ways to feel happier

April 29, 2009

Feeling a little blah, blerg or yuck? Well, summer is just around the corner and life is about to get a little brighter! We found this list of easy ways to find the sunny side of the street, even on the worse of days…

Simple Pleasures

Once something becomes familiar, we stop paying attention to it – even if it’s pleasurable. Ever had a piece of chocolate that tasted gorgeous, but then you didn’t notice the rest of the bar disappearing down your throat? Start making a note of the simple things that bring you pleasure as you notice them. This way, you heighten the experience and focus on the positive feelings they inspire.

Yellow Happiness

Random Kindness

Positive psychologists have found that one of the most effective strategies to lift people from depression is for them to help others. As social beings, we’re hardwired to get a reward of feelgood hormones in return for a positive act towards others. It’s easy to forget this in the day-to-day chaos of life, but if you set yourself the goal of performing an act of random kindness for the benefit of a stranger, it will leave you feeling better about yourself for hours.

Count Chimneys

It sounds odd, but it’s harder to feel unhappy while you’re looking up. Obviously, don’t do this when there’s a danger you could fall down a manhole, but otherwise give yourself an incentive to look up. There’s a reason for the saying “you’re looking down” when someone seems unhappy. Try it – and things will really look up.

Sky For Two
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summer’s here?

April 28, 2009

When I left Ontario yesterday morning, it was a breezy 18 degrees Celsius, give or take a few degrees.

This morning in Washington, D.C., it is 32 degrees.

I packed all my summer stuff, but… well, it’s been awhile since I wore most of those clothes. 8 months of french fries, ice cream, burgers and cookies later and I’m in the market for some looser-fitting outfits.

Problem is, I don’t get my first paycheque for a few weeks and I’m on an uber-budgeting kick this summer. Lucky for me, there’s a lot of selection out there. I’ve put together three great, versatile looks that won’t cost me more than $50 US.

(sorry, Canadian readers, but I’m in the land of the strong dollar and crazy-good sales now– but I tried to look mostly at stores with locations in both countries!)


Old Navy:






(since the neckline of this dress is so striking, this necklace looks best as a bracelet looped loosely around the wrist)




Total: $47.49


These outfits are pretty simple, which is ideal for mixing and matching, but cute and fun too. I can punch them up with some more original finds– like a vintage cuff bracelet or a scarf from my favourite boutique– to make the look less mall-catalogue and more my own. With outfits like these, I’ll feel comfortable, pretty, and budget-savvy. 

Two more looks after the jump!


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Coco says: arg, I have nothing saved that is msn monday-ish

Nuxa says: quick! write something funny!

Coco says: ummm… a mime in a woodchipper!

Nuxa says: what?!?

Coco says: I dunno

Coco says: it wouldn’t be able to scream

Coco says: I guess that’s more creepy and awful than funny

Nuxa says: omg. i leave you alone for a weekend and you think “a mime in a woodchipper” is funny?!?!

Nuxa says: what has he done to you?!?!?!

Coco says: ok, ok, you got it out of me– we put a mime in a woodchipper

Nuxa says: *sob*

Nuxa says: he’s ruined you! in more ways than one

Coco says: meh, that was good enough, we can post that

(In non-MSN Monday related news, Coco has moved out of the house and is currently on her way back home for the summer. Nuxa feels like she’s lost half of herself.)

Nuxa and Coco should not be allowed to make decisions in the kitchen.


Also, champagne can NOT be left in a freezer.

(Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?)

moving day!

April 26, 2009




This is going to be… a nightmare.


love, actually

April 25, 2009


… when they make you happier every day than you would be without them …




 … when they consider your needs in considering their own …




… when they make you want to be a better person and support you in trying to make that happen …




… when they accept you and admire you for who you are …




… when you have that moment of thinking, ‘I cannot imagine being with anyone else, because this person fits my life and who I am so well’…





That’s love.


ready or not?

