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February 28, 2013

DECORATING WITH BOOKS

I have another post on Wanderer's Palace. This week I'm talking about how to decorate your space with books, you know, because these are the things you've always wanted to know. Regardless, it's a peak into my apartment and a look at the multiple ways I organize books without relying on a bookshelf. Have a look at my newest post here.

February 25, 2013

LIGHT

These photographs were taken two summers ago in my apartment, the same apartment I am in now. Light is a luxury when you live in a basement. But I wouldn't change it for the world.

February 24, 2013

LATELY, IN MOVIES

I haven't told you this, but I have over 150 movies on VHS. Now that I'm reunited with them again, they are all that I have been watching. I pulled out Great Expectations on Valentine's day because the cover claims it is "Wildly Romantic" and I haven't seen it before. It fit this description perfectly and was such a powerful love story, one that I've never seen before. There are two 90s era rom-dram (romantic drama) movies with angels in them, both of which I love. Michael is one of them and watching this movie brings me straight to my childhood and my love of John Travolta. When Harry Met Sally... will always be one of my favourites and watching it this time kept reminding me of Annie Hall.

Paper Covers Rock was an emotional movie about a mother struggling with depression and getting her life back on track. I love movies that peak into real life situations. I finallyyyy saw Moonrise Kingdom and, just like everyone I'm sure, loved the colours, the music, the props, the actors, and the story. It was cute. The best thing I've seen lately was Beyonce's new documentary Life is But a Dream. I watched it in the most perfect setting: Saturday night in with Kasia, eating appetizers and drinking wine. I also made a new goal: I'm going to be more like Beyonce in everything I do. She is fabulous.

February 19, 2013

CITY SNAPSHOT: ROME

After Florence, my Nonna and I took a train to Rome. We stayed in renovated apartment on the fourth floor of a beautiful building close to cafes, bars and restaurants. Rome is such a large, beautiful city with so much to see. I was more interested in cafe hopping to have a spritz in front of a monument, then actually investigating the monument. One of my most memorable experiences in Rome was having a spritz alone in the moonlight in the piazza in front of the Pantheon. As I left, the waitress said in Italian something along the lines of "A life alone" and I felt so liberated. I left the restaurant and proceeded to walk the entire city in a dream-like haze.
1. Just like other Italian and European cities, Rome is filled with piazzas. In the evening, tables and twinkle lights take over this exact space where people eat, drink, and talk all night. 2, 3. The alleyways in Rome are gorgeous. Someone on a vespa is always zipping by, and at the end of the road you're likely to come to a monument, a church, or a piazza. 4. The colours of the buildings are relatively monotone and ancient. Spotting this little pop of colour made me smile. 5. I even romanticize the birds in this city. 6. As I was crossing the Tiber River, I spotted this outdoor theatre. I wish I saw a film there, regardless of whether or not I understood it. I did buy Un Americano a Roma on VHS while there, which I thought was fitting, and cannot wait to watch it.
7, 8. The Trevi Fountain is one of my favourite spots in Rome for obvious reasons: it's gorgeous. The turquoise water against the stone is just perfect. But I also love it because it's one of the most popular spots in the entire world. Tourists from all over come to throw a coin in the fountain, and take a picture doing it. I came here multiple times to people watch. It's fantastic. 9. Six years ago I threw a coin backwards into the Trevi Fountain and wished to return. My grandmother did the same many, many years ago. We returned. This photo was taken after we had a wonderful lunch where Nonna told me the love story about how she met my grandfather. We left the restaurant in a daze and slightly drunk.
10, 11, 12. The Pantheon is this beautiful monument that lies at the intersection of many alleyways. It was built in the year 126. That speaks for itself.
13, 14, 15. St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is such a sight. We sat on the edges of the piazza and watched people from all over the world flock to this religious monument. I tried to imagine the piazza filled as it would be during a religious ceremony. I secretly hoped that smoke would rise from one of the chimneys, which means that a new pope has been selected or not, as I know an outcry would occur and thousands would come to the piazza. This is happening soon and it will be such a spectacle.
16, 17. My favourite part of Rome however is the people. It's a big city which means there are lots of people. I loved sitting amongst strangers, both locals and tourists, and seeing people utilizing public space. There's just something about people taking a moment to relax, reflect, or reorganize themselves in public space. You're alone, but together. 18, 19. Italians doing Italian things. Sitting on a casual monument. Having an espresso, smoking a cigarette, and playing cards. 20. It's not everyday you see nuns walking in the streets, in North America anyways. 21. Spotting people having a cigarette outside their windows is one of my favourite things to photograph.

