Books

The Friday Five: Things on my Mind

Here are a five things that have been on my mind this week.

1. I learned that apparently Justin Bieber bought a $5M house in Puslinch, Ontario (a short ride from Waterloo). In fact, I features the home two years on my blog because, yes, it’s super white!

2. I gave a talk about blogging at Sheridan College in Oakville earlier this week (#WhiteCabanaGoestoSheridan). I met with students who are studying industrial design, ceramics, furniture design, glass, and textiles. Gosh, they’re creative! Every time I go to Sheridan, I feel like enrolling in a class. I’m inspired to see what’s offered a little closer to home.

3. After devouring hours and hours of The Great British Bake Off while I was in Florida, I took the plunge and made this cake last night for a dinner party tonight. I’ll let you know if it is in fact delicious. And if there are 20 layers.

4. I enjoyed reading this Fundamentals of Team article (via Swiss Miss).

5. I just started an audio book that is making me laugh out loud. It’s called Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin. If you need something interesting and entertaining about life in New York City (so far, it completely mimics my sister’s life as a mother when she lived there), you might want to check it out.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Personal: 4 Things on My Mind

Here are some things that have been on my mind recently.

1. YouTube
I haven’t fallen into any YouTube watching traps for a long while, but one that I recommend you watch is Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney.

2. Audiobooks
I’ve listened to quite a few audiobooks since I got into them a couple of months ago. I’ve listened to:

  • The Breakdown by B.A. Paris – This was a page-turner (of the audio kind!). I hadn’t read a mystery novel in a long while, and this ended up being a good pick.
  • Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark – This is a fascinating read about the current and future state of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs – While disturbing at times, this was an excellent read. I know it’s been made into a movie, so I’ll have to add it to my “watch” list.
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders – While difficult to follow at first because of the many characters, the story is interesting, and I didn’t want it to end.
  • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante – I’m extremely enjoying this series. Why did I wait so long to read these books?
  • I’ve also listened to these audiobooks, and I’m currently listening to Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child (Book 4).

3. Academic life
It is pretty wild to see my book (co-authored with a friend/colleague) listed on Amazon. The book will be published in December, so this won’t be the first or last time I’m talking about it.

4. Netflix
Last night while I was ironing, I watched Iliza Shlesinger’s Elder Millennial comedy show on Netflix. I laughed a lot! I could relate to just about every joke she told. If you’re a woman in your 30s, I am sure you would enjoy it.

The Friday Five: Books I’ve Read

Well, I shouldn’t quite say I’ve “read” these books. I’ve actually listened to most of them in the form of audiobook. With all the driving I’ve done lately, the audiobooks have been a wonderful way to pass the time. I’m pretty much hooked, and now I listen while I walk, too.

1. The Story of a New Name (Book 2) by Elena Ferrante

I read Book 1 of this series many months ago, but I could not find the time to pick up Book 2. When I set out on one of my road trips, I started listening to it, and I could barely stop. It was wonderful. The book is engaging, interesting, and well-developed. It’s easy to connect with the characters. I’m definitely eager to get started on Book 3.

2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanathi

I remember when I heard of this book via Joanna Goddard (Cup of Jo) a couple of years ago. I had wanted to read it since then, but I never did. It was one of the first audiobooks I downloaded. It’s a great read. True. Sad. Beautiful.

3. Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron

I’ve always liked reading Nora Ephron’s books. They’re a combination of funny, interesting, light, and serious. This book of short stories entertained.

4. Hungry for Love by Maya Sacher

This fits in the chick-lit category of books. It was easy to be engaged with the story line of a woman who has fallen in love with a man while her husband is in a coma. It’s a good summer beach read.

5. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

I opted for this chick-lit book because it came up in one of my library searches, and I was drawn to the cover. It’s an easy read about a couple going through a troubling time. The story isn’t highly original – individuals working too hard, trying to make their relationship work – but I liked how the dialogue evolved in the chapters, and it was overall a good read. I’d say it’s another easy summer read.

p.s. Did you know that June is audiobook month? A little something I learned at the Waterloo Public Library (where I’ve been getting my audiobooks).

The Friday Five: Things On My Mind

A few things on my mind.

1. #MBALife

As of yesterday at about 5pm, I became an MBA grad. Wild. The last four years have been a lot of work, but I learned so much, and I met so many great people, so the lack of free weekends, the never ending hours of group work, and the stress of exams were worth it.

2. Ann Arbor, Michigan

I was in Ann Arbor at the beginning of this week for a conference. You can see a few photos at #WhiteCabanaGoesToAnnArbor, but I have a full post in the works, so stay tuned for that.

