Photobucket     Photobucket     Photobucket     Photobucket     Photobucket     Photobucket

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the comfort maple.

a leaf fluttered in through the window this morning,
as if supported by the rays of the sun,
a bird settled on the fire escape,
joy in the bask of coffee,
joy accompanied me as i walked.
--anaïs nin

Saturday, October 27, 2012

living lately.

in an effort to take more photos, i decided to pull my camera out of the cupboard i normally keep it stored away in, and leave it out on our dining room table where it's always in view and at arms reach. i have found that this has definitely motivated me to not only use it more, but i am also capturing some of the sweetest moments of our everyday life, that i would never have been able to get if the camera was still tucked away. now, the only thing worse than not taking photos, is taking them, and then leaving them stored on the computer, unedited and never to see the light of day. so i have made it a personal goal to break these habits, and share the shit!
a beautiful book i am waiting for the perfect opportunity to start.
the prettiest pink orchid.
finding the mr. taking a wee cat nap.
vibrant fall mums.
collecting  treasures to display.
picking up a fun fall hobby i love.
disturbing someone who secretly loves it.
all warm and cozy in her favourite winter spot.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

from where i stand.

i could let her walk tiny, pooch circles around me all day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

it's chilly enough for chili: teddy's homemade recipe.

i once heard a woman at work say: "i love chili, however chili does not love me".
this was said as we we're walking into the ladies room, which is both hilarious & a damn shame.

for no particular reason, i cannot bring myself to eat chili, unless the weather is cold(ish) outside -- it doesn't need to dip below a specific temperature, or maintain a certain degree for a sustained period of time, it just simply cannot be hot as balls out. i guess it has something to do with the fact that chili has a way of warming you up as it fills you up; it's hearty and beefy and brings me back to falls and winters growing up. i have memories of coming home from school on days my dad had off, and smelling the huge ass pot of chili simmering on the stove, from outside the front door. we would eat great big bowls of it for days on end, and loved every second of it to the very last bite.

to keep my old man's tradition & recipe alive, i make a pot of his famous chili a few times each fall. one of my prouder moments, was a few years back, when we held a "chili cook-off" at my work (yes, we are all that serious about chili). i am incredibly proud to say, i won second place. note: first place went to a co-worker who used bacon in their recipe, and i know the rules, bacon in anything is always going to win first place, fair enough. so here it is, yours to enjoy.

how we do: teddy's second-place-at-work, first-place-in-my-heart, homemade chili
{makes 1 gigantic pot}
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 3-4 hours
eating time: a solid week of leftovers. you're welcome.

you will need:
3 cans of crushed tomatoes
2 small or 1 large can of tomato paste
1 large can of kidney beans
2 pounds of stewing beef
1 pound of lean ground beef
1 large onion
2 red bell peppers
7 stalks of celery
20-25 mushrooms, sliced or small buttons
3 chili peppers from nonno's garden
5 heaping tablespoons of chili powder or to taste
salt & pepper to taste

let me start off by saying there is no need to make as much as this recipe calls for. this will easily feed a family of 32, with leftovers to freeze, so cut the recipe in half for a family of 4 (you will still most likely have more than enough for the next day) or to be able to fit it into most standard size crock pots. we like to have lots for leftovers (to share at work) and to make dirty chili cheese dogs or fries with through the week. because we're dirtballs like that.

in a large pot, get the ground beef and stewing beef browning in a little bit of olive oil. you don't need to cook it all the way through, just enough to get some colour and texture going on -- you're gonna cook this bad boy for several hours, so everything will be perfectly cooked through, promise. while the meat is cooking, chop your onion, bell peppers, mushrooms and celery into chunks, whatever size blows your hair back. carefully chop the chili peppers, and remove seeds for less heat, or you can throw the whole bitch in like we do.
add your veggies, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and kidney beans (just like my nonna's sugo & meatball recipe, we only use 'unico' brand for these ingredients--somehow, it makes a difference) to the browning meat, add the chili powder, salt & pepper and tobasco.  i like to fill the empty crushed tomato and tomato paste cans with warm water, stir a bit to loosen anything remaining in the can, and use that to top off the rest of the pot--this water will cook away as your chili simmers, and thickens everything up. give it all a good stir, and let everything come to a boil with the pot lid on. once it boils, you can reduce the heat and let it simmer on low with the lid off for at least 3 hours, stirring every once in a while. we let ours go for a solid 4 hours, adding more chili power and tobasco as we went, to create a bold, flavourful chili, that was good enough to eat on it's own, and as a meal.

teddy's chili may not be first place material at work, but in our home, there is no competition. literally.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

moonrise kingdom.

