Wednesday, January 29, 2014

i'm really a mermaid

Ok, so I'm not really a mermaid, but I will be swimming with the California fishies in just over a month. For some reason, I feel like a vacation somewhere warm almost always warrants the purchase of a new bathing suit. I used to shop at Old Navy since you can mix and match top and bottom sizes but this year I'm going to look for something of a little better quality as well as a great fit. Having a larger chest does limit the style options but I'm hoping I can find one I feel great in. I love all of the the suits below, but I'm most in love with the retro style of the hot pink Juicy one and plan on heading over the Eaton's Centre to try and track it down. 

Where do you buy swim suits? Any brands or styles that you stick to year after year? I'd love to know.

I've posted this cover up in white before but love it even more in the playful pink color! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

weekday eat cheats

Putting together a weekday meal can sometimes get tiresome. There are nights that are exceptions, but typically, after a long days work, the thought of coming home to prepare something more complicated than cereal or fried eggs can feel overwhelming. While I'd be happy with cereal for dinner, D always craves a 'real dinner' which results in us (thankfully) eating more balanced, adult meals.

That being said, as we've worked at planning a week worth of meals, we've been trying to find ways to make meals easier but still special and tasty. As I mentioned a new meat shop opened up down the street and tonight's meal was a great example of a delicious meal that felt fancy but was truly simple and easy to make.
We bought breaded pork cutlets ($4) and homemade spicy tomato sauce ($6). Yes, I could make pork cutlets and make tomato sauce, but on a Tuesday night - that's not what I feel like doing. We fried the cutlets and boiled some pasta and sat down to dinner together about twenty minutes later. So, I encourage you to find little cheats that make dinner just a little easier to put together but that still contributes to making dinner a time to look forward to and time spent catching up and reconnecting.

countertop cookbooks

I truly enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen. I can't say I know exactly where my passion stems from but since living on our own I can only say that my interest and passion has grown. One of my resolutions for 2014 is to try three new recipes every month. In hopes of working towards meeting my goal I wanted to start using my cookbooks more and was very delighted to track down a cookbook countertop holder at Home Sense last week. The simple metal design now sits countertop displaying delicious recipes in inspiring cookbooks. We met our goal in January and I look forward to the new recipes we whip up in February. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

music monday

How was your Monday? I'm loving my lunch time yoga breaks - it's such a peaceful yet challenging way to spend the lunch hour - I don't know what I'm going to do when this 30 day trial ends.... I think more classes might just be in my future.

My weeks and days always start the same way - a showdown with the TTC. To my surprise, the streetcar ride was enjoyably quick this morning and this evening and it was made even better with some great tunes... Take a listen.

P.S.: Did you tune into last nights Grammys? I didn't watch the whole show but I did very much enjoy the performances I did see. Amongst all the hair, make-up and pretty dresses - I love the fact that the show really sees to celebrate the art of live music. Here are some of my favorite performances:

Friday, January 24, 2014

foodie friday: hawker bar

Chances are, if you've travelled up Ossington Street you've noticed this clever sign hanging outside of Hawker Bar. I met D on Ossington last Friday night for some happy hours drinks and we popped into Hawker Bar originally just for drinks but ended up sharing a few appetizers.  We started with cold beer and browsed the menus that were hodge-podged onto cardboard beer boxes - a good starting point, right?
The menu had an Asian flare and we ordered Singapore chicken wings, Coconut Chili Lime Chicken Satays and Prawn + Ginger dumplings. Each and every bite was filled with flavor and we enjoyed asking the server questions as we were posted up at the bar. 
Ossington has to be my favorite restaurant/bar strips - and after visiting yet another delicious restaurant that opinion has only grown stronger.

If you're looking for a spot to try this weekend - head over to Ossington. If Hawker Bar is busy I have no doubt you'll end up somewhere good regardless.

zara sale

I had some success at the Zara sale last week and scored some sweet deals. Incase you're in a shopping mood this weekend, take a browse online or pop into a store.
Incase you weren't in the know - you can order items to your local store for free, try them on in the store, and return it on the spot if something isn't exactly what you were looking for.

