Dressing Up Is Still In Style

I smiled when I saw this window at Bergdorf’s a little while ago.  It is a loose riff on what my mother always said: that when given the opportunity, have fun and dress up!  I took this a step further and decided that any opportunity to go out and socialize demanded that I put some extra care and effort into my appearance.  Translation: dress up and no one will complain.


I love to see people well turned out.  It doesn’t have to be high end fashion, just high end effort.  Whether going to a local restaurant or theatre in NYC, I will take the time to get out of my regular garb of jeans, t-shirt and converse and organize a beautiful outfit.


Even if you throw on a beautiful necklace or wicked shoes, you have made an effort.  Just do it already.  We get old soon enough and then we will wish we took the time to wear the lovely clothes and accessories we diligently collected for so many years.


I stopped in my tracks after coming across this display in The Toronto Shangrila Hotel .  It is a time when you are able to confidently say that fashion is also an art form .

Colour, craftsmanship, drama, design, aesthetic, fabrication….There is a reason couture is expensive. Yves Saint Laurant was a visionary.

Gardens: Delayed Gratification

I know that we are past the flowering of spring bulbs, but I am seeking out new varities to add to our garden.  It is so much fun window shopping for my selections and then am quite delighted when after finally making purchases, see them come up 8 months later.  Talk about delayed gratification!

Black bean, Avocado and Braised Cauliflower Tortillas

This was so good even my meat loving husband loved it! Part of the reason is the fact that I made the corn tortilla’s. Big difference!

However, and this goes for all food, the better the ingredients, the better the dish.

It took only minutes to make the tortilla’s, then I made a yoghurt based Sriracha sauce, smashed avocado with cumin and spritz offresh lemon juice, shredded kale, black beans with fresh garlic and onion powder, fresh tomatoes and braised cauliflower***.

***gently heat tbsp.coconut oil in frying pan, cut one medium cauliflower into 1 inch steaks, when pan is hot med/high add cauliflower. Let the cauliflower brown about 5 minutes. Flip the veggies and put a lid on the pan. Turn the heat to med/low. Steam will accumulate which will facilitate the braising by releasing moisture onto the pan surface. Another 5 minutes and cauliflower is done. I like a slight firmness to my veggies.

I like all ingredients mise en place and let people put as much or as little on to the plate. Plus it is fun!


Whenever I think about radishes, I think of picnics. My mother always made an effort to have us eat outdoors in good weather, and organized family picnics too. When I think of the work that it takes to pack up 6-8 different foods, utensils, platters, plates, beverages, dessert etc. I also think of how those moments brought a simple pleasure to our lives.

Radishes remind me to savour these kinds of moments. Nothing big, nor flashy, but quite joyful.

Radishes. Sea salt.


Spring Posies

My Forget-Me-Nots and Grape Hyacynths are only now fading. I love using miniature vases/creamers for smaller groupings.

Plants For A Beautiful Healthy Home

It is no secret that I am a plant geek.  I come by it honestly, my mother always had plants in our home (some I inherited!), and my Dutch father always maintained beautiful gardens.  Admittedly, growing up I didn’t have the attachment to them that I do now.  I am sensitive to environments that lack life, that are too hard, so I love to introduce at least one plant per room (usually more).

Here are 3 reasons that I think everyone should have plants in their homes.

1. Plants soften a room.  Floors, countertops, chairs, tables…all have an inherent hardness.  When you bring in a plant there is a softening of edges as well as a freshness of colour.  I have found that sometimes all a room needs is a plant.

2.Plants naturally purify the air.  We all grew up understanding that plants take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, but more recently scientists have proven that plants remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).  A couple of the easiest plants to grow and find are Spider plants and Golden Pathos.

3.Plants connect us to nature.  When we are learning to care for another living thing, we automatically see the outside world with fresh eyes.  We begin to care about our external environment, about our parks and about the world at large, and that, is a good thing.

Check out Joanna Gaines Blog on the plants she uses in her designs, gorgeous!


Last week Patrick asked me to make his favourite side for his birthday.  What’s a girl to do?  Giddy up!  To make the job easy I used my mandoline slicer .  I don’t have a deep fryer, so I use my cast iron pot.  I like to slice up the potato (I used 2 white potatoes), and then transfer them to sit in an ice bath for 30 min.  This seems to really help make a frite with more body.

Be sure to pat dry in tea towell before you put in hot oil otherwise the water will spatter…not good!

I do small batches, drain on paper towel and add sea salt as they come out!  Yum!!!

Variations*** add freshly grated parmesan cheese and thyme, fresh pepper, truffle oil…


Product Safety App

Up until I came across the app Think Dirty, this was my favourite lipstick.  Then upon scanning the bar code with the app, I found that the majority of its ingredients are carcinogens or toxic to some degree.  The app is easy to use and well worth the minute or two to find out the safety of cosmetics, lotions, shampoos etc.  Don’t forget that our skin is the largest organ, what we put on it counts.

Wait, what?

A few weeks ago, Patrick and I went out to a party and came back to our Naples home to find one of the fire alarm batteries needing to be replaced…at 2:00 am…with no ladder.  So with my spidy senses I scaled Emily’s side table, with garden stool perched on top, then the said battery was replaced, as evidenced in my paw mudra.  I liked my outfit and my newly blown out hair (I drool when I get my hair blown out…so relaxing when someone else washes and styles your hair) and then we had to take a picture for posterity….plus you gotta get that meditation in when you can….it counts.  Just sayin’.


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