Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lazy weekend? Do This!

I have been not feeling the greatest - sorry about the lack of new posts! I've been working on something that I'll probably post tonight! 

In the meantime, check out everything I do when I'm bored. Or just check it out because you love me :)

Follow me on Pinterest! 
See all my favorite things in fashion, beauty, music, books & more! 

I'm also addicted to Twitter! Keep up with new blog posts, gossip, and my crazy thoughts on life! Follow @missjanespring is this really incredible website where you can score some pretty awesome new and unique stuff from all the places you shop. Plus, really great merch from stores you never heard of are soon to be your new fashion weapon!

I also created a Facebook page. Not many people yet - so show me some 'Likes' - I know you're out there somewhere!

Jane xo


Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Benefits of Boredom, Pinterest and Rainy Afternoons

Today I'm going  to mix it up a little bit! I celebrated my six month anniversary since my last night in the hospital last week. (*taking a bow - thank you, thank you*) At first, when I was home - I was just sick on the couch or in bed. Slowly, though, I started to get antsy and eventually I found myself bored. (A sure sign of health :) Then, I joined the populous in discovering Pinterest. Today, I'm going to show you my Pinterest inspired cheap projects, DIYs and dollar store deals! 

The first project I'll show you took me all of 45 min to do and 30 min of that was waiting for the spray paint to dry. All I bought were two $3 artist canvas boards and a decorative plastic hanging screen which was $2 (there's pics below) and two cans of spray paint $15 (and some scotch tape I already had laying around). 

These are the decorative plastic screens I'm using as a stencil. This design is the one for project two I'll show you later. Each package has two panels. The ones for this project were exactly the same size, just with a different design. I only needed one package for this project. I didn't think  to take a picture I was so excited to get started!

Spray paint in Chocolate Brown & Robin's Egg Blue. Both have a Satin finish with a slight sheen. I used the scotch tape on the back of the stencil to hold it in place. 

First I spray painted the stretch canvas boards completely with Chocolate Brown, making sure it was solid and to also spray the white edges. 

Next I carefully centered the "stencils" on the brown canvas and sprayed the entire board with the Robin's Egg Blue. I waited about 15min (one perk of spray paint is that it dries really fast!) then sprayed another coat of the blue. 

(I'm also wondering where in my apartment I can hang these pretty blue medallions now that I'm finished with them!)

After gently pealing away the plastic stencil, I was left with these two gorgeous pictures in my favorite colors! They are going to look amazing in my living room! Not too shabby for dollar store supplies! And I have a TON of spray paint left over for future projects! I'm already getting ideas.....  :)

Before I show you my second DIY project with the dollar store screens, my friends are always admiring the cheap fun accessories I buy and use in different ways around my house! I'll show you a couple:

I bought these little bird hooks by Umbra in the hospital gift shop. I get a lot of things in the hospital gift shop.

   They are made for holding mail and are magnetic to hold on to your keys! 

I staggered them by my closet and use them to hang all my favorite pretty scarves! I have a million scarves so I switch them up every once in awhile and I get to look at them like pretty art! Well, it's pretty art - to me!

I have a TINY kitchen with very limited cupboard and counter space. When I saw this pretty jewelry hanger for $7 at Urban Outfitters I snatched it up! Now it's where I hang my mugs on my kitchen wall. 

These $2 candy jars from the dollar store were the best $6 I ever spent for my kitchen. My cupboard space is small and short, so the only place for cereal boxes - since I did not want cardboard boxes cluttering up my counter top - was WAY up the top. But my son couldn't reach them. I filled up these cute jars. Now, they're cute, tidy and within reach!

Now, dollar store project number two!
I used two packages of the $2 screen paneling in this square floral and bird design. I bought Red Poppy Krylon spray paint $6, at Walmart. Krylon spray paint can be applied on anything but is made especially for plastic. After using it, it didn't seem to work any different than the other brand's satin spray paint from my first project. Both adhered to the plastic screen paneling perfectly!

It's raining really heavy today so I didn't have the luxury of spray painting outside like I did with my artwork. It's really important if you're using something like spray paint indoors to use it only in a well ventilated area.  I used a fan and I opened my kitchen window as wide as I could, covered my floor completely with garbage bags, and draped old rag towels over my oven and table to make sure not to get any residual spray paint on anything.

