Category Archives: favourite things

Just in case you needed a Tuesday Evening pick me up. This list made me really happy.

Found this list on and was inspired! Hopefully it will inspire you t00!

1. Make your bed.

The book The Happiness Project, explains that this three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness.

2. Bring every room back to “ready.”

I learned this trick from Marilyn Paul’s clever book, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys. It’s a known fact: Clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about three minutes to bring each room back to “ready” before you depart it. (Unless you have a toddler, or a partner who likes to simulate earthquakes, three minutes should be sufficient.)

3. Display sentimental items around your home.

One reason that experiences (and memories of those experiences) make us happier than material things is due to the entire…

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Today started out with a slightly later rehearsal (10:30 am yeah!) and some fun scene work and dance cleanup.  It’s so lovely to spend time with such wonderful women.  The girls in this show are something else.  So strong and talented.  And so different!  It’s such a pleasure to get to know them.  I’m learning so much already.

After rehearsal, I headed to Waterloo to meet my family for dinner and to watch my little brother’s hockey game!  We ate at Marbles.  How cute is that sign?

Here’s the (freezing cold) arena where we watched my brother’s team play.  They lost, but they put up a good fight!  I haven’t seen my brother play since he was a little kid.  I kind of expected him to look about 9 years old in his hockey stuff.  Nope.  Full grown man.

This is me and my little bro!  Not so little, eh?!

My dad and bro got the Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale, which was AMAZING.  I had the house red.  A Pelee Island wine.  It was so easy to drink.  Very technical, I know.  But it didn’t have that kind of acidic taste that some wines have that make you have to take really small sips.  I should be a wine reviewer.. I know.

I had the black bean sliders with the chef’s salad.  The sliders were cute and had a different topping on each: Chipotle mayo, guacamole, and salsa.  They were pretty good, not totally blown away.  The salad was tasty with an asian inspired vinaigrette that was way too sweet for my tastes.  I still enjoyed it though.  To get the salad instead of fries, you had to pay an extra two dollars! What’s with that?!  I know it’s kind of standard, but it makes me mad every time.  Entrees should come with green things.  And that’s final.  We should have to pay more for fries.

All in all, a lovely day.  Oh, and to top it all off, I got my first Menchie’s frozen yogurt creation.  I don’t even have a pic because I ate it so fast.  MMMMmm frozen yogurt.  I’m so glad those kind of shops are so scarce around here.. danger. bay.

Do you think it’s crazy to charge extra for a tiny side salad instead of fries?!

So Far…

Stratford, so far, has been like a dream come true.  No wait, it has been a dream come true.  I’m trying to absorb it all. And I thought I’d share some of it with you.

Here’s the view from the stage door of the Avon. The theatre where I saw Little Women as a kid and fell in love.  With the theatre, with the art, with the stage.

I got a lovely Valentine’s Day gift from afar.  Mr. Best Things knows his way to my heart.  Flowers, teddies, and chocolates!

The weather has been all over the place.  Makes the 30 minute commute interesting!

They run a company ballet class twice a week here.  It’s amazing!

Here’s an outfit that I wore one of the first days.  The skirt was made by Chelsea!

First day outfit.  So nervous, yet so happy.

My feet are really taking a beating from all the tapping and wearing heals 8 hours a day.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The view from my car windshield one morning after a freezing rainstorm.

Things are going so well.  I am so happy to be here, in this moment.  I gave up a lot to be here.  And I’m making sacrifices to live my dream.  But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In the moments when I can’t stand being away from Mr. Best Things any longer, I need to remember this feeling.  It’s all part of a larger plan.  I do really feel like I am where I’m meant to be in this moment.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings tonight.

42nd Street: The Hair

42nd Street was the first show I ever saw on Broadway when I was in high school.  My mom bought me the album after the show.  I used to listen to it and just stare at the girls on the cover.  I loved their hair!  I just loved the way they looked.  I wanted to be just like them.  

Introducing, the finger wave.  I think the finger wave is my favourite part of 1930s style.  It’s soft, feminine, and face framing.  And wearing wigs (which is what we’ll be doing in the show), is so fun when you get to wear a finger waved bob.  It’s so flattering on EVERYONE!  

