Monday, February 28, 2011


I wanted to thank my sister for the new header she created for me. You can see more of her work here. She is a talented illustrator and graphic designer living in Switzerland with her partner and two boys. Thanks sis for making my blog look great.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One photo a week - 9/52

I went shopping last week and bought this retro inspired clock. I'm loving it on the shelf above the TV. And those tulips are giving me a glimpse of spring...thanks JL! Yipiiii, February is almost over.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Red, white and blue...

Not the flag, but rather the colours I painted last weekend. My hubby took the kids to see his parents last weekend and I had an empty house for 2.5 days! I did some shopping with a friend and without being rushed, I had lunch and dinner out, I had plenty of time to prepare for D's little birthday gathering and I watched a substantial number of TV episodes that were not Dora or Cars. What I was unable to do was not touch anything renovation or decorating related. I could not bear the thought of having those undisturbed hours and not using them to to check off some things of our looooooong list. I guess I'd really have to go off to a sunny island to fully relax.

So painting it was. I painted our front hall closet blue and got rid of the ridiculous scuff marks on the ceiling (!). I painted the risers on our stairs to the family room as well as the posts in the staircase. This turned out to be a lot more tedious than initially anticipated. And finally I painted D's toddler bed that I bought second-hand and did not want to leave the pine it was.

So...busy as usual and you'll see the finished projects (bed and closet) once all the other pieces come together, bi-fold doors are removed, etc. Stairs are done for now, just need to scrape off some tiny paint marks for a perfect finish.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two already?

Time flies when you're having fun, or changing diapers. D. turned two today and I look at this little boy and sometimes I can't fathom how much has changed in the two years. Obviously I don't wish back night time feedings, spit up and all the infant stuff...but two'll be getting ready for university any minute now.

Due to the long weekend we celebrated D's birthday a day early with a small gathering at our house. I made the same cake I made for M's birthday in the summer but coloured the icing green. Instead of icing between the layers I added whipped cream with fresh raspberries, which made it less sweet. Mhhhhh, this really is a yummy cake! The train on the cake is the same train my sisters and I had on our cakes when we were little, which would make it vintage...uggh.

I also got this crafty hole puncher at a Michaels' sale this weekend and used it to punch out coloured paper which I spread on a plain white table cloth - giant confetti. Adding some coloured balloons and the garland was all I did for decorations. I always have balloons - the kids love them and I think I love them even more!

So, there we go - my baby is now officially a toddler!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One photo a week - 8/52

Technically it's three this week, but I wanted to capture the remains of floral bounty during Valentine's week. Everything held up really well, no dropping leaves or shrivelling petals. Nice to walk into different rooms of the house and have flowers to look at - makes me forget a little about the biting cold wind outside.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Could not resist

I read Sweetapolita's post last week on Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts and I could not resist to try them this weekend.

Little M and I had fun making them and cutting out the hearts. They are quite sweet, but my husband loves them and I brought a bunch to work today. Needless to say they were gone in minutes.

I captured the photo with the last bit of natural light, so it's a little dark, but I wanted to share these treats with you. You can make them as bars, which would make cutting them a little easier.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One photo a week - 7/52

For me Valentine's is more pink than red, so I started gathering a couple of pink items on the main floor for a Valentine inspired photo. Well, it took me about 3 minutes to find this and a lot more. You'll always have a stash of sweet pink in your house if you have a little girl. Hope you enjoy some flowers, sweet candy and a loving note this Valentine.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fabric for custom bench

The next step in completing our kitchen bench project is to create seat cushions and a couple of throw pillows for the back. I picked all my fabric based on some of the kitchen items displayed on a shelf above the bench. Polka dots have won me over once again.

The project is a little stalled as I am still waiting for the vinyl covered fabric that I'll be using for the seat cushions (easy to clean) and we need to cut the 4 inch foam to size. I am particularly pleased that I managed to get all fabric at a 50% store sale!

Here a glimpse of what will be placed on the bench to add comfort and colour. Today we are off to the wood store to choose the wood for the custom table top and I hope to be tackling the cushions in the next week or so. Updates to follow.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Custom kitchen bench - Part I

Construction is done on project # 12334 in our house renovation/improvement. Our kitchen had been renovated a couple of years back by the previous owner and had a corner that was completely under-utilized. We housed our old kitchen table in that corner - it looked pretty bad, half hazard and did not offer the space we needed.

In order to take full advantage of the space, gain more storage and offer a second table on the main floor to eat, colour or do eventual homework, I had my talented hubby build a corner bench with storage.

He created a design that worked almost like a puzzle and gives us three distinct storage areas and tons of seating. The storage is being used for table linens, grocery bags, paper recycling and less used kitchen items such as the raclette machine and slow cooker. He finished the face of it with shaker trim to match our kitchen cabinetry.

It was a lot of work because he had to remove the old radiator (small flooding in basement, oops...not fully drained), remove baseboards, cut tons of wood, trim, sand, paint, sand, paint, sand...I think the end result is amazing and both kids and cats are using it already!

Next steps will be cushions (my project) and a custom table (hubby) and we need to hang a light above the table. Posting for that will follow soon.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One photo a week - 6/52

Amazingly I managed to coax back my orchid. I watered it slightly once a week, kept it in a bright spot without direct sunlight and here we are, more blooms on their way! It took a couple of months, but look how pretty.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yellow cabinet

When we first moved into our house I was missing our dining room built-in that we had in our last house. I decided to bring in some colour and ordered this yellow linen cabinet from IKEA. I had to order this piece as they don't stock it at our local store and once it arrived I was not very pleased.

I found it to be too big, for some reason I had imagined it lower, more discreet...and here it was, big and yellow. I kept looking at it wondering if I should disassemble it and return it to the store and buy a mid-century modern lower buffet. My husband argued that the height was actually helpful in keeping little hands off of our stuff.

A year later I've grown accustomed to it. It gives us extensive storage that is locked away, it's a nice display area and it does add a splash of colour. I customized it a little by adding knobs from Anthropology and I really like those compared to the standard IKEA hardware.

It's an difficult space - fireplace to the right, window and dining room to the left. I think the cabinet does it's job of transitioning the space. So...yeahhh to not disassembling, staying on a low budget and using the space. Down the road I might switch it up, but right now, I'm good.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fellow blogger right in town

I got a mention today on Style-ing with Children, a fellow Ottawa resident that blogs on renovating her suburban home, while holding down a full time job and tending to her toddler.

Thanks for the mention Nat - nice to find like minded people close by!

Style-ing with Children shares a lot of her great finds (I'm sure my hubby won't appreciate the updates on what is available at Home Sense) and posts beautiful design inspirations. I'm sure you'll love it.

source: desire to inspire, via style -ing with children