Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dear Readers:

Here's a few thoughts from this weekend:

Yesterday we drove my dad to the airport. 

His first time flying - besides a little private plane. He is going for six weeks - a new job in Labrador since there were big layoffs at his work two weeks ago. I'm so glad that Mom has my two little (big!) brothers at home to help with everything. They managed to get the winter's wood finished this month, along with finishing the basement renovations before Dad left. My cousin has volunteered to get the tires changed on their vehicles before we start getting overwhelmed with winter weather. I'm so proud of Dad for going on a new adventure - as much as I'm going to miss him, we're so thankful for the fact that he found work so soon after getting laid off. 

Sometimes I'm tired of being lonely and living in an area where I don't have any close friends. Sometimes I am tired of working a full-time job - as I write this from work, wishing that I was at remembrance meeting right now, surrounded by love, worshiping our Lord together. Sometimes I crave change, and sometimes I hate change. Sometimes I really, really don't like blogging.

I sometimes struggle with writing this blog. Not only writing it and trying to decide what to write - what's too personal and what I actually feel like sharing with random strangers or people that I do know. There are obviously a lot of readers that are lurkers - which I'm okay with - hey, I do it myself: read without commenting. I've thought about making my blog password protected, but then I thought better of it. It's not the random strangers reading that bothers me, it's the people that I do know reading it without letting on that they are. A little too into my business if they don't feel like ever commenting.

I have serious cases of blog envy sometimes, and in turn, just plain cases of envy. Feelings of my blog not being spiritual enough - of me not being spiritual enough. My blog not being crafty enough - me not being crafty enough. My blog not being healthy or fit enough - me not being healthy or fit enough. My photos, writing, and posts not being good enough... You get the drift. 

There. Was that personal enough? :)

I started this blog because I felt that it would be fun, and it is fun. Sometimes is just drags me down. I feel like a failure if I don't write five posts a week - or if I just do a quick little post - or if my readers are down for the day - or if I don't have any comments. Then I realize, the blogs (besides my lovely friends' blogs) that I like the most are written by people that have a blog for a living. Or they are a stay-at-home mom, or a self-employed business lady, and their blogs are their beautiful creative outlets and really, a piece of art in themselves. So no, after I get home from work there isn't great natural lighting left to take blog worthy photos, but that's okay. If I share a random Bible verse that I'm enjoying every month instead of sharing one every single day, that's okay. If I share a DIY that isn't my own brilliant idea, that's okay. If I share my weight loss and health pitfalls instead of triumphs, that's okay, too. This is my blog that is sometimes but not always, a peek into my life.

You're welcome to share my blog with me - and keep coming back for more.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Polyvore Loves

It's time for a new edition of Polyvore Loves!

This week, I thought that I would showcase a few items that I bought from Old Navy. I ordered two items during a great one day sale last week (they arrived yesterday!) and I also picked up a few bargains while in Moncton on the weekend. I think that this will be it for fall shopping for me... deal or no deal, I'd rather not spend any more money on clothes! 

Each of the pieces that I got are neutral and extremely versatile. I've been following Tiny Twig's No Brainer Wardrobe series (check it out, especially the first few days - some terrific tips!) and I wanted to work some new pieces in that would work with my existing wardrobe. My problem is always this: I have lots of clothes, and lots of pieces that I like, but not a whole lot that goes together. I love textures and colours, so my outfits are usually a little helter-skelter. The items that I purchased should help me get through the fall and winter mixing and matching all of the items that I already own.

I created a Polyvore set with the pieces that I bought - some of them are not exactly what I bought, but very similar (the jeans I got are a darker wash, the denim dress is knee length with a self belt, the satin dress had buttons on the top half, and the cardigan's zipper only comes up half-way). I then created a set for each item, using similar things to what I have in my closet. I hope you enjoy, and that it inspires you, too!

