finale: wide sargasso sea

Remember that first book club pick, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys? Well, it's almost time for the second book club pick (and picking up these posts over on Beca's wonderful blog). But before we move on, one final chance to discuss this book. I have to admit that I finished this book a while ago, as I know many others did, too. And I also have to admit that it was not my favourite.

While I love the idea that this book offers another side (or really any look at) the life of Mr. Rochester's wife I just could not get over the writing style. The idea is brilliant, the execution left me wishing that the story was told in a slightly friendlier manner. This is the kind of book that I think should be readable in just one or two sittings, but it wasn't for me, because I was never able to really get into it. I like the ambiguity of the story, though. It reminded me that there are always at least two sides to every story. Can't wait to pick up the next book for July! Thanks to everyone who participated in this round. The July posts will be on Beca's blog, so follow along there. Have a great long weekend everyone!


the sadie blog turns 1!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my first real post on the Sadie blog. You know what I can't believe? That's it's only been a year! I mean, how is it possible that it was just a year ago that I was getting back from an amazing birthday trip to New York, that my last summer in school was getting underway, that I still had a year left in my program, that I had endless time on my hands, and on and on it goes. A year really flies by and I'm so glad to have this great visual record of the past twelve months. I'm looking forward to sharing the next year of events with you all. Thank you again to everyone who takes the time to read and comment. You're the best! Wanna see that first post? This photo is of the world's most delicious birthday cake which I ate with a bunch of other Canadians, a couple of Americans, and one Italian last year in Central Park. We cut it with knives fashioned out of cardboard and borrowed from a hotdog vendor and ate it with our hands. If you're ever in New York check out momofuku, that's where this beauty came from (it really was beautiful in the beginning).



A few more pictures of our amazing weekend to share with you. Nairn Falls is beautiful and apparently has a lot of tragic stories of people getting too close. It's pretty impressive as waterfalls go, though I still think this one in southern Ontario that Jeff and I went to was better. Probably because of the nearby floral clock, though. I'm sure many of you Canadians have camping trips planned this weekend and I'm also sure that a few of you Americans have some fireworks in your possession. It's kind of great that our big national holidays fall on the same long weekend. Jeff and Lola and I are going to try to get some Vancouver stuff done this weekend but we're also thinking about getting out of here for a bit. 

The truth of the matter is, I need to see some sun, and there is truly none in the forecast for Vancouver for the next few days. We have this new weather forecast here called "marine clouds," which I hate. It basically means a layer of thick, grey clouds with a bit of rain and zero actual sunlight. Time to head somewhere sunny! What are your plans for the long weekend?


summer mountains

Jeff and Lola and I spent the weekend in the mountains. This weekend. And yes, this weekend there was still lots of snow on the ground at higher elevations, like Joffre Lakes where we attempted an easy-ish 7km hike only to be turned around after crossing a boulder field and encountering yet more snow. Not that I don't like snow, I just don't love summer snow. The first four photos were taken in Pemberton, BC. I'd never been there before, but we both really liked it. It's outside of the tourist-y nonesense that is Whistler and just far enough from Vancouver to actually feel like it's not a part of Vancouver. It's also beautiful and has great breakfast joints, like The Pony Espresso. Now for an oldie but a goodie. Oh yeah, Jeff and I have been watching The Killing. Is anyone else into that show? I love that it's all filmed in Vancouver, in some pretty crazy locations like at the Save-On-Meats on Hastings. Don't tell me how the season ends, though! We're behind!


five friday favourites: birthday cakes

I'm turning 31 on Saturday and if I could, I would eat all of these cakes. Instead, I'm spending the weekend in the supernatural wilds of British Columbia. Well, not too wild. I'll bring back pictures.



summer giveaway

Alright, friends, as promised here is a little summer giveaway to celebrate both the arrival of the greatest season and my little blog hitting 300 followers. It was about this time last year that I started this space and I can't tell you how happy I am that it's enabled me to meet so many wonderful people and share so many big events in my life. I love checking out my readers' blogs and shops and reading all of your comments so much!

Here's the giveaway deal:

Pick any photo from this post or this post and I'll send you a FRAMED large format (8x10"), colour print of it if you're the lucky winner. All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment letting me know which photo you'd pick. Make sure you leave me your e-mail address so I can send you your prize! 

Good luck!

If you'd like an additional entry or two follow the Sadie blog or tweet or blog about this giveaway and leave me a comment for each of those entries, too. This giveaway will go until the Canadian postal strike ends, which could be as early as this Friday, so make sure you enter soon!

