Category Archives: things to do

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

DSC04103This is my semi-successful attempt at making homemade liquid laundry detergent. I tried this recipe here and turned my baking soda into washing soda from this recipe. I quartered the recipe as a first go, and it was just enough to fit into an old 4 liter detergent jug. My detergent turned out a bit gloppy, and it doesn’t look really pretty, but it does the job! DSC04077 DSC04102DSC04104 DSC04116 DSC04122 DSC04132 DSC04137DSC04144

 

2 Comments

Filed under at home, life, things to do

Our Home DIYs

DSC03753

These three DIYs are ones I have been wanting to do since before I had a home. I loved the simple look of a shaker coat hanger, but couldn’t find the one I dreamt of. So with a Google search and a Anthropology “W” hanger I have been treasuring since our engagement, I finally got to work and made our own. DIYs don’t always save money, but the time spent crafting something that was a design in your mind is pretty rewarding. Here are a few of our projects from the last six months.

Shaker Style Coat Hanger

Difficulty: Easy (the measuring was the most tedious)

Materials: Paint (from living room), Hangers (Home Depot, Anthro), Pine board (Home Depot), Screws

Cost: $22

Lesson Learned: measure twice ten times…hang once.

DSC03749DSC03982

Copper Wall Pot Rack

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: See tutorial

Cost: $37

Lesson Learned: Copper is a softer metal which cause it to bend if weighed down too much. I don’t want to test its true strength and opted out of hanging a cast iron pan.

DSC03991DSC03967DSC03964

Side Tables

Difficulty: Moderate

Materials: Hand sander, Sand Paper, Stain Primer, Gel Stain, Wax Finish

Cost: About $40

Lesson Learned: Save your arms and strip the stain FIRST! Sand ALL THE WAY DOWN to the original wood! Don’t do this again…ever. 🙂

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

DSC03988DSC03986

4 Comments

Filed under at home, life, things to do

Weekend Viewing

tumblr_nd26rldfKw1shcqiqo1_500

What another lovely week it’s been. While raining most days in our neck of the woods in Ontario this week, it has still been wonderful to get outside for a brisk walk and enjoy every bit of Fall. Jordan and I are pumping ourselves up for winter with the occasional, “We really have to make the most of this winter, ok?” or “Let’s try to remember all the good things about winter….hot cocoa, reading books, fires, snow shoeing…” But for now it’s still cider and apples and Thanksgiving and foliage (sigh). Enjoy your weekend!

Help Stop the Spread of Ebola, spread the word!

A beautiful post on praying into your “marriage mission”

Fall Produce Guide…so beautifully done

How to plan the right amount of food for a dinner party

Killing your $1000 grocery bill, good tips on how to cut back and grocery shop below your means.

The updated British Mini Series Guide

photo credit: 1

2 Comments

Filed under life, things to do

I Was Afraid To Make Bread

DSC03555This post is about homemade bread. Not because I am so thrifty and DIY. In fact, it’s the opposite. Making things from scratch kind of scared me. “I can’t do that!” or “It takes too long!” or “That’s only for the pros!” But when I made soup stock or bread for the first time I thought, “Wow, that was easy. What was the big deal.” I felt like superwoman…it was awesome.

I understand that blogging can give the appearance of being cool and having amazing abilities and talents beyond the average woman. I say that, because I’ve thought that about blogs I love and women I admire. Wow, homemade deodorant? Four kids and homeschooling? Amazing photography AND amazing food?

While I love to cook, to learn, to take my time in the kitchen, I am a novice [I’m also not a photographer but if I’m going to include photos, I try to put some effort into making it pleasing to the eye!]. So this post about homemade bread is more about saying, “You can do it!” and not here’s yet another thing you haven’t tried.

Maybe it’s not bread for you, maybe it’s paying bills or hanging those pictures…sewing that button back or knitting mittens…writing that email or learning to braid your daughter’s hair. Small things that have a huge-heart-swelling effect.

