Although my baby was old enough to drink water from the faucet, I continued to boil the water to prepare his infant formula because of the poor condition of the city water pipes. Montreal is slowing replacing our water system but the process will take a long time. But I wanted to make it easier on me. This is why I bought a Brita water filter pitcher. I am happy that I did.
I selected the Slim pitcher (5-cups) since it contains more than what I need to feed my baby. What I did not expect was that my husband and I would also use it. We found that it improves the taste of our water. And the fact that it is their smaller pitcher is not a problem since it roughly takes half a minute to filter the entire pitcher. Plus, having a small pitcher leaves more room in my fridge.
+ Brita Slim Water Filter Pitcher $12.59 CAD at Canadian Tire
+ Brita Slim Water Filter Pitcher $9.54 USD at Lowe’s
Horchow is a store where I could always find unique, stylish and practical entertaining supplies. Any of these four beverage dispensers would be great for serving spa water, ice teas and homemade lemonade. The warm colors of the ceramic beverage dispensers would mix well with a cottage setting, a beach party or a casual garden party. The 2.75 gallon beverage server is made of ceramic with a glass lid and plastic spigot.
If you are looking for something more classic, I found a clear glass dispenser that could save space on your drink station. The Triple Beverage Server is made of three containers. Therefore, you stack none, one or two containers on top of the bottom container. The top and middle dispensers hold 96 ounces each while the bottom dispenser holds 128 ounces.
You can display fruits, flowers or sea shells at the bottom of the two-gallon glass Square Beverage Dispenser. A cheaper option that is very practical is the plastic beverage dispenser with a separate container for the ice. A girlfriend bought one earlier this summer at Costco in Montreal. It works well. Naturally, it costs a little less at Costco but I wasn’t able to find it online. I need to go to Costco this week. I would tell you if they still carry it since I want one.
+ Ceramic Beverage Dispensers $65 USD at Horchow
+ Triple Beverage Server – currently on sale at $99.90 USD
+ Square Beverage Dispenser – currently on sale at $84.90
+ Three-gallon plastic dispenser $35
A glass bottle is ideal for liquid since it is cleaner and will not form an after-taste. The silicone sleeve of the Lifefactory bottles protects the bottle by reducing the chance of breakage if it falls.
With a choice of 6 colors for the sleeve, each member of the family can easily identify which one is his/her. Plus, the silicone sleeve provides a tighter grip. A bottle holds 22 oz (650 ml). The best thing is that the bottle with the sleeve can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
All components are FDA-approved and are compliant with US, Canadian, and European safety standards. Naturally, I would not suggest them unless they were bisphenol-A (BPA) free, phthalate free, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) free.
+ Lifefactory’s glass beverage bottle $21.99 USD
This is an idea that my foodie friend Alexa Clark‘s did for her birthday party. It is easy to do, it repurposes something that we do not use anymore and it is affordable. Alexa decorated used wine bottles by etching H20 on each bottle.
As you can see, she even recycled her cut stencils and the cut letters which produced two patterns. I am not sure if it is due to the color of the glass but the green wine bottles are prettier. You could also try it on a clear glass bottle.
You could do your own glass etching projects to write the table numbers on bottles or votive holders. Or you can create your own etched glass storage jars, like those on Martha Stewart.
March 16th, 2010 Update: A fun idea that @jennifersquires shared with me on Twitter is to etch drink glasses with your kid name and day of the week. Then you can drink out of the same glass all day.
Glass Etching Tips
A few things to know if you are new to glass etching:
- Make sure to clean very well the surface.
- You may want to put painter tapes (they are easily to get off than the regular tapes) on close-by areas to make sure no etching cream touched them.
- Remove all the bubbles from your vinyl stencil and that the edges are stuck tight to the glass before applying an even thick coat of etching cream.
- Wear rubber gloves and uses a brush or a popsicle stick to apply the cream. Make sure to cover completely the area that you want to etch.
- Work in a well ventilated area.
