What are you having for dinner tonight? Last night we enjoyed a nice light summer meal - grilled salmon, sauteed rapini with garlic, and rice (I wish I had brown rice for this but no luck, so basmati it was). Sorry for the low quality image, but I didn't want the food to get cold while I worried about lighting :) I put a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil on the salmon and the Mr. grilled it perfectly.
Yumm! Tonight I'm headed to an industry event so I will likely be noshing on a random sampling of finger foods, and then grabbing a "meli-melo" once I get home. Happy Wednesday!
We did some porch work this weekend...or should I say that I helped on Saturday morning, then went on to primp and prep for the Blogger Meetup, while the Mr. continued on with the porch (and very nicely played taxi to drop me off and pick me up from the meetup!).
He also worked on it for 4 hours (!!) on Sunday while I did some baking and laundry (me being domesticated? I think so...). If you recall from the initial Porch Saga post, this was the before:
Here is what a number of hours and a lot of effort gave us:
So...we still have another 1/3 of the top beam, plus the side beam, plus a couple of sides of the columns. eek. Oh yah, and the moulding up top. Interested to see what our hydro bill will look like with 4 hours continuous use of the heat gun for the whole weekend!
On Saturday night I had the privilege of attending the Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup - and it was fantastic! I was really looking forward to it and my expectations for the night were surpassed. I met loads of great bloggers - some who I already love and follow, others who I will be adding to my list of favourite blogs immeidately. Everyone was so nice - I was speaking to a number of people about how this was the most comfotable networking event I've ever been to!
The event was held at Brassaii - a Resto-Lounge on King W. in Toronto. It's been around for a while and ever since seeing a friend's photos of a wedding he attended there I've wanted to check it out. For whatever reason I didn't make it until this weekend's event but it's a great space for both events and to check out for dinner.
The big talk of the night was Tommy Smythe, who was the guest speaker.
He was way funnier than I thought he would be, a great speaker, and presented some beautiful inspiration photos from a recent trip to Scandanavia with Sarah and a few other HGTV personnas.
I unfortunately was too busy talking to other bloggers to nab a picture with Tommy, but what can you do. Hopefully there will be another chance! I actually didn't take that many photos in general - just wanted to enjoy the night (sorry!).
The sponsors of the event were Ikea, Delta, and CIL. And here they are!
There were some great giveaways from these companies including showerheads that go for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $600 each, and Ikea had the BIG prize - $1000 gift card. FUN! That amount is pretty much carte blanche at Ikea, and Amy from Eye See Pretty was the lucky winner! Can't wait to see what she spends it on.
We also got a nice little take-home from the event:
The loot bags contained the current versions of House & Home and Style at Home (which is fantastic since the postal strike is majorly impacting my magazine reading - yes I'm still a stickler for the hard copy), a little desk lamp from Ikea, and..what may be my favourite part of the lootbag...a ceramic coffee "to go" mug from CIL! The reason I love this so much is because it is a reasonable (read: small) size, and not too heavy. Can't wait to use it. Oh, and if you're wondering from my earlier post if I got around to business cards and picking an outfit? Yes, and yes.
Sorry for the lame, pedicure and shoe-less picture. Imagine platform black t-strap sandals and coral-toes. :)
I thoroughly enjoyed the event and met some great people I hope to be in touch with. It was also fantastic to meet those who I have been following for some time, and to put a name to the face! Thanks to Daniella of Dress, Design & Decor and Vitania from Verdigris Vie for organizing this shin dig.
Tommy Smythe from Sarah101 / Sarah's House will be the keynote speaker - amazing. I find him entertaining on the shows and am looking forward to hearing him speak / meeting him. I read we are to have business cards for this event - such a great idea, but so little time. Hopefully I can pull something together for that.
Something I will need to pull together regardless of time is an outfit - what to wear to an event like this? A number of stylish, decor-minded people whose blogs I stalk (follower is just a nice word for stalker, let's get serious) will be there and this marks my first opportunity to mingle with these like minded people. I have to look my best. Thoughts? Basic black? Fun summer dress? Killer shoes?
