Wednesday, October 30, 2013

a walk in the ravine with my mom + annie

One of the great hidden treasures of Toronto is our paths. We are super lucky and live really close to a ravine which leads to the Toronto Evergreen Brick Works. Once and awhile my family and I like to take my dog Annie for a walk down there. She loves being able to run around!

This place is perfect for photos all year round. In the spring and summer the leaves are full and there is the occasional patch of flowers. In the autumn the leaves are all changing to be rich fall colours but be careful, always wear rubber boots otherwise your feet might be muddy! And in the winter it has a blanket of fluffy white snow.






Shoes: Tods // Jacket: Wilfred // Jeans: H&M // Circle ScarfH&M // Purse: Cole Haan




xo sara


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ai weiwei | art gallery of ontario

This past September I attended the hipster playground of Nuite Blanche. Each year I go back and forth on whether or not I should go (usually depends on the weather). This year it was a warm evening so I thought, what the heck, let's see some art! To my surprise, there was an incredible bike installation at City Hall which was made up of 3,144 interconnected bikes designed by Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. After getting an intense taste of what I saw at Nuit Blanche, I knew I had to see his exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)!

From October 17 - 27, there was a special exhibit at the AGO for Ai Weiwei which was a complete hit! My dad and I went to it and spent nearly an hour examining each installation and piece of art he created. Through Ai Weiwei's art, he expresses the value of individual lives and voices of people. His political activism and controversial artworks have led to his arrest and confiscation of his passport years ago. He still hasn't been able to leave the country.







Below you can see my dad and I pretending to be inside the Divina Proportione woodworks. Ai made these without nails or screws, using woodworking techniques!



The Teahouses were completely made from tea grown and harvested in southwest China. You could really smell them! It was tempting to get in real close for an intense sniff.



This was really tricky to figure out. Ai built boxes from huali (precious and highly desirable wood from the Chinese quince tree) and cut out four circular openings into each box. The openings align so that they show every phase of the moon to visitors who walk through the installation. 



Ai gathered every piece of mangled rebar and straightened them from each fallen schoolhouse in China from an earthquake. This is a representation of his anger over the government's desire to more forward as if nothing happened.





When Ai Wei Wei visited the earthquake sites of a collapsed schoolhouses in 2008 in China, he was shaken by the "tofu" construction. He gathered a list of more than 5,000 children that died, and recorded their number, name, gender, date of birth, age, school, class and home address. 


Guess who RT one of my tweets . . . Ai Weiwei!


My brother and father ladies and gentlemen . . . 



After the exhibit, we went for some sushi - perfect ending to an awesome evening! 





xo sara


Sunday, October 27, 2013

delicious food show toronto

Once a year, Toronto is home to the Delicious Food Show where chip trucks, gourmet chefs, bakers and celebrities come to town to show off their latex, greatest and most delightful creations. The show was opened up by none other than the incredibly talented and love, Martha Stewart. Her excellent attentions to detail and mature pallet had made her a leader in the food and lifestyle industry.




New to the food scene, Pluck Tea has wowed blogger, media and your regular tea enthusiasts. Together, beside the main stage, Pluck Tea and Petite and Sweet landscaped their table beautifully by pairing specially tea beverages with yummy baked good. This was the perfect morning delight! 







Pluck Tea is the new kid in town and is getting notice, with their rich distinct taste, carefully selected ingredients and clean packaging, Pluck is making a name for themselves in the gourmet tea world. You can taste their tea at Nota Bene and the Shangri La and purchase some for yourself at McEwan or at their online boutique at here.

Tea sommelier, Jennifer Cummins (below), Pluck's creator and owner, has carefully selected the best ingredients from Prince Edward County and package the tins in down town Toronto. Source from ethical tea partnerships, sustainably managed tea gardens, local, organic, and blended in small batch, Pluck Tea is environmentally conscious, and tastefully delicious.

Follow Pluck Tea on InstagramTwitter + Facebook



Martha cutting the inaugural cake made by Petite and Sweet
(I was literally this close, yes, right in front of the cake!)


Aw shucks, look at Steven, Chris and Martha have a great time in one of her kitchens!



