Friday, February 29, 2008

Week in Review: Lessons Learned

  • silk skirt under winter puffy parka: static disaster!
  • butane cordless curling iron: my best friend in the mornings
  • peanut butter and english muffins: match made in heaven
  • although it's so unstylish, a backpack really is the easiest way to lug all of my gym, work, lunch and personal stuff around with me
  • that i love having a closed office more than i ever could have imagined
  • i love the promise and opportunity that comes with a new job: history? what history?
  • that Lost is becoming even more obtuse - is that even possible?
  • that it's okay to go to bed at 8pm if you're tired
  • and that beds are really really expensive.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

For My Sweet Home

I think that this is what is missing to make my house a home. I am loving it. Let's just not tell LB the price and I'll buy it right now! I guess that you could also buy it for others...


Home Sweet Home


{Thanks to Jordan for the link}

Green for your Greens

LB and I use reusable produce bags. However, we have noticed that they do weigh a bit more because they are made of cotton, and so we end up paying a bit more for our produce/ bulk goods. And we look really funny if we take them to the bulk barn and fill them up with candy... However, these green mesh bags would probably weigh about the same as the plastic bags, and are waaaay cheaper than what I was able to find last year.

Rehabilitated Dinnerware

I am loving this concept. The artist, Sarah Cihat, takes old dinner plates destined for the dumpster, and rehabilitates them to this whole new level of fabulousness. Her designs are available in a few stores in Montreal, Toronto, NYC, and San Francisco. She also does custom orders.



alice + olivia

I've been generally disappointed with payless' attempts to do the high/low design over the years. The Abaté collection was a big disappointment, and the price points were much higher than I was willing to pay for what is still a pair of shoes from payless. But these flats from alice + olivia could be the turning point in this relationship, I look forward to seeing what they look like in the stores...alice   olivia for Payless Louisa Ballet Flat

H&Marimekko

SO excited to see that the H&M Marimekko collection is hitting stores soon! This is a great idea, well overdue. I think that a special shopping trip to check these out will be required...could be a great idea for some fun summer pieces that you'll keep forever - Marimekko never goes out of style! For the background, check this out.








{pic via adore vintage's flickr stream}

bowled over

I got my new issue of wish magazine yesterday, and I love it. I've been reading it a long time, but this is the first time that I've ever felt compelled to actually keep the entire issue. What got me about the cover is the fabulous pedestal bowl sitting on the counter, filled with berries. I am dying to have it! The source guide says that it is available at teatro verde in Toronto {of course it's not online!}, but if anyone sees anything like it, please let me know. I've got to have one like it, it's so perfect.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

keegan

There's just something about this sandal from kate spade that speaks to me. Such classic, clean lines, I can't help but think of full skirts and sleek ankle-length pants. And the stacked wooden heel and yellow leather trim on the sole - it's just too much for me to bear - oh how I miss kate spade in Ottawa!!!!

Kissing Pleats

I think that the spring bedding from Anthro is just fabulous. The kissing pleats set particularly makes me happy, and it wouldn't look wrinkled if you sat on it, since the fabric is all pretty and gathered. Other than being pure white, it's very practical.


Slumber...

I'm so so so excited, we finally caved and bought a new BED!!!! We have been sleeping on various crappy mattresses since we started dating all those years ago, and since we grew up and bought a house, it was high time that we buy a bed that reflected the fact that we could no longer crash on the floor/couch/lumpy mattress like we used to. We decided to adhere to the golden rule "Buy the Best Bed that you can Afford", and went for a nice set by Stearns and Foster. Now I've got to make the bedding as nice as the bed it will be covering!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Props to LB

I normally don't do this, but he deserves it. That boy has really outdone himself lately. While I was off work, he was there for me 1 bazillion percent, helping out in every way that he could, but also understanding when I just needed to be left alone. And last night, to celebrate my new job and "all of the hard work that I had done to deserve it", I came home to a lovely floral arrangement from my favourite florist, and a dinner consisting of a yummy salad, mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes mashed in, and chicken breasts stuffed with pears, pecans and parmesean. He called it alliterative chicken. I call it scrumptious!

Beautiful Beds...

