Showing posts with label late night. Show all posts
Showing posts with label late night. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 is here!




One more day to chillax before work resumes post holiday. Amazing New Year celebrating with friends in the dust of 2013 and family lunch today at my mom's and now time alone with my laptop to write at home. (switch hitting between two books for an early spring 2014 e-book launch of both)

I keep adding to the tree past Christmas (oversized flowers and trendy tinsel gifts from the post Christmas clearance fairies) so it's still up.

recent adventures in reading reflect how long ahead I like to plan. I'm ok with life taking me off course, I just like to have a plan and a roadmap. fascinating read.
to keep me in the moment, I also read living simply with children. which was a fast and common sense but inspiring read. basically about slowing down and allowing yourself an adult life and allowing the kids to be kids and enjoy a non-pedestal place in the family -- it takes the stress and heightened expectations out of childhood.

adventures in decorating: added a bulletin board element to the reversed picture and made my favorite faux fur coat into a dining room bench throw. (shopping home after window shopping urban barn)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

what a lack of sleep inspires





ahhh. the long weekend.
extra sleep and time with the family
except I drank an energy drink too close to bed and whacked my sleep all up.
so I'm doing another coat of paint in the laundry room (a room that has long plagued me with its super functional dingy-ness doubling with it being our main entrance) so now it's the kind of dark grey that looks great with gilded frames and looks amazing. pics to come when everything is back in its place.
my mom did the same haircut she's done on me since childhood yesterday. the best thing about your mom doing your hair is she will cut it when no one else is up on the weekend (7:45 am on a Saturday morning) a little bit of an impromptu decision that was niggling at the back of my brain and pushed over the edge by an upcoming great Gatsby themed party invite.
current writing: pieces of my stories are coming together well. looks like the short story collection might make its way to ebook a bit before the novel (for which new scenes are generating too quickly for prompt execution.)
current read: this one about a secondhand shop owner in NYC. thought it was appropriate as this month marks about a year of not doing a little second hand store. I missed 2 thrifty chicks when I ran across things I knew my shoppers would love while thrifting. (but did not miss the stacks and stacks of clothes to store) my new venture is pish posh: home d├ęcor for everyone. already dreaming up fun shopping events.
still not sleepy. will probably get that way when everyone else wakes up. wish me luck.

Monday, October 14, 2013

prior to turkey dinner wrap-up

 This setting was the ultimate for a writer's weekend. If you'd like to join us for the spring 2014 edition, send me an email at michelle.vandepol@ufv.ca


I am back from the writer's weekend and it was everything Allison and I hoped it would be and more. Safe to say it will be a repeat. The only side effect to turning your brain on and filling it with writerish things for an intense stretch is that you arrive home with a heightened case of writer's buzz brain. Luckily for me, nothing takes the buzz down to a manageable level than the to do list of a house left to the devices of my 4 male housemates. Who knew the second shift was such an integral part of mental health?

While I was out of town, (thankfully she kept me updated of the progress via text) my leggy blond SIL gave birth to the littlest Vandepol who is sure to make an appearance at family turkey dinner later today. She is adorable and we are all thrilled.

Add my sister's impending first birth on the other side of the family and you know why it's an exciting Thanksgiving. I am off to hang out with my so-big-we-have-to-rent-a-hall family Thanksgiving lunch first so I will do my best not to appear stuffed at D's family's shindig.

If you are looking for something new to throw into your life, get inspired by these entrepreneurs. I've been juggling multiple gigs my whole working life so you know I find their stories affirming.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