Okay, how cute is this mini outdoor pizza oven? If I had a place to put it, I would have totally picked one up at the show! This is such a great idea for condos or small porches - also a great conversation starter at a BBQ or a fabulous 'new home' gift! You can pick one up at www.uuni.net



 There are times in my life when I swear I could live off cheese I love it so much. When I discover a new brand, I go nuts! Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese has two flavours I could not get enough of - Handeck which was a hard cheese and 5 Brothers which one the grand prize of cheeses! 





A La Carte has delicious salad dressings - my favourite was the truffle lemon + herb!



I could not get enough of this AMAZINGLY carved fruit display!


{Images by Sara} 


xo Sara

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

painting pumpkins on breakfast television

Tuesday morning I was able to show Dina Pugliese how to paint creative pumpkins for the fall on Breakfast Television! Carving pumpkins is a classic family activity to prep your home for Halloween. Carving your pumpkin can be dangerous for young kids and also decreases the lifespan of the pumpkin. Painting is a great way to customize your pumpkins at any age!

The best part about painting pumpkins is you can start a new tradition with family and friends. Move over 'carving', painting is the new game in town!




The Chevron + Gold Glitter Pumpkin
Chevron is a really hot pattern in fashion and interior design so why not paint it on your pumpkin? Since you are working with a pattern, connecting it around the pumpkin can be tricky. Have patience - you might not get it right the first time but it's so worth it in the end!

Materials:
- Painters tape (I used 2" wide)
- Scissors
- Glitter
- Small paint brush
- Paint 




Personalized Small Pumpkins
Dinner parties happen all year round and for such a personal evening, it's nice to put a little personal touch. Place a small pumpkin at each placesetting with the first initial of each guest. This also gives them something nice to take home and remember the evening by.

Materials:
- Small paint brush
- Paint




Bedazzled Pumpkin
Dina took a real liking to this bedazzled pumpkin! The glitz and glam is something that every woman would love. The patterns are endless and so are the ways you glue the gems!

*Tip - when painting your pumpkin yellow, paint the base white first so that the yellow really 'pops'!

Materials:
- Small paint brush
- Paint
- Painters tape (I used 1" wide)
- Gems
- Rubber cement 
- Tweezers 



Rope + Bobble Pumpkin
This pumpkin was the most fun to make and rewarding in the end. Each pumpkin with this style will look a little bit different but that's the beauty of it! If you are looking for that perfect housewarming, new home or fall birthday present - this is that perfect pumpkin.

*Tip - cut the rope into different lengths and map out where you would like the path to go before glueing it down. Glue as much of the rope as you can to keep it secure. 

Materials:
- Small paint brush
- Paint
- Rope
- Small styrofoam balls
- Glue gun
- Scissors 



Cartoon Bobble Pumpkin
Every time I look at this pumpkin, all I see is a future Nickelodeon character!

Materials:
- Small paint brush
- Paint
- Medium styrofoam balls
- Exacto knife
- Glue gun 

{Images via Breakfast Television}


Thank you Deb McCain, PARA Paints and Breakfast Television for this opportunity 
and Dusty backstage of BT for taking pictures!


xo sara

Sunday, October 20, 2013

toronto design exchange party

My gal pal Darcie and I attended the annual Design Exchange party on Friday night in Toronto. Both of us have never been before so we didn't know what to expect. We walked into a room which was filled with beautiful Torontonians and shirtless and buff handsome men handing out flowers . . . we were fine with it! With a delicious drink in hand, the night started off great. PS don't you LOVE Darcie's skirt? It's a must have along with her dangly gold and crystal earrings from South Africa!


If you love pretty things then you should follow Darcie on Instagram + Twitter



There was a stunning floral station where they made you personalized bouquets - we thought we would individualize it with small arrangement of fresh summer flowers for our hair! 


Brandon, Darcie and I decided to have a little fun at the FLARE photo booth!



The party apparently hadn't started yet until we went upstairs and discovered this . . .


Meet Linden . . .





La Carnita was one of the many tacos venders of the night. Below are a few from their tasty selection!


xo sara

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

thanksgiving up north

When falls rolls in there is always lots to be excited about. The leaves start to change to beautiful colours, there is a 3 day weekend (always a plus) and you get to spend quality family time while enjoying a delicious dinner! Nathan and I went for a nature walk up the ski hill beside my cabin. There were lots of families with their dogs around us enjoying the beautiful warm sunny day too! 

Hope you all had a yummy Thanksgiving!


Our boots got a little muddy on our walk! 









xo sara