3. Books

Audio books. Amazing. I have been doing quite a bit of driving lately, and I’m now keen on audio books. I finished Elena Ferrante’s Book 2 over the weekend, and I’m eager to start on Book 3. Bonus: I have been getting my audio books for free from the Waterloo Public Library.

4. Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day this weekend. Did you see Daniela’s Father’s Day gift guide? She’s a brilliant gift giver, and I’m grateful that she took the time to share some gift ideas.

5. TV

Sherlock. I know I’m late to the game, but I watched Series 1 this week. Oh, yes, it’s good.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Book: Cast: Art and Objects

Have I mentioned how much I love receiving books in the mail? Well, I do. As a child and young teen, I was definitely not a bookworm. Books were my sister’s territory, not mine. As I neared adulthood, however, I became more interested in reading, and when I started university, I basically couldn’t stop. I read all sorts of books these days (slowly, though, I assure you), and I’m still one of those people who actually buys books. Softcover, hardcover, new, used, I’ll take ’em.

Recently, I was sent over a copy of the gorgeous book Cast: Art and Objects by Jen Townsend and Renée Zettle-Sterling to review. This book takes us through a historical journey of made objects. We learn about the process Рhistorical and current Рof making ceramic, metal, and glass objects. The photos are beautiful throughout, and the explanations carry through from objects Рhousehold and decorative Рto art to jewelry.

   

I know I haven’t officially started gift guides yet, but if you’re looking to buy something for an artist, historian, or designer, give Cast some consideration!

Thanks to Sarah M. and Smith Publicity for sending this book my way. All opinions and photos are my own.

The Friday Five: 5 Things On My Mind

I know I have said this before, but my life is truly hectic sometimes. It has been one heck of a fall term at work, and while everything is going very well, and I’m happy, I barely have a chance to sit, think, plan, question, etc. Well, today, I’m just doing that. I’m sharing five life things that are currently on my mind. Just because I feel like it. And only a bit of it has to do with white, in fact.

MBA Life

Oh my goodness. The end is near. I can feel it. I’m half-way through this term, and then I have next term, and I’ll be done my MBA. Cannot wait. I’ve been completing this degree on a part-time basis for about 3.5 years. In the spring/summer, I loved the two classes that I took (Negotiations & Project Management). I was dreading this term because I opted into Mergers and Acquisitions. Why, you ask? Well, the course offerings were slim this term, so it was either that or taxation. Seemed like the better option for me. It turns out that although the course is a challenge, I’m learning a lot and enjoying it. Who knew?

Post-MBA Plans

I feel like once I’m done my MBA, I’m going to have so much extra time on my hands. Weekends will no longer include team meetings, evenings will no longer mean rushing to class, and reading will include novels, not textbooks. Pretty exciting! But it also makes me nervous. What am I going to do with the extra time? I’m thinking about volunteer options in my community. Do you volunteer? Where? When? Why?

#WillTravelForWhite

I started another Instagram account. Right…as if I had nothing else to do. Well, when I saw that Autumn had a #WillTravelForYellow and Sabrina had started #WillTravelForPink, I knew I had to snap up #WillTravelForWhite. It’s been so fun to create an all-white Instagram page. I know it’s probably what White Cabana should be on Instagram, too, if I’m keeping “on brand,” but I really don’t like duplicating content, so I’d rather keep White Cabana Instagram as a place to share things from my life both in white and beyond. Check out #WillTravelforWhite and let me know if you like it.

Reno on the Brain

I’m (just about) ready to tackle another project in my house, and if all goes as planned in my brain, it’ll be my basement laundry room/bathroom combo room. Oh, it’s a gem of a before, let me tell you! I will be sure to share the before, not to worry! I don’t think I’m ready to tackle any plumbing on my own, but I have already been scoping out tiles as I haven’t used my wet saw in a couple of years now! It’s time.

Elena Ferrante Books

Several of my friends and colleagues have recommended Elena Ferrante‘s books, and I finally ordered the first two in the Neopolitan Novels collection. I’m only about 50 pages into Book One, but I’m enjoying it. Have you read any of these books from “one of Italy’s greatest storytellers”? (I’m reading them in English, by the way. Maybe when I’m done my MBA, I’ll read the series in Italian to brush up!)

Phew. It feels good to get these ideas out of my brain and onto the screen. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Books: Review of Why LA – Pourquoi Paris

I recently received a copy of the book Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? to review. While I have been to Los Angeles, it was a short trip, and I didn’t really get to live the LA life. Paris, on the other hand, is one of (who am I kidding – it is) my favourite city.

In this book, Diane Ratican compares the two cities on multiple aspects – food, culture architecture, fashion, art.

What’s really special, in my opinion, is that the text is in both French and English, and descriptions are followed by pages and pages of beautiful artwork. The illustrations were done by Eric Giriat and Nick Lu. It’s easy to stare at the pages for a while to see all the detailed work.

