Silver Antelope

1231 Woodbine Ave, East York Toronto,
(on Woodbine about 1/2 way between Danforth and O’Connor)

Online at:

I have followed Silver Antelope on instagram for a while though I had never made it out to their shop. Well – Silver Antelope has only existed since 2021; before that one of the founders – Lichia Liu – started Gotomago. Gotomago focuses on using environmentally friendly materials and has the most amazing (and some very twee) designs:

Some random Gotomago cards from the website:

So back to Silver Antelope – on January 18, they posted an 18% off sale to celebrate paying back their CEBA loan (oh don’t even get me started on how large corporations also got CEBA loans and how some small local businesses lost their business because of how awfully run this government program was) and to build up their cashflow.

Seemed like a good enough reason for me to finally get some stuff. And what terrific stuff! Lots of Gotomago products and they also carry other brands: “small-batch products that are consciously made by small businesses whose values align with ours, emphasizing companies that are also women-led and/or BIPOC-owned.”

brown paper envelope inside a brown cardboard box with a sticker reading "Silver Antelope" on it
Such a lovely package. Simple and clean.

I am trying to use my journal(s) more and I thought some fun stickers might help 🙂

Never one to shy away from a deal – I bought two “mystery card packs.” These are assorted packages of 10 cards (for $12!!) that are either discontinued designs or have slight flaws. If there are any flaws I definitely couldn’t see them. I also bought 2 packs of “imperfect envelopes” to go with them.

A white pencil with I (heart emoji) math engraved on it.

A gift for Q – he loves it! I’m glad I got him two.

Picture of lovely red flowers on long stems with the word fuck written delicately above.

This will be going on my yellow yeti tumbler that I use for coffee 🙂

And they sent along a present too:

They have a load of stuff for lunar new year, and you can shop by brand or look through a list of zero waste and recycled products or “gifts that give back” where they make a donation of partial proceeds to a charity doing important work in local and global communities. Shipping in Canada and the US is free for $125 or more in spending; other countries and less than $125 is charged by weight. Or you can pick up from the shop — funny how far away Woodbine feels though from Broadview lol (it’s about 5 km away).

I got a couple of other cards but I don’t want to ruin the surprise for the people that will be getting them so I won’t be sharing those. Needless to say though it’s a terrific shop – and the online experience was easy and straightforward. It may take me a while to need more cards but they will definitely be one of the shops I check out when I do.

Oh and afterwards I got an e-mail saying that if I would like to leave a review on my purchases I would get a 10% off code to use next time. Now that I’ve opened everything and used some of it I will do that! Oh and I’ll leave a google review too – I think that also helps small businesses a bunch!

Book Diversions Reading Review

Bookish – E

Again – 2 instead of 3. I started reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco but then I remembered I am trying to read things I haven’t read before with an eye to whether I want to keep or give away. And well, I am NOT getting rid of my Folio Edition of The Name of the Rose!

A red hardcover book with thorn covered vines reaching towards the top from the bottom. Runes (astrological signs?) across the top.

So on we go…

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Storygraph tags: fiction lgbtqia+ literary; emotional reflective slow-paced

One of those books that travels along with someones life and it’s ups and downs and family histories and family secrets and the problems that always happen when people keep all those secrets.

At the time I posted on socials: I really love reading books about lives so different than mine. I know it’s a famous book (the damn cover says it won the Pulitzer after all) but I had no idea what I was in for. It was just beautiful and full of heart. So there you go.

I didn’t keep it though because I knew I wasn’t going to read it again. I think I put it in a local little free library. (It was almost a year ago. Sigh).

Cover of Middlesex; two adults and 2 children on the deck of a boat looking as they approach land.

The Sentence by Louise Erdich

The Storygraph tags: fiction contemporary literary; emotional reflective medium-paced

I liked this but not as much as I probably would have if I hadn’t been caught up in one of the blurbs saying “a wickedly funny ghost story.” I’m not sure I got the humour then.

I donated this to one of the local free libraries.

Cover of The Sentence - colour blocked, mostly triangles, some beaded triangles; colours are reminiscent of the Indigenous medicine wheel colours.
Family Toronto

Edgar the Bernedoodle

aka the Bernegoof

Okay, not really, I just came up with that today.

I stopped to take a picture of the city from the park – it’s cool and windy and the lights and the clouds look really pretty.

Picture of downtown Toronto skyline at night taken from the hill at Riverdale Park East.

