Comment

New York, New York

Kate, Remember how I wrote about how the art in your home should have meaning to you?  Well, I was looking at the art in my powder room and it got me thinking about New York.  Like the rest of the world, I love New York.  This is not an original sentiment.  It is a place like no other.  New York was the place where Mike and I took our first trip away from Peter.  It was glorious!  Not that I didn't miss my little sweetheart but going out to restaurants late, drinking as much wine as I wanted, without a thought of the consequences of the following day was wonderful to say the least.  What better place to indulge than in New York...other than maybe Paris.  Anyways, we went to great restaurants and to great museums.  One of which was the Guggenheim.  I love the Guggenheim. The architecture is breathtaking in it's simplicity.  The white, the curves, the calmness really allows you to appreciate the art.  When we went they were having a picasso exhibit.  We bought post cards to remember our time there and when I got home I framed them and hung them in our powder room.  Every time I go in there I think about our trip.  The art has meaning to us.

Bathroom 1

Bathroom 2

Bathroom 3

Bathroom 4

Which got me thinking about how much I want to go back.  Karen and I were talking about a girls trip...

-Amanda

 

 

Comment

1 Comment

White Wash

Kate, I'm sitting here feeling guilty because I should be exercising.  The problem - I hate my basement. The basement is where my reformer sits.  It's a very lonely reformer.  My basement is a far cry from your beautiful basement.  So I started thinking what we needed to get accomplish in order to make it a place where the kids can play, where we can exercise and watch movies.  We need to update the flooring and lighting which is easy because I'm pretty clear on what I want.  What I'm currently pondering is whether to white wash/stain the wood on the walls or to just paint it white. I'm currently leaning towards white washing.  That's this evenings decision anyways.

White washed wood 1

White washed wood 2

White washed 3

White washed 4

White washed 5

Ok, enough procrastinating.  I'm going to go do some pilates and then watch Mindy from last night....maybe with some mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt.

-Amanda

1 Comment

2 Comments

Flora Peek Inside: Oleander

Amanda, After my wreath post I had some people ask about where to buy them. Coincidentally, I have bought almost every one of my wreaths from the same place. So I popped in today and asked permission to snap some pics of Oleander - a most beautiful flower shop in the Kingsway. Jen always has gorgeous arrangements and does a fabulous job with her window so that you can't help but be lured in...

I've always had a thing for flower shops and bookstores. Two places that I imagined would be amazing to own. A flower shop because you are surrounded by natural beauty and a bookstore because you are surrounded by knowledge and imagination. Hmm, just thought of something. Maybe a hybrid - two stores in one and add beautiful home goods to the mix. Oh wait, that's Chapters.

Here is oleander in its glory:

Imagine my joy to be amongst terrariums, wreaths and fresh cut tulips. I brought some pretty white ones home. Visit Oleander Floral Design's Facebook page for details.

-Kate

2 Comments

1 Comment

Cookies!

Kate, When I told you these were healthy today you didn't believe me initially.  But they are.  They are as healthy as I think cookies can get.  They have no butter, white sugar or flour in them.  And boy are they chocolatey!  My mom's friend emailed me the recipe.

Cookies

Yesterday they had a slight avocado aftertaste but I think that's only because I was trying to taste it.  Today, nada.  So to really enjoy these puppies I advise you to wait a day (I know, impossible!)

Here's the recipe.

http://thesmoothielover.com/healthy-avocado-chocolate-cookies/

 

Enjoy!  They are very easy to make.

-Amanda

 

1 Comment

Comment

Peek Inside: Playroom

Amanda, I was so excited to gain a basement in our new home. It was one of those things that I realized was important after M1 and M2 came along. I had spent countless hours in  Catherine's basement, amazed that all her kids toys were in one place and not visible to friends and guests. So I was giddy to get one of my own and anxious to set up a playroom away from the main part of the house.

Here's a sneak peek.

Things I love are the carpeted floor, the big windows (which you can't see in the pictures because its on the media side of the room) the ikea storage and the chalkboard that Brianna bought me because she saw it on Queen st and said that it reminded her of me.

