Friday, May 30, 2008

Perfect Evening

How to have a perfect Thursday night in Ottawa?

  • Meet Anne for two Summer Breeze cocktails on the Hy's patio - eat the delish cocktail snacks and observe the Ottawa politicos in action.
  • Eat an amazing Vietnamese dinner with the in-laws at Mrs. Le's - Fried bananas with ice cream and perfect salad rolls!
  • Invite Ross and Suzan over to watch the season finale of Lost - they understand the importance of not talking during the show, but then discussing EVERYTHING during the commercials. Speculation was running rampant...And Ross brought fudge!!!!
  • Go to bed exhausted but happy and sleep like a baby after a loooong day!

Squirreled Away

This one is for Stewart and Stephanie. We must get to Adler in Soho and acquire many of these squirrels. The Trustfund logo is a delightful squirrel, and this would go perfectly with the decor!

Happy Home

The soap dispenser that we got as part of the bathroom set that we registered for three years ago broke a few weeks ago. And while it's not a big deal, I'm very picky about bathroom accessories, so finding new ones has been a particular challenge for me. Enter the Jonathan Adler Happy Home bath collection, and everything is better. The simplicity, clean lines and toothbrush holder made to hold electric tootbrushes won me over. They go on sale regularly, so keep your eyes peeled!

Sending thanks across the pond

Don't you hate when people say they are headed "across the pond"? Anyways, I wanted to say thank you thank you thank you to lil' brudder L2 and his equally fabulous girlfriend Shannon for the fabulous early birthday gift! They met up with my parents in Paris last weekend and sent home a pair of Hunter wellies all the way from Harrod's! Although it's only been cool enough one day this week to wear them, you better believe that I'll wear these as much as possible! I've managed to check off an item on my long-term wants list, and it totally made my day!

You can also kind of tell how swollen my knee is from the little bike accident I had on Tuesday morning...Oh the joys of urban cycling!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Egads!

This is the post in which I reveal that I am a complete SATC geek...


But no fair - they've changed Carrie's apartment!!!! Okay, deep breaths here. WHY ON EARTH would they change Carrie's apartment? According to Apartment Therapy, it would only be normal that after four years her apartment would have changed. Okay, I totally see that, my house changes all the time. But Carrie's really didn't change much over 6 YEARS {Aidan's chair aside} and I hate that they are changing absolutely everything from the show to the movie, other than the four girls, but I even have my suspicions about how true the script sticks to their respective characters. Give the loyal fans some continuity people, not everything has to be over the top. Some consistency is a good thing.


Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to see it. I bought my tickets Tuesday.


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Okay, new wall colour, not a fan. The decluttering beside the bed, not a fan. The mirrored table? I like. But Carrie would never pair it with that chair. Nor would she have a scented candle displayed so prominently, if I remember correctly she recoiled when Debbie bought Miranda a scented candle at the flea market... Samantha said something about women with scented candles replacing women with cats as the new sad thing. {I do however want that Chanel scarf just for me!}


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This is waaaay too romantic for Carrie. She's always had a bit of a bohemian edge to her decor, and this looks like it's been professionally done. {Which it has of course} That headboard is Charlotte, not Carrie. Where is the shelf with all of the books and the old enamel telephone? Have we completely abandoned the premise that Carrie is a writer and a reader? It looks so sterile... The palette's all wrong too - blues and browns? Not Carrie. She always had lighter neutrals and greys...


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I do however like this picture of Miranda's place. It makes sense that hers would change - they moved to Brooklyn peeps! Plus it looks like what real life looks like when it meets what you would like it to look like. {Spoiler: As most of you probably know, the rumour is that Steve cheats on Miranda. Hence the lone glass of wine in front of her. And the fortune probably says something equally sad. But for the record, Steve WOULD NEVER cheat on Miranda. He's true blue.}

Snakes on a wrist!

LB got me this bracelet by Whiting-Davis for our anniversary. I pointed it out on our last trip to our favourite local antique market and he actually remembered and surprised me with it! It's pretty darned fabulous, and I can wear it on my bicep too if I'm feeling very glam and retro...

What I'm Reading Now

Two books at once, one for funny, one for practical tips on how to be greener in your home.


