Friday, 31 May 2013

Upgraded Bathroom Frames

We made it to Friday! Yippee!

Just wanted to stop by for a quick sec while all the boys are down for their nap to share a frame upgrade that I did yesterday. I seem to have a real thing for frames these days eh?

It is an easy solution that made all the difference in my mind.


So this what they looked like originally. Common-law and I bought them years back because we loved the colours in the art but I never did like the frame. The black trim just wasnt for me. I've been meaning to do something about that ever since.

*Finley helped with this project as you can see - less the spray painting of course. Ill have him doing his own projects soon enough!


Yesterday was that day. First I stripped down the back. It was quite a get-up back there.


After getting through the tape and zillion staples I was left with just the frames. They got an all over light sanding.


Then I applied numerous light coats of spray paint. The key is to do a little at a time in order to achieve an even smooth finish.

Once the final coat has dried completely go ahead and reassemble. Make sure your glass is clean! It is a lot of unnecessary work to get everything back in there and done up only to realize there are noticeable specs. Been there, done that.

Now all thats left is hanging. The fun part! For me at least. Robert, Sarah, and Finley may not have enjoyed having me boss them to move the frames back and forth, up and down before settling on a spot. All while hanging out in the bathroom. *Well, Finley didn't mind I don't think. He seemed to think it was silly!


These frames used to live on a wall in our master bedroom but they were too small for the space. So I decided to relocate them to the main floor bath. In there they are oversized and I absolutely love that look in a small space, stacked above one another. The bathroom needs more love that is for sure and these frames a great start.



The silver trim matches the chrome finishes in the bathroom. And because there is no window the reflective finish and light colours add a brightness to the space. The blues tie into my Calvin Klein splurge towels as well.

What simple DIY projects do you have on the go right now? Anything to get done right away this weekend?

If this quick facelift wasn't quite enough to motivate you to get started on your own projects, head on over to Roadkill Rescue where Beckie shares projects made from curbside finds, free stuff, hand-me-downs and recycled products to get your motor running. If you stop by tomorrow you will see my Record Stand turned Night Stand as a feature! What what!

Chat soon.


Thursday, 30 May 2013

Home Floorplan

Welcome to our home! Officially.

I know it has been a long time coming but I put together a basic footprint of our home for you. This way you will have an overall feel for the space and a better idea of what flows into what. And from here on out it will be easy to reference at the Our Home tab.

Take a look around and let me know if you have any questions at all.




Chat soon!


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Get Inspired

What are your design philosophies?

Like my house, many of mine change from day to day. But the one approach that always stands true is to keep the big picture in mind - our house today, how we live in each space, and the possibilities of what could be ahead. Im aware that it is impossible to predict the future. And no, I dont have clairvoyant powers that Ive avoided mentioning up until now. But I am budget consious and every decision I make in my home is one that I want to last and love for years to come. Choices that will grow with our family as we evolve and change.

Which is why when it comes to decorating Finley's room I am slow to make decisions. *Slower than normal and that is really saying something. I have been searching for inspirations to bring his room together and really mold it into a space that inspires imagination, creativity, and a sense of comfort. And will continue to do so for years to come.

Finley's Room.

This is Mr. Finely's room as it sits now. Actually that is a fib. I changed it around late last week while cleaning. The arrangement changes monthly but the style remains the same. An eclectic space made up of new and old, both bold colour and tame neutrals. Filled with items both Robert and I have cherished individually for years and want to share with Finn as he grows. Along with new items we picked out just for him. {One of these days ill give you a closer walk through of the space. I swear it!}

Check out some rooms that have caught my eye and sparked ideas of inspiration for up and coming projects. *Hopefully in the nearish future.

Source

This nursery really has it all doesn't it?! The pops of colour, textures, book storage, those small cubbies, the locally grown sign above the crib... okay so I love it all! But my favourite, and the main reason I had to share this space, is the extra bed. It looks so inviting! A perfect spot for the whole family to snuggle up and read bed time stories. And when the time comes it will be all ready for the little guys transition. Always thinking ahead! {If you love this space as much as I do, go check out the rest of the home at http://newlywoodwards.com}

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Two beds are better than one! That is my new motto. After searching the internet high and low for bed inspirations I keep coming back to this room by Jen from iheartorganizing {If you havnt checked out her blog before now, it is an absolute must! Stop. Drop. And roll on over there!}. There is just something about the way two beds look in a kids room that feels... right. Like you know there are sleepovers and monkeys jumping to come.

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I've been noticing these simple built in desks done in almost every room of a house. They are an efficient use of space that is for sure. But I especially like them for a kids room because they could function as a play/craft area for the earlier years and grow with them into their homework high school years.

Source

What a neat idea for brothers sharing a room! I can't fathom being organized enough to give up an entire closet for play space but perhaps we could work with half and half...It would definitely be worth drawing up a few scenarios. Down the road this will be revisited that is for sure.

