LIFE: Monday Update

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I hope you all had a great weekend. I’ve been so busy getting ready for the One of a Kind show kicking off this week and prepping for Merry magazine summer issue that I’ve gotten behind on blog posts so I thought I would just give you a little update for today.

I can’t tell you what a difference the change of season has had on me. I know that it’s really just a date in the calendar but this was kinda a crap winter, weather-wise and personally and I’m happy to kick it to the curb. I became such an introvert this past winter, which is not like me. I craved staying in, cooking and watching Netflix. I spent way too much time by myself and have committed to get back into things this spring. I’m hoping to volunteer for the NXNE music festival and sign up to play dodgeball again. God I love that game.

Not much going on in the romantic dept. Truthfully I’m not feeling that hot about myself these days and we all know that confidence is damn sexy. The plan is to get back into the healthy swing of things and rock those skinny jeans that make me feel like a million bucks.

I’ve been seriously thinking about getting a pet. I’m a huge bird lover and grew up with a very friendly budgie named Skippy. I know I would  love to have one around again but I’ve also been thinking about a dog. I’ve never talked about it but I had a bit of a traumatic experience trying to adopt a rescue dog years ago. I jumped in too quickly and had a commitment freak out and decided that the timing wasn’t right and I wasn’t ready. The dog went to another lovely home. Maybe I didn’t give it enough time, who knows but I know that my situation is very different now and that experience taught me enough to know what I would be getting into this time around. This may surprise you but I absolutely melt at the sight of a Maltipoo.

It’s been over two years since I’ve had a real adventure of a holiday and that’s like a lifetime for me. I can feel the wanderlust creepin’ up and I’ve been dreaming of a California roadtrip. What’s the next destination on your list?

I hope you all have a wonderful week! There may be some radio silence from me since I’ll be spending full days at the One of a Kinda show but you can always keep in touch via Instagram.

PHOTOGRAPHY: flowers to welcome spring

I’m not really religious but Hallelujah Spring has arrived! After having the coldest February EVER on record here in Toronto, I’m ready to be thawed out. Let’s hope Mother Nature isn’t teasing us, she’s been known to throw a snow storm or two our way in April before, and that these sunny days are here to stay. One sure sign of Spring is the flowers. They just get you in the mood, you know what I mean? I thought this would be the perfect time to share this collection of beautiful yet unexpected photos of flowers that have creeped up on my Pinterest feed since last Spring. Let’s face it flowers are so pretty that it’s kinda hard to take a bad picture and I bet they are the 2nd most photographed item on Instagram, after selfies of course. I just love the simple, unexpected, wild and artistic ways that these blooms were captured. There’s something about flowers just taking over a space that I love, especially if it’s a sink or bathtub apparently. I would love to do a similar photo series myself in the future. Stay tuned. Happy Spring everyone!

If you liked this, check out this beautiful spring floral series I did last year.

* note: I tried super hard to find the original sources for these photos but most of them led to the big black tumblr hole. If you know the original source, please let me know. We want to give credit where credit is due!

FIND US AT THE SPRING OOAK SHOW + TICKET GIVEAWAY

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It’s that time of year again. Doesn’t it just feel like we were just loading our shopping bags up at the Holiday One of a Kind Show like yesterday? Well even if the weather isn’t on the same page just yet, it’s time for the Spring One of a Kind Show (OOAK). This one is extra special for me because I’m going to be an artisan selling my stuff for the first time! Last fall I took my repurposed vintage gold leaf design plates on the road to the Handmade Harvest Etsy Made in Canada Craft Show and they were a big hit. In fact I was approach by a OOAK scout (no idea if that’s an official title but that’s what I’m calling them) and encouraged to apply for a spot in the Etsy section of the Spring OOAK show. Fast forward and here we are!

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For this show because I just have a small table, I’m leaving behind the cake toppers and other goodies I also make and just focusing on the plates. I’m still trying to figure out what’s the best way to show these guys off in a small space. I’ll have a variety of designs including some fun quotes. The quotes are a new thing and I think they’re my fav and I’m hoping they’ll be a big hit. Here’s a taste of some of the designs I’ll have. Between the plates and gold designs there’s more options that I can possibly show on here so you’ll have to come visit me at the show in the Etsy Section to see them all!

