Friday, July 30, 2010

Quintessentially Adorable!

Back in June, I featured the print you see below in one of my Fancy Friday Love posts.

I know, it's fantastic isn't it? I found it by way of my fellow Toronto blogger Designwali, and learned it was created by the talented BetsyBenn. Soon, I will have one of my very own hanging in my home! I ordered one, and the sweet Betsy posted one from across the pond earlier this week. Can't wait for it to arrive! Of course, this adorable print isn't the only fantastic piece that Betsy has on offer...

Tea towels to match!? YES PLEASE!

How cute is this print? There is a tiny inscription underneath the butterfly that reads, "you make my heart fly". Isn't it precious? I could see this hanging in a nursery! Betsy, your work makes my heart fly!

We've all seen 'em, and we all love 'em - well, Betsy will personalize one for you! Special places, names, dates - whatever tickles your fancy!

Her cute little cotton letters would be perfect for a little one's room!

Yes, I have fallen in love with everything that BetsyBenn offers! So sweet! You can find her fabulous work over at her shop, and also at this great site she pointed me towards (just search for BetsyBenn).

Hope my Canadian friends enjoy their long weekend, and that everyone else's weekend is just as fabulous! I'm sticking close to home for this one, spending time with family and friends and praying to get some things completed that are on my growing to-do list! Catch you on the other end!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thinking Ahead...

I know, no home tour yet. I'm a tease. There has just been so much going on as of late, that I haven't had the time to tidy up, prep and get a good recent photo of every room in the home. Just give me some time. I just find that these summer days and months get so full of things going on, we have very little time to get things done that are on our ever growing "to-do" list. Don't you find? Lazy days of summer!? I think NOT!

Of course, despite these hectic days, I've allowed myself to steal some time to think about those crisp fall days that will be here before we know it . Yeah okay, so it's not quite August yet, but don't tell me you haven't started to think about Autumn yet? (I know I'm not the only one) Don't get me wrong, I love summer. The sunshine, the warm nights, beaches, BBQs, long weekends - all of it! There is just something about the fall though. Maybe it's that my birthday is right at the start of the lovely season, or maybe it's the colour of the leaves, sweaters, hot chocolate, pumpkin picking, watching football on Sunday with B, Thanksgiving... okay, you got me. I'm pretty sure Fall has to be my most favorite season!

Last year we hadn't been in the house for very long when Autumn rolled around, so we weren't really too focused on decorating for the season. This year, will be a whole different story...

Love this alternative to a traditional wreath. Can definitely be a pretty inexpensive option and could transition really well into the winter months as well!

Sticking with the natural elements, love the thought of using nuts as vase fillers around some pretty candles. Lining our mantel or on the table during a dinner party. So pretty, and once again, inexpensive.

Always loved window boxes. Not sure if we'd have anywhere to put one (maybe once we have a new front entrance?). This cute little planter filled with gourds is my favorite. Maybe I'll have to do some sort of variation of it with a lone standing planter?

This October, B's parents will be coming up to spend their second Canadian Thanksgiving with us. They will also be bringing with them some friends. I think some cute little placecard holders like these would be sweet on our Thanksgiving table. I'm particularly taken with the cinnamon sticks (which appears to have a placecard for one of our dogs...)

Love the idea of these printed linens from Martha! The How-to is available on her website as well. May have to give this one a try for some fancy placemats and napkins!

This is one of my own photos, snapped last October when we hosted our very first Thanksgiving. I loved using the little pumpkins as candle holders. It was really inexpensive and we composted them when their time was up. They were perfect on our Thanksgiving table.

So, go on and tell me I'm getting way ahead of myself. I promise, I'm not pulling out the decor - I'm simply just daydreaming about those days ahead (while enjoying summer of course).

Now, I want to know - am I the only one who's already started to think of what's to come?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fancy Friday Love

Just a few fancy things I stumbled across this past week. Happy Weekend Everyone...