Foreskin's Lament is a hilarious memoir by Shalom Auslander that is totally worth reading if you have a sense of humour, have ever questioned your faith, are a worry wart, or have a fascination with how orthodox Jews live. {Or all of the above, like me}




Ecoholic {when you're addicted to the planet} is a Canadian guide to living green. So unlike a lot of fabulous books magazines and websites, I can actually buy the products or access the resources listed in the book. I like this book because it actually gives you ideas on what to do to make changes, rather than just make you feel guilty for every breath you take...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spell it out

I think that these monogrammed plates are just lovely. You could run an entire alphabet around the top of your kitchen as a border, or maybe spell out little words like "Eat" "Drink" "Relax", to encourage your guests/ yourselves to feel a little cozier...

Grill it up!

I would love it if we had one of these fabulous mesh pans. We cook as much as possible on the grill, and this would broaden the realm of possibility. Good ol' Williams-Sonoma.


Mesh Grill-Top Chef's Pan

Lovebirds

I wish that I could head on down to Montreal this weekend to pick up some of these bowls at Urban Outfitters. They would make cereal fabulous and ice cream taste even sweeter!

Just Lovely

I love this dress - on sale right now at JCrew! There's just something so classically Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn about it...sigh... And for all of you observant fashionistas out there, the dress is called the Mirabelle. Doesn't it look just like something that Claire Danes' character would have worn in the movie Shopgirl?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mmmmmacaroons

My mum and dad just came home from 2 weeks in Paris {lucky ducks!} where they celebrated the 40th anniversary of when they started "going steady". On their way home from the airport last night, they dropped by with a box of macaroons from La grande épicerie de Paris. Although they are no Ladurées, they are pretty darned delish. You can order them online here, if you have a hankering...

'La

Lemmings

My friend Lori sent me this poster on Friday afternoon. I'm sorry that I don't know who to credit it to, I shall do some google snooping later on today, but I wanted to share it with you since it cheered me up and made me laugh.

Miss Madison

On Friday, we had to say goodbye to our kitty cat, the one and only Miss Madison. We miss her like crazy, she was the real first joint effort that LB and I ever made, together, when we decided to adopt her over 8 years ago. While I know that she was almost 10 and we were lucky to have her, I also feel kinda ripped off.

She was such a great friend and knew when you were feeling down and would do everything to fix it. You couldn't read a newspaper without her sitting on exactly the article you were trying to read, and she would play with magazines with abandon. Her favourite treats were saltines and potato chips, she had the loveliest, glossiest fur coat, and she would give you the LOOK if you were sitting beside her and hadn't pet her in a while...she was a truly unique cat, and being part Maine Coon, really did not enjoy being away from "her humans" for a long time. We are not sure at this stage if we are ever going to be able to get another cat, just because she was such a special little lady...
Her theme song is "Bad Medicine", because as a kitten she had a bit more energy than we had patience...

Wouldn't it be nice...


{from our dear friends at kate spade, of course}

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's Finally Here!

Ottawans live through terribly cold and dreadful winters, non-existent springs and falls, and swelteringly short summers just to get to one day every year...the GREAT GLEBE GARAGE SALE! The Glebe is a particularly nice area of town where the houses are of a certain {high} value and the "junk" that these homeowners have on offer is of a much higher quality than your average garage sale. Every street in the area is filled with people selling goods, hot dog vendors {the reason LB goes}, general merriment and happiness, you get the idea...

The key to the garage sale is getting there early. And don't worry about trying to meet up with all of your friends, they'll only hold you back because you will all want to look at different things...LB and I are planning on being there at 7:30am tomorrow morning and will methodically walk our pre-planned grid in search of hidden treasure. I'll report back on Monday!


{Image via}

m0851

I love love love the leather goods produced by Canadian design collective m0851. And until today, they are having a trunk show at my favourite boutique, Trustfund! I saw the bags yesterday, and I was in lalalalove with them. I took some pics but of course forgot my camera cable at home, so I'm "borrowing" the pics from Trustfund... the colours are all vibrant jewel tones, perfect shades of cobalt, emerald, aubergine...

