Event

Event: Terroir Symposium, Toronto

Food makes any event pretty darn great, doesn’t it? Well, what about an event that showcases the best-of-the-best in culinary gems? Count me in! Today, I’m sharing news from the Terroir Symposium. Founded by Arlene Stein, the symposium brings together chefs, pastry chefs, food enthusiasts, publishers, bloggers, and more to showcase and share the achievements of Canada’s culinary industry. This year, Terroir was held at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). In short – the event was memorable!

I arrived around lunch, and easily made my way around the food booths. Lunch was presented by Ocean Wise, and each chef prepared a dish to highlight Canada’s sustainable seafood offerings. I was in fish food heaven!

Hor mok, steamed white fish from Georgian Bay, and rice in a banana leaf, from Chef Noureen Feerasta of Rickshaw Bar

crispy fried pickerel wings and cheeks with thai larb, from Chef Kristin Donovan of Hooked   

Acadian Shortnose Sturgeon Toasts, from Chef Katie Venables Lloyd of lbs

albacore tuna donburi, from Chef Michael Hunter of Antler

Water and wine flowed.

S. Pellegrino – an event sponsor (and one of my faves!)

I met up with my friends from Langdon Hall for some bonding over food.

me, Anna, Chef Jason Bangerter, and Franco Stalteri (of Charlies Burgers)

Mingling and desserts pair very nicely together, so that’s where we headed post-fish! The desserts were so beautifully presented in the centre court of the AGO. Were they delicious? Of course they were! I had multiples just to be sure! (I had to do the research to report back to you, right?) The flavours were rich, and everything was of the highest quality. The pastry chefs and their teams sure did spoil all the attendees!

eclairs from Atul Palghadmal of Nugateau 

white perfection (white chocolate, vanilla cream, maple mousse, biscuit) from Lior Aronovich of Amadeus Patisserie

from Chris Kwok of Cluny Bistro

With a full belly, we happily attended sessions to learn about Canada’s culinary industry from the experts. We started with a session on cookbook publishing. It seemed right up my alley considering my background in writing. The panel consisted of Michelle Meade (senior editor, Figure 1 Publishing), Lisa Jager (art director, Penguin Random House), and Trish Bunnett (publicity manager, Penguin Random House). It was moderated by Alison Maclean. These four women spoke about the cookbook publishing industry for chefs, bloggers, and enthusiasts. I was pleased that bloggers were included in several presentations throughout the day. The women spoke of the publishing process – for pitch to proposal to editors meetings to writing to food styling – there are so many parts that go into book making, and I soaked it all up!

We then turned from cookbook publishing to Quebec’s culinary traditions in a session titled “French Flavour.” Since my trip to Montebello, Quebec has been on my mind quite a bit, so when I saw this session in the program, I was curious. We heard from Alex Cruz and Cyril Gonzales (co-owners: Société-Original and L’École Buissonnière), Anne Desjardins, Geneviève Vézina-Montplaisir (Caribou magazine), and Simon Thibault.

The third session we went to before the break was titled “The Science of Flavour.” In this session, moderated by Brian Gilvesy (YU Ranch), Joshua Evans (PhD student), Mark Schatzker (author and hst on Flavour TV), and John Szabo (master sommelier) addressed questions and concerns about flavour. Why do people taste things differently, what are we doing when we grow our food to enhance or change flavour, etc. “Tomatoes” was a hot topic…flavourful or flavourless? It depends on the time of year and where they’re grown, of course!

At this point in the day, attendees were invited to a reception. While I could not eat more caviar (I know, I know, but I couldn’t!), I did manage to sip on a delicious bourbon cocktail! And just like the food and desserts that were served earlier in the day, the cocktails were made with much attention to detail. Loved it!

The late-afternoon sessions first consisted of a panel moderated by Matty Matheson, Viceland TV host and chef, Parts & Labour. We saw clips from Kevin Kossowan’s dramatic film about food and agriculture, learned about pulses (which are dried goods like chickpeas and lentils) from Courtney Hirota from Pulse Canada, and Michael Ableman, author and organic farmer. It was a session that urged us to think about where our food is grown, where we buy it, and how we can maximize our local efforts.

Following this, we heard about the San Pellegrino Young Chef competition. Jacob Richeler of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants moderated the session with Alison Ramage (Design to Dine) and Normand LaPrise (Toqué). Could you imagine judging a food competition? That would be amazing! They should get the public (aka people like me) right on in there alongside the top chefs! Right?

To end Terroir Symposium, we attended an “Iconically Canadian” panel with Lynn Crawford, Dufflet Rosenberg, Susur Lee, and Matty Matheson. The four chefs have different personalities and culinary backgrounds, so it was interesting to hear about their perspectives on the Canadian culinary industry. While the session focused on Toronto, I know that there are many gems across Canada that add to our culinary excellence!

So would I attend the Terroir Symposium again? You bet I would! Food, mingling, art, and learning…these are some of my favourite things, and Terroir served them all!

All photos by Jordana.

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Event: Relais & Chateaux Congress at Langdon Hall

Please tell me you’re still enjoying all of my #WhiteCabanaGoestoLangdonHall news. I thoroughly enjoy my visits there. It’s a unique gem, and I’m happy to share stories about my experiences. The staff is so kind and welcoming, and I’m thrilled that I get to keep visiting. Some friends have asked me about my recent dinner there, so I thought I’d write a little something about it in case others were interested in learning, too.

Last week, Langdon Hall hosted the Congress of the North American Relais & Chateaux partners. Owners, general managers, and others from Relais & Chateaux properties came to Langdon Hall for a few days of learning and mingling. On the Sunday before the learning began, Langdon Hall hosted a reception for its guests – congress attendees and a few other friends, too. I was thrilled to have been invited to join in on the fun.

I arrived at Langdon Hall on a rainy evening, but the weather didn’t dampen anyone’s mood. As soon as I stepped inside the main house, I was handed a glass of champagne (rain? what rain?). While sipping on the bubbly, I chatted with a few of the guests. Everyone was in a happy mood, and everyone seemed to be amazed by the beauty of Langdon Hall. I know! I get it!

Wine tasting was happening in several of the rooms, and in addition to the Bergström and the Guado al Tasso wines, I was fascinated by the Coravin wine opener. A needle punctures through the cork, and the wine is poured. Through the power of magic (and engineering), after you take the opener off the bottle, the cork remains in place. The wine is protected, and it won’t spoil, since the cork remains as the seal.

While we were sipping on champagne and wine, plenty of hors d’oeuvres were passed around. Presentation was beautiful and we were treated with plenty of delicious treats!

A little while later, all guests were invited to make their way to the Firshade Room which is Langdon Hall’s newest event space (I wrote about it when it was set up for a wedding open house.). Here, Langdon Hall’s owner, Mr. Bill Bennett, welcomed all of his guests and introduced three performers from the Stratford Festival – Sean Arbuckle, Blyth Wilson, and Laura Burton on piano. They performed a few songs, and the songs from Guys and Dolls were especially entertaining. It seems like it’s a really fun show!

costumes from A Little Night Music

And then…we feasted.

Chef Jason Bangerter and his team worked wonders once again. Charcuterie, truffle risotto, beef and pork with turnip purée, oysters, and apple slices topped with cheese and marcona almonds? Oh, jeez, I was in food heaven! The meal was served buffet-style, and everything was plated in style. As is the Langdon Hall way!

And to end our meal? Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson and her team created so many artistic treats. There was something for everyone. I opted for a creme brulée and a peanut butter and strawberry mousse. It was hard to resist at just two – let me tell you!

The evening was memorable, fun, interesting, and delicious. I had great conversations throughout the evening, and I learned more about several Relais & Chateaux properties.

Thanks again, Langdon Hall, for welcoming me in so warmly!

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The Friday Five: Goodies from Studio McGee

Yesterday, BlogPodium – the Canadian conference for design and lifestyle influencers – announced its keynote speakerMs. Shea McGee of the Studio McGee. If you’ve been online searching for design inspiration, I’m sure you’ve come across some of Studio McGee’s work. It’s just one beautiful design project after another. Studio McGee brings so many gorgeous rooms to my laptop screen, and I love all the design candy! Here are just five of the spaces that may have you drooling…

Mountainside Remodel

Los Altos Kitchen

Robin Road remodel

Modern Mountain Home

Haddonfield Project

Tickets for BlogPodium go on sale on Friday, May 12th. To see what’s happened in the past, check out my recaps of previous BlogPodium events.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Travel: Niagara Icewine Festival, Niagara, Ontario

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? If yes, I’d like to suggest you take a trip to Niagara to tour the wineries, sip on icewine, and eat delicious food – all part of the Niagara Icewine Festival. I know it shouldn’t take much more than that to convince you, but if you need some more info before you plan your weekend, this is the post for you.

When I reached out to the Niagara Icewine Festival organization, the kind folks there kindly sent over a pair of Discovery Passes. I was eager to go to the festival because I had never been, and I thought it would be a nice day away from my weekend routine of chores, errands, and work. It turned out to be much more than that!

The Discovery Pass ($40) allows you to visit 8 wineries of your choosing over the period of the festival (January weekends). Planning can be done before you arrive in Niagara via the Discovery Pass Listings and Wine Route Planner. I didn’t actually plan too much before we set off, so I did some of the route planning during the car ride over. Although the plan did change a bit as the trip progressed because of chats with other guests and winery staff, it was nice to have some sense of wineries that I might enjoy. Because the participating wineries extended from Grimsby to Niagara-on-the-Lake, it was nice to visit wineries along the full route. Thank goodness for reliable GPS systems!

We began our tour at Kacaba (pronounced Ka-sa-ba) where we met David, a friendly and informative Kacaba employee. Here, we learned about Kacaba’s history and soon-to-be-completed expansion, sipped on Jennifer’s Pinot Gris, and enjoyed jumbo prawns with our icewine cocktail. It was a great start to the day!

From Kacaba, we headed to Stoney Ridge winery. Here, we sipped on some chardonnay and  munched on some apple smoked bacon mac n cheese. The winery has a specialty cheese counter, too. I wanted to try everything! And for dessert – icewine-infused marshmellows roasted on the outdoor fire pit.

After Stoney Ridge, we drove to Megalomaniac. We drove up a windy road through the vineyards, and were greeted by an impressive, modern  building that had been hidden by the fog. It was pretty remarkable. Megalomaniac’s branding is awesome with wine names like The Narcissist and Big Kahuna paired with labels designed to match perfectly. The staff were friendly and generous. Here, we tasted four icewine cocktails and marveled at the grandness of the building’s design and decor. And the fog – oh the fog was pretty dreamy!

We made another stop at Tawse with good intentions to enjoy the Discovery Pass, but we needed a break from wine sipping (imagine that). Instead, we took a tour of the facilities and had a very informative conversation with Julie, one of the friendly Tawse staff. I’d like to go back to Tawse in the spring/summer to explore a bit more. The cave-like setting was charming, and it certainly reminded me of French wineries. Tawse is also interesting because it’s an organic and biodynamic winery – apparently it’s a place where chickens roam. I must learn more!

So after these stops in the area of Vineland, we headed to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a hearty lunch before our next tour.

Our first stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake – and last of the day – was at Strewn Winery. The event was organized so that while guests stood at large tables in the cooking school area, they were served icewine paired with a chocolate ganache tart.

I honestly thought that visiting 8 wineries in one day would be doable. In fact, it isn’t. We spent almost an hour at each winery – sipping, eating, chatting, touring – and if you add in travel time, the day just flies! Plus, who can actually keep track of time when you’re in wine country surrounded by beautiful vineyards? If you’re planning a trip and would like to maximize your Discovery Pass, I highly recommend you stay overnight in the region.

