Friday, September 29, 2017

Cookbook Review: Michael Smith Real Food

Depending on how long you've followed along on this blog you know that Trevor and I really enjoy good food. I have one of those crazy day planners and at the beginning of the week or whatever day we planned until, I map out our dinners for the week including what we need to buy so nothing goes to waste.
When we were first married I used the "wing it philosopshy" and spent every garbage night throwing half our food and money into the trash as it had spoiled from us not using it.
I was a dental hygienist at the time and miserable at the end of the day and sometimes cooking was just not on the menu when I got home from work.
After a few years of using that method I trashed it and went with the planning method and although it was a bit of a curve to get used to, we haven't looked back.

I also found that when things were planned out I started to enjoy cooking more as the stress of what's for dinner had been decided days ago. There are still some nights we throw out the menu and order takeout or nights where we got home too late and getting Emma to bed and doing paperwork for our respective businesses comes first so pancakes hits the menu instead. Most days we are pretty good however and because of that love of food I tend to collect cookbooks. Real food style cookbooks that work for families, gatherings and couples nights. 

I have started carrying a small selection of local and just plain good books in the shop and thought it might be a neat idea to share a few photos from the recipes that got tested.
Monday's the shop is closed. We use it as a day to regroup but also a day for production. Jill works at my home and we shoot content for the blog, social media, cut 20 thousand tons of fabric, sew and prep food recipes for workshops, blog posts, whatever. It's basically a whatever needs to get done day and we get er done!
This past Monday in between pillow happenings we made a few recipes from the wonderful Michael Smith's new cookbook: Real Food Real Good

A real advocate for eating and consuming honest home cooking that isn't hard but also doesn't come out of the freezer section at the grocery store.

First recipe was a selection from the breakfast pile.

I made the granola and blueberry part the night before so that they would be ready for the morning. The granola yields a ton so that will give me breakfast bits for quite awhile but the combo here was delicious.

I also realized when going to shoot this post that I don't have any of those cute parfait bowls, or glass bowls that allow you to see the layers. I used wine glass cause man do I have wine glasses. What does that say about me that I have enough wine glasses to field an army with booze?

Anyways, drinking habits aside I used 0% Oikos greek yogurt for the yogurt base here and made everything else according to recipe. It was relatively low in sugar with that type of yogurt and sweet but not overly. 
I did my groceries at Zehrs for this recipe whose health food section is not exactly up to snuff but they were the only place open at 9:30 on a Sunday night which yup is sometimes when I get to groceries. #retailmomlife so I substituted a lot of the unfound grain flakes with a muesli mix that worked out just fine.
Add black coffee and all set to go.
Fine you need cream and sugar I won't look.

Those black mugs are newbies in the shop so got a little feature here. Handmade pottery from my wonderful great aunt that can kill anything I throw at her. The lack of colour inside the mug is my coffee, black as night. Should have grabbed Jill's mug for depth as she's a cream gal.

I'm showing the creation of the sauce for a reason. It was so good it could just be eaten with a spoon and skip the rest of the meal making. There was plate licking involved with no apologies at the end of this lunch. It was that freakin' good.

Skewer creation in the works. This recipe included sliced pork tenderloin but could easily be created vegan by substituting other vegetables and omitting the meat.

All grilled up and ready to be consumed. 

I always love perusing a new cookbook and imaging the flavours blending. I am not great about following recipes supper-wise I will admit. I am an inspirational fly by the seat of my pants chef which is kind of how I run my store but I tried to be good and create these true to instruction and they did not disappoint. 
This past week has been donned Michael Smith week and we are 6 recipes into this book and not one has so far disappointed or been overly difficult. Easily done after work with ingredients in hand. Last night was a MOROCCAN STEW WITH COUSCOUS.

Pick up a book in store or give it a look next time you're in a book store in your area.

Have a good day 


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Workshop Alert Niagara Locals: Southwestern Desert Night

Thanks for popping over from Instagram & Facebook.
Please read all details to ensure quick sign up for a fantastic night and avoid any future disappointment

DATE: OCTOBER 10, 2017 
COST: $60.00 plus hst
bonus: 10% off shopping in store for the event

Here's the details pre- signing up for a new style workshop that has been 
brewing for awhile.

Our first foray back into workshops after a summer hiatus will focus on 
"the art of succulents and cacti"

However these are not just the come, plant and go home workshops.

We are combining the art of living and more specifically feasting along with your learning. A real night out to enjoy. Our southwestern desert night will be paired with treats and drinks of similar persuasion. Ahem sangria, salsas? 

Class will begin with full plates and glasses and then

you will learn all the ins & outs of planting succulents and cactus together and the difference between the two. The type of soils to use and why, the lighting requirements and troubleshooting when things are going sideways. How to plant, the different types of plants and what may be the best type for your home.


Based on the learning of the evening, guests are welcome to design a planter of their own creation with planters, succulents and cactus available in store at 20% off or bring a planter you are looking to fill of your own with you to the class and that we would be happy to assist you with. You can get your hands dirty or have us do it for you.

THE NITTY GRITTIES [workshop policies]
- all spaces must be paid in full to reserve seating, no exceptions as classes fill up quickly and we don't want to disappoint people who wish to come
guests can call 905-892-9000 to reserve their seat or visit us in store.

- all seats for workshops are non-refundable. an immense amount of planning and prep work goes into each workshop. supplies are counted and purchased in advance including live plants. if for some reason the unavoidable occurs we will be happy to make your planter for you to pick up at your convenience.

