Damask coffee mug and beans for under $5!

Here’s a great Gift for under $5 my new sister-in-law gave to me. They served as centrepieces at her wedding last month. You know, the one in Medicine Hat.

Well, I may have stole it now that I think about it. Actually, no, someone gave it to me… just maybe not my sister-in-law.

The gift? These great over sized coffee mug with damask design, a photo of the newlyweds, and filled to the brim with lovely smelling coffee beans and a candle.

Since the Roste clan stuck out my brother’s wedding until the lights came on and the DJ packed up, I ended up taking two (TWO!) lovely centrepieces home. They didn’t break on the plane or anything. And when I took a better look at them, I noticed they were completely hand designed! How clever!

There were three different designs to choose from and my boyfriend and I spent a lot of time narrowing our choices down from six, to four, to two. Because even though we wanted more, we didn’t need more.

Naturally I had to highlight this gift and when I asked my new sis-in-law to give me the details, she gladly obliged (anything for the blog). Here’s what she said:

Hey! Oooh that’s fun!! Yes we made them ourselves.

  • We actually picked up the coffee mugs from the dollar store ($1.25/e)
  • The filling in the cup was some thicker cotton that we bought from Michaels so we wouldn’t have to fill the whole cup up with coffee beans (about $0.67/e)
  • The coffee beans were bought from a natural bulk and foods store—actually on discount! (about $1.33/e)
  • We also bought the candles for the mugs from the dollar store ($1.25/e)
  • And the sticker label of us we made on our computer, which we printed at Staples (about $0.25/e)

I hope that explains it all! I was really excited that we could make them ourselves…it’s what I had imagined in my head…

So if we do the math we get: $4.75. Such a great idea and now I can enjoy natural bulk coffee in my new DAMASK (this is a link to the damask wallpaper I bought in England) over sized coffee mug. I’ve washed the mugs twice and they’re holding up really well.

Thanks for the great idea Sharon and Jordie! Glad they turned out just how you imagined!

Packing List for Medicine Hat (Attempt #2)

Sorry about that other post, which teased about Packing Lists and then didn’t deliver.

It was my intention to show you, because it was obviously awesome, but it just slipped my mind.

So, what do you pack when you are travelling to a city in the throes of winter weather and have a tight schedule and a three-hour drive to your destination?

Packing List for Medicine Hat

Also, how do you dress for this kind of weather when you’re not only flying and driving but you’re going to rehearsal dinner, attending a wedding, singing special music during the ceremony, giving a speech at the reception, going moose spotting, and driving a few more hours and then flying home?

Well, first you start by borrowing five dresses from your friend. Then you pick two. Then you decide to wear a casual one for travel day, with warm tights, boots without heels, and a cardigan. Also a cowl, arm warmers, toque, and wool dress jacket. Sorted.

You see my dilemma: you want to be comfortable, but also look nice for when your boyfriend meets you at the airport, and also for when you meet your brother’s new in-laws for the first time and have no opportunity to freshen up.

Sibling Photo

In the end I pretty much stuck to the original list I wrote, although it wasn’t complete. I didn’t have underwear, toiletries, or a lunch (just in case we were stranded on the drive between Calgary and Medicine Hat) on the list, but they did make it into my suitcase.

Except for the lunch. I forgot my sandwich in the fridge but I definitely remembered underwear.

Playing with the Flower Girl

Anyway, so it’s a good thing I’ve conquered the weekend cold weather packing list because I’m going back at the end of the month for work.

Should be an arctic blast.

Also, here is a great clip from Corner Gas about “Free” Pilates. Apparently this grammar phenomenon is not limited to Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Lone Ranger Roste

My brother and me at his wedding

My brother and me following his wedding ceremony

Yes, it’s true. In just a few short months I went from being part of the majority to being the last single Roste in the bunch. I’m the lone ranger Roste.

And I feel OK about that. How could I not? I mean, just look at my brother’s face—could he be any happier?

So, while many might steer clear of a mid-January wedding in the sub-arctic temperatures of south eastern Alberta (seriously, -22 degrees on average), my brother and his bride forged ahead. I don’t know what they were thinking, but they seemed to have a great time.

My brother has lived in the Hat for a while…maybe he’s impervious to the cold?

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the people in Medicine Hat are rare. I think it’s something about prairie people that I didn’t quite grasp back when I tried to live in Alberta (it was so long ago I didn’t even know what a blog was) for a year. Of course I lived farther north, kind of in the middle of the province. Perhaps I was a bit to “urban” to really “get it.”

Get what?

That’s the thing. I have no idea.

But what I do know, is the Hat is moose country. Observe:

The Medicine Hat Moose

The Medicine Hat Moose

My dad clued me into the Medicine Hat moose. I never saw him, we took a different route to the reception (aka the wrong one), but ran out in between the wedding and the reception to do some spotting.

This sucker is big. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wrangle him or anything because he was in his enclosure. I did think about scaling the fence. However, it probably wasn’t appropriate in a dress. Plus as I was considering the climb my brother drove past and honked. Probably warning!! me about the $500 fine for vandalism, which moose wrangling probably is. Vandalism.