Over the long weekend, I read the book in one sitting. The text is informative and well-written. I learned a lot about LA, and learned a few new things about Paris, too.

Many thanks to Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? and Sarah at Smith for sending me this book.

All photos and opinions are my own.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Books: Vacation Reads

My blog posts have been scattered this week because it’s back-to-school season, and, well, that means a pretty lively time of year for me! I’m taking a pause from the Friday Five to share with you my recent reading list. This post has been in draft form for a couple of weeks now, so it feels great to finally be able to press publish!

During the academic year, I barely have a chance to read books for pleasure. I know I could/should make time, but the fact is that I don’t. Between my academic day job and my MBA student life, I read a lot as it is, and when I want to relax, I don’t generally reach for a book.

Vacation, though, is a completely different story!

When I’m in Florida lounging around the pool and beach for days and days, I love losing myself in books. I love going to the local library (yes, I have a library card in Florida, too!) and browsing the “what’s new” shelves. And on my recent trip, I managed to read quite a few books. Here’s a brief recap of what I’ve read…in the order that I read them. Do let me know if you’ve read any of them, too, please!

1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins wrote The Girl on the Train which was a real page-turner. Into the Water was the same. I couldn’t put it down. It was an easy read, and it went by quickly.

2. The White City by Karolina Ramqvist

Truth be told – I picked up this book because of its white cover and its title. When I read the blurb on the inside flap, I learned that the book is a bestseller in Sweden and the winner of the Per Olav Enquist Literary Prize. This is Karolina Ramqvist’s first English novel. Again, it was a quick read, and I read it within one short sitting (lying by the pool!). I felt like it was a lengthier short story than a fully developed novel. The story moved along quickly.

3. Touch by Courtney Maum

I picked up this book after reading the cover jacket’s summary. It got me hooked with ideas of trend forecasting, tech, and relationships. It was another easy read that I got through quickly. I liked following the story of a trend forecaster who contemplates tech vs. touch in an ever changing high-tech world.

4. Swimming Lessons by Clare Fuller

This book was another one that kept my attention throughout. I wanted to know how the characters developed and interacted, and how the story evolved. The story flips between past and present, which I liked.

5. The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion was the author of the Rosie Project – a book that I quite liked, so I happily grabbed this book off the library shelf. I don’t know if it was because I was tired or uninterested, but it took me a bit to get into this story. Maybe it also was because the other books had some element of mystery to them, and this one was a love story. Once I got through the first 50 pages or so, it was easy going. It wasn’t a page-turner like some of the other books, but it maintained my curiosity about the evolution of the romance.

6. Awkward Age by Francesca Segal

I thought this book was okay. It seemed liked it could be easily made into a made-for-TV movie. It’s about family relationships, tricky family dynamics, and teenager drama.

7. Celine by Peter Heller

This was an amusing read. Part-detective story, part-family drama. Not a must-read in my opinion, but it entertained me.

8. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

I’ve read every book by Sophie Kinsella (as well as all the books she’s written under her real name – Madeleine Wickham). I continue to be drawn to them even though I didn’t really like the last couple of stories. The characters are sort of all the same and the story lines are fairly predictable. That said, I read this recent release, and enjoyed this light read. Sophie Kinsella books area always good for beach-side reading!

9. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

It was fun to discover that this book was written by a Torontonian. It’s a who-dunnit, what-happened kind of book so I was happy to flip each page to learn more about the mystery and drama involved in one family’s life. I could see this being turned into a movie, too.

10. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

So many of the books that I read over my vacation were mysteries of some sort. These books really make me want to keep reading to see how my own predictions come true (or don’t). At the start, there were several characters to get to know, but once I kept track of the action, I enjoyed learning about the characters’ personalities, their interactions, their friendships, and, of course, to see how the drama unfolded.

11. How to Be a Grown-Up

This book was written by the authors of the Nanny Diaries. The tone, pace, writing, and setting is very similar between the two books. The story line, however, is different. In How to Be a Grown-Up, the main character is a 40-something mom learning how to navigate a work environment run by millennials. She succeeds, of course, which makes for a happy ending. Predictable, but entertaining.

12. Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

Of the books in the list up until this point, Lola was by far my favourite. I picked it up because Lola is the name of my friend’s dog (Hi K! Hi Lola!). Yes, it’s true. This book is certainly not about a dog – although there is a dog named Valentine in the book. The story follows Lola – the leader of a drug cartel – and the drama, chaos, mystery, and tension surrounding the drug world. The character development and story line were different from anything else I read, which caught and kept my attention throughout.

13. I Found You by Lisa Jewell

After Lola, I wanted to read a mystery rather than a romance novel, so I opted for I Found You. The story was progressing in the way that I thought it was, but as I read each chapter, more of the story unfolded, and there were surprises along the way. I really enjoyed this one.

