Wednesday, October 29, 2014

toronto cooks

{ toronto cooks: 100 signature recipes from toronto's best restaurants }

When we ventured out for doughnuts on Sunday morning, as D was settling up, I browsed around the shop and noticed they were selling this awesome cookbook - Toronto Cooks: 100 Signature Recipes from the City's Best Restaurants. As a foodie loving, restaurant go-er, I'm dying to sit down with a glass of wine and drool over each and every recipe. I'm sure it's a mix of customer loved, taste tested recipes -  and whipping one up would be a fun way to make a night in at home feel extra special. The note of encouragement from the Amazon review describing the recipes as "ultimately doable for the home chef" wipes away any hesitation that the recipes might prove too difficult to re-create.

What restaurant dishes do you go back for over and over again? A big part of my love of eating out is the experience at certain restaurants but here are a few of my favorite dishes that I've returned many a time for:

Ile Flottante at Le Select Bistro
the Rueben at 416 Snack Bar
Spicy Tuna roll at Blowfish
Pierogi at The Saint Tavern
Blueberry Pancakes at Mildred's Temple Kitchen

a new routine



In an effort to get back into a constant, everyday workout routine, I've bought Groupon for a 30 day trial at Quad, a spinning studio just down the street from my office. While the impending holiday season, and all the food and drink it will inevitably involve, is pretty good incentive, some new workout gear always helps motivate me for a good workout. There's no doubt if I go into a studio or gym feeling good about myself it helps with my overall energy and commitment to the workout. The Outdoor Voices brand aims to be the Lululemon of today's generation, and I'm all about supporting the little guys - especially when most of their lovely pieces come in one of my favorite colors - grey. Their single shop has opened in Austin, but browse the collection and shop online here. I'd love to pair their grey leggings with the racerback tank for a sweaty spin class.

I'm curious, what gives you confidence and motivates you for your workouts? I'd love to know.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

better chilled

Although I love a good cocktail once in a while, white wine is typically my drink of choice. Whether on a patio after work or paired with a delicious meal, there's nothing better than a glass of crisp, chilled white wine. 
When we have friends over, the bottle of white wine is always hidden away in the fridge. This beautiful marble wine cooler would be a perfect table top vessel to keep your wine cool and easily available when needed - and with the holidays fast approaching is almost a party-hosting necessity. 

Paired with a nice bottle of white, rose or sparkling, this would be a lovely hostess gift for your wine-loving bestie!

a good read : me before you

"They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose...

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who was barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common - a heartbreakingly romantic novel that aks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?" -

I just finished this book, and although I so wish it ended differently, it's a beautiful love story filled with depth and emotion. Add it to your reading list

Monday, October 27, 2014

music monday

{ bentley - my sister's dog visiting from whistler :) }

What did you get up to this weekend? D got home from his work trip on Friday and we kept things low key for the rest of the weekend, staying close to home and enjoying some yummy meals at local restaurants. The week ahead is well balanced with a dinner with a friend, a night at home with D and a work meeting. Have a great Monday and here are a few tunes to start your week off...

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
Hurricane by MS MR
I'm Not the Only One by Sam Smith
Mess Is Mine by Vance Joy
You and I by John Legend 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

treat yourself

One of my favorite indulgences is treating myself to a manicure & pedicure. Every 4-6 weeks I'll walk over to the nearby nail salon on my lunch break and unwind for an hour. I read gossip magazines, enjoy a coffee and get to walk out with pretty nails. I always love to have my nails painted, so it's not something I can do too often but every once in a while, it's a fun, affordable luxury that allows me time to really relax. 

P.S. I've been dying to try the new nail bar on King Street near my office called Her Majesty's Pleasure - it's a nail salon, cafe and bar all in one - yes, it's heaven on earth. Imagine enjoying a date out with girlfriends, catching up over champagne and fresh baked pastries while getting your nails done... Doesn't get much better. I'm hoping to visit soon, will be sure to report back after!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

top it off

{ 1, 2, 3 }

How sweet are these beautiful cake toppers? They have lovely designs for all occasions. I love the metallic finish and the bold and whimsical font choices. Each and every topper would add a delicate and simple finishing touch to any cake - it would be a fun way to add a heartfelt touch to a store bought cake or make a homemade cake even more special. Browse all the options on the Sweet and Saucy Supply website here

Monday, October 20, 2014

good morning

{ homemade apple muffins }

How was your weekend? We went to a hockey game on Friday and saw Gone Girl at the VIP theatre yesterday (where the seats were huge leather recliners!). My sister and her boyfriend are in town and it's so fun getting to hang out and do regular everyday things. D is away on his first business trip this week, so I've planned some dates to catch up with girlfriends over wine.