Source

Toy storage can be tricky. They take up a tone of space I am quickly learning and can imagine will only get worse from here. Which is why this idea of a full cabinet painted in a bold colour dedicated as a toy hideout is genius to me. Within it could have labeled bins and baskets for smaller items but also house the large clunky ones. And if the kiddos can manage to do without the additional storage down the road, it can be relocated somewhere else in the house - after a few coats of paint of course.

What spaces have you been seeking out inspirations for? Any plans of attack coming together? I'd love to hear from you!

Chat soon!


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Simple{ish} Stool Facelift

Remember that time I gave a secondhand stool a makeover, shared it on this blog, and you all loved it? Oh wait...that was supposed to be todays post.

For the umpteenth million time in my life I came to realize that things are not always as they seem. You'd think I would have learned my lesson by now. Apparently I am a VERY slow learner. From here on out, I solemnly swear to research {at least a little} any hair-brained sewing endeavours I scheme up. That way we both win. I wont have to get over-the-top frustrated and you wont have to hear me complain about it. Deal?


Remember this treasure we found on one of our adventures a while back? With Roberts help, we gave it a little freshening up and now it is pretty enough to call our master bath home.


First came sanding. Then came primer. Then came Allison in the fetal position.
Okay so maybe the fetal position is a little overboard but things did get tense down the line.


After the primer Robert did two solid coats of navy paint, left over from Finley's room, and a few touch ups. *Take your time when using dark colours. You'll want to make sure every nook and cranny is covered or else it will be evident.


Then we moved on to the top cushion cover. We traced the stool top for size onto the batten then cut it out. Robert attached it to with a spray adhesive.


And last, but certainly not least, we covered the batten with fabric. *Enter self inflicted frustrations.

First, I thought we would just staple the fabric to the base of the stool. But then my perfectionist tendencies kicked in and I decided we could absolutely not have any creases. For who could ever love a stool with creases?! As a result there were two tried, and desperately failed, attempts at sewing a slip cover. I was ill prepared, which wont happen again after taking the oath above, and didn't have any materials for an alternate version. So I returned to the original plan, vetoed my own opinion, and settled with creases. After attaching the fabric we cut out and stapled cardboard to cover the base and uneven fabric ends.


It may not be perfect, but it is a definite improvement on what we started with. And if I had not had too high of expectations it would have been easy as 1,2,3, Done.

So after a little TLC, a large glass of wine, and a good nights rest I am happy to say that the final product doesn't look too bad in front of my bathroom vanity. It adds a lovely pop of colour in the all cream space. And will be the perfect jumping off point for the rest of the room. I look forward to the projects to come. And hope you do too!

*Just have to add: After everything was said and done and I was snapping a few shots to share with you, that was the moment common-law decides to interject, 'You know, you could have tried stencilling the top! That would have been cool.' ...really? That suggestion couldn't have been tossed into the ring several hours prior? Apparently not. Apparently he likes to watch me stew in a pot of my own frustrations and perfectionisms. Got to love that guy!

Chat soon!


Monday, 27 May 2013

Boys, Boats & Bruins

Monday again! That means yet another fun filled weekend has come to a close. Tear.

What did you get up to? Any cottaging after last weeks inspirations? Yard work perhaps? Social outings? A pinch of baking to round out the weekend? {*elbow jab to ribs* Get it? Round out! Ha. Ha.}

We dabbled at a bit of this and that. Nothing too extreme because this was Roberts only weekend home this time round so I gave him a break. He has decided to try out an 18 x 18 rotation so he is headed back West Friday, his birthday. Double whammy. But that certainly doesn't mean we didn't do anything - as nice as that sounds actually. I thought I'd get this week started by sharing a few of the highlights.


Finley and I typically spend our Friday's hanging out with our new friends Owen and Landon while their mother, Amy, is at work {You've already been introduced indirectly. Remember the lost phone fiasco? It was their home we were leaving.} She is a nurse, so they are here for a full twelve hour day. I know, I'm slightly crazy. I originally offered because I don't know very many people here in this county and thought it would be great for Finn to have regular social interaction. Right? And selfishly I was hoping to make a friend along the way as well. Turns out it all worked out just as I had mischievously planned. Amy is now someone I would call a friend - she is so bright and fun, go ahead and assume you'd love her too. And now that Finley is a bit older he is crazy about those two rambunctious guys. Add Moe to the mix and Im honestly afraid of what they will be getting up to sooner than later.


Fishing is another highlight to the weekend - in both a good and bad way. Bad news first: Robert was out with his dad fishing and broke the boat! Nice! So they had to pull it out of the water to get it all fixed up. Finley helped Uncle Ryan supervise! He is natural in the bossy department. Can't begin to imagine where he gets that from...


