Cheap + Easy DIY’s for the Home

July 10, 2013

Although it wasn’t necessarily easy, my chimney makeover was definitely cheap…free, actually! I used up leftover paint from a previous project and it’s made a world of difference in our house. Most of us don’t have a huge budget for seasonal decorating but there are plenty of ways to work around that. Thrift stores and junk barns are my favourite ways (obviously!) to source out bits and bobs for my house. Most of the art, knick-knacks and books that I use throughout our home are secondhand treasures and I rotate them often. Plants and throw cushions (sew them yourself from vintage fabric, tea towels or even handkerchiefs) are also quick ways to add colour to your space…I’m so in love with the succulents in this seashell below!

Better Homes & Gardens

Poppytalk (free download!)

The Design Files

Emily Henderson

Home Life

Looking for a quick and easy gallery wall? Use book pages or print off your own images (like these beautiful botanicals over at Poppytalk) and frame them in inexpensive frames from Ikea or simply tape them up with bright washi tape. No need to over-think things either…just go with your gut and surround yourself with things that you love. Hope you’re having a great week so far!


Off the Grid + Feeling the Love

July 8, 2013

Good morning! We’re back from an eventful weekend away in the Caribou, just outside of 100 Mile House. Our friends got married (in front of this amazing settlers cabin on the groom’s family holiday property) but not without a hitch. The groom was hospitalized (with meningitis…what are the odds, seriously!?!) the day before the big event but the entire family and plenty of friends (many of us were camping out or staying nearby) rallied together and helped to create a truly magical weekend. The series of events had to be reversed but thankfully, Chris was released in time for a twilight ceremony, made even more meaningful after what he and Sarah had been through over the last couple of days together. Words can’t describe the amount of love that was shown this weekend, between the couple themselves, the most generous host family and all of the “village” that worked to make the wedding happen. We’re still praying for Chris as he’s back in hospital now but after this, I haven’t a doubt that they can make it through any hurdles along their journey together!

Despite the unexpected turn of events, we had such a fun weekend camping with a large group of friends and their young families. Our kids got eaten alive by mosquitos but otherwise had the time of their lives, swimming in the creek, bunking with friends and gorging on marshmallows. The ingredients that summer memories are made of!

Dickens Ink

Photo by Quentin Bacon via Desire to Inspire

El Cosmico via Remodelista

Oh My Home

While it’s true that roughing it isn’t overly enticing to me these days, there is so much to love about being off the grid especially when surrounded by great friends! Hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for all of the sweet comments about my fireplace makeover! Enjoy your Monday :)


My Chimney: Before + After

July 5, 2013

Happy Friday, all! My sweet family is home and we’re all heading up into the wild to celebrate our friends’ wedding for the weekend. But before we hit the road, I thought I’d share some quick before + after pics of my chimney painting project. I think you’ll agree with me that the white is such a refreshing change and its brightened up the rest of our open-plan main floor dramatically! Painting brick is no easy chore but I used a concrete roller (it’s extra thick to get into the cracks) and a regular paint brush. We originally painted the brick when we moved in 5 years ago and it covered so much better the second time round, although there’s no quick and easy way to paint brick or stone. I used 2 coats of Cloverdale Paint (self-priming low VOC latex, leftover from our main floor walls) colour matched to Benjamin Moore’s White Down. Come take a peek…

The chimney is floating between our dining area and living room and is the very first thing you see when you walk in the front door. We originally chose dark charcoal grey because the existing paint colour of the main floor walls was a slightly lighter grey (we liked it a lot at the time) but we painted the walls just over a year ago and it was high time the chimney stepped over to the bright side too…voila!

I love the fact that my bentwood chairs really stand out against the white backdrop now! While I still like the green of my table, it’s got quite a few scuffs and felt marker stains on it so I think I’m ready to try out a different hue on that too…maybe navy blue? What do you think?

We’ve got a nice beefy mantle and the previous owners were smart enough to upholster the slate hearth in a hard-wearing vinyl (thanks Jen ;), safe for little heads and it doubles as extra seating when company’s around. I’m pretty pleased with how my vintage art all pops now…

It felt so amazing to get a project completed, from start to finish, with absolutely no interruptions! Already feeling inspired to tackle something new…maybe next week :) No tunes to share with you today but I’ll be back to chat on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!


Vacation Mode

July 3, 2013

Two words for this past Canada Day weekend…heat wave! Temperatures have been steamy and I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to snap out of vacation mode with all of this sunshine. It might have a lot to do with the fact that I’ve had the house to myself for a record amount of time…Brad took the kids up to the family cabin with his folks and they decided to extend their stay due this amazing weather. While I do miss them all dearly, I must admit that having our house stay clean for several days straight has me feeling somewhat giddy and I needed a weekend to myself more than I knew. I know, I know, I was just away in wine country but somehow being home, alone, has got me feeling more relaxed than I have in a very, very long time. I’ve walked the dog every night, spent time in the sun, read 5 magazines, caught up on Netflix, had my Spruce girls over for lunch and even painted my chimney! That’s a whole R&R in my books, well, minus the painting the chimney part! I’ll share some before and after pics on Friday with you but since I’m feeling so relaxed, thought I’d share this lovely New Zealand beach shack with you…

All photos by Kevin Emirali via Home Life.

All photos by Kevin Emirali via Home Life.

The perfect spot to unwind, wouldn’t you agree? Loving the hits of blue throughout. Hope you’re keeping cool!


Week + End: Links to Love + Tunes to Play

June 28, 2013

Another busy week has flown by and the kids are officially out of school…no more lunches to make, hooray! Now it’s time to gear up for the busy summer ahead and I’m feeling rather underprepared. I do have the kids signed up for a couple of day camps (didn’t want to pack in too many activities…we enjoy our lazy home days!) but it would be nice to have at least a few more scheduled family day trips on the calendar. I haven’t had much time cruise Pinterest or my fave blogs but here are a few lovely links that caught my eye…

1. Love me some bentwood chairs! These pastel dipped ones are so fresh and happy:

Hally’s, Parsons Green, London via Petite Passport. Photo by Helen Cathcart.

2. True story:

Dreams Don’t Work Print

3. Speaking of working hard, we got to take a little break and get our pictures snapped by Mikaela Ruth last week…it was fun/awkward :)

Mikaela Ruth Photography

4. It’s Canada Day on Monday…a festive picnic like this would be a great way to celebrate!

Creature Comforts

5. I love everything about Elizbeth Mayville’s paintings:

Elizabeth Mayville

6. I’ll be trying my hand at product shots for the shop this weekend and these colour pots are bright inspiration for our paint line:

Oh My Little Dears via Creature Comforts

It’s a long weekend for us Canadians…hurray! I’ll be on my lonesome as Brad is taking the kids to visit his parents up at the family cabin but, much as I’ll miss them, I must admit that I’m stoked to spend a few days alone at home…I think that’s only ever happened once in my 10 years as a mama! I’ll be giving my house a good clean today so as not to be distracted by any dust bunnies while they’re gone :) And I do have a few closets to purge and quite possibly a brick chimney to paint…wish me luck!

Here are some tunes that I’ll be cranking while I get organized:

  1. Vance Joy : Riptide
  2. Lorde : Royals
  3. Noah and the Whale : Heart of Nowhere
  4. Lord Huron : The Stranger
  5. Daughter : Youth

Have a great weekend!