Blogpodium 5.0: Vancouver

Good Morning,

On September 26th I attended Blogpodium this year in Vancouver!  Considering this is my fifth Blogpodium,  you’d think I would have known to get my recap post written and up right after the event while I was still reeling from the day.  However, here I am, a month later, posting for the first time since I attended. What can I say, life got in the way.  But better late than never, right?  I have attended Blogpodium since 2011 when it was a just a small intimate group with a panel discussion. I love seeing how it has grown and blossomed.  And I loved that Jen decided to take it on the road this year, giving me an excuse to travel to Vancouver!  Before I get started, I warn you that although I had my DSLR camera with me, I forgot my memory card in my computer that day, so this post will be a little text heavy.

My Blogpodium experience started on Friday evening with a cocktail party hosted by The Cross Design store.  I have loved this store from afar via Instagram, and being there in person was just a good as I thought it would be. So many pretty things in one place.

The Cross

And with our special Blogpodium discount I picked up these beautiful coasters….

The Cross coasters

And along with killer furniture and home décor finds but they also carry a beautifully curated collection of jewelry lines, including one by my newest west coast obsession…..Leah Alexandra Jewelry.  I bought a ring and earrings already, and there are about 5 more pieces on my wish list. Love, love, love.  Here is a quick peek at some of her pieces.

Photos via Leah Alexandra website and blog.  Photo credits, Kelly Brown, Joanne Pio.

The venue for the conference on Saturday was the lovely Pan Pacific Hotel on the Vancouver waterfront.  A pretty great view to start the day!

Venue Blogpodium 5

The big excitement of the day was the keynote speaker Jillian Harris, from Love It or List It Vancouver, the Bachelor/Bachelorette, and who, of course, also has a killer lifestyle blog/website.

Jillian’s path to an incredibly successful personal brand has not been a conventional one but I loved how honest and genuine she was about the ups and downs of that journey.  She has the same approachable quality in person as she does on her shows and on personal media. And while she did give some great tips on building your brand and fine-tuning your blog, the messages I took away were to listen to you gut, take chances and that even your bad experiences are just a stepping stone to something better.

I also attended tons of other great sessions which I’ll try summarize briefly (where possible!) in the upcoming sessions.

Frist up, an interior photo styling session by Tracey Ayton, an insanely talented photographer from BC.  The one thing I took from this session was that if you don’t have good natural light, shoot it in the dark and edit it rather than risking quality by adjusting your settings and shooting in fluorescent light. I wish I had known that before shooting my Itsy Bitsy Bathroom Reveal because lighting was such a challenge.

Next up a session by Gemma Bonham-Carter on monetizing you blog, which I thought was really well-prepared and so informative.  I’ve been notoriously bad at doing this, mostly because I have so few page views and I didn’t think it was worth the effort.  But I realized there are small things I could do that would could bring in a few dollar despite my pageviews.

After lunch I started with the power of visual branding by Gloria Chik and Tanya Yan and I got some helpful tips on the use of colour and fonts on your blog. I loved that their presentation was so visual because I learn best that way.

Then I went to make a living doing what you love with Jenna Herbut, founder of the Make It Show.  She is hands-down the perfect person to present this topic because she just exudes positivity and passion. She is a testament to the concept of following your heart.

Now the last session I attended was my favourite of the day, Building Your Business: What are you Creating? by co-founder Kendall Barber and community manager Caroline Gault from Poppy Barley.  If you have not heard of this amazing Canadian footwear company you can read more about the story here.

Poppy Barley

They make excellent quality custom-fit shoes at less than luxury pricing. This session could have been a TED talk.  They spoke about taking risks, the struggles they have been through and what they have learned, and they did it with humour and heart.  I can’t say enough about them. I was already in the market for a simple black boots (which is not easy to find) and knowing they were part of the Blogpodium Marketplace, I was planning to check out and get measured for their everyday city boots. Once I saw the boots, met these ladies and saw this session, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to support this company.  My everyday city boots will be delivered in a couple of weeks!

And though I didn’t know as many people at this Blogpodium, I met some lovely new friends and got to connect with some people I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Blogpodium Ladies copy
And of course, Jen and I found time for our yearly awkward photo booth picture, a tradition which started when we went to Alt Summit in 2011.

