A Martha’s Vineyard Farmhouse

Good Morning!

When I stumbled upon the farmhouse of New York restaurateur Keith McNally (of Balthazar restaurant) in Elle Decor,  it reminded me of some of the older farmhouses in New Brunswick.  Though this one is located in posh Martha’s Vineyard, you wouldn’t know it as his renovation has kept the property rustic and simple. But genuinely beautiful.  They raise animals, grow produce and even make their own goat cheese here.  And the gardens are amazing.  I just had to share this lovely spot with you.

all photo via Elle Decor; photography by Simon Upton

Pretty great, huh?  What a great place for kids too.  I hope you enjoyed as much as I did.

XO,

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Traditional Lobster Dinner

Good Morning!

Maybe it’s because I’ll be heading home soon, or maybe because I just attended my friend’s annual Canada Day lobster party but I totally have my favourite crustaceans on the brain these days.  I loooove lobster.  It is my favourite meal.   And the word meal is key here.  I’m talking traditional east coast lobsters were caught morning, true lobster “dinner”.  I almost never order a lobster meal in a restaurant (except maybe a lobster roll….).  It just doesn’t feel (or taste) the same if I’m not at my cottage in New Brunswick.   Today I’m sharing all things lobster, and more specifically what you need to pull of a decent lobster dinner.  But first some….

Lobster Fun Facts!

  • Although lobster can be various different colours in the ocean; all turn red when cooked because all color dyes get destroyed while cooking except the red dye.
  • Despite popular belief, lobsters do they do not scream when you cook them.  Lobsters do not have vocal chords. Any sound you hear could be that of air escaping from the lobster’s body cavity as it expands from heating.
  • The teeth of the lobster are in its stomach, which is a very short distance from the mouth.
  • Lobsters “smell” their food by using the four small antennae on the front of their heads and tiny sensing hairs that cover their bodies.
  • The greenish brown stuff you fin in the inside of the lobster is is the tomalley or tamali, which functions like the liver, pancreas and intestines in the lobster. Many people find this delicious to eat (like my dad).  I don’t mind it but usually scrap it off.
  • It takes 5 to 7 years for a lobster to grow to legal size in the ocean. A lobster at legal size will weigh approximately 1 pound.

You can find more fun facts here and here.

71698698_7463bed230_z Photo via Flikr Creative common (man pikin)

Now what do you serve at a lobster dinner?  Well, with the lobster is the main event and doesn’t need much else.  But there are few things that are important….

1. Melted butter with lemon…lobster is the perfect vehicle for butter, am I right?  And without  the squeeze of lemon it’s just not the same for me.

lemon and butter copy Photos via Flikr Creative common (Casey Bisson and Troy Tolley)

2. Fresh rolls

rolls Photo via Flikr Creative common (dithie)

3.  Coleslaw or Potato Salad…or both!

7714149634_c28eff2b08_z Photo via Flikr Creative common ( Feministjulie

4. And if you NEED more vegetables (who has room with all the lobster and butter?), corn on the cob works well.

3898162422_5f36eb52bb_z Photo via Flikr Creative common (Keith McDuffee)

And that is it!  So simple, right?  An amazing meal with very actual little food prep required. However, if you are going to host a TRUE lobster dinner, there are a few essential tools you’ll want to have for the table.

lobster DInner table essentials

 

1.  The shell cracker:  The claw shells can be pretty hard so a few shell crackers are important.  The one is from Canadian company  Paderno.

2. The seafood pick: Forks won’t cut it when trying to get that last last teensy bit of lobster out of the shell (and lord knows you CANNOT leave anything behind).  You need a seafood pick.  I like this one from Crate and Barrel because it has a pick AND a scoop.

3. A large bowl:  For the shells.  You can’t  make room on your plate for more lobster with the shell(s) still sitting there now can you?  This one from Emile Henry will do the trick.

