Marketplace

Fashion: The Panama Hat

I love wearing my panama hat in the summer. It provides a good amount of shade on my face, and it makes lazy outfits look chic. I bought mine in New Orleans nearly a decade ago, so it comes with fun memories, too.

If you don’t have one, but you want one, here are some in a range of prices that might interest you.

Rag & Bone panama hat, $341.56CAD; Halogen panama hat, $53.33CAD; Lanzom panama hat, $15.99USD; Janetshats panama hat, $37.99CAD; Marks & Spencer panama hat, $116CAD; Mantles panama hat, $14.59CAD; panama hat, $8.48CAD; Scala panama hat, $178.78CAD

And if you’re looking for outfit inspiration, here you go!

Marketplace: Gucci DĂ©cor

I recently came across a piece from the Gucci dĂ©cor collection, and then I went down a rabbit hole exploring the Gucci website. And now I’m sharing my favourite dĂ©cor finds with you!

I love these porcelain pieces; they’re like none I’ve seen elsewhere. I’m drawn to the evil eye and lion pieces especially. And the star print box with the hand handle.

vase, $5360CAD; star print box, $705CAD; star print lion candle, $775CAD; XL cat candle, $750CAD; lion trinket tray, $445CAD; ‘Maison de l’amour’ candle, $585CAD; eye mug, $350CAD; bee incense burner, $235CAD; eye print box, $585CAD; bee candle, $350CAD

Now I just need to wait for a sale!

Design: A Round-Up of Unique Products

In my travels online, I’ve come across some interesting products – or concepts for products – that have caught my attention. The designers of these items have so much talent. I tried to include their websites whenever possible, so you can click through and see what other designs they’ve dreamed up.

ME dinner set – by Moak Studio
bread oven, part of the Bread from Scratch collection – by Mirko Ihrig
bicycle picnic set (attaches to the back rack) – by Morgane Ratton – via Blog Esprit Design
Balena – by Dossofiorito
coin bank storage – by Mai Peishan – via Behance
hourglass by Lihi Svirsky – via Design Break
Exploded chair – by Joyce Lin – via Blog Esprit Design
concept kitchen appliance range – by No Picnic
fan ine – by Simona Hruskova
aventure romantique backpack Vacheron Constantin – by Panter & Tourron

Fashion: Go Go Gingham

Are you a fan of gingham? I have a couple of pieces, but I’m always on the lookout for more. I have a pair of gingham pants that I bought years ago and still love, but I feel like their time has ended, so I’m on the hunt for another light pair for summer. Last year, I went full-on gingham style when I paired the pants with a gingham shirt. The outfit got mixed reviews online and in real life.

Bloggers like Krystin Lee and Grace Atwood have worn gingham beautifully, too.

If you’re like me, and you’re looking to add some gingham to your summer wardrobe, I’ve pulled together a few pieces that I think would be great pieces for summer.

dress with smocking, $39.99USD; skirt, $375USD; jacket, $417USD; swimsuit, $19.99USD; ruffle dress (navy), $242.95CAD; button front skirt, $26CAD; sneakers, $14.99USD; hair tie, $5CAD; tote, $82.80CAD; jumpsuit, $51.20CAD; short dress, $19.99USD

Fashion: The White Sneaker

When the warmer weather arrives and the sun stays out for longer than an hour, I make the switch from my black sneakers to white ones. I wear sneakers all summer long as they’re comfortable for walking to work, doing errands, and traveling. I have two pairs in rotation at the moment – a pair of Converse and a pair of People. I find the Converse aren’t so comfortable, so I tend to wear my People sneakers more often. Do you wear sneakers in the spring and summer? Are you on the lookout for a new pair? If so, what do you think of these nine pairs?

Muse sneakers, $80USD; VB Bolton Lo Sneakers, $250USD; Lilou leather sneakers, $254USD (on sale); internationalist sneaker, $126.25CAD; Ked’s champion, $39.95USD; sneakers, $19USD, Joe Fresh; Cole Haan sneaker, $120USD; sneakers, $29.99USD, H&M; Lacoste sneakers, $124CAD

Marketplace: 10 Outdoor Games to Play

School is nearly out for the summer in Canada, which means many people will have more free time to play. Here are some outdoor games that are great for your next party, BBQ, or ordinary afternoon.

wooden ladder golf game, $100USD; backgammon set, $300USD; tic tac toe, $85USD; domino game, $115USD; bocce ball, $219CAD; tumbling tower, $209CAD; badminton set, $79.99CAD; croquet set, $34.99CAD; four in a row game, $59.99CAD; giant chess set, $125.99CAD

