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My Latest Love – Elte Market

Elte Market furniture showroom review via
Elte has been a staple on the Toronto design scene since 1944. I can’t think of the number of times I have drooled over some stunning piece of furniture in that store. And now they’ve launched a younger, trendier sibling just down the road.

Elte Market appeals to the urban homeowner, who’s looking for design worthy furnishings that are easier on the budget. Jamie and Andrew Metrick, whose family has operated Elte for four generations, travel the globe sourcing materials and looking for inspiration. You’ll find everything from washed linen bedding to decorative cushions to gorgeous couches, beds, and dining tables.

Rugs at Elte Market, Toronto via

And the rugs! Don’t get me started on the rugs. Their vast collection takes up the back half of the store, and ranges from $600 – $1200. Love vintage over-dyed kilims? Yup, they’ve got those. Rugs woven with scraps of sari silk? You’ll find those too. Patchwork cowhide? Oh, yeah. With over 2000 in stock, there’s something for everyone.

I dropped by Elte Market last week and I wanted to share some of my favourite finds with you. Let’s start in the accessories section at the front of the 50,000 square foot space. First up – gold! I can’t get enough of this warm metal, and I found some fun and fab accessories that would add the perfect trendy touch.

Gorgeous gold accessories at Elte Market in Toronto via

Clockwise, from top right: Wilbur bookends, gold candleholders, Leaf tray, Cylinder hurricane and Audrey vase, Rex moneybank


There were accessories in every other colour, too. Here are (more…)

#RBCFirstHome Twitter Chat Helps You With First Home Jitters

#RBCFirstHome twitter chat
Or any new home purchase jitters!

Your home is probably the single biggest purchase you will ever make, and that can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s the kind of thing that overwhelms a person like me. I remember making the decision to buy my current home, and then running over to knock on a neighbour’s door to tell her, and then promptly bursting into tears.

At times like that, you can really use a few helpful experts in your corner. Because while my neighbour was lovely and tried to comfort me, she really couldn’t help me with all the questions I still had.

The #RBCFirstHome Twitter Chat taking place tomorrow night is designed for just that – to help you with all your (more…)

Farm Family Recipes With Eggs

Easy And Delicious Vanilla Chiffon Cake recipe via
Eggs are a staple in our house. They seem to be an ingredient in all of my favourite dishes. I’ve told you before about some of my go-to egg-based recipes, like meringues and frittata. And whenever someone’s hungry, and I need a quick and easy meal, I always reach for the eggs. You can whip up a few eggs, with some milk and cheese and whatever vegetable you have lying around, and you have a light meal in minutes.

I also love that eggs are nutrition powerhouses – so important when you’re trying to feed kids who are always on the go. I know my girls eat more junk than I’d like, but I feel really good when I can balance that out with nutrient-packed meals. A single egg contains 6 grams of protein, half the daily allowance of vitamin B12, and many other nutrients including vitamins A, D and E, iron, zinc, and choline. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein, because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. I’ll often take a hard boiled egg with me for a snack when I need something on the go.

One of the nicest ways to eat eggs is in a delicious recipe, and I have two great ones here to share with you. They’re for two classic dishes – Eggy Potatoe Au Gratin, and Vanilla Chiffon Cake. Both of these are farmer-recommended, which I love. There’s just something comforting about country cooking, and these two traditional recipes are sure to please your family.
Eggy Potato Au Gratin Recipe via
I’m heading up to the family cottage for Easter weekend, and I’ll be (more…)

Campy Candle #Giveaway!

It's Your Birthday candle by Campy - a giveaway via
I wanted to introduce you to one of my latest finds. It’s the “It’s You’re Birthday” hand-poured soy candle by Campy. I gave this candle to my oldest at Christmas, to cheer up her home-away-from-home room at university. First thing she did with it? Pop it into her drawer to make her clothes smell nice. I asked her to review it for this blog post, and she said, “It smells awesome, Mum!” Basically, an enthusiastic 2 thumbs up.

It's Your Birthday candle by Campy - a giveaway via

What do I love about these candles? They’re soy, which means they’re cleaner burning and longer lasting. They’re handmade, which is something I always love to support. And best of all, they’re cute AND (more…)

My All-Time Favourite Cheesecake

The Best Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake dessert recipe via
This cheesecake is seriously good. It’s so good, I’ve been making it for over 25 years. Did I just type that?

But let’s not digress into how old I must be in order to be baking cheesecakes that long. This post is about cheese.

