No turning back now....

Bathroom demo day one is done - There is no turning back now. :)

*Huge thanks to my awesome brother (who is elegantly posing in our old bathtub on our lawn) for the manual labour help! :)


Spring in the Front Yard and a Ramsign Giveaway!

A few weeks ago I removed a boxwood hedge that was blocking off an area by our front door.  Although they were healthy, they had gotten way too big and it was time for them to go!

Luckily, I have a friend who wanted them.  I was so glad.  They were huge and would be a nice addition to their yard.
So out with the old....

And in with new perennials and annuals.  And in with the Weeping Cherry (that was there all along) blooming like crazy!  :)
I am very excited to watch this area grow this summer. 
Now on to the Giveaway!

Ramsign has offered one of my readers one of their amazing enamel house number signs!  If you win, you'll get your choice of one of their five signs with 1-5 numbers on it.

You must be a follower of my blog to enter. If you don't have a blog, please put your email address in the comments so I can get in touch with you if you win.
You can get two entries.  Here's how:
**Visit Ramsign's Website and come back here and leave a comment as to which sign you would choose if you are the winner.
**For a second entry, LIKE Ramsign on Facebook and come back here and leave a second comment that you did.

That's it!  GOOD LUCK!

HeatherF1 is the winner of the Ramsign Giveaway. Congratulations!

I will be choosing the winner via Random Number Generator on Friday, May 3, 2013.
Thank you for your visit!
I am linking to the following parties:


DIY Show Off
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home


I hate our grass - landscaping plans

I've been staring at our front lawn coming up with landscaping plans. I apparently can't focus on one project, I need to take on a few to drive myself (and Aubrey) crazy.

Our front yard is significantly better than when we first bought the house thanks to the amazing landscaping design of Bill Chandler (who I think is one of Toronto's top landscape designers) I met him because he worked on my parents back garden and he helped us with our front walkway both with designing and installation. Although Bill came up with a gorgeous planting plan in addition to the stairs and walkway, we only did the stone work because budget. You can see the evolution of the front of our house here.

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Printing on Kraft Bags

I came across this post on Cottage Hill where printed on some Kraft Bags. I fell head over heels in love for the Elephant bag that she made. I thought I would recreate the project using the free image that she had used as a potential loot bag for Oscar's own birthday party but I also wanted to photograph it to show as an example for others as how they can get creative with the bags.

It was so addictive to print these bags that I printed up some other bags using stamp designs I've made for customers to show how a stamp (or clipart) would work. Anyhow, this post is nothing more than to show you some shots I took today - Hopefully it may inspire you for some loot bag projects or just fun lunch bags. Cheers to Cottage Hill for the grand idea and to The Graphics Fairy for the free images for personal projects.

Kraft bags available here

*Ps., My shop is closed for the next two weeks because of the upcoming bathroom reno. Eeek!


etsy finds

I still love to shop on Etsy even though it has grown so huge that it sometimes is pretty daunting to find the cool little shops. I often browse people's favourites to find neat new items, so I always love doing posts like this. So anyhow, here are some of the newest items I've added to my favourites lately.

Top Row / Necklaces / Bowls / Vintage Pull Toy / Middle Row / Octopus Coat Rack / Mouse  / Gold Ring / Bottom Row / Lionel Ritchie Milk Container / Green Tartan Pillow

Ok - so HOW CUTE is that little mouse? And that Lionel Ritchie Milk container!? It appears to have sold since I favoured it but maybe more will be added.


the shower system saga ....

The shower system -  I had been putting off this decision for awhile as I wasn't confident on the style of shower system (modern or traditional) and I also wasn't clear on what I needed to look for. I'm not sure why it was such a scary purchase, but I was really delaying this decision. With the washroom reno starting next week, I got a gentle push to make a decision from Aubrey who kindly reminded me that he needed to have the shower system on hand to be able to start the reno. Ooops.

