Wednesday, February 29, 2012


My blog is an outlet for my writing, projects, and creativity. Since it's an outlet and I decide what goes up and what doesn't, here are some random musings for you...

1. I love my 1.5 sink and new faucet. I made 2 batches of muffins tonight and clean up was spectacular. Who knew I'd ever say that about clean up?

2. Undermount sinks are right up there with the telephone on lists of good inventions. You should have seen the "gunk" that was caught under the lip of our old sink when we removed it. I am not sure how many years contributed to that, but it was a LOT of nastiness. With the undermount sink I just wipe the counter right into the sink, no lip to get caught on. Amazing.

3. Speaking of the my post about the counters and sink I didn't give any credit to the "plumbers" that hooked up the sink. anonymous comment showed up saying: "Looks great but who did the plumbing to make it all functional?". Hmm...whoever could that be? Definitely the Mr. He DOES have a point - him and his friend spent 5 hours on Saturday planning,shopping for parts, and installing the piping for the sinks and garborator. And it all works! No leaks, and above all that not hiring a plumber saved us a bunch of money. (Thanks dear, and our friend F).

4. While they were hard at work I may or may not have been doing this:

...getting my first ever facial, and then I may or may not have browsed one of my favourite home store strips along Yonge in Summerhill. I reasoned that I was "getting out of their hair". Right?

5. Poll: Who knew Kraft Dinner could go bad? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I was going to have some for dinner tonight - the Mr. is out at hockey, I made 2 batches of muffins, and I have been battling a cold all week so I thought a little KD might be a step up from eggs and toast (which was my dinner last night). I usually make homemade mac & cheese,which means the KD in the cupboard had been there for a while but I figured it would be fine. When I went to stir in the "cheese" powder, it was more of a "burnt orange" colour, not the neon orange like on the front of the box. I tasted some and it was NOT good. Then I looked at the box. It DOES have a best before date. It said 27 Jun 10. Woops.

6. I know a post full of words is no here are some photos that inspire the bevelled subway tile we're going to use on our backsplash.

passage interdit by manyetikbant on


From Paris to the moon

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kitchen reveal - Part 2: Counters, faucet, sink

Thank you everyone for the kind comments on my cabinet post yesterday! Now onto Part 2 - the counters!

Before I get into all the details...let's just jump to the chase. Here's what you really came for:
 (and you even get a sneak peek of what will be the backsplash!)

I never really discussed the counter selection process on the blog, except in this post where I debated light vs. dark. I knew that I wanted light counters, but was worried about the softness and staining of marble, so I did what I always do - researched and asked around for information on marble alternatives. What I found was Superwhite Granite - it's different than other granites because it doesn't have the speckled look that is typically associated with granite, but more of a veined look like marble.  We went to a few warehouses and our decision was made!

The other kitchen decisions happened fairly easily - we knew we wanted more than a single sink (sink posts here and here), and once I saw the Moen Level faucet at the Interior Design Show I knew it was the faucet for me! (Faucet posts here and here).

I am extremely happy with the granite, sink, and faucet. Oh - and did you notice the soap dispenser placement? Option Number 1 won out! Not necessarily according to plan...we were hoping to have it in the top left corner of the sink...but based on how the granite was cut there wasn't room for #1 it was. All of that analysis, just to find out that we really only had one option available. haha And the sink is so roomy, I think the "1/2" sink in our 1.5 is the same size as many double sinks.

We are well underway...we are painting the kitchen now (final coat tonight), and hope to install the backsplash this weekend (wish us luck! Any tiling tips are very very welcome!). So you have a bit more time to wait for the full reveal, but hopefully this sneak peak keeps you happy for a little while :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kitchen reveal - Part 1: Cabinets

I know you all are looking for a post about our counter - I can tell you that it's in and looks beautiful! More on that tomorrow...before we go there I wanted to do a post on my painted cabinets.

A loonnggg time ago (November!) I posted this post about starting to paint our kitchen cabinets.The project took about 2 weekends to complete, but I didn't post about it because I wanted to wait until we had more done in the kitchen to show off. With the counter, sink, and faucet installed on Friday we're getting there - now we're painting and waiting for our backsplash tile to come in.

Ok, but back to the cabinets. Here's the big bad before of our kitchen (this is before we moved in):

And after:
Excuse the mess - the only photos that I have of the cabinets with the old counter are very unstyled and messy! Go ahead, judge all you want...

