Friday!

This week just flew... too many balls in the air.  I'm looking forward to kicking back tonight and downing some cocktails before I launch into another working weekend.

Still, I'm happy for spring and bluebells along the banks of the subway where it comes outdoors. And forsythia setting my neighbourhood alight too. And being busy carries its own merits and distractions from things I'm feeling but can't quite pin down, a readiness for bigger changes perhaps.


I've been allowing myself to be distracted by prettiness in my reader too, like this post over on sfgirlbybay (the image of bookshelves and a painterly floor, particularly pretty). And rhubarb is one of my favourite flavours and colours, so I'm longing to try this rhubarb cake recipe, though it's true I rarely get past stewing rhubarb and eating it with ice-cream (a feast if ever there was one).

I loved this lookbook on Miss Moss. It reminded me of Dublin's park benches and what a treat it is to eat a sandwich with a book in Merrion Square or the Iveagh Gardens. I wonder will there ever come a day when I don't think of Dublin as quickly as I seem to these days (I'm not sure if that would make me feel better or worse).

Apart from Bellinis, lemon drops and work, I'm very much hoping I do lots of yoga this weekend. I seem to have lost my steady rhythm the last few weeks and that's nagging at me. Hopefully, some classes improve my sleep too, which has been fitful all week. I would really like nothing more than to feel fully rested!

What are you up to? Happy weekend!

Invisible threads

The invisible threads that run through my days occasionally come to land on something tangible, a mood I can't quite articulate, a palette that's barely noticeable. Disarray comes coherent.

All these images, songs, ideas, products that have bubbled up in my consciousness the last few weeks. To varying degrees they're all working a sort of magic on me. When I look at them I can see the larger magic, there's a spell that binds those invisible threads. I find this the most beautiful part.


References: Melancholia (I watched last weekend and found beautiful) | Lyrics from "He's Very Good With Animals" by Great Lake Swimmers (one of my happy songs) | Nature Boy by Lizzy Stewart which always seems like the embodiment of that song | Beautiful moodboard via Piamita | The fabric from this dress | Divine Erdem scarf | Bellocq tea strainer (I just ordered Little Dickens tea) | The lampshade in this picture reminds me of my bedside lamp when I was little, it always sat crooked too - photograph by Sharyn Cairns for Homelife

A poem for Wednesday

I want to write a neat little introduction to this post. One that walks you right up to the front door of the poem so you all go yes! and get it all completely. But my mind is smeared after three sleepless nights and my own ideas are fully ineffable to me. What I would really like is to do this all wordlessly and intimately.

And I can't get to sleep these nights without imagining somebody is there with me, sitting silently by my bed as if I'm sick, ready with a cold flannel. I'm not sick at all, though, just tired and fretful. And this poem seemed lovely to me last night. It's by Carl Sandburg.

Dreams in the Dusk
Dreams in the dusk,
Only dreams closing the day
And with the day's close going back
To the gray things, the dark things,
The far, deep things of dreamland.

Dreams, only dreams in the dusk,
Only the old remembered pictures
Of lost days when the day's loss
Wrote in tears the heart's loss.

Tears and loss and broken dreams
May find your heart at dusk.

Rough Linen

I'm long overdue new bed linens and this time I mean to buy the real deal. I've long admired Tricia Rose's company Rough Linen and am saving my pennies to invest in a set of her smooth white linen. There's something about linen that fully embodies all my favourite things: It's natural, but so refined, traditional, but timeless. I adore that it can be disheveled and still be decadent.

Mum's stash of Irish linen was in constant jeopardy when I was home last autumn. I feel hard done-by that I didn't make away with any of it. It's definitely time I started my own linen stash!


All images from Rough Linen. Top image user submitted to Rough Linen.

Deborah Worsfold

I walked into Canadian Fine Arts last week, drawn in by the current exhibition of Deborah Worsfold artwork. I love these still life paintings - they have a gorgeous fauvist feel to them in person and I was especially enchanted by "Book Club" (bottom). See more here and here.

Friday!

I've had the loveliest week off. Toronto weather has just been glorious (it's raining as I type, but I can hardly complain) and I felt in love with my city the whole week.

I did do a lot of work, writing and even doing a photo-shoot for work, so it wasn't 100% vacation, but I made the in-between time count and just being here instead of at a table in the middle of a sea of tables made the experience so much sweeter.


With a little bit of down-time, it's surprising where your mind will come to rest on certain things. Some decisions I had been struggling with (I blogged recently about giving up the ghost on certain ideas) just seemed to find their natural order and found myself accepting of that in a way I haven't been able to be.

