January 25, 2016

veggie burger with [homemade] fries + salad

back in university a friend of mine and i had a bit of a tradition.  after work or a particularly stressful week, we'd meet at a pub in the downtown core and get our pub classic - a (veggie) burger.  this particular pub appealed to us because it allowed you do get half fries + half salad.  it's the perfect meal - you got the greasy fries you want, with a hearty dose of veggies.

since moving into the condo, this is one of the traditions b and i have managed to replicate at home.  with a pint of beer, it's the perfect saturday evening meal, from the comfort of your own home.

veggie burgers with [homemade] fries + salad

[what you need]

veggie burgers - tonight we were looking for a quick meal - these burgers were yves brand veggie burger.  if you are looking to make your own, this lentil burger is amazing and holds up really well on the bbq.  and, of course, regular beef burgers would work just as well.

fries - oven roasted fries (recipe below).

salad - any salad will do.  tonight's version was a simple one with lettuce, spinach, red kale, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts and this balsamic apple vinaigrette.

drink - a pint of your favourite beer.

[oven roasted] fries
serves 2

[you will need]

3 or 4 potatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of oregano, basil and parsley
2 teaspoons garlic powder

[to make]

preheat the oven to 425 degrees. slice up potatoes.  the thinner you make them, the more crispy they turn out.  toss potatoes in olive oil, herbs and garlic powder.  bake for approximately 25 minutes, until crispy, flipping half way through.

there you have it - a quick, simple to make, pub classic at home.  hope you love it as much as we do.  enjoy!


January 14, 2016

antique shopping [a few tips]

antique shopping is something b & i both really enjoy doing.  something about the thrill of the hunt, the unique things you can find, & the history of the items.  our little home is full of them - items handed handed down from family or purchased during an afternoon exploring.  they give our home so much warmth and character.

i could spend all my days hunting for cute pyrex dishes or vintage mason jars.  they are my weakness!  one of the great things about antique shopping is you never know what you'll find.  i am convinced some of the coolest things were made decades ago, just waiting for someone like me (or you!) to find.  

i've compiled a few tips to make your antique-hunting experiences more enjoyable:

[have a plan]
keep a wish list of sorts, a list of items you are looking for.  antique markets are usually packed full of things and can get overwhelming.  having a list will keep you organized, on track and remind you what you are looking for.  

is the item really worth the price ?  this is a bit of a personal decision - what you value may not be as valuable to someone else, and vice versa.  i am a sucker for pyrex (love pyrex!) but i have a limit as to what i will pay.  i really believe that if you are patient, you'll find what you want in a price range you are comfortable with.

[shop around] 
the thing with antiques is that they have a different value for just about every vendor. a cute jar at one vendor may be twice the price of another vendor. luckily, a lot of antique markets are stalls, which makes it a lot easier to shop around to find the best deal.  you can always place an item on hold and decide whether you love it as you continue to shop.

[have a use for the item]
why do you want this item? do you have a use for it?  is there a spot for it to go in your home?  i absolutely love mason jars, but if left to my own devices i could buy 15 at a time.  unfortunately, given the size of our space (remember, we live in a small condo) i cannot justify purchasing them just for the sake of having them. they need to have a purpose.  being mindful of your space, and having a use for the item, will make you appreciate it more.  

[branch out beyond antique markets] 
while antique markets are really great, they are not the only place to find antiques.  garage sales, thrift stores, the reuse store, & websites like craigslist & kijiji are great places to look for those one-of-a-kind items that you are hunting for.  i found a beautiful milk glass lamp on craigslist after hunting in store for weeks.

have any tips of your own? please share - i'm a sucker for a great tip.  

happy hunting!   

- d

January 07, 2016

from 2015 to 2016

can you believe the first week of 2016 is over.  where has the time gone!

how does one start to recap such a crazy, busy, hectic, adventurous, stressful and wonderful year?  2015 just flew by.

looking back, b & i had an amazing year.  this year i pet a cow, ran my first race, bought my first item off craigslist, organized my home, drank coffee and watched the sun rise multiple times, purged 30 garbage bags of stuff, found a donut pan and baked way too many donuts, haggled with mennonites, danced in a flash mob, and watched both of our siblings get married.

i also started to focus on this little piece of internet a lot more in 2015.  it became a priority, a place to share some of my projects and travels.  here is a recap of some of my favourite posts from the year:


- turning our boring balcony into a comfortable, relaxing spot to relax
- painting our bedroom (finally!) and updating our bed frame to pop against the darker walls
- our (amazing) custom adjustable shelves that hold all of our books


- making a cute little cacti garden for the coffee table
- the gold arrow jewelry holder i made to hang my larger necklaces
personalized cat toys for our fur baby maggie


- this year i tried my hand at a few cocktail recipes.  the minty moscow mule and b's strawberry-lime mojitos were my favourite (both of which also rock in a mocktail version)
- the cherry & brown butter muffins i ate way too many of


- soaking up the sun and explore sint maarten/saint martin
- watching my baby brother get married in whistler
- hiking along the scarborough bluffs in toronto

as awesome as 2015 was, i am optimistic for 2016.

while i am usually a proponent of a list of personal and professional goals i want to accomplish in the coming year, this year i decided to look at 2016 a little differently.  i want to focus on simplicity over the next twelve months.  to focus on down time and not run a round as much. to spend more time seeing friends and having real conversations.  to create a home that is comfortable, calm, warm and inviting.  to make my life a little bit more simple.

don't you just love the fresh start of a new year.  what are your goals for 2016?