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2015/02/02 / Shanan


Oh, hi. I was recently and ever so gently reminded that I’d left the blog stagnant, and that you’d all been stuck staring at that same last post, at that same ridiculous pair of plaid shoes. Maybe somebody out there has even given pause and thought, “I wonder what’s up with that baby she was supposed to be having?”

Well. I had that baby! And it’s no longer an ‘it,’ but a healthy, happy little boy named Rhys.  Rhys means “ardor” and that’s pretty much what our hearts are full of right now. He is now about nine weeks old and just so sweet and smiley. We’re still adjusting to the new anti-sleep regime around here, of course. My days are filled to the brim with domestic goddess-y duties (copious breastfeeding, baking muffins – the usual)  and I’ve been trying to be less of a night owl, which means I’m going to take a little more time away from The Symmetric, ’til it feels like a project I can enjoyably incorporate back into my routine. There’s a bit of a sad trombone wah-wah-wah in the hiatus but, you know, they’re only babies once, priorities and sh*t, etccccc. At least I still (sort of) remember how to use WordPress!

Until then… xx S.

(really, it’s February now?)

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2014/11/19 / Shanan


Yeah, so it seems like we went from jumping in massive autumn leaf piles, to this…

snow on apple trees orchard

… moderately snow squall-ish, what one might refer to as “Hollywood snow” and all that. And now we’re here:


Like, full-on deck-the-halls deep mid-winter snow, with a pretty substantial blizzard raging all night last night and the giant snow-plow making the neighbourhood rounds this morning.

propane fireplace

Good thing we’re staying cozy by the (fake coal-burning) fireplace. This is the new one in our basement living room and I love the cast-iron front, which reminds me of one of those old-fashioned fireplaces in a Brooklyn brownstone. We’re trying to find a great piece of unfinished wood for the mantel top and then I can get all into a mantel-decorating hormonal tizzy for the holidays.

(Um… most boring post ever? Can you tell I’m just hanging out here… waiting for a baby…)

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2014/05/14 / Shanan


The weather has all of a sudden become irresistibly warm and I keep finding myself surprised that I don’t need to wear a jacket, or scarf, to spend time outside anymore!  Many, many, ohhhh so many consecutive cold months will do that to a person.

We took our first spring family hike a few days ago and though the trees are still pretty bare, we managed to catch the trilliums in bloom and the ramps in abundance.

Have you ever tried a ramp?  It’s basically a very small but strong-tasting wild leek; they grow in forested areas around here, are considered a delicacy and, most importantly, a true beacon of spring.  We brought a mini trowel along with us and filled a shopping bag with ramps (you can imagine how fantastic pungent the car-ride home was with these babies nestled in the back).

foraging for wild ramps leeks spring ontario

Last night I made a ramp pesto to go with spaghetti and I’m going to attempt to pickle the rest.  Here’s how to identify wild ramps and here, my friends, are a few more photos from our afternoon (full disclosure: I got lazy; we didn’t bring our camera which I immediately regretted, so this was my first time snapping pictures in a pinch with my phone and you know what? They turned out… eh, passable?  The trees kind of look like a digital backdrop).




(not a ramp)


Snack break.




Chris, forager extraordinaire.


The bounty back home.  Beauty.  Now to start in on our own garden…  xx Shanan

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2014/01/29 / Shanan


I’ve never actually been part of a book club before, but I hear they often involve, like, your mother-in-law and a lot of red wine. And a book!  Sometimes there’s a book.

With this classic model in mind, I wondered if perhaps we could up the ante a little by deliberately pairing a novel with a tipple?  In the service of highlighting appropriate literary themes, of course. The bleakness of this current winter is mitigated only by my penchant for dystopian fiction – you know, the kind of novel that practically drives you to drink – so I hereby call to order The Symmetric’s first meeting of the Dystopian Book Club.

THE BOOK:  The Circle by Dave Eggers (Knopf, 2013) describes a digital near-future where a seemingly benevolent tech conglomerate feeds on the public’s desire and complicity for constant communication, connectivity, and affirmation, leading to a world wherein social media participation is mandatory and privacy is essentially nullified. The story follows Mae Holland, new hire at The Circle, and her assimilation into the cult-like company’s culture and philosophy. The novel is not exactly subtle, but it’s a pretty enjoyable plot-driven read that will probably make you squirm the next time you go to hit the ‘like’ button on your friend’s latest baby photo posted on Facebook.

THE DRINK: We’re pairing the book with an alcoholic beverage that goes down easy –  if it tastes good enough you probably won’t realize you’re getting drunk (and/or essentially having your private life stripped away), right?  We’ve deemed it “Ultimate Transparency” for both its see-through appearance and Mae’s decision to “go transparent,” having her every move filmed for the world to watch.  Here’s how to drink (and make) the Kool-Aid, so to speak:

Ultimate Transparency

1 shot orange vodka

1 sugar cube

blood orange juice squeezed from half an orange

ice cubes

old-fashioned glass

Fill glass with ice and pour vodka over top.  Dip sugar cube in blood orange juice and place it on top of the ice. The sugar cube will slowly break apart and insidiously seep into the rest of the cocktail, infusing its flavour (is the metaphor working here? Gosh I hope so).

And now, to discuss:  Have you read The Circle? Holy sh*t do you think all that could really happen?? Do you have a favourite novel you’d like to see given the Dystopian Book Club treatment here?  Pray tell, my friends.

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2013/12/06 / Gillian


We’ve been pretty busy here at Symmetric HQ, what with all the holiday baking, tablescaping, field-tripping (more on that later!) – but perhaps what we’re most excited about is the opening of our Etsy shop!  We’ve hand-picked our very first holiday collection of vintage clothing, jewelry and book prints and are delighted to make them available to the teeming Christmas shopping hordes (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  We’re at eight online sales and counting!).

We are offering free shipping in North America ’til the end of the year and are listing new items every day.  Please stop by — you can imagine us styling you up and plying you with homemade eggnog in front of a crackling fire.  Or something like that.

You can bookmark us at The Symmetric on Etsy.  Here are a few of our current offerings…

navy evening jacket blazer easy shop

The Jacqueline dress jacket.

antique victorian watchkey necklace gold etsy shop

The Una Victorian watchkey necklace.

vintage leather pencil skirt etsy shop

The Debbie leather pencil skirt.

vintage book art print etsy shop love

Can There Be Love Without Danger? vintage book print.

vintage beaded black cardigan evening top etsy shop

The Paulina beaded cardigan.

Louise gold necklace charms ring horn heart locket easy shop

The Louise, gold triple charm necklace.

vintage book prints easy shop field guide rocks

A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals, vintage book print.  Coming soon!

Have a great weekend.