- Watch. On Disney+, I’ve recently watched Moana, Lion King (the new one), and Mandalorian. On Netflix, I’ve watched Trial of the Chicago 7, Holidate, Emily in Paris, and The Queen’s Gambit. It’s an eclectic selection, I know, but I’ve enjoyed them all!
- Read. I’ve been reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo for a faculty book club I joined, and Creepers by David Morrell. I’ve also been reading my usual stack of magazines. Veranda, in recent months, has become a favourite!
- Eat. I made this easy pulled pork recipe in the slow cooker a few weeks ago, and it was delicious. I ventured out to Kitchener’s Grand Trunk Saloon to get a taste of southern cookin’. My mom made paella when I went for dinner this week, and it was so good! Heck, fall meals are off to a good start!
- Do. I’ve been helping to renovate a powder room, and one of the most satisfying parts of the reno (besides painting the wood trim white…I know it’s a no-no for so many people, but it was a necessity in my honest opinion!) was polishing up the brass window hardware. Since the house was built in the 1930s, this hardware is old! I love it!
- Do. I watched this “how to crochet for absolute beginners” video, and I picked up crochet needles (and a ton of other crafty goods) from my mom this week. I’m ready to hunker down and get crafty! Now I just need to figure out what to crochet! Any ideas?
Here are some images of Georgia O’Keefe’s kitchen in New Mexico. I enjoy the simplicity of this white, airy, organized kitchen.
John Ota is the author of The Kitchen, a book that celebrates the kitchen (aka the heart of the home). I’ve just requested it at from my library, and I look forward to reading it.
Source of all images: Evolution of the Kitchen with John Ota.
It has been months since I’ve posted a list of things I’ve come across in my travels on the Internet and beyond. Here are a few things to note this week.
- Alanis Morissette’s new song debut – Ablaze – on Jimmy Fallon.
- Drive & listen around the world.
- A friend challenged me to try some recipes from Binging with Babish for my 40th. Sadly, I haven’t tried any. I think it got buried among other challenges, to be honest. It’s now on my mind again.
- The Umbrella Academy on Netflix caught my attention. I’ve watched a few episodes, and I’m really enjoying it. It was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton.
- I read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens in just over a day last week, and I just loved it. It actually made me cry. Anyone else? Apparently Reese Witherspoon’s film company, Hello Sunshine, will be making it into a movie.
Has anyone’s book collection grown over the past six months? I placed several book orders since March since the library was closed, so now I have books piled in all sorts of places. Now that I need to get my office back-to-school ready, it’s time to get my books organized, too. All this to say, today’s post is all about pretty bookends!
Deaths. Riots. Protests. Deaths. Deaths. More deaths.
The news has been overwhelming. I’ve had to stop scrolling through my Twitter feed because it’s just too much. But ignoring what’s happening isn’t productive. Shutting off the news isn’t useful.
At this time, I also can’t stop thinking about This is America by Childish Gambino. Anyone else? It was released in 2018, but it seems that the images could have been taken from the news clips of this week. Terrible. Just awful.
It’s no secret that I value education. I learn from school, texts, books, friends, news, articles, professors, etc. I try to stay informed by reading a variety of sources, thinking critically, and reflecting on my own biases.
Given what’s happening in the USA, and what happens in Canada, regularly, too, regarding racial wars, I’m trying to learn more and fill in the gaps of my own knowledge, education, and experiences. Perhaps you are, too. The lists of educational resources that have been shared online are overwhelming, but these sites seem to be well-curated. It’s a starting point if you and your families want to learn more about racism, implicit bias, and anti-racism work.
- Anti-racism resources
- 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice
- A detailed list of anti-racism resources
If you have other resources to share, please do so.
I believe education is one of the best gifts we can give children around the world. Education tests our perspectives and our previous understandings. Education helps us to make sense of the world around us. Education gives us power, language, ideas, and skills to effect change. Two organizations that I have worked with who provide great education opportunities for black children and youth are:
- Leadership by Design – Part of the Lifelong Leadership Institute, this Toronto-based program gives African-Caribbean youth opportunities to develop and practice their leadership skills. The group of highschool students who I met in 2018 were impressive to say the least.
- Pendo – Located near Nairobi, Kenya, the first Pendo school opened in 2019 with a focus on providing early childhood education and nutrition to young Kenyans. Pendo means love in Swahili.
