Happy Canada Day

Today is Canada's 150th birthday. It's also Debbie Harry's birthday, and she's half as old as Canada. Weird, right? 

I celebrated today by not going outside at all, baking a cake, eating homemade pizza for dinner, watching Twin Peaks. Happy birthday, Canada. 

Today's my last day of No Sugar June, (once you account the extra day I needed to do because I slipped once) so I thought I would go over the pros and cons and my learnings from cutting out all forms of processed sugar for a month. 

Firstly, I didn't miss it nearly as much as I thought I would! Which is saying something. I love my sweets and I love baking. 

The toughest part was finding workarounds for regular meals... There's no adding maple syrup to oatmeal, no adding brown sugar to banana bread, no glazing salmon with honey... Even most sauces were off the table, including sriracha. (I had to switch to Cholula for the month, which was fine but I'm going right back to sriracha after this, that change wasn't worth it, lol.) 

I did end up cooking at home a LOT since eating out was virtually impossible. The only thing I found I could really eat was fries and that's not exactly the healthiest option. 

Pictured are: 

- A spinach puff my mom made (this was actually a bit of a "treat" but we made it from scratch so I was sure there was no sugar in it at least!) 
- Avocado toast w/ radishes and carrots and homemade hummus
- Grilled cheese with cucumber and apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon
- HOMEMADE BROWNIE using dates... my proudest achievement
- A buddha bowl incl. sweet potato, cuke, hummus, radishes... probably my favourite meal of the bunch. Buddha bowls are freakin delicious and you can just throw anything in there
- Mushroom pilaf w/ grilled chicken
- Stir fry with yellow peppers
- Shrimp stir fry w/ avocado and peppers
- Veal fricassee

Overall I really enjoyed cooking at home all the time, but did miss being able to go out and have a normal outing with friends. 

What I've most realized is that you need to appreciate a sweet treat or an occasion meal for what it is. I had two birthday parties this month and couldn't have a slice of cake at either! Sharing those moments with other people make them unique and fun and you have to acknowledge that for what it is. There's a difference between that and "treating yourself" to a cookie at Starbucks every other day. (And seriously--- if you're going to have a baked good.... Starbucks??? No. At least save that speciality for a real bakery or baking at home.) 

And now, here's a list of the things I desperately miss, even though I never really ate them that much before doing this challenge: 

- Rose wine, luxury ice cream (like... that Ben n Jerrys shit), beer, bacon, and cookies. 

I would say pizza too but I JUST figured out how to make pizza without sugar... the trick is apparently you don't fucking need sugar to make dough??? Who knew??? I was always under the assumption that yeast absolutely required sugar to feed on to activate.... Apparently not. Well FINE THEN. I made dough last night and have literally eaten nothing but pizza for the past 24 hours. I am cooking a pizza as I type and it has mozzarella, garlic, mushrooms, and parmesan on it and I can't wait to eat it. PIZZA DEPRIVED FOR A WHOLE MONTH FOR NO REASON. 

All in all, really glad I did this challenge. I think I lost about 2 in. off my waist which is fairly significant. I'm prepared to continue on, but will no longer be denying birthday cake. I'm going to a BBQ tomorrow and I'm eating a burger BUN AND ALL. With a glass of rose wine. 

Happy Canada Day, cheers y'all 

Cottage Weekend

Just a quick little June update. 

Not sure if I mentioned this in the last one but for all of June I am eating no sugar. That means: no processed sugar of any kind, no honey, no maple syrup. Natural fruit is okay, and the natural sugar that occurs in dairy is fine as well. Not sure if it's really had an effect on my body so far but I'm definitely in a better mental state. I started making art again, my head's a little clearer, and I think I've been sleeping better. We'll see. Two more weeks to go. I kind of miss cookies. I'll do a bigger update on this and the things I ate at the end of the month. 

Last weekend I headed up to Daniel's cottage for his birthday. A bunch of our friends were there and he and his girlfriend were great hosts. Check out the little gallery below. Lots of sitting on the deck and basking in the sun was done. 