As per yesterday's Porch post (one of many to come, I predict), we are re-painting our porch. I thought I should source some inspiration photos for this very purpose. Currently it is white, and to be honest it will probably stay white. The front of our house is brick, the window casings are white. We are really only painting the dividing porch wall, a beam, and a couple of short column toppers on top of brick columns. But, just for fun, here are some ideas I found:
After a lovely Saturday filled with outdoor time - biking, relaxing by Toronto's waterfront, a quick visit to Cherry Beach and a couple of other exciting things: (1) finding my wedding earrings I've been looking for since we got married 1.5 years ago! and (2) how could I forget?? buying a new CAR (more on that when we pick it up later this week), the Mr. and I thought we should be productive on Sunday. I guess last weekend with no home-projects, and Saturday with no home-projects made us feel a little twinge of "needing" a home project. That being said, it was SO gorgeous this weekend that indoor projects weren't an option.
So, do you want to see what 4 hours of work and a couple of trips to Home Depot got us??
If you're wondering what you are supposed to see (no this isn't a fancy 3-d image), here is the before:
Funny when the before looks better than the after isn't it? (insert sarcasm here). The porch paint is peeling like there's no tomorrow...we think the previous owners used interior paint before they sold the house to perk up the porch for the sale. This is what we were dealing with:
Since the paint was peeling everywhere we decided we should strip it first, then sand, prime and paint. We weren't completely delusional when we started this project in thinking we would do all that today, but we were pretty sure we would get it down to the bones. Well, the first hour or so of the project involved highly toxic paint stripper, and a result that looked like this:
Yes, after an hour of stripping and scraping that was all the wood we could see. There must be 10 coats of paint on my porch, so needless to say the furniture stripper I bought for my nightable project did not do the job on the porch. Off to Home Depot we go...we ended up with a spray-on product and another "eco-friendly" stripper. We tried the spray product with no luck, therefore:
The Mr. headed back to Home Depot for another solution: A Heat Gun. We now call it our saviour:
It is pretty much a super-heated hair dryer with infrared heat that melts the paint away. Don't get me wrong, we still got a mega-arm workout scraping the paint but this actually took off more than one layer at a time so it's our winner.
After all was said and done, we did half the wall and had to deal with a lot of mess like this:
Hundreds of little paint-peeler-particles. This is only about 1/3 of the way through. So, next weekend will no doubt bring some more heat-gun-stripping and scraping. At least I can start to focus on the fun stuff - like what colour do we want to paint our porch?
To start: GO CANUCKS. Can you puh-lease get it together and continue your home game streak, and eek out a win (a landslide win, in your favour for once this series, would also be acceptable).
Now, back to the regular programming :)
To continue from yesterday's post of some of the inspiring finds I came across on Friday afternoon, here are some more exciting stores and pieces:
Ab-so-lutely is a cute store with a couple of locations in the Summerhill/Rosedale corridor. The store has great pieces to use as accessories and is a good place to go to find that something to finish off a vignette or display.
I loved this whole vignette, but what truly caught my eye were these dishes:
Thse arejJust porcelain dishes, but I love the detail on the edge and they were $16. FOR A SET. 2 plates and 2 bowl-plates. Ridiculous! I am on constant look-out for bowl-plates as we didn't get them with our china (ridiculously expensive) and don't have any with our daily dishes. They are such useful pieces, but I would ideally like some with a pattern. The search continues, but if anyone needs taupe coloured dishes, this is a deal and a half!
Beautiful glass spheres - I actually meant to take a closer look at these but was promptly distracted by the afore-mentioned dishes. I think these spheres would look great in a long tray - a perfect update for those wicker-type-balls that many people have.
This frame is just fantastic. Corally-orange and chevron? Enough said.
I didn't find as many "feature" items at other stores, but here were some highlights:
Giraffe at 1212 - Wouldn't this be adorable in a nursery? I thought so too, but the pricetag didn't agree with my wallet ($179 or something like that for a porcelain / ceramic giraffe is a bit steep for me).
Nice cowhide stool - also from 1212. I was at Tandy Leather Factory this weekend and they sell cowhide remnants which I thought would be PERFECT for a DIY stool or chair seat covering...hopefully I will find an opportunity to do that in the near future!
How cool is this store? This was an exciting place to walk into. They had a bit of everything - clothes, maternity clothes, accessories, and home stuff. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it! It's across the street from the LCBO at Summerhill but unfortunately the name escapes me.
As you can tell, it was a pretty exciting Friday afternoon! What did I end up with, you ask? Well, I didn't leave empty handed but the items I bought aren't groundbreaking. I bought biscuit cutters (I know, really boring right?? But I saw them, remembered I needed them for when I make buttertarts, and picked them up). I also bought 2 lion soup terrines for french onion soup, or for displaying accessories - they were on sale and I couldn't resist!