The Friday Five: Birthday Celebration

Party! Party! Party! It’s my birthday and I can do what I want to! Yay!


 via Video Gaga


by Nathan Cyprys

vacances tig frenchbydesign blog 04182

via French by Design


Towards an Architecture by Alexandros Papathanasiou, via Saatchi Art


via Favor Affair

Posted in Art, Celebration, Jordana, Personal | 4 Comments

Furniture: Hair Pin Legs

I’m sensing that we’ll be seeing a lot more hair pin legs in homes, magazines, and blogs over the next few months. The tables are light, sturdy, and can work in almost any space.

tumblr_n3o6d4qeO81rqv5u6o4_1280 via Hackwith Happenings   hair pin legs-Stella via Stella   Kriselkeeper-hairpinl-legs--1 via kriselkeeper hairpin-stool-West-Elm via West Elm HG144884_l via 1stDibs little-green-notebook-x-base-table DIY version via Little Green Notebook steel-base-ABC-Carpet-Home via ABC Carpet & Home 1st-dibs-hair-pin-leg via 1stDibs hairpin-leg-table-Candelabra via Candelabra

Posted in Design, DIY, Furniture, Marketplace | 2 Comments

Photography: Back in Time


Gita Scolastica Milano – 1964


Foto in Occasione di una Partita di Calcio – 1964

That’s my dad up there (top photo: black suit, bottom photo: second from right) in 1964 with his friends. He was 18 or 19 years old in these photos. I love how they’re all suited up. So hip, yeah? How are photos from the 60s so darn hip? Will people think the same thing 50 years from now of our selfies and digital photos?

Thanks to my dad’s highschool friends for sending these photos. Photographer unknown.

Posted in Jordana, Personal, Photography | 1 Comment

20 Below: Solar Garden Light

I have solar lights in my front and back gardens, and I love them. There are no bulbs that need replacing, they’re an inexpensive purchase, and they require zero electricity. Awesome.


Uberhaus solar garden light, $6.99, Rona

Posted in 20 Below, Garden, Marketplace | Leave a comment

Books: My July Reading List

I was never the reader in my family. I only started to really enjoy books when I was about 16. Since then, I’ve read a decent amount of books for pleasure, but most of the books that I have read in my adult life have really been all school and research related. I try to keep a few for-pleasure books in my rotation, but I don’t get through them as fast as I’d like. One of the things I wanted to do on my Floridian vacation was to read. And so that’s what I did.


The Orenda by Joseph Boyden: This isn’t the type of book I’d naturally reach for, but a friend was telling me about it before I left, so when I saw it at the library (yes, that’s right, I go to the library when I’m in Florida), I thought I’d give it a try. After reading the first 10-20 pages, I didn’t actually think I was going to make it to the end, but then I really got into it, and I’m so glad I did. This award-winning Canadian novel is beautifully written. The historical narrative is set in the early 17th century, and depicts the struggle and conflict of native life in Canada.

The Jane Austin Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo: This one falls into the enjoyable chick lit category. It was a quick and mostly entertaining read. As the title suggests, it was a very Jane Austin type of story.

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz: This book can basically be summarized by the following statement: the “secret” to a healthy life is to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Obviously this is not really a surprise, right? There’s nothing really new or thought-provoking in this book, but it’s well-organized and an easy read.

Florida-White-Cabana-8Everyday is for the Thief by Teju Cole: A student I met earlier this year mentioned Teju Cole, and so I thought it was about time I focus on his writing. The reader follows the main character from NYC to Lagos, Nigeria. In this original work of fiction, the main character (who remains nameless) tries to make sense of the fraud he witnesses and the changes he has observed in his home country of Nigeria.

Thrive by Arianna Huffington: Do you remember the world pre-Huffington Post? I barely do! HuffPost is the go-to hot spot for news and information. It was interesting to read Arianna’s stories and her approach to work and life (balance, people, balance!). She has some valuable pieces of advice to help us thrive in achieving our goals.

Marry Smart: Advice for Finding The One by Susan Patton: This book was written by the author of that article advising women to find a husband while they’re young before it’s too late. Ugh. The book was ridiculous and condescending. I really just hated it. The writing was less than stellar, but I won’t even get started on that. If it wasn’t such a quick and amusing (as in, how did this actually get published?) read, I would have stopped reading after page one.

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding: A great girly beach read. Who doesn’t feel a connection to Bridget Jones? I won’t spill the beans, but in this story, Bridget has aged, has kids, and learns all about social media.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova: I really enjoyed this book. Although the story is more sad than light-hearted, I liked the character development and the way the characters interacted with one another. They felt real. The main character, Alice, is a professor who is dealing with early onset Alzheimer’s. I saw myself in her at some points.

Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons by Seymour Schulich: The author is the Schulich. If you’re in Canada and you attended a post-secondary institution, you may have taken classes in a Schulich building. Schulich. Is. Everywhere. I enjoyed Schulich’s perspectives on business, philanthropy, and relationship building.

I also read Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert I. Sutton (many worthwhile points) and a stack of amazing magazines (House & Home, Southern Living, Dwell, Martha Stewart, Air Canada’s En Route, etc.). Beach time is the perfect time to get lost in texts!