On Day 2, we began in Niagara-on-the-lake at Reif Estate Winery (Reif is pronounced Rye-f). This easily became one of my favourite spots on the tour. The Discovery Pass had us enjoying icewine paired with porchetta. The pig wasn’t happy, but I sure was! The setting was old-world, and I learned that Reif is one of the oldest winery in Niagara. After visiting some of the younger (less than 10 years old) wineries, it was nice to see a place with a longer history.

From Reif, we drove down the road to Konzelmann. This is another winery with a longer history and German heritage. The staff was, once again, informative and welcoming. We learned about the family traditions, the building’s construction, and some of the plans for the future. The retail shop has bottles at various price points.

Stop number 7 (were you counting?) was Sue-Ann Staff Winery in Jordan. This smaller winery is run by a passionate owner and team. Here, our icewine was paired with a sweet potato crème brulée. Yes, I said sweet potato!

To wrap up the Niagara Icewine Festival adventure, we visited Redstone Winery (by mistake, actually) to enjoy a chocolate-infused chili with our icewine. Redstone is owned by the Tawse family, but the feel of the winery is quite different. While Tawse is old-world and cave-like, Redstone is industrial and bright. The building is absolutely stunning, and we learned that it has won awards in the architectural world (I didn’t take any photos of it, unfortunately!). While we couldn’t see the views from the restaurant on account of the fog, I imagine that this would be a spectacular place in the spring/summer.  I’d love to make a return trip here, too. (Are you sensing a pattern?)

As someone who had never been to the icewine festival, or Niagara wineries in general, the Discovery Pass was an ideal option for casual exploration. The winery listings is large, so there’s something for everyone. The pass is also a nice way to spread out your visits during the month of January if you live in – or close to – the region, since the 8 visits are not confined to one weekend of the festival. What I enjoyed about the tour is the variety of wineries that I got to visit as well as the stories and buildings to go with the incredible scenery. The people I met are certainly passionate about what they do!

The Niagara region is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Waterloo. The drive is easy and pleasant, and it doesn’t include a 401 traffic jam in Milton (great news, right?). There’s one more weekend to go for this year’s Niagara Icewine Festival. Let me know if you have any questions if you’re planning a trip.

Thanks to K.H. at the Niagara Icewine Festival for arranging my Discovery Passes. All opinions, thoughts, and photos are my own.

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Food: Langdon Hall + Shoushin

I absolutely do not know how to begin this post. Do I start by telling you about the 10-course menu? Or maybe about the first time I sipped on sake? Perhaps I could tell you about how I shared an evening with a group of strangers. A good place to start might be to tell you about how two celebrity chefs came together to plan a unique dining experience. Okay, you want me to just get to it, don’t you?

You already know that I’m a big fan of Langdon Hall. Ever since I drove up the winding driveway and saw Langdon Hall for the first time in June 2015, I’ve been hooked. It’s not just something in the water. There’s something in the air, the food, the surroundings, the garden, the architecture, and the people. The place is special.

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to be a guest at an exclusive dinner prepared by Chef Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall and Chef Jackie Lin of Shoushin. This dinner was a celebration – and collaboration – of two cultures. It was a dinner that brought together tradition from the Japanese and French. It was a unique feast that showcased the culinary art of two incredibly talented chefs as well as incredible sake and wine pairings from Kado and Halpern, respectively. It was certainly a night to remember!

langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-7

A 10+ course meal? I trained for it! I only ate breakfast that day in preparation for the event! (Although I did have some Terroir upon arrival…do you blame me?). I’m pretty sure my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the extensive menu. Chef Jackie Lin prepared fish that was flown in from Japan for the occasion. Chef Jason Bangerter worked with Jackie to prepare and pair the fish with French flavour and flair, and, as per usual, he sourced many ingredients from Langdon Hall’s gardens. It was inspiring, educational, and delicious! It was chemistry. It was art.

British photographer Simon Boucher-Harris snapped a collection of beautiful photos that I’m thrilled to be able to share here.

Behind the scenes…

langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-1langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-3 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-6langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-5 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-4langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-19

(Simon took this photo of Chef Jackie during the cooking demonstration the following day, but it’s such a great photo that I had to include it!)

The dinner…

langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-8 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-9langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-13langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-10 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-12 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-14 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-15langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-17 langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-21langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-18langdon-hall_shoushin_simon-boucher-harris-20

Each course – as you’ve seen in the photos above – was paired with sake or wine. I had never had sake, so I was a bit hesitant, but since I was sitting beside Kiyoko Miyashita – sake expert and owner of Kado – I was given excellent explanations of what I was drinking. Sake has a higher alcohol percentage than wine, and it has a unique flavour. I thought I had tasted anise, but Kiyoko assured me that there was no anise in the drink. Althought I was told that the flavour is even better after the drink sits for a while, I could never seem to let mine sit for too long since it was so delicious!

As the evening was a celebration of two cultures, we were also lucky to sip on French red wine for some of the fish courses and the venison course.

It’s hard to put into words how special this evening was. Although many of the 30 people in attendance started the evening as strangers, after clinking glasses to toast, sharing travel stories and laughs, we ended the evening as new social media friends and conversations continued after the evening ended. To have two remarkable chefs collaborate to create a menu just for us, share their recipes, and mingle as they put finishing touches on our meals at our tables was extraordinary. Shoushin at Langdon Hall was a very good idea!

This event was a partnership between two well-recognized establishments – Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario and Shoushin in Toronto.

Photos by Simon Boucher-Harris.

Thanks to Langdon Hall for inviting me to be your guest.

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Event: Happy Halloween!

After a very eventful weekend (attending fun Halloween event for the Red Shoe Society, antiquing at Aberfoyle and Southworks with Rox-Anne, getting pampered at the Langdon Hall spa, and feasting on an incredible 10+ course meal with Chef Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall and Chef Jackie Lin of Shoushin), I have a bit of catching up to do work-wise, blog-wise, and life-wise. Don’t be surprised if posts are light this week.

For now, here’s a cute (not spoooooooky) easy Halloween DIY:

ghost-leaves

ghost leaves

Happy Halloween!

Event: #WhiteCabanaWearsPink

To raise awareness and funds for breast cancer, this October, #WhiteCabanaWearsPink. What does this mean exactly? Well, a few things. Let me share:

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Donation of Ad and Affiliate Income

I will be donating all income generated from affiliate and Google ads this month to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Click on all those sidebar ads (and buy stuff if you’d like). The more you click (and buy), the more that I can donate! Easy, right? I’ll try to highlight the affiliate links when I include them in my posts this month, so you can get extra click happy!

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CIBC’s Run for the Cure

I will be running 5K – in pink – this Sunday, October 2nd in Kitchener Waterloo as part of CIBC’s Run for the Cure.

I’ve been doing this run on-and-off for the last decade or so, but this will be the first time I’m taking part in my still-new-to-me city. Stay tuned for #WhiteCabanaWearsPink style posts.

If you’d like to donate, please do so at WhiteCabanaWearsPink. Every little bit helps, of course, so if you could forego a coffee or two this week and donate the money instead, I would be so darn thankful!

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#WhiteCabanaWearsPink Series

Every Monday, #WhiteCabanaWearsPink.

Yes, this blog has an all-white aesthetic. But you know what? Sometimes it’s good to explore other colours. So every Monday in October, I’ll explore pinkness in the design world. White Cabana through rose coloured glasses, I guess. Yes?

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Thanks in advance for your support, dear readers.

The Friday Five: What’s On at the Stratford Festival

Last year marked only the second time I had ever been to the Stratford Festival. When I lived outside of the Waterloo region, Stratford was rarely on my mind. Now that I live in Waterloo, I go to Stratford several times a year.* I feel so lucky that such a unique, quaint, pretty city is only about  a 40-minute drive from my home. I don’t even need to get on the 401**.

Stratford has much to offer year-round, but summer is definitely its busiest season because of the Stratford Festival. I offered up some Stratford travel advice last year in this post. Since that post, I’ve returned to Pazzo (for pizza) and Balzac’s (for coffee) several times, and bought my crepe pan from Bradshaw’s after being inspired by this event. It’s really a special little place, and I’d encourage you all to go for a visit if you can!

I’m heading to Stratford this weekend to see A Little Night Music, which looks like a fun musical featuring romance, sparkles, and humour. It stars Cynthia Dale – one of Canada’s favourite actresses.

Cynthia Dale (left) as Countess Charlotte Malcolm and Alexis Gordon as Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music. Photography by David Hou.

Look at all the detailing on these costumes. Wow!
Cynthia Dale as Countess Charlotte Malcolm (left) and Alexis Gordon as Anne Egerman (photo)

Rosemary Dunsmore as Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. Photography by David Hou.

champagne + a white fancy dress = a perfect show for me!
Rosemary Dunsmore as Madame Armfeldt

In addition to A Little Night Music, here are four other Stratford Festival shows that I think I would enjoy.

The Hypochondriac was one of my favourite Molière novels when I was completing my French undergraduate degree. I actually laughed out loud – yes, as I read in French – when I was reading the book and then again when I saw a film version. It’s sure to be a great show!

Members of the company in The Hypochondriac. Photography by David Hou.

members of the company; photo by David Hou

I love the story of Shakespeare in Love, and I’d be interested in seeing a live version. It looks like it’s a real crowd-pleaser.

Luke Humphrey (centre) as Will Shakespeare with members of the company in Shakespeare in Love. Photography by David Hou.

Luke Humphrey as Will Shakespeare; photo by David Hou

I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe long after my childhood ended. I loved it when I read it, and I think I would have really enjoyed it as a child, too (but I definitely wasn’t a reader when I was a kid). It’s a beautiful, imaginative story that takes the reader on an adventure. I think the show would entertain both kids and adults, and I’m sure it would spark a lot of conversation post-show, too. What a great show to introduce kids to theatre! The show has been extended until November 13th, so there’s plenty of time to go this fall.

Yanna McIntosh as White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Photography by David Hou.

Yanna McIntosh as the White Witch; photo by David Hou

Finally, A Chorus Line has been garnering quite a bit of media attention, and it looks to be a jazzy musical. Check out this trailer. Doesn’t it make you want to get up and dance?

Members of the company in A Chorus Line. Photography by David Hou.

members of the company (photo)

In addition to these five shows, there are some other productions. View the full show calendar for more info.

*Yes, yes, I love living in Waterloo. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again!
**Ugh – the 401. Who designed that highway anyway?

Thanks to the Stratford Festival for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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Food & Drink: Moët for Valentine’s Day (or any day)

I’m of the mind that champagne (whether from Champagne or not) should be consumed during celebrations both big and small: closing on new house, having a great day at work, meeting with a friend you haven’t seen in ages, a new baby, or a school graduation*.

I guess with Valentine’s Day around the corner, bringing out the bubbly is very à propos. Heck, whether you’re in a relationship and you celebrate this day of love, or you’re single and avoid the commercialization of it all, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t toast you and your loved ones with a glass of champers**.

It’s not too often that I actually get spoiled with some of the popular champagnes like Moët or Veuve Clicquot***, but maybe 2016 is the year that I bring this luxury to the forefront of my life (maybe to go with my future luxurious but affordable bed makeover?).

Just look at this work of champagne art:La-maison-depuis-1743_fixed_310x310

And the Moët & Chandon bottle is so beautifully classic.

Moet-Chandon-champagne

If you’re looking to pair this with food, the Moët & Chandon team tells me that the Impérial Brut (feature in the photo above) pairs particularly well with sushi, scallops, oysters, white fish, and white fruit (e.g., white peach tart), but I’m pretty sure my tastes buds are also happy when I pair champagne with the goodness of homemade pizza. Who’s with me?