See more posts about this trip:

For all the cities I've travelled to, go here.

February 17, 2013

A PERFECT ESPRESSO

For 25 years I've never been a morning person. I'm the most productive at night and if I have nothing to do in the morning I'm likely to stay up until 3 am watching a movie I've already seen a million times. This is still typical of me, but lately I've really been enjoying and appreciating my mornings. I owe it all to a perfect cup of espresso. 
Only within the last couple of years have I been drinking and enjoying coffee. My trip to Italy solidified my love of espresso since I had at least two to four cups per day. My Nonna gave me this two cup Moka pot (just learned the name, thanks Wikipedia) and now every morning I make myself a cup of coffee, which is actually two cups of espresso. The coffee is made by pouring water into the bottom chamber, adding ground espresso grinds to the middle chamber, and heating it on the stove.
I bought this antique porcelain bowl last summer and finally found a use for it. I typically take my espresso with two small scoops of sugar that I put in my cup before the espresso.
Once you hear the moka pot percolating, you know your espresso is just about ready. The sweet smell of fresh espresso is intoxicating.
I usually drink my espresso, if I'm not in a rush, at my dinner table. Espresso is best served with a home made biscotti, but Maria cookies do well in replacement. Enjoy!

February 12, 2013

LATELY, IN MOVIES

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is one of my favourite go-to rom-coms. The Art of Getting By was really great and so is Emma Roberts. It's one of those "I'm artsy and different in high school" movies that obviously ends well in the romance department. I didn't know what to expect of Life in a Day but it really was beautiful and it flowed very well. I tried to guess what country each of the clips were from, but gave up almost immediately. I've been looking for Say Anything... on VHS for years and a few months ago I found it for $2. Now that I'm back home, I finally watched it again, and it was perfect. Every since I heard that This is 40 would be coming out, about a year ago, I've been dying to see it. I finally did and thought it was really cute, despite the many negative reviews. Taken 2 made me laugh just like the first one did. I'm not wooed by action movies, but I do have to say it was pretty good, just completely unrealistic and frustrating.

February 6, 2013

KITCHEN SINK MAKEOVER

My second post is up at the Wanderer's Palace! My kitchen is teeny so I've been thinking about ways to maximize space. My mom bought me a few shelves and drying racks from Ikea and they're a perfect fit.  Now I have lots of space on my counters, plus a new space to store my plates and cups! I love how this looks and I'm so pumped my space is coming together quick.
Here is my first post on the Wanderer's Palace in case you missed it. It's all about how to tackle clutter and organize your space using a variety of storage solutions! I love making a home for myself and above all making functional, pretty spaces so writing for this blog has so far been really exciting. Can't wait to share more soon!

February 1, 2013

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

It's been a crazy week since I last posted about DoUC's event "All the Parties You've Never Been Invited To...". The party was a complete success. I will definitely post more photos from the party as soon as I'm finished editing them. Some amazing news however, our event, also known as the Love Design Party, received the People's Choice Award for Favourite Event at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival! The party was one of the best nights of my life (I swear I'm not exaggerating) and I'm so inspired and looking forward to lots of good things this year.
The morning after the party I moved back to my apartment. The termites are gone and my space has been renovated. My apartment used to be a very cosy, lounging type space, but this time around I'm planning on making it a very creative, productive, and above all organized space. I'm just about finished unpacking and I'm looking forward to sharing some DIYs and apartment tours with you all. 
Speaking of which, I am now contributing the blog Wanderer's Palace. The blog is all about design and apartment living. I'm going to be sharing apartment DIYs, tips and tricks, and amazing finds. There are some amazing contributors and a whole range of advice for different kinds of spaces so be sure to check it out. My first post is up here and it's all about how to tackle the clutter in your apartment using a range of storage solutions.

I've been hearing and reading a lot of complaints about the past month. The New Year always gets people so excited and then things seem to go a little sour: statistically one of the most depressing days of the year is in the third week of January, winter blues start to kick in, and so on. This time of the year has the complete opposite effect on me, but especially this year. I'm feeling so great about my career, I have a new job opportunity, I always feel great during my birth sign, Aquarius, and tomorrow is my 25th birthday. I'm feeling the best I've ever felt and I'm looking forward to this new year. Quarter Centch!!
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