If you can’t make it to the show, these are all available on the Sweet Escape Design Etsy Shop but I’m not gonna lie – being fragile and kinda large and all, shipping ain’t cheap. I like to make things with hard to source materials, time consuming to make and fragile to transport. You know, just to make life interesting. Also, that may help you to understand how us artisans come up with our prices. So what I’m trying to say is get your but in the car and make the trip to Toronto for the Spring OOAK show so you can pick up one of these truly one of a kind pieces for yourself or a gift.

In typical Melissa style – I’m not totally ready for the show and still making plates so if you have any (constructive, non-nasty) feedback on what you see I would love to hear while I’m still in the process. Do you have a favourite?

OOAK spring show discount tickets

Dying to get your hands on some tickets?  Well you’re in luck because I have a special Exclusive discount OOAK promo price for you, just click the link above. (valid for online sales only)

……OR I also happen to have two pairs of tickets to giveaway!

OOAK-WIN-TIX

I have THREE pairs of tickets ($26 value/pair)  to give away so you can spend more money buying some great stuff.  There’s 3 ways to enter:

Psssst…Don’t forget the hashtags so I know you entered!

3 Pairs of Tickets for the OOAK Spring Show (3 winners)

GOOD EATS: pistachio spinach hummus

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I hope you all had a great weekend! I left my laptop at home annnnnd my phone happened to die so I had a pretty unplugged weekend visiting family in my hometown of Guelph, Ontario. I tested out a Pistachio Spinach Hummus recipe on my guests and happy to report that it was a big hit. I know because they all told me with their mouths full. If you’re looking for something green to bring to a St. Patrick’s day get together tomorrow, this is perfect and really easy.
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It’s actually a two part recipe – you need to make a pistachio spinach pesto that you use for the hummus. You can use the pesto for so many other recipes, it would be great on pasta with some fresh parm. Yum!

Head over to the Kendal-Jackson blog to find the full recipe then grab yourself a bottle of their  Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay and enjoy!

GOOD EATS: no churn green pistachio ice cream

no churn green pistachio ice cream for St.Patrick's day / The Sweet Escape

St. Patty’s day is around the corner (March 17th), so do you have any plans? I can say that my plans have definitely evolved with my age. It used to be like a national holiday in my teen & early twenties, right up there with the May party long weekend. It tapered off a bit in my later twenties, kinda turned the dial down from an 11 to maybe a 7. Now I’m not sure I can recall what I did the past couple years. Probably met up with a few friends at non-Irish pub because we’re too old to deal with line-ups and crowds and “kiss me, I’m Irish” tight t-shirts. Who am I kidding, I would still wear the t-shirt if my abs were as tight as the shirt.

These days I just love any excuse to make some green coloured food. What I would really love is to have a whole green themed dinner party with appetizers, mains, sides and dessert all green & gourmet. Maybe next year? For now here’s a green, delicious and easy no-churn pistachio ice cream recipe.

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I got this recipe from my blogger pal Jesseca at One Sweet Appetite and kinda added my own twist to it. It’s soooo easy and you don’t need an ice cream machine. It’s basically a two ingredient recipe and then you can add whatever extra flavors you like.

No Churn Pistachio Ice Cream
• 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
• 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
• 1 package of pistachio flavor instant pudding
• 3/4 shelled & crushed pistachios (more/less to taste)
• green food coloring (optional)

This recipe really can’t be any easier.

1. whip the cream until it makes stiff peaks.
2. combine the condensed milk, 1/2 cup of the pistachios & pudding mix together until blended.
3. fold in the whip cream with the condensed milk mixture. Add some green food coloring if you want a more intense shade of green.
4. pour into glass or metal container, close air tight lid or cover well with plastic wrap and place in freezer for a min. of 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Remove from freezer about 15-20 minutes before you want to serve, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup crushed pistachios and you’re good to go!

no churn green pistachio ice cream for St.Patrick's day / The Sweet EscapeYou’ll have a creamy and delicious green treat to celebrate St.Patrick’s day, or any day really.

no churn green pistachio ice cream for St.Patrick's day / The Sweet Escape

no churn green pistachio ice cream for St.Patrick's day / The Sweet EscapeDon’t be afraid to add some chocolate syrup if you want. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

no churn green pistachio ice cream for St.Patrick's day / The Sweet Escape

no churn green pistachio ice cream for St.Patrick's day / The Sweet Escape

Thanks again to One Sweet Appetite for the recipe. I’m definitely going to be trying a bunch more different flavors. Next up will be coffee for sure.

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If you like this recipe, you can find more in our Good Eats recipe gallery. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s day friends!