I would love the opportunity to make over our bedroom. Not that I don't like it, but our bed is a lumpy IKEA disaster, and I'd like to do the beautiful quilt that my aunt made us for our wedding justice. I've always fantasized about crisp sheets, and a couple of decorative pillows. My husband however, not a fan of decorative pillows. He barely tolerates the two we have on there now. But if I could be let loose on some of these textiles, I think that our room could become a romantic oasis soon. {Oh, and we're working on a new bed. I promise.}



Terrific Turquoise

I'm going to work on alliterative posts from now on. At least the titles. This dresser from ABC Carpet and Home literally made me gasp while eating my lunch. So many lovely things to choose from!


Prints

Nothing makes me feel happier than a beautiful print skirt. Laurin and I were admiring them on the weekend, and I just saw this one at BR that made me smile, depsite the additional 10cm of snow coming down outside.

I also really like this one from Anthro, but then again I like anything with birds on it.

Polish Your Spring Look

Since black nails have slipped back into the realm of goth kids, apparently blue is where it is at for spring. {I still personally like the black polish, if I may say so...} OPI has introduced its Yoga-Ta Get This Blue as part of its India collection for spring. While I don't really polish my nails that often, nail polish is often the cheapest way to jump on a trend without looking too tragic.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Latest on Blueprint

In case you don't check the bluelines blog often, especially with its lack of inspired content since the mag's cancellelation, read it today. They are going to rework the blog in some way, shape or form. Blueprint will have a chance to have its swan song, if not be the phoenix rising up...

Felt Food

Daphna introduced me to this, and I just had to share it with all of you - felt foods, in particular felt Japanese food! We fell in love with the gyoza, and imagined that if we had had these when we were kids, we would have played Japanese restaurant a whole lot more than store. Puls, if you do have little ones, it's much better to have them jamming soft, washable felt into their mouths instead of those gross plastic veggies.

Gyoza Dinner L

Weekend Post-Mortem

'Twas a lovely weekend chez nous, exactly what I needed before launching into the craziness of the new job. Friday afternoon, I cleaned out my desk, and headed out a whole 10 minutes early! I headed down to the market, did some window shopping, and then LB came and met me for dinner. We had a gift certificate to Mama Grazzi's, so we decided to head over and have some free dinner. The tiramisu is excellent, it was a very relaxing dinner. From there, we walked down to see Jim Bryson and Baby Eagle play at the First Baptist Church. The show was phenomenal. We had an incredible time, the sound was terrific, and Jim told as many stories as he sang songs. We were also very pleasantly surprised by Baby Eagle, the side project of Steve from the Constantines {and also my favourite Constantie}. He was a total trooper, bringing along a guitarist with him since he had broken his hand and couldn't play, a challenge for a one-man accoustic set.

Saturday we enjoyed the sunshine by doing all of our errands on foot. We stocked up on baby gifts for the new babies in our lives {well, our relatives lives in particular}, did some window shopping, and loaded our packs with groceries. Saturday night, Daphna and I used knitting as a pretense to get together, and ended up just hanging out and chatting for hours. She made me the most delish rustic italian dinner...

Sunday was filled with cooking in the morning, then coffee and shopping with Laurin in the afternoon. Sunday night we went to Paul and Amber's for a little Oscar party action, and we cheered for out favourites, jeered the celebritities we don't like, and dissected everyone's outfits on the red carpet. The winners for me were Jennifer Garner and Cate Blanchett. They both looked absolutely stunning!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

C is for Cookie

It's Sunday, and I'm in full nesting/cooking mode. I've made bean soup, made a chicken and rice casserole to cook for dinner, and am on to a batch of pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies. They are incredible. I fell across this recipe a few years ago and while skeptical, decided to give them a try. There's a good boost of fibre, so you can feel less guilty while mowing down. I'm taking them to an Oscar party tonight, and don't have a plan B, so hopefully they work out!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Shopping, Cupcakes and Champagne

I don't think that I've ever heard a more perfect 4-word combo. If you live anywhere where there is a kate spade store, you could participate in their shopping event next Tuesday, February 28th- 20% of sales go to a good cause. There's also a free cosmetics case in it for you if you spend over $200, which in my experience, takes all of three seconds. Oh to live near a kate spade store!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Keeping Calm

Taking a new job is always a little terrifying. And I've had a rough month, so to leave work on top of it all has been a bit of a challenge. However, the opportunity was waaay too good to pass up, I had to pounce. To remind myself to breathe and to enjoy my career, I ordered myself another Keep Calm and Carry on Poster from Victoria, this time in a sunny yellow to hang on the walls of my new office. That's right - the new office has walls, and a door! No more cubicles for me...YAY!

