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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Marketplace: Shopping at Etsy

Like many of you (I’m sure), I think one of the coolest online shopping sites is Etsy. It has grown incredibly over the last decade and it’s definitely one of my go-to spots if I’m looking for something really unique – vintage or handmade. We are now seeing some Etsy sellers moving offline and into stores like Chapters-Indigo and West Elm, and I have no doubt that these types of collaborations are going to continue.

Etsy is also a company that supports – and wants to work with – bloggers. One of the ways that it works with bloggers is through its affiliate program. I’ve known about the program for quite some time, but I only recently (um, this past weekend), pulled up my blogger socks and got my Etsy act together. This is why you now see the Etsy ad on my sidebar (well, would ya look at that!), and you’ll see me featuring Etsy items every now and again on the blog. Heck, I regularly featured Etsy in my posts sans¬†the affiliate program, so you’re likely not going to even notice a difference in my posts. I just thought I’d let you know that I’m now embracing my Etsy affiliate membership.

So, let’s get to some cool Etsy sellers and products, shall we? Here are my latest faves in the categories of design, art, and fashion…

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Polaroid camera, $35, Old Vintage Goodies

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crystal white hexagon stud earrings, $15, Vivid by Esther

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original geometric painting, $100, Nathaniel Gibson

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geometric circle print, $12, Sweet Peony Press

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fine art print – seagull, $35, Jorey Hurley

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 piano garland, $15, Elisabeth Nicole

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organic cotton pillows, $36 each, Little Korboose
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Converse illustration Рprint, $20, Kendyll Hillegas

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cheers acrylic tray, $55, Khristian A. Howell

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Charles Eames for Herman Miller chairs, $505.21, Frankfurt Minimal  

If you’re a Canadian blogger, and you’re interested in becoming part of the Etsy affiliate program, click here, and be sure to read Jen’s post¬†and Melissa’s post¬†about the program.

Event: The BlogPodium 2013 report

Collaboration. Honesty. Respect. These are just some of the words that I repeatedly wrote in my notebook at this past weekend’s BlogPodium in Toronto. Bloggers, PR agents, and brands artfully invaded the Hyatt hotel on King Street on Saturday to learn and share strategies about the world of blogging.

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photo by Jordana

This year’s BlogPodium, just as in previous years, completely impressed me. Organized by co-founder Jennifer Flores (Rambling Renovators) and her BlogPodium 2013 crew, the event showcased the important work of bloggers, the brands that recognize their influential abilities, and the ways in which bloggers have come together over the last several years to form one of the most engaged, vibrant, and energetic communities around.

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decorations by Minted, styling by We Create Hoopla; photo by Jordana

This BlogPodium was an extra special one for me as I gave my first blog-focused conference presentation. Several months ago, I submitted a proposal to Jennifer after a BlogPodium Call for Presenters was released. A little while after I sent in my submission, Jennifer put me in touch with Giulia Doyle (Audrey’s) and suggested that we partner. Our topic? Balancing a day job and a successful blog. While Giulia and I had never met, I was excited to work with her and give back to the blogging community through this presentation.

Over the period of a few months, Giulia and I worked together (via Skype, telephone, Dropbox, and email) to write two posts for the BlogPodium blog (one and two) and to prepare a cohesive presentation for BlogPodium attendees. I am so grateful to Jennifer for brining Giulia and me together. Not only did I learn about Giulia’s approach to blogging, but I appreciated her professionalism, her commitment, and her creativity. Giulia – thank you. (It surprised many attendees to find out that Giulia and I only met about 2 hours before our presentation. Kind of cool, right?). For those who are interested in our full presentation, the slides should be available soon via the BlogPodium site.

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me and Giulia; photo by Anna With Love

Presenting at BlogPodium was hugely satisfying for me and it allowed me to connect with bloggers – new and experienced – on a whole new level. We were able to take our conversations offline and speak in sentences that were longer than 140 characters. While I love the online world, face-to-face interaction is hard to beat.

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photo by Giulia Doyle

Another highlight for me was Sarah Richardson‘s keynote speech. She was funny, intelligent, and engaging. She was approachable, spoke clearly and with ease, and really shared how hard work, determination, and talent, got her to where she is today. Having respect for colleagues, being nice, and working collaboratively, were just some of the points that she shared during her presentation. Creating successful relationships has been a really important contributing factor to her success.

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Sarah Richardson & Jennifer Flores; photo by Anna With Love

Lunch was good…but dessert was amazing! Way to go Hyatt!

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bloggers love chocolate, right?

Lunch was extremely enjoyable for me as I had the pleasure of sitting with such a talented and diverse group of bloggers. Thanks to Christine (Just Bella), Brittany (Gallery No. Eight), Megan (Hodge Podge), Gabrielle (Bee and Daddoo), and Sara (Saige Wisdom) for sharing your stories.

After lunch we heard from a panel of influential blog & magazine insiders: Margot Austin, Jacqueline Clark, Emma Reddington, and Rhonda Richie. This panel was moderated by the uber-talented Leigh-Ann Allaire. Oh man – she always¬†always asks the questions that I am itching to ask. She know what to say and when to say it – she’s a talented moderator and I look forward to seeing more of her soon. This group of presenters shared their experiences with publishing – online and offline.

I am also pleased to recognize the generosity of the sponsors and exhibitors. They spoiled us with artistic, useful, and pretty supplies (everything from paint to caulking to candy to fabric)!

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Sarah Richardson + Kravet

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dishes at Urban Barn

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Poppin in white at Chapters-Indigo

BlogPodium 2013 will always be something that I look back on with incredibly happy memories. Thanks again to the attendees, presenters, and sponsors for making this day so fun!

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Cheers!

*Note: The original post vanished after it was published due to a server error. This piece was written from an earlier draft.