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pc home summer collection: get ’em while it’s not hot

May 12

With this weekend being the unofficial start of summer your thoughts may be turning to outfitting your patio, porch, deck or balcony with some new  and summery furniture and accessories. Well PC Home has a fabulous lineup this summer, that I was lucky enough to preview back on a bitterly cold day in February. These refreshing, forward thinking and colourful designs, including furniture, dishes, BBQs, beach towels, pillows and more are joyously filling the void that the funky wares of the exited Target Canada left behind.

Now that the warm weather is here, you too can admire and pick up full range of these value-priced beauties at Real Canadian Superstore, but only while supplies last. So get ’em before the really hot weather arrives.

PC Home summer - saf affect

colourful PC Home dishes - saf affect

Yup, these beauties are unbreakable, ideal for outdoor use.

coloured muskoka chairs PC Home - saf affect

Prepainted Muskoka chairs are comfy and hard-wearing.

plasticware PC Home - saf affect

indoor outdoor side tables PC Home - saf affect

These folding tables with removable trays would look good indoors and out.

furniture an bbqs PC home - saf affect

bio degradable dishes PC Home - saf affect

This dishware is gorgeous and environmental – it’s biodegradable!

For more on this gorgeous range of outdoor furniture and accessories, check out the Outdoor Living lookbook:

PC Home Lookbook Summer 2015 - saf affect

cinco de mayo T.O.

April 29

Cinco-de-Mayo - LCBO - saf affect

Spring might only be a third of the way through but the LCBO (Ontario’s liquor store) is anticipating the return of summer by celebrating the spirit of Mexico’s victory holiday, Cinco de Mayo.

A good friend of mine is leading the PR charge for this event and she knew that as one who enjoys to sip and savour tequila (yes, that is a sophisticated option for this tasty beverage), that I’d be all up for this event featuring cocktails, modern Mexican tapas, a mariachi band and more.

And you can join in on the festivities too!

When: Tuesday May 5, 2015 | 6:30pm to 10:00pm

Where: The Drake Hotel | 1150 Queen West, Toronto, ON

Tickets: $15 at the door

it’s church sale season

April 23

While on this cool, crisp Toronto April day it feels like mother nature has taken a bit of a step back in seasons, it’s a bit tough to imagine waiting in line in anticipation of the doors of a church rummage sale swinging open. But even if I have to bundle up, that’s what I’ll be doing this coming Saturday. Bring on the thrifting!

rummage sale finds - saf affect

Here are a few of my favourite upcoming church rummage sales in the west end of Toronto:

Saturday April 25, 2015

Kingsway-Lambton United | 85 The Kingsway
8:00am to 1:00pm

Saturday May 2, 2015

Humbercrest United Church | 16 Baby Point Road
8:30am to 12:30pm

All Saints’ Kingsway Anglican | 2850 Bloor Street West
8:30am to 1:00pm

Friday May 8 & Saturday May 9, 2015

St. Demetrius the Great Martyr church | 135 La Rose Ave
Friday: 11:00am to 7:00pm | Saturday: 10:00am to 3:00pm.

rummage sale - saf

don’t throw that out! delectables from compostables

March 24

Just the other day as I was peeling an orange rind into my green bin, I thought to myself that in the ‘olden days’ this peel would not have been discarded but rather candied for a future treat or turned into marmalade or such.

While I don’t leverage rind into a new food-stuffs, I do try to use most food to its most. For instance, I now have three litres of duck stock in my freezer having made it from the carcass of a duck my boyfriend roasted for dinner one evening, that I just couldn’t throw away. Must make risotto soon.

Hawthorne Green Living Show Preview - saf affect

So I was excited to try a few delectables from compostables a number of chefs prepared at a Green Living Show kick-off event the other night at Hawthorne Food and Drink. These tasty morsels included standard and more unusual throw-aways such as chicken skin, kale stems and tongue!

