed this booth on my first pass through the show (I walk though once and make notes of gift ideas, who they might be for and note the booth name and location. Once I’ve seen everything I make my choices and go pack and purchase them), but spotted them as I was leaving. While I didn’t buy any this time, this is another booth I’ll be buying from in the spring (here’s hoping they’re there!) I love that they're all natural, and the four scents they have are all lovely.

Marjorie Camir ceramic bowl
Marjorie CamirĂ© CĂ©ramiste – Booth W49
Marjorie’s booth was busy when I was walking by and it’s clear why. With lovely ceramic pieces rimmed in gold they are simple, beautiful pieces. she also had a teacup and saucer that made me want to start drinking tea on a regular basis

'Evening on the lake' by Julia Veenstra
Julia Veenstra – Booth W52
Julia’s art quite literally stopped me in my tracks. It’s bold and vibrant, and I love it. This is Julia’s first #OOAK show, and judging by the number of red stickers denoting sold pieces it’s been quite a success. I LOVED the above piece named ‘Evening on the lake’ - the person who purchases it will be very lucky.

If you haven't already gone to this season's One of a Kind show I hope you have a chance to go this weekend - it's well worth it.


In Search of Winter Boots

November 27, 2015

It’s almost the end of November which, besides being entirely shocking (seriously – wasn’t it July just last week?), means I will soon wake up to a blanket of snow covering the ground. Sadly, the boots I’ve been wearing for the last two winters developed a hole in the toe in the spring so it’s time for some new boots.

If I had any sort of foresight I would have taken advantage of the end of season sales last spring to buy a new pair but since I didn’t, I’ve been trying to decide on a new pair while knowing that it could snow at any moment and I wouldn’t be prepared. If I had an unlimited budget this wouldn’t have been such a problem, but I’m heading to Africa in just under a month and I’ve got a lot of stuff I still need to buy for that trip, so the budget is tight.

Some people might think spending $200 on a pair of winter boots is a lot, and frankly I rather agree, but there are a few reasons I think spending the money is warranted:
  • I live in Canada. Yes, there are stereotypes (no I don’t live in an igloo or ski to work), but the reality is it gets cold, and it snows. Good winter boots are a bit of a necessity for living in Canada – kinda like maple syrup.
  • I hate the cold. Seriously. If I could figure out a way to only live in Canada during the spring, fall and summer I’d totally spend the winter months somewhere warmer.
  • It’s an almost 1km walk from my house to the subway, so I’m spending a lot of time walking on snowy, slushy, wintery sidewalks for more months than I'd like.
Winter boot options under $200
Here are some of the contenders:
  1. Cougar 39068 Original. My mom had these when I was little so these are a bit of a nostalgic choice. They’re also available in black, brown and red. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof $200
  2. Keen Elsa Boot. These are a bit less bulky than some of the others. I like the black, but they’re available in a bunch of different colours. Tag on the inside says rated to -20 degrees. Waterproof $140
  3. Cougar Puffy Zip. I really liked the idea of a zipped-up boot as they’re just easier to put on than the lace-up. I’m not sure the fur collar is quite ‘me’, but I think they’re rather fun. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof $195
  4. Cougar Keaton. These have a really cute zipper up the back and are also available in blue and black. I love that these are taller, but they’re only rated to -10 degrees so they might be better suited for spring and fall. $120
  5. Sorel 1964 Premium CVS. These are a classic too, and I like that the liner can come out to be washed. They’re available in black and army green, but I rather like the blue. Rated to -32 degrees $150
  6. Cougar Cheyenne 2. These are all leather, and felt more like shoes when I tried them on. Also available in red, brown and tan. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof. $190
Now I just need to decide. What do you wear? Any suggestions?

(for American readers I’ve linked the above to Canadian websites – you can check out some of the boots on Amazon here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Life Lately

I'm Baaaack!!!! Maybe

November 19, 2015

I'm back. Maybe. It's been over a year since I posted here last. Strangely it doesn't seem like all too long ago that I was revealing my bedroom, but in other ways it seems like forever ago.

