Thursday, May 31, 2012

okay here's what we're going to do everybody.....the koo & poppet blog is moving. Blogger just isn't doing it for me anymore. I won't give the new address until I've done a little housekeeping, but I know that I will be inspired to post more often in the new digs. Thanks for sticking around, I really appreciate it!

More to come soon.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

ETSY Shop I'm Loving: Colette Bream

Gone are the days when I had disposable time to spend hours cyber-window shopping in boutiques. But I did recently stumble upon Colette Breams' gorgeous creations - namely, her organic cotton toddler bedding collection.

I love love love things for children that are not overly juvenile in their design. This set is perfect for a stylish little girl, but I'd like it for my own bedding too!

Colette in her creative
Looks like my kind of heaven.

Colette's shop here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Next we'll tackle CNN...or Martha....or....

A week ago, our local news featured K&P in the arts & entertainment section. Little ol' K&P! I was honoured, but I'll admit....couldn't watch it until I'd been assured by friends and family that I wasn't a total idiot on TV or had a booger hanging out of my nose or something.

I'm posting here because, well, if you're reading this blog then maybe it stands to reason that you're interested in Koo & poppet stuff. Also Sadie and her bare feet are pretty adorable.

* oh yeah, and I'm referred to as "O'Neill"....hey, it was right around St. Patty's day so I'll just go with it....maybe it will bring the luck of the Irish ;)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Love for the Little Guy

I know some stay-at-home parents who would rather not attempt to brave public places with two youngsters in tow. There's the constant danger of an unpredictable meltdown in the grocery store check-out, the need to maintain a heightened sense of "potty radar", and the sacred nap-time that is not to be altered or messed with. Us, we've never been slaves to nap times, for better or for worse. We go places we want to go, when we want to go there (within reason). Sadie and Amelia have always been cooperative car and stroller sleepers and are no worse for wear. I admit there are times when I question why I attempted this errand or that with the kids, but for the most part, I'm glad I'm not on house arrest 5 days a week. We have to get out and about to maintain sanity. There are places to go and people to see.

But the other day, for reasons unknown, I thought to myself "I think it's time Sadie had a Happy Meal." Go ahead and judge. McDonald's is disgusting. But I figure most kids are eventually going to have an experience with a mcnugget and a playplace, and the first time might as well be under my supervision. Kind of like when you drink alcohol underage for the first time, some parents offer up their liquor cabinet just so they know the shenanigans are taking place as safely as possible under their own roof. So we went to McDonalds. The playplace was in a separate room all together, one with some of the poorest air quality I have ever experienced. Zero ventilation. It smelled like a cross between a locker room and a Diaper Genie. Hand Foot and Mouth disease was practically visible on the tube slides. Sadie declined a play. I breathed a sigh of relief. We wasted no time getting out of there once the Happy Meal was consumed.

Thank GOODNESS, on days where we need to get out somewhere, thank GOODNESS for places like Drumroaster Coffee in nearby Cobble Hill. We live in a fairly rural area and the pickin's are slim. I miss living in Vancouver where there are SO many unique little cafes and eateries to choose from. Sadie refers to Drumroaster as the "Robot Shop" because there's a metal sculpture of a robot creature outside. Inside is a funky, family-owned, CLEAN coffee shop with character and pride. They roast their own beans and build their business based on exposing the industry involved in this process. It's kid-friendly, design-minded, and flavour-focused. And I like their packaging so much that I even keep the empty bags of coffee beans when we're done with them.

The girls and I are so grateful for places like this. More accurately, I am so grateful for places like these because they keep me from going crazy at home and the girls are grateful when I don't go crazy at home. An extra strong espresso (last time I had a triple-shot), minus the infectious diseases on Monday afternoons that are never-ending? Yes, that sounds about right.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Amped up

Here is a funny little tidbit about me:

I have a major thing for ampersands. Car buffs might have a thing for vintage Aston Martins, and me, well as a designer I have a love affair with type. I don't know what it is about the ampersand....but it probably has something to do with the limitless ways it can be stylized and represented: gives any text some personality....what would Koo & Poppet be without it?

Few words are represented by a symbol as universally recognizable as the ampersand. For a little conjunction, and sure gets dressed up.

this one is brilliant in its simplicity and ingenuity (designer epiphany, no doubt):

red & black, rock & roll:

images via here

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Carousel of Time

One of the best things about having little girls is getting to watch preschool ballet classes. A sea of pink tulle and mostly Elaine Benes-esque moves make for a very entertaining half hour. They are darn cute. Next year, Sadie will be old enough for regular classes, the kind where parents (yes, dads too) don't participate, don't assist with the donning of costume tiaras and butterfly wings, don't stand off to the side, shutters snapping. I'll be dropping her off and returning an hour later to pick her up and hoping that she'll tell me a bit about it. Next will come kindergarten. Then sleepovers. Then trips to Europe. Then jobs in different cities.

When I stop bunny hopping briefly to pick up my camera and take a photo of my budding ballerina, she says: "No, Mama, you're suppos' a do it with me."

I'll take it while I can get it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sand Art

This is a very moving video by a brilliant sand artist from the Ukraine. Her performance tells the story of the Soviet Union during World War II. Watch.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pretty little things

On my list of New Year's To-Do's:

Make Lace Cookies:

via here.

Dress cake with almond sliver petals and berries:

via here.

Simple. Gorgeous.

Monday, January 9, 2012

five months. just like that.

Amelia is gettin' her chub on.

