Saturday, November 30, 2013

Finally...We are starting to decorate for Christmas!! (And a sneak peek of some new colors...)

That's right people...I know you've been seeing all kinds of Christmas decorating going on already in blogland.  It makes me feel like I'm a little behind the times, but here in our home there can be no decorating before December 1st - says a proclamation sent down by King McG himself....

Actually if he had his way I think we wouldn't decorate at all...(shh - he's a bit of a scrooge!!)

Many years we didn't decorate until after his birthday, but then it just feels like we are making a whole lot of effort for nothing as he likes to take it all down and put it away on Boxing Day!! - told ya - S-C-R-O-O-G-E!!

Today we will be working on getting all the boxes out from under the stairs - and tomorrow I will be in full force decorating around here.

I wanted to share a few photos of some new colours that are being used on our small tree upstairs in the living room...not really traditional colours....


These pictures make the orange ornaments look kind of red, but they are a coppery orange.

These beauties I found at the Dollarama  - $1 each - SCORE!!  The glittery orange pinecones below were three for a dollar!  I paired them with some mat-finish teal ornaments that I found at a local greenhouse 6 for $6.99.

Here they are tucked in an arrangement on my dining room table.

I can't wait to get the decorations flowing around here...I am definitely in the Christmas mood...

I know you are going to hate me for this but...
I am done my Christmas shopping and have everything wrapped!!  
All I have left to do is to send out my Christmas cards and get this place decorated!!

I will be back with more details on my decorating adventures this weekend...with lots of pictures so stay tuned!!

Tell your home decorated already for Christmas...or do you live with a Scrooge too!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Another New Addition to the Living Room...

I am so thankful that my Mom knows how to sew!  She is a great seamstress and has even reupholstered some furniture in her day...but those talents she didn't pass on to my sister and I!!

Last time you were here, I showed you the great new metal wall plaque in our living room.

The orange in that plaque is just what I needed to warm up the space.  I knew I needed to bring some of the red and orange into the room, but I really wasn't keen on those orange and brown striped pillows.  They are the ones that originally came with the sofa, but I had been hiding them in the office as I never liked them.

This week though I made a trip to Fabricland and found a great new fabric to help tie everything together.
I had Mom sew some new covers for those striped pillows.  She rolled her eyes a bit when I showed up with the fabric and pillows.  It seems I have a reputation of being a bit of a "pillow whore" - or at least that's what my family thinks!  I feel it is just a great cost effective way to bring new life to a room!

The fabric was clearance priced at $10.00/metre (originally $27.00/metre) - still kind of pricey, but I knew that one metre would be more than enough to cover the two pillows, in fact I even have some leftover!

The background of the fabric is a khaki tan that co-ordintates well with the piping on the sofa.  The colours really brighten up the room and tie in the colours from the wall plaque.

These new colours are going to be what I work with for my holiday decorating as well.  I am excited to be adding some fresh new colours to our home.  They really radiate warmth and that's just what we need now that the temperatures outside have dipped pretty low.  It's a balmy 24 degrees Fahrenheit today and with the windchill it feels even colder.

I've started bringing out small Christmas touches...trying to sneak them in without McG knowing.

I will be sure and show you this week as things progress.  We are still finishing up with the painting of the trim and doors in the bedroom.  Once that's complete (it shouldn't be too much longer) I will be able to haul out all of the Christmas boxes from under the stairs and get to work.  I feel like I'm behind as most other bloggers have already had their trees and decorations up for some time now!

That's what's going on this weekend here at our house...what are you up to this weekend??


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Warming up the Living Room...

Well the paint fumes are still lingering, but the hum of the compressor is quiet this morning.  Last night I posted a quick pic on facebook letting you all know that we were well into getting the new baseboards installed in the master bedroom.  I am thrilled that all the trim is finally done in there!!  We are still in the process of completing the closet doors, but that sadly will not be done until the weekend (insert sad face here).  Winter weather has come to town...and the temperatures are now too cold to spray paint the door hardware!!  However, they are predicting warmer temps this weekend, so I will be keeping my fingers crossed that we can get this project completed.

In the meantime, I wanted to show you some new additions in the living room.  While I am still loving the blue-grey colour we painted last fall...lately I have been finding the room a bit flat with all the cool colours and all the dark brown with the furniture and dark flooring.  Here's a reminder of what it looked like BEFORE.

 I knew that the only way to liven up that room was to add some brighter colours!

While I still LOVE the mirrors I bought on clearance at HomeSense ($15/each) I wanted to try and find something brighter, with more colour.  I have been on the lookout since the end of August when my #1 daughter gave me a HomeSense gift card for my birthday.  I can't tell you how hard it has been for me to find ANYTHING to buy with that was so frustrating as I can ALWAYS seem to find something to buy there when I really don't have any money to spend, but that card was giving me shopping paralysis!  I persevered though, popping in there at least once a week to check out the new stock in the hopes of finding something.  I am sure the staff there must have grown accustomed to seeing me there.
This week, though, my perseverance paid off!

Let me introduce you to my new brighter and colourful wall art....drum roll please!!

It's a large metal plaque - all chippy and colourful - and the orange and red accents are just what I was looking for to add some more colour and brightness to the living room.  Here's a closer look!

