Must-Have: Sabon Shower Oil

Good Morning!

You know when you find a product that you love and you just want to share? Well, that is what I’m doing this chilly Friday morning. The product is Sabon’s Ginger Orange Shower Oil. 

It is part soap, part oil and  is highly moisturizing.  My skin has been terribly dry this uber-cold winter so it’s been a must for me.  Plus is smells AHHHHMAZING.  I’m a sucker for anything that has ginger scent. Plus it’s free of SLS, parabens and mineral oil!  Awesome.

I bought this product about a year ago while I was in NYC. Our stop at their Soho was store is a great experience and highly recommended if you are visiting. They have this pretty sink at the back where staff will do a little demo on the products with you so you can see how they feel.  And it smells lovely in there.  They have lots of other products (soaps, body lotion, body butter, etc.) and various scents, like lavender apple, lemon basil and kiwi mango.  You should go if you are in NYC.

Now here is the bad news. They don’t have a store in Canada, NOR do they ship to Canada. Murphy’s Law, you find something you love and you can’t get in Canada. Now I am sure I will be back in NYC before long (or someone I know will be) but for now I’m rationing the tiny bit I have left in my bottle.

Have a great weekend!


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Dining Chair Option 1: The Wishbone

Good Evening!

Better late than never on my post, right?  However, I do have some good news.  My kitchen/dining table project is pretty much finished! It’s only taken me 5 months to get around to starting it and actually get it done, no biggie.  I’m not sharing the whole process today but I will share a little.  As you may recall from this post, I got the table at the Christie Antique Show in September and it looked like this:

And here is a little peek of what it looks like now (sorry for the photo quality, quick phone shot):



Of course my next job is to get it set up with some chairs.  There are a lot of dining chairs that I like, the selection out there is pretty great. However, I have some limitations. My eating area is quite small, and so is my table (just about 40″ wide) so scale is a factor. Huge chairs will look pretty freakish. And the the table is a gate-leg which means there is limited space under it to push in the chairs, so they can’t be very wide either. I originally thought I only wanted chairs with some sort of upholstery (shocking, I’m an upholsterer).  But there definitely are less upholstered chairs that fit my criteria.  Then in my research for my Masters of Furniture series I discovered the my first chair option:  The wishbone chair, originally designed by famed mid-century furniture designer Hans Wegner.  You will be learning more about him in another Masters of Furniture Series soon but here is basic model of the chair.

The design is beautiful, simple and in terms of size and shape, it will work perfectly for my table/dining area.

Michel Dube for Style at Home

Image Source: via Yaeda

Image: Home of Jonas Ingerstedt via Blackbird.

You also can get it in so many gorgeous colour combinations.  I like these two as potential for my kitchen but there are lots of others.

Photos from Design Within Reach

Two things that I’m concerned about with this chair:

1)  That they won’t be comfortable.  I do like a bit of cushiness in the seat on my dining chairs and I fear they would be hard on my booty (although my booty is much cushier on it’s own since the holidays…).

2)  I usually like to buy originals when I can (as opposed to knock-offs/replicas)…but at a whopping $800 PER chair, that isn’t going to happen with these.  There are a ton of good replicas out there at very reasonable prices, so that is certainly what I will do if I go with these.

Despite these two issues, I think from a conceptual/design perspective, this type of chair would work perfectly.  I’m still on the hunt for more options but I think this will be a solid contender.

Do any of you have a version of the wishbone (or ever sat in one)?  Are they comfortable?


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Last (2) Week’s Loves: January 20th to February 3, 2014

Good Morning!

Since I didn’t get my Last Week’s Loves post completed last week, today I’m sharing my Last Two Week’s Loves!  Right now the blogespehere is full of love and romance with V-day coming up, as well as an overall yearning for spring with flowers, light airy spaces and spring fashions starting to make their way into many posts.  Here are some of my faves from the last 2 weeks:

 Love this easy-peasy DIY heart stamp project that Lindsay from Little House Blog posted two weeks ago.  So cute.

Photo credit, Little House Blog

Design Sponge featured the lovely Effendi Hotel in Israel in this post. Beautiful historic details and amazing views.

Images via Design Sponge

A great round-up of lingerie sets for Valentine’s day posted over at Camille Styles.