14. The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro

I ended my vacation reading with The Gypsy Moth Summer and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book, in fact. Like other books in this list, I enjoyed the development and interaction of the characters.

And that’s it, I think. What have you been reading? Any recommendations?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Books: Review of Decorate for Party

It was a great mail day when I spotted Decorate for a Party in my mailbox. The book by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring is full of beautiful images and great ideas for party decor. I read it from front to back on my first sitting (while eating cookies, of course!).

decorate-for-a-party-white-cabana-1

The book begins with a white-themed fest which obviously caught my attention.  decorate-for-a-party-white-cabana-2

decorate-for-a-party-white-cabana-3

One of my favourite DIYs of the book are these candles (see photo below). The calligraphy¬† is delicate and pretty. These candles can be personalized with sayings, guest’s names, or table numbers for a party.

decorate-for-a-party-white-cabana-4

The book is organized by theme – modern, simple, colourful – and each theme has a little guide that goes with it. The checklist includes colour schemes, inspiring elements, and a playlist. I love it when these decisions are made for me! decorate-for-a-party-white-cabana-5 decorate-for-a-party-white-cabana-6

I’ve been following Holly Becker’s Decor8 for years, and it was nice to see how she collaborated with Vancouver-based photographer, blogger, and DIYer Leslie Shewring on this book. The duo worked wonders, and they teamed up with other creatives to set up and style these party ideas! The book is full of inspiration, so if you’ve got some celebrating to do (who doesn’t?), grab a copy!

See more beautiful images of the book at #decorateforaparty.

Thanks to the team at Quarto Group for sending me a review copy of Decorate for a Party. Photos by Jordana.

Save

Save

The Friday Five: Agenda Round-Up

Do you get a new agenda at the start of the new year or the start of the school year? Since I’ve been a forever-student/forever-teacher, I’m in the habit of buying one in August, so that I’m ready to go in September.

When I was in Florida, I picked up this gold agenda from Target.

gold-agenda-target-sugar-paper

Sugar Paper agenda, $10.78CAD

It was inexpensive, small (3×6″), easy to throw into my purse, and has both the weekly and monthly schedule pages. So far, I’m happy with it.

Here are four other agendas that caught my eye:

815438020571_hi

weekly simplified planner, Emily Ley, $52CAD (on sale)

882709301318_hi

mini Day Designer agenda, $67CAD

Sugar-Paper-Agenda-2017-Target Sugar Paper monthly/weekly planner, $20CAD

882709301332_hi

daily design love planner – blush, $50

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Marketplace: Favourite Gifts for Babies and Toddlers

Between my own nephews and nieces and all of my friends’ babies, I have bought so many baby gifts over the last decade or so. Like many areas of my life, I approach baby gift buying quite simply. When the babies started coming, I thought carefully about what my favourite items were, and then I basically resorted to buying them in bulk. Honestly. Today I’m sharing with you some of my signature baby gift items; they seem to be well-received by babies and parents alike.

Jellycat stuffed animals are the softest, and the faces are super sweet. I tend to buy a lamb or a bunny, but lately I’ve picked up the giraffe, and I just love it. There are so many good chewing options for babies…ribbons, tails, arms…awesome! I’ve got my eye on the unicorn and owl, too. I do tend to stay away from the bear…it’s just a bit too classic for my taste.

670983045550_hi

Jellycat bashful bunny

I always buy books for babies and kids. Reading is one of the single most important things that people can do for and with kids, in my opinion, and I do my part to encourage it! My all-time favourite book for babies/toddlers/kids is Each Peach Pear Plum. This was my favourite book as a young kid, and it gives the reader so much to look at and learn!

0670287059

Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg

I also buy just about any Dr. Seuss book, but Green Eggs and Ham remains my all-time favourite.

For one-year olds, I often buy One by Kathryn Otoshi. It’s a beautiful book with sweet, simple watercolour artwork.

3118349

One by Kathryn Otoshi

Now that my friends’ babies are turning two, I’ve started buying Two by Kathryn Otoshi in bulk. Why ruin a good thing, right? 9780972394666_IL_2_dfc8f

Two by Kathryn Otoshi

I also find Press Here by Herve Tullet to be an exceptionally fun book and any kid that I have given it to seems to have really enjoyed it (two others in the collection are Mix it Up! and Let’s Play). For Christmas, I sent my nephews and niece a bunch of Laura Ljungkivst’s Follow the Line books, and they seem to have liked them quite a bit. I’m also always on the lookout for Barbapapa books (in French, English, or Italian) for my nephews and niece; I love the creativity of these stories.

Do you have signature gifts for babies, toddlers, kids, or others? Do tell!

