favorite things

since last week's favorite things, i've been sick. my voice left me, and i stayed home, not going much farther than the comfy Roots chair for three days. so, i'm sure you'll understand the 'comfort' theme i have happening here this week...

grilled cheese sandwiches
one of the best of the comfort foods ever. given that i don't even really like cheese, i'm not sure why two grilled slices of bread surrounding real cheddar cheese makes my heart just so darn happy, but it does! couple it with a bowl of steaming tomato soup, some pickles, and everything suddenly seems right in the world.

Kleenex with Lotion!
i am fully prepared to say that i am a tissue snob. i bring my own tissues pretty much everywhere i go, and always keep a private stash at work, so i don't need to use the sandpaper brand. yes, there are those that i work with who have no problem using the standard issue tissues, but perhaps my nose is more wussy than others. but these beauties by Kleenex, with lotion built right in to them are really the best discovery in the world. no, you don't want to clean your glasses with them, but when you're blowing your nose 67 times an hour, it's okay to be picky about that comes close to your face. {yes, i am hugging the box... i love them that much!}

Ikea tea light holders
my last outing, before the cold sunk it's evil claws into me, was a trip to Ikea with my friend Barb. i was being really good, as we walked through what can only be described as two floors of solid temptation to spend money. but when we walked past these black and white floral tea light holders, all my resolve went right out the window. granted, they were only $2.99. so little a price for such prettiness.

i am a strong enough person to admit that when i hear about some injustice or someone hurts someone i love, there is nothing i want more than to be Sydney Bristow and kick all of the offender's bad-guy butts. of course, this all happens in my mind. in reality, me trying to kick box my way out of a paper bag would have the score paper bag: 1 me: 0. but since September 30, 2001, when i was first introduced to Sydney, i have wanted to be her. all five seasons of Alias now reside in my DVD collection, and while i was home sick this past week, i took the time to reacquaint myself with them, and even after all this time, i love its sheer brilliance. is it any coincidence that the creative mind behind this show is the same as LOST, Fringe and Star Trek? one has to wonder if J.J. Abrams ever had a bad idea.
* * * * *

well friends, these are my favorite things for this week. i hope you have a super weekend, and that you'll have no need for Kleenex with Lotion any time soon... but go get some anyway, you're worth it!


snow night...

according to my calendar, march begins only next week. and it seems that while it has taken a while to find us, winter has arrived.

and apparently, it is still arriving...

which means that tonight is a snow night. i get to do laundry out in the snow* and can think of nothing better than some yummy kind of soup— potato cheddar perhaps— while curling up between loads to watch figure skating and do a bit of reading.

{on a side note: i do hope that since winter has just arrived, that it doesn't think it can stay until may...}

how are you coping with the winter wonderland?

*well, not actually out in the snow, but i do need to walk outside to get to the laundry room. but for a girl who likes her flip flops, it might as well be outside!


stupid perfectionism

i love a new journal. pages upon blank pages of potential words and drawings still undiscovered. but sometimes i let the imaginary perfection of what the pages will hold lead me to total inaction.

case in point: my new Moleskine City Notebook for this May's trip to New York City. i've had it for a while—before Christmas, in fact. over the holidays we made plans, and we have our hotel reserved, mom and dad have their train booked from Billings, Montana, and i have my flight. i've been through the tour books, time and time again, and we know what we want to do, so officially, i have the info that needs to go in the book.

but something is stopping me.

stupid perfectionism.

i want it to be perfect. i don't want to mess the pretty, pretty book up. but the truth is, this desire for perfection is going to leave the book useless and not worth my time to carry.

there are times when perfection is a good thing. take my flight to NYC... i want the plane to be built perfectly, and the ground crew to do exactly what they need to do. perfection here is good. but while there are times and places for perfection, in moments like the NYC journal, and even in my job as graphic designer, the need for perfection more often stifles creativity and renders me totally useless.

the only way i have found to overcome this perfectionism disease is to borrow a page from Nike's book and just do it. to begin writing. to start designing something. to simply take out a pen and begin to write in the journal. and know that if it isn't perfect, it's okay.

if it was intended for perfection, it probably wouldn't be mine, anyways.

