Sunday Smile: owl chevron stripes, oh my!

owl necklace funtime 

I'm loving my new necklace, it's an owl, it has chevrons, and it's mega colourful! What's not to love?


I also needed to wear a belt (vintage, thrifted) to keep my jeans up! This is an awesome feeling.

That's it, folks, I'm keeping it short & sweet (like me!) for this Sunday Smile!


The Chocolate Rabbit

tea & chocolate

Above: tea & chocolate yummy goodness prettily displayed
Below: where the tea & chocolate came from, The Chocolate Rabbit (in Lakefield, ON)

the chocolate rabbit 

fuzzy bunny 

the chocolate rabbit

chocolate machine

Above: a chocolate-making machine?! I want one, in every room of my home!

felted hello kitty tea cozy

Above: cutest tea cozy, ever! Hello Kitty look-alike by local artisans Madame Damselfly
(I have one of their felted tea cozies - they're fabulous!)
Below: Kusmi Tea, straight from France, a delightful cup every time! I got the Green Tea w/ lemon grass.

Kusmi Tea

tea & chocolate - hazelnut goodness

above: Hazelnut goodness - the first bite in was so good I nearly peed my pants.
All of those chocolates you see above lasted all night long. 
I like my chocolate to last.
I saved the caramels for last - I didn't take the time to take a photo of them before I gobbled 'em up:
they are a fabulous square shape, outer layer of milk chocolate, with the white inside & caramel drops on top.
Oh good Lord. SO GOOD.
The other chocolates were espresso, and they blew my mind. Tasted better than coffee.

I don't partake in this kind of chocolate often, in fact never since I started my new way of eating, but I could not deny trying the espresso, hazelnut & caramel ones. Harmless bit of delicious fun!

I'll head down to The Chocolate Rabbit again, that's for sure!
The Chocolate Rabbit is on Facebook!


focus on: Andie's Specialty Sweets

{click on photos to take you directly to item listings}

I'm a girl who has a great distaste for mushrooms.
Don't get me wrong, in nature I think they're quite lovely,
but if you try to get me to eat one, you'll see me give a dirty look.
However, if you were to give me a plate full of the sweet fungi above,
I may give you a look of love.
These edible pretties are from Andie's Specialty Sweets on Etsy.

And what are these pretty pretty buttons below, you might ask?
Sugary peppermint-flavoured goodness, that's what!

Mmmm! Candylicious!
So happy I happened upon this shop today - had to share the sweetness.
~Caren, who sometimes wishes she still ate sugary things. ;)


I'm Batman...

This is what happens when I let my geek girl come out and play.
I reveal my want to be Batman on Twitter (not the first time, mind you),
and am given the twitter name batmancaren from Hellcatvintage.
I then roll with it, doing a quick sketch of a Batman-Batgirl character.
I change my Twitter account name from 'buttercupcaren' to 'batmancaren'.
And from that moment on, Batmancaren is born.
It's about bloody time, if I do say so myself.

yup. I geek out this much on a regular basis.
Now you know. 
And knowing is half the battle!
** The first person that can tell me where the tagline "...and knowing is half the battle" comes from wins something random & fun.... really! I'll mail something out to you.

UPDATE: I'm @buttercupcaren again 'cause I was too lazy to update all my social media to be batmancaren, but never fear, I'm still Batman!

random: downtown bride and groom

downtown bride & groom

It's times like this I wish I was equipped with all of my cameras all of the time.
I did have my digital camera on me when I saw this,
a random sighting of a bride & groom dashing downtown.
I only wish I had my Diana or Holga or a Polaroid on me! 
Prime moment for an analog shot, in my opinion.
At any rate, it was a delightful view. 
A random romantic sight.
Congratulations to the unknown bride & groom!

and lesson learned:
never leave home without your stash of cameras.


a little birthday post for a friend

birthday tea 
Birthday girl Michele: tea & friends

It was my dear friend Michele's birthday last week, and as per our tradition, my mom & I celebrated it with her. This year, we did a low-key tea & gift-opening outing to Black Honey (a local dessert cafe). There, we were served tea in pretty vintage cups (well, I drank their homemade iced tea) and ate copious amounts of delicious cheesecake. Truly, a sweet day was had! Sprinkled on top of that was the gift-giving of handmade goodness.

kahlua cheesecake 
I had a piece of Kahlua cheesecake; in the background is Michele's Apple Caramel cheesecake.

honey cheesecake
my mom had the Honey cheesecake with a berry sauce on top.

tea & gifts 
tea & gifts! including a Time for Tea postcard I got from tabidesigns

happy birthday 

handmade gift - prayer shawl 
my mom knit a beautiful Prayer Shawl for Michele.

a handmade gift
This is a lovely Treasure Purse that I got from A Giraffe in a Scarf's mom! Perfect for Michele!
(thank you to Zoe & Zoe's mom!)

I enjoy intimate little get-togethers to celebrate the simple joys in life. There's a sweetness to a small gathering of loved ones, where the energy is passed around equally and easily.
The addition of tea & cheesecake is just the cherry on the cupcake of life.


Sunday Smile: puppy belly!

blissed out puppy belly

puppy belly

rub my belly

do I really need to say anything here?
dog wiggles her way onto my lap,
then creates (forces) a nest between my legs
and rolls onto her back with her head on the pillow
(a pillow I was using as a laptop table, mind you)
in such a way that it is impossible to ignore her
so, of course, I did not ignore her.

puppy bellies = smiles!

hope you have a puppy belly to rub, too, and if not then the equivalent of one (cat? girlfriend/boyfriend? ... the pigeon outside your window?).


Saturday is for... the zoo!

meet the lemur\
Meet the Lemur day at the zoo!

