20 February 2012

Tagged!! I'm It ... Are YOU Next?

I'm a huge fan of all the games and awards floating around the blogosphere designed to share the bloggy love, to network and to just generally get to know your fellow bloggers. So when Martina (from the fabulous blog Adventures in Building Beauty ~ check it out if you haven't already!) tagged me recently in a game of Blog-Tag, I was so down with playing!


Of course, there are rules (because there are always rules):
  1. You must post the rules
  2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself in your post
  3. Answer the 11 questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create 11 new questions to ask the people you've tagged
  4. Tag 11 people and link them in your post
  5. Let them know you've tagged them!

So without further adieu, let's get this party started!

Martina's Q's:

Do you collect anything?
I'm not the type of collector who scours flea markets or eBay for their particular collectible ~ no dolls or dishware or what-have-you for me (though I've often thought maybe I'd like to be: trolling antiques markets searching for just the perfect spoon seems like a really fun thing to do on a Sunday morning). We have recently started collecting the works of a local artist named Sarah Joncas, though, so I suppose that counts? We have four original pieces and two prints, and I've got my eye on several more that I'd like to obtain over the next few years. Also I "collect" magazines (in that I buy them and then don't have the heart to throw them out) but that's more a lack of willpower than any real intent. So, just the artwork then.


What is your favourite comfort food or recipe?
I have different comfort food for different situations, but all of them originate from my Nanny. The food that tastes the most like "home" and that I find comforting after a really bad day, or any kind of emergency, is homemade chili. I've messed around with the original recipe on occasion but generally I stick pretty close to the letter and it never fails to make me feel more relaxed and happy. And when I'm sick, there's nothing better than a toasted tomato sandwich: lightly toasted white bread with lots of butter, and thinly sliced fresh tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper ... Mmmmmmmmmm. My Nan's the only one who can make it so perfectly, though (it never tastes right when I or anyone else makes it; I don't know why), so I haven't had one since she passed away in 2004. It's just one of the million little things I miss about her.

What features would your dream home have and where would it be?
Let it be known that I fully realize how nerdy this is going to sound (as well as sounding like a little bit of a cop-out, too) but we already live in our dream home. Yes, there are lots of things we'd like to change about it, both large (I'd love to add a small second story with a larger master bedroom, en suite and office for Daryn and I, then knock down the wall between J and A's rooms to make one large room, and move one of them into our current master + renovating/expanding the kitchen + landscaping, Landscaping, LANDSCAPING!) and small (installing a tray ceiling in the living room, making the "wreck" room functional, painting, etc.) but overall we live on a beautiful lot, in a fantastic neighborhood, in an amazing town. Our kids go to terrific schools with lovely teachers and have a great group of friends. We feel safe letting our kids roam around town (within reason, of course) and they have an incredible amount of freedom. We have everything at our fingertips but still maintain a small town feel. It's perfect.

East coast or west coast, where would you choose to vacation/travel?
West coast. Definitely. I would love to travel to the east coast if we ever get an opportunity, but mine is a family of skiers (even our littlest has recently been turned to the dark slope-y side!) so the mountains are where it's at for us. As for me (the devout non-skier), I love hiking in the mountains, and sleigh riding at the base of mountains, and taking photos of mountains, and admiring the mountains while indoors drinking hot chocolate, so it all works for me.

Name two modern (2009 - present) trends that you either like or dislike.
Industrial accents in the home and more Canadiana (see: Hudson's Bay blankets, fur throws and anything birch bark) are two fairly recent design trends that I can fully get behind, 100%. The resurgence of neon colours and brass? Um, noooooo ....

Milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate?
Mostly I'm a milk chocolate girl, but I've been known to indulge in some dark every now and again. There's nothing like a big mug of hot tea and a Burnt Almond bar to while away an afternoon reading magazines.


Favourite quote?
Equally divided between two (is that cheating? sorry if it's cheating)
"It's a traaaaap!" ~ Admiral Akbar, Star Wars (this quote is applicable everywhere, all the time; think about it)
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning" ~ Catherine Aird (I live by this motto; it's really freeing)
When eating out do you tend to 'play it safe' and order something familiar, or do you prefer to try something new?
I used to be that girl who had to know exactly where we were eating well in advance, so I could check out the menu online and decide on my order. If I didn't know, I couldn't go (yes, I'm a little bit crazy), and I suspect it really took some of the fun out of eating out for my friends and family (nothing like sucking all the spontaneity out of things to really ramp up the fun factor for all involved!). Lately, though, I've been trying to "grow as a person" by leaping out of my comfort zone inch by inch. We try new restaurants pretty regularly, and I've stopped checking the menu in advance. Also I try new dishes at familiar eateries, just to see if there's anything I like better than my old standards. There are definitely some days when I backslide into my old habits, but more and more I'm living life on the edge of the menu. Yeah, I'm that bad-ass ...

What do you do when you're stuck in traffic?
Honestly? It depends. Some days I can while away the time grooving to the radio or to my iPod, singing along (like the secret rock star that I am) at the top of my lungs. Other times I lose my g-ddamn mind. I curse at other drivers and at the universe in general, I shake the steering wheel like I'm throttling it and sometimes (not often, but sometimes) I have been known to cry. I hate traffic.

Vintage, modern or a mix: which do you prefer?
Definitely a mix, but more heavily weighed to the vintage side of the spectrum. When Daryn and I were first married, our entire house was furnished in hand-me-downs from friends and family. I hated it ~ I wanted all new stuff, because that's what I really thought grown-ups did (they bought new furniture and didn't always live with mismatched items like they were in perpetual university). As we got older and a little more financially comfortable, however, I discovered the joys of second-hand items that were of my own choosing, and my own style. Awesome. Now I can't imagine not having vintage items in our home: I love that a lot of our furniture has a history, and has been pre-loved by someone else. It gives it soul.

If you could add one tool to your repertoire, what would it be and why?
A chop saw! I'd choose a chop saw, for a number of reasons: 1) I'm terrified of it, and would like very much to overcome my fear, 2) they're bad-ass and awesomesauce ... I would feel very grown-up and accomplished if I owned one AND I knew how to use it, and 3) I have a lot of plans for the house that include a great deal of mitering. If I could do it myself, I would save myself a ton of money, and just imagine the sense of accomplishment! I could look at my cove ceiling or my chair rails and say, Yeah, I did that. BY MYSELF. So yes, definitely a chop saw.

11 (Fun) Facts About Me:

1. I've broken many bones in my lifetime (collarbone, hand, nose, elbow) but the first time I was ever put in a cast was when I broke my leg coming down the stairs into the GO station during my morning commute in late 2009 (some dude stepped on my foot and pinned me to the stairs, and I went forward ~ landing on my face two steps down ~ with my foot still firmly planted under someone else two steps up. Basically snapped my leg in half). I made up for lost time on the cast front, though, by having to wear one for five months. It did not smell good.

2. Once during an event that I was managing at a downtown hotel, I struck up a conversation with a couple of patrons at the bar late in evening while I was preparing for session the following day. It turned out that one of the patrons was a Giller Award-winning writer (whom I greatly admired, and still do), and when the conversation turned to houseplants, on a complete whim the writer, the bartender and I took a mad-cap dash around the city at midnight looking for paper (for me) and the perfect fern (for the writer). The search was in vain, but oh-so-much fun.

3. I'm just a normal girl who really doesn't get out much or do anything exciting, but I've met a statistically disproportionate (I think) number of celebrities in my lifetime: 11 introductions/conversations, 17 other sightings that I've been close enough touch and 1 innocent, squeeze-by ass-grabbing of a gorgeous A-lister at a party, for which I did not get arrested: woot. Pretty good for a small town chick.

4. Even though I don't read comic books of any kind, I luuuuuuuurve any and all movies based on comic books (yes, even the bad ones ... I'm lookin' at you, Daredevil ...) I drive my husband insane with a constant flow of questions during the movie(s) like Why is he doing that? What's his back story? Does she love him or not? What's her power????? but he never fails to answer them because lets face it: it's better to have a wife who likes that genre of films than not, no matter how long it takes to explain it to me. At least, he thinks so!


5. I'm not a big fan of the telephone (read: I hate it; thanks for nothing, Alexander Graham Bell!) I've been toying with disconnecting our home number for about a year now but haven't pulled the trigger yet, mostly because in the event of emergency or natural disaster, land lines will remain active while the cell network will disintegrate. But I think it's really rude when people call me at home, ever (it's unreasonable, I know), and I totally screen my calls. All the time.

6. I get seasick in the bathtub.

7. I'm one of those weirdos who only names their pets with human names, causing much confusion during play time at the park. We've had dogs named Molly, Luca, Tommy and Chloe, and if we ever have another and it's a male, I'm going to name it Steve. Or Kevin. Because I think it would be hilarious to say Kevin, get off the furniture! or Drop it, Steve! and watch how people react. Besides, let's all be honest here: a shih tsu named Kevin is just comedy gold.

8. I live in constant fear of home invasion by a psychotic killer. We sleep with a baseball bat by the bed, and I will sometimes check that all the doors are locked two or three times before being able to sleep. Criminal Minds gives me nightmares on a regular basis (but I can't stop myself from watching!)

9. I still watch cartoons, and not just because my kids like them and I have to. I genuinely like them and I choose to watch. Scooby-Doo is my favourite (both the original version and the updated series), but I've also been known to indulge in The Justice League, X-Men, Fairly Oddparents, Johnny Test and Avatar. And I LOVE Phineas and Ferb (in fact, my car is named Ferb, so that I can go out every morning and say Ferb, I know what we're going to do today! I wish I was making that up)

10. I'm not a winner. The only time we've ever won anything was a small chest freezer from our local grocery store about 15 years ago, and it was because my husband filled out the ballot. I submit my name in every free draw and giveaway around, all the time, and I never win, not ever. I'm just not lucky that way.

11. I don't know my right hand from my left. When hubby and I are traveling anywhere and I'm navigating, he knows to follow where I point, not where I say. I always mislabel my hands and as a result, have given many people very bad directions. There are lots of folks who've been lost in the world thanks to yours truly.

Wow, that was waaaay tougher than I thought it would be! I'm actually pretty boring, so drumming up some "interesting" facts about myself was challenging (especially when I shot some of my "funny" bolt in the Liebster and 7x7 posts! :)

11 Terrific Blogs That Are Now IT!

1. Shannon at 8foot6

2. Janice at Life Begins at Thirty, Right?
3. Lisa at Wicked & Weird
4. Sundeep at Designwali
5. Dana at Bungalow'56
6. Heather at Heather & Mike's Brady Bunch Remodel
7. Kelly at JAX Does Design
8. Lisa at ...Just over the River
9. Amy at aDESIGNdock
10. EJ at Not A House, But A Home, and
11. Michelle at Sweet Suite 10

... And Here Are Your Questions!

1. How would you describe your design style, in 5 words?
2. What features would your dream home have, and where would it be located?
3. If you could be besties with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
4. Vintage, modern or a mix of both: which do you prefer?
5. What is your favourite colour?
6. Describe your perfect Sunday morning.
7. Who would you have attend a fantasy dinner party? Guests can be anyone living or dead, famous or not.
8. If you could become (or meet) any fictional character, who would it be?
9. How much time do you devote to blogging each day?
10. What skill would you love to learn?
11. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

Thanks for the tag, Martina, I had a great time playing!