video from around our house

I recently switched from a blackberry to an iphone. You likely caught this switch if you follow me on twitter because I suddenly went crazy with finally being able to post instagram photos. :) I'm in LOVE with the phone. I'm slowly finding awesome apps, like the 8mm video app that I'm in obsessed with with. And since I'm on vacation this week I decided to take the opportunity to try something creative non-work related and played around with some videos that have accumulated on my phone the last few weeks. I've never been a video girl, but I think these apps that make it so easy, will make me venture more into this territory. Any apps you love, especially creative ones?

gold sparkly hats + honkers

After Christmas came and went, I had this immediate overwhelming need of of calm - just wanting to be low key, hang out with Aub and Oscar and my family. No commitments. No major plans. Do you get like that? Sadly, part of that meant that I also avoided my office - where I do my blogging. Oops.

This weekend is New Years Eve, and Aubrey's little sister is also getting married. I'll go to the wedding with Aubrey and Oscar but sneak Oscar away in the evening so Oscar can get some sleep at my parents house - where I'll wear a sparkly gold hat, one of the ones pictured above, and honk in the New Year with the dollar store honkers that I picked up today. New Years at my Mom & Dads is perfection to me, you see about 10-15 years ago I gave up on the parties and came to terms with the fact that eating party sandwiches and being with my family was much more fun than any wild party on the town. Do you have plans?

My New Coat Rack

While everyone else is posting recaps, I'm still trying to catch you up on what I've done this year before I recap it:-)

My front hall looks like your entering an apartment.
It's ugly and boring to be frank and it's fixing to get its second makeover.
You can see its first makeover  here.

I sold the shelf that I built...

Remember my philosophy on buying/building cheap and selling big?
That's what I did.
The main reason is because that shelf was really more romantic and dreamy than I was wanting.
(It totally had NOTHING to do with making money on it. Really. No for real)

My new one is all manly!

Check him out.

I have big plans for this space so pretty soon my little hook thingy won't look quite so forlorn.

The best thing about him other than his rugged handsomeness?
He cost me $4 and about 30 minutes to build.

He's a keeper.
Until someone wants to buy him...:-)


finding inspiration: kitchen

Aubrey and I walked to Starbucks today for a lovely coffee date, and on the walk there casually talked about boxing day sales, and perhaps we should look online to see if we should consider any sales. Our focus for the past six months has been to find a new fridge as our current one makes gun shot noises that we've grown to ignore. A few hours after that conversation we were in Lowes and, an hour later, had purchased not only our fridge, but new oven, dishwasher, and above oven microwave. Wow. That was easy. We're no where near being able to afford the rest of the kitchen, but with the appliances all checked off, we're kind of pumped. Which brings me to my latest inspiration for our kitchen. I spotted it on Barbara's latest "So Canadian, eh?" features.

This is the kitchen of Ashli Malinek from Mini Manor in Vancouver. What made me bookmark this was the spot for cook books at the top - the relief of cabinetry to allow for some colour is perfection. So this is totally going into my inspiration folder for our kitchen reno. Which may be that much closer now with all of the appliances. :)

'twas the friday before Christmas....

A year ago I pondered on our blog, how Santa gets in on Christmas Eve should you not have a chimney. He's got a lot of tricks in that big red bag of his, so I know he always finds a way. But a lovely neighbour/friend of mine saw that post awhile back, and it made for a lovely conversation on how Santa gets into their house. Apparently, he has a special key.

One chilly morning this week I woke up and popped outside to see if the mail had come. Although there was no mail, I found something wrapped ever so nicely in our mailbox. A small little package that had a lot of weight, and a tag read "With Love From Santa". Curious, I opened the parcel.

A key. A beautiful old skeleton key. My heart skipped a beat. I suppose that my lovely neighbour passed along to Santa that we needed a key for our house. Honestly, I love our neighbourhood + neighbours.

Our special key by our tree
Ps., It's my half birthday! Yay! :)


I'm whipping up some new designs for my blog so be patient with me!


My Kitchen Is Almost Famous! Check Her Out!

Hi friends, family and perhaps not so friendly people.
(I have no idea)
You may remember a few months back when I posted this little teaser post?
Perhaps you don't.

Either way...
I can now tell you that I have been prepping, coaching, pushing my kitchen into stardom!
I shined her surfaces and liberally applied mounds of makeup.
When all was said and done I gave her a shove and let her spread her wings and fly!

Where did she fly you ask?
Into the current issue of This Old House!

Hooray for my little gal!

Now I must gripe.
(there is a gripe with everything)
I took the photo's myself.
They are horrible.
The look even worse in the magazine.

Enough of that.

I am proud of my lady for (almost) completing her makeover on a strict, as-we-could-do-it budget.
Thank you This Old House for showing her off!


Gifts for Neighbours

Do you do gifts for neighbours? I try to every year do something small. There are also people that stop to say hello when they see me walking with Oscar, or wave hello as they drive by on the street. Many are simple interactions, but they build up over time, to give me this huge sense of community. Previous years I've made Candy Cane bark. But work was so busy, and adding Oscar into the mix, I really just didn't have time. So I did what anybody with lack of time does - you buy pre-made baking. Don't judge.
The loveliest Biscotti from Costco. A bin cost under $8.00. The aroma of the biscotti is absolutely perfect for this kind of gift.

