Spring Cleaning…guest post!

Hey! Guess what?

I was asked to participate in a combined guest post over at Shauna’s blog Satori Design for Living. It’s full of great spring cleaning & organizing tips and I would be thrilled if you would pop over and take a look.

Make sure you leave her some comment love;)


thanks for coming by!


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Spring is coming…maybe?

Ok, so you can’t tell from the weather around here. But it’s coming. It could just take a while longer.

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year, I love when things start to green up again. Tulips start to poke up out of the ground, trees start to get their leaves again.

Kind of like everything gets to start fresh again.we are blessedSpring cleaning, spring fever, do you get that??

I’ll admit that while I don’t love to clean (does anyone?) there is something inspiring about the sun shining through your (freshly cleaned) windows that makes me want to freshen up the inside too. And no, for the record – my windows have not been recently cleaned. We have snow coming again this week!

There are a lot of fresh starts coming here. I got to go away this weekend, on a girls retreat with a group of really, truly special ladies. We sat in a hot tub, got massages, ate way too much, drank just enough;) scrapbooked, read books, watched movies. It was a very relaxed time and I really needed it! I feel like I am recharged, and refocused.vintage bird cageI also came home to a sweet surprise from the hubby & kids. If you follow along on Facebook, or instagram then you probably have already seen some sneak peeks.

spring mantel 2013

I haven’t shared a mantle lately, so I’m overdue. This one is super simple, pretty neutral & combines a few of my most favourite things (books, tulips & chalkboard trays).

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. 7 years ago I married the most amazing man. He takes such good care of me and our girls, and I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

Happy Anniversary Jonah! I love you with all of my heart.cuba wedding

thanks for coming by!

Posted in Home Decor, mantle vignettes, Scrapbooks | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Making Lists…

Hello, my name is Nicole and I like to make lists…to-do-list-pad

I know I am not  alone in this, and you better believe I add stuff that may or may not be mostly done just so I can happily cross something off a list;)

Can I share a list with you today?

I didn’t make any New Year resolutions, I never keep them anyway!

I did make a plan to work on my own home, my own projects and my own scrapbooks more…seriously, when your almost 5-year-old is in tears wondering why she doesn’t have a baby album yet – gulp.

In January I made a list.

It’s a big list.

And yes, I realize it’s closer to the end of February. Did I mention the procrastination?

I’m hoping that by posting my list, it will help shame motivate me into actually getting stuff done!

I should also say, if you are my husband – look away, look away now!

House Stuff

(clearly I like obvious titles, sigh.)

Remove & replace all weirdly rounded corner trim pieces

Caulk baseboards, fill nail holes, fix corners & repaint

Repaint living room/foyer

Make new backpack hook area for the girls

Replace the pantry door, paint pantry

Pick paint & fabric to redo new kitchen chairs

Paint family room

Finish the gallery wall in the family room

(Seriously Jonah, stop reading.)

Paint upstairs hallway & staircase

Main floor bathroom: remove builder mirror, refinish & hang new mirror, replace or refinish light fixture, replace faucet

Finish redoing the antique desk

Paint my antique sewing table

Paint Meghan’s dresser drawers

Finish Chelsea’s bedroom décor stuff

Paint the master bedroom closet

Figure out the front door/garden/curb appeal issues

Stain the back deck/railings/privacy screen

It looks like a long list right? I probably forgot stuff. And I’ll keep adding to it I’m sure. It’s kind of what I do…and if my hubby made it this far, he’s now in the bathroom throwing up. Or possibly banging his head against his desk.

Here’s the thing. I made the list in January. About 6 weeks ago, and we have been busy!

Want to see how my list looks now?

House Stuff

Remove & replace all weirdly rounded corner trim pieceshaven’t done this, but I did learn how to use a chop saw. It’s kind of like starting.  rockin the chop saw Please remember your safety glasses! Also, my fingers are not as close as they look to the blade… 

Caulk baseboards, fill nail holes, fix corners & repaint – laundry room, bathroom & kitchen done, living room still needs to be finished.

