Vegetarian Party Food : Three Quick Crostini Toppings
Tying a Basic Macrame Knot : DIY Cat Toy

Winter Weather Food and Drinks (Swipe and click to see some seasonal ideas)

    Warm Mushroom and Goat Cheese Salad
    Pear and Cardamom Cake Recipe
    Food Friday : Making Mocha Coffee
    Baba's Cabbage Soup

    Our Valentine’s Decor 2020 : Thrifted and Handmade

    needle point heart plastic canvas and painted and glued diecut hearts valentine diys how to

    Hello and wishing you a happy Valentine's Day if you're into it. It’s also a three day weekend here, as Monday is "Family Day", so extra reason to celebrate.

    Here is a peek at our seasonal decorations this Valentine's.

    I'm making it a goal this year to encourage anyone who doesn't usually shop secondhand at thrift stores to get out there and give it a try. Those who are already familiar with the thrill of the thrifted treasure hunt, need no motivation, but I hope this type of posts will still be interesting to you. Personally, I love seeing how people incorporate thrift store items into their home decor and wardrobes.

    So, on that note, I previously posted a story (found here) about a selection of recent thrift store finds, that, although there was only a tiny hint of a heart print on one item, I thought would go well in Valentine decorating. Therefore you'll see every item from that story somewhere amoungst the decor.

    Here's a refresher of those "Valentine-esque" thrifted items ...

    Crafty Behaviour : Handmade Valentine Decorations 2020

    seven projects handmade for valentines

    Well, here I'd planned to show you our Valentine decor today, incorporating every piece of the recent thrift store finds written about here. I thought I'd also throw in some handmade things I'd made for the holiday this year. Then I began editing the photographs and realized that the urge to craft had really set in over the past few weeks and putting everything together in one story would make for an annoyingly long post. So, today I'll quickly share the handmade things and tomorrow I'll show you how they look in our decor, alongside the thrifted pieces.

    There's something about the colour scheme and the shape of hearts that really gets me in the mood to make things. I work at a table in our kitchen, so it's been covered in paper, paint and random supplies for about three weeks now. Nick is pretty laid back about things like that, but it had gotten to the point that I had to apologize to him more than once about the mess I'd made!

    These are all easy makes (except for the crocheted pieces if you're not a crocheter) and most pieces are a different take on things I've made before, so I'll link to tutorials in previous posts where appropriate.

    I realize I'm too late with this to inspire Valentine crafting this year, but it will be here to get you planning ahead for next year.

    Here are the pieces ...

    A "Needlepoint Plastic Canvas Heart" previously demonstrated in this post. I used yarn from my stash and had the plastic canvas heart leftover from when I made them before, which originally came from Michael's.

    Toronto Light Festival 2020 in The Distillery District, with Dinner, Drinks & Dessert


    Hello! My friend Julie and I had an excellent Tuesday evening out this week, when we belatedly celebrated this fine lady's birthday.

    The annual Toronto Light Festival was on in The Distillery District, so we went there for dinner and a look around, followed by drinks and dessert.

    I love The Distillery District, with its beautiful historic buildings, which are gorgeous all the time but particularly at night, in this dimly lit part of the city. (I previously wrote about the area in detail in this post, including some great old photographs from the days, over a hundred years ago, when it was home of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, if you'd like to see.)

    The glow of the "TO Light Fest" sculptures, created by artists from around the world, really add to the ambiance, and, although an outdoor festival in the heart of winter in a Canadian city is, undoubtedly, a chilly experience, it makes so much sense to have at this time of year, when the early sunsets allow the sculptures to be seen at their best.

    And, there are plenty of wonderful restaurants, bars and shops to pop into, to warm up.

    We had a delicious dinner at Mill Street Brew Pub, where they offered a special extra menu of curries, perfect for a cold winter's night.

    Thrift Store Finds : Valentine-esque Version 2020

    thrift store finds toronto value village valentine esque

    Greetings online friends!

    Hopefully you enjoy seeing items that were found at the thrift stores, as, today, that's what I have for you. Here are some thrifted things I've picked up in recent months, selected for this particular post because I plan to incorporate them into some Valentine decor over the next couple of weeks.

    Once everything is set up, I'll take photos of each piece in action, so you can see how cute secondhand things can look, while costing next to nothing.

    Everything except for two items (which I'll point out when we come to them) , was found at the Value Village at Lansdowne and Bloor Street West, in Toronto. That's really the only thrift store I go to regularly because I don't drive and it's near a subway stop, but before Christmas, my sister and I drove west of the city, to Etobicoke, where we found a Thrifting Utopia area with four big stores.

    The most expensive thing, at $4.99 Cdn, was the handmade quilted table runner. Everything else was in the $1 to $3 Cdn range.

    While I personally veer more toward vintage finds when I thrift, because that's the look I go for, I also pick up some newer items, too. In this case, the more current things include a glass vase, a couple of side-plates, a cotton tea towel and some place-mats.

    Let's begin with some vintage figurines :

    One thing that is always near the top of my "Thrift Wish List", is an authentic old Valentine figurine, such at those made by Lefton in the 50s and 60s (search images for Lefton Valentine figurine, to see what I mean). I've yet to find one "in the wild" but was quite happy to find these three pieces that will work for Valentine decor, but can also be displayed at other times of the year.

    A Recipe : Rum and Raisin Sauce for Desserts or Pancakes

    recipe for rum and raisin sauce for vanilla ice cream cake crepes pancakes


    Here's a quick and easy recipe for a "Rum and Raisin" sauce, that can be served warm or stored in the fridge, ready to turn a scoop of plain vanilla ice-cream into a proper dessert. Add a piece of white cake or a crepe and you have a something nice enough to serve company. This sauce is also a delicious alternative for maple syrup on pancakes.

    Yes, there is half a cup of rum in this, but the alcohol gets completely cooked off, leaving only the flavour behind.

    Raisin lovers unite!