Monday, January 26, 2015

Carpet Find!

Happy Monday!
While some folks are getting snow near by or other poor souls on the eastern states are bracing for a wicked snowstorm, we have had nothing but clear sunny skies with - 13 degrees temperatures. When the sun pours into our living room from our very large and very old two over two double hung windows I love to snap photos and I am especially excited because I recently found and added a number of new things to our living room to bring it towards it's full potential.

Yesterday was supposed to be a trip to the IDS show in Toronto which is always amazing but I woke up with a sore throat and decided to pass. Still feeling the need to get out of the house, we took a drive in the beautiful sunshine to Lowes in Whitby and Oshawa to check out some wallpaper I was considering for our master bedroom that was in stock at those locations.  

I started my day with a dose of extra goodness to chase this cold away and juiced up for us some kale, carrots, apple, parsley, cilantro, ginger and garlic. YUM!
We had recently watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead which has inspired us to once again drink a green juice at least a couple of times a week. 

After changing her food yet again and giving her some melatonin at night we have finally seen an end to the ridiculous amount of shedding from our little Emmie and now instead of hair everywhere in spite of daily vacuuming, I only need to vacuum once a week which started me dreaming of a new carpet for our living room. Her coat is now so soft and shiny and she no longer bites her legs too which is the most important thing.

I absolutely love seagrass carpets and would have them everywhere if I could but it is just so much easier to vacuum hardwood when you have a dog. That said I have always wanted a carpet in our 12x13' living room to ground the space and give it another layer of texture and colour and over Christmas I so badly wanted to order an 8'x10' seagrass well reviewed carpet from Wayfair that was on sale for $380.00 but just couldn't due to the high price tag. 

And so when we were at Lowes I came across a bin of rolled up carpets with two different price tags. Those carpets are always the off gassing plastic type which I will avoid at all costs if I can for health reasons and then my eyes happened upon a tan and cream carpet in a herringbone pattern that I had to peak at anyway. I pulled it out of the bin and fell for the colour and the pattern, again disappointed that it was synthetic and decided to take a closer look. I thought wow, it sure had an amazing likeness to seagrass or something like that and upon further inspection found out it was jute and cotton!!!!
But oh no, it is only 5x7 rug and I needed a bigger one but low and behold, there were two of them. Could I possibly put them together and make it work pattern wise? I certainly was going to see if I could.
The price on the bin said $100.00 for 6x9 and another sign that said 10 carpets $49.99.
 I wondered, how much are these gorgeous ones that I am now watching over like a hawk while I wait for my honey to return with the cart?

We got to the cash and I crossed my fingers and felt like a such a winner after feeling sad about missing the IDS show when she rang them in at $49.99 each.
We got them home and I was still unsure about if they would feel like a quality rug in our space but we rolled them out end to end which turned out perfect with the band of beige lining up in the direction I preferred and ended up with a 7x10 carpet for $100.00 before taxes!!!

I will now have to figure out how to bring these two together. I'm sure it can't be too hard to stitch them together or perhaps carpet tape will do the trick and we will add a carpet pad underneath for more cushioning. 

After recently hearing about how plants can up your productivity and improve your quality of life (which I already knew) I decided to add a little plant to our space to bring real life into it and picked up this leafy little guy called a Homalomena plan on sale at Lowes. I put it in this tin bucket for now but will keep my eye open for the right container with a watering tray attached. I also need to find out if it is a dog toxic plant as my little Emma loves anything green and could possibly eat it when we are out of the house which is also the reason I have not bought more plants.
You can see the granite counters in the kitchen and how the carpet ties the living room visually to the kitchen now.

I have purchased and returned so many different pillows, trying to get the right ones to work with our airy blue walls without spending a fortune or having to make them myself but some were too green blue, others too grey blue or there were not enough of the ones I did like but then on a trip to the Home Sense in Leaside I found 4 of these large real linen pillows and two of these grey pillows with just a touch of chevron and mustard yellow in them. The yellow was the little something I needed in the room to balance all the blue and ties in to the warm wood tones and it surprised me how much I love it. I still love my off white slipcovers which only require a wash about twice a year. They were the best money ever spent.

The decor gods also must have been looking upon me that day because I also found this gorgeous blue fishing float in just the right shade of turquoise wrapped in the perfect shade of twine.
You should have seen my face that day as I pushed my cart around stacked high with my perfect pillows and fishing float.
It made me so happy that I said to my honey, hey, let's have a contest and see who can get the most people to smile back at you by smiling at them. At first he said no way but that didn't stop me. I was happier than a pig in poop with my finds and one woman smiled at me and says "are you having fun today?" to which I replied, absolutely!
After that, he joined in and we each counted 8 people by the time we were done and ready to leave 10 minutes later and I'm sure some folks just thought we were nuts but I didn't care, it just felt good.

