Event: Pottery Class at Inspirations Studio

Recently, I was invited back to Inspirations Studio in Toronto to take part in a pottery class with a group of my blogging colleagues (hi Renée, Brittany, Shannon, Amy). It was so fun! You may remember that last year, I designed a collection of pottery that was sold at BlogPodium. This time, though, it was my turn to get behind the wheel. Oh my goodness. I made a mess! And it was fun!

The afternoon began with a pro-potter giving us step-by-step instructions on how to throw the clay and form it into a small bowl using the wheel.

White-Cabana-pottery-2In just a few minutes, she made this perfectly formed bowl:

White-Cabana-pottery-3I made several attempts, but couldn’t quite get a symmetrical bowl. A little wonky bowl is a conversational piece, though, right? We also had the chance to roll out the clay and use different materials to imprint patterns on our pieces. I made a tray and rolled a piece of lace over it to create some texture.

White-Cabana-pottery-1Our pieces should be ready soon, and I’ll be sure to show you how they look post-firing. For now, here are a couple more photos from around the studio.White-Cabana-pottery-4 White-Cabana-pottery-5If you’re in Toronto and would like to have your own pottery experience, you might want to register for classes at Inspirations Studio.

Thanks to Lindsey T. and the team at Inspirations Studio for organizing a wonderful afternoon of pottery!

Posted in Art, Canadian, Toronto | 4 Comments

Blog Linkup: Preparing for the Future

May’s linkup is focused on the future. Meg and Victoria from The B Bar have posed the following two questions:

WHAT ARE YOU DOING (NOW) TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FUTURE?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD START DOING TO CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR YOURSELF?

These are tough questions to answer, let me tell you! Stop for a moment and think about them. What are you doing now to prepare for your future (career, life, business, etc.)? Is it an easy answer? And the second question? Not that easy, right? Take a moment before or after reading my comments to answer these questions for yourself. You may decide to write them down so that your plans (current and future) are more visible to you and others.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING (NOW) TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FUTURE?

Career & Education: In terms of my career, well, I only began it two years ago! While many of my friends have been in their careers for over a decade, I’m just getting started in mine. Sort of. I’ve treated my graduate student life as my work life, so I just like to think that I’ve just followed a less traditional career path for the last decade. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Completing my PhD two years ago was definitely one of my greatest achievements!

Since I’m a professional student, I began yet another degree this past September. I’m now nearing the end of my first year of an MBA program. Business is completely new to me, but my coursework is moving along relatively well. My days and nights are full, and my brain is getting quite the work out, let me tell you! Learning about the business world from my professors and classmates has been interesting. I am definitely motivated to build my skill set and apply what I’m learning to my daily life (both work and blog lives).

NISJES_1via

Money & Savings: I have a decent sized list of things that I would like to do/buy/accomplish in the next year, and I have tried to estimate how much each project/event/item/trip might cost, so that I can plan accordingly. I have really tried to prioritize my wish list items, but it’s so easy to get distracted! I’ve always loved to travel, and there are so many places that I’d like to visit in the next few years. Japan, for example, is definitely calling my name, and I’d really love to get over there sometime in 2016!

AREAWARE_PigBank_HARPW_white_silo_web_largeHarry Allen for Areaware Piggy Bank

Blog: After 5 years of White Cabana, I am still really loving my blogger life. I like to write,  share, meet new people, and talk about design. This blog lets me to all of these things. I also like autonomy and to be the boss – I have both of these things right here. I maintain a relatively unstructured approach to blogging because so much of the rest of my life is uber-organized. That said, I take my blogging life seriously, and I am proud of the connections that I have made with brands and bloggers. I have steadily built my portfolio of collaborative projects, and I hope this work continues. I think critically about what I post and for what purpose. It has been fascinating to see how the blogosphere has evolved, and I am grateful to have learned so much along the way (all of this advice didn’t exist when I started).

050214_arbrom1via Elisabeth Heier

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD START DOING TO CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR YOURSELF?

Health: Living a healthy lifestyle is one of my never-fully-achieved goals. There’s always room for improvement, but its place on the priority list changes depending on the year, month, day. :) In an ideal world, I’d resist chocolate cake and I’d exercise every day. For now, I’m happy to reduce my consumption of sweets (they’re so hard to resist!) and up my walking game. I’d like to get back to running (I have run a few half-marathons, believe it or not!), even really short runs, in the next few months. Let’s see what I can do!

