What’s in Your Closet?

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It’s amazing how much stuff we can accumulate over the years. Clothes we no longer wear but can’t seem to part with. Shoes and more shoes.The stack of unworn pieces that I don’t want to give away for various reasons – they were expensive, waiting to find the perfect blouse to go with that pair of odd coloured pants. It doesn’t fit but maybe some day…

And don’t forget the pieces that are kept for sentimental reasons. Like this t-shirt I bought at a concert in San Francisco in the 70’s. Really? I googled the band names to see if any of them are still around. No.

concert t-shirt 70's

Not all of us are hoarders. Irene’s the perfect example of a non-hoarder. She’s organized and a list maker – lots and lots of lists. Twice a year Irene culls her closets  – not kidding – spring and fall. So this year I’m following Irene’s lead.

Last week I pulled everything out of my closest and kept only the things that fit and look great. Letting go of clothes can be emotional so don’t feel you need to do it all at once. But when you do, believe me, you’ll feel lighter.

So what to do with the castaways? Well, we have a couple of great suggestions. Our good friend Val, owner of The Clothes Secret accepts gently worn clothing twice a year. Spring and fall. The beauty of Val’s store is that you can make some money. Val gives 40% of the sales from your clothes back to you.

Clothesline is another option. They’ll come to your home and pick-up clothing and house hold items that you know longer have a use for. These donations help raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Can you believe I’ve had that t-shirt all these years?
Yes. Yes, I can easily believe that. But those shoes, Sydney, they didn’t really come out of your closet, did they?
These shoes are keepers. I love them.
But in the picture they look like something a 1970’s bridesmaid would wear.
Funny. What’s in your closet?
A row of white t-shirts and clothes that are 10 years old because I hate shopping for clothes.
I have a drawer full of black t-shirts. They’re in a draw because that’s where t-shirts belong. Not on hangers.
Then they get all wrinkled.
I don’t care. I never iron anything.
You know what? Like me, you just wear the same t-shirts over and over again.
Nothing wrong with that.
That’s why we both do it.

Design – at{mine}

at-mine page

at{mine} is a wonderful design website (discovered by Sydney, of course). We signed up, and have started to add some photos from our homes, but you don’t have to join to enjoy the site. If you’re interested in design for any room, or photography, definitely check out this site.

The at{mine} means at {someone’s house}. Clever, don’t you think?

At first glance you may think that all the rooms and photos are professionally designed and photographed, but take a closer look. There’s cracked paint, chipped kitchen counters, scratched hardwood floors, so it’s a great way to see your own less-than-perfect home in a new light.

People can tag photos with a note about where items came from to help viewers with shopping.

(Warning: time will disappear while you’re on this site.)

Here’s some of the photos we’ve put up.

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Living room wall (1024x447)

Dining room (1024x576)

Found Art

When you post a photo you can see it featured in the ‘What’s new’ section, which is kinda fun.

atmine page

And of course when you find people whose homes are particularly appealing, you can follow them. You can also follow at{mine} on Facebook and Instagram, and get a quick design fix throughout the day.

So, I’m back from my business trip to Orlando. All that sun and warmth was a tough go.
Thank god you’re back. And today we’re at{mine} having a bev.
It’s good to back and I’m excited about introducing at{mine} to our readers.
I love the at+curly brackets. I’m going to use them all the time now instead of at{air quotes} or at{hashtags}.
There’s a lot to love at{mine}.
I noticed that there’s a lot of at{white} decor on this site – and all the sites you like.
White’s the new black.
I think that if everything was white at{mine}, there would be a lot of at{cleaning} to do.
That’s true. My place is white (surprise) and it takes effort to keep it that way. Especially the white rug which I cover with blankets. Sigh…
That is really too funny, but where there are pets, there always blankets – even in my house where nothing is white.
The things we do for esthetics.
The things you do. I just colour everything orange.
Maybe I’ll switch to black.
Great idea – that should cheer you up! When you’re staring off into space, you really will be looking at nothing…

