It is with great pleasure that I announce to you my new online store:

badlittlespice is the vision of an online store that I have had for awhile. After being successful this past december with my badlittlespice vintage inspired lace necklaces, coffee cozies and antique charms at a local shop, I have decided to offer vintage finds online.

at present, only a few items are available, but in the coming month and months, i plan to fill the store with lots of love and vintage and my own necklace creations.

You can find a link to the shop here.

For those interested i will be offering a 25 % off all orders until January 31st, 2012.
Just use the below discount code with purchase.
And if you live in Perth, talk to me and we will sort out the shipping.


Love to All, The Mama


On this eve of a new year, for the first time in forever, i look back with love but am happy with my present. I resolve not to resolve to change. I resolve to embrace that which is me:

* the Mama of 2 Babes whom I love and adore who give me nothing but love and look to me for structure, warmth, intelligence, protection and wisdom
* the wife of an amazing Papa who values our equality and embraces all that is me
* the crafter who draws inspiration only from others who have truly been driven to creativity because of exceptional minds and wonderment
* the artist who draws exceptionally well the people who she adores.
* the athlete who would much rather run than attempt a downward dog for my mind cannot be still
* the writer who excels at the personal, the journaling, the non-judged for her words are grammatically a failure and her thoughts are uncensored
* the person who wants so desperately and secretly to find that something which ignites her soul but is really ignited by all in the world
* the self-proclaimed progressive who sits quietly in her home, the place most comfortable, thinking about changing the world but never actively participating in the protest for she is trying to be the change she wishes to see
* the friend who is always here to listen but who is still afraid to open up herself.

Mostly, I wish to capitalize on my talents: loving, laughing, being inspired, expressing, learning. The Babes continue to inspire me to be the best person and Mama.

The year of my 28th revolution around the sun was met with a lot of triumph and a newfound falling in love with the Papa, that I didn't think was possible. There was a resurgence in a love for music which allowed me to dance to the beat of my heart.

Simply for this year, I resolve to take things slowly while simultaneously embracing challenge and experience with open arms. More specifically, I would wish to:

art my heart out
dance 'til dawn
frolic with friends
ask for assistance
choose to chew slowly
smile often, laugh longer
live. love.




Well today is the day I get a new do. My hair since 17 has always been a reflection of my internal conflict and/or thoughts. I use to keep my hair long because that's what "the pretty ones" did. Then the blonde highlights were added for the same reason. It could have also been part and parcel to the fact that at that point in my life there was little I truly knew about myself and I wanted to be anywhere besides where I was. There was always a fleeting feeling...I always yearned to change my situation and just float away. Maybe if I appeared as the ideal, I could live it.

From the above description it would seem that this Mama never really understood herself. Not entirely true. I was a nerd, an athlete and artist. My friends were all but I always drifted amongst the cliques and never really infused myself into one. All at once, I admired the pretty girls with boyfriends (although they collectively welcomed me into their group and then ambushed me with a makeover...apparently I didn't know what conditioner or makeup was), the punk kids who were always just lingering, the artist who was free, the loners who just were but never are, the athlete who was strong and the nerd with their nose in the books (my most comfortable place).

All at once, I also desired a separation from high school because the admiration and lack of inception into the (A) cool crowd was not working. So it started with the cutting of my long hair, progressed to the growing it out again and dying of it blond. This carried onto university where I know it was socially acceptable to change yourself every other week without the repercussions of sitting next to the classmate who labeled you 4 years previously and gave you know chance to change, because you probably wouldn't see them again. Then again, maybe by changing my hair every other week (from purple, to red, to black and pink to blond and pink to orange to pixie cut) was my way of standing out.

It wasn't until I met the papa (with pixie blonde hair) that I felt the desire to go au naturel...okay well after a quick jaunt of pink and black. He somehow centred my thoughts. I no longer feel a desire to change my outer appearance to reflect my chaotic insides. No longer do I want to fit in because I have created my own place in my heart.

What I do want is to subdue the nest on my head from 5 months of hair growth from shaving it mid-summer. Stay tuned for tonight's results...

And here is the post I wrote back in July about shaving my head...I called it HAIR BEGONE.

The last several weeks have been quite emotional for me. I abruptly decided to give up breastfeeding. I was just compelled. For almost 3 years my body has belonged to others. I so yearned for autonomy and I decided mentally that it was time to regain control. There is absolutely no guilt associated with "cutting off" the Harri Berry (my daughter). I truly listened to my heart and knew that she would ultimately be okay. SHE IS!

With that came a reintroduction to my body. It changed but so have I. It feels like we are both on the same pages now. We have both been through a heck of a lot. Sometimes together, sometimes apart. But we have essentially arrived at the same place: LOVE.

