29 - introducing andrew...

23 June 2011

i write about him so often and i am always away visiting him or escaping with him into the bush (we are living apart right now, and it is the most painful thing imaginable), so i decided it's about time that i properly introduce andrew, my endlessly patient, deeply loving, and wonderfully supportive partner, best friend, and fianceein short, the love of my life. 

the photos speak for themselves: andrew is a true outdoorsman with a deep passion for ecology, respect of the environment, and incredible land and survival skills. he is also the most warm-hearted, gentle, tender, sensitive, and understanding man i know. over the past five and a half years, we have grown so much together, unconditionally supporting and believing in each other in every way. i have become who i am because of him. i cannot thank him enough for sharing his life with me and am honoured to have him by my side....

 i love you, forever and always. xo

28 - paperie: handmade wedding card

my cousin is getting married this weekend (so excited!), so i threw together this homemade card with supplies i already had kicking around. they are a musical couple and play together in a band (he plays guitar and she has a wonderfully sweet, sultry, and rugged voice), so when i happened upon the sheet music paper, i thought it would make a fitting theme. i also couldn't resist the neutral (and natural) colours....

they are absolutely perfect together and warm my heart. i am so happy for them. cheers Lindsey and Leslie!

27 - more wearable porcelain: chequita nahar

22 June 2011

i recently stumbled upon this gorgeous collection of porcelain-based jewellery from Chequita Nahar (pinned by Kate Miss via the best time of the day) and was immediately delighted by the discovery of more wearable porcelain that bridges the divide between art, craft, & fashion. i love the subtle combination of delicate white porcelain with natural materials and textures, especially the oak and pine... it feels so down-to-earth and raw, but is also wonderfully pretty. 

simply love.

view more of the collection here.

26 - bibliophile: book darts

20 June 2011

as i have already mentioned, i am currently studying (i.e. reading a large amount of books and articles over the summer) for my PhD comprehensive exams. while passing through Ottawa last weekend to visit andrew, we stopped at Lee Valley Tools, where i finally purchased a tin of book dartsthe most incredible little page and line markers ever! after getting repeatedly frustrated with paper flags and the amount of waste they produce, i jumped at the opportunity to snag these elegant paper-thin bronze reusable markers. they are unobstrusive and book-friendly; they slide onto the page easily, stay securily in place, do not leave any marks, and are infinitely reusable. made in the USA, they have lasting value for any reader who wants to reclaim a great phrase or mark an important section of a book. as a researcher, they are my new favourite, must-have tool, but they are useful for anyone looking to make reading more effective (and enjoyable!). i find them so magnificent and delightful!

books featured:

Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity (New York: Zone Books, 2007). 
Jackie Stacey, Teratologies: A Cultural Study of Cancer (London and New York: Routledge, 1997).

25 - there's beauty in imperfection

09 June 2011

i just discovered a wonderful giveaway hosted by Heather from dahlhaus (via poppytalk). the ceramics artist is offering three slightly imperfect vases from her gorgeous Modern Stripe Bottle Vase collection to three lucky readers on her blog. i think her decision to give these "imperfect" beauties away rather than letting them go to waste is such a lovely idea that i had to share! visit her blog for details and for your chance to offer a loving home to one of these delightful "seconds."

24 - maple syrup, oh my!

08 June 2011

i might be biased because i am Canadian, but i think that pure maple syrup is the most amazing "secret" ingredient ever. i cook, bake, and garnish with it all the time, and i am likely to lick up every last drop so as to not let any go to waste! my favourite is the darkest, richest (i.e. the most "natural" and mapley) i can find, but i also enjoy medium and amber grades, which seem to be the most popular at the markets here in Montreal. 

on Saturday morning i made a delicious loaf of banana bread and chocolate chip banana muffins (from the same recipe), and the magic touch... wait for it... was maple syrup drizzled on top when they were fresh out of the oven. i poked holes in both the loaf and muffins first (using a knife or fork), so that the maple syrup seeped inside and created small pockets of ever-so-delightful goodness! this simple trick also helps keep the bread moist. 

here is the recipe i used, but you can apply the same method to your favourite banana bread recipe:


31/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4-5 very ripe bananas (measuring to approximately 2 cups when mashed)
4 eggs
2/3 cup demerara (or simply brown) sugar
1/2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1. preheat oven to 350F (180C). lightly butter 2 loaf pans or 1 loaf pan and 10 cups in a muffin pan. 
2. in a large bowl, mix flour with baking powder and soda, and salt. / in a second bowl, mash bananas with a fork (do not puree in a blender or food processor!). / in a small bowl, whisk eggs with sugar, butter OR oil, and vanilla. stir in bananas. / pour wet mixture into flour mixture and mix just until all ingredients are moist (do not overmix). 
3. spoon into prepared loaf pans OR spoon half of batter into loaf pan and stir in chocolate chips before spooning remaining batter into 10 muffin cups. 
4. bake on same rack in centre of preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, 40-45mins for loaves and 25-30 mins for muffins. 
5. immediately drizzle 1/4 cup (or more!) maple syrup over each loaf and 1 tsp syrup over each muffin (poke holes with a knife, fork, etc. first if you want the syrup to seep inside). let stand 10 mins, then run a knife around inside of loaf pan and each muffin cup. carefully turn out. 

i also recently discovered another delicious use for maple syrup. i was cooking a batch of perogies but had no sour cream to garnish them and quickly had to improvise. after sauteeing the perogies in butter until perfectly golden (i boiled them first, of course), i poured in maple syrup and continued cooking just long enough for it to heat up and start to thicken and caramelize (don't cook them for too long with the maple syrup or you risk burning the syrup!). they turned out SO delicious, this is now my new favourite way to eat perogies (a longstanding family culinary tradition). i tried it again yesterday with blueberry perogies... i couldn't have anticipated how divine the combination of cooked blueberry and maple would actually be!

what is your favourite way to use or cook with maple syrup?

23 - hello june

01 June 2011

happy june! i just found this wonderful desktop calendar from Mexico-based artist Geninne D. Zlatkis. i love the warm, summer colours and comforting, nostalgic mood it evokes. visit her blog to download.

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