I was skeptical about painting the cupboards, but after a LOT of reseach we decided to take the plunge. It really was quite easy and I think it made a huge difference in the kitchen. Here are the steps we followed for the project.

1. Remove cabinet doors, and remove hardware from each door. Label each door as you remove it so you know where it gets put back (this is a REALLY important tip!)
You are left with cupboards that look like this - I did the same as many others did and kept all the goodies IN the cupboard! No sense wasting time and effort removing everything since we were not planning on painting the insides.

2. Tape off the wall and all the sections you don't want painted. We opted to paint the outer frame of the cabinets but not each shelf.

3. Prime and paint the frames and cabinet doors. We used a small foam roller for all the painting to ensure we would get a thin coat. We used "Cabinet Coat" paint (which gives it a melamine-like finish), in Benjamin Moor White Wisp (OC-054). For the doors we set up a painting station on a table in our basement. We made little platforms for the cabinet doors by putting a couple of screws through scrap wood:
Part of the reason this project takes so long is you have to prime, and then do coats of paint to each side (we did 3 coats on each front, 2 on the back). So we would set up our cabinet doors, do all the coats on one side, flip it and do the other side. You have to be really careful and watch out for drips since the doors are elevated.

4. Reattach your hardware, and put the painted cabinet doors back on (this is when labelling them when you take them off in Step 1 REALLY comes in handy). Then you can step back and enjoy what a difference a little paint makes!

 *I apologize for the utter lack of styling and not so great photos..these were taken before my new year's resolution of taking better photos with manual settings!

I'll be honest - the painted cabinets aren't perfect - if we wanted that we could have sent the kitchen cabinets to be sprayed (but we still would have had to paint the frames ourselves, so we figured we should just do the whole thing). Even though this project was a bit of work on our part, I am so happy with how it turned out. I think it's a dramatic difference to the oak cabinets we had before.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday faves - spring feeling

Tulips are my favourite flowers - I just love them and I always think of spring when I see on this dreary, wet, sort of snowy/sleety/something Friday - some spring for everyone :) Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sorry, we're busy right now...

Not much time for blogging tonight - we are busy getting rid of:

which means...our counters are being installed tomorrow! The cabinets are already painted, and the above will be replaced with:

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On the yumm radar...cheese biscuits

I love me some biscuits - I think going to Myrtle Beach, SC for three weeks EVERY summer for about 18 years instilled some southern love in me for biscuits!

These are cheddar biscuits, and the Mr. and I will be having them with chili tonight...yumm!

On a not so good note, I can no longer eat quinoa. I used to eat it, love it, all that jazz...and the last 3 times I've tried it it has left me with fairly severe stomach pain (like last night) no more quinoa for me. Anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beauty tip - homemade face scrub

Today's treat is my favourite DIY beauty tip (DIY isn't just for refinishing furniture, and making craft projects!).

A past colleague was well versed in homemade beauty remedies - she had a whole arsenal of natural skin care "recipes", and the one I LOVE and has really stuck with me is an almond face scrub. It's amazing for my dry / sensitive skin, and it's my go-to trick whenever my skin gets flakey or needs a pick me up.

Here's the extremely difficult equation for you:

Take some almonds, and crush them / chop them as small as possible (I use an attachment for my hand blender to chop them up). Then add a bit of milk, a touch of honey and stir to make it a paste. If you have oily skin, add a quick squeeze of citrus (orange, grapefruit, lime, or lemon). Then slather it on, rub it around, and rinse it off! I feel a difference immediately after I use it.

So natural, you could eat it (always a good rule of thumb)!

PS - for a make ahead trick I usually chop a bunch of almonds (maybe 8 or so) and then just take what I need (~1 Tbsp) and keep the rest in a container in the fridge to have at the ready.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Long weekend recap

Yes, it was a long weekend for me here in Ontario - we had a beautiful day (a fully beautiful weekend really). This was one of those weekends where I didn't think I was all that busy, but was nowhere near ready to go back to work this morning! Thankfully it was a long weekend for me (our recently appointed Family Day).

This weekend we did some shopping (a great thin wool turtleneck and Tahari snakeskin print blouse for me, a couple of new suits for the Mr.), went to Kitchener-Waterloo for dinner with my grandmother, a major house clean, laundry, groceries, a relaxing pain-au-chocolat and coffee out, a really nice long walk, and even a little painting project that was drummed up over a bottle of wine during dinner on Sunday! (don't worry, we waited until this morning to do the project :) ). It was a really nice, relaxing weekend - just what I need to get through February!

PS - did you notice that it's staying light out until 5:45 now? Oh happy day...

