Music Monday: Lee Fields

An ode to all you ladies this Monday morning. Enjoy!
You're sugar, you're spice, you're everything nice...

Happy Monday (and last day of January - we made it!!)
xo bess


English Muffin's World Map

World Map

I've got the whole world in my hands. Well almost. Before I head off to print the long awaited World Maps, I'd love to hear your feedback. Here's my concern: with so many countries in the world, do you think the map ends up looking a little text heavy? I've tried to keep the font size similar to the other maps for consistency but obviously needed to scale it down a bit in some areas. I'd love to hear your thoughts...

ps. the colour also looks a little washed out now that I've uploaded this file to the blog, but in real life it will be nice and vibrant!

Have a wonderful weekend!
xo bess


10 years


Ten years ago today, Big Chuck and I went out on our very first date. Apparently, now that we're married we aren't supposed to celebrate this anniversary, instead reset the counter and start from 1 when our first wedding anniversary comes around. But let's be honest, to spend one third of my life with someone is pretty significant. I met Big Chuck when I was 19... 19! During the period of my life where I feel I've done the most growing, changing and evolving as a person we somehow managed to do it all together. While it wasn't always easy - there were definitely a few bumps in the road, it (we) always made sense. Who I have become has a lot to do with him. I would never have had the audacity to ask a sales person to give me last week's discounted price even though the deal is over, or know how to pump gas, or how to build a kitchen table or know nearly as much as I do about trees.

Ten years... it kind of blows my mind. But you know what they say, time flies when you're having fun.

Happy anniversary, Charlie.

xx bess

(photo: 280dg)


Canadiana: Granted Clothing


Independently run family business, passed from parents to children… operating in Vancouver BC… classic sweaters and accessories… traditional knitting methods… 100% wool. Need I say more? Oh yah, sweaters for dogs too.


Have you heard of Granted Clothing before? I hadn't! So thank goodness my mom forwarded me the link last night. I fell in love with all of these beautiful wool pieces and then fell even further in love when I read that the brother and sister designing duo are proud to call all their sweaters and accessories genuinely Canadian made.

There are too many great pieces in the collection to get into here, like the ode to David Suzuki sweater, so really I just recommend you check out their shop.

Have a warm and cozy Tuesday!
xo bess

(images via Granted Clothing)


Music Monday: She & Him

She & Him - Don't Look Back from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Nothing but futuristic fun from She & Him on this Monday morning. I really want to join in Zooey Deschanel's living room dance party, and maybe borrow an outfit from her closet too.

Did you have a nice weekend? It was freezing here. I only left the house once on Sunday, I was in full hibernation mode complete with long johns and double socks plus slippers. Big Chuck is crazy for hockey these days and played for a good hour in -23C weather, fun...? We did accomplish a big project on our to do list and it looks so great, I can't wait to share photos of our birch bark DIY with you on the blog!

We also had some pretty delicious dinners this weekend. Big Chuck made my favourites; muscles in a white wine sauce on Saturday and bacon-wrapped scallops on Sunday. YUM!

And last but not least, on Friday night I was treated to a performance of BJM Danse at Théâtre Maisonneuve by the lovely Caroline from the Red Glasses blog, it was so nice to go out and enjoy an evening of dance.

Have a great Monday!
xo Bess


New Projects


This past week has been a pretty fun one (besides getting sick - again). Last weekend I attended a meeting with Céline and Jonathan MacKay, the duo behind Sustain as well as their latest project, Pure Green Magazine. They came all the way to Montreal from Ontario to meet with myself, Michelle, Anile and Marie-Eve. I won't go into too many details, but sufficient to say this project has got me super excited and dreaming about all the wonderful possibilities for Pure Green Magazine. If you haven't checked out their winter issue yet, you can find it here. Céline, the editor-in-chief wrote a great little blog post about our first meeting too, lots more photos there.

