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2014/11/11 / Shanan

THE HOME STRETCH

I haven’t written much about this second pregnancy on the blog; although not for any particular reason that I can think of. It seems like babies are good for business (so to speak) but I just couldn’t get it together to document or share, and didn’t want to beat myself up for that.

Now this mysterious creature is due in 10 days, and I’m finally winding down with my design work and random nesting projects, and am finding that my mornings (while Theo is in school) are becoming pretty quiet. So, now I’ve started to reflect on the time ahead more and more.

I think you can kind of ignore being pregnant for the majority of the gestation (especially when it’s not your first baby) and then all of a sudden the prospect of actually giving birth and meeting and caring for this new little person begins to feel real and tangible, and you freak out a bit. Or maybe that’s just me? Our household is kind of baby-crazy at the moment and we are all so excited to finally have the baby in our lives. I’ve been looking back at pictures of Theo when she was just a few days old and it seems miraculous and impossible how teeny she was. But in those quiet moments alone, I wonder, “will I really be able do this again?”

Will I be strong enough to have another natural birth? Can I cope with having a newborn and a three year old, together, and still retain some semblance of my own identity? Will I be a good mother? What will happen with my work (and what do I want my work to actually be, moving forward? That’s a big one)? Will anybody still want to hang out with us?

And most of the time, I know the answer is hell YES I can pull off all of this. But I need to be my own cheerleader and champion and remind myself in a daily-affirmation type of way, in order to really keep it together. Admittedly, it’s not the route I generally take, but sometimes you just have to embrace the Ina-May-Gaskin-rock-star-goddess-within and go with it. And I’m in the home stretch.

Image above: It is clearly illogical to covet a baby spoon as much as I do this one. Silver seahorse and oyster spoon by Flotsam & Jetsam, available from Catbird.

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2014/11/07 / Shanan

SYMMETRIC STYLE ICON: CHRIS PARKER

Do you ever pause, realize you’ve been sitting at the computer for over two hours and think, ‘what am I doing with my life?’  This might be one of those times.  Alas, alack.

I was going to write a post reflecting on pregnancy and motherhood, now that I’m just two weeks out from my due date. Instead, I bring you the next instalment of ‘style icons’ in which we look at wardrobe through the lens of Adventures in Babysitting, aka the best movie of 1987.

elisabeth-shue-adventures-4

Elisabeth Shue plays Chris Parker, the reluctant babysitter, and still to this day I think she’s one of the most beautiful women around. Back then, I wanted to be her. Now, I want to update her outfit of casual basics with versions in luxe fabrics and cooler cuts. Because frankly Chris, you deserve better.

adventures in babysitting chris parker wardrobe style icon

Don’t f*ck with the babysitter.

1.  Colorblock Streetcar Coat, Madewell. The oversized camel coat gets a modern makeover in this menswear-inspired two-tone number. Want.

2.  Vintage Gold Wash Pin, via Ruby Lane. Less 1980s, more 1880s as far as vintage accessories go.

3.  Eribe Loop Scarf, via Anthropologie. The rainbow scarf is, admittedly, a tough piece to pull off. This pure wool version is an improvement?

4.  J Brand Mid-Rise Super Skinny Jean, via Revolve.

5.  Champion Originals Leather Sneakers, Keds. Keds are so uncool they’re cool, right? (I own this exact pair)

6.  Diane Von Furstenburg Jenia Sweater, via Matches. If you’re going to rock a fuchsia sweater, at least do it in slouchy cashmere.

7.  Claudia Leather Gloves, Club Monaco. Buttery, sleek, Italian. Want, pt 2.

elisabeth-shue-adventures-2

!!!

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2014/10/29 / Shanan

MY NATURAL SKINCARE REGIME

Let’s talk about beauty products! Because, well, I mean why not.

I’m always somewhat fascinated to hear what other people use on their skin so here I shall assume that said fascination flows both ways (otherwise I’m just going to look really narcissistic).

A few years ago I started phasing out all the chemical junk I’d been using and I’ve become very particular about the products I now buy. So particular that walking down the aisles in a typical drugstore these days makes me feel like I’m breaking out in hives or something.

