Layering With A Striped Blazer

Blogger in striped blazer

In the prairies we have to dress in layers, the mornings and late afternoons are just not as nice as the day time.  So we are always looking for new ways to add that bit of extra warmth without a bulky jacket.  We were so impressed and inspired by Becky Kung’s latest blog post on Velvet and Vino, where she paired our favourite striped blazer from Farminista with leather-look pants and loose fitting chambray button up. Here’s a peek…

striped blazer worn by blogger velvet and vino
How to wear a striped blazer by velvet and vino
Blogger in striped blazer
Striped blazer on velvet and vino blogger Becky Kung


Grandma’s Tea Party Favourites – Raisin Squares Recipe

One of the first play sets I had was a tea party set from my Grandma.  As I got older, she had me over often for tea. Grandma spent a lot of time baking for these special afternoons and I’m reminded of her when I see these beautiful hand-stitched tea towels. She loved handmade items and so do I!


My favourite tea towels help pull the baked square out of the oven.
My favourite tea towels help pull the baked square out of the oven.


Grandma served black tea and many, many different kids of dainties. She would serve mini cucumber sandwiches, cookies, squares and my very favourite, Raisin Squares. These are some of the best uniquely Canadian desserts. It’s a rich cookie base topped with a raisin brown sugar syrup mixture that’s been baked crisp in the over. These freeze well.


Raisin Squares

1 cup flour
 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, and the white sugar. Cut in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly and mixed together.

Press into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and bake the crust for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, mix together the butter, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins and pour the mixture over the base.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is brown and crispy. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Delicious Raisin Squares with my favourite Emma Coffee Cups!
Delicious Raisin Squares with my favourite Emma Coffee Cups!

These squares are delicious served with Kusmi Tea. Farminista has super cute tea cups in three different patterns that I’m in love with. I’ll be using them to serve tea at my next party!

Spring Maxi: Two Ways

Yellow Clutch

Spring is in the air, here in the prairies, but if you’re anything like me, you may still need that little boost of excitement to get you through what’s left of winter’s reign. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, that’s where shopping comes in! Here, at Tonic, Farminista’s sister boutique in the heart of Sk, we’re putting winter behind us by stepping into some of our favourite light fabrics and fun, fresh prints in order to welcome the lightness of spirit that comes in hand with spring. SO it’s time to rebelliously don our favourite pair of loafers and daytime dresses to prepare for the sunny days ahead!


One of my favourite looks from this week, is this soft and versatile maxi dress! This cute little baby’s biggest asset is definitely its ability to be dressed up or down.  As pictured in the look above, adding a hat or printed scarf (or both!) is a fun way to give your look a more relaxed vibe while still maintaining the allure behind this lengthy, frame-enhancing piece.

striped maxi dress on girl
Accessories can change up your look.

For a more classic look, a pop of colour is the way to go! This clean-cut denim jacket, with carefully chosen accessories, is your best friend when aiming to jazz things up!

Yellow Clutch
Bright accessories add some “fun” to any outfit!
Yellow statement necklace
Yellow Makes A Statement!

This dress’ comfy fit is perfect for evenings spent in the studio, when painting or working on a print, and is easy for me to dress up quick when heading out, afterwards, for a night out on the town! Whether you’re catching your favourite band or spending the evening with friends at a cute local lounge, this little maxi will always have your back 😉

So join in the fun and don’t be shy! Spring is just around the corner…


Prairie Bohemian Style

Red Kimono and Maxi Dress

There is something about kimonos that we just love! It might be that they usually come in bright colours or that they silky and lightweight, whatever it is we love it. A girl in a kimono has a presence when she walks into a room, the way the sheer fabric flows as she moves around adds drama and mystery to her first impression. This spring we have been adding a new style of kimono to Farminista every two weeks, we want to offer as many styles as we can find, we have long ones and short ones, kimonos with fringes and without. We have vintage inspired kimonos or solid black kimonos that work as business attire. Check out our new arrivals for our latest kimono obsession.