It made me think about how much (or how little) I'm really "me" when my day-to-day is stressed or overworked. I find decisions harder to make, I feel confused about what I need to fight versus what I should accept. It's interesting to think how the structure of our days alters our perception. I guess taking a holiday but not going anywhere makes that even more obvious. I was a different person in my city this week.

Some things I loved around the 'sphere this week: Erin's week in objects reminded me (indirectly) of my own sweet week—Bensimons and cherry blossoms are definitely spring talismans! Siubhan's bits and pieces had a similar effect on me. I also love her post on portraits. And citrus is my favourite flavour, so I'm dying to preserve some lemons!

What are you up to this weekend? I hope it's a lovely one!

Golden

I've always identified myself as a silvery kind of person. I love cool hues, greys and blues... so silver plays off all of that. And, silver is the moonchild's metal too—another one of those areas where I am too much of a typical Cancerian.


But I've been taking a closer look at gold. The more muted golds are slowly growing on me. I don't think I'll ever be converted to brassier, yellowy gold, but some of these seem softly threaded with white or black and that changes the cast for me.


I'm starting to think it's one of my over-zealous disciplines to absolutely never mix metals. Do you wear gold and silver metals at the same time? Or are you firmly one or the other?

Products: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

A poem for Wednesday

I haven't read any Shakespeare in years, though my complete collection has moved three times across the Atlantic with me. The collection was my Dad's first and they are the kinds of books you inhale as you read. Dad gave them to me when I was in school, though there was no ceremony involved... more that he let me take them and put them in my bedroom. Last night I got it in my head to read some sonnets and I did so out loud. I love this one, having talked about letting go on Sunday, it spoke to my present mood.

LXXXVII
Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.

For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.

Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.

Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter—
In sleep, a king; but waking, no such matter.

Imperfect captures

I suppose it was St. Patrick's Day that had me sitting on my living room floor on the weekend, with my old portfolio open, holding negatives up to the light. I'm very often an advocate of putting down the camera, cognizant of the barrier the lens can place between you and the present moment, your concrete reality.


But as I looked at these photos, they conjured very tactile memories. I remember the sudden arrest that stopped me in the first place, the special angle of light or the texture of rock that struck me enough to ask to pull over, or had me hanging back while others walked ahead. And the patience then of the capture, shooting with my beloved k1000, waiting for some tourist to move out of my shot, for the clouds to pull back again.


As a photographer I was (and am) often frustrated by how my photographs hooked up to what I saw in my mind's eye. But even in their imperfection these photographs are perfect little talismans transporting me to another time. I can feel the camera against my face, the strap around my neck, the presence of my patient companion, the damp air that even on a warm day makes you shiver.


Sometimes I think about that time in Ireland, how insulated I was, how little I knew of what other people were up to. With our strange 'sphere, it's hard to feel like you're doing anything special when you're exposed to so much. It's easy to feel so overwhelmed by admiration for so many that your little hobbies become worthless. But then it was just me and my camera and I was figuring it all out and falling in love with it and it wasn't about what other people were up to.


I often just want to revert to that time, when I could hang back by myself and make my own imperfect little creations and be so happily, obliviously tinkering about in the world.

Mariona Gen S/S

I always seem to blog the latest collection from Mariona Gen. I have a few of her pieces... they're easy and drapey separates, perfect for wearing with jeans. Or light dresses to be layered in the summer. I particularly love her palette this season, those soft nudes, peaches and corals (also manifest in my shoe wheel!)



Sunday best: Persuasion

Sunday's usually a day of deliberate relaxation. I do all those things that ought to be relaxing, hanging out in coffee shops, watching movies, reading books. I do chores too, because when they're left undone, they nag at me. And yet, Sunday nights are always fretful. Monday looms and crawls under my skin. I never sleep on Sunday nights.



But I'm off all next week, so I can do all those normal Sunday things and they'll take on a different hue. It won't be me trying to relax myself, it will be me (I hope) actually beginning to relax.

I haven't been sleeping well for a few weeks. Work has been inundating. But more than that, I'm stuck in a few different loops. I need to persuade myself to give up the ghost on some things. I've even told people that I've already done so. But I've been clinging on at the back of my mind and that's making me frustrated with myself.

To be honest, I've been feeling suddenly old and second-guessing some pretty big things in my past. It's not like me to look back. I guess I feel like I'm getting too old to believe things will turn out better next time. I need to settle my mind this week. I see these loops for what they are, but they have a gravitational pull all of their own.

