Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wine Winner!

Happy Christmas Eve, Eve everybody! Today I'm thinking of an old tradition I used to share with my cousin... we had a Christmas Eve, Eve sleep over every year filled with movies, music, food, late nights... all fun of course! Anyone out there have any Christmas Eve, Eve traditions?

But what I came here for! To announce the winner of my Inniskillin Wineries giveaway! I'm actually still a relatively new MAC user, so I have no idea how to show you the number that was randomly generated, but I promise that I'm being honest! Our winner was #3... meaning Brittany wins! 

Congrats Brittany! I'll be emailing you shortly so we can get in touch to arrange getting your prize sent to you! Hope this brightens your holiday a little!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Welcome Home!

That's exactly how I feel every time I use our front door now, so incredibly WELCOME! Not only is the exterior looking fantastic, but the inside is really starting to shape up as well. As I said before, B's really been working his behind off. But before I give you a peak at what he's been doing, let's take a look back and what it looked like the last time I posted about the interior...

Yup, last time I shared we still had quite a ways to go before our front entry was warm, cozy, welcoming and well, uh, useable again! B was determined to get the room mostly ready for our gatherings this past weekend, so there were a lot of nights like this...

Believe me, all of those late nights and hard work have seriously paid off! Not only can we use our front entrance regularly again and hang our coats in a proper closet, but the room is actually WARM! As I mentioned in the original post outlining our renovation, this room once felt like a freezer in the middle of winter. Before we'd leave in the morning, we'd have to slip through the ratty curtain that separated it from the rest of the house to grab our coats and bring them inside to warm them up. There was also the issue that if the curtain was even slightly open you could feel a draft coming in. We may as well have left our front door open for all the good that curtain did!

But enough about what it was like before... here's what we're greeted with when we come home now...

Yup, there's still some painting to be done, trim to be added, closet doors to be installed, and window treatments to be addressed, but we are already so THRILLED! Can you see the floor? I should've got a picture of just the floor... but let me tell you... It's TILE! I know, it looks like wood. All we really know is that it's some rare Italian tile that we bought at this tile place we frequent (right near Olympia for those of you in Toronto), and got it for a pretty good price considering we had a store credit from the leftover bathroom floor tile we brought back! We are seriously in LOVE with it! I'll have to give you some close ups soon. 

So, that's how we're looking right now, with more to come soon! It's hard to believe the transformation it's made to the whole home in the end! There's been a few other smaller projects going on that I'll share soon... but the coming days will be busy getting ready for the holidays, so no promises of posts! If I'm not back in the next few days... Merry Christmas (and don't forget to enter my Inniskillin giveaway... contest closes tonight and winner will be announced tomorrow... so you'll at least hear from me then!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Partyin' (and a giveaway!)

This past weekend we hosted Christmas gatherings at our house both Saturday and Sunday. We all know that hosting can be a lot of work with cleaning, preparations, finding the perfect food and drink... all of it. Well, this past weekend we got a little bit of help from the wonderful people at Inniskillin Wineries.

Last week they got in touch with me and asked me to try out a couple of wines from their East-West series for 2010. Of course... I was more than happy to accept, as I knew we would all enjoy them at our Christmas gathering. The East-West series of wines is made up from 100% Canadian grapes from wineries in the East and West of Canada, with varying percentages from each. The two wines that I received were a 2009 Riesling-Gewurztraminer and a 2008 Merlot-Cabernet. 

Though I had planned to wait to open the bottles until dinner, they ended up being poured while we munched away on cheese, crackers, chips and other little starter snacks. Everyone seemed to agree that the Riesling-Gewurztraminer was great for drinking with snacks and cheeses to start. It was light and fruity and a little sweet. Because of what we were munching on, the white was much more appropriate for our starters... but we made sure we had enough left for dinner.

Though the wonderful people at Inniskillin were great enough to send along some recipes meant to go with the wines they sent, B had already come up with a really great menu for our party. He made a delicious lasagna with bechamel sauce, and a rotisserie chicken, and my Mom provided some yummy rosemary roasted potatoes...

Yeah... no pictures until everyone started to dig in. It was really THAT delicious! YES! So what did we find? The Riesling-Gewurztraminer was great with both the chicken and the lasagna (thanks to B's fantastic bechamel sauce), and the red was great with the lasagna as well. 

Overall, we really loved both kinds of wines! They were a great, and I think that the Riesling-Gewurztraminer was the winner of the night. Everyone seemed to love it and it paired really well with everything on the table! I'd say that both were great for evening and entertaining mainly, and would be great for dinner parties or evening drinks with friends. I will definitely be heading out to buy more of this for ourselves, as well as for some hostess gifts this holiday season! 

Of course, the great people at Inniskillin did not forget about my readers either! They sent along a great gift pack for me to share with one of my readers. What did they send?