rain sunshine sandwich

it's back to rain again.
but when it was summeresque to celebrate Victoria Day long weekend
i made all sorts of plans for the coming months.
and picked wildflowers in the field
and got my kids together with their friends
and got D & I together with our friends (a wonderful family bbq with d's college buddy and family -- minus our middlest who was camping with his friend but with little c who dazzled the visiting teenage girls with his endless energy and vocal strength and the high schooler who made like youtube was visiting and they were not ;) a ridiculous amount of eating, multiple rounds of my fave new game (D + I won by a slim margin which i was surprised about given his nature as a man of few words), and a few glasses of red.
and again with our dinner party crew (who 2 years in have tackled nearly every theme dinner out there in style) this one was a curry chicken extravaganza with deck lounging cocktail hour to start and a campfire to end. i am one of the most unimpressive participants in terms of foodieness -- my theory is to let the true stars shine and just play a relaxed supporting role -- my low key contributions were a plate of cut up Chilliwack Fresh and a blinged out curry colored shirt.  
about that rain. its fine for the work week where it acts as a charm for soccer and encouragement to write instead of garden.
 wildflowers make me happy
 looking next door. little c's horse friends live there -- we don't know their names he's taken to calling them lucy and stan ;)
 gumboots pour deux
an intentional bid to teach confidence and gratitude. little c loves it as much as the middlest did when I started it with him when he was the same age. how it works: you write something affirming about the child specific to them and their character and abilities and they write something they are specifically grateful for. no repeats. it's addictive and so much easier than telling them to stop whining. (ok, still have to do that ;) but it's a good way to cap the night off. set a number before you start.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

list me

the holidays are drawing to a close. it's now officially january so you know my list making tendancies are in full swing. not resolutions, but visualizations. i'm a dreamer, not a self-flagellator.
love buying quirky loot for my quirky boys 

my daily entertainment troop 
 my friend heather's reminder to me is on the wall
loved the new year's polaroids at our friends' soiree, now at home with the dining room to do list
 when you've promised the kids roasted marshmellows and are unsuccessful at fire building, you do the next best thing
 i was reading living etc and was inspired. check out the new book storage spot i found. the cat might be jealous.
my boys #2 and #3 helped me be eco about our new calendar acquiring (on the backs of former years of the mom calendar -- of which format i am a huge fan -- i save years' worth as they act as flashback diaries -- i can picture the specific days upon glance back. 2013's edition has charmingly specific art -- january ominiously shows us travelling through snow to work and school -- the almanac feature is a bonus ;)
my heavy duty to do list can be considered accomplished: reading, bon bon eating, finery wearing, homebase puttering, and general socializing and nesting... i enjoyed every minute of it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

playing florist to relax

i'm set up to see my rosedale girlfriends (of dinner party club membership) every second day for the next week. tis the season. last night was Christmas centerpiece making night (at the wonderful hostess with the mostess -- and the newest inductee into DP club -- it looked like house and home set up her functional shop workspace) i set to work making singularly themed arrangements. they may be basic but i like them.




today is biscotti making, stairs refinishing, notebook scratching... and trying not to adhere more shiny beads to twigs. love these ones.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

why we fall for comfy fall marketing

latest quick projects. a canvas inspired by things spotted on my recent trip to granville st with heidi. -- because it's for a kid space. it's brighter and less polished than the original. but i love the motto. and because i cut up an ill fitting tee to make it wear worthy, i was left with fabric strips to bracelet up (it looks super cool next to chunky bling)

the middlest has the best comfy slippers in the house
a week where writing was done everywhere from the car to scraps of papers tucked in novels. anything but something regular.
the fall has been like that. some day job and parent volunteering at the kids' school, the middle schooler's rehearsals for his youth group's upcoming play, the middlest and little c keeping busy with their friends swapping one friend for another until i am sure they are seeing each other more than their blood relatives. it's been steady and not a day has been like another.
d and i have been homebodies when we can for most of the month. until last night when we got together with friends and apparently had a lot of catching up to do. i still didn't regret the 4 hrs 10 min sleep (i count it because i'm thrilled i at least logged that) even when i had signed up immediately following to take the kids to free family movie day at the local cinema (those 3D glasses make for some good sleeping anyways)
the rest of the saturday is chugging on as per usual -- birthday boy middlest celebrating with friends. me logging some organizing and laundry folding time around their noise. waiting for d to come home so we can be tired together and hang out in our pjs.
i want to be rested to properly enjoy rest day.you know a stack of reads is waiting

