Wednesday, December 31, 2008

“A Party Doesn’t Throw Itself”

This famous adage of mine was the result of my family’s second annual New Years cocktail soiree in Miami. When pestering my sisters to help out with the party prep ended in zero assistance, I tossed out that nugget which has since become quite the family joke. Nevertheless, it is also a motto I embrace and practice, and the past few days have been filled with intense errands to ready for this year’s shindig.


Errands have included a trip to costco (which totally knocked our socks off by carrying high-end champagne, stone crab claws and funeral caskets- wow)


and we already did the numerous  flower arrangements last night.


Stay tuned for photos for the party but until then,

Happy New Year and I wish everyone only the best in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Curious Case of Brad as Benjamin

I’m not normally one for Brad Pitt. I’m more into dark than I am into the blonde and blue, but every now and then a film of  his comes along that knocks me off my socks with no warning. He did it in Meet Joe Black, and tonight the very same thing happened in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


The movie is sensational and touchingly quirky. Layered with so many themes, characters and emotions, it stands as its own work of art against the original short story and what could have been a strangely imposing premise.


Watching a red-headed Cate Blanchett pirouette and leap across the stage with her exquisite elfin features, seeing Brad channel his inner 60s rebel persona on a motorcycle, but most of all watching them do the twist together on their duplex mattress– as Rachel Zoe would say, I died.


The special aging effects are remarkably lifelike, the score enchanting, the costumes and sets completely transportive. I left the theatre feeling heavy yet light at the same time. I really haven’t felt this way about a movie since last year’s Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It’s not merely an escape for three hours that ends when you leave the theatre, rather it needs time to be digested and fully appreciated.


My words do not do this movie justice so I’ll just be quiet now and wait to cheer it on during the upcoming awards season.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Birthday Bounty

Lucky me received some fabulously generous and super thoughtful gifts for my birthday last week.


Some highlights include: Peace please ice cube tray, Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O'Connor, a birthday bouquet from the office, two stunning woven scarves, The Tales of Beedle The Bard, Foot in the door Door stop, precious dessert plates, and ‘hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil’ monkey soaps in a cute dish.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Winter White Holiday Kitchen

This Style at Home photo shoot features a wonderfully bright white kitchen styled with festive props:


Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sleigh Beds Ring

I’ve always been on the fence about sleigh beds. I understand the regal sensibilities of the historic silhouette but it also makes me think of Edmund being fed Turkish delight by the ice queen while under the shelter of fur blankets in her sleigh a la Narnia. Despite my hesitance towards the shape, here are some bedrooms with sleigh beds that  I find to be perfectly cozy:


Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Cocktail #32: Martha's Super Complicated Cranberry Christmas Cocktails

This recipe requires time and effort, but gosh don't these cocktails from Martha Stewart sure look pretty?

I'd totally omit the santa skewers if it were me (overkill!), but if you're going to go to all the trouble of making this multi-step beverage you deserve to garnish it however you please!

Martha's Super Complicated Cranberry Christmas Cocktails

Makes 4

  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • Thin strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups seltzer
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put cranberries into a large, high-sided skillet; set aside. Bring syrup, wine, brown sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, peppercorns, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking occasionally.
  3. Pour over cranberries. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a bowl; cover with 1 cup cooking liquid. Let cool completely.
  5. Bring 1/2 cup cooking liquid and the granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low; simmer until liquid has reduced and barely coats the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes.
  6. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; let cool completely. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 3 days.
  7. Reserve 40 cranberries. Puree remaining cranberries and liquid in a blender.
  8. To serve, place 10 reserved cranberries on each of 4 decorative skewers. Pour 1/4 cup puree and 1/4 cup syrup into each of four 12-ounce glasses; stir to combine.
  9. Add skewers, and fill glasses with ice.
  10. Top with seltzer, and serve.


On that festive note I am off to Miami for a couple of weeks and thankfully leaving the shit weather behind.  I will drop by for a post or two (or three)  though while I’m on vacay so keep your eyes peeled!

Presenting My Holiday Sugar Cookies


I promised shots of my holiday sugar cookies using the supplies I picked up at McCall’s so here they are!


Forgive the less than thrilling presentation… all the nice serving ware is boxed up until the reno decides to be over .

Kenai Nehora: Here Are Some Designer Menorahs!

During Chanuka, the Jewish festival of lights, it is a mitzvah (good deed) to light the menorah candles and remember the miracle of the oil lasting eight days in the second temple. Because Christmas totally overshadows the availability of Chanuka decor, designers have thankfully indulged us yids with a variety of styles of menorahs to choose from.

Here are some beautiful examples:


Olive Branch Menorah Nickel, $125


Jay Strongwater Menorah, $4,800


Tiffany and Co Sterling Silver Menorah, $3,000


Spode Judaica Collection Menorah, $108


bamboo menorah by l'objet $385.00


'last match' menorah oil lamp by kathleen walsh, $240


Waterford Crystal Menorah, $300


Christofle Judaica By Tihani Menorah, $1,790.00


Jonathan Adler skyline menorah, $150.00


Or you could just make a cookie menorah!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shopaholics Blog Alert

If you're a clotheshorse, then be sure to check out my stylish friend Yael's new blog: The Rantings of a Shopaholic.


In her words,

"This blog is for shopaholics everywhere. The most coveted pieces, the best buys, the of-the-moment lusts, whatever it is, I will find it. Timeless classics or trendy must-haves, I want them all."

Yael happens to be associated with, so if you're into classic fashion than be sure to stop by both sites!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smells Like Teen Spirit: A Round Up of Bedrooms for Adolescent Girls

I’ve covered little girls’ bedrooms, so now it’s time to move on to the next stage: adolescence! Teenage years are often filled with tumultuous experiments with styles and trends, and no space can better reflect the evolving identity of a girl more than her childhood bedroom. A teen girl’s boudoir is the sole place for her to express herself, so if the parents permit, up go posters, photos, bright paint colours and other mementoes of her newfound tastes.


The bedrooms below may not have been designed exclusively with teens in mind (and most often were executed under the careful watch of a seasoned decorator), but I think they embody the energy and spirit of teen girls with their vibrant colours and sassy styling:


Sake To Me Baby!

My mom came home with this little gem of a bottle of Sayuri sake when my sister requested a birthday dinner of miso-glazed cod:


Literally meaning “little lily” in Japanese, the bottle is so delicate and feminine in soft glazed pink. Long after the cod was eaten and the sake gone, I couldn’t bear to toss it out with the recycling!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Handmade Cards for the Holidays


My super-talented colleague Francesca is selling her homemade holiday cards at the criminal price of $4 Canadian!


Made with a variety of materials including patterned papers, rhinestones and felt, each card is a work of art!


My personal favourite is her adorable Rudolph with a mini red pom-pom nose and a cozy green scarf!


Francesca will also create cards with a custom theme, such as these crafty tool-box cards below which she created for some carpenters.


If you're interested in some hand-crafted holiday goodness, please e-mail me!

Happy Holidays!