Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's officially official….

Fall is here…...with vengeance!

Spooky Sunrises….

Turn into beautiful blue skies and sunshine...

Then sunset…The colours are spectacular!

How about some tailgating? It is football season after all! We have a full Thanksgiving dinner at the TigerCat/Argo game in Guelph Thanksgiving weekend!

Had to put the Fall photo cards up in my office….

Do you find you gravitate to 'spicier', more 'woodsy' scents this time of year? I sure do….and these candle from Chapters Indigo are AMAZING! I just ordered a bunch! (They're 25% off until October 28th too!)

I headed to my parent's this weekend and was greeted with quite a snowy drive and this as I pulled in the lane way….. The Sumacs are gorgeous this time of year and just pop against the white snow!

Have a great weekend! Hope you stay warm and cosy…I'm off to make a Chai Latte…. Cheers!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bloggers Who Brunch..

Brunch has been a bit of a theme for me as of late....I LOVE spending lazy Sunday mornings with friends over tres yummy food, great coffee and even better conversation. So...needless to say, when I got an email from Heather, a fellow Guelphite who I met at BlogPodium, suggesting that some of us local Bloggers get together for Brunch, I was 100% in!

We met at 39 Carden Street, a newer bistro in downtown Guelph, across from City Hall. I had been there for dinner about a month ago with a friend and loved it, so I was realllly looking forward to having the chance to go back, but even more so, to meet the lovely ladies I had been emailing back and forth with!

As you enter 39 Carden, it literally draws you in! Their decor and atmosphere are the epitome of my ultimate decor aesthetic! It is the perfect amount of rustic... the leaded glass cupboard windows, the iron details in the table legs, the industrial bar stools, the chalkboard menu, the black harvest chairs...combined with just the right amount of polish and glam...the beautiful chandeliers, the vintage-look light fixtures,the tufted benches, mercury glass mirrors and white bistro chairs.

Once we all arrived, introductions had been made and we and had had a chance to `take it all in` was time to get down to the nitty gritty...what to order for brunch! I ended up going with the tried, tested and true....bacon and eggs (over easy)! The food...and the bottomless cup of coffee in those cobalt blue mugs, was absolutely scrumptious!

We`d settled in, food was ordered and conversation just naturally turned to learning more about eachother, chatting about some blogger `hot topics` such as Blogger vs Wordpress, Stats & Numbers but most importantly, and what I found the most interesting, was as the discussion many similarities emerged! This is a group of women who are driven, entrepreneurial, creative, passionate, with strong opinions and we all enjoy putting our thoughts, brands and ourselves into our work and our blogs!

Here is the group of lovely #guelphblogbrunch ladies - lovely both inside and out! 

From left to right**:

The diversity of topics, writing styles and design of our blogs say a lot about each of us as individuals but I think you will also find that as a collective...our shared love of writing and our passions shine through!

I think we could have sat there all afternoon and kept talking, but then reality set in and it was time to pack up and get going. We all wandered around the bistro, snapping photos and admiring the decor. A HUGE Thank you to the staff at 39 Carden Street for being so welcoming, the amazing service, the delicious food and for allowing us to come in and make ourselves at home!

Ironically enough, the contractor responsible for crafting, designing and pulling together 39 Carden was also there having brunch. We had a chance to meet Matt Robertson of Iron Edge Design and he even shared with us some of his sourcing secrets!

Here`s Matt, the creative genius behind the reno of the bistro - I think there is quite a Chris Daughtry resemblence..**

Thank you again to Heather for organizing this..such a wonderful idea! Thank you to 39 Carden Street for having us! And thank you to all the ladies for attending and for the chance to get to know more about each of you...I am really looking forward to next month!

Cheers to brunch, cheers to blogging and cheers to a group of inspiring women!**


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Integrity, Purpose and Imaginative Vision

I'm having a "Jerry McGuire Mission Statement" mind is going a mile a minute and my fingers can't keep up with all the amazing thoughts, visions and ideas flowing in my mind at this very moment!
Cecil quote
Thank you to a dear friend for recommending this book... The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte.  I haven`t been able to put it down since it was delivered! Unbeknownst to me, I already had another book of hers, Style Statement, which I have kept on my bedside table for those days I needed an injection of inspiration.

Mr. Beaton`s quote and the message in these books by Ms. Laporte truly do hit home.... 

The winds of change are blowing....Stay tuned...There`s MUCH more to come..


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Morphing Mixed Medium

Maria Pezzano is a name synonymous for art, painting, textiles and entrepreneurship... It is also synonymous for friendship.

