Friday, October 18, 2013

Healthy Fall Salad - Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds

Sweet roasted beets with their gorgeous red and golden hues make for a beautiful fall salad when drizzled with organic olive oil and balsamic vinegar then topped with fresh goat cheese. Beets are an excellent source of folate and potassium. A sprinkling of pepitas adds a little protein, healthy fat, iron, and some crunch. I roast olive oil coated beets in a foil packet at 350 degrees for about an hour at which point their peels slip right off. With a bed of peppery arugala underneath, the colors and flavors of this autumn salad are incredible.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Learn to Surf... One Day

One day, I intend to surf. My neighbour, Nadia, surfs. My girlfriend's husband is a pro surf instructor. I am surrounded by inspiration so there really is no excuse (except, maybe winter). Yet I haven't tried. It's like Jack Johnson's lyrics, "One day is only two words we say. I don't want to let them get in the way." I've spoken these two words often and had visions slip away. And so, I will don my Roxy t-shirts and pretend until I get over the intimidation factor (and also purchase a bikini that won't fall off when I fly off the surfboard). This is my "one day" commitment. I do intend to surf.

Images above from Swell on Pinterest

Below, a collection of Trent Johnson's (JJ's brother) Alaia surfboards.
Ehukai Designs makes surfboards from reclaimed wood. 

I love surfboards used in interior design.

Carolyn's Desire Empire

House Beautiful

What is the dream that you have been putting off for "one day"? Set the intention!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Coastal Autumn Tablescape

A few mini pumpkins with metallic paint, a handful of starfish, and natural woven chargers became my coastal tablescape for fall. I wasn't feeling the vibrant oranges this year. I think I am still desperately trying to hold on to summer, despite my fondness for a half-sweet pumpkin latte here and there. Turquoise is a fall colour, right?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jack Johnson - From Here To Now To You

I am not quite sure I can adequately express my complete adoration for this man's music. Every cord and every word make me feel like I am on vacation. The beauty of Jack is not only in his lyrical melodies, but also in his unwavering dedication to our environment. One hundred percent (100%!!!!!) of his tour profits are donated to charity and his tour initiatives and practices - from waste reduction, to merchandise, to transportation - are all eco-friendly. Michael scored us FRONT ROW CENTER (I die!) tickets for his Toronto tour stop this past weekend - HEAVEN!!! If you haven't already fallen in love, please experience his magic for yourself:

Visit his website HERE.
Posted image and videos are from Jack's website.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tides at Folly Beach

Tides is a coastal paradise located on Folly Beach, a barrier island close to Charleston, South Carolina. A regular vacationer there aptly described it as a beach town that slammed on the brakes in the 70s. Michael and I believe we've found our own little corner of heaven. Tides is pet friendly and the entire staff is outstanding. It is located right on the beach, providing exquisite coastal dining, beach inspired oceanfront rooms, and the soothing lullaby of the ocean while sleeping with the balcony door wide open.

The breathtaking view from the balcony.

Inside, a relaxed, modern coastal vibe.

Blu's masterpieces: Pan roasted scallops and cornmeal crusted catfish.

The most GORGEOUS sunrises.

Tides is also the most magical place to exchange vows of love.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Beach Wedding...

It was perfect. An exchange of commitment and love, enveloped by the blue sky, salty sea air, and the ebb and flow of ocean underfoot.

A heartfelt thank you to our families for supporting our desire to frolic in Folly and enjoy the serenity of  our celebration on the beach. Thank you too, for celebrating in a big way with us upon our return! Thank you, Rachelle and Kris, for joining us for fun in South Carolina. Thank you, Hope, for your words of love and devotion as you joined us as husband and wife. Thank you, Heather, for your constant thoughtfulness, kindness, and photographic genius. Thank you, Christy, for being so unbelievably sweet and genuine. Thank you Sid, Matt and Jay for all your tips and for connecting with us. Y'all made the most special time of our lives so incredibly magical. For this, we are forever grateful!

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Little Bit of Summer...