Repaint living room/foyer done! You can see it at the end of this post  here,

Make new backpack hook area for the girls –I think I found the hooks I want on etsy. But I think I could DIY them too…backpack hooks

Replace the pantry door, paint pantry – painted the first color on the new door today!

Pick paint & fabric to redo new kitchen chairs – I have a serious contender for fabric,Dover Linen

Paint family room – done! My hubby rocks:)family room after

Finish the gallery wall in the family room – ordered a print for one of the empty frames today!

Paint upstairs hallway & staircase – not even close! I do have a vague idea of the paint color, anyone have a 25 foot ladder kicking around?

Main floor bathroom: remove builder mirror – done!, refinish & hang new mirror – done!, replace or refinish light fixture, replace faucet – ??new mirror redo

Finish redoing the antique desk – My hubby really wishes this was done. It’s a big desk, and its fabulous, and it takes up half his garage;)

Paint my antique sewing table – I have the paint!

Paint Meghan’s dresser drawers – I have the paint, but Meg really wants to do this one herself

Finish Chelsea’s bedroom décor stuff – hung a new print we picked together, working on a jewelry hanger, still on the hunt for a new chandelier, want to DIY a new lamp

Paint the master bedroom closet – have the paint left from the bathroom, will admit that tackling the closet scares me!

Figure out the front door/garden/curb appeal issues – so excited about this one! One of my fave blogs had an “ask the designer” series and my question got picked…waiting to see what she recommends! (I can make this blue right? it’s kind of like progress)

Stain the back deck/railings/privacy screen – need less snow!

There you have it!

 Thankfully my husband is amazing and he does the majority of the painting in this house. He’s better, and much, much, much faster. Although I think his painting days are done for a while now;) which means I need to focus on some of the other areas till he forgets how much work he’s already done has the urge to paint again!

This weekend I had my nieces over to scrapbook, they were really creative and put a ton of effort into the little details. family scrapbookIs that not the sweetest?

Have a great day!

thanks for coming by!

Posted in diy, Home Decor, Random stuff | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

It’s been a long time coming!

I have a backlog of projects to share, and I feel like I am (kind of) catching up!

I inherited this buffet from my sister (thanks!) and it was the perfect size for this little corner in our kitchen. I loved the details, but not the wood color/finish. I’m embarrassed to admit how long it sat like this while I debated what I wanted it to look like.

Begging for a makeover!

Begging for a makeover!

It was during a rare week off for me, kids were in day camps & the hubs was nursing a broken ankle that I pulled out my paints and got to work. I did a custom ASCP mix, mostly duck egg, with a good amount of pure white and old white added to soften it up a bit.door repair

I had to do a bit repair work to one of the doors, it had cracked and popped out of the corner frame. The hinges are all original and this side actually wouldn’t come off without causing a significant amount of damage, so the repair was done in place with various clamps and a fair bit of patience!

Two coats of paint covered perfectly, and after letting it dry for about a half hour I hauled it outside to do a light distressing/sanding. This was the first big piece that I did using dark wax, and I really like how it turned out. I did a light coat of clear wax first, which means if you add the dark wax  and don’t like the way something looks its pretty easy to lighten it up or take it off completely.

Might as well get her started now!

Might as well get her started now!

I buffed it up to a nice sheen, I love how the dark wax catches in all the crevices and adds to the aged look. I painted inside the shelves with a thick coat of Arles, but haven’t gone back to do the drawers yet. Maybe one day!

I also changed out the hardware, we thought the brassy handles were original but when I pulled them off to paint I realized they were not. (Which made me happy and less guilty ripping them off)

I also moved the middle drawer pulls to line up with the top drawers. Hardware is a library style pull I picked up at home depot. The bottom knobs match our kitchen cupboards.

Hanging in the kitchen

Hanging in the kitchen

This buffet lived happily in the kitchen until last week.

If you follow along with me on fb, then you already know that one of my sisters surprised me with a book that has been on my wish list for a while.

Miss Mustard Seed’s “Inspired You”

My new very fave book!

My new very fave book!

