Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This virtual tour of a French butter factory is amazing. Trust me.

Yes, planning for travel can be hard work and a bit of pain. But the happiness is worth it.

Self-care during a season of negativity.

You know those raccoon fur pom poms that are suddenly everywhere? It’s not from a raccoon. Which doesn’t really surprise me, since we have a lot of  raccoons here in Toronto and their fur doesn’t look anything like those pom poms.

I was so happy with this recent review of my poetry collection, Lady Crawford. If you’d like to read some poem samples, see a clip, and generally hear what someone else has to say about the book, check it out!

My Favourite Pins This Week

I love pretty much any panini that has pesto on it, so Starbucks has really got my number. But you can make them at home!! Be still, my pesto-loving heart. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I’ve made some heart cookies like this with Lila before, but I love this idea – I think it’s time to try again! I previously tried it with rolled fondant icing, which works great; I could try with the royal icing instead. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post can be found here.

I’m a big fan of using nail polish to transform accessories (and I always paint my cheap costume jewelry with clear nail polish when I first get it so they last longer), and these earrings are totally calling my name! The next time I see a pair of cheap studs at H&M or Forever 21, I’m going to do this. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

I love felt, and this beautiful felt anemone flower DIY is right up my street. It looks so elegant. And wouldn’t it be pretty on a hair clip or as a gift topper? Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

This cactus pillow is just the epitome of summer decor to me. So fun! So cute! Or maybe on a bed? I just love it. It’s not a free pattern, but it’s thoroughly charming. Pinterest link is here, and the pattern page is here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Lila has a birthday party to attend, and we are going to do some cookie baking and put together valentines for her classmates. She’s been a little under the weather lately, so hopefully she is feeling up to it! What are you getting up to this weekend? Staying home and keeping cozy, or getting up to all sorts of things?

21 comments

  1. Jessica Lane   •  

    Self care during the season of negativity sounds pretty perfect right about now! Oh and that Starbucks panini looks so good! We are in SNOW season so we are digging our after 16 inches yesterday! I hope Lila is feeling better in time for her birthday party this weekend. Baking Valentine’s Day cookies sounds really fun too!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Jessica,

      We never did get tho the baking- there was so much to do, and we played in the snow! Weekends I usually only manage about 60% of what I hope to achieve, but hey, that’s life. I hope you are staying cozy, in all that snow!!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  2. Bronchitikat   •  

    I’m not surprised Lila is under the weather, given that it’s currently winter in Toronto. Anyone shorter than four or five feet would be under the weather, wouldn’t they?

    And she’s not only a Mum, a knitter, a home maker, a creator, she’s a poet too! Have fun with the cookies.

    re: the previous blog – a few skeins of fingering wool in my stash? I keep my four-ply stash, mostly sock yarn, in a box/footstool thing. I really must knit more in 4-ply, the lid is currently ‘floating’ on all the bags of different yarns.
    Yes, I’ve knitted a lot of pairs of socks, but even size 8 or 9 wide socks made for my husband seem to leave a good third of a ball of yarn (from a 400m/yard skein). Guess I’d better sort out some more two, or more, colour projects.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Sharon,

      We haven’t’ had much snow in Toronto this winter! Such a shame, the kids go bananas when it does happen, they get so excited. I know what you mean about the lid floating on your stash box- time to see if your skeins are single and ready to mingle!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  3. Sarah   •  

    Happy weekend! I don’t have much planned, but I am going on a dinner-date Saturday night to Chicago’s first cider bar/pub, which I’m really excited about! Knitting has been in a bit of a slump for me recently, so I’m going to try to do at least 1 hour each day, just to make a little bit of progress.