Fashion: Summer Whites at Banana Republic

I was in Banana Republic over the weekend, and there were so many pretty dresses in the current collection. I was only at the mall for a quick stop, so I didn’t have time to try anything on, but I’ll be going back to see what I might like the best this season. Just look at this collection of summer whites. Pretty, yes?

ruffle dress, $160CAD; woven slides, $124CAD; mother of pearl earrings, $85CAD;pump, $70USD; midi dress, $170CAD; crossbody bag, $87CAD (on sale); bucket bag, $129CAD; glitter sandal, $102.97CAD (on sale); button-down dress, $105CAD; earrings, $44CAD (on sale); poplin shirt dress, $145;; perforated slide, $68USD; eyelet midi dress, $185CAD; print sandal, $98.97CAD (on sale); chain crossbody bag, $80CAD (on sale)

Gift Guide: For the Teacher

Although the weather isn’t a great indication, we are nearing the end of the school year. When I was an elementary school teacher, I was definitely tired and done by the time June rolled around. I was itching to enjoy lazy days of summer and finally take a vacation. The work that teachers do is admirable. And I am happy to shine the spotlight on them today. Daniela’s gift guide is well-researched and perfectly varied. If you’re looking for a teacher’s gift, read on!

***

Hi everyone!

Many of us are trying to find that perfect gift for our children’s teachers this month. Since I struggle with what to buy my daughter’s preschool teachers, I took to the streets and asked a number of teachers both in elementary and high school environments about favourite gifts they have received. I have to tell you I was hoping for creative answers from them, but I got a whole lot of “I’d appreciate a gift card” responses.

The number one gift request by all of my teacher friends and acquaintances is a gift card. Most of them had these stores as their most coveted: LCBO (and, yes, they prefer a gift card to a bottle of wine), Starbucks, Dollarama, Indigo, and The Keg.

Because I really love buying and receiving tangible gifts, I pushed my teacher friends to give me some things they would like, and I have listed them below.

Consider a personalized item. People love having something with their initial or name on it. For this, I recommend Minted. Independent artists design all products purchased from Minted.

personalized journal, Minted

Ready to hang art or an inspirational message are great for their classrooms and have a personal touch.

Karisa Marley’s piece called “I can” would be fitting for a teacher who has truly inspired your child.

I Can, Minted

Does your child have a teacher who is always wearing a nice scarf either as a fashion statement or because they are cold? Add to their collection!

painted scarf, Aritzia

Nice pens are another great idea for teachers. After all, they do a lot of marking and writing! Having a nice pen to do that with is always welcome by teachers!

Read about why this pen is the best.

Paper Mate pen, JetPens

This fun set of pens not only write well, but they even have fun sayings on them!

Does the teacher in your life carry her ID and keys on a lanyard? If so, one of these products would make a great gift.

There was a big divide on teachers who absolutely hate getting a mug or insulated water bottle – and those that love this gift! Insulated bottles not only keep teachers’ water or cold drink cold, but they can also keep a tea or coffee hot for hours. If you’ve read my other gift guides, then you’ve seen this next brand already. I am once again recommending my favourite Canadian insulated water bottle company Green’s Your Colour.

Almost all the teachers I spoke with mentioned the best part of a gift is if it comes with a personal message in a card. These meaningful cards written by students is the best part of the gift, so make sure whatever you decide to do with regards to a teacher gift, write a thoughtful note in the card! It’s a must!

I hope I made your teacher gift shopping a little easier with this gift guide! In the end, you can never go wrong with a gift card!

Happy Shopping!

***

Thanks, Daniela! These are useful gifts for teachers, but they’re also great for friends and loved ones, too!

Gift Guide: Father’s Day

Father’s Day is around the corner (ahem…Sunday, June 16th), which is a nice reminder for us to get prepared. My own dad is pretty easy to shop for – a bottle of wine – something he likely wouldn’t buy for himself, preferably with the letter B on it somewhere (for his name). And if I can’t find such a unique bottle of wine, I just buy him something that I think he would like, and he seems pretty happy. If you’d like to spoil a dad in your life with more than a bottle of wine, read on! Daniela has yet another excellent gift guide for us all!

***

Dads are hard to buy for, so I hope this gift guide takes some of the stress off as you shop for the father in your life.

