Posts made in March, 2012

My apron obsession (confessions of a 1950s housewife wannabe)

Posted by on Mar 30, 2012 in Ramblings... | 0 comments

I have a secret…  I love aprons.  Vintage aprons, new aprons, half-aprons, full aprons…  Yup.  I love them all.  If I had the cupboard space, I’d have a kitchen drawer lovingly reserved just for all my aprons.  It’s a little odd, I know.  But there’s just something so quaint and nostalgic and wonderful about wearing an apron (and it’s really no secret that I was born in the wrong era… oh, to be a 1950s housewife, complete with pearls, an early generation Hoover, and a copy of The Joy of Cooking by my side!)  Plus, aprons are pretty and uber girly.  :)  And let’s not dispel the whole practical-ness factor (need to bake a pie in your finest cocktail dress?  Don an apron.  Poof!  You’re instantly classy, and your frilly frock will stay flour-free!)  Yup.  I think my obsession is a combination of all of the above.  I can’t help it.  And, really, I don’t mind.  :)

Last night, I found this from the fine folk at ModCloth

ModCloth apron yellow gingham pink flower

…and I squealed just a little.  The (yellow!) gingham.  The adorable piping.  The little flouncy flair (technical term) at the bottom.  That flower…  Yep.  I may indeed need this (ie, I’ve already hit the big ol’ BUY button.)

And, well, I couldn’t stop there.  So I took a quick trip over to Etsy (it’s like apron-Mecca over there.)  LOOK at all the loveliness I found!

PolitelyPink seems to suggest that pearls are a perfectly reasonable accessory to their classy (and sooooo lovely) apron.  To which I say: ok!  :)  (Topless [but accessorized] dress form alert!)

teal and brown half apron

The super sweet Paisley apron from Bolts and Yards Fabric (eee!  Hello pompom fringe!) makes me want to whip up a big batch of chocolate chip cookies…

Retro reversible apron yellow and brown

Then there’s the absolutely perfect Pretty-in-Pink apron from Dear Edna‘s shop…

Pink and gold apron retro

And there are lots and lots and lots more.  Must.  Remove.  Self.  From.  Etsy.  Too.  Much.  Loveliness.  (Happy sigh.)

Now please excuse me while I go find my pearls.  :)

PS – Sweetie swears that the Joy of Cooking is the best cookbook ever.  He says that any cookbook that covers everything from squash to squirrel is pretty darn awesome.  And, that considered, perhaps he’d make a really good 1950s husband (although I think we’ll both probably pass on the squirrel.)  (Blek.)

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The Allure of new flooring (daydreams of a fantastic floating kitchen floor)

Posted by on Mar 27, 2012 in Kitchen | 0 comments

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I found this picture (from Jessica Helgerson Interior Design) and swooned just a little…

…it was love.  :)  Twu wuv, in fact (as the Bishop in the Princess Bride would have declared.)  The gray walls.  The dark countertops and lovely marble backsplash.  The white cupboards.  The wood floors.  Sigh…  This is the image that inspired the gray/white/red colour scheme in our current kitchen.

And so, my obsession with that lovely pic in mind, I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that my own kitchen could benefit from wood floors.  Maybe it was the presumed cost.  Maybe it was the seemingly non-diy-ness of installing hardwood.  I dunno. But the thought of putting some sort of wood-type floor in my kitchen had somehow completely evaded me.

Until this weekend.

But first, let’s backtrack to 2004 for a moment, shall we?  :)

Our last house had ugly flooring.  Uuuuugly.  Like, possibly even worse than the 1980s-blue-peel-and-stick tile situation here in our current house.  Really.  It was ba-ad.  Our old kitchen was home to brown 1970s peeling linoleum.  Need a visual?  Prepare yourself…

Yeppers.  We actually bought a house with a kitchen that looked like THAT.  We’re brave, brave souls.

We lived with that floor for over five years.  Until about a month before we listed that house, in fact (at which point we jumped into crazy full-fledged flooring mode.)  Because the flooring was SO ridiculously old, we didn’t even consider taking it up.  Instead, we put a tile-look floating floor (by Allure) right on top.  And it looked great (and, also importantly, was semi-simple to install ourselves!)  Here’s the (rather grainy – sorry ’bout that) after (from the night we moved out)…

We also de-wallpapered and re-painted EVERY SQUARE INCH of that house.  (But that’s a whole other story.)

