The Friday Five: Etsy Round-Up

It’s been a while since I’ve browsed Etsy, so I had a look around the other day, and picked a few items that I think are cool. As per usual, you can find just about anything you want or need on Etsy. Care to look at five things I picked out?

il_570xN.808862748_qbkzVictorian manimal wine stoppers, $25.68+

il_570xN.561782470_hn9qwhite leather backpack, $148.18

il_570xN.806489993_c88kmid-century dining table, $268.89

il_570xN.812906808_benywhite happy cloud pillow, $31.75

il_570xN.651253095_6bzdplain white matches, $14.19 (for 50)

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Art: The Beach in Washington, DC

In the most recent issue of Architectural Digest, I read about a new all-white art installation called The BEACH at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. As I often do, I opted to do a bit more research about The BEACH online.

The-Beach-Washington-art-4The-Beach-Washington-art-3Essentially, a large area was walled off in the middle of the Museum’s Great Hall. The installation, a collaborative effort with Snarkitecture, has covered 10,000 square feet with one million recyclable translucent plastic balls (Remember those from your childhood?).

The-Beach-Washington-art-5  The-Beach-Washington-art-6 The-Beach-Washington-art-1  The-Beach-Washington-art-2The-Beach-Washington-art-7 The lounge area is outfitted with comfortable chairs and white AstroTurf “sand”. The scattering of rolling plastic balls at the “water’s edge” are reminiscent of real waves.

This beach is only open until September 7, 2015, so if you’re in the area, get there before summer ends!

Learn more about The BEACH, including ticket information, here. Photos via The National Building Museum Flickr.

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The Friday Five: Orlando Edition

While my friend Shannon and I were in Florida last month, we decided to take a day trip to Orlando. We avoided all amusement parks and opted to try some of the recommendations on Design*Sponge’s 24 hours in Orlando guide written by Jessica Bennett.

Orlando-hwy-signMy TomTom directed every step of the way, and we were very thankful that we had it! We punched in the various addresses, and off we went. Freedom!

Here are five of the stops we made:

One: Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets
Our first stop was the Vineland outlet mall on the southern end of Orlando. It was on our way to the centre of the city, so we thought we might as well stop in to see what it had to offer. Well, it offered us quite a bit. The mall has high-end designer outlets like Fendi and Burberry as well as more mainstream outlets like JCrew, Banana Republic, and the Gap. We were surprised to see a Lululemon outlet at this mall, and we picked up some goodies at Barneys NY and Kate Spade.

Vineland-Outlet-Orlando-1Vineland-Outlet-Orlando-2Two: Prato
After a couple several hours at Vineland, we needed some food. When we learned that we had missed the opening hours of The Strand, we drove straight to Prato in the Winter Park district. We sort of missed the opening hours there, too, but luckily the restaurant was still serving a limited menu, so we were in luck. We were hungry! We ordered a couple of cocktails (to celebrate a successful shopping excursion, of course!) and pizzas. I went for the Fiorentina and Shannon ordered the Widowmaker, and we were both very happy with our meals.

Besides the food, Prato is a feast for the designer’s eyes. It is beautifully designed, and its front black-framed windows are gorgeous.

Prato-Orlando-2Prato-Orlando-1 Prato-Orlando-3 Orlando-Prato-1Three: Hannibal Square
I quickly fell in love with the Winter Park district, and I was surprised to see such a quaint and historic neighbourhood in Orlando. Why does everyone talk about Mickey when there’s Winter Park? Beautiful trees, cobble stone roads, and plenty of sweet stores and restaurants to explore, this is an area worth visiting!

From Prato, we lazily walked around, following as much of the guide as we could. The guide led us to Hannibal Square which included a huge Jenga-style game under this (apparently slanted) structure.

Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-2Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-1 Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-4 Hannibal-Square-WinterPark-Orlando-3Four: Rifle Paper Co.
We knew Rifle Paper Co. was in Winter Park, but we almost missed it! Thankfully, we turned a corner, and there it was. It was our lucky day because Rifle was having a sidewalk sale. Ah-mazing! We were thrilled! Each of us stocked up on cards and artwork. I scooped up a few Garance Doré prints as well as this super bright and happy print for my work office.I was so impressed to learn that Rifle Paper Co. items are made in the USA and assembled right in Winter Park. Just so awesome.

Rifle-Paper-Co-1

Rifle-Paper-Co-4As if the sidewalk sale wasn’t enough, Nick from Mama’s Sauce was at Rifle screen-printing his heart out! Meeting Nick was so fun and unexpected. In addition to all of his design and printing work, Nick is an avid traveller, and he gave us great advice about where to go, what to do, and what to see in various parts of Florida. He spoke so highly of Winter Park, Orlando, and Florida in general, and I just love it when people appreciate where they live so much! The fact that Nick time out of his busy day to chat with us completely impressed me (Thanks, Nick!).

Rifle-Paper-Co-2And beyond the sale and screen-printing excitement, on our way out the door with our hands full of gorgeous letterpress art, we met the very friendly Stephen (The Hyppo and Cousteau Waffle & Milkshake Bar) and Ryan (MC Pressure). They served us up some delicious popsicles which was a very welcome treat considering the fact that we (a) didn’t have dessert at Prato, and (b) it was ridiculously hot! I had the blueberry-lavender-lemonade popsicle, and it was so absolutely delicious. A month later, and I’m still thinking about how great it tasted!

