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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

john mayer: a face to call home.

i have john mayer's born and raised album on vinyl as well as itunes, and must have listened to it about 1000 times, however this week was the first time i realized how much i love this specific song -- weird how that happens eh? sometimes it takes the right song to be playing at just the right moment in your life to make you realize how much you love and relate to it, and i'm so thankful this is the song i'm relating to most right now. happy long weekend friends!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

dîner en blanc: as beautiful & hoity toity as ever.

we were fortunate enough to be invited back to attend the third annual dîner en blanc in niagara on the lake this past monday evening (it's fun having friends with an "in" to cool shit). now that we have attended and are officially "members" of the event, we will automatically be invited back for first dibs each year. i know, so poo-poo.
600 of us (400 down from last year's 1000 attendees, which was noticeable and due to keeping the event 'intimate and elegant' left 1000 people shit-outta-luck on the wait-list) were organized into groups with a team leader, meet-up location and bus driver. we were instructed to meet at our designated stop, which was the shaw festival theatre on the main street, to meet our team captain, pack all our crap on the bus (the shittiest part about attending this event) and most importantly, pick up our pre-ordered bottles of vino to bring to dinner. bringing an entire dinner party with you to an event takes organization, energy and planning -- 2 baskets (which must be white or draped with white fabric or you better believe they will black list your ass from the party faster than you can pull your own head out of it) filled with my entire set of white"ish" place settings, cutlery, glassware, linens, florals, paper details, candles, as well as your food if you didn't order it, which i would say close to 80% of us did as it was a new option this year and unfortunately, not the best to be honest. ah well, you live and you learn -- we're making our own spread next year and we will be the envy of the entire party town.
note: the furrowed brow in the photo above is 100% directed at me for taking his picture while he's 
holding 45 pounds of glass & china, and not being able to put his hand up to block me from doing so. sucka.

once we boarded the buses it was off to our 'secret location' for dinner, which ended up being on the grounds of the mcfarland house along the niagara parkway. tables and chairs lined the paved space we were to set up and dine upon, and each group was responsible for organizing their area. this is where a little chaos ensued and by the time we sat down to eat we had been informed 40 attendees still had no where to sit. with some shuffling around and squeezing, the music began and dinner commenced with a ceremonial 'napkin wave'. the evening sun was warm and lovely above the vineyard across the road, and everyone and every thing glowed golden and beautiful. 
live entertainment, lots of laughter, cheers-ing, an impromptu singing of oh canada and a sweet little birthday celebration at the table next to us, and before we knew it, it was 10:15 and time to light the sparklers handed out to each guest. last year's sparkler performance was lacklustre compared to the timing and quality of this year, and in that moment, i decided it was my favourite 3 minutes of the entire evening -- there is nothing better than seeing the faces on people of all ages, when their sparkler bursts into light and suddenly they're a kid again.

i love the way this event pulls me out of my every day, and shows me a little glamour, a little flair and a lot of panache. the perfect excuse to celebrate making everything look and feel 'just right' is my kind of party, and i am already looking forward to celebrating again next year. 
the best part? hands down, the company.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

it's the simple things.

 a decorated mantle helped make anniversary celebrations even more special.
sugar cookies for a special friend's folks' wedding anniversary.
a handsome man soaking up some late afternoon sun.
white nails & pineapple juice : fresh & delish.
oh, you know.

Monday, June 17, 2013

jamaican rum punch cocksicles.

lately i've seen a shit tonne of recipes floating around pinterest for cocktail popsicles or 'poptails' (i personally prefer 'cocksicles' myself -- same thing but totally different), which are basically popsicles made up of the same ingredients as classic cocktails like sex on the beach, margaritas, strawberry daiquiri's and so on, and are full of alcohol. as a fan of rum, i wanted to try my hand at a rum punch version of this tasty summer treat, and with a bit of searching realized i couldn't find a recipe that was just right. so with some ratios taken from one recipe and a little smoke and mirrors, i came up with my own version of a 'rum punch cocksicle' and they ended up being everything i wanted them to be: blow-your-head-off delicious.

how we do: jamaican rum punch 'cocksicles'
{makes 10}
prep time: 15 minutes
freezing time: 24 hours

you will need:
10 ounces of jamaican rum (we love appleton estate)
1 super ripe pineapple
1 pint of raspberries
1 lime
1 cup orange juice
popsicle moulds
peel and chop up your pineapple and wash your raspberries. in a blender add all the pineapple, 1/2 of the rum (5 ounces), the juice of 1/2 of a lime and 1/2 cup of orange juice -- puree until smooth and fill the moulds halfway with this mixture. rinse the blender and combine all of the raspberries, the other 1/2 of the rum, lime juice and orange juice. again, puree until smooth and use this mixture to top off the moulds. i shoved a few whole, smaller raspberries into the moulds for a little texture and colour. pop these babies in the freezer and 24 hours later you can throw on some bob and you'll feel like you're sittin' on a beach in jamaica, sippin' a rum punch (amongst other things) 
and livin' the dream.

