Blog Link-Up: Best Purchase of 2016

I’m thrilled to participate in a blog link-up today which was organized by Erica over at Luv in the Bubble. It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in a link-up, and this one has come at an ideal time! I’ve been on the look-out for new-to-me blogs this month, and many of these are just that.

 

Erica took a page out of Victoria and Meg’s link-up ideas, and invited bloggers to talk about our “best purchase of 2016.”

 

I have two – two very different – purchases to share today.

 

1. My Princess Bed

 

I declared 2016 as The Year of My Bed. I was tired (finally) of sleeping on a double mattress from my grad school days, and I needed a full upgrade on my sleep situation. I had my heart set on a French style bed with curved footboard. While I wasn’t particular about the colour or finish (anything can be painted), I absolutely wanted – had to have – a curved footboard.

 

I scoured online retailers and second-hand sites for months (and months and months and months), and I was about to settle for a newly produced bed (which would set me back thousands of dollars and would still need a paint job), when I put a tweet out into the world (aka Oprah’s vision board approach) asking for the world to send me the French bed of my dreams.

 

Can you guess what happened about a week or so after that tweet?

 

The world sent me the French bed of my dreams! Curved headboard. White-ish in colour. Gorgeous wood carvings. Oh man. It’s dreamy! After an evening of stressful bidding via online auction, the bed was mind. Credit card was charged. Shipping was arranged. The. Bed. Was. Mine.

 

This bed is pure magic. It’s unique and interesting and French and lovely.
The bed purchase led to a new mattress purchase which led to the purchase of a pair of vintage night tables which led to new lamps and artwork and styling. I wanted 2016 to be the year of the bed, and it was!

 

2. My Vintage Peugeot Bicycle

 

A rusty barely-functional white 1975 Peugeot came into my life via a Kijiji ad. I was hesitant that the bike could become shiny and functional, but my friends at Berlin Bicycle Cafe worked their magic, and the bike was restored.

My vintage Peugeot is glorious! Before I bought it, I had absolutely no idea what fun it would bring me. I had a mountain bike, but it was heavy and clunky. My Peugeot is light, French, and comfortable.

 

In the spring and summer, this bike takes me places (#WhiteCabanaBikes), and I feel so grateful that it has encouraged me to discover new-to-me trails in my city, meet cycle enthusiasts, and learn about products to improve the function (and style) of my bike. My Brooks seat and grips are extremely comfortable, and the gold Basil bell brings bling to my bike. Mostly, I’m happy to leave my car at home while I ride my Peugeot around town to do errands and see friends. It has certainly improved my quality of life!

 

Before you carry on with your day, have a poke around these other blogs to read other bloggers’ stories.

 

Thanks again to Erica for organizing this link-up!

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Blog Linkup: Goals for Fall

It’s been a few months since I participated in the B Bar’s blogger linkup. I know I missed a month, and then Victoria and Meg took a summer vacation, but here we are now! Ready to roll!

This month, the ladies have asked us

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR FALL?

Well, well, fall is only a couple of months long over on my side of the world, so I really only have time to achieve a random collection of short-term goals (warning: images are not as pretty as my usual posts #thisisreallife).

1.¬†Fireplace Re-vamp: Complete my fireplace re-vamp. Since these last photos, I have painted the 80s gold a matte black, and I think I’m going to love it. I have also started re-working an old mantle that I’d like to put in place. A few more modifications are necessary before I install it (with my dad’s help, of course).

White-Cabana-fireplace-1 White-Cabana-fireplace-2 2. Chair-turned-luggage-rack DIY: I’d like to finish up the makeover on my two chair-turned-luggage rack/stools. They need a fresh coat of high gloss black paint, then strapping, then some sort of seat/cushion/fabric covering.

White-Cabana-stools-13. Bootie-licious: Booties are all the rage this fall, and I’m on the hunt for a comfortable, stylish, and affordable leather pair. A frivolous goal, yes, but it still counts, right?

4. Traveling South: I’m planning a road trip to the south, and I hope I can follow-through with all my travel goals. I’m starting off with a family visit in Chapel Hill, NC, then off to High Point for High Point Market, then Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA. I’m sort of cheating with this goal because the plan is already in the works.

5. Trail exploration: I’m looking forward to learning more about Kitchener-Waterloo this fall. I have recently discovered that the trail beside the train tracks uptown has been extended (yay!). My walks are taking me to new neighbourhoods, and this makes me happy!

