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Two for Tuesday: The Magnificent Magnolia

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_Product_63_of_69_1024x1024

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.

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photo by Jordana

Hotel to Home: The Spa at Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario

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.

Langdon-Hall-Spa-bathroom

Here’s my take…

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armoire, orchid, marble, Delta faucet, Kohler sink, GlucksteinHome towels, basket, tumbler, lotion pump, soap dish

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!

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Travel: Raden Luggage

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…

but…

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.a28-check-mood-2-white-gloss a28-check-mood-5-white-gloss a28-check-mood-1-white-gloss a28-check-hero-white-gloss-desktop a28-check-mood-4-white-gloss a28-check-mood-3-white-gloss a28-check-feather-white-gloss¬† raden-luggage-2raden-luggage-1 raden-luggage-3

Watch this video about Raden’s production process. So neat!

All photos via Raden.

 

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Blog Break

Dear Readers,

I’m taking this week off from the blog. See you back here next week!

White-Cabana-Lucca-Italy-Vespa-Motorina

Ciao ciao!

Jordana

 

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The Friday Five: White Hot at Anthropologie

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.

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Quinn poplin shirt dress, 1 by O’2nd, $178

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Josie poplin dress, Blue Tassel, $138

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AG prima jeans, AG, $178

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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.)

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lotus platter, $28

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Fashion: So Many Stripes

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.

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stripe t-shirt, Max Mara

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Signature boatneck stripe top, L.L.Bean

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Gemma flats, J.Crew

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ruffled bell-sleeve shift dress, J.Crew

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stripe bead top, Banana Republic

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draped cami, Tibi

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stripe tee, Old Navy

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glitter spot Breton, Boden

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boxy stripe top, Boden

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striped tee, Le Petit Bateau

Fashion: The White Puffy Coat

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.

puffy-coat-LLBeanultralight 850 down coat, long, $259, LLBean

white-coat-LLBean-winterultralight 850 down coat, $229, LLBean

J-Crew-puffer-coatshort quilted puffer jacket with faux-fur hood, $302 (CAD, on sale), J. Crew

Joe-Fresh-parka-whitefaux fur trim parka, $149, Joe Fresh

2506L_25Kensington Parka, $775, Canada Goose

LUW0307_W101_2Katie jacket, $400, Lole

white-MonclerJoinville, $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).

Design: Fireplace Log Storage

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.

Luxury-Renovated-Farmhouse-couch-with-modern-fireplacevia Decoist

30462782_003_bforged hoop log holder

pb-found-olive-bucket-oPB found olive bucket

industrial-fireplace-large-log-holder-oindustrial fireplace log holder

20 Below: Spooky Skulls

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.)

Halloween-skull-cameo-stickers-Michaelsskull cameo stickers, $1.99 (on sale), Michaels

How do you decorate for Halloween?

Waterloo: KW Symphony at the Centre in the Square

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!

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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.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-2I 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.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-11Version 2I 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.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-10the view from my seat – amazing!

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:

Fractal-Orchestra-1 Fractal-Orchestra-2images 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).

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-5White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-6White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-8¬† White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-7¬† White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-9 White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-3At 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!

Many thanks to Kari at the KW Symphony for generously arranging my visit. Learn more about the events being held at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square.

The Friday Five: Etsy Round-Up

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?

il_570xN.808862748_qbkzVictorian manimal wine stoppers, $25.68+

il_570xN.561782470_hn9qwhite leather backpack, $148.18

il_570xN.806489993_c88kmid-century dining table, $268.89

il_570xN.812906808_benywhite happy cloud pillow, $31.75

il_570xN.651253095_6bzdplain white matches, $14.19 (for 50)

Happy weekend, everyone!

Real Estate: Beautiful Property in Puslinch, Ontario

Puslinch? Heard of it? If you’ve driven on the 401 from Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo, then you’ve probably seen the road sign for Puslinch. But have you ever gotten off the highway at the exit? Me neither. But…maybe I should. There’s at least one stunning house that I’d love to see.