I ended up going with my Mom to TAPS to talk to Daniel who is my go-to-guy for questions about choices like this. When I went to the store I had come to the conclusion that I really wanted a traditional shower system, much like this and immediately after walking into the shop I saw the top two shower heads and fell in love. Daniel at TAPS (who I had help me with the kitchen renovation choices) first asked me if it was just a shower, or, a shower/tub combo. Apparently it does make a difference. Cue the record screeching to a halt.

You see, since we have a shower/tub combo he explained that the systems I was falling in love with weren't compatible with a shower/bathtub combo...You can't just add on a bathtub filler, when you have the Rainhead and a handheld. You need a system that has a 3 way diverter.* Ok, I'm getting confused even trying to re-create the conversation because all I heard was "You can't have that". Heart. Broken. Does any of that make sense? Basically I thought you could just add on a tub filler to any system out there. Apparently that's not how it works.

So going back to the drawing board I really liked the idea of the rainhead and a handheld (the handheld was a non-negotiable for me) and Daniel showed me a kit that was on special that had the rainhead, the handheld AND was made for the bathtub too. It took me awhile to come to the realization that the top two traditional designs were not going to be possible and ended up going for the kit. I know it will look substantial when installed in the new washroom so I think I'll get the look I wanted, even if it's not super traditional.

Oh, and I picked that super beautiful faucet too. Again, I was pretty in love with a lot of traditional faucets but they all were for three hole vanities and, well, the vanity we picked has one hole. Bah. Foiled again.

Check that off my list.

TAPS Bath Centre in Toronto, my go to guy is Daniel Scheffel  He's helped me in every purchase and also was the go to guy for my Mom's renovation.

*I think I also understood that it may be possible to make some systems a 3 way but it would have cost a LOT of money and potentially a lot more work. 


New Carpet Brings on a Table Makeover

I bought a pine table a few years ago to put in my office. I collect typewriters and adding machines and wanted a place to display them. This table wasn't the perfect size, but it was $30 and I figured we could make it work. So we 'made-do' with it until a couple of weeks ago when we had to clear the room out for new carpet. 
Here it is right before my husband started working on it...  It was all this color and quite large.  (I looked and looked for a 'before' picture, but I guess I always knew it wasn't right and didn't take any pictures!)


After he cut off 12" from the width, he routed the edges and sanded everything down.

He primed all of the lower pieces.

Then several coats of white paint were applied.

The top got stained.

 Then everything got put back together.
Bailey had to be right in the middle of the action...

The new size works so much better in this room.  I love the dark top too!

Thanks for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home


new shed is in!

The new shed is in! We watched the two installers build it at a great pace all Wednesday. It is awesome. The next step is for me to pick a paint colour to paint it but that will wait until after the bathroom reno. (That starts in just over a week - barf) Anyhow - love the shed, and loved the installation guys. So two thumbs up.

Heartland Stratford shed  and installtion purchased at Lowes


getting rid of the old ugly shed...

As my business gets larger we need more room for storage in the house. It's amazing how much room business supplies and paper stock take up. That plus the increasing amount of kid stuff I'm saving means we're really lacking some serious storage room. We decided that an outdoor shed would be the answer to some storage issues. However this is our shed........

Awesome right? Granted the above picture is from 2008. The shed hasn't been replaced but in order to make it a bit nicer to look at I took some outdoor metal paint and updated it, and added a shower curtain to hide the contents of the shed... The shed has stood up well - the paint hasn't chipped since I did this in 2009 but the curtain now is looking worn, and it doesn't keep animals out. I've spotted racoons leaving the shed, which gives me the heebie jeebies. It's not a great spot for storing items. So mixed with the animal situation, the decreasing storage space in our house and increasing collection of things we want to store (like Oscar getting into bikes, and more outdoor toys) we are bitting the bullet on buying a new shed. So by bye to the old one...

We've been getting quotes from shed manufacturers and the prices were coming back around $3,000 for a shed of the size we wanted. Aubrey drove by Lowes awhile back and spotted the this shed ...

