Monday, 31 December 2012

Farewell Twenty-Twelve

Tonight we'll say goodbye to 2012 and hello to a brand new year. This year has flown by; it definitely had its ups and downs, but overall it's been a year of great changes. Thanks so much for reading along!

As promised, here are my New Year's Resolutions:

  • Limit Kraft Dinner to no more than once a month
  • Read at least one book a month

I could make a huge list of other things I resolve to do, but sticking to a shorter list makes it more likely that I will accomplish them.

Enjoy ringing in 2013 tonight!

xx E.

Friday, 28 December 2012

New Toy

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have already seen this. Sidebar: if you don't follow me on Instagram - you probably should here or search for me @ithinkthisislovely.

Anywho, thanks to Husband, I got this pretty little girl for Christmas.

This is lovely should have much better pictures from now on.

xx E.

Ps. I said should - there's no guarantee that I'm gonna get the hang of this right away...

Let's Resolve

Do you make a New Year's Resolution?

I tend to come up with one or two every year. Inevitably failing at some point. Perhaps this is because our (read: my) resolutions are unrealistic.

At work, part of my job is to train people on how to set realistic and achievable goals; I figured that I should probably share my talents with you folks. No - I won't take you through a full on goal setting session, but I'll share some tips on how to be more successful in 2013.

1. Make it specific. 
Don't just say 'go to the gym more' or 'eat healthy food' - how much is more? if it was me, more would be even once, since I never go. Or what is healthy food (fruit, veg? and when do you intend to eat it).

2. Make it achievable.
While being specific, decide if that's a realistic expectation. Going from never setting foot in the gym to going 5 days a week is a pretty drastic change that I am you're unlikely to be able to maintain.

In case your goal is more of a one-time thing (I know a guy who makes a really interesting resolution each year, and just goes out and does it) make sure it's something you can actually get to that year. If it costs money - make sure you have some.

Do you think I will follow my own advice? hmmm tough call. I haven't finalized my resolutions yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to write a post about it. Why? Because that's my final tip:

3. Put in it writing/make it known.
The more people you tell about it, the better, because you'll feel more pressure to stick to it.

xx E.

Ps. That's a picture of Rocky, giving you the eyes, holding you accountable for the resolutions you make

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Ahh Christmas eve - we (my family) has spent the evening with the same people since I've been a little kid (maybe even before that). It's a lovely tradition - we play games (and get super competitive) and eat tourtiere   (French-Canadian meat pie).

Tomorrow, we'll be spending the day at my parents house, eating, opening gifts, eating, opening gifts and then we'll cap the day off with eating.

Happy Holidays and all that other good stuff!

All my love,
xx E.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Things I Love

How great is this print from Etsy? This shop has some great prints, and they're so reasonable! I recommend. 

I should ask her if she can do a special one that says I love you, Blogs, Coffee and Dogs. Cute right? Because it's true...and it rhymes.

xx E.

Ps. Have a happy Thursday - don't forget, enjoy today, since the world ends tomorrow ;)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Quest for the Best: Mac and Cheese

The quest has been on hiatus for a little while, but we're back in action now.

Normally, on Sundays we got to my parents' place for dinner, but this past Sunday, they already had plans - can you believe it? So we were on our own.

After eating Kraft Dinner for lunch and then home made macaroni for dinner on Saturday, you'd think I wouldn't be in the mood for more macaroni. Guess again!

This time I decided to try out Skinny Baked Mac and Cheese with Broccoli.

The verdict? Definitely yummy. The only changes I made to the recipe were adding garlic, and mixing the breadcrumbs with butter. Also, in my house, there's no such thing as 'light butter'; just use regular butter people!

I would definitely make it again and I didn't feel super guilty eating it.

I accidentally burned the top...mental note:  pay more attention when things are under the broiler on high. Husband was so sweet and scraped off the burned bits until it looked yummy again.

xx E.

Ps. I liked this one much better than the Buffalo Chicken one.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


I ventured out to the mall last night to get some shopping done. I basically took my own advice, and I arrived with a plan in mind.

While I can't divulge all the items I bought, I can show you one thing...

Ya, I did it. My dog has a red, zip-up, American Apparel hoodie. Isn't it so cute? Not sure he loves it as much as I do - especially after we got his fur caught in the zipper...

In other shopping news, the delightfully flakey sales girl where I bought said dog hoodie didn't do a thorough enough job desensitizing my purchase, so I then set off the alarms in every store I set foot into. People were looking at me like I was a criminal. At one point, I found myself explaining the situation to total strangers. That's when I knew I had to leave.

Christmas shopping status: still not done.

xx E.

Ps. On a happier note, I was able to avoid the cologne spritzer guy in The Bay twice (and he was serious about his job - it reminded me of Joey on Friends).

Monday, 17 December 2012

Weekend Bits

How was your weekend?

I made sure mine was spent with people I love. On Friday, our friends came over for drinks/apps and a sleepover. They brought us some yummy hot chocolate and these adorable cups.

