The Friday Five: Things on My Mind

1.Books. I listed to Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbour and completely enjoyed it from start to finish. I then listened to Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, and I really enjoyed it, too. The story line is interesting (inspired by true events), the character development is strong, and the writing is excellent. I am adding some of his other works to my library queue now.

2.Fun. I really like the look of these puzzles.

3. Music. I don’t remember how I heard of Ira Wolf, but she’s been on repeat at my house. Jack Symes and Au/Ra have came up on Spotify, so I’ve had them on repeat, too.

4. Article. I enjoyed reading Toronto Life’s 2019 list of influential Torontonians.

5. Article. Do you wear leggings (or athleisure) to work? This Atlantic article explores the question.

Gift Guide: Shop Local (Canadian)

I know blogger gift guides can get overwhelming and repetitive, but I promise you that this gift guide that Daniela put together for us is inspiring! Truly! Daniela was guided by the theme of “shop local” so the list includes only items that are Canadian. There’s a gift for everyone on your list.

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Hello White Cabana readers!

I hope you are enjoying the many celebrations that surround us during the holiday season. And of course that you’re taking some time to pause and reflect in front of a Christmas tree with a cup of warm cocoa.

I am taking a bit of a turn with my gift guides this year and wanted to challenge our Canadian readers to support local shops this year or at the very least to learn about some amazing Canadian companies. 

Many of the companies I have featured here manufacture, design, and produce their items all in Canada (and, yes, a few do outsource some of the steps). You will see the return of some of my favorite brands and some new ones I have stumbled upon this past year. Happy holidays and happy shopping!

Quebec-based La Grande Gourmandise offers beautiful gift baskets most of which are curated products from Quebec or elsewhere in Canada. With the purchase of any of their gift boxes/baskets a portion is redirected to a fundraising initiative called Youth Fund for School Perseverance.
I am featuring La Grande Gourmandise’s Big Hug box mostly because I like the name, but all their baskets are beautiful, so any item will be perfect for your recipients! The company ships anywhere in Canada and the USA.

Big Hug box, $65CAD

This next company carries everything from beds to wooden toys, teepees, baby and toddler toys and so much more. I stumbled upon Coco Village when I was looking for a low-to-the-floor bed when my first child was transitioning to a big girl bed. I love all of their designs and products, but my favorite bed is the teepee bed white top. If anyone has a child who is about to transition to a big kid bed, why not give it to him or her for Christmas? I highly recommend this one!

teepee bed, $699.99CAD

Have you ever thought of giving “labels” to someone for Christmas? Mabel’s Labels is a Canadian company that distributes labels. I know labels may be an unusual gift item, but if you have anyone on your list that goes to elementary school or daycare/nursery school or is active in sports/extra curricular activities, you can pick out some fun labels for them. Mabel’s Labels also has great personalized gifts, which are perfect for grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

school label pack, $42CAD, Mabel’s Labels
engraved ornaments, $9.99CAD, Mabel’s Labels

Although most of Roots‘s products are now manufactured outside of Canada their leather line is exclusively handcrafted in Toronto. The quality of their handbags, leather accessories weekenders, etc. is exceptional. New to their leather handbag collection is the Victoria tote, which is available in a number of colors.

Victoria tote, $378CAD, Roots

Love Powered littles, femme, and teen box sets provide daily affirmations that keep you focused on positivity. These boxes are great gifts for anyone in your life. Parents can start the little affirmations as early as birth and keep them going throughout their children’s lives. A positive daily affirmation will create the right energy and the right attitude as you encounter life’s challenges.

I absolutely love Arc’teryx‘s Osanna coat in Morganite. It is a perfect everyday winter coat for our cold winters. Arc’teryx’s line is made in British Columbia, and so many products are worth your look. I have put a few of my favourite items below.

Osanna coat, $650CAD

Canadian based Mytagalongs has amazing travel accessories and tons of other stuff mainly geared towards woman. I love this mini backpack and the chargeable ear buds case. This would make a great gift for the teen on your list

backpack, $65CAD, Mytagalongs
earbud case, $10, Mytagalongs

Smash Tess has expanded its romper collection to include even more styles and colour options. The rompers feel soft and silky going on, and you never want to take them off! With matching romper options for kids, you can twin with your mini me

The Harris hoodie romper, $135CAD, Smash + Tess
mini Jilly jogger, $65CAD, Smash + Tess

Next up is another favorite brand of mine. It’s Vancouver-based Brunette the Label. The quality of this sweatshirt line is unbelievable, and I assure you will last for a long time. Have someone on your list who likes a more laid back New Year’s Eve? Then why not gift them this sweatshirt that has a little bling?

You could continue to support local businesses by purchasing this sweatshirt at Tiny Trendsetter (which offers delivery across Canada).

silver glitter sweatshirt, $84.99CAD (on sale), Brunette the Label

Rocky Mountain Barber has some great gift sets for men. Whether men are sporting the very trendy beard or just need an amazing Canadian product for everyday shaving, Rocky Mountain Barber has a perfect gift set for them.

Sandalwood shaving kit, $53.99CAD, Rocky Mountain Barber

Drake General Store is a great all around Canadian store where you are sure to find a gift at your ideal price point. Many products are made by Canadian artists. Here is a T-shirt great for a true patriot.

Made in Canada tee, $48CAD, Drake General Store

Lastly I am featuring Canadian jewellery company Birks that definitely has a number of perfect gift items for someone you love. This white gold heart necklace is so pretty!

Roberto Coin heart necklace, $390CAD, Birks

Happy shopping!
Daniela 

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You did it once again, Daniela! You introduced me to more Canadian brands like Mytagalongs, and you’ve reminded me of some of your favourites like Rocky Mountain Barber and Smash + Tess! Thank you for sharing this guide with us today!

Two for Tuesday: Candles

Snowy weather, the Christmas season, and minimal sunlight makes for the ideal time to bring out the candles.

Wills and Prior generously offered this candle holder from Easy City Candles as a gift with purchase during a holiday shopping event, and I have since added a red taper candle to it. It’s a lovely design.

Pioneer taper bowl, East City Candles

East City Candles makes beautiful beeswax and soy candles as well as sleek tapers. A scattering of these pinecone candles would make for a beautiful table centrepiece.

Beeswax pinecone candle, East City Candles

Comment: What do you know about world news?

Do you keep up with the news? Watch it daily? Do you follow local news? World news? What do you do to stay informed?

I stay informed of world news through my friends and my Twitter feed. My friend Tim loves to tease me about not staying more informed on daily happenings around the world. He’s ready to discuss politics and world news at every moment. Sometimes our conversations start by him giving me the short version of the news that has happened (that I have missed or ignored) since the last time we chatted. Is this problematic? He always encourages me to stay more informed, but I admit that depressing world news is not my cup of tea.

I like to stay informed about local politics – elections, transit issues, community news. I always vote. I read up on Canadian federal election issues. I generally know what’s happening around the world, but it’s very surface-level. I read enough so that I know what my economics students are discussing. I encourage them to stay informed, read up on issues that they’re passionate about, and use their right to vote.

That said, in terms of global politics, I only have so much brain capacity for Trump news, so I ignore a lot of it.

Is this so wrong?

What about you?

I’m curious. How do you keep up with the news? What news outlets do you read/listen to? Do you and your friends discuss world issues and politics regularly?