Friday, September 26, 2014

Macchina Mobile Cafe

If you live in Toronto you may have seen this super cute orange truck booting around the city.  It's hard to miss, and according to owners Ana Diez and Jeff Douglas, it attracts a lot of attention. 

Macchina Mobile Cafe,  photo courtesy of Jim Norton Photography

Ana says she is often approached at traffic lights with questions, and passersby often ask to get their picture taken with the little truck.

Ana Diez and her husband Jeff Douglas launched "Macchina Mobile Cafe" this past spring, transforming an iconic Italian Piaggio Ape into a mobile espresso truck with amazing coffee!

Because they (Ana, Jeff and the Ape) are so cool we thought it would be fun to work on a creative with them. It was an opportunity to shoot their Macchina, and oh yeah, we may have sampled a few espresso's along the way.

Jim Norton (Photographer), Colleen Nicholson (Art Direction) and I (Prop Styling) teamed up to re-imagine the Macchina on the streets of Italy. 

Here are some photos from the shoot this past summer.

Yes, that's Julian biting into a delicious ice cream sandwich supplied by Cookie Martinez.

The macchina inside the Macchina. It's a beauty. 

I love how Macchina teams up with other local businesses to provide treats to go with their coffee. 

Here are some beautiful pastries from Cherry Bomb Coffee & Bakery (Spitfire Roasters provides their custom blend) in Roncessvalles and an assortment of delicious cookies from Cookie Martinez

PS. You can find Macchina at various farmers markets in Toronto from May to October. They are also available for private and corporate events. I also happen to know that they will be at The Annex Flea this Sunday too. 

Follow Macchina on Instagram, and Twitter.

All photos courtesy of Jim Norton Photography.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Chairish Style Board

A few weeks ago I was invited by Chairish to create a style board around one of their brightly coloured accent chairs. It was an invitation to step away from a more neutral colour palette and go a bit bolder.

I love a room with a neutral background and pops of colour but my personal style is usually small doses of colour. I try to stick to fairly neutral choices when it comes to big purchases.

I was familiar with Chairish but hadn't really explored it fully. Well, it turns out its a pretty amazing, curated, online market for vintage furniture and decor.  It's like a really well curated Craigslist!

I chose the olive green Mid Century Modern Swedish Arm Chair from there great selection of accent chairs, and then had a blast building a style board around the chair from the Chairish website and a few other favorite online retailers.

Isn't that vintage blue industrial shelving crazy beautiful? I love to mix styles of furniture and played with that ideas on my board. 

I like that you can shop by city. Isn't that great? Now, if only a few Canadian cities were available on the site. I know soo many Canadian design lovers who would go nuts for this.

Let me know what you think of my style board. It was fun to pull together.

You can check out Chairish here and you can shop the pieces for this collection below. By the way, this was not a sponsored post but done just for fun :)

Olive green mid-century modern chair via Chairish

Vintage blue mechanic industrial shelving via Chairish

Moroccan Boucherouite Carpet via Chairish

Carved wood coffee table via West Elm

Sediment Side Table via CB2

Marble and wood Octahedron via West Elm

Copper pillow via Chanee Vijay Textiles on Etsy

Vintage "Wonderful Copenhagen" print via Retro Vintage Posters on Etsy

Vintage green books via Huckster Haven on Etsy

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 Ways to Transition Your Home to Autumn

I love this time of year.

After a leisurely summer I welcome the routines and fresh starts that September brings. The air is lighter and a little crisper, fresh breezes and cooler nights. It's still summer (technically) and so I like to stretch out the casual, airy feeling in my home. Pumpkins and autumn decor won't make an appearance here until October. 

However, I do start transitioning my home to Autumn. After-all, September is a month of change. So, I thought I would share some tips and ideas on how to slowly transition your home to autumn without going all crazy orange (although I do love the colour).

1. Get organized. 

This is a great time of year to sort through your home and purge a little bit. I find it helps us re-focus on the routines a new school year for the kids and new work projects for us. 

Industrial Rail System from West Elm

I really like this rail system from West Elm. You can adjust the pieces to suit your needs from season to season. I'm also thinking this could be a great DIY project....

Try to dedicate a spot in your home to corral all the incoming paper and scheduling needs of your family. You can check out some ideas on solutions for busy families here. It was a story I styled for the summer issue of Canadian Family magazine and the Smyth family has an amazing house full of great ideas. 

2. Add in a few layers of warmth.

Cooler nights require a blanket or two. Add a basket of cozy blankets to your space. It makes it easy to grab whether you need one for the patio or the couch.

Vintage Kantha Throws from Being Gypsy on Etsy

I love these vintage Kantha quilts I found at this shop on Etsy.

I would love a stack of these in a big basket. The colours are so rich and vibrant. I've always loved traditional Indian quilts and textiles.

3. Add candles

Time to switch out those citronella patio candles for some candles you'll want to use indoors or out.

Canadian made candles from Smells Like Canada have a fun and yummy smelling selection of soy wax candles. They are available at Indigo and also in their Etsy shop here.

4. Use natural elements as decor

Driftwood found on the beach this past August.

This is when I like to fill jars with sea glass, shells and stones we collected on summer holidays. We have a lot! I lay a big piece of driftwood across a table like the one below.

Sea glass from our summer holiday in Prince Edward Island.

Treat yourself to some fresh flowers in warmer tones as a nod to Fall. 

Vintage glass vases from 22 Bay Road on Etsy

Pop them into a pretty vase like these vintage ones I spotted on Etsy or run over to your local thrift shop and scoop up some. I always find shelves over-flowing with vases and jars in all sorts of styles. These look pretty on a dining room table, just simply placed down the length of it. So simple.

5. Add warmer colours. 

Simple changes such as throw pillows, switching out area rugs or door mats in rooms like the entryway or by simply freshening up with a new tea towel in the kitchen like this one from Toronto textile artist Avril Loreti.

Patchwork Tea Towel from Avril Loreti

I would love to add this gorgeous bit of brightness from Schoolhouse Electric (I love this store!) to my front entry. It's a playful dose of colour, warmth and light.

Ion C-series table lamp from Schoolhouse Electric

So there you go. 5 easy ways to transition your home into Fall.

Happy September!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

throw back thursday....

This time last month we were in Prince Edward Island 
for our annual summer holiday...I thought I'd share some of my favorite shots that best represent island time for us.

We've been visiting the island every summer for about 10 years, so we know it quite well. However, it always surprises me every summer with new little spots to explore like this beach we found on our last day or so...full of little caves

We spent three glorious weeks together. Family time is so precious and with growing kids you realize how quickly it passes. So for as long as the kids want to go we will make the trek. 

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of these shots before. 

I hope you had a wonderful summer too! Do you have any summer traditions that you do as a family? Please share in the comments. I'd love to hear your stories.