Saturday, October 30, 2010

Birthday spooks!

This year at Halloween, I'm getting the spook of my life: Turning 36! I've always loved having my birthday the day before Halloween: You have an instant party & people are excited and having fun, getting ready for the events ahead. Today we are looking forward to just relaxing and getting a few little jobs done around the house since tomorrow will bring goblins and ghouls to our home for a pre-trick or treating party.


My best birthday gift ever: These two munchkins....how I love them!






















Have a spooky and safe Halloween weekend!!














Thursday, October 28, 2010

CSN Product Review

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the folks at CSN to do a product review. I was happy to oblige! I was shocked by the amount of things they sell online. I had a difficult time making a choice, but finally settled on a 'sleep over' bag for my horse obsessed daughter. I received the package in the mail this week, and was happy with what I saw.






The process was very easy, and there was no extra duty fees for shipping to Canada (yah!). The product is so cute, and I know Cayla will love it!!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Home Tour: Living Room

I have been delaying this tour until my table was finally ready. Now that it is done, and put into place, I will show you around my living room. As a kid, I never understood the 'formal living room'. I mean really, what's the point? No one uses them anyways. Well, now that I have kids, I get it. This is Mommies refuge. A place to put my pretties, a place to relax with a cup of tea while I blog or read, a refuge, if even for just 5 minutes, from the busyness of life. During our house hunt for our next home, I will be looking for a home with a separate living room and family room....a task proving difficult, as this is certainly not a popular style these days. Great rooms abound.

Get some coffee and get ready, as this has turned out to be one looooong post. Who knew a living room could have so much to say?

My room is far from perfect, or finished. I had many more plans for it, that alas, will never see completion due to our pending move. I started from scratch with this room as I didn't have a formal living room in my previous home. While it was fun to create the look, it was also daunting and overwhelming with such a large, empty room!

Before:



These are pictures from when we toured the home, before we bought it.


After:




Hardwood floors were a must in here. Otherwise, the bones of the room were already pretty good. There was crown molding, french doors, a bay window and nice chunky baseboards. We slapped on some paint, and it was a perfect blank canvas to fill.




The first thing I found was this fabric, 1/2 price at Chintz and Co. It was my jumping off point for the feel and colours in this room. I took a swatch to the paint store, and we complimented it with Benjamin Moore's Seaspray. While it is much lighter than the other colours in my home, I absolutely love it; it reads as a rich creamy colour, sometimes with green or taupe-ish undertones. The trim colour is Cloud White.


I started with two sofas, as opposed to a sofa and love seat. The room is large enough, and I prefer this look. I chose a cream sofa (call me crazy, when I have two kids) which is the perfect blank canvas, that will hopefully stand the test of time and changes in taste. You could easily add different style pillows to totally change the look. I am going for a more relaxed traditional feel, but add in some funky pattern and colour, and it could easily be more contemporary. I have exposed legs on my two side chairs, so I opted to have a skirt on the sofas. I added these pillows which I collected over time.





So now I had the seating, but not much of anything else. In came Grandma's furniture. This was a turning point for the room, as I didn't want it to look all matchy matchy, with new furniture. I wanted character and charm, and age. Her pieces fit the bill nicely.



I found this turned base table at a local furniture store for $100, which I thought was a great deal.

The round coffee table is from my favorite furniture store, Cobble Hill Fine Furnishings. I wasn't sure about my choice of a round table, but it's grown on me. You'll notice the lack of accessories on the table....still working on the details. I prefer a room that comes together over time, rather than thrown together quickly. The art work was a combination of gifts and a few found pieces. It takes me a while to find a piece of art I love. I am certainly not fussy about whether or not it's an artists proof, giclee etc. If I like it, I buy it. I also prefer not to have just framed prints on the wall. I'd love to incorporate some other cool wall decor...perhaps some salvaged materials??





My fern, oh, my fern. I am not a big fan of fakies...plants that is. However, this corner was screaming for greenery and after the umpteenth fern death, I bit the bullet and bought this fakey. It is from Chintz and Co, and is a high end (read-expensive) fakey. I like it, but I don't love it. The table it sits on may also be getting a makeover. Perhaps some cream or french gray paint? Distressing? I'm waiting until we move to see where its new spot will be and will then decide.


In my new home, I want to make my living room space a little less stuffy and formal. I still love the bright, feminine space but with perhaps a few more fun accessories thrown into the mix? It's fun to think about all the decorating possibilities in my future!

I love my 'grown up' living room!

Linking to my favorite Parties!





Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Master Plan for the Master Bedroom

Ok, I may be a wee bit premature in planning for my Master bedroom, seeing as how we'll be moving soon, and have yet to find our new home; However, I have so many ideas a-brewin that I thought I would put them in writing here. After 4 years of major renovation in our current home, our Master Bedroom was the last to be done. It will never get its chance, as we will be moving soon (likely the spring, if all goes as planned). I did compile many inspirational photos of how I want my bedroom to be: Feminine, toiles, plaids, chintz, gathered bedskirt, pretty. My poor, dear husband. Guess he can always retreat to his shop for some good ole manly power tools and grease.

