Craving Summer

I know. I live in Canada. Where it is cold for MUCH of the year.
But I live in the part that is also REALLY HOT for a part of the year. And that part is sorely missed right about now.  Like most of North America, we had a hard winter here and it just…. won’t…. quit…..
Spring is not even really in sight.

Thus, when I stumbled on this house tour over at Remodelista, it really made me ache for summer breezes, long days and warm nights up on the rooftop patio.

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Is it spring yet in your neck of the woods?

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First Things First

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This past weekend, M had a birthday. He is one of those people who could happily just let the day go by without acknowledging it at all. I, on the other hand, am one of those people who thinks it is a crime against humanity that we do not all get a day off on our birthdays.
No, seriously– I think birthdays should be A Really Big Deal. Or at least a Marginally Big Deal.

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I got him some prezzies and took him out for dinner. I also made him his favourite cake, with a twist. He loves 1-2-3-4 cake, so I made him 1-2-3-4 chocolate cupcakes. I just added cocoa to the batter until I liked it. I made cardamom cocoa butter cream icing and added a few sprinkles. I free-styled the recipe for the icing. 🙂

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To make things a bit more fun, I used colourful paper straws and cute, polka-dotted birthday candles for the final flourish.

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The result? A success: he polished off a dozen cupcakes in two days flat. {I may or may not have helped. A little.}

Home, Sweet Home

ZARA HOME, that is!

Here are some of the lovelies on my Currently Coveting List:

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1.  Mirror
2. Tumbler
3. Cockatoo Serving Plate

One of the (very, very many) things I love about the UK is that there are home wares shops affiliated with some of my favourite clothing brands. If you have ever checked out my other little corner of the Interweb, you will know that I am big fan of Zara, the Spanish chain specialising in spot-on designer knock-offs at very accessible prices.

I always make a point of visiting their home wares shop when I am in London and so I am over the moon to know that I can get some of their many delightful items HERE IN CANADA.

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1. Skull Pillow
2. Romance Wallpaper
3. Onuki Nest of Tables
4. Gold Laminate Lantern

Thanks, Zara– you have eliminated the “I-can-buy-only-what-I-can-take-home-on-the-plane” problem! Woot!

(H&M, are you listening?)

Rituals

 

I guard my Sundays jealously. Ferociously, really.
I like to start off the week/end the weekend quietly.

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From September to June, my Sundays afternoons are given over to  Girding My Loins.
I mean, Getting Ready For The Week Ahead.
Part of the prep is the ritual of having a restful soak.

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Since we (finally!) finished our bathroom reno last year, I can really indulge.
Something that smells pretty, something that looks pretty , a soothing cuppa and a good read are all part of the ritual.

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Light Me To Bed

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For the final instalment in this week’s candlelight theme, let me invite you into my boudoir. Hee!

In the fall, I was given a truly lovely gift: a little votive candle from Diptyque. It is, in short, a luxury of the highest order. For good reason: it smells divine! The scent is lavender– perfect for the bedroom because it aids in relaxation and makes one sleepy. As someone who does not fall asleep easily, I find that my luxury candle has become a necessity. When the votive size had been spent, I made sure to replace it, splurging on the full-sized version this time.
It sits alongside a photo of my beloved, departed “Men” and whatever book I am reading.

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I love my recently-acquired nightly ritual of lighting the candle, filling the room with lavender scent and then cozying up in bed.

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Have a lovely, restful, candlelight-filled weekend.

Life’s Little Luxuries

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Glossy magazines.

A good ol’ gossip session with a girlfriend.

A satisfying, engrossing (if not overly-literary…) read.

Truly yummy wine.

Snuggles with a cat (or three…).

Time to oneself.

These are life’s little luxuries.
Here is another one: candlelight.
If I had my way (and I often do!), I would light our home solely with candles.

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In the deep, dark depths of our northern winter, I thought I’d bring you some images of  a few of  the candles that keep our house warm & glowing.

Merry. Bright.

This year, I am keeping it simple.

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A linen runner that reminds me of France, a few graphic trees and my favourite candle holders.

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Runner– made by me. Votives & wooden trees, West Elm.

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Make Homework Fun

Last week I told you about my amazing BFF from university. She is starting back to school this month, over 20 years after we graduated with our undergrad degrees! After a career in teaching, travelling the world, becoming a triathlete and a myriad of other accomplishments, she is going to become a speech pathologist. This means she had to go back and upgrade her HIGH SCHOOL science and math credits– can you imagine doing that?!!
The woman is a force, I tell you.

Her return to school also involves a move to a new town in a new country and, thus, new office space, all set up for her by her wonderful fella, who has transformed their spare room into a study zone for her. He’s a true darling, I must say.

I am (surprise!) a sucker for school supplies. In my opinion, they are the best part of having to return to school in the fall. Since my pal is returning to the student lifestyle, I knew she would not have too much disposable income to treat herself to fancy-schmancy school supplies.  I figured that would simply never do, so I treated myself to a shopping trip or two to stock up some stylish supplies to keep her feeling inspired if (when?) school becomes a slog. I also included a Voluspa candle in yummy Goji Tarocco Orange to soothe frazzled nerves after a long study session.

Here is some of what was inside the “care package” I sent her last week:

How cute are the little cat tags below? They have their own names!

The slang cue cards will help her keep up with the young’uns. They promise hipness in “mere days.”  Hee!