Thursday, November 29, 2007

D-Day

Well, I'll see you all in my new house. It's time. And to top it all off, I managed to lose my engagement ring this morning, and although I know where it is, that's not much consolation. I managed to drop it UNDER the bathroom floor - we have a very old apartment with giant radiators, and it fell behind the rad, into an unfinished crack, between the floor, sub floor and where the baseboard should have been. It's a deep hole, and I am not sure if we can get it out without taking out the wall or the floor. I don't know what to do -I'm devastated. I have a few ideas, I'm hoping to get it back. I'm not giving up yet!

I just keep telling myself - things can only get better, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

the real holiday spirit

My friend Martha and I are planning a holiday hamper to which we will invite all of our friends to contribute at our annual chrismukkah potluck turkey dinner. Just talking about it is making me all happy and glowy inside - maybe my inner grinch is being vanquished after all - just thinking about all of the fun things that we can give to this family to make their holiday a bit brighter is making me fill with chrismukkah cheer!!!!

This is the base template for the hamper, to which we are going to add some gift certificates so that the father can pick out gifts for his children himself, and we are going to include some like-new items as well. We have a single father with a 16-year old daughter and a 25-year old son. Martha, this was a fabulous idea!!!
  • Canned gravy
  • Box of stuffing
  • 1 tin cranberry sauce
  • 3 cans of vegetables eg; carrots, peas or other
  • Bag or Box of Potatoes
  • 2 boxes of cookies
  • Tin of instant coffee
  • Box of tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Box of chocolates
  • Extras such as holiday napkins, Christmas crackers, etc.

holiday fun!

I'm battling my inner grinch and focusing on the fact that we'll be sitting in our new living room opening prezzies by the fireplace this chrismukkah season. I like Jordan's advent calendar, it's a great list of things that you can do to keep you in the spirit. I took my inner grinch out for coffee this morning {since we are out of most staples at home, including milk and cereal} and bribed her with an almond croissant to get her back in the spirit.

I revisited my list of holiday plans:
  • Make a wreath from scratch {done! I'll post pics soon!}
  • Make sweet potato latkes {will do on the first night of hannukkah}
  • Have a holiday dinner with friends {next Thurs with one group and Dec 14 with another}
  • Have a peppermint hot chocolate {next Thursday after dinner}
  • Look at the lights downtown {next Thursday}
  • Decorate the tree {once we find the tree}
  • Wrap gifts {all bought, just need to get out my bags}
  • Make beeswax candles
  • Plan holiday movie night {Oh Will Ferrell in Elf, I'll be there soon!}
  • Make marshmallows {going to give it my best shot}
  • Make gingerbread houses {December 23 baby!}
  • Make pistachio-praline bars {Daphna, Laurin and I are planning a day of holiday crafting}
  • Make peppermint bark
  • Make chocolate-dipped peppermint sticks{like these from Williams-Sonoma}

slice of heaven

Last night, in my continuing attempts to enjoy the little things and not lose my mind over the house, we ran some errands and then ordered from the place we are going to miss the most about our neighbourhood - Pavarazzi's Gourmet pizza. We ordered what we always order - the Basilica - with a herbed focaccia crust and spicy tomato sauce, topped with feta, roasted red peppers, red onion and spinach. {We always add spicy red pepper flakes to it at home to round it out.} Accompanied by a garden salad with their creamy house vinaigrette {also fab for dipping crusts in} and a diet pepsi, it was the perfect evening. We watched Gossip Girl, ate and packed boxes. Only three mini meltdowns last night, things are looking up!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

kate spade ad collage

Having a bit of fun...thought that I'd indulge my love of kate spade ad campaigns a bit more.

