Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

Not a whole lot has been happening around here these days. Between sickness, weather, longer work hours and life in general there has been next to zero time for any DIY projects. I'm really hoping that things pick up again after the holidays. There is cabinet trim sitting in the family room and I think its taken up permanent residence on the floor. The kids are using it as balance beams. I once joked about how I would be waiting until Christmas before it was put up now that might just be a dream.
There is one hard worker in the house though, his name is Martin and he is our Elf on the Shelf. His mission is to stay in our home during the holidays and report back to Santa each night. Martin always comes back before the kids wake and finds a new hiding spot. The only rule is you may not touch Martin or he could lose his magic powers which help him fly to the North Pole.


Martin in action

Only 27 days until Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Ive got news for you, I don't know anyone who constantly has a clean house, dishes done, laundry folded, kids played with, hair combed, shopping done and dinner on the table (at dinner time). If you know someone like this I believe they are lying to you. Seriously, even Martha isn't really Martha. I highly doubt she is in the kitchen washing all the potatoes and scrubbing all the toilets before company comes over. She has people for that.

I think I've whined about how busy life has become, we are over scheduled and its getting harder to keep up. Enter the slow cooker.. one of my favorite things.. EVER.
If you don't already have a slow cooker i highly recommend getting one.

This week has been super challenging in my house as almost every one of us has been sick. I have got the worst of it. Unfortunately as a parent even if you are crawling on the floor sick you still need to
make sure your kids are fed and taken care of.. (seems like only yesterday sicks days meant laying on the couch all day watching movies and snuggling in a blanket), I couldn't be more thankful for the ol ' slow cooker this week

Here is a favorite recipe for delicious roast beef and it couldn't be simpler, originally spotted at all recipes and has been in our recipe box for years.

Slowcooker Potroast

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup



  1. In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.

  1. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours. At this point it should be falling apart! and it makes its own gravy! bonus.

Thanks for stopping by

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I want a forest in my hallway

Have you ever spotted something and thought immediately you just had to have it? I'm usually NOT that person at all whatsoever. I'm the one who "likes" something and works up the nerve to buy it after waffling for ages and ages. I usually get said item home and decide on the following:
1. I hate it
2. I paid way too much for this (usually regular price)
3. This is not going to work
4. I like it!.. and a few weeks later not so much

It is a rare occasion when I love something, get a great deal and keep it. Needless to say I have a returns addiction. Yup, I'm THAT GIRL. I'm sorry. So why am I divulging this not so secret secret to you? Because one of those rare occasions happened where I spotted something and LOVED it. And guess what, I spotted it a few years back and still haven't changed my mind. There are a number of versions out there but this one is one of the more reasonably priced (sorry i just spit tea on the computer as I typed reasonably)

WOODS WALLPAPER from Anthropologie

 I'm certain I would need at least 2 rolls for my entry hall and that is not going to happen. Even if I had an extra $400 lying around I could think of many other things to spend it on. Besides, I would have to order it online and that makes returning it a bit of a hassle.

I didn't want to leave the hall so bare and boring and I know I love the forest look so I did a bit of google searching and found some images that suggested I could actually put trees on the wall all by myself. Imagine that.
Of course it could never look like the wallpaper but I think the same idea for only $30 suits me just fine.

1 roll of FROG tape (much better than regular painters tape) $9.99
1 can of Martha Stewart Concrete Grey which was an "oops" $15
1 exacto knife $5

and I love it..

How to create a painted birch tree wall

Using your painter tape outline where you would like your trees and branches

Use your exacto knife to cut along the outside of each piece of tape, this will ensure your trees are not perfectly straight and look a little more realistic

Paint your wall, I used 2 coats and remove the tape carefully

Add details to the branches

Don't go overboard on the details, I got a little crazy and ended up wiping away a few lines

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My blog brings all the cool kids to the yard...