You too can enjoy these delights and more, along with other local food and drink at the Green Living Show this coming weekend (March 27 to 29, 2015.) Themed as The Mindful Plate: Delicious ways to shrink your foodprint, Ontario chefs will inspire attendees to cook delicious meals using local misshaped vegetables and ingredients that are commonly overlooked, offering tips on how to get creative with leftovers and have a greener kitchen.

Hawthorne Chicken Chicharron Crisps - saf affect

Chicken Chicharron Crisps with Whole Chicken and Carrot Kimchi

Hawthorne Food and Drink

Root Veggie Pakaora Wild Organic Oat Smoothie

Wild Organic Berry Oat Smoothie with Wild Flower Honey Yogurt and Hemp Heart Sunflower Seed Crumble

Root Vegetable Pakora Skillet Cakes with Tart-Apple Reduction, Crisp Winter Slaw & Toasted Broken Caramelized Seeds

VEGHED Fresh Bar

Cured Cow Tongue Slider - saf affect

Cured Cow Tongue Sliders with Haitian Pikliz

Urban Acorn

Green Living Show wine and beer - saf affect

 

is life really that random?

March 20

On a quiet walk through Toronto’s Kensington Market early this morning, when only the coffee shops and produce stores are open, I came across this vintage, old and rusty CIL / Dulux paint can quite randomly sitting in the middle of the road.

I barely had a moment to snap these photos before a City of Toronto street crew member came up from behind and scooped it up for the trash.

random paint can in kensington toronto - CIL Dulux - saf affect

random paint can - CIL Dulux - saf affect

While the instance of this lone and forlorn paint can in the middle of the street may seem random, fully random it isn’t as these two paint brands are actually my clients! And it is rare that I would be in Kensington Market so early on a Friday morning, as I only just this week decided to start joining my boyfriend on his walk to work in the mornings, emerging finally from the cold grip of winter and building some more physical activity into my day. As well, my route back home could take me any one of  many choices of many different paths.

Is life really as random as we may think?

spring is near?

February 26

Despite these continuing cold, cold temperatures in Toronto and this month going down as the coldest February ever, it felt like warmer weather is nearby at two spring previews I went to yesterday.

The Home Depot​ Canada revealed a few creative outdoor vignettes that utilized only items found at The Home Depot. #SpringStartsHere

home depot spring preview - Home Depot Canada

Loblaws​ home brands profiled some of their gorgeous, colourful, warm weather lines. #PCHomeSpring

pc spring preview - saf affect

Stay tuned for more details and stay positive that this cold weather will pass!

feeding a cold with ‘you gotta eat here’ comfort food

January 28

After a week that has had me battling some sniffles and coughs, I’m happy to be on the upswing. And I am looking forward to feeding this finally fleeing cold with some comfort food at the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here! season four premiere launch party Friday evening.

You Gota Eat Here - food network

You Gotta Eat Here host John Catucci travels Canada (and this season, south of the border) for the country’s most delicious, mouthwatering, over-the-top comfort food. The drool-worthy dishes featured allow for culinary viewing indulgences without the calories.

But as this week of sickness proved, sometimes you just need to actually eat a favourite comfort food rich in carbs, fat and flavour. Over the years I’ve collected a few of my favourite recipes here on my blog, including (below, clockwise from top left) slow cooker turkey pot pie, potato pancakes, Chinese chicken wings, and cheese grits. Time again for some comfort food home cooking!

Catch the You Gotta Eat Here! season four premiere Friday January 30th at 9:00pm ET on Food Network Canada.

comfort food recipes - saf affect

the week that will be: design & wine

January 20

After a much needed rejuvenating vacation south, I’m back in the swing of things with a week filled with design and wine.

