locals only: UK at Fairway

March 14, 2011

the British contingent at the Fairway Market

I was outside of my usual shopping grounds a couple weeks ago and was impressed by the wall of goods from the UK at Fairway Market on Oak Bay Avenue. Interesting to see the effort that obviously went into these imported choices.

Look! Tiny tonics!

Categories: locals only.

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artsy: Favela Painting

March 9, 2011

via www.favelapainting.com

Over 7000 square meters of hillside slum were converted into an new monument for the community. The goal of the Favela Painters: “supports the creation of striking artworks in unexpected places. It collaborates with local people to use art as a tool to inspire, create beauty, combat prejudice and attract attention.”

The initial idea of the Favela Painting project was to paint a hillside favela in the center of Rio, visible to all inhabitants and visitors. Mission accomplished!

Check out their Facebook page.

Categories: artsy.

flavour of the week: Crème Caramel

March 3, 2011

Really, Crème Caramel is so easy to make you could swing this on a weeknight. Call it what you like, flan, custard…. it’s elegant and agreeable and unlike it’s sister Crème Brulèe, it doesn’t suffer is you use low fat milk. I’d recommend homogenized, but 1% works well too.

Crème Caramel

Active time: 20mins
Start to finish: 1.5hrs
Serves 6

1/2 cup sugar

2.5 cups milk
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 egg yolks

Make the caramel – put the sugar is a heavy saucepan and heat until it dissolves and starts to caramelize, tipping the saucepan from side to side to keep the colour even – don’t stir. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of water to stop the cooking. It will bubble like crazy. Pour into 6 ramekins and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350. Put the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to just the boil. Mix together sugar, eggs and yolks. Gradually add boiling milk over egg mixture and stir. Ladle into ramekins and place in roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins*. Cook 35-40 mins. They’ll jiggle, but you’ll be able to tell they’re set. Leave for 15 mins and unmould but running a knife around the edges and tipping upside down. Serve right away or chill.

*Tip – I add the water to the pan after I’ve placed the pan in the oven. Use hot water and a watering can or pitcher.

Leftover egg whites? Make mini meringue kisses to crumble over ice cream or a fruit fool. It really is easy!

Categories: flavor of the week.

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bits & bytes: Groovetastic with Pink of Perfection

March 1, 2011

via www.pinkofperfection.com

I like to follow the blog “Pink of Perfection” – style, recipes…. and cool mix tapes via grooveshark!

Here’s a playlist to help you plow through the afternoon.

Categories: bits & bytes.


eye candy: B H L D N

February 25, 2011

Big news people. Anthropologie has opened a BRIDAL store. I’ve been dying to see what they’ve been up to since I first heard about the concept about a month go. The shop is called BHLDN, pronounced “Beholden,” and is inspired by the Dutch word for “to keep.”

Gowns, dresses, hair adornments, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cover ups…. is a 2nd wedding to the same person a no-no?

via www.bhldn.com

Categories: eye candy.


it’s graphic: A King’s Business Card

February 22, 2011

via www.julianzimmermann.com

I’ve wondered before… does Madonna have a business card? John Travolta? The President? What the heck do they look like?

King Bansah is an African King. He lives in Ludwigshafen/Germany, works as a car mechanic and governs his people from there. A real King.

From the designer www.julianzimmermann.com, “The new corporate design should underline the authenticity and lordliness of the king because they are essential for him and make his activities possible. A combination of royal and exotic impressions. One example of his engagement is his own royal beer AKOSOMBO. The benefit of the beer is passed on to the aid projects of the King in Ghana.”

A business set and a beer – for a King. How’s that for a dream job?

Categories: it's graphic.

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happy hour: Grapefruit Blossom Apertif

February 18, 2011

This one comes from food52 – a great recipe resource with weekly recipe contests.

Grapefruits are on the ready, cheap and cheerful this time of year in local markets.

2 tbsp pink grapefruit juice
2 tbsp elderflower syrup, or elderflower soda
5 ounces Viognier white wine

Categories: happy hour.

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bits & bytes: iPhone Apps

February 16, 2011


Hi, my name is Beth and I am an iPhone convert. Used to cradle a Blackberry, but those are distant memories. Being a PC user for my design work (gasp!), having an iPhone keeps one foot in trendy mac land, and one foot firmly planted in practicality.

Everyone is crazed about downloading apps – I am on that wagon, until too may other people have the same app and then all of the sudden I’m no longer interested. Children seem to be addicted to the games and strange visual effects available. Frightening. Angry Birds and I have yet to meet.

Here are a few of my favorite apps for iPhone:

Evernote – lets you keep notes in text, voice and camera notes, automatically syncs with your online account. Primarily used to take magazine snapshots for design inspiration, grocery lists and brainstorming lists.
Dropbox – sync your files, automatic online backup
BaseCamp – project management
Dragon Dictation – send a text or email from a voice recording
Miriam Webster Dictionary
Adobe Ideas – bascially a scratch pad for ideas, incorporate images or other files, draw and apply colour
SketchBookX – another sketching tool, great pencils and brushes

Epicurious – was already addicted to the website. Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Shape… need I say more?
Whole Foods Recipes – when you’re feeling like feeling healthy
Food Network
OpenTable – restaurant reservations
QuickBins – drag and drop contacts to text or phone

Fitness Pro – exercises, create your own workout, track runs

Weather Eye – add a bunch of cities and day dream about good weather

National Post
TED – Technology, Entertainment, Design, “ideas worth spreading”

Hootsuite for Twitter

Groupon – if you don’t know what this is by now, then you probably don’t read blogs
HauteLook – daily discounts on designer fashions and home decor
Shoppers Drug Mart – get yer flyers!

TuneIn Radio – radio stations from around the world
MuseBox – more online radio, genre based
Shazam – find out what song is playing by holding your phone up and pressing the button

Hipstamatic – applies old school effects, limited but cool
Incredibooth Photo Booth – no need to take a trip to the mall!
Best Camera App – shoot a picture or open one from your photo roll, apply filters and effects, and then upload it to Facebook or Twitter

Kayak – deals
Trip Advsior – find out where to go, eat, stay near you now

Vogue Stylist – shop new fashions, take images of your wardrobe to style yourself
Wallpaper magazine
Zinio – the best magazines from around the world, in digital

Bloomsburg – stock watch and financial news
Bloomburg – financial information and stock tracker

Ok, your turn to give it up. Your favorites please!

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Categories: bits & bytes.

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eye candy: Heart Shaped Egg

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day! Forget to start the day with something special? A heart shaped egg tomorrow should do to the trick.
Instructions from AnnaTheRed here.

heart shaped egg!

Categories: eye candy.

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on the road: Encinitas CA

February 11, 2011

Surf at your doorstep, cruiser bikes, crashing waves… there’s a good vibe in Encinitas California where the winter means walks on the beach in your shorts, picnics and happy hour. It’s a half hour north of San Diego off Hwy 101. My visit was short, but sweet, literally. A stroll to the Leucadia Donut Shoppe makes for a cheap and easy thrill, a toddle around the Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens is worth it for the view and a quiet place to rest. Don’t forget the Pizza Port where delicious pizza and craft brews meet video games and lively music. Here’s to winter weekends.

cliffs at encinitas


private wave

Just Peachy Market | Boogie Board Dreamin


Leucadia Donut Shoppe

sunset in january

Tried the California Condo Cocktail yet?

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Categories: on the road.

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