Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
These are a few little gift baskets I put together for friends that I'll be handing out this weekend. One of my friends loves baking and cooking as much as I do, so I put together a retro-inspired basket to help get her started in the New Year. It is complete with bistro-style apron, cupcake liners, green melamine measuring cups, cute cardboard coasters, baking essentials (whisk, spatula), recipe cards and a retro canvas for her to hang up in her kitchen which I hope will bring her good luck while she bakes!
The other two baskets have the cutest little teapots inside - one with a funky 60's pattern on it, and the other with a blue bird - both are filled with herbal teas.
I was spoiled rotten this year...I guess I must have been on the 'good girl' list ;-)
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa brought you everything on your wish list!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

'I'm a Flea Marketeer' Party

I recently visited one of my favourite blogs ~Flea Market Style~ and was thrilled to hear that the 'flea marketeers' were hosting their inaugural 'I'm a flea marketeer' party!
Being a huge fan of flea markets, antique shops and garage sales, I have acquired some beautiful junk over the last several years. So much 'junk' , in fact, that I was able to fully furnish the condo I recently bought this past Summer.
The cats and I are settling in to our new 'French Nest' quite nicely.
Here are a few sneak peaks of some treasures that have found their way into my nest ...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Ginger Boys!

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Douggie (GiGi) and Angelo (LouLou),

Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuu.......

This past Monday my dear, sweet, ginger fur-babies celebrated their 3rd (Douggie) and 2nd (Angelo) birthdays, and they celebrated in style! Although I managed to sneak birthday crowns on both of them while they were sleeping, they both woke up just as I turned the camera on and immediately threw them off their heads in horror just at the thought that I would even THINK of putting such a girly item on their boyish frames! So, alas, I wasn't able to snap a picture of my adorable boys in their celebratory crowns. I don't blame them, really...all I had left to make the crowns out of was some leftover pink paper, lace and rhinestones...and boys are never thrilled at the idea of having to prance around on their birthdays in crowns for photo-ops.

I bought lots of their favourite treats, made them a scrumptious birthday dinner of grilled salmon and bought them a felt mouse that, upon pulling its tail, runs around the room, enticing the 'hunter' in my ginger babies.

At school, I feel like such a 'mom' - I brag about them, share stories about their antics, show off pics (I have the accordian-like wallet filled with their pictures)...I really am a proud 'mom'. I am so lucky to have these boys in my life!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Morning Garage Sales

In the midst of renovating, unpacking and getting settled into my new place, I realized I have lots of floor space, but very few decorative carpets and while I absolutely love the look of hardwood flooring, there is nothing more comforting then seeing a few beautiful wool rugs adorning a room. Mum and I did our usual garage sale hunt this morning, and stumbled across this beautiful shabby chic, Rachel Ashwell-inspired rug, adorned with pink flowers. I think it will look gorgeous underneath my IKEA white dining room set.

I also couldn't resist picking up these two beautiful queenly wire and brass crowns, and a small antique cup which will look perfect filled with a few cosmos or daisies and placed on my bathroom vanity.
Now, I am off to read Rachel Ashwell's book "The Gift of Giving" and be inspired!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The 'Before' Photos

BEFORE: Hall Closet
BEFORE: Living Room (complete with all of our tools!)

BEFORE: Kitchen (complete with avocado green counter top)

BEFORE: Bathroom

Of course, Douggie was a HUGE help with the unpacking...

Hi everyone! Wow...I can't believe it has been almost two months since my last post. My absence can be explained by one thing, and one thing only....I purchased my first condo two months ago and I have been working tirelessly with my mum and dad since then! I am so fortunate to have two incredibly talented parents who have helped me turn this place from a student's bachelor pad to a show home...or rather, show condo. Everything but the kitchen sink (literally) was pulled out and replaced with more eco-friendly, energy-efficient and updated fixtures, appliances, flooring, and lighting fixtures.

