Posts made in November, 2013

We wish you a meow-y Christmas (and a happy mew year!) (again!)

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in Ramblings..., Tails | 2 comments

So I’m always that last person to send Christmas cards out.  I love the act of sending cards – I love writing happy little messages inside and putting stamps on envelopes and trekking out through the snow to the nearest post office to mail out my stack of holiday cheer.  But I truly suck at doing all of this well in advance of the holidays.  The mad scramble to get my cards out each year has become part of my Christmas tradition, and a ritual I’d really like to change.  Yep, this year I’m vowing to have my cards out by mid-December.  At the latest.  I hope.

Dear friends and family: for the first time ever, you’ll get your cards BEFORE Christmas.  No more Happy Belated Christmas cards from me!

But first I need to choose the cards I’ll be sending out.  As I mentioned last year in THIS post, I’m a bit OCD when it comes to my cards.  They must be cute.  They must be on the smaller size (to avoid needlessly long-winded handwritten Christmas greetings for the sake of filling up blank space.)  And they must involve cats somehow (it’s true – I’m a bit of a weirdo like that.)

So, because Christmas is quickly (really quickly!) approaching, I toured Etsy last night, and here are a few of my favourites…

There’s this simple (but super cute!) cat and mouse card from DeanPenn:

Handmade Christmas card with cat and mouse and gift

And this fun card (from LizzyClara) made me smile:

White cat with Christmas tree ornaments card

Then there’s this printable cat card design, courtesy of adoridesigns:

Red and white cat Christmas card with cat wearing a Santa hat courtesy of etsy

I would use my favourite ever photo of Irwin for the front of the card:

gray and white cat Irwin wearing little knitted Christmas reindeer anters

Adorable?  Oui!  I think he’d make an awesome little Christmas card cover cat.  :)

But, my three favourite Etsy-card-findings (shockingly!) didn’t include cats at all.  (Gasp! – I know!)

This simple (but lovely!) card from stationaryboutique:

Grey and white striped Christmas card Joy

These super cheerful holiday cards from DeLorenzoArt:

String wrapped colourful green and red Christmas cards from etsy

And, lastly (but certainly not leastly!) these adorable cards from Whimsipost:

Pink Christmas card with milk and cookies from etsy

Extreme (strangely non-cat-related) cuteness?  You betcha!

So could there be a break in my Christmas cat-card tradition?  Perhaps.  I do adore all three of the non-kitty-centric cards above.  And, if having particularly adorable cards helps me (in some weird unknown way) to get the cards out sooner (ie: on time and before Christmas), then I may consider those options.

Just don’t tell Erik and Irwin (they’re pretty sure cats are at the absolute centre of my universe) (which they sorta are) (except for maybe this one time.)  (Shhhhhh…)


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Flying saucers, mushroom caps, a flowery bonanza and stars (the search for noggin-safe illumination)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Living Room | 0 comments

So I’ve officially decided that the awful too-low-to-be-noggin-safe and generally far-too-heavy-and-awkward-looking living room light has to go.  Soon.  Really really soon.  Just to give you a quick reminder, here’s the beast I’m referring to…

Green living room with faux fireplace and chandelier

I know: it’s not terrible.  And, truth be told, it’d likely look absolutely lovely in somebody else’s home!  But it’s just not me.  And Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of it (which probably means it’s definitely just not him, either.)

I’ve been struggling for the past couple of weeks with what to put in its place.  Its replacement can’t be a flush mount fixture – there’s a really pretty ceiling medallion that surrounds the light, so something flush would look sorta silly.  But I also haven’t yet found a semi-flush mount light that I love.

Which means I’ve been looking at pendant lights.

Sounds counter-intuitive, I know.  Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of our living room light, so I’m considering purchasing a pendant?  What?  But many pendants can be pretty easily shortened to create semi-flush mount fixtures.  Which is what I did in our bedroom at our little 1940s house.  And that’s likely what I’ll do here!