Posted by Picasa

Lovely Cards

For any reason, any season, always kate spade.

holiday drinks

Further in my list of little things that make me happy, I'd like to propose the Starbucks holiday drinks menu. I love love love the peppermint mocha {non fat, but with whip on a day like today}, and the newest addition the chai eggnog latte {I've been using chainog}, to which Tracey introduced me. Both are delish, and a small way to give yourself a pick me up on a cold wintry day, or when you get really stressed out and just need to take a break and smile.

Dinner at 8

As mentioned in an earlier post, we had a girls' dinner at the Buzz on Saturday night. We had such a good time and everyone looked so lovely, I just wanted to share a picture with you. Thanks to the kind gentleman who looked terrified by our gaggle of girls but was still willing to take our photo.

For, Like, My house?

I know that this poster is old news, but I keep coming back to it time and time again. I, like you, first saw it in the Domino feature of Jessie Randall's apartment last year, and I thought that it was lovely. But since then, I keep coming back to it. I love the pink and red, I love the look and feel, I can't shake the feeling that I need to order this and put it in a big ol' gold frame - not a pretty gilted one, but more of a 70s thin gold metal frame with a white mat. I'm seriously considering it this afternoon...

Blundstones

Speaking of ugly boots, now it's time for another favourite for the day. Last winter I bought LB a pair of classic chisel-toed Blundstones because the boy hadn't gotten new winter boots in a million years. After a few weeks of his getting them, I decided that I also needed a pair- they are really cute in small sizes, and I got the classic round toed ones. With a pair of striped knee socks, or under a pair of cuffed jeans, they look fabulous. And they are ridiculously comfortable.

the little things

I'm focusing on the little things that make me happy today - and item #1 is my new striped cotton cashmere knee socks from joe fresh style. For $5, you can't get much happier. Or warmer. I think that I kind of looked like a crazy person wearing them this morning {with a grey pencil skirt, over my tights to keep my legs warm}, and that makes me even happier.

hmmm....

Very unsure about these boots. I've seen some fashion forward types wearing them around town and I really think that they're quite terrible. But they keep showing up again and again, and I'm worrying that it's just me. Am I crazy?


Monday, November 26, 2007

UNIFEM Campaign

On Monday, 26 November, UNIFEM and UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman are launching an internet campaign asking people all over the world to raise their voices and add their names to an ever-growing movement of people saying NO to violence against women. The more names we collect, the stronger our case to make ending violence against women a top priority for governments everywhere. Click on www.saynotoviolence.org and say NO to violence against women.

And please, forward to your friends and colleagues.

{Although I can't stand Nicole Kidman and her engineered appearance/existence, this is a cause worth supporting!}

Confession

I'm not excited about my new house. In fact, I'm kind of dreading it. Not the move, but the upkeep, and the decor, and having to change my life to accommodate the new neighbourhood and so on... I know that you can all provide me with the counterpoints to these points, and I logically know that this is a great house and area, and that it was the fiscally responsible decision, but that doesn't mean that I'm lovin' it. The worst part? Pretending to be excited when people ask about it - they don't want to hear all of my fears and concerns and indifference to Westboro - they want joy! It's not that I'm ungrateful, I appreciate that I have a home {whether owned or rented} I was just not in a hurry to move, so I'm having a big allergic reaction to moving. {I feel like Carrie in that SATC episode when she calls herself a deadbeat bride}

You can all say I told you so next week when I love it and am singing songs of household bliss. Just not this week please. This week, I have red eyes that won't go away, bags under my eyes, and a constant desire to vomit.

Snug as a Bug

Thanks to Laurin for introducing me to these laptop sleeves by Built NY. I can attest to their product quality {I have their wine tote and it keeps things safe and cool!}, and love the polka dots that protect your laptop without forcing you to lug a {shudder} laptop bag. It looks lovely poking out from a tote bag or black purse.

A little nutty...

I couldn't resist this. I'm in love. Nut in mouth, push tail down and voila - yummy!

Weekend Post-Mortem: Pack Attack!

Well, it was our last weekend chez nous. And it wasn't great. It was actually a lovely weekend, but I'm such a stress case that I couldn't really enjoy things.

