Two for Tuesday: Mirrored Backsplashes

Last week, I introduced the first post in my new Two for Tuesday series. It was a high/low feature (I love doing them!), so if you’re interested, click here.

Today, I’m sharing two gorgeous white kitchens that have a bit of sparkle. The backsplashes in each of these kitchens are mirrored and shiny and glam. Tiles were installed in a classic brick formation, but the size of the tiles differ.

Sth-Yarra-Kitchen-02Avia Desire to Inspire

w620_h800via Domino

The first kitchen, as you can see, mixes a lot of materials – wood floors, traditional wood table, and a bold copper light. All of these items magically work with the shiny silver backsplash.

The second kitchen has a slightly different look. The black counter and faucet are sleek and smooth, and the lighting is industrial. The tiles are small but mighty!

Food & Drink: Mo√ęt for Valentine’s Day (or any day)

I’m of the mind that champagne (whether from Champagne or not) should be consumed during celebrations both big and small: closing on new house, having a great day at work, meeting with a friend you haven’t seen in ages, a new baby, or a school graduation*.

I guess with Valentine’s Day around the corner, bringing out the bubbly is very √† propos. Heck, whether you’re in a relationship and you celebrate this day of love, or you’re single and avoid the commercialization of it all, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t toast you and your loved ones with a glass of champers**.

It’s not too often that I actually get spoiled with some of the popular champagnes like Mo√ęt or Veuve Clicquot***, but maybe 2016 is the year that I bring this luxury to the forefront of my life (maybe to go with my future luxurious but affordable bed makeover?).

Just look at this work of champagne art:La-maison-depuis-1743_fixed_310x310

And the Mo√ęt & Chandon bottle is so beautifully classic.

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If you’re looking to pair this with food, the Mo√ęt & Chandon team tells me that the Imp√©rial Brut (feature in the photo above) pairs particularly well with sushi, scallops, oysters, white fish, and white fruit (e.g., white peach tart), but I’m pretty sure my tastes buds are also happy when I pair champagne with the goodness of homemade pizza. Who’s with me?

Or, if you’re looking for a way to switch things up with your champagne, you might opt to try the following recipe for the Mo√ęt Ruby Red (festive for Valentine’s, the Oscars, etc.):

Mo√ęt Ruby Red
Ingredients
3/4 oz. Lemon
3/4 oz. Tarragon, Raspberry, Citrus Shrub (see below)
1 oz. Vodka
2 1/2 oz. Mo√ęt & Chandon Brut

Directions:
Serve over ice in a white wine glass. Garnish with fresh tarragon and citrus.

Tarragon, Raspberry, Citrus Shrub
Ingredients
2 cups Raspberry Purée
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
4 cups Cane Sugar
1 Lemon Peel
4 sprigs of Tarragon

Directions
Bring ingredients to a simmer on a stovetop, then remove from heat and let cool.

This drink seems to be right up my alley – even though I generally prefer to drink champagne in its original state. I tend to take my champagne in a coupe, maybe with a raspberry thrown in for good measure.

What about you? How do you take your champagne?

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* Maybe this is one of the reasons why I have pursued more than one university degree (I’m on lucky #5!)
** Is this a word people use, or is this just a word I use with my friends. Blurred lines.

*** Toasting my PhD achievement was probably my most memorable Veuve occasion (see this and this and this).

Images via Mo√ęt & Chandon.

 

The Friday Five: Subway Tiles in the Bathroom

I am still a ways off from tearing out my basement bathroom and redoing it, but I’ve been collecting tons of inspiration photos. These days, I’m leaning toward white subway tile walls and dark flooring. The goal is to install a shower, invest in a more energy efficient washer/dryer combo, and injecting a whole bunch of sleek into the room.

Here are five of the photos from which I’m drawing inspiration and the features I like about each space:

1. I like that this bathroom is all-white. It’s so clean and bright and spa-like. I like the white subway tiles with white grout as well as the white floor. The shower head is sleek, and while I doubt I’ll be going with a full wet-room in my own space, I really like the idea of a seamless floor.

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via Dwell

2. The subway tiles are a little larger in the bathroom below than in the one above, and it looks like dark grey or black grout was used instead of white. This really highlights the shape of the brick pattern (and any imperfections, I’m sure, too). Again, I like the seamless floor in this bathroom. While I do have a thing for hex tiles (see my powder room and my fireplace), I’m thinking that in my bathroom, I’ll opt for something different.

 

 

3. Shannon’s basement bathroom below is just about what I want. Again, the seamless floor caught my eye in this space, and I think the glass divider was a wise design move. I appreciate the stacked subway tiles, but I don’t think it’s for me.