 Photo via Camille Styles

When it’s rainy and dreary outside, who doesn’t want a fun colourful umbrella? This girl does. Thankfully, Sharalee at Escapade featured these awesome umbrellas by Marisol last week in this post. Head on over there to find out how these are not JUST beautiful but also have a charitable aspect. Makes me want one even more.

photo from Marisol via escapade

Not like I need any more excuses to eat more sweets, but I like the idea of edible Valentines (shocker!).  And Poppytalk rounded up 10 adorable edible valentine ideas in this post last week.  I mean it saves paper, so it’s better for the environment, right? (Yep, I’m awesome at justifying overeating).

Photo from The Coterie Blog via Poppytalk

This winter has been brutal.  Bliss blog featured some light and airy pieces from ZARA last week, that got me thinking about intensely yearning for SPRING.  You can check out more of Mrs. French’s fave Zara pieces here.

Photo from via Bliss Blog

Michelle from Sweet Suite 10 created this cool DIY bird feeder as a project for her Design Fundamentals course.  It’s such an adorable idea.  She got 17 out of 20, a great mark,  but I think deserved at least 19/20, no?

photo via Sweet Suite Ten

IDS 2014

Good Morning!

Today I’m (FINALLY) sharing my Interior Design Show 2014 experience with you.  I took many photos and picked up many cards/brochures and I’ve managed to whittle it down to my absolute faves for your perusal.

AERIN at Cocoon Furnishings

Aerin Lauder (granddaughter of Ms. Estee Lauder) has made her way into the luxury home decor and furnishings market through her lifestyle brand AERIN. Cocoon Furnishings is the exclusive supplier of the AERIN home line  in Canada.  You can also browse them here. Their booth featured just some of the gorgeous wares from this line.  Loving all the gold and mahogany. Sadly even her picture frames are well out of my budget.


Studio North

The studio north area of the show features mostly Canadian (and some international) studios that create one-of-a-kind and custom design pieces that are unique and forward-thinking.  Always a highlight of the show for me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClockwise from top left: 1. Coffee table from of design inc. 2. Lighting from Morba 3. Birdfeeder from Nieuw. 4. ubagaan from the National Design Collective (this is so cool, part bench -part toboggan, read all about it here) (credit for the ubagaan, bottom right, is the National design collective website)  5. bookends by MSDS Studio,


Loved the booth from Mettro. Who wants plain old subway tiles when you can have their beautiful tiles?



Seriously, Ikea ALWAYS nails it with their booth at IDS.  They are fabulous at showing how to incorporated their affordable designs and decor with to make them look like you spent a bundle.  You always leave saying “That was IKEA?”  This year was not different from the bathroom vanity on a wall of gold tile to the antique settee upholstered in their affordable fabric line.  As usual IKEA was a hit.


Innit Construction

A new discover y at IDS this year was Innit Construction.  Their line of super fun and highly comfortable indoor-outdoor chairs made from vinyl cording are awesome. The have the classic (Acapulco), a rocker, bar stools and more.  Super fun furniture for your deck. I also was also considering the Concha dining chair (on the left below) for my new table, but the price point is a bit high. (Also, these are going to be carried at the Bay soon).



I really enjoyed the funky wall coverings by New Wall and Thoreaux.


Beauti-tone Paint

And one of my favourite booths of the show was from Home Hardware Beauti-Tone paint which featured artist Amy Shackleton who created this amazing art using their paint.  And you got to watch her work! (At least when I was there eon Saturday). Very fun.


Although the show was packed with lots of  other amazing things, those are the high points of my visit.

Did you go to the show? If not I would highly recommend it to you next year. If you did go, what were your faves?


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Taste Tuesday: Country Seed Bread

  Good Morning!

I really did have a Last Week’s Loves post mostly written but then yesterday got the best of me and I didn’t get it finalized and posted…so maybe next week I’ll do a Last Two Week’s Loves post!  But for now, back to Taste Tuesday. My biggest weakness, more than salty snacks or chocolate, is bread. I LOVE CARBS.  And not the good kind.  The baskets of delicious white bread that come on the table before you eat at a restaurant, fresh white rolls, thick pizza dough, really bad for you kind. Needless to say I’ve been making an effort to cut down on my bread consumption.  But when I do have bread in the house, I try to make my own instead of buying it.  Since it’s time consuming to make bread I figure I’m less likely to make it very often. It has been awhile since I’ve had bread in the house so I decided to make some this weekend.  This recipe for Country Seed Bread from my ever reliable Complete Canadian Living Cookbook is great.  It’s got some whole wheat and good for you seeds like flax and sesame…it almost feels like I should be able to eat it for every meal. (SEE? It’s a slippery slope….) But regardless, it’s delicious and relatively simple as far as making bread goes.  I made the recipe last week and here is the recipe in pictures.











