Gift Guide: For the Host and Hostess

I’m so grateful that Daniela has taken time out of her very busy schedule to share four amazing gift guides on White Cabana. Her earlier guides, in case you missed them, focused on babies and toddlers, tweens and teens, her and him.¬† In this last guide, she’s sharing more original ideas for the host. Or, as she told me, thoughtful “just because” gifts. And, yup, that’s Daniela…always thinking of others!

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Are you always stuck for what to bring to that dinner party or holiday drop-in? Or maybe you’re stuck on ideas for a small token for a teacher, coworker, or friend? This list is made up of affordable (under $30, with the exception of one!) items that cater to all types of people, but it is especially geared towards those drop-in visits and dinner parties we attend more frequently this holiday season.

Candles. Who doesn’t love a nice smelling candle? This one comes wrapped so nicely, so it’s ready for gift giving!

candle, $14 CAD (on sale), Chapters Indigo

Ornaments are great for those of us who celebrate the holidays with a tree. An ornament is a thoughtful gift your recipients will remember you by year after year. These ones are monogrammed with an initial and can be given by first or last name.

monogram ornament, $6 CAD (on sale), Chapters Indigo

The pineapple trend is still hot, and people are incorporating pineapples in home d√©cor and accent pieces. This pineapple jar can be used for anything “dry,” or it can be left out empty. In addition to it being a trendy item, pineapples signify warmth, friendship, and hospitality. These are all the things you receive when going to visit friends and family over the holidays.

pineapple storage jar, $22.49 CAD (on sale), Well

The store Saje started off with only a few locations, but now you can find many all around. It has the best essential oils and aromatherapy items for home and body healing. No doubt this store will continue to grow and thrive as people are increasingly pursuing personal wellness. This great housewarming gift is priced just under $30.

electric ceramic diffuser, $29.95 CAD, Saje

Know anyone who loves stationery? Eighty Seventh St. is a Canadian company founded by Monica Smiley. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for great illustrations that are sure to bring a smile to your face. These items found online are sure to please the stationery-lover in your life.

notes, $12.50 CAD, Eighty Seventh St.

all occasion boxed notecards, $20 CAD, Eighty Seventh St.

greeting cards, Eighty Seventh St.

L’Occitane En Provence is sure to please anyone on your list. Below are two well-priced hostess/host gifts. I am a big fan of the hand cream and lip balm. They’re packaged beautifully in true “French” fashion.

shea butter holiday bauble, $14 CAD, L’Occitane

shea hugs and kisses, $20 CAD, L’Occitane

Who doesn’t love a magazine subscription? The gift of reading is perfect every time. Start someone’s year off right with a subscription to Style at Home, since it is priced perfectly, and it’s gift that will have your friends thinking of you each month.

Style at Home year subscription, $23.95 CAD for print, $19.95 for digital

As a true coffee lover, I can’t start my day without two cups. I have to draw attention to my favorite coffee – Dineen Coffee Company. We drive here monthly to pick up a few bags of their beans which we grind at home each morning. When I say “we,” I really mean my husband. There is really nothing like a good quality cup of coffee. If you happen to be in the Toronto area, trust me, buying someone a nice bag of Dineen’s temperance roast will not disappoint. It truly is my favorite cup of coffee.

Dineen Coffee

I know that many people won’t be able to make it down to Toronto, so on the subject of coffee, if you have a coffee lover on your host/hostess list, this coffee maker is not only one of a kind, but it makes an incredible cup of coffee. It is on the higher end of my price point for a hostess gift. However, if you know someone who really loves coffee, they will thank you each time you visit by making an exceptional tasting cup. And, cool bit of info, this Chemex coffee maker is featured in the MOMA in NYC!

Chemex coffee maker, $47.99 CAD (on sale), Well

Happy shopping!

– Daniela

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Oh my goodness, Daniela! You’ve shared another excellent gift guide today! Thank you! I hope you get spoiled this holiday season!

The Friday Five: Coffee Pots

I have been drinking more coffee than usual over the last few weeks. I go through phases of preferred coffee types. I normally rotate between Caf√© du Monde drip coffee, espresso, and latt√©s. While I love French pressed coffee too, I don’t have a French press so I never make it. My local caf√© has pour over coffee which is kind of – sort of – like French press. I love the taste of pretty much every kind of coffee (and I’ve written about my interest in coffee here).

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Toddy Cold Brew Coffee System

chemex-8-cup-coffee-maker

Chemix Coffee Maker

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Black & Decker Coffee Maker

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Cuisinart Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker

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Bosch Tassimo

What about you? What’s you coffee of choice? Do you frequent the caf√©s or do you prefer your own make-at-home coffee?

 

Fredericton, NB: Food & Flowers

Did you know New Brunswick is the only constitutionally bilingual province in Canada? Oui, oui! Fredericton is the capital of the province and has a population of almost 86,000 (city centre).

bilingual street sign in Fredericton

The downtown core has a few good pubs¬† along with a couple of fine dining restaurants. After a few days of pub food at¬† Snooty Fox and Dolan’s, a friend and I went to The Blue Door which was a nice treat. I had the gorgonzola tenderloin (yummy!) and she had the yellow thai vegetable curry (which was full of creamy white goodness).

