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2014/05/14 / Shanan


The weather has all of a sudden become irresistibly warm and I keep finding myself surprised that I don’t need to wear a jacket, or scarf, to spend time outside anymore!  Many, many, ohhhh so many consecutive cold months will do that to a person.

We took our first spring family hike a few days ago and though the trees are still pretty bare, we managed to catch the trilliums in bloom and the ramps in abundance.

Have you ever tried a ramp?  It’s basically a very small but strong-tasting wild leek; they grow in forested areas around here, are considered a delicacy and, most importantly, a true beacon of spring.  We brought a mini trowel along with us and filled a shopping bag with ramps (you can imagine how fantastic pungent the car-ride home was with these babies nestled in the back).

foraging for wild ramps leeks spring ontario

Last night I made a ramp pesto to go with spaghetti and I’m going to attempt to pickle the rest.  Here’s how to identify wild ramps and here, my friends, are a few more photos from our afternoon (full disclosure: I got lazy; we didn’t bring our camera which I immediately regretted, so this was my first time snapping pictures in a pinch with my phone and you know what? They turned out… eh, passable?  The trees kind of look like a digital backdrop).




(not a ramp)


Snack break.




Chris, forager extraordinaire.


The bounty back home.  Beauty.  Now to start in on our own garden…  xx Shanan

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2014/05/08 / Shanan


So this wedding has been making the online rounds this week but I just had to share it, too, because I think the decor is so spectacular (okay yes, the bride’s dress is unbelievable, too).

Caitlin Watson and Tanner Boyes were married in San Clemente, California and she designed and constructed the giant paper flowers for their backyard reception over a number of months with the help of her family.

Bright. Magical. I’m in awe.





Photos by Jessica Peterson. Paper flowers by Caitlin Watson Boyes and her mother, Kim Watson.  Styling by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House that Lars Built.

Many more beautiful photos and details over on THTLB and Martha Stewart Weddings.

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2014/05/02 / Shanan


We tend to not take Mother’s Day too seriously in these parts; not that I don’t welcome an excuse to fête and be fêted, of course.  We just don’t usually do gifts, especially of the typical tea, apron, or fancy scarf persuasion.  I always feel that if I’m going to get something for my mum, it should be tailored to her in particular — not based on some trope of what mothers are ‘supposed’ to like.

So, here’s my virtual gift guide just for you, Marms.  Maybe the rest of you might find something here that strikes a chord, too?

Image above:  Why wait ’til 5pm? This couldn’t be more spot-on if it tried: Notes of Chardonnay eau de parfum by Kelly & Jones, via Brika.

mean girls pencils carbon crusader regina's mom

Hot pink Mean Girls-inspired pencils from The Carbon Crusader.  Because she’s not like a regular mom, she’s a cool mom <wink>.  Oh, and also because none of her damn pens ever work.

good wife dvd set

We LOVE this show.  Superb acting, great writing, and my mother only watches a TV series if it’s available on DVD, so she doesn’t even know the insane plot thing that happened this season (no spoilers here)!!

vintage gold locket mother's day gift

A vintage gold locket, because she wears delicate jewelry and you could personalize it by tucking a tiny childhood photo of yourself inside (or one of her beloved cat…).

windows htc smartphone

For the love of god, please get rid of that ridiculous Blackberry that you can’t operate and get a phone that’s easy to use.  Consider this a Mother’s Day intervention!  The Windows Phone by HTC fits the bill.

Are you doing anything special for your mum this year?

xx Shanan

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2014/04/28 / Shanan


If you can’t say anything nice…

Image above: Mike Mills, Sentimentality poster, part of Humans 03 collection.

Mike Monteiro may the bridges i burn

Mike Monteiro, May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way. Acrylic on paper, 2010.

stefan sagmeister trying mixed media graphic design

Stefan Sagmeister, segment from “Trying to Look Good Limits my Life,” 2004. Part of the typographic project, 20 Things I Have Learned in my Life So Far (Abrams), via Brain Pickings.

ed ruscha another hollywood dream bubble popped

Ed Ruscha, Another Hollywood Dream Bubble Popped, 1976.

jenny holder protect me from what i want truism

Jenny Holzer, Protect Me From What I Want, Times Square billboard from Truisms, 1977-79, via Phaidon.