Posts made in June, 2012

Introducing a new segment called “S&J’s photo of the day” (probably the first and only photo of the day, but noteworthy nonetheless)

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in Tails | 0 comments

It’s my desktop image at work.  It’s on my laptop too.  If we weren’t now in the digital age, I’d probably even have a tiny 1.5×2″ print in my wallet.  And now I’m sharing this with you!  (Rhyming completely unintentional btw – I’m not a poet, and I know it.)

The Coles Notes version of my story?

This picture makes me smile.  :)

Cute gray and white cat Irwin

Pink nose, white face, chubby cheeks.  Yup.  It’s undeniable: Irwin may very well be the cutest cat ever.  Ev-ver.

That’s all.  Just being a proud kitty momma.  :)  Hope you’re having a great week!


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The best hamburgers ever (happy first full week of summer!)

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Recipes we love! | 0 comments

I don’t barbecue.  Propane plus flames equals a terrifying combination if you ask me.  (Yep – I’m that girl.)  Luckily, Sweetie loves to barbecue.  And not just in the summer – he’s barbecued in the snow, the freezing rain, and in torrential rainstorms…  He is quite a barbecuing trooper, truth be told.  (And I’m a very lucky girl.  :)

My (well, our) favourite grilled grub?  Hamburgers.  Joy-burgers, to be exact.  Just a couple ingredients, but infinite yumminess.  Once grilled to perfection (a la Sweetie) they look like this…

Recipe for barbecued hamburgers with Montreal steak spice

Here’s how all that deliciousness happens!



-1 large pound of extra lean or lean ground hamburger (aside – am I the only one who uses the term “a pound of hamburger” to refer to the package and not necessarily the actual volume/weight?  Sweetie thinks this is weird.  Growing up, any package of hamburger, even if larger than a pound, was “a pound.”  SO, for this recipe, you can either use a traditional [ie: actual and, well, normal person] pound, or a large-ish pound [which for me means about 0.6kg])

-1 egg (lightly beaten)

-1-2 tablespoon of crushed soda biscuits (another aside: I love soda biscuits) or oatmeal (if you don’t have soda biscuits on hand) (but I always have soda biscuits on hand)

-1 tablespoon secret ingredient (keep reading for the dramatic reveal!)



1. Mix all four ingredients in bowl, and shape into tennis ball-sized balls (I usually get about 5 hamburgers from a large pound of ground beef.)

2. Flatten burger-balls between your palms, making the centre thinner than the outsides (this helps them cook better!)

3. Grill until fully cooked, inside and out (an undercooked burger is a sad burger)

4. Prepare on a bun (with lots of condiments.)

5. Eat.

6. Rub tummy and smile.  :)


And that secret ingredient?  (Queue dramatic drum roll…)

…It’s Montreal steak spice!  Which looks like this:

Montreal steak spice hamburger recipe

This is the President’s Choice version (available at Loblaws, Superstore, Zehrs and No Frills stores, and maybe others!), but Club House makes an identical spice (and I’m sure others do too – I think I’ve even seen it at the Bulk Barn in the past.)  This stuff is AWESOME.  And it will make your hamburgers peppery and garlicky and amazing.  Really really.  Really.  Leaving you with this…

Montreal Steak Spice barbecued hamburger recipe

Yum…  That there is summer on a plate, if you ask me.  :)

So there you have it!  My (no longer secret) barbecued hamburger recipe.  Perfect for a summer supper (I love my burgers with plain potato chips on the side, truth be told, but the healthy adult in me recommends a lovely side salad.)  (Unless you love plain potato chips as much as I do!)  And equally perfect for a blizzardy day.  So long  as you have a die-hard griller willing to brave the elements (like my Sweetie.)  (I really am a lucky girl!  :)


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Sunroom inspiration (because, let’s face it: dark paint is scary)

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Sun Room | 0 comments

This weekend, the sunroom painting project will continue.  Yay!  Finally.  If it’s the last thing I do.  I’ve been in sunroom painting limbo for the past month or so, due to the acclimatization of two very cute (but, until recently, not yet Jacob approved) new kitties (aka Irwin and Erik) (or, as Sweetie has nicknamed them, Ir-dog and Booger.)  And while I can’t say that they’re entirely integrated into our cat-family now, there is a lot of tolerating going on.  Which is really all I can ask for at this point.  (Although I’m hoping to find them all cuddling together and holding paws one day soon.)  (Or at least hanging out in the same room.)  (Baby steps, I know.)  :)

So, on to painting!  Hooray!