4. Napkins:  You are eating in large part with your hands.  You’ll need napkins like these from Pier 1 Imports.

5. The butter warmer:  This may be the most important tool.  What is lobster without warm melted butter?  Sure, you can throw it in the microwave every 10 mins to keep it warm, but why not use a butter warmer right on the table (like this Crate and Barrel one)? Then you can stay at the table and enjoy your feast!

6. and 7. The lobster bib and tablecloth:  As noted above, this meal can be messy, which I think is part of the fun.  However, less fun if you ruin your shirt.  Therefore, the bib is essential for me.  And how AWESOME are these ones from Canadian textile designer Avril Loretti?  Love.  And on the mess topic, if you are going to bother using a tablecloth, I would go with a plastic/vinyl like this one.  If you use a cloth one make sure it is washable.

And there it is for you, the lobster dinner basics.  AND now I’m hungry.

 

Last Week’s Loves – June 30th to July 6th, 2014

Good Morning!

Before I get into my last week’s loves, I need to wish one of my lovely blogger friends a very Happy Birthday.  You know when you meet someone and you think, this person is just a genuinely GOOD person?  Well, that is how I felt immediately when I met Christine Dovey of Bijou and Boheme. Despite her immense talent as a designer/stylist/artist, she is humble, gracious and still seems surprised by her success.  So Ms. Bijou I hope you have a lovely day and a spectacular #giftoffancy night with your awesome-sock-wearin’ husband.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Fuzzy pics that’s all I have….)

Now back to my loves of last week!

Miss Sheralee over at Escapade shared this lovely modern country home designed by architect Christopher Simmonds in  Gatineau Hills, Quebec.  Really love the both the space and the setting.  Check out more photos and info, here.

Gatineau Hills, Quebec, designed by Canadian architect Christopher Simmonds – See more at: http://www.escapadeblog.com/2014/07/rustic-minimal-modern-home-in-gatineau.html#sthash.ONxFCFEr.dpuf
Gatineau Hills, Quebec, designed by Canadian architect Christopher Simmonds – See more at: http://www.escapadeblog.com/2014/07/rustic-minimal-modern-home-in-gatineau.html#sthash.ONxFCFEr.dpuf

 

I really enjoyed this read from Erin at Design for Mankind on the Small Things.  An interesting look at the things we focus on during an upsetting situations and a good reminder to not let that cloud all the rest of the good stuff.

This affogato recipe found here over at Camille Styles (by Annette Joseph) looks scrumptious. It’s like a coffee ice cream float….on crack.  The good kind.

This is glamourous shared some photos of the super low-key Olivia Polermo and German model  Johannes Huebl.  So low-key that the bride wore separates!  But obviously still looked stunning.  I love this casual look for the nuptials.  You can see more photos and get the goods here.

 

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Have a great day!

XO,

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Fashion Friday: Summer Weekend

Good Morning!

I’m pretty sure I have mentioned this before,  but I find casual outfits difficult.  Let me re-phase that. I find NICE casual outfits difficult. I work in an office and have lots of dresses that are dressier and more corporate, and then I have LOTS of SUPER-casual clothes such as sweatpants (love) and workout clothes. I’m just not great at dressing in the middle.  I’m a dress person, so the summer is a bit easier as the weather allows for casual dresses. Now the the outfit I’ve put together today isn’t totally causal (baby steps people, baby steps) but it could work for a summer party, or dinner with friends on a patio.

Summer Weekend

I love the fun pattern in the skirt paired with the bright tank.  And then the sandals and bag really add the casual feel to it.  If you want to see the details of this outfit (or any others) you can find them here on my Polyvore.

What are your go to summer casual pieces?

XO,

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Decor Scheme for My Backyard Update

Good Morning!

I’ve been working on getting my backyard/patio cleaned up over the last few weeks, and I’m making some changes to the space. Nothing drastic, just some updates while using the furniture I already have.

You may have seen my recent post about painting my exterior door. After getting lots of opinions from you (thank you!), I’ve decided on the blue, more specifically Para Paints Bluenose (P2116-03).