Friday, July 22, 2011

a variety of things from a variety of sources










the garden is growing, so are the weeds (i go out and pull a few every day so i don't feel bad about them. i'm not a weed killer kind of girl but the world is definitely prettier without them)


little c is at a sleepover at his grandma's with the middlest (before that he was drawing pictures of his much loved new sock monkey) they're there because today i am the mother of a 14 year old (i wrapped the presents last night before crawling into bed and all i found was some previously sketched on lined paper -- it turned out like i might want to recreate from time to time -- the best kind of recycling is also easier than new consumption) he and his friends are attempting their annual all nighter. you think i would be writing right now, but i'm reading stacks of magazines instead.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

on the home front











the writing is happening this pm because the day was taken up by the to-do list (but it had some fun stuff on it too like am coffee that drifted into lunch with a friend (insta-playdate for the kids), a shopping trip to the thrift store to try and find art for the laundry room (instead i found this adorable dog painting for little c's room), and then a flurry of home project activity (sanding and staining the harvest table and chairs, glazing the kitchen cupboards -- the recent grey made a great base, and doing up the mini bulletin board to match my front door which also matches little c's dresser -- when i have paint on hand in colors i like i use them everywhere ;)




now to not make all this evening's characters DIYers...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

i'm a bit of a faker when it comes to flowers




the whirl that is june means that a girl is well within her rights to celebrate to do list end with flowers for herself. even better if said flowers are the kind that stick around for a while and have been previously sourced on a variety of shopping trips so she can throw them into a pot with one eye on the canucks sad defeat ;) (sources: trivet: linen and things; yellow pot, thrifted hand made; faux peonies, poppies, and grasses -- dollar giant; feather cocktail pick, objekts; blossom twigs, creekside)



a few scenes blocked out for the afternoon. you know i'm brewing more coffee for the occasion. (even tho i send my sleep deprived d to work armed with green goodness instead ;)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

sorting the mess out by reading in the middle of the night


wishlist tray from anthropologie

i grew up with a supermom. she would balk modestly at that label, but she was the epitome of what current culture looks up to -- high powered job, neatly dressed kids, clean house, dinner on the table and a loving and supportive husband. but, thank goodness, she has always been forthright with me about what it takes to "have it all" 110% of yourself, too blessedly close to burnout (the truth is, you can't. not all at once and you will always have to make individual choices to get there, oftentimes sacrificing things not considered popularly important -- hobbies, time for oneself, etc)
so there was no mystique to me.
and i married someone like my dad. someone who took for granted i'd work like his mother did and supported my dreams as to what that would look like and what i would do.
but what i underestimated, especially this last year, when my youngest was safely ensconced at school, was my dream of that coming together into something utopian.
what i wanted was what the majority of women want. something fulfilling and well paying while the kids were at school so i could resume what i want as much or more than professional success during the hours they're home -- to revel in being their mom and then after they went to bed -- hanging out with the man i fell in love and made this life with.
but it was something that was hard to discuss. there is a general cultural feeling of exhaustion -- of how "this is just modern life" this rushing around and biting the heads off the ones we love, and never quite getting the balance right. but just like a recent discussion with girlfriends in which i said i refuse to settle for friendships that are as deep as a puddle, i felt conflicted about the work life i was moving towards.
it's not that i am without options. i have a decent chunk of university coursework to transfer, a supportive spouse, and the model of many great women around me, a mother who did working motherhood exceptionally well, parents who respect my professional choices, and a bulk of bills to pay to make earning a supplementary earning for my family motivating.
but as i looked closer at the women i respected professionally i didn't envy the look of their everyday. and that was hard both to see and to fail to discuss. working motherhood is so polarized that it is the conversational equivalent to the breast vs bottle debate -- no one wins except for the ones who stay out of it ;)
so the last year was spent realizing i am happier with a whole host of unimpressive part-time jobs done from home that support the life i want than to rush the workplace gun and regret it later. (career transition has been postponed 3 more years by which time i will have been at home 17 years and still able to do work i love over 25 years after that DV)
what i realized a while into it, is that while modern day men have been raised to see women as their equals, they in their support of us might talk us into a faster workplace inclusion only to the surprise that family life isn't as cushy as it once was or that we as women are resentful in having to do the bulk of the second shift at home. (not because our modern men won't pitch in but because of the popular opinion that we have higher standards for what the finished job looks like ;)
so it was with great pleasure i consumed danielle crittenden's "what our others didn't tell us: why happiness eludes the modern woman" it offers, like the best books not across the board solutions, but an insightful helpful intelligent sorting of priorities and politics.
is it possible that someone somewhere might think i'm a ridiculous throwback? most likely ;) but i am convinced it is a better life than the one we think we have to settle for -- a lack of investing in the things we know deep down that matter, and a rushing to the next stage of life without savoring the first.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

sometimes resting is a discipline unto itself













some summer weather -- finally!







