Let's Go to the EX! (a little movie)


Yesterday, the Canadian National Exhibition opened their doors for the 2015 season and Lenny and I could not have been more excited.  To celebrate our inaugural visit, I made a little movie on my phone. Hope you like it. :)

Next time, we're finding that Frosted Flakes Chicken. I'm too curious not to try it.

Latest Obsession: Art from Minted


I get approached every week by various websites and businesses looking for me to do reviews or help them bring attention to their brands.  If I'm being honest, 9 times out of 10 I decline because, well, who has the time? Also, there are few things I like less than saying something phoney on this website in an attempt to help someone I don't know create buzz for a business I don't care about. I tried it a couple of times and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

But, oh, you guys. This week, I got an email from Minted. Once in a while a brand comes along that makes you stop what you were doing for half an hour while you pore over every inch of their website. Stop the digital presses, you yell to yourself, I have got to tell everyone about this place!

First and foremost, Minted is purveyor of fine stationary, invitations and the like. There are beautiful selections on the front page that would make any event planner or bride giddy.  But, you know, I ain't no event planner and nobody was invited to our wedding so I wasn't sure there was anything there for me.

Until I stumbled on their home decor and art.

Stop. The. Presses.

Minted brings you the best in indie design from a global community of artists and designers.   Yes, there are other ways to connect with artists in online marketplaces (I have lots of original art from Etsy on my walls) but from where I sit, nobody makes it easier than Minted. You like that piece? You can buy it! You want it framed? They'll do that! And then, they send it to your house! I know, I know, but I'm old enough to remember a time before online shopping and frankly, the miracle of it still surprises me sometimes.

Passive, a limited edition print by artist Kelly Ventura was the first piece to catch my eye.  It's available in a variety of sizes and price points with different options for frames, should you choose to have it framed.

I think we all know that this Foil Map of Louisiana by GeekInkDesign belongs in my house.

This photograph, Pining for Pineapples by Joni Tyrrell is so whimsical and fun. Besides, pineapples are so hot right now. (Related: check out my Pinterest board on Pineapples)

Minted boasts a fantastic selection of Typographic Art, pieces for nurseries (can you say shower gift?), custom art including these fabulous family trees and, perhaps my favourite, all these lovely mixed media works.

If you're looking for design inspiration, tips and even some free printables be sure to check out the Minted blog, julep.

Happy Shopping!

Summer Reading List


Tonight at bedtime I got a little too excited telling Lenny about the reading incentive programs they used to have at the Toronto Public Library when I was growing up. You'd get a piece of paper stamped every time you read a book. That was the big incentive. What? I remember it being so exciting. Reading was the reward, I guess. It got me to thinking about what I want to put on my reading list this Summer. Here's where I'm at so far...

1. Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht - Before we knew who Aliza Licht was, we were all following @DKNYPRGirl on Twitter. I'm looking forward to Licht's insights into Social Media.

2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler - What's weird is that I haven't read this yet.

3. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso - I'm not sure about this one, to be honest. I can't decide if I'm going to find her annoying or inspiring. I guess the only way to find out is to read the book. And I'm curious enough to do that, so bonus points for that, Amoruso.

4. Believer by David Axelrod - I think I might be in love with David Axelrod, so it would be kind of rude if I didn't read his book this Summer, right?

5. Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard - It's a memoir with recipes. I think that qualifies as delightful Summer reading, don't you? It sounds vaguely escapist, which is just what the doctor ordered sometimes, especially if you find yourself on the beach or poolside.

6. Serve It Forth by MFK Fisher - Last year one of my Summer reads was Provence 1970, written by Fisher's nephew Luke Barr. I loved every page of that book. Barr really brought the people it was about alive. Julia Child, James Beard and most especially, Fisher. I've been excited to dive into her work ever since.

7. The Gastronomical Me by MFK Fisher - Because I have a feeling one isn't going to be enough. And I want to be MFK Fisher when I grow up.

8. A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain - Because I've read all the other books he's written. Damn it, Tony! Write a new book!

9. Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods - This is Young Adult Fiction, but after reading my friend Tanya Gough's wonderful YA novel Root Bound, I'm more open to that than I used to be. I imagine it will be a quick, compelling read, with a New Orleans backdrop. Who knows? Maybe in a couple of years it will be something that Lenny and I can read together (I know we'll be reading Root Bound)!

10. Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz For Justice by Tad Hershorn - I love Hershorn's writing and Granz is a personal hero. I can't wait to dig into this!

11. Can You Hear Me Now? by Michael Eric Dyson - It's been a good 5 years since I've read any Dyson and this seems like the right place to get my fill this Summer. He's got a way with words, this man.

12. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris - Because this is the only Sedaris I haven't read yet and I need to rectify that as soon as possible. I saw him speak recently with my friend Sarah and it was such a delight. He's so special. And weird. I just love him. Sedaris is the only author other than Wodehouse who's ever made me fall into hysterical fits of giggles on public transit. That's some sort of a litmus test, as far as I'm concerned.

Lenny is doing remarkably well learning how to read in JK and she wants to do more of it. So, we'll be keeping up our routine of board books that she can read by herself and Curious George and Pete the Cat books that we can read together. I think she's ready to put some big kid chapter books into rotation too.  It's so hard to know where to start!

1. The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill - while it's true we've already read this to her at least twice, it's still my all time favourite and the fact that she loves it too means we're going to read it over and over again. That's just how it's going to be.

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - because I think maybe it's OK if she breaks her heart a little bit? Maybe? I'm still on the fence about this one. Not sure I can handle having my heart broken like this again. But it's so good! Decisions, decisions.

3. The BFG - by Roald Dahl - I think this is a good place to start with Dahl? I think? And Sophie is such a fun character and the BFG is so muddled up and loveable. It's definitely gateway Dahl, and that's what I'm looking for.

4. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary - Speaking of gateway...she's already seen the movie and loves little Ralph. I, of course, was obsessed with all things Beverly Clearly as a girl, so I'm super excited to get Len started this Summer first Ralph...then...

5. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary - RAMONA! I don't need to say anything more than that, do I? (Well, that's not true. I will say that if I can't find the cover art seen above I'll be pissed. That's the only Ramona I care to know, visually anyway).

6. Ribsy by Beverly Cleary - My kid loves dogs. This will be an easy sell. And it's a great book. Henry Huggins is such fun. Ahhhh! I can't wait!

Any tips? What do you think is missing from my list? What are you planning on reading this Summer?

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