Marketplace

Fashion: Spring Picks from Club Monaco

Club Monaco releases beautiful collections each season, but its light, airy, and white pieces in the spring/summer collections are particularly beautiful. I rarely get to a Club Monaco store because we don’t have one in the Waterloo region, but when I do, I try to pick up a piece or two that will be a little something special in my wardrobe. This skirt and this skirt, for example, have served me well over the years!

Peibi top, $119 CAD (on sale)

Vidorus scallop tie skirt, $99 CAD (on sale)

coin necklace, $129 CAD (on sale)

Colby scalloped dress, $229 CAD

Isota Lina tote, $285 CAD

Emberlynn sweater, $159.50 CAD

Feed 100 shopper, $38 CAD

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The Friday Five: Classic White Dressers

I’m looking to replace one of the dressers in my bedroom. If you’ve seen my house in the June issue of Style at Home (#WhiteCabanaxStyleatHome), then you know that I’ve got a bit of a French theme going on in there. I’d like a simple white/cream dresser that has more of an open bottom than anything solid. This will allow the air to travel through the vent underneath it.

dresser, $1199 USD, Pottery Barn Kids (spotted at Sarah Gunn’s home)

dresser, $1479 CAD, Wayfair

dresser, $2586 CAD, Ballard Designs

dresser, $893 USD, French Bedroom Company

dresser, starting at $999 USD, PB Teen

Have a great weekend, everyone! It’s a long weekend here, and you can be sure I’ll be taken advantage of some extra downtime.

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Two for Tuesday: Basketweave Pattern

Last month, I bought these Cole Haan sneakers, and I’ve been wearing them almost daily (not in the rain!) since I bought them. They are so comfortable! These white ones are probably just as comfortable, and have their own distinct, classic Cole-Haan, basketweave pattern.

Cole Haan ZeroGrand Huarache Oxford

wicker hamper

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The Friday Five: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Urban Barn

With Mother’s Day around the corner – on Sunday, May 14th – it might be time to start thinking about how you’re going to spoil loved ones in your life. Mother’s Day for me usually means a trip to Toronto to spend time with my mom doing everyday sorts of things – a garage sale perhaps, a trip to the mall, or just lounging around at home reading magazines. Mom and I enjoy many of the same easy-going activities. Heck, I’m sure we’ve even spent the day doing DIYs together! Mother’s Day is also a day to celebrate other moms in my life – my sister (mom of 4 cuties!) and friends, and to reflect on relationships I’ve had with other strong women who are no longer with us like my aunt and grandmothers.

In terms of gifts, I think moms appreciate any token. A card, a phone call, an email, a text, or a material object lets your loved ones know that you’re thinking about them. I like to spoil my mom with flowers because I know she appreciates them so much!

If you’re looking for some Mother’s Day gift ideas (and if you’d like to spoil yourself at the same time), you might want to have a look at Urban Barn. This Canadian retailer offers up-to-date items for your home – from big furniture pieces to smaller accessories. I’ve been to the Cambridge location numerous times, and there’s always something in white that catches my eye.

Today, I’m sharing five items from Urban Barn’s current collection that would make great gifts for loved ones.

Here’s an affordable container for a new plant or bouquet of flowers.

murl planter large, $19

Another place for flowers…or sangria…or water…is this pretty little pitcher.

webster water pitcher, $19

Little bowls like this one are perfect for candies, jewelery, or keys.

belize oyster decor dish, $29

If your mom needs a bedroom makeover, this dresser looks like it would be a great piece to add.

parker dresser, $1499

This bench would be beautiful in a garden. There’s also a full patio set, too.

piazza folding bench, $399

Many thanks to Urban Barn for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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The Friday Five: Designer Tees

T-shirt season is just about here. After months and months of cold weather, I’m definitely ready! While these tees have super cute graphics, their price tags are a tad on the high side. How much do you budget for a graphic tee?

Comme des Garcons t-shirt, $150 USD

Boutique Moschino t-shirt, $225 USD

Peter Jensen fish rabbit t-shirt, $101 USD

Karl Lagerfeld Paris profile t-shirt, $49 CAD

PS by Paul Smith t-shirt, $223

Have a great weekend!

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Hotel to Home: Byron Beach Abodes

About 10 years ago, I spent a month in Australia. It was as wonderful as you can imagine. While I spent much of my time in Surfers Paradise, I did some traveling along the east coast, too. At the time, I was very much a budget traveler, but if I went back now, I’d love to save up and stay in places like the Byron Beach Abodes.¬† I’m only showing you one small bedroom today, but you must have a browse around the various suites and villas. Everything is just beautiful and inviting.

