Chill out...

Big Chuck is wrestling with his paper today so he gave me the nuts and bolts of his post and I'm going to do my best to assemble it (think IKEA furniture).

One of his many obsessions is his bike. And what better way to store a bike over the winter (especially such a handsome one as he has) than fasten it to the wall with this Cycloc Bicycle storage device designed by Andrew Lang and recipient of numerous design awards.

All faiths welcome... These Holy Homes designed by Frederik Roijé leave no bird without a safe haven to call home during the cold winter months.

When it's too cold to go outdoors, bring nature in with this wall sticker from Ferm Living available in black, gold and green.

Good luck with the paper BC and see you here next Friday!


Calendar Preview - August 2009

It's a beautiful day today. The moment I stepped outside I said to Big Chuck "Ahhhh, it feels like summer!" So in celebration of this Indian Summer we are experiencing in Vienna, here is a sneak peek of August 2009. I hope to have the calendar ready by the end of the week, so check the English Muffin website to orders yours soon!

Happy Thursday!


The 7th

Who said there was no good shopping in Vienna?? Well, once upon a time, I did... But I take it back, really. The hip and happenin' hood that is the 7th district has just re-vamped their business website and it features some really great and one-of-a-kind stores and galleries.

Above is a photo of Kawaii, a clothing boutique at 25 Lindengasse. Here are a few of my other favourites...
Terra Plana for shoes and boots. These red ones are so cute, I think we would get along well!
Great leather bags from Ina Kent (see Terrific Taschen post) and Ozelot who carry a wide range of bags like this professorial leather bag above from Aunts & Uncles.

Elfenkleid has some really delicate and simple dresses that are right up my alley, they also have a wedding collection you can check out under "brautkollektion - bilder".



Wear your country proudly...

Nothing says Canada like the busy beaver or the majestic moose. Now you can show the world where your home is with these great accessories from TouchtheDutch. Designer Anneke van Bommel is based in Toronto, check out the rest of her products at her Etsy shop.


Muffin Mondays!

Today's muffin is certainly right at home here in Europe. Lingonberries are especially common in Finland, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Poland and Russia. They are often picked wild as they grow in the "circumboreal forests of northern Eurasia and North America, extending from temperate into subarctic climates." - thank you Wikipedia!

Lingonberries are quite tart, so if you are not fond of a little berry kick in your morning muffin, then perhaps these muffins are not for you (ahem, Big Chuck....).

Lingonberries are full of vitamins (C, A and B), photochemicals, elements, and the seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids - what more could you ask for?

I slightly altered the following recipe, using only whole wheat flour instead of a mixture of all purpose and whole wheat, as well I used fresh lingonberries rather than frozen. If I make them again, I think I'll increase the amount of orange rind to get more of an orangy flavour, and add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar or honey for sweetness.

Lingonberry Muffins
Adapted from the Home For Dinner blog

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen lingonberries

Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Stir together the orange rind and sugar; add to flour. Whisk the egg with the orange juice, milk and vegetable oil. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture, add the lingonberries, and stir just to mix. Spoon the batter into a 12-cup muffin tin. Bake at 350F. for about 20 minutes.



To market we go!

I love visiting the markets on Saturday morning, so today armed with my camera and our good friend Jeff, we headed out to Kutschkermarkt to do a little shopping for dinner this evening.

Before we began hunting for fruits and veggies and cruising the Italian stall (the yummiest one!) for cheeses and breads, we nurished ourselves at the Pöhl's outdoor cafe with traditional farmers' breakfasts.

The harvest is bountiful this time of year, so many greens and gourds to choose from. We bought some wonderful ingredients for this evenings meal, can't wait!




My secret passion (other than celebrity gossip) is spending hours going through my favourite food blogs looking for images just like this one! This photo comes from David Lebovitz's website, Living the Sweet Life in Paris. Check it out to find more scrumptious cupcake pics and to read the article inspired by this photo, Citizen Cake Cupakes.

Bon Weekend!

Everyday is Freitag!

FREITAG is a Swiss bag company started in 1993 by graphic designers and brothers, Markus and Daniel Freitag. Based in Switzerland, the bags have infiltrated most of Europe and hardly a day goes by when I don't see a FREITAG bag in the streets of Vienna or at least one that looks awfully similar.

The bags are made from old truck tarps, seat belts, airbags and bicycle inner tubes, now that's recycling!
And the best part of all is that you can "design a bag" on their website, choose from many truck tarpaulin options and navigate using the bag template to select what part of the tarp you wish to feature on your bag. Check it out, it's really fun!



Calendar Preview - January 2009

So many people wanted to know when the calendar would be ready so I thought I would give you a little sneak peak! I'm still wrestling with May and November but the other months are pretty much finished, so hold on because it's just around the corner.


