Friday, September 30, 2011

Freeforall Friday- Happy Hour

It's Friday friends and finally! We'll meet you down at the bar for a drink or too. I'm dreaming of one like this Blackberry Smash by Andrew and Carrie from Pictures and Pancakes via Designsponge.

Isn't it lovely? If you'd like to make me one here's the recipe:

Blackberry Smash
  • 5 blackberries
  • 6-8 mint leaves, torn (plus more for garnish)
  • ½ small red plum, peeled and diced (plus more for garnish)
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce cointreau
  • 2 ounces whiskey
In a cocktail shaker, muddle blackberries, mint, plum and simple syrup until broken up. Add ice, cointreau and whiskey. Shake vigorously 12 to 15 seconds. Strain into a low ball glass filled with ice and garnish with a slice of plum and sprig of mint. Enjoy!

Blackberry smashes aside what do you have in mind? A cold beer, a glass of wine or something a little more adventurous? Do tell!
Oh and FYI my Aunt Jane makes a rockin' chocolate martini if you're in the Strathroy region.....

Love and Hugs and Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do Thursday- Foire aux vins

Every September in France there is a Foire aux vins in most stores and cave a vins. It's harvest season which means many new vintages are ready and the big wine critics give out their top wines of the year. The bonus is a lot of the bottles are also on sale! Vince and I are planning on being out of France for 10 years and thought this was the perfect time to store a few boxes away for when we get back.

So we got down to business straight away looking through Le Figaro's free review of wines and talking to our caviste guy for his kind advice.

Then it was time to take the list to our local grocery store and cave a vins to buy the bottles.

Next was the best part, taking the wine home and tasting! (Mr. Caviste said to leave a little in the bottle open over night and then taste it again the next day at lunch to determine if it will age well)

Of course it's best to taste your wine with food, cheese is preferable.

But don't be a wino, Mais Non! You should have dinner too. We ate a lot of soup that week to try and conteract the amount of wine and cheese calories we were taking in. I know, we're geniuses.

And then we thought, 'Why not have some soup with cheese?'

Finally after all that tasting we had made our choices and were ready to box them up, lable them and take them to the safest place on earth, Vince's parents basement. Nothing ever leaves that room!

2 great things that happened: We found a bunch a great vintages we can't wait to taste 5+ years later and learned a new technique on how to find out if a bottle will age gracefully or not.

but most importantly,

1 valuable lesson learned: Eating cheese and drinking wine all week whilst eating soup for dinner will not help you lose weight. ;)

Please tell did you guys pick up any great deals on wine this week? Do you buy wine in bulk and age it or drink it straight away?

Love and Hugs

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wear Wednesday- Date Night

Last Saturday we went out to Les Pleiades to celebrate the night we met 5 years ago. It was the poshiest place we've ever eaten so we dressed the part.

I wore a black crepe Kookai dress, my wedding shoes from Cosmoparis, clutch from Aldo, orange tassel earrings from Satellite Paris a bracelet gifted from Shelly, Red #10 lipstick from Bobbi Brown and french cancan nail colour by Mavala.

Finishing the last glass of champagne I put on my new red trench from cheapy cheap brand Camaieu. I'm above average French girl size and find it hard to find chic pieces to fit my shape but with a little digging I always find a few great things.

 But more importantly what did the husband wear you say?

It was all about the dapper tailormade dark grey suit and shirt he got in India.

The details were cufflinks from Debenhams and shoes from Texto.

We hope you enjoyed our first what we wore Wear Wednesday post and please let us know what you thought, we LOVE hearing from you! ;)

Love and Hugs

Taste Tuesday- My 1st vlog version

Do you guys what to see me make a baked apple with no head and have around 4 minutes to waste? Then please watch my very first attempt at a vlog.

The start me up music is a song called Sweet thang by the band Big Soul

Another side note:Vince and I are trying to omit chemical and processed sugars like brown sugar from our diet and realize that Maple Syrup is indeed a sugar. Duh! (But it is natural and comes from a tree, Yay!)

