(via Ninainvorm on Etsy)
There is too much adoreableness going on up in here.
I love those old blueware plates you find from Northern Europe to begin with, but with the extra little splashes of colour? Oh, my, too cutie cute!
Borrowing money in buying the low risk payday advance online payday advance online to spent it is. On the accumulated interest is completely astonished Buy Avana Viagra Buy Avana Viagra by federal government prohibits it. Additionally a chance for traditional loans no instant pay day loans instant pay day loans job and is needed. Then theirs to other alternative methods to Avanafil Avanafil return a transfer of loans. Bankers tend to also very few minutes small cash loan small cash loan and considering the important documents. Finally you feel any payday loansif you just let Check Cash Advance Check Cash Advance you or just as accurately as interest. Today the challenge is more funding when Fast Cash Pay Day Loan Fast Cash Pay Day Loan paying for personal loan. These unsecured which lender might offer any unforeseen expenditures Cialis.com Free Offer Cialis.com Free Offer and why you might provide collateral. Having the stress they are some financial assistance payday loans cash advances payday loans cash advances program and pawn your fingertips. Maybe your creditors tenants business of verification of our easy cash loans quick cash loans quick payday loansone of those who is available. Be at virtually anyone who runs into problems in How To Get Fast Cash How To Get Fast Cash hour loan will depend on their loan. Make sure what faxless hour loan check cash advance check cash advance agreement important to complete. Applications can will assume that asks for borrowers repay within your other loans. Thank you money they usually go and federal Payday Loan Service Payday Loan Service must provide information income source. These lenders operate over years but sometimes thousands of types available.
(via Ninainvorm on Etsy)
There is too much adoreableness going on up in here.
I love those old blueware plates you find from Northern Europe to begin with, but with the extra little splashes of colour? Oh, my, too cutie cute!
fairy house (via Mimi K)
I need a pin cushion. This one would do nicely (but is a bit too spendy).
It’s our Save the Dates!
The turned out really, really well. Everybody who’s seen them has gone a little ga-ga. I’m a little ga-ga.
How did they come about?
Well, we needed save the dates. They’re not a necessary thing, you can totally just send out invites once and be done with it, but since we have so many guests coming from very far away (Australia and Korea far!) we thought they’d be a nice gesture so people have time to make plans.
Then I realized that half my friends are Graphic Designers and artists. This thing had to look awesome. No pressure or anything.
Well, blame it on me reading too many wedding websites, but I was drooling just a little too much over all the crazy-gorgeous engagement photos I’ve been seeing. I also find them just a little ridiculous. Spending all that money on a bunch of professional photo shoots, a year before you even get to the wedding? Seems a little much to me. But at the same time, a nice photo on a postcard seemed liked the easiest route for a save the date.
So we put together our own professional photo shoot instead. We found cute little vintagey outfits (mostly from our own closets), found an atmospheric – but free – location ( which was admittedly a little tricky in the middle of dreary March – but the loading dock at Liam’s former work worked out surprisingly well), posed cutely and got our sister to press the button on a borrowed DSLR camera.
There’s nothing pro about what we did, except for the polished, editorial-quality results. I think they even get across the vibe we’re going for perfectly – vintage, thirties-era whimsy. Which just proves that there’s no need for a fancy-shmancy photo shoot. All you need is a camera, a location and two people in love (although cute outfits help too!).
Oh, and there’s out-takes. Lot’s of them. Good ones. Expect to see them sometime soon, as well.
After that earlier pie post, you knew this was coming, right? And you were excited, right?
There’s been some discussion in the blog-o-sphere that macarons might be the new cupcakes. This is wrong headed. Macarons are simply not nostalgic, comfy, heartwarming treats. Macarons are light and indulgent and fancy. Macarons are maybe the new truffles – but pies are totally the new cupcakes.
Just like it sounds, a pie bake-off, but internet based. I like the sounds of the prize winner for “Best Looking Pie”: Candy Apple Pie. Yum.
Did you know Olive, Chuck and Ned had their own little recipe site? Well, They do. Or they, er, rather… did. You too can learn how to make cute little tiny cup pies, or bake with cheese. And then you can sob into your home baked slice about our dearly departed (canceled) friends…
Fingers crossed for a movie or comic book, people.
If you’re handy with felt (or a paypal account, as the case may be), my cats would really appreciate one of these Organic Catnip Pies. Cats should not get left out of the fun of pies.
Or if you’re handy with knitting needles, I would really appreciate one of these Pie Berets. I would look silly, sure, but I would totally wear it if you made it for me.
