Voyager, Part 2

Continuing on from the post “Voyager, Part 1,” here are the rest of the pictures that will officially make up my vacation recap. Our trip was only a month and half ago, but it seems like much more. I guess that means I can start planning our next one…? Ha!

July 13, 201324

The second half of our vacation was spent entirely in London, and this is the first picture we took in the city, after coming up from the tube on our debut day of exploring. We were on our way to the Bank of England Museum, and in the background is the Royal Exchange.

July 13, 201325

St. Paul’s Cathedral in the summer sun.

July 13, 201326

I posted this picture on my personal Facebook page, and I mentioned that while I look normal, I was actually holding my breath because of the overwhelming smell of urine coming from this phone booth. Ugh!

July 13, 201327

Gazing up at Big Ben.

July 13, 201328

Taking a break on the lawn at Westminster Abbey. (We didn’t pay the admission to go inside, but thinking about it now, I kind of wish we would have. There’s always next time, right?)

July 13, 201329

About as close as you’re going to get to Buckingham Palace…

July 13, 201335

Darcy is not one for photos and posing, so I was lucky to get his (begrudging) consent!

July 13, 201330

On my list of “must-see” attractions was the Tower of London, and this is just one of many nooks and crannies that had me imagining all sorts of clandestine, treasonous meetings!

July 13, 201331

The original Tower of London was built in 1066, and many pieces still remain, such as the crumbling wall above.

July 13, 201332

If Scotland was all about Diana Gabaldon, then London was all about Philippa Gregory, and standing here where Anne Boleyn was beheaded was – again – like seeing my books come to life!

July 13, 201333

Another sunny day in London; we had great temperatures and weather!

July 13, 201334

“Tourist happily caught making off with precious royal paperwork!”

July 13, 201336

Last breakfast on the last day. Sigh.

July 13, 201337

Back at Buckingham Palace, but by myself this time. Darcy and I split up for the afternoon before meeting for dinner, and I was in search of a gift shop to get something “royal” for my mom. The palace, according to the handful of people I asked, does not have an official gift shop. I even chased down someone with a palace-logo plastic bag to ask where they got it. Turns out it was from a special exhibit. Mom, I tried!

July 13, 201339

Last dinner on the last day. Tear.

July 13, 201338

The show we went to see before packing it in the next day for our flight home. We were way up in the balcony seats but who cares where you’re sitting when wine is allowed at your seat?

July 13, 201340

Sitting on my suitcase and looking tired on the train to Gatwick Airport. So long, London!

Voyager, Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, Darcy and I went on a 10-day trip to Scotland and England back in May/June. It was our first time overseas and we had an amazing time exploring Scotland by car and London, England by “tube” and on foot. In reference to “Part 1″ of my vacation recap, Scotland has been at the top of my “must-visit” list for as long as I can remember, and this is partly because my family immigrated from Scotland way back in the 1700s, so to visit the country where my ancestors once lived was an experience like no other. I also have to admit that Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels (largely set in Scotland during the 1700s) have helped the lives of my ancestors come to life and I couldn’t wait to visit and try to imagine what the country looked like through their eyes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to drive to the northernmost areas of Scotland where the MacKays are known to have lived, but spending four days driving around the countryside and coast, from Edinburgh, to Fort William, to Inverness, to Aberdeen, was a great way to introduce myself to my roots and have me dreaming of what I will put on my itinerary for the next time I visit!

Darcy and I took something like 400 pictures over the course of our vacation, so you can imagine how difficult it was to decide which ones to post, and even with the collection below, I have probably still overdone it. OH WELL.

July 13, 2013

Waiting at Pearson in Toronto for our overnight flight to the UK!

July 13, 20131

A roadside stop.

July 13, 20132

I have to give special props to Darcy for driving (on the “wrong” side) the entire time we were in Scotland. Yes, there were a *few* times we exchanged words about directions, but there was always one thing we could agree on – the roads were freakin’ narrow! (Note the lack of a shoulder – if you went off the road, it was straight into the stone wall!)