We’re Back – Almost…

What time is it? What day is it? We haven’t missed 2016 completely, have we? I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle.
Not the entire year. Only January and most of February.
In fairness to us, you’ve been travelling with work.
And you’ve been binge watching TV.
My back is sore from all the time I’ve spent on the couch watching TV. That’s rather pathetic.
I blame Netflix…it’s taken over our lives.
My sore back is proof that I am actually the laziest person in the world. You never believe me when I say that.
And I’m the fussiest – in the last hotel I was in I had them move me 3 times.
I saw the photos – you were right to do that.
I’m not a fan of duck-taped carpets.
Completely reasonable. But we’re back and we hope to have some fun stuff for our readers in the next few weeks.
We do have something new and interesting for our readers next week. Stay tuned.
Is it time for a beer now?
Now? I’m already on my second.

Moya Foley Art Ecuador

Costa Flip Flops

We have long been waiting to do this post about our favourite artist, Moya Foley, and we’re doing it now because last week Moya launched her website – Moya Foley Art Ecuador. We are speechless every time we see one of Moy’s pieces and are absolutely thrilled we can share her talent with our readers. That picture of the flipflops above is not a photograph – it’s one of Moy’s paintings. #ridiculoustalent

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Moy is a Canadian living in Ecuador where she paints and teaches art. Yes, you can take a trip to Ecuador and take art classes with Moy – what a great idea if you’re planning to get away from winter.

Moy’s lives in Canoa – which is right on the Pacific coast – with her dog Martini (and no, that’s not why she’s our favourite artist.)

 

Moy’s art speaks for itself (and we have a few pieces to share that aren’t on her website because they’re in our houses), so have a look below and check out Moya Foley Art Ecuador. You can buy and/or commission art from Moy through her site by clicking on the blue link, or her homepage below.

Moy's home page

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll see on Moy’s site.

Marley

Marley (Irene’s dog)

The Pier at Tonchigue (1024x678)

Infinty Mortality Collage

Gladiola

Below is some of the art we own.

Front ring

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Napa 1

So we got to take an art class with Moy when she was in Canada this summer. I think we were complete rubbish.
And that’s saying it nicely. Moy has such skill and a unique talent. She’s also a bit of a recluse. Didn’t she live alone on an island for 5 years?
The recluse gene runs in her family – she has some crazy stories about living on that island.
So what did she do in emergencies? Did she have electricity? Was there a corner store?
No electricity, no corner store, no Starbucks even! She hung a sheet out on a tree trunk when she needed someone on the mainland to come to the island. Like the morning she woke up to find a great big boa in her kitchen.
And she stayed there for five years. Remarkable. How did she keep the beer cold?
I think living like that is clearly beyond anything you or I could do. We’d be hanging out that sheet morning and night.
We’d have an a.m. flag and a p.m. flag.
And you would somehow manage to convince people they needed to drop everything and come to our aid whenever they saw the flag. Maybe we could make a go of it afterall.
I don’t know about that. Maybe for a day or two.
You’re probably right. But I came up with the flags just in case we ever find ourselves in that situation.
Brilliant idea. I feel much better now.
We’ll have to start carrying them everywhere we go now – one never knows these days…
Back to Moy – she is truly remarkable. As an artist, she should be world-renowned. Maybe she will be now that we’ve blogged about her.
Yes, that should do the trick! You can thank us later Moy.