Update:

Books: In Pursuit of Beauty by Timothy Whealan

We all know I’m a fan of books, right? Academic books, novels, design books, how-to guides…I love them! I still buy quite a few books (Bonnie Stern’s¬†Essentials of Home Cooking cookbook was my latest purchase), but I take out a lot of books from the Waterloo Public Library (gosh, I love it there!).

On one of my recent visits, I picked up Timothy Whealan’s In Pursuit of Beauty, and I have to tell you that this book is full of the most gorgeous rooms!

51pQK1vOpTL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_photo via Amazon

Timothy Whealan’s interior design work was new to me, but it shouldn’t have been since his work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Veranda, and Elle Decor.

Here are some of the spaces that really grabbed my attention in In Pursuit of Beauty.

Early on in the book, the reader meets this crisp white kitchen. Marble, white, stainless, and chevron floors…what’s not to love?

Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-2I think the design of these bathrooms are just about perfect. I love the finishes and style.

Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-9Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-8I love how Timothy mixes refined wood pieces with white. It’s what I’m aiming to do in my own home in the next few years. These photos serve as perfect inspiration.

Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-10Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-4Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-5¬†¬† Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-3¬†¬† Words of wisdom…I agree, Timothy, I agree!

Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-11And here’s the designer and author, Timothy Whealan:

Timothy-Whealan-In Pursuit of Beauty-1Obviously my iPhone photos of the book’s pages do not do any of the spaces full justice. I’d encourage you to look at the book to be fully inspired. The rooms are chic, comfortable, and while they may contain pricey pieces of furniture, a lot of the design elements can be recreated on a more moderate budget.

Images of In Pursuit of Beauty taken by me.

Books: What I’ve been Reading Lately

I read quite a bit (this wasn’t always the case), but my reading lists vary depending on the time of year. During the academic year, I read a lot of academic texts and journals. During my down-time, I read loads of magazines (fashion, design, food, celebrity, anything really!), some non-fiction books (related to living a happy life, promoting one’s strengths, leadership, business, etc.), and random fiction. During the holidays (e.g., spending three weeks in Florida), I lean toward easy breezy beach reads.

Here’s a look at some of the books I’ve recently read:

art-of-tidying-up The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Review: I like that I now know what all the fuss about Marie Kondo is about. The book is a quick read and it makes you think about all the stuff you own and why you own it. That said, some of the strategies, suggestions, and techniques are just too extreme or completely unrealistic for my own life. I took this book out of the library, so it didn’t clutter up my home.

Leave-your-markLeave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job by Aliza Licht

Review: Aliza Licht’s Leave Your Mark is an easy read with some good suggestions about how to navigate the workplace. I probably should have read something like this when I was 20.
funny-girlFunny Girl by Nick Hornby

Review: Let me start by admitting that I have liked Nick Hornby for a really long time, so I am biased. Funny Girl rates high on my list because I really liked the characters and storyline. I am now wondering if a movie is in the works. I hope so!

shopaholic-to-the-starsShopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

Review: I have read every Sophie Kinsella (and Madeleine Wickham) book. I have a soft spot for Becky Bloomwood, and she makes me laugh. That said, I didn’t love Shopaholic to the Stars. Dare I say it – I might actually be tired of Becky’s ways (same story, different location?). I didn’t like how this book ended (and neither did a couple of other people who have spoken to me about it).

the vacationersThe Vacationers by Emma Straub

Review: The Vacationers looked like it was going to be the best beach read. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it at all. I read it from beginning to end (just because I had committed to it), but I was sort of just bored.

girl-on-the-trainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Review: Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train was amazing. I could not put this book down. It hooked me in right from the first page. If you like suspense/thriller/action, you’d like this book.

Do you have any book recommendations? I’d love to know about them!

Books: What I’ve Been Reading

Winter¬†in Canada. It sucks. I have complained¬†so much about it (and I just can’t stop). It puts such a damper on my mood and motivation. I’ve tried to embrace it in the past, but, really, it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve been coping with the cold, dark days by watching a lot of television (I’m sort of completely sick of television now, too) and by reading more books¬†(rather than just my usual stack of magazines and list of blogs).

In addition to about a dozen academic books (for a fun-for-me project that I might share one day), I’ve read¬†the following…

gone-girl-book-cover-med

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

the-rosie-project-graeme-simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

rosie effect

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

I’d recommend all three books. Gone Girl was a slow start for me, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading it. It was amazing. The Rosie Project and Rose Effect were both amusing and interesting. Because¬†one of the main characters is a professor, I could relate.

I’ve also been reading a whole bunch of money and tax books. Here are some¬†of them:

White-Cabana-booksI think Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s books have been the most relevant,¬†useful, and¬†informative.

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.

Florida-White-Cabana-12

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!