note: we had these at a very special friend's birthday party this weekend and found it a little difficult to get some of the cocksicles out of their moulds. run them under hot water for a moment and then give them a second to melt a bit before trying to pull them out. when all else fails, if you get desperate enough like i did, grab a spoon and scoop that shit.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

two years.

today we are celebrating our second wedding anniversary, shit does time fly! paulie surprised me by coming home from work last night to say he took today off, so we're going to take advantage by spending the day together at home, followed by a dinner date at one of our favourite restaurants. a low key day is completely unlike how we celebrated our first anniversary, but i think it's important to mix up how you celebrate these special days so you can whole-heartedly enjoy and appreciate each and every one of them.

i think there are worlds inside all of us
contained only tenuously
by the soft covers of skin.

the green in your eyes alight with the sun
and i realize
yours is the most beautiful world
i've ever the privilege to touch.

--author unknown.

Monday, June 10, 2013

rhubarb & shortbread cookie sundaes.

being in charge of dessert for an impromptu sunday dinner at my parents this weekend sparked the hamster to start running full speed on that little wheel stored in paulie's giant heed, and the result was effing delicious. after shooting down my idea to make pizzelle 'funnel cakes' with ricotta whipped cream and fresh strawberries, i left the plan and execution of what he was convinced would be the better choice up to him. now i'm not saying he was right, but i'm not saying he was wrong either.

how we do: rhubarb & shortbread cookie sundaes
{serves 4}
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes

you will need:
3 stalks of rhubarb
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
1/3 cup of orange juice
2 teaspoons of sugar
vanilla ice cream
8 shortbread cookies

wash and chop 3 rhubarb stalks into small, even pieces, and add to a frying pan on medium-high heat. grate 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger and add it to the rhubarb, as well as 1/3 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed or from a carton) and 2 teaspoons of sugar, and allow it to cook until the rhubarb softens to the consistency of a chunky jam.
while your rhubarb is sautéing, get 4 shortbread cookies into a ziploc bag and pound into a crumble, with a nice mix of fine and coarse pieces, this will be the topping for your sundae. when your rhubarb mixture is ready and still hot, scoop a tablespoon into the bottom of each sundae glass or bowl you are serving from. add 2 big, round scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream, a second dollop of rhubarb, the shortbread cookie crumble on top and a full shortbread cookie for garnish and scooping.

the rhubarb sauce is a nice mix of tart, tangy and citrusy, which is lovely with the cool creaminess of the ice cream and rich, buttery flavour from the shortbread -- the fact that they're so pretty is an absolute bonus. change things up by adding fresh strawberries or blackberries to the rhubarb mix or a tasty orange liqueur like grand marnier. shit son.

Friday, June 07, 2013

the anatomy of being.

{image via}

i hate seeing poetry in everything i touch.
i hate that i can no longer love you without turning you into a metaphor --
that it can never be simple as looking at you and saying...
yes. yes. yes.

--shinji moon.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

the beauty in every day.

windy yawning and then playing shy.
in love with a quote from 'into the wild', a new favourite movie.
a stunning handtied bouquet of lupins from a very special friend.
ombre fleurs: my new desktop picture.
morning light on a dark day.
coffee & a good book on a perfect rainy day.

Monday, June 03, 2013

getting my bearings.

i currently feel like i have woken from a five year coma, to finally open my eyes and be told: 
"hey there sleeping beauty, nice to see you're awake! now go on and figure out your whole damn life. annnnnnd go."
like, the fuck?

today marks day one of this new phase in my life, and i'm not exactly sure how i feel about it. i've tricked part of me into thinking i'm only on vacation and will be going back to work in no time, while another part of me knows full well that these days are just the first lines of the first paragraphs sprawled across the first pages of this exciting chapter in my life. to be honest i have only had one severely dramatic/italian mental breakdown, and that was while minding my own business washing dishes one night last week. some of the wiring that holds my far-too-full brain together shorted, and i pretty much exploded all over the kitchen. paulie was lucky enough to be front and center for what i'm positive looked like a combination of an always entertaining over-performance by celine dion/how i sound when the sarah mclachlan spca commercial comes on and that effing 'in the arms of the angel' song of hers plays in the background and my tear ducts work overdrive until they threaten to dry out, shrivel up and fall off. so, rather than stress myself bald over what i don't know, i am going to focus on what i do know, and rejoice in the fact that i am not a complete and utter write off.

things i do know:
*a fresh pot of french pressed coffee first thing in the morning is worth the work.
*taking the pooch for a walk every afternoon makes her happy enough to in-turn make me happy enough.
*watering my plants has become a weird, guilty pleasure.
*writing "to-do" lists is key to feeling required.
*crossing off "to-do" lists is even more key.
*having supportive friends & family to lean on takes the worry and fear out of everything.

things i do not know:
*everything else. seriously, i know nothing else.
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