This gorgeous waterfront home is currently on the market. The 100+ acres that surround the home ensure that there are beautiful views from every room.

Care to guess about the listing price?

Puslinch-real estate-3 Puslinch-real estate-4 Puslinch-real estate-2 Puslinch-real estate-1 Puslinch-real estate-5 Puslinch-real estate-66620 Concession Road 1, Puslinch, Ontario

The property is listed at just about $5.3 million.

Images via Realtor.

Mixing it Up: Black and White

Today’s post is a bit of a mix-up. I just wanted to share some black and white photos¬†I¬†have recently snapped.

I saw this accordion at the St. Jacobs antique mall and loved the bedazzled scroll work.

White-Cabana-antique accordion

Rox-Anne and I enjoyed a¬†great brunch at the¬†relatively new Gilt Restaurant in¬†Kitchener a few weeks ago here in KW. The restaurant is ideally located at King & Victoria, and the food and decor were both impressive. Here’s a quick peek at the washroom entry.

White-Cabana-Gilt Restaurant

And since I’m on the bathroom train, I just loved the black and white hex flooring in the bathroom at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra¬†theatre.¬†What a pretty border!White-Cabana-Royal Alex

 

Black and white is classic!

The Friday Five: A Collection of Interiors

I recently learned about InCollect Рa website that has an incredible collection of photos of interiors, decorative arts, furniture, and fine art. I pulled five images of impressive white interiors from designers around the world.

city-retreat

city retreat – design by Jessica Lagrange Interiors

Suzanne-Lovell-LakeHouse

lake house Рdesign by Suzanne Lovell

Miraval Living Campion Platt Interiors

Miraval Living – Campion Platt Interiors

robert-courturier

midtown apartment – Robert Courturier

Suzanne Kasler

chic – Suzanne Kasler

I’m sure you’d be able to spend a good chunk of your weekend browsing the site. There is so much to see!

Photos via InCollect.

Entertainment: What I’ve Been Watching

I have watched more than the usual (for me) amount of television since the fall. I get completely caught¬†by the Netflix-binge-watching bug, and before I realize it, I’m finishing off one television series and beginning another. Even with all that I’ve watched, there’s still more for me to see before I am totally in touch with what everyone else is talking about – my Netflix-must-watch list seems to grow on a daily basis! Who has time for all these shows? When do people watch tv?¬†Anyway, here’s a¬†quick recap of what I’ve watched over the last few months:

TV shows:

MV5BMTYyMjM4Mjc5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTg1OTAzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_

Gilmore Girls – I¬†watched all 7 seasons over the course of a month or so. I can’t believe I watched all 7 seasons. That’s a whole lot of hours!¬†I loved following the day-to-day business of¬†Lorelai and Rory – the mother daughter duo who lead this series – in the quaint and comfortable town of Stars Hollow. Seven seasons, though, that’s sort of embarrassing!?

MV5BMTY4NTMwNDYzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjY1NzQxMTE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_

I loved watching the two seasons of Mr. Selfridge. The characters are complex, the costumes are¬†fascinating, and the management style¬†of Mr. Selfridge¬†is interesting.¬†Jeremy Piven – as Mr. Selfridge – is perfect. I can’t wait for more! Two seasons¬†seems like a reasonable amount of tv watching, but¬†it really equates to about 20 hours of tv…half a normal work-week. Wow.

white-collar-season-5-dvd_176

I am now several seasons in to White Collar. I had never heard of it before I clicked on it via my Neflix menu. It’s been alright. I¬†like¬†that each of the characters is still around after so many seasons;¬†there has been zero – or little – character turnaround.¬†I also like the¬†dynamics between each of the characters.

