The Friday Five: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Urban Barn

With Mother’s Day around the corner – on Sunday, May 14th – it might be time to start thinking about how you’re going to spoil loved ones in your life. Mother’s Day for me usually means a trip to Toronto to spend time with my mom doing everyday sorts of things – a garage sale perhaps, a trip to the mall, or just lounging around at home reading magazines. Mom and I enjoy many of the same easy-going activities. Heck, I’m sure we’ve even spent the day doing DIYs together! Mother’s Day is also a day to celebrate other moms in my life – my sister (mom of 4 cuties!) and friends, and to reflect on relationships I’ve had with other strong women who are no longer with us like my aunt and grandmothers.

In terms of gifts, I think moms appreciate any token. A card, a phone call, an email, a text, or a material object lets your loved ones know that you’re thinking about them. I like to spoil my mom with flowers because I know she appreciates them so much!

If you’re looking for some Mother’s Day gift ideas (and if you’d like to spoil yourself at the same time), you might want to have a look at Urban Barn. This Canadian retailer offers up-to-date items for your home – from big furniture pieces to smaller accessories. I’ve been to the Cambridge location numerous times, and there’s always something in white that catches my eye.

Today, I’m sharing five items from Urban Barn’s current collection that would make great gifts for loved ones.

Here’s an affordable container for a new plant or bouquet of flowers.

murl planter large, $19

Another place for flowers…or sangria…or water…is this pretty little pitcher.

webster water pitcher, $19

Little bowls like this one are perfect for candies, jewelery, or keys.

belize oyster decor dish, $29

If your mom needs a bedroom makeover, this dresser looks like it would be a great piece to add.

parker dresser, $1499

This bench would be beautiful in a garden. There’s also a full patio set, too.

piazza folding bench, $399

Many thanks to Urban Barn for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.















The Friday Five: My Mom’s Favourite Blogs – 2016 edition

For the last couple of years, I’ve given space on White Cabana on the Friday before Mother’s Day to my mom. She’s an avid blog reader, has her favourites, and for the last few years, I’ve asked her to share with us what she’s been reading (see her 2015 favourites, 2014 favourites, 2013 favourites). Carrying on with this tradition, I’ve asked her about what she’s been reading online in 2016, and here are five of the blogs she reads regularly:

1. The Enchanted Home


via The Enchanted Home

2. Our French Oasis


via Our French Oasis

3. Little Green Notebook


via Little Green Notebook

4. Preppy Empty Nester


via Preppy Empty Nester

5. Mark D. Sikes


via Mark D. Sikes

My mom has a traditional and rich design aesthetic. She veers towards quality and pieces of interest, and she’s always on the hunt for a deal. Much of the furniture that I have in my own home is a result of my mom’s amazing furniture research skills (thanks, Mom!).

My mom knows so much about design, and I definitely go to her for design advice. Should I hang this piece of art here? What kind of night stands do you think I should get? Could you keep an eye out for a great bed? Mom, I need a patio set. Can you look for one for me? Many of my conversations with my mom are full of these types of questions!

Since the invention of blogs, she’s grasped on and has several bloggers who she just adores. In addition to the five I’ve listed above, my mom also reads several others regularly (including some of my real life blogging friends! Yay!), so consider this a bonus five for today’s Friday Five:

Design Maze
Rambling Renovators
Celebrating This Life
Brooklyn Limestone
My French Country Home

Thanks, Mom, for sharing your blog reads with us today!

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Friday Five: My Mom’s Favourite Blogs

How long does it take for something to become a tradition? For the last two years, my mom has shared her top blogs/websites with White Cabana readers on the Friday before Mother’s Day. She’s ready to take over the blog again today. I’d say that this has now turned into a traditional post, wouldn’t you?

When I asked my mom for her top five blogs, she obviously could not resist expanding her list to her top six. Such a classic Italian mom – always filling your plate with more!