By the way, Sadie will soon be available at Red Velvet and there are Etsy shop updates coming soon! Happy summer, everyone!


east van garden tour


bright front yard



miniature flower

fun patio space

lace cap hydrangea


My friend Emily and I spent Sunday afternoon touring some of the gardens of East Vancouver. My photos are almost all close-ups (aka "plant porn") because the details of the plants were the most interesting to me in these gardens. Maybe it's that I have flowers on the brain right now, as I just started planning our wedding arrangements with our florist. Emily and I did see some really great spaces that made me wish for bbq invites and East Van garden parties. A big thing that Jeff and I gave up when we moved to Vancouver was our amazing front and back garden. At least now we have big windows (still without a lot of direct sun) but we don't even have a balcony anymore, let alone a garden or a lawn or a tree to call our own. What kind of outdoor space do you have? Yard-less apartment dweller like me or elaborate secret garden...something in between?

***BOOK CLUB NOTE: The second and final book club post for Wide Sargasso Sea will be at the end of the month, so finish that book! Can't wait for the final discussion and Beca's choice for our next read.***


mail in america

This post is sort of a public service announcement, of sorts, because right now Canadian Etsy sellers are facing a big problem! Canada Post has locked out it's workers, so there is no mail moving anywhere in our gigantic country. Having just gotten back from Calgary, I had a few packages that had to go out this week, lock-out or not. I'd heard through the Etsy Vancouver street team that mailing things in the US is easy and cheap, so I decided it was time to check it out. If you live near the border, especially here in Vancouver, this post might help you figure out how to send out your packages in the US until this labour dispute is figured out. By the way, Jeff is a postie so I support them 100%.

From Vancouver we drove to Point Roberts, where we crossed in the regular vehicle line up. The border guard in the booth just sent us inside to fill out a quick form and pay $10.75 USD to get a commercial entry permit. We then went to two different mailing places in Point Roberts, The Letter Carrier (which doesn't ship internationally) and TSB Shipping Plus (which does). I had quite a few packages to send out and discovered that even with the cost of the permit it probably cost me only 2/3s of what I would pay to ship here in Canada. Of course, that doesn't take into account the cost of gas and my time getting out there, but while we were in Point Roberts we also filled up on gas that was 20 cents cheaper per litre and bought some ice cream and a few other things that aren't available in Canada.

The only down side of our trip? Do not eat breakfast in Point Roberts. The café that we ate at was super lame. They're baked goods were great, but the rest was terrible. Baked eggs on romaine lettuce? No thanks!


saturday morning mix

Explicit lyrics advisory. Danielle, the Misfits cover is for you.


1. Chad VanGaalen - Sara
2. MGMT - Congratulations
3. Tune-Yards - Doorstep (this is definitely my favourite band right now)
4. Cut Copy - Take Me Over
5. Panda Bear - You Can Count on Me
6. Psychic Emperor - Attitude
7. YACHT - Dystopia
8. Neil Young - Don't Let It Bring You Down
9. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Handle With Care
10. Jens Lekman - Another Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill
11. Tanya Tucker - Lizzie and The Rain Man


queen e

the park and the city
white and green
white and yellow
green shapes
pink honeysuckle
handkercheif tree bracts
white and green again
sunset over quarry garden
fountain family

I've been away. I just spent a long weekend in Calgary and Banff, having a super awesome stagette weekend with some of my best friends. Perhaps I'll share some photos from that trip soon. Because it's been so long since I really put together a post I don't know where to start to catch things up around here, so let's just start with the here and now and see what happens with the rest.

I took these photos at Queen Elizabeth Park here in Vancouver last night. Jeff and Lola and I went on an awesome walk and then listened to Ideas on the CBC. You could say that we had a senior citizen evening, and I'd be okay with that. It was beautiful and interesting, respectively. And yes, I did go to bed before ten. Click on the photos to maybe find out more on Flickr. Bonus points for anyone who IDs some plants for me...I'm so rusty with the Latin these days! Finally, if you're looking for a good podcast this weekend, might I recommend Dogs Themselves from Ideas? It's kind of awesome. Have a good one!


vancouver today

granville street

granville street

granville street

granville street

granville street


I rode my bike to work today like I do every day, but rode down Granville for a change. Thank goodness for my mid-commute boat ride that always makes my mornings brighter. That, and the amazing people in the third picture who were just ordinary Vancouverites cleaning up at 7 o'clock this morning. So many good people in this city.


