Thursday, March 31, 2011

ursa minor studio pouch and adventure collections

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I was so excited yesterday to receive a small round package in my mailbox. My little leather pouch from URSA MINOR studio had arrived! I started fantasizing about all the things I could use it for...

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Inspired by photos of collections and especially some great photos from a blog called whole larder love (collection one, river collection, and knife collection) I found this bag to be the perfect size for:

taking a little afternoon trip into the woods:

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collecting and documenting plant samples:

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running away:

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a night on the town:

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bringing lunch to work:

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Or I guess you could use it as a make-up bag too... although it seems too pretty for something so 'everyday'. It made me want to get myself some fancy new make-up to put inside it.

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Really this is a beautifully designed bag of the highest quality (and I am only moderately biased as the designer is my sister). I think it would hold up to any adventure you decide to take it on. Find it and other designs at the URSA MINOR etsy shop.

Update: Very special news if you are now wishing for an URSA MINOR pouch, or tunic, or scarf, etc. you can use a special discount code just for being readers of this blog. Just type in anemonefriends at the etsy checkout and it's good for 15% off any purchase for the month of April! Holy smokes. Thanks to Ursa Minor for such a great gift!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

missing europe: croissant lunch

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This here is pretty much my favorite thing to eat. If I had to choose a last meal, I would choose something like this, except maybe with even more variety, and I would take my sweet time savouring every bite. Other good variations include: light rye bread with smoked salmon and hummus, smoked applewood cheddar with raspberry jam, pears with prosciutto, chevre, and honey. Delicious with strongly brewed and strongly sweetened coffee (although would also be great with Pinot Gris...)

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just waking up to sleeping cats and dead flowers

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{tulips and daffodils I had filled the house with last week for my mom's brief visit}

Good morning. I slept in a little today, seeing as how it's my day off. Poor Joseph was kept up all night by the cats (or rather the one horrible, evil, white kitten) running around. The cats and I are still trying to calm down — I can't imagine Joseph is fairing very well working out in the rain. Here at home we're listening to Carol King and baking croissants. I have something else that came in the mail to show you, perhaps I will do that tomorrow. 

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Monday, March 28, 2011

europe in 1919: raymond biesinger

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I received a very special package in the mail last week: it was a belated birthday present from my brother-in-law, Raymond Biesinger. I had been coveting this map of Europe that Raymond designed, which hangs in his and my sister's house, for quite some time and I made a point of mentioning that last time I saw him. Well lucky for me he was planning on having the poster (or risk board if you are so inclined) re-printed and he sent one to me as a gift. I can't wait to get it framed and hanging on the wall.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

"let me try booting it"

Just finding funny videos during Earth hour. Sometimes I want to give my apple the boot too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

kittens, sunsets, & flowers

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Ruby (the grey tabby) is a completely different cat in the sunnier months. Once the sun rolls around enough that it actually sets in the apartment and she is able to bathe, her whole attitude shifts: she is calm and patient with the kitten, but also energetic and playful. I think she suffers from seasonal affective disorder.

The other night Ruby taught Mingus one of her most important lessons yet: the art of sunbathing. Pretty soon there will be more sun to go around, but right now you have to take what you can get (and taking is what Mingus is good at).

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

tuscan white bean soup with kale and bacon

The weather in Vancouver yesterday was beautiful! Sunny and warm, the forsythia is in bloom, prunis and cherry not far behind. I can see green poking out on the lilac bushes. The wind is warm. Still, it's a transitional season and I needed a transitional meal: the spring bounty isn't here just yet.

Tuscan white bean soup is so easy. I glanced at a recipe online and also at the Rebar cookbook and then just winged it. Roasted garlic with thyme, slow roasted tomatoes, bacon, kale, carrots, red pepper, how can you go wrong? Seasoned with oregano, chipotle puree, spanish paprika and salt and pepper (don't forget a couple bay leaves) — so simple. (I didn't have any rosemary, but I would have used some if I did).

It's a hearty winter soup really, but because of the Tuscan inspired flavours (arguably not that Tuscan) the soup feels good even in warm weather — kind of like the paella I made the other day. I wasn't sure this soup would work out, so I was so pleased when I took my first bites. It's definitely worth the time of slow roasting the tomatoes and garlic. Serve with parmesan cheese if you're like me.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

that spring wedding bouquet

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Here's that spring wedding bouquet I mentioned the other day. I wish I could show you the couple's faces - they are so happy - but I'll let them reveal themselves when they are ready. The bouquet Chrissy put together at Greenstems is beautiful and I know exactly how intoxicating it smelled. A dozen or so of us stood in the rain atop a little hill behind the Granville Island hotel; it was chilly and wet, but still so full of smiles and love that we kept very warm.

{all my love to you both}

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

west coast paella and longer days

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The time change is a true momentous occasion for bloggers, who like me work a full-time 'day' job. Being able to come home and enjoy the sunset from our balcony, go make a sunshine inspired meal and still have time to photograph it? You can't do much better than that.
Last year a fishmonger opened up in my neighbourhood (which I was so excited about) and I have finally had the chance to shop there and take advantage of not only the seafood available on my block, but also my general proximity to the ocean.

Ever since returning from Spain where my sister and I enjoyed paella from a giant cauldron at our hostel in Granada, I have been dreaming of paella. I made it once last year, but was too nervous to go to the fishmonger and also too nervous to try cooking mussels, so I used the teeny shrimps from the grocery store. Last week while dealing with a temporarily broken computer I stopped to buy prawns on my way home. I didn't want to go anywhere near the mussels without google to guide me, but figured what the hell? So after a quick tutorial from the woman working the counter I was walking home with ten dollars worth of mussels, prawns, and scallops. 

This paella was so good! I used a short grain brown rice and it was creamy and delicious. It's funny how good peasant food is sometimes. It seems every culture has some sort of stew to use up what is on hand and those are always my favorite sorts of meals. Paella is nice because it suits the summer or winter. In an effort to listen to my own advice and eat more beans and veggies, I added kidney beans, celery, and broccolini, in addition to the usual red peppers and peas. 

God I love paella. 
p.s. cooking mussels is so easy.

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new spring sunset vancouver

Monday, March 21, 2011

orange & pink wedding flowers, recycled

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A friend of mine got married recently in a very last minute, low-key ceremony. I wasn't even sure if she would have flowers, so I took it upon myself to grab a handful on my way to the wedding just in case. The ceremony was really sweet and I am very happy for the loving couple. As it turned out she had a bouquet ready, so I just took these home when it was all over (what can I say? I wasn't just going to leave them there!) 
The ranunculus here are so stunning in tropical fruity colours with the green centres — I love them. Also included: a few stems of pink anemones, peach hyacinth, roses (err... milva maybe? I am blanking on the name) and eucalyptus. It was a small, bright and fragrant bouquet and I enjoyed having it greatly. People should get married more often — I make a great witness! (It was my fourth time being an official witness to a wedding, and my third time having next to no idea going into the wedding that I would be acting as witness).

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Oh I just want to clarify for the sake of my own ego that I literally grabbed these flowers and tied them — I was in and out in less than five minutes. I do realize it's not a proper wedding bouquet. (plus I was on a budget!)

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