Lovely Tea Towels

I'm choosing a white kitchen I can have beautiful tea towels like these. Wouldn't they be that gorgeous pop of fun colour? Etsy Seller Helen Rawlinson makes these beautiful printed towels that would be oh so perfect in our home but I think that they would be equally as lovely turned into pillows. Anyhow, just some Etsy love for today. I'm much behind on e-mail replies and business picked up over last week - although juggling it all sometimes seems like too much, life has been making my heart feel heavy these days, and keeping busy is keeping me somewhat sane. I try to remember the wise words that my Father tells me, a quote from Winston Churchill - "KBO". And on that note, I sign off  and encourage you to do some retail therapy as I have been doing. ;)

An Adorable Town and a Winner!

Last week my husband's step-mother passed away.  We quickly flew to Illinois to be with his family.  On the first day, we had a little extra time before everyone got off work, so we spent some time in the cutest little town, Geneva.  I learned about this place from Jennifer Rizzo's blog.  (whom I might add is one of the nicest bloggers out there!) :)   Even though my husband isn't totally thrilled with shopping in cute stores, he was a trooper. 

 I loved this bike in the middle of a planter!

 I didn't get a great picture of this statue, but it's right at the end of the main street and is so cute!

 The businesses all look like this.

 This was such a neat wine store!

This was my favorite place!  I love the magnets on the door announcing that they are open.

The store was FULL of great things!  And they had a couch for my husband to sit on.  :)

 I love this ottoman!

 And this canvas print.

 Because we were traveling and had very limited space, I only bought this little bird, but am so thrilled with it!
If you're ever in Illinois in the west suburbs of Chicago, you need to check out Geneva!  
Thank you to all who entered my giveaway. 

The winner is:  Joy2Journey 

Thanks for your visit and comments!


Aubrey and I visited the AyA Kitchens showroom last week and worked with a designer to come up with a potential floor plan - and a potential quote. What I really appreciated was the designer input into the room plan, she mentioned a few things that we hadn't even really considered, and reaffirmed some design decisions that we had done. A few things we have decided, 1. White Cabinetry 2. Shaker Style Doors 3. White Subway Tile 4. We're going to do hardwood floor, continuing the floor from the hall.

The floor was a debate between Aubrey and I. I really wanted to maintain consistency through the house. And since it's a small house, breaking up the floor just visually broke up the house.

And so we wait to see if we can go custom, we'll source a few prices from others. Anyone do custom, and have any recommendations? Things you wish you had thought of?

Photo found on Pinterest, Source is Michael Roberts Construction


Whirlwind Crazy Fun Times

Last Thursday evening was the start to a very busy 24 hours.

1. Thursday, 5:00pm - Aubrey gets home from work and drives me downtown to the Intercontinental Hotel. There is something I adore about driving into the downtown at night. I love seeing big sky scrapers lit up against the night sky, people dressed up going to shows, shopping, leaving the big towers where they work on Bay Street. I get checked in, and got down to some final preparations for BlogPodium, which was being hosted in the adjoining conference centre the next morning. I unpack, and do some final prep. The room was beautiful, I am a sucker for hotel rooms. I love how everything has a place.

2. 8:00 pm I attended the Interior Design Show Gala with friends (can you spot some awesome bloggers in my midst?) 10:00 pm I ate dinner alone in the Hotel Restaurant. It was kind of weird, but strangely zen eating alone. It was some quiet time I definitely needed. By 110pm, I was back in my hotel room and by Midnight, asleep.

3. Friday, January 27th 6:00 am I wake up to three different alarms (I was so nervous I'd sleep through them all!) - I order room service and Shannon texts me at 7:30 to say she's arrived and is ready to come by to help bring things to our room.

4. 9:30 am BlogPodium was in full gear. Quite simply, it was AWESOME. I was absolutely thrilled at the reaction to the event. And equally excited at the reaction to the fact that our next conversation will be in May, and the topic is "The Business of Blogging" Fun times.

And then....the event ends, I chat unfortunately way too quickly with people, I go back to my hotel room, I have lunch with my brother Peter, who was on site helping us with BlogPodium, and then continue onto the Interior Design Show. By 3pm I was back home, in my own house ....

I'm still unwinding from the high of being around so many cool people. :)



Jennifer and I spent 6 hours on Tuesday stuffing the most fabulous swag bags for BlogPodium. I'm pretty proud that this little idea that Jennifer and I had blossomed into what it is today - awesome bloggers attending, an amazing panel of experts, helpful sponsors, and a series of already planned talks for the upcoming year. What could be better than to meet up with your fellow bloggers, learn from experts, talk, collaborate and socialize.