And VOILA you have homemade bread!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot so hard, right?  It is a time commitment, but not actually ‘making’ it, that takes no time.  Most of the time consists of waiting for the bread to rise and the baking time.  You just need to be around your house for a few hours and work it in between doing other things.

Have you ever made homemade bread!


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Masters of Furniture: Charlotte Perriand

Good Morning!

I’m a bit groggy this morning after the Interior Design Show opening party last night but after seeing only a few booths at the party, I’m excited to go back on the weekend to really explore.  And on the topic of design today I have the second installment of the Masters of Furniture series featuring French furniture designer Charlotte Perriand, a pioneer in machine age furniture.

Image by Knowtex via Flickr CC

Born in 1903, Perriand divided her childhood between Paris, where her father worked as a tailor and her mother as an haute couture seamstress, and her grandparents’ home in the mountainous rural region of Savoie. She studied furniture design at l’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs from 1920 to 1925. Frustrated by the craft-based approach and Beaux-Arts style championed by the school, Perriand searched for inspiration in the machine aesthetic of the motor cars and bicycles she saw on the Paris streets.

She started her career at Le Corbusier‘s studio in 1927, but almost wasn’t hired after being initially (and now famously) rejected by him with the reply of “We don’t embroider cushions here”.  However, she eventually convinced him to hire her after his partner, Pierre Jeanneret made him go see her exhibit at the Salon d’Automne.

Bar sure la Toit “Bar sous le toit”,

In 1928 she designed three chairs with Corbusier.  One chair was made for conversation (the B301 sling back chair) another for relaxation (the LC2 Grand Comfort chair), and the last for sleeping (the B306 chaise longue).

Photo via Artnet

Photo via Foundation Le Corbusier c/o Cassina

Photo via Complex Mag

In 1937 Charlotte left Le Corbusier’s studio to collaborate with the artist Fernand Leger on a pavilion for the Paris Exhibition and to work on a ski resort in Savoie.  Then after the war she returned to Paris to design prefabricated buildings with Jean Prouvé and Pierre Jeanneret.  Over the years she continued designing buildings and interiors working on League of Nations building for the United Nations in Geneva, the design of the French Tourist Office on London’s Piccadilly (in collaboration with Erno Goldfinger) and worked with Le Corbursier and achtiect Lucio Costa on the interior of their Maison du Brésil at Cité Universitaire in Paris.  However, throughout her career she continued to design great pieces of furniture.

 Photo via Gallerie Patrick Seguin

 Photo via Treadway Gallery

Photo via 1st Dibs

Photo via Cassina USA

And that my friends, is Charlotte Perriand. Such a long and amazing career. And considering she started in the 1920′s, which was not exactly an era where woman were pushing boundaries, speaks even more to her talent and ambition.  You can still buy her furniture at Cassina.  I am having a great time learning the stories behind these masters of furniture.  If you missed my first  post in the series on Milo Baughman, you should check it out!


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Taste Tuesday: Nougat

Good Morning!

Did any of you go to the One of Kind Show in Toronto in the spring or at Christmas?  Well, something I discovered in the food aisles (LOVE the food aisles) thanks to La Nougaterie Quebec….you guessed it, nougat.

Photo by Victoria Reay via Flickr CC

Until this discovery my exposure to nougat has been the tiny bits inside the Toblerone bar that make it so delicious.  La Nougaterie had all sorts of flavours; chocolate,  lavender, cassis, cranberry….and my favourite by far, orange.

Photo by Meraj Chhaya via Flickr CC

So I’ve been thinking that I need to try to make my own orange nougat.  I’ve found a few recipes that look like they are worth trying, but the one that looks like it is closest to what I want is this Hazelnut & Orange Blossom Nougat from Pease Pudding blog.  I get the impression that nougat is not the easiest to do successfully, so it may take me a few tries to get it right but I’ll keep you posted!

Have you ever tried making nougat?


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Last Week’s Loves – January 13th to 19th, 2014

 Good Morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  I spent mine painting (or re-painting I should say) my kitchen/dining room table (I will share this debacle soon) and searching/shopping for things I need for my place (dining chairs, a rug, a mirror).  No luck finding what I need, but it was still fun exploring.  Now, since it is Monday, today I’m sharing some of my loves from the blogging world last week.