* * * * *

do you stuggle with perfectionism?
if so, how do you get beyond it?


long time coming...

about a million years ago, or, more accurately, in the late '80s, i fell in love with the ice dancing brother/sister duo Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay. they competed for canada, but most notably for france, and were, in my estimation, the best and most original in the world at the time.

but there was always heartbreak. sure, they won a world championship title in 1991, but in the 1988 olympic games, their jungle-themed free dance was not at all looked upon favorably by the judges, and they ended up in eighth place. even the silver medal that they won in albertville's 1992 olympics was bittersweet, as they had been favored to win gold, and by all rights, they should have.

their second place finish in the '92 games, was the last time that they competed as amateurs. and with their moving on to the professional world, i really didn't think that there was anything that could make me watch ice dancing, or even figure skating again.

until now.

congratulations Tessa Virture and Scott Moir. and thank you, not only for bringing the gold medal home to canada, but also for helping me rediscover a long lost love.


favorite things

can you believe it is friday already? this week has gone by so very quickly, that for today, i only have three favorite things. but they really are three good ones.

my map of Paris
in my living room, right next to my Roots chair, i have a large, framed map of the city of Paris. i love that when i'm feeling homesick i can look at the one place on earth i feel at home. i always start at 11 rue des Ecoles, my Parisian 'home', also known as the Familia Hotel, and go from there. planning out where i would walk, what part of the city i would explore if i were actually in the map. its not the next best thing to being there, but it definitely makes it feel a little closer.

Vincent van Gogh
i have loved this man's art, both painting and written, since i first heard his story years ago, and my love for him grows with every new discovery i make of his.

this painting, Bank of the Oise at Auvers (1890) was at the Detroit Institute of Arts when i visited there last year, and it's my most recent 'new' one. i'm looking forward to seeing my next new ones, which i am sure will be in new york city in may.

coconut yogurt!
for anyone who has had to endure watching me eat north american yogurt, let me say that there is redemption! thanks to my friend silvia, i no longer have to go to poland to get yogurt that is not a pain to eat, and couple that with one of my most very favorite things in the world, coconut, and here is a little bit of heaven in a plastic container. so, so yummy!

well, these are a few of my favorite things for this week. i hope you have a super, super weekend, and i'm going to go eat some of that yogurt!



it's been a while since i shared any of my favorite poems with you, or gushed on about my favorite poet, Rilke. to be honest, i may have shared this one before, but given that its author is brilliant, and the poem is perfect, i think it's worth the risk.
Ignorant before the heavens of my life | R.M. Rilke

Ignorant before the heavens of my life,
I stand and gaze in wonder. Oh the vastness
of the stars. Their rising and descent. How still.
As if I didn't exist. Do I have any
share in this? Have I somehow dispensed with
their pure effect? Does my blood's ebb and flow
change with their changes? Let me put aside
every desire, every relationship
except this one, so that my heart grows used to
its farthest spaces. Better that it live
fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than
as if protected, soothed by what is near.



|diˈvər zh ən; dī-|
-an activity that diverts the mind from tedious or serious concerns; a recreation or pastime.
-something intended to distract someone's attention from something more important.

if we take the time to honestly look at our lives, i fear there are few who could claim that they have no pet diversions. things that we do to avoid doing what we should be doing. the toys in the backyard of our boredom. activities whose sole purpose is to stop our minds from thinking... and possibly realizing how much of our lives we waste by doing basically nothing.

i am stripping some of the diversions from my life during Lent. some of the ways that i use to turn my mind off are gone as of today. escape mechanisms stripped away.

and i can either embrace the journey of facing life unanesthetized, discovering what God wants to teach me through this experience, or i can find new diversions.

right here, in the quiet of the new day, with little else going on around me, i choose to face it head on. in a few hours, when the demands of life come calling, i pray my choice will remain the same.

only time will tell, and more importantly, only i can choose. only i can live this life i've been given.

what terrifying and amazing responsibility.