Here are the lights that I’m considering so far…

This one (from Uberhaus at Rona) is sorta flying saucer shaped, but in a rather lovely, rustic kind of way.  (Can a flying saucer be rustic?  I say yes!)  And it’s the least expensive of the bunch (only $44!)  And I think it’s pretty.  :)

Rustic brown jute or wicker round pendant light

And then there’s the similarly natural-looking (but way less alien vessel-shaped) Boja pendant from Ikea

Boja beachy-looking ratan pendant from IKEA

At $79, she’s a bit more pricey than the Uberhaus option, but I rather like her mushroom-cap shape (despite that I hate mushrooms) (mushrooms are squishy) (although I rather doubt that this pendant is squishy.)

Winning the “Prettiest pendant in consideration” award (if I was having a pretty-pendant competition) is this one from Home Depot

Pretty feminine white flowered drum shade pendant light from Home Depot

Oh swoon…  How pretty!  How sweet!  How… um, feminine…  Yeah, I don’t know if Sweetie will go for it.  But I love this light nonetheless.  (Although it’s on the high end of our budget at $149.98.)  (Plus tax.)  (Of course.)

The winner, however, might be this one (from Hampton Bay’s Moravian Star Collection)…

Glass star pendant light moravian star

Yes, it’s predictable – stars.  I love stars.  At least this means I’m consistent?  And I couldn’t help but be inspired by Young House Love’s entryway pendant

Young House Love's amazing teal doorway and star pendant

Lovely!  And I think a star pendant could look equally amazing in our little living room.

Yep, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making the trek out to our nearest Home Depot store to take a closer look at (and maybe even – gasp! – purchase!) that super starry light this week.

Because Sweetie’s head can’t take too many more bruises.

And because I’m a bit of a sucker for a pretty little star light.  :)


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Getting all porchy for the holidays (it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!)

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 2 comments

I’m already planning my holiday decor.  Is it a little early for that?  I’m guessing no.  The first snowfall of the season appeared all sparkly and pretty on Tuesday morning, so it’s most definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here (thank you Mother Nature!)  And my front porch practically screams “adorn me please!”  I’ve never been one to disobey a porch, so adorn it I must.  :)

The porch at my little 1940s house was tricky.  Because the stairs leading up to the porch were to the side of the doorway, and a rail ran continuously across the front of the porch, it was hard to decorate around my front door (since anything I added to the porch ended up sadly obscured by the railing.)

Front porch painted Benjamin Moore Stampede on red brick house

Here, with no door-obscuring rails and with stairs boldly leading straight to the front door, we have smooth front porch decorating sailing.  See?

Pink mauve burgundy and white old farmhouse exterior with oil rubbed bronze light

No obstructions.  Just a lovely view of my soon-to-be-adorned front door.  :)

Admittedly, this front porch decorating thing is a little intimidating to me.  Perhaps it’s the public-ness of my porch (if it looks silly, our new neighbours will all assume that I don’t know my boughs from my baubles and my ribbons from my wreaths.)  Or maybe it’s because I’ve never truly decorated a front porch before for the holidays, so we’re totally venturing into unchartered Christmas waters.  Regardless, desperately hoping for a perfectly pretty porch display, I chatted a bit with my Pinterest folk to gather a few decorating ideas.  Here are my faves…

I love this simple “wreath + sparkly little trees in urns” option from the lovely folk over at The McLife:

Simple red wreath and lit mini Christmas trees entrance

And, speaking of pretty urns, I’d love to try creating something like this this year (although I’m a tad evergreenishly-challenged):

(Original source, sadly, is unknown, but the image appears on THIS website compiling a bunch of Christmas decorating ideas.)

And then there are stars!  I love stars!  (Actually, I’m a bit obsessed with stars, which you might remember from THIS post.)  How pretty is this…

Gold stars decorating a Christmas door

Sadly (again) there’s no source for this image.  So dear gorgeous plummy door starry people: please let me know who you are!  I adore your front entrance!

