Have you started to decorate for Christmas? I usually wait until December 1st, but we took advantage of some warmer weather a few weeks ago to decorate the outside of our home. We may get our Christmas tree this weekend, which would be lovely. A month of decorations suits me well.
Today’s round-up of Christmas stockings are all available at Canadian retailers.
I really quite like the Fa La La stocking! Do you have an instant favourite of this bunch?
I have never owned a mortar and pestle, but in recent months, I’ve been finding and trying recipes where a mix of spices would benefit from a mortar and pestle spice smash. This little kitchen gadget seems to always be in stock at places like The Bay and Homesense, which is handy. Alternatively, there are a lot of great options in online shops, too, including pricey designer versions as you see below.
Do you have and use one? How often do you put yours to work?
I am gathering inspiration for lighting…again. I am currently strongly drawn to modern, unique, unexpected lighting to mix into our historic home. I am dreaming of a home with a mix of pieces that we love rather than maintaining the Edwardian style throughout.
The Gino Sarfatti and Aerin chandeliers are especially striking.
While we don’t currently need any table lamps, I seem to be collecting images of ones that I like. For some odd reason, it’s been much easier for me to find and save images of table lamps that I like rather than ceiling lights and sconces. Why is that?
If I was in need of a table lamp, all of these six would be on my wish list.
What are your holiday traditions when it comes to advent calendars? Are you a classic chocolate lover? Do you opt for something else for you and/or your loved ones? I usually pick up a delicious chocolate calendar when I see something that looks delicious. The variety of calendars available in the marketplace seems to have exploded in the last several years. Now, there are calendars with beauty products, food items, ornaments, toys, and more!
Here are eight advent calendars that look unique. The Chanel calendar is quite the luxurious splurge at $825USD!
It looks like I’m heading back to in person work in January, and I’m already thinking about what I’ll wear! I have a closet full of clothes that I haven’t worn in two years, and frankly, there’s a lot in there that I don’t feel like wearing. A full closet edit is in order, and I’d like to buy a few pieces that will be comfortable and stylish for long days of teaching and commuting.
One of the clothing stores that I love is Sandro Paris. The dresses are lovely, and the fit is great. I have a few Sandro dress, and they’re among my favourite clothes in my closet. (They’ll survive the closet edit forsure!)
And, yes, it’s true…after nearly two years of working from home, I’m still drawn to black and white dresses for work!
One of the rug options that I have strongly been considering for my office is Ikea’s Stockholm rug in black and white. It, however, has been out of stock in Ontario for a long while now, so I’m considering other striped options.
The ones I’ve shown here all look pretty good online, but I’d much prefer to feel the rug in person pre-purchase. Have you ever bought a rug online? Were you pleased?
Cool, rainy, dark fall days have arrived, which makes me want to bury myself in blankets, stay warm, and play games. Bananagrams continues to be a favourite, and I have a goal to learn Backgammon this season. Beyond these, here are some good-looking – and fun – games to try. (Luxe, too!)
So it seems that I’m on Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji every day. You, too? Please tell me I’m not the only one who browses these sites so frequently. One of the items that I’m the lookout for is a mirror…or more than one, in fact. I have some idea of where one (or several) may end up, but I’ll know more as soon as I see one that I love. Over the last few months, I have bought three mirrors at a fraction of what they might cost at a store and, more interesting for me, they’re all antique (and unique!).
Here are some mirrors that I’ve come across lately (in Ontario) on Facebook Marketplace.
I feel lucky to live so close to St. Jacobs. It’s a charming area in the Waterloo Region. The village has cute shops and excellent food. The Saturday market is vibrant and fun…with excellent food vendors. The Mennonite community is so unlike other areas of the region (e.g., the university sectors, the tech community). In addition to all of these great qualities, the antique markets are full of interesting items, and if you’re a collector of just about anything, I’m sure you can find something to add to your collection here.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a look around, and I’ve enjoying observing what’s “new” in the world of antiques.
Having a bigger house means having more rooms to furnish. It’s completely fun, but it’s also overwhelming and a slow process. We also have a lot of furniture to begin with, so some of our furniture needs mean upgrading to pieces that suit our style and new home. It’s a tough problem to have, I know. We are lucky to have such problems! In other rooms, however, we are starting from nearly a blank slate. We have designated one room as our study/games room, and we are in need of a good set of table and chairs. As such, I’ve been on the lookout for an interesting round table at just the right size. I’d prefer a pedestal table, I think, with chairs that tuck completely in. I think this option would be best for the room and how we want it to function.
Here are some tables that have been inspiring me and the design for our study.
Part of me wants something quite sculptural without chairs, but I know that wouldn’t be practical. Darn!
I recently received excellent customer service from Native Union after I encountered some issues with one of our charging cords. Their cords aren’t cheap, but they are very effective. The weighted ball on one end of the cord is surprisingly handy!
Native Union‘s collections come in a variety of colours, but Zebra is my favourite.
Well, there aren’t too many places to shop in person this month, so I’ve put together a list of 10 Mother’s Day gift ideas that are easy to pick up from the grocery store. It’s the one place that I know forsure will be open (although I know there are plenty of curbside pickup spots and online shops, too)!
