Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ikea Rast Nightstand Hack

You know those projects that take you literally an entire year to complete? This was one of them. Now you wouldn't think a simple Ikea Rast hack could take a year, but it did. 
It all started when we moved. Taking everything from my little bachelorette townhouse and moving it into this giant home made me realize some (ok, most) of my furniture wasn't going to cut it. These little "nightstand" shelves... not exactly what I pictured in my new, grand master bedroom.
"J" and I talked about getting a new bedroom set, but since I was determined to keep the dresser I refinished a few months prior, our only other option was to find matching nightstands. And so it began; my daily check in on Kijiji. A few times I was close, but unfortunately they were either snatched up too quickly or the seller was not willing to negotiate their insanely high price. 
After months of searching I started to lose hope. Why was it so hard to find what I as looking for? Then one afternoon I stumbled across Lindsay's beautiful Ikea Rast Hack... And the lightbulb went off! Of course! Why didn't I think of that!
After purchasing the nightstands, staining the fronts, and painting the exterior, I thought I was through the tough of it... turns out finding and painting the nightstands were not the hardest part of this project. Oh no, my journey had just begun.
You see, my dresser came with gorgeous, antique hardware, which is what I love most about the dresser. I knew right away that I had to find matching pulls. Twelve of them to be exact. I looked everywhere. Home Depot. Rona. Lee Valley. I almost scored on Etsy but the seller only had 11. I even put a call out on Twitter. The nightstands sat in the master bedroom for months without hardware. And while they were beautiful to look at, they didn't offer much in terms of functionality without any way to open the drawers!
One afternoon, while out-and-about with Nikki, we decided to stop in at the Waterloo ReStore. We quickly found ourselves standing in front of the massive hardware wall digging through the bins. And there they were! One, two, five, eight pulls! But we were till four short. We must have spent another 30 minutes sorting through the hundreds of pulls. Finally, I gave up. Would it be so bad if the two top pulls were different? Turns out giving in was the best decision I made. Once installed, the mismatched pulls looked amazing; I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out!

In the end I'm glad I took the time to finish the nightstands properly (and to my liking), albeit one year was a but much.

Project Sources:
- Ikea Rast Dresser
- Exterior Colour: Benjamin Moore Aura in "Willow"
- Stained Drawer Colour: Low VOC stain in "Cocoa"
- Mis-match Hardware from ReStore

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fall Beauty Trends // Shop Them All During 30 Days of Beauty

While Fall can be a fun time to experiment with dark shades of lipstick, a smokey eye, and bold eyebrows, it's also the perfect time to get back into a simple routine. Between the back-to-school rush and the million tasks being added to your to-do list, simple beauty looks that are easy and timeless take priority. One such beauty look I am loving for Fall 2014 is Au Naturel. Simple, chic, and beautiful on anyone.

Looking to give this look a try but don't know where to start? It just so happens Shoppers Drug Mart's 4th annual "30 Day of Beauty" event has begun. Not only can you recreate this look in their 5 minute makeover session, but Shoppers Drug Mart's knowledgeable sales associates will show you all the products you need to buy in order to continue to do it at home.

30 Days of Beauty is the biggest beauty event of the year, and it's no wonder why... There is daily excitement in-store, including exciting 1-day only offers as well as campaign offers on all of your favourite beauty brands. Not only that, shop between Aug 23 - 29th, spend $75 or more on cosmetics, skin care or fragrance and you'll receive an exclusive, free cosmetic pouch filled with 25 beauty & fragrance samples!

You can visit anytime during the event (from now until Sept 14) to find instructional "how-to" videos, 30 beauty looks revealed daily, and one-day-only offers.