If you know of other educational programs, please share them in the comments.
I shared a similar message with my students this week because I know I can effect change through my work at the university.
Welcome to the Friday Five – Valentine’s Edition! Here are five lovely things to read over the weekend.
1.This article about handwritten Valentine cards.
2.This list of 10 date ideas.
3. The book Love Sense by Sue Johnson.
5. This article about how love is good for us.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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.
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.
I am so excited about today. Why? Because I’m doing nothing. I’m just hanging out at home and catching up on life. I’ve had a busy fall (as per usual because of my work schedule), and while I’m grateful that I have friends and family who plan awesome events, dinners, parties, and outings, every so often, I need space. My space. To feel organized. To clean my house. To make a real meal. To spend time being lazy. Today is the day.
1.Music. I’m still a big fan of Lizzo. Here she is doing a music challenge with Elle magazine.
2. Living. Looking for a few ideas to increase your sustainable living ways? Read this.
3. Decor. If you’re looking to know about the best white paint colours, read Jacquelyn’s post.
4. Pet. I got a fish this week. I almost wrote that I got a dog. But, it’s a fish. A fancy betta fish. It’s not white, and I’m perfectly okay with that. Its colouring is lovely. Right now, his name is JC. The dog decision is on hold for a while until I figure out my allergy issues. Sigh. For now, if you need a dog sitter, let me know.
5. Charity. One of the events that I attended last week was Daniela‘s fundraiser for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation; the event raised $14,000 for the foundation, which is absolutely amazing! Congrats, Daniela!
6. Books. I finished Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. I didn’t love it. It was long. I wasn’t fully engaged. It was the first Margaret Atwood book I have ever read. I’m open to reading others. Any recommendations (besides Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments)?
I started Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbour this week. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m liking it so far.
7. Waterloo. Last night, I attended the Arts Awards Waterloo Region to recognize artists in our region. I amazed by people’s creativity. And I’m so glad there’s a strong community of people who support the arts.
8. Food. When the weather turned cold, I picked all the green cherry tomatoes that were still growing in my garden, and I put them in a bag. I’m happy to report that they all turned red. I am roasting them now, and my kitchen is smelling so good.
I hope you have a great Saturday doing whatever is that you love and need to do!
1. Educated by Tara Westover. This is a true story of Westover’s upbringing as a Morman in a mountain village in Idaho. She stepped into her first classroom at age 17 after growing up isolated and working on her father’s junk yard.
It was excellent. It was engaging and interesting, and I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to learn more and hear more of Tara’s stories. I read a few more stories about her online, including this article where she had this to say about education:
“Education is discoveryâ€”it’s your mind growing, taking responsibility, letting go, and holding tight. Itâ€™s all of those things. Itâ€™s having enough knowledge and empathy for yourself and for other people to make decisions so that you can do well with the things you need to do. Itâ€™s that ability to have many different perspectives and different points of view.” (Oprah mag)
2. The Tiger’s Wife by TĂ©a Obreht. Have I already mentioned this one? I can no longer remember. It was long but engaging. It was fantastical and interesting. I didn’t love it as much as everyone else seemed to have loved it, but I liked it, and it’s worth reading.
3. Inland by TĂ©a Obreht. After The Tiger’s Wife, I added Inland to my audiobook queue. I really tried to get into it, but I couldn’t. I actually forced myself to finish it. I feel bad not finishing books. I just couldn’t get attached to the story or the characters.
4. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. It was excellent. It was hard to press stop on this one as I wanted to keep listening to learn how the story unfolded. This is a story about a family’s life in Alaska and the challenging and traumatic interactions between family members
5. Sula by Toni Morrison. I finished Sula this week and enjoyed it. This was the first Toni Morrison novel I have read/listened to, and I’m glad I did. It’s a story of friendship – and betrayal. The story had a nice pace and character development. I have a few other Morrison books in my queue, and I look forward to reading them.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
1.The climate crisis. The world climate strike has been a hot topic in the news recently. The climate strikes that happened around the world these last couple of weeks have been impressive. The photos floating around the internet of people gathering in cities and small towns have been incredible. The world may not unite on many things, but people from all corners of the earth are coming together for climate strike action. If you want to learn more about what you can do to learn more and take action, read this post by Joanna Goddard on Cup of Jo.
