Photography

Interiors: An Instagram Round-Up

Does anyone get sucked into endless scrolling through Instagram photos? I try not to get distracted for too long since it’s the end of term, and my pile of work is pretty darn high. That said, sometimes I just cannot resist, and I click on through a bunch of gorgeous images that inspire me to be creative, engage with the community, and think about future reno plans (my laundry room…oh man…my laundry room…it’s been on the to list since I bought my house!).

Here’s a round-up of some of the beautiful spaces I have come across in my Instagram travels.

via The Blondielocks

via Studio McGee

via Ali Budd Interiors

via ana_morais

via amberinteriors

via yesmissy

via moetonmondays

via beckiowens

via tracey_ayton

via theranchuncommon

Do you agree that these spaces beautiful?

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Photography: How to Take Photos of Kids

I’m certainly not an expert photographer, but during my trip to North Carolina to visit my family, I took a bunch of photos of my nephews and niece. Not an absurd amount, just a bunch. And I tried a couple of things that worked well – happy accidents, really – that I thought I’d share them. Plus, everyone likes photos of cute kids, right?

I hadn’t seen these kiddies in 1.5 years. Way. Too. Long. Of course we Facetime and talk on the phone (as much as kids like to do these things), but this is definitely not the same thing as real life interactions. Because of the distance, I had only somewhat noted how their personalities had developed and changed over the year. Most noticeable was my sweet niece, Gigi, since she was barely speaking (or in a way I could understand her) the last time I saw her. Now, she’s full of personality, and she was so fun to photograph!

Here are my strategies for great (in my opinion) photos:

1. Zoom In on Facial Expressions

Miss. Gigi loves to sing Katy Perry’s Roar song, so when I asked her to roar for me, she went for it. And it was hilarious! This was just a casual thing that I asked her to do while we were cuddling on the sofa one morning (she was still in pjs in fact!). This roaring episode turned into a whole series of commands: Show me a happy Gigi. Show me an angry Gigi. Show me a “Gigi loves mommy” face. And this continued to be hilarious. I felt like Nigel Barker (noted fashion photographer). I snapped pics on my iPhone but didn’t look at them until after the “photo shoot.” When I did, I was in awe. The photos were fantastic! And Gigi really worked the camera! Ha ha ha. I combined them via the PicStitch app, turned them into black and white, and voila!

What a cutie pie!

Over the series of my days in North Carolina, I played the same photo shoot game with each of my nephews, but I altered the commands. With Reef, picky-eater Reef, I related all the commands to food: Show me an “I love Mac n Cheese” face. Show me an “I hate chicken” face. Reef, you’ll notice, wouldn’t let go of the gummy vitamins that he was handing out to all the family members mid-shoot. Oh, what fun!

Here’s what I ended up with…

I just love these kids!

2. Props

I always bring amusing (for me, mostly) gifts to the kiddies when I visit. On this trip, I packed silly glasses and whoopie cushions. Oh, the laughs! I think I need to start buying whoopie cushions in bulk because these kids sit on them with so much force that they keep breaking them! I hope you have a mental picture of this, by the way! On this visit, I even orchestrated a synchronized whoopie cushion routine with them. It was basically an amateur whoopie cushion symphony! Noone could keep a straight face, that’s forsure! Giving whoopie cushions to four kids who love the word “toot” is pretty darn funny. If you ever have a bad day, find a kid and give him or her a whoopie cushion. Hours of entertainment. Having – I mean playing with – four kids makes being an aunt a pretty fantastic gig.

I’m sure you can guess what I told them to do before I snapped the photo.

3. Get Down

I think my best photos of these kids came when I got down to their level. I’m talking knees. Taking photos of them from my height is okay, but also looks a bit odd. Getting down to their size keeps them the centre of attention and more in perspective.

4. Black and White

Kids wear a lot of colour. Sometimes their clothes match, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes their clothes are dirty. Turning colour photos into black and white gets rid of the noise in photos, and it results in a cohesive bunch of photos.

sign of a protective older brother

Cute start for a Monday, right? Have a great week, everyone!

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Food: Langdon Hall + Shoushin

I absolutely do not know how to begin this post. Do I start by telling you about the 10-course menu? Or maybe about the first time I sipped on sake? Perhaps I could tell you about how I shared an evening with a group of strangers. A good place to start might be to tell you about how two celebrity chefs came together to plan a unique dining experience. Okay, you want me to just get to it, don’t you?

You already know that I’m a big fan of Langdon Hall. Ever since I drove up the winding driveway and saw Langdon Hall for the first time in June 2015, I’ve been hooked. It’s not just something in the water. There’s something in the air, the food, the surroundings, the garden, the architecture, and the people. The place is special.

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to be a guest at an exclusive dinner prepared by Chef Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall and Chef Jackie Lin of Shoushin. This dinner was a celebration – and collaboration – of two cultures. It was a dinner that brought together tradition from the Japanese and French. It was a unique feast that showcased the culinary art of two incredibly talented chefs as well as incredible sake and wine pairings from Kado and Halpern, respectively. It was certainly a night to remember!

