chugging along

In the first few days of the kitchen demolition Aubrey pulled down the plaster ceiling and had Joe of Gallant Home Improvements (photo above) install a brand spanking new drywall ceiling. This allowed us to install pot lights and also get rid of the ugly bumpy plaster ceiling.  Joe is one of the best so if you're in Toronto and need a drywall guy call Joe. Love his work. He's a hard to get a hold of, but once he's in your house he does the best work. (He also did our entire basement project)

In other news, our counter should be installed tomorrow (Friday) and with that in place Oscar and I are moving back in on Saturday. Although we're a long way from being 100% done, we're at a point where I think it's time I moved back home and I should also reopen my shop. The break has been nice (and needed) but it's time we regained some normalcy.

More (better) shots from the house next week since I'll be moved back in. :) I'll also give you a list of our trades that we have loved all in one post that hopefully will be helpful to our local readers. xo


shopping therapy at homesense

Last night when Aubrey came to help with bath & bedtime with Oscar - I made a dash for the car and decided to go for a much needed retail therapy trip. The joy of wandering HomeSense slowly without a screaming, wiggling child is heaven. I picked up a few things for the kitchen but I'm reluctant to buy much until things can have a permanent home. Here are some shots from last night that you may have seen me tweeting. [Top Left] That ottoman was $69 and if Oscar had a pink bedroom you'd better believe that I would have picked that up. [Top Right] That little whale pitcher was very Jonathan Adler and was $16 and he made his way all the way to the checkout with me, until I decided to leave him at the store. I'm trying to be mindful of bringing in less random "stuff" that wont have an purpose all the time into our home. [Bottom Left] HomeSense has a collection of very organic wooden bowls that are absolutely gorgeous. [Bottom Right] And HomeSense is my go to spot for baskets. I never, ever buy baskets elsewhere. Just some shots from last night from the needed "Time Out" for Mommy. ;) xo Linds


Renting Textbooks = Happy Parents + A Mama Bird

With two kids in out of state colleges, expenses are incredibly high.  My son decided to take a couple of classes this summer.  Imagine our surprise when the professor let him know that he needed the book, "Modern Industrial Organization" that costs $180!

We checked out and the exact book  can be rented for the summer for $29.74.  They not only have amazing prices, they also offer free shipping both ways!  We will definitely be ordering from them right away.

If you want big savings on book rentals, be sure to check them out!

**Update on the book rental.  I ordered it on Tuesday night and it was delivered to my son 800 miles away on Friday morning!  Great service!!

I am so thrilled that my birdhouses provide shelter for many birds during the summer.  The other night I was outside and was lucky enough to get a picture of the mama bird feeding her babies.  Boy did they squawk when she got close!!

Thanks for your visit!



Angus & Company, Shopping in Toronto

As the kitchen renovation has an end date in sight, I've once again found myself being drawn to the softer decorating process for our home. I'm looking at finding an area rug for our TV room, blinds for the kitchen, decorative objects. There is a shop in Toronto, Angus and Company that I have been in on occasion - I recently started following on twitter, and then "liked" them on facebook and my heart has skipped a beat on more than a few occasion at the photos that they post. That starburst mirror I fell in love with - I called to ask how much it cost (turns out it is $1,700 approx). Unfortunately it is out of my budget but I don't doubt its value. Honestly, they really know how to style a room and use a mixture of old, and new items together. Although the majority of items are well over my budget, this is one of my favourite shops to follow and hopefully be inspired by for our own home. xo Linds
All photos via Angus & Company's Blog


I Love June in the Garden

June and July are my favorite months in my yard.  Just about everything is blooming and the hot, hot days of August haven't yet taken their toll on the flowers. 

 This is the beginning of the third summer for the plants around and in the pond to grow.  Everything is filling in nicely.  The daisies on the right are enormous!!

The lavender and some daylilies are blooming. The daisies and coneflowers are about to explode with blooms. I can't wait!

Several families have taken up residence this year. Some of the places look awfully full of nesting material!  I absolutely love that the birds use the birdhouses!

