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  1. It's definitely fall here in Camrose. The leaves are turning all sorts of gorgeous colours and it's finally starting to cool down a tad. If it could stay fall all year round I'd be a happy girl. In Saskatchewan when I was a kid it seemed like it would go straight from summer to winter (a blizzard on Halloween and the like) so I'm really grateful for the nice transition.

    Fall and Spring mean layers, cozy accessories and the like. I'm about to dig out my sweaters again and tuck my summery clothes away, but I stopped in at Twig Designs today to see what Lindsay had in store for fall accessories. I surprisingly refrained from buying clothes but I couldn't help but pick out a few cute things to freshen up my wardrobe.

    I've seen a few bird brooches pop up on FL so I snapped this one up quickly!
    I see anything teal and I'm sold right away.

    A huge pink polka dot scarf, perfect for fall.

    Lace adds a touch of daintiness to any outfit.
    LOVE these coasters, and I needed something to keep
    the beer rings off my mid-century furniture.
    I made a little scarf clothes-line so I always know what I have on hand. Typical me, it's crooked.
    I also stopped by to see my sponsor, Imagine Vintage, to see what Peggy has in stock as well and also picked up a bunch of accessories as well as a very cute '60s dress:

    And bangles! The blue one is a 1980s Lucite and I think the top ones is from the mid-fifties.

    That's all for now folks! xo

  2. Wrap-up: Up and away

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    This past week has been the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championships in Camrose. Over 15 balloons have been filling our skies with colour and wonder, and I've been enjoying the ride.

    A few weeks ago I was able to hitch a media ride with Brant Leatherdale, Jim Cook from the City and Hans Olson, local filmaker and the son of my MLA and landlord. We took a ride over beautiful Camrose.

    The first thing you must know about ballooning is that it's NOT glamorous. I was up at 5:30 for a 7am launch, because you have to launch early before the winds get too crazy. You also have to be aware that you're climbing into a wicker basket (no steps or doors) and that you're 99% likely to land in a field. So my outfit of choice were high-waisted denim pants and sneakers. I was also put to work crewing (Brent was stoked to have so many people at his disposal) as evidenced by this photo.
    Photo from the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championship Facebook page

    Champagne post-flight is a tradition, and who am I to argue with tradition?
    Photo from the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championship Facebook page

    I still prefer air craft as my main mode of air transportation, but there's nothing better for taking aerial photos in my opinion. You're low enough that you can still see everything, and since you're in a basket in the open-air, there's no dirty glass to get in the way or to glare.

    Fast forward a few weeks to the actually competition. Yesterday morning the balloons had a few tasks to complete at the Edgeworth Centre and further down the road. I shot them at the Edgeworth and decided to follow them in my car. I'm glad I did.

    (I should explain - A champion is determined by dropping markers on a target. Markers are scored based on how close they get to a target and the person with the most points wins. It's certainly not as easy as it sounds because you have to steer using only the winds; for more detail check out their website or the balloon articles on

    I took more photos but haven't had a chance to upload them. At1 p.m. today they're crowning the winner, so I better get my butt in gear so I can cover it.

  3. Adventures in housewifery

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    I've been absent from blogging (but not reading!) as of late for two reasons: one, I'm getting busier now that Camrose is back in full new mode and two, I don't have anything interesting to write about! I like to think that my two whole readers may prefer to read quality rather than quantity (but that assumes that I'm producing either). I do have lots of blog ideas, but it's getting the right time to do them.

    Anyway, yesterday at lunch time G brought me home a GIANT zucchini keep me company on  my day off (I thought I had a photo of it before I attacked it. Sorry). I love zucchini but we don't buy it very often, so it was time to experiment.

    Usually on Fridays G has to work late so we go for takeout, but today since I was home all day I wanted to make him something. I usually don't cook because G is a fantastic cook and I think he prefers to do it, but after a long work day he deserved a home-cooked meal, not McDonalds. He also hasn't been feeling that good, so I wanted something to perk him up.

    I made chocolate zucchini muffins, meatloaf, zucchini crisps (all from this wonderful blog) and garden salad with a home-made balsamic vinaigrette. Much healthier than a burger and G was very impressed.

    I only bothered to take photos of the muffin making process. I wanted to take photos of supper too, but we were too hungry by that time and it was half-devoured before I remembered. So here's the muffin process:

    Take one giant-ass zucchini (thanks Sharon!) and grate the hell out of it. Get zucchini everywhere.

    Wrap up zucchini (phallic photo!) and hope it fits in your teeny-tiny fridge (it did after cutting off some z for the crisps).

