Friday, 18 December 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Christmas Card: End-of-the-Year Favourites

This particular favourites post is not attached a month or year or week. More like things that I have enjoyed these past several weeks since I took up residency in New Brunswick again (I was absently looking out the window of the bus on the way home from work one day and noticed a car with a New Brunswick license plate in front of us. This seemed slightly novel to me. Until I remembered I don't live in Halifax any more). I'm still being careful to maintain a positive frame of mind just in case though I did accidentally scroll to the comments on a particularly contentious CBC article. Bad, self. Do not read comments on CBC New Brunswick. Just don't. YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THAT. Ahem.

This lunch room

There is the most amazing little lunch room downtown in my part of the city (quick explanation: my new city was amalgamated in 1995. It used to be a couple of towns and a dozen little villages. Everything is still fairly separate. I live in one of the former towns. People are still very bitter about amalgamation. And there are two downtowns). It has stools and a counter and sell hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries, with some variations on those base menu items. They also have some fantastic poutine. 

For some reason, everything in this city including this lunch room only accepts cash so I've had to (gasp) actually start carrying cash on me again. But I will gladly head for the ATM as long as I can keep heading for some poutine and a red stool after it. 

Country music

I've never been a huge fan of country music. I don't mind it, and in fact, it has figured in a lot of my life: the Maritimes are fond of country music as a rule, and so it's always been on. But it's not a genre that I am generally drawn to - quite a lot of country songs are on the side of the line of misogyny and enforcement of gender roles that tends to make me uncomfortable and unhappy. But I'll be damned if country music isn't obnoxiously catchy. One of the regular bus drivers on the line I take to work every morning likes country, and I'm starting to enjoy it. It also helps that it lets me brush up on what's popular and may be added to the next kitchen party lineup. 

The Indie Memory Box

Some of the Indie Memory Box goods.

Originally, when the Indie Memory Box was announced, I decided to skip it. I ignored the pre-orders and carried on my merry way. But by chance, I opened a list of the products that were going to be in the box. I determined that I was interested in most of them, and decided to purchase one when the remaining boxes were released for sale. I'm very happy with this decision - after about a month of having the box, I use most products in it heavily. It was beautifully presented. It arrived shortly after I moved, so it was a nice moving gift to myself. Special shoutouts to Shiro Snow Bunny lip gloss, Kae Q Cream of Life lip scrub, Smelly Yeti Birthday Christmas Bubble and Soak, Rascal Cosmetics Winter's Glow highlighter, Arcana perfume oil in Rota Fortunae, and Dark Matter Makeup Gravity eye primer in Lunar New Year. I've been using them a ton since I got them.

L-R: Lunar New Year, Snow Bunny, Winter's Glow

Yoga pants

I had one pair of yoga pants that my mom got me at Costco in grade 8 or so, so by the time that yoga pants actually came into vogue, mine were long gone. I haven't owned yoga pants since then, mostly because I loathe exercise and therefore don't think I should own activewear that I'm never ever going to use. But. Since I now work in a jeans-free environment (weeps quietly), I tend to want to change from my nice professional ensembles of penguin-printed dresses and cardigans (I am a walking stereotype) into something that will allow me to lounge on the couch in comfort. The default idea was pyjamas, but that seemed a bit too slovenly, and what if I decide to run some errands? Yoga seemed like a good compromise, so I ordered some relatively cheap ones. They are exactly what I needed. Thank you, yoga pants, for existing.


I know, I know. Part of me is still suffering from residual trauma of the first four months of 2015 (never forget) but really, snow in November and December is magical. I still haven't lost my appreciation for the first few snows. I do immediately lose any fondness I might have for winter as soon as January 2nd rolls around, but right now, I enjoy a little bit of snow. The world look cleaner and brighter, and is still and cozy when it snows. I used to work the evening shift at a grocery store, and I never minded walking home super late, because if it was snowing a bit, I was the only one out and got to enjoy softly falling snow in a still world. It was perfect. Snow is festive and magical and fun, for a little while. 

Christmas lights

In keeping with the magic of the season, I love Christmas lights. I have, as soon as I could reach a lightswitch (which took a lot longer than you might expect; I was a very small child), spent many a December evening watching Christmas movies with no other light than that coming from the Christmas tree. I suspect my fondness also comes from the lights being one of the few things that distortion from keratoconus makes beautiful. In later years, it was my job to put the lights on the tree - on the phone with my dad the other night, he remarked that he would have to take up the mantle of getting Christmas lights onto the tree this year, since I won't be home till Christmas Eve. He much preferred that I did it, because I'm smaller and younger and generally more able to wedge myself properly between the wall and the tree to get the lights on. I suggested my youngest brother do it, because that's what brothers are for, yes?

I put up a string of lights in my window so I can carry on the tradition of bathing myself in a rainbow glow and watching Christmas movies. I also got these earrings from Sihaya Designs because they represent my love of Christmas lights in a classy, beautiful way. 

Coconut milk nog

I love eggnog. I love everything about it. I remember the first time I had eggnog: it was the summer of 1995, and my mother had mono. My grandmother came to stay with us, as my mom couldn't run after her 3 (me) and 1 (middle brother) year old children. She also couldn't eat much of anything, so to get some nutrients in her, my grandmother would make eggnog, minus the booze. Inquisitive toddler me wanted some too, and so my grandmother would pour a little bit into a Tweety cup (I remember that cup very clearly) and I loved it. I wanted more. My grandmother, of course, stopped me from gorging on a raw egg beverage, but ever since then, I've loved eggnog. This year, in my first holiday acceptance of being lactose-intolerant, I was feeling sad about missing out on eggnog. Till a vegan friend of mine alerted me to a coconut milk nog. I tracked it down at the Sobeys across the river from me, and it satisfies that itch. It tastes like eggnog. It is delicious. I bought two cartons to down before I head home for Christmas. I will probably ask my mom to buy me another one when I'm home. 

Two bedroom apartments

Enough space for a glorious vanity corner, much larger than the old one.

I have a whole two bedroom apartment to myself. My own bathroom. My own kitchen. My own living room. It is glorious. I've never had such luxury - I grew up in a small bungalow with one bathroom for five people, which made it very easy to transition to university residences. For the last five years, I've shared a bathroom with only one other person, and that was pretty luxurious, but having my own! I don't think I can return to sharing a bathroom with anyone. I've also never had my own space that measured more than 150 square feet, so having a whole apartment is pretty exciting. I'm still pretty enamoured with this living by myself thing. I expect this to wear off at some point, but considering that my leftovers remain in the fridge and not eaten by my partner or a male relative or friend, I doubt it will be that soon. Thanks, northern New Brunswick, for your cheap rent.

Honourable mention to The Manatee, New Brunswick's finest satirical news site. I especially enjoy this list. There's more than 1000 trees per person here, guys...and I do like trees.

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who knocks dairy free alternatives be damned, I am SO HAPPY for dairy free nog!!


Collection Inventory: Red Lip Products

Kicking off my collection inventory project with the most ridiculous category of makeup I own: red lipsticks. I have a lot, as determined by...