Thanks for coming by.  I hope everything is blooming in your yards now too!


I am linking to the following parties:

>Cottage Garden Party


Ikea Adel Doors

Although we installed the cabinets last week we didn't start adding doors until a few days ago. We delayed the door installation until after I had painted the ceiling. (I wanted to eliminate the risk of getting paint splatters on the doors) So Wednesday AM I painted for three hours. I hate painting ceilings. I really do.

So with the freshly painted ceiling Aubrey was able to do the door installation and Wednesday night he sent me some photos ..... it looks amazing. I can't stop staring at the photo. I'm really, really happy with the Ikea Adel Doors. We still have to add crown molding, a valance, backsplash --- still lots to do.

Part of the reason for showing this shot is because a lot of people have commented on the exposed brick wall that has been seen in previous photos. Although it's lovely, it's not staying like this for a few reasons.

First, the other side of the kitchen doesn't have an exposed brick wall and I think it would look odd to different back splashes. Number 2 - I don't think brick cleans very well so food splatters would be hard to get off. Last - although I like the look, it's not the look I was going for. Now - that being said the interesting thing is that the soft grey of the brick has me debating whether I really want to do a white subway tile as we had originally planned. The grey looks lovely with the cabinetry. Because of this - we've decided to wait until the countertop is installed to decide on the backsplash.

Still a lot of things to do, but this shot was too fun not to share. ;) Have a lovely weekend! xo Linds

When to hire help....

We're still making progress on the kitchen! :) In my last post you saw the cabinets installed - they were installed by two (awesome) guys from Eureka! Furniture and Assembly. Although we're handy people and can do many projects on our own, we know when to hire help. Hiring for the cabinet installation was money well spent.  Although you can hire Eureka to build & install your Ikea cabinets we hired them only for the installation. We had them in for one day, and they were AMAZING. Highly, highly recommend.

See more photos of the installation day after the jump.
Read more »


kitchen reno progress shots

Here is another sneak peek at what is going on in the house via an instagram photo. New cabinets, floor, the stove is in place and the microwave is securely above it. We've extended the base cabinets into the eat in kitchen. Although we've hit a few delays, we're still moving at a good pace. The reno created a lot of mess and because I don't feel it's a totally safe spot for Oscar, the two of us are still camping out at Moms. Aubrey visits us at night, helps me with Oscar's bedtime (to give me a break) and then heads back home. I feel like we're dating again. (but with a child) Tomorrow I'm heading down there to paint the ceiling and do some tidying up. Aubrey thinks that until the counter is in, I shouldn't be moving in. So, time will tell when I get to move back! xo Linds


vacation mode

Oscar and I are still at my Mom's in vacation mode. As you can see from the pictures above we're having a blast (and I kind of don't want to move home) What we've been up to: Snuggling + lots of self portraits. Swimming. Exploring the Toronto Parks & ravines, and eating lots of watermelon. :) Things over at our house with the kitchen reno are progressing at a nice pace. We had the counter measured for on Friday, and we expect it to be installed in a week and a half.  More pictures soon. xo Linds


PVC Cellular Decking: The New Composite

PVC Cellular Decking has become the new generation of decking and is the answer to customers’ demand for a long lasting, low maintenance deck.

Although Composites have been a popular choice for decking materials for years, Cellular PVC provides a long list of benefits over Composite products. In Cellular PVC boards, the wood fiber has been removed (unlike Composites) and made entirely from polyvinyl chloride creating a stronger material altogether.

PVC Cellular Deck Installed by KHI
Advantages of Cellular PVC decking include:

Mimics the Natural Beauty of Wood.Cellular PVC boards have embossed wood grain on both sides creating the look and feel of a wood deck.

Great Durability.  It can hold up to extreme weather conditions and is expected to last a lifetime. Since the boards do not have the organic filler that composites do, the boards will not mold, scratch, crack, splinter, warp or rot. In addition, Cellular PVC boards do not take in or give off moisture so they won’t shrink or swell.

