posts filed under the 'featured friends' category :
February 17th, 2011

this. is. cool.

That is what I said when I stumbled upon this instant bread in an awesome terracotta bowl (in a pharmacy, no less). Generally, one-off novelty items like this that pop up in strange places dissuade me, but really, Herb and Garlic Bread in a terracotta bowl? That’s a no-brainer.bread bowl start

Just add beer? Really? Just beer? Even my Saturday nights require more than just adding beer to prove delicious. If you say so amazing easy-bread.just add beer

Ok, even unbaked, it looks awesome. I could just leave this on my counter as is, and anyone who passed though would trust that I am a country-kitchen goddess.unwrapped bread bowl

Step one: the sacrifice.

blurry beer

(Please excuse the blurred quality. It was the beer’s fault.)one easy step

Step two: let the bread rise, then place in oven.let it rise

While the bread is baking, clean up the big mess you made…no mess

Oh wait! You didn’t make a big mess because all you had to do was ADD BEER!

Instead, pet adorable cat. This easy-bread thing only gets better and better.pet cat

(The hairy arm is Jeff’s, I swear.)

DING! It’s done! And it looks amazing!bread done

Step three: enjoy delicious, dense, celery-seed infused bread with boyfriend’s BEST CHILI EVER and a couple heads of roasted garlic. Heaven.bread and garlic

Is it *homemade*? No. Am I slightly blaspheme-ing my domestic goddess status by making something pre-mixed***? Possibly. Is it worthy of being on my cousin Adam’s amazing new food blog? No. But is it food that is good for the soul? Hellllllz yah. So take a chance on those funny little novelty items; you might just be surprised.

(***Admit it, we’re all guilty of a little “from the box”…You didn’t make all those cupcakes from scratch! Admit it! ;) )

(and ps: seriously, check out Adam’s blog. Yummy things await you!)

February 13th, 2011

friend love!

I forgot! I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to my gal Alison for the shout out over at Reunionized! Ali is probably one of the most hilarious, fun gals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, so finding out she is a fellow blogger only made my love for her deeper. LIRE Ali!!! xo

February 10th, 2011

maddenvallis.com – monthly love

Please go all the way through this post: the end might just kill you with joy.

Happy four month anniversary Matt and Kim! Whenever I write that – *month anniversary* – I feel like I’m back in junior high school, when month anniversaries with your shorter-than-you boyfriends were major milestones. In Matt and Kim’s case, they have celebrated many, many month anniversaries :)smiling pickford

February’s M+K post centers around their visit with a man by the name of Charlie Pickford, also know as Old Man Pickford. Matt says:

“Kim and I met Old Charlie Pickford down in the [Annapolis] Valley on our mini Honeymoon. He was sitting on the side of the road with his cats; we had to pull over and find out his story. Little did we know we’d be there an hour later as he recapped Acadian history from the 1400’s. If you’re in the Valley (Grand Pre) and see Charlie, be sure to stop by and buy some of the crafts that he carves from wood.”pickford and his pipespipes

Reason number 257 why I love Nova Scotia, and number 386 why I love Kim and Matt. Only in Nova Scotia can you see someone interesting on the side of the road and know you can pull over for an afternoon’s worth of great times, and Kim and Matt are two open, explorative people who would do something just like that.pickford and long pipe

Kim goes on:

“While we were there he showed us photos he had taken and insisted we take some fresh tomatoes home with us. We are going to bring him some cat food and some photos we took of him and his cats in the next few weeks.”

Isn’t she the sweetest!

This little guy is pretty sweet too. He actually reminds me of Matt and Kim’s own fur-baby, Mr. Caramel Swirls! Agreed guys???a carmel swirls lookalike

And this reminds me of all things amazing. A sweet old man in a Highliner cap with an armful of cats. Priceless.an armful

Please do take Matt and Kim’s advice and give Old Man Pickford a visit, and be sure to bring along some treats for those he considers near and dear to his heart. And please do take MY advice, and check out all of Matt and Kim’s work over at their website: pleasures like this and more await you, I promise.

happy cat

Ok, the moment I’ve been waiting for… to share this with you:old and young

Melt, melt, and melt again. Thank you guys for capturing such beauty! xo

all images by Matt and Kim Madden.

