The Tree...It's Here!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oh yes, happy day indeed.  Friday was delivery day and Friday was a day that made me smile!

It sometimes amazes me how excited I can get over the simplest things.  I think our neighbours are  probably happy that the tree has been delivered and is in the ground because honestly, they are probably so sick of hearing me talk about it! ha!

The decision to purchase the mature tree was made and so we headed back to the nursery and placed a "sold" sign on mother natures piece of perfection.

We had a few issues with the placement of the tree, my poor husband had to move the hole over about 3 feet, which was no easy task (so happy he loves me! haha).  Deciding on a design for the garden also took some time.  We went with a simple kidney shape and have added some large rocks and grasses to fill in the rest of the space.

The tree is in the ground and has made such a difference to the look of the house.  What I love most is how you can see it from all of the windows at the front of the house, no matter which one you are looking out of.

One of my favourite parts of the tree planting was how a little bird took a seat on a branch literally a second after we put the tree in it's place!  I screamed like a little kiddo!  It honestly made my day....take a peek:

Priceless, right?

Can I tell you just how much I've been loving my Hunter boots?  Honestly, don't know what I would have done without them the past couple of weeks.  I'm now looking to purchase some Welly socks.  I'm leaning towards these ones to help keep my toes toasty warm during the winter months.  I highly recommend these bad boy Wellies as they have done me good!

Happy Monday, friends.  I hope you enjoy one awesome week!


Deals and Outfits.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hello, hello!

Last week, I managed to nab a few pairs of flats from Aldo at ridiculously amazing prices.  I was happy to add a nude pair to my collection as well as a style that I've been thinking about purchasing for a while.  I just couldn't resist since they were less than $15!  Flats are my go to style of shoe, I wear them 99% of the time.

Here's are some snapshots of a couple of outfits from last week and of course, I shall share the deals with you too!

two tone flats available here

nude flats I mentioned before, better pic of them below

flats can be found here (I managed to save an extra few dollars by waiting for a discount sale)

and then there were these, at less than $15, how could you not? I also bought this pair. So fun! More styles can be found here

socks were required last week, I love printed socks.  another fun pair here

also required last week....mitts:

I have such a thing for knitted mitts, I've had these for years (given to me by hubs grandmother) and just can't get rid of them.

 and just because I had to share, I spotted these fabulous flats at Gap.  plaid with hot pink piping. goodness, yes! (don't worry, I resisted temptation and left them behind)


Curb Appeal

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hey, hey, hey!

Did the temps dip at the end of last week where you are?  It was honestly so chilly here in the mornings.  We had to layer up and throw on some mitts to keep warm at the bus stop.  Unbelievable that it's supposed to be in the high teens again this week.

The builder finally gave us grass. As you know from this post, we've been waiting since we moved in for this to happen.

Curb appeal is something that is pretty important to us.  We both love how much of an impact it can make on a home.

The problem is starting with a blank slate can be pretty overwhelming.  I decided that I wanted to keep the front garden relatively sparse and simple.  The backyard gardens will be the ones with an abundance of florals and size.  Gardening is a lot of work and it can take a lot of your time to keep it under control and looking good.  At the last house, I found that I just couldn't keep up and I didn't want that to happen again.

I absolutely love grasses so my plan was to incorporate a few of them in the front as well as my favourite, peonies and then a few shrubs that would act as "anchors".  With my plan in hand, we headed to the nursery.

And soon after, we got to planting our new garden.

Grasses...check.  Anchors...check.  Peony...check.

We also planted some tulips and daffodils, hello spring garden!

Now, one major decision that we have yet to make is what size of tree to purchase.  You see, the problem is that trees are rather expensive. We missed the major sale and it doesn't look as though anymore will be happening until next year.  We don't want to wait until next year to plant a tree, we would most definitely love to have one now.

Did you see Sarah's House 4, the Curb Appeal episode?  Well, that episode is playing over and over again in my head.  She made a point to purchase a rather mature tree for the front yard.

What a huge and immediate impact it made!  We would love to go this route.  We wouldn't get as big of a tree (I can only imagine how much this one cost), but to purchase a mature tree vs a young one would be fabulous.

