Steak for Four, Thanks

Alright: last night I ate more food than I have ever eaten in one sitting, ever. 

I won this three-course meal for four from Entice Culinary Lounge, and brought the girls from work. Get ready for this absurdly long list of things I tried: 

Cheesy Gnocchi, grilled octopus, mushroom tart, korean beef ribs, a 12 oz. ribeye steak + fries, and dessert, which was CARNIVAL themed and included a candy apple, caramel popcorn, deep fried nutella oreos, a cake pop, and cotton candy. All of this was supplemented with a $60 bottle of wine, and a glass of sparkling for everyone at the table. 

I HAVE NEVER HAD SUCH AN EXPENSIVE MEAL IN MY LIFE. 

We actually did the math on what it would have cost... well over a $400 bill for the whole table. Below is Victoria very excited about her bison entree, Sam taking a picture of that, and my carnival-ride dessert. 

Anyways, I ate so much that I couldn't sleep on my stomach, it was disgusting but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Completely forgot in my last blog to mention that I visited Melina on the weekend solely so that I could pet her awesome new dog, Niña, a very hyper, lovely little shitzu girl who liked me. :) 

Look at Niña! She's the best. 

Tonight's Jesus & Mary Chain at Massey Hall. Busy weekend ahead!

Sew Awesomeee

Yesterday I attended my first sewing class EVER at The Workroom. And I LOVED it. We learned to sew a pillowcase. Sewing is one of those skills that a bunch of people seemed to learn in high school or somewhere else, but I never did. I was pretty damn excited about this pillowcase and if anyone wants to jazz up their couch, let me know. 

My end goal with the whole sewing thing is to be able to sew quilts. I fucking LOVE quilts but I think a lot of them that you see are made with really lame grandma fabrics... I am desperate to make my own colour combos and see what kind of modern quilts I can come up with. I'm still a far ways away from being able to do that, but that's the end goal. I also don't think there could possibly be a better gift. Like, "hey, here's a thing that I spent hours and hours of my life laboriously making for you, I hope it keeps you warm and makes you feel safe and cozy."

Anyways. Below is my pillow. I love my pillow. 

What else has happened recently... 

This past weekend I gathered some people together to go to Good Enough Live Karaoke. Absolutely awesome, as always... Although I'm starting to learn the lesson that I'm just not destined to sing crowd-pleasers. The songs I really know ~to my soul~ are those minor key, fuckin' sad-as-hell songs. I have the best time doing those and I think it shows... It also would really help if I could learn to pick a song that I know 100000% off by heart. You can have more fun with the audience that way. I sang Dancing in the Dark and pretty sure I fudged some lines or maybe even skipped a whole verse? Who knows... (Also: my friends started chanting my name before I even started singing. Best people ever. Never felt more like a rock star. Not sure it was justified by my singing, but it was kind of fun seeing people I didn't even know join in and chant my name, haha.)

Vicky and I walked 7 miles (basically the length of downtown Toronto and back) yesterday so I could pick up supplies for my sewing class. I love our walks around Toronto. We mused that we talk 60% about food, 30% boys, and 10% things we see on the street. That's kind of how I like it, though, haha. 

Tomorrow the girls from work and I are going to a FREE dinner that I won from Entice Lounge. Will have to update on that because FREE FOOD is the BEST FOOD. I'm also seeing The Jesus & Mary Chain on Friday, which should be a good show. I'm not a die-hard fan but it's something I'd still love to see. 

Alright well this lunch is running long, gonna cut it here.

It Was a Gas

This past Tuesday I attended a Choir!Choir!Choir session. I've always wanted to go but it was something that required a little emotional support. Luckily found a coworker who actually enjoys singing and went with me. We didn't know what song it was going to be until the day before: Blondie, Heart of Glass. PERFECT!!! Matched up quite well with the intense Blondie phase I've been going through lately. 