makes up for having to hold my garage sale in the rain last weekend







i am an irish tanner so you know a school waterslides day, tree farming, and a beach day added up to a little bit of pink ;)







and my cupboards got only dribs and drabs done on them







because i am not about to waste the vitamin D opportunity







a night out with d yesterday and a late afternoon nap today means the kids have had plenty of opportunity to grow piles of mess in my absence. which makes for both words and stuff to put into place. trying to read and take cute pictures of the cat and make the most of rest day while it's here which means i am taking every stacking short-cut known to woman ;)







it'll still be there tommorow.







less than 12 hours til my next writing appointment with myself.







i can't wait.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

there are some things even all nighter cheeseburger chips can't Rx








the stitched family picture is done. finished it up watching "the corporation" with d. (accompanied by a little shiraz and too many all-nighter cheeseburger chips -- my food achilles heel) loved it. (the insights and info, not the horrible goings on)



if you want to make one of your own family, find the tutorial here. warning: it may not make you cuter than you are in real life. love how i look like a cruella de ville type and the entire family looks like they've undergone lip injections at a reduced group discount. ;) but i also find it funky and different and had a fairly realistic expectation of my stitching as art skills before i started out and was ok with them.




i'm off to wake the kiddos up. it's going to be a writing-heavy day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

you guessed it -- another dress tutorial



the valentine's dinner dress

easy peasy this one
makes a no waste, size 10 petite dress from 1 metre fabric. adjust for sizing accordingly
click on the tutorial pics to enlarge them

steps for the interested:

1.fold material in half over wide measured elastic which you knot above bust to form top of dress 2.sew straight stitch below elastic to create pocket for it
3.leave bottom of dress unfinished if working in taffeta, or hem, your choice
4.turn inside out and pin up the side,
5.cut up on a diagonal in the inner layer (when turned to outside, outer) to allow actual walking ;)
6.arrange triangle fabric (attached by one corner) into a ruffle on one hip, sew into place
7.ruche & dart on bodice & take in material on lower back
hand stitching means you can keep tucking and stitching til it is a comfortable fit
8.wear
9.do not take pics with the man you are married to who always make you laugh hysterically.
you will have fun, but walk away from the evening without a single frameable pic of the two of you.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

upcycling for new year's







you know i like eco-recycling things and cheap things and fun things (which explains my browsing addiction to the shabby nest and the like)
and this project was all that
conceptualized this fall after i saw something fun and bright blue shiny at le chateau
and wanted some of that
this was a fun fresh take with money left over to ring the new year in with

steps for the interested:

1. take a bright satin thrift store bridesmaid dress (v waist, hideous bows on sleeves perfect)
2. rip the seams apart from bodice to skirt with a seam ripper
3. lay the material flat, folding it in half or more, depending on size (it is now insta-lined)
4. step into it, pinning yourself into it up the left side if you're right handed (conversely, up the right side if you're left handed)
5. step out, repin along the same line turning the seams inward
6. flip sheath inside out to sew (hand stitching is your best bet unless you are a machine whiz -- satin is tricky to work with tension wise)
7. along the top, flip raw edge out, leaving enough room to work an elastic through, sew
8. pull a thick elastic through making sure it lies flat, knot at desired fit (try on)
9. stitch top shut, attach accessories pulled off original gown (bows, bling, etc) if you don't have any, disassemble a dollar store flower hair accessory in a complementary color and sew it on
10. try dress on, pinning and sewing darts where needed for fit
it is the most comfortable thing to wear if a little crease prone. ;) definitely plan to do this project again. black or champagne satin would be perfect.
happy new year 2011!
definitely a year of more fun with friends and craft projects ahead
writing will be scattered between family celebration today


handmade projects