Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lately on Instagram

I love love love instagram. It's one of my favourite inventions.
Here's some of my snaps as of late...

Also, how funny is this? And so true. Instagram does make everyone think thy're a professional photographer.

Happy snapping!

xx E.

Ps. you can follow me on instagram here.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tear Jerker

As I mentioned here, I am a huge cry-baby.

Does this commercial make anyone else cry? It brings tears to my eyes every single time!

I heart Moms and Mums and Mamas.

xx E.

Ps. I know this commercial is about P&G and the Olympics, and I know this marketing clearly worked on me...but still, how can you not love it?

Monday, 28 May 2012

Popcorn Anonymous

Hi, my name is Emma and I'm a Popcorn-a-holic.

I have popcorn in place of meals. My husband has caught me making popcorn late at night. I can't share my popcorn. If I go to a movie, I must have popcorn (I've never gone without it, even if I just had dinner). I've had to go to the dentist for a popcorn removal procedure. This is serious.

Do I feel like saying it out loud will somehow help me understand the true nature of my addiction? Not really. I just figured I should 'out' myself. If you ever see me eating popcorn, it's best to just leave me to it, or else risk losing a finger (or worse, a whole hand).

photo & a recipe similar to my own, here
Looking for a popcorn recommendation? Kernels - Chicago style (aka, the bag is half filled with caramel popcorn, and half filled with cheese popcorn). The mix of sweet and salty is to die for. My second favourite is movie popcorn with butter (obviously). I don't mess around.

I make popcorn on the stove for two reasons: 1) I don't have a microwave and 2) I like knowing exactly what ingredients are in my popcorn.

We even gave little popcorn bags away as the favours at our wedding.

There, now you know... Stop judging me.

xx E.

Ps.I couldn't even include a picture of my own popcorn because I ate it before I realized I should snap a shot

Friday, 25 May 2012

Top Chef Canada

I've been following this season of Top Chef Canada from day one. I'm obsessed with the Food Network - there's not a show I haven't seen - but I particularly love TC Canada because it's filmed in Toronto, and it makes me proud to see all these great Canadian chefs.

I was even more pumped than usual for this week's show. Wanna know why? Two words: Kraft Dinner. It's no secret that one of my favourite foods is good ol' KD. The quick-fire challenge was for the 5 remaining chefs to make two dishes using Kraft Dinner (a fancy one, and a home-style one). I thought to myself, self, if you were on this show, you would KILL this challenge.

Here are a few of the chefs' glorious takes on Kraft Dinner:

david's bacon wrapped kraft dinner topped with a seared scallop

xavier's kraft dinner gratin with caramelized onions

david's kraft dinner grilled cheese sandwich
How much do I wish I was a guest judge on this episode?

xx E.

Ps. David won ($10,000 from Kraft). I'm a KD advocate...where's my $10,000?!

all photos via Food Network Canada.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Black Thumb

So last weekend my mom casually says to me: "I think I might come over to your place tomorrow to help you with the lawn". She had been over to borrow a shovel, and noticed that we look like we live in a weed covered jungle.

I tried to tell her that I was going to do it myself, but I'm not sure she believed my intentions.

The thing is, I absolutely despise gardening. I can't even keep a house plant alive. Side note: my office has a man who comes around to water the plants in our offices - that's the only reason my plants stay alive.

Anyway, I'm embarrassed to show a 'before' shot, but here's an idea of the state that our front yard was in.

weeds, weeds and more weeds
I don't even have an after yet, because Mumsy pointed out some details about growing conditions and made some suggestions for planting. This is gonna be a bigger 'project' than I anticipated.

All I know is this: there were more dandelions than grass, it's really hard to get the weed and the roots out, gardening hurts my legs, and if my mom hadn't come over, I would have pulled 5 weeds and moved on to the Real Housewives of Vancouver marathon.

xx E.

Ps. After photos to follow (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Bachelorette

Anyone who knows me knows that I have never missed a season of the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. This season is no exception.

the bachelorette herself, emily maynard
We're just scratching the surface of the new season with Emily Maynard as the bachelorette. I'm happy to report that she's not spending the entire time discussing her tragic story. I completely sympathize with her, but come on, we heard it every episode on Brad Womack's season, we understand.

