Thursday, 31 January 2013


Today marks the first anniversary of This is Lovely!

One year ago, after being immersed in the blog world for quite awhile, I decided I was ready to start my own. I'm so glad I did! I don't think I had any idea how much I would love it, and I seem to enjoy it more and more as the time goes by.

I really appreciate your readership and I'm looking forward to another great year!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Animal Lover

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

My friends are expecting a baby boy this March. They've done the most adorable nursery with an owl theme. The owl pillow above would be perfect for them! And what about the rest of these animal pillows? Wouldn't they be perfect for a baby's room? Actually, I think some of them would even be cute in a more adult room (I would have 1, 6, 7 and 9 in my house any day!) My personal favourite is the striped Daschund. Don't read too much into this - I just think they're cute.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Weird Interview Questions

While researching new and exciting interview questions (all part of the job, folks) I came across a list of strange interview questions that I just couldn't pass by. There were lots of weird ones, but here's one that I hadn't seen before:

Write down 10 things that you can do with a pencil in 15 seconds.


15 seconds?! Is this a penmanship test? Maybe they want to see how quickly you can write....? If not, I'd suggest allowing little more time to get their thoughts down on paper. I'm assuming this is a question to see how quickly you can think on your feet and how creative you are.

I took the challenge myself - not using a stopwatch, obviously. I love a good brain workout (at least I like that - since I don't like workouts of any other kind). Here's what I came up with:

  1. Write
  2. Erase
  3. Twirl it
  4. Put your hair up
  5. Balance it (on one end, on your hand, etc.)
  6. Make a fake mustache with it (you know, make the duck lips and wedge it between your nose and mouth - don't pretend you've never done that)
  7. Use it as a drum stick
  8. Scratch your back
  9. Roll it
  10. Use it to push buttons
  11. Do the 'rubber pencil' trick - bonus points!

Not bad, eh? I'm really hoping that one day I get asked that question, 'cause I'll be ready.

Ps. What's the strangest question you've ever been asked in an interview?

Monday, 28 January 2013

Weekend Bits

Well, Friday night was a bit of a wash because I wasn't feeling well. I basically camped out on the couch while Husband built a tv cabinet. You learn something new about your significant other every day (who knew he could build a tv cabinet in one evening?) Pictures to come.

But luckily on Saturday I was feeling better because we were headed to our friends' place for lunch. They have two little boys and, I'm not going to lie, the oldest one loves me. He had this picture waiting there when I arrived. It totally made my day. When I tried to show him how to draw a tulip (hey - people like variety) Husband called me a show-off.

the work of art
We had a great catch up with them and I even played mini-sticks (which is a huge deal because playing sports makes me wanna die is not my thing).

Saturday night is my favourite night to cook dinner, so I opted for one of my mom's meals that I love the most. Shrimp Scampi. I've never made it before, but it turned out to be delicious! I can't show you the recipe because I didn't use one. Yep, I'm that girl.

the makings of a delicious dinner

Dinner was followed by an impromptu sleepover with one of my  girlfriends. We drank wine, chatted and watched SNL (it was a good one, by the way).

The Saturday night sleepover was followed by a Sunday morning drinking coffee and talking - just like we used to do in University. It was lovely.

Sunday night was capped off with dinner at my parents' place. My mom made minestrone soup that I must try to recreate. She also made blueberry-lemon pound cake. My mom is a great cook; that's where I get my skills from. Jus sayin'.

How was your weekend?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Happy Friday

Today I decided that instead of a Fashion Friday post, I would do a Happy Friday post. So without further adieu, here are a few things that are making me happy today (on top of the fact that it's Friday)

With Valentine's day right around the corner, heart shaped candies are now in stores! I bought my first (but definitely not only) package. Mmmm sweet high fructose corn-syrupy goodness. 

Thick and cozy scarves to keep me warm during this extreme cold. Wool: Joe Fresh, Faux fur: H&M. Seriously, we're all complaining about the weather being freezing, but at least we have warm coats/boots and homes to take refuge in. 

Thanks to careful rationing, I've managed to make my favourite cereal (that's only available in the UK, and that my lovely family sends to me) last for a month! One last bowl left :(

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Some Practicalities

A thought for your Thursday via

Some of you have probably noticed that I've created a Facebook page for This is Lovely. I think it makes more sense to put postings there, rather than on my personal Facebook page. That way, those of my fb friends who do not wish to see my daily posts don't have to (although, I'm not sure what kind of 'friends' they are if they aren't reading this blog...kidding! kinda.)

