Marketplace

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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Art: Beauty in White

I’m starting off 2017 with art. While I have written about art regularly on the blog, I would like to add more art content to the pages of White Cabana this year. There are so many stunning pieces of affordable – and beyond my budget – art out there that I’d like to share it with you.

Under $100

 

Ballroom 2 by Haley Warner, Minted, $25USD for 10″x8″

Linger by Sarah McInroe, Minted, $25USD for 8″x10″

Scoring Through by Van Tsao, Minted, $25USD for 8″x10″

Under $200

Rose Petals by Jelena Kostic, $175, 20″x28″

Under $500

Diver II by William Stafford, $295USD, One Kings Lane

Molten Ecru by Simone Webb, $260CAD for 12″x14″

Think by Tommy Ingberg, $375USD

Over $1000

Queen drawing by Charles Pachter, $9500, Caviar20

Eileen Lake by Adolf Arthur Dehn, $3314CAD, 1stDibs

The Party is Over by Gemma Gené, $6400USD

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Sponsor Love: 2016 Edition

Near the end of 2015, I wrote a thank you post featuring all my sponsors for the year (see this sponsor love post). I’m repeating this post for 2016. I’m very grateful to the PR representatives, brand account managers, social media whizzes, and shop owners for putting their trust in my writing and in my blog.

I’m sending out a big thanks to all the following companies for their enthusiasm, loyalty, and generosity:

Abus (post)

Amara (post)

Bed Bath & Beyond (post)

CIL Paints (photo)

Delta Waterloo (post)

Expedia.ca (post, post, post, post, post, post)

Fairmont Palliser (post)

King Edward Hotel (post, post)

Langdon Hall (end of 2015 post) (post, post, post, photos)

L.L.Bean (post, post, photo, photo)

Minted (post, post, post)

Needham Lane (post, post)

Quarto Group (post)

Ritz Carlton Sarasota (post)

Rug Expedition (post)

Stephen Hawes (post, photos)

Stratford Festival (post)

TYR (post, post, photo, photo)

UncommonGoods (post)

Windsor Arms Spa (post, post)

Thanks again, dear sponsors, for supporting me and my blog, and for making such fabulous products and experiences for all of us to enjoy! See you in 2017!

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The Friday Five: Wrapping Presents

What’s your approach to wrapping Christmas presents? Do you plan a theme? Do you use wrapping paper or bags? Is everything colour-coordinated?

As for me, I keep things simple (are you that surprised?). I use one wrapping paper design and just a few bags. I keep ribbons and tags simple, too. My wrapping is basic, and Pinterest certainly makes me look like the worst wrapper ever.

Just look at these five beautifully wrapped gifts. Wouldn’t you love to receive one of these? I think I may consider improving my approach to wrapping next year.

via Jojotastic

The Cross Design via Erica Cook

via 30s magazine

via Homey Oh My

via Style At Home

Gift Guide: For the Tech Enthusiast

Here’s the last gift guide of the year.¬† This one is for the techie on your list. Isn’t just about everyone a tech enthusiast these days? While I’m done all of my Christmas shopping for the year, I could easily see myself giving some of these items to my oldest nephew, my sister, or my parents. There’s no age limit when it comes to tech!

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Fuji Instax Mini 8 instant camera kit, Bose portable speaker, Bose headphones, XBox controller, drone, Polar Loop 2 activity tracker, TomTom multi-sport cardio GPS watch (I own this watch, and I really like it for running/walking), Tile mate, Samsung Serif tv, Kikkerland travel adapter

Other 2016 gift guides: for the francophile, for the Christmas collector, for the design fan, for the cook.

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The Friday Five: Silver Sequins

Let’s wrap up the week with some sparkle, shall we? For your wardrobe and home decor, sequins work extremely well at this time of year!

silver sequin pumps

sequin dress

JCrew pencil skirt

Kate Spade pillow

stocking

 

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Fashion: Patagonia

Up until recently, I knew very little about outdoorsy company, Patagonia. I associated the brand with fleece. Lots and lots of fleece. Fleece is not exactly my style. It’s true. But in one of my MBA classes about sustainability, a team of my peers presented a case for Patagonia’s sustainability practices, and I was very impressed.

Patagonia has a robust sustainability mission, and it is working to reducing its environmental impact. On each item’s web page, you can learn about the factories where the product has been made and material has been sourced. Further, Patagonia stands behind its products. It offers an ironclad guarantee, encourages repairs and replacements to extend an item’s life cycle, and promotes its reuse and recycle program. Hillary Clinton has been wearing her Patagonia for 20 years.

So, what does Patagonia have to offer in my favourite colour scheme? Let’s investigate!

