Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Canadian Blogger Home Tour {Day three}

 It is the third day for the Canadian Blogger Home Tour 2014! Woohoo! After checking out the homes that have been featured so far,I already have a list of things I want to add into our house. I'm so inspired after checking out DAY ONE and DAY TWO of fabulous home tours.

I love that each home that is being featured is different in style and functionality and that each is just as lovely as the next. Today we have four new homes to share, so have a look at each, get scribbling your own list of decorating tips, and happy pinning!

Halle's Room

Living room before and after

Courtenay Hartford authors The Creek Line House. 
You will fall in love with her simple farmhouse style and the way she uses baskets, plates, chalkboards and everything that evokes charm.

A great real-life farmhouse tour with lots of before and after photos!

Gemma Bonham-Carter authors The Sweetest Digs.
Gemma shares every step in designing and decorating her families digs with her readers. Her use and love of graphic patterns makes each room in her home a new and inviting experience! 

Stay tuned for the rest of the week for more pretty and beautiful!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Canadian Bloggers Home Tour {Day two!}

Eeeek! It is Tuesday, which means another day of the Canadian Bloggers Home Tour 2014. 

I lovevvvvved checking out the pictures from yesterdays homes. I was actually kind of sad when I ran out of pictures to look at!


Well, no need to pull out my monogrammed handkerchief (thanks MOM!) because today we have four more Canadian homes for you to take a peek at.

First up we have Kerri Roche who authors A Pop of Pretty. She is my superhero because she survived TWINS and another child WHILE beginning her blog, you know, in allllll her downtime. You will want to check out all of her domestic ways along with the pretty things she shares.

Jennifer Flores authors Rambling Renovators and is married to an architect intern and together they have THE cutest little girl. You know that everything this design enthusiast touches, along with her husbands eye for design, is going to be perfection. They have been transforming their Toronto home since 2007! I cannot wait to see what they have up their sleeves and what design elements they have added recently.

Lucy Akins authors Craftberry Bush and is one of the most talented artist around. She has a keen eye for all things creative and dabbles in water colour, clay creations, fine art and everything in between. You will love her laid back style that makes you want to move right in.

Julie Shaver authors Elliven Studio and loves all things bright and pretty. She has a house full of boys and adds her own unique touch of femininity along with a beautiful take on afternoon relaxing, also she is another Boxer doggy mommy! You will truly love her space as much as I do!


I cant wait for alllll of the gorgeous pictures!

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Canadian Bloggers Home Tour! {Day one!}

Today is the first day of the 2014 Canadian Bloggers Home Tour!!

I have been tapping my foot and twirling my hair in happy anticipation for this one all morning!  

Pull on your plaid, pour that maple syrup over whatever you are eating for breakfast and get on your smile that Canadians are known for.

Grab yourself a hot cup of coffee and get nestled down somewhere comfy, you are going to want to be there for awhile. In our line up today, the first two homes listed below belong to the darlings who are responsible for organizing and planning this whole Canadian Bloggers Home Tour in the first place!

Shannon Acheson authors AKA Design and makes all the pretty while her husband Dean makes all the behind the scenes home stuff. They are a fabulous team who love to share every little step of their admired projects. You will love all that they have done with their new home!


Christina Dennis authors The DIY Mommy and is now a busy mom of three little girls and yet somehow she has time to finish projects! Just like her blog suggests she and her family have DIY-ed a whole house!! You will fall in love with her sweet heart and her use of blues against whites {swoon!} in her recently built home.


Kira Faiazza authors Northern Style Exposure and has amazzzzzing style. You will want to check out this Mamas fashion posts as well as her home decor, I mean, if you are like me and have a very intimate relationship with your yoga pants! (Inspiring!!)

Angie Long Pietra authors Echoes of Laughter and is a domestic guru! She makes everything pretty and makes me want to be her third child. You will know exactly what I mean once you stalk check out her blog.


That is it guys! Four beautiful homes all in one day! (Gorgeous overload!)

If you are still here, then go, GOOOOOO! So much pretty is awaiting you!

As for me, I will be spending the good part of my day drooling onto my key board.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Canadian Bloggers Home Tour - the fun starts tomorrow!

It is no secret that I love interior design, pretty spaces, bright ideas, and taking peeks into the homes of other people who love design just as much. So, you can imagine my complete excitement when I was asked to be a part of the Canadian Bloggers Home Tour 2014 with 18 other Canadian Bloggers! 

I am so thrilled to be involved in a this group with some of my favorite bloggers! All of these blogs are are full of inspiration, I am sure you will be happy to add them to your daily reading list after seeing all of the eye candy they have to offer.


Get your notepads ready and your pinning finger all stretched out because this weeks lineup of lovely ladies is sure to impress!

Here is a list of the inspiring blogs that will be participating in this fun and fresh week of home tours!