Here are the items that I bought from Old Navy:

old navy

Here's what I would wear with the navy toggle sweater:

old navy sweater

My outfit with the trouser jeans:
old navy jeans

I can't wait to wear the denim dress:

old navy dress 1

The satin dress would be perfect for a wedding or holiday party:
old navy dress 2

Here's a nice date night outfit featuring the blouse:

old navy blouse

... and we all know how much I love a good cardigan:
old navy cardigan

There! Now don't you want to go and have a little fun playing dress up with your own wardrobe?! I sure do!

Hope that you all have a great weekend!

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Etsy Feature: Geninne

Bird No27 by Geninne

Today's Etsy Feature is Geninne's Art Store. I've had this sweet little shop in my Etsy favorites for some time now, and with good reason - check out the gorgeous prints. The simple, beautiful designs are earthy and brilliant. The muted nature designs would suit any home decor, whether neutral or color-packed. They are simple enough to be a great gift for any art lover on your list and the prints are affordable, too!

Here's one of my favourite prints:

Bouquet by Geninne

Aren't they darling? I just love the simplicity of the pieces. Here's one more print for good measure:

Ask Believe Recieve by Geninne

Take a look at Gennine's shop, you won't be disappointed with what you find. Something for you, or to give away, or simply eye candy!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Around Here

I grabbed our little point-and-shoot camera and took a few fall shots around our home. The colours are so beautiful in the fall, rich oranges, rusts, and reds. I love autumn - it's my favourite season ever. I wish there was more time to soak it all in!

Take a look around our home:

Pretty pumpkin perched on our step

Fall foliage flourishing

Huge trees on our front lawn

The last of the plant life by our entrance - and the door that we painted this summer

Are you still enjoying our lovely fall, or are you ready for winter snuggles?

Happy Wednesday!

Home Tour Link

You must, must, MUST check out this home tour on Apartment Therapy. B-E-A-U-tiful. It's the sweetest little apartment ever - I'd move in on a dime. The colours and so cheerful and cohesive, and it really feels like a well loved home. Check it out!

Happy Wednesday!

(P.S. I'm off from work today - going on little adventures and doing fun stuff around home. I'll show you more later!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like...


It's hard to believe it, but Christmas is two months away from today! I've been working on holiday projects at work for the past two weeks, so it's more like "yikes - Christmas is only two months away!" I come home every day covered in sparkles. I may or may not have seen some on Daniel at supper tonight. Oops! :)

We're planning on having a handmade Christmas again this year, with most of the items made by us and a few purchased from handmade vendors. I have a few items purchased and tucked away for friends, but now I need to concentrate on family presents. I have a few projects up my sleeve. Between the miracle of Pinterest and my own little brain I have more than enough ideas, I just need some time to get started.

Can we all agree on one thing? Men are the hardest to shop/make gifts for. Dan's easy, but my Dad, brothers, and father-in-law? Impossible. I know that they appreciate everything, but I'd really like to come up with something that they can be excited about. Something that can be one of their favourite gifts of 2011. Is that too much to ask for?

Do you have any Christmas plans? Tell me, tell me!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Multitude Monday

It's Multitude Monday, crafting edition! 

This week, I'm thankful for:

260 - my Crop-a-dile! It's the coolest hole punch ever: it punches through paper, cardstock, cardboard, and leather, and also sets eyelets - neat, eh? It's bright pink, too. Sweet.

261 - scissors. I must use them at least five or ten times a day, between home and work. I've got a couple of favourite pairs - and a couple of least favourite. Sometimes being a leftie is tough!

262 - double-sided tape. It's. the. absolute. best. You can buy it at any dollar store, too: no need to spend a fortune at Michael's or Walmart. Stock up at Dollarama, dude!

263 - acrylic paint. It's addictive. I even got some for Christmas from Dan last year. He picked out some of my favourite colours: mustard yellow and robin's egg blue. He knows me too well.