I loooooooove that pic of Dan in the canoe. We went out pretty early on the second day (about 7:30 in the morning) and just took a quiet ride around the little bay. It was only my second time canoeing. My first time was the day before, with Ebony in front. She was a good teacher. ;) Can't keep her eyes open for a photo though. 

Pretty slow June otherwise. I've been busy at work. I saw a show on Saturday at Adelaide Hall. A band from Halifax called Nap Eyes headlined a Discogs-funded show. The room was sadly pretty empty, even though it was a free show!!! I felt pretty bad for the bands. Fake Palms and Dave Monks (of Tokyo Police Club fame) played as well. Fake Palms gotta equalize their sound... they're largely suffering from everything-too-much syndrome (but you could tell their songs were good... they just need a little balance.) Dave Monks had some good songs... some a little cheesy. And he went on for FAR TOO LONG in my opinion. He played well and over the amount of songs on his record. Not cool, 'cause then Nap Eyes only played for a little bit. And Nap Eyes sound fucking AMAZING. Just like their record, but better even. Synthia and I really liked the way he nodded his head in thanks every time the audience clapped... it was pretty adorable, you'll have to believe me. Below: Dave Monks on the left, Nap Eyes on the right. 

Vicky and I saw Wonder Woman last night. I teared up at Chris Pine's death (SORRY SPOILER ALERTTT) I really liked it. You done good DC. Those action scenes were on point. I wish the whole movie took place on Themeskira though. (Probably 100% spelled that incorrectly.) 

That's all I can think of that happened sooooo TTFN!

Nick Cave 1 + 2

I want to write a bit about the Nick Cave concerts while they're still fresh in my mind. 

I just got back from the second of a two-night residency that Nick Cave held at Massey Hall. The first night I had godawful gallery seats. Just WAY up there. I was also unexpectedly sitting in front of a curved, higher rail guard that I sort of had to peer through the middle of to see the show. It was, to say the least, annoying, and on stop of that, chilling in a seat is not the ideal way to watch a Nick Cave concert. 

Here's a pic that I took during Red Right Hand. As you can see, I AM VERY FAR AWAY. 

Here's a pic that I took during Red Right Hand. As you can see, I AM VERY FAR AWAY. 

On the SECOND night, I had a floor seat, but it was at the very back. Well fuckkkk that. People got wise to the fact that everyone would be standing and started milling around the stage long before the lights went down. We unfortunately got shunned away by staff the first time around but made our way up there eventually. 

Nick spent a lot of time at our end of the stage which was really nice. I didn't have the best position in all the world.... for about the first 40 minutes I was sandwiched very awkwardly between three dudes, and I mean to the point where I could not move my arms. Thankfully I was able to move to a place where I had a bit more room, but then I ended up with a VERY tall burly dude in front of me. It wasn't so bad because Nick gets really "up in there" with his audience so I had a good view of him unless he went to the left side of the stage. 

He jumped into the crowd a few times and I had to put both my hands on his chest to support him while other people were grabbing his legs and arms. Report: he was very sweaty. Incredibly sweaty. Not as sweaty as the time I saw him in Osheaga, but still. 

I didn't take any pics because I have a feeling he hates that. The guy next to me would film even when he was right on top of us and Nick actually grabbed his phone in a mocking way. There's no bone in my body that ever wants to disappoint Nick Cave, so I took no photos. 

Thankfully that's the last BIG concert I have until BLONDIE at the end of July. I'm seeing The Highest Order open for someone on July 8, and then July Talk on July 21 (lol July-July)... but kinda done with concerts for a tiny while. 

In other news: Today was the first day of NO SUGAR CHALLENGE. I've roped myself and some other people into going no-sugar for June. I just want to: lose weight, force myself to eat better, force myself to read labels, and be healthier all around. You know what has sugar in it? Fucking EVERYTHING. 

Today I ate: a banana-berry-spinach smoothie, half a cuppa tea, a Pink Lady apple, a grilled goat cheese/cucumber/spinach sandwich, a flat white, and then another grilled cheese/tempeh/spinach sandwich for dinner because I HAVE NO FOOD AND ONLY BREAD AND CHEESE. (The bread is made without sugar, btw.) I definitely can't live on only grilled cheeses for the rest of the month as that kinda negates the point of this whole healthy thing but it got me through the first day. And also there's just no ingredients to be working with in my apartment so I'm doing the best I got with what I have. 

