Blogging Musings and Redbook

Urm, so, I've discovered that blogging is hard. Harder than dragging myself out of bed on a rainy day to go for a run after a night of a bit too much wine.

I have heaps of respect for those amazing bloggers out there who seem to have boundless amounts of energy and create more projects in a week than I do in a two month span, all while blogging about it every step of the way. Major props and cheers to you!

I, on the other hand, am a major fail. Last Tuesday I was off work, and the whole day all I could think about was how badly I needed to photograph our bedroom makeover and blog about it. You know that feeling when you have a big interview/meeting coming up and you can't completely focus on anything else because of the knots in your stomache? It was kind of like that. I kept beating myself up, because here I am, a DIY-nut with LOADS of projects to share, and no kiddos running around (yet) to really get in my way, but somehow, I still have a full plate.

My hubby asks me if it causes me so much stress, why still do it? Well, I really do enjoy it when I carve out the time. And as narcissistic as this may sound, there is something about sharing a project with the world that gives you fuzzy feelings inside. I'll never forget when I showed my hubs the pantry makeover when he came home from work. He said something along the lines of "Oh, it's nice" and then continued on with his life. Boys don't quite get it, now do they? But having a bunch of fabulous people I've never met gush over something that took me hours and hours, that made it worth while. It validated the time and energy I put into it. My pantry got the appreciation it so deserved.

I am still trying to figure something out; perhaps a schedule of some sorts so I have dedicated time slots for blogging and project making. If you have any tips on how you balance it all, please do let me know!

On another note, last week I was *hoping* to have a big announcement. A couple of months ago an email popped up my my inbox from an email address. Yes, that Hearst. Mega magazine conglomerate in NYC. Found me. The fact that someone in the iconic Hearst Tower in New York was actually looking at my label designs was enough to make me pass out, but the fact that a senior editor was emailing me to ask my permission and for a high res photo to feature in Redbook Magazine was the tipping point. Holy. Cow.

The email looked liked this:

"I’m an editor at REDBOOK, and we’re interested in showing the attached image in a new section of the magazine that’s all about getting inspired. We think the spice rack labels are such a cute idea! Would you be willing to send me a high-res of the attached photo? We’d of course include your name and the name of your blog for our nine million readers to see!

NINE MILLION READERS!! I wanted to keep the news wrapped up tightly until the big reveal, but I just couldn't help myself. I spread the news loud and proud and told all of my friends ands family, and pretty much anyone else who would listen. Redbook has never been my go-to glossy as I believe it's probably geared at a slightly more mature demo (just guessing here, but 35 plus?), but that being said, I know Redbook is an iconic magazine. It's been around for over a hundred years!

The day the mag was supposed to hit shelves I had a lunch date. I hurried over to the magazine stand on my way to the restaurant, and stood in the aisle flipping through page after page. Hubby was on the phone with me as I described my emotions with every page turn. I was pretty calm about it. To be honest, after exchanging 5 or so emails with the editor a few months ago and hearing nothing since, I figured the article was trimmed from the magazine. I get it. I've seen The Devil Wear Prada. There's a big white wall with the entire magazine spread out in sections, and only parts actually make it in. That's real life, right?

So after the final page turned and my spice cupboard makeover wasn't there, I felt a bit deflated, but I had prepared myself. My darling man was so great about it, reminding me that even being considered to be in a print magazine is a huge honour, and yes, it was. The fact that that one photo found it's way into the Hearst building was a huge honour.

So am I disappointed? Of course, but maybe it wasn't the right time. Perhaps that sounds crazy, but a huge part of me was worried about how little content I have on this blog and how fresh and new The Paper Society actually is. If I work on developing and establishing both a little more, and if an opportunity ever comes along like that again, I might actually benefit from it more so than I would have now.

At least that's what I keep telling myself!

xo J

Wind Swept. By Molten Store

Brought to you from our very most favourite online treasure trove, Molten Store.

Wind Swept.

Available here

Follow me on...

Bloglovin / Twitter / Instagram:socialemissions / Pinterest 

Are you addicted to the internet?

Audrina Benson

Much has been made recently of internet addiction, the latest in a long line of addictions recognised by the psychiatric community and have become part of the material taught in counseling schools. While many psychologists recognise compulsive internet use as an addictive disorder, others do not. Some believe that internet addiction may, in many cases, be an attempt to cope with underlying mental illness or life problems rather than a true addiction. The ongoing debate over the existence of internet addiction does not, however, mean people aren’t suffering, nor does it mean that treatment isn’t available.

Internet addiction came to the attention of psychiatrists in the mid-1990s, when the Internet first broke into the mainstream. Dr. Kimberly Young first named the phenomena in a 1996 paper “Internet Addiction: The Emergence of a New Disorder.” Dr. Young specializes in the treatment of internet addiction, and in the treatment of its underlying causes. She believes that internet addiction is an impulse control disorder, and came up with the Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (IADQ) to aid in its diagnosis.