The major challenge of all had to have been the walls. The previous owners had painted every square inch of the place with a dirty roller, leaving behind clumps of paint which required lots of scraping, sanding and cleaning. We ended up painting the walls a colour called "Antique White" which looks clean, fresh and completely changes the aura of the is so warm and inviting now. Then, it was on to the flooring...think '60s peel-and-stick retro tile underneath '80s blue carpeting...which was ripped up and replaced with dark chocolate brown hardwood flooring throughout. New shelving was placed in the closets, and bamboo blinds were put in (replacing blue venetian and vertical blinds). In the kitchen, a new counter top and faucet were installed, the cabinets were painted, and new drawer and cabinet pulls (purchased from Lee Valley) were attached. I am just awaiting the delivery of my beautiful Frigidaire stove to make my dream kitchen complete!

A few finishing touches have to be made in the bathroom (including new tile on the floor, lighting and a brand new bathroom vanity which looks a lot like the one here) alongside a few pictures and my venetian mirror which have to be hung on the walls, but other than that we are ready for business. I'm glad to have some free time on my hands to get back to posting on my blog, and I hope I never have to stay away that long again! I missed you all and am looking forward to hearing your feedback on the changes, as well as hearing about your summer vacations and plans for the Fall!

P.S. Stay tuned for the 'AFTER' photos...I can't wait to share them with you!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farmer's Market

Yesterday morning a friend and I decided to visit the farmer's market for breakfast and to pick up a few 'essential' items for a picnic we had planned. Although the weather was a bit dismal, the cheerful atmosphere inside the market quickly perked us up (as did the coffee). We did some browsing (there was so much to look at), flipped through the pages of organic cookbooks, listened to the musicians playing in the background, sampled the organic food items, then picked up a few different cheeses, a baguette, salad, and of course, dessert - small raspberry-rhubarb gallette tartlets. After our picnic, we made our way to the park to take in the smooth sounds of some local folk bands - they were fabulous. Afterwards, we met up with a few friends who are moving out of the city for one last dinner together.

"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life"


Friday, July 10, 2009

Renewal of Vows

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be present at a renewal of vows. The bride and groom were married a year ago in a small ceremony with only parents, and then decided that it would be wonderful to have another ceremony a year later to renew their vows and celebrate their one year anniversary with close friends and family.

They couldn't have asked for more perfect weather or a more picturesque location. The ceremony was held outside, followed by the reception, and then it was on to bigger and better things...lots of food, incredibly hilarious (and at times, embarrassing) stories and speeches involving the bride and groom told by their friends and parents, followed by plenty of dancing (did I mention they also had a candy table I raided?)

I wish them many more years of happiness together!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The King of Pop

Being a child of the '80s I was fortunate enough to grow up listening to the sweet sounds of Michael Jackson. One of my earliest memories was sitting on the couch (felt glove on one hand from the 99 cent store, bedazzled with rhinestones) waiting for "Thriller" to come on MTV so I could mimic the magnificent footwork of MJ. I practiced the moonwalk, the point, the spin, the body wave, the open arm stance with billowing top (I needed to stand in front of the air conditioning vent for that one)...everything short of the (crotch) "grab", basically. Oh the memories.....

This afternoon, Mum and I visited a local music shop and reminisced as we went through all of Michael's c.d.s and d.v.d's. We purchased two, and have been dancing ever since. Yesterday, a good friend of mine (and also a big Michael Jackson fan since childhood), was married and MJ's music played all night long...

Last week, we lost a musical genius and an icon who will go down in history as being the greatest musician, dancer and singer that ever lived....the King of Pop....who will live on in his fantastic, ground-breaking music.

Some of my favourite Michael Jackson music includes:


P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)


Rock with You

Don't Stop 'Til You get Enough

Billie Jean

Beat It

I Just Can't Stop Loving You

Smooth Criminal

The Way You Make Me Feel

Man in the Mirror

You Rock My World

Break of Dawn


I Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

Human Nature

In fact, I think I'll go play some of them now...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Exciting Announcement!

