Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spring Flowers.....

...are still not gonna show their faces for a while.  But in the meantime:

Pretty ones on Spring Garden.

SO. This post marks the first FULL month of posts for me, meaning ONE post EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Those who know me know that this is a commitment of a rare kind. It has been, actually, really fun and at times fulfilling, and at the same time, a little stressful.  I am at the point where I'd feel like I'd let myself and anyone who may check on this stuff down, if I didn't post each day.  That being said, I also feel like doing this blog has made me feel much more aware of my surroundings, and has upped the anti a bit on my creativity.  So it's great and tough at the same time.

In the next few months there are some things going on which will provide much fodder for posts, plenty of inspiration and conversational topics.  I am actually really looking forward to sharing, too, in fact I can't wait.  Sorry to be a bit ambiguous now; it'll all make sense eventually.

Anyhoo, thanks for sticking with me this month, and please, stick with me through February too.  I promise it'll be worth it!

Till next time friends!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


It could very well be just that we are gaining proximity to St. Valentine's Day, but today, as I was going about my day-off business, the colour red kept catching my eye.  Well, it WAS everywhere.  

Somewhat disorienting metallic threaded fabric.  Shiny.
Love-ly bit of window dressing on Spring Garden.
Mmmmm, sweet red peppers at Pete's.
Bromeliads, also at Pete's.  Gorgeous!
Sweet ruby red slipper ornaments from my dear friend D, a million years ago it seems!
Scene outside my window today, if I choose to really focus.

Wet weather armour on Dresden Row.  

Red bush.  Sorry green-thumbs, no idea what kind.

Sadly, in the terribly over-crowded store that I found these little flats in, I could not get any farther away to take a picture which encompassed the actual selection of red shoes.  

I quite <3 this chandelier! 

And last but certainly not least, a newspaper clipping that's been on
our fridge since June 3, 2011.
This is Brigette Depape.   She's got more balls than the 49ers and the Spurs combined. 

(Haha.  I have to admit, I totally had to Google sports trivia to make that last "balls" wise-crack,  I'm THAT out of the loop. Not so wise I suppose.)

Anyhoo, till next time!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Five Tuesday Two

Five Fave Albums (this week, anyway)

Today is all about the tunes, friends.  They've been saving our sanity when we're around home, because if we didn't have a pretty colossal collection to choose from to occupy our ears all day, this is what we'd be dealing with:

That little ditty was from just after 7am this very morning.  That's why the following five albums have been playing loudly and in heavy rotation as of late.  In no particular order:

Ray La Montagne - Gossip in the Grain
Just the first song on this album alone, You Are the Best Thing, makes it all worth it, but the whole thing is super.  I adore his husky voice, so filled with character and warmth and feeling, whether he's belting out the tune or slowly crooning it.  Each song on this record is great - in fact I happen to think each song on all his albums are great!  Oh and ladies, he's not too hard on the eyes either, eh?  Am I right?  You Are the Best Thing, for your listening and viewing pleasure:

The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup
Nevermind the weird and somewhat creepy cover, the stuff inside is gold.  From 100 Years Ago, a bluesy little tune about not wanting to grow up, to Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), a story about the NYPD shooting a 10 year old boy because they mistakenly thought he was a bank robber, and a little girl who died alone in an alley from a drug overdose, to Angie, clearly a sweet yet sad little  love song, the album is so interestingly varied and rocks to high heaven.  Angie:

Joel Plaskett - La De Da

And speaking of love songs, how about this guy's Love This Town?  Joel is from Dartmouth, across the harbour from Halifax, and makes no bones about his pride for it.  Every time I've ever seen him play and this song comes on, you can feel a swelling of honor in the room as everyone sings along.  Great stuff.  The rest of the album is awesome too, like Natural Disaster and Happen Now, and it all really showcases the musicianship of Plaskett, a real talent.  Here's Happen Now (so good!):

