Covet Garden

Covet Garden is a new Toronto-based online lifestyle magazine.   In their own words, “Covet Garden is for folks who are curious about real spaces. We take a peek into the homes and lives of some of the city’s most interesting people—spaces that have not been styled by interior decorators. Covet Garden is inspirational, not aspirational.”

I like it because it’s short – it’s more like a story book than a magazine, as it features one family/one dwelling in each issue.  And of course, because it’s Toronto-based, all of the sources are handy.  And I love that the first two issues feature families in the East End – proving once again that my neighbourhood is where it’s at.  Make a cup of tea, and spend 15 minutes reading Covet Garden – you won’t be disappointed.  Read the first issue online (for free) here, and the second issue here.

In the ‘Hood: GUFF

Just around the corner from my house in Leslieville is a fantastic antique furniture store called GUFF.  It stands for Great Used Furniture Finds.  They have mostly mid-century modern stuff, but there are a few other things thrown in there too.  I love the pieces they bring in, and the best part is the pricing – these are seriously reasonable prices.  I check the GUFF blog regularly to see what they get in – pieces usually sell quickly (probably because of the amazing pricing), so it’s a case of the early bird getting the worm.  Have a look, or if you’re in the ‘hood, pop by the store itself at 1142 Queen St East (just west of Jones).

Eatin’ in the ‘hood: Queen Margherita Pizza

[image above taken from the Globe and Mail review by Joanne Kates; photo by Fernando Morales]

Ian and I checked out Queen Margherita Pizza on Saturday night with a friend.  We didn’t intentionally try to go on the same day a good review came out in the Globe and Mail, but that’s the way things worked out.  We wanted something yummy and not-too-fancy within walking distance, and had heard good things about Queen Margherita.  So we headed around the corner, without a reservation, thinking that if they couldn’t accommodate us, we’d go to the Ceili Cottage, or any of the other awesome restos in Leslieville.

The guy at the door was friendly and helpful – it was around 8pm on a Saturday, and he told us that normally we wouldn’t be able to get a table for 3 until 10pm.  But he happened to have one coming up if we could wait 10 minutes.  So we waited, and were seated within 10-15 minutes.  Impressive!

The place is casual and cozy, with lots of beat-up wood floors and beams, and old-timey windows (with the original window panes and lead).  I figure those are going to be cold in the winter, but for now, they’re great.  There’s a giant wood-fired pizza oven down at one end of the dining room.  The menu is simple – you can do a prix fixe with a starter, a pizza and a desert, or you can just order pizza.  Mine was delicious, with a nice thin crust, and it was so big that I could only eat half of it and had to take the rest home for lunch the next day.  Decent prices too – the prix fixe is $25, and pizzas are between $13 and $17.

In The ‘Hood: Telegramme Prints

Yesterday Ian and I decided to take advantage of all the gorgeous weather and go for a walk in our neighbourhood.  There are so many new shops and restaurants – we wanted to check out all the latest and greatest.  So we walked west from our place along Queen St all the way to Logan, and then back.  I picked up an old treasure at a new shop (Highway 11) – a vintage RCMP mechanical desktop calendar.  So cool!

Highway 11 is a new store next to one of our favourites – Telegramme Prints.  We have a bunch of graphic prints in our house, including a few gig screen prints we bought online.  That was before we knew about Telegramme, and how they import prints from some of the coolest designers (Aesthetic Apparatus, Decoder Ring Design, etc).  Telegramme does gorgeous custom framing too – we picked up this North by Northwest poster and had it matted and framed.  It looks amazing in our living room.

Telegramme is featuring prints by Shinzi Katoh that I just love.  There’s something about them that screams “kids room” but I also think one of these would look great just about anywhere.  Now to decide which one I like the most…

Eatin’ in the ‘hood: Chick ‘n Joy

Last night, Ian and I walked over to Chick ‘n Joy to pick up some fried chicken.  Yep, fried chicken.  Just like KFC, but actually home-made.  And much better tasting (although, probably not much better for your health).

We had walked by Chick ‘n Joy for years, always thinking it looked a bit shady.  Or, maybe not shady, but not worth stopping for.  Then we read this article about Chick ‘n Joy on BlogTO, and thought we had to try it.  The writer is correct – the bright yellow gravy was a bit off-putting at first.  But it’s real (made with corn flour), and it tasted amazing.

Next time you have a hankerin’ (yep, I said hankerin’) for fried chicken, skip the KFC and go to Chick ‘n Joy instead.

Get a Tune Up

I sit in front of a glowing box (aka – my computer, which I refer to as “the hot snot” – but that’s a story for another time) for hours and hours at a time.  And that eventually takes its toll on my neck, back, shoulders, and forearms.  I love my regular Pilates, which usually works out the kinks… but every once and a while, I need a serious tune up.

So I go see Michelle Yee, aka The Soft Mechanic.  Michelle is an amazing Registered Massage Therapist, and she works out of her home, which is in my neighbourhood.  So I can just walk over, which I love.

Michelle is so friendly and lovely.  And she has a great mix on her iPod of Feist, Ryan Adams, and Great Lake Swimmers, which she plays during my massage.  Because that “spa music” with the birds and classical music is SO overrated.