Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dining Room Shelves

When I blogged about my new curio, I meant to follow that up with a post about the shelves we installed in the dining room. A bit delayed, but here are those pictures anyhow!
It took quite some convincing, but Pat finally relented and put up some shelves. They look just as good as I thought (much to his surprise)! I needed more space to display my glassware, teapots and miscellaneous dining collections and this was the perfect spot. I'll still debating on whether another shelf is needed / would look good.

Here's a closer look at what I have displayed at the moment:
On the bottom shelf, I mostly placed cookbooks and my Swiss alpine servingware. I have a bunch of cooking magazines I also expected to place here, but actual glassware took precedence. I still need to find a place for those... maybe on a third shelf?
The top shelf houses a greater assortment of favourites: the milk jug from my grandparents (holding special dried roses), a couple teapots, pitchers from my gramma, vases and jugs, a lovely tiered dish from my gramma, my jadeite creamer and sugar dish on a lovely silver tray (also from my gramma - I'm really benefiting from her downsizing!)... sometimes I think there's a bit too much going on, but then everything flows and complements each other so well! I'm pretty happy with it and I'm looking forward to continually rotating pieces on here.
Lastly, under the window we've placed our white bench. It isn't perfect - we're currently shopping for a sideboard to replace it - but it does the job holding platters, baskets and seasonal decorations. We did see a gorgeous table with matching sideboard this weekend... we're just trying to justify spending so much on furniture we don't really need (but would look much better).

Anyhow - I'll be clearing out these fall decorations in the next week or so. I'm pretty excited to take out my Christmas stuff and decorating here for the first time! I'll be sure to post some photos in the coming weeks.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dining Room - Curio Cabinet

We finally found the perfect curio cabinet, so it's high time I show off a few photos! Here's my dining room, all decked out for fall:
Since this is really all about the curio, I'll post more photos of the shelves tomorrow. I am really excited about this room though - it's the one that feels the most "done" in terms of decorating. Not like it's really done though - as you can see, a box still remains in one corner and there's little on the walls beside the two shelves. One thing at a time. First, the curio:

The top shelf houses my Royal Doulton dolls:

On the second shelf, I have the gorgeous glass dish mom bought us as a house-warming gift, a piano salt and pepper shaker set from my great-grandmother and a cruet / shot glass set (from a second hand shop) on a silver tray from my gramma:

On the third shelf I have a pitcher and glass set from my grandma (on a vintage mirrored tray), a miniature enameled spoon set (my gramma bought for me at a vintage fair), a (new to me) vintage teacup and saucer and my dried wedding bouquet in its vase:
I absolutely adore this teacup / tea bowl! The ones without handles are my favourite!

Lastly, on the bottom of the cabinet, I have an assortment of glassware:
A few vases (the largest from my neighbour in Hamilton, the other 2 from Pat's grandma), some stemmed glasses (the tall ones a wedding gift from Pat's uncle, the turquoise ones from my sister-in-law and the short ones from my grandma) and a silver-lacquered rose bowl (from my gramma).

I'm sure this cabinet will be continually modified until I'm completely satisfied, but I'm pretty happy with it as is! A perfect addition to our dining room!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Lists of 10

Everyone loves lists, right?

10 of my favourite things (at this moment):

  1. drink: tea (especially forever nuts from David's Tea)
  2. food: Middle Eastern (had lunch at Paramount today: hummus, pita, fattoush, shwarma, kofta.. yum!)
  3. alcohol: white wine (gin if it's harder liquor)
  4. author: Haruki Murakami
  5. music: The Arcs
  6. magazine: Bon Appetit
  7. colour: forest or olive green (& burgundy... I love them both equally!)
  8. metal: copper
  9. season: fall
  10. outfit: skinny pants (green or burgundy) & my white, patterned tunic / blouse

10 of my favourite people (in no particular order... kinda):

  1. Pat
  2. gramma
  3. mom & dad
  4. my parents-in-law
  5. Matt & John (anyone who knows my brothers knows why they're combined here)
  6. my sisters-in-law & brother-in-law 
  7. my niece & nephews
  8. our extended family
  9. my co-workers (most of them)
  10. my manager & (most of) the doctors I work with
10 of my favourite books:
  1. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami (& everything else he's written)
  2. Queen of the Damned - Anne Rice (& everything else she's written)
  3. The Emperor of all Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee
  4. The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window & Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
  5. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon (& the rest of the series)
  6. The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett & everything else he's written)
  7. River God - Wilbur Smith (& everything else he's written)
  8. The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
  9. The Sisters Brothers - Patrick DeWitt
  10. A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin (& the rest of the series)
10 more books I really loved:
  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
  2. Naoko - Keigo Higashino
  3. In the Orchard, the Swallows - Peter Hobbs
  4. Ru - Kim Thuy
  5. The Good Man Jesus & the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman
  6. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey
  8. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
  9. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  10. Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
There are so many other books I could list - but I'll restrain myself to these 20 I spotted on my shelf!

10 favourite home-made dishes: 
  1. macaroni & cheese
  2. enchiladas (chicken &/or beef)
  3. chicken & dumplings
  4. French onion soup
  5. chicken rice/grains/lentil soup (with home-made chicken broth)
  6. "sausage stuff" ("la giblotte" - a sausage & tomato stew on rice)
  7. lasagne
  8. pork tenderloin, 2 ways: baked with grainy mustard or marinated & stir-fried with udon noodles & napa cabbage
  9. quinoa salad
  10. veggie pasta with simple lemony non-sauce
What are 10 of your favourite things?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween 2015

Here's a little recap of the first Halloween in our new house!

First thing we did was carve our pumpkins! I went with a fun, cute and easy design - Pat decided to be ambitious. His "stencil" stage came out a bit wonky, which was disappointing for him since he carved it really well. Can you tell it's supposed to be a monster head?

Once those were done and on the porch, I decorated the entrance and set up the candy station. Things started rolling around 6:15 - which I thought was a bit late, so I didn't expect too many kids. But things picked up and we had 132 visitors by the end of the night (around 8:30, just when it was starting to rain a bit). We actually ran out of candy - I was very generous with the first few dozen kids, then slowly started reducing the number of pieces I gave out. We ran out at around the 115 mark, so Pat raided his office "stash" and we gave out fruit snacks and Gushers. Once those ran out, I handed out a few granola bars... Haha, better than nothing, right?

Of course I semi-dressed up (actually, not really "of course" since I'm not really that into dressing up, hence the "semi" - but I made this costume a few years ago and never had the chance to wear it again, so why not?). I clipped on my bat ears and tied on my homemade wings (sorry, no picture of those, though I did blog about them when I made them back in Hamilton... in 2010. Holy crap time flies!).

After the trick-or-treating, I poured myself a glass of wine and roasted our pumpkin seeds. As per my mom's recipe, I cleaned them well and then sauted them with lots (LOTS) of butter and salt. Then I roasted them for about 15min until they were nice and toasty and crunchy. YUM!

All in all, it was a really fun night! How was your Halloween?