I’m rooting for ruffles in today’s two-of-a-kind feature.
ruffle shirt, Kate Spade
white ruffle platter, Crate & Barrel
Yes, yes, I’m still interested in the does-it-all Gwyneth Paltrow. While I don’t read Goop every single day, when I do land on the website, I get totally sucked in. It happened to me last night. One health article led to a detox article led to a nutrition article led to the clothing section of this site. And I got stuck. Everything is just so darn beautiful, but here are my favourite pieces.
Rhapsodie blouse, Atlantique Ascoli x goop, $672 USD
jean poplin shirtdress, goop label, $372 USD
classic G tote, goop label, $285 USD
Helena tunic, Tibi, $350 USD
The Camper shirt dress, The Great, $254 USD (on sale)
ruffle pullover, 3.1 Phillip Lim, $270 USD (on sale)
Celeste skirt, Ulla Johnson, $145 USD (on sale)
There are so many pretty white dresses floating around the internet. While they come in all shapes and fabrics, it’s lace ones like these that I seem to be drawn to at the moment.
lace dress, $54 USD
lace dress, $30 USD
Anna Sui silk and lace dress, $420 USD
Kaytte lace dress, $289 USD
Have a great weekend, everyone! And Happy Mother’s Day!
The Tolix chair is a common addition to rooms that ooze “rustic elegance” or “industrial chic.” The form looks simple enough, but 100 manual operations are required to make a Tolix. This is a classic caf√© chair designed my metalworker Xavier Pauchard in 1934. Now, 80-plus years later, we’re still seeing this chair (and many reproductions of it) in caf√©s – and homes – around the world.
Tolix Marais A Chair, $233 (on sale), Design Within Reach
via Jacquelyn Clark
via Sheer Luxe
via House of Bliss
From the images above, you can see how versatile the chair is. It fits well at a dining room table as it does on an outdoor patio. It can be put to use as a side chair, desk chair, or dining chair. And, you can’t tell by these photos, but the Tolix (and its reproductions) comes in an assortment of colours making it an easy piece to incorporate in diverse interiors.
I’ve been bouncing off walls for days now. My friends and family must be sick of me texting and emailing messages with an abundance of exclamation marks. People on the other end of phone calls hear my high-pitched squeals of excitement. Why you ask? Well, I know the title of this post gave it away, but…
I’m in Style at Home’s June issue!!!
Yes! You read that correctly!
I’m in Style at Home’s June issue!!!
This has me excited for all sorts of reasons!
Buying my house was one of my proudest life moments. I have been a student for all of my adult life, but all the while, I was trying to save money for my future home. Four years ago, I had just finished my PhD, moved to a new city, and bought my first house. My house. My own house. With a garage. With my money. That I earned. I was ecstatic then, and my home still brings me so much joy now.
The “before” of my house was interesting. Some of you may remember that my house came not only with furniture, but with people. Yes, people. I sold just about every piece of furniture. And I kicked out the tenants once their leases ended a month or so after closing. Yes. A house with furniture and people. Who buys such a house?
My house is in a perfect-for-me location. I walk and ride my bike everywhere. My quality of life is top-notch, and I think much of this is because of the location, size, and design of my house. Honestly. I love my house! And I’m so very grateful for all that I do and all that I have.
My house was certainly not in perfect condition (and up to my design standards) when I bought it. Little by little, I made each space in my home happy. It was a lot of work, but it was fun and rewarding work. I wanted to do as much of the work on my own, and my family lent a hand along the way – as you’ve seen with various posts over the years. Not only did I learn how to tile and how to paint an air conditioning unit (still one of my most popular posts!), but I also practiced my design skills. I created a dramatic ink-blot art wall in my main bath to detract from the grey, 80s jacuzzi tub. I curated a massive gallery wall in my office to showcase all of my art treasures. And I found and bought the perfect couch. I know people make fun of me because I can talk about my couch so much, but it’s true. It’s perfect.
Throughout this reno journey, I’ve shared a lot on White Cabana, and I’ve connected with so many people in the design blogging community. I feel so darn lucky!