Byron Beach Abodes

Really liking the look of the bedroom? Here’s where you might go to find similar items:

crystal doorknob, striped duvet cover, chair, air plant, shelf, wood picture frames, salvaged wood mirrors, lamp

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Marketplace: A Basket Round-Up

I’m seeing an increasing number of baskets in natural and white in homes around the internet. Is this a classic or a trend? What are your thoughts?

via Damneras Vorld

via Live 2 Like

via Rose and Ivy

via Looks Like White

via Remodelista

via Coco Lapine Design

If you’re looking to incorporate baskets into your own space, here are some options.

via

via

branas-basket-white__0120652_pe277448_s4

Branas, $16.99, Ikea

d-bskt-gry-sstp-l-f16_1

basket, $149, The Maryn

via Connected Artisan Goods

basket, $59, Amara

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Marketplace: The Camel Trend

I know flamingos and swans usually come out at this time of year for home and wardrobe, but I’m seeing camels in my trips online.

Tatiana, Mary Rose, and Camels, William Klein

camel pendant, $158, Kate Spade

camel, $131, Jonathan Adler

camel sweatshirt, $128, Anthropologie

camel sheet set, $32+ (on sale), Martha Stewart

baby camel print, $25+, Sharon Montrose

camel ring, $128, Kate Spade

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Marketplace: Spring Bike Accessories

Who is excited for spring biking? I am! Waterloo is a great place for biking because of all the trails. Road biking is decent, too, because of all the designated bike lanes and shared road signs.

After last year’s makeover, my Peugeot is in pretty great shape. I’m replacing my grips with Brooks leather grips, and I’d like to add a sturdy back rack because my vintage version fell apart last year.

If you’re in the market for some bike upgrades and accessories, here are a few design-friendly suggestions.

basket, helmet, headlight, backpack, jumpsuit, cupholder, reflective stickers, pin, lock, storage rack, bell, reflective pant strap, leather toolbag

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The Friday Five: What I Like about My Sea Bags Tote

Recently, I styled some outfits with various totes from Sea Bags – a Maine shop that specializes in crafting high-quality bags and accessories using recycled sails.

Today, I’m taking you on a close-up tour of my customized tote. I adore it! Truly. Absolutely did not expect to love it as much as I do.

But, first, a photo of me during one summer of sailing (which made it onto the cover of Ontario Sailor magazine, by the way):

There I am in red, weighing the boat down…and enjoying the view, ignoring the fact that things were getting pretty wild on the high seas (ha ha – not the high seas, but it sounds¬† dramatic). It doesn’t look like I was working so hard, but I assure you that my role was essential. That’s what I like to tell myself! As a graduation gift from my Master’s program, my parents contacted the magazine and photographer and got their hands on the original photo. I now have it framed on my office gallery wall. I love it. This is a special photo and brings back many happy memories.

So now back to the whole point of this post – my Sea Bags tote. Do you see those massive sails on the boats? Sea Bags reuses olds sails like those and turns them into an amazing collection of totes.

My custom monogram tote arrived several weeks ago, and I was certainly surprised by the quality of it. For today’s post, I’m sharing five things that I like – really really like – about my customized Sea Bag tote.

1. The size. The tote is large, and it’s going to be a great bag to bring to Florida this summer. It’s also good for trips to the market and short getaways, too. The tote can fit a few towels, and it can certainly fit enough for an overnight trip.

2. The stitching. I knew the sail material would be substantial, but I didn’t expect the stitching to be so detailed and designy (yes, I just made up that word). This was a very nice surprise!

3. The clasp. Another pleasant surprise was the strength and weight of the clasp. This is an optional feature, and I would encourage you to opt-in. It’s a shiny detail that’s functional, too.

4. The custom letters. Anything personalized floats my boat. I’m thinking that my last name initial should have been the biggest and in the middle, but I may have placed my order too quickly to pay attention to monogram etiquette. Word to the wise – investigate the options before you place the order!

5. The extra inside pocket. This was an add-on, and I would certainly recommend it. Inside pockets like this are great for keys, lipstick, money, and more. I also like that the branding is on the pocket. This reminds me that my tote was Made In America by a team of passionate people!

There are so many options that you can consider when you place your Sea Bags tote order. My bag, for example, starts at $185 USD, but the inside pocket ($20) and the clasp ($10) were add-ons. The Sea Bags team used navy handles instead of the traditional hemp version on my bag, and I’m so happy that the Sea Bags team decided on these custom options for me. I’m very appreciative, and this design is definitely me!

