Monday, December 31, 2007

Papering the Walls

I've been browsing Graham & Brown online for wall coverings and came across Linda Barker's Serenity in Celadon that I think would lend a contemporary feel to the scheme I've devised for my living/dining area thusfar - perhaps papered on the east wall...

And these romantic, purple patterns....maybe for the bedroom?

Divine - Purple


Or maybe this dramatic black tone-on-tone for the bedroom instead?

Muse - Black

And finally, some fun and graphic Flower Power for the den?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Must See Juno

I went to see Juno this afternoon and if you haven't seen it already, go see it. I promise you won't be disappointed because the writing's awesome, it's laugh-out-loud funny (really - the audience laughed out loud throughout the film) and Ellen Page totally lives up to all the hype as the smart-mouthed Juno. The soundtrack is perfect too. I am so getting this when it comes out on DVD.

Condo Update!

I stopped by my condo after a yummy lunch of Gypsy Goulash at The Prague Fine Food Emporium - memories of Prague in the springtime came rushing back with the first bite.

If you hadn't already guessed, I love food and I love shopping and I will soon be living in one of the best neighbourhoods for it in Toronto. :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Living/Dining I

I don't know what you think about when you're sitting in your dentist's chair getting your teeth cleaned, but I apparently think about colour schemes and floorplans - this one time anyway, since I've had design on the brain of late (that, and baking of course!)

I've been thinking a lot about my chair and how it'll look in my living room...and given its glam Old-Hollywood vibe, I've pretty much ixnayed the sectional in favour of a sofa...and I figure given the dimensions of the living/dining area I probably have room for a full-size sofa:

So I browsed and came across a number of candidates with lovely sloped arms like this one, this one, this one and this one. But my favourite was Jonathan Adler's tuxedo-framed Lampert Sofa for its elegant clean lines and fun colour - the only drawback is that the seat is button-tufted as well, which I'm not so crazy about. With this in mind, I stopped in at DeBoer's and found the Tommy Sofa:

This is a sofa with style and substance. It's tailored and plush and firm at the same time and I want it. It retails for about $2700 and is now 10% off. The lead time is about 10-12 weeks so I'll have to re-visit it in the spring if I want it in time for my August move.

The bolsters and throw pillows come with, and the latter can be done in the customer's choice of fabrics. This being the case, I was thinking initially chocolate brown, but after mulling it over during my cleaning, I was thinking cream with accents in green. Cream because it's neutral and if I'm going to spend that much on a sofa, it's going to have to be flexible decor-wise since it'll be coming with me when I eventually move to something bigger and better, and green because it's at once fresh and soothing and I had gone to the dentist from Home Outfitters where I had just bought these fabulously luxurious Wamsutta spa body towels in pistachio and ivory for my bathroom. Can you just imagine pistachio and ivory accents in a bathroom with these colours for the floor/wall/cabinets:

Actually, the lighting for those samples is pretty bad, but trust me, it'll look fresh and soothing at the same time.

But back to the living room and Tommy. I was thinking something along the lines of one of these blue/green hues for the walls:

Potential candidates for the accent pillows include "Pelagrossa Sky" to the left and "Awning Green Tea" to the right. Tommy would be upholstered in the "Bristol Dove" at centre.

For the coffee table, I'm thinking something clear because among the many other lovely rug designs including Swirl in Grass, Flowers on Water in Green/Cream and Origami in Olive/Calm Blue, I've got a thing for Emma Gardner's Stars and Kimono Branch below, and wouldn't it be a shame to hide something so beautiful?
As for the dining area, up until about 2 weeks ago, I was leaning towards EQ3's Milo dining table and chairs. I love the clean lines and the high-gloss laquered finish of the table top. I like the price too - I figure I can buy something that's more "disaposable" since I imagine the dining room in my "grown-up" home to be furnished differently. I wonder now if Milo in the Rock finish I preferred will be too stark a contrast to the style and colour scheme I've envisioned for the living room? Perhaps the Mustang finish will be more suitable colour-wise....but what of the style?

The alternative would be something similar to Ikea's Torsby dining table which has a frosted glass top (I don't want to see anyone's laps and feet when I'm eating!) and metal legs. Incidentally, EQ3 has a Boxing Week sale on now and I'm a bit tempted...
Much to ponder....Meanwhile, on my way back from the dentist, I stopped at Pier 1 to browse for some more home stuff and serendipitously found a vase (35% off!) that had all the colours I had imagined in my mind. It was clearly meant for me and who am I to deny such a sign?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Martha strikes again!

