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This and that

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Blanket Scarf Obsessed and oops!

This cold weather and snow has totally enhanced my obsession for the blanket scarf trend. The second it starts getting chilly I am consumed with how to stay warm. Most warm items, however, don't improve your look; like my flannel pyjamas, my huge down winter coat, any hat on my head (just flattens my hair even more.) So I'm thrilled with the whole wearing-a-blanket-like-a-scarf thing that's happening because it's both warm and stylish! Here are some examples.

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Found here.

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Found here.

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Found here.

I don't have one yet. Maybe the perfect Christmas gift?

On another note, the new ELTE MKT is opening this weekend and that's pretty exciting. A lower price point and a younger target market is right up my alley!

Lastly, I was looking at my last post about Christmas decorating and my pictures are horrible. So sorry!! You can't even tell that there are lights on the mantle. My bad.

I will post better pics after I decorate some more.

-Kate

 

 

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It's mint

It is so difficult finding affordable art for your home but it has such a huge impact on your space. That's why i've relied on my mother-in-laws painting skills and our personal photographs when adorning our walls. But I just discovered the art marketplace on that website Minted. So many options, such a variety of prints and they even offer framing so that when it arrives at your door it's ready to hang. Amazing. The best part is that the artists are all independent and include some background on their pieces so that you really know what you're buying. Here are some examples:

MIN-HA3-GNA-007_A_APZ

MIN-MDS-GNA-007_A_APZ

MIN-LGN-GNA-007_B_APZ

MIN-L1E-GNA-007_A_APZ

 

Go to minted.com for more browsing. I think we are going to curate a gallery wall for our client's dining room. Just need to narrow down the choices.

-Kate

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Things that make me...

Amanda, I was reading that blog Decor Happy today. Vanessa Francis has a really great voice - I mean, you can hear her talking through her blog. I actually feel like I kind of know her and I hope that our blog has the same effect on people.

Anyway, she talks about how her goal as a designer is to make her client happy in their home. She talks about being "decor happy." So it made me think about that - what makes me decor happy?

So here's a shortlist:

1.   This couch from Restoration Hardware that we just purchased for a client. I am so absolutely excited for them that they not only get one but two in their living room!

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2.   I love pillows. They make a space cozy and these below from West Elm are textured and fun.

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3) I bought this sheepskin at Indigo today and it thoroughly excited me - so versatile - throw it on the floor, on your couch, on a chair, on your bed, under your christmas tree... the possibilities are endless! Found here.

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4. A great candle. Bet you didn't know this was one? Found here.

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5.   Anything monogrammed. I'm a sucker for personalization. You can definitely overdo it, but here or there, it makes you feel special! These sheets are from pottery barn.

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What makes you decor happy?

-Kate

 

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This and That

Amanda, I went to the Fall Home Show today and thought I'd gather some inspiration there but was sorely disappointed. I discovered a Garage Organization company that would be the thing of Chris' dreams but can't happen right now... I'd love to surprise him at some point - like a "Pimp his garage" kinda scenario. But that was it.

Anyway, we did have a beautiful weekend, packed with new activities and outdoor fun. Two swims in the pool, lots of socializing and some great food. Consequently, not much got done around the house.

However, this week I did feel inspired by your mantel post. It reminded me of this idea I had a while back to make a garden out of my mantel. So I gathered all of the potted plants I had around the house and arranged them in a couple different formations until it felt right. The true test was that when Chris got home he immediately said "that looks nice." When normally he sighs in exasperation that something again has  been changed.

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On another note, Meg sent me a link to this recipe for Strawberry Cream Scuffins!  A combination of muffin and scone. ha. I especially love that there are strawberries involved so will definitely try to make this soon. Beware you have to log into BHG to get the recipe. Here's a pic:

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-Kate

 

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Logo

Amanda, I've been playing around with Illustrator, trying my hand at logo design. Wow, graphic designers sure have skill! I have no idea what I'm doing and really cannot get beyond the basics.

Regardless, I did come up with a couple options.

If you are reading this, and you're not Amanda, please still weigh in. We've received feedback from some of our readers that they feel uncomfortable commenting on our blog because we are addressing each other. But we would love to hear what you think! About everything!