And then lastly, there’s this one (which is part of an Etsy-listing, in fact, for JustTheFrosting‘s shop):

…the perfect, elegant, simple front entrance (with a super smiley little snowman to boot.)  This is my goal.  :)

So all I need now is some evergreeny-sort of stuff.  And a couple of black urns.  And some pretty red bows.  And a big ol’ green wreath.  And maybe a quirky little snowman too.  Sounds easy enough!  I’ll keep you posted.

But, in the meantime, Christmas?  Bring it on.  My soon-to-be-appropriately-adorned front porch will be eagerly waiting.  :)


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So where do we go from here (I’ve got ninety-nine projects and the kitchen is one)

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in The old mauve house | 0 comments

Our old mauve house needs a lot (A LOT!) of work.  Sadly, I don’t have a lot of time.  It’s quite the conundrum, that’s for sure!  The biggest question (now that much of our stuff is finally – finally! – put away): where to start?  There are a whole lot of options.

There’s painting.  Which room?  Take your pick!  Pretty much every room in our new (to us) house needs a severe repainting.  Including ceilings.  And trim.  And doors.  And (in the case of our second floor) floors.  True story.  We have here the potential for a complete repainting of every single surface in every room.  Daunting?  Absolutely.  But it’ll look awesome once it’s finished.

I particularly despise the dark mossy green colour in our living room and dining room.  It’s not terrible, but it’s just not “us”.

Dark mossy green living room walls with fake fireplace

(Please pardon the off-centre star!)

Then there’s the flooring situation in our kitchen.  Remember this?

Gross multi layer kitchen floor in old house

Yep.  That’s starting to drive me a wee bit ca-razy.  However pulling up many many layers of kitchen flooring could potentially be a monumental job.  Am I ready for that sort of work at this point in old mauve house home ownership?  I’m not sure.

And then there are the lights that all need to be changed.  This one (which currently resides in our living room) is of particular concern…

Wrought iron three light chandelier in living room hung from medallion

Looks harmless enough, right?  But the electrical connection is completely wrong.  Wrong wrong wrong.  And having a random chandelier in a location where a chandelier wouldn’t normally appear (rhyming not deliberate!) is a bit of a nogging-bonking hazard for those who are a wee bit on the overgrown side.  Yup -  Sweetie (my 6’4″ slightly taller than most awesome hubby) keeps whacking his head off the silly thing.  And unless Sweetie starts wearing his hard hat around the house, I’m pretty sure the living room light will be replaced with something flush-er (is that a word?) very soon.

Or, we could just surrender and agree to be held hostage by a little ugliness for now, and concentrate on the holidays.  Afterall, Christmas (according to a friend’s recent facebook post) is only six (SIX!) weekends away.  That’s six weekends that will likely be filled with parades, decorating, baking, shopping, and general merriment.  And, really, who has time for painting and reflooring and new lighting and such when there’s so much festiveness and happiness and awesomeness going on.  Not I (says the girl in the reindeer-patterned pajamas!)  I have pompoms to make and Christmas cookies to bake and a new (sorta ugly) house to make all pretty and Christmassy.  :)

That said, we need new curtains.  Desperately.  So one minor pre-holiday, low-effort change may be abreast: there may be a trip to IKEA in my near-ish future, in search of new, less hideous, window treatments (to replace the sheer/too short/ridiculously ugly curtains that the previous owners left behind.)  Which would feel like progress (and likely make our neighbours pretty happy – I’m sure they’re getting kinda tired of watching me dance around with the cats in my living room every night after work) (it’s weird, but the kitties rather like it) (and Irwin, despite his shyness, sure knows how to boogie.)

Yep, new drapes = easy and rather quick progress.  And a little cat-dancing modesty.  K.  Let’s start with that.


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