Friday night, we got takeout from our absolutely favourite Chinese restaurant, the Royal Treasure, and went to Julie and Aaron's for the evening. We drank some nice wine {and had a disappointing one too, unfortunately}, ate the best hot and sour soup, and had good company. LB and I both actually fell asleep on their couch and had to go home before midnight.

Saturday morning we ate the last of our scones {emptying the freezer!}, read the paper and packed up a storm. Thankfully Daphna rescued me for a while and we looked for bridesmaid's shoes. Then LB and I hit the Rideau Centre and bought a few jars of Bonne Maman jam and fresh croissants for our friends Jen and Shaun's housewarming party. We also took advantage of the chance to look at the lovely housewares and tchotchkes at Zone. I found a couple of things that might be nice for the new house, but can't commit to anything right now. We did however
but two of these hooks for the entranceway {at $8, how could we go wrong?}. LB bought me the matching deer head for valentine's last year.


Saturday night I had drinks with the girls and we went to the Buzz for dinner - I had the steak frites with sweet potato fries, WOW! We had a very fun evening of cocktails and food. I then raced over to Jen and Shaun's for the tail end of their housewarming party - their place is fabulous, such attention to detail!!!

Sunday, we finally made it out to the country and made our holiday wreaths from scratch! {I will post pictures separately!} Daphna, Laurin and I all managed to make completely different wreaths, illustrative of our respective personal styles...I then had dinner at mom and dad's, did some sewing, and crashed into bed with a thud. It's gonna be a long week...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Coffee to go

I was just cleaning out my pictures file and I found this. I meant to blog it ages ago, but I still wanted to post it, I love the idea of just setting up shop and moving around depending on the day, the weather, or the neighbourhood...

Happy Friday!

I wanted to wish you all a lovely wintry weekend. It's cold here in the nation's capital and we got almost 20cm of snow! I am nicely bundled in my raspberry Uggs {no longer available}, a black down parka from Joe Fresh {not pictured on the site}, the grey toque that Tara found for me when she was visiting, the big grey scarf that LB found for me at BR last chrismukkah, and my big fuzzy black mittens.

I am planning on finishing the packing and getting my strategy down pat for next week. I am also planning to take many deep breaths. I will own a house in six days, whether I'm ready or not, so I might as well get ready. {and enjoy it!}

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Apologies

Thanks to Daphna for pointing out that I was very much in need of a day off as I posted a ton of double links today - sorry for any confusion, I assure you that they are all fixed...

I'm still not used to the mac - the pc shortcuts don't work the same way!

frames of glory

I love the addition of grosgrain to these frames as the matting. I saw them in the store and they looked even better. Mom and I were contemplating how we might be able to make them for way less...and have striped grosgrain instead of solid colours!

stripes!

I love striped scarves and I love striped paper even more... this notebook from kate spade is a lovely addition to any desktop.

glam paper

I forgot about how much I love russell + hazel paper products until about two minutes ago. I don't know why or how I remembered them, but I'm glad that I did! I am in love with their new Audrey collection, full of fabulous chic paper accessories, like patent file totes and delightful labels.

GOB and GOB's wife

I LOVE this holiday ad from Gap. Will Arnett and Amy Poehler are one of my all-time fave celebrity couples- it must be hard to do anything at their house, too much hilarity! {ps- I also really like the red coat she's wearing!}

Mental Health Day

I'm pooped. I have been swamped at work and home, and things have just boiled over. I'm staying home today, dealing with everything that needs my attention, and then starting over tomorrow. I'll keep posting though, it makes me happy to share lovely things with you!

pop of colour!

I love this kate spade bag...so fun and would look great against a dark winter coat on a dark winter day...It's snowing lots in Ottawa today - I just want it to get it out of its system and quick before our move next Friday...

Ingenious!

