Friday, June 27, 2008

Long Weekend

Hi all - I'm sorry to do this to you, but I'm outtie. I and my extended family are all off for a weekend at the cottage. I can't wait. On my list of things to do:
  1. Sleep late every morning
  2. Take many naps during the day
  3. Swim every few hours
  4. Run once a day
  5. Eat delicious food
  6. Read Twilight books 1 and 2
  7. Paint my toenails
  8. Wear my comfiest clothes and be barefoot
  9. Spend some quality time with the fam
  10. Kick butt at bocce

I won't be back until Wednesday, as Tuesday is the birthday of our fair lady, Canada.

Here's a lovely view of the Canada Day fireworks over our Parliament buildings. I am so lucky to work right across the street from all of this. Oh Canada...

{Image via}

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cookin' it old school

My mum always comes over with the strangest little things for me. This week, she came over with spices that she had taken from my grandmother's apartment when we cleaned it out. She thought that the bottles were charming, but has no use for them, so she thought that they would fit in well with our fifties kitchen and decor. I think that they are charming, but have no idea what I will do with them permanently.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On Cooking

I just read Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen. I know that I'm well behind on the times, as the project concluded ages ago, but I kept meaning to read the book and had yet to do so. I read it all in a couple of hours when I was at home sick on the weekend and I really enjoyed it. It made me want to cook up a storm but also made me appreciate what a nice clean kitchen I have, unlike Julie Powell's. Some of those passages were a little tough on my neat freak self.

Also - we took her recommendation and ordered a bacon and jalapeno pizza - SO GOOD!

Flowers!

I'm trying to learn how to take better pictures, and thanks to the helpful tips from Shannon yesterday, I'm already feeling like I'm doing a bit better. Every year my aunt Diane gives me peonies from her garden - hers are so lovely - in time for my birthday, and these arrived yesterday.





This lovely orchid was a birthday gift from the equally lovely Laurin - now to not kill it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hoods up!

I am currently digging this hoodie from lululemon. I know that there comes a point in life where a gal has to say "enough hoodies!" but I don't feel as though I've reached that point yet. It's so soft and lightweight, perfect for festivalling all summer. The one I like is a white print with vintage-looking roses all over it. And I have a gift certificate too!

Remix Hoodie *Lux

Summer Fun!

I realized last night, looking at our bulletin board, that our summer plans are virtually all paid for and planned out for us! We are lucky enough to have lovely friends and relatives who have gifted us with some lovely gift certificates, and we have some big concerts coming up too!


Our goal this summer is to use up all of these gift certificates and concert tickets and chronicle our adventures - can't wait for the fun to start next week with Bluesfest!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend Post Mortem

I'm sick. UGH. It's been building for awhile, methinks, as I spent all of last week exhausted and nauseous...


Friday we spent the evening getting ready for our house guests, dear friends from grad school whom I haven't seen since their wedding almost three years ago. I took two naps and then hit the sack before they even arrived - luckily LB's an excellent host! They were our first real overnight guests in the house, and it was great to see them.


Saturday, I got up and went for a run and then we walked through the neighbourhood, had coffee, and talked non stop in order to get caught up on everything. We browsed the shops, checked out the houses, and then met up with some other friends for brunch. We spent the rest of the day hanging out, laughing our heads off, relaxing, and just catching up. The whole day was in honour of our friend Steph's 30th birthday, which we celebrated on Saturday night. Here's a great picture of us, except I'm apparently already sleeping here...



But in between, LB and I had dinner over at Jen and Shaun's in honour of book club -we discussed Douglas Coupland's Generation X, and it was really interesting to see how diverse opinions can be. They had set up their giant downtown terrace with a gazebo and a dining set, and it was so lovely to be relaxing there, other than the fact that I started to feel like crap. We went back to Steph's to wish everyone a good night, and then headed home.


Sunday was spent on the couch. I watched all of Season 4 of SATC and dozed off and on. I went to bed at 8pm and still couldn't wake up this morning. I am planning on heading home from the office, I need some time to recoup.