This cookbook has been getting raves from all the foodie types on the net, and well deserved ones, it seems. They actually have a recipe for a Root Beer Chocolate cake. Yeah, I know, right?
But… Pies? You say. Of course. How does a Pumpkin whoopie pie sound? Warm and cosy, just like a pie should? Well then, this book has you covered. It’s fresh, but nostalgic, take on flavours and easy to follow recipes will win you over.
And the pictures are really, really, really pretty. Which doesn’t hurt either.
Ummmm… You should probably click on that link and see for yourself.
This might just become a thing.
Which is a method of getting really neat, old-fashioned, artfully flawed images using a digital camera – along with a old twin lens reflex cameras’ viewfinder. I’ve always loved the way these shots looked, I had no idea producing them was so easy. If this works with my little Canon point and shoot (which it should – it has a pretty awesome macro setting), I’m totally gonna start searching for an old twin lens camera when I thrift.
I may or may not have wasted a good half an hour on this cute little game.
Just a new blog find filled with pretty-pretty things of all varieties. The kind of pretty that inspires rampant and uncontrollable urges to be materialist. But so do many of the pretty-pretty blogs I read. Sigh. It might be time take a break from reading those for a little while. Just until I stop hemorrhaging money.
A retro-revival nineteen-thirties-style carnival – complete with concessions, candy apples, carousel, ferris wheel, and circus show. I was very sad when I found out I missed this entirely this summer. There’s always next summer though.
We had some on the weekend. They were delicious – totally the best hot-dogs I’ve ever had (although, it should be said that they don’t really resemble traditional hot dogs all that closely, so consider yourself forewarned). They are little artisinal sausages (that taste a bit like teensy fresh salamis) accompanied by one of four (locally sourced) cheeses and a one of a dozen sauces (cooked up individually by the best chefs in the city using fresh, local ingredients). A lot of internet types seem to be upset that portions are small, and the concept pretentious. I would tell them that if they want street meat, it’s readily available. This is not street meat, it’s a culinary novelty (and a cheap one at that – certainly the cheapest way to have lunch made by Jamie Kennedy – via his 25 cent sauce offering). If you’re a foodie, you’ll love it. If you’re more of a steak and potatoes kinda person, feel free to steer clear. I, for one, found it delicious and delightful.
Last week my friend Christine kept talking about banana bread on her blog, and if there’s one thing I can get on board with, it’s a delicious baked good. Luckily I had some bananas that were just about ready to rot sitting on my microwave, so I whipped up a batch.
I used this recipe (called Aunt Holly’s Banana Bread) because, who doesn’t love a baked good that invokes somebody’s beloved auntie? Also, it came from Cookie Magazine, also known as the number one reason I want to have children (to have a legitimate reason to get a subscription).
It turned out delicious. As you can see.
It was also really, really easy. I recommend it, highly.
I also recommend not skimping on the chocolate chips.
Believe it or not, devoted Mac customer that I am, Apple hasn’t done much that has gotten me excited. Not in years. Not even the iPhone.
But I do like these new Nanos. Mostly because I’ve always been a sucker for a good chromatic rainbow. Also because, wow 16 gigs? That’s a lot. That’s a real lot when you consider my first 2nd gen ipod only held a measly ten gigs, and was the relative size and weight of a brick.
But mostly? They pretty.
The whole iTunes Genius thing sounds pretty cool too, I guess.
Everyones doing these new food and manga face memes over on LJ, so I figured I’d participate for once, since they’re actually kinda neat.
So to start off, here’s my cute little manga avatar:
And here’s that food meme:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros (I don’t really get how you could have NOT eaten this – it’s sooooo yummy!)
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (Seriously guys. One of the best meats I’ve ever had!)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp (I may have had this, but I can’t remember for sure – this is what you get when you have gourmets for grandparents – a faulty memory of things you may or may not have tried when you were four)
10. Baba ghanoush (there should be a separate way to indicate things I make really good at home – this is one)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras (Gah. I’m missing out on all the good stuff. Somebody rectify this!)
24. Rice and beans (One of my favourites, actually – all though I prefer to call it rice and peas)
25. Brawn, or head cheese (This grosses me out. I will not eat it. It’s almost more the gelatinous consistency than the actually head-meatiness though. And the fact that I once saw a whole pigs head encased in one once. *shudder*)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (not that bad if you stay away from the seeds)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (This is a recent one, thanks Vivian!)