I have to thank the Interior Design Show for hosting us, and Delta Faucets and OlioBoard for sponsoring the event. We couldn't do it without their support. I know that there was a massive waiting list because we sold out, but sign up here for our newsletter to be the first to know about the next event. And follow the hashtag #BlogPodium tomorrow to follow the conversation. It starts at 9am!

Anyhow, I'm going to sign off for the weekend because tomorrow is the big day, and I'll likely come home after it is done and sleep. :)



Happy Tuesday. I'm a little late to the game of Pinterest, partially due to the fact that I used Internet Explorer and it wouldn't let me use the site properly. Since transitioning to Google Chrome, I've now discovered the pure joy in the site. (And also, since downloading the iPhone App.) You'll likely see me pinning a lot at night, as I lie beside Oscar getting him to sleep, choosing a perfect oppertunity to sneak from the dark room and try to avoid the creaky floor spots that may wake him. Any recomendations on good people to follow? (You can follow me, if you would like here)
Ps., That photo is of my Dad and Me on our Father-Daughter trip to Las Vegas that he took me on. :)



I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I had a weekend of napping. Yes, I napped all weekend. You see Oscar can't fall asleep without one of us lying down beside him. (I've come to grips with it. It will change one day.) And this weekend I decided that after Oscar fell asleep, instead of sneaking out of the room to do laundry, clean up the house or work - I'd just stay in the room with him.  Some naps I'd fall asleep, others I'd lie beside him and play on my iPhone while he was nestled beside me. It was so perfect just stopping to have nap time. :) That was my weekend, and now we're back to running around like crazy. :)


$2 Chair Transformation

 In November I was at a garage sale and found a chair for $2.  I was really excited about it, as it had so much potential.  My husband was mortified that I'd bring something that disgusting home.  (for the record, it was very, very worn, but not as disgusting as it could have been; however, it was not allowed in the house)  :)

 We started by removing all of the cording. 

 The filling was pretty awful.  We probably should've worn masks...  This particular part wasn't too bad.

 My husband spent hours removing hundreds and hundreds of staples.  They were spaced out about every millimeter and were in a groove, so it was very hard to remove them.  He eventually used a Dremel tool to clean out the grooves.  At this point, it was ready for paint.

 Several coats of white paint had it looking much better.

 We kept all of the old pieces of fabric in case we needed the patterns for the new pieces.  This is from the arm (yes, very nice old fabric--I'm sure you're wondering why we didn't use it!)

We did the arms first. 

We then started stapling the fabric to the back.  We got this far and decided that it needed to be ironed.  Ironing right there was our only option.  (this picture is pre-ironed)

I used an electric knife to cut the foam and stuck it in the back.  I used 2" foam from Hobby Lobby and it seemed to fit well.

 For the seat, I used 3" foam.  I also wrapped some batting around it.

 I decided that cutting the exact pattern from the old fabric wasn't great for this part as I needed some extra to allow enough fabric to staple into the groove.  This was before I did any cutting on this piece!

This was prior to gluing on the cording.  The hardest part of this was cutting the edges of the stapled fabric that were hanging out of the groove.  I used little tiny scissors and carefully cut it so it wouldn't be seen once the cording was glued in there.

 I'm sorry that I didn't get a picture of the next step.  It was gluing the cording into the grooves.  We used a hot glue gun and stuffed the cord in.  At the ends of the cord, we used a lighter to glob it together so it would cut without fraying.  Luckily it did not catch us on fire and it did firm up the cord quite well.

 I haven't quite figured out where to put it yet.  Here it is by the front door without a pillow.

 And with a pillow....

 Here it is in our bedroom, where it will probably stay.

So now my husband is impressed.  He had been telling me that I was crazy to have bought the chair thinking we could redo it.  (I figured we could, and if not, we were out $2!)  I think it turned out beautifully!  With the fabric, foam, and batting, I have about $35 in it.  

Thank you for coming by!  I really appreciate your visits and comments.   

Don't forget to enter my Giveaway    


I am linking to the following parties:

Potpourri Friday at 2805

Fine Craft Guild
Home Stories A2Z

Miss Mustard Seed's Creative Blog


My Blog-iversary Giveaway and a Lovely Honor

Today marks one year since I started blogging.  What a joy it's been to join in the party!  I've met so many great friends and have been so inspired.  I spent the last year doing more crafts and projects than ever.

So, to celebrate my 'blogiversary', I am hosting a giveaway.  I was out shopping today and found this pillow and wire cloche to send to the winner.  I will pick the winner on Friday, January 27th via Random Number Generator.

*** Update--We have had a death in the family so I can't pick a winner on the original date.  I will pick a winner on Monday, January 30***


It's easy to enter:
  • You need to be a follower of my blog and leave a comment.
  • This giveaway is only open to US residents.   
  • Please be sure that I have a way to contact you via your blog or an email address.
Good luck!