After reading the article, I calculated my carbon footprint using this carbon calculator. I’m below the Canadian average, but I know I can do better. I am still above the average for the European Union and the world. I (and you, too!) can reduce my carbon emissions by following this advice and reducing use of plastic. We don’t have green bin (food waste) collection where I live, but I might try this simple composting method to discard food scraps. I already do this with egg shells, which has been easy (and good for my tomatoes!).
Individuals can make a difference! Get educated. Stay informed.
2. Books. I listened to Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Melinda Gates’ The Moment of Lift. I enjoyed them both and learned a lot. Both women offered candid stories of the lives of their families and their goals.
I also listened to An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and I liked it.
3. Netflix. I watched Unbelieveable one evening last week. I was so hooked that I stayed up until the wee hours! It held my attention all the way through. It’s a true crime series that centres on the story of a young rape victim. While noone believed her account, in time, two detectives in another state linked pieces of a puzzle together to catch a serial rapist. I then read this article to learn more about the young main charcter – Katlin Dever.
4. Beauty. Has anyone used castor oil for hair growth? A friend recently recommended I give it a try, so I’ve been reading up it. Some articles say there are benefits, but others say there’s no scientific evidence to show that it does promote hair growth. And what about these vitamins? I’m tempted to try them after reading this thread.
5. Charity. I’m run/walking the CIBC Run for the Cure this Sunday in Kitchener-Waterloo. Are you? Where? If you’d like to donate to the cause, please do so here. I appreciate your support!
Here’s a round-up of most of the books I’ve read or listened to in the last little while. If you have any questions, let me know
1.The Men in My Country by Marilyn Abildskov. This one was recommended by a friend who thought I could relate to the story. It is a story of a 30-year old woman who packs up and heads to Japan for a fresh start (yes, I can relate). She falls in love with the country (yes, I can relate). While there, she dates a trio of men (yes, I can relate). That’s a very simple explanation of the story. The book is beautifully written.
2. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami. Yes, I’m still making my way through this Japanese author’s book list. The Strange Library is a short story. I normally don’t like short stories, but the beauty of them is that they’re quick to read. Murakami’s stories are fantastical and sometimes hard to explain. That said, they’re unlike other books I’ve read, and I enjoy his storytelling, so I keep getting drawn into his stories. If you’ve read them, you’ll know what I mean.
3. Maid by Stephanie Land. After seeing this on so many reading lists, I picked it up at the library when I was in Florida. It was a touching story of a woman’s determination for a better life. She becomes a maid, then starts her own business, meeting kind people along the way and pushing herself through school. Her determination was impressive. I’m sure many similar stories go untold.
4. Start Over, Finish Rich by David Bach. This book was published in 2010, but I think the principles of saving smart and spending wisely remain the same today. I flipped through this pretty quickly and skipped all the sections that were US-focused (hello 401K). There were a few good tips that I have adopted since reading the book.
5. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. This book has been on several reading lists, and although I found it a bit hard to get into, I really enjoyed this book. It follows the story of four children over five decades. In their adolescence, they visit a psychic who tells them about their deaths. I liked the characters, their interactions, and their bond throughout the book.
6. Lush Life by Richard Price. This isn’t a book that I would normally be drawn to, but, again, I think it was on a recommended reading list, so I listened to it. It is set in New York City, so I liked that the audiobook version had readers who spoke like New Yorkers. The story depicts the rough, gritty, and violent side of city living.
7. Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo. I loved this story of Yejide and Akin, their marriage, their challenges with fertility, and the sacrifices they make. The book is set in Nigeria, so we get a glimpse into life and customs there. It was an easy book to get into and read.
8. Hum if You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais. I have just started this book, but I am enjoying it so far. One of the reasons is that it is set in Apartheid-era South Africa, so it’s interesting to learn a bit about what was going on then. Family is a theme in this story (like it seems to be in other books on this round-up list).
In other book news, did you hear that Elene Ferrante (of the My Brilliant Friend series) is releasing a new novel in November? I’m going to pick it up forsure.
If you’re looking for more book recommendations, search books on my site.
1.Netflix. I watched a comedy show earlier this week: Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room. I laughed. She was funny. She’s originally from Sarnia!