    Put on the Raconteurs. Stuff your antibiotics between iPod and dock so the sound is balanced.

    Completely disregard the recipe's order of process and toss dry ingredients in the bowl.

    Realize that you were supposed to do something in a certain way and realize you have canola oil instead of vegetable oil. Proceed anyway. Freak out ahead of adding in zuchinni because this looks waaaaay to dry. Mix.

    Add a slap of milk, 1/2 cup of zucchini (knuckle-skin free, I swear) and chocolate chips.

    Plop batter haphazardly in the tins. I am not a neat muffin maker.

    Bake and sigh with relief when they turn out delicious!

    (On a side note, I noticed something really creepy about our plates. They are decorated with blue roses, but when you look at them a certain way, it looks like a skull with a bouffant! I think it's cool.)

    'Til next time,
    Laurie xo

  4. My reflection of 9/11

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    I was really confused.
    It was Sept. 11, 2001 and I was getting ready for another day of Grade 6. 11-year-old me turned on the TV to watch cartoons before the school bus came.
    I selected 'Dennis the Menace' on the guide, but what came up was not a cartoon.
    I saw a burning building and I was confused. Maybe the guide was wrong. So I went to anther channel, but it was the same thing. I started listening to the newscasters and reading the feeds at the bottom of the screen.
    "Mom! Some plane flew into some building."
    My mom had no idea what I was talking about. I had no idea what I was talking about.
    Once I got to school, we were cut off from the play-by-play on the TV. We didn't have classroom TVs, so instead we listened to our teacher, Mr. Lee, telling us what happened.

    It's all very vivid for a ten-year-old memory, especially of an event that happened when I was 11. I didn't get it at the time, but looking back, that's what opening my eyes to the realities - not even the cruelties - of the world.
    At 11 I was a smart kid. I read a lot, especially Reader's Digests. I watched ER with my mom on Thursdays. As a bookworm and a loner, I knew what intolerance was. But this? This blew everything off my scale of recognition. It was then I realized that there was more outside of my little bubble, and it wasn't all good, either.

    I've never really paused to think about that day like I did today, on the tenth anniversary. I have never flown in a commercial plane without having to put my gels and liquids in a plastic bag. I have never known no great villain than al-Qaeda, even if I never felt a personal threat.

    I don't have a personal connection to 9/11 aside from this memory. But it was something that changed the world - and my world - and for that, I remember.


  5. Show 'n' Tell: The Middy

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    I went under the knife (scissors) and finally got a middy cut!
    This is my terribly grainy before photo. My appointment was in the morning, so I decided to forgo a wash, since the hairdresser was going to do it anyway.

    Blargh! The Swamp Thing lives!
    I was dressed fairly slobby as well, since I was going to spend the rest of the day cleaning my house in a zillion degree weather (smart cookie, this one). My hairdresser was a bit trepidatious at first when I showed her the diagram, but when I showed her the picture of Retro Chick's middy her mind (and my nerves) were set at ease.

    The cut was fast and accurate! She didn't thin as much as I'd have liked, but hairdressers always seem wary of that. Trust me, I got lotsa hair. I'm not gonna miss any if you go too scissor happy. The final result (straightened):

    I'm certainly not a fan of my hair straight anymore - it kept on flopping into my eyes! And I can't even keep it back with a few bobby pins. pfffft.

    Annd, Pièce de résistance, with a set:

    To be honest, I set it like an idiot - it was too wet and wasn't evenly distributed, so some pieces fell out - but I'm still impressed. It wasn't too off from how my hair was cut before, but I'm excited to experiment with it. I'm also going to start setting it every other day instead of everyday (see tips from Retro Chick on how to make a set last one week) and see how that helps my fly-aways.

    All in all, I'm very impressed. If you're keen on getting one for yourself, take a photo of the middy styled straight so your hairdresser knows how to cut it. In online conversations with others, the diagrams have proved pretty useless with modern hairdressers and mine personally preferred using the photo.

    In other news, I went shopping again. H&M, stop parting me with my money!

    The skirt is old (H&M), but the blouse (H&M) and shoes (Spring) are new. The blouse is fashioned in the same way as my favourite dress, but I'm wishing now that I had gone a size up. Curse you bosom! Although the blouse is a little roomy in the shoulders, so had I gone up I probably would have looked like a football player. I got this blouse in two styles (you can't really tell but this is white with pink floral designs, the other is beige) and a brown skirt, which was really exciting as it went well pass my ass all the way to my knees! A rarity for H&M.

    PS I wrote this blog post after slamming back an Amber's Kenmount Road Chocolate Stout so if I don't make any sense or am sillier than usual, blame the beer.