New Hair Cut!

The Artist is a man of many talents.  He can cook, clean, fix just about anything, paint his heart out, and among many other talents, he can cut hair.  He has been cutting his own for awhile now, and so I decided to let him have a go at mine.  It went great, and it has been a few years now that he has been cutting my hair 🙂  I have never coloured my hair, and I don’t blow-dry or flat iron on a daily basis (or ever, really…I don’t even think I own a flat iron?).  I don’t style my hair, I just let it do what it wants, and air dry after a shower.  So all I need is a basic trim with some long layers.

Before: I hadn’t had my hair cut in several months, so the layers were gone and all blended together, my hair line at the bottom was a straight line, and I had lots of split ends.

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After: Rounded hair line at the bottom, no more split ends, spruced up long layers.  It feels so much healthier, and exactly what I wanted.  The Artist always does a great job.

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And then I was able to style my hair nice and wavy for the MFA Open Studios night!  It never holds any curl, so I have to curl it super tight, and by the time we get out the door, it goes flat and looks like this 😉

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And then we came home, and the Artist starting painting away.  When he paints, I love to be there to watch.  He gives off such good vibes of energy, seeing him in his niche, doing what he is so passionate about, just warms my heart.

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And to make it an even better day, he comes back with this:

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He isn’t much of a chocolate fan, but knows that I am!  So he brought me this as a surprise!  And earlier that day I had been thinking to myself, that I wanted a good bar of dark chocolate, so when I crave some, I can have a square and not feel guilty.  He reads my mind on a regular basis, it seems.

Man, I have the most thoughtful, caring, loving, sweetest husband ever ❤  I know he is aways thinking of me while we aren’t in the same room, just as I am always thinking of him.

Spread the love.

Happiness is contagious.

Date Night Ideas- Tried, Tested, and True.

The Artist and I frequently spend quality time together, doing fun things, exploring the city, and staying at home.  Here are a few highlights from 2013.  There are so many good times, it is impossible to capture them all, so this is just a sneak peak 😉  I highly recommend all of these ideas!  Not only do I encourage you to try all of these, but to leave your cell phones and other electronic devices, including music playing devices, in the car or at home!  You will be, I hope, pleasantly surprised at what happens.

1. Midnight Madness- Late night junk food, take out, and dvds.  We started this around 10pm.  It is fun to stay up until the wee hours of the morning having heart to hearts.  The older we get, the more influence logic has over us.  Yes we need sleep or we will be tired at such and such event tomorrow.  But really, you can handle it.  And the sleepiness that hits around midnight makes for lots of crazy hysterical laughter that can only happen if you are exhausted.  Try it.  You won’t regret it!

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2. Pyjama Party- Jammies, ice cream sundaes, and board games.  You know, like when you had sleepovers in elementary school.  Sometimes, after being the exhausted adults that we are, it is so easy to just crash in the evenings in front of the TV.  I do it often.  But making the effort to do a different evening activity actually makes you feel more energized, or so I have found.  And it brings out conversation, rather just blank staring at the TV.
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3. Indoor Camping- Big fluffy blankets and pillows in the living room, s’mores inspired treats, and candles.  Need I say more?
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4. Picnic in the Woods- Blanket and chairs, fried chicken, and a sunny day.  We don’t have cell phones, and I find this allows us to have good conversation, really notice nature, read books, and it lets our imaginations wonder.  We even watched the clouds as they changed shapes, and sometimes looked like cartoons or funny scenes.
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Our setup.

Our setup.

5. Field Trip- Head to the science centre, zoo, or museum.  You will learn a lot of interesting things, get some exercise while you walk around, and there is usually delicious foods at these places like funnel cakes, food trucks, and ice cream stands.
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History museum.

History museum.

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At the Botanical Gardens....of all places to look, and all the beautiful sights, he is looking at something on the ground.

At the Botanical Gardens….of all places to look, and all the beautiful sights, he is looking at something on the ground.

6. The Classic- Dinner and a show.  We get dressed up, even if we decide to go to Steak n’ Shake.

7. “Feels like a whisky night” night- The Artist used to text this to me before we were dating, implying that the 2 of us would stay up late and drink whisky.  We both really like Crown Royal, so we pour the drinks, put on some oldies music, and maybe play some cards.
8. Play Date- Yes, like the kind 5 year olds have.  This is a personal favourite.  Do it.  Do it now.  We do things like go to the park, blow bubbles, play with little toys, and just be silly in general.  And adding some dinosaur chicken nuggets and gummy snacks is a bonus.  For example:
Look at this adorable face <3

Look at this adorable face ❤  My juggler!

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The Artist couldn't resist playing with the magic bubbles too ;)

The Artist couldn’t resist playing with the magic bubbles too 😉

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Silly putty fun, balancing on top of a pop bottle.

Silly putty fun, balancing on top of a pop bottle.

9. Nature Walk- It doesn’t have to be hard core, it can be relaxed.  In this particular example I am wearing a skirt and flip flops!
Art?

Art?

