Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Art of Writing Letters

There's something to be said for the art of letter writing. I've always been a huge fan of it. I resisted for a long time when email was born. I wrote letters to my faraway friends: my neighbourhood friend that had moved to Malaysia, and my oldest friend in Calgary.

I went treeplanting one summer, and my only means of communication was letter writing. I think it added to the rustic experience of being out in the bush. It was always really exciting to hear that I had received a letter, and I looked so forward to writing them as well.

Having moved around so much, and with all my friends so scattered, I still write them letters. It's such a nice feeling to actually take the time, and write someone something. Something more than a status update on twitter, or a quick post on someone's Facebook wall.

I love sending little bits of surprises in my letters as well: fun stickers, rad pins, cute pictures, little crocheted flowers or hearts! I love adding that bit of extra care that comes with sending a letter. It's truly become an art, even if it isn't the primary means for communication any more.

I write my letters usually all at once, and about once every few months. I belong to Postcrossing as well, which is a network of postcard senders. You get assigned someone to send a postcard to, and you send it! And you receive postcards from others! From all over the world! It's an awesome glimpse into other people's lives.

Bonus points: Business cards as address labels!
I also love making my own envelopes and postcards! These babies were made out of a few maps from Montreal, when Luke and I took a trip there last year. I've also used old calendars as well, for both postcards and envelopes. I love using re-purposed materials for my crafts- it closes the cycle, because you're not just making stuff for the sake of making stuff.

For more awesome stationary inspiration, check out Marmalime's shop on etsy. I've bought several amazing things from her (ahem, luggage tags!!) and I just love what she's doing.

Do you write letters? Do you have a penpal?

Monday, March 5, 2012

To my twelve year old self

Have you ever wondered about what your twelve year old self would think of you now?

Twelve year old Thalia was a really cool chick: she didn't care what anyone else thought, and just did what she did. She wore her hair in little braids for months and wore the same pair of tie dyed shorts far too often. She went through a phase of wearing an outfit of the same colour each day. She was deeply self conscious, but not with her outfits. She played wallball at recess when everyone else played four square. She collected postcards. She created a cubby out of her clothes closet, and spent many afternoons memorizing songs by the Beatles and John Lennon. She was obsessed with tigers, and made a Tyger club (spelled the way William Blake spelled 'tiger') with her friends. She couldn't get enough of Archie Comics. Her favorite colour was orange, and she wore an orange shirt to school every Friday. She dismantled dollar store disco balls and made them into awesome frames. She hot glue-gunned things to other things. Her favorite store was a craft emporium. She made her first quilt in an after school club. She knitted. She was (and still is!!) attracted to all things shiny, bright and sparkly.

It's interesting looking back on your childhood and thinking about all of the things that make you you. Twelve year old me shaped who I am today, and I really appreciate her for it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pet Sounds

I'm just going to come out and say this: I love the Beach Boys! I remember being deeply obsessed with the song Kokomo in grade 4, when everyone else was obsessing over...The Spice Girls? I'm not sure, I was in my own world of sixties music and tie dyed shorts.

Pet Sounds keeps winning Best Albums of Ever titles, and it's no wonder. It's the best combination of sad yet hopeful lyrics with happy music, and I always get this weird mixture of  happiness and longing when I listen to it. It's one of those albums where all the songs flow together, and I still can't pick out a favourite. The entire album is amazing.

The Beatles' album, Rubber Soul, had a great influence on Brian Wilson. Rubber Soul also flows together really well, and Brian Wilson wanted to write an album that had the same flow, with all of the songs being awesome. He accomplished that with Pet Sounds, which in turn influenced The Beatles again with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Thanks, Wikipedia!