January 11th, 2011

got chocolate?

Man, oh man. Do I LOVE finding new blogs to pore over. Wanna know why? This is why.Chocolate Pudding

This is Cassity’s Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. I stumbled across Cassity’s blog, Remodelaholic, through someone else’s blog (wish I could remember who, but I had a lot of new blogs going on today; new blog overload!), and turns out she hosts a link party for recipes every Sunday. Before even submitting my own link, I literally ran to the kitchen to give this recipe a whirl.Chocolate Close Up

This dessert is a choco-holics dream. Super easy, super fast, super chocolate-y. I managed to make it while Jeff was preparing an amazing chicken for our dinner, without getting in his way; a true testament to this dessert’s ease.

Please, make your life better and give it a try:

Cassity’s Microwaved Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

(serves 2)

Combine:

  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder
  • a small pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp of melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp of milk
  • *Optional: chopped pecans or walnuts in desired amount

Mix above ingredients together and split evenly between two large ramekins (7-10 oz); wider coffee mugs would work too.

In another bowl mix together :

  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of cocoa

Sprinkle half of the mixture over each ramekin

Pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over each ramekin

Place one ramekin on a small plate (in case of overflow) and microwave for 1 minute – 1 minute 30 seconds

Serve with vanilla ice cream! (we had to skip the ice cream part as there was none in the house :/ )Chocolate done

Seriously. About 5 minutes of minimal effort for a dessert that made me completely forget about the Plague of 2011 which is currently sweeping across 406. Chocolate cures all. The dessert actually reminded me of the boxed chocolate pudding cake I use to make with my friends after school in high school. But better. Homemade always = better. Check out Cassity’s original post on her amazing creation and lots of other great recipes here. And if you’re a fellow blogger, be sure to Link Up and join the fun!Recipe Swap Sundays Remodelaholic

Oh, and that chicken Jeff cooked? Well, it speaks for itself…Chicken

…As does the soup he also made from it. Gotta love a man who makes C.N.S. when there is a house full of sickies! God love him :)Chicken Soup

Special thanks again to Cassity at Remodelaholic! xo

January 10th, 2011

maddenvallis.com – monthly love

Happy January 10th to you! It’s that time again: time to share with you the work of the lovely, the talented, Kim and Matt Madden! Happy Three Month Anniversary Guys!Boy in Tartan

Thank goodness for anniversaries, as having a date to aim for seems to be the only thing keeping me on track these days! I don’t know if it is because I took such a long *buoy bird break* over the holidays, or if it’s because I’m still staving off the last legs of an awful cold, but there hasn’t been a lot of get up and go on the blogging front. Eh, I’m not overly concerned, as lulls are natural in most creative processes… but I digress.the menthe love shack

Matt and Kim! This set of photos shows some of the couple’s beautiful wedding photography. I thought it appropriate to share this content with you this month as I have recently been celebrating the engagement of my best friend! YAY! So De-vo and Ern, this one’s also for you!green door collageinto the woods

Dev and I have been talking weddings for YEARS, so this turn of events is definitely worth celebrating! It also got me thinking about my future “happy day”, and without a doubt, when that day comes, Matt and Kim are the photographers I will be going for.purple wedding cake

They say you should always choose a wedding photographer based on if you can visualize yourself in their photos. Well, this test is all I need to be sure that the Madden pairing is right for me. I love their creative and whimsical style, and their ability to capture the mood as set by the couple, location, time of year, weather, and theme. I just feel like Matt and Kim “get it” when it comes to what I (and my partner***) would like to convey on a wedding day. The trend of wedding photography is steering more towards the candid, and while they capture these precious moments, there is still great artistic integrity behind their work.the kiss

I HIGHLY recommend checking out Matt and Kim’s website if you and yours are going to be needing a talented pair of wedding photographers in the near future. Just don’t fill up ALL the booking slots before I get to them!