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via 8foot6

4. A double shower? Cool! My basement bathroom is much too small for this type of installation, but it’s really neat. I adore the shower heads in this bathroom, and the herringbone floor is pretty. Again with the seamless floor! I must figure out how to do this in my space, because I most definitely prefer it over the lipped shower install. When I see this space, I’m getting the feeling that I do not want the high white-black tile-grout contrast in my own bathroom.

blog_black-bathroom-flooring

via Greige

5. I’ll take just about everything from the bathroom below. Add a larger sink and a washer/dryer, and this room would be perfect. The gold fixtures are divine, and the marble floor is beautiful. I love the larger subway tiles with white grout, and it looks like the shower door sort of swings out very neatly.

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via Nordic Design

Now all I need is to be showered with money so that I can get this project done! No big deal, right?

How about you? Which is your favourite from the five bathrooms above? Any advice to share in terms of a major basement bathroom redo?

Fashion: Workout Wear

Okay, so now that I’ve had one workout session at Hourglass, I feel that it’s about the right time to see what’s new in the world of workout wear.

fashion-workout-gear-White-Cabana-style

Reebok D Layering TopOld Navy leggings Under Armour sports braNike socksGoody ouchless hair elastics Asics running shoesKate Spade water bottleUnder Armour half zip topTimbuk2 gym bag

The Friday Five: 5 Reasons Why I Signed Up for the Hourglass Workout

I’m not a gym-aholic. Heck, ever since I moved to Waterloo, and I walk everywhere, my official exercise time is non-existent. I’ve never been a lover of the gym or workouts, but I do like activities and routine. I used to run quite a bit (slowly, I assure you), and even finished a few half-marathons. I felt really fit and strong when I was running regularly, and I felt healthy. So why did I decide to sign up for the Hourglass Workout? Why? Why? Why?

Let me share 5 of the reasons that led me to this decision.

1. It was recommended by friends: Over Christmas, two of my Toronto friends (Hi KS and SM!) raved about Lyzabeth Lopez’s Hourglass Workout program that they had been doing for the last few months. “The workouts are fun, challenging, and different,” they said. I applauded their efforts and commitment, of course, but didn’t think too much of it at the time.

hourglass-workout-int-logo

2. It was meant to be: Last week, I got a text from one of said friends (Thanks, KS. Look what you’ve started.) with news that Hourglass was opening a Waterloo location. A day or so later, I randomly ran into the Waterloo instructor, Iman, at the caf√©, and had a really great initial chat about Hourglass and its expansion to Waterloo. Random, I tell you! If this wasn’t a sign, what is?

3. It’s convenient: I am a fan of convenience, and once I did a bit of research on the classes, their times, and the location, I determined that the options were convenient for my lifestyle.

4. Hourglass supports bloggers: In addition to some common interests like growing up in Toronto and what we like about Waterloo, Iman and I connected over our interest in blogs. I love it when people appreciate bloggers’ work*.

5. It’s a new addition to Waterloo: I’m always keen on supporting local businesses in the Waterloo region. This region has hooked me in, and I’m pleased to share news of all that it has to offer. Heck, I even wrote a Design*Sponge city guide about Waterloo, remember? As such, I’m happy to share news of Hourglass’s launch in our region. (By the way, Hourglass’s grand opening in Waterloo is on Sunday, February 7th in case you’re local and you’d like to attend the event.)

Hourglass-Workout-1

Hourglass Waterloo classes begin on February 1st, so sign up here if you’re interested. Hourglass is currently offering 25% off, so it’s a great time to register.

The workouts look interesting – and tough – but I have no doubt that Waterloo’s instructor, Iman, will motivate me to put in my best effort. She’s recommended that I attend 3 classes per week, but given my hectic life, I’m going to definitely commit to 2 classes, but I’ll try really hard to attend class 3. I’ll be sharing a few updates about my Hourglass Workout journey over the next few weeks, so I hope you’ll come back and check on my progress**! Wish me luck – I start next week!

*Thanks to Iman and Hourglass Workout for offering a discount on my membership. All opinions are my own.
**I’m aiming for general toning and tightening, rather than the Kardashian booty.

Celebration: Make it a Langdon Hall Wedding

So I’m not getting married. And I don’t work for Langdon Hall. But…seeing as I love pretty things, delicious food, flowers, gorgeous interiors, and parties, it seems very fitting that I bring you news of weddings at Langdon Hall. Right? Yes!

Last weekend, I was invited to attend Langdon Hall’s wedding preview day – a day where Langdon Hall dresses up in its best wedding attire, hosts vendors (makeup, music, florals, planners), and brides, grooms, and their families can tour the grounds and book (or confirm) a Langdon Hall wedding.

