Shampoo free


In an experiment I’ll detail more fully later, I’m on day five or six of bring shampoo-free. No baking soda rinse or ACV conditioner. I’m going ALL THE WAY.

So far it’s weird. But I also think I love it? My hair just…stays. Wherever I put it. Volume! What is this strange world?!

I will keep you updated.

(I’m sorry, Adam. You chose this wife life)

Who doesn’t love a good before and after?



On Tuesday we decided to paint the living room. Patching the wall from which we removed the wood paneling was a long, annoying, and arduous process, exacerbated by the fact that nether Adam nor I are particularly patient with the prep work part of any process. I want to get right to painting – to hell with drop cloths, tape, washing walls or any of that other junk.  Cut to the after! But a million tiny holes in the wall couldn’t be ignored, so we patched and sanded and patched and sanded and patched and sanded and…you get the idea.

I neglected to take in-between photos, but in these two from the de-paneling post you can kind of see the millions of nail holes, dings, and an un-painted bit above the window where the wood valance used to be. That was our project.

Most people would do it until it seemed perfect and then move on, Adam and I just sort of arrived at a point where neither of us could fathom any more sanding and so we said “Meh, whatever. Let’s paint it and see what happens.”

I headed to the hardware store with the intention of getting a low VOC paint to match to Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, which I had picked after hours of Pinterest research.

The store told me they couldn’t match a paint colour without a sample or a paint chip. What? Seriously? Isn’t there some sort of database somewhere with all of the colour codes? (No, the employee informed me in an exaggeratedly bored tone, there is not. I said “Okay, thank you” in my outside voice, and in my inside voiced I ranted LIKE AN ADULT “Oooh ever so sorry to interrupt your work day with my trivial suburban problems, but look, one day you too will be consumed with meaningless decisions like which is the perfect neutral grey paint! We are not so different, you and I! I was once like you!)

Then I dithered and grabbed a few samples and headed home again, and then decided, no. Just no. Today is MY day! (What does that mean? Irrelevant.) I would show that surly employee that I could make snap decisions! I made a uTurn, went back and just picked one.

I just PICKED one from the wall of colours. Like I said, the prep work is not my style. None of this painting a million samples and taking colour chips home to test them in the room you’ll be painting, nonsense. We needed to get it DONE. For… reasons.

The colour I ended up ever-so carefully selecting (and by this I mean quickly googling pictures of) was Behr’s Cotton Gray.


Here’s the two side by side.

gray own cotton grey









On one hand they are wildly different colours. Gray owl is lighter and has a strong cool silver tone while Cotton Grey has more of a brown feel (so much so that I was concerned it would read as tan on the wall).

On the other hand it’s grey paint. Seriously. Grey is the new beige, it’s basically a non-colour. Exactly 0% of people who know me are shocked that I chose grey paint.

Also, I am a fairly confident decorator and while I’m not afraid of colour I knew that it would be pretty hard to end up with a light grey paint that I hated. So. The fun began!

SweetMadeleine,ca IMG_6724 IMG_6726


If you are wondering what in the hell I am wearing then its time to feel like a real jerk,  because you just insulted my family heirloom painting overalls.

My dear mother wore these for every single painting job she ever did, and she is just as obsessed with paint as I am so there is some coverage on those things. I was honoured to receive them from her when she visited a few weeks ago, even though I can barely bend my legs when I wear them because they are so stiff with paint. These babies are going to get a good workout in this house! I made sure to dab some Cotton Grey on for posterity.

I did the bulk of the painting while Adam entertained Olive, and took over when I got too sore. In the interim we moved as much furniture out as we could and our office and hallway looked like this:     IMG_6749

He was also quite useful for the tall bits. George and Betty, the original owners, had painted part of the ceiling too and I wasn’t sure if we should follow suit or take it back to white, but we decided to go with it and if it looked strange we could repaint. I think I like it.










It’s a safe colour, a non-colour, and basically a non-event really – nonetheless it is fabulous to see the room looking more finished. Baseboards still have to be nailed down and touched up with paint, and that big blank wall at the end of the room is where all of my twenty-thousand books will go, but we’re just figuring out whether we are going to use bookshelves, or do some sort of built-in shelving…it’s percolating. In the meantime, how about a good old-fashioned before and after shot? Everyone loves those, right?




IMG_6171            IMG_6758


It still looks quite bare, but I am really happy with how it is coming together.

This concludes my RIVETING account of how I painted another wall, with accompanying low-quality pictures.

Stay tuned for when I dabble in NAVY! And if this lady on  Kijiji every gets back to me I may have a kitchen table makeover to write about, to0! Also! This tip that a lady at the hardware store shared about how to make your own chalk paint!

I KNOW. Chalk paint!

Hang on to your hats, it’s about to get crazy.


On Sunday night my brother and his lovely wife bravely agreed to watch Olive so Adam and I could celebrate having been together for thirteen years and married for five.

We took forever to get out of the house and then when we finally did make our grand exit- headed for a WILD evening of dinner and a movie- I simply couldn’t stop cackling.


“We’re FREEEEE!” I kept chortling, “WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT! Put the windows down- put the windows down!”

Olive does not like it when the windows are down, you see. But tonight there WAS NO OLIVE! It was JUST US. Adults!

