January 2012

weekend reads iris apfel cupcakes "first aid kit"

Today I’m off to check out the Interior Design Show, but not before sitting in at Blogpodium – a super genius mini conference developed by  Jen, Lindsay and Shannon. These ladies are tremendously talented as individuals, so I can’t even imagine the kind of triple threat they pose when working together on a project this amazing. I’m sure Blogpodium is going to rock the collective socks off the community of bloggers they’ve attracted for the event and I’m so grateful to be able to attend.

Saturday evening is also the third Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup – the creation of design blogging duo Vie and Daniella. I’m excited to catch up with a few of the gals behind my daily reads, and reconnect with a few I’ve met at previous meetups.

Expect recaps of both events, plus highlights of IDS itself, next week.

While I’m off trying not to be a wallflower soaking up the design and blogging inspiration, here are a few things to keep busy with this weekend.

Weekend Wear | A whole lotta arm candy, like style maven Iris Apfel. (Also, meet Into The Gloss: your new favourite beauty read.)

Weekend Listen | What kind of 12-year-old listens to Bright Eyes? A Swedish one. Discovering the voices of Swedish sisters and musicians First Aid Kit early in the week (via NPR’s First Listen series, which my musical diet could subsist on), meant I had learned most of the lyrics by, oh, Wednesday afternoon. Um, repeat much?

Weekend Eat | Cupcakes for two. Or two cupcakes for one. A perfect small batch recipe from Brett Bara.

Once you get through with those, here’s what I was up to over at At Home with Kim Vallée this week:

Happy weekend!

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moving boxes stacked

Because this is basically what we’re living in these days. It’s a cardboard box castle, and I am the queen. Oy.

The good news is that with all this packing has come a lot of purging. I wonder how many donation trips you can make to Goodwill before they cut you off? Best we start sharing our undesirables around a few locations, because there’s still a load or two to come.

Husband and I have also filled an entire plastic bin with shreddable paperwork. Pay stubs circa 2004? Gonzo. Cable bills circa 1996? Adios. Both his, I’ll add. (I tossed a whole lotta midterm papers and university notebooks. Let’s face it: if it’s not in my head now, it’s never going to be.)

So this week, what I’m really hearting is organization, or the promise of it. Spaces like this:

Minimal. Uncluttered. Bright. Easy to think in. French doors wouldn’t hurt, either.

All in due time.

P.S. I spent a good deal of time last weekend attempting to hunt down packing materials for our wedding china until a smart sales clerk offered this brilliant tip: use styrofoam plates in between the good stuff. Worked like a charm, plus, we can use the disposable stuff for the inevitable first-night-in-the-new-place pizza dinner.

Photo via Design*Sponge

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CB2 comes to toronto

January 24, 2012

blogto queen bathurst cb2 toronto

Last Friday night I shucked off our usual fish-and-chips-for-dinner-and-crash-on-the-couch routine to get a peek at CB2′s first international location right here in Toronto. In case you’re unfamiliar, CB2 is the youthful, funkier, downtown-living sister to American-owned chain Crate & Barrel.

Now, I hadn’t ever stepped foot inside a CB2 while stateside, merely browsed (and browsed and browsed) online, so I was excited to see what was in store (har, har), particularly since its location in the former Big Bop night club – one of the city’s most legendary “concert halls” – had been furiously debated by neighbourhood purists and urban historians. Chris at StyleNorth has an interesting summary of the building’s nine lives, if you’re so inclined.

toronto queen bathurst 1928

Circa 1928: United Cigar Store

blogto queen bathurst toronto big bop

I’m always pleased to see historic buildings revitalized for contemporary neighbourhoods; better to re-purpose than re-build, non? (Whether the neighbourhood benefits from said re-purposing depends on the ‘what’, and which side of the street you live on.) Still, it was fitting to see a nod to the night club (and the city’s cultural history) with the inclusion of this original (?) Big Bop sign on the second floor.

blogto queen bathurst toronto cb2 big bop

blogto queen bathurst toronto cb2 inside

Inside, the building’s original exposed stonework and reclaimed wood flooring created the perfect canvas to layer on CB2′s contemporary aesthetic. There was no shortage of goods in the brand’s signature colour (just a few shades off from Pantone’s colour of the year), and bold, fresh shades of blue, green and yellow echoed recent fashion colour-blocking trends.

blogto queen bathurst toronto cb2 inside

Maybe it was last week’s obsession with a certain emerald green blazer holding court in my head, but everything that caught my eye was of a certain leafy hue (CB2 calls it “clover”, but tomato tomahto).

I’m seriously eyeing that shower curtain – which doesn’t look emerald, but is, and paired with the best partner of all: chartreuse – to combat a serious case of ’80s bathroom in our new place (more to come on that battle). And those mesh dining chairs are begging to be paired with my grandmother’s rather formal rosewood table.

emerald green furniture decor cb2 toronto

{ 1. Curtis Clover Rocker |  2. Fan Coral Shower Curtain | 3. Coup Clover Pillow | 4. Hancock Clover Bookcase | 5. Formosa Clover Tray |  6. Reed Clover Chair }

Knowing I’ve got a new place to pretty up in just over a week (!!!), I saved my pennies on this particular CB2 trip. If you happen to stop in during the next month or so, you’ll have a chance to win $10 off a purchase of $50 or more, or the daily grand prize of a $500 shop card. And if you’re not in TO, you’ll be pleased to know that you can shop online; CB2 ships most of its goods to Canada.

All photos Derek Flack for BlogTO

City of Toronto Archive Photo via StyleNorth

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