Project: Perfect Weekend

A few weeks ago, I decided that in order to inject more joy into my life I needed to do more of what I love to do. Only it’s been so long since I’ve thought about what I like to do, that I was at a bit of a loss. So I decided to take a little trip down memory lane and think about what stood out in my mind as my best days. These were not those impossible-to-replicate days – a child’s first steps, somebody’s awesome wedding – but regular days that stood out. I thought about what I did and who I was with – and I decided to start to do more of that.

I like semi-structured free time. I like to have a few things planned with friends. And then I just like to have some time to wander. So that’s what I did. And I’m a J on the Myers-Briggs Type indicator, which means I have trouble doing this when I have lots of errands to do. So I planned accordingly.

Friday night, I was downtown, so I met an old friend at Mercatto on Bay. I had the goat’s cheese ravioli (with mushrooms, arugula, padano and – wait for it – truffle oil.) Delish. Truffle oil makes the world a better place. And I had a glass of the verdicchio. Yum! My friend is a very involved within the Christian community and she is just such a lovely example of what the body of Christ is all about. Plus she’s tons of fun. She’s been so encouraging of my faith walk and it was a lovely few hours

I’d originally planned to go skiing on Saturday but, thanks to global warming, I’d decided that in-town plans were  in order since I’m not a fan of slush. A loudly snoring french bulldog in my room meant that I got up early and hit the gym. I had a good workout and it was all guys there at that hour so there was no pressure to look perfect (let’s face it – most guys are just happy there is a woman in the place!) I then came home and cleaned the house which – I’m happy to say – takes only an hour. There is something to be said for a small footprint! So by Saturday at 11am, I’d done all the chore stuff for the weekend and had the day ahead of me. Such luxury!

So I headed to Petits et Jolis on Kerr.

Earlier in the week, I was running an errand when I saw this sign in their window:

Hold the phone! I’d been meaning to go into the store every since I’d moved here and so I hit the brakes and parked my car. I had no time to really look but I grabbed a couple of obvious pieces and resolved to go back when I had more time. Saturday, I had that kind of time and man oh man. Trop belle! I wanted everything. The lovely proprietress, Tamara Wright, is clearing room for new (vintage) stock and everything is going for a song.

I picked up a pair of replica Staffordshire dogs for my mantle (for $47 for the pair), an newly re-upholstered fireplace bench in leopard print ($97), and a cute oil painting ($32) to distract attention from the world’s ugliest fireplace.

I then made my rounds of the other antique and vintage stores in town but could not find anything that touched my bargains from P et J. So I went home to decorate.

I started with this:

Ya, I know. Like the surround. Hate everything else. I hate TVs above fireplaces but it was there when I bought the house and it’s the best place for it. Eventually I’ll replace the tile and hearth with black marble and put in a gas insert (something like this Valor:

But, for now my beige-tiled, non-working fireplace (the soot stains indicate that this sucker should not be lit as it’s not drawing properly) is just an eyesore.

But then I got to work with my new finds and some existing pieces:

Et voila!

I moved two of my Ghost chairs in front of the fireplace with silk cushions on them. I placed the new fireplace blench in between, topped with the The Big Book of Chic (how much do I love Miles Redd!!) I hung some paintings around the TV to distract attention away from the ugly. I stacked my beloved coffee tables on the hearth. And my gorgeous little pot dogs are on the mantle.

Much better, until I have a chance to Hackney-fy the place.

With the fireplace prettified, I ran out to meet a friend for AYCE sushi and a showing of Silver Linings Playbook (and I thought Bradley Cooper was just eye candy – who knew he could act!)

I rounded off the weekend with brunch with yet another pal at School in Liberty Village. Who can say no to coffee, good conversation and Belgian waffles with Maple Butter & Sugar Cured Bacon?

And, of course, I took lots of walks with the French Bulldog because apparently it’s spring in January.

Perfect weekend. As Andrew Walhol (apparently) said, “They say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Indeed. As Cooper’s character learned in SLP, you need “a strategy” to get through hard times. These little planned happinesses are my strategy to change things for the better.

Take care until tomorrow, kids…

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