On Saturday, we decorated my parents' Christmas tree. I'm just going to say it: it's the fattest tree ever. Evidently all the regular sized Christmas trees were taken.

the fam

what a fatty. i meant the tree...

On Saturday evening, I went to trade cookies with other girls at this girl's house.

just one example of the sweet party set up she had

I made like 80 cookies. It was a lot. How do people regularly do it? Maybe their kitchens are nicer than mine…luckily I baked them at my parents' house (much nicer than mine) and the hubs helped a lot.

what i ended up with - the pile of shortbread at the top are what i made (and didn't give away)
I woke up feeling extra Christmasy on Sunday, despite the rain and non-Christmas-like weather. So I got a little crafty and made a card-holding garland.

Add to that a Christmas movie marathon (Home Alone, Four Christmases, National Lampoon's Christmas 
Vacation) and I was one happy girl.

Hope everyone spent the weekend appreciating our loved ones just that much more.

xx E.

Ps. sorry for the grainy iphone pics - I should get a better camera

Friday, 14 December 2012

Fashion Friday: Holiday Party Uniform

I wanted to assemble a cute and easy holiday party uniform. This outfit is made up of things I already have in my closet (or very similar things). What's cuter than a sparkly mini and a cozy sweater? Plus, there's nothing worse than venturing out in the winter in a sleeveless top and feeling cold all night. I'm alllll for the movement towards sparkly sweaters. Just add a pair of tights to keep you extra warm on those cold December nights.

If your party doesn't warrant a sequined mini skirt, you could swap it out for a pair of cropped black pants or skinny jeans.

Have a great weekend!

xx E.

Ps. Tips for dressing for your office party

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Holiday Gifting

Since the holidays are upon us, many people are sharing their gift guides. Well, I’m not going to do a gift guide exactly, but I am going to give you my gift giving advice.

 I often end up being the main gift giving counselor when it comes to the men in my life (my dad, my bro, my hubs). They are getting better and do have ideas of their own, but when they get stuck, I’m the go-to.

Choosing gifts for any occasion can be a daunting task. Especially when you’re giving gifts to people who already ‘have everything’ (aka my parents). I can't solve all your gift giving dilemmas in one post, but hopefully these tips will help.

Tip #1: Don’t just go to the mall and look around. 
This is unproductive and stressful. Don’t go shopping until you’ve narrowed down your idea to a few things, or a category. That will give you some direction and make finding a gift easier.

Tip #2: Make a budget. 
If you don’t have an amount that you’re prepared to spend, you can end up getting carried away and buying something that’s way too expensive, or multiple items because you’re not satisfied with the gift.

Tip #3: Stick to the budget. 
If you purchase a quality gift that comes in below budget, don’t go out and buy more items just to spend the money. The idea is about the gift, not the cost (although my dad would say 'of course it's about the money'). Think about it, if you got all the groceries you needed for a week and came in under budget, you wouldn’t just add more food to your cart to use up your extra money, would you?

Tip #4: Shop online. 
Online shopping is so easy now. You can find anything and everything there, without the stress of battling other shoppers, traffic, parking lots, line ups, etc.
Sites like carry everything from housewares to books to electronics. is great for those one-of-a-kind gifts. Plus almost every store that you would find in a mall has an online store.

Tip #5: Get creative. 
Home-made gifts are really thoughtful. Use your talents, whether it be baking, cooking, or simply assembling a basket of great products. Websites like Pinterest also have great DIY gift ideas.

Tip #6: Shop local. 
Check out the small businesses in your city. They often carry interesting/unique items that you wouldn’t find at the mall. Plus you support local businesses, which is always a good thing. 

I hope you'll find these tips helpful!

xx E.

Ps. I'm also pretty good at choosing gifts for people, so if you have a tricky person on your list, feel free to ask for advice :)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


There are some words out there that are just amazing. I recently realized a great one: Razzmatazz.

When my brother asked me to define it, I just said "pzazz" following some kind of rule that if they rhyme, they must mean the same thing. For curiosity's sake, I looked it up. The first definition was maybe my rhyming rule isn't so bad after all?

Whatever it means, it's just fun to say. Razzmatazz! Try to use it in a sentence today (for my fellow Clueless lovers). Also, try saying it with jazz-hands, for emphasis.

On the flip side, there are some words that make my skin crawl and I avoid using them at all costs. The first is Moist. Often used as a way to describe meat or baked goods, people throw it around like it's nothing. Meanwhile, every time I hear it, I get this ick factor and probably look like I might be sick. If I have to use it (that's one big IF), I say it as quick as possible and move on before anyone notices.

he probably just told me his dinner was moist
When I finally came clean about my aversion to the word (in university, to my sorority sisters), they added another word to the mix that's equally horrible: Loincloth. And, as good friends usually do, they took it upon themselves to torment me with the simple phrase 'Moist loincloth'....ewwwwwwwwwwww!