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A 10+ course meal? I trained for it! I only ate breakfast that day in preparation for the event! (Although I did have some Terroir upon arrival…do you blame me?). I’m pretty sure my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the extensive menu. Chef Jackie Lin prepared fish that was flown in from Japan for the occasion. Chef Jason Bangerter worked with Jackie to prepare and pair the fish with French flavour and flair, and, as per usual, he sourced many ingredients from Langdon Hall’s gardens. It was inspiring, educational, and delicious! It was chemistry. It was art.

British photographer Simon Boucher-Harris snapped a collection of beautiful photos that I’m thrilled to be able to share here.

Behind the scenes…

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(Simon took this photo of Chef Jackie during the cooking demonstration the following day, but it’s such a great photo that I had to include it!)

The dinner…

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Each course – as you’ve seen in the photos above – was paired with sake or wine. I had never had sake, so I was a bit hesitant, but since I was sitting beside Kiyoko Miyashita – sake expert and owner of Kado – I was given excellent explanations of what I was drinking. Sake has a higher alcohol percentage than wine, and it has a unique flavour. I thought I had tasted anise, but Kiyoko assured me that there was no anise in the drink. Althought I was told that the flavour is even better after the drink sits for a while, I could never seem to let mine sit for too long since it was so delicious!

As the evening was a celebration of two cultures, we were also lucky to sip on French red wine for some of the fish courses and the venison course.

It’s hard to put into words how special this evening was. Although many of the 30 people in attendance started the evening as strangers, after clinking glasses to toast, sharing travel stories and laughs, we ended the evening as new social media friends and conversations continued after the evening ended. To have two remarkable chefs collaborate to create a menu just for us, share their recipes, and mingle as they put finishing touches on our meals at our tables was extraordinary. Shoushin at Langdon Hall was a very good idea!

This event was a partnership between two well-recognized establishments – Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario and Shoushin in Toronto.

Photos by Simon Boucher-Harris.

Thanks to Langdon Hall for inviting me to be your guest.

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#WhiteCabanaWearsPink: Beautiful Pink on Instagram

Over the last few weeks, I’ve come across so many gorgeous photos on Instagram featuring pink lovliness. Many of the photos I’ve saved, I have to admit, I’ve collected from Leslie Shewring who is the co-author of Decorate for a Party. Have a look….

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Leslie Shewring

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Leslie Shewring

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Sketch London by Leslie Shewring

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Leslie Shewring

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Leslie Shewring

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Leslie Shewring

pink-cloud-alice-in-her-palaceAlice in Her Palace

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Erica Cook

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Erica Cook

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Little Big Bell

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Tiffany Pratt

Aren’t these images so pretty?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

***

Every Monday in the month of October, pink will be taking over White Cabana. This month, #WhiteCabanaWearsPink to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Read more about #WhiteCabanaWearsPink.

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#WhiteCabanaWearsPink: Art

Hold on to your hats, dear readers, because I’m bringing pink to the pages of White Cabana today!

As you may recall from my post last week, #WhiteCabanaWearsPink every Monday here on the blog. I ran 5K on Sunday at Kitchener-Waterloo’s CIBC Run for the Cure, and so far, I’ve raised $1148 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Woohoo! During my 5K run, I was thinking of all the people in my life who have been affected by breast cancer (and other kinds of cancer, too) as well as all my family and friends who generously donated to the cause (thank you!). I ran for the cure. And now I’m blogging for it.

To get the #WhiteCabanaWearsPink series going, I’m starting with some soft shades of pink and pretty artwork .

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Peony, Eye Candy Prints, Etsy

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Leave Behind the Shadows by Emily Jeffords, Minted

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Tower #4, Bree Madden, Etsy

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Flower Market 2, DENY Designs Catherine McDonald, Target

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Gold by Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev, Citizen Atelier

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Erica Cook

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Janet Hill Studio

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Leigh Viner

Wishing all of you a wonderful week!

***

Every Monday in the month of October, pink will be taking over White Cabana. This month, #WhiteCabanaWearsPink to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Read more about #WhiteCabanaWearsPink. Affliliate links have been used, so get click happy!

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Photography: Chris Jordan

This term, I’m taking a course in my MBA program called Strategy for a Sustainable World. I’m three weeks in, and It’s been fascinating. In the course, we discuss how businesses are (and can and should be) operating with the environment in mind. Not so that the environment is an after-thought or embedded in a random policy that is tack on to an annual report, but that the environment plays a central role in how businesses are formed and how they operate.

In a recent lecture, we were introduced to the photographic work of Chris Jordan. He depicts the effects of consumerism (and other issues in America) in his works. Have a look:

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Office Paper: “Depicts 30,000 reams of office paper, or 15 million sheets, equal to the amount of office paper used in the US every five minutes.”

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Cigarettes: “Depicts 65,000 cigarettes, equal to the number of American teenagers under age eighteen who become addicted to cigarettes every month.”

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Paper Cups: “Depicts 410,000 paper cups, equal to the number of disposable hot-beverage paper cups used in the US every fifteen minutes.”

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Silent Spring: “Depicts 183,000 birds, equal to the estimated number of birds that die in the United States every day from exposure to agricultural pesticides.”

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Pain Killers: “Depicts 213,000 Vicodin pills, equal to the number of emergency room visits yearly in the US related to misuse or abuse of prescription pain killers.”

I encourage you to click each one of the links so that you can zoom-in/zoom-out on the photographs.

Images and descriptions from Chris Jordan.