Low Maintenance.  A cellular PVC deck does not ever require staining and/or sealing. The boards have a protective outer layer for easy cleaning. Just simply hose the deck down a few times a year to get rid of any spills or surface dirt and tend to accidental stains as soon as possible with household cleaners. No environmentally harmful cleaning products needed.

Better Color Retention.  Cellular PVC’s color will not fade. Though it is unlikely you will ever have to replace a board because it does not crack, warp or separate due in varying weather cycles, if you should have to replace a Cellular PVC deck board a year or two later, you will not see a difference in the color.

Improved Safety. The deep wood grain texture on Cellular PVC deck boards creates a much safer non-slip surface. The boards also maintain 20%-30% less heat retention than composites making it much cooler for your pet to walk on or walking barefoot. It also features a much higher fire resistance than wood or composites (some Cellular PVC’s have a Class A Fire rating).

Variety of Colors. Manufacturers have increased the variety of colors available to match any home and blend in with any outdoor environment.

Vinyl and Composite Railings Systems
Vinyl Deck Railings come in a variety of colors and styles and are made of PVC, making them tough, durable and virtually maintenance free. Although they are more expensive than wood railings, you can expect them to last much longer and survive harsh weather conditions. According to LP WeatherBest's Steve Weinstein, Brand Manager for outdoor living products, white PVC–capped composite railing is the fastest growing segment of the market. “It appears to be growing by about 20% to 25% a year,” Weinstein says.

Railing System Installed by KHI
Composite Deck Railings are mostly made of plastic mixed with wood fibers to create prefabricated railings that look like natural wood. Some railings have a similar density to real wood so they can be cut and finished (unlike vinyl railings). Composite Deck Railings are available in a wide variety of colors and textures.

A Great Trip, A Beautiful Garden and A Winner!

My kids just got out of college for summer.  They are on quarters, so they start much later and end much later than a lot of other schools.  I was fortunate that it's late enough in June that the weather was gorgeous, I got to spend time with them,  and spend some time with friends while I was there.  Of course seeing friends means shopping and spending time looking at their beautiful gardens and beautiful homes.  :)

I found some fun things that I loved and could fit on the airplane with me.  I also found some great things that would've required their own seat, so I couldn't get them...

I love Coke memorabilia and have a couple of Coke crates.  I found this one that had the dividers.  I thought about using it to plant flowers in, but then decided to use it as a display case.

I found a few things to put in it, but I'm sure I'll switch things around a bit.  Right now I have it sitting on a bench, but may hang it later.

 I love little oil cans, and this one especially! 

I found this little birdcage.  I'm a sucker for birdcages! 

This bird letter sorter is perfect for my desk.

And the best part was spending time in my friend, Heather's GORGEOUS backyard!!  She is so amazingly talented!

The winner of the My Memories Giveaway is Pam at DIY Design Fanatic.  Congratulations Pam!

Thanks for your visit and sweet comments! 


I am linking to the following parties:

Jennifer Rizzo's Thrift Store Makeover Party

Home Stories A2Z

My Memories Giveaway!

I was so excited to hear about and how easy they make it to create beautiful ways to showcase my pictures!  I was always the one who printed off my pictures and immediately put them in photo albums. I had so many friends that were scrapbooking with their pictures. I loved the idea, but it seemed like a lot of work and a lot of expense. 

With this software, it is SO easy, even for me! I just downloaded their software suite and got started. I was able to add pictures, captions and even journaling.  You can create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars and gifts without having to buy expensive and complicated software.  My Memories Suite is rated #1 by Amazon and Top Ten Reviews.

I love this Gardening themed Designer Pack:


I know when my daughter comes home from college, she will be so excited to capture her memories from the school year. I think she'll love the idea of photobooks and even videos! has offered the lucky winner a download of their My Memories Suite software for free! (a $40 value!)