I literally sat down and read it cover to cover the morning it arrived. It’s a fantastic book, written in exactly the same style that she uses on her blog. By the time I had finished the book, I was completely inspired, and I ended up rearranging some pieces in the living room & kitchen.

Hanging in the living room! Much better:)

Hanging in the living room! Much better:)

The buffet ended up on this larger wall in the living room, while the antique table that used to be there moved into the kitchen under the window.

One of my very favorite pieces is a 1930’s Westminster chime clock that I sweet talked from my parents collection. I always felt like it was a bit lost on the wood table, but I love how it looks on the buffet.

Love how the clock pops now.

Love how the clock pops now.

I feel like the two spaces flow a little better now, and my sweet hubs repainted the living room last week so it all feels fresh & fabulous!

I’ve been working on another little (ish) project that should be ready to share in the next few days…maybe!

thanks for coming by

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Posted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Chalk paint, diy, furniture re-dos, Home Decor | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Easy Lamp Makeovers

I have a couple of super easy lamp makeovers to share with you today. You could  knock one of these out in an afternoon, which is fantastic if you are working around a nap schedule like I am.

This one you might remember seeing when I showed you the first part of our family room makeover.



I found the base at a local thrift shop, if I remember correctly I picked it up for $8. I spray primed, then painted with white gloss spray paint. The shade is available at Wal-Mart, it’s a plain white drum. I measured the circumference of the shade and cut my fabric strips to twice that length. (technically I ripped them, it’s faster!)

Orange & white ruffles

Orange & white ruffles

A simple basting stitch down the center of each fabric strip, then pull the end of one of your threads working the fabric backwards to make your ruffles.  I attached each ruffle with a dab of hot glue every few inches. (you can see the glue if you are looking into the shade, but not through the fabric with the light on or off) I think it’s a pretty fast & easy way to add some personality to your space!



Next up is a matched pair of lamps I did to flank our sofa in the front living room.living room lampsOk, this is where I apologize for the awkwardly lit photos coming up! This is a tough room to shoot, and I didn’t quite figure it out;)

Since we are blessed to have a family room, this space doesn’t have a lot of toys/kid stuff. It’s more of a snuggle in front of the fireplace with a cozy blanket and a good book kind of room! It’s one of my favorite rooms in the house, although it is still a work in progress!

I had two lamp bases, originally a gold-ish black finish (and not in a good way!) that I paint with some leftover ASCP that I had mixed for the buffet in the kitchen. I didn’t bother to wax them since they won’t be handled much (I can tell you it has been a month now, and they are still holding up just fine).

French graffiti lamp

French graffiti lamp

To make the shades I found a bunch of French ephemera and printed it out. If you tape your printouts inside and turn the lamp on it makes its own light box. I used a fine tipped sharpie pen (not a paint pen) and simply copied it directly onto the shade.

It is a bit time-consuming and you will need a fairly steady hand but again, maybe  took about 2 hours. I did two, because I am a sucker for symmetry!living room

My front window is great, we get a ton of natural light and a beautiful view of the mountains, but the little angled wall on either side makes it difficult to find tables that work in the space.Lyndsay's table

This one came home with me on our last trip to Saskatchewan. I noticed it languishing in the corner of a spare room in the basement of a friend’s house, and when I  asked about it she very sweetly offered it me (score!!) and it fits the right side perfectly.kijiji table

I tried a few other options to balance out the left hand side but nothing was working. I finally spotted this little guy on kijiji, and it fits perfectly. I love that they are both drop leafs, but have different bases. And once they both get a fresh coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s typewriter black they will balance each other out perfectly.

There you go! Some easy DIY lamp makeovers that anyone can do, I think they add a lot to the space, and for an average of $20 each you can’t go wrong!

thanks for coming by!

Linking up with:



Home Stories A2Z
Posted in Crafty-ness, diy, Home Decor | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Lace Table Makeover

I have been sitting on this little beauty for a while now…

Same old...plain old!

Same old…plain old!

     Just your typical thrift store kids table.

After I gave it a pretty thorough sanding, I took a couple cheap white lace table runners from the dollar store like this,

$2 lace runner

$2 lace runner

and overlapped them in the middle until I liked the look of the pattern placement.

