Kitchen Essentials: A Chef’s Knife and Paring Knife

For anyone who cooks at home, a Chef’s Knife and Paring Knife are kitchen essentials and absolutely worth the investment. My knives of choice are the Wüsthof ® Classic 6″ Chef’s Knife and Wüsthof ® Gourmet 3″ Paring Knife that I have had since 2010 and still love today. Despite cooking since childhood, I signed up for a knife skills cooking class at the LCBO in Toronto. In one evening class, my friends and I were lucky enough to learn beginner knife skills, enjoy the fruits of the our labour and were gifted with a few Wüsthof ® knives to take home. The LCBO still runs these classes at the Summerhill Toronto LCBO Stores and other locations throughout Ontario. If this is something you are interested in, sign up for their LCBO Taste and Experiences Guide to learn about future classes. The LCBO also has a number of great cooking classes with wine paring too. I highly recommend taking one if you are looking to expand your own culinary skills. It is a lovely way to spend an evening.

If you are already a knife pro and looking for an upgrade, definitely check out the Wüsthof ® knives which are sold in Toronto at Crate and Barrel Yorkdale Shopping Centre, via their website and at Russell Hendrix Foodservice Equipment. I love mine.

Happy chopping!

The Coach Market Tote 

Since I was little, autumn was my favourite time of year. I always loved back to school fashions and the sense of a new beginning. While it has been many years since I returned to school, I love when I can bring out my cooler weather clothes again. Every autumn I may add a few new pieces if I find something in one of my favourite colours that suit me. 

Over the last few years, I have slowly been trying to add navy instead of black to my basic neutral wardrobe. While September is still a few weeks away, I introduced something new to my accessory wardrobe – a Coach Market Tote in Navy with a Teal coloured lining. I had been looking for a navy purse and/or bag for awhile and happened upon this beautiful one when I recently popped into a Coach store for a look. I consider myself a poster girl and brand ambassador for Coach as I have owned and loved their leather goods for more than two decades. It was love at first site when I saw this tote. I love its versatility – one can open it completely as a tote or close the centre clasp for a purse look. It has a few inside pockets for your mobile or transit pass and a large zippered pocket too. Since I often stop on my way home from work, I needed something to put my work tablet in to bring it with me on the go and this bag is perfect for that. I am also a shutterbug and have been wanting to use my Canon Camera DSLR more often and this tote allows me to take it on my local travels. I love that Coach now allows you personalize your own hang tag. I kept it simple with my initials with a heart to balance them in between. I am always doodling hearts and I love the heart symbol as it represents love and sharing kindness with the world. 

If you haven’t been to Coach recently and are looking for a new purse or tote, pop in to see the new collections. Thank you to Stephanie and Manus at the Coach Store at CF Markville for the amazing service experience. I absolutely love my beautiful new market tote! 

The Helsinki Scarf by Balmuir 

There is a hint of autumn in the air today which has me reaching for one of my favourite pieces. The Helsinki Scarf by Balmuir is quite simply the best scarf and shawl ever. I found this brand completely by chance strolling through the accessories section at Stockmann Department Store when in Helsinki a few years ago. As soon as I discovered it, I had to have one to bring back home to Canada. While a bit of a splurge, when you live in a climate with four seasons a cashmere item is a must have. I use mine all the time in winter and a bit in the other seasons too. Worth absolutely every euro I paid for it. I bought mine in a blue shade called midnight as blue always reminds me of Finland. I look forward to investing in a black one when I return to Finland again and hopefully one day they will have my perfect shade of pink too. If you find yourself in Helsinki, definitely drop by Balmuir’s brand new store in Downtown Helsinki at Pohjoisesplanadi 25-27 or visit Stockmann’s to discover this beautiful Finnish brand yourself. A beautiful present for you or someone special to you. 

A spring table in bloom 

I love all things Finnish. My entire life I have been surrounded by Finnish design at home including many beautiful iittala pieces. I absolutely adore every one of these timeless beauties. This year, iittala is re-thinking the table setting and asking their Instagram followers to share their table reset. Sunny spring days will be in bloom soon so I created this spring table setting with a few of my iittala, Arabia and Marimekko treasured pieces. A fresh take on my spring table.  

In search of a not so puffy winter coat 

Chilly, winter days are not over yet so a warm winter coat is definitely still needed. Since I started working full time and wear dresses and skirts most days, I really just invested in winter coats I could wear to work and on the weekends too. However outside of work during the winter months, I am pretty casual with jeans and leggings my outfits of choice so I have kept looking for a casual coat to suit this part of my wardrobe. For many years, I would try on lots of coats but everything I would find was just too puffy for me. Finally last autumn I discovered the Columbia Sportswear WOMEN’S MIGHTY LITEâ„¢ HOODED JACKET. Absolutely love the Omni-Heatâ„¢ Reflective technology that keeps me perfectly comfortable both indoors and out. Definitely the best winter clothing investment I made last year. 

My Sweetie Story 

My love of charm bracelets started at a young age as I adored one my mother had from when she was a little girl. No surprise it was love at first sight when I discovered the Links of London sweetie bracelet. My sweetie includes a heart charm to represent love and kindness, the globe for travel and the reminder that the world is my oyster plus two Little Miss charms from my favourite children’s books for a wee bit of fun. Little Miss Sunshine represents my positive attitude and Little Miss Princess for my love of everything girly and pink.