Oscar Pajama Party

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Awards shows usually aren't my cup of tea, but I love the movies and growing up I always looked forward to my family's tradition of staying up late and having a party to watch the Oscars. Since the Oscars is on during the middle of the night here, this year my friends and I had a pajama party. It was a bit last minute but we managed to meet up around midnight, pushed two queen beds together in front of the tv, and made some spiked chai and chocolate chip cookies to have while filling out ballots and discussing red carpet fashion. I had my fingers crossed for Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn (I also thought she had the best dress!) and The Artist. I was completely charmed by both those films. We had some technical difficulties streaming the show, and we pretty much all ended up falling asleep, but it was still so fun that I think I'll make it a new tradition. Here are some things I'd like for next year:

Jewelry, Pt. 1

Monday, February 27, 2012

On Sunday Nicola and I got together for a hungover (thanks to her fiance's birthday party the night before) day of jewelry making and chai drinking. I made some marbled clay beads (I hadn't touched fimo in ages!), but forgot to make the holes big enough to compensate for the shrinkage when baked. Oops. So instead I made some easy necklaces of wooden beads - one of natural beads on a nude leather cord, the other of grey beads on a chain. Both are plain and simple, just the way I like. I have some more plans for jewelry making, so stay tuned. I'm sure you'll be on the edge of your seat.

The Spring Exhibition

Friday, February 24, 2012

Last night I went with a couple of friends to check out The Spring Exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. It's one of the biggest open submission exhibitions in Europe, and the opening is one big party. The night started with everyone getting shoved out of the gallery to listen to soundscapes and a performance of a couple of naked dudes humping the gallery walls. I overheard some people with great facial hair and pyjama like clothes making comments about "penetrating art" and "challenging the human condition". Oh, contemporary art. There was a lot of new media and video art, which is pretty much impossible to experience with that many people around. I liked some of the sculptural work, lots of paper and light and this one divider made up of embroidered handkerchieves. I also liked the Damien Hirst parody, this one of a plush stuffed shark, and the partition with photography projected onto it. There was also an artist there who I had curated an exhibition for at Retro, fun! And I'm also glad some Christmas lights are still up at Nyhavn, it makes even the public washrooms look a bit magical at night. 

Treasures from the East

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My sweet friend Juliet recently came back from a long trip around Nepal and India and brought back a couple of treasures for me. This lovely pouch in the best shade of faded peach, with embroidery and sequins on the front, and a vintage notebook, hand bound, with a floral fabric cover and a string to hold it closed. It's almost too pretty to write in, instead I'm just carrying it with me everywhere. I thought they went well with my Christmas present from my brother and sister in law - a beautiful shawl from their trip to Nepal. I've been wearing it all the time, it's so warm and cozy, and I love the stripes. Thank you, thank you. Seeing the photos of their trips makes me want to go to India and Nepal so badly! One day. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I've been feeling really homesick lately. It hasn't happened to me in a while and I try not to think about it too much usually, and just instead be grateful for all the beautiful things around me here in Copenhagen. But around the end of the winter, when I start hearing reports of sunshine and blossoms in Victoria, my heart starts aching for my other home. I'm sure my homesickness is also something to do with Mark being away, and from being actually sick. But all I want right now is to go out for tea, bennies or sushi and take long, long walks along the water. I want to see the mountains, the wild trees, the seaweed and the berries. I want to walk along the wide streets lined with cherry blossom trees, have a picnic in Beacon Hill park among all the tiny spring flowers then go to the petting zoo to visit the baby goats and get ice cream at the Drive In. I want to see the totem poles, the knitted Cowichan sweaters and toques, the old Victorian houses. The funny thing is, I remember this time a couple of years ago, my heart was aching to be here. Having two homes is such a blessing, and also such a curse. 