You could also trim to fit.

You could also trim to fit.

Lightly adhered them to the table with a spray adhesive, and then carried it out into my garage and sprayed through the lace with white spray paint.

When I peeled the table runners off, the lace pattern was barely visible on the pale wood. That’s ok. We’re not done yet!

Let it dry well, I think I left mine overnight. And then I gave it a generous coat of dark stain.

"Kona" stain

“Kona” stain

Even after two coats of stain, the lace was still not popping through the way I had hoped. I sort of thought I was going to have to restart, so when the stain had dried I attacked it with the sander again and wouldn’t you know? The white lace started to show up:)

Looking much better!

Looking much better!

I sanded the top until I was happy with how much of the pattern was showing through,  but I left the edges nice and dark.

I finished it up with a few coats of satin poly. Lightly sanding between each coat.

It’s all done!

Loving the two tone look!

Loving the two tone look!

I added it to a corner of our family room, it’s the perfect spot for reading, homework or a princess tea party!

tiaras and all!

tiaras and all!

Even big sister joined in:)

My two favourite girls!

My two favourite girls!

A pretty easy makeover, I had everything I needed except the lace table runners.

thanks for coming by!

Linking up with:

Home Stories A2Z


Posted in Crafty-ness, diy, furniture re-dos, Home Decor | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Milk Paint vs. Chalk Paint

Let me start by saying a slightly late Merry Christmas!!

Santa brought me a brand spankin new computer (love that man!) and I am so excited to be able to blog again! I have to admit, I was pretty used to my old software, my old computer with all its quirks – and my new computer definitely has a learning curve!

So, my first blog post back after a long absence needed to be a big one right?

Well, how about this…

I was invited to take part in a milk paint seminar, and not just any old milk paint.

"Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint"

“Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint”


Like, not getting any sleep the night before kind of excited.

I have followed Marion and her blog for a long time and was very happy for her when she came out with her own product line. I watch all of her tutorials and read the reviews posted everywhere online. The paint looked amazing, but it wasn’t available locally. Her book was on my Christmas wish list (and will be mine soon!)

Classic MMS packaging

Pretty packaging!

I have been using chalk paint now for a while, on tons of different projects with great success. So, while I was definitely curious, I doubt I would have taken the plunge and ordered MMS milk paint in for myself.

But when I heard that a local shop, Lauren Lane Décor was going to be carrying it, I knew I would give it a try. Then I got the invite to be a part of the seminar, taught by the president of Homestead House Paint Co, Jennilynn Pringle and it was a no brainer!

(For those of you who may not know, Homestead House Paint Co is the manufacturer for all of the Miss Mustard Seed paint & products, and is a Canadian company!)

The class was amazing. It was hands on, each participant got to finish a shelf using any of the Miss Mustard Seed colors.

"Tricycle" underneath "Kitchen Scale"

“Tricycle” underneath “Kitchen Scale”

Jennilynn was knowledgeable and easy-going, answering all of our many questions until we were comfortable enough to get started.

Question time!

Jennilynn & Avery

We learned how to mix the paint properly, it seemed intimidating but was really simple.

"Mustard Seed Yellow"

“Mustard Seed Yellow”

How great is this yellow?

choosing my colors

choosing my colors

We are still working on our master bedroom redo…and I was hoping this shelf would fit in the little window seat niche. So I chose my colors accordingly! Typewriter was my base coat, and I got perfect coverage with one coat. Over raw wood!! Let it dry for maybe 20 minutes, and then a coat of Mustard Seed Yellow, again, one coat.

Jennilynn had me rub candle wax along the edges and random spots in between the two coats, and wherever there was wax the yellow didn’t stick. Easiest distressing technique ever.

Another 20 minutes of dry time and my third color was Grainsack, but I mixed in a fair bit of Typewriter, I wanted a deeper gray. It came out exactly as I had hoped, and again covered in one coat.

It's perfect!

It’s perfect!