July 13, 20133

It seemed like the scenery in Scotland changed by the hour, which is likely why we took so many pictures! 

July 13, 20134

See the steam train in the right of the frame? Darcy and I booked a ride on this train that took us through the Scottish highlands, and as an adventure that is billed on the website as one of the best railway journeys in the world, we agree that it was worth every penny!

July 13, 20135

The train ride stops at a fishing village called Mallaig, where you “alight” for about two hours before going home. While wandering around town, we happened upon our first UK pharmacy. Thumbs-up!

July 13, 20136

A quick photo-op before we got back on the train.

July 13, 20137

The first time we approached this trestle, my pictures were disastrous because so many other passengers were in the way, but on the way back, I asked if I could horn in on the space belonging to the people across from us. There are still a stranger’s hands in the picture, but at least this amazing stone structure is visible. Apparently it was used in the Harry Potter movies, which definitely gives it more cache. (I read the series recently, but have not seen the movies, so I assume the trestle was used in the scenes with the students on their way to Hogwarts…?)

July 13, 20138

New day. New roadside stop.

July 13, 20139

Different scenery yet again!

July 13, 201310

It had just finished raining, and while we also had our fair share of sun, what would a trip to Scotland be without some rain?!

July 13, 201311

This is one of our favourite pictures of the trip. We think I could be standing in front a mural!

July 13, 201312


July 13, 201313

Grass, forest, ocean, farmland, hills, valleys, and mountains – Scotland, you have it all!

July 13, 201314

This was approaching some of the strangest scenery of the trip – that black, craggy rock in the distance was otherworldly.

July 13, 201315

Minus the pavement, this is historical-fiction heaven!

July 13, 201316

We didn’t yield; we gave way.

July 13, 201317

Even going into convenience stores was a thrill for me because of all the different foodstuffs to explore!

July 13, 201318

On our second-last night in Scotland, we stayed at this AirBNB booking in Inverness. It was a great experience that ended in our best breakfast of the entire trip.

July 13, 201319

The next morning, we spent about three hours exploring the Culloden museum, battlefield, and gift shop. I have Diana Gabaldon to thank for my slight obsession with this battle, and to actually stand on the field and see my many visualizations coming to life was too fantastic to describe. (Plus, the MacKay clan was also part of the Scots’ side that fought here against the British in 1745. It gave me chills to imagine what happened here!)

July 13, 201320

Darcy was probably pretty sick of my references to Jamie Fraser, but come on!

July 13, 201321

One last look out over the battlefield before getting back on the road.

July 13, 201322

We stopped in at a couple distilleries along the whiskey trail but brought home only one full-sized bottle. I shake my fist at you, luggage restrictions!

July 13, 201323

Our last picture taken in Scotland was one of the “Granite City,” Aberdeen. So long, Scotland, it was a blast!


It’s official – I am finished school! I had my last day of placement on Friday and drove home to North Bay on Saturday morning. It was a sunny day, the roads were clear, and I had the music cranked the entire way (Thriller was a particular hit). It feels great to have this course behind me, and while I still have provincial licensing exams to write in the coming months, the largest part of this wild and crazy journey is complete! Here are some pictures that take you through my typical day in Toronto, specifically my last 24 hours in the city:

March 17, 20131

Welcome to my bus stop!

March 17, 20133

Here I am, wearing my usual outerwear uniform (I was a constrained traveller and only packed two coats. How did I survive?)

March 17, 20132

Here comes the ol’ 43! Hop on up!

March 17, 20135

Wexford Heights Pharmasave in Scarborough, where you could find me toiling away from 9 to 5 for the past four weeks.

March 17, 201310

Recognize the things in this locker?

March 17, 20137

Oh! Home time! Which means it was time for me to wait for the bus again, in the shelter across the street from the pharmacy. Pretty convenient!

March 17, 20139

It’s my stop!