Whether dad is king of the grill or of the kitchen this awesome apron will be a sure hit. What makes this apron unique is it functions as a knife roll when folded. Also, by purchasing this Sorichetti apron, you are supporting a father daughter duo that designs and manufactures their products in Toronto, Canada! How cool is that? Read more about Sorichetti.

The Denim Apron, $130, Sorichetti

These sneakers are sleek, go with almost anything, and are made in Italy. And as we all know, the best shoes are made in Italy! Best dads deserve the best shoes

Santoni deerskin sneakers, $399 (on sale), Harry Rosen

Next up…Why not engrave a sweet message or initials on these classic cuff links by Canadian company Birks ? 

polished cufflinks, $225CAD, Birks

This unique vintage inspired watch is great for a watch enthusiast or the dad who could use a new classic watch.

watch, ~$372USD, Baltic

Available at a registered Stihl dealer, this next gift is perfect for the dad who has a lot of trees on their property, or if you just want to make outdoor work easier for dad, then this gift is one to get! The Stihl backpack leaf blower is the best leaf blower on the market. I know my husband would love to receive one of these one day.

leaf blower, $399USD (on sale), Stihl

Is your dad a golf enthusiast? If so, I am sure he would appreciate one or both of these for Father’s Day.

First, keep dad safe from the sun and stylish with this hat

cap, $27.99USD (on sale)

And then make sure he is at the top of his game with this wedge

wedge, $139, Golftown

Is the dad in your life a big yogi ? Then this mat is for him. It’s durable and made so well that it will likely last a lifetime.

Manduka black mat, $139, The Well.ca

Practical dads who always pack their lunch will think of you everyday when using this useful gift. This is an insulated lunch bag that’s easy to use and hand washable from one of my favourite Canadian companies – So Young.

black paper lunch poche, $42CAD, So Young

And with that, I have reached the end of my gift guide. I hope you have a fantastic Father’s Day!

Happy Shopping!

***

Don’t you think Daniela has a talent for gift giving? Her gift guides are so well curated, and I’m thankful she spends time creating them for us all! I see, too, that she’s included some of her favourite Canadian brands like The Well.ca, So Young, and Birks. This guide has sparked a few ideas for my own shopping…maybe I should expand on my traditional wine gift for my dad this Father’s Day!

Two for Tuesday: The Minimalist Rainbow

June is Pride month, which means all the colourful rainbows are in full force in cities, communities, and homes around the world. Rainbows are one of the most recognizable symbols of gay pride. You might see them on pedestrian crossings, flags, and on every piece of clothing item. Today, I’m sharing two more minimalist rainbows to raise awareness for the rights of all citizens.

black and white rainbow art, $13.99USD+, Hearts in Colors
rainbow printable, $11.11CAD, Etsy

Marketplace: The Tote Bag

Spring…and summer, eventually…is on its way (slowly and very inconsistently), which means that tote bags will be in full force. They’re great for market days, beach days, road trips, and more. Do you have one? If not, is it on your spring shopping list? Here are some that caught my eye.

round tote – Creema, canvas tote – H&M, coated canvas tote – Best Made Co., boat and tote – L.L. Bean, tote – Joe Fresh, tote – Banana Republic, canvas tote, canvas tote – James Pearse, tote – Native & Co

Design: The Fringe Chandelier

Fringe and tasseled chandeliers have been around for a while, but I’m seeing them used more frequently recently. They’re soft and delicate, so I thing the the style is ideal for a bedroom or powder room. They come in a range of prices and materials, and there are even DIY instructions floating around online, too. I’ve included one DIY version in the selection today. Can you tell which one it is (without looking at the caption info)?

Justina Blakeney tassel chandelier, $194, Dear Keaton
tiered fringe chandelier, $199USD, PB Teen
DIY fringe chandelier, Jungalow
fringe lamp, 25ÂŁ, George
fringe light, $760.29CAD, A Place Called Wanda
fringe chandelier, $69.83CAD, Emmyporium
tasseled chandelier, $228USD, Anthropologie
Hans-Agne Jakobsson Table Lamp Model B-145, $2275.42USD, 1stDibs

Two for Tuesday: Wish Upon a Star

I was in Montreal this past weekend, and I stayed at the Hotel Birks. Since it is conveniently attached to – and the same company as – Birks, the jewelry store, it was easy to pop in to eye the current collection of sparkle and shine. Delicate jewelry caught my attention the most (second to diamonds, of course), including these star pieces.

