Friday, November 15, 2013

DIY Movember Edition....

Welcome to the month known as Movember. Where men across the world grow (and attempt to grow) moustaches to raise money for men's health initiatives. I've personally only participated in the growing of a moustache once in the past few years, and have sported a full beard since then. In light of moustaches sprouting about seemingly everywhere and after reading an insightful article from the Art of Manliness entitled How to Grow a Handlebar Moustache, I decided to procur some moustache wax to "style" my own growth.
Moustache wax is something that not many stores carry, from the smallest apothecary or health store to the biggest pharmacy type. After some research, I found that the Toronto Barber & Beauty Supply carried some for roughly $8 at their only location in the city, downtown. Wanting to save myself a traffic-filled trip to the shop, I took it upon myself to buy some ingredients (Beeswax and Cocunut Oil) and attempt making my own batch of the stuff. It was a lot easier than I thought it would have been, and the results are very promising. An old Altoids tin was used to house the wax, and from the looks of it it'll last a while. I invite those who are growing moustaches this month, as well as those who permanently have them to pick up or make some wax to inject some life into your staches.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

New projects

It has been a while since I have written on our blog. Before leaving for London this blog acted as a diary of ideas, excitement and really just a way to share. Once we moved life took over a little, even though we experienced so much while living in the UK....realistically speaking we had WAY more to write about once on the the other side of the pond but just...didn't.

So now we are back...back home...back in Canada...back to blogging...We have both been on a bit of a crazy job hunt in the last month. Trying desperately to hold onto our profession, but finding it difficult to find anything in our field...

as a result...

Our hobbies have started to take over...since checking my e-mails a thousand times a day is not helping with the job hunt....drum hobby...CARDS! 

I love holidays, I love decorating, I love love love on a frigid walk down Queen St, we stumbled upon some hilarious cards which got me thinking...and then drawing...and then producing. 

So here they are, I have opened my first Etsy Shop! The cards are cute, funny, simple and appropriate...

side note...When did funny completely turn into inappropriate or plain rude?! It boggles my mind why anyone would want to receive a Christmas card with swearing on it...weird. 

Either way! Check them out...maybe even buy some :D...All ideas are welcome...


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

Eric Blair's (pen name George Orwell) first published novel is a fantastic read. It treads a fine line between fact and a type of fiction that slightly stretches the truth to the point that many critics dismiss this novel as a memoir. The book is divided into two parts, and as you might have guessed Paris and London make up those parts.
Orwell's time in Paris is spent conspiring with communists and looking for work in restaurants with a Russian friend without much luck. Promises are broken, money is stolen and items are sold in order to survive.
In London, Orwell finds himself (having "survived" Paris): confident. He spends his time tramping in and around the city, meeting some interesting folk along the way, despite living the homeless life. Eventually, sick of living on the brink of nothingness, Orwell writes home to his family to provide him with some sustenance to help him get out of the situation he found himself in.
The issue that most critics have with Down and Out, is that Orwell emerged from quite a wealthy family and brought those "difficult" situations upon himself. The thinking was that if he truly immersed himself in a poverty riddled lifestyle, he would then be able to better represent how one would feel being in that situation. His assessment on poverty is truly spot on and so honest that it leaves you believing that you were by Orwell's side all along.
George Orwell's Down and out in Paris and London is an interesting and griping read that will leave you asking all sorts of questions regarding social justice and equality.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Things That We Do...

Jay Z and Mariah Carey once said "It's those things that you do that make you feel so, I don't know..." which pretty much sums up how we're feeling at the moment. We have been back in the nation of maple syrup, snow and moose for about a month, and at times it has felt like we haven't left at all. That can be both a good and a bad thing. We are slowly finding our ways and settling in nicely, although the thought of London life sometimes lingers in the back of our minds. With that said, free time has been bountiful thus far and therefore I've taken the opportunity to try and use this time constructively. And what's more constructive than random art projects (that's a joke ps). Here is the fruit of our labour, enjoy.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New challenge....