I even had a Blondie shirt that came in the mail the day before, something I had ordered from an Etsy shop in the UK. Absolute best timing ever. This is a picture of the shop owner wearing it (she looks a lot cooler than I do.)

I also feel like I got zero'd in on once the camera guy was filming our final takes, because to be fair: it's a pretty bold shirt. I felt like I was going to stumble over all the words with a camera a foot from my face, but I did "ok". (I think.) 

Anyways, it was super fun and I would 100000% go again (dependent on song choice). I don't think it's something I could keep up with every week, props to the people who are constants! 

The day after, a few coworkers and I had scheduled a mug-making class for ourselves at 4Cats in the junction. We made ridiculous flamingo mugs. See below. 

We left way more stressed out than when we arrived, which is the opposite effect we were hoping for. The class moves VERY FAST and you kind of have to pay attention to the instructions for the next step while your hands are still working on the last one. We scraped it together though, and our mugs all looked pretty dang good if I do say so myself. Here's hoping that they don't explode in the kiln in a million tiny sad pieces. 

We headed to Indie Alehouse after and I ate a delicious shanghai fried chicken sandwich and the Barnyard IPA. Indie Alehouse, you never fail me. I also convinced the girls to get a round of popcorn even though we work for a theatre company because you haven't known true joy until you've eaten popcorn covered in bacon and parmesan. 

Last night Vicky and I walked to Fresh on Bloor (our new favourite place to eat). I think we've dined there at least 5-6 times in the past two months. My salad was roughly a foot tall and included all of the following: mixed sprouts, roasted nuts, sundried tomatoes, grilled tofu, soba noodles, edamame, napa cabbage, mint and a tahini dressing. There was a LOT going on but it worked somehow. Also it was topped with flower petals because Fresh likes to be ~*extra*~. 

To sum up: I need to stop eating out so much. 

I'm seeing Dilly Dally tonight. Bye bye, Silver Dollar! Last show I'm see at you, ever! Please don't punch me in the face, anyone! 

Infinite Easter

This past weekend was Easter weekend. I went to my mom's house on Saturday and spent the entire day baking. I think I successfully made my first legitimately good-looking cake, which obviously means that I forgot to take a picture of it completed. In total I made over a dozen "bird's nest" cookies (thanks to an AWESOME recipe from Butter Baked Goods. If you ever need a baking cookbook, trust in Butter. I've tried countless recipes from them and have never had anything fail or taste bad.), hot cross buns (also from Butter), and a three-tier carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing and Swiss Meringue buttercream. (The most moist beautiful cake I have ever made.) 

Below are a few pics from the baking process. (Pic 1: hot cross bun dough waiting to rise, then the beautiful little buns!!! I find them cute... Pic 3+4 are my bird's nest before and after filling...)

I really love baking and think if I were to ever quit my job, I'd open a bake shop where I would just play records all day and bake cookies and cupcakes. THAT'S THE DREAM. (Bakers have to start their days ridiculously early though... that might be a problem.)

Also look at this pic of my nephew hugging his baby cousin for the first time. B'AWW. Also don't look at the pic of me from graduation in the background, lol. #bangs 

Also look at this pic of my nephew hugging his baby cousin for the first time. B'AWW. Also don't look at the pic of me from graduation in the background, lol. #bangs 

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On another note, I watched a Buzzfeed video about girls who seriously tracked their spending habits and it made me want to sit back and look at mine this week as well. I still ended up spending $32.00 yesterday on a Nick Cave record from Vinyl Me, Please. (The Boatman's Call on red smoke marbled vinyl!!! I had to!) + $2.00 on an iced coffee. Fail. Going to try to make these Easter leftovers ride until Friday. (Unlikely.) 

I'm also trying to finish Infinite Jest again. 2017: The year I finish Infinite Jest?! Maybe???? I think I've been "reading" Infinite Jest for like 3 years now... :/ 

A 20-Year Blog???

