Jordana

Celebration: Happy Birthday Dad!

Hi Dad. I know it’s early in the morning and you’re reading the blog. I posted this extra early just so that it would be here as soon as you logged on. Surprise!

cast iron French oven, Le Creuset

I know you’re going to enjoy putting your new Le Creuset to good use in your new kitchen!

Happy Birthday Dad!

xo

J

Travel: Boston

I know I’ve already posted a lot from my trip to Boston a couple of months ago (here, here, and here) but I can’t help but post more! I hope you enjoy this series!

A very delicious sandwich with such fresh ingredients! Delicious. From The Italian Cafe in the Financial District. (And yes – I did love the fact that there was a white Mini Cooper right outside the window!)

Logo of Black Ink – a sweet stationery shop in Beacon Hill.

Cheers.

Chanel on Newbury Street.

Harvard in white.

While I don’t love cannoli, I had to give the famous ones at Mike’s Pastry a try. Sweet!

Many thanks to Lisa F. for all her Boston travel advice! Much appreciated!

Photos by Jordana.

Technology: My New iPhone

Well – I had a very exciting weekend! Let me introduce you to my new toy…

I really don’t know what has taken me so long to get on the iPhone bandwagon. I have been a fan of Apple for quite some time and my MacBook, Apple TV, and iPod have served me well over the last several years. So you can understand how happy I am now that I have added a white iPhone to my collection.

So – I’m curious to know what apps other iPhone users are using. Right now I’m not so much interested in games and such as I am in useful apps. So far I’ve been putting Instagram (follow me at WhiteCabana), Remote, and Viber to good use. What else should I be using?

Photos by Jordana.

Travel: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

When I travel to a new city, I often find myself wandering into a museum or art gallery – I know, big surprise, right? While in Boston, I spent a couple of hours at the newly renovated Museum of Fine Arts. It was glorious! If you find yourself in Boston, I urge you to visit the museum. In the meantime, here’s a little peek into some of the whiteness that caught my eye.

Xie Kitchin Asleep on Sofa, 1873, Lewis Carroll

Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism, 2007, Josiah McElheny

The Sneeze, 1949, Harold E. Edgerton

The Artist in His Loft, 1969, George Segal

Double Doors II, 2006-7, Rachel Whiteread

#3, #6, #7, 2008, Martha Diamond

Three models hailing a taxi in Manhattan, 1963, Jim Howard

Photos by Jordana.

Design: Seven Continents

adjustable wall display unit at Seven Continents

A few weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to have a guided tour of Seven Continents. This Canadian company, established in 1977 and based in Toronto, manufactures mannequins, bustforms, furniture and display fixtures for the likes of Victoria’s Secret and Nordstrom. When Brooklyn from Seven Continents invited me to tour the showroom and factory, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Mannequins might be cool, I thought, and I’m usually up for a new learning experience, but mannequins, really?

mannequin forms on display at the Seven Continents showroom

Anyway, I’m thrilled to say that visiting Seven Continents was a very fascinating experience for me!

Mannequins are everywhere in the Seven Continents building – in all sorts of forms and colours and at every stage of production.

Here are the getSMART and PM Sasha mannequins all finished and styled:

getSMART dressed by Cydelic by Choryin

The PM SASHA with Colette Harmon Jewelry

And here are some mannequins at various stages of production:

Here is Athena – in her most original form:

It appeared to me that the mannequins had personalities of their own and it seemed as though Brooklyn talked about them as if they were real people (I’m not going to lie – it did take me a bit of time to get used to seeing Athena and others all dressed and just hanging out around the building.) The dressed-up mannequins, many positioned as if holding intense conversations, didn’t seem to phase anyone in the office but me.

In addition to the various mannequin forms, Seven Continents designs and manufactures an ever-evolving collection of store fixtures and furniture.

The SPUNBOOTY fixtures, made out of bamboo, is a great collection to feature fashion accessories. The Bodality model is used for purses and the Ovality and Wavality duo is designed to display belts (and are not used as lamps, as I mistakenly thought!).

The SPUNBOOTY Collection

The showroom at Seven Continents includes a handful of pop shops where clients can see how the mannequins and store fixtures might be put to use in store. One of my favourite of these pop shops was the one below. The wall of movable wire arms really makes an impressive visual impact.

Pop Shop at Seven Continents

The factory floor at Seven Continents includes a group of dedicated technicians, engineers, painters, and upholsters who work together in an open, bright, and well-organized space. I was drawn to the rows of fabrics!

And there you have it – a very quick behind-the-scenes tour of the Seven Continents showroom and factory.

a collection of fixtures at Seven Continents

Many thanks to Brooklyn B. and the Seven Continents team for arranging my visit and for taking the time to show me around.

Photos by Jordana.

Happy Birthday Duke!

It’s my oldest nephew’s birthday day. He’s three and he loves (loves, loves, loves) trains…especially Percy…

Percy is the Number 6 green engine. He’s one of Thomas’ friends.

Happy Birthday Duke!

p.s. I don’t have kids but it’s amazing how much I’ve learned about Thomas and Friends over the past year from my now three year old nephew!

Food: Sweet Cupcakes in Boston

Although lovely Sweet cupcake shop was right around the corner from the hotel I stayed at in Boston, I didn’t have a chance to actually ever make a purchase. I took a few pictures of the white (and pink) shop as I passed by early one morning but I regret not going back to treat myself.

Has anyone tasted the cupcakes from this Boston cupcake chain?

Photos by Jordana.

Fashion: Details from Louis Vuitton & Zara

Lately I haven’t had much time to hit the stores in my city but on my recent trip to NYC I did take a very quick tour of the shops on 5th Avenue (I know – I feel very lucky). These gorgeous fabrics and intricate patterns from Louis Vuitton and Zara caught my attention…but I ended up leaving NYC without even one purchase (unbelievable, right?).

white window display at Louis Vuitton, 5th Avenue, NYC

dress detail, Louis Vuitton, 5th Avenue, NYC

white dots at Zara, 5th Avenue, NYC

trio of white, Zara, 5th Avenue, NYC

Photos by Jordana.

The Friday Five: Boston Architecture

As Johanne pointed out earlier this week, I’ve recently gone on a bit of a tour of cities. My week of travel included a visit to Boston and, as always, I was on the lookout for white. While many of the buildings in this friendly city are constructed of red-brick, I did spot several beautiful white structures as I went about my explorations. Here are five white structures that caught my eye.

building with rounded corner on Huntington Ave.

mostly straight with a bit of curve, The Midtown Hotel on Huntington Ave.

This was the only white building I saw on the Harvard campus. Are there others?

Two Center Plaza – more curves hereon Cambridge St.

pretty doorway on Park St.

As you can see, Boston did not let me down. And red as an accent colour – I can probably approve that!

Photos by Jordana.

Beauty: TRESemmé Hair Care

Over the last few weeks I have been using a new line of hair care products from TRESemmé which are specifically designed to combat split ends. Today I am sharing the pros and cons of the products I’ve used.

Split Remedy: A new collection of TRESemmé shampoo and conditioners

Pros

– The conditioner really worked well for my hair. It left my hair feeling very soft.

– My ends did seem softer and smoother after regular use of shampoo and conditioner.

– The Split End Sealing Serum also seemed to make my hair feel softer, smoother, and perhaps even shinier.

– TRESemmé has a great reputation. If it’s good enough for NYC Fashion Week, it’s good enough for me.

– The TRESemmé products are not tested on animals.

– The bottles are fully in fashion being white, black and mint. If you haven’t figured it out yet, mint is a very hot colour for spring (have a peek at Cassandra’s take on mint right here).

TRESemmé Split Remedy shampoo & conditioner

Cons

– There are too many product options for my liking. There are three conditioning treatments (leave in conditioning spray, leave in split end conditioning treatment, split end sealing serum) but I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between them. If I used all three my hair felt way too greasy. Of these conditioning treatments I prefer the split end sealing serum.

– I don’t like the smell of the leave in conditioner spray. I much prefer the classic conditioner.

– These products are supposed to help reduce the amount of split ends. This was too hard for me to measure. The products may have made a difference but I’m not entirely certain.

TRESemmé Split Remedy trio of conditioning treatments

Have you tried any of these or other TRESemmé products? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

These products are available at drug, grocery and mass merchandisers across Canada. Each product retails for about $6.

Many thanks to Alexandra H. for sending me these TRESemmé products for review.

Photos by Jordana.

Fashion: Zara

On March 14 Zara opened its largest American store at 666 Fifth Ave (52nd & 5th Ave). My parents went over to check out the action and – surprise – they snapped this photo of the all-white line-up of mannequins.

photo by BG

Lucky me – I’ll be in NYC at the end of the week so I’ll be able to check out the display in person! Zara, here I come!