Look at that wood grain showing through. Spectacular. The thing about milk paint, it actually becomes a part of the wood. It’s the only paint that will allow your grain to come through.

We finished with a light sanding, barely any was necessary for a butter smooth surface. Instead of waxing, which everyone knows sucks which is super time-consuming and labor intensive, we used Hemp Oil.

Hello! Why did I not know about this before?

Brush it on, wipe it back. Buff if you feel like it. Buffing will definitely add to the shine, so it totally depends on what you are going for. We were told two coats is more than enough.

Fits like a glove!

Fits like a glove!

Ok, so are you ready to hear some comparisons? These are my opinions only, I am not being paid by any of these companies!

Chalk paint; I have used Annie Sloan’s and love it. Great coverage, very little odor, except in the waxes, Colors are easy to mix, lighten/darken etc. Expensive though, coming in at $55/quart.

I have also used the Van Gogh chalk paint collection, this one is lesser known, however it is also a Canadian company and for that reason alone I really wanted to love it. I have to say, it doesn’t compare very favorably to ASCP, for a few reasons. The two main problems I had were that I didn’t get very good coverage even after 3 coats, and I found the odor quite strong. It’s a thinner paint than the Annie Sloan, so it does take some getting used to. Price point for this one is about a third less than the Annie Sloan. If you haven’t been lucky enough to try Annie Sloan, you probably will get used to this one pretty quickly. I personally think it’s poor substitute.

Chalk paint vs. milk paint; I think it will completely depend on the application. There are some clear advantages to the milk paint, the fact that it comes in powder form is huge. The ability to mix your colors, and the hemp oil is amazing. And let’s talk about the price!

Locally, we can get a quart size bag of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint for less than $25. Half of what you pay for a quart of ASCP, and I would venture a guess that it will paint at least as much.

So there you have it!

I’d love to hear what you think, have you tried any of these paints? All of them? How would you rate them?

I’m excited to knock a few projects off my to-do list!

And finally, I’d like to wish each and every one of you a Very Happy New Year! I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog:)

thanks for coming by!

Linking up with:

Posted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Chalk paint, diy, milk paint, Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, Scrapbooks, Van Gogh Chalk Paint | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Simple Halloween Decor & Chalk painted pumpkins

Well hello there…long time.

We just finished Canadian Thanksgiving, so that means its time to share some Halloween decor! I went a little different this year, and a whole lot simpler. Which basically means, it mostly got done 😉

To remind you, here is a picture of last year’s mantle in all it’s spooky glory.This year it’s all about the pumpkins!The two big white pumpkins are from Michaels but they come in that funny off white color that isn’t quite cream. Easy, peasy. Hit it with some of my brand new Van Gogh Chalk Paint in Halo (more to come on this paint soon!) one coat covered perfectly.

The little orange pumpkins were cheapies from the dollar store, and their fake speckled plastic-ness was pretty awful. They each got a quick coat of ASCP’s Barcelona orange.I finally got my sewing machine up and running (yaaay) and whipped up a couple of easy drop-cloth throw pillow covers.I find birds creepy. Not a fan at all. (don’t tell my daughter who will happily spend hours in the backyard with her binoculars and a bird book!) This is as close to a bird this house will ever get.Remember the buffet that finally got it’s makeover? Yup, that’s it! I’ll have more pics for you soon.

I also did a couple of Halloween signs, that went to the studio – if they are still there I will be bringing them home to add into our decorations.and a subway art versionMy girls have their Halloween costumes all picked out, Chels is going to be a lala-loopsy and Meg wants to be a black cat! The weather here has been unusually mild so far, and if it continues we may not even need snowsuits under our costumes! Woot! Woot!

I’ll leave you with one more…Yup, got photo bombed by the hubby. 

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Posted in Crafty-ness, Home Decor, mantle vignettes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

just a corner…

You know when you walk into a room and all of a sudden it hits you? Like what the heck were you thinking? I walked upstairs into our family room not too long ago, this is what smacked me in the face.Do you see it?