Jen and Linds awkward photo

All in all I had a great time and learned a lot of at Blogpodium 5.0…..not that I expected any less!


Signature- new


Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014: Brunch with Brian

Good Morning!

A few weeks ago I had a great opportunity to attend a great event on the opening day of the Princess Margaret Lottery showhome.  Brian Gluckstein, the man behind the design of the home, hosted a lovely blogger event called Brunch with Brian.  We were given an exclusive first look at the showhome guided by Brian himself, and got some great insights into how it all came together.

The house is located in a pretty neighbourhood in Oakville, Ontario, and this is what it looks like from the outside.


We started with food (great way to start!), and the spread for the brunch was fabulous and beautifully displayed outside on the back patio.  Thankfully it was a beautiful day.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -10 copy

Then we started the tour in the beautiful kitchen.  Sadly with all the food, drinks and people I didn’t get any great shots of it but it was amazing.  Lots of mixed metals, an island with a waterfall counter top, and giant oven.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014-1

Below I’ll be sharing some of the highlights of the tour, not every room, but you can see the entire space over at the PM Lotto Site.  So, we started on the main floor and the first room to catch my eye was the 2-storey sun-room.  It has floor to ceiling windows and has a REAL tree planted in the corner. They had to install special heat in the cooling functions so the room isn’t constantly fogged up due to the condensation in winter.  A very cool feature space.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -17

The living room is one of the most calming spaces in the house.  I loved the colour palette of muted greens and creamy whites.  And the white marble fireplace mantel is gorgeous.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -12 copy

Then we came to one of my favourite rooms in the house.  At first glace you might think, “Sure, it’s niiiice but what is so special about it?”  For that you have to look more closely at the wallpaper by Fromental, behind the table.  It is hand painted and hand-stitched! You just don’t see this kind of intricate handiwork anymore and I was is total awe of the skill and time it would take to create something like this.  You can see in the pictures below the kind of detail that went into this one panel.  Although it is extremely expensive (and so it should be considering the work that goes into it!), it is nice to know that there is still a market for the craftspeople who do this beautiful work.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 - 3 Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -11 copy

The first thing we came to when we went upstairs was the hallway. This area was originally slightly more narrow and would have just been an open space which was somewhat wasted.  But instead they added just a few inches on either side and were able to create a much more functional and usable  small office/library.  A great example of smart design.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014

Another example of maximizing space was in this kids bedroom.   This bunkbed nook above the bed looks great and adds more sleeping space.  Very cool

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -18

The nursery was really sweet and I loved the idea of the crib being located in the middle of the room.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 - 7

Brian always designs great bathrooms.  And the master bathroom is NO exception.  The vanity and mirrors in front of the mirror were an interesting change from the typical bathroom but make a huge amount of sense given that it’s where all the natural light is.  And the tub is to die for.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 - 9 copy

Here is Brian explaining how the mirrors are mounted using a pair of curtain rods cut to size and mounted using shower curtain rod hardware to the ceiling and vanity and then the mirrors were mounted to the rods.  A pretty clever and inexpensive way to mount a mirror in a difficult location.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 - 6

In the basement the large family room boasted a huge gallery wall, simple modern lines and a cool travel & escape vibe.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -16 copy

And for all of us creative blogger types, the addition of a craft room to this years show home was a BIG hit.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 - 4

As was the case last year, all the artwork was provided by Art Interiors, my favourite place to get art in the city.  You can read more about their philosophy in my post about their Festival of Smalls here.  I particularly loved the elephant in the nursery ensuite bathroom.

  Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -13 copy

Another thing I loved about this year’s house is that they made a point to design the new house around the old trees on the property rather than knocking them out to build bigger.  Sure, the new landscaping was beautiful, but there is just something about mature trees, don’t you think?

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014 -14

Perhaps it was the guided tour, but think I liked this show house even more than last years’, and I really liked that one!  It had a much cozier feel to it.  You can see more photos of the rooms I didn’t take pictures of here, and see the source guide, here.

Ok, brace yourself.  While at the brunch, they organizers took video of some of us talking about our favourite room in the house.  And I did it.  Yes friends, I am officially making my Vlogging debut today on the blog.  I  loved lots of rooms in the house but the wallpaper in the living room was a standout feature for me, putting it over the edge.