Pictures from my visit back in October - Dallas Road, the breakwater, Race Rocks, Duke Point, French Beach, and Dallas again. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last Sunday was Festelavn, or Danish carnival. I'm always a bit surprised when it comes since I'm not used to it, but it's a nice surprise to see candy and kids dressed up everywhere during the bleak end of winter months. This year I had completely forgotten in my sniffly daze and was sad to have missed it until I saw this festelavnsris on super sale in the window of a candy store yesterday. One of the old traditions was to decorate branches with brightly coloured feathers for children to ritually flog their parents with, which have now turned into paper tassels and candy. They also had a tradition of knocking a barrel with a cat in it (I know, strange holiday), although now the barrel is filled with candy like a pinata. But the black cat symbol is still around, a lot like during Halloween, so my festerlavnsris came complete with a cute cat card with a pig like nose. It just might have been one of the reasons I bought it. I couldn't resist the pretty gold branches, the leopard mask and all that candy. Mark being gone equals never ending treats for myself. And apparently the festelavnsris I made last year was all wrong, so I'll use this one as a template for next year. I have to try making the festelavns buns next time too! But for now I have the branches up in the window, and Tiggy is quite enjoying the paper tassels. Happy belated Festelavn!

On Being a Dirty Hippy

Monday, February 20, 2012

I don't consider myself a beauty expert by any means, but I always enjoy blog-snooping on other people's posts about what they use. Over the past several years, I've switched over to using all natural, organic products. I think something to do with working for an aromatherapy company/natural spa, having eczema and super sensitive skin contributed to wanting to learn more about what I was putting on my skin everyday. So now I try to keep it simple, using products with as few ingredients as possible and all ones that I understand. It took me a while to find new products that I liked here, so I thought I would share what I have in my medicine cabinet. 

1. Weleda Gentle Cleansing Milk - I discovered Weleda on trip to Berlin and have been using this face wash ever since. It's super mild since it's oil based but feels like it actually cleans, unlike a lot of other sensitive skin cleansers that I've tried. It also has witch hazel in it so it acts as a toner as well. 
2. Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel - I find the witch hazel in the Gentle Cleansing Milk enough for my skin mostly but if your skin is a bit on the oily or combination side, this toner is really great. It's also an antioxidant so it's good for soothing any irritations. 
3. Apivita Almond Oil - I use almond oil as a make up remover and as a moisturizer. Since switching to face oils, I will never go back to lotions. They are much closer to your skin's natural sebum, so it helps your skin to balance oil production. 
4. Clarisonic Mia - I'm getting Mark to bring me back one of these from Canada and I'm so excited. I keep hearing rave reviews about these little sonic exfoliators. As someone with really dry skin/eczema, exfoliating is really important. Right now I'm just using a bamboo washcloth, which is ok too but isn't quite doing it. 
5. Organic cotton pads - I think these are pretty self explanatory -  for removing make up, putting on toner, etc. You will find these all over every Danish girl's bathroom, although I'm sure Canadian girls use them too. 

1. Urtekram Rose Shampoo - I really like Danish brand Urtekram's product line, this is one of the best organic shampoos I've tried. It's aloe vera and coconut oil based so it's really moisturizing, and I'm a sucker for anything rose scented.
2. Savon de Marseille Olive Oil Soap - I love olive oil soap, it's one of the oldest and most pure ways to make soap and doesn't dry your skin out at all. I like trying out all other kinds of handmade soap too.
3. Virgin Coconut Oil - I've started using coconut oil instead of conditioner and my hair has never been happier. I just rub in a little bit after I shower while my hair is still wet and it leaves it soft and not frizzy. I also use it as a moisturizer, or if my hair needs a deep conditioning treatment. It smells amazing and a jar lasts forever. 
4. Dry shampoo - I started making my own dry shampoo by just mixing cornstarch with some peppermint and lavender essential oils. I've slowly gotten my hair used to washing once or twice a week by using the dry shampoo in between, which has been a huge improvement on my hair's health. 
5. Bristle brush - So, pretty obvious again. I guess I just love scrubbing off as much dead skin as possible.
6. Weleda Rose Deodorant - I have to admit, I've really struggled with switching over to natural deodorants over antipersperants. I found a lot of them didn't really work, and the salt based ones irritate my skin. So far, this is the best one I've found. Rose scented again, obviously. 