My hubby turned 29...the year before all is supposed to change. I inevitably ended up feeling like my time to do what I truly desire was drifting. I hated to think that my mind would become still and life stagnant if I didn't act before my impending three-OH!

My relationship with food has always been complicated. But after almost a year of dealing with a gut that hates me, fondly remembering a time when the food in my life was to nourish not numb, and the love of my body and self, I have come to a place where "thy food is thy medicine and thy medicine my food".

With all these personal revelations, I felt it only fitting to wipe the slate clean as one might say. SO I SHAVED MY HEAD! When I look in the mirror I see myself, my new beginning.

Now, I am not going to lie. Fear accompanied the buzzing of the razor. But the emotions that surged through my veins and palpitated my heart through the process were overwhelmingly liberating. I felt alive, strong, happy and loved by a husband who reassured me I was beautiful, although, I have come to a point where I know I am. This is not to be misconstrued as narcissism. It is true bliss: to look at yourself in the mirror and see your being before your body.



Today the wind is furiously blowing, the streets are calm and snow is covering the icy ground. The Babes play and will soon sit down to a quiet lesson and a reading for the day. The Mama works on heating the kettle to embrace the green tea that she so utterly desires, while leek and beans boil on the stove working towards transforming into a soup that will mend our souls and warm our insides. It is a day of rest and cozy.

So for today's outfit I am wearing that which reflects the need to embrace the season that is upon us.

scarf & shirt = $ 0 (clothing swap find)
pants = $15 (lulus.com find)
sally ann slippers = $3
knitted hat = a gift from a generous mum
sweater = a sneaky raid of a sister's closet

TOTAL COST = $18 (plus a cup of green tea and hugs)


TAT.TUES. (that's Tattoo Tuesday pronounced TATTOOS) vol. 1.

Tattoos are a really important part of my life, for reasons that are purely deep and personal. I am not that person who randomly picked some flash off the wall or stumbled in drunk to get my here-for-the-moment boyfriend tattooed on me (although the spontaneity of that scenario gets me in a cool way). I am the person who chose to represent two of the things that occupy my mind daily on my body. My tattoos are a constant reminder of love, struggle, and overcoming loss to become the person that I am. My goal with TAT.TUES. is to present tattoos from people who are covered with tats and represent their story. Some may be personal stories, some may just be silly representations of themselves, some may be because of said stumbling into the parlour. Regardless, each tatted person is still a person. And while their tats don't necessarily define them, they become part of the person they are or are becoming.

Vol. I. The Tattooed Mama of The Mess in Messenger

name: Crystal Grier A.K.A. the Mama

occupation: Mama of The Mess & wife to cuddly courier, professional blogger

age of first tat: 21 ish. i went with my lame boyfriend at the time who drifted off to go hit on a tatted girl in the parlour as i got ink put into my back...on my spine!

fave tat: they each hold a special place in my heart but i would have to say the portrait tat of my grandfather. he is the most special man in my life, next to my husband, The Papa. i think of him each day.

how many tats in total & description of each (including location and style):
3 tats. My fave as i mentioned is of my grandfather. it is a black and white portrait taken from a small photobooth picture from the 70s. it looks very frankensteiny. the first tat i got was of the words dulcius ex asperis meaning "through difficulty comes sweetness". it is in reference to a overcoming a psychological hurdle. but i apply the phrase to all aspects of struggle in my life. the last is of flowers surrounding this phrase with a butterfly landing on the petals. it covers the majority of my back. it initially was supposed to be a butterfly starting at my shoulders and struggling through the wind to get to the flower, but i found the pain unbearable and stopped after 4 sittings.

do you plan on getting more? and what are you thinking?: yes! yes! and yes! totally depends on available funds and ideas. i am hoping for:
* a zombie apocalypse half sleeve
* a zombie piece my megan lara on my back leg
* a phrase of my daughter's on my forearm in script
* and a chest tat referencing The Lorax

what is the thought process behind your tats?: my tats so far have all been very personal and thought out. i would love to get some tats that are ironic or funny but i feel like my body is still a reflection of my thoughts and i want my tats to reflect that. i also want them to reflect my interests and the loves of my life: my Babes.