All by ourselves! Finishing sentences, and making eye contact and having no ones bums to wipe but our own! For FOUR hours!

Living the dream I tell you.

This sort of thing, the rolled down windows and adult conversation, the heady freedom of being responsible for wiping your bum and yours alone, these are every day occurrences for Adam but total novelties for me so I was hitting it out of the PARK enthusiasm wise.


And ya damn right I dusted off some heels for the occasion.

(This is not an expression. These are old Nine West peep toe heels that were literally coated in dust because I haven’t worn them in ooooh six years? Ha! Small towns I tell you!)

The course of the evening was dictated by our new chapter in life. We are home owners now you see, which of course, means that precisely 92% of our income is devoted to home improvement stores and mortgage payments, leaving us 8% to cover the little things like utility bills, Etsy, Gus food, more Gus food, and blueberries, which Olive devours at an alarming rate.

Given the sorry state of our bank accounts then, we had decided that this would be a cheap date. And honestly, we were more than okay with this decision because after being together this long we’ve realized that whether it’s a 5-star restaurant or a gas station hot dog, it’s still the same person sitting across from you making boob jokes. When it’s good, it’s good wherever you are. When it’s bad not even The Ritz can save you.

I mean I still lovefancy dinners, but all I am saying is damned if I wasn’t over-the-moon delighted to be walking in the door of that burrito joint on Adam’s arm Sunday night.

So we ate some burritos, analyzed the couples around us, and made plans- big plans! Then we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy and that’s when the magic happened.

I have a few preliminary observations so let’s get this out of the way right now: It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I was in a big city movie theatre. Eight years? Ten?

Some things really shocked me!

First: You can choose your seats now? Seriously? No more peering through the dark trying to spot two together whenever a brightly lit scene flashes on screen? Nope. Say goodbye to that basic business I guess. This is 2014 y’all! We stood there choosing our seats on a touch screen like we were about to board a goddamned airplane. Unreal!

Second: THIRTY SIX DOLLARS. That is how much it cost us to see a movie. THIRTY SIX DOLLARS AND THATS NOT EVEN INCLUDING POPCORN (what do you mean? Of course I got popcorn, what’s the point of going to the movies if you’re not getting popcorn?)

Anyway, the movie portion of our increasingly not-so-cheap date ended up costing us upwards of $50 which, I mean okay but god, seriously?

And then, then the movie wouldn’t start. It kept going to a windows home screen and the theatre kept emitting obnoxious chuckles in unison whenever the next error screen popped up, and then they sent some poor sweet man to apologize, and he got heckled by the crowd, who had suddenly turned from harmless obnoxious chucklers into utter monsters by the injustice – the horror of a twenty-five minute wait for their fifty dollar movie.

Eventually things got started half an hour late and the movie was funny at all the right parts and I may have teared up a bit too- impressive given that the whole quest/adventure/space wars/CGI genre is really not my thing.

Typically I like movies where unconventionally beautiful people wander around heart-shattering locales saying obtuse yet significant things to swelling foreign music. Nothing happens, but you feel reborn by the time the credits roll.

Nonetheless, at one point I looked over at this dude sitting beside me, suffering through my dill- pickle drenched popcorn, laughing and looking ridiculous in his 3D glasses (which he later stole), and I just felt good.

Content. Settled.

Windows down, heels, burritos, popcorn, and a funny movie- my night was pretty much made! Unbeknownst to Adam however, the best of HIS night was yet to come.

After the movie we exited the theatre, as one does.

We walked out, smushed amidst the throng of fellow movie goers, now made pleasant- placated by the film.

LO! Who should appear at the end of the long, dark corridor but two ushers. There they stood, collecting 3D glasses, handing out pieces of paper and repeating in utterly chastened tones, “So sorry about what happened earlier. So sorry for the inconvenience. So sorry for what happened earlier… ”

The pieces of paper were free movie tickets. Both Adam and I dutifully collected ours, and I honestly don’t think it’s an exaggeration in the slightest when I say that this was by far the high point in not only his evening, but perhaps his entire week.

There is nothing Adam likes more than getting things for free (even things he does not need and has no conceivable use for. See: 3D glasses). One time he got a free roasted chicken from the grocery store and he still talks about it almost six months later. “Remember the time..?”

Our evening drew to a close. We came home, we caught up with our sitters extraordinaire, and then we crawled into bed and slept the deep sleep of married people stuffed with burritos and stale popcorn, still riding the heady thrill of those free tickets.

Happy anniversary, Adam. I think it was one of our best.

Laughing for days

Indelible proof that I did not, in fact, invent The Face


fine well okay i’m tired too i get tired too, okay? so maybe fucking i’ll just lay down on this marble too, see how you like that maybe you should carry me home, because i’m more tired than you there’s more of me to get tired, so i’m more tired than you are, so i’m going to sleep now

-do we really all have to be here for this -oh good question, i don’t know, what’s the only checkers rule that we have in this house -dad please -WHAT’S THE ONLY CHECKERS RULE THAT WE HAVE IN THIS HOUSE -the checkers rule is that we all have t– – THE ONLY CHECKERS RULE IS THAT WHEN I WANT TO PLAY CHECKERS EVERYBODY PLAYS CHECKERS





via Women Who Are Not Having A Great Time In Western Art History