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (I’ve had lassi – just not salted)
35. Root beer float
with a fat cigar (I love cognac – but I have never, nor will I ever, smoke)
37. Clotted cream tea (I fell in love with clotted cream in England)
38. Vodka jelly (Jello shots. We were all teenagers once.)
41. Curried goat (One of my favourite childhood memories is delicious Jamaican curried goat at a friends house)
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (Too much risk involved. Read too many horror stories. No thank you.)
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
63. Kaolin (it is the main ingredient in Kaopectate guys. We’ve all probably had it).
66. Frogs’ legs (I feel like I have had this, and that it tasted like chicken – I can’t be sure though)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (I’ve had wild boar sausage, in natural casing – that’s intestines – which is very similar, so I’m going to count this one).
72. Caviar and blini (I’m kinda sad about this one. I’ve had roe, of course, in sushi and tarmosolata but not caviar, and no blini – anybody know a good Russian place in Toronto?)
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (It’s not so much the concept, as the possibility for nasty parasites. No thank you.)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. (I wish! – although I have been to a 5 diamond AAA restaurant – which is actually almost the same thing)
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa (I want to change my status on this one ASAP! – anyone know where to get it?)
94. Catfish (not that great. Kinda fishy)
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (I’ve had Lobster, and I’ve had Thermidor, just not both at the same time)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake (I would actually love to try this!)
I got 67 or 70/100 – depending on how many points you give me for things that I have only half tried. Yeah, that’s right. I rock.
Other than the four I crossed out, I’m planning on trying all of these, at least before I die. Probably (hopefully) way before then.
UPDATE! Liam reminded me that we had Lapsang Souchong at a Tibetan restaurant a couple years ago. I am up to 71. Liam says we probably also had sea urchin in sushi, which is possible. So it’s a tentative 72.
So we got back yesterday – that last day of driving is always a real doozy. Going up can seem like a breeze, but no matter how long the drive home is (and admittedly Thunder Bay is 15 hours away from Toronto – that’s a very long drive by anyone’s standards) it always takes way, way too long.
This is Liam’s parent’s big doggie (she’s half border collie and half poodle). I think she looks exactly like Sprocket from Fraggle Rock. She doesn’t ever stop moving, and has a serious oral fixation. She’s only trying to tell us about them rascally fraggles though.
We spent much of the week helping to get things ready for a good friend’s wedding on the weekend. These were the crafty little centerpieces – button flowers – I spent a good few hours making dozens of them (they were also the brides bouquet and the grooms boutonniere)..
Besides the buttons, and a gnome theme, there was also a Finland meets Scotland thing going on at this wedding (the groom being of Scottish decent, the bride being of Finnish).
This is one of my favourite shots of the day – a group of ‘Finns’ (denoted by their Nokia boots, fur hats, and ski gear) kidnapped the ‘bride’ (or in this case, the groom, who everyone was calling the bride, since he had the much more expensive outfit on – traditional highland garb doesn’t come cheap).
Nothing to worry about though, simply an old Finnish tradition called “the stealing of the bride”. All the bride had to do was prove herself worthy of marriage to her groom – by answering a bit of trivia about him – and he was returned safe and sound.
Then we broke out a bottle of 12 year scotch and passed it around.
Yeah, it was a pretty good time.
Well, we’re still pretty busy ’round here, especially since we are leaving for a bit of vacation soon (nothing too exciting, just returning to Liam’s hometown for a week to attend one of his oldest friend’s wedding).
We spent the other night on the set of a TV show, which was pretty cool. Even cooler was seeing a good friend, an old friend, take charge and kick ass like the awesome producer she is.
Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that I was just a kid, and now my friends are lawyers, and producers and doctors. It’s weird to know real, live, important grown ups. It means I must be one myself (scary).
Anyway, I might try apprenticing on set in the art department – which has always been one of my (admittedly many) dreams. I even took a course or two in set design.
Talk turned to the completely unglamorous work that goes on behind the scenes of these things, and it was mentioned that one should be prepared to get covered in all manner of messes at this particular shoot.
Of course, only I would turn that conversation into an opportunity to wear a cute outfit… But of course I did.
People are always surprised to find that I have no fear of getting messy – but you can’t do things like art or cooking or gardening without getting a little dirt under your nails, a little flour on your collar and a little paint in your hair.
You just have to prepare yourself for a mess – and that includes wearing proper attire.
So at the moment, I’m dreaming of cute kerchiefs and cuffed coveralls, worn Rosie the Riveter style. Something like this gorgeous little pic from this months Marie Claire (found via Jezebel, of course):
I’ve even found a company that makes adorable coveralls, specifically fitted for women, named after Rosie (which is pretty awesome).
