Friday, May 29, 2015

happy weekend

{ stamping tags for bridal shower favors }

What do you have planned this weekend? I'm catching up with a few girlfriends and would love to just relax with D. I have a busy couple weeks at work upcoming so it would be great to rest up and prepare. Hope you enjoy the weekend and have some fun! xx 

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Incase you're in the web surfing mode...

Jessica Alba is a seriously inspiring business woman

An adorable baby shower

The terrible 'C' word and some tips to rid it goodbye!

Have you ever heard of a roundie? Perfect for summer picnics

No more grease! Powder sunscreen, yes please. 

I'd wear this t-shirt all summer long

Bri's travel diary made me miss Paris so so much

A stylish outdoor patio set I'd love to hang out on all summer long

{ my masseuse now works from home, how cool are her business cards? }

{ blood orange gelato, officially my new favorite }

Thursday, May 28, 2015

top 10 favorite brunch dishes

Brunch, oh glorious brunch - one of my favorite weekend past times. The lazy, late-in-the-morning (early afternoon if you were out the night before) meal where it is always encouraged to indulge. With the warmer weather having finally arrived there's no excuse to stay cooped up inside all day. The sun is shining and it's time to rendevous with friends and explore this city! I've done some taste testing on behalf of all brunchers out there, and here are a few of my most crave-worthy, hangover-curing, indulgently luxurious brunch dishes:

1. Veda's Choice @ Mildred's Temple Kitchen (A decadent, modern take on eggs benny - served on a croissant with smoked salmon and a fresh frisee salad)
Tip: Go early-ish, around 10am when they open. The later you wait, the more Liberty Villagers have awoken and are also looking to be fed. If you do have to wait, get a coffee from Balzacs and browse around West Elm - an enjoyable way to kill time.

2. Yogurt & Granola Parfait @ Portland Variety (The chef makes a mango/papaya fruit puree that runs through the parfait in delicious ribbons - way better than the typical yogurt and granola)
Tip: Located on the stylish King West strip, this is a fun spot to plan for a brunch with girlfriends)

3. The Stockyard @ The Stockyards (An epic breakfast sandwich with a deep fried poached egg served on the most amazing house-made biscuit - sure to cure any morning haziness)
Tip: You can buy biscuits to bring home and enjoy the next morning for breakfast.

4. Brisket Eggs Benedict @ Barque (Smokehouse, bbq flavor all twisted up in a breakfast dish. They substitute the typical english muffin with sweet cornbread which changes everything - in the best way)
Tip: The caesar is rimmed with candied bacon! And they have the coolest kitschy coffee mugs.

5. The Ossington Massive @ The Lakeview (Come hungry, leave happy. Everything you want in a breakfast, all on one plate, and for some crazy cheap price. They also have the biggest menu, so everyone is sure to find something they'll love)
Tip: They have $3 mimosas and $4 ceasars, enough said. 

6. Blueberry Pancakes @ Mildred's Temple Kitchen (The best pancakes ever. A must-eat for any serious brunch lover. They are fluffy and filled with fresh blueberries and served drowning in whipped cream, maple syrup and blueberry sauce)
Tip: I don't think it's on the menu but you can order a single pancake as a side dish if you want to balance your savoury main with a sweet bite.

7. Chicken & Waffles @ The Drake Hotel (A humongous decadent breakfast item that they've managed to perfect. The chicken is moist, it's served with a sour cherry compote and topped off with marscapone whipped cream.)
Tip: If the weather is nice sit up in the Sky Yard. And make sure to check out the General Store next door when you're finished. 

8. Daily Donuts @ The Saint Tavern (The flavor changes, but each variety I've had is better then the last. Served warm, the mini donut holes are perfect to start off a meal with a hot cup of coffee)

9. Breakfast Poutine @ Hank's (It's a little out of our neighborhood, but it's worth it. If you're a true Canadian and love poutine like me, the breakfast version is just as good as you imagine)
Tip: The St. Lawrence Market is around the corner, so be sure to plan a visit into your day. 

10. Anything @ Mitzi's Cafe (This place is a hidden gem, a couple blocks east of Roncesvalles, it's nestled amongst residential houses and has the sweetest little garden patio. The menu changes daily and is influenced by seasonal fruit and veg. It always feels special to score a seat on the patio and everything we've ever had is memorably delicious.)

And incase you missed the round-up of some of my favorite restaurant dishes, check it out here!