The Rebirth Brass Band
BF and I have been watching the amazing HBO show Treme and it has really influenced our Taz Records trips lately.  Treme is about New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, how it's people fought hard to come back despite terrible odds and how strongly the culture - the music and food especially - played a part in the city before the storm and it's rebirth after.  Funnily enough, the Rebirth Brass Band formed about twenty-three years before Katrina, but they're music is the kind of thing you here a lot of on the show.  They mix the traditional brass band/second line style with new styles of music.  If this stuff doesn't get you up and moving you don't have a soul.  Like, no offense or anything.  :)  Here they are playing in the street in the French Quarter: 

The Tragically Hip - Now For Plan A
It should be every good Canadian's duty to see this band live, at least once in their lives, but preferably every time they tour.  They are, I think, the quintessential Canadian band, always writing about us, for us, to us.  In fact, the last song on this album is called Goodnight Attawapiskat, about the Attawapiskat First Nation, which has been in the news here everyday for the last year for a variety of different reasons.  The Hip are playing here on Saturday and BF, my bro D, and I are totally stoked to be going. Here they are playing a gig at a tiny bar in Kenzington Market in Toronto.  Cause that's how they do.

So those are my choices this time around.  They'll be different soon enough, but these are putting the smiles on now-a-days.  Hope they get you going too!

Till next time, friends!

Monday, January 28, 2013


So I gotta admit, it's been a long, kinda stressful few days, and they aren't not over yet.  Don't worry guys, it's the kinda stuff that will turn out great, and I'll let you in on it later, it's just that there's been a lot to think about lately.

Today was another one of those days where, in the end, one of these comes in handy:

But it also comes in handy to have an awesome little brother (even when they're grown ups they're still our "littles," aren't they?) who sends awesome things like this to me out of the blue.  You GOTTA watch this:

Thanks D!  I DID need a pep talk!

Anyhoo, till next time folks!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sleepy Sunday

Groggy nomadic penguin DREADS the Sunday morning line-ups for his triple grande no foam
soy caramel macchiato.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Morris House On The Move

Morris House is finally making it's way to it's new home.  

Many of you may remember when the Nova Scotia Heritage Trust obtained a stay of execution for the house a few years ago on account of it's history (it was built, like 250 years ago by the family for whom everything Morris is named after, in Halifax), but may have forgotten all about it on account of it sitting in a parking lot in the South end ever since.  Well, dark and early Saturday morning it began it's trip north, through the city toward Creighton Street where it's destined to become affordable housing.  BF and I drove past it's Brunswick Street stop-over this afternoon.  It's waiting there for the wee hours of Sunday morning, when it'll finish it's journey home.

Apparently it actually drove right past our place this morning, unbeknownst to us, which I'm a little bummed about. It would have been pretty darn cool to see a giant, centuries old house driving at a snails pace down a city street.  Oh well, there's always tonight!

Anyhoo, here's a pretty interesting and comprehensive article about the whole thing:

Any of you guys lucky enough to come across the move last night?

Till next time!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Garlic Babies!

I suspect you all probably won't be quite as enthused as I am about this little ditty, but I have to admit, I am stoked about some developments around here.

Five days ago, BF and I were making supper and I noticed one of the garlic cloves had gone to sprout, about half an inch at that point.  I was going to dig that bugger out and mince the clove anyway, when I remembered something I'd read a while back about planting a sprouted clove and growing your own garlic. I had to try it. 

I happened to have a pot in which a tiny, one-yield pepper plant passed away quietly this past fall, so I dug a wee hole about four inches deep, right in the centre and pushed the clove in, sprout pointing up.  I remembered reading that it was good to really soak the planted clove for the first week or so, so I drenched it, put it by a window and hoped for the best.

Five days later:

That's it!  I've now got two shoots, one about 7 inches and one about 4 inches tall!  

Now guys, I do not have a green thumb at all.  My Pops used to grow a garden every summer that could feed a football team for a year, and my brother K has been known to grow maple trees from seed, but me, that skill does not run in my blood.  So this little garlic plant, whatever may happen with it, makes me really happy.  Imagine, just IMAGINE if it actually produces GARLIC!  

