20 Below: Old School

Who’s ready for back-to-school season? (Ssshh…raise your hand.)

vintage class photograph, $8, via Modern Poetry


The Friday Five: Kitchen Renovation (Almost the End)

Six months ago my parents began a renovation of their main floor kitchen, laundry room, and powder room. You may have read about the progress here and here. I’m happy to report that the kitchen is (almost) complete. Here are five views of their new space.

What’s left to do? Well, my parents are currently dealing with a kitchen table DIY and the hunt is back on for the perfect set of chairs. It’s almost the end!

Custom kitchen by Parada Kitchens. Photos by Brunida Kaso.


Event: My Floridian Vacation

Well, well, two weeks sure can fly by! How have you all been? Thanks to those of you who continued to visit the blog and who said hello on Twitter while I was away.

I had a most excellent vacation in Florida over the last two weeks – I soaked up plenty of sun (yes, I wore sunscreen), swam every day, did “some” shopping, and ate delicious meals. Today’s photos are a bit random but there you have it – it is Monday after a vacation after all!

My family has been a fan of Madeira Beach ever since I was 6 or 7 years old. I loved being there as a kid and I still love it after all these years. It’s one of the few places I can completely relax. It’s easy living and the people are nice. In addition, the Gulf of Mexico is gorgeous, the beach is well-maintained, and the sand is squeaky clean (yes, it actually squeaks!). My friend Shannon and I stayed at Ocean Sands – the best place in Madeira as far as I’m concerned (and not just because it’s white).

As with many beach town shops, the clothing is bright and bedazzled. I managed to find one white t-shirt at John’s Pass.

I wish I counted the YOLO sightings over the two weeks we were in Florida. Every other person seemed to have it emblazoned on their t-shirts.

We also saw some interesting signage in our travels…

At first we thought the sign (above) spelled “right” incorrectly. But then we realized that maybe the sign was supposed to say “straight”. Maybe. Either way, it amused us.

This isn’t how we spell pretzel in Canada.

Finally. Way to go Marshalls for this little touch in the dressing rooms.

I wish we noticed this sign (above) last year – we were pretty much attacked by seagulls as soon as we stepped foot on the beach with our ice cream cones. This year we knew better.

We had some fun with an underwater camera. And we definitely stayed within the limit.

Above: Will you be my girlfriend? Yes. No. Maybe. I guess the girlfriend said yes!

Below (same car): Cutie driving.

I’m not sure what they teach in driving school down south but I’m 100% sure it’s fully unsafe to sit on a lawn chair in the back of a pick-up truck.

Stay tuned for a review of our stay at the King & Grove Tides South Beach and some photos from Miami.


Photography: IKEA Patterns Revealed

Yesterday I posted some up-close photos of patterns I spotted on IKEA products. Did you guess what the products were? Take another look before scrolling through this post to see the answers.

Pekannot plant pot, rattan, $39.99

Glimma unscented tealights, $3.99/100 pack

Sparsam low-energy spiral bulbs, $8.99

Alina bedspread and 2 cushion covers, $99.99

So – were your guesses correct?

Photos by Jordana.


Photography: Patterning at IKEA

On Mondays I love to head over to Jacquelyn’s blog because through her Scenes from My Weekend series, she shares interesting photos from her weekend activities. It is not as though she does something grand every weekend but the subjects and composition of her photos are so lovely. She has a great eye for detail and her honesty comes through in her posts. I encourage you to click on over and check out what Jacquelyn has been up to.

Today I thought I would try out a super mini scene-from-my-weekend à la Jacquelyn. I was in Toronto on the weekend doing an assortment of things, one of which was a trip to IKEA (I needed to stock up on crackers). I took some photos of the interesting patterns I saw. I wonder – can you name the four products in the photos below?

I’m such a fan of repetitive forms.

Photo by me using iPhone + Instagram + Pic Stitch.


Events: Coffee Station at BlogPodium

This past Saturday I attended the second BlogPodium event. It was a huge success and if you followed my Twitter feed at all over the weekend then you might have guessed that I had a great time! Toronto-based Mango Studios took some incredible photos of the event and I’m happy to share this one with you today.

photo by Mango Studios

I just love this photo because of the repetition of the perfectly arranged shiny coffee dispensers and all the white that surrounds the silver. Plus – you all know how much I like coffee (e.g., one, two, three)!

p.s. Shout out to my Mom who is celebrating her birthday today! She loves coffee too! (We’re Italian. We like a lot of lattes!)


20 Below: StickyGrams

I’ve barely had my iPhone for a month and I’ve been loving every minute of using it. One of the first apps I downloaded was Instagram and last week I read about StickyGram, a company that turns Instagram photos into small fridge magnets. Well – I ordered a collection of photo magnets for my brother-in-law’s birthday and decided to order a few for myself.

Here I am with my nephews – a photo of the first time I met each of them.

Me and my nephews (who have all grown since these photos were taken)

I am now reminded of these happy moments each time I look at my fridge.

As far as companies go, I was thoroughly impressed with the ease of uploading, the speedy delivery of my order, and the competitive price ($14.99 for 9 magnets plus free shipping worldwide). I’ll definitely be a repeat customer!