Here they are.

1.

K&Alogo

 

 

 

2.

K&Alogo2

 

3.

K&Alogo3

 

I know: ridiculously simple. But the truth is, we aren't really frilly people and the logo should represent us - a clean and classic aesthetic. The logos are for something we are working on right now. Something we will be revealing quite soon... so which one do you like the best?

-Kate

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Swedish Dish Cloths

Amanda,

The swedes have done it again - created a lovely combination of form and function in the everyday dish cloth.

I first discovered the Swedish sponge cloth at my doorstep when my realtor, Jen Percival, dropped two off for me. They came in a cute bag and an explanation that these cloths are made of eco friendly materials and dry extremely quickly so that bacteria can't grow on them. Brilliant.

Then Leah sent me a link to a website that sells the cloths with the most stylish patterns! You actually want people to see them on your counter.

Take a look.

 

The cloths seen above are either from Ten & Co or TulipTree and Saga.

-Kate

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Father's Day Round-Up

Amanda, Father's Day is approaching so I've been brainstorming what to get Chris. He's a great dad and deserves a little something. So I have a couple ideas and stumbled upon a couple more so I'm sharing...

#1. Anything wood is good. But combining wood and technology is even better.

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#2. Toiletry bag: one that is untraditionally square.

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etsy.com

#3. Gap T-shirt: be it baseball or vintage.

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gapcanada.ca

#4. These cool kicks: literally cool in the summer heat.

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#5. This is what my husband really wants: a Japanese maple

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plant world, home depot

Do you know what you're getting Mike?

-Kate

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Loving Now

Kate,

 

I've been hearing about Bioderma Sensibio H2O for a while now.  Well I finally tried it out this week and I love it!  Fantastic product for people with sensitive skin who don't like a lot of scent. It removed all my makeup without drying out my skin.  Whenever I use those wipes that vow to take off your makeup, I break out in a rash.  This is a dream for the lazy girl who doesn't want to wash her face at night, i.e ME!  No excuses now.  It's available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

We went to a birthday party on Sunday and had this amazing orzo salad.  It was ridiculously yummy and I think it will become a summer staple in this house.  I seriously devoured it and my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Can't wait to make it this weekend.

This sandal is so perfectly simple.  Great with just about everything.

I feel like I'll never stop wearing this t-shirt all summer long.  Dressed up or down, it's a perfect basic.

Call me crazy but I keep going back to look at this jumpsuit.  Am I crazy or is it love?

-Amanda

Image from melskitchencafe.com

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La Merceria with Brianna

Amanda Today I took Brianna out for lunch to celebrate her birthday that I missed over the weekend because of the wedding. I had heard of this little spot called La Merceria in King West on Adelaide and made a call to make sure they served food and more importantly, coffee. It turned out to be the cutest little spot! It is quaint and bright and filled with beautiful items to purchase. My senses were on overload between the candles (they sell that Caldrea brand that you love) and the decor - we sat at a little table with a bench wrapped in beige linen. I was at home.

Of course, any outing comes down to the company and Bri is the best. It actually reminded me of days long ago when she and I would sit at my kitchen table for hours and talk about everything under the sun. There is nothing better than a good chat with a good snack.

Oh yeah, that's a nutella latte in the picture.

-Kate

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This and That

Amanda, It's been a busy weekend. You saw me yesterday with five kids at the park. I meant to show you the nest we found outside the gate of 5 baby robins. They were so cute. All with their little mouths open waiting for worms. The kids were totally enthralled and probably would have brought one home if they hadn't been in the guardianship of an adult.

Last night we had so much fun at Chris' cousins wedding. We danced, we laughed, we were kid free! I said I would post a pic of the jumper I wore... unfortunately all the pics of us at the wedding were kinda blurry, so I had to take a random selfie at home and even then its a horrible pic. I felt like such a teenager!

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Jumper from M for Mendocino. The best part was how comfortable it was to wear. The shoes, not so much...

The other amazing thing that happened this weekend was what I found at our nursery school garage sale. I almost jumped for joy: three mongolian fur pillow covers.

