Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Before & After home tour (part 3)

  We recently finished our kitchen renovation. It had been mostly done for a long time, but we put the frosting on the cake this summer by completing the back splash. We opted to go with a simple white subway tile. I'm enjoying the clean, sleek look it adds to the kitchen. 

  Here are some before shots. These were taken before we moved in. We thankfully had 1 month to start our renos before we moved into the house. This kitchen was the first thing to change. It just wouldn't have worked very well for us - no dishwasher, single sink, no upper cabinet doors (I like "stuff" out of sight behind doors), very little counter space...

After shots complete with the new backsplash

  We reconfigured the kitchen layout by adding this peninsula with a high bar top which adds more cabinet & counter space. It also doesn't crowd the fridge & stove so much.

Our control centre 

Here's a better shot of my Paris gallery - B&W photos from a calendar &frames fromIkea - easy peasy.


Paint: Camalot by Benjamin Moore
Cabinets, countertops, hardware, light fixtures: Ikea
Flooring: Floor It
Backsplash Tile: Home Depot

If you'd like to see our living room makeover click here.
If you'd like to see our main bathroom makeover click here.

  Well, I'm off to start my fall decorating. I'm warming to the idea of Fall arriving & my oldest had his first day of Grade 3 today. My little girl starts Kindergarten at the end of September so I have some extra time to cherish with her. I hope you'll join me next week when I link up to Nest of Posies Fall Festival. September promises to be a month full of beauty & inspiration.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

8x8 scrapbook layouts

  Last week, my husband, James, took me on an anniversary get-away. It was 5 days of loveliness. We went to Prince Albert National Park here in Saskatchewan. The weather was great so we even got in a little bit of beaching along with some fishing, hiking, lots of dinners out, & tons of R&R.

  I brought some of my scrapping supplies along & while James was napping/watching football one afternoon, I started working on an 8x8 album with photos from Spring 2011. I don't use 8x8 albums super often, but I do like how they bring focus to the photos & don't require much to make them look great. When I do a 8x8 album, I do it with a theme - Spring in this case, but I have done mostly vacations in the past. I gather all the supplies I have that goes with that theme, cut my papers (or in this case, used a pre-cut 8x8 patterned paper pack), & start the fun!

  Here are some favourites from my now-completed 8x8 Spring 2011 Album:

Supplies used:
Patterned Papers, Journalling spots, Butterflies - Making Memories
Die cut flowers, Photo corners - Creative Memories
Flair (Adhesive badges) - American Crafts
Chipboard words & phrases - Little Yellow Bicycle
Bird Punch - Stampin' Up!
Die cut Heart - unknown
Bling & pearls - Prima & Dollarama

Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Apple Recipes

  Our apple trees are bursting with fruit. To the point where we can't keep up with them. It seems to be this way most years, actually. There is so much fruit we can't use it all.

  Here are some of my favourite recipes to enjoy all the appley goodness.

serves 6

5 medium apples, cored & chopped 
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix apples & brown sugar in a oven-safe casserole dish. Set aside. Mix dry ingredients. Add egg & combine. Spread over apples. Pour butter over top. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Yummy by itself, with ice cream or caramel sauce!

makes 12

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

In small bowl, rub together topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup finely chopped or shredded apple

Mix dry ingredients. Set aside. Mix wet ingredients. Combine both until just moistened. Do not over mix. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with topping. Bake in 400 F oven for 15-20 minutes.

makes 4 cups

16 small apples or 8 medium apples, peeled, cored, & sliced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar (or more if you like it very sweet)

Combine apples, water, & sugar in slow cooker. Cover & cook on low for 4 1/2 - 5 hours or on high for 2 1/2 hours. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Using my vintage finds

  A couple weeks ago I went thrifting / vintage shopping with my mom... remember?  I came home with several great finds & today I'm going to show you what I did with some of them.

  In one of last week's posts, I showed you what I did with the vintage postal scale I brought home. It sits beside some favourite books on our book case.

  The chair I bought from Great West Warehouse went into our son's room under his loft bed as a place for him to read. I'm going to find or sew some cushions to add to it. We also have a wall mounted lamp to hang in this space as it can get quite dark under the bed when the sun goes down. I'll post pics when it's all put together.

