Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell

What a crazy few days these have been.

Yesterday was our ONE year wedding anniversary. HOLY! 
It is hard to believe it has been a year already, how fast this year has gone by. 

Our wedding day - March 26, 2011
As promised, I will report on the "paper" themed anniversary ideas that we challenged each other to come up with (really, I came up with the challenge - the Mr. didn't really have a choice, but agreed anyways). The first year anniversary is traditionally the "paper" anniversary, and when you look it up, the interwoven fibers of paper are supposed to represent the interwoven nature of marriage. Kind of nice. The modern version of the first year anniversary is clocks. Hmmm.

Well, since we had already purchased iPads (expensive!) for the both of us over a month ago, the rules were that ideas had to be paper-related and budget friendly.

Anyways, the Mr. came up with tickets (=paper) to The Hunger Games! What a GREAT idea, as I had read all of the books, and thought I had no chance in heck to see the movie opening weekend (blame it on poor planning). Lo-and-behold however, he had managed to get us tickets to 7pm Friday night show in IMAX :D 

We went to Chop Steakhouse for dinner (yummo) where I had Steak Oscar (delisheeous) and where we shared a scrumptious creme brulee (our favourite) and each had a glass of champagne. Before excitedly going to watch a bunch teenagers kill each other. Perfect!

The movie was very well done in my opinion, with just some minor deviations from the novel. It almost inspired me to read the books all over again, if I had time to do so. Humph.

So what was my surprise?!

The Mr. was working some overtime on Sunday and so I used this valuable time to execute my plan. I had written 4 love letters over the last few weeks (see, paper), and had some wife/husband IOU cards (also paper) in one of my drawers. Without further ado, a photo is worth a thousand words so:

I hung the IOUs and letters from 8 helium balloons and hung them over the bed. Cute and romantic :) I love how it turned out.

I also found the Coat of Arms for our name and printed it out (paper again!) in a frame. I purchased the image from House of Names (google it). They have lots of products for name heritage and coats of arms - very cool!

(PS. I was using my camera's "pin hole camera" setting to see how it worked. I think it turned out pretty neat, if not a bit dark. The one above of the balloons was in "soft focus" mode).

 No surprise is complete without some food in my opinion, so I wasn't finished yet. We had some left over steak from the night before's dinner, and what better with steak but some eggs and potatoes, some fresh muffins, a fruit salad, and of course, a mimosa! Sunday brunch done right!

Latte bowl? Yes please!
 While out picking up a few things for the brunchy brunch, I came across these most adorable porcelain things called "latte bowls" - how genius and perfect for me. It's more or less a bowl with a handle, perfect for large lattes :) And in this case, were ideal for serving fruit salad! Yes!

They were only $2.95, so naturally I wanted at least 6. (What can I say, I'm my Mother's daughter and she forever buys in multiples.) I settled for 2 considering the Big Move. Humph humph humph.
And what's better? They have the cutest little birds perched upon the handles. I'm particularly attracted to bird things lately - like fabric, pottery, clothing even. I have a cute blue dress with little white birds on it I plan to wear as soon as the weather is favorable, which by Calgary standards, should be never. I also have a pretty blue bird fabric I just purchased with no idea as to what I was planning to do with it.

Anyways, the surprise went off great. The Mr. came home as scheduled (meaning one hour past when he said he would haha), and was surprised and thrilled to find the letters and read through them all :)

An excellent anniversary all in all. At least a good one to start with, as I'm hoping to have quite a few more!

I haven't forgotten the picture idea either, and am intending to do it but don't think it will be anytime soon :( 
Recent developments have given us a few more things on our plate (because we clearly had room...):

I had been a teeny weeny bit nervous about the move to Small Town because we were moving into a fully furnished suite that previously did not allow any pets. "No pet" policies I will never understand. How does one live without a pet anyways. However, I had specified that we had 2 dogs when applying to the program, and was accepted (this was back in August of last year).

