In Search of Winter Boots

It’s almost the end of November which, besides being entirely shocking (seriously – wasn’t it July just last week?), means I will soon wake up to a blanket of snow covering the ground. Sadly, the boots I’ve been wearing for the last two winters developed a hole in the toe in the spring so it’s time for some new boots.

If I had any sort of foresight I would have taken advantage of the end of season sales last spring to buy a new pair but since I didn’t, I’ve been trying to decide on a new pair while knowing that it could snow at any moment and I wouldn’t be prepared. If I had an unlimited budget this wouldn’t have been such a problem, but I’m heading to Africa in just under a month and I’ve got a lot of stuff I still need to buy for that trip, so the budget is tight.

Some people might think spending $200 on a pair of winter boots is a lot, and frankly I rather agree, but there are a few reasons I think spending the money is warranted:

  • I live in Canada. Yes, there are stereotypes (no I don’t live in an igloo or ski to work), but the reality is it gets cold, and it snows. Good winter boots are a bit of a necessity for living in Canada – kinda like maple syrup.
  • I hate the cold. Seriously. If I could figure out a way to only live in Canada during the spring, fall and summer I’d totally spend the winter months somewhere warmer.
  • It’s an almost 1km walk from my house to the subway, so I’m spending a lot of time walking on snowy, slushy, wintery sidewalks for more months than I’d like.

Here are some of the contenders:Six winter boots for under $200


  1. Cougar 39068 Original. My mom had these when I was little so these are a bit of a nostalgic choice. They’re also available in black, brown and red. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof $200
  2. Keen Elsa Boot. These are a bit less bulky than some of the others. I like the black, but they’re available in a bunch of different colours. Tag on the inside says rated to -20 degrees. Waterproof $140
  3. Cougar Puffy Zip. I really liked the idea of a zipped-up boot as they’re just easier to put on than the lace-up. I’m not sure the fur collar is quite ‘me’, but I think they’re rather fun. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof $195
  4. Cougar Keaton. These have a really cute zipper up the back and are also available in blue and black. I love that these are taller, but they’re only rated to -10 degrees so they might be better suited for spring and fall. $120
  5. Sorel 1964 Premium CVS. These are a classic too, and I like that the liner can come out to be washed. They’re available in black and army green, but I rather like the blue. Rated to -32 degrees $150
  6. Cougar Cheyenne 2. These are all leather, and felt more like shoes when I tried them on. Also available in red, brown and tan. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof. $190

Now I just need to decide. What do you wear? Any suggestions?

(for American readers I’ve linked the above to Canadian websites – you can check out some of the boots on Amazon here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

I’m Baaaack!!!! Maybe

I’m back. Maybe. It’s been over a year since I posted here last. Strangely it doesn’t seem like all too long ago that I was revealing my bedroom, but in other ways it seems like forever ago.

I don’t really have any one reason why I haven’t been here in all that time. I was a bit burned out from redoing my bedroom for the one-room challenge, so I didn’t post for a few weeks. And then it was Christmas, but we didn’t do our traditional Christmas stuff last year, so I didn’t have anything to share. After a while the idea of doing all the work for a blog post just seemed like more of a massive chore than something that I did for fun. Blogging takes time, and when it became something I felt like I ‘had to do’ versus something I ‘like to do’ I stopped doing it, and I felt little or no guilt about it.

After many, many months I started to miss blogging. I missed trying to think of creative things to do and then sharing them with you, but the problem was trying to figure out how to start again. I worried over what I would post about, and how it would be received. I worried that maybe those who read in the past would be disinterested in what I had to say now. I worried more that nobody noticed I was missing from the blogosphere during the time I was quiet. That self doubt became yet another reason for not posting – I spent so much time trying to think of just the right thing to say, to do, that I didn’t actually get back to the actual act of blogging.

Here’s the thing. All that worrying was stupid. It’s not like this blog pays my bills (in fact it actually costs me money each year – the few ads in the sidebar don’t begin to cover hosting fees, etc). So, I’m going to try something different. I’m going to try to stop pressuring myself to post on some sort of self-imposed schedule. I’m going to try to post about whatever I want, whenever I feel like it. In the past I’ve posted mostly about home decor stuff, and that might change. I might post about random stuff I saw that I loved, or I might write about something that drives me nuts.  Or I might stick to home decor, because I still love it.

Anyways, here are a few snapshots of what I’ve been up to in the past 12 months:

My ceiling caved in early January, which so soon after my bedroom adventures with plaster was not fun.


I was called for jury duty, which was beyond boring. After the first day of jury duty I went out for dinner with friends and ended up getting a ride in an ambulance when I fainted. That was a bit mortifying. As an FYI, in case you’ve never had the pleasure, you get a bill in the mail after you ride in an ambulance.

I tried to get back into running, and actually ran three races this year: The Sporting life 10K, in support of Camp Ooch

Waiting for the start of the #SL10K #campooch #sportinglife A photo posted by Michelle (@eamonnandjack) on


The Nike Women’s 15k on the Toronto Island

And, just a  few weeks ago I ran the Adidas #Runmore 10k with Casey of Waffling Blog. I’ve got no pictures of that since it started at 1am and I forgot to charge my phone, but you can read her account here.