Marketplace: Chapters-Indigo Spring Collection

Chapters-Indigo is one of those stores that is continually improving. Each season brings new home decor, fashion, beauty, and food and entertaining items, not to mention a variety of new and interesting books. I know I’m not alone when I say that spending an afternoon at Chapters-Indigo is really relaxing. If only I had more time, I would read every one of those best-selling books!

Anyway, I headed to Toronto’s Eaton Centre a couple of weeks ago to attend Chapters-Indigo spring kick-off. I snapped some photos of some of the things that caught my eye.

Mugs…why am I such a sucker for a good typographic mug? I’ve got most of the ones featured in these photos (I spoil myself regularly, it seems):

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Mugs

The fashion/style department is the largest I’ve seen it, what with the jewelry, scarves, totes, clutches, and watches. The items are super cute.

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Fashion

Chapters-Indigo has partnered with Etsy and has featured collections from 8 Etsy designers. Way to support artists, Indigo!

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Etsy

I was surprised to see the¬†Nest¬†thermostat in the electronics department. Then again, I shouldn’t have been that surprised considering what a hot product it is for the design conscious customer.

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Electronics-Notebooks

The selection of gourmet food and home decor items seems to be expanding. I loved the little jars of salt (reminds me of the jars I picked up in France earlier this year).

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-food & decorAnd some books…of course…wouldn’t be a bookstore without a great selection of books!

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-books

Photos by Jordana.

Coffee table topper

For the design aficionado in you and everyone else who enjoys seeing things well done and well photographed, I present the next book to top your must-have list.

The iF Design Awards book features the best of product design and continues in the tradition established in 1954 of recognizing the best creatives working in the field. Each year, more than 2,000 submissions coming from 37 countries compete for the coveted awards. This yearbook features the best in international product design, focusing on newly developed materials and the innovative use of existing materials.

if-design-awards

 

The iF Design Awards book is available at shops including Amazon

20 Below: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

We just finished a long weekend here in Canada and I used a lot of my free time to catch up on some reading.

I am just about finished Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and I highly recommend it. Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, shares her experiences as a woman in the business world and gives advice to readers about going for what you want, valuing your skills, and taking initiative to explore new opportunities. She urges women to recognize their potential and to speak up. Instead of holding back, as many women do (and studies suggest as much), Sheryl Sandberg encourages us to “lean in”.

Lean-In-Sheryl-Sandberg-book

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, $15.92, Indigo

I’m curious to know if any of you have read it. What did you think?

Marketplace: 2013 Agendas by Julie Joliat

Each year around this time my sister Corie and I become semi-competitive. Why? Well, because we’re each on the hunt for the most perfect agenda for the upcoming year. Last year Corie found Sarah Pinto‘s colourful agendas on a trip to San Francisco. One year she bought me a most beautiful agenda with a cut-out cover from Japan. A few years ago she settled on a fun Lilly Pulitzer while I opted for a plain Letts of London.

This year, I know I have won the agenda search competition!

You see – a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon the work of Zurich-based graphic designer Julie Joliat. O.M.G. I could barely contain my excitement when I saw what was on the computer screen in front of me. White. Graphic. Swiss (you know how attached I am to Switzerland!). The most-perfect-for-me 2013 agenda! Corie was on vacation at the time so I couldn’t call her to brag so I had to keep calm (I mean, people might think I’m really nuts if I went on and on about my discovery, right?). I went ahead and placed an order for both of Julie’s designs because, well, I just had to!

 

above photos by Julie Joliat

I have rarely seen so many extra useful pages of information in an agenda book which makes me additionally happy with these ones. Weekly and monthly calendars are followed by several useful pages which details things like laundry symbols, clothing size conversion, vintage French red wine chart, and cooking ideas (possibly my favourite guide).

above photos by Jordana

So, if you’re anything like Corie or me and you are in need of a 2013 agenda, then let me please strongly encourage you to get one of these designs. And place your order asap as both are limited editions (300 copies).

Photography: Sleeping Vincent

Adele Enerson spent much of her time as a new mother photographing her sleeping baby Mila in dreamy, imaginative scenes. She’s since published the photos in a book called When My Baby Dreams. Now she’s on to styling and photographing her baby Vincent but since he’s not the most sound sleeper, she’s had to alter her approach. Adele uses her iPhone camera and then sketches with her Stylus pen.

DJ Vincent

Vincent playing cello

Zoolander Vincent

Vincent in the garden

Vincent’s raindance

So incredibly cute, right?

Images courtesy of Adele Enersen.