I watched it once and that was enough.  Thank god for editing.

If you haven’t already got your PM Lottery ticket yet, you should!  Aside from this house there are a TON of other amazing prizes.  And it’s for a great cause!

Have a great day!


Signature- new

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 2014

Good Morning!

Today I’m exited to share with you an amazing event I attended about 3 weeks ago called Le Diner En Blanc®.  The concept is a chic all-white picnic held in a public space in the city. A congregation of people, food and fashion creating a magical atmosphere which is neutral in both decor (all-white) and space (public place).

Le Diner en Blanc Toronto

Participants only find out the location of the event about 2 hours before it starts. You have to wear all white, bring your own food, white dishware and table linens, and depending on the location, your own table and white chairs.  Given that this event is held in a public space, there are many “rules” of the evening which allow for it to come together quickly and efficiently. Here they are (from the Diner En Blanc Toronto website):

  • In order to participate, one must be invited by a participant from the previous year or get on the official website’s waiting list.
  • Once confirmed, the presence of each guest thus becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event is held regardless of weather conditions.
  • Seats are allotted on-site in a very specific manner.
  • Table seating is symmetrical with men seated on one side and women on the other.
  • Participants arrive and depart at the same time by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
  • Depart with one’s belongings, leftovers and trash, leaving the place as clean as it was upon arrival.

Sounds like a lot of work, I know, but let me tell you that a little bit of work from everyone results in something which is truly a visual masterpiece, as you will see.

But first a little history. This event originated 25 years ago in (no big surprise) Paris, France, when François Pasquier assembled just a few of his friends for an all-white picnic. It has grown rapidly over the years and today Paris’ Dîner en Blanc draws nearly 15,000 people.  It doesn’t hurt that Le Diner En Blanc® in Paris has been held in some of the most magical places like Versailles and under the Eiffel Tower.  The event has since expanded to dozens of other cities worldwide.  You can learn more about the event at Le Diner En Blanc® website.

The setting for Le Diner En Blanc Toronto this year was Echo Beach at Ontario Place, which was a fabulous location because it has such a stunning view of the City.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 12

Now, I was lucky enough to get media tickets from a blog who wasn’t able to attend (thank you Girls on Bloor!) which meant that I didn’t have to bring all my own food and wine. As mentioned above, all attendees arrive and depart together, but because media could  arrive a little earlier than the crowd I was able to take this awesome photo of the city with just a few of the organizers/volunteers dressed in white in the foreground.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 13

Being there early also meant I got to take some great photos of the 1500 people arriving and setting up. Yes I said 1500.  And considering the numbers it took very little time to get everyone in place!!

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 3

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 4-2

Adding to the beauty of the setting were ballerinas dancing near the entrance for the attendees to enjoy on their way in.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 14

The dinner is officially started with the waving of white napkins. And then people get down to eating, drinking and generally having a good time. There was a band that kept everyone entertained white they ate by candlelight, and a dance floor for post-Diner fun.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 9

I will apologize now for the quality of my pictures after this point.  I only had my iPhone with me for the event (still deciding which camera to invest in since I lost my mine) so the night-time pictures are less than stellar. But even had I had an amazing camera with me, I think it would be hard to really comprehend the beauty of this event just looking at pictures, without experiencing it in person.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 10

At the end of the evening everyone was given a large sparkler and the sea of white around me slowly turned into a sea of white and fire.  Another ridiculously cool sight to behold.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 11

And as you can imagine, the fashion is to die for.  So many gorgeous ensembles.  And there were prizes for best dressed, so people had a vested interest in looking fabulous. When the woman in the picture below walked in I said to myself, she is soo the winner for best-dressed.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 7 copy

But as it turned out, she was actually the JUDGE for best dressed contest so she wasn’t eligible.  But she most certainly looked the part. I loved the fur, fascinator and her dress was absolutely gorgeous.

The woman below MADE her fabulous mask she is wearing….the detail is just amazing.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 5

But ultimately best dressed went to this woman, with her classic sophisticated look and beautiful fascinator.  You can see both the male and female best-dressed and other Diner en Blanc style on the Got-Style blog. 