A woven garden stool was also on my wish list but they were always too much money but I found this one a while back at Target on sale for 30% off and snapped it up knowing that even though the colour is too light I can transform it's raw texture with some stain. I am probably going to darken it to a medium stain and then give it a wash of white paint over that to soften it.

I found this heavy quality comfy vintage chair over 10 years ago at Value Village for some ridiculous price like $40.00 or maybe even less. I brought it down from our upstairs at Christmas time for extra seating and aside from the pattern, it is the perfect addition and has the right scale for our room. It will eventually get a slipcover for chair perfection and I don't even have to do a thing to the legs with their nice walnut stain.

I also recently found this lovely piece of pottery in the antique barn east of my work and could not pass up on it. It is a lovely shade of turquoise that is actually not as green as it looks in the photo.

I love that it is a Canadian made piece, although not an expensive collectors piece it just spoke to me with it's organic shape and it now has a place on my side table to the left side of the sofa.

And so the TO DO LIST happily continues....

1.  Properly add feet to the bottom of the coffee table, its temporarily propped up on 1" blocks for now.
 (I didn't like it flat on the floor and wish we had made it that way from the start). 
2. Sanding and staining parts of it darker and painting the legs and skirt white. 
3. Stain to and white wash the garden stool. 
4. Either spray the metal of our glass lamps oil rubbed bronze or darken the shades. 
5. Find two different grey/mustard pillows for the love seat, the old striped ones don't work now.
6.  Make the turquoise pillows on the love seat a little smaller so they suit the scale of it. 
7. Add antique brass cabinet knobs to the built-in doors, I am so loving that finish these days. 
8. Add bead board or perhaps grasscloth wallpaper to the backs of the built-ins or if we do bead board on the built-ins then I may add grasscloth under glass to the inside of the tray side tables.  
9. Paint the little pedestal table to the right of the love seat. 
10. Accessorize the open shelves better. 
11. Stain the love seat legs to match the sofa. 
12. Find fabric and have slipcover made for little chair.
13. Find shades for the sconces. 
14. Have mom paint a smaller scale painting for under the wall sconces near the love seat.
15.  Buy another set of white curtains for more fullness and hang on rings instead of the pocket tab back for a more tailored look.
16. Buy carpet pad and stitch or tape carpets together.
17. Buy a plant pot for plant.
18. Last but not least have Todd build built-ins for the TV wall that I have designed.

Oh yeah and have a party to celebrate the finale!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lightening Up and My Greatest Inspiration

Hi All!
I hope that everyone has had a healthy and happy Christmas and are looking forward to a wonderful New Year. 
I for one am and have had an epiphany of sorts. 

You see it has been a heck of a year with my health again and am still trying to figure things out why I don't feel good just about every other day but while I've been off for Christmas vacation this week, I came to the astounding realization that if I wait to feel like I think I should, I could be waiting a very long time and life is not going to wait for me. 

I have also been my own worst critic and while in my low energy state, I have allowed myself to be a negative perfectionist but alas
once and for all! 
 I had previously started this blog with such joy but slowly as time passed, compared myself and allowed myself to become intimidated by those who were creating, renovating, designing, building, photographing with such great energy and completion that I allowed it to make me feel bad when I was not getting anything big done in my own life.
But, the thing is, this is MY life, my own unique life with accomplishments big or small that no matter what they are, instead of critiquing them, I choose to celebrate them and share them here once again as well as take joy in the energy and amazing creativity of all you wonderful bloggers. 

I also have been so very inspired by my big brother Ken who has suffered greatly a terrible tragedy this past entire year and still is after a spiral fracture to his tibia from playing hockey which required repeated surgeries and has and still does cause him such terrible pain. He has come close to loosing his leg and may not regain full use of his foot.
You see my big brother, unbeknown to him, is my hero. He is an amazing one man show along with his incredible wife Barb, just the two of them running their Island View Marina in Bailieboro together and as well he is a boat and auto mechanic and a dedicated volunteer Fire Captain who also maintains multiple snowplow contracts for the winter season.  He NEVER EVER asks for help even when he was laid up in the hospital while the snow kept coming last winter worrying about who was going to take care of the snow removal but he is the very first person to help others. He is an amazingly devoted father and cares about his kids and grand kids with such kind and gentle love. He has had to learn to sit for months at a time to let his leg heal which literally killed him to do as he you could never get him to sit still ever and against his doctors orders would get into his truck and literally drive with the other leg which no doubt caused him great discomfort so that he could be sure and get his snow plowing done.  
Seeing him at Christmas made me realize that although my own issues are very real and at times feel insurmountable and never ending, they are absolutely not even a drop of what he has had to endure. He is the most amazing person I know and I am so very proud to say he is 
Thank you Ken, my dear sweet brother for showing me what it is to be strong. If I can have just half of the strength that you do, I will be happy.
and so
without further a-due  here is my perfect imperfect Christmas!

