Well Lit

bedroom decorFound this kinda cool lamp tonight, while I was out and about town hunting for a new canopy to shade us from the heat of the sun on our upper deck; as sadly our old one needs to be put to rest after having sheltered us for many years now.  But of course, I became sidetracked as I steered past Home Sense; drawn in by the heaviness of my wallet as a reminder that I had a gift card from Christmas still waiting to be spent!   After Big D finished building and detailing a stunning little custom table for under our bedroom window at the top of the stairs, and offering me up a private oasis to close the door and write – my very own ‘WO-man cave’,  I knew I needed a new lamp to adorn it.  And at last, I have found the perfect one!

So, in keeping with my utterly random, nonsensical, semi-frequent and relatively consistent ‘non-themed’ April Photo Challenge, number 16 is of my new desk lamp (above)!   I love its monochromatic tone, combined with its tiny pattern and nubby texture. It is a warm ambient light to illuminate the end of the path up the stairs to our room when the hall is dark.   And…. it works so well with the other decorative accents in our compact room.  I love being in this little space!

Brunch /brənCH/

Weekends are divine, and brunch is my favourite time. I am soooo poetic! But, it’s true. I love brunch; I love planning brunch, I love prepping for brunch, I love having friends over for brunch, and I love eating brunch. And Sunday’s are my favourite day for brunch!

brunch collage

Last weekend, we had some of our amazing friends over (well, “technically”, as Mouks would say; all of our friends are amazing – seriously!) and these particular compadres we hadn’t seen in quite a while. Life gets busy, and with kids, activities, work and coordinating schedules, we seem to only ever have time for … you guessed it – BRUNCH!

I love trying out new dishes, and am thankful, that for the most part, everything just kind of magically ‘turns out’. At least in my head it does … and everyone seems to choke it all down with a polite smile and a degree of enthusiasm … so I forge ahead with delight!

depression glass bowl labeledPart of enjoying a tasty meal, is the art of setting the table. I like to putter and fuss, and believe that everything tastes even yummier, with a delightful presentation. For this particular brunch, I pulled out some of my favourite pieces. My Baba’s cherished green depression glass bowl housed a yummy fruit salad (I often speculate on how this beloved piece came into her possession), while my antique yellow and white napkins snuggly engulfed delicious bagels in a sweet little basket.

brunch table settingAnd no table setting is complete without added  height; so one of my many cake plates was layered with a coordinating red damask napkin with additional bagels gently laid on top. A secondary stand held a yummy homemade apple coffee cake, and a cute antique glass sugar pot with a lid, held some delectably delicious whipped creamcheese. I used a painted ceramic egg cup to host the capers and put it on a small rectangular glass plate with sliced red onions. To complete the look, everyone had a special ‘spreader’ at their place setting, lime rimmed crystal goblets for water, and red antique low stemmed juice glasses. I don’t segregate kids dishes from adult dishes. (I’m all about equal opportunity for breakage). Once Mouks hit the age of 3, we pretty much threw out the plastic cups and plates, and he went right to glassware and ceramic dishes. I think it makes everyone feel special, and particularly for nice occasions. In my head, I believe it instills a sense of confidence and the opportunity to act more grown up and “M” for mature. (I use this video game analogy to bribe Mouks into acting more mature, citing that he can start getting “M” rated games, when he can act like an older guy – hey! … whatever works – we gotta speak their lingo)! My mom (Bobs) did this whole dish deal for us as well … though I know I am certainly not scientific proof that it instills maturity, because I’m still a bit of a goofball AND a bull in a china shop!; but it sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?! And, in fairness to any youngen who’s eaten in Smackiland, they have not yet broken a dish or glass. Now, that’s impressive!

tulips in milk jugI did buy some lovely fresh tulips and put them in a butter coloured metal milk jug to coordinate with my vintage inspired creamy yellow dishes, meticulously placed on a faded red floral tablecloth reminiscent of a country garden. And… ahhhhhh… my ‘pre-spring’ brunch table was set!

I like to serve a menu with a variety of items everyone will enjoy. Here is a list of my latest offerings:

Bevvies:

  • Big D’s ‘Stand-Up’ Lattes. The name says it all… a load of rich, luxurious caffeine, smothered in frothy goodness, and so thick your spoon will stand up.
  • Juice d’orange.
  • San Pellagrino, with fresh lime wedges.