+ photos: Etched glass storage jars on Martha Stewart
We all know that drinking tap water is more eco-friendly than the bottled water. But when you entertain guests, you want a stylish solution to serve water at the dinner table. For that reason, I collect nice bottles like the Limonade artisanale Elixia from which I removed the labels. But then, I found it drab.
I could stencil or affix letters to write a word. I could glue diy labels or stickers. But to be honest, I never seem to find the time. Until that happens, I found an easy solution. Get a couple of reusable glass bottles from Tap Water Bottle. A particularity of their bottles is that they are offered in smaller formats: 250 ml and 500 ml. This is because they are meant to be carried around.
If you go with individual size bottles, you can prepare your flavored water bottles the day before the party and keep them on your fridge. You can then create an amazing drink station. It may seem like a big investment initially since we reuse them over and over, it is like buying glasses.
You can buy online for a delivery across Canada and the United States. The tap water bottles are also available at participating Roots stores and at a few Canadian retailers.
+ photo: Limonade artisanale Elixia
+ Tap Water Bottle $10 for 250 ml, $12 for 500 ml
Today, it feels like Spring in Montreal. I am thinking about summer drinks to serve on a terrace. Here are a few tips to cheer up water and cocktails. Drop berries, herbs, strips of citrus zest and ginger bits before you add water to your ice cube trays. It cannot be simpler than that.
Adding Tonic Water to your Ice Cubes
I like to serve for the aperitif a glass of Portonic. It is a refreshing long drink made with dry white Port, tonic water, ice, garnished with either a slice of lemon or lime. A modern variation is to replace the slice of lemon by a slice of cucumber and 2 green grapes. In this case, you could pour some tonic water before adding the tab water to make your ice cubes. You could make 100% tonic water ice cubes but they will melt at a faster rate.
Let the ingredients infuse the water on the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Try the mix of sliced ginger, cucumber ribbons, and mint sprigs. Martha also suggested to add lime slices, large strips of orange zest, and gently crushed rosemary sprigs to your water pitcher.
+ photo: Flavored Ice Cubes on Martha Stewart
+ photo: Inviting waters on Martha Stewart
Since the handle of a jug helps us when we pour liquid, the Spanish design studio GR Lab created a attachment that perfectly fits the universal coil of any plastic bottle. Plus it adds a touch of color to your table. I like the fact that it is a simple way to reuse the plastic bottles. When we think about it, we could reuse plastic bottles to serve fresh lemonade or ice tea.
I read on Inhabitat that the Aqua Jar for Balvi was launched at last month’s Valencia Design Week. It is not yet on the Web site of Balvi. The Web site of GR Lab is more than sparse on information. This is all the information I could find of this new product.
+ Via Inhabitat
I always admired the stylish design of Ovopur, the eco-friendly water filtering system developed by a Quebec brand called Aquaovo. I think the egg shape glazed porcelain jar looks even better dressed in black.
CAVIAR is a limited series available in two patterns: Marcato and Legato. I love both. If I could find a spot in my home, I would like the have one. You fill the top reservoir with tap water. That water will be filtered as it falls on the main egg-shape reservoir. The egg shape reservation prevents water stagnation. Combined with the thermal property of porcelain, your water stays fresher longer. It is simple, elegant and eco-friendly. Except for the filtration cartridge that you need to change 3 times a year, there is no waste.
OVOBAR is a beverage dispenser. It is basically the OVOPUR system without the top reservoir and water filtering system. When you need it, you can use the main reservoir of the OVOPUR as a beverage dispenser. Since it is easy to clean, I do not foresee any problem to convert it for the need of a party. To be safe, I would ask Aquaovo.
+ Aquaovo collection
+ Ovopur (white) $689 CAD
I received several requests about the stylish square glass containers with the cucumber water that I shown you last June. I asked my friend Isabelle who works at Fairmont Hotels to find out where they bought it. She found that they are manufactured by Cal-Mil, a brand that cater the food service industry.
