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31 March 2011

Small Style No. 1

Yesterday was the beginning of my style documentation journey, and today, we're rolling on with Gretchen's.

Following suit with Mama Loves Papa's new Small Style feature, here's what Gretchen wore on our after dinner trip to the park last night:

small style

small style

Jacket: Kate Quinn Organics, purchased locally at Glow
Pants (suspenders hidden, dinner mashed into leg): H&M
Scarf: Hand knit by Steph
Shoes: Hand-me-downs, Nike (less for cuteness, more for climbing this green fence)

I'm getting really excited about warmer weather and the entire summer wardrobe that's waiting to be worn by my sweet little lass. Last night I was picking through a box of dresses and t-shirts and sandals, lovingly passed along to us by friends. I'm thrilled to give these items a second home. I'm also thrilled at the idea of yard sale clothes hunting in the next couple of months... my gosh I love finding things on the cheap, but of course, you already knew that.

I should also confess that I'm in love with shopping for Gretchen in real stores as well, but there's nothing like the thrill of spending the same amount on an outfit as I would on a cup of coffee. Amen to that.

I'm curious, friends, do your little ones wear hand-me-downs from friends, family members? Do you pass your child's used clothing on down the line? Are you saving it for your next babe?

I cringe a little when I spent a handful on some items for Gretchen, but I do feel a little better about it when I start thinking about the next babe that might wear it -- a friend's daughter, or someone shopping at a thrift store I've donated to. Makes things feel a little more right in my gut.

Let me also admit to keeping a box or two of Gretchen's old clothing in our upstairs crawlspace... just in case.


Get your Small Style on with us! We're linking up here.

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30 March 2011

What Mama Wore: Spring Fling

Ok, deep breath. I'm jumping right in.

This is my first official "what I wore" type post, and it's my goal to keep 'em coming! I'll start with something simple... ease my way into things, if you will.

Yesterday was probably the warmest day we've had since way before winter and we took full advantage of this fact. A playdate in the morning, a lunchtime walk, and a post-nap venture downtown for yogourt parfait and coffee (for Gretchen and mama, respectively).

what mama wore

what mama wore

what mama wore

Shirt: Thrifted, H&M
Scarf: Thrifted
Jeans: Thrifted, Gap

Quick. Colourful. Oh so Springish. And that scarf is immense. I mostly wore it as a shawl, since it could probably double as a tablecloth. 

So, there you have it... my first What Mama Wore post, with more to come in the very near future. Hoping you're all fabulous! Peace!

Also, Some favourite stylish bloggers, worth a peek or two (or twenty):
My Girl Thursday
Mama Loves Papa
A Beautiful Mess
Sometimes Sweet
Making It Lovely
Jeremy & Kathleen

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Wordless Wednesday (Here, Kitty Kitty)

29 March 2011

The Tuesday Diptych Project: Week Fifty

the tuesday diptych project

Desiree: Lately, Gretchen has been obsessed with riding the city bus, so I indulge her and we take several trips per week. Today we enjoyed our sunniest day in ages, perfect for a trip downtown, wonderful for bus stop snapshots.

Johanna: I took a lovely walk at my favourite Ottawa spot today. The Mer Bleu Bog. A beautiful conservation area right in the middle of the city, where a unique landscape exists of peat moss and tundra type vegetation. Something you would see up North maybe, but definitely not often in Southern Ontario. I used to come here often when I lived in Ottawa, to escape from the hustle of the city.


28 March 2011


Etsy Love: Greenplow

Do you ever add something lovely to your Etsy shopping cart, and then let it sit there for a week with the urge to click "check out" rising by the minute? I hope so. Because that's exactly what lead to the purchase of this gorgeous wool sweater for my sweet little Fawn.

greenplow sweater

greenplow sweater

Doilies. I just can't resist.

Have you found anything delightful on Etsy lately? Is there a shop you check daily just to see what sweet treats may be in store?

Check out the Greenplow shop for more lovingly handmade & upcycled items.