Marketplace: 10 White Plant Pots

I buy many of my plant pots from Ikea. They’re sleek and inexpensive, and they come in ideal sizes for my many plants. I also pick up unique planters for myself or as gifts when I’m out and about. In Ontario, Leuk in Collingwood and Lofthouse Living in London are two great places to find pretty, white plant pots.

planter, $16.95CAD, Crate and Barrel
plant pot, $60CAD, Lofthouse Living
small planter, $71.96CAD (on sale), CB2
bowl, $48+USD, Terrain
planter (large), $39USD, Black Rooster Decor
shell planter, $24.99CAD, Bettencourt Manor
plant pot, $12+USD, Terrain
terrazzo planter (large), $46.71CAD (on sale), CB2
plant pot, $4.99USD, Ikea
pot, $10+USD, Anthropologie

Fashion: Spring Accessory Trends

While I think these are mostly spring trends, I think some are lingering from winter. What do you think of these fashion trends? Are you on board or are you saying pass?

cat eye sunglasses, $167.92CAD, Nordstrom
hair clips, $17.99CAD, Amazon
Blair Eadie – Atlantic Pacific
Lele Sadoughi headband, $211.67CAD, Nordstrom
Blair Eadie – Atlantic Pacific
round bag, $79.90CAD, Zara
Krystin Lee – Suburban Faux Pas

Furniture: Cane

I am seeing caning everywhere these days. Online. In stores. High end. Low end. Even HomeSense had several caned chairs and tables in stock when I was there over the weekend.

Breuer Cesca chair, Knoll
Atelier CPH (poster for sale)
Milo Baughman cane table set, 1st Dibs
dining chairs, 1stDibs
Breuer Cesca chair, Seats & Stools
Reverie bed, Christine Dovey, Hudson’s Bay
nightstand, Urban Outfitters

Gift Guide: Mother’s Day

I’m thrilled to welcome back Daniela to White Cabana. She’s prepared a fantastic gift guide with moms in mind, but as she told me, they’d be great for many people (I couldn’t agree more!). Mother’s Day in Canada is on Sunday, May 12th, if you needed a gentle reminder.

***

Hi Everyone! 
My favourite holiday (a tie with Christmas) is right around the corner, and I’m back with a gift guide full of ideas for that special mom in your life.

Is there a mom in your life that is stuck in the T-shirt and leggings style and wants out of the style, but the thought of putting on a pair of jeans is terrifying to her? Well I have a solution—one that got me out of my leggings—Mother jeans! These jeans are not only extremely flattering but are so incredibly comfortable that I never want to take them off. Give the woman in your life a wardrobe pick me up by adding a pair of these to her closet. Trust me she will love them! 

jeans, $340CAD, Mother, Holt Renfrew

Have someone in your life that likes to read and wants to read about a woman that empowers and is relatable? If so, then I recommend picking up this easy read.

Becoming by Michelle Obama, $25CAD, Chapters Indigo

If you want to give something more funny, then pick up the latest book by my go-to author Sophie Kinsella.

Since becoming a mom of two, I rediscovered the knapsack! This is something that I had not worn since my university days. I actually don’t know how people don’t have a knapsack once they have one, two, or more children. I feel like I will need a knapsack full of things for my children for at least the next decade! Here, I’m including both a diaper bag knapsack (which I own) and a non diaper bag option if the mom in your life is past the baby and toddler stage. I’m sure the owner of a new, gifted knapsack will thank you a million times over!

Duo diaper backpack, $32.50USD (on sale), Skip Hop
City Adventurer backpack, $128CAD, Lululemon

It wouldn’t be a gift guide by moi if it didn’t have an element of coffee in it! This next item is on my wish list, so I hope it will be my next upgraded coffee maker for home brewing. This coffee maker brews an incredible cup of coffee. If you don’t believe me, stop in at a Williams-Sonoma as you may just find salespeople brewing coffee from it. Technivorm is handmade in the Netherlands and each coffee maker is individually tested. Learn more here. My wish is for the glass one linked below as I love my coffee from a glass carafe; however, the insulated option is great if you want to brew and take your pot of coffee to work with you.

Have a mom who is “fancy” but who also loves comfort? These sneakers are absolutely stunning (yes I used the word stunning to describe sneakers), and they may just fit in very well in your mom’s wardrobe.

Sneaky Viv buckle leather sneakers, $1485CAD, Roger Vivier, Holt Renfrew

I have always been a big Gucci fan, and I think these sneakers offer a casual yet still luxurious option for someone who is not into the bling as seen in the ones above. 

Ace leather sneakers, $690CAD, Gucci, Holt Renfrew

Finally if you have a mom who is all about giving back and supporting causes, Birks has just released this “bee chic for a cause” bracelet. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Nature Conservancy of Canada. 