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women’s better sweater

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women’s nano puff jacket

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women’s los gatos jacket

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beanie hat

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women’s torrentshell jacket

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men’s capilene lightweight crew

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baby furry friends hoody

What do you think? Are you investing in any Patagonia this winter? Are you already a loyal fan?

p.s. My MBA team investigated Canada Goose’s sustainability efforts. They’re not so impressive.

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Two for Tuesday: High/Low Decanters

I haven’t posted a high/low challenge in months. Shall we go for it today?

Which one do you think is the high version?

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top – low: decanter, $35, Target; high – bottom: decanter, $260, Tiffany & Co.

Okay, fine. It was an easy one this week!

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Gift Guide: For the Francophile

If you and your friends are anything like me, then you’re fascinated by the French way of life. If there’s a francophile on your list, you may want to consider one of the following gift options.

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soap, Hermès carré, Hermès teapot, Longchamp purse, Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange book, Hédiard nougat, Petit Bateau nightie, Bensimon sneakers, la maison plaque, madeleine pan, Ladurée flocon de neige individual yule log

Other 2016 gift guides: for the Christmas collector, for the design fan, for the cook.

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The Friday Five: Neutrals at Everlane

I’d love just about everything from clothing company Everlane. I placed my first order not that long ago to test the waters after reading so much about this company online. There are a lot of bloggers who seem to rave about Everlane, and I was curious about quality and fit. The images and styling suit my aesthetic, so I was definitely eager to see an item up-close.

I ordered a classic white tee, and it’s made of super soft material. It fits well, but it’s on the thinner side, so it’s a good one for layering.

I appreciate that the clothing descriptions include a link to the factories where they’re made. Everlane uses #KnowYourFactories to provide consumers with more information about its manufacturing processes. I was most interested in learning more about the Italian factories that produce some of Everlane’s leather goods.

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cashmere crew, $100 (available in many colours)

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cotton poplin sleeveless dress, $80

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slim silk shirt, $78

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modern smoking loafer, $160

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The Petra market, $365 (available in other colours)

Everlane also has items for children and men, so it seems to be a great stop for the whole family.

Have you ordered anything from Everlane? What was your experience?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Note: Shipping to Canada was just under $10 for my order. Images via Everlane.

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Gift Guide: For the Christmas Collector

For the third Christmas gift guide, I opted for items that would make for amazing gifts for those who love Christmas!

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GlucksteinHome glitter snowflake, GlucksteinHome polar boar ornament, GlucksteinHome Starry night tabletop tree, owl snow globe, countdown calendar, time capsule ornament, snowball wreath, disco ball topper, channel quilted velvet stocking, reindeer, menu cards, snowflake hurricanes, paperwhites, merry and joy soaps, winter cottage cookie jar

Other 2016 gift guides: for the design fan, for the cook

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Marketplace: Shop for Gen 1 at HomeSense and Winners

What do you get when you bring together some sparkle, shine, and a good cause? The Shop for Gen1 collection at Winners and HomeSense, of course! Proceeds from this celebration tableware collection go to the Canada’s Women Foundation – “Canada’s only national public foundation committed to improving the lives of women and girls through economic and social change.”

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set of party horns, $7.99 092916-tjx13105_hi_rez

clink paper party cups, $4.99 092916-tjx13194_hi_rez

set of paper polka dot party straws, $4.99 092916-tjx13172_ktjjmwz_hi_rez

set of 8 party plates, $4.99 092916-tjx13044_hi_rez

set of party hats, $7.99

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Gift Guide: For the Design Fan

For the second holiday gift guide this year, I’ve gathered some pretty amazing objets for the design fan in your life.

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white nest bowl, Chen Chen & Kai Williams book stand, steel paperclips, walnut box, white ceramic cockatoo, storage bin, Jonathan Adler I-Scream vase, Areaware white balancing blocks, Kelly Wearstler Legs marble box

***

See the first holiday gift guide – for the cook.

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Fashion: Kate Middleton in Self-Portrait

The Duchess of Cambridge’s style always grabs my attention. I love just about every outfit she has been photographed wearing.

Her recent look in a floor-length Self-Portrait dress amazed me. She looked stunning in the white gown.

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Duchess Catherine in Self-Portrait

Here are some other beautiful white Self-Portrait dress in case you’re looking to channel your inner Duchess sometime soon.

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Self-Portrait white roses gown

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Self-Portrait Penelope gown

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Self-Portrait Eva gown

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Self-Portrait Angelica gown

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The Friday Five: Velvet for Home and Wardrobe

Velvet has been everywhere in the fashion world this fall, but I think we’ll also be seeing it invade some of our home designs on both a small and large scale. While some may opt for rich jewel tones when it comes to velvet, I would encourage you to also think about how creamy velvet can warm up and add luxury to your home and wardrobe.

1753222_lHans Wegner lounge chairs

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pair of channel-back art deco club chairs in cream oyster velvet

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velvet Orianna settee

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Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche velvet skirt jacket

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Aquazurra “Dasha” sandals

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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