Art class

An art class with Moy

Special Sydney & Irene flags in case of emergencies…
white flags

The Big Reveal – What Men and Women Really Want

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This is it… men want sex and women want a relationship.
Shouldn’t we ease into this conversation before getting to the nitty gritty? And we have to introduce our friend, Jack.
You can do the honours.
Jack is a friend of mine who I knew would tell us the truth. And boy, did we learn things!
Things that never occurred to me.
Or me. And we’ve been around the block a few times…
But apparently not in Jack’s neighbourhood.
This whole series started because I read an article about what men really think when they see a naked women, and the first thing the article said was ‘men don’t always want to have sex…sometimes they want to snuggle too’.
So you went straight to Jack, right?
I did. Jack – what do you say to that?
Thanks for having me on the blog. I love the purple bubble. Before I answer that question I need some context. Is this naked women in my living room or on a stage?
See what I mean? A hit of reality right there. Sometimes men go to strip clubs.
Back to the snuggling, Jack. What do you think about that?
If it’s someone we’ve had sex with 10,000 times then maybe. And by the way men never have a headache and if they did, sex would cure it. Sex cures everything.
Men never have a headache? How is that possible?
I think he’s talking about having a headache as a reason to not have sex.
Guys are curious – that’s why they like variety. You never know when you’ll come across some kind of anatomy you’ve never experienced before.
You mean a cape, right?
(Psst…Jack actually used the word ‘caped’ referring to a particular part of a women’s anatomy. The things we’re still learning…)
Here’s a couple of things we like. Leave the lights on. Guys are visual.
Really, men like the lights on? Most women, I believe, would rather that not happen.
Candles are okay, but no blaring lights. A mood-killer and far too revealing.
At any time if you’re with someone and she’s naked, you’re going to have sex unless she’s a stripper.
It’s true – there’s no sex in the champagne room?
It’s true.
Are men self-conscious?
They’re just happy to be having sex. They won!
Go on.
Men rarely have an emotional response and they don’t care too much about minor imperfections.
Minor meaning eyebrows unplucked?
That’s okay, but be sure to shave from the neck down. And if a woman wants her man to do the same thing, she should tell him.
Does time of day have any bearing on things?
If it’s after midnight and we’re together, the penis is driving the car.
Are we just talking about hook-ups here, or are we talking about relationships?
Both, but when it comes to partners, compatibility is a big issue. Sex can get boring if there’s no compatibility.
Oh. So there’s some depth to the way men look at women.
Mmmmm…Sydney, you might be putting words in Jack’s mouth.
Men can be respectful too – if he doesn’t make a move right away, he may just be waiting for you to make the first move.

Jack

 

 

Thanks Jack! Entertaining as always!

Sydney, I think our list is shorter, and it is a bit shallow. Not boring at all though, right?
That’s right Irene. All we want is a sack full of cash, a room full of shoes, and a big –
– heart? That’s what you were going to say, right Sydney? We’re looking for men with a big heart?
Of course. Why? What were you thinking?

If you missed the beginning of our series, you can find it here – Part 1 and Part 2.

What do Women Really Want?

Somerset Love Locks

We all know the answer to this question. It’s shoes!
That’s exactly what we all want. But aren’t we talking about men today?
We are. We want to know what traits women find attractive in a man.
We’re not talking about same sex couples in this series because we don’t know anything about that.
Except for that one time right?
Right.
So what we read seems to be far more accurate than what we found out about what men want.
Everyone thinks women are hard to figure out but that’s not true at all. All the men’s magazines have us nailed…no pun intended.
We are the gentlest creatures in the world.
And the potty mouth stops here.

What Some (not necessarily fictional) Women Find Attractive in a Man

This is part 2 of our 3-part series. (Part 1 – What Men Want is here.)  We looked at few different websites and articles for what women want (we have our own ideas which you’ll see in the post). There’s even a trade show called ‘What Women Want’. Apparently it’s a burning question for a lot of people. So here’s a list we cobbled together from a few different sources.

Looks – apparently looks are important to women, but not as important as they are to men.

Men tend to think of themselves as a pretty good catch. They’re breathing, right?
I think they need to catch themselves in the mirror more often. But I would agree – our bar is definitely lower than men in the looks department.
Yeah, because looks aren’t everything.

Greet us with dinner made when we get home. If you can’t cook, frozen fish sticks will do just fine.

You would not be happy with fish sticks.
How about greeting us with a martini? Much better and more romantic than fish sticks.
Brilliant.

Someone who will take care of you.

