Steffi's Test Kitchen: Simple Mother's Day Brunch

Happy Mother's Day to all the super mommas out there and to all the people in their families and communities that are helping them raise super children; thank you! As a mom, I want to use this day to remind the people who help me so much that I love and appreciate them. We're going to have a simple picnic with some flowers and backyard games.
Line baskets or bowls with parchment paper and fill them with berries and fresh baguette, and fill bottles with sparkling lemonade or spritzers. We made bundles of local asparagus wrapped in a piece of prosciutto sprinkled with pepper and asiago cheese (10 minutes in the oven at 375) and made a hard boiled egg for each bundle. Spend less time cooking, and more time outside with the people you love. Enjoy the day!

| napkin rings - Chapters, tongs and tassel napkins - Home Sense, paper napkins and berry basket - Superstore |

| striped outdoor rug and chopping block - Superstore, placemats - IKEA, soda bottles - antique from Germany | 


WEEKEND WEAR: See You In Paris

Just a little rainy day ensemble for tromping about on a Saturday. Even though we have been fortunate with our weather here in Kelowna, it's still often very damp in the morning and transient Spring downpours blow in and out over the mountains. I like to keep my rain boots in the car so that if I need them over the day while we are out I can throw them on, or switch them up with runners as the day warms and dries up. When you are doing errands with a three year old, you are bound to find a puddle or two. Happy Saturday!

| jacket, scarf - Joe Fresh | jeans - J Brand | boots - Hunter | bag - Rebecca Minkoff | tshirt - Zoe Karssen | hat - Urban Outfitters | 


Spring Stroll

Definitely guilty of having this outfit not only on rotation but just straight up the only thing I wear lately. These brushed cotton J Brand pants have a bit of stretch to them and can worn rolled up or down (thanks Winners for the sweet find), and I have been switched heeled sandals and Birks in and out for foot wear depending on where I am walking to. My mom got me this cute canvas tote for the market to carry things like flowers and bread, and I still have my tutti frutti cooler bag from Oh, Joy! for Target from last Summer. Still lamenting their departure by the way. Can't wait to go to the first farmer's market of the year this weekend for Mother's Day brunch items. Stay tuned for a simple Mother's Day brunch idea this Friday on the blog!

| hat - Joe Fresh | denim jacket - Eluxe.ca | tshirt - Zoe Karssen | pants - J Brand | purse - Rebecca Minkoff via Eluxe.ca | sandals, watch - Micheal Kors | watermelon canvas tote - Winners |


Decked Out

I'm so happy it's finally patio weather here in the Okanagan; the mornings and evenings are still really cool by the lake but there's nothing I want to do more than enjoy my coffee outside before work or come home and take in the view with family over dinner. My apartment isn't large, but it has two decks on the corner unit: one off of the kitchen which gets the morning sun and one off of my bedroom that gets the afternoon sun. Since using these decks in the warmer weather greatly expands my living space, I have made an effort this year to make them an extension of my house and a place that I am proud to host people at.

I have been working on my tiny deck project for about a month, and like all of my projects I believe that you can end up with a great looking finished product without a large budget. I will share photos of the entire finished space soon, but in the mean time here are some small vignettes as well as 4 important tips I used to make a great outdoor space on little money.
*thanks to my fab Mama for the great photos, and helping me eat the salsa and chips after*

There is some ugly grout going on out there on my deck, I will admit. .This might be the case for you if you have a rental property, an apartment, or a house you just bought where you are spending reno dollars elsewhere at the moment and can't redo the whole thing. Clean the underlying surface thoroughly and then invest in some clickable outdoor tiles that you can lay on top or large outdoor rugs and clean them as regularly as the season goes on.

| tray, cups, crab paper weight, copper bucket - Home Sense, decanter - Chapters Indigo, towels, placemats, towels, napkins - IKEA |

I am by no means a gardener. I am trying. My parents are terrific at it and hopefully I have absorbed something from them. Any space automatically looks more lush and inviting with plants. Play with height on your deck or patio. I potted a few tall palms, medium height lemongrass, lavender, and succulents, and low herb garden for balance (and taste!). Plants are a relatively inexpensive way to fill in your space and they will continue to grow and evolve over the Spring and Summer.

| blanket - Home Sense, boy's fedora, polo, shorts, women's hat - Joe Fresh |
Embrace the power of the second hand find. I don't know if you have noticed, but buying new patio furniture seems to cost the same as a flight to a patio in Spain. Hit up garage sales, estate sales, second hand or vintage stores to look for pieces that aren't necessarily a matching set, but tie together somehow. Also look for items you can transform for a low cost. You will get bonus points for cool pieces that no one else has and also more money in your pocket. Last year we drove out into the country and I got a lovely old church bench for $30. The man also had a wooden kitchen cart that he said I could have for free since I drove out to get the bench. It didn't fit in my car, but being the independent lady that I am I have tools in the car. We took the cart apart in the driveway, packed the pieces in, and brought it home to be my outdoor bar cart.

When you need a few more items to tie your outdoor space together, look inside your house before you spend any money. This can sneakily make your deck more cohesive with your existing decor or use items that were stored and creating clutter. Jars, trays, baskets, blankets, and candle holders can all work outside to finish the look.


Easter In The Orchard

Happy Easter everyone! My mom took these photos at the orchard just up the street from our house last weekend. Since then so many more blossoms have come out so we may just have to go for a drive tomorrow down the South Okanagan and take more. 

I feel like Easter holds fantastic memories and traditions for families and it's another holiday that we are trying to create traditions for Torrey based on what I remember doing as a child. When we were little my mom's parents would drive out to a provincial campground and they would arrive prior to us, hide everything, and then drive away so that we thought they came after us. It always blew our minds to find all these tiny treats in the forest. My dad would even warm some eggs up in his hand and then put them back down indicating that the Easter Bunny had just been there. Then we would roast hotdogs and marshmallows and go for a long walk all around the park. Whatever your family and friends do, I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

| Torrey's clothes - H&M | bunnies - Jelly Cat via Chapters/Indigo | baskets - Home Sense | dress - Joe Fresh | sandals - Michael by Micheal Kors | bag - Rebecca Minkoff via Eluxe |