Visiting my mom this weekend. Just want to sleep in. :( 

Seeing All The Shows

Soooo many things have happened since I last posted. 

Firstly, The Jesus and Mary Chain concert was great. In every direction there was no one sitting in the seats around me, so I wasn't cramped, and had a great, clear view. Pic below! 

That same weekend was Mother's Day so my sister and I took our mom out to brunch in Creemore. We stopped quickly in Creemore Brewery before brunch, but I'm the only one out of the three of us who will drink beer so I had a taste of some kind of raspberry wheat beer. (It was.... not the best, lol.) 

Here's some pics from the brunch place. They had a pretty floor. 

Vicky bought me a cupcake on the same day but the only one's left were Mother's Day themed, haha.Please also appreciate with me how beautiful Boxcar makes their drinks look. 

Two days later, on Tuesday, we checked out Band and a Movie, which is a free show sponsored by Indie88 in which a band plays on the theatre stage of The Royal, and then we all sit in the audience and watch the band's favourite movie. They picked The Big Lebowski, which I've seen, but it's a classic, so it was great. The band was also very GRL POWER and I loved them! 

The weekend after that (of the 19th) was my little nephew's second birthday. I made him a cake. My sister wanted me to make it construction themed. Unfortunately my apartment's oven may as well be a hundred years old and overcooks everything (read: dry) but I think it turned out looking OK. 

The same weekend, Vicky, Nadine and I saw a screening of Spice Girls at The Royal, and on Victoria Day Vicky and I marathoned the entire Pirates of the Caribbean series as a refresher on what the hell has happened to that storyline. 

We made QUICHE and CINNAMON BUNS and both were amazing. Our first batch of dough for the buns failed HARD (didn't rise at all) but I convinced her (and myself) that we should try again. I'm glad we did because our second batch came out GREAT and we may or may not have both eaten two cinna buns each. And two slices of quiche. It was a gluttonous day and I wouldn't have it any other way.

(Below: Vicky stabbing the quiche as I realize I should probably take a pic of our masterpiece, but we COULD NOT WAIT and began eating immediately. The buns I somehow got a pic of before we collectively demolished four of them in a two hour span.)

I had a SUPER BUSY MONTH OF social events, in case you couldn't tell. 

This week I'm on now is turning into the WEEK OF CONCERTS. 

On Saturday Vicky and I checked out a musician I like by the name of Simone Schmidt. Her solo project is called Fiver, and it was an intimate show in a venue I'd never been in before called Array Space. She was promoting her later album. She's got a definite folky vibe but a beautiful voice and an incredible amount of talent. She had quite a few extremely talented musicians accompanying her as well. The show was great, and Simone had very interesting stories to tell between each song. No pics because the setting was so close and quiet... I felt a little awkward taking my phone out (didn't wanna be THAT guy) but below is a track from her latest album if you're curious.

So that was Saturday night. Sunday night I had tickets to see Sigur Ros play at Echo Beach. Great performance from them as always, and now my fourth time seeing them! (How does my phone currently take worse and/or equivalent photos to those my Blackberry took in 2012? Like REALLY?)

TONIGHT (Monday) I won tickets to see Land of Talk play at The Baby G. A sweet little show, I've loved "Some Are Lakes" for a long time and have never seen her play in person, so that was a fun experience. 

Tuesday night I thankfully have nothing (SIT HOME. RELAX. DO DISHES. RELAX.) and then BOTH Wednesday and Thursday I'm seeing Nick Cave perform at Massey Hall which I am SO EXCITED ABOUT. I've had these tickets forEVER and the day is finally here. 

Will hopefully right more about that later this week! 

Phew! That's a lot of shows and social events. REALLY proud of how much I'm keeping to my New Year's Goal of seeing more local shows. It's the only New Year's Resolution I've EVER kept. :)

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 

--

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.