BREAD (makes one medium loaf, I double for a large loaf)

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cup warm water

3 1/2 flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cornmeal or flour for dusting

FIRST: In a large bowl dissolve water and yeast. Add flour and salt and mix until blended and looks shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 8 -18 hours at room temp. DSC03532SECOND: Scrape from bowl(s) and place on well-floured counter. Fold in half, lightly flour, then fold again. DSC03534THIRD: On a clean towel, lightly sprinkle cornmeal/flour and place dough on the towel. Lightly sprinkle again and place another clean towel on top. Sit for one hour. DSC03544FOURTH: Preheat oven to 475. Place a heavy dutch oven (or oven-safe pot) in for about 15 minutes while preheating. Next, carefully (it’s hot!) line with parchment paper and place the dough in the pot (see picture). Bake for 30 minutes covered, then 20 minutes uncovered. The bread is done when you knock on it with your knuckles and it sounds hollow.DSC03551FIFTH: Slice, butter, and enjoy. Slice and freeze. Or simply admire! DSC03554

13 Comments

Filed under at home, recipes, things to do

I’m Gonna Read Instead

Read InsteadI’ve seen this poster floating around the internet these days and when I have, I tell you, I’m off the internet in a flash and reading, or gardening, or creating. Because this is a wonderful message about what summer (and winter) is for. (The irony is that I had to see it on the internet to be inspired in the first place.)

Summer is the best time to read instead of internetting….facebooking….blog reading or writing…It’s the best time to be out walking…exploring…swimming…instead of being inside so much. And this is coming from a rainy-day lover! So for me, it’s either “Get out” or “Read instead”.

I hope it’s a wonderful summer for you too! What have you been up to? No wait, don’t tell me! Go outside…or start reading Harry Potter, a classic, cookbooks!

Photo credit: BOOK/SHOP

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under at home, things to do

Weekend Viewing

There is nothing I love more than a warm breeze through the window while sipping herbal tea, and enjoying a buttered croissant. Nothing more than a calm afternoon read, with feet up on the couch and nothing to bombard the mind. Nothing more than that thawing sensation of snow melting, sore muscles relaxing, and crocuses budding. So, for this weekend’s viewing…a little more Spring.

These croissants look perfect. From The Tart Tart, a Saveur recommended site.

PlainCroissants4

Your eyes did not deceive you. These silk-tie-dyed eggs are as simple to make as they are beautiful. From a new favorite, One Thousand Threads.

silkdye-8

My mouth is watering at the site of this citrus salad. I can’t get enough of fresh tart fruit these days!

grapefruits

Also…

How To Never Crave Junk  Food Again

A seasoned traveler’s (and new friend) Favorite Big Cities In The World. Lets Go!

A simple and fashionable craft by Montgomery FestPotato Stamping

My Spring uniform

10 Comments

Filed under life, things to do

Barrie: The Farmhouse

The Farmhouse

For a while now I have been on the look out for more unique-eats in our neighboring towns. While we enjoy pretty much anything that resembles food, be it fried, fresh, or farm-(sometimes freezer)-to-table, it is nice to have a different experience somewhere trendy and local. Upon our friends recommendation, we spent an evening at The Farmhouse and had a very pleasant time.

The Farmhouse  practices yummy, sustainable eating by providing only local produce, meats, and dairy (some of which is grown on the owner’s farm).  It was yet another cold winter’s night and even though they’re known for their outdoor dining in the summer, we enjoyed the cozy, lodge-meets-farmhouse atmosphere inside.

The Farmhouse

pictured: FH bacon cheddar burger with feltis farm fries and romaine parmesan salad

I enjoyed a crispy local trout with two sides (TWO!) including their signature Feltis Farm fries and one of their tasty mason jar salads. The side options are abundant, so you can’t go wrong…and they have the cutest herb greenhouse onsite!

photo source: The FH

2 Comments

Filed under places to go, things to do

2 Day Mini-Guide: Toronto

ztor_bw

My cousin asked for a few suggestions for an upcoming girl’s trip to Toronto which inspired this post! Below are some of my first favorite experiences in the city. Here is my 2 day mini-guide for the not-too-touristy-tourist.

DAY ONE (All within a healthy walking distance)

10:00 am BRUNCH

Hank’s – 9 Church St

OR

Fran’s – 33 Yonge St

11:30am FRONT ST. E NEIGHBORHOOD

There are lots of little shops and stops within a small walk from both brunch locations. Window shop and then Head East towards St. Lawrence market for a midday market mosey.