It's a good time to reread my favourite Austen novel, Persuasion. Anne Elliott is always endearing and relatable to me and it's a gentle, reassuring read for my present mood.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Products: Fine wool pullover from Toast | Ines scarf from A Peace Treaty | Current/Elliott The Roller jeans from Net-a-Porter | Flat Shopper from M0851 | Arrow ring from Odette | Austen collection from Abebooks | Minnetonka Kilty from Gravity Pope

Friday!

What a beautiful week! No matter what had happened in the 9-to-5, I left the office each day happy. I saw my first robin of the year and then I saw robins everywhere. I ate ice cream (twice!) and bought crazy new shoes and took this blurry photo of my apartment that I love.


All of this exuberance is a much-needed antidote to some of the stuff still unfurling right now. I'm choosing to be happy in spite of it, clinging to the beautiful fragments. But there will be a respite: I booked an entire week off next week. I haven't been getting as much writing done lately, so want to buckle down to that. And enjoy more of this gorgeous weather too.

I want to thank everybody who left a comment on my Pinterest post. I was delighted that my more personal reasons resonated with so many because it's all previously left me feeling all knotted up. And I was mostly relieved nobody yelled at me.

Other lovely things around our little sphere included: Siubhan's stunning photos, Chelsea's dream retreat on Les îsles De La Madeleine and Aran's fleur de sel chocolate chip cookies. This lover's eyes post is one I've had starred for a few weeks - I've long been obsessed with these and always secretly wanted to have one done of my violet eyes (my only remarkable feature). Also on my lust list is a studded ELA purse. Ever since I saw the inspiration, I've been obsessed.

To my friends at home in Ireland, Happy St Patrick's Day! Wishing everybody a lovely weekend!

Spring polka

This week, spring has exploded on Toronto. Yesterday evening, I actually sat outdoors and ate honey ice-cream in the sun. The transition from hot chocolate to frozen desserts is not usually so sudden or so early. And although it might give me pause, I'm really so happy for the burst of a new season that I won't second-guess it.


And suddenly I just wanted something new to wear for the lovely weather! I've been talking myself out of a lot of purchases lately. But when I saw the polka dot dresses in the new Toast collection, I knew it would be a dress that I'd eventually buy. And I just thought, why wait and go through all that self-flagellating vacillation when I already know the outcome?

I had a hard time choosing between the dress and tunic, but landed on the dress. Pretty excited for it to get here! Have I told you how much I adore polka dots? They're my stripes!

P.S. More divine dottiness over here!

Book report: The Little Disturbances of Man

I was at a loss about what to read after Harold Brodkey’s First Loves. A timely recommendation pointed me the way of Grace Paley’s stories.


Pungent is perhaps the best word to describe The Little Disturbances of Man. Paley paints a heady concoction of lust and bitter exhaustion on the faces of her single mothers. But the beautiful cadence of her writing brings levity to stories that might otherwise be too naturalistic for my mood right now. Paley’s understatement is simply sublime.

I also loved how confined in time these stories were. Paley keeps the aperture pretty small. There’s no speculation about what it all means, how it will all come out, about how the kids will grow up. Her characters move day to day largely living as it unfolds before them, that’s enough to occupy them.


But there's such layered reality even in that confined time frame. Paley draws a stark contrast between how we really live and the stories we might tell ourselves, the pictures we might draw. There's a distinct lack of companionship in these stories, little to no sense of romance. But there are moments of harmony, of a mother holding a child or of a post-coital couple.

This is a tough pill for me to swallow. I'm a romantic, but I also readily internalize stories that are more cynical. Paley's stories have the potential to leave me feeling deflated. That they didn't is due to her light touch, the twinkling undercurrent of wit and warmth that runs through her stories. There's a sly wryness to her, but also a warm tolerance of all our foibles.


Paley's stories reminded me of Edward Hopper paintings, which I've inserted in the post here. This is something I don't normally do. I try not to plant images in people's minds when it comes to books. But the images were powerful this time. And I think Paley and Hopper share a special brand of empathy. They don't romanticize in order to empathize. They see it as it really is, show it as it really is.