I did two heavy coats of red, letting it dry between coats. The plastic spray paint needed to be trimmed with an exacto-knife in a few places because of the way the paint peeled off the garbage bags. I don't think I'd use plastic spray paint again - but I am glad for the convenient washability of it.

 My initial plan was to use tacky putty or double sided tape, but I ended up using hammering tiny picture nails and removing overhang with an exacto-knife. Yes, I have bruises. But just wait.... 

It was SO worth it!! I love how it came out!      If you hate it, please lie to me - because I think it's amazing and I'm super proud!

Looks like a gorgeous custom back splash!
Not bad for ten dollars, huh? ;) 

Jane <3 xo

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

September 19, 2012

       I just tucked in my son for the night. I pour myself a cup of tea and settle down with my laptop to get some writing done. I make the mistake of checking my Facebook first, now I’m clicking through picture after picture of weddings, babies, girl’s night out and vacations of the lives of people I know.
       Suddenly, it’s late. A train whistle blows in the distance. It reminds me of lying in bed as a child and hearing the busy work of the steel plant that employed most of our small town. It has long since been boarded up and fathers who provided for their families for generations milling railroad tracks hung up their hats for good when the steel mill closed. Our little island took a blow that it would never recover from. I’m wondering if my illness is something my life will never recover from…
       Everyone is doing something amazing with their lives and I’m just sitting here. My friends are married career women who own homes and take lavish vacations. I love helping with interior decorating, making wedding invitations, and listening to stories about Mexico and Peru.  Of course I’m happy for my friends and family.  I have the most incredible support system. It’s only because of the strength they give me that has kept me from falling into terrible dark places during those times when it seems like I may never get better.  It’s just that lately I’m always feeling this sense of being left behind.
       For the past ten years I’ve been telling myself ‘When I get better I’ll go back to school. When I get better I’ll go find work. When I get better…” Now I’m thirty. Last week I found three gray hairs. I have no college degree, no job, no assets…nothing to stand on. I know that it isn't because I'm not smart enough or lacking in ability. I have been given so many amazing opportunities over the years but I have never been well enough to commit to them. I've been held back by circumstances beyond my control. So it feels as though I’m just waiting and waiting and waiting for my life to start. Now panic is starting to set in. Time is whizzing by and I can't stop it. 
       “Mom?” I jump in my seat. My little man rubs his eyes looking so much like the little baby he was ten years ago. “I had a bad dream. Can I sleep in with you?”
        I shuffle over and tuck him in for the second time that night. He gives me a hug and a kiss. 
       “Mom? I just want you to know, I’m older now. But just because I might not kiss you goodbye in front of my friends at school doesn't mean I don’t love you. You’re my best friend and the best mother in the world. ”
       “I love you, too, pickle. Get to sleep, it’s late.” I plant a kiss on his forehead smiling to myself thinking it’s funny how he’s declaring his detachment from me at the same time snuggling down next to me in bed. 
        I’m watching him fall asleep and it hits me – I have the most incredible job in the world. A job where I can be myself. Where I learn new skills I will take with me all my life. A job which is challenging, but is infinitely rewarding. A job I love to wake up and do every single day.  A job that is the biggest and most amazing adventure of my life. 
       My life started ten years ago when I became a mother. When I became his mother. I am doing something amazing with my life - and I wouldn’t trade that for a paycheck, a house, a wedding, a vacation or anything else in the entire world. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

September 14, 2012

      Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that in just three months over seven thousand people would visit my site and read my stories. The comments and compliments I get are amazing. They really mean the world to me. You see, for the most part, I'm a very happy, light and easy-going person. Sometimes, though, I feel really empty. I was too sick to finish college. I've been too sick to make a career out of the internships I was offered in public relations. I've been too sick to keep jobs and to take advantage of job opportunities.  I've spent so much time in the hospital over the past ten years that everyone's life has been on fast forward and I'm still stuck in the same place. I missed out on the young, wild and free era of twenties life and now my friends and family are buying homes, having babies, getting married and embarking on that next chapter. I often feel left back. Like I have nothing to offer. I know this is just a blog but to me it's something more. It's me putting myself out there. I feel like I'm accomplishing something. Thanks to all you wonderful people, now I can say I'm a writer. 