...lent begins.

i have friends who think it odd that i observe Lent, given that i no longer attend the catholic church, and haven't since i was a child. the reason behind it, has less to do with the fact that my early roots run deep, and more in an effort to get my heart ready for the easter celebration. as i see it, the observance of Lent is no different than that of Advent, in preparation for the arrival of the baby Jesus. it is preparing oneself, putting your heart in a place far from where you would normally let it roam, so that God can speak.

this year, my Lenten companion is a book entitled Small Surrenders: A Lenten Journey by Emilie Griffin. i haven't started reading it yet, so i cannot tell you much about it yet {the readings begin tomorrow, Ash Wednesday}, but i can share what is written on the inside cover...
We are converted not only once in our lives but many times, and the conversion is little by little and often imperceptible. But Lent gives us a time to move the process along, intentionally, by a series of small surrenders. When we choose some exercise for Lent—daily worship, daily prayer, abstinence from one thing or another—it is not much the practice that transforms us, but it is our willingness to change. | Emilie Griffin
so, i am looking forward to this season, and to what i will learn through it. will there be moments when i wished i wouldn't have taken this course? i have no doubt. even this morning, as i was thinking through what i would give up, i had the thought that something might be a bit excessive... but isn't that kind of the point?

i wonder if God ever thought that sending Jesus to die was a bit excessive. how grateful we all should be that even if the thought crossed his mind, he didn't listen to it.


favorite things

happy friday! here are a few more of my favorite things... {does anyone else have the song from The Sound of Music running through their head?!}

vacation days!

ah, vacation days are pure bliss. and how can a girl be sure? you'll have to trust me since i'm experiencing one right now! i added today onto the already long, family day weekend, and have little planned but hanging with some friends, doing some writing, reading, visiting Chapters and a birthday-edition movie night. as i said, pure bliss.

{oh, and yes, that is matt lauer from the Today Show on my television, and yes, he is one of my favorite things as well. he's pretty...}

hot lips candy
given that i'm not a candy person, the fact that i can eat these babies until i am ill, is a mystery to me. but regardless, i love them. i had to explain them to a friend the other day, and the best i could come up with is that they are like swedish berries with a serious kick.

perhaps they have some mysterious addictive quality...?

pride and prejudice game
last weekend, i saw my best friend for the first time since last fall. she drove up from michigan, and to prove that we are not old ladies, we did many new and different things than we usually do when we get together! {i put that in there for you, ang!} we also exchanged christmas gifts, and this super cool game is what she got me! now, if you're not a jane austen-aholic as i am, this could mean very little to you, but you have to understand how incredibly happy it makes me! you are, after all, reading the words of a girl who owns a pride and prejudice choose-your-own-adventure book! i simply cannot wait to play it.

travel books
simply put, i love travel books. i especially love travel books about paris, but since i am meeting mom and dad in new york city this spring, my love of NYC travel books has grown exponentially. my favorites are the Top 10 series, which i have two different editions for paris, one for london, and soon i will own the new one for NYC which came out only days ago.

well, these are my favorite things today. have a super weekend, and if you feel so inclined, i'd love to hear what your favorite things are! feel free to leave a comment.

happy weekending!


and then it was thursday...

it's been a busy morning so far.

i woke up at 5:15 am, did my personal devotions, wrote three pages, watched a few minutes of the Today Show, all before i walked to work. coffee is made. now just as i begin my work day, with Charlotte Martin's Piano Trees playing, i am filled with gratitude...

...for my family.
...for this job i have the privilege of doing.
...for my health.
...for friends.
...for coffee.
...for long weekends.
...for warm boots.
...for laughter.

...but mostly, for grace, without which one of the other things would really matter.

what are you grateful for today?



have you ever noticed that things all run out at the same time?

it boggles my mind that so many things, all different sizes and uses— from toothpaste to shampoo to Advil cold & sinus to toilet paper— can all manage to evaporate at the same time. leaving you with a costly, not to mention boring, trip to walmart.

well, today is similar, but much happier. today i am beginning a new morning journal, and a new Life Journal. early yesterday, i finished both of my previous ones, and with much flourish and excitement, i closed the last pages on the well-used ones, and immediately pulled out the shiny, new ones!

and, so as not to be outdone, i figured it was time for a new blog look, as well as a new blog! the new look is pretty evident, if you've ever been here before. if you haven't, then you'll have to take my word for it. but the new blog, page addict, is... well.. new.

given my challenge to read 75 books this year, it was inevitable that the book thing would begin to take over my life. what i didn't expect it to do was also take over my blog, which i started for my own writing.

hence, page addict, where from now on you'll find my book reviews, and random bookish thoughts... not that they will be totally absent from here. a girl cannot separate herself from the books she loves... nor should she even try.

i hope you have a super day, and if you have a moment, leave a comment and let me know...
what's new in your life?