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Friday Nights With Ina May

On Friday I had the pleasure of hearing Ina May Gaskin speak in Toronto. She was phenomenal, so captive, so funny! She had us in stitches during most of her talk and I came away feeling so excited about birth. Not an uncommon feeling in my world!

ina may gaskin

ina may gaskin

I also managed to take a very short video, however, my phone's battery was next to nil at this point so I didn't get too much:

What an inspiring woman.

I'm still feeling a little star struck, actually. I purchased her latest book, Birth Matters, and she signed it for me. I could barely get out more than a tiny thank you when she smiled and handed it back.

It was such a great evening, surrounded by fellow mamas, doulas, midwives & birth enthusiasts. A great crowd, a great talk, and I can't wait to see her again.

Wishing you all the best, happy Monday.

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26 March 2011

Bon Weekend!


Wishing you all a happy, smoochy Saturday!



25 March 2011

Fawned Friday (Letter By Letter)

Sometimes it's really fun to put together a themed Fawned Friday... today we're tripping through the alphabet, which is, coincidentally, one of my daughter's favourite songs to sing. Have a lovely day!

Baby quilt

01. The sweetest baby quilt.

02. I adore these vintage flashcards.

03. The happy homesteader's alphabet.

04. Beyond gorgeous (and beyond my price range).

05. Fun felt ABCs & 123s.

06. 1930s office stamp goodness.

07. Kisses and hugs.

08. A little local letterpress love. 

09. It's all about her.

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On Sunshine, Bangs & Taking Care Of Mama

Good morning, dear hearts! I've got a spring in my step today, let me tell you! Yesterday ended up being "spur of the moment haircut day" and I'm feeling so fresh and so clean clean with this sunshine all this and my fab new bangs. My gosh, how I've missed having good hair. My last real haircut was so long ago (and so not stylish). I'm starting to feel like myself again. LBB (life before baby) I was better at this whole style thing, and now that Spring has sprung I'm getting excited about getting back into that sort of vibe. For the last two years I've been so focused on everything outside of myself that I've let things go to the wayside, and now, ladies & gents, I'm getting them back. Surely I'm not the only mama having this sort of epiphany? Part of me feels that guilt creeping back up in my throat, that feeling of "but shouldn't I only do things for my daughter?" and I have to remind myself that I'm important too. (Geez, typing that out was a little harder than I'd thought it would be.) I'm learning, slowly but surely, how to write myself higher on my priority list. You're supposed to put your own oxygen mask on first, but I haven't been doing that. I'm babystepping back into really taking care of myself and maybe it's the sunshine, maybe it's the air, but good lordy I'm feeling motivated and happy and excited and thrilled!

new hair and the boy's hat

How have I been taking care of myself? Let me count the ways...

01. I've been spending a lot of time out of the house, downtown, seeing friends when I can, 02. I bought myself new makeup for the first time in over three years and now I have to figure out how to use it all, 03. I'm going to see Ina May Gaskin speak in Toronto tonight and I feel like I'm off to meet a celebrity, 04. I've actually been buying new (re: thrifted) clothing for myself, including a super cute dress/belt combo which I found at one of my favourite shops, 05. I've been trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour and 06. I've been taking time to read my favourite blogs, without rushing through my Google reader or clicking "mark all as read".

They always tell us to treat others the way we want to be treated, but I think we also ought to remember to treat ourselves the way we'd like to be treated by others.

Oh, and one last snapshot before I go... my gorgeous friend Meagh & I, post-haircut, pre-the rest of our lives:


Take care! Go forth & be excellent!

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24 March 2011

Words To Live By

This essentially sums up one of my greatest life goals. I think about this quote a lot. We've slowly been purging our home of unneeded/unwanted things, FlyLady style, since September and it feels great. It's a long process, but eventually all those possessions which are taking up space in our house and our minds will be long gone and we'll be freer for it. Mmmm, I feel so light just thinking about it.

Surround yourself with loveliness, mes amis.


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23 March 2011

Goodbye, Elizabeth Taylor

national velvet

I can remember the first time I watched National Velvet as a child. I was so in love with Elizabeth's character, so sure, so spunky. I was giddy when they brought her The Pie, in awe as she lopped her locks and in tears when she crossed the finish line. It is one of my most cherished films of all time, and tonight, I will watch it in Elizabeth Taylor's honour.