Or, if you’re looking for a way to switch things up with your champagne, you might opt to try the following recipe for the Moët Ruby Red (festive for Valentine’s, the Oscars, etc.):

Moët Ruby Red
Ingredients
3/4 oz. Lemon
3/4 oz. Tarragon, Raspberry, Citrus Shrub (see below)
1 oz. Vodka
2 1/2 oz. Moët & Chandon Brut

Directions:
Serve over ice in a white wine glass. Garnish with fresh tarragon and citrus.

Tarragon, Raspberry, Citrus Shrub
Ingredients
2 cups Raspberry Purée
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
4 cups Cane Sugar
1 Lemon Peel
4 sprigs of Tarragon

Directions
Bring ingredients to a simmer on a stovetop, then remove from heat and let cool.

This drink seems to be right up my alley – even though I generally prefer to drink champagne in its original state. I tend to take my champagne in a coupe, maybe with a raspberry thrown in for good measure.

What about you? How do you take your champagne?

75cl_bottle_MoetandChandonImperialIce-bucketpelle

* Maybe this is one of the reasons why I have pursued more than one university degree (I’m on lucky #5!)
** Is this a word people use, or is this just a word I use with my friends. Blurred lines.

*** Toasting my PhD achievement was probably my most memorable Veuve occasion (see this and this and this).

Images via Moët & Chandon.

 

The Friday Five: 5 Reasons Why I Signed Up for the Hourglass Workout

I’m not a gym-aholic. Heck, ever since I moved to Waterloo, and I walk everywhere, my official exercise time is non-existent. I’ve never been a lover of the gym or workouts, but I do like activities and routine. I used to run quite a bit (slowly, I assure you), and even finished a few half-marathons. I felt really fit and strong when I was running regularly, and I felt healthy. So why did I decide to sign up for the Hourglass Workout? Why? Why? Why?

Let me share 5 of the reasons that led me to this decision.

1. It was recommended by friends: Over Christmas, two of my Toronto friends (Hi KS and SM!) raved about Lyzabeth Lopez’s Hourglass Workout program that they had been doing for the last few months. “The workouts are fun, challenging, and different,” they said. I applauded their efforts and commitment, of course, but didn’t think too much of it at the time.

hourglass-workout-int-logo

2. It was meant to be: Last week, I got a text from one of said friends (Thanks, KS. Look what you’ve started.) with news that Hourglass was opening a Waterloo location. A day or so later, I randomly ran into the Waterloo instructor, Iman, at the café, and had a really great initial chat about Hourglass and its expansion to Waterloo. Random, I tell you! If this wasn’t a sign, what is?

3. It’s convenient: I am a fan of convenience, and once I did a bit of research on the classes, their times, and the location, I determined that the options were convenient for my lifestyle.

4. Hourglass supports bloggers: In addition to some common interests like growing up in Toronto and what we like about Waterloo, Iman and I connected over our interest in blogs. I love it when people appreciate bloggers’ work*.

5. It’s a new addition to Waterloo: I’m always keen on supporting local businesses in the Waterloo region. This region has hooked me in, and I’m pleased to share news of all that it has to offer. Heck, I even wrote a Design*Sponge city guide about Waterloo, remember? As such, I’m happy to share news of Hourglass’s launch in our region. (By the way, Hourglass’s grand opening in Waterloo is on Sunday, February 7th in case you’re local and you’d like to attend the event.)

Hourglass-Workout-1

Hourglass Waterloo classes begin on February 1st, so sign up here if you’re interested. Hourglass is currently offering 25% off, so it’s a great time to register.

The workouts look interesting – and tough – but I have no doubt that Waterloo’s instructor, Iman, will motivate me to put in my best effort. She’s recommended that I attend 3 classes per week, but given my hectic life, I’m going to definitely commit to 2 classes, but I’ll try really hard to attend class 3. I’ll be sharing a few updates about my Hourglass Workout journey over the next few weeks, so I hope you’ll come back and check on my progress**! Wish me luck – I start next week!

*Thanks to Iman and Hourglass Workout for offering a discount on my membership. All opinions are my own.
**I’m aiming for general toning and tightening, rather than the Kardashian booty.

Celebration: Make it a Langdon Hall Wedding

So I’m not getting married. And I don’t work for Langdon Hall. But…seeing as I love pretty things, delicious food, flowers, gorgeous interiors, and parties, it seems very fitting that I bring you news of weddings at Langdon Hall. Right? Yes!

Last weekend, I was invited to attend Langdon Hall’s wedding preview day – a day where Langdon Hall dresses up in its best wedding attire, hosts vendors (makeup, music, florals, planners), and brides, grooms, and their families can tour the grounds and book (or confirm) a Langdon Hall wedding.

Or, if you’re like me, you’re a local blogger who can’t seem to stay away from Langdon Hall, so you attend the event and snap a gazillion photos of all the beauty.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-17

This visit was extra special because Langdon Hall’s new event space, the Firshade Room, was finally revealed! This new addition can host parties up to 120 people. I was impressed that the space has the traditional coffered ceilings, traditional furnishings, and walls of windows that make the space bright, modern, and inviting. Well done, LH crew!

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Any good party has a dessert table, am I right? Kitchener’s Cake Box – and owner Yvonne – were showing off some beautiful creations. The sugar flowers really caught my attention, and the cake “dripping” with icing was my favourite. I learned that there are many couples who are very much interested in the chalkboard effect on their cakes. I thought it was interesting how the chalkboard trend is popular in home and cake design.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-2 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-4 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-3 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-14

creations from Cake Box

Chef Jason Bangerter took me on a quick behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art kitchen in this building (still a bit of a construction zone – I wore a hard hat). The kitchen is done in stainless and white Corian, and the industrial stoves, fridges, and ovens are mighty fine! Chef has big plans for this kitchen, and I’m definitely looking forward to following along.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-12 GE appliances will be working hard in hereWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-10

I lost count of how many burners and ovens were in this kitchen

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a brand new kitchen (still covered in packaging!)

Chef and his team were serving up several delicious nibbles, including mini croque madame, beet-dipped quail eggs, and cucumber soaked in rose water and topped with powdered raspberry.

Chef-Jason-Bangerter-Langdon Hall

Chef Bangerter serving up his creations

Beyond the new Firshade event space, other areas of Langdon were decked out for the day. The Orchard Room was bright and inviting with florals created by Tina of Living Fresh.

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guests can be spoiled by gorgeous views and fresh florals in The Orchard RoomWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-19

a special table set-up for the happy coupleWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-20

Tina and Katrina of Living FreshWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-21

me and Tina (loving our black and white)White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-22

delicate calligraphy on the prettiest paper by All Things Lovely Paper Co.White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-23

the makeup artist’s tools – makeup application can be arranged for bridal parties via  Langdon Hall’s Spa Services

Vendors were set up in other rooms around the property, and I was drawn into so many of the florals! I appreciate floral design so much!White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-24

by The Event Firm

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by Inspire Event Rental and Design

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by The White Book

Inside the main house, two rooms were done up beautifully by Elaine of From the Potting Shed in Cambridge. Elaine is the house florist for Langdon Hall, and I very much enjoyed chatting with her about flowers, Paris, food, and the parts we love most about Langdon Hall! I hope to visit her studio soon, so stay tuned.

In Colonel Langdon’s dining room and conservatory, Elaine set up a lush floral garland down the centre of the dining table and had blooms in old-world vessels throughout the room. The conservatory was set up as it might be for a ceremony with chairs and a rose petal-lined aisle.

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ranunculus place settings and a garland (or flower train!) filled with hydrangea and rosesWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-31

Elaine and Chef JasonWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-32

picture perfect floralsWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-33

The Conservatory – all florals by From The Potting Shed

Elaine also worked on the decor in the Red Room and conservatory, and while the space is much too colourful for White Cabana, it was stunning and made quite the impression. You can see Elaine’s creations in this Instagram photo and this one, too.

So much gorgeousness, right? It was so nice to wander through the rooms, see the decor, and enjoy the new event space. On top of all this goodness, it was a pleasure to meet Langdon Hall’s elegant owner, Mary Beaton. One of the things that I really enjoy about Langdon Hall is that it’s absolutely normal for the owner and the head chef to be mingling with their guests. On top of this, the staff I have met on my various visits are friendly. I am impressed when I am greeted by name, and I enjoy learning about each staff person’s role at Langdon Hall.

If you are planning a wedding – or a party – Langdon Hall might be one to consider (and book!). Its weddings have been featured on Style Me Pretty here and here and here.

Thanks to the Langdon Hall team for extending a warm welcome to me!

Photos by me.

Marketplace: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

This Valentine’s Day, I’m thinking hearts, hearts, and more hearts are the way to go. I’ve never been a major Valentine’s Day fan as I think love – and hearts – should be spread around generously throughout the year, so considering this, I think it’s as good a time as any to share some lovely items here (yes, even though we haven’t even yet entered February).

tictactoe_bw_imgJonathan Adler tic tac toe set, $98

modern-neon-letter-heart-a-jonathan-adlerJonathan Adler neon heart lamp, $95

vase-golden-heart-pep-reverterSister Clara vase special edition golden heart, designed by Pepa Reverter, $410, 1st Dibs

heart-slippers-Chapters-Indigofaux suede slippers, $40

cucinapro-heart-shaped-waffle-makerCucinaPro heart waffle maker, $58

bkr-heart-water-bottlebkr water bottle, $49.95

heart-coffee-tableheart coffee table, $2300, 1st Dibs

family-timeline-heart-Mintedfamily time line by Aubrey Bonneau, from $24, Minted

il_570xN.737812475_kldmheart pillow cover, $43, Etsy

Charmajesty-pj-setpjs, $185, Charmajesty (oh, how I love this set!)

hdc0080_color.whtcl_view.1fractured heart marble, $795, Kelly Wearstler

Okay, okay, for all you diamond lovers out there, here’s one exceptional piece to end this post:

diamond-heart-necklace-10-carat10.14 carat heart shaped diamond pendant, $785,000, 1st Dibs

Sponsor Love 2015 Edition

The year started off so incredibly well with regards to sponsorship and brand collaborations for me and my blog. I’m so grateful for all the goodness that has come my way in 2015, and I am very much looking forward to a fruitful 2016.

Over the past 12 months, I was able to connect with many well-respected brands that have impressive histories and are forward-thinking. Would you care to walk with me down sponsor memory lane? Please, let’s!

four-points-sheraton-kingstonFour Points by Sheraton Kingston (post)

posterjack-logoPosterjack (post, post)

logo-altTimbuk2 (post)

Land-of-Nod-logoLand of Nod (post, post)

Scandinave-Spa-LogoScandinave Spa (post)

Minted-logoMinted (post, post, post, IG post, IG post)

Langdon-Hall-logoLangdon Hall (post, post)

TomTom-logoTomTom (post, post, post, IG post)

TYR-logoTYR (post)

Stratford-Festival-logoStratford Festival (post)

LLBean-logoL.L. Bean (post)

Centre-in-the-Square-logoCentre in the Square (post)

KW-Symphony-LogoKW Symphony (post)

Happy New Year, dear sponsors!

Event: What’s Happening These Days in Kitchener-Waterloo

Anytime is a good time to visit (or move to!) the Waterloo region (see my Design*Sponge Waterloo city guide here), but Christmas time is especially charming. The streets and stores are decorated, and it seems to me that the people around town are happier than their usually happy selves.

Here is some of what is going on in the next few weeks in the region. If you know of any other events, please add them in the comments!

What: Tree trimming party
Where: Langdon Hall
When: Nov. 25th (tonight!)
Cost: Bring an ornament for the tree at Langdon Hall, then enjoy a drink and music. Learn more about Langdon Hall’s tree trimming event here.