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These things retail at West Elm for $100 a piece. I caught a glimpse of them in a plastic bag and thought... no, it couldn't be. Imagine my elation when I opened the bag and found not one but three of them in perfect condition!

Just have to figure out how to wash mongolian fur since I don't know where they came from, after all.

-Kate

 

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This and That

Kate, This long weekend didn't really shape up exactly as planned.  A little bit of family health drama and a vicious sore throat has me feeling like I've been hit by a bus.  On Sunday I was pretending I wasn't sick, I carried on, entertained the family in the morning, went to friends for a bbq, drank...several glasses, which mixed with the painkillers actually seemed to erase the pain!  Silly, silly me thinking I could pretend I wasn't sick.  Sometimes you really have to listen to your body otherwise it will just punish you in the end.

We opted out of the cottage to stay in the city to try and accomplish something of a makeover for our deck.  It's so ugly that we tried to get on to Diaster Decks last year.  Now the stain is peeling which makes it look even worse.  Seriously, I could crawl into a hole every time I look at it.  So a distraction is needed. These Loeffler Randall Handbags are doing the trick except they are out of stock!  Eye candy it is for now.

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bucket bag

Lock clutch

 

On to Zucchini Carpaccio. I was looking at People a few weeks back and came across this recipe. Looks super yummy.  Perfect side for a summer bbq.  And if that recipe isn't enough here's another version to try as well.  I can't wait to give both of them a go.  Dreaming of being healthy and eating this along with a glass of white wine.

zucchini-carpaccio

 

-Amanda

 

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This and That

Kate, Tulips

The weekend flew by in a flurry of birthdays, events, hair and nail appointments (yippee) and a nice relaxing Mother's Day.  I woke up to an empty house and enjoyed a quiet coffee but immediately wanted my family back.  I actually thought I wanted time alone this Mother's Day (doesn't ever happen) but ended up just wanting to be around my family.  I went shopping with the intention of picking something out for myself but once I got there I wandered around finding nada and just wanting to go home.  (I did love two skirts from J Crew and almost bought them but I started thinking all practical. How often do I wear skirts? Are they comfortable?  Does my day to day life really lend it's self to skirts?)  So I started looking at dresses that would be easy to slip on and be comfortable but still look stylish and came across this beautiful boho inspired one.

Freepeople dress

It's by Free People and honestly I want a zillion dresses from them and I'm not even sure this one is my favourite!  It's the most affordable of my fav's though and I think you could wear it day or night.

Pink chair

I also came across this picture on Pinterest and fell in love.  It looks so serene.  I really love everything about it.  The pink chair, the rug, the white, the art, the mix of modern and traditional lighting, the white flooring.  It really really makes me want to get my white fireplace in and I can't place the blame on Mike.  Either he works on the mantel or he spends time with us (or golfing...but that's a whole other story).  I'm hoping to have it done by Pete's birthday but who am I kidding, the only way that's going to happen is if we don't go to the cottage this weekend.

Anyhoo, have a great and productive Tuesday everyone.  May as well get stuff done in this weather so that you can really enjoy the outdoors when it's sunny out!

-Amanda

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Oh yeah, I'm 5

Amanda, A child's birthday is bittersweet. You're so proud that they are hitting yet another milestone, it's an opportunity to really appreciate how far they've come, the person they are, the amazing things they've already accomplished. Yet i feel sad. Sad that it's passing by so quickly. Do you know what he said to me yesterday? He said, "mom, now that i'm five I don't always have to hold your hand." Heart crushing. So you know what I said? "I will hold your hand for the rest of your life. I will cuddle you forever. I will kiss you even when you're old." And I grabbed his hand and held it tighter than before.

Bittersweet.

On another note, his birthday party was lots of fun.  Thank you mother nature for such a beautiful day after a week of projecting rain.

I measure the success of a child's birthday by the number of meltdowns there were.  I'm happy to report, there were none!

Here are some pics. Outdoor carnival theme all the way. Thank you to my awesome neighbours who allowed us to take over the whole street.

