Tray Chic

Needless to say, a good tray goes a long way when entertaining guests. Not only does it one-up a plate by way of its carrying capacity, it's also the perfect way to add personality to your serveware. Where you might normally skimp on character, you can go all out with a tray; they're not much of a style commitment and they can be relatively inexpensive. Geez, all this talk for a tray. Welcome to my world!

J xx

(1) Touch of Europe, Paris Dot Tray
(2) Gien, Sultana Oblong Serving Tray
(3) Marimekko, Hetkia Moments Plywood Tray
(4) Simrin, Raja Tray
(5) Simrin, Botanical Tray


Farmers Market Baskets

These Farmers Market Fruit Baskets made of bone china are charming and I want one.  You keep that cozy familiar feeling of taking home fresh fruit in their signature baskets, and gain the elegance of porcelain serveware. These baskets are some of many country chic, one-of-a-kind and vintage items available at My Sparrow.  I also love their Nautical Signal Pennant Flag Pillow.  There's no shortage of unique finds here!

J xx


ikat ilove

Image (living space): Design My Way

I love ikat! Ikat has a fun potential that rivals a night out with Kate Hudson! It's an instant way to make a space brighter and more inviting. Unlike many bright patterns, ikat is classic which means of course, it'll never go out of style. "Ikat is a near universal weaving style common to many world cultures and is one of the oldest forms of textile decoration. It is a resist-dye process similar to tie-dye, where the fabric dye is applied prior to the threads being woven to create the final pattern" (Wiki).  Wether you've got the real deal or simply an inspired print, ikat is a sure-fire way to get the character you crave!

J xx

(1) Diane von Furstenberg, Kasi Canvas Kindle Clutch
(2) Anthropologie, Ikat Bowls
(3) Anthropologie, Topography Primer Placemat
(4) Home, James! East Hampton, Java Mug
(5) Warehouse, Tropical Ikat Print Bandeau Dress


Perched Gingerbread House


I realize this post is out of season, but evidently my praise can't wait. How cute and PERFECT is this tiny gingerbread house perched on the edge of a mug?!  Megan from Not Martha posted her mini gingerbread creations in December 2009, and I'm thankful I found this post late than never.  Just picture you and your guests enjoying a warm cup of coffee or tea and capping it off with this sweet little treat. Follow Megan's how-to instructions and surprise your guests next holiday season with these treats and you'll be the talk of the town. Santa who?

J xx


Caboodles Comeback

In honor of Caboodles making a comeback (it's true!!!), I call upon my fellow ladies of the '80s and propose that you get your girlfriends together and have a 'blast from the past' slumber party! Play Dream Phone, rent Sixteen Candles, swap makeup from your Caboodles cases and this time - drink cocktails!  Before you end the night, share your favorite passages from the original Sweet Valley High book series. Which Wakefield twin did you idolize?  Jessica...definitely Jessica. Click here to see the 1991 Milton Bradley commercial for Dream Phone.

J xx


Aluminum Rustic

I love rustic wood tables paired with aluminum bistro chairs. This is the perfect style expression for someone who hesitates to go country. Add aluminum bistro chairs and you get the polish and smooth finish that a full dose of country can't give you. On the flip side, a rustic wood table brings warmth and character to a space that a modern table might not. Mix it up and you get the best of both worlds! Capiche?

J xx


Retro Dive Girl

This is pretty spectacular. How cute are these Retro Dive Girls from Cottage & Bungalow?! They remind me of The Jantzen Swim Girl Icon which I've always loved! These hand-painted and distressed divers come with hanging hardware and as shown here, look so charming in a cottage bathroom - or any bathroom that dares to be this much fun! I'm sold!

J xx

Classic Beauty

Marion Cotillard on the July 2010 cover of Vogue epitomizes classic beauty. Her stained matte lips warm her skin and the ashy plum brown eyeshadow make her baby blues jump off the page. To get the look try Clinique 'Black Honey' Almost Lipstick and Bobbi Brown 'Cocoa' Eyeshadow.  Marion's soft waves and exposed clavicle coupled with these neutral plum brown tones is breathtaking, and I'm going try my darnedest to copy it!

J xx


Truffles & Roses

Images: This is Glamorous (shoes, chocolate, flowers)

Lately I'm all about warm, rose-tone neutrals. When I'm shopping I gravitate toward them like a cruise missile and of course, as any girly girl would do, I imagine how my wedding would look styled in rose, truffle, and shimmery gold tones.  My inspiration for this post is threefold: The Denby® Truffle Collection, Valentino's Bow Couture Peep Toe Pumps, and The Sunglass Hut ad campaign featuring Style Director, Rachel Bilson wearing a pink bridesmaid-worthy dress. I suppose you think I should find a suitor before I start ranting about 'my wedding'. Bah! Minor detail!

J xx


Stealing Beauty

I adore this woman. I loved her in Empire Records and she stole my heart in Stealing Beauty. And I intend on stealing her style. Every morning before I dress I ask myself, "what would Liv wear"? Well, ok that's not true, but when I see her looking this lovely it's probably not a bad idea. I loved this ensemble so much I was inspired to put together a similar outfit. Those Stella McCartney geometric shades add just the right amount of drama to her feminine outfit and her studded black bag follows suit to balance out the look. Bravo Liv!