I don't really have any one reason why I haven't been here in all that time. I was a bit burned out from redoing my bedroom for the one-room challenge, so I didn't post for a few weeks. And then it was Christmas, but we didn't do our traditional Christmas stuff last year, so I didn't have anything to share. After a while the idea of doing all the work for a blog post just seemed like more of a massive chore than something that I did for fun. Blogging takes time, and when it became something I felt like I 'had to do' versus something I 'like to do' I stopped doing it, and I felt little or no guilt about it.

After many, many months I started to miss blogging. I missed trying to think of creative things to do and then sharing them with you, but the problem was trying to figure out how to start again. I worried over what I would post about, and how it would be received. I worried that maybe those who read in the past would be disinterested in what I had to say now. I worried more that nobody noticed I was missing from the blogosphere during the time I was quiet. That self doubt became yet another reason for not posting - I spent so much time trying to think of just the right thing to say, to do, that I didn't actually get back to the actual act of blogging.

Here's the thing. All that worrying was stupid. It's not like this blog pays my bills (in fact it actually costs me money each year - the few ads in the sidebar don't begin to cover hosting fees, etc). So, I'm going to try something different. I'm going to try to stop pressuring myself to post on some sort of self-imposed schedule. I'm going to try to post about whatever I want, whenever I feel like it. In the past I've posted mostly about home decor stuff, and that might change. I might post about random stuff I saw that I loved, or I might write about something that drives me nuts.  Or I might stick to home decor, because I still love it.

Anyways, here are a few snapshots of what I've been up to in the past 12 months:

My ceiling caved in early January, which so soon after my bedroom adventures with plaster was not fun.
I was called for jury duty, which was beyond boring. After the first day of jury duty I went out for dinner with friends and ended up getting a ride in an ambulance when I fainted. That was a bit mortifying. As an FYI, in case you've never had the pleasure, you get a bill in the mail after you ride in an ambulance.
I tried to get back into running, and actually ran three races this year: The Sporting life 10K, in support of Camp Ooch
A post shared by Michelle (@eamonnandjack) on

The Nike Women's 15k on the Toronto Island
Instagram - Eamonnandjack
Got my very first piece of Tiffany & Co. jewelry yesterday and I only had to run 15k to get it ;) #greatrace #eventhoughitrained #Imabitsoretoday #butnotasmuchasifearediwouldbe #niketoronto #Nikewomen #nikewomens15k Originally posted on Instagram
And, just a  few weeks ago I ran the Adidas #Runmore 10k with Casey of Waffling Blog. I've got no pictures of that since it started at 1am and I forgot to charge my phone, but you can read her account here.

My immediate family traveled to Ireland in late July to celebrate my Nonna's 95th birthday with most of the Irish side of the family.
Nonna celebrates 95
My family with my Nonna. The last time the four of us were together was well over a year ago #Nonnacelebrates95 Originally posted on Instagram
I'm still taking Interior decorating courses at George Brown College. I want to have to renovate my bathroom in the spring, so I decided to take a bathroom design course this semester.

Coming up: my family isn't having a traditional Christmas again, so this time I got smart and decided to book an adventure of my own. I'll be spending Christmas day in Ireland with my grandma, but then I'm off on a 21 day tour of Ethiopia. I'm excited and a bit scared all at the same time. I have so much to do before I go, and not that much time to do it.
Gelada Monkey in the Ethiopian highlands
In just under 3 months I'll hopefully be seeing this guy and his friends while on a 21 day tour of Ethiopia. Some people have asked me why I want to travel there, and to that I can only answer 'why not'? The world is a huge amazing place - why would I not want to go see and experience all it has? Ethiopia may not be top of the list of dream travel destinations for many, but I think that makes it all the more attractive. Originally posted on Instagram
There you have it - some of the things I've been up to since I last posted here. Hope you missed me when I was gone ;)

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