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Art: Anna Church

Take a closer look at Anna Church‘s photographs, and you may be surprised at what you find. From afar, you may see a beetle, a heart, or a row of feathers, but on closer inspection, you’ll find trophies, shoes, and teacups. Anna Church is a sculptographer – she takes photographs of the sculptures she creates with interesting, unusual, and everyday objects.

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Crowning Glory, from $795

Swan-Lake-Anna-ChurchSwan Lake, from $795

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My Heart’s Content, from $650

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Career Girl, (sold out)

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Taxonomy I – Stag Beetle, from $650

In addition to her own collections, she also offers bespoke commissions whereby you provide your bits and bobs, and Anna will create an incredible display of them for a beautiful, original photograph. In addition to this, she offers custom wedding insignias, like the one below, that brides and grooms will enjoy for years to come.

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Wedding Insignia

Learn more about Anna Church’s approach to art and business in this Design*Sponge feature.

 

Photography: The Leica M 60 Edition

One of my favourite car brands is Audi. I grew up with my dad driving an Audi 5000 that he shipped over from Germany when we were a young family of travelers. That car took us to Florida every summer, and I learned to drive standard on that car. When I grow up (if ever?), I’d love to have an Audi. After my obsession with the Fiat 500 came to an end a few years ago, I began to develop an interest in the Audi Q7 (and the Q5, too).

I’m totally not a car girl. I could live a life without a car and be perfectly happy (as long as I could walk everywhere that I needed to…I don’t love the lengthy commutes of public transit). But the Audi Q5 (it’s a better size for me) – oh, I just love it!

Anyway – so when I heard that the classic camera-brand, Leica, partnered with Audi for a special edition, I had to investigate.

The Leica M Edition “Leica 60” is a beautiful piece. It celebrates 60 years of the Leica M and was created in collaboration with Audi Design.

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Leica M 60

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photo via DesignBoom

Isn’t it lovely? It combines old-school style and the photography needs of the future. I just love it.

Art: White-on-White

When I bought my house 2 years ago, my nephews gave me a trio of all white art (seen here). My sister thoughtfully gave them a bunch of white supplies (e.g., paper, feathers, glitter, tissue paper) and let each of them create a piece of art for me. I really love this trio and they have a prominent place on my living room wall.

I find monochromatic art to be interesting, clever, and serene.

CAVIAR20-PACHTER-HAMMOCK-2_largeHammock by Charles Pachter, $4000, Caviar20

CAVIAR20-YVESGAUCHER-17_largePhantom Structure IV, Yves Gaucher, $2450

300_De_lDe.Fragment IV, $4500, 1stDibs

cropwmUntitled by Franz Klein, $212.99, Art.com

sparkleSparkle by Georgianna Lane, $80+, Citizen Atelier

DSCF3999Time Forgot, $60+, Nicole Cohen

Art: Kirsty Mitchell Photography

My sister recently sent me a link to Kirsty Mitchell‘s work, and I was completely blown away. You will be, too! For her Wonderland series of photos, Kristy designed and created incredibly intricate props and costumes, then styled elaborate sets for her models. Her photographs are magical, fantastical, and very dreamy. Here’s a peek at some of the white costumes and props (made from fans) from her Wonderland series:

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If you are amazed by this, your jaw will drop when you watch the behind-the-scenes films, and flip through all of the photographs online. I spent more time than I’d like to admit trying to take it all in.

Thanks to Corie for sending this my way.

At Home: Styling my Dresser with Posterjack

How is everyone enjoying Family Day (here in Ontario) and Presidents’ Day (in the USA)? I am completely enjoying having an extra day to do, well, not a whole lot! I still have an annoying cough that is really just slowing me down.¬†It’s very annoying.

A few weeks ago,¬†my Posterjack order arrived, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the French¬†photo¬†and the white lacquer framing. It’s a beautiful piece. I placed it¬†in several¬†spots around my home before settling on my bedroom. I leaned it over my dresser, lived with it like that for a few days, and realized it¬†was an ideal place to put it. I played around with some minimal styling, too.¬†Have a look…

Style 1: set of three hourglass sand timers (the colours match perfectly)

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Style 2: vintage and new crystal

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Style 3: classic white

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Thanks to Tim F. & Posterjack for sending me this beautifully framed Parisian photo.

Photography: Black & White Continued

After I featured these black and white photographs, my friend Kathlyn sent me over these photos of one of the bathrooms in her new home.

ferris-wheel-photography-Paris-2 ferris-wheel-photography-Paris-1Gorgeous, right? The wallpaper is¬†so dramatic, and I love the black-framed mirror. What’s¬†even more special about¬†this space (for me, anyway) is that the¬†black and white photos of the ferris wheel are mine. I took them years ago in Paris and Kathlyn blew them up and framed them.¬†I had¬†completely forgotten about the photographs, so to see them now in a new space is awesome.

 

Photography: Photos from Iceland

No, I didn’t go to Iceland. My sister and brother-in-law did a few years ago, and I have been hanging on to these photos they took for quite a while.¬†It’s about time I share them.

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photos by Corie and Jeff

Every time I look at travel photos, I get the urge to start planning my next vacation. This month I’ve been to Halifax and North Carolina (photos will come soon, I promise), but I’m already eager to get away again!