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Homeland was incredible. I am certainly¬†eager to see what the next season has in store! I was never a fan of Claire Danes, but¬†I think she’s¬†amazing in the¬†role of Carrie¬†Mathison.

Movies:

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I’ve watched¬†Pitch Perfect¬†a few times now, and it still entertains me. The songs, the dancing, the amusing dialogue – it’s all fun! Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are two of my faves in this film. Yes, it’s true, I do like a good teen movie. Pitch Perfect 2 is due to hit theatres in May.

MV5BMzM5NjUxOTEyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjEyMDM0MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a work of art. There is so much beauty in this quirky film. I feel like I need to watch it several more times just so I can can catch and analyze every detail that went into this film.

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I felt like I went on a lengthy trek after I finished watching Wild. The scenery is beautiful, the story is true, and Reese Witherspoon played her part so wonderfully that I almost forgot that she starred in Legally Blonde. I was surprised to learn that Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay and was one of the executive producers of this film.

What’s on your must-watch list? I’d love to know!

Art: Prints by Note to Self

I’m rearranging the gallery wall in my office (here’s a before photo), so I’m in the mood to browse art online (and offline, too). I recently came across Note to Self’s print shop¬†over at¬†Society 6, and I basically want one of each print!

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stilettos, $18

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creativity, $18

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tucked, $18

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dreams, $16

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ciao, $18

Gah…I need more walls in my house!

Sponsor Love

It has been another fun year for me and White Cabana.¬†Living in a world of white continues to put a smile on my face, and I hope the same is true for you! I know many of¬†you¬†aren’t as white-obsessed as me, but I do hope you continue to be inspired and curious with each visit to this blog.

I am very fortunate to have crossed paths Рboth online and offline Рwith impressive, committed, and interesting people and brands in the world of design. I am also grateful that the brands listed below have found a connection with White Cabana. Every sponsored and giveaway post has helped me to keep things moving in an upwards direction around here, and I sure do hope you have enjoyed learning about new things over the last 12 months.

caviar20-tgn-logo

Caviar20 (posts)

Citizen-Atelier-logo

Citizen Atelier (post)

cuckoo-palace

Cuckoo Palace (post)

Etsy

Etsy (posts)

Flying A NYC

Flying A NYC (post)

img_logo

KitchenAid (posts)

Korhani-logo

Korhani Home (post)

minted_header_logo

Minted (post)

Panasonic

Panasonic (post)

rona

Rona (post)

Simple_Logo_tcm1622-804707

Simple Skincare

sophia-costas

Sophia Costas (post)

the-bathory

The Bathory (post)

Thanks, everyone! It has certainly been a fun year!

Marketplace: Marble Accessories

Although marble has already made¬†an¬†appearance on this blog this fall (e.g.,¬†bathtubs), I think there’s always room for a bit more.¬†This round-up features¬†functional,¬†artistic, and affordable marble¬†objects.

marble-two-tier-server

marble two-tier server, $39.96, CB2

marble-toothbrush-razor-cup

marble toothbrush cup, $12.96, CB2

marble-wall-mounted-shelf

marble wall-mounted shelf, $69.95, CB2

Chapters-Indigo-marble-dome

marble appetizer plate with glass dome, $39.95, Chapters Indigo

Chapters-Indigo-marble-pedestal

large marble pedestal, $75, Chapters Indigo

Marble_Tray1_grande

hex marble tray, $65, Black Rooster Decor

Hex_Marble_Votive_Holder_grande

diamond marble votive, $42, Black Rooster Decor

wood-marble-square-platter

wood-marble square platter, $34.95, Crate & Barrel

rigsby-marble-2-tier-server

marble 2-tier server, $69.95, Crate & Barrel

The Friday Five: Structural Beverage Dispensers

Winter is here and hydration is a must! If one of these beautiful beverage dispensers sat on your counter, I’m sure you’d have no problem filling up your glass!

soma-xl

Soma water filter system

garonne-beverage-dispenser-anthropologie

Garonne beverage dispenser, $395, Anthropologie

Aquaovo-ABC Carpet-c

aquaovo water filter, $729, ABC Carpet & Home

bubbled-beverage-dispenser-Anthropologie

bubbled beverage dispenser, $298, Anthropologie

Godinger-Dublin-Crystal-dispenser-Bed Bath Beyond

Godinger crystal dispenser, $89.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

See more beverage dispensers here¬†(they’re useful year-round!).