I've been inspired lately to start writing regularly to this blog. I discovered the blog of someone who I don't really know, but who has kept a blog for nearly 20 years and I thought, "Hey... that's something I'd like to do. That's something I'd like to look back on." For the most part it's probably going to be largely mundane and boring and "Hey I bought this bag of peas today" but that's kind of how I want it.

So here goes. The start of my (20+ years?) blog. (For reals.) 

I guess I better at least recap a couple of things that happened so far this year, to bring me up to speed. I'll start with last night. 

I met Margaret Atwood. 

Margaret. Fuckin'. Atwood. HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. An icon. 

She was doing a book signing at the Eaton Centre to promote the new TV show based on her novel, The Handmaid's Tale. (Which looks amazing, by the way, and I can't wait to watch it.) 

Her books were the ones that genuinely got me interested in reading outside of an educational space. (Other than Harry Potter but I mean COME ON GUYS who didn't read Harry Potter.)  I, like many Canadian youth, read Oryx & Crake in high school and subsequently swallowed her entire catalogue whole. My favourite at the time was The Penelopiad, which I remember being wickedly smart. 

Margaret gave a short half-hour speech about various topics relating to the book/show and then took a couple questions from the audience and then did the book signing. 

Below are blurry excited photos I took of her as she walked by me and then a photo of the talk, and a photo of her autograph in my copy of the The Handmaid's Tale

I'm really going to make a better effort to read more this year. I've already read Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Munro (Sadly, I didn't really like this, sorry Nick!), Atwood's Hag-Seed (I enjoyed this, but I've never read The Tempest so I think I "missed" a lot of what it was talking about), and Nabokov's Pnin (The first Nabokov novel I've ever read, and I really fell in love with how he's able to describe mannerisms. I often found myself saying aloud, "That's such an interesting way to describe that!" to myself. Because I'm a weirdo.) 

I'm currently halfway through Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis (a throwback recommendation from my pal, Ben Gordon) and REALLY enjoying it so far. It's set in Toronto, and is about a bunch of dogs that acquire "human intelligence" from a couple of gods that place a bet on whether any of them will die happy. It's wild and insanely original and I can't wait to finish it. (Edit: A couple hours and a bag of chips later, I finished it and I cried at the end. What a brilliant little novel.)

On another note, I've also joined a Mixtape Club. I got an invite from a friend's husband to be a part of a secret group with an aim to share playlists and essentially become friends with strangers over music you all like. It's been a great way to meet people and find new music. 

On the topic of new music, I'm sticking to my New Year's resolution of seeing more local shows this year. Previous to January, my knowledge of Toronto's local music scene was practically nil. Like, I probably could not have named a single local band if you asked me to. I didn't like that feeling, and I love music, so this just didn't make sense to me. I didn't even know what half the venues of Toronto looked like on the inside. 

I started off the year by attending a "Toronto Women in Music" show at The Baby G, with acts Nyssa, Peeling, Vallens, and Beliefs on the lineup. Jesse Crowe of Beliefs is actually my hairdresser, a wonderful person and (I can now confirm), excellent musician. I think she's got a billion projects on the go at once and totally does it while somehow also being the coolest person I know.

I also stepped into The Silver Dollar Room for the first time. I know. I KNOW. An institution. Which is now closing down. I'm sorry! The good news is, now due to my new-fangled obsession with local shows, I'll be supporting venues across the city much more over the next couple of months. 

I saw The Highest Order play there on February 25, and it was SO GOOD. I became sort of enamoured with the music of The Highest Order over the holiday break (Thanks to a blog post from June Records, only the best record store in the city...) and jumped on the opportunity to see them live in a venue with such historical impact. Lesley and Cameron came along even though they'd never heard them before and I think they had a good time. The band played a double set, the sound was amazing, the room was packed. It was perfect.

I don't know how else to describe their music other than "folk rock that will make to feel so damn good." Buy their record. Love them like I do. Thank you. 

