The Friday Five: 5 Things on My Mind

Here are five things that have been on my mind this week.

1. Toronto

Of course Toronto has been on my mind. There’s no reason why we should ever associate people with “mowed down.” A tragedy. An awful tragedy that is too close to home. To learn more and to stay informed, I’ve been leaning toward reading articles from The Conversation, which is an academic source but written for a general audience. Articles like “Why he didn’t shoot?” and “The dark possible motive” are just two of the several that I read.

2. Babies

Congratulations to Daniela who gave birth to her second baby. Yay! A sweet girl has been welcomed into our family.

3. Music

This week I attended a house concert by Keenan Reimer-Watts who is a Kitchener-Waterloo musician. He created original music for the harpsichord and guitar, and it was quite the evening. I especially enjoyed how he explained his composition process. I was amazed by his talent. Also – this was the first time I had ever seen or heard the harpsichord. (FYI: It’s not a harp.)

Keenan also taught us about his organization Busking for Change. In this movement, buskers and audiences come together to support the environment.

4. Reading

The new edition of Toque has been released. This is a free magazine (yes, print) that features articles about local places and people. I enjoy reading it because I always learn something new about Waterloo region (and Guelph and Hamilton, too)!

5. Post-MBA Life

Well, it’s true. I’ve moved into post-MBA life, and it’s been pretty fabulous so far. I’ve seen lots of friends, read some books and magazines, and started to plan and book mini-vacations. I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to complete another degree, and I enjoyed learning a ton over the last 4 years. But I’m now looking forward to having a bit of free time.

The Friday Five: Learn, Donate, Love

February was a wild month on my end. There were very happy days, of course, but there were also really sad days, too. Every week seemed to bring difficult news of one sort or another. Illness. Job stress. Relationship challenges. I hope March brings joy to my loved ones. I hope happiness finds its way into your homes, too, if you’ve been experiencing some trying times.

So, today, I’m taking a break from talking about renos and fashion and furniture to raise  awareness about some important causes.

Mental Illness

A friend’s brother passed away last week due to mental illness. It’s devastating and awful. He was much too young. To donate or learn more about this disease, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Prostate Cancer

Some people say that prostate cancer is a “normal” or “good” kind of cancer. How is cancer normal? How can it be good? To donate or learn more, visit Prostate Cancer Canada and the Movember Foundation.

Breast Cancer

My friend Lisa wrote a personal essay about how cancer changes the conversations you have with your partner. It was recently published in the Globe and Mail. There are several organizations you can donate to to improve awareness and research for breast cancer. I usually learn more or donate to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Metastatic Breast Cancer Fund, or The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Ronald McDonald House

I heard of the much too early birth of twins of friends of a friend. I also learned of how the Ronald McDonald House Charities is supporting this family who needs to be close to their babies while they’re in intensive care.

Diabetes

Did you know that 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes? And about 50% of people with diabetes may experience kidney damage. To donate or learn more, visit Diabetes Canada or The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

The Friday Five: 5 Things on My Mind

My mind has been busy this week. Here’s what has been on it…

1. TD Canada Trust Wait Time

As soon as I noticed my credit card was compromised last weekend, I called TD Visa. There was no real rush, however, since I was on hold (hold!) for 45 minutes. Is this normal? I was expecting to be on hold for maximum 10 minutes. Not fun. It took about 5 minutes to resolve my issue.

2. Credit Card Theft

I’m 99% certain that my credit card info was stolen via an Uber transaction. Not cool. I can’t prove it though, but maybe TD can. What a pain. Saving credit card info online is super convenient at the time of purchase, but incredibly inconvenient when a theft happens. Time to start with a fresh card. And time to stop saving info in my account.

3. Doors

To be honest, I have found door purchasing intimidating. Tiles, fabric, furniture, I can do. But doors? I found it hard. Luckily, Metrie and Northfield Trim and Door (here in Waterloo) have been guiding me through this door makeover project. I’ll let you know how installation goes.

4. Heidi Klum on Ellen

I watched this clip so many times. It made me laugh so much!

5. Essie Nail Polish

Did you know that Essie has launched a new series of nail polish? I learned about this via Carly, and since the “True Love Color” polish was on sale, I picked up “Pinked to Perfection”. It’s an all-in-one nail strengthener and polish, so it’s just what I need. I’m weekend ready!

