The Saguaro, Scottsdale

Good Morning,

I’ve been a bit absent lately while I took a mini vacation to Arizona, but I’m happy to be back this week. It was brief but the sunshine was just lovely. You hear talk about SAD (Seasonal Affectation Disorder) and I’m betting that after this winter there are lots more cases of it being reported.  How powerful the sun is in affecting mood, no? After just a few days of bright, sunny weather I feel so much more energized and excited.  I will be blogging more about my trip over the next week but today I’m focusing on the hotel where we stayed in Scottsdale: the Saguaro (pronounced “sah-wah-ro”).

Named after the famous cactus with the same name, the Saguaro was a great choice for our stay.  A boutique hotel in the heart of Scottsdale’s Old Town, it is a beautifully designed space (the work of architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiatwith) that uses fun bright colours, beautiful landscaping and unique art to create a modern southwest feel.

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Fun, huh? Our room was super cool but also very comfortable and the pool area was awesome with big lounging beds for basking in the sun.  We partook in a massage at the spa which was on special when we arrived at $60 for 60 mins!  Total deal.  The hotel restaurant Distrito is head up by Iron Chef Jose Garces.  We didn’t have dinner there but we did partake in the awesome poolside menu which included delicious fish tacos and we also had nachos with their homemade guacamole during happy hour in the restaurant, which were amazing. We had great service and I would recommend it to anyone staying in Scottsdale*.

Have a great day!


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*I was not paid by the Saguaro for this review or recommendation, I just enjoyed the aesthetic and experience I had there and wanted to share it with you.

Swiss Miss Volume I: Zurich

Good Morning!

I have landed, caught up on my sleep and and I’m excited to start sharing my Swiss adventures with you! Zurich was my home base during my trip.  Specifically, the home of my fabulous friend A and her hubs.  I couldn’t have asked for more generous hosts.  For realsies. They literally MADE my trip. It was so incredibly kind of them to have me and I’m very grateful. Sending them buckets and buckets of thanks and love for all they did.  I spent a day and half exploring Zurich and really enjoyed it. It’s a very clean, very organized city which, as a tourist, is appreciated. It is a smaller city, but due to the high volume of high end business travelers, it has all the amenities you would want and more.  And it’s very picturesque, especially after a snowfall. Zurich 1 copy

Yep, oodles of pretty.  Oh wait, more pretty…

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The last photo in this collage is the steeple of the church in which A and her hubs were married in July. Oh ya, and their reception was in a castle.  She HATES it when I say that (which makes me say it more).  It was actually held at the Dolder Grand Hotel but you tell me this does not look like a castle to you…


’nuff said.

I traveled around using the Zurich and Swiss train stations.  As is usual with European cities, their transit system is SO much better than cities here in Canada. My friends live in Horgan, a suburb about 20 mins outside of Zurich’s downtown core, but it seems much closer because everything is so much more efficient there.  Sure I had some problems with it (mostly of my own errors), but overall a pretty great way to get around.  Below is a picture of Zurich’s Hauptbahnhof or Central station, as well as my home “home” station of Horgen Oberdorf.

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And here are more shots of Zurich…

Zurich 3 copy Normally, I don’t have pictures of myself in travel posts, mostly because I am usually on my own so I don’t have anyone to take photos with me in them.  I took advantage of having A with me to get at least one pic that proves I actually was in Zurich.

We also spent a couple of hours at the Kunsthaus Zurich, where I discovered a Swiss artist whose work I love.  Mr. Giovanni Giacometti.


Yes, this gruff looking SOB created some very lovely art.

via 1,2,3,4

Love his stuff.  And I love discovering new art.  Now I just need more wall space in my place so I can get some of his prints.

And that’s my overview of Zurich, though more Zurich will come up in my other trip posts!

Have a great Monday!



Travel Plans: Wannabe Swiss Miss

Good Morning,

I apologize for the lack of post yesterday.  I wrote most of it and then somehow lost it.  No idea what happened. One thing I wanted to post about yesterday is that I finished another project! This one was a wingback for Heather over at Interior Groupie! I will post about it soon but, in the meantime, you can go see it on her blog, here!

And today, I have NEWS! Exciting news!  Next Wednesday I’m heading to….


You got it! SWITZERLAND! The place of pristine lakes and the gorgeous Alps.  The The place that gave us holey cheese, the infamous army knife, and of course, Heidi.  The place where movie spies hide their money.  So awesome.

