Five things

We had our big Thanksgiving dinner last night so we’ve been pretty low-key today. The menfolk have been watching Bob Vila’s Home Again on the Interwebs (can you believe it’s 25 years old?), the kiddos playing with Lego, and me baking all the things. How was your day?

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  1. #TBT to October 2012 and a visit to the Valleyview Little Animal Farm for a birthday party.
  2. Thanksgiving dessert, and my first time making pumpkin pie. Do you have a favourite pumpkin pie recipe to share?
  3. What we want to do after all that pie.
  4. A carrot bouquet at the farmer’s market.
  5. Coming up in the next couple of weeks here on try small things: reviews of Butter Celebrates! A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share with Family and Friends and Lovable Livable Home; warming up for winter with minted, reviews of two new Canadian subscription boxes, and the latest innovation from Lampe Berger.

Have a great week, everybody! Talk to you again soon.

Five things

How were your first few days of Fall, everybody? Do you welcome the season in your decor? I spend most of my time in the kitchen, so I love to pile a bunch of gourds on a cake plate and admire them throughout the day.

gourds square

Aren’t they gourd-geous? If you hop on over to So Fawned, you’ll see what I did with these babies.

gourd soup

Here’s a little peek. (I couldn’t resist!)

you are nice dad

You know I love a good kitchen gadget. This week we made some special personalized cookies using these cool cookie cutters. (On clearance at Winners for $5! Woot!)

cactus at market

Cactus at the farmer’s market yesterday morning. Maybe my favourite thing all season!

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Do you crush on pretty stationary too? I am loving my Kate Spade planner and notecards from Chapters. Almost too pretty to use!

And only three more days ’til Blissdom! Woot! What are you up to this week?

Five things

How was your week, everybody? My guys have been away visiting family for half of it so mine’s been quiet. In a good way, ‘tho. I’ve done a little reading, a little running, a little cleaning (too little) and a lotta sleeping. Oh! And a little window shopping yesterday at The Drake General Store, which opened in Ottawa a few weeks ago. Have you been to the ones in Toronto or browsed online? So many carefully curated finds, from housewares and accessories to kids’ toys and gifts. And some unique Canadiana too.

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I’m crushing on the cactus wallpaper, among a dozen other things. Wouldn’t it look fab in a powder room or an office?

black and white shoes Lily

 

I’ve done next-to-no back-to-school shopping, but I did pick up these cute Old Navy slip-on sneakers for my daughter. Do you have any shopping to do? How’s it coming along?

grade two sign Lily

This week So Fawned published my latest DIY: this easy-peasy sign for your first-day-of-school photos. I can’t believe that’s next week already!

tomatoes-farmers-market

The Farmers market was ridiculously crowded today, but I standing in line for some of these tomatoes was well worth the wait. My favourite time of year is just around the corner: apple season!

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And look who opened a second location near me! DAVIDsTEA! Are you a tea drinker? What do you drink?

 

 

Five things

The Farmer’s market had a bounty of delicious goodness this week, with seasonal greens making way for more colourful fruits and veggies.

radishes

Here’s my daughter feigning interest in the radishes. Such a gorgeous pink!

first strawberrie

And the early strawberries were in! We treated ourselves to one of the few remaining pints. I want to take the kids strawberry picking in a few weeks when the berries are more plentiful and bring home enough to make a few batches of jam.

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The whole family pitched in this weekend to help me with a DIY for the fabulous blog So Fawned. You’ll see my post about it on the site in the next couple of weeks, but until then it’s hush hush. (This is very exciting!)

go your own way

I saw this print at Target and it really spoke to me so I brought it home for the gallery-wall-to-be. Just $20, framed and all!

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And to end things on a sweet note, two of my favourite digital magazines just released their summer issues. I can’t wait to curl up with my tablet and see what seasonal inspiration EMMA Magazine and Sweet Paul will bring. I’ve made many recipes from EMMA Magazine, including the one for this rather sophisticated orange olive oil and rosewater cupcake, and nearly all of them have been as delicious as they look. Will you be inspired too?

Five things

How do you spend your Sundays? I can’t get moving before a couple of cups of tea, so I like to nurse those while browsing the Interwebs and entering online contests, then strike off to the farmers’ to pick up a few veggies and see what’s new.

hanging plants

I’ve got my eye on these beautiful hanging plants, which the vendor told me are begonia (begonias? Is begonia the plural, or begonias?) called illumination apricot. Which means nothing to me other than a pretty name as I know next-to-nothing about flowering plants.

And plants.

And flowers.

But they’re lovely, aren’t they? And apparently very easy to care for.

jams

It’s still too early for strawberries, but when they finally arrive I’d love to try to make some jam. This one looks fairly straightforward. Do you have a recipe to recommend?

running

Now that the weather’s warmer I’ve got to start getting out earlier for my runs. That, or go in the evening when it cools down a little. I try to do 5K every other day but this week I invited a friend to do a 10K on Canada Day so I’ve got to start upping my game.

Wish I didn’t sweat like a hog. Running in the heat? Not my favourite.

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Are you too hot to cook and looking for some new dinner ideas? This caprese panzanella salad from EMMA Magazine might be a refreshing change. Love the mozzarella balls tossed in.

Miriam-Toews-All-My-Puny-Sorrows

And good news! This week my review of Miriam Towes’ fanastic new novel, All My Puny Sorrows, was published on BrazenWoman. (While you’re there, check out my sister-in-law’s wicked recipe for protein balls.)

For the next one I’m thinking Emily Giffin’s The One and Only or Heather O’Neill’s The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, both hot new reads. Which one would you rather see?

Gazpacho for one

It’s mostly greens at the farmers’ market this time of year, so the plump red tomatoes stood out among the baskets of asparagus, cucumbers and herbs when we visited yesterday. A couple of those beauties made their way into our basket, along with a bunch of fresh basil and some Lebanese cukes.

Together they’re the base for this gazpacho for one.

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Because I didn’t add any liquid it’s more smoothie than soup, but you could easily add some tomato juice if you prefer it more wet.

It’s refreshing and healthy and smells so good. Shall I whizz one together for you too?

Gazpacho for 1

Makes one generous serving.

Ingredients

1 large ripe tomato

2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, 1 field cucumber or 3/4 of an English cucumber

1/2 stalk celery

1/4 red pepper

3 fresh basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives

a dollop of plain Greek yogurt

a slice of lime

Directions

Whizz first six ingredients in a food processor and pour into a fancy glass.

Garnish with yogurt, chives and lime.

Similar recipes also call for garlic, onion, olive oil, tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce. Add or take away as you like.