Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Observations

It really can snow in Vancouver. A chilly shot from an early morning walk, before the rain set in. Bye Snow.

A vintage Chinese restaurant soup bowl, makes a cute vase. 

Now for a Sunday link....I love Perch by Amy Perch. Her etsy shop is fantastic.

That's what I observed this Sunday. What about you?

Back soon!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pretty Jewels

I hope you're all enjoying your weekends. Did you have a good week? This week went a bit awry for me, so my apologies for being absent. One post. Yeesh. I'll be back in action next week, I promise.

I'm loving being "snowbound" today...well, a Vancouver version of snowbound. ;) Just shopping around etsy, making up treasuries, and doing a little jewelry shopping inspired post.

Shereen de Rousseau is super talented jewelry designer, and I've had the pleasure of shooting her pieces for her website. Her jewelry brings out the "girl" in me, without over doing it. Her work has graced the pages of many fashion magazines as well as the Sports Illustrated swim suit issue. I could hardly look at that one...I don't even own a bathing suit. ;)

You can check out all her work here. Her new line is coming out soon, and I can't wait.

Back soon!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Did you all have nice weekends? I think many of you are enjoying a long weekend, but us poor souls in B.C. are not. What's up B.C.? By the way, I think the February holiday (for Canada) should be "Flag Day" on the 15th to celebrate the anniversary of our flag as we know it. Just a thought. What do you all think?

I baked samosas over the weekend, with some mango chutney, and they were really simple to make and pretty tasty. Perfect for a cocktail party, or just to pick at all day like they are calorie-free.

Baked Samosas - makes about 20

Samosa dough:
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds (you can find these in the "international" aisle of your grocery store)
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2/3 cup water

Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl, and knead a little before covering with a tea towel. Set aside while making the filling.

Samosa filling:
2 medium size potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes and boiled until just soft)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup peas (fresh would be nice, but I had to use frozen.)
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander (a.k.a. cilantro)
1 teaspoon chilli powder (Indian style, not Mexican)
1 teaspoon amchur powder (dried mango)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oil on medium heat and, when hot, add potatoes and "mash" up a bit, then add all the other ingredients. Done.

To make samosas, break up dough into about 10 pieces, and roll into balls. Roll out balls to about a 6"  disc. Cut disc in half, smear a little water along the edges, and shape into a cone. Press seam to seal.  Fill cone with about 2 tablespoons of filling and fold top over, and pinch to close. Make sure it is sealed, so you don't lose any of the filling.

Place samosas on a non-stick baking sheet, brush a little oil on the tops and bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until a light golden brown. They smell amazing while baking!

Mango Chutney:
1 teaspoon safflower oil (or just plain old vegetable oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small red chillis, seeded and chopped finely
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 large mangos, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the chutney:
Heat oil in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the garlic, chilli, and cumin seeds and saute until light golden. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes, making sure to stir often so it doesn't stick or burn.

As I mentioned, they make a great cocktail snack, but they are also perfect for the morning-after-the- cocktail-party snack as well. This is what my husband told me, anyway. ;)

Have a nice Monday....even if it's not a holiday for you! Back soon!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Observation

So much nicer than the norm, and on such a nice sunny day. 

Hope you all had a great weekend. Back tomorrow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I just checked out Marche St. George, a little neighbourhood grocery near my home, with my friend Caroline. She said I'd love it and she was right. Holy cute and cozy.  The decor and all the little details are perfect. They just opened 2 months ago, and have since become hugely popular in the 'hood and one of Vancouver's best kept secrets.

The coffee and croissants were so delicious. They also carry a fantastic array of deli meats, cheeses, and assorted gourmet products. You'll find non-edible treats here too: ceramics, scarves from Mexico, soaps and linen towels.

I had to pick up a jar of Mission Hill Oculus Cherries, a combination of organic cherries, Oculus wine, and balsamic vinegar. Klee, one of the owners of the shop, suggested I pour them over chocolate ice cream. I didn't have ice cream at home, so I ate them right out of the jar. Oh God, they are incredible.

 These really did bring tears to my eyes.

If you find yourself at the corner of St. George and East 28th, in Vancouver, check out Marche St. George. Delicious treats and cute decor....what more could you want?

