Monthly Archives

September 2011


Blood Bath Props for an Horror Movie Halloween Party

Butcher's Apron and blood bath shower gel

Butcher's Apron and blood bath shower gel

You can scare your party guests in an unusual room of your home, that is the bathroom, with the Blood Bath collection by Spinning Hat, a London based gift design company. Designed to recreate an ultra realistic horror movie shower scene, the products range from a shower curtain, bath mat, shower bath, a butcher’s apron and Dead Tired pillow cases.

Butcher's bloody Apron packaging

Do not throw away the box of the Butcher’s Apron, seeing it is enough to put your guests in the mood. The possibilities of scenes are limited by your imagination. You do not have to stage the obvious.

blood bath shower curtain and bath mat

Blood Bath Shower Curtain $19.99 USD at Think Geek
Horror Movie Bath Mat $19.99 USD
+ Butcher’s Bloody Kitchen or Grilling Apron by Spinning Hat  $17.94 USD
Blood Bath Shower Gel £4.99 at Spinning Hat – since they are out of stock at Think Geek


How to Peel a Garlic Bulb in 10 seconds

how to a garlic head in 10 seconds

how to a garlic head in 10 seconds

With the big Holiday season only a few months away, it is good to know tricks that can save you time in the kitchen. In this video, SAVEUR magazine‘s Executive Food Editor, Todd Coleman, shows you how to peel a whole head of garlic in less than ten seconds. It’s a bit noisy but effective.

More Options

silicone garlic peeler

For every day use, you can tap a clove of garlic with the back of a chef knife. A less-messy option is a garlic peeler. I like the colorful silicone garlic peeler by Danesco and Zak Designs.

I am on the lookout for more time-saving cooking tricks. If you know any, please share them.

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds from
Zak Designs E-Z-Rol Garlic Peeler, Blue $6.27 USD at [affiliate link]
+ via Aging Ungracefully


DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

super hero halloween costumes

super hero halloween costumes

I recall when I was young how my mom and I made my Halloween costumes. This was part of the fun and it helped to build the excitement for the big day. The choice of ready-to-wear Halloween costumes has incredibly increased since. Still, we should not overlook the ease to create Halloween costumes for kids.

On Martha Stewart, you will find how your kids can make their own Superhero Cape and T-Shirt. Supplies are felt, sparkly paper, or holographic metallic-effect film to produce the hero icon that you will glue to a long-sleeve t-shirt, polyester satin to make the cape, grosgrain ribbon for decorations, fabric glue and a safety pin.

devil horns kids halloween costume

The hardest part of the DIY Devil Horn project seems to mold the horns out of  lightweight air-drying modeling clay. Paint them with acrylic paint and if you like, apply glitter. You then attach the horns to a headband with hot glue.

bag of grocery :: zoo keeper :: kids halloween costumes

You will need a couple of hours to realize this gross bag of grocery. Parents who made it commented that it was easy to do. And since the design dated from 2004, there is less chances than another kid show up with the same costume.

A zookeeper costume is not hard to recreate. All you need are khaki clothes, a safari hat, plush toys and a handmade net. You can make the net by putting a netting on a basic strainer that was stripped of its cup. You could glue a couple butterflies inside and outside the net.

cat burglar kids halloween costume

Finally, I like the cat burglar costume since it can be done with things that you have at home. Laurie Gelman of the now gone “Cookie” magazine used aluminum paper to fashion the jewelry. You could find big fake jewelry at a local Dollar store or a toy store.

+ Superhero Cape and T-shirt – how to from Martha Stewart
+ Devil Horns – how to from Martha Stewart
+ Bag of Gross-eeries from Family Fun
+ photo: MSN video – ideas from Cookie magazine


Halloween Trick or Treat Ideas

halloween parfait topped with a witch hat

halloween parfait topped with a witch hat

The first idea that caught my eye are these DIY witch hats that topped a poisoned parfait from the Bewitched Halloween bash designed by Paula of Frog Price Paperie. The witch hat decorates the spoon; there are no instructions but it is not hard to figure out how she hand crafted them. It could become a wonderful art project to do with your kids on a weekend afternoon.

halloween donuts on a broomstick

From the same party, I love her donuts on a broomstick idea! You can create your own broomsticks with rafia and wood skewers.

candy bar at a gender-neutral baby shower :: orange palette

The third idea illustrates an affordable container solution to create your own candy bar.