The good news is that they got everything fixed up - forgiveness exchanged between Rob and his Dad {hehe} - and they were back out on the water lickity-split. Finley got to put his new life-jacket to use and take the captains seat all in one day! Fearless, like his Papa.

And speaking of Papa. A group of us went out to celebrate his birthday on Saturday night. Well, it was a joint celebration for both Robert and our neighbour Greg who's birthday was last week.


Finley was more than happy to be excluded from that group. He got to stay in and hang out with his pal Pops. *This kid is absolutely smitten with his Pops and he is only eleven months old! Seriously. Im afraid for the day he wants nothing to do with me because his Pops is cooler, or whatever the kids are saying these days. Wow, that was a Nan thing for me to say. But it is true. Nothing could compete with a Saturday night playdate that includes Meema, Pops, and a frozen yogurt tube. {A trick I picked up from my brother Josh! The frozen feels good on his teeth in progress}.



But this Momma and Papa where delighted to get some social time in. The gals gathered at our house for pre dinner wine and gabbing. Documented above with a photo by Robert Mac. We make Saturday night look good don't we? The guys stayed close to the tv next door at Greg's because hockey was on. *I cancelled the tv here for the summer a while back so they had no interest in our house. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying good few, friendly banter, and sneak peaks at the game by Greg {a die hard Bruins fan}. They won, so I dare say it was a good night had by all.

As you can tell, no major projects got underway around the house. But after a relaxing weekend I am motivated to go. And hopefully Robert is too. The golf may have to take a back seat this trip home. We shall see. Keep you posted!

Chat soon!



Sunday, 26 May 2013

Grrr...anola!

Todays recipe choice is on the healthier side of the spectrum. No thanks to me! Your gratitude for giving the waistband a break this week can be directed to our newest house guest, Sarah. She suggested I try to whip up a homemade granola to be added to fruit or yogurt {or ice-cream... *my contribution} for a healthy and quick snack.a.roo. So we did just that!

Sarah did the leg work finding a recipe that she thought fit the bill and settled with good ol' Martha. The clear choice every time. You can find the original recipe here. And with Martha as my guide, I rolled up my sleeves and set to work. *The term work is actually laughable in this circumstance. Sarah definitely ended up with the short end of the stick on this one. Which leads me to question, why have we not been doing this all along?

To try this yourself, or your own twisted version {in a good way}, you will need the following ingredients:

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
5 teaspoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup dried cranberries/raisins

{You could also try adding wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, coconut and/or walnuts. Anything you want really. We opted to start out small and build from there. You know what Im sayin'?}

Go ahead and preheat the oven to 325ยบ. Then in a large bowl, combine everything except the cranberries/raisins. Once thoroughly mixed, spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. *While baking I recommend you sit, relax and enjoy the delicious aroma. Tea and reading material optional here. Or, better yet, have someone stop by within that time span. Without a doubt they will comment on the delectable aroma rolling from your home. You'll be the next Martha!

Let it cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.


Now all that is left is to enjoy at your own discretion. Tea and reading material recommended again, but still technically optional.

Chat soon! & Happy Sunday.



Friday, 24 May 2013

Out & All About

Just because.

Do you remember that friends episode when Ross is trying to convince Rachel to leave Emma for the evening? It is Phoebe's birthday and they are all supposed to meet at the restaurant but Rachel doesn't want to go. And Ross' mother is running late to babysit. Their conversation goes like this:

Ross: No, no, really. You should go. Just go! Go! Go out! Really, the world is your oyster. Kick up your heels. Paint the town red!

Rachel: You need to learn some new slang.

Ross: I'm serious. C'mon, you should go. Here. (shoves her outside, while she tries to stay) No, uh-uh, just go.

Ross: No! No, you know what? (closes the door) You can't get in there, the baby's fine. Now scram. Yeah, Tell your story walking.

Rachel: I was just going to say that I left my keys.

Ross: Oh, (door is locked) holy moly are we in a pickle now.


Bahahahah! Gets me every time! Ross is such a goof. *And I included the last two lines for no other reason than who doesn't get a kick out of a grown man saying holy moly and we are in a pickle?!

I share this silliness for two reasons. 1) Because it is friday. Everyone needs a little giggle, smirk, or outright laugh come the end of the week. 2) I got out of the house myself last night kicked up my heels and painted the town red with my gal pal Sarah Bessie!


Blogging is all about keeping things real, right? Which is why I had to share this shot Robert kindly snapped of me less than an hour before heading out for dinner. And to go along with number 1) listed above. Can't get enough of those wool socks right!? I have a few pairs of those bad boys. Marks for those of you who are coveting them.


There. That is a smidge better.

We went to a little spot here in New Glasgow called Cafe Italia. It is one of my favourites. They serve everything this gal craves - pizza, pasta, wine, hot beverages, and desserts a plenty. The lighting is dim, the service friendly, and the booths comfy enough to stay a wile. My kind of place.