Here are my inspiration photos thus far:



Image: House Beautiful Align Left



I crave over the top, lush, beautiful fabrics with a hint o' pretty English Country charm. The rest of my home is 'pretty', yes, but more restrained and less frou frou. This is one area that I want to splurge & be a bit over the top!


Image from the Shabby Nest




And here are my choices so far:

Fabric for curtains & accessory pillows:


Bosporus Flax, as inspired by Sherry from Creations from my Heart. In fact, the following inspiration photo is from her blog, and has now become an inspiration for myself also!





Bedskirt:





Something along these lines. A plaid to compliment the drapery fabric. I currently have a box pleat style bedskirt, but I'm ready for a gathered skirt with a bit of pouf!


Bedding:





A Matelasse, such as the one pictured above at the Linen Place, in an off white is a common theme in my inspiration photos.


Bed:



Perhaps the North River 4 Poster bed by Martha Stewart.



Current armoire and bedside tables:


This set may be moved to our guest room. It depends on how the rest of the room comes together and what the layout of our new room will be. I don't really care for the sante fe vibe going on with this set, but perhaps that can be changed with a little paint. Simply by putting them in with the rest of the decor of the room, they may lose that southwest look and blend more in with my English Country theme?? We'll have to see about that.



Yes, that is my cats tail in the bottom corner.....always so curious and in the way!

I also don't care for matchy end tables, although these are quite functional (I love a drawer to keep my magazines and books hidden). I love the look of a small chest of drawers for a nightstand, or a round table. Hmmm, we'll see once this room starts coming together.


While I have typically in my last homes left the Master Bedroom until last to get 'done', I think I'm going to make an exception in my next home and prioritize our Master Retreat. Stay with me as my new decorating adventures unfold!


Linking to my favorite Parties!






























Monday, October 18, 2010

Table Refinished

Remember this post? You have to reach way back in your memory...to July to be exact. Well that's how life goes around these parts. Many projects on the go, mixed in with kids, work, running a business etc etc. Ok, enough of my pitiful excuses. I'm happy to report that this table is now done!!!

I have admired this table, in its broken state, in my Grandma's basement for 2o years!! When her furniture was being distributed to the family (she was moving into a care facility), I jumped at the chance to take this table and restore it. With the help of my hubby, it is now a piece of furniture that I love. It not only is beautiful in its own right, but it is special to me as it reminds me of my Nana, who took great pride in her home and always kept it looking so beautiful.

A reminder of how it looked before:


Poor, sad, broken, partially stripped table. How lovely I can see you will be. I am sure glad Nana spotted you at that yard sale and saw your potential.

After:



I started to add my accessories to it, just to see how it would look. It needs to set for 24 hours, but I was too anxious to check it out in it's finished state! I am going to play around with the accessories, until I get it just right.....hmmm, maybe I feel another post coming on??


The only thing that will stay is this lamp. The rest, I will shop the house for.


The stain colour turned out really well.





The repairs to the bottom also worked out great. Good job Hubby!


Here's how we did it: First, I stripped off the old dark stain. It was a very long process as there is a lot of detail to this table. I then sanded, sanded, and sanded.



My husband screwed and glued the broken pieces back together.





I then applied pre-stain and several coats of Provincial 211 stain by Minwax. I found it difficult to choose a stain colour...there are so many choices out there! I'm happy with the final result. The top of the table is much lighter than the legs (a different wood, I suppose), and took 3 coats to get the colour I liked. The legs only took one coat.



I finished it with Polyurethane in satin. I love the final result and it is encouraging me to get my next furniture refinishing project completed!

Linking to my favorite Parties!

Pumpkin Rolls



We are lucky enough to have neighbours who supply us with organically grown vegie boxes and free range eggs every other week. This recipe for Pumpkin Rolls is from our friend Heather, who owns this farm, and they are divine!


I whipped up a batch of these this morning.....nothing quite like fresh warm rolls with butter.


Cut a pumpkin into chunks, and remove the pulp. Bake in a covered casserole dish for 2 hours at 350 F. Remove skin from flesh and puree or mash by hand.


Mix 1 tbsp yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and set aside.
Combine 2/3 cup scalded milk, 1 cup cooked pumpkin, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/3 cup melted butter. When lukewarm add yeast mixture and 2 cups whole wheat flour. Beat well then stir in 2-3 cups white flour. Knead the dough as you add the flour, folding and turning the dough over itself. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel to rise until doubled.




Shape into 2-3 inch balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 degress for 15 minutes.

After baking, spread with butter and enjoy the yumminess!