Anyways, so when I picked up the documentation about the move last week or so, dun dun dun - they're only allowing us to have the two little ones with us. Bummer. Big time. 

What does this mean for us? 
Well, the Mr. is going to have to get a separate apartment back here in the Big City. That's dog friendly. Alone. :( Tres sad. We'll live separate for about 9 months.

We're seeing the silver lining of this cloud however because this means that we don't have to sell as much stuff (as we'll just move it to the new place), and he will no longer have to waste time and gas (and in my paranoid mind, probably risk his very life) commuting 1.75 hours each way every day. And it's really only 6 months premature to when we were actually planning to get another place for him in anticipation of dangerous wintery roads.

So I'll be taking the little mutts and he'll have the Destructo Dog. We may even share custody of the little ones every once in a while, and I'll most likely (read: hopefully) be able to come back to the Big City at least 2-3 weekends a month to see him. Not nearly enough, but it's against our morals to get rid of one of our furry children, and so this is the sacrifice we have decided to make. 
We refuse to be those pet "owners" who believe their pets are expendable, and give them up when no longer convenient.
So that's that. An adjustment for sure. We've currently been searching the rental ads and scouring the internet for a suitable and cheap rental that will accommodate him until later this year when I'll join him with the other two furbabies. Not an easy task with all these ridiculous "no pet" policies, but I'm assured we'll prevail.

Everything happens for a reason, right? 

A latte love,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Be a warrior, not a worrier.

I still might sew though. And probably yoga.

I have decided to compile some rules for myself. These rules come from my experiences during the last few months, which I have jokingly (/seriously) called "my quarter life crisis".

C's Rules for Mental Health:

1. Don't think too much. You'll create problems that never existed.
2. Walk the dog. Do yoga. Or both.

That's pretty much it. At least all I've come up with so far. A pretty simple prescription, I'd say. They may seem basic, but they've done wonders for me over the last few weeks. 

There's a lot that can be said for the practice of not thinking. Try it sometime.

I'm going to work really hard on them over the next few weeks, as the Big Move is coming up soon and the majority of clerkship (major stress inducers). I will perfect them!
Good idear.

Last night I did a mere 30 minutes of yoga. I forgot how good it felt to be in touch with my body and stretch out the stress. I will commit to doing this at least 3 times each week, if not every day. 
I found myself craving it again today, and feel it again right now. So you can pretty well guess what I'm doing after this post!

Anyways, what happened today...

Started 8am for Grand Rounds on the potential sex differences in efficacy of cardioprotective medications in patients with Diabetes. Interesting idea, and I'm curious to see if the research shows any evidence when completed. Also learned that women and men tend to "use" their physicians differently - whereas women tend to visit their physicians while healthy or in early sickness (more as preventative health care), men tend to see their doctors when they're sick only. I think I probably could have told them that. But curious, nonetheless.

Then went to finish a consult on a very nice gentleman presenting with some memory problems and a tremor. I think my consult was pretty comprehensive, and I felt happy with it :) YAY for learning!

Went to Fabricland after "work" and picked up some cute coordinating fabrics for my new Christmas gift projects (that shall remain nameless!). Also bought some new double-wide bias tape.

I have to say that after becoming acquainted online with designer fabrics from Michael Miller, etc, I have a hard time picking out fabrics at just any old fabric store now. I've moved into the world of online fabric ordering, and it could get dangerous! I've been mostly on Fabric.com so far, and will report back with my reviews if I end up ordering from there! So far, I've been disappointed that most of the fabrics I love are out of stock :(  

OH and I must report! This is ground breaking.


However, it was only for $188. For 2 weeks. A grand sum for the hours I put in. Ya. Right.
Works out to about $2.42 an hour. I believe it's supposed to cover parking, and probably life blood (read: coffee).

I might use it for something more fun. Like makeup or shoes. Those are necessities right? :)

A latte love, 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Pretty just got practical.