I was lucky enough to meet Maria and her family as they were my neighbours when I lived in my loft conversion in one of the oldest and cutest neighbourhoods in Guelph. Her smile and passion for what she does is infectious, her giving and generous nature are a rarity these days, and her talent....well, as the pictures below will attest...her talent is insurmountable!

Maria explains her artistic 'process' the best, so I will leave it to her to describe how she comes to produce these magnificent pieces....

"The Process"
Maria Pezzano creates paintings using mixed medium.
From these paintings, she creates patterns and designs.
These are then printed with eco-friendly pigmented inks on organic cotton sateen.
These are then sewn into decorative cushions and duvet covers, locally.
Maria's designs are also printed on wallpaper to compliment the soft surfaces.
Other fabrics include: silk crepe de chine, upholstery twill, cotton linen blend, cotton silk and more.

Maria's ability to bring her visions to life through mixed media and to then transform these pieces of art into soft pieces of art through cushions and duvets are both inspiring and brilliant! Talk about the best of both (all) worlds!

The duvet covers are absolutely stunning...

One of her new pieces....

 Her use of colour and

 Cushions and cushion covers.

 Her father was a tailor.....

The next time you are in Guelph, be sure to drop by Maria's boutique at 77 Suffolk St. As you step through the front door, you will be greeted with a warm 'hug' of colour, texture and vision.

Maria and her new Studio partner, Karen Whylie/Coyote Photo, will be holding Fall and Holiday Open Studios October 18 & 20 and November 23 & 24. BE SURE TO DROP BY!! Also be sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!

I will leave you with some more of Maria's own words...she truly does say it best..


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thank you....


All words to describe my feelings right at this moment...but also every day.....

Thankful for drives down country lanes...

Grateful for family dinners around the table...

Blessed to be able to grow and enjoy such beautiful bounty as this...

Happy to show gratitude for each and every day....

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

De-Clutter..Your Home and Your Life!

As I was perusing through Facebook this morning over breakfast, I saw 2 interesting articles that seemed to go hand in hand with my weekend plans!

I held an "In-House Sale". I had meant to have a yard sale this summer and it just didn't happen. to my closet and down to the basement I went. Any items I was planning on purging, I then posted in similar groups on my personal Facebook page and my friends could 'buy' them on the spot. Needless to say, it was a success! My house feels lighter already!

These are some of the items I posted. The 3 glass sculptures/tea light holders ($6 for all 3), the chairs ($15 for the pair) and the wall mount tea light holder ($15) are still available ...let me know if you're interested!

When I came across the Style at Home article on 25 Ways to Clear Clutter  and the Huffington Post article on 23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing ...a weekend theme was definitely emerging!

I have always been a person to surround myself with things and people I love and I encourage others to do so too! However, sometimes we surround ourselves with a bit too much. Now I'm not saying to remove all things from your life that you love, but I am suggesting you take a step back, re-evaluate and ask yourself, "When did I last use that piece of home decor?" or "My calendar is booked for the next 3 weeks, can I really fit something else in?".

These are some of my  favorite, and what I feel to be most useful, tips from the Style at Home article:
  • Identify problem areas: Take "before" pictures of each room to help identify exactly what needs to be cleared away and which storage solutions might work for each space.
  • Organize your mind: Trying to keep the clutter under control is hard enough for even the most organized individual. Add the extra stress of life-on-the-go and it's easy to lose your mind. Keep a pocket-sized notebook handy and jot down daily to-dos, thoughts and plans. At the end of the day, revisit what you've written and organize appropriately, adding items to a grocery list or activities to a calendar for example.
  •  Baskets: Versatile and sturdy baskets can help you clear clutter on the cheap. Buy a few in the same size and colour to be displayed in multiples.
  • Declutter keepsakes: Artfully organize small mementoes like pictures and cards by creating a pretty wood and glass display box. If you prefer to conceal your keepsakes, an organized file folder with appropriately labeled tabs is a handy place to keep these memories.  
  • Donation hamper: Keep a box or bag handy and place gently used items, as you come across them, inside. When it's full, donate it! 
  • Multi-task cleaning: Watching TV is usually a relaxing time but who likes to sit through all those annoying commercials? Stay on top of organizing by sorting through drawers during commercial breaks. 
  • Neat nightstand: Declare clutter hot spots such as front entryways and nightstands a clutter-free zone. Limit the number of books, magazines and accessories vying for space and attention. If you don't have a nightstand with a drawer, use a basket or tray to keep organized.
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY! Be realistic: Know your organizing style. If you're naturally tidy then a lot of hidden, compartmentalized storage and minimal displays will be right for you. If you're more comfortable living in organized chaos then don't be afraid to show off what you've got. Spend time styling what you've organized, getting rid of and moving things around until you're satisfied with how everything looks.