The view from my window

I am *officially* a condo owner! After learning that I had been accepted into a Ph.D program in March, I have spent the last few months condo "shopping" and have found the perfect place to call home and build my nest. Its proximity to campus, spacious living/dining area, and the gorgeous view were the main attractions that sold me.

I've been looking at everything from sofas and chaises, to kitchen appliances and lighting fixtures, making scrapbooks of some of my favourite things from Pottery Barn and IKEA. I'm really looking forward to decorating it in the next few weeks and calling it my own.

I know Douggie, Angelo and I will love it here!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Trip to Town Shoes

A trip to Town Shoes is always a lethal expedition for any woman...particularly when that woman is a shop/shoe-aholic! My girlfriends and I make Friday's "girl days" or "girl nights out" and this particularly Friday we have planned to do both! We went shopping during the afternoon and are heading out to a bistro tonight for dinner and drinks to catch up after a very long week of classes.

As you can probably tell from the zebra print design, these pumps immediately caught my eye: a) because they're flashy b) because they are fluorescent pink underneath and c) because they were part of the Barbie 50th Anniversary collection.

What can I say...I HAD to have them, and I can't wait to wear them out tonight!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Additions to the Family

The boys doing what they do best...napping


Well, it's official...I am the proud mama of two beautiful cats, Angelo and Douggie.

A friend of mine has parents who own a beautiful farm that just happens to be infiltrated with cats...the most beautiful, well behaved cats you could ever imagine. I picked these two gorgeous boys out and we've been getting acquainted over the past couple of days. So far, I know that Douggie is the leader...he loves taking naps on my bed (and the kitchen counter). He's also fascinated by the computer and laptop. He loves leaping up on ledges and knocking things over. He follows me around like Ben used to. He's also partial to sleeping behind the microwave. His favourite toys are his felt fishy.

Angelo is a tad more complicated...he likes to hide behind the fridge most afternoons, then come alive in the early morning hours. He is much more shy then Douggie. His favourite corner is in my hall closet where I have a basket and fleece blanket set up. He loves plunking himself on my duvet and getting his belly rubbed. Did I also mention I've been feeding them dinner while on my duvet? It gives a whole new meaning to 'breakfast in bed'. I'm pretty sure both of them have me pegged as a 'sucker' already, and they know they have me wrapped around their little paws.

I am so excited to have these little guys join our family, and I can't wait to play the role of 'proud mama' and give you reports on how they're doing!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is in the Air...

A Valentine from mum


I claim there ain't
Another Saint
As great as Valentine
~Ogden Nash

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

I spent a few days at home to celebrate my 24th birthday last weekend. It was great to spend time with my family and friends, open presents, eat lots of junk food and have a valid excuse, and, of course, indulge in some cupcakes.

I received some fabulous presents, might I add, including clothes + chocolate + magazines + flowers and.....a pair of "Michelle Obama" green leather gloves from Banana Republic! (I'll post that picture really deserves a post of its own!) We spent the rest of my birthday week (yes, I allocate an entire week for birthday fun) skiing and skating...fabulous!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vintage Hat (and the beginning of a new collection...)

One of my Christmas gifts was a vintage hat my mum picked up for me at a second-hand shop. I had mentioned in the summer, after visiting antique shops in both Stratford and Niagara-on-the-lake, that I wanted to start a collection after seeing hundreds of them - everything from your everyday run-of-the-mill hat from the '40s (complete with white gloves, of course), to wedding veil caps from the '60s and more dressy caps like the one mum found for me (complete with glittery shine and black veil).

I don't know if I could pull the look off, (or maybe there's a chance of them coming back into 'style' this summer/fall?) but I might just have to try it on, if only to dance around the house...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Homemade crackers which we will pull tonight during our New Years Dinner

"For last year's words belong to last year's language.
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning"
~T.S. Eliot
Happy New Year!
Wishing you all health and happiness in 2009!