    Thanks for that link to the blog post about traveling. With my new job, I definitely have the means to travel a bit more, but travel planning gives me incredible anxiety. And then of course I end up having an amazing time on my trip–like I did in August in Toronto! So I need to remember the anxiety is worth it because I’m going to have cool new experiences that I wouldn’t get in Chicago!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Sarah,

      I hear you, planning travel takes SO much time! And in my family, I end up doing the bulk of the work for it- you know, all the researching places or prices and that sort of thing. I actually used a travel agent the last time We went abroad, because figuring out the complex flights we needed (Toronto to London, car rental, Bristol to Barcelona, car rental, Barcelona to Toronto) was giving me a total headache, and I forgot that travel agents are actually quite useful@! I think because we have the internet we think we should just figure it out ourselves, but there is a surprising amount of value still in the travel agent world. Which is the long way of saying- the memories and experience are so worth it! It was so great meeting you that day when you visited, with the weird weather- swelteringly hot, pouring rain, yarn and kittens!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  4. Alina   •  

    Butter factory looks sooo good and mouthwatering 🙂 So happy to read amazing reviews about the book!!! As for the weekend, honestly I forgot what it’s like to have a “normal” weekend, but this week I will relax a little bit on Saturday – will work in the morning on the pattern, then go to the gym and the farmer’s market to pick up some veggies and then will meet with a dear friend and will go to the movies – it’s been forever since I’ve been to a movie! On Sunday I have to work 🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      What movie did you end up seeing with your friend? We just saw La La Land, and I loved it. Iv’e seen a bunch of good movies recently, it feels like there’s so many great films these days!

      Cheers,

      Julie

      • Alina   •  

        I want to see La La Land so badly, but for some reason the only time they have is 22:45 – I will be asleep before the movie starts 🙂 So, we chose Dog’s Purpose – very light and sweet movie.

  5. miss agnes   •  

    I love these felted flowers, and just bought a copy of one of my favorite French magazine showing a tutorial to make a gorgeous peony with paper coffee filters. I’d love to try that. I can’t seem to be able to load the French butter factory tour, but I can only confirm French butter is indeed the best (although the fresh Vermont butter is not too bad either). Congrats on your book review, you deserve it.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Agnes,

      oh, what magazine had the coffee filter idea? I feel like craft magazines from other countries and languages must be so interesting, one of my favourite new subscriptions is to Mollie Makes, which is British. It’s often a bit twee, but I still find it inspiring.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  6. Snow   •  

    Oolala! The butter factory was fascinating!
    And the dog fur pompoms?! With everything that can be done with synthetic materials these days…why not pompoms?

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Snow,

      I hear you- I don’t buy anything with real fur anyways, there’s no need with the amazing synthetics these days. I know that some make a case for recycling fur from vintage pieces, but that’s a whole other thing. It seems so odd to still be buying new fur with everything we know about the fur industry these days.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  7. Sarah   •  

    “Burn down the house before she’s through”… what an amazing line in a witty review. High praise for an excellent book!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Sarah,

      I was really pleased about it, and I’m grateful that everyone’s so positive about sharing in my good news. I didn’t get many reviews of my first book, so it’s so nice to get them for my second!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  8. Stefanie   •  

    Congrats on the great review. Homemade paninis sound delicious. I haven’t had pesto for ages. My mum has this cute little cast iron panini pan that comes with a old-fashioned iron used on top to weigh down the panini.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thank you! And that panini pan sounds amazing, what a clever idea. I bet it’s much smaller than the actual panini press.

  9. Kim   •  

    Loved the encouragement to keep up self care, I agree that it’s so important! And that French butter factory did indeed look amazing.I also really enjoyed the article you linked to last week on keeping kids off of drugs in Iceland. Fascinating info, passed it along to a friend who works in family medicine in the U.S. Hope you had a great weekend! Here in the Netherlands we got snow! It was beautiful, I took a walk with my camera and my baby one day, & went out for a snowball fight with my 3.5 y-o the next day. 🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      So glad you got to enjoy the beautiful snow, Kim! Sounds amazing, and smart to take photos- I don’t always remember to do so, but it contributes to such happy memories as a family.

  10. Laura   •  

    Congratulations on the book review, Julie. He chose to highlight my favorite poem (so far). Those last few lines get me every time I read them. The imagery is out of this world (pun intended). Hope Lila feels better soon. We are into our second storm in a week here on the East Coast. More coming Thursday! I will be needing that new pair of mittens I am knitting.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks so much, Laura! I keep seeing images of the East Coast getting absolutely buried with snow right now. Stay cozy!

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