K? Humph.
So in follow up to my last blog post, this hospital elective hasn't improved much. I have a certain level of frustration with people who don't like to communicate properly, for example, like telling someone when to meet, where to meet or anything else important. However, I'm not sure whether it's the actual hospital I am not enjoying, or perhaps the poor communication skills of the people I am working with. One more week though, and then onto baby deliveries! Woo hoo!

Today was a bit better, as I feel like I'm finally settling in to this new foreign environment. I've also realized that one of the keys to belonging in a hospital is acting like you belong there, instead of being what you really are - scared shitless and with little clue as to what you're doing. I wonder (and worry) if maybe this is what most people do there.

Anyways, again to remedy my overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, I took to sewing last night.

We also relocated my sewing area to the dining room (genius!) with a big bar height table and great lighting all. to. my. self. Amazing! The Mr. was studying and I was just happily sewing away all at the same time! I'm going to be the most productive little sew-er for the next 2-3 weeks before we make the Big Move to Small Town, Ab.   

So, I'd been meaning to make a sewing caddy for sometime. I became inspired when I was constantly losing my scissors, the lid to my tailor's marker and constantly fumbling to keep my pins from falling off my desk. 

I saw this one from HowJoyful.com and thought I could come up with something similar. (That blog is fantastic by the way!)

So, after DD had his way with my traditional tomato pin cushion a month or so back (those are tomatoes right? Hmm...maybe they're apples or something.), I forever kept my pins locked up. I realize now that I may have just provided him with an even cuter and more tempting pin cushion, but at least now it's adorable for the time being. Nonetheless, here it is:

This was pre-sewing-move (you can see how crowded I was - ick!)

Well, hello little adorable owl pincushion.

Pretty and in the words of the Mr, "practical".

Oh, is that my first use of a decorative stitch
from my new machine? Oui madame!
I have given up on the idea of doing tutorials on these projects because
1. I have no time to write them;
2. I have no patience to write them. 

Fair? OK, so just check out the link above and head to How Joyful's tutorial if you wanna try to make a caddy yourself.

It has been very helpful thus far as well. The multiple pockets that are different heights work great to keep my big and small scissors, my marker, measuring tape and the little collection of accessories that came with my machine, including the walking and free quilting foot.

Other projects were completed last evening as well, but I will only share one here. The other will most likely be repeated for Christmas gifts, so I can't share it here!

But, The Little Stink needed a new king-worthy bed for his crate after an unfortunate and traumatic toenail-caught-in-bed experience that caused the Mr. to promptly dispose of that treacherous crate pad. I promised a replacement in a dog-friendly fabric, stuffed to the max with cozy cotton for The Little Stink's sore joints. Voila!

Crappy picture, but you get the picture. Haha.

King dog palace.
Anyways, I think some yoga is in order. I've been craving it for sometime now and I need to get back into it. The furries are quiet tonight, and Destructo has taken kindly to my new location in the dining room. The tile floors are nice and cool, and so he parks himself under my chair and sleeps like a baby.

I hesitate to say it and jinx it, but maybe his puppy days are coming to an end? Please?

Must go look up depression in renal transplant patients now. I mean, do yoga. 

A latte love,


Oh, PS. I'm always seeing "64 visitors" or "47 visitors" but I have no idea who is visiting! So please, comment if you can :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sewing saves lives. At least, mine.

Addendum to above: There is nothing a glass of wine, a flat iron, and a sewing machine can't fix. Humph.
The last two days in my first hospital-based elective ever have proven what I already pretty much thought I knew.

#1. I don't hate (because hate is a very strong word) hospitals. But I do strongly dislike hospitals.
(And don't be all "Well, I'd say you've chosen the wrong profession bla bla" because I didn't say I don't like medicine, I said I don't like hospitals. Big ones. With lots of people. And lots of egos. I like small ones, and clinics. And friendly preceptors. Who know how to teach.)