The October Maple in the picture above, it's the one I want.  It's stunning, just stunning.  The leaves turn a gorgeous shade of red in the fall (they are green the rest of the year).  It is definitely more expensive than a younger tree (this tree is about 5 years old), that would be about 1/2 of the size of this one.  We just need to realize that we may not be living in this house forever (military life), however, that's also part of the reason that we want to get a bigger tree, so that we can enjoy it while we're here.  The other issue is that because it's over a certain size, the 3 year warranty that the nursery offers is void if they don't plant it.  The cost to plant this bad boy is almost the same price as the tree.  We don't have a problem planting it on our own, but to not have the warranty isn't very appealing.

So, do we spend the money and get a tree that we can enjoy or get a small tree and just have a tree.

Decisions, decisions.....although I think I already know the answer to this one. haha.

I'll share more pics once we have the garden all planted.  We still need to find a great slab rock for the garden that the tree will be planted in (along with a few tall grasses) and we need to get some more dirt delivered.

So this week will be a busy one, but a fun one.  Dirt, trees and digging!  It's a process, but we sure do love it!


The Truth Is...

Friday, October 12, 2012

my own photo

Friends, it's Friday....what are your plans for the weekend?  Today, we got our hands dirty and started to plant our front garden.  Finally!  I've been dying to garden since we moved.  The builder was waiting for the house next to us to be bricked before they put in our sod.  That all happened this week and we weren't going to waste any more time!

The tree with the vibrant red leaves in the picture above is the one that I'm hoping to call mine tomorrow.  We're heading back to the garden center for the 3rd day in a row.  We are trying to decide if we want to get a mature tree vs young tree.  A mature tree will give us an instant tree vs having to wait a few years (or more) for the tree to have any type of size, but of course, that comes with a heftier price tag.

Okay, enough about the garden as I'm planning on posting all about it next week!

Here are this week's truths:

  • well, it's no secret, gardening is happening and I'm thrilled
  • the mornings are so chilly, we dug out the mitts, toques and fleece jackets
  • it seems as though ever since I straightened my hair last week that my curls are looser, weird, but I'm very much loving the look
  • incase you missed it, this post is a must read if your eyelashes refuse to curl
  • I'm totally giddy excited for Christmas
  • it feels as though I have a new perspective on blogging. I've realized I just need to keep it real and then the pressure is no longer there. we'll see how long that feelings lasts, but I'm hoping it's here to stay
  • we're off to the pumpkin patch tomorrow, can't wait! first time ever!
Happy weekend friends!


I'm Baking....again!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello lovelies.  Hope your Tuesday is shaping up to be a fine one indeed!

So hubs has had to adopt a gluten free lifestyle.  All in all, it hasn't been too bad. I mean, there are some challenges to eating gluten free, but it hasn't been horrible or that big of an adjustment.  I suppose it's easier and I feel this way about it since it's just him vs our entire family having to change our diet.

Because of this, I now bake gluten free deserts for holidays.  I'm no pro-baker, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before, but I do love to eat a dessert or two, so finding gluten free pie recipes was a must.

I was happy to find this recipe for a gluten free pumpkin pie.  I use this crust recipe for my apple pies as well, which I made yesterday to enjoy with our not Thanksgiving but Thanksgiving dinner (we're celebrating Thanksgiving a little later in the month since hubs was away for Thanksgiving day, but still wanted to have a special dinner since it was after all, a long weekend).

The recipe is pretty straight forward.  The only issue I have is that this stuff:

It's crumbly.  No, it's super duper crumbly.  Thankfully I'm used to the texture now that I've worked with the dough enough times.  I quite literally warn my family when I'm about to roll the dough out so that they know not to bother me.  Why, you may ask?  Because honestly, it takes every ounce of my being for me not to go crazy!  I mean, if you just look at the dough, it will fall apart!

It's now a joke around our house when I give out the "I'm about to roll the dough warning", we all laugh, but I have to admit, it wasn't so funny the first couple of times that I put this recipe to use!

hubs managed to capture a blurry pic of the "look". consider this a warning! ha!

I use this recipe for the filling.  I just substitute gluten free all purpose flour for the all purpose flour.

The end result is a delicious apple pie.  It may not be a picture perfect pie, but it is delicious.

Do you do any gluten free baking?


One Thing Leads To Another...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Friends, how are you?  I hope all of you enjoyed a lovely weekend.  We didn't have a Thanksgiving feast this weekend since hubs was away (he's now bake and we're having a yummy roast for supper to celebrate).  We like to have him here for such occasions, so we will enjoy a Thanksgiving feast later in the month.

