The Lainie List

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my favourite picture from this week. 
Tate: Let’s read like Grandpa does
(wearing his glasses and lying down on the couch).


  1. How to make a 5-year plan.
  2. When people use your creative work without permission.
  3. A goat farm! (Thank you for sharing, Pauline!)
  4. I need to check out this book.
  5. The End of Overeating, by David Kessler
  6. I want a tiny glass house for a studio.
  7. The meaning behind your food cravings.
  8. This recipe for a shrimp po boy sandwich is ridiculously good. Promise.
  9. my clothing story. Part 1, 2, and 3.
  10. When I grew up I wanted to be



Have a great weekend!!


The Lainie List

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Making dinner this week, I turned around to find this Little Miss behind me:)


  1. The Best Podcasts of 2018 (so far) – TIME
  2. Cold Soba Noodle Salad
  3. Swedish Cinnamon Buns
  4. The Noun Project: over a million curated icons, created by a global community
  5. Great coffee shop in TO. Boxcar Social.
  6. Mr. Rogers.  The guy gets it.
  7. Everimal.
  8. Mobile camper turns into swimming pool.  Want one?!
  9. Babies who look like celebrities.  Too funny.
  10. Warning, cute video of my kids.
  11. An amazing little fabric store.  You can order online too.

my clothing story. part 3 of 3.

my wardrobe (circa. 1990 – present)

Elementary school
was neon everything –
jelly bracelets
and t-shirt clips.
We wore B.U.M. Equipment sweatshirts
and t-shirts
from the Body Shop.

Growing up in a small town
in Northwestern Ontario,
the closest mall
was at least 3 hours away.
Getting new clothes often meant
flipping through the latest
SEARS catalogue
to pick out a new dress
or outfit,
and looking forward to
the grey plastic bag arriving
with my order.

I loved putting together
an outfit.
and the right pair of shoes.

Family excursions to Winnipeg
or Thunder Bay
were exciting.
Entire days were spent
shopping at the mall
with my mom.
Imagine 8 hours at a mall.
We were in our happy place.

I would make a list
of things I wanted to buy
and stores
I wanted to visit.

Club Monaco sweatshirts
Guess jeans
with the triangle on the bum.
Red Eraser
blue button-fly jeans
and Mondetta anything.

I cared about name brands
and saved my money
to buy them.
The paychecks from
my after school job
in grade 8
were tucked away
for the next
shopping trip.

I loved shopping
and clothes.
I loved colour
and having my own style.

And then high school happened.

My style
no longer seemed
to fit in.

I remember wearing hats
and ties in grade 9
when others didn’t.
Rather than wearing what I liked
I tried to blend in.

I don’t have memories
of what I wore in high school.
I only remember wearing
short skirts
for the first time
in my life.

Then University.

You can always tell the difference
between a first year
and a fourth year.
Pajama pants and modrobes
versus actual clothes
you would wear out in public.

By second or third year
I started to buy dress clothes
because I had placements
in classrooms and children’s centres.
Blouses, dress pants,
and sweaters.

Then graduation
and “Teacher Clothes.”

Button up shirts, cardigans,
dresses, and reasonable footwear
for being out on yard duty
and on your feet all day.

To me, clothes couldn’t be revealing
in anyway.
I taught grade 8
for many years.

Getting dressed in the morning
often involved me bending over
to check the length of my skirt or dress
and making sure
that no one could look down
my shirt.
True story.
Ask Eric.
I wanted to make sure
I was dressed appropriately.

Then Consulting.

At 29, I bought my first suit
for a curriculum consultant interview
at the school board.
I wore that suit once.
I got the job.

Then I remember the summer
when I finally realized
that my wardrobe
wasn’t me.

A closet full of blacks
and greys,
and yet an underwear drawer
filled with bright pink,
and fun polka dots.
Somewhere along the way
I started to keep the real me

I decided to make a change.
To wear clothes
that were me.
So I started to buy pieces
with colour,
like a striped mustard yellow long sleeve
from Banana Republic
and a cute denim dress
with pockets and a cowl neckline
from Esprit.