Anyway, if you are the kind of person who relies on my facebook to let you know when there's a new post, please 'like' This is Lovely's facebook page, so you can stay in the loop. If you're one of those people who doesn't even need fb because you've bookmarked my blog - I love you. More people should aspire to be like you :)

All sarcasm aside, thanks for reading along and if you like getting fb updates from This is Lovely, don't forget to 'like' the page (using the cute little yellow button with the 'f' on it or the link below!).

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


I bet you're wondering why I'd write about gardening in the dead of winter. Well, this is an indoor mini garden.

I'm not good at gardening. It's no secret. Last year I attempted to revamp our front garden (with the help of much more plant-savvy Husband), but we never did get to it.

growing my mini garden
But then I got the sweetest gift from my friend Emma (great name, I'd say). It's a pretty little garden, and I actually managed to grow it! Perhaps they make them fool-proof, but I'm choosing to believe that my skills are improving.

Ready for a trim! It's micro-cress, so it's edible too :)

Ps. Why don't we have adorable little things like this in Canada? I'm convinced that the UK has the gift/gift wrap/card market cornered.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


I like to ask questions. You could say, I'm full of questioning goodness. Husband is often the recipient of said questions.

The other night I asked him, would you still love me if I had my foot amputated?

Him: hmmm, probably not

Me: no seriously though, what if I had my whole leg amputated? Because that's one of my biggest fears.

H: Ah, the list of 500 things that Emma is afraid of ;)

M: WHAT?!?!

<pause to think>

M: You think I'm afraid of that many things? Like what?

H: Spiders, gross words, amputations...

M: I am not afraid of gross words. I just think they're gross.Oh and you forgot being kidnapped...
and the dark
and doors that are left ajar (because someone could be in there)
and things under my bed and behind the shower curtain
and being chased
and scorpions
and basements
and the credits song from Dexter
and being burried 
and heights


ok maybe it is a pretty long list.

Ps. What are you most afraid of?

Monday, 21 January 2013


I'm sure I've mentioned that I have a career in HR. With my particular position, part of my job is to interview/hire people.

One question that I often use is in interviews is 'What is your greatest accomplishment?' I do not ask this to find out how much one person can really achieve, but more to get an understanding of who this person really is.

Something that I found really uplifting lately is the number of people - especially men - that say their greatest accomplishment is their family or their kids. Just warms my little heart to hear it.

the closest thing i have to a child

I think I like hearing it so much because a lot of the time people talk about their life before kids vs. after kids and how I shouldn't take my child-free life for granted, complaints, complaints, tired, no free time, blah blah blah. And I have to say, as much as I sure this is true, it's not something I really wish to hear. So to hear people say that the thing they are the proudest of is their family, makes my heart smile.

This answer doesn't really impact whether or not the person gets the job, but it really does allow some insight into what a person values in his/her life.

I, personally, value family above all, too.

Ps. How would you answer that question?

Friday, 18 January 2013

New Look

Well hopefully you've noticed there's been a change around these parts. This is Lovely is nearly one year old, and I decided it was time for a new look.
'before' shot
I worked with the lovely Bobbi from Ready to Blog. Let me tell you, she is an absolute pleasure to work with! I would recommend her to anyone interested in getting some design work done. She was able to take my random musings and turn them into something that truly reflects me. Check out her blog for some great design, blog tips and more (because I said so!).

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Food Trending

I'm all for new and healthy foods. Especially if they promise to pack some delicious flavour.

stuffing my face in san diego

A few foods that I like, but not nearly as much as the general Pinterest population does:
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potato/yam
  • Kale
  • Avocado (only in the form of guacamole) 
How many quinoa salads can one person stand to eat?! And one big mouthful of avocado and I might barf (almost happened once with avocado sushi).

I tried making this quinoa mac and cheese. Although it tasted ok, it was verrrry far from actual mac and cheese (more like rice and cheese sauce). Just one example of people trying to turn comfort food into something healthy that didn't work.

I'm taking a stand against trendy health-foods!

xx E.

Ps. Here's one healthy food that I love: apples. I eat one every day and thus I am keeping the doctor away.

