Getting Organized: Manuals and Warranties

by Nadine on March 5, 2015

Confession: I stole this idea from I Heart Organizing

One baby step at a time. We will conquer the clutter.

First up: manuals and warranties.

The easy solution: a binder with sheet protectors, each filled with a manual, warranty, or some sort of important document that I’ll need only if I throw it away. (Things always break when you ditch their accompanying paperwork. It’s the law.)

Colourful tabs divide the binder into sections: kitchen, small appliances, tech/office and misc.

Ta-da!

And, yes, the front page is filled with take-out menus. I’m pregnant. Sometimes there are food emergencies. (Like when there’s not enough of it.)

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A Tiger Named Nadine

by Nadine on March 2, 2015

Don’t you hate it when you want to wear your ONE PAIR of comfy pants but can’t because they’re covered in mushy banana and hyena goo?

Yeah. Me too.

This hyena’s name is Eddie. He hates being cold. I love him. 

I met a tiger named Nadine on Saturday. Matthew made fast friends with her den-mate, Taj. I overheard one zookeeper tell another that “Nadine got really jealous when she saw Matthew playing with Taj. She wanted the attention.” I thought she was talking about me. Nope.

Weirdest thing: Having a zookeeper tell you to put your fingers in the tiger cage.* Apparently EVERY rule is meant to be broken, after all. 

*Seriously, though, please don’t ever do this without the careful supervision of a keeper. Unless you don’t care about those fingers. Or your life. 

Baby tigers want to play. When they’re 80 pounds at six months, you’re not allowed to indulge them. (I’m glad I’m having a human baby.)

Contessa the tiger wanted to pounce on the little kids who were in line to meet her next. Tigers are easy to read. No poker faces here. 

I also discovered that I have the eating preferences of a hyena. And/or a lemur. I, too, would eat grapes, bananas and granola out of strangers’ hands over raw chicken any day.

Apparently this super-social little lemur named Guido would make a lousy pet. Mostly because he would eventually learn that Matthew is another male and he’d feel threatened by him. His loyalty would only lie with me. Mwah-ha-ha. I’d have my very own lemur minion.

Jungle Cat World for the win.

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Always Audrey

by Nadine on February 26, 2015

Audrey was alive and well at the Oscars last Sunday, no?

Hepburn in Sabrina publicity photo; Sienna Miller in Oscar de la Renta on the red carpet

Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s publicity photo; Felicity Jones in Saint Laurent at the Vanity Fair party

P.S. My favourite Audrey-worthy look of the night. I need more chunky turquoise in my life.

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Pregnancy Survival Kit: The First 24 Weeks

by Nadine on February 25, 2015

Four months to go! I’m hardly an expert pregnant lady, but here’s what’s been getting me through this weird season of outgrowing pants and getting up to pee every. single. night.

From L to R: J. Crew sweater; Lou & Grey (Loft) tops, leggings, sweater dress

Non-maternity: I’m uncomfortable with the idea of spending a fortune on a temporary wardrobe, so I picked up a few room-to-grow pieces that will (hopefully) stick around after Baby K arrives.

From L to R: belly band, bamboo leggings, bra extenders

Grow-with-me: When you find out you’re pregnant, call a midwife, share the news with parents, then buy a belly band. It will extend the life of your wardrobe for a surprisingly long time. (I also used the elastic band method. Always carry a backup. Elastics break.)

My sister-in-law gifted me with some amazing non-maternity bamboo leggings. They’ll last for most/all of my pregnancy.

And thanks to a bra extender, I was able to wear the strapless bra from my wedding at another wedding this past weekend. It saved me having to buy an expensive bra that I’d probably outgrow in a couple of weeks.

All H&M

Maternity: H&M, thank you. (The H&M at the Eaton Centre has a maternity collection. Way more affordable and stylish than most maternity stores. And I can still wear skinny jeans!)

From L to R: S’well water bottle, best book ever, moisture!

Lifestyle items: My first significant pregnancy symptom: thirst. And since “drink all the water” is a goal for the year, I’ve been starting to carry around this bottle with me. Hydration can look cool.

