At Home in Montreal


At the end of last week, Hubby and I fled the country for a few days and were able to check off 1/5 of my 30 Before 30 #2 goal: Visit 5 places I've never been.  Since Montreal is only about a 5 hour drive away, we thought it was the perfect location for a quick getaway. One of the highlights of the trip for me was the Griffintown Cafe.  The design-nerd in me had found home.


It definitely had a vintage European- meets hipster vibe to it (without trying to hard or being snooty) and I dug it.


Not only was the food awesome (Hubby got a gruyere grilled cheese sandwich, and I got a salad with grilled veggies and goat cheese), but they mixed antiques and modern elements in the decor expertly.


The environment was very casual with chalkboard menus, exposed brick, and vintage-inspired "whiskey" water bottles.


The exposed kitchen sported a punched tin clad vent-hood (which I regrettably wasn't able to get a decent picture of) and mason jars filled with spices.  One of my favorite things probably was the mix of cabinetry.  The kitchen side had light lower cabinets with dark stained doorless cabinets above while the adjacent bar was a mid-tone wood with open shelving.  If it hasn't been obvious with my recent kitchen renovation, mixing tones like that makes me weak in the knees.


My affinity for this cafe certainly wasn't hurt by the fact that it's in a neighborhood with several fascinating antique stores.

The Griffintown Cafe will definitely be a must-stop if we ever take another trip to Montreal!


Sugar High

Clark's MLS listing is LIVE!!!  That means I have only a few days to scramble and finish everything on my To Do list before the open house Saturday!  Friday I'll be sharing the complete reveal- are you as excited as I am?  You should be! I'm definitely looking forward to a mini-'vacation' as we look for our next flip, though.  I gave myself this whole weekend off and I'm not sure my body knew what to do with itself.  Maybe after this week I'll finally get to my neglected projects around here (I'm talking to you sexy secretary desk).

I was originally planning to save this for my Pinterest Challenge post on Wednesday, but why wait?  I might even do a second project for the pinterest challenge then too.  We'll see.


Guess who turned ONE on Cinco de Mayo!

Eli birthday

Yup, Cutest Nephew Ever, Eli, celebrated his first birthday this weekend.  And Auntie Karen was tasked with the cake(s).

I may not cook, but I do bake every blue moon.  The last fancy cake I made was for my friend's baby shower 2.5 year ago, so I guess it was about time.

The main cake was inspired by animal prints that I made for his nursery last year, modeled after ones I saw on Etsy.  (decorations are gumpaste and the frosting is this recipe.  There was also a penguin face on the other side that I didn't get a pic of)  I really like how this cake came out

elis cake

but Eli's smash cake just makes me smile

elis one

Smartie pants figured out what to do with it pretty quickly and required a wardrobe change after the mess he made (the way it should be!)

eli cake

Pinterest was a GREAT inspiration for these cakes because I was kind of figuring out the designs as I went along.  These pins were my top inspirations for his little cake:

sprinkles cake

dotted banner cake

I'm very pleased to say that all of the huge cake and Eli's cake were gone by the end of the party- I even saw people going back for seconds!

Oh, and if you need a great stress reliever, throwing handfuls of sprinkles at a mini cake is definitely a good time.  Just sayin...

Are you planning on participating in the Pinterest Challenge this season?  I'd love to see your projects! Link them up in the Comments section!

Holla at my Peeps

Ahhh Spring at last.  Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and Peeps are combusting. Wait...... What??.....

Let me break it down for you.  Spring is also the time of year when stores become overrun with sugary, colorful marshmallow Peeps.  So where, you may ask, does the combusting come in?


Microwave + Peeps = delicious hilarity

So, today I will answer for you, the age old question:

How do you blow up a Peep?

You begin with an unsuspecting Peep on a microwave safe plate.  They look so peaceful before they realize their fate.

Into the microwave he goes.  I did learn a valuable lesson through this process: It is very difficult to take a picture of something in the microwave!  Who knew?!  Well, here's my attempt to show you how gigantic a few measly electromagnetic waves will make a Peep.

It takes less than 30 seconds to achieve the ideal Peep inflation.  In order to get a clear picture, I hit the open button and snapped a picture as fast as I could.  Trust me when I say, he's already shrinking at this point (although still amusingly over-sized).

As long as you haven't charred your Peep and it's a rock of burnt marshmallow on your plate, now you get to enjoy the warm gooey-ness that is microwaved Peeps.  Watch out, its HOT!  That's what compelled me to grab a fork and go to town in it.

Hubby: "Are you eating it like spaghetti??  You crazy goyim."  Me:"Don't hate.  It's delicious!"


In addition to my own Peep exploits, I though I would expand your culinary knowledge and expose you to a few relatively new terms:  S'meeps, and Peepshi.  I didn't make them up, I swear!

S'meeps are naturally s'mores which use Peeps as the marshmallows.

Peepshi, or Peep Sushi, may be the most delightful culinary discovery of the last decade!  Well, I may be exaggerating a little, but how awesome is this?!?!

Is your mind blown yet??  Both of the above dessert delights are brought to you from where they apparently celebrate Peeps for an entire week each year!  Some of their other Peep creations include Peepza and deep fried Peeps... a website after my own heart.

But enough about Peeps for today.  Hope you have a happy Easter, or whatever holiday you celebrate or don't celebrate!