I put about 4-6 pieces in little paper bags that I have here in stock, that I sell in my shop. But you can find likely at any bulk food store, or packaging store.

Once the cookies were in the bag, I closed it and punched a hole through the bag, and tied red twine through it, and put a little card with a simple Holiday Greeting on the back. [Cards are from my shop but are sold out right now] I then attached a single bell.

This was the scene in our kitchen yesterday afternoon. Even the reindeer got bells!

And ta-da! A lovely gift for those you love that will be very economical and stress-free. :) Oscar and I went door to door last night, the gifts jingling away in his stroller, it was somewhat magical - he and I walking in the dark, looking at all of the Christmas lights and delivering little treats to everyone. Hope this inspires! xo - Linds

Taking a short bloggy break

I want to offer a HUGE thank you to everyone who stops by this blog. Your support and kind comments mean so much to me! I'm going to be taking a little blogging break over the next couple of weeks to enjoy the holidays with my family and friends, and to work on a few projects I can't wait to share with you in 2012. I will be sharing a few updates on Twitter, so make sure you find me there.

  I received a card from a friend recently that I think says it best...MERRY EVERYTHING!!

xo Amelia

Pillow Love

When I was at my sisters house I saw a pillow on her sofa that I fell in love like with.

It's the one on the far left with the number #1 on it.
Cool eh?

I decided to make one up myself.

I used a piece of a curtain from Ikea that I have used for tons of things and I still have more left.
(Love their curtains!)

This took me about 45 minutes to make from start to finish.
I printed out the number as big as I could, cut it out then simply used it as a pattern.
I actually cut out some drop cloth too and backed the 3 with it for a little more texture and bulk.

I always use a very simple pocket method when I make pillows then sew in around the edges to give them a more finished look.
It then in turn inspired me to make the little striped one next to it:-)
You just never know where inspiration may lead you!



Before the Christmas Tree went in, this was our Living Room. I bought a HUGE canvas to finally make some art. I bought it from the best art supply shop in Toronto, Gwartzman's. Have you been here before?  In High School my Mom used to take me all the way downtown to go shop at this store to pick up supplies for my art classes. I remember the trips so fondly, she and I going, and being in awe of all of the supplies to make art. My first easel came from this store. A tip for new visitors - Mr. Gwartzman is notoriously grumpy but I think it only adds to the charm of the store. ;)

When I needed a canvas, I obviously thought of them but I first called DeSerres for a quote [they are closer to me] and they quoted me $120 for the canvas. I them called Gwartmans and the canvas was approximately $30. Gwartmans even shipped it to me the total bill coming to around $50. With the money saved on the canvas, and by me doing the artwork myself, I will likely get it framed, much like this, at my parents house.

Art at my parents house - serving as inspiration for the framing. [Although I'd take that art too]
So the next step is painting it. I've painted on canvas before but the style of art I want is abstract - which I am new at. I may try to find some inspirationa before I put a brush to the canvase. Anyhow, to read more and see more pictures on Gwartzman's click here.

Ps., The bird painting in this post found a home at my sisters apartment. :)

Winner Of My 31 Bag Giveaway

Thank you to all that entered my giveaway!
Congratulations to Aimee of It's Overflowing!

Remember that if you want to host a party or have a catalog party:
(you get some AWESOME stuff!)
I have 2 sisters that are actually 31 consultants.
One lives in Richmond Virginia.
The other lives in Fort Worth Texas.
Because they love me and I love you, they are doing a special...
Book a party with one of them (Texas or Virginia locals only for a house party) and they will give you a...
 FREE Utility Tote!
Just Click HERE for Jamie in Fort Worth, Texas.
Or HERE for Heidi in Richmond, Virginia.
(Does NOT have to be in Texas or Virginia)
Let them know that I sent you!

Have a safe and happy weekend!


Wrapping Style...

Every Christmas I find myself wrapping the special gifts to those I love in a theme. It's never elaborate, or intentional. I just happen to find something I love and want to use it on all my gifts. It's either a ribbon I've found that I end up using or a wrapping paper that I adore. This years inspiration was once again unintentional.  I have bells in my craft collection and I tied some together for Oscar so he could play some music. I adored the jingling sound as he walked through the house, it seemed so festive. So for 2011, my parcels will all have bells.

I took a card [throw out that plain envelope!] and punched a hole in the top and tied ribbon/twine through it and knotted two bells. The c ard adds beautiful colour but the best part is, the sounds of the jingling bells as you carry them into someones house will be so beautiful. It just brings a smile to my face. [You can do the same style of card, just take a beautiful holiday card and punch a hole through it. Leave the envelope elsewhere so that the card becomes part of the gift.]

