Category Archives: Home decor

Linen – my new obsession

It started in Copenhagen with pillow covers and continued with a linen throw in Portland. More than just napping companions, linen has become my new fabric of choice. Don’t get me wrong – I still am in love with velvet, cashmere and cotton. I’ve decided to add linen into the texture fiesta of our Alice in Wonderland palace.

I’m excited by adding more linen bedding into the mix and seeing if it indeed gets softer with age.

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Cushions courtesy of Birger et Mikkelsen Home (purchased in Copenhagen); French linen scarves from Alder & Co in Portland

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Linen throw (amazing for a nap) from Alder & Co. in Portland. Monsieur Lapin courtesy of Chapters and raplapla doll courtesy of Redfish

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Grey towel, striped towel and natural colour pillow cases courtesy of a new store called Pisolino in Vancouver. The green linen dish cloth is from my favourite store Orling & Wu The pink scarf is courtesy of a wonderful street vendor in Bruges named Janis Rozentals

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Pantone – colour goodness!

The Pantone Hotel I stayed at in Brussels was full of all sorts of beautiful colours. I adore colour and often look like a box of crayons vomited on me (thanks Helene for the crayon puke line!) As a result, it’s no big shock that I loved all the colours on display at the Pantone Hotel, as well as their fantastic products. Even the sugar in the breakfast room was colourful!

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The Pantone Hotel had many items available for sale, such as mugs, espresso sets and notebooks. What I most wanted was a Pantone bike, but that wouldn’t exactly fit in an overhead bin on the plane.

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Back home in Vancouver, I decided a little taste of Pantone was in order and I happily scooped up a couple of mugs from one of my favourite neighbourhood stores – Homewerx

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Design goodness – all hail those awesome Danes!

Aside from trying to eat all the pastries and junk food my body could handle, I wanted to look at a lot of the cool design in Copenhagen. I blame my genes for loving Danish design. My father found a coffee table he loved during a visit to Copenhagen in the 1960s that he wanted to ship back to Canada. Needless to say it would’ve cost a small fortune, but as luck would have it, he managed to find it later on in our hometown.

I did not end up getting any furniture but thought it would be fun to look. I also made the decision to just say no to pottery, no matter how much it screams “achetez-moi!” at me. I just assumed inanimate objects spoke to everyone…Anyway, fantastic design is everywhere, even mall bathrooms and lounge areas…

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Here’s where I’d like to eat my danishes every day:

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I did manage to make a couple of design-related purchases. I bent my “no pottery” rule because it had a bunny on it.

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Copenhagen – hello danishes!

After bunnies in Brussels Airport demanded I buy more chocolate, I was on my way to beautiful Copenhagen. I had been there a long time ago with my parents, so I was looking forward to spending a couple of days there with my chronologically grown up perspective (inner Rachel still dreams of ponies and unicorns….)

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I decided to pass on Tivoli Gardens and instead wandered the streets of downtown Copenhagen, armed with my camera and my Jabba appetite for all things food.

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The danishes……with so many names I couldn’t pronounce and so little time to try all of them….cinnamon, chocolate, pistachio…..

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Those poor little ones in the bag didn’t stand a chance – and I was at that bakery twice in one day! The danishes that didn’t make me want to move into the bakery (like the pistachio one) were only a little bit dry. Otherwise, their sweet, succulent centres were sugary goodness.

The cupcake has made inroads here. Unlike most of the ones I’ve had in Vancouver (when I need a major sugar high), the one I sampled here at a beautiful bakery called Serenity Cupcakes, had a lovely, not too sweet, cream cheese frosting and raspberry in the cupcake. I’d call it a fruit salad.

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Some kitchen essentials….

Dear readers (all 3 of you),

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I really took my Labour Day slothfulness seriously and it’s spilled over into the rest of the month.  I also fear I’m going to turn into a giant macaron….tasty tasty goodness…. However,  if I don’t get a handle on my addiction, I figure I’ll just invest in stretch pants and muu muus if things get too bad 🙂  If any of you see me doing my best Jabba the Hut impersonation at Thierry, just throw some snacks at me and be on your way…

Despite my macaron-intense diet, I still use my shiny kitchen and I’ve rounded up a few new items that I think are fantastic:

1. Peugeot pepper grinder

It’s fancy, sleek and tres Francais.  This is hands down the best pepper grinder I’ve ever owned and I love it!  If I was into salt, I’d buy the salt version too.

