Monday, April 30, 2007

Grand Verres De Tante Nancy

When I was a little girl I corresponded with my great Aunt Nancy in England who often sent me little presents....sometimes, even bigger gifts would arrive like these beautiful vintage glasses she sent me in their original case when I was 7 years old. Now, you wouldn't think that a seven year old would appreciate such a gift, but I wasn't your 'regular' seven year old. (I asked for a typewriter and Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' tape when I was three...and got it! Luckily, my parents have always admired my unique personality!)

My great aunt's situation was unique in the fact that she didn't want children and she and her husband were very happy working as groundskeepers to a wealthy (childless) family in England. When this couple passed, the house and its contents were left to my great aunt and her husband. Her dream was to be 100 years old and we were so thrilled that she lived to see her 100th birthday which was July 23rd.

I came across the glasses the other night tucked away in one of my favourite books, and great memories came back as soon as I found them. Isn't it wonderful when our treasured possessions bring such a great sense of family tradition?

Thursday, April 26, 2007


"You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands. Take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it"
-John Updike

I can now call myself a university graduate! Four years of amazing friends, hard work, fantastic professors and memories to last a lifetime. It's difficult to believe that it's all over, time goes by so fast. When I came home from my last exam, I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers, gifts and a card commemorating the day for me.

A wise friend told me after the exam that graduation is only a concept, because you graduate everyday. It is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference.

"Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors"
-Louisa May Alcott

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Un Livre Je Suis Lecture...

"Photography is a way to capture and celebrate life"

If you're anything like me you love the art of photography...taking pictures, flipping through photography books, looking through old family albums and digging through photo boxes. When mum gave me Linda McCartney's book "Wide Open" I immediately fell in love with Linda's photos and the beauty each picture captures. Linda McCartney alongside being an avid animal-rights advocate, musician, author and wife of The Beatles' Paul McCartney, was also a gifted photographer. Her pictures take its viewers on a journey of calm and serenity, and prove that you don't need to be a world traveller to capture the beauty of nature or the natural world...simply look out your front door or window, take a walk through your garden, or visit the beach.

This book has inspired me to carry my camera around with me wherever I go and find beauty in even the smallest things life has to offer us...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Le meilleur des deux mondes

Ahhh...the best of both worlds: strawberries and chocolate. Never was a pairing more suited for each other, and this is so easy to make. It's even better with vanilla ice cream or pound cake and whipped cream.

All you'll need is a container of plump, red luscious strawberries (raspberries work well, too), a half of a bag of Hersey's milk chocolate chips and a few tablespoons of heavy cream. In a glass Pyrex dish over a pot of boiling water, whisk together chocolate chips and heavy cream until chocolate is melted (I find that 4-6 tablespoons gives the chocolate the best consistency). Dip strawberries into chocolate; place on a sheet lined with parchment. Let the chocolate set and then comes the best part...tasting it! Bon appétit

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nuit De Filles ! !

Some of my closest girlfriends and I love planning 'Girls Nights'. This entails getting together for some dinner, a movie and dessert and yesterday was one of those nights. We started at a cute little bistro downtown with beautiful music, European decor and great food. After toasting to our last year as university students, we dined on pasta and then headed off to our next destination...the movies! I'm lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, as it maintains its small town charm while satisfying the need for city-life. This means beautiful little shops and bistros combined with massive theatres and other night-life perks.

We decided on "Perfect Stranger" with Halle Berry and Bruce Willis (ohh la la)...this is a must-see for all thriller lovers and the ending is fantastic, lots of twists and turns. After the movies, we headed back home to my place and feasted on an assortment of desserts from my new Sugar cookbook and Barefoot Contessa recipes...oh how I love you Food Network Canada!

So if you're not doing anything this weekend girls, grab all of your girlfriends, head out to dinner, watch 'Perfect Stranger' and grab some sweets for afterwards, because there is nothing better than a night out with your best girls!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Un jour de créer

This evening I went through a few of my crafts that I started last summer and, when I have time here and there, in between studying, or when I need a little break, I'll work on a few pieces at one time. Very rarely do I work individually on one project and complete it in one go. I like having an assortment of half-completed projects, because when I'm feeling bored working on one thing I know I can move over to something else...and I also find that when I go back to it, I go back with a different vision.

A few years ago, mum and I had an idea of having a sale in our home. I was in high school at the time, so a lot of my friends, their mums and grandmothers came by. It was very much a girls night and afterwards, we went to the Midnight Madness sale at our mall and spent most of our earnings...the rest we spent on take-out! So, with no more crafts left, a new wardrobe and a gut full of pizza, the only thing left to do was begin all over again! We've made everything from 'fairy jars', collages made with vintage magazine ads, and an altered art picture of Marilyn Monroe...everybody's favourite blonde bombshell (except my mum's...we all know that that's Doris Day!)

We've sold at various venues and this year, we are hoping to find a spot that we can return to on a regular basis to sell our items. In the meantime, it's always fun creating and coming up with new ideas.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Plaisirs Du Centre

"Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. . . . You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms."
~Angela Carter
The sun is shining today, the snow has completely melted and the weather is beautiful outside. With it finally beginning to feel more like Spring outside, Mum and I decided to do some downtown book shopping this afternoon.

