A New Desk for the Man Cave

My husband loves his 'man cave', which isn't very cave-like at all, but in keeping with the times, it's called a Man Cave.  :)

He has his workout equipment up there as well as a couch where he can spend time reading. He decided he would like a desk up there too as he works on the computer at home quite often in the evenings.  Well, it doesn't take him long between deciding he would like a new piece of furniture to completing something.

He started with alder boards.

It took him two weekends to design and build it.

(If you're wondering what those ugly green things are stapled to the wall, they are foam pieces that protect my car doors from hitting the wall.  They are ugly, but they work!)

I think he did an absolutely beautiful job.  It is so pretty in person.  :)

He still needs to get a chair and some accessories.  I'm sure that will happen this weekend!

Thank you for visiting!


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Escaping to cottage country

 Aubrey and I escaped to the cottage for a day this week. Sometimes you just need to escape. My brain is swirling with work, and getting the Holiday 2011 collection designed (yes, I have to start this early) So a trip to the cottage was in order. There is something about driving through the countryside that calms me. (Above is a photo from the road that winds down to our cottage)

In my last post I showed you our finds from Coboconk (which is where my cottage is). A new antique shop opened up and we popped in. Although they weren't actually *open* as she was setting up for the long weekend, but let us in .... and was probably glad she did because we bought a LOT.

Table of wooden boxes starting ar $4
The table of wooden boxes, around $4 to $6.

I fell for this oil painting but it was a bit wavy and I didn't know where I'd put her. But I loved her. And she was $65

Vintage rolling pins, $8 each

The owners told me stories of finding treasures in the dump ... yes, the dump. And they invited me to go and check it out for myself. At the thought of finding awesome treasures, I kindly told them I'd be more than happy to let them do the searching and I'd just pay them for their efforts! But can you believe that people throw out amazing things? Honestly, donate it. Don't throw it out. :(


Some treasures

Aubrey, Oscar and I did some adventuring this week that included some out of town treasure hunting.  This little antique store in Coboconk, Ontario had a table full of the coolest wooden boxes at drool worthy prices (I bought almost all of them). I thought they would make some lovely gifts for a few people I know. Among a number of other things, I also picked up an old rolling pin that had the prettiest blue handle. 
Pssst. My little shop is having a Buy 1, Get 1 Free Sale to celebrate Canada Post going back to work. ;)


Color and Lighting for an Inviting Bathroom

Though a bathroom is a necessity in every home, there are things that you can do to make your bathroom not only functional but a place for relaxation and tranquility.

How should you design a bathroom? According to the Home Improvement Blog, you should first think of the color. Consider the following:

Some may feel that White is plain and sterile looking. You’d be better not making your bathroom completely white. Some psychologists feel shades of Blue or Green can create a more calming and peaceful feeling. Try combining the two.

Combinations of Black and White colors will not only create a formal atmosphere in your bathroom, it can give a modern day retro look as well.

An inviting bathroom created by
Kruse Home Improvement

Warmer tones such as Red, Orange, Gold and Yellow will make your bathroom cozy with a more intimate feeling.
As designers say, the color you choose expresses a part of you. Always remember that for an inviting theme a room needs color. It’s not a bad idea to buy a bright red rug or colorful shower curtains for a bold, refreshing atmosphere. Express yourself and make your bathroom a sanctum of spiritual tranquility.

If you are remodeling your bathroom, consider a variety of lighting options. Bright lighting will make your bathroom more inviting. Dim lighting may be soothing for a soak in the tub but could make problems while shaving or applying makeup. You can also add a mirror. This is one of the tricks that you can use to give the impression of a wider and brighter bathroom, as it will reflect light from the lamps. With this, you do not need to buy extra lights.


Ordinary item and turning it into art

Here is a ridiculously easy and awesome project when you have an unusual item, and are in need of some art. This piece would work as a great project for art for a childs room. I did this awhile ago when I was getting used to my new mat cutter.
1. I took a mini Playmobile figure that my brother and I found when cleaning out the garage. I snuck him home... 2. I cut a new square mat on my new mat cutter and added a few dallops of glue on to the back of he guy. 3. Glued him to the new matting and was done. :)



It's sitting beside the replica of my first car - my red Mini Cooper with a white top.
One day I will reveal the hilarious story behind the car.