6. Symphony: I’m set to attend the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony a couple of times this fall, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing something that I’ve never experienced before. The concerts are held at the Centre in The Square, and even though I’ve lived in Waterloo for more than two years, I’ve never been. This fall, I’m going!

KW Symponyphoto via KW Symphony

So that’s what I’ve been thinking about for the fall. Honestly, I still feel like I’m in summer mode…it hasn’t quite set in that fall is here.

As per the linkup tradition, I would encourage you to read about my fellow bloggers’ goals:

Annie Reeves
26 and Not Counting
Alyssa J Freitas
Carly Blogs
Feathers and Stripes
Carrie Loves
White Oak Creative
PRBlonde
Sequins & Strawberries
Pieced Together
PreppyPanache
Knowing Kelly
Something Good
Life By Bri
My Beauty Cloud
La Vie Petite
Wealthy in Health
White Cabana
Mrs. on the Move
Boys and Bombshells
Life Modifier
Everyday Cuvée
A Little Leopard
Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough
L is for Lucy
Cori’s Corner
Beauty and the Pitch
Dreams and Colour Schemes
Viciloves
Lights Camera Catwalk
Pattern Me Pretty
A Few of My Favorite Things
Chic Glamorous and Splendid
She’s All Smiles
StyledbyKesha
Suzy Speaks
Luv in the Bubble
The Minimalist

Read my previous linkups here: January, February, April, May, June. Thanks to Meg and Victoria for bringing us all together again this month.

Blog Linkup: Summer Essentials

I almost missed this month’s linkup announcement over at The Well. I must already be in summer mode! This month, Meg and Victoria posed this question for us:

WHAT ARE YOUR SUMMER ESSENTIALS?

After last month’s tough question, I was happy to see this one. This one is easy for me to answer because I absolutely loooooove the summer! I’m pretty sure that it’s because my birthday is in July, there are plenty of warm sunny days, and I have had summer months off from school and work for pretty much all of my life. Summer. Nothing beats it. Wish we had a few more months of it!

Anyhoo, so, on to my summer essentials (apparently I have quite a few). Here. We. Go.

1. Open windows. I love having my windows open and letting the breeze flow through my home.

tumblr_m7ba8hrgM11rsb1bqo1_400via

2. Passport. My passport is always ready to go, but the summer is the most convenient season for me to take a vacation, so I always do. Lucky me!

img17cvia Mark & Graham

3. Bathing suit. I do not have an extensive bathing suit collection, but I put every piece to very good use all summer long. I typically wear navy or black suits, but I’m also open to colour.

NMZ14RZ_mkGucci bikini, via Neiman Marcus

4. Havaianas. I basically live in them during the summer months. I know I should probably up my footwear game, but these flip flops are perfect for grocery store runs, lounging around the pool in Florida, and hitting up garage sales. I currently have brown, black, and orange in rotation, but I think I should invest in a red or fuchsia pair. Maybe even a white pair. Beyond that, by the time June rolls around, I’m just so tired of wearing socks and closed toe shoes (and boots!). My feet need air!

HavaianasWomen-Havaianas40000290001356_medium_PRODUCT_TOP_8261via Havaianas

5. Sangria. Red. White. It doesn’t matter. I just love it. I think this is because when I was in my early 20s, I traveled around Spain for a few weeks with my pen pal (Yes, I have a pen pal. Hi Vanessa!), and I was introduced to this delicious summer bevvie.

Apple-and-Pear-White-Sangria-finalvia Love Grows Wild

6. Hammock. I won a hammock last summer over at Lindsay’s blog, and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s the ultimate backyard perch.

hammock-White-Cabanalook at how relaxed I look

7. Ice cream. I love eating ice cream in the summer. When we’re in Florida, my friend Shannon and I stock the freezer with loads of flavours, and slowly quickly eat our way through everything. It’s glorious. The Magnum mini is my current favourite, but I definitely don’t limit myself to just this type.

Product_varietymini116-745979via Magnum

8. Panama hat. I picked up my Panama hat in New Orleans a few years ago, and I just love it. It’s way better than my winter toque!

White-Cabana-Jordana-2here’s a selfie from New Orleans

9. White shirts, tanks, and tees. I can never have too many of these in my wardrobe! I add new versions to my collection each summer (well, every season, really…I do wear a lot of white).

cn9151519the Gap remains one of my favourite go-to tee shot

10. Camera. I got a new camera recently, but I have yet to really figure out how it works. I am really looking forward to playing around with it this summer. If anyone has a good DSLR how-to book recommendation, please let me know!

white-cabana-camera11. Books. Stacks and stacks of reading material for at home and on vacation. I’ve been going to the library every week all winter long, and I’m planning on continuing this habit over the next few months/forever. The Waterloo Public Library is fantastic.