A simple wrapping style but oh so sweet. :) Super easy to recreate - you can find packages of bells at the dollar store, or any craft store. xo Linds

Cozy hallways

Earlier this week I discovered hardwood floors hiding under the crappy carpet upstairs. It took me 10 months to find it, which is weird, because I totally swore that I checked shortly after we moved in and found nothing but subfloor. So maybe I dreamed that part?

Anyway, I peeked under the carpet in the hallway and remaining two bedrooms and found more hardwood! The hallway has been patched with mismatched wood in a couple of places, which means we'll have to put down new hardwood, or find a way to hide the patched area (at least we've got a supply of original flooring if the other two bedrooms have similarly-patched or severely damaged areas). And what better way to hide an ugly floor than with a pretty rug? Ok, all of these hallways have nice floors, but I love how the rugs help create a cozy, more intimate space.

Source unknown. Found via Pinterest here.

Found on Pinterest here.

 Spotted here.

 Found on Pinterest via.

Wordless Wednesday

(Don't forget my 31 bag giveaway!!)

christmas market 2011

I'm in the final stretch of rush orders for the Holiday Season, but I took a needed break from work and visited the Toronto Christmas Market yesterday. My neighour told me about the market  a week ago and it sounded awesome, and when I saw Jen's post it prompted me to tell Aub, an hour later Aubrey, Oscar and I were in the car en route to visit. Cool little vendors...

But my favourite, and, most obviously Oscar's, was the Carousel ride. I was in tears from laughing so hard at how hilarious Oscar's reaction was.

My new camera has a video function that I'm getting used to. Excuse the bumpy video but it was too funny not to share how much Oscar LOVES music.

happy holidays

I dropped all of my Christmas cards in the mail yesterday, which is a little late for me, but still within Canada Post's suggested mailing dates. The 'happy holidays' greeting means it doesn't have to arrive before Christmas, right?

I usually make my Christmas cards, but with so many house projects on the go, I decided to try photo cards this year. We had lots of pretty wedding photos to choose from (thanks to our amazing photographer), and I figured this may be the last time we have photos of ourselves we actually want to share with others ha.

I'm really happy with how the cards turned out, but it felt a little weird to send cards without writing personal notes on each one. Do people even expect personal notes? What do you think of photo cards? 

Front of the house

Although I love my magazines, my blogs, my Pinterest searches and Google image search, sometimes finding inspiration is a matter of snooping on your neighbours. Previous years we had just strung the white lights straight across the porch. But, that felt a little stuffy as of lately, maybe having a child does that to you. We were on our way to go replace the bulbs with coloured lights when I spotted the neighbours who did this - and we decided to do the same seeing as we already had the white lights. To read about how we hung them read more....
Read more »

What I found

I had an awesome day yesterday, and not just because I took the day off work (I love my job, but I love vacation days even more). Adam made me huevos rancheros for breakfast (yum!), we took the dog for a long walk along the waterfront, I did some Christmas baking (turns out I'm not a very good baker) and I hung two of four new interior doors (what I lack in baking skills I totally make up for in general handiness). I still need to stain the doors and buy new doorknobs, but they're already 1,000 times better than what was there before - I can't wait to share the before and after.

Then last night when I was getting the guest room ready for door #3, I decided to lift up a corner of the carpet in the closet and discovered...hardwood floors! Which naturally led me to rip up all the carpet in the room and snap a picture with my phone (see above). The floors need some major TLC, but I'm so excited about the character they'll add to our home when the whole refinishing process is done. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll discover something similar in the other two bedrooms (I know the hardwood runs across the hallway, but I was afraid Adam would lose it if I started tearing any other rooms apart last night).

Oh, and to top it all off, I won this totally cool linocut in designwali's week of giveaways! How awesome is that?!

a little more christmas shopping...

After doing the 4 sponsored posts for Canadian Tire, I got pretty excited about the selection that they had in store, that I went yesterday to my local shop and did some shopping. Although the previous posts were sponsored --- this product was not given to me, I went and bought it myself (vs. the other products that were given to me in a series of "challenges".)

To see what I picked up, read more.
Read more »

wood boxes, little gift idea

Whenever I see natural wood products I get a excited. The idea of staining something makes my heart go pitter patter. I know. I'm a nerd. When I was at my new favourite store on this planet, the dollar store, I found wooden boxes in a variety of sizes, priced between $1-$3. Here is a really easy project to do if you want to make someone a gift. It's also a project that you can involve kids in on, which makes it extra special. Enjoy!

For this part above, I measured the top of my box and I designed something for the top on the computer. I was inspired by a Tommy mythe Quilt that is red chevrons. You can do the same on your computer or cut a collage out of a magazine, or, glue a drawing to the top (read on) To attach, what I did next was mixed a little water with glue, to create my own "Hodge Podge" mix. My Mom did this for us as a kid, I'm not sure if this is the right way, but it works for me. Alternatively, you could simply just paint the top a fun colour.

But I also did this for Aubrey's Birthday...

I took Oscar's first crayon drawing and attached it to the top of the box. A combined project that Oscar and I did, together. I was pretty happy when Aubrey loved it. And there you go - a really, really inexpensive gift idea for those on your list.

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