Disclosure: This is a paid post through SheBlogs Media. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Braised Rabbit over Mushroom & Truffle Ravioli in a Dijon Sauce

I'd like to describe myself as an adventurous eater. I will try anything once. Ok, maybe not anything. I can't get on the whole chocolate covered insects bandwagon. Or the consumption of animal eyes, tongues or reproductive organs. There are still some things I cannot do! 
Lucky for me "J" also happens to be somewhat of an adventurous eater, so one Saturday afternoon while we were perusing the St Jacob's Farmers Market we came across a rabbit. And "J" just had to have this rabbit. While I like to eat adventurously, cooking adventurously with a very expensive piece of meat is not my favourite thing to do.
Several terrible scenarios flashed before my eyes including: cooking it completely dry, burning it to a crisp, and starting the oven on fire. You may think I am over reacting, but I have consistently over cooked every meat I have prepared since the spring. You name it, I over cooked it. Pork chops, lamb, chicken. I blame it on the new BBQ. Despite my morbid thoughts I caved and we brought the rabbit home.
I think I stared at this poor little rabbit on my cutting board for 15 minutes before putting my big-girl pants on and taking a knife to it. Sectioning it was not the funnest part of the entire process, but once that was done the rest was gravy! A meat like rabbit usually responds well to braising. The moist heat keeps the rabbit from drying out and produces a nice tender meat. Yes, the first tender meat I have cooked in months. I nearly died and went to heaven when I tasted the final dish. Well worth the 2+ hours in the kitchen.
Braised Rabbit over Mushroom & Truffle Ravioli in a Dijon Sauce
This dish is all about flavour. From the truffle ravioli to the Dijon mushroom sauce, all these exciting flavours come together to rejoice when served with a piece of juicy, tender, braised rabbit. The recipe might seem labour intensive, but it's oh-so-worth-it!

3.5lb rabbit, cleaned and sectioned
salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
3 medium sized carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 small white onions, cut in half
1 cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 medium portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 oz petite gourmet white button mushrooms
2 tbsp butter, divided
1 clove minced garlic
1 heaping tbsp flour
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 package PC Black Label Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Filled Triangoli, prepared as per package instructions

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Season cleaned and sectioned rabbit with salt and pepper.
3. In a small roasting pan (with lid) add carrots, celery, onions, water, rosemary and thyme. Set aside.
4. In a large cast iron frying pan heat 1 tbsp oil. Sear rabbit on all sides. Transfer pieces to roasting pan with vegetables. Place lid on roasting pan.
5. Braise in the oven for approximately 1.5-2 hours.
6. Near the end of the braising period sauté portabella mushrooms and white button mushrooms in butter and garlic. Be sure not to over cook the garlic or it will become bitter. Set aside.
7. Remove roasting pan from oven. Remove rabbit and place in an oven safe dish, return to oven to keep warm. Remove vegetables from roasting pan and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of liquid from roasting pan for Dijon sauce.
8. In a small sauce pan melt butter. Add flour and whisk until mixed. Add Dijon and whisk until mixed. Slowly add the 1 cups of liquid from the roasting pan, constantly whisking as you go. Continue to whisk the sauce, just until it comes to a boil. You should start to see it thicken. Once it reaches desired consistency remove from heat. Add sauce to the same pan with the sautéed mushrooms. Stir until mushrooms are coated.
9. Prepare triangoli according to package directions.
10. To assemble, spoon 6-8 triangoli onto a plate. Top with several spoonfuls of the mushroom Djion sauce. Place rabbit on top. Garnish with fresh thyme, and the onions, carrots and/or celery from the roasting pan. Serve hot.

Have you ever cooked with rabbit?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Trendy Black Accents

There is something so chic about classic black accents. From lighting and art, textiles and furniture, a touch of black can really bring a room together. Sophisticated, bold, simple or elegant, no matter your style black can help ground a room or take it to the next level.

I've been trying to accessorize with several black accent pieces in my own home for some time now. As I work through each room, incorporating touch of black here, touches of black there, I am quickly learning that less is more, and there is a fine line between classy and tacky. Nevertheless, my black accent pieces are here to stay, and I hope you can find room for one of these 19 trendy items in your home.

Make sure you head on over to my "Trendy Black Accents" Ideabook on Want to "pin" these black and bold beauties? Then check out my Trendy Black Accents board on Pinterest!