Top Ten Reasons Why I Heart Canada

1. Three of my favorite bloggers are in Canada: Sarah in Vancouver, Jen in Toronto & Kim in Montreal.

2. Affordable travels. Yup, Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living survey ranked Canadian cities among the most affordable cities to visit.

3. They understand me! When I went to the French-speaking cities of Montreal & Quebec, I didn’t have to speak French…well, I don’t know how (except for the thank you’s & goodbyes,I have my Rosetta stone trial right now though).

4. Get the European feel close to home. Breathtaking architecture, cobblestone streets, beautiful churches are all over…not only in Quebec but also in Ontario & the maritime provinces.

5. Canadians seem to embrace the “Make love, not war mantra.” C’mon, have you ever heard of the country involved in any quarrels with another country? I haven’t!

6. It’s very multiculural. I love a country who doesn’t have prejudices, it makes you experience the people & differing cultures with utter delight.

7. I don’t mean this in a condescending way at all, but without Celine Dion’s soaring tunes, where would the karaoke world be?

8. Canada Dry. My drink of choice during flights, it’s refreshing ginger ale! Do you know there are wonderful recipes for this drink at From Wildcat Punch to Tailgating Gin & Tonic.

9. Brightly coloured bills & unique coins. Who wouldn’t want to see multi-colored money? They look so beautiful, so much more fun than the boring American dollar!

10. How they love the letter “U.” Have you noticed it? It’s not color, it’s colour, or humor, it’s humour. I think it’s incredibly chic!

So, Canadians & Non-Canadians, why do you heart Canada?__________________________________________________________________

And, yes, the shop loves Canada so much, we do ship to the country at very affordable shipping rates….peruse the SHOP NOW!

Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at The Inglenook Decor.

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You can e-mail me anytime!

I’m a social media addict of course!

Or you can personal friend me on Facebook here. And if you’re a designer, decorator, event & wedding planner/stylist, stager…you can e-mail me at to know more about our “To The Trade Program.”

I would love to hear from you! I’m very friendly & I acknowledge all the time…I do! πŸ™‚

Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at

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I love…patisseries & french macaroons so much! A simple cafe au lait is always my cup ofΒ  choice. Courtyards with cobblestone walkways, ivy creeping on brick walls and an adorable awning close by is like heaven here on Earth for me. I’m an extreme lover of vintage shops & antique alleys. I love finding the finds. Curious where everything comes from a la American Pickers & always travel hungry like Samantha Brown & Andrew Z of the Travel Channel. I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. I’m extremely non-sporty & afraid of heights. I believe it’s extremely important to acknowledge people and to always display integrity & humility with each & every encounter. I’m hoping I’m doing just that, online & offline.

my bliss

My sweet daughter…she’s really sweet, most of the time!

My baby…he’s so supportive. We just got married December 2010. See a post of the planning
the biz
A Physical Therapist turned online retailer…go figure & talk about going into unchartered territory. This wasn’t a whim, it was planned yet experience is still the best teacher. Running an online shop is extremely hard without an online & offline marketing background {jeesh…search engine optimization, meta tags, html was totally alien to me!}. Yet, it’s blissful! I love finding finds…if that makes sense and I just love sharing it. I have wonderful customers who tells me I’m doing a great job & that keeps me going! So, if you’re not a subscriber or customer yet, please check out the shop, The Inglenook Decor. I will be more than grateful!

The truth is I have such a big vision which hopefully go beyond the online shop. There have been some disappointments {but mostly triumphs!} along the way but didn’t they say, persistence is key? That’s exactly what I’m doing! I have so much passion for this new venture, see it here.

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Being a Lady

I recently came across this uber-cute print from Lauren Nicole at her Etsy Shop which begs the question “Are you a Lady?”

I had to dig through Google’s archives and these are the characteristics of a lady:

Proper young ladies do not indulge in cosmetics, hair-dyes or other forms of insincerity in personal appearance… hmmm, what if it’s just minimal make-up or the hair-dyeing ritual is only done twice a year? I’m still a lady right?

An unmarried young woman, up to the age of thirty, must always accompanied by a chaperone when she goes out….we really have gone a long way haven’t we?

She never uses vulgarisms, flippancy, coarseness, triviality or provocation in her speech. Scandal is the least excusable of all conversational vulgarities….agree! No more checking out tabloids while checking out at the grocery store.

Ladies do not wear pearls or diamonds in the morning….??? But diamonds are a girl’s bestfriend πŸ™

Under no circumstances could a lady call on a gentleman alone unless she is consulting that gentleman on a professional or business matter….doesn’t say anything about sending them a tweet or writing on their wall in facebook.

A lady is sympathetic, unselfish and animating in her listening. To show any interest in the immediate concerns of people is very complimentary. She must maintain cheerful conversation… very true! It should include conversations by e-mail here.

Whether grief or joy, emotions should be subdued in public and only allowed full play in private apartments…think I’ve followed this one so far.

On horseback, a lady rode side saddle, alternating sides each day so as not to develop an overly enhanced buttock on one side. Riding astride was looked on as risque….Gosh! I learn something new everyday. But nowadays, isn’t an “enhanced buttock” a plus?

{information from}
Manners for Women by Mrs. Humphry, a facsimile reproduction of an 1897 publication.

Well, you’re probably a Lady of the new millenium & this wonderful art is just for you! Check out the shop at: LaurenNicoleLove
Shop Updates:
Thanks Lindsay for the post at EverythingLEB & Edward at Home Interior Design Themes for the fabulous post.
Yay for giveaways at Room Remix!
Found some glitches in the e-commerce inventory control, all taken care of now though.
Got my articles accepted at Ezine articles….yay!
Up my Google Adwords Budget, let’s see if it will work, right now, my keywords places me at the #10 position although O’m 1st or 2nd in the natural search for “modern vintage decor”…think that’s awesome!
Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at The Inglenook Decor.

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Mishaps & Ongoings at the Shop

I had an amazing revelation after watching the movie, The Julie/Julia project tonight. I can tell my daughter was utterly bored while watching the movie with me but I can’t help but rave about it. C’mon to know that the famous Julia Child also went through struggles & thoughts that her book wouldn’t make it or Julie Powell’s desperation when she first started the blog & felt that nobody was out there reading it or her utter joy when she received her very first comment. Truly most bloggers long for the acknowledgement. To receive multitudes of comments or to reach that place when you have hundreds (or some even thousands of followers) is sort of a stamp of acceptance in the blogosphere. I do sometimes get a tint of envy with bloggers who have reached this level but now more of admiration. I know I can learn a thing or two from them. I fumble every weekend looking for great images & ideas for the blog yet I always fall short of what other bloggers have to offer.

It also made me think about the main reason why I wanted to start this blog, it was to feature my struggles & triumphs in opening a storefront. Sure, I want to also show what inspires me, wonderful furniture & decor, amazing vignettes, new trends & up & coming designers. But it was also about being transparent & journal my journey. But somewhere along the way I got scared of writing about this solely. That you would see how small the beginnings are (and the hope that it won’t stay small forever!), or the fear that more pressure would be on me (believe me I put enough pressure on myself!).

So this week, let me tell you about a few ongoings at my little online shop, mostly mishaps but oh well!

Ooopsies…… two merchandise for two different people were accidentally exchanged. They were giveaways & thank you’s. Luckily enough, the people involved, Alicia at Delightful & Delovely & Kristin of Bonbonrose are the sweetest, kindest people in the blog world. They totally made me feel better & not wallow in this extremely “duh” moment.

More oopsies…a customer got her merchandise but when she opened it, it was broken into pieces. When I got the e-mail, I really did get extremely worried & sad. Like this is the end of the shop. At our practice, I always preach about finding solutions & not focusing on the problem & yet, when you are the company, the only person to blame, you can’t help but pull your hair or kick yourself in the butt (if I only could!). I did call her & shipped the same merchandise (had one more in the inventory!) on the same day & asked the people at the local shipping/mail office to give me a quick Shipping Seminar 101.

And more….I ordered some shipping boxes & for some reason I ordered a 3 x 3 x 3, in inches folks, i couldn’t fit any of my merchandise in it! And yes, I bought it in bulk. What was I thinking?

As Alanis Morissette once said, “You live, you learn.” And learned, I did!

I did get some relief though. My fiancee helped me box some merchandise this week. He even showed me how to tape it right. Thanks babe! One of my co-workers printed out some labels for me & helped me navigate USPS & I got the Line of Credit (yes guys, the shop needs money) I applied for and my banker totally loves the shop. She wants me to help her decorate her home. I’m doing a tutorial about Google Adwords & did sign up for the service already. I found my SEO/SEM guy (search engine optimization & search engine marketing) & a writer have contacted me about a possible write-up (keeping my fingers….and legs crossed for this one:)).

Oh, while looking for information about the shop (yes, c’mon admit it, you have googled yourself before!) and found this link.

The shop is # 3. That’s our home address although the phone number is wrong. I’m somewhat afraid that people are already attempting to go inside the shop πŸ™‚

And so, these are the ongoings at the shop for this week. I have to tell you that I do have to write more about the shop/site (per advise of the SEO guy). The more backlinks & product spotlights I create to any product or page, the more google will crawl my site right?! I feel I do have to apologize for this, yet I hope you understand ….it’s a must! So as Julie Powell wrote in that movie, somebody’s reading this right? Anybody?!

Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at The Inglenook Decor.

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Painted Furniture & Accessories

Some of you might now that I’m living in two places 270 miles apart. My practice is in Southeast Texas & my would-be home is Austin. Sold my Beaumont home four months back & my wonderful, wonderful fiancee’s sister has just been too sweet & kind to let me stay with her (I may hear some groaning when she reads this post, lol!). Gosh, the travel does take it’s toll & my focus has been split in two (hmmm, I guess you can’t call it focus then!), between the shop & the practice but what I miss the most is having the space & time to do some furniture revamp & doing some personalized stufff.

I was in a “wood painting” & “the painted furniture” mood for a month.

Created some personalized wood plaques for some of my friend’s kids. I even had names for them! Striped, french script, americana, denim, chateau, maison, paris hotel,etc.
My first furniture painting project. This pedestal table was in good shape. Painted it yellow then distressed it.
Distressing a candleholder that’s already distressed!

Spray painted this vintage fan, painted the stool & I’m not sure if you could see where I turned the legs of old table & chairs (beside the frame) into bangle holders. Someday, others will think it’s an ingenious idea, too!

I even had time to create an outdoor vignette! I was practicing decorating my dream shop with a lovely courtyard. Zebra design was so in at that time, I had to paint the piano stool (another flea market find) in this style. Oh & the harlequin tray (yellow & brown) was so hard to make. It turned out perfectly imperfect!

I have a new post at the site’s Decorating Tips & Ideas section: Demystifying the Color Dilemma. Check it out!
Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at The Inglenook Decor.
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Modern + Sustainable: So Chic!

Sure we’ve seen bamboo furniture & accessories everywhere. But have you heard of abaca, buri, rattan or lampakanai? They are all exotic materials, one is an herb, the other a stem & the other a stately palm mostly indigenous to the Philippine islands. I can’t help but be awed by these furniture & accessories that are all inspired by nature & yet comes off as incredibly modern & definitely chic!
I saw the Voyage Bed in Domino Magazine (April 2008) & instantly fell in love with it!

Whimsical lighting anyone?

Perfect in a cabana!

Clean lines & sustainable materials, I can see these sofas & chairs indoors or outdoors.

And lastly, their operetta pet bed. So adorable!
Go on & peruse this designer’s collection at
Have you read the Decorating Tip of the Week? Visit our site:

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Post Vacation Blues

I can’t believe it’s been a week since my 2-week vacation ended. I’m still having some vacation blues. Once in a while, I love sharing some personal pictures, sort of what I’ve been up to. These are highlights of my Chicago trip & a little recap.
1. Home Decor Shopping. Need I say more? This was so much fun!

2. Botanical Garden. One of the best botanical gardens I’ve seen so far.It’s so beautiful, we had to go twice πŸ™‚

I just had to pose with the hydrangeas. Gorgeous!

3. Food tripping. So many culinary offerings, I think we had every cuisine there is. From New Asian to Italian, Organic to American, Greek to Persian.

Brunch at M. Henry

Early Dinner at Piccolo Sogno. We watched a Beyonce concert after (she was fabulous btw).
4. Yes, we just had to do the Architectural Cruise. Amazing skyline! I’ve only been in Chicago on a winter so this was certainly a treat.

5. The greeting. Our host delighted us with this basket of toiletries, towels neatly displayed with a ribbon, our itineraries printed in colored paper with Chicago sceneries. How thoughtful is that?

I’m working on more articles for the “Decorating Tips & Ideas” for the site & new products are coming soon so stay tuned!

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Gracias, Danke,Bedankt,Grazie,Merci!

I can find so many ways to say thank you who have spread some site love! I know I’ve probably said this a million times, but I’m so grateful! πŸ™‚

Thanks for grabbing an “Inglenook Decor” button:

Alison at My Little Happy Place
Kirti at K the Blogger
Mimi at Design my Way
Sarah at Sarah Klassen
Kristine at Life with Keiki
Sissy at My Blue Hydrangea

and the sweet, sweet post & interview!

Averill at Odi ta Amo
Paula at Two Ellie
Heather at Doodlebuds
Jennie at Creative in my Mind

Alicia at Delightful & Delovely for being so, so helpful, Cassandra at Coco Kelley for introducing me to Chelsea & Sarah for her wonderful design eye.

Gosh, there’s so much work ahead of me but the support is making me blush πŸ™‚ Last thank you, in Filipino, Maraming Salamat!

Visit our site:

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Garden Kick

I’m still in my garden kick as I’m in deep thought of which plant to put in my terrarium. An advice from a reader said, as long as it’s a plant that can take a lot of humidity, it’s ok to leave the zinc tops on (thanks Teresa!). I’m always in a garden kick anyway! My friends know that I just love garden chic parties. Right now I’m dreaming of a party with….

Luscious Green Hydrangeas

Antique white birdbaths adorning a long table.

Refreshing mint juleps

And doiley-inspired plates in different shapes and sizes

Of course it wouldn’t hurt if the party was decorated by Nefi. This gorgeous event envisioned & created by this event designer is just amazing!
Happy weekend everyone!
Photos {,, The Inglenook Decor}
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