Well, you may be blinded by all the beige…

We spend a ton of time in this room, it’s actually a really great space and one of the features that sold us on this house. But somehow, for some reason, all of a sudden all I can see is the beige. I should clarify, this room along with the upstairs hallway is the only space left in the house that we haven’t repainted, and it has always been on the to do list.

We like color.

A lot of color.

Our kitchen is lipstick red, we love it so much we redid it this spring the exact same color.

We like our space with a little personality. So, how on earth did we end up here?This corner of the room is our starting point, and I will warn you now – the room is not finished.


Didn’t think so.

Here is my inspiration.I love this fabric!

Thrift store lamp base + walmart plain shade.Spray paint + ruffles.No room is complete without ruffles.


A couple coats of ASCP Arles, new fave color.Sad little beige-y corner is starting to show some personality!

On another note, just wanted to say thanks for hanging in with me. And welcome to the new followers!

I sort of disappeared for a while, lots of boring reasons why.

I do have a ton of back logged projects to share, so I am hoping, ahem, to post with some sort of regularity again!

Stop by the fb page, there will be a giveaway if we hit 100 likes this week!

Linking up with:

Home Stories A2Z

A Diamond in the Stuff

Posted in diy, furniture re-dos, Giveaways, Home Decor | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Inspired jewelry

Miss me? I may have misplaced a month 🙂 I really have been working on a ton of projects, they just haven’t made an appearance on the blog. Sorry about that, would love to say it won’t happy again but…

Good news?

I have some pretty inspired-by-others jewelry to show you today!

Like almost all girly girls I know, I love jewelry. I have even been making an effort to wear the pieces I own 😉  One of my solutions was the jewelry gallery wall in our master bedroom and it has been fairly successful.

I recently had the opportunity to take a jewelry class with my mom and a girlfriend. Something we had talked about doing for a while, and finally got around to it! It was offered at a local bead store, and you were supposed to pick a project from their gallery. Umm, no thanks.

Thanks to etsy, I came equipped with a pic and convinced the teacher that we all wanted to make one. (she was less than thrilled)

It was a wire wrapped bead bracelet, here’s my version.It was a lot more time-consuming than I expected, (my mom & Karen were smart enough to space out their beads, while I was certain mine needed to be “chunkier”).

I am pleased with the final result, even though I am now completely convinced the etsy bracelet is WAY under-priced!

I love skeleton keys, so this charm is the perfect way to finish off the bracelet.My mom was showing off  a natural, and actually finished 3 projects. This is her memory wire bracelet. (maybe it’s called tiger wire? apparently I was not the best student)One of the reasons I wanted to take a jewelry class in the first place was this watch…It’s a knock off of a La Mer watch, and I like this version more than I like the original. I was dying to make one! Technically my jewelry class taught me none of the skills needed to make this…but that’ s ok. Bev has a fab tutorial, it was super easy to follow.

I had pictured it in some great fun color, or maybe a python band. Problem was, the watch faces I could find were very limited. I originally bought a super cute one, but the bars on it are so tight and slim that none of the belts I looked at would fit through once let alone twice.

Meet my snazzy new leopard print watch!I suppose you can’t really go wrong with an animal print, right? Mine doesn’t have the chains added yet, or any charms. I ‘m going to follow Bev’s advice and make them removable.

I did learn a couple of things along the way…

1) don’t assume your wrist must be bigger than everyone else’s. You will just end up trimming. A lot. From both ends.

2) you probably should actually read the sizes on the rivets you buy, and then pick up the punches that match. I eyeballed mine…and ended up with nothing even remotely close. Good news is, if you have the making memories tool kit for scrapbooking – your eyelet punch will work perfectly;)

3) when she says to put a board down on your surface, it’s a good idea. Pretty happy my desk was a kijiji freebie that already has many, many gouges on it.

4) getting cute wrist shots of yourself wearing said watch is waay harder than you would think. My hubby finally stepped in and took over with not even one eye roll.

I have a few more projects to post, (hopefully) and I have a trip to Halifax next week that I am super excited about! I haven’t ever been to the East coast, and I am really looking forward to taking a break.

Linking up with:

Home Stories A2Z
Think pink Sunday @ Flamingo Toes
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