ode to Bonnie

It was one year ago today that we let our Bonnie girl go
Our memorial to Bonnie, the sweetest dog (written Aug 27, 2008)

Our Bonnie
gave us 15 years of her sweetness
She ran like the wind
She was gentle in spirit and soul
She loved other dogs and would be the first from the pack to greet the new arrival. She was so pretty, so dainty, just like a doe in the forest. She was SMART. She loved her brother Micky, may they be together now. She loved her cookies. She loved salmon. She accepted Dewey the CAT into the household no questions asked. She loved us so much. And let it be known that Sam and Isobel helped to take the VERY best care of her from puppyhood to her very last day. Never did Bonnie miss a walk, come rain or shine Sammy and Iso were there for her no matter what.

There were many things Bonnie didn’t like:

The proverbial postman
Riding in the car
Going to the vet
Having her nails trimmed

Some things Bonnie did well:

Love us
Run like the wind
Catch a ball

Bonnie lived proudly, majestically, gently. I love her and will miss her greatly. We love you Bonnie, Bon Bon, TaLouLou, LoulaMay, Girl xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Gabrielle, Peter, Sam and Iso

where i will be 2010

I’ve always wanted to see Venice……..

Next spring my daughter graduates with an Honours BA from Queen’s, she’s planning a trip to Europe with a couple of girl friends to celebrate.

She invited me to meet her somewhere for a week……….

we’re meeting in Venice.

where does our food come from??

For the past many, many years I’ve shopped for our meat organically; for the sake of our health, the environment and maybe most importantly in my mind– for the sake of the animals!
I’m not convinced we need meat in our diet to be ‘healthy’/ to be balanced protein-wise.
We (kids, Peter and I) saw Food Inc
GO SEE IT then tell everyone you know to see it
It’s a real eye opener
I want to do something more than just not buying commercial, highly processed meat. I wish everyone of us would view this movie.

Help the animals, save the planet, preserve your health


Here is a very worthwhile cause; proceeds go to The Princess Margaret Hospital in support the advancement of cancer research.
With gardening season in full swing you may be dividing your overgrown perennials………
If so, drop these divisions off to 240 Wychwood Ave for the PERENNIAL PLANT SWAP AND SALE, and SILENT AUCTION
SALE: MAY 31 9AM rain or shine
drop plants off Thursday Friday May 28 & 29, after 7pm
or Saturday all day
***don’t forget to label plants for name; sun or shade
For further info check their website http://www.divideconquer.ca/

Hope to see you there!


Thank you, thank you, thank you urbanmaven and your wonderful organizational talents that helped make our move across country to Vancouver Island as seamless as possible. I cannot recommend your relocation services enough. From the inital selection of movers, dealing with insurance, the careful overview of the packing of our treasured pieces you made a potentially fraught move into an easy transition. And as we sat in our then empty condominium, you surprised us with a bottle of my favourite Okanagan red (how did you know?). You sent us off in style and worry free to start our new life in B.C.
You’re not just a maven, you’re a marvel.
Caroline & David Dvorchik

Diamonds – catch the final episode Sunday April 12 on cbc 9pm

Diamonds examines the devastating consequences of corrupt trading, regardless of the context. The story could equally be set in the oil, electronics or clothing industry with a similar theme. In the mini-series, a chain of intimate stories depict the larger picture. It is the childlike perspective of young soldiers abandoned to the world, the America-centric perspective of a Republican Senator learning about herself in the context of her government’s foreign policy, and a Shakespearean take on the father-son relationship in a family whose wealth is built on diamonds. It’s also about an affair between a white South African and a Black model who becomes ensnared in the family drama and the political implications of her actions. Lastly, it’s the ambiguous perspective of a young female geologist in Canada, who battles to reconcile her passion to find diamonds with the moral significance of her obsession. Each character, in their own way, becomes obsessed.
James Bawden (former television reviewer for The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star) says of the series on his blog:
“Diamonds is worth your time. The narrative (David Vainola wrote it) effortlessly skips back and forth from Washington to London to South Africa and the piece is chock full of violent, disturbing incidents. But it’s not just about diamond mining –it’s about greed, the corruption of petty dictatorships, the ruthlessness of the diamond cartel. There are some romancing scenes but they are interspersed with chilling reminders of the cheapness of human lives when millions of dollars are at stake.”


earth’s energy and a good night’s rest – update

well since moving my bed to a north/south longitude………the room feels more restful…….i walk into the room and ‘feel’ relaxed ahhh……..
but the true test was the quality of sleep
i hope I’m not counting my chickens but this is the second night of less tossing and turning, AND
uninterrupted sleep……oh sweet sleep
there really is something to this I think
if you have the capability in your bedroom to move your bed to sit on this north/south longitude……..I seriously recommend it.

