I packed up my life this week. While sorting my belongings into “pack,” “donate,” and “trash” piles, I realized that there were a number of luxury items that had gone untouched.

Homemade candles, unlit.

Organic argan oil, and my favourite perfume, barely used.

Specialty food goods like truffle salt and saffron, saved indefinitely.

What’s the point in buying these items if we don’t use them and enjoy them? I had this frustration growing up with my mom’s fancy china that was always on display, but never on the table. Despite proclaiming to do differently, I failed.

It’s more than just luxurious treats though. I didn’t just pack my stuff; I packed my life. Left my job. Gave away most of my possessions. Re-homed my pet rabbit and turtle. Said goodbye to my home, apartment, neighborhood, and a city I love so dearly. In saying goodbye, the deep beauty of everyday moments is truly, magnificently revealed. These last few days I’ve been trying to savour every moment, trap them in my mind, and appreciate them as much as possible. This is why you should carpe diem every damn day. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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Lately I’ve been getting to a bunch of projects around the house that had previously been forgotten. It feels good to attend to those small things around the house that irritate me; improving one tiny thing after another. So far I’ve:

  • replaced the boob light fixture above my desk with this paper lantern
  • installed hooks for guests to hang towels on
  • mounted my favourite vintage door knob and escutcheon as a closet curtain tie back; also, finally hemmed that curtain
  • finally got a bath mat that the bunny won’t destroy
  • sanded and Danish oiled plywood that will soon be a new desktop surface, and a new dresser surface for the guest room
  • organized the closet (what a relief!)
  • touch-up painted around the apartment (more of this to do)
  • hung a world map in the guest room, and strung up all the thank-you notes I’ve received :)
  • re-arranged the bedroom furniture so that there’s enough space for my yoga mat
  • drop a huge load of stuff at goodwill
  • re-organize and clean the back stairwell so it’s no longer scary

These things have kept me busy these last few weeks. I’m realizing how much I enjoy designing and improving my environment. My mood, energy levels, and ability to focus are greatly influenced by my environment, and I feel so much more focused and purposeful. It’s the same feeling as balancing one’s checkbook. Anyway, this weekend I hosted a lovely French couple and their three year-old daughter Aimee. She was so sweet and well-behaved! It was impressive to see how her parents hovered over, constantly encouraging her to talk clearly, walk slowly, and play gently. What lovely people! Saturday night we went to the grocery store together, and they invited me to eat dinner with them. See that lovely salad below – with avocado, tomatillos, and grapefruit!  I tucked in early, then spend all of Sunday in Lakeview celebrating LOVE.

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LOVE makes a family.
Happy #PRIDE!

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vosges

 

Today I found $5 on the sidewalk and used it to treat my friend and me to truffles from Vosges Haut Chocolat in Lincoln Park. The woman who works there was very passionate and knowledgeable, and she helped me choose two truffles. The one on the left is the Oaxaca truffle (dark chocolate with guajillo and pasilla chillies and pumpkin seeds – my absolute fave!), and the one on the right is the Naga truffle (milk chocolate, sweet Indian curry powder and coconut). I turned into a gushing fanatic as we chatted, and I told her how Vosges’ exotic chocolates have inspired some of my cakes.  Next thing I know, she offered me a free chocolate truffle (the Budapest), paired with a sip of wine! Yay! Always show your enthusiasm; positive energy is the strongest magnet! I can’t wait to explore more of their exotic chocolate flavors in cake form :).

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Logan Square, Chicago.

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Lemonade stand! Logan Square, Chicago.

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Bread pudding with sausage, topped with duck egg, and pea greens on the side. (no, this is not what I ate, but it was the best looking item at our table).

They have the creamiest cream for your coffee.

Little flowers in little glasses.

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Shelving win.

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Water fountain in front of the fire department at Webster & Larrabee, Lincoln Park, Chicago. The pail on the ground allows dogs to have a sip of water too! When I took my turn at the fountain, a beautiful albino husky-shepherd dog came bounding along and drank water at the same time as me! I was absolutely thrilled! This puppy was so friendly and had the most luxurious coat I’ve ever felt!

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We found this huge old dictionary at Webster Wine Bar! So cool! About 3200 pages!

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