Absolutely. Someone who’s there for you and supports you.
Sydney, you just want someone to do shit for you.
No need to say that out loud.
I want someone to take care of me too, but I’m holding out for my sister Bridget to move back to Ottawa. It should happen any day now…

Size matters. Oh, and if you’re handy around the house, that’s great too.

Our friend in Texas brought this to our attention. She definitely likes her handy man.
It had to be said. But in my experience, a man needs to know what to do with his tools, not just own them.
As you and I know, getting anything fixed around the house is like asking them to solve all the world’s problems.

Communication – women want men who can listen and talk – genuinely.

I actually like men who talk very little. I find that very attractive in a man.
I actually love men who like to talk. But not about boring stuff…I don’t care about their cars.
Or how their partners can improve themselves…

Romance – and that includes passion, adventure, excitement and commitment.

Exactly. That’s all I want.
And shoes…
Right…

Humour – this would be number 1 for both of us.

Laughter is the way to my heart.
I think it’s tied to intelligence too. I think you have to be smart to be funny. And Sydney, you are one of the funniest people in the world!
And so are you!

Honesty – but not too much of it.

We thought about being completely honest too, but decided to keep it clean instead.
That could change by next week when we’ll have the big ‘reveal’.
We’re going to introduce our readers to our friend Jack, who told us exactly what men really want.

What Do Men Really Want?

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We think we know what men really want…

Men want to wear women’s underwear?
More than we thought, but no, I was talking about sex.
That’s what we think but that’s not what we found when we did some research.
And we thought what we read was rubbish.
So we’re here to crack the code and this is part one of a three part series.
We know one thing for sure…. men are way more confident than women.
Here’s an example. In the book Solar by Ian McEwen, the protagonist is this huge overweight messy guy who believes any woman would be thrilled if he were to ask them out.
And as much as I love men, if you look at the way a lot of men dress, I think they all think that way.
Which means they have confidence.
Or delusions. Anyway, here’s some things we read about men.
This is a good one… sometimes men just want to snuggle…
Men NEVER want to snuggle and most of them aren’t physically capable of it. They’re too hot – and by hot I don’t mean their looks, I mean their body temperature.
There’s more…

What Some (clearly fictional) Men Find Attractive in a Woman…and we’re not making this up…

Women should avoid getting overly emotional or impatient.

Be graceful and coy and no foul language.

WTF?
WTF?
I think we both just had an emotional response.

Show interest and don’t wear too much make up.

Unless you want a man to find you attractive. Then you need to go to Sephora and spend about $200.
At the very least.

Men like youthfulness – a state of being innocent and childlike.

Pervs.
Weird.

Self-care and beauty is important, as is emotional intelligence. Be sharp, responsive, alive and witty – those things keep a man on his toes.

And as soon as you’re in bed, he wants you to be a whore.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

A woman filled with love in her heart who sees dance, celebration and music everywhere she goes, is the most desirable quality a woman can possess to a man.

So someone who drinks a lot of Chardonnay!
Or Vodka.

And when looking at a naked woman, act cool and make a mental note…

Yes, do make a mental note…to bring flowers, wine and chocolate next time. We really do like that kind of shit…
..and don’t forget the music.

So next week we’ll share our research about what women apparently want.
It may or may not be rubbish.
I know what you want – a date.
I know what you want – a beer.
Both good things…
They do go together.
Stay tuned…