The next morning Lesley, Cameron, and I woke up and I made a full english breakfast and we watched Star Trek episodes and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Just going to take this moment to say that Lesley and Cameron are the tops. 

On April 5, I went back to The Silver Dollar Room to see Allison Crutchfield and Vagabon. There were two other opening acts but pals from TMC (The Mixtape Club) and I were busy having a pint at Trinity Common. The show was alright, but the sound fucked up and there was a ton of unfortunate feedback. And the sets were super short. I think Vagabon only played for 20 minutes. Still enjoyed myself though, and love the pop rock indie vibes of Allison's latest record.

I think I'm discovering that a lot of people don't go to shows just because they "think no one wants to go" but 9/10 when I ask someone if they want to come to a show with me, they say yes. Even if they have no idea who's playing. That's the way it should be! 

What else has happened... not a lot that I can remember. I'm working on a big rebrand of a huge business at work that I can't talk about yet, and in general am trying to up my illustration game by drawing a lot more often and bringing a lot of my work back into the digital sphere. 

This is already a pretty lengthy post so I'm going to cut it off here.

 

Chapters Indigo Holiday Preview 2014

Once again, I was invited again to the Indigo seasonal preview. Hilariously, my last post is also about an Indigo preview. Unreliable Blogger Award 2014. (Or, if you're an Indigo employee... at least I'm consistent with you.) 

There were some pretty neat items available this time around, so I'll get right into the pictures. 

Everyone's favourite item (including mine) seemed to be these gorgeous gold-rimmed cocktail glasses. These also came as martini or water glasses (at least I think they were water glasses.) There were other glasses as well that had some decoration and pattern on them, and while those are great for the holidays or more special occasions, what I kind of like about these is that you can use them year round. They're really versatile, but classy.

I also can't go without mentioning that cheeky print. Now that's definitely something you can't have up year round (or maybe you can, if you're weird like that) but I laughed out loud when I saw it. It's just so blunt, and I like that that kind of humour is coming around.

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There was another print on the mantle... "I'm feeling tipsy and fresh." Speaking of fresh, check out that mantle decoration. I'm actually loving the lack of red here. The green and white feels so clean together.

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Something else I laughed at. I love this dry humour. Nothing. No. Just no. (Between you and me, the other side says "yes" on it, but we can pretend it doesn't.)

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There were these adorable little bottles of syrup on display as well. First of all, packaging: awesome. Simple. Cute. Second of all... spiced apple syrup? Uhhh yes. Yep. I'm for it. Although I wondered... what would I do with this? Cocktails? Food? Something? Turns out.... all of those things. Go to this link. You're gonna want to click that. It's worth it for the photography alone... a little teaser...

Image from the Morris Kitchen website. Look at it. It looks delicious. Also this photo slays all of my dinky iPhone photos. And I want those cups. 

Image from the Morris Kitchen website. Look at it. It looks delicious. Also this photo slays all of my dinky iPhone photos. And I want those cups. 

What is possibly the most exciting part of attending these previews is the lovely gift bag you leave with at the end. Kudos to the Indigo team on putting these together. Included were various things including an ornament, a wall decoration (It could be a number sign, but I like to think that it's a sharp symbol, which would be perfect for an above-keyboard wall gallery), cozy socks and other goodies...

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To point out some of my favourite items...

This bottle of hand cream by The Soap & Paper Factory of NY is adorable. The bottle itself looks just like the box too. This particular scent is "Snow Drop" which is described as a "Creamy peppermint". I can smell the peppermint, but there's a bit of a floral scent to it as well. It does dry rather quickly, although I accidentally squeezed out waaaaay too much (well, really, it sort of burst out) so the smell is a bit overwhelming, but I can imagine if you only used a little it'd be a lot easier to wear. (Plus it's just so cute, y'all)

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Included also were these ridiculously thick and amazing knit socks. Seriously. They're so thick they're practically boots. And so soft inside. I wore them for this photo and my feet were sweating, which is AWESOME because my apartment gets really cold in the winter and I'm gonna need 'em. 