Keep Calm And Carry on Poster - Sunny Yellow.

I'm going to miss them though, this office has been really really good to me. And we just all went out for lunch and they gave me a gift certificate to Trustfund. Huzzah! Guess where I'm headed after work?

Cheap and chic

To satisfy my cravings for giraffe print, this clutch and these flats from Old Navy might do the trick, at a fraction of the price...the clutch is currently on sale for $12 in store!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gimme Strength

I just walked away from these shoes. Not really sure why, as I was out to buy myself something fun and stand-outy for my new job {!!!} that I start on Monday, but nothing was doing it for me until these fab pony-hair pumps came into my line of vision. They fit like a dream, looked great on, and yet, I walked away... don't really get it. I may go back tonight, and try again.

Are You There Judy Blume?

When I was a pre-teen voracious reader, there were a few sets of books that I could not get enough of - Sweet Valley High, the Babysitter's Club {who didn't want to start their own Babysitter's club?}, the Booky series, and of course, anything by Judy Blume. I started with the lighter books, like Superfudge and Sheila the Great, but then of course progressed through the "racier" stuff like Are You there God? It's Me, Margaret. So I knew that I had hit paydirt when I found out about the book Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume. A series of essays by women who all had "aha!" moments when reading Judy Blume books, the impact they had on their lives, and the secrets they learned from her...I found myself giggling more than once.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Charley Harper

Wouldn't these notecards be perfect, all nicely matted and framed, all in a row? A MUCH cheaper alternative to the the Todd Oldham $150 Charley Harper book...

Six Word Stories Make Me Smile

As mentioned, LB and I do not really celebrate valentine's day, but he bought me this book after we heard about it on Q on CBC. Most of the stories are funny, sweet, poignant, sketch an image to the best of their abilities with only 6 words. Then there is Amy Sedaris' - "Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched." 'nuf said.

Spring Fancies

I dream of days like this, with the perfectly styled outfits to go with them, as well as the ability to wear red lipstick without it looking funny...Ahhhh kate

...

Monday, February 18, 2008

But I'm White...

...If that line recalls the image of GOB Bluth being shanked on the prison yard in Season One of Arrested Development, then this blog, stuff white people like, is for you. It's a hilarious, somewhat satirical, biting social commentary, but it also just makes me chuckle. White people like recycling, Whole Foods, knowing what's best for poor people, standing still at concerts, David Sedaris, Wine, Mos Def, Divorce, Difficult Breakups, expensive sandwiches, bicycles, you get the idea...

{Found thanks to the rage diaries - thanks!}

Weekend Post-Mortem

Another nice and mellow weekend in our neck of the woods. I think that it's the never ending snow and cold, but we just don't feel like doing all kinds of stuff on the weekends. Friday, I picked LB up at work and he made me a yummy sandwich, and I hung out for a while. There happened to be an extra piece of chocolate cake left, so I took one for the team and ate it. WOW! On our way home, we decided to make it a movie night, so we picked up Across the Universe and Gone Baby Gone. I liked both a lot, but apparently Across the Universe isn't that great if you're not a huge Beatles fan, or if you really like plot development. {LB is both of these things} However, we both absolutely adored Gone Baby Gone. Ben Affleck should really stick to the writing/directing, he's aces at that. His brother, Casey, looks eerily like Malcolm in the Middle would at 30.

Saturday we bundled up and went for a long walk to run all of our errands. It was nice and sunny, perfect winter weather. LB then went to the hockey game with the boys, I went to visit Laurin, and just hung out.

