white molded chairs and a storage unit – the story

A few weeks ago (two days before Christmas, actually) we moved all of our stuff from our storage unit back into our house. It was probably a little earlier than we really should have, as there was still some fairly major reno work going on, but we were desperate to get our snow tires out of the storage unit. Of course we had packed them right at the very back and there was really no way of getting them out without taking every single item in the unit out (this includes beds, dressers, shelving units, and about, oh, a million boxes). When we had moved the stuff into the unit, we had totally not thought about the fact that our reno might creep into winter and we would need those tires. Whoops. All that to say that we got our furniture moved in (hired movers = best decision ever) and [Continue Reading…]

making me blush: pink gift ideas

I don’t know if it’s because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner or because I’m starting to long for Spring (it’s been a coooold winter so far), but I am having a serious love affair with all things pink these days. Here are some of my favourites from Etsy recently. Any of these would make great gifts for your sweeties on love day! I’m pinning after, oh, everything. 1 >> This felt flower box would not only look amazing on a dining room table or buffet, but I love that it’s felt and you don’t have to worry about buying new flowers! I’m too cheap to buy fresh flowers all the time even though I love them, so this would be a perfect alternative. 2 >> This saturated pink photograph of a shop in Ireland is lovely. If you last name is Jordan, or you know a Jordan, that would make it all the [Continue Reading…]

the morning routine + an egg muffin recipe

What does your morning routine look like during the week? I don’t know about you guys, but I always feel that morning frazzled rush even though I don’t have a traditional job where I need to “clock in” at a certain time. The three of us wake up at the same time, and then Dan and I rotate showers, with Maya running around the bathroom/hallway/bedroom (often opening the shower curtain to peer in at whoever is in there — “eee! Maya! close that – it’s chilly!”). Once we make it downstairs, breakfast is a pretty quick affair, before Dan runs out to catch his bus and I take Maya to daycare. In terms of breakfast, I have muesli with berries, Dan has cheerios, and Maya has a piece of toast with almond butter or cream cheese and some fruit. On the weekends we give Maya oatmeal – I feel like it’s a [Continue Reading…]

shower tile: subway with a side of marble

Let’s get back to the kids/guest bathroom, m’kay? It feels like the one room in the house that is close to being finished. Maybe cause it’s the smallest? In the post last week you saw how we put down charcoal grey tiles in a herringbone pattern and installed the IKEA vanities. Well, let’s get to the shower. Like the floor tile, there wasn’t any DIY’ing going on here (too little time – functional bathroom required!). We have a great tile guy who works quickly and does beautiful work. To start off, he painted the drywall with a waterproofing material. As you can see, in keeping with the black + white direction of the room and my general French vibe, I figured that classic subway tiles would be perfect. Plus, they don’t do too much damage on the ol’ wallet. To up the ante a little though, I went with the extra long [Continue Reading…]

planning + designing a kitchen

So, the kitchen. The heart of the home, right? Just to jog your memory, this was our sweet little diner-style kitchen we had pre-reno. We had made it work by painting out the oak strip cabinetry, adding new hardware, and laying those fabulous budget-friendly black and white vinyl tiles. We lived with our kitchen like this for a number of years, which gave us lots of time to think about what our dream kitchen would look like. One thing that was on the must-do list was to expand the kitchen. You can see in these pics that I snapped just as we were moving out, that our kitchen was on the right side of the supporting wall… And the living room on the left side.. Well, one of our main re-design elements was to bring that wall down (a beam put up in place to support the house). Once our renovation was [Continue Reading…]

life lately

Woah – it has been a COLD week here this week. I guess typical January Ontario, Canada stuff… but man I am not cut out for it. It’s weeks like this when I start to dream about winning the lotto and spending January and February down south somewhere. One day? I didn’t really do much of a recap of our Christmas holidays on the blog. With the house craziness right now, we didn’t really travel around or do too much. A few family dinners around Ottawa, a couple of holiday parties, and that was about it. It was really nice to have two whole weeks where the 3 of us were all together, all the time though. We haven’t had that much time together since our summer holidays. And actual Christmas day was pretty sweet with Maya this year. She ran right over to the stockings and thought opening presents was [Continue Reading…]

bathroom progress: herringbone floor + vanities

Let’s talk bathrooms today, k? With our bungalow-to-3-story-home renovation/addition currently underway, we are going from having 1 pretty teeny bathroom (remember how we renovated it a few years ago here?) to 3. Talk about luxury! We are leaving our master bathroom to finish until after we have moved in, as it’s not as though we will need it right away. That way we can wait for good sales and do some of the finishing ourselves. The other bathroom on the second floor though – the one designated for kids and guests – is on the more immediate “must finish” list so that we have a functioning bathroom on the second floor. My inspiration for this bathroom has been Paris. I love the cafes that often feature black and white schemes, subway tile, herringbone patterns, and classic pieces. I spoke a bit about my general design direction in this post, where I showed you my original [Continue Reading…]

gift idea: DIY crayon holder

So I know the holiday have just passed (hope you guys had a wonderful and relaxing time!) and you have probably done all of your gift-giving for a while, but this is a sweet little idea to bookmark for next year or an upcoming birthday: a DIY crayon holder (or pencil, pens, paintbrush holder – whatever!). I made this one for Maya for Christmas and also gifted a few others. They were super easy and I think the result is darling! For these particular crayon holders, my Dad gave me a hand and cut the pieces specially out of cherry wood, but you could use any 2×4 piece of wood. I think that Michael’s even sells blocks of wood like this ready for such projects. Once you have your piece of wood, you want to sand it quite well – on all sides and edges. We did the edges with my Dad’s router, but [Continue Reading…]

2014: year in review

Holy smokes, how is it 2015 already? Feels totally crazy to me. Time seems to be whizzing by at lightning speed. Well, happy new year, you guys!! Just as we are saying goodbye to 2014, I thought I would take a little look back at the year on the blog. I have a bunch of favourite posts and projects from 2014. In no particular order … These DIY gold and white jewellery stands were easy to do and continue to look gorgeous. I still love gold and still love swiss crosses… can’t get me off those trends yet.  Unfortunately this stair runner using IKEA ‘soften’ throw rugs hasn’t made it through our renovation, which is terribly sad because I loved it. Definitely a favourite project from 2014.  I had so much fun making over this nursery for a friend/client. It’s full of handmade touches and clever ideas, like this little nook where we used [Continue Reading…]

the best ever banana bread recipe

Are you guys bakers? I am in waves. Usually around the holidays, I get into a bit of a baking frenzy. One of my good old standbys is banana bread. I have been making it since I was a kid. There’s not much I love more than a fresh piece of it out of the oven, all warm and delish. Anyway, I whipped up a few loaves this holiday season to have ourselves and give as gifts. The recipe I like to use is this banana bread recipe from AllRecipes. It’s traditional, and I don’t do any of the additives like walnuts or chocolate chips. The straight up banana flavour is where it’s at for me. This isn’t gluten free or low cal or anything like that. There’s a serious helping of butter, sugar, and flour. But it’s good to have a treat every now and then, right? There are over 3000 reviews [Continue Reading…]