The other part of my post is in regard to a huge honor that I've been given.  When I was in high school, my basketball team won the state championship.  It was the first championship to be won by any girls' team at my school.  This weekend, they are inducting our team into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.  I am so honored and so grateful for the friendships and memories I have from that time.   Unfortunately, I am not able to attend, but many of my former teammates will be there.  My Dad is standing in for me.  I am thrilled and so is he!  :)

Here we were way back when. I'm holding the trophy.  Those were some short shorts we wore!  :)

Thanks so much for coming by.  And thank you for making the past year so much fun!


Kruse Home Improvement LLC announces first Certified Remodeling Project Manager

Shawn Kruse,

Kruse Home Improvement LLC is proud to announce that Shawn Kruse, CR, CKBR, CRPM, UDCP, is one of the first nationally to pass the Certified Remodeler Project Manager (CRPM) exam, earning him the CRPM designation from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

The exam is designed to measure an individual's application of knowledge and skills in the role of managing every aspect of a remodeling project. Those who earn the CRPM designation have not only passed a written exam but are also held to a stringent set of eligibility requirements, including compliance with NARI’s strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, earn continuing education hours and have several years of continuous remodeling experience.

“I’ve been on my own for about 10 years now, and it is important for me to learn systems for handling more work and supervising others during the job to prepare for future growth,” Kruse says.

The program, which launched in September 2011, addresses a growing trend in the remodeling industry, which has more companies using project managers to supervise jobs as opposed to lead carpenters. The program follows a set of knowledge domains and sub-domains that include project cost management, communication, project planning, quality assurance, record-keeping and risk management.

Those who take the course are provided tools and ideas to improve business operations and efficiency in order to generate and sustain growth. Kruse has already begun to put the things he’s learned down on paper and develop new systems.

One particular area of study from the CRPM course that stood out for Kruse was the work breakdown schedule, which has been implemented into operations. “I learned how to use flow charts to chart the course of the project and map everything out before work begins,” he says. Doing this ahead of time means you’re less likely to miss things later.”

Kruse also believes the course has helped him refine the communication process between himself, the client and the field staff. “I’m able to be more on top of the job details and to communicate with the field staff when it needs to be communicated,” he says.

The increase in control and management of the job spills into the success of the project and into the clients that are being served.

NARI is a professional association whose members voluntarily subscribe to a strict code of ethics. NARI members represent a select group from the approximately 800,000 companies and individuals in the U.S. identifying themselves as professional remodelers.

About Kruse Home Improvement LLC:

Kruse Home Improvement LLC was started in 2001 as a handyman service and small project contracting company. Over the years they have evolved into an organization capable of planning and running large scale home renovations and light commercial work such as office space build-outs and retail establishments. Their expertise includes: complete kitchen, bathroom, and basement renovation, framing / finish carpentry, tile, stonework, cabinetmaking, countertops, insulation, doors, windows and much more.

In addition to construction services, they offer a minimally invasive diagnostic service with the capacity to locate mold and moisture issues behind your walls without actually having to remove sheetrock or sheathing.

About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. The Association, which represents member companies nationwide—comprised of 63,000 remodeling contractors— is “The Voice of the Remodeling Industry.”™

What wasn't blogged about

A lot happened this past week. It was a little nuts, but that seems to be the theme around here.

  • It has been busy with work, launching new products (see my business blog for some highlights
  • We're gearing up for BlogPodim which is next Friday. I had lunch with Leigh Ann and Jennifer on Tuesday to go over the conversation. [Picture
  • Oscar, Aubrey and I went to the Ontario Science Centre, which was sooo much fun. [Picture] I love that we have a yearly membership - I plan on going every week during this cold, yucky weather. 
  • We bought a ottoman for our living room from Chair Table Lamp after seeing Kevin do a post about new products. We've been on the lookout for an ottoman for a long time and this was perfect. More on this next week. [Picture above]
Have a lovely weekend!


Art from Etsy

1  /  3  /

I'm a sucker for original art - paintings to be exact. I see lovely paintings in higher end shops, but the price is very limiting. A week ago I installed the Etsy app on my iphone and I have had the best time finding art as I lie in bed. :) Here are some pieces that I enjoy. Vintage and new, and oh so lovely. (And I may have bought one or two that you see above)


sweet new art

Awhile back I wrote a piece on ReFormed Art Cubes after spotting them online. The artist Amanda kindly offered to make me something for our house as a gift. I'm sentimental, and like to keep a lot of things, so I thought that Oscar's "take home" outfit from the hospital would be perfect.

And close up...

Isn't it a beautiful piece? She put his birthday on the piece. It's subtle, and oh-so-perfect. To see the little guy wearing it the day he was born, click on Read More. :)
Read more »