March 17, 2013

Almost home, which was way up to my brother’s place on the 28th floor in the tower on the left.

March 17, 20134

Going up!

March 17, 201311

I spent many evenings in that armchair, either watching TV or reading on the interwebs, and while it looks cramped in here, that’s because my brother graciously moved his desk out of his spare bedroom so I could blow up my trusty air mattress. I also spent almost every night in the kitchen because my brother is a 24-year-old bachelor whose cupboards are filled with pre-packaged junk I spent every day trying to convince him to ditch. I, on the other hand, am his wizened and spiritual 30-year-old sister.

March 17, 20138

Ta-da! The staff at the pharmacy presented me with this basket before I left for the day. Guess what? I’m the best. HA.


My brother took this photo with his phone so my mom could see us about to start our game of Racko. I bugged Darcy every night to play the one and only board game in his house, but he wouldn’t give in until my last night. What a loser.

March 17, 201312

Judging by the writing on the wall and the booth’s motif, who can guess where my brother and I went for breakfast before I left on Saturday?

March 17, 201314

All set to go with jacket removed, phone on the seat, green tea at the ready, and water for when my singing/screeching was too much for even me.

March 17, 201313

Almost there!

March 17, 201315

Home again, where Darcy had these flowers waiting for me. What a nice gent.

Goodbye Kitchener, Hello Toronto!

Remember when I was telling you I was heading down to Kitchener to start the first part of my student placement? Well, that was FIVE WEEKS ago! How is this possible? I just finished the first week at the second (and last) portion of my required student-placement periods, so before I spend three more weeks in Toronto, gathering up more memories with friends (and sure, some more pharmacy experience too), here are some pictures that give you a glimpse into what I saw every day on my way to the hospital…

February 22, 20136

Every morning, I picked up my name tag from this pile of odds and ends on my dresser. I also always took a quick glance at my schedule for the day, to see who I was working with and where I was stationed.

February 22, 20135

I tried to get a decent picture in these things, but it just wasn’t going to happen…and it won’t happen…for anyone…ever.

February 22, 20134

Sheri and her husband provided me with room and board for four weeks, and this is their home that they so graciously let me invade. Thank you, Sheri and Matt – I had a great time with you both! (I stayed in the room with the windows on the right of the front door.)

February 22, 20132

This is the view that greeted me every morning on my walk to work. Considering I usually had to be at the hospital between 7 am and 7:30 am, you might think I was scared of the dark cemetery I had to walk through. Not so. I was more terrified of the unleashed dogs who were being walked by their owners. 

February 22, 20131

The pursed-lips look I put on when I heard the echo of a dog barking.

February 22, 20133

Almost out!

February 22, 2013

And here we are! This is the site of Grand River Hospital, where I spent a month learning about everything to do with hospital pharmacy. I was just starting to comfortably find my way from about four very specific points in the hospital (the pharmacy, the ER, the cafeteria, and the water fountain) when it was suddenly time to leave!

Kitchener-Waterloo, however, will always be the place where I discovered I can still play volleyball (I played with Sheri’s team every Monday night); the place where Sheri, Matt, his brother Mike, and I spent two nights and three days in a house with no heat (a long story that culminated in unnecessary trips to the mall and triple layers of clothing worn to bed); the place that was close enough to Hamilton and Cambridge to allow me to see Erin and and my friend Linda for multiple visits; the place in which I was introduced to Menchie’s frozen yogurt; the place where I discovered many great bakeries; the place where Vincenzo’s is (which is a grocery store I need to shop at every day of my life, if only for the desserts); the place where I saw the movies Flight, Looper, and Argo, and lost my leopard-print flannel scarf (yes, those last two events are connected); the place where I watched Beyonce’s halftime show; the place where I made homemade granola bars for the first time; the place where I cooked Susie’s pancakes for Sheri and Matt for Pancake Tuesday; the place where I finished the Harry Potter series and started The Hunger Games trilogy; and, best of all, the place where I reconnected with my long-time friend Sheri!