The perfect pepper grinder!

2. Bodum garlic keeper

It looks like a harmless little piece of plastic, but this clear garlic keeper really does an excellent job keeping garlic fresh.  Plus you can actually see how many cloves are left and talk to them about current events!  Someone really needs some more friends…I digress…

Simple, sleek and so good at keeping garlic happy!

3. Bodum containers

In case you haven’t noticed, I am rather fond of all the Bodum products on the market now.  I’m sure I’ll cave and get an adorable lime green toaster at some point just because it’s super squee.  For now I’ll happily enjoy the Bodum airtight containers I use to store items such as coffee and rice.  Stylish and practical – what more could I want.

Shiny, pretty and practical containers!

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My very first sofa….

After what seemed like an eternity, the tiny sofa gnomes finished building my very first sofa.  Of course I couldn’t just pick up any old sofa – it had to be velvet.  Sure, I flirted with a purple velvet one a few years back, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  Instead, I went with something that was a lot more expensive (because this is me we’re talking about and I can only rebel in the most bourgeois ways possible) and came with a fancy name like Olivia.  Despite being all posh and lovely, this baby is extremely comfortable to nap on.  Beautiful and functional….sigh….it’s really difficult having such fabulous taste 🙂

The new sofa...ignore messy coffee table please 🙂

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Neat things to do in San Francisco

I didn’t really plan much to do when I was in San Francisco.  My extent of planning was booking a place to stay and a flight.  Otherwise, I figured I’d do whatever seemed reasonable at the time – which was a whole lot of eating.  Other than stuffing my pie hole, here are a few neat things I did in San Francisco. I mean I had to do something in between meals and snack time!

1. Renegade Craft Fair

The biggest craft fair I’ve ever been to, this place was chock full of crafty hipsters and lots of 80s music (the only thing my lone neuron remembers with any clarity over the years).  I’ve never seen so many Ray bans and skinny jeans in my life. This place was awesome and sadly it was only a 2 day event, so if you missed it in SF, too bad.  However, it seems to travel throughout the US, so check to see if it will be in a city near you. I’m thinking a trip to Austin, Texas in November wouldn’t be a bad idea….yes I’m obsessed with Austin even though I’ve never been there….

Behold the crafty goodness at the Renegade Craft Fair

One of my crafty purchases....

2. SF Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

My cousin and I went to the Stein family exhibit at SF MoMA… because who didn’t move to Paris and have a fabulous life as friends of Matisse and Picasso…..Best part had to be the photographs showing where these priceless pieces were hanging in a study or living room.  Somehow I don’t think my cheese and candy photos I have hanging in my living room quite measure up….did I mention I took them myself with a digital camera from Shoppers Drug Mart???

The roof top at SF MoMA

Pretty art cake at Blue Bottle Coffee at SF MoMA - photo by Aysha the fabulous one!

3. Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

Serene, peaceful and the perfect place to get away from the bustle of the city.  I got over my disappointment that the de Young Museum was closed on a Monday and instead enjoyed the beauty of this garden.  This is definitely a place I want to go back to.  An added bonus is that you can eat mushy weird cake things and have tea while looking at the greenery.

Japanese Tea Gardens....serenity now....

Mochi cakes and jasmine tea....

4. The Ferry Building

We went to the Ferry Building to check out the food stands and restaurants.  I stopped at Recchiuti Confections and resisted purchasing the whole store, but still managed to bring home a bag full of chocolate goodies.  We also checked out the beautiful Heath ceramics, sampled macarons at Miette and had an incredible dinner at the MarketBar.

Mushroom & arugula flatbread from MarketBar - nom!

The best part of my trip to SF was definitely spending time with my family.  To my cousin Aysha, you are the most incredible person and I’m so lucky to have you as part of my family!  I can’t wait for our future adventures together 🙂

My beautiful, fabulous cousin!

 

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