Ok, calm down.  And don't worry, I'll keep you posted. ;)

Till next time folks!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hey Girl, Don't Be Blue....


Awesome street art on Cunard and Gottingen.

Till next time!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's a Fine, Cold Day

It's cold out there...

...a Sorels and ear-flaps kind of day folks.

Hip-hip horray.  I'd say this little phrase I found in a parking lot sums it up nicely:

As do the first two lines of this awesome Cowboy Junkies song.

BF and I just got in from several hours of errands, including a good chunk of time spent in the out-of-doors, and while I would not describe it as fun, I can tell you it certainly DOES make me appreciate the warmth of our apartment right now. 

It also makes me feel really bad for those of us who don't have the warm home to head back to at the end of the day.  I can't even imagine it.  In case anyone else had the same thoughts, and feel like they might be in a position to help out, check out Out of the Cold.  There are lots of different ways to help whether it be a donation, volunteering, or dropping off a few supplies like a pair of winter boots you haven't used much, or some warm gloves.  

Friends, I trust if you are reading this that that means you are also warm and dry, and that makes me real happy.

Till next time folks!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Five Tuesday!

Today I am actually not posting a photo I took, no, instead I am sharing with you some of my favorite blogs, the present top five anyway, the ones I've been checking every day for inspiration, fun little glimpses into other lives, laughs and learning experiences.  In no special order:

Your Yoko

Your Yoko is my latest find, just came across it this week in fact.  It's by Dayna Winter, a part time LA, part time Toronto gal who, like me, has a million trillion different hobbies and interests and the blog is about those, plus things that inspire her, and other things she's getting up to.  She's funny and self-deprecating and real and I'm looking forward to checking out more posts.  

Love Taza / Rockstar Diaries

Love Taza is written by Naomi Davis, who lives in NYC with her husband and their two kids.  It's mostly about her and her adorable little family and their life in the Big Apple.  Her photos are quite lovely, her stories and style are quite charming and it's nice to see how she's so madly in love with her honey and so crazy for her two little babes.  

Apartment Therapy

I'm sure some of you are already pretty familiar with this one.  It's a crafty, reno-loving, decor fiend's dream come true.  With many posts per day ranging from home tours to DIY to before and after projects and lots in between, it's definitely one you could get lost on for hours, planning your dream home in your head along the way.

Fashion East

Fashion East is a Halifax-based street fashion blog by three friends and style addicts, Krista Comeau, Meghan Tansey Whitton and Melissa Dube.  The photography in this one is absolutely gorgeous, definitely on par with such super star bloggers as The Sartorialist, another one of my faves.  Though they take submissions from other fashion lovers, and occasionally go "off the grid," most of the photos are of random, stylish Haligonians they see around town. Great proof that we East-coasters aren't always just about fleece and rubber boots.

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess is hosted by sisters Elsie and Emma and is a charming lifestyle blog with daily contributions about DIY projects ranging from homemade coffee syrups to kitchen tables made from old pallets, fashion and beauty ideas, day-in-the-life posts and so on.  I have about twenty million of their DIY things bookmarked for the future!

I hope you find these as fun as I do!

What are your go-to blogs right now?

Till next time folks!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Love Locks

I was strolling down Gottingen Street yesterday and came across this:

Little hearts made from string, woven into the chain link fence around the empty lot beside Alter Egos.  

And on the same fence, this:

I think it's the genesis of Halifax's own lover's locks project.  

Perhaps you've heard of probably the most famous one (though there are many such places all over the world:, Pont des Arts, a bridge in Paris, where lovers go and attach a padlock with their names written or engraved on it, and then throw the key into the Seine below, a symbol of their lives being locked together in love.  

Photo from:
Romantic right?  Well when I saw the fence on Gottingen, that's immediately where my mind went, and I got a little excited.  I just love the idea of such a gesture.  I mean, think about it: each and every one of those locks in the picture above represent two people who really love each other.  In a world where there is always so much focus on hatred and the negative things around us, that's a pretty beautiful thing. 

