{ Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category }

places to go, people to see: toronto food and wine festival

Summer may be over, but outdoor festival season (yes, that’s a thing!) isn’t over just yet. Tomorrow through Sunday, the first Toronto Food & Wine Festival will be held at Evergreen Brickworks. If the event’s trendy locale and inviting name aren’t intriguing enough, allow me to name drop: Mark McEwan, Chuck Hughes, Gail Simmons, Curtis Stone, Tyler Florence, Antonio Park, Roger Mooking – these celebrity chefs and many more will showcase their skills and divulge expect tricks during live demonstrations. And when you’re positively salivating, taste your way through the 130 booths to sample some of the city’s best eats and bevvies. Here’s a glance of what’s in store.

web 2 Cafe Belong

Buttermilk biscuit with egg by Brad Long of Café Belong.

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five blankets for fall that deliver beauty and balmy bliss

One of the most worthwhile investments you can make at this time of year is a beautiful wool throw or blanket for your home. Wool fabrics have greater bulk, allowing them to hold air in and act as great insulators. Another great quality of wool is that is it hypoallergenic.

A well-made wool blanket will last you a lifetime. Here are five blankets that will not only look great in your home but will make you feel just as great as you snuggle your way into the cooler seasons ahead.


The Crux Blanket & The Cross Blanket by Pia Wallen


The Crux Blanket, image courtesy of www.homeagination.com

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Have we been pronouncing IKEA wrong this whole time?

Is it my North American twang or a monkey-see-monkey-do effect? Whether I’m trained by mimicking commercials or we’re all seriously lacking a Swedish dialect, my world has been rocked after watching this adorable new IKEA kitchen commercial from Malaysia.

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Did you hear it?

In presenting their new 2016 catalogue, the narrator pronounces IKEA as “Ick-kee-ya”. Meanwhile, here I’ve been saying “eye-kee-ya” my whole life! Where and when did “ick” become “eye’?

How do YOU pronounce IKEA?

shop in newfoundland ~ part two

As the days get shorter and the air is cooler, I now cherish the bright and warm coastal weather I loved during my visit to Newfoundland in July.  I took you on a tour at Home on Water Street last week and today, I have one more shopping destination for you in St. John’s: SAM Design.


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10 best gifts for your summer hosts

Summer’s the time for weekend getaways, visiting out-of-town family and friends and taking trips to the cottage. Here’s a round up of fun gifts to give to the host with the most.

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patriotic caesars

It might not be as obvious as hockey or maple syrup, but the savoury caesar is a Canadian staple (we’re averaging about 350 million glass-fulls a year!). So what better bevvy to sip on this Canada Day weekend? Walter, the Canadian-based all-natural craft caesar mix maker, has dreamt up a concoction that takes patriotism to the next level: Playfully named the Johnny Mac (after our first Prime Minister, John A. MacDonald), it’s a little sweet, a little salty and a whole lot of fun. Try it yourself!


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how to wash white sheets without bleach

My friend recently shared her reluctance to buy white bed sheets, saying she loves the crisp, clean look of white bed linens, but feared they’d take on the look of a tattered white t-shirt after a few washes. In light of this conversation, I’m sharing how to wash white sheets (and keep them white) without bleach. Read on to find out more.


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editor’s pick: cookina mats

June is the height of grilling season and, as I wrote in the June Housekeeping column, diligently cleaning your barbecue grills is key to producing mouth-watering eats – or so I thought. I’m a lover of a juicy shortcut, and Cookina grilling sheets offer just that: The reusable flexible mats can be placed right over the grills and cooked upon up to 550° F.  The grills themselves remain in pristine condition (no need to scrub burnt-on food off with a heavy-duty metal-bristled brush) and there is no issue with juices dripping into the interior of the grill. What’s more, the mats’ non-stick surfaces mean you can skip the cooking oil, and a quick wipe is all it takes to cue up the ‘cue from meats to veggies or fruits without any flavour transfer. They even come with ridges for those all-important grill marks! When you’re done, just wash with dish soap and warm water, dry and roll them up for simple out-of-the-way storage. Happy grilling, everyone!


Have you tried this innovative product? Tell me all about it, and share your results on social media with the hashtag #WhatsOnYourGrill. 


bold and colourful summer accents

For a lot of people (including myself) bright colours are often hard to commit to in a home! I’m all for neutrals (have you seen my apartment?!) however I am a firm believer that having fun colourful accents is key to finishing off a room. For neutral lovers trying to venture into the colour world, one of the easiest places to start incorporating bolder shades is on your patio! I recently did a segment on the Marilyn Denis show all about fun, new colourful outdoor furniture & accessories. Take a look to see some of my favouirte pieces coming out and where I suggest using them.

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calligraphy workshop with hallmark

I spent yesterday morning with Hallmark and Post Calligraphy honing my handwriting skills. The workshop was held at the new Hopson Grace event space which was light and airy and perfect for this type of thing. Have a look at some of the shots from the workshop: hopson-grace-calligraphy-event-1

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