White-Cabana-booksbooks

12. Mozzarella. Any cheese. Any time. Right? Mozzarella is on the top of my cheese buying list because it will go so well with the tomatoes and basil that are growing in my garden. Hello caprese salad, I’ve missed you!

18734e475c3f5c0098996724457d9062via Local Lemons

13. Bicycle. It’s so handy to take my bike around town, and I hope to do it as often as I can this summer. Nothing fancy. Just leisurely rides around town to get my errands done.

a-beach-cottage-coastal-vintage-style-white-bike-hydrangeas-abeachcottage.com-via A Beach Cottage

I guess that’s about it for now in terms of summer essentials. What about you? What’s on the top of your essential list?

As per the linkup tradition, I would encourage you to read through the essential items of my fellow bloggers:

26 and Not Counting
Alyssa J Freitas
soak and simmer
The Not Quite Adult
Carrie Loves
The Yuppie Files
PRBlonde
Knowing Kelly
Something Good
Feathers and Stripes
Cassandra Monroe
Otherworldly
Sunny Side Up
Life Modifier
Leigh Clair
Rae Loves
Rose Colored Water
Rossetto
Fashion to a T
PreppyPanache
Emilie Lima Burke
Ember & March
Business Betties
with love from ellie
Mint Julep Girl
Love Peace and shimmer
Rae Everyday
Little Wild Heart
star-crossed smile
Luv in the Bubble
Perfect Enough For Us
LIFE BY BRI
Sorcha Eleanor
Brikasia
Dreams and Colour Schemes
Elana Lyn
Sequins & Strawberries
Pattern Me Pretty
Beauty and the Pitch
White Oak Creative
The Toppy Top
White Cabana
In The Grey
Taryn Williford
Cooper + Thames
Mrs. on the Move
Magnificent Temptations
Meg Biram
Victoria McGinley

Read my previous linkups here: January, February, April, May. Thanks to Meg and Victoria for bringing us all together again this month.

Blog Linkup: How do you achieve work/life balance?

For this month’s blog linkup, Victoria and Meg have called bloggers to answer the question:

HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE?

This is such a hot topic and, from what I’ve read, a real biggie for Gen Xs and Gen Ys. Those of us who fall into one of these categories are perhaps more interested in achieving work/life balance than any of other generation. I’m not a perfect example of someone who has completely succeeded with work/life balance, but these are some of the things I do to keep things in check.

il_570xN.536495576_mhoiscale

I’m the type of person who takes on a whole lot. I like being involved, I like making important contributions to my work, I can’t seem to stop pushing myself education-wise, I don’t like missing events, and I like to be in-the-know. In general, I sort of compartmentalize my general activities (work, school, blogging, social time, relaxation time), so that I devote a certain amount of time to each activity. The areas can overlap, but if I keep the tasks in “boxes,” I feel like I can focus. While this organizational approach might make me inflexible (yes, it’s true), it also means that I ensure that I can more easily control where and how I devote my energy (at least I try).

162005g_1pcCubeGiftBoxWht_600boxes

Following up on the compartmentalization strategy, I regularly set time limits for my work/life tasks. Doing this forces me to accomplish what I need to accomplish. Blogging, for example, could easily take over every spare moment, but if I let it do so, I wouldn’t have time for any other work or leisure activities that I enjoy. I (generally) keep blogging time to first thing in the morning and the weekend (although it definitely does creep into various other times throughout each day and week!).

clock-Mujiclock

I am a believer in the power of The To Do List. I usually have one for each major part of my life – work, school, blogging, personal – and they help me stay organized (and balanced). There is no way I could remember everything that I have to do, want to do, need to buy, etc., without these lists. I generally keep daily to do lists, but I also plan out weekly lists (especially during busy times). There’s always an ongoing random list, too.

il_570xN.619074542_gcx5 to do list

Vacation time, alone-time, and relaxation time are very important to me, and if I feel like I’m getting stressed, anxious, tired, or irritable, I try to make sure I have some of this time carved out into my week or month.

