light it up.

New lighting can be a fairly inexpensive way to breathe some life into a tired space. There are so many lighting opportunities in every room. Table lamps, floor lamps, hanging lamps, ceiling lights, wall scones, etc., there are endless lighting combinations. I recently got three new lights for my condo – two for the living room and one for the eating area. All three are from Ikea!

In my condo, the living room area doesn’t have the wiring for an ceiling light. To combat sitting in the dark in the room that I use the most, I decided to buy two different lights to help brighten the space. Keeping in mind that the room is fairly small, I aimed to get two lamps that didn’t take up a lot of space, but that still provided a good amount of light, while also contributing to the overall decor of the room.


floor lamp.

The floor lamp I chose has a very small base – it is a square base that is six inches by six inches. This made the lamp perfect for fitting in a corner behind a chair. This lamp came with a lamp shade (so great for the wallet!) but provides the option to switch the shade (which will be great in a few months when I get bored of the current one!).


table lamp.

The table lamp I choose for the living room is a little more fun. The lamp base is made of glass – I found this to be a great choice for a small space because you can see though it, almost like the lamp doesn’t actually exist. For the shade, I decided to get one that was a little different but one that I think is fun. The shade has a punched out pattern that allows light to shine through and leaves a neat light pattern on the wall behind it.


LED chandelier.

Finally, in the eating area, I decided to get an LED chandelier. With an LED light, I am saving energy (and money!), but when the lights burn out there is no option to replace them. This light has over 22,000 hours of light time so I am hoping it will last me a few years! I went with a chandelier that is a little fun and a lot different than what I have seen in other condos.



hej, copenhagen.

The second destination on my quick Eurotrip was to Copenhagen, Denmark. I’d never been to Scandinavia before and wasn’t really sure what to expect when I walked off the plane. Although I knew where Denmark was on a map, I didn’t realize how much farther north it is than Toronto. Unlike Canada, Scandinavia doesn’t get the frigid winters and dumps of snow, but they lose daylight much earlier than we do. While I was there, the sun was setting around 4:30 p.m. – something we don’t see here until the beginning of December!

Copenhagen was like no city I had ever seen before. Everyone looked oddly the same – same style of clothes and manner of presenting themselves with little to no class distinction. I learned while I was there, that Denmark practices egalitarianism – which describes as “belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, social, or economic life”. The country believes strongly in work-life balance, provides free education and health care for its citizens.


Copenhagen’s City Hall

Unlike London, Copenhagen doesn’t have as many tourist attractions. Of course there is the mermaid statue (which is much smaller than you think in real life, and Tivoli Gardens (which was crawling with little kids because it was Halloween while I was there), but the city itself is amazing to just explore. I really enjoyed just walking around the streets and stopping into shops and cafes that caught my eye. The city has a three main shopping streets that are pedestrian only – it was wonderful to be able to wonder the streets and not worry about cars zooming by.


Nyhavn Canal

The most breathtaking part of the city was Nyhavn – this is probably the most iconic picture when you think of Denmark. All these buildings were actually restaurants that lined the canal.  The food here was amazing, and even though it was late October, everyone sits outside to enjoy all the sunlight they can.


Finally, my favourite part of the Denmark was their interior design. Everywhere you turned, there were amazing light fixtures (like the one above), simplistic furniture, and candles. The Danish really love their candles. I came back with a new appreciation for Scandinavian design and have been trying to apply some of those elements to new things I buy for my condo.



london calling.

I. Love. London.

Period. The End.

me being the biggest tourist.

me being the biggest tourist.

The city was amazing. The day we landed, we explored around the hotel and then made the hour commute by Tube (their subway system is 90000x better than Toronto’s!) and train to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and had been looking forward to this for quite awhile. The studios themselves were way bigger than I thought and each studio had a ton of props and sets – we ended up being there for three hours!

Dumbledore's Office.

Dumbledore’s Office.

We also did two walking tours of the city by the company Sandemans. The first one was free and focused on some of the big touristy attractions like Leicester Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Covent Gardens. Our tour guide was amazing and really made the tour fun and engaging.

Her Majesty's house.