I've noticed with all the baking I've been doing of late (today it's Martha's Carrot Cake Cookies from the Holiday Cookies Special Issue circa 2001) that my mom's vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster Mixer may well be on its last legs - the faint hint of smoke in the air when I have it at the 3rd speed setting might be the dead giveaway.

So I hopped on the internet and begain browsing, with visions of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer in my mind - a mixer I've wanted ever since I began baking in earnest in high school. Once upon a time, when I had a lot of time on my hands, I'd spend hours baking - mostly chocolate chip cookies, which my friends loved me for. My then-best friend S and I promised that when the time came, we would each get the other the KitchenAid Stand Mixer as a wedding gift.

Fast forward 15 years: S and I don't talk anymore and it doesn't look like I'm anywhere near getting my stand mixer as a wedding gift. Kitchen Stuff Plus has it on sale now for $259 but I decided to check to see if I could use my air miles and get it for free. Alas, I didn't have enough miles...but the KitchenAid 12 Cup Ultra Wide Mouth Food Processor was on special, and I had the miles...yet, I had my doubts. Having never used a food processor, I wasn't sure that it would suit my off I went for some more research - AskMefi is an excellent resource and I came across a great thread about what a food processor's good for and was sold.

So in a few weeks, Martha will have a new toy to play with - I just hope that she'll have the time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Too much information

Rather than spending the day out with the masses bargain hunting on this Boxing Day, I opted to spend the day in cleaning and organizing - chores that are long overdue considering that I had clean, folded laundry on the loveseat in my bedroom for 3 weeks, a bathroom that is icky, dustbunnies threatening to take over and a dresser top that I hadn't seen in what seems like forever because it's been covered by bills and assorted other ephemera.

In the process of balancing my accounts on Quicken (I'm a geek, yes I am) I realized that I had double-paid my last Visa statement so I called to have the payment reversed. Mary Beth, the friendly agent who helped me, asked me how my Christmas was, and then proceeded to tell me that her boyfriend of 2 weeks met her family for the first time - on his insistence - and wanted her to ask her family what they thought of him. I wasn't prepared for that much information - never mind the fact that the sound on her headset was really loud and it felt like she was yelling at me on the receiving end. I was a little uncomfortable because I felt like I had to engage in the conversation she had started or seem rude.

All I wanted was to have my payment reversed and to wait in silence while she worked her magic - is that too much to ask? It seemed rather unprofessional too - to talk to a client on the phone about your personal life. So it makes me wonder whether she was chatty like that with everyone. Or did she see from my account information that I was in her peer group so felt like she could share with me like a girlfriend? It's not like we had an established relationship like, say a hair stylist and a client. In this instance, I'm totally game to carry on a personal conversation, but a one-off with an agent over the phone? A little weird.

All this to say that I'm a dope for over-paying my Visa and if you're a customer service agent, I don't want or need to know about your personal life please and thank you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Birds in the Bedroom

How pretty and unabashedly girly is the Nightingale Bed and Bird-cut Armoire from below?

I'm not sure this is quite the direction I want to go in for my bedroom - too girly, that is. I mean, would a guy be comfortable in such a pretty bed? ;)

Just as well, I suppose, since they don't ship to Canada.

Bedroom I

Ever since I redeemed for my chair, I've been browsing furniture and design sites and playing with EQ3's Room Builder software daydreaming about how I'm going to furnish my condo come August.

I stumbled upon this purple and silver patterned wall paper at Habitat and would love to use this on the wall I plan for my bed. I'd paint the remaining 2 walls (the south wall is floor to ceiling windows) a moody deep purple.

I'll dress the bed with its upholstered headboard in crisp white linens and decorate it with throw pillows in various shades of silver grey and purple, and there'd be a cashmere throw folded casually at the end of the bed - I think in a light grey.

For some sparkle and light, I'd place a pair of lamps similar to this one by Zia Priven on my night table and Ikea's Hemnes 6-drawer dresser in white in the corner opposite my bed although I'd switch out the knobs with crystal ones that provide a bit more sparkle - I'd actually prefer the 8-drawer dresser (more storage) but I don't think I have enough clearance at the end of my bed.

I would love to have a glam chaise by the wall of windows to lounge in with a book on a quiet weekend afternoon but I don't think there's enough room for one.