Here are a few links from around the web to start your week off... Happy Monday!

I book marked these wine-o tips immediately after reading

A classic plaid shirt is a go-to wardrobe staple, this one is perfect.

I can't wait until Glossier ships to Canada, I'm dying to try the balm dotcom.

coin purse for weekend outings.

A beautiful hooded cape, great for in-between fall weather.

I have to admit, I'm looking forward to this funny sequel.

{ snail mail & tea }

{ beautiful flowers with a funny story behind them }

{ simple earrings for everyday wear by Kara Yoo }

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

a shortened week

{ homemade caramel apple pancakes }

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend enjoyed with family and friends. We really enjoyed the extra day off and managed to really relax. I'm really looking forward to my sister arriving and a shortened week. 

Love Me Simply reached 30,000 page views over the weekend and wanted to thank all my readers for their support and interest in my little tiny blog space! Hope you all have a great start to the week!

{ a new daily habit - bringing coffee to work in my thermos }

{ beautiful fall foliage }

{ homemade apple squash soup for the thanksgiving hosts }

Friday, October 10, 2014

have a great long weekend

{ some of the last summer berries }

What are your plans for the holiday weekend? We have two family gatherings planned and I can't wait to chow down on some turkey and pumpkin pie! My sister visits next week and I can't wait for her to arrive! Looking forward to having the extra day to unwind and prepare for a short week. 

Enjoy your holiday, Happy Thanksgiving! xx

{ new window decor - a terrarium } 

{ the fixings for carrot ginger soup }

{ cute napkins for impromptu homemade cocktails } 

{ a fresh bouquet of market flowers }

I'm dying to try this rich fall comfort dish.

How cute would this plaid dress look with boots?

This monogrammed tote would make a beautiful daily bag.

Incase you make it out to an orchard this weekend, here are some recipe ideas for all those apples.

I'm making a conscious effort to drink more water, this pretty water bottle might help.

a new night mask

As of late my skin has been on the fritz. I don't know if it's due to diet, weather, stress - the cause is unknown, but I am on a mission to find a solution. Not surprisingly, my first stop was Sephora (every girls beauty one-stop-shop?) and when I asked the nice lady for help she suggested Origins Clear Improvements. I immediately liked the simple description and clear purpose - clear pores. In my mind, it made sense, clear pores can't be filled with dirt right? I've only tried it once but this charcoal mask feels cool and tingly and leaves your skin feeling natural and fresh. I plan on using it about three times a week to get an extra deep-clean.

Do you have any skin care rituals or products you can't live without? In an industry with endless options, I'd love any suggestions!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

easy pizzas

When it comes to week night meals, easy meals at home are sometimes what you need. These naan pizzas definitely fit the bill. I don't even know if I'd call them pizzas, maybe flatbread is more appropriate. Regardless, this is a super easy, tasty dinner idea, and it's fun to get creative with toppings. We buy the packaged naan bread, that comes two to a pack, and whatever ingredients look good at the market - this week it was roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, shallots and basil. Simply drizzle the naan with olive oil, add some garlic, layer your toppings and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes. This would also make a good party food cut up into bite size pieces. Happy eating. 

new fall polish favorites

After getting a 2-for-1 coupon for nail polish in the mail last week, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to pick up some new polish colors for the fall. With the change in seasons and wardrobes, the bright pinks and summery hues don't seem to match with this time of year. I came home with Essie's 'a list' - a rich burgundy perfect for special occassions, and 'sand tropez' a subtle neutral that will be great for every day wear.

Monday, October 6, 2014

hand painted stationery

Every once in a while I feel a need to sit down and express myself creatively. Last night as D and I returned home from a walk, and out of the blue, I said I think I'm going to paint. I have a pad of good quality water color paper that I cut into postcards and then sketch out my idea in pencil before making the design more permanent with a black marker. I then have fun, painting in the blanks. We have some upcoming family birthdays that seem like the perfect opportunity to test out a response to my homemade cards. I'm also thinking I may create a few sets to give as holiday gifts.
What are your thoughts, do you like the look of homemade cards?