I AM...Underwhelmed

We saw Ironman last night. Meh. Robert Downey Jr is fantastic and Gwyneth has some excellent shoes and a lovely purse, but other than that, I was left wishing that I had stayed home and soaked in a tub. The things that you do for love! At least LB was pretty disappointed too, which is saying a lot, because he has a ton of Ironman comics.


{Image via}

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prezzies for Boys

I don't know if you're all stuck in the same position as me, but my partner is incredibly hard to buy for. I love him, but he leads a near-monastic existence, anchored only by an imac and a bicycle. So buying gifts for him is nearly impossible. I've had some good luck with his jack spade messenger bag, random clothes as required for his wardrobe, and the aforementioned imac and bicycle. I've had some not so good luck too, especially with the jack spade travel scrabble set...

This year, I outdid myself for our anniversary. I don't really even know why, because we don't usually get all gifty for anniversaries, only really during the chrismukkah season...but I bought him a new titanium wedding band {looks incredible and weighs nothing!} and tickets to the OSHEAGA festival in Montreal!!! I totally knocked his socks off, as we are going to see two of his absolute faves - the Kills {Image below} and the Black Keys.



So, there's hope - every once in a while you can knock one out of the park!

Here's to you, Babe...

Today is the third anniversary of the happiest day and best decision of my life, the day that I married LB. He's my partner in crime, my confidant, my best friend in the whole wide world. We laugh, we cry, we fight, we joke, we share passions and hopes and dreams...although there are a lot of things that I would change about my life if I were to do it over, marrying him is absolutely not one of them...We've been married for three years, together for almost 10, and every day is a new adventure!

I love him for so many reasons, but here's a condensed list:

  • He makes me laugh every day
  • He puts up with my drama queen crap
  • He cooks me the most incredible food
  • He loves hockey so much that he gets really really upset when things aren't right
  • He's the responsible one who keeps me grounded
  • He makes all of my dreams come true...

{Man, I've gotta start wearing false lashes more often - they look incredible!}

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bravery and Cake

My blog is where I write about pretty things, I try to keep it light and happy and never get too caught up in the bad side of things, because that's too easy and it happens without warning. It can also become a slippery slope and it's way too easy to forget about the pretty side of life when you're mired in the grey details...

I've been having a tough time lately, and although I've alluded to it and taken a couple of breaks, I haven't written about it, trying instead to keep finding the pretty and light side of life to help keep me going. However, taking a page from two of the bravest women I've had the pleasure of reading, Heather Armstrong of Dooce, and Tracey of La Belette Rouge, I decided to try and put it in perspective. Life isn't always pretty, but we can try.

LB and I really want to be parents. And in February, we were thrilled to discover that we were going to get that chance. However, all did not go according to plan, and at twelve weeks everything fell apart, I ended up in the hospital, and we were left staring at a lovely empty yellow nursery and a drawer filled with unworn maternity clothes. I can't write about the details, but Heather did such an eloquent job here that I was inspired by her bravery to put it on paper.

And I know that we can and will try again, and that it happens to a lot of couples, but it happened to us, it happened to me. And now I'm angry, sometimes irrationally so. I am dealing, and I am getting better, but it's hard. You put all of your efforts into something and it doesn't materialize, and then you're left with weight gain, emptiness, and anger.

So bear with me as I try to regain some perspective in my life, to try and reshift my focus so that it sees all of the prettiness in life {and there is so much of it!} and as I enjoy the occasional piece of cake. But only when I have the weight watchers points left for it, of course...


{Image via}

Weekend Post-Mortem: Yay for long weekends!

We Canucks were fortunate enough to have a 3-day weekend this weekend, which I decided to turn into a 4-day weekend in order to spend some extra time with the fabulous LB. I've been working waay too much lately and have been pretty tired and cranky as a result, so I wanted to have some quality time for us.

Our weekend started Thursday night with a dessert trip to the Pasticceria for Daphna and I. The best cappuccinos in the city and French pastries to boot, so we ate and chatted the twilight away. I then went and met LB and Jeff for some hockey and quarts at the Prescott. We biked home after midnight, and it was great fun!

