Monday, September 29, 2008

Apples and Honey for Rosh Hashana

To my fellow Jews, I wish you a happy and healthy new year. If you're scratching your head why I'd be wishing anyone a happy new year in the Fall, than I'll fill you in:

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, symbolizes the start of the Jewish calendar (Tishrai). The 2-day holiday is celebrated by going to synagogue and hearing the shofar blow (a ram's horn), and eating symbolic foods, such as apples and honey (for a sweet new year).


Every one has their own traditions and rituals, but here are a few suggestions to liven up your Rosh Hashana celebration:

imageStand out from the crowd - rather than gifting a plain jar of honey to your family and friends, try an herbal-infused jar instead.

Martha's directions for making your own is simply pushing two or three sprigs of herbs into the syrup. lavender pairs especially well with honey, as does fragrant rosemary.


Forgo the usual flower arrangements and make a stunning centrepiece out of the holiday essentials gilded with gold leaf for some extra sparkle. Click here for Jewish Living's step-by-step instructions for this gorgeous edible arrangement.


Serve your younger  guests a mocktail involving another symbolic Rosh Hashana fruit: pomegranates. Make POM faux-mimosas using sparkling apple cider instead of champagne or for an after-dinner treat, make a hot batch of Eskimo Kiss.

Skip sending unhealthy chocolate baskets and package your own batch  of delicious homemade apple chips in a nice tin or cellophane bag tied with raffia.


Honey cake is a classic, but if you're looking to spice up your dessert table, try delicious spiral fritters sweetened with honey or a honey and pine nut tart, both from Martha.


Goodbye Brick

I’m not usually one for baby blues, but when a teenage me caught a late night airing of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on TV, I was entranced with a 33-year-old smoldering Paul Newman. He could have been my grandfather but damn he was a handsome man!

In honour of Mr. Newman’s weekend passing, go rent Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and pay homage to the late screen legend. If you don’t fall for Brick than you’ll at least be amused by Maggie the cat.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have a Grape Weekend!

Corny I know...but all the same, here is an ode to Pink Tartan's stunning Grape Venetian Coat in cocktail form: image


  Grape Fizz

  •   1 oz red grape juice
      ¼ oz triple sec
      Sparkling wine


  1. Add 1 oz red grape juice and ¼ oz triple sec to a Champagne flute.
  2. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a grape

Enjoy your fabulous Fall weekends!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Browsing at Constantine


A plethora of throw pillows, john derian decoupage, garden stools, fortuny lamps, gorgeous framed prints and even two gigantic aquariums greet visitors at Constantine, a home and garden shop on the Rosedale design strip.


Located on Yonge street between Roxborough and MacPherson, this popular destination for design and decor addicts is often cited at least once in the “source” section of most Canadian shelter mags.


With unique finds from around the globe that range from totally quirky ship chandeliers (as seen in nanette’s apartment) to classic pieces such as a modern sharply tailored sofa, Constantine is a good place to stop by when looking for some flair to add to your space.


Here are my picks from Constantine:


Essex Chest in Vanilla Bean, $4,100


Jon Derian circular fashion plates, $160 each


Spotted Hide, $695


White lacquer and mirrored tray, $215



Are you running? Are you walking?

Are you contemplating waiting until the crowds thin?

Are you satisfied enough with your American C&B shopping excursions to hold off all together?


R.I.P. Basil


Our backyard basil grew too big for its own good…


So in honour of the declining basil, here is a recipe for pesto that is made to be slathered on crusty bread or swirled into pasta with some extra virgin olive oil.

Linda’s Pesto

  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup of pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan
  • Coarse salt to taste
  1. Chop garlic in food processor
  2. Add basil and pine nuts and blend
  3. Add oil and parmesan and salt

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dress You Up in My Love


Kumari Colson’s dressing room in her Toronto home so me – the zebra hide, the black chandelier, the hardwood. From now on I’ll look at her shop in a whole new light!

(image via house and home’s sept 2008 issue)

Smoky Violet Eyes From Stila


When it comes to smokey eyes, using purpley-grey shadow is a nice way to soften the look while still retaining some of that desired edge.

Now shopping for the products to recreate Kiera's smokey-violet eye is made easy with the limited-edition Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette in The Red Carpet Look from Stila .


The red faux-patent leather palette contains an onyx kajal liner to rim your peepers with, plus three shades of eye shadow to define and highlight . Bonus: the palette comes wrapped in a chic rosette accessory.