Happy shopping! Happy Mother’s Day!

***

I think Daniela was right in saying that these items would be great gifts to spoil many ladies in your lives! I think the Birks bracelet is my favourite thing on today’s list. It’s pretty! Thanks for sharing your ideas and time with us, Daniela.

If you’re looking for more gift ideas, check out these White Cabana gift guides.

Two for Tuesday: Staying Warm in (almost) May

Every time I say the word spring, the sunny days leave, and the cold weather returns. I was so happy for a touch of warmth and sunshine on Sunday, and then yesterday, boom, back to gloves and my winter coat! Not fun for a sun-seeker like me.

So, since we have another cold week ahead of us, today, I’m showcasing two items that will keep us warm. And since they’re on sale, today is a great day to buy them!

sweatshirt, $45+, Gap
joggers, $32.99, Gap

Two for Tuesday: Chopsticks

Japan content is going to continue here for a little while, so I hope you enjoy it! Today is all about chopsticks!

I used chopsticks for the two weeks I was in Japan (minus one day in Kobe). I could use them well to begin with, but my skills definitely improved or became more natural each day. Many of the restaurants that I went to had the wooden chopsticks that you break apart. Others had really refined lacquer and wood sets. They were beautiful. So many shops sold chopsticks that ranged in price from $10 a pair to hundreds of dollars. I had no idea! While I didn’t use any white pairs of chopsticks while I was in Japan, this set is just too refined and luxurious not to share!

silver plated chopsticks, $120, Christofle

The Friday Five: 5 Go-To Kitchen Utensils

Do you have a drawer in your kitchen that is filled with kitchen utensils? Yep. Me, too. I have a drawer full, and while I use just about all of the items, some utensils get more use than others. Today I’m sharing five kitchen utensils that I use on nearly a daily basis.

From left to right:

1.Tongs. I picked up these Kuhn Rikon tongs last summer at Sur La Table. Did I need another pair of tongs? No. But was I drawn into this compact pair by one of my favourite utensil companies? Yes. So I bought them. I went all the way to Florida, and I brought back a pair of kitchen tongs. What’s wrong with that? Well, they’ve been my go-to tongs ever since. I don’t think I’ve used any of the other pairs in my drawer. What I like about these is that they lock easily, and they have silcone edges, so they don’t scratch my pans. Most importantly, when they close, the edges actually touch each other and can grab whatever it is that they need to grab!

2. Peeler. I have had this Kuhn Rikon peeler for years. I wasn’t lying when I said I really like this brand. This peeler is comfortable to hold and has stayed sharp over many years and many washes.

3. Mini scoop. When my friend bought this mini ladle for me a few years ago, I asked her what she thought I should do with it. I didn’t know I needed a mini scooper until I had one! This little gadget is great for scooping out batter for muffins, cookies, pancakes, and more!

4. Mini spatula. Same friend. Same question. Little did I know that I’d put a mini spatula to use on a weekly basis! My favourite use for the mini spatula is for scooping out the last of the Nutella in the jar! Here’s a similar spatula if you’re in the market for one.

5. Bamboo tongs. I bought these bamboo tongs five years ago at Le Bon MarchĂ© in France. The apartment I stayed at had a pair next to the toaster, and since I used them everyday, I thought I should get a pair, too. What do I use them for? Getting baguette toast out of the toaster, of course! Here’s a similar pair if you’re looking to pick some up.

Marketplace: Hop To It

Do you celebrate Easter? Do you decorate your house? Do you organize an Easter egg hunt? What are your plans?

Growing up, Easter was always a low-key holiday. Like many Italians, the holiday included a big family lunch. Beyond that, my parents gave my sister and me one big chocolate Easter egg each. You know the ones…massive, wrapped in colourful foil? They’re big in Italy, and the tradition carried over here for immigrant Italians, too. I still love them, in fact. Last year, I switched things up, and I gave one to each of my parents. They’re good for sharing! Hint. Hint.

Beyond the big chocolate egg, a nice family meal, and egg colouring (of course!), I don’t have many Easter traditions. I don’t redecorate my home, I don’t bring a stored collection of bunnies out from hiding, and I don’t host anything at my own home.

If I did decorate, I’d keep things white (of course) as I don’t love pastels. A cute bowl or two would be easy to incorporate into my existing decor. And I’d fill them up with chocolate! Here are some of the bunnies that caught my eye around the online marketplace.