264 - tea stain ink. I love using it on the edges of every paper project. It just takes that freshly cut edge off of everything, and give it a certain "je ne said quoi". Beautiful.

265 - homemade envelopes. Made from a magazine page, or simply paper with washi tape and stickers, why use a white envelope when there are so many other fun options?

266 - ribbon. I've been trying to use up my stash before I purchase any more. It's just so easy to grab a couple from Michael's bargain bin - beautiful colours, textures, and patterns. Bliss.

267 - buttons. My weakness isn't fading. I've got most of my collection sorted by colour in mason jars, and a few goodie bottles that aren't sorted. One group is in a vintage milk bottle with the original cap. Some sweet old lady must have been collecting for a while. I lucked out.

268 - embroidery thread. There are so many awesome colours, and the ways to use the thread are endless. Projects galore - I made friendship bracelets this summer (speaking of which, Dan wants a Man-U one - I better get cracking!)

269 - fabric scraps. I love buying vintage pillowcases to cut up, and I always grab some fat quarters when I go to the fabric store. It's so much fun to come up with cool fabric combinations in a project.

What craft supplies are your favourites?

Bringin' Home the Toys

Here's the latest edition to the MacLennan house :) 

With our computer being on the missing list after being kidnapped by Future Shop for two and a half months, we finally got a full reimbursement credit towards a new one. We drove down to the nearest store last week to browse through our options. We knew that we wanted a laptop - it's so convenient: we loved our last one and with our lack of space in our current home, we just don't have room for a desktop. 

Dan and I took the chance and upgraded to an Apple. Silver and sleek, it's so pretty - and I'm a sucker for good marketing. I love the little light-up apple on the front! Slowly but surely, we're adjusting to the Mac life, after about 18 years (give or take) of Windows. Here's to hoping that it doesn't take forever to feel familiar! 

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Polyvore Loves

It's my first post from our new computer!

After 74 days without our own computer, maybe a bit of phone rage, and a whole lot of annoyance, Future Shop decided to give us a refund to use towards a brand new computer. We drove to the nearest location Tuesday after work and picked out a pretty new laptop. I'll share pics of our new fangled machine tomorrow... Once I get used to it, I think I'll be in love. I'm loving the keyboard already.

Today's Polyvore Loves is for my friend Jacalyn. Old Navy has got some awesome looking fall clothing (I may or may not have ordered a sweater and pair of jeans online tonight - shh! There's a code for today only that is an extra 30% off everything! ONHARVEST) and I wanted to create a cozy yet stylish outfit. I know that Jacalyn would rock this outfit... it's so cute! A comfy brown sweater with a pretty neckline, a pair of dark wash trouser jeans, adorable flats, striped scarf, and practical purse. Nice dangly earrings and she's out the door! I know that this could be a go-to outfit. This would be a perfect outfit for a walk through the local corn maze with a hot chocolate in hand.

What's your favourite thing to wear in fall?

Happy Thursday!


Monday, October 17, 2011


Daniel has a fun photo contest going on through his job. The Image of Care Campaign is a promotion going on in the professional association that he's part of. They've got a chance of winning some really great prizes. When D's bro, his wife, and baby were home on vacation earlier this month, they had a little photo shoot at the hospital. They turned out super cute - the little guy was looking in the right direction for all of them, and Colin and Therese have a great camera, too.

Here's one of their photos:

Cute, eh?

Multitude Monday

Did you have a good weekend? I can't believe that it's Monday already!
It feels like yesterday I was doing up my last Multitude Monday,
but I guess it's been seven days :) 

I have a fun week coming up: busy, busy, busy. Daniel and I are going for supper with my in-laws tonight to a great local seafood restaurant that I haven't been to before. We've been trying to get there all summer, but haven't gotten the chance, and tomorrow is their last day of the season. Welcome to the Maritimes - where all the best little spots close for the winter. Groan. I guess it makes you look forward to spring even more.