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Design: The Eiffel Chair by Eames

The Eiffel chair. It’s such a good looking piece of furniture, isn’t it?

photo_gallery_eames_molded_plastic_9 photo_gallery_eames_molded_plastic_19

Eames fiberglass chairs via Herman Miller

There are loads of reproductions out there and plenty of ideas about how to incorporate them into sleek, modern, classic, and traditional spaces. The chair is quite¬†a versatile piece, so it’s little wonder why it¬†has been popular for so long.

Concrete wall

via Stylizimo

rimage

via Coco Lapine Design

per_gunnarsson_f1182b78499d0fd1ed283daa00d08d34_116056450

via Olaf Jakobina

large

via Stylizimo

Eames-eiffel-chair

via Kjerstis

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source unknown

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via Stil Inspiration

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via Apartment Therapy

The Friday Five: Halifax

A few weeks ago, I took my first trip to Halifax. I was only there for a weekend, and I spent most of the time at a work conference, but I had a few hours here and there to tour the city. Here are five photos from my collection.

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church at Argyle/Prince

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Pier 21 plaque

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church on Barrington St.

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detail of church door on Barrington St.

White-Cabana-Halifax-5construction site on Argyle St.

I’m planning on sharing more photos and recap¬†soon, but for now, I’ll just wish you all a very happy weekend!

Marketplace: White at Muji

I could buy pretty much everything from Japanese wonder shop, Muji. The collection is organized, cohesive, and practical.

wall-clock-Muji

 

wall clock, $55.75

white-tray-porcelain-muji

porcelain tray, $13.25

 

earphones-Muji

earphones, $19.50

plastic-eraser-Muji

plastic eraser, $1.25

hair-clip-Muji

hair clip, $2.95

Muji-white-shirt

shirt, $29.98 (on sale)

calculator-muji

calculator, $18.95

bowl-muji

porcelain rice bowl, $5.95

linen-scarf-Muji

French linen scarf, $27.97 (on sale)

The first Muji in Canada is set to open this December in Toronto’s Eaton Centre.

The Friday Five: Etsy Whites

Etsy has something for everyone and every occasion, doesn’t it? Even after all of these years, I’m still so impressed with the creativity of the artisans and sellers on Etsy. Today I’m featuring five things that I think might help kick-start back-to-school season – Etsystyle.

Enjoy a breakfast of champions Рeggs and bacon Рin style.

Etsy-Egg-cups-vintage-white

vintage egg cups, set of 6 with spoons, $18.00

Forget the Google glass – walk to school/walk your kids to school/walk to work in these futuristic shades.

Silhouette-sunglasses-mirror-lens-Etsy

Silhouette 80s shades, $175

Pack a healthy lunch into a stylish and reusable bag.

lunch-bag-white-canvas-Etsy

 

lunch bag, $32

Keep track of time with a sleek wall clock.

il_570xN.616974329_356s

modern wall clock, $49

Call a friend like you did in the “olden days” – using a landline.

Vintage-Ferrari-phone-Etsy-white

vintage Ferrari phone, $81.15

Have a wonderful long weekend!

*Affiliate links have been used.

