The Friday Five: PM Lotto Oakville Showhome + Brunch with Brian Gluckstein

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go on a tour of the Princess Margaret Lotto Oakville Showhome. As Canadian readers may already know, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Welcome Home Sweepstakes is a huge fundraising event with incredible prizes to be won. Tickets are $100 each, $250 for 3, or $375 for 5. Each year, many local residents, Princess Margaret supporters, and the generally curious crowd anticipate the reveal of Oakville Showhome. The home is always in an exclusive Oakville neighbourhood (Oakville is about 30 minutes from Toronto, for the non-local readers of this blog), it includes top-of-the line electronics/appliances/gadgets, and it is designed by one of my all-time favourite Canadian designers, Mr. Brian Gluckstein.

For the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to preview the home, and each year, I’m blown away. This year was no exception. Mr. Gluckstein – or Brian, as I like to call him (um, first name basis with Brian!? Crazy!) – and his team worked magic once again. The house is beautiful. Rooms include traditional lines, soothing colour stories, beautiful artwork and objets, and a few surprises thrown into the mix as well.

I know I’m a day late with this week’s Friday Five, but here are five things that I learned about this year’s Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome:

1. A white bedroom is always in style, and when it includes a gorgeous lucite table, it becomes a little more special.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-1810 pillows – how many do you have on your bed? (I have 5)White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-17seating area with lucite coffee table in the master bedroom

2. Art is essential. Brian’s designs always include some stunning pieces. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-12art in the kitchen

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-6art beside the massage room (see #3)

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-5art in the hallway

3. A massage room is a ridiculously luxurious room to have in a home. I have never had a massage myself, but if I had a room for it, you can bet I’d be taking advantage of it! I adored the fully-lined walls in this space. The wall curtains are made of terrycloth fabric, and Brian told me that it was only around $3 a yard. Adding texture to the wall in this way is brilliant, in my opinion.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-10the massage room

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-84. Brian makes interesting lighting selections for the Oakville Showhome each year. This year, three pieces caught my attention. First – the kitchen light was formerly black and brass, but Brian (or his people) sprayed in white. Yes! Second – the light in one of the bedrooms had a pretty scallop which made it a pretty addition to the already-delicate room. Third – the chandeliers that lined the entrance hall are light and airy. Floating cubes of goodness, really.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-11white pendant in the kitchen

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-13scalloped light in a bedroom

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-3airy chandelier in the entrance hall

5. I am the first to admit that wallpaper makes me nervous. I much prefer plain walls and art work to wallpaper. I’m pretty sure it’s because I was traumatized by the 80s wallpaper chaos that I had to deal with in my own home. The wallpaper designs that were included in some of the bathrooms in the Showhome, however, caught my attention.

In the jack-and-jill bathroom, the wallpaper is whimsical yet serene.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-14Hi there!

The blossoming wallpaper in the master bathroom creates a cozy nook around the stand-alone bathtub.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-21¬† White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-19 White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-20Bonus: Since it’s Saturday, I’m going to make the executive decision to add one more item to today’s list. I could not leave the living room out of today’s Showhome recap because it is such a magnificent space. The oversized windows mean that light fills the room, the walls are a beautiful tone of grey, and the furniture placement (in true Brian fashion) is symmetrical. This room also includes a mirrored coffee table with a perfectly-arranged collection of silver boxes and luxurious drapery to match the wall colour.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-1White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-23¬† White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-2There you have it – five six things I adore about this year’s Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome designed by Brian Gluckstein. The golf room and library fascinated me, too!

Photos by Jordana. For more photos of the preview event, check out #BrunchWithBrian on Instagram and Twitter. You can’t win this house if you don’t buy a ticket – tickets can be purchased here.

Books: What I’ve been Reading Lately

I read quite a bit (this wasn’t always the case), but my reading lists vary depending on the time of year. During the academic year, I read a lot of academic texts and journals. During my down-time, I read loads of magazines (fashion, design, food, celebrity, anything really!), some non-fiction books (related to living a happy life, promoting one’s strengths, leadership, business, etc.), and random fiction. During the holidays (e.g., spending three weeks in Florida), I lean toward easy breezy beach reads.

Here’s a look at some of the books I’ve recently read:

art-of-tidying-up The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Review: I like that I now know what all the fuss about Marie Kondo is about. The book is a quick read and it makes you think about all the stuff you own and why you own it. That said, some of the strategies, suggestions, and techniques are just too extreme or completely unrealistic for my own life. I took this book out of the library, so it didn’t clutter up my home.