The room was a collaboration of bits from Mila's nursery, pillows from our old living room, the kids table is our old kitchen table (cut down to kiddie size.) The bunting I made and the toys are all courtesy of friends and family on birthdays and celebrations. Note the cabbage patch dolls and my child's.

The room is fun and appeals to both genders and best of all, hidden from the rest of the house.

-Kate

Comment

Comment

This and That

Kate, After our walk on Saturday with the scooter brigade, wish we got a picture of that, we also stayed outside the rest of the day.  Amazing what nice weather does for the mood!  For dinner we went to Karen and Nick's where she made sangria, guacamole and awesome steak tacos.  I need to get the recipe (which I will post) but I can tell you that there were oranges, beer and red onions in the marinade, mmm mmm good!  On Sunday, I made this delish eggplant recipe and bought the apricot and leek sausages from Bruno's (have you had them?  They're great). Back to the eggplant - the mint mixed with the vinegar and the salty punch of the capers makes this a keeper.  It came courtesy of my Uncle (not sure where he got it) and I am still eating it cold today.

Eggplant

MARINATED EGGPLANT WITH CAPERS AND MINT

SERVES 4 (HORS D'OEUVRE) ACTIVE TIME15 MINSTART TO FINISH: 45 MIN

1 Ib thin Italian or Asian eggplants (2 to 3), cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped mint

2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed

Arrange eggplant in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and brush both sides with 2 Tbsp oil (total). Broil about 4 inches from heat, turning once, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes total.

Stir together vinegar, mint, capers, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and remaining 3 Tbsp oil and toss with warm eggplant. Marinate at least 20 minutes.

COOKS' NOTE: Marinated eggplant can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Pissed me off though because Mike wouldn't eat it!  He said he doesn't like eggplant and yet he eats that eggplant dip I make all the time.  Oh well, more for me!

The nice weather also had me dreaming about new drapes in my bedroom.  Something softer, lighter and a little more flowing.  I came across these from Anthropologie.

Curtains

Intermix

Last but not least, I found these beautiful shoes while browsing online.  Drooling!  Can you say sexy! They are from Intermix.

I love the whole outfit as well and am on the lookout for a great sweater tank like the one above. The shoes on the other hand will remain in the store unless someone wants to gift them to me for being such an awesome friend, in which case I will graciously accept them...joking, joking.

I will say this though, the mint and cheetah heels from last week are still on my mind...

-Amanda

 

 

Comment

Comment

Lovely pins: gardening glory

Amanda, We spent the entire day outside. After our walk this morning we played in the court until 5 pm. Basking in the sun, making up for our vitamin D deficiencies. It was glorious.

I had lots of time to ponder my surroundings.... How much I love our street, how much I love our neighbors, how much I love my kids. Then I pondered what my new painted door will look like when it's done. How I will need to brighten our curb appeal with flowers. Oh right, flowers! Where are they? Not even a bud yet.

Hence the inspiration for my lovely pins. I don't do the gardening around here but I sure love the benefits of a manicured front and backyard.

image

Favourite flower #1: Peonies

image

 

Favourite flower #2: roses

image

Favourite flower #3: hydrangea

image

Favourite flowers #4: tulips

image

This last image was taken in my kitchen. These tulips bring me such joy when I walk in the house.

-Kate

 

Comment

Comment

Gwyneth and Courteney

Amanda, Lots in the news about the Paltrow/Martin split. Don't pay attention to many of the details but was intrigued when I saw her new music room featured on Elledecor.com. Beautiful space of course.

image

image

image

The white on white is gorgeous. I'm also a sucker for Grand pianos.

Then I stumbled upon Courteney Cox's retreat..

image

image

image

image

image

image

Thank you Elle decor. Beautiful pictures, beautiful homes.

-Kate

Comment

1 Comment

Tappan Collective

Kate, My cousin, Matt Ross, has recently joined a website for emerging artists called http://www.thetappancollective.com/.  I'm of course super proud and happy that his talents are being recognized.  Here are two posts I wrote on this blog in support of his talent- http://kateandamanda.com/2014/01/18/matt-ross/ and http://kateandamanda.com/2014/02/06/the-finished-product/.

