freezer meals: do you?

It’s only been in the last several months that I have mostly taken over dinner-prep duty. Dan used to do ALL the cooking in our household (including pre-Maya days), but with our current work schedules I’m now the one that it falls to. With a hungry toddler at my feet, I often don’t have much time to spend on cooking, so I have been trying to figure out ways that make it easier and more manageable. Some weeks I’m good with meal planning, others I totally fudge. With our new Frigidaire freezer, I’m really trying to get a handle on the whole freezer meal thing because it really does save me so much time if I have great food to pull from the freezer. You can see we still have to build in the shelves next to our freezer to create the “pantry” we are hoping to do, but just the freezer [Continue Reading…]

the recipe box: gluten-free chicken parmesan

I’m not under any illusion of being a great chef and I definitely ain’t no fancy food blogger, but I’m always curious about what others “go to” dinner recipes are. Things that are going to be easy and relatively quick for a busy family. Here is one that I started making a little while ago, and it is firmly now a regular meal in our house: quick, easy gluten-free chicken parmesan (note: we aren’t a gluten free household, but I try and cut down on the carbs where I can cause it definitely does a number on my waistline). There are tons of recipes out there for chicken parmesan that look amazing, but you have to make the breading with a bunch of different herbs and things, make an egg mixture to dip the chicken in, do your own tomato sauce, pan fry the chicken, etc etc. I’m sure they [Continue Reading…]

kitchen files: finding the right gold cabinetry hardware

I’m all about the gold and brass and copper – are you guys? When I was a teenager, I was a silver gal through and through, but I slowly migrated over to the warmer metal tones over the last decade+ and especially during these last few years, when all things gold have become on-trend again. So, it’s probably no surprise that when I was choosing the finishes for our kitchen, I immediately gravitated toward gold cabinetry hardware. With the dominating grey and white scheme in our kitchen, I knew that bringing in a bit of gold would warm up the room and add a little bit of glam. I knew I wanted something with clean lines (nothing too ornate) and a pull style rather than knob (just a personal preference thing). I searched around and fell in love with a few different options – like these and these and these. Ultimately though, some sleek gold [Continue Reading…]

living room updates: wingback chairs + black trim

So when I gave you guys a look at our new moroccan rug, you must’ve spied a few other updates going on in the living room. I’ll fill you in on those today! First up are the major pieces of furniture. The layout came pretty naturally once we had the built-in’s done. We used to have two sofas in our old living room, but knew that they wouldn’t both work in this space as one would cover the patio door leading to the backyard. Here we are, pre-built in’s… but you see what I mean about the couches? Not working. So it made sense to have our better couch stay in the space, facing the fireplace, and get two new chairs to flank it on either side. The only chair we had ever really had was an IKEA Poang back in the day (didn’t everyone?!), so we were starting fresh. [Continue Reading…]

life lately: work, events + a giveaway

Time for one of those posts where I blab on about a bunch of things that have been happening around here of late. It’s Friday and I don’t have any project updates, but I do feel like there are a bunch of life updates… so here goes. Things have been a bit all over the map. In terms of work, I’ve got a bunch of things on the go — new product lines for THE SWEETEST DIGS CO. and branching out more into retail/wholesale, a short term contract in my “day job” realm of work (public health + development), writing my 5-article series for the Globe & Mail newspaper (last article published yesterday!), doing some website and decorating work for a few clients, and (slowly) trying to chip away at finishing up more of the house (remember how I’m doing ALL of the painting myself? Yep, well… it’s a lot). You [Continue Reading…]

kitchen reno: choosing quartz countertops

Let’s chat kitchen countertops today. Specifically, quartz countertops that look like carrara marble. Warning: this is a seriously long post and if you have no interest in countertops and kitchen reno’s, I suggest you just close’r down now. Or take a shot for every time you read the word “quartz”. That’ll make things a whole lot more exciting for sure. Just don’t  play a blog post drinking game and drive. Some of the decisions with our house reno have been made quickly, and others have been laboured over for a long while. This was the latter. Here we are, countertop-less… First step in any kitchen counter decision is material choice. There are so many options these days when it comes to counters – laminate, granite, quartz, quartzite, corian, marble, butcher block, concrete, soapstone, etc – and each have their advantages and disadvantages. We were constantly weighing looks vs price vs longevity and maintenance. Depending on [Continue Reading…]

saving the date

Dan and I didn’t have a long engagement – just under 4 months – since we had a pretty clear idea of the wedding we wanted and it didn’t take too much organizing to plan (it was held at Dan’s family cottage in upstate New York so there wasn’t major venue and catering bookings to do). We wanted to get word out about our wedding date quickly once we had nailed it down, so sent out a pretty basic save the date via email, followed up with a postcard style invite. Us two, engagement day in St James Park in London… Having missed out on the fancy save the dates and invites train, now that I see these beauties from Shutterfly… I have to admit, I’m a little jealous. They are all kinds of pretty. Don’t you loved the one with scalloped edges? And the one with the couple in [Continue Reading…]

transitions

With all of this moving and renovating that’s been going on in our household of late, it’s definitely been a time of transition. Not a huge deal for Dan and I, but I wonder about Maya. I have to imagine that our moving out of our own home, in with my parents an hour outside of town, and then moving back into a totally different home, must have been confusing for her. At a year and half old, it’s a bit hard to explain all of it to her. She seemed to go with the flow more or less, although there was some extra clinginess in the first few days when we recently moved back into our house, and I do think she has missed having my parents around every day (those guys are great entertainment!). And now… we are in the midst of another change for our little lady. [Continue Reading…]

a budget friendly moroccan rug & giveaway

You probably noticed in the post about the fireplace built-in’s earlier this week the new rug we have in our living room. Let me back up and tell you a little about it, m’kay? For a long while now I have lusted after those Moroccan style rugs that we’ve all been spotting all over design magazines, blogs, websites, etc. You know, the ones that are a bit shaggy, are creamy coloured, and have some dark diamond style pattern on them? Gorgeous, right? I nearly pulled the trigger on more than one occasion when I saw a good deal, but knew that I really needed to wait to see how our living room panned out. Maybe the size would be wrong, or the whole style wouldn’t work as I thought it would. As our living room started to come together with the white and gray built-ins, brass accents, and our gray couch (our [Continue Reading…]

the living room: styling built in shelves

OK so I took you through the more nitty gritty of the fireplace built-in in this post, but now it’s time for the pretty. Getting to pull my decor stuff out of the boxes they were packed in and get my styling on was such a fun feeling. Hello, beauties that I haven’t seen in almost a year! This is my happy place, guys. A reminder of where I left you off with the built-ins… And here are things today. Kindly ignore the chairs, rug, coffee table, etc as I’ll get to those in a post later this week, k? Promise! So after Dan installed the shelves (we made them evenly spaced at roughly 12 inches apart), styling them took me a while. I would put a few things up, move them around into 15 different spots stepping back each time to get a good idea of how it was all looking, removed, added, and [Continue Reading…]