 1. A handy post from Decor8 on “20 hard to kill houseplants”.  I would say I have a pretty green thumb but my apartment doesn’t get much light so I find that many plants I have don’t do well. I basically have greenhouse at work (due to uncomfortably often uncomfortably warm conditions and big windows), but I miss the greenery at home.  I’ll have to try some of these and see if they will do better.

 2. This post over at Simple Dwellings alerted me to this cool way to get custom patterned wrapping paper through Pattern Pod and Spoonflower.

3. This delicious looking recipe for Roma Style Bacon and Egg Pasta Carbonara from my friends at Life Over Easy. Y.U.M.

4. January: the month of organizing.  Need some help organizing your small pantry?  Jen over at Rambling Renovators provided some good tips in this post.

Have a great day!


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Masters of Furniture: Milo Baughman

Good Morning!

I’ve excited to launch a new series called “Masters of Furniture” which will highlight furniture design icons and their famous pieces. I’m starting with a designer who I have only recently discovered: Milo Braughman.  Milo was a  highly respected modern furniture designer from the 1940′s until his death in 2003.

Here’s a little more about the history on Mr. Braughman. (P.s. He’s kind of handsome for an older gentleman, isn’t he?)  Milo studied product and architectural design at the Art Center School of Los Angeles and at Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts). He started designing furniture for companies in the mid-1940s.  Those companies included Mode Furniture, Glenn of California, The Inco Company, Pacific Iron, Murray Furniture of Winchendon, Arch Gordon, Design Institute America, George Kovacs, Directional, Henredon and Drexel. However, his best known and longest running relationships was with Thayer Coggin Inc., from 1953  until 2003.  he used a lot of wood, chrome and brass in his designs.  His furniture is well designed, and although not cheap, it was certainly affordable.  He was very well respected and in his later years spent alot of time teaching the importance of good design. He was inducted into the Furniture Designer’s Hall of Fame in 1987.

Now, I am not normally a fan of uber-modern furniture, but his aren’t modern in the “get out your lava-lamp” kind of way or super futuristic and unrealistically shaped in the “I should be in a museum” kind of way.  They have a timelessness and livability about them which makes them easy to incorporate into almost any style of space.  And that screams good design to me.


Images via 1,2,3,4,5, 6


Some pretty great pieces, if you ask me.  (And yes, I am aware no one is likely to ask me…).  I first came across his furniture when looking for chairs for my kitchen/dining table. Here are some that caught my eye….well, before I remembered that I will need quite small chairs to fit under my smallish gateleg table).

Pink and brass. AH-mazing.

Oh wait…mauve and brass is equally amazing.

And Ms. Tobe Reed of because it’s awesome introduced me to these lovelies….

Images via 1,2,3

Regardless of my disappointment that I can’t fit these in my space right now, I am so happy to have stumbled upon Milo’s genius work. Owning one of his classic modern pieces is going to be a must in a future home of mine.

I hope you enjoyed and would love to hear your thoughts on this new series.


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Lamb: The Other (Other) White Meat

Good Morning:

I like lamb, but I rarely ever have it at home. I think it’s partly because I’m not exactly sure how to prepare it and it’s also not quite as cheap as other white meat so I just immediately get pork or chicken. I’d like to reduce my consumption of red meat but I get sick of chicken and pork all the time. So, I would like to expand my meat repertoire to include lamb. This morning I’m sharing some lamb recipes that I’m planning on trying soon.

The first recipes I’m planning to try are the ones got me thinking about lamb in the first place.  I was watching an episode of Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie Money Saving Meals.  I really like this show, which has the a theme of ‘shop smart, cook clever, waste less’. The description from the Jamie Oliver Website: It’s about making the most of your ingredients, embracing leftovers, using your freezer, loads of clever things that will help you ‘shop smart, cook clever, waste less’ for your family using Jamie’s cheap meal ideas.”  The episode I caught had two lamb recipes.  The first was a roasted  lamb shoulder

via (Jamie Oliver Website)

It looks delicious, and if cooked properly (i.e. how Jamie did it) the lamb just falls off the bone. YUM. But what really got me interested was that he used the leftover lamb shoulder to make these gorgeous looking Crispy Moroccan Lamb Pastillas.

via (Jamie Oliver Website)

Don’t these look delicious? I’m sure this show was originally geared toward family’s who want to save money while feeding many people, but it is also great for single people.  I always struggle with how to use up my leftover because I inevitably have lots of them.  And these recipes really made me want to start cooking with lamb.  Now I just need to find some time to get to the butcher.

Do you have any lamb recipes that you enjoy?


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