Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 Highlights - Personal and Other

Hello lovely friends, and welcome to 2018!

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Did you have a good NYE? What did you do? Tell us in the comments section 😎

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I'd like to start with blowing your mind - if you follow this blog regularly, then you might remember this 'welcome 2017' post - it really does not feel like that long ago, right?

And now, here we are, a year later, and so many more wonderful things to share with you!

In January: We went on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with Rob's family! Then when we came back, I 'went for it' with something I always wanted to do - I dyed my hair pink.

In February: I officially got glasses again - prior to this, I hadn't worn them since I was about 11 years old. Why did I stop? Because of bullies. Now I wear them with pride. And I turned 29, which commenced countdown of the last year of being in my twenties!

In March: We did the #KaraokeChallenge on this blog - did you film yourself singing? Share it with the followers here, or on our facebook group! Rob & I also celebrated our 9-year anniversary of meeting at work, by going to see the live action Beauty & The Beast! Such a fantastic movie, and the first time I've felt truly happy in a theatre! Oh and I got the honor of painting for my first time at Art Battle International 😊

In April: I don't really remember anything specifically personal about this month... however, one of our favorite stores in Bower Mall here - HMV - officially closed. It later became Sunrise Records. Thankfully they still sell kawaii collectibles :)

In May: The Red Deer Regional Hospital literally saved my life! I don't want to gross any of you out, but I take it that the majority of the readers here are girls and women, so I'll tell you - I had a very heavy menstruation, that was almost life-threatening. I got to the emergency room just in time for them to give me clotting medication and take care of me. I credit them with my still being here.
Also became friends of a sort with a super awesome girl who goes by Piper Dollface - we share an affinity for squishies, and Hello Kitty stuff, so she sent me this as a gift:

In June: Preparations for Canada's 150! Rob & I had wanted to do something nice together at Bower Ponds, but a major storm hindered that (thunder, rain, hail, cold wind, and small tornadoes forming - Alberta weather, eh?). We spent it indoors.

In July: The #Kawaii365 project came to an official end on July 10, after a year of making kawaii art. Because I felt 'empty' after such a sudden stop, the Zoo'd Animal Hybrid Friends were 'born' 😍  Rob & I had a table at the local Farmer's Market and sold some of my kawaii art.
A major highlight [of my life!] was getting featured in 2 local publications - Red Deer Express and RD News Now! I'm still on cloud 9 from that.

In August: Rob & I celebrate our 9th anniversary of being a couple, and our 6th wedding anniversary. He spoiled me by taking me to the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in downtown, Calgary, where he booked us for a couple's massage. We then went to the zoo, where we enjoyed our first time at the penguins' enclosure.

In September: Since opening both a RedBubble shop AND a Zazzle shop earlier this year, I've enjoyed the feeling of seeing my own artwork on day-to-day items. It's a real rush of adrenaline! The feeling literally never gets old.

Mousepad from my shop on Zazzle

My Zoo'd tote bag (still so proud!)

In October: Following his 39th birthday, Rob & I celebrated our 10th Halloween by going to a haunted walkthrough house in Parkland Mall. And since recently discovering the Netflix original series, Stranger Things, I simply had to dress as Eleven. Then Rob & I co-hosted a Halloween party at our condo, as we celebrated our 3rd Halloween here already!

In November: Sears officially closed... another place we loved going to in Bower Mall here in the city. Still waiting to see what goes in there next? Though we both feel awful for all the laid off employees, it was decent to get some high-fashion items for up to 90% off. I hope every former employee found new work quickly.
Rob & I kicked off the holiday season in late November by attending fabulous local events such as: Red Deer Lights the Night, the Festival of Trees (to support the hospital which saved me), and the Black Knight Inn's Christmas Wish Breakfast.

In December: We celebrated a fantastic 10th Christmas together (complete with a romantic sleigh ride together at Heritage Ranch, followed by a very romantic New Year's Eve (our 10th one, too) at the Black Knight Inn together!

Here's to a safe & prosperous new year everyone!
Daryl J.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Best Christmas Ever

Hello sweet friends!

How was your Christmas?

Ours was fantastic! It was the celebration of my 10th Christmas together with my husband Rob :)

Here is a flashback picture to our first one (I'm not in the picture because I took it of him; we were visiting at my mum's & Grams' place).

