A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings

A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Saturday was a beaaauuutiful day! My brother Ryan and sister-in-law Deanna came to visit us, and we didn’t even wear coats! We went to Allan Gardens first, then through to Nic’s lab, and Kensington Market. A plethora of pictures from Allan Gardens will come out soon.

A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Nic gave Ryan and Deanna a tour of his lab at UofT, which was cool for them. I’m still only getting an understanding of his Master’s, and he’s almost done!

A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

We walked through to Kensington Market and looked in a bunch of stores. These pillows are at the Blue Banana Market.

A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

We stopped for drinks at Trinity Common, and my ceasar was perfect.

A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

A Sunny Saturday in Toronto with Siblings - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Dinner at Pho Hung in Chinatown.

A Sephora Haul

A Sephora Haul - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Last week I went into the Yorkdale Sephora to pick up samples of foundations since I’m almost out of my Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Foundation. I knew that I wanted to get foundation from a brand that doesn’t do testing on animals, is good for sensitive skin, and preferably vegan.

Nancy, who works for Tarte, helped me out. We tested the Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation and the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage foundation. I wore the Cover FX foundation for the rest of that day, and then used my sample on Friday. I decided I liked the Tarte foundation more. Also, Nancy was really great, and I had fun with her.

Why did I order it online? Because Sephora has coupons online for extra things-in addition to the foundation, I got some point perks, 3 samples (they threw an extra one in), and a lip gloss for having spent $25+.  

A Sephora Haul - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

The Estee edit by Estee Lauder – Dissolve the Drama 2-in-1 makeup remover + cleanser
tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour full coverage foundation in “light-medium sand”
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads 
laura mercier lip glace in “bare baby”
Dr. Dennis Gross alpha beta peel original formula
bareMinerals marvelous Moxie lip gloss  in “rebel” 
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-crease eye shadow primer 
Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm

A Sephora Haul - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

bareMinerals “Rebel”
Laura Mercier “Bare baby”
On my nails: Essie “Turquoise and Caicos

For the lip glosses, I had kinda hoped that with the $25 coupon I would have gotten a choice on colour, because I want to try a more brown-y pink lip gloss, but that’s fine. I’ll just go to the drugstore and find something.

tarte “light-medium sand” – I’m not sure if in the store they had one that was separate for “light sand” because Nancy said I was the lightest colour. I think this one is dark enough that it’ll still work for me a while into summer, but it says 12 months use-by on the back.

A Sephora Haul - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Check back here at the end of the month to see if any of them make it into my favourites!

What I Read in March #whatjanessareads (18 Books)

For the last day of the month, what else would I post than what I read?
I got through several more of the Canada Reads books (including the one that won!) as well as some more relaxing ones. As usual, most of my reading was on my KOBO, so the picture is pretty barren.

Check out my Goodreads 2016 challenge here! I’m waayyy ahead of the 100 I pledged to read. Nice.
What I read in February
What I read in January
What I read in 2015 (200 books in one year)

Not sure what to read? The Novel Cure gives you suggestions based on your mood. Homesick? Travelling on a train? They’ve got you covered.

My Top 3 Books in March:
“Mr. Churchill’s Secretary”
“Jesus Feminist”
“The Heart Goes Last”

The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading: An Encyclopedia of Independent Living” Nicole Faires
I bought this book several years ago while I was working at camp. It teaches so many insane things: how to deliver calfs (and even human babies), how to check your soil, making soap, hunting… It knows everything. After many years of perusing, I have finally finished it. I’m very excited to use the gardening section this summer with my friends in our “community” garden.

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary” Susan Elia Macneal 
During WWII, Maggie who is a British and American citizen, moves to England to sell her grandmother’s house. She happens to be a math genius who has to defer her PhD at MIT for a year because of it. She ends up working as a secretary for Mr. Churchill, the new Prime Minister. Maggie gets involved in some IRA and Nazi conspiracies as well as a murder or two. Seriously great book, the whole time I had no idea what would happen.

Leviticus NIV
Probably one of the most boring reads in the Bible, but at the very last chapter in my student NIV Bible from Zondervan, it explained that God was giving them laws so that they could reclaim the identity as his chosen people. The Israelites had been slaves of Egypt for 400 years, so they now needed their own identity. When you think about it that way, it’s kinda cool. It also shows God caring about every aspect of their lives.

All the Broken Things” Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
One of the Canada Reads books for 2016. Probably my second favourite of the 7/15 I’ve read so far. It’s a super weird story: Bo is a refugee from Vietnam during/after the Vietnam War with his mom and sister who has been severely affected by Agent Orange (chemical warfare used on Vietnam). He ends up being a bear wrestler for various fairs in Ontario.