Note: If you’re a Canadian customer looking to place an order, call 1-888-210-4244.

Thanks to Sea Bags for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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Hotel to Home: Shangri-La, Abu Dhabi

Last week’s Shangri-La Vancouver enticed me to look into other Shangri-La hotels. With this Internet adventure, I landed on the Shangri-La Abu Dhabi. And I want to go! The archways have got me…even though the design is much more ornate than I generally prefer.

Look at the grand foyer:

via Shangri-La Abu Dhabi

I’m using this space as today’s design inspiration.

palm tree, room screen, over-dyed rug, wall sconce, armchair, end table, curtains

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The Friday Five: Get it from GOOP

My interest in everything Gwyneth Paltrow has calmed down a wee bit, but every so often, I get sucked into the GOOP site – and shopping site, too – and I imagine what I would buy if I had a ton of money.

handmade napkin set, $165, Julie B. Couture Linens

large two-section serving bowl, $159, Rina Menardi

white glass tumbler set of four, $60, Mosser Glass

neck pillow, $220, Lauren Manoogian

resin salad servers, $60, Tina Frey Designs x goop

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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The Friday Five: Sea Bags

We all know that I love the beach, right? And water? Well, let’s add boating to the mix, too, shall we? When I was living in Kingston, Ontario, I learned how to sail with a crew, and it was so fun. Seeing the colourful spinnaker sails go up on all the boats was always my favourite part of sailing days.

So of course I was thrilled when Sea Bags reached out and I started having an email conversation with the team about the Sea Bags product line and philosophy. Sea Bags recycles sails and transforms them into totes, clutches, wallets, and even items for the home such as this sturdy log carrier. And the bags are made in America.

My custom Sea Bag arrived earlier this week, and I am honestly surprised by how much I love it more in person. The detailing is lovely, and the tote is generous in size. I’ll share a more detailed post soon, but for now, I wanted to have a little outfit styling fun with some of the collection. (I picked clothing from Gap and Banana Republic.)

1. Vintage Insignia collection: I love the numbers and letters that appear on the Vintage Insignia totes. Wouldn’t a numbered tote make for a great birthday present? Happy 30th, for example! The lobster gauge cuff and keychain featured here are also part of the Sea Bags inventory.

vintage 30 tote,  jeans, striped top, ballet flats, earrings, keychain, cuff

2. Anchor collection: The anchor collection is a classic design in my opinion. If I owned a boat, I would most certainly get a tote from this collection. Wouldn’t the anchor pieces be beautiful bridesmaids or wedding gifts, too?

metallic anchor tote, shorts, lace tank, sneakers, earrings

3. Wedding collection: Speaking of wedding-appropriate totes, Sea Bags has a whole category specifically for this purpose. Isn’t this pink heart tote sweet? I love the unperfectly perfect heart on the tote.

pink heart tote, d’Orsay flats, jeans, top, cuff, necklace

4. Marine Life collection: It makes pretty good sense that Sea Bags would have a collection dedicated to marine life, right? The octopus tote is my favourite in this collection because it’s graphic and large, and you sort of know what it is, but you also don’t.

octopus tote, tank cover up, one-piece bathing suit, hat, flip flops

5. Lobsters collection: Like the marine life totes, lobster totes have strong graphics. I’ve used the lobster bucket bag, rather than a larger tote, in the outfit below, because I thought it adds a fun touch to an otherwise classic outfit. Paired with red shoes, and I would say that this outfit is ready for a summer’s day out!

lobster bucket bag, dress, earrings, shoes, cuff

As you can see, Sea Bags has much more than plain white sail totes. The shapes and graphics are varied, and there are several customization options, too (e.g., handle, clasp, extra pocket).

While Sea Bags’s headquarters are in Portland, Maine, the company has several store locations in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. If you’re shipping to Canada, please note that you need to place your order via phone (see shipping information for details).

Have a great weekend, everyone!

p.s. Sea Bags also has a four leaf clover collection. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Thanks to M. K. and Sea Bags for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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Hotel to Home: Palazzinag, Venice

Let’s show some love to the land of gondolas today, shall we? I’m taking you inside the luxurious Palazzinag hotel in Venice.

Executive room

Here’s my interpretation – complete with Venetian mirror, marble topped bistro table, and unique Fornasetti chair.

Venetian mirror, Fornasetti chair, bistro table, curtains, end table, lamp, white linens, drinking glasses

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Marketplace: Thousand Bike Helmet

I’m going to be riding in style this spring thanks to my newest bike accessory – or stylish necessity, I should say. Let me introduce you to my Thousand bike helmet. My brain is my most valuable asset, so here’s to keeping it protected while I ride around town on my Peugeot.