As you know, I got a little crafty this weekend and it seemed to have sparked a decorating fire in me.  Oh!  I also found the foot pedal to my sewing machine...I think I already mentioned that in yesterday's post though, right? I can't remember and am a tad too lazy to go back to check.  Well, if I didn't mention it, yes, it's been found so I can finally get to sewing the roman shade for the window above the kitchen sink. Hooray!

There is this narrow wall that divides the kitchen and family room.

the wall, to the right

I stare at this wall daily and have been desperately wanting to hang something up on it.  I think I may have just found the perfect solution.

I've ordered Jen Ramos's "HELLO Languages Typography Print"

I think I'm going to put it in a white frame, similar to the one that my "Love" print is in:

I have also been thinking a lot about the living room (when am I not thinking of the living room?!).  I originally thought of getting two chairs.

 and now I'm back to square one....not quite sure which I'd like best for the room.  I think it's just a matter of jumping in the car and going to test all of them out.  I am trying to convince hubs that we need to go to Toronto for a day, sans enfants.  I honestly think that I could furnish the entire living room in one shot if we did that.  Two chairs and a coffee table, done.  We'll see if I can twist him arm.

Also really loving this chair and this chair.

A very happy Monday to all of you, have one fantastic week!


I Got Crafty - A DIY

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hello, hello!  How is everyone doing?

So, I got a little crafty this weekend, it's been a while, but it sure was fun!

This craftiness was brought on after seeing pics of Rhiannon's amazingly gorgeous kitchen.  If you haven't seen the pics and read all about it, then head over to her blog or to Style Me Pretty, where her kitchen was recently featured (yay, Rhi!) to get your read on.

So yes, after reading this feature, I immediately fell in love with the rug in the kitchen.  Seriously smitten.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about it and then yesterday I got the idea to attempt making my own.  I headed down to the basement and rummaged through my stash of scrap fabric.  One thing about my fabric stash is that I only ever purchased fabrics that I absolutely loved.  So they are all my favourites.  I originally though of using patterned fabrics, but ended up using several different solid coloured fabrics, which I used to use to line my clutches with.

I literally just went with it, didn't really do much planning.  I decided to make rows of colour and then got to cutting the fabrics.  Of note, this used a lot of fabric, like a lot....and my fingers, they are killing me, but I think it was well worth it.

Here's are a few snapshots of the rug from beginning to end.

started it off with one of my favourite colours

adding pops of colour

half done

and the finished product:


I haven't decided where I'm going to put it but it will either be at the back door (off of the kitchen eating area, seen in picture where it's 1/2 done) or by the sink.  It's currently by the sink and I have to say, I'm loving it there.

It adds a fun splash of colour & a touch of girliness (which is much needed since I'm the only girl in this house!).

Since all of the colours in the rug are my favourites, I find that it's a perfect reflection of me....just makes me smile!  Perhaps I should have toned it down a bit and used more subtle colours...hmmm.


This House.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Seriously, it's nearly at a standstill, decorating wise.  I thought I was back on track, but nope...I haven't made any progress.  I'm hoping that this post will give me what I need to get going again.

My heart...I love it! I've been thinking about this room a lot, mainly because of the painting.  We need a larger painting for above the couch in the family room as the ceilings are 9'.  I want it to be on the lighter side because the couches are brown leather.  I just think that this one is perfect.

The family room is the closest to being finished.  We already have the couches and chairs as well as a 8x10 shag rug, wooden coffee table and glass nesting tables.  Just need a few more pieces to finish the room off.

For the living room, I want more elegance. I mean, just look at our dining room light (the dining room and living room are together, one long rectangular room):

 and the unforgettable gold mirror: 

Le sigh, I know......  

I see two fabric chairs flanking the gold mirror once hung (perfect sidetable to go beneath mirror) and then a fab cabinet, perhaps mirrored, with beautiful black accents, on the opposite wall.  Pair those with the bone coloured leather couch that is already in there:

 and a gorgeous coffee table and there you have it...the living room furniture.  As for art and window treatments, ideas are there, but I'll share later.

Inspiration for the living room comes from Sarah's House 4, good heavens that house!  Honestly.  And we can't forget the other inspiration pics I pulled together a little while ago.

Okay, then there is the upstairs nook that I spoke about before:

Plan is to replace the stuff that is currently filling the space, with a bench, perhaps this grey-ey/blue velvet one:

Fill it with an abundance of gorgeous pillows and voila!  A welcoming space for the kids to cuddle up with a book under the natural light.  Plus, enough room for all three of them = no fighting over who gets to sit there.

