My Big Day Downtown at Inkwell Boutique

Hi everyone! I’m taking a break from my summer blogging hiatus for something fun – the fifth annual Downtown Halifax Big Day Downtown.

I’ve been very lucky to get to participate in this event every year. The Downtown Halifax Business Commission has a party and gives 30 local bloggers some gift cards to go out and explore out downtown area. It’s such a great opportunity for me to visit some of my favorite local businesses, try new ones, and to write about them.

This year, we were each given $150 and a twist – ask your social media following where you should go on your Big Day Downtown. So ask I did, and I got some great responses.

 

Suggestions included Neptune Theatre, Biscuit General Store, Foregin Affair, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, The Freak Lunchbox, Take It Outside, the Art Gallery shop, and more. With so many good suggestions, how could I possibly choose? (Actually, I kind of didn’t – while I didn’t use my Big Day Downtown gift cards for this, a coworker and I did swing by Neptune Theatre later that day to pick up tickets for Into The Woods at Neptune Theatre.) Still, one tweet conquered all.

 

I LOVE Inkwell Boutique. Love it. It’s the first place I go any time I need a birthday, bridal shower, anniversary – anything card or gift. And because I so often am shopping there for other people, I rarely buy anything for myself. It takes an immense amount of restraint. Every time I enter this beautiful little shop, I think “I could easily drop a few hundred dollars in here.”

IMG_8849Inkwell Boutique is on Market Street in Halifax, and sells beautiful cards, letterpress prints, and handmade items. I can actually see this store from my office window, and I love popping in at lunch just to see what’s new. So on Thursday at lunch, a few of my coworkers and I walked up the hill to Inkwell, ready for me to pick out $150 worth of items.

IMG_8841Needless to say, I was pretty excited.

I picked up a few items right away, but spent a long time in the store browsing, considering my options. I mean, how often do you get to drop $150 in your favorite store with no guilt? I couldn’t screw this up.

In the end, I was very pleased with my purchases.

IMG_8850Here’s what I got:

The first things I looked at were prints by local Halifax artist Emma Fitzgerald. I’ve purchased her work as gifts for friends before, but hadn’t yet picked out anything for myself. These had to be mine.

IMG_8855IMG_8856IMG_8857I can’t wait to frame these and get them on my walls.

I also picked out this beautiful piece. I love the colors, and the message.

IMG_8854Inkwell has a beautiful selection of adorable tea towels, so I selected two.

IMG_8858They’re just so pretty! I love the little cat in the window of the red house.

I picked up this cute drinking jar for my desk at work.

IMG_8853(In the background, you can see just a glimpse of what is a wide selection of tea from World Tea House on Argyle Street – another one of my favorite local businesses!)

And finally, I picked up this adorable bottle opener. It will be great in the kitchen or, possibly one day, a backyard.

IMG_8860Well guys, that was my haul! $150 well spent. If you haven’t been to Inkwell Boutique, you really should check it out. And, follow the #BigDayDowntown hashtag on Twitter so that you can boss around the other bloggers and tell them where to go!

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Orphan Black: “Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things”

Wow! Big episode of Orphan Black this weekend. I know I say it every time I check in on this show on the blog, but man oh man – Orphan Black is one of the most exciting shows on TV right now. It kills me that I have to wait full weeks between episodes.

In this second season, I think the writers have done a good job of expanded the show’s universe at a good speed. The stakes are being raised, but the storyline isn’t spiraling out of control. orphan black Continue reading

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Double the drama: Recapping TWO episodes of The Bachelorette

I watch them so you don’t have to, right? The Bachelorette was on for two hours on Sunday night AND two hours on Monday night this week. I’ve been catching up on DVR because, well, we don’t get that many sunny days in June here in Nova Scotia and I couldn’t waste them watching this nonsense.

But I did catch up, and they were quite the episodes.

Sunday Night Highlights:

  • Andi’s first date was with Nick, and he got what I’d consider the best date. It was stuff normal people do! A bike ride, a brief hike, dinner. Nick never took his jacket off during dinner, and for that I would have withheld a rose. But Andi liked him, so he got a rose.
  • The group date was even more realistic – everyone joined Boyz II Men in concert! (Do you ever wonder if Boyz II Men really regrets the spelling of their band name? Or if they’ve tried to change it to just “Men”?) The singing was horrible. Later, Andi played the world’s lamest prank on the meathead and had this conversation with Marquel, a black contestant:

Marquel: “What’s your favorite color?”Andi: “Is black a color?”Marquel: “Duly noted…”

What? Was that on purpose, or an accident? I don’t think I want to know. Josh the Baseball Player got the rose – I have a feeling he’ll be around for a while.

  • The next one-on-one date went to JJ and was, believe it or not, even weirder. They dressed up as old people, in full makeup and wigs. It was so dumb, you guys. I didn’t sense much of a romantic connection between these two, but JJ got a rose.

    bachelorette old people

    JJ looks old. Andi looks like she’s wearing a wig and had some mud splashed on her face.