Between renovating and more renovating, there has been the occasional seaside sangria...

And some coastal inspired dinner creations enjoyed in the backyard - seared spiced fish with pineapple rice.

And beautiful fresh flowers (thanks Mom and Dad!)

And... a trip to Folly Beach, South Carolina. We are leaving tomorrow. And getting married. On the beach. By the ocean. Oh my. Just the two of us, the sun, and salt water. No wedding stress (thanks fam for supporting us).  Just pure joy. This is where we're staying, right on the beach over looking the ocean. So excited.

Happy summer!
Fourth Tides Hotel photo from

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Perfect for Summer - Key Lime Pie

It's not that I need balmy breezes and summer sun to inspire citrus desserts and bevvies, but it sure does help! This recipe is incredibly quick, a perfect blend of tart and sweet, and is a sure hit for entertaining al fresco. We've gone through two pies in the last 9 days!


1 cup ground almonds
1 cup graham crumbs (I used gluten free)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla

Pie Filling:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
5 egg yolks
150 ml freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground almonds, graham crumbs, vanilla and butter.
3. Press crust mixture into an 8 inch pie pan.
4. In a separate bowl, gently whisk together condensed milk and egg yolks. Mix in lime juice.
5. Pour pie filling on to crust and bake for 25 minutes. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Recovering Chairs - Coastal Style

It has been a hectic few weeks (ongoing renos, having no internet, a visit to emerge with Tammy, work madness) but I am thrilled to be back to being creative. I recently recovered the chairs in our dining nook. This heavy duty striped outdoor fabric is not only durable, but adds beautiful colour and a fresh coastal feel.

First, I had to remove the old blah fabric. Each chair required the removal of 68+ (!?!?!) staples. Most frustrating. I used a flat screw driver and occasionally pliers to pry out each staple. This took forever. I am just going to be real and shamelessly post a photo of the decade old, cat destroyed fabric below.

Then I lined up the original seat board and foam on my striped fabric, planning how I wanted the stripes to appear on the chair. I cut all the new fabric, using the old fabric piece as a guideline. I also wanted to ensure the stripes were the same on every chair.

I started at one end, and secured it with 3 staples using an electric staple gun. I stretched the opposite end, and added 3 more staples. I then moved on to the sides, stretching and stapling the fabric in place. I could have folded over the edges and done a truly neat and tidy job, but after removing over 275 staples from the old fabric, I just wanted it done! And with the least amount of staples possible.

The corners were tucked in and secured with 3 more staples.

This is definitely a great way to brighten up a room.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Little Bit of Life Lately... A Story of Cat Love

About three weeks ago, Michael was alerted to a kerfuffle on our front porch. There stood two stray cats, immersed in an intense territorial show down. To make a long story short, after offering these two little souls some love, comfort, and food, they both decided to make our home theirs, albeit not without some tension. We took both of them to our vet (one at a time) to have their health looked after and to be neutered. We have sheltered them in our home on the main floor while keeping both of them separate from each other and allowing them the freedom to roam outdoors. We've also kept them away from our other cat (Tammy) who prefers the solitude of upstairs. It has been a mission. There are pet beds and bowls everywhere, 3 separate litter boxes in three different rooms, and huge pieces of plywood acting as barricades in doorways. It has been a little lot bit of cat craziness here. But it has all been worth every penny and every second to see them relax and feel joy. It melts our hearts.

This is Roo. He has a broken ear from living on the streets for over 10 years. Despite spending a decade having to survive in the outdoors, every bone in his little body is pure gentleness. He doesn't bite or scratch. He radiates love.

He's enjoying peaceful sleeps and a lot of love.

This is Boots, a handsome black cat with white paws and whiskers. He's young and full of spirit. He loves our adirondack chairs on the porch.

He has taken to my favourite Cynthia Rowley turquoise ruffled throw.

And this is Tammy, who has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She takes 5 pills daily for her heart yet offers us purrs and love every day. Every time she eats, she gets food EVERY WHERE. So cute.

Animals have a way of setting your heart free and your priorities straight.

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