I bought colourful tights
in mustard yellow,
and deep royal blue.
They were worn with skirts
and my tall brown
leather boots.

I enjoyed going to the
One of a Kind Show
in search of a new piece
for my wardrobe.
a handmade dress
from Montreal
or a cute shirt sewn in Toronto.

I loved getting dressed
in the mornings.
I felt more like me.

Then baby #1.

Enter the maternity wardrobe.
My drawers became filled once again
with black and grey.
stretchy t-shirts,
tank tops,
and forgiving maxi skirts.

It was noticed by others.
Why are all of your clothes black?
a colleague would say.
Most of the maternity clothes are black,
was my response.
But I think I was just trying to hide
my body.
Which is kind of sad
because baby bumps are the best.

Fast forward
three years
and three babies.

The maternity jeans
have finally left the building.
My replacements
are from the GAP,
three pairs
of the same kind.
Mid Rise True Skinny Curvy Jeans.
The only style
that feels comfortable
on a body
that doesn’t feel
like my own.

Maternity tank tops
from Target remain
as something to layer under
or to wear as pajamas.

My dresser is pretty empty,
my closet too.
Most of the clothes I love
sit in Rubbermaid containers
waiting for me to lose
that baby weight.

A Netflix documentary
called Minimalism
and the idea of Kelly Rae Robert’s
Wear your Joy 30 day program
encouraged me
to purge pieces
that I don’t enjoy wearing.

I’m learning to find clothes
that I love to wear
without worry
of standing out
or worry
of judgement.

My favourite pair of boots
are plum in colour
and reach my ankles.
My dark green hoodie
from Lulu
is a staple.
And my brown leather moccasins
are comfy and cute.

I’m interested in learning
how to sew from a pattern
and make my own clothes.
Simple dresses with
great pockets.
Clothes with little details
I love.

I’m slowly starting to find myself again
and it feels good.


Note from Lainie:

I would love to hear your clothing stories! Interested in sharing? Reply to this post or email me at:

You can choose to stay anonymous or share your name.  It’s totally up to you.  I’d like to add these stories to my website.  I think they would be fun for us to read and so often they spark memories forgotten.

my clothing story part 1 of 3.

my clothing story part 2 of 3.


my clothing story. part 2 of 3.

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Four Kinds of Clothes.

Growing up,
we had four kinds
of clothes:

1. Play clothes

To be worn outside
to play in the mud and
truck through the bush.
It didn’t matter
if we got them dirty.
They were faded
and worn –
no longer suitable
for school.

2. School clothes

To be worn at school only.
New clothes.

3.Dress clothes

Were only for special occasions.
They were meant
for going out for dinner,
to a wedding,
a funeral,
or community event.
Dresses, blouses,
dress shirts,
and pants.


And lastly

4. Our Regular clothes.

What we would wear on weekends
or evenings at home.
We changed out of school clothes
once we got home.



my clothing story. part 1 of 3.
my clothing story. part 3 of 3.

my clothing story. part 1 of 3.

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a little doll.

My Sunday school teacher
still fondly remembers
how I was dressed
on Sunday mornings.

My mom would chose
a beautiful dress,
little tights,
and a cute pair
of dress shoes.
My hair was pulled back
neatly into a delicate
French braid.

I was a little doll
with red hair.



Note from Lainie:

I actually don’t remember Sunday School at all.

Last summer, while we were home visiting my parents at the cabin, our next door neighbour started sharing stories about when I was little.  I didn’t realize that she was my Sunday School teacher.

She told me that she looked forward to seeing me each week and how my Mom dolled me up for the occasion.  Julie described in detail the dresses and shoes I wore, and how my mom styled my hair.

A little story about myself that I never knew.



my clothing story. part 2 of 3.

