Thursday, 28 April 2011

Iyashi Bedrock Spa

I had a heavenly experience yesterday at the Iyashi Bedrock Spa. A friend invited me to join her at the spa, and being a bit of a spa junkie, I jumped at the chance. I have been in work overload, still recovering from The One of a Kind, preparing for upcoming shows and working on new apron designs. I know I need to find a way to keep some balance so the idea of hanging out with my girlfriend and taking a break in the middle of the afternoon sounded perfect.

I didn't know what to expect, but the experience was divine. We lay on slabs of toasty black silica stones in a sauna-like room. There was no talking allowed, which was probably difficult for my Chatty Cathy friend, but soon we were too blissed out and too mellow to think, let alone form sentences. We lay on our slabs, listened to new agey relaxation tunes and started to sweat like crazy. After fifteen minutes we went to a cooling room where we sat in a merry stupor, sipped water and then returned to lie down and sweat some more. By the end of the hour we felt like damp noodles, but were amazingly calm and energized.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Spring Cocktails

It has been a long winter and I am ready for some sunshine and warmth. So far it has not been the bright spring I have been waiting for, and I am feeling a little frustrated. What's a girl to do but hit the bottle? I looked on the LCBO site and found a fun spring cocktail aptly named Orange Tulip that promised to be the perfect way to cut through the gloom.

I called a few girlfriends and told them to don something stylish and springlike - no sweaters and clunky boots allowed! I got out my cocktail shaker, put on my Martini Mama apron and and got to work. My girls arrived, the drinks were poured and suddenly it felt a little sunnier in my little abode, even if it was still rainy and gloomy outside.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Last Minute Bunny Cupcake Toppers

I saw these adorable lovelies on papersnitch and was completely enamored. What could be more fitting for topping Easter cupcakes? So adorable and festive. Alas, I didn't get my act together in time to order them for Easter so I decided to improvise and make my own. I printed a clip art rabbit, stuck it on a toothpick and made my own bunny topper. It isn't half as cute, but I figure that the sight of carrot cupcakes will distract any critics before they start analyzing my less than perfect toppers.

Sweetest Bunny Dish

It is too late for this Easter, and truthfully, I am not a boiled egg fan under any circumstances, but I saw this adorable egg holder on Eat Drink Chic, and I am smitten. I would be willing to learn to love boiled eggs if I could have them served to me in this adorable bunny dish.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter Carrot Cake

Easter is here and that means two things: chocolate and bunnies. In honour of our cotton tailed chocolate hero, I decided that I would bake a carrot cake. Bunnies love carrots. I baked a good old fashioned one with thick cream cheese icing, because without the icing it would just be a carrot loaf, and no one really gets excited about a carrot loaf, now do they?

I used this recipe which was, ahem, a piece of cake, and it turned out perfectly. Still thrilled by my recent pompom bunting success, I decided to make a fabric cake bunting with scraps of vintage fabric and trusty bamboo skewers. I know the Easter bunny will be pleased.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Missed Ryan Gosling Opportunity

I just saw on the Toronto Life website that Ryan Gosling was in Kensington market the other day. Gahhh! Apparently he was vintage shopping. Alone. We could have been shopping together! I have been feeling a need for a little vintage shopping lately, why, oh why didn't I go when Ryan Gosling was there? Oh, the missed opportunities.

I have forgiven Ryan for ruining a girlie outing this past winter. A group of us had gone to see Blue Valentine. We had been warned that it was a downer but were undeterred. How bad could it be with Ryan Gosling and the lovely and fragile Michelle Williams? We thought we were set for a fantastic night.

We were very wrong. The movie was beyond depressing and brought our cheery girlie night to an abrupt end. There were no post movie cocktails and no swooning over Ryan's hotness. Instead, we went our separate ways, forlorn and dejected.

I'm over it now. I have forgiven Ryan for ruining a great girlie night. I know we would have laughed it off and had a great time strolling through Kensington together. Rats.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Grey Skies Lemon Loaf

It has been a bleak spring so far and I am starting to lose patience. I am tired of wearing my winter coat. This weekend was particularly yucky. It was cold and felt more like November than April. Everything was the same tone of grey.

If Mother Nature isn't cooperating, I have decided to make my own sunshine. When life hands you lemons in the form of grey skies, bake a lemon loaf dammit!

I tied on my new Baking Beauty apron and made a yogurt lemon loaf that was moist and sweet and lip puckeringly tart all at once. I topped it with bunting that I made by stringing dollar store pompoms on a piece of yarn tied to bamboo skewers. It was a perfect slice of cheer for a gloomy grey day served with a cup of tea. Take that grey yucky day. I made my own sunshine and even though I am still bitter that I am wrapped up in a sweater right now, my day is a lot brighter.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Doc Soup Roundtable

Doc Soup, that bastion of delight for Toronto documentary lovers wrapped up for the season last week. The Hot Docs festival is starting soon where I will overdose on documentaries from around the world. I love it. I am a documentary nerd, and luckily I have a lot of doc nerds in my circle.

A couple of years ago my documentary friends and I started a tradition of meeting for a Hot Docs round table to discuss our favourite and least favourite films from the festival. It is a lively and heated gathering over pints of beer and yummy fare at The Victory Cafe. Two of my girlfriends are consistently at opposite ends of spectrum. If one loved a movie, the other is guaranteed to have hated it. It is always amusing to see the two of them spar and scrap it out. I am always fascinated by the varied responses to the same movies, what moves one can completely irritate the other. That is part of the magic of documentaries. Truth is always stranger than fiction and a true story always seems to elicit a strong response, even from a mediocre movie.

This year we decided that we needed a Doc Soup round table as a precursor to the Hot Docs round table, mainly because it gives us an excuse for more beer and noshes.

It was a delightful evening. It is even more delightful that I can look forward to the festival and another round table after that.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

My New One of a Kind Show Friend

The One of Kind Show and Sale is exhilarating and exhausting all at once. The days are long and tiring but the rewards make it all worthwhile. I am always interested in hearing what people have to say about my products, what makes them giggle (everyone still gets a laugh out of Caution Hot Dish and Will Cook For Shoes) and what stops them in their tracks. I met some lovely people, ate way too many sweets and became instant pals with my neighbour across the aisle, the talented and delightful Hannah from Foundlings.

Hannah makes charming frocks from vintage and new materials featuring the most fetching patterns. I was instantly smitten with her lovely dresses and promptly placed an order. Apparently I am not the only one feeling the love. Three of my assistants at the show also fell hard and bought the same bird print dress. Obviously my lovely assistants and I have impeccable taste. Now we just have to plan a day to venture out in our dresses together and have a We Love Foundlings parade.