And I swear the dog saw me pull out my phone and take a photo. Then he walked out in front me, sat down, and posed.

Same as the skyline photo with a large cute dog front and centre

I didn’t really even have a choice. So I thought I’d make this late evening post about the dog.

From day one:

bernedoodle puppy's face takes up most of the photo - he's sticking his tongue out.
One of the very first pictures I took of him – in my dad’s van that we went to pick him up in.
bernedoodle puppy lying beside pale, slightly hairy legs; you can see a pale wooden floor.
This gives you an idea as to his size back then.

…to today – uhm just look up a little

Oh wait – same pose again from October:

Same as last photo but dog is much much bigger

Both his parents were bernedoodles too – and so while the breeder thought he would end up about 45-50 ish pounds, I think he mostly sucked out the Bernese Mountain Dog genes and not so many of the poodle genes. He started off about 5 kg when we got him at about 2 months old (about 11 pounds) and weighed 35 kg in September at the vet visit, (about 16 months later; about 77 pounds).

He is definitely mostly my dog, though Q is getting more and more used to him. Especially as Edgar is becoming less and less jumpy and over-eager. And Edgar loves Toby but will spend ages barking at Toby when I leave for work or to go out or what have you. Sigh. Really not sure how to work on that one but we’re trying!

Edgar and I did a puppy class and then two levels of obedience. The obedience classes were at Dog Logic – and I really cannot say enough good things about Madelayne and her team. He goes to day care there too now occasionally especially when we’re both going to be out of the house for a long day! And it’s so much fun to see the photos they post on IG and that they send to me when he’s there.

Bernedoodle dog sitting up with a bright blue wall behind him. A small white dog is photo-bombing from the left side.
He’s being photobombed by Mikey – who has known Edgar since they were about the same size!

There are a couple of things we’re still working on:

First, not jumping on people when he’s excited to see them! This is especially true for friends either visiting the house or if we bump into them on the road.

Second, getting him more used to me brushing him. I really suck at this so we’re starting from scratch again – I’m going to try using a lick mat and some frozen peanut butter and just a couple of minutes at a time and we’ll see how it goes.

Third, I want to incorporate more “training time” with him on a daily, or really every-other-day, basis. Going over what we already know, adding a few things here and there (working on stay as I increase the distance between us; definitely working a bit more on leave it again – ahhhh garbage day walks are always fun; that sort of thing).

Sometimes there’s a lot of Sheryl Crow going around in my brain but I am very happy Toby finally agreed that we could get a dog and I am so very happy that dog is Edgar.

A selfie of a lady with kind eyes and grey hair and a round face and a scruffy looking bernedoodle

Oh and if you want to follow him on IG you can: @edgar_fluufle

Get Baked In the kitchen

November big cook

This is actually only about the apple cake…

So Toby likes to cook – and often likes to make a big pot of something. And it’s been a while since we’ve had people over so I thought we’d have people over for a late thanksgiving feast. Except Indian foods. ‘Cause that’s something Toby is particularly good at. So I’m not sure why we tied it into thanksgiving – because even US thanksgiving is next weekend. Oh maybe that’s when we were going to do it but then some people couldn’t make that date…anyway. Back to the story. That isn’t actually about the big cook part.

Toby made 3 different meat curries: butter chicken, beef curry, and a meatball curry. And then three veg: my absolute favourite saag paneer, daal and a mushroom curry.

My iPhone skills are not nearly good enough to take pictures of curries that look good so you’ll just have to take my word for it (and our guests’ word for the mushroom curry being amazing; no way was I going to eat it!).

One friend brought samosas, another brought homemade naan (sooooo good). Indian sweets came with another friend and another brought a lemon panettone. And another brought a batch of home-made Manhattans *swoon*

So… what was I gonna do? Toby originally asked for pavlova (his favourite) and a chocolate layer cake. So that’s what I was going to do. Until a couple of days before the dinner when we pulled out this binder full of his mom’s recipes from a while ago. Some obviously from when he was a kid because they include such gems as (for a different recipe):

…I like to use apricot jam because it is not sweet, Toby likes raspberry jam because it is sweet.

At least he was a normal kid!

There are also a few curry recipes in there, including one I remember from the very first time I ate at the house in Ancaster: egg curry. Toby says it’s a very British thing.