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10. Breakfast in Bed- Take turns making breakfast in be for one another!  There nothing as awesome as waking up to the smell of bacon, especially if someone else is doing the cooking!
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11. Cooking Together- We like to put on some music and head into the kitchen.  We each take a job, and chit chat while working side by side.  It is so much more enjoyable then cooking alone.  Sit at the table, that is clear of clutter, light some candles, and savour the deliciousness of a home cooked meal!  A regular in our household 🙂
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12. Giggle Fest- Remember when you were a kid, and sleeping next to a sibling or friend at a sleepover, and instead of sleeping you stayed up all night giggling and telling jokes, and being silly?  A good way to get the ball rolling with this one?  Tickling.
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13.  Attend a Local Event.  Our favourites include; fireworks, art shows, and parades.
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14. A Night Away- Stay in a hotel, order pizza to your room, and watch late night cable TV in a king size bed.  There is nothing more luxurious!
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15. Arts and Crafts- Make things from scratch!  This particular example includes a knitted headband by me, and a homemade bookshelf by the Artist!  We even do home made cards for every occasion for one another 🙂
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16.  Embrace the Weather- Gear up, and brave the cold.
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17. Real Camping- Tents, cooking over a campfire, the whole sha-bang.
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18. Berry Picking- Pick your own berry patches are just a lot of fun.  Sometimes they have a mini petting zoo, a shop with home made baked goods, serve ice cream, etc.!  This photo is when we went with my mom.
Berry picking.

Berry picking.

This weekend we plan to open some Crown Royal and play cards.  In the near future, we would like to see Anchorman 2, and just last night we cooked a nice dinner together.  Nothing has to be extravagant.  Most of the time, this stuff doesn’t cost us any money, or we have coupons, etc.
Our favourite thing to do is just spend time together ❤
Happiness is contagious ❤

What a Wonderful Family.

Well it was a long trip home from Canada.  We were storm stayed for 2 extra days- the weather was insane.  Roads were closed, vehicles were stranded, plows were pulled off the roads, loads of snow fall, huge winds, -40 temperatures, the works.  But, I found some gear in my parent’s closets and braved the weather with the family dog!  It was a lot fun!  And our dog, Maggie, doesn’t have playmates too often anymore with everyone away for school.  It reminded me of snow days as a child, home from school.  We had a routine, my brothers and I.  Sleep in a little, because my mom would hear on the radio buses were cancelled and not wake us, then we would wake and see the time and freak out lol.  Then we would watch some cartoons in our jammies, the ones we normally missed because we were headed to school.  Watch the Price is Right.  Gear up, and head outside (pjs under snow pants!).  Make snow forts, snow men, toboggan down by the barn, admire the huge snow banks and giant icicles, use icy snow to sort of “carve” shapes.  Come in.  Make hot chocolate.  Curl up on the couch and watch a movie with a snack, and our hot chocolate, still rosy cheeked.

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When we did finally leave, it was so sad.  We had such good visits with everyone, being cozied up and storm stayed for 2 days was fun, and we got to watch a new season of Criminal Minds, of which we had been yearning for.  Not to mention to long drive back.  The drive between St. Louis and Ontario is like a time portal to another dimension.  When we are in Ontario, it is like St. Louis is just a distant dream from a restless sleep.  But when we are in St. Louis, it is like everything that just happened was forever ago, rather than just a day ago.  It is a very weird feeling.  The same goes for when you drive to Florida to vacation.  When you get back it is like, was I even in Florida?  The drive plays with our brains a little.

As I started unpacking some things, it really hit me how insanely thoughtful our families are.  The Artist’s mom and step dad got us a night’s stay downtown Toronto at the Hilton- which was awesome!  We got to enjoy some yummy food, valet parking for the first time, and seeing some familiar sights.  Our view from the 29th floor:

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While in Canada, my mom spoiled us with all of our favourites.  Ruffles All Dressed chips- which they don’t have here, and I have been CRAVING for some time now.  Finger foods and hot appetizers from M&M- need I say more?  Eating at Swiss Chalet and East Side Marios- both of which are not here.  Making me a grilled cheese sandwich, with white regular bread and 2 slices of Kraft singles- an old favourite, and that was always made for me by my mom or dad in the arena canteen on Saturday morning when I skated back in high school.  Making a big ham roast.  A variety of chocolates- because with me, you can’t go wrong with chocolate.  Poutine- enough said.  Pad Thai from the Georgian Mall- an old favourite.  And doing simple things like grocery shopping together, and being out and about- this has always been a favourite thing of mine with my mom.  As we saunter down each aisle, we have some great heart to heart talks.  And with the Artist there, obviously we giggle ourselves silly.  My mom is so thoughtful, she is always putting everyone, including us, before herself.  Whether it is going through her bucket of coins to pick out the American ones to give to us (for laundry lol!), or surprising us with a favourite dvd, or driving us wherever we need to go despite the weather and despite how busy she is, she is always putting others first.  Mom, if I can ever be half as thoughtful and selfless as you, I think I will be doing good ❤

And dad, one thing I always enjoy, is our talks about life, the “real world”, and current events.  You always seem to know what is going on, and have good sense of the so-called real world and how being a grown up is tough.  You also, put everyone else first.  From giving us Tim Horton’s gift cards, or buying us good whisky or coffee, or allowing us to borrow your precious Criminal Minds dvds, I know you are always thinking of us ❤

And Char, who also constantly puts everyone else first.  She was my favourite playmate when I was a kid, and if asked who my best friend was, the answer was always “Char”.  Always taking me on fun adventures, and countless sleepovers.  Helping us put our wedding together, driving up to have a night of board games, or go to the movies, or out for dinner, no drive seems too long for her, if it means she will get to spend time with her family.

And I haven’t even touched on what they do for everyone else, their communities, their family, and their friends.  I am so lucky to have such a great family ❤

And what never gets old, is how much my Artist makes me smile by just being himself.  Our first day back, after a VERY long day the day before (which included the second half of the drive from Ontario, a gallery opening, dinner with friends, and grocery shopping!), he started making art right away.  I could tell he was really missing it ❤

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How lucky am I?  We are still living the student life, pinching the pennies, and trying to make careers happen, yet I couldn’t be happier.  We don’t have much, we have each other- and to me, that truly is, everything.