My immediate family travelled to Ireland in late July to celebrate my Nonna’s 95th birthday with most of the Irish side of the family.

My family with my Nonna. The last time the four of us were together was well over a year ago #Nonnacelebrates95 A photo posted by Michelle (@eamonnandjack) on


I’m still taking Interior decorating courses at George Brown College. I want to have to renovate my bathroom in the spring, so I decided to take a bathroom design course this semester.

  Got to visit the @olympiatile slab showroom today in class. So interesting #marble #marbleslab #pretty   A photo posted by Michelle (@eamonnandjack) on

Coming up: my family isn’t having a traditional Christmas again, so this time I got smart and decided to book an adventure of my own. I’ll be spending Christmas day in Ireland with my grandma, but then I’m off on a 21 day tour of Ethiopia. I’m excited and a bit scared all at the same time. I have so much to do before I go, and not that much time to do it.

There you have it – some of the things I’ve been up to since I last posted here. Hope you missed me when I was gone ;)

Monday Morning Love – Pink and Gold Living Room

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m taking an Intro. to Drafting course, and it wraps up in just over a week. For the final project we have to draft a floor plan for a condo which mean I’ve been trolling Pinterest and the internet at large for inspiration on furniture ideas.

I found this image of a living room designed by Caitlin Wilson and I fell in love. While this shade of pink is a very bold and striking colour, decorating the rest of the room in mostly whites and creams means the couch, while undeniably the center of attention in the room, isn’t competing visually against anything else. It’s without a doubt a feminine space, but it’s also a relaxed and happy one.

What do you think? Could you live with a pink couch?

Hello? Is There Anyone Out There?

Wow – it’s hard to believe it’s been three whole months since I posted last. My apologies, but life sort of got in the way of blogging. Did you miss me? Please say yes ;)

While I’ve been away I’ve been working on some projects, and I hope to share them with you in the next little while (If I can find the pictures – more on this below). In order to catch you up on some of the stuff I’ve been doing I thought I’d share a few Instagram pictures.
Computer failure screenDirectly or indirectly this was the start of my blogging hiatus. I had a small computer malfunction which I though I fixed. A few days later and I was proved wrong and I had to format my hard drive. Luckily I think I was able to save all my pictures. Unfortunately they’re currently on SD cards because I’ve been too busy/lazy to reorganize them on my computer.
Vintage painting - flower still lifeI bought a painting at an antique store on Queen east for $40. I love it, but like all my other pictures it’s not yet hanging anywhere. At least this one is currently sitting on the back of my couch so I can see it instead of hiding in a corner with the rest of my stuff.
Missing chunk off a furniture legI started to work on my hutch only to discover the damage to the foot was a whole lot more expensive than I thought. This cheap and easy project got a lot more difficult and expensive.
Stripped Louis XVI chairs - ready for paintingI finally did something with my Kijiji chairs – I took them to Paint it like New for a bit of paint.
At the end of March I celebrated 3 years of owning my condo – where has the time gone?
How did my hair get so longI’m not a morning person, so it’s very rare for me to do anything with my hair – I usually just tie it back. I was rather surprised how long it’s gotten when I straightened it one day, and I’ve been plotting a cut since. How short should I go?
White rug with a black trellis pattern from HomesenseI found a lovely rug at HomeSense that I planned to use in my bedroom and then drove all over the city looking for the right size. I bought it, and before I could return with a bigger car to bring it home returned it when I couldn’t justify the cost ($300 +tax) given I had some big expenses coming up (see the last three pictures).
New art - cute cows in a meadowI bought more art simply because the cows are cute – is that weird? This piece cost just $18, but I’m going to have to find a frame for it.
Running the 2013 Camp Oochigeas 10K down Yonge stWithout going out once to train, and with a doozy of a cough I ran the Camp Oochigeas 10K race down Yonge street. I didn’t post a great finishing time, but I’m happy I completed it.
First Homework Project - Intro to DraftingI decided that since I rather enjoy this interior decorating stuff that maybe I should learn more – I enrolled in my first course at Seneca college – intro to drafting. It’s quite a bit more work than I thought, but I’m enjoying it. Who would have thought I’d go back to school?
I went to Camp GroundedI attended Camp Grounded in California for a long weekend,
Standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridgeand then I played tourist in San Fransisco for a few days.
New windows going in!Lastly, as of Monday, the new windows in my building are finally being installed after over a year of consultations and negotiations. The old windows are bright white aluminum sliders – the new ones are a dark brown fiberglass window with a double-hung cottage split with divided lights on top. Hopefully they’re a bit more historically accurate, but no matter what I’m going to be so happy when they’re complete – they were a lot of work.

*As a short PSA, for those of you who read this via an RSS feed remember that as of July 1st Google reader will be going the way of the dinosaurs. Please transfer your feeds over to a new reader like Feedly. For those of you who subscribe to this blog via email nothing will change.