The Blue Door, Fredericton

vegetable curry at The Blue Door, Fredericton

Although I was surprised to learn that there was no Starbucks downtown, on the recommendation of several people, on one afternoon I stopped in at Jonnie Java Roasters & Espresso Bar (in the Paradise Imports store) for some freshly roasted coffee. Although people told me “it was the best coffee”, I was a little skeptical. I have a thing for coffee, you may remember (read more here, here and here). Well, to my surprise, it was amazing! So amazing, in fact, that I had two cups of coffee – an espresso and a cappuccino – along with a delicious oat cake made with love by a group of ladies down the road. The coffee – and the people I met at Jonnie Java – definitely made my day!

A heart just for me!

coffee + oat cake = a delicious snack

Flowers were in full bloom last week in Fredericton and the lilacs – both white and purple – really caught my attention. So pretty!

Read more about Fredericton at Tourism Fredericton.

Photos by Jordana.

Bialetti Coffee Maker

One of my most favourite kitchen objects is my Bialetti coffee maker. I actually have a few – different sizes to be used depending on how many cups of coffee I need to make. Mine are all silver but I think this white one should be my next purchase. Don’t you?

white Bialetti, $49.99, Sears

p.s. For those of you who have never tried making coffee with this little machine, it’s easy and it makes darn good espresso. You put water in the bottom compartment and espresso coffee grinds go on top of the water (in another compartment). When you put the machine on the stove, the bottom gets heated, the water boils, it mixes with the coffee, and gets filtered through the top. Voila – espresso is made in a matter of minutes!

Heart of Goodness

Last week I wrote about my love of coffee. Turns out that Johanne (Fashion in Motion editor and White Cabana contributor) has a talent for making hearts in her latte! Who knew?

Made with love: I spy a heart!

p.s. I know – the cup/saucer combo is pretty cool too!
p.p.s. Johanne swears this is an easy DIY. Perhaps we can convince her to share the step-by-step how-to!

Photo by Johanne.

The Friday Five: Coffee

Ahh…coffee. I love the smell, the taste and the look. I love the feeling of drinking a coffee at my local caf√©. I love meeting a friend and catching up on gossip at a new caf√© or sitting alone on a patio with a cup in hand and watching the world go by.

I’m a fan of any kind of coffee…my choice usually depends on the time of day, the occasion and the caf√©. I like a latte or cappuccino in the morning or as a mid-morning break. I enjoy a nice espresso after a good meal or as an afternoon pick-me-up.

And yes – sometimes the coffee I drink is so special, it deserves a photo! I’m happy to welcome you to today’s caffeine-filled Friday Five!

1. I was in Ascoli with my aunt, uncle and father. We stopped in at Caffe Meletti before hitting the farmer’s market. The Barista wrote me a special message in my little espresso. Sweet, right?

An espresso in Ascoli, Italy

2. I was in Gstaad with my good friend Shannon. Going to Early Beck easily became an afternoon routine for us. We shared many laughs and gossiped for hours.

A cappuccino & croissant in Gstaad, Switzerland

3. On one of my trips to Paris, I stopped in at a restaurant near the Palais Royale to write postcards and get re-energized!

An espresso and tarte in Paris, France

4. I’ll never forget the morning adventure my good friend Boba and I had in Montreal. It was pouring rain outside but we were determined to have breakfast at La Croissanterie Figaro, which came highly recommended by a friend. Even though we were exhausted after a busy work week in Montreal, we stuck it out and we were rewarded with a beautiful breakfast and a couple of delicious cappuccinos.

A cappuccino with a mountain of foam in Montreal, Quebec

5. I was on a 5-day vacation with Shannon (yes, the same friend) in Budapest and we stopped in for a coffee and strudel at the First Studel House of Pest. Our food and drinks were delish!

Latte at the First Strudel House of Pest, Budapest

How about you? What are your coffee drinking routines or memories?

Photos by Jordana.

One Fabulous Mug

Fill ‘er up!

Monogrammed mugs, $8 CAD, Anthropologie

My sister bought me one of these Anthropologie mugs (with the letter J on it – obviously) for my last birthday¬† and can I just tell you all how fabulous it is? I originally was attracted to the cool letter J and the crisp white background. But once I began using it, I realized that it’s the perfect mug! It fits beautifully in my hand, holds the right amount of coffee or tea and it looks great with my new Macbook. Two thumbs up for this mug!

Image courtesy of Anthropologie.

The Friday Five: Coffee & Tea Service

If you like coffee or tea, then I hope you’re going to enjoy today’s Friday Five. Caution…objects are hot! Gosh…do I have to quote Paris Hilton for that?

Copo Porcelain Teapot, $89.99, Digs Showroom

Coffee or tea press, $29.95, Paper Source

Radiator cup keeps hands cool, $24, Bit Rebels or Yanko Design

Teatime, $25, Holycool

Zipper cups, $40, Uncommon Goods

 

Photos courtesy of Bit Rebels, Design Sponge, Digs Showroom, Holycool, Paper Source, Uncommon Goods, Yanko Design.