Wednesday evening I’m returning to my design alma mater, Ryerson University School of Interior Design, to participate in a round-table format career evening for current interior design students. I’m excited to be on a panel with others, like myself, who will be chatting about alternative career paths for those with a degree in interior design. At the time I graduated I didn’t think or really know of possibilities beyond being an interior designer, but I am thrilled that my dynamic career now includes design marketing, communications and social media consulting.

ryerson career night 2015 - saf affect

Kicking off with the opening party Thursday evening, the Interior Design Show returns in Toronto for the 2015 edition. On until Sunday, IDS15, as in every year, helps to shape the residential design industry for the year to come. The 17th edition of Canada’s design fair celebrates leading brands, innovative speakers and rising local talents, including  spotlights on Canadian-made products and small-batch designers.

Click here to read up on my posts from previous years’ show…

Toronto IDS15 Interior Design Show - saf affect

Saturday I’m heading down to Niagara Falls, ON to take in this world wonder and to sample a bit of ice wine at the last weekend of this year’s Niagara Icewine Festival.

Niagara Falls Icewine Festival 2015

I’ll also be sure to stop by a few of my favourite wineries en route, in the Beamsville Bench area and Niagara-on-the-Lake, including saying hello at Rancourt Winery, a lovely little place (managed by a good friend) that turns out some fantastic and affordable wines crafted by a young and talented wine maker.

Rancour Winery Niagara on the Lake ON

then & now: high park gates from Christmas day past

December 23

One of my favourite pastimes (and on some days, a procrastinating mechanism – case in point, I should be wrapping Christmas presents!) is to gaze at old photos of Toronto and other cities. This morning I found myself lost for bit in the City of Toronto photo archives and came across this timely oldie (taken on December 25, 1925) of High Park Blvd. at Parkside Dr. looking east through the grand High Park Alexandra Gates. While many of the stately homes that line this street are now carved into apartments, these beautiful gates retain their original prominence at the entrance to the park.

While it was a white Christmas that year (which isn’t to be the case for here this year, with temperatures forecast to push 10ºC!), I wish wish everyone a safe and happy green Christmas and a prosperous 2015!

then & now: high park blvd looking west on Christmas Day 1925

 

before & after: a lumpy sofa to a plumpy sofa

November 25

While at first I quite liked that my now 12-year-old sofa had feather-topped seat cushions, over time this became less of a luxury and more of a pain in the behind – literally. The soft little feathers became thorns in my side when they consistently worked their way through the fabric, poking aggravatingly as they did so. The seat backs became all slouchy as well, creating a lumpy, bumpy mess.

bumpy sofa - saf affect

plumpy sofa - saf affect

So, reaching my limit, I decided to do some DIY to improve the situation.

To fix the back cushions, I removed, plumped and flipped the soft fill, reforming them as I reinserted them into the seat backs.

bumpy sofa seat - saf affect

plumpy sofa seat - saf affect

Fixing the seat cushions was a little more involved. After sliding the cushions covers off, I first had to remove the sewn-in feather and fibre inserts. I was mostly careful to cut along most of the seams, however I got a little overconfident and with one tug I ripped open one of the seams. While crestfallen, a talented seamstress was able to sew it up with no issue, thank goodness.

a feathery mess - saf affect

Replacing the rigid foam of seat cushions is a great way to refresh an old sofa, however my sofa’s foam seats were in great shape, so all I did was flip them. I used spray adhesive to glue a layer of washable, non-allergenic, mildew resistant, compressed polyester cushioning in place of the feather inserts. I picked up a 30″ x 78″, 1 1/2″ thick slab of this 100% polyester Fibre Form-Ext by Doubletext at the Toronto Len’s Mill Stores for $20.99. I struggled to slide back on the first cushion cover, but then learned the ‘roll it up like you’re putting a stocking’ trick worked far easier.

soft upholstery foam - saf affect

plump sofa cushions - saf affect

While the compressed polyester gives less of a relaxed look, I can certainly relax a lot better now that I’m not having to constantly vacuum up errant feathers.

 

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