This is a great idea for using those magazines that you can't bring yourself to throw out but that are threatening to take over your home...Stack 'em, strap 'em, and you've got yourself a great little stool... In Canada, these are $39.95 at Chapters/Indigo.

Party Planning

I really like that a lot of magazines put out party planning guides at this time of the year; I like to pick and choose my favourites and incorporate them into my own personal tried and true tactics. For example, this ear I've already simplified my usual appetizer insanity by developing a new and simple antipasto platter. One of my fave party guides is the one from Wish magazine, Canada's lifestyle and shopping magazine. You can access it here. Recipes, pairings, entertaining, it's got it all...

New glasses

So I got my eyes checked last night, and it turns out that I've had the wrong kind of glasses for over eight years...{what?} Apparently I need a lens that relaxes the eye, the + kind, whereas I've been wearing the negative/focussing kind of lens all this time. This, according to my new eye doctor, explains why my eyes are so tired at the end of the day and I'm constantly rubbing them...

That's the bad news. The good news is that we've identified it and we're fixing it, courtesy of a new pair of fabulous Miu Miu glasses. These are the frames, I get them next week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I can see!

I'm going to get my eyes checked out in 30 mins. Hopefully this means new glasses! There's nothing that I love more than new glasses - I can't wait!!!!! I'll try and find some terribly rad ones, my Moschino ones are starting to bore me...

I must be in the slow group

How have I never found Anna's blog, Absolutely Beautiful Things? I now see that many of the blogs I read regularly have it on their blogrolls and I've just been blind to it... She posted pics of her house last Friday and while I am absolutely in love with them, they've also made me a tad frightened for my own home decorating challenge starting next week {8 days till the move - I just want to lie down and cry}.

However, in the spirit of being positive and optimistic, I'm channelling them for inspiration, thanks for sharing your lovely home Anna!

I'm back!

Boy did I miss you all! Unfortunately, despite lugging a heavy briefcase with laptop and accessories, the laptop didn't work. Quel désastre! However, I had a crazy two days of work, but managed to fit in a quick {and I mean speedy!} trip to Teatro Verde where I scored the fabulous kate spade Larabee Road ornaments!

I love these oh so very much that I am debating hanging them somewhere separately and leaving them out all year round - like one of those twiggy necklace stands? Any ideas would be much appreciated...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Showers of Success

Yesterday was Daphna's shower. It went swimmingly, other than a few logistical hiccups in the morning. We had a great time, I think that Daphna had the best time of all, and we celebrated in style!

No shower would be complete without finger sandwiches and cake! {i made the cake from Rita Konig's tea party in this month's Domino - it was delish!}


My mum and dad were kind enough to allow us to use their lovely home for their day, since we would have been sitting on boxes at our place, and it was such a relief!!! Nothing better than a lovely afternoon tea party on a cold fall day... I'm thrilled for those two crazy kids!

We followed that with a dinner for the wedding party at the couple's house. once again, since we live a crazed half-existence filled with boxes, we took over their kitchen and LB made an antipasto platter with cured meats, reggiano, olives and fruit; grilled steaks, roasted asparagus, roasted potatoes and spring mix salad; and we ate the leftover desserts from the shower, since I managed to make a it more than was required...We ate, drank, played games, had general merriment. A lovely day

Now I'm off to the big ol' city of Toronto...will try to post, but it will be less frequent. Ciao ciao!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hotel Fun!

Now, although I am sad that I have to cancel my wreath-making activities, I am planning on making the most of time in Toronto. In my hotel, that is. I love all hotels. As long as they are clean, they don't need to be fancy. I just love staying in hotels. The first thing that I always do is unpack all of my clothes and organize them by day that I'll be wearing them, and then line up all of my toiletries on the bathroom counter - we don't have a vanity at home, so this is one of favourite things in the world to do. I also put my jammies under the pillow right away...and then I enjoy the amenities! I'm planning on:
  • giving myself a manicure and pedicure {in chocolate brown}
  • watching a ton of cable tv
  • reading a stack of magazines
  • Writing my holiday cards
  • Having a giant bubble bath
  • Eating 1 piece of candy from the mini bar {overpriced but a decadent treat!}
  • Maybe {and I stress the maybe} doing some shopping on Queen West. What I'm really craving is some alone time, some down time before the move.