April 23, 2009

This half of Coco’s room makes you hate her a little bit…


(note the labeling, colour coordination, and use of environmentally-friendly cloth bags! Oooh, ahhh)



But the other half makes you realize that she is not, as previously suspected, a robot. 


(Here’s another tip: Never, ever paint your room this colour. Just don’t. Those turquoise walls are the bane of Coco’s existence and the biggest regret of her life.)


Anyway, good luck with the packing, everyone! Here’s a little something to get you through the rest of the day:

happy earth day!

April 22, 2009

Coco’s Dad sent along some adorable comics for Earth Day today, so we decided to share them with you.
















We didn’t make any big environmental gestures today, sadly, since we’re in the throes of moving and exams.  Did you do anything to celebrate Earth Day?





Anyone else feeling like this today?

We’re both getting ready to move soon. Coco only has to move down the street. Nuxa has to move half her stuff to Coco’s new place and half her stuff to her parents’ house 3 hours away. Oh, and when she gets home– she has to help her parents pack for their move to the new family house.

Luckily for us (and you!), Coco is a military brat who has been watching her fabulous, uber-organized mom pack up everything they owned every three years since she was 6, and Nuxa, with her world travelling, is an equally savvy packer. We’ve consolidated all our wisdom into a handy Top Ten list for those of you who will be making a big (or little) move soon!

One thing you must know about us is that we’re procrastinators. Big time procrastinators. So the best part about this list is that it assumes you’re doing most of this packing a day or two before you move. This may not be possible with a big house and family, but for 20-somethings with smallish apartments, you may just squeak by.

Nuxa and Coco’s Top Ten Tips For Surviving Moving Day!

Simple Packing

1. Start with bite-sized tasks:

Moving your entire life can be incredibly daunting. When you have two days to be out of your apartment and you’re staring at everything you own, it’s tempting to throw up your hands and toss everything into garbage bags (here’s a hint from Nuxa’s mom: if an unsuspecting helper sees a garbage bag, odds are it’s going in the garbage).

Think about what you love best about your stuff. Do you drool over your shoes? Are your vintage cookie-cutters considered prized possessions? Do you look forward to picking out a DVD from the shelf every weekend? Find your passion and pack that stuff first. You’ll be able to ease yourself into the efficiency of packing by reminiscing about the things you love the most.

Once your collection of scented body wash has been lovingly put in boxes, you can move on to clothes, winter gear, kitchen appliances, knick-knacks, books and magazines, linens, etc– and before you know it, you’ll be done!

If you consider yourself an intermediate-level mover (meaning you’re pretty used to doing this sort of thing), do the opposite– start with papers you’ve been needing to throw out or food you’re not sure you want. It’s a little tougher to get motivated to do the icky things, though, so if you’re a beginner, do what you like first.

2. Purge:

A move is the perfect time to get rid of things you no longer need or want. Not only will this make your packing and moving endlessly easier, it can be therapeutic and is the ideal way to begin your foray into adulthood.

In high school, Coco’s friend Hez introduced her to a YA novel called The Gospel According to Larry. The main character, Josh, made it a personal rule never to exceed 75 possessions and publicized this mission to protest excessive consumerism. Now, we’re not expecting you to go that far (we each probably exceed that in books and shoes alone), but we do recommend you keep it in mind as you go through your things. Keep only the clothes you’ve worn in the last three months, the books you’re confident you will read again and again, the decorating accents you’ll use in your new place. Imagine the person you are today and will be in the future, and make sure every possession reflects that person.

And for those pesky things you never look at and probably don’t need, but feel unable to part with for whatever reason, do what Coco’s mom has her do– take a picture of the items in question, then put them in a separate box. If you don’t use the things in that box in a year (or less if you feel ready), sell them or give them away. With a photo, you’ll still retain the sentimental connection to the schoolbus-yellow shelf your friends made for your 16th birthday without actually having to keep it.

Drowning in Packing

Proceed to the rest of the list!

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