Pps. Food for thought - check out this article.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Pillow Talk

Our funniest and often most creative conversations tend to happen before we fall asleep at night.

I have a poncho that, if tied correctly, looks like a cape. So I was wearing it the other day, and it made me think of super-heroes. Anyway, I asked Husband this question:

Me: If I was a super-hero, what would my power be?
Husband: hmm baking.
Me: So I would cook weapons?
H: No, you could just cook really good stuff. Or you could over bake things and throw them at people.
M: So, I would turn food into weapons. Or, I could put razor blades in a cake...
H: Ok, now you're just scary.
Me: If you were a super hero, you would be able to travel the world just by snapping your fingers. Ya know? Because you've been to so many different places...

We proceeded to come up with multiple slogans for each of us.

Here are the best ones.
For him: One minute he's in Canada, the next he's in Wales; Fighting crime on a global scale.
For me: In the kitchen, good food she'll boast, but if you cross her path, you'll be toast.

xx E.

Ps. Stop judging me - you know it's gold.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


I have an idea...Let's. Do. A makeover!

This is Lovely is about to turn one, and as a little birthday present, she's getting a makeover.

Stay tuned for the new look, coming very soon!

xx E.


Remember the episode of Friends where they play the game about who knows who better, and one of the quiz questions is 'Rachel says her favourite movie is _______ but her actual favourite movie is ________.

Well, just like Rachel claims that Dangerous Liaisons is her favourite movie, when her actual favourite movie is Weekend at Bernie's, I too live a similar story. My all time favourite movie is Clueless. Not exactly a piece of deep, thought-provoking cinematography, yet somehow, it's still my favourite.

The first time I saw it was in theatres when I was 11. In high school I felt I was a middle-class, poorly dressed version of Cher. I have the video tape to this day (even though I don't have a VCR). I learned that one of the meanest things you can say to a person is 'You're a virgin, who can't drive'.

No one likes to watch it with me because I say all the lines, usually just a split second before they actually happen in the movie. Hello, it was his fiftieth birthday!

Now that I've put it out there, everyone that reads this blog knows my secret. But let's just say that I will be pulling a Rachel when anyone asks what my favourite movie is.

xx E.

Ps. Do you have secret favourite movie?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Golden Globes

I stayed up later than I normally would on a Sunday night to watch the Golden Globes. Thanks all for the recommendations of great tv series to watch - after seeing all the shows nominated, I'm excited to start my winter hibernation!

Of course I tuned in to see who won, but mainly I just wanted to see what everyone was wearing.

My pick for best dressed: Lucy Liu in Carolina Herrera. Something about the pattern just grabs me and I think she looks effortlessly stunning.

Runners up...

Kate Hudson in McQueen - I mean, look at that cut-out and the gorgeous jeweled neckline, and Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture - I love the structural elements added to a simple strapless gown and the metallic belt is a great finishing touch.


xx E.

Ps. Jodie Foster's speech made me cry.

all photos via Just Jared

Friday, 11 January 2013

Fashion Friday

You know what I've been into lately? Big earrings. But not like big hoops, or long dangley ones, just big studs.

I'm calling them Grandma's earrings (because mine would have definitely worn them). The ones at the top, with the faces are my favourite.

What do you think? Too old-lady?

xx E.

Ps. Here's my collection so far (tiered tea-party tray from my lovely sister-in-law)

Thursday, 10 January 2013


While everyone else is kicking into high gear and rushing to the gym, I (obviously) am not because I despise that place.

I am, however, preparing for my winter hibernation. How, you ask? By lining up a bunch of tv series (what's the plural of series?).

Much of the cold Canadian winter will be spent like this.

So far, I'm thinking season 5 of Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy. We've also started Mad Men, which I like, but I'm not hooked yet.

Speaking of Breaking Bad, how much does my dad resemble Heisenberg - it's really just the hat, but still.

Any other recommendations for a tv series that both the Husband and I would like?

xx E.

Ps. I'd also take movie recommendations!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Do You Worry?

I do. A lot. I have since I was a child (just ask the most patient parents in the world).

Mostly it's about something bad happening to the people I love.

Husband takes flying lessons (which he absolutely loves). Every time he leaves, I hug him and kiss him as if I'm never going to see him ever again. He always texts me once he lands, and I watch the clock like it's my job while I'm waiting to hear from him. On multiple occasions I've been in tears.

I've always been a worrier. I wish I could just relax and feel like everything will be ok. Unfortunately I have this sense that there is something bad waiting for me, just around the corner. Heaven help my future children, I'm going to be one over-protective mother.

xx E.

Ps. I'd love to know - do you worry about things too?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

French Onion Soup

When Husband and I first started dating, we cooked together a lot. In fact, every Tuesday, we would pick a new recipe to try.

We hadn't cooked anything new together in a pretty long time, so we decided to try a new recipe. French Onion soup. It's the kind of thing that seemed untouchable, and difficult to make, but actually it proved to be much easier than we thought.

One thing you really need is French onion soup bowls. I'm not going to pretend I found these babies at a specialty store. I bought four, for a grand total of $5.25 from the Dollarama.

We started with this recipe, which is a bit simpler than some others I've seen. I made a few adjustments, the most significant was adding dried thyme and only using one kind of cheese.

The result: one delicious and satisfying bowl of soup.

xx E.

Ps. How can you go wrong when the top of it is covered in melted cheese?

Monday, 7 January 2013

Just call me Elmyra

Something happened the other day that I was too traumatized to tell. But now that it's a little bit behind me, I can see the humor in it.

I was giving Rocky a cuddle, and sometimes I get carried away - because I love him so much. So I was hugging him and gave him a squeeze...and he screamed. A sad little puppy-I'm-hurt-let-me-go scream. I dropped him down (gently) on our bed, while my eyes welled up with tears.

Luckily, Husband put him on the floor, and got him to run, and he was ok.

I felt a lot like this girl:


xx E.

Ps. to make me feel better, Husband told me that once, he went to pat Rocky's head but poked him in the eye instead. I did feel better.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Surprise - it's the weekend

Oh Weekend, you sneaky devil. How did you get here so quickly?

Oh that's right. We had a short work week (if you went to work at all). I think I'm going to start a movement for three-day work weeks. Wouldn't that be the best? 

On tap for this weekend? Catching up with friends, maybe a little organization of the house and (hopefully) a DIY.

Looking for something to do? If you have a few hours to kill, might I recommend the movie Django Unchained? 


Remember at Blockbuster video (before it went under) their displays would have a bunch of movies that were similar to others with the tag line "If you liked'll love this"? 

Well here's my version: If you liked Kill Bill (I & II) and especially if you liked Inglorious Basterds, you will love Django (we saw it last night with my bro and his girlfriend). I won't give away any details - just go see it.

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!

xx E.

Ps. Sorry about the lack of Fashion Friday posts - with the exception of NYE, my fashion hasn't been much more exciting than a pair of grey sweatpants. 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Library Love

We live right across the street from the library. I wish I could say I take advantage of it, but I don't. On the other hand, Husband certainly does. He comes home with books, music and movies all the time.

When I was in high school, I worked as a Page at the library, putting away books. I was Head Page of the Children's department (nerd alert - queen of the nerds, actually). Anyway, between that job and studying in University, I think I overdid the library and have since been on hiatus.

The hiatus is over.

Since one of my resolutions for 2013 is to read more books, I headed over to the library to see what I could rustle up! They've got lots to choose from and I even put a hold on Grace Coddington's memoir that I'm looking forward to (I'm 7th in line...)

So yesterday I picked up two - let's not get ahead of ourselves here, I usually fall asleep after reading two pages. It can take awhile to get through a book. Let's hope these ones capture my attention!

xx E.

Ps. Thanks for the recommendations Jess!

Pps. Check out more great reads from Hilary :)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Return to Normalcy

As much as I'm obsessed with Christmas, I have to say, I was glad to take down our tree, reclaim the space in our living room, and get back to normal. January 2nd marks the return to 'normal' (at least in my books).

NYE - told ya I would be wearing my holiday uniform

I was starting to lose track of what day it was, and I find that the more free time I have, the less I seem to accomplish. I was getting reeaaally lazy there for a little while.

So as much as waking up early and going to work isn't the most exciting, I'm welcoming it back with open arms.

xx E.

Ps. One thing about the holidays is that everyone wants to get together with family and friends - why not try getting together with those people you care about now? Make a New Year's date instead (I know I'm looking forward to some!)
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