Sunday, August 29, 2010

Everything Is Illuminated

I finally finished Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated today as I began it over a month ago - out in the sun on my balcony.

I remember how amused and excited I was by the language of the novel when I first started: the story unfolds in the broken English of Sasha, the Ukranian who accompanies Jonathan on his "premium" but "rigid" quest to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. 

But as time progressed, I began to find it rather gimmicky and contrived - OK, and maybe a little annoying, because of my general impatience with poorly written English.

Not for me this one, but I persevered and finished it given all the rave reviews.  On to the next novel...which I think will be One Day, another Lainey reco.  I need a break from WWII-era novels.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Life on a Refrigerator Door

I first took notice of Alice Kuipers' Life on a Refrigerator Door  after reading Lainey's review 3(!) years ago.  I finally picked it up in my last Chapters/Indigo order and it really was a super-fast read.  You could most certainly finish it in one sitting, although I spread it out over 2.

It was good, although I found myself rather annoyed with the daughter because of how self-absorbed she seemed.  When my father was home sick, I made sure I was home to spend time with him - granted I was 9 and not 15 like the daughter, so didn't have a social life to speak of.

I also found the notes to be a bit contrived as the very short book neared its end...not exactly a good thing considering its brevity.

Friday, August 27, 2010

iPhone 4 vs. Galaxy S

I thought I wanted the iPhone 4 but then my brother opened my eyes to the Galaxy S by directing me to this YouTube hands-on face-off and now I'm second-guessing myself. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Home is where the heart is

It's funny that while I technically have my own home - I've been making mortgage payments for the last 2 years(!) to prove it - I still refer to my childhood home, the house my mom's lived in for the last 25 years and the one where I lived in for 23, give or take the 4 years I was away at Waterloo, as my home. 

When people ask me what I'm doing for the weekend, I sometimes say "I'm going home," with the implication being my mom's house and even my mom gets confused because we'll be on the phone and she'll ask me where I am, or what I'm up to, and depending on the context, I may say, "I'm on my way home," and she'll have to ask for clarification.  Anyway - all this to say that I'm still very much invested in my childhood home.

My mom recently had an energy audit done of our house and one of the things identified for improvement was the front we're getting a new front door!  My mom has no real interest in decor and design so I can't begin to tell you how much fun I've had in picking a style and finish let alone the options available for handlesets and levers!

After going back and forth a few times, I finally decided on the Rockland style to the left here by Masonite which will be flanked by matching side lites.  The door to the left isn't the exact style since I've chosen a 2-panel door, i.e the the main lite or decorative panel is one and the 2 panels at the bottom would be one.

Our door is currently a clear-stained wood door - possibly oak - and I had wanted to go with a coloured door but I finally settled on white after driving around our neighbourhood and noticing that white doors really stand out.  Our house is a reddish-brown brick and because we have a storm door enclosure, the main entrance is relatively dark - particularly at night.  My thought is that the white will be the bright beacon and the glass insert the decorative sparkle. 

While I've followed the trend of a white door, I opted to go with a glass insert that was more Art Deco than Art Nouveau-Victorian in style like the ones below.  These would have been perfectly fine, except that they're rather ubiquitous in our neighbourhood.  

For the handleset and lever, I initially chose Camelot (left) because I liked how the curved detail of the lock and handle echoed that in the glass insert, but then I changed my mind because I didn't like the bump where the lever of the handle sits.  So I set my sights on Paris (middle) for the same reasons as Camelot, minus the bump but on second thought, decided that the handle lever looked wimpy and probably wouldn't feel comfortable to touch. I finally settled on Barcelona (right) because it has the clean, smooth face of  Paris and a more substantial lever similar to Camelot. 

What do you think?

Next on my list of to-dos is a visit to Olympia Tile to choose a tile for our storm enclosure...can't wait! 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Repossi Cuff

Can we please all just pause in wonder at the beauty that is this gorgeous cuff by Repossi??


I'm done.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunpan Imports

Have I mentioned how much I love Sunpan Imports? If not, I do.  I paired my Ikea Tulip knock-off with their Vintage dining chairs in linen and have their now discontinued Zoey occasional chair in my living area.

And even though I'm done furnishing my place and have no reason to really stop by, I can't help myself.  A girl can daydream and they've got some fantastic new additions to their catalogue.  Seriously - check these out!

How many of you love Crate and Barrel's Colette bed?  Doesn't SI's San Carlos bed look strangely familiar?

This modern wing-back chair, along with the height of this wing-back upholstered bed makes me giddy!

This glamorous bench would be perfect at the end of a bed or in a dressing room and I love the clean lines and shiny chrome of this desk.


Nail-head trim is ubiquitous but I don't care - I love the subtle metallic gleam it gives off particularly when applied to furniture that's feminine as in the curvy arms and skirt of the Cameron sofa on the left, or luxe as in the velvet-y cushiness of the Cathedral sofa on the right.

Finally, for storage, there's the Carvaggio Audio/Video stand with it's wavy facade and the mod/retro feel of their Snake bookcase.