Marketplace: Alessi Coat Stand

I’m so ready to hang up all of my coats, and not see them for at least six months. Yesterday’s snowfall, however, has reminded me that I have a few more weeks (or months) of coats. Sigh.

Pierrot coat stand, designed by Pauline Deltour, Alessi

Marketplace: Pleats Please

Have you noticed an increase of pleats in the fashion and interiors marketplace? I have seen the pleats coming for a while now, but it was this article featuring Leon Kalajian, founder of Tom’s Sons International Pleating, that pushed me to compose this blog post.

souffle chair, $7595USD, Kelly Wearstler
pleated melamine serving bowl, $22.95USD, Williams Sonoma
pillow, $49.99 USD (on sale), DKNY
dress, $26USD
drawing of Cardi B.’s Grammy look by Ashi, via WWD
pleated top, $45.90CAD, Zara

Marketplace: The World of Rolex

Luxury watches. Do you have one? Do you want one? Did you buy one to mark a special occasion? Do tell!

I’ve been a long-time fan of Rolex watches, and I’ve admired the ones my various family members own and wear. They’re beautiful, prestigious, and precise timepieces.

There are several classic designs, each of which have a multitude of customization options in terms of metals, diamonds, pearls, face colours, sizes, and bracelets.

The Datejust is available in sizes 31 to 41mm. The date is displayed at the 3 o’clock position under a cyclops (magnifying) lens (which was invented by Rolex in 1953).

The Lady Datejust is a feminine timepiece which is a smaller size but equally as elegant as the larger versions.

The Oyster Perpetual is the purest form of the Rolex collection.

The Day-Date, launched in 1956, showcases the day at the 12 o’clock position and the date at the 3 o’clock position. The Day-Date was the first wristwatch to display the full day of the week. It is only available in 18 ct gold or 950 platinum.

These are my favourite Rolex styles, but the brand has others in its collection, so visit the Rolex site to learn more about the Cellini and the Sky-Dweller, for example.


Fashion: The Chanel Window

The French know all about the art of the window display. Shop owners really take their time to design beautiful window displays. This is true of small, independent shops as well as high-end, designer boutiques. There were many beautiful windows to stare at, but it was this Chanel window that I came back to a couple of times during my recent stay in Paris. Each time I went by, I noticed yet another detail. So charming. So lovely. So dreamy.

Just last week, Karl Lagerfeld passed away at the age of 85. The fashion world mourns his loss. The public mourns his loss. He was a genius. Lagerfeld was the creative director of Chanel for 36 years, and during this time, he reinterpreted classic Coco Chanel tweed and pearls in countless ways. More recently, his Paris fashion shows have been over the top masterpiece performances. Ones that inspire and will continue to inspire many in the fashion and art world for a long time.

Art: Photography at 1stDibs

It’s been a (long) while since I featured black and white photography, so today’s the day. All these pieces are available from 1stDibs.

Two for Tuesday: The Wrap Coat

I bought my camel wrap coat many years ago. A decade maybe. It’s been a while, and I love wearing it every fall and winter. Although it’s vintage and tagless, it’s a classic coat, so it looks modern every year. I like pairing it with black and cream, naturally, but it also looks great with plaid or a solid, vibrant colour.

If you’re looking for a similar coat, this one from Cuyana looks nearly identical to mind.

wrap coat, Cuyana

The Friday Five: Puzzles

Over the holidays, I saw many real and Instagram friends share images of puzzles they were working on. I love that people do puzzles! As a kid, I loved them, but I don’t remember when I last did a puzzle. But what a great activity for cozy, snowy winter days.

phrenology puzzle, $15.76USD

pure white hell puzzle, $37.62CAD (this one has 1000 pieces; there’s a 2000-piece version, too)

monstera leaf puzzle, $14.87USD

gradient puzzle, $30.20USD

map puzzle, $49.95USD

Fashion: A Reitmans Refresh

Reitmans. If you’re like me, you might be wondering, how have I just become an adult who shops at Reitmans? In all honesty, I rarely went into Reitmans. Often, I walked right past it in the malls unless something in the window caught my eye. The store was never on my must-go-in-and-shop list. But then Meghan Markle (pre-Duchess status) collaborated with the brand, and I started to take notice. I thought, hmm, that’s curious. What’s going on with Reitmans these days? And then I started getting press info in my inbox, and I continued to take notice. Some of the suiting pieces looked great, and the patterns and colours were modern. And then my friend raved about some of her activewear pieces from a brand called Hyba, which I later learned was part of Reitmans. I hadn’t expected it, but it was happening. I was paying way more attention to Reitmans than I had ever before. Can anyone relate?