The Lainie List

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Grandpa and a DIY teeter totter


  1. 100 Brilliant Companies of 2018
  2. Comedian creates new persona with every driver’s license photo. Too funny.
  3. My perfectionist story. part 1, part 2, part 3.
  4. How I Built This (NPR): Kate & Andy Spade
  5. NYTimes: Kate Spade
  6. The New Instagram Algorithm Has Arrived – Here’s How it Works…
  7. A book I might add to my reading list. And this one.
  8. The Wisdom of Trees: Walt Whitman on What Our Silent Friends Teach Us About Being
  9. Oldest European Tree Found—And It’s Having a Growth Spurt
  10. I want this tshirt.
  11. Day 63 of my 100 day project

my perfectionist story. part 2 of 3.

Perfectionist meets Motherhood.

I expected to be
the perfect mom
every. day.

To have lots of energy
and patience
and plan rich learning activities
for them every. day.

In return,
they would be well behaved
and listen to what I said.
Their actions would be rational
and predictable.
(I hope you’re laughing here.)
I was a teacher for how many years!?!
Kids are human.

I just didn’t expect
that this meeting of
and Mom
would unravel me
like it has.

and worries.

Evoking such guilt
and shame.

Every day feels like
a personal challenge.

But the two
were meant to meet.

my perfectionist story. part 1 of 3.

My desk in grade one
was filled with notebooks
neatly stacked,
with everything
in its place.
Pencils and erasers
lined up
at the front.
A certificate received
for catching me
with a clean desk.

The Emo Fall Fair
brought hopes
that my straight and even letters,
that I had erased
multiple times
until perfect,
would award me
a ribbon of first place
in the exhibition hall.

Spelling Bees
and practicing
for the upcoming spelling test.
The pride that came
with seeing
written on my paper,
along with a sticker
from the teacher.

Piano recitals
and music festivals,
with me perched on the edge
of a padded piano bench
just praying
that I wouldn’t make

My name published
in the local newspaper
along with my classmates
for being on
the high school Honour Roll
every semester
for five years
(back when there was OAC).

Not hanging out
with kids who used drugs
or slept around.
I had been taught
at an early age
they were losers.

to a university
with an entrance scholarship.
Then working hard
to have high enough grades
to be accepted
into the competitive
Concurrent Education program.

Completing my Masters Degree
while teaching my first
long-term occasional position.
Getting a coveted
contract teaching position
at the age of 21.

I sound really annoying
don’t I?
Full of myself even.
I totally get it.
And yet,
there was an emptiness.

As a new teacher,
I attended every workshop I could
constantly refining
my teaching practice.
I could always do better.
There was always something
new to learn.

Opportunities for leadership arose.
I became a demonstration classroom,
with other teachers, principals, and superintendents
coming to my classroom
to watch me teach math.
I didn’t understand why.
My program was far
from perfect.

I became a curriculum consultant
at 29 years of age.
I couldn’t believe
they chose me.
There had to be stronger candidates.
I was the youngest on the team.

I didn’t realize
I was a perfectionist
until I had kids.
That’s when
the wheels fell off.

Funny Things the Kids Say.

This is a place for me to jot down funny things the kids say.  I’ll try to give enough context so you can hopefully enjoy them too.


Tate this week (May 28, 2018)
It’s so incredibly humid and hot out.  I decide to wear my black maxi skirt.  One I haven’t worn since babies (pretty clingy and not so forgiving).  Tate sees me and says, “Mama, you almost look like a lady.”)

Lately the boys like to discuss who will drive what (vehicles going by our house or those in a book.)  Tate: I will drive the black pick up truck.  Thatcher: Me drive boat. 

The boys got a new Richard Scarry book from Ayns.  In the book, there’s a page with a large freighter that takes up the entire two pages and then a tiny little dingy.  With a smug little look on his face, Thatcher says: Me drive big boat and Tate drive tiny boat.  It was as though he knew that it would drive Tate crazy not to have the largest boat.