Friday, May 29, 2009

The I Want Chronicles: Ikea Edition

I'm back with another wish list...this time all from Ikea. Gosh I'm a greedy little bugger, aren't I?

After creating this post, I realize it may have been easier to make a list of what I don't want from Ikea. But I suppose my list isn't that bad. That's their thing, right? Appealing to the masses and having loads of stuff for everyone to like?

Anyway, what started out as researching a couple things we actually kind of 'need' (area rug, window coverings) turned into a free for all, and here's the results.

1. Kajsa panel drapes
2. Unknown ones I've seen several places and would love
3. Egeby Sisal rug...not sure of size though
4. Lack Shelves to go above buffet
5. Hemnes 8-Drawer Dresser
6. Gustav Desk with Shelf Unit as a console table in our entrance OR
7. Gustav Desk for the same purpose. With or without shelf unit? Hmm...
8. Markor Glass Door Cabinet
9. Komplement Storage with Compartments
10. Sortera Bins with Lid
11. Alve Storage Bench
1. Regolit Floor Lamp
2. Samtid Floor Lamp
3. Rutbo Floor Lamp (I also like the Rutbo Pendant)
4. Knubbig Table Lamp
5. Arstid Wall Lamp (but with a different shade)

1. Hastveda Wicker Armchair
2. Mynta Hanging Planter
3. Sockerart Jug Vase
4. Billig Plant Pots
5. Bladet Plant Pot Set
6. Farm Bud Vases
7. Blomster Bud Vases
8. Mynta Plant Pot

Phew! Darn Ikea-I forgot how much stuff you had. And this is an EDITED list!

Have a nice weekend!

Trying to turn my black thumb green-ish

In attempt to keep my black thumb from ruining any curb appeal we may get one day (lawn is still just dirt & debris), I've really been trying to get tips from anyone and everyone about how to garden. I'm very envious of anyone who naturally has a green thumb and

I'm not creating lofty goals of planting and maintaining a garden like these ones,

Frankly, I don't think I'd even want a garden like those ones. They're lovely, but a bit over the top for my tastes.

Even one like this I realize is way outta my league,

And I gotta tell ya---it is HARD to find photos of nice, simple, home gardens as inspiration. I searched my favourite online mags for inspiration, Google Images using several terms, some of my favourite blogs and even searching through some gardening blops I found just for this reason.

As it turns out, some of my faves come from 2 of my favourite bloggers---maybe not so coincidentally, also 2 of participants in the BH&G makeover contest. Man! It's a small world! Anyways, here are a couple that I like overall:

Young House Love:

Making it Lovely:

And a few other seemingly simple ones I may have a hope of achieving over the years:

Anyways, enough about inspiration. If I don't learn what the hey I'm doing, it doesn't matter what my inspiration is, right? So to Style at Home I went to look for some gardening tips. Here are some good ones I found:

Gardening 101
Gardening FAQ's
The Lazy Gardener
Top 10 Garden Tools
15 Garden Tricks

A Simple Guide to Container Gardening

And finally, a list of my fave flowers that I hope hope hope I'll be able to grow someday.

  • Lily of the Valley (going to get a whack of bulbs from mom)
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Lilacs

What's your garden inspiration? Or Goals? Any fave flowers or tips for a novice gardener?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Laundry Room

I'm so excited about this post it's embarassing!

You may recall our bare bones laundry room from a past post about Layla's fascination with it:

Or from when we first moved in (Pic from day 2 in our house, right after appliance delivery):

There wasn't much to it, which really is fine-it's a laundry room afterall. But it definitely had its share of pains in the behind.
  • The washing machine was always 'walking' so I had to keep pushing it back against the wall over and over again.
  • Because of the amount of shaking from the washer, things were always falling off-detergent, clothes, etc. So I'd have to contort myself between everything to pick stuff up. Not to mention getting the bejeezus scared out of you when a bottle of detergent came crashing down and you were downstairs or in bed.
  • There was very little surface area for putting clothes when they came out of the dryer, folding them and stacking them until you were done folding. Everything was always falling between and behind the machines.
  • Zero storage
  • Litter box was in the right side corner (not shown) and took up a good amount of space, and was very obvious when you walked in there.
  • It was just down right boring being in there. I don't need a tv or anything, just a bit of visual interest to break up the monotony of loading, unloading, folding, hanging, ironing, etc would be nice.

So...last week while washing all of our camping clothes 2-3 times each (campfire does NOT smell good when it's embedded in your clothes!) I was getting increasingly frustrated and talked with hubs about how our weekend project (or at least one of them) needed to be figuring out some solution for this room.

And I love it! SO much surface area to put, fold, and keep stuff, plus shelves for storage, and even a little nook for the litter box!

I even printed out a couple laundry-esque pictures and tips for around the room:

Even Max likes it now, as he spent a good 20 minutes sniffing around and seeing what was up with his business room.

We were going to use this as a temporary solution until we could foot the bill for an actual countertop and some cupboards, but I think this will do us just fine.

And all with about an hour and a bit of work and a few bucks. How many bucks, you ask?

Melamine White top $27.47
(just a couple bucks more than a plain MDF version of the same thing and already painted and no splinters to catch clothes on)

2 Melamine White shelves $19.22 ($9.61 each)

2x2 for bracing counter (not seen) $5.17

2x4 for counter leg $4.67

White Melamine 2x4 for bracing shelves $5.96 ($2.98 each)

Plank of MDF for the brackets $7.57

3 8x10 frames for pics $6.00 ($2.00 each)

2 4x6 frames for other pics $2.50 ($1.25 each)

Metal hooks for belts and hangers $1.00 for 4-pack

Plastic blue bowl for coins, etc hubs forgets in his clothes $1.00

Everything else we had on hand

So for a total of $80.56 and about 2 hours combined work, we have a totally functional laundry room that's kinda cute to boot!
Thanks hun!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Great Idea: Apartment Therapy

On Apartment Therapy this morning, I came across this great idea for a kitchen compost bin.