Books: Blurb + Giveaway

I have been raving to my friends about Blurb ever since I wrote my first book for my nephew’s second birthday. For that book, I illustrated pictures of fruit, scanned them to my computer, and then uploaded them to a Blurb template. I then wrote the vocabulary to match (in three languages of course – that’s my academic side coming through!), finalized a few details, and pressed publish. In a matter of weeks, my first Blurb book arrived in my mailbox and I spent quite a bit of time showing it off before I handed it over to my nephew.

a preview of my first Blurb book – a multilingual book about fruit

It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that I have since published a few other books for each of my nephew’s birthdays. I am pleased with how each of them has turned out (and I think my nephews are too) and Blurb has been an easy company to work with.

customizable copyright & dedication pages

sssshh…this one still hasn’t been opened…it’s for Reef’s second birthday next week

here are my nephews reading Duke’s third birthday book about shapes

While I have not made my books available to the public, this is definitely a possibility with Blurb and something to pursue if you have written something that you want to share with others. On the other hand, if you’re at a loss for words but you want to compile photos from your last vacation, then consider Blurb the place to do so. The company offers quite a few design options, page templates, and bounding possibilities.

Want to get started? Well, look no further! Blurb is offering one lucky reader a $35 promo code to use toward a Blurb book. To enter this giveaway simply leave a comment and tell us what type of Blurb book you would like to create. And do it quick – this contest ends on Thursday June 7th, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random.

Note: Contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Photos and books by Jordana.

Reading: The Lab Magazine

I feel a bit sad that I neglected Issue 5 of The Lab Magazine for a couple of months. I was pumped when it first arrived (many thanks to Tony for sending it my way) and I had a good initial browse through it. But then my life became quite hectic and I have barely been at home to really sit and review it. So this past weekend I made it a priority to spend some good quality time with Issue 5.

I have to admit that even though actor Willem Dafoe is on the cover of this issue, when I first got a hold of The Lab Magazine I was actually more attracted to the large format, the shiny gold lettering, and the quality of the paper of this Canadian (woohoo!) publication. I’m such a sucker for beautifully crafted works.

The magazine’s stories and photos are beautifully and artistically arranged which made it a true pleasure to read. And because I’m not as much of a movie or music buff as my friend Drew (who initially introduced me to the Lab), I learned a lot about the lives of some pretty fascinating actors (e.g., Ty Burrell, Shailene Woodley, Greta Gerwig) and musicians (e.g., Electric Youth, Hey Ocean!). (Have I mentioned before how much I like to learn new things?)

While each article has its unique appeal, I really enjoyed the Making the Shoot story toward the end of this issue. The Making the Shoot, an international competition, invited photographers to submit their work for judging. The grand prize – a full editorial shoot – is featured in this issue. Marta Dymek, the winner, was flown to Los Angeles to photograph Selma Blair (amazing) and the results of this shoot are beautiful. I’ve included a sneak peek here and as you can see Marta’s photos of Selma are simply stunning in this editorial spread (if you want to see more – buy a copy!).

Kudos to Editors in Chief Justin Tyler Close and Jeremy Power Regimbal and their team for The Lab Magazine! It’s apparent that a lot of thought and effort went into this – and I’m sure every – issue.

Notes: The Lab Magazine is available at Barnes and Noble, Chapters, and news stands across the world. Stay tuned for more of their online presence. Thanks to Tony for sending me this issue. Thanks to Drew Nelson for introducing me to The Lab Magazine. Photos of The Lab Magazine by Jordana.

20 Below: The Public Library

It has been one year since Nonno, my grandfather, passed away after living a very long and healthy life. One of Nonno’s favourite things to do was to go the library (St. Clair branch) to pick up the latest issues of Oggi and Gente. He always spoke so proudly of the librarians who helped him and of the things he got to read for free.

Today I’m encouraging you all to get a library card (or renew yours), to visit the library, to take a child to the library, and/or to donate $20 (or more) to your local public library.

membership to your local public library, free

It makes me so angry when I learn about libraries shutting down, denied funding, and being inaccessible. This is one resource that I don’t think we can afford to lose.

To donate:

London Public Library

Toronto Public Library

Kingston Frontenac Public Library

New York Public Library

Please leave direct links to your local public library in the comments section. Thank you.

Books: What Are You Reading?

I’m one of those people who has about five (or more) books on the go at once (both fiction & non-fiction). Who’s with me? Over the last few days I finished reading three books: Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number, Seth Godin’s Poke the Box, and Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s gratifying to come to the end of a book because it feels like I’ve learned something new. It’s also exciting because coming to the end of one book means that I’ll get to go to the beginning of another one.

via Patyclau

What are you reading at the moment?

The Friday Five: Beautiful Books

Yes – we all know I’m a sucker for books. I’ve got books in every room in my apartment (and I’ve actually read most of them too!) and I just love them all (if that doesn’t sound like an academic, I don’t know what does). I’ve been browsing the bookstores often lately and there are some really gorgeous, high-quality books currently on the market. Publishers like Taschen and Phaidon produce just beautifully clean books and I always get so much pleasure reading them – and then looking at them stacked up on a table or bookshelf. The five books featured here have easily grabbed my attention – because they’re white, yes – but also because they provide so much inspiration.