This week, I'm thankful for:

250 - being surrounded by beautiful flowers at work everyday
251 - having a full-time seasonal job (Yep, I'm going to have the winter off. Jealous?)
252 - seeing a few long-distance friends last week
253 - getting a new computer tomorrow!
254 - being left-handed. Super cool.
255 - a weekend away in a few days time.
256 - having a new dress for the weekend's wedding - from Value Village! (Shh!)
257 - getting to see Janelle and Sam - I'm so excited!
258 - reading lots of great new books from the library
259 - having breakfast ready to grab and go this morning

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Faves

I haven't share my Etsy favourites with you lately! I haven't done much Etsy shopping in the past few month, but with the cool weather moving in and Christmas right around the corner, it's time to get some shopping done! I always seem to gravitate towards the same colours in little spurts - it looks like I'm currently (as always!) loving mustard and aqua. 

Here's a peek at what I've been eyeballing:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Twelve by 2012

I'm world's best procrastinator, so I was eager to jump onboard with this challenge. Danni from Oh, Hello Friend has organized a fun little project: 12 goals accomplished by 2012. Seems reasonable, right? It's a little less daunting than a 24 before 25, since I only have a little over a month until my birthday. Twelve sounds like a walk in the park! Not only that, but tt's fun to make a list and give and receive encouragement to achieve those goals!

I'm choosing twelve fun goals since we all have more than enough serious goals that we set for ourselves. Here we go!

My Twelve Goals by 2012

  1. Bake or cook twelve recipes and deliver them to friends or neighbours
  2. Use my manicure/pedicure gift certificate before it expires
  3. Wear heels at least twice a week
  4. Write all of my Christmas cards before November 25
  5. Get rid of twelve items in my closet
  6. Participate in the Christmas farmers' market
  7. Host a games night every two weeks at our place
  8. Call or text my friends more often
  9. Organize a cookie exchange
  10. Paint my 2' x 4' canvas that I've been avoiding
  11. Start a weekly pizza night tradition
  12. Read twelve books of the Bible
How do those goals sound? Are you ready to take any of them on? Do share!

I'm linking up on Danni's post - check out some of the other goals!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pinned It, Did It

I have a new blog feature for you! Pinned It & Did It is a new bi-weekly feature here at Polka Dot Soup. Pinterest is an incredibly inspiring idea, but sometimes an extra push is needed to turn inspiration into action. I have an ever-growing collection of DIY, recipe, and outfit pins that I hope to turn into projects and share them with you! Ready for the first project?

I first noticed Elise Blaha's painting last month and loved it! Her colour combination and styling was so dynamic, it's a simple but stunning painting that seemed easy to create with my own twist. I then saw a pinned image of a painting that used masking tape, spray paint, and a canvas. Check out how cool Elise's painting is:

Well, I had the supplies: masking tape, a blank canvas gathering dust, and a ton of acrylic paint. I am trying to pull our apartment's colours together - our bedroom and living room in particular - so I wanted to use something that would work in either room. I decided to use shades of yellow, grey, light blue, and coral. I wasn't super fussy about my lines, which I kind of regret now, but I'm never good with keeping masking tape from bleeding. I still have to paint the edges white, too - wait, who am I kidding? I'll probably leave the staples showing :) I love the colours together, though! Here's how it turned out:

I can't wait to find the perfect location for it! I have a couple of ideas that I will have to test out over the weekend - one being in a corner of the living room, and the other on our new picture rail that we're installing in the bedroom. When the painting lands in the perfect position, I'll show you how it looks!

Have you tackled any projects lately? Tell me!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Multitude Monday

Well, Thanksgiving weekend's over. I worked on Saturday, but had Sunday off to spend with our families. We had a beautiful couple of days here, and I can't wait to get outside and enjoy the sunshine today - both at work and afterwards. I'm loving the temperature, it's perfect for doing work outside: I have to water the flowers and do some rearranging at work this afternoon. Put on my sunnies and my sweater and I'm good to go!