I really have no idea how long it's been there already, but I hope the Gottingen Street fence catches on. Wouldn't it be neat to walk past it on, say, February 14th and see it getting all covered up?  ;)

To small gestures and big love, friends!  Till next time!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Qu'est Pour Le Diner?

Guess what we're having for supper?

Old, dry baguette, bay leaves and dried thyme, Spanish, sweet white and red onions, shallots, all-purpose white flour, Gruyere cheese.
 Can you guess?  Here's another hint:

While browsing around Pete's Frootique the other day, looking for some culinary inspiration, I came across the awesome clearance shelf near the back and found a big variety pack of onions for 69 cents.  When I remembered that there was a baguette in our fridge at home that could, at this point, have only otherwise been used as an assault weapon, it became a no brainer.  Awww yisssss, French Onion soup!

French onion soup is a really cheap and easy meal to make, not to mention delicious and perfect for chilly days when you just need something to warm you to the bone.  You get together all the ingredients you see above and prep them - cut the baguette into about half inch slices, shred the Gruyere, thinly slice the onions.

First things first, melt a good chunk of butter in a sauce pan or pot.  

Add the onions.  I was making four bowls of soup so I ended up cutting the entire Spanish and sweet white onion, half the red onion, and all the shallots.

Seems like a lot but the whole caramelization process really shrinks them down.  I stir the uncooked onions around until they're all coated in butter and cover the pan, letting them cook slowly for about twenty minutes to half an hour.

The next step is to make your roux.  I just sort of push the onions aside and tilt the pan so the butter and the juices the onions have released drip down.  Then I stir in a couple tablespoons of flour and whisk until it forms a fairly thick paste.

Once you have achieved your desired consistency, stir the paste into the onions evenly and let it cook for a few minutes, until the flour loses it's graininess, and it's browned a bit.

Then start stirring in your broth.  I used beef broth here, which is the traditional choice, but I have often made it with veggie broth, which creates a much lighter coloured soup.  Both are super yummy.

I used about three and a half cups of broth.  Then I turned the heat up and brought the soup to a slow boil.

Time to add the herbs.  I tossed in three bay leaves and this much thyme.

I suppose it's about half a teaspoon.  I covered the pan up again, turned the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer about ten more minutes.  Then I divided the soup in four portions in the French Onion soup bowls, places a few of the crusty bread slices on top of each and covered them with cheese.

I always put the bowls on a baking sheet or something similar to make it easier and tidier to put them in and take them out of the oven.  So into the oven they went and there they sat under the broiler for another ten minutes, or until they look all browned and bubbly.

C'est bon!  Delicieux!  Oh la la!  Mais, oui!

I'll leave you today with another little French treat as well:

Amazing, no?

Till next time, friends!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What a Flake!

Ever try to capture a sunset or a beautiful, sweeping view with your camera, only to be kinda disappointed in the outcome, like nothing you can do can really, truly represent what you see?  Well that very thing happened to me this morning.  BF and I were out and about unusually early for us, on a Saturday that we both have off.  It was really snowing here in Halifax, and as we were waiting for the bus, I happened to notice that the flakes were those amazing, fascinatingly perfect kind of flakes, the ones that people try to make with scissors and paper.  I had my camera on hand of course, and have been getting pretty good at using the macro setting, so I tried to get a few shots.  I must have taken thirty before the bus came, but none of them really get across how beautiful the snow was.  A combination of the wind, and both mine and BF's bodies shuddering from the -15 temperature didn't help.

Anyhoo, here are a couple of the shots that sort of, kind of came out.  A little.

Look closely!  Can you see all the neat shapes?
I know, it's pretty blurry.  But I'm sure you get the gist.
Another blurry one, but I had to try.  BF's woolly pea coat was COVERED with them.
And then I noticed, I was too, of course!

Oh, I SO hope you were out and about this morning and noticed the amazing little pieces of art falling from the sky.  

Hope you're all enjoying your Saturday!  Till next time, folks!