Travel: Bayfield, Ontario

If you live in Southwestern Ontario and are anything like me then you must certainly be loving the weather we’ve been having lately. I am loving it! The winter hasn’t been horrible this year but at the first sign of warmth and sunshine, I just love spending as much time as possible outside. One of the things I love about living in London is its close proximity to a few gorgeous beaches. On Saturday I decided to jump in the car and head toward water – to Bayfield to be exact (one of my favourite destinations). It felt so good to put my feet in the sand and get a feeling of the (cold) lake water.

Photos by Jordana.

Interiors: Kitchen Renovation. The Beginning.

Oh my goodness. My parents have actually begun their big kitchen renovation. They have only been discussing it for 10+ years. The place has been torn apart and now we have to just wait and see how long it will take to put it all back together!

The first thing that got installed (not in the kitchen) was a new furnace with a white touch screen monitor…aka my Dad’s new toy.

I’m thinking that if I post about the progress it will motivate my parents to include as much white in the kitchen as I’ve been encouraging them to do!

Photos by Jordana.

The Friday Five: White Containers

My collection of gorgeous white vessels has grown in the last couple of months thanks to the generosity of some of my dear friends.

fruit basket, Anthropologie (Thanks Johanne!)

Bjorn Wiinblad for Rosenthal dish (Thanks Troy!)

C. Wonder ring bowl (gift to myself)

sugar canister (Thanks Indigo & Canadian Design Blogger Meetup!)

Sophie Conran large mixing bowl (Thanks Mom & Dad!)

Photos by Jordana.

The Friday Five: Music

Three months ago, my family and I lost someone very dear to us. My Zia Rose passed away after a 3 year fight with breast cancer and our worlds have forever been changed. While each of us celebrates her life each day, it is still very hard to come to terms with her death. Personally, I love looking at pictures and videos of her. Being with my uncle and cousins also makes me feel happy because I know she would want us to continue to laugh, sing, and gossip with one another as often as possible.

It must have been almost a year ago when I sat in my aunt and uncle’s kitchen and we talked about White Cabana. While Zia Rose cheered my efforts she also wondered why I hadn’t posted anything music related. Come on Jo, she said. I tried to tell her that, although I like listening to music, remembering song titles and lyrics and compiling play lists is not my forte. Before I could get another word in, she was spouting off a list of song titles with the word white in them. She was so excited and gave herself a pat on the back for coming up with such a genius post idea. She made us all laugh.

I meant to write this post soon after that visit but I never did. Today’s the day for music.

White Wedding – Billy Idol

White Room – Cream

A White Sportcoat – Marty Robbins

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

Nights in White Satin – Moody Blues

This post is dedicated to Zia Rose and Zio Nick.

Many thanks to my friend Joel who helped me compile this list of songs. I hope Zia Rose would approve. I know she would sing!

Events: BlogPodium & Design Blogger Meetup

Canadian design bloggers have got it going on!

From their blogs, I already knew my blogger colleagues were a dynamic group of talented individuals. But meeting some of my blogger friends in person at two recent events – BlogPodium and the Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup – confirmed the fact that this community of bloggers is also friendly, supportive, stylish, and smart.

BlogPodium is the first and only Canadian conference series for design bloggers. I was delighted to attend the inaugural event at IDS2012 in Toronto. The founders, Jennifer Flores and Lindsay Stephenson, set the bar high and achieved success with this first event. They put together a wonderful panel of presenters – Margot Austin, Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, Jennifer Flores, and Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault – who shared their opinions about blogs and the media. The talk was informative, engaging, and entertaining, and the crowd of design bloggers eagerly soaked up as much information as they could. I think it is safe to say that we all wished it would have lasted just a little bit longer!

Left to right: me; IDS Founder Shauna Levy; The Panel: Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, Margot Austin, Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault, Jennifer Flores (photos by Jason Hudson)

The event was well-designed, well-orchestrated, and best of all, it was fun! Many thanks to Jennifer and Lindsay for organizing this event and for making us all feel so welcome. Many thanks to the presenters for their candid advice, their approachability, and for making us laugh. And of course, thank you to the many sponsors, including Delta Faucets and House & Home, for supporting our design blogger community!

***

As if BlogPodium wasn’t enough, I also had the pleasure of attending my second Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup at Brassaii in Toronto. Vitania and Daniella continue to amaze me with their dedication, their style, and their optimism. They designed a warm, welcoming, and entertaining evening of blogger fun. The meetup included talks by Cameron MacNeil and Lisa Murphy of House & Home, as well as Cassandra Lavalle of Coco+Kelley. Oh – and I must not forget the surprise speaker – Brian Gluckstein. It was great to hear the speakers’ different perspectives on the world of design blogging, the potential for collaborative opportunities, and what inspires them.

Clockwise: Cameron MacNeil, Lisa Murphy, Brian Gluckstein, Cassandra Lavalle (photos by Alessia Lamonaca)

The meetup also gave us bloggers a perfect opportunity to mingle with people who we’ve only known in the online world. For me, chatting with people whose blogs I enjoy was a real highlight of the event. So many people are doing such interesting things – hosting workshops, teaching classes, writing for magazines, designing products – the talents of this group of people is really inspiring!

Clockwise: Welcome to the meetup; Sponsor GlucksteinHome (photos by Alessia Lamonaca); Lindsay, Sharalee & me; me & Troy

Again – let me take this opportunity to thank Vitania and Daniella for organizing such a classy event, the speakers for sharing their experiences, the sponsors for their continued support, and to my fellow design bloggers for being such a cool group of people to hang out with online and in person!

Design: Peacock Chair by UUfie & Dupont Corian

Now – is this a chair, or is this a chair?

Jordana sitting on the Peacock chair, at the Interior Design Show, Toronto

The Peacock chair is the result of a collaboration between UUfie architectural firm and DuPont Corian (yes, as in the countertop material) which was completed for IDS 2012. If you can believe it, the Peacock is made from a single sheet of DuPont Corian which has been cut, bent and folded through a process of thermoforming (sounds like quite a process, right?).

If you want to see the Peacock chair up close, be sure to get yourself to IDS this weekend.

Travel: Scenes from New York

First, let me take the time to wish you all a happy new year! I hope you celebrated the new year in style! As for me, well, I celebrated the arrival of 2012 in NYC! I know some of you might be expecting me to tell you about a wild night I had in the city but my New Year’s Eve was quite low-key. After my sister and I fed and bathed my cute little nephews and put them to bed, we changed into pjs, watched a movie, and listened to the party goers outside making their way to Times Square. We watched a bit of the Times Square coverage on tv which was bizarre (because it was only a few blocks from where we were) and at midnight I opened the window and listened to the sounds of people’s noise makers and cheers down on the street below. It was a great evening and I felt happy and lucky to have spent it in NYC with my family. I hope your night was just as you had wanted it to be.

As you may have noticed, I have been away from the blog for a few days – what with the holidays and travel and all that, I haven’t really had much of a chance to blog. Things will get back to normal soon, I promise. For now, I am happy to share with you some images of the things I’ve seen so far in New York City.

Vivian Maier exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery

Vivian Maier exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery

eyelash containers at Gaga’s Workshop; read my review here

stunning works of art at Bergdorf Goodman

gorgeous dresses at Bergdorf Goodman

Swarovski star at Rockefeller Center

cool lighting display at Anthropologie

The NYPD getting prepared on New Year’s Eve (p.s. the Starbucks was closed!)

I’m not the only one in my family who loves white…
my sister painted these massive works of art for her white kitchen

So – there you have it – a glimpse into my current adventures in NYC. I look forward to sharing more photos soon.

Before I sign off for a few more days, let me thank you once again for joining the White Cabana team on our daily exploration of white. We hope we can continue to inspire you in 2012!

Photos by Jordana.

Personal: Remembering Zia Rose

Just over a month ago, my Zia Rose‘s three year battle with breast cancer came to a very sad end. Since her passing, I’ve been attempting to write a post in her honour and, even though I write every day for the blog and for my day job, it has been so tough to find the words to really capture my aunt’s fun-loving spirit, generous nature, and incredible strength. I have written and rewritten this post numerous times and nothing, and I mean nothing, has seemed right.

I finally decided that since five is a favourite number around here on Fridays, I would share with you five happy memories I have of my amazing aunt.

Zia Rose’s hot chocolate was the best around. I’m not exactly sure what made it so good but when I was young, my sister and I used to go over to her and my uncle’s house and we would sit up against the kitchen counter and watch her make us hot chocolate. After a visit there we’d go home and rave to our mom about Zia Rose’s hot chocolate. This hot chocolate routine always put a smile on my face.