Bag of the Week

I am starting a new series today...the Bag of the Week! I have been going through all of my clothes and accesories, trying to cull things down to a respectable size and to make sure that I only have pieces that I love love love in my wardrobe. Well, it turns out that I have 26 handbags, either designer or vintage. And this seems excessive, despite my love for accessories. So, each week I am going to use a different one of these bags in an attempt to figure out which ones I really love...

Today we are starting with the grey mo0851 nubuck hobo bag. I purchased this bag at trustfund in Spring 2007, and I love it. It is so simple and unassuming in its design that it really demands that you take a second look. It is an equally great city and weekend bag, very slouchy, and fits perfectly on your shoulder. The only ornamentation is the knot at the top of the strap, and the nubuck is so soft that you can't help but pet it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Light Locations

My lil' bro sent me this link the other day - total London house eye candy! Thought that I'd spread the joy and encourage you to take a few moments from your day to drool over the amazing places... Like this place in St Stephens Terrace - the Swan chair, the wallpaper, the sunburst mirror, the incredible couch! Sigh...


Although I miss him to bits, I do greatly appreciate having another pair of eyes scouting fabulous stuff in England for me!

Cute and Thrifty

LB and I have been working on our budget for about the past six months. I really wanted to get a feel for where all of our money goes on a monthly basis, so before implementing a budget that might or might not work, I carefully tracked all spending since we moved into the new house on December 1. We've switched to using mostly cash over debit or credit cards, and have overall become more consicous about our spending.

This week, I finally sorted out the categories and what could be expected to be a resonable amount to allot to each. Some, like the mortgage, are obviously not up for debate, but we decided to give ourselves a bit more play money for meals out and such...

To implement the system, I bought this lovely little budget book on etsy. It is one of those little plastic accordion files, but glammed up enough that it can come everywhere with me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rose bracelet

I was also recently charmed by this bracelet and decided to treat myself for my birthday. I love its uniqueness and its buttery colour that goes with almost everything.

Chirp Chirp

I can never say no to a bird-themed item for my home. And this one is no exception. While browsing at Heavens to Betsy, I found this lovely vintage owl pitcher. It now perches happily on my dressing table, filled with my daily regime of brushes and mascara and such...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rubber Duckie, you're the one...

I wish that I had taken a better picture of the individual rubber duckie cupcakes served last weekend, but you get the idea. They were decorated with a piping bag in individual icing drops.


Easiest Cake Ever...

...but it doesn't seem that way! For my birthday party last weekend, Julie made me my childhood favourite cake. My mom has been making this for me my entire life, and I alternate between this cake, coconut creme cake, and good ol' DQ ice cream cake. It's so easy to make that you'll be shocked by how good it tastes.


Mum's Angel Food Dream Cake
  • Take 1 angel food cake {you can make it or buy it, it does not matter}
  • 1 tub cool whip {or 1 package Dream Whip}
  • 2-3 Crunchie bars, crushed {you can also use plain sponge toffee or Skor bars}

Mix cool whip with crushed crunchie bars and top cake. Done!

And look at how lovely it looks all done up on the cake plate...

Posies

I have been a long-time fan of benefit's benetint, but it's not the perfect match for my complexion. I am a bit more fair than one should be with reddish cheeks, and I always find myself rubbing at it to make it lighter. I am really excited to try their new posietint, the same idea as benetint, but in a lovely shade of pink. And if it stays on anywhere near as long as benetint, I'll be a happy glowy camper!

New Wallet, Old-School Flair

I was invited to a baby shower last weekend. The mother-to-be is like a little sister to me, and her parents were my second parents growing up. To make us feel special, her mother made us all personalized invitations, filled with pictures and hand-written notes. Mine came in this great Anne Taintor card case. I have put in just a few cards and a folded $20 bill, and I feel so 40s chic strutting along with my little case in hand.

Frugal ID Case

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Only 359 days left!

Although another birthday has come and gone with much fun and fanfare, and although I wouldn't change a thing, this lovely banner would make next year even more festive. And the reuse possibilities are endless!

sweet cake flags

You should see where I work...