It was Meet the Zoo Keeper day at the zoo, in particular meet the Lemur (every Tuesday, in fact!). So, I met the above Lemur, who has no name (we found out they don't name the Lemurs; instead they are differentiated by microchips). I would name this one Sugar 'cause of how much he/she loved the fruits. Social little creature, and with nifty opposable thumbs to boot.
Spent some time with the donkey you see pictured below, again very social! As always, I had to stop off and watch the Meerkats be all Meerkat-like. I even learned some interesting facts about turtle spines, different types of feathers, snake skin and touched an otter pelt. All in all, a very educational day! And all for free. The Peterborough Riverview Park & Zoo is all free, all the time. Crazy, isn't it? Add onto that the huge water park & play area and it's THE place to congregate.
note to the Riverview Park & Zoo: if you ever had to charge a nominal membership fee, I'd pay it.

donkey laugh
This Donkey was extremely social. We had a good chat.

Meerkat ... so cute. 'nuff said.

turtle spine
Turtle's spine is located in its shell. Fascinating! also, please brake for turtles.

toucan ride
why I did not get on this Toucan is beyond me.

feet in water
feet! in water! just the thing to do on a hot hot day.

Polaroid - Beat the Heat

Above, a Polaroid I took of kids playing in the water park. A perfect way to cool off on a very hot day. I, however, like to stay away from public water areas ... I know what kids do in water. But, I digress. It was fun to bring my dear old SX70 land Polaroid with me to the zoo & capture this moment of summertime joy!

with Polaroids & Donkeys dancing in my head,


the film that I forgot

b&w Heart Girl
Astrid = heart

b&w Polaroid Land
my Polaroid Land, looking pretty in black & white

b&w Gracie Shadows
Grace, shadowed in geometric shapes.

b&w Pencil Crayons
my colourful pencil crayons still look great in grayscale.

b&w Umbrella Girl
Astrid = the Umbrella Girl

I took these shots last summer, and just found the roll of film a couple of weeks ago still in my Pentax ME camera! I guess I just plum forgot I took an entire roll of b&w film and obviously did not use my Pentax since last year. Crazy, but all kinds of fun! I excitedly awaited the negatives to come back so I could find out what I had shot (and when).
The results make me want to play with more black & white film, something I do not do often enough.
Next time, I think I'll use my Holga and see what (possible) magic will ensue... and hopefully not wait an entire year to get it developed!
I loved the grainy texture of the photographs & depth of shade. Above are a few of my favourites, including the Umbrella Girl shot which was a part of a fun vintage-inspired photoshoot (see more here).
I often find myself bringing 2-4 different cameras when I go out for a day of shooting - it's fun to see how each camera will reveal a different layer of the same subject matter.
photo girl,


Colour Therapy

These are a few of my favourite things on Etsy, which I pulled together for a little Colour Therapy!
The dress from Vera Vague is full of such bright happy colours, which leads to Laura Amiss's tea scene. Add a purple floral hand bag by Ika Bags and a geometric pouch by Heyday Handmade and you'll be ready for a picnic, like the scene from Pop Pop Portraits!
Purples, blues, and golden oranges with little bits of hot pink and bright green - it's a riot of colour that somehow works together beautifully (at least I think so!).


Sunday Smile: a very happy day.

Cosmic Charlies & the girls

Last weekend, I had the joy of having my goddaughter Astrid & her mom (my dear friend) Michele for the day. It was a girls weekend, with daughters and moms - my mom & I, and Astrid & hers.
We decided to go to Cosmic Charlie's for lunch - what a fabulous decision! 
The food is always so fresh and tasty (Thai concoctions of true yumminess).
Astrid & I had the most fun ever.

Cosmic Charlies - teatime
happy Jasmine green tea moment.

strutting my new (vintage) shoes!

Instax of Astrid & I
Astrid took this Instax of us. :)

silly faces
Astrid braided my (short) hair at the restaurant. It was the cutest thing ever!

I smiled so much that day, my face hurt.
I hope you have a day like that, too, dear chickadees!


the one with the Uppercase & Polaroid

Polaroid - Uppercase #10

My Uppercase issue #10 came in the mail the other day, which is always a happy day!
This one was made extra awesome by the cover of a very dapper dog. I swooned.
I knew there was a piece on Polaroids in the magazine, so I immediately sought it out and grabbed my own Polaroid SX70 to do a lil photoshoot. I always find Uppercase to be creatively inspiring!

sx70 Uppercase #10

sx70 & Uppercase #10

Uppercase + dog + SX70
yes, Grace had to sniff the doggy on the cover ... perhaps she wants a bowtie, too?

I like to take my time with a new issue of Uppercase magazine - otherwise, I'd gobble it up in one bite! It's always such a tasty treat to peruse.


in my neighbour's yard

in the neighbour's yard

This is a Polaroid I took in my neighbour's (sofawned.com) yard yesterday.
I tried to get Winston (the Boston Terrier you see in the lower right hand side)
to pose for me, but he wanted nothing to do with it. 
I caught him walking towards me, silly boy,
and loved how the big colour-block blanket was front & centre. 
It's always happy timing when a moment is captured just so.

This is the only Polaroid that has turned out during Polaroid Week.
(Polaroid Week is an annual Flickr event for instant photography geeks)  
I have taken about 10 shots so far, using Impossible Project packs
of PX70 Color Shade Push and PX100 Silver Shade.
It's been a frustrating week of instant photography attempts!
So, I was over the moon that the above shot worked out so well kinda okay.
(I thank the lighting & the fact I set the light/dark setting to its lightest)

There's still time to submit new Polaroids into Polaroid Week - until tomorrow (Friday)!
I hope to capture another moment to share on the Flickr Group.

Polaroid Girl,