Sunday we went skating on the canal at 8am. There was no one out, it was sunny, a little piece of heaven. I then met Daphna for the best cappuccinos in Ottawa at the Pasticceria Gelateria on Preston street. We caught up, looked at her fabulous wedding shots, and just had some girly time. Sunday night was dinner at my folks with their friends, and we ended up just talking for over 5 hours. No tv, no games, no movies, just tons of laughs. A great way to end the weekend!

Flip Charts

Continuing with today's comedic theme, I thought that I would share with you this hilarious clip of Dimitri Martin {aka the Daily Show's Youth Correspondent} explaining the way things work in this world, such as the hilarious relationship between height and drunkenness, a breakdown of hummer owners, the funniness of farts by location, his flow chart about clowns, etc... worth watching if you've got 6 minutes.

Bigfoot!!!

Last night, my brother introduced me to one of the funniest books I've ever read, In Me Own Words, the Autobiography of Bigfoot. My dad read it to us after dinner, and we all just about killed ourselves laughing. The writing is hilarious, the illustrations are killer {including two squirrels playing a slide whistle and Bigfoot auditioning for Police Academy!}

Here's an example of his deep thoughts, the form of a poem - "Stop, Smell Rose."
Where You go, Man on Road?
Why You Run, When me want talk?
You manners bad, so me learn you good
Tear off legs
So no more run. :) {Smiley face part of poem}

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lalalalove Mix

I decided to take some time and make a Valentine's playlist for my man yesterday. Now, these songs are not all super romantic or even very quiet and lovely, but they are songs that are special to us, and just great tunes. I made it about 90 minutes long so that we could listen to it while we made dinner as well...
  • Let's Do It {Let's Fall in Love}, Alanis Morisette
  • Think I'm in Love, Beck
  • Lover's Spit, Broken Social Scene
  • That Teenage Feeling, Neko Case
  • You're the One, the Black Keys
  • Tire Swing, Kimya Dawson
  • La monogamie, Malajube
  • Crown of Love, Arcade Fire
  • I Feel it All, Feist
  • Hotel Yorba, the White Stripes
  • Red Line, the Broadways
  • Kite Flying Society, Mark Mothersbaugh {from Rushmore, I walked down the aisle to this song}
  • Don't Fail me Now, Jim Bryson
  • Anyone Else But You, the Mouldy Peaches
  • On to You, the Constantines
  • The Bleeding Heart Show, the New Pornographers
  • We Looked Like Giants, Death Cab for Cutie
  • The Greatest, Cat Power { I know it's not at all romantic, just very great}
  • Beautiful, Belle and Sebastien
  • Bells On, Sloan
  • No Rain, live version by Jane's Addiction {we exited our wedding to the Blind Melon version of this song}
  • The Ring, Sarah Harmer
  • Berkley Pier, Tilt {the very very very first song we ever kissed to, 91/2 years ago!}
  • My Favourite Chords, the Weakerthans {our wedding dance}
  • Across the Universe, the Beatles
  • Superstar, Sonic Youth {in my humble opinion, the best cover song ever done}
LB and I had to laugh partway through dinner. We're indie/punk kids who fell in love, went to school, got jobs, got a house, and although we have all of these "grown up" things, we are still those indie/punk kids at heart and never want to be anything else. It does make for slim pickins when you're trying to make a romantic mix though...

Sweet Somethings

Last night, as mentioned, LB and I cooked an enormous dinner. Everything was incredible, though I believe that my wallet will forbid me from ever buying veal chops again. On the bargain side of the night, I decided to pick up a heart-shaped creme brulee from our favourite take-away shop in town, Thyme and Again. For only $5.95, we got a heart-shaped ramekin that the dessert came in, two fresh meringue "kisses", two chocolate-covered strawberries, and two fresh chocolate truffles. It was divine!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Within MY Reach!

Too excited to type! The good folks aover at Apartment Therapy have made my day by announcing that Design Within Reach is opening a studio in Toronto!!!! And it opens in just over a week! February 23 baby!!!!

kate spade pics

As I've mentioned before, I use a kate spade planner every year. They are so pretty, and they are actually very functional as well. However, I hate to just get rid of all of the great photographs at the end of the year, so I've been saving the monthly photographs/collages for the past two years. I've been at a loss as to what I should do with them, until I decided to turn the spare bedroom into a girly dressing room just for me. I picked my favourite year {2006, the series of pictures and the idea of doing good suit me just fine}, bought some cheap frames at IKEA, and made myself a little wall collage. Sorry for the glare, I'm not a great photographer and it's right next to a window...