And for no other reason but to share, check out this chair that I spotted while in Ottawa.  It is the perfect shade of purple. Yum.

Remember the dresser that I refinished?  This one:

Well, the mirror still isn't up which is why you haven't seen a reveal of everything yet.  Now I'm thinking I'm going to hold off even longer because I am still dying to try to convert our wooden headboard to a fabric one.  I've ordered some linen samples from Tonic Living and am loving the dark one on the far left:

Our bedding is all white except for the throw/decorative pillows.  I need to get that done and then I can do a reveal of the two projects together.

Then there is this fabric that I ordered (again from Tonic Living) almost right after we moved in:

It's sitting here, untouched.  I can't for the life of me find the pedal to my sewing machine.  So I'll have to take another good look for it.  I have all of the supplies, the plan is to make a roman blind for the window above the sink.  Another reason for the stall....I'm not sure if I want to go with it anymore.

Yes, seriously.

I planned all along to get/make linen drapes (using a solid coloured linen) for the family room which is off of the kitchen, nearly open concept off of the kitchen.  So now I'm thinking that perhaps I should use the same fabric for the window in the family room and for the sliding patio door (in kitchen) and window above the sink.

Most indecisive person eva!  That's me.

The good news, if I plan to go that route, the fabric pictured above could be used to make pillows.  So no loss there.

Now, that's just a few of the "to do's".  The kitchen needs a backsplash and the basement, I'm not even thinking about it yet!

There you have it.  My ideas, floating around the internet, for the world to see, but more so for me to keep on track.  To remember my visions for these rooms and to tweak as necessary.  To come back to and remember what it is I want for each room.

Now, I need to keep in mind that I've been shopping at basically one store for everything.  I think a trip to Toronto is highly necessary to get some key pieces.  I'm totally ready to get rid of pieces that are already in the house to make room for new ones.  Pieces that I may have just "settled" for or that were "good enough" at the time.  We'll see.


What's Cooking?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

With falls arrival comes the use of the slow cooker.  Do you use one?  I absolutely love putting ours to use.  I honestly don't think that I've ever had a bad meal when we've used the slow cooker and you can't be the way the house smells while the slow cooker is doing it's job.  The aromas are always so drool worthy!

We had a busy day yesterday, so I planned ahead and decided to use the slow cooker to cook supper.  I gave this recipe a try for the first time and seriously, it did not disappoint!

I have to admit, it's the first time that I've ever cooked a whole chicken.  I've cooked turkeys for holidays and such, but never chicken and never in the slow cooker. You can usually choose between cooking your meals on high or low when using the slow cooker, but there wasn't the option with this recipe (although you could probably cook it on high if you wanted to). Low is the way, but really, I think that's a good thing.

The chicken was literally falling apart because it was cooked to perfection.  I'm guessing you can easily switch out the paprika for other spices or herbs and they will give you wonderful end results as well.  I also loved that there was a good amount of juices at the bottom of the crockpot.  I poured them into a container and threw it in the fridge to use another time.

I wish I had some after pictures to share, but alas, it was gone before we knew it!


Road Trip and Straight Hair

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This past weekend we hit the road and headed home for a few days.  The main reason was to celebrate the eldest kiddos birthday with our families.  We enjoyed some go-karting (I would have totally ruled the roads if I had a functioning about unfair advantage!), some family time and of course, some shopping since the shopping here isn't all that fantastic...and that's putting it nicely.

Let me recap with a few pics from our getaway and a few others from earlier that week, kay?

Love these boots, the hidden wedge is fab

up close picture of the layers and necklace 

road trip outfits have to be comfortable.  oh, and straight hair.  finally, no humidity, so straightening the locks is once again an option (just wish it didn't take me so long to do it).

 ahhh, Zara, you are great.  First Zara purchase eva!

we were spoiled with glorious weather while we were away.  precious cuddles, priceless. 

And I can't end this post without talking about the lovely Christine's #projectscarlett.  Have you been following?  Oh-my-goodness.  Honestly, I'm going bonkers over everything she's chosen and how her amazing designer/decorating brain works.  She's one talented cookie and I can't wait, wait, wait to see the room finished.  So thankful that she's sharing sneak peeks, they have given me the boost I need to get a move on our house.  Speaking of which, yes, updates and photos are coming, I promise!

Happy Tuesday, friends.  Make it a great week!


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