J xx

(1) Uttam, Red Floral Dress
(2) BC, Colorblock Hero Sandal
(3) Olivia Harris, Studded Ball Hobo
(4) Stella McCartney, STM 4011 Pearl Black/Grey


Dip-Dye Brights

My lovely mom gave me her vintage Gucci watch with interchangeable colored bezels, and it occurred to me that this watch is a great way to incorporate a little bit of 80s into my summer wardrobe. There's no denying the best part of 80s fashion is the uninhibited use of bright colors, and there's no better place to flaunt these colors than under the summer sun.  By the same token, dip-dye items like this Alice + Olivia Ombré Maxi Dress and these Anthropologie Dip-Dyed Journals are fun ways to embrace color.  Add my Gucci watch and you simply couldn't look more sun-sational! Thanks for the watch mom!

J xx


Glass, Tin, Silver

You know what's boring? Traditional vases. I am inspired by the new trends in flower vases: glass bottles, tea tins, and silver pitchers or jars. Especially if the said trends are antique! The contrast between the plushness and vitality of flowers against the sleekness of glass and metal is striking and interesting. Popular for garden and country weddings, and perfect for cottage living - these arrangements are easy to create, can cost little, and really don't require much creative effort. Just grab an old bottle, empty tea tin, or that silver jar you never use and fill with flowers. I'm charmed! 

J xx


Pineapple Hospitality

A friend recently told me that the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, and I loved this idea so much, I did a little research and learned that "the pineapple was the celebrity fruit of Colonial America, literally put on a pedestal at extravagant feasts. It was also the status fruit - rare and expensive, brought by ship from the Caribbean. A guest felt honored to be served the exotic pineapple. Since then it has been a symbol of hospitality and a favorite architectural and decorative motif" (HB).

I've since purchased a vintage '70s copper pineapple mold (center) from eBay to hang in my kitchen. Pineapple home accessories are hot items and great gift ideas for weddings and new home owners. I think every home deserves a little pineapple hospitality!

J xx

(1) Kichler, Pineapple Outdoor Hanging Light
(2) Jack and Lulu, Pineapple Gold Flat Notes
(3) Forest City Brand, Pineapple Crate Label Reproduction
(4) Ginkgo, Pineapple Pewter Beverage Pitcher
(5) CC Home Furnishings, Copper Pineapple Fruit Weathervane
(6) Tommy Bahama, Pineapple Cove Napkins

Bistro Beautiful

Image: Unknown

I'm speechless for once. I will say this: perfection. To me, this is an all-around gorgeous photo showcasing patio elegance at its very best! Peonies, pastries, tea, bistro chairs, the morning paper...what could make a more relaxing morning? I hope this photo will inspire you as it has done me.

J xx


Red Velvet Birthday

Happy Birthday to me! May all my wishes come true! (Well, someone had to say it). I woke up super early this morning...I mean unnecessarily early, personal best early - 5:00am early! And I finally decided today's a perfect day to make the Dean Jacob's Red Velvet Cupcake & Cream Cheese Frosting Mix that's been sitting atop my fridge since Christmas. By 6:30am I was at the grocery store buying the ingredients, by 8:00am I finished frosting and sprinkling, and by 8:30am I ate my first birthday cupcake! And now I'm jacked up on sugar and feel GRRREAT! Tonight I'm having dinner with the girls then off to see Sex and the City 2! Today marks the beginning of my last year as a twenty-something; I hope it's a good one!

J xx


The Pie Plate

Last weekend I spent some time in Niagara-on-the-Lake antique shopping with a friend and we squeezed in a stop at Riverview Cellars Winery to pick up a few bottles of semi-sweet red wine.  My favorite stop however, had to be our late lunch at The Pie Plate in a little village called Virgil. This is the most adorable bakery and café I've had the pleasure of visiting, and I highly recommend you stop in if ever you're fortunate enough to visit Ontario's wine country.  

My friend and I swapped halves of two sandwiches: turkey avocado with cilantro lime dressing and ham and brie with honey mustard dressing. The bread is baked fresh on site and oh...it's perfection! We hydrated with fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade on ice. I honestly can't remember the last time I had a more enjoyable meal; the café was cozy, the service was friendly, and the food was exceptionally fresh and flavorful. You must go!

J xx


Photos for Flowers

I went looking for flowers today to fill my lovely tin flower pot, and I stopped in at Prince of Wales Garden on the Danforth between Woodbine and Coxwell.  It was a sunny, warm, perfect day so I decided to take pictures of the pretty flowers with my iPhone, and the shop owner (far left) asked if I could send him the pictures I was taking of his shop and he would give me a big basket of begonias in return as a thank you. Perfect trade-off! Don't the begonias look beautiful in my tin pot? This gesture made my day! You never know the kinds of people you might run into on any given day.

J xx

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