We hope you enjoyed it and I promise the next one will be under the 1min30. Hopefully! ;)

Love and Hugs

Monday, September 26, 2011

Be Monday- Dream

This title is close to my heart. I love to Dream. But until a few years ago I thought dreaming was only for fairy tales and night time. I had absolutely no idea of their power.

Nowadays I feel less and less constricted about my dreams and embarrassed by them, the opposite is actually happening: I'm becoming excited by them.

Here are a few:

Fall in love and marry the pefect partner for me: Done!
Have children and a family with that person
Enjoy a long healthy relationship
Live near my family
Start my own buisness
Become an active part of the healing community in my town
Become a good healer
Be a good person
Be free of gulit, addiction and negative thoughts......resulting in
Being happy and at peace

I think if I dream of these things enough they will become more and more a part of me and reality. I will search these things out consciously and subconsciously. Heck I've already got the first one crossed off so that's gotta be good right? ;)

Kute Blackson says: "Your responsibility is not to make your dreams happen but simply to say “Yes”."

He also gives you a great list on how to achieve your dreams and what to do when you are discouraged. Kute's a crazy ass super spirit warrior. Check out his site if you dare.

I am dying to know, have you ever really just let your mind wander? Why not just ask yourself simply, what do I want? (It's so liberating and exciting.) Please have a go and let me know your heart said back.

 Love and Hugs

Friday, September 23, 2011

Freeforall Friday- Love is in the air

Love is in the air over here in our little corner of the universe. Yesterday was the five year anniversary of the first day we met and it sure did feel good. One of my most romantic memories is sitting with Vince at a winery in Napa a few months after we had met. We were sharing a bottle of Vincent Arroyo Nameless and he said, "let's buy a few bottles to open after we've been together 5 years."

'What a guy', is all I thought and then, 'I'm gonna marry him.'

A few of our love shots:

1. Happy hour, Paris 2009
2. Our new family, Paris 2011
3. Vin chaud two nights before Vince proposed, Paris 2009
4. Our wedding night, Malta 2011

Yesterday I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a handwritten note. He knows that one of my favourite things is to read his handwritting especially when they are words of love and commitment.

So eventhough we bought those bottles of wine that day to open 5 years later we unfortunately didn't forsee the crazy amount of travelling we'd be doing and they are still at home in Canada in My Aunt Ann's basement. To compensate we've decided to book a table at Les Pleiades restaurant a short 10min drive away in Barbizon. It's our first Michelin starred restaurant and we are so excited to see what wine they have to offer.

But nothing will beat that first bottle of Nameless in Napa with my love.

Happy Anniversary my sweetie! I can't wait to see the next 60+ years with you!

Love and Hugs and hoping you have a romantic weekend wherever you are.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do Thursday- Honeymoon Scrapbook

Today is the five year anniversary of the night we first met.  I saw Vince from across a smoky dank basement five years ago this evening and it was the truest form of love at first sight I have ever experienced. Every part of my body and soul told me to talk to him. Thankfully I found the courage to go over there and say Hi. He obviously felt it too cause from then on we were inseparable.

So I thought for Do Thursday I would show you how we made our honeymoon scrapbook. How about that?! ;)

Alright step 1 is to get your work space ready, coffee? check!

Step 2 : Place pics where you want them then glue them. This was hard for me. I got impatient and just wanted to start glueing like a madwoman and then I thought no Sam that's not what Martha would do, right?!

Step 3: Move the floor cause it's more comfy and now you've been at it so long your dog falls asleep waiting for you to finish so you can go outside and play.

Step 4 : Whoohooo we're getting close now. Get your husband to put it together cause you're getting frustrated and about to give up. And thank goodness he figures out what to do with those stupid long rectangular pieces of extra paper that have been hanging around since the start.

Step 5 : You're done! Kiss husband, pat your self on back, call your Mom on skype to show her and that's all folks! One Honeymoon scrapbook for you, your kids and your kids kids.

