Marketplace: Timbuk2

Okay – so we all know I love school. I have been a student for all of my life (yes, it’s true), and when I have actually taken a pause from wearing a student hat, I have been a teacher and professor. Education is my thing (in addition to design, of course) and back-to-school season is one of my favourite seasons. Yes, I’m that kind of person.

When I started MBA classes in September, I soon realized that I needed a backpack. While carrying a cute canvas tote was okay, I realized that it wasn’t so great for my back once it was stuffed with my text, notebook, laptop, lunch, etc. On top of that, I also carried a separate purse. Anyway, I started my search for a good quality backpack in the fall. I looked at backpacks in a variety of stores, but nothing really caught my attention. Maybe I was too used to purse shopping! These were my backpack requirements: comfortable, sleek, roomy, not bulky, reliable, well-made, lightweight, affordable, and a bit out of the ordinary. When Jeff told me about his positive experience with San Francisco-based Timbuk2 bags, I added this company to my research list (thanks, Jeff).

Timbuk2 specializes in bags that are put to major tests (i.e., cycling and hiking) and its collection include messenger bags, backpacks, and computer-safe bags. I liked the selection of sizes, styles, and colours, but what I especially appreciated from the Timbuk2 website was the demonstration videos of each bag. Since I couldn’t see a bag in person, watching these videos helped me better understand each backpack’s size and features.

I was set to order theEl Rio Laptop backpack in black because I like that it’s simple, has a lot of pockets, and has a sweet interior lining. That’s good design, I tell you! Here it is in white:


El Rio laptop backpack, $99

I have used my El Rio for a week now, and it has served me very well! It is very comfortable, very lightweight, well-made, and well-designed. This backpack has several useful good-sized pockets on its exterior and interior, and I have managed to make use of them all (chapstick pocket, phone pocket, paperwork pocket, notebook pocket, etc.). The large interior compartment easily fits my laptop, textbook, notebook, other notebook, lunch, water bottle, and a pair of shoes. It has changed how I walk to work – I’m sure I’m faster now!

The size of the El Rio is a good one for someone like me, but there were other ones that could serve more active purposes:


Especial Medio Cycling laptop backpack, $179


Especial Raider backpack, $79


Especial Tres Cycling backpack, $209


Terracycle showdown laptop backpack, $99

Timbuk2’s collection includes more than backpacks, and there’s even a custom option that allows you to design a bag with your choice of colours and patterns.


Scrunchie yoga mat tote bag, $89

express shoulder bag timbuk2

Express shoulder bag, $59


custom swig laptop backpack, $129


custom envelope tablet sleeve, $39

I also like that there’s a size guide as easy to follow as the one below. These kinds of details in online shops really help to visualize the product in real life, don’t you think?


I have had “buy backpack” on my to do list for months now, and I’m thrilled to say that I have now crossed this item off! Yay!

Many thanks to Defne and Timbuk2 for generously offering to send me the El Rio. So far, so good!

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The Friday Five: Curved Windows

I’m a little late in writing today’s Friday Five, but the week was a full one! I was in Toronto today at a work meeting (academic work, not IDS-related), and on the train ride back to Waterloo, my colleagues and I got talking about our various approaches to design. Needless to say, they didn’t think that my all-white way of life was the ideal way to live (ha – don’t knock it until you try it, I say!). Anyway, in between talking about chandeliers, window seats, and cathedral ceilings, we chatted quite a bit about windows. All of our design talk has inspired tonight’s late-night Friday Five post.

Today’s five interiors feature some incredibly gorgeous (in my opinion) curved windows. I’ll have to poll my colleagues to see if they would agree.


via Domesticated Desk


via Ana Rosa


 source unknown

blanco londres5

via Desde My Ventana

kathleen clements curved hallway hall arched windows brick floors herringbone pattern lanterns white walls cococozy

via Coco Cozy

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Posted in Architecture, Design, Friday Five, Interiors | 2 Comments

Marketplace: Bingo

This is perfect:


Way to go West Emory and J. Crew!

Posted in Design, Marketplace | Leave a comment

New Series: A Monthly Post Link-Up

As you may know, we bloggers love us a good blog series. I have a couple regular columns going on at the moment – 20 Below (Tuesdays) features items in the marketplace that are less than $20, and the Friday Five is a thematic collection of five things that ends each week here on White Cabana. Now, I’ll be taking part in a blogosphere-wide monthly linkup series organized by the gals over at Shop the B Bar. Each month, a group of bloggers will write and publish a post around a common topic. We’ll share the posts on the same day and link-up to one another so that you – and we – have a lot of interesting posts to read! The monthly posts will be published on the third Wednesday of every month, so mark your calendars! So, now that everyone knows what’s what, let’s get this blog linkup started.

The question that we’re answering this month is:


Interesting question, right? Oh man, my house is full of stuff…I probably could live without  most of it, actually. I’m really quite organized and tidy (for the most part), but my closets, shelves, cabinets, and drawers are all full. How does this happen!? The question this month is a bit of a challenge because when I stop to think about everything I own, there are really a lot of things that I could totally live without. So, what has actually become invaluable to me this year? …


GlucksteinHome flannel sheet set

Flannel sheets! Yes, flannel sheets! I feel like I’m a retiree with my flannel sheets, but they are amazing! They’re not as pretty as my usual crisp white sheets, but they sure are warm. And in winter, warmth at home rules. My flannel sheets aren’t going anywhere, that’s for darn sure.

