Pizza and Punk with Meghan


I had a great night out with my pal Meghan on Sunday night. She had some tickets to see a band I’d never heard of before, but I completely trust her taste in music so was happy to go along.

The band was Thee Oh Sees and the show was at The Danforth Music Hall, which is in the north-east part of town, known as Greektown because the area was home to many early Greek immigrants to Toronto. Most of the city’s traditional Greek restaurants are still located on that stretch of Danforth Avenue, but nowadays there are all kinds of shops and styles of food to check out.

By coincidence this is where Nick and I were the previous Sunday night too, at our friend Chops’ birthday party, here. In fact, Meegs and I walked right by the place we had been, on our way to the show. I don’t really have much cause to go to this area and have probably been there one other time in the past decade or so, this past summer when Nick and I went to the Fitz and the Tantrums show, (shown here), so it was strange to be there twice in the span of 8 days. It’s a nice place though, so I didn’t mind at all. There are so many beautiful old buildings and a vibrant nightlife.

We met for dinner at Pizzeria Libretto. I’ve talked about this restaurant before, here, here and here, but that was at their other location. Clearly I like the place and I was pleased when Meghan suggested it.

They cook their authentic Neapolitan pizza in 90 seconds, in wood burning ovens that were especially built for them by 3rd generation pizza oven makers …



To eat we shared the Quinoa Salad, which, to copy directly from the menu, contained “black and white quinoa, shaved fennel, fried carrot, orange, grana padano almond milk dressing, toasted almonds, fennel fronds”. Then we had the Cremini Mushroom Pizza, “bufala mozzarella , gorgonzola, roasted garlic , rosemary, thyme, pecorino”. To drink we had red wine and then Meghan had a espresso and I a cappuccino after the meal. It was all mmmm good.






The concert hall was a few blocks to the west of the restaurant and it was good to have a little walk between the meal and rocking out. Following a spell of unseasonably cold weather, the night was quite mild and lovely.






^ Alexander the Great ^

I had listened to some of Thee Oh Sees music on-line before going, but I really was not prepared for what awaited me. The singer/song writer/guitar player is John Dwyer, a musician from California, who has been in bands for over 20 years. His abundance of experience showed clearly in his skill and confident demeanor on stage. The music, which is apparently a change from what they used to sound like with a different line-up, was loud, exciting and really good. I’m a fan of punk rock so was really happy to be at that show.

The rest of the audience clearly was too. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen as much mosh-pit dancing and crowd surfing to the extent that I saw going on there. It was so much fun and I can’t stop thinking about it!






Thanks for dropping over. I hope you’re having a great week. All is swell here.
xo loulou

Posted in Concerts, Out at Night, Restaurants of Toronto, Streets of Toronto | 1 Comment

Branches and Twine Place Card Holders


Nick and I made a resolution a couple of New Years’ eves ago, to begin having more people over to our place for dinner. We both like to cook so that seemed like a fun way to see our friends more often. And I’m glad to say that we followed through and have indeed hosted a number of small dinners at home since then. With that practice under our belts, we now feel like stepping up our game and having more guests over at the same time, during the upcoming year.

This is a post showing some Place Card Holders I made in anticipation of these larger dinner parties to come … I made 10 of them, which might be ambitious, but we’ll see how it goes!

Aside from wanting to make these to use ourselves, this DIY might come in handy for people in the United States hosting Thanksgiving this week, or for any upcoming holiday gatherings to come. This same technique can also be used to make table signs or signs to identify items on a buffet table.

diy-place-card-holders-branch-and-twine-easy-handmade menu holders buffet signs

Requiring minimal supplies of 2 branches cut to 4 inch lengths and 2 x 8 inch pieces of twine each, they are pretty quick and easy to make – it took me about 45 minutes to make these 10. (Aside : I listened to the first episode of the podcast Serial as I made them and now I’m hooked!)

I used branches that had fallen from some maple trees near our home, but I’m sure you could scout a local park or ravine for some. You’re looking for fairly straight pieces that are about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter, to make name cards and about 2 inches to make larger sign holders. We have a pretty sturdy branch cutting tool, but a small saw would also do the trick.

I’ve included a pictorial for how to tie them together at each end. Note that the twine wraps around the branches, coming up through the centre of them, and winding back around each one and tying at the back. It’s important for the twine to come through the centre so the branches are not too tightly tied together, because you need room to slip the card with your guests’ names on them.






I happened to have some blank business card sized card-stock so I used those, but you can cut any card-stock to fit. I also decorated the cards using some fancy edged scissors and a silver paint pen, but that it totally optional.

In case our friend Andrea sees these pictures and thinks, ‘Hey, I see my name there but I don’t remember this dinner!’, these shots are a mock-up to show how the place cards look while in action. You can see that they have a rustic look that would suit casual or more formal dinners and could work year ’round.





And if after dinner, your group is participating in a raffle, a game of charades, or a round of Secret Santa, you’ll already have everyone’s name written down and can just plop the cards into a hat.


Thanks for checking out my post.

Wishing you a great week,
xo loulou

Posted in Dinner Details, Home style, Making Things DIYs | 4 Comments