Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bu-bye stuff & other randomness.

I've had an interesting couple of weeks to say the least.

And by interesting, I mean awesome!

I've been wicked busy both personally and professionally. So much is going on around the office...sometimes I come home and feel like my head is spinning...but I'm getting better at leaving work at work. They're only paying me to work a certain number of hours - anything out of my norm is my time! Time for me to not be preoccupied with random emails, goofiness, office politics and Chinese imports.

Personally, the month has been full of fun adventures and discoveries...good times with friends and breakthroughs of sorts. And while most of my tales are too personal to share, I've got one that I do want to discuss with yah.

Awhile back I'd mentioned how I'd been going through my 'stuff' out the 'crap' that really wasn't serving any purpose. At the time, I managed to take a pile of bags to Goodwill, and while I did some damage, it still felt like there was a lot of randomness that I needed to figure out. 

This past weekend, I ended up at home with the most wicked of wicked colds - and not being one of those guys that likes to mope around when I'm sick I figured that it was time to tear back into my 'stuff' to see what else I could get rid of.

It might sound goofy, but as I started to go tear through cupboards, closets & my storage room everything started to hit me. Suddenly it was like "why do I own all of this shiz? Seriously. Why?" It was then that I decided that instead of just "cleaning" that I was going to full out purge. Like serious. PURGE.

Over the course of two days I was pretty ruthless. To the point where I was opening up totes and boxes in my storage room, looking in them, realizing that I hadn't gone through them since I'd moved into my place 3ish years ago and decided then and there that "everything goes."

I also kind of realized that you can have too many serving plates, kitchen gadgets, that just because you can own a French press doesn't mean that you should own a French press and that the Mexican pottery that was a pain in the ass to get home without breaking on the plane is actually useless when it says "not safe for use with food" on the back. 

Much sorting, tossing, packing, lugging and filling my car later, Goodwill ended up with two carloads of my stuff. The collections that I'd worked so hard on a few years ago. The projects that I'd started but never finished, the trashy and depressing paperbacks that I'll never read again...all gone!

It was also then that I kind of realized that maybe, just maybe I was using my 'hunting of treasures' to escape and forget about some of life's randomness that I wasn't overly happy with. Like hunting down a random salad bowl was going to fulfill some sort of goofy need. Hmm...

To be completely honest with yah, I haven't been thrifting forever - and really have no desire to. Seriously. There's no burning desire for me to scavenge through Value Village for something that I can 'magically transform' into something 'amazing.' 
Obviously I still have some collections (as you can see in the above pic), and I'm sure that at some point I'll want to add some new pieces, but right now I'm more excited about the idea of coming home after work and reading a good book, hunting down some new tunes, trying out a new recipe. Or perhaps getting out and hanging with friends, grabbing drinks and chillin' with peeps. Why spend so much time looking for more 'stuff'...?

And there yah have it. That's where I'm at right now.

I really haven't figured out how my new found discovery / epiphany will affect this some point it will all make sense. But until it does, I'm totally going to enjoy what is, in some ways, a new found 'freedom.' That's a goofy word to use, but in some ways, it kind of feels like it I'm gonna roll with it.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Word up.
I have my whole life to be mature. Why start now?

Brick by brick.

Lately I've found myself obsessing over brick walls. Well, okay, maybe obsessing isn't the right word, but I keep finding myself being drawn to and loving room shots that feature, you guessed it, at least one brick wall.
I've found myself especially in love with painted brick....there's just something about it. It's got the perfect mix of industrial / cool factor, yet when painted is warm, inviting and screams "Dan you need to buy place with at least one brick wall."
Love this built in against the white brick wall

However, unless my financial adviser can suddenly pull a rabbit and enough coin for a decent down-payment on a non-ghetto place out of his hat, then I've got a couple more years of dreaming about lofty spaces with whitewashed  or painted brick walls, high ceilings, windows with soaring views and worn and weathered but amazing hardwoods. That or if my loft dreams are a bit too much, then enough coin for a fixer-upper where I can take a trip to the hardware store for a couple 4' x 8' sheets of 'faux brick'...some drywall mud, a couple cans of paint, find some tips from a Debbie Travis column and fake it till I make it.
Regardless of where I end up, a brick wall, whether it be genuine or a Dan weekend (or week long) project is a must! This afternoon I was digging through a couple folders on my computers, both at home and around the office and kept stumbling across shots that keep stumbling across brick wall after brick wall, after brick wall.