February 22, 20137

Yep, it was cold in there.

What will my time in Toronto bring…?

The ultimate in grab-bag blogging

Seriously?! May 5 was really the last time I posted on De Facto Redhead? As Kenan Thompson says on SNL, what up wit dat?

As I mentioned before the summer started, I was about to begin a new chapter in my life, and that included moving to North Bay from Burlington and beginning a Pharmacy Technician program that would have me walking out the door with my diploma in less than a year. Accelerated programs are no joke, and what is normally taught in two years is being crammed into my short 44-week stint back in college. I honestly do not know how it’s November 3! The days have flown by since I started school on May 15, but things are going to be winding down in the next couple of months because starting in mid-January, I go out on the first of my two four-week placements. And then…freedom! Yes, I have provincial exams and licensing to complete, but WHATEVER. Phase 1 of this new adventure will be complete! Even the fact that I have the time this weekend to pen something for the blog is miraculous, but it’s a sign of things to come. Friends 30 and over beware: a post-secondary education the second time around is not the same as when you were a young 20-something. There are real bills to pay, there are meaningful relationships to maintain, there are homes to clean, there’s grocery shopping to do, there’s a yard to fix up, there are long-distance friendships that require long-distance visits, and many other life events that just, well, happen.

On that note, here is what my life has consisted of over the past six months (click on the pictures for a larger view!):

It’s starting to get dog-eared, which is a sure sign of overuse!

I could hardly believe it – I only had to paint one room in the entire house because all the other main walls were painted when we moved in!

Darcy bought himself a fishing kayak this year, and when he went out on his maiden voyage, it was also one of the first times we did some exploring of the North Bay area.

Mid-July, Darcy and I went to our friend Caroline’s farm and this day has remained one of my favourites of the summer.

This was another great day – my long-time friend Sheri’s bachelorette party in Kitchener!

My mom came to North Bay for the night in August to take me out for dinner for my 30th birthday, and this what I wore.

For my birthday, my mom and dad bought me tickets to see The Bangles and B-52s at Casino Rama in Orillia. Before the concert, Darcy and I mingled with the locals in a pub…and by “mingled,” I mean “drank wine.”

My family and I had to endure bad news twice this summer. First, my Grammie passed away in August and second, my Nannie Minnie passed away in September. Deaths bring families together, though, and while I couldn’t go to PEI for both funerals, I did fly out for my Grammie’s in August and the picture above is of me, my parents, and my brother in my Grammie and Grampie’s backyard.

I stayed in PEI for a week with Darcy and my family, and we all had a wonderful time together. This picture is of me and my dad at the top of a lighthouse.

After I got back from PEI, it was straight into a golf tournament for work. I had never golfed in my life, save for a few misguided swings in the company of my dad, so completing an entire 18 holes was a major accomplishment!

September 1 was Sheri’s wedding, and I had the honour of being part of it – I read a short piece Sheri had selected and you can see it in this picture in my left hand. This day was HOT and to my benefit, my reading also acted as a fan.

This shot of Peter, Susie, Nate, me, and Darcy is frame-worthy, not only because we look so happy, but also because of the memories! There are too many hilarious things to remember from this night!

This is in early October, only about one month after Sheri’s wedding, and it was hard to believe how much the weather had changed. Fall was suddenly upon us! This picture is from a day trip Darcy and I took on the Thanksgiving weekend; we drove around the Temiskaming shores and ventured into Quebec.

My brother was with Darcy and I for Thanksgiving this year. It was just a cozy dinner for three because my parents were still in PEI after my Nannie Minnie’s funeral.

This is me with my niece and nephew Avery and Ethan. Darcy and I went to Petroila/Sarnia for a weekend in October to visit his family, and the visit included a cross-country meet. So. Many. Kids.

My friends came up to North Bay over the Halloween weekend and instead of pre-planned costumes, we went with numbers and costumes drawn out of a hat, which resulted in…this. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard.

