Schoolhouse Rock: An Amazing Renovation

August 14, 2013

I have a big love of vintage schoolhouse finds (remember the first market that Rachel + I hosted, The Old School Market? It was in an historic schoolhouse…so great!) so when I saw this renovation in the latest issue of Country Living, it pretty much knocked my socks off. The enviable home owners stumbled across this 1907 schoolhouse (set on 2 wooded acres in Pennsylvania, no less) and embarked on a pretty amazing DIY renovation, stripping layers of bad “updates” down to the original pine floors, wooden beams and beadboard walls…

Country Living. Photo by Max Kim-Bee.

Country Living. Photo by Max Kim-Bee.

The couple, Brad + Leanne Shaffer, just happen to be avid thrifters and I must say I’m pretty envious of their vintage collection, especially the quirky art and posters scattered throughout the home! It’s pretty inspiring to see the big changes that they made on their own and with a modest budget. How cool to live in a home with such history, don’t you think? Be sure to check out Country Living to see the remarkable before & afters of this schoolhouse turned home. Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!


Product Review: Big + Tall Blocks by Uncle Goose

August 12, 2013

How was your weekend? Mine was super busy, as anticipated, and I could definitely have handled at least one extra day. I’m pretty cautious to respond to most of the product pitches that flood my inbox but Uncle Goose sent one my way that I just knew you’d all enjoy. Uncle Goose is the last remaining handmade wooden block manufacturer in the U.S. and they sent me a set of their latest introduction, the Big & Tall block set. This graphic 20-piece set of blocks is a collaborative effort with House Industries, one of the world?s most prolific type foundries, and I had a lot of fun playing with them around my own house…

Uncle Goose

On my desk

On my mantle

Uncle Goose

A favourite corner

Another corner

So fun, right? My kids love them too and have been leaving cute stacks of words around the house all weekend. We’ve been looking for good quality children’s toys to stock at Spruce Collective and I love that these blocks look great while being a fun learning tool at the same time. The Big + Tall set retails for $80 and all Uncle Goose traditional alphabet blocks feature non-toxic inks and are made from sustainable basswood sourced from the U.S. For more information, visit

Disclaimer: I happily received a set of Uncle Goose Big + Tall blocks in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. All photos are mine unless otherwise noted.

Enjoy the start to your week!

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Week + End: New + Notable

August 9, 2013

Jeepers, here we are and it’s Friday already! This summer is zipping by far too fast and it’s been a steady week of family and work. We’re working on some exciting Fall plans over at Spruce Collective and I can’t wait to share! But my lips are sealed for the time being…cliffhanger ;) Here’s my weekly round up of noteworthy links and ear-catching tunes:

1. Love the layers of texture and pattern in this home, not to mention the concrete bench/shelf:

Janis Nicolay

2. I just heard (via SF Girl by Bay) that H&M has a new online site…it’s dangerously affordable too:

H&M Home

3. The colourful paint splotches on this rustic table are pretty amazing (and so is the rest of this Spanish home):

Elle Spain via My Paradissi via Bright.Bazaar

4. Loving just about everything about this New York restaurant, starting with the live-edge bar, brass lamps + scalloped concrete floor:

Musket Room via Remodelista

5. Fruit has been ripening mighty quick in these warm temps…can’t think of a more delicious way to use it up than this “smashed” cocktail:

Brooklyn Summer

We’ve got another busy weekend ahead…birthday parties, a Tiki party (for the grown-ups, no less!) and some unwelcome but necessary car shopping (grrr). What are your plans? This endless sunshine make just about everything better, doesn’t it? Hopefully that holds true for our hunt for a new vehicle. Sigh. Happy weekend!


Winning Trophy DIY’s

August 7, 2013

Allo, allo! How was your long weekend? Mine was just dandy and I’m having a hard time snapping out of holiday mode, to tell you the truth. We had an eventful weekend that started off with a few hiccups (major car trouble and a very unexpected haircut, for example) but we made it to the city Saturday afternoon and had a really fun time. Gabe was in his element at Jamcouver (a beachfront skateboard comp), everyone enjoyed the novelty of a sky-high hotel room at The Century, we had yummy Korean BBQ with good friends at Gyu-Kaku and even managed a late-night jaunt down to watch the fireworks at Sunset Beach. There was plenty of colourful people watching with the Pride festivities the next day and we did lots of walking, crepe-eating and some back-to-school shopping too. All of us were pretty tired after our late fireworks night so Brad + I didn’t push our luck (the summer “whine-factor” is pretty high these days) and headed home mid-afternoon Sunday. We were lucky enough to spend BC Day on the river with more great friends and I don’t think any of us wanted to leave the beach. But, alas, laundry and grocery shopping needs to be done at some point and there’s always work to be done at the shop.

Speaking of, I was putting away some of our vintage rentals yesterday and came across our collection of mini trophies (click here) and couldn’t help but think of the adorable possibilities for a camp or equestrian themed wedding, or for home decor in general …

A Fabulous Fete

Jennifer Rizzo

Snippet & Ink

Schoolhouse Electric

You Are My Fave

Country Living

Making it Lovely

I see vintage trophies in my thrifting journeys all the time and think I’d better start collecting at least a few. So cute for a kid’s room, Father’s Day gifts and more, don’t you think? We’ll be moving Gabe’s room in the next few months and I’ve got my mind set on some neon spray painted numbers. I wonder if he’d think they’re cool? It’s hard to say these days, 10 being the new 15 and all ;)


Week + End: Bright Links + Fresh Tunes

August 2, 2013

Happy long weekend to you! It’s BC Day here in British Columbia and Brad’s got the next 5 days off. We were hoping to head down to the Oregon Coast but waited a bit too long to book anything and thought we’d enjoy our local beaches instead. We’re heading into the city to check out a skateboard competition (Gabe is over the moon) and the fireworks and will very likely see some of the Pride Week festivities while we’re at it, fun fun and more fun! What are your plans? I’m liking little getaways closer to home more and more these days…less travel time and more family time…how about you? Here are some links I’ve loved this week:

1. What’s a long weekend without a cocktail or two? Pretty obsessed with all things lavender + honey these days so these look just perfect:


2. I’ll always be a sucker for vintage books, especially ones with covers like these:

Better Homes & Gardens

3. Mmm, fresh popsicles! Just in time for the sun to come out again:

Katie’s Pencil Box

4. Our basement tenants are moving out and we’ve decided to take back the whole house, yay! That means the girls won’t have to share a room anymore (Gabe’s moving downstairs) and Lilah’s got her heart set on a rainbow room, of course! Loving the watercolour look of this wall:


5. A fresh lick of paint can make even the chippiest old piece happy again. This yellow chair is pretty fun:

Oh My Little Dears

I’ll be enjoying the long weekend with ma familia and some good friends, hope you’ll be doing the same. Enjoy the playlist and I’ll be back to chat on Wednesday :)