The Friday Five: Things On My Mind

Apparently, I have no shortage of things on my mind lately. Here are five of them.

1. Burnt

I hadn’t watched TV in several weeks, but last week, I had two hours to spare, so I sat and watched Burnt (without falling asleep!). Bradley Cooper speaking French, gorgeous food, and good scenery make for an enjoyable movie as far as I’m concerned. It was worth watching.

2. Ravenclaw

I recently learned that many of my students know what house they belong to…as in Harry Potter house. I had no idea this was a thing, but they taught me about the online quizzes you can take to determine your house. I’m a Ravenclaw, which isn’t that surprising since Ravenclaws are curious and creative people. If you’ve done other personality tests (um…do you know your colour? I’m heavy on the green with a side of yellow), then you might see similarities between these and the Harry Potter house quizzes. I think I have a bit of each of the houses, but to varying degrees. I think I’m certainly Ravenclaw with a side of Slitherin. Am I making any sense to anyone?

3. Mycorrhiza

I attended a biology lecture last week about mycorrhizae fungi which live in a symbiotic relationship with plants. It was absolutely fascinating. These microscopic mycorrhizae can access nutrients far beyond where plant roots can access them; in return, plants provide the mycorrhizae with carbon to live. I learned how mycorrhizae can help to increase the speed of growth in seedlings after major disasters such as a forest fire. That’s the (really) short version of what I learned.

4. Post-MBA Life

I figured out what I’m going to learn about post-MBA. Plants! Yahoo! I’m not intending to do a biology degree or anything crazy like that, but I think I’ll try to audit a course or at least attend biology lectures at the university when I can. See point #3. It inspired this decision.

5. Popcorn

Do you like popcorn? Do you buy it or make it? I’ve had a discussion about popcorn with all of my immediate family members over the last month (I know, I know – mycorrhiza to popcorn – call me crazy). I’ve tried sea salt flavours of Skinny Pop and Boom Chicka Pop, and I’ve enjoyed both. But I like freshly popped popcorn, too. I can’t yet decide which option I like better. And is freshly popped “healthier” than pre-bagged?

Trivia Thursday: Warren Platner

This curvy dining table was designed by Warren Platner in 1966. It’s made of reinforced stainless steel rods that are welded together with horizontal and edge framing wire, making its base extremely stable.

Rove Concepts

In addition to the classic dining table, Platner’s collection includes a side table, a coffee table, and a variety of arm chairs.

Platner Arm Chair

Platner side table

Let’s have a look at how Platner’s creations integrate with their surroundings.


Fashion Squad

Palette & Parlor



Coco Lapine Design

Marketplace: The Daily Hunt

I borrow this post title from one of my daily reads – The Neo Trad. I enjoy Katie’s just-about-daily posts rounding up items from around the marketplace. Since I’ve been making note of cool white pieces from my travels around the online marketplace, I thought I would gather them into one post to share.

  Iittala glass swan

Bower contour side tables



Leff Amsterdam clock


cube birdhouse

Two for Tuesday: Flower Power

White on white flowers…gorgeous any way you shape them!

KEDS x Kate Spade

Oscar de la Renta

Design: Grout Colour Options

You’ll see an increase in reno-focused posts over the next little while as I have quite a bit on the go at my house, and I like to share. I hope you’ll enjoy learning about the reno process, too.

In my new bathroom, there will be white subway tiles in the shower. This means that I need to settle on the grout colour. Originally, I was all for white grout, but considering the hard water we have in Waterloo, my lack of desire to scrub showers, and a conversation I had with my tiler, I’m reconsidering the white (dramatic, I know!).

Here are the options:

Option 1: white (subway) tile + white grout


Apartment Therapy


Option 2: white subway tile + grey grout

Est Living


Sarah Baynes


Apartment Therapy

Option 3: white subway tile + black grout

Inside Out


Apartment Therapy

Love Create Celebrate

I do prefer the white-on-white because the grout lines would just blend in with the tile, but I really want this space to be clean for a long while, so I’m almost certain I’ll go for grey grout. I think the grey will look nice with the flooring, too.

The Friday Five: Learn, Donate, Love

February was a wild month on my end. There were very happy days, of course, but there were also really sad days, too. Every week seemed to bring difficult news of one sort or another. Illness. Job stress. Relationship challenges. I hope March brings joy to my loved ones. I hope happiness finds its way into your homes, too, if you’ve been experiencing some trying times.

So, today, I’m taking a break from talking about renos and fashion and furniture to raise¬† awareness about some important causes.

Mental Illness

A friend’s brother passed away last week due to mental illness. It’s devastating and awful. He was much too young. To donate or learn more about this disease, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Prostate Cancer

Some people say that prostate cancer is a “normal” or “good” kind of cancer. How is cancer normal? How can it be good? To donate or learn more, visit Prostate Cancer Canada and the Movember Foundation.

Breast Cancer

My friend Lisa wrote a personal essay about how cancer changes the conversations you have with your partner. It was recently published in the Globe and Mail. There are several organizations you can donate to to improve awareness and research for breast cancer. I usually learn more or donate to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Metastatic Breast Cancer Fund, or The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Ronald McDonald House

I heard of the much too early birth of twins of friends of a friend. I also learned of how the Ronald McDonald House Charities is supporting this family who needs to be close to their babies while they’re in intensive care.


Did you know that 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes? And about 50% of people with diabetes may experience kidney damage. To donate or learn more, visit Diabetes Canada or The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Triva Thursday: The Womb Chair

A friend and I recently had a discussion about the womb chair. This chair was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948. Even though the chair is now 70 years old (seventy!), it’s still very much in demand. The curves are easy to like, and it’s a great chair for lounging in multiple positions.


Style at Home

The Brick House



Decor Pad


Design: White Subway Tile

What are your thoughts about white subway tile? Are you sick of the look? Are you tired of seeing yet another bathroom with white subway tile? As for me? I’m definitely not tired of them. Year after year (after year), I come across images of gorgeous spaces that use them, and I always think that it’s a beautiful, clean, classic tile option for a kitchen backsplash or bathroom.


my kitchen – featured in Style at Home


Maison de Pax

I’ve picked up a 4″ x 12″ white tile for my new laundry room/bathroom, and I think it’s going to look great. I know patterned tiles are very a la mode at the moment, but they just don’t fit well with my aesthetic. White subway tiles on the other hand? I can’t get enough of them!

Although I prefer the tiles (small or large size) to be installed in a brick formation, I do like the look of the stacked installation as well.

Anna G

Studio Karin

CCS Architecture

Sabrina Smelko

What do you think? Do you have strong feelings about white subway tiles?

Food: The Nugateau √Čclair

When I was in Toronto on the weekend, my friend and I picked up a pair of √©clairs from Nugateau – a sweet √©clair-focused patisserie. In fact, Nugateau is Canada’s first all-√©clair patisserie. As soon as I entered the shop, I was reminded of the classic French patisserie with colourful pastel creations. Every piece of dessert was so beautiful.

I had experienced Nugateau at the Terroir Symposium last spring, but this was my first time I was able to see all the creations in person. It was delightful!

We picked up the Pistachio Royal and Rosabelle. It was hard to take the first bite because I didn’t want to mess up the design. But the √©clair was delicious, so you know I couldn’t wait all that long! Because the Nugateau √©clairs are made with high quality ingredients, and no artificial flavours are used, their taste is rich and distinct.


I love the idea of bringing the French patisserie to Canada, don’t you? And for those of you who love √©clairs, definitely make a stop into Nugateau on your next trip to Toronto.