schmooze fest with design pals…

I was so delighted to attend BLEND2011, a cocktail party for the Design & Lifestyle Bloggers West network on the weekend. It was a celebration of the annual IDS West design show in Vancouver. The party was generously sponsored by IKEA Canada, who spoiled us with amazing food and drinks at the Loden hotel, swag, and a chance to win a $1000 gift card (bummed I didn’t win).

What a thrill to be in the same room with Canadian House & Home editor, Suzanne Dimma and designer, Mark Challen!! I even shook Suzanne’s hand…sorta like shaking a rock star’s hand!!!

Mark Challen (Cdn House & Home), Erica Cook (Moth Design) & Suzanne Dimma (Cdn House & Home)

Jodi Bueckert (The Simply Inspired Home) & Sharon Laxon (Layers & Layers)

Carol Smyth (The Design Pages) & Michelle Mollinga (I Dream of Chairs)

Darryl Bueckert (Photography by Darryl Bueckert & The Simply Inspired Home)

Mark Challen (Cdn House & Home) & Erica Cook (Moth Design)

Barbara Matson (Hodge:podge), Nancy Marcus (Marcus Design), Suzanne Dimma (Cdn House & Home magazine), Karla Amadatsu (Kerrisdale Design), Victoria Lambert (Edin's House)

It was such a wonderful opportunity to meet so many talented bloggers. I even gushed on the way home with my hubby about how amazing social media is. Ten years ago, if you’d asked me, I would have said “no way” to the possibility of a network that would allow you to meet total strangers on the web and build amazing friendships!!!

Kudos to the event organizers, Barbara Matson, Nancy Marcus, Karla Amadatsu & Victoria Lambert!!

sunshine yellow…

Ever since Nyla Free sent me a teaser of the design she’s cooking up for my living room, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the color yellow.

It could also have something to do with the fact that it just can’t stop raining in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m craving a little sunshine…correction…a truck-load of sunshine. So consider this my sundance…’cause I’m just not willing to go out and dance on my front lawn in the rain!!!

courtesy Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25 via Houzz

courtesy Jennifer Brouwer via Houzz

courtesy Sarah Richardson

courtesy Donna Griffith for Style At Home magazine

courtesy of Virginia MacDonald for Style At Home magazine

courtesy Kim Christie for Canadian House & Home magazine

Don’t you just love that painting by Bobbi Burgers? She’s one of my FAVE artists.

cherry snow…

I thought I’d share a photo I snapped the other day. The ornamental cherry trees have been beautiful this year! They always remind me of the poem “Cherry Snow” that my writer/artist grandmother published in New Yorker and Chatelaine magazines when she was a young woman. She was also the first woman in Canada to fly a glider airplane–a feat mentioned in a book called “No Way To Treat A Lady”. This one’s for you, Grammy đŸ™‚

God bless you Sweet Paul…

Sweet Paul is an amazing online magazine. The styling and photography are to die for, and the recipes cause palate palpitations. I swear I can almost smell the wafts of coconut and lemon cake floating off the page. How can you tell I haven’t eaten breakfast yet?

I thought you might like to see what lies taunting me on page 54…Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cake. I could die happy!

I implore you to drop what you’re doing, whip up this cake, and invite me over immediately!!! I’ll even bring the Starbucks AND I’ll be your best friend FOREVER!!!! Hope my doctor isn’t reading this…

lovely, Lonny, just lovely…

Lonny magazine is one of my favorite online haunts. I can be found most days lurking on their website, pouring over the pages of each new issue. I was particularly inspired to see all the wonderful shots of fabulous design ideas yesterday. So it’s time to share the love…

I really like everything about this room. The wall color is so soothing and the headboard’s fabulous tongue-in-cheek upholstery gives such a fabulous pop of color. When you get tired of it, you can change it up easily ’cause the room is so neutral.

This bedroom has such a refreshing combination of really bold colors and patterns–nothing’s too heavy and serious. Again, it works because of the neutral white background, and because orange and turquoise are such a power couple! You do realize that I’m making this all up as I go along! I have no formal training–just a good eye for design (at least I think so, but if you saw my own home, you’d shudder)!

Isn’t that a fabulous bookshelf? I’ve got to find some ceramic busts for Nicole Jane Home ’cause I just love how it looks! And look at the ikat dish up on the top shelf–it’s a hot pattern right now. So it the red bamboo & zebra print chair! Someone took a lot of time and care setting up this display–I dare you to take down a book to read it!

And just because I’m heading for my book club tonight, I thought I’d throw in this cozy reading corner with the enviable collection of books! I should be draped over this chaise eating grapes and drinking wine whilst reading a steamy bodice ripper!

summer supper…

One of my favorite online magazines is Sweet Paul‘s new e-zine, where I came across this fabulous recipe for Papaya & Citrus Salad with Maple Syrup Dressing. Who cares if it’s only Tuesday, I think I’ll be scooting down to the produce market for tonight’s dinner! Don’t you just love summer when you can get gorgeous “naturally-grown” produce straight from the fields?!

photo & recipe courtesy Sweet Paul Magazine

I think this salad would go perfectly with my Dill Baked Salmon. Here’s my own recipe (quantities are guesstimates…don’t hate me if you hate it).

Serves 4 – 6

4 Wild Salmon Filets

4 tbs real mayonnaise

4 tsp fresh chopped dill (or 2 tsp dried)

1 tsp Kosher or Rock salt

1 tsp Pepper

Pat the salmon filets dry with paper towel and place on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet (use a large enough piece of foil to fold over the filets). Spread 1 tbs of mayo over the top of each filet and sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped dill (or 1/2 tsp dried). Sprinkle with Kosher salt & pepper to taste. Fold the tinfoild over the salmon and pinch to seal.

This is where my recipe gets a little fishy (get it). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (or less or more, depending on size of filets). Do not overcook the salmon, unless you’re like my girlfriend, Samantha, who loves dry, dry, dry baked salmon (mental note: need to look for new friends with better taste!).

This is where I take a big gulp of chilled Reisling…twirl my pearl necklace…and wish you all a Bon Appetit!

magazine affair…

I’m having an affair with my Style At Home magazine. Is that wrong?

I’m especially infatuated with the May issue all about color. On page 474, there’s a pictorial Before & After on furniture paint treatments that I’m swooning over. The trend spotting on page 40 is all about my favorite color: turquoise–what’s not to love? My favorite section is always the High versus Low, and this month’s, on pages 58 and 59, is a particularly fetching combination of bright corals and florals. I even love the double-page Benjamin Moore advertisement featuring celebrity designers!

I can’t show you the May issue’s photos, but I can show you April’s. So here is a look into one of Canada’s fabulous shelter magazines, my beloved Style At Home.


photo courtesy Style at Home magazine

courtesy Style At Home magazine

versus LOW

courtesy Style At Home magazine

courtesy Style At Home magazine

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