Entries from September 29th, 2014

Chinese Nap Culture

Sep 29, 2014

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This September was my first trip to China. While I saw and did many fascinating things, including the Shanghai Furniture Fair, one of my takeaways from the whole experience was the Chinese people’s impressive ability to nap. Anywhere. On more than one occasion, my afternoon meetings revolved around waiting for people to finish their naps before we could discuss business.


For whatever reason, it had never occurred to me that napping was such a crucial part of the day. So I started looking into it and the amount of content I found on this topic was incredible. Supposedly during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party would force their employees to take naps every afternoon. The amount of research showing positive results after 20-30 minutes of rest post-lunch had me convinced. This brief period allows our brains to recharge and for those of us in creative roles, that is particularly important.


As mentioned, I attended the Shanghai Furniture Fair. We walked through hall after hall of chairs, tables, lighting, sofas, etc.. However, one of the times I found myself most comfortable was in the hall of office chairs. They have specifically designed office chairs to support this nap culture. They have not only an ergonomic back and seat which we’re used to in North America, but the most ergonomic neck and head supports with padded extenders which come out from under the seat to put your feet up. We laughed but this was like the Rolls-Royce of office chairs for the Chinese people.


Among all my research, I found a website (http://www.sleepingchinese.com/) which is simply a collection of photographs taken in Shanghai by a German photographer. Enjoy!


Catching some z’s at a playground in Shanghai (photo: http://www.sleepingchinese.com/)

Catching some z’s at a playground in Shanghai (photo: http://www.sleepingchinese.com/)

The First Annual Poutine Cup

Sep 26, 2014

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I was lucky enough to snatch one of the 400 tickets to the first annual Poutine Cup in Winnipeg. Fort Gibraltar, a historic site in the French quarter of the city, hosted, and the folks at Charcoal Collaborative were the brains behind the operation. Ten restaurants participated and came up with an equal number of mouthwatering poutine creations. From fries soaked in pickle brine, to house made cheese, all of the restaurants brought their “A” game. Half Pints, a local craft brewery, sponsored the event and offered samples of their St. James Pale Ale and Oktoberfest lager.





Diversity’s “The Definitely Not Vegan” paired with Half Pint’s Oktoberfest lager.





Ready to dig into the Cornerstone’s “Nacho Ordinary Fries”.


The evening couldn’t have been better, with a friendly, low-key atmosphere, ideal location, fantastic food and drinks, and an abundance of Bothwell cheese curds. I started off with great vigor and plowed through the first five vendors, but had to slow down and share the remaining dishes due to a looming food coma. The weather was also in everyone’s favour, providing a crisp fall-like breeze to aid digestion with only a trickle of rain midway through. Towards the end of the night, the Pink Socks got on stage while the ballots were being counted and the judges made their final decision.



Bernstein’s interpretation of a reuben – poutine style.





Aaron from Bernstein’s dishes out some delicious grainy mustard beef gravy.



The Grove’s decadent spin on poutine, featuring pulled duck confit and a sour cherry glaze.


In the end, MAW’s won the Judge’s choice with “The Schwartz”, and Marion Street Eatery’s “The Sweet n’ Salty” stole the hearts of the crowd, winning People’s choice. The event was a success and after all the poutine was eaten, the last drops of Oktoberfest were sipped, and goodbyes were said to familiar faces, I had to be rolled home. Needless to say, my poutine cravings have been put to rest for the time being, but I’ll be raring to go for next year’s cup and I can’t wait to see what else Charcoal Collaborative has up their sleeve.





Warming up by the fire enjoying Pizzeria Gusto’s beef osso buco gravy smothered poutine.




Participating Restaurants:


“The Gluten Free Vegan”
Miso gravy, tofu ‘feta’, pea shoots, and peas.


“The Definitely Not Vegan”
Smoked gravy, turkey skin seasoning, and house made cheese.


Promenade Café and Wine
Half Pints Stir Stick braised short rib, smoked cheese curds, and bone marrow gravy.


Bernstein’s Deli

“Reuben Poutine”

House corned beef, sauerkraut, grainy mustard beef gravy, and cheese curds.


The Cornerstone

“Nacho Ordinary Fries”

House chorizo, nacho cheese sauce, Bothwell cheese curds, diced tomatoes, scallions, and charred scallion aioli.