The Weekend's Here!

Well, I'm very excited and somewhat sad for this weekend. I'm very excited because tomorrow I am throwing Daphna's wedding shower and I couldn't be happier to do it. I am going to get all of my baking and setting up done tonight, and then tomorrow is all about making the fresh foods and platters and setting up the games. I won't say anymore, as she has no idea what's going to happen and she does read my blog... but I will post pics Sunday! We are following the shower with a dinner for the wedding party that LB and I are making at their place. We would have loved to have everyone over, but with only 2 weeks to moving day, that's not gonna happen...

The reason that I am sad is that I have to cancel my trip to the wreath-making farm. I now have to go to Toronto on business for Monday and Tues, which means flying out Sunday afternoon in order to have some downtime in my hotel room. I am hoping that I can still go next Sunday...but I am disappointed...Only November 16, and my holiday plans are being thwarted...I am strong though, I can resist!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm no artist

I need to make a small diagram for work. This wasn't part of the deal. And they won't let me use bristol board, markers, or glitter glue. What kind of presentation will it be without them?

Books I'm Craving

I love all books, I'm a true book lover. My favourites are sad, depressing fiction [but not teen girl sad} and style/fashion books. I always hope that one will be the reference tool that makes me "figure everything out" and everything will fall nicely into place...as we all know, such is not the case. But books are a constant source of inspiration, I can't stop reading and hope that I never do.

Lately though, maybe it's the move, I haven't felt like reading anything long, involved, or serious. I've been reading mostly magazines and style books, because I can pick them up at any point when I have five minutes and read and then abandon until I have down time again...

So I'm hoping to get the following three books:

Green is the New Black, by Tamsin Blanchard - all tips to be eco-friendly and chic at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. I took a quick look at chapters, and there seemed to be some useful tips.

Girl For all Seasons: The Year in High Heels, by Camilla Morton. I really enjoyed her earlier book, how to Walk in High Heels, tons of fun tips...although none of us are so lucky as to count people like John Galliano among our inner circle, nor is a chauffeured car our usual method of transport.

In Style Mag's Style 101: What Every Stylish Woman Should Know - now this one I'd need to see in person to make sure that it's not just a bunch of magazine articles for $30 {have you seen the new Oprah book?!?!?} but it looked good at first glance...

Also, I just finished Nina Garcia's The Little Black Book of Style. I actually made notes to share with you in a separate post.

As we say around the office, bonne lecture!

The one and only Marc Jacobs

This article from today's Times got me thinking...I love Marc Jacobs. His clothes, his accessories, his style, they really work for me and really speak to me in a way most other big designers do not. For example, while I love what I see on most runways {esp. Chloé, Prada and Stella Macartney}, I don't ever buy things by them. However, with Marc, it's a different story. I have a few things in my collection that I love {all accessories}, worked hard to acquire and they have a place of pride.

I don't know if it's because he's got his finger on the pulse in a way that no other designer does, or because he secretly lives in my head and then designs the things he sees, but he has a certain aesthetic that I really respond to. He also personally designed all of the luggage used in The Darjeeling Limited...

That's why I hate to see all of the bad press on him. Karl Lagerfield is a nut and yet he's the press' darling - maybe it's because Karl makes a living of being eccentric and therefore he's pretty easy to figure out, while Marc Jacobs is more of an enigma?


photo from Neiman Marcus

Getting scared...