It's worked its way around my studio, resting finally here in the washroom. You needn't go through the garage like I did to find something like this - if your little one has an interest, or a theme for their room, or maybe you want to make a funny gift for someone you can pick up a similar Playmobile figure at someplace like MastermindToys.
(Art Print from my shop at


Simple Garden Themed Tablescape

I hate to admit it, but sometimes it's just too hot to eat outside here during the summer.  When it is, we eat in the dining room.  I love anything with birds or garden themes, so it was fun to put this tablescape together.

I used a birdcage, some plants and several cast iron birds in the center.

I found these adorable garden plates and bowls at The Dollar Tree several years ago.  I only bought four of each and am now so disappointed that I didn't buy more.  A friend gave me the little napkin holder pots and napkins.  I think they are so cute!  I got the placemats at Kohl's.  I love the texture of them.

I was in Pottery Barn last week and they had these bird nest place card holders for $1.87 for four.  I bought the last two sets.  I'm not sure if I'll keep all eight as place card holders or maybe just use some as bird nests. 

I am looking forward to serving dinner in here tonight!

Thanks so much for visiting.


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Homesense: Chandelier

Aubrey and I found this gorgeous, super, uber cheap chandelier at HomeSense. It's totally our style. The metal isn't as heavy as the more expensive models we have throughout the house, but once it's hanging I'm not holding or touching the metal so ... um, it doesn't matter. :)

We brought it home and are trying to see if it will work. If we like it, we'd be playing switcheroo -  moving the existing kitchen light (seen resting on the table) to the Dining Room.

A few things are making me reluctant. 1st: I didn't mind my previous light. 2nd: The old light had a shade and diffuses light so when you're at the table, it's not right in your face. 3rd: The new light has three bulbs vs. six, but as Aubrey pointed out the missing bulbs are made up for by the fact that we don't have a shade on it.

Overall it sounds like I'm making a lot of excuses not to install it.....But I think it's super pretty. ;)


You'll Find Me Here All Summer

I am so excited to participate in the Summer Block Blog Party hosted by Heather and Vanessa at At The Picket Fence.    Today's party is hosted by Kim at Savvy Southern Style

Last summer we doubled the size of our patio to accommodate our fire pit and table and chairs.  You can read about that HERE.

This summer, we've just been sitting back and relaxing in this area.  After a long, wet winter, the hot weather is much appreciated!!  We have a great view of the pond we installed last summer.  You can read about that HERE.  I love the sound of water and the great variety of birds that come in our yard now.  I had a group of friends over last weekend and we sure enjoyed being out here.  Once it started cooling off, the fire felt great!

In the evenings, the adirondack chairs are in the shade.  They are so comfortable!

Thanks so much for coming by. 


Sugar Beach on the first day of Summer

It's the first day of Summer, and the three of us headed Sugar Beach to explore. There is something appealing about the name "Sugar Beach" and I was excited to see the permanent pink umbrellas. It's a small beach, and absolutely beautifully maintained. Wondering why it's called Sugar beach? "The design for Canada’s Sugar Beach, by Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes draws upon the industrial heritage of the area and its relationship to the neighbouring Redpath Sugar factory." (via)
It was perfect weather, not too hot or humid. And thankfuly I brought my good camera and snapped some photos of my boys. The sun was perfect, and Oscar was in an equally perfect mood.

Love these photos because you can see his little chicklet teeth that are coming in. :)


Pottery Barn Candles

Sitting on my new tray, are another new addition to our house - new candles. Before you go and think I'm totally bonkers for doing a post on stupid candles, read on.

The candle body is very much wax, but guess what. They are 100% fake...


I fell for these when I saw them on display at Pottery Barn, when they had merchandised them in hanging lanterns. The soft glow was enough to make me inspect it further. I thought it looked so realistic. And I love candles, but I'm forever fearful of fire especially now with Oscar. Having a party, knocking one over...Perhaps a little bit of obsessive compulsiveness runs through my blood, so that itching worry is enough to make me go bananas.