All these gorgeous goodies make me wish I could move and start all over again!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


ser-en-dip-i-ty [ser-uh n-dip-i-tee] – noun

1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.
I walked home after work today through Chinatown today to pick up faux cherry blossoms as part of the wedding centrepiece.  The original orchid theme tweaked to include cherry blossoms because M had his heart set on this wedding cake.

I'd spied them last Friday in a store on Dundas and went back for them but the shop owner was on vacation which was fine, except they didn't have enough in stock - I needed about 40 - and the shop girls couldn't help me so I'd have to wait until Friday when the shop owner was back.

Mildly disappointed, I headed on home....except I didn't go straight home.  I was searching for pretty chopsticks to give away as bombonieres and stumbled onto an even better option for the cherry blossoms then the first!  And they were cheaper!!  While they were twice as expensive a branch, they were fuller so I needed only 11.  Ooh, and the great thing about Chinatown is oftentimes, if you pay cash, they'll give you a discount, aka, no tax.  

Everything's all coming together!  My sister just confirmed the cake design and order and I've got my quotes for the fresh bridal flowers to review and we're well on our way! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Girly Friday

I took the day off for an extra long weekend and spent the day at the spa and shopping with my best gal pal.  We met at Anthropologie where I ended up buying the 2 dresses at left plus a tank top that was on sale.  The LBD is a jersey material that's super-flattering and the Audrey Hepburn-esque polka dot number is sweet and classic. 

I wouldn't normally go out and buy 2 dresses all at once but I've got 2 weddings coming up so that's my justification for the splurge.

I spent the rest of the afternoon being pampered at Novo Spa where I indulged in an hour-long massage and mani-pedi - the last of which was the best part because you sit in a multi-functional massage chair while getting your toes done.  HEAVEN!  Oh, and the mint-y chocolate mousse foot mask which smelled yummy and made me hungry!  Everything smelled yummy, actually...there was an algae mint foot scrub, a vanilla-coconut oil sugar hand scrub and a mango-coconut hand lotion that left me smelling like a pina colada.  S and I have decided to go back on the regular just for the pedi!

One thing led to another

I started thinking about getting a passport cover early this year. Why? Maybe boredom. I don't know. But I started thinking about it again to distract myself from thinking about a vacation destination. 

Here's my dilemma: I have 4 weeks of vacation still to be booked and more than enough miles for a free flight somewhere, except that there are no flights available to be booked.  Plus I want to spend as little cash as possible on the travel. So what to do?  I distract myself with travel-related accessories, beginning with Smythson of Bond St, where I found the brilliant red passport holder below and the happy yellow slim travel wallet from their Mimosa Collection.  I love the idea that the passport cover is removable.

The drawback?  The slim travel wallet is GBP 315!  A very pretty penny!

A quick google search served up Aspinal of London where I found the Lindberg Travel Wallet. It's similar in style to the yellow Smythson with the addition of a pen loop which would be very handy since the last time I was in Brazil, I found myself without a pen to fill out the obligatory entry paperwork.  Oh, and it's about half the price at $225!

Something to think about.

Friday, August 06, 2010


Doesn't this image make you wanna smile?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I trained tonight but in advance of that, I had a body composition reading and a fitness assessment, all part of a status check.

The awesome news is that I'm down 11% in total body fat from when I started training just over 11 months ago!  Yippee-ki-yay!  All those protein days during my burn phase totally paid off because it was during this phase that I dropped 7% to the 23.8% that I am today.  Now, I haven't lost a ton of weight - less than 10lbs - but I'm OK with that because lean muscle is denser than fat and I can feel the difference in my clothes. 

Plus I'm so much stronger than I once was!  I had 3 personal bests yesterday: I deadlifted 135lbs, the leg extension machine was loaded up with 170lbs and K brought back the hateful farmer's walk which I did with much glaring and silent cursing lugging 75lbs dumbbells - up 15lbs from my first and last walk.

So, what's next in terms of goals?  According to the chart to the right, I was "At Risk" when I first started but I've since dropped down to "Fitness."  The goal now is to cycle through another build and burn phase to sculpt myself into an "Athlete" with ~ 17% body fat. 

Now, if you knew me at all, you'd know that I am no Athlete.  My hand-eye co-ordination sucks eggs.  I was a flute soloist in my high school band and yearbook editor-in-chief for goodness sake!  How stereotypically non-Athlete could I be?  But that's the goal.  And I'm rather looking forward to it! :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Wedding Flowers

My sister's wedding is just over a month away and she has no idea what she wants to do when it comes to flowers. She has a vague idea of tossing flower petals over a mirrored glass top on her dining table with a few scattered tealights and calling it a day on the centrepiece. Now, I know it's not a big wedding - just 20 people maybe - but still. It's just too spare and, um, sad. I want my sister to look back on her wedding pictures and remember it as beautiful. So we browsed online yesterday for flower ideas.

My brainstorm today, sparked by this image here on Martha Stewart Weddings led to this:
$20 -

Egg Candles
$40 -

Orchid Bouquets

Orchid Bouquets

Susan and James: Nassau, Bahamas

What do you think?
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