 

Bluenose

 That decision led me to a create a nautical-ish navy/red scheme. I’ve done a round-up on what I have already and what I will need to complete my look.

backyard copy

What I have (clockwise from the top left):

1. Red and white cushion by Colin and Justin from Marshall’s, which goes with my…

2. ÄPPLARÖ bench from the IKEA  

3. Blue Cynthia Rowley table runner, which will go on my…

4. ÄPPLARÖ gateleg table from IKEA.  

5. 2 rattan lounge chairs from IKEA which they no longer carry but look similar to these ones, and have creamy white cushions

6. 2 Nisse white laquer folding chairs from IKEA

What I need (clockwise from the top left):

1. Patio lights!  The string kind. Simple ones I can drape around my patio or in my garden for extra light. Like these Allen & Ross ones from Lowe’s.

2. I have some throw pillows but I need some fabric to make new covers. And these 3 fabrics from Tonic Living will be perfect! (Small Ikat Dot in Navy, 10 oz Canvas in red, Starfish in Navy)

3. My door painted in Para paints bluenose

4. Good quality stake lighting for my garden. The solar ones that I currently have are terrible and don’t emit enough light, but I don’t want to have to run a cord across my yard from my deck so I’m stuck with solar.  I like the look of these copper ones from Westinghouse. But I’ll definitely want to be sure the ones I buy give off sufficient light.

So what do you think of the scheme?  Any suggestions?  Any recommendations for good stake lighting that actually gives off good light?  Let me know!

Have a great day!

XO,

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Last Weeks’s Loves – June 16th to 22nd, 2014

Good Morning!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I’ve been on a week-long blog hiatus but I’m back today with some of my blog loves from last week. Pretty sure you won’t be disappointed if you click over to the posts I’ve featured, but read on and see what you think.

1.  Oh My Daily Randomness, your summer cocktail recipes made my day.  It’s a perfect time of year to enjoy these refreshing drinks.  Find the details here. 

2.  I really enjoy the sound of wind chimes.  There is something soothing about them.  I think it would be nice to have some in my backyard, but I live REALLY close to my neighbours and maybe they won’t like the noise.  But still, I definitely did a double take when I saw these DIY wind chimes on Poppytalk.  Do I need another project…um, no.  But these are tempting.

3.   I love me some delicious seafood.  So my mouth was watering when perusing this grilled octopus salad recipe posted here by the lovely ladies over at Life Over Easy.  Yummy.

grilled-octopius-salad

4.  A great read, as always, found over at Style by Emily Henderson with tips on spending the day at a flea market.  I always so love reading her posts.  Awesome.

5.  I used to read a ton, but I find it hard to read little bits at night.  I need long periods to get into a book, which I don’t get often.  But I ALWAYS read at my cottage where I will be in just over a month.  So, this list of fave summer reads from Design Sponge may just come in handy.

And that’s all folks.  Hope you enjoyed these as much as I did!

XO,

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Summer Recipe: Grilled Peach Melba Sundae

Good Morning!

This morning I’m sharing a crowd pleasing recipe from the cover of this month’s Canadian Living magazine.  With grilling season in full swing, why not make the absolute most use your grill with this yummy dessert?  Grilled Peach Melba Sundaes with a raspberry sauce are T.A.S.T.Y.  I recently made this recipe for some friends and it was a hit.  And it’s really easy to do.

Raspberry copy

The raspberry sauce was sweet and delicious and the best part is you can easily make it ahead. Also, if you make a little extra you could use it for other things too.  Maybe add it to a vinaigrette to make a sweet raspberry salad dressing?

peaches

Once peaches are in season, this dessert will be extra sweet and delicious.

peaches and sugar

grilling peaches 2 *photo credit Jen Button :)

Grilled Peaches

almond

Canadian Living Photo - 2

I really loved this dessert.  As you can tell from the slightly melted ice cream in the photo, I put the peaches on while they were still warm from the grill which made it ever better! My friends were also fans….