A couple of weeks of work, three separate "trips" in a span of two weeks, and a few more weeks of work later, and voila here we are.

Having this means of sharing information, opinions, and other ideas is wonderful when I have something that I want people to have access to, and where the 'who' doesn't really matter.

Both V and I have signed up to Instagram recently (after a long love-hate relationship with it), with some reluctance from my end. After a couple of days of fooling around with it, and exploring different editing options, it's actually pretty cool. I've given myself a goal of posting one picture everyday for an entire year. The topic is open ended, the only restriction I've attempted to impose on myself is to post an original photo as opposed to recycling shots. Where inspiration lacks I might through in an old shot that has not made it's way to the interwebs yet, but this will be a rarely used last resort.

My Instagram name is @tdamota (same as my twitter) in case one is wondering how to access said year long supply (to be) of pictures.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bad Weather Magnets

We arrived just over a year ago to delightful 15 degree weather (Celsius) in late February, when snowstorms were still very well in the making back home in Canada. This "honeymoon" period lasted for roughly a month. Spring rolled around and with it came the showers. The problem? The showers never really seemed to want to leave, as the UK recorded it's wettest summer. Lucky us, we got to be a part of it. This weather (for us) lasted until we made our way to Portugal for some actual seasonal weather (aka summer).

Upon our return, the weather was once again uninspiring. Not necessarily bad, but again nothing to write home about either. We cruised through fall, with much less fanfare than the so called "wettest summer ever". Winter finally rolled around. It seemed that it was just like fall, but slightly colder. Being the bad weather magnets we are, the UK had a few tricks up it's sleeve. Thrown at us was a slew of days with freezing temperatures, little bits of snow, and strong winds, dubbed "the big freeze". Now being Canadian and having survived winters for a number of years now, we told London to bring it on. We were by no means unprepared, or bundled up to the same extent as our Aussie friends, but we did notice that the cold here is of a slightly different nature. The extreme dampness in the air (probably left-over from the summer) seems to creep into every nook and cranny, sending chills through one's body. Coldest winter in almost 20 years. Enough snow to shutdown major airports for a couple of days. School children being told they couldn't go play outside because it was too cold, too icy, too snowy.

With the start of spring here on March 1st, optimism was high regarding a turn around in the weather. But alas, the big freeze has returned, wreaking havoc on residents all over the UK.
Bad weather magnets.

Here's to summer.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

We've gone a solid two months (and one week) without posting any material whatsoever on our blog. Although we are slightly disappointed that our "streak" is coming to an end it's definitely for the better.

What do you include in a blog post, that is meant to "make up" for the past two months. I guess we'll begin with wishing everyone a happy new year, as this is indeed our first post in 2013 (pathetic, I know). It's not that we've been too lazy to write, on the contrary, work has us busier than ever writing lesson plans, assessments, reports, and marking books, and then doing that thing we're acctualy meant to do, teach. Something British teachers seem to enjoy less of than their Canadian counterparts, as so much "busy" work is expected from teachers, that the educational system is slowly suffocating otherwise passionate, vibrant, and eclectic teachers. So that whole thing has been keeping us quite busy.

We did however get quite the sweet deal in terms of vacation, as we were enjoying a one week (half term) break three weeks after having arrived from home. We filled that week with various exploration expeditions of London and surrounding areas, including visiting Oxford (the highlight of our week off). A couple of museums, markets, and lunches out later, the break was quickly coming to an end. But fear not! This half term is only 5 weeks long, meaning that in 3 1/2 weeks time we'll be off work for another 2 1/2 weeks. More intricate plans have been made for this time off, as we've learned our lesson of waiting until the last minute to make them.

The first day of spring was on the 1st of March here in the UK, and with mother's day coming up this weekend what could possibly provide a better occasion to celebrate fresh starts, new beginnings, and a celebration of a metaphorical re-birth (maybe new year's). Happy new year!