Food. Pick up all the ingredients you need to spoil your mom with a great meal (perhaps one that you’ve perfected over the last year of lockdown).
Flowers. Ideally, you’d buy flowers from a local florist, but if you can’t get to one, consider the flowers and plant options from the grocery store. An orchid is always a winning option, for example.
Candy, chocolate, and ice cream. Choose her favourite flavours. Who can ever resist some sweets?
Card. Don’t forget to send your mom a card!
Coffee. Grab a few and bundle them together in a coffee-themed gift basket (reuse a basket you own or get creative with packaging).
Magazines. My mom loves magazines, but she only has so many subscriptions, so it’s nice to treat her to magazines she doesn’t subscribe to every once in a while, too.
Cake. Check out the baked goods in the bakery section of your grocery store. You could get a cake with a personalized message in icing on it.
Spa products. Check out the beauty section of the grocery store. You might just find some nail polish, a loufah, or her favourite moisturizer. These days at-home spas are all the rage. ð
Picnic ware. If a quick backyard visit is your only option, buy some paper plates and pick up a pizza to share.
Cheese and charcuterie. Pick up all the delicious cheeses and charcuterie you mom would like, arrange it on a wood cutting board (which you can also pick up at many grocery stores), and gift her a delicious easy meal.
Monika Hibbs wears and has worn many hats – doctor, blogger, influencer, designer, author, and shop owner. Based out of British Columbia, her namesake homewares shop is absolutely lovely. She has some really beautiful pieces in stock currently, especially in the areas of lighting and decor. Here are a few of the items that caught my eye (but are definitely not in my budget…sigh).
I have been using a version of a belt bag/waist pack/hip pack/fanny pack/bum bag for years for walking and jogging. Most of the versions I’ve owned over the years have been in the athletic realm, but more recently, I invested in this stylish belt bag (if you’d even think to consider belt bags stylish!) from Toronto-based Ela. I’ve used it on walks when I need something that’s big enough to fit more than my keys and ID and when I want to do hands-free errands like grocery shopping. Overall, I’m a fan of any version of the belt bag.
Here are 10 belt bags at various price points that you might consider if this is a spring bag (and look) you’d like to invest in (Note that many of these come in multiple colours).
We had a few wonderful summer-like days over the last couple of weeks (interspersed with rainy, cold April days), which seemed to put everyone in a happier-than-usual mood (on account of Ontario’s 3rd lockdown currently in place until at least the end of April…ugh!). The trails were busy with walkers, joggers, and cyclists, and it felt great to get some real vitamin D!
I’m eager for outdoor living and entertaining this summer. (Yes, back to entertaining…I’m thinking positively!) I’m thinking casual gatherings with easy food and drinks. I want to be outdoors and maskless with friends enjoying good food, music, and games. I want people to feel comfortable to come inside to use the bathroom or to grab another drink. It’s not too much to ask after 1+ years of lockdown, right? Right?!
What do I need for outdoor entertaining? While I take stock of my current inventory of furniture, tableware, and games, I’ll also look around the online marketplace to see what’s new and fun.
I enjoy browsing the beautiful items offered at Terrain, which is an America home goods (and plants and beauty) store part of the Anthropologie family. This ruffle marble bowl caught my eye on my recent browsing adventure, so I had to take a moment to see what else was in stock. Here are some favourites.
I really just look at Terrain from afar since it’s in the US. Have you ever bought anything from Terrain?
What are your thoughts about freestanding bathtubs? Do you have a favourite brand or design? What criteria do you have for the perfect bathtub?
I can count on one hand the number of baths I’ve taken since I moved into my house nearly eight years ago. Maybe if I had a more ideal design (rather than a massive corner jacuzzi tub where the water gets cold by the time it’s filled), maybe I’d take more baths. This is one of my hopes as I plan my bathroom reno.
These are the styles that I gravitate toward, but I haven’t seen any of them in person (and prices are way out of budget for some of them, so I need to find other options). Since my bathroom is so square, and the shower will be rectangular, I’m thinking a curvy bathtub would be best.
All of my shoes will be so out of style by the time I need to wear them again. Slippers are where things are at now (and have been for the last year). But what price do you pay for a nice pair? Would you, could you, spend hundreds of dollars (or a thousand?) on a designer pair like the ones I’m featuring here?
While I have already shared some sweet Valentine’s Day items recently, today’s love themed curation is from local shops. Even though we can’t visit the stores in person quite yet, these Ontario shops are offering easy delivery and curbside pickup options. Have a browse and buy what you love!
I love when all the heart items hit the market around this time of year. I wish hearts (and stars) would stay year-round. Heart pyjamas are my favourite, but they’re not always easy to come by (especially at a reasonable price). I also think adding a heart tea towel is an easy way to bring (more) happiness into the kitchen.
Rose & Rex is a marketplace for educational, well-designed toys and games for kids. Their toys promote imaginative play, and I think there are so many great items to spoil your kids…and to give them a break from virtual classrooms.