Image credits: Edward Hopper | Morning in a City (1944), via
Grace Paley in 1994, Credit: Gentl & Hyers / Arts Council, Inc., via |
Edward Hopper | 11am (1926), via

Unabashed inspiration

When Sarahbeth sent me her latest Unabashed Apparel collection, I fell instantly for her palette. I know it's been pretty pastel around here lately, but neutrals and jewel tones are my mainstay. The same week I was revisiting the gorgeous work of Karen Yurkovich over on Bau-Xi. I have such a deep response to these paintings and there's something ethereal that connects both the paintings and Sarahbeth's collection.


Sarahbeth has also launched a project called the Alchemy Project and is calling for contributors. As you can imagine, I love the idea of story-telling intertwined with design, of fashion fables. Read more about the project here.

Pinterest

For the longest time, I felt like the only anti-Pinterest blogger out there. Whenever I tweeted anything negative, people were taken aback by my attitude. But, in the last few months, Pinterest got a lot of mainstream press. And with that came some constructive (and some not-so-constructive) criticism and a seemingly sudden ramp-up of negative feeling.

My own feelings towards Pinterest are extremely personal. They reflect how I consume content and what I find meaningful in the world. They reflect the same sentiment that I apply to blogging, to magazines, to media across the board – a desire for something substantive, reflective and inspiring in an actionable way. I don't disagree with the louder objections to Pinterest, but it’s not the heart of the matter for me personally. This is a long post, but I want to try to explain myself better because I’ve been asked about this a lot:

1. Copyright
Copyright is the objection most people lead with right now (read about it here and here). As I mentioned on Friday, for me that's an internet issue we’ll always be catching up to. Sure, Pinterest enables sharing of non-credited images and has some iffy small print to protect itself. I agree they should fix that. But Pinterest is just the flavor of the year and I guarantee this issue will follow users to the next social media tool, and the one after that too.

I also understand the shocked reaction from some Pinterest users when this issue is flagged. They’re benignly collecting images to inspire a reno or a wedding and all of a sudden being yelled at by bloggers. Many are just using Pinterest as a sorting tool, they’re not thinking of themselves as content-creators or thinking of their boards as  public-facing content. That said, of course, credits should be required and that process should be better enabled and upheld.

2. Hoarding versus inspiring
I believe that inspiration that is useful, that is acted upon, is a finite thing. I realized at the start of the year that I’d got into a habit of buying lots of food magazines. And that most of those food magazines never actually inspired me to try a new recipe. They hypothetically inspired me. In that moment, I thought, ooh I’d love to try that. But then before I ever got round to it, another magazine was on my coffee table and the same thing recurred.

I remember when I was young and magazines were like a rare treat. I eked every last bit of information out of each issue. I pored over every photo. I savoured it all and it inspired decisions, experiments, conversations and purchases. When there’s too much inspiration I feel like we detach it from action. We collect for the sake of collecting. And I believe that inspiration that doesn’t actually inspire action can only make you feel bad; a gap opens up between all the things that inspire you and your own life. I’m very much against women feeling shitty and inadequate because of over-styled images. Collecting inspiration that's never followed through on just seems like a negative cycle to me.

3. Images without context
It's no secret that I care about words. Of course, I understand that visuals are important in blogging and I too enjoy a beautiful image, a creative collage – both as a maker and as a user. But there’s so much prettiness out there that unless it has something substantive attached to it, I quickly glaze over. Blogs like Anabela’s and Hila’s (to single out just two) hit me at more than one level. There’s a whole lot of beauty, but there’s real substance, deep expression too. I love that marriage.

Hila has written about what gets lost when images are taken out of their context, the potential pain it causes. On a very old post (which I have since removed) I shared a picture of my Mum holding my baby brother. Paul died when I was four. And my post was about how that experience defined my whole childhood, how it changed our entire family dynamic, about how that still reverberates through my life. I recently saw that picture of Paul on Pinterest with the comment "adorable". Not unkind at all. But I'm sure you can imagine how I felt seeing this very personal post reduced to cute-fodder.

4. Reductionism
I believe good blogs reflect a whole person. Sometimes they’re vulnerable, angry, opinionated, romantic, silly, materialistic – the whole gamut. I love that blogs are not limited to just being about fashion or books, decor or editorials. We’re all so complex and I feel like traditional women’s media makes us choose between being smart or being pretty (I wrote before about how it was difficult when I was young for me to reconcile that I loved both literature and magazines). But blogs really let me express all of it.

When I see this page, however, I feel like all of that richness dissipates. It boils my blog down to all the things I actually hope my blog is not. And it makes me feel bad then, that this and only this is the take-away for some people. That is not my goal or the content that I want to contribute to the world.

