Thursday, January 26, 2012


My sincere apologies for my lack of posting this week. I have been gearing up for a vacation to a sunny destination! This will be me tomorrow afternoon!

I've got tons of posts ready to go for when i'm back including an escapade with strawberry buttercream, a drowned rat cat, and a series on what to do with old jars!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DIY- Dresser Refinishing

I found this gorgeous piece with Leslie at the last Aberfoyle Sunday in 2010. If you live in the GTA and have never been to Aberfoyle, you need to check it out; it's a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I ended up paying $50 for this piece, and I knew it had good bones, so definitely worth it.

Whenever you purchase a heavily painted item at an Antique show, you never quite know what you're getting yourself into (but that's half the fun right?!?) As a tip, often if you pull out a drawer or look at the back or underside of an item you can determine the type of wood (in this case I was pleasantly surprised).

I use Circa 1850 Furniture Stripper, and it usually takes a few coats (depending on how many layers of paint and stain you're penetrating). The key with this stuff is patience- best to complete in sections, you need to let it be so it can sink in. It's ready to go when the entire surface has bubbled up. I use a a paint or tile scraper to help remove the first few coats of paint. You cannot just sand these items due to the potential lead in old paint.

Once the paint is removed, you can use steel wool and the circa to get a smooth finish before you sand.

In this case, my intent was just to strip the top and paint the other sections, but I ended up liking the wood so much I stripped the drawers and sides as well. I used varathane on all of the natural wood surfaces to keep the wood protected. As much as I loved the original hardware, I needed something a bit more modern that would compliment the other furniture and colours in the room

Tip: If you have an old dresser with sticky drawers, use a candle to rub wax on all sides of the drawer tracks and the bottom sides of the drawer- works like a charm!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

DIY- Shoe Shelves

For anyone that knows me well, they know that I have a love affair with shoes. I don't discriminate, I like all kinds, heels, flats, boots, sandals, you name it; I probably have too many (but I would never admit to that of course)!

When my dad and I were boxing day shopping, he found a revolving shoe rack that held 36 pairs. "I told him, that's not enough! Have you seen my closet?"

I love displaying my shoes in boxes, and one day when I'm cool enough to own an iphone with instagram or an old fashioned polaroid, i'd love to glue the pictures of my shoes to their respective boxes. Until then, I have them memorized!

The problem when you're thrifty is that sometimes you get a great deal at a Winners or Thrift Store where the shoes don't come in boxes. Well look no further- problem solved. I was flipping through the Ikea catalog last year, when I noticed a picture of kitchen rails holding shoes. I thought to myself- that's a genius idea and quickly went about making it a reality.

The great thing about these rails is that they don't take too much space, and you can add hooks to hold your strappy shoes!

For those interested, there's an entire site dedicated to repurposing ikea products here

Enjoy the day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Puppy Love

One of the highlights of heading out East after the holidays was for Chris to meet some of my extended family that he hasn't met yet. That of course included the little misses- Emma and Abby!

It turns out on our last night in town, someone developed a little bit of a crush as displayed here:

You could even say she went googly eyed over him!

I guess she talked about Chris all the way home that night, and during her bedtime snack she tilted her little head and with a pinky in the air said "Mommy, is Chris simply gorgeous darling!".  Too funny- guess she approved!

She wasn't the only one smitten- she certainly had him wrapped around her little finger too!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A New Year's Eve Wedding

My good friend Jessica of over 14 years was married on New Year's Eve! It was a great time, and I was so happy to have had the opportunity to attend and participate in her ceremony (I read I Carry Your Heart by E.E. Cummings). She had a loose holiday theme with some personal touches, the colours were a gorgeous mix of blues and silvers.  Jessica and her family did a ton of wonderful DIY projects for the wedding that I just had to share.

The centerpieces were large vases filled with epsom salts and twigs , with pine cones, christmas bulbs and a candle surrounding the vase. The bulbs on the tree had the date of the wedding or Jessica and Jimmy's names painted on them. The card box was wrapped like a present.

The bells had a great little poem encouraging everyone to take one to celebrate when the ceremony ended

 Jessica's mom made these to house the beautiful cake pops made by Jess' friend- they were styrofoam bases wrapped in ribbon and decorated with fondant and sugar.

Jessica used old records as a guest book, asking everyone to "record" them a message- very cute!

A photo of the beautiful bride, taken by her sweet flower girl niece!

It was a wonderful night- congratulations again Jess & Jimmy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Fresh Start

I've thought a lot about resolutions in the last week, and I think I have landed on my goals for 2012.

1. I'd like to menu plan and prepare for at least three meals during the work week on the weekends prior. I find coming up with meal ideas and grocery shopping after work a pain in the butt- hopefully this will help us to save some money and eat better.

2. I'd like to blog at least 3-4 times a week (please keep me honest on this one).

3. I'd like to routinely purge anything I don't absolutely love (furniture, clothes, junk). I'm hoping this will help to keep my house, closets and even refrigerator uncluttered this year!

4. I'd like to re-arrange the office and living room- this should help me to keep my #2 goal!

5. And lastly to maintain good health, hips and peace of mind- i'd like to practice yoga at least twice a week. 

Do you have any resolutions for the year ahead? 

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