Saturday, October 31, 2009

Giveaway reminder!!

Hey all,

Just a reminder to go on over to Jenn's blog - Bittersweet Prims.. and sign up for her giveaway.. but be warned, the count is up to over 240 comments.. stiff competition for her fantastically prim snowguy!!! Of course, I offered to meet her if she picks me, she's near Buffalo NY, I'd have to drive to Niagara Falls but hey, it would be worth it, not just for the awesome prim treasure, but also to meet my first blogger!! That would be fantastic, eh Jenn? heehee ;)

Here's a link to Jenn's blog:

Perfect?? Thanks Sarah ;)


As mentioned I didn't do a post yesterday, but for me, techically it is still yesterday. I'm a night owl and it was my habit for years to stay up past 1 a.m. then try to drag myself out of bed by 6 a.m. to start the mad dash to get to work. In recent years I've been better about getting to bed at a decent time, but I'm seriously backsliding lately. I was going to do a quick post of before & after pics if I can find enough to be interesting.. that is, until I clicked on Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick's post entitled "Perfect".

Sarah made a point of saying that you should love your home as it is today, even if it's not your dream home. Mine definitely is not, my list of "must-haves" on my next "forever" home is not a huge list but there are things I've done without that I desperately want. One thing is a "real porch" .. you know the kind, they have roofs overhead, maybe an outdoor ceiling fan or chandelier, columns and nice railings.. a place to put window boxes or hanging plants, maybe a swing! I also really, REALLY want a fireplace. In my heart I still want a wood-burning fireplace, I love the smell and the crackle, but I am getting older, and let me repeat myself.. am not Caroline Ingalls so the thought of cleaning a fireplace and dealing with flues and dampers, whatever they are.. no longer appeals to me. Not to mention my need for instant gratification! So, someday when I move on from here, I will most likely be re-locating to a different city and I want a different type of house, an older one with character where I can appreciate the little flaws instead of cursing them, or worrying about how I'll deal with them when it's time to sell. A cute little home with a gas fireplace or two, a "real" porch and a warm, cozy feeling.

For the most part, I feel that I've taken Sarah's view on my homes and done what I can to make them my own. This goes for apartments and townhouses that I've rented, and homes that I've owned. Most of the time I have painted although our home previous to this one was a large apartment and I just didn't have the energy! So I just did what I normally do, paint or not.. fill my walls with the things I love, pack away things I may be transitioning away from but not ready to part with, purchase new or new-to-me furniture and home decor... and when it's all done, sit back and enjoy being home... until I get itchy feet and move again.. lol. So for me, my "dream" home will be the one that I want to stay in for the rest of my life, the one that, in the back of my mind, I don't think of as temporary.

Until then, I will enjoy my Home Sweet Home... of course I still reserve the right to change things along the way!! :D Thanks Sarah!

Well, exhaustion calls, I need to get some sleep as I'm working on something tomorrow for my kitchen that I want to get posted on Sunday.

Happy Halloween!


ps.. felt bad that there are no pics so I posted one of my porch, had it built in August over a small concrete stoop.. still no sidewalk yet.. :S

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A swap and an inspiration!!!

If you haven't heard yet and who hasn't as I've been telling EVERYONE.. I'm in my first swap ..3 days into blogging!!! .. sponsored by none other than Char of The Pickled Pepper Patch.. .. I think almost everyone in blogland knows who Char is and I was lucky enough to have been chosen .. and my swap partner is Sandy of For the Love of Prims .. .. go on over and check out her blog (sorry, not sure how to link it.. lol.. but if you go into my kitchen comment she's in there, click on from there :)! Her home is so prim & pretty, I'm going to be hunting all over to find things to copy it.. I love her bowl shelf and I do have something similar but it is a re-do so I just might work on it this weekend .. stay tuned. I want to say welcome to Sandy, she's a lovely lady who lives in New Brunswick, can't wait to get her package ready and sent out to her.. this will be fun!

My inspiration was from another lovely lady, Barb of Dogmom Diva who left a comment on my blog :) I had a quick peek on her blog and it's obvious she loves dogs.. me too! So here is a picture of my little girl, Daisy. She is a purebred Chihuahua, will be 4 in a month and is such a joy. My daughter and I just love her. She is afraid of everything, hates my hardwood floors and doesn't bark... at all.. ever.. hurraaah!! I know, barking is natural but the ones who never stop can get on your nerves just a li'l bit.... so here is a picture of her sitting on my little hooked rug, I just bought it in May and couldn't decide what to do with it so I tried it on the floor and the next thing I new, Daisy was sitting on it. She totally loves carpeting!!

Well my dears, I am very tired and I apologize for this short postie but I need to get to sleep. I may not post tomorrow, but I will be working on something for the weekend if I do miss. Thanks so much to my followers, I really appreciate your support.. have a great night.

:) Hayley

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Good day all :)

I thought I'd walk you through my kitchen renovation (actually these are just befores & afters, never thought to take "during" shots). The renovation was done in April 2008 but I didn't have a blog then ;) .. and I still love it and would like to share it with you.

When I bought my house 2 years ago, I swore I would NOT, I repeat WOULD NOT... buy a house without an updated kitchen as I had done one on my last house.. and I just didn't think I could live through another one.. So as I was signing the offer papers and calculating the cost of cabinets, sink, faucet, flooring etc. I was silently cursing my luck.. again. Oh well.. after months of planning, I called my kitchen guy.. yeah, who has a kitchen guy?? Moi! After coming to see the kitchen all my plans went out the window.. can't move the sink more than 5 feet without installing a new vent, can't install banquette seating because the kitchen is small and some people are not (his point not mine.. lol), blah, blah, blah.. lol. Anyone who has ever swooned over those awesomely perfect kitchens in a magazine, and smugly thought "I can do that!" will know exactly what I'm talking about. Reality brings you crashing right back to Earth.. *sigh*.

So, the before pics were taken on the day of the inspection .. shhhhhh... don't tell anyone! This is how the sink wall looked before. The only counter space is on this wall and most of the cupboards too.. not very user-friendly is it? Anyone see a dishwasher? Nope, 2nd house (actually 3rd, my first house was a condo), no dishwasher; I love the prim look, but seriously, I'm no Caroline Ingalls and I need to have a dishwasher!

So here is the after; I moved the fridge over to this side of the kitchen, you'll see where it was soon... my kitchen guy builds 2-ft deep cabinets to go over the fridge and for this kitchen, he installed baking sheet and platter racks inside. I didn't know he was doing that but it worked out well since it is a small kitchen. So this is a good idea for anyone thinking of re-doing their kitchens.

A before shot of the other side of the sink wall.. still no dishwasher! The door on the right leads to the basement.

The after shot.. a dishwasher!!! Also a new sink, I bought the deepest one I could get since I only wanted a single sink, and the sink base cabinet was custom-built to fit; this leaves more room for the other cabinets. Another cool thing the kitchen guy came up with is the shelf above the cabinets. In my other house, my daughter and I took the bulkheads down and it was a difficult job.. the solution? Create this shelf that is attached to the underside of the bulkhead. A groove was cut to hold things and this is the result.. ingenious and I love it!! It completely made the bulkhead disappear.. and it gave me more space to display things I love.. who wouldn't want that?? :DDD One thing I want to point out is that there are no drawers right under the counters. If you want to re-do your kitchen this is a great idea, the cabinets end up being so huge you have to find stuff to fill them up! I did this in my old house and it worked so well that I had it done in this house too.. love it!

Ok, this before shot is where the stove and fridge were, side by side.. notice the lovely brown range hood ;) .. putting these two appliances together just doesn't work for me, there is no counter space to put things you take out of the fridge or to place things you need for cooking.. so the fridge got moved. Oh.. notice the wallpaper? It was like removing cement.. so this wall now has a "texture".. LOL.. (I also SWORE I'd never buy another house with wallpaper.. this one and my last house appeared to have been put onto bare drywall .. sheetrock for my US buddies).

And here's the after: I love, love, LOVE this wall, it's just such a fabulous transformation!!! Here's a little note on the backsplash - I've struggled with each house I've owned with the backsplash, I like tile but am too afraid to commit, I thought of getting beadboard or stainless steel, etc.. but finally decided on anaglyptic wallpaper. This is that textured paper that you paint, mine is a tin ceiling pattern. I think this would be a great place to put Graham & Brown beadboard wallpaper! I used a simple semi-gloss paint in the white that I chose for the rest of the house (doors and trim). Notice the awesome bank of drawers!! They are custom made to about 31" wide and they hold so much.. love 'em!

Here is another view of the after, showing the basement door and a tiny bit of the island that I purchased unfinished; I painted the doors and sides black and stained the top and the shelf at the bottom.. love it!!!

A couple more things.. I installed the floor all by myself! You can't see it, but it's a vinyl plank that resembles wood planks and it was fairly easy to install, just time-consuming. I also looked for months before the reno for the perfect colour. I ended up with something called Thomas Point Light and I don't even remember what company it's from. It ended up being a really weird shade of green that looks khaki in certain light but I really like it.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my kitchen. The things on the island and counter have been swapped out a few times and I've replaced furniture pieces over the last year and a half but that's what decorating is all about isn't it!!
thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Travellin' Tuesday - N'awlins!