I cant wait to check out all of the pretty!
   Canadian Home Bloggers Tour logo

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What HOME means to me. {A Mothers Musings}

Home is the place where the things on the walls are constantly changing and those same walls protect the sweetest memories, the tables hold the piles of papers and the conversations of late nights and good friends and where carpets are littered with fishy crackers, lego blocks and Barbie shoes, corners have seen time outs, sad baby faces, forgiving hugs and where the dust bunnies congregate.

Our homes are where life happens and for me, I am constantly trying to make the place we call home, a great representation of the people, places and things we love.

 Our home has been in transition for years.

Do you feel the same way?? Are you constantly trying to make YOUR house feel "finished"?

 I feel that way.

Maybe it is because I am in love with constantly shuffling things around, or maybe because when we got married nine years ago, we were like many new couples and had a mish-mash of things, and by slowly adding, rearranging and switching, we have been able to make things feel fresh without breaking the bank.

Over the years, I have made a million design and home mistakes. I have eagerly painted my walls dark colours, to fit with the interior design trend at the time and just to end up disliking them in the end. I have tried the modern look, the traditional look, the brand-new-everything-minimalistic-look, the right-off-the-show-room-floor-look, and the everyones-hand-me-downs-look and Im pretty sure I have followed about every trend out there!

What changed, you ask? 

Well, in my opinion, I am a peaople pleaser, my sweet husband would say differently, Im sure.
Over the years he has became a bit lenient on his interior opinions along with his well known love for neon green paint and Foosball tables in the living room. Today, I realize I was right to wish that I could be the sole opinion-giver when deciding interior choices. 


I mean, it is, obviously terribly difficult to agree on home decor when two people have completely different tastes!!! Over time, my sweet man gave in a little bit and I gave up a little bit and put my idea of a "little white cottage" dream on hold --and we have lived happily every after.

Now he sits back and watches me move and change, create and MAKE our home, and he offers his opinion in spoonfuls instead of spade fulls and we COMPROMISE.

Going with your gut, always feels good, doesnt it?

It sounds so simple, but often in life, in every area of life, it is hard to stick with what we know we will be happy with. 

It is soooo hard, isn't it??

To do so, we have to block out everyone elses opinions, we have to search deep down in our hearts and we have to discover and EMBRACE what makes US happy. 

As silly as it sounds, choosing your decor is the first place you can start to listen to your heart, and slowly, ever so slowly, you will learn to apply the same technique in every aspect of your life.

Ultimately, when you accept your homes imperfections and you see its potential -- all at once, that is when your space will finally feel like home, no matter what stage of development it is in.

Home is enjoying the space you are blessed with and slowly tweaking it along the way.

That is what HOME means to me.

(Dont ask my sweet hubby, remember, he is a fast learner about those types of things.)


I cant wait to share with you all of the things that have been changing around here AND I have a big surprise to announce soon!

IN the mean time, if you like guessing games, take another peak at the above picture. :)

PS: For bonus points, and for a virtual high-five, can you see the three elements in the above picture that have changed since the last time I showed you our living area???

PPS: Hint, in total all THREE elements cost less then $140.






PPPS: I really should hunt down some wayyyyy-before photos and let you see first hand that homes are not built in a month after move in day. Im sure I have some doozies somewhere! The best spaces evolve with time, in my opinion. I hope these thoughts encourage you to embrace your surroundings on this Saturday morning and that we all can remember that pretty spaces are great but pretty minds are better.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Digging. {A backyard overhaul}

Once upon a time, we bought an "okay" house on a "great" street. 

I guess watching Jillian Harrison's "Love it or list it" and Scott McGilvary's "Income Potential" finally paid off. 

We heard the advice a million times over and then we finally listened and acted on the real-estate-golden-nugget-tip and bought a house that fit our needs, was in a great spot, but needed a complete overhaul.

Three and a half years later, I have now realized that those shows, that I love, the ones that I PVR and can't turn on unless I am in comfy pants with snacks piled on my lap and my eyes GLUED to the television, as lovely as they are, as gorgeous as things end up after a half hour or an hour, I have learned that they are not made in REAL time or even semi-real time.




It hasn't been a hundred hours, no, we have been plugging away at our house for three plus years!

Then, this summer, the clouds parted, the angels chorus sang in perfect harmony, and we realized it was T-I-M-E to take our attention from the inside of our house and instead focus our attention on the the outside of our house.

Our back yard was beckoning.

In the last three years, I have tried to add some distracting furnishings, to plug in and install some twinkling pretty lights and to forget about the "new-ish" deck that wobbled and crept like it was fifty years old.

You see, we live in a suburb of Guelph, Ontario, and this whole area is not OLD at all, it is actually only about 15 years old. 

I remember when these houses were being built and when, at that same time, wearing baggy overalls and slicked back hair was not only fashionably forward, but super chic -- for girls!!!


Our home is a multi level home and one of the few on our street that is raised. That means our main floor is about 8 feet from our backyard's grass weeds.

I can barely believe it every time I tip toe onto this unstable deck, but the previous owners actually PAID someone to build the current deck we inherited. I feel badly that they probably didnt bargain that four years later the thing would be a wobbly mess.