 

Photography: Back in Time

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Gita Scolastica Milano – 1964

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Foto in Occasione di una Partita di Calcio – 1964

That’s my dad up there (top photo: black suit, bottom photo: second from right) in 1964 with his¬†friends. He was 18 or 19 years old in these photos. I love how they’re all suited up. So hip, yeah?¬†How are photos from the 60s so darn hip? Will people¬†think the same thing 50 years from now of our selfies and digital photos?

Thanks to my dad’s highschool friends for sending these photos.¬†Photographer unknown.

Design: Manhattan Home on Style Me Pretty Living

I’m thrilled to announce that my sister and brother-in-law’s Manhattan condo was featured on Style Me Pretty Living yesterday! Can you believe it? SMPLiving¬†is¬†such a well-curated, well-respected¬†online¬†blog¬†and it is ridiculously cool that the SMP team decided¬†to feature my family’s city condo. Crazy cool, in fact!¬†Even though I knew the post¬†was coming, I was¬†still kind of surprised to see it online yesterday afternoon. Just. Too. Much. Fun.

Here are a few photos¬†of their place, but I encourage you to read¬†the full story and flip through all the photos. I’m so impressed with¬†my sister and brother-in-law’s approach to art and design (and, yes, they like white¬†too).

Corie-NYC-apartment-Caroline Frost photo Corie-NYC-2-apartment-Caroline Frost photo Corie-NYC-condo-Caroline-Frost-photographyCorie-SMP-Caroline Frost

Thanks to Caroline Frost for taking such lovely photos and to Jacquelyn Clark for putting this all into motion.

Travel: More Photos from Paris

Okay, so over the last week and weekend I spent some time uploading my photos from Paris. It seems like the trip was ages ago, but I’ve only been back in Waterloo for two weeks. I’ve got another few things to share, hope you’re enjoying the recaps as much as I am!

I saw this photo image on a wall sort of near the Mus√©e Picasso. Possibly a Banksy? What’s his trademark?

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I loved this ceiling in the children’s shop Bonton.

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I came across this doorbell somewhere in St. Germain. I thought it was pretty.

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I stumbled upon the Swedish Institute in Le Marais and I liked the tidiness of the café tables.

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This is the view from the Sacre Coeur. So cool.

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This white-on-white-on-white building was in Montmartre. The cobblestone streets are so charming, but can really wear down shoes.

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While I was eating lunch outside one day (yes, in February!), I spotted this guy. I was impressed by how he managed to transport the table (it’s white, how perfect) on his Vespa. Who needs a mini-van?

White-Cabana-Paris-8I took very few typical tourist shots on this trip. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed another collection of things I spotted in Paris last month.

Photos by Jordana.

The Friday Five: Place Des Vosges

Place des Vosges¬†in Le Marais is one of my most favourite places in all of Paris. It’s beautifully rosy and completely symmetrical. The archways are lovely to walk under and the centre courtyard is the perfect place for throwing a frisbee (not me, but I’ve seen others do it!), lounging around, and taking a break from the noise of the city. It is the oldest planned square in the city and it has a long and interesting history¬†(going back to 1604!) that included several name changes (Place Royale to Place des Vosges and back again). At one point it was simply a lawn for hosting duels. People like Cardinal Richelieu (French prime minister) and Victor Hugo (author) lived in the apartments of Place des Vosges (during various centuries). Like all of Paris, this place has a story to tell!

White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-5White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-1 White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-2 White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-3 White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-4Place des Vosges, Paris, photos by Jordana

Happy Friday everyone! Have a wonderful weekend!

The Friday Five: Laurent Scheinfeld Photography

In a week – I’ll be in Paris. Eek! Although I’ve been to Paris about a dozen times or so, I’m always eager and excited to go back! This trip is work-related, so I’ll be spending half of my time with other academics discussing everything that there is to discuss about language and writing. The rest of the time, I’ll be wandering the streets, taking photos, eating as many croissants as possible, sipping on hot chocolate, shopping, and going to Cartier exhibit! I’m going with two amazing colleagues and friends, and we have booked ourselves into one heck of an apartment (here’s hoping it’s as beautiful in real life as it is in the photos).

I recently came across the work of photographer Laurent Scheinfeld when I was browsing the Marché aux Puces website (one of my fave spots in Paris!). His photos series featuring the Eiffel Tower are really quite beautiful.

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boy running in front of Eiffel Tower

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woman walking near the Eiffel Tower

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woman with her dogs in front of the Eiffel Tower

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woman in front of Eiffel Tower

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father and daughter playing in front of Eiffel Tower

Besides the Cartier exhibit and a visit to Christofle, I have plans to: eat a lot of croissants, visit design shops like Merci and Colette, stock up on tea at H√©diard, visit one of my favourite European clothing stores COS,¬†find my (and my family’s) favourite chocolate, purchase a cool piece of art, bring back a French magazine (or several), and speak French! Oui, oui!

My new old-fashioned toy

I haven’t been this excited in a long time: I have a new film camera!

It’s a Lomography lc-A + with a Russina lens – the brand that came up with those super saturated images now known as Instagram effects on digital captures. This is where that started. There was a film camera before there was the Internet, remember? Seems like forever ago. This camera has a lens that is ready for effects and adventure. You’ll know instantly what I mean when you see what she can do- and my images of my images here didn’t do justice to the beautiful prints I have.

I’m in *love* with my camera. Sadly there aren’t enough people driving business for Lomography’s rent payments on Toronto’s Queen West and the necessary profit margins, so the shop closed. Online is open 24/7 though.

I shot my first roll of film and it was incredible. I wish I could turn these all into black and white images to post them all here. I promise to shoot a roll for you. Maybe for the first snow this fall?

Here are a few snaps from the roll:

image At Sandbanks’dunes this summer

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View of the CN Tower from the parkette at the CBC

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My sister in front of her new house, two weeks before the move

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My nephew Maxime at the Winnipeg Zoo’s butterfly garden,

one month before his sixth birthday

All images by me.

Photography: Multiples

Who knew The Home Depot would be such a great place to practice taking photos with my new camera? While I was there a while ago, I snapped so many photos of multiples…stacks and stacks of the same item. I thought these photos looked particularly interesting.

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spray paint cans

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caulking containers (sorry – I don’t know what the official name is)

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Home Depot painting caps

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paint rollers

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Home Depot tubs

Photos by Jordana.

Marketplace: Bloom Theory Camera Straps

Now that I have a new awesome camera, I feel I might need a very cool camera strap to go with it. These straps by Bloom Theory look amazingly well-designed and beautifully executed. Too bad their price tags put them out of my reach (for now anyway…I’m going to keep my eye on them!).

goldmine_smallBloom Theory Gold Mine camera strap, $130

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Bloom Theory Free Spirit camera strap, $120

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Bloom Theory Stargazing camera strap, close-up, $120

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Bloom Theory Moonshine camera strap, $130

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Bloom Theory Stardust camera strap, $130

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Bloom Theory Wild Flower camera strap, close-up, $100

¬†And speaking of beautiful things from Bloom Theory…isn’t their logo lovely?

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Photography: American Girl in Italy

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 American Girl in Italy, photo by Ruth Orkin

American Girl in Italy, photographed by Ruth Orkin, is one of favourite photos. It’s been hanging in my room at my parents’ house (yes, I still have one there) ever since I bought it at Ikea at least 10 years ago. When I look at it, I think about Italy, I think about fashion, and I think about how the lady in the photo felt as the center of attention.

While I have owned this photo for so long, it was only this past week that I learned about how it all came to be (why I have never researched this before beats me!). So as the story goes…Ruth and Jinx (the “American Girl”) met while each travelling alone in Europe. Women travelling alone in the 1950s was not as common as it is today and Ruth came up with an idea to photograph Jinx to show “what it was really like”.

Jinx Allen, who is now known as Ninalee Craig, is as beautiful and stylish now as she was then. Here she is at an exhibit wearing the same orange scarf she wore in the photograph.

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image via The Toronto Star, via You May Be Wandering

And while American Girl in Italy may be the most-recognizable photo, the others in the collection are also quite amusing and full of life.

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photos via Ruth Orkin Archive

Thanks Mom for sending this my way.

Photography: Buying a New Camera

I have been wanting to buy a new camera for a while now – something small enough to carry in my purse, better than my iPhone 4S and Canon Elph (I do still love the Elph), and something with a great lens that would produce gorgeous photos. Oh – and in the $200-$300 price range (always on a budget, I am!). So when my photographer friend Joel told me about a great sale on Panasonic’s Lumix LX5 at Black’s, I had to check it out (with his help of course). After his explanation of its features – and my many “Are you sure this is what I want?”, I decided to order it online as there were none in stock in London. A $500 camera for $250 and ¬†it’s got a Leica lens (cool)! Needless to say it was an exciting afternoon! It was even more exciting when it arrived about a week later.

Unfortunately I got sent a camera that had previously been opened/used/touched so I contacted Black’s (oh, the power of a tweet) to inquire. The service I received to resolve this issue was so efficient and friendly that I might just be a Black’s fan for life.

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 me and my LX5, photo by Joel (with a cell phone)

Me and my camera are becoming the best of friends. We’ve already gone to The Home Depot, to work and to Toronto. There’s much to learn about photography and I think this little LX5 is going to show me the way.

Thanks to Anthony S. at Black’s for providing excellent customer service. Thanks for your advice Joel.¬†

Travel: Dallas: Live Large, Think Big

I took my cowboy boots to Dallas a couple of weeks ago and they sure did feel at home! As did I!¬†The Dallasites (Dallastonians?) warmly welcomed me to their city and I covered quite a bit of ground in between my work obligations. Since the weather was perfect-for-me – 20C and sunny every day – I managed to stock up on some real vitamin D. I sure as heck did¬†not miss the snowy grey weather in London. Here’s my report for y’all…

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 never-ending Sonic drive-up area

Downtown

My conference was at the Sheraton downtown and this area is mostly modern and shiny and full of concrete. I barely saw any grass and trees were minimal. I was expecting more of a hustle-and-bustle atmosphere because of the cluster of hotels and office buildings but it was a pretty quiet neighbourhood. I honestly don’t know where everyone was.