Le Diner en Blanc Toronto 6

This is the only picture I have showing what I wore, taken unbeknownst to me by my friend Monisa who was my +1 for the festivities.  And given the weird things I do with my face when I know I’m being photographed, it’s probably better I didn’t know.

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 8

It was really amazing to part of this event and was for sure one of the many highlights for 2014.  You can see more reviews and photos of the event at Best of Toronto, Toronto Life and Got Style blogs.  I’m definitely getting myself on the waiting list for the next one…..I’ve already started planning about my outfit!


Signature- new

Another Milestone: Where does the time go?

Good Morning!

5709598435_c05d30b934 copy base photo credit claudiana gois via Flickr CC

Yes, today is my birthday.  I’m 35.  I haven’t decided how I feel about 35 yet.  I mean, I’m not concerned with “aging”, per se.  I don’t feel old, nor do I look particularly old.  But I am acutely aware of time passing, and of how insanely fast the last 3 or 4 years in particular have slipped by.  However, dwelling on it won’t change it so I’m going to focus on some highlights from my last year.

Year 34 was a relatively uneventful year, no overseas trips, no big life events. However it started with a bang with a masquerade themed co-birthday party with my friend Tory which was very fun.

I went to Vegas for the first time which was a very, very fun, albeit overwhelming experience. What I wouldn’t give for some of that sunshine right now. (see posts here and here)

2. Summer vacation.  My niece Katrina came to visit me in Toronto for the first time with my mom which was great.  And then I headed back with them to spend some quality time at my cottage in NB.

In the fall, I went to Blogpodium, which was awesome.  I got to see so many of my favourite people and learned a a lot.

And that is a re-cap of year 34 according to my blog.  It was a good one, but I think 35 is going to be even better.

Have a great day!


Signature- new

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 CAMERA Clockwise 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?


Signature- new


Booze ‘n Bake 2013

Good Morning!

I’m finally starting to feel the Christmas rush.  Lots of events, lots of stuff to get done, but always lots of fun.  Today I’m sharing one of my fave holiday events – the annual Booze & Bake.  The event started 5 years ago with just 3 people but has grown into something much larger.  And I’m pretty sure my waistline will prove it.  Basically you come with a cookie/treat recipe and a drink and you leave with a large variety of baked goods (and generally a little tipsy). There is a lot of baking chaos with so many people but the results are always delicious. Sadly I didn’t get any pictures of the drinks this year…too focused on the baking….but I can assure they were yummy as well.

Now it’s not all sweets.  The lovely host Janice does provide some token healthy food to try to balance the sugar….but really, let’s be honest, this stuff rarely gets eaten up, especially once the cookies start baking.


So we got to work….


With scrumptious results….

yummy copy

We had 2 kinds of biscotti, chocolate snaps, lots of gingerbread, peanut butter and M&M, shortbread thumbprints with salted chocolate, cinnamon swirls,  banana chocolate chip, and my contributions….SMACK (a yearly fave and a recipe I will be sharing with you on the blog soon), and chocolate cookie sandwiches with vanilla cranberry filling which I got from the most recent Canadian Living magazine.  This picture represents about half of what we had by the end.

the Haul

I took a LARGE tin home, and as do every year I took it to work the next day….you know, trying to avoid eating it all myself.  Usually it lasts a couple of days.  This year it was all gone before 1 pm! My waistline is thankful.


Signature- new

Blogpodium 2013: Uncensored/Uncut

Good Morning!

Today I’m sharing my Blogpodium experience from this past Saturday   Now, if you are expecting lots gorgeous photos and uber-wise insights, you may be disappointed. But if you want a light, uncensored, uncut take on my experience keeping heading down the page….

My thoughts on Blogpodium, in no particular order:

1. Jen Flores is wonder woman

Jen as wonder woman copy via and the Blogpodium photobooth.

This woman has more energy than anyone I know.  Yes, she had a team to help her out, but she oversaw everything and ensured that every detail went off without a hitch.  I am in awe of how she put this massive event together and also of her real passion for helping Canadian bloggers get better at what they do. Oh, if I had just a thimble of her energy oh the things I could do….

