Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Garage Sales Rule!

We are living in a world of waste. There is so much packaging involved in everything we buy, things are disposable.. you break it just buy another. This is partly why I love thrift stores and garage sales. A refreshing opportunity to get a bargain and hopefully something unique while doing just a small part for the environment.

I'm thrilled that my 4 year old son is obsessed with garage sales! Each weekend usually after his ball hockey games he literally begs to check out a few sales. With his ziplock of coins we look for signs and see what treasures we can find. His eyes light up when he sees something he likes and he is very proud when he negotiates a better price. I am teaching him while he is young!!

Alex has purchased vintage He Man toys, a skateboard, dinosaurs , a DVD and a few other goodies. This week I felt pretty happy with my finds too!

25 cents for this gorgeous vase. Ive only seen them in plastic and this one is glass, after checking online I discovered it can be purchased for $50!

I love the style of this vase, it reminds me of my grandmother. Another great buy for 25 cents

I remember these from elementary school and they ooze character. This could potentially be seating in my entryway. For $1 each I will find a home for them

Old wooden toolbox - FREE
Trust me I've got ideas for this baby!

You never know what you will find at a yard or garage sale! Check one out this weekend

Garage Sale Tips

  1. Look beyond the dust and clutter, keep an open mind
  2. If you like it pick it up quickly or someone behind you may snag it
  3. Don't overpay! Negotiate ALWAYS... I usually start by offering 50 - 75% of the tag price or I ask to include a second item
  4. Bring lots of change and small bills. A garage sale will not be able to break a large bill
  5. Don't forget that you can spray paint items, change hardware, and make items cool again with a little love.
  6. HAVE FUN!

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Add length to curtains without sewing

Don't want no short short curtains! 
We hung the rod too low in a  quick fix when we first moved in however we finally have curtains we like and need to address the fact that they appear to be waiting for a flood.
Curtain rods are hung too low, but damn i love these curtains.. only $25 per panel.

The curtains have finally been raised, now to deal with this shorty

Quite the difference in length

I've cut 16" inches of fabric from an extra panel.

folded the cut edge over and used no sew fabric glue to hold the seam and hide the jagged cut.

Once the glue held, I lined up the pattern and used the fabric glue to secure the new fabric to the front of my existing curtain

The end result is slightly embarrassing. Thankfully this panel will usually be blocked by furniture and tucked away in the corner.

window #2

With one more panel to go I used some witchery ribbon I had left over from an old Ikea curtain purchase and this seemed much easier.
This time instead of using glue to hold the jagged fold together I applied the witchery tape and ironed it.

Next, I lined up the fabric so the patterns matched and used no sew fabric glue to attach it directly to the front of the existing curtain


The extension isn't horribly noticeable and I'm pretty happy with the results considering it was  fabric with a pattern AND done without a sewing machine

End Result

Loving the raised curtain rod and the longer panels! I also think its time to retire my no sew glue.

 We also got a brand new Sisal area rug for the family room...

Ralph Lauren at HomeSense.. go figure

Warmth! what a difference an area rug can make

Family Room is ALMOST complete

Family Room
Area Rug
Make Pillows
Fireplace Makeover
Lengthen Curtains and Hang higher
Photo Wall
Large artwork
update sofa covers

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family Photo Wall

I love photos, I love taking photos (not very good ones as you may have noticed).  We have thousands of photos in albums and have spent hours printing, organizing and filing them. Clearly I love photos however, I am just NOT a fan of displaying photos in my home. Crazy right?

Now that Ive got two little munchkins of my own I am reminded of my own childhood and how there were always an abundance of photos throughout the house with a majority of them lining the hallways. I would stare at the photos of my family.  My brothers in crazy KISS costumes for Halloween, photos of me as a young Ukrainian dancer or flower girl, a variety of pics of my parents looking very cool and 70's stylish while visiting some random tourist attraction. There were also a ton of photos of relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) I had met and some I didn't.

The older I get the more nostalgic I am about my childhood and I am now realizing what an impact those hundreds of photos in my parents home meant to me. I want my kids to also look up at old photos and be reminded of the good times and memories our family has and will create. I want to look back on a photo of my little guy with his chubby cheeks, bright blue eyes and blonde hair smiling back at me when I need to be reminded of how quickly he is growing and how I need to cherish every moment. As Emily grows her photos are increasingly more adorable, each photo seems so serious and proper. I think she will be quite amused by this when she gets older. I want my kids to have fun with photos and always be reminded of the past.

SOOOOOO the beginning of a family photo wall is calling. I'm still a bit shy and its baby steps for me, I didn't want to have too many photos up however this may change in the future. Here is the plain wall in our family room:

I purchased a variety of frames from a church sale, goodwill and a few from stores like walmart and ikea. I sprayed the frames in high gloss black and also white.

Some of the frames were purchased at a church sale, 3 for 50 cents!!

I wonder if there are spray paint support groups?

A number of the frames did not come with glass so I came up with these little numbers and I must say they are my favorite

old frame sprayed white, wooden S purchased for $2.50 at walmart and a sheet of scrapbook paper for the background
A tiny bit of twine glued to the back of the frame and a clothespin to hang a photo of my little angel

The photo wall also has a small wooden sunflower that looks awful but is special to us. It is the ONLY thing my husband and I have that survived an apartment fire we had many years ago. We lost everything we owned in that fire including photos, mementos, etc. We came back to the rubble pile a few weeks later and Ken spotted the little sunflower that use to hang on our patio. He jumped into the pile (completely heroic) and saved it. We have carried it with us ever since. Its covered in soot and ash and we have kept it that way. It symbolizes a memory of life before the fire and like the photos reminds us to cherish what we have and never take it for granted.


