Author Archives: vicentine

snowed in

snowed in

What a temperamental weekend. From ten inches of snow on Friday to warmer temperatures and rain on Monday, my head is just about ready to explode.

I’ve been struggling to write a post about all of the plant babies I recently became Plant Mum to after I decided I wanted an army of air cleaners in my house. Actually, struggling isn’t the right word, so much as lazy and distracted. Oops.

Then, Snowmageddon, or some other crazy name, happened, and I got all snow photo happy all weekend.

Then, I got distracted with planning for New York City this weekend and getting orders complete and being woken up at four in the morning by playful cats, random brain activity, and snoring husbands. Talk about dragging my feet yesterday.

I’ve also been holding off because I plan on segregating this here blog to its own space. It doesn’t feel right having this all lumped together, blending portfolio with carefree blog posts about life and things.

Having said all that, let’s rewind to the important topic at hand – SNOW!

Talk about the most beautiful Friday ever, despite having to drive on the snow covered roads to work, while everyone else stayed home in their pajamas watching movies.

By everyone else, I literally mean everyone else because my workplace wasn’t all that deserted. People around here are hardcore snow drivers who throw caution to the wind.

snow feeder

snow mountains

tea lights

It was rather entertaining, Friday afternoon and evening, watching car, after car, after car, get caught in the hell that is Side Street Snow. From having our shovels borrowed to just watching people attempt to push their cars out of the snowy pits, we had some sort of Caught in the Snow Fiesta to wintess until late in the evening.

The next morning, however, the skies were crystal clear blue, the air was chilly, but warm enough, and our neighbour had some pretty intense icicles forming on the back part of his roof. By intense icicles, I mean, icicles that can kill you by just looking at you.

roof icicles

Sunday morning was much of the same but came with the added benefit of frosting. The world was white. Perfect, pristine, white. A delicious cake with perfect icing that had yet been tasted or poked.



Mornings don’t really get much better than that.

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secret date night

secret date night

It’s February. FEBRUARY. How in the world did that even happen?

Actually, no, I take that question back, because I’m pretty sure that every single year pans out this way. January always seems to start off incredibly slow. Each day feels endlessly long and it’s downright glorious because you feel as though you have all the time in the world.

Then, January 15th hits and all hell breaks loose. The next thing you know it’s February first, and the moment you blink, boom, it’s June.

This is how it works.

Don’t blink.

Last weekend was Surprise Date Night weekend. Finally. For two months I had to endure and ignore Randy’s endless teasing. It was kind of fun though because it seemed like my blah, lacklustre attitude drove him a tiny bit crazy. He teased. I teased. It was all a big tease.

The funniest part in all of this is that I managed to properly guess our Secret Date Nigh activity without any hints. The little I did know, and the little info Meg was able to draw from Erik, confirmed my random hunch. I am Detective Extraordinaire and lucky for me, being a skilled detective is exactly what I needed for Secret Date Night.



Murder Mystery

Many moons ago, after our self-hosted Murder Mystery night, we talked about doing a “proper” one out in the wild somewhere. I had looked up a number of places that hosted them, but we never really moved on actually attending one.

Enter my initial Secret Date Night hunch, and my ultimate ruining of the secret part of Secret Date Night. I really excel at ruining secrets. I’m not sure if I should be proud or disappointed.

We wined and dined with the Mysterious Players at Aberfoyle Mill. After reading a terribly disappointing review of the show on TripAdvisor, I was wary, expecting terrible wait staff service and awful actors.

Fear not! The night was fun! Sure, by the end, our server was kind enough to disappear, leaving us to hunt down another so that we could, you know, actually pay for the evening, but the rest was enjoyable.

I awkwardly began the night by requesting “something cheap” when asking our server for a glass of wine. We kept that momentum going by absolutely confusing the actors whenever they came to our table to chit chat. The one fella just had no idea what we were on about, and frankly, neither did we, I think.

The food was really great, albeit, borderline too much. Five courses when you’re not used to eating so much in one sitting is a bit of a belly stretcher. I didn’t even eat that much over the holidays. I just couldn’t stop though. My stomach was shouting no, while the chicken on my plate shouted yes in every language.