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I'm also addicted to Twitter! Keep up with new blog posts, gossip, and my crazy thoughts 
Follow @missjanespring 

 Jane xo

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sept.11, 2012 Meant To (Not) Be Together

      “Alright honey, have fun at daddy’s! I’ll call you later to say goodnight!” I kiss my son and he gives me a big squeeze back. I’m always thankful that even at close to age ten Carter hasn’t grown out of giving his mommy kisses, even when I drop him off at school and his friends are watching. Seeing him run down the stairs two at a time past his dad, it’s very evident that he’s growing at a pace I haven’t gotten used to yet. Last week, before the first day of school, I asked him to try on all his clothes so we could figure out what we needed and low and behold – he’d grown out of a small garbage bag worth of pants.
     “He’s getting so tall,” Carter’s dad said as if reading my thoughts. Travis was here to pick him up for the weekend. “Hey don’t forget I might have to go away next Thursday. I’ll let you know if we have to switch up the schedule.”
      I roll my eyes at him and smile.  He looks so different than he did ten years ago when we first met. Travis was rarely seen without a band t-shirt and jeans back then. Dressed sharp in a button down shirt, black trousers and loafers, he was thinner now. Going to the gym had diminished the soft little beer belly I used to tease him about. I remember being at the back of the dingy basement bar I worked at downtown to get through college, watching him belt out songs for hours. I loved how he was on stage. He was so passionate about his music and he was talented. His band played there two nights a week. Travis was cursed with bouncy curly hair which he wore long back then. You’d never know it looking at him now.
       I lean over the railing on the front porch and watch Carter and Travis hop in the car with Travis’ wife Amanda. The gray Volvo turns down the street but I barely notice the wave Carter gives me as they drive away. The car, the hair, the wife. Travis was hardly even the same person he was with me.
       When I look back at those times I remember feeling like I was part of something bigger happening. I felt lucky to be his girlfriend. His friends became my friends. We spent so many nights at the bar after his shows just talking and laughing. We had so much fun. Even his family was wonderful. I felt like I had found what people look for in life. Like I was where I was supposed to be and with who I was meant to be with.
       I found out very early in our relationship that I was pregnant. Before that, Travis knew I was sick but only from what I told him. He had witnessed a few bad days here and there but nothing as serious as how scary things got when I was pregnant with Carter. I found out I was pregnant at 11 weeks along and at 15 weeks I was hospitalized. At one point the doctors and a counselor sat him down and tried to explain to him that there was a very strong possibility that he might not be bringing both of us or either of us home from the hospital.
       How did he handle it? Travis stayed right by my side. He was with me every day after work. He held my hair back while I was being sick. He held me when I was scared and he let me yell when I needed something to be angry at.  I spent twenty-six weeks of my pregnancy in the hospital. Travis rented us an apartment and moved all my things in with his so that when Carter was born we would be a family together. 
       We loved Carter so much that we loved each other for making such a perfect miracle.  Soon after the baby was born things got really lonely for me. Travis was always at work or at band practice or playing shows, always touring or in the studio. When he was home I tried to reconnect with him but was always met with a gaping hole separating us.  Eventually, it started to seem like we were just two friends raising a baby together.  I wasn't the cute nineteen year old girlfriend anymore. I was Carter’s mom. The one asking him to help with diapers and feedings, whose body could no longer be looked at as more than a mechanical food source, with tired sunken eyes from being up late with the baby. I was so jealous that he was able to have a separate life outside of the apartment. The more distance between us, the uglier I felt. The uglier I felt, the uglier I acted. We fought and cried until finally I had to leave. We both wanted our son to grow up in a home surrounded by love and affection and we couldn't give him that anymore.
