Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Picnics

Summer picnics are the perfect way to enjoy a simple meal while also being able to enjoy some quality time with Mother Nature. We Canadians never get enough summer, so leisurely picnics provide one more opportunity to get outside!! And it's fun to do it in style with great picnic blankets, baskets and dishware.

When I saw them marked down at Urban Outfitters this past winter, I picked up 2 of these plastic utensil sets in white. Everything tastes better when eating with fancy knives & forks!!

When Orla Kiely came out with a line of housewares for Target, I called my sister to pick out some melamine plates and plastic cups for outdoor entertaining. Such fun retro chic patterns!

Stash all your goodies in a retro inspired metal picnic basket (or, as the Brits like to say, "Picnic Hamper") like this one from Heal's:

New Yorkers know where to go - now get out there and find your ideal picnic spot!

Monday, June 15, 2009

CityPlace Park Growing Roots

In the heart of Toronto, Concord Adex Developments have started work on an 8 acre community park which will anchor the CityPlace condominiums. Designed by artist Douglas Coupland in collaboration with landscape architect Greg Smallenberg, the park is scheduled to be completed this August. Slipping around poorly erected fences, minus one hard hat, but wearing very stylish flip flops, I took my own personal tour of the site.

Overall Site Layout
West of Spadina Avenue

Artist's Rendering of the Park

Western Entry

On the job site:
Aldershot Landscape Contractors Limited
(Maybe they can explain the red canoe?)

Walkway Along Eastern Edge

Click HERE to learn more about the park's concept and development.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What I Scored at The Village

Would you believe the highlight of my week came Friday evening at Value Village? It's fun to comb through the haystack in search of needles. Even better, it's a thrill to find interesting pieces before the antique and flea market dealers find them and mark them up!!

Isn't this vintage glass ice bucket with gold trim pretty?
Price: $3.99
The size is perfect to fill with cherries for guests.

Or fill with serviettes to set on a buffet table:

This set of 4 Cornflower pattern fruit nappies is precious.
Price: $2.76
Great for serving sliced fruit, pudding or sorbet.

Made by the Dominion Glass Company Limited.

I love the scalloped edges of this milk glass compote.
Price: $3.99
The perfect vessel for apples & bananas.

Such a unique pressed glass Fire King pie plate.
Price: $2.99
This may prompt me to learn how to bake a pie.

Value Village is a hit & miss game, but if you play often, you can really score!! The final tally for all of the items above? A mere $13.73...sweeeeeeetttt!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Time to Relax?

Summer is unofficially underway here in Ontario, and that means I will be spending a lot of time on the road, traveling in circles - seriously, circles. Once a week I drive from the Toronto office to the store in Wasaga Beach, to the other store in Grand Bend, then back to the office. At least when there are a few minutes to relax, there's a beautiful view to appreciate:

View from the apartment deck at Grand Bend
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View from the store at Wasaga Beach

After the rain at Wasaga Beach

Monday, June 8, 2009

Natural Inspiration

Considering a new colour scheme? Can't decide whether or not it works? Here's a hint: Chances are if a colour combination is found in nature, it will also look good in your home. Next time you need some design inspiration, just take a look outside for some fabulous ideas!!

Taking a cue from the tulips and lemons, the combination of yellow and green create a pleasant colour palette. I found this rug at Brooks & Co. in Bobcaygeon this past weekend. It will eventually be the jumping off point for the guest bedroom in my next home:

It would look great with this Matine Toile bedding from Pottery Barn:

For a modern touch, I would hang a painting like this one by artist Vanessa Drew:

Put your trust in Mother Nature and let nature be your inspiration - you can't go wrong.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Anthropologie in Canada

I'd like to send a shout out to my big sis in Milwaukee for the heads up on Anthropologie's new store opening right here in Toronto at Don Mills & Lawrence!! I knew it was coming, but since I've been so busy with work recently, I totally missed the grand opening of Shops at Don Mills this past April 22nd. I can't wait to check it out!!

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Alongside unique clothing & accessories, Anthropologie offers a myriad of home decor items. I've selected a few eye catching items from their website. If you have the opportunity to visit the store, plan to be there awhile since there is so much to browse!!


Mila Rug

Barking Mad Wallpaper

Garden-In-the-Round Doorknob

Estrella Bedding (So Pretty!!!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Can a House Alter My Life?

I have been looking at real estate recently, thinking about how great it would be to own an entire house!! I've got the itch to own a home now that the interior of my current abode is practically complete. I need more rooms to decorate!!! Isn't that a perfectly good reason to buy a house?

But don't get too excited - I'm still considering and thinking, mulling it over. Buying a home in Toronto isn't an option ($$$), and relocation would mean some extreme life alterations. Change is good, right? But change can also be scary. One thing is for sure - I'll have to be swept off my feet by just the right house in order to make the move.

I've been addicted to MLS.ca for awhile now, and I've browsed enough to know what I like - these two "Homes of Interest" have many common features:

Brick Exterior
Front Veranda

I'm going to see both of these properties this upcoming weekend, so stay tuned for updates!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Baked Cookies

Nothing makes a house feel like home more than the smell of home cooking. Although I'm not much of a cook, I can bake a mean batch of cookies!! Tonight I mixed up my favourites: Special K Cookies. No matter what anyone else says, only GOOD things come from mixing sugar with butter and flour!!

Combine: 2/3 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup butter & 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Add 1 egg & beat well (approximately 5 minutes).
Sift and add: 1 cup AP flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.
Stir in 1 cup of Special K.
Form dough into balls & roll in Special K to coat the outside.
Place on cookie sheet & bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
(Makes 20-24 cookies.)