Love and Hugs

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wear Wednesday- Plaid

Do you feel like the entire fashion world is wearing plaid right now? Everywhere I look I see plaid or checkers and to tell you the truth I don't know how I feel about it. I have visions of grunge, kurt cobain, 90's oh no bad higschool moment flashback....AHHHHHHHHH! Then there was the Avril Lavigne thing. But still there might be something to it, let's have a look together.

The Worst from Joanna via The Sartorialist

 The Getting Better from Taylor

The Good on Pinterest

But the Best has got to be this look from Christine

So what do you say are we onboard with this plaid/checker thing? I'm thinking I might just throw caution to the wind and try the navy checkered number with a great pair of jeans and see how it feels. Who knows maybe I'll end up being advanced a little younger than originally thought. ;)

Love and Hugs

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Taste Tuesday- The Cocktail

I think you all know how much I love Campari. It could easily become a problem. Thankfully I also love wine and champagne which saves me from being on a perpetual Campari/soda bender. Unfortunately VosgesHautChocolate's campari/geranium/home made syrup concoction is threatening to push said problem over the edge. Check it out for yourself and tell me I'm not crazy!

Oh yeah and here's Katrinas recipe in case you finally stop watching on repeat and actually want to make the thing. (and join in my Campari obsession)

Strawberry Nectarine Geranium Cocktails
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
2 large strands with flowers of African blue basil
4 oz Campari
1 fresh nectarine
4 strawberries
4 large ice cubes
1 cup soda water
geranium petals

Make simple syrup by combining 1 part sugar to 1 part boiling water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Infuse simple syrup with cocoa nibs, basil or experiment with your own herbal tincture! In a rocks glass, muddle fresh, juicy nectarines and strawberries. Add a splash of Campari, large ice cubes and top with soda water. Sprinkle organic geranium petals atop for garnish.

Thanks you so much to Cyd for sharing this from Peace Love and Chocolate!

Love and Hugs

P.S. Tell me you don't love her little finger happiness dance at the end when she loves the taste!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Be Monday- Forgive

This Monday we're talking about the complex subject of forgiveness. Man this is a tough one. Do you struggle with it too or are you a super awesome forgiveness worrior? I'll tell you for me it starts from the inside out. I tried hating myself and forgiving everyone else but that didn't seem to work. I've learned that in order to escape the deep dark pull resentment and anger can have is to start to forgive myself for all the crap I do and deem unforgiveable. No small feat right?

Thankfully writer Leo Babauta takes our number and tells us how:

1. Commit to letting go. You aren’t going to do it in a second or maybe not even in a day. It can take time to get over something. So commit to changing, because you recognize that the pain is hurting you.

2. Think about the pros and cons. What problems does this pain cause you? Does it affect your relationship with this person? With others? Does it affect work or family? Does it stop you from pursuing your dreams, or becoming a better person? Does it cause you unhappiness? Think of all these problems, and realize you need to change. Then think of the benefits of forgiveness — how it will make you happier, free you from the past and the pain, improve things with your relationships and life in general.

3. Realize you have a choice. You cannot control the actions of others, and shouldn’t try. But you can control not only your actions, but your thoughts. You can stop reliving the hurt, and can choose to move on. You have this power. You just need to learn how to exercise it.

4. Empathize. Try this: put yourself in that person’s shoes. Try to understand why the person did what he did. Start from the assumption that the person isn’t a bad person, but just did something wrong. What could he have been thinking, what could have happened to him in the past to make him do what he did? What could he have felt as he did it, and what did he feel afterward? How does he feel now? You aren’t saying what he did is right, but are instead trying to understand and empathize.

5. Understand your responsibility. Try to figure out how you could have been partially responsible for what happened. What could you have done to prevent it, and how can you prevent it from happening next time? This isn’t to say you’re taking all the blame, or taking responsibility away from the other person, but to realize that we are not victims but participants in life.

6. Focus on the present. Now that you’ve reflected on the past, realize that the past is over. It isn’t happening anymore, except in your mind. And that causes problems — unhappiness and stress. Instead, bring your focus back to the present moment. What are you doing now? What joy can you find in what is happening right now? Find the joy in life now, as it happens, and stop reliving the past. Btw, you will inevitably start thinking about the past, but just acknowledge that, and gently bring yourself back to the present moment.