Have a great day! Back soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Rainy Weekend with Books

I hope you all had a fun Valentine's Day!

This past weekend was a rainy one, so it was a perfect excuse to pour through some wallpaper and design books to get some inspiration. I find it a little difficult to make a final decision when it comes to wallpaper. What if I put it up and it looks hideous?

Here are a few of my rainy weekend reads. They're not brand new so many of you may know of them, but for those of you that don't, I highly recommend them!

Pattern by Orla Kiely 2010

I was given this book by my friend, Nikki, who knows how much I love this woman. Orla Kiely designs everything from handbags, to furniture and bed linen. It's a good insight into how she works. This book is filled with beautiful images, and fits the bill if you love pattern, mid-century design and fashion.

Wallpaper by Charlotte Abrahams 2009

Page after page of stunning wallpapered rooms, unique ways to use wallpaper and samples of different styles of paper. Fantastic to flip through on a rainy day...or any day for that matter!

Florence Broadhurst  Her Secret and Extraordinary Lives by Helen O'Neill 2006

I've been obsessed with this woman for years. She was all shades of eccentric, and I think that's why I love her.  This book covers her life, from the early days as a singer, then to her days as a wallpaper designer to her murder in 1977. Her killer has never been found. Nothing like some design inspiration mixed with a little intrigue.

That's it for now! Have a lovely day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baked - Almond Butter Maple Cookies

Whoohoo, it's Friday! I hope you all have great weekends planned.  Will you be celebrating Valentine's Day early?

Speaking of Valentine's Day, I have to admit I don't get all that worked up about it. I expect Valentine's Day to be a year round, any given day, kind of thing. Daily, sweet and kind, gestures are my cup of tea. My husband gets off scott-free.

To celebrate the day of love, I've baked some "heart healthy" cookies. Almond Butter Maple Cookies. Almonds and maple make a very good team. Does this count as a Valentine's cookie? Is calling a cookie "heart healthy" remotely romantic?

Almond Butter Maple Cookies - makes one dozen
(this recipe is from "Alive" magazine)

1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (I used vanilla. Didn't have almond. Rats.)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 almonds, chopped

Preheat oven 350f/180c (keep in mind that the dough has to be refrigerated for an hour).
In a bowl, mix together the almond butter, maple syrup, oil and extract. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in chopped almonds. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour.

Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls, and place onto parchment paper lined baking sheet, and flatten to about 1/3". Bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden brown. They smell so good!

Have a great weekend! Back Soon. 

My friend Jan, over at Poppytalk, gave me the heads up about a little mention at House and Home. Thank you to Rieko Caron for including me on her list of "Great Canadian Design Blogs". It's so nice to be lumped in with some of my favourite blogs! Perked up a rainy day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

City Living in Small Spaces

How's your week going so far? Hope all is well!

I'm not sure how it is where you live, but Vancouver is a city of condos so I end up shooting a lot of "small space" stories. Thought I'd share one with you.

Last summer I had the pleasure of working with Christine Hanlon, from Style At Home, on a week of shoots. This condo was one of the shoots, and it's featured in the new issue. This compact one bedroom condo is owned by a young woman and was designed with the help of Karla Amadatsu of Kerrisdale Design. This space is very paired down, and very orderly, which is the trick with tiny spaces where everything is on view. I can't seem to do that myself...too much stuff!

I love seeing how people live with their "stuff" - paired down, hidden, or on display. How do you live with your "stuff"? 

Back on Friday with mapley good treat. Have a lovely day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Love A Parade

Last week was the busiest week I've had in awhile. I shot a story every day, so my eyes look like they're bleeding. Happy to be working so much, but I was really happy for the weekend to commence. How was your weekends? Did you check your local Chinese New Year festivals, by any chance?

As I've mentioned (many times), I love Chinatown so I had to check out the Chinese New Year parade and festival, even though it was raining. Umbrellas were up, but umbrella etiquette was no where to be found, unfortunately. ;)

Upon receiving the third poke in the eye, by a spectator's umbrella, we headed to the Dr. Sun Yat Sen garden for a little calm.

Happy New Year! I 'll be back on Wednesday (I know I said that last week too. Sorry!), with a city girl condo.  Until then, I hope you have a great start to the week.