#2. I am a very little fish
In a very big, wide, deep, sea with lots of sharks. And piranhas. And the occasional other nice little petrified fish too. When we see each other, we wave frantically and smile, wishing back a piece of our old lives when we were safe and sound in lecture.

And the one thing I definitely already knew:

#3. I know next to nothing.

But, all is not lost my friends! Because I still have more than a whole year of this. :S

To remedy my overwhelming feelings of self-inadequacy, I decided to bond with my new sewing machine of course (which is in desperate need of a name), get in touch with my creative side, and remind myself that there is something I know how to do. These last two days of "real" clerkship/work/hell are making me tired and so I didn't have much energy for a finicky project, and wanted to pretty much wrap it up in like oh, 20 minutes.

Medical school has given me a very little attention span. Med school ADD? "Blame it on my ADD, baby!" (For those of you wondering what that was, it was Sail by Awolnation). 

Anyways, here's what I came up with. It's pretty adorable, if I do say so myself.
It's a knitting project bag for those of you who are wondering. Which pretty much equates to a little fabric bag. That you put a knitting project in. 
Hence, knitting project bag :)

I've been wanting to make a project bag for sometime, considering anything that appears yarn-like or ball-like or ball-of-yarn-like is targeted for destruction by the one and only. You all know him and love him. 

Although I don't think the cuteness or softness of this bag will deter him from his ruinous habits, I do hope it will prevent him from knowing what's hiding inside - yarn and knitting projects. Berry sneaky, I know. :)

It's just about big enough for one little project. It's perfect for the blankie construction. I have been meaning to use this pretty little bird/bug/flower fabric since I purchased it from my faithful Fabricland over a month ago. I used my beloved technique of box corners to give it just a wee bit of structure.


Box corners + ribbon = great project bag!

That little project was just what I needed! The sunny little material and tiny birds (did I mention I have a new addiction to birds on fabric?) - just perfect. After this post, and with permission from DD (DestructoDog), I may even complete my mental health prescription with some yoga. Ahhhhh.

Anyways, got my schedule for my low-risk obstetrics elective coming up (yippee!), and *cue scary dun dun dun*, I have my first 12 hour shift. AHHH.
And on our first year anniversary! What luck!

If I didn't love welcoming little wonders into the world, I'd be complaining more. But it's at least a really good reason to be away from the Mr. on the anniversary of our nuptials.

I've been informed of some "interesting" plans the Mr. has come up with for our anniversary celebration on the weekend prior to our One Year. I'm curious as to whether they have anything to do with paper. I'll be sure to report back.

My anniversaire ideas have been slightly thwarted by the recent notice of my rotation schedule (see above paragraphs), so plans are currently being revamped :)

Ps. This is NOT my photo -
Kudos to the photog,
and please don't sue me
for copyright infringement.
K thx!

I totally love this idea that I found on Pinterest:
You take a photo every year on your anniversary to show how you're changing (read: getting older and wrinklier) together. 

Charming and romantic. I have to check with the Mr. if he'd want to, and perhaps we'll do this too :)

Cute, no?

I also wanted to share the most adorable little Le Sportsac bag I picked up last night on a retail therapy trip with Ms. Cho. I needed something small and cross-body to carry around the bare essentials on rounds. Might as well inject a little personality into that place, right? 
So what better than the little adorable Scotty dogs adorning this completely lovely little bag.
It's called the Kasey. (This picture doesn't really do the bag justice but it'll do).
Love love love. Makes clerkship funner.

Well, by the grumbling and groaning coming from the big black furry, I should probably wrap this up.

A latte love,


Sunday, March 11, 2012

There's something really special about Sundays.

Good morning!
Ahhh, Sundays. 

Little Miss. Thing felt like being especially pretty today and wanted to wear her adorable pink knitted sweater. I told her that maybe someday I would knit her another pretty sweater. That could be a long ways away though, because I only know how to knit flat things so far. Haha.