Or, if you’re like me, you’re a local blogger who can’t seem to stay away from Langdon Hall, so you attend the event and snap a gazillion photos of all the beauty.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-17

This visit was extra special because Langdon Hall’s new event space, the Firshade Room, was finally revealed! This new addition can host parties up to 120 people. I was impressed that the space has the traditional coffered ceilings, traditional furnishings, and walls of windows that make the space bright, modern, and inviting. Well done, LH crew!

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Any good party has a dessert table, am I right? Kitchener’s Cake Box – and owner Yvonne – were showing off some beautiful creations. The sugar flowers really caught my attention, and the cake “dripping” with icing was my favourite. I learned that there are many couples who are very much interested in the chalkboard effect on their cakes. I thought it was interesting how the chalkboard trend is popular in home and cake design.

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creations from Cake Box

Chef Jason Bangerter took me on a quick behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art kitchen in this building (still a bit of a construction zone – I wore a hard hat). The kitchen is done in stainless and white Corian, and the industrial stoves, fridges, and ovens are mighty fine! Chef has big plans for this kitchen, and I’m definitely looking forward to following along.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-12 GE appliances will be working hard in hereWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-10

I lost count of how many burners and ovens were in this kitchen

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a brand new kitchen (still covered in packaging!)

Chef and his team were serving up several delicious nibbles, including mini croque madame, beet-dipped quail eggs, and cucumber soaked in rose water and topped with powdered raspberry.

Chef-Jason-Bangerter-Langdon Hall

Chef Bangerter serving up his creations

Beyond the new Firshade event space, other areas of Langdon were decked out for the day. The Orchard Room was bright and inviting with florals created by Tina of Living Fresh.

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guests can be spoiled by gorgeous views and fresh florals in The Orchard RoomWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-19

a special table set-up for the happy coupleWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-20

Tina and Katrina of Living FreshWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-21

me and Tina (loving our black and white)White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-22

delicate calligraphy on the prettiest paper by All Things Lovely Paper Co.White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-23

the makeup artist’s tools – makeup application can be arranged for bridal parties via¬† Langdon Hall’s Spa Services

Vendors were set up in other rooms around the property, and I was drawn into so many of the florals! I appreciate floral design so much!White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-24

by The Event Firm

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by Inspire Event Rental and Design

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by The White Book

Inside the main house, two rooms were done up beautifully by Elaine of From the Potting Shed in Cambridge. Elaine is the house florist for Langdon Hall, and I very much enjoyed chatting with her about flowers, Paris, food, and the parts we love most about Langdon Hall! I hope to visit her studio soon, so stay tuned.

In Colonel Langdon’s dining room and conservatory, Elaine set up a lush floral garland down the centre of the dining table and had blooms in old-world vessels throughout the room. The conservatory was set up as it might be for a ceremony with chairs and a rose petal-lined aisle.

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ranunculus place settings and a garland (or flower train!) filled with hydrangea and rosesWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-31

Elaine and Chef JasonWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-32

picture perfect floralsWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-33

The Conservatory – all florals by From The Potting Shed

Elaine also worked on the decor in the Red Room and conservatory, and while the space is much too colourful for White Cabana, it was stunning and made quite the impression. You can see Elaine’s creations in this Instagram photo and this one, too.

So much gorgeousness, right? It was so nice to wander through the rooms, see the decor, and enjoy the new event space. On top of all this goodness, it was a pleasure to meet Langdon Hall’s elegant owner, Mary Beaton. One of the things that I really enjoy about Langdon Hall is that it’s absolutely normal for the owner and the head chef to be mingling with their guests. On top of this, the staff I have met on my various visits are friendly. I am impressed when I am greeted by name, and I enjoy learning about each staff person’s role at Langdon Hall.

If you are planning a wedding – or a party – Langdon Hall might be one to consider (and book!). Its weddings have been featured on Style Me Pretty here and here and here.

Thanks to the Langdon Hall team for extending a warm welcome to me!

Photos by me.

Marketplace: Playing Chess

Do any of you know how to and regularly play chess? My dad taught me how to play chess when I was a kid, but I rarely play. Heck, I don’t even have a set, so how could I play? It’s too bad because I think chess is quite a good game. Maybe if I had one of these gorgeous sets, it just pull you in?

3422592_zScacchiera chess board by Rosa, $940

2979232-1Kelly Wearstler dichotomy chess set, $17,000 (yes, $17K!)

HCH7NMF_axJonathan Adler acrylic chess set, $795