DIY Summer Series: Amanda’s Lavender Lemonade

The other day someone dared tell me they couldn’t believe “summer was almost over.” I nearly slapped them. We still have over a month of this glorious season, but as we all know, those last few weeks tend to fly by. So that’s why Novella‘s launching our DIY Summer Series — we want you to make the most out of the rest of your summer! (Get it?)

Over the next few weeks, Novella editors (and maybe even some special guest contributors) will share their favourite warm-weather crafts and recipes that are super-easy, super-fun, and will let you really embrace summer’s second act.

And here’s your first project: lavender lemonade! It’s a yummy, beautiful drink — perfect for summer patio parties or just lounging in the sun with a book. Also, just a tip, if you want to make it even more beautiful, pour some vodka in that sh*t.

What you’ll need…

  • 11 lemons
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tabespoons dried lavender (they sell it at House of Spice in Kensginton)
  • 6 cups water


What to do…

  1. Boil the water and pour in the sugar and honey until everything is dissolved.
  2. Pour the mixture into a jar and add the lavender leaves. Let it all steep for TWO HOURS in the fridge.image
  3. While you’re letting that steep, occupy your time by squeezing your lemon juice (10 lemons = two cups). Use a juicer or squeeze them by hand. Like a pioneer.
  4. Once those two hours have passed, mix the lavender mix with your lemon juice and pour it all into a pretty serving jar. Garnish it with lemon slices (the 11th lemon’s time to shine!) and serve it to three of your friends in Pinterest-worthy Mason jars or something. Enjoooooy!



Experience WayHome with the Etsy Market, Art and Food

WayHome Music & Arts Festival is offering much more than just topnotch performances. They will also have a market sponsored by Etsy (WayMarket), creative art installations around the grounds (WayArt) and of course food from an array of delicious vendors (WayFood).


Etsy Summer Place in 2013

Fashionistas can take a break from the grounds to do what they do best – shop! As the title marketplace sponsor of WayHome Music & Arts Festival, the onsite WayMarket by Etsy will feature 20 local sellers, offering handmade and vintage items perfect for festival season, including jewelry, must-have accessories and flower crowns.

List of Sellers: Jordan De Ruiter, Mark Simmons, Katy, Gillian McGregor, RobertRatPrints, Grace Design, Sofija Obradovic, Brittany Toonen, Sarah Heath, Shannon Kehler, Elizabeth Fowler, Michelle, Natalie LeBlanc, Natalie Eldershaw, Leslie Howchin, Samantha, Joisane, HouseSM


Artist Nathan Whitford

Because who doesn’t love to gaze at some breathtaking art? WayHome will have some of the top Canadian-based gallery and well-known artists to make the WayArt experience like no other at any North American festival.  Curated under the Toronto-based painter Charles Bierk, WayArt will showcase a diverse range of large-scale installations that make use of Oro-Medonte’s exquisite natural environment, while providing festival attendees with experiences that will excite and inspire.


Image found on Pinterest

Foodies, do not fret! You will get to indulge in over 30 premium food vendors ranging from gourmet food trucks and restaurant pop ups to local comfort food classics. Satisfy your palate with our diverse menu selections that will fuel you up or cool you down. Indulge in a diverse menu selection with a variety of smoothies, cold pressed juices and cold brewed coffee.

About Last Night: The Stirling Room’s New Patio

‘Tis patio season, and last night the Novella team hit up the Stirling Room in the Distillery District to check out their brand-new patio. The Stirling Room, which was also celebrating its 5th anniversary last night, was classy already, but with this chic new outdoor space, the place is sure to become even more of a summertime hit. And it opened just in time — Toronto is full of patios, but we’re midway through the summer, which means I’ve exhausted pretty much all of them already.

While sipping cocktails and munching appetizers, guests crowded the new patio, but there was plenty of sitting room so the comfy factor was not sacrificed. It has a totally different feel than the El Catrin patio, which is right around the corner and is famed for its awesomeness. While El Catrin’s is ideal for downing some dinner, the Stirling Room’s has a more intimate feel and is the perfect place to chill with some chums and a cocktail.

The patio opens to the public today, which means all you beautiful people should flock to the Distillery right now (despite the Pan Am madness, it’s not as crazy as you’d think) for a drink or two!


Introducing Ritual- Saving Urban Professionals valuable time and enjoying great food effortlessly!


With the touch of a button, users can make selections from the a diverse range of options in the Ritual app, and place orders through seamless mobile transactions. Once an order is placed, the app prompts the user with notifications to keep them updated on their order status and let them know when to head out and pick up their coffee or lunch. Each order is timed perfectly for the customer’s arrival. And the best part is – there is no additional cost.


Ritual’s exclusive network of only the best restaurants are curated to ensure excellence, guaranteeing high quality food and service. On Ritual, users can find favourites such as Jimmy’s Coffee, Khao San Road, and Burrito Boyz, to name a few. The app is also designed to enable users to discover new and exciting options by making them easily accessible.


Through Ritual, urban professionals are now able to have the best of both worlds, saving valuable time and enjoying great food effortlessly! For more information, visit and follow them on twitter @Ritual_Co

About Last Night: Salsa Cruise!

Last night, floating about a kilometer out on Lake Ontario, I discovered that no matter how hard I try to salsa dance, it will always look like I’m doing the chicken dance.

But despite my lack of balance (and rhythm), I had a grand time on Mariposa Cruises’ Salsa Cruise, which was hosted as a part of the 11th annual Salsa in Toronto festival. Over wine and a Latin-style buffet dinner, guests mingled and made friends before gathering on the upper deck for a Salsa lesson at dusk (this is where I failed miserably, but the fact that I managed to not fall overboard was impressive enough).

Photo by Jesse Milns

After the lesson, cruise-goers sipped their drinks and enjoyed the view of a brilliant pink sunset over Toronto’s skyline while professional Salsa dancers took to the dance floor.

Photo by Jesse Milns
Photo by Jesse Milns

After three hours of blasting Latin music over Lake Ontario and making us all reminisce past vacations hotter, sunnier spots, the cruise brought us back to the Harbourfront at 11:30. The experience not only made me wish I was more coordinated, but made me happy that I’d managed to celebrate one of Toronto’s most colourful festivals in such a unique way.

There’s one more Salsa Cruise coming up on the 16th, so snag your tickets before the boat fills up!