Hi all and welcome to Travellin' Tuesday! Each week I'll try to highlight places I've been over the past few years. Today, for my first post I'm taking you to New Orleans, Louisiana, one of my favourite places on earth! My first visit was with my daughter in July/08. Neither one of us cared for the humidity as it's much heavier than what we're used to.. and she made sure I knew it.. LOL. Anyway, I went back this past August by myself for a few days and these pictures were taken on that trip. I hope you enjoy them, I have tons more and can bore you for weeks!! :D

First pic is my hotel in the French Quarter, Hotel St. Pierre... it's a bit off the beaten path, on Burgundy, a few blocks from Bourbon Street. This building is where my room was. I opted out of the first room they assigned me.. it just didn't feel right. Now since this hotel is well over a hundred years old and there are old slave quarters here... maybe it was a ghost?? lol.. um, don't believe in them, don't want to start now :S

I went for a walk and took pictures as I went. This one appears to be taken in the fog, but nope.. this is my LENS on my camera fogging up! LOL. My room was so cold with the air conditioning that when I went out into the 800% humidity it steamed up. Took me 2 days to figure it out.. :P .. makes a great pic though!

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop.. I just love these old buildings, I think this would be considered a Creole cottage? .. so this is now a bar on Bourbon Street. This was taken in the early morning, and when the bar is open those greyish shutters are wide open; it's quite a sight at night!

Store in the Riverwalk Mall, Mardi Gras Madness I believe it's called. Got some cool Mardi Gras mini-lights here last summer... stay tuned as I create a mini Mardi Gras Christmas tree for my bedroom (which has a *sort of* Mardi Gras theme.. no, I don't mean it's a booze-soaked party.. haha)

Ok then.. now onto the Steamboat Natchez.. didn't get to do this last summer as the river was shut down for an oil-spill clean-up so I did the river cruise this year... this is such a cool boat! You can just see the calliope at the very top, it plays as the boat leaves the dock.

The paddle, taken from the deck. Can't believe it's made of wood (at least it looked like it)!

Have a great day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thanks for the lovely comments!!

Thank you so much for the lovely comments, hope I can keep up with all of you!

Have a great day ladies :)

ps.. Lex, you are very welcome, I love your sweet prim items and I tend to rave when I find something I love... so be warned! LOL


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Microwave board!

Hi all!

I just love those stove boards (a.k.a. noodle boards, stove covers etc), don't you? They are somewhat pricey so I'm going to attempt to make one at some point, but until I do that, I came up with an idea to make a board for my microwave. I started with a yard sale tray which I paid $1.00 for. It fit nicely on top of my microwave, but it was a very bright red, definitely not in the prim colour wheel! Well maybe it is but not in my world :D .. here it is before:

I started by removing the front piece as I wanted to be able to view what's on the board, so I removed the front. I did this by mangling... uhhh... I mean cutting... with my jigsaw (the one with the wobbly blade.. grrrrr.. I need better power tools!). Aaaaanyway... once the front was off I realized that there was a gap.. duh.. which I didn't care for.

I then took my jigsaw and cut it along the groove that runs horizontally. Due to the wobbly jigsaw and the fact that I was holding it in place with my foot on top of a small stepstool.. it's a bit uneven in spots.. to say the least.. lol. No problem!! I just made a few little dents in the rest of the tray... after all, I'm trying to prim it up, right??

Once the piece was glued and nailed back onto the tray, I painted it all black, sanded it down to red and/or bare wood in spots and stained the whole thing.

Here is the finished product... I LOVE IT!! On the top of the finished board you'll see a shallow yellow bowl with fillers on top. I got the bowl at a yard sale and painted it myself. In the bowl is a super-prim and cute turkey made by my new friend Lex over at .. make sure you visit her Etsy shop, she has great handmade prim pretties at great prices. I have a cousin living in Michigan who has allowed me to use her address for some of my online shopping when I can't get things shipped to Canada, or the cost is too high.. thanks Heather! Lex sent my order there and I crossed the border to visit with my cousin and my aunt and do some shopping. I was so excited when I got my order!!! Lex is very talented!

Now.. this is my first post and I really hope I'm able to get this to work. I love to read blogs but it's been a bit scary thinking about starting this.. so here goes nothing! Thanks for taking the time to read. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make my blog prettier please let me know. Thanks.

Hayley :)