Thursday, May 31, 2012

Getting Guest Ready

Aside from working on the breakfast nook, there's another project I've slowly been working on... I just haven't had much time to share it with you. 

This coming weekend, we will welcome our very first house guest to our rental. So, in order to make her feel welcome and comfortable in our new space, I'm doing what I can to spruce up our basement guest room. If you caught a glimpse of our rental tour last month, you may remember that our guest room was a giant blank slate in the basement that looked like this...


Clearly, this was not going to cut it as a guest space. So, about a week before we were to depart on our Florida trip, B and I set to work. The day we had arrived in BC we had swung by IKEA and purchased a queen size SULTAN HULTSVIK mattress for us to use until we ordered our own king size bed. We were pretty pleased with how comfortable it was, especially as we knew it would only be used as a guest bed. The price tag was a little high, but knowing we would probably have quite a few guests staying with us during our time out west, it was worth the investment in our books. 

That first weekend we had also scored a bed frame and headboard for $40 at a garage sale, and we later picked up a box spring. With all of that behind us, we were ready to get to work piecing together the room. We planned on using or queen size bedding from our room in Toronto, and I had found a cute flat sheet and matching pillowcases at Real Canadian Superstore for $4 a piece that we knew would look great with our bedding. Thankfully, we also still had our light blue queen bedskirt from our old guest bedroom that we were able to make use of. So, with all of the bedding on the room was starting to come together, but it was still a long way from feeling welcoming...


My next step was to work on our garage sale headboard. It wasn't much to get excited about when we first picked it up, but I already had plans for it...


Since I still love the fabric we had used as a headboard in our Toronto bedroom, I decided to use that as my inspiration. I brought a swatch of the fabric with me to HomeDepot, and had one of the flowers on it colour matched. We came home with a sample sized can of Behr's Amazon Moss and I set to work sanding and painting it. 

I must admit, when I first started painting it, I got a little nervous that the green just wasn't going to work in the space. I told myself I had to trust my instincts though, and move forward confidently with my design decisions. In the end, once it was all painted and put together in the basement, I was feeling pretty good about my choice...

May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

Yes, there is still some work to be done, but it's coming together quite nicely so far. The side table was relocated from our living room where Halle had been repeatedly trying to pull herself to standing on this. Not so safe, so into the basement it went, and thankfully it works perfectly next to our guest bed. 

What do we plan to do with our hold headboard that is leaning against the wall? We're talking about hanging it on that section of wall it is leaning against - we just need to pick up the proper clips for it. Hopefully we can get it hung tonight or tomorrow before our guest arrives. We also have some hooks that I would like to add to the wall by the door for our guests to hang purses, bags, etc.

For now... lot's of cleaning and organizing left to do before our guest arrives. The work of a hostess never ends...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Case of the Blues

Last week I shared with you the beautiful chairs that we scored for free...

Free Chairs

You all agreed they were a great find, and I wasted absolutely no time getting to work on them. I'm tired of living in a partially put together rental that doesn't feel anything like home. It really lit a fire underneath me, so here's what we did. 

We started by flipping the chairs over and taking them apart.

Free Chairs

Free Chairs

Even though everything about them seems pretty uniform, we decided to mark each chair and seat, so we could match them up later no problem. I also decided it was best to keep the screws from each chair in separate bags to avoid any problems later (we've learned that even though everything seems like it will match up fine, that's not always the case). 

Free Chairs

Free Chairs

The next step was cleaning them up... and that was a must. There was quite a lot of grime built up in the chairs crevices, and even some mystery stuff on the bottom of one of the seats.

Free Chairs

Free Chairs

With the chairs all cleaned up, it was time to start sanding. Of course, with B at work and me watching Halle during the day, my time to work no them was limited. So in between naps, I would sand and last Wednesday, Halle and I headed to Home Depot to pick out some paint. I finally decided on Martha Stewart's Cornflower Blue. It's the perfect cheery blue to brighten up our little breakfast nook. I had it colour matched to Behr's Ultra Paint & Primer in one. It made the whole process a lot easier and gave some great coverage.

{All sanded & ready for paint!}

{LOVE this blue!}

When painting them, I made sure they were completely cleaned, well sanded and then dusted off. Once they were ready I applied the first coat and let them sit over night (the guy at Home Depot told me to wait 8 hours between coats, so this ensured they were well set). Once dry, the second coat went on and they sat for another night. So what do they look like... we'll get to that in a second.

Of course, paint wasn't the only thing that I needed to make a decision about. Those chairs needed to be recovered. Though the fabric would work in some houses, it doesn't really go with our style... plus it was dirty and gross, so it had to be recovered. 