So far, my favourite bachelor is Jef (with one f). Bottled-water entrepreneur with a cool haircut, hipster vibe and a skateboard. I think I'm reliving my obsession with 1980's teen films.

my favourite so far, jef
I was a little surprised with some of her choices (the wedding DJ, the guy who carried around the giant egg), but for the most part the producers have lined her up with a solid group of [rich] men. When she took one of the guys to her house to bake cookies for the soccer team, I thought it was brilliant. At least, for a glimmer of a second, she put all the hoop-la aside to show them what real life is like with her.

Stay tuned for more exciting recaps!

xx E.

Ps. I know they are all wealthy because I read it in US Weekly, duh.

All photos from abc's website here.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Cottage Life

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous. It's the nicest Victoria Day weekend we've had in years - the weather rivaled that of July.

What is it about the cottage that makes you feel like anything goes? I've never eaten so much junk food in such a condensed period of time. I'm not even sure we stopped eating, except to sleep. Jujubes for breakfast? Yup. Hot dogs on the fire immediately after eating dinner? Yup. Cocktails after finishing morning coffee? Yup. I now feel the need to go on a major detox.

view from the deck; camp fire
Other than eating, we managed to have a glorious time, catching up, relaxing in the sun, paddle-boating, reading magazines, and enjoying the scenery. I wish I could go to the cottage every weekend.

husband and i on a paddle boat adventure
Note to self: Must. Buy. Cottage.

Thanks to my lovely friend Laura for hosting us this weekend!

xx E.

Ps. I'm still craving more candy and chips...

Friday, 18 May 2012

Long Weekend

Happy Friday! and more importantly, Happy May 2-4 weekend! To my non-Canadian readers, it's actually Victoria Day weekend (for Queen Victoria).

This is the weekend that kicks off summer and I, for one, couldn't be happier for its arrival. We will be spending the weekend up North with friends at a cottage. I think that means I can start checking things off my summer 'to do' list :)

I can't wait to sit back, relax on the dock, catch some sun, have a few cocktails and spend time with good friends.

By this time tomorrow, I'll be sitting on the dock, coffee in hand, with a view like this...


xx E.

Ps. Those of you who will also be enjoying the long weekend - be safe!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Sneaky Feet

Ok I'm just going to come out and say it. I hate sneaker wedges.

{Fratelli Karida - Ash} via
{Jeremy Scott for Adidas} via
Where did these horrible things come from? Actually, I know where they came from; prominent designers like Marc Jacobs (here). Honestly, he's one of my all time favourite designers, but I simply can not support him on this.

No doubt there will be people who will wear them, and some will look amazing (I'm thinking Gwen Stefani, off the top of my head). However, most will not look amazing and I will feel sad for their feet.

I would say I'm pretty open to trends and I like to interpret them my own way, but on this one, the closest I'll get is these:
my regular high tops 
xx E.

ps. what are your thoughts on this spring/summer trend?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Summer Plans

After reading this post, I was inspired to make my own 'must do' list for this summer.

Drink Pimm's & Lemonade
Get up North to the cottage at least twice
Go to a soccer game (TFC v. LFC anyone?)
Cut bangs (like these & these)
Rent bikes and take a winery tour
Buy & cook local food from the Farmer's Market
Watch fireworks (Canada Day?)
Make homemade Popsicles
Visit Ottawa for a long weekend
Go to an outdoor concert
Take yoga classes
Go on a picnic 
What are your summer plans?

xx E.

ps. one of Husband's plans is participating in this - yiiiikes

Monday, 14 May 2012

Weekend Snaps

What did you do this weekend?

I caught up with my sorority sisters on Friday night to see Bring It On the musical. If you can't go see it with anyone else, sorority sisters are great for that! Especially as we walked to the theatre with yellow 'to go' cups with wine. Keeping it classy, as always.

I met up yet another group of friends (which included more sorority sisters) for wedding dress shopping! It was such fun afternoon. We went for drinks and lunch afterwards to discuss the dresses and catch up. I finished off my Saturday evening with drinks with a few friends.

For Mother's day, my dad and I made brunch for the family. Crepes, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit salad, cinnamon buns,  mimosas and coffee. That pretty much sums it up. We were full.