Since it's Monday and Thanksgiving, I'm getting back into my Multitude Monday groove. I hope to keep it up every week, since it's such a great reminder of the little things that are going well. Today, I'm thankful for:

Broccoli, peppers, zucchini, and onions from our garden for supper

240 - making delicious meals with veggies from our garden
241 - my friends Heidi and Ashley running in marathons yesterday
242 - great yard sale finds over the weekend
243 - getting to spend Thanksgiving with both of our families
244 - tights and cardigan weather
245 - snuggle time with my newest little nephew
246 - quiet time in the evenings to create
247 - discovering new recipes and ideas
248 - lots of quality time with Daniel after a busy summer
249 - getting "Fab 10" for our phone instead of "Fab 5"

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Polyvore Loves

If you have a chance before the weekend festivities begin, check out this giveaway. You won't want to miss out on a chance to win a pretty dress from The Velvet Bird! Beautiful, handmade, versatile - what more could you ask for?

It's Polyvore Loves! I love getting the chance to share some wardrobe inspiration. It's all about taking key elements from your own closet and creating something similar with items you already have. I did it a little differently today - these are all pieces that are similar to ones that I own.

This is what I might be wearing for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Animal print blouse - although mine is dressier than this one - it's chiffon with ruffles down the front. Chocolate brown pencil skirt - if I can dig it out of my fall clothes. Beige heeled pumps - mine lace up the front. Beige clutch - check. Gold polish to distract from my purple-y hand... what's left of my bee sting, one week later. It's like a battle scar, cool, right? Here's to hoping that it will fade soon :)

That's my outfit - now what's yours?


Friday, October 7, 2011


I have a batch of these in the oven right now - our whole home is filled with cinnamony goodness. I am sending the Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars down for the Bible conference in Sydney this weekend. I'm sure that they'll be a welcomed treat.

I am working tomorrow, having Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Sunday, and heading down for the conference in the afternoon. Busy, busy. I hope you have the loveliest of Thanksgivings!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quiet Night

Don't you love free evenings?

I got so much accomplished tonight, and I just felt the need to share. Here's what I can now check off my to-do list:

made the bed
bought groceries
went pumpkin shopping
cleaned out my coupon envelope
tidied my cupboards
washed all the dishes
unpacked my farmers' market bags
emptied our recycleables cupboard
dried laundry
froze a batch of pesto in icecube trays
made a pan of no-fat Trader Joe's brownies
cleaned out my cupboard under the sink AKA the junk collector
unsubscribed from junk mail
got a present ready to deliver
lit a bunch of candles and relaxed!

All this since 5:30 - and our grocery store is 30 minutes away (I know, I know - we live in the boonies)! How did I get the time to do most of these things? Two words: hockey game. Tonight is the first game of the NHL season for Montreal, so Dan went over to watch the game with my dad and brothers. We did go out for supper and buy groceries together, though. It's our mini-date night, and we've only had one since the beginning of supper. It's so nice for things to be slowing down a little.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cool Stool

I'm so excited to share today's before and after with you!

My mom saw this cute, inexpensive stool at a local yard sale and knew that I would be excited to revamp it. It has terrific lines, sexy dark legs, it's in great condition, and it's super sturdy. The only problem? Not quite my style upholstery...

My first thought was to recover the stool in a funky fabric, like a chic zebra print or a mod mustard chevron pattern. I resisted - I wanted the stool to be a timeless classic. I browsed through Fabricville's selection, and found the perfect fabric for our living room...

The flowers are close to the wall colour in the living room, and the dark leaves are the same shade of grey as our sofa. Perfect! When I got to the register, the fabric was on sale, too - which was fabulous, since good quality upholstery weight fabric can be pricey.

Itching to see how it turned out? Take a peek!

