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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Friday, November 25, 2016

Teacups and Crowns - in the heart of little Italy

When my sister messaged me, in October, about this unexpected gem in the heart of  Windsor's Little Italy, I knew that on my next visit to my family I would be taking my mother there for some mother and daughter time.
From the moment we walked in I knew this wasn't just another cafe offering tea. We were greeted with a warm and friendly welcome from a charming gal, whom I assumed to be the owner - as we chatted (like we had known each other forever) I learned Bianca was the daughter of the owner, Sylvia Alongi, who had stepped out to replenish some of the tasty treats. Assisting Bianca was her darling daughter Shauna ... who helps out on the weekends. On this particular week day Shauna was spending her PA day helping out mom and grandmother at the cafe.

Along with serving up a luxurious selection of specialty teas and coffees, scrumptious treats (scones with jam and yummy short bread cookies were on the menu this day), the cafe is decked out with exquisite fashion jewelry by Cryst-i Collections - earrings, necklaces, bangles and bracelets; stunning scarves, hand bags, shawls, and a wonderful selection of evening and wedding accessories sure to make any fashionatista swoon. If you are in search of a unique gift for someone special (and remember you are special too!) chances are you will find it here. I spotted some beautiful Faberge inspired eggs - that I'm regretting not having inquired more about - on my list for my next visit. 
The shop also offers beautiful floral arrangements made to order. If I recall correctly you can have an arrangement made in a teacup - how great of an idea for the tea connoisseur on your list; when the flowers expire - they will have a beautiful teacup to enjoy.

Whether you cozy up on this settee and inviting side chairs, sit at one of the cafe tables or take a seat at the counter ... the atmosphere beckons you to relax your shoulders, and let the day's cares drift away as you unwind sipping a hot beverage and a tasty treat (you know I'm all about the sweets too!). 

Before ordering you get to choose the teacup that your tea will be served in, from a most lovely selection of fine bone china teacups.
How darling is this Royal Albert - Buckingham Series teacup, my mother chose?
This Royal Stafford teacup is quite regal with it's purple and gold - and the thumb rest handle.
Mom went for the scone with jam, while I went for the shortbred cookie.  
Thank you Bianca and Shauna for a memorable afternoon with my mother.
See you next visit.

Teacups and Crowns is the perfect destination for catching up with your girls friends, taking yourself out on a date, or spending some quality time with family. And ladies the men in your life will also enjoy this little gem of a cafe with it's welcoming and relaxing atmosphere - after all they could use a break in their day too!

If you live or visit the Windsor area I highly suggest you check out Teacups and Crowns, located at 591 Erie Street East. You can check them out on their facebook page HERE.

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Using the Power of the Full Moon to Let Go...

Those of you who follow along on social media will have seen me share how to set new moon intentions for increasing the energy to actions you want to take towards your goals. I also wrote about new moon intentions in 2013 here. Tonight as I texted back and forth with a friend about letting go of what no longer serves her - I shared with her how I use the full moon to help me release that which no longer serves my highest good. 

Our exchange of texts - got me thinking ... with the biggest supermoon to rise over Toronto in 70 years - perhaps many of you are also ready to let go of things, people, or situations that are no longer serving your highest good. I encourage you to use the power of this Supermoon to help you release and let go what has been holding you back from moving forward in your life.

Here is my Full Moon Ritual - for letting go:

1. Cleansing your energetic field - Imagine yourself standing under a waterfall, the water flowing over your head, down your body and flowing freely from your feet, washing away all negative and non-serving energies. I have been know to actually stand in the shower as I visualize all the negative, non-serving energies swishing down the drain along with the water.

2. Your sacred space - Select a space in your home that is quiet, and free of clutter, where you will not be disturbed. I usually sit on the floor in front of my meditation alter or at my dinning room table if no one is around.

3. Creating your setting - you will need: a white candle; an empty deep bowl; pen, paper, and matches. Place all items in front of you, light the candle. 

4. The ritual - take a three deep breaths, inhaling through the nose, holding to the count of three and exhaling through the mouth to the count of three. On the piece of paper begin to write what you wish to release from your life - things, people, situations, that are no longer serving your highest good, an aspect of yourself you have outgrown or any limiting beliefs you are ready to let go of. When you are done sign and date your page.

5. Letting go - breath deep into your heart and declare out loud "I'm ready to let this go, along with whatever else is holding me back and no longer serving my highest good". As you make your declaration, hold a corner of your page over the candle allowing the flame to light your page; discard the page into the empty deep bowl - and let the page burn ... as it burns it's taking all your releasing intentions to the Universe. 

6. Welcome inspiration - take a deep breath, keeping the candle burning, sit in silence for a few minutes - take note of any messages the Universe may send you.

Affirmation: "The full moon is my friend, it gives me the opportunity to release and let go of anything, person, situation, limiting belief or aspect of me that I have outgrown; and is no longer serving my highest good".  - say this affirmation for the next 7 days.

Learn more about the best time to see the Supermoon in Toronto here:

How do you use the power of the full moon to let go?

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In the Kitchen #4 ~ Pot Roast Chicken

I have been enjoying my Le Creuset (French) Oven ... this recipe is from their website.
Pre-heat oven to 325 °F


1 TBsp. Olive Oil
4 slices bacon , roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 C. pearl onions, peeled and halved
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 small carrots, roughly chopped
5 lb. chicken
salt and pepper
2 C. chicken stock 

Create the Magic:
Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bacon, garlic and onions. Stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes or until onions have slightly softened. 
Add thyme, bay leaves, celery and carrots, continue to stir for another 2-4 minutes 
Add chicken, breast side up - and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock.
Cover the French Oven with lid and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally
 with pan juices. 
Remove lid and increase temperature to  375 °F , cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Internal temperature should read 165 °F .

Enjoy with crusty bread ...

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In the Kitchen #3 ~ European Omelette

Who says omelettes are just for breakfast? 

I love omelettes for lunch, dinner and breakfast ... its a quick and easy meal when you are pressed for time or just not feeling like cooking. And the filling options are limited only by your imagination and palate. This is one I came up with to use up some leftover broccoli and a small piece of chorizo.

3 -  medium eggs 
1/4 C. chorizo
1/4 C. brie cheese
small broccoli crown
1-2 TBsp - butter (or coconut oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional:  1 Tsp - finely chopped garlic; 1-2 TBsp. finely diced onion

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