Lately I've got it in my head that I want a bunch of really nice matching linen tea towels to use in the kitchen, as ours are getting really gross. I began my search on Etsy and came across these beautiful hand-printed pieces made by madder root.

Aren't they gorgeous and stylish? There are all kinds of different prints to choose from, as well as colours. Even better, madder root is an eco friendly shop and use only organic materials and solvent free water based inks. Pop on over and check out these beauties. They also sell gorgeous limited edition scarves and sweet little recipes cards.

LOVE the Gala shoe from Kate Spade...

Need I say more? Really?

Before I bought my Dwell Studio, Draper Stripe Duvet from last week, I was considering using my $40 towards this Thomas Paul Pillow...

I wanted to use it in the basement... but I know I need to make a final decision of what I want to do down there first. When we originally moved in I told B it would be his man cave, but now that we've renovated, it's become our living room and B and I aren't quite seeing eye-to-eye on what will be happening down there. In time I guess...

How fabulous are these Wedding invites that were featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper this past Tuesday!?

I even love the little ink blots on the side and bottom of the invite and response card! The letter press printed font that looks like an old hand written letter has absolutely captured my heart. I think they are complete perfection.

Also loving these shoes from Anusha - a store based in the UK.

found via simplesong

Just a few things I loved this past week. Looking forward to a weekend full of sunshine, friends, family and the Beaches International Jazz Festival! Anyone else in Toronto going?

(Apologies for no home tour up yet... cleaning and prepping every single room in our house to be photographed in far more daunting than I had originally anticipated! But I've already started working on it... so keep coming back!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Very First Crop!

Back in April I posted about us starting a veggie garden in the backyard. It's now almost August and we're starting to see some progress out there. Mostly with our tomato plants. Check these bad boys out...

There are two regular tomato plants, two roma tomato plants and two cherry tomato plants. That one that is taller than B... yeah that's a cherry tomato plant. Has ANYONE ever seen one that big before? (He's 6'0", and I realize he is bending his head... but still)

Of course, having that many large plants means we have a whole whack of tomato's getting ready to turn! I can't wait to start harvesting them and have some fresh tomato's in our salads! Shouldn't be long now...

So now you'r thinking... so what exactly did you harvest from your tomato dominated garden?? Well, this of course...

Yup! Just one individual green bean. Absolutely perfect. So, we'll have to cook just ONE green bean and enjoy the first crop from our tiny Toronto veggie garden!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Toronto Life Home Guide 2010 - Review

As I mentioned earlier today, while I was out and about on my lunch hour, I picked up a copy of Toronto Life's very first Home Guide.

I hadn't had the opportunity to really flip through the pages as I was already waiting in line, but the cover itself was enough to convince me to give it a try. Implying that it would be a resource for the best of everything home related in Toronto, as well as provide "Toronto's most Stunning Interiors", it seemed like it may be worth the $7.95 that I threw down for my copy.

I arrived home from work tonight, sat back and starting browsing my newest mag. What's my general consensus - I'm glad I paid up.

What's the reasoning behind my decision? The biggest thing is that it is 100% Toronto focused!

The magazine is broken down into the following main sections:
  • Favourite Things
  • Ask the Experts
  • The Essentials
  • Great Spaces
  • Industrial Renos
  • The Way We Were
  • The Directory
Pretty fantastic I must say. Though every section has something great to offer, my favourites would have to be "The Essentials" and "Industrial Renos". 

The Essentials

Toronto Life takes the most important rooms in your home (Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom, Kid's Room and Bathroom) and devotes two pages to a spread of fantastic finds from stores right here in our glorious city! What makes it even better is all of the prices, stores names, addresses, websites, etc. are listed next to those pretty little pieces making it much easier to locate that one thing that you just have to have. Each room has a fantastic range of affordable pieces for the budget friendly buyer, along with a ton of drool worthy splurges that will leave some of us looking for the perfect "look-alike". I think it's great that they mix it up that way and support local business (of course, there are a few chain stores like Anthro and Restoration Hardware that make an appearance - but who doesn't love those stores?)