In addition to the classic, simplicity of the helmet, I love the eco-friendly leatherette strap and the magnetic open tab lock. Easy on-off action right there. The circle Thousand poplock that you see in the photo below is also magnetic and I can use the hole to tread my lock through it and lock up this beauty with my bike. I think this helmet’s design is fantastic all around! (Learn more about the Thousand design.)

And while I wait for the snow to melt, I can only take indoor selfies with the helmet. It’ll be much more useful to me when I’m on my Peugeot! ¬†¬†

All photos by me. All opinions are my own. Thanks to Thousand for partnering on this post.

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The Friday Five: White at Williams Sonoma

As I sit here on a Friday night with a broken washing machine (again), a slightly sore throat, and a pile of marking to get started on, I’ve opted to forget my worries, procrastinate, and finally write my Friday Five post. Oh, adulting is fun sometimes, isn’t it?

My Internet travels have taken me to Williams Sonoma, and the shop has so many pretty items. Have a look at these five.

Peugeot Paris salt and pepper mills

white platter

La Cornue stove

white grinding salt

white coral on glass stand

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Marketplace: Rowenta Humidifier Review

Unfortunately, winter is still here. Some mornings, I wake up hopeful that spring has arrived. But I should know better. Winter will likely last for the remainder of this month. Ugh.

And with winter weather comes dry air. Dry skin. Stuffy noses. For me, at least. How do I combat the dry air in my home?

With a humidifier, of course!

I have used a humidifier during winter months for just about 10 years now, and I have always noticed an improvement in how my skin feels. My old humidifier stopped working a couple of months, and the replacement that I bought was useless. Returned it a day after I used it – or tried to use it – it didn’t work. I had spent just under $100 for the humidifier, so it certainly wasn’t top of the line, but it wasn’t one of those $20 versions either.

And here’s where the story takes a happy turn – in comes Rowenta to save the day! I reached out to Rowenta to inquire about their humidifiers. I have always heard great things about their irons (that’s on my wish list, too, by the way…do you know how many white shirts I wear each week!?), so I thought they might know a thing or two about steam!

Rowenta sent over the HU5120HO Aqua Control humidifier. My first impression was that it was a super sleek machine. Clean lines, compact design, and less bulky than my last humidifier.

But looks are only part of the story, right? (p.s. I would have preferred the water tank to be clear instead of blue.) How has it been working for me? Let me do a bit of a play-by-play for you.

Night 1

I had gotten home so late on the day that the humidifier arrived, so I didn’t give it much more than a quick look. I poured Brita water into it (because I was aiming for the best possible water quality – that only lasted for night 1, by the way), waited 10 minutes for the water to settle/regulate (I didn’t know I was supposed to do this, but there was a quick set-up guide that I scanned), plugged it in, pressed the power button, an auto button, and went to bed.

The blue display light was on, and since I was zombie-like, I didn’t even notice that there was a light-off button. Instead, I stuck a black bag in front of the light so I wouldn’t notice it while I slept. Ha ha. Such a zombie! I need more sleep!

I don’t even know what setting I had it on the first night, but when I woke up in the morning, I definitely noticed that the air in my bedroom was “fresh.” I wasn’t as stuffed up.¬† My skin was okay. Not perfect, but definitely an improvement.

Night 2

Once again, I had little time to read about the features of the humidifier, so I pressed a couple of buttons and hoped for the best. I’m making it sound like this humidifier is complicated to use, but it’s not. I have just been working like crazy that by the time I’m ready for bed, I just really go to sleep. And deeply, too!

On night 2, I did learn that the light button controls the display light as well as the blue light from the water tank. Awesome! No more blue light reflecting on my white walls!

I used the medium steam setting, and it worked well. I slept soundly, and my skin felt less dry when I woke up in the morning. Again, the air felt fresh.

Night 3

Okay. On night 3, I had about 5 minutes to look at the buttons more closely before I fell asleep (are you noticing a pattern?). I was thrilled to discover the different automated settings – auto, baby, and night. I opted for night which meant that no lights were on. And the system would shut-off once ideal humidity was reached. Genius! I set the humidifier to night mode and fell asleep. Good to go.

Night 4 and Beyond

So that’s just a quick recap of my first three nights with the Rowenta humidifier. I’ve been using it nightly, and I absolutely notice the difference in air quality, my sleeping, and how I feel in the morning. I’ve tried a few of the settings, but I most often use the night mode. It’s easy.