Nike-running-shoesNike running shoes

Beauty: Just about every beauty magazine and book has stressed the importance of taking care of your skin. I’ve never been into make-up, so it’s only recently that I’ve given my skincare routine a revamp. I’ve stuck to my routine (using the Simple skincare line) for a few years now, and (I think) my skin is happier. I think I now need to work on wearing a daily SPF/facial moisturizer now that the sun actually stays out all day long (even though I know the sun’s ray penetrate in the winter months too).

010-master-bath-makeup-vanity-700x873via Sketch 42

Money & Savings: I’m going to keep saving! Of course!

df9c6b3eb3a27c2e1ecfa99f6fdb1b14via Sebastien Errazuriz

Blog: I’m looking at another blog redesign. Mostly, I’d like to increase the responsiveness of my blog on various tech gadgets and adjust the format a bit. I have ideas, but I need a bit of time to carry out my plan. If you’re a blogger, you might enjoy Victoria’s take on the future of blogging.

Sugar-Papervia Sugar Paper

So, there you have it – a bit of a mix of what I’m doing now and what I’d like to start doing in order to plan for my future.

As always, a group of very talented bloggers are taking part in this month’s linkup. Have a read through their posts:

Meg Biram
Liska Monet
26 and Not Counting
soak and simmer
Knowing Kelly
Carrie Loves
Alyssa J Freitas
Manifest Yourself
Rae Loves
White Cabana
The Yuppie Files
Little Wild Heart
Life Modifier
The Not Quite Adult
Random Little Faves
Perfect Enough For Us
Always, Anita
Feathers and Stripes
Something Good
The Golden Letter
Leigh Clair
York Avenue
Sequins & Strawberries
Emilie Lima Burke
with love from ellie
rejoyce
Bite My Fashion
White Oak Creative
StyledbyKesha
xo lacey
Whitney Bangel Blog
always craving
Evann Clingan
Turning the Corner…Fearlessly!
IN THE GREY
Beauty and the Pitch
PRBlonde

Happy reading!

Interested in reading more? Here are the blog linkup posts from January (invaluable purchase), February (Instagram), and April (work-life balance).
Thanks to Meg & Victoria for organizing another thoughtful linkup this month.

Posted in Blog Spotlight, Jordana, Personal | 9 Comments

Marketplace: Draper James Makes its Debut

Reese Witherspoon’s latest venture is Draper James – an online marketplace featuring classic southern style. Browsing the site makes me want to move south, sit on a rocking chair, and sip on a mint julep. It’s a shop full of very pretty items for your closet and your home.

Here are my top picks:

For the home

GF0013_silver_2_10sterling silver magnolia bowl, $400 (USA)

DK0012_horseshoe_1_10horseshoe objet, $98

TX0006_sayings_1_4southern sayings cocktail napkin set, $85

GF0016_custom_1_12custom mint julep, $85

For the wardrobe:

LG0003_put_your_face_on_1_8canvas powder room pouch, $65 (import)

DR0002_magnoliawhite_front_98eyelet love circle dress, $285 (import)

LO0001_DJ_front_28kiawah cover up, $200 (import)

I was curious to see what items were actually made in the south (or in the USA), and I didn’t find too many. I feel as if production was in the USA, this would really be an American brand. Don’t you?

Posted in Design, Fashion, Marketplace | 2 Comments

The Friday Five: Club Monaco’s Beach Shop

I want just about every piece from Club Monaco’s Beach Shop. Here are 5 of my faves:

Club-Monaco-Beach-SandalLoeffler Randall Sofia sandal

Club-Monaco-Amber-shortAmber short

Club-Monaco-Satchel-MackageMackage Raffie Satchel

Club-Monaco-halter-scallop-maillotMarysia scalloped halter maillot

Club-Monaco-Cassidy-dressCassidy pleated maxi dress

Easy, breezy, and perfect for summer livin’!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Posted in Fashion | 2 Comments

Real Estate: Beautiful Property in Puslinch, Ontario

Puslinch? Heard of it? If you’ve driven on the 401 from Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo, then you’ve probably seen the road sign for Puslinch. But have you ever gotten off the highway at the exit? Me neither. But…maybe I should. There’s at least one stunning house that I’d love to see.

This gorgeous waterfront home is currently on the market. The 100+ acres that surround the home ensure that there are beautiful views from every room.

Care to guess about the listing price?

