Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #3

Ever since I told my mom that Pyrex is hard to come by (in our area at least) she has been keeping an eye out and picking up pieces for me. She uses her seniors discount too, so she gets great bargains. I have no plans to become a big collector of Pyrex, primarily because my kitchen cupboards are completely full. I am constantly rearranging them to try to fit more dishes. But I gratefully accept the little beauties that my mom gifts to me now and then.

Monday, September 29, 2014

In this moment

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

-excerpt from "The Day is Done" 
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of family activities, sports tryouts and just generally getting into the back-to-school groove. Yesterday being a Sunday with very little on the agenda, I determined to set aside time to read a book, listen to music and enjoy a deliciously warm fall day. In this moment, I'm looking forward to doing it all again soon.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Our New York City Adventures - The Museum of Modern Art (via CityPASS)

During our summer trip to New York City, our touristy stop number one was the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). My husband and I had been there BK (before kids) and we thought we'd like to brave the museum again with the children.

Before heading to the museum, we picked up the official New York CityPASS, a ticket booklet that saves you 40 per cent on admission to six top attractions in New York City, including MoMA. CityPASS allows you to save on admission fees (and sometimes bypass long ticket lines) at the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Empire State Building Observatory, the Top of The Rock (or the Guggenheim Museum) and Circle Line Cruises (or Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island tours).

Thursday, September 25, 2014

When Learning is Fun (Book Review)

Of my two children, one is happy to be back at school now and the other would rather be anywhere else. Trust me, I get it. Five full days of school in a week wasn't always my favourite way to pass the time as a child either. So I aim to supplement their in-school learning in more "fun" and self-directed ways at home.

With that in mind, I invited the kids to pick out books from DK Canada's Back to School Boutique. My daughter immediately chose spelling and math books in the hopes of improving her marks in those areas. My son apologized to me for bypassing the "educational" books in favour of books about sharks and snakes. I guess he figures topics that interest him aren't educational. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

The weekend was so busy I barely had a moment to rest. We went to bed at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday and had to be up at 8:00 a.m. to get ready for my mom's birthday party on Sunday. The point being, I am still feeling a bit sluggish a couple of days later. So, as I share a look at my Tuesday eats, you'll see that I kept it pretty simple. In the morning I nibbled on a fruit and nut trail mix.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #2

My thanks to all of you who linked up your fabulous finds at last week's Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party. I was thrilled that so many joined in for my very first linky party. And what a wonderful and eclectic mix of goodies. I enjoyed visiting each and every participant. If you missed it, be sure to check out the goods now. I was also happy to see party guests visiting and commenting on each other's posts. It's what a party host hopes for, right? Mingling and talking.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

As I said on Instagram, working from home has a number of benefits, one of the most important being I can break to make pancakes or French toast at any time if I so choose. Not that I do it often. But one day this past week I did in fact break to make delicious vegan Coconut French Toast from a recipe in Isa Does It. It's so simple and the coconut makes it absolutely scrumptious. I could have this for dinner, it's so good!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party

Having done a few "thrifty finds" posts over the years, I have found that there is a wonderful online community of bloggers and readers who love vintage goods and thrifted treasures. It has inspired me to host my very first linky party series - I'm calling it Vintage Bliss Tuesdays. I'm hoping that many of you will join the party and link up your blog posts that feature thrifty finds, inherited gems, vintage treasures and garage sale goodies. I can't wait to see what you've discovered!

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Great Place To Stay in New York City - Best Western Plus Hospitality House

Researching a place to stay in New York City is a bit overwhelming. It's such a large city, with so many different areas to choose from and tons of hotels and apartments. I turned for help to a New York City expert from nycgo.com, the official online guide to NYC. She recommended that we try the Best Western Plus Hospitality House on Manhattan's east side. This small, apartment-style hotel is centrally located in Midtown Manhattan, close to the subway, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall and Fifth Avenue shopping.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Transitioning My Wardrobe To Fall With Wantable Accessories

The weather in September here in Ontario can be quite unpredictable. A hot, sunny day can be followed by a windy, cold evening. Believe me I know - I've spent some recent chilly evenings on the soccer field. My August accessories box from Wantable features pieces to transition my wardrobe nicely from summer to fall.

