Once we redid the Turkish room – an alcove off our sitting room, we had 8 matchstick style bamboo blinds left over! We gave some away to use as blinds and my daughter still uses one as a tablecloth/cover which simply transformed an ugly plastic rectangular outdoor table. The weight makes it very stable.
We also considered using it a screen to hide the air conditioning unit. Simply take bamboo poles, cut to size of blind plus 12 inches wind around each end securing with twine and press 12 inches into the ground.
Or use as
A sunshade hung up with bamboo poles, screws, hooks or clips.
Cut down and wrapped around large plastic flowerpots.
A potting mat to stand on in muddy areas which can then be easily hosed down.
As a curtain/blind to block out the sun on an open porch.
It is one thing to go out for tea or coffee but pre-made cold brewed coffee is something that I find extraordinarily expensive at the supermarket, especially as it so easy to make your own.
Make this instead! Iced Coffee Concentrate
Grind one cups of coffee beans coarsely, add the ground coffee to 2 cups of water that has been left to come to room temperature using a French press, large jug or jar. Leave covered on the countertop for 24 hours. Push down the press or if using jug/jar strain through a filter or cheesecloth.
To serve: Fill a glass with ice (you can make ice cubes from the cold brew if you do not want the coffee diluted) Add your coffee concentrate, milk, water, soy, almond, cashew, coconut or sweetened condensed milk in whatever proportions you like. All are delicious. Try starting with half of each. If you take sugar, make a batch of simple sugar syrup to use with your cold drinks. If you want to make a larger batch, just double the amounts.
It’s that time of year again when hands and feet become rough and grubby after gardening, painting, cleaning and odd jobs. To remedy simply take a little granular sugar and some olive oil in the palm of your hands to make a scrub. Rub into the skin gently and rinse with warm water. Wash hands if they feel too greasy. Now apply yourfavorite hand cream or body lotion. Voila, soft hands and feet! Use on knees and elbows too. This scrub is also good in winter when hands begin to dry out.
Most people now in Canada consider Victoria Day as the (unofficial) start of Summer! Queen Victoria died in 1901 and until 1952 Victoria Day was a national bank holiday on May 24. However, beginning 1953 Victoria Day is now celebrated on the Monday on or before May 24, which gives us the opportunity to enjoy a long weekend.
One of the best ways to kick off the warmer weather and raise a toast to Queen Victoria and all things British is with a Pimm’s Cup originally served in James Pimm’s London oyster bar in the 1840s where he invented this delicious drink calling it the No 1 cup. It was a definite step up to the harsh gin that was normally served.
PIMM’S ORIGINAL in tall glasses & a jug
200ml PIMM’S No.1 This is gin-based
600ml of Lemonade
Mint, orange, strawberries, & cucumber
Chop up all fruit and lightly muddle the mint and place in jug or glass. Add the Pimm’s followed by lemonade and ice. Serve and enjoy.
Last weekend I traveled up to Grand Bend with a friend to check out The Pinery Flea Market’s Annual Spring Yard Sale. The market is open every Sunday from 8am until 4pm, May to (Canadian) Thanksgiving. In addition to the regular market line up, there are additional sellers for this one sale which was the first one this year. The cost is a $1 per person and includes parking.
We arrived at 8am, parked and perused the stalls. I actually only spent $20 that day while my friend spent a lot more and visited the ATM! My van was filled up! After a couple of hours, we stopped for the hot breakfast and had some coffee. Very convenient! There were proper bathrooms on the premises
Here are my tips to shop like a pro.
Dress comfortably! Wear your comfy shoes and if the sale is being held outdoors, like the Pinery, which has parking in a field, if it has rained or is wet, rubber boots or waterproof shoes may be a better option. Wear layers, it was chilly on arrival and as it warmed up I just peeled off a jacket and sweater. Use a messenger style bag so that your hands are free and your wallet safe in your bag. Sunglasses and sunscreen if you will be out all day.
Arrive Early or at least at the opening time, so you will have the best pick. See if you can do a quick once over to get an idea of what is available.
Once you find your treasure buy it or someone else will.
Bring cash. Most markets only deal in cash (although the Pinery had two ATMs) and bring smaller bills, plus loonies and toonies too.
Have a Plan. Think about what you want, a coffee table or vintage clothing and go looking for these items. Have a notebook with measurements of where your finds may go. Bring a tape measure so you can check the size to see if it will fit. Other treasures will catch your eye too. I had seen some pictures of what the vendors were selling but I never found any of the items so the pictures were not current and I had to settle for what was available.
Bring snacks and water in case there is no food or you do not care for what is on offer. Wipes and sanitizer are useful too. Use your camera on your cell phone if you find items that you like but want to see more and then use the photos to compare.
Update, upcycle and rescue any item that you love but is damaged with paint, fabric and more.
If you are interested in the Pinery Antique Flea & Farmers Market, the address is 10163 Lakeshore Rd, which is 3 miles south of Grand Bend on Hwy 21. Find them on facebook too.
Red. Often a blend of two or more grape varieties, these gorgeous reds are delicate while being robust to deliver a seamless taste. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc pairs delightfully with cheese, beef and lamb.
White. Lighter than their red counterpart and perfect as an aperitif, whites are an ideal companion with grilled fish and soft tangy cheeses.
Suddenly after a cold April, we are having a mini heatwave! I love the giant ladyfingers as a snack with a cup of coffee but with the hot weather, we made some ice cream sandwiches and strawberry shortcakes, so delicious, quick and easy. Use your favourite combinations.