Printphoto

What: Christkindl Market – At this traditionally German market in downtown Kitchener, you’ll find wooden German ornaments, delicious treats, and plenty of Glühwein.
Where: Downtown Kitchener – City Hall
When: The market is on from December 3rd to 6th.
Cost: free to attend

Christkindl-photophoto

What: The Grand Philharmonic Choir’s performance of Handel’s Messiah
When: Dec. 12th, 7:30pm
Where: Centre in the Square
Cost: regular tickets $24-$74, tickets can be purchased here

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What: The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s Yuletide Spectacular
When: Dec. 18-20, various performances
Where: Centre in the Square
Cost: regular tickets $19 and up, tickets can be purchased here

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What: Christmas at Castle Kilbride – Marvel at the gorgeous Victorian decor at Castle Kilbride. Go for a tour or enjoy an apple cider and entertainment at a Merry Victorian Christmas
When: now until Jan. 3
Where: Castle Kilbride – Baden, Ontario
Cost: tours – adults $6.50 (see more here)

D8E_5398photo

Design: Jaipur Rugs at HPMKT

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, two showrooms really stood out to me during my first visit to High Point: Visual Comfort & Co. and Jaipur. I already shared my experience at Visual Comfort and my meeting with Aerin Lauder. Today, I’m bringing you news from Jaipur Rugs.

One of the reasons that we put Jaipur on our must-see list was because of its newly released Kate Spade collection of rugs, throws, and pillows. What I wasn’t expecting was to be impressed by everything beyond the Kate Spade items. I was! It was an absolutely beautiful showroom, and there were so many items I wanted to lug home! Here, have a look:

White-Cabana-Jaipur_Rugs-2 White-Cabana-Jaipur_Rugs-3 White-Cabana-Jaipur_Rugs-1 White-Cabana-Jaipur_Rugs-4And from Jaipur’s website, here are some of the poufs, pillows, and rugs that I think would look great in so many spaces:

MLF04pouf – MLF04

FOA02pouf – FOA02

UNK03pouf – UNK03

YKN08pillow – YKN08

YKN20pillow – YKN20

NGP34pillow – NGP34

AKN10Astor by Kate Spade – AKN10

ATO02Aston – ATO02

CT82City – CT82

FKN04Flat Iron – Kate Spade – FKN04

GKN20Gramercy – Kate Spade – GKN20

Gorgeous, right? I’m sure you can now see why Jaipur really captured my attention at High Point.

Design: Aerin Lauder & Visual Comfort at HPMKT

Okay, okay, so today’s title doesn’t really leave you guessing about my design-star-struck moment, does it? Yes, it’s true, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Aerin Lauder at the Visual Comfort & Co. showroom at High Point Market just a couple of weeks ago.

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_7White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_1White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_2Aerin & me

It was a complete treat to meet Aerin and to take photos of her with her gorgeous lighting designs serving as the backdrop.

Her collection of varied pieces is really quite stunning. I love the sleekness of the Clemente line, the sparkle in the Bonnington and Lynn pieces, and the texture on the Hampton lights. I feel like there is something for everyone in this collection (and I’m not just saying that because I met Aerin and her PR team!).

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_6featuring Bonnington wall sconce

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_12featuring Paix table lamp, Clemente table lamp, Charlton lights

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_9 White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_10featuring Trieste table lamp, Iveala single sconce, O’Connor pendant

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_13featuring the Lilian table lamp

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_11featuring the Montreuil chandelier and sconces

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_5 White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_3the Hampton collection White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_4Aerin Lauder

White-Cabana-Aerin-Lauder_Visual Comfort_HPMKT_8The collection is full of so many pretty pieces, isn’t it? You can click Aerin Lauder lighting collection to see all the pieces currently available.

Design: Visual Comfort Lighting at HPMKT

I’m back today with another update from my first High Point Market experience. I already shared my overall impression of HPMKT and my prediction of trends, but today I’m sharing a close-up look at one company in particular that really came to impress!

As soon as I stepped into the Visual Comfort & Co. showroom, I was pretty much speechless. The staff was extremely welcoming and informative, and I instantly learned so much about Visual Comfort’s place in the lighting industry and its many designer partnerships. Based in Houston, Texas, Visual Comfort manufactures lighting for the likes of Thomas O’Brien, Kelly Wearstler, Aerin Lauder, Alexa Hampton, and Suzanne Kasler (impressive list, right? See the full list of designers here.).

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-1Visual Comfort & Co. showroom entrance at High Point Market

Here’s some of what caught my eye (warning, beautiful forms lie ahead):

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-2E.F. Chapman

White-Cabana-Visual-Comfort-EF-ChapmanE. F. Chapman

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-6Thomas O’Brien

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-4Kate Spade

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-3Kate Spade

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-7Aerin Lauder

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-5Aerin Lauder

Visual-Comfort-White-Cabana-HPMKT-8Suzanne Kasler

Gorgeous, right? Every piece was even more beautiful in person if you can believe it. The showroom sparkled!

And…for your entertainment…here’s how I spent much of my time at Visual Comfort:

White-Cabana-HPMKT-1Action shot! Thanks, Corie, for snapping this one.

Come back tomorrow as I’ll be sharing my design-star-struck moment.

Photos by Jordana.

Event: High Point Market in North Carolina

My apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days. I didn’t mean to step away from my blog, but life has been hectic, and I couldn’t find even a minute to write. I have loads to share, but I’m not quite sure how quickly my news will come. My week is absolutely hectic (MBA life and work life are completely overwhelming this week!), but I’ll do my best to keep on writing!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending High Point Market in North Carolina. Oh man, was it ever interesting! I was only there for one day, so there was absolutely no way to see everything. That said, I had a fully productive High Point adventure, and I’m happy to share my recap with you.

I found High Point Market to be a very well-run operation. Getting to Market was completely effortless as was the parking and shuttle situation (side note: my TomTom came in handy once again and I discovered even more features that I like). After we parked our car in the free parking lot organized by the market, my sister and I hopped on the shuttle trolley which took us directly to the centre of Market. Effort-less.

I have quite a bit to share, but for this post, I’ll begin with what I discovered as I walked through the showrooms at the International Home Furnishings Center.

The furniture and accessories at Noir were cool, modern, and had a rock-n-roll vibe. Some of the accessories reminded me of Kelly Wearstler designs. I was smitten with the bookshelves and some of the side tables.

White-Cabana-HPMKT-Noir-4 White-Cabana-HPMKT-Noir-5 White-Cabana-HPMKT-Noir-2 White-Cabana-HPMKT-Noir-3 White-Cabana-HPMKT-Noir-1Selamat was chock-full of bamboo pieces, and the quality of the metal bamboo pieces really surprised me.

White-Cabana-HPMKT-1 White-Cabana-HPMKT-2I wanted just about everything at Europe2You. As soon as I stepped in the showroom, I felt like I had traveled to France. The displays and styling were absolutely gorgeous, and the showroom staff was friendly. In this showroom, I was drawn to a lot of the art installations. I think the cameos (see photo below) are especially interesting and unique.

White-Cabana-HPMKT-Europe2You-2 White-Cabana-HPMKT-Europe2You-1 White-Cabana-HPMKT-Europe2You-3Speaking of all things French, Eloquence had a bed and a daybed that I adore! (and I realized only recently that I already featured the bed here). It was such a pretty and feminine space.

White-Cabana-HPMKT-Eloquence-2White-Cabana-HPMKT-Eloquence-1The acrylic pieces at B. Pila Design were unexpected, unusual, and definitely hip. They were unlike anything else I saw in my short time at the market.

White-Cabana-B Pila Design-High Point MarketFinally, Currey & Co. was full of so many beautiful items. Their selection of lighting fixtures was sort of overwhelming, but I was drawn to all the pieces that had shells on them. I think I need a beach house. As an added bonus, Currey & Co. generously offered food, so we were able to enjoy delicious bread pudding (among other things) while we were browsing the showroom goodies.White-Cabana-Currey and Co-High Point Market-4 White-Cabana-Currey and Co-High Point Market-5 White-Cabana-Currey and Co-High Point Market-2 White-Cabana-Currey and Co-High Point Market-1 White-Cabana-Currey and Co-High Point Market-3

As you can observe, High Point Market includes items from across the design spectrum. Traditional, French, delicate, modern, rock and roll, refined, quirky…there was something for everyone!

To wrap-up today’s High Point post, I thought I’d share six trends that I spotted at High Point Market (regardless of the design focus). They are:
1. books without covers on them
2. navy
3. gold
4. shells (including oyster shells) on mirrors, furniture, lighting, etc.
5. bamboo
6. acrylic

Later this week (I hope!), I’ll share news about Visual Comfort & Co. and Jaipur, which ended up becoming my two favourite stops on my High Point tour.

Note: High Point Market takes place twice each year. The spring market is scheduled for April 16-20, 2016. Will you attend?

Photos by me.

Event: High Point Market

In just a few days, I’ll be joining crowds of other design enthusiasts at High Point Market in North Carolina. I’m pumped! I’m excited to see what’s up-and-coming in the design industry, and I’m hoping to be amazed by cool pieces of furniture and textiles. For anyone writing about, talking about, or dreaming about design, this is the market to attend.

In preparation for the trip, I’ve read these handy High Point Market tips-and-insights articles (avoid being overwhelmed by the scale of the market; map out secret places to eat), and I’ve browsed the list of exhibitors. I’m also keen to follow #designbloggerstour, which is a hashtag that a group of design bloggers will use as they explore the market. I also found this Rue article to be quite useful as well. Can you tell I like to research?

High-Point-Market-1image via High Point Market

High-Point-Market-2images via High Point Market

09-25-15-Sponsor-High-Point-MainSliderimage via Rue

High Point Market has just about 12 million square feet of space to shop. 12 million! This boggles my mind. (Note to self: wear comfortable shoes.)

I’ll be sharing my High Point Market highlights on Instagram and Twitter as quickly as I possibly can. I’ll also be sure to share my experiences right here in a few weeks.

In the meantime, if you’ve been to the Market, please do share your advice!

Waterloo: KW Symphony at the Centre in the Square

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend one of Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s Beethoven concert at the Centre in the Square, and I’m pretty excited to share my experience with you. This was the first time I had ever been to a symphony. I have been to the ballet, I go to random concerts, and I’m a regular theatre goer, but the symphony…I was a total newbie! Was it ever good!

The Beethoven concert that I attended was the first of a three-part Beethoven marathon. It covered his piano concerto no. 1 in C major and no. 4 in G major. The second and third shows, which occurred on the Saturday, covered additional concertos. Full disclosure – I don’t really know much about Beethoven or his concertos…even though it may have just sounded like I do!

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-1

The evening started off beautifully with an appearance by the Grand Philharmonic Choir. With them leading (and taking centre stage), we all sang O Canada. From there, the Symphony’s conductor, Edwin Outwater, welcomed everyone, and began the concert. Obviously, I couldn’t take pictures during the performance (obviously), the photos I’m sharing here are pre- and post-concert. They should give you an idea of the orchestra’s organization and presence on stage.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-2I am convinced that pianist Stewart Goodyear has magic fingers. Watching him play (via a close-up video streaming on a screen) was incredible. He was completely poised, played without any sheet music, and really seemed to love every moment of the concert. I really enjoy watching people who are so passionate about their art.

I have always appreciated the arts, but watching this talented team of musicians work together so seamlessly was pretty amazing. I know actors do it on stage, but this seemed like a completely different approach to team work, you know? Alone, noone could have achieved what was created as the whole.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-11Version 2I enjoyed the concert for more than just the music. The traditions and routines of the performance also caught my attention. The fact that the musicians wore black made their wood instruments really stand out. The pianist, wearing tails, artfully took his place at the piano on a black tufted bench. The conductor graciously thanked his orchestra for the performance and made certain that they shone throughout the evening.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-10the view from my seat – amazing!