These stylish pieces will dress up my summer apparel and also continue to meet my accessory needs in the cooler weeks ahead. Key among these transitional pieces, of course, is the Aimee scarf, a lovely multicoloured striped piece in pretty shades of emerald green, sunshine yellow and tangerine. It's the perfect light and cozy scarf to add to your outfit on a September evening. I also love the Carolyn necklace, a rather dramatic layered piece in red, mint and black. Wantable suggests pairing it with a favourite maxi dress.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

It's a little bit summer, a smidgen fall and a whole lot I'm-scared-of-winter around here right now. Which means a mix of warm weather foods and comforting fall soups. Distinctly in the summer category - the fruity ice pops we made recently in the Zoku. I took my recipe for Strawberry Peach Green Tea Ice Pops and changed it up a bit. Instead of green tea, I used water (I was rushing). I also added half a banana into the mix, and included slices of strawberry and banana to perty it up a bit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ben & ME - Our Girl's Bedroom Makeover

We had a few home projects on our summer to-do list this year, but the first priority was giving our little girl's bedroom a mini makeover. Primarily we wanted to give it a fresh coat of paint. The pink colour on her walls (pictured above) had been there since before we moved in about six years ago.

As an added bonus, painting her room would allow us to take down some of the many pictures and decals that have accumulated on her walls. It was time for Bieber to go! I was also hoping that sprucing up her bedroom might encourage my little gal to keep her room tidier. Let's just say that clutter has occasionally been an issue in the past.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Toronto Harbourfront and the Vegetarian Food Festival

One event that I get excited about every September is the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival. I have been going to it for years and years and now I cannot miss it. One of the many awesome things about the Veg Food Fest is that it is always held at Toronto's Harbourfront. So not only do you get to sample great vegetarian food, but the location is perfect for a leisurely day out with the family too.

The picture above shows us on our way to the food fest (after the ordeal of finding parking - I didn't realize they had closed part of Lakeshore for repairs). You can see from this pic that I'm super excited, the children not so much. The little gal is probably complaining about something (not sure which part of her list she had gotten to at that moment). The dude just wants out of the picture. Why do you have to take pictures all the time?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Improving Our Back-to-School Routine

Back-to-school brings with it so many emotions, both for kids and for Mom and Dad. Nervousness, excitement, happiness - it's all there. This special time also calls for a significant change in routine. Gone are the more leisurely days of summer - the late mornings, the increased TV watching, the trips to the beach.

As I sent the kids off to school for their first day on Tuesday, I was hopeful that they would have good friends in their classes, be assigned to helpful and kind teachers and just generally enjoy their educational experiences. Of course, I was also hopeful they would get up and get ready in time! Here they are freshly scrubbed, with teeth brushed, ready for school on time. The little gal in her new dress and sneakers with her hair neatly in a bun. Morning of day one was a success. We shall see from now on...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

We had some friends/relatives over to watch the Labour Day Classic game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday. For the "girls drink," I made this Christmas Cranberry Pimm’s Cocktail. It may seem odd to serve a Christmas drink in September, but this drink works fine for warm weather too. Plus, it comes from an Australian magazine. It's hot at Christmastime in Australia, right?

I had never tried Pimm's No. 1 before. According to the LCBO, it has an amber yellow colour, a citrus and herbal aroma, a smooth gin base, with a soft bitter herb flavour and citrus finish. Sounds good to me. The recipe calls for combining Pimm's No. 1 with cranberry juice, lemonade, apples, oranges, mint, lemons and cucumbers. It was quite fruity and tasty and makes a nice alternative to sangria.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Organizing Your Home This Fall - The Laundry Routine

My laundry room - conveniently located, but not very big - hence the need for space-saving solutions that make use of the room's height, like expanding/flip-down clothes drying racks and a holder for the central vac.

With any change of season naturally comes a desire to organize your home. While spring is the primary season for organizing, the fall and its return to routine also calls for time spent purging, cleaning and preparing for the colder season ahead. Once the kids return to school, I’m hoping to spend a few solid days organizing my home to run more efficiently. Here are some of the tips I’m keeping in mind when it comes to my laundry routine.

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