2. Movies. Friends have been giving me challenges/suggestions to achieve before and during the next year (I’m turning a big number in just a few weeks!). One of these suggestions was to watch The Godfather series because I have never watched it. So, I took the DVDs out from the library, and over the period of two weeks, I made my way through them. So good! The first was my favourite, but all three were great…as per every review you’ve probably already read! Have you watched them?
3. Books. I’ve been listening to Thomas Friedman’s book Thank you for being late: An optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of accelerations. I am finding it so interesting. He writes about what happens when technology, globalization, and climate change and biodiversity loss are all accelerating at once – as in this current time we’re in. The chapters on higher education are especially interesting because of what I do and see in my own work.
4.Food. Have you ever BBQed an egg? I did. It worked! I cooked it on medium for about 12 minutes, but next time, I’ll do it for about 9 minutes. Learn more on Bon AppĂ©tit. Note that I wouldn’t start my BBQ just to grill eggs. I’d only put eggs on the grill while I was grilling something else. It’s much easier to just boil them on a daily basis! Beyond BBQ eggs, I haven’t tried any new recipes lately. Have you?
5. Personality tests. I enjoy doing personality tests. I know my colours. I know my DISC assessment. And now I know my personality signature via Helen Fisher’s personality quiz. All three are consistent. I don’t know the details of all of them, but overall, they all say the same kind of thing. Helen Fisher’s personality quiz was a new one for me. If you enjoy the intersection between personality quizzes and Tinder bios, have a read (and laugh) through this article on Man Repeller.
1.Gift Guides. Last week, Daniela shared this awesome Father’s Day gift guide for White Cabana readers. I love that she focused (as per usual) on Canadian brands. Go back and look at it if you’re still on the hunt for a gift idea as Father’s Day is this Sunday. And if you’d like even more ideas, browse these guides by Jacquelyn Clark, Katie Considers, Rambling Renovators, Rachel Parcell, and Oh Happy Day.
2. Netflix. I finished watching two seasons of David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. I hope more seasons are in the works. My favourite interviews from seasons 1 and 2 were with Ellen Degeneres, Barak Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Tina Fey, and Lewis Hamilton.
3. Food. I made this quiche last weekend for lunch guests, and it’s a winning recipe. I’ve made it before (and it was a winning recipe then, too). Asparagus is now in season, so it’s a perfect time to make the quiche!
4. Books. I’m reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. It’s an easy read, so I’m going through it quickly. In between my reading time, I’m thinking about her stories. What would happen if you started saying yes to things that made you nervous/uncomfortable/move out of your comfort zone/anxious? You’d face and overcome new challenges, and be open to opportunities for learning new things. This is one of the messages that’s coming through the book so far.
5. We the North. The Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship game last night. And if social media is any indication, many Canadians are very excited! As for me? Well, I tuned in last night when the score was 91-91 and there were about 10 or 15 minutes left in the game. I figured I should keep watching, so I did. That has really been the extent of my viewing of basketball this season. I liked following along the commentary on Twitter, too. And I’m grateful to my friends and students who kept me informed throughout the season.
Have a great weekend!
1. Movies. I watched Bohemian Rhapsody and Instant Family on my flight home from Paris. I loved Bohemian Rhapsody. I was pretty much dancing in my seat. And I cried, too. Instant Family was fine. On Netflix, I watched Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan. I really enjoyed the movie and cried throughout. Jeez. I guess I have a few tears to shed these days! I also went to see Shoplifters – a Japanese film nominated for an Oscar. It was sad, interesting, and engaging. I can see why it’s nominated for an Oscar. It’s a story that hasn’t been told in movies, and the acting was very strong.
2. Linen bedding. Does anyone have linen bed linens? I’d love to try them one day. Parachute has quite the selection of linen bedding.
3. Mascara. When I was in Paris, I had my makeup done at the Dior counter at Le Bon MarchĂ©. It was a nice treat. I bought a few things, which was a real change for me as I never buy expensive makeup. But Dior might be on to something! The mascara is especially amazing. My lashes grow like crazy, and it does a great job at separating them. The Dior makeup artist taught me how to layer it on if I want to be even more dramatic. I’m thinking I might do a before and after post to really show you what I’m talking about. Interested in seeing a before and after?
4. Nail polish. I opted for a shellac manicure pre-Paris as I didn’t want my polish to be chipping off while I was away. My nails looked great for over two weeks! I had forgotten how smooth and shiny this type of polish stays for an extended period of time. I don’t think it’s good for my nails, but I think it was a great option for a vacation. How’d I remove it? I dipped my fingers in nail polish remover for 10 minutes or so and then carefully scraped off the polish. It took some effort, but it was fine. I’m giving my nails a break from it as they do seem softer. I’ll likely opt for shellac again pre-Japan.
5. Books. I finished The Witch Elm by Tana French. There are mixed reviews of it online, but I enjoyed it. Now I’m back on another book by Japanese bestseller Haruki Murakimi – Norwegian Wood.
During my undergrad, I read so many classic and contemporary novels, plays, and poems en franĂ§ais. Then, when I was a teacher, I read kids books daily, and in my PhD life, I read a French academic article every now and then. Since then, however, I’ve read minimally in French. I never pick up any French books now, although this post reminds me that there’s no reason why I shouldn’t. I know a lot about language learning and teaching, and so I should know better. To continue building skills in a language, reading in that language is a must!
One of my favourite, classic French plays is Le Malade Imaginaire by MoliĂ¨re. This was the last piece MoliĂ¨re wrote back in 1673. Yes, 1673! Can you imagine? When I had to read it for for class, I remember laughing and I did the same when we watched the film. It’s so ridiculous that you can’t help but laugh.
In addition to reading, listening, too, is a skill that needs practice when learning another language. One French movie that I recommend because of its characters, humour, scenery, and story is AmĂ©lie. It’s such a charming movie, and it you’re like me, you’ve already watched it countless times. With each viewing, I seem to discover yet one more quirk about the piece.
Here’s a bit of a review of what’s been on my mind lately, including music, movie, and book recommendations.
1. THE Book. For so many months – and a couple of years, too – my friend/colleague/co-author/mentor and I have called it The Book. Now, The Book has been published, and I am so thrilled. So so so thrilled! Mastering Academic Writing has been one of my most fun and rewarding writing projects thus far, and to have had fun, shared laughs, brainstormed over so many meals with a good friend made the experience that much more positive and memorable. Copies of our book arrived from our publisher, Sage, over the holiday break, and it made for quite a happy mail day!
The book is intended for upper year undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors who are looking for a great writing resource and guide. Now, it’s not a boring academic textbook (if you ask me!); we took an informal, approachable tone as we offered instruction, examples, and notes about academic writing. It’s affordable, too! If you’d like to know more, let me know. The book is available at Sage and Amazon.
Don’t be surprised if you see it pop up again on White Cabana.
2. Music. For the last month or so, I’ve been listening to French radio (89.9 FM – CBC – Ici musique – in Waterloo) and French tunes on Spotify. It’s not only been a needed change from my usual pop/rap/top40 tunes, but also I can brush up on my French listening and comprehension skills (in preparation for my February vacance Ă Paris!). On Spotify, I’ve had Lisa LeBlanc (Dump the guy ASAP is a hit) and Mackjoffat (Music Face is my current fave, but it’s in English) on repeat.
3. Blogosphere. Remember the good ol’ days of blogging? When people read blogs daily? When bloggers wrote daily? Before Instagram took over everyone’s phones? Before bloggers applied rose-coloured tints over every darn photo? Yeah, me too. I had brunch with Melissa over the break, and we chatted about how things have changed and the approaches we observe from afar from influencers, vloggers, bloggers, and more.
I have barely changed my approach to blogging even though I know the blogging world around me has changed. I blog every day unless I’m on a break. I read blogs daily, too. I like to read about people’s real lives, their Pinterest and DIY fails and successes, and what they do in the spare time. I continuously learn from others, and I’m inspired by a lot of what I see on my daily blog visits. Who’s with me on this?
4. Movies and Netflix. Oh my goodness. I have watched so much Netflix. Too much, in my opinion, but such is life. I guess I’m in post-book, post-MBA relaxation mode. I don’t love being a couch potato, but I didn’t argue with myself about it over the holidays.
So what did I watch? Just about every cheesy Christmas movie set in Belgravia, Genovia, anyotherovia. I don’t recommend any of them unless you’re embracing a cheesy couch potato lifestyle.
And in the theatre, I opted to watch The Favorite. It was interesting. Funny but quirky but not too quirky. Great acting, costumes, and set design. Plus, if you’re a fan of Emma Stone, you’re going to enjoy her performance. The movie had the audience laughing. I recommend it.
