Lemons to ... Limoncello!

Posted by Melina and Denise , Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:40 AM

Life can throw a few curve balls. It sucks (lemons) but what can you do? Turn it into a party, is what! 

We may be unemployed, but we have been so very miserable for so long that the stress of this is not what you would expect. I was literally waking up sick in the middle of the night at the thought of going to work.

Now the world is open to us! There is some money coming to us so if we can just make it through the next few weeks of struggle then we will be fine. Already we are taking advantage and really trying to establish what it is we want the next step to be.

I have lingering guilt about quitting, but the fact is that the job was harming my health more than I can say. Why are we conditioned to believe we need to stay in a bad situation rather than take a chance? I know there are people who will think that I was better off staying miserable. Whatever. I let that way of thinking hold me back for far too long.

We are to have lots of new products in the shop, lots more writing, Melina will be painting. We may even end up living somewhere else in a year or two dot dot dot. 

No spoilers! But the doors are flung wide open, and that is how I insist on seeing it.

Happy Birthdays!

Posted by Melina and Denise , Monday, February 17, 2014 12:05 PM

It is that amazing month of OUR BIRTHDAYS! No matter how old we get—and Melina is older, FYI—we both love to make a big deal about our days. And if you think money determines how great the day is, then think again! These are a few simple things you need to make a birthday special.

A TIARA - I don't know what the male equivalent of this would be, but I know that every girl needs a tiara on her birthday. And it isn't a princess thing for me. I prefer to think of it as a Queen for the day thing. I wore mine at work all day and was told that everything I said was okay because ... TIARA! Melina wore hers on her birthday as well. It's amazing how few people in our neighbourhood even notice a grown woman in a tiara. I guess it it by far not the craziest thing you see in the course of a day.

A WAND - Our wands had long, sparkly, rhythmic gymnastic-like ribbons on them. I ran up to people at work, flicked my ribbon around and proclaimed "I have a tiarrrrra and a waaaaaand!". The cats were fascinated with Melina's wand on her birthday. All four in the room at the same time for something other than food! It was a Birthday miracle.

A SPECIAL MEAL - Not necessarily anything special. I went with comfort food and had cheesy noodly yummies. Melina had our family favourite of taco salad. Just enough to make it special.

MAYBE A LITTLE TREAT -  I am trying to stay away from the mention of anything money related, but as this wasn't even 10.00 I think it's okay. Melina picked out a new nail polish, because that is her thing. I couldn't really afford a gift but I did make her a bracelet. There is always something you can do to make things fun, right?

AMAZING FAMILY - We are blessed with an amazing group of people, blood relatives and friends that were chosen, who are now family. Hearing from them is a huge blessing. Getting to spend time with them, even doing nothing, is the best thing I can imagine. 

So there you have it—a great birthday time! Of course, Melina and I could have an awesome time if you locked us in a closet. lol! Oh yeah, that's the last important ingredient:


Where Did We Go??

Posted by Melina and Denise , Monday, February 3, 2014 5:40 PM

Back in the day. :)

Melina and I have been talking (nothing remarkable there) and we seem to be on the same page about something. Somewhere along the way we lost ourselves.

It's sad 'cause I think we lost some pretty awesome stuff! I was music obsessed and now I never even bother listening. To look at me now I am the most generic of human beings. No style. Everything chosen just to 'make do'. I used to have awesome bright red hair. Now I pick a colour based on easiest upkeep. Honestly, somewhere along the line I completely stopped giving a rat's ass about myself. 

Melina used to scare people, in a happy way. We used to go to nice bars and she would wear her metal shirts and giggle when she got looked at funny. She may have outgrown that now, but she misses that part of her. 

I know for me the final nail in the coffin was starting at my new job. Being a banker is perfectly respectable, but if you asked anyone who really knows me what the LAST job is they could see me doing is, guess what they would say. BANKER. My last job was so much more 'me'. I was a cosmetician. Loved it! But I am where I am and it has its perks. The thing is that in doing something every day that so outside the box, it has killed a part of me that I liked. The part of me that could be creative all day long.

Now, how do you find your way back to caring? How do you get to the point where you feel like yourself again?

Exciting News!