Symptoms of internet addiction are generally similar to symptoms of other addictions. Key to the syndrome are the feelings of guilt and shame internet addicts feel about their Internet use. Most will try to hide their true usage level from family and friends. They also turn to the Internet for distraction when they’re in a bad mood, facing a personal problem, or coping with anxiety or depression. Addicts may feel themselves preoccupied with the internet when they’re not online, and may feel closer to their online friends than they do to friends and relatives in real life.

Many people use the internet daily, for long periods, for various legitimate reasons. Students, for instance, are among some of the most voracious internet users. Business people and others must use the internet frequently, sometimes almost incessantly, for work purposes. Some may use the Internet to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. Frequent or even prolonged internet use is not necessarily unhealthy or addictive, in and of itself. It’s when idle non-productive internet use begins to threaten work, family relationships and real-life social activities that addiction is suspected. At this point, the internet addict cares about using the internet more than he or she cares about anything else. The internet subtly changes from a tool, to an end in and of itself.

New York resident Harry Husted considers himself in recovery from internet addiction. He tells The Guardian, “I used to work with computers for eight hours, then get home and go online for seven hours. I would stay up till two or three in the morning until I got so sleepy I had to go to bed. I wouldn't go out to get the groceries and I couldn't have cared less about friends, TV, anything. After a while I realised what was happening and did something about it."

Treatment for internet addiction is available from psychiatric clinics around the world. Internet addiction manifests itself in different ways in different countries, since people in different nations use the internet differently. In South Korea, an estimated 210,000 children may be addicted to internet gaming, while China boasts an estimated 10 million addicted adolescents. In America, social media addiction is prevalent. Gender may also play a role, with men more likely to be addicted to sexual content, and women more likely to seek social interactions.

Internet addiction may not be physiological in the same way that alcohol or drug addiction is, but addicts do experience withdrawal symptoms. These include depression, irritability, sleep problems, anxiety and anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure. Chinese studies suggest that internet addiction causes brain changes in the areas related to impulse control, repetitive action, decision-making, information processing and emotion. It is important to note that these changes were similar to those that occur with substance abuse disorders.

Some psychiatrists aren’t convinced that internet addiction is a true addiction. John M. Grohol, PsyD, doubts the existence of internet addiction. He explains that the criteria for defining internet addiction are basically the same criteria used to define gambling addiction. According to Grohol, the two things are very different. Gambling is a reward-seeking type of behavior, and lacks social value. Internet use, however, is often a means of seeking social contact, whether through email, chat rooms, games or social media platforms. In many ways, our society encourages internet use. It’s healthy and normal, Grohol claims, for humans to seek social interaction in socially (and technologically) supported ways.

Grohol theorizes that many cases of internet addiction may, in fact, be new users acclimating themselves to the online world. It’s normal for people to immerse themselves in new things. Grohol writes, “Since this [online] environment is so much larger than anything we've ever seen before, some people get "stuck" in the acclimation (or enchantment) stage for a longer period of time than is typical for acclimating to new technologies, products, or services.” Eventually, most people will move on to more balanced usage on their own, though a small percentage of people may need help cutting back.

Even Grohol acknowledges that some internet users may become “stuck” at an over-the-top usage level. While internet addiction may lack some of the biological markers of substance abuse, a great many researchers will readily agree that some people do demonstrate the classic “signs” of addiction in regard to the internet. The condition may in fact be a compulsive disorder, but “internet addiction” is a handy reference phrase. As researchers unlock the traits and motivations relating to this new “addiction” they may well develop a deeper understanding and remedial tools for compulsive disorders in general.

Show Me Your Showroom. With Threadbare

As promised from my post here, I am finally uploading all of my behind the scene images from their amazing showroom. have perfectly curated a collection of amazing pieces from international designers as well as a number of homegrown Australian designers including, AJE, ElleryDion Lee II and Josh Goot. Unvelievably, they are currently having up to 50%  off their S/S 2012 stock and I am going mental just trying to decide how best to invest my moolah. I'm happy to announce that the Ellery Imperials Skirted Shell top is now offically mine, but now I'm thinking I need to give the matching pants a new home as well.

Decisions, Decisions...

Follow me on...

Bloglovin / Twitter / Instagram:socialemissions / Pinterest

Healthy Eating and Mediterranean "Squashghetti"

I am obviously not a food blogger, and no expert cook by any means, but when I find a recipe that's too good not to share, well, I'm going to share it!

I've been on a bit of a health kick lately, however kick isn't the right word because I'm hoping it lasts longer than a kick. Maybe let's call it a health awakening? 

