Monday, July 30, 2012

Gimme a break...

I will be taking a blogging break over the next few weeks - don't worry, I have some fantastic guest posts lined up for you over the next little while!
The Mr. and I have had a lot going on lately - some fun-summer-busy stuff, some not-so-fun-at-any-time-of-year stuff. Serious stuff can take a LOT out of you, so we are going to take the next little while to refresh and recharge.

Our plan is to kick back, relax, and turn our brains off. Catch ya later.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Featured: So Canadian, Eh?

I am SO excited to be featured over at Hodge Podge today!
I met Barbara when she attended Blog Podium back in May. It was so great to meet her in person (by the way, she's as nice as she seems on her blog. And, taller than I imagined!). I was excited to be able to put a real live face to the blog-name and get to know her a bit more.
If you don't already read her blog, you should. Among fantastic projects, and extraodinary pillow sewing talents, she also has a series called "So Canadian, Eh?". This series profiles fantsatic Canadian designers (like Tommy Smythe and Brian Gluckstein), and bloggers too. And today *I* am one of the lucky bloggers to be featured!!

Click over to see my post - and thank you to Barbara for featuring me!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Impressive new collection: IKEA NÄTVIDE

Ikea is introducing a limited edition collection of gorgeous textiles, and it is totally loveable (NÄTVIDE, designed by Anna Efverlund and Maria Vinka)

I adore the "global" inspiration for this collection, and with Ikea you know that everything is at an amazing price point. I'm looking forward to getting to the store to check it out (and hoping it's not as crazy as H&M capsule collections)...but you'll have to "start the car" to get there - it comes out August 1 and only lasts as long as they can keep the shelves stocked.

This is one of my favourites:

This bedding is bold but a lot of fun - duvet cover and pillow cases, starting from $19.99

The cushion on the right is my FAVE...cushions starting at $14.99

How do you like them apples? I love how this is a departure from the typical Ikea style, and can see this being used in a bedroom with a bold theme, as accents in a living room or outdoors on the patio. Love it!

All photos courtesy of Ikea Canada

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Curb-find-stools - during

Remember these curb-side stools that I found? (PS the blog date doesn't lie...these were found back in March...seems like I've dropped the ball on that one...woops!)

After hemming and hawing about some fabric options here and here, I ended up ordering some from Hodi and Poppi Fabrics on Etsy. My mom worked her wonders on the sewing machine and whipped up some cushions for these stools (and she even took photos as she went, which will be included in a future post. What a wonderful blogger mom she is!!). Here's a quick sneak peak:

Next step is some spray paint for the base and then you'll get to see the full goodness in action! Patience is a virtue they say... 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday faves: PicMonkey

Do you use PicMonkey? It is an online photo editing software with a tagline of "Fearless photo embetterment".

Love it!

Basically it's free, dead easy to use, and has a great range of effects. I've used it mainly to do collages for the 'ol blog like these:

PicMonkey provides templates for collages and lets you overlay collages or photos with text, or labels like the crumpled paper below

PicMonkey is SO easy to use and I love the collage options it offers! Here is what the dashboard looks like:

There are also a range of photo editing tools that you can use to touch up your photos, or add instagram-ish effects to them. The options really are varied and broad.

I think it adds a lot to photos, so if you have some time to play around with it head on over! Otherwise, have a great July weekend everyone :)

*Full disclosure: I was not sponsored for this post, I just think it's a really good product and wanted to let people know about it!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIY Cake stand

This is a fun (and simple!) DIY project. I have been wanting to add patterned dishes to my kitchen's repetoire for some time. Our every day dishes are white, and our china is cream. I like having white plates, but I also like fun serving platters to liven things up.

Do you know how hard it is to find "fun" (not ugly) serving platters?

Of course, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I kept an eye out at HomeSense for some patterned plates and found this lovely one:

I paired it with this bowl (also from HomeSense):

Although I found my pieces at HomeSense, you could easily do this with vintage finds from an antique store or from a garage sale / flea market.

I cleaned both pieces, and let them dry thoroughly (I'm talking air dry for a few hours just to be sure) (1). I then used construction adhesive to join the bottom of the bowl to the bottom of the plate. I stuck some heavy books on top (who else has textbooks kicking around their basement from uni?) (2) and let the adhesive dry for 24 hours. After that I used clear silicone to seal the glue (3).

And here is the final product (you may have spied it in my cinnamon pouf post!) - a DIY patterned cake stand!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Before & after: Cast iron pan

I am pretty excited about this post (the Mr. is at LEAST "pretty excited").

As you may remember from my Aberfoyle post, the only thing we left with from our exursion was a rusty cast iron frying pan (for a $5 bargain thanks to the Mr's negotiating skills):


I have to say, I was doubtful at best about this little project the Mr. was undertaking. But, he went to Canadian Tire and got the steel wool attachment for his drill and got to work.

After a lot of elbow grease (but thank god for the drill), and "seasoning" the pan with oil on a 500degree BBQ here is what he ended up with:

We could barely see the writing on the bottom of the pan before!

Pretty amazing isn't it?!?! I did ask if the Mr. wanted to write a guest post for this, but he said that the hard labour and elbow grease was more up his alley. I'm happy to take that and do the writing instead!

Speaking of guest posts...if any of you are interested in guest posting on Interior Groupie let me know! Contact me at if you're interested (I would need it by July 27th).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blogger book club - Day After Night (Review)

Happy Monday blogiverse!

This weekend was a busy one - the Mr's parents were in town, so among other things we went to watch the Blue Jays game on Saturday. Bonus: the Jays won 11-9 - which means a lot of runs, which for me equals excitement! A home run ball even came into our section (thankfully a few rows in front of us so I didn't have to shriek and dive below my seat show off my catching skills).

Today is another Book Club review! Did this book come up quick for you? I tell ya...I read it quickly but can't believe how quickly July 16th has snuck up. We read Day after Night by Anita Diamant:

Click over to Carol's blog The Design Pages for her review (I've added mine to her comments).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My first Aberfoyle adventure

On Sunday the Mr. and I ventured out to Aberfoyle!! For those not from 'round these parts, Aberfoyle is a huge outdoor antique market near Guelph ON and until Sunday I had NOT YET BEEN. There were definitely some amazing pieces there and a whole range of prices (some ridiculously good, some just ridiculous!). All in all it was fun to spend a sunny day there looking around.
I'll get to some of the fun stuff we saw in a second...but first I'll show you what we bought:

Yes ladies and gents...that rust sodden pan is all ours (and the only thing we came home with). There is a little story to go along, obviously :) It starts with the Mr. wanting to cook everything on the BBQ, and me being concerned about ruining our pans. Our compromise / conclusion was that we needed a cast iron pan, one that can withstand anything! cast iron pans are expensive, so we tried searching for them at garage sales with little luck. The Mr. spotted this beaut at Aberfoyle and decided we had to have it. He was excited about the project that lay in cleaning it up and de-rusting it, and excited about bartering for it at Aberfoyle. So, he knocked the seller down to $5 from $10 and the pan was ours.

Excitement reigned until this:

Why, yes, that IS a pristine cast iron pan that you see (same size) was priced at $15. With the steel wool attachment the Mr. has to buy for his drill to clean up the rusty one this one would have been CHEAPER. We had a good laugh about that...but the end of the story is that we have the rusty keep an eye out for a Mr. before and after guest post :)

In the meantime, here is some of the fantastic stuff we saw at Aberfoyle. To be honest I expected more furniture, but there were mostly small trinkets. There were also a TON of doors, banister posts, and some smaller furniture (e.g. vintage crates). I'm sure it changes from week to week or month to month as well. If you haven't been I recommend it as a fun afternoon!

Thinking back, I can't believe I didn't buy this squirrel nutcracker. You put a nut in its mouth and then move the tail to crack it. How funny is that?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chocolate cinnamon poufs

If you read my post on Friday, you would have seen these delicious lovelies:

I made these little puppies on the weekend. Delicious. And oh-so-simple. I had puff pastry (which the Mr. and I like to call "pouf" pastry - makes it fancier, non?) in the freezer since Christmas for a little while. So I let it thaw and made some of these puppies. I did half with the chocolate and cinnamon sugar (I didn't really measure anything....but mine were gooey chocolate goodness), and half with just cinnamon sugar.

You roll this goodness up, cut the log into equal pieces and pop them into a muffin tin:

Bake, and you end up with this delicious poufs:

Happy Monday :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday faves - pin-to-the-rest

Hello Friday!! I love short weeks, don't you?

This week I was pinning a fair bit over on Pinterest and I realized that I pin a lot...but I rarely go back through my pins to see what I have! So I did just that and picked some of my favourite pins for this week's Friday Faves.

Enjoy the eye candy :) (All images via my Pinterest - if you are going to Pin anything please go to either my Pinterest page or the source to repin)

How do you like that pretty?

Happy weekend all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What are you reading?

I hope all my Canadian readers had a great long weekend - it was a beautiful one here in Toronto!

I'm sure a lot of you spent time up at the cottage this long weekend, or some of you may be delving into beach reading as we speak...what I want to know is: What are you reading?
The Blogger Book Club is working on our third (and in my opinion, best book yet) right now (review coming up July 16th!). This means we're at the exact right time to pick some new books for future book club reads.

What have you read lately that you loved and would want to see as the Blogger bookclub series? What book do you want to read and need an excuse to pick up and chat about with other readers?

Let me know via comments some titles you want to see on the upcoming bookclub list!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends and readers...and to people not in Canada? Raise a glass and cheers Canada for us today :)

It's ANOTHER glorious weekend (if you're not having a good summer move to Toronto...or anywhere else in Ontario...I'll pretty much guarantee you sun and fun :) ). We're heading to a BBQ with friends this afternoon, and have already hit the beach on Friday and a Blue Jays game yesterday - good little weekend we have going on.

I hope everyone has a great Canada Day wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Oh, and for all my readers in or visiting Ottawa - you're in the best place in the world for July 1.

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