-Kate

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Special M day

Kate, TTH Blooms

Shout out to the two super special and cool people out there whose names starts with M and have a birthday today!  Obviously great people are born on May 9th.  I love you both and wish you the most fabulous of years.  Best friends are hard to come by and I've been blessed to have the same one since I was 3.  Who through all our ups and downs in life is still there and like a sister to me.

TTH 2

Today is going to be a beauty of a day (only 40% chance of rain and I only believe when it says 60%).  It's  going to be warm, warm, warm!  I'm sitting here looking at my backyard and the trees are beginning to bloom.  I'm feeling very grateful and excited for a warm and lovely Mother's Day.  Not sure if you remember last Mother's Day but lovely it was not!  Whipping wind and hail is what I remember.

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Speaking of Mother's Day.  I'm feeling particular grateful right now that I am a mom and that I have such a wonderful mom.  Sometimes at the end of the day I look at my children sleeping (the best part of the day all peaceful and beautiful) and my heart feels like it could explode with love.  Some days I go to bed and I feel guilty that I didn't do a good enough job.  Maybe I got too frustrated or I wasn't patient enough or they didn't have enough fruits and veggies and could have eaten healthier or we should have read more books.  I now know that mothering is a tough and complicated job!  A wonderful job too!  One that does deserve it's own day.  A day for us to be reflective of all our mother's do and have done for us and a day to be grateful that we get to be mother's ourselves! I think it's something I need to work on thinking about all the time.  Not just now on the eve of Mother's Day weekend. (Yes, I am now declaring it a weekend event).

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Mother's Day should also be a day where we are spoiled a bit!  I was about to post a bunch of things to be spoiled with but who are we kidding, we all already have several things in mind, right?!  I will say this though, Club Monaco and J Crew are particularly rocking it these days. Loving everything in there right now.  You can also never go wrong with a trip to Holts!  Whatever it is you want for Mother's Day, whether it be time with your family or time alone.  A day at the spa or shopping.  A beautiful home cooked meal or a meal out.  I hope you get it!  Along with a clean house, a coffee made for you the moment you get up and some flowers.

*All the above photo's are TTH Blooms.  The most beautiful of arrangements.  If I were in New York, I'd be hoping for one of these on Sunday morning!

-Amanda

 

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This and That

Kate, So the weekend started off with a bang, I went to the spa, and ended with a thump, Peter is sick again.  I walked into my parents place and he was sleeping, as you know my little energizer bunny does not sleep, so the alarm/panic bells went off and sure enough he had a fever.  Having just gotten over both of the little ones being sick, I felt like crying.  A cool and collected mama I am not.  Last night Mike and I were watching tv and I looked at him, all calm and relaxed, and asked if he felt panicked (I already know the answer so I'm not sure why I ask) he said "No, it's a fever.  He's fighting something, it's a good thing."  Me, I continued to run in and out of his room touching his head making sure that nothing had changed for several hours.

Switching on to food!  I made chicken tacos on Saturday.  I asked Alexis for the chicken recipe portion and switched a few things around to make it even easier.  If you want to do the OG here it is.  http://norecipes.com/braised-chicken-tacos-recipe/

What I changed, mostly to make it easier, and also because I went grocery shopping prior to deciding I had to have tacos and lacking some of the ingredients was,

I used chicken breasts

I used San Marzano strained tomatoes.

I used shallots

I put cinnamon in instead of cinnamon sticks

I used San Miguel Salsa de Chipotle instead of doing the whole chile portion of the recipe.  I also poured in some salsa into the mix as well.  When I poured all the different sauces in I just kept trying it and adjusting until I liked what I tasted.  Otherwise, I did what the recipe asked.

I finished up the tacos with guacamole, crema/mexican style cream (if you've never had it, it's like cream cheese and sour cream together- I could eat it with a spoon), corn tortillas and queso cheese.  You can get everything listed at La Tortillaria including the chiles, if you want to do the real deal.  Also, when I had this at Lex's she grilled pineapple which was awesome.

Tacos

 

Lastly, Mike and I are going to an event/gala on Saturday.  The dress code is black tie and gowns...gowns!? Hmmmm, well there are no gowns in this house, so I started looking online and came across this dress.