It's the start of a new season of fun and we can't wait to share it with you.
After all plant lady is the new cat lady right?

See you all soon,

Meg & team

Friday, September 22, 2017

Living room shakeup and the domino effect

Well like I promised a while back, the sectional sofa had seen it's last photo op in the Oliver and Rust house. I am going to post a full review about the Ikea Ektorp sectional in the next few posts so if you were or are one of the many people asking how we liked it, would we buy it again the answer will be in there.

Today however, we are going down the road of new. With the arrival of our little lovely lady Emma and having a different focus for our room the divided space which I still to this day love, no longer was conducive to how we needed to live in our space.

Then of course I purchased the "remorse" chairs and the domino effect started with the chair monopoly happening as we moved things around. 
....and since it's the first day of fall today lets do a fall change up tour in this room as well.

So to recap,
new layout
new sofa
old chairs
fall do

Loads to cover so lets get started.

So here she be. Our room is long and quite large but at the end of the room where the  fireplace is the wall where the bathroom is juts in and makes a full room of furniture placement a little awkward. When we moved in 8 years ago it was just the 2 of us and a sectional was a dreamy idea with so much space from our tiny first home, so we split the room in 2. A tv watching area and a conversation fireside area. It worked perfectly for us but did become a little bit of a pain with large groups of people as tons of seating but with backs to each other it made conversation difficult sometimes.  The leather chairs we had from a score on Kijiji years ago and one was in this room but the big wood cupboard so we pulled the other upstairs and moved them into the room floating as a pair again.

Just to recap below this is what our living room has looked like layout wise for about the last 8 years.

We did a lot of hunting for the perfect sofa and I was so close to pulling the trigger on a sectional this style with chaise on wayfair. The nicer sofas we found were either in the high 3000-5000.00 range or were online and we were just nervous to pull the trigger on something we couldn't sit on. I also don't want to be mortgaged to our sofa. I am all about investing in pieces that you plan to keep and spend once rather than many times however with a rambunctious little girl a 5000.00 sofa did not feel like a smart move right now. 
So we bought another ektorp from Ikea. I will cover comfort more in the review post but the difference between this sofa, our previous sectional and even the loveseat/chairs we already own is amazing. They have definitely made improvements that are noticeable immediately.

I chose not to buy a cover from Ikea and instead purchased a linen cover from Bemz. Super super pleased with the speed, craftsmanship and quality of this cover. And immediately the sofa waffles between Ikea and Pottery Barn-ville because the linen cover gives it a bit more plush of a look. The covers are a bit loose which makes putting them on so much easier but also a little give room for the first wash and dry which I will update when I do it.

 When we decided to float the chairs in the middle of the room we ended up with spare furniture. The sofa table had to go, the blanket trunk needed a new home. It was a ton of fun for me to completely rearrange our space and give it a new life.
I put our same end table between the chairs and in order to keep using our table lamp a rug was in order for this side of the room to get the cord to the opposite wall. I didn't want just plain jute or a super trendy rug so hunted out a flat pile super faded red persian style rug. We already had 2 kilim rugs in the halls that join this room so they needed to blend together well. Red isn't really my colour but put it in a rug and I'm all for it.

I didn't go super autumn with my look this year. I didn't add tons of wheat and pumpkins to the living room as with the new "do" I just wanted to enjoy the space and made it say fall more with the colours and textures and of course the pillows.

a cactus here, a wool blanket there

I bought this gold and white plant stand some time ago and have had it in hoarding for the perfect spot and that spot finally came available when I booted the chair that was in this corner. With our new layout the chair outside the laundry room became too much and just in the way so this area which will hold a Christmas tree soon enough is now a perfect little plant corner

 My little model who is thoroughly enjoying being able to view all aspects of the room and get a straight long run around the coffee table.

This is the other pair of chairs that got re-mated. One was in the basement and one was sitting by the laundry room in this room. We will likely find something else for this space in the coming years but I absolutely love the green velvet together over here and in fact I will say this was not my idea. Trevor carried these babies in while I was standing staring at the space and said "there, I like these up here" and low and behold damn it worked out.

Catching bits and glimpses of our fall mantel this year. I will do a separate post with the vignettes up there soon.

So there you have it. A fall space with a new layout and we are completely happy with it. It feels like a whole new space. Emma has commandeered the little corner on the floor with a sheep skin of the sofa and the animals have all picked new spots to lay at night.
Like I said, I really loved the old layout but this just feels lighter and there is definitely less stuff. I know right? it doesn't look like that but trust me there is a lot less.
With quite a few changes happening around here and since Christmas is on its way soon enough I am working on getting an up to date house tour up here as lots has changed since I posted it last year.

Have a great day everyone,


Thursday, September 14, 2017

The stuff dreams are made of: Terrain Westport Conneticut

Good morning everyone.

We just got back from a trip out east last week, a work trip for the shop but trip nonetheless.
Near the end of the trip we were close enough to a place I have wanted to visit for what seems like forever. For those of you that may not have been following along with my instagram stories and had the little excitement tour, I brought my camera in like a nutter and took a ton of photos of which I will share a fraction with you today.
Not a lot to say today as the photos really speak for themselves. The genius in display and the sheer collection of pots, plants, decor and the cafe set right into the middle of the shop are just inspiration on overload for me. The stuff dreams are made of [if you're a plant lover who happens to have a fascination for retail that is]

Welcome to Terrain; Westport CT.
Enjoy the photos!

Enjoy your day all,