Industrial Renos

This is the section that absolutely blew me away. Sticking with lucky #5 again, we get to peak into five amazing industrial spaces turned home (a Dairy, a Fire Hall, a Roofing Company, a Truck-Building Plant and a Shoe Warehouse). With the original build date, and often use of the building listed, we're offered a quick run down of what the new owners have done to make their old industrial places feel like home. These people are not joking around, they have put together some seriously stunning homes... my favourite would totally have to be the reno'd fire hall!

What I'd Like to See Next Time

While I believe that Toronto Life did a pretty great job with their first Home Guide, I can think of one thing for sure that they could add. As we Toronto bloggers know quite well, there is a whole slew of fantastic interior design, decor, renovation, etc bloggers and other online sources out there that could totally be featured or looked to in the next issue. I mean, Toronto is one great big community of real estate loving junkies. I think rather than focusing solely on "The Experts" and people who have already made a name for themselves in the city - why not give some fabulous, intelligent and talented bloggers a chance to share some of their gorgeous interiors that they have DIY'd up so nicely. I mean, as can be seen by the Toronto blog community, DIY renovations are a pretty big part of what we do, am I right? Just think about it Toronto Life... 

I'd say, blog friends - go out and pick up a copy. Would love to get your thoughts on this issue. If nothing else, I think the fantastic directory that the good people at Toronto Life rounded up for the back of the magazine will be extremely helpful to our future projects and shopping needs. 

Happy reading!


Worth a Read?

Today on my lunch I strolled down the street to my favorite bookstore. After picking up this book, I was standing in line and spotted this...

Figured I would give it a try and test it out - maybe there would be some good resources and ideas? Apparently it's Toronto Life's first crack at a Home Guide.

Have any of my Toronto blogger friends picked this up? Was it worth the read? (Not that it matters to me now I guess... as I've purchased it) If not, and people are interested, I can post up a little review after I have a chance to take an actual read.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Year Later...

This past Saturday was the one year anniversary of B and I getting the keys and moving into our first home. I can't believe it's already been a full year. One thing that has me thinking, is that it is time for me to post up a proper home tour of our little place in the world... hopefully by the end of the week. For now, I want to share with you what we did to celebrate this milestone.

This past Saturday we threw a little open house party / BBQ and welcomed in family & friends to come and see the difference we've made over the past year. We were lucky to have B's parents and sister drive up from Boston on Wednesday and spend until Sunday with us. We got to spend a lot of time with them, and they were more than eager to help finish up some projects and prepare for our big party. We couldn't thank them enough for everything that they did!

Though it was never our intention to receive, only to share in our happiness with people we care about, our family and friends were far too gracious and we certainly were spoiled.

When B's parents and sister arrived on Wednesday we were gifted with these gorgeous wind chimes which now hang in the back garden.

Aren't they lovely? I adore them, because not only will they remind us of B's wonderful family, but the sound of them also reminds me of the wind chimes my own parents have hanging on their back deck. Such a beautiful gift!

When my parents arrived on Saturday for the party, they absolutely blew us away. After handing B a new BBQ cover my Dad explained that it was to go with the brand new Grill they had out in the trailer. I thought B's eyes were going to pop out of his head when my Dad said it. We were so thankful and so excited to put our new beautiful stainless grill on the back deck, and assembly began late in the evening...

On Sunday B and I had our inaugural meal on the new grill... and boy, is she fancy!

Now what to do with the old one...??

Then, as if they knew, our good friends (who are expecting a little one) showed up with a rotisserie for B to use with his brand new grill. I know he's anxious to use it. They also brought a little something along for me. They remembered the lovely measuring spoons that I loved so much from Anthropologie (but couldn't bring myself to buy), and picked them up for me.