And you know I wouldn't be able to last five minutes in my house without busting open this cookies and cream candy bar. Delish. I also love love love the plaid tissue paper. I want rolls upon rolls of it. 

Also I lied when I said the glasses were my favourite. Drunken makeup-wearing Santa is my favourite. It will always be my favourite. I need ten of them.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Josh & the Indigo team for the invite. 

A.

Chapters Indigo Fall Preview 2014

I was lucky enough to be invited to drop by the Chapters Indigo Fall Preview yesterday afternoon. Today is a bit of a relaxing day for me so I thought I'd put on the Camera Obscura, sit down, and write out a proper blog post about it. 

  The preview setup. I thought the leaves dangling from the ceiling were a nice decorative element. It definitely felt like fall in here. There weren't actually too many people so I had a good opportunity to look at things closely.

 

The preview setup. I thought the leaves dangling from the ceiling were a nice decorative element. It definitely felt like fall in here. There weren't actually too many people so I had a good opportunity to look at things closely.

  The table setup. I was in love with all the copper elements, and I think the textures here are working well together (between the copper, wood, and fabric, and bread, it feels rustic, as it should.)

 

The table setup. I was in love with all the copper elements, and I think the textures here are working well together (between the copper, wood, and fabric, and bread, it feels rustic, as it should.)

  I'm a sucker for anything gold/black. It's probably my favorite combo of "colors" imaginable. I might even buy one of these candles just because of the packaging, but they also happened to be my favorite scent among the options. The Voluspa website describes it as a "warm, exotic mixture of light amber, vanilla benzoin, and Indonesian patchouli." Hey... I know some of those words!

 

I'm a sucker for anything gold/black. It's probably my favorite combo of "colors" imaginable. I might even buy one of these candles just because of the packaging, but they also happened to be my favorite scent among the options. The Voluspa website describes it as a "warm, exotic mixture of light amber, vanilla benzoin, and Indonesian patchouli." Hey... I know some of those words!

  Again with the black and gold. I am a big fan of "plain" purses... in other words, things are aren't embellished to oblivion, which is why I loved these little wristlets. Excellent for a day about town.

 

Again with the black and gold. I am a big fan of "plain" purses... in other words, things are aren't embellished to oblivion, which is why I loved these little wristlets. Excellent for a day about town.

  OK. This is the worst photo ever BUT check. out. these. mason jar. shot glasses. Shot glasses. Whaaaaaaat. May have audibly gasped when I saw them. So stinkin' cute. 

 

OK. This is the worst photo ever BUT check. out. these. mason jar. shot glasses. Shot glasses. Whaaaaaaat. May have audibly gasped when I saw them. So stinkin' cute. 

  These Pluck teas caught my eye as well. Check out these flavors. Niagara Icewine. Is this a joke? I need this. Right now. The one behind it is "Smoky Maple" which sounds the perfect "windows-open-reading-a-book-fall-time" tea. But seriously... Niagara Icewine. I need this.

 

These Pluck teas caught my eye as well. Check out these flavors. Niagara Icewine. Is this a joke? I need this. Right now. The one behind it is "Smoky Maple" which sounds the perfect "windows-open-reading-a-book-fall-time" tea. But seriously... Niagara Icewine. I need this.

  Last on my Indigo Faves list was this "Today is a good day" pillow (which I'm pretty sure that all of us who attended the preview took the exact same photo.) It just demands attention... and to be honest, I'm not usually one for "words on objects", I think it can easily drift into the realm of cliché, but this pillow is kind of neat. It might be the use of the bold, plain font that helps it's design, now that I think about it, but it works. If anything, it at least inspires me to want to take up embroidery or something. 