I can't get over how lovely Anna's new office is - I can't wait to see the finished product. I am in lust with that wallpaper. {I will concede that she is an interior designer for a living whereas I am most certainly not}

Cocktail Crisps

These are delicious. I can't say enough good stuff about them. They are the kind of cocktail snack that would go well with a dry martini happy hour in a suburban home circa 1956, before the dream started to lose its technicolor sheen. My friend Sandra served them to Anne and I and we ate them all, like little cochonnes. She has since graciously agreed to share her grandmother's recipe with us.

Cocktail Crisps
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 - 8oz pacakge Imperial cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1&1/2 cups flour
  • 4 cups Rice Krispies

Soften then cream together butter and cheese. Add salt, tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in flour and rice krispies - mix well.

Shape into small balls and press down with a fork which has been dipped in cold water. They do not expand much during baking, so make them as thin as you can for maximum crispness.

Bake at 350F until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes.

{Note from grandma: This recipe does not double well!}

Perfect Outfit

I love the easiness of this outfit from Anthro. The lovely dress, the oversized cardigan, the flip flops... But you know that it would be just as striking with a pair of gold high heeled sandals and a nice gold neckalce with a bit of heft to it as well...

I am loving the grecian sandal these days, so you could try something like this and play a bit of a gladiator look with a long gold chain...
Or sandals like these, which would pick up on the colour of the dress and really tie it together nicely...
Throw on this neckalce up top and you'd be the belle of the ball!

For your eyes only

Oh you yanks! As a humble canuck, I can't partake in the wonderfulness that is the kate spade private sale, so please do it up in style for me...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Post-Mortem

My oh my, am I tired! I have to start turning every weekend into a long weekend in order to have a bit of recovery time built in.

Friday night I dashed home and changed, and met Julie for dinner at Benitz Bistro. A few years ago we started a tradition of no longer buying each other birthday gifts, but instead taking each other out for really nice dinners on our respective birthdays. We get to spend time together and try fabulous restaurants. The motto for Benitz is "High quality ingredients, lovingly prepared, elegantly presented" and I couldn't agree more. The kir royales were divine, the scallops on sweet potato puree was delish, and the crème brûlée was the best I've had since my last trip to Paris. We even made friends with the table next to us and ended up having a round on the house with them after our meal!

Saturday I slept in until 10am for the first time in weeks. The day was spent buzzing around the house in preparation for my birthday party! LB threw me a backyard picnic party and it was lovely. So many friends, food, fun and Gen was even there from BC!!! Didn't get to bed until three am, so Sunday morning was tough.

Sunday afternoon was spent at a shower for Gen's little sister M-C (who is like a baby sister to me too) and we ran like crazy all afternoon keeping up with the gaggle of gals...We relaxed afterwards with a nice rosé, and then LB came and swept me home where we crashed into bed oh so very early...sigh, another weekend come and gone.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tory Burch

Really not sure how I feel about her stuff. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy rocking a nice caftan cover up on the beach as much as the next gal, but I don't necessarily ascribe to her aesthetic for every day wear. I tried on one of her tunics and it just felt so stuffy and upper East-side to me that it didn't gel. Maybe I'm too young? Either way, this article in the Times does an excellent job of dissecting her new Soho store, the brand, and the woman herself.



And ps - Soho just doesn't seem like the right place for her store either, but maybe that's just me...

Fancy Feet

I treated myself ot an afternoon off work yesterday and a pedicure. Well, once my toes were looking that fine, I needed to show them off a bit, so I picked up these lovely Flojos. I love flip flops, and Flojos actually have some structure to them so that you can walk in them and not have sore legs. Plus the gold buckle makes them a little fancier than your average flops.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Perks

One of the best things about being married to a writer is stories about you, or featuring you, or that feature a little inside joke that only you know about. LB wrote me this story for my birthday, and I thought that I'd share. In case you're wondering, he calls me Tex.

Tex's Picnic

She didn't care for the blindfold. Despite her many hints and explicit requests to be surprised, even just once, the blindfold reversed the intended anticipation. It was unnecessary, she might have gone so far as to say over the top. She was reasonably confident of their destination. Left to his own devices, he could be trusted to return to something or somewhere that she had either planned or proposed originally. The car had been on the Queensway for only long enough to have gone three or four exits. She couldn't be certain of the direction but she inferred the drastically slowed pace to be his search for a Glebe parking space.