I think everyone was slightly amused by my excitement over the measuring spoons. I really do love them though.

We really couldn't thank everyone enough who stopped by to celebrate this milestone with us. It meant a lot to see our family and friends chatting in the place we call ours. In a few days you can check out the spaces that we shared with them!

I hope all of my lovely readers had an equally fantastic weekend. What did you all get up to?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Decision Made

Way back in May I won a $40 gift card to CSN Stores from Janice over at "Life Begins at Thirty, Right?". I had originally thought that I would like to buy a new duvet cover for our bedroom makeover, but as I shopped around I was overwhelmed by all of the beautiful choices over at CSN. 

Today as I shopped around I stumbled across this gorgeous duvet cover...

The best part, this gorgeous duvet cover made by Dwell Studio is normally over $200, but I found it in their clearance center for $126. With my $40 gift card it cost me only $90. I think it will look great with my gorgeous Robert Allan fabric I picked for the headboard!

Thanks Janice and CSN! I can't wait to get our new duvet cover! (it might take a while before I debut it on here... I had it shipped to B's parents place to save on the shipping costs). 

What do you think of my new duvet cover? Have you been shopping on CSN and found any great pieces? 

Beautiful Blogger

I was catching up on some blogging late last night (early this morning) and saw that I had been given the "Beautiful Blogger" award from the wonderful Shannon over at What's Up Whimsy! (Thank you Shannon!). 

I had a great time learning a little about Shannon, and now it's my turn to share 10 things about me, and pass it on to 5 other bloggers. So let's get started, shall we?

1. I played rugby in high school, all 5'0" 115lbs of me ran around a field, tackling girls who were much larger than me. It was only one season in my final year, but I loved every second of it. Plus it's fun to see people's reactions when I tell them that now.

2. My mom is my hero. She's been through a LOT and has come out the other side smiling. She's the strongest woman I know, and I admire that about her.

Walking the survivors lap at the 2008 Relay for Life

3. I am the youngest of two. My brother and I could not get along if our lives depended on it, when we were kids. Now that we live apart (and I guess that we're older), we get a long a whole lot better. I'm also often told we look a like...

Ya, so you can't tell if we do... this is just my favorite picture of the two of us

4. My very first word was "budder"... meant to be "brother". I just couldn't say it properly.

5. Before I met B, I had plans to work for a year or two and save up some money and go to the U.K for a year on a working VISA... which I hoped would ultimately end in me staying there... permanently. I still believe I would love to live in London.

6. When I was in University, my room mate and best friend, Veronica and I were often asked if we were twins. When it would benefit us, we took advantage of the situation.

7. B and I met in the summer of 2007. We were long distance our entire first year together. Within a year of us starting to date, B quit his job, left his family and headed north of the border to be with me. After being together less than 2 years together we bought our home. To some that may be too fast... to us, it just felt right... and still does. 

8. Marionettes scare me (particularly the ones used in "Thunder Birds" and "Team America: World Police"). Maybe it's their shifty eyes, the way their mouths moves or how they float when they walk... or ALL OF THE ABOVE. Regardless... they are creepy, they scare me and B thinks it's hilarious.

Even posting this photo creeps me out...

9. After breaking up with my boyfriend in University, I came home for Thanksgiving and my girlfriends and I threw a fake "bachelorette party"... they picked me to be the blushing bride-to-be for a night. For a couple years after people from my hometown still asked me about my "wedding". We pulled it off pretty incredibly.

10. My favorite singer is Bryan Adams. I've seen him live 4 times. The second concert I went to, the roadies gave me second row tickets... made friends with the girls in front of us and ended up in front row. The third time I saw him, I went on my own. The most recent was during our April trip to Boston... and I made B go with me. I can't help but sing and dance every time one of his songs comes on... no matter WHERE we are!

Now, for five beautiful bloggers that I feel have become blogger friends. Blogs I read and bloggers I connect with. Hopefully I'm the first to ask them to take part...