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. The Enchanted Home

IMG_1690-768x1024via My Enchanted Home

2. Mark D. Sikes

House Beautiful HD #42 1108_AN_HouseBeautifulvia Mark. D. Sikes

3. Thistlewood Farms

farmhouse-kitchen-decorvia Thistlewood Farms

4. Preppy Empty Nester

kitch5via Preppy Empty Nester

5. Summer in Newport

August Wren-artAugust Wren via Summer in Newport

6. Jenny Steffens Hobick

spring-pasta-peas-prosciuttvia Jenny Steffens Hobick

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Thanks for sharing your reads with us!

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Read my mom’s blog and website picks from 2013 and 2014.

Blog Spotlight: My Mom’s Favourite Blogs

Last year my mom shared with us her favourite websites. I’ve asked her to do the same this year. Here they are…

the-enchanted-home The Enchanted Home


My French Country Home (design)

Mom says that she always reads “those two forsure” and she reads the following ones “mostly every day”.


Love and Lemons (food)

sh_ranunculus_02 (1) f

The Pink Pagoda (design)


La Dofina (lifestyle & design)


Pretty Pink Tulips (lifestyle & design)

After my mom told me about these blogs, our conversation went something like this:

Mom: Do you know Maitai’s Picture Book? She writes about Hermès.
Me: Oh.
Mom: Ines de la Fressange is doing a collection for Uniqlo, did you know?
Me: No.
Mom: If you go to an older post, you’ll see. Preppy Empty Nester is funny. And do you read Tone on Tone Antiques?
Me: No.Mom, do you still have time to read White Cabana?
Mom: No answer. (she’ll deny this, I’m sureManger is another one.

And there you have it – the 2nd edition of My Mom’s Favourite Blogs! What’s that they say about “Mom knows best”? Go and have a read through these blogs and let me (and my mom) know what you think!

The Friday Five: My Mom’s Favourite Websites

Today I thought I’d highlight some of my mom’s regular go-to websites. After she stops in at White Cabana (her first stop online, obviously), she clicks onto these sites (yes, usually in this order) to see what’s going on around the world…

1. 8foot6. This is a daily read for my mom, my sister, and me. The three of us lead very different lives but Shannon at 8foot6 appeals to us all. My mom, sister and I often touch base and discuss Shannon’s daily updates (Shannon – if you’re reading this – we seriously do talk about all the goodness that you’ve got going on in your home!). We love Shannon’s home, her photos, and her growing Pyrex collection. We are also impressed with how much she manages to do with two toddlers in Toronto.

8foot6-Pyrex Collection

via 8foot6

2. The Enchanted Home. My mom loves following this blog and often gives me the update about what changes Tina (the author) has made to her incredible home or what new orchids or plants she has placed in her massive collection of blue and white ceramics. Tina’s home is not just gorgeous – it’s pretty spectacular. She has amazing taste in fabrics and decor and watching her build her house from start to finish was a real treat for us readers.


 via The Enchanted Home

3. My French Country Home. My mom’s third (well, fourth if we count White Cabana) stop around the internet is My French Country Home. My mom keeps me informed about Sharon’s horses and her tours of the brocantes (flea markets) in France. Like Tina, her property in Normandy is pretty incredible.

French-iron-chair-My French Country Home

via My French Country Home

4. After White Cabana, 8foot6, My Enchanted Home and My French Country Home, my mom usually clicks on the blogroll (aka the list at the side of the blog) at My Enchanted Home to see what else might be interesting on a particular day. Often she clicks onto French Essence.

flea market-Paris-French Essence-blog

via French Essence

5. Kijiji and Craigslist. My mom loves Kijiji and Craigslist. She has dragged me to who knows where to buy who knows what random one of a kind item for her home. She entertains me with her incredible searching skills. Honestly. My mom can find anything you need at an incredible price. It’s a talent like I’ve never seen before. Her determination and persistance in finding beautiful high quality items at incredible prices is really to be admired.


via Craigslist

Happy weekend! Wishing everyone a wonderful mother’s day. (Is there such thing as aunt’s day?)