*** …see that? see how un-assuming I can be? ;)

all images by Matt and Kim Madden.

January 7th, 2011

i’m sick, but i can still attend a party…

A Linky Party, that is! Now, my blogger pals know what a Link Party is, but I can hear some of my not-so-blog-savvy friends and family saying,” What the heeeeey is a Linky Party?”

A Link Party is an event hosted by a blog on a particular day of the week where the author invites their readers who are also bloggers to link back to their related posts via the host site: the sharing usually runs amongst blogs of a similar vein; sometimes the link party is based on a certain topic, sometimes it’s wide open. It’s a fabulous way to share and find new blogs, help your fellow blogger gain new audience members and generally, to make new friends!

So, as I wasn’t feeling the post-building vibe all that much today, I revisited some of my older posts, and shared them in various link parties for my first time! Check out the Link Party Hosts below:shabbynestbuttonCOAS-Party-Pick-up-Button2featureyourselffridaybuttoncopyLook at MeHopefully see you later this weekend; Buoy Bird needs to lay some fresh tracks!

January 7th, 2011

buoy bird down

Oh, she’s a sick little bird :( I am so sorry I haven’t been around, even after my promise of being around once the holidays had passed. I am ill. Not hospital-ill, don’t worry; just sore, sick, unmotivated, living on the sofa-ill. I can’t complain too much, as this doesn’t happen to me very often: I guess my germs are more about quality than quantity.

Trust me, I am feeling RIDICULOUSLY motivated about 2011, so there is plenty to look forward to. I just have to get over this little mole hill, and we’ll be good to go. In the mean time, I CAN share with you some nice news: my girl Jenn over at A Home in the Making just gave me a Stylish Blogger Award, and I couldn’t be more flattered! Thank you Jenn; love like that coming from a bright, creative, and talented person like you means the world to me. I intend to give out my own set of Stylish Blogger Awards, so stay tuned!

I also wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all my amazing friends who came up to me over Christmas, complimenting me on this blog! Jeff and I were gobsmacked at how many of you mentioned it in just one night that we were out at the pub. I am flattered and humbled; I had no idea I had such a supportive audience! Hearing your words makes me want to just keep giving you more and more, so please, come back soon and we’ll celebrate 2011 in a creative and inspired way!

Enough words: here’s something pretty to look at!pond

Ahhh home. Ain’t it pretty?

December 12th, 2010

mappy birthmas 2010!!!

Thank you all so much for the lovely feedback on my post on Matt and Kim! Trust me, it was my pleasure. :)

So are you curious? What is this Mappy Birthmas I speak of? Well, it’s the best of Christmas and a Christmas-time Birthday all rolled into one! We have been hosting our annual 406 Holiday Party for four years now, and last year my SPECTACULAR friends decided that since they never get to celebrate my birthday with me (as I’m a Boxing Day baby, and always in Nova Scotia for the holidays), they would bring my birthday to our holiday party! And yes, it does mean that we party that much harder!PB Balls

Last year the gals had a cake made for me that was simply to die for: a Pug cake by SuGaR, complete with hand-painted paw prints and individually rolled pieces of fondant dog food in the pug’s food bowl. A-mazing. Also, a beautiful Anthropologie apron (which I’m coincidentally wearing as I pen this post!).Kyla's CookiesWillow's Tres Leche Cake

This year I was just as spoiled, with a good many bottles of wine, a gorgeous door hook from Umbra (which went to good use when the coat rack fell to pieces), and the bloggers’ best friend: a Laptop Desk Pillow. My only issue is keeping it away from the web designer boyfriend (give it back!).Candy Canes

I love hosting this party each year. Having my friends (and their friends) all under one roof, around our tree, enjoying plenty of food and drink and laughter… it’s probably my favorite moment of any given year. I am always surprised by how many people we manage to squeeze into our one bedroom apartment, but it just makes things all the more cozy. The fact that the real party always migrates into the kitchen truly makes me feel like I’m down home.Ol Saint NickSkates

