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fiesta forever…

I would say that we’re no traditionalists when it comes to baby showers and other such celebrations.  So when my sister and friend offered to plan a “baby shower” they made sure it would be as unorthodox of a shower as you could get.  We went with the theme of a fiesta! I couldn’t have thought of a more fun and colourful way to celebrate.

Collaboratively we gathered up, bought and made fiesta decorations for the house and yard which were fabulously vibrant.  Everything looked so beautiful! The weather cooperated and it was proper summer hot and breezy.

Setting up pre-fiesta, with morning sun shining in.

frida kahlo drink coasters, fiesta wedding, fiesta baby shower

Loved the Frida Kahlo drink coasters!

Lavender, mint lemonade with lemon ice pucks.

We had a tub of cold cerveza, Mexican pop, and sangria. And of course a party would also not be complete without… tequila!

Since we already had our friends and family in attendance, and since there was great food, drinks, and lovely decorations up -Steve and I had thought to ourselves why not combine this baby-fiesta with non other than a SURPRISE WEDDING!! And that’s just what we did.

It was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done.  I loved seeing the expressions of shock on everyone’s faces, followed by tears, exclamations, and hooting and hollering.  We had such a fabulous day celebrating AND not to mention I felt content having escaped the pressures and stress that all come when you plan an unsurprise wedding.  There were people that of course we would’ve liked to have invited and would’ve travelled from a far to celebrate with us but this surprise wedding really made everything so simple and brought it back down to the basic crux of the matter -we got married and we had so much fun doing it!!

fiesta wedding, surprise wedding

 

the real instagram

The past 9 months have been dedicated to organizing, sorting and purging all in preparation for our little one that’s due to arrive in 4 weeks (ahh!). Thus far we’ve managed to sort through a ton of stuff which has been tough.

Let it be known that Steve and I like to collect things, and by that I mean things that we have carted around with us from place to place (for years) with the hopes of one day fixing, using, or just holding on to for the sake of nostalgia.

Take this polaroid camera for example.

What a beaut!

We had one. It’s now gone (sniffle, wipe tear).  Alas, we had no film for it -whaddya do just keep on holding on simply for its vintage coolness factor?  Yeah -duh.  Well we let it go…

I did come across my Japanese version of a compact polaroid called a Cheki that I picked up while living there about a decade ago.  It still works, and I thankfully still have some film. So it made the “to keep” pile, and I already have plans to put it to good use.

There have been other golden treasures that we’ve sorted through, many of which we’ve kept others which have moved on.  I’ll be sure to continue posting these relics from the past as the organization process continues.

bling on king

I’d been wanting to take a photo of this glitzy and glamours “WASH ME CAR WASH” sign on King Street East for a long time.  I love how sparkly it is. The other day when I was walking by it was shimmering in the sun and I couldn’t resist snapping a shot.

I guess you could say this is a bit of mini sneak-peak of an article that I’m writing for The Hamilton Spectator about King Street East, which should be coming out soon. While walking around taking pictures for the article I found myself getting slightly caught up with all the bling of the old used car and auto dealerships on this drag of King Street. Like what is this 1982!?  I even found a car to fit the era by happenstance in a random parking lot!

I find it so strange that King East is still workin’ the car thing like gas is .20 cents a litre.

I’m not a car connoisseur or a lover of cars -we own a ’95 pontiac- whatever gets you around town right?  But yet somehow I am nostalgic for what memories these used car dealerships were bringing back for me.  The smell of used car, hot asphalt penetrating through my flipflops and the sun beating down and catching little wisps of that used car lot tinsel -it reminds me a little of summers as a kid.  The hot burning feeling of fake leather vinyl  as I gingerly took my spot in the back seat (of course there was no A/C and I had an older sister so I never got shotgun), the too hot to touch metal of my seatbelt buckle (which by the way may or may not have been buckled up -it was the 80′s!), and the many popsicles that were eaten sitting on the massive hood of our green beast of a station wagon.

awesome mom

My mother for most of my life has worked in the garment and fashion industry.  So when I told her that I was sick of buying maternity clothes and struggling to find things to wear, she was quick on the industrial Singer to start stitching up a line of comfy maternity clothes for me.  In total she made me three things with still more to come.

I love this top.  But it also makes me laugh because growing-up we had cushions made out of this material and since the pattern of the fabric is square and so is the shape of the shirt, it really reminds me and my sister of our 1970′s couch outfitted with these cushions.  Great reuse of fabric I say.

The real beauty of this shirt is that it is airy, made from cotton, and has lots and lots of room for my growing belly!  Post baby it wouldn’t take much to cinch it in and wear without a baby bump.

big news

Things have been pretty busy around here the past few months.  My apologies for the less frequent blog posts as of late.  I’ve got a pretty good excuse. We’ve been busy doing a lot of organizing and preparing BECAUSE… in 3 months we’re having a baby! It’s our first so we’ve been having to dive into the world of crib, stroller and baby-goods purchasing -there’s so many products and things out there these days it’s overwhelming! We’ve also been rearranging, finishing up minor renos around the house and getting a nursery ready on top of day to day work and life.  I know, I know, things are only going to get busier.