Life-Changing Magic: A Journal: Spark Joy Every Day” Marie Kondo
So many YouTubers read Marie Kondo’s book and said it was the best thing that happened to them. Since I’m a hoarder and not too neat, I figured I’d check it out. Her basic concept is to reduce your personal items, and then find places for everything. For each item, it needs to “spark joy,” otherwise you can’t keep it. While I won’t be getting rid of everything, I did take some of the ideas to heart and am in the process of sorting through everything.

The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco” Laura DiSilverio
New mystery series focused on a mystery book club. The main character is a party planner who is hired to plan her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, and one of her friends gets murdered. It was alright.

The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel” Patti Laboucane-Benson
The one graphic novel in Canada Reads. It discusses issues faced by a young Aboriginal man in Alberta. It’s pretty upsetting at times when they include stats of abuse and violence, but don’t worry, it has a semi-happy ending. Very dark.

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women” Sarah Bessey
I tried to read this once before and the library reservation ended, so I didn’t get to read it. This is a phenomenal book which details why Sarah is a feminist (because Jesus was one, and she is a Christian) and how we should be feminists if we are Christian. She has lots of really great interpretations of the Bible.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” Alan Bradley
This book is pretty funny. Flavia is a young girl in the 1950s who comes across a murdered man in her garden. She is a very advanced chemist, sassy, and somehow solves the mystery. I’m excited to read more of the series.

Gospel of Matthew – NIV
Reading Leviticus was divided up through Matthew, which was a good way to handle the depressing rules in Leviticus.

The Illegal” Lawrence Hill
This book won Canada Reads. I still like “Station Eleven” and “All the Broken Things” more, but I’ll have to watch the debates to see why the book won. It’s set present time and follows a boy from the made-up country of Zantoroland. He becomes a marathon runner to escape the political danger in his country, and ends up having to hide from authorities in the Freedom State, which represents any democratic country.

The Martian” Andy Weir
I loved the movie, which I watched in theaters. Somehow the movie followed the book exactly, so I didn’t actually enjoy it that much. Especially the math. Anyway, the book is about Mark Watney, who gets marooned on Mars, his attempts to survive life on Mars, and NASA’s attempts to recover him.

The Pirate’s Wish” Cassandra Rose Clarke
Still a really weird series. Ananna the pirate and Naji the assassin are still trying to break the Unbreakable curse that has linked them together. They travel to mythical islands and meet some royalty. I had kind of expected there to be a third book, but it just ended. It was fine.

Landing Gear” Kate Pullinger
This book confused me. Another of the Canada Reads books. Basically the book follows the crazy intertwinings of characters following the volcanic eruption in 2010. There were some crazy moments but it wasn’t the most interesting.

Murphy’s Law” Rhys Bowen
First in a series about Molly Murphy who escapes from Ireland to America after committing defensive murder of her attempted rapist. She ends up posing as the mother of two kids who are going over to America since the mother is sick and wouldn’t be allowed past Ellis Island. While they’re on the island, a man she argues with on the boat is murdered. Molly goes badass on us.

Dead and Gone” Charlaine Harris
Number 9 in True Blood. The werewolves and other shifters “come out” on television. Of course, this causes even more upset. Sookie’s pregnant sister-in-law is murdered and strung up on a cross. Is it just regular murder? Or a hate crime?

Sweetland” Michael Crummey
The most boring Canada Reads book I’ve read so far. Basically Sweetland lives on an island off Newfoundland that the government is trying to empty. They’re paying off everyone to leave the island. Everyone agrees except old Sweetland, who tries to fake his own death and stay there.

The Heart Goes Last” Margaret Atwood
Love Atwood. In this post-modern book, Charmaine and Stan agree to be a part of a social experiment where half their time they live in a perfect town and have jobs, and the other half they are in jail. Obviously, it’s weird. Stan falls in love with the elusive woman who lives in his apartment while he is in jail. That’s a problem.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

For Easter this year we got to go back to Ottawa. Because of the freezing rain Thursday night, our friend drove us in on Friday morning. We arrived too late to go to the Good Friday service, so we went to a GoodLife near my parents’ to deadlift. (Yeah, not going back to that club, it’s overrun with bros who wear cutoff Popeye’s shirts and improper form.)

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

We had a relaxing day with my parents talking, colouring, crosswording, reading, and “watching” March Madness (I went on Pinterest and probably read more).