Event: Organizing a Garage Sale

It’s¬†going to be sunny on Saturday, right? It has to be! Why? Because I’m hosting my first¬†garage sale. It’s going to be extra exciting because I’m co-hosting it with Tim (of Design Maze).¬†We’re parting with some really lovely items, but we’ll be happy to see them move on to new homes.¬†Tim has¬†put together a great post with photos that I encourage you to check out. Let either of us¬†know if you want us to save you something or if you’d like to stop on by!

garage-sale-1

doily collection

garage-sale-2

vintage enamelware pot

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black chandelier

garage-sale-4

metal container

If you’re in the Waterloo area on Saturday and would like to stop by, please let¬†me know. If you’re not in the area, but you’re willing to make the trip, then I encourage you to make a day out of it. Here’s my recommended itinerary for the day…
РStop by our garage sale (of course)
– Head to¬†St. Jacobs farmers’ market to pick up food and flowers
РBrowse around the St. Jacobs antique malls (and hopefully pick up a sweet treasure or two), take a walk around the village too
– Enjoy¬†a casual lunch at Taco Farm, a fancier lunch at Janet Lynn’s Bistro (in Belmont Village), or pizza and patio¬†time at Famoso
–¬†Stroll around Waterloo Park and stop to say hello to the zoo animals (how many white animals can you count?)
–¬†Have a coffee and treat break at¬†Vincenzo’s
– Tour the incredible architectural buildings around Uptown (e.g., CIGI Campus, Perimeter Institute)

Oh, and if you’re wondering how to go about organizing a garage sale, here’s what I recommend:

Рclean out closets (gather items throughout the year that you no longer use/need/like)
– clean every item
– price items reasonably (either individually or in groupings)
Рmake signs to post around the neighbourhood on the morning of the sale
– decide in advance the hours of the sale
– grab a few friends/family members to help
– tell your neighbours
–¬†get some¬†change¬†from the bank
– advertise on free websites like Kijiji and CraigsList
– wake up earlier than you think you need to wake up on the day of the sale
– set up tables in an organized and appealing manner – pretend you’re setting up a real store, presentation is important
– read through some of the websites about how to host a garage/yard sale

In the Kitchen: Making Bread with the KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Okay, okay. Since you already know that I love my KitchenAid stand mixer, I’ll get straight¬†to¬†my recent¬†bread making¬†experience.

Although I was a bit hesitant to make bread from scratch, I was also very curious and determined. I opened up the¬†handy KitchenAid recipe book that came with my stand mixer, and I flipped to the page that had the “basic white bread” recipe.¬†I prepped all of my ingredients, I followed the directions exactly, and here is a photo-heavy recap of¬†what happened…

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basic white bread recipe from KitchenAid + packets of active dry yeast

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butter, salt, sugar, milk melting on the stove

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4.5 cups of flour to start (I probably ended up using 5.5 cups)

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mixing 2 packets of active dry yeast with warm water in a warm mixing bowl

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mixing all of the ingredients: yeast, water, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and flour

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level 2 speed for a few minutes

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mixing the dough with the dough hook until the sides are clean and the dough is sticky

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sides of bowl are clean and dough is sticky

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see – I told you – clean bowl!

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dough in a oil-lined bowl

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risen dough after 1 hour in the bowl

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punched dough

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rolling out half of the dough

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rolling up the flattened dough

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into the loaf pan it goes

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risen dough after 1 hour in the loaf pan

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after 30 minutes¬†in the 400¬į oven

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the recipe made 2 loaves (one is wonky because I had to DIY a loaf-type pan)

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golden bread

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crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside

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the best way to enjoy fresh bread – with Nutella

The bread was FANTASTIC! It was perfectly golden, had a crunchy crust, was soft on the inside, and¬†the recipe worked! It was as time consuming as bread making is (I think it took about 10 minutes to prep, 1 hour of wait time so the bread could rise the first time, 1 hour to rise the second¬†time, and 30 minutes to bake in the oven).¬†I did a bunch of other things around the house during the wait & rise times, so I really didn’t feel like bread making was a whole lot of work. Oh my goodness –¬†I could probably live on fresh bread and Nutella*. It’s too darn delicious!