2.  These two ladies were hilarious and highly informative

Blog Podium Annawithlove Photography-9904-L


Avery Swartz (of Stuff Avery Likes and founder of Camp Tech) ran the session Creating a Style Guide for your Blog…and she is awesome.  She took us on her “Nerd Journey” and I didn’t want it to end.  Fonts, logos, dos & don’t s.  It was great.  You will notice that I have stopped center lining my text and being consistent with my photo sizes.  Mostly because she said she would hunt us down if she saw were were doing that.  Who says threats aren’t effective?

Blog Podium Annawithlove Photography-0214-L


And Karen Bertlesen of the Art of Doing Stuff did the session on The Art of Monetization. She was also very funny but I also learned a ton about how to make money from your blog.  Key takeaway: No one reads my blog and therefore, I may never make much money from it.  :)

3.  I don’t want to talk about my bum

Blog Podium Annawithlove Photography-0038-L

Cottonelle was one of the exhibitors and they had a beautiful set up and lovely products in all the bathrooms.  And while I know their current ad campaign is #LetsTalkBums, I just don’t really want to talk about my bum to strangers.  Is that so wrong?  However, if someone else (preferable someone talk, dark, handsome, single, employed….) wants to talk about how nice they think my bum is, that kind of bum talk is acceptable.

4.  Sarah Richardson ROCKS and she improved my grammar

Blog Podium Annawithlove Photography-9739-L


The keynote speaker was Sarah Richardson.  She was a fantastic speaker, gave great insights, and she seems as down to earth in person as she does on her shows.  And she looked kick-ass in her Smythe blazer. But damn her, she told a story about her father calling her to correct her grammar after watching her show….”Sarah, you know there is no such thing as those ones, it’s just those.” And as she predicted, now I’m catching myself using it all the time and it’s driving me crazy.  But I guess I’ll forgive her….you know, because she’s Sarah Richardson and because she makes fabrics like this….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Sarah Richardson fabrics from Kravat)

5. Great events always have….

boozy bloggers copy

The signature drink was delicious.  BUT HOW is my blog not called The Sparkling Blogger??  Darn. It’s like when you think of that amazing Halloween costume on November 4th….

6. These events are really about connecting and building relationships.


So, of course I took very few pictures, especially of people but I met a lot of great people and got to catch up with many as well.   From the top right we have Emma and Jill from The Happy Space (damn these ladies are fun) flanking my fab blog re-designer Brittany Douglas of Gallery No. Eight. Old friends Sarah from Redesigning Sarah and Lisa MacKay from Wicked & Weird.  And the bottom photos include a slew of bloggers doing crazy things in the photo booth.  Including Ken Simpson of Fieldstone Windows who clearly was feeling outnumbered at this event and was trying to fit in.  Though I have very few photos of people, I was so happy to finally meet, Jacylyn of Lark & Linen, Julie from Elliven Studio, Sara of Saige Wisdom, and Amber of Simple Dwellings.  I’m sure there are many more I’m forgetting but you get the gist.

All in all, a great experience!



2013 Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged – Before & After + Giveaway!

Good Morning!

I’m still reeling from the fun I had at Blogpodium on the weekend.  I’ll be posting about it soon but today I’m excited to share with you my before and after of my Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged project.  As part of the Toronto Fall Home Show, I’m was asked to take part in the 2nd annual Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged along with 13 other emerging style, décor, DIY bloggers and celebrity experts.  We were asked to source and repurpose a door from Habitat for Humanity Toronto ReStore into functional upcycled items or hand painted pieces of art.  The pieces are voted on to decide the winner and then auctioned off with all the proceeds from the auction going to Habitat for Humanity.

I had so much fun participating in this challenge last year and I managed come out a winner with my movie theatre chairs. So needless to say I was pretty excited for this event again this year.  However this year there was a twist –  we had to use doors.  So, I headed over to the Habitat Restore in Etobicoke and found these 2 doors.


And I turned them into an upholstered tri-fold room screen.

PICTURE 1 - Upcycle Challenge - Blog copy

I used fabric that I already had, bought some two-way hinges (which are hard to find as it turns out, thank goodness for Lee Valley) and some foam and this is what I got.


And on the back I added some hooks for hanging things.

PICTURE 3 - Upcycle Challenge - after 3

Much better than how they started, that is for sure!  I’m a big fan of the fabric.  I might just bid on my own project so I can keep it. Or would that be weird.  OK, maybe a bit weird.