Although I have them on our kitchen table (right now) I will say this: For the best look, have them on a somewhere where you aren't staring at the lack of flame, because it's painfully obvious they aren't real when you see that no fire is coming out of it. But if you have them up high or in a lantern, then it is perfect. Because I think you have to see it to believe it...

Granted, these candles aren't inexpensive (it came to over $50 for the three) I had a gift card from Aubrey's awesome Aunt that made this splurge possible. (Don't you love when you can get things that you normally wouldn't be able to because of a gift card?)

Ps., oh yeah, you can also put them on a timer which I have yet to figure out. But that just makes me crack up. You could really throw someone if you tried...*wave hand over to the candles and they magically light up*


What didn't make it into posts....

Have a great weekend


Project "Curb Appeal", deciding on Window Colours

So it came down to two colours for our windows. Light (Sandlewood) vs. Dark (Sable). Because it was down to just two, I asked Ken if he could e-mail me some photos of the two colours on windows that they had done, to help me determine which one would be best for us. First up, Sandlewood, which was the lighter colour I was debating. It is beautiful, and classic - But it is kind of light. And for the extra expense of colour, well, I don't want it to read white.

Then there is Sable, the darker colour. And I kind of fell for it.
Honestly, I don't think we could have gone wrong with either. But Aubrey really loved the dark, Ken was confident it was the right choice, and so I signed off on Sable as our colour.

By going with the darker windows, it means we'll be painting the vinyl siding a lighter shade. I used the Sandlewood colour as the siding colour against the Sable windows. But we'll find a Benjamin Moore paint that will go nicely with the new windows.
 I'm getting conflicting information on how dark I can go with painting the vinyl siding, so I'm hoping to get some expert advice soon. And on the topic of painting the siding, I think we may do the back as well. I think painting the white will make it seem less like the back portion of our house was an addition, and make it blend in nicely. (Ok, I haven't convinced Aubrey on this stage of the project so this is still up in the air)

We're going to be hiring for the job of painting the front of the house, but to save money I would paint the back myself.

If you have a painter recommendation, I'd love to know!


Explosion of Blooms

The lupine that I posted about a couple of weeks ago is now in full bloom.  I counted 49 spires of blooms on it!!  (My husband thinks I must have too much time on my hands to have counted them.)    :)

My Mom's favorite flowers were peonies.  It's so special to me to see them bloom!

I love the darker pink color of this lupine. 

My pots are starting to get very colorful.

I spend several months a year (very impatiently) waiting for the good weather.  I am so very happy when it finally warms up and I can be out in my yard everyday! 

Thanks for visiting!


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Family Photos

Monday, Aubrey, Oscar and I went for a family photo shoot with Leigh at Tynan Studios. Honestly, I love her work but I kind of adore her just as much. She is soooo nice. She sent me this uber cute preview of our time in the park. I just simply adore the colours.

Here is a confession. You know what is so sad? I've avoided being in a lot of photos in Oscars 1st year as I've been so self concious of the weight I gained with the pregancy. But when I saw Leighs work, I knew that I just had to put my issues aside and have her capture us as a family. I can't wait to show you more of the photos!

Ps., The weight is coming off - slowly - but coming off. I hated what pregnancy did to my body but I'm forever grateful for what it gave me...and that is the little boy between the two of us. ;)

Woven Trays

I've always loved woven trays. First of all, the tray itself is an easy way to keep things on a table/ottoman, yet have a sense of organization. And the woven trays are totally my style. I keep dreaming of when I have a big ol' tufted ottoma, I'm going to have a woven tray on it. Kind of beachy. ;) I fell for this one at Pottery Barn but did not fall for the price.. $50.

But then I was doing a quick late night run through Loblaws and spotted something in their home line...

Although not identical, and I kind of prefer the lighter style of the Pottery Barn style, this one was $15 and too good of a deal to pass up. 1

It just keeps my new candles, and some magazines on the table.
Tray available at Loblaws for $15.