Are you on Instagram? I use it myself to post random things from my daily life, and to stay in touch with friends. I also love following travel and tourism accounts on Instagram, so I can see beautiful photos of places I want to visit.
In anticipation of our trip to England and Scotland this July, I recently started following the Visit Scotland account, plus The Highland Collective and Scottish photographer Ali Horne. On Ali Horne’s account I found my way to GermanRoamers and Visit Faroe Islands, and now I’m following them all. Add in Great North Collective and Modern Outdoors, and my Instagram feed is full of gorgeous northern scenery of mountains, forests, waterfalls, cliff-tops, rugged shorelines and cozy cabins. Dreamy.
(images above from top to bottom: Faroe Islands photo by Ali Horne, cabin photo by Rob Strok on the Modern Outdoors account, Iceland countryside by Mike Seehagel on the Great North Collective account, stag photo by Patrick of GermanRoamers on the Modern Outdoors account, Wester Ross (Scotland) coastline photo by George Turner on the VisitScotland account)
I suck at crafts. I have great ambitions to create gorgeous things, but I’m almost always disappointed with the end result. Doesn’t stop me from trying though, so after seeing marbled Easter eggs created with nail polish in a magazine, I thought I’d give it a whirl. I raided my nail polish supply (silver was the best), bought a dozen white eggs and got to work.
This short YouTube tutorial video teaches you everything you need to know to make nail polish marbled Easter eggs. It’s pretty darn easy, and Clara helped me for a bit (until she inevitably lost interest and I finished the craft without her). For once I’m pleased with the final results of a craft session – I think these eggs look so good!
Ian and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in 2016, and we wanted to take a special trip to mark the occasion. We looked into a number of destinations, but kept coming back to Scotland, where we spent our honeymoon. It’s kind of romantic, right?
A few weeks ago I stumbled across this holiday rental property in a remote location in the Highlands of Scotland. It only took one look at that first photo above, with the fireplace and modern decor and the giant windows looking out over the loch, for me to immediately put down a deposit for a week’s stay in July. Can’t you just imagine sitting there after a day of hiking, savouring a fine single malt, curled up watching a storm come in? Dreamy. July can’t come fast enough.
Clara, age 4.5, received a few great Christmas presents this year. But the one I was most excited about is Buck, her Toymail toy. Buck looks like a cartoon deer crossed with a mailbox, and she connects to WiFi and “delivers mail” (aka voice messages) to Clara from family members who have the Toymail app installed on their phones (and are approved by me, of course… no strangers can send Clara messages).
Buck only has two buttons – one to receive messages, and one to reply to messages, so she’s really easy to use. I installed the free Toymail app on my phone, Ian’s phone, my Dad’s phone, and my sister’s phone. Everyone loves sending Clara messages. Buck checks for messages throughout the day, and makes a sound when she has a message. Clara can respond by pressing a button to record a reply message, and it’s sent out for her. She loves sending messages to her family.
Toymail was made by two female entrepreneurs who wanted to create cool technology for kids that doesn’t put them in front of another screen. This family totally approves!
(I got Buck at the AGO store where I get a discount by being a gallery member, but you can get one on the Toymail website or Amazon if you want).
I’ve enjoyed reading a few of my colleague’s “year in review” blog posts recently, so I decided to spend a rare quiet afternoon writing my own. It’s a great exercise for reflection, before setting new year goals (a process I’ve resisted for a long time, but now I see the value in it). Note – this is fairly long and navel-gazing and all me-me-me. If that makes you want to barf, don’t click “read more” below. Consider yourself warned.
The Winter Village at the Brick Works has all the good stuff of the Distillery Christmas market (lovely holiday ambiance, great food, spiked holiday drinks, artisan shopping, fires to warm up by, live music) without any of the nonsense (insane parking, admission fee, massive crowds, gross sponsored areas). We went to the Brick Works this afternoon and loved it. Ian and Clara had JK Frites and I had this kooky “chimney” thing with cinnamon, sugar, dough and apple pie topping. Mmmmmm.
Insider Toronto tip – skip the Distillery. Head to the Brick Works instead.
The “mountie” laptop clip allows you to clip a phone or tablet to your laptop for multi-screen viewing. It is completely unnecessary. But I know a bunch of people who would probably want one.
I’ve read all the same articles as the rest of you, heralding the benefits of standing while you work (or at least mixing it up a bit). I’m totally in… except standing desks are expensive and really really ugly.
Enter Levit8, a simple folding (and super portable) laptop stand. There are 10 days left on the Kickstarter, and the product will ship in January. I backed it. Will you?
Master of None, the Aziz Ansari show on Netflix. It’s so great. Ian thinks it’s the new Seinfeld.
Have you seen it? Did you enjoy?
You know I love me some personalized holiday cards. And I usually order them crazy early, because there are great sales on, and it’s one more thing to tick off my to-do list. So yes, even though Halloween hasn’t happened yet, I just ordered my holiday cards from Minted.
My favourite thing about Minted‘s cards this year is their FREE recipient addressing. They’ll print the names and addresses on the envelopes for you. That’s another thing to tick off your to-do list. Fantastic.
[this post is in partnership with Minted, a company I’ve loved for years]