Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Goals

A more streamlined goals list so there's a bit more green on July's judgement day:

  1. Send cards for every birthday/significant event
  2. Have a real date night with hubs
  3. Make or bake 1 new dessert each week
  4. Make a care basket for our friends going through a very hard time
  5. Spend more time with my girls!
  6. Work out at least 5x per week
  7. Make or buy window coverings for family room (let's hope 2nd time's a charm)
  8. Surprise goal
  9. Decorate at least 3 walls/areas...it's just silly that there's a stack of art & hangings sitting in our house and so many empty walls
  10. Hanging plants: Hang 'em somehow...our front porch looks lonely

Good luck on your goals, official or not, and Happy Canada Day!

June Goals: Judgement Day

I know I technically have another 12 hours or so, but tomorrow's Canada Day and tonight's my sisters birfday party, so nothing's going to get done in that time.

Here's how the June goals went down,

  1. Organize Garage Completed
  2. Learn to sew a straight line Completed! YAY!
  3. Make a meal plan each week Partially Completed. This week we didn't because it's such a wonky un-schedule-able week
  4. Each week, try 1 new recipe Completed
  5. Have a real date night with hubs Completed
  6. Fill the empty frames in the hallway frame series: Yep, it's been 2 months and those 2 spots are still empty Partially Completed. I filled 1 of the 2 spots.
  7. Keep plants alive Completed!
  8. Send cards for every birthday: A much easier month. Looks like only 1 birthday and then father's day Completed (well, with tonight's card anyways)
  9. Organize recipes into binder Completed!
  10. Take more pictures. Not just of my house, but of life. Partially Completed. Life wasn't very exciting this month. I took pics of a golf tournament, my family's first Tim Tam experience and hubs at work, so I guess it's getting there.
  11. Buy, lease or steal a new car Partially completed. Couldn't find a good deal, so put a few bucks into fixing up hubs car to buy us a bit more time.
  12. Go running at least 2x per week: Except this time, at least one of them has to be 5K or more Partially Completed. This fell off the radar after father's day-before that I was killing it.
  13. Run the father's day run for prostate cancer 10K in an hour or less Failed, but 1 hr 3 min isn't too far off.
  14. Get camera fixed Completed! (Except as of yesterday it's being wonky again...damnit!)
  15. Make or Buy window coverings for family room Failed

Overall a month that started with great intentions but summer brain kicked in near the end a bit I think.

Going forward, I'm going to limit myself to 10 goals a month, and a couple of them will be regulars.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Later Rooster!

This project has been on the back-burner for quite a while. In fact, the photo of the original is tagged May 1. For such a quick and simple project, I'm surprised it took me so long to finally get down to.

I bought this tray from Home Sense:

When I bought it, I knew full well I wouldn't be keeping it as is. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, hubs liked it with the rooster and didn't want me to change it. Too bad.

So I spent a unhealthy amount of time comparing and debating about which paper I wanted to use to cover it. My brother and his crafty gf gave me a economy sized package of nice papers for Christmas, so I had a lot to choose from. Finally settled on an orangey-beige-y with a bit of blue design that easily matched up because the tray is longer than 12".

A little hodge-podge, a few unwanted air bubbles and we've got a brand new, much nicer tray:

I even used it last night for our first significant dinner party (7 people total) to cart the dishes and the food to the dining room:
I really like it and may use it on the entrance table (when we get one), the bakers rack in the kitchen or on the coffee table in the family room. All for a little vignette and a catch all for, well, all. Or I may keep it as an actual tray. See--indecisive!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Monthly Visitor

Heh heh---not to worry, I'm not one to discuss that monthly visitor. This is one I hugely look forward to each month and not in a I'm a flooze kind of way either.

Enough of that---I got my latest issue of Canada's Style at Home magazine in the mail yesterday! Woo Hoo! It's the August issue, which is kind of absurd since it's only JUNE 24, but lemme tell ya--it's a good one!

(I suppose it bears mentioning that if you think anyone from Style at Home knows anything about me or this post, you're crazy. I just love it and want to share the greatness with my 1 and only reader)

I think it might be my favourite issue yet and I'm trying not to finish it all at once so it lasts until the next issue arrives. So last night I just flipped through it and pretty much every page I stopped at-crap.