Tell you don't want to hang out in any of these spaces!?!? 
White wood floors & exposed brick walls
white brick walls
white brick walls...
painted brick wall
Love the warm stain thick-planked shelves against the bright white painted brick walls.
I love this bedroom!  It's so ... me!  Love the painted brick wall, the quirky yet no-nonsense drape, the adorable hanging lamp (anyone knows where it's from?) ... and most of all...STACKS of BOOKS!!  I can imagine adding floating shelves on the wall, filling it with books and other figurines I collect ...
I love how the white walls, brick and slipcovered sofas allow for the freedom to play with color and pattern in the textiles...
june 2010 Maude Arsenault and Eric Tessier painted the exposed brick in their Montreal home the same colour as the walls to give the room a seamless look, while floating white shelves allow selected objects to stand out
Love the gallery wall over the texture of whitewashed brick
Pretty awesome right?

Yah, I figured that you'd agree with me!

And while painted brick walls might be my current love / borderline obsession, I want to know what's got you fired up! Wallpaper? Walls painted in soft spring tones or deep right solids? Tell me! Tell me!


Wednesday, 7 March 2012


while ago, I decided, unofficially of course, that I was going to do things differently this year. I was laying in bed one night when I had this crazy brain wave where suddenly it was like "I need something different."

It was then that I decided that I was going to make 2012 the year of adventure, growth, opportunity and fun. 

And you know what? 

So far, so good!

At first, I wasn't sure what my definition of 'different' was going to be, but I'm slowing figuring things out as I go along. I've realized that 'different' can be something as basic as ordering something 'different' off the menu when I hit up my favourite coffee place, or trying out someplace 'different' when meeting with friends for lunch. It can also be as 'different' as trying something so outside my realm like yoga...only to realize that I love it.

I've got a buddy to thank for this new found love. He'd stumbled across a two week introductory pass to a new studio that opened in the city and was like "hey, let's check this out together," and I was like "hey, that'd be 'different'...I'm in." (Or something along those lines...) 
So, skip ahead three weeks, and I've come to love yoga. Who'd of thunk it. Not this farm boy. But sure enough, this new and 'different' adventure has been exactly what I've needed and craved for awhile.

While I enjoy the gym (from time to time) I'd been finding that I really wasn't into it. I'd go, I'd end-up on a treadmill or elliptical and rather than being about to zone out and focus on working out, I'd find myself thinking about the office or thinking about stuff around home, or thinking about family, friends, loved ones, et cetera, et cetera....I was really lacking any sort of mental clarity or focus.

As I've been exploring a number of different forms of yoga - ranging from Ashtanga and Restorative to a couple different variations of hot yoga, I've found that a) I've been able to really get into the physical side of things...that I'm pushing myself more than ever to see what I can get my body to do & b) that I've been able to go to class and completely zone out. To focus in on what's important at the time - to meditate and focus in on what's important in my life. Which is completely 'different' for me. My mind's always in motion...I generally find it impossible to turn things off.

I may have kind of abused my two week unlimited pass. I think that they expect you to go a few times a week, see if you like it....not attend 15 classes in a two week span. That said, for being so 'different' and out of my usual whelm of interests, I'm hooked enough that I invested in a full month the regular rate. Let's see if I can abuse that!

I'm curious to see where this 'different' adventure takes me. Slowly but surely the movements are making a bit more sense, I've been able to bend "that much more" and I've found myself leaving class with a smile, and a cleared head....allowing me the chance to crawl under the covers at night not worrying about what happened that day, or what's going to happen tomorrow. Basically, it's all good. Sure I come home a bit sore sometimes, but hey, no pain, no gain.

Where am I going with this posting? I'm not really sure. This could be turning into one of those rambling I'll wrap it up by saying that 'different' can be good....and worth exploring. 'Different' causes one to think outside the box and discover fresh and new energy. Sure, there will be a few adventures that will be one-time-only, but hey, isn't it worth trying something 'different' from time to time? 

How's that sound?

And you know what? Do you want to know the best part of my quest for 'different' adventures and opportunities? It's only the beginning of March. I've still got over nine months of 'different' to explore!


Friday, 2 March 2012

What Dan's listening to. Friday edition.

I don't typically do this, but I feel the need to share one of my favourite new tracks as of late with you -

I'm pretty much in love with this track and the story that it tells...and think that regardless of where any of us may be in our lives - be it single, married, dating, committed, et cetera, we can all, in one way or another, relate to the lyrics. There's a sweet innocence to them...that whole idea of 'heart first, head last'....when you can't help but randomly break out into a smile or wander around with your head in the clouds because of 'someone'....whoever they may be...

Have a listen. I know you'll like it. Actually scratch that. I promise you'll like this track.



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