any funny or crazy experiences: my mom was super against them at first, so i just hid them from her. most older people are amazed at the detail in my portrait of my grandfather. but recently i remember going to a bbq at my hubby's cottage. it is an end of the year thing with neighbours, mostly over 60, who get together and have a potluck. you know the kind with pemento meat and marshmallow salads. well, of our family, i, my hubby, his sis and our bro in law, all have tats. mine and the Papa's sister's tats equal a total of 4 and there must be over 20 between the guys. mine however was the only visible one. we came to the table of gaggling hens and it suddenly became quiet. i never assume but i thought the tats were the subject of conversation. ... they were. they had all been secretly discussing our rejection of societal norms and the heaven forbids of permanently altering our bods for life. although i am not one to like the cliques and whispers, i found this experience funny. just people not knowing voicing their opinions amongst like-minded individuals.

advice for anyone wanting a tat?: never get a portrait of a living person. eat and hydrate (with water) before the tat. research your tat artist. you pay for what you get...so expect a charge of $100 per hour. never feel pressured by the artist to get it done until you are satisfied. your back and other areas close to the bone HURT!!! i can say this because i have given birth to 2 babes naturally. i would much rather prefer birth to back tats.

And for your reading pleasure my tat story...

I had told the Papa that I wanted desperately to have my grandfather walk me down the aisle but because he passed away when I was 13, it wasn't going to happen. So I wanted to get a portrait tat of him. This was my gift on Christmas Day from my Secret Santa. A portrait of great Grandpa Ernest. Grandpa was amazing. He was gentle, solemn, a hard worker. He loved his family but had a special place in his heart for me and my sis, seeing as we were the youngest and only girls of all the eleven boy cousins. We were his sweethearts.

After searching for months in Montreal, I found an amazing artist. This is the man whom I have measured all against and whom only the Papa had succeeded in matching. It had to be perfect. So the Papa took off work, I went to Adrenaline Tattoo Studios on Sherbrooke. I sat for 4 hours with breaks in between. Robin Labreche, the artist, invited me to dine on cheese pizza in the staff lounge. It was awesome. He was professional. The tat is amazing!




The eve of Christmas Day, Eldest Babe fell asleep at a decent hour. Littlest Babe fell asleep in a chair at 5:30 ish and awoke as the Eldest Babe entered slumber. She was up until close to 11. Santa was not impressed and must have been really tired waiting for this little to drift away and dream of sugar plums again.

The morning arrived. The Papa and I were woken by a very excited Eldest Babe. We were unsure if she was going to begin to open the gifts without the rest of us, but her instinct was to wake us up and inform us of the present delivery. Her first instinct was to share the experience with us.

And oh what a magical experience it was. Although sleeping bags were the first to be noticed, the wrapped presents were the icing on our Christmas fruit cake. The eldest babe opened a book with polar bears on the cover and was over the moon. She continued to open another paper wrapped gift with the babe's initials marked on it. It was Horton Hears a Who and she stated that "Santa knows we love elephants!" Santa was a real hit and got them all of the few things they were hoping for: a toy wagon to match the Mama, a book, a purse for gathering nature stuff, and lollipops.

The Papa and I exchanged records. I received She & Him. I had been hinting at it for a period of time. I had given him Hollerado - a local successful indie band. We were both pleased with ourselves and instantly hit the record player to begin our Christmas song listening: a new tradition in this little mess.

The day was calm and full of a flow and rhythm that was not stressful at all. After a quick breakfast, we all dressed. The CBC and little ones were playing in the background, as this Mama prepared part of a vegan feast, our traditional vegan menu. The Babes ventured outside for a sled ride as the Mama rested. The G-units arrived with gifts, love and food in hand. It was amazing to welcome them into our home, the place that is most comfortable to us and the space that is so warm in our hearts.

We ate, drank, chatted and anticipated the arrival of our sister, brother and niece. Their arrival marked such a happy time. Seeing my niece always warms me. She "makes my heart happy". It was simply a day of amazingness. It ended with a walk in a fluffy winter wonderland, a visit to the Papa's job site of restoring an old courthouse in town and the most amazing hugs from my niece. The celebration has ended for this year, but the smiles, memories and love lingers.


The Mama

P.S. I so desperately wished to be with all other special people who we love. I miss my lovely sister and her family, my niece and nephew, who we were unable to connect with. I love my Hayles. I love my T, Zip and Deuce. I miss my friends who are sharing this day with their family. Missing you and love you.



Thank you to all who entered and for making this post the most viewed ever on the blog. Nice to know we are reaching people ;)

So without further adieu

Please email bad-little-spice (at) hawt male dot com with your name and address so The Mess in Messenger and Hunt. Gather. Fashion. can send you your vintage necklace. Although, I think I know who you are ;)

But just so you know how the whole choosing went down. This is what I did....

1. i wrote down all entries on fancy paper
2. i folded set paper
3. i picked a funny hat

4. placed names in said hat
5. gave it a shake and picked out said name

There will be more contests so please stay TUNED!!!