I did, however, end up wearing a costume to work and to hand out the Halloween candy. Spooky!

We had 29 trick-or-treaters knock on our door this year, and those 29 kids equalled about three bags of leftover, unopened Halloween candy. I still had the receipt so I could have returned it…but that didn’t happen.

It was a happy Halloween around our house. Boo!


Back from the land of Anne

Me, circa 1989, celebrating one of my many PEI birthdays.

Hello, and welcome back to De Facto Redhead land! On Tuesday, I returned from an eight-day trip to Prince Edward Island (pictures to come!), and even though it literally rained at least once every day I was there, I didn’t care one bit. My family is from PEI, and it has a special place in my sentimental heart, so each time I visit and get to see my extended family, as well as reminisce over childhood memories, I always come home happy, but a little sad as well.

The week has flown by since I arrived back in Burlington on Tuesday night, and the past three days have left me signed up for a half marathon in July, in Hamilton at Gate of India for dinner with Darcy, Caroline, her boyfriend Alex, and Erin, doing a mountain of post-vacation laundry, spontaneously trying a new restaurant  (Local Eatery & Refuge) with Darcy, trying a recipe from my new Chef Michael Smith cookbook (thanks, Sandra!),  bemoaning the unfortunate cancellation of the plans Ami and I had for this weekend (we’re rescheduled for June), and trying to catch up on all the TV I missed last week (James Durbin voted off American Idol?!?! Why?!?!). I also actually left the house today, and I tried to take some outfit pictures, but they didn’t turn out. My close-ups were all right, though, and while I attempted the no-smile blogger look, I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it:

Serious business. (Shirt, Smart Set; sunglasses, H&M)

It was a sunny, warm day, and I was happy about going out and driving with the windows down!

All little bit this, a little bit that

Christmas is coming!

Yes, Christmas is, indeed, coming – in exactly 39 days! I have started my Christmas shopping, but since I obviously can’t reveal my purchases, I took the above picture of some Christmas gift tags I bought this year. Just over a week ago, Erin asked me to go with her to a holiday-shopping open house at Lulu & Lavigne Home Studio, in Hamilton, and with the lure of free cupcakes making me tear up Highway 403 in a fit of a blinding anticipation, there was no way I was missing out. My only purchase was the tags at 40% off, but I can say with confidence that Sweetness Bakery gained a new client because I ate two of their mini cupcakes at the event, and then bought four full-sized confections this past weekend (more on that later!).

Want some?

Staying on the baked-goods track, I made this banana-chocolate loaf (I hate that word) last week, and it was amazing! The recipe said to wrap the loaf overnight, and then cut into it the next day, but that author was crazy to think anyone (read: me) could resist something that looked like this, hot out of the oven. I sold all my bakeware at my yard sale in Edmonton, and I just recently acquired new pans, etc., so this loaf was me, back in baking action. Here’s what my counter looked like mid-bake:

You can check out the recipe for this Two-Tone Banana Bread here.

I got to enjoy the last piece of the bread on Friday, the day after Darcy left for the weekend to visit his friend in Houston, Texas. Yes, I had five days and four nights to myself, and I made them count. The first adventure of the weekend was actually getting Darcy to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which is in Cheektowaga, New York. The flight on Air Tran was so cheap in comparison to WestJet or Air Canada, there wasn’t really a question about choosing this airport/airline, so after getting through the border safely (I always feel so nervous!), we were early, so we went to eat at a local eatery Darcy had looked up – Charlie the Butcher. It was a great lunch!

The view at Charlie the Butcher.

The food at Charlie the Butcher: Beef on Weck, potato wedges, sweet potato fries, and a hot dog with a German name that I can’t remember. And yes, I know my hot dog looks pathetic, but the condiments were at the table, and I put them on after the picture was taken, OK?