Anyway, I was flipping through and asked about “apple cake.” Toby immediately went misty-eyed and asked that I make it instead of the chocolate cake. (Note that the pavlova was likely never in danger of being superseded).

So – it’s a lovely, super straightforward recipe. And I have my amazing mother-in-law’s permission to include it.

Too many apples; and also used cinnamon sugar from The Spice Trader from last year’s advent calendar.

Ingredients and instructions:

Butter (or otherwise grease well) a 9″ spring form pan.

Oven at 350*

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Cream the butter well. Then add sugar and eggs and mix until smooth.

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Add the flour and baking powder and mix again until smooth.

ORIGINAL NOTE: Pour mixture into pan, it is quite thick

MY NOTE: The batter will be really thick. Really. There is no pouring here. Scoop it out of the bowl and into the pan; make it even though don’t press down too much.

  • 3-4 large tart apples – peel, core, slice into eighths. Press into the dough round side up.

MY NOTE: The original says in a circular pattern so I started on the outside and then filled in the spaces with smaller pieces. I should have taken more pictures!

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar

Mix and sprinkle over the apples

Bake for 1 hour

  • 3 oz butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Mix well together; pour over the cake and then bake at 325* for 1/2 hour more.

This is what it looked like out of the oven.

Toby got an advance taste:

You can kinda see the layer of the base then it gets a bit smooshed where the apple is and then the top bit

I was worried it was a bit dry. Because I followed the recipe to the letter. Which I actually do know I should NOT do for times etc because every oven is different and runs hotter or colder or whatever. So I worried. Because that is what I do.

I was thinking about what I could do and my brain immediately went to salted-caramel. Please tell me it’s not just me lol

And then of course, Joy of Cooking to the rescue and I attempted to make salted caramel sauce for the first time.

Joy of Cooking cover compilation from Joy of Cooking

The recipe itself was pretty simple and straightforward but I really think a lot of cookbooks would be a lot more helpful if they included a little more help along the lines of, for example here, “err on the side of pulling it off the heat a little early because once it’s too late, well, it’s just rubbish.”

It looks lovely – especially in my vintage glass jar. And it smelled divine. And tasted ever so slightly burnt. Sigh. But also 🙂

So a big lesson re-learned: Timing really is everything sometimes; the key is to know when it matters.

And also your friends will probably eat whatever you make because they know you did your best and even “slightly not exactly right” baked goods taste great when made at home with good intentions.

Book Diversions Reading Review

Bookish – 3 Ds uhm 2D

Oh I am so behind on this. And I wondered, do I continue with the Ds (where I stopped blogging about it) or jump to the Ks (the books I just finished up). I waffled. As expected. So I thought I would try to write the Ds and if it still came easily then I could keep going and if not then I would jump to the more recent. Let’s see what happens!

It definitely helps that I log everything I read – again, sometimes late but always eventually! I used to use goodreads but then I discovered it was owned by amazon now and I discovered The Storygraph at about the same time so I use that now.

And it turns out I only read 2 Ds. Oops

First up:

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

The Storygraph tags: fiction fantasy horror challenging dark mysterious medium-paced

Sooo good. So so good. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be keeping this on the shelf until The Mighty Q is a bit older. I think he’d really like the story though he’s still at an age where explicit sex scenes are “no thank you very much” and there is at least one that he would not appreciate at all.

And the other D… I swear, what the hell happened that I didn’t read three? Or at least didn’t log three. Maybe I’ll go stare at the shelf a little bit…

Nope didn’t help. If I read another D author I tossed the book. But I am guessing I just read 2 instead of 3.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

This I bought years ago from the remainder bin at the City Hall branch of the Toronto Public Library.

A picture of Toronto's city hall
By Arild Vågen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

My arrow shows where the library is; though you still enter through the main City Hall doors in the middle

The Storygraph tags: fiction historical adventurous emotional medium-paced

Again, not a usual choice for me. I am not a big fan of westerns. I mean they’re okay and all but not my usual jam. Holy hell this was good. Funny and also so so sad and funny. Toby said he watched the movie and it was very good. The book was too.

Definitely good enough that I picked up another one by DeWitt from a little free library.

Okay well, I definitely remembered enough to write about the Ds so I will just keep catching up.

Do you have a favourite author whose name starts with D? Toby might pick Roald Dahl or Phillip K. Dick. I’m partial to Dickens – he wrote amazingly well AND was a lefty 😉 And if I’m feeling pretentious I will lay claim to Dostoevsky as well.