Oh my, we take possession of our little house in exactly two weeks! EEK! Although I am beyond excited, I am also still dreading leaving our lovely neighbourhood...although I am certain that the drug dealer/friendly neighbourhood drunks content of Westboro is lower than that of Centretown, I am heartbroken at the thought of leaving it. This is the apartment that we lived in when we got married - I got ready for my wedding there, we have had all of our best and most raucous parties there, it's where I really figured out my decorating style and started to make it work in a coherent manner with my personal style {turns out, they're pretty much the same thing! personal style is personal style...}

LB and I both have the same favourite memory of our 'hood: one morning, it was ridiculously hot and we were up at 5am due to lack of sleep. All of a sudden, I hear some sort of trumpet/horn being played outside...Sure enough, it's this crazy drunk guy on his way home, playing the trumpet like he doesn't have a care in the world. He was awesome, and we're not going to see anything like that in the 'boro. It's far more homogeneous and pretty and sanitized. And that's not always a good thing...

However, on the flipside, we aren't going to miss witnessing some fights and scary drunken behaviour on our walks, nor are we going to miss the fact that we couldn't do many things that we would have liked to since we didn't own the place. Or that guy who was convinced that Liam and Shannon were covering for his ex-girlfriend who used to live there... I am also super psyched about having a guest room and a place to put the tv that is not in our main living space. {I do love tv, maybe too much, which is the problem...}

But the thought of being able to sit in our yard {a yard!} with a book and a cold drink, or to be able to have breakfast at our diner set in the sunny kitchen, or to be able to sleep in a bedroom that is only a bedroom and not our dining and tv watching areas as well...well, that's a good thought.

Here's some befores...I can't wait to share the afters!!!!

Back Yard

Kitchen

Living Room

Beaujolais Nouveau

Thanks to Tara for the reminder! Today is that funnest November day of all, it's Beaujolais Nouveau day! It's young, and it's a crapshoot, but it can be a delightful surprise. Last year, we were in Paris the Sunday after beaujolais nouveau, and we were able to sample the wares firsthand...To me, that was the epitome of the French experience - sitting outside on the terrace of a lovely café, eating baguette with melted chèvre, drinking beaujolais nouveau and enjoying the sunshine...ah Paris. Let's go back now!

Good food, good times...

LB and I had dinner with Mike{yay!} last night, something that we've been trying to do for ages and have been failing miserably at...But we more than made up for it last night. We had dinner at Chez Lucien, in the market, and it was fantastic. The ambiance was bang on, the right mix of french insouciance and good food and wine, with a great jukebox {had local bands and the Arcade Fire} that's free!!!! The burgers are out of this world, and I felt welcome as soon as I sat down. Really a fun place to check out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Local Artist Does Great!

I just came across the work of Geneviève Jodoin thanks to my favourite local boutique operators, Katie and Regine of Victoire Boutique. I found this print to be particularly striking and thought it very à propos for this rainy Ottawa day...

A Little Help from My Friends

Although I no longer shop at Holt Renfrew so much that they all know me by name, I still have my go-to girls when I need help and quick! Now, Holts has made it easier for everyone to get the things that we don't need in life, such as a $2,950 cocktail dress, with their new site, "Help Me Holts". On it, you can find the weekly must-have gifts, as well as find gifts for the special people in your life by category - professional, personal, and subcategories - daughter in law, mother, etc...You can also make your own wishlist.

Oh Holts, whatever would we do without you?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Best Monday night EVER!

What's cool about Mondays? Not much. In fact, I usually stay at home in a foul mood and eat candy on Mondays...I am always wiped out! Well my friends, last night was a completely different story. We had a lovely dinner at home - chicken stew, multigrain fennel bread toasted with melted brie and spicy eggplant on top, and then headed out into the rain for the recording of the CBC radio One Bandwidth New Year's Eve Party!