Cold Delights:

  • Flavourful fruit salad, consisting of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and blueberries. Topped with maple infused whipped cream. Mmmm…. Mmmm… who doesn’t love just a little touch of maple syrup goodness?
  • Kettleman’s bagels (only THE best bagels in all of Ottawa); poppyseed, sesame and ‘everything’ selections.
  • Deli toppings: prosciutto ham (a.k.a. Moukie’s ‘special ham’), smoked salmon, with ultra thinly sliced red onions and capers.
  • Assorted cheese plate: stinky Rouy cheese, double cream Brie, and garlic Boursin, garnished with grape clusters and strawberries.
  • Whipped cream cheese. I find spreadable creamcheese, whipped with my hand blender makes it creamier for spreading with not a lot of fuss.
  • Delish berry jam.
  • Pads of butter.
  • Homemade apple coffee cake.  Stay tuned for this uber awesome recipe!

Warm Goodness:

  • M-mm-mmm maple sausages…. yummmm… sausages! Easy to throw in the oven on a cookie sheet, and voila!
  • Egg nests! Yeah… you heard me.. but these are different, there are no birds. My latest experiment…. I found a little recipe online, so gave it a whirl! Here’s the Smack-Attack version:

eggs in phyllo recipe

Please call ahead to book your Brunch reservation in Smackiland!

Now taking appointments….

Sized up

Okay… so I’m irked. I mean totally ticked, agitated and pretty much, more than unimpressed. That is my way of trying to edit my language to keep it clean for my readers; okay, okay… I mean for my mom. Yesterday, a colleague at work showed me the YouTube video of the WKBT Reporter, Jennifer Livingston (who by the way has a very famous brother from the TV show, “The Office”; and, YES… we were YouTube’ing during work time, but that’s okay, ’cause the big boss watched it too), who received a degrading email from some guy (and by that I mean ‘knob’) about her weight. Like it’s any of his business what the size of her waistline is. I’ve read a load of the articles out there on it (’cause there’s about a million of them, as it’s pretty much plastered all over the internet). And I guess I’m gonna re-hash some of the same ca-ca that’s flying around out there:

Some dough-head writes this Wisconsin news anchor an email that in a nutshell, calls her fat and that he hopes she doesn’t consider herself a role model for young girls. Because, “ohhhh, yes, of course the size of someone’s ass determines whether you can be a role model”. Seriously? I guess a woman’s intellect, compassion and generous spirit would have nothing to do with it… at all? What delusional world does this guy live in? It appears from the media reports that he is a fitness fanatic and, based on his trade, would be deemed as highly educated, tho through his actions, he appears to have some kind of ‘holier-than-thou’ complex. My assumption, is that’s he’s been rejected by women for being so arrogant (I would say that’s probably a safe bet), which masks his insecurities (we all have them), that he potentially (a little butt covering here) lives in a love-less life and obsesses about exercise because it’s the only way he can find any real pleasure (a guess, but plausible). The fact that he even gives a rat’s behind what a television news anchor looks like is beyond creepy. (Like c-r-e-e-p-y kinda creepy). Oooooh.. and get this…. he’s now saying that he’s trying to encourage her to lose weight and wants to help her. HA! Okay… need I say more? I don’t have a degree in psychology, but I can smell a l-o-s-e-r a million miles away!

I do wonder a teeny smidge, in the back of my mind, if he would’ve written this same email to a male news anchor? I would take a stab in the dark that he probably wouldn’t. No offence to any of you fellas out there; consider yourself lucky he’s neglected you. AND… by the way, no where have I read yet, how attractive she really is. And she is. Beautiful. Very much so. And articulate. And darn smart. Who cares what size she is. All I’ve read is that she’s fat. Though, I do have a preference for the term ‘chubby chick’, personally. And… I have a ‘zero tolerance policy’ for people who can’t see internal and external beauty beyond someone’s physical size. We all come in different packages. How amazing is that?

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

So, October is Anti-Bullying month… and, she’s fighting back, while teaching girls that they can stand up for themselves. “Girl power!” Yes, we could take over the world if we wanted to. One of Jennifer Livingston’s quotes was “Do not let self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many”. I suppose that if I sent him a copy of my blog, maybe he’d think I was a bully for calling him a knob … hmmmm… food for thought. (Mmmmm…. double chocolate hot fudge sundae; Kidding! Gotch’ya!). I guess my rant is really directed in general solidarity. Chubby chicks. We’re everywhere. Get used to it buddy.

One of my favourite Dove ads … she is stunningly beautiful.

One of the most amazing marketing campaigns I think I’ve seen is the “Dove – Campaign for Real Beauty”, which targets real women. All women. All inclusive. I find it inspiring.

And, here’s my appropriate quote for today:

“It’s not the size of our butts that matter…. it’s the size of our hearts”. – Smacki