In my mind's eye, this bedroom is luxurious, moody and glamorous. It remains to be seen how many other versions of this room I'll come up with between now and August.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Just call me Martha

I've gotten all domestic for the holidays: I spent the morning at a couple different groceries picking up the various items that were on the shopping list I'd pulled together late last night for the menus I've got planned for the next few days - green curry chicken tonight, rosemary beef roast and mushroom risotto tomorrow, and roasted sole with walnut crust, watercress salad with pomegranate and possibly pear depending on my mood, and a dense chocolate loaf cake from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess either Wednesday or Thursday.

I also felt like some late-in-the-holiday baking so flipped through my cookbooks and settled on these yummy Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies from Martha Stewart's special Holiday Cookies issue from Xmas 2005. I think I'll try her Carrot Cake Cookies from the Holiday Cookies issue dating from Xmas 2001 tomorrow...and sometime later this week the Lime Meltaways I came across in the Star last week.

Funny thing about Stewart's cookie recipes. I've tried about a handful from her special issues over the years and they always yield less than the stated number of cookies - and I tend to make my cookies smaller than suggested too. Because of this, I doubled the recipe for these molasses cookies which is supposed to yield about 2 dozen. I made the cookies bigger than I would prefer and ended up with about 6 dozen cookies - no way will my brother and I be able to finish all these my friends will be sharing in the holiday fat over the next few days. :)

I was all set to start the green curry when I unexpectedly got a call from Uncle N, who's lonely with my mother in Vancouver. He told me he was going to pick up some roast pork and roast duck before stopping by for dinner so the curry's on hold until later in the week.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Shortly after 1pm today

"Where did you go?" says my brother as I step into the house and hand him the bag of Big Mac combos and the tray with the 2 Cokes, no ice.

"To Bodyflow.*"

"And you're eating McDonalds?"

"I know."

* Bodyflow: workout combining yoga, tai chi and Pilates.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A gambler amongst us?

My sister sent me more pics of EMC today and the way this kid sleeps kills me.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

My first purchase

I made my first furniture "purchase" today by redeeming for this glamourous Old Hollywood-esque leather chair in cream with my air miles. I'm not quite sure where this will live come August, but I'm glad it's mine. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

4 sleeps to the holidays

The snow piled high at the end of our driveway

I worked 50+ hours last week, staying as late as 10:30pm Thursday and woke up at the crack of dawn (well, 5:30) this morning to make it into work for an 8 o' clock meeting with my SVP only to have him show up 30 minutes late because the GO trains were behind schedule thanks to the 26cm of snow that fell yesterday. I then spent most of the day working on model sensitivities in prepartion for a pre-read going out to our executive committee tomorrow only to find out at 4pm that the effort was wasted because assumptions had changed. Mildly frustrated? Maybe a bit. Counting down the days until the holidays begin? Hell yeah.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Introducing EMC

I didn't get home until about 9:30 tonight and after spending all day periodically checking my email for pictures of EMC, I found these waiting for me in my inbox:

Look at how much hair she had at birth!

And here she is smiling :)

Impatiently waiting for more pictures.....

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I've been remiss...

With my long hours of late during the week and sometimes on the weekends, it's been difficult to find the time to keep up with my blog.

The very talented Lone Beader was kind enough to honour me with the Nice Matters Award last week and I am now passing it on to Jane at Ill See, Ill Said, who has a keen eye for cool design and style, and Adrienne at Bookmark My Heart, whose eclectic taste in books inspires me to broaden my reading horizons - if only I had the time to read!

I'm an aunt!!

My baby sis gave birth to her own baby 4 days early at 10:54pm PST December 6. EMC entered the world weighing in at 7 lb. 11 oz and 21 inches long.

I got a voicemail from my sister Wednesday morning that her water had broken around 4am. After being examined by the doctor at the hospital, she was told to return home until her contractions were more regular - and if they weren't by the next day, she was to come in to the hospital to be induced, which is what ended up happening.

My mother arrived in Vancouver in time to be in the birthing suite to witness the arrival of her first grandchild, who she claims is obviously intelligent because of her brilliant black eyes. She has a full head of black hair and came out all pink and beautiful - I can not verify this as the pictures are forthcoming but I'm sure she can't be anything but a lovely baby. :)

A trip out west in the Spring, once T, M and E have settled into being a little family is very likely in my future...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Condo Update

It's been about a month since I stopped by the site and I was really curious to see what had changed as I booked the elevator for the afternoon of August 13th to move in a couple weeks ago.

Here's the progress as of late Friday afternoon - some windows have been installed on the third and fourth floor, and part of the building's west wall is up.

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