I added some orange striped pillows that I had downstairs to the couch.  I am not sure if I like the stripes, but they do add some of the orange too.  I will be on the lookout now for some brighter fabric that incorporates those colours, but in the meantime I am really liking this new shot of colour!

I also added some orange and red to some of the other areas in the room as well.  A fall platter I found in a thrift store and some orange sticks in the urn.

I found this little owl pitcher at The Christmas Tree Shop this week while I was shopping in Michigan...I just LOVE him! (and he was a steal at just $2.99!)

Are you decorating with bright colours, like orange and red?  I don't normally, but I was missing the warmth now that our fall decorations are packed away to make way for the Christmas decorations that will be added in the coming weeks.  I will be shopping the house today to see what else I can add to the mix - I LOVE mixing things really does make for a whole new room without spending any money!

Hope your week is going well...please leave me a comment and let me know what touches you are adding to YOUR home this week!


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Friday, November 08, 2013

Bathroom Updates...Painting the Trim White

A couple of weeks ago I told you that we were in the processing of painting the trim and doors in our private upstairs spaces...from yucky orange stain - to lovely bright white!

This is a process that we started last fall in our kitchen and living/dining room.  I have been loving the look and really wanted this project to happen last spring, but McG likes to be outside working on projects in the nice weather, so this one got put on hold.

I showed you here part one of our painting.  We decided to put in all new baseboards in the bathroom and bedrooms, just as we did in the rest of our upstairs space....The reason, we need the stained baseboards from up here to finish off the rooms in the basement  that currently have no baseboards.  And since these are already stained to match what is down there, we are opting to re-use those down there.  We cannot find wood to match these anymore since they were installed when we built the house in 1996 and since we have changed the rest of this floor to a wider white trim, it only makes sense from a cost savings point of view to do this.

We had a date night at Lowes last weekend and purchased enough trim to complete all the rest of the rooms upstairs.  We've purchased MDF pre-primed baseboards since they will be painted white anyway. It  makes sense to save a step and not having to prime them!  After painting two coats of semi-gloss white, McG cut and installed the trim last night.  It was good because he just had to use the trim he removed as a guide for cutting the new pieces.

He used paintable white caulking between the pieces and wiped off any excess that came through the seams.

Then he nailed them in using his nail gun and compressor.

I love how great the new white trim looks against the charcoal grey colour of our floor!

And this is the cheap laminate cabinet that matched our cabinets - I was able to persuade him to paint that, but not the actual wood cabinets.  He does like the look of white cabinets, but since we are going to be selling our home in the near future, he was afraid that "painted" cabinets would scare off some buyers.  I, on the other hand, think the opposite is true, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.

(The above picture was taken before the trim was installed)

Here's a side-by-side view of the bathroom with the stained trim and now with the white!

I am really loving how the white trim is brightening up the room - I guess the shower curtain helps too!  This is one we've had for a number of years now...just recycling that into the mix too!

The new trim for this room cost us just $15 - 3 pieces @ $3.98 plus tax! Definitely a cheap upgrade!

This weekend we are continuing on into the master bedroom with painting and replacing of trim...

What are you up to this weekend???  We'd love to know what projects you are tackling!!


Monday, November 04, 2013

Weekend Recap and a Great Spicy Florentine Dip Recipe!

Hello and Happy Monday!  

McG and I had a great weekend...

Friday night we enjoyed a dinner out and then a trip to Lowes to get some new trim for the bathroom and bedrooms...I know how sad that 27 years of marriage brings excitement over a trip to Lowes!

Saturday we were able to connect with some of our good friends to enjoy a game of Mexican Train Dominoes.  We enjoy their company and it's always a rousing time - as we play girls against the guys.
I am sad to say that the guys beat us this time, but only by the last hand...we also enjoyed some good food.

My contribution was an easy pumpkin cake recipe I found on Pinterest- just a yellow cake mix and a can of was very moist and a great hit! I did add some icing on it - that brought it up a notch.

If you follow us on facebook, you knew that I was making a spicy spinach dip for the get together as well.

It is an easy recipe that is not the usual spinach dip - in fact - its a recipe that I got from another friend several years ago... Florentine Dip.

This is the dip BEFORE it went in the oven....

1 package of cream cheese
1 container of sour cream
2 cups shredded nacho cheese (this is just regular cheddar in the picture because that's all I had on hand)
3 teaspoons horseradish
2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno peppers (I use the ones that are sliced in a jar and just chop them finer)
1 package of chopped frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained well

Start by mixing the cream cheese and sour cream with a electric mixer until smooth - add the horseradish, spinach, jalapenos and 1 cup of the shredded cheese and mix until blended.

Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish and then sprinkle the top with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

This is always a party favourite when we get together...
so much so that I didn't even get a picture of it when it came out of the oven!!

Sunday brought us outside to work...
This is what the front yard looked like on Thursday morning as the rain started...

By yesterday, almost all the leaves were down - so we spent the afternoon getting them cleaned up.

We really love our trees, but the work they generate in the fall is not so nice!

We had a great fall weekend!

What were you up to this weekend?
Whatever it was, we hope it was great!

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