In preparation for an upcoming post, I came across this (non-white) backpack.
Why am I sharing it here if it isn’t white? Well, it’s because this is the exact backpack I used throughout my childhood, and it brought back happy memories. I had the red version, and my sister had the yellow one. They were from Italy and from an unknown brand to all of my Canadian friends. Invicta. That was a cool Italian brand back in the day (and now, too), and my backpack (the one you see here!) was The Best! The pockets were perfectly placed and functional, and the drawstring for the interior opening made sure all of my supplies stayed in place. Also, I loved (loooooved) the top flap’s plastic closures. I thought they were so unique. Our Invicta backpacks are still at my parents’ house, so I see them every time I open a closet. And now, this model – the exact model from the 80s – is available for purchase once again. How very cool.
Am I the only one with fond memories of a childhood backpack? I have similar memories of pencil cases, too. Who is with me on this?
I know many people are stressing the importance of shopping local this holiday season, and I’m eager, too, to share news of some of my favourite gift shops in the Waterloo region. (I’m sharing a few outside the region’s boundaries, too, because I want to.) So here we go…
In the home category, I suggest the following shops:
UpMarket – a new shop with beautiful textiles (blankets, pillows, scarves), pottery, wood cutting/serving boards, Belmont Village
The Art of Home – a lovely selection of homewares, womenswear, kidswear, Cambridge
Has anyone’s book collection grown over the past six months? I placed several book orders since March since the library was closed, so now I have books piled in all sorts of places. Now that I need to get my office back-to-school ready, it’s time to get my books organized, too. All this to say, today’s post is all about pretty bookends!
Distanced backyard and porch gatherings and road trips seem to be the way of life this summer for many of us who want to stay in touch with friends and explore our surroundings while respecting the safety guidelines in the COVID-19 era. As such, I’ve observed the effectiveness of travel mugs more than ever before. People can travel with their own tumblers so as to minimize the contact between people and the necessity of constantly sanitizing dinnerware.
If you’re looking to add to your travel tumbler collection for hot or cold drinks, here’s a selection that might suit your interests. Many of these options come in many colours, too, so each member of your family can have their own cup on the go!
In the COVID-19 era, I haven’t been hosting dinner parties as I have in the pre-COVID-19 era. I have, however, been visiting with family and friends in my backyard for very low-key social time. I serve a few drinks and snacks (always trying to minimize shared items) alongside an endless supply of Lysol wipes. The outdoor entertaining has made me consider investing in a melamine dinnerware set. I haven’t found a set that I absolutely love, but these are contenders.
Once stock gets replenished in stores like HomeSense, I’ll have a look at options there, too. I would prefer to see the quality of the dinnerware set in person before I purchase it.
What do you think? Do you dine outside with outdoor-friendly dinnerware or do you use your everyday dishes?
I have always liked Valentine’s Day. As a child or as an adult, whether I’ve been single or in a relationships, I’ve liked February 14th. Why not take a day to spread love as far as you can? Why not take a break from the dreary February weather to eat a chocolate (or several)? Seems like a good idea to me!
When my mom had her flower shop, I used to work with her on February 14th, and I packed countless boxes of roses and flowers over the years. We heard all sorts of stories of love. We saw teenagers come in to buy a single stem for their sweethearts, we helped husbands pick out bouquets of flowers for their wives, and we chatted with little kids who wanted to pick out a special treat for their moms. Love was all around! And I always got flowers of my own at the end of the day!
So this week, let’s spread some love! Stay tuned to a full week of Valentine’s posts!
I want those heart eyeglasses, but my prescription is too strong!
About a month ago, I received the CHI steam iron. You might recognize the CHI name from the CHI ceramic flat irons. It’s the same company and the same technology for both the steam irons (for clothing) and flat irons (for hair). Interesting, right? You could imagine how excited I was to test out this iron!
While I know ironing is on the “most hated chore” list of many readers, it’s not in my house. I don’t mind ironing, and I am satisfied when I see wrinkles disappear. I also find the chore quite meditative.
As many of you know, I wear many “must-iron” clothes. Between my white shirts and my dresses, my ironing pile each week is quite high. Add a tablecloth or two, and the pile grows even more quickly! Considering this, I need a powerful and efficient iron. After a month of using the CHI steam iron, I can say that this machine lives up to my expectations.
Here are some things that I really like about the CHI steam iron.
1.It’s fast. Watch the short video below to see how quickly wrinkles disappeared from my white shirt.
2. The control button. At the press of a button, I can change the setting from linen to cotton to synthetic (and more). It’s so handy to have this button at the top of the handle, so I don’t have to put down the iron if I need to switch things up. The off button is also handy.
3. Here are the specs that make the iron work efficiently: titanium-infused ceramic soleplate, electronic controls, over 300 steam holes, and 1700 watts.
4. The CHI steam iron heats up fast. It also beeps once the setting is ready for use. I definitely appreciate this precision.
5. It’s gold. I know I shouldn’t base a machine on its colour, but I do. If I’m going to spend an hour (or more!) ironing each week, I’d like to use a machine that is aesthetically pleasing. This one fits my expectations.