 

Last on my Indigo Faves list was this "Today is a good day" pillow (which I'm pretty sure that all of us who attended the preview took the exact same photo.) It just demands attention... and to be honest, I'm not usually one for "words on objects", I think it can easily drift into the realm of cliché, but this pillow is kind of neat. It might be the use of the bold, plain font that helps it's design, now that I think about it, but it works. If anything, it at least inspires me to want to take up embroidery or something. 

All in all, the preview was a pretty neat experience! I think the set up was beautiful and now all I want is a hot cup of tea and something.... anything... that has maple in it. I think the great thing about Chapters is that it really does support independent businesses by opening up their product to a larger audience. Brands like Drip Maple, Studio Patro, Rifle Paper Co., Knot & Bow, Honeycomb Studio, among others (those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head) are all brands that I personally enjoy and love to see grow larger and become more successful. It's also a great way to make it much more accessible to the Canadian market. I think Chapters also focuses on finding and promoting products with good design which is so important to me! At the end of the preview, I walked away with a little gift bag that had a mug and candle and a copy of Covet Garden which I dove into immediately. (No Pluck Tea though... sad Andrea.) 

On another note, I realize I rarely write blog posts. It's something that I'd like to get into doing more, but I won't be promising it to anyone. I think when I first started writing, I worried about having to write about what other people cared about, and then never wrote anything. But really, this blog is for me, just to write about interesting things that happen.... to me. So the next post might be this weekend, maybe a week from now, or maybe longer than that. We'll see! Thanks for reading. 

A.

Art Roundup: Screenprints

I've decided to start a series on here of art roundups. I like to think that after four years of art school, I might have a good eye for art that'd be great for the home. 

This week I'm focusing on screen prints. Screen prints are great because they're one-of-a-kind artworks, but generally cost way less than an original painting or drawing would. When I'm looking for a good screen print, I always make sure it's hand-pulled (in other words, not made by a machine), uses few colours, and has a modern, clean design. 

All of the works I choose will most likely come from Etsy, since it's a great way to support artists and there's usually less shipping restrictions. 

These are my picks of the week...

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1. Kitchen , boyounillo, $27 CAD
2. Trigger
esscrossdavis, $30 CAD
3. Sycamore Pattern w/ William Blake QuoteBSJPrints, $103 CAD
4. Life, Death, ActWilliamLeeHolt, $59 CAD
5. AranaMalotaShop, $69 CAD
6. Floral Man Silhouettemethanestudios, $22 CAD
7. Smokestacks, East Rivereconographics, $161 CAD
8. Cape Girlhellojenuine, $24 CAD
9. Work is LoveJamesBrownPrints, $78

Hope you enjoyed that! Looking forward to doing more roundups soon.

AZ

DIY: A 1960's Couch Reupholstery Project

This post has been a long time coming. And I mean a long time. After recently moving to Toronto, I realized.... I really needed something to sit on. Milk crates and the floor were just not going to cut it. But I wasn't about to take on any hand-me-down or ugly thrift store couch. Then I'd probably have it for years and it would sit in my living room and I would silently loathe it every time I saw it. 

I knew I wanted something modern, chic, something that would last me a long time and that would also be really versatile. So I started a project. I decided I wanted to reupholster a couch. Wooooow easier said than done, let me tell you. I'd be totally lying if I said I did it on my own too - I definitely got copious amounts of help from my mom and my neighbour. Check out these pictures of the transformation... 

Unfortunately this is the best picture I have of the couch from the front in its entire "before" mode. The fabric had this yellow, satiny paisley flower sort of pattern... very not cool. But the style? Hella fabulous. I needed this couch.

Unfortunately this is the best picture I have of the couch from the front in its entire "before" mode. The fabric had this yellow, satiny paisley flower sort of pattern... very not cool. But the style? Hella fabulous. I needed this couch.

From the side. You can see the color more clearly here. Still sitting in the thrift shop, just waiting to be bought by me.

