Thursday, January 12, 2012

Handmade Harvest SPRING!

Nothing gets me more excited than planning a craft show.
Really really.
Event planning + Marketing + Decorating + Handmade Stuff + Telling people what goes where = my idea of the perfect job.

And here we are again!
Planning our SECOND Spring Handmade Harvest.
The call for crafters went out just this week.

You can find all the info on the snazzy new website I put together.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Work it out

I'm out of shape! Are you? (Because that would make me feel better.)
I met with a trainer (Shelagh Chambers) tonight and she totally whipped my butt with what onlookers (thankfully there were none) may have perceived to be pretty damn simple.

Not so.
I high kneed, shuffled and lunged myself to the point at which I can no longer gracefully descend a staircase.
Now that's a good workout in my books.
I loathed and loved every minute and have committed to a month (to start) of 3x weekly workouts with Shelagh. Workouts which she promises will be painful and productive.

I'm not waiting for the New Year to do something about this pathetic excuse for a 32 year old body, and diet, it would appear, is not necessarily the answer.
Perhaps a nice combination of fitness and exercise.

I saw a fabulous clip being shared around Facebook that made a lot of sense to me.
Maybe it'll do something for you too.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Being a mom is hard.
I'm really struggling lately and I don't really know why.
The kids are actually great, I'm just kind of sick of it all.

I don't know what I want. Or what I would change.

I feel like I'm in a swamp. A swamp made of glue, or marshmallow after you knead it in your fingers, or something otherwise really sticky that I can push through if I really try, but I'm so tired that I just can't summon the effort to do it.

I want to be lazy and lie on the couch watching Hoarders or 750 Pound Virgin or Pregnant and Paralyzed or pretty much anything garbage on A&E that might make me feel self-righteous.
And then, if suddenly I feel like going to the grocery store or the mall or what-freaking-ever, I want to do that.
I want to throw on my goddamn coat and just go.

I don't want to wrestle with a two year old who doesn't want to put on her mittens of which I can only find ONE anyway.
I don't want to sit around and wait for a baby to wake up before zipping out the door.
I don't want to, upon arriving at my destination, have to strategize which child to get out of the vehicle first so as to have enough hands to avoid placing the non-walker in a puddle in a parking lot.

I want to do nothing.
And, yet, nothing is exactly the opposite of what I have to do every second of everyday.
I know I'm not unique or special, and that this is how moms feel sometimes.
I just need to feel publicly sorry for myself and get on with it.

I owe you an update about the craft show.
Best ever.

I'll try to pull myself out of this funk and upload some pictures.
xo Em

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Few things

August 16th.
That's the last time I wrote? Impossible.
I'm sure it was just last week.
In typical Emily fashion, I've managed to cram a kajillion things into the last 2 months. I'll tell you about them now if you like.

It's safe to say I have completely adjusted to life without the store.
Not once have I felt any sense of remorse or regret. Only relief really. And a small pining to start decorating for Christmas.
I suppose I could just do that in my own damn house. Though I never get anything done there. So I guess not everything has changed.

So what am I doing with myself now you wonder?
Back in August I started working out of the Humm. I was there 2.5 days a week just pretty much using up their oxygen and taking up a desk space while I continued with my freelance writing.
They also offered me a column in the paper. Maybe I told you about that.
It's an advice column where I get to just make shit up and occasionally impart some of my marketing/business know how. Which I love 
I very much hope no one heeds anything I write in there.
I've written two now.
You can find it on Page 6 here.
I have a scan too, but it's not the best.

It's been fun to stretch my creative writing muscle with something that's slightly heavier lifting than a headline here and there. Hopefully nobody gets hurt.

After a few weeks of getting very comfortable leaving my children to work in an office environment, I decided to branch out further. One of my very best friends and her mother own Mahogany Salon and Spa in both Stittsville and, now, Carleton Place.
I've been helping them with their ad work since they opened over 7 years ago from a distance, and I thought it might be worth everyone's while if I pitched myself as their in-house marketing and merchandising girl.
I put together a little proposal and they took the bait.

So now, I'm not at the Humm anymore. I'm still writing, but now I'm at Mahogany 3 days a week.
Things are good. 
I love what I'm doing (something different everyday really), it's a beautiful space, and every now and then I sneak upstairs to get my nails did.
I feel like I really have my you know what together.