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downtown Dallas

Fort Worth + Billy Bob’s

While I spent most of my days at the conference, I still managed to find energy to explore the city too. I was lucky to have a friend (of a friend of a friend) as my tour guide for a bit and together we stomped our boots at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing! A feast for the senses, really. The country music, the cowboy boots, the plaid shirts, and the belts all grabbed my attention. And the hats – yes, please! I experienced a bit of culture shock to tell you the truth. There was just so much to look at. The people were friendly, happy, and their dance steps blew me away. Away, I say! I was completely jealous of all the couples – young and old – who were showing off their fancy footwork on the salt-dusted wood dance floor. Just incredible. It was definitely worth the drive to Fort Worth (about 40 minutes from Dallas).

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Shopping

I ventured out to Target (of course) and walked out of the store with less money in my wallet and a whole lot of – well, I’m not quite sure what. Isn’t how it always goes on trips to Target? (side note: Target opened in London while I was away!)

On my hunt to find a “quaint” or “charming” area, I stumbled on the West Village. Newly built (well, everything looked pretty new) residences, restaurants and shops fill a few blocks just around the corner from the City Place DART station. It was very convenient and easy to get to by public transportation. The boutiques carried a unique selection of clothing brands and if I had more time I’m sure I would have picked out some interesting items.

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West Village, Dallas

The Mavericks

This is the conversation I had with a scalper near the American Airlines Center when I noticed crowds of people and heard loud country music.

Me: What’s going on here tonight?
Scalper: The Mavericks are playing.
Me: Oh yeah. What sport is that?
Scalper: What? [you can imagine the look I got!]
Me: I’m a tourist.
Scalper: Basketball. Dallas Mavericks.
Me (noticing his t-shirt): Oh. I get it. Nice t-shirt.
Scalper: Where are you from?
Me: Toronto.
Scalper: Oh. You’ve got the Raptors.
Me: I don’t follow basketball. But yeah, the Raptors. Thanks.

So, after that exchange, I thought I should try to go see the game. So – guess how much I got a last minute single ticket for the Dallas Mavericks versus Oklahoma City (insert team name here) game? Um. $5. Yeah. Crazy, right? It was a right-place-right-time kind of thing. I would never have gone out of my way to go watch the game. Remember – I don’t follow basketball (but I may start now!). I was fully entertained throughout the (3 hour?) game. The excitement of the crowd was like nothing I’ve really experienced. Let’s Go Mavs!

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An intense basketball game at the American Airlines Center, Dallas

Transportation

Okay. So. I had some interesting experiences with transportation around Dallas. I didn’t rent a car for this trip (but would on a future trip) so I relied on public transportation (aka the DART light rail) and taxis to get me where I needed to go. The DART light rail was awesome. It is probably the cleanest version of a tram/metro/streetcar that I’ve come across.

Taxis – well – those were interesting. I think I took about six different taxi rides and I had to help each driver navigate. I pulled out my own map on at least three of the trips. It made me laugh in the end. Everyone was nice and pretty talkative and two of the drivers had actually been to Toronto which was cool. Niagara Falls is a big hit, apparently.

Oh – and every time I asked someone for walking directions they pretty much looked at me like I was crazy. I quickly learned that people don’t care much for walking and Dallas is really a driving city. The DART was mostly empty every time I took it.

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stonework at a DART station

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 Victory Station

Dallas_White Cabana_9stairs versus escalator at the City Place station

So there you have it – a short summary of my 4 days in Dallas. Would I go again? Yeah, probably. What better place to learn country dancing?

Photos by Jordana.

 

Inspiration: Paris

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful break and I wish you all a most happy and healthy 2013. Thanks for making time in your lives for White Cabana. I hope we continue to inspire and entertain you!

Let’s begin 2013 with some gorgeous photos from one of my all-time favourite cities – Paris. The city is full of excitement, delicious food, beautiful architecture, and incredible fashion. What’s not to love?

via Marcus Design

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via This Modern Romance

Photography: Sleeping Vincent

Adele Enerson spent much of her time as a new mother photographing her sleeping baby Mila in dreamy, imaginative scenes. She’s since published the photos in a book called When My Baby Dreams. Now she’s on to styling and photographing her baby Vincent but since he’s not the most sound sleeper, she’s had to alter her approach. Adele uses her iPhone camera and then sketches with her Stylus pen.

DJ Vincent

Vincent playing cello

Zoolander Vincent

Vincent in the garden

Vincent’s raindance

So incredibly cute, right?

Images courtesy of Adele Enersen.

Photography: A Walk Down Memory Lane

Before the age of 5 I had seen a good chunk of the world thanks to all the amazing family trips my parents planned. Even before I really figured out what traveling was all about, I had caught the travel bug. When I was at my parents’ place over Thanksgiving weekend I had a chance to look through some family photo albums. I always enjoy the walk down memory lane. I can remember the cities and countries we visited and I try to imagine how my parents traveled with two small children to such far away places.

Here is a very White Cabana worthy photo of me at a beach in Portugal when I was 4 years old.

photo of me taken by my father

My tastes haven’t changed too much, have they? Beach, white, red – I’m a happy girl!

How about you? Did you travel as a child? Do you travel with your children?

Event: My Floridian Vacation

Well, well, two weeks sure can fly by! How have you all been? Thanks to those of you who continued to visit the blog and who said hello on Twitter while I was away.

I had a most excellent vacation in Florida over the last two weeks – I soaked up plenty of sun (yes, I wore sunscreen), swam every day, did “some” shopping, and ate delicious meals. Today’s photos are a bit random but there you have it – it¬†is Monday after a vacation after all!