I am hanging on tightly to her babyness, as this second time around, I know just how fleeting a phase it really is.
sure, i still curse the 2 a.m. siren song from her crib as I stumble through the darkness. And of course I don't mean "siren song" as in enticing or appealing. I mean "siren song" as in SIREN.

Last night there was some confusion. The kind of confusion that can only be caused by being the over-tired parents of an infant. Usually by 2 or 3:00, Amelia is sleeping in bed with me. But last night, little Sadie found her way to our room first and jumped into bed. I woke up around 3:40 and heard a baby crying. Scott was pacing our room, half asleep, trying to locate the source of the crying. I became confused. Where was Amelia? What time is it? Scott was clearly very confused. The lights came on. Head-count in bed. Where's the baby? WHERE'S THE BABY?!?!! Oh! Oh. She's in her crib, she's in her room. She's fine, she's fine. Scott please go get her.

So he brings her back to me and we snuggle in. I begin to drift back to sleep. WAIT!! My eyes snap open. Where is Scott? He's not back in bed yet which can only mean one thing......FRIDGE RAID. Except he has a blood test in the morning and is supposed to have been fasting since last night.

"SCOTT!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" I yell into the dark stillness of the house. (I don't really even have to ask. I can practically hear his esophagus working).

"HAVING A DRINK OF MILK," comes the reply.


"WHY??............Oh. Dammit!"

In PEI they call midnight snacks "bed-lunch". Scott has been a bed-luncher for as long as I've known him. The way things are going lately, I figure we might as well just become a nocturnal family.

We could have pet owls.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Here's hoping everyone's holiday was filled with love, laughter and light.

I'm looking forward to a new year that will include fresh beginnings, exciting adventures, and earlier bedtimes (well I can hope, can't I?).

Here are a few photos of the last month around our house:

Sadie and Amelia checking out the goods under the tree

Presents? For me?!!

Holy spit-up! it's Santa!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Big Spoon Solitude

In a rare and startling moment I find myself home alone.

Scott has taken the girls out for dinner and some last minute shopping so I can get some work done. I'm eating a gigantic pink grapefruit and sipping cherry green tea. And listening to this:

Ariel and I were friends in elementary school. We spent many seventh-grade summer days bouncing on her trampoline :)
Now she lives in Boston or New York (I'm not sure exactly), and as you can see and hear is a singer-songwriter at the beginning of what appears will be a very successful career if I'm any kind of judge of talent. I LOVE this song. If you do too, please pass this vid around and help spread Ariel's music!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A blog about a dog

A dog named Coco(nut) to be exact.

She is our dog, our gentle little whippet.

She came to us from Kamloops B.C., and I drove 5 hours there and 5 hours back to get her, with 9-month-old Sadie and my dad. On the ride home Coco lay curled in the tightest ball in the front seat, and didn't move a muscle. The car deck on the ferry rattled her. The first walk I took her on, she decided to turn into a statue at the halfway point. I had to carry her home while trying to steer the stroller. I received many a sideways glance.

Tomorrow she will be Cara and Darrell's dog.

I know there are a lot of animal lovers out there.....I am one of them. But I have something I am ashamed to admit about Coco the Dog:

She. Drives. Me. CRAZY.

And in order to be a fit mother and wife, I must retain my sanity. Therefore, we made the painstaking decision a few weeks ago to find a great home for our family pet.

No more checking the food and water dish several times a day. No more muddy paws scratching to be let in, let out. No more clicking nails pacing the floor. No more damp snout on the back of my leg, following me from room to room and back again. No more guilt for being gone for several hours while Coco is left in the laundry room (on a comfy bed of course). No more paws on the countertop. No more pee on the rug in the playroom. No more eating her own poop. No more hearing a raised, exasperated tone exit my mouth within earshot, always within earshot, of my girls. No more dog for the MacNeills.

A meteoric burden has been lifted.

I'm sorry, I just don't have the time for you right now Coco. You are a lovely animal and I know your life will be wonderful with your new owners.

Cara and Darrell are a couple with another whippet-cross (named Sara), and Cara is a dog trainer and owns a dog daycare where Coco and Sara will spend their days. Darrell is a runner and Coco will surely enjoy a daily jog. They don't have children; Coco will get all the attention she needs.

I wanted my children to grow up with a pet. But I don't want them to grow up with the impression that a pet is a nuissance, a chore. But, at this point in MY life, that is what this dog is for me. I am spread too thin. I don't have the time. I swore that if and when we brought a dog into our home, it would be for the duration of the dog's life and I acknowledged that commitment. Unfortunately, I underestimated the extent of Coco's neediness. Whippets are an affection-craving, highly sensitive breed. I've learned my lesson.

But tomorrow will be tough nonetheless. I take comfort in knowing that she will have a better life with Cara and Darrell, who love her already. In a way, I feel like they were always her owners, and that we have been serving as Coco's guardians until her perfect people came along.

Has anyone else ever had to give up a pet? I feel awful about this.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Adventures in Baking (kind of)

Unlike some, being a domestic goddess does not come naturally to me.

When Sadie and I attempted to make cupcakes from scratch, they came out looking like space rocks with the density of a shotput.

But they tasted not bad, and it was all about the decoration anyway, oink oink.

For our second attempt a week later, I picked up some confetti cup mix at the grocery store and decided that I would leave the true baking to the pros, at least for now.

Afterall, as long as they're pink, she's happy....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where in the World

Maps are awesome.

Don't you think?

I love some good map art.

Embelish a globe.

Monochrome neighbourhoods.

Highlight several special spots....

or maybe just one.

Copenhagen. Ink. Want to go there so badly.

But there's no place like....

Images via here, here and here.