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Anyhow, we began the official Christmas celebrations by going out for a nice dinner with his family. We were going to another nearby city, but the winter road conditions hindered that. So we stayed local and made the best of it. We then went back to one of Rob's relatives places and watched some nieces open their Christmas gifts (so cute!).

Then, my favorite part, Rob & I started our Christmas morning by building this gingerbread house together:

It's not the most flattering picture, but we tried some new things - such as Celebration Cookie doors, and sugar on the roof to look like a recent snowfall. I got that trick from the Food Network.

After we laughed like children, and then cleaned up the mess, we went on to cards and presents. We live in a condo with some really fabulous neighbours. And therefore we enjoyed opening many wonderful cards from them, as well as from all our extended family and from each other. This year, I finally got the idea to hang a festive ribbon from our curtain rod, and put the cards there. 

Then, Rob & spoiled each other silly with gifts & stockings! This was, after all, a very special Christmas for us. We've given each other awesome presents before, and we've had a lot of wonderful Christmases together, but I'd like to be so bold as to imply this was our best.

In the spirit of being a kawaii artist, I drew this chibi sketch of me & Rob, in our Christmas planner notebook, and colored it in. We're like two excited children, screaming with delight.

Here is a snapshot of the 'aftermath' of opening everything at our place:

Remember, it's not just about the gifts. It's about all the love. All the love and hygge feelings of sitting together by the tree, grinning and hugging with each unwrapped gift. It's the knowledge of this other human being, who knows me so well, and wants to make me happy. It's the person for whom I spent [undisclaimed amount] and hours of wrapping! Well, over an hour anyway.

Sadly, boxing day meant I had to go back to work, but aside from some 'Friday the 13th' feelings (the bus never got me, so I had to call a cab and be late for work; then when Rob came to pick me up at end of shift, he had a minor collision and I left early to be there with them). Some days are bad, but thankfully that's behind us now. Just waiting to hear back about insurance. It could've been worse and just glad he's okay!

Now, we approach the new year of 2018... another beautiful Christmas season coming to a close. Some radio stations have already gone back to normal music. Some TV stations are still playing boxing week specials. Thankfully, most residents of Red Deer still have their decor up - such a lovely sight to take in!

Here are some more snapshots of Christmas 2017:

So... what are your New Year's Resolutions?


Choose from a selection of 2018 printable wall calendars:

*Use code SAVE15 for a 15% discount*

Thank you,

Friday, 22 December 2017

Capricorn Horoscope - Kawaii Style


Capricorn (Dec. 22-January 19) – Yours is literally the hardest-working sign of the zodiac. Of course, Taurus and Virgo aren’t far behind. It’s not surprising Capricorn people often become CEOs or Employee of The Month. And it’s not a special privilege, because you’ve worked with every fiber of your being to get there. From the time you were a child in school, you had an imminent understanding of the value of hard work. You already know the concept of rewards and consequences, depending on your actions.

Socially, you may be the ‘class clown’ to be liked and fit in with peers. In fact, Capricorn people have a natural wit and knack for comedic timing – look at singer Weird Al, and actors Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) and Jim Carrey – they made a career out of making others laugh. And that’s just the thing: you are very career-focused. Working is not just about making money. You don’t look for ‘just a job to get by’, because what you choose to do for a living is a fundamental part of your lifestyle and your character!

You’re very cautious and selective when it comes to dating because, like choosing a career, the person you spend your life, your time and your body with has to be worth it. Marriage is a serious deal to a Capricorn. If people want to date you for real, they have to prove themselves with something more meaningful than a box of candies. The best romances start out as friendships because of the solid foundation first. 

Despite people assuming your serious nature, you are actually quite laid back with a good sense of humor. You take the value of friendship seriously too, and once you open up to someone and form a bond, that bond lasts forever. You don’t appreciate flighty and fickle friends though. If someone can't dedicate their time to you, move on from them.
Because you’re so hardworking, any career you choose is a good one for you. And it almost goes without saying that you’re great with numbers and saving, due to self discipline.

Best sign compatibility: Deep people like Taurus, Virgo, Pisces and Scorpio.

Celebs who share your sign: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Ricky Martin, Jordin Sparks.

Colors associated with you: ‘Working’ colors, such as navy blue or rich brown.