Now, as Waterloo region is a major tech hub, we were treated to yet another something special. A while ago, the region hosted a 36-hour hack-a-thon in collaboration with the KW Symphony. Hackers came together and worked with the musicians and the space to create new experiences. The winners of the hack-a-thon were Adam Fancey and Justin Safa who developed Fractal Orchestra. Essentially, they recorded the performance and ran it through a too-complicated-for-me-to-figure-out program which created algorithms-or-something-equally-complicated that then led to pretty images. Pretty images – very cool. I know I’m not doing justice to their complicated work, so if you’re interested in the details, I’d encourage you to visit their new website. Here’s a look at some of their creations:

Fractal-Orchestra-1 Fractal-Orchestra-2images via Fractal Orchestra

I know the images aren’t as clear here as they are in real life, so I’d encourage you to learn more here. They really are interesting pieces of modern art.

Now, on to my initial thoughts of the venue. This was my first time attending a show at the Centre in the Square, and I was pretty impressed by the architecture and decor. The stage was wonderfully lit, the wooden seats were modern and well-maintained. The reception areas outside of the concert hall surprised me, too. They were full of over-sized loung-y grey casual sofas and sleek gold side tables. The audience definitely made use of these spaces pre- and post-concert as well as during intermission. It was really good to see the large space filled with excited audience members.

The lighting was also something to note. Totally modern! Completely hip! Who knew? Kitchener-Waterloo continues to surprise me with its approach to design and architecture. I feel proud to promote this city (read this).

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-5White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-6White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-8  White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-7  White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-9 White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-3At some points throughout the concert, I caught myself thinking about how great it is to live in Kitchener-Waterloo. Attending the symphony at the Centre in the Square was easy, convenient, and approachable. I’m curious about whether or not my Waterloo region readers have had similarly positive experiences. Do tell!

Many thanks to Kari at the KW Symphony for generously arranging my visit. Learn more about the events being held at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square.

Travel: A Day in Stratford, Ontario

A couple of weeks ago, I took a day trip to Stratford, Ontario. The drive is about 45 minutes from Waterloo, and it’s an extremely easy and pleasant ride along one road (basically). As has become the norm, my TomTom came along for the ride and proved to be very useful especially for navigating the streets of Stratford. I’ve only been to the city a couple of times, so I’m still not familiar with the roads.

The main purpose of my visit was to watch Stratford Festival‘s production of The Sound of Music (How do you solve a problem like Maria?), so that’s where my afternoon began. I found free parking along the lake (such a bonus!), and walked over to the beautiful Festival Theatre. The architecture of this place always interests me. The pointed rooftop, the pretty front rose garden, and the round stage (it’s open on three sides which makes viewing from all angles a pleasure) make this place stand out.

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The Sound of Music was a highly entertaining show, and since I was lucky enough to get centre seats about 10 rows from the stage, I felt completely spoiled!. I watch the Sound of Music once a year (it’s always on around Christmas, isn’t it), so I was quite excited about seeing a live performance (I am 16, going on 17…). I was itching to sing along to every song, but I resisted.

White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontario-7White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontario-8White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontarioi_17

Stephanie Rothenberg was stellar as Maria, and the cast of von Trapp children were absolutely unbelievable. Beyond the impressive acting and singing, the choreography was fun, and the stage and set design were cleverly put to use. It amazed me to see so much variety and action on a relatively small stage (These are a few of my favourite things…). Pre-performance, I was curious about the whole curtains-into-clothing transformation, and the play got it spot on (Do-Re-Me)! I loved watching the set transform (simply and seemingly effortlessly) with each scene. That’s part of the fun of live theatre, isn’t it?

2015playbill_SOM_089_recsm 2015playbill_SOM_182_recsmphotos via Stratford Festival

There’s plenty to see at the Stratford Festival, so there really is something for everyone (festival shows and schedule here). I’ve heard good things about The Alchemist and the Taming of the Shrew. Shows run into the fall, so there’s really no excuse to not plan a visit!

A matinee worked beautifully for my Saturday schedule. Post-theatre, I was able to walk around town, pop into some shops, and stroll lazily about before dinner. I’ll show you a bit about how I spent the rest of my day, if you’d like to see…

Balzac’s is a beautiful coffee shop in a charming building with detailed ceilings and lovely lighting. It also serves up some delicious coffee! Imagine that! I love it when places get decor and food right. The Stratford location was Balzac’s first, but it is also has opened up locations in Toronto, Guelph, Kitchener, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Collectable posters represent each location.

White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontario-5White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontario-6Bradshaws has just about every kitchen item you’d ever want. After touching just about every cool kitchen gadget, I got stuck staring into the case of Alessi items. Oh, and I also found a lot of pretty white things…

White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontario-12The Artful Badger is a well-designed men’s barbershop-beauty store shop devoted to “classic shaving goods and other affordable luxuries for the modern gentleman” (I’m obviously not as eloquent in my description as The Artful Badger website!). The store carries face care and beard care items from the UK and United States along with stylish scarves and umbrellas. This is the perfect store to visit pre- and post-Movember. This gentleman’s store is unlike anything I have seen in Kitchener-Waterloo, and I absolutely loved how all the products were neatly displayed. White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontarioi_16 White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontarioi_14 White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontarioi_13Rhéo Thompson makes an extremely delicious chocolate mint smoothie chocolate. If you’re in Stratford, you must go pick up a box of these gems! They’re unlike any chocolate I’ve had, and on my next visit to the city, I’d really like to go on one of their tours. Chocolate…who can resist?

White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontario-3After a tour of shopping, it was time for dinner. I feel very loyal to Pazzo (Taverna and Pizzeria) as I’ve always had great service and excellent meals (at both restaurants; Pazzo Taverna is upstairs, the Pizzeria is downstairs). If you go during the theatre season, I’d recommend that you make a reservation in advance. On this visit, I dined at the Pizzeria, and I was once again impressed. Service was spot-on, and my meal was delicious (mushroom toasts, margherita pizza, Pimm’s Cup, wine, espresso…all very tasty with fresh ingredients). (side note: Pazzo means crazy in Italian).

White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontarioi_15And there you have it…a bit of a tour of Stratford, Ontario! I just have one more photo to share with you before I let you go enjoy your day…

White-Cabana-Stratford-Ontario-1I spotted this white brick wall and knew it would make a good backdrop for a jump (dress and jump last seen here).

Do let me know if you go for a visit! I’d love some more recommendations for my next trip, too!

Thanks to Ann and Amy from the Stratford Festival for helping to arrange my visit.

Marketplace: Elora Antique Show

It’s not very often that I hop in my car and drive somewhere other than Toronto. This past Saturday, however, I took a 25 minute drive over to Elora. I have only been to Elora once last summer, so I was happy to make a return visit. The drive through the countryside from Waterloo is easy and enjoyable, especially when the springtime sun is shining. The reason for my trip this weekend was the Elora Antique Show. I wasn’t on the hunt for anything (besides a gorgeous French bed, which are impossible to find!), but I was interested to see what the dealers had in store.

There must have been about 50 or 60 dealers carrying things like: sparkly jewels, vintage dolls, woolen blankets, wood dressers, Pyrex, silver serving pieces, blue and white, cloisonné, quilts, books, and paper goods. There were a couple of mid-century dealers that caught my attention, and there was a gorgeous booth full of glassware. If I had an endless supply of money and space, I would have scooped up a few cake stands, pieces of milk glass, and silver bowls. There were a lot of pretty pieces!

Here are a few photos from the show:

Elora-Antiques-2 Elora-Antiques-1 Elora-Antiques-3 Elora-Antiques-4I also spotted some gorgeous cloisonné (I’m seeing more of it recently), classic teacups, and this pretty green dinnerware collection (someone help me out – what is this style called?).

The next Antique Shows Canada event will be in Orillia on Sunday, July 26th. Are you planning on going?

Celebration: Wedding Planning

My cousin and soon to be cousin-in-law are in the middle of planning their summer wedding. I love hearing about their plans, and I’m certainly looking forward to celebrating with them at a fun party. Today I’m taking a moment to share some wedding-friendly items from around the marketplace.

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Wedding Belles license plate clutch, $398, Kate Spade

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Sugar Paper letterpress card, $8

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Just Married window cling, $18, Kate Spade

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Amore dish, $14, BHLDN

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eyelet chair banners, $68, BHLDN

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ring holder, Paloma’s Nest

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Minimergency kit for grooms, $16, Pinch Provisions

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Mr. & Mrs. Pillowcase set

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Mr. & Mrs. wedding forks

The Friday Five: Tablescapes

Christmas and New Year’s seem like they were ages ago, don’t they? We’ve then had Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day is in just a few days. It seems as though as soon as one major holiday is over, another one is around the corner. Whether or not you celebrate all of these holidays, I don’t think that the celebrations should be on hold for special holiday days. Enjoying cocktails, dinner parties, or brunch with family and friends is an excellent way to reenergize and toast everyone’s successes! A beautiful table setting – for small and large gatherings – provides a warm welcome for your guests, and is a lovely preview for a delicious meal!

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via Style Me Pretty

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via Oui Oui Oui Studio

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via Style Me Pretty

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via Weddingomania

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via A Low Country Wedding

The Friday Five: Things I Learned in February

Following my end of January post called Things I Learned This Week, I thought it would be appropriate to end this week by sharing five things I learned this month.

1. February is a month that really just whizzes by in a flash. I never really paid too much attention to this before, but this month was really just a complete blur. I was sick for almost three weeks of it, but other than that, I have barely a recollection of what I did! I hate feeling like this.

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via Me and My DIY

2. The Waterloo Public Library in uptown Waterloo is awesome. I love libraries and I think we should continue to show them our support. Right? Who’s with me?

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3. I love doing the Saturday Toronto Star crossword when I’m at my parents’ house. I can actually do it (or most of it)! I don’t actually get the newspaper at my own home, but it’s one of the first pages I turn to when I see the Star sitting on my parents’ kitchen table. I liked this one especially since the clue for 67 down was “Ontario city”, and the answer was “Waterloo”. Do you see it in the photo?

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4. Showering my cousin’s baby with well wishes on this sweet display made me happy.

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5. I had a great time at The Home Depot spring preview event earlier this week. I can’t wait to BBQ and start planting in a few months. The HD has quite a few new BBQs in stock, so I encourage you to check them out if you’re in the market for one. Here I am pretending to water some herbs in a space designed by Tim:

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While the month went by in a flash, and it was generally decent (from what I remember), I’m glad it’s coming to an end because I cannot wait to ditch my winter coat and enjoy a warm spring.

The Friday Five: #HappiMess with Delta Faucet Canada

My life this fall has been slightly chaotic. Sometimes I do wonder why I decide to take on so much work and extracurricular and blogging activities. Why, oh why, do I do this to myself? Then I realize that I have so much fun doing what it is that I do that I have no reason to complain about my sometimes-overly-packed days. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I headed to Toronto to join the very colourful Tiffany Pratt and about 20 other bloggers and influencers to create a #HappiMess sponsored by Delta Faucet Canada. Here’s my recap in five points…

1. Delta Faucet Canada welcomed us into a very white event space at Andrew Richard Designs. The long white table was all set with artsy materials.

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2. Tiffany encouraged us to create and paint and sparkle up a unique clutch. I was totally frozen when I saw the palette of colourful paints. Luckily, the Tiffany and the PR crew had a spare tube of black paint, and I put it to very good use. I definitely felt more at ease once the black paint made an appearance! (Thanks, team!)

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That’s my clutch! (It sparkles more in real life!)

