"And Now We Must Turn It Into A Racing Car By...Bolting Lots of...Racing Car Bits To It."

Even though this day was a long time coming, I honestly felt like it would just never arrive. Ladies and gentlemen, I have bought a new (to me) car. 

Meet Pamela. She is a 2010 Ford Focus, with a manual transmission, and she rides like a dream.
 I don't have a marriage sack that fits her {yet}. 
The number one goal that I had for 2013 was to purchase a new car, and the fact that I can cross it off of my list in the first quarter of the year makes me incredibly proud. I could gush forever and ever about all of the reasons why I am so glad that I own (another) Focus, but I'll restrain myself from getting too mushy about my new baby. Can I just point out how nice it is to finally be driving a standard again? It feels like home. 

Have you crossed a goal off of your list yet this year?

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Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.


I'm not shy about admitting that I'm a bit of a stress-case, and I've written about it a couple of times now. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen quite a few of my stressed out tweets from 2012. 

Every time that I would come home and complain about what was stressing me out, The Boyfriend would just look and me and ask "...and why is this your problem?. It took a while (read: all year), but one day I realized what he had meant. I was spending too much time and energy stressing out over things that were not only beyond my control but also didn't even affect me that much. So I decided to selectively give fucks only when I needed to. The rest of it? I just stopped letting it bug me. 

Let me tell you, I feel wonderful! No longer do I sit at home and stew over whether or not So-And-So was going to do what they said they'd do. Instead, when I leave work I stop worrying about work. And when I'm at work, I just don't let the little things get to me. 

Since this revelation came to me so late in 2012, I'm making "give less fucks" a resolution this year. Or, sorry. I'm going to "focus on what is important and forget about the rest", but just know that this is code for "only giving fucks when necessary". 

What bad habits are you trying to break this year?


Books! The Best Weapons In The World.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 

All of my life I have been an incurable bookworm. I would devour any book that I could get my hands on, and frequently I would get in trouble for staying up all night because I had to read just one more page. These past few years, for whatever reason, I've very nearly stopped reading. I continue to buy more and more books, and I start most of them, but the last book that I was able to finish entirely was Fifty Shades of Grey--not exactly my proudest moment, let me tell you. 

I want this year to be different. I want to lose myself in books again; I want to be immersed in different times and places. I miss falling in love with fictional characters

This is the first part of my reading list, a digital library neatly organized in iBooks; the second half of my reading list is scattered around my condo in haphazard stacks of paperbacks and hardcover books. This year, I am going to rediscover my love for reading books--and praying that I don't end up hate-reading horrible books again. {There might be a few trashy novels in the summer because that's what summer is for!}

What is your number one goal for 2013?




the countdown is on




New Years Eve isn't just another day to me. It is a day of reflection and anticipation, rejuvination and planning. Before I start looking forward to all of the {exciting!} things that will happen in 2013, I want to take a moment to recount my favourite {blogging} moments of 2012.

...there was the day that I realized that I am not a vlogger

...and the day that I realized that I needed to give away my cat.

...I started a new blog 
...and a new job.

...I celebrated a milestone birthday 
...and went on a milestone trip.

...against all odds, I have kept my horrible car alive (mostly).

...I expressed my feelings on a {very} delicate topic.

...and on a still delicate but less political topic.

...I learned a really important lesson

...and was seriously creeped out by an elf


Obviously there was so much more to my year than just the pictures that I posted or the things that I blogged about. So many things--both incredibly exciting and absolutely heartbreaking--have happened this year, and I am honestly thankful for it all. 

2012 was a year of new beginnings, fresh starts, and great friends. I can only hope that 2013 will be just as fantastic!

What were your 2012 highlights? 

Well, That Escalated Quickly

Every few months, I get this insatiable itch to change something

At first I'll feed this need with small changes: 
a new hair color 
a few blog tweaks 
a new ringtone for my phone. 

I can't count the shadows to keep myself safe; 
 the itch will always catch up with me
just like the vashta nerada will always catch up with those in the shadows.

The night started out innocently enough; 
I was just going to change my navigation bar. 
I had created a new one a few weeks ago, 
and from the second that I installed it I absolutely hated it. 
I've been mulling it over for weeks, 
and finally I decided to get up off my rump and change it. 

Well.

Before I could get to the nav bar, I stared at my font choices. 
The font (Origin Light) that I once loved so much was now making my eye twitch. 
It was decided.
I needed to change my fonts. 

But.

You can't just change your font willy-nilly. 
You have to take your time. 
The font that you choose is an integral part of your design; 
it helps form the basis for your brand. 

DOWNLOAD ALL THE FONTS!

And then...