  • During the cocktail party, there was lots of drama amongst the men, but none of it made its way to Andy. JJ and Josh were upset that Andrew (a guy I could swear I’d never seen) grabbed the number of a restaurant hostess after a dinner one night, and bragged about it to the other dudes. He was confronted about it, but no one ever told Andi (in this episode, anyway) and she gave him a rose.

Monday Night Highlights:

  • Andi’s first date was with a guy named Dylan, who’d been waiting for the right time to tell Andi about his tragic family history. On an empty train, they talked about failed relationships and the death of his brother. It wasn’t exactly Before Sunrise. During dinner, Dylan recounted the sad deaths of his sister and brother. It was a heavy date, and at the end Andi gave Dylan a rose.
  • The group date was slightly less stupid than singing with Boyz II Men (these things are never normal) – the guys would play basketball against some WNBA players. They were slaughtered, so after a brief game they switched and the guys played against one another. It was competitive, but thanks to Brian – who is a basketball coach for a living.
Go sports!

Go sports!

  • The winning team got to spend extra time with Andi. She confronted Eric about not knowing enough about his life, and got some personal information in return. (Once again, I found it strange and sad to watch Eric discuss his personal life.) Brian blew his chance to steal a kiss after sinking a shot from half-court. Lucky for him, he got the rose anyway.
  • The next one-on-one date went to Marcus, and it was a classic: “Do a scary thing that can act as a metaphor for taking a chance in love!” Andi, who is terrified of heights, had actually requested a date like this. Andi screamed, swore, and practically had a panic attack at the edge of the building. Eventually she made her way down, because Marcus decided to “be the man in this relationship and hide my fear”. Great. He distracted Andi by asking about her mom, waved to the guys in the hotel room, and kissed her. So he passed the weird, twisted test. The rest of the date was boring, and Marcus got a date. Who doesn’t Andi like?

Now let’s talk about what actually happened…

OK, let’s talk about the cocktail party. Under normal circumstances, I would have been absolutely delighted by Eric’s confrontation with Andi. He was feeling defensive about their previous conversation, and felt like he’d opened up a bunch while she was giving nothing back. “I came on this to meet a person, not a TV actress” was a fantastic line. But again, given Eric’s death, this is just strange to watch. Andi was hurt, angry and crying. She let Eric go home, and was still so angry about his “poker face” comment that she took it out on the other guys.

After the commercial break, Chris Harrison announced that they wouldn’t air the rose ceremony, and instead they showed an interview with Andi. What? How is the rose ceremony the thing that feels insensitive to air here? I do not think The Bachelorette should have aired any of Eric’s scenes this season. They should have made the announcement of his passing, and told viewers that they’d removed his scenes out of respect for his family.

Did we really need to see Eric and Andi argue? Did we need to see Eric so heartbreakingly reveal intimate details about his family, his past, his hopes for the future? It’s tacky.

Andi never got to talk to Eric again. And, frankly, I think she was in the wrong during the argument they had. Andi was quick to dish it out, and to very frankly tell Eric that he hadn’t revealed enough. But when he tried to tell her the same thing, she got very defensive. But knowing that she never got to speak to him again, I can’t imagine how Andi would feel watching that scene back. I just don’t think it should have been included.

What do you guys think?

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The Bachelorette – Horsing Around

OK guys, I missed recapping last week’s episode of The Bachelorette for family reasons, but I am all caught up and back this week.

The first episode always tends to be a bit boring, so I didn’t have much to say anyway. Andy picked 19 guys, and obviously I can’t tell any of them apart yet. But there is one hilarious thing to discuss – Chris B. crashing the party!

Chris B. was from Emily’s season of The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad (ick). Apparently he quite likes Andi, because he showed up at the gate of the Bachelor mansion with a bouquet of roses, hoping to vie for her affection. Chris was a jerk when Emily dumped him and an even bigger jerk on Bachelor Pad, so I was thrilled when Andi wouldn’t allow him to enter the competition. She says she doesn’t know who he is, but I hope that secretly she heard the words “Bachelor Pad” and thought “Nope!”

bachelorette - andi

Our bachelorette this season, Andi

That humiliation was the highlight of the episode, but now we’re into the good stuff – dates! Let’s go.

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Mad Men – “Waterloo”

And I thought last week’s episode of Mad Men was good.

I’ll be watching “Waterloo”, Mad Men‘s mid-season finale that aired on Sunday, again. In fact, I think I’ll be watching it again soon. It was one of those perfect episodes, beautifully paced and written and featuring my favorite characters. It struck an artful balance of dramatic suspense and witty one-liners. If you’ve seen the episode, click through to talk about it.

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Survivor – Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Well, THAT was an interesting Survivor finale. From bad luck to bad moves, and one of the most bizarre Final Tribal Councils ever – there’s lots to talk about! Click through for my recap of the Survivor: Cagayan finale.

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Mad Men – “The Strategy”

I must have miscounted, because I was expecting this week’s episode of Mad Men to be the last of 2014. I was wrong – that’s Sunday, May 25.

I wrote last week that I found “The Runaways” to be a strange episode. This week, I thought things were back on track with “The Strategy”. The highlights were the fantastic scenes Don and Peggy had together, and Joan’s storyline with Bob Benson. Click through for more, if you’ve seen the episode.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 6.11.53 PM

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