I love Sundays. Around our house, we use Sundays for getting chores done, cleaning, laundry, etc. Sounds like no fun, but somehow it brings me a sense of calm to get ready for the week ahead.

This upcoming week I'm starting an elective in Geriatrics. I think it's going to be a mix of hospital time and clinic time, so right up my alley. I'll be doing fall assessments and med reviews like a boss by the end of it, if all goes well.

So as promised, wanted to post some pictures of the cute laptop sleeve I made for Ms. Cho. I absolutely love the pattern, and wanted to embellish it with a little jewel. And as the first project I completed with my new partner-in-crime, I believe it deserves an honorary post on the blog :)

Love love this pattern!

Old necklace bead gets new lease on life :)
 And, as per my last post, I did dig up some pictures of the iPad case I made for myself (before it became somewhat dirty and not fit for photos). Here they are:

The case had been in use for a few weeks already and so it's looking a little raggedy in the pictures. And as the prototype of this self-made design, it turned out a little less finished than I would  have liked. But it's served it's function so far and protected my new little time-waster pretty well.  

This project was also my first attempt at buttonholes! On my last machine, there was only a four-step manual buttonhole option...On my new machine - 7 versions of AUTOMATIC 1-step buttonholes. It's just too much.

So the packing is fully underway for the big move to Small Town, Ab. The days are counting down - I'm to start in clinic there on April 10th. I've sold quite a few pieces of furniture on Kijiji, but still have a bunch we need to get rid of. The photos are off the walls, there's boxes piling up in what used to be our dining room, and this move is becoming very real. Humph.

It's funny that when you realize you're going to be leaving somewhere, all of a sudden, you wonder why you didn't do certain things before. For example, our dining room gets beautiful sunlight and was freshly painted in a nice mushroom shade when we moved in. WHY oh WHY did I not use it as a sewing room? I see the most beautiful sewing rooms on Pinterest (be damned!), so naturally I regret not using the space for it's potential while we were here.

Oh well. The Mr. has promised that "we should be able to make you a nice room like that someday" after I suggested he check out some of my pins. He's really something wonderful, isn't he? 

Baby blanket progress
The blankie is well underway! I've completed about 6 squares so far in pretty shades. Here are some pictures and info about the patterns I've used thus far.

Sq #1 - Easy peasy - simply K2, P2. 
Sq #2 - R1: K. R2: K1, P1. Repeat.

Sq #3 - Pennant stitch
R1: K ; R2: K1, P4 ; R3: K3, P2
R4: K3, P2 ; R5: K1, P4; R6: K

Sq#4 - K2, P4, K6, P4, K2
Sq#5 - Moss stitch (I think?).
R1: K1,P1. R2:P1, K1. Repeat.
Sq#6 in progress - same as Sq#2
I estimate I'll probably need only about 60 or so more. No big deal. -_- 
I'm having fun with it so far. I can't wait to use up these balls of yarn so I can get some more pretty colours to add to the blanket. I'm thinking some light purples, maybe yellows. I also found a really pretty white sparkly yarn! I don't really care for gendering babies through colour, so I'm not really paying any mind to whether it looks "boy-ish" or "girl-ish". 

Oh, I also completed my scarf. It's probably not as long as it should be but I got bored and wanted to start on the bebe blankie. It's also a bit itchy. Should've used a softer yarn. 

Anyways, I clearly should be doing more regular blog posts because the ones I've been posting are getting longer and longer! I just have so much to catch up on I guess!

Until next time.

A latte love,


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new (sewing machine, that is).

So for anyone following along with my posts, one of the most recent ones described a battle with my Brother LX-3125 and its affinity for inappropriate thread tension. 

Since I spent so little on the machine to begin with ($115 from Walmart), and considering that it had probably never been designed to handle the amount of rigorous sweat-shop sewing I was asking of it, I decided that replacement (rather than repair) would be the economical option.