My just-had-a-baby sister-in-law gave me this book. And I will probably give it to every pregnant friend from now on. It takes the fear out of childbirth. I can do this!

I know, I know. There’s nothing I can do to prevent stretch marks. If they want to show up, they will. BUT…no one told me that a growing belly is a very itchy one. It doesn’t help that I live in the world’s driest apartment. Twice-daily moisturizing is making the blossoming belly more bearable — and sometimes smell like chocolate.

Moms, what got you through your first two trimesters? (And what should I stock up on for the months to come?)

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The Academy Awards: My Picks

by Nadine on February 22, 2015

I’ll take one in size “five months pregnant,” please.

[Illustration: Paper Fashion; Dress: Carolina Herrera]

The Academy Awards are tonight.

It’s Birdman vs. Boyhood. No other film has a chance at Best Picture this year. (Sorry, Clint Eastwood. At least your film made too much money, right?)

Here are my predictions for this year’s winners.

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
Boyhood

This might just be wishful thinking, considering Birdman took the top prize at last night’s Independent Spirit Awards — and every other recent award show. But upsets and underdogs are what make these things worth watching. And Boyhood — love it or hate it — was an impressive labour of love, the likes of which we won’t see again soon. (Maybe in 12 years?)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

But if Michael Keaton wins, I will be 0% surprised. It’s too close to call.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
How To Train Your Dragon 2

I don’t think it deserves it. This should be The LEGO Movie. Most glaring nomination snub of the year.

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour

Doc recommendation: See Finding Vivian Maier. Thumbs up.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Sandra Adair, Boyhood

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Ida (Poland)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Elizabeth Yianna-Geogiou and David White, Guardians of the Galaxy

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Jóhann Jóhannson, The Theory of Everything

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Glory,” Selma (John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn)

Although I LOVED Begin Again’s “Lost Stars.”

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Production Design: Adam Stockhausen
Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
The Dam Keeper

I saw all of them. And am also cheering for Feast and A Single Life.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
The Phone Call

I saw none of them. But Jim Broadbent’s in this one. So it wins in my book.

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, American Sniper

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley, Whiplash

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher, Interstellar

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything

Apparently this is not the popular opinion. But I like to go against the flow. Sometimes. Rarely.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

How does he write this stuff? Also, props to Dan Gilroy for his Nightcrawler nomination, my second choice. So simple. So creepy.

Who are you rooting for tonight?

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Getting Organized: The Laundry Closet

by Nadine on February 20, 2015

This book was a childhood favourite. Getting organized is fun!

The January Cure left our house in a SERIOUS state of disarray.

We moved Matthew’s desk out of the “den” to start making room for a nursery. The new configuration left me office-less, so I’m typing from the couch again.

We have filing boxes and stacks of papercrap* everywhere. Pattern pieces spilling out of a cart. An unplugged record player where the crib will be. Bags of old clothing that need to be dropped off at Salvation Army. Stuff, stuff, stuff.

Making room for a tiny person — specifically, a lady baby! — takes work.

This week, I decided to tackle the simplest of organization projects: the laundry closet.

We hung up a battery operated light in there last January Cure — it used to be impossible to do laundry at night due to COMPLETE DARKNESS — but storage seemed to be a non-option. It’s just a closet.

The only space not occupied: the back of the door.

Say hello to our shoe-organizer-turned-cleaning-product-holder.

Slowly but surely we’ll tackle this mess.

At this time of the year, even when not pregnant, I crave clutter-free minimalism. You?

*The official term for all files, cards, receipts and printouts that have no home. 

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Get ‘Er Done: The January Cure

by Nadine on January 10, 2015

This is not our apartment. If it’s yours, we’d like to put in an offer. 

The saddest part of the new year: taking down the Christmas tree.

The most exciting part: Apartment Therapy’s January Cure.

(I’m cool. Don’t forget it.)

Sure, I could purge, sort and rearrange our entire place any month of the year…but I don’t.