The stool turned out great! It was very easy to recover - it only took about fifteen minutes with a staple gun. The stool is perfect for propping up our feet while we're relaxing with a good book in the living room, and if we have guests over, it is sturdy enough for someone to sit on without worrying. Doesn't it look cute with the black chair?

Have you completed any home projects lately? Do share!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Beaut.

This is one of my favourite photos from our September vacation. The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial bridge in Boston's north end is absolutely breath-taking. I wish we had a way to stop and get out of the car for a better look, but eyeballing it from inside our VW was enough to make me happy. The clean lines and amazing shape are pure inspiration.

I've got a before and after project coming up for you tomorrow - I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hello October

I grabbed my camera from my car to take a few photos as I left work today. The sun was getting low in the sky, so the lightening is kinda all over the place, but take a look at those flowers! Fall flowers are so beautiful - I may have to cave and get a container for our entrance. Seeing the gorgeous shades of red, orange, and yellow day after day is awfully hard to resist.

Happy Monday!

P.S. A little hand update: I had to go back to the emerg department yesterday because that darn hand of mine just wouldn't stop swelling. We had to giggle at how it looked (although it didn't feel very funny at all) because it looked like I had a cartoon drawing hand. Big round invisible knuckles and all. The doctor thought that it was turning into cellulitus and I've got ten days worth of giant horse-sized antibiotics to take, along with regular allergy meds. Yay! Good news - by this afternoon, the swelling had already gone down by half. I should have been taking photos all along - it would have been fun to track. Oh, well. Bye!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

L'il Drama

Well, yesterday I got a hornet sting for the first time in sixteen years. For those of you that don't know, I'm allergic. I've been carrying my Epi-pen with me every day and yesterday was the first time that I've ever had to use it.

My boss had just gone out for half an hour or so, and I went outside to carry some bags into the office. I put my hand through the reusable bag's handle and felt a pinch. I pulled my hand out to see what was up, and there he was. Perched on my hand, the little bugger. I thought, "Uh oh, if I can feel it, that means he's already got me." I swatted him off and ran inside. Our shop is in the same building as a cafe, so I ran up to one of the servers and told her that I had gotten stung. They all know that I'm allergic, so we ran to the office. I wasn't sure if I should use my Epi-pen or not, the site of the sting was swollen, but that was it. We called Daniel and he thought that I should take it. At this point I was really shaky and my head felt really buzzy. Weird. Another lady from the cafe volunteered to take me to the hospital, so we went outside for me to give myself the shot, since there was a good chance that the epinephrine would cause me to go unconscious. I pass out when I get needles, anyway. It was the strangest feeling: I had my arm lifted so I could swing the Epi-pen into my leg, but my arm just wouldn't do it. It was like a mental block. The lady that was with me held me while I did it (talk about a bonding moment! :) and then I got in the car. Luckily, I didn't faint. My heart rate was a little weird, but that was it.

From there, we drove to the hospital. That's where Dan works, so he was waiting at the door when we got there. We had taken a cell phone with us in case we needed to call an ambulance, but I was okay. We rushed into the hospital and I got taken into an examining room right away. They took my vitals, and everything was fine. I got ice to put on my hand, and they got me to just rest until the doctor got there. Once he arrived, he got them to give me some meds that knocked me out for the rest of the afternoon. When Daniel got off work, we went home. Talk about feeling strange... that was a lot of medication! I took some more before bed, and then again this morning.

My hand is red, swollen, and hot, but I can deal with that. Yesterday could have been a whole lot worse... a hole put in my trachea (eww - gross) or absolute worst case scenario - dying. I'm so thankful that I wasn't by myself and I didn't need to call 911. Needless to say, I did not have my table at the market. Some of the other vendors set up my stuff and sold it while I was gone - so sweet.

Well, that was my biggest adventure lately. We're just hanging out at home and chilling today, and I'll be back to work tomorrow.

Happy Weekend!
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