***

When we, her nieces, were young, before she had children of her own, Zia Rose used to treat us to something special on our birthdays. She would either come up with the idea or she’d ask us what we wanted to do to celebrate our special day. For my 9th or 10th birthday, my treat, it was decided, was to spend a day with Zia Rose at Sherway Gardens. There, I’d be able to pick out a present. I remember walking around the mall with her and not knowing what to buy at all. I also wasn’t used to having free reign of the mall! I remember we went into Jacob – one of the most coveted stores at the time – and I tried on some blue dresses and skirts. After thinking long and hard about which item of clothing I wanted for my birthday gift, I settled on a blue skirt. At the time I wore a blue & white uniform to school and I remember being so excited that I was going to have a piece of Jacob clothing to wear to school every day! Zia Rose asked me several times if I was sure that what I wanted for my birthday was a sensible blue skirt and I reassured her that it was the skirt of my dreams! When Zia Rose dropped me off at home, I remember her telling my mom that I was such a practical little girl. Ha ha ha. I can bet my mom doesn’t remember this but the memory is so clear in my own head.

***

One of Zia Rose’s favourite questions was: How old do I look? The correct response: Not a day over 21 Zia Rose. No other answer would do. Ever. For as long as I can remember.

***

When I graduated from university Zia Rose generously gave me a gift. She was so excited and eager for me to open the box. I wish I had the moment on video – I was in complete amazement when I saw what was inside – my very first Burberry tote. I’m pretty sure I jumped around my parents’ family room shrieking with happiness. I think of Zia Rose every time I use that purse. I love it for so many reasons. Zia Rose could never hide the joy she felt when someone else opened a present from her and I think her honest excitement is rare to find.

***

Zia Rose had the most beautiful voice. She could sing like it was nobody’s business. Christmas Eve at her place always included karaoke. Well – the machine was there. The people were there. But what usually ended up happening was that Zia Rose had control of the microphone all night long. Yes, sure, it was family karaoke, but really, it was Zia Rose Live In Concert. The rest of us could be back-up dancers but that’s about all she’d allow. Ha ha ha. It makes me laugh so hard. If I even tried to sing, I’d hear, Oh Jo, no!!! Zia Rose did approve of my brother-in-law’s singing, however, and they’d perform a few duets in between courses. Oh my goodness – remembering Zia Rose’s energy and excitement about singing just puts a big smile on my face.

***

There are so many more stories I could share but these are some of my most vivid. They also all remind me of Zia Rose’s generous and kind heart.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It means a lot to me and I know it also means a lot to the rest of my family.

The Friday Five: Memories of Switzerland

Every fall I host a reunion with the people I worked with over various summers in Switzerland. The reunion is happening this weekend and I’m so excited to see all of my friends. In honour of the reunion, for today’s Friday Five I’m sharing some of my memories of Switzerland.

Bern, the capital, is a special place for a variety of reasons. The archways, for example, which fill the city’s historic treats are especially interesting to walk under. But Bern is not the only place you’ll find beautifully curved structures. Up on the mountain in Zermatt, there is a small church with an arched doorway. It’s such a pretty place to see.

archways, Zermatt and Bern

While eating out can be expensive in Switzerland, when you get to custom design your food (well, burgers & pizza), then it ends up being a really entertaining experience.

checklists of food (L: my burger toppings of choice, R: my friend’s pizza order – everything except capers, sardines & olives)

The trains in Switzerland run on time, they’re clean, and they get you to pretty much wherever you need to go. The system is like no other I’ve ever experienced. Tickets aren’t cheap but there are various passes available which lower the cost per trip.

The SBB

I’m pretty much a city girl but I absolutely love going for hikes in the mountains in Switzerland. At the beginning of my very first summer in Switzerland I was so clueless about following paths and knowing which direction to go. There was no need for me to worry as hiking trails in the mountains are very clearly marked. As long as you know what the markers mean you should be fine.

a wanderwag (walking path) marker; hay bails

(I know – you were probably expecting me to include a photo of mountains, but for this city girl, a stack of wrapped-in-white hay bails really interests me.)

Finally, the goats! As if I haven’t spent enough time talking about goats on this blog, right? But they’re white and they’re Swiss so what’s not to love?

Saanen goats

Have any of you been to Switzerland? Care to share a memory or two?

Photos by Jordana.

Celebration: The Versatile Blogger Award

This past weekend Tina of The Enchanted Home awarded me the versatile blogger award! Oh happy day!

The deal is to write 7 things about myself and to then pass on the award to 15 other bloggers.

Seven things about Jordana:

1. This past September I began an introductory Spanish course. Me gusta mucho la clase de español.

2. I love dark chocolate – especially Villars which I have yet to find in Toronto or London.

3. My mom came across the name Jordana in the movie The Pirate with Anne Archer (I’ve never seen the movie). The book of the same name (which I have now read and is on my bookshelf) is by Harold Robbins.

4. I love writing hand-written letters on pretty stationery (often it’s black & white but I do have colourful stationery too!).

5. I’ve only been to three provinces in Canada (Ontario, Quebec & New Brunswick). I really wish flights within Canada were cheaper.

6. I hate pineapple.

7. I love (really, really love) Nutella.

And now I’d like to pass on the award to 15 bloggers who are new to me, who I ready daily, who I’ve met in the  past or who I would like to get to know. In alphabetical order…

8 foot 6
AKA Design
Coriander Girl
Crazy Sweet Life
Eat Live Shop
Eclectic A
Haute Pink Pretty
Interior Groupie
Just a Smidgen
La La Lovely
Little Bits of Lovely
Little Green Notebook
Moth Design
Tea for Joy
What Wilson Wants

Thanks again Tina for giving White Cabana this award!

p.s. If you haven’t checked out what Tina’s been up to – you must – her dream home/castle is unbelievable!

20 Below: Cupcake Wrappers

This weekend at Michael’s, I picked up these sweet polka dot cupcake wrappers. Almost too pretty to use, don’t you think?

cupcake wrappers, $3.49, Michael’s

I know I should have used them for cupcakes but instead I opted to make banana muffins (recipe adapted from here):

Ingredients:

1 cup spelt flour
1 cup flax seeds
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add muffin liners to muffin tin.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, flax seed, baking soda & salt.
3. In another bowl, beat together the bananas and oil. Add the brown sugar & egg and beat until completely combined.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring muffins onto a cooling rack.

Photo by Jordana.

Vacation Update: NYC

Well – my three week mini tour of the USA is now over. After Chicago and Florida, I headed to Manhattan to spend time with my family. My nephews kept me thoroughly entertained and in between naps (theirs and mine), I experienced some of what the city has to offer.

window display at ABC Carpet & Home

dinner whites at Fishs Eddy

dinner whites at Fishs Eddy

glazed hands at Fishs Eddy

lion’s head bowls, Fishs Eddy

wall art, The City Bakery

muffin tin art, ‘wichcraft

my nephews with Alphie at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan

It’s always sad when vacations come to an end, isn’t it? These past three weeks were full of laughter, delicious meals and quality relaxation time. I’m so thankful that I had this amazing travel opportunity. And yes, I’m already eager to go on another travel adventure!

Photos by Jordana.

Vacation Update: Florida

My mini tour of the United States continues to go well. Even though this is a Florida-related post, I’m actually posting from Manhattan where I’ll be spending a few days with family before I head back to “real life”.

The Florida portion of my vacation was the ultimate in terms of relaxation. I fully adopted Floridian ways and moved at a much slower pace than I’m used to. Loved every minute I spent at the pool, beach and shopping. Here are some photos from my trip.

best rental car ever, Ford Mustang (via Hertz)

The Mustang

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

the dome roof at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

the beach (that’s not me!)

white architecture, Madeira Beach

Photos by Jordana.

Why I Want a Fiat 500: Reasons 401-500

Well – here we go – my final 100 reasons for why I want a Fiat 500. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series (read earlier posts here, here, here, and here). I’m sad to see it end, I’ve got to tell you!

Then & Now (source)

401. I like the Fiat 500 as much now as I did when I originally learned about it.

402. I know more about this car than any other car.

403. I have had some interesting Fiat 500 conversations with people I never would have otherwise talked to. That’s been kind of cool.

404. I still don’t own a Fiat – even though I’ve written over 400 reasons for wanting one.

405. Fiat hasn’t paid me to write these posts.

406. Fiat hasn’t given me a t-shirt for writing these posts.

407. Fiat hasn’t given me a mug for writing these posts.

408. It might not come as a surprise but Fiat hasn’t given me a car for writing these posts.

409. I wouldn’t be opposed to accepting a donated Fiat if anyone has an extra one.

410. Maybe some of the people who have purchased more than one Fiat (as mentioned here) would want me to take one off of their hands.