After I dropped Darcy off at the airport, I made my way back toward the border, where I stopped at an outlet mall. I bought an olive-green corduroy skirt at Old Navy, but who cares about that when you can shop at Charlotte Russe! Oh my God, has anyone else shopped here before? I had only heard of it on the What I Wore Today blog, but didn’t know anything about it. The sparkle in this place almost made me pass out, and I felt like I didn’t know where to look because I wanted EVERYTHING! The clothes and accessories were also reasonably priced, similar to Forever 21, but all I took away with me was a tank top with metallic chains hanging on the front of it, and a bronzed metal necklace with brown feathers attached to it. I needed to restrain myself because Christmas is coming up, after all, but I will see you again, Charlotte Russe.

So this all happened on Thursday, and on Friday, I went on a thrifting extravaganza, going to every second-hand store in Burlington. I had such a great time, and I found not only Pyrex for my collection (you can check out my purchases on the Pyrex Collective here), but I also bought a creamy-coloured angora-and-wool winter coat with a fur collar at Goodwill for $14.99, a black cross-body purse at Goodwill for $4.99, and three belts of varying golds and blacks at the Burlington Humane Society second-hand shop for $1 each. Yay! These purchases, in combination with my U.S. purchases (Old Navy skirt, $5.48; Charlotte Russe tank and necklace, $16.80), bring my Tally it Up spending to $634.82.

On Saturday, I made my way into Toronto, where I met up with Caroline at her place. We went out for dinner at Ferro, where we split the Spinacce “insalate” and I had the Gnocchi Alla Napoli for my main. Oh, God, it was so good! Caroline, I’m coming to see you again today, OK?

After dinner, we had a drink of Baileys back at the apartment, and settled in to watch the second Sex and the City movie. We also settled in to…our Sweetness Bakery cupcakes! I told you I would mention them again, and here they are:

How amazing do these look?

Here we are, fake-eating the s’mores cupcakes. We demolished Caroline’s couch with their crumbs immediately after this picture.

That pretty much brings an end to my weekend, as Sunday I went out to the Freelton Antique Mall for a browse, but didn’t get anything for myself except for a couple postcards I plan on framing, and then on Monday it was time to head back to the U.S. of A. to pick up Darcy at the airport. Luckily, I had these friendly woodland creatures to guide me in times of crisis:

We had a serious chat about stores in the area, and one of them told me to go Hobby Lobby. I went forth with their blessings, and I discovered ample bounty. Thanks, Mr. Deer! (Along with Charlotte Russe, I now also love Hobby Lobby.)

Next up, I am heading to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo this weekend!

Part 2 – Junkin’ Jewels

As promised, here is Part 2 of the junkin’-junket weekend of vintage treasures:

So obviously these are not “vintage treasures,” but the stop at the St. Jacobs farmers’ market took up at least a couple hours, which therefore meant ample time to maximize my purchasing power. Darcy and I cooked up the homemade pasta tonight, and it was good, good, good.

This is my one and only purchase from the Stratford Antique Warehouse. It’s a reproduction of a map of Edmonton from 1907 that was co-published by the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and the University of Alberta in 1979. There were only 500 made, and I got one of them for $15, but why was it in Stratford? How did it get there? So many questions!

I spotted this sweater at a super-cute vintage clothing shop in St. Marys called Pass it On. It wasn’t priced, so I tried it on thinking I wouldn’t be able to buy it because it had this tag and seemed expensive:

When I was changing back into my clothes, I told my mom to go find out how much the sweater was – I thought it might be about $50, but the answer was $4.50! SOLD. I can’t wait to pair this sweater with leggings and boots!

I also spotted this pin, which wasn’t priced, either. It ended up being $2. SOLD. The owner of Pass it On noticed that it was a Sarah Coventry brooch, which is a brand I had never heard of before, but apparently there is a lot of this brand of jewelry out there because it used to be sold during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s at home parties a la Tupperware, PartyLite, etc. This information prompted me to check out my other brooches when I got home, to see if I had anything else SC, and just didn’t know it:

Nope – no other Sarah Coventry stuff in this collection!

This was my final purchase at Pass it On. For $5, I thought this overnight Jetliner bag was a steal!