4. We mingled and laughed and played with paint. And then washed our hands…obviously. Here I am washing up (and pretending to be a hand model):

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 great faucet, right?

3. We nibbled on delicious eats by the Food Dudes and talked about Delta’s collection.

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5. In addition to the painting, the clutches, the food, the drinks, and the Skittles, we filled our Instagram and Twitter feeds with photos of lovely flowers from Blush and Bloom.

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It was a very fun evening, and completely different from my day-to-day university life. Kudos to Tiffany and Delta for bringing out our creative sides (and for showing us how magical sparkles can be!).

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Do let me know if you make a #HappiMess over the next couple of days!

Photo credit: Koko Photography

Announcement: Glenn Dixon Home by Korhani Home Giveaway Winner

As you may recall, last week I hosted an amazing giveaway sponsored by Glenn Dixon Home by Korhani Home and Caviar20.

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Korhani Home

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Canadian designer Glenn Dixon

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Today, I get to announce the winner! But before I do, let’s do a bit of a review, shall we?

Glenn Dixon’s designs for Korhani Home are inspired by nature, and this white marble carpet is an example of nature at its best. Just look at how marble is harvested (via Jennifer). Here’s the marble rug (the Stonefield) in place at Art Toronto’s VIP Lounge last week:

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GlennDixonHome by KorhaniHomephotos via Caviar20 and Korhani Home

Finally, the winner of the Glenn Dixon Home by Korhani Home is:

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 8.09.19 PMLucky number 54…aka Kristen…who left a comment and a tweet!

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Kristen thought that Caviar20’s Hans Wegner Cigar Chair and the Harold Town “Toy Horse #54” 1978 print would pair nicely with the rug. I think it’s pretty cool that the print is labelled #54 and Kristen’s entry number was 54. Wild!

Congratulations, Kristen! Look for an email in your inbox soon!

Thanks to Caviar20, Korhani Home, and Glenn Dixon Home by Korhani Home. Thanks especially to Troy and Andrea.

Blog Spotlight: Behind the Blog Tour

I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled “Friday Five” series today because I am thrilled to be part of a “Behind the Blog” tour that Sabrina (Hands and Hustle) has organized this week. You may have seen other bloggers’ day-in-the-life contributions earlier in the week, and today Vanessa and I are ending the week with our behind-the-scenes look into our lives as bloggers.

Ready? Okay. Let’s go.

1. What time do you wake up and what’s a typical breakfast?

I wake up to my alarm clock at about 6:15am every weekday. I eat just about the same thing every day: toast with my parents’ homemade jam, berries or a fruit of some sort (I love fruit), a glass of water, and a latte.

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On the weekends, I often have a pain au chocolat from Golden Hearth Bakery after I’m done my grocery shopping at the Kitchener market. I also love making waffles (I use a recipe from Gourmet). Yum. I do love weekend breakfasts!

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2. Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do? How do you find the balance between blogging and work? What are the pros and cons? If blogging is your full-time gig, explain how that came to be.

I sometimes tell people that blogging is my full-time job and being a professor is my part-time gig. In reality, it’s the other way around. I finished my PhD in Education last year (focused on language learning and teaching), and I currently teach academic writing at university. My students call me Doctor, but my blogging friends know me as the gal who is obsessed with white. My two worlds rarely collide, although I’m increasingly trying to make small connections between them.

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Balancing blogging and work can definitely be a challenge. Giulia and I actually presented a session at BlogPodium 2013 about balancing a day job and a successful job. I’m not an expert, and I usually take on more than I should, but I also really love my down-time, so I make sure I have a good chunk of it in my weeks!

I treat my blog as a part-time job…a really fun, interesting, engaging, and rewarding part-time job. I don’t put pressure on myself, and I am content with allowing the blog to evolve organically. I try to remain professional, committed, educated, and approachable in my blogging life, just as I approach my academic work.

3. Where did you grow up (what city/town, do you have siblings, can you share any stories about your upbringing)? Where do you currently reside?

I was born in Toronto, but I spent the first five years of my life in Saudi Arabia (I know it’s a bit random). When I was five, my family moved back to Toronto. I have lived in Toronto, Kingston, London, and Waterloo (all in Ontario, btw), and I have spent quite a bit of time in France and Switzerland. I currently live in Waterloo, Ontario, and I really do love living here. I used to think I was a big-city girl, but I’m not really. I completely appreciate the ease of small-towns, and the people in Waterloo are so kind.

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via Atmosphere

Some readers may already know that I have one older sister, Corie, who recently moved with her family from Manhattan to North Carolina. Many of our FaceTime conversations revolve around design trends, blog news, or our upcoming travel plans. I am certainly looking forward to spending time with the team soon.

4. Outline your average, typical day.

Typical? I’m not sure I have any really typical days, but I guess my weekdays generally go something like this:
– wake up early
– shower, get dressed

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– eat breakfast, make lunch
– check in on Twitter and Instagram
– update/check White Cabana, read a blog or two, respond to a few emails
– walk to work, call family members for updates
– work all day (with a quick break for lunch at noonish)
– walk home from work (I love my walking commute!)
– make dinner, eat dinner
– do a blog/social media check/update, read my mail (hopefully a magazine, too)

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– go to class (my MBA classes began in September) or do errands or hang out with friends or do homework or blog
– check in with friends/family via texts/social media/email/phone calls
– read blogs or a book
– fall asleep

While I do respond to blog-related emails and reader comments throughout the week, I spend weekend days drafting upcoming posts. Because my day job can be pretty hectic, I prefer to keep my blogging work flexible. I don’t use an editorial calendar, for example, because I don’t want to over-schedule my life.

5. What’s your dream job/career? How are you working towards that?

When I was young, my dream job was to be an architect. That didn’t work out. I think I didn’t actually know what path I needed to take to achieve this goal.

Then I thought computer science was for me. Although I began my undergraduate degree with a major in computer science, I realized that this wasn’t for me. Although I thought it was totally cool when I managed to make a “worm” move across the computer screen through the coding I had created, my computer science program didn’t seem to promote collaboration, and I felt pretty isolated.

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via Hunting for George

I sort of always knew that teaching was for me. My concurrent education program (I completed my BA and BEd at the same time) was great. I learned a lot and I thought that teaching elementary school would be amazing. It was…until I needed a change.

I headed to grad school…just for a bit of a break, I thought…and after my Master’s degree, I went back to teaching elementary school.

I was a primary school teacher for a year after my Master’s, but I became quite frustrated with teaching. I had so many questions about education, and I didn’t have time to investigate any answers. So, I returned to my happy place…university. Five more years at university and I’m now Dr. Jordana. I (mostly) loved doing my doctoral work. Those five years were hard, rewarding, interesting, engaging, and fascinating. I was happy with every project I took on.

Now, I’m doing what I love. Teaching at a university is really rewarding. I learn as much from my students as they do from me, and I really do feel forever young. My work is energizing, interesting, and fun. Working in higher-education is fascinating and the learning never stops.

Speaking of learning, I didn’t stay away from courses for too long after my PhD. I am now pursuing an MBA degree on a part-time basis, and I’m loving it (well, mostly loving it – who knew accounting could be so tough?). I’ve been asked the “How long are you going to be a professional student?” questions so many times. I think my family has finally figured out that they should stop asking.

I’m very happy where I am now in life and work. That said, I probably wouldn’t say no to an academic job in, let’s say, Paris!

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6. What would be your dream dinner-party guest list? Explain why you chose each person.

Oh, man, this is hard and requires much thought! I love meeting people who have diverse interests, so I would want my dinner guests to have diverse work and life experiences. For a celebrity-focused dinner party with people who are dead or alive, I’d like to dine with the following group, and I might ask them the following questions:

Audrey Hepburn: Who is your favourite shopping partner?
Seth Godin: What book do you think everyone must read?
Martha Stewart (this would be risky; she would certainly judge my food): What is the one collection you’d never give away?
Sophie Kinsella: What’s in your handbag?
Leonardo DiCaprio – Do you ever sing the Growing Pains theme song?
Gwyneth Paltrow: What’s coming up next? A GOOP store?
JD Salinger: Have you taken a ride on the Central Park merry-go-round?
Audrey Tatou: Would you ever really travel with a gnome?
Kristin Wiig: Who makes you laugh?
Ina Garten: What does Jeffrey cook for you when you’re off cooking duty?
Matt Damon: Do you want to come to my next dinner party?

I’m not so sure how this mix of people would get along in real life, but it would be neat to ask these celebrities some questions.

7. What’s one thing you’d like to start, one thing you’d like to stop, and one thing you’d like to continue?

Start: my basement renovation
Stop: complaining about things not worth complaining about (e.g., vacuuming)
Continue: to make travel plans

8. What’s your current obsession?

Design: I have been obsessed with Alessi for quite a while now.
People: I love spending time with my high-energy nephews and niece (even though they wear me out).
Food: Pizza. I could live on it.
Celebrity news: Prince William & Duchess Kate Middleton.

9. Link to 5 websites/blogs you can’t go a week without.

This is such a hard question for someone like me who reads a lot of blogs! Six of my frequent reads are:

Lark & Linen – Jacquelyn’s photos are beautiful and I love her “Scenes from my Weekend” series on Mondays (which is now going to shift to “Scenes from my Week” because of Jacquelyn’s new design venture).

Rambling Renovators – Jennifer is one hard-working lady, and she’s been a leader for many bloggers. I really look forward to her Friday Love List column.

Atlantic-Pacific – Blair Eadie’s style is top-notch. I want absolutely everything that she wears.

Love Taza – I think I actually have zero things in common with Naomi, but I keep coming back to her blog. I think it’s because I started reading her when my sister and her family were living in Manhattan. They sort of lived parallel lives.

A Beautiful Mess – This blog documents the work of a whole team of talented and artistic people. They live a much more colourful life than me, that’s for darn sure.  I’m mostly interested in the recipes. I’ve tried a few of them and they always work out.

Swiss Miss – Tina always posts something new-to-me and interesting. I really like her aesthetic.

10. Tag and mention 1 blogger who you’d like to partake in this feature.

I would love to know how Erica Cook manages her day. She’s uber-talented and seems so very nice.

***

Interested in learning about other bloggers involved in this Behind the Blog series? Check out the schedule:

Monday, September 29th
Sabrina Smelko – Hands and Hustle
Brittany Stager – My Daily Randomness

Tuesday, September 30th
Brittany – Gallery No. Eight
Kelly – Glitter Diaries

Wednesday, October 1st
The Party Girl
Renee – Renee M. LeBlanc

Thursday, October 2nd
Katie Rose – Wild Rose Buds
Hilary Ramsay – House of Her

Friday, October 3rd
Vanessa Francis
me!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Design: The Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome Designed by Brian Gluckstein

Brian Gluckstein. Damn, he’s good.

This past weekend, Brian Gluckstein and the Princess Margaret Welcome Home Sweepstakes invited a group of bloggers to attend Brunch with Brian at this year’s Oakville Showhome. Our private event included an detailed tour led by Brian, delicious food by Chef Logan, drinks from Pluck Teas and Rosewood Wine, and an amusing Q & A session with the man of the hour.

So, let’s go on a photo tour, shall we?

The foyer and grand staircase in the Oakville showhome is beautiful. It reminds me of entrances I’ve seen in France. I love the iron railing and the massive windows. The light in this foyer – and throughout the house – is enviable.

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front foyer with grand staircase and herringbone porcelain tiles

Just off the foyer is one of my favourite spots in the house (but too dark for White Cabana). Believe it or not, the all-black powder room really caught my attention. Luckily, the dark powder room has natural light coming through, which makes it more moody than dreary. The tile work also reminded me of European homes. (Sorry, I don’t have any photos to post. You’ll have to go to the showhome to see what I’m talking about!)