5. Objectification
Those who know me online and in real life, know I’m pretty much the most emotionally open person in the world. Heart on sleeve. Where I'm less open is with my concrete life; my home, my friends, my own appearance. I don't like to style and pose. I might share a vignette or limited view of my apartment here and there, but I would never let my home be featured in a magazine. This may sound hypocritical, because I love to look at those pictures. But I don’t see my own life objectively. It’s an intimate thing for me to share even a limited view of my home. I’ve only put one photo of myself online in the last two years.

When I do share something like that, I fool myself into thinking I'm sharing with the small and intimate group of readers who gather here. I’m not ready for those images to be disseminated across Pinterest, commented and critiqued by the rabid crowd. It hurts me to see my own apartment on Pinterest. Even when the comment is positive, I don’t like it. I know this is a complex reaction; that it might betray something I need to get over. But it really feels objectifying to be looked at like that.

As I said, my reasons for disliking Pinterest are very personal ones. Last week, I installed the pin-blocker on my blog. I know it won’t work. I know it will mean my images go onto Pinterest without credits. But I want to send the message that sharing something online should not necessarily mean limitless sharing. I'm over the "you put it on the internet, so suck it up" attitude. I think we need degrees of privacy online, people should be able to share something without having to give up all their rights entirely.

I don’t blame Pinterest for all of this… they’re just the latest manifestation. And, in fact, I think they have an opportunity to really address some of those privacy / sharing options, to build a structured environment that allows people to set limits, to even allow completely private boards. So, I’m ending on a positive note – one that is hopeful that conscientious communities can exist, that products can be built that foster a more reflective form of sharing and inspiring.

Sunday best: Spring forward

Losing an hour of sleep is a tough break. Still, there's something nice about springing forward, about drawing a line under one season, moving one time zone without traveling.

I'm going to take that mood today and make some new commitments. I've been off kilter the last few weeks. Too much work has meant too little yoga. Too much agro at the office has meant fraught feelings. It has all started to pervade my days and I need to set myself upright again.


I've been thinking a lot about kindness the last few days. It's one of those things that we either take for granted or seem scornful of. Kindness is seen as a weakness at work, something that will let you be taken advantage of, betraying a softness, a lack of edge. In relationships, even, it can seem like a double-edged compliment.

I usually set ostensive goals like fitness, income, travel and the like. Right now, I'm thinking about values. I've been recalling my favourite job and trying to understand why I loved it. It boiled down to the fact my boss was kind man and the work was necessary and good.

Some of my current situations and relationships are especially unkind or indifferent, even adversarial. I feel over all of it, too old to be caught up with unkind people and situations that leave me feeling fraught. I know it's a hackneyed old phrase, but life really is too short.

Today, I'm going to throw on my favourite jeans and sweater and go for a long stroll. It's a beautiful spring day, so I'll ditch my coat and I'll think about all of this while I walk. And I'll look for ways of moving towards something altogether kinder.

Products: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil from Nars | Runaround tank from Madewell | Current/Elliott The Roller jeans from Net-a-Porter | Saltspring sweater-top from Madewell | Bouquet Floral Scarf from Roots | Rose Noir from Byredo | Dieppa Restrepo Cali Apricot Suede from Maryam Nassir Zadah

Friday!

Friday has crept up on me. My week was a whirlwind of work, with a brief and heartening glimmer of spring. I even cast off my winter coat yesterday (something I love to do - I have a childlike aversion to wearing coats).

But just as it was heartening, my week was rough too. And some of the things I resolved to put behind me last week seemed to percolate up again. I'm not quite out of the woods yet.


With all of that, I didn't get to spend much time with blogs. Still... some things cut into my consciousness anyway, like this room that Margot posted. I like her use of the word "handsome". I think I like handsome rooms too. I also loved the entire palette of this post from Odessa May Society.

I have a couple of half-baked posts sitting on my computer that I've been waiting for the right day to publish. One of them is about Pinterest. Hila also wrote about Pinterest this week and although our issues are slightly different, we overlap too and I also agree with what she has written.

I have to say that while image-crediting and copyright is a huge issue for me, it strikes me as an "internet" issue and not just a Pinterest one. It used to be Fffffound, then Tumblr. It happens on blogs and Instagram, even in Etsy stores too. That issue is a user-generated rather than web-based (though of course it is easily propagated, even encouraged, on certain websites).

Anyway... the weekend is here now and with that I plan sleep and yoga, reading and writing. I'll be working on some stuff over the weekend and will use that to justify an abundant purchase of flowers at the market. Sometimes, you just have to do it for yourself.