I honestly didn’t expect to see such a difference in the quality between my previous humidifiers and the Rowenta, but there is a difference. I thought the higher price point (about $230CAD) was for the name brand, but it isn’t. This humidifier is sleek, well-designed, and has multiple features and settings. It is a major improvement over my previous humidifiers and I’m very happy with it.

Beyond what I’ve shared, here are some additional features of the humidifier:

  • cool-mist
  • 3 steam settings
  • automatic humidity regulation
  • 3 modes – auto, baby, and night
  • timer
  • up to 18 hours of run time
  • covers 500sq feet
  • humidity control setting

Finally, a couple of people asked me some questions on this Instagram post, so I thought I’d include my answers here:

  1. Is it suitable for work? Yes, if you have your own office. The different modes, timer, and steam settings allow for good control of the steam. The cool mist is office-friendly, I’d say. If you work in an open space, then the humidifier’s mist will spread, so be sure to ask your office mates if they’re okay with it.
  2. How does your skin feel? Definitely, definitely, definitely better. I was pretty annoyed with waking up with dry skin. After a few nights, I noticed an improvement. It’s been working well for a couple of weeks now.
  3. Do you notice a difference in the moisture level when I enter the room? I keep the humidifier in my bedroom, and I only run it during the night. When I wake up in the morning, I certainly notice a difference in the moisture level. The best way I seem to be able to describe it as is “fresh.” I really should have it on during the day, too. Maybe this weekend!
  4. What are the settings and is it a cool mist? There are several settings. My old humidifier had two – high and low. This one has three modes, a timer, programmable humidity levels, three steam power options. The highest steam setting emits the most noise, but I don’t find this bothersome. It’s soothing, actually.

And before I leave you for today, I should just note that the recommended humidity level is between 50% and 60%. The screen on my humidifier reads 25% when I first plug it in.

Learn more about the Rowenta HU5120 humidifier if you’d like.

Thanks to Rowenta for sponsoring this post. All photos, thoughts, and opinions are my own.

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Two for Tuesday: The Four Leaf Clover

St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and while I don’t generally celebrate the day or do anything out of the ordinary, it doesn’t hurt to spread some wishes of good luck around this time!

clover charm, Links of London

clover necklace, Swarovski

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The Friday Five: Unicorns

Unicorns seem to be having their time in the design spotlight at the moment. They’re not just for kids, either!

unicorn light

unicorn taxidermy

 

unicorn pin

lady and the unicorn by Stephan Balkenhol

dainty unicorn

Have a magical weekend, everyone!

Marketplace: Ready Travel

We should all know by now that I love to travel. I’d rather spend money on a trip than on a new outfit. Even after my last experience at Toronto’s Pearson (1.5 hours to get through security!?), I am eager to board another flight. Or train. Or get in the car and go.

These days, I like to keep things as simple as possible when I travel. I used to be the pack-everything type of person. Now I’m the pack-something, buy-the-rest-when-you-get-there type of traveler. To North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, I packed only a carry-on, which made things really easy and quick at the airport (and I didn’t have much to deal with during the 1.5 hour security lineup). I can’t always travel with just a carry-on, of course, but when I can, I feel free.

Ready Travel recently reached out to tell me about their cool luggage collection. I’m talking weight sensor, cup holder, USB port, and zippy wheels. And apparently it’s large enough to fit a whole load of items! I can’t wait until mine arrives in the spring to see it in person. For now, I’ll be like the 440 Indiegogo backers and drool over the photos. Beyond the function of the piece, the design is top notch. I love how the luggage’s design was inspired by retro radios and calculators.

When my white luggage arrives, I’ll be sure to do a full review. Not to worry. I am curious to see how much I can pack into it (and how much it weighs).

For now, if you’d like to order your own Ready Travel luggage, check out the Indiegogo campaign. The company is currently offering free worldwide shipping.

Thanks to Ready Travel for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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Two for Tuesday: Zebras

Do you have any zebra print in your home? I don’t, but it seems like of all the animal prints that I could have, this would be it, right? I wouldn’t be ready to install Scalamandre‘s zebra print wallpaper anytime soon, but a zebra print in smaller doses could easily find its way into my home.

Scalamandre by Lenox zebra decanter, $171, Bloomingdales

Zebra print, $25+, Sharon Montrose

Two for Tuesday: The Black Bow

I know I’m not the only one around here who loves a good bow. Am I right? Look at these fancy mules from Winners (selection varies by store, of course) and the Vera Wang dinner plate. A perfect pair!

leather mule with bow detail, $99 CAD, Winners

Wedgewood Vera Wang Glisse dinner plate, $27.99 USD, Bed Bath & Beyond

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The Friday Five: Ring My Bell Sleeve

On Christmas Eve, I opted to wear this sweet striped top, and people seemed to love it as much as I do! Since then, I’ve added a bell-sleeved shirt to my wardrobe (or more pirate-like, a colleague has told me), and now I’ve seen this style popping up all over the place.