I opted to learn more about the brand before I responded to any press emails. Reitmans Canada Ltd., I learned (or refreshed my memory), is a Canadian company that also includes Additional Elle, Penningtons, RW&Co., Thyme, and Hyba. The company was founded in 1926 by Herman and Sarah Reitman with one woman’s clothing store on Boulevard St. Laurent in Montreal, and it now operates 642 stores in addition to e-commerce channels. While it started off as a family-owned and operated company, it is now listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RET; RET-A). The grandchildren of the original owners are still involved in the company with Jeremy H. Reitman serving as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Stephen F. Reitman serving as the President and Chief Operating Officer. An interesting history, eh? I like that there’s still a family connection within this long-running public company.

Under the direction of President Jacqueline Tardif, Reitmans seems to be on the right track by offering women a variety of options for work and leisure at affordable price points.

The goal of its current campaign is to celebrate real women and “relatable moments that occur in our regular lives.” (If you’d like, check out the behind the scenes of the Reitmans’ Really You campaign.) Reitmans was kind to send over a few pieces that I have already worn multiple times, washed, ironed, and packed up for my holiday trip to Toronto. So far, so good. The pieces fit well and definitely suit my lifestyle.

The Original Comfort Straight Leg Jean surprised me as they’re pull-jeans without a traditional zip fly. I thought they might be too “jegging” for me, but they’re not. They feel like a classic jeans because of their weight, so I have been happily wearing them. Comfort level is high with these ones!

When I pulled out this dress, I knew it was me. It’s definitely an easy-to-wear dress for work, which is what I have done multiple times already. I also wore it on Christmas Day for my family lunch. The dress is from Reitmans’ Willow & Thread line which is focused on work wear.

Here are a few of the items coming up for spring that caught my eye. If you pop into a Reitmans store or shop online, I hope you find something that is #ReallyYou! And, if you’re an influencer/blogger/Instagrammer, I encourage your to post photos that are #ReallyYou!

wrap tops – $49.90
long sweater – $49.90

Many thanks to the Reitmans team for sending me a lovely package of goodies. All opinions are my own.

Marketplace: Dish Drainers

January is a great time to tidy up, to organize, and to say goodbye to things you no longer use or no longer work. While I aim to do this regularly throughout the year, it doesn’t always happen, so January gives me the push I need to take on organizational projects and to assess what items I might need to keep things looking good and working hard.

One of the things that I think I’ll need soon is a dish drainer. I do like my current dish drainer quite a bit actually, but it’s looking worn these days. I wouldn’t be opposed to buying an exact duplicate, but I am also curious as to what other cool, effective designs exist. Here’s what I’ve gathered so far. 

Alessi drainer and tray, $135.96USD

Tosca dish rack, $99.95CAD

Guzzini dish drainer, €37 (this is the one I currently own and really like)

Yamazaki dish rack, $45.50CAD

grass drying rack, $16.99CAD

Joseph Joseph dish rack, $48.51CAD

Gift Guide: For Kids, Tweens, and Teens

Daniela’s back today with her fourth gift guide for the holidays (see her previous guides for the host/hostess, for men, for women). Today she’s sharing some ideas for the little(r) ones in your lives. It’s a long post, so get comfy!

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This year I am taking a slightly different approach with my children’s guide. Rather than focusing on one age group, I’ve included all age groups and found many gifts that could overlap ages and stages. The ideas I share below are mostly in an age-related order, but they definitely could suit multiple ages. Happy shopping!

Minika is a Quebec based company that makes beautiful play gyms amongst other things for infants. Void of primary colours, these gyms can easily fit in well in most living rooms. Most importantly, Minika’s items are hand made without the use of any chemicals making them totally safe and natural.

activity gym, $95CAD

I’m all about comfort for the little ones and isa&bella, a Canadian company, has set a high bar when it comes to making ethical and super comfy organic cotton clothes for your little one. Exciting things are coming in 2019 as the company will increases the sizes they carry. For now, the perfect little onesie and pants will make sure your baby is comfortable as they grow and explore all day.

harem pants, $36CAD

onesie, $32CAD

This Melissa and Doug wooden blocks set inspires tons of creativity and hours of play. It will grow with your toddler into their childhood years. It’s made entirely of wood and is excellent quality.

building blocks, $67.83CAD

Love Powered Co. is a Canadian company which was started by two mompreneurs who were looking for positive affirmation and mindful tools to bring into their homes and families. When they could not find them, they created Love Powered Co. Their beautifully packaged affirmation cards are of the highest quality. They come in three options: one for children – the Love Powered Littles (also totally useable for your baby-you just say it to them!); a recently launched Love Powered Teen affirmation boxes; and the Love Powered Femme for the lady in your life. These positive “I AM” affirmations will encourage mindfulness, self-worth, self-love and confidence.