The Friday Five: Squirrels

I’m really trying to hold on to summer, but with lower-than-10-degree weather, back to school week, and colour changing leaves (it’s happening!), it’s really hard. I’m sad to see summer go because it’s my favourite season. Not only that, but I know that once the cool weather arrives, it’s here to stay. For a while. A long while. And even though I try every year to like something about winter, I’m definitely opposed to it. But I digress.

The real point of this post is to feature some lovely squirrels. It seems as though I have some strong memories of this little, wild animal.

When my French exchange student came to live with me and my family when I was sixteen, one of the first things she commented on were the squirrels. She couldn’t believe how many were jumping and climbing around in my parents’ backyard. At the time, I didn’t even know the French word for squirrel (un écureuil). It was fun to watch her excitement about an animal I barely paid attention to.

Of my mom’s Swarovski collection, the squirrel has always been one my favourite figurines (see below). Its curvy tail got me!

And the other day, on my walk home from work, I saw the tiniest baby squirrel. I had never seen one so small before. I was too slow with my camera, so I wasn’t able to snap a photo, but, trust me, it was teeny! And it was moving pretty quickly!

squirrel dish, Urban Barn

squirrel match strike, Jonathan Adler

squirrel figurine, Swarovski

squirrel dish, 1st Dibs

squirrel dish, 1st Dibs

Are squirrels abundant where you live? Do they annoy you? Are you fond of them?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Friday Five: White Sunnies

Hello from sunny Florida! I’m having a grand ol’ time here doing just about nothing every day. It’s a real vacation!

You don’t need much more than a couple of bathing suits and some sunglasses when you’re here. It’s fabulous!

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sunglasses, $7.90, Forever21

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Haskell sunglasses, starting at $95, Warby Parker

white-sunglasses

Fendi cat eye sunglasses, $765CAD, Nordstrom

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Blanchett sunglasses, Salt Optics

sunglasses-targetwhite sunglasses, $16.99, Target

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

p.s. Just look at this gorgeous beach.

The Friday Five: Bicycles

It’s bicycle season!

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cyclist in Vienna, Austria, photo by Design Maze Tim

Yet another reason why I enjoying living in Waterloo is that it has quite a good trail system. I can get from my place in Waterloo to Victoria Park in Kitchener via the Iron Horse Trail (with only minimal road riding). Last year, I rode (slow but steady) from Cambridge to Paris, Ontario on a trail beside the Grand River. It was beautiful (and mostly flat).

While I have a decent mountain bike that functions well (although it is heavy), I have my eye on a few of the retro bikes that have been on the market for a few years now (also known as The Miss Piggy Bike in my family). Maybe once my bank account recovers from a few upcoming trips and my bedroom makeover, I may invest in one of these beauts.

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Real step-through bicycle, $1200, Martone Cycling (why oh why is this out of my budget?!)

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Kent 700c hybrid bike, $189, Walmart

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Huffy Arlington, $248, Walmart

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Schwinn signature series cruiser, $849, Canadian Tire

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Schwinn hybrid bike, $199, Target

Do you have a bicycle? What kind? For what purposes? Do tell!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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

Enchanted-Home-dining-room

via The Enchanted Home

2. Our French Oasis

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via Our French Oasis

3. Little Green Notebook

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via Little Green Notebook

4. Preppy Empty Nester

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via Preppy Empty Nester

5. Mark D. Sikes

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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: Get Monogrammed

I love all the personalization options that are out there in the marketplace. From bags to shoes to home decor items, there’s really no limit to what can be personalized with embroidered and printed initials and names. Here are five items that caught my attention this week from personalization expert Mark & Graham.

img2cBamboo Elisabetta Slouch handbag, $425 (made in Italy)

img83oItalian hemstitched grosgrain duvet & sham, $80-$300 (on sale) (made in Italy)

img26oTurkish hydro cotton bathroom, $149 (made in Turkey)

img48oPiazza leather key fob, $39 (made in Italy)

img29oleather cufflink and ring box, $49

Have a wonderful (long) weekend!

The Friday Five: Making Coffee

What type of coffee do you drink? Are you more into the pour over than the drip? How does espresso fit into your life?

img12oglass French press, $49.99

img78oHario V60 pour over coffee maker, $49.99

img39oSowden softbrew coffee maker, $59.99

img8oNespresso VertuoLine, $199.95

img32oWilfa Precision coffee maker, $329.99

Hope you enjoy a great weekend brew!

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