Such a sweet cami…and when is there anything less than $20 at Anthropologie? Awesome!
scalloped cami, $19.95, Anthropologie
Such a sweet cami…and when is there anything less than $20 at Anthropologie? Awesome!
scalloped cami, $19.95, Anthropologie
Captain and the Gypsy Kid (style & design)
Rue Rodier (travel, design, Paris, etc.)
Stella (design, lifestyle)
Golden Swank (fashion)
Classy Girls Wear Pearls (fashion)
Well, I was only half-certain that my PhD was going to be my last degree. I was right! Earlier this week, I learned that I have been accepted into an MBA program! It’s part-time so I’ll continue on with life as “normal”, and my studies will take up “just a bit” of my free time. Ha!
Anyhoo – I’m pumped! I’m excited to learn and to push myself in a new direction. I’m also excited to buy school supplies (let’s get real, right?!). At the top of the list is some sort of backpack. I’ve been using a one-shoulder tote forever, and it’s just not cutting it anymore.
via LA Cool & Chic
Here are five backpacks that look to be super sleek and fashionable (any just may even hold a textbook or two!).
I must got check out some affordable options in person one day soon!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Will you be back to school shopping?
Seeing all the rust on my air conditioner unit, I really just wanted to bite the bullet and buy a shiny new one. But thinking about my bank account, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a new unit when mine, although rusty, worked perfectly fine. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a couple of cans of spray paint (I used Rustoleum), read this article sent to me by Hogg (thanks!), and got to work.
before: I muted the colours in this photo, and it’s still disgusting
before: the rust was horrible, the muted photo only provides a glimpse into the condition of the unit (this is perhaps the ugliest photo I’ve ever shared on my blog)
during: one coat of paint
after: rust has disappeared!
after: this looks like a brand new air conditioner
Here’s what I did:
1. I cleaned and scrubbed the unit with a CLR + water mixture. I then rinsed it off*.
2. While the unit was drying, I taped plastic bags on the wall surround and around all the pipes. I also unscrewed the top grate so I could cover the fans with plastic, and I weaved plastic in between the grate and the filter/fan/unit**.
3. When the unit was dry, I sprayed two coats of Rustoleum Tremclad rust paint*** (letting the paint dry in between coats) all over the unit and the rusty metal bars that hold it up.
4. When everything was dry, I removed all the plastic, and screwed the top grate back on. Done.
The project took about 3 hours from start to finish. I could have put on a 3rd coat of paint for fun, but I was too lazy (2 coats covered very well). I feel like I have a brand new unit, and the side of my house now looks so much more attractive!
* I would recommend scrubbing with a wire brush. I didn’t have one, so it took me a bit longer to scrub and chip the old rusty bits off the unit.
** I covered the fan and the filter parts with plastic, but I’m not entirely certain this was necessary.
*** I didn’t paint the unit white (big shock, right?). Instead, I chose a colour that matched the grout in between the bricks.
Hi! ECP, aka Eyecandypopper, here again. I hope you got a chance to visit my kitchen last time (where the healthy cooking magic happens for my blog). As I mentioned, I cared about integrating eco-conscious design into my tiny home renovations 4 years ago, so the use of natural and long lasting materials were of utmost importance. Quality over quantity! You’ve probably seen a bit of my office in the kitchen pictures already. It’s a small addition in the back, which we thought about ripping off, but my ever-so-smart sister convinced us that we would miss that little space if it wasn’t there. She was right. I transformed it into a small office and mudroom, and it works really well. Because I work from home (on top of blogging, I’m also a freelance copy editor and translator), I spend a lot of time in this space, and I quite enjoy all the natural light coming in from all angles. My cat enjoys taking naps on the chair behind me while I’m working. It’s small and cozy, but a great space! We kept the same classic design used throughout the house in the bathroom as well. I live in a charming yellow brick cottage house that was built in 1847. That’s right! 1847!!! Isn’t that amazing? We love the old charm of it, and we appreciate the solid construction of it, too. Double brick walls are amazing! Despite being old, we luckily didn’t have to modify any of the structure. The bones were good; we just had to make cosmetic renovations, which is always such a time and money-saver. We did our best to preserve as much of the old classic character as possible, but wanted to give it a contemporary twist as well. We were not able to preserve the old trim in this area of the house, so we decided to use modern trim as a crisp contrast to the old character! I love it! In the bathroom, we used classic elements like the white ceramic subway tiles up to shoulder height all around the bathroom, and high quality chrome faucets and accessories. We’ve added tall white cabinets to add loads of storage, and to act as a visual separation between the bathroom space and the laundry area, which is in the same room (stacked washer and dryer). It feels very European to do that, and not everyone is used to it, but I think it works perfectly in this small space, instead of having 2 cramped rooms. The high ceilings help a lot too.