Rifle-Paper-Co-3Five: P is for Pie Bake Shop
Our last stop before we left Orlando was P if for Pie Bake Shop. We opted to get mini pies to go (banana pie and chocolate peanut butter pie), and enjoyed them back home in Madeira Beach (yum!).

P-is-for-Pie-Orlando-1P-is-for-Pie-Orlando-2As you may have gathered, we had a great day trip in Orlando. I would definitely like to go back and spend some more time around the city (especially Winter Park since it was so pretty). I’m glad the Design*Sponge 24-hours in Orlando guide worked out, and I’m extra glad that my TomTom directed us for the day.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

I’d like to thank Meaghan B. and TomTom again for providing me with the GO 500. It is proving to be very useful and dependable!

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Marketplace: Wedding Season at Kate Spade

My cousin is getting married this weekend, and I’m so excited to celebrate with her and her soon-to-be husband. The ceremony and party are going to be just beautiful, and I’m looking forward to spending time with the ol’ family. We are going to get our dancing on, aren’t we, team?

As expected, Kate Spade’s wedding collection has some really happy and fun pieces to help the bride (and happy couple) get ready for the big day.

Kate-Spade-wedding-1Kate-Spade-wedding-2happily ever after flip flops, $68

Kate-Spade-wedding-3ampersand clutch, $368

Kate-Spade-Wedding-4wedding belles love owls, $398

Kate-Spade-wedding-5wedding belles stirling clutch, $548

Kate-Spade-wedding-6Mrs. studs, $48

Kate-Spade-wedding-6cake topper, $50

Kate-Spade-wedding-8Mr. and Mrs. balloon set, $48

Sweet items, right? What do you think?

Posted in Celebration, Fashion, Gifts, Marketplace | 1 Comment

Travel: Marriott’s Tampa Renaissance

I have to share a recent positive experience I had with the Marriott. I was not in any way compensated for this review, but since I received such incredible service, I feel like sharing. There are good people out there who really seem to love their job, and when I meet people like this (who also treat me so well), I do what I can to recognize them and spread the word. So, here we go.

First, a bit of a lead up…

On my way back from Florida a couple of weeks ago, after sitting around the Tampa airport for 6 hours, my flight (via WestJet) was cancelled (due to weather). The passengers were definitely ticked off (I felt bad for those traveling with kids and those who were needing to make connecting flights). I, too, was disappointed. The fact that the flight was cancelled was definitely annoying, but the way WestJet handled the communication and service really irked me.

So when we learned that our flight was cancelled, we were also informed that we needed to go to baggage claim immediately to retrieve our luggage and that all hotel and incidental expenses were the passengers’ responsibility. (Not to get into the whole WestJet debacle…but we were all going to be booked onto another flight the next day.)

IMG_4827

By the time I got around to calling the “hotel accommodations when flights are cancelled” number provided by WestJet, all the “discounted” hotels that were reserved for cancelled flights were full. My annoyance level grew instantly (service like this drives me absolutely nuts).

Trying to make the best out of a crummy situation, I got online and looked up hotels close to the airport. The first call I made was to the Marriott Tampa Renaissance reservation department. The Renaissance is definitely a luxury hotel, but I crossed my fingers that there would be a room available on such short notice (with a decent rate, of course! pushing my luck, right?).

Well, Ms. Emily over in the reservation department was on the other end of the phone, and she was incredibly friendly and understanding of my situation. When I asked for the “my flight is cancelled and I really would love to stay in a fabulous hotel with a great bed for an evening in Tampa,” she laughed and assured me that she would find the best possible rate for me. She called me by name (I always like this), persisted, and was extremely polite. She booked me into a room at the Renaissance within minutes and gave me a competitive rate. I was pumped! She honestly brightened by afternoon!

And now, here’s what I thought about the Marriott’s Tampa Renaissance.

The lobby is grand with welcoming and modern seating arrangements.

Tampa-Marriott-Renaissance-6 Tampa-Marriott-Renaissance-5 Tampa-Marriott-Renaissance-4

There is a bit of Italian signage on the room floors, which makes me happy. Tampa-Marriott-Renaissance-3

The artwork around the hotel is lovely, but it is this simple drawing that was hung in my room that I really liked. Tampa-Marriott-Renaissance-2

My Tuscan-inspired room was very well-appointed. My king size bed was ridiculously comfortable (how do hotels do it!?), and the terry robe is one that I think I just have to purchase. It was perfect. Aveda products fill the large bathroom. My room faced the pretty courtyard, and the pool and gym are added conveniences (too bad it rained).Tampa-Marriott-Renaissance-1Finally, the hotel is attached to one of Tampa’s great malls – the International Plaza – awesome!

My day ended up being much (much!) better than how it started, and I definitely owe Ms. Emily a thank you for helping to turn things around for me!