I also went to see Mary Queen of Scots, and it was excellent. I learned a lot, really enjoyed the acting, and, of course, the costumes were amazing.
5. Books. I’m still listening to Haruki Murakami audiobooks. I love that they’re all set in Japan. I started a collection of his short stories. This is the first time I’ve read (or listened to) a collection of short stories. I like that they’re quick, but I don’t like that there’s no time to develop plot and characters. I also can barely remember any story that I’ve listened to. There was one set in a hotel, there was one about a teenage romance…see, the details escape me! There are too many stories to remember! But do I still enjoy his writing? Yes.
1. Books. I finished another Haruki Murakami novel a couple of weeks ago. It was called Dance Dance Dance, and it was great. I also finished The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham. I’m now onto another Somerset Maugham – Of Human Bondage – and I think it’s going to take me a while to get through as it’s quite long. I’m just about to start Nudge by Richard Thaler to break up the line-up of British and Japanese literature.
2. Christmas Market. It’s Christkindle Market in Kitchener this weekend. It’s a great time to be outdoors, take in the Christmas crafts, and munch on traditional German food (and mulled wine, too)!
3. Holiday dresses. I love that so many bloggers are sharing round-ups of lovely holiday dresses. But why oh why are so many of them $1000+? I’m on the look out for more affordable options. Are you interested in a posts of (affordable) holiday outfits?
4. T&T Supermarket. Oh my goodness. The T&T supermarket (focused on Asian foods and products) opened up in Waterloo yesterday. A friend and I went after work, and we couldn’t believe the chaos. The parking situation was a mess. And there was a massive line up to get in. We were surprised. Needless to say, we had no desire to wait in line for groceries, so we left. I’ll check it out in a few weeks. Has anyone been? Do you have a T&T in your city? Do you like it?
5. End of term. The term is over. My class is done. I have final papers to mark this weekend. My students worked hard, and I look forward to seeing how they translated their ideas into their final writing task.
6. Music. I recently heard Lisa LeBlanc on the radio, and I’m hooked. Lisa is a 27 year old singer songwriter from Montreal. I’ve had her new bilingual album – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen – on repeat for weeks.
Here’s a week in review for this Friday.
1. It was One Room Challenge reveal week. There’s much to catch-up on if you’ve followed along or you’re interested in fun before-and-after scenes. I’ll direct you to my friend Tim’s redo of a client’s office. It’s full of some seriously interesting items like Angela Chrusciaki Blehm‘s ribbon art.
I also was impressed by Kristina Lynne‘s kitchen transformation. The change is definitely dramatic.
There’s plenty to see with all sorts of designs, so if you have some time to read up on the reveals this weekend, check out the One Room Challenge site.
2. I love this fun, little coat.
3. Carly the Prepster brought us on tour of her recent stay at the Ritz Paris. Oh, dear. So gorgeous! The service sounds impeccable.
4. I finished audio-listening to Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukura Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage. I’m now onto Dance, Dance, Dance by the same author. I can see why Murakami is one of Japan’s best-selling authors. The stories are unique and very well-told. In terms of what I’m learning about Japan, well, both stories refer to Hokkaido, a northern part of Japan, but I won’t have a chance to go there when I’m there in April. Colorless Tsukara Tazaki also has scenes in Tokyo, and I appreciated Murakami’s description of the Shinjuku train station at the beginning of Chapter 19. Here are screenshots of the text if you’d like to read a small excerpt.
From the bit of research that I did, this seems to be the photo Murakami was referring to in the text:
via Asia Times
5. Finally, isn’t this a pretty colander?
colander, designed by Marcel Wanders for Alessi
Have a great weekend, everyone!
And by reading…I mean listening! I’m still on my audiobook kick. The format is working out well considering all the walking I do and the driving I’ve done lately. Who else listens to audiobooks? What are you listening to now?
I just finished listening to The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. It was a long one! I couldn’t get into it at the beginning, but after a few files (chapters), I got into it and really enjoyed the whole thing. I liked the development of the characters, and I liked learning about history along the way, too (set in Warsaw during World War II). Post-read, I did a bit of a Google search, and I learned that the book was made into a movie in 2017. I completely missed that. I’m adding it to my movie list now (it’s on Netflix).