Here’s a little tutorial on how to do an official finger wave.  They used to wet their hair, apply setting lotion, man handle their hair into the curl shape, then let the hair dry under the dryer or naturally.  This creates a very sharp, “perfect” look.  The more relaxed version of the finger wave still makes an appearance today.  It’s a great vintage look to dress up any outfit!

Here’s an example of a finger wave being used today.  Isn’t that pretty? 

5 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Painting my nails and then adding some glitter to my ring finger… thanks to Chelsea for this fun idea!

My new Matt and Nat wallet that I got on sale.  It’s vegan!  And so cute!

These amazing oxfords from Payless.. must. own.

This great circle skirt that Chelsea used as inspiration for some sewing projects for me!!  SO exciting..

Having breakfast with Mr. Best Things.  Getting in all the time I can with him before I leave for my next show..

What are you loving right now?!

The Lost Wife.

I read this book in two days. I could not put it down.

I happened upon a recommendation from Eat, Live, Run and downloaded it to my Kobo right away.  From there I was hooked.  This book is a real treasure, in my opinion.

The story revolves around two young Czech teenagers who meet and fall in love in the years before the Nazi Reich took power in Prague.  Lenka and Josef are so interesting to unravel.  The way they fall in love in this book is epic.  I just devoured their romance, courtship, and marriage all in the eve of the Nazi tanks rolling in.  Josef marries her and tries to convince her to follow him and his family to America while they still can, but Lenka wouldn’t dream of leaving her family.  The rest is very much everything you’ve read about the holocaust.  Death, destruction, loss of hope.  Except for the art.  This novel is interlaced with the idea that art will survive.  Art existed in the camps.  It was something that helped those people carry on.  And as an artist, this is what made me cry more than anything.

We all get upset or cry at the images or stories of the concentration camps, but I find after a while, we can kind of steel ourselves to those thoughts.  What really got me about this book was the hope that art brought these people.  The painting done by children who dreamed of their old lives, or the pictures hastily painted in blood of the events that took place inside; something that could get you killed, or worse.

I loved this book.

Mini-Date Night.

We’re all busy. Right?  I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to spend quality time with Mr. Best Things.  Not in the car, not late at night, or early in the morning.. then when?!  Anybody have some busy people tips for lasting love?

I’ve got one for you!  When you find an hour with nothing to do, do something.  Quick, before the hour has passed you by!  We managed to make this happen the other night.  The Alberta Legislature is covered with beautiful Christmas lights, and even though Christmas is long gone now, we picked up some hot chocolate and went for a wander through the park together.

Here’s how it went down:

I had to pick up Mr. Best Things from work across the river.  I put on a cute headband (of my own creation!) just because and headed out the door.

It gets dark super early here, like 3:30 pm the sun starts going down.. I’m serious. But that means that dates that are better experienced in the dark can happen at 5 pm!  Lucky.  I drove over the river and it was such a lovely night I just had to suggest heading out for a walk.

We picked up some Startbucks hot chocolate (yum!) and parked Tommy in a very conveniently located parking lot and headed out.  Here’s the “Ledge” with only a sprinkling of Christmas lights pictured.  There were lights EVERYWHERE!

There was a huge tree in the middle with a beautiful star!  There were even speakers with Christmas tunes playing!

How beautiful is this?  All lit up!

There’s a flame that stays lit all the time to commemorate the centennial (I think.. I read the sign.. it just didn’t sink in).

There was even a skating rink!  Mr. Best Things looks cute, eh? Like a little kid!

A perfect, cheap, fun, spur of the moment mini date night!  It was so fun!  I wish we could make this happen all the time.  But I guess it wouldn’t feel so special then, right?

Do you have any tips for having fun date nights even when you’re a busy couple?

The Birth House.

First things first.  I got an amazing gift this Christmas from Mr. Best Things: A Kobo Vox E-reader!