Friday was errand hell - Costco, groceries, gas, etc... But luckily Friday night was spent using the gift certificate that Paul and Amber bought us for Trio and indulging in some great munchies, as well as prosecco and LB's current local fave, Beau's Beer. The grilled cheese sammie, made up of cream cheese, old cheddar and dijon mustard was to die for...

Saturday was spent chilling around the house, and then we went to Bob and Nicole's for a lovely BBQ. We had a bit of a surprise guest when a raccoon decided to pop in and see what was cookin', but other than that it was incredible and the food selection was scrumptious! Sunday I was on my own, LB had to go back to work. But I managed to pop in for some lemon curd and ricotta pancakes, and then headed to the farmers' market for some bread and veggies. I biked around for a while, did some window shopping and procrastinated as long as possible, but I finally ended up in the garden for the rest of the afternoon, tilling the soil, transplanting, etc... We got cleaned up in time for a YUMMY steak dinner at Julie and Aaron's, it was so great to see them. Julie and I have been friends since high school, and I'm so glad that we have managed to stay friends all of this time.

Monday was grey and rainy. Watched tv, did my nails, worked on my wardrobe for the week, all that jazz. Finished the night with some chowdamac and old episodes of 30 Rock...

Green and Clean

I am a long time fan of method products. Before they were even available in Canada, Daphna and I wrote them a letter to try and convince them to let us sell them, but clearly they had bigger distro deals in mind than two keener graduate students...Now you can have all kinds of helpful little tips at your fingertips thanks to their new book, squeaky green.

Although I'm generally skeptical of books such as these, I'm really tempted to get this one. And I love the cover too...

Hoop Dreams

I love these hoops from viv and ingrid, which I first saw in the May 2008 issue of Real Simple. They're simple, lovely and elegant. You could wear them everyday, but they have just enough interesting detail to keep them from being boring everyday gold hoops...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Toasts to Long Weekends

Since we in Canada are lucky enough to have a long weekend this week, I thought that I'd share a lovely new wine find. I went to lunch with a colleague last week and we decided that a glass of wine was in order {it was a long work week!} so we tried the Yalumba Viognier. It was delicious! From Australia's Barossa region, it is a fabulous wine for when you'd like to treat yourself to something special {well above my usual cheap price point for wine}. It's not too sweet, it is in fact nice and dry {rated as a 1} , and has a great crisp finish. It was a perfect salad accompaniment.

More Curls...

Since I shared my delight about Aveda's Be Curly line yesterday, I thought that I'd share my other favourite curl product. The Kiehl's Stylist Series products are all quite lovely, but my personal fave is the Crème with Silk Groom. I used to have to order this from Toronto or pick it up on trips to places where Kiehl's had counters, but now can do so in just a 10-minute walk from the office!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Safari Cardi

Laurin found this yesterday morning and graciously offered to share dibs on it with me, but I decided that I had a lot of printed cardis already. I did go and try it on though - it's soft and fits like a glove, so I thought that I'd share with those of you who are looking for a statement piece to wear over spring dresses...

Be Curly!

I used a salon gift certificate yesterday to buy myself some lovely shampoo and conditioner from Aveda. Since I have such curly hair and it's that sunny time of the year, my curls have been quite parched of late. I decided to try the Be Curly line, and was very impressed. Almost all natural ingredients, lovely smell, very hydrating...we'll see how it holds up after my bike ride to work this morning - almost nothing survives the helmet intact!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If kate spade won't come to ottawa...

...Then I'll have to find ways of making some reasonable hand-drawn facsimiles. I posted about the spring late spade ad campaign last month and fell in love with the lilac floral headband. Instead of pining over our lack of kate here, I decided to pin a giant black flower pin to a black satin headband - et voila! I have a pretty floral headband to call my own...

I'd also like to introduce you to my new favourite dress from the grocery store...

Picture day!