Afterwards, we went go-karting. Obviously. We are re-introducing an old Mother's Day tradition of brunch then go-karting that we used to do with family friends of ours. My mom took it slow and steady, but she didn't quite win the race...

dad, bro, husband, hilary, mom; my mom and me; racer mom
xx E.

ps. on Saturday night, I had the funniest cab driver, who refused my tip because he didn't 'need it' and gave me a John Mayer from a cabbie, can't say that's ever happened before.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day 
to all the Mama's out there! I love you Mom.

mom and i after body boarding in barbados

mom circa 1989
You can see where I got my smile from :)

And a transatlantic Happy {Canadian} Mother's day to my lovely Mum-in-law, Ali. British Mother's Day was in March, so Ali gets to celebrate twice!

photo credit: katie ellison 
I'm so lucky to have both of these women in my life.

xx E.

ps. we go go-karting on Mother's that weird?

pps. thinking of my grandma angels today too

Friday, 11 May 2012

Happy Maker

I have this one song, and it's my 'everything's gonna be ok' song. I call it my Happy Maker.

It's Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners.

If it comes on the radio, then I know it's gonna be a good day. Even on my last day at my former job, I was working really late to get everything done, but I wasn't able to finish. Just then, what comes on the radio? You guessed it, Come on Eileen. I knew it was ok, and that I had done all I could, and it was ok to leave.

It happens all the time. I'm sure it's coincidence, but I always feel better knowing Dexy's Midnight Runners are behind me.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else have a Happy Maker?

xx E.

ps. what's not to love about this video - classic 80's, England, overalls (dungarees), love it!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

DIY Headboard

As I mentioned here, I really wanted to make an upholstered headboard. I finally got around to making it last weekend.


  • piece of particle board (we used 72 x 45 inches)
  • a two by four (we used an 8 ft piece cut in two)
  • 3 inch foam (cut to fit the portion of the wood that is above the bed)
  • sturdy fabric (thick enough that when you pull it tight, it won't rip)
  • spray adhesive
  • staple gun
  • bolts (to secure it to your bed frame)

Start with your desired size of particle board. We had to have it cut in two (to fit in the car), and we secured the pieces together with four small metal plates. 

To make it extra secure, we attached two 2 x 4's to the back to act as support and feet.

Once this was all assembled, we measured it against the bed frame to see where to drill holes for the bolts. Then we (read: Husband) drilled the holes.

Finally, it was my turn. I sprayed the part of the wood (where the foam would be) with spray adhesive. I also sprayed one side of the foam itself. We only used enough foam to cover the top half of the board (so that the mattress would tuck right into the head board).

It sticks pretty quickly, but the instructions say it takes 30 mins to dry. I didn't wait.

I spread out the fabric I had chosen on the floor, and placed the board down on it (foam side down). Word to the wise, I chose a solid colour fabric, which I'd say is a good idea for beginners, because you don't have to worry about a pattern coming out crooked.

Once the fabric was pulled tight, I started stapling (leaving the corners for last). The stapler ran out of staples at one point and it literally took me half an hour just to figure out how to reload it. By this point I was so over making this headboard, but luckily I finally figured it out. For the corners, I just carefully folded them until they looked tailored and stapled them in place.

Final step, secure it to your bed frame and ta da!

you can see the portion that has foam, and where it stops (top left)

I can honestly say I've had enough DIY to last me for awhile.

xx E.

ps. Thank god I decided to go for the straight upholstered look and not the tufted style.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Etsy Shopping

With so many weddings, showers and birthdays always popping up, there's always gifts to be given.

Sometimes I want to give a unique gift, and luckily, Etsy is just the place to find one.

Here are a few of my favourite Etsy shops:

I've given her illustrations to my sister-in-law and my brother's gf. They are all very girly, and also super reasonable.

I've purchased things for myself from here, as well as gifts for friends. I have this print in red.

She has great jewellery. I've given a pocket watch from here to my other sister-in-law.

All three have been wonderful to order from and I would totally recommend them. It's nice to give an original gift and Etsy makes it so easy.

My only tip, order well in advance. You just never know how long it will take to arrive (and it's different every time, even from the same shop).

There are so many different shops, you can get lost on Etsy for hours.

Happy Shopping!

xx E.

ps. How cute is this? Find it here.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sunday Brunch

Yesterday Husband and I decided to go out for breakfast. I love going out for a good breakfast, but most of the time I'll settle for cereal and coffee from home.

