I have a Strawberry Buttermilk Cake recipe to share with you. It’s moist and vanilla-scented, studded with jammy strawberries and lashed with icing. Would you like a slice?
I’m currently editing the photos from my new backyard oasis, nestled cozily into the corner of my new sectional, a soft throw tucked on my lap, a cup of coffee (my fourth?) balanced on one knee and my crumb-scattered laptop on the other. This is exactly where I’ve been for weeks, since our patio furniture arrived.
I’ve been sharing glimpses of the space in my Instagram stories, and I’m excited to ply you with summery cake while finally giving you a proper tour.
Getting my hands (bare feet?) on a piece of land to plant food and flowers in, to lounge in, to host friends in and feed people in is an actual dream come true. Having spent my entire adulthood in downtown Vancouver condos, our recent move to a small seaside community nestled in the mountains has been quietly enormous. The change in pace from busyness and noise to greenery and tranquility has felt like the biggest exhale I’ve ever taken.
I furnished this giddily-treasured new outdoor space with Article, a Vancouver-headquartered original modern furniture brand, and they partnered with me in this recipe and in feathering my cozy backyard nest.
For the first couple of months after we moved in, the backyard was just bare concrete and lawn flanked by flowering bushes and a wall of laurel, with a distant view of hazy, tree-covered mountains. I wanted to create a living space tucked into this beauty that friends and family would sink into and want to stay all day. And I also wanted it to be a place where kids could be kids (read: wild, dirty animals) and not be getting swatted away for soil smudges and grass stains.
I had two things in mind – a comfy sitting nook and a pretty dining area.
I like furniture that is modern, but warm, cheerful and cozy. Functional but welcoming. I’m totally over-the-moon in love with how it turned out. These are the items I chose:
Luna lounge chairs (each C$199 | US$149 ) – wicker bohemian-vibe chairs with sturdy steel bases. I love the natural wicker with the modern black details. I got two.
Ora Slate Gray sectional (C$1,399 | US$1,099) – an ample-sized sectional with a synthetic wicker base and solid acacia legs. The cushions are water-resistant but still soft and comfy. It’s solid and really beautifully made.
Mira dining table (C$649 | US$499) – a gorgeous, solid acacia wood table stained the prettiest grey with galvanized steel base. I adore the soft-meets-industrial look. We have eaten three meals a day on this table since it arrived and I anticipate many memories to be made around it.
Dot Sun Yellow dining chairs (each C$89 | US$69) – these were my biggest leap. I can find it difficult to take chances with colour, but I wanted something fun and vibrant. I had actual butterflies in my stomach as the delivery guys were unpacking these boxes. A shade off from what I had in mind and they might not have worked with the house and other furniture. But I couldn’t be happier. The hue is soft and modern. Buttery but vibrant. I ended up loving the colour so much that I wove it into the whole outdoor space – plant pots, pillows, rugs, a cozy throw. The chairs are solid, comfy (actually kind of velvety to the touch, not icky cold plastic), stackable, and easy to clean (ahem, preschoolers).
(The comforting thing with Article is that they have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee in which they’ll pick up the furniture and issue a refund.)
I love sitting on this side of the table with a view of my veggie container garden (I’ve got tomatoes, peppers, herbs, radishes, kale, and carrots all growing in pots!).
A dinner on the grill, eaten outdoors with candles and twinkly lights and soft blankets, totally epitomizes summer for me. This strawberry buttermilk cake I made is the perfect way to finish the evening. It’s soft and light, scattered with sticky strawberries that roast right on top. A generous drizzle of vanilla icing finishes it off, but you could swap in a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like.
Head straight over to the Article blog to get the recipe and to see more photos.
I mean really. You WANT this.
By 5 pm, I plan on trading my coffee mug for a wine glass, and by 6, the charcoal in my (still apartment-sized) grill will be lit.
Surrounded by flowers and grass and 100-foot trees with the smell of sticky sea salt in the air and a cool breeze drifting down the mountain, I can’t believe this is real life. My heart is super full right now, guys. Thank you for letting me virtually share my space with you. Now I hope you will come visit!
Once again, the full recipe + all the photos can be found HERE (in case you were just here for the cake – I get it – and missed the link in post). Bye from the East Coast – I’ll do my best to send you all some tropical sun! ! xo Jenn
Last Updated on June 12, 2018 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD