Lessons learned from BYW 2.0

Over the past month, I've been taking Holly's online course, Blogging Your Way 2.0, and I wanted to share some of what I've learned. Maybe some of you are thinking about taking a similar course in the future, or maybe you're just wondering what the heck someone learns in a blogging course.

spotted here
After sharing her story, one of the first things Holly asked us to think about is why we blog and what our goals for our blogs are. Several years ago, I was sifting through a box of old schoolwork that my parents had saved for me. In report card after report card, my teachers all commented on my enthusiasm for art and creative writing. As I pulled painting after drawing after short story from the box, I remember thinking to myself, what happened to this person? Somehow, somewhere along the way, I had completely detached from my creative side without even realizing it.

Nothing much changed at the time and, years later, I had graduated from university and completed a masters degree, I had started my career and I was living with the man I planned to marry. Life was good, but something was missing (it wasn't a baby).

And then I discovered blogs. I'd been refinishing furniture for a couple of years at this point and I was driving Adam crazy with constant ramblings about my decorating plans for our apartment. I started reading and commenting on blogs and quickly discovered an entire community of people who shared my obsession with decor and DIY projects. Before long, I decided I didn't want to just comment on other people's projects and ideas, I wanted to share mine, too. For me, blogging is a way to nurture my creative side. I blog because it allows me to write, share, connect, create and express myself.

spotted here
Before taking Holly's course, I'd been too scared to really think about my goals for this blog, because having goals means taking responsibility for achieving them (or not). The course pushed me to not only identify my goals, but also to write them down and feel good about it.

We talked about the emotional aspects of blogging - overcoming jealousy, writing from an authentic place, facing our fears of failure - alongside the very practical - taking better pictures, Photoshop tips and tricks, creative post ideas and ways to monetize your blog.

spotted here
As it comes to an end, I'm excited to put what I've learned into my blog - into improving it and making it more enjoyable for you to read, but also into growing it into something that I can really be proud of.

chugging along

In the first few days of the kitchen demolition Aubrey pulled down the plaster ceiling and had Joe of Gallant Home Improvements (photo above) install a brand spanking new drywall ceiling. This allowed us to install pot lights and also get rid of the ugly bumpy plaster ceiling.  Joe is one of the best so if you're in Toronto and need a drywall guy call Joe. Love his work. He's a hard to get a hold of, but once he's in your house he does the best work. (He also did our entire basement project)

In other news, our counter should be installed tomorrow (Friday) and with that in place Oscar and I are moving back in on Saturday. Although we're a long way from being 100% done, we're at a point where I think it's time I moved back home and I should also reopen my shop. The break has been nice (and needed) but it's time we regained some normalcy.

More (better) shots from the house next week since I'll be moved back in. :) I'll also give you a list of our trades that we have loved all in one post that hopefully will be helpful to our local readers. xo

Don't you love....when crochet gets an update

I adored my crochet blankey as a bub (see below).  The 70's interpretations of crochet and felting - not so much.  But today I love love the textures and updated colours and patterns!
crochet design modern stool felt pouf
1 - love the colours and chevron from Oh Happy Day, 2 - who knew crochet could be elegant from Purl Bee
3 - covers for IKEA seat via Going Home to Roost, 4 - a rainbow felted pouf via Scientific Culture
5 - more inspiration from Oh Happy Day

Yes that's me, rather grubby photo from the mists of time.  Big sister wants to know if they had the iron age yet when I was young, hmmmf!.

Sneak Peak: No. 123 Rue des Park Lane

I've been working my bottom off over here getting ready for Haley's Cottage's No. 123 Rue des Park Lane. 

And I still feel like I have a ton of work to do.

 Lots of small things to fluff my space and make it through the day just in case ALL of my furniture sells first. *wink, wink*

Life is full.

And this summer promises to make it even more full. 

But, enough of that. I will save that rant for another post. 

I have to show you my new favorite and just one of the pieces making its debut at the show next week. 


Not all of my pieces will be this style of course but I just love how this one turned out.

I just WISH that I could remember to get those before pics in prior to slapping paint on!




And my absolute favorite flowers...hydrangeas.

 These are some that I picked last year and let dry. I just love how they dry so perfectly. 



All the extra scroll work and details in this piece make it so charming and elegant. 


Okay, so maybe that was more than a sneak peek. But, you can admit it...you liked it! 

This week is going to be a whirlwind of last minute crafting and painting to prep for the show! 

I will check in again in a few days with more "sneak peeks"!!!


p.s. I just realized I posted a pic of the drawer without final hardware. Oh, my. 

Linking up to...
Furniture Feature Fridays with Miss Mustard Seed

Nursery closet

These are some in-progress shots of the closet in the nursery. The hole in the floor (which the old homeowner just carpeted over!) is fixed, new hardwood is in, and the new baseboard/quarter round is caulked and painted. Unfortunately, the old plaster walls got pretty beat up in the process. Adam has been doing lots of patching and sanding this week so that I can paint this weekend (which explains all the dust). The plan is to make the most of this small space by adding some built-in storage - and it has to look good because the closet is going to remain doorless. Baby stuff is too cute to hide behind a door anyway, right?

Here's hoping I have some fabulous 'after' shots to share with you next week...

Style at Home's cottage style issue

We don't have cable, so whenever I travel for work I always take advantage of the opportunity to watch a little decorating tv in my hotel room. Since my work trip last weekend, I've been going through decorating tv withdrawal, so I was extra happy to see the latest issue of Style at Home in my mailbox.

I try to limit my magazine subscriptions and I've found that Style at Home is one those decor magazines I know I'll find inspiration in every month (this seems like a good time to mention that I'm not being paid or perked to write this - I just like sharing stuff I like).

One of my favourite monthly features is the very blog-inspired 'stylenews'. How cute is this month's DIY project, which uses paint to mimic the look of grosgrain ribbon on a vintage picnic basket?

I've been crushing on mint for awhile - in fact I'm thinking about painting our kitchen cupboards mint. If you don't want to go that far, minty accessories are a great low-cost, low-commitment way to enjoy the trend.

If you've seen our master bedroom, you know our bed sits in front of a window. I was super excited to come across this photo and I'd love to find a similar headboard for our bed. I wonder if I can convince my husband to start stopping at yard sales...

There are so many beautiful cottages in this issue (all of which are about a million times nicer than my actual house). This summer home is probably my favourite - just look at that view!

This issue also gives a shoutout to my city - Halifax! The article mentions one of Halifax's tastiest cafes - Two If By Sea - along with the incredibly awesome Hydrostone Market (home to Halifax's arguably best pizza). Anyone planning a trip to Halifax soon?

So which decorating magazines do you subscribe to? Any recommendations? I've been thinking about adding Better Homes & Gardens to my list, so I'd love to hear from any subscribers out there. 

Don't you love.....ombre flowers

Looking over my pins on Pinterest I realised there has been a theme in the past week.
Pink, ombre and flowers.  Is ombre your thing?  Not usually an ombre fan but these are pretty.
Clockwise from top left: wedding cake from Hello Naomi, Papaver Rhoeas for my garden, home office via SF Girl by Bay, I heart these biscuits from Hello Naomi, ombre curtains from Charlotte Love , ombre rose petals aisle via Martha Stewart Weddings

shopping therapy at homesense

Last night when Aubrey came to help with bath & bedtime with Oscar - I made a dash for the car and decided to go for a much needed retail therapy trip. The joy of wandering HomeSense slowly without a screaming, wiggling child is heaven. I picked up a few things for the kitchen but I'm reluctant to buy much until things can have a permanent home. Here are some shots from last night that you may have seen me tweeting. [Top Left] That ottoman was $69 and if Oscar had a pink bedroom you'd better believe that I would have picked that up. [Top Right] That little whale pitcher was very Jonathan Adler and was $16 and he made his way all the way to the checkout with me, until I decided to leave him at the store. I'm trying to be mindful of bringing in less random "stuff" that wont have an purpose all the time into our home. [Bottom Left] HomeSense has a collection of very organic wooden bowls that are absolutely gorgeous. [Bottom Right] And HomeSense is my go to spot for baskets. I never, ever buy baskets elsewhere. Just some shots from last night from the needed "Time Out" for Mommy. ;) xo Linds

Brrrrr......... I need a fireplace!

I am heading for my bed, the warmest place in our house by far!!   Do you have a fire to cosy up too?  Wish we could have been sitting beside a fire tonight, and no ethanol would not have done.
wood burning fireplace design industrial lamp
What I really want is that amazing lamp!!!  Where can I find one?!
fire place design danish rustic home
Rustic perfection via Homedit

Working weekend and a garden update

{Clockwise from the top-left: peas, cucumbers, yellow beans, and zuchinni, carrots and lettuce}

I spent the weekend working (my company only asks us to commit one weekend a year, so I'm not complaining) and managed to muster up just enough energy to clean the house and do some laundry when I got home late Sunday afternoon. I didn't get to check any DIY projects off my list, but starting the week with an organized house and clean clothes is totally worth it. I also picked some more peonies from our front garden, which are currently prettying up our bedroom and living room. I swear this plant only produced white flowers last year, but some are a beautiful shade of blush pink this year. Is that possible?

Above, are a few photos from our raised garden beds. Everything's up and doing well, except our green beans. I think the variety we bought takes a little longer to sprout, so I'll give it a bit more time before trying again (new cucumber plants keeping popping up, so I'm hoping the green beans just need more time).

How was your weekend?

Angus & Company, Shopping in Toronto

As the kitchen renovation has an end date in sight, I've once again found myself being drawn to the softer decorating process for our home. I'm looking at finding an area rug for our TV room, blinds for the kitchen, decorative objects. There is a shop in Toronto, Angus and Company that I have been in on occasion - I recently started following on twitter, and then "liked" them on facebook and my heart has skipped a beat on more than a few occasion at the photos that they post. That starburst mirror I fell in love with - I called to ask how much it cost (turns out it is $1,700 approx). Unfortunately it is out of my budget but I don't doubt its value. Honestly, they really know how to style a room and use a mixture of old, and new items together. Although the majority of items are well over my budget, this is one of my favourite shops to follow and hopefully be inspired by for our own home. xo Linds
All photos via Angus & Company's Blog

Don't you love....diy shelves

dream me shelves of reclaimed timber and pipe...
From top left: Hindsvik at Home, Elle Decor, remaining pics and great instructions via Apartment Therapy

Guest Posting at Living Savvy

I'm super excited to be participating in Tiffany's Spray Painters Anonymous series over at Living Savvy today - make sure you click over to see my latest spray painting project and check out the rest of the series.

I'm away at meetings for work this weekend, but don't feel too sorry for me - I've had a short week. Have a great weekend!

Ikea Adel Doors

Although we installed the cabinets last week we didn't start adding doors until a few days ago. We delayed the door installation until after I had painted the ceiling. (I wanted to eliminate the risk of getting paint splatters on the doors) So Wednesday AM I painted for three hours. I hate painting ceilings. I really do.

So with the freshly painted ceiling Aubrey was able to do the door installation and Wednesday night he sent me some photos ..... it looks amazing. I can't stop staring at the photo. I'm really, really happy with the Ikea Adel Doors. We still have to add crown molding, a valance, backsplash --- still lots to do.

Part of the reason for showing this shot is because a lot of people have commented on the exposed brick wall that has been seen in previous photos. Although it's lovely, it's not staying like this for a few reasons.

First, the other side of the kitchen doesn't have an exposed brick wall and I think it would look odd to different back splashes. Number 2 - I don't think brick cleans very well so food splatters would be hard to get off. Last - although I like the look, it's not the look I was going for. Now - that being said the interesting thing is that the soft grey of the brick has me debating whether I really want to do a white subway tile as we had originally planned. The grey looks lovely with the cabinetry. Because of this - we've decided to wait until the countertop is installed to decide on the backsplash.

Still a lot of things to do, but this shot was too fun not to share. ;) Have a lovely weekend! xo Linds

Dipped treasures for kids collections

Do your kids bring home pocketfuls of found treasures from walks and outings?  Do you also end up with collections on the kitchen counter or piled at the front door?
In the spirit of a place for every treasure and every treasure in its place, wonder bowls may be the perfect solution.  Every collector has their own wonder bowl, the treasures are allowed to accumulate and can be rediscovered and enjoyed, the clutter is kept down, everybody wins.
I met the lovely Duane from Cottage in the Oaks at an online lecture last week and this was her idea.  When I discovered this amazing dipped series of bowls from Wind and Willow Home I knew I had a perfect match.  I hope they ship to Australia otherwise I may have to try make my own.
dipped bowls wind willow home wonder bowl
We always seem to have an assortment of shells, stones and twigs on the kitchen counter, or piled just outside the front door.  I am a collector too, I can never resist a pretty piece of sea glass, in the country it was chestnut seeds.  What do you collect?

When to hire help....

We're still making progress on the kitchen! :) In my last post you saw the cabinets installed - they were installed by two (awesome) guys from Eureka! Furniture and Assembly. Although we're handy people and can do many projects on our own, we know when to hire help. Hiring for the cabinet installation was money well spent.  Although you can hire Eureka to build & install your Ikea cabinets we hired them only for the installation. We had them in for one day, and they were AMAZING. Highly, highly recommend.

See more photos of the installation day after the jump.
Read more »

DIY bathroom reno reveal

During our recent road trip, we made a stop in Kingston, ON to visit our very talented friends Anne-Claire and Martin. Not only are they both brilliant (Martin just completed his PhD and Anne-Claire is well on her way to finishing hers), they're also skilled DIYers and renovators. They were nice enough to let me snap a few photos of their amazing bathroom makeover to share with you AND they fed me a seriously delicious lunch (the way to any pregnant woman's heart).

Here's what they started with:

The original tub, sink and toilet were crowded along one side of the room, creating an awkward-looking alley as you entered the bathroom (the first photo above shows the original view from the doorway). So they completely gutted the room and started over, keeping only the toilet. Oh, and the only work they hired out was the moving of the plumbing.

After a good scrubbing, the toilet was moved next to the window, where the tub used to be. I love the simple window covering they chose, which offers much-needed privacy and still lets in tons of light.

It's hard to choose a favourite feature in the room, but this Craigslisted dresser-turned-vanity just may be it. It brings a beautiful warm tone to the room and offers a much better view from the doorway than the blank wall of before. Oh, and how gorgeous is that light fixture?

The vanity provides lots of storage space, since Martin managed to salvage all of the drawers with some clever carpentry to accommodate the sink's plumbing.


The gorgeous new tub and shower offer some serious competition to the vanity. Martin did all the tiling himself and I'm pretty sure this was his first tiling job.

The tub now sits where the sink and toilet used to be, and a panel of frosted glass takes advantage of all the light coming in through the large window. On a sunny day, Anne-Claire says it feels like you're showering outdoors.

I wish I could make a trip back to Kingston before they sell their house (they're moving at the end of the summer), because they've done equally amazing work in their kitchen and a second bathroom, and Martin's in the process of installing and hand-finishing gorgeous pine floors throughout. Maybe they'll snap some photos for us (hint, hint)...

I Promised...

...that I would give you guys Part II of the tute for chalk paint vs. milk paint. 
(Soooooo sorry!)

And I will. I must admit that it's not done. 

Boo. Hiss. Hiss. Boo. 

The next few weeks will be filled with lots of painting, designing, cutting, sanding. 

Yup, you guessed it...it's showtime! 

I am joining the fun over at Haley's Cottage on June 7th for a "French Inspired Flea Market".

No. 123 Rue des Park Lane

This is my first show since our move to the NW from Hawaii. I am a little nervous. Just. A. Little. 

But, in true RHI fashion, I am buckling down and gettin' 'er done! 

If you're in the Seattle area, save the date and come by to say hello!

You will not regret it. 

I promise... 

kitchen reno progress shots

Here is another sneak peek at what is going on in the house via an instagram photo. New cabinets, floor, the stove is in place and the microwave is securely above it. We've extended the base cabinets into the eat in kitchen. Although we've hit a few delays, we're still moving at a good pace. The reno created a lot of mess and because I don't feel it's a totally safe spot for Oscar, the two of us are still camping out at Moms. Aubrey visits us at night, helps me with Oscar's bedtime (to give me a break) and then heads back home. I feel like we're dating again. (but with a child) Tomorrow I'm heading down there to paint the ceiling and do some tidying up. Aubrey thinks that until the counter is in, I shouldn't be moving in. So, time will tell when I get to move back! xo Linds

Don't you love...mason jar chandeliers

This chandelier would be perfect for over the dining room table.  Perhaps I should have a midwinters party so that I have a reason to build one.
mason jar chandelier rustic wedding
Images via Style Me Pretty
mason jar chandelier rustic wedding
 I think I need to remember this setting for Christmas dinner.
Anybody seen any good chandelier DIY's? I can never look at enough.

A corner for candle light reading

Corner of my living room with black wall, Mexican garden lantern, bronze bracelets from Benin, and garden books for browsing.
candle lantern book styling black wall
I spent the weekend trying to create a gallery wall but my 3M stickers won't adhere to the gloss paint and it just didn't look right.  But this corner is working, that will have to do for now.

Summer road trip

Because we just may be crazy, Adam and I decided to take a whirlwind road trip through Quebec and Ontario (crazy because I'm 7+ months pregnant). The drive turned out to be no big deal - I used a pillow to keep my back from getting sore and stretched out in the back seat for a few naps as needed (well, as much as you can stretch out in a Nissan Versa anyway). We had The Hunger Games trilogy audiobooks to keep us entertained, along with loads of snacks (pretty much my favourite part about road trips). Here are a few photos snapped along the way:

  1. Driving through Quebec on day one. I totally understand why they call it "la belle province".
  2. Pretty flowers at Montreal's Atwater Market.
  3. Mmmm...Montreal, you make good pastries.
  4. View of the city from atop "the mountain".
  5. Checking out the Plants and Animals show at NXNE in Toronto.
  6. Posing with Niagara Falls.
  7. Consoling ourselves with Thai food after learning that the Radiohead show had been cancelled.
  8. And then checking out the free Flaming Lips show instead. Also overheard a fellow concert-goer not-so-quietly commenting to her friend about me: "She's really pregnant. She should be wearing better shoes."
  9. After a quick visit with friends in Kingston (I can't wait to share the photos of their amazing bathroom reno with you guys!), we made our way home (stopping in NB for the night - we're not that crazy!).
  10. Arrived home to find these beautiful peonies blooming in our garden (alongside loads of weeds, sigh). I'm enjoying their delicious scent as I type this :)

We had a great trip - with amazing weather - and got to squeeze in a few visits with friends and family along the way. Of course, it's always nice to come home, too. Do you have any road trips planned this summer?

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