FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design at the University of Toronto 

I love everything Finnish and I love to always be learning. This autumn I am creatively using three vacation days and heading back to school. The University of Toronto Finnish Studies Program in partnership with the Embassy of Finland to Canada are introducing a brand new course – FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design to celebrate Finland’s 100th year of Independence. Finnish Architecture and Design is well known throughout the world and is forefront in Finland’s identity. The course will welcome guest lecturers from Finland which is very exciting. Since I don’t need an undergraduate credit, I decided to audit the course which means all the joys of learning without the stresses of studying, assignments and exams. If you love design and architecture or everything Finnish, definitely consider joining this course or one of the other courses offered by the Finnish Studies program. I am very excited to learn more about Finnish Architecture and Design and hope to share some of my findings and insights along the way. 

Simple Glowy Friday Makeup 

Simple glowy Friday makeup thanks to inspiration from Lauren of Hunter and Heels (@huntersandheels) and her new video “Quick, Easy, Everyday Makeup for Mums“. While not a mum myself, I can definitely embrace a quick makeup routine that makes me look glowy and awake. I started with my R+F Soothe Steps 1, 2 and 3, REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream and then finished with REVERSE Suncreen. I started my makeup by applying Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer (Extra Light). Since I was challenged with lots of insomnia this week, I applied corrector (Light Bisque) followed by the new Instant Full Cover Concealer (Cool Sand) and Nude Finish Illuminating Setting Powder (Bare). On my eyes is Ivory shadow swept across my lid, Cavier applied with a wet eyeliner brush across the top lash line followed by smokey eye mascara (black). Applied blusher (Pale Pink – a blue based pink) to the apple of my cheeks for a pop of pink and Highlighting Powder (Pink Glow). Crystal Lip Gloss applied once on the go. Happy Friday! 

Discovering Finnish Design in Toronto and Beyond 

I have always loved Finnish design and have been surrounded by its beauty my entire life since my family originates from the lovely country of Finland. I love how much of the inspiration ties back to the lakes, nature, Finnish folklore, the Kalevala and nordic simplicity. Finnish design is truly timeless design.

Since I was a child, The Finnish Place has been my resource in Toronto for all things Finnish. First located on Yonge Street in the heart of downtown North York and now a bit farther north at Yonge and John Street in the lovely community of Thornhill. They have a great selection of items made by Aarikka, Arabia, iittala, Kalevala Koru and Marimekko as well as other Finnish brands.

I have always loved the vase designed by the famous Finnish Architect Alvar Altao. It reminds me of the Finnish lakes and the Finns love their time spent by the lake at their mökki – the Finnish term for summer house and definitely not to be confused with a Muskoka summer house. I own two smaller versions of this vase but definitely hope to add a larger one to my collection in the near future. 

Happy to discover on my recent visit that one of my favourite pieces – Kastehelmi tealight candle holders – have returned to Canada and are available again at The Finnish Place. I love lighting these on dark winter evenings as my own form of hygge.

The beautiful Marimekko prints always bring happiness. I own a few of the prints as pillow covers and also have used fabric stapled to a board to create a colourful kitchen print. The Finnish Place has an extensive selection of fabric as well as clothing and accessories in these fun and colourful prints.

You don’t need to be Finnish to add some beautiful Finnish design elements to your home and luckily you don’t need a voyage to the land of the midnight sun either. Always visit The Finnish Place website to make sure they aren’t travelling back home to Finland for new items for the store. If you are not in the Toronto area or may prefer to shop online, these are two websites that specialize in Finnish brands  – Finnish Design Shop and FinnStyle. However to really experience Finnish design, definitely plan a holiday to Finland and immerse yourself from the moment you step off the plane. 

This year Finland celebrates 100 years of independence and design has been in the forefront of its identity since 1917. May this be the year you are inspired to explore, discover and hopefully fall in love with Finnish design. 

The Coach Market Tote 

Since I was little, autumn was my favourite time of year. I always loved back to school fashions and the sense of a new beginning. While it has been many years since I returned to school, I love when I can bring out my cooler weather clothes again. Every autumn I may add a few new pieces if I find something in one of my favourite colours that suit me. 

Over the last few years, I have slowly been trying to add navy instead of black to my basic neutral wardrobe. While September is still a few weeks away, I introduced something new to my accessory wardrobe – a Coach Market Tote in Navy with a Teal coloured lining. I had been looking for a navy purse and/or bag for awhile and happened upon this beautiful one when I recently popped into a Coach store for a look. I consider myself a poster girl and brand ambassador for Coach as I have owned and loved their leather goods for more than two decades. It was love at first site when I saw this tote. I love its versatility – one can open it completely as a tote or close the centre clasp for a purse look. It has a few inside pockets for your mobile or transit pass and a large zippered pocket too. Since I often stop on my way home from work, I needed something to put my work tablet in to bring it with me on the go and this bag is perfect for that. I am also a shutterbug and have been wanting to use my Canon Camera DSLR more often and this tote allows me to take it on my local travels. I love that Coach now allows you personalize your own hang tag. I kept it simple with my initials with a heart to balance them in between. I am always doodling hearts and I love the heart symbol as it represents love and sharing kindness with the world. 


If you haven’t been to Coach recently and are looking for a new purse or tote, pop in to see the new collections. Thank you to Stephanie and Manus at the Coach Store at CF Markville for the amazing service experience. I absolutely love my beautiful new market tote! 

Pretty in Pink Glow 

Thankful to the Bobbi Brown Makeup Artist that introduced me to the Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick in Pink at Harrods London Heathrow. It is definitely a palette well loved and used. Blusher and bronzer simplified into one. I love the warmth of bronzer with a hint of blush for a lovely pretty in pink glow.

The Helsinki Scarf by Balmuir 

There is a hint of autumn in the air today which has me reaching for one of my favourite pieces. The Helsinki Scarf by Balmuir is quite simply the best scarf and shawl ever. I found this brand completely by chance strolling through the accessories section at Stockmann Department Store when in Helsinki a few years ago. As soon as I discovered it, I had to have one to bring back home to Canada. While a bit of a splurge, when you live in a climate with four seasons a cashmere item is a must have. I use mine all the time in winter and a bit in the other seasons too. Worth absolutely every euro I paid for it. I bought mine in a blue shade called midnight as blue always reminds me of Finland. I look forward to investing in a black one when I return to Finland again and hopefully one day they will have my perfect shade of pink too. If you find yourself in Helsinki, definitely drop by Balmuir’s brand new store in Downtown Helsinki at Pohjoisesplanadi 25-27 or visit Stockmann’s to discover this beautiful Finnish brand yourself. A beautiful present for you or someone special to you. 

Choose You

For so many women self care is a challenge. It definitely has been for me since entering my forties. I have tried many times to get back on track and always seem to get sidelined. That definitely needs to change. I have been following Julie Montagu on Instagram and love her positive messaging and focus on health, happiness and wellness. Tonight I decided to sign up for her Truly-Julie community. Look forward to some added inspiration to help me make wellness a priority. 

Remember to choose you.