Puslinch-real estate-3 Puslinch-real estate-4 Puslinch-real estate-2 Puslinch-real estate-1 Puslinch-real estate-5 Puslinch-real estate-66620 Concession Road 1, Puslinch, Ontario

The property is listed at just about $5.3 million.

Images via Realtor.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Uptown: Herringbone Tile Installation Process

As you may recall, I decided to install a marble floor in a herringbone pattern in my small foyer. The project is just about complete, and I’m so so so thrilled with how it has all turned out. I’m extremely happy! Here’s a bit of a how-to for you in case you’re considering doing this type of thing yourself.

My herringbone floor is my third tile project. My first tile project was my hex tile floor in my powder room. Then, I tackled my kitchen backsplash with large white subway tiles. For foyer floor, I picked up a gazillion marble tiles from the ReStore about a month after I bought my home. I knew they’d look great in my foyer.

My first two tiling projects went very smoothly, so my confidence to tackle the marble was fairly high going into the project. I have found tiling to be quite interesting. It’s sort of zen-like because of the repetitive installation process, and it’s also like solving a puzzle because of how all the pieces need to fit neatly together. It also includes a bit of baking skills, I’d say, because of the mixing of mortar and grout. Just work with me here, people!

While I was mostly confident that I could tackle the foyer tile installation, I was also hesitant because I knew I’d have to use a wet saw for the gazillion cuts involved because of the herringbone pattern. I didn’t even own a wet saw when I began this project!

I didn’t take photos throughout the process – it’s hard to do when my hands are a complete mess! – but here’s what I did do.

1. Get educated: I read this article and watched this video.

2. Upgrade tools: I bought a wet saw from Canadian Tire (it was on sale for less than $100 one week).

3. Prepare work area: My dad ripped out the old linoleum for me (thanks, Dad!), and we both installed a new piece of plywood (5/8″, I think it was). Installing the new piece of plywood caused us both frustration because of the tight space.

4. Prepare marble tiles: I cleaned and sealed the marble tiles pre-installation.

5. Play with patterns: I tested out different patterns just to be sure that herringbone was my favourite.

6. Organize tiles: I sorted the tiles by colour variation so that I could install more light than dark tiles (that was my preference).

7. Measure, measure, measure: I did a lot of measuring in order to ensure that my tile placement was straight. Because I didn’t have a wet saw when I began the project, I didn’t begin the way the article suggested (with the cut triangle piece against the straight edge). If I ever do a herringbone pattern again, I would definitely start with the triangle cut/piece, so that there would be fewer tiles cut.

8: Plan layout: I dry-fit the tiles (again).

9. Mix mortar and install tiles: I mixed the mortar, spread it out, and started sticking the tiles down on the floor. Hooray! I went slowly to be sure that I wasn’t screwing up the pattern, and I used tile spacers (the smallest ones I could find). I also laid down a white plastic edger thing to protect the carpet stairs and to make my edge as neat as possible.

White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-2White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-8White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-7I left all the edging (which included the cut pieces) for another time (post-wet-saw-purchase).

10. Cut tiles: I bought a wet saw and convinced my dad to come help me with all the cuts (it didn’t take much convincing…everyone loves a good power tool). The tag-team effort made the process go much more smoothly and quickly. After we learned about the best way to cut the marble tiles to avoid chips (see the video link above), things progressed well. I measured the heck out of every piece (measure twice, cut once, right?), while dad was on cutting duty. We also used the measuring attachments that came with the saw (e.g., the angle guider attachment) as they made the cutting easier.

This could have been a one-person job, but it was much faster to have two people do it. We made about 60 cuts for the edging and the space around the vent. The cutting took us maybe 4-6 hours.

White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-1White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-6White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-311. Mix more mortar for individual pieces: I labelled every cut piece of marble and its matching space on the floor, removed all the pieces, vacuumed the floor (again), mixed up another batch of mortar, and then installed the cut pieces individually. (This step could have been avoided had I had the wet-saw from the very beginning.)

White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-4 White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-512. Grout and clean: After wiping the marble floor and vacuuming (again), I mixed up some grey grout, and spread it around the floor. I followed the instructions on the back of the grout package, and spread it out using one of those rubber-like grout spreaders (what are they called?). After the grout was set/dried for just about 2 hours, I took another chunk of time to wipe off the excess grout, so that there would be no grout residue on the tiles. This step is essential, and it is essential to do it carefully and precisely.

White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-9

13. Re-install the baseboards: Once the tile work was done, it was time to reinstall the baseboards. Easy. A few nails later, and they were done.