It was a busy transition figuring out a new schedule with the kids, but we're in the swing of things now and I feel like I'm contributing to society once again.

I'm actually twice published this month. 
So, you know, whatev.
We squeezed a Handmade Harvest article in there too.

It was a joint effort between me and Colleen for the record.
That girl doesn't always get the props she deserves.

With less than a month until the show, we're getting pretty jazzed up.
We try to be better with each event. Offering our vendors as much as possible to help them be inspired and successful.
One of the things Colleen and I both love to swoon over is creative merchandising ideas.
We went hunting for inspiration online and found the mother load on this site.
Also, gotta love Flickr.

Have a peek.
Hope to see you at the show in November!
And hope to write before then!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Knock Knock

I have been wanting to share this hilarious post for weeks now.
I discovered it via a Facebook friend and then a week later someone asked me if I sold any 10 foot metal chickens. (That makes more sense if I tell you I still owned the store at this point.)

Because I had read this I knew why she wanted one.
And you will too once you check out genius that is The Bloggess.

New favourite blog?
Could be.

Try to keep up

Oh my god. This post is like the ball of hair clogging my shower drain.
Until I get it out, every things going to get backed up.

I have been wanting to write about a zillion things!
But I felt like until I caught up on all the missing pieces I couldn't write something new.

First things first, I am no longer the owner of Blackbird.
That transition has somewhat overshadowed both my trip to NYC and our family excursion (read: nightmare in the woods) to the cottage.
Although, I must say, I am surprisingly unsentimental about the whole thing.
It's possible I'm in a bit of shock.
But overall, it feels like 100% the right move for me.

Last week Leslie called in sick and it was the first time ever that something like that hasn't put me in a state of panic. Instead, I was able to stay home with the kids and we ended up spending the day at a friend's cottage enjoying the sunshine.
How lovely it is not to be on a schedule.

But back to my list of things to talk about.
New Yawk.
Despite being over a month ago, I do actually remember the trip.

I'll start by saying that since Clemmie was born, it's been difficult for me to enjoy a vacation. 
I find I need at least 24 hours to just get into a new groove of chilling the heck out, catching up on my sleep and adjuting to having the time to myself. 
I find I kind of need some alone time for the first little bit.
It's such a drastic change to being at home that I need some serious, isolation chamber style quiet time to switch mind frames.
I was in good shape by the time we arrived in Newark.
Not rested exactly, but excited and pumped to spend time with Melissa nonetheless.

The incredible view from Amy's apartment in Soho.

And so began our much anticipated weekend in NYC.
Or, what I like to call, the vacation equivalent to falling up a set of stairs (or something equally annoying, embarrassing, and almost impossible not to laugh at).

You see, no matter how hard we both tried, New York was out to make us look like tourists.
Or idiots.
Possibly both.

Every excursion was wrought with complications.
The first morning we decided to go for breakfast. 
Simple enough.
We were just a few blocks North of Katz Deli where the famous Meg Ryan orgasm scene from When Harry met Sally was shot.
Naturally, we walked 5 blocks East before realizing we had taken a wrong turn.
Happens to the best of us.
At least we got to take in a little New York scenery.

I couldn't help but take a picture of all the fire escapes.

Not to mention find the BEST coffee in New York.
What luck!

The moment (30 dewey minutes later) that we arrived at the deli was when we faced the real challenge.
Not only was there a turnstile with an attendant (this place has completely let it's 15 minutes of fame go to it's head and is way commercialized now, trading cozy booths for cafeteria tables) but there was a completely unmarked spot where you placed your order, another place where you picked up your coffee, an off limits seating section if you wanted to be served instead of serving yourself, and you didn't pay until your way out.
Apparently everyone else who goes there is a psychic, because damned if we knew what the hell we were doing.

After breakfast, determined to hit up a New York City style flea market, we took the Subway (which is way more complicated than the north, south, east, west format we're accustomed to in Toronto) uptown to Hells Kitchen. True to it's name in early July, it was a hotter than hell but authentically adorable market, of which I took no pictures but Melissa did. 
Because Melissa is good like that.

As far as landmarks, bike riding in Central Park was a definite highlight.
But it wasn't exactly free of adversity either.
First of all, we hit this hot spot on the last day of our trip, so we definitely had to keep an eye on the clock. We got there (after taking the long way on the Subway due to line closures...shocker) at about 12:30pm and decided to rent bikes.
You know. Because we're athletes.

In Central Park you can rent bikes for $15 an hour.
Which totally sounds easy. And it would be if this was a real business.
Instead, it's really just a bunch of random dudes with bicycles.
We tracked one guy down, but of course he only had one bike left, so though securing one was simple enough, we had to get the second by strapping on a little blind faith and following one of the aforementioned rando's down a street, and then another street, and then into a parking garage.

I know. That's exactly how people get killed on Law and Order, but it was ok.
There were other people doing it.
And I don't think any of them were crack addicts. Not that you can always tell.
In the end we both got bikes, and we both were able to tick "bike around Central Park" off our bucket lists.

By 2pm we decided we better get our shit in gear and head back downtown to get ourselves packed and ready to head to the airport.
Our goal was to be back at Amy's and out of there with our suitcases by 4pm, to Time Square to catch the Newark Airport Shuttle around 4:30 and to the airport with an hour to spare.
But the problem with New York is...well two things actually.
1. It's full of things to sidetrack you because,
2. Who knows when you'll be back there again!?

Long story short, we didn't end up leaving the apartment until 4:15, were presented with a Subway that had to go south before it would go north, and we missed our 5:15 shuttle by about 30 seconds.
We didn't get on the next shuttle until 5:45pm.
Did I mention we were in Time Square?
Which is basically the most populated place in the universe.

Did I also mention that our technically INTERFREAKINGNATIONAL flight was at 6:30?

At this point Melissa and I kind of stopped talking.
We weren't mad at each other. It was no ones fault really.
We just knew there was absolutely nothing we could say that could help the situation.

Besides, when you're both thinking the same thing what's the use?

So we're sitting in New York City traffic sweating bullets.
I have a connecting flight to catch to Ottawa.
At this point, it would seriously take a miracle to get to the airport before the plane took off, forget about actually getting through security and boarding!
6:15 we arrive at the airport and are standing at the check in desk, where a very friendly attendant takes our boarding passes and frowns sympathetically.

"I'm sorry. This plane has already boarded."
Of course it has.
"Ok." I say. "We realize we're very late. I have a connecting flight to catch in Toronto. Do we have any options at all?"

And all I have to say about what happened next is that it's true. You definitely catch more flies with honey.
Because didn't that sweet woman just pick up her phone, call the boarding desk and ask them to hold the plane.
We ran.
We ran we ran we ran.
When we got to security and I threw my hands in the air for my body scan, the guard looked curiously at me and said "Ma'am. Can I ask why you look so nervous?"
Shit. I thought. I'm breathing like a goddamn drug smuggler!

"Well, technically we've missed our plane sir." I explained. "We're holding out hope that we might still catch it!"
"Better get moving then." He replied.
American's rule!

Long story long, we made it.
On the flight home we decided that despite all the other little blips we dealt with on our vacation, we actually have very good luck when it counts.

Also, we like stripes.
Even if they make us look wide.

And that was New York.

Now the cottage.
I'm going to keep this really short because I kind of don't want to remember it.
Brad and I rented a cottage about an hour from home for one week. Saturday to Saturday.

Insert two kids, a huge thunderstorm, a power outage, the hottest week of the summer, an attempt to potty train, a 2.5 year old who had to sleep in a playpen she's outgrown, the same 2.5 year old hopped up on candies earned by actually using said potty, numerous screaming fits and two parents frustrated by their vision of a weekend sipping caesars on a dock being blown to smithereens (underused word!).

We came home Tuesday.
We didn't talk to one another until Wednesday.
And we decided to make the best of what was left of our time off by Thursday.

And that was the cottage.
We'll try again in 17 years maybe. Maybe 2.

I got it out.
Welcome to my new blog address.

I hope you'll follow!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Blog Address

For obvious reasons I'll be changing my blog address.
Just in case I do it wrong (and it's very likely I will), bookmark

I'm sure there is a better, more efficient way of doing the switch so I don't lose any readers, but damned if I know what it is.

xo Em (on my last day in the shop!)