I wondered a little if I would be someone who would post a baby announcement on their blog.  I know having a baby will occupy so much of my time as it already has. I was already finding it hard to omit from the day to day goings on and posts here.  So here it is my first baby post and pictures. Who knows maybe I’ll start another blog focused more on life as a newby parent.

This is me at the start of May.  At 5 months I felt huge, and was long into wearing maternity clothes.  But I guess really my clothes don’t look any different from what I would normally wear, so to everyone else I’m pretty much exactly as I’ve always been sans bébé in utero. I could already feel cute little fluttery kicks and summersaults just for me in my belly.

I’ve been told I’ve got a wee bump.  I’m anticipating in the next 3 months in the heat of summer that I might just start to expand exponentially. Bring on the flipflops, muumuus, and kiddie pools for feet soaking!  I’m all yours for a free wheeling summer of day-trips, swimming pools and ice-cream.

 

set for 8

Over the weekend we had some friends over for brunch.  I love the brunch get together: it’s casual, involves my favourite type of meal, and it’s not an all day affair (leaving ample time for late Sunday afternoon lounging).

I was pleased as punch that we actually had a set of matching dishes that could seat 8 people!  Our glasses set is only at 6, but the rest of the dishes and cutlery made it all around.  I inherited this dish set from one of my parent’s friends.  My parent’s are at the age where all of their friends are downsizing and moving to condos.  So I’ve been encouraging my mother to send me over for visits as people sift through and purge.  From this little tactic we’ve managed to score some great finds.

The table was set and the sun was shining through and everything looked so nice.  I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures.

table set

brunch, table setting, vintage plates, and cups

spring romance

No doubt spring is in the air!  What better way to celebrate the romantic nature of spring than with these vintage postcards.  A few years back when I travelled through Belgium I picked up some cheesy love postcards in the small and picturesque town of Bruges.

I love corny old postcards and that crazy artificial sky-blue.

And my favourite: the head tilt chin lift. “Look into my eyes”.

baltic bread

I came across this storefront some time ago, and just thought it was so amazing to see such a little neighbourhood bakery tucked in just north of Barton.  I imagine it looking just the same as it did 30+ years ago.  When I was a kid I remember going to bakeries just like this to get fresh kaisers, onion buns and loaves.  When I walked into the store a little old school bell dingled, and I could smell the sweetness of fresh bread and baked goods.  They had egg-buns, rolls, rye breads, pies and other baked confectionery.  It really felt like walking into a 1970′s time warp.  I savoured every minute of this soaking in all its bready aromas.  Really Baltic Bread and Bakery has been around for much longer than the 70′s.  The rumour is that they’ve been around for more than a 1/2 century traditionally baking the finest of European bread.

I took the photo for nostalgic reasons, and then realized that Baltic Bread is sold everywhere!  Since noting this bakery I’ve seen their bread sold in grocery stores and at their stall in the Hamilton Farmer’s Market -yeah I know it took me a little while to make this connection!  It was the super vintage lettering that has the “I” dotted with a star that gave away the fact that they were all one in the same -Baltic Bread.

baltic breads, 200 Gibson Ave., Hamilton, Ontario, rye bread, bakery

baltic bread, Hamilton Farmer's Market, rye bread, baked goods

baltic bread, the best rye bread, Hamilton Farmer's Market

If you can’t make your way to visit their home location on Gibson Ave. you most definitely will be able to pick up some of their bread at the Farmer’s Market. They do make a tasty rye.  I ate some of their delicious dark rye with my eggs at breakfast this morning.

*Baltic Bread, 200 Gibson Ave. Hamilton, 905.549.5929

aga & eggs

If you don’t know what an AGA is… it is truly a wonderful thing.  It is a cast iron, gas running, super heavy (1052 lbs!), radiant heating, 2 burner beast of a beauty of an oven.  It is definitely a different kind of cooking and living experience.  Eggs get fried here on the hot plate, or in the oven, biscuits get baked and stews get simmered, AND one of my favs bedsheets, and laundry get toasty warm and dry in minutes next to the AGA.  It is a super nice wintery treat to have one of these in your home.

We visited some friends in Guelph, who inherited and AGA from their parents.  They made us the best eggs ever served on a pita with yoghurt, fresh orange juice, and some really good coffee. Mmmm.

An AGA is so heavy that if you had one  in your home you’d have to reinforce the supports in the floor or basement.  Our friends added a couple floor jacks in their basement.

After breakfast we all got down to business and helped build an intricate train track system, which sprawled across the living room floor (the way a train track should).  We passed some easy hours of train tracking, train derailments and constant bridge reconstruction.

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