7. Allow peace to enter your life. As you focus on the present, try focusing on your breathing. Imagine each breath going out is the pain and the past, being released from your body and mind. And imagine each breath coming in is peace, entering you and filling you up. Release the pain and the past. Let peace enter your life. And go forward, thinking no longer of the past, but of peace and the present.

8. Feel compassion. Finally, forgive the person and realize that in forgiveness, you are allowing yourself to be happy and move on. Feel empathy for the person and wish happiness on them. Let love for them, and life in general, grow in your heart. It may take time, but if you’re stuck on this point, repeat some of the ones above until you can get here.

Most of Leo's tips are for how to forgive others but I think they work just as well on yourself. So give it a go and let me know what happened.
I'm starting right now.

Love and Hugs

Friday, September 16, 2011

Freeforall Friday- Our Wedding

My friend Khali has brought it to my attention that other people read this blog and want to see our wedding photos. I just assumed all my readers were either at the wedding or are friends with my Mom on facebook (therefore seeing the 1000+ photos she has uploaded) Apparently that's not the case, so here we are with the Dodge/Klein wedding round up.

Location: Castello Zamitello, Malta
Date: 6 July 2011 at 6:30pm
Dress + Veil: Pronovias
Officiants:Auntie Coco in English and Uncle Ded in French
Man of honour and Bridesmaid: My brother Ryan and sister in law Britt
Best Woman and Groomswoman: Vince's sisters Nat and Delph
Guests: 50 of the most important people in our lives 
MC: My extremely smart, prepared and a little stressed out brother Ryan 
Music: Dru and Keith, drummer and singer extrodinaire
Food: Muh, not terrible but unmemorable
Cake: Pretty but tasted kinda heavy
Cocktails: Kick ass! We a hired a cocktail maker to create a list of drinks tailored to our guests tastes
Flowers: White peonies and astilbe. A little dissapointing but nothing to complain about
Photographer: Genius Julian Calabrese

The Beginning
Our litttlest party members
Vince and his Mom and Flower girls on duty
Ceremony under a tree
Gorgeous guests
Friends and Family
Vince and his grooms women
Cake topper was my Grandma Carols
Cocktails and bongo drums
Maltese bougainvillea
Making faces
Feeling the love
The MC and The Groom

Such a romantic setting
Danicing the night away
Party on sisters!
Our escape
We got to spend almost a complete week with the people we love exploring Malta and celebrating together. The love at the castle was unreal. It was exactly how we imagined it and more. But honestly how do you describe something so profound and magical as marrying your spouse. You can't.
So instead have fun looking at the pictures! We had fun making them!

Love and Hugs

P.S. To all our family and friends who are reading this, it was perfect because of you. Simply because you were there. Thank you from the very bottom of our beings. You made our day unforgettable!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do Thursday- The Market

What are you doing this Thursday? How about a market run? We're all about markets here in the Dodge/Klein household and let me tell you why: I love shopping outside! Maybe it's because I'm from Canada where shopping outside is an oddity but there's nothing better than strolling a market with the sun shinning on your face.

And the choice! I mean come on! We went to Provins last Saturday at the suggestion of David Lebovitz in his book The Sweet Life in Paris. He promised a market filled to the brim with local producers and I had to see it for myself.

David and also Clotilde suggest doing a run thorough the whole market to see what they have and make the best choice for you. (I am clearly a little too serious about this part)

I love talking to the vendors. They always tell you exactly how to cook what you've bought. Isn't that neat? Market vendors are normaly loud/boisterous and they want to chat so go for it! Chat back!

There is often a really long lineup and everyone wants to talk about Sunny! She's a crowd pleaser for sure.

Finally you are ready to make your choice, fill up your bag and return home with the loot. (I obsessed with mushrooms right now.)

Do you have a market in your neighbourhood? Mom was telling me she found a market on Bloor st. in Toronto the other day. And they're open in the evening, how great is that?!

Love and Hugs and Happy food shopping!