Happy V-day!

Just wanted to wish you all a happy valentine's day, whether you celebrate it or not, a good day is always a good thing... I love this necklace from Retro Eyecandy Vintage, not too smarmy, but the sentiment is still there.Do you have big plans? LB and I don't go out on v-day, we find things far too chaotic and overrated. We've decided to make a gourmet dinner from Lucy Waverman and James Chatto's incredible cookbook, A Matter of Taste. Whole artichokes, french veal chops with mushrooms, a potato galette, and creme brulee... {the whole menu is online here} I will roll myself down the stairs tomorrow to tell you all about it. Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Blog guide

The new issue of Real Simple has its picks for the best blogs out there. {And yet somehow they forgot to mention me...} Thought that you might be interested in the expanded list that's not in the magazine. You can find it here.

Target: My nemesis

As stated before, I'm a very proud Canadian and don't mind when we can't get certain things here, it makes it all that much more fun when I get a chance to travel and buy unique pieces. But I do resent you Americans and your access to Target galore! I've been dreaming about the release of the Jovovich-Hawk collection for Target {pushed back to Mar 2} and hoping that maybe a weekend south of the border will come my way soon... Here are two of my favorite looks.

Oh Murphy!

We are seriously discussing taking on the challenge of building a Murphy bed. However, since our second floor is all sloped and the ceilings start very low on either end, a traditional lengthwise Murphy bed is just not an option for us. A few years ago, I had cut out an article on a diy kit to build a widthwise Murphy bed and make it look like a mantle, but it seems to have fallen to the wayside. This post from Apartment Therapy has reenergized me to keep plotting. If only they had included sources!!!

Silhouettes

I'm obsessed with silhouettes. And custom silhouette stationary from Simply Silhouettes isn't making it any easier. I love this fill in the blanks thank you card, and their room decor silhouettes would be a lot of fun for a new home or wedding gift!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Singing in the Rain

I just love this mac from the Gap. Although it has no lining and fits a bit big, I still find myself drawn to trying it on everytime I go to the Gap. It makes me dream of spring, with yellow flats, dark jeans, and my clear/white Chanel bag...

Monday, February 11, 2008

I dream of Chanel

Look at Marion Cotillard, all glowy and happy from her win at the BAFTAs this weekend. Now look at the dress. They were meant to be together. That Karl Lagerfield may be a total fan-waving, brow-beating, no design above a size-6 making guy, but this dress is ethereal. HE managed to make what is essentially a winged cocktail dress without making it look like Bjork's swan. But, I have to ask, how did she manage to sit in that? I guess that is not Karl's concern...
{Pic from Lainey}

Weekend Post-Mortem

Nothing too exciting, thankfully, we were in need of some real downtime. Friday night we went to Daphna and Adam's for their first dinner party as a married couple and to meet their fabulous new puppy. Everything was incredible, but we were all pooped. At one point, Daph and I were sitting on the floor, staring at each other, in disbelief that it was only 8:15pm. That's when you know that you've had a looong week!

Saturday was nice, my husband made me challah french toast {the only way to have french toast!} and then since he is on a deadline, I went walking and window shopping in the neighbourhood, and then spent the evening cross-country skiing with my parents, Shiv and our friend Marsha. We really roughed it out in the woods, with pate, cheese fondue and chocolate fondue! There were no stars or moon, so our headlamps came in handy!

Sunday morning was lazy for me, then coffee with Steph and more browsing. I need to find another baby gift, but have no idea what, so am waiting for inspiration to strike. I spent the rest of the day at home, making a paella that didn't quite work out, cleaning and making sure that LB had everything he needed since he had to work again last night.

House Crush

I'm in love with Stefanie's Old World Modern over at Apartment Therapy. It's pretty much my dream house, the right mix of old and new, clean and girly, appropriately lived-in, no real pretension. And anyone with more than one Adler display in their home is clearly after my
heart... I could have my coffee in this dining room right now.