After I bought it... the removing of staples began. So. many. staples. Enough staples to end me. I got through it.... barely. But it's important to pull them all out so that when you go to staple your new fabric in, your staples are less likely to bounce back and cause problems.

Obligatory instagram shot. We had to take the couch apart. Its held together literally by maybe 4 bolts. You can see the wood frame is still excellent. Benefits of buying an older couch.

When we took the cushions off, we saw this little tag on the fabric...

When we took the cushions off, we saw this little tag on the fabric...

...oh. Well that's kind of neat! So I know the couch is at least a couple years older than 1968.

Like I said, enlist the help of someone who SERIOUSLY knows how to sew, if you don't. (I don't.) My neighbour was kindly enough to help us out... As you can see, I chose a grey neutral fabric. I knew exactly what I had in mind before I even bought the couch.

Pokin' the holes for the buttons. Long strings get pulled through the back and pulled taut through a bit of batting so that the buttons don't get loose over time.

Recovering the cushions. Lots of batting. Cushions were probably the toughest part. The ends required a bunch of hand sewing.

Stapling on the dust cover. Easiest part of the whole process, and maybe most satisfying as its also the last part!

Putting it back together again. Kind of scary. Praying it'll be alright!

DONE. I forgot to take pictures of the cushions as they were being sewn. They're not perfect.... I sewed the piping... I know, I'm talentless. I think maybe I would get them done by a professional if I were to ever reupholster something again. It's really difficult to get the corners perfect. Props to people who can sew worth a dime.

How it looks actually in the apartment now. I think the entire process took maybe 12-15 hours, but all those hours happened over a couple busy months, so it feels really... REALLY good to have this couch now. I can see myself getting it redone again in the very far future, mainly because I love this style of couch so much and I think the frame will last a long time.

So glad to finally be done, but there's alway another project I have on my to-do list. Next: DIY wooden stump table? Maybe some pillow cushion covers for the new couch (argh, sewing!) Also my Etsy shop is still in the works so I'm working on that steadily. Excited about it! Thanks for reading! 

AZ

 

BlogPodium 2013

Has it really been nearly two weeks since BlogPodium? This post is certainly long overdue. I found BlogPodium to be a great chance to network and meet a ton of innovative and creative people. Regardless of the fact that this blog is barely in the bud, I feel I learned much from the panel talks and it was overall a wonderful experience.

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The day started off with breakfast! Hooray! (I had a croissant. It was delicious.) We had a chance to mingle and I met Casey, Alex, and Lynne, (Lovely ladies, all.) Our seats also had lovely packages ready for us, including our name tags, ("Andrea Zadro Design"... it sounds so real.), notebooks, and these Home Depot keys that gave us a chance to win prizes. 

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First stop on our schedule was the Home Depot Workshop. I got some great shots of other bloggers working with the tools. Above is Alex putting her fingers in some sort of perilous danger. 

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And here's my sister, Danica, working the nail gun! I actually ended up winning that nail gun. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but, hey... who wouldn't want one? 

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Later on I checked out the vendor booths... tons of great displays. My favorites were the Indigo (above) and Urban Barn displays. I'm a bit disappointed that there was no West Elm booth this year! Maybe next time. 

I attended several panels throughout the day but my favorite was probably the one put on by Gabriel from The Artful Desperado. He had a lot of information to share that was geared towards people hoping to gain a job through their blog. He also gave a ton of really specific tips for keeping up with your blog and for practicing self-promotion. 

Plus his Powerpoint had Beyonce gifs, and you know I loved it.  

Overall it was a great experience, I think I'd like to attend again next year, but hopefully having put more of a stamp on the blogging world. I have quite a few plans for this blog, including foodie posts, DIYs, and Etsy roundups (which I love to do!) 

Thanks again to all the folks I met at BlogPodium, you were all wonderful! 

AZ