Before & After: Painted blue dining table

It took me long enough, but the dining room table is finally finished! The colour is Behr's Dark As Night and I used Minwax's Polyacrylic finish in gloss to seal and protect it (and give it some shine, of course).

I had some trouble with the gloss finish initially. It turns out it really is a good idea to follow the directions on the can ;)

Now we just need to replace the light fixture. I think Adam and I have finally agreed on one, but I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger yet. Anyway, our focus has shifted outdoors to the patio (formerly known as our backyard mud pit) - we're in a mad rush to finish in time for Hannah's birthday!

bathroom hooks

1 /  2  /  3  / 4

One thing that I have left to the very end of the washroom reno to choose has been the hooks. I'm not a very modern person with design but the washroom has really turned out to be a pretty modern washroom - Aubrey feels that the hooks should reflect the modern design, whereas my heart always goes to the traditional styles. So I'm struggling with what choice to make for the hooks the washroom. (I appreciate without seeing the washroom in full it's hard for you to comment) but I thought the choices we did see, may be nice for someone else designing a washroom. So my dilemma is that I'm trying to figure out if I should stick with a modern hook like the rest of the washroom, or, if I can go with a traditional hook like No. 2 above.

I went to Upper Canada Specialty Hardware yesterday and found these from Emtek. I REALLY love the two "prongs" as it will surely make hanging towels nicer. (Choice #1 in the mashup above)

But then we were at Lowes last night I spotted this Allen + Roth line, and fell madly in love because it was both polished nickle and traditional. (I've shown it in a chrome finish in my mashup above, because I don't think we can do polished nickle in our washroom. So sad) Aubrey feels that it's much too traditional and after sleeping on it, I tend to agree.

Anyhow - we actually purchased this set above (no. 3) - but I'm not sure I love it. So I think it's going back. Truthfully if we're going for modern, the set from Upper Canada Hardware (No. 1) is about $10 more dollars more a piece, but I know the quality is amazing and I still really like the two prongs.

So in the process of writing this post I think I've come to the conclusion I like #1. Wait. Maybe not. I'm not sure. Ugh. I think I need to hold them up in the washroom and make a decision.

delicious roasted tomato soup... with feta and basil

This is my favourite soup at the moment, perfect for chilly days and cool nights.  Packed with vitamin C to fight off winter colds and easy to prepare, this is sure to be your family's favourite too.  

- 1 block feta
- 3kg fresh tomatoes
- 2 large onions
- a handful of thyme, marjoram & basil 
- bunch of Italian parsley
- olive oil & balsamic vinegar

To make:
1 - Peel & chop onions roughly, chop tomatoes into large chunks & place in large roasting dish
2 - Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar
3 - Add handful of fresh thyme, marjoram & basil, and season with salt and pepper
4 - Roast in a medium oven (175 C) for a few hours until tomatoes are well cooked and starting to caramelise
5 - Pour tomato mix into a large soup pot and blend with a hand mixer.  I used my All-in-One which was fab as usual.
6 - Season to taste

To serve:
1 - Chop a large bunch of Italian parsley
2 - Crumble a block of feta
3 - Serve feta and parsley in bowls so that people can add to taste.

I always loved tomato soup but the feta and parsley, something I learned from the lovely B (she knows who she is), takes this soup to a new level.

I recently made this soup for a casual dinner with friends and was amazed that all the ingredients, plus a lovely sourdough and a huge bowl of new season strawberries cost less than $30.  Amazing to be able to serve such a delicious meal to six people for $5 a head.  So no excuses, put the ingredients on your shopping list this week, cook and enjoy.  

progress on the bathroom reno

We're making progress on the washroom! The floor tile is in and grouted, the walls have been painted, and Aubrey is setting up the shower today - possibly even the vanity. It has taken us way longer than we anticipated but we've also made a point to enjoy our summer - throwing BBQ's, going to the cottage, taking a day off here or there when we need a break. Excited to show you more "reveal" photos soon. But I'm even more excited to have a BATH.

Ps.,  I'll be doing a shopping guide at the end so if you want to know exact wall colours or where we bought things I'll list everything in the room. In the can go through some of the washroom posts you can see where things came from.

#25. Run a half marathon - DONE!

One of my goals for the year is to run a half marathon. At some point I convinced Adam to run with me and signed us both up for the 43rd Annual Nova Scotia Marathon/Half Marathon in Barrington. 

There are some beautiful beaches in the area, so we decided to make the 2.5-hour drive on Saturday and stay overnight for Sunday morning's run. Poor Hannah hasn't been feeling well (she has eye teeth and molars coming in), so we weren't able to make it to the beach, but we're already talking about making the trip next summer (with less running and more beach time).

{our cute little cottage rental in Shelburne}

{our view during Saturday night's dinner}

{enjoying the perfect weather}

{the food was pretty bad, but the beer was delicious}

{poor teething baby}

Adam's parents were nice enough to drive down - and back - on Sunday to watch Hannah while we ran. During our 10 weeks of training, I think Adam and I both questioned whether we'd actually be able to do it. My goal was to finish, of course, and to run the whole race. I accomplished both, and finished in 2:05 - faster than my training pace (Adam was a couple minutes ahead of me).