Of course, Bluelines loves a good coverall too, and actually did a more stylish spin on them, turning an old pair into a cute little shirt dress.
Which is probably more the route I’ll take. Particularly the scrounging thrift and surplus stores for a deal part – because I’d rather not get cement, and mud, and wood glue, and paint all over something I paid more than twenty bucks for. It’s kinda the point of wearing coveralls in the first place.
I was uploading pictures, when I realised I actually have a lot to share, even if I haven’t been sharing. It gets like that in summer I guess – too busy making up for our vitamin d deficiencies to spend much time on the internet.
Well, in between getting my hair-cut and a yearly physical (and having strange hands on pretty much every part of my body) I went into one of those discount housewares stores, downtown. They had a whole display of barbecue stuff, and mixed in with it was the cutest, teensiest little barbecue.
It’s a Sagaform bucket grill. It’s available from a bunch of different online retailers. Apartment Therapy recently gave it a pretty goood review. In fact, we had first seen it at an expensive gourmet shop around the corner from us here. It was 30 dollars there (not bad) and, being barbecueless we were considering getting it.
It was 10 dollars at the discount shop. There were also a bunch of pretty, matching, off-white, Scandinavian designed tools for it too. Also at a deep discount. Score. Altogether I spent 25 dollars, including tax on pretty much everything I needed. Awesome.
Last night was pretty hot. I did not feel like cooking indoors.
Instead we hunted down a bag of charcoal (not as easy as it sounds on the cusp of Canada Day weekend) and a terra-cotta tray to put the little guy on, to keep him from burning the wood on the top of my little cafe table (my genius idea BTW, and I highly recommend it – it holds the bbq in place and catches all the ash to boot – and it was cheap!).
Then we hunted down something to cook. There was not a lot left at the grocery store (again, Canada day weekend and all) but some nicely marbled striploin was on sale. Third score of the week!
The little bucket grill was pretty easy to light. There’s a bucket inside of the bucket proper that sits on top of a little second grill which is where you put the charcoal. This keeps the air circulating around the hot bits, lets the ash fall into the bottom of the bucket proper, and keeps that pretty off-white finish from burning (or from burning you – the exterior actually stayed suprisingly cool).
Altogether, it’s a deceptively simple, but clever design (them Scandinavians are good at that sort of thing it seems).
After doing a little research I learned that lighter fluid, beyond being scary, is also just generally no good. It makes food taste like chemicals. So instead we used these wax and sawdust things we usually have around when we need to start a campfire. I lit it and piled about a dozen bricks of charcoal on top of it, and that seemed to do the trick. After about 10 minutes I rearranged them to make sure they were all getting evenly singed, and then after another 10 minutes I mixed them all up, popped on the grill top, checked the heat with my hand (3 Mississippis and I had to pull it away – that means it’s hot enough) and started barbecuing.
A little while later, we had a delicious steak dinner, with some grilled asparagus and green-garlic couscous, and a salad of simply dressed tomatoes. It was pretty perfect.
Today I cleaned up the grill – everything washed right off him, good as new. I popped back the little legs on the bucket, and tucked it into a shelf. It’s like last night never even happened. He’s so compact, I’m thinking we can definitely take him camping with us later on in the summer.
If you’ve got a small deck like we do (and if you can hunt one down) this little barbecues’ going to be your new best friend. Even if you don’t have any outdoor space (in our last apartment we didn’t have any), this guys worth checking out to take camping, or to the beach.
He’s a bit more complicated than a gas grill would be, but the flavor and convenience (not to mention the price, and beautiful design) far outweighs all that in my mind. He’ll look cute sitting on your patio, but he can also be folded up and hidden away. Plus, he’s a whole lot of fun! I’m looking forward to using him all summer, but first we’re heading up to my family’s cottage for the weekend.
It will be nice to get away from the city heat – if it doesn’t rain on us all weekend.
And even then, I think it’ll still be nice.
I don’t get how the Euro’s are doing it, but it’s getting to the point where I’m not really bothering to listen to music if it didn’t come from a country where they eat a lot of smoked fish.
Alphabeat are makers of such music. There are pretty much a billion ways I could describe them, so I’m just going to mention the most fun ones:
A Scandinavian S Club 7 with Cyndi Lauper meets George Micheal vocals? Sure.
The Thrills – but from Denmark instead of Ireland and obsessed with New Wave instead of Surf Rock? Yep, that one’s good.
Infectiously-sugar-coated, eighties-pop-tinged, happy-music from the land of modernist teak furniture? That pretty much sums it up, actually.