Posted by Melina and Denise , Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:05 PM

Melina is trying to fit in time to paint again! I am so excited. So many of you haven't even been exposed to her work, but she is so talented. When we first met and became besties, she was a student at NSCAD, so I have always known the awesomeness of her talent. As we were roommates, I was the frequent subject of her last minute homework assignments for figure painting. I was pretty good at sitting still as long as there was an episode of Law&Order to watch.

Once she drew me with a 2-3 foot long stick dipped in ink—and it was fantastic! I still have it. She was highly praised for it, but that may also have been the subject.

What does she paint, you may ask. I am a huge fan of her abstract paintings. Her sense of colour and texture is phenomenal. She also has a love of watercolour and landscapes.

As always, time is the biggest factor in her being able to paint. With all of the sewing for the shop, and the day job, and life ... it's hard. But I am so happy that she is finally making painting a priority.

I'm a proud bestie.

This Is Where It Gets Really Tough

Posted by Melina and Denise , Saturday, January 4, 2014 3:31 PM

We made the plans for all our economies, we have the goal that it is supposed to help us achieve. And now it is clear that a plan on paper can do nothing to express how mentally tough it will be.

All of our time as roommates, Melina and I have made decisions that were not necessarily the norm. Our priorities? Self-reliance, creativity, power over where we will get to live. While our friends have been out doing other things, we have been working our asses off to get to the point where we are creatively free and independent.

Now, we are close. Now, we are to the point where everything is coming together—but it means a final push of epic proportions. Economizing to get rid of debts and accumulate savings. It all sounds doable, and then my princess-self remembers it means taking the bus every day. I loathe the bus. And it means finding innovative ways to make ends meet. Coupon queens, here we come!

The results will be worth it, I know this. But we need to stay focussed on the end goal. And what is our motto for the coming year?

No looking back!

No Looking Back

Posted by Melina and Denise , Wednesday, January 1, 2014 11:31 AM

Way too much time has been spent thinking about the ways in which 2013 sucked. Time to move on, move forward without looking back. So the question becomes, what will have change by NYE 2014? I have some thoughts.

1 - We will be 'financially better off' (clue as to where we work). All fallout of the Grand Insurance Debacle of 2013 will be a distant memory. YES!

2 - My novel will have been self-published. That simple fact will make it a successful venture. I just can't predict beyond that. Too scary.

3 - Melina will have spent a great year getting back into painting. She's really amazing at it and I can't wait for everyone to see what she can do. I am so excited by this!! She will even have a site set up.

4 - I will have a draft finished of a second novel. That's right, I said it!!!

5 - We will be so totally strong and healthy. Amazon-strong!

Bottom line is that we will be way closer to the ultimate goals we talk about in the site - independent lives living in the Valley in a great house. Writing / painting and crafting full time.

This is our year people! Stand back.

~ Denise

2013, You Sucked Rotten Eggs

Posted by Melina and Denise , Saturday, December 28, 2013 11:55 AM

We all have ups and downs. Good times, bad times, blah blah blah. Well, trust me when I say that 2013 was firmly ensconced in the 'low' category. Death, taxes, insurance debacles leading to abject poverty. You name it, we probably dealt with it. But here's the thing - I would like to think about the bright spots that made the year tolerable.

So here goes.

My novel! I finished and went through the editing process and it was amazing. I learned as much as I had hoped and then some. I got publishing advice and finally came to the decision that self-publishing is the direction I want to go. It will be hard, but I know it is the right thing for me.

And the other thing that came out of the editing process and my discussion of it with those around me is that I learned exactly how much support I have for the project. When you are doing something creative you become accustomed to people thinking you are a bit of a flake. I was amazed with the outpouring of support I received when people realized I was serious! Amazed and incredibly grateful.

The shop was also a bright spot this year. Our sales more than doubled! We have so many fantastic things planned and are excited beyond words for the year to come. Melina has become such a wonderful sewer (is that a word?) that the sky is the limit when it comes to ideas. Trust me, things are about to be shaken up.

Finally, the best thing that happened this year. When you hit bottom you find out who the people are that have your back, and we are surrounded by an AMAZING group of family and friends. Someday we hope to be able to repay them for everything they have done for us. And we will. I know it!

2014, you sexy bitch. You will be our year!

~ Denise