Annie Lennox: Nostalgia

One of my favourite musicians is due out with a new album this month. Annie Lennox, who has been my musical companion through many a sleepless night, will release "Nostalgia" on October 14th, exclusively on vinyl, and then on disc and digitally on October 21. The CD will come in various styles, including a limited-edition, double-disc version which will have a companion DVD featuring interviews and live performances by Annie. The album is Annie's sixth solo release and features 12 covers of smoky jazz and blues standars originally sung by the likes of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, such as 'I Put a Spell on You' and 'Summertime.' I've heard some of the arrangements and have been happy with Annie's vocals and her darker interpretations of these classics.

Memphis in June
Georgia on My Mind
I Put a Spell on You
I Cover the Waterfront
Strange Fruit
God Bless the Child
You Belong to Me
September in the Rain
I Can Dream, Can't I?
The Nearness of You
Mood Indigo

Anthropologie Shower Curtains

I'm a big believer in footed tubs and shower curtains. Anthropologie shower curtains, in particular, strike a chord with me: all those fantastical, imaginative designs that make a 5:00 AM rinse a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Below are nine of my favourites.


The RRL Ranch in Colorado

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love a great cabin in the wilderness. Maybe it's my Canadian lineage, but there is something so comforting to me about geographical isolation: being surrounded by nature and its unbridled beauty, by things that are made by hand and rustic textures that captivate the eye. I could do very well with only the barest essentials. I could live for a few weeks with just a Coleman stove, a tin pot, an enamel mug and plenty of simple ingredients, with a few blankets and a cot. But, if given the choice, I'd rather have the best of both words: the best of nature and the best of home comforts. Plumbing, a comfortable bed with luxurious linens and a gas range sound pretty good to me. Nothing epitomizes this pairing of rugged American geography and pared-down luxury more than Ralph Lauren's Colorado ranch, known as the Double RL Ranch. (The two R's stand for Ralph and Ricky, his wife.) With over 16,000 acres of unspoiled landscape in the San Juan mountains, it is as remote as one can get. And yet, the series of cabins and small farm houses on the property are all outfitted beautifully, with nods to Native-American heritage and Old-World Americana. Below are several photos of this iconic place...Settle in and stay awhile.



It's his courage that I find alluring. Michael Sam - the first openly-gay man to be drafted into the National Football League. Read his story in the August issue of Out magazine, on stands now. Photography by Richard Phibbs.



The House of Hackney

I first heard about The House of Hackney after a friend had visited London a few years ago. She had wandered into a fabulous shop that sold textiles and fabrics with bold, graphic, colourful prints and left feeling totally inspired. She was quick to tell me about it and I've been watching this emerging brand ever since. It was founded in 2010 by a husband-and-wife team (Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley) who wanted to resurrect the English interior-design traditions (think exuberant chintz upholstery and vibrant wall coverings) while simultaneously subverting those traditions by making them modern. Over the last few years the small company has grown to include a line of clothing, dinnerware, lighting, wallpapers, furniture and outdoor furniture to complement the existing upholstery/fabric business. I long to visit this shop in person. They also now offer two store locations situated in Central and East London. The House of Hackney Flagship store is located in vibrant Shoreditch , a short 10 minutes walk from London’s Liverpool Street Station. Housed in a spectacular 2000sq foot townhouse, the brand's products are available for the first time under one roof in the award-winning store. It has a second location featuring a limited line of 'best-ofs' with a much smaller store-in-store boutique housed in the Liberty London department store near Oxford Circus. Click here to explore their website.


April Showers

I've always loved the rain. It's raining right now, ruining the Friday evening of multitudes of young people across the Toronto area. But I am content in my cozy little place, surrounded by lamp light and books. The sound of the rain on the branches outside my window acts as a balm for the wounds of my hectic week. It's a sound that could never be replicated. So, embrace these April showers, as I have, whether they bring May flowers or not.

listen: here comes the rain again: eurythmics

listen: rain: madonna
listen: rain sounds.