Her Majesty’s house.

The second tour we did was at night, and showed us the east end of the city. It was really interesting to see the south bank of the Thames, as well as some of the more non-touristy parts of the city.

The final day, we walked around Chelsea and went to tea at Harrods! I had quite a few requests from friends and coworkers to bring home tea from London. We also walked through Hyde Park and did a little shopping on Oxford St.

My top three things to see/do if you go to London:

  1. Harry Potter Studio Tour (if you are a Harry Potter fan)
  2. Eat in a real, local pub (and obviously eat fish and chips with a British ale)
  3. See the Tower Bridge by walking across the London Bridge.
tower bridge.

tower bridge.

Have you been to London? What were your favourite things to do?


friday favourites.

I have two exciting (or at least I think they are exciting!) posts coming up about my trip to London and Copenhagen. This week was spent catching up on work. I love vacations – who doesn’t – but I always gets anxious before I leave and as soon as I get back. Did I remember to hand off everything? Will I be coming back to 300 emails? Do I check my email while I’m on vacation to stay on top of the work load? I am guilty of checking my work email while I’m away, but am trying to be better about unplugging while on vacation. How do you unplug when you’re away from work?

Below are a few of my favourites from the past two weeks.

Favourite street art:


I came across this street art in London at the entrance to an alleyway. Not only do I love Chanel and perfume, but this was the alleyway that was used as the filming location for Knockturn Alley in a few of the Harry Potter films. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and was really excited to see this filming locations.

Favourite meal:


While I was in Europe, this was one of my favourite meals – if you can call it that! It was really dessert, but I ate it for dinner – I walked a LOT while I was there so I figured I could cheat a little and eat dessert for dinner. Crepes, ice cream, berries and wine, doesn’t really get better than that! This meal was at Cafe Norden in Copenhagen. The building was absolutely beautiful, the food was amazing and the decor was really modern and pretty.

Favourite view:


The worst part of a vacation for me is always the flight home. The flight from Copenhagen to Toronto was about nine hours. I read a book, and watched a hilarious movie, but the best part of the flight was this view. I took this picture as we flew over Labrador. It might be naive of me, but I had no idea that Labrador looked like that! It was breathtaking.


friday favourites.

In a mere eight hours, I’ll be on a flight to London, England! Over the next 10 days, I’ll be travelling to both London and Copenhagen, which will be a wonderful break from work. I haven’t’ been to Europe since 2008 – my more recent trips have all been down south – so I am really looking forward to doing some sightseeing and checking out both cities. The days are going to be jam-packed and I’d have to say the thing I’m most excited to go see is the Harry Potter Studio Tour. In both cities, I plan to do a Sandemann’s walking tour which I have been told are one of the best ways to get the lay of the land. I’m going to do a few blog posts when I get back about the two cities I visited.

Some of my favourites from the week are below!

Favourite video:

The new music video for Drake’s song Hotline Bling took North America by storm this week. The video was released during the middle of the federal election and the Blue Jay’s third game of the playoffs. Social media platforms were exploding with all things Canada. The video has prompted hundreds of memes and parody videos – many of which are absolutely hysterical. Everyone I have talked to absolutely loves the original video which is hosted on Apple Music (or else I would have embedded it in this post – I couldn’t seem to find an embed code on Apple Music).

Favourite travel photo:


I took this photo when I was last in Europe on a high school graduation trip. I then went on to study Classical Studies as my minor in university because I fell so in love with the history of Italy and Greece. Rome was by far my favourite part of that trip – there were so many amazing architectural and historical sites to see and the culture was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I definitely want to go back there one day.

Favourite Halloween costume:


I will be missing out on Halloween this year – I’ve come to learn that Halloween is much more of a North American event than a European one. I usually love dressing up for costume parties, which seem far and few between now that I’m getting older. Above is one of my favourite Halloween costumes – a Jack in the Box! I saw the idea on Pinterest one year, and figured it was a cute costume that wasn’t too labour intensive and was fairly cheap to make. I used a printer paper box, some construction paper, a head band and made the hat out of bristol board. The only negative to this costume was that it would get crushed by people in a crowded bar or party.

