Saturday, August 28, 2010

Business Cards, Montreal

Often, when I'm running around accommodating fabulous lifestyle, I pick up business cards from the places I visit. I'm not sure why. I tend to remember the places that I like and look up phone numbers online if I need to make reservations, so I've never actually used one of the cards as a reference. I just can't throw them out, even though they're adding to a pretty serious clutter situation - they're glossy and designed with care, and it is nice to have something physical to take back from an experience.


Chez Ennio is hands-down my favourite restaurant in Montreal. I've been there so many times over the past three years, and the whole experience is like nothing else - I don't have wonderful Italian grandparents to cook me fabulous food. Ennio gave me this card when I showed up with a party of five on a busy Thursday night, and I managed to put my foot in my mouth by trying to explain that it wasn't usually too busy during the week. 


 L'Enchanteur is a lovely pub and restaurant up near the Jean Talon market. I went for brunch, which was very good, and not too expensive, but also not worth the hike. They serve their water in old wine bottles, which is very rustic chic of them. It was an excellent place to chat with friends for an hour or two.
Los Tios is on Crescent street, and is notable for its teensy tiny patio, awesome lunch menu, and delicious sangria. It's perfect for soft shell tacos and sangria on a hot summer day. Even though the terrace is tiny, it doesn't get as busy as the huge patios around it so I've never had trouble getting a seat outside in a small party.
Machiavelli is very conveniently right across the street from the Charlevoix metro station and next to a SAQ. The patio is in the back and has a lovely backyard feel. The food isn't cheap, but it's not terribly expensive either, and the kitchen only runs a few specials each night so what they serve is good. There are some basic pasta and meat staples for the picky eater, too. BYO wine makes it a very affordable nice dinner out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

That comic I always forget that I love

Hark, A Vagrant (drawn by Canadian Kate Beaton) is a wonderful comic. She draws on history, literature, and popular culture like no one else. I went back today after a long break and found this gem:


For some reason the idea of a battalion of hipsters is TOTALLY hilarious. (In a previous comic, the Napoleon and Centurian hats are deemed "ironic").

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shoes!

Back many, many months ago I bought this dress for an early September wedding:

"Bouquet Toss" in "Reception Hall" from Mod Cloth

I figured I would find a good deal on a cute pair of flats in the meantime. I browsed shoes all summer finding flats that were ok, but not quite right. Now, the wedding is in two weeks and I needed to get myself some shoes, or I knew I would end up over-paying for something serviceable but underwhelming at the last minute. Today, Tory and I went on a Winners and Eaton Centre expedition, and our efforts were not in vain. I came home with these:

SCURTI from Aldo Shoes

They are perfect with the dress, a wonderful super-soft velvet, and the rhinestones! Exactly the luxurious look I knew I wanted but couldn't find for less than $500.  

A successful Sunday!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The temptation....

I'm just about to head to the train station after spending a week with Dave and chatting with his parents about their upcoming European cruise. Reminiscing about amazing food, more than anything. Then Dave sends me an email with this little gem:


Yes, that is $395 for a week of the most amazing food I've had in my entire life. We might have gone on to price flights to Ft. Lauderdale and found them very reasonable. Not saying we're going, but if we did would any friends/family be interested in coming too? 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Making fun of magazines

Ever notice how the shots in catalogs and magazines seem to reflect some sort of parallel universe where everything is like normal, but just a little too perfect, a little too contrived? The authors of Catalog Living and Unhappy Hipsters give voices and stories to the people in magazine-world, satirizing decorating and architecture magazines respectively. Lovely dark, subtle humor to be had.

Here are some of my favourites:

From Catalog Living, a continuing story about Gary and Elaine:


From Unhappy Hipsters, a series of vignettes:


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The difference a bit of cropping makes!

Here's a pretty mediocre shot from the Rockies trip Dave and I took in June:


While it isn't spectacular, I found myself coming back to it for the sense of scale. We didn't take very many photos with people and landscapes together. After a bit of cropping, the sense of scale is maintained, but the composition is tidier and more powerful:


Redesign?

List of things I can commit to, in order of the length of time I can stay committed:
  1. My favourite article of clothing (white skirt: five years and counting)
  2. My cell phone plan (it's you and me for the next 2.66 years, Telus)
  3. The layout of my bedroom (two years ... maybe)
  4. The design of my blog (four months? did I make it that long?)
Really, the old moody photograph in the background and dark design didn't suit me. I'm not a gunmetal grey kind of girl, even if the accent colour was my favourite shade of lime.
  1. My favourite colour (about 30 seconds)  
So here's a new design, that I think suits me a little better. For the next few months, anyway.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2010: Cake Odyssey

Over the Civic Holiday long weekend in Ontario, Mom and I started and completed my harebrained scheme to enter the Threadcakes cake decorating contest. The first step was to make the raw materials we would need to create and decorate a cake:


At this point, because I was a lazy photographer, we are missing photos of the following:
1) The pyrex measuring cup overflowing with melted marshmallows
2) The massive amount of icing sugar that was subsequently kneaded into the mass of melted marshmallow.


Coming soon:
- replacing the sweet chocolate cake with a pound cake
- assembling gumpaste figures
- assembling the cake
- final reveal and taste-test