- A gorgeous red knit Canada scarf
- A VIP Tasting Card - Visit Inniskillin's Niagara Estate to receive a complimentary tasting for you and a guest at the tasting bar. This inclusdes 2 VQA Inniskillin Wines and their Vidal Icewine (YUM!)
- An Icewine Book

This contest is open to Canadian readers only, and closes Wednesday night! To enter, leave a comment below and let me know what your favourite type of wine is! Be sure to leave some way for me to contact you when you leave your comment! I will announce the winner bright and early on Thursday morning, so come back to see if you were the lucky winner!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Fancy Friday Love

One week till Christmas Eve! Hard to believe my dears! While scrambling to finish our holiday prep (as well as study for my colour theory final) this past week, I also found some pretty things...

I love how Aubrey & Lindsay put together the mirror for their basement bathroom. It was a "look for less" version of Pottery Barn's Kensington Mirror... how great is it?

Oh, and if you're counting - yes, this is the second week in a row where I kicked off with a "look for less" of Pottery Barn merchandise, done by a blogger.

I want to move into this home in Bancroft, Ontario that was featured on desire to inspire on Tuesday...

I know that's not much of a look... that's because I want you to head over to the site and take a tour on your own! So beautiful... and still potential for more!

I think the big question this week is who ISN'T excited about John & Sherry's new home, and all of the new projects they'll be sharing with us via their blog??

The house has so much potential and we all know that the two of them will work their magic and impress us like they always do!

So in love with these tea towels of Shannon's (okay, I'm so in love with everything that Shannon owns... for real!)

Okay, so it's not a long list! It's been a busy week! The house is still a mess so B and I will be working furiously tonight and tomorrow morning to prep for our special guests! There has been some major progress in the front entrance that we can't wait to share, and even some changes in the kitchen (I told you he's been working hard!). Enjoy your weekends, and I will be back with a few posts next week before the holidays hit!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect - Christine's Family Room

Happy Thursday friends - this will be the last "Perfectly Imperfect" post of 2010... but we'll get right back into it in the new year! I promise! Today Christine from Just Bella Blog is here to share her family room! I've met Christine solely through the blog world, and it's crazy how well I feel I know her. I guess blogging about your life every day can do that, huh? Here's Christine's room...

I have to admit the first time Kerry asked me to submit my "perfectly imperfect" space, I thought hmmm, I most definitely have some imperfect rooms but perfectly imperfect - how about just imperfect.

But here is my family room and I think it fits the bill. This is probably the room we spend the most time in - hanging out, watching TV, folding laundry... dinner. Yes, I admit it, sometimes we eat here too - don't judge.

Here it is:

Meh, not too bad. A little bit beigy, a little bit bland... but cozy, comfortable and functional. But the most perfectly imperfect part of this space is the couch. Let's take a look shall we?

Yep, underneath this baby is a gorgeous, flowery number from the 90's. This couch was passed onto us from my in-laws when we bought our first house. It's still in great shape, comfortable and, with a new slipcover, as good as new! I have to tell you, we had thought this would be a more temporary thing but the more we lived with it, the more I loved it. Slipcovers are THE BEST. I love that I can whip it off and wash it whenever I want.

Here are a few more shots of the room.

I love my family photo wall, but usually it looks like this with the one photo always crooked. See, my husband sits here and likes to prop the pillow behind his head... hence the crooked photo. (Husband being played by the always adorable, Hughbert the bear ).

My view:

And to keep it really real, here's a shot of the room in full working action - laundry night:

Talk about keeping it real - thanks for sharing that laundry night shot Christine! I seriously love that teddy bear hanging out on your couch - it makes the whole space feel that much more cozy. I may join you for some "What Not to Wear" in the future.
Thanks for having me, Kerry!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nearing the End...

The last time I posted about the exterior of our front entrance, it was looking like this...

I may have been busy recently with school and other obligations, but B has been working his butt off, to have the room as ready as he can for a Christmas party we're hosting this coming weekend! So what has he been up to? Drywalling, taping, mudding, sanding, mudding some more, more sanding, getting some siding up outside, priming, painting, laying subfloor... you name it, he's been doing it! I'd like to share some interior progress, but I know there is a lot more coming in the next few days, so I'll leave that for another post. Here's what B and my Dad were doing last Friday...

It was cold, and snowy, but they braved it and spent the day measuring, cutting and putting up siding! The front was a little complicated with all of the cuts to fit to the shape and around the window... but after putting in a long day, our house now looks like this from the street...

Quite a difference from what it previously looked like, right?...

Doesn't it look more like that entrance belongs now, rather than looking like an afterthought that someone threw on there? Still some things we need to do.

- Paint red siding to match grey siding (spring)
- Paint railing & stairs on deck (spring)
- Paint front door (spring)
- Figure out what to do with the ugly stone veneer....
- Siding to be added to the left & right exterior walls
- Find new house number to go to left of our window
- Get our new mailbox in to the right of the stairs
- Find solution to cover block foundation
- Choose a pretty window box!

I just wish we'd have the money to repave the driveway as well... we're both dreaming of stamped concrete! (haha!)