I love decorating at Christmastime, and this record will make for a nice decor item, as well as satisfy another holiday obsession of mine – listening to Christmas carols! I bought this record for $1 at Eclectic Treasure in St. Marys.

On to Day 2 of the junket. This broom looks a lot bigger than it really is – it’s only about two-and-a-half-feet long. I have decided I am going to decorate my bathroom with an antique theme, so this is only one of the perfect pieces I found over the weekend. Lucky me, everything was half price at this particular vendor’s booth at the Aberfoyle Antique Market, and I bought this broom for $11.

Also bought, for $1, at the same booth, was this hanger. My coveted fur cape would like nice hanging on it. *Tear*

My first officially purchased Pyrex bowl! This was bargained down to $6 at Aberfoyle, and it’s the Horizon Blue pattern (with my St. Jacobs Bosc pears sitting pretty inside it!).

My second piece of newly acquired Pyrex! Technically, I didn’t purchase this because my mom bought it for me as a gift (for $10.95 at the Freelton Antique Mall), but it is part of my wares from the weekend, so I thought I would show it off anyway. This is the Friendship pattern, and I have decided to collect this size (two-and-a-half quart) of Pyrex bowl to place in a lovely display on the top of my kitchen cupboards.

Here is my collection of Pyrex bowls – the middle one is part of a three-piece set that was my great-grandmother’s. It’s the Butterfly Gold 1 pattern. Wheeeee!

Also purchased at Freelton was this vintage washboard – for only $5! I had been considering buying one earlier at Aberfoyle for $17, so I’m happy that I waited.

Another purchase at Freelton, and another purchase for this year’s Christmas decor. It was $3, and there were two, so my mom and I both bought one. We opened them, though, and one of them smelled OLD. Junkers and thrifters, you know the smell.

The last item purchased at Freelton, and, coincidentally, the last bought item of the day. This flour sifter was $3, which I thought was a great price. My mom bought one, too, but hers was in better shape.

And that brings me to the end of my buying bonanza. In there are some purchases for the Tally it Up total (the sweater, bag, and brooch), and I also bought an umbrella on the weekend at Wal-Mart for $14.68, so that brings my Tally thus far to $589.56. It would be higher if I had the fur cape…

A junkin’ weekend

My mom came down to Burlington to visit me this past weekend, and “junkin’” is a new word we discovered on Saturday and whose meaning is clear when I tell you all we did for two days was visit antique malls and Value Villages everywhere from Stratford to Toronto. While we were on our way into a Liquidation World in Mississauga, I yelled at my mom, “We’re on a junkin’ junket, y’all!” and that was pretty much the tone from Friday evening to Monday morning. Here’s what a junkin’ junket looks like, from beginning to end:

My car’s tires are known by all to leak air, so here I am, in a familiar pose to everyone who has travelled with me.

Here we are, back at the St. Jacobs farmers’ market. The picture doesn’t accurately show how HUGE these carrots were!

What if there was a miniature Jack climbing up these brussel-sprout stalks? What if…

Johnny Appleseed would like this picture.

I discovered I might love kettle corn a little too much because I think it made me ill on Saturday night. I believe this because I ate it before lunch, after lunch, before supper, after supper, and before bed, and I have felt ill after eating it in the past, but I didn’t want to believe I needed a self-imposed kettle-corn limit.

About to enter the Stratford Antique Warehouse. My mom and I thought it was high-priced in here, and I only bought one thing.

I wanted to buy this so badly, but it was $55, and I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that. Since I left the store on Saturday afternoon, I have thought about this fur cape constantly. Non-buyer’s remorse!

Waiting for lunch at Pathway Fish & Chips in St. Marys. We didn’t know what we were in for…

…Fish and chips wrapped in newspaper! This was one of the best meals all weekend.

Can you spot me among the clutter at Eclectic Treasure in St Marys?