411. I would join the Fiat FreakOut.

412. “FreakOut is a weekend packed with adventure. We get together, talk FIAT, eat, drive FIAT, talk FIAT, hang out, relax, talk FIAT, drive FIAT, meet new friends and old, talk FIAT, have big parking lot parties late into the night, again talking FIAT” (source)

413. Some might think that I’ve already got the freak(out) to go with the Fiat.

414. Fiat FreakOut exhibit A.

415. Fiat FreakOut exhibit B.

416. Fiat FreakOut exhibit C.

417. Fiat FreakOut exhibit D.

418. This year’s Fiat FreakOut (this past weekend) was in Nashville, Tennessee.

419. I don’t know anyone who went but if I ever go, I’m sure I would meet loads of people.

420. A one year membership to Fiat Lancia Unlimited is $35USD.

421. I wonder what’s in the Fiat Lancia Unlimited membership welcome packet.

422. I really should have been invited to the the Fiat FreakOut. Don’t you agree?

423. You can look at photos from the Fiat FreakOut event in Nashville here. (No photos of me this year. I wasn’t there.)

424. @Fiat500Canada hasn’t stopped following me on Twitter even though it sometimes seems like I’m taking up way too much of their time.

425. @FiatUSA has been a supportive Twitter follower. They are so kind with all their RTs and #FFs. Thanks @FiatUSA!

426. @Fiatontheweb encourages me too and I appreciate their RTs & #FFs too. Grazie.

427. Fernando Alonso likes Fiat on Facebook.

428. I think I could trust Fernando Alonso.

429. Fernando Alonso is a Formula 1 race car driver.

430. There it is again – in Letters to Juliet.

(Thanks for sending this photo my way Erica.)

431. There’s a Fiat app.

432. Look at all the people who have drawn on the Fiat 500.

433. I wouldn’t draw on mine if I owned one.

434. At the time of writing this post, 187, 692 people liked FiatUSA on Facebook.

435. At the time of writing this post, 4, 397 people liked Fiat 500 Canada on Facebook.

436. At the time of writing this post, 175, 819 people liked Fiat on Facebook.

437. At the time of writing this post, 175, 151 people liked Fiat 500 on Facebook.

438. At the time of writing this post, just over 500 people liked Fiat Lancia Unlimited’s Facebook page.

439. I actually haven’t “liked” any of these pages on Facebook…yet.

440. But I do read these Facebook pages (much too frequently to admit).

441. I would drive my Fiat 500 to the mall. My favourite in Toronto is Sherway Gardens.

442. I would drive my Fiat 500 to White Oaks & Masonville malls in London.

443. There are so many potential photo opportunities with the Fiat 500.

444. And I know where I would post the photos (see #434-438).

445. I’ve talked about the Fiat 500 with various bloggers.

446. Erica and I, for example, have had numerous discussions. We are going to win the lottery. Then we’re going to buy each other Fiat 500s.

447. Erica put the Gucci Fiat 500 on her wish list.

448. I think it would be much sweeter if Fiat gave each of us hard working bloggers a Fiat 500 sample. Yes, a sample.

449. Fiat 500 is the perfect sample size.

(source)

450. The Fiat Lancia Unlimited forum page has lots of interesting bits of information.

451. I’m thinking of putting “Wanted: Free/discounted Fiat 500” in the “Stuff Wanted” section of the forum page.

452. It would be kind of cool to be a member of an Italian car club.

453. Who are these girls? And where is the Fiat Playa?

454. The Fiat 500 looks good – even in the rain (example).

455. The majority of the Fiat 500s are white if you Google Images Fiat 500. It’s a sign, right?

456. Have you seen this Fiat 500 music video? Get ready!

457. Watching the video makes me want one even more. (Hmm…the power of advertising, right?)

458. Watching the video makes me think of the tv show, How It’s Made. I love that show!

459. I would buy these Fiat sneakers:

Fiat sneakers, $109, Yoox

460. The number of Fiat footwear options available surprises me (see #351).

461. I would probably spend as much money on Fiat footwear as gas.

462. Check out Kelly Beall’s (of Design Crush) report of her recent adventure with Nissan. Sounds like Nissan treated this fabulous blogger quite well. Hint, hint Fiat!

463. Anne Sage (of The City Sage) also travelled to Seattle (courtesy of Nissan) to explore the 2012 Nissan Versa. Read about her driving experience here. Hint, hint, Fiat.

464. I just love how Nissan has treated these bloggers. Hint, hint Fiat.

465. Maybe I should rethink the Nissan Versa?

466. What does anyone know about the Versa?

467. Oh, but it would be so hard to turn my back on the Fiat 500 after 500 reasons!

468. There was complimentary espresso and gelato at the Fiat FreakOut this past weekend in Nashville.

469. See #422.

see #468. (source)

470. How often does someone create a list of 500 things?

471. It must be pretty special if I’ve devoted this much of my time (and space) to writing about it.

472. I would drive to Toronto’s Little Italy in the Fiat 500.

473. I would drive to Woodbridge, Ontario in the Fiat 500.

474. I would definitely take my uncle for a spin (and to the Woodbridge Fiat Thursday night car gathering).

475. Mackenzie would sit in the back seat.

476. Apparently a 6’5″ man fit comfortably in the Fiat 500 (as reported on Facebook).

477. I don’t think I know anyone who is 6’5″ but it’s handy information to have.

478. Has anyone met a 6’5″ Italian?

479. I think my uncle is 6′ so I’m sure he’d be comfortable.

480. I like this Fiat DIY but I don’t want to settle for it:

source

481. A mini paper car just doesn’t compare to the real thing.

482. I’ll make two of these paper Fiats for my nephews.

483. They’ll crush them within minutes, I’m sure.

484. In the summer, I would drive my Fiat around cities (I like to travel, if you didn’t already know!) and check out local ice cream shops. Gelaterias, if you will.

485. In the fall, I would drive my Fiat around the countryside and take pictures of the colourful leaves.

486. In the winter, I would drive my Fiat to the curling rink.

487. In the spring, I would drive my Fiat with the windows rolled down – in preparation for summer.

488. The Fiat 500 is a four season car. Good thing because we have four seasons where I live.

489. I gesti italiani – the gesture language of Italians. I love that Fiat has a link on their Facebook page about this.

490. It’s probably unsafe to gesture and drive at the same time.

491. Although, for most Italians, I’m sure gesturing just comes naturally (whereas texting, for example, takes serious concentration).

492. I used the Fiat 500 typehand tool to create this:

(source)

493. There remain seven reasons to complete this list. Woah.

494. The Fiat 500 is “bumper-to-bumper cool” (source).

495. Yes – i do know what bumpers are.

496. Read about the safety tests the Fiat 500 goes through here.

497. I LOVE this How To section on the Fiat UK website. Although, changing a wheel still intimidates me.

498. That’s why I have CAA.

499. In the UK, there’s a Fiat rewards program. Awesome.

500. It’s my birthday today. Best reason of them all!

Why I Want a Fiat 500: Reasons 301-400

Okay – so I gave everyone a break last week and decided to not write a Fiat 500 related post. White Cabana was beginning to look like a blog devoted to Fiats rather than one devoted to design in white. My family was getting especially annoyed with all my babbling about this car and I can imagine that some White Cabana readers may not be as entertained by my Fiat 500 posts as I imagine they are (I do try to entertain you though).

source

For those of you following this blog and my tweets, you already know that I am a big fan of the Fiat 500. I wrote about my initial interest for this speedy little car in this post. Since then I began a series of Fiat 500 posts related to reasons why I want one of these cars (one, two, three). I have even taken one for a test drive and even though it was red, I loved it. I don’t own one (yet) but I do think that when I do buy a car this is the one for me.

Today, in the fourth installment of this series of posts, I list reasons 301 to 400 for why I want a Fiat 500.

301. I love talking about it. And writing about it too.

302. It’s a perfect car for summer driving.

303. I would drive myself to the pool to cool off this summer if I had a Fiat 500.

304. I would bring my nephews too.

305. My license plate would be right at home on the Fiat 500.

306. Fiat added cup holders to the 500 before bringing it to North America (source).

307. The rims are emblazoned with the Cinquecento logo. Love this attention to detail.

308. It’s midnight and I’m writing about the Fiat 500.

309. It’s midnight and I’m also reading about the latest in Fiat 500 news.

310. It’s midnight and I’m wondering why I decided to begin this series of posts.

Fiat Art – Toronto Auto Show

311. Grazie means thank you in Italian. I’d say this if I got a discount on a Fiat 500.

312. A Fiat 500 requires stylish driving shoes. I’ve got plenty ready to go.

313. My sunglasses are ready to be worn in a Fiat too.

314. I could drive to Bayfield, Ontario in a Fiat 500.

315. I’d drive through the Hamlet of Varna on my way to Bayfield.

316. And I’d be sure to slow down in this 50km/hr zone (see #315).

317. Erica (@ECmothdesign) loved my last Fiat 500 post.

318. Erica (@ECmothdesign) thinks Fiat should discount the car for me/us.

319. Erica (@ECmothdesign) thinks we’d both look darling in them.

320. Erica is a smart, stylish and successful woman. I think Fiat should listen to her.

at the Montreal Auto Show

321. I could buy a Fiat 500 bocce set to match the car.

322. I don’t really know how to play bocce ball.

323. But I could learn.

324. I learned how to play Scopa a couple of weeks ago.

325. I’m getting back to my Italian roots one game at a time.

326. It would be nice to have an Italian-designed car to carry around my Scopa cards & bocce ball set.

327. How many decks of Scopa cards would fit in the trunk? Any guesses?

328. How many bocce ball sets could fit in the trunk? Any guesses?

329. I could also carry around the Scopa cards in this handy seat compartment (see photo below).

330. I’m not sure a whole Bocce ball set would fit in this compartment (see photo below).

Fiat interior

331. The Sport has 16″ cast aluminum wheels.

332. To tell you the truth, I can barely see the difference between the 15″ wheels on the Pop & Lounge and the 16″ on the Sport.