I consider the LX-3125 to be a great beginner mechanical machine (as far as my limited experience goes). I think it just wasn't up for the challenge of my new found sewing obsession, and hence, kicked the bucket pretty early on in our relationship.

Luckily for me, Walmart has a 90 day return policy. Hard to believe I've been sewing for less than 90 days! I've done so many projects and accumulated such a collection of fabric that some would think I've been at it for years. But, no. 

And despite my usual habit of losing receipts rapidly, and even despite DestructoDog's penchant for chewing important ones, I still had the golden ticket in my wallet - WIN.

Kudos to Mama C who recommended I return the machine in the first place. Great idea!

Anyways, not long after returning my faithful friend, I was rigorously scanning reviews online for who, ahem, what machine would be my replacement. My challenge was to find a reasonably affordable (I am a student after all) novice machine with some extra features than I'd been used to with my basic Brother.

The dilemma for me was choosing between Singer and Brother. While Singers have been around for soooo long, hence demonstrating their quality and appeal to the sewing masses, I had learned on a Brother, and so I hear through online reviews, they can put out a pretty mean sewing machine at a decent price.

I had my mind set on the Singer Fashion Mate 7256 when I ventured out today. But lo and behold, a new machine was there that I had not been aware of - a Brother SQ 9050. 

Frantically I scanned reviews online - I had not been prepared to make additional decisions but now this option was looking quite good! Computerized, automatic needle threader (oh.my.god!), 100 built in stitches and embroidery features, quilting table AND ability to embroider letters! 

The kicker - a start/stop BUTTON - forget that foot pedal!
 Haha DestructoDog! Never again will you lay on my pedal and have my projects at your whim!
Long story short, this adorable purple machine won me over (surprised?). 

I'm looking forward to a long and happy relationship. 

I'll be sure to keep everyone updated on how it's going. 

So far, together we have finished Ms. Cho's darling laptop sleeve that had been patiently awaiting completion. Smooth as satin and much quieter than my last machine, I see a bright future for us.

I must admit however, the computerized models give me some creeps because at least with my little mechanical machine, I felt like if all else failed I could take the bugger apart and fiddle with its insides. I worry this is not the case with this machine. But hopefully we will never come to that.

And, with Brother's 25 year warranty and supposedly (?) good support service, I hope we won't run into any problems anytime soon. After all, there is that 90 day return policy :)

I have fiddled with some of the decorative stitches and it has done nothing good for my Pinterest habit. I now have a short (ahem, long) list of projects that will have to wait until I can evict the Mr. from the office. I'll just have to sew sew sew when he's not around :)

Projects on my list so far (at least a few of them):
  • Adorable pin cushions (there's a few I've pinned on my Pinboards!)
  • Sewing machine caddy (I'm thinking a purple theme to go with the machine (haha, again I'm sure most aren't surprised). However, this is not matching my current machine cover, so there may be a do-over of that.)
  • Knitting project bags (one or two, who knows?)
  • iPad case for Ms. Chaudry complete with all of her ideas for pockets and gizmos
  • Earbud case
  • iPad sleeve for the Mr.
That reminds me, I didn't post about my iPad case I made! I may have to make another one because the one I've been using has gotten a bit dirty now and isn't fit for photos. I'll check to see if I have any photos of it from when I was making it. 

The iPads were our 1st Anniversary gifts to ourselves. A little early, yes. Ok, really early. Maybe we have impulse control issues. Nonetheless, great gifts to us.

Goodness gracious, that's coming up fast. Traditionally, the first anniversary is the "paper" anniversary. Kind of lame, but kind of inspirational as well. Since we've already bought our iPads, we have challenged eachother to come up with creative ideas that use the theme of paper. 

Stay tuned for posts about that! I have a couple idears up my sleeve but you'll have to wait because it's a surprise for the Mr. And he obviously reads this blog, right honey? RIGHT?!

A latte love,