The wallpaper in the front hall of the Freelton Antique Mall, a.k.a. the best antique mall my mom says she’s ever been in

I also regret not buying this Pyrex warmer set. My mom has a new obsession with Pyrex after reading this article in the Toronto Star, and she has been busy seeking out where to find it, cheap (this set was only $17!). Her zeal effortlessly rubbed off on me this weekend, and I am also hooked on a new blog she recommended, The Pyrex Collective.

This item presents an odd mixture of non-buyer’s remorse and practicality. I REALLY wanted to buy this (why it was only $18, I have no idea!), but I have absolutely nowhere to put it, and it doesn’t match with any of the colours in my apartment. I think this sense of futility has placated me in a way the pass-up of the fur cape has not, which could have had infinite uses. I WANT THAT CAPE!!

Here is the upper-level view of a portion of the Freelton Antique Mall. What treasures to be found here!

And there you have it – Part 1 of a storyboard chronicle that details my weekend with my mom. Part 2 will be revealed tomorrow, when I show you my wares. I wish I was gearing up to display my fur cape. But I won’t be. Because I didn’t buy it. Because I’m DUMB! Argh!!!

Grab-bag blogging

I haven’t blogged since the brandSampler post, and even before I wrote that one, I had other things I wanted to share with you, from antique and farmers’ markets, to new outfits, to Tally it Up purchases. So, before this long weekend gets started and I have more even more things to write about, let me cleanse my blogging soul! I give you:

1) A trip to St. Jacobs with my parents, who were visiting for the weekend. The farmers’ market was incredible, and I’m going again in two weeks when my mom is coming down for a visit. It’s amazing that none of these pictures needed to be touched up – the colours really were that bright!

My bounty, clockwise from top: kettle corn popcorn; potato bread; Ontario garlic cloves; homemade pasta noodles; dill; roasted red pepper and garlic jelly; and Ontario Royal Gala apples (my favourite kind!).

I also bought this vintage food scale. I tried to barter, was shot down, paced around the market frozen with indecision, and then conceded defeat, after which I lovingly cradled my scale in my arms. Scaley was saved from the market orphanage.

2) A new camera (on sale at Best Buy for $119)! And here is one of the flattering first shots Darcy decided to take:

Darcy and I had just finished putting together our couch (OK, he put it together and I watched), and visitors were due to show up any moment. I was frantically cleaning the rug with lint roller. I’m glad he had time to stop and take a picture.

3) My friend Jen’s bachelorette party last Saturday, after the lint-roller escapade. Here is what I wore:

Shoes: Guess via The Bay; tights, Fruit of the Loom; skirt, H&M; jacket, KensieGirl; clutch, Aldo; brooch, bracelet, and earrings, vintage; vintage fur collar, Aberfoyle Antique Market.

My friend Susie absolutely hates this fur, but, really, it’s all I want to talk about when it comes to this outfit. I bought it a couple weeks ago at the Aberfoyle Antique Market (thanks for telling me about this place, Ami!) from a woman who used to have a vintage shop in Windsor, but had to close it due to lack of business. I snatched this collar up as soon as I spied it, and haven’t been so thrilled with a purchase for quite a while. It was priced at $10, I offered $8, and she accepted. Whoop! I also bought a vintage clear-rhinestone-and-silver ring for $5. (Those things, plus a necklace I bought through Aldo Accessories online for $11.28 equals $24.28 to add to the Tally it Up total. That brings me to $561.88. Only three months to go!)

I was also quite proud of my new hairdo, which Susie didn’t have time to take any pictures of because we thought we were going to be late for Jen’s party. But, after reading Orchid Grey’s tutorial on how to do “Heidi braids,” I decided it wasn’t a style that was out of the question for a non-hair person such as myself. And it’s a good thing I put some effort into my hair, otherwise I would have been completely stood up by the hairdo of the party’s surprise guest:

Welcome, Rod Stewart!

ALL of that pretty much covers what I’ve been up to, plus the constant home decoration that’s still going on, but is nearing completion. That’s another post for another day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!