Friday Five

The Friday Five: Top links to lead you into the weekend: 

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1. Talia Kleinplatz is my soulmate, she just doesn't know it yet. Check out her site Two for the Bar and follow along as she indulges in her love of the drink. 

2. The summer edition of Merry Mag was released this week! Full of inspiring content from, and curated by, editor Melissa DiRenzo of The Sweet Escape, this online magazine is full of inspiration to fulfill your ultimate summer - from DIY projects, entertaining tips, recipes and more, this handmade guide has everything you need. 

3. I need to start a capsule closet. Both Coco & Vera and Style Bee have me convinced! 

4. I'll be in New York next week and staying in the Lower East Side, and since it's one of the few neighbourhoods I haven't explored yet, this guide on The Tig is going to be my bible for the week. 

5. Next Sunday is Father's Day and all this week I've seen many gift guides recommending what to buy for dad. I'm not able to celebrate this day with my dad because I lost him to cancer five years ago, but I'm still able to honour his memory. His favourite place (and mine, too) was our family cottage, of which I shared photos on my blog previously here and will be on my mind more than usual this weekend, I'm sure. Another memory I have of my father is his love of music. I made a playlist of his favourite songs and shared them in this post last October - my dad loved sharing music and the best way I can honour his memory is to further share his favourite songs with others.  

Playlist: Mike's Favourites

My dad is the reason I own my house; he taught me the value of owning over renting and he encouraged me to move back in with him and my mum after university so that I could save up enough for a down payment. I started this blog, formerly called House Before Spouse, to chronicle my journey in first home-buying, so my dad is also the reason, even though indirectly, for this blog's existence. Regretfully, my dad never got to see me purchase this house - he passed away seven months before I was financially able to buy my home. But I know he would have been very proud. Today marks the fifth anniversary of his passing. I think about him often, but this is an especially difficult time of year. My father was a landscaper by trade, but he was also a skilled homebuilder, furniture maker, artist and decorator. It didn't occur to me to think of him as a decorator until recently, but in hindsight it's so obvious since he was the member of the household who made all the decorating decisions, from paint colours to furniture, accessories to art. Until recently, I had thought of him as a landscaper, a builder, a renovator, a contractor...a power tools and lumber kind of a guy. But he was also a decorator. He didn't just build the house, he decorated it. A lot of what makes me who I am comes from him. 

Another interest of my father's was music, and that's what I really want to share today in memory of him. Music was so important to him, so for his wake, I prepared a CD of his favourite songs and made copies for everyone who attended. I used to listen to this collection of songs often on itunes on my old laptop, but that laptop broke down and I lost them. I was tidying a couple of months ago and found the original physical copy of the album I made and I've been listening to it a lot since finding it. My dad was an encyclopedia of music, he could tell you the year every album was made and knew who sang every song. He used to quiz me at the cottage, and would give me the artist's initials if I couldn't guess the song right away. I learned a lot about music and the great jazz/blues/soul/Motown artists from him and I want to pass them on for others to enjoy. Here is the track listing from the compilation I put together of Mike's Favourites: 

I've linked each song title to a version of it on YouTube, I hope you'll take some time to listen to each. If you only have time for one or two, I hope you'll bookmark this post and come back to it, and in the meantime I'd like to direct you to songs 1, 10 and 15 first. Those are my favourites from this list.  :) 

This list is only a small sampling of the songs my dad introduced me to; they remind me of him and I enjoy coming back to them time and time again. I hope I've inspired you to listen to them, and I hope that at least a few of them will become favourites of yours, too.  :)