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    Kena’s 7 summer in the city must-haves

    I love summers in the city! Don’t get me wrong, I deeply appreciate a weekend escape in nature. I grew up on the east coast of Canada surrounded by the ocean and spent summers hiking. But I’m a city girl at heart and love all that summer in the city has to offer. There are countless markets, parks and neighbourhoods to explore. And after a winter dashing from door to door, barely seeing anyone — it’s nice to be out actually enjoying the city with others.

    Here are my must-haves for making the most of summer in the city:

    It’s important to stay hydrated especially when coffees in the park and beers on a patio are a part of the full summer experience! My SOMA water bottle is shatter-resistant with an easy grip sleeve and colors that happen to be very BRIKA. 🙂 The bamboo cap and smooth mouth opening are design features that I especially appreciate along with the fact that for every bottle sold, a donation is made to a water charity.

    Summers in Toronto are sticky and hot! I rely on Lovefresh Moroccan Rose Natural Deodorant to keep me feeling fresh. I’ve known founder Stacey Davis for years and she has consistently come out with quality, beautiful products (check out her new baby line!). This deodorant is handmade with only natural ingredients in Toronto.

    Right down the street from BRIKA HQ is one of Toronto’s most popular and famous parks. Nestled right in the middle of the trendy Queen Street West neighborhood — it’s the perfect place to read a book, meet friends or people watch but not without this blanket! The La Playa Blanket by Morning Culture is a bestseller at BRIKA during the summer time. It is perfect for picnics in the park, dockside reading or fireside cuddling. It is made on in-home looms by artisans in Mexico.

    There are two trends I’m all over this summer… the color blush (a soft pink) and confetti interpreted in unusual ways. This casual t-shirt by my friend Adrienne, is the perfect color to warm up your skin tone and the confetti design is fun and unexpected. I like to wear it with the sleeves rolled up and paired with cutoff denim shorts or distressed jeans on the weekend.

    Despite all the trendy cold caffeinated drinks available these days, I’m a purist when it comes to coffee and am particular about the mug I drink out of. This lovely ceramic mug was handmade exclusively for BRIKA by Ayu Lasarati, an Indonesian born artisan now based in Toronto. I love the color (blush again!), the texture and the elegant simplicity of the design.

    Speaking of confetti — I have my eye on this handmade vegan leather backpack by Israel-based Lee Coren. The exterior zip pocket is perfect for easy access to my phone, the straps are fully adjustable and it is lightweight yet roomy. Basically the perfect accessory for city exploration!

    A good clutch is functional and can take you easily from day to evening — they also make great gifts! These shimmery clutches are handmade of washable paper fabric and feature a reclaimed blue jean zipper. Like your favorite pair of jeans, the zip closure may take time to glide smoothly so I recommend a few opening and closing pills before use to wear it in!

    Whatever your plans this summer, I hope you make the most of what it has to offer. And above all else, spend it doing things you love!

    Kena Paranjape
    Co-founder & Crafter of Brand
    BRIKA.com