"I'll be around to help you out in a second Tex."

He closed the car door harder than his wife would have liked. It rattled for a short time after the thud that had made them each wince. The problem he now encountered had occurred to him even before parking the car. He couldn't have her walk down the street blindfolded but he also couldn't admit it yet. She turned to the soft hydraulic sound of the trunk door opening and she rubbed her eyes through the blindfold, allowing the leaching sun to brighten her blindness.

"I'll just be a second," he called. "I'm sorry."

When he opened her door, she immediately swung her legs free. Like an escapee or a miner she wanted to stand but he didn't back away. He kissed her lightly on the nose and his thumbs brushed the soft skin over her cheekbones as he reached for the knot at the back of her head. She felt the tug in her neck but the dish towel fell away and returned to being just that. The rest of the world flooded back as if it had been gone much longer than twelve minutes. She was taken by surprise and blinked a couple orange blinks before her eyes adjusted. Blindness is said to heighten the other senses but it seemed that blindfoldedness had the reverse effect.

"A picnic," she half-screamed, having spotted the basket he had bought for her so long ago. He had its contents covered with a red and white checked blanket but it seemed to be bulging more than the two of them should eat.

"That's right," he replied, crossing the line from fun to smug, "I finally made you the picnic that I promised."

"Yeah, well at least you got the emphasis right."

"Love you," he replied, full of cheer. He followed a grin with a peck.

She can't help but chuckle as he is quietly dodged by a pedestrian he failed to see. It seemed like a dance as he turned too late and was fortunate in his spinning to lose neither their picnic nor his footing. Somehow he gave the impression that nothing happened. Standing, she accepted his offered elbow and they began to walk along the sidewalk as lady and gentleman. In their minds they wore a bowler hat and hoop skirt. Given a parasol, she would have made an excellent model for Monet. She was gracefully and demurely chesty in a way that both tempted him towards and chastised him against public groping.

Their walk was brief and brisk but there was time for the day to embrace them. He felt the little beads of sweat gather like cliques in the schoolyard, along his spine and in the backs of his joints. Her red came out as well, blushing her face and arms. The urge to lift his cap and wipe the sweat rose and then receded as he decided instead to keep her arm. At Bank Street the city intruded and they each wondered how the odour and din of slinking traffic didn't bleed off the main artery. Less than half a block later, he steered her down into the park. The scene of past disappointments was to be rehabilitated. She had already jumped ahead to this part but her smile was still genuine. He saw the light in her eyes and it made him smile also.

Halfway down the chipped stone stairs, her face lit up. He leaned close to her and whispered "surprise" almost simply as an exhale. He then nibbled her ear and whispered three single syllables to her. The gathered friends and family applauded, some yelling encouragement, as she hid her moistened eyes against his chest in the disguise of a hug. He relished even the way their skin shared a clammy stickiness where bare arms touched. After several seconds he shifted forward on the stair. She gave him a little tap and he unwrapped her for the guests below. As she scanned the crowd, she greeted each face by telling herself anecdotes of how each would've come to be there.

"I couldn't think of a better way to say I love you," he shared with her, "than to con all the other people who love you into doing it for me. Happy birthday."

{And of course, this is original content, not to be posted without proper attribution}

Happy Happy!

Today's my 28th birthday. I'm going to try and leave work ridiculously early, get a pedicure, have a nice dinner with my family, and get a good night's sleep.

Rumour has it that my mom is making me this cake for tonight...Yay!

Coconut Layer Cake

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So Busy

I'm stuck in work mode - conference craziness galore! Back tomorrow gang - miss you all! Until then, dance the night away courtsey of our friends at kate spade.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Got Meat?

I was browsing Design Sponge the other day and they featured a sneak peek that I really liked. And then I read that the apartment's inhabitant, Vanessa Dina, has a cookbook called the Meat Club Cookbook: For Gals who Love Their Meat! As a girl who enjoys a good rare steak, I had to check it out. Turns out that there is a whole club on line for gals who love their meat. The rules are simple - you have to be a girl, you have to love to eat, cook and talk about meat, and what's said in the meat club stays in the meat club.