Now, I'm not a winner. I really don't ever win things, it's kind of sad. I always imagine what it might be like to win, but I never do. Anyways, last Thursday morning I skipped the gym and did chores at home before work. Around 7:45, I'm drinking my coffee and Alan Neal comes on to tell us about the upcoming shows in Ottawa. And he happens to mention Kirk Van Houten's fabulous song "Can I Borrow a Feeling?" from the episode of the Simpsons where Milhouse's parents get divorced. I chuckle, and go back to drinking coffee and reading the Globe. Anways, at the end of his segment he asks for people to call in if they remember the Simpsons character and the name of the song he sang. So I figure what the heck and dial - someone answered!!! I'm usually met with a busy signal, but not this time, baby! but the funny thing is, I haven't been paying attention - I've been reading the paper. So I have no idea what I've won. Including when Alan Neal called me at work {now, for those of you who know me, you know what a big CBC radio 1 junkie I am, so this was a big deal!} and I still had no idea what I was winning! Luckily, I have some good friends who were able to fill me in on the details.

All of this being said, LB and I got to go to this recording last night. And what a recording! The artists were a surprise, so we were so so so happy when Jim Bryson, André Ethier {formerly of the Deadly Snakes}, Jenny Whiteley, Joey Wright, Dan Whiteley, Zaki Ibrahim {wow can she sing!by far, the best new find of the evening} Sandro Perri and Katrina Sturton hit the stage. It was Canadian singer songwriter heaven!!! We were entertained for over 2,5 hours, in a very small and intimate setting, by some of the best musicians in Ontario right now. Listen to radio one on December 30 for the full concert. I won't spoil the details, but I did get to hear some original creations as well as the absolutely coolest version of Auld Lang Syne ever.

Wow Kaili, what a great night! Did you get pictures? Well, as a matter of fact, I didn't. I had my camera at the ready, but it turns out that a certain husband of mine decided that the memory card didn't belong in the camera...so I was crushed. We made up on the walk home - it was way too much of a fun night to stay mad about that!

mrs meyer's


Sparked by an AT:LA debate over the new redesign of the method dish soap bottle {which I don't hate, I am happier with it than the last redesign}, someone suggested that I check out the Mrs Meyers selection. Wow! I'm in love...I ordered a few things to try them out - the all purpose cleaner, the dish soap, the ironing spray, all in coordinated packaging and geranium scent...


I'll let you know how they turn out - happy cleaning!!!

kate spade sample sale

For those of you who live somewhere where kate spade ships, they are having their annual online sample sale right now. You have to be a member of "behind the curtain" to buy, but it's worth perusing.


Club Monaco Friends and Family

In case you've been craving that certain je ne sais quoi to round out your holiday wardrobe, or want to get a lovely gift for a special someone, this weekend is Friends and Family weekend at Club Monaco - 30% off! I don't know if this coupon works in the States {it came in my inbox}, but it's worth a shot.




Monday, November 12, 2007

Ideas for Holidays

As I am now finished my holiday shopping, I've started thinking about fun things that I can do to get in the spirit without going crazy. I've made a list below, and I'd love to hear your ideas!
  • Make a real wreath - I'm going to a tree farm this weekend, where they take you out into the woods to cut your own cedar boughs, feed you lunch and provide you with the materials to make a wreath. I'm bringing a few of my own things to Kailifi it.
  • Make marshmallows from scratch. I want to roll mine in coconut and dunk them in giant mugs of cocoa.
  • Learn to make sweet potato latkes for Hanukkah
  • Go out for dinner with friends - we're planning a holiday dinner with our thinkers/readers club
  • Try and get things organised enough at the new house to have a holiday open house
  • Walking around parliament hill and looking at the lights {for those of you in Ottawa, the official start is December 6, 2007}
  • Go out for really good hot chocolate and a walk {I recommend Oh So Good if you're in Ottawa}
  • Making beeswax candles {thanks to Emily for the tutorial!}
  • Hosting a holiday movie night - our personal favourites are: Elf, the Nightmare Before Christmas, Scrooged, Bad Santa and the Muppet Christmas Carol {a little irreverence makes the craziness more bearable!}
  • Baking cookies {I'm making my shortlist of candidates for recipes right now}
  • Making hot chocolate stir sticks. I saw these at Williams Sonoma, but they were something like $16 for 10. I am planning on buying a bunch of peppermint candy sticks, melting dark chocolate chips, dipping them, and then laying them on parchment paper. I'll post if they work out...
  • Make gingerbread cookies
  • Try making the beaded ornaments on the December issue of Martha Stewart living
...and of course, move and set up my new house! What do you do to get into the spirit?