Farewell to a legend, a star, the last of her kind.

Rest in peace. 


22 March 2011

Etsy Love: Every Eskimo

Don't you just love coming across a shop with gorgeous items and gorgeous photography? It's a win-win situation if you ask me. Just delightful.


Visit Regina's Every Eskimo shop for more vintage pretties (and also some handmade goodness). Also check out the blog, or follow @everyeskimo on Twitter. 

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21 March 2011

On Toddlers & Chutzpah

On Saturday afternoon, at my grandmother's birthday celebration, Gretchen grabbed her third cookie off of the buffet table, and I took it away.

"No, no, sweetie. You can have a strawberry, or this piece of cheese, or this melon."

Cute flailing baby meltdown.

We'd been there a few hours, and she'd been snacking her way around the table the entire time, and really didn't need to eat her third (although sugar-free) cookie, and so I put it back on the tray. We left the kitchen, Screamy McGee trying out her best circus maneuvers to escape my grasp, and I brought her to an empty bedroom to chill out (away from the darty-eyed glances of my grandmother's friends). Gretchen threw herself on the ground a little, I sat on the carpet beside her and told her, "It's ok to feel like this. I know you're frustrated." Eventually she calmed down and we had a snuggle. She told me she was "sowwy" and gave me a kiss. And after I made her promise not to scream anymore, we opened the door to rejoin the shindig.

Gretchen ran ahead into the living room and I made a detour to the kitchen for a much needed cup of coffee. And as I sipped, I leaned against the fridge, happy with how I'd handled things. So proud of my little girl.

And then she walked up to me, happily munching on that same third cookie. Smiling the biggest smile.

And I just smiled back, and kept on sipping.


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20 March 2011

Our Sunday

The girly and I set out to walk in the park this afternoon, which quickly turned into a stroll downtown where we shared a strawberry, yogourt, granola parfait. I'm so thrilled about this kinder, warmer weather. The snow is nearly gone. It's such a relief to be able to strike out for a long walk like that without worrying that our noses will freeze off and our toes will be sad (and possibly wet) but the time we get home. It was a wonderful outing and after a short bus ride home, we took a three hour nap together and woke up a little sweaty and a lot rested.

today's walk

How did you spend your Sunday?

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19 March 2011

For The Love Of Spring (Jackets)

Tonight I'm Etsy-hunting for a vintage Spring jacket for the little miss. I really love it when I need to find something on Etsy, as opposed to searching through and seeing a million little things that I'd love to have myself. Tonight I'm on a mission, I have a purpose, and my gosh there are some sweet little coats to be found! These are just a few of the delights I'm considering.

for the love of spring jackets

So hard to choose!

Any suggestions, ideas? Favourite vintage shops?

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18 March 2011

A Day Of Silence, For Japan

a day of silence

My heart goes out to all those affected by this tragedy, and to those to suffer daily in our world. With love, dear hearts. Today I will observe a bloggers day of silence, as organized by Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours. Please also consider supporting the Red Cross.

Fawned Friday will resume next week, merci.


17 March 2011

Thrift Love (The $5 Edition)

On Tuesday afternoon, a friend and I paid a visit to one of our city's little hidden gems -- the Humane Society Thrift Shop. This tiny shop is tucked away in a semi-miserable strip mall (just a few doors down from my insurance agent, oddly enough) but despite its less-than-welcoming exterior there are treasures to be found within!

See? Look what I found for $2. Happy, happy. I brought this baby downtown with me on Wednesday and managed to tuck three Moleskines, my netbook and a copy of The Birth Partner inside, with room to spare. (And my wallet, a pen, some mitts and my phone, of course.)

Apparently the kitties are as psyched as I am about this gorgeous airline bag! (Airplane bag? I'm not entirely sure what to call it... but it sure is purdy.)

My second find actually makes me quite giddy, and you'll see why in a moment.

These canisters ($3!) aren't just the perfect shade of green -- they also happen to compliment these two previously thrifted canisters (which I blogged about here).