If I really had to pick a favourite, it would be this song:

I've said that I want all songs ever to sound like this album, and I'm only partially kidding. I had tears in my eyes when I found out that J Dilla put out an album called "Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee". Here's my favourite song, redone by J Dilla:

This album for me is one of those things that you love so much, that you want to keep listening to it/eating it/wearing it all the time but fear that you'll eventually get sick of it and swear off of it forever. Like how I swore off my rad tie dyed shorts (okay, I wore them out).

Have you been obsessing over anything as of late? What do you think of this album?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Hugs!

What did you do today? I gave out free hugs! To strangers! On my way home, I ran into two lovely ladies giving out free hugs at a crazy busy intersection. I decided to join them, and give out hugs during rush hour. Everyone was running to catch their bus, but some people stopped for a free hug. Today was a perfect day for it, because  people need brightness in their day at this time of the year! They gave me the sign that I was using, and I definitely plan on going back to give out more hugs.

It really gave me a chance to think about how rushed we are, especially in cities. How rushed we are to get home, to sit and unwind from the day, only to start it all over again. How rushed we are to work, work, work and push for a career until we lose sight of what is really, truly important. Things like friendship, family, walks without a purpose, good food and hugs. We need to take the time to appreciate what we have right now. 

What can you do to appreciate the moment?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day BBQ

Every year, my aunt in Oakville puts on a Father's Day barbeque. It's always fun- filled with family, too much food, and beer! I brought some cookies and chocolate, and everyone devoured them. I love seeing people enjoy the things I make.

I didn't get a chance to take many pictures while at the barbeque, but I did manage to take some pictures as we were driving home.

Toronto's a great place to live, y'all.*

Underneath the Gardiner

Of course, the CN Tower.

Beer and a fancy hotel. What more is there?

New home!

*I feel like I can sort of say "y'all" because my best friend is from the South. Honorary rights?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New store!

We just moved the entire chocolate room into the new store. It's GORGEOUS. I spent the first 10-15 minutes just staring, all starry eyed. The chocolate makers and bakers have their own rooms, and the walls are windows so that the customers can watch us work. The windows are huge!

One of my favorite things about both of the stores is that the "Staff only" door has a sign saying "Chocolate makers only" which makes me smile every day. I'm a chocolate maker!!

Most exciting part? This is my view!

I love all the lights

We're right beside a FANCY lighting store, apparently. The new location is in a very posh neighborhood- apparently there's a burger place that sells $100 burgers. But there's also a hostel right nearby? I'm not quite sure.

They've also got someone baking bread for us, and he gave me samples. Oh my stars- it was the best bread I've ever had! If only I could take all of it home :)

I'm really excited to get started in the new store! It's going to be great!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm obsessed with: Long breakfasts!

Let's start this off by saying: I love breakfast. I've always been an eating breakfast type of gal. I just can't function without it! I can get obsessed with things (which could explain why I can listen to the same song for hours), so I go through breakfast "phases". In high school, I ate Vector cereal far too much. Then, I ate Special K cereal (the kind with strawberries), with Belgian waffles on the weekend (I was in university on a student plan). I also ate granola fairly often during university. The next big obsession was cottage cheese with jam, on toast with butter (thanks, Opa!). When I got sick of it after a year or so, I felt lost. I managed by eating hardboiled eggs on toast, but who has the time to hardboil an egg every single morning? I didn't. I spent this entire school year only eating cooked lentils on toast. Honestly, so good. But now we're at this point in time, and I just can't bring myself to eat either of those delicious breakfasts anymore. I've been scraping by, eating cereal or toast with peanut butter and jam. I need a new obsession, stat!

Things on toast. For ever.

But for my weekends? You'll find me spending a long time cooking something delicious for myself. I love waking up early, and having the whole morning to cook breakfast, drink coffee and wake up.

This morning, I'm making myself some Toasted Coconut Breakfast Risotto. It's amazing! Okay, I won't even lie to you- I'm making it because I have some little odds and ends to eat before we start packing. But what an exciting way to use up all the different types of coconut that I have in my pantry!

What's your favorite breakfast?