12:15 pm ST. LAWRENCE MARKET

St. Lawrence Market has the feel of an open-air market in the comfort of historic brick building. You may not be hungry after your brunch, but now is a good time to grab a sweet treat and some snacks for your afternoon!IMG-20120519-01354St. Lawrence Market

1:45 pm EATON CENTRE

Shop at one of Ontario’s most prized malls (just remember taxes are twice as much if you’re coming from the States). The surrounding area feels a little like Times Square, so there is a lot to see!

4:30 pm NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

Grab a Tim Horton’s Steeped Tea and take in the Old City Hall. If you’re traveling between November and Mid-March you can rent skates, otherwise, take a rest and people watch for a bit.

6:30 pm DINNER, JAZZ, AND BLUES

The Rex is one of Toronto’s grooviest jazz clubs. You feel like you’re being transported back in time. If you’ve been out all day and are dressed casually, don’t head back to the hotel just to change. The atmosphere is casual and pub-like, but it gets packed on weekends, so if you’re going to see a particular artist, head there early.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 4.12.32 PMThe Rex

DAY TWO

9:00am BREAKFAST (A 20 minute walk to The ROM)

Cora’s – 27 Carlton St – A Canadian breakfast chain classic. Generous servings of creative and fresh comfort food that will keep you full for hours.

10:30am THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM

2:00PM LUNCH

Find a food truck within walking distance. Gourmet Gringo’s and Buster’s Sea Cove would be worth going out of the way for. Then head back to your airbnb or hotel for a nap and to freshen up!

7:00PM THE DISTILLERY DISTRICT

Walk around in this beautiful, brick building, draft-brewing district, and make dinner reservations in advance at any of these local restaurants.

BlogTO is one of the best sites for finding out what to do in the city!

Enjoy your time in Toronto, friends!

The RomThe ROM

photo 1: source; photo 2: source; photo 4: source

Leave a comment

Filed under places to go, things to do

Our Honeymoon In Italy

DSC00063

When we first started planning our honeymoon I Googled, “Our Honeymoon In Italy”, because there were bound to be some blogs that could point us in the right direction. I found two that were an awesome help: Joanna Goddard’s and Jenny Hobick‘s!

Here are a few photos from our honeymoon! Hope you enjoy!

CINQUE TERRE

“See” highlight: The seaside view

“Do” highlight: 7K hike along the coast with a rewarding swim at a Monterosso beach

“Eat” Highlight: Basso Pizzeria (Even though seafood is The Thing)

Hotel: La Torrett

DSC00080 DSC00099 DSC00139 DSC00248

FLORENCE

“See” highlight: The David at the Palazzo della Signora

“Do” highlight: Renting bikes for an afternoon to visit Piazzale Michelangelo

“Eat” highlight: Yellow Bar for pizza and Perche No! for gelato. Pear and ricotta, please!

Apartment Rental: AirbnbDSC00285

Florence was our favorite. DSC00360

On top of Il Duomo after a 463 stair climb. DSC00315DSC00416

We rented a car for a day trip in Tuscany.

ROME

“See” highlight: The Colosseum

“Do” highlight: An evening dinner and stroll in Trastevere

“Eat” highlight: Angelina for the most memorable meal on our honeymoon, and Grom for gelato

Apartment Rental: AirbnbDSC00480

This view was steps away from our apartment. It took our breath away every time.   DSC00548

It was great to have kitchen in our apartments for cooking at home on occasion. DSC00772

Touring the Vatican

DSC00850St. Peter’s Basilica  DSC00896Savoring a steady diet of gelato and gelato. DSC00943DSC00947DSC00978DSC00735We felt really blessed to be away on such a beautiful honeymoon in such a magical country like Italy. It was a fantastic trip and we reminisce often!

Ciao for now!

5 Comments

Filed under life, places to go, things to do

Weekend Viewing

Olivia Jamie I

Weekend Viewing:

Closet Cleanse 101 from Darling.

I signed up for the Clean Eats email from the Clean Program and love them.

Mortifying the Fear of Academic Books

Oh Joy’s great idea to say “Thanks!”

Seeing as I’m learning French.

Avoir un bon week-end!

photo credit: by Kari

3 Comments

Filed under beauty, life, things to do