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20 Below: Catch-all Tote Basket

I think a sturdy canvas bag like this one from H&M Home would be a great container for slippers or shoes (housed by the door), laundry supplies, toys, magazines, and blankets. It’s different from a traditional basket, but it serves a functional purpose in a modern way.

hmprodstorage basket, $12.99, H&M Home

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Travel: One Fine Stay in Paris

No, no, I don’t have a trip planned to Paris (yet), but I do enjoy a good accommodation browse every so often. On my recent tour of the Internet, I landed on One Fine Stay‘s selection of vacation rentals, and my jaw dropped. I want to stay in almost every apartment! Let’s have un coup d’oeil, shall we?

TRI220-TAKE-01-244Rue de l’Arc de Triomphe

CHE435-TAKE-01-179Rue du Cherche Midi V

VCL321-TAKE-01-7077VCL321-TAKE-01-7079Rue du Vieux Colombier (2 photos above)

cafe8e1e69be9e3d963f0b42d32ba4b012ba318f 543ae85df266daf740dd001ea47feb23a566b02957c5e7d6af7613ec63538c8f9c02aecfff423559-1Passage Saint Antoine (3 photos above)

e895d9a7e569077bdf30646411ab20ecf6e05ef4Rue de la Faisanderie

3105e11c71c2bbe18f89ba1da297c9024a389b78Rue Sainte Dominique

BRD294-TAKE-01-224 BRD294-TAKE-01-269 BRD294-TAKE-01-259 BRD294-TAKE-01-254-Edit BRD294-TAKE-01-142-EditAvenue de la Bourdonnais III (5 photos above; check out those views!)

These places are pretty incredible, aren’t they? Don’t you just want to book a flight (and win the lottery)?

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The Friday Five: On Sale at Elte, Toronto

Elte, one of Toronto’s finest furniture stores, is currently having a summer sale. I bought my Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams couch from Elte, and if I lived in Toronto, I’m sure I would be popping in quite often. The prices at Elte are typically high, but so is the quality of the pieces. If you’re in the market for something fabulous, you might want to check out the sale. Here are my five pics from the sale (although I’d snap up every Kartell chair if I could!).

chair-kartell-lizz-elte-saleKartell Lizz Side Chair, $206 (originally $406; also available in black)

vase-white-gold-eltegold mid glaze bud vase, $17.97 (originally $29.95)

Ojai-sconce-Elte-saleOjai sconce, $215 (originally $365)

moroccan-wedding-pouf-elte-saleMoroccan wedding pouf, $238 (originally $595)

ceramic-stool-lattice-elte-saleceramic lattice stool, $120 (originally $195)

If you’re in Toronto and you go to the sale, let me know!

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Design: Two Bathrooms That Caught My Attention

As I was browsing through some of my daily and weekly reads (cue blogroll), two bathrooms caught my attention. I thought I’d share them with you in case they haven’t yet made their way to your computer/laptop/other device. Feel free to weigh in on what you like or dislike about each space.

The first bathroom was featured on Sue’s The Zhush. The bathroom (and home) was designed by Irene Lovette of Designstiles. I adore the marble in this bathroom as well as all of the fixtures. The shower is stunning, and please hop on over to see the bathtub. Just gorgeous!

While the colour palette here is simple, neutral, and white, the space is interesting because of all the patterns of the various marble pieces. This bathroom does not shy away from mixing metals either, and I think we are going to continue to see this in interiors in the years ahead.

main.original.585x0-9(photo by Sabra Lattos Photography)

I spotted the second bathroom on Jacquelyn Clarke’s Lark and Linen. It’s one room (of many) in Calvin Klein’s Miami beach house, and it is very minimalist in design. It was designed with super straight lines, one colour scheme, and only faint lines of pattern (e.g., marble on the side table). The shower luxe curtain and black curtain rod certainly got my attention.

calvin-klein-beach-house_7-480x720Zillow via Lark & Linen

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Furniture: High / Low Comparisons

One of my favourite features in magazines like Style at Home is the high / low spread. Essentially, the magazine styles up two very similar versions of a room and leaves it to the reader to guess which version is expensive / affordable (before revealing the true prices on a later page). Anyway. I love this feature and I get sucked into the guessing game every. single. time.

If you love this as much as I do, go ahead and read on. I have prepared a similar high / low challenge for you.

Beds

1a.panel bed-1

1b.panel bed-2

Lights 1

2a.41098-71_4

2b.soneca-frosted-pendant-light

 

Dressers

3a.2532262-13b.white dresserBenches

4a. $_57

4b.Mongolian-fur-bench-whiteLights 2

5a. 02575003_L5b.hg147409_1So? How do you think you did? Check the prices (and see the sources) below.

Answers:

1. a. Parallel bed in walnut and leather, $5800; b. Piper wood panel bed, $1149
2. a. glass ball mini pendant, $69.98; b. Soneca frosted pendant light, $229
3. a. matching Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin white lacquer chest of drawers, $3800; b. Malm six-drawer dresser, $199
4. a. Jennifer Taylor white Mongolian fur bench, $550; b. Jonathan Adler Mongolian lamb bench, $1595
5. a. 1-light pendant fixture, $23.90; b. Greene pendant large, $595

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