As if this wasn’t enough, this happened…
Style at Home Came Over!!!
Morgan Lindsay, Stacy Begg, and Donna Griffith came over bright and early one day last spring for a photoshoot. It was unreal. They worked their magic while I tried to contain my excitement. (It’s a recurring theme, can you tell?) We moved things around, and we moved them back. Stacy and Morgan organized my books beautifully, brought in a few additional accessories, and made sure each space was looking its best! Donna and her assistant set up all of their cool photography equipment throughout the house and worked quickly and efficiently to take photos of every room. This team was fun, professional, curious, and interesting!
Several months later, Bethany Little called me up for an interview. That was fun, too, because I’m usually the person asking the questions (I do a lot of teaching and researching in my day job as¬† an academic!). While I was trying to squeeze in a question or two about Bethany’s approach to interviewing and writing, she was trying to keep the conversation on my house. Naturally! ūüôā
Fast-forward a couple of more months, and then this happened…
I’m in Style at Home’s June issue!!!
Unreal. Unbelievable. And the thing is…it’s real, and it’s believable!
I have been reading Style at Home for forever. It’s a Canadian design magazine that I’ve always been drawn to because it features design spaces and ideas that are manageable, approachable, and doable. The magazine shines the spotlight on happy and inviting homes, and it gives readers plenty of ideas to incorporate into their own homes. And the team does the high-low feature like noone else! Am I right? I certainly look forward to reading it when it arrives in my mail each month! I hope you do, too!
But the June issue is certainly my all-time favourite issue. I definitely recommend you flip straight to page 44 to start reading about me and my home (no modesty here)!
If you’re a subscriber, you’ve already received your copy. If not, you should see the June issue in stores soon (it has a pink cover).
If you’d like to share your thoughts or have any questions, leave a comment here or tag me @WhiteCabana or use #WhiteCabanaXStyleAtHome on Twitter or Instagram. I’d love to know what grabbed your attention!
Finally, I must take a moment to publicly extend some official notes of thanks:
When I have a lazy morning, I love to make waffles or crepes. Over the Easter weekend, I whipped up a batch of crepes and documented the process on my first Instagram story. Since those stories only last for a short period of time, I thought I’d more permanently document the recipe here.
I’ve tried several recipes, and while everything has turned out well, I find this crepe recipe from Bonnie Stern to be one of the quickest and easiest.
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. butter
1. In a blender or food processor combine eggs, milk, salt, oil, flour and salt. Blend about 10 seconds until smooth. Place batter in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let batter rest at room temperature about 1/2 hour or in the refrigerator for a few hours. If batter is too thick, thin with a little water. It should be the consistency of unwhipped whipping cream.
2. To make crepes heat an 8‚Ä≥ or 9‚Ä≥ non-stick pan. Brush pan with butter. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Allow to cook 1 to 2 minutes on medium or medium high heat until browned on the bottom (you can lift up one side to check) and turn by slipping a long, thin spatula under the middle and flipping it over. Cook second side about one minute. Second side will not brown as nicely as the first. Stack crepes as they are made. Depending on your pan and your stove, it might take a few tries to get the crepes the way you like them but you can always eat the trial ones! Makes 10 to 12 crepes
Here’s my crepe photo diary:
getting ingredients ready
buttering the pan
pouring in the first bit of batter
getting ready to flip
stacking crepes high
reaching for Nutella
¬†And how do I eat them? Well, since I’m a Nutella-holic, I usually have Nutella with my first crepe of the bunch. I also really like the classic sugar + lemon crepe. If you’re into more healthy options, I like mixing eggs and spinach and folding a crepe over the mixture. You could use this crepe recipe for both savory and sweet crepes.
via Pottery Barn
I have lost count of the number of marble-focused posts I’ve written since starting this blog. I love my own marble kitchen countertop (now three years old and doing well), but I also love how the form and feel of marble in smaller home accessories.
And it seems that marble patterns have also made it into fashion…
Note: Affiliate links have been used. Get click happy (and buy if you’d like) and raise money for breast cancer research!