A few weeks ago
 sweetly approached me to be her very first guest post for a segment she will be doing which features room makeovers from some of her favorite bloggers.
 I am flattered to be chosen and to be her first xoxox
I am sending much love to Domestic Mamma and hope you will check out her blog
  (all the way from down under yo) 
Click the link below for our family room feature
 (I cant believe my family room got to Australia before I did)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cabin Fever

The last week here in Edmonton has been filled with loads of big fat beautiful snowflakes. A wonderful sight but unfortunately terrible for road conditions. We still haven't gotten around to getting winter tires so that little detail plus a few sick kids equals this lady getting a bit of cabin fever.
Things have been dull.. even Alex decided to fore go his lego and action figures for furniture rearranging or "designing" as he calls it.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that from our week

Lots of shoveling, thank goodness the kids think its fun.. lets see if it stays that way

Chef and Carpenter outfits made by a friend of my moms, too cute!

Alex decided we needed change, he began to randomly put furniture all over the place

I had to step in and together we did alright

I can tell Christmas is coming, circled toy ads begin to appear throughout the house I havent figured out if this is strategy or laziness.

Santa mailed the kids "Elf on the Shelf". I have no idea what this pose is about.. perhaps shock? fear? surprise? annoyance? meh, could be anything.

Hidden messages xoxox

Enjoy your week and thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Warming up the living room

We have begun to focus a bit of attention on the living room (can I get a whoot whoot). The room really needed a bit of warmth. This is our front room and most people would probably use this as a sitting room however we chose to use this room in a very casual way. We have warmed up the space with some curtains, area rug and changed out the toilet paper art (click here for toilet paper art tutorial ) for some framed art.

Here is where we were:

And this is where we are:

We have been looking around for area rugs for quite some time and I thought it wouldn't hurt to try out the Costco special, its giant,priced right, and has an excellent return policy. I'm not entirely sold on this area rug  yet so there is still a chance that it will be replaced. I must admit I do love the feeling of the lush shag rug beneath my feet and regardless of whether or not this rug stays we have learned that we need a rug no matter what!

It was time to replace the toilet paper artwork and the Ikea Ribba frames seemed like a great fit for the massive wall behind the sectional. As always you cant beat the prices (under $20 each)
We are still deciding on artwork for the frames.

Thanks to a 40% off sale at Bouclair we now have curtains. They definitely soften the room.

This room is still very much in limbo but the small changes have already made such a difference and 2 more items off the list!!!

Front Room

complete bookshelf
area rug
side table project
window treatment
purchase sofa

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ombre Penny Art

As of February 4, 2013 Canada will finally get rid of the penny!  I'm very happy to say goodbye, I am already imagining a life without approximately 68 pennies in my wallet and the bottom of my purse.
In honor of the disappearing penny I thought it only fitting to commemorate this announcement with some ombre art.  I first saw this tutorial at Doodle Craft and decided to give it a try.

I had a shadow box frame which I purchased at Superstore a few years ago on clearance for only 44 cents. I pulled off the acorn and kept the burlap in place.

After determining how many pennies we needed to fill up the space, Alex dumped the pennies into a solution of  1/4 cup white vinegar + 1 tsp salt

I promise the kid has clothes! keeping them on him is another story

Let the pennies bathe in the solution for approximately 15 minutes

Remove pennies from the solution. DO NOT rinse, just air dry on a towel or plate. In about 2 hours they will begin to change colours

Sort the pennies from lightest to the most blue. Once you have determined your arrangement use a hot glue gun to attach each penny to the canvas


Thanks for checking us out!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Offensive Silverware - removing stains

Over time some of our silverware has developed offensive rusty stains. I'm not sure what causes these little spots, perhaps the dishwasher? Regardless its just one of those things that looks terrible especially when guests come for dinner. "Here is a nice dirty knife for you.. yummy.. enjoy" I think its up there with that awkward moment when I'm at someones house for dinner and need to help myself to the utensil drawer and notice the drawer hasn't been cleaned. Ever.  Seriously why even wash your silverware if you are going to let it sit in a bath of crumbs, dust, dirt and hair? Anyhow that's a rant for another day. Back to my nasty silverware

A quick cleaning solution so simple I wish I would have tried it earlier.
All you need is a foil lined pan, vinegar, baking soda, and hot water

Let your silverware bathe in the solution of vinegar, baking soda and hot water for approximately 30 minutes to an hour depending on how bad the stain

Remove the silverware from solution and use a cloth or paper towel to wipe down, any lingering stains should come right off.

Sparkling and stain free silverware!!

****note the silverware went back into the dishwasher for a final cleaning before we used them****

Thanks for stopping by and make today a "clean out the silverware drawer" kind of day :)