We got our Costco membership soon after we moved in together. I wanted to see if the Costco experience would help with our food budget Overall, I think it has. It’s quite a task to shop there as it’s definitely more time-consuming than a trip to a small grocery store, and loading everything in to the car and then out of the house is a workout. Because of these reasons, I try to limit my trips to every 6 weeks or so, and then I stock up on our favourites. What are they, you ask? Read on!
I also tend to pick up beef, chicken, frozen shrimp, Balderson cheddar, Rao pizza sauce (a new addition), spices, and Cascade. I look for sales on other items we might need like canned tuna and olive oil.
We’ve also bought random things like a wet/dry vac (how’d we live without one?) and my hydrangea plants. One of my favourite Costco purchases of all time has to be my retractable hose.
I’d love to know your Costco recommendations, so please share a comment.
p.s. This was not a sponsored post. But maybe it should have been!
I have too many tabs open on my computer right now. Most of them are related to lighting, specifically lighting products and lighting guides. So instead of keeping all the tabs open for much longer, I’m going to do a photo dump in this post, so we can all benefit from some of the pretty lights that are floating around the marketplace right now.
I came across J.D. Lighting in Tillsonburg, Ontario in the newest issue of House & Home magazine. They carry a lot of items – both in lighting and home decor – that I’m drawn to. Much of what I’m sharing here is also approved by my beau, so that’s a bonus!
Mitzi has a cool collection of lights. I like a lot of them, but not all of them suit our house. This modern chandelier stands out to me.
Burke Decor in the United States also has an interesting selection of lighting and home decor items.
The primary goal at our house is to find a chandelier for our dining room before the one-year anniversary of our move-in date in June. My secondary goal (my beau only sort of knows about this one) is to replace all the fixtures in the house soon thereafter…starting with our front hall.
By now, many people know that I’m collecting antique armoires for our new home. I have a beautiful Italian armoire in my office that I use as my bookshelf. In the kitchen, we recently added a large French armoire (one of the ones that come apart…a knockdown armoire) to use as our pantry (which replaced an open bakers rack that came with the house). This very old piece of furniture has travelled from France to Switzerland to Guelph and now it has a new home with us in Waterloo.
It brings me joy.
You know what else brings me joy?
After a bit of inventory analysis, I stocked up on supplies at Homesense (yes, this kind of organization system is an investment of time and money). I opted for white plastic baskets to house categories of items (e.g., pasta, crackers, tea & coffee) and OXO Pop containers for decanting items (e.g., flour, sugar, oatmeal). Then, of course, I labelled everything!
On top of all of this goodness, we have made friends with the previous owners of this armoire. What joy!
When I learned I was going back to the office, one thing that I knew forsure was that I wanted to get rid of my massive lunch bag filled with individual Tupperware containers. I really dislike washing so many little containers by hand, and they never seem to stay upside down in the dishwasher (meaning they fill up with water!). With my return to work, I opted to upgrade my lunchbox, and I’m happy to share that my Bentgo is working out quite well.
I like that it is slim, and there are five compartments. There’s room for all of my lunch, and the food doesn’t move around. The lid is tight-fitting, and it’s dishwasher safe. Although the company claims that the Bentgo is leak-proof, I have not found this to be true, which means that things like salad dressing go in another container (unfortunately). The Bentgo is well-made overall, which means that it’s not cheap.
It’s also been kind of fun (kind of) to put my lunch together because it looks so organized. Here are a few “lunch inspiration” photos if you’d like to see.
Can you tell I’m in a cucumber phase? I can’t seem to get enough of them!
It’s back to work week! Oh my goodness – I can barely believe it. I haven’t been on in a classroom in two years. And I haven’t worn real workwear in just about that length of time, too. While at the beginning of the pandemic, I was mostly wearing jeans, pants, and a nice sweater, in recent times, I’ve succumbed to leggings and joggers paid with a nice top. It’s been awful. I have felt lazy and not put together. I wear makeup, perfume, and jewelry every day, but don’t remember the last time I blow dried my hair!
And now, I’m going to slowly get back into wearing workwear. I’m excited, but I also feel like I’ve lost my style over the last two years, so I’m not really sure what I’ll be putting together for my daily #WhiteCabanaStyle. I’ve cleaned out my closet several times over the last little while, but I haven’t really replaced too many pieces. Here are some outfits that are providing me with inspiration because (a) they’re effortless and (b) I already own many of the items.
Of course there’s a lot of black and white in my style inspiration files. Black pants (or jeans) pair easily with a white shirt, cream sweater, or black cardigan. Cream/beige pants pair well with a sweater of a similar tone or a white shirt. A LBC (Little Black Dress) goes a long way and is comfortable for all-day wear. A pattern coat or dress breaks up the solid black and white. I think items like the ones will be in heavy rotation for me from now until spring.
What about you? Are you back at work? Has the dress code changed since 2019?
Are you surprised to see so much colour? Me, too! Thankfully, the walls in our house are bright white, which is the perfect backdrop for some new additions in our furniture collection. To break up the traditional elements – the sideboard and the rug – I knew I wanted to add white accessories. I started with a pair of bubble lamps – super fun if you ask me!
Soon after I posted the above photo on Instagram, I received direct messages of other bubble lamps.
Here’s Kelly Wearstler’s version (perhaps the original bubble lamp?):
And here are some other bubble lamps (brands unknown), including a DIY version, too.
As I mentioned in my 2022 goals post, I’m making my back health a priority. I’ve had a sore back for a little while now, which I think was a result of sitting in a not-so-ergonomic chair at my desk all day staring at a computer. As steps to improve my back, I’ve been going to physiotherapy regularly (which always makes me feel better), practicing daily yoga (18 days straight…hooray!), and sitting on a stability ball at my desk.
Everyone, I already feel so much better! I can barely believe it!
While I’ve been going to physio for a few months now, I really think the 18 days of yoga plus the stability ball chair have really sped up my sore back recovery. I was skeptical that either would help, so you can imagine my surprise when the combo of both (or all three changes, in fact) have helped me.
So now I want to buy every Gaiam product out there and continue to build my strength and stability by doing every day things – like sitting at my desk!
I do have an ergonomic chair on its way, but I think I may end up alternating between the chair and the ball throughout the day or week.
Who else is dealing with a major snowfall today? On blistery, snowy days like this (when I don’t have to leave the house), I love staying extra cozy with a great pair of slippers. If you’re like me, and you hate having cold feet, then you may enjoy browsing the online shops for a new pair of slippers. Here are several that I’m considering as my next slipper purchase.
I have said for years that one year, I would forego all of my treasured ornaments from my travels in favour of an all-white Christmas tree. Each year, though, I can’t resist decorating my tree with my colourful ornaments. A cowboy boot from Dallas mixed in with a mini Vespa from Rimini with a side of clover-leaf angels from Ireland…how could I keep these sweet ornaments packed away?
That said, there are plenty of other opportunities to decorate with white each year. Wouldn’t a collection of white Christmas trees look festive on a sideboard or a fireplace mantel? Or even spread throughout a house? These 12 Christmas trees are delightful!
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. ðŸ™‚
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?