Our New Kaufman Loft

When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up my reply was that typical of a 15 year old girl: veterinarian, marine biologist, art teacher, graphic designer.... never once did "landlord" make the list. 
I mean, "landlord" does not sound like the sexiest job in the world...
Sexiness aside, when an opportunity comes along for you to own a beautiful, well maintained loft in a busy uptown centre you take it, right? Right!
As of yesterday afternoon "J' and I are proud owners of a Kaufman Loft in downtown Kitchener! #LandlordLife
The process to buy this beautiful piece of history was a painfully grueling one... there was so much paperwork, too many hands in the pot, and so many balls dropped by our mortgage broker that at one point (literally the day before closing), I thought we weren't going to make it.
But with positivity in our hearts we powered through, and low and behold, this beauty is now ours!
The moment I walked in I could envision myself living there. Modern furniture mixed with rustic wood accents in the living room. A large harvest table surrounded by my favourite Eames-style chairs in the dining room. High industrial ceilings with a huge wall of windows... Yeah, I could totally live there! But alas, "J" tells me we cannot have separate houses... so I guess I'll stick to dreaming!

Do you have any landlord tips & tricks? If you had one piece of advice for landlords what would it be?
...

DIY Projects to Tackle This Summer + A Table Saw Giveaway

It's hard to imagine in a few short weeks "J" and I will be knee deep in spring projects! I mean, I am not sure what happened to the "April showers," but we are ankle deep in snow right now!

Despite the weather, our to-do list is quickly growing. We have plans for our kitchen, dining room, master bedroom and backyard, just to name a few. As excited as I am to get those projects going, I always love to take a look back at some of my favourite home projects to date!

Cedar Bench with Planters
This was one of the first furniture projects "J" and I tackled together, and it all came from a desire not to be boring! I spent the better half of early spring that year searching out everything from wicker chairs to a bistro dining sets for our front porch, but they all looked like "filler" pieces, I wanted a "statement" piece. Turns out a custom cedar bench was exactly what our front porch needed!

Nightstands with X-Legs
Winter rolled around and I vowed I would take on the guest bedroom, but the planning process for it was a long and frustrating one. I flipped and flopped on a lot of my choices... but mostly agonized over the idea of painting it white. I've lusted over white rooms forever, but never considered myself "bold" enough to pull it off in my own home. Once I came to the conclusion that this room had to be white, everything else sort of fell into place... including the custom, handmade nightstands and headboard.

Covered Patio
Our backyard has been a constant, ever-evolving project. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into making it what it is today! In four short years we built a garden, a shed, poured two concrete patios, stained our deck and extended our outdoor living space by adding a covered patio. From start to finish the covered patio took us approximately 2.5 weeks to build & complete. While the bulk of the construction took place during the course of one weekend, many of the finishing touches required several hours throughout the week to finish. Who is ready to party!?
One thing all of these projects have in common is the tools. Having the right tools can make or break your DIY project! That's why The Home Depot is always there to help.

Whether you shop in-store or online, The Home Depot has every tool you will ever need to get the project done right! Aaaaand it just so happens The Home Depot is gearing up for one of their biggest sales of the season: Spring Black Friday! Yes you read that correctly... a Black Friday Sale in April! You can score everything from a 20 inch tile cutter to a Dewalt Hammerdrill Impact Driver Kit - just what you need for your next big project!

Speaking of everything you need... how about a brand new Ridgid Table Saw? I don't know a single person who would say "no" to winning one of these!

// Ridgid Table Saw Giveaway \\

Prize: One 10-inch Portable Table Saw with Stand. Prize is valued at $399 CDN.
To Enter: Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. No purchase necessary for entry.
Open To: Canadian residents of legal age (void in Quebec)
Giveaway Closes: Sunday April 10, 2016 at 11:59pm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary to enter. This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside. Giveaway will run from Wednesday April 6, 2016 at 12:01am to Sunday April 10th 2016 at 11:59pm. Winner is chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond. If not, a new winner will be chosen. Winner selected MUST correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question. Winner's name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter.
...

5 Things to Wear This Weekend


Look at that, it's almost the weekend! After fighting a wicked head cold all week, I am looking forward to kicking back and relaxing. And it just so happens my favourite food festival is happening tomorrow... The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. If you are long-time follower of my blog you know I try to attend every single year. With a weather forecast filled with snow and rain, a heavy sweater, boots and a big blanket scarf will surely be my festival uniform. Maple-drenched apple fritters, here I come!!
...

Per La Famiglia // Tiramisu + A Giveaway

Here we go, things are about to get real! March has been one of those non-stop months where as soon as I get my head above water, something is there to push me right back down. Oh look the surface... gurgle, gulp... cough... nope!
I know it's just one of those crazy cluster of weeks where you have to operate at 110% to hustle through... but oh goodness is my brain shot. On Saturday I texted my sister in a blind panic thinking I had forgotten a very important anniversary... which she so kindly reminded me is in May! Total brain fart! But don't you worry your little hearts, balance will be restored soon, right? Right!?
Pretty much the only thing that brings me comfort right now is friends and dessert. And March has been filled with the both! A few weeks ago, my friends and I were lucky enough to be invited to a gnocchi making party hosted by the fabulous Emily Richards. Emily is pretty much the gnocchi queen. She is also a well known Canadian cookbook author, brand ambassadorTV show host, and all-around the sweetest person you will ever meet!

So, we find ourselves in Emily's kitchen one Saturday afternoon cooking up a storm with her mom and dad. Everything from Italian sausage (which by-the-way was stuffed right there before our eyes) and mixed salad greens, to spinach gnocchi and ricotta crostini. It was an incredible feast! It was also nice to hear firsthand what inspired Emily to write Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking; her family. And that becomes very obvious as you flip through her book. Each recipe tells a story, whether it's Emily's own memories of eating a particular meal or tidbits from Italian culinary history, giving the book a very personal feel.
What I appreciate most about the book is the simplicity. Recipes you think would be complicated are simplified when Emily breaks down the steps. Take this beautiful tiramisu (page 194) for example. Normally I would not tackle such a time-intensive traditional dessert, but Emily's easy to follow instructions convinced me I could do it. And man-oh-man, was I glad I did! The luscious custard flows beautifully through the coffee soaked lady-fingers, and the light dusting of cocoa perks up all the flavours. It's definitely just what I needed to indulge in during this hectic month!

The #PerLaFamigliaBloggers Are At It!

A few bloggers and myself were so excited about the release of Emily's new cookbook that we organized a little Per La Famiglia Blog Hop! So make sure you hop-along and check out all the blogs!

// #PerLaFamiglia Giveaway \\

Prize: A signed copy of Per La Famiglia, a gnocchi board, and a three-piece Microplane Elite Grater/Zester set. Prize is valued at $75 CDN.
To Enter: Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. You must leave a comment in order enter. No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
Open To: Canadian residents of legal age (void in Quebec)
Giveaway Closes: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 11:59pm

a Rafflecopter giveaway
No purchase necessary to enter. This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside. Giveaway will run from Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 12:01am to end on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 11:59pm. Winner is chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond. If not, a new winner will be chosen. Winner selected MUST correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question. Winner's name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter.

Disclaimer: While HarperCollins provided me with a copy of "Per La Famiglia" I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are my own.
...