Now that you know what I’ve discovered this year, check out what these other bloggers are currently coveting:

The B Bar
Girl in Betsey
Glitter & Bow
Pretty Much
Healthfully Ever After
Boulevard House
Always Craving
Southern Charm & Prints
Perfect Enough For Us
Modish & Main
Alessandra Marie
Jenn Inspired
Luv in the Bubble
A Little Leopard
All the Pretty Stars
York Avenue
PR Blonde
Alyssa J Freitas
A Loyal Love
The College Prepster
Burlap & Lace
Brunch on Chestnut
Average Girl’s Guide
The Yuppie Files
Cassandra Monroe
Always Anita
PR Girl Diaries
Life Modifier
Business Betties
Cake & Lilies
Little Wild Heart
The Not Quite Adult
Annie Reeves
Lemon Stripes
Meg Biram
Victoria McGinley

 I’d also love to know what item you’ll never give up. Do tell!

Posted in Blog Spotlight, Marketplace | 28 Comments

Art: Posterjack

Some of you may already know that Posterjack is a great online resource for photo printing and for photo mounting options that go beyond basic framing (e.g., photo canvases, specialty prints like metal and acrylic). This Canadian photo printing company has certainly grown in popularity over the last seven years, and I’m especially keen on it because it was started by one of my highschool friends, Mr. Tim Faught. I love watching other people succeed!

What I recently learned is that Posterjack has quite an extensive art shop, too. As I’m always on the lookout for interesting art for my home (e.g., in my office), I was thrilled when Posterjack offered me a print of my choice. I spent way longer than I thought I would browsing through the selection. Honestly, just about any keyword search is going to reveal dozens of cool prints. Here are some of my favourites:


Petra, Jordan by Diak


Rorschach Test by Akova


Ears of Wheat by Radist


Audio Cassette Isolated on White by Hayati Kayhan


vintage racing car detail by seewhatmitchsee

Placing an order is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3. Customers can easily select a product, select a size, and upload a personal photo or buy one from the art shop. There is plenty of information available regarding finishes, sizes, and photo quality. My order should be arriving any day now, so I’ll be sure to share with you my complete review once I’ve seen the print in person. It’s going to be a pretty one!

Many thanks to Posterjack for sponsoring this post. 

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20 Below: Heart Pouch

I am so impressed by Indigo’s latest home and style collections. When I was in the store last week, I was thinking about how the store’s approach to its lifestyle collection has changed over the years. Stores slowly made room for some carefully curated items for the home, and now the home/style/beauty/jewelry section (in my home store, at least) seems to expand with each new season. At the moment, there are so many black and white products under $20. Case in point – this sweet heart pouch:



lace heart pouch, $16, Chapters-Indigo

Posted in 20 Below, Canadian, Fashion | Leave a comment

Fashion: Pyjama Sets

I love pyjama sets. Love ‘em. Mine are mostly red and full of polka dots, but I do really like these white sets.


pyjama set, $115, J.Crew


classic cotton pajamas, $165, Nordstrom


Gisele short PJ set, $97, Eberjey


Hanro pajama set, $198


Bardot classic pyjama,£100, Poplin UK


Coco classic man-style pyjama set, $129, Hard to Find

And here’s some inspiration for PJ wear inside and outside of the house:

5. chanel-pajamas

Audrey Tatou as Coco Chanel, via

Shala Monoroque -Olatz Pajama

Shala Monoroque in Olatz, via Mark D. Sykes

Posted in Fashion | 2 Comments

The Friday Five: Designer Stripes

Phew – another full week of work, blogging, school, and snow. Hope you all had a wonderful and productive week! Today I’ve got stripes on the brain. And I’m not referring to the conventional painted or wallpaper stripes. The stripes that appear in these five photos are of a completely different variety.


stripes and shadows


stairway stripes


wordy stripes


panel stripes


record stripes

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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Marketplace: Piggy Banks

Now that Christmas spending is over with, I can start saving for my next vacation! Are you saving up for anything special? Do you use a piggy bank to help reach your goals?


Selma Durand piggy bank


elephant bank, $88, Jonathan Adler


Racheli C. Sharfstein Bushka Banks via Minimalissimo


J. Schatz egg bank, $155


Woodland Park elephant bank, $50, Kate Spade


Duell coin bank, $9.95 (on sale), MoMA

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Children: Beautifully Designed Toys

Could you imagine a kids playroom with only white toys? It would probably never be possible, would it? But just look how beautifully designed these toys are…


moonlight doll, $73.50 (on sale)


Villa Cartabianca dollhouse, $17.34

kite-ship-Serena Lily

sailing ship kite, $60, Serena & Lily


elephant bookend, $40 (on sale), Serena & Lily


winter white outfits for dolls, $45, Chapters Indigo

cloud toy

plui rain cloud water toy, Moluk


Schoenhut white toy piano, $149.99 (on sale), Toys R Us


hoberman sphere, $50, Shapeways

Posted in Children, Gifts, Marketplace, Toys | Leave a comment