I do, however, follow rules, lists and plans quite well.

So if someone — in this case, a website — gives me a cleaning schedule, I’ll follow it. With a smile on my face, even. (I like a good challenge.)

Now excuse me while I go clean out every single kitchen cupboard….

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The Golden Globes are this Sunday. Cue the pretty dresses!

Here’s what I expect/hope to see on the red carpet this award season:

Winter White…

…with Metallics

You heard it here first: stars are about to become the new polka dots.

B&W

If my husband were a girl, he’d probably go with the wildcat dress.

Marsala

It’s the colour of the year, folks. Embrace it.

Fire

The first dress is very pregnancy-friendly. I care about these things.

Deep Teal

I’d marry this colour if I wasn’t already wearing a diamond.

Graphic Florals

The first dress is Oscar de la Renta.

There will be a lot of Oscar de la Renta on the red carpet this season. (RIP.)

Soft Florals

Please, someone wear long sleeves. (Top left.)

Tea Length

I dare you to show off those ankles, ladies.

(Keira Knightley is pregnant. She often wears Chanel. I recommend the middle number.)

Zac Posen

I’ve been digging his silhouettes recently. Also, his Instagram account has convinced me that I need a design studio. You know, for kicks.

Sweaters and Skirts

I saved the best for last. I would wear any of these. All day. Every day.

(All images via Style.com)

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Great Expectations

by Nadine on January 1, 2015

“As to forming any plan for the future, I could as soon have formed an elephant.”

~ Pip, Great Expectations

I read this this morning and thought it was appropriate. It’s a new year…and I have no real clue as to what’s in store. Unlike poor Pip, however, I’m pretty excited about it.

[Image: AmyTylerPhotography]

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15 things in 2015

by Nadine on December 23, 2014

‘Tis the season….

1. Sew — with knits.

‘Cause I’m pregnant — and feeling brave. Stretch is needed. (I’m using the elastic band method with my jeans already. Babies certainly challenge your vanity.)

Also: Maybe sew for a man and a baby.

2. Cook — with new veggies.

Rapini, celeriac and parsnips, I’m lookin’ at you. (I should be an expert on these things. See here and here and here.)

3. ORGANIZE.

Our apartment is too small. And we’re about to add ANOTHER WHOLE PERSON. (Who will be small, but will come with stuff.) Time to get creative.

4. Get my G2.

There. I put it out there. (I’m scared.)

Also: Buy a car.

5. Budget.

I’m a freelancer. With no paid maternity leave. Let’s do this (somehow)!

6. Get life insurance — and write a will.

I also just opened an RRSP!! I’m totally a convincing grownup now.

7. Decorate.

Our bedroom is currently a lovely shade of light grey. With hints of blue-grey. It needs life.

8. Related: Create a nursery.

This one’s a doozy. We have no space. We’re too stubborn to move (yet). Wish us luck!

9. Grow herbs. And keep them alive.

On the wish list: basil, parsley, rosemary, cilantro and dill.

10. Prenatal (and postnatal) exercise.

I suck at exercise. I have no interest in it. But I’ll do it for the baby — and for bouncin’ back and relieving stress. I’m V-E-R-Y good at stress.

11. Create homemade gifts.

I want to be that person, the one who gives people lovely, thoughtful, homemade gifts at Christmas.

12. Drink more water. A lot more water. All of the water.

I’ve never been a big drinker. I blame this on my childhood fear of using public washrooms.

13. Expand my bread repertoire.

Now that I’ve got a simple French bread recipe down, it’s time for sourdough. And maybe brioche. (I miss Paris.)

14. DIY beauty.

Lip scrubs and body butter. I must make these.

15. Dry-clean my wedding dress.

MATTHEW: Send it out for dry-cleaning. Don’t do it yourself.

It has been taking up space in the front closet — wedged between winter coats and the vacuum cleaner — for over 2 1/2 years. Time to deal with it.

What’s on your list for 2015, friends?

(Here are 14 Things in 2014 and 13 Things in 2013.)

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