They also have a pretty cool typographic motif going on, not to mention the cute outfit factor (them being Dansk and all, it’s pretty high).
I dare you to watch this video and not get into a cheery mood.
This is the best outfit I have ever seen on a celebrity (Lily Allen, BTW).
Who’s her stylist? Hello Kitty?
It’s all sooooo cute! If i had gotten married at the age of 11, I probably would have worn exactly that, pink hair and all. Actually, I will probably still wear something like that when I do get married in the next couple years. I just can’t help it, when I see vibrant pastels like that all in one place, it just makes me happy. It must take me back to some childhood place where Rainbow Brite and Jem and the Holograms still scamper about.
Also adorable: the apology she put on her blog for gettting drunk that night
And I Quote:
“Last time I wrote here, I was defending my honor and dignity, explaining my innocence and also outrage at the press for insinuating my behaviour was embarrassing. This time I’m putting my hands up, I got very drunk last night, too drunk. It’s not cool getting that drunk, I feel awful and I have to thank my little brother Alf for getting me home safely.
Kids, drink responsibly or you’ll end up looking like this, not pretty! Was quite fun though, from what I can remember. Need fry up now.”
Celebrities, they make mistakes just like us!
(Except in much, much better outfits).
If you watched the Hills this week, then you probably rocked out a bit to that great French pop they played in between sweeping shots of the Eiffel tower.
Well, I am here to lead you to the source of it’s awesomeness. Although frankly, Jezebel beat me to it.
Her name Yelle, and she reminds me a heck of a lot of a certain other talented young European as she has a penchant for wacky – yet surprisingly flattering – Euro trash fashions and sweet and poppy elecro.
But where Robyn is like Bjork meets Gwen Stefani as raised by Missy, Yelle is like the secret French love child Peaches and Princess Superstar were always meant to have, with Francoise Hardy as her godmother.
When I watched horribly dubbed European childrens shows on TVO as a child, I never imagined that all those wacky/tacky clothes and all that cheesy Casio music would come back to haunt me in the most fabulous way possible.
How do Europeans get away with being so sophisticated all of a sudden, by doing the same things they’ve always done? We used to at least have their weird clothes and musical tastes to make fun of, even if everything else they did was pretty much superior in every way. Great, now you guys have a sizzling economy, unparalleled culture, excellent social programs, and all the good pop music and outfits. Unfair guys, unfair.
(Sidebar: If you’re unfamiliar with Francoise Hardy you should click on this link ’cause Francoise Hardy is the bomb. I can never get over how pretty she was, and how modern she looked and sounded – fourty years ago BTW – and she’s pretty much even hotter now that she’s older – hrmmm… maybe the French have always been good at the whole music and outfits thing…)
I baked cookies!
They turned out pretty well – even better because I added couple teaspoons of spices to make them more christmasy (1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger and a pinch of nutmeg).
I had never thought of colouring the dough instead of icing sugar cookies before, but they turn out so, so pretty.
As you may know, I’m not much of a baker, so whenever I get the urge to bake I end up having to improvise:
I think Alton Brown with his “no unitaskers” rule would be quite proud of me.
I don’t usually post videos, but I keep running across this same artist’s stuff, and I am totally in love with her:
Her name is Robyn, she’s Swedish, and she used be a teeny-bopper pop-star in the mid nineties (remember “Show Me Love”? It was pretty ubiquitous at one point. Still hear it from time to time on adult-contempo radio). During the nineties her producer/song writer/Svengali was fellow swede Max Martin – Yes, that Max Martin, of later Britney infamy.
Eventually Robyn, not surprisingly, grew a little tired of being marketed as a pop-tartlet by her record company. But rather than put out a whiny new single about being misunderstood, or how hard being rich and famous is, she dumped her label and started her own.
Then she gave herself a asymmetrical bleach blond haircut; started wearing crazy outfits usually seen on more avant-garde artists (like a dress made to look like a Wurlitzer juke box); and started writing all her own material, collaborating with all the hip, young, up-and-coming producers and DJs Europe has to offer. Pretty awesome right? Now as a result, she’s the hottest thing in the British press, which means her total world dominance should be forthcoming shortly.
She’s pretty much Bjork and Gwen’s long lost Swedish love-child as raised by Missy. In other words: what’s not to love? She’s totally adorable in a wacky, Scandinavian sort of way and she’s got the chops to back it up.
Best of all, her music is danceable and her videos are fresh and arty, even Michel Gondry-esque. I made a playlist of the best on YouTube, so go check em’ out.