Again, I love objects that are double-duty and useful, so I used souvenirs brought back from various trips to decorate the space, like the 3 picture frames brought back from Capri Island (Italy), or the giraffe made in Kenya by a women cooperative (bought at the San Diego zoo on a trip with my niece many years ago), and the 2 dishes used for the soap and jewelry were brought back from Egypt. Because I make a lot of my own natural beauty products, I also like to use pretty jars and display them right on the counter instead of hiding them away in cupboards. I love the homey feel it creates.
Well, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed visiting parts of my house as much as I enjoy living in it! Drop by for a visit on my blog, I’d love to see you! ECP xo
faucets and shower set: Riobel
sink/vanity and light fixture: Rona
towel rack and paper holder: Restoration Hardware
cabinets: Home Hardware
organic towels: aqua - House & Home eco collection (discontinued), white - Anna Sova Design
marble floor tiles and subway tiles: Olympia Tiles Toronto
photos courtesy of Aya Photography & Design.
Thanks for opening up your home to us, Gabrielle.
Okay, okay. Since you already know that I love my KitchenAid stand mixer, I’ll get straight to my recent bread making experience.
Although I was a bit hesitant to make bread from scratch, I was also very curious and determined. I opened up the handy KitchenAid recipe book that came with my stand mixer, and I flipped to the page that had the “basic white bread” recipe. I prepped all of my ingredients, I followed the directions exactly, and here is a photo-heavy recap of what happened…
basic white bread recipe from KitchenAid + packets of active dry yeast
butter, salt, sugar, milk melting on the stove
4.5 cups of flour to start (I probably ended up using 5.5 cups)
mixing 2 packets of active dry yeast with warm water in a warm mixing bowl
mixing all of the ingredients: yeast, water, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and flour
level 2 speed for a few minutes
mixing the dough with the dough hook until the sides are clean and the dough is sticky
sides of bowl are clean and dough is sticky
see – I told you – clean bowl!
dough in a oil-lined bowl
risen dough after 1 hour in the bowl
rolling out half of the dough
rolling up the flattened dough
into the loaf pan it goes
risen dough after 1 hour in the loaf pan
after 30 minutes in the 400° oven
the recipe made 2 loaves (one is wonky because I had to DIY a loaf-type pan)
crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside
the best way to enjoy fresh bread – with Nutella
The bread was FANTASTIC! It was perfectly golden, had a crunchy crust, was soft on the inside, and the recipe worked! It was as time consuming as bread making is (I think it took about 10 minutes to prep, 1 hour of wait time so the bread could rise the first time, 1 hour to rise the second time, and 30 minutes to bake in the oven). I did a bunch of other things around the house during the wait & rise times, so I really didn’t feel like bread making was a whole lot of work. Oh my goodness - I could probably live on fresh bread and Nutella*. It’s too darn delicious!
Oh – and I know I’m “supposed” to eat healthy, grainy, brown bread, but sometimes I just don’t care. White and simple worked perfectly for me!
* This is not a sponsored post, but if Nutella wants to offer me with a year/lifetime supply of Nutella, I’d be grateful, and I’d make fresh bread more often!
I “met” Deborah of Green Light District on Twitter many months ago and we instantly bonded over fiddle leaf fig trees. She gave me suggestions about how to take care of my tree, and our online conversations continue to revolve around design, plants, and food. Recently, I made a trip out to #Roncy (i.e., Roncesvalles area in Toronto) to have dinner with friends (at the Westerly, on the recommendation of Deborah). Since I was in the neighbourhood, and Toronto traffic cooperated, I had the chance to make a quick stop in to Green Light District to say hi to Deborah in person.
Owners Deborah and David Peets took my friend and I around the shop sharing news of the furniture and designers that fill up their store. I quickly picked out a few favourite pieces: the acapulco chair in the courtyard, the large wood dining tables, and the beautifully designed chairs. Oh, and the ceramics, the tree stump side tables/stools, the benches, and the mini bar also caught my eye.
Here are a few photos I quickly snapped during my visit:
hand stitched leather and oak bench
acrylic and kirel trees console
hand stitched leather and oak bench + hand made pottery
wonki ware + botanical print
handmade pottery + stitched leather and oak bench
hand hooked rug + saddle leather chairs
Jordana and Deborah (thanks for the photo, David)
The Peets source furnishings from around the world; Canada, South Africa, and Argentina were mentioned several times as I touched almost every item in the store.
Emma Reddington and Kim Johnson have always had good things to say about Green Light District, and the shop and furnishings have previously been featured in Chatelaine, Style at Home, Toronto Life, The Toronto Star, and BlogTO. I can totally understand why. The furniture is beautiful, and Deborah and David are such warm and welcoming owners.
If you’re in the area, be sure to stop in and say hello to Deborah and David, and when you do, be sure to tell them that you know me…you’ll likely get a chuckle out of them*.