Best idea for a pet: A very loyal dog like a pug or beagle. Loyalty is important.

Love to show off your sign? Then spoil yourself with some zodiac art & fashion!

Order your wall art at Etsy here

Get a cute Capricorn tee at RedBubble here

Or get coasters, magnets, and more from my deviantArt shop!

Have a great day, friends! 

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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Kawaii Culture Is Actually Hygge

Hi friends!

How are you? I'm good thanks. Just stopping in here to share something with you, while my candy cane inspired nails are drying.

So I work part-time in a retail store, that sends out email coupons sometimes to customers. I signed up, and with it being the Christmas season, there was a recent email with a photo of a woman wearing very cozy PJs, and grinning while she held a cup of hot cocoa. There was a caption that said something like "rock your inner hygge".

'Hmmm...' I wondered to myself. What is 'hygge'? Some sort of buzzword in Western society right now, it seemed. And being that I work for the store chain that sent this out, I should know the meaning. So I Googled it, and was pleasantly surprised.

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Hygge (pronounced 'Hue-gah') is a part of Danish culture, which is most closely translated to a feeling of 'comfort, contentment, and coziness'. Because of Denmark's geographical location, the climate is often very chilly and so the people who live there, spend much time wearing cozy clothing, sitting with friends in warm indoor environments and enjoying delicious warm beverages - I think it's probably a lot like what we feel and do during the Christmas season in North America.

Though, unlike 'kawaii', hygge isn't a specific style, type of clothes, food, or home decor - it is a very specific feeling of being 'at peace' where you are, in the moment.

And that is exactly the reason why I'd like to be bold enough to suggest to you, that the feeling we all get from seeing kawaii cuteness - such as flying Hello Kitty Airlines, or wearing 6%DokiDoki clothing - is a form of hygge feeling.

A feeling of contentment, inner warmth, comfort and peace, from the simplicity that is kawaii.

Most recently, an example of a true inner hygge feeling here on this blog, was the fireplace personality quiz [a few posts down from this one]. I always feel at peace when gazing at the dancing fire and feeling it's warmth. Anything warm makes me happy, actually. Whether it's a cuddly hug, a soft sweater, a hot cup of mocha, or an electric blanket.

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Anyhow, this warm fuzzy feeling has got me smiling from within, like The Grinch when his heart grows more sizes. Of course, I wasn't a Grinch before - I've always adored Christmas! It's the best time of the year! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

And before I go, just wanted to share the candy cane nails with you:

You'll Need:
  • A light colored nail polish
  • Red nail polish
  • Clear top coat
  • Nail dotting tool
You'll Do:
  • Do 1 or 2 coats of the light one; you can use dry shampoo or even cold water if you don't have a nail dryer to speed things up for you.
  • Open the red polish and touch the nail dotting tool to the brush and get 'just enough' polish to make 3 or 4 thin lines, diagonally on your nail. 
  • Once dry, apply a clear top coat.
  • The whole thing takes half an hour at most :)

Monday, 18 December 2017

Are They Kawaii? Christmas Edition

Hello sweet friends! 

Today is Monday, December 18, and Christmas is a week away from today! We're all getting so excited here 😁

I've got 2 more gifts to wrap, some cards yet to deliver, and a gingerbread house to decorate together with Rob - but we got so much done already!! I've wrapped about 20 gifts and signed so many cards I may have lost count! Our tree is decorated and we've had so many very nice Christmas dates (it is after all, our 10th Christmas that we're celebrating).

Anyhow, you may remember awhile back, I featured the 12 adorable hybrid animals from A blog which was created around a series of kawaii animals I designed (and fell in love with!) after finishing the #Kawaii365 daily project.

And today, they're back to say Hello for Christmas - even if you don't decide to pledge $1 monthly at their Patreon page, they still love and appreciate when you share them!

You can also join the facebook group and join in on chats about them. Just look for Zoo'd Animal Hybrid Friends

I really enjoyed 'decorating' them for Christmas, too 😍

So, do you think they live up to the standards of Kawaii?

Let us know why/why not, in the comments section!


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The above is a picture I colored in, from the very first adult coloring book I drew in Christmas of 2015. It was a lot of fun to draw, but I enjoyed coloring it in even more! Get your own copy of it at

Have a great rest of your day!
Daryl J.