You can order it as a kit to build yourself, or, hire them to build it for you. The do it yourself cost was roughly $1,300 + tax but didn't include shingles. Comparably, for them to come and do it for us (and with shingles) we're looking at approximately $2,000. As you know, we're not opposed to the do it yourself method - but this time around we have decided to have them build it - it wasn't that big of a cost difference considering the amount of work, and the lack of time we have these days (and the upcoming bathroom reno)

And tomorrow the new one arrives. Yay! I'll have to paint the new shed myself (the quote for them to paint it was $800) so I'm sure that will be a series of posts as I fret over colours.

Ps., Don't take how we took apart the metal shed as a "how to" but it was a stress reliever - I think Aubrey had a lot of satisfaction beating it to pieces. ;) 


TV Room Before & After

Our TV room is done! The first photo is the before (when we bought the house) and the after is as of a few days ago. The gorgeous linen romans from Tonic Living have been installed and I am thrilled with how they turned out and they definitely add a warmth to this room, that the space desperately needed.  To see more pictures, what we did to change it and the shopping guide click on the read more link.
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In December I wrote about my desire to keep Oscar's life private, but I did mention that he wouldn't be totally removed from my blog. Hopefully I'll find a way to share my love of being his Mom, but also find the balance of respecting his privacy. Here are some pictures from the last week - Top Row: Playing in the laneway in his new red boots (Reminds me of this post). I love this shot of Oscar and my Mom, playing with shipping tubes (aka the microphone / car tunnel.) Middle Row: eating home made Popsicles while watching TV and beside that, a shot of us napping in my bed. We're back to napping after a 2 month hiatus (thank goodness*), Bottom Row: going shopping for his very first "basketball" with Aubrey - Oscar waved goodbye to me right before this shot was taken. It was clearly an excursion for just he and his Dad. (Which I loved) And the last photo was taken after Oscar woke from a nap, and I was carrying him downstairs. I don't know why I snapped it but I rarely get photos of Oscar and I. I wanted to capture our snuggling. The iphone selfies with Oscar are probably my favourite photos ever. ;)

Anyhow, for other Moms (Dads, or caregivers) here are some links that liked related to the topic of parenting. This article made me laugh.  Have you seen Reasons my son is crying? I can relate. And lastly, my friend Steph posted this on Facebook and it was a good reminder that less is more. 

*The napping thing has thrown me for a loop. He started resisting naps in January and we thought he dropped them for good. Then lately he's been cranky come afternoon, that we started trying to force the nap again. Which the past week has worked, but it means he's in bed at night so much later. Honestly, I can't figure it out. I think I'll take a kid that naps that goes to bed later (and is happier) - than making him stay up  exhausted, to go to bed early (and be cranky). I'm sure we'll figure it out. 

Picking the tile

The next step in the washroom reno is to pick tile. Although I feel most comfortable going with small white subway tile for projects (like in my kitchen and in the basement washroom) I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and going with larger tiles that will give us a more modern look in the shower. But I'm careful of the fact that we don't go SUPER modern.
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have any questions?

Since revealling the kitchen in September I get a lot of e-mails asking whether or not we still like our Ikea cabinets, if we're happy with the appliances, can an adult really sit on the bench we made in the eat in kitchen (the answer to the last one is yes by the way) or are the cabinets off white. A lot of questions can be answered if you go back through the months of posts as we designed the kitchen, but I know that for new readers it may be extremely hard to find those answers.  Although I love trying to help out via e-mail and respond (and will continue to do so) the amount of e-mails that come through has had me wondering whether I should do a FAQ post, answering on the blog your burning questions.

So here's what I'd like to do. If you have any questions about the kitchen (which is the subject of the majority of the e-mails I get) or other projects on my blog, or maybe even perhaps about blogging, or blog advertising, etc. etc....ask away! If you know me in real life I'm pretty open and happy to share information.*  You can send your questions either via e-mail to, or via the comments below and I'll do a follow up post or two here on the blog, answering the questions.