Have a fantastic weekend!

xx jamie.

run, Forrest, run.

Staying active has always been very important to me. Not only is exercise good for your body, but I truly believe it is key to your mental health and wellness. Anytime I’m in a bad mood, a workout (no matter how short) or going for a walk, always cheers me up. Working out also helps you to de-stress – something that so many of us need as our lives get more and more demanding.

Growing up, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to explore many different types of physical activity. I tried my hand at softball, gymnastics, swimming, ice skating and other un-organized sports like waterskiing and snow skiing. I even had an unfortunate summer playing soccer, where I learned very quickly that soccer was a sport I did not excel at.

What really captured my interest was dance, and it is something that I have stuck with all my life. I take a few dance classes a month at a great studio in Toronto and teach younger kids a variety of dance styles at a studio in the east end of Toronto.

My sister, a kinesiology graduate, always reminds me that doing the same kind of exercise day in and day out will make your body plateau – she always suggests switching up your exercise routine family frequently to keep your muscles confused and working hard. So on top of dance, this year I decided I would sign up for a 5k run. Which run? The Holly Jolly Fun Run!

I have never been a big runner, but I was convinced to sign up by a friend who did the same run last year and had a blast. The run takes place the morning of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade and you get to run the parade route while people are lining the streets.

While 5k doesn’t seem like a long distance to some, to me, it’s terrifying – especially because there will be an audience watching me huff and puff along the streets of Toronto.

Below are some of my tips for future runners who may be interested in doing a 5k one day:

  • Check out exercise websites like Tone It Up or Popsugar – they have really great resources to help you train without getting hurt
  • Always stretch before and after you run – this really goes for any type of exercise, but I have fun that the morning after a run, my hamstrings are incredibly sore and tight. A hot bath and good stretch usually fixes the problem.
  • Invest in a good pair of running shoes – they are the only things separating your feet from hitting the pavement over and over again. While workout clothes have definitely become a fashion category of their own, a good pair of running shoes should be supportive and not necessarily trendy.
  • Drink lots of water! This one should go without saying
  • Finally – enjoy the scenery. Below is a sunrise picture I took in October after an early morning run.


xx jamie.

friday favourites.

The work week has finally come to an end! Although this work week was technically a short one (Monday was a statutory holiday in Ontario – yay!), it seemed longer and busier than normal. When I reflected back on what work I did this week – in my day-to-day job, my after work job, and the University of Toronto course I’m taking – I realized it felt jam-packed because I managed to squeeze five days’ worth of work into four days. To say I’m exhausted in an understatement.

But it’s Friday! And that means the weekend is upon us and it’s time to relax. I’m leaving in a week for a short trip to Europe (more about that in a future post)! So this weekend will be filled with trip planning, packing and running around to buy all the things I’ll need on my trip – like an adapter for my curling wand, because let’s be honest, I can’t go anywhere without the wand.

Below are a few of my favourites from the week.

Favourite laugh:

If you don’t already watch “Whine About It”, you are missing out. The videos feature Matt Bellassai – a BuzzFeed writer who is absolutely hilarious. These short videos are released every Wednesday, and feature Bellassai at his BuzzFeed desk, drinking a whole bottle of wine, and discussing current events and trending topics. The video about is the first season finale, but fear not, the new season starts October 28.

Favourite song:

By day, I am a communications professional for a utility in Toronto, by night I teach dance at a studio to a fantastic group of kids who make me laugh and forget about any sort of stress I have going on. I teach a number of competition routines, one of which I am super excited about this year. It’s a contemporary solo for one of my older students who is a phenomenal dancer and who can tell a beautiful story with her movements. This year, I chose Hunger of the Pine by alt-J as her piece of music – the song is powerful and moving. I’m so excited to see how her solo turns out.

Favourite view:

View from the sixth row. While the Blue Jays are dominating the Toronto sports scene today (and every day), my favourite Leafs are also playing tonight. I’ll be watching both games – three cheers for dual screen capabilities on TVs! Last year I was fortunate enough to go to a handful of Leafs game, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to watch a few in person this year.

Happy Friday,

xx jamie