{image 1/2/3}
last friday, i came home from work  to "i got you one of those 'weirdo movies' you like" (i love it when they actually listen). 'moonrise kingdom' was everything i wanted it to be: creative, fun and fucking hilarious. i straight howled the entire time. i'm pretty sure, that when i was 12, i would have had a serious crush on sam. ok, i kinda do now, i'm clearly a dirty old cradle robber. i'm also pretty confident, that i have a girl crush on suzy. the 12 year old in me is slightly jealous that she was allowed to wear blue eye shadow and wore a training bra -- at 12 years old, i had mosquito bites with nipples, and was only allowed to wear clear lip gloss. 
oh, and i wore the shit outta that lip gloss let me tell you.

so, if you love a good bill murray + wes anderson combo, want to see bruce willis do something productive with himself, annnnd if you're a sucker for young love, you need to watch this movie immediately -- like right now. i love this shit.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

diy felt leaf bunting.

our 'craft club' night a few weeks back has me itchin' to make as much shit as humanly possible. i like having a few things on the go at all times, as i have a tendency to get bored of the same thing if i spend too much time on it -- the fact that i have been with paul for over 9 years now, is a fucking miracle. to use up some of the felt i have hoarded purchased for other projects, and because i love working with it, i pulled together this super easy bunting to add a pop of colour and festiveness to our home. as easy as it was, it took a few hours to make, which i didn't mind as i did it while paul watched the presidential debates this week. thank the good lord for that, this project is the reason i didn't stick the needles i was using in my eyes, as even the idea of watching the presidential debate makes me want to do just that.

how we do: felt leaf bunting
you will need:
felt in a variety of fall colours
embroidery floss in similar colours
needle with large opening
needle threader

this fall leaves garland  on 'a beautiful mess' was my inspiration, especially the use of non-traditional fall colours like the blue, so i took this idea and ran with it. following the same sort of stitching pattern with the embroidery floss as i used for the hearts on my valentine's day wreath, i did a simple stitch around each leaf using embroidery floss in a similar colour. once i got to the end, i left enough floss to make a loop, which i used to string them onto the yarn that the leaves hung from.
i chose to make the bunting for our fireplace more fun and non-traditional, as our dining room is mainly greens and creams, with not a lot of other colour. for the living room, i made up a smaller banner of classic fall colours, to go along with the rusts, golds and browns that make up the colour scheme for that room, but you can choose the colours that suit your taste and decor.
yes they are a little primary, especially the one on the mantle, but i think they add a bit of much needed fun to the spaces we spend most of our time in, and will be easy to roll up and store away until next year. i think making stockings or christmas trees would be cute for christmas, and hearts for valentine's day would be just fucking adorable.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

if i could...

more often than not, i find myself thinking of what i would do if i wasn't responsible for my responsibilities. if i was a free bird with unclipped wings, if money wasn't an object, and i could live this life out however i pleased. if all was fair in love and life, 
and i had a great big set of balls to back it all up. 

if i could, i would run away. 
ok, maybe more like fly.
but not for very long mind you.

i would pack a case of my most needed things; my camera, a favourite sundress, a leather journal i bought at the market in florence on our honeymoon, buy myself a plane ticket to italy, and check myself into a bed & breakfast just about anywhere (preferably to be near the sea, as high up in the mountains as i could get) and just be. i would study the language and eat all the authentic meals i could. i would write every day and photograph even more. i would drink wine, and read beautiful books, and soak up as much of the country as possible; until i had my fill and my heart was ready to come back to the world i know, a world and man i love very much --and don't think for one second that it's not  a good, beautiful, world, because it certainly is.

just sometimes, it's nice to think about if i could...