  The Sleeping Beauty record I bought from the Salvation Army Thrift Shop went in a record frame & now sits on top of our daughter's cupboard in her bedroom. I think I'll keep looking for other vintage Disney princess records & perhaps do a collage of them on her wall if I find enough.

The silver basket I found at Value Village now holds my mini scrapbook albums in my scrap space.

  The more I look around my house purposefully looking for items that I've purchased second hand, the more I find. I'm going to be posting more about them in the future.

Enjoy your day!


Friday, August 19, 2011

This week's papercrafts

  This week, I decided to post all the papercrafts I've made this week together in one post. Like one big Thank-Goodness-It's-Friday-Let's-Have-Dessert! kinda post. At least that's how it makes me feel. :) 
  I was able to squeeze in some scrapping time this week & yesterday I had the treat of scrapping with a friend for the afternoon. Isn't scrapping with friends the best? I love it. 

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." ~Proverbs 27:17

  Before I go any further, though, I must give a shout out to the newest scrapbooking store in Saskatoon. The Scrapbook Studio is a fabulous new store in the Lawson Heights area. It just opened yesterday, so me & two of my scrappy friends went to check it out. We didn't know what to expect, but were THRILLED at what greeted us!! It is amazing. Go check it out. And 'like' them on Facebook while you're at it. 

  Without further ado, let us move on to my projects this week. The first layout was a part of a challenge for a focus group that I am part of. I recently was "chosen" to be on the focus group for Crop Chocolate

  I'm in the midst of working on a album of my childhood, hence the vintage photos of me & my family. :)

  I drew that tree with the help of a ruler and cut it out free hand. Added patterned paper circles, & buttons, & viola! 

Here's the layout I was working on yesterday afternoon while scrapping with my friend, Vanessa.

 Card creations:

Free printable "Thank You" label available here

I tried my hand at a rolled spiral flower. Not a bad first try. 
I also wrote my sentiment in freehand. I've never done that on a card before. I like how it turned out.

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend (and eat some dessert)!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Old Books

  I have an affinity for old books. I love how they cozy up a room & call to a me: "Open me up. Discover another time. Learn about another culture."

  I have some favourite authors I keep my eyes peeled for when I am looking at second hand books. L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, & Charles Dickens to name a few. Hardcover classics catch my eye. The colourful fabric covers with the metallic titles.... Mmmm. My favourite one of all? My copy of Heidi as seen in the top photo, second book from the left. Just the way it looks makes me smile. The vintage-y fabric is so cheerful.

  And they just plain look good on a book case. :) I've also used old books as part of a display on a side table or dresser. They usually add just the right touch.

  Speaking of bookcases... Remember that little postal scale I bought on my vintage shopping day last week? Well, it now holds a place of honour beside a stack of books on my book case. I quite enjoy it.

Side note: the fun 60's photo effect on the above photos is available here.

This week's papercrafts tomorrow! Woot!

Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dad's Caesar Salad Dressing

My dad makes the best from-scratch Caesar Salad dressing I have ever had. I thought I'd share his "secret" recipe with you today:

Please note: If you don't like anchovies or just fish in general or can't find anchovies at the grocery store (as was the case with me the last time I made this) just leave them out. It's still very good without them.

Dad's Caesar Salad Dressing
dresses a large salad

1/4 tsp. Dry Mustard
4 cloves Garlic
1 tin Anchovies drained into measuring cup then add
Olive Oil to make 3/4 cup (if you're not using anchovies, use 3/4 cup olive oil)
2 Eggs
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Sugar

Puree all ingredients together in the blender. Cover & refrigerate unused dressing for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Before & After home tour (part 2)

  My Before & After home tour continues today. I've got a few a photos to show you of our home makeover.

  This is our main bathroom before. It was truly awful. In fact, when we first viewed the house, I think I laughed out loud when I saw this room. It was SO dirty & outdated. Pictures do not do it justice. Mauve toilet & tub, dirty lilac walls, dusty lace curtains for the shower curtain & on the window. Nasty, grimy lino floor. The tub surround only went halfway up the wall so we couldn't use the shower. The list of nastiness just went on & on.


This after picture literally makes me breath a sigh of relief! 