I firmly believe that you should love the art in your home whether it be photography, paintings or even prints.  It should have meaning for you.  It should evoke emotion.  And if it's original all the better!  There is so much talent out there just waiting to be discovered which is why I am totally into the Tappan Collective.  Aside from Matt's art here are a few other pieces I'm digging.

Alison Cooley's Snake bite.

snakebite

And

Luctor Et Emergo

 

alison_cooley-luctoretemergo_lr

Matt Ross's Mother Sister

mother_sister_

Kelsey Shultis

Shneemanner

 

shneemanner

Rebecca Lowe Mosena

White Study

White study

Noah Jashinski

MIA

mia

Owen Schmit

Black No 1. I

black_no_1_i

 

 

Amanda Charchian

Nobody Quite Knows What To Make Of The Moon Anymore 2

nobody_quite_knows_what_to_make_of_the_moon_anymore_2

 

Calm Sea, Come See, Comme Ci #3

calm_sea_come_see_comme_ci_3

 

Heather Day

Petit Drawing 1

petit_drawing_1

 

Two Things You Warned Me About #2

two_things_you_warned_me_about_2

 

Cheryl Humphreys

You Wish

you_wish

-Amanda

 

1 Comment

Comment

Spring wreath

Amanda, We are painting our front door soon. I will post the before and after. Chris is insisting that he do the painting so that it's done correctly. Personally I think I did a great job on the inside of our door, but I'm happy to defer.

Anyway, now that the snow has melted it's got me thinking about landscaping and curb appeal. I have to take down my winter wreath but I don't have a replacement.

Spring wreaths are tricky to find. Here are some lovelies that I think would look nice inside or outside of the house.

image

Pier1.com

image

Pier1.com

image

Potterybarn.com

image

Potterybarn.com

It's a perfect way to add greenery to your home without having to remember to water something. And in the case of the lavender - a natural odor eater.

-Kate

 

Comment

1 Comment

Porch

Kate, On Tuesday Mike and I went to Grand Electric after our playdate.  We like to go for lunch because we can bring the kids and walk right in and get a table.  Whenever we go there we always talk about moving back to Parkdale.  I always get very nostalgic for that time in our lives. I know some might think I'm crazy for wanting to move back to Parkdale but I loved living there plus I could eat tacos all the time!  Well, this Tuesday was the first time that there was no talk of moving back and I think it's all because of this weather and what it made me realize. I've had a real sense of appreciation for my dead end street since Sunday and everything that goes along with it.  I picture our springs and summers from now on watching the kids play, hanging on the porch with our neighbours, who are now our friends.  Which made me realize that I need to spruce up our porch because it is UGLY!  Here's my inspiration.

 

PorchI'm not sure if our porch will ever be white but I would sure love it to be lighter.  I also want those pillows and a great and comfortable place to sit and watch the world go by.  Preferably with a glass of wine in hand or an IPA. (Am I way behind on this beer? I just discovered it and I love it.  I don't even like beer and I love this).

Anyways, I must cut this short because we have to get back outside.  Peter's scooter is calling. Time to go up and down and up and down the street.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

-Amanda

1 Comment

1 Comment

Next Issue

Amanda, I meant to ask you yesterday if you've looked into Next issue - the online subscription to dozens of magazines all in one app for $10.00 a month. Amazing.

Like the introduction to e-readers, I had some hesitation, since I love devouring a magazine page by page and feeling the page and print in my hands is part of the enjoyment. However, the access to more magazines than I would normally subscribe to, is fabulous. Actually, to be honest, it feels a bit overwhelming because you even have access to all the back issues for each magazine...limitless browsing.

image

The first month is free. You'll love it!