I bought this fabulous zebra tote at club monaco a few weeks ago, but their website is terrible, so I can't share it with you other than a photo I took, and I'm no professional! {On a sidenote - Dear executives at club monaco - make your site simpler, prettier and easier to write about, and you'll get more blog publicity - what a novel idea!}

Either way, I love my tote - it's roomy and lovely, and the perfect bag to sit in my bike basket on my way to work every day...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Farewell, Friend

I lost a dear friend this weekend. Someone who inspired me to become a better public servant, to give back to my community, and who taught me that lunch always tastes better with a nice glass of sauvignon blanc. Arthur Kroeger, the "dean" of Canada's public service, passed away at age 75 on Friday May 9th. I haven't seen him since our last one of "our lunches" in February, but I am so honoured and touched that a man as prominent and well-loved and respected as he took the time to chat with lil' old me. I could talk to him about anything - career, education, food, wine, and the prominent issues of the day with ease - even though he already had the inside scoop on everything, he'd let me talk, ask me a few strategic questions, and right away we'd be at the heart of the issue. He had this incredible ability to make everyone feel at ease, and I don't want to list off his contributions to the Canadian public service because it would be a disservice to his memory to exclude anything.

I will just say that we are a much better public service in this country because of the contributions of this exceptional individual. I'll miss you Arthur.
{Image via}

Weekend Post Mortem

I spent the weekend catching up with friends and family, which was just perfect. Friday night I managed to escape work after a particularly loooong week, and we headed over to my aunt Diane and uncle Terry's for a fun dinner party, complete with BBQ hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as a Rolo cake for my dad's birthday!

Saturday, I had a lovely breakfast and tons of catching up with some girlfriends at the Manx...It was good - not great, but darned good. Then I met up with Laurin for some shopping and turkey cooking. She made us a full turkey dinner on Saturday night, it was delish!!!! We then headed out to the movies to see babymama - we both really enjoyed it- hilarious, not cheesy, and worth the price of admission for sure.

Sunday, I got up and made LB some strong coffee to prepare him for the hordes of people coming to brunch at Stoneface Dolly's on mother's day {turns out the exact number was 300 between 9am and 2pm - yikes!}... I then packed up my bike and headed down to the Landsdowne farmers' market for Daphna's birthday picnic party - YAY! We ate some delish food, hung out in the grass with some great company, and picked up some yummy treats for mothers' day dinner. My parents came over in the afternoon, and we did a bunch of gardening and planted me my very own peony bush in the front yard! Sunday evening we had both families over and spoiled our moms with BBQ ribs, chicken, salads, and blackberry ginger trifle {for the record, I used angel food cake instead of pound cake, and it was just as good}... I fell into bed by 9pm, exhausted, but very content!

...Blackberry and Ginger Trifle

The last cake post {for now...}

I found the perfect poster for my bedroom, thanks to the lovely Sara Christine... I can't wait to see it, it was one of those etsy purchases that required no deliberation whatsoever...I hope that LB likes it!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Magic Soap?

I've been doing a lot of research about transitioning to paraben-free cosmetics. For a gal who loves her Chanel and Benefit as much as I do, it's not easy to find a lot of great alternatives, but they do exist {and although they are often expensive, they are on par with prices at Chanel and Benefit...} One name that keeps popping up is Dr Bronner's, and I think that I'm going to give it a try. It is apparently an 18 in 1 product, allowing you to do almost all of your cleaning of self with it, as well as facials and as a massage oil when diluted in water... I found it yesterday at American Apparel in Westboro, of all places... I'll let you know if it really is "magic soap".

Peppermint Liquid Soap - 16 oz.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Oh Orla!

I think that anyone coming into a meeting with one of these lovely books from Orla Kiely would go up in my estimation before they even said a word {is that shallow? probably, but paper is important to me!} ...They have a professional yet lovely look to them, and the colours are bright without screaming "look at me!" Everyone has black notebooks in my line of work, sometimes green or red, but that's about it. Maybe I'll buck the trend and stir things up a bit...

Orderly Desk

Spring cleaning extends to all aspects of my life, and my desk is driving me crazy! We don't actually have a desk but a white tulip table I found on craigslist for $20, so that might be part of the problem. I do however think that the solution lies in these exquisite products from russell + hazel.

My lists could be a bit more elegant and filled with fun parties and trips to Sing Sing if only I had the Audrey notebook...The people and places set would go perfectly with the ghost chair I will one day acquire...And this collator would allow me to keep everything I need in one place without looking like it came from Staples...