And so (fast forwarding back to 2012), it suddenly dawned on me the other day that the answer to our current flooring woes might be to install the same type of floating floor directly over the blue-tile-disaster that currently resides in our kitchen.  A quick trip to Home Depot later, and I was sold.  We will again be making friends with Allure Trafficmaster Resilient Flooring, this time in a Hickory-plank finish.  I’m quite excited about the reunion. :)

Here is the floor we’ll be going with…

…along with the sample laminate countertop I’m considering and a Stonington Gray paint chip I wrestled up from my ginormous pile o’ paintchips (it’s already on my walls and I adore it.)  Not too shabby eh?  And perhaps even reminiscent of my inspiration pic.  Should we look at that again?  Let’s look again.  :)

Gray and white kitchen black countertops

Sigh.  It’s so lovely.  :)  And, well, since I’m a Google-search/Pinterest junkie, here are a couple more pics I found of the exact same Allure Hickory flooring in other people’s homes…

This one is from a super cute blog called Creative Little Daisy:

Allure Trafficmaster Resilient Flooring Hickory

And then there’s this bathroom renovation from Southern Hospitality Blog

Allure Trafficmaster Resilient Flooring Hickory

And here’s a look at this same flooring in (Never Home) Maker‘s (originally carpeted – ick!) kitchen (and it looks lovely!):

Allure Trafficmaster Resilient Flooring Hickory

Yep.  I think Allure Trafficmaster Resilient Flooring may again find its way into my home.  Will it be a fun little DIY jobbie?  Likely not.  It’s somewhat easy to install, but getting it right is a wee bit finicky.  It’ll be worth it, though.  I hope.  My kitchen, sans 1980s-blue-peel-and-stick flooring, will likely be a much prettier place.  :)

PS – if you’re not familiar with my Princess Bride reference above, please click here for one of my all-time favourite movie moments! (Skip to 1:25 if you want to get straight to the punchline… although the entire wedding scene makes me giggle.)  (Mawwage.)  (Teehee.)

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Tiptoeing through the tulips (a potted plant from a good friend is a very lovely gift indeed!)

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Ramblings... | 0 comments

I’m a couple days late with this announcement (so you may have already heard) but…  it’s Spring!!!  :)  The weather here in Southwestern Ontario has been positively (and unseasonably) summerish for the past couple of weeks (my neighbour’s daffodils are in full-bloom as of yesterday – that’s just plain bizarre for mid-March around here.)  (And don’t even get me started on the spiders who have already set up camp outside my windows – um, ick.  Ever want to scream at an insect: “Hello?  It’s way too early for you!  PS – you’re gross!”?)  And, while I don’t have any daffodils (or, well, any bulbs) in my garden right now (although I’m suddenly inspired to plant some this fall) my friend Nadia dropped off a little pot of tulips a couple days ago that is satisfying my spring-flower craving for the moment.  They’re JUST about to open…

Potted tulips


Potted tulips


Potted tulips


Potted tulips


Potted tulips

Hope you’re having a lovely tulip-filled spring so far too!

Oh!  And also worth celebrating?  Happy Friday!  :)

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My little loo redo (a little loo doesn’t have to be a dreary loo)

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in Bathroom | 0 comments

When we bought this house, the previous homeowners had just finished redoing the bathroom.  I think.  At least it looked like they had tried.  Somewhat.  There were sad-looking unfinished drywall patches.  There was a whole lot of glossy white caulking (apparently their solution to hiding the seam between the tile and the wall.)  And there was beigeness. Drab and dreary and muddy beigeness.  It was fine for a little while, but as time wore on I grew grumpy with my little unfinished overcaulked beige loo.

And then (as always happens) I just couldn’t take it anymore.  So I grabbed my trusty paintbrush.  And a quart of BM Woodlawn Blue.  And a bit (A LOT) of caulking remover.  And a new mirror and a few little accessories.  And poof! My dreary drab little loo became a much cheerier loo.

And, because it’s so much prettier now, I kinda want to show it off to you.  :)

(That was me trying to be all poetic.  Fail, eh?)  (Yep.  That’s what I thought.)

Firstly…  a before.  See the beige?  It’s very beige.

Bathroom reno and painting project

And when I pulled off the big globs of glossy white caulking, half the drywall came off too.  Of course.  (Hence all the patching above.)

After.  Painted lovely and cheery Woodlawn Blue.  :)

Bathroom reno painting BM Woodlawn Blue

I also swapped out the standard (ie: cheap) door pulls for heavier, fancier pulls.

Bathroom reno and painting project cabinet pulls

The new pulls make the cabinet look a little less like a Home Depot weekly special, no?  Plus, I just think they’re pretty.  :)

Before…  The “nook” (not sure what else to call it…  calling it the “hole in the wall left by the old window that was no longer required because an addition was added to the back of the house making the window a rather silly and useless feature” just seems a little long-winded.  So let’s just call it the “nook”, k?)

Bathroom reno and painting project

(See the drywall patches?  I believe that THIS would be the exact point where the old owners lost momentum.  Just a hunch.)

After, all prettied up!  (Ie: painted.)

Bathroom reno painting BM Woodlawn Blue basket

(The basket is where my blowdryer hides.  Shhh.  Don’t tell.)

Bathroom reno and painting project, BM Woodlawn Blue

The ceiling before.  Yep, it was beige too.   In the early morning, it was a bit like showering in a tiny, lightless, cardboard box.  Fun.

Bathroom reno and painting project - before

After (with a light, bright, white ceiling) (yup – more poetry for you!) (but a rather crumpled shower curtain…  just ignore that k?)

Bathroom reno and painting project, BM Woodlawn Blue

Bathroom reno and painting project, BM Woodlawn Blue

Much better eh?  I like to think so!  And because I DO think so, here are just a few more pics…

My old fashioney mirror (I love vintage-ish etched mirrors – they remind me of my grandmother.)

Bathroom reno and painting project, BM Woodlawn Blue, etched mirror

My pretty little soap dispenser (it’s hard to make out in the picture, but the front says “pure soap.”  I’m not sure why I like it so much – I just do :)

Bathroom reno and painting project

Peeking out toward the door through polka-dotty Joy, my beloved PVC shower curtain.

Bathroom reno and painting project, BM Woodlawn Blue

And here is everything in one pic (at least as much as I could cram in while standing in the farthest corner of the tub – it’s rather hard to take pictures of a tiny little 5×6 foot loo while in a tiny little 5×6 foot loo!)

Bathroom reno and painting project, BM Woodlawn Blue, etched mirror

And there you have it.  :)  If a 5×6 foot, near-windowless washroom could be cheery, I think mine would be pretty darn smiley.  Or at least rather relieved to no longer be beige.  And heavily caulked.  And unfinished.  (Although I do still want to swap out the super-shiny, seagull-like faucet, but that’s another story.)

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Well we’re all in the mood for a melody (particularly from a prettily-painted piano)

Posted by on Mar 14, 2012 in Sun Room | 0 comments

When I graduated from University with my music degree (totally seemed like a good idea at the time btw!  Not at ALL practical in the real world however…) (ah, hindsight…) my parents bought me a piano as a graduation gift.  I lived in a tiny little apartment at the time (apparently minature abodes are something I’m unknowingly drawn toward) so they bought me a digital piano (which, while being smaller/lighter than an actual piano, still feels and sounds like a large instrument.  Quite brilliant!)  It’s followed me around from apartment to house to house and now resides in our (spoiler alert!: soon to be painted!) back room.  It’s not the ideal spot for it, but it’s the only place it fits right now, and this is where it’s lived for the past year.

The problem?  Despite feeling/sounding like a piano, it’s not overly…  pretty.  It’s functional without the “fun.”  It’s melodious but not merry.  It’s plunky but missing the funky.

And then, yesterday, I found this post…

10 Pretty, Painted Pianos!

…via Pop of Pretty, and I’ve gotta admit, I’m seriously jonesing for a full sized REAL piano now.  And not just any piano.  After a bit more research (facilitated by my good buddies at Pinterest) I’ve decided that I desperately need a turquoise piano…

Turquoise Piano Painted Paino

Adore adore and adore somemore.  Amazing eh?  C/O Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating.  :)

And then I saw this lemony-beauty and exclaimed (out loud, and with gusto): well hello, yellow…

Yellow painted piano

Happiest piano ev-ver, from the cheery folk at Bake @ 350.  If I had a yellow piano, I’d sit at it every day.  I might not actually play it every day, but I’d sit and look at it adoringly and likely smile a whole lot too.  :)

And seriously?  How fantastically fun is this…

green painted piano

I’m not normally a green person (does that make sense?  Likely not) but this kelly keyboard from Design Mom totally makes me giddy.

And then there’s this elegant lady in white…

white painted piano

…from a fine faux-ivory-loving flickring fan.  :)  I might be in love.  (Insert ginormous enamoured sigh here.)

Yes.  I would looooove a painted piano.  Mine is just so… dreary by comparison.  Don’t believe me?  See for yourself…

Unpainted digital piano

Can I get a dramatic “dun dun dun?”  Thanks.  Yup.  You’ve entered Drearyville, population 5 (that’s five, including me, Sweetie, two cats and one digital keyboard.)

Sadly, we have neither the budget nor the space for a lovely (and much longed-after!) full-sized instrument at the moment.  However, I haven’t given up all hope of having a pretty piano.  No siree bob!  Why?  Because I found this…

poppy decal piano

…from the folk at The Junk in our Trunks and realized that while no, I probably shouldn’t paint my digital piano, I could possibly add a decal or two to fancy it up a bit…  Maybe not a ginormous poppy, per se, but a pretty little decal couldn’t hurt, eh?

And so off I go to hang out with the nice people at Etsy in the hopes of finding a piano-worthy decal.  Something flowery would be cute, non?  (Again, ixnay on the giant poppy!)  Or something graphic could be super fun…  And poof!  Suddenly I’m way more excited about my dreary little piano than I’ve been in years.  My university profs would be so proud!  And possibly a little shocked (I don’t know how they’d view my desire to piano-primp.)  But mostly they’d be proud.  Maybe.  I think.  :)

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