Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Niagara On The Lake

Niagara On The Lake and absolutely beautiful weather.

Main Street

Year Round Christmas Store

Beautiful B & B's line the streets.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Antiquing and Eating

A friend and I decided to check out the antique market up highway 400 in Innisfil. Very cool stuff!

How awesome is this refinished turquoise kitchen hutch?

This is an early 1900's McDougall "Hoosier". It has a pull up roll door and the original flour bin. 

So while the antiquing was wonderful, we spent an equal portion of the day stuffing our faces with food. Actually, I was stuffing my face, my friend had some restraint. Pierogies, cabbage rolls, sandwiches... Yum.

Dessert? Not one but two visits (within 4 hours) to Portugalia Bakery in Bradford. Best. Tarts. Ever.

Starbucks From Brazil - Obrigado Tais!

A friend of mine has the most beautiful girlfriend who currently lives in Brazil. I love spending time with her when she visits. She is truly special. Well, what a wonderful treat it was to receive a package in the mail containing a Starbuck's Brazilian roast. Oh my heavens. Someone will have to peel me off the ceiling later because I can't stop drinking it. I usually take milk and cream but this lovely cup, I drank black. It was that good. MUITO OBRIGADO TAIS!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Anticipating Autumn

As much as I live for summer weather, what's so wonderful about living in Toronto is that each season brings a refreshing change and new reasons to celebrate. I love anticipation.  I become so excited just thinking about what lies ahead. And so, I'm starting to get giddy thinking about the colours and flavours of fall.  

I am sooooo looking forward to making creamy pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin everything.

And sipping on hot rummed apple cider. Mmmmm.

Cool, crisp fall air means it's time for me to get out my cozy knits.

I live for open toed shoes, but I'll admit, I secretly adore my boots.

And of course, I'm already checking the calendars for upcoming applefests, Thanksgiving events and fall fairs.

Image 1 - Blue Mountain, Image 2 - William Sonoma, Image 3 - LCBO Food and Drink
Image 4 - Pottery Barn, Image 5 - Anthropologie, Image 6 - Chudleigh's

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunburst And Decorative Mirrors

I've been on the lookout for a sunburst mirror. They are all so stunning. 

Ethan Allan - Multi Paned Mirror 

Ethan Allan - Glamour Starburst Mirror

Bangle Mirror - Horchow

Adelle Mirror - Elte

French Honeycomb Mirror - Wisteria - $399

Sunburst Mirror - Costco

William Sonoma Home - Sunburst Mirror

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lakeshore Stroll

I went for a walk along Bronte Waterfront Park with my grandmother. It was the most perfect day. Warm summer air, cool breeze, and clouds so perfect they didn't look real. Gorgeous.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Zen Bathrooms

In my world, soaking in the tub can be heavenly. A few candles, a glass of wine, scented bath salts and book make for the perfect experience.

An Architectural Digest beauty.

Coastal Living

Decor Pad

A bathroom equipped with an espresso machine! These are my kind of people! Decor Pad

French elegance via Canadian House and Home.

Strawberries and Rhubarb Part 2 - Pie with Crumble Top

After getting more freshly grown rhubarb from my grandmother, I was eager to make another pie. I used Anna Olson's recipe with a crumble top, featured on her show Sugar. Soooo good, especially with vanilla bean ice cream. I'll post the recipe below, but it can also be found here


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons 

4 cups rhubarb, chopped (I used 2 cups)
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced (I used 4 cups)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
dash salt

Crumble Topping
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

To Assemble

1.For pastry combine flour with salt. Cut in butter and shortening until a roughly even crumbly texture. Add lemon juice and water and blend just until dough comes together. Shape into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

 2.Preheat oven to 400° F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a circle large enough to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Line pan with pastry, trim and cinch edges. Chill until ready to fill.

 3.Toss rhubarb and strawberries with sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt to coat. Fill pie shell with fruit.

 4.For crumble topping, combine flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt. Stir in melted butter just until crumbly and spread over fruit. Bake pie on a tray at 400° F for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F and bake for about 40 minutes more, until filling is bubbling. If crust edge is browning too quickly, cover edges with a thin strip of tin foil.

 5.Yield: 1 9-inch pie. Makes 8 to 10 servings. 

Anna Olson's recipes can be found on The Food Network Canada

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DIY Laminate Flooring Installation

I got to experience how to put down new laminate flooring. If this was my forever home, I would have used hard wood, but this was a simple upgrade from the old carpet that was there. 

I told them that this was my first time purchasing new flooring. I also told them that I didn't need their installation services. They very briefly looked at me sideways, until I told them that I had an experienced friend who was going to help me with this large task.

Enter James, the knowledgeable handyman. James brought all of his tools which included an his awesome Man Saw. James also brought his incredible friend, Julian, to help. The Man Saw had to stay on the balcony. There was no space inside.

First, the underlay.

And then the process began, one row at a time.

This heavy duty knocking block helped protect the laminate planks while hammering them together.

James did the measuring and cutting. The Man Saw was a tad intimidating and I don't trust my math skills. I still count on my fingers.


Once an end piece was cut to fit the end of a row, the other piece was used to begin a new row.

Slowly but surely, progress was made.

And of course, Bear slept through most of it.

This pull bar (purchased in a laminate flooring kit) was used in tight end spaces, where full swing hammering is impossible without putting a hole in your wall.

This jig saw was used to cut awkward angles, such as the area around baseboard.

Eventually we took a break, ordered a pizza, had a laminate floor picnic and put our beer on James' ingenious laminate coasters.

Bear suddenly decided to join us. Imagine that.

Once all the flooring was done, it was time to install the trim.

I decided to go with door stop trim because I don't really like the look of quarter round. This trim fits nicely with the existing baseboard. Plus, this has a 1/2 inch base, so it easily covers any space that is left between the laminate and baseboards (which didn't need to be removed).

I purchased T moulding to transition from laminate to marble (on a slight angle) and from laminate to carpet. We used an obscene amount of heavy duty adhesive PL9000. Great stuff.

A full day DIY with awesome results.

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