Scents (and Sensibility)

With Mother's Day just around the corner, you may have flowers on the brain. One of the most beautiful scents I've come across on women is 'Red Roses' by Jo Malone. Made from seven different varieties of roses, crushed violet and citrus notes it makes a soft but lasting impression. Available at Holt Renfrew, JoMalone.com and eBay.ca. Gift box $100.

If actual flowers are more your style, keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Never put daffodils in arrangements with other flowers. Acidic enzymes in their stems will toxify the water and kill the other flowers. Daffodils should be arranged on their own.

  • Cut stems at a 45-degree angle. This keeps the stems from sitting flat in the vase and creates a larger surface area for the stem to absorb water.

  • Remove any leaves that might sit under the water in the vase. Foliage under the water will rot and spawn bacteria, which will shrink the flowers' lifespan. Stripping the stems of leaves below the water level will ensure a longer life for the blooms.

  • For cut flowers to survive, they need sugar for nourishment and an acidic ingredient, like lemon-lime soda or an Aspirin tablet, which softens the stems, allowing them to absorb more water. A tiny drop of bleach in the water will keep bacteria at bay.


Still Mad for Marie

I'm not over the whole Marie Antoinette hype. I love ruffles, bows and chunky, decadent baubles that scream femininity. A couple of items I've been pondering are Girlsforfrisk.com's necklaces and Vanessa Barrantes' Sophia dress (available at Lola Y Maria) - lovely! All that's missing are some petit fours and a cup of tea.


Design Your Life

A blueprint on how to design your life. Sounds so typically 'Martha', doesn't it? Well, that's because it is. In 2006 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia launched its fourth magazine: Blueprint. The slim glossy is filled to brimming with crafts, recipes and weekend projects for the younger set: think of a 25 year-old Martha Stewart and you've got your blueprint drawn. The photography is lovely and clean, the projects are surprisingly fun and easy and the recipes inolve everything from the perfect martini to the best grilled cheese sandwiches. There are articles on music, fashion, books and the latest design trends. One of my favourite sections is the "100 Things" column, which is a list of 100 sayings, fashion accessories, films or web links you will find yourself returning to as a fun source of information. Another nice feature is a detachable shopping guide based around a theme, like how to stock the perfect home bar or how to buy a couch that suits your needs. Roll out the blueprint and start sketching your plans!


Lula Love

You know when you happen upon something that is so fabulous, you can't believe you'd never heard of it before? Lula magazine, launched in the UK by fellow Canadian Leith Clark, is packed full of gorgeous, whimsical fashion photography. Unlike a typical fashion mag, which has three shoots at most, Lula is cover-to-cover eye candy - even the articles and interviews are accompanied by fantastic-looking imagery. The $14 price tag might seem a little hefty but this is no quick flip-through - it's a collector's item. Yet another magazine to add to my ever-growing collection. The fourth issue is currently on newsstands and I'm kicking myself for missing the first three; lulamag.com.