Cheers to mimosas for breakfast & Happy brunching!

bachelorette party planning

With September only a few months away, my friends summer wedding seems to be fast approaching. As made of honor and a part of the bridal party, we've been busy putting plans in place and confirming the details for the bachelorette party! Knowing the bride, we decided a weekend lakeside was the way to win her over and truly host a party that she will never forget. We've rented a family friends cottage on Lake Joseph and will relax on the dock sipping champagne and swimming all day. We sent out this paperless post e-vite and I thought it was so perfect for what we want the weekend to be - a casual, all girls weekend!

Do you have any fun bachelorette parties coming up this summer?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

a little helium fun

With backyard barbeques & birthday parties coming up, everyone is sure to love a little fun decor with balloons floating around. And I'm not talking the dollar store variety, rather marble patterned, safari speckled, and colorful confetti helium balloons.  I also love the idea of a balloon bouquet as a unique birthday gift- how awesome would it be to receive a dozen beautiful black, white and grey balloons. The Oh Happy Day shop has loads of creative balloons to choose from, along with anything and everything else you might need to throw a killer party!

{ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 }

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

prince edward county, part II

Here are a few more iphone photos from our weekend trip if you care to see...

Monday, May 25, 2015

prince edward county

So not to gloat, but this past weekend was pretty darn fantastic - easily a major highlight of recent memory. D surprised me with a reservation at the booked-all-summer Drake Devonshire Inn in Prince Edward County. We escaped the city early Saturday morning with coffees from our favorite local shop and with our bikes strapped onto the back of the Jetta! The hotel is located in Wellington, a small town about two hours east of Toronto. 
When we arrived we parked at the hotel and got right on our bikes. The receptionist was nice enough to give us a map and we were able to figure out a personalized route of the nearby wineries. There was a great boutique feel to all the estates we visited and we managed to pick a few bottles at each to enjoy at home over the coming summer months. 

The 'wine tour' map that the hotel gave us was super simple to make sense of & we were able to map out our route of the six wineries to bike to.

Rosehall Run had an on-site food truck and delicious sparkling rose

We fuelled up with cinnamon donut holes

We ate in-house wood fired pizza overlooking the vineyard at Norman Hardie

And they had an awesome selection of goodies to shop while you tasted..

We biked along the shoulder of the county highway & rode part of the way along an old railway track turned bike path

Sandbanks had a bright tasting room with loads of colorful labels

And then there was the Drake Devonshire Inn...

Probably one of the coolest hotels I've ever stayed at. We frequent the Drake Hotel in Toronto for food & drink but I've never stayed over night. Every single inch of the Drake Devonshire was curated and designed with such beautiful thought put into every detail. Visually and sensually the experience of exploring the hotel was so appealing and pleasing, I was trying to take notice of all the interesting art that's hidden around each corner and in each room and space.

Our room was cozy and totally offered everything we needed. The shower had a luxurious rain head and there were wonderful comfortable robes hanging for us after we washed up. We enjoyed a cocktail by the beach and played a round of bean bag toss before dinner. The restaurant was a busy and bustling space but still managed to feel intimate and quaint. We shared an amazing PEC local wine and I had the most amazing pasta with roasted rabbit and fresh peas. And one of my favorite parts of staying at a hotel...  the fluffy white pillows and duvet - which definitely helped for a lovely late sleep in. To end things off, we had the best brunch, avec caesars, overlooking Lake Ontario before we got back on the road. 

The overnight was a perfect escape from our normal everyday. I felt so special and spoiled and really couldn't have imagined a better getaway or celebration. We were able to chat and reminisce about our ten years together and it feels pretty great to have found a wonderful life partner in D. I can't barely wait for what life has in store. 

Here are a few more photos of the beautiful Inn if you care to take a look...

{ the prettiest welcome }

{ happy to have arrived }

{ the hotel had cool cruisers you could borrow }

{ temptation.. }

{ we had coffee by the fire first thing in the morning }

 { room 102 was home for the night }

{ the sweetest welcome x[oh] }

{ checking out the comfy chairs on the patio }

{ prim-o wine selection }

{ cocktails on the deck overlooking the beach }

{ the 'cubano' & coasters to add to our collection }

{ the tastiest popcorn }

{ major bathroom envy, white marble & the loveliest rain head }

{ stocked up for the summer months ahead }

{ doesn't this look like a wes anderson still? }

{ found a brewery before leaving town too! }