333.The Sport has a rear spoiler.

334. I’ve never had a car with a rear spoiler before.

335. What’s the point of a rear spoiler anyhow? Anyone know?

336. The Sport has fog lamps.

337. I’d have to figure out how to turn the fog lamps on. And then I’d drive in the fog.

338. Bright chrome door handles is a standard feature on the Sport.

339. I figure I could check my make-up in the shiny handles. Right?

340. I still don’t know what red brake calipers are. Anyone?

341. I’m still surprised that air conditioning is an optional feature. I think this isn’t right. But I still like the Fiat.

342. The Fiat 500 Sport has TomTom navigation.

343. I’d have to figure out how to work the navigation technology.

344. Hmm – seems like I have to learn a lot what with the navigation & blue tooth technology.

345. Since when did driving a car get so complicated

346. The head rests can be tilted forward & backward. Woah. Wild.

347. It has keyless entry. So cool.

348. It also has a tire pressure monitoring system. I’d love this!

349. I already know how to put air in my tires.

350. One less thing to learn if I got a Fiat 500 (see #337, 343, 349).

Fiat boots

351. I would have to get these boots. Not sure I’d wear them but I’d have to get them.

352. The Lounge has a vehicle information centre.

353. What is a vehicle information centre?

354. Twitter followers have lots of good things to say about the Fiat 500. @Milnoc did this Fiat 500 review.

355. Yes – people on Twitter are still sending me Fiat news.

356. I find it really interesting that automatic transmission is an option on so many cars in Canada…including the Fiat 500. Don’t most people drive automatic?

357. Seems to me like car companies – including the Fiat 500 – are just suckering people in to make more money with the automatic transmission feature.

358. I know how to drive standard and automatic so would it be wise to invest in standard to save some money?

359. Two of my uncles like the Fiat 500.

360. The Fiat 500 gives me lots to talk about with said uncles.

361. This week I’ve been teaching both of my nephews (1 and 2 years old) to say Fiat.

362. My dad has changed the words of Jingle Bells – instead of “one horse open sleigh”, he sings “Fiat 500”. My 2 year old nephew laughs at this. And corrects him. Sweet, right?

363. My nephews would look so cute in Fiat apparel. They look good in white.

364. On my last four trips to Toronto (driving on the 401 for two hours) I have only seen one Fiat 500.

365. My sister thinks this is weird (see #364).

366. I think it’s kind of weird too (see #364, 365) but I’m trying not to think about it.

367. If I had a Fiat 500 I might be the only one driving from London to Toronto on a regular basis.

368. Talk about prime advertising opportunity (see #367).

369. Oh – and I’d drive from Toronto to London too. That’s a lot of kms worth of advertising time.

370. If Scott Schuman (of The Sartorialist) snaps a photo of it – it must be cool.

photo by Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist)

371. I’d probably need to keep a regular supply of biscotti in the Fiat 500. For guests. And for me too.

372. If I had a Fiat 500 I could stop writing these posts (sometimes in the middle of the night – when I’m losing sleep over all of this car stuff).

373. I would write other Fiat 500 related posts. Obviously.

374. What music would you recommend I listen to while driving this car?

375. Just browsed through the Fiat 500 Canada Facebook page. Nice photos. I’d definitely add a few of my own.

376. I’m going to try and go to the Fiat (and other cars) meet-up in Woodbridge, Ontario tonight that @MaranelloFiat told me about. I’ll post about it if I go.

377. If I had my own Fiat 500, I’d probably take it to the Thursday night meet-up.

378. And I’d have a gelato at La Paloma.

379. If I had a Fiat 500 I’d drive it to Leslieville (Toronto) and have a yummy pizza at Lil’Baci.

380. Pizza, just like the Fiat, makes many Italians proud to be Italian.

381. I generally go for a simple margherita pizza. I wonder what the Fiat folks go for?

382. I wonder if any of the Fiat folks know how to make pizza.

383. I’m getting side-tracked with my reasons, I know. What do you expect? I am coming up with 500 reasons afterall.

384. I would drive my Fiat 500 to Toronto to visit Johanne.

385. I would drive my Fiat 500 with Johanne to the next LG Fashion Week in Toronto.

386. I would drive my Fiat 500 to Kingston, Ontario to visit friends.

387. I would drive my Fiat 500 to Ottawa to visit my friend (and loyal White Cabana reader) Shannon.

388. I might even drive my Fiat 500 to New York City to visit my family.

389. It would be easy to drive and park around NYC.

390. There was a red Fiat 500 in the movie Letters to Juliet.

Letters to Juliet

391. I haven’t seen this movie…yet.

392. The fact that there’s a Fiat 500 in this movie makes me want to see it.

393. I think the actors drive a red one in the movie (thanks Erica for the tip).

394. The Fiat 500 has been a great conversation starter.

395. Did you ever play that game, (Name a colour) punch buggy, no punches back? My sister and I did every time we saw a VW bug (the original). It occupied a lot of our time on summer road trips to Florida. I wonder if there’s a similar game for Fiat 500s? There should be right?

396. For any Fiat 500 Canada product related concerns you can call 1-800-521-9900.

397. Maybe I should call this number (see #396) to discuss my concern about my growing Fiat 500 obsession.

398. Did this person really buy three white Fiats?

399. Apparently Fiat is going to release a larger version in Canada in the spring. I don’t want the larger version.

400. I have mixed feelings about the fact that there are only 100 more reasons to list in this Fiat 500 series of posts. Any recommendations?

Painting

It’s been at least a year since I painted anything and this fact makes me a bit depressed as I used to paint quite often. But time has moved at lightning speed this past academic year and it’s only now that I’m finding more chunks of time to paint. Here’s a piece that I worked on last week.

artwork & photo by Jordana

Why I Want a Fiat 500: Reasons 201-300

Yes – I’m still obsessed with the Fiat 500.

Since I wrote my first post about this little Italian car here, I have read loads of reviews, snapped photos of it up-close and taken it for a test drive. I’ve also been learning more about the Fiat 500 through the Fiat Canada, Italy and USA people on Twitter.

If you’re a regular reader of White Cabana (which of course I hope you are!), then you will have read my first 200 reasons why I want a Fiat (here and here). Today I’m listing reasons 201-300. Happy Monday reading everyone!

Okay, andiamo (let’s go):

201. It’s just 3.55 metres long.

202. I think my Jeep might be 4.5 metres long. Big difference.

203. The Fiat 500 is the first compact car to achieve a 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP impact tests.

204. Because I’m worth it (in the words of L’Oréal).

205. Although my car fanatic uncle thinks a Honda Civic is a great affordable car, it’s just not for me.

206. A standard feature of the Sport is cruise control.

207. I love cruise control. Especially when I’m driving from London to Toronto on the 401.

208. Another standard feature is a chrome exhaust tip.

209. I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention to an exhaust tip before.

210. It’s customizable.

Fiat 500 in Bianco Perla (pearl white)

211. An available option on the Sport are heated seats.

212. Don’t you think heated seats should be a standard feature for Canadian cars?

213. Another available option on the Sport is a security alarm.

214. Again, don’t you think a security alarm should just be a standard feature on cars?

215. You can plug in your I-Pod.

216. I spend a lot of time talking about it.

217. I spend a lot of time reading reviews about it.

218. I spend a lot of time blogging about it.

219. I want to spend a lot of time driving it.

220. I want to stop crying at gas stations because of this:

221. Apparently this wouldn’t happen with the Fiat 500.

222. It is often the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning.

223. I think I need a Fiat 500 intervention or something.

224. I really like the @fiatontheweb people.

225. I also like the @FiatUSA people.

226. I also like the @Fiat500Canada people.

227. The two strangers I met at the bar last weekend had good things to say about the Fiat 500.

228. Yes, that’s right, the Fiat 500 is a great conversation starter at bars. Who knew?

229. I want to talk about my actual Fiat 500.

230. I want to stop talking about my dream Fiat 500.

231. If I don’t get a Fiat 500, I don’t know what other car I would get.

232. I don’t want a Ford Focus even though people have recommended it to me.

233. Tonya thinks I should get one for my birthday (July 25th).

234.@JenSpinner thinks my reasons are “quite adorable”. Thanks Jen! I think the Fiat 500 is adorable!