With the project already running us a whole $0 (Chairs were free and we used some store credit we had from Home Depot to buy the paint), I felt like trying to keep it that way. So down to my loads of fabric in the basement to see what I had on hand that would work for the seats. I was a little disappointed to discover that I didn't have enough of either of the neutral fabrics that I had in mind, to cover all four chair seats. This mean, I've hit a bit of a standstill, and I'm not completely sure what to do now. Do I run out and start searching for new fabric? God knows that could be another few months before I find something I really love. My other idea is to use two fabrics, so that two chairs are neutral, and two have some sort of print maybe? I'm not sure if I have enough of my Robert Allen fabric left over to cover it, but if it works it could be an option. Thoughts?

Well, with seat remaining uncovered, I have the chairs in our breakfast nook. Here is how the space is set up now (it's slightly grainy, it's been hard to capture a good shot of it the last two days)...

Bentwood Chairs

Bentwood Chairs

Bentwood Chairs

I decided that the space was large enough to leave the leaf in the table, especially now that we have more chairs. I also removed the rug that was on the floor - it was impractical at the moment with Halle throwing and dropping food off of her highchair constantly. I plan on keeping and painting those two chairs on either end, but I'm not sure what colour I want to paint them. B has suggested a dusty, antique kind of red to keep with the print (I think he just wants a little red, white and blue in our home). I'm not opposed, but I'm not completely convinced either. Regardless, they need a coat of paint as they are a little hurting from the previous owners...

So that's where I am! Some real time updates for you (very real as we've been busy, busy so I didn't even have time to finish up this post yesterday and pre-schedule it). Would love to hear your opinions on my fabric and paint dilemma! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Treasure Hunting

Ummm - hello gorgeous weekend! Okay, I guess I should be saying "good-bye". So sad to see it go, but really it was fantastic! From the moment I got up on Friday morning and saw the sun shining, I knew that it was going to be great. The type of weekend that I just had to devote a post to, especially with all of the fabulous treasures I brought home.

Halle and I started off Friday with a trip to our local HomeSense. We popped in and were able to take our time strolling around (yes, she will usually handle this pretty well) and looking. Though we saw a few things I would love, right now I need to focus on things we need, so when I spotted two lovely glass table lamps, for $39 each, they had to come home with us...


They are perfect for our bedroom, colour shape and everything! The textured white shade is exactly what I wanted, and the coloured glass is subtle enough that it doesn't compete with our colourful West Elm duvet cover. Now we just need to find some nightstands.

The rest of the day was spent playing, taking a nice stroll, and then enjoying dinner on a patio not too far from home. I LOVE that it's still daylight here at 9pm, so that on gorgeous days we can enjoy the views of the mountains. Seriously - LOVE IT.

Saturday morning we woke to another gorgeous day. B was off bright and early to his softball tournament and Halle and I left shortly after to make the drive out to Abbotsford. It was a beautiful drive, and so worth it to pay a visit to Scout Vintage & Handmade Market. Halle and I arrived just before 10am (opening time), and I am so glad we did... there was a huge line already waiting for them to open, and I know why. The finds were incredible! I had a very small budget for my first trip ($60!), but I came home with some pretty great things. 

I broke the ice with these 3 sweet cupcake stands, from raggygirl vintage, for $20! So cute, and I knew they would be perfect on our mantel and/or our entertainment centre to display things. Love them. 


My next stop was a quick visit to Victoria of Edin Home & Co. She was one of the lovely ladies out here who welcomed me warmly and invited me to stop by and say hello to her. 


We did a bit more wandering, which included taking in the lovely sights of twig home's booth - I seriously wanted to bring that gorgeous map home with me (along with numerous other items of course)! 

Twig Home

Our next purchase was from Crystal Clear Boutique...


What did we get? The most adorable turquoise bow headband for Halle. She actually picked that one herself when I gave her the choice of pink or turquoise... smart girl. Look how sweet it is...


My next stop was a HUGE success. Right across from Crystal Clear Boutique was the lovely set up of Red Wicker...

Red Wicker

Monica was the sweetest, and I was happy to take this lovely mirror off her hands, as well as the sweet #1, that I plan to use for a shadow box of Halle's first year. I was smiling ear to ear when I left her booth, and definitely could've walked away with way more, but my $60 budget helped to keep me in check! 



Our final stop on the way out (Halle had, had enough of the crowd) was at delish magazine and general store. I picked up some striped and polka dot straws for Halle's 1st birthday party! So cute...