Love Powered littles box set, $39.95

Love Powered teens box set, $42.95

Who doesn’t love a gift that gives back? You may recall I featured Cuddle & Kind in my October #whitecabanawearspink gift guide, and I’m back featuring the company again because it is really making a difference. For every hand made doll purchased, Cuddle & Kind donates 10 meals through various humanitarian organizations (learn more here). I love the beautiful prints that can be purchased with the dolls, too. Not only do they have inspirational messages, but they make wonderful artwork for a child’s bedroom. I don’t think there is an age limit to this gift, but it is likely best for toddler to tweens!

Stella the Polar Bear, $65+CAD

Hudson the Polar Bear, $60+CAD

Calgary-based SÄ“m label was born out of the creator’s desire to pair sustainability and minimalism in fashion. You can read about owner Kelsey’s story here. SÄ“m label’s bamboo cotton items are beautiful and comfortable and come in sizes from infant to 7T. They will be a hit, and your recipients will never forget that it was you who gave them this gift as the pieces are too comfortable to take off!

raglan long sleeve romper, $58

flutter sleeve tunic, $48

Based out of Germany, Grimm‘s wooden toys are not only absolutely beautiful, but they are non toxic and made of wood. I wish I could buy the whole Grimm collection! For now, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites. The building toys can make beautiful formations and are great for all ages because children can create more complex things as they grow.

Grimm’s Elements Building Storage, $99CAD

Grimm’s wood tunnel, $95CAD

The Moonlite projector – available at Mastermind Toys – clips easily onto your smartphone making bedtime routines with your child so much fun. The device will project stories onto the wall or ceiling of the child’s room using your smartphone. This starter pack comes with two stories.

Moonlite starter pack, $29.99

This fun neon sign has three neon markers for messaging. It only requires a few batteries and is great for a number of age groups.

screen frame, $25.19 (on sale)

I love the line of creative products that Antsy Pants has developed. Once you’re done building this pirate ship (or this fire truck or this ice cream truck), it provides hours of imagination and fun for your child.

pirate ship, $76.49CAD (on sale at The Bay)

Have a Disney fan in your life? Cinemood Portable projector is a kid-friendly device that is pre-loaded with 65 Disney e-books and videos. You can also connect it to wifi to watch Netflix and Youtube, making it great option for family movie nights.

Cinemood portable theatre, $329CAD

This ultimate candy bag from Montreal-based Squish is definitely a gift to please every age (once they can safely eat the candy that is).

the ultimate box – Squish faves, $50CAD

The bath bomb craze is alive and well. Do you know a child or tween who loves bath bombs? If so, how about giving them this kit so they can make their very own bath bombs? The kit comes with everything they need to make six.

bath bomb kit, $16.99 (on sale)

I love this bluetooth speaker by Bumpboxx that looks like a retro ghetto blaster for the tween and teen in your life. Sound and quality are optimal, and it comes in a variety of models. I love the small one best because it is compact, and you can choose from a variety of colors.

Bumpboxx Flare 6, $239

Do you have a teen who loves makeup? This glittery set from Sephora is sure to please.

eyeshadow set, $59CAD

Have a teen who isn’t a big fan of dressing up? Well this Canadian-made dressy sweatshirt is the perfect gift for them! Since it is made of a blend of bamboo and merino french terry fabrics, your teens won’t feel like they are “dressing up.”

the dressy sweatshirt, $128CAD

A backpack is no longer just for school. Backpacks are replacing purses and work messenger bags and people are now having a collection of them. Vancouver-based Herschel has a wide array of trendy backpacks & accessories for children and teens.

heritage backpack, $64.99

daypack, $34.99

If you’re looking for a great set of headphones, then these are a great option because they’re at a decent price point in relation to other headphones. They are fast-charging, have a long battery life, and are Bluetooth enabled.

Skullcandy headphones, $79.99CAD

Hope this shopping list makes your shopping a little easier this time of year! Have fun and happy holidays!

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Daniela, you’ve done it again! You’ve curated a crazy cool collection of gift ideas for kids of all ages.

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