So we decided to treat ourselves. We went to Stoney's in Oakville. It was the first time either of us had ever been (but we had both been told how good it is). Let me tell you, it wasn't just good, it was unreal.We went early, so it was really more of a breakfast than a brunch, but it was pretty packed. Luckily we got ourselves a table.

Nick isn't into eggs (yes I know, who doesn't like eggs?) anyway, we had a nice little chat with the man taking our orders about eggs, and a show on the BBC called Whites, and how once a customer ordered an omelet that was half egg whites, half egg yokes - hello, that's just a regular omelet. The point is, despite the line up, the man was happy to have a friendly Sunday morning chat with us. They have a really great atmosphere.

I couldn't get my mind off having French Toast, so that's what I ordered. Nick ended up getting the back-bacon sandwich. Add two big mugs of coffee and we were in breakfast heaven.

Nick's choice
my choice
 They were soooo so very delicious. Mine was gigantic. Luckily, Nick took control of his fear of eggs and tried the French Toast. Gold star for him! He loved it and can confirm that you can not taste the egg. Perhaps it's because it's covered in whipped cinnamon butter, maple syrup and whipped cream. Thank god there were some berries on there or I'd really feel guilty.

So next Sunday you should probably go there. Just sayin'.

xx E.

ps. No, I did not eat the entire portion, thank you very much :)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Chef Nick

Husband decided to be in charge of last Sunday's dinner, despite being hungover and getting up at 5:30am for work that day (definitely a keeper!).

husband, cooking away
After reviewing various recipes, he decided to take a page from his Granddad's book. Giant Yorkshire puddings with beef stew inside. The ultimate British comfort food (as opposed to my comfort food).

After much deliberation, we decided that the Corning-ware would be the perfect vessel for the yorkies (because they are giant).

yorkshire pudding

final product - delicious!
xx E.

ps. Yorkshire Pudding tips: make sure to preheat the oven, the container you're making them in, and the cooking oil and make sure not to open the oven until they're ready (or they'll collapse)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Thunder Storms

Does anyone else love a good thunder storm?

I'm just sitting here, watching the lightning and listening to the thunder. It's incredibly soothing. What could be better that a quiet house, and a gorgeous light show? It's my favourite sound to fall asleep to too. Luckily, this little guy doesn't seem to have a problem with thunderstorms either.

Not sure if this storm will continue into Friday, but have a happy Friday, whatever the weather.

xx E.

ps. my other favourite sound: train horns in the distance

Date Night

Ever since Husband and I started dating, we've had one official 'date night'. Tuesday.

We always made time for each other on Tuesday evenings. We've carried that through the entire time we've been together. Very rarely do we miss date night. It even has it's own nickname: Blue Collar Tuesday (or BCT for short)...that's a different story for a different day.

we even managed to have a date night in barbados
Often we make a meal together, and relax at home. But you gotta change things up once in awhile. So this past date night we went to Pub Quiz night at The Royal Coachman. For my English readers, pub quiz night is sooo ordinary, but for Canadians, it's a lot harder to find (and therefore much more exciting!).

We definitely had fun, but we did not do very well with the answers. I can get a little competitive (read: Monica on Friends), so you can imagine my irritation when Husband couldn't remember the name of the Scottish hat with the pom pom. Hello - he's from the British Isles for goodness sake! All that aside, we had a really fun time.
But we may need to add more people to our team if we ever expect to win...

Happy dating to all!

xx E.

ps. another really cute date night/gift idea

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Design Inspiration

Recently, we've noticed that we have a lot of clutter. I'm always torn between having all of my favourite items on display, and having a streamlined, clutter-free home.

I turned to Domino magazine for some inspiration...

i like how the collections - globes, cake stands
- are displayed
this vintage couch reminds me of one we had in
university ("golden boy")
i love the mix of throw pillows
just because you don't have a fireplace doesn't meant you
can't have a mantle this inspired me because i don't have one :( 
gallery wall 
great mix of textures and patterns
all photos from here

I think the key to keeping it from going from eclectic to cluttered is to contain things. If things have a place (on a shelf, in a dish, on a tray), you can display them, but they still look like they are meant to be there.

Now...time to put some of this inspiration into action!

xx E.

ps. my attempt at re-doing ouir bookshelf ...

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