*Apparently some of my friends from other Canadian cities (Hi Nora!) have gone around Toronto (well, not the whole city, but I have to exaggerate the story so it’s more amusing) asking people if they know me. “Hey, do you know Jordana?” Ha. I love my friends!
I’m always amazed with Melissa’s plate wall. It’s quite the colourful collection, and it works beautiful on her dining room wall.
Inspired by her wall, I’ve rounded up five gorgeous white versions. What do you think?
via Budget Decorator
via Decor Pad
It would be an easy weekend project to put up a plate wall, don’t you agree?
Hope you have a great weekend!
I love it when people send me photos of white things. The two photos below are of The White Company - a beautiful UK-based store that has everything from linens to kids’ toys to clothing. Michelle sent me the first photo ages ago (around Christmas time last year, I believe), and my brother-in-law Jeff sent me the second one from St. Pancras Station in London a couple of months ago.
Thanks to Michelle and Jeff for snapping these storefront photos. I’ll have to make sure to see them in person one day soon!
Do you like to host? I do. I like hosting friends and family at my house. In the online world, I do enjoy having great guests. Blogging is a very social activity, even though communication happens online with “strangers”. I have met so many incredibly interesting and inspiring people over the last few years of blogging, and today I’m happy to welcome one of these people. Gabrielle is the blogger behind the beautiful food blog Eye Candy Popper. We met a few years ago through a mutual friend (Hi Rebecca!), and over time, I have watched her begin and grow her blog, share her love of cooking, and educate many readers about healthy living. Her recipes – and photos – always look so delicious! Today, Gabrielle shares with us her kitchen and her approach to design. Welcome, Eye Candy Popper!
Hi! I’m ECP, aka Eyecandypopper. It’s so nice to meet you! I’ve been talking to Jordana about writing this article for months. Yes, months! It took some organization, and a lot of collaboration to get to the final product (including help from my friend at Aya Photography and Design), but here we are, 6 months later! Yay! I’ve known Jordana for a couple of years. We met through a common friend, and because I was just starting in the blogging world, I looked up to Jordana for advice. I also loved her blog immediately because I’m a big fan of white too. This post is different for me, because I mostly talk about food on my blog. I create healthy, but decadent recipes to share with my readers. I focus on organic and healthy whole foods, but I also care deeply about the environment, and the state of our planet, so I share tips and information about eco-friendly and sustainable products. Today, I wanted to introduce to you the place where the magic happens: my kitchen! When we renovated the space 4 years ago, I chose these creamy white shaker-style cabinets because I love the old charm and classic element that they bring to the space. My house is really small, only around 850 sq ft, but the 10’ high ceilings add a grand feeling, and since storage is always an issue in any space, I wanted to take full advantage of the height by using tall cabinets (I used a combination of 36” + 15” + crown). I only have upper cabinets on one side in order to lighten-up the space, and we used glass doors instead of full panels. In order to fit in my eco-conscious needs, I chose natural materials, like the cabinets made out of painted wood (maple) instead of melamine in order to minimize toxic glues used in the process. They were also Canadian-made, reducing shipping distances and fuel used. We chose quartz for the counter, which is not a natural material, but it uses recycled glass and leftovers that would’ve otherwise been thrown out, so I felt good about it. The floor tiles are porcelain and the backsplash is natural Carrera marble, both durable and long lasting materials. I’ve done some shopping around to find good prices, but I also spent more money for large ticket items in order to get better quality. Splurging on these items gets you a much better return on your investment. My goal throughout the house was to maintain a calm, airy, and uncluttered feeling, so we’ve kept decorative items to a minimum and only keep things that are useful. I like my cake stands, and I use them all the time to store freshly baked muffins or cookies. I also like to integrate souvenirs and pictures brought back from trips around the world. I’ve used a few small paintings throughout the kitchen, 2 from a trip to Paris, 2 from a trip to Hong Kong, and various pictures from trips throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. There’s also an old elephant bell brought back from my husband’s grandfather from Thailand in the 40s. These are the decorative items that make the space comfortable to me. They are not just decorative items, but they evoke memories at the same time, or they are useful and used on a daily basis. What a lot of my readers don’t know is that I share a passion for interior decorating and design. My passion for the environment and design has combined together in recent years to become what it is now. While it is sometimes hard to find an eco-friendly version of a building material, I strive to use really good quality materials that will stand the test of time and fads, and I focus on natural materials as well in order to be less toxic for my health. So that’s my kitchen! A lovely space which I enjoy every day! I hope you enjoyed it too! Come back next time for a visit of my office.
Pictures, courtesy of Aya Photography & Design. (If you live in Southwestern Ontario, please check out this small talented photography company on Facebook.)
Organic vegetables, courtesy of Eat Green Organics, an organic produce delivery service serving most of Southwestern Ontario.
Cabinets and counters: Home Hardware
Floor tiles and backsplash: Olympia Tiles Toronto
Light fixture and faucet: Home Depot
Thanks for taking us into your bright kitchen, ECP!