Oh – and I know I’m “supposed” to eat healthy, grainy, brown bread, but sometimes¬†I just don’t care. White and simple¬†worked perfectly for me!

* This is not a sponsored post, but if Nutella wants to offer me with a year/lifetime supply of Nutella, I’d be grateful, and I’d make fresh bread more often!¬†

Personal: A Birthday Week

It was my birthday last weekend, and while there were no balloons or sprinkles à la every-Pinterest-party-photo, I had a few days of celebratory fun.

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my birthday crown

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lazy morning patio time

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a birthday selfie – wearing my new favourite sweatshirt

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Cutting pizza with scissors – doesn’t everybody do this?

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flowers from the Kitchener market

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homemade chocolate cake by my mom – delicious!

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Elora, Ontario

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Travel: Madeira Beach, Florida

I found my inner retiree (again), and escaped¬†for a 2-week holiday in Florida this month with my good friend (and travel partner-in-crime) Shannon. Two weeks¬†with no expectations to do anything, and moving in slo-mo was¬†absolutely what I needed at this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to visit museums, eat out, and¬†take architectural tours when I’m on vacation, but I also love to be really lazy.

While our daily routine in¬†Madeira Beach mostly included watching¬†Keeping up with the Kardashians (ugh!), Barefoot Contessa (yum!), and¬†Golden Girls (classic Florida!), spending hours by the pool and beach, and shopping, we also found some energy to¬†watch a¬†Tampa Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays baseball game¬†at Tropicana Field, watch the fireworks show on July 4th,¬†and walk to John’s Pass Village for¬†ice cream (it’s tradition).¬†Most of my photos look like this, but I did take a few others¬†to share:

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typical Floridian souvenirs

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I want a parking spot with a sign like this (it was outside a Kohl’s store)

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flags in every shape & form on the beach on July 4th

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Jays won!) at Tropicana Field

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98 degrees or 98 degrees

Florida-White-Cabana-6shuffleboard could probably be Florida’s¬†national sport

I’ve been trying to make yearly trips to Madeira Beach these past few years¬†– you can read about my previous Floridian adventures (or¬†non-adventurous adventures) here, here, here, and here. We always stay¬†here.

The Friday Five: Watering Cans

Are you already tending to your spring/summer garden or is still too cold? The grass gets a bit greener and flowers (or leaves) are blooming every day now. Spring’s arrival is such a wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

While the rain may be responsible for some of your garden’s growth, you mustn’t forget to water the plants and flowers that the rain may not reach. The best tool for this job is a watering can, of course!

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1-gallon watering can, $5.97, Lowe’s

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3L watering can, $5.49, Home Hardware

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Karim Rashid watering can, $29.99AUD

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Esschert Design Russion watering can, $35.96

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Burgon & Ball watering can, $60-$65, Gracious Home

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marketplace: Mother’s Day Shopping at Etsy

Here’s my second round-up¬†of Etsy¬†goods that¬†may make wonderful Mother’s Day gifts.

Clockwise from top: silhouette portrait, $65+, Le Papier Studio; felted organic wool slippers, $75, In Wool; Mother’s Day card, $3.50, The Little Illustrator; Dear Mom greeting card, $3.75, Rittenhouse Trades; white leather purse, $95, Meita Lev; concrete candlestick holder, $38, Zeitegeist Factory; deluxe handmade spa gift set, $38, Tokyo Factory; white decorative bird bowl, $10, The Tweet Life

p.s. Mother’s Day is next Sunday May 11th.

*affiliate links have been used

Celebration: Happy Easter Weekend!

I’m taking a break from the blog for a few days to enjoy some time with my family in NYC (think storytime and fort-building, rather than 30 Rock and high heels in the Meatpacking District). I hope you all have a happy Easter and you have good luck finding eggs, chocolate, and jelly beans in any hunts you may enjoy!

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Have a good weekend!