235. Small is hot! (Thanks @JenSpinner for sending me the link to this article.)

236. I want to drive the Fiat 500 to garage sales this summer.

237. I want to drive the Fiat 500 to the beach this summer.

238. I want to drive the Fiat 500 to Bayfield this summer.

239. I want to drive to Toronto in the Fiat 500.

240. I love this Fiat 500 commercial:

241. I devote a lot of my time to the Fiat 500 Canada website.

242. I would drive it to the next Canadian Design Blogger meet-up.

243. I would encourage Fiat Canada to sponsor the next Canadian Design Blogger meet-up.

244. I would definitely buy this book: Fiat 500: The Autobiography

245. I would buy this book too: Fiat 500 by Alessandro Sannia

246. I might as well buy this one while I’m at it: Fiat 500 by Lorenzo Ramaciotti & Gianni Cancellieri

247. I wonder how Zucchero would sound in the Fiat 500.

248. I might put some San Pellegrino in the cupholders.

249. You could fit a matching Fiat bike in the trunk:

The Fiat 500 & Fiat bicycle

250. Apparently it has a pollen filter.

251. The seats are structured so that it’s like they are giving you a hug. Aw.

252. I would drive over to Caviar 20 to say hello to Troy.

253. I would drive over to La Merceria to say hello to Sandra.

254. I wonder how many boxes of Alessi products would fit in the trunk.

255. Panoram Italia might be interested in a “Fiat gives blogger a car” story. Just sayin’.

256. Another available option on the Sport is a subwoofer.

257. I don’t even know what a subwoofer really does – I don’t think I need this. It’s a cool word though.

258. I’ve never needed to say the word subwoofer in Italian.

259. Apparently subwoofer is altoparlante per suoni bassi (in un set stereofonico) in Italian. Woah.

260. I like this Fiat 500 commercial:

261. I would drive to the bookstore (see #244, #245, #246)

262. I could post my driving outfits on Fashion in Motion.

263. A standard feature on the Sport are “red brake calipers”.

264. “Red brake calipers” means absolutely nothing to me. Any ideas?

265. The Fiat 500 is made/assembled in Poland & Mexico.

266. I’m a fan of Poland & Mexico.

267. Although, I do wish it was fully made in Italy. That would make it really extra Italian.

268. Because why shouldn’t I feel like I’m in Italy on my morning commute?

269. Fiat and fashion go together.

270. Exhibit A (re: #269).

271. Exhibit B (re: #269).

272. Jordana and fashion go together too.

273. Exhibit C (re: #272).

274.The Fiat 500 took the top spot in the small category for customer satisfaction in the 2011 JD Power and Associates survey (read more here).

275. If I’ve done the conversion correctly, if you want to buy a Fiat 500 Sport in Bangalore, India the cost would be approximately $32,000 CAD.

276. The price in Canada for an outfitted Sport is about $25,000 CAD.

277. Interesting to comparison shop across countries, that’s forsure.

278. You can download Fiat 500 wallpapers for your computer.

279. You can also download Fiat 500 screensavers.

280. The interior buttons look good.

Fiat interior buttons

281. The Pop has 35 safety and security features.

282. The Sport has 16-inch aluminum wheels.

283. The Lounge has chrome interior accents.

284. I heart Fiat.

285. According to Fiat Germany, the 500 wants me.

286. The feeling is mutual.

287. Can Fiat help me make this happen?

288. Fun, vintage, refined – three adjectives that describe the Fiat 500. I like these words.

289. The Fiat 500 has knee bags. Cool.

290. My grandfather owned a Fiat Balilla.

Fiat Balilla (image)

291. My grandfather also owned a Fiat Belvedere.

Fiat Belvedere (image)

292. Fiat fans run in our family. (Did I say that already?)

293. Re: Safety: “Despite the highly compact nature of the design, the tapered bumper structure and rounded front profile award the new Fiat a high standard of pedestrian protection” (via Fiat 500 India).

294. The Fiat 500 was designed by Fiat Centro Stile.

295. The Fiat 500 was built at the company’s Tychy plant in Poland.

296. Read more about Tychy, Poland here.

297. The rear features a chrome handle in the shape of a bicycle saddle.

298. I love how each country has different Fiat 500 accessories.

299. When I go to India, I would totally have to buy this:

Fiat 500 flash drive

300. My dad called me annoying over the weekend. I don’t think he wants to read another 200 reasons why I want a Fiat. I think he wants Fiat to deal with me.

5 for 2011: The Third Check-Up

Back in January I created five goals for myself and I have since posted two check-ups (first, second). Now it’s time for the third update of my progress.

1. Wear more rings. Lately I’ve been sporting this double ring that my sister sent me. I just love it!

2. Embrace the cold weather. Well, luckily it’s June and I don’t have to deal with this goal for a few more months. I am so happy about this!

3. Host more parties. Hmmm…I’ve sort of failed with this one. In the last few months I have done quite a bit of traveling which has left me little time for party planning. But – I did manage to squeeze in one party last month – a champagne party! Talk about fun!

Addison collection, Pottery Barn

4. Try new recipes. Yes! I made pinwheel cookies (recipe from my vintage Joy of Cooking cookbook). Easy and delicious. I burned a batch but that’s okay. The other batch turned out fine. Here they are ready to go into the oven:

photo by Jordana

I also made Smitten Kitchen’s cheese straws (a big hit!) and What Katie Ate’s delicious tomato and goat cheese canapés.

5. Learn more about London, Ontario. In the last little while I managed to get out to the East Village Coffeehouse for the first time (thanks Tonya for the introduction). What a lovely little spot. The food is yummy, the coffee is well-prepared and the music is perfect.

coffee with a twist, photo by Jordana

Other restaurants I’ve tried since my last update include Relish in Wortley Village and The Works on King. Both burger places and both delicious.

There are also lots of festivals in London during the summer so I’ve been trying to check them all out. Last weekend was the Car Free Festival, this week & weekend is London Fringe and soon SunFest is coming to town. Bring on the music!

There you have it – the third update of my goals.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Why I Want a Fiat 500: Reasons 101-200

Last week I began a new series of posts which will eventually list 500 reasons why I want a Fiat 500. You can read the first 1-100 reasons here. Lucky for me (and for Fiat), the reasons keep coming so here are the next chunk of reasons. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment, email me or find me on Twitter. I hope this entertains you at least a little bit (many of my friends and family are getting annoyed with me now – and we still have 300 reasons to go – yikes!).

photo by Jordana

101. Si of French By Design approves (read original comment here).

102. There is an enthusiast club called Fiat Lancia Unlimited that I could join. (Thanks for this info TK!)

103. It would make my commute more enjoyable.

104. I’ve never had a brand new car.

105. I’ve never owned a Fiat.

106. I’ve rented a few though.

107. Pop, Sport and Lounge are great names, aren’t they?

108. I think I prefer the Sport. With a sunroof.

109. I never owned a car with Sirius satellite radio before.

110. Aren’t the side view mirrors nice?

photo by Jordana

111. The white one is nice.

112. So is the red one.

113. I’m a good driver.

114. I’m a good backseat driver too.

115. In @SashaG’s words: “Come on @FIAT500Canada …. Give her a car … or at least a TShirt!” I like the way he thinks.

116. I could write a picture book about the Fiat 500.

117. Wouldn’t London, Ontario look prettier with another Fiat on the road?

118. Fiats make the world a better place.

119. Silvia thinks that Fiat should donate a Fiat to me. (Read original comment here.)

120. I know some journalists who might be interested in a “Blogger Wins a FIAT” story.

121. Why should Justin Bieber get all the attention? Did you know that he now has a fragrance? Weird.

122. Did you know fiatare is an italian verb meaning without saying a word?

123. FIAT is actually an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino.

124. I appreciate live art. It seems that Fiat does too.

125. I know that Sergio Marchionne is the CEO of Fiat.

126. I also know how to pronounce his name.

127. I’ve been to Fiat of London – the only Fiat dealership from Windsor to Toronto. Impressive.

128. I took the Fiat 500 for a test drive at Fiat of London.

129. I fit perfectly in the Fiat 500.

130. I look good in the Fiat 500.

photo by Jordana

131. Look at the above photo. I just gave Fiat of London free advertising.

132. Maybe Fiat of London would be interested in giving me a free car? Or at least a discount?

133. Driving through the construction zones in London, Ontario would be much easier if I had a Fiat 500.

134. It would make me happy.

135. I don’t want a Toyota Corolla (sorry K & P – but thanks for the suggestion).

136. There’s enough leg room for me.

137. Mackenzie thinks we’d look great in the Fiat 500 and, in her words, “we can model the car which will lead to more sales”.