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Saturday morningwe got to go see Kelsey (and her dogs!) then went to get coffee.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Where would we go for coffee except Suzy Q’s for doughnuts! I had the carrot cake doughnut, the one in the middle. It was phenomenal.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

It was so great to catch up with Kelsey and show her both our wedding album (she was my maid of honour, and we haven’t seen her since I made the album) and the 2015 album.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Saturday afternoon Dad went for a bike ride, so Mom, Nic and I went to the Greenbelt for a nice walk. The sun was so bright, so the snow was slowly melting.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Poor squirrel was being chased down. He had to run for his life.
Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

A bag of seeds had obviously exploded, and this chipmunk was LOVING it.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

We drove to Nic’s parents for dinner, and then went to Hogsback Falls with them for a nice walk. The sunset was beautiful.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Nic wore an adorable bowtie for Easter Sunday.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

This is Flopsy. One of the youth brought his adorable bunny to church, and Mom and I were so happy to hold a bunny again.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Gypsy hated being held like that, but that’s the only way Flopsy likes it!

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Happy Easter from us! We had Easter lunch at Nic’s parents’, and my parents came over. It’s so convenient having our parents live in the same city, and be friends! #InLawGoals

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Sunday after my parents left, we went for a walk along the Ottawa river with Nic’s parents. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. SO bright.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

What a wonderful walk and a wonderful weekend!

DIY Lamps

In third year of university, I made this adorable dinosaur lamp. I bought a lighting kit from Home Depot, found some plastic dinosaurs at the thrift store, picked up gold spray paint, a lampshade from the thrift store, and used a scroll saw to create the wooden base. Making a regular lamp is obviously a little easier (but make sure to read the instructions to do the electrical parts!) because there’s less drilling and sawing etc.

The awesome thing about making your own lamp is that you can have whatever base you want: I’ve seen people drill holes into piles of books (aaagh how!?), mason jars, pieces of driftwood… The sky is the limit. Every day that I look at my lamp I feel super proud because I made it.
Side note: Nic’s not super fond of it, though he does think it’s cool that I made it. I told him that once we have kids it’ll be a dinosaur-themed nursery so that I can keep making gold dinosaur DIYs! (My parents even made me gold dinosaur bookends the year after I made this!)

Here are some YouTube tutorials to give you some tips on how to make whatever lamp you want to make! You can also check out my “Lights” board on Pinterest.

 DIY lamp Terrarium – Live Your Style
This one is the most similar to how I put my lamp together. You’ll notice that for the height of my lamp I have some plastic tubing (probably leftover from a plumbing project) that was the correct width for the base of the lightbulb to sit on. This means that you don’t see any of the wires except the ones coming out of the base.

Copper Tripod Lamp – The Sorry Girls
I hope to make this or something similar to it when we get a bigger place, because it’s so art deco! These two girls are so great at their explanations for their DIYs, and super creative.

DIY Concrete Lamp by Rachel Aust
Rachel has an example of when you wouldn’t even be using a lampshade. Her style is super cool and minimal, so that’s always an option.

A Mini Spring Haul

This Saturday Nic and I headed down to the mall at Keele to pick up some things including bike brakes at Canadian Tire. For the fun things, I picked up a new colouring book, which will be a lot better at de-stressing and more fun than the one I bought in September. Nic bought me this adorable “Some Bunny Loves You” mug from Home Sense, and it’s so cute! There’s also a cake carryer and Nature’s Gate Chamomile Conditioner
Wouldn’t you just LOVE to have those plants? They would just liven up everything. 

That mug is just so adorable.

My babies are coming up!

Marble Easter Egg DIY

Marble Easter Egg DIY - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
Do you love Easter and Easter eggs? I do! Keep reading to find a super cool way to decorate your eggs this year!
Marble Easter Egg DIY - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

I spent several days looking at different and cool ways to do Easter eggs. As you can see on my Pinterest board, you can use natural dyes (plants and spices), gold leaf, decoupage, or my favourite but most complicated, Ukrainian Easter eggs. In order to make it a super cheap DIY, I went with this awesome marbled egg design.

What you need:
Real, hardboiled eggs, or fake eggs with smooth surfaces
A container you’re okay to throw out
Room-temperature water (the nail polish will sink if the water is cold)
Nail polish of your choice
A stirring stick
A tray to hold the eggs while they dry
Rubber gloves

Marble Easter Egg DIY - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Pour several drops of the nail polish into the water. Let it spread out by itself first on the top of the water, and then stir it so that you get a cooler design.

Marble Easter Egg DIY - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

The nailpolish makes a film on the water, so when you dip the eggs in a spot, that’s what you’re getting. You can do one side at a time, then lay the egg down to dry. They dry relatively quickly, and then you can get to the other side.

Keep in mind: sometimes there is a very, very faint layer of nailpolish in the surface which will make the drops not spread out properly. Clear away the film before you go again.

Marble Easter Egg DIY - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Don’t you just love that bunny cookie jar and bunny bank? You can tell I have a thing for bunnies.

Marble Easter Egg DIY - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Marble Easter Egg DIY - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

I made this adorable centrepiece to go with it, and I love the white and blue theme.