Posts from July 2017

taste of honey

July 28, 2017

Honeycomb tiles in the bathroom are always a good idea. Black ones look sleek, but a colour, like sage green is softer, and a little more unique, I think. What I really love, perhaps because they remind me of a Mediterranean farmhouse, are honeycomb tiles in terracotta. There’s nothing rustic about this kitchen, but these floors are pure Toscana.

Time of my life

July 27, 2017

In honour of the 30th anniversary of the release of Dirty Dancing, we’re planning a holiday to the Catskills. Not really, but when I realized my all time favourite 80s movie was filmed there, it made our roadtrip all the cooler. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagined myself being lifted into the air by Johnny Castle. What a looker; so intimidating. I knew every word of the soundtrack by heart, and Baby’s delicate pink frock was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. I can’t think of another film that whisks up teenage emotions like Dirty Dancing does. Big girls don’t cry? Show me that finale, and watch me cry like baby.

Bella Italia

July 26, 2017

Swimming pool, Cypress trees, yellow stripes — sign me up. I’ve never been to the famous Il Pellicano, but this scene looks pretty divine. All she’s missing is an audaciously big sun hat and a glass of Campari.


Through hoops

July 25, 2017

In terms of jewellery design, few things are as timeless as a pair of yellow gold hoops. These here are from 6th Century Greece, but they’re no less modern than the hoops we see today. My daughter (with freshly pierced ears) is determined to wear hoops. Something tiny and delicate from Catbird is as close as she’s going to get. She has a lifetime of hoops ahead, let’s start small.


July 24, 2017

Pretty, handmilled soaps are generally something I buy as gifts. But every now and then, I’ll buy one for myself, and this Toronto based brand is one of my favourites right now. Santa Maria Novella is always an indulgence and the scents (and packaging) over at Claus Porto are gorgeous. Almost too gorgeous to use, in fact. Savon de Marseilles has been around since 1688. I would hazard that the company’s soap making process and ingredients haven’t changed much over the centuries. It’s always the simplest things that bring the greatest pleasure. A crudely formed bar of soap that smells like olive oil or sea salt is my idea of olfactory bliss.

red stripe

July 21, 2017

I bought a terrific bathing suit from Shan today that makes me look like I’ve stepped off the pages of a 1930s Brighton beach catalogue. It’s a red and white stripe, like the beach tents, with a retro style derrière that’s both flattering and comfy. It’s the ultimate cozzie. Now, I just need a beach party to go to.

class act

July 20, 2017

Part of the appeal of taking a class is the people you’ll meet. At least, it is for me. Some of the most inspiring people I’ve met in the last couple of years have come via pottery class. That said, if it’s all skill and no socializing that you’re after Skillshare looks really cool. From ink drawing to knife skills to mixing music, there’s no shortage of classes to sign up to. I’ve always thought it would be fun to learn some flower arranging skills. And who doesn’t want to learn to make pasta the Italian way?


July 19, 2017

Readers often ask me where ideas for blog posts come from. It’s anywhere and everywhere, really –– a conversation, a film, a book, or an escape from real life. But very often the image comes before the text. And once in a while, the image is so exquisite that no words are required.


July 19, 2017

It’s the reality of living your life away from the place you grew up that your heart is always tinged with longing. It’s what the Portuguese call saudade. Toronto is my home –– it’s where my husband and children are. It’s my everyday; where the bread, the laundry detergent and the hours of operation are all so familiar. It’s where I stop to talk to neighbours on the side of the street and where I walk miles and miles knowing I’m never far from the Annex. But it’s at this time of year, that I imagine my head under water in the Aegean Sea. The water is so cold that it’s impossible not to feel utterly invigorated in it. The wind carries a beautiful scent laced with Oleander, marjoram, sage and thyme. If I close my eyes, I can smell it. And I can feel the warmth and dryness of the heat. This year, we’ve decided to explore our city, province and country by car. Already, we’ve discovered new places, and experienced old ones in a new light. I love the scent of burning wood and citronella, and the feeling of cold, dirt under my feet. And I love the sight of endless fields speckled with lone barns, white pines and sugar maples. My heart isn’t stirred in that unique way that hearts are when we experience a sensory dance with our childhood. Sea salt and Oleander are in my DNA. Who knows, maybe our children will feel that way about campfire and cedar? Or maybe, it will be a weird, wonderful amalgam of it all.



July 17, 2017

One of my favourite things about summer is sitting outside after the sun has fully set, in a caftan and my bare dirty feet, to release the heat and sweat and intensity of the day. Only these days, there’s hasn’t been enough heat in the day to feel that. I’d like at least a few days of that wonderful all consuming summer heat. If anything, just so we can enjoy the bliss after it breaks.

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