Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some Kind of Wonderful

So glad to be spending time creating in my craft studio after a loooong time. Card designing/stamping took a back seat  while I worked on other interest. But every time I travel to the US, I never fail to drop by Joann's Craft Store to get new supplies because I know one day I will go back on my desk to design and make cards again. 

On Monday night, I decided to visit some sketch challenge blogs for some inspirations. I was just on time to participate to The Paper Players current challenge. Here's my take ...

I complemented the "welcome baby" card with matching envelope embellished with the same paper I used on the card's background.

It is truly some kind of wonderful!

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Rules of a Creator's Life

I found this from Tanner Christensen's Creative Something blog. And I am definitely pinning it on my work table in my craft studio. It's been a while since I design a greeting card and I need to do it NOW!

Fruits of {his} Labor

This time of the year, we start to enjoy the "fruits" of my hubby's labor from his garden. And this year is no exception!

He planted 3 varieties of tomatoes last May. All are thriving very well with lots of unripe fruits. Almost everyday, I would visit the bushes hoping to see reds among the greens. Then it happened! The cherry variety finally answered my plea and blessed us the first batch of sweet cherry tomatoes. I was planning to do a special recipe to celebrate the first "harvest" but couldn't resist eating them au naturel - so fresh, very sweet and crunchy! Thank God for simple blessings like these!

Three days after, we got more ....

The herbs are also screaming to be pruned and so we did .... this is already the third basil harvest ...

By dinner time, we opened a bottle of Pinot Grigio and feasted on this simple yet delicious fresh tomato, basil and bocconcini salad. To officially mark the "first harvest", I drizzled the salad with my for-special-occasion-only-Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena {which I honestly and carefully hand carried from Italy} and some olive oil.

Good food does not need to be elaborate - fresh and fine ingredients always make my day!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bites and Nibbles @ The Bombay Grill

I am very picky as to where I go for Indian cuisine only because  my taste buds for this wonderful cuisine are spoiled by  two of my best friends, Kookie and Percy who were born and raised in India. I've had the best home-cooked Indian foods {oh even the chutney that Percy's mom made was heavenly!} in their house.  

There are a couple of Indian restaurants that I found comparable to my friends' cooking - The Little India in Toronto and Salam Bombay in Vancouver. Just recently hubby and I tried The Bombay Grill here in our neck of the woods and it did not disappoint!

We came on a weekend at lunchtime and they were serving buffet style. There were plenty of choices from appetizers to main dishes. Vegetarians will have a feast on lentils {dal makhani}, pakora, samosa, channa masala and aloo gobi. For meat lovers like us, there's tandoori chicken, goat curry {which my hubby loved} and butter chicken. Their freshly baked naan and basmati rice pulao are also good. You can finish your meal with some treats from the dessert table - gulab-jamun, kheer {rice pudding}, ice cream and fresh fruits. All of these for 10 bucks per person!

619 Kingston Road West
Ajax, Ontario

Bombay Grill on Urbanspoon

Faith {in balck and white}

I took these photos of Holy Name Cathedral on a recent visit to Chicago. I purposely edited the photos in black and white to highlight the tail end of the afternoon light peeking into the stained glass windows of the Gothic church.

I just couldn't ignore the message .....

You are the light of the world!
You lead us out of darkness,
And into Your marvelous light!

Linked with : Weekly Top Shot

Friday, July 26, 2013

Random 5 Friday

I chanced upon Nancy's Blog - A Rural Journal where one can link up a blog post with 5 random facts about the blog owner. It was truly interesting to read the randomness in other people's lives. Mundane or otherwise, random things are like "spices" in our lives! 

Here are mine ...

1. i LOVE the sound of raindrops on my window pane

2. i HATE chocolates {and yes, I am a female}

3. i READ Archie Comics every night to fall asleep 

4. i DRINK diet COKE in the morning instead of coffee

5. i BURST out singing do-re-mi in the middle of Mirabell Garden in Salzburg, Austria

Have a great weekend!