Just to the left of the foyer is the grand living room. The see-through fireplace that connects the front foyer to the living room is a beautiful addition. It was manufactured in and shipped over from Portugal. Classic shades of cream made this space bright and classy, and the floor-to-ceiling windows are impressive.

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white mantle in the front living room

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the see-through mantle in the front foyer

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bright and white in the living room

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the living room and dining room viewed from the staircase

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Q & A session with Brian Gluckstein

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How many pot lights around the perimeter?

Everyone and their sister is talking about the indoor tree in this showhome. Yes, an actual tree…planted in the ground! I was fascinated by Brian’s explanation about the amount of thought went into this tree; flooring, ventilation, etc. were all considered when Brian designed this room around the tree. I’m such a sucker for offices, as you may know, and this one is stunning.

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a house built around a tree

This house is full of interesting art and gorgeous skylights.

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one of the many beautiful pieces of art

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 one of the many skylights

The kitchen’s toaster wall is completely unique. The collection of toasters from the 1930s turned into a beautiful art installation and feature wall in the reasonably-sized white kitchen.

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toasters – just for looks

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there’s a fridge behind these doors

Of course, the La Cornue stove adds to the beauty in this space. I could make killer scrambled eggs on that gem, I’m sure!

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La Cornue + Pluck Teas

There is more delight upstairs. The master bedroom is big and airy. The white bedding and layers of pillows add luxury to this space, the sofa adds comfort, and the walk-in-closet is, well, pretty much perfect.

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white linens in the master bedroom

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creamy details in the master bedroom

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Who wouldn’t love this closet?

Brian is a wizard when it comes to bathroom design. The tile work in each bathroom in this house (I lost count of how many there actually are…six maybe?) is something to really note. The master bathroom is generously sized and the layout is flipped. Here, the vanity is in front of the windows and the bathtub is floating on the other end. I loved it when Brian talked about the affordable route he took to install the vanity mirrors. Brian and affordability – not the combo you’d really predict, right? Although it looks like the mirrors are framed in steel, they’re actually framed in painted wood. The bars are made of shower rod holders and pipes. That’s where the affordability ended, though. The cast iron Kohler bathtub costs a pretty penny! It’s the same one that Brian has in his own home.

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here I am in the master bathroom

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double vanity surrounded by natural light

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white monogrammed towels in the bathroom

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floating Kohler tub in the master bathroom

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floor tiles in the master bathroom

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my favourite light fixture in the house

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the jack-and-jill bathroom vanity

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here I am in the white jack-and-jill bathroom

Also upstairs is a sweet little office. Brian maximized storage in here with floor-to-ceiling shelves. In fact, this space was originally a hallway, but Brian suggested that the walls be bumped out (and a foot taken from each of the rooms on the other side of the walls) to make it a useable room. The skylight provides loads of natural light. And, yes, I could see myself working in here as well. I’m a sucker for offices, remember?

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a white hallway leading to the office area

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a bright place to work on the second floor

Another one of my favourite spaces in this house is the wine cellar. Just look at it.

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I want one.

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 Brian, the wine cellar, and the exercise room

You can work off the calories you drink in your private exercise room.

The basement family room is darker than I normally like, but I’m wondering if this is something I should consider for my own basement. Would I dare go dark? The white matting on the gallery wall art brightens up the room as does the sofa and the lighting.

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the basement family room (it doesn’t feel like a basement, does it?)

The white and grey laundry room in the basement is spacious and has top of the line machines. The cabinetry, we learned, is from a big box store that was painted and framed with additional moulding.

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laundry room details

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the spacious laundry room in white and grey

Brian was kind enough to take photos with all his blogger fans. Here we are…

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 Brian Gluckstein and Jordana

Other things I learned during #BrunchWithBrian that might interest you:

1. Brian eats the same breakfast every day: yogurt and berries. Brian, I eat the same thing every day, too (toast, berries, and a latte).
2. Brian enjoys Pinterest just like the rest of us!
3. About 60-70K people come through the Oakville showhome each year.
4. Brian can’t imagine a space without art.
5. Brian reads the blog The Blue Remembered Hills.
6. Brian’s design influences include Billy Baldwin, Jean-Michel Frank, Edwin Lutyens, and Kalef Alaton.
7. It took less than a year to buy the Oakville showhome lot, demolish the original house, build a new house, and decorate it.
8. Brian did not shy away from mixing metals in this house.
9. Brian is as classy, approachable, and intelligent as you may imagine.
10. The foyer drapes are 30 feet in length and the trim is made of one continuous piece.

As if you need any more convincing! Order your ticket!

Photos by Jordana. For more photos (really beautiful ones) of the Oakville showhome, click here.

To see the 2013 Oakville showhome design by Brian Gluckstein, click here.
Remember the time I toured the GlucksteinHome design office? That was fun.

Many thanks to Brian Gluckstein, Cheryl K., Laura Z., Chef Logan, Rosewood Wine, Pluck Teas, and the Princess Margaret Lottery Foundation for hosting a classy and fun brunch.

The Friday Five: My Thoughts about BlogPodium 2014

Did you know that it’s actually possible to be tired and energized at the same time? It’s true. This is exactly how I’m currently feeling. I have been pretty worn down this week for all sorts of reasons (full-time job, taking on an additional course, blogging, MBA, trips to Toronto, social events, back-to-school germs, etc.), but I am so full of ideas and energy (in my mind at least) after last weekend’s BlogPodium conference. I have been itching to write this post, but I have spent every ounce of my free time in bed this week trying to get back to feeling normal. Concentrating on computer work has been just a bit too challenging. Anyhoo, enough about me and my bout of sickness. Let’s get to the good stuff…five thoughts about BlogPodium.

1. White Cabana + Inspirations Studio

One of the major highlights for me at this year’s conference was the fact that I had the opportunity to design a collection of pottery. Although the design timeline was tight, I had fun brainstorming ideas, sketching up my designs, and consulting with Victoria at Inspirations Studio. Victoria and her team of women brought my designs to life. Under her guidance, the Inspirations Studio women learned new skills that they can apply to their future projects. The pottery was auctioned off at the conference, and I’m beyond happy that my pieces sold. I managed to squeeze in at the last minute to buy three little bowls, but I will be placing an order for additional items.

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 chatting with Lindsey, a table full of blogger-designed handmade items

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If you’re interested in purchasing any of my designs for yourself (and you live in Toronto or Waterloo), please email me asap (white cabana at gmail dot com). Prices range from $30-$50, and all money goes directly to Inspirations Studio. Ordering anything from my collection will put money directly in the hands of women in need.

Avery Swartz bought the two vases/pitchers, and she set them up on her beautiful white mantle:

Avery-Swartz-fireplace-potteryphoto by Avery Swartz

2. Learning about SEO and Google Analytics

I attended two fabulous sessions in the morning. The first was led by Nicki Lamont and the topic was SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Even though I’ve been blogging for 4+ years, I never give SEO as much thought as I know I should. I’m usually focused on creating content and photos, and I make little (or no) time for the more technical side of blogging. SEO is important and I now have more tools in my toolbox to make SEO work for me and White Cabana.

I learned about bounce rates, keyword searches, and short-term and long-term keywords, meta-tags, alt-tags, etc. If you’re a blogger, I would recommend that you read up these concepts, especially if you aim to grow your blog.

I also learned about a new search engine – DuckDuckGo – that is supposedly going to be even better than Google. Yes?

Nicki was a clear, amusing, and professional speaker, and she obviously has a very relevant skill set. Thanks, Nicki!

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here I am listening attentively during a presentation

The second session I attended was Avery Swartz‘s session about Google Analytics. Avery has a really personable and engaging presentation style, which I completely appreciated. She brought humour into her presentation about tech and stats and analytics settings. Awesome. I followed Avery’s advice when I got home from BlogPodium – I transferred to Universal analytics (do this if you haven’t), refined some of my settings, and I am now feeling much more confident about understanding my Google stats. I know that this information will help me speak with brand partners in the future. I’m now eager to sign up for one of Avery’s CampTech courses (offered in Waterloo, too!).

You can see by my session choices, I was really focused on learning about the more technical side of blogging. One of my current goals (and ongoing goals, I guess) is to increase my technical skill set. I don’t have much time to focus on this side of the blogging world, which is why I think it’s taken me 4 years to get to the point where I can actually use terms like SEO and analytics without sounding like I’m really clueless.

3. Panel Presentation with Jennifer Flores, Scott McGillvray, Monika Hibbs, and Leigh-Ann Allaire

I am generally a fan of panel presentations. You get to hear from several speakers and panels present a variety of points of view within a dedicated time period. I have been attending BlogPodium since it began, and Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault has often moderated the panel presentation. Half the reason why I enjoy the panels is because Leigh-Ann is such a quick-witted, smart, and on-the-ball moderator. She asks intelligent questions, keeps the discussion moving, and always always makes the audience laugh. She didn’t fail us this year. She worked her magic and the panel presentation was informative and entertaining.

This year’s panel was made up of BlogPodium founder Jennifer Flores, Income Property whiz Scott McGillivray, and fashion blogger extraordinaire Monika Hibbs. They have three very different backgrounds, which made for an interesting presentation. Jennifer’s spoke intelligently about the importance of collaboration and networking in blog life, Scott encouraged bloggers to set achievable goals, and Monika generously shared her secrets to gorgeous photography (apps to try: SnapSeed, WhiteaGram, AfterLight, PicTapGo).

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Jennifer, Scott, Monika, Leigh-Ann

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me, Scott, and Sharalee

4. Working with Brands

Fortunately, I have had some really positive experiences working with brands and PR agencies over the last 4 years. In my case, brand collaborations have evolved rather organically and they continue to do so. I do really enjoy learning about people, what they do, their products, and their stories. I think – and I hope – my readers appreciate when I share others’ stories, and draw a personal connection to them.

Brand-Blog-Fit continued to be a theme at this year’s BlogPodium. If you’re a blogger, why should a brand work with you? If you’re a brand, what blog fits your mission? How do you go about making the partnership work for both sides?

I was pleased to see some long-time blog supporters at BlogPodium (e.g., Delta, FirstAlert, UrbanBarn, GlucksteinHome, Chapters-Indigo, Etsy, ParaPaints), and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with newcomers as well (e.g., LinenChest, Metrie). Brands and bloggers are really learning how to work together, how to speak the same language, and how to create mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationships. I have been fascinated by the partnership opportunities, and I’m interested in seeing how these partnerships will evolve.

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cookie jar from Urban Barn

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home decor items from Chapters-Indigo

5. The Venue – Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto.

Oh, the Royal York. It’s a classic. I wanted each and every chandelier.

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Having a beautiful backdrop for BlogPodium is essential. We are design bloggers after all! The food, decor, and service at the Fairmont Royal York was top-notch. I have pretty high expectations of fancy high-end places, and the Royal York did not disappoint.

6. Bonus: Taking Friendships Offline

One of the things that I value most about blogging is the chances I’ve had to meet new people. The Canadian design blogging community is full of people who are hard working, committed, interested, friendly, and dedicated. I have reached out to other bloggers on numerous occasions asking them for advice, and others have reached out to me. Our community is strong and helpful, and I think we should be really proud of the work that we do on and offline. We are a group that is committed to learning, sharing, and engaging with others.

Etsy-Photobooth-BlogPodium-WhiteCabana having fun in the Etsy photobooth with Brittany, Brittany, and Tia

And there you have it – my BlogPodium 2014 update in a few short paragraphs.

Thanks especially to Jennifer and her hard-working team for making BlogPodium another event to remember. You successfully brought a group of 300 friends together for a day of fun and learning! Thanks also to the many sponsors and exhibitors who filled our day with contests, giveaways, and beautiful products.

Photos by Flow Photo and Jordana.