I got the hot pink one.  In an awesome faux book cover!  What can I say, I love to read.  We’ve been joking that I might leave him for Kobo.  It already has it’s own personality…

I love it so far.  It’s quick and easy to get books into the library, and with the crazy amount of Chapters gift cards I got from my “inlaws” I haven’t paid a cent for the 3 books I’ve read since receiving it!  Most recently, I read:

The Birth House is set in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia in and around the early 1900s.  Written by Canadian writer, Ami McKay, it’s a great look at what life was like in rural East Coast Canada, specifically, with regards to women’s issues.  The main character is a midwife who is being constantly challenged by a new, local “Doctor” who wants to force the local women to travel to his institution and endure his “new, safe measures” for modern birth.  Like being completely put under and having their babies pulled out of them, only to wake up and not remember a single thing.  WHAT?  It’s crazy how far our process of birth has come and yet it seems so similar to what these women were fighting for: the right to choose what to do with their OWN bodies.  And often, the tried, tested, and true method of birthing; surrounded by women, without too much intervention (unless, of course, there’s a problem) is what women will fight for.

If you’re interested in this topic, or many others, like the Halifax Explosion, the First World War, or Boston in this time (the Boston Molasses Flood.. what? a crazy event I’d never heard of before), I’d highly recommend having a read of this book. It’s not a long book, so it flies by with a little bit of a love story cooking along in the background.

Also, I watched a fantastic documentary called “The Business of Being Born” that talks a lot about the same subject; how women have had the power of birth taken away from them.

I think they would make an amazing little pair just for your own learning pleasure, or that of a book club!

Can you imagine what it must have been like to give birth back then? Miles from the closest “hospital”, with only the local midwife and the women of the area around for help.

High Tea at Rutherford House

My lovely family came all the way from Ontario to visit us this Christmas!  After lots of hosting at our house, we decided to check out a local restaurant/historical building on the University of Alberta campus for some high tea.  My family is South African (and therefore quite British thanks to the whole Commonwealth thing), and we LOVE our tea.

The building was lovely!  We were seated in this sun room kind of area with tons of natural light.  There’s only space for about 6 tables worth of people.  Make reservations!

We got these lovely antique tea cups and saucers.  I loved that they were matched with their saucers but not with each other.  My dad didn’t like that.  He’s a little more traditional.

We had the Rutherford House Blend.  It was your basic black tea but just so much more amazing.  Delicious.  I had SO MUCH.

Some had milk and sugar, some just drank it black.

There were finger sandwiches and turkey pot pie and veggie puff pastries.  They were eaten before pictures could be snapped.  Delicious!  And to finish it off, traditional scones with cream and raspberry butter and a plate full of “danties”.  So delicious!

All in all, an amazing afternoon with the family.  Really, if you’re ever in Edmonton, you must go!

Friday T.M.I

So I’m totally stealing this idea from the lovely Monica over at Run, Eat, Repeat (she does Confession Thursdays)…

1. I went for my 3 mile run this morning (as per my training calendar) and it went really well.  It was smoggy and hot, even though I was all prepared for September temperatures when I set out.  I ran at a 10:12 minutes per mile average pace, which is crazy fast for me!  I was so happy!  3 miles? Check!2. I am closing my show this weekend.  I’ve been in small town Ontario performing in a little show called Hairspray.  We’ve been at it for six weeks, and it’s all coming to a close this weekend.  This is the thing about what I do, change is always imminent!  I’m spending the next three weeks at home with my parents!  Fun times ahead!3. I am currently drinking an iced coffee from Tim Hortons.  I didn’t know this, but you can just say “no base” (i.e. no cream based sweetened syrup mix) and get just milk in it.  Score!!  I’m addicted.

4. I found a new blog I’m in love with called MegaNerd Runs.  She’s cute and brainy.  I LOVE RACE RECAPS.  I read them instead of going to sleep sometimes.

5. I am in love with peanut butter.  Well, nut butter in general.  And then I made my own by following EdibleASH‘s recipe using roasted cashews and coconut, and now well, I think I have unleashed a dragon here.  Good thing I don’t own a food processor yet…  but, my birthday is coming up!

There you have it!  Anything you want to share today?

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