Tuesday, March 29, 2016

13 questions

{ Julia Rothman for NY Times }

This article popped up on my social media feeds a few times over the past week - 13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married. At first I was nervous to read it, wondering if I would pass the made up test created by some stranger online. Turns out there was nothing to be nervous about, I loved going through each question, answering to myself and smiling realizing that there's not a whole lot unanswered between D and I after almost 11 years!

a closet staple

How sweet is this striped top. I love how effortlessly stylish it is. Its truly a classic piece that would never go out of style. It instantly refreshes slouchy khakis and would add a certain 'cool' factor when paired with jeans. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

berry pavlova

We hosted friends for dinner Saturday and I knew I wanted to try a new dessert.  We have some pretty great go-to's when we need to buy desserts but there's nothing quite like having something home made to impress your guests.The extra time from Friday's holiday was just the motivation I needed. I've had this recipe peeking out of my recipe book for a while, and I thought it would be perfectly fresh and light for the start of spring.  I made the meringue the night before and kept it in the fridge overnight, which simplified my to-do's for the day of. The cream was rich and fluffy, and the marscapone and berry reduction heightened the flavors profiles. There was four of us, and we had to use every inch of will power to restrain ourselves from eating the entire pavlova. I worked off this recipe, referencing a second version for comparison. (Also, if you have gluten free friends to accommodate, they can eat this) I have zero doubts that this summer is going to be filled with a lot of pavlovas!

monday morning

{ maple fritter + strawberry rhubarb crumble }

Good Morning. Hope you enjoyed a lovely spring weekend! We didn't get up to a whole lot but I loved just catching up with D after him being away on business last week. It's funny, we were only apart for two nights, but it felt like we had so much to catch up on. 
Mother Nature certainly showed off on Easter Sunday, it was such a beautiful day, hoping everyone managed to spend some time outside! Happy Monday, have a great week. xx 

{ the easter bunny brought hydrangea this year ;) }

{ the sweetest flower shop in park dale }

Thursday, March 24, 2016

a rhubarb cocktail

You know those restaurants that always have out-of-this-world cocktails? Hopgoods Foodliner is one of those restaurants and there was zero disappointment after recently trying their rhubarb gimlet. It was seasonal and I was completely obsessed with the tart, floral flavor of the rhubarb. When I came across these rhubarb bitters later this week, I only hoped I might be able to re-create the delicious flavor. When we had friends for pre-brunch drinks last weekend, I combined sparkling wine, muddled strawberries and rhubarb bitters for a subtle yet delicious spin on the typical mimosa. I will continue to try and recreate the gimlet, and wouldn't mind trying this R&R Cocktail too! Dillon's also makes an array of other bitters, if you're looking to up your bar-cart game.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

a night time ritual

I've always been a morning shower type of girl. I never understood the people who opted to shower before bed or enjoyed late night baths. As I've mentioned, I've upped my workout game and after an evening class recently I had to succumb to the night time shower. I turned off the bathroom lights (including the obnoxiously loud fan), lit candles and put on a mellow playlist. I got the water as hot as I could handle and enjoyed unwinding and stretching. The bathroom was covered in a layer of steam by the time I was done and I lathered myself up with coconut oil. Weirdly enough, it's totally become one of my favorite night time ritual and something I genuinely look forward to! I finally understand all you night-time shower-ers!

So curious, are you a nighttime or morning shower type of person?

Friday, March 18, 2016


{ buck-a-shuck at our local favorite to start the week off }

Happy belated St. Patricks Day! Did you celebrate last night or do you plan on going wild tomorrow? I had a hair appointment last night but picked up a couple Guiness on the way. I rendevous'd with D and our best friend Kate afterwards for late night beers and eats at Odd Seoul. 

What do you have planned this weekend? I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow and have a lazy day. We plan on getting outside and tracking a 7k run in preparation of our upcoming race, so I hope this weeks rainy weather is finally over. A friend is in town from NYC so a big group of us are getting together for a mimosa filled brunch on Sunday. 

Hope you're up to something fun, enjoy your weekend. xx 

+ + + + + 

Here are a few fun links....

The 1,000 foot slip-n-slide is returning to Toronto. Talk about fun!

I found this and this to fill the blank white walls in our office bathroom.

I'm dying to bake this tart but fear I might eat it all to myself

Let's get serious, these are realistic weekend exercises

house crush

I love any type of interior design blog, magazine or TV show and I will usually immediately search out all of the house tours featured. It's so fun peeking inside different apartments, homes and cottages and getting a glimpse at how they have made their house a home. Architectural Digest recently featured the jaw-dropping NYC apartment of Naomi Watts and Liev Shreiber. It's so crazy to think that these beautiful and luxurious homes exist just above the busy city streets.   

a stool with sass

This stool from Ikea's new Brazillian inspired collection is super cool.I love the leather paired with the eucalyptus wood. I'm desperately trying to think of a corner of our place that could use a little seat.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Leaving university I have three close girlfriends who I keep in touch with and we make the effort to get together for regular dinner dates. We catch up and chat over good food and always try to eat at new 'hip' restaurants. Last night's date involved some planning ahead in way of a reservation but we finally scored four seats at Fring's. It's Susur Lee's newest watering hole and the extra cool factor comes from the fact that Drake is co-owner.