vancouver tonight

This is the sky over Vancouver tonight, smoke in the air.. I hate my city tonight. There is looting, rioting, and people getting hurt here, all for absolutely nothing. I've been in Calgary these last few days and wish I was still there right now. I hope you're all safe tonight.


book club: wide sargasso sea part I

As you know, Carla and Beca and I have started a little book club and we are so excited that so many people are joining us to read the first book, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. This post is meant as a place to get discussion about Part I of the book going. If you want to use twitter or your own blog to discuss, please do. Send me a link to your post and I'll add it to this post so people can see what others are writing about.

"There is always the other side."

Having recently read Jane Eyre, I'm already enjoying the idea that the shapeless, shunned woman in the attic from that book has been given a mother and a childhood in this book. I appreciate the glimpse into the conditions that shaped her life, terrifying though they were. I definitely feel that there were moments of total horror in the first part of this book and that it wasn't until the protagonist's dress was stolen that I started to get into the story and understand what was happening to this family. I have to say though that the language doesn't particularly move me. I didn't do a lot of recording of memorable quotes, because nothing really stood out to me.

There is one exception, which is when the protagonist makes friends with the girl (Tia) who has been taunting her and she writes, "Soon Tia was my friend and I met her nearly every morning at the turn of the road to the river. Sometimes we left the bathing pool at midday, sometimes we stayed till late afternoon. Then Tia would light a fire (fires always lit for her, sharp stones did not hurt her bare feet, I never saw her cry)..." I can't help but wonder about the line "fires always lit for her" given the trajectory of this part of the book. And I'm also moved by how terrible it is that she is forced to befriend her tormentor because it seems she has no other choice for companionship.

I'm not really a book review writer, and cobbling this post together has been really tough, so I'll let you take it from here. Thoughts? Favourite quotes? Interest in Jean Rhys herself? Jane Eyre vs. Wide Sargasso Sea: has this book changed the way you feel about Jane Eyre? Enjoying this book?

I'll do another post on the book next weekend (probably getting us about two thirds of the way through the book). Happy reading!


let's be adventurers

This morning I was taking the seabus to work and ran into a woman with a bike all loaded up with touring gear who really didn't seem to know her way around the station or the seabus. Since I was riding my bike, too, it was natural for us to talk to each other while we waited for the ferry. I learned that she'd just been cycle touring in Patagonia for ten months, and now she's here in Canada for ten months of bike riding and then is planning to ride to Alaska. I don't know for sure, but it looks like she was travelling on her own, and since I was just on my way to work and she was riding her bike to Whistler, I was super inspired by her and a little bit jealous, too. Our paths crossing was a nice reminder that there is a lot of possibility out there for all of us and that, up to a point, we can choose adventure if that's what we want. She reminded me that travelling is best done if you can really get away for a while...at least, that's been my experience. I miss those years when Jeff and I would just take a month off work (or quit altogether) and head off on an adventure together. Perhaps sometime I'll share some stories of our cross-country trip in 2002. Victoria to New York. We were such crazy kids.

In a couple of weeks I'm turning 31. No longer 30, I'm going to be in my 30s. Not that I'm even remotely considering quitting my job (which is kind of awesome), I still think this is a good time to make plans for adventures in the near future. Maybe something epic like a ten month bike trip around Patagonia, likely something a little more do-able (for me, right now) like a month long trip down the coast. Who knows, but a big trip feels like the right thing to aspire to now. A big trip that Lola and Jeff can come on, too.

I'm hoping to put together a little summer series on this theme, so if you're going on an epic (or even mini) adventure and you'd like to share it, get in touch. I think I have a couple lined up already that are almost literally polar opposites. At the very least the gears are turning and a new guest post series is in the works. I hope that some of you can be a part of it!

Book club post on Part One tomorrow!



em and ryan

This past Sunday Jeff, Emily, Ryan, Amanda, Lola, and Hazel and I went to Lighthouse Park in West Van to do a photoshoot with some new Sadie pieces. The weather was so beautiful, the dogs were pretty hyper, and the views were amazing. These are a few outtakes from our shoot. I can't wait to see what Ryan ends up having, as he was the true photographer of the day. And even Hazel modelled some jewelry. She can be seen wearing a pendulum necklace in the photo above. I'll share more soon!

amethyst slice in the woods
Jeff and dogs