Sarah decided on having their Mediterranean Seafood Soup - spiced up tomato based soup with spinach, veggies, a sprinkle of feta, and the seafood of course. I had a taste, times three, and it was absolutely delicious.

I opted for, my staple choice, the Foccacia Club - a classic sandwich with lettuce, tomato, bacon and cheddar on their homemade bread. This sandwich is the sandwich of sandwiches. In a healthy sort of way. Though simple in concept this guy takes the cake in the flavour department. And it is just the right size to leave me room for dessert. Which we had, of course.

Sarah went with the White Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake and thought it was utterly divine. Their Coffee Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake was my sweet of choice because they were out of their Red Velvet Cheesecake, my go to every single time. Much to my surprise however, the Coffee Chocolate Chunk held its own. I enjoyed every delectable bight.


Who doesn't love a shot of themselves drinking a delicious hot beverage? This seems to be turning into a post of worlds most unflattering photos of myself possible. Sweet.

This place makes the best mochas in all of Pictou County! I swear it! And that may not be a big deal to you because you may or may not have to live here but discovering a delicious White Mocha on this side of Halifax is earth shattering for me. I have possibly even changed my walking route with Finn and Moe to lead directly to Cafe Italia's doors then home again. And by possibly, I meant to say that I certainly have! Guilty. *Might as well put it all out there in this post. The good the bad and the ugly! Guilty again.


After an hour {or was it two?} of friendly gabbing, countless laughs, and drinking my entire hot beverage without reheating it even once, we made our way home. With full bellies and relaxed minds we called it a night.

Now that I have you craving sandwiches, desserts, and white mochas what are you going to get up to on this Friday night? The world is your oyster! Tell your story walking.

Chat soon!


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Vintage Record Stand Makeover

Remember that vintage record player stand that followed me home a few weeks back? {See it, and my other scores, here} Well, look at it now!


Quite the transformation eh?! There really is nothing more rewarding than revamping a dated anything, in this case piece of furniture, to something functionally beautiful. It now has a whole new life ahead of it. {Insert giggles of glee here}

Let me walk you through the steps that brought us to this fan.ta.bu.lous outcome.

Grammy Doris {Gram} hard at work.

First things first, we put Gram to work removing the sliding doors and the swirly decorative trim. For some of you that trim may have been the appeal to this piece but I wanted to find the clean lines under there without loosing the character completely of course - which I think is still evident through those gorgeous legs. An who doesn't love smooth shapely legs?! But, my apologies to those of you who have hurt feelings by my choices. Forgive me?

The hand sander and I had a fight.
He almost got the best of me.

I also went ahead and pulled the dividers out because they were not actually fastened down. It made things much quicker and easy - both music to my ears. Then I got straight to work sanding. Make sure to get down to the wood inside and out because that gloss finish can make for a real headache a few steps down the road if not completely removed.


Finley oversaw the project. He is already learning from his Mom - he may be a touch bossy... Pap will be thrilled!


Next stop is paint. My go-to. First coat is primer. You don't need a super thick coat just a thin layer. The key is to have it evenly applied over the entire piece. After that dries you can move on to your colour. Let the real fun begin!


Okay, so I am not actually super duper fun! I went with a cream. But you could chose any colour in the rainbow and be the fun one. Im just not a 100% sure where this piece will live and need it to be flexible. But hey, I did step out and switch it up from white. So take that! {The colour is actually called Macaroon Cream by Pittsburgh Paints} I ended up doing three coats of the cream to make sure it was good and covered. Always starting on the inside and working my way out to ensure no runs and even application each time.

And you cant really tell in the pictures but I took it one step further and added three layers of clear gloss - since I still had it out in the garage from the Compost Bin project. In person it adds a nice touch and makes it look more like a store bought item rather than a home DIY facelift.

And check out my clever solution to drying the legs without smudging! I called them my beer gnomes. hehe. I make myself laugh.


After everything dries all that is left are the finishing touches. Reattach those shapely legs and insert the dividers. Check me out! I added a little surprise of colour - grey is a colour in my books - with the dividers. They can easily be painted if necessary and they certainly add a special look to the piece. I opted to leave one out because I preferred the look and use of space.


Finally you get to place your brand new piece, to you, in that special spot and decorate it with pretties. For now she stands in the upstairs spare room as a night stand. The dividers are perfect as magazine holders. The different shelves and flexible design is perfect for housing all your nightstand needs. And when company comes it is plenty big enough to remove some of the magazines and add a basket of overnight goodies for their stay.


And there you have it! A beautiful new addition to any space in your home.

I know you will all want to come spend a night at my house after seeing this beauty that would welcome you. But I am booked up for the summer so youll just have to stop by for tea instead. Deal?

Chat soon!


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