Paint was actually purchased pre-sunroom cat occupation, and it’s DARK.  At least, it’s dark for me.  To get all technical and paint-namey, it’s Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray.  And it looks like this (according to the paint blob picture-takers of the internet)…

Chelsea Gray Benjamin Moore

How did I find said Chelsea Gray paint (considering my fear of dark paint colours?)  By accident.  Really.  In a nutshell (since I could ramble on and on about paint for hours) (it’s embarrassingly true – just ask my friends) I was given the wrong test pot by a Benjamin Moore store representative (I think I had originally asked for Coventry Gray.)  (Coventry…  Chelsea…  An honest mistake!)  But, to my surprise (once discovering the mixup), I liked it.  A lot.  And I’ve been looking for a place to slather with its lovely dark grayness ever since.

And then, a couple months ago, I saw this room from brilliant blogger Love, Home & Style

Love Home and Style's Living Room Shaker Gray

…and decided that the sunroom would be THE room to get a lick of Chelsea Gray (I think it was all of her windows that made me realize that our sunroom, with all its windows, could indeed be dark AND be fantastic!)  Her room isn’t actually Chelsea Gray (it’s Shaker Gray, which apparently – and strangely – they don’t make here in Canada according to the peeps at my local Benjamin Moore) but Chelsea Gray is pretty darn close.  Here’s hoping it looks just as lovely once up on my walls!

So that there is the story of how my Chelsea Gray sunroom came to be.  Not that it’s Chelsea Gray yet.  But it will be by the end of the weekend.  I hope!  (I really really hope!)

Have a great first official weekend of summer!  If you want me, I’ll have a paint brush in one hand.  Of course.  And maybe a strawberry daiquiri in the other.  I love summer.  :)


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Next project? Gallery wall! (The most recent addition to my ever-growing to do list)

Posted by on Jun 14, 2012 in Living Room | 0 comments

I seem to be alllll over the place with projects lately.  I may, in fact, have decorating-ADD.  There’s my very unfinished (due to newly adopted cat occupation) sunroom project.  And my bedroom?  It still needs paint (although the walls are all patched now, so she’s all ready to go!)  (once I, um, decide on a colour…)  So, while we’re in project-limbo for the moment with those two tasks, let’s just move right along to the next item on my list, shall we?  :)

And what would that be?  I think I need a gallery wall.  Actually, I know I need a gallery wall.  You see, there’s a big empty wall (temporarily being quasi-under-filled by a rather random green star) that’s begging me for frames.  Just look…

Gallery wall in bm edgecomb gray living room

Or, more precisely…

Where the gallery wall will go in my living room

(For the record, I’m not sure why the walls look positively peachy in that second picture.  That’s a little odd…  I promise – they’re most definitely a lovely shade of Edgecomb Gray griege.)

I didn’t notice the abysmal blankness so much when the living room was in its previous configuration.  But now that it’s all (awesomely!) rearranged, you see that wall from the couch (where we most often sit in the living room) and the walls are seriously starting to plead with me for substance.  And, never one to say no to a wall, I’ll obviously oblige.

Sadly, I’m not one of those people who can ingeniously lay out frames of several sizes/shapes and – poof! – have the whole shebang look brilliant once up on the wall.  Truth be told, this sort of approach kinda stresses me out (although it looks lovely when other people do it!)  (Yet another example of things I love in other people’s homes!  LOL.)  Nope.  I crave simplicity, a) because I’m too lazy to be bothered with anything more complex than straight lines and identical sizes and b) I have a plan in my head, and it looks just like this (via the good chaps at decorpad)…

Gallery Wall BM revere pewter decorpad

Please note the chairs (oh!  Look.  I have the same Ikea Ektorp Tullsta white slipcovered chairs.)  Please notice the configuration (side table between the two chairs?  Why, yes.  I have that too!)  And do you see that wall colour? (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, you say?  Golly, my walls are the next shade lighter on that same paint card.  What a coincidence!)  Yep.  This may as well be in my living room.  (Minus the pink tulips.  I’d actually really love some pink tulips please.)  Yes, if there was ever a sign that a gallery wall was meant to be in my little living room, I think this would be a big neon flashing florescent yellow one.  (This also might be a sign that I should paint my little green side table too.)  (I’ll add that to the list.)

For this project, I’ll obviously need a trip to Ikea (yay!)  From what I’ve read so far (and, yes, gallery-wall research is super important) the Ribba frames work particularly well for gallery walls.

And then, the big question?  What to include in those frames.  The obvious answer would be pictures of the cats.  Of course.  :)  And cats may indeed end up in a few of the frames.  Cats, and perhaps a few pictures from our wedding – it makes me a wee bit sad that we haven’t put up any pictures from our wedding yet.  (Um, almost four years later…)

So yep!  That’s the next project in queue.  To officially begin whenever we make it to Ikea next.  Which could be a ways off still (although I’m always looking for an Ikea-excuse!)  Regardless, it’s good to plan ahead, no?  “Glorious gallery wall”, you are officially on my to do list. :)

(And little green sidetable?  Consider yourself due for a paint job shortly too.  Blame decorpad for that one.  :)


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The pea soup green slumber chamber (the befores)

Posted by on Jun 4, 2012 in Bedroom | 0 comments

So I’m skipping a room.  The back/sun room is all ready for paint (and already had its own “Befores” post HERE.)  The walls have been patched, the ceiling has been painted, and lovely (I hope!) dark Chelsea Gray paint has been purchased.  It’s just begging for a good rolling!  However, that room is currently hosting two very cute (and not yet Jacob-approved) recently adopted kitties (the very kitten-like Erik, and his BFF, the oh-so-sweet Irwin.)  SO, while they’re vacationing back there for another few days (hoping for a full-fledged kitty-introduction this week) I’m moving right along to the second floor.  Specifically, our very green bedroom.

The colour isn’t terrible.  It’s pea soup green, alright, but it’s not offensive pea soup.  It’s just not me.  Plus there are some big ol’ cracks in the plaster that need patching, and I don’t have the name/make of the current colour, so I’ve decided to use all that as an excuse (not that I’ve ever needed one) to paint the whole room in a colour that feels more us.  (That’s my logic at least.  :)  The room will probably either end up being either Stonington Gray (the same colour I already love in our kitchen) or the next colour down/darker on that same paint chip, Coventry Gray (which apparently reads quite blue, but I’m ok with that – I rather like blue-grays.)

Here are a few befores for you (note: our bedroom is tiny!  Most of these are taken either with my back up against the wall or standing out in the hallway.  Yup.  It’s small.  But we spend the majority of our day in the rest of the house, so a tiny place to sleep is a-ok with us!)

Green bedroom with Ikea Lillesand bed

Sage green bedroom with Lillesand Ikea bedframe

(See the hope chest in the corner?  That’s the one I’m not allowed to paint LOL.)  (Not that I would anyway…)  The little white attic door behind the hope chest is getting painted as well in whichever wall colour I choose.  While it’s super quaint having attic access behind the knee wall, I wouldn’t necessarily call that door a feature worth highlighting.  (Although the previous owners obviously did!)

And see that little wood door?

Sage green bedroom with tiny closet

That there would be our closet.  Please note: the closet is about 3 feet wide on the inside.  In total.  And there is no walking-in.  Nope.  None at all.  Sigh.  The closet door will be getting a coat of Snowfall White paint (I painted the also-once-orangey-wood bedroom door when I painted the hallway and it’s sooo much better.)  I wish painting the door also meant more closet space…  At least it means prettier closet space, I suppose.

(Oh!  And the ugly white ceiling fan is getting swapped out too.)

Due to our (very) limited closet space, we bought big huge Ikea Hemnes dressers last summer.  (Remind me, some day, to tell you how much fun Sweetie had assembling these!)  Admittedly, they’re massive, but for some reason they don’t look out of place in our little room.

Black brown ikea Hemnes dressers

Ikea black-brown hemnes dressers in green bedroom

I’ll probably swap out the rug once the walls are repainted (this is an old beige shag rug I threw down when we moved, but I think it might work better in our dining room.) (Can you put a shag rug in your dining room?)  And the curtains will go (far far away.)

Beige shag carpet in bedroom

Of us all, I think Jacob is most excited about the room being painted.  While orange cats do look lovely in green rooms, he’s partial to gray, I think.

Cat in green bedroom

(Actually, I’m guessing he doesn’t really care.  So long as there’s a big comfy bed in the room, he’s a pretty happy cat.  Cats are kinda wishy-washy like that about paint.)  (I wish I was – it would mean a lot less painting for me.)  (Sigh…)


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