  We (and when I say we, I should give credit where credit is due. My fabulous husband & DIY expert, James, did most of the work. I just picked the stuff out.) started by ripping out everything but the tub. We had it refinished in white since it was in good condition other than the awful colour. We did the tub surround in a simple white tile, tiled the floor, painted the walls a pale green (it doesn't make me look sick, I promise!) put a new toilet in, new vanity, light fixtures, & towel bars. 

  I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Since we painted this room, I've heard that you should never paint a bathroom green because it can make a person look sick. This shade doesn't. It's General Paint's Ocean Bath CL 2041W. Check it out if you want a nice, soft green.


If you'd like to see our living room makeover click here.
If you'd like to see our kitchen makeover click here.

We're very happy with how our renos have turned out & I'm enjoying sharing the journey with you all.
I've got recipes, highlighting some favourite vintage finds, & this week's papercrafts coming up later this week. 

Enjoy your day!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Park Tour 2011

At the beginning of this summer I had a brainwave. My kids are always asking to go to the park, so why not make it a bit more interesting & visit some parks that we've never played at? Thus began "Park Tour 2011". It's simple. Once a week, we seek out & play in a park we've never played in before. I've been taking photos along the way to remember where we've been. Here's a few we've gathered.

Do you have any summer traditions that you've started with your kids? I'd love to hear about them!

Enjoy your day!


Friday, August 12, 2011

My Day Thrifting

A couple of days ago, I got the urge to go vintage shopping. I arranged to spend the day with my mom today & that's what we planned to do - go to every thrift shop, antique shop, & second hand store we could in one day. What a fun day we had!!

We started out at Value Village & the Salvation Army thrift store. We found a few little goodies. Then we moved on to the big dogs.

We headed to Creekside Country & Antiques. What a charming little shop! Here's a few tidbits from our visit: 

We really liked how she would put things like game pieces & puzzle pieces on display.

Her store was displayed so attractively! She definitely has a knack for it!

The pretty antique looking bracelet my mom got there:

The one nearest to her hand
Then we went hard core antiquing. You know the kind... dusty, piles of collectables, the places you have to hunt to find the little treasures you didn't know you wanted until they leap out at you.

Here were some favourite finds:

This guy's prices were OUTLANDISHLY high or I may have made an offer on this beauty.

Antique library card holder

We stopped at Calories for lunch & ate light so we'd have room for dessert. We were at CALORIES after all! 

My salad

Mom's super yummy mushroom soup!

Dessert case - how do you choose?!

Apparently you ask your server what's good... funny story... read on.

Funny side story: Mom & I had decided what we wanted for dessert & when we told our server he calmly said, "Disappointing choices, ladies." To which we started laughing & asked him what he suggested. The above were his suggestions. Mom had the carrot cake & I had the toffee cheesecake. They were both fabulous!

After fortifying ourselves with desserts, we marched on. This next store was my favourite, even though I didn't buy anything. It was a feast for the eyes!

Here are some delectable images from Past & Present Antique Shop:

This guy's prices were quite high. I'd like to barter with him to see if he would be willing to bring them down to the reasonable category. His store is PACKED with goodies. Don't go if you're in a rush. You need time to appreciate this place.

Stacks of old luggage... I now have a hankering to start a collection of old suitcases!

I'm a sucker for anything turquoise! 

Great old radios

Again with the turquoise.

More old suitcases & a pretty chenille bedspread.

This "Elevator" sign intrigued me. I wonder what old building it came from?

Look at that HUGE bass drum!
My mom was tickled to find something she already owned. Guess how much SHE payed for hers?? Hint: it starts with 50 & ends with cents. Let's hear it for garage sales!!

Check out all these vintage phones. What colour would you pick?

 After a fun day of epic proportions, here's what I came home with:

Chair: $12!! (Major score of the day)
Sleeping Beauty Record: .50 cents 
Vintage postal scale: $10
Black & White photo: free with purchase of above scale
Vintage silver clutch purse: $3.99
Wire basket: $3.99
Colourful crochet thread - big bag full: $1.99

I will definitely be going "thrifting" more often. I love the history of the objects I see. Wondering where they came from... Who's houses did they decorate?... Who bought this brand new? And I love the eclectic look the items add to my decor. 

If you would like to see what I did with my goodies click here and here.

I hope you enjoyed my day thrifting almost as much as I did!


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