Cheese is a big deal in our family. We’ve been known to skip the meal and just get stuck on the cheese course. My sis even gave my girls a giant hunk of cheese one year for Christmas. No fooling. We’re a cheesy family.

The most delicious cheesecake ever - Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake recipe via

While we certainly love fancy-cheeses-served-with-charcuterie-on-live-edge-maple-slabs-with-lavender-honey kind of cheese, there’s just something about the classic favourites that make us warm and fuzzy. So you can get all gourmet and make a plate of crazy-good Fontina, Walnut, Apple, and Honey Grilled Cheese Goodness, and it’s delicious, of course. But in my family, there’s nothing like (more…)

Love Has No Labels

Love Has No Labels - a gorgeous video by the Ad Council on diversity and inclusion
Let’s just take a minute out of our day to feel a little warm and fuzzy. Here’s a video by the Ad Council on diversity and inclusion. I love this song, and I love the message.

Let’s believe love, and let’s not believe labels.

Enjoy the (more…)

The Easy Way To Install A Faucet. And A Faucet #Giveaway!

The easy way to change a bathroom faucet using the American Standard SpeedConnect!  The is an easy and quick DIY that even beginners can do! via is the story of how I finally got a new bathroom faucet. This story turns out fine in then end– quite beautiful, in fact. But the first part is not very pretty. I’ll be hanging my head in shame as I write it.

You see, my bathroom sink faucet broke a while ago. A LONG while ago. Maybe about 2 years ago, actually. In all that time, we’ve had no hot water at our bathroom sink. Our main bathroom. That 4 people use everyday. As well as guests.

True story. No hot water.

The easy way to change a bathroom faucet using the American Standard SpeedConnect!  The is an easy and quick DIY that even beginners can do! via

When the hot water faucet first broke, my husband optimistically said he would fix it and added it to “The List.” This is the list of things that need attention from my very non-handy husband. And while he is a fine man with many great attributes, fixing things on The List is really not one of them. Now, he has probably brought me about 10,000 coffees in bed during our marriage, so a girl can forgive a lot. But I was still pretty desperate for a (more…)

Fireball-Spiked Spice-Infused Orange Tea

cinnamon orange tea

There is always a good time for a great cup of tea.  First thing in the morning, little moments throughout the day, while driving in your car and especially in the evening, curled up and trying to unwind.

We pride ourselves on being picky about our tea, choosy about the ones we like to brew and even choosier about the right flavor for the the right moment.  I think we hit the jackpot here, this particular tea combo takes the cake.

spiked tea

I was asked to look at developing a little tea-cocktail from (more…)

World’s Best Valentine’s Dessert

Delicious Peppermint Schnapps Brownies With Fireball Whiskey Icing And Dusted Cinnamon Hearts recipe via
Do you have anything special planned for your Valentine? I suggest skipping the last minute gifts and making your love this decadent dessert instead.

It’s one from the archives created by my sis, Nads, who is known for her over-the-top recipes. The name says it all – Peppermint Schnapps Brownies With Fireball Whiskey Icing And Dusted Cinnamon Hearts. Doesn’t the name make you want to whip out the mixer and try it right now? It’s like the best brownie of your childhood memories with an adult splash of booze. That’s what I call a win–win!

Nads has been perfecting the art of (more…)

DIY Upcycled Wood Panel Quote Art

DIY upcycled wood panel quote art via
I love a good upcycle challenge, and when it’s a curbside find – even better!

This wood panel wasn’t actually a curbside find. It was more like an in-the-trash-behind-the-kid’s-school find. I was in the parking lot at the school one day and noticed this gorgeous, distressed wood panel IN THE GARBAGE. Can you imagine? It looks like it must have been used in the art studio. I rescued it pronto, knowing I’d be able to do something fun with it one day.

DIY upcycled wood panel quote art via

You can imagine how happy I was when Decor-Art asked me to use their Americana Multi-Surface Acrylics to upcycle a surface. This scrap wood panel was perfect for an art project. And I especially loved that it came from my girls’ school, which would make the artwork even more special.

DIY upcycled wood panel quote art via

I love the current trend of using graphics to create personalized art because you can choose a message that really resonates with you. I knew I wanted a song lyric, since we are big music lovers in my house. It was actually hard to choose – so many of the songs I love have beautiful lyrics. I settled on an old favourite, Van Morrison’s Into The Mystic. Because what suburban housewife doesn’t have some gyspy soul inside that needs a little rockin’?

Here’s what the wood panel looked like (more…)

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