My family has been a fan of Madeira Beach ever since I was 6 or 7 years old. I loved being there as a kid and I still love it after all these years. It’s one of the few places I can completely relax. It’s easy living and the people are nice. In addition, the Gulf of Mexico is gorgeous, the beach is well-maintained, and the sand is squeaky clean (yes, it actually squeaks!). My friend Shannon and I stayed at Ocean Sands – the best place in Madeira as far as I’m concerned (and not just because it’s white).

As with many beach town shops, the clothing is bright and bedazzled. I managed to find one white t-shirt at John’s Pass.

I wish I counted the YOLO sightings over the two weeks we were in Florida. Every other person seemed to have it emblazoned on their t-shirts.

We also saw some interesting signage in our travels…

At first we thought the sign (above) spelled “right” incorrectly. But then we realized that maybe the sign was supposed to say “straight”. Maybe. Either way, it amused us.

This isn’t how we spell pretzel in Canada.

Finally. Way to go Marshalls for this little touch in the dressing rooms.

I wish we noticed this sign (above) last year – we were pretty much attacked by seagulls as soon as we stepped foot on the beach with our ice cream cones. This year we knew better.

We had some fun with an underwater camera. And we definitely stayed within the limit.

Above: Will you be my girlfriend? Yes. No. Maybe. I guess the girlfriend said yes!

Below (same car): Cutie driving.

I’m not sure what they teach in driving school down south but I’m 100% sure it’s fully unsafe to sit on a lawn chair in the back of a pick-up truck.

Stay tuned for a review of our stay at the King & Grove Tides South Beach and some photos from Miami.

Event: Blog Break

Well…it’s time for this gal…and this blog…to take a break. I’m off to pretend I’m a retiree down in Florida. I’m so looking forward to a couple of weeks of real down-time. As such, I’ll be taking a break from the blog for the next two weeks. I’ll pop in to say hello if possible…otherwise, let’s meet back here in two weeks. Yeah? Great!

14 days lying on this beach – yes, I feel very lucky!

(And yes, I realize the photo is over-exposed but I think it looks cool. Photo by me.)

Stay well!

Jordana

The Friday Five: Around Town

It always makes me happy to see bits of white wherever I go. Here in London over the last few weeks I have seen white in some of my favourite places to hang out.

white fire extinguisher at Saffron Road

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white life buoy at Thames Pool

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white cream and milk containers at The Bag Lady

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white menu at The Morrissey House

white mug & table on my balcony

Any London readers out there? Where are your favourite places to go?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Note: If you see something white, snap a photo and send it my way for our White Out series (whitecabana at gmail dot com).

Photos by Jordana.

Architecture: London, Ontario

Okay – it’s time to take a break from all these beautyrelated posts I’ve been writing. Let’s get back to design and architecture! I’m taking you to London, Ontario today…

When I first moved from Toronto to London four years ago, I have to admit that I really didn’t like it. It’s not that I’m one of those “Toronto is the center of the universe” people but I didn’t really get a great vibe from the city and I found it really hard to meet people. Fast forward 4 years and I now find myself really enjoying my time here. I love that I live in the downtown core – close to independent shops and caf√©s, and there certainly are a lot of interesting things to see.

The architecture of the houses in my neighbourhood continue to surprise me. The houses that have obviously been well-taken care of have amazing details. Even the not so well-loved houses have great architectural details and I like to imagine who has lived in them and what stories each house might have to share.

Like I said in my last post about London architecture, many of the original houses in the city are made of yellow or red brick. I think they look equally striking in black and white.

houses in London, Ontario

Photos by me using my iPhone and the Camera+ app.

Photography: Patterning at IKEA

On Mondays I love to head over to¬†Jacquelyn’s blog because through her Scenes from My Weekend series, she shares interesting photos from her weekend activities. It is not as though she does something grand every weekend but the subjects and composition of her photos are so lovely. She has a great eye for detail and her honesty comes through in her posts. I encourage you to click on over and check out what Jacquelyn has been up to.

Today I thought I would try out a super mini scene-from-my-weekend à la Jacquelyn. I was in Toronto on the weekend doing an assortment of things, one of which was a trip to IKEA (I needed to stock up on crackers). I took some photos of the interesting patterns I saw. I wonder Рcan you name the four products in the photos below?

I’m such a fan of repetitive forms.

Photo by me using iPhone + Instagram + Pic Stitch.

Events: Coffee Station at BlogPodium

This past Saturday I attended the second BlogPodium event. It was a huge success and if you followed my Twitter feed at all over the weekend then you might have guessed that I had a great time! Toronto-based Mango Studios took some incredible photos of the event and I’m happy to share this one with you today.

photo by Mango Studios

I just love this photo because of the repetition of the perfectly arranged shiny coffee dispensers and all the white that surrounds the silver. Plus – you all know how much I like coffee (e.g., one, two, three)!

p.s. Shout out to my Mom who is celebrating her birthday today! She loves coffee too! (We’re Italian. We like a lot of lattes!)

20 Below: StickyGrams

I’ve barely had my iPhone for a month and I’ve been loving every minute of using it. One of the first apps I downloaded was Instagram and last week I read about StickyGram, a company that turns Instagram photos into small fridge magnets. Well – I ordered a collection of photo magnets for my brother-in-law’s birthday and decided to order a few for myself.

Here I am with my nephews – a photo of the first time I met each of them.

Me and my nephews (who have all grown since these photos were taken)

I am now reminded of these happy moments each time I look at my fridge.

As far as companies go, I was thoroughly impressed with the ease of uploading, the speedy delivery of my order, and the competitive price ($14.99 for 9 magnets plus free shipping worldwide). I’ll definitely be a repeat customer!

Reading: The Lab Magazine

I feel a bit sad that I neglected Issue 5 of The Lab Magazine for a couple of months. I was pumped when it first arrived (many thanks to Tony for sending it my way) and I had a good initial browse through it. But then my life became quite hectic and I have barely been at home to really sit and review it. So this past weekend I made it a priority to spend some good quality time with Issue 5.

I have to admit that even though actor Willem Dafoe is on the cover of this issue, when I first got a hold of The Lab Magazine I was actually more attracted to the large format, the shiny gold lettering, and the quality of the paper of this Canadian (woohoo!) publication. I’m such a sucker for beautifully crafted works.

The magazine’s stories and photos are beautifully and artistically arranged which made it a true pleasure to read. And because I’m not as much of a movie or music buff as my friend Drew (who initially introduced me to the Lab), I learned a lot about the lives of some pretty fascinating actors (e.g., Ty Burrell, Shailene Woodley, Greta Gerwig) and musicians (e.g., Electric Youth, Hey Ocean!). (Have I mentioned before how much I like to learn new things?)

While each article has its unique appeal, I really enjoyed the Making the Shoot story toward the end of this issue. The Making the Shoot, an international competition, invited photographers to submit their work for judging. The grand prize – a full editorial shoot – is featured in this issue. Marta Dymek, the winner, was flown to Los Angeles to photograph Selma Blair (amazing) and the results of this shoot are beautiful. I’ve included a sneak peek here and as you can see Marta’s photos of Selma are simply stunning in this editorial spread (if you want to see more – buy a copy!).

Kudos to Editors in Chief Justin Tyler Close and Jeremy Power Regimbal and their team for The Lab Magazine! It’s apparent that a lot of thought and effort went into this – and I’m sure every – issue.

Notes: The Lab Magazine is available at Barnes and Noble, Chapters, and news stands across the world. Stay tuned for more of their online presence. Thanks to Tony for sending me this issue. Thanks to Drew Nelson for introducing me to The Lab Magazine. Photos of The Lab Magazine by Jordana.

The Friday Five: Boston Architecture

As Johanne pointed out earlier this week, I’ve recently gone on a bit of a tour of cities. My week of travel included a visit to Boston and, as always, I was on the lookout for white. While many of the buildings in this friendly city are constructed of red-brick, I did spot several beautiful white structures as I went about my explorations. Here are five white structures that caught my eye.

building with rounded corner on Huntington Ave.

mostly straight with a bit of curve, The Midtown Hotel on Huntington Ave.

This was the only white building I saw on the Harvard campus. Are there others?

Two Center Plaza – more curves hereon Cambridge St.

pretty doorway on Park St.

As you can see, Boston did not let me down. And red as an accent colour – I can probably approve that!

Photos by Jordana.

The Friday Five: New York Architecture

I know I’ve posted a lot about NYC in recent weeks but I spent a good chunk of my Christmas holidays there and I’m eager to share some of the photos that I took. For today’s Friday Five I’m happy to share with you some of the very pretty houses I came across when my family and I hit the ‘burbs. (Yes, that’s right, we escaped Manhattan for a morning to explore the surrounding neighbourhoods.)

Photos by Jordana.

Travel: Scenes from New York

First, let me take the time to wish you all a happy new year! I hope you celebrated the new year in style! As for me, well, I celebrated the arrival of 2012 in NYC! I know some of you might be expecting me to tell you about a wild night I had in the city but my New Year’s Eve was quite low-key. After my sister and I fed and bathed my cute little nephews and put them to bed, we changed into pjs, watched a movie, and listened to the party goers outside making their way to Times Square. We watched a bit of the Times Square coverage on tv which was bizarre (because it was only a few blocks from where we were) and at midnight I opened the window and listened to the sounds of people’s noise makers and cheers down on the street below. It was a great evening and I felt happy and lucky to have spent it in NYC with my family. I hope your night was just as you had wanted it to be.

As you may have noticed, I have been away from the blog for a few days – what with the holidays and travel and all that, I haven’t really had much of a chance to blog. Things will get back to normal soon, I promise. For now, I am happy to share with you some images of the things I’ve seen so far in New York City.

Vivian Maier exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery

Vivian Maier exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery

eyelash containers at Gaga’s Workshop; read my review here

stunning works of art at Bergdorf Goodman

gorgeous dresses at Bergdorf Goodman

Swarovski star at Rockefeller Center

cool lighting display at Anthropologie

The NYPD getting prepared on New Year’s Eve (p.s. the Starbucks was closed!)

I’m not the only one in my family who loves white…
my sister painted these massive works of art for her white kitchen

So – there you have it – a glimpse into my current adventures in NYC. I look forward to sharing more photos soon.

Before I sign off for a few more days, let me thank you once again for joining the White Cabana team on our daily exploration of white. We hope we can continue to inspire you in 2012!

Photos by Jordana.

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