Aside from these fabulous booths, there were so many incredible treasures that I wish I had, had more time to dig through! Lily & Rachel, of Birch + Bird, did such a fabulous job pulling this event together - I couldn't say enough good things about the whole experience! Everything was worth stopping to look at, and I had to tear myself away from all of the booths with tasty baked goods (as I knew I had a yummy Raspberry Truffle Tart waiting at home for dessert that night). This whole experience made me feel so happy about coming out West! Though I was sad to leave behind so many great and inspiring women from the blogging community back in Toronto, I have been welcomed so warmly by the talented ladies out here (big thanks to Barbara for helping make the transition easier on me! She's the best!). 

So there you have it. Despite some continued fussiness from our (we assume) teething babe - I loved, loved, loved this weekend! I have also just about finished our bentwood chairs, and plan on sharing them with you tomorrow - so make sure to come back and check out the final product! 

What fun things did you all get up to this past weekend?


Friday, May 25, 2012

This Friday...

Happy Friday! WHAT A WEEK! Halle has had a slight fever for most of it, and has needed a lot of Mommy cuddles... and naps. Due to this, there was not much time to blog... only time to work on projects while she slept. So while this meant very little going on, on the blog, this week... it means there should be plenty to share next week! 

Like the kitchen chairs! As of this morning, one has both coats of paint done, two need the second coat and I'm also done sanding the fourth...


What!? You didn't think I was going to give it all away today... did you!? :)

A new arrival also showed up at our house yesterday. If you follow me on Instagram, you already would've spied our new "HOME" pillow. I won it from a giveaway over at My So Called Home. Hilary and Amy, from Honeymoon at Home, teamed up to let the lucky winner choose any one item from Amy's great store. I was drawn to the HOME pillow, as a reminder that wherever we are together is truly Home. I love it...


Scout Vintage and Handmade Market is taking place tomorrow. They are calling for nice weather (let's hope that sticks), so Halle and I will be heading there to do some shopping and meet some lovely ladies, while B is off at a softball tournament. I'll also be spending a good amount of time preparing for our first house guest who will arrive next Saturday. No time to slack.... so back to work I go! Hope you all have a lovely weekend, and I can't wait to share all of the fun things I have going on next week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

10 Months of Halle

Has it really been ten months since this tiny woman came into our lives?...

10 Months

She has such a personality these days and is clearly the light of both of our lives. Her smile just melts my heart and I cannot get enough of her giggles. And yes, for anyone observant enough to notice, she is still in the exact same 3-6 month onesie she was wearing for her five month photo. She is one tiny lady indeed!

- She's an adventurous baby and these days is climbing on and standing up on everything
- She's too sweet. She smiles, says "Hi" and waves all of the time... and I still get all of the kisses. Avoiding her Daddy's kisses seems to have become a game with her these days.
- She's becoming less and less interested in the puree's that I am making her and when we eat dinner now points at whatever is on our plates. Time for me to start making some healthy meals that she can enjoy as well.
- We're still waiting on tooth #3! No visible signs of it, but baby girl has had a slight fever and been a little fussy the past two days, so I'm wondering if it's a sign of things to come maybe? 
- She just continues to get better at sleeping. She naps in her crib on her own (FINALLY!) and  will normally sleep through the nights (until about 5:30 or 6:30am).
- She's pointing at everything, more likely because she wants it, as opposed to she wants to know what it is - but we tell her what it is, and sometimes if we are lucky we will get rewarded with a small attempt at some sound. 

It's hard to believe how quickly these 10 months have gone, and before we know it she will be a year old. Thankfully, I am moving into planning her birthday party back in Toronto (B's Mom has taken care of a party for her in Boston), and I can't wait for it. I'm thankful I will have quite a bit of time back at my parents place this summer to work on more plans. Won't be much longer now...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cozy Up the Nook

As I mentioned yesterday, we got right back into working on the house as soon as we arrived home. The first space we really focused on was our little breakfast nook. The last time I shared a photo with you, it looked like this...

Dining Nook - April 26, 2012

What really inspired me to dive back into setting this space up was the discovery of some new chairs for the space. Despite arriving home in the wee hours of Sunday morning, we were out again that day (on our now common hunt for a dresser) when I spotted four chairs at a thrift store we were popping into. Before we left, B inquired about how much the owner wanted for the chairs. His response? "If you want them, just take them. Someone left them here and they need a little work. They're yours". Yup... FREE! Check these babies out...

Free Chairs

Free Chairs

I love the shape, and they are solid wood. Could it possibly be any better? I already have plans to clean and paint them up, as well as replace the fabric on the chairs. This whole project should help bring a little more colour into our little dining nook.