So You Think You Want to be a Blogger – WordPress Tips

So Irene, I think a lot of people would like to be bloggers, but this whole thing is a lot harder than people think.
It is SO much harder than people think, and it helps if you have a wee bit of OCD, because you may be spending hours trying to figure things out.
And thankfully you have a lot of that or we wouldn’t be writing this post.
True that. A touch of OCD comes in handy sometimes.
Without you there would not be a blog and I’d be playing on Pinterest all day long.
Well, let’s not discount the idea machine that is Sydney, but yes, I can spend hours reading material on the Internet about WordPress and other technical stuff.
And good for you 🙂 I’d go into a coma thinking about it.
I think we should come clean about just how long it takes us to do things.
How long did it take you to do our Martini Monday infographic?
That took me about 30 hours. Can you believe that?! But I do really like the final product.
I can believe that ’cause that’s what you do. If you want to distract Irene just say ‘oh look – I have a widget’.
Not to mention the fantastic 10 second video we posted – that only took me about 8 hours to figure out.
It’s worth every minute you spend figuring this stuff out.
And of course if we’re doing a recipe post and you’re cooking, I’m drinking for a good 2 – 3 hours before we even get to the meal.
Touché, yes. There’s no rhyme or reason for that. Maybe I’m AADD
Not at all…
What was that Irene? Did you say not at all?
Ah no. That’s not what I said. One day I’m going to tell everyone how long it takes you to make a pot of coffee.
Let it go Irene…just let it go.
We need to impress upon people that these are just tips. They are true stories from the trenches but not expert guidance.
We’ve learned a lot over the last 2 years and if we can save our readers some time it’s all worth it. Irene’s work is done.

WordPress Tips

We have 4 posts of WordPress tips, but we’ll be adding to it, so stay tuned. They are under the page heading above (in our main menu) ‘WordPress Tips‘, but you can also click on the links below to see them.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

The WordPress Dashboard + Adding a Post

Adding Photos to Your WordPress Blog

Adding Videos to Your WordPress Blog

One of the first things you should do is find the local WordPress group in your city – if you live in Ottawa, you can find ours at The Ottawa WordPress Group. Another great organization to help you on your blogging journey is Ladies Learning Code.

So Sydney, how many times do you think our entire blog has been inside one of our text bubbles because we messed up the code.
Never.
Liar liar pants on fire.

 

Would You Date Yourself?

Sydney, you were telling me about this Amy Schumer video where she talks about dating herself…
I was…
…and apparently you were imagining things, because we can’t find that video anywhere.
That is a mystery… it’s out there somewhere.
But it got us to wondering if we’d date ourselves.
It’s not something most people would think about.
I’m one of those people with the mixed blessing of dating someone who is 1000 times better looking than me, is charming and funny. I can barely even trump him on the funny gene.
Have you been taking drugs again? You’re one of the funniest people I know.
Thank you but you’re the funniest person we know. Anyway, it comes down to the fact that I would never date myself.
You don’t have to worry about that, you have a partner.
I would look at myself and think ‘bet she shops at Northern Reflections…wonder what it’s like to actually look like you’re a hundred years old…no lid for that pot…’
You don’t really shop at Northern Reflections do you?
I really do. Let’s talk about you now.
I’m not sure if I’d date myself. I think it would be a lot of work.
Sydney, you are totally datable. You’re beautiful and kind and talented and hilarious. There should be a line up around the block to date you.
Really? I wouldn’t notice because I never leave the house.
I would totally date you but you would never want to date me because I’m a lazy recluse. Not your type at all.
Lazy is not a word one would use to describe you. The word you’re looking for is bossy.
We’re talking about you now, not me.
See! Right there. Bossy.
I think the key to many of life mysteries is to have low expectations.
I think you’re onto something there.
And obviously that goes for dating too because I have a date.
And you’ve obviously lost your mind.
We should write our own ads and be really honest. I think the personals would be a really good read if people were honest.
Great idea. This could be interesting.
Imagine if people were completely honest in their profiles, no one would ever be disappointed.
It would be pretty cool – but you live in your head and not the real world.
I think that’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Not the first time I’ve heard that expression.
Basically we are it for each other.
That’s actually comforting.
It’s very comforting.

Here’s what a glimpse of what the online dating world revealed – it’s a scary place out there!

  • You can actually filter the results into categories like body type, marital status, drink (we would make it through that filter).
  • If you’re a cute girl, apparently you missed some school because the cute girls can’t spell and they don’t know anything about grammar or punctuation.
  • Both men and women give themselves cutesy names like ‘moonstone’, ‘dreamcometrue’ and ‘iamtheone’.
  • Most of the advertising for the sites feature women. Does that mean there are mostly men looking, or that most of the men aren’t worth looking at?