-Kate

1 Comment

3 Comments

Peek Inside: Alexis and Mike

Lex and Mike bought their home in a west end downtown Toronto neighbourhood a few years ago and did extensive renovations on it.  They have two rental units, one on the main floor and one in the basement, and they turned the top two floors into their own perfect pad.  If only you could see the before pics!  They added brick to add architectural interest to the long wall that runs through the apartment, ripped out the wall below the staircase to add openness and flow in the space between the dining and living room, built my dream pantry and a fantastic kitchen.  Lex has a great eye for small details and is a super hands on crafty person. An example, her headboard was actually an old mantel from the restore repurposed. I love going over there because of it's warmth and style and of course for the awesome company that goes along with it!

3 Comments

Comment

Jumpsuit//Romper

Amanda, Don't like the overall trend right now and can't seem to embrace the negligee dresses that are so popular. Oh no, is old age creeping in?

But I love the jumpsuit. Love that it is a one stop outfit. Love that it can be revealing or not, flattering and comfortable, dressy or casual, flirty or sexy. Here are some of my finds.

Via: bcbg.com, Jcrew.com, topshop.com

 

-Kate

Comment

1 Comment

Shoes, shoes, shoes.

Kate, Shoe shopping is a wonderful thing, isn't it.  I love that you don't have to be having a "skinny day." You say your size, if you have a pedicure all the better, and ka pow, just like that you can transform your mood.  Not to mention all the outfit possibilities that start circulating in your mind and of course you just can't wear the outfit with out having somewhere to go.  So...time to plan a girls night or a date night.  The power of buying a new pair of shoes!  So here are my current high heel loves for the season.  (Flats are a whole other ballgame).

1. I am drooling over this leopard and mint heel.  Please go on sale, please go on sale.  Continue to chant it with me...maybe it will happen.  http://www.shoplesnouvelles.com/loeffler-randall-charlotte-dorsay-pump.html?source=pjn&subid=73861?

Shoes 2

 

 

2.  I already have this stacked heel, super versatile pair.  So comfortable!  They look way better on. Enzo Angiolini.  Available at Nordstrom.

Shoes 1

3.  These valentino nude rock studs rock my world and are my dream.  Literally in my dreams.  Then again you never know...available at Nordstrom.

Shoes 3

 

4.  But these may have to do.  Same vibe and they also come in nude.  Sam Edelman.  Available at Nordstrom

Shoes 4

 

5.  This heel looks good with just about everything.  Good basic.  Again it comes in nude which I'm still deciding on.  Steve Madden.  Available at Nordstrom.

Shoes 8

6.  I love this boot/sandal.  Love, love, love.  House of Harlow.  Available at Nordstrom.

Shoes 6

7.  The mule is back.  Here's a pair from Zara.  My cousin also bought an awesome pair from Forever 21 but I cannot find them online.  Maybe take a peek in store.  Super cheap and really great on.

Mule

 

Decisions, decisions.  There are more but seriously, I have to cap it somewhere!

-Amanda

1 Comment

2 Comments

Nursery love

Amanda, As you know, babies are being born all around me.

My girlfriend Kim gave birth to Angus a couple months ago across the country and I'm awaiting to meet him at the end of the month.

Three weeks ago I met baby Luca, who is just darling and slept peacefully in my arms. I relished his newborn smell and his perfect little features.

This week my best friend gave birth to her second, sweet sweet Oscar, who is the new member of our not-blood related family. He is tiny and beautiful and I marvel that you can love someone before you even know them.

Seeing babies makes me nostalgic about the entry of my two into the world. Each birth was such a special time and I think I will remember the details of both forever. What stands out with M1 was the strength of my love for him, since he was my first and I had never felt it before. I remember lying in bed and feeling scared by how much I loved him. My entire happiness was now tied to his. Oh boy.

With M2 it was the day in the hospital that we spent just me, Chris and her. I felt so peaceful and relaxed. I knew it would be chaotic once we were home with a toddler and newborn so I basked in the beauty of my new baby girl and enjoyed every moment with just her.

I sit here now, almost 5 years after M1, watching them build a house made out of pillows together in front of me while I try to get in a blog entry. Thoroughly amazed by them. Still madly in love with them. Totally exhausted by them.

Congrats to all the mommas out there. Thinking of you as you nurse and soothe and fret. It's a crazy ride, isn't it?