Leave-your-markLeave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job by Aliza Licht

Review: Aliza Licht’s Leave Your Mark is an easy read with some good suggestions about how to navigate the workplace. I probably should have read something like this when I was 20.
funny-girlFunny Girl by Nick Hornby

Review: Let me start by admitting that I have liked Nick Hornby for a really long time, so I am biased. Funny Girl rates high on my list because I really liked the characters and storyline. I am now wondering if a movie is in the works. I hope so!

shopaholic-to-the-starsShopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

Review: I have read every Sophie Kinsella (and Madeleine Wickham) book. I have a soft spot for Becky Bloomwood, and she makes me laugh. That said, I didn’t love Shopaholic to the Stars. Dare I say it – I might actually be tired of Becky’s ways (same story, different location?). I didn’t like how this book ended (and neither did a couple of other people who have spoken to me about it).

the vacationersThe Vacationers by Emma Straub

Review: The Vacationers looked like it was going to be the best beach read. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it at all. I read it from beginning to end (just because I had committed to it), but I was sort of just bored.

girl-on-the-trainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Review: Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train was amazing. I could not put this book down. It hooked me in right from the first page. If you like suspense/thriller/action, you’d like this book.

Do you have any book recommendations? I’d love to know about them!

Books: What I’ve Been Reading

Winter¬†in Canada. It sucks. I have complained¬†so much about it (and I just can’t stop). It puts such a damper on my mood and motivation. I’ve tried to embrace it in the past, but, really, it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve been coping with the cold, dark days by watching a lot of television (I’m sort of completely sick of television now, too) and by reading more books¬†(rather than just my usual stack of magazines and list of blogs).

In addition to about a dozen academic books (for a fun-for-me project that I might share one day), I’ve read¬†the following…

gone-girl-book-cover-med

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

the-rosie-project-graeme-simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

rosie effect

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

I’d recommend all three books. Gone Girl was a slow start for me, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading it. It was amazing. The Rosie Project and Rose Effect were both amusing and interesting. Because¬†one of the main characters is a professor, I could relate.

I’ve also been reading a whole bunch of money and tax books. Here are some¬†of them:

White-Cabana-booksI think Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s books have been the most relevant,¬†useful, and¬†informative.

The Friday Five: Things I Learned in February

Following my end of January post called Things I Learned This Week, I thought it would be appropriate to end this week by sharing five things I learned this month.

1. February is a month that really just whizzes by in a flash. I never really paid too much attention to this before, but this month was really just a complete blur. I was sick for almost three weeks of it, but other than that, I have barely a recollection of what I did! I hate feeling like this.

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via Me and My DIY

2. The Waterloo Public Library¬†in uptown Waterloo is awesome. I love libraries and I think we should continue to show them our support. Right? Who’s with me?

White-Cabana-Waterloo-Public-Library-Uptown

3. I love doing the Saturday Toronto Star crossword when I’m at my parents’ house. I can actually do it (or most of it)! I don’t actually get the newspaper at my own home, but it’s one of the first pages I turn to when I see the Star sitting on my parents’ kitchen table. I liked this one especially since the clue for 67 down was “Ontario city”, and the answer was “Waterloo”. Do you see it in the photo?

Crossword-White-Cabana1

4. Showering my cousin’s baby with¬†well wishes on¬†this sweet¬†display made me happy.

baby-shower-White-Cabana

5. I had a great time at The Home Depot spring preview event earlier this week. I can’t wait to BBQ and start planting in a few months. The HD has quite a few new BBQs in stock, so I encourage you to check them out if you’re in the market for one. Here I am pretending to water some herbs in a space designed by Tim:

White-Cabana-Home-Depot

 

While the month¬†went by in a flash, and it was generally decent (from what I remember), I’m glad it’s coming to an end because I cannot wait¬†to ditch my winter coat and enjoy a warm¬†spring.

20 Below: The Public Library

It has been one year since Nonno, my grandfather, passed away after living a very long and healthy life. One of Nonno’s favourite things to do was to go the library (St. Clair branch) to pick up the latest issues of Oggi and Gente. He always spoke so proudly of the librarians who helped him and of the things he got to read for free.

Today I’m encouraging you all to get a library card (or renew yours), to visit the library, to take a child to the library, and/or to donate $20 (or more) to your local public library.

membership to your local public library, free

It makes me so angry when I learn about libraries shutting down, denied funding, and being inaccessible. This is one resource that I don’t think we can afford to lose.

To donate:

London Public Library

Toronto Public Library

Kingston Frontenac Public Library

New York Public Library

Please leave direct links to your local public library in the comments section. Thank you.