Have a lovely weekend!

Lichen & Thrift

I adore everything about this print by Angie Lewin—the palette, its dynamism. It actually reminds me of a very specific spot at home and I can smell the air there, almost, as I look at it. Available from St Jude's.

En rose

Is it possible to be a Beckettan romantic? I think I'm one. Recent Instagram evidence...

A poem for Tuesday

I was a sad balloon on the weekend. Little things: Filing taxes, painting my kitchen, going to yoga even when I don't feel like it—they all helped. Billy Collins helped too. Is there a more genial poet? How does he manage such sweet levity even when he's talking about the very same thing that's breaking my heart? I really wish I was more like Billy Collins. This is from Nine Horses.

Aimless Love
This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

Fifteen flats

As we edge towards spring, shoes are on my mind. Much as I love my Bean boots, by spring, I'm dying to kick off practical footwear, abandon socks and put something pretty on my feet. I never wear heels, so the perfect flat is a little bit of an obsession for me. My favourites are by Bloch and Lanvin. But I would pretty much take any, or all, of these.


Products: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

Sunday best: Taxed

The weather is tempestuous here. On Friday night, we had 80 km/h winds and they whistled through my sleep all night, putting me in a strange state the next day. I was up early for an appointment and the streets were quiet, all the newspaper stands tipped over and my streetcar stop was even blown apart.


Today, I'm setting myself a very boring task - tax returns. I may not get everything filed, but am hoping to organize all my paperwork and begin the filing process. I usually like to get everything done early. Strangely, it's one of those terrible chores that gives me an odd sense of satisfaction.

I'm a little in disarray and it likely makes me bad company right now, blogging and otherwise. It's difficult to talk to people, to get to the heart of the matter. There's only so much to say about things that aren't nice and easy. And when you've decided not to say them, it leaves you grasping for another topic, making clumsy, distracted small-talk.

So maybe taxes today will be a little bit of a refuge from all that. And the calculations will be easy and the books will balance. And I'll wish other things could be as easy as those additions and subtractions.

Products: Splendid Sahara striped cotton-blend terry sweatshirt from Net-a-Porter | Mother The Teaser jeans from Net-a-Porter | Giza lip gloss from Nars | Terracotta mug from Toast | Striped socks from Happy Socks

Friday!

My week was stop-start, up-down so I'm simultaneously pleasantly surprised and utterly relieved to have landed on Friday today.

Things aren't very straightforward right now. It's like every hopeful thing has strange strings attached, so I have to work through everything slowly and measure all the compromises. And all I want is for something good to be whole and straightforward once in awhile. But maybe that's too much to ask.


People have been very supportive lately though. There were a few moments when I felt particularly fragile and then I checked my inbox and there were kind e-mails and blog comments from people who couldn't have known that their timing would be so perfect. So maybe there are good things that are whole and straightforward after all.
Thank you for that!

And some lovely moments reading blogs too: An absolutely perfect collection by Houghton, blogged by Joanna. And I've long admired the beautifully abundant arrangements of Nicolette Camille. It was lovely to learn more about her over on {this is glamorous}. I didn't propose to anybody on Leap Day, but I did enjoy Vic's inspiring An Extra Day project. Also, hooray! My favourite Toronto label, Comrags has opened a webstore.

I haven't had much of a chance to think about my weekend but I think there will be flower market involved. What are you up to?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Elsewhere, favourite meal

Gabrielle, aka Design Mom asked me to contribute the meal that makes me feel homesick and completely at home to her Design Mom Asks series. I loved this idea and knew right away what I would make. So, I took myself to the farmers' market on Saturday for duck eggs (I also bought some goose eggs - check out their relative sizes compared to regular chicken eggs!)


You can read the full post here and here's a link to a recipe for Irish soda bread. Absolutely anybody can make Irish soda bread: One bowl, a wooden spoon and no yeast or weird bread-making shenanigans. I whipped this meal up in under an hour, including photographs. And, I then savoured every mouthful.


Thanks Gabrielle for having me!

February

I was initially resistant to Instagram for all the reasons I've previously expressed about over-styled and over-captured lives. But I found myself having fun with it and considering it a little way to pause and notice small moments of beauty that naturally occur.

And because my weeks often pass by in a blur and I sometimes feel like the routine is an unpunctuated monotony, I actually find it uplifting to look back on February and recall those small fleeting moments that are so easily forgotten.


If you're on Instagram, you can follow me at seenandsaid or you can see more on Flickr too.