{probably the worst picture of myself I've ever willingly posted on the Internet - I must be proud}

The most surprising part was that I actually enjoyed it (my legs started to hurt during the last 2K, but I felt pretty good for most of the race). Although Adam and I said this was the only half-marathon we'd ever run, I think we've both changed our minds and will be doing it again. There's just something about the running community - much like the blogging community - that makes you want to be part of it. And my competitive side wants to keeping trying for a better time ;)

P.S. For any runners out there, we ran the Nova Scotia Marathon/Half Marathon in Barrington (there's also a 10K). With the exception of a few rolling hills, it's a nice flat route with some truly stunning ocean views. I would highly recommend!

loot bag idea

Oscar went to his friend Colin's birthday party and this was the loot bag. A little shovel + gummy worms (and some mini M&M's) GENIUS. This needed its own blog post. :) Ps., Aubrey and I may have eaten a few worms after Oscar went to bed. Ooops.

Family photo sneak peek + running a half-marathon

Photo credit: Chelle Wootten Photography (click photo to enlarge)

Last weekend we went to one of our favourite neighbourhood spots, Hemlock Ravine, to take some family photos with our friends Chelle and Adam. We first met them when Chelle shot our engagement and wedding photos (along with the equally talented Cherakee Stoddard) a couple years ago. They are two of the sweetest people we know and we love that they make having your photo taken relaxing and fun. Chelle takes amazing photos, so it's worth taking a few moments to look through her blog. Make sure you check out her beautiful shots from their trip to Iceland! Anyway, I had to share this sneak peek from our shoot. I can't wait to share - and see - more.

Adam and I are running our first half-marathon on Sunday, so please send positive vibes our way - we'll need them ;)

Happy weekend friends! xo

bits + pieces

Happy Friday. Here are a few things to end the week. Ps., The bathroom is ALMOST done and I promise to post more pictures next week.
  • My brother snapped this amazing picture of the moon. I love it so much and I'm considering enlarging it for our home. Although i love it for the beauty of the shot, it also makes me happy because it makes me think of my Dad because of his love of astronomy and his skill at photography. Something my brother has obviously inherited from him. 
  • This metal pot I found in cottage country almost didn't come home with me for the fear of it being tacky - but now that it is in my home I'm smitten. (As shown on Instagram)
  • I'm going to be posting my little white desk for sale in the upcoming week on Kijiji or Craigslist but if any Toronto folks want it then shoot me an e-mail to We had to make room for Oscar's toys so although I love this, we needed to rearrange some things in our house. Ps., Just make me an offer. :) 
Happy Friday! xo Lindsay

Photo credit: Peter Stephenson

vignettes and other changes at home

Have been enjoying moving things around, having a bit of a tidy and declutter as I go along.  Its amazing how bits and pieces start collecting around the home.  I resorted into colour and packed quite a few things away for a while.  Its made me think of so many projects I want to do, a little hard with a busy 2 year old at your feet, but we will get there bit by bit.  
Moved the candles from inside to outside for a while.  They melt in the summer heat so winter is a good time to enjoy them outside for a while.  I am really enjoying how this area looks at the moment with the new black covers and mix of cushions.  These couches get a lot of winter sun so we use them a lot.
It is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee on a sunny winters morning, and fabulous for midday snoozes.
Now the cushions are all fixed I am planning a low hanging solar powered lantern for the corner between the day beds.  Its in my head but we will have to see if it works out.  So many projects I want to try!  Watch this space.

Paint problems

Sometimes projects don't go exactly as planned. My dining table makeover is nearly finished, but I hit a snag during the last step: applying the polyacrylic finish that will protect the new paint job and give the table the glossy look I want.

I've never worked with a gloss finish before - except in spray form - so this has been a "learning" experience for me (see also: frustrating, time-consuming). I used a brush on the base, which worked really well. I tried using a brush on the top, but the brush marks were really obvious and streaky, so I decided to try using a foam roller and...bubbles galore! Not good. So last night I sanded out the bubbles and went back to the brush. It went on much better this time - maybe the insane humidity helped? - so one more coat and I think I'm done. Lesson learned: don't rush to roll.

As soon as I can snap some decent pictures of the finished table I'll post them here. I really can't believe how much the colour has transformed our dining room - even Adam has commented on how much he likes it and he never notices these things.

Happy Wednesday!

pillow obsessions

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There are some changes happening over here with regards to decorating. I've grown tired of the old decor and over the last few months I've been removing certain things like pillows and art, and switching it out for new. It's the groundwork for how I designed our house - major things like couches, carpets and drapes are relatively safe and neutral. But elements like pillows and art that are easily and inexpensively interchangeable, are where I get my colour. I'm not in a financial position to redecorate my house (carpets, paint, drapes, new couch colour) whenever I feel like switching things up (which isn't that often) but this way of decorating suits my fleeting obsessions with certain colours.

I've taken away all of the pillows on the kitchen bench, and also, in our living room. So I'm now on the hunt for new pillows. Etsy is my go to place for pillows because you can often find ridiculously awesome fabrics that I couldn't afford a single yard of, in pillow form on this site. So here are some of my top picks for potential candidates for the house. I'll show more examples of changes in the house soon, I've just been delinquent in taking actual "photos".

Ps., Aurelia is having a CRAZY sale on some pillow covers. 

How bright do you like your bathroom?

Adam installed a new light fixture in our bathroom over the weekend. We picked it up at Lowe's during our visit to Maine and New Hampshire. I love how it looks, and it will only get better when we switch out the overhead boob light with the pendant from our dining room. The only problem? It's an outdoor light, designed to cast light downward, not outward. Great if you're standing at the vanity, not so if you're trying to light a whole bathroom. Especially one that doesn't get any natural light. I think the second light will make up for it (two of three bulbs burned out in the boob light, so it's hard to judge), but I'm holding onto the old vanity light just in case future would-be buyers don't love the low-light like we do.

So, how bright do you like your bathroom?

bridal shower weekend

In a few months my younger brother is marrying the loveliest girl - Lindsay. This past weekend we had two bridal showers for the bride to be. Here are some pictures from my Mom's bridal shower. :)

I don't talk about personal style much on my blog, but those who know me, know I'm a sucker for jewelry. So I thought I'd post my newest trinket ---a gift from Aubrey - the Flower Lattice Necklace from JCrew - which has I think been discontinued but you can find similar ones on Etsy should you be interested. Although you can't see the dress, I bought this wrap dress from Banana Republic and it is soooo comfy.

I joked that I matched my wrapping to my necklace - I wrapped her gifts in classic white paper, used some of my stock of ribbon, and hot glued on some bling from this Etsy shop.

My Mom came up with the sweetest idea for the shower - and invited gusts to write some words of wisdom for the couple, and then seal them in an envelope provided. Randomly over the course of their first year of marriage Mom will mail envelopes to my brother and sister in law. Isn't that sweet!? Mom stresses she didn't come up with the idea (she found it online somewhere) but I think it's a lovely thing to do at a shower. I made up a rubber stamp, and went to Target and got blank stationery (For a ridiculously low price) and I stamped the top of each card. Easy as pie.

Mom sourced food from a lot of local sources who are ah-ma-zing. Eat My Words makes those lovely cupcakes and proceeds go to charity.

Shopping list: (1) Necklace, JCrew (Not in stock) but a similar necklace is found on Etsy (2) Broach I used for wrapping gifts (I used hot glue to attach it to the gift) (3) "Words of Wisdom" Stamp, The Penny Paper Co. (Available upon request) 

Hollywood regency inspired bathroom

This bathroom by Tim Clark Design was love at first sight.  Love the mirrors, love the Hollywood regency style vanity, love the soft brushed silvery accents, love the soft grey colour scheme.  That's a lot of love.  If I had known I could have bought these vanities myself my master bathroom would look a little different.  Thought I would share my find just in case any of you have longed for a bathroom like this too.

Maybe in my next home.

| Bathroom from Country Living  |  Bristol vanities by J. Tribble  |  Mirrors from Zohi Interiors |

Choosing blinds for the bedroom

It's not exactly a traditional vacation purchase, but while we were in America we picked up a pair of bamboo roller shades for our bedroom. It's not that we couldn't have found something similar here, just that it was considerably cheaper in America. The blinds were surprisingly easy to install; I hung them in about 15 minutes while Adam and Hannah watched. Now we don't need to fuss with the curtains for privacy, which never really kept out enough light anyway. And the new blinds add a little something extra that makes the room feel more finished (Adam's just happy that it's easier to sleep later, if only we could get Hannah on board!).

I'm hoping to tackle a few small projects around the house this weekend, including painting our dining room table. It's going glossy!

Happy weekend!

Vacation snapshots

We arrived home from vacation late Monday night and are still settling back into our daily routine. Life after vacation takes some getting used to.
Thanks to everyone who provided tips and suggestions for the long car ride - we made frequent pit stops and brought along plenty of snacks, books and toys to keep Hannah entertained. Our 'Babies Go Radiohead' and 'Babies Go Beatles' CDs were also in heavy rotation ;) Hannah was awesome and we'll definitely make the trip again.
We spent most of the week at my cousins' cottage in New Hampshire. Hannah got to meet some of her extended family - including two brand new cousins - swim in the lake and take her first boat ride. Adam and I got to relax and enjoy all the best parts of a cottage vacation (think: eating, drinking, boating, swimming and hanging out by the campfire). We ended our trip with friends - and another new baby! - in Ogunquit, Maine. We stayed at Anchorage By the Sea, which I highly recommend (full disclosure: we know the family who owns the hotel through friends, but it's a fantastic spot regardless). We took Hannah to the beach for the first time - she loved it! - and yes, she ate sand.
We also went to York Beach to