I LOVE it when collections come together like this! Now I just have to figure out where to put my new beauties, since our counter space is limited at best. I suppose it might be time for a little spring cleaning at the House of Fawn!

Have you thrifted anything delightful lately?

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16 March 2011

Café Afternoons

Good afternoon, lovelies! Today I'm typing away at my favourite café (a poet, no?) and this very fact has got me wondering -- where do YOU like to do your blogging?

Are you found most often at your desk? In a cozy armchair? Tree house? Musty basement stairwell? Rooftop garden? Park? Where do you feel most inspired to blog? Do you ever write posts in a notebook before committing them to the internet?

I really love to type downtown at this one café in particular. If you're a Peterborough local, you'll know where I am by the pic, I'm sure. I really love the buzz around me, and seeing friends trickle in now and then. The coffee is divine (yes, I let myself drink coffee when I'm out of the house sometimes), the treats are tasty and though it's busier than my office or living room, I feel less distracted here... mostly because I don't feel like I should be cleaning, or organizing or anything like that. This place is also free of a certain 2-year-old and 30-year-old... I adore them, of course, but mama needs her alone time too.

I generally walk (we're about 10 minutes from downtown by foot), but today was rainy and grey, so I caught a bus a block from my house, admiring my sassafras boots as I waited. 


I can be found downtown, typing away, several days a week and I feel oh so productive after spending a few hours with my netbook. I've also been doing quite a bit of my doula reading while away from home, which has been rather nice as well.

So, dear hearts, please share your favourite blogging venue!

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15 March 2011

I Can't Stop Smiling

Good morning, dear hearts! This might just be one of the sweetest images I've ever come across. My gosh, that face!

giant bunny

This rabbit weighs just slightly less than my 2-year-old. I think I love him.


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The Fawn's Quick & Easy Chili

I'm a big fan of meals that can be put together without a terribly specific set of ingredients. Chili is totally one of these foods. I almost always have enough ingredients to at least fabricate some sort of chili like dish.

Fake it til you make it, baby.

Anyhow, the other day I made up a batch and actually remember to take a pic, so now I thought I'd share my basic recipe.

Making chili...

Looks good, right? I'm also convinced that stirring food with a wooden spoon makes it taste better.

I generally made this a vegetarian meal, mostly because it's easier that way and mighty tasty. Sometimes, though, I'll cook up some spicy sausage and toss it in near the end for an extra kick.

The Fawn's Quick & Easy Chili

2-3 cans of beans (kidney, chickpea, whatever you'd like... just be sure to rinse them really well)
1-2 peppers, chopped (green, yellow, something colourful)
Big handful of mushrooms, quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp (or more) chili powder
1/2 tsp (or more) cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder, garlic powder (or not, I just use what I like)
salt/pepper, a dash, a sprinkle
1 big can of diced tomatoes
1 big can of tomato sauce
1-2 packs of ground round (ie. soy ground beef, totally optional)

If I have a lot of time (like all day) I'll put this in my crockpot. First sauté up the onion and ground round in a pan with some oil til the onions are all nice and cooked, then toss that into the crock, along with everything else and let cook on high for 5-8 hours. Really, I think about 6 hours is great, but the longer it cooks, the tastier it gets.

If I don't have a lot of time then I'll do this on the stove. Same process again, sauté onions and ground round, but in a big pot this time, with a little oil, then add everything else. Bring to almost a boil, then let simmer for a while, usually 1/2 hour or so, depending on the size of your concoction.

Also, sometimes if I feel like the chili is to watery when it's finished, I'll toss in a handful of rice and let it simmer another 20-30 minutes or until the rice is nice and cooked. It uses up some liquid and adds another yummy element!

All this chili talk is really reminding my tummy that I've just been snacking on Eggies and Arizona Green Tea tonight and little else. Oops. Apparently one shouldn't blog on an empty stomach...

Do you have a favourite chili recipe to share? Any tricks of the trade?


14 March 2011

Snapshots By The Weekendful



this weekend

this weekend

I hope you all had a delightful weekend.