I grew up on easy, convenient meals and packaged snacks, so learning to grab an apple from the fridge instead of something in a box from Costco in the pantry is like learning to speak Italian for me. It's changing the very core of my food beliefs and behaviours. And so far, I'm feeling about a thousand times better about life and my health. Snacking on veggie sticks and fruit, and making dinner from REAL ingredients from scratch is rewarding! There's no beating yourself up because you just ate a cookie for lunch and a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner. Because I totally used to that. Quite frequently.

I could go on and on about my new relationship with food, but I will save that for another post because I just need to share this recipe with you. I've made it 4 times this week, it's that good.

Now if you are still eating popcorn for dinner and are used to massive portions of white pasta drenched in a creamy sauce, then you may not find this recipe as delectable as I do, because I've been eating sprouted grain toast and egg whites. Me gushing about this recipe is completely warranted because of my current state, so just be forewarned. For a healthy recipe, it's delish. And to be honest, it's so good I would probably want to eat it even if it weren't so healthy!

First things first, this recipe is E-A-S-Y. The first time I made it I cooked the squash in the oven so that definitely took some time, but I just cleaned around the house while I waited for it. The second squash I cooked I tried the microwave, and in 5 minutes I had a perfectly cooked spaghetti squash half. Hands down, I will never cook a spaghetti squash in the oven ever again (unless I have no access to a micro of course).

It really is so simple, and the fact that I have everything on hand (well except for the squash) on a daily basis makes this recipe a new staple in my life. And best of all, you can so easily modify this to your tastes or add other things you have on hand. I add bell peppers, but you could add zucchini, mushrooms, chicken etc and make it your own! The flavour comes from the feta, which melts a bit when you mix it in, along with the basil and olives. The flavour is fresh, subtle and sublime! And although I didn't put it in the recipe, I usually add sun-dried tomatoes and they take it to a whole other level!

One of the reviewers of the original recipe even added beaten eggs and bread crumbs the next day to make little breakfast patties! Genius!

Anywho, without further ado, here's the recipe that I like to call Mediterranean Squashghetti!

If you can't see the image clearly, here's the text version of the recipe:

Mediterranean Squashghetti


1/2 onion, sliced or diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
big handful grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 spaghetti squash, forked
2 tbsp fat free feta, crumbled
3 tbsp black olives, sliced
handful fresh basil
fresh lemon juice (optional)
sea salt

  1. Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and guts like you would a pumpkin. Place one half cut side down in microwave safe dish, add 1/4 inch of water and cover. Microwave for approximately 5 minutes.If a knife slides fairly easily through the skin, it’s ready!
  2. While the squash is cooking, sauté your onion and garlic in olive oil. Add any other veggies you’d like at this point as well.
  3. When you’re just about done sautéing, add your sliced grape tomatoes and saute for about a minute until tomatoes are warmed.
  4. Take your pan off the heat, and remove your squash from the microwave. Use a fork to get all the spaghetti squash strings on of the skin. Add to your pan.
  5. Mix spaghetti squash with sautéed veg, and then add feta and olives. Once all mixed, toss in your fresh basil (and optional- lemon juice and/or sundried tomatoes) and mix a couple more times. 
  6. Top with a touch of sea salt and enjoy!
Hope you give this recipe a go sometime. It really is super quick and filling! I am making it for my grandma this weekend so we'll see if it passes the test!

xo J

Florally Fabric Fun on YHL

Well, clearly I was on to something when I snagged my $3 fabric at a local designer warehouse sale a couple months ago. Hubby told me it looked like something he'd see covering his grandma's chesterfield, but it was love at first sight for me.

And thankfully, it's not just love for moi! The same fabric is now adorning the headboard of John and Sherry's bedroom over at YHL!

When I originally came home with the fabric, a headboard was actually my first inclination. It got nixed foremost because I was short on fabric, but I let the hubby think it was scrapped because he wasn't super keen on it as a permanent fixture in our room. I'm kind of digging the headboard though, and wishing I had done a little franken-sew to make the fabric work. However, I definitely get tired of patterns pretty quickly, so maybe interchangeable pillows are a good thing? Still, totally loving what J and S have done with their bedroom as of late!

Winn Lane. From the Archive

Back from when the weather was a little warmer, the sun came out more often to play and my hair was longer. Found this one in the old archive and thought I would put it to good measure. This Sass & Bide skirts its still a staple piece in my wardrobe even though things have cooled down a little. I love its hemline and obviously am very drawn to the colours as I have appropriately matched it with this amazing silk Country Road shirt (a much cheaper alternative to the infamous Equipment shirts, thats for sure!).

Skirt: sass & bide / Shirt: Country Road / Shoes: SuperTrash / Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs / Sunglasses : Karen Walker / Accessories: Sportsgirl. Lovisa, Random

Follow me on...