Zara Sale - Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

cornish hen

One of our resolutions of 2014 is to try three new recipes every month. Our first two recipes were roasted red pepper soup and a pot roast in the Crockpot - both delicious successes. For our third attempt we tried cooking a cornish hen. There's a new butcher called Custodio's Meats & Eats on Roncesvalles that we visited earlier in the week. A great space with friendly staff and great products. I've never eaten or cooked cornish hen but I'm glad we tried it. The meat was moist and tasty and it was very easy to make.

How to Make:

Cut up shallots and carrots and line bottom of baking pan. 
(Don't line with tinfoil - you use the dripping on the bottom of the pan to make gravy after! Rookie mistake on our part )
Place cornish hen on top of vegetables so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Then rub hen with olive oil.
Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour. 
Take hen out every twenty minutes and baste with melted butter.
Serve with roasted vegetables and whipped mashed potatoes. 

I apologize for the less than appealing photos of raw cornish hen but I conquered by dislike for raw poultry and got a delicious meal out of it - so I hope you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, January 20, 2014

86th academy awards

Are you into awards season so far? I'm loving it and for me it started with my favorite - the Golden Globes! It's always fun to watch the TV and movie stars in a more relaxed, (read: alcohol fueled) environment. That being said, there's no denying the major movie 'must-have' award is an Oscar. We're doing our best to work through the Best Picture nominations - with a few other Best/Supporting Actor/Actress flicks thrown in.
We watched Dallas Buyers Club on Saturday night and both D and I were thoroughly impressed. Both Matthew McConnaughey and Jared Leto made such intense transformations in their roles - to me, it truly exemplified actors perfecting their craft. The story line details a heavy subject matter but it is done so wonderfully. A movie must-see in my opinion.
Our goal is to see all ten Best Picture movies before March 2nd! Please let me know if you have any recommendations.

Oh - and incase the Oscars weren't great enough - Ellen is hosting this year. Bonus!

Friday, January 17, 2014

happy weekend

I've recently begun a 30 day hot yoga trial at a studio near my office. I had never done hot yoga and signed up before even trying it - thankfully, it's all worked out beautifully. I'm really enjoying myself. You get a really good sweat on - like really, super sweaty - and you're able to challenge yourself physically in a non-threatening and judgement free environment. I was very intimidated to try yoga when D and I did a different 30 day trial last year but have been so pleased with how welcoming the yoga community is!

One of my goals of 2014 was to get active and I feel confident that I've started off on the right foot . I hope to set and accomplish small goals for myself over the year and work at being the best version of me. I hope you have started this new year with a positive outlook and a happy disposition - and enjoy the third weekend of the year! xx

And, If you're in a blog reading mood...

~ going to be pulling another crazy lady shopping morning on February 9th when Peter Pilotto's line for Target comes out!
~ take a test to see how big your vocabulary is. My score was embarrassingly low!
~ my office in no way inspires creativity - but how dreamy are these beautiful office spaces
~ I was happy to have my thoughts confirmed - having money doesn't make you stylish. read these habits of truly stylish people
~ It's all the rage, but I still haven't tried pho! Maybe I'll try this recipe as my first taste test.

geometric glass

So I'm not quite sure what to call these beautiful glass pieces - sculptures, vases, ornaments? Whatever they might be called, aren't they awesome? I found them at a small gift shop up the street from our house and was immediately drawn to them. Each piece has such strong lines but are also so beautifully transparent. I think they would look so pretty on a window ledge.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

cranberry-pear sparkling cocktail

I tried this cocktail over the holidays during a potluck with girlfriends and it was a perfect wintertime beverage. The cranberries are so beautiful and the pear juice provides a delicious, natural sweetness. With the weekend closing in, this is the perfect way to kick off a Friday night.

How To Make:
3 parts sparkling wine
1 part pear juice (add more for more sweetness)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

maison gray photography

{ Coogee Beach }

I can't wait to move for the sole reason of acquiring more wall space so that we can get a piece of Maison Gray photography. Gray Malin takes the most beautiful aerial photographs, my favorite being of the beaches around the world. The perspective presents such a unique way of looking at something that can seem so mundane when experiencing it. When the time comes I have no doubt the hardest part will be choosing just one. If you have Instagram - follow GrayMalin and check out his Antarctica project - absolutely breathtaking.