I sorted through all of my new fonts. 
Some had to be ruled out because they didn't have the ability to type the umlaut in my blog title. 
(the dots on top of the a in rakas kesä is an umlaut.)

So...

I typed.
I switched between fonts. 
I wrote down about thirty font names, 
and I slowly eliminated them
one by one. 

Finally, I was down to two fonts. 
I can work with two. 

So off I went, 
creating a new navigation bar. 
Once that was finished I had another revelation:
my blog header no longer matched. 
Neither did my buttons. 
You know.
The buttons that are everywhere? 

So off I went, 
creating a new header. 
New buttons. 
A new list of sidebar links 
(although the links? Not working at the moment. Fury.) {UPDATE: fixed!}
The new links lead to new widget titles. 

Finally, I had it all installed. 
And boy, did it look pretty. 

I've kept the amazing welcome image that Chelsea created for me earlier this year because it just cannot be topped.

But the rest?

The rest was all painstakingly created by me. 

Did I stop there?

After triumphantly overhauling my entire blog design in one night
did I turn off my laptop and crawl into bed? 

No. 

Because suddenly
I had motivation. 

That 'work with me' page that I've been avoiding finishing for so long? 
I HAD TO FINISH IT. 

The Great Design Beast took over
and I just kept going. 
Creating, 
changing, 
trashing, 
mapping, 
installing. 

When my (Vancouver) best friend texted me to ask why the hell I wasn't asleep yet
I finally looked at the clock. 
Five hours. 
I had spent five consecutive hours 
making all of these changes, 
pausing only to plug my laptop in when it told me to plug in or I'd lose everything. 

This is my random, 
weird, 
rambling 
not-poem 
about that time that I compulsively re-designed my blog 
instead of sleeping. 

Better make it five and a half hours, since I also decided to blog.

Don't judge me. 

Really Easy DIY: Painting Signs

I absolutely love crafts and DIY projects, yet I am notorious for starting something and not finishing it. I have a red Rubbermaid container that I call my craft graveyard; in it are partially-knitted baby blankets (originally intended for children who are now almost school-aged), an almost-complete cross-stitched giraffe (originally meant for my four year old daughters nursery), and a myriad of unfinished Christmas decorations and wreaths. It has always bothered me that I haven't completed these projects, although admittedly not enough to actually complete them.

I am putting my foot down, however. No longer will the Arts & Crafts feed on Pinterest make me feel bad about my lack of craftiness. No longer will I hurry past the craft aisle for fear of adding to my Bin of Craft Despair. I am going to jump on the DIY train and not bail out as soon as I realise that I don't actually know what I'm doing. The only way to get better at something is to do it, isn't that the cliche that applies here?

My first (small) step into the DIY world was to paint a sign that I've had sitting in a box for years. Not exactly a homemade kitchen table (that's what DIY-ers make, right?), but I figured easing into the genre would be the best way to not scare me off.


I've had this sign for years, bought most likely at a Dollar Store on one of those boredom trips where I buy all the things. I like the message of it, but I've always hated the color. It was intended for my living room, where all of my shelving is dark wood, so it just didn't look right. Then on a separate trip to the Dollar Store where I bought all the things, I fell in love with a turquoise acrylic paint; I knew that I had found the right color for the sign. "BUT HOW WOULD IT GET ON THERE??" was my first thought, closely followed by "duh, you have to paint it". Sometimes I surprise myself with the way my brain works. Anyway, while sitting at my kitchen table and after much deliberation, I decided to use sand paper to rough up the surface so that the paint would adhere. 

Materials: 
Sandpaper not pictured because I didn't take a photo of it. I think it was medium sandpaper.  Also not photographed is the sign after sanding but before painting, because I'm clearly really awesome at tutorials. Also also not photographed was the sign as it was being painted. I'm pretty sure you guys know how to paint. If you don't, then I cannot help you. I'm sorry. 
Some of the curves in the wood were really difficult to paint, for them I actually used a smaller paintbrush that is also not pictured. I'll try to make my next tutorial a little more tutorial-esque, sorry dudes. I applied four coats to ensure an even and opaque covering. The acrylic paint seemed to dry really fast (about five minutes after applying it), so all in all it took me about an hour from start to finish--that includes thinking, sanding, painting, and drying time.

For right now, the spiffed-up sign has found a home on my TV stand; the paint that I used has a matte finish, and I might use a gloss top coat once I know how I feel about it.

Thanks for sticking around for my first DIY tutorial! What have you crafted lately? 

Tervetuloa!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Everything is a work in progress at the moment, but feel free to look around. In a few days rakas kesä should seem a bit more lived in. Don't forget to add me to your readers (or join with Google Friend Connect) so that you can stay up to date with all of the shiny new that will be coming your way shortly!