As you are likely aware, I took part in my first triathlon relay this past Saturday at Lakeside (near Woodstock, St. Mary’s, and Stratford). The idea of the relay came to my friends and I after a summer BBQ just over a month ago. Our friend Chris was training for the full triathlon (750m swim + 20km bike + 5km run), but for the rest of us, we teamed up to form one relay team. Team work is all about drawing on people’s strengths, and that’s exactly what we did!
My job was the 750m swim. In preparation, I bought a pass to Moses Springer Community Centre Pool (50m lengths), and swam 2-3 times per week over the course of a month. Training at the outdoor pool was wonderful. I looked forward to my swims in the sunshine, and it was fun to meet Chris there so we could train and encourage one another. I used to swim a lot when I was a young lifeguard, so getting back into it didn’t take as much effort as I had originally anticipated. I was swimming 1000m+ front crawl on my training days, and I felt pretty good about my endurance and speed.
When TYR agreed to sponsor Chris and I, we were thrilled. Wetsuits, as any triathlon participant knows, are essential for cold lake swims and to increase buoyancy in the water. (I didn’t know all of this when I signed up for the triathlon; I learned quite a bit along the way!) Chris received the high-tech Hurricane Category 2 wetsuit with awesome chest panels and cool graphics. I received the sleek all-black Hurricane Category 1 wetsuit that made me feel like a superhero.
I hadn’t ever worn a wetsuit prior to this one, so the experience was a brand new one. It took me at least 15 minutes to put it on the very first time. The TYR suit came with booties and gloves that I wore so that the suit would slide on better and be protected from my nails. The suit also came with instructions, and I read them before attempting to squeeze into it. Basically, you should put the suit on one leg at a time, easing the legs on, straightening things out at the hips, then carefully putting on one arm then the other before zipping up the back closure. If I video-taped my experience, I have a feeling it could have made a lot of people laugh!
Due to some shipping drama, my suit only arrived the morning before the race. I only had one pre-race practice swim with it, but I’m so glad I did! In the future, I’d definitely wear it a few more times pre-race just to get used to the feeling of swimming in another layer. What I loved about wearing the suit is that (in addition to making me all superhero-like), it made me float. Such a cool feeling! And then when I swam, oh my, it made me go fast! Well, faster than without the suit, of course. Loved. It!
Race day came and it was pouring rain as we drove the hour from Waterloo to Lakeside. Rain. Ugh. Not good for a triathlon day! I was excited about the whole event – minus the rain – and eager to take part in the team relay and cheer on Chris, too. Luckily, the rain stopped before the race began, so we were all relieved.
The race announcer announced, though, that because of the warm lake temperature, wetsuits weren’t allowed. Say what? Swim in a lake without a wetsuit? No thanks. If participants used a wetsuit, then they wouldn’t be ranked in the standings. Chris and I ignored the rule and squeezed into our suits.
I’m being honest when I say that I was completely eager and excited to swim the 750m for my team. I wasn’t concerned about water creatures or slimy water plants because I knew I had the layer of protection from the suit.
I was absolutely not ready for what happened when the bullhorn blew and it was go time. I took my first stroke and I basically freaked out. Okay, not a full freak-out, but I was not fully prepared for the dark water. I was disoriented from the start, and concerned that I wouldn’t be able to swim in a straight line. I’m a strong swimmer, but I was out of my element (I’m a pool swimmer from the city! In Florida, I use a floating mat in the ocean!).
This feeling of (slight) panic was new for me. The only way I could have avoided the panic was to practice lake swimming. I should have. I will in the future. The darkness was not good for my brain.
So, realizing that my regular stroke-stroke-stroke-breathe rhythm would not work, I opted for breast stoke until I got used to things. After the first turning point marker in the lake, I inserted some front crawl, but I opted for breast stroke for most of the swim. I was so thankful for the wetsuit because I know that I would have felt worse without it. Most swimmers as far as I could tell were swimming some combination of front crawl, head up front crawl, and breast stroke. A lot of people were swimming crookedly. A few swimmers were yelled at by the lifeguards because they were swimming off course. Oh man, what a casino!