Linked with : Random 5 Friday


Whitby Ribfest

One of the things I wrote on my 2013 Summer Manifesto is to go to food festivals. With so many personal and business commitments lately, I missed a couple of good food festivals already.  When we got back from Chicago, the Whitby Ribfest was in full swing on a cloudless blue sky - so off we go!

The last time we atteneded a ribfest was in Markham 3 years ago and we had ribs from Uncle Sam's BBQ of Albuquerque, New Mexico. There were a lot of choices this year and my hubby {who  has a long standing love affair with BBQ ribs} had a hard time choosing which one to try  ( there he is in white shirt and dark sun glasses seriously inspecting the "credentials" of  various concessioners.

He ended up lining for Sticky Fingers BBQ  - the ribs were tender and moist, the sauce was delicious {not too sweet}.


Who can resist this old fashioned soda dispenser? Root beer, oak beer, butter beer ....

Ahh .... pure bliss!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Where in the World : {Memories} of Schonbrunn Palace Garden

With almost everyone waiting to see the new born son of the future King and Queen of England, I thought I'd share some photos from our visit to a beautiful place with ties to the former Habsburg Monarchy of Austria - the garden of Schonbrunn Palace.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Alfresco : Moji-tea

We had extreme hot weather warnings these past couple of weeks. It was really HOT but who's complaining? I love the sun and all the discomfort it brings. On days like these, hydration is the key to keep one's energy up and about.

When we were in Chicago at the beginning of July {where it was also hot and humid}, I sampled the "moji-tea" at Argo Tea along Michigan Ave and got hooked! It was so refreshing and delicious. So when the mercury  hit the 30 mark here at home, I picked some fresh mint leaves from my "little herb garden" and  made my version of Summer Moji-tea.

3 rooibos tea bag steeped in 3 cups of boiled water {steep for for 5-10 minutes to release the flavor and antioxidants}; let it cool
1 teaspoons of sugar
2 limes, juiced
5-10  fresh mint sprigs
3 cups of very cold Fresca
crushed ice

In a large pitcher, put the mint springs, sugar, cooled rooibos tea and lime juice
 Stir to smash the mint in the liquid
Add Fresca
Pour over ice and serve.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Feathered Guests

For 3 years in a row, every spring, we find birds nesting in one of our trees in the backyard or the pine trees on the front porch of the house. Every year, we look forward to hosting them. We feel like having guests staying for a short period of time. They don't ask much - just a safe place to build their "home" and some peace and quiet time while "mom" and "dad" tend to their eggs (and eventually, chicklets).

May 8 - Hubby and I noticed a robin flying in and out from one of the pine trees on the front porch. We knew right then that our guests have arrived. We named them - The ROBINsons.

May 9 - Armed with a camera, we waited for Mrs. ROBINson to fly from the pine tree. Hubby and I took a peek. Voila - there on a sturdy but soft nest are The ROBINson's four gorgeous eggs!

May 18 - Hatched! the 4 chicklets looked so fragile and "raw" with faces that only their mama and papa could love ;-).

Week of May 18 - the feeding frenzy begun. The devotion of Mr. and Mrs. ROBINson was a sight to behold. Days and nights, rain or shine, they came bearing live worms to feed the chicklets. At one point my hubby wanted to dig some worms too so he can help with the feeding. The chicklets have insatiable appetite!

May 25 - All of a sudden they seemed so big for their nest. They begun to recognized movements and were curious. Not fully covered with feathers but starting to show characters.

May 29 - They were just simply gorgeous! Still hungy all the time and were starting to spread their tiny wings. They were always posing for me and my camera every time I visit!

June 1 - I checked the nest first thing in the morning because I knew it won't be long until they can spread their wings and fly. True enough, the nest was already empty! I wasn't expecting all of them to be gone at the same time.

Hubby said : "They won't leave without saying goodbye. Let's look around and find them."

And then we found them, one by one ..... all of them in the backyard .... minding their own business .... with Mr. and Mrs. ROBINson observing their chicklets nearby .... as if telling us not to worry, they will be OK!

As I post this, there's a new nest in the backyard. We saw 2 eggs this morning - our next feathered guests just checked in!

Shared with : Rurality Blog Hop
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