PHC-GOA-IVY-2passport holder

My friends and family live in various cities, and while I love to spend time with everyone, if I feel too overwhelmed with events and obligations, I simply have to say no. It’s not that easy to say no – especially if there are a lot of fun things going on – but if I say yes to everything and push myself in every direction, I will inevitably end up feeling cranky and scattered.

il_570xN.250057485mini cards

As with the other meetups, there are a lot of other bloggers weighing in on the work/life balance questions. Read what they have to say by clicking on these links:

The B Bar
26 and Not Counting
Rae Loves
Sarah Hartley
Carrie Loves
Soak and Simmer
The Not Quite Adult
White Cabana
PreppyPanache

LiskaMonet
Alyssa J Freitas
Rossetto
With Love From Ellie
Cake & Lilies
Feathers and Stripes
Leigh Clair
White Oak Creative
Life Modifier
Perfect Enough for Us
Random Little Faves
Jacque Of All Trades
Business Betties
Girl for Granted
Alicia Tenise
The Yuppie Flies
It’s Droolworthy
Something Good Blog
Elana Lyn
Forth Chicago
Emilie Lima Burke
Manifest Yourself
Fit for a Bride Blog
A Little Leopard
Coral and Cognacs
Little Wild Heart
It’s Julien
Boys and Bombshell
Meg Biram
Victoria McGinley

Previous blog linkup posts: January, February.

Blog Linkup: It’s all about Instagram

Last month’s blog linkup organized by Meg and Victoria at Shop the B Bar¬†was a lot of fun. I¬†was introduced to so many new-to-me bloggers, and I’ve tried my best to keep tabs on all the exciting things they’ve been doing in the areas of design, fashion, and lifestyle. Last month, we talked about some of our most essential purchases. The¬†question we are answering this month is:

WHO ARE THREE OF YOUR FAVOURITE INSTAGRAMMERS AND WHY?

First, I¬†love that “instagrammer” is now being used as a noun – casually, but still. As a language gal, this stuff fascinates me. Anyhoo, three instagrammers that I really like are:

Erica Cook – Moth Design

Erica-Cook-Moth-Design-2 Erica-Cook-Moth-Design-1 Erica-Cook-Moth-Design-3

Erica’s Instagram life is incredible. Her Calgary home is white perfection – I could buy every single thing she owns. Her style is top notch, and her love for her family (including¬†5 sons!) really shines through her¬†posts.

Kate – Always Craving

Kate-Always-Craving-2 Kate-Always-Craving-3 Kate-Always-Craving-1

I¬†learned about Chicago-based blogger Kate¬†of¬†Always Craving¬†as a result of last month’s linkup. Her Instagram photos are bright, light, and diverse. Her styling is just lovely.

French Words

French-Words-Instagram-3 French-Words-Instagram-2 French-Words-Instagram-1

I¬†know Instagram should be¬†all about photos, but I like words, and French Words posts a¬†new French word, saying, or touch of poetry every day. Simple drawings accompany some of the words as does an explanation about the words (i.e., English translation, part of speech, gender of noun). It’s simple and effective.

If you’re¬†looking to follow more IGers (we can shorten it, right?), check out what these¬†bloggers have to say:

Annie Reeves
Alyssa J Freitas
Cake & Lilies
Liska Monet
The Not Quite Adult
Equal Parts of a Whole
Carrie Loves
A Loyal Love
Paper and Skyscrapers
Glitter, Inc.
SKC Marketing
Shenanigan-ska
Elana Lyn
Sponsored by Coffee
Always Craving
All The Pretty Stars
Business Betties
Perfect Enough For Us
Always Anita
A Little Leopard
A Girl for Granted
Tortoise in the Sun
The Yuppie Files
Healthfully Ever After
Urban Pixxels
Roam + Golightly
Preppy Panache
Brikasia
Idalia Photography
Little Wild Heart
Wearing Pearls
The Everyday Adventurer
Splendor in Spanglish
Life Modifier
Post Grad in Pumps
Alessandra Marie
Random Little Faves
PR Girl Diaries
Caitlin Cawley
Modish & Main
26 and Not Counting
Pretty Much Design Studio
Grace Notes
Girl in Betsey
Something Good
Life with the Champions
Pattern Me Pretty
Simply Nicole
The Fashionable Wife
Cassandra Monroe
I Am Amber Nicole
Southland Avenue
English Mamma
Cake Over Steak
York Avenue
Jenn Inspired
Hitha on the Go
Beauty and the Pitch
Cedar and Rush
Luv in the Bubble
Des Moines Darling
Cheyenne Mojica
Step Brightly
Soak and Simmer
A Touch of Teal
Paris vs The World
Style and Free
Lovely Friend
A Few of My Favorite Things
The Blue Bijou
PR Blonde
Leigh Clair
Moonlight Chai
Meg Biram
Victoria McGinley