I discovered my absolute favourite source for organic beauty, Saffron Rouge, and that’s where I do much of my (online) shopping. I really can’t say enough good things about this company – their product selection, customer service, free samples, etc are truly excellent (nobody’s paying me to write any of this, by the way). And I think if you’re willing to spend a little money on truly natural, top quality brands, they will do the job. Of course everybody has their own particular skincare regime that works, but behold the splendour in the grass and see what I’m using right now:

1.  Suki Exfoliate Foaming Facial Cleanser – I’m a big fan of many Suki products and this is one of their best-sellers. I use it at night and it gently exfoliates my skin while smelling like fresh lemons.

2. Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser – this is my face-wash for the morning, when I can get it together to do the whole skincare routine (sometimes it’s just jump outta bed and listen to the rantings of a three year old and make breakfast and pack the school lunch and then whoops it’s noon). Living Nature products tend to be quite gentle and have a particular ‘natural’ scent that’s not for everyone, but I love them.  The brand is slowly being phased out from Saffron Rouge, which is a shame (the company is based in New Zealand and there’s some sort of change afoot re: their North American distribution) but you can find their full range of products here.

3.  Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum – my sister turned me on to this line and I’m hooked although I will admit upfront that the products are the most expensive I’ve used, so I try to have just one in rotation at a time. This anti-aging serum is more like a light lotion that smells divine and blends into your skin so creamy and smooth. I actually smile a little whenever I put it on. Probably because I look so young again? I have no idea. Available in Canada at Good Gosh Beauty.

4.  Burt’s Bees Anti-Blemish Spot Treatment – it’s just occurred to me that perhaps I should have photographed these products going clockwise in the order I actually use them…*  BB’s is owned by Clorox which doesn’t thrill me but I roll this tea tree-based oil onto any pimples and it does its thing.

5.  John Masters Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 – please tell me you are applying a facial sunscreen every day. My fear of looking like a brown dried prune in the near future scares me into wearing this, which is very highly rated by EWG and doesn’t leave a weird white residue like many other non-chemical sunscreens.

6.  Living Nature Illuminating Foundation – this falls more into the category of makeup, but I do use it every day as my last skincare regime step. It doesn’t actually offer much coverage like a foundation, but rather just adds a really lovely subtle glow to your skin. I’m convinced that whenever I get compliments on my complexion, it’s largely because of this product.

7.  Elabloom Nourishing Facial Oil – I was initially skeptical of the whole ‘oil as moisturizer’ concept that has become a recent trend but let me assure you I am full-on converted. This is a wonderful product and made in Toronto to boot.

8. Suki Clarifying Toner – another great Suki product, with just the right amount of astringency and their signature lemony scent.

On the hunt for: a good eye cream.

And there you have it. This is apparently what takes up so much of my time – applying skincare products. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Next time – natural makeup?

* In order of application: Suki exfoliating cleanser or Living Nature cleanser (P.M. and A.M.), Suki toner, Tata Harper serum, Burt’s Bee’s spot treatment, Elabloom oil, John Masters sunscreen (A.M.), Living Nature foundation (A.M.).

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2014/10/20 / Shanan

A GHOST IS BORN

I’ve always been into odd, slightly spooky visual art so I’ll be embracing Halloween this year by featuring some of my favourite work.

Since 2012, Angela Deane has been collecting old photographs and painting over the figures. People and their memories are obscured, rendered completely anonymous and, to quote Deane, “become the ghosts of our everyday.”

I like that these give a little wink to both the spirit photos of the 19th century as well as the nostalgia we all feel for the physicality of old snapshots.  They’re kind of funny but many are also kind of creepy.  These are some of my favourites from the series but you can see many more ghost photographs here.

Image above:  Today’s Embrace, acrylic on found photograph, 2014.

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One Year Older, acrylic on found photograph, 2014.

AngelaDeane-VelvetBench

Velvet bench, acrylic on found photograph, 2013.

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Together For Soup, acrylic and gouache on found photograph, 2014.

AngelaDeane-ReachForMeAcrossTheFlowers

Reach for Me Across the Flowers, acrylic on found photograph, 2014.