But if you wouldn’t mind taking the time to vote for my piece, it would be much appreciated!  How, you ask?  Just go to this page and vote! You can vote once every 24 hours.  So if you love some o the other fabulous upcycled items (and they are FABULOUS) you can vote for those too! The prize is a $500 VISA gift card, but I will donate $250 back to Habitat for Humanity if I am the winner.

And as a thank-you for your vote, I’m also giving away 4 pairs of tickets to the Fall Home Show taking place in Toronto at the Better Living Centre October 3rd to 6th.  The Property Brothers and Annie Sloan (of the chalk paint!) will be there as well as many great exhibitors. To enter just leave a comment below that says you would like to win tickets!  Entry deadline is Saturday, September 28th, 2013 at 11:59 pm and I will announce the winners on Monday September 30th, 2013.   Best of luck!



New Cards for a New Look + Blogpodium

Good Morning lovelies!

Only one more sleep until Blogpodium and I’m pumped! Having attended the event since the beginning, I’m in awe of what it has become.  In awe, but not surprised.  Jen Flores, one of the founders and the head of Blogpodium, is a true creative talent with brains for business, so I know it’s going to be awesome.  Did I mention Sarah Richardson is the keynote speaker? Only one of the most loved design personalities in Canada….no big deal.

Having attended this event as well as Alt Summit in Salt Lake City a couple of years ago, I know that having business cards at these events is important.  And since the blog has a new look I had to get new business cards.  The lovely Brittany designed them and I ordered from

new  biz cards front

Now, I love my new logo design but it makes it tricky to appear centered because of the swooping ‘d’ at the end. It makes the bottom right corner appear particularly empty.  Making the logo smaller might help to get it more centered but then it wouldn’t be very prominent and there would be even more white space.  Maybe next time I’ll change up the format a little, but overall I’m happy with pretty happy with the results

new biz cards back

Now, can I just tell you how great the customer service at is?  You see, since the new blog look was only finalized a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to rush the order to get the cards on time. So I asked for rush printing.  I misread the terms and thought by rush printing I could still send them by regular shipping and get them here on time.  I only realized after I got the confirmation that they were about to be shipped that they were only guaranteed to arrive AFTER Blogpodium.   Awesome.  So I called them.  They had already sent them.  They said they would cancel the first order, re-print my cards, and resend them using rush shipping…..ALL AT NO COST TO ME.  Not only that but they didn’t really cancel the first order because guess what arrived yesterday? The first set of cards.  So on top of it I got two sets of cards for the price of one!  I’m telling you, this is the stuff that makes me want to support a company.

I’ll be back next week with a recap of Blogpodium, but first I’ll be sharing the big reveal of my Fall Home Show Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged submission!  Stay tuned!



Christie Antique Show

Good Morning!

Two weekends ago I hit up the Christie Antique Show.  It’s a giant outdoor antique market located in the Christie Lake Conservation Area just outside Hamilton, Ontario.  I went with Paige Smith, who I met at an event in the summer having recently relocated to Toronto from Calgary.  She makes these lovely pieces of goodness:

via Paige Smith

The day we went it was cloudy and calling for rain, but this show takes place only twice a year and it’s rain or shine. It opens at 8 am.  We arrived at 8:30 am and it was already crazy busy.  The goal for me was to get a dining table for my kitchen.  If you saw this post from awhile back you may recall that I was looking for a round table and potentially a gate leg so I could fold it down out of the way if I needed to.  I wanted it to be white, or be in a condition where I wouldn’t feel bad painting the wood. Well guess what?  I found one!


 Perfect size, gate-leg and paint-able (i.e the wood isn’t gorgeous).  Dining Table: CHECK!

I also picked up these beautiful little lovers to start my stacking ring collection…

stacking rings

A last minute purchase was this gorgeous brass fireplace screen.  It’s in great shape and hardly any patina on it.


And the fact that I purchased anything at all is a miracle.  Why?  Well, remember when I said it was supposed to rain?  Well it did.  In DROVES.  I’m talking run for the hills and take cover kind of rain at times.  But we had made the trek early in the morning on a Saturday to be there and we weren’t going to quit early.  Thanks to Paige for being such a trooper with me.  I would definitely go back for the spring show.