The decor was moody and eclectic with a modern flare and there was cool rap music playing loudly. Most important, the food was spot on. We shared a pairing of their toasts, my favorite was the mushroom with gouda, and split a beet salad four ways. (Beet salad has to be the most cliche thing on restaurant menus, but this dish reminded me why - done well, it's delicious.) I had trouble choosing a large plate, simply because everything sounded amazing, but ended up settling on the spicy rigatoni. It was deliciously rich and a hearty serving, with enough for leftovers, but much to D's dismay I ate the entire bowl! I also tried a bite of the mushroom papardelle and fried chicken, which were both stellar.

I love when the food and atmosphere lives up to the hype. This place was no disappointment and will be reserved for special occasions and fancy cocktails. Check out the rest of the menu here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

dancing in the dark

There are certain songs, that when I hear them come on the radio or get played at a party, remind me of wildly loud, enthusiastic sing alongs from my childhood. Cherish by Madonna gets me dancing like a mad woman and I can't help but smile singing along to Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet. There are also a few songs from Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA album that evoke happy memories.

I listen to Google Play (formerly Songza) all day long in my office, and I'm currently digging the "Today's Romantic Singer-Songwriters" playlist. There are a few songs that loop through which are beautiful acoustic versions of popular songs or oldies - one being Dancing in the Dark. A couple songs for your Tuesday...

Friday, March 11, 2016

hello weekend

{ date night }

What do you have planned for the weekend? We're going for beers at Bellwoods after work and I'm getting my haircut on Sunday! This week felt busy and full filling. 1) I signed up for my first 10k run, 2) I scored tickets to see Mumford and Sons in June and 3) Drew and I enjoyed a great date night, at our first Raptors game of the season. The weather is starting to turn and I'm hopeful spring is here to stay. Enjoy your weekend. xx

{ a present from D, OVO Raptors gear }

{ a post-game night cap }

{ the cutest little cactus socks }

Thursday, March 10, 2016

(major) house crush

There are a few blogs I follow religiously, checking in daily for posts and updates. It truly feels like you have a relationship with the blogger, as they share glimpses into their lives, whether it be an exciting celebration or devastating loss, you feel connected in a strange but awesome way. One of the reasons I love blogs and blogging. 
I follow Joanna on Cup of Jo and was so sad to hear of the untimely passing of her brother-in-law. I linked over to their story earlier in the year, and his book is still on my 'to-read' list. 

I was so happy to come across the post today, where Joanna shares the re-design of her sister Lucy's apartment in San Fransico. I couldn't imagine losing my life partner, and having to move on without them in your home you had built together. The redesign provides such a clean, fresh start. 

The interior designer is truly a genius. Take a look at the before and after photos here

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

wanderlust wednesday

I am happy to admit that our 2016 travel plans went form 0-60 pretty darn quickly. My travel bug was itching for adventure and it's certainly been satisfied. D's parents bid on a week at a large house in Costa Rica at a charity auction and have generously invited us along. We've never been and it's certainly a travel hot spot these days. I can't wait to lie on the beach, enjoy wonderful meals, soak up time with D's parents and finally check 'learn to surf' off my bucketlist. May can't come soon enough!

If you've visited Costa Rica, we would love suggestions! We're staying in the Guanacaste Region, near Tamarindo.

(Photos via Costa Rica's tourism website)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

international women's day

Happy International Women's Day! This year's theme focuses on gender parity - and more importantly accelerating it worldwide. I took the pledge, and I would encourage each and every one of you to do the same. Pledge Now.

bluegrass brunch

This past Saturday we went to Bluegrass Brunch at the Dakota Tavern for a friends birthday. I had never been to the Dakota (not really sure how, given Ossington is my favorite bar strip) but was excited to check it out. It was moody and dark and the band was illuminated by the prettiest glow. The bar has a great western theme with whiskey barrel bar seats and wooden accents everywhere. The brunch menu was simple and served family style - we feasted on scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage and roasted potatoes and even got seconds! I had a Ceasar with loads of horseradish in it and the Bluegrass Punch was delicious. They accommodated a big group with ease and take reservations - it was a great way to start the weekend. Returning for cocktails to enjoy an evening show is now a top priority.

Friday, March 4, 2016

hello weekend

{ bluebird day in the country } 

TGIF. Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? D and I are going to Bluegrass Brunch at the Dakota Tavern tomorrow for a friend's birthday. Then on Sunday, I have bridesmaid duties at a bridal shower. I'm looking forward to sipping bubbly and celebrating the beautiful bride.

What ever you have planned, enjoy yourself. xx

PS. Take a moment to read this article. I love how bold and daring this CEO is, truly grabbing life by the horns! You go girl.

{ Mr. Tetsu's Cheesecake }

{ the exit sign at Home of the Brave }


D's parents are in Hawaii for three weeks and have been sending us the greatest photos of private beaches and skyping us from their sunny balcony at happy hour. I woke up to this photo in my inbox this morning and couldn't wipe the smile off my face. The loveliest way to start a Friday.

me before you

I went to the movies this week with a girlfriend, and we got there early in time to see the previews. I wasn't aware they had made the book into a movie but was excited when I realized the plot of the trailer was from the book Me Before You by Jojo Meyers.
When reading the book, I don't remember enjoying the characters as well as they have been cast and portrayed in the film. It actually seems like it might be a rare case where the movie is even better then the book.
My friend and I both had tears streaming down my face by the end of the 3 minute trailer and I can't wait to see it when it comes out. Watch the trailer here.