"I am the Lord your God;
consecrate yourselves and be holy,
because I am holy." | Leviticus 11:44
as a kid, it is fun to emulate your parents. we've all seen small children struggle to walk in mommy's high heels or daddy's far too large shoes. it's only natural to want to be like these people who brought you into the world, these people who are there every day, who love and care for you. it's only normal to want to be like them.

but have you ever noticed what happens when what a parent wants a child to do is not what the child herself wants to do? when the parent's will clashes with the child's, suddenly emulating mom is of no consequence.

i don't think we grow out of that very easily.

much, i believe, is the same in our walk with God. when things are going good, all is well. we want to be like God, and seek to both emulate and do as he asked us to. we attend church, go to small group, we take his command to be holy to heart.

then, something happens.

it doesn't matter what the something is, but the result is the same, God's will on one side, and our will on the other.

i'm afraid in the showdown between God's will and mine, i more often root for mine to win. in the choosing between the holy and the common, i too often settle for the common.

i need to stop settling.

right now, things are quiet and all is well. but i know that very soon there will be another showdown between God's will and mine, and the price that holiness requires will not be one that my will will want to pay.

today, i choose holiness, because more than anything else, i want to be like my Father.


book challenge update: day 38

happy monday, everyone!

it's day 38 of my book challenge, and as of 11 pm on friday evening, i was right on track, finishing annie dillard's The Writing Life, my eighth book this year.

i have always admired annie dillard's writing. her prose is some of the most breathtakingly beautiful i have ever read. and this little book about her life and habits as a writer is absolutely no exception.

here are some excerpts to let you judge for yourself...
how we spend our days is , of course, how we spend our lives. what we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing... there is no shortage of days. it is good lives that are hard to come by. {p. 32}
write as if you were dying. at the same time assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. {p. 68}
only after the writer lets literature shape her can she perhaps shape literature. {p. 69}
upon finishing her book i am left with a strange wondering if one could ever be a writer of annie's calibre while living in a city without the luxury of a rustic and unheated cabin to guide you through the words. still, while her basic ideas are much the same as other writers on the subject of writing, she just says it all so much more beautifully! if you are a writer, you must read this book.

on to the next...

book number nine should be finished by tomorrow {which is also right on time}, although at this point, i am not sure which one it will be. i am reading three right now, Winnie the Pooh, a Cara Black mystery, Murder in Montmartre, and Cupidity. i am also toying with the idea of starting Jane Austen's Persuasion, as i saw the BBC version of it over the holidays and it was pure bliss. it's anyone's guess as to which one will win...

what are you reading?


favorite things

angelina's africain chocolat

while it may be true that i LOVE any and everything from paris, the angelina tea room holds a very special place in my heart. located on the rue de rivoli, basically between the louvre and the place de la concorde, this delightful tea room is best known for their africain chocolat, an unbelievably smooth and perfectly rich drinking chocolate. it comes with its own little bowl of whipped cream.

yes, i miss paris constantly, but for the last week, this has been what i've been most craving about my favorite city.

you don't have to know me long to know that i have a serious addiction to books. couple that with the goal of reading 75 books this year, and you've got my new best friend, bookdepository.com! my two favorite things: super low prices and absolutely no shipping costs! does it get any better than this?

how i love my little town nestled with my city!

i am definitely not a small town girl. in order for me not to self-destruct, i need a city. but here in streetsville, i have the best of both worlds, the village feel of a small community right in the middle of the city! and with the cupcake place, crepe restaurant and my neighborhood starbucks, what else could a girl ask for?!


i have long had a love of daisies. and gerbera daisies are no exception. according to proflowers.com, the "meaning of gerbera daisies stem from those attributed to the general daisy family. these meanings include innocence and purity, and daisies are also a classic symbol of beauty. however, the gerbera variety holds an added meaning of cheerfulness." with such a happy foundation behind them, i have and will always hold that every girl should have daisies on her special day.