This may be totally silly and no one may have any questions now that I put this out there - but I will do a post soon with some of the frequently asked questions about the kitchen. I just wanted to give others an oppertunity to get questions answered too!

xo Lindsay

Ps., Everything is pretty much fair game, but obviously if something is super personal I may politely decline.


pinterest recipes - yum

This evening at family dinner I was telling my Mom about how I adore Pinterest for finding recipes. Although I use pinterest primarily for home decor - the site is quickly becoming a place where I'm spotting recipes I'd like to make.  In the last week I  made these do-it-yourself orange creamsicles. So yummy. The other recipe that we've made a few dozen times is the Salmon with avacado salsa. Aubrey chops the avocado into smaller bits contrary to what is shown in the picture, but it's really, really good.

However - be careful of the pin descriptions! Sometimes people put the actual recipe in the pin description which in some cases is helpful but other cases annoying when the recipe is super long. Regardless - don't rely on that description as it potentially is a case of broken telephone. For example - the creamsicle recipe. The original pin description said to use coconut milk  - the result being that our creamsicles were orange and yummy but were not very creamy. I found that to be a bit of a let down but Oscar still LOVED them. Tonight, composing this post -  I clicked through to the actual recipe and saw that there was zero mention of coconut milk but instead to use cream (or ice cream). Although far less healthier - it was a switch that would likely change the taste to be more authentic to a creamsicle. I've since modified my pin description so that others don't make the same mistake, but noted that we tried the coconut milk and liked it.

Next I'd like to make this banana ice cream, these mini cakes, and this pistachio cake. Obviously I have a sweet tooth. :) Any recipes that you can recommend that you've found via Pinterest? Do you think this changes the world of recipe books?

Creamsicle image via 

Birthday Bucket Birdhouse and an Evapo-Rust Giveaway!

Last month I found this ice cream bucket at a sale.  I was thrilled to find one as I had been wanting to make a birdhouse out of one for years.  My husband loves to make gifts for birthdays, and the timing was perfect to make this for mine.  :)
And not only did I get a birdhouse out of it, my friend Heather got one for her birthday out of other parts of it!  Talk about Reuse and Recycle!

He started by reinforcing it with glue, caulk and some extra pieces of wood inside.  Our winters get very cold and our summers get very hot, so it needs to stand up to the elements.

The top was made out of aromatic cedar.  OMG, while he was working with it, it sure was aromatic!!  

It's a good thing he's an engineer to make sure all of the angles worked.

More internal structural improvements...

We put it out in the yard last Saturday and there's already a bird family checking it out.  I'll be so happy if one takes up residence!

Now on to the Giveaway!  The makers of Evapo-Rust sent me a sample of their products and asked if I would review them.  

I started with these rusty, dirty yard tools.
  These loppers were left outside one time when we lived in Oregon...  Lots of rust  and an unhappy wife!

Evapo-Rust is water soluble, Biodegradable, Non-toxic and non-corrosive.  There are no acids, VOC's or fumes.  

 The directions say that you can soak the products or if they're really big, treat them with the product and wrap them.  I decided to put it all in a tub and see what happened.  I left these for about an hour.  (on the upper part of the Fiskars that didn't fit in the tub, I rubbed the product on with "0" steel wool)

Look at how well the rust came off!

After using the Evapo-Rust, rinsing the item and wiping them clean, I applied the Rust-Block.
They are now back to looking clean and new!
I have a new 1 gallon Evapo-Rust and 16 oz. Rust-Block to give away to one lucky follower.
The only rules are:
Leave a comment on how you would use Evapo-Rust.
You must be a follower of my blog.
(Make sure I can get in touch with you if you don't have a blog.)
This giveaway is open only to US addresses.

I will use Random Number Generator to pick a winner on Friday, April 12th. 
My opinions are my own on Evapo-Rust and Rust-Block.
The winner of the Evapo-Rust Giveaway is  Dawn @ Creative Cain Cabin.  Congratulations Dawn!

Thanks for your visit!
I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home