So now that I have the house under control, these are things  I have to get better at saying "no" to or stop doing:
  • Saying “yes” to everyone else*
  • Saying “no” to yourself*
  • Body-snarking -- out loud or in your own head
  • Feeling like an impostor when you accomplish something professionally
  • Holding on to regrets and guilt*
  • Being in relationships for the sake of having a relationship
  • Not taking advantage of your vacation days*
  • Spending time with people out of obligation
  • Being embarrassed about your interests
Yes....I even *starred* some as things to REALLY focus on!!

So....start tonight, start tomorrow morning....I have checked off a few things already just by holding my "In House Sale" this weekend (and it will continue this week too). I also said "Yes" to myself this weekend and did some things just for me that I really wanted to do...

My Mom and I went to the Fall Home Show in Toronto...there were some great booths and vendors. I stopped by the Etsy booth to see all the amazing wares of fellow Canadian Etsy sellers.

We also went to the Annie Sloan booth to check out her amazing chalk paint! Can't wait to do another painting project!

I also had the chance to have some fun and do my DIY fabric project sponsored by Tonic Living from their booth at BlogPodium. Fingers crossed I win! :)

In process.....

The finished product!!

I even had some time to snuggle into bed with my computer, a nice cup of tea and work on some design guides and this blog!

So I've already started de-cluttering both my home and my life. It isn't easy, but it is so worth it...even with the few things I've done so far I feel a difference! 

When are you going to start??


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pear Sparklers and Barn Nails...

The crops are being harvested, the leaves are changing and the weather continues to be absolutely perfect! Why not take advantage of the sunshine, blue skies, amazing colours and warmer temperatures as we head into Fall, by hosting lunch outdoors.

I think what I like most about this piece for Style at Home by Event Planner and Blogger, Eden Passante, is how she uses the crisp, cool whites of summer side-by-side with the more tonal colours of Fall...the perfect transition!






The use of the rough and textural acorns and pine cones beside the smooth glass, Baby's Breath and pressed linens show how to still bring in the lingering bit of Summer, while welcoming in the Fall elements.

I am a BIG fan of supporting local business (if you're a regular reader of my Blog, you already know this) and am even more of a fan of planning meals around what is currently in season.

The Williams Sonoma website is also one of my favorite sites for not only shopping, but recipes, entertaining tips and fantastic holiday tips like how to incorporate foods of the season into your party planning. 'Click' on the photo to review all of the amazing recipes...

Apples and pumpkins tend to be the 'big two' when it comes to Fall flavours and recipes. Personally, I really enjoy pears and thought I'd share some ideas in how to incorporate them into your Fall repertoire...

This beverage would be my "transitional" drink....reminiscent of summer, but with the flavours of Fall.

Quick to prepare, this refreshing nonalcoholic drink is perfect for autumn gatherings.


  • Ice cubes as needed
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups bottled pear juice
  • 4 to 5 cups sparkling water, chilled
  • 1 Anjou pear for garnish


Place ice cubes in tall glasses. Add about 3 Tbs. pear juice to each glass and then pour in about 1/2 cup sparkling water. Slice the pear into thin wedges, garnish the glasses and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

And this beverage would be my 'welcome to Fall' drink....the colour, the richness, the spices...It's like a warm and cozy blanket but for your taste buds.

Graham Case, Bar Manager and Mixologist at Blackberry Farm, loves to infuse simple syrups with herbs and spices to make his cocktails unique. The Barn Nail is one delicious example. The recipe serves one but can easily be made in a larger batch.


For the spiced honey syrup:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 cup (375 ml) honey
  • 1 cup (250 g) sugar
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 allspice berries 

  • 1 1/2 fl. oz. (45 ml) whiskey
  • 1/2 fl. oz. (15 ml) cherry liqueur
  • 2 dashes plus 2 drops bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish


To make the spiced honey syrup, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the water, honey and sugar and heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and allspice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the syrup into a container. Let the syrup cool to room temperature before using. You will need 1/4 fl. oz. (7 ml) spiced honey syrup for this cocktail; refrigerate the rest for making more cocktails.

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the whiskey, the 1/4 fl. oz. (7 ml) spiced honey syrup, the cherry liqueur and bitters. Stir until cold and pour into a tumbler. Garnish with an orange peel. Serves 1.
So it's have no excuse but to get friends and family together, outdoors while the weather is still balmy and summer like, and have a wonderful afternoon or evening of eating, drinking, talking and laughing!

Cheers to Fall and all that it brings!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...