I’ve switched gears, and it’s all-Japan all-the-time now. I looked up some famous Japanese authors, and it seems like one of the must-read authors is Haruki Murakami, so I started Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. It’s a New York Times bestseller, and it hooked me in from the very beginning. I have a few of Murakami’s other books on hold from the library. I love this view of Murakami’s desk; it seems we share common interests in pencils and Switzerland.
What are you reading? What do you recommend?
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.
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!
Here are some things that have been on my mind recently.
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.
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.
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.
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).
A few things on my mind.
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.
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.
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.
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 RenĂ©e Zettle-Sterling to review. This book takes us through a historical journey of made objects. We learn about the process – historical and current – of making ceramic, metal, and glass objects. The photos are beautiful throughout, and the explanations carry through from objects – household and decorative – to art to jewelry.
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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.
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.
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?
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?
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!
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.
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!
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!).
The book begins with a white-themed fest which obviously caught my attention.Â
One of my favourite DIYs of the book are these candles (see photo below). The calligraphyÂ is delicate and pretty. These candles can be personalized with sayings, guest’s names, or table numbers for a party.
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!
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.
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.
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:
weekly simplified planner, Emily Ley, $52CAD (on sale)
mini Day Designer agenda, $67CAD
Have a great weekend, everyone!
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.
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!
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.
Now that my friends’ babies are turning two, I’ve started buying Two by Kathryn Otoshi in bulk. Why ruin a good thing, right?
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!
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’sÂ 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!
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?
Obviously 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.
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:
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 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 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 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 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.
The 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!
WinterÂ in Canada. It sucks. I have complainedÂ 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 booksÂ (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 readÂ the following…
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. BecauseÂ 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 someÂ of them:
IÂ 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 ofÂ the books that I have readÂ 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 isÂ beautifullyÂ 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 entertainingÂ 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:Â the “secret”Â to a healthyÂ lifeÂ 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, butÂ it’sÂ well-organized and an easy read.
Everyday 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 thisÂ 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 isÂ theÂ go-to hot spot for news andÂ 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 adviceÂ 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 youngÂ before it’s too late. Ugh. TheÂ book was ridiculous andÂ condescending. I really just hated it. TheÂ writing was less than stellar, but I won’t even get started on that. If it wasn’t such aÂ 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:Â The author isÂ the Schulich. If you’re in Canada and you attended a post-secondary institution, youÂ may have taken classes in a Schulich building. Schulich. Is. Everywhere. IÂ enjoyed Schulich’sÂ perspectives on business, philanthropy, and relationship building.
I also read Good Boss, Bad BossÂ by Robert I. SuttonÂ (many worthwhile points)Â andÂ a stack of amazing magazines (House & Home, Southern Living, Dwell, Martha Stewart,Â Air Canada’s En Route, etc.). Beach time is the perfect time to get lost in texts!
And that’s about all I’ve been reading. It’sÂ been an eclectic mix ofÂ texts this month!
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):
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.
I was surprised to see theÂ NestÂ 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.
And some books…of course…wouldn’t be a bookstore without a great selection of books!
Photos by Jordana.
This is an all-white book about an egg. I couldn’t resist it when I saw it so I bought it. It’s okay to have a kid’s book as a coffee-table book, right?
OliverÂ by Christopher Franceschelli, $9.98
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.Â This yearbook features the best in international product design, focusing on newly developed materials and the innovative use of existing materials.
The iF Design Awards book is available at shops including Amazon
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”.
I’m curious to know if any of you have read it. What did you think?
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).
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.
So incredibly cute, right?
Images courtesy of Adele Enersen.
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.
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.
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.
Please leave direct links to your local public library in the comments section. Thank you.
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.
What are you reading at the moment?
I really like these dog bookends- they reminded me of my friend Sofia who is a lover of all creatures but has an especially sweet soft spot forÂ dachshunds.
Dachshund book ends, $50 at Urban Barn
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.
D & AD 2011, $59.99
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.
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
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.
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! Â 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.
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- soÂ hereÂ I am and soÂ happy to be inÂ white again.
This weekÂ I’d like to share with you these fantastic silhouettes blown up asÂ novel posters from over at NovelPoster:
Can you identify the classic novels based on their illustrated outlines? (answers below)
TheÂ elegantÂ posters are a nice an’ easy $30 a pop and would spice up any space, butÂ probably best in that cozy spot for curling up with a good ol’ classic.
Novel posters featured, clockwise from top right: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Ragtime, and The Great Gatsby.