138. More Fiat 500s on the road will lead to more sales too.

139. I like the dashboard.

140. I like the hands free bluetooth option. (Wait a minute, I don’t even know if my cell phone is bluetooth. Maybe I need a new cell phone too).

141. It’s got style.

142. My family would be happy because I would stop whining about how much I want a Fiat 500.

143. I would still talk about it – but I wouldn’t be as whiny.

144. A two door car would suit me fine. Well – three doors if you count the trunk.

145. It would be fun to drive to IKEA in a FIAT. Don’t you think?

146. I could probably fit a whole IKEA dining room set in the Fiat. Or, maybe not.

147. I could definitely fit a whole IKEA patio set in the Fiat 500. Especially this table & chair set.

148. I could paint my nails to match the colour of my future Fiat 500 car.

149. Are car mats included in the price of a new car? Or are they just thrown in?

150. It has four cup holders.

151. It has Bose speakers.

152. It has a trunk that would fit my luggage.

153. The back seats fold down.

154. I haven’t seen any on the road in London. I could be the first.

155. I’m also a fan of Chrysler.

156. My Jeep is from a Chrysler dealership.

157. My mom’s van is from a Chrysler dealership.

158. My family has given so much money to Chrysler over the years.

159. Maybe it’s time for Chrysler to give back?

photo by Jordana

160. Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat, was born in Abruzzo, Italy.

161. So was my dad (see #160).

162. It must be a sign (see #160 & 161).

163. My nephew has a Fiat. Well, it’s a toy.

164. Fiat fans run in my family.

165. Heck, Fiat fans are born into my family.

166. I like the (optional) sunroof.

167. I like the automatic/standard gear option thing. Not sure what it’s called but it’s cool.

168. The pedals work well.

169. The brakes work especially well.

170. The power windows come in handy on sunny and warm days.

171. The air conditioning kept me cool on the test drive last week.

172. Driving at a speed of 100km/hour is smooth. (Of course I didn’t go over – I’m responsible!)

173. It would be nice to spend less money on gas and more money on…shoes?

174. It would be nice to spend less money on gas and more money on…purses?

175. It would be nice to spend less money on gas and more money on…Fiat accessories?

176. I could make a Fiat 500-specific play list.

177. I don’t want to lower my car standards.

178. I don’t have a picture with me inside a Fiat 500 yet.

179. Sitting inside a Fiat 500 would make a great Facebook profile photo.

180. There’s even a 500 in the lights. It’s like a hidden treat.

photo by Jordana

181. Good things come in small packages.

182. I would pin a photo of my Fiat 500 here.

183. I would also post a photo of my Fiat 500 at work.

184. I would drive my Fiat 500 to work. Obviously.

185. I’m a hard worker.

186. I’m determined.

187. Doesn’t every hard-working, determined girl deserve a Fiat 500?

188. I’m beginning to learn a lot about cars.

189. The Fiat 500 is a good teacher.

190. The Fiat 500 is manageable.

191. It’s also quite a speedy little thing.

192. I see a future blog post (if I had a Fiat): Five Fun Fiat Adventures (for our Friday Five feature)

193. You can control the volume from the steering wheel. (I think this is a pretty standard feature nowadays but it would totally be a new thing for me.)

194. Driving it would make me feel like I’m in Italy (sort of) and I LOVE Italy!

195. I could stop making lists of 500. Who does that?

196. Surely I’m setting some kind of world record here.

197. I might have to consider getting these Gucci Fiat 500 driving gloves. Crazy, right?

198. I could drive back and forth to Toronto and spend very little on gas. This would be amazing!

199. I might take a panino with me. 😉

200. Why shouldn’t I want one?

Why I want a Fiat 500: Reasons 1-100

Okay – so this is a long post. Get ready.

If you’re a follower of this blog or of my Twitter feed, then you already know that I’m currently contemplating buying a new car. The front runner is the new Fiat 500 and all signs are pointing me toward it. It’s an investment though and on my student/blogger budget I’m not sure it’s really one that I should make. But – oh – my – gosh – I just LOVE it!

photo by S. Keinath

I thought I’d give myself a “fun” challenge – to come up with 500 reasons why I should get a Fiat 500. This list – which will continue over the next couple of weeks here on the blog – might also encourage someone (hello – FIAT – are you reading this?) to generously donate one to me. Hey, you never know, right? Crazier things have happened.

So today may I present the first 100 reasons (in no particular order). If you think of any others, please email me, leave a comment, or catch me on Twitter. Grazie!

1. The Fiat 500 is Italian.

2. I’m Italian. Well – I’m actually Canadian but my parents are Italian.

3. The Fiat 500 comes in white. I like white.

4. The Fiat 500 is super cute.

5. The Fiat 500 is easy to parallel park.

6. It’s easy to back into a parking spot with the Fiat 500.

7. It takes less soap & water to wash it because it’s so small. Another good thing for the environment, right?

8. I would use the cup holder for a latte. Or a cappuccino. Or an espresso. Or…my favourite…a machiatto.

9. There’s a good chance I would be the first person in London Ontario to own a new Fiat 500.

10. It is good on gas.

The Fiat 500 on the London Eye

11. My dream would come true.

12. The Fiat 500 got a great review in the summer issue of the CAA magazine.

13. And in the New York Times.

14. I think Italian music sounds better in a Fiat 500.

15. I think my Italian would sound better in a Fiat 500 too.

16. I’d brush up on my Italian while listening to this in the Fiat 500. Si.

17. Has Fiat 500 ever donated a car (or given a big discount) to a blogger? We could make history together.

18. The size is perfect. I need a car to fit me, my purse, my MacBook and maybe a few groceries.

19. How much Nutella could fit into the trunk of the Fiat 500? I’m willing to find out.

20. Why should Oprah be the only person who gives away cars?

photo by Jordana

21. Check out the rims.

22. Mackenzie, a White Cabana contributor, is eager to be my first passenger.

23. I have two nephews who are the perfect sizes to ride as backseat passengers in the Fiat 500.

24. How much pasta (I’m partial to De Cecco) could fit into the trunk of the Fiat 500? I’m willing to find out.

25. I already follow Fiat 500 Canada on Twitter. They follow me too. Yay!

26. I don’t want to be yet another person who drives a Honda Civic.

27. I’m already planning my driving outfits.

28. I already have a few pairs of leather driving gloves.

29. It’s almost my birthday.

30. It’s almost Christmas. Kind of.

31. I’ve already taken several photos of me and various Fiats.

32. I’ve driven various Fiats in Europe.

33. I haven’t driven any type of Fiat car in Canada.

34. I know that un’automobile means car in Italian.

35. Una macchina also means car in Italian.

36. I also know that le chiavi means keys in Italian.

37. I already own Italian shoes, Italian purses, and Italian clothes. Now I think I need an Italian car.

38. I know how to make an espresso using this machine (I’m partial to Bialetti).

39. My dad has a Vespa. I’m jealous.

40. My uncle approves of the Fiat 500.

photo by Conanil

41. It looks good in the snow. And it drives fine in the snow too.

42. I’ll sleep better at night knowing that I have a Fiat 500.

43. I could add photos to this Flickr group. And this one.

44. It’s an everyday masterpiece.

45. Why does The Sartorialist (Scott Schuman) get to have all the fun?

46. This song would sound better in a Fiat 500.

47. I already follow Fiat Italia on Twitter.

48. I know that Fiat was founded in Torino, Italy.

49. Kyle traded one red paperclip for a house. I’m willing to trade one white paperclip for a Fiat 500.

50. I would put the Fiat 500 on Skype so my relatives in Italy could see me with it.

51. We need more Fiats on the road, don’t we?

52. My two favourite words in Italian are ufficio (office) and casino (no amazing direct translation but basically means a mess). I would throw these words into as many conversations as possible while driving the Fiat 500.

53. Who needs a Ferrari when you’ve got a Fiat 500?

54. Fiat is the best four letter word around.

55. The Fiat 500 would be so easy to park in my small parking space in my apartment building.

56. Have I mentioned how cute it is?

57. I would definitely listen to this song in the Fiat 500. Even though I’m Canadian.

58. People would be happy to stop hearing me talk about how much I want a Fiat.

59. The Fiat 500 is cuter than the Mini Cooper.

60. How beautiful is the interior of the Fiat 500?

Fiat 500 Interior via Fiat 500 Canada

61. The interior has the White Cabana stamp of approval.

62. So does the exterior. Of course!

63. I could join the Fiat club every Thursday at La Paloma in Woodbridge, Ontario. Thanks to my uncle and Maranello Fiat for telling me about this weekly party.