Gosh. I’m hungry. Is it lunch time yet?

The BEST part? I GUESSED THE MURDERER, METHOD AND MOTIVE! You have NO idea how proud I am. Out of the four of us, I was the last person to fill out my form and submit it. Everyone teased me, including the actors – “Is she a novelist, or is she a bit slow?” – but I GUESSED CORRECTLY.

I glowed like a five year after eating an entire cake. I was given a Certificate of Wit and everything. You best believe that certificate is being proudly displayed on my fridge right now. I am PROUD. I am so USELESSLY PROUD.

I was one of three people to guess correctly that night. The other two people? The murderer, herself (eye roll) and the lady sitting beside her (eye roll again). I smell fishy business.

The rest of the weekend? Well, the rest of the weekend didn’t even compare.

Hair cuts. Big pots of chili. Oh, and something ridiculous like sixty cinnamon buns.

Cinnamon Buns

Don’t ever prepare the “big batch” recipe of cinnamon rolls unless you’re prepared to spend most of your day in the kitchen making batch after batch of cinnamon rolls. I felt deceived. Despite the name, the recipe went on to say that I would split the dough in half and make two rolls. TWO ROLLS.

I made FOUR. The dough just kept rising, resulting in me splitting it into quarters rather than halves. I suppose it helps that I wasn’t able to prepare everything at once, giving the dough all that time to rise, but never mind that.

On the plus side, we have about 30 cinnamon buns in our freezer ready for last minute cinnamon bun eating. Who wants to come over and have a treat with me?

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pack your bags

pack your bags

I’m pretty sure I jinxed myself. I foolishly declared that time was on my side, and distractions few and far between. I publicly announced it and immortalized it in digital print. Oops. Always keep your mouth shut when things are going super duper awesome because otherwise, the Universe kind of looks at you and goes, “Oh, really? I’ve been hoping to purge and if you’ve got the room to spare, I’ll just throw this box of goodies your way.”

That isn’t to say that things still aren’t super great, but they’re certainly a lot more frantic and a little more borderline chaotic than I was anticipating for this point in January.

My broken toe Christmas gift resulted in me having to delay my winter session of Zumba by a week. I was convinced that one extra week would help, but there I was, last Thursday, still taped and bandaged with a Tensor, just in case, slipping and sliding all over the floor that was a heck of a lot more dangerous than I thought.

Last night? Last night was amazing. Despite still needing some buddy taping, I was able to pound away on that foot like the good old days of four weeks ago. I hope I never outright break a foot, because wow, has having a broken toe made me a grump-a-saurus at times.

Dear toe,

I love you. You’re the best.
Never break again.

Your favourite body

Also, Universe, don’t take that as an invitation to BREAK MY FOOT.

Toe aside, January wedding orders are in full swing, as are fun, unexpected home adventures. The latter being one of the distractions I deemed to not have going into 2013. Silly girl.

I ask you, how many times can you rearrange and change your home office in a short period of time? According to our house, two times in a week and a half.

None of that is nearly as exciting as our spontaneously planned TRIP TO NEW YORK, however. On a whim, one Friday evening earlier this month, I started looking up flights to various destinations, thinking we needed to make the most of the February long weekend (which is, also, my birthday weekend, in a round about way).

Central Park statues

2008 was the last time I was in New York City, during a cooler weekend in early May. This time around, we’re embracing the cold head on, visiting the city in the dead of winter. This time around, we aren’t spending 10 hours in a van to get there, nor will I be there for a Broadway show, specifically (The Little Mermaid forever, by the way).

This time around, we will putz around town, exploring the lower half of the island, as we eat and eat and eat and hang out and people watch and eat. We’ll pretend to be true New Yorkers with our one bedroom apartment rental in Astoria (truly, the only way to travel), and, most likely, fail miserably because we’ll so obviously NOT be true New Yorkers.

At least we won’t be like the kidlets Mike and I have occasionally run into at various stores around town who pretend to be British with the MOST AWFUL British accents. We can’t help but impersonate them each time, because, why not?