Let’s ring in the weekend with some bell sleeves, shall we?

Here are five inspiration outfits:

via Fashion Gone Rouge

via

Solange Knowles via

Blair Eadie via Atlantic Pacific

via Lxst Nxght

via Elle

And here are five gorgeous bell-sleeve pieces you can buy:

top, $81.27USD Kenzie

top, $99.85USD, ASOS

top, $479.56, Cinq à Sept

Brandon Maxwell top, $2748CAD, Nordstrom

Roksanda dress, $2884 USD, Net-a-Porter

Have a great (long) weekend, everyone!

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Personal: How to Sleep Well

Over the years, I’ve written about some of my routines and life habits. There was this post about a day-in-the-life, this review of my Hourglass Workouts, and this post about preparing for the future. Today, Leesa, a mattress-in-a-box company, asked me to chat about sleep. Yes, sleep. It’s a hot topic, and many of us are looking for the best ways to get the best sleep each and every night.

So here’s my approach:

1. Caffeine intake. These days, I have one latte at some point before noon. And maybe a tea at another point during my work day. I don’t over-think caffeine, but I know that I sleep better when I’ve not been sipping coffee/tea/pop throughout the day. As a post-dinner treat during the week, I may have a mint or chamomile tea. On the weekend, I may end a dinner with friends with a macchiato (espresso with coffee) just because I like the taste (and I can likely sleep in the following day).

2. Water intake. I drink a lot of water throughout the day. I like to believe what people tell  me Рin that it keeps me hydrated and healthy. I limit my evening intake so as to avoid bathroom breaks throughout the night.

3. Temperature control. I don’t like sleeping in super hot or super cold rooms. A nice 71 degrees Fahrenheit works well for my sleep. I love being covered under my duvet and feeling comfortable temperature-wise.

3. Humidifier. I notice a difference when I have a humidifier going in the winter months. Stay tuned for a humidifier review update in the next month or so. I haven’t had much luck with humidifiers this winter, but a new one is on its way, and I can’t wait to put it to use.

4. Make lists. If I’m still thinking about work, teaching, blogging, life when my head hits the pillow, I won’t be able to sleep. To deal with the potential eyes-wide-open situation, I write everything down so it gets out of my head. I don’t know if scientific research supports my approach, but it certainly works for me.

5. Get a great mattress. Of course this is a key suggestion. I bought mine last year, and I’ve been really happy with it. You can read about how I bought a new mattress.

6. Regular bedtime. I go to sleep between 10pm and 11pm every night. If I don’t, the next day can be awful. I sleep soundly between 7 and 8 hours a night, which I think is pretty good.

7. Busy body. My life is pretty jam-packed. Between work, blogging, MBA life, friends, and family, I have little time to get bored, relax, lounge around. This means that by the time I go to bed, I’m tired. Ready to sleep. Busy days make for restful nights. Or something like that.

So while these seven things do encourage a restful sleep, I still have a couple of things to work on:

1. Pillows. I easily get annoyed with pillows. It seems like every month or two, I’m investing in a new set. Annoying. I’ve tried inexpensive ones, expensive ones, and a multitude of fillings. If you have advice, please share!

2. Alarm clock/technology. I’m one of those sleepers who keeps my iPhone on my nightstand so I can use it as my alarm clock. I’ve gone to bed way past my set bedtime because I get too sucked into Instagram and Twitter surfing. Not good. I’ve recently found my little low-tech alarm clock, but I haven’t yet transitioned to the no-iPhone-in-the-bedroom rule.

3. Exercise. Many people have attributed good sleep to exercise. I know increasing my daily exercise would help me sleep. But see #7 above. I’m a busy body. I currently lack time to fit in long workouts. This will soon have to change, though, as I signed up for the Diva 1/2 marathon.

What works for you? I’d love to know!

Fashion: Leather at L.L.Bean

If you’ve been hopping around the blogs this winter, then you’ve surely seen the hype over L.L.Bean’s signature Bean Boots. Heck, there’s even a Bootmobile that’s been on tour! But, L.L.Bean has much more to offer than Bean boots and tote bags (two of its popular items, of course). On a recent browsing adventure, I realized how much I was drawn to L.L.Bean’s leather collection, and I thought the collection would start off some beautiful, wearable, and affordable outfits (all items from L.L. Bean!).