Earth’s Energy and sleeping

I moved my bed today….
it is now situated in line with the Earth’s Energy
meaning- my bed now sits on a north/south longitude line –instead of the old east/west latitude
According to Feng Shui experts this alignment (in line with the earth’s energy meridians) will provide not only a more restful sleep, but in turn health and wellness.
will keep you informed……..

Eating Organically and Locally

I’m a big advocate of eating organically and locally.

By doing so, you support not only local farmers :), the canadian economy:), the environment:), but your own health:) 🙂

Pesticide spraying of foods prohibit the plants from making the valuable phytochemicals we need to fight off disease.

DonValley Brickworks Farmers’ Market, Friends of Riverdale Farm Farmers’ Market, Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market
my fav

‘harvest the power of phyto foods’

I want to share this book/cookbook on whole foods or plant foods

so rich in phytochemicals–chemical compounds found in foods that help to fight off auto-immune diseases like: cancer, diabetes, osteo-arthritis.

A friend gave it to me last year

EVERY recipe I have tried has been not only EASY-minimal prep, but DELICIOUS (big exclamation mark)

Check it out! Protect your health.

The Enlightened Eater’s Whole Foods Guide

by Rosie Schwartz

Onion Relish

1 white (organic) onion, quartered and very thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sea salt
Juice of 1/2 organic lemon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp organic cilantro, chopped-Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone*this is a great condiment to just about anything
** onions are a great source of vitamin C, and chock full of heart-healthy flaviniods

There is a gorgeous yoga studio in Toronto, one of the nicest, most zen studios where I practice alot.
The Roots Yoga Studio on Yonge St, in between Summerhill and Rosedale subway stations.
Go to
I hope there is a class time that fits into your schedule.

customer service

I do appreciate customer service, and experienced great service when I returned a cashmere scarf to the store of purchase-Club Monaco www.clubmonaco.com
Said scarf was not performing as promised even with all my perserverance. The manager at the Yorkdale store was professional, extremely curteous, and did all he could to obtain a full refund for me. His diligence to the matter was impressive; I received a full refund of purchase price back onto my credit card within a week, AND a note in the mail to apologize for my disappointment. I sent a handwritten note back to head office extolling my delight with the way in which the situation was handled.
Vive la customer service!!
Needless to say, I am a loyal Club Monaco shopper.

Press – Cabbagetown Newsletter November 2007

Think Jamie Oliver — in Cabbagetown
Gabrielle at the Farmers’ Market – Riverdale Farm

We live in an age where all the advantages of the electronic age are supposed to simplify our lives. What they do is make us available 24/7 and turn us into multi-tasking octopi with time being the last thing on their tentacles – er… hands. Enter Gabrielle Osborne of urbanmaven who caters to time-starved professionals who value responsible assistance, good food and a casual elegance.
Two years ago Gabrielle and her husband Peter, packed their children Sam & Isobel off to university. The massive presence and exaggerated energy generated by teenagers had emptied their Beaches home, so they decided to move to the more centrally located Cabbagetown. As Gabrielle explains, “the architecture and community feel of the neighbourhood were a big drawing card for us.”

As a stay-at-home mother and garden designer, Gabrielle was actively involved in shopping, cooking and organizing –catering to the voracious appetites of teenagers and their friends and juggling schedules. Often her friends would call upon her to help them out as well. These friends and family members encouraged Gabrielle to start her own business assisting people, who were too busy with their own lives or unable for reasons of age or infirmity to perform the tasks that Gabrielle did with such ease and flair. And so urbanmaven was born.

“I love to cook with an emphasis on fresh and often organic ingredients,” Gabrielle explains, “I call myself a good bistro cook with an emphasis on lots of fresh herbs. Think Jamie Oliver.”

Gabrielle is a wonderful resource and respite for today’s over-extended families. Her services include personal errands such as shopping for groceries and collecting dry cleaning, or selecting the perfect gift for any occasion. Within the home she can organize that maddeningly cluttered closet, or sort out the dreaded basement. On the lighter side, her love of garden design makes her a perfect choice to design a spectacular garden arrangement for that special visual lift.

A thoughtful and resourceful husband recently surprised his full-time working wife with a gift of Gabrielle’s services. This included a 4-week meal plan for their busy family of five. One of Gabrielle’s favourite autumn meals is a bowl of homemade soup made from seasonal vegetables, a big chuck of artisan bread with a piece of cheese and an arugula salad with fresh vinaigrette, accompanied with a glass of wine.

Gabrielle explains, “I really believe in shopping locally wherever possible, whether it be for produce, a dress, or a piece of furniture. I believe there is a need for this service as time is an ever-decreasing commodity and we all strive to keep our lives in balance.” This is where urbanmaven can help you. Gabrielle can be reached via email: gosborne@urbanmaven.ca or t: 416 554-6943