{ St. Tropez }

{ Central Park }

{ The Hamptons }

{ Aspen }

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

lengthy locks

{ beautiful long ponytail twist }

I recently chopped off quite a bit of my hair and while I'm not regretting my decision I am missing my long hair a little bit. I'm finding my cut a little hard to style but know as it starts to grow it will become easier to style. I couldn't help but harbor a little bit of curiosity when Into The Gloss IG posted about tips for growing Rapunzel length hair. I have been debating about starting to take a multi-vitamin and faster growing hair just seems like a cherry-on-top sort of bonus. It's hard to say whether these tips hold any validity but some seem worth a try! Click here for How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster.

Monday, January 13, 2014

nate berkus x target

Nate Berkus has teamed up with Target for a very drool-worthy spring collection of home accessories. In stores mid-February, I look forward to shopping for a few new additions to our place. 

sugared cranberries

I had quite the plans to scratch-bake a big birthday cake for a family celebration earlier in December, but with the rush of the holiday visitors and parties, time seemed to quickly slip away. Instead, I picked up a red velvet cake from the bakery across the street (giving myself a pat on the back for that brilliant move) and decorated the otherwise simple cake to make it birthday ready. My design fell a little bit short of my inspiration photo but I think the sugared cranberries still added a wonderful, wintery sparkle.

To sugar cranberries I simply mixed a little honey with some warm water. I tossed the cranberries in the sticky liquid, then rolled them in granulated sugar. Then I lined a baking sheet with parchment and put the berries in the freezer until the sugar had set.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

roasted red pepper soup

The cold weather this week just begged for a warm, homemade soup. This weeks creation - roasted red pepper, and possibly the tastiest soup I've made so far. Slightly sweet from the peppers and mega creamy with a little bit of cream and parsnip. The temperature is supposed to warm up, but regardless, I'd suggest making yourself a pot to enjoy over the weekend.

How To Make:

Saute your chopped onion, celery and garlic in olive oil. 
Add in chopped carrots and parsnips. 
Season as desired (salt, pepper, garlic salt, chili flakes).
Cut out the stems and seeds of the red peppers. Place on foil lined baking sheet.
Roast in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning half way through.
Peel skins off of peppers once soft and chop into pieces. 
Add roasted peppers and a carton of vegetable broth into the pot.
Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. 
Blend. Serve (creamy goats cheese is a tangy, delicious addition). 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the secret tip-ster

How awesome is this!? @TipsforJesus - you rock!

wanderlust wednesday

{ mexican palm trees from a previous trip }

I love Canada, I love winter, I love living somewhere with four different seasons. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that as I've been standing out in the cold waiting for the streetcar this week, I've been dreaming of the beach. Hoping the time between now and the California sunshine will whiz by.

Do you have any plans to escape the cold?!

Monday, January 6, 2014

music monday

For many, today was a tough first day back in the office, and the start of facing the reality of holiday bills. I'm happy to say my bills are paid and we came home to dinner all ready after cooking the day away in the crock pot - so I've got no complaints! (I feel like an old lady openly admitting I'm exciting about a crock pot...) Hope your week is off to a good start, here are some tunes to help it along!

I've also been listening to Beyonce's new album but it seems to be un-find-able online. I would definitely recommend an Itunes download.

first bargain buy

I officially scored my first bargain of the year! I had bought this dress previously for a November wedding (when it was full price) and later returned it after deciding it was a little too pricey - but hadn't forgotten about it. I didn't see my size in store during boxing week, but checked online and found my size with an even better discount. All in all I ended up saving over $185! The dress has an intricate pattern, unique color and is a beautifully textured silk - I can't wait to dance around California in it  come March :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

happy weekend

What do you have planned this weekend? We're headed to a hockey game tonight with friends and then have zero plans for the rest of the weekend - (other than getting these for breakfast!)

Hope you enjoy a wonderful first weekend of 2014! I'll be back to more regular posts next week. xx