Monday, October 15, 2012

this weekend was...

cool weather with a glimpse of an indian summer.
 collecting leaves & pressing them in a beautiful book.
drinking coffee after coffee all morning long.
knitting on the couch with all my babies.
a cozy double dinner date with special friends at a new favourite spot.
comfort food for sunday dinner with family.

making note of and saying it out loud: this has been my favourite year for fall yet.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

hearts & crafts: cute shit you can make for fall.

last weekend, i was lucky enough to get a group of my girlies together to spend the night crafting. i asked them to think of a project they wanted to make, gather any major supplies, and come to our place for some snacks, vino and inevitable glue gun burns. because great minds think alike (fools seldom differ) we each ended up making wreaths, and they all turned out just lovely.

i knew i wanted to make something autumnal with a nod to thanksgiving and that would transition nicely for halloween, and because my previous wreath attempts were successful, i combined a few techniques from each one to pound this shit out.

how we do: felt & yarn fall wreath

using the yarn wrapping method from my valentine's day wreath and the felt letter cut out method from my spring wreath, i ended up making a simple but sweet fall number. i had used this tutorial to make rolled felt flowers for a wreath i gave to a friend as a housewarming gift, and loved how easy but pretty they were, so i made some for this project as well. i clustered them in one corner, hot glued a decorative owl i purchased inside the wreath, and made a little 'fall' bunting banner to fill the space.
it only took 2 glasses of wine and about an hour and a half to pull this baby together, and i am really happy with how it looks on our front door. we decided the night marked our first "craft club night", and are already making plans for the next one. it's like a book club without the books, or an 'aa' meeting, but with booze. however you wanna look at it, it's good shit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

when a flower means more than just a flower.

the other day i came home to an orchid on my dining room table.
not just any orchid, an orchid from the boy i live with.
it's the perfect shade of autumn pink -- a variety i had never seen before.

"i thought you would like this one" he said.
"you were right" i said.

sometimes when you love someone with your whole heart, 
you forget that you need to love them with your whole head too. 
and when you remember, oh what a feeling it is.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

take this waltz.

i kept a hairy eyeball out for 'take this waltz' after seeing the preview for it months and months ago, so when it was released for rental a week or so ago, i had to have a copy of it in my hot little hands. the trailer had left me so curious, i couldn't wait to see if the movie was going to be good enough to do the same. but, it was better.

things that were key:

1. michelle williams has become one of my favourite actresses over the last few years. truth be told, i wasn't a fan of her on 'dawson's creek', but she redeemed herself first in 'blue valentine', then in 'my week with marilyn' (which was amazing) and now 'take this waltz'. 
there is something so quirky and charming about her.

2. the whole film takes place in toronto, and it's fun to see and hear familiar places and neighbourhoods.
one of the main characters, luke kirby, is a canadian boy as well. yes, that makes him cuter.

3. the house that the couple live in is a classic, toronto row home, a big, brick victorian, with lots of stained glass and 
interesting details. i spent most of the movie drooling over the house.

4. restaurant scene. mercy. me.

parts were funny, some parts made me cry. 
it even made me uncomfortable, but in a good way.

ps-love the ol' cup of cold water over the shower trick. classic.

Friday, October 05, 2012

niagara lately: volume III.

the wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves,
we have had our summer evenings,
now for october eves!
--hunbert wolfe

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

the eclectic life.

a beautifully curated gallery wall.
{image found here}
a few weeks back, my girlfriend cashie came over to spend date night with paulie and i -- friday night nachos, movies and rum & cokes (paul is used to having my lady friends over without warning, whether it's sleepovers, dinner or date nights, it's kinda like the "sister wives" business, only minus the skullet and borderline incest tendencies). what the hell was i even getting at? now all i can think of is skullets and rum & cokes. right right right, cass came over. she hadn't been over for a while, and i had done some decorating since her last visit -- draped a map heart banner i had made across the fireplace, hung some paintings and other little bits and bobs. i could see her taking it all in, and heard her call from the dining room:

"amanda, it gets fuller and fuller every time i come over. it's veryyyyy....eclectic in here."

my first reaction was along the lines of "and what the fuck is that supposed to mean", but she assured me my humble abode was not becoming a polish tea towel before my very eyes. our house is a clusterfuck of all our favourite things, and although i can see myself becoming carried away one day (kids art everywhere, family photos on every blank square inch and chachka a plenty), i am a firm believer that your home should be a reflection of who you are, and a place where you showcase the things that make you happy and bring joy to your life. with dreams of our 'big boy & girl' house always on my mind, i have collected a few images of 
how i want my one day dream home to look and feel.

i guess if you think about it, mr. skullet and his sister wives lead an eclectic life too. 
only i collect material things, and he collects women and children.
love the mix of plants and art on the left, and the wall colour on the right.
{images found here & here}
a little darker than i am normally drawn too, but so warm and romantic.
{image found here}
collections, books in the fireplace and colour.
{images found here & here}
Next Post Previous Post Home