Cordelia

My all time favourite books are those in the Anne of Green Gables series. I'd like to visit PEI one day and see where it all "happened". It's a Canadian thing, and increasingly, as I'm learning, an international thing. My copies are dog-eared, falling apart, have been read too many times and dragged everywhere. However, I can't say that I'm thrilled about the new endeavour, Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson, even if it has been approved by the Montgomery family. I'm sure that they don't stand to gain a cent right? I remember reading Scarlett, the sequel to Gone with the Wind and being horribly disappointed, and the same with Cosette, the follow-up to Les Miserables. Now, I like closure as much as the next gal, but can't we just leave masterpieces alone?

But, in the interests of full disclosure, I will probably buy it and read it anyways...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Brights

I'm in love with the thought of bright spring colours. We're still so far away from being able to wear shoes outside, but it's nice to dream... The brights collection from Piperlime offers you some reprieve from the millionth consecutive day of snow...

Comfort Food: Mom Style

I am unfortunately still at home, which is fun but can be boring. I love working, so it's a catch 22... Last night I decided to make the ultimate snowy day comfort food: baked rigatoni. My mom has been making this for us our entire lives, and it's become my go to dish when I just don't know what to make or don't want to eat what's on the meal plan.

1 box whole wheat pasta, cooked
1 jar low fat no sugar added spaghetti sauce
meat of your choice {optional, cook separately}
mozzarella cheese

It's easy-peasy: Just cook pasta, cook meat {if using}, mix together with pasta sauce and then top with chunks of mozzarella. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes. I don't presume to dictate how much cheese you use, that's an individual's prerogative.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gourmet Lemonade

We recently hosted a dinner for a couple who doesn't drink. I didn't want to just serve the plain ol' San Pellegrino, so I decided to find something a little more decadent. Enter Lorina, a line of French lemonades and sparkling juices. We tried the French Lemonade, and it was perfect. Not too sweet, not sour, and you could taste the real lemons in it! {Unlike that episode of the Simpsons where the lemon tree is stolen - "this is Country Time lemonade, there's never been a real lemon anywhere near it!"} Although a bit pricy at $5 a bottle, it's half the price of a bottle of wine, and I'd be willing to pay for the bottle alone. We're going to get more and use them for water when we have dinner parties. If you're in Ottawa, it's available at Farm Boy, the happiest place on earth.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pretty Prints

This blazer from jcrew is incredible and would be a perfect transition piece from winter into spring and then over dresses and walking shorts at the office in summer. Oh jcrew, why do you taunt me so?

More birds

I have a lot of bird accents in my home, I can't help it, they just seem to find me. Last week was particularly rough, so LB surprised me with this lovely metal bird ornament that we hung in the kitchen to make us smile.

Lovebirds

I think that this is such a cute shirt from Canadiana peddlers Roots. While appropriate for the upcoming v-day, love is something to celebrate every day of the year. It's red, it has birds on it, and the writing is in French. What more could you ask for?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Alice

I just read Calvin Trillin's incredible ode to his late wife, Alice. It is the best book about marriage I have ever read. I recommend it to all of you, she was a truly inspiring and formidable woman. And at only 78 pages, I read it while I sipped a cup of tea.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Morning After

It looks like the strike might be over! I don't want to get my hopes up, but Tina Fey, I'd like a new 30 Rock every day if you don't mind? YAY YAY YAY!!!!

Wedding Flowers

I thought that they deserved their own post, because they were so well done and so pretty to look at. Daphna and Adam knew that they wanted to incorporated winter into their wedding, but were very careful to avoid both christmas and valentine's references, so lots of pinecones, creams and greens. Tivoli florists did all of the flowers. They are, in my humble opinion, the best florists in Ottawa.

Here's my bouquet, which is beautiful and residing on my coffee table as we speak. It's filled with different kinds of roses and even a teeny white peony - my favourite flower!!



She got the fabulous idea of buying antique silver pieces online and secondhand for the arrangements. They looked absolutely stunning, both the silver and flowers. I have a teapot and two cream and sugar sets here while they honeymoon...