- Brittany from My.Daily.Randomness
- Sara from Russet Street Reno
- Shannon from 8 foot 6

I hope you all enjoyed learning about me... and I look forward to having a chance to learn a little more about my blogger friends as well! Happy weekend everyone.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Recap (aka Basement Progress)

As of Saturday morning, B and I were officially on holiday (we both took this week off of work). We'll be throwing an open house party on the 17th to celebrate the one year anniversary of getting the keys to our first home, and we can't wait to share all of our hard work with our family and friends. And what hard work it has been. I believe that after this weekend, I am still sleeping as I write this. I think rather than rambling on, I'll share our progress through photos...

Saturday we got up and it was time to start prepping the bathroom floor for tile...

Harley believed it was his responsibility to oversee the work being done...

Our flooring went in... and was a bit of a headache... and is still a bit of a headache. Promise me, if you put in mosaic flooring that you hire a pro... we're kind of wishing we did.

B had also poured the concrete slab for the shower bench, and we got into place very early this morning (oh say... 3am-ish). So this is where the bathroom is right about now (sneak peak of my bold colour choice...)

I still remember when this was just a giant, muddy hole!

Bathroom aside, we also had a lot to accomplish in the living area. After getting all of the painting completed last week, we were ready to prep the floor (scrap uneven areas and fill holes in the concrete) and get our laminate down.

This is what we started with....

Harley had to help B lay down the under pad of course....

After some late nights... the basement was looking like this around 3:30 this morning...

So that's where we are... with quite a bit left to do, but we're feeling accomplished and pretty proud of what we've done. Of course, we never would've been there if my fantastic father didn't come by on Saturday to help with the tile. It was a headache, like I said, but he made it a million times more bearable! He's the best!

We work hard... but we play hard also. We got some great seats to the Blue Jays and Red Sox game yesterday. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we enjoyed a great game (only scoring runs were home runs) and lots of beer. I also had the chance to meet up with an old friend from Ottawa who I haven't seen in a few years in between innings (thank god for facebook haha). 

Hope you all had a great weekend as well... and keep your eyes out for more basement progress! Back to work I go!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fancy Friday Love

We may be busy at home, but I found some time to scrounge up some pretty things to share with you today!

Want this fabric for our laundry room. Rather than putting a door under the sink (that we will have one day), I want to have some stripped fabric hanging from a rod with clip rings. This is the first one that I have seen that I really love. Will it be the one... who knows. I think we're still a bit away from this being completed.

Fell in love with this bedroom (from Inspiration for Decoration via High Heeled Foot in the Door). It's got the wheels turning upstairs with ideas for our guest bedroom once we move around our master. Not these colours necessarily, but it has inspired me! It's so bright and inviting... and the shape of the room perfectly mimics what will soon be our guest room. We even have a skylight on the slanted ceiling (it's a big part of what sold me on the house!)

For all you book lovers out there, I know you'll love these as much as I do.
They are clutches made by none other than the fantastic Kate Spade. Adorable right!? My heart fluttered as soon as I spotted them during one of my most recent visits to the Kate Spade website. For now they have The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations and The Importance of Being Earnest. They are adorable accessories, non? I would love to sport one of these babies... unfortunately, I don't have $325 in my budget to purchase a brand new clutch at the moment.

This Union Jack dresser has absolutely won me over. I wish I had somewhere in our home that I could use a similar piece! Must thank Shannon over at What's Up Whimsy! for sharing this one (via Decor Demon).

Not a lot - but pretty if you ask me! We've had a number of seriously late nights this week as we continue our work, but it's all worth it as the basement is starting to resemble useable living space. I think the bathroom will be our first 100% complete room! We plan on taking a break this Sunday to go and check out the Jays and Red Sox play and I hear that it should be a beautiful day! Hope you all have a "fancy-full" weekend! ;)
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