I have found some beautiful nurseries if you need inspiration. Turns out Scandinavia + Nursery = lovely.

I'm also adding a link to M2's room, a long-time-ago post. I still love her room. Thank goodness.

 

image

Penelopehome.blogspot.no

image

Kidsomania.com

image

Myscandinavianhome.blogspot.ca

image

Myscandinavianhome.blogspot.ca

I love how gentle each room feels, like it would soothe a baby right to sleep on his own.

Yeah, right.

-Kate

2 Comments

1 Comment

Friday Night Food

Kate, I popped open a bottle of vino.  Had a little MJ, Otis Redding and Louis Armstrong playing and made one of my standby summer meals.  I know it's not feeling very summery out but what the hey, I went for it anyways.  I love this Gwyneth Paltrow recipe.  She recommends salmon but I used Cod and have used several different types of white fish and it always works.

Recipe

The corn salad on the side is as simple as can be and compliments it perfectly, if I do say so myself.  It's just corn, avocado and grape tomatoes.  The dressing is - juice of one lime, zest of half a lime, a small handful of chopped cilantro (do it!), olive oil (I just pour a few tablespoons) a drop of white wine vinegar and salt and pepper.  Pour it over the rest and done!

Fish

The kiddos are asleep and now we are going to fire up an episode of Suits, Parenthood and Scandal.  Happiness is!

Enjoy your Friday evening all.

-Amanda

 

1 Comment

Comment

Lovely pins: ode to Scandinavian decor

Amanda, In line with my love for clean crisp white and minimalist Scandinavia, here are some recent pins. On a rainy day like today, the white in my house is brightening my mood, along with our trip to Sherway, despite the kids fighting over the stroller.

How do your pillows work? My curtains are fab. Still much more to do with project family room but feeling inspired for sure. Here is where the inspiration is coming from:

imageVia

image

Via www.myscandinavianhome.blogspot.ca

image

Via www.thatnordicfeeling.com

Don't these images just make you feel calm? Hoping to achieve the same feeling: relaxed and uncomplicated.

-Kate

Comment

1 Comment

Kate Spade

Kate, Leah and I visited the Kate Spade store yesterday.  I'm not sure why I didn't take any pictures of the pretty things in there because there were plenty.  I really fell for these small/skinny bow watches.  I am a big fan of the jewlery!  And there were many swoon worthy dresses and bags in there.  What got my attention yesterday though was the glam decor.

Kate Spade

Kate Spade 2

I LOVE those pendants!  I also love those chairs and the way they play off the black and white striped rug.  As much as I love the all white look, I also love a little glamour and colour. Inspiration is everywhere.

-Amanda

1 Comment

4 Comments

Kate, I feel badly about my little blog break.  My energy level has been below zero since Sunday and yesterday was the first day that I started feeling like I wasn't digging deep into the reserves. What energy I had went to the kids, where it belongs.  I actually started contemplated a cleanse that a friend recommended until I read that it's not suitable for women who are nursing, that put the breaks on that plan for renewed energy.  B vitamins, good food and exercise it is! (As I sit here eating gummy berries)

Anyways, I've continued to think about our chat today about our blog.  About how we both often feel like we must seem soooooooo superficial!  I want, I need, I bought, I want to change! Without the context of the rest of our lives it really must seem all so shallow.  The truth is we are the most obsessed with our families.  Our children, much like everyone we know, are our life and our joy.  I have to constantly check my first world problems at the door and remind myself to be grateful. Grateful and happy we are, thankfully!  Aside from that though, comes the passion for our homes and the outlet that is creativity.  This blog has brought us great fulfillment and it's fun! Sometimes it all shouldn't be so serious and worrisome and heavy.  So with that thought in mind here's my new dress! (ha ha, just trying to keep it light)

dress 1

dress 2

I hope this blog is fun for you and takes you away from some of your stresses and worries.  And most of all, like Kate wrote in our About page, we hope it inspires you to do something that you LOVE in your own home.

-Amanda

 

 

4 Comments