64. My pilates mat fits nicely in the trunk.

65. I would keep my latte – or iced latte – in this Fiat tumbler.

66. I’d probably hang white dice in the mirror. It’s kind of a tradition with me.

67. I could post a photo of me and my Fiat 500 on my Facebook profile.

68. FIAT is a great four-letter word. Possibly the best.

69. I would be happy to add a new key to my keychain.

70. It’s new.

71. I could blog about my happy car adventures.

72. I would write letters about my Fiat and mail them to my friends.

73. I would put a photo of me and my Fiat 500 on my Christmas cards.

74. Why should Europeans have all the Fiat fun?

75. I would use the #Fiat500 hashtag with pride.

76. Some people think you need a big car to carry around all your gear. The Fiat 500 manages just fine. Check out this Fiat 500 ski rack. I don’t ski but still.

77. Many not be the speediest car but it’s delightful. Watch this MotorTrend test drive video.

78. It would be fun to drive the Fiat 500 to the beach this summer.

79. What’s old is new again.

80. Even the engine parts look good in the Fiat 500.

This is what makes the Fiat 500 go. I think. Photo via Fiat 500 Canada.

81. I would take photos of it.

82. I would ask other people to take photos of me in it.

83. There’s even a Fiat 500 keychain.

84. I would drive it to the beach.

85. Maybe I could take it to a drive-in.

86. I would give it a name. Who names their cars? Anyone?

87. I could probably use this to keep the interior clean.

88. Four-door cars are over-rated.

89. It has a CD player. (I’m still working with a tape deck in my current car.)

90. I follow Fiat USA on Twitter. Don’t you?

91. The Fiat 500 has seven airbags. Safety is key.

via

92. I would draw a picture of my Fiat 500.

93. The power door locks work well.

94. The power windows do too.

95. My license plate would look good on a Fiat 500.

96. I have my driver’s license. Of course!

97. I would tweet about the Fiat 500 every day.

98. I’m pretty sure that if someone donated a Fiat 500 to me, it would make the news. That would be fun, right?

99. I think Caroline (from Paloma’s Nest) and I would be happy to make a commercial for Fiat.

100. It looks good – even in the rain.

The Friday Five: Scenes from at Home

For today’s Friday Five, I’m taking you inside my apartment.

1. I may one of the last people to own a land line. I know. But look how cool it is!

2. My milk glass collection never ends. The little one isn’t true milk glass but it’s cute.

3. These flowers, carved from wood, are from Easter Island. (Thanks Corie & Jeff.)

4. My ink blots. What do you see? (Apparently it’s a trend – look at what Christian from Maison 21 posted on Tumblr.)

5. Pussy willow branches are so pretty. I feel like it brings good luck too. These branches are from Easter but they’re still growing!

all photos by Jordana

Thanks for coming on this very mini house tour and thanks, as always, for dropping by White Cabana!

Have a wonderful weekend!

p.s. For the record, everything in the above photos is white – except for the ink blots (black) and pussy willow (brown) – but I liked how the photos turned out in black & white.

Obsessed with FIAT

Well, if you’ve been following me on Twitter then you are already aware of my new found obsession with the FIAT 500. (Thanks to Caroline from Paloma’s Nest for getting this obsession going.)

Now, let’s be honest, I’m not really into cars. I don’t really like learning about them, I don’t remember makes/brands/model numbers and as far as car maintenance goes, well, let’s just say that I’ve got car washes under control.

I currently drive a Jeep and it’s the only car I’ve ever had. I really, really, really love it. But, now it’s getting old and it might just be time for me to invest in something smaller and more efficient.

In comes the FIAT 500.

FIAT 500 Pop

FIAT 500 Sport

FIAT 500 Lounge

The FIAT 500 made its début in North America just a few months ago. Founded in Torino, Italy, FIAT has been designing and manufacturing stylish and efficient cars since 1900. The concept behind FIAT was to design a car as beautiful as the hills, towns, and coasts it was built to explore. In 1957, the Nuova (new) 500 was marketed as a city car. Dante Giacosa, its designer, described it as a scooter with a roof. In 1972, the last model in the 500 series was made and production ended in 1975.

A vintage FIAT in Abruzzo, Italy; photo by Jordana

Now, after over 35 years since production of the original 500 ended, FIAT has brought a new and improved version to North America. Hip hip!

This zipity zip car just might work for me. The differences between the three models (Pop, Sport, & Lounge) don’t look to be much of a big deal (for my untrained eye, anyway) so I’d be happy with any of the three. I’ve rented Fiat cars on many occasions in Europe so I already know I like driving them. Not only that, it’s Italian. Need I say more?

FIAT rental cars in Italy and the Canary Islands (1. Panda, 2. Panda, 3. Punto; parallel parking is so easy!)

Me: The Happy Driver

If I do ever get a FIAT 500, I’d obviously have to get all the accessories to match! How perfect that this car company loves white just as much as I do! I think it might be a match made in car heaven.

First, I would get a tumbler for my latte. There are cup holders galore in this little car so maybe I’d have to get two – to treat my passengers to an authentic Italian beverage.

Ceramic tumbler, $18.95

I would use the FIAT pen to write down my grocery lists and driving directions.

FIAT Mokina ballpoint pen, $150.95

I’ll need this tote for my groceries. Wouldn’t my pasta, tomatoes and basil look good in it?

tote, $12.95

The super white FIAT watch (and the FIAT 500 car) would get me to meetings and appointments on time.

FIAT slap on watch, $24.95

Although I don’t need cuff links, I would have to get them just because they’re extra cute. I’d probably make some sort of DIY project out of them. Maybe.

FIAT 500 cuff links, $69.95

I’ll need the FIAT wallet for gas money. That’s just a given.

FIAT 500 wallet, $124.95

Now onto wardrobe. Well, first I would get some sort of cool driving gloves (but FIAT doesn’t make any). Then I would put some of the Fiat clothing into rotation – to make me feel like a hip Italian race car driver, of course.

FIAT Technical sweatshirt, $99.95

FIAT technical jacket, $174.95

And for my wee little nephews who will be passengers while I’m on babysitting duty, I would give them each one of these:

FIAT infant body suit, $12.95

So what’s stopping me? Well, it’s a major purchase. Major price tag. Major decision. Oh – and it still makes me sad to think about giving up my Jeep.

If you understand Italian, you might enjoy the videos and additional information provided on the FIAT Italy website.

In some countries (but not Canada), the 500 by Gucci is available for pre-order (if you can manage to get on the Priority List). It’s sleek and black. Click here to learn more.

For a review of the FIAT 500 from someone more experiences than me, click here.

Photos of FIAT Pop, Sport & Lounge, and FIAT merchandise courtesy of FIAT USA.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad’s birthday and since he is White Cabana’s number one fan (and even made appearances here and here), I thought I’d help celebrate his birthday by sharing some cute photos from his childhood.

Pretty stylin’ for a little guy who grew up in the smallest of small mountain villages in Italy, right? Don’t you just love his little bow tie and sunglasses?

In this photo of Dad, it looks like he went on a bit of a hike…in a suit. As if that would happen these days!

Happy Birthday Dad!

White Makes Sense

I had a great visit at HomeSense last week. If I had an unlimited budget (and a mansion) I would have gone crazy and filled up my shopping cart with loads of goodies. Instead, I picked up a few pretty gifts for friends and family.

I think this collection of serving platters, bowls and cake stands is especially beautiful.

photo by Jordana at HomeSense

The Miss Piggy Bike

When I was a kid, my mom used to have a white bicycle like this one:

via Matchbook

My sister and I used to call it the Miss Piggy Bike.

The bike still comes up often enough in conversations. I think this is mostly because apparently my sister and I made her sell it at a garage sale (I think I was 7 years old but that’s not the point). Even though my mom would never use it now, she still talks about how much she loved it and that she regrets selling it all those years ago.

I spent Mother’s Day with my mom in Toronto and when we came across one of these bikes in a Queen West shop window we both smiled and we couldn’t leave it until we said a few words about the Miss Piggy Bike.

Aw. Memories.

Little Booties Go for a Stroll

My friend Kate had her baby shower a couple of weeks ago and her extremely talented mom Margaret (or Cousin Margaret as I like to call her) created origami booties as a token of thanks for all the guests. She made my gift in keeping with the theme of White Cabana. How thoughtful, right? Thank you so much Cousin Margaret!

The pair of white baby booties came in a beautiful box with a perfect red crane closure. Such a beautiful work of art.

I was so smitten with the design and workmanship of this sweet little gift that I decided to have a little fun and try making a stop-motion video. These booties are made for walkin’! Here’s my very first video:

Photos and video by Jordana.