I’ve now got two books on the go: Italo Calvino‘s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler and Jennifer Weiner‘s Then Came You. Both are enjoyable so far!

And that’s about all I’ve been reading. It’s been an eclectic mix of texts this month!

Posted in Books, Jordana | Leave a comment

The Friday Five: Rattan-erific

I’ve been back from Florida for less than a week, so naturally I’ve still got the beachy lifestyle on the brain. As such, today I’m featuring Florida’s go-to accessory – rattan. If you live on a Floridian beach, some dose of rattan is a must!


pair of decorative rattan mirrors, $3700, 1st Dibs


set of four bentwood and rattan chairs, $2800, 1st Dibs


pair of rattan sconces by Louis Sognot, $2502, 1st Dibs


hanging rattan chair, $304.17, Etsy


rattan arm chair & stool, $1900, 1st Dibs

Who am I kidding? Rattan works outside of Florida, too. I have a rattan set for my own patio, and I love it!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

p.s. I also think this bed is pretty cool.


Posted in Design, Etsy, Friday Five, Furniture, Garden, Marketplace | 2 Comments

Art: I’m a Ceramics Designer

Okay, so I’m not really quitting my day job to become the next Jonathan Adler, but I am currently working on a very cool project which has required me to put on my very first ceramics designer hat (eek – so exciting!). Let me explain.

This fall’s BlogPodium will feature a local organization called Sistering that offers supportive and educational programs to homeless and marginalized women, so that they can develop new skills and have more control over their lives. Inspirations Studio is a division of Sistering that develops participants’ knowledge about crafting ceramics.

This year, I have the opportunity to design a collection of ceramics in collaboration with the artists at Inspirations Studio that will be auctioned off at BlogPodium in September with all proceeds going back to Sistering. Earlier this spring, I met with Victoria at Inspirations Studio, and I shared my designs. Under her guidance and instruction, the artisans are bringing my designs to life (um, amazing!). The process thus far has been really cool and creative, and the items are coming along so darn beautifully! I’m impressed, and I’m eager to see the final products soon (it’s so hard to be patient, but I’m trying).

white-cabana-ceramics-inspirations-studio-2 white-cabana-ceramics-inspirations-studio-3 white-cabana-ceramics-inspirations-studio-1 I hope to eventually share more stories from the artisans at Inspirations Studio-4

 Inspirations Studio, photos by me

I hope to eventually share stories from the artisans at Inspirations Studio and the full production process, but for now, here’s a very small sneak peek of one of my designs (I can’t give everything away quite yet!).


photo by Victoria

Christine Dovey of Bijou and Boheme is also busy designing items, and attendees of BlogPodium have a chance to win a chance to design pottery of their own! I encourage you to submit your design if you’re attending BlogPodium this September. Read all about it here.

Posted in Art, Craft, Design, Event, Jordana, Toronto | 1 Comment

Travel: Madeira Beach, Florida

I found my inner retiree (again), and escaped for a 2-week holiday in Florida this month with my good friend (and travel partner-in-crime) Shannon. Two weeks with no expectations to do anything, and moving in slo-mo was absolutely what I needed at this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to visit museums, eat out, and take architectural tours when I’m on vacation, but I also love to be really lazy.

While our daily routine in Madeira Beach mostly included watching Keeping up with the Kardashians (ugh!), Barefoot Contessa (yum!), and Golden Girls (classic Florida!), spending hours by the pool and beach, and shopping, we also found some energy to watch a Tampa Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays baseball game at Tropicana Field, watch the fireworks show on July 4th, and walk to John’s Pass Village for ice cream (it’s tradition). Most of my photos look like this, but I did take a few others to share:

Florida-White-Cabana-11 Florida-White-Cabana-10

typical Floridian souvenirs


I want a parking spot with a sign like this (it was outside a Kohl’s store)


flags in every shape & form on the beach on July 4th


Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Jays won!) at Tropicana Field


98 degrees or 98 degrees

Florida-White-Cabana-6shuffleboard could probably be Florida’s national sport

I’ve been trying to make yearly trips to Madeira Beach these past few years - you can read about my previous Floridian adventures (or non-adventurous adventures) here, here, here, and here. We always stay here.

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Marketplace: Oh That Coco

I’m obviously not the first to recognize Coco Chanel’s influence on the fashion world. Not only have her designs stood the test of time, but so have her words.

Coco Chanel in her apartment at the Ritz, 1937, via Vanity Fair


Coco Chanel at work, via Redbook


via One Fab Day


poster with Coco Chanel quote


pillow with quote from Coco Chanel, $65

Posted in Design, Fashion, Gifts, Marketplace | Leave a comment

Design: Three Kitchens that Shine

White kitchens are classic and inviting year-round, but I think they are especially beautiful in the summer when natural sunlight warms the space and the whiteness offers a clean backdrop for colourful food prep.

These three kitchens are beautiful in their own ways. The first is bright, airy, and has an incredible walkout and view. The second kitchen is more rustic than I’m used to, but it’s relaxed, sturdy, and has an awesome espresso machine collection. Finally, the third kitchen barely even looks like a kitchen. Until you spot the wall ovens, you might not even realize that this space is a kitchen. I love that.


via Style at Home




via Snob

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