The Stowe

In my world, there's no such thing as enough purses. And while I like to buy purses that are built to last, I'm loath to too often crawl into designer purse price ranges. The Stowe is a Montreal-based company that I've recently been admiring and they're right in my sweet-spot; quality, minimal styling (inconspicuous branding) and prices that lure you into thinking ahead to a second purchase. My favourite styles are Rae, Eloise and Brady (who can resist the current bucket bag trend!?)


You can follow The Stowe on Instagram (that's how I found them!) and visit their online store here.

Tali Yalonetzki / Tush Tush

Remember the heady early days of Etsy? I used to favourite new shops and items daily (and sometimes, feel an urgent need to splurge almost daily too). I was smitten with all of it; the vintage wares, the small-run designers... but most of all, the affordable art. Some of the art I bought back then still hangs on my walls, but many of those $25 prints came and went - especially when I did away with my salon-style wall.


One of the artists who endured and holds a special place in my heart is Tali Yalonetzki. I bought the original of her "Young Lady" portrait (above) in 2012 and it has been prominently displayed in my home since (many people on Instagram have asked if it's a portrait of me. It's not, though I suppose it maybe bears a small resemblance to my old profile pic if you don't know me in person).


I don't browse Etsy daily any more. But I did wander over to Tush Tush store last week and found another original called Dancers At Rest (above) and treated myself. It isn't the dancing so much (I'm no bunhead), but the intimacy and separation between the women that spoke to me. I've been thinking a lot about female friends lately, especially my closest female friends. They're the most intimate relationships I have but, at the same time, I feel very unlike all my friends and that's often underscored when we get together, just as much as our closeness and deep affection for each other. And not that I think this painting is portraying all this, but it seemed to capture what's been on my mind.

My favourite work from Tali's shop has a recurring feeling of an old family album. These prints and paintings remind me of pictures I've seen of my parent's childhood, even images I've seen in family albums of people I could no longer name. There's a universality of feeling associated with such images, and yet I don't seem them only as romantic nostalgia. There's also a feeling of regret and loss, perhaps even of damage behind such images for me. But these feelings only make these images so much more beautiful and poignant.

Sunday best: Height of summer

It's the very height of summer. My neighbourhood empties out every weekend and, for all I know, my addiction to kale chips is the only thing keeping the over-priced grocery in business. I have a bunch of leftover vacation days to use before the end of August and, suddenly, not being there on Fridays suddenly doesn't seem to matter that much.

Languor like this feels like the ultimate luxury and I love the looks it conjures - worn and soft but accented with gorgeous finery. Right now, I'm listening to a distant thunderstorm. They scare me but we need it to roll in and clear out the humidity. When it's gone, the air will be bright and clear and I'll stroll down the hill for an evening coffee. What more could one ask for?


Products: Mimi Holliday by Damaris bra from Net-a-Porter | Leaf bracelet from Anita Ko | Slim Broken-in Boyfriend Cone Denim Jean from J.Crew | The Uptown Girl Luxury Palette from Charlotte Tilbury | √Čtoile Isabel Marant Axel top from Net-a-Porter | Bamboo Daily Leather Top Handle Bag from Gucci | The Lip Slip from Sara Happ | Aquazzura Belgravia Suede Espadrilles from Shopbop

Lake Louise

One of the little splurges on our trip was a night at the Chateau Lake Louise. There isn't much to Lake Louise -- it's not a town like Banff or Jasper. There's a strip mall with a bakery I always make a point to stop at, but the main attraction is the lake itself and the various hikes to Lake Agnes and Moraine Lake.

I've been to Lake Louise in the depths of winter and the height of summer and it's a fairytale in all seasons really. I'm sad to say that I've never paddled the lake - something I had hoped to do this time... But in a way, it's nice to leave something for another visit.

It's interesting to think back to when I first visited here. I was matching up the reality with images I'd seen in postcards and Lonely Planet guidebooks. It was hard to even tell whether it met up with expectations - the mind is so unprepared for such sights. Did I expect the lake to be more turquoise? The mountains to have more grandeur? No - it's just like a first reading of a book that you're unequipped to process: You have to go back when the mind is better equipped.

Now I go and there's no shock of the new. But there's still a stunned sense of the beauty, which is breathtaking, no matter how many times you see it.

P.S. To read more about this part of the trip, check out my story on Driving.ca


Sunday best: Poolside dreams

It's that time of year: The time of year when I stand at traffic lights, eyes closed, picturing myself diving into deep, dark saltwater. The time of year when I lie, hot and listless waiting for sleep, only to wake twenty minutes later with kicked sheets knotted around my legs.


I do a lot better in the heat than I used to. This year, I've truly embraced it: I've given up trying to stay freckle-free. I've even taking to tanning a little. I'm not reckless, but it is freeing to stop fighting the sun and just give in to season's offering.

Still, I crave a body of water. It doesn't matter what; artificial or natural. I'm as envious of my pool-owning neighbours as I am of lakeside cottagers, as I am of Instagrammers by the sea... All invitations are welcome ;)

Products: Eugenia Kim fedora from Net-a-Porter | Mexico swimsuit from Marysia | City Block Sheer SPF 25 from Clinique | Twin Pearl Studs Earrings from Satomi Kawakita | Patio Dress from Lemlem | Adonia Sandals from Ancient Greek Sandals | Porter Magazine