As usual, the night flew by, with me running around saying hello, tending to empty trays, and visiting Jeff at his station behind the kitchen island. I always feel like I blink and it’s over. I found myself pouting when guests started leaving, only to realize that it was past 2 am. I think the door officially shut somewhere after 4.Christmas Cups

Amongst my busy-ness, I didn’t have much of a chance to take many photos this year, but not to fear! My very great friends Kyla and Ace came to the rescue (along with Ky’s yummy SLR camera), and took all these shots for me so that we could look back on our special night together! Thank you SO much girls!!!Festive Feets

So that was Mappy Birthmas 2010 in a nutshell! It brought all the warmth and cheer that I anticipated it would (as it has in years past), and I couldn’t help but smile when my guests told me in the days following that it truly got them in the Christmas Spirit. That, my friends, is the greatest gift you could ever give me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! xo

all images by Kyla Tingley and Ace Hicks (*mwah* ladies!)

December 10th, 2010

happy two month anniversary Matt and Kim!

Sooo remember when I said I would be AWOL because of my lead up to the annual 406 Christmas Party? Well, what I didn’t anticipate was the being AWOL due to the aftermath. Holy Hayday, was that a clean up! And we’re not even done. Eh, no matter. The party was a roaring success, and there will be much future coverage on that.kim and matt mountain

Today! Today is all about my lovely friends, Matt and Kim Madden. You might be saying to yourself that those names sound familiar, and if you know your Buoy Bird, you’d be right. Matt and Kim are two lovely photographers from Nova Scotia who were kind enough in the beginning of Buoy Bird to offer me use of their images for any of my designs. A priceless gift to a novice photographer like myself.lighthouse

Kim and Matt capture what I love best about my home: the ease, the mystery, the beauty, and the nostalgia. I look at their photos and I hear the call of the loon and feel the salt-ridden mist on my face. The way in which they take in their subjects allows me to step right into the moment with them. This is ever important to a gal who craves for those moments, being cooped up in the big city.berry house

I felt (and feel) that Matt and Kim’s photography is a perfect partner for Buoy Bird. It was around the time of this discovery that two other perfect partners were joining up: Matt and Kim. Having dated for some time now, Matt and Kim celebrated their wedding on 10/10/10. I couldn’t imagine a more complete coupling. Not knowing them extremely well (only from our grade school days), it is still evident through their shared passion and full life how much they are a match made in heaven. Facebook can also be revealing ;)bras d'or

I admire Matt and Kim not only for their love and commitment to each other, but also for their love and commitment to their craft. I feel that they have followed their hearts, training and working in that which their hearts’ desire, and that this accomplishment is evident in the beauty of their work. I aspire to follow my creative roots in this way, and can not wait to return to Nova Scotia to be with my art and my home; right where my heart belongs. I also can not wait for the chance to catch up with Matt and Kim: meeting old friends as adults is so fulfilling; I think we will make great new-old friends!christmas lights

So, in conclusion, this is my gift to Matt and Kim. On the 10th of every month (their *monthly* anniversary) I will be sharing their work exclusively on buoybird.com. It is the least I could do in return for the gift that they have given me: images, inspiration, and even if they don’t know it, a push towards my own dreams.

Please check out Matt and Kim’s stunning work at http://maddenvallis.com/

Happy Anniversary Guys! xo

all images by Matt and Kim Madden.

November 21st, 2010

le petit écureuil

Location: Top of Mount Royal; Monday, November 15th, 2010.squirrel in distance

Come to me little squirrel!at your feet

Oh. That was easy.squirrel on leg

Oh! Um, hi. Well, you’re on my leg, aren’t you. Ugh, well, let me see what I can find.little pig squirrellittle pig squirrel

How about these maple caramel cones that I bought for my friend Bobby as I know they are a favorite childhood treat and that he hasn’t had them in forever. Just one of the two though; I MUST save one for Bobby.back for more

Crap. Sorry Bobby.sweet old squirrelthank you

Hello fat old squirrel. Your skinny(er) friend ate most of my treats, but here’s a crumb.

“Fat old squirrel says merci, silly english woman”.watch over you

“Me and my sticky squirrel friend will watch over you for your kindness. Bonsoir!”