Browsing their catalog, I also found more elegant beverage dispensers. Each beverage server has the ice cube insert that will not water down your drinks. They also carry an eco-friendly line made from recycled glass.
Budget between $390 and $420 USD which is not more expansive than a few beverage dispensers I showcased before. I do not know if they sell to the public.
As a pursuit to reduce my consumption of plastic water bottles, I am looking for a reusable water bottle that would look great while I walk in the city. I wish for a funky or cool modern print. The SIGG bottles have a trendy look but they are made of aluminum which means that they can corrode. I trust more the food grade stainless steel bottles.
First let’s look at Earthlust. This small brand started by a mother from San Francisco has a cute line. I would like if the drawing theme extends beyond nature. I like the cute poppies and the silver Crow. Earthlust bottles use non-toxic paints and BPA-free safe polypropelene caps.
For a minimalist look, look at Klean Kanteen. They started selling stainless steel reusable water bottles in 2004. Their line is quite extensive with all kinds of caps to fit your lifestyle and preferences. Plus, more of their range is dishwasher safe.
They launched not long ago an extra-wide mouth bottle which is more practical if you like to put ice cubes or fresh berries into your drink. The wide-mouth is only available in brushed metal finish. It has a lightly shorter profile, more compact and lighter than the Classic model.
The sleek stainless steel Classic bottles also come in 6 colors: green moss, orange sunset, ocean blue, black eclipse, pink renewal, tree bark and indicator red. The Classic model feels more like a bottle versus the wide mouth model which feels more like a Mason jar.
The outside of Klean Kanteen caps is made 100% BPA-free with the inside made of 100% stainless steel. Therefore, your drinks will never touch plastic. And their bottles fit totes by Built NY.
I still have to find a brand that make stainless steel bottles with hip designs than are as good as the SIGG Lifestyle series. If you know one, I would like to know who it is.
+ Growing Tree Stainless Steel Water Bottle by Earthlust 13 oz. $15.95 USD
+ Earthlust Crow Stainless Steel Water Bottle – in red or silver 20 oz. $15.00 USD
+ Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Colored Water Bottles on sale $9.95 – $25.49 USD
+ Built NY Totes for Klean Kanteen 27 oz Stainless Steel Bottles $27.50 – $35.50 USD
+ Built NY Totes for Klean Kanteen 40 oz Stainless Steel Bottles $40 – $45 USD
If you are looking for a unique gifts for a foodie with a love of modern design, browse through the catalogue of Eva Solo. They give unique shape to everyday housewares. Eva Solo products are not cheap. There are an indulgence. Therefore, they are perfect gift ideas.
Salad Sinner by Eva Solo
The Salad Spinner reinvent the old technique of washing salad. Your grand mothers used to do that with a tea towel. Now you can do it more efficiently and more stylishly with their salad spinner. I really like the look.
After you rinse the leaves with your hands (which you must always do whichever method you use), squeeze the top of the bucket together to form a spout and pour off the water. The lettuce is now ready for spinning. You need a little bit of vertical space. Swing the bucket around in the air – this you can do either indoors or outdoors. In the process, any surplus water and dirt collects under the drainage plate.
The bucket is made of soft TPE rubber, which is approved for foods, and has a nylon cord handle. The drainage plate is made of stainless steel. The bucket is available in creamy sand, spring green and steel grey.
Other Gift Ideas
The Eva Solo’s silicone potholders are available in new colors. I like it because you simply rinse them to remove small spills or put them in the dishwasher for a thorough wash. The flexibility of silicone means that they follow the form of the pots and pans your need to carry. If you want, you can place the potholders on a hook near the stove to have them close whenever you need.
You will be the stylish camper with the thermo picnic flask. In fact, they look as amazing that you can walk the city with the half-liter water flask.
+ Salad Spinner by Eva Solo $118 USD
+ Eva Solo Flexible Potholders $45 USD for a pair
+ Mat or polished Thermo Water Flask 0.5 litter $99 USD 1L $188