* * * * *

well, that's it for this week, my friends. have a super weekend, whatever you do. i know that i'll have a perfect weekend, as my dear friend angie is driving all the way up here so we can hang out together.

enjoy & be happy.



apparently, i am hard-headed. i should have believed one of my childhood nicknames, translated 'wooden head', actually meant something. but it seems that i really do take an unbelievably long time to 'get it'.

last night i had coffee with a friend i hadn't seen in almost a year. craziness, especially when you consider the fact that we don't live hopelessly far apart. his front door is about a two minute walk from mine, and most weeks i walk past his family's home at least three or four times.

and yet, we hadn't talked in ages.

the best reason i could think of for this madness was the most random and pathetic of all excuses: life. life got too busy. life was out of control.


what is this generic life thing that has such power over me? who actually lives my life? who controls my schedule? my calendar? is it me or some random plan derailing force somewhere out there?

granted, we all have jobs and obligations we must fulfill and give proper place in our lives. but as busy as my job can be, i cannot blame it for a lack of time for the important things in life.

there are way too many moments in my life that get wasted. moments i spend looking at screens and monitors. moments of diversion that, unguarded and unaware, it is far too easy to simply let slip away.

and it's not like this is the first time i've had this revelation. we've been here before, but it seems that this wisdom didn't stick around in my head as long as i wished it would have. fortunately, i have today to relearn what has formerly been elusive.

today i will not be ruled by this vague life thing. i will deliberately live my life and already i can think of one friend who i will call tonight to simply catch up and hear her friendly voice, and another couple who i've been meaning to write a note to.

today, i'm living my life... not the other way around.



for probably four years now i have been attempting to drag my sleepy self out of bed around 5:00 am to do a writing exercise. the goal is, before i do much of anything else, i hand write three pages of whatever is going on in my mind, getting all the petty, unimportant stuff that i wake up with out so i can spend the rest of my day being as creative as i need to.

there have been periods of time when i have been very faithful at this, and have been astonished at what i've written as a direct result of this discipline.

...and there have been times when i have not been at all faithful, and seriously wondered if i will ever write anything decent again.

growing up, i was not known for my follow-through ability. my parents lamented my super-power of starting a project, getting bored, and leaving it to begin another. the new, the undiscovered always seemed so much more appealing than whatever it was i was working on.

but as i was writing this morning's pages, i was reminded that i have been doing this for going on four, maybe five years, and even though i may not have the consistency thing happening all the time, the fact is, i haven't given up, and i don't intend to.

a far cry from the girl i used to be.

do i want to get up early every morning? definitely not, especially today after staying up well past my bedtime to watch LOST last night. but knowing that this discipline makes me a better writer, a better designer, and—let's face it— a better person, i know that very early tomorrow, my alarm clock will start making its annoying sound, and it all will begin again...

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful
people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is
almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of
educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone
are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and
always will solve the problems of the human race." | Calvin Coolidge


waiting well

today is that day those of us with a LOST obsession have been waiting for. finally.

naturally, my mind today is filled with all sorts of thoughts about waiting and anticipation, and how these things can affect us either positively or negatively.

i have been both a good wait-er and a bad wait-er.

when i am in bad wait-er mode, i dwell on what i do not have, to the detriment of the rest of my life. whether it is a vacation, something coming through the postal system, or something God has asked me to wait for, it doesn't matter. when i don't wait well, i am not the best version of suzi.

waiting well requires work. often waiting is looked at as a passive verb, basically to sit and do nothing. but i have learned otherwise. when i am waiting well i live my life fully aware of what is going on around me, and i let the reminders that i am still lacking something be a catalyst to help me prepare for the day when i do have what i desire.

to wait well means not to be consumed by what you do not have, but to faithfully live your daily life.

i wish i could say that i always wait well, but that is not the case. slowly, though, i am learning to be a better wait-er.

how are you at this whole waiting thing?


happy birthday, lanston hughes!

today i wanted to celebrate the birthday of writer, poet and essayist Langston Hughes with one of my favorite poems written by him.

by Langston Hughes

hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly.
hold fast to dreams
for when dreams go
life is a barren field
frozen with snow.

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