Outfit 1 was built around the leather crossbody. It’s a classic shape and works beautifully year-round.

 three-quarter sleeve scoopneck, trench, chunky wool-blend sweater,  sunglasses,  baseball cap, black jeans

Outfit 2 was inspired by Trask’s perforated slide. We’ve seen slides since the fall, and I think we’ll be seeing more of them this spring. These perforated versions are super sleek.

signature ankle jeans, scarf, black boat and tote, collarless shirt, sweater,  container, field jacket

Outfit 3 was built from the bottom – up. It began with these handsewn leather loafers in a potentially surprising version – white.

sailor’s shirt, silk scarf,¬†havana hat,¬†polartec fleece,¬†denim shorts, sunglasses,¬†boat and tote

Thanks to L.L.Bean for sponsoring this post.

 

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The Friday Five: Wonderful White Swimsuits

It’s February. And it’s cold. So some may think it’s too early to talk about swimsuits. But I can’t help it. I’m dreaming of warmth and this photo of Kaylee and this photo of Rachel have inspired this swimsuit post (don’t the ladies look amazing, by the way?).

plunge swimsuit, $68CAD

neoprene frill lattice swimsuit, $76CAD

contrast swimsuit, $40CAD

halter bow-tie swimsuit, $128CAD

halter swimsuit, $46CAD

I also think this bikini is pretty, and this one is great if you’re into the lace-up trend. So, is it too early to speak about swimsuits? Nope! I’m all for it!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Hotel to Home: Naumi Hotel, Singapore

We’re traveling to Singapore today to check out the Naumi hotel. The rooms are unique and well-appointed, but it’s this bathroom that’s today’s focus.

Naumi hotel

tub, room divider, towels, tiles, mirror, vanity, flowers, candle

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Food: Riviera Yogurt

Months and months ago when I was grocery shopping and my local Sobey’s, I picked up a package of Riviera yogurt. Now, I’m not much of a yogurt consumer. I buy Greek yogurt every so often, but I’m not a daily consumer. So when I saw this Riviera yogurt, I was mostly interested in the glass jars. They reminded me of France. So I picked them up and hoped for the best.

image via Riviera

Let me tell you, this yogurt is really good. It is like the yogurt I’ve had in France and Switzerland. I opted for the plain yogurt (I’m not that fancy when it comes to yogurt), but I’ve since bought the lemon yogurt (mostly because I like saying citron), and I like alternating between these two. The yogurt is delicious, it doesn’t upset my stomach (some yogurts do), and the serving size is perfect. Plus, les petits pots look fancy and pretty. Beyond plain and flavoured yogurt, the Riviera line also includes parfaits, cheeses, and milk. My local Sobey’s doesn’t carry everything, but the Riviera website helps you find locations where the Riviera line is carried.

So what do I do with the glass jars after I’ve eaten the yogurt? Well, they have so many uses! I’ve used my jars to store nuts, hummus, candy, and candles. You can order plastic lids in just about every colour online, and porcelain lids may be available, too (the website notes that these are currently out of stock).

If you live in Quebec and you don’t want to reuse your pots, you can drop them off at Renaissance. Otherwise, you can check out the 1001 tips for reuse.

pistachio dessert recipe and photo via Maison Orphée

photo via Riviera Facebook

For those who are interested to learn more about this yogurt, the Riviera line is part of the Chalifoux company, an award-winning, family-owned business based in Quebec. Oui oui!

Many thanks to Kathleen H. for sending me some lids for my petits pots.

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Art: The Artbarn Auction

I love when people see white goodies and think of White Cabana! That’s what recently happened to Shannon (8foot6) who emailed me this photo of Tamim Sahib Zader’s white-on-white silkscreen.

silkscreen by Tamim Sahib Zader

This art piece is up for grabs at the Artbarn art auction online (currently) and offline this Thursday, February 9th in Toronto. The funds raised are going to support the Artbarn art school.

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Two for Tuesday: Hearts Galore

Regardless if you celebrate Valentine’s Day, I think these two for Tuesday items are good to have year-round!

Grace boudoir sham, Biscuit Home

red hearts cup, Target

Marketplace: Valentine’s Day

If you’re looking for ways to spread a little love around your home and wardrobe this month, I’ve done a little sleuthing to round-up some really special and pretty items.

Bisou vase, arrow tray, XOXO pillow, kiss kiss dish, arrow love tray, femme vase, Vivetta hearts shirt, Chiara Ferragni hearts t-shirt, Saint Laurent sunglasses, Love Moschino wallet, heart print robe, pajama blouse, journal, coin pouch, mugs

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Spreading LOVE

It’s February 1st, which means love day is right around the corner. Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you buy yourself an extra little treat? How do you spread love this month – and every month – in your home and in your community?