I am so very very blessed.
Happy 2015!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Erfa's "Thyroid" Disaster, Paleo Diet and a White Fence

Once again I'm a deliquent blogger and I truly apologize for that. I have been dealing with thyroid issues caused by unknown changes to my dessicated thyroid medication called
"Thyroid" manufactured by the Canadian company Erfa and I am not the only one. There is a blog post by Janie Bowthorp on her website's blog
Stop The Thyroid Madness
about it from June and I am so thankful for her being our voice in this serious matter that has put those of us affected through the wringer.  Once again, I have been doing the bare minimum in my life as a result and it is so very frustrating. Couple that with an extremely tight budget as we get caught up from Todd being off for two months with sciatica means we have not done anything too exciting this summer. As well sitting on the wifi connection while on the computer still leaves me very drained physically so I have been avoiding it when I can.
Since this is the only dessicated thyroid available to us in Canada (they have about 3 other options in the US) it is nothing short of a disaster to my well being. Even though Erfa has admitted to moving their manufacturing facility to a different company and using a new machine to compress the tablets, they stand by the fact that they have not changed anything at all with their product. Back in 2009 Armour, another dessicated thyroid product was changed unknowingly to patients and people also saw a return of their hypothyroid symptoms. It is a crime that this can happen. It is wreaking havoc on my life and I pray for some sort of a miracle that they go back to whatever they were doing correct.
If you know of anyone who is taking Efa's "Thyroid" and has not being doing well since the start of this year then please direct them to Janie's blog so they can see what others have been experiencing.

And about a month ago we embarked on a new diet direction, the Paleo diet to see if it helped me feel better.  It has been wonderful and there are so many health benefits to it that I feel are helping us both and even my mom has given it a try. This diet takes more time and effort but is well worth it when your day is not plagued with the side effects of eating grains, even gluten free grains.
Today I whipped up some Paleo approved zuchinni pancakes from the "Nourishing Meals" cookbook for breakfast which are easy and delicious.

A couple of weekends ago, my honey started staining the fence and gate on the east side of the house white. 
He left the small recessed areas of the lattice for me to do.

And I managed to get them done on the inside of the gate first, which of course was dumb now that I think about it since no one sees this side very much.

And then this past weekend the weather was fence staining perfection with little humidity and clear blue skies. Because the fence is a couple of years old, a week ago Todd powerwashed and then sanded the entire fence and the we both spent two full days staining it a nice pure white on the outside.

Every one of our neighbours think it looks nice but one guy we have never seen before wanted to know why we were painting it white and said it looked just fine as a wood fence. I wanted to throw my stain roller at him as he walked away and my honey wanted to ask him why his shirt was so ugly but we just smiled and replied, ah well this is much cleaner looking.

My limelight hydrangeas have monstrous size blooms this year and I'm not sure what I did to deserve them but they are gorgeous!

We just love how pretty and fresh it looks. Earlier in the summer Todd  had to remove a large juniper and a sand cherry on this side of the house that had died  and we hope to level out the yard and and add fresh sod before the snow flies and perhaps transplant some plants from the back garden. 

But now the Benjamin Moore Weston flax house colour looks so faded and dingy so hopefully we can rectify that next year and paint it a nice warm grey along with repainting most of the windows that need it as well.
This side has nonworking gates that in the event that we need access to the yard with any equipment etc. then all we have to do is unscrew them to open them up.

This is the back of the yard at our neighbours driveway and we still need to get a second coat on it.

I picture some nice easy to maintain shrubs along this street side but that too will have to wait until next year but for now I am so pleased with our fence. Now if I could just convince him to one day install a cute shorter picket fence for the rest of the yard which I think will be absolutely perfect for our charming home.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nantucket Chic Zoey Cabinet

Time has flown by in a wink since I last posted. Both my honey and I have had our share of challenges with our health these past months, and it has meant that home renovations and projects of any sort have not happened. Things are finally returning to normal and this weekend I was quite excited to take this absolutely adorable cabinet I've had for some time from seriously shabby to fresh and lovely.

Here she is with one coat on the inside of the dreamiest ocean blue that I custom mixed (seems to be the way with me) from a number of different blues I had on hand and on the outside with a soft white that is just natural white base.

It is solid wood and I love the carving detail.

She really is a perfect slim size for a front entry or a little princess's bedroom or even a flat screen tv console. 

and after two coats of paint.

Please ignore the big black inversion monstrosity that is taking up space in our dining room. My sister graciously loaned it to us to help with my honey's sciatica and it is helping along with regular chiropractor appointments. I am just so thankful that he is getting better.

I've chosen this gorgeous shade of a tropical ocean so that it would make a statement if it is being used as an open shelf cabinet or with the doors on for some closed storage.
It's always good to have choices!


The detail on the end is lovely too.
I have to give it a third coat of paint and a matte poly and finish the doors that have been modified a little. 
I will share more soon.
 I promise.
I hope you are having a fantastic summer so far!