White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-10

Here’s the space now:

White-Cabana-marble-tile-installation-11It’s just about complete. I need to caulk around the baseboards and then repaint them. I used the existing baseboards (to save time and money), but they need a fresh coat of paint.

Would I do something like this again? Heck ya! If I do marble again, I’ll need to upgrade my wet-saw blade (I think it’s done now). If I do herringbone again, I’ll definitely start with the triangle cut. I already have my next tiling project in mind!

Posted in DIY, Jordana, Uptown | 3 Comments

20 Below: Summer Pouch from Chapters Indigo

This pouch is a perfect and affordable accessory for summer.

882709199557_hiMaya pouch, $12, Chapters Indigo

Posted in 20 Below, Canadian, Fashion, Marketplace | Leave a comment

Design: Land of Nod in the Kids’ Room

My sister recently sent over some photos of the progress she has made in her kids’ room. The Land of Nod helped us personalize this bedroom for my 3 nephews and niece who currently share it down in North Carolina.

First…a couple photos of the cuties… White-Cabana-Land of Nod-Children-2 White-Cabana-Land of Nod-Children-3Now, the room:

The youngest kiddo is in a crib, the second youngest is in a toddler bed, and the older two share a bunk bed. On the window wall, you’ll see the crib and the toddler bed. White-Cabana-Land of Nod-Children-6The Bon Voyage luggage storage cases are filled with the kids’ goodies (but I’ll admit that they rarely stay neatly piled on the chair as in the photos). My sister hung the half dot rainbow garland across this wall to add some fun colour. It also ties in very well with the two pieces of art that my sister painted. White-Cabana-Land of Nod-Children-7 White-Cabana-Land of Nod-Children-8 White-Cabana-Land of Nod-Children-9

(so much colour for White Cabana!)

Each bed has a letter pillow to personalize them for the kids. In the above photos, you’ll also notice the flea market bench (the kids are also sitting on it in the photos above). We love this kid-sized bench, and the munchkins actually use it to play, read, put on socks, etc. Here I was thinking that it was going to be a just-for-show-bench! Nope – they actually use it!

My sister created (most of) the artwork in the bedroom, including the scattered colourful squares and the kids’ silhouettes. The art hung on the clipboards? Those are the kids’ masterpieces! It is their room after all!

Thanks to The Land of Nod for sponsoring this post.

Posted in Children, Design, Marketplace | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Blog Spotlight, Celebration | 4 Comments

Travel: A Quick Trip To Toronto

A friend and I met in Toronto last weekend for a fun weekend away from reality. It was glorious. Here’s a quick recap of what we did, saw, and ate during our 24 hours in the city.

Shopping…what girls’ weekend doesn’t include a bit of shopping? Anthropologie was a highlight – mostly for the styling, I have to say. It’s such a pretty place!

White-Cabana-Toronto-9I saw the white background and thought it was perfect for a selfie. Please note: I am actually wearing sandals (spring has finally made an appearance), and I do not have a jacket on. There were big changes in the weather last weekend!

 

White-Cabana-Toronto-1On the recommendation of a friend, we went to The Carbon Bar for dinner. The menu has all the goodness of southern cookin’ – ribs, cornbread, slaw, grits – and the cocktails to match I was torn between the brisket and the squid/mussels/pork belly + lentils dish, and in the end, I opted for the fish. I don’t think you can actually make a wrong decision at The Carbon Bar. Everything that was coming out of the kitchen looked delicious.

White-Cabana-Toronto-2White-Cabana-Toronto-3  White-Cabana-Toronto-4For Sunday brunch, we did a bit of a Google/Trip Advisor search and settled on Smith (Church & Wellesley). I’m rarely on this side of town when I’m in Toronto, so it was nice to see what’s on the go east of Yonge. If you don’t know where Smith is, you might just walk right past it (like we did), but once you find it, you’ll feel like you hit the jackpot. Our dining neighbours told us as much. I opted for the salmon plate (with cream cheese, capers, and bagel crisps), and my friend got the croque madame. We were both pleased. The food was plentiful and fresh. I loved the design of this space, and the patio and bathroom both looked really cool.

White-Cabana-Toronto-7White-Cabana-Toronto-8White-Cabana-Toronto-6   White-Cabana-Toronto-5So there you have it – a peek into my quick weekend in Toronto.

Posted in Food, Toronto, Travel | 1 Comment