With all the chatter about banning and borders, wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just get along and be nice to one another? How is something so darn simple so difficult to achieve?

via Lynn Knowlton

heart soap

heart and arrow measuring spoons

heart sponge

be mine hearts strap

be mine cuff

Heartla wrap sandal, Loeffler Randall

Blooming Love card

heartbreaker sunglasses

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The Friday Five: Cozy Comfort

Although it’s still winter, and I would much prefer it to be over already, the colder temperatures mean that we can hygge for a little while longer. Get cozy. Stay warm. And maybe treat yourself to something special this weekend.

Vince sweater, $148USD (on sale)

Kate Spade votive, $35

Hudson’s Bay blanket, $450-$550

pointelle reading socks, $34.50

spiced white hot chocolate, recipe via Jacquelyn Clark

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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The Friday Five: One of a Kind

I absolutely love super unique products. One of a kind or hand made items have character and interest and a story. Vintage items have a past, and collections of unique items take time to build. Today’s Friday five round-up includes five unique items that only exist in a limited edition.

alpaca art deco baby slippers by Ariana Bohling, $55, (edition of 40)

Tyla diamond ring by Still House, $145, (edition of 40)

open medallion necklace by Young Frankk, $91, (edition of 70)

handmade oval dinnerware, $42-$155, Food52

vintage champagne bucket, $90, Food52

Do you have any great resources for finding unique products?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Hotel to Home: Blow Up Hall 5050, Poznan, Poland

We are going back to Europe, but today, we’re going to Poland! I haven’t taken you to Poland in this series, but I’ve been coming across a lot of beautifully designed hotels there, so it’s about time we see something up-close.

Today, I’m featuring a sleek white and grey bedroom in the Blow Up Hall 5050 in Poznan.

photos via Great Small Hotels

Tom Dixon mirror ball pendant, wingback headboard, pillow, curtains, throw, RH Modern swivel chair, white sheet set

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Beauty: The Gel Setter Top Coat from Essie

You may be tired of listening to me talk about how I lack understanding of anything related to beauty, but…

I have learned something about nails, and I thought I’d pass on the info.

Up until I was in my 20s, I was a nail biter. It was a struggle to stop, but eventually I did.  I mostly became disgusted by nail biting and I used acrylic nails to help prevent me from biting my own nails. Now, I do my best to keep my nails strong and healthy. I get manicures a few times a year, and in between sessions, I do my own polish application.

I’ve been veering toward Essie polish for a few years now because I like the colour selections and quality. On a recent trip to the drug store, Essie polishes were on sale so in addition to picking up a new colour, I purchased the Gel Setter Top Coat. This product claimed to extend the wear of the polish, to work with normal polish, and to be easily removed with basic nail polish remover. I added it to my cart, and hoped for the best.
People. This gel setter top coat is fantastic! I can get at least 4 days with no chips, and, more importantly, my polish is shiny for the length of wear! Who knew!? And this is with doing many loads of dishes, lots of keyboard typing, and daily chores. It makes me happy, so I was eager to share the discovery with all of you in case you’re looking for a new top coat.

p.s. When I paint my nails, I use Essie’s grow stronger base coat, two coats of polish (usually Essie), and (now) the gel setter top coat. I’m also a fan of the good to go top coat and I sometimes use the quick-e top coat, too.

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Two for Tuesday: Match Strikers

Today, I’m bringing you a high/low match striker pair. Guess before you scroll all the way down!

match striker

 

match striker

 

top: Paris porcelain match striker, $38, Hudson Grace

bottom: marble match striker, $175, One Kings Lane

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Friday Five: The Maticevski Collection

When I came across this fashion post, I thought the dress was just beautiful.

I learned that the dress is by Maticevski, a collection out of Melbourne, Australia. The current stock list is absolutely stunning. Here are five of my faves:

Genesis gown, $4100AUD

Kindred Spirit dress, $2700 AUD

Dakota mini dress, $910 AUD (on sale)

Magical gown, $6500 AUD

Poet one shoulder top, $955 AUD

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Fashion: Eyeglasses

I have several pairs of eyeglasses currently in rotation, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more. Let’s see what’s going on in the eyeglasses department, shall we?

Transat Trans, $34.99, Polette

Claus, $15.99, Polette

Mandi, $34.99, Polette

Percey, $150+, Warby Parker

Zelda, $225+, Warby Parker

Daze, $135, BonLook

Glow, $135, BonLook

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