Let me know if you have any hippy products that you love! I'm still trying to find a natural sunscreen to wear on my face and I'd love to switch my makeup over from MAC to a good, organic brand one day. 

Mini Apple Pies

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Danish class was having a little potluck today where we were supposed to bring traditional foods from our home countries. I was a bit stumped on what traditional Canadian food to bring - poutine,  macaroni and cheese, pierogi? I had thought of butter tarts, which I just learned are one of the only traditional Canadian recipes when I looked them up to make for Tiggy's tea party. But, I was out of raisins so that was a no go. I liked the idea of something small and sweet and have been wanting to try making mini pies for a long time. They seem so much less intimidating than making a whole pie, although I'm sure they take just as long to press into little muffin forms. But still, they are so cute looking. And apple pie is kind of Canadian, right? Unfortunately I was up all night coughing my lungs out with my Winter Sickness Round 2 and missed the party, so I have a whole batch of these little guys just hanging out. I used this recipe which worked really well, I just decreased the sugar by a 1/4 cup since I like my apple pies on the tart side.

Oh, also Brittany was sweet enough to include Mark and I in a little round up of simple Scandinavian weddings on Brooklyn Bride. Go take a peek, the other weddings are stunning!

Belle de Jour

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Belle de Jour is a 1967 French film about a bored and lonely young housewife who is married to a busy doctor and who starts spending her afternoons working in a brothel. It sounds a bit familiar, but I choose to spend my afternoons working in a library cafe instead. The top still looks like us though, just minus the fancy Parisian apartment. The film isn't nearly as racy as it sounds, there is no nudity or any love scenes, everything is just symbolic or suggested. It is definitely a bit strange, especially her dream/fantasy sequences, but it is beautifully shot and I would very much like to steal her wardrobe. 

Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The last of the valentines posts for real this time, I pinky swear. Just a few shots of my day, through Instagram, which is as addictive as I feared. If Mark and I weren't together, I was usually working on past Valentine's days which gave me an excuse to bake cupcakes for my family and coworkers and to stay busy. Having the day to myself wasn't bad at all though, I'm glad that I'm getting so much better at being on my own as I'm getting older. It included: morning cuddles with two cats, requisite cozy pink and red clothes, a Skype date with my love, a long bike ride through the pretty fog listening to This American Life (makes biking SO much better), tea and homemade cinnamon buns at a friend's, coming home to a valentine from Alexandra and buying myself flowers and chocolate as directed by my sweet dad, messages to and from my lovely friends and family, a walk in the snow to get Thai take away to eat in bed while watching Belle de Jour and reading The Marriage Plot. Not bad! Hope you all had lovely love days too. It's good to take a day to celebrate love, and to eat lots of treats. I've somehow managed to get sick again, so I'm off to get some ice cream and watch The Muppets. Tough life.

DIY Decoupage Valentines

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More decoupage! More valentines! I promise I'll stop soon. This is a little DIY I did for the lovely Brittany of The House that Lars Built, based on the decoupage workshop. So honoured to be in company with this crafty lady. If you need to make a last minute valentine, or just really love decoupage, please hop on over! And happy love day, friends! My evening will probably look a lot like this with Mark being out of town, which I actually am quite excited about.

A Tea Party for Tiggy

Monday, February 13, 2012

It was Tiggy's 17th birthday last weekend, so I had a tea party for him. I'm completely aware of how ridiculous it sounds, but I'll take any excuse to have my friends over to eat scones and drink tea. And to celebrate my favourite little buddy of course. Tiggy got a tuna cupcake (his favourite, although he was quite confused by the birthday candle in it) and promptly passed out on the couch afterwards like the old man he is. I made a full English style tea menu and we spent the entire Sunday afternoon talking and sipping many tiny porcelain cups of tea. I'm so lucky to have friends that indulge my crazy cat lady tendencies! And happy, happy birthday to my Tiggy. 

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