Although not a big joiner of clubs, this seems like something I could get behind...

Oh Alexander...

I have a fondness for the beautiful designs of Alexander Girard. Could you imagine eating off a plate that was smiling back at you like that? It's so lovely and whimsical. A few years ago, kate spade did an authorized run of bags and accessories featuring his designs, and I am so glad that I bought the Jadyn with its green leather handles and whimsical prints. It always brightens my day, and I've been using it as decor in my living room in the new house. Which is why I NEED a set of Girard "La Fonda del Sol" FLOR tiles. That's right, NEED.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dysfunction

Last night LB and I watched the Savages. It is exactly my kind of movie, funny in a dark way, sad, touching, quirky, the other side of human nature, and of course starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. We both really enjoyed it.


{Image via}

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sandals

These also jumped into my bag. Don't know how it happened. But mine are the loveliest shade of blue - not navy, not teal, somewhere in between... I've always wanted a pair of sandals like these.

Fun 'n' Flirty

I got this cute little outfit at Old Navy today. I was shocked to find such a cute top and skirt in that store, and they are well-made, lined and lightweight. And as usual, the price was too hard to ignore...



I'm now debating going back for the skirt in the other colour too...

Breakfast Goodies!

This post is dedicated to my favourite meal of the day, breakfast.

LB and I overslept a bit this morning {or 2 hours, no biggie!} so I had to forego my usual slow breakfast and workout and jump in the car and head to the office. I stopped in at Starbucks and got their new " Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon, Cholesterol-Free Egg, Reduced-Fat White Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich". It's so yummy! And while it still packs a caloric punch, it's at least a good, healthy, filling option with a good mix of protein, carbs and fat.

Also, while perusing this month's Domino {not really sure that I was a big fan}, I came across Katie Lee Joel's recipe for low-fat granola. One of my favourite breakfast foods in the world, but usually so fatty that I avoid it like the plague. I'm going to play with this recipe a bit, but I think that it could become the new go-to breakfast option.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Vignette

I'm a sucker for great vignettes. This house tour is a great source of inspiration. Good ol' Apartment Therapy, bringing us all together...

chanel-a-like

I stumbled across this jacket at the back of my local Gap yesterday. I had missed it on previous trips, and boy is it adorable! It's like a khaki/jean-jackety version of a tweed Chanel blazer. And it fits nicely too. It would be a perfect topper for dresses or summer skirts...

Weekend Post-Mortem

Friday night was a mad dash - worked late, hopped on my bike, wolfed down a tofu burger, and then Lb dropped me off at the movies to meet the girls for the SATC movie! We had a lovely time. The movie was exactly what I thought that it was going to be. I had ridiculously low expectations of how they would translate the girls to the screen, so I was not at all disappointed. I oohed and aahed over the clothes, but I still stand by my assessment of the new decor of Carrie's apartment {below}. The story was thin and stretched in many places, but that's not what we were going to see, right? God forbid that we have pretty things to look at and a story to hold it together! But it was so fun to be in a theatre filled with women and be giggly and excited. We then hit the Standard for drinks and LB picked us up to prevent our shoes from getting ruined in the rain.

Saturday was spent working. I had time for groceries on my way to the office, and other than that, I worked until it was time to help Paul set up for Amber's suprise 30th party. We had a lovely time, but of course my camera battery died, so I have no evidence of said lovely time, other than the fact that my cellie is still at their condo. We left the party at 9:30, and I went home and cleaned out my cosmetics/products and it was almost as much fun as the party - I love cleaning out my stuff!

Sunday morning, I went for a run {the first one in months!}, got my clothes organised for the week, and then I worked some more. My fabulous mommy picked me up in the afternoon and took me to Sephora {finally!!! We have one in Ottawa!!!} where I got a bag full of goodies for my upcoming birthday! Then she made us dinner, so that I could go home and work some more.

And now I'm at work. Sound familiar?