I will be choosing the winner on Sunday, June 17th.  Here's how you can enter to win:

  • Be a follower of my blog 
  • Visit and come back and leave me a comment about your favorite Designer Pack.
  • That's it!  Now if you're eager to get started right now, you can purchase the software and get $10 off.  Just use this code: STMMMS17684

Click HERE for their website

Thanks for your visit! 


I was given a copy of the software to review it.  My opinions of the product are my own.


front hall tile

As I wrote about here, we made 1 major design mistake when we first renovated our house: We had hardwood installed all the way to the front door. What we really should have done was have installed tile by the front door - considering we live in Canada and we knew we were going to have kids. (Messy boots, dirt, mud, snow)

Because we were having a hardwood guy come to install new hardwood in the kitchen - we asked him to remove a section of the wood floor in the front hall. The photo shows the hardwood torn out and a new piece of wood installed to divide where the hardwood is, and where the new tile will eventually go.

My task is to find tile. I went to Saltillio Tile and was in heaven. Now only was their selection gorgeous, but their service was amazing. It walked out with samples, and a lot of helpful advice as to what tiles to pick. For us we're leaning towards the porcelain tiles because of easy maintenance and lower cost. With that out of the way, we have to narrow it down to a tile - light vs. dark.  Although the light is beautiful it really chops up the flooring. In a small house I think having continuous tones (especially on floors) makes it seem larger. So I think we're leaning towards the darker porcelain tile.

Just the daily design decisions going on!


Best Grocery Basket

While living with my Mom I noticed she had this gorgeous red shopping basket. It has the nicest handles that are cushioned, making it nice for when you're carrying heavy items. I liked them so much I picked up two for our own house. Right now they are $9.99 (reg $39.95) - so kind of a huge bargain. I'm going to put two of these into my car so when I go grocery shopping I put these in my shopping cart. This way I avoid bags at the checkout, and easy for carrying things into the house. Anyhow, just too good not to share. xo Lindsay

kitchen accessories | cb2

Next up is an imaginary shopping trip for kitchen accessories to CB2. They have a drink dispenser - I love the cork top. :) The ceylon water pitcher is really reasonably priced and I think would be a fab way to drink more water - having it flavoured with a little cucumber or fruit. I'm all for white dishes, so this little three bowl serving piece would be in my shopping cart too on my imaginary shopping trip for accessories.

*After doing these posts I have come to the realization that I am severely dehydrated as a lot of my picks are drink/water related.


kitchen accessories | pottery barn

One thing I'm really looking forward to (above having a brand spanking new kitchen) is putting new kitchen accessories into the space. I've resisted buying anything for the kitchen for a long time, as I wanted to make everything *new* when the kitchen was complete. I thought it would be fun to dedicate a week to kitchen accessories from my favourite shops. So here are my favourite picks from great stores. Enjoy!

Ever since my first visit to the Elmwood Spa, where they have water dispensers with fresh fruit and cucumber, I have wanted my own drink dispenser for our house. I feel that the addition of that dispenser, will obviously make my house "spa" like. ;-) I've been searching for awhile, and I kind of freaked out when I saw that Pottery Barn had a full page dedicated to drink dispensers.

The photo above is from this dispenser.  I'm also a fan of this Mason Jar dispenser but I think you'd need a few grouped together to make an impact plus it looks a bit small on its own? I think I'd go for this one in the end if I were to splurge on one. :) Pottery Barn has a crazy amount of kitchen stuff but this would totally be what I would grab on my imaginary Kitchen Accessory shopping spree. Do you have one? Am I nuts for wanting one?


kitchen progress

Monday morning all of our Ikea cabinets were delivered....yay! We ordered our Ikea cabinets over the phone/e-mail and paid to have them shipped to our house (compared to going into the store, finding the items, checking out and loading them into our car.) Best decision ever. There were not glitches (that we know of yet) and the service from Ikea was absolutely amazing. The only issue we had was with the delivery company that Ikea uses to deliver their orders. It wasn't a great experience, but in the end we have our cabinets.

