Printed cloth napkins | Printed cloth napkins

I love setting a table for dinner. I personally think that the way you present your food is just as important as what your food tastes like. You can serve your guests a  mediocre meal with flair and style and pull off an epic dinner party. But you serve fantastic fare with bare-bones presentation and you’ll fall flat on your face.

A huge part of a good place-setting is the napkin and the best way to impress is with a linen napkin. Perhaps it’s my graphic design background but my personal favourites are napkins that feature text. I have seen love letters, sonnets, etiquette tips and I have made some of my own with recipes printed on them. I have pulled together some examples of my favourite printed cloth napkins.


EAB Design Paris napkins

Printed Paris napkins from EAB Designs

Eat napkins Etsy

Eat printed napkins from ReinventingOrdinary on Etsy

Love letter napkins

Love letter napkins from UncommonGoods

Manner napkins

Manner napkins from UrbanBirdandCo


One of my favourite Toronto neighbourhoods | Distillery District


Distillery district

The Distillery District of Toronto lies at the bottom of Parliament Street south of Front Street, east of the financial district and west of the Don Valley. The 13-acre area is the former site of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The neighbourhood contains more than 40 heritage buildings and 10 streets, and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America. The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988. The area is nothing like a dry museum, though. Its lively and charming cobblestone streets are closed to vehicular traffic and encompass a solid concentration of artist’s studios and galleries, boutiques and high-end retailers.

Gristmill Lane

Pikto 20 Gristmill Lane  Photobooks, workshops and a great gallery.416-203-3443 

Segway Of Ontario 30 Gristmill Lane  Segway sales, rentals and tours.Bike rentals.416-642-0008

The Sport Gallery 46 Gristmill Lane  Gallery specializing in sports photography. 416-861-8514

A Taste Of Quebec 52 Gristmill Lane  A gallery/boutique featuring the best of Quebec artisans specializing in ceramics, wood, glass and jewellery. 416-364-5020

Tank House Lane

Corkin Gallery 7 Tank House Lane  One of Canada’s premier galleries. with over ten thousand square feet of space and an impressive roster of influential artists. 416-979-1980

Biltmore Domicile 11 Tank House Lane  Custom sofas and sectionals plus a selection of reclaimed wood furniture.. 416-360-7632

Pure Spirits Oyster House 17 Tank House Lane 416-361-5859

Mill Street Brewpub 21 Tank House Lane 416-681-0338

Distill 24 Tank House Lane, Suite 103  Handmade works form Canadian artisans. 416-304-0033

Blossom Lounge 24 Tank House Lane, Suite 101 416-777-1744

Jacob & Sebastian 27 Tank House Lane 647-405-8930

Bergo Designs 28 Tank House Lane  Sprawling giftware store featuring items curated from well-known industrial designers. 416-861-1821

Soma Chocolatemaker 32 Tank House Lane  Well, really, is there anything negative to be said about artisan chocolate? 416 815 7662

Soulpepper Theatre Company 50 Tank House Lane One of the most well-respected theatre companies in Toronto. 416-203-6264

Young Centre For The Performing Arts 50 Tank House Lane  416-866-8666

Brick building

Distillery Lane

Arta Gallery 14 Distillery Lane 416-364-2782

Hastens Beds Canada 18 Distillery Lane Have you ever wanted a glamorous circular bed? You’ll find it at Hastings. 416-619-4480

Thompson Landry Gallery 32 Distillery Lane 416-364-4955

Mill Street

Julie M. Gallery 15 Mill Street, Toronto 416-603-2626

Ontario Spring Water Sake Company 55 Mill Street  Sake brewery using traditional Japanese methods and recipes with delicious Ontario spring water. The retail store store features a tasting bar with high ceilings and old limestone walls. 416-365-7253

Distillery doorway

Trinity Street

Tappo Restaurant + Wine Bar 2 Trinity Street 647-430-1111

John Fluevog Shoes 4 Trinity Street Unique, Canadian designed men’s and women’s shoes.

Corktown Jewellery Designs 5 Trinity Street Lots of original artisan jewelery and small accessory lines. 416-861-3020

Thompson Landry Cooperage Gallery 6 Trinity Street 416-364-4955

Reiner’s Originals (inside Sound Design)  7 Trinity Street Charming leather animal ottomans. Perfect for the family room and surprisingly durable. 519-746-7391

Cabinet 10 Trinity Street 416-923-9234

Blackbird Vintage Finds 11 Trinity Street Too many cool finds to list and always something different every time. 416-681-0558 

Lileo 12 Trinity Street 416-413-1410

Crescendo Oils & Vinegars 13 Trinity Street 416-214-9555

HOI BO 15 Trinity Street Interesting waxed canvas handbags. 647-852-5488

Stirling Room 16 Trinity Street 416-364-3900

Jessica Rose Designs 17 Trinity Street Ladies wear; draped, comfortable dresses. 647-338-7613

Gentil Uomo 19 Trinity Street Gentlemen’s fashions. 416-214-0008

Gotstyle Distillery 21 Trinity Street Well-known west Queen west men’s retailer has expanded to include women’s clothes. 416-260-9696

Brick Street Bakery 27 Trinity Street 416-214-4949

Archeo 31 Trinity Street 416-815-9898

Case Goods Lane

Mini Mioche 6 Case Goods Lane  Organic, eco-conscious and Canadian made children’s clothing.

Caffe Furbo 12 Case Goods Lane 416-833-6560

Mint Boutique 6 Rack House Mews 416-368-6468

Spectacle 18 Rack House Mews 416-484-9000

Distillery window

Make an all-natural reed diffuser | diffuser

Dog face

That face! As much as I love him like one of the family I am the first one to admit he can stink. (he insists it’s just my imagination but…no)  As a result I’m always looking for ways to freshen the house but I hate chemical, cloying scents. One of my favourite ways of using natural scents is with a reed diffuser which can get pretty pricey so I make my own.


Diffuser supplies
1. A jar that has a relatively small mouth so that the scent doesn’t evaporate too quickly.
2. Reeds, rattan are best because they have vertical channels that wick the scent up the length of the sticks but bamboo will work if you don’t have rattan. You could even use bamboo skewers from the dollar store. The reeds should be twice the height of the container.
3. Carrier oil, safflower, sweet almond or grape seed oil will all work
4. Essential oils have become quite easy to find and you can get really creative here. Lavender, clove, lemon… have fun with it.
5. Alcohol,  rubbing alcohol from the drugstore or in a pinch vodka will work, just make sure it is at least 90% alcohol.
Combine one quarter cup of the carrier oil, 25ish drops of the essential oil, one teaspoon of the alcohol together in the jar. set the reeds in place and once they become saturated turn them over regularly (weekly) to increase the scent.
Reeds for diffuser
Lavender in the fall… cloves at Christmas… lemon in the summer…

What should I use for a spring scent?