The Art of French Baking, $31

Eleven Madison Park: A Cookbook, $36; photo by Paula Forbes

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria, $23

A Taxonomy of Office Chairs, $45

D & AD 2011, $59.99

Marketplace: Andy Warhol's Coloring Book

It is not often that one can find a child’s gift that is cool enough for an adult to keep. However, A Colouring Book: Drawings by Andy Warhol is a prime exception.

As the title implies, the 24-page book contains Warhol’s whimsical drawings (sans colour) from the late 1950s.

Originally created in 1961 for on of Warhol’s clients (at the time Warhol was working as a commercial illustrator) the book was re-released in 1990…only to go out of print shortly after. Well, as Warhol mania continues in the art market, the colouring book has been made available again.

$17, Amazon

A charming stocking stuffer for the little creative types in your life…or a cheap & chic idea for any Warhol aficionados.

Dear Readers: Do not adjust your computer screens. Troy is taking over White Cabana this week and, as you can see, he’s really shaken things up around here! Enjoy. – Jordana

Books: Brilliant by Linda O'Keeffe

Yes, yes, we all know I read a lot of books – my day job requires it of course! But the book that recently came my way, Brilliant: White in Design by Linda O’Keeffe, is really one that deserves a lot of attention. Especially for anyone who loves white – ahem, ahem – as much as I do!

In a nutshell: It all begins and ends with white.

Linda O’Keeffe has filled over 220 pages with gorgeous photographs of white objects, interiors and exteriors from around the world. White is explored in design as being radiant, pure, seductive, lucid, harmonious, neutral, thoughtful and natural. Is there really any reason to love any other colour?

Just look at these images. Do they not evoke calmness, purity, harmony, and beauty?

Linda O’Keeffe’s Brilliant was published on October 25th, 2011 by The Monacelli Press.

Many thanks to Rachel at BDE for arranging for me to preview this book.

Books: Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter

The fabulous and thoughtful Johanne gave me Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter.

In trying to achieve my 2011 cooking goal I’ve been attempting some of the recipes.
Well – let me tell you – I am SO enjoying this cookbook! ¬†It’s not much of a surprise that I’m working through the book in a backward kind of way – I’m starting with the dessert section first. Smart, right?

In recent weeks I made the “healthy” brownies, the thumbprint cookies, blueberry muffins, healthier blueberry muffins and the peanut butter cookies. Two thumbs up for everything so far.

White covers

I’m back!

Okay, so I know you haven’t really missed me since Jordana’s been doing a fine job keeping up with the White Wednesday content for me while I took a momentary leave. Well, I just adore this blog and I really couldn’t stay away any longer- so¬†here¬†I am and so¬†happy to be in¬†white again.

This week¬†I’d like to share with you these fantastic silhouettes blown up as¬†novel posters from over at NovelPoster:

Can you identify the classic novels based on their illustrated outlines? (answers below)

The¬†elegant¬†posters are a nice an’ easy $30 a pop and would spice up any space, but¬† probably best in that cozy spot for curling up with a good ol’ classic.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Answers:

Novel posters featured, clockwise from top right: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Ragtime, and The Great Gatsby.

Books: Recently Released

If I can’t brag about my friend’s amazing accomplishments here, where can I do it?

I know these books* have little, well, actually nothing, to do with design but they’re written by friends of mine and they have all worked so hard to get them published. I just had to share them with White Cabana readers.

Jeff Gadsden is my amazingly talented brother-in-law who recently published these flash cards to help anesthesiologists study for their exams. This is hot off the press – the book “dropped” just last week! Hooray!

Anesthesiology Oral Board Flash Cards by Jeff Gadsden & Dean Jones

My friend Tonya Davidson’s book, exploring sociological issues, officially launched last week but I had a sneak peek a couple of months ago. So exciting!

Ecologies of Affect by Tonya Davidson, Ondine Park & Rob Shields (Editors)

My friend Adrienne Sauder’s Master’s work about adult giftedness was published earlier this year.

Gifted Adults’ Perception of Giftedness by Adrienne Sauder

Rena Upitis, my friend and mentor, wrote this amazing book about school architecture and the influence it has on learning and teaching. Check out what else she’s up to at Wintergreen Studios.

Raising a School: Foundations for School Architecture by Rena Upitis

I am so inspired, impressed and proud of the accomplishments of all of my friends. I’m lucky to be surrounded by intelligent people who are passionate about what they do. Congratulations to all!

*Books presented in order of publication (newest to oldest).

Images via Amazon.