Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Few (more) of My Favorite Things...

I have been terribly negligent with my writing as of late. Nothing like more time in hospitals to kill one's motivation. Thankfully, my family has been given a short reprieve from further hospital stays and, after seeing a friend of mine take the leap and launch her own business blog ( - way to go Kat!), I got the inspiration I needed to carve out some time to blog.

So let's keep it simple, shall we?

Here are a few more of my favorite things that deserve a mention:


Not only does it fill the void that X-Files left in my TV viewing world, I think Fringe is one of the best new shows (relatively speaking...I believe it's already in it's second season but only just catching on) on TV. And coming from someone who spends very little time watching TV, this is high praise in my world.

I never realized I was such a big fan of sci-fi, or what is now being rebranded as "speculative", but clearly I am. Fringe is from the genius that is J.J. Abrams (...also creator of Alias, Lost, and the new Star Trek movie...among others). The show is intelligent, suspenseful and a bit mind bending. I like that this series makes you think while it entertains and leaves you speculating, like a great Michael Crichton novel does, could this really happen or already be happening???

Cactus Club Cafe's Ravioli + Prawn Trio

When you taste something this delicious, it must be passed on. The interesting thing about this particular dish is that I'm not sure I would have ordered it had one of my dinner guests beside me not done so. I love good pasta but ravioli is not usually a big draw for me. That all changed the moment my table mate was presented with this dish. It took me all of 30 seconds before I grabbed our server and asked for a plate of my own. I couldn't get over the aroma coming from this dish.

The menu describes this starter as "butternut squash ravioli with sautéed jumbo prawns"...but let me share with you that this doesn't come close to describing it's flavour. What seems like a fairly simple dish turns out to have a rich and complex flavour that just about knocked me off my seat. It was so unexpected. I was torn between the great conversation I was having at our table and the food I was doing my best to slow down eating and savour. The food won my attention. Had I not been with business colleagues at the time, I'm pretty sure I would have ordered another plate for myself. It is that good.

Raw Canvas

Raw Canvas is my favorite new place to be. Not only is it a hip, relaxed lounge to park yourself at for a glass of wine and some tantalizing cheese & meat pairings (such a great way to eat), it is also a place you can come to for art, music and, best of all, painting.

Let me be clear here, a painter, I am not, but I love the idea of being able to paint. Before my first trip to Raw Canvas, I had only put paint to canvas once before (not counting Elementary School, that is) and I can't draw to save my life. That being said, I love playing with paint, mixing colours, trying different brushes and techniques out at their studio. This creative style of mine can only be described as the most abstract of terms. I seem to end up with paintings that all look the same at the end of the day but it doesn't bother me in the least. The process is truly too much fun not to repeat.

They said it best on their website: Raw Canvas is the place to "Eat. Drink. Make art." It's the perfect combination and it is worth checking out whether you are going on your own, with a group of friends or with your colleagues for a corporate celebration.

Eat. Drink. Make art. Not a bad theme to adopt for the new year ahead.


I learned about Etsy through Twitter not so long ago (God love Twitter!). It's a site designed to showcase and sell only handmade items. Very cool concept and great website.

The handmade letterpress cards I came across are one of my favorite finds to date ( I'm of lover of all things stationary and these elegant, clean and crisp cards are beautiful. I also really like the idea of supporting the people who work so hard to create these handcrafted works of art in our mass produced, big box store era.

Straight No Chaser

What holiday season would be complete without great Christmas music to accompany it? This year I was introduced to Straight No Chaser, a group I had never heard of before and so pleasantly surprised to be introduced to.

Holiday music doesn't change very much from year to year so when I came across these fellas with their unique and very merry take on the holiday music genre, I figured there may be a few of you out there who would also appreciate the introduction. Enjoy!

I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy some, if not all, of these favorites of mine. If you have a few of your own, post your comments and share them with the rest of us. A good thing should never go unnoticed.

Ciao for now,