Central Park fountain

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break the silence

break the silence

After a topsy turvy crazy year, and one heck of a long blog silence, it’s time to look ahead at 2013 with inspired motivation. Having said that, I’m not the biggest fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in waiting for the calendar to flip in order to begin something new because honestly, it ends up sounding like excuses to further delay the things you should be doing today.

In this instance, timing is coincidental. Things are calmer. Today is the last day of my 11 day holiday from “cubicle” designing life. I’ve caught up where I can, and am focused on working ahead wherever and whenever I can. Timing is back on my side, with no intense time sucking distractions.

Knock on wood, of course, because even this whole “timing is on my side” notion has been disrupted by the broken toe my body gifted me on Christmas day. Perhaps I shouldn’t say that everything is going well then since I’m way behind in some parts of this triple life I lead. Bah humbug and all of that nonsense.

The last few months saw me revisiting and discovering handfuls of blogs that I became connected to, enticing me to once again pick up where I left off. What 2011 started, 2012 really developed. I started to see things differently and began to feel how contrived my efforts seemed. The genuine flair was missing, muddled by third parties. Now, I’ve stopped comparing and I’ve stopped feeling that microscopic annoyance. The pressure of being something else has been replaced by being genuine.

The fact of the matter is, I’m never going to the be pitch perfect blogger, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to capture these moments. I privately blogged for many years to simply remember. Now’s the time to remember out loud, to connect with others, and to demonstrate authenticity.

This year, I don’t want to tie myself down to days of the week or subject matter. I just want to be. Whether that makes this a personal lifestyle blog, or not, it will be what it will be.

I’ll soon find time to sit down and revisit this site’s style, as well as update the areas that need refreshing. My portfolio is painfully old and the snowy background needs to go. It’s time for a minor facelift. Nothing too drastic, of course. We don’t want things to start looking too plastic, do we?

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etsy tuesday: in house envelopes

etsy tuesday: in house envelopes

Oh, the times, they are a-changin’.

Seriously. There is a good chance that many a thing will soon change in the Etsy world of Vicentine Design, and it all started a number of weeks ago, when in a flurry of activity and confusion, I ordered the wrong size of envelopes for not one, but two clients. Oops.

No matter, though. I  placed the order, received the order, and then realised my error. It’s not like I was sitting in a cafe over coffee with my happily engaged couple only to realise, “Oh, look! Your invitations are too big for your envelopes! That’s peculiar!”

That would make a happily engaged couple very unhappily engaged rather quickly, I bet.

During this envelope sizing mishap, I was emailing back and forth with one of the local printers I work with to graphically enhance the backs of my envelopes. Turns out, they didn’t have the size I needed on hand (big pain!) and they were looking to me to supply them with the specific size in question.

Needless to say, once the appropriate envelopes arrived on my door step, I sat in my office, humming and hawing over whether or not I should deliver the envelopes to the print shop or give printing the envelopes at home a whirl. We have an incredibly decent and powerful printer, but I had always been wary of navigating the envelope printing world.

That is… I was wary until I finally said “Forget this outsourcing business,” set everything up and hit the ever dangerous print button.

What happened? Nothing! The envelopes printed perfectly and I was thrilled, for I not only saved myself some cash, but I was staring at the very real possibility of printing my own envelopes in house.

Invitations are still an entirely different ball game, and that will never ever go in-house, unless I invest in all of the fancy, expensive things like an even better printing, an incredible multi-sheet paper cutter and trimmer, perforating tool, etc etc etc.

The quantity thing is what’s scary, of course. I miss the days when this was my full time preoccupation. Things would be so much easier then.

Envelope adventures aside, as I was previewing my Etsy shop stats sometime in February, I realised that I rather suddenly had a lot of traffic coming from a website called Discover Paper. I followed the links and sure enough, stumbled upon a post featuring my mustache notepads. I was tickled pink. Absolutely.

It took me a few weeks, but I managed to throw the feature up on my Features page for permanent safe keeping. In the meantime, go ahead and check out the post at Discover Paper. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

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