Here's how to pull it off:

  1. Apply the purple-grey shadow to your entire eye lid
  2. Rim both your bottom and top lash lines with the onyx liner
  3. Apply the darkest shadow shade close to the lash lines, blending as you move outwards
  4. Highlight brow bone with lightest shadow shade


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Missoni Moment


In addition to their swoon-worthy textiles, Missoni also offers a line of jewelry...but I never really paid attention until I saw this beauty:

Missoni Long stone embellished necklace

Missoni Long stone embellished necklace, $1,065


STUNNING! The colours are delicious yet neutral enough for everyday, plus I love the linking design.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Starlight, Star Bright

I didn't watch the entire ceremony, but boy did some of the Emmy's red carpet gowns pop in bright punchy colours! With shades of aqua, turquoise, canary yellow, tangerine and fuchsia, these small-screen stars upped TV's glam factor big time!

Mariska Hargitay, Emmys

Mariska Hargitay in Carolina Herrera

Cynthia Nixon in Calvin Kelin and Fred Leighhton jewels, 2008 Emmy Awards, Fashion

Cynthia Nixon in Calvin Klein

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Louis-Dreyfus in Narciso Rodriguez

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker in Roberto Cavalli

Teri Hatcher, Monique Lhuillier, Desperate Housewives, Emmys

Teri Hatcher in Monique Lhuillier

Brooke Shields, 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, Arrivals

Brooke Shields in Badgley Mischka Couture

PS- props to Josh Groban who did a great job with the medley of television theme songs. Anyone who collaborates with animal is cool in my book!

(images via in

Red Glass Bath


Alberta Feretti’s yacht is quite the distinctive space when it comes to decor. It’s obvious that its a floating oasis, but what stands out to me is her bathroom with its glamorous mediterranean vibe. Gorgeous red moasic tile on the vanity, (fitting) nautical decorative touches with a textural wall covering – love it!


(images via in style)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend Cocktail #21: Sparkling Blackberry

image Sweet, earthy and inky black, blackberries are a graphic and tasty addition to any cocktail. The luxe look of this festive drink is well-suited to a celebratory occasion or posh night on the town.

Sparkling Blackberry

  • 2 blackberries
  • 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 tsp cassis (or chambord)
  • Sparkling pink wine
  1. Place  blackberries in a Champagne flute.
  2. Pour gin and cassis over berries and top with pink sparkling wine.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cozy and Calming

Designed by Julie Charboneau, this Niagra estate built on a boutique vineyard (as seen on the cover of the latest House and Home) is elegant and inviting. Soothing colours, luxe materials, a host of antiques culled from Paris flea market missions and a fastidious attention to detail make this home a livable masterpiece. The wood, the marble, the paneling… it’s all covered in this engaging estate. Who wants to go visit with me?



PS- it’s hard to believe this shoot is from Cobi Ladner’s last issue already. It seems like that announcement was made not that long ago. If you’re scratching your head at that comment and haven’t heard,  Suzanne Dimma has left Wish to return to her old stomping grounds at H&H and is taking over as editor-in-chief. I’m quite intrigued to see how her rule will change the mag!

That Martha is One Smart Lady

She’s holding a blogging contest to accompany the show she did today on the world of blogging. I was very pleased to see Deb of Smitten Kitchen featured and if it weren’t for Perez I probably wouldn’t even have known so word up P-Nasty!

If you haven’t checked out Martha’s blog, you should for such amusing posts as this:


crazy cappuccinos


Paw Paw’s grandpuppies


A barn breakfast sandwhich

I confess Martha’s pets are my favourite…us coo-coo multiple animal people tend to understand each other better than others. Francesca is beyond


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Inspired Living @ AT Design Group


Tucked into the corner of Macpherson and Yonge street in a century-old coach house is AT Design Group. In delicious proximity to a teensy ice cream parlour and Patachou, this charming collection of home furnishings and accessories is famous for its eclectic offerings and stacked selection of perfect gifts for the finicky friend.


Bumbling around the cluttered space you’re consistently spotting objects you’ve seen being hawked on magazine pages.  It’s hardly accidental though – owners Arminé Tatosian (an interior decorator and fashion designer) and Terese Sears (a journalist) make a point of stocking their small shop with big-name designers and hot ticket items, such as Jonathan Adler, Alessi and the brightly hued chocolate-covered sunflowers seeds that seemed to crop up everywhere this year.


Part of Rosedale’s must-visit coalition for selective decor and design enthusiasts, AT is especially a great place to find a decorative bowl, interesting vase or funky side table.

Here are my favourite picks currently available at AT Design now:


Bamboo Brass Table, $1,110


Cowhide Bench, $595


Bar Cart in Polished Nickel, $1,399