30 April 2009

For the Love of Mom

In just over one week, daughters and sons across North America will be paying special homage to their Mom's. Why wouldn't we? We all love our Moms, and all too rarely tell her how special she is to us.

Scratching your head over ways to let her know how special she is to you? Let me help. Of course, once again, I have found that etsy is the perfect spot for one-stop shopping for this special occasion.

This pendant by christinaguenther is an absolute favorite of mine. It is hand-stamped with your choice of words and is a wonderfully thoughtful gift for Mom. In this photo, the pendant is stamped with children's names, but could also be stamped with a favorite of Mom's expressions, a date, or a very special message from you to Mom.

Being a wanderer myself, never really attaching myself to any one place, the phrase "Home is where my Mom is" has always been an saying of mine. This seller must agree. This handmade dish by MudHutt is just the tweet-sweetest.

Representative of the most loving and tender side of Mom is this beautiful photo by ModernClassicsPaper. Is there any visual more perfect than a mother's gentle hand being clasped by the tiny hand of her child?

Wish to tell your Mom in your own words just how special she is to you? This lovely card from MichelleBrusegaard is a wonderful spot to pen those thoughts.

On Sunday, May 10th, remember to let Mom know that she is the most special person in your life. The other 365 days of the year, also remember to let Mom know that she is the most special person in your life.

27 April 2009

Favorite Things - April 27

Last week, I treated myself to a new cookbook. I wished so hard that it would arrive in the mail in time for the weekend and 'lo and behold, I was able to pick it up at the post office on Saturday morning on my trip home from the market.

I consume books, engrossing myself so deeply into them that I sometimes forget to come up for air. Never though, has this happened with a cookbook. Typically, I merely salivate over the glossy photos and read quickly through the recipes, dreaming of being the perfect host, presenting these glossy dishes as though they were my own, before depositing the book on the shelf to be pulled out at random intervals. This was different.

I eagerly sliced open my package and pulled out my copy of Laura Calder's French Taste.

Let me tell you, I am one of those who actually do judge a book by its cover, so I was very pleased to see that this book was truly aesthetically pleasing - all cream and pale blue - just like an egg waiting for me to crack it open. Careful not to break the spine of course, the book remained open on the table all day as I was pulled back to it over and over again, until I had scanned it thoroughly cover to cover.

Inside, the book is a wonderland of simple and inspiring dishes that are seemingly simple, yet elegant. Best of all, they are oh so French. Not however, in a pretentious way. Instead, they remind me of a roadside auberge that we stopped in while on our honeymoon in Normandy. The main restaurant was full so we were re-directed to a smaller building to the side of the restaurant. We were shown to our seats, a simple wooden table with rickety spindled chairs. Immediately, an opened bottle of wine was placed before us. "Damn", we thought, "we don't even know what is on the menu, and we don't know how much this meal is going to cost us, and it is too late to back out now." We gave ourselves over to the experience, having no other choice. There was in fact no menu. We looked around and we were surrounded by the sun creased faces of farmers fresh from the surrounding farms. A golden lab loped over to say hello. Soon, food began to flow from the kitchen. Simple dishes, prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients, plated in a visually appealing yet not fussy manner. Four courses and a bottle and a half of wine later, we were satisfied in a way that a meal in Canada has never managed. (For the record, the meal was just a little over the cost of McDonald's.)

This is what the book to me evokes: a passion for food that draws its inspiration from local and seasonal ingredients, and the knowledge that food need not be a masterpiece to be appreciated. The book is peppered with personal vignettes and essays where Laura Calder shares with her readers the joie de vivre that is evident in her life, much of which is spent, enviably in France. Her book pours forth her natural charm, which if you have seen her show French Food at Home on FoodTV, you will know seems endless. It only makes sense that the food that she prepares lacks pretention and smacks of easy grace. It is a true representative of the cook herself.

12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend, and getting the chance to spend some quality time with family, friends, and other loved ones.

I must admit that this has been a wonderful Easter day for me already, and it is only a little after noon. Despite waking up to a once-again white world, and a continuing heavy snowfall, we are lucky enough to be snuggled up at home. We decided last week to decline family invitations to Cape Breton and PEI and stayed home for a change. Seemingly this was a wise move, though we did not know at the time. We would have been faced with 15-25 cm of snow along our entire route home.

This morning, as soon as I awoke, I got to open a fantastically generous gift from a Secret Bunny. As part of the on-going fun in the Canadian buy-n-sell thread, we did a present exchange. I have had two packages taunting me for weeks now, and finally this morning I was able to open them. I was truly spoiled, with a wonderful variety of gifties from BovineBubbles, which included her wonderfully decadent bath treats. I am already addicted to her shower cubes, but I now have a new favorite scent. Lemon Lush..... ummmmmmm.

This morning I was also treated to a wonderfully creative breakfast cooked by Darcy. He made use of left over mashed potatoes and layered them with ham and eggs, lasagna-style, and then grated some extra old, sharp cheddar on the top. It baked in the oven until the eggs were cooked. It was delicious.

One of the biggest surprises, was that I also received an Easter card from my sweet. Darcy is not really a big fan of card-giving. To have a pale lilac envelope presented to me this morning was an extra-special treat. I am a card addict, but even I have never really given anyone an Easter card

Finally, I got to crack open my all-time favorite Easter treat, a Mr Munchy. I am sadden to see that Allan Candy, the maker of said chocolate bunny has removed the icing eye, but I will in time make my peace with that decision. As a kid, I always saved the crunchy, sugary eye for the very end, for that final burst of sugary deliciousness.

I hope you have a great day too. If you have a little sunshine, feel free to send it this way.

6 April 2009

Favorite Things - April 6

This week's favorite thing is probably one of my favorite of all favorite things: Long Weekends.

This coming weekend is Easter which means a three-day weekend. The idea of it looming in the very near future is glorious and liberating.

For two of the three days there will be no stores or businesses open, which means that even if I HAD to run an errand, I couldn't. If I want to sleep in or have a mid-day nap, no problem. If I want to have an evening coffee I can do so without the nagging thought, "I'll never sleep tonight, and I need to get up early tomorrow".

I can watch movies at 2:00 in the afternoon. Or not. I can go for a drive to the beach. Or not.

I can linger over meals. I will make meals from scratch. I can have a glass, or bottle, of wine with my meal.

Anything that I want to do, I can do at my pace. I can put things off until tomorrow, or the following Wednesday once life has returned to normal.

Aaaah... Long Weekend. The two most glorious words in the English language.

5 April 2009

Hunting for Eggs in Canada

Spring has Sprung and the Easter Bunny hopped over to the TransCanada Etsy Team and left some eggs behind!

So we decided to host the first ever TransCanada Etsy Team Easter Egg Hunt. 30 shops are hiding 20 eggs and one person will win a $15.00 coupon to redeem at any of the participating Etsy shops!!!

Join the fun, check out all the details at our team shop! TransCanadaTeam.etsy.com

Here is a preview of some of the fabulous shops of the Trans-Canada Etsy Team:

4 April 2009


What a poor neglected blog this has become. March is such a sleepy month and it always seems like such a slog to get even basic tasks out of the way, let along try to be cheerful and creative. To top it off, March, left like a lion, leaving in its windy wake 32 cm of snow at the start of this week.

Well, now its April. The grey, foggy skies of this morning have cleared making way for a wonderfully sunny and warm day. I saw my first spring robin, standing in one of many of this spring's puddles. Easter is just around the corner, and with that comes a long weekend... and chocolate. Mmmmm... things are definitely looking up!!!