Good scores

Today is a holiday for me, I am off in honour of Remembrance Day. I was able to sleep in a bit, and then spent the day getting ready for Daphna's shower this weekend and doing some errands. While on my way home from stopping in to visit LB's parents, I happened upon a little tykes picnic table and art easel, free to a good home. Normally, I'm not in favour of giant pieces of injection-molded plastic, preferring wood or making do with what we have. But little tykes stuff can be really expensive, and we have room for them in the new house, so I figured if we don't need them in the future, we will always know of kids who will or who will want to come and play at our place....

I always wanted a big easel when I was a kid. And a desk for playing school and store. Now we have both, so I should stop collecting things that I want and wait until we have kids sometime to allow them to make their own decisions about preferences.

SO proud!

A shout out to my friend Shannon {and my lil' bro's girlfriend} for having the chtuzpah to pick up and move to London and try her own thing while Liam finishes school...and while it's been rough, she's found an job in her field in almost exactly two months - YAY SHAN!

And she gets to do really cool things that make the rest of us super jealous back home, like spend the weekend in Brussels...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Successful shopping!

Well...we survived. Mum and I headed out Friday night, and made good time, and we arrived at Tanya's in time for a snack and a glass of wine before bed. Saturday morning began with a Harvey Wallbanger cake for Kristie's birthday, and then we all piled into Yvonne's van and hit the road. We had a successful day of shopping at Yorkdale, the craziest mall on earth {don't even get me started about the Gymboree store!!!}, followed by a yummy dinner at Milestone's.

I was able to finish all of my shopping except for three people, which I will do tomorrow, and scored two of these ornaments from Pottery Barn for the front-door wreath I'm making next weekend with mum, Diane and Kristie...{I'm really in the spirit in a great way - lots of fun plans and making things!!!} I bought the second and third from the left, I think that they have a good 50s look to go with our house...

Friday, November 09, 2007

lovely holiday gift

I remembered Jordan posting something about a beautiful and inexpensive letterpress calendar last year. Thanks to blogger archives, I was able to find ilee's etsy shop and take advantage of the high Canadian dollar and order one for myself and a couple of my friends who I know would love this...

I love that May has a giant peony on it - it is my wedding month, and peonies were the only flower that I had at my wedding!



Road trip!

After work, I'm jumping into the car and mum and I are heading to Toronto for the weekend... We are planning on doing some serious holiday shopping, and having some quality family time with everyone.

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend too!

Centrepieces

I love this centrepiece from Rose and Radish over at CHOW. Thanks to Victoria for the lead, hers is fabulous as well - I want to have dinner with Lily Pulitzer at that table!

I love the organic elements, but that it is also so upscale and chic at the same time. It gives me much hope for the Canadiana living room in the new house...Of course, put a deer {or a bird} on pretty much anything, and I'm buying it!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A few pics

I managed to steal a few of Tara's pics from the weekend to share with you. The Weakerthans show was one of the best I've been to in a long time, of their own or of other bands. {yes, LB, of course. Other than the White Stripes...}

Here's us, hanging out in the ridiculously red lounge area to prevent Tara's dreaded leg fatigue.


Here's John K Samson, breaking my heart with yet another lovely and wistful song...

And here's the whole gang, including Jim Bryson...but not me, for some weird reason.

Thanks Tara, for actually remembering to bring your camera and taking pics - when I'm involved, one of the two always breaks down...