As promised, we wrote honest personal ads for ourselves and here they are.

Irene’s Personal Ad

Irene personal ad

Sydney’s Personal Ad

Looking for a clean house

We did find a video of Amy talking to Jerry Seinfeld in his show ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’. Yep, for real. Jerry has a video series where he talks to comedians and throughout the video there’s lots of shots of coffee being made. Hhhmmmm….can’t wait until we’re that famous. One of us actually grinds her own coffee (the picky perfectionist) and one of us uses a Tassimo (the lazy recluse). You can check the video out by following the link here – Amy Schumer and Jerry Seinfeld.

So do you think anyone would respond to our ads?
No – absolutely not. My ad would turn everyone off and you’re obviously looking for a gay man.
I should be so lucky.

 

The Truth About Aging

The title should be the truth about aging in Paris.
I think at this point the ‘in Paris’ is implied in all our titles. Maybe if we were in Paris there would something good about aging, because the truth is, there’s nothing good about aging. Okay, I can think of one thing. Kids, stop reading now – you won’t want to hear this.
If we lived in Paris we wouldn’t age. All the women are beautiful regardless of their age.
And they probably know that the one good thing about aging is that you don’t have to worry about birth control anymore, and that’s pretty great.
I agree it is a bonus.
But depending on your what your hormones are doing to your body, you may spend a significant amount of money on home pregnancy tests, but that’s a fair trade-off.
That’s pretty funny.
Here’s a couple of other things that happen when you age – you get first hand experience of the power of gravity.
Not looking forward to that.
I think it only happens to people who weigh more than three pounds, so it will never happen to you.
Fingers crossed.
And related to that, you get full understanding of the expression ‘went south’. As in, “when gravity assaulted me, everything went south”.
What I don’t like is this anti aging culture we live in.
I think I’m part of that culture. I tried this quiz, where you type in your postal code and find out about your personality – it’s a Canadian version of a Cosmo quiz.
Really? I’m going to try it.
According to this quiz I’m an urban senior but what I lack in income, I more than make up for in all the leisure activities I enjoy. So I’ll be moving soon – apparently you can run away from gravity. Oh wait – we urban seniors don’t run. We’re mall walkers.
I did the quiz too. Apparently I’m a young upper middle class single person with money to burn and enjoy activities such as skiing, biking and frequently hang out in bars. If these people live here where are they?
They’re busy swiping right and left on Tinder and going on a lot of first dates.
You’re probably right. I need to get out more.
I want people to know we take our blog seriously and we did a lot of research on this topic.
You Googled it.
I did and all the articles out there about how wonderful aging is, are absolute rubbish.
Give me some examples.
They talk about things like ‘your marriage is stronger’. Wait, no it’s not – it’s over –
What country do these elderly people live in?
– and ‘you’re probably in a job you love and not working as much.’
That would explain the extra 12 weeks a year I spend working in my office (without compensation).
Oh, and then there’s the fact that ‘you’re close to retirement.’
Are you sure you were looking up present day statistics and not something from the 1950’s?
‘Wearing comfortable shoes’ – another great thing about aging. I would kill to be able to wear high heels again.
I can’t listen to any more of this rubbish.
It’s too depressing. Let’s move on to something better.
We have two apropos videos we want to share with you about aging. One is a serious conversation with Francis McDormand (we love her) and the other is a hilarious video depicting the end of f**kability.
So despite our rather glum outlook on aging, we get to leave you with something that will make you laugh.

Aging gracefully? Easier said then done.

If you’re interested in the postal code quiz, you can find it here – Lifestyle Lookup.

Do you think those whisker-like facial hairs that are part of aging are to help us navigate when we loose our sight? Like cats?
What the hell are you talking about?.
Why did we do a post on aging if you apparently suffer none of the effects?
What? I didn’t hear you.
You need to remember to bring your horn everywhere.