PPS - the Mr. is currently making a prime rib roast on the bbq, with carrots, roasted potatoes, and bread as sides. Heaven.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sink question #926

We are getting close to our sink and counter being installed (YAY!) - we had the counter measurements taken last week, so it's just another week or two until we get to see the FINAL PRODUCT and all its loveliness make an appearance in our kitchen!

But now I have a question - where to put the soap dispenser?

As a reminder, our sink looks like this:
31" Undermount Stainless Kitchen Sink Small Radius Corners - OU3120D2
(sorry for the fuzzy photo)

The faucet will go above the lower sink, so that it will be more centered on our window, but then where does the dishsoap dispenser go? The bigger sink will be used for most of the dishwashing, so how do we put the dispenser in a place that it can shoot sink into the washing sink? or can that not happen?


Here are the options - which one do you recommend (F = faucet, S = soap dispenser)?

#1 - This is the nicest looking option, in my opinion. The faucet should be somewhat centred on our window, but it means the soap dispenser is as far as possible from the "big" sink which will be the main dishwashing sink. This means we'll probably have to dispense the soap on something and then get bubbles instead of being able to dispense it straight into the big sink.

#2 - This is functional, since the soap dispenser can now shoot into the big sink or the 1/2 sink. I'm confident the faucet will be able to get to both no matter what (it's goose neck, pull down faucet). If the layout is such that having the faucet over to the right more means it will be centered on the window I'm OK with this, otherwise it will look really off centre in regards to the sink (see here for our window over our sink).

#3 - This is also ultra funtional...but that's about it. As much of a practical, functional person I am, I just don't think I can deal with the soap dispenser randomly stuck to the left of the sink with nothing else.

 #4 - I'm not sure we have enough room to put the faucet above the sink without it looking crammed...which was a big reason why we got the 1.5 sink since the right hand side was lower...but if it is possible this would be an option because it would give the soap dispenser good access to each sink.

#5 - similar situation to #4 but different placement.

Which one would you do?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Show me some love!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I already posted about some cute v-day ideas on Friday, so today is just focused on showing some love.

My bloggy friend April, over at MoneyPitLove showed me some love last week with a Liebster blog award:

Thanks April! Check out her blog here (don't you just love the name of it?): MoneyPitLove

And to celebrate this hallmark occaision of love, here are some true love fancies for you! xo

LOVE Scrabble Pillows
via Etsy


Heart Attack! Necklace

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why I need 1.5 sinks...

Yep, that's what my sink looked like yesterday as I was baking up a storm (there was a lot of overflow onto the counter too....luckily the dishwasher ended up handling most of the dishes, and the Mr. did the rest!). Oh - and as an update on the kitchen / counter - we had measurements taken last week so hopefully I will have something to share in the next couple of weeks!

It was all for a good cause though - chocolate chip cookies and banana chocolate chip muffins. Who doesn't need a little more chocolate in their life?
Chocolate chip cookies - recipe

banana chocolate chip muffins

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Paint feature - Style at Home

I hope you all are having a great weekend...this weekend is our first snowy one in Toronto all year! Yesterday I headed out early to take a friend shopping (so fun, and very successful!) and today will be the usually running around, laundry, and cooking some muffins for the week (I lead an exciting life I tell ya...).

I am catching up on my blog reading, and was happy to see the latest Style at Home online blogger feature published! I was featured in Style at Home's Bloggers Budget Decorating Ideas: How to Use Paint for my doormat:
You can see my step by step instructions in my original DIY Doormat post

I am featured with some other lovely bloggers who share an affinity for paint / spray paint and always have it at the ready. See the full feature here. I encourage you to check out the other bloggers that were included in this feature too: Crafty Bee, Decor Happy, Hodge:Podge, Cococozy, and Belle Maison.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday faves - Valentine's!

For anyone who's super on top of reading blogs...sorry for posting 2 posts yesterday - I inadvertently posted some Polyvore combo's - woops! Taking a friend shopping tomorrow and developed some inspiration outfits :)

Onto an ACTUAL post...Valentine's Day is soon upon us...I am not a huge Valentine's girl, meaning I don't get all decked out, or deck out my house for it, but I do appreciate the sentiment. So, in the honour of love, here are some cute things I have come across for this year's Valentine's day (with a few days left so you can use some of the ideas!)

 heart garland via

free printables! via

paper hearts via millneramy on etsy

crochet hearts via

white hearts via sarahandbendrix on etsy

Happy Friday ladies!
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