Bloglovin / Twitter / Instagram:socialemissions / Pinterest

Photo's by Georgie W

June Teenth/Justice for Charles

Yesterday's June Teenth event lacked only one element to make it the perfect day: the presence of Charles Wilhite.

On Monday, the court will set a date for a bail hearing; the bail hearing may be (we hope) July 2.  Once again, community support makes a difference.

Ruben, Tony, Maggie and Jeremiah at the Arise table

Best former city councilor ever- Amaad Rivera

Vira Cage, Charles' aunt, coordinating  the day

Lucinda Ealy coordinating childcare

Dan Keefe from Out Now & Justice for Charles with Vira

Rev. Charla Kouadio and Maryanne Winters

Arise's Ellen Graves & musician Ben Grosscup

Amanda's boys

Jean Sherlock on the racist school system

Rep. Ben Swan and Vira

In the hat-- Arise member Sheldon Gaynor from Like It Or Not

Early Arise member Helen Drungo, Charles' grandmother

'Candejah Pink from No One Leaves

Arise member Keith Peters, who's coordinating next Saturday's CORI Independence Day

Master Makeover: The Reveal!

I hesitate to ever call a room "done" because it is always an evolution. So, other than the fact that there are likely new bedside tables, side lamps and pillows in the foreseeable future, I am still calling this room "done" (for now). It actually is probably one of the most finished rooms in our house, so that helps me get past the little things I would like to change but have to save for.

For the moment, our master bedroom looks like this:

What did we (erm, the hubby) do to take the room from THIS:


 Above: AFTER

Well, here's the list and cost breakdown:
  • Removed wallpaper, wallpaper paste and painted walls grey (Cost: $150)
  • Trimmed out the windows with 2.5 inch white trim and then painted the inside to create "faux" window casings (Cost: $30)
  • Painted "free" craigslist dresser a light grey, trimed out the scrolly toe kick with a piece of wood, and replaced the hardware on the drawers (Cost: $30)
  • Painted the espresso legs of the bench white, and sewed a grey slipcover to cover the old mocha microfibre (cost: paint $0 (on hand), upholstery fabric $3 (had on hand but purchased a couple of months ago at a designer warehouse sale)
  • Switched out old headboard for a grey upholstered one. It used to be a window seat in it's previous life at a show home, but for now it is our headboard. One day it may end up as a window seat again under that large window we have. (Cost: $8 at designer sale)
  • New mint and white bedding (Cost: $20 from warehouse sale)
  • Sewed floral pillows (Cost: $3 for fabric from warehouse sale)
  • Hung faux roman shades (Cost: $15 for velcro, wood was on hand, faux roman shades cost $24 for all three from warehouse sale last year)
So, just under $300 for the entire room makeover. Not too shabby, hey? Thank goodness for my designer sale scores! When I set out to do this room, I made a promise to myself to use as much of my warehouse sale finds as possible. I bought quite a lot of stuff, and I have half a craft room full of things I have yet to use (including about 20 roman shades), and so in the interest of saving money AND clearing out some space, I forced myself to work with what I had. And I am pretty darn happy I did. 

For the first time in 2.5 years, I can say I actually love spending time in our bedroom. I now bring my iPad up to bed and like to curl up and watch TV on our not as nice TV in the bedroom just so I can immerse myself in the energy I feel while I'm in there. Man, it makes such a difference!

Here are some of the details..

Marble Torre & Tagus box from warehouse sale for some of my watches.

An Umbra soap dish used for my little pretties.

New lamp shade still to be added, but this is the entertainment side of the bedroom.

I am NOT a seamstress, but somehow I found a way to sew this slipcover. It's not perfect, but I like it. It works. I've been wanting to paint this espresso bench with mocha fabric FOREVER and so glad I finally did! Ok, the hubby painted it but I sewed the slip cover!

 The fabric for the pillows was an awesome find at the most recent designer warehouse sale I attended (I got that fabric, the bench fabric and the bedding all there). The floral pattern is lovely and adds just the right pop of colour. The mirror looks much bigger in person than in this photo, but it's still something I'd like to replace down the road.

Ahh peonies. My fave. Waking up to the smell is just divine. And of course a kissy shot of my hubby ain't too bad to wake up to either!

And again, the whole room complete. I wil try and do some posts on the faux window casings and put up some better pictures because you can't really see them in these photos. They were so cheap and easy to do, and make miles of difference!

Oh, and the paint is from Cloverdale Paint (in Canada) and it's called Excalibur. To be honest, I wish we had gone a touch lighter and a touch greiger, but I am not going to dwell on that. I am just happy to finally have a painted bedroom!

Looking back at the before photos, I can't help but ask myself "WHAT was I thinking???". I am SO happy to check this off the list!

Whaddya think?

xo J