Also this past week, Big Chuck and I finally got around to tackling our birch bark project ('member that?). I posted a sneak peek on Twitter and Facebook, so if you follow me you know what I'm talking about. The project is almost done, just have to figure out how to hang it. More details to come...

I hope you have a great weekend! It's supposed to be a cold one here, -20C on Sunday, anyone?

Stay warm,
xx bess


Perfect Pairs

1. Sidney the Daschund Wooden Brooch 2. Vintage Dalmatian Planter



The perfect animal pairings are making me really happy today! I can't believe it, but I'm sick again :( I just got over a cold last week... Oh well, 'tis the season.

My perfect pairs for this week...

me + tyke
hot tea + x-large mug
earflap hat + hood

...and you?

Have a wonderful Thursday!
xx bess


Foreign Film 101: Stolen Kisses (Baisers Volés)


Last week my mom mailed Big Chuck and me the Stolen Kisses (Baisers Volés) DVD. It's a French film from 1968 by French director François Truffaut. Have you seen it? It's really charming and wonderful. I was searching online for some stills from the movie to add to this post and found that you can actually watch the whole thing on YouTube! I highly recommend making a date with your computer and a glass of wine and getting lost in the streets of Paris, (also - a fun way to brush up on your French)!

Bonne journée!



Canadiana: Headmistress

Yesterday was really cold. The kind of cold where all you can see of your fellow pedestrians on the sidewalk is two little eyes, surrounded by hats, hoods and bundled up scarves. The kind of cold that makes me really thankful to the little rabbit sitting on my head. Yes, I have a rabbit fur hat, not purchased by me - but a gift, and I wear it everyday from November until March. It is so warm. And am I so thankful to the petit lapin for all the warmth that she/he provides me over the long and cold Canadian winters.

Are you still my friend?



That's why I love the recycled fur creations from Toronto-based accessories brand Headmistress. Founder, Jillian Wood, creates these gorgeous one of a kind muff-clutches, cuffs and headbands from vintage fur coats. She also has some beautiful creations made from feathers available in her shop too.

Have a warm Tuesday!
xx bess

(images: Headmistress)


Music Monday: Adele

Some great music from Adele to shake off those Monday afternoon sleepies...

Love the video and her voice!

Hope your week is off to a great start,
xx bess


Winter Weekend


This week had me a little out of sorts. It's hard to come out of such a busy, productive and exciting time like the holidays to a month of very little activity. Well that's not true, there's lots of work to be done, just not much cash to be had. But you know what? After a couple of shaky days I'm back on track. I knew that January would be quiet, so I have decided that I will not make another penny for the rest of the month. That's cool with me. I expect no money, and it makes me feel better already. Because now I can focus on getting work done, work that will in the future pay off. Thank you, friends and family, for listening to my woes and my short lived plans of becoming a scientist.

I hope you have a stellar Winter weekend.
xx bess

ps. That's my sister's boyfriend, PB, in the bright red Canada Goose along with Big Chuck, Tyke and our family dog Macy, having fun on the ice at the cottage.


Chez Thrift


Over the Christmas holidays, Big Chuck and I stopped in to the local thrift store, Chez Thift, near his parent's home in Fenelon Falls, ON. (I don't know why it's called Chez Thrift, it's really just a Salvation Army, but his mom always calls it Chez Thrift, so let's go with it.)

I don't have the patience to go through the racks and racks of clothing, I've tried believe me, it's just never been my thing. I do however have the patience to scan the furniture, used sports equipment (waiting for a beautiful pair of wooden x-country skis) and dishes. It only takes a few minutes and you rarely even have to touch anything. I can't remember who found them, but when we saw these vintage canning jars we grabbed all six. Big Chuck and I had a beautiful set that we bought at the Viennese equivalent of Chez Thrift, unfortunately they didn't make the cut when it came time to pack the TWO suitcases we were each allowed to travel back home with. I know, we could have shipped them, but then it takes all the fun out of the quest to replace them in our new land.


