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Quick Christmas Decor Ideas

December 5, 2016

It's that time of year to dig out the Christmas decor, or to add pieces to a collection you might have. Being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas decor, I love sticking with basic red, mixed metallics such as gold and silver and black accents to tie it all together. 

My living and dining combined room always gets the royal treatment decor-wise over the holidays, but our family room and kitchen tend to get overlooked. I popped into the nearest Lowe's to check our their holidays collections. They have categorized their collections into Comfort and Joy, Deck the Halls, Cold Spell and Sweet Noel, each creating a different theme for your home. Of course, I like to mix and match, so the collections caught my eye.

Wanting to add a bit of visual interest to our kitchen table where we enjoy breakfast or lunch when the whole family is home for the holidays, I purchased the gorgeous pillar candleholders along with a nutcracker to add to my growing collection.

Using a mixed bough swag from Lowe's Garden Centre wrapped in a satin ribbon I had around the house, along with a glass nutcracker ornament from the Deck the Halls collection, I added a quick and easy Christmas update to our kitchen chalkboard.




The mini spruce trees were also a find from Lowe's Garden Centre. Popped into some urns I found at a thrift store and spray painted matte black paint, they add some height and greenery to the table.













Clipping rosemary from the garden, I twisted the branch to create a ring, which I tied with some twine from Lowe's hardware section. Voila! I've create min-wreaths to decorate the place settings. Adding my own mini nutcracker ornaments add some visual interest on each plate.


Our family room gets neglected every year, but not this year! The velvet and plaid reindeer pillow from the Deck the Halls collection, along with the reversible metallic silver with a soft fur back from the Cold Spell collection add Christmas cheer to the sofa.

Wanting to jazz up our coffee table, I added the hurricane lantern, glass nutcracker ornament and gold star ornament from the Deck the Halls collection, along with a Christmas cactus found at the Lowe's Garden centre that I simply popped in a plant pot.


  









Can't wait to get our tree this weekend and finish decorating the rest of the house!



*This post was sponsored by Lowe's Canada, but all opinions are my own

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Holiday Cards from Minted

November 29, 2016



After ordering beautiful holiday cards last year from Minted, I couldn't refuse the opportunity to order some this year. There are so many designs to choose from on their site,  I wanted gold foil and one design caught my eye immediately. Aren't the simply stunning? I love, love, love them!

An added bonus was that you can get free matching envelopes and recipient address printing as well! You can also customize your cards, by adding a photo collage and a Christmas letter on the inner part of the card. The use quality paper and I appreciated their proofing service. I noticed a few typos which they correct, not only once but 3 times! Proofreading is not my forte.  Now all I have to do is pop the card into the envelope, slap on a stamp and slide it into the mailbox.  




It's still not too late to order yours! 


*I received Christmas cards from Minted in exchange for this post. 

A Quick and Easy Update

November 22, 2016



We have several pieces of furniture around the house that need a freshening up with some paint. Way back in 2009 when I started my blog, I was a stay at home mom with time on my hands and many pieces received a lick of paint. One piece was a solid pine dresser we bought when my mom moved in to help me out when I was in school full time training to be a teacher while my husband was relocated to the Washington DC area. It sat painted black for the longest time. Eventually I decided to stencil the front and blog about it. Ugh (so embarrassed that I though that stencil was cool and that my photos were blog worthy) and for the past 6 years have regretted that decision. 

With the goal to get rid of some furniture as we hope to down size in the near future, I decided that dresser needed to go and it needs an updated paint job.  FAT paint to the rescue! In the spring I was given some pints of paint from the Amanda Forrest collection, and Navy State of Mind was a perfect choice! Giving the dresser 2 coats of paint, a light sand with some slight distressing on the edges and then 2 coats of wax the dresser is good to go.

I have it listed on several local furniture Facebook sites. Hope to sell it soon.


BEFORE:


AFTER:





Recently I snapped up a gorgeous coffee table for $20 from Craigslist. Can't wait to give it some life with paint. Will share once I am done.

Make sure to pop by later, I am excited to be working with some fabulous brands for the holidays! Think cards and decor! Eek. Excited over here!!!