We stopped off at one of our favourite bookstores which was once a beautiful Victorian home, complete with stained glass windows, original fixtures and a cobblestone walkway leading up to a stunning walnut door. The owners purchased this home a few years ago and have converted it into one of the most treasured bookstores in our area. The best way I can describe the home, its decor and surroundings is traditional elegance meets modern flair which is how it caters to, and why it is appreciated by, so many age groups.
This store specializes in all things Canadian: Canadian art books, cook books, poetry and fiction and with three floors you are always sure to find something. If you're really lucky the owner's cat, a gorgeous and very friendly Calico, will follow you around and fall asleep in your lap as you retreat to a cozy spot and curl up with a few books.

We decided to go with Canadian pastry chef Anna Olson's Sugar: Simple Sweets and Decadent Desserts, a must-have for all of you who can't leave the table after a meal without enjoying something sweet. Not only are her recipes simple to follow, but they are absolutely decadent and will leave you craving for more. This book is worth every penny even if you just flip through the pages and enjoy the photography. I'm already planning ahead as to what desserts I'll be making this summer! Mmmmm.....chocolate cake, meringues, fruit about a sample from each? And, if you're like me and watch the Food Network religiously, you can catch Sugar daily and create some of Anna's recipes for you and your family to enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Visage Pluvieux De Jour

This is what you look like when you thought you were going for a walk only to be told that it's too rainy out...
Oh, ok...we can wear rain jackets!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Joyeuses Pâques !


Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. ~S.D. Gordon

Happy Easter Monday! I was very pleased to wake up to these little surprises this morning. Everything from Tootsie Rolls, to creme eggs, to chocolate bars...I think I've sampled a little of each! Since most members of our family are chocoholics, I have been carrying around my basket wherever I go making sure my treats don't end up in someone else's hands!
Happy Easter from my family, to yours!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

J'Ai été étiqueté !

"Each of us was born with wings and has the ability to go farther than we ever thought possible, to do things beyond our wildest imaginings."
- Barbara Stanny
I've been tagged for a 'Thinking Blogger Award'! Alright, I confess, there may have been some bias involved since it was mum who tagged me, but it's still nice to know that my blog has brought some inspiration to at least one person, and it's even nicer to know that that one person has been my mum. Although I have so many favourite blogs that I visit as often as I can, there are a few that I must share which inspire me daily.

1.) Posted From Home: Not only am I blessed to have my mum, but I am also blessed to be able to visit a daily journal showcasing all of her inspirations, quotes, and our family traditions wherever I may be.

2.) Tongue in Cheek: Corey shares stories of living in France and being surrounded by French traditions and antiques. This is a must-visit blog, especially if you are a lover of all things French.

3.) Q: Sherry is not only a talented photographer, but her photographs capture the essence behind every animal that visits her. You will be sure to learn something new every time you visit.

4.) Pam Garrison: Pam shares her amazing altered art and other hand-crafted creations which will inspire you to create your own unique pieces.

5.) My Cozy Home: Allison takes the small joys of life and gives them new meaning. Her love of her home and family is evident in her beautiful surroundings, where she displays her amazing collections and finds.

I hope these blogs bring you as much joy and inspiration as they do for me.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Festins de Pâques pour des amis

There are certain things that I'm known for, and my love for baking is one of them. I wouldn't come to work without bringing a sample of what I have recently attempted to make, and the girls at work have come to expect birthday cupcakes, Saturday morning banana bread, Christmas cookies and Easter treats among a few other things. This is especially true if I've watched a few episodes on the Food Network! I thought I'd play 'Easter Bunny' today and wrap up a few sugar cookies and chocolate eggs for my co-workers and their family.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


After our recent snow fall here...oh yes, even in April we have snow in Canada...we decided to treat ourselves to another Canadian love: Tim Horton's coffee and doughnuts. As you can see by the 11 1/2 doughnuts in the box, I had to taste the 'latest' addition to the TH doughnut family: the new triple chocolate doughnut. I figured, how can something called 'triple chocolate' not taste good? So I paired it up with another chocolate and believe me the pair were meant for each other! Because as they say:



some things are just better rich!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Fille Avec Des Poulets

"Fille Avec Des Poulet"

Girl With Chickens

Whenever mum and I go garage sale-ing, we are amazed to see how many sentimental treasures find their way out onto a table in a driveway! This picture was one of those treasures, and I got the chance to hear the story behind it. I was immediately drawn to its pastoral colours and vintage look. When the owner of it approached me and told me how it had hung in her nursery in Germany as a child, and how she then hung it in her own children's rooms when they were babies, I knew it was too good to pass up! And, at only $1 I knew I was getting a bargain. This Easter, we plan to display it on our buffet table and surround it with Easter eggs, chocolates, and our collection of nests and birds.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Jonquilles Jaunes Lumineuses

Mum surprised me this afternoon with these amazing yellow daffodils. Aren't they magnifique? Otherwise known as "Daffodil Month" in Ontario, Canadian Cancer Society volunteers sell these beautiful yellow daffodils in various locations with high traffic such as grocery stores and shopping centres, and all of the profits made go directly towards cancer research. So, not only do they brighten your day but you can feel good about buying something beautiful that is going towards a great cause.