White dress

There's just something about it.  Sadly, my hesitation on purchasing it means that it would most likely arrive too late.  That's what friends are for, right!

p.s  Speaking of gowns, the MET gala is tonight.  Let the fun begin!

-Amanda

 

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Half marathon

Amanda, As you know, I ran the Mississauga half marathon this morning. I had the thought last night - why do I sign up for stuff like this? I have to wake up early, drag my whole family to the start line, freeze my butt off waiting for the gun to go off and then run for several hours. Hmmm.

Well, I remembered why I sign up for these things. It came flooding back as I heard the cheers and excitement of the crowd as we all started to run. I looked to my left and saw a man wearing a shirt that read "83 year old grandpa." And he was for sure 83.

The Mississauga run is a good one. It follows Mississauga rd, so I got to gaze at some beautiful homes. I even contemplated taking some pictures but was worried about messing up my pace.

At the 13 k mark, my hair elastic broke. Ahhhh! Imagine running another 8 km with your hair flapping in your face? Horrific. So I found this sweet looking girl handing out juice and asked her if I could have her hair tie.... Only in those circumstances is that ok. Her name was Joanna - thank you Joanna for saving the day!

At 15 km the song "Say something" came on my iPad and I started crying. I started thinking about all the people who were running for someone, I thought of my uncle who died of cancer several years ago and how it wasn't fair that he was so young. I thought of my mom, who misses him and what a wonderful person she is. I thought of my kids and my husband who were waiting at the finish line and how much I adore them and I picked up my pace.

I crossed that finish line with a smile on my face! Until I saw the woman next to me start puking her guts out. Ugh.

Needless to say, it was worth the training and the early morning and dragging my family. I can now eat a big plate of pasta for dinner and maybe some mini eggs. Oops, I threw those out. Big mistake!

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-Kate

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This and That

Kate, I'm going to kick this off with talk of food.  On Thursday we went to Chantecler and it was great. I've been meaning/wanting to go there for a long time but sometimes I'm guilty of frequenting the same places over and over again and rarely adding in a new place.  It's not because I don't love trying something new.  It's because I have a problem with cravings!  When I crave something, I must have it and you can only crave something you've already had.  Hence my whole problem with constantly going to the same places.  It generally goes like this - Grand Electric, Harbord Room, Harbord Room, Harbord Room, Queen Margherita, Sushi, Burgers Priest, Grand Electric and Hopgoods Foodliner.  While typing this I realized that I have a serious craving for the Donairs at Hopgoods...anyone want to go!?

But back to Chantecler.  I know it's been there for a while but if you have not been, go!  I'm planning on doing the tasting menu in May or June and can't wait.  Here's a picture of the popcorn shrimp.  Not going to lie, I felt like a bit of a dolt taking pictures of food at a restaurant but it's what I do in the name of this blog :)

Popcorn Shrimp

Next up, overalls!  Ok, so they're back in and there are some super cute/chic ways to wear them but the truth of the matter is that my life does not really lend it's self to dressing up very often, so I think I'm going to kick it old school and just go for a baggy jean pair.  I may be too old for these but I think I'm going to go for it regardless.  Plus they are only $27.59 at American Eagle.

Overalls

When I see them styled like this courtesy of whowhatwear it makes the decision easy.

Whowhatwear

This just makes me yearn for summer and light flowing dresses and flip flops.  Come on already!

-Amanda

 

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Blog I like

Amanda, I stumbled upon this blog that I know you will love, if you haven't already found it.

http://www.lunchpailsandlipstick.com/

It's full of great stuff: from organizing your pantry to the best tshirt around. Sounding good?

The girls who founded it remind me of us - except they look like supermodels! Ha!

This is their pantry solution:

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I'm a sucker for baskets and bins. Love the chalkboard labels and especially love that wallpaper. It reminded me of the wallpaper I picked up in the Junction that I posted about a while back. And since I've kind of exhausted the use of wallpaper in our main living space, I thought what an awesome solution... Put it where it's unexpected... A closet, a drawer...

Great, right?

-Kate

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