Robin Update

The Jackson 5 are providing the soundtrack for this post.

The robin’s nest has been moved! I felt like they moved in under false advertising. They built the nest on Monday when I was sick and didn’t leave the house once. They had no idea that the door that was a foot away from their nest is typically a high traffic area. I decided that if there were no eggs I would grab the nest and move it in to a tree in the backyard. I made the switch yesterday afternoon. The robins are still hanging around the backyard but I haven’t seen them around the nest so I’m thinking they’ve abandoned it. I’m on the lookout for a new nest!


Tailor Made Dress

We got engaged 1 week before I left for a 6 month stint teaching in Beijing. There was no time for dress shopping and we planned to have the wedding that summer. I was on a pretty tight budget so I knew China would be the place to get my dream dress. I started at the Wukesong Wedding Dress Market. This would be the cheapest option but check out the type of beauties I found:

Well it is a military wedding. This one could work!

I decided to go the tailor route. I had pictures of some dresses I liked. The one that stood out the most for me was the dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in the movie Funny Face and designer Dolly Couture’s take on it.

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Look Who’s Moved In

Speaking of putting a bird on it…

The last few days have been particularly rainy and dreary. My backyard seems to have become a hangout for robins. They are my favourite sign of Spring. I was home sick from work yesterday and  every time I went into the kitchen I saw a robin flying directly towards the window above the sink. It started to feel like deja vu and I was thinking it was some sort of flu induced hallucination. I had totally forgot about it until this morning when I came back from getting my car fixed and saw this:

I’m not sure how to deal with this. I love robins and I’m okay to not disturb their nest if I know they are only going to be temporary guests. How long do robin eggs take to hatch??My fear is that I will have to compete with protective mommy robin every time I go out the door. Also could another bird move in when these guys move on? Maybe I should just move it ASAP before any eggs are laid. But where to? Lots of research to do today!

Put a Bird on it!

Portlandia might just be the greatest show of all time.

I wish I had taken a before shot of this lamp. I found it in someone’s Spring clean up pile a few years ago and couldn’t let it hit the trash. Imagine it faded black with no shade. That’s how it sat for almost 2 years in our basement, waiting for Bryce Shivers and Linda Eversman to inspire me to “Put a Bird on it!”

The fabric is  hand-me-down African fabric from my mother in law. I had checked out lots of “how to” tutorials for covering a lamp shade but in the end I just did my own thing. I started by making a pattern out of paper that went half way around the lamp. That let me pick out the exact portion of the fabric that I wanted to use. I used a spray on adhesive to keep the fabric in place and then tacky glue to do the edges. I trimmed the excess fabric and then folded it over the edges. I didn’t want to use any sort of trim so I glued bias tape along the inside top and bottom.

For the paint I used Weather Sheild Rust Coat in Gloss Yellow. No need to prime! I started the process on a visit home and my mom had to finish it up for me because we ran out of time. It had to be sprayed from so many angles! I grabbed a big marble out of my toy bin for work to glue on top because it looked like it was missing something (literally, I think the top of the lamp was gone).

Did you notice the bird is sideways? I didn’t…but I like him that way. It’s kind of an awkward giant lamp so I haven’t found a permanent home for it yet. Perhaps I should decorate the spare bedroom around it!

Lazy Sunday Lasagna

It’s rainy and cold here today so I just wanted to have a lazy, do nothing Sunday. I’ve really been trying to get in the habit of freezing some portioned out meals for the week so I decided to make and freeze a lasagna. A few months ago I made a recipe out of my mom’s Canadian Living Step by Step cookbook and loved it. It used sausage meat that added a unique flavour. I found this online and I’m pretty sure it’s the same lasagna.

Canadian Living Meat Lasagna with Spinach and Sausage

I made a few changes to the recipe.

  • Grated the carrots instead of chopped them.
  • Added grated zucchini in with the veggies.
  • Used oven-ready noodles (because I’m lazy!)
  • Adjusted the baking time by 15-20 mins because their time never seems to be long enough.
Meat filling on the stove. Yum!
Ready to go in the oven.
It turned out great! I cut it into 2 serving portions to make for some easy suppers!

First Post! Gallery Wall Progress

I should head this up by saying I don’t believe in measuring. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t make a straight line so I decided to go for the intentionally sloppy look.

Starting from the left, these are the pics:

  1. Nova Scotia print to remind us of home. I wish I could remember the artist. Bought at Love Me Boutique in Halifax, a very cool shop of things handmade across Canada.
  2. Guinness t-shirt that  I bought in Dublin 7 years ago and wore to death.
  3. My “Year of the Rat” stamps. The top one is Chinese from 1984, given to me by one of my students in Shanghai. The bottom one is Canadian from 2008 and the same as the one I gave the same student.
  4. My attempt at the crayon art seen all over Pinterest. Still thinking about adding a mouse on the ground under the umbrella.
  5. A print I bought in Edinburgh that I’ve always loved.
  6. The name my students in Shanghai gave me, “Kai Li.”
  7. A Norman Rockwell print titled “Day in the Life of a Boy.” Alan claims this depicts his typical day.
  8. “The Battle of Trafalgar” The wall was getting a little Holly heavy so I asked Alan to pick out something of his to add in. He’s a military history nerd, what can I say?
  9. A piece of wallpaper that’s pre-1900. Alan’s family is renovating their old farm house and found this hiding under a previous renovation.

Yay for bouquets of tulips! These were my impulse purchase at the cash at Superstore. I thought the candy tempting me was bad. I’m not sure where to go from here with the wall because the big ugly tv is lurking in the corner. I would like to balance it out with a few more frames that aren’t black. I’m really happy with how it has turned out so far. A nice change from how that wall looked when we bought the house:

Yes, those are mirrored tiles.