The deck was falling apart but the deck did not look bad -- at first glance. 

At first glance, one would think that the deck is huge and is right off our main living area. It can hold a huge group of people on it, but to be honest, who knows how long it can actually HOLD up!!

Lets just say, I freak out when my blessed children go anywhere underneath the deck. 

Yep, if you live in the area, Im sure you have heard me bellowing that the deck may crash on them at any minute, and Im not being dramatic, I mean every threatening, hysterical, neighborhood-echoing-word.

Not only is the large deck a complete hazard, as it wiggles just like Elvis's hips, but it also covers a completely fabulous window that enables light into my salon. 

When we moved in, I loved the fact that our lower level had larger than normal windows, but now I crave even more sunlight in that space.


The steps going down to our yard are steep and are covered in green mold. 

I love all things green, but mold will never make the list.


Once I had planted the seed of the idea for a new deck in my husbands mind, and had thoroughly watered it with prompting, suggestions, ideas, and nagging, he got right down to business ( ALL ON HIS OWN!) and started planning out how our NEW deck would turn out.

We always involve our three kids in our renos, and truly, they really enjoy being a part of the excitement!

They even leeringly volunteered to help "measure" the depths of the holes!

And this is the girl that is fearful of bugs. ;)

Obviously, I remained a safe distance away from being thrown into a deep hole and instead renamed myself "The Fly Swatter Girl" and protected all beverages and snacks like my cape depended on it.

 I mean, I was still kind of sore from digging holes for all these rocks and then dragging them into place, a few days before.

Eventually there will be an entire stone pathway down the side of our house, the deck will end up   taking up most of our small backyard and we will end up with a lovely patch of grass for the kids to wrestle on and for me to hunt down big fat grass blades to press between my thumbs to practice sqeaking out some whistling, just like MY Mama taught me.

This celebratory picture was taken right before we went away for three days. 

We came back, to hear that it rained every day that we were away. It turned out, that we came home to our sono tubes and our holes overflowing with water. 


On the bright side, I didn't post about our yard then, cause guys, that was SAD. 

Also, on the double bright side, Im kind of soooooo excited to say that the deck is coming along beautifully, albeit, slow and steady.

Amidst the digging and the raining and the diggin and the raining, I taught my kids this little poem  and it is so fitting, I just had to share....

I hope it is not raining where you are and that the sun is shining down on whatever hole you are digging; be it, on the beach, in your yard or in your wallet with that back to school shopping!

(Yeah, I saw those giant pencils hangin from the ceiling at Target, too.)

BY: Kenn Nesbitt

I'm digging for diamonds.
I'm digging for gold.
I'm digging for silver
that's shiny and cold.

I'm digging all day and
I'm digging all night.
I'm digging for rubies
all sparkling and bright.

I plan to get famous.
I plan to get rich
by digging up gemstones
in ditch after ditch.

And yet, from these ditches
I've dug in the ground,
there weren't any diamonds
or coins to be found.

I haven't got silver
or rubies, you see...
I just have my mom and dad
yelling at me.

For though I found nothing
from digging till dawn,
my parents found holes
where we once had a lawn.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

What we have been doing all summer! {Backyard overhaul/disaster}

This summer has been a combination of waiting for the rain to stop so we can build a deck, while simultaneously praying for rain so we wouldn't have to work in our AWFUL back yard.

 When we bought this house three years ago, the backyard literally made me fill up with emotion. And not the kind of emotion that one feels when they see a tub of ice cream or an isle of pillows at Homesence (pillow hoarder alert!)

Our backyard has been a thorn in our side for three years, and it was time to change things and to finally enjoy a part of our home that has been neglected.

These steps catapulted us into backyard-renovation-mode in early May.

Yes, I DO know it is already August.

We have tools littering our dining room table and dried up dirt from our yard, that is now a mud pit fit for a car derby or a pack of pigs, -- everywhere.


THESE rotting, moldy steps lead up to a raised deck that welcomes you from our dining room. 

It welcomes you alright, and then taunts you as you risk your life tip toeing down the wiggly steps that dare to break at any second.





So, our poor energetic crazies, have not been allowed in their own back yard allllll summer long.

Yes, we are all pulling out our hair and have enjoyed jumping on the beds more times than I can count.
We have big hopes and dreams for the little yard that could, so that is what we are gripping on to, with our whitened knuckles, as we squint out the windows that are covered with streaks of rain drops while we listen to the sound of thunder in the distance, as we contemplate if electrocution is an ACTUAL probable thing.

I cant wait to fill you in on all of the ups and the many downs that make any renovation a reality. I have a billion bad phone pics to share every step of our backyard overhaul with you. (Obviously, it has been four months!) 

This yard will come together, and when it does, I am gonna dance with the crazy babies all over that sturdy deck -- like we waited a whole season for it!

Cant wait for you to be a part of our backyard overhaul!


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