Friends with Sundaes copy

Aside from this dessert tasting great, it’s so easy whip up.  The sauce and toasted nuts can be made in advance.  And if you are already grilling your dinner on the barbecue you can then just throw on the peaches after and BAM!  An instant light dessert, perfect for long summer evenings on the patio.  You can find the full recipe here, or in this month’s Canadian Living magazine!

Have a great day!

XO,

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*This is sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Discovery: Stan Olthuis via The Rooster Coffee House

Good Morning!

One of the many things I love about my local coffee shop, the Rooster Coffee House on Broadview Avenue, is that they also serve as a bit of an art gallery.  They support artists by featuring their work on the walls (with prices in case any of their customers are so inclined), and rotate artists regularly. Not only does having their ever-changing wallscape make for great decor, but I get to be exposed to new artists just by getting a coffee. Although I usually only get to the Rooster about once a week (sadly it’s not on my way to work), I get pretty excited when I see that the art has been changed up again.  The artist I’m going to share with you today I discovered on my most recent visit to the Rooster: Canadian artist Stan Olthuis.   After my discovery, I checked out his website.  Truly lovely works.  But I’m most drawn to his “Gowns” collection, some of which are on display at the Rooster.  Here are a few of my favourites:

IMG_3475 IMG_5453 IMG_3303_crop IMG_3189_crop IMG_3875 2013-01-23 12.45.22

Pretty great, right?  The concept is simple but the pieces are anything but that.  I love all the layers, and the shapes the dresses take in these.  I’m officially a fan.  You can see more from the collection and other on his website.  Now I just need to save my pennies so I can own one of his pieces someday.  Hope you’ve enjoyed this discovery as much as I have!

XO,

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Summer Jumpsuit Round-Up

 Good Morning!

So, let’s talk jumpsuits.  Or rompers, onesies,  playsuits (which I personally think sounds creepy), whatever you want to call them.  My first experience with a jumpsuit was 4 years ago. I bought a black one from H&M.  It was ok, but the cut was strange.  The crotch hung too low.  Now, this was around the time when the “harem” pant or more commonly known as the “MC Hammer” pant, made a brief (thank goodness) comeback, so maybe that is why these hung too low.  But regardless,  it wasn’t quite right.

My other, slightly more personal and neurotic issue with the jumpsuit is having to pee topless. Yes, I’m behind closed doors when I’m doing my biz, but it still feels odd to be topless while doing it. However, recently I’ve been noticing some great jumpsuits on the market.  Ones that are have a slimmer leg, with crotch lengths that are reasonable, and that definitely are not too billow-y.  Here are a few good ones I found that just might just get me over my fear of being topless in a bathroom stall…..maybe.

 

Jumpsuits copy

 

 Clockwise from top left: ASOS Jumpsuit with Cami Straps, Rory Beca Ludo Jumpsuit, Rebecca Minkoff Suarez Jumpsuit,

AQUA Jumpsuit , ASOS Plunge Neck Jumpsuit, ASOS Jumpsuit in Check

 I love the patterned plunge neck line one, which sadly I could NEVER wear without looking indecent. Also, that bright blue one is great. The ruched bit on the cropped pant is a lovely detail.

How do you feel about the jumpsuit?

XO,

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Convert It: Sonoma Power House

Good Morning!

Today I’m sharing lovely conversion project in Sonoma, California.  Owner and designer Todd R. Cole purchased and redesigned this former PG&E power plant 17 years ago to make it his own.  It was originally converted to a home 50 years ago, by Arthur W. Foster III, who named it “the Power House”.  Cole, an avid flea market shopper, has added many eclectic details to the space while keeping many of the original elements.  For me, this  seems like the perfect space to curl up and read a book or take a nap.

Photo credit:  John Merkl   Designed by: Todd R. Cole  Via California Home Design

Lovely spot and great conversion.  You can see more pictures and learn more history of this space over at California Home Design.

Have a great day!

XO,

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