Pimm Pimm Hooray!

I’ve been on a mini (unintended) hiatus. Between day-to-day work, cottages, planning trips and birthdays, and nice, warm evenings where we’re just aching to get on a patio, Toronto summers are pretty amazing (flooding aside), but can get shockingly busy. To make up for my absence, I’m going to share one of the best drink recipes for summer. It’s the best because it tastes great and, more importantly, it’s super quick to make (so…minimal time to wait before you get to enjoy).

pimms cup

 

Pimm’s Cup Recipe:

What You’ll Need…

Pimm’s No. 1

– Lemonade

– Ginger ale or ginger beer (optional)

– Cucumber

– Mint

– Strawberries

– Orange slices

– ice

What You Need To Do…

In a jug, mix one part Pimm’s with one part lemonade and one part ginger ale/beer. Add sliced cucumber, strawberries and orange slices. Add mint. And add as much ice as you’d like. Stir and serve.

See? Simple.

It’s a great British drink with refreshing summer flavours. Bonus? The fruit soaks up the Pimm’s and tastes delicious!

(p.s. Happy Belated Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!)

 

Loving…

I don’t know how it happens, but there are certain weeks where it feels like I barely see the inside of my own house. The last week has been busy with the long weekend, lots of friends visits, and work creeping up, but I’ve loved getting more and more into the swing of summer (even though we have yet to do much to our balcony…soon, though!)

Listening:

In honour of the Cannes premiere of Ryan Gosling’s new film with the director of Drive, I’m re-listening to the amazing soundtrack from that wonderful movie. The pseudo-80s, techno feel of the songs is all sorts of right. While I’m hoping that the new collaboration – Only God Forgives – will be as epic, it got negative reviews so far (who boos Ryan Gosling!? I mean, really!?)…

Decorating:

My iPhone case with these tongue-in-cheek stickers (made from REAL wood!). Thanks, Alli, for sharing these with me.

From Indigo

From Indigo

Craving:

Some food truck food (thinking: Toronto Underground Market (TUM) style). There’s something about food on-the-go from a quality vendor (not hot dogs) that just makes my mouth salivate. I was so happy when I heard that there would be food vendors at the Field Trip Festival in June – can’t wait!

Wanting:

A bathroom tray to hold the odds and ends that seem to accumulate…as simple as it may seem, I’ve been on the hunt for one for quite some time.

c/o West Elm.

c/o West Elm.

Happy last weekend of May (where does the time go!?)!

Poppa-corn

Summer time is movie time. This seems a bit counterintuitive, because it’s the nice time of year where there isn’t snow or blistering cold winds or layers upon layers of clothing that still isn’t warm enough. We should all be outside, enjoying every last morsel of sun, but summertime also happens to be the time for blockbuster movies. While I’m a huge movie fan, I think for me, going to the cinema is mostly about the experience rather than the picture itself. And a large part of that experience is the popcorn.

popcorn

But here’s the deal with cinema popcorn – as amazing as it tastes (especially if you do like I do and double – sometimes triple – layer butter on it), it’s pretty much as far away from a healthy snack as you can get. So knowing that I’m trying to be (a little) healthier and that my metabolism is just nearing that age where it’s about to give up on me completely, I scoured around for some make-it-at-home popcorn recipes that hit the spot without all the badness. These recipes you can take with you, or enjoy when you’re catching up on something from the comfort of your own couch on a rainy Sunday. Also, in the move we gave up having a microwave so I have to find a replacement for the 1 minute, 15 seconds land of popcorn readiness.

– First, the popcorn: if you really want to be a purist and are absolutely dying to make popcorn that isn’t Jiffy Pop, this recipe from Simply Recipes seems to do the trick. Old school, stove-top, deliciously crunchy popcorn.

– Then, the flavour: if you’re going to do it, do it right and don’t just add butter. I love this recipe for spicy caramel popcorn from Smitten Kitchen because you get the flavour as you cook the popcorn. For something a little more savoury, this garlic, thyme and parmesan recipe sounds like it hits the spot – cheesy popcorn is the best. And, of course, there’s the salty popcorn, which takes a twist with this recipe that adds honey to it for a perfect mix of sweet and salty. 

– Finally, have some fun: popcorn’s great and all but it’s even better in ball form. Kind of like rice crispy squares, popcorn balls just make something great that much greater. Here’s a traditional popcorn ball recipe c/o Martha Stewart – but you can add your own twist to it by seasoning the popcorn, adding caramel, chocolate, or anything else your heart desires.

popcorn balls

 

Gingham Style

gingham

Ok, so I’m fairly sure that the “Gingham Style” joke has been made before…a lot. That aside, I’d like today to talk about that ever-popular pattern – gingham. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with it. On the one hand, I love how some of it looks. On the other…it seems to be everywhere, which given the boldness of the pattern, can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. But I’d like to start embracing it a bit more as part of that “rustic chic” I love so much. It reminds me of The Wizard of Oz, and it’s so classic vintage.

Gingham is typically found in clothing (like these men’s shirts or this woman’s skirt), but in the last while, it’s making a big debut in homes, too:

Couch: bold gingham against a muted, neutral background

Couch: bold gingham against a muted, neutral background, via CB2

 

Tea Towel: picnic-in-the-park feel, all the time

Tea Towel: picnic-in-the-park feel, all the time, via West Elm

 

Table Runner: looks so great against a wood table.

Table Runner: looks so great against a wood table, via Pottery Barn

 

Storage Basket: adds a pop of pattern to ordinary storage

Storage Basket: adds a pop of pattern to ordinary storage, via Bed, Bath and Beyond

 

Plates and Cutlery: perfect for springtime and backyard dining.

Plates and Cutlery: perfect for springtime and backyard dining, via Elle Decor

While I’m still looking on how to best add a splash of gingham to the apartment, I think it’s a perfect spring/summer pop of colour that brings to mind barbecues and picnics in the park. In my opinion, this pattern does well with subtlety so while I would likely not buy an entire gingham couch, I do love the idea of having some napkins, or a set of plates around for a bit of en vogue flash.

If you’re looking for some more ideas on decorating with gingham, you can read this article at Apartment Therapy, or check out the writeup in Elle Decor. I’m also sure your grandparents have some gingham hanging around that you can use (after all, what was popular once tends to become popular again at some point)!