The other night I emptied our pantry looking for things to fill them with. This is my favourite pair, coffee and sugar at Big Chuck's little coffee station.

Have a wonderful Thursday!
xo bess


Canadiana: Fieldguided


I can't believe that I've been writing my Canadiana Tuesday posts for over 2 years now (that's a lot of Canadian content!) and I have yet to feature the lovely Anabela from Fieldguided. I often read her blog and am drawn to her soft dream-like photographs and all of those cute kitties!


Anabela lives and works in Toronto. She has an online shop where you can buy her designs; ties, totes and a now sold out 2011 Dreamcats calendar.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!
xx bess


Filz Felt: Flooring


Big Chuck and I have been looking for a rug for the living room for a while now. Ikea just isn't cutting it and to be honest, I don't feel like shelling out $1000 on a fancy pants rug. Don't get me wrong - I would love to be the proud owner of a fancy pants rug one day, and I will thoroughly enjoy it when that day comes. Today, however, is not that day.

While researching flooring options I came across these felt rugs from Filz Felt, an American company that imports high quality German felt. While the size we would need is still out of our budget, I really like the idea of a felt rug. They've also got some other great felt accessories for the home.

Have a great Friday!
xo bess

(image source: FilzFelt)


Map It

Map of Europe - 19" x 13"

The Map Series has been selling so well in my shop that I thought I would give you even more of a good thing. Maps of Canada, Europe and the USA are now available in 19" x 13" as well as the original 10" x 8". The larger maps fit perfectly in the matted IKEA Ribba Frame (19 3/4" x 15 3/4") just like the rest of the English Muffin posters.

I've had some requests for maps of Australia & New Zealand, as well as a world map! Keep your eyes peeled for more additions to the map series in the coming year.

Happy Thursday!

xo Bess




And... we're back.

Hello Friends! Happy 2011 to all of you. After 10 days of friends, family and food, Big Chuck, Tyke and I are back in Montreal, and let me tell you it's so nice to be home. We walked in the front door last night and BC remarked what a nice place we have. Agreed. We are pretty lucky ducks and very much looking forward to what the new year has in store. I've been making the blog rounds, reading about everyone's hopes and resolutions for the new year, and it's inspired me to make a few of my own.

Number one on the list: Move More

I had always thought of myself as an active person, but since my dancing days are over (at least for now) I've discovered that I'm actually a pretty inactive person. Apart from walking the dog twice a day I don't really do much exercise. Ok, scratch that, I don't really do ANY exercise. I'm hoping this year to start dedicating a few hours a week to some form of physical activity. This week it's yoga. Just need to find and dust off that yoga mat of mine.

Number two: Make More

There are so many DIY projects that I've been meaning to get to. 2011 is the year that I will (along with the help of my super handy man) create a birch bark installation, a branch "chandelier" and a headboard to name a few. I still haven't shown you the kitchen table we made - I'll do that too!

Number three: Trust More

This one relates to a lot of areas in my life, but let's focus on work. I think a big part of being a self-employed person is trusting that you are going to keep bringing in work; fulfilling, challenging, inspiring (and paying) work. I can't really hide behind my relatively new business anymore. It's time to trust that I have the skills and talent to keep pushing English Muffin and my other projects forward and continue taking things to the next level. The successes and adventures I've had over the past year have been so wonderful, and just a taste of what's to come!


So there they are, my three New Year's Resolutions. How about you? Any grand plans you'd like to share?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
xo bess

ps. Big Chuck cleared a patch of ice at the cottage and we went skating on it. One of my favourite moments from the holidays.


Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!

Big Chuck and I are still living the holiday life in Ontario. My mom's cooking us breakfast as I type this ;)

I want to wish you all a wonderful New Year, I'm so excited for everything that 2011 has in store, how about you?

I'll be back to regular posting on January 4th. See you then!

xo bess

ps. Those adorable elephants are salt & pepper shakers - aren't they so neat?!