What's next? We debated hiring a company to come and build & install all the cabinetry. We found that the standard rate for building & installing Ikea cabinetry was $100.00 per cabinet. The approximate cost for us was going to be approximately $2,000.00

This is where Aubrey and I had different views on the kitchen renovation. I wanted to hire someone to come in and do all the work - build the Ikea cabinets and installation. Aubrey on the other hand saw this as a cost saving area - if he built the cabinets himself and hired someone just to do to install, we'd save a significant amount of money. When you cut down on the time a trade has to spend on a project, you end up saving money. In the end, Aubrey won on that decision. He's building them tonight --- I give him an A+ for effort on this one. So far so good and we're on schedule!

kitchen accessories | crate and barrel

One thing I'm really looking forward to (above having a brand spanking new kitchen) is putting new kitchen accessories into the space. I've resisted buying anything for the kitchen for a long time, as I wanted to make everything *new* when the kitchen was complete. I thought it would be fun to dedicate a week to kitchen accessories from my favourite shops. So here are my favourite picks from great stores. Enjoy!

Next up on my imaginary accessory shopping trip for the new (not so imaginary) kitchen, would be Crate and Barrel, an obvious stop for kitchen items. They carry pretty much everything that you would want for a new kitchen - Appliances, dishware, linens...everything. Although they have everything you could want, I fell for their cooking utensils.  Above on the left, the Sebastian Conran collection is so trendy - it looks like the utensils have been dipped in white paint. And because I'm a sucker for green, I'd have some of these Le Creuset accessories too. And while shopping I'd add this to my cart. 

Shop the Crate and Barrel Kitchen Collection here.


home depot surprise delivery....

Aubrey received an early Father's Day gift in the mail today from the Home Depot - a Milwaukee M18 Fuel Half Inch Drill Driver Kit. Let's just say Aubrey was pretty excited. I should have intercepted the delivery, hidden it, stuck a big "Love Lindsay" tag on it and given it to him Father's Day present. Me: "Surprise!! I splurged on your gift" ;-) Anyhow, thank you so much to the team at Home Depot for thinking of my other half. It's perfect timing for our kitchen reno. Do you get your significant others things or have you bought your husbands anything? xo Linds

Ps., Sorry for the photos, Aub is sending me shots via his blackberry because we're living in 2 different houses during the reno.

kitchen accessories | west elm

One thing I'm really looking forward to (above having a brand spanking new kitchen) is putting new kitchen accessories into the space. I've resisted buying anything for the kitchen for a long time, as I wanted to make everything *new* when the kitchen was complete. I thought it would be fun to dedicate a week to kitchen accessories from my favourite shops. So here are my favourite picks from great stores. Enjoy!  
West Elm is a go to spot for pretty much everything "home" and I noticed their huge kitchen selection when they hosted a Blogger Preview in the Spring. Two of my favourite items are functional pieces, but are so beautiful that they would likely be left out on display at all times. First - the Schmidt Brothers Cutting Board - I love the wood tone and the brand is of the highest quality. Love it. Next up I'm like this Slate + Wood Board. Wouldn't a collection of these for a dinner party be lovely? Who am I kidding, we're not having a dinner party for awhile, but perhaps if I have girlfriends over, this would present cheese and grapes nicely.

Shop West Elm's Kitchen Selection here.


New Kitchen Cabinets

We don't have a huge kitchen and had a desk area that we weren't really using, so we decided to do a bit of a remodel.   We really wanted more storage and I'm lucky enough to have a husband who can make just about anything!

Here's what it looked like before.  It was very nice and and good place to put some collectibles, but was not being utilized as much as it could have been.

I have an office right near the kitchen, so really didn't need a desk area right here. 

So out the desk and upper cabinet went to Habitat for Humanity's Restore for someone else to use...

And into the garage my husband went to start creating a new one.

 His favorite part of it--easy access wine storage!

Adding new crown moulding.  I am so impressed how he matched everything so well to the existing cabinets.

There's actually some extra room on the shelves right now.    I'm so happy with it.

Thanks for your visit!


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Enter HERE

I am linking to the following parties:


My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia