Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why not recycle trees?

Information from the designers at UTS:
With our large concrete jungles in direct competition with our urban forests, we are only just now becoming aware of utilizing our waste products to the utmost. In an era when we are recycling everything, why not recycle city trees?

The end of a city trees life usually involves a chipper or wood stove. Not a suitable ending for such a valuable natural resource. A better use for these wonderful trees would be to turn them into a usable products such as lumber and furniture.

Hardwood Lumber is available in random widths and lengths. UTS also specializes in producing wide width slabs and disks, perfect for unique dining, coffee, end and console tables. Our milling selection consists of all hardwoods grown in the Toronto area, such as Apple, Cherry, Hard Maple, Soft Maple, Red Oak, White Oak, Willow, Walnut, Elm, Poplar as well as our domestic exotics such as Locust and Chestnuts.

The benefits of using this material...

With urbanization, trees reaching maturity, insects and disease and storm damage, there are approximately 9000 trees removed each year from the Greater Toronto Area, with their waste becoming firewood and mulch. We have set sights to reduce the amount of wood waste reaching landfills and urban fireplaces. Using hardwood lumber processed from salvaged city trees lessens the amount of wood harvested from the natural growing environment.

Many of the logs we salvage have some extremely beautiful and unique grain patterns due to the growing hardships that these urban trees are under. Common types of figure include curl, spalting and birds eye. We often come across metal, concrete and other debris attached to or found inside these logs which are scanned with detectors and removed.

We plan to have these in the shop shortly. So check back our contact the boutique.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Springtime Cycling in Copenhagen.....
What I would do right now to be able to be on the next flight leaving in the morning on my way to Copenhagen. It has been several weeks since I have been out on my bike and I am missing it so bad. Work seems to be taking up too much of my time lately. But still, I much rather be cycling somewhere in Europe or New York or even in Nantucket. While cycling in the desert may provide nice solitude I am in need of some visual stimulation.
images by in Copenhagen

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunset Magazine I LOVE YOU...........

Well it has been a few months since one of my favorite magazine- Domino Magazine closed up shop. Once a month I feel at a lost every when I get to the shop and look through the glass door and see all my mail thrown on the floor my our postal delivery lady and then quickly remember that my beautiful glossy magazine is not waiting for me to pick it up.

I am slowly accepting this loss as the days go by. I spend many hours a week going through the 26 copies I kept from the last 3 years. But today something sweet happened. I arrived at work and opened the door to the shop and the latest issue of Sunset Magazine was waiting for me. I was so thrilled. I could not wait to get the alarm on, turn the lights on, open the shades and all the other things I have to do every morning to prepare the shop for opening. I skipped checking messages and watering the plants. I had to sit down and look at my magazine. Well an hour later I was just thrilled. I realized how much I really love Sunset Magazine as well.

I realized that the problem was that I had different opinions about the two magazines. I never thought of Sunset as a shelter magazine. I love the garden designs, I like the recipes and the travel destinations they would feature but it was not my go to magazine. I realized that I had never fully appreciated all of its other attributes. Well today I have found my new Domino. It has been replaced with Sunset Magazine. While it may not have some of the cool design features that Domino had, it will for sure fill that void I have felt for the last couple of months.

Thank you Sunset Magazine for being there for me just when I needed you.
The above images are from The images are examples of how to be creative and use simple ideas and items you may already have in your home to create new and useful decorative pieces.
Turn a scavenged piece of driftwood found shore-side into an organic modern entryway rack.
Use champagne flutes as vases and use old wrapping paper to creative beautiful place mats.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Mother's Day Gifts
Beautiful new Pebble Bags and Oh so cute Fabric Baskets for your bathroom. Made by one of my favorite San Francisco designers. These are made to order and a limited amount will be available next Tuesday.
Bags are $68 and basket is $20. Baskets are available in 3 other designs and colors.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sip for the Cure................ Pink Grapefruit (50 Tea Bags)

The Republic of Tea's original blend of China green tea enriched with the bright and lively notes of sweet-tart pink grapefruit and pink peony petals. This cup is delightful and refreshing.

$1 from the sale of this tin will support Susan G. Komen for the Cure in their fight against breast cancer.

Peonies make me want to cry but bring calmness to my soul. They make my heart skip a beat. I feel major pain when they finally die. I hope there are peonies in the after life......

Botany's Desire.

Available @Botany's Desire next week. This is a wonderful addition to a Mother's Day Gift. Mention the blog and get 10% off of purchase at the shop.

By Peony Passions

What Sets the White Peony Tea Apart

"White peony tea, generally referred to as Pai Mu Tan in China, is a delicate tea deriving from the tea buds gathered and withered before opening. The most current research studies indicate that white tea may be more successful in warding off cancer compared to green tea, which has for a long time been revered to fight against cancer. These studies have increased the popularity of white peony tea.

Similar to the silver tip white tea, white peony tea is usually produced at Furding and Zhenghe locations in the Fujian province. White peony tea is a palatable white tea that comprises of buds and leaves that are picked in the early spring and in some cases mixed with the buds and leaves taken from the daffodil. The silvery bud is wrapped up in green leaves, and it appears to be a flower. When steeped, the green leaves open up and unfurl, akin to the petals of a flowering peony. White peony tea is naturally fresh in fragrance, orange yellow or light yellow in color and invigorating and mild in taste. The tea can also be used for medicinal purposes, especially in preserving a healthy stomach and driving out excessive heat.

Tea has been a well-liked drink in different parts of the world for hundreds of years. Europeans have usually sipped on black tea. More and more people have embraced Green and Oolong teas recently. All tea actually derives from the plant known as camellia silensis. Although there are different types of this plant, tea varies usually by the way it is processed. White tea is plucked before the leaves of the plant have unfurled completely. At this point the buds are enclosed in fine white hair, providing the tea its name. It is highly unfermented. The leaves are plucked and left to wither, instead of being cooked fry. The fraction of buds to leaves establishes the type of tea. For instance, white peony tea has one bud for every two leaves.

White tea in general is dissimilar to green and black tea in a way that it is not furled. The fresh leaves are allowed to wither for a number of days. Because it is not cooked, so to speak, white tea may have more effective antioxidants compared to other kinds of tea. While there is still no concrete conclusion on the positive effectives of white tea, more and more are beginning to embrace it as a possibly immense health enhancer. White tea is known to have high levels of catachins, which are recognized for aiding in the reduction of cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

To brew white peony tea, begin with a good quality loose tea and clean, filtered water. Peony white tea is best brewed with warm water: anywhere between 170 and 185 F. Cautiously take out the top of your kettle. When little bubbles are developing on the surface or when they are traveling up from the bottom, this is when you have reached the right temperature. Usually these teas are very lightweight and you have to make certain that you employ sufficient amounts of leaf to the container. The next step is to steep for approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Enjoy your white peony tea in the evening after a light dinner."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Canadian Bike and Fashion Couture...Spring 2009 collection
Oh I am so ready to ride again this weekend. It has been a couple of weeks since I have taken the bike out. The shop has been wearing me out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Darn though, nothing in my closet to wear. Botany's Desire will be carrying the Fall 2009 collection and it is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My two addictions.....Butters Brownies and Design & Lifestyle Magazines
If you ever wonder why I am up really late blogging. It is usually because I am up eating brownies or some form of chocolate and reading one of my favorite magazines. I getaway with this because my husband goes to bed really early because of work so I get to indulge in my two favorite things without him knowing.....I realize that I have probably told you about three different brownies brands that I love over just the last year, but I just keep finding new brands that are just as delicious and unique. Our newest brownies are just amazing. The only problem is they are the size of the palm of my hand and they are so very delicious. So, if you would like to try come by Botany's Desire this week and I will sell you one for only $4.50 each. Magazines not included.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Spa Pantry.......@Botany's Desire
Well we finally added our newest addition to our little shop. It is still a work in progress and will change on a regular basis. I am also seeking a mirrored wall fountain for the far right corner to go above the larger chair. I am also adding a bit more glass shelving. So watch out for updates in the coming weeks. The color combination is so beautiful in person. I chose four different shades of what I call healing greens. We also have lots of additional spa realated products on the way. I will post as products arrive. See more images below.

More pictures of our New Spa Pantry@Botany's Desire

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bathing in Luxury...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Whimsy & Spice was founded in 2008 by the husband and wife team of Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park, who combine their skills and more than 12 years of experience in culinary arts and graphic design to produce a distinctive line of handmade sweets.

Mark developed a love of spices early on in life. Even at the young age of eight, he was taken by the savory spiciness of the scents emanating from street vendor stands during his time living in Yemen. He later discovered the complexity of both Thai and Indian cuisine and sought to recreate the flavors in his own kitchen by making his own curry paste, curry powder and garam masala blends. While working as a Pastry Chef in the kitchens of some of NYC's most popular restaurants, the spices from his early culinary experiences naturally made their way into his desserts, which always focused on unique and sometimes unexpected combinations of flavors.

Jenna is an award-winning art director, designer and artist who freelances with various design agencies in New York City, primarily in the arts & culture, museum, education and non-profit sectors. Some of her projects have included websites for the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Fenimore and Farmers' Museums, and the NYU School of Medicine. Her discerning palette and distinct eye for elegant and clean design leads all of the company's branding and creative efforts.

We have our eye on Whimsy & Spice and hope to add them to our already fabulous list of vendors.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What's Happening@Botany's Desire

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fabulous Headboard!
I have to tell you that although I have been in my house for over five years I have yet to purchase a head board of any kind. I keep putting it off because I can't seem to find anything I like. I am determined to solve this problem before the end of the summer. So when I saw this Home and Garden DIY project I immediately decided that this is what I will be doing. The problem is there isn't ANY where in this small town to purchase beautiful fabric of any kind. Wal-Marts fabric is just not my thing. Another thing I like about this DIY project is the simple but luxurious look of the drapes. The color is just perfect. It is very calming and dreamy looking. Just what I need in my bedroom.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Women's Crown Collection
I have to admit I am not good at sharing....well with some things that is. But sometimes I just can't stand to keep some of my secrets. I am not one of those women that has hundreds of pairs of shoes. Reason being, I like very few shoe colors or styles. I rather have about six really good quality shoes that I wear down and then get rid of and then start all over again. Yeah, I know this is not so eco-friendly but I never said I was perfect.
I pretty much don't see the sense of collecting shoes like pieces of art work. Now, I might not feel the same if I could afford some Jimmy Choos or Kate Spades. I am a total minimilist when it comes to my personal belongings. You are probably shocked to read this if you have shopped in my boutique.

About Born Shoes....
Natural sophistication. Handcrafted style. Beautifully Børn.
For more than a decade, Børn has been redefining casual footwear for discerning women and men. "Our combination of handcrafted styles, premium leathers and fine details have attracted an intensely loyal following." Born Shoes can be purchased on their website or at a variety of stores like Macy's.
So do your part this week to stimulate the economy and go buy about two or three pairs and then remember
to stop by Botany's Desire and pick up some other fun stuff.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The O List: April 2009

Cheers, Here's an all-natural nonalcoholic soda made with the juice of California wine grapes. It's refreshing, fizzy, and fun for a picnic. These exciting drinks were featured for April as "A few things we think are just great." I normally can care less what famous people, movie stars and any other Hollywood people care about. I never purchase anything because some actor or entertainer likes it too. But hey this time is was Oprah LOL and she is usually right on the money when it comes to the best pampering goods, food and drinks that are delicious. I originally saw the drinks featured in one of my industry magazines and thought I would seek some out while in LA last month. Then after weeks of back and forth with the makers we finally figured out a way to get some sent out to me out here in the desert. Well my vendor was the one to let me know that they are featured in this Months O Magazine so figured it was for sure the right time to get them into Botany's.

Well it is confirmed and Botany's Desire will be carrying these fabulous all natural Wine Sodas. They are scheduled to arrive by next Friday, just in time for our next wine walk event on Saturday April 18th. Hope you will come down if your in the area.
The Chardonnay is light with subtle fruit, the Pinot Noir is bright with berries, and the new Rosé is pink and delicious. All are sweetened only with varietal wine grape juice from California vineyards. And there's lots of other good stuff about Vignette Wine Country Soda:

  • All Natural
  • No Added Sugar
  • Non-Alcoholic
  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • 50% Varietal Juice
  • No Added Colors
  • Caffeine Free
  • Gently Pasteurized
  • Lightly Carbonated
  • No Preservatives

  • "Part wine country magic, part soda pop pleasure, Vignette is a truly new and uniquely refreshing soft drink. Naturally sweetened with the juice of California varietal wine grapes,
    this fizzy beverage is simply delicious."
    Now available in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Rosé (new!) .$3.50 a bottle.

    Sunday Kinda Love........Ok, I am talking about the love of Brunch folks.
    Light drinks with fruity flavors make great additions to any brunch. Choosing a cocktail that matches the type of food being served is key to the mid-morning meal. A Screwdriver or Melon Patch are wonderful matches for a fresh fruit brunch while a Bloody Mary works well with heartier foods.

    Now I am not talking about your typical artificial tasting cocktail. I want you to use your imagination and skills in the kitchen and use all natural ingredients and be a bit creative and
    add some fresh herbs, fruit, vegetables, spices and herbal teas
    . I want you to WOW your family and guest with yummy spring and summer drinks. Also, remember you can also make these virgin without the alcohol.

    Don't be afraid to be creative and add your own spin to it. Make sure to serve your Sunday brunch with a variety of easy to eat foods that are both sweet and savory. Don't forget the bouquet of fresh flowers or plants to set the mood and bring out all your pretty bowls, glasses, pitchers and vases to give it a special feel. If your looking for some unique ideas please stop by the boutique on Saturday. We still have some of our fabulous Rose nectar drink from Bulgaria and some Organic sparkling Peach and Apple juices.

    Have a Happy Weekend!!

    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    Stickey Fingers Scone Mixes are back in stock.
    Scones originated in Scotland and have been an integral part of the British lifestyle for hundreds of years. Lightly sweet and crumbly these scones were enjoyed most notably at high tea. Today, however, Sticky Fingers Bakeries' scones are a delicious surprise at breakfast, brunch, supper, or snack time. Sweeter than biscuits, more delicate than bread, and healthier than cake, these satisfying, all natural scones can be enjoyed quick and easy. Just add water, stir and bake. Then savor the aroma of tangy lemon, wild blueberries, spicy apples, heavenly chocolate - any of their fifteen tempting varieties from year round selections to seasonal favorites. In minutes, you’ll enjoy these light and fragrant delicacies, straight from the oven or served with Sticky Fingers Bakeries' English Curds and Northwest Jams.

    At Botany's Desire we have a huge selection of jams, French confits and spreads from all over the USA and Europe. Mention you read about our scones or jams online and we will give you a special 10% discount.