There's a cute feature on thrifty, although no less thoughtful, hostess gifts specifically aimed at cottage visitors:

This one's a cute gardening themed gift.
And these ones include a puzzle & game fits, a nice jam set, a pet-centric gift, a bbq-ers dream gift and even a s'mores gift set-yum!
The 'We Love It' feature (where editors pick their faves for that months category) is all about monograms, which is so trendy right now, and obviously, I'm a fan for myself and for gifts:
Admittedly, this months High-Low feature isn't one of my faves (you can check out some fabulous ones here), but I always love picking which aspects are my favourite and realizing that sometimes the less expensive things (although still out of my budget) are ones I prefer over the mucho dinero options:
The Decorator's Notebook feature is all about dressing patio doors, and features some great inspiration pics:
And there's a great Table Style feature showcasing several ideas for a green and white table setting (such a great summery combo):
And, of course, the cover story, which features an amazing PEI home (there's also a great feature on another cottage, but at a certain point I was photographing and posting every single page, so I had to pick my faves):
Isn't it amazing? Just look at that kitchen! And the mud room/entrance! I can't wait until next month when they post these stories to their site so I can save several of the higher-res images to my inspiration folder):
And the large dinind area that features exposed beams and a harvested custom-made super-large table:
And the bedrooms and bathroom are equally as inspiration-worthy with a built-in bookcase and great beadboard:
There's also a feature on sheers, which contrary to my design un-saavy boss who's currently decorating his dream home, are NOT out of style. Quite the opposite, in fact:
And yet another great home featured with fantastic design and personal touches:

And, hello! A feature all about ice cream! Talk about speaking to your readers!
And....just when you think you're done-they give you a teaser for next months issue (September already? Egads!)...Organizing & Kitchens! I'm had a bit of sensory overload with that one. Look at that banquette with a built-in drawer---come on! And I have to wait another month?
Anyways, I've gushed enough, but if you're in Canada (I don't know if it's in every province, but it says Canada, so I presume so), I strongly urge you to pick this one up---it's a keeper.
If not, the website has so many ideas and inspiration too, it's a huge problem for my work productivity, but great for me :)
Enjoy---I know I will.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Room Brainwave

With the family room on my brain and time on my hands, I hit up icovia room designer thingy to play around.

It's a great tool to have that lets you sort out furniture arrangement. It's not quite as cool-dude as floorplanner, but it's a lot simpler to use and you can use it indefinitely. It's basically my paint to everyone else's photoshop.

Anyways, not the point of the post. The point is this: while I was doing up absurd options for the family room (seriously-there were 15 versions at one point) I was trying to think of different ways to make the space work.

Here's the plan as it is currently:

Pretty sparse. I don't know off the top of my head the dimensions of our furniture so I did it all based on spatial reasoning....ha! Whatever-I guessed.

And here are some of the standard options I created (I acknowledge that the minor differences probably aren't even noticeable by anyone else):
And then I thought, well hubs and I love our little bistro table on the front porch, so how hard/ugly/weird would it be to try something like that in the family room? Afterall, it's right beside the kitchen and we aren't even close to getting our breakfast bar idea off the ground. Also---it's a flippin' floorplan planning software-it couldn't hurt.

So I added a couple alternative options that allow for a little bistro table or bar/pub table that can tuck into the corner or pulled out a bit if needed (and bonus: extra seating and a great place for snacks):

For visual ideas of how it would look, I just went with the last floorplan I was working on, which happens to involve the least amount of moving furniture :) Convenient!

So, I don't know. I'm not sure what I think (quel surprise) but I'm definitely intrigued by this option. I know hubs is going to vetoe it right away, so I'll have to have him think about it for a while before ruling it out. (Hey-it works-he's changed his mind about an area rug...now I'm just working on the size).

Please let me know your thoughts---do you like any of the floorplans above? What are your thoughts on the bar table idea? I'm clearly in need of an indecisiveness intervention.

Family Room Windows

Well, I'd better get a move on if I have any hope of crossing June goal # 15 off my list: Cover the family room windows.

Unfortunately I forgot to snag a shot this morning of what it currently looks like (and with a working camera--boo yah!), so here are a couple of past examples to remind what windows I mean: and the adjoining kitchen complete with 2" white faux wood blinds:
So the reason for the delay, aside from chronic indecisiveness and chronic not enough funds, hubs and I just couldn't agree on what we wanted.

He likes the simplicity and clean lines of using the same wooden blinds on those windows. I like that too, I just think it would be nice for some texture there to warm it up a bit. I don't want it to be so clinical-we don't like clutter to begin with so a huge room of all hard, clean, empty and solid surfaces might be a bit much.

But...I didn't know what it would look like with blinds. I'm a visual person, you see, so I couldn't imagine what the finished product would look like (def my biggest decorating dilemma-not being able to visualize the end).