So there you have it, one super-fantastic-make-you-smile word, and two absolutely-disgusting-make-you-barf words for your boring old Tuesday!

xx E.

Ps. another word I love and use a lot is Lovely - it was actually pointed out to me by a colleague and inspired the title of this blog :)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Mixed Greens

By Sunday of this past weekend, my desire to do some sort of holiday DIY was at a high point. I had set aside an empty clementine crate for a crafty purpose and after decorating for my mom's 60th birthday party, I have a ton of mason jars, so the natural choice was to turn it into a mini mixed-forest for my coffee table.

This was a super-easy-fit-for-a-lazy-Sunday kind of project. All you need is:
A crate or box, some fabric, jars or other glass containers, cut greenery, ribbon, scissors, and water.

To start (if you haven't already) take the mesh and any labels off the clementine crate. Then arrange as many jars as you can fit in the crate. Next, take your fabric (I just used what I had on hand, but burlap or something more gauzy would also work) and tuck it around the jars, which will hold them in place and make the crate look full.
Now grab your greenery. I have several different ever-green trees/bushes in my yard, which is where I got them from. Trim them to fit nicely in the jars (the height is really based on personal preference).

Put the greenery in the jars. I kept each jar with only one type of plant, but you could also arrange a mix of greenery. To add some sparkle, I tied gold ribbon around each jar.

Place the jars back in the crate, and add water to each jar so that it reaches the bottom of the cut branches.

Et voila! Here it is on my coffee table.

xx E.

Ps. if you choose good ever-greens, it smells really lovely too!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Festive Friday: Christmas Music edition

Well I've managed to keep my Christmas spirit relatively under control on here....until now.

For today's festive post, I figured I would share with you my favourite Christmas songs (not just the songs, but the versions that I enjoy the most).

Without further adieu, here they are:

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - The Eurythmics
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
Baby It's Cold Outside - Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton
Merry Christmas Baby - Bruce Springsteen
Last Christmas - Wham (Glee also had a great version)
Step into Christmas - Elton John
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Michael Buble or U2
Fairytale of New York - The Pogues
Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Frank Sinatra
Santa Baby - Madonna
Sleigh Ride - The Ronettes 
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Frank Sinatra
Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - Gayla Peevey

Have a great festive weekend!

xx E.

Ps. I also love "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" - who doesn't? Except Husband because Dr. Seuss freaks him out :)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

O Christmas Tree

It has arrived! Our Christmas tree, that is.

It's a welcome change from last year. We were moving on new year's day, so we didn't want to get a tree and have to worry about taking it down amid all the other packing. So we built a 'tree' out of the boxes we had on hand. I still needed something to make it feel like Christmas.

sorry for the bad quality - it was taken on my old blackberry
I like to get the tree up pretty early, so there's lots of time to enjoy it before the big day. And in my world of Christmas trees my philosophy is: More is more. I pack that baby full of ornaments. In fact, I think it could use some she is!

My friend and I were saying how soothing it can be to sit and stare at a tree that's all lit up. We decided it's a holiday equivalent to those lights that people with Seasonal Affective Disorder sit beside :)

xx E.

Ps. This year, thanks to the wonders of Facebook and Instagram, I feel like I'm the last one to get my tree up, no?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Royal Bun in the Oven!

This just in (well, I heard yesterday): Will and Kate are expecting!

I'm so excited! I wonder how far along she is... All I know is that she's been hospitalized for morning sickness. Evidently, she has some form of super strong morning sickness. Is this new? Or is she just not as tough as the other mommies-to-be out there?

Well let's hope she gets well. No doubt she will only gain a tiny baby bump and the rest of her will look absolutely flawless. It's the Kate Middleton way.

xx E.

Ps. Princess Diana, pregnant and classy as ever.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Weekend bits

How was your weekend?

Mine started promptly at 5:30 on Friday with this:

Which, (after a 1.5 hour drive that normally takes 10 minutes) lead to some red wine and a cozy dinner made by my lovely husband. Nothing like the first snowfall to bring everyone to a grinding halt.

Saturday, I slept in. It was glorious. I hadn't felt that feeling in a while (no seriously, not even on vacation). After scouring the mall for a dress to wear to my office Christmas party, I had the pleasure of meeting a good friend for a tea date.

Then Saturday night was the big party: 550 of my colleagues and I gathered to begin the holiday celebration. As promised here's a pic:

I opted for a red, cocktail length dress with a peplum. I received a few compliments, so I have deemed it a good choice. I also convinced husband that he'd be more like James Bond with a skinny black tie :)

Sunday I allowed yet another sleep in for that feels good! And then after a really nice catch up with the in-laws on Skype, I went to a friend's to decorate a gingerbread house.

We didn't take any pictures of our gingerbread creation. Why you ask? Well, it seemed that we were much more interested in consuming candy than actually decorating the house, so we basically slathered it with icing and tossed various candies on it. It wasn't pretty.

And in typical Monday style, it's come all to quickly.

xxx E.

Ps. In the words of my husband, I hope your Mondays have wings!
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