Family Room
Area Rug
Make Pillows
Fireplace Makeover
Lengthen Curtains and Hang higher
Photo Wall
Large artwork
update sofa covers

Thanks for visiting

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Baseboards are going to be the end of me.
Hot husband primed and painted all of the boards when they were delivered in January however not much has been done since. I am pleased to announce that we have progress people!! Ken has dusted off the nail gun and slowly rooms are being completed. We still have A LOT of footage to cover but with each new board that goes up I get a little giddy.

The new baseboards are tall and beefy.. i think they definitely make the room look more complete.

New baseboards inspired a little decoration in the bathroom, picked up these super cute vintage looking shabby chic botanical prints from HomeSense.

With all the bathroom attention I couldn't help but notice that our floor grout was no longer looking white. This slightly annoys me as it was sealed about 4 times before anyone walked on it. We are really good about cleaning up any messes and not letting water sit on the floor as it's a mix of marble and granite. The cleaner we use supposedly seals and cleans with each use. HA!
Here is her grub shot:

I came across a post somewhere about using Clorox Bleach Pens to clean grout, after weeks of searching (I looked everywhere: Walmart, Superstore, Save ON, Zellers, Safeway, etc) I finally found them at Canadian Tire for about $3.80 each.

I applied the pen to a small area, crossed my fingers and let sit for about 5 minutes

It kind of worked, It didn't make the grout as white as the first day it was installed but it definitely took away the look of "grime" and brightened it up a bit

The bright area in the middle is where I applied the pen, you can see a bit of difference compared to the surrounding area. Now I just need to get motivated and clean the rest of the bathroom grout :(


light fixture
shower curtain

Thanks for visiting

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The master bedroom has zero artwork.. we have lived in our home for 6 months with mostly bare walls.
We had a number of pieces from our old home but very few have made the cut for our little bungalow. Our previous house was a new build with lots of brown and beige..  we felt like we had to decorate that space according to what the feel of the house was and not necessarily according to our own unique style. Unfortunately that left us with alot of pieces we didn't love. As much as I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go out and purchase a ton of new things suited to our new place its just not a great idea while we are finishing renos and attempting to live on a single income.
My $4  Solution:

Go big or go home!

paper medallion - less than $4

I admit that I may have made it a tad too big and I wasn't going to put it up but dearest hubby said he thought it was cool and encouraged me to hang it anyway. Bless his heart!

Supply List
old book
white poster board
glue gun
glue sticks

Select an old book, I picked this one up for free, a good year.. or so Ive been told. . The pages themselves were glossy but you could easily do regular sheets.

create your template, I traced an old laundry basket onto left over cardboard
from our moving boxes

Cut out your cardboard template and cut out another from white poster board. I glued the white poster board to the top of the cardboard in case I had any spots peeking out..
 I didn't want the brown cardboard to show.

Begin rolling your paper. I added a dab of glue to hold the roll and used more
glue to attach it to the cardboard template

Begin attaching rolls to the cardboard starting on the outside and work your way in. This project is done best over a few nights in front of the television and with a nice glass of wine.
 (wine is optional but helpful)
A cold glass of water is also recommended, not for drinking but to soothe the glue gun burns you will most likely get

once your medallion is complete you are ready to hang. You could also spray paint the entire thing to spice it up, I chose to keep it as is.

To hang the medallion I had hubby hold it against the wall  and I drilled a screw and washer directly through the centre into the wall. Originally I thought I would just add picture hardware to the back but because it turned out so large it was heavier than expected.. so the drill was the only solution I could think of.

Not bad for under $4 !!!

Master Bedroom
feature wall

Thanks for looking

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Shine Baby Shine

I'm not sure when it happened exactly but our days have exploded. Even when I was working full time planning huge events I cant remember being this busy! Each day is bursting at the seams with entertaining kids, play dates, social  dates, cleaning, laundry, shopping, renos, sports, and everything else imaginable. With that said I admit that I have let go of alot of my obsessive cleaning habits and rituals however I didn't realize how much has been sliding lately until I took a close look at our ensuite shower door.
Our glass door had been taken over by SOAP SCUM. Its gross.. go ahead and judge but man its been busy around here.. scrubbing the shower for hours on end has not been on my priority list. Here she is in all her grime and glory:
OMG how did it get this bad?

I came across a recipe for a simple solution of vinegar and dish soap. CLICK HERE for the site which offered ingredients and instructions.

Basically all you do is combine 1 cup of heated vinegar with 1 cup of BLUE Dawn dish soap. For some reason the dish soap MUST be BLUE.
1 cup heated vinegar + one cup dawn soap

 add to a spray bottle and shake gently
I gave the shower a good spray and actually needed to cover my mouth and nose as the fumes were so intense. I cracked a window and let it sit for about 15 minutes
when i returned I wiped away the spray and it worked! zero scrubbing and my shower looks amazing

Another cleaning tip I recently found was for stainless steel appliances. Ive tried a number of store bought cleaners specifically for stainless cleaning but most of them left streaks or just didn't impress me.

What worked?
good old pledge!



Thanks for visiting and Happy Mother's Day!!