cherries, sweet peas, tacos & needlepoint

today didn’t go as smoothly as i might’ve liked. not that i had specific expectations or that anything went particularly wrong. it was just one of those days.

of course, no matter how gloomy, into each day shines a little sun.

my first ray came courtesy of darling jessica marquez from miniature rhino. in spite of a frustrating postal strike, the queen’s mail must get through…eventually. i’d been waiting on this package forever, since the second these astrological needlepoint kits were featured by design*sponge. (didn’t i tell you i can’t bear to miss a thing that happens over there!?!) i bought us one each: capricorn & scorpio. of course, one to represent each of us. clearly, i’m not anticipating this will turn into couples crafting:episode one.

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regard the adorable packaging job and all the thoughtful little goodies inside: business card, postcard, hand-written note, tiny miniature rhino pins. a delight to receive!

after a tumultuous finish to the work day (and week, for that matter – yay!) i had to walk over to see the naturopath for some not so great news from them. fortunately, my (somewhat) feeling sorry for myself walk home had me cross paths with the local farmers market and everyone knows there’s always something to make a stop in there worthwhile.

my loot:

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cherries! the first local batch of the season

sweet peas! already, their scent has filled my entire apartment

tacos! roasted yam and black bean – vegan and entirely delicious

life is good.

coconut water: the magic elixir

of a million refreshing twitter discoveries, sweet potato chronicles is just one. while it isn’t always content that is right up my alley (more kid- and/or meat-focused than i am) i have walked away from this site with several fantastic recipes and ceri marsh is definitely worth the follow.

today’s spc topic: coconut water. i’m a big fan. it’s refreshing and the hint of flavour that it offers is nice – not too sweet or coconut-ty.

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let me share with you, however, a little lesson that i learned on the weekend. i’d bought some blue monkey coconut water last week. when faced, for the first time in a coconut water purchase, with the decision of regular or with pulp, i decided on a split. i’ve always thought the mere existence of juices without pulp weird and wondered who buys that stuff. let me assure you that coconut water is an exception. i have been humbled. after a few sips, i actually had to run my beverage through a strainer in order to remove the chunks of coconut that were featured inside. they were the consistency of the chopped up nuts you get on a sundae. extremely uncomfortable to swallow. i’m just really not into chewing my drinks. are you feelin’ me?

do run out and try some, though. as quoted from the spc post:

“Really, they are marketing coconut water as a an all natural replacement to Gatorade and that’s something I can buy into.”

Succulent spending

I never delete a design*sponge digest email. While the home decor stuff rarely interests me, I dig the arts and crafts, the pretty pictures and the decadent recipes and never want to miss out on an interesting post. After seeing the write up on heat proof flowers this week, I tweeted “succulent shopping may have just appeared on this long weekend’s agenda.” Not one who likes to go back on her word, I engaged the assistance of the most avid gardener I know (my mom) and headed out to the place that is reportedly the authourity on succulents in these here parts, Western Independent Greenhouses. There, I found row upon row of gorgeous plants that could potentially come home with me.

My observations combined with a little reading on their site and some research online prove that I am doing the plants a huge disservice by referring to them all as succulents. My photos include an array of echeverias and aeoniums as well. Unfortunately, while I know I saw all types, i’m not knowledgeable enough to identify which is which.

Because these plants have adjusted to life in dry and arid climates, they’ve developed various ways of storing water into their leaves, stems and roots and they appear more fleshy than most other plants. This makes them easier to care for and great indoor plants for which there is no concern when summer heat hits. Provided they are supported with good drainage and less frequent watering, they can dress up a home in a different way than the usual green, leafy houseplant style.

While some varieties will grow big, tall and hardy, my greater interest is in the rock garden type planters that are more commonly found at flower shops. Instead of purchasing one of the gorgeous ready made groupings that were available (for very reasonable prices) today, the intention for my visit was to select the plants that appeal to me and to put together my own creation later this week.

The shades of most plants don’t stray far from greens and reds or greys and yellows, but it’s fairly easy to combine them to produce complimentary and attractive pieces with a lovely desert feel to them. some variations even offer shoot up flowers in pinks and purples to add some spikes of colour.

We had a pretty good time exploring all the different options available and collecting the ones I liked the best. After all was said and done, I have all the makings of a killer succulent garden of my own and can’t wait to put it together.

the day to follow your heart

“today is the day to follow your heart.” so said my normally dry and pragmatic capricorn horoscope this morning. isn’t that the intention for every day? or shouldn’t it be?

lately i’ve been swimming in a sea of hopes and dreams; desires to do, be and practice different things are the currents moving me. i’m often the dreamy type, fantasizing about change and new beginnings. i tally up new skills in my mind as every day passes and become a more diverse and productive person. unfortunately, my imagination doesn’t often reconcile with the time i have to devote to this new life. that said…..i’ve been learning! last week i celebrated the turning of a new leaf as i took my want to do list, meshed it with my need to do list and prioritized. to name off a couple of the several easy lessons i took away: making healthy meals pays back when, later in the week, i don’t have to worry about spending time in the kitchen, but have delicious meals at my fingertips for dinner or to pack for lunch; it’s amazing how alive and invigorated it makes me feel (for the whole day!) when i make a run the first thing on my agenda. both tasks require effort and planning, but prove so valuable in the benefits. while happy adjustments have had to be made to that schedule this week, i am learning again to incorporate the actions i want to take into a different set of distractions and make life happen the way that i want it to. most importantly, i’m making the choices that i need to feel happy, healthy and on the road down which my heart leads.

i think often about the kind of person i want to be vs. my reality. i am honest enough to recognize that i am easily drawn down a path of negativity that i am not particularly fond of. i also know that i get stuck in my head far more often than i should and that i let it get me in trouble by adding my imagination to the mix. i am not perfect at letting things happen and i dwell far too much on what others may be doing, thinking or saying. i don’t have it all together and, in fact, a large motivation behind this opportunity and space for expression is to dress down my desire to get everything lined up in neat little rows. that just isn’t the way the world works and to try to make it so just ends in frustration and wasted energy.

i imagine this space filled with light, free and adventurous beauty that slowly allows me to let loose my firm grip on the ground and to float a little more effortlessly through life. for me, this is not just about a blog, but it’s a springboard for a life change. happy is a place i want to be and i believe that learning to surrender and to follow my heart is the only direct route there.