Red Kimono on a pretty girl
We love to pair bright kimono’s with a solid base colour.
Paisley Print Kimono
Paisley Print Kimono
Girl in a Printed Kimono
Printed Kimono in the Garden

Tangy Rhubarb Bundt Cake

Rhubarb Cake

I love prairie winters.  Maybe easy to say now that it is floating above zero but, really, the contrasts of the seasons are amazing and allows us to savour each bit.  One reason to love prairie winters is the excuse that it is too cold outside to do anything so you must stay home and bake.  You dig through your freezer and, jackpot!, frozen rhubarb.  Enjoy this lemony rhubarb cake with just enough sweet.  Serve with a cup of Kusmi tea for a perfect pairing.


2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup oil

½ lemon, zest and juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine rhubarb with 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.   In a separate large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and 2 cups sugar.  Beat in eggs, then oil, then lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
Next, stir flour mixture into mixing bowl of wet ingredients in batches, alternate with milk.

Layer the cake and rhubarb into a prepared bundt pan like this: 1/3 batter, ½ rhubarb mixture, 1/3 batter, ½ rhubarb, 1/3 batter

Bake 60 minutes.  Can add a glaze or dusting of powdered sugar for effect but the sweetness is not necessary.

Are Valentines Day Festivities Enough To Get You Out Of Hibernation?

teal tunic

Valentines day is near!

On the Prairies nothing has changed.  Snow still blankets the landscape, cars struggle to start in the morning, and it takes every ounce of energy to climb out of bed and prepare to leave your cozy home.

teal tunic
teal tunic top with belt
pink sweater
pink sweater, vintage wallpaper

Still it reminds us spring should be here by now, Easter candy is out on the shelves,  and hints of spring are popping up in the rest of the world, just not here.  Why should we get excited?  Restaurants have romantic specials, radio ads tell you not to miss the Valentines sales and you wonder if it will be worth the effort to shovel your way to your frozen car.  Well, at Tonic we have been staring out of the window for months while you hibernate, slowly unpacking boxes of pastel delights, delicate lace tops, and sheer kimono’s.

lace top
lace top
red kimono
red paisley kimono


We turn up the heat, crank  up the music and try on these amazing new trends, sometimes we even snap a picture or two for your instagram feed.  Then we slip back into our favourite Farminista fleece leggings and layers of sweaters before we go out into the blizzard for that much needed boost of energy, the espresso, luckily for us there are so many great bakery’s and coffee shops near both Tonic locations.

heart cookie and latte
II Secondo heart cookie and latte

Days turn into weeks and then months and we miss our shopaholics.  We enjoy packing up your orders from Farminista and running across the street to mail them, at least you are warm at home while you shop.  But we miss the energy of the crowded changeroom full of girls giving free styling tips and fighting over the last size of the perfect little black dress! This is when we start to brainstorm, what would the perfect party include?  These are a few things we feel are important to get the girls to leave the comfort of home and online luxury shopping and drive to Tonic.

Valentines Shopaholic Party  Wishlist:

  •  Presents? Yes- free underwear of your choice with any purchase of $100 or more
  • Food-Yes-free treats from  Little Bird Patisserie and lots of chocolate and always cupcakes.
  • girl in a red dress in bakery
    red dress at crave cupcakes
  • Drinks-Yes-sparkling drinks, either water or champagne.
  • New Trends-Yes-Both locations are bursting with the latest cuts and colours from our favourite designers! For a more detailed look at spring trends check out The Rooster Blog.  One of our favourite bloggers Maygen Kardash show her favourite spring trends, like this-
  • burberry pastel trends
    the rooster blog, burberry prorsum
  • These lace pastels are from the Burberry Prorsum Spring collection.  Maygen loves our favourite maxi dress on Farminista
  • summer maxi dress
    lillian maxi dress with floral embroidery
  • Deals-Yes-discounts on everything, including our old school “fill a bag” sale.
  • Music? Yes!  We still have to fight it out, hire a  D.J. vs. A Local Diva.
  • Boyfriend  friendly? Yes, our neighbour Banjo has loads of new stuff for your guy, so he can shop while you do, and we have lots of cozy seats so he can comfortably wait for you to choose your favourite items for him to purchase 😉