Our team did really well, finishing the swim+ride+run in 1 hour and 21 minutes. It took three of us to complete the triathlon, but we did it! Chris, on the other hand, finished all three events on his own like a champ!
I’ll be happy to do another triathlon relay in the future, but I’m not yet convinced of doing all three events on my own. Two, sure. But three? How!? Does anyone have any tri experiences they’d like to share? Please do!
A million thanks to Pat B. for braving the rain and taking so many photos! Unmarked photos by Pat B. Marked photos by Zoom Photo for Multisport Canada.
Thanks to Erika for putting up with all of my panicked emails regarding the shipping drama.
Many thanks to TYR for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
We’re heading into a long weekend here in the North, and I couldn’t be happier! It’s back-to-school season which means that my work life is extra busy at the moment. The students are back in town, and orientation week at uni starts in just a few days. My MBA courses will pick up again this week, and I’m in the final stages of prepping a new course I’ll be teaching. On top of this, of course, I have my usual work responsibilities. September is always an exciting – but uber-busy – month on my end. It has been for just about all my life!
And sometimes, in between all of the school tasks of September, my mind wanders into gorgeous design spaces. Today’s five rooms all feature two things: round mirrors and white square (or rectangle) tiles. The contrasting shapes work really well in these bathrooms, and make for a clean and modern aesthetic.
via Pottery Barn
via Oracle Fox
Have a great weekend, everyone. Happy Labour Day!
I’m still enjoying the beach life in Florida, and there’s plenty of wildlife around these parts. The turtles are nesting, the dolphins are jumping, and there are plenty of birds added into the mix, too.
In addition the the real life animals, I’ve spotted a couple of swan and flamingo pool/ocean toys. And this is what has inspired today’s swan-themed post. Let’s see what’s floating around the marketplace, shall we?
swan pool float, $48, Urban Outfitters
swan printed dress, $21.99, SheIn
baby’s first year journal, $38, Anthropologie
swan card, $8.71, LLKCake (Etsy)
swan leather purse, $1585, Stella McCartney at Nordstrom
lady swans chemise, $78, Kate Spade
swan, $100, Lladro
swan ring, $89, Swarovski
My friend Shannon and I are back in Madeira Beach for our annual girls’ vacation, and in between going to the beach, we’ve been catching up on some HGTV shows. Neither of us have cable at our homes, so this is a treat for us. We watched a couple episodes of Fixer Upper the other day with Chip and Joanna Gaines, and I really like their work. Generally, their makeovers are a bit more country than I generally like, but they do such a good job with the renos and styling. It’s so impressive! Via blogging, I’ve followed some of their projects, but I’ve only ever watched¬† a few episodes of their show. Have you seen the show?
In addition to the show, they run a bed and breakfast in Texas, and have a beautiful shop called Magnolia Market. So that’s the inspiration for today’s two-of-a-kind.
magnolia art print, Magnolia Market
Seeing the collection of magnolia art prints at Magnolia Market reminded me of the gorgeous magnolia tree I saw in Florence on the property of San Miniato al Monte.
photo by Jordana
A month or so ago, I had the opportunity to tour the new spa at Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario. It’s a beautiful, large, bright, and welcoming space. The furnishings, like elsewhere at Langdon, are traditional but modern, classic but not stuffy. (I wanted to jump in, I love the walnut, I can’t resist a beautiful orchid.)
During the open house, Julie, the Spa Director, warmly welcomed and greeted guests, and I enjoyed chatting with her about the Valmont products carried at the Spa. (I’ve been using the Valmont night cream, and I’m really enjoying it. I also feel very adult and fancy because I’m using face cream. Honestly, dear readers, I’m so terrible when it comes to beauty products!)
The Spa features spacious treatment rooms, including one I’ve never seen before that is a water treatment room (with large shower heads and such). A soothing blue and cream colour scheme was used in the manicure/pedicure area, and the lounge is set up with a (healthy) drinks station and plenty of comfy chairs and reading material. It’s definitely a calming and beautiful place to be, and I am eager to return!
For today’s hotel to home, I’m recreating the marble-clad bathroom/changeroom at the Langdon Hall Spa.
Here’s my take…
I encourage you to explore the rest of the Langdon Hall Spa if you’re looking for a day of pampering!
Note: Unfortunately, I have experienced terrible photo luck when it came to the Spa – I mistakenly deleted the photos I took with my camera, and because my iPhone4S (an oldie, but a goodie) broke two days before my trip to Europe, I lost a bunch of photos that were on it. Darn. Darn. I’ll be making a return trip to the Spa to use its services in the future, so I’ll be sure to take plenty more photos to make up for all of the recent deletions! I’ll be sure to report back to let you know if I felt relaxed!
I have traveled quite a lot with my L.L. Bean duffle, and after years of using it, I am still happy with it. It’s light, large, and monogrammed. I don’t need an other luggage at the moment…
if I did, I’d get one of these Raden pieces. I’m sure it would be dirty in no-time, but it’s sleek, techy, and spacious. ¬†
Watch this video about Raden’s production process. So neat!
All photos via Raden.
I’m taking this week off from the blog. See you back here next week!
The Anthropologie catalogue arrived last week, and it got me drooling! The store is so full of goodness. While not everything suits my style, I do appreciate Anthro’s overall aesthetic. And the pieces that I have picked out in the past for my home and wardrobe have definitely become some of my favourite items.
These five pieces have caught my summer-loving attention.
Quinn poplin shirt dress, 1 by O’2nd, $178
Josie poplin dress, Blue Tassel, $138
AG prima jeans, AG, $178
Teva universal slides, Teva, $60
(I don’t particularly like these, but I do find it interesting that Teva is making a comeback. I lived in Teva shoes when I was a teen.)
lotus platter, $28
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Just until about 3 or 4 years ago (or maybe 5?), I completely avoided stripes in my wardrobe. If something had stripes on it, I’d look the other way. Nowadays, though, I can’t resist them. Mostly, I go for the horizontal variety, but I also look for something a bit unusual (e.g., I loved this Banana Republic top as soon as I put it on).
Here are several stripes that caught my eye.
stripe t-shirt, Max Mara
Signature boatneck stripe top, L.L.Bean
Gemma flats, J.Crew
ruffled bell-sleeve shift dress, J.Crew
stripe bead top, Banana Republic
draped cami, Tibi
stripe tee, Old Navy
glitter spot Breton, Boden
boxy stripe top, Boden
striped tee, Le Petit Bateau
We are heading into puffy coat season here in Waterloo. Each year, I’m on the look out for a new winter coat (I get so tired of mine by the end of a season). Sometimes I get lucky and I invest in something new, but this doesn’t happen every year. Coats are definitely an investment. Now with the brand names and the high-tech fabrics, winter coats can get pricey. Here’s just a small selection of some of the white puffers that are in the marketplace.
ultralight 850 down coat, long, $259, LLBean
ultralight 850 down coat, $229, LLBean
short quilted puffer jacket with faux-fur hood, $302 (CAD, on sale), J. Crew
faux fur trim parka, $149, Joe Fresh
Kensington Parka, $775, Canada Goose
Katie jacket, $400, Lole
Joinville, $1630, Moncler
*I’m just assuming that puffy coats are the warmest ones on the market. My own puffy coat is certainly the warmest option in my closet (though it’s not the prettiest).
My fireplace remains unfinished (yes, it’s been almost 3 months…yikes!), but I hope to make progress in the weeks ahead…just in time for winter! For now, I’ve got my eye on fireplace accessories (not that I need any since my fireplace is gas, but still). Look how these log holders add instant charm and warmth to a home.
My Halloween (and fall decor for that matter) consists of a lone pumpkin by my front door. It’s simple, classic, and easy. This year, I’ve doubled up on my decor; I’ve added a boo-boo-boo garland to my door to welcome the trick-or-treaters. Wild, I know! I picked it up from Michaels for only a couple of dollars. I was actually impressed (and slightly overwhelmed) by the selection of Halloween decorations at the store. Everything was 50% when I was there last week, and if I really loved Halloween, I would have bought quite a bit. (I was sort of close to buying a skull cake pan mold…I thought it might look neat drenched in white icing.)
skull cameo stickers, $1.99 (on sale), Michaels
How do you decorate for Halloween?
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend one of Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s Beethoven concert at the Centre in the Square, and I’m pretty excited to share my experience with you. This was the first time I had ever been to a symphony. I have been to the ballet, I go to random concerts, and I’m a regular theatre goer, but the symphony…I was a total newbie! Was it ever good!
The Beethoven concert that I attended was the first of a three-part Beethoven marathon. It covered his piano concerto no. 1 in C major and no. 4 in G major. The second and third shows, which occurred on the Saturday, covered additional concertos. Full disclosure – I don’t really know much about Beethoven or his concertos…even though it may have just sounded like I do!
The evening started off beautifully with an appearance by the Grand Philharmonic Choir. With them leading (and taking centre stage), we all sang O Canada. From there, the Symphony’s conductor, Edwin Outwater, welcomed everyone, and began the concert. Obviously, I couldn’t take pictures during the performance (obviously), the photos I’m sharing here are pre- and post-concert. They should give you an idea of the orchestra’s organization and presence on stage.
I am convinced that pianist Stewart Goodyear has magic fingers. Watching him play (via a close-up video streaming on a screen) was incredible. He was completely poised, played without any sheet music, and really seemed to love every moment of the concert. I really enjoy watching people who are so passionate about their art.
I have always appreciated the arts, but watching this talented team of musicians work together so seamlessly was pretty amazing. I know actors do it on stage, but this seemed like a completely different approach to team work, you know? Alone, noone could have achieved what was created as the whole.
I enjoyed the concert for more than just the music. The traditions and routines of the performance also caught my attention. The fact that the musicians wore black made their wood instruments really stand out. The pianist, wearing tails, artfully took his place at the piano on a black tufted bench. The conductor graciously thanked his orchestra for the performance and made certain that they shone throughout the evening.
Now, as Waterloo region is a major tech hub, we were treated to yet another something special. A while ago, the region hosted a 36-hour hack-a-thon in collaboration with the KW Symphony. Hackers came together and worked with the musicians and the space to create new experiences. The winners of the hack-a-thon were Adam Fancey and Justin Safa who developed Fractal Orchestra. Essentially, they recorded the performance and ran it through a too-complicated-for-me-to-figure-out program which created algorithms-or-something-equally-complicated that then led to pretty images. Pretty images – very cool. I know I’m not doing justice to their complicated work, so if you’re interested in the details, I’d encourage you to visit their new website. Here’s a look at some of their creations:
images via Fractal Orchestra
I know the images aren’t as clear here as they are in real life, so I’d encourage you to learn more here. They really are interesting pieces of modern art.
Now, on to my initial thoughts of the venue. This was my first time attending a show at the Centre in the Square, and I was pretty impressed by the architecture and decor. The stage was wonderfully lit, the wooden seats were modern and well-maintained. The reception areas outside of the concert hall surprised me, too. They were full of over-sized loung-y grey casual sofas and sleek gold side tables. The audience definitely made use of these spaces pre- and post-concert as well as during intermission. It was really good to see the large space filled with excited audience members.
The lighting was also something to note. Totally modern! Completely hip! Who knew? Kitchener-Waterloo continues to surprise me with its approach to design and architecture. I feel proud to promote this city (read this).
¬† ¬† At some points throughout the concert, I caught myself thinking about how great it is to live in Kitchener-Waterloo. Attending the symphony at the Centre in the Square was easy, convenient, and approachable. I’m curious about whether or not my Waterloo region readers have had similarly positive experiences. Do tell!
It’s been a while since I’ve browsed Etsy, so I had a look around the other day, and picked a few items that I think are cool. As per usual, you can find just about anything you want or need on Etsy. Care to look at five things I picked out?
Victorian manimal wine stoppers, $25.68+
white leather backpack, $148.18
mid-century dining table, $268.89
white happy cloud pillow, $31.75
plain white matches, $14.19 (for 50)
Happy weekend, everyone!