So my options were:
Drapes only, but that doesn't give many options for open & close-ability
Blinds only, but kinda sparse and clinical looking
Both but where do I have the drapes and would it look weird with the bare spot above the window?
TYH inspired bamboo outside-mount blinds with drapes (like this)

As always, leave it up to the youngsters to help me out. Sherry posted a design dilemma where she was suggesting the inside-mount blind + drapes combo. I loved the board (as usual) so commented as such, but also threw in a question about that very suggestion. Hey-I'm not above selfish compliments when it comes to stuff I don't know about.
Sherry quickly got back to me that it would be fine as long as the drapes aren't too high so there's still a relationship between the blinds and the drapes. Seems common sense, but I still gotta hear it from someone who knows what they're talking about.

Armed with the educated info that it wasn't a total faux-pas, I google image searched. (What, I ask you, WHAT did people ever do before the internet?????)
Here are some examples I found, complete with a nifty little drawing to remind me that anything & everything's online:

And I'll be honest-I tried and I tried to make some sort of mock up in both paint and photoshop, but I just cn't do it. It was the piece de resistance for my post and for my own peace of mind, but I can't do it.

So I think I'm quite settled that for now we'll get the faux wood blinds and once we save up a bit more we'll pick up some drapes as well. I just won't hang them too high, and I won't hang them too low. They'll be the mama bear of Goldilocks' drapes.

Any tips? Opinions? Ideas? Other lame nursery lame simile's?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dining Room Eye Candy

**Usual disclaimer: I'm sorry but I just can't remember to take the source information when I'm saving inspiration pics, so I don't remember where I got these from. If you know and would like it sourced, please let me know.**
Happy Friday!

Sewing Dilemma

This is a plea to any seamstress who may come across this post.

In an effort to learn to sew, I've been attempting all sorts of little projects, some with mild success but most not so much.

However, the most recent one I was doing sooooo well, and then part way through, my stitches became all wonky.

Here's the front (or top, I guess) side. Looks pretty darn good I'd say. I'm nearing being able to sew a straight line:

But then the under side looks like this:
It's all loopy and tangly. I tried re-threading everything once, and just re-threading the bobbin at least 3 times and it kept doing this. I even pulled out the manual to make sure I was threading it correctly (which I was-yay me!)
Are my settings wrong? Am I pulling too much? Any clue what I'm doing wrong or how I can fix it? Anyone?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Say what?

Remember when I mentioned the forecast for the next 2 weeks when I was glad it could water our brank spankin' new sod?

Yeah, well. Yesterday's 14-day forecast called for 14 days of unclouded sun. Quite a turnaround.

Then this morning I checked again, and it's calling for this:
Yeah, about as reliable as celebrity bump watch.

Fortunately though, this forecast bodes much better for non-sod related activities. Which, despite my last post, I do have several of.
Saturday: Charity Car Wash & bro's open house
Sunday: Father's Day and the 10K run I'm attempting
Monday: Golf Tournament
Tuesday: Sis & BIL come home from living in the Caribbean (although not dependent on weather)
next Saturday: Outdoor anniversary party at my Oma's
30th & 2nd: Canada Day baby! Festivities always involve outdoor bbqs.

I'm much happier to have a high water bill that shitty and cancelled activities.


I have to admit-I'm pretty sheltered when it comes to critters. Seeing them in real life, hearing about them, anything. I've always lived in Suburbia and camping and cottages haven't really been that rustic. The occasional skunk, raccoon, deer and excessive squirrels and chipmunks have pretty much been the extent of it.

Yesterday on my drive home, I was about a block from home and saw what I thought was some rodent walking down the sidewalk---very obedient of traffic decorum I have to say. As I got closer I realized it was a pretty large turtle. Neat!

I know they're not uncommon or exotic by any means, but you just don't see them that often. So I drive home and dragged (a very reluctant) hubs to see it with me. Turns out-turtles aren't always that slow as he'd made some pretty good progress.

Anyways, this story shouldn't be as long as it is, but hubs kinda freaked out when he saw it-apparently a snapper turtle and a male and one hubs wasn't getting within about 5 feet from. Hehe---sissy.

Naturally, I immediately took a few pics (both of which make him look MUCH larger than he was. I'd say in reality the size of a large (current day, western, thus large) dinner plate.

Unfortunately though, the direction Franklin was motoring was towards the road, so after my wimpy husband fled the scene, I spent the next few minutes nudging the turtle with my foot so he'd turn around and start heading back towards the swampy area. Franklin did not enjoy this and 'snapped' a couple times. I use brackets because it's not scary at all, just suddenAnd that was the most exciting thing about my Wednesday. Wow-that's quite sad isn't it? Don't answer that.