Medicine Hat Moose

Attention!! Vandalism is a Crime. $500 Reward


Moose Recreation Centre

While lost we accidentally discovered the MOOSE Recreation Centre

All in all it was a short, freezing, and sweet trip. The roads and weather threatened disaster but you know, things went really well. The main roads were visible and it never really snowed when we needed to drive.

At the ceremony

During the ceremony

The wedding was beautiful, and great (people are really laid back in Medicine Hat, did you know that?), the guests showed up mostly, the food was really good, and the DJ was even awesome! What else can you wish for? They even managed to get their marriage licence in the nick of time.

First dance

First dance

Top quote from the wedding happened when the pastor realized they didn’t have a marriage licence at the rehearsal. My brother: “We were supposed to get the license!?”

“Congratulations” Mr. and Mrs. Roste!

“Hi” I’m Robyn, Robyn Roste!

March has been a fun but busy month.

There has been the usual: catching up at work, being brutally sick with a weird, lingering cold in my respiratory system, helping my sister get her this summer wedding in order (I’m making the wine).

But there has also been the whole settling-into-my-new-house thing, even though I actually moved in here back in January.

Things have been busy, alright!?

And, to be honest, I’ve kind of been avoiding this part of the settling in. What I have to go through/organize right now are all of my papers/books/keepsakes/etc. I just don’t know what to do with it, and I don’t know if I’ll regret getting rid of it. You know what I mean?

I’m completely intrigued by the show Hoarding about hoarders. I look at these people’s homes, and hear them talk about their stuff, and watch how stressed and anxious they become when other people touch their stuff. Even their garbage.

Most of the time, I watch the show detached. But every now and then, something someone says stays with me. It’s like…it could be me but they’ve crossed some invisible line that I haven’t encountered yet. Mostly it’s the argument, “Well I think this will be useful and I might need it later.”

And I think—…that’s me! OH NO!!!

The fear is incredibly motivational.

How I’m dealing with all of my own stuff is touching each piece and thinking if there is an immediate use for it. If so, I’ll move it into a pile of “keep.” If I think it will be useful in the future, and I can’t scan it or make a digital copy, I will put it in a “storage” pile. Finally, I divide the rest into two more piles:

  1. Flat out garbage/recycle
  2. Pile for digital copying before throwing out

Actually filing things on to my computer has helped me get rid of junk, while still keeping the memory. It’s actually quite therapeutic.

This image is an example. It’s something I wrote on my elementary school pencil box. I guess people were having trouble pronouncing my name (not uncommon) so I spelled it out for them. Literally.

Oh, and I also really like my retro shout out to Medicine Hat, with my “Hi” I’m Robyn Roste.

I suppose the next time someone says to me, “Oh Robyn, have you always been this funny?” I can honestly answer, “I don’t know, but it’s been at least since grade school.”

Dream boat jacket face

*All photos are courtesy of “Medicine Hat” and its “World’s Tallest Teepee.” And the letter “P.”

This is a new coat.

All winter I’ve shopped for a specific, fitted, coat that has large buttons and a big neck.

As well, I wanted the buttons to fasten on one side or the other — not the centre. You know, just something a little trendy and a little different and a little cool.
Not too much to ask.

Unfortunately, the only coat I liked was at a local skate shop–notorious for never selling anything due to its extremely inflated prices. Not working much and not wanting to spend $250 on something semi-trendy, I let it go.

Although I think I’ve stared longingly at said jacket two or three more times since discovering its existence.

Then one day in April my sister and I headed to Metrotown, aka, Shopping Mecca. I don’t go there often so it was a bit overwhelming (although I guess for me, the feeling “overwhelmed” is neither unusual nor cause for panic) and I depended on my sister’s navigational skills to get around the multiple floors of retail therapy.

And, after a *few* shops, I found it.

THE jacket. (Yaaaaaaay) AND it was 75 per cent off.

I tried it on, squealed “I love it!” and ran to the till. What a great day.


Proudly I showed off my new jacket for my mom once back from the venture.

Instead of gushing compliments, however, she said: “There’s something wrong with your jacket.”

What. Did. She. Say?

“Is your left arm a little tight?”

Did she call my left arm fat?

Then I looked down and saw the sad, sad truth. Part of the material had been sewn into the seam connecting the shoulder to the sleeve. NO! Say it isn’t so!

How did I not notice this before? I couldn’t really move and my arm was falling asleep.

And I’d only been wearing the coat for five minutes!

“Do you think I can just rip out the sewn-in bit and fix it?”

“I don’t think so,” mom said. “You’re going to need a patch.”

How depressing.

Eventually (a couple weeks later), my mom, giving in to my obvious hints for sympathy, took my jacket, ripped out the stitching, grabbed a bit of extra material from the inside of the coat and sewed a near-invisible patch to the gaping hole in my left sleeve.

And just like that my 75 per cent off perfect dream coat was finally wearable.


So I wore it, to Medicine Hat! “Yippie!”

Note to self: Remember your shopping level. You are no higher than a novice or an advanced beginner at best. Also, really check over discounted clothing. It’s on sale for a reason.

Or, learn to sew.