So yes, lot's left to do to get to where we would like to be, but we're already so pleased with the improvements! It feels so much more like a home, and I'm so impressed with how much larger the interior of the home feels with this proper room at the front (no working closet yet, but SO SOON!). I'm staying home next week to relax before the holidays and prep some more, so I'll be sure to give you a full progress report on the interior!

What do you think of the look of our new exterior?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dream Home - Blown Away in Bali

Today's request comes from my bloggy friend Jennifer, who asked me to hunt out a Bali home to escape our frigid nothern winters! How could I possibly say no?

This simple Villa was found on a site that is brand new to me, called Bali Ocean Front. I wasn't too pleased with the homes for sale, and the Villa's seemed to have more on offer. There may not have been a ton of photos for this one, but it won me over regardless, and with a price of roughly $643,000 CDN, what's not too love?

I love all of these outdoor spaces. I'm dreaming of wandering around these gorgeous grounds barefoot... something far from possible with the freezing cold temperatures we've been getting around here recently...

I'm also dreaming of being in a climate warm enough that going for a swim sounds like a good idea... and this looks like the perfect spot to enjoy the water!

Day or night, this outdoor living space looks like the perfect spot for entertaining! Dining, drinking or just hanging out... I may just spend all of my time there. Look at how lush and green those views are - just stunning! 

I think they could've done the bedroom more justice with a better shot. This angle is quite odd, and makes it hard to get any real idea of what the bedroom actually looks like. But it does appear to have a walk out to outside... and it's in Bali... so I'm sure it's just dreamy.

The kitchen is neutral... which is perfect for accessorizing those empty shelves with lots of lovely, colourful dishes!

I love absolutely everything about this bathroom... especially that shower! It's such a simple refreshing design - who wouldn't love to wake up with a shower... or a bath in this beautiful space?

I'm so ready to pack my bags and head off to a warmer climate right now! I've been busy, busy, busy, so I was happy to be able to take some time to hunt out this relaxing retreat... both for Jennifer and myself! Gave me the tiny little escape that I needed... even if only for a few brief moments!
Where do you dream of living? Is there someone near or far that you want me to search out your dream home?

Guest Posting - Staci Edwards Design

Happy Tuesday! I'm wrapping up classes this week, and looking forward to finally getting to enjoy the remaining lead up to the holidays!

Today you can find me over on Staci's blog sharing my favorite interior for her "Favorite Interiors Tuesday" series! I've had the chance to meet Staci in person a few times, and she's just as sweet in person as she comes across on her blog. She's crazy talented and has serious style, so after you check out my blog post over there - make sure to poke around the rest of her blog too! You won't be sorry!


Monday, December 13, 2010

A Touch of Christmas

Our house may be a bit of a mess right now, as we put the finishing touches on the front entrance (B is priming the walls and ceiling as I type this!), but we've managed to get a few Christmas touches around the house....

Not my best photos... I'm well aware! I wasn't able to snap any photos until it was dark on Sunday, as we spent most of the weekend at my parents. We went on the annual tree cutting trip, and did some relaxing and decorating over at their place.

What I love most about my parents Christmas tree is the assortment of vintage ornaments they have collected over the years. I couldn't tell you how old some of them are... but I can definitely share with you just how beautiful they look...

What is your favourite part of Christmas in your home?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fancy Friday Love

As busy as this week may have been finishing up school projects, and preparing for the holidays, I still found time to squeeze in some fancy things from this past week!

Love the DIY Knock Off of Pottery Barn's Stratton Bed that Kate built for her bedroom! B and I have been discussing building one of our own... so seeing this was a huge inspiration for me.

Didn't she do an incredible job?

How gorgeous is this kitchen that Alison shared on Wednesday?

I'm loving the white with the silvers and golds, and the creamy tones in the wall paper! It's just so serene and lovely. I'd die to have our kitchen look like this!

We all saw Jen make one before, and recently Anne-Marie tackled one of these awesome chandeliers using twine...

Doesn't it just look perfect in her (already gorgeous) dining room? Seriously, both of those ladies have far more patience than I ever could!

How awesome are these DIY Christmas Tree ornaments that Renee made using old mason jar lids?

How great would these look hanging directly in front of the shimmering lights on your tree? So cute, and so many different things you can do!

This quote, found on flourish design + style, pretty much sums up how I've made it through this past week...

Thanks B!

Loved this adorable DIY Deer Head project that Danielle shared this past week.

Isn't she one smart cookie? They turned out so great!

It's been a long week for me... and I'm so looking forward to this weekend. Even though I still have my colour theory final to study for, I'm looking forward to spending this weekend with my family and getting ready for the holidays! Tomorrow morning we'll be heading north with my Dad for the traditional Christmas tree cutting! There will also be some decorating, some hot chocolate drinking, hopefully some shopping & gift wrapping as well as some Christmas card writing! Exactly what I need to unwind a little! Any Christmasy plans for you weekend?

I hope to be back to some more regular posts next week - B's got a lot done around the house recently and we cannot wait to share! Have a great one!
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