Zara Home is Coming to Canada

Having an Irish mother meant that growing up I spent a bit of time in Europe visiting relatives. On one such trip I was introduced to Zara, and I was amazed by the store filled with lovely clothing, and very pleased to be able to buy some clothes that nobody had at home.

Zara eventually opened stores in Canada, and it remains one of my favorites for fun, fairly inexpensive clothing. A few years ago I discovered that Zara had a housewares division and from time to time would browse the European web stores to see what they had. When I was in Ireland last fall I even checked to see if there was a retail store so I could finally go shopping, but was disappointed to discover there wasn’t one.

This past spring I heard some Internet rumblings that Zara Home would finally be opening an online store in Canada, and unbelievably a retail location as well. I tried not to get my hopes up, and refrained from perusing their wares online. This past Tuesday I heard that the first Canadian retail location would open at Yorkdale shopping center on August 22nd, and that the online store would open that day as well (a second retail location in Laval, QC will open on Aug 29th). After hearing the news I  jumped right online and picked out a few favourites.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite from the above? I can’t decide between the tray and the skull tumblers.

PS – The items above are mostly from the US site, but a couple are from the UK.
PPS – Oh the irony of hearing that Zara was Finally going to open just days after realizing that any extra money in my budget for the foreseeable future will be going to plaster repairs.
PPPS – This is not a sponsored post – I’m just a bit excited Zara is finally coming to Canada.

How is it July Already?

Calvin and Hobbes - It's July already

Calvin and Hobbes – image source: jpegy

Here we are in July already – can you believe it? I’m having trouble. It seems like only a few weeks ago it was Christmas, and then New Years, and now it’s summer with all that it brings – trips to the cottage or beach, sweltering weather, eating an ice cream cone while sitting on a park bench, visiting relatives, going to camp, and epic road trips. It also brings kids snowsuits for sale at Costco, and Christmas decorations for sale at Michael’s, but that’s another story.

With the year being more than half over (it’s scary when I put it like that isn’t it?) I though it was time for a check-up on the my list of to-dos that I posted back at the start of 2012.

Stuff to finish

  1. Repair (or have repaired) the ceiling in the dining room. (I got a quote on this – it was $1000 – ouch)
  2. Paint the walls in the dining room (this will happen after I get the walls repaired – see #1)
  3. Spruce up the kitchen (so far I’ve only replaced my door handles)
  4. Get some additional storage for the dining room
  5. Come up with a better furniture layout for the living room (yup, this was done, although I still have to choose between the six)
  6. Finish my dresser project (This is complete, with wonderful (in my opinion) results)
  7. Paint the living room a colour other than white.
  8. Get actual window coverings for the bedroom, living room and dining room
  9. Get or make some art for the walls (My collection is growing)
  10. Actually hang the art on the walls!
  11. Get a rug for the foyer that can fit under the door when it opens.
  12. Get bedside tables that are not two different sizes.
  13. Get a prettier TV console (it’s purchased, and being worked on)
  14. Add some more storage to living room
  15. Purge my bookcase
  16. Paint my bedroom
  17. Get a rug for my bedroom.
  18. Refinish those chairs I bought last spring . . . (yeah, no. Sigh)
  19. Install my dining room light
  20. Remove doors into dining room and living room.
  21. Get more lighting for the living room

I’m also going to share some goals I’d like to reach when it comes to this blog:

  1. Consider a move from to (Done)
  2. Learn to take better photographs (I bought a better camera – does that count?)
  3. Increase average posts a week from 1 to 2.
  4. Reach 100,000 views (On January 2nd I had 22,000. It’s just over 50,000 now)

Okay, maybe I’ll toss in some personal ones too.

  1. Start taking my lunch to work EVERY DAY (okay, 4 out of 5 days)
  2. Get back into running, and do at least one 10K race in 2012
  3. Buy myself flowers every so often ‘just-because’ (I switched this to buying myself monthly flowers – I’ve actually done this every month, although admittedly most months the flowers are purchased on the last day – you can see them here: February, March, April, May, June)

Alright then. Not a very successful start to the year (at least when it comes to getting some of these completed). Looks like I’m going to have a very busy second half of 2012.

What about you? Did you make a resolution/to-do list for 2012? How are you making out?

February Flowers: Freesia and a Cabbage

You may recall that in the early days of 2012 I posted about my to-do list for the year. One of those things was to buy myself flowers every so often ‘just because’. Well today, as it was the last day of February, I did just that.

I bought them at a little local store around the corner from my old apartment. It’s the neatest flower store I’ve ever seen – it’s not a fancy store, but they do have a walk-in flower refrigerator, and they invite you to walk in and choose your own flowers. I can spend a lot of time mixing and matching all the different blooms, and trying different combinations.

In January I purchased daisies (you can see them atop my new dresser here) and they lasted 3 weeks! I hope these new flowers last at least half as long. In case you’re wondering the flowers I purchased are Freesia, purple Statice (I Googled it), and a cabbage. Yup, a cabbage. I know it’s a little odd, but I like the colour combination.

As it seems to be developing into a bit of a trend,I think I’m going to try to change my goal from buying flowers every so often, to doing so once a month but with a budget of no more than twenty dollars (today’s cost less than $16 with tax). What do you think? Is treating myself to flowers monthly silly and frivolous?

IDS12: Part 3 – Studio North

Studio North, the ‘show within a show’, was held at the Interior Design Show for the 10th year. The premise behind the show is to introduce the public to great Canadian design talent. I was incredibly impressed with the range of items these talented designers showcased – below is just a sampling of what I saw.

Jeremy Kehoe

Jeremy Kehoe is a furniture designer and woodworker from Toronto who uses as much sustainable and domestic woods as he can.

I loved this table

Nomo Creations

This Orbit table from Nomo Creations received quite a bit of press during the show. The father and son team us materials that can be separated for recycling, and their products are designed to be able to shrink so they can be shipped in smaller packages.

Orbit Table - Nomo Creations

Brothers Dressler

Twin brothers Jason and Lars Dressler are woodworkers from Toronto. Most of the wood seen in the dining room below was created using the wood from one tree that died in 2010.

The table and light were made from one tree.

Tyler MacKenzie + Bettie Cott

I love the lines of Tyler MacKenzie‘s Radius Lounge chair, and Bettie Cott‘s Peaks and Valleys coatrack is whimsical and practical – I can easily imagine it in a child’s room.

Radius Lounge Chair and Peaks and Valleys coatrack

Kino Guérin

Kino Guérin‘s pieces are made from bent wood, and are stunning in person.

Knot bench

Recycled slate blackboard

That’s the last of my pictures from IDS12 – I hope I managed to show you some of the great things there were to see at the show, and maybe encouraged you to make a visit to the show next year – I know I’ll be going – I can’t wait to see what is new then.