I will be visiting my friend in Zurich.  She married a Swiss last summer and moved there in December.


I am so excited to see my friend explore the City.


And also excited to do some skiing!



Oh, and the best part….the apres-ski…




And I’m going to try to see as much of the surrounding areas of Zurich as I can fit in, and I CANNOT WAIT!

Any recommendations for things to do and see in Switzerland?



British Colonial

Good Morning!

Today I’m talking about the British Colonial decor style.  Now, all decor/design styles have a history of how they came to be, but for me British Colonial is screaming from the rooftops “I’m well traveled and rich with history….deal with it!”. It has both beauty and an arrogance which I quite enjoy. British Colonial style can be compared to that world traveling friend that everyone has. They are always jetting off to interesting destinations but are also always eluding to how well-traveled and cultured they are. You find this person incredibly intriguing and interesting to be around, but there is part of you that is just a little jealous.


British Colonial style emerged in the late 19th century when the vast British Empire had reached parts of South America, Australia, Asia, and Africa.  “Any time civilized people live in a very tropical climate, an interesting juxtaposition of styles arises — out of tradition and necessity. China and silver among other refined items were imported from Britain, but that elegance was tempered with the realities of island life: the need to stay cool and the available local resources.” (quote via HGTV)

I love the dramatic traditional pieces combined with natural tropical elements.  Heavy dark wood furniture against light walls, large ceiling fans, lightweight flowy fabrics, dark leather elements and lush greenery are the keystones to this style.

Here are some lovely examples of British Colonial decor, some that are traditional, as well as some that have a modern twist.

via 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Aren’t these spaces just gorgeous?

Have a great day!


Ruschmeyer’s Hotel

Good Morning everyone.  Ok, so today’s post isn’t in keeping with the weather outside (coooold) but as I was searching through Architectural Digest France , I came across Ruschmeyer’s Hotel in Montauk which is owned an operated by King and Grove.  Originally built in 1952 on a beautiful lakeside plot of woodland, this summer camp style hotel was recently renovated and revamped but is still in keeping with its original roots. and looks like so much fun.  It’s simple style and fun aesthetic makes me want to go there for a weekend andplay ping pong and badminton!  It also looks like a great venue to hold a stylish yet casual wedding reception.  Hope you enjoy!

all photos via Kings and Grove

Inspired by: The Landing

I stumbled upon The Landing, a gorgeous hotel on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, while I was searching the internet today and had to share it!  The boutique hotel is located in Dunmore Town in the Bahamas.  It was designed and inspired by India Hicks, whose easy-going Caribbean designs I adore. I only I was staying here for the long weekend!

All photos by Cookie Kinkead via



Upholstery in the English Countryside

Hello! Happy Monday and Happy Election Day fellow Canadians! I hope you all excercised your priviledge and right to vote today!

With so much press coming in from the UK around the recent royal wedding, I decided it was a good time to discuss the upholstery courses I took last year in the UK.  Upholstery courses are few and far between in Canada, but in the UK they are fairly common.  This makes sense when you think about it.   The volume of antique furniture is the UK is much greater than here in Canada.  The older the furniture, the more value it holds, and so people are more likely to have these pieces restored/re-upholstered rather than buying something new. Therefore, there is a bigger need for trained upholsters, and so upholstery classes/courses are much more common.  There is a full curiculum of upholstery training developed by the thier accreditiation body, the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers.   Getting through the full accreditation would take months to complete, and alas, my available time was limited.  I completed two one-week courses instead. 

In the spirit of seeing more of jolly old England, I took a one week course from two different upholsterers/schools.  The first was at Kendal Upholstery located just outside of the Town of Kendal in the Lake District.  The town was lovely, and I learned alot.  I only completed part of a chair in the week but it was great practice.  And I met some great people while I was there as well.  Here are some photos of Kendal.

Entrance to the workshop in Kendal Upholstery

Progress on my chair on my last day

 The second week was at Tresithick Upholstery & Restoration, the Barn Workshop which was on the beautiful Trewithen Estate near Truro in Cornwall. Again, the setting was lovely.  Early spring in Cornwall is beautiful.  At Thesithick, my focus was to learn tufting!  I love, love, love tufted pieces, so I really wanted to learn to do it myself.  Here are some photos of Tresithick: 

My morning walk to the workshop through the Threwithen Estate property.


My Tufts!

 I had great experiences during both weeks, and I would recommend both as great places to take a course or to do a full accreditation.