I definitely want to hae a compost bin once our sod is laid and our backyard is officially "ours" and no one's going to be grading it, etc.

Anyways, thought this was a neat idea for the in-between times and for when it's rainy or something and I don't want to run across the lawn to the bin with a handful of peels.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Herb Garden

I took the plunge yesterday and while picking up flowers for my MIL's birthday at the market. I popped into the herb booth and got a whack of herbs and even a tomato plant.

The tomato plant I'm really really hoping I can keep alive. It's well known I'm the least green-thumbed member of my family-even my dad was giving me pointers on Sunday! But hubs and I both love tomatoes, especially the ones I steal from my parents garden at the end of summer. So...the fam as a whole gave me a pot, one of those tomato stake things, some bone meal and some of those styrofoam ball thingies that help with water retention and drainage. (See---even if I don't know the names at least I know their purpose. I think that's more important). Also several pointers and a wide array of contradicting tips. Gweat. Hopefully I'll be able to plant that tonight----here goes nothing.

As for the herbs---I definitely prefer fresh ones in our cooking and buying them often enough that they remain fresh can get kinda pricey. Plus, sometimes I just want a mojito or garnish and it'd be great to have them at my fingertips. I *think* you can keep them all year long if you take care of them, so for that reason, I'd like to keep them inside.

Armed with that, where else to go for ideas and inspiration but google images?

When I was originally buying them, in my head was something like this:
Or this:
Cute right?

But I'm kind of on the less-is-more train when it comes to countertops and windowsills, especially in the kitchen where I like to close the blinds at night. With the right pots, I could still close the blinds over them, but those would have to be some pretty slender pots.
Some other ideas I liked/was intrigued enough to save were:
And after seeing the last two (and some less attractive versions of the same idea), I thought of doing something with one of these Ikea pots and saucers (in white):

And putting it here
In place of that green pot o' sticks that I'm not really feeling anymore.

I'm so indecisive! Anyone have any tips or opinions on the matter?

Neat Idea: Ikea Hacker

I came across this neat idea on Ikea Hacker today.

It a large ironing board made from one of their occasional tables:

As a very, very, VERY not-yet-even-novice sewer, even I san see the benefits of this idea. So I'm sure those capable of making drapes, etc would love it. Especially with the great storage that a typical ironing board doesn't provide.
There are some crafty people out there!

I want Chronicles-Outdoor Living Version

Just like SO many other folks around here, I've been thinking a lot about our future backyard, our front & side yard, our porch, gardening, etc. Basically everything that involves getting outside.

In that spirit, my current Pier 1 & BouClair inspired wish list for outdoor living:

I still really would love some armchairs like this to go with our comfy seat cushions for some lounging:

And this cute little bird house is, well, cute:

As is this glass hummingbird feeder that's a couple steps up from those plastic red ones you usually see (and they eat up all those nasty mosquitoes--perf):

I know, I know---stop it with the owls, but this garden statue is one I could definitely handle (although I've seen it in store and it's about a zillion tonnes, so technically I might have to get hubs to handle it):

Or stick this in one of the big planters:

And you can't be outside without some bevvies, which would be a little safer and coordinated in these acrylic pitchers and cups:

And some snackaroos served in these rattan-ish baskets, trays and charging plates:

And of course you need a little more light, bug deterers and ambiance. Enter these oil lanterns,
And for some fun colour, these ones too:

Obviously these aren't all necessarily for me or our place, I just really like them.
What's on your outdoor living wishlist?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Current Obsession: Make it and Love it

I can't remember how I came across this site. Through someones blog to blog to blog, etc I'm sure though. Regardless-it's fantastic!

Ever since beginning my goal of beginning to sew the drapes, not to mention reading some crafty-as-heck blogs where people make sewing and crafting look effortless, I've been very keen to learn a thing of two.

Enter Ashley.

Her site is totally cute, totally crafty, and seemingly do-able. Many of her ideas are inexpensive, and most of them are pretty quick, although some of them are definitely more involved.

Here are a couple ideas I've saved into my 'Cute Ideas' folder (admittedly, not all appropriate for my stage in life, but for gifts and future reference):

Ridiculously cheap and easy dry erase board:

Totally cute tea towel bling:

Way too cute and way too easy clips with flare:

Super cute grocery bag holder:

Crafty Christmas star: (Same idea applied in her children's room here)

Funky thirfty wall art:

Comfy cute car seat cover:
Cute soother clips: (what a cute baby shower idea if you have an idea of the colours the parents are using for the nursery and/or car seat stuff)

Bobble-esque hair elastic embellishments: (I'm especially intrigued about the whole button-making procedure here)
Cute, handy crayon roll up holder:

So cute, right?

As a mother of 2, understandably a lot of her crafts are kid-centric, so that explains some of my favourites. No, I'm not on the baby train just yet.

Anyways, Ashley's obviously a very talented, experienced seamstress and I definitely don't think I'm going to be able to tackle 95% of her projects any time soon, but a girl can dream.

If you have even a tiny crafty bone in your body, or are considering learning to sew, I strongly urge you to check out this blog...I definitely went through the archives and am SO wanting some lessons or get a book or something so I can learn the basics of the prep work. I've already learned a few lessons of my own, but most of them were learned the hard way and I haven't yet learned how to fix 'em.

I even added a cute little button on my sidebar so you can click right to it---so cute and handy!