Sunday night, we also managed to get some stuff hung in that area. We got some curtains up on the garden window (4 WILMA panels from IKEA - can't beat the price). They are pretty sheer, so they still let in a lot of light, but they help obscure the view (at least a little) from our neighbours yard, into our kitchen. I also got my Betsy Benn print up - I think it's perfect for this little nook...

Breakfast Nook

Breakfast Nook

Let me tell you, these little additions may be small, but they really got me motivated to get back to decorating this house. I'm ready to start adding more touches of "us" to this rental, and make it feel more like home. I spent yesterday starting some more projects that I will share with you over the next few days, and I'm also planning out some additional changes to this room - like a faux roman shade to go over that giant window. 

With this fire under me, it's time for me to sign off for another day and get back to work! A lot to get done around here... and I just can't wait to share it all! 

What projects have you been motivated to work on these days? Any great finds or new additions you've added to your home?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Hi Everyone! A little late with today's post, but since it is a holiday here in Canada I think you can excuse me.

We had an incredible time down in Florida, even with a bit more rain than we are used to. We were able to get in a good amount of shopping at the outlets (where Halle also went on her first ride)...

Florida 2012
{Riding on Clifford the Big Red Dog. Despite what the photo shows - she loved it}

Florida 2012

We fit in a good amount of time down by the pool (with yummy drinks)...

Westgate 2012
{Halle and I coordinated bathing suits}

Westgate 2012
{Squeezing in some drink while Halle naps by the pool}

And of course, we paid a visit to the Magic Kingdom...

Disney 2012
{Halle loved that the clock, at Small World, went off right as we were standing in front of it}

Disney 2012
{Riding Buzz Lightyear}

Disney 2012
{Family shot in front of the castle}

Disney 2012
{Halle's first ride on the carousel}

Disney 2012
{Halle got her first set of mouse ears... and B and I tried on some other ones...}

Like any other vacation, there were all kinds of other little moments that created fantastic family memories for us as well...

Florida 2012
{Halle loved the balloon animals she got, including this dog at dinner at Joe's Crab Shack}

Westgate 2012
{This one melts my heart every time! How lucky am I to have these two?}

Westgate 2012
{Posing on the elephants at our resort during a family walk}

Of course there are so many more photos, but I don't want to bore you with every single shot from our family travels. I'd say these nicely depict what a fabulous time we had together.

Now that we are back in the rainy, cool Northwest, we're back to working on the house. No kidding. We got back early, early yesterday morning and we've already been shopping and putting more stuff up to make the house feel more like a home. We have quite a few people ready to come out and pay us a visit, so it's time to get this place guest ready! I'll be back with lots to share over the next little while, and I'm so ready to get back into things!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Well hello and happy Monday! I hope that all of you Mom's had a wonderful Mother's Day and received all of the recognition that you deserve, for doing the most important job in the world! I had a lovely day with a yummy breakfast and spent the afternoon shopping with my Mom and B's Mom. So nice! 

Though yesterday's post promised some content for this week... it was scheduled in advance, and sadly I actually didn't have time to put anything together last week while we were packing. I may, however, still pop in once or twice to fill you in on what we're getting up to down here. 

For now, I'm going to sign off and enjoy another wonderful day with some very special people!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A First Mother's Day

First off, I want to wish each and every Mom out there a very Happy Mother's Day! What a well deserved day, for all of you fabulous women.

Today Mother's Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Thanks to this precious face, I am celebrating my very first mother's day...

May 6, 2012

Though at times, being a mother can be tiring and trying... she is such a joy in my life. Her smiles, and giggles and her emerging personality fill me with so much happiness every single day. How did I ever get so lucky to be the Mama of such a precious little girl?

Also - being a Mom to our Halle has given me a whole new appreciation and understanding of what our own Mom's did for us...


To My Mom: Thank you for every sacrifice that you ever made for me. For all of the times that you did the hard thing, because you knew it would be best for me. Thank you for always listening and for being someone I could confide in or laugh with. You have been more than just my Mom, and I am so thankful to have a role model like you in my life. I hope that I can be as great a Mom to Halle, as you have been to me. I don't think I could ever put into words how thankful I am to have you as my Mom... and of course, Halle's grandmother!

I am thrilled that I get to spend this Mother's Day, not only with my precious little girl, but also with both my Mom & B's Mom! That's right, all of us are together once again, this time in the sunshine state. We are all staying at my parent's time share, minutes from Disney. Yup - Halle will be meeting Mickey and Minnie for the first time and clearly I am wayyy more excited than she is! I have some content lined up for you this week... and hope to pop in once or twice to update you on our first big family vacation! 

Wishing all of you a very Happy Mother's day. Make sure you let your Mom know how much you love her - that's fall she really needs to know today!
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