Event: BlogPodium 2014 is this Saturday!

Every year at around this time, design and lifestyle bloggers gather in Toronto for BlogPodium. Led by Jennifer Flores, and organized by a crew of talented people, BlogPodium gives bloggers and brands the opportunity to take their conversations offline. Yes, of course there will be lots of Twittering and Instagraming going on during this Saturday’s BlogPodium, but I know I’m not alone in saying that one of the best things about the event will be the face-to-face conversations.

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There is so much to look forward to this year. I have no doubt that these speakers, these sponsors, and these exhibitors will make for a rich and informative day at the historic Fairmont Royal York.

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 via

I’m especially looking forward to this year’s BlogPodium because my first ever ceramics collaboration with Toronto’s Inspirations Studio will be up for auction. Here’s a teeny peek:

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 White Cabana + Inspirations Studio

In addition, I will be presenting for the second time at BlogPodium. My roundtable discussion, titled Blog Writing 101: Crafting a cohesive, concise, and conversational post, will be centred on how to write effective and credible blog posts.

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I’ll be sure to share a recap of the big day in the weeks that follow. If you are itching for the play-by-play, follow along via Twitter and Instagram.

p.s. I haven’t yet figured out my outfit.
p.p.s. Walk down memory lane – read my posts about BlogPodium 2012 and BlogPodium 2013.

Marketplace: Back to School Essentials

I have spent more time in school than out of school, so please believe me when I tell you that these are some of the most essential back-to-school items. Pretty much any age group would make good use of these items, I’d say.

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1. Water bottle. I have a few reusable water bottles that I bring to school/work every day. A lot of university campuses now have good drinking fountains and water-filling stations, so there’s no excuse not to drink water all day long to stay hydrated.

2. Reusable lunch box/bag. I always pack a lunch because I get bored of university cafeterias and the quick grab-and-go meals at Starbucks or elsewhere are too expensive and high in calories.

3. A pencil case. I carry my pens and pencils in a small case so that they’re easy to find and won’t make a mess in my purse/tote/backpack.

4. Backpack. Speaking of backpacks, I don’t actually have one yet. I’m still looking for one that is lightweight and comfortable. I’m going to start this school year with my lightweight and washable HBC striped tote.

5. Pens and pencils. Although I love my computer, I take a lot of my notes by hand. Pens and pencils are a must. I always have a Sharpie or two nearby as well. Highlighters, on the other hand, I rarely use. Last year, I was given some Palomino pencils and I still make good use of them, They look so darn good!

6. Notebooks. Did you notice the plural? Yes, I stay organized by using a variety of notebooks. Each notebook has a job – work, home renos, school, etc. Most of my notebooks are Jordi Labanda or Moleskine, but I’m open to using basically anything that is cute and has nice paper (they are often black or white, but not always). I prefer lined notebooks, but I think unlined notebooks are great for people who want to really spread out over the pages. My writing is nowhere near neat, so I need the lines to help keep me steady.

7. An apple. Okay, the CB2 apple above is just for decor. But, still. It’s traditional. Eat one. Draw one. Take an Instagram picture of one. Bring one to a teacher.

8. Laptop and protective sleeve. I think I would be lost without my laptop. I keep mine protected in a basic MEC sleeve, but I really have my eye on this one from Ban.do.

These are the basic back-to-school necessities. A computer, phone, coffee mug, earplugs, library card, file folders, binders, etc. are additional items that come in handy and help me stay organized and focused.

Who is ready to learn something new this school year?

Details of items available at Polyvore.

 

Art: I’m a Ceramics Designer

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

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

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

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

 Inspirations Studio, photos by me

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

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photo by Victoria

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

Event: Wine, Thai, & Blogger Time

Last weekend, a bunch of bloggers got together at Melissa’s (The Sweet Escape) fun and colourful loft for a wine tasting event sponsored by local favourites Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai. Lucky us, right?

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The first wine was Union Gold and this stack of white plates didn’t stay empty for long.

Andrew von Teichman from Union Wines was on hand to teach us about four varieties of wines (gold, white, noir, & red) and to make sure our glasses were never empty! Union is a virtual winery owned and operated by Andrew and his partner Allan Jackson (former owner of Jackson-Triggs), and it sources all grapes from the Niagara region. All Union wine varieties are less than $20 a bottle and are available at select LCBO stores.

The chefs from Toronto’s Linda Modern Thai served up some delicious nibbles that paired extremely well with the four wines we tasted over the course of the afternoon.

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Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai made an excellent pair.

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Melissa’s home has so many beautiful vintage details.

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Melissa’s milk glass collection looks amazing on her floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Read Melissa’s recap of the afternoon (her photos are much more colourful than mine) and see her beautiful home in Covet Garden Home. Thanks for hosting, Melissa, and thanks for spoiling us, Union & Linda!

Photos by Jordana.

Travel: Fabergé Presents The Big Egg Hunt New York

While you may already be familiar with backyard Easter egg hunts, I’m sure you’ve seen nothing quite like The Big Egg Hunt that is currently happening in New York City. Artists have designed, sculpted, and transformed huge eggs and their creations have been placed around the city for us to find. The event is sponsored by the grand dame of gorgeous eggs – Fabergé – (obviously, right?) and every egg is up for purchase at auction. If the eggs are too big (or too pricey), mini eggs are available for purchase.

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B by Emma Clegg (current bid: $8000)

Shantell Martin-egg

Are You You by Shantell Martin (current bid: $700)

Zaha Hadid-egg

Liquid Skyline by Zaha Hadid (current bid: $31000)

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Egg White by Debbie Millman & Kevin O’Callaghan (current bid: $900)

Marc Quinn-egg

Untitled by Marc Quinn (current bid: $16000)

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The Rose Palace Egg by Marchesa (current bid: $1000)

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Dollop by Katherine Kokoska (current bid: $500)

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Cracked Egg by David Ling Architect (current bid: $600)

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The Egg of Light by Indira Cesarine (current bid: $2411)

Rachel Hovanian-egg

Narcissus Egg by Rachel Lee Hovnanian Leila Heller Gallery (current bid: $3400)

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Untitled by Suydam Lansing (current bid:$1150)

See all the eggs here.

Thanks for telling me about this event, Mom!

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):

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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Photos by Jordana.

Fashion: Cartier Exhibit in Paris

I was pretty thrilled when I learned that there was a Cartier exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris during my stay. I arrived on Saturday and the last day of the show was Sunday. Naturally, after dropping off our luggage at our apartment, my friends and I walked over (through the Louvre, tuileries, Concorde, etc.) to the Grand Palais. I had never been to there before this visit. I could have stared at the architectural details of the building for hours, but I had diamonds to see so we headed directly into the show.

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The diamonds, and the rest of the Cartier collection (books, designs, templates, forms, clothing, paintings) was unbelievably beautiful. The diamonds sparkled brilliantly (well, that’s pretty obvious for a diamond that is 40 carats, right?). The collection included diamonds worn by Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Queen Elizabeth, among others. The show took us through the historical journey of Cartier, including the sources of design inspiration for Louis-Francois Cartier all those years ago. By the end of the show, I became pretty good at picking out the Tutti Frutti pieces – they’re too colourful for my taste, but oh so gorgeous to look at. Heck, I wouldn’t say no to Cartier. Who are we kidding?

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Unfortunately, the exhibit was very crowded on the Saturday afternoon that we were there, and it wasn’t a very enjoyable show to attend. The jewelry cases were quite close together and people did not flow easily around the small(ish) space. It’s too bad, actually, that it wasn’t more pleasant to wander around the exhibit. I know I missed a lot of up-close views of many important pieces. Perhaps I was also just a tad tired from the trip over (and I’m too impatient to deal with crowds).

Nevertheless, it was pretty cool to be in a room with so much sparkle!

Thanks to the Grand Palais for supplying my show ticket.

Music: Stars in White at the 2014 Grammy Awards

So, what was the highlight of the Grammy’s for you? I watched most of it and I was not only entertained by the show, but I laughed pretty hard at the comments coming through my Twitter feed. Gosh, people are so quick to judge!

Many of the stars last night stuck to classic black and white. People like Beyoncé, Madonna, and Daft Punk changed from black to white outfits as the night progressed. In case you missed the show, here are some of the white highlights:

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Beyoncé (image via Global Grind) & Beyoncé in black

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Daft Punk (image via Billboard) & Daft Punk in black

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Madonna (image via Grammy.com) & Madonna in black

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Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons

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Steven Tyler

Is it just me or is it hard to believe that Lorde is only 17 years old and Pharrell Williams is 40?!

Event: Octaspring Bedroom Pinterest Contest

Who doesn’t love to get a good sleep? It’s unlikely that anyone would choose to have an evening of tossing and turning over a calm sleep when you wake up feeling really well-rested. But did you know that, according to Statistics Canada, an estimated 3.3 million Canadians – or 1 in 7 people across the country – have expressed difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

I love to sleep – especially on the weekend when I don’t set my alarm clock. When I’m at a great hotel, I love to get cozy under the covers and test out every pillow.

Which brings me to the focus of today’s post – pillows. The Octaspring pillow collection, to be precise.

These aren’t just any pillows, people.

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Okay, from the above photo, the Octaspring pillows may not look that much different from the pillows you currently have on your bed. But look how they’re made…

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Those are memory foam Octapillow springs which are designed to “cradle the head in blissful comfort” in a cool and airy fashion. This pillow looks like it was designed to set you up for some great dreaming.

So how did this pillow come to be? Let me share some info about its history. Octaspring comes from Dormeo, a Belgium bedding brand created by Willy Poppe. Dormeo – what a great name, right? Dormeo is the Latin word for sleep. It is very similar to dormir (French), dormire (Italian), and dormir (Spanish), which are all infinitive verbs meaning to sleep. Okay, getting back to the point here…

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Dormeo, available in more than 30 countries around the world, introduced Octaspring in Europe just a few years ago and is now coming to Canada through an exclusive partnership with Sleep Country Canada (insert catchy jingle – you’re singing it in your head right along with me, right?) (Dormez-Vous in Quebec). The Octaspring will be making its appearance in more than 150 Sleep Country stores across Canada. You can read more about Octaspring’s history here.

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Octaspring Contest:

To celebrate the introduction of Octaspring in the Canadian marketplace, Octaspring is currently running a great contest which includes me (and some other bloggers) as guest judges! Hooray!

Here are the details…

You’ll have until Monday November 18th Friday December 13th to create a Pinterest board focused on your ideal bedroom. Once your #OctaspringDream board has been created, submit the link to your board on the Octaspring Facebook page (under the Dream Bedroom tab) and fill out this contest entry form. Don’t forget to follow Octaspring on Pinterest and Facebook so you can stay in the (sleepy) loop.

The winner of the contest will receive a $250 Home Depot gift card and a set of Evolution Plus pillows.

Go on, get pinning! I’m so looking forward to seeing what makes up your perfect bedroom.

Halloween: Polar Bear Costume

Halloween is just a few days away. I’ve been enjoying reading about amazing Halloween DIYs and cool costumes but I have had zero time to focus on Halloween this year. I’ve got my pumpkin and that’s about all I’m going to get.

What about you? Are you dressing up? Did you already go to a Halloween party or two? Still looking for an easy costume? Here’s one for you…

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via Urban Outfitters

Video: White Cabana + Princess Margaret Lottery

When I toured the Brain Gluckstein-designed Princess Margaret Lottery Oakville Showhome I had the opportunity to share my opinion about the house with the Princess Margaret team. Yesterday the final video was published (thanks team PMLotto!). Have a look:

And while you’re watching videos…have a look at what other bloggers liked about the Oakville showhome: Thalita, Casey, Sarah, & Fatima.

Have you bought your ticket yet?