I'm excited for tomorrow (or today, as I see we're 40 some-odd minutes in). Mondays are always new starts, and this one feels like it might be especially refreshing. Deep breaths... ahhhh... I think good things will come my way this week. For now, off to sleep I go. I'm a sleepy mama and my pillow calls to me.


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13 March 2011

Letting Sleeping Babes Lie


Tonight Gretchen went to bed quite easily. She'd (mostly) skipped her nap in the afternoon, and by the time 8pm rolled around she was happy to lay with me, read a few stories, and nurse off to sleepy land. And so I lay beside her, patting her back and patting her bum.

And that's when I realized I hadn't put a diaper on her for bedtime.

She's 95% toilet trained and so I don't usually keep a dipe on her if we're just hanging about the house, as was the case this evening.

So, what did I do upon realizing she was diaperless? Nothing. Nothing other than shimmy her butt onto a fleece blanket which I'm sure I'll be tossing into the laundry in the morning.

Hello, sleep. Hello, leaving well enough alone.

{Pictured above, Gretchen's ladybug light}


11 March 2011

Waiting On Tomorrow

Today kicked my ass.

Today kicked my ass while I was down. 

I've been trying to write a post about... well, I'm not sure what, because for the past few days each time I've tried to start a post it's come out mush, which is exactly how my mind feels at this point. It's been a rough week/month/season and despite constantly searching for that end in sight... but it's hard. Really hard.

I haven't slept in weeks. Not more than a couple hours a night... rarely in succession. I ought to be in bed right this moment, but I need to type things out... I need this catharsis I think, in order to clear my mind for a rest. Every single night for the last few weeks has seen my little girl waking with screams until I come to her side. She only wants to sleep on top of me, nursing fitfully throughout the night, shrieking loudly in between. A little while ago we battled bronchitis and a severe ear infection (poor darling) and now chicken pox (though I'm happy she's getting them young, and thankfully her case his quite mild). However, this screaming phase is really getting to me. Isn't forcing someone to stay awake some form of torture? I said today that this was a hundred times harder than having a newborn. At least a newborn doesn't throw things or hit you when they are frustrated. It's breaking my heart to see her so frustrated. I've been told I need to "do something" about this phase, but what exactly does that mean? I'm barely feeling human at this point, though I did get to shower today, but I refuse to force her into anything, especially while she's feeling under the weather. Why is it that people who aren't parenting your child always have the "best" advice for them? (Can you hear me grumbling under my breath?)

This morning, after a night of tossing and turning with the little miss, I woke up to a flooded basement. Flooded for the third time in ten days. And then I got some other bad news which leaves us in a financial mess with a few quick decisions needing to be made. And then the snow started falling again and I'm practically on my knees, begging for springtime and sunshine and a new season to make this one distant and less terrible. 


If you made it this far, thank you. I don't always like to share all the crappy bits of life here with you, but sometimes I need to get it all out and it comes out my fingertips the fastest. So thank you for being here and thank you for, well, everything. 

Deep breaths, one, bye one.

This is the part where I say "tomorrow is another day", and you know what? It's true, and I do believe good things are on their way for me... even if they seem far off, and even if I don't sleep more than an hour tonight, I know there are things in life to be grateful for. Hundreds of things to be grateful for and so I'll count them as I drift off (with fingers crossed that my gorgeous girl sleeps through the night). 

Peace, mes amis. 

Tomorrow will be lovely. 

Because it needs to be.

Tea love.

Today... I don't know about today...



Fawned Friday

they sacrificed everything to the stars

01. Sacrifice.

02. I think I might like to work at this factory.

03. This dress makes me pretty happy.

04. How to spend a stormy night.

05. A little plumage ought to brighten up the day. (This plume always does the trick as well.)

06. This teacup makes me giggle.

07. Loving these clever, little, tricks.

08. A sweet locket to rest upon your chest.

09. I've fallen in love with this belt.

10. I think we all deserve a crown like this one.

11. I am so thrilled for this mama. Amazing!

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08 March 2011

Mommy Radio

Just a quick note before I hop under the covers... tomorrow morning at 9.30am EST I'll be on Trent Radio with another local mama, chatting about all things mom, baby and more!

Tune in! Stream online to listen anywhere.