The Tallest Poppy

Chicken gravy, fried chicken bits, and cheese curds.


Marion Street Eatery

“The Sweet n’ Salty”

Bothwell cheese curds, apple onion relish, Jack Daniel’s gravy, goat cheese, and spicy bacon and candy almond crumble.


Pizzeria Gusto

Beef osso buco gravy, fresh Bothwell squeakers, and gremolata.


Peasant Cookery

“The Family Meal”

Chorizo, smoked hock gravy, and Bothwell cheese curds.


MAW’s Eatery & Bar

“The Shwartz”

Dill pickle fries, caraway smoked cheese curds, mustard, and beef brisket gravy.


The Grove

Magical truffled gravy, Bothwell white cheddar curds, pulled duck confit, sour cherry glaze, and duck crackling.




Music Library: 70s Mix

Sep 19, 2014

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PLAYLIST 09.19.2014


I’ve always been a fan of the classics, so this month I made a playlist featuring some of my favourite songs from the seventies featuring a few deep cuts as well as a couple mandatory hits. Enjoy!


01. Have a Cigar | Pink Floyd (75)
02. Watermelon Man | Herbie Hancock (73)
03. Black Cow | Steely Dan (77)
04. Walk On | Neil Young (74)
05. The Passenger | Iggy Pop (77)
06. Simple Twist of Fate | Bob Dylan (75)
07. What’s Going On | Marvin Gaye (71)
08. Rock With You | Michael Jackson (79)
09. I’m Not Down | The Clash (79)
10. Disorder | Joy Division (79)
11. Happy | Rolling Stones (72)
12. Fearless | Pink Floyd (71)
13. Tangerine | Led Zeppelin (70)
14. All I Want | Joni Mitchell (71)
15. The Big Ship | Brian Eno (75)
16. Long Distance Runaround | Yes (72)
17. No Quarter | Led Zeppelin (73)
18. Psycho Killer | Talking Heads (77)
19. Two People in a Room | Wire (79)
20. Moving in Stereo | The Cars (78)
21. Sing Swan Song | Can (72)
22. Powderfinger | Neil Young & Crazy Horse (79)
23. The Chain | Fleetwood Mac (77)
24. Oh! You Pretty Things | David Bowie (71)

Introducing: The Expanded Blanche Collection

Sep 13, 2014

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The name “Blanche” is derived from French and means “white”. Besides the phonetic beauty of the word, it is meant to highlight the composition of natural materials used such as feathers, Belgian linen and solid birch wood.


The collection is generously proportioned, with deep seating and a higher back profile, resulting in an inviting and comfortable seating experience. It is available in two ways; with a linen slipcover or classically upholstered. The first lends to a more casual, relaxed feel and esthetic. The second has a more formal aesthetic with its tailored cover and is available in our complete range of fabric options.



Blanche Slipcover Sofa with Belgian Linen Cover



Blanche Loveseat in Key Largo Pumice



Blanche Chair in Polo Cream



Blanche Chair T-Cushion Detail Shot



Blanche Sofa Profile Detail Shot


The extension to a total amount of 17 components makes Blanche a highly flexible program with a vast amount of sectional configuration options. Certain configurations can be created in multiple ways, allowing spaces with entrance restrictions to fit bigger sectionals by using smaller components. That being said, a large 3×4 seat sectional can be created with two, three or four pieces.



Illustration of 3×4 seat sectional configuration using either: (from left to right) Right-Hand Loveseat, Corner, Armless Chair and Left-Hand Loveseat; or Righ-Hand Sofa Split and a Left-Hand Sofa


Versatile, comfortable, configurable. See (and sit on) Blanche in stores now or purchase online here.

Pumpkin Kahlúa Coffee

Sep 11, 2014

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Marimekko Kukkuluuruu Mug – Buy it here


Are you discouraged from making homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving because having a quarter can of pumpkin puree leftover is unsettling? Here’s a solution… Make pumpkin Kahlúa coffee with it, obviously. Add 1 Tbsp. of the pumpkin puree to your mug with 1 oz of Kahlúa and two or three pinches of ground cinnamon. Mix it all together and fill the mug with your favourite coffee. Add cream, milk or sugar to taste and top it off with some whipped cream and another sprinkling of cinnamon. Enjoy!



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