Super Hip New Store Coming to Leslieville


Ooooooh this is good. The shop next to Leslieville Pumps (at 935 Queen Street East) has had a sign saying “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” in its windows for a long time. Apparently the wait is almost over, because the new shop, called Good Neighbour, is opening as soon as this weekend (according to blogTO).

The boutique will have a “dedicated mini-store” for the Drake General Store and feature collaborations with Love the Design. Swoon!

Working in Coffee Shops with Friends


I’ve been feeling unmotivated at work lately, and have been procrastinating and slacking off. I think it’s end-of-summer malaise. To shake things up a bit, I wrote to a couple of friends who also work from home, and asked if they’d like to meet up in coffee shops and work there instead. The change of scenery is great, and casually co-working with friends is fun. Today we’re at Brickyard Grounds in Leslieville (pictured above).



Where I’ll Be On Sunday


My neighbourhood, Leslieville, is totally the place to be in Toronto on Sunday. The Leslieville Flea will be on at the Ashbridges Estate, and the Leslieville Farmers’ Market is just down the street.  Hitting up both is always a treat, but this Sunday August 17 is extra special… it’s “BaconFest” at the Farmers’ Market. There’s a competition featuring chefs from the Ceili Cottage, The County General Riverside, Glas, Rashers, Skin + Bones, East Side Social and more. You know where to find me on Sunday!

PS – This is my 800th blog post. EIGHT HUNDRED. Whoa.

My Favourite Local Flower Shop Won Big!


My favourite local flower shop, Florabunda, won the American Express Neighbourhood Gems contest for best local small business.  There’s a video on the Globe and Mail website all about them, their prize, and some tips for other local small biz owners.  Oh, and Clara’s wonderful old nanny is in the video (she’s wearing a hat).

Congrats Florabunda!  I’ll be by tomorrow to pick up some goodies…

[photo from Florabunda’s Facebook page]

What’s Your “Go To” Cocktail?




Cocktails are very hip right now.  And no, I’m not talking about martinis – cosmos are sooooooo 2004.  I’m talking about the kind of cocktails your grandparents drink, made from bourbon and whiskey and such.  My usual “go to” is a Dark and Stormy, but last week I was out with Kinnon at Leslieville’s newly opened Hitch (named after Christopher Hitchens, of course), and I tried an Old Fashioned.  It was fantastic – they had it just right.  A little bit bitter, a little orangey… yummy.

Toronto Life did a little feature on Hitch, and so did blogTO.  Doesn’t it look great?  And it’s just around the corner from my house.  My neighbourhood really is the best.

[photos by Jesse Milns for blogTO]

Sticky Toffee Pudding



The recipe for the Ceili Cottage’s sticky toffee pudding is in the Toronto Star today.  Actually, it’s Kyle Deming’s recipe (he used to be the chef at the cottage, and now runs Sausage Partners down the street).  The recipe has been shared before (it was in Toronto Life in 2009), but it’s nice to see it circulating again.  Especially in wintry January, when that stuff would taste soooooo good.

The Yurt (aka Winter Patio) at the Ceili Cottage

If you’ve walked or driven by the Ceili Cottage recently, you may have wondered what the heck that big white thing is.  It’s a yurt!  They have it set up as a winter patio, and it’s fully licensed.  There’s no power [correction: there IS power and heat!] and the inside is lit up with candles and there’s a record player for entertainment.  Apparently it’s quite warm inside, and looks so comfy.

Next time we have a babysitter, we’re going to go check it out.

[images from the Ceili Cottage’s Facebook and Twitter feeds]

What I’ll Be Doing on Sunday… Making Soap!

I just booked my spot for the soap making workshop at Nathalie-Roze & Co in Leslieville this Sunday afternoon.  Here are all the details if you’d like to join me:

“natural SOAP-Making workshop (12 to 3pm)…make your own custom batch with your choice of essential oils & or exfoliants. All supplies included, plus tea/treats served on the break. COST: $65+HST. Call us at the shop, to book your spot & get crafty: 416-792-1699.”

You can also check out the Nathalie-Roze & Co Facebook page if you’d like.

I’m really looking forward to it – I’m hoping to make lavender scented soap.  Mmmmmm.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, whatever you’re up to!

Leslieville Farmer’s Market – Fidel Gastro’s for Father’s Day!

We’ve been out of town for the last 2 weekends, so I haven’t been able to check out the Leslieville Farmer’s Market yet this year.  I’m so psyched to go on Sunday though – popup sandwich superstar Fidel Gastro’s will be at the market.  One of Fidel’s cubano breakfast sandwiches will go perfectly with a coffee and a waffle from the Waffle Bar.  You can read all about the vendors, available produce, and other market news on their website here.

Leslieville Street Sale This Saturday!

A whole bunch of people will be having yard sales and street sales in Leslieville this Saturday, May 12.  At least one shop is participating too – Nathalie-Roze and Co. will be doing a “big purge in the shop/studio (& my apartment)…expect a tempting mix of vintage clothing, home decor, books, craft supplies/fabric & random fabness priced to move. All items will be displayed on the patio at Nathalie-Roze & Co., Queen & Pape ~ 11am-4:30-ish.”

There’s a Facebook group for the street sale, and a bunch of people have listed their addresses and info on what they’re getting rid of.  I know I’ll be out on Saturday, hoping to score some deals on stuff for toddlers!  Hope to see you out and about too.