+ Bewitched Halloween bash at Hostess with the Mostess – photos by Heather Stine Photography
+ photos: Elephant and Alphabet baby shower styled by Fresh Chick Design Studio


Tableware for Thanksgiving at West Elm

Mary Matson thanksgiving tableware

Mary Matson thanksgiving tableware

Mary Matson, a Brooklyn-based graphic artist, collaborated with West Elm on a collection of playful plates and serving pieces for the Thanksgiving table. The salad plates, printed with wishbones, turkeys and fall harvest illustrations, are a simple way to add a festive look to your white existing dinnerware. I got the prices from their press kit. The items will start to appear both online and in stores this week.

bell butter dish

To complete the modern farm look of your table, here are too items that you will be able to use every day of the year. You can fit rectangular European-style blocks of butter as well as slender stateside sticks in the Bell Butter Dish.

sugar creamer

The bamboo tray lets you bring the sugar and cream in style. I like the style of this ensemble a lot. I would buy it for myself, if it was not that the shipping fees to Canada are almost the price of the item.

+ Thanksgiving Salad Plates: White/silver $40 USD for a pack of 4
+ Thanksgiving Platter: White/silver $29-$49 USD
+ Bell Butter Dish $16 USD
+ Sugar and creamer with bamboo tray $14 USD


What To Do in Montreal: Magie des Lanternes 2011

magie des lanternes 2011

magie des lanternes 2011

My husband, our baby and I had a great time at the opening night of Magie des Lanternes. It is truly magical.

magie des lanternes 2011 family activity

Our baby enjoyed the view of the lighted theme lanterns.

magie des lanternes 2011 :: emperor parade

The 19th edition organized by the Montreal Botanical Gardens is under the theme of “The First Emperor’s Procession”. The exhibit pays tribute to China’s first Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, and his impressive cavalry. It takes 8 months to the exhibit design team in Montreal to draw about 200 new thematic lanterns. They put a lot of attention to details. For example, each character has its own facial features.

magie des lanternes 2011 closeup

The drawings are send to Shanghai where the lanterns are produced using traditional methods. To withstand our fall weather and the test of time, the lanterns are made with parachute fabrics instead of the traditional silk. The lanterns arrived in Montreal not completely unassembled. They proceed like that to ease the installation of the LED lamps on the metal frame.

magie des lanternes 2011 :: The First Emperor's Procession

You have until October 31st, 2011 to experience the Magie des Lanternes exhibit. Do not miss it; it makes a great family activity or a romantic walk.

magie des lanternes 2011 chinese family

Go to my Facebook page to see More photos of the exhibit.

+ Magie des Lanternes
+ photos: Jérôme Paradis for


A Collapsible Dining Table

modern scandinavian restaurant

modern scandinavian restaurant

It is just after I checked the furniture used for this modern Scandinavian restaurant that I realized that the dining table they used was collapsible.  Simsalabim can be used a sideboard or a dining table. This feature comes handy when you are having a party since you can create more floor space and still have a serving station.

This is not a new design. Börge Lindau, the late founder of Blå Station, designed this multi-purpose table in 1993. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you where to buy it. Simply for the concept, it is worth sharing it.

+ Simsalabim
+ restaurant photo: Kvadrat


Textile Field Installation by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Textile Field installation

Textile Field installation

The Bouroullec brothers have designed an art installation that democratizes a visit to the museum. For the London Design Festival, the Victoria & Albert Museum invited them to intervene in any space we wanted within the Museum. Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec decided to create a huge textile platform on which you can sit or lay down in any way you want. The idea is to bring comfort and to not feel intimidated by the art pieces displayed at the museum.

Textile Field installation by ronan and erwan bouroullec

Made in collaboration with Kvadrat, Textile Field is an installation 30 meters long and 8 meters wide which takes over 240m sq of the floor of the famous Raphael Cartoons Gallery. Their design would translate well in a cosy couch for a home theater room or become a mat for playroom.

Textile Field installation at Victoria & Albert Museum

The installation will be on show during the London Design Festival, from September 15th to September 25th 2011.

Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
Opening hours: daily from 10am to 17.45pm and on Friday from 10am to 22.00pm

+ Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec


Ideas to Steal: Baby Potatoes in a Mason Jar

baby potatoes in a mason jar

baby potatoes in a mason jar

We have seen tons of use for the Mason jar, and this one is a keeper. Next time that you are having friends over for diner or to eat a raclette, be ready to serve your baby potatoes in a Mason jar. Go either for individual portions or for a few communal jars.

I spot that idea on Apartment Therapy from Amy Rosen’s trip to Copenhagen. She saw it at the famous Restaurant Jacobsen.

+  photo: Amy Rosen for Apartment Therapy


Mommy Tools: Four Artisanal Breads by Weston

premiere fournee

I went to the Première Fournée media event last week where I learned the tricks of the trade of artisanal bread making. After trying some steps and seeing how much manual labor it involves, I gain a deeper appreciation of the traditional baker’s job. We learned the many steps required to make a classic baguette bread and how modify the cooking process or adding one ingredient allows you to create another bread variety. It was very interesting but I will leave bread making to the experts. Continue Reading