      It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Travis is a great guy! You don’t leave the great guy. When Carter was baptised I remember my mom asking me if I was sure I wanted the baby to have his father’s last name, just in case things didn’t work out with us. I told her that no matter what, I knew Travis would always be an amazing father. Every day I know how lucky I am. He's the best dad. He’s with Carter three days a week and I can't remember there ever being a single night in the nine years since we split up that Carter has gone to sleep here at home without Travis calling to see how his day was and say goodnight. Plus, he’s been an amazing friend to me. I hate to even think about how I would manage if Travis wasn't so dependable. Especially when I'm sick.  He's always willing to change his schedule or keep Carter with him if I'm in the hospital. I appreciate it so much. I know far too many women my age with babies whose dads aren’t even in the picture, let alone calling every night and sending extra money for sneakers. We somehow managed to find a way to parent together even though we aren't "together". We talk daily and things are easy between us. We go to parent teacher meetings together.  We go to the elementary school Christmas concert together. We do it right. I’m proud of us for that.
       Travis doesn’t have long hair anymore, doesn’t play in a band or party at clubs until four a.m. He has a nine-to-five job, owns a lovely home, a nice car and takes vacations to Jamaica with his beautiful wife. Sometimes I wonder if had I stayed, would that have been my life right now?
       One night about nine months after Travis and I had split, I was dropping Carter off at his new apartment for the night. My date waited in the car as I got the baby all bundled up out of his car seat and I went upstairs. When I knocked on the door Travis asked me if I would come in to talk. He asked his roommate to watch Carter for a second and took me into the bedroom. 
      It was so odd to see our things jammed into this tiny room. Our bed with our blankets still on it, the few paintings we’d bought together and Carter’s crib. He sat me down on the bed and took my hand. He looked tired and nervous.
     He said all the things I worried about every day. Was this the right thing to do? He misses us, he wants to get back together, he wants to be a family, things will change. Can we really forget that it all happened and go back to the way things were? I started to get caught up in all the emotion and then I realise he hasn't said a single word about me. Downstairs waiting for me was a nineteen year old college boy with washboard abs who saw me as more than someone’s mother. I was visible again. I was Jane again. I was still Carter's mom first and foremost, but I also had an identity that someone was interested in. Travis wasn’t mourning losing me or our relationship. He was mourning the fact that we might feel we failed our son if Carter was going to grow up in a family whose parents weren’t married.
       When I see him looking so handsome, with his grownup life all pulled together, I often wonder what my life would be like now if I had said yes. What if we had gotten back together and married?  Honestly, I believe that we were meant to be together – to be parents together. We both got what we wanted. I wanted Carter to grow up in a family where he sees love all the time. Travis and Amanda are happily married for five years now. My parents, who have been together 36 years, live right downstairs. My brother and his fiancĂ© are in the fuzzy glow of love and planning a wedding. In the end, he has so many examples of happy love around him. I have the most amazing bond of strength and love with my son that comes from us being our own special little team. And if Carter is any example of how far a team of loving parents can go – I think we’re doing a pretty great job.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Years ago, an old friend from university knew talented Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia artist and children's book writer Lindee Climo ( Lindee's husband is writer Jonathan Campbell from the small Canadian east coast island, Cape Breton, where I grew up. He was kind enough to send me a copy of his first novel, Tarcadia. This book is a definite must read. It will brew up fond nostalgia for those few of us who long for glimpses of our secret treasure island and is sure to capture the imagination of those who are strangers to our little corner of the world. 

The Chisholms are a rollicking, unpredictable family living in the north end of Sydney, Nova Scotia. At the start of the summer, fourteen-year-old Michael, his older brother Sidney and two of their friends build a raft on the tar ponds. It seems the ideal start to the holidays. But over the course of one summer, Michael’s family gradually stops making sense. He has always been more than willing to call his parents by their first names and is generally supportive of Rory and Gloria’s "democratic" style of parenting, until suddenly faced with changes he can’t swallow. But it is his brother Sid’s reaction that will bring about the greatest change of all.

Young & Modern Magazine 1995

YM Magazine 1995
I have to dig up my old copies of these! When I think of Drew Barrymore, I always picture this magazine cover. This was in her rebellious 'Mad Love' days. I've always admired her gorgeous free-spirited nature. I have amazing memories of finding my magazine subscription waiting for me after school. Doing the quiz, lusting over the style spread, and snipping out hot guys and cool chicks for my ever growing collage. :)