Fresh & Clean

October 31, 2016

** Sponsored post **


Lavender has to be one of my favourite plants to grow and to use in my home. I have lavender essential oil which I use along with Castille soap to make my own face wash in soap pump. Lavender helps with stress and aids in sleep. When I was dealing with some sleeplessness I had a lavender sachet under my pillow. That sweet scent was heavenly and helped me relax and sleep.  I also use lavender sachets in my t-shirt drawer and have one hanging in my closet. Every week I scrunch it up to release the oils that scent the air and my clothes.

When Pinesol asked if I wanted to use their latest lavender Pinesol, I was intrigued. It has a nice scent while still has the disinfecting power of regular Pinesol but without that woodsy clinical smell the regular Pinesol has. I used it to clean our master bath, heaven forbid I show you photos of that sad space stuck in the early 90's, but my tub was sparkly clean!


Now if only I have my kids back into the house, so I could pay them to clean the house for me!

XO Barbara

A Itty Bitty Project

October 28, 2016

So here we are a week after my last post. Major fail in writing a post more than once a week. Not much happening here at our house, but I hope to spruce a few things up for Christmas. If you follow me on Instagram, I shared a quick peek on Instastories!

One itty bitty project I am working on is helping the baby girl with her studio suite trying to make it look more grown up. She graduated from university last spring and has landed herself what she calls a "grown up" job, so to celebrate I am going to be whipping up a few throw pillows for her fabulous sofa she scored from Craigslist. She is updated some hand me down furniture with some paint. Here are the fabrics that I will use to create some fabulousness on her sofa. All fabric is from Tonic Living.

Once I get measurements of the throw pillows she has, I am going to get to work!

XO Barbara

TGIF

October 21, 2016

Since working full-time teaching kindergarten these past 5 years, my poor blog has become so neglected.  Now that my hubby and I are empty nesters (and I am only in my mid-40's!!) I have time on my hands to focus on my blog AND I need a creative outlet after dealing with kindergarteners ALL day long. As cute as they are, they are a needy bunch and I need an outlet or I might end up drinking myself to death. Oops, did I say that out loud? That darn inside voice just keeps speaking up! BUT I am in need of a better platform (any suggestions out there?), possibly a new URL- thinking of jumping on the bandwagon and just using my name instead of my maiden name that I used for my URL, fix up some of the pages on my blog - finally make a project gallery page just to name a few.

Back to what this post is about. I love what other bloggers do sharing what caught their eye that week, so I am doing the same.

So to celebrate Friday-yay! Here is what has caught my eye this week.

I love, love, love The One Room Challenge. As a guest participant in the early days, I love seeing how far Linda has come with her idea! The guest participants are real fancy pants designers unlike me, so their projects are spectacular! Even my friend Nancy is a guest participant this round!



Lauren Liess created another beautiful kitchen at her dad's lakehouse.



And how I love this newest show on Gusto TV, Canada's Next Designer. The winner wins a designer contract with Ikea! What a dream that would be. And what is even more fabulous is Tommy Smythe is the guest host!

MyDomaine lists 8 Top Designers Who Were Self Taught. I had no idea!

Fingers crossed I can get my blogging mojo back and be back with more regular posts!

Happy Weekend!

Barbara

Vancouver Modern Home Tour

August 31, 2016

Have you ever driven by a beautifully designed home and wondered what it looks like inside? Now is your chance with the 4th annual Vancouver Modern Architecture and Design Society's Home Tour on September 17, 2016. 


I had the privilege of attending their home tour a few years back and LOVED it. I have to admit when I go for walks in the evening I love peering into peoples home from the street. Creepy...but I am always curious to see how other people live in their homes. 

What is so enjoyable about the Modern Home Tour is that the beautifully designed and decorated homes are open so you get to walk through and explore. It is a real design treat! This year's self-guided tour has a line-up of 5 local homes designed by local architecture, designers and builders. Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design (Chip is the founder of Lululemon) are the non-profit partners again this year. 

I can't wait to hop in the car and explore some eye candy. Check out this website for information and to purchase tickets. 



Who is going to join me? 
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