Thank you!

Thanks so much to everyone who checked out the new English Muffin website, signed up for our mailing list and sent in their well-wishes, it really made my day :)

Check back later for a calendar preview!


May I present...

...the English Muffin website, yay! I'm so excited to officially launch the site today, so please go take a peek and I'd love to hear any feedback or suggestions you may have.



Cocktail anyone?

She doesn't cry over spilled wine, instead Toronto designer, Avril Loreti, was "inspired by life’s beautiful little messes" and created these wine ring cocktail napkins.

I covet Kitchaid, but I would also settle for these many mixers cocktail napkins instead...

Looking for an apartment? Don't let a cocktail party come between you and your perfect pad with these classifieds coasters.



Never a dull moment...

I wondered how long it would take before Tyke made an appearance on the English Muffin blog. Well, today is the day. Here he is proudly showing off his love for his new country (Austria) with this lovely red and white arm bandage. Why is he sporting this medical accessory? He broke his clasper nail at the park today and we had to take him to the vet :(

It's all fun and games until someone breaks a clasper nail...

Virtual Muffins

As I've been trying my hardest to get the English Muffin website up and looking fabulous, I ran out of time on Sunday to bake muffins :(

Instead I come to you with virtual muffins in hand and hope these can satisfy your cravings for baked goodness.

At least there won't be any crumbs...


Let's go shopping everyone...

You can satisfy all your musical needs from today's Freestylin' Friday post, STONESTHROW RECORDS y'all!

I can't contain my enthusiasm for what I would say is my favourite record label for a number of years running. Just clap your hands to the beat...

So if you didn't know, now you know.

Records and t-shirts, a winning combination.

Give this book to your favorite hip hop head, ahem... and of course music, check out some amazing podcasts here.



Dear Diary...

These super cute journals are available from Studio Violet, a new design company based in Sweden. You can check out more journals, posters and postcards on their website or visit their shop here.


Rain Gear

On this wet and rainy day, I thought it only too appropriate to post about one of the most elegant and established shoe and boot stores in Vienna. Ludwig Reiter is a family-run business in it's fourth generation established in Vienna, Austria in 1885.

Above is the "authentic Militair Boot for the dress uniform of the ancient Austrian imperial army officers."

The headquarters and flagship store are still here in Vienna's historic first district located in Mölkersteig 1 , in the historic "Drei Mäderl Haus"


Printing in Pemberton!

Designer Ulla Clark creates hand printed linens for the home ranging from pillows to aprons, coasters, placemats, napkins and lovely totes too! Her company, LUprints, is based in mountainy Pemberton, British Columbia.

Originally from Sweden, it's easy to see both the Scandinavian and Canadian inspiration in her work.
You can find her store here.

Happy voting Canadians ;)


Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a pic from our own Thanksgiving on Saturday. We had a lovely Canadian/American/Austrian feast chez Ben et Nina!

Happy Thanksgiving!

ps. Monday Muffins will resume next week :) b



After a trip to Ikea, a little re-decorating and searching for some natural light... here is a picture of the ABC poster.

Taaa daaa!



The Animal Alphabet posters have been printed! English Muffin is almost ready to open it's virtual doors. Keep your eyes open for details on English Muffin's website and shop.


Ear to the ground...

I love listening to podcasts, mostly news and current event programs, the CBC's The Current and Sounds Like Canada, NPR's Fresh Air, WNYC's Radio Lab and Studio 360, but my most favourite podcast, the one I look forward to hearing every Monday morning, is Chicago Public Radio's This American Life. I love it! It's so smart and real and touching and funny and is chalked full of interesting and important stories often about ordinary people just like you and me. So in this week's podcast host Ira Glass takes us through the mess that is the American economy. I know at first this sounds really dull and depressing, and scary and ultimately incomprehensible, which to a certain extent it is. The economy, like a big ball of tangled yarn, seems like too big a mess to even try to unravel. However, if you're interested, they do a darn good job of taking us through the events that ultimately led to the current situation. If you're up for it have a listen here, or subscribe to the weekly podcast at iTunes.

Over and out!


Obama Art

Perusing the web this morning I stumbled upon this really neat graphic print by graffiti artist Shepherd Fairey. Now I'm not one for political commentary, but love him or hate him (does anyone actually not love him??) Barack Obama has definitely captured the imagination of artists and crafters from around the world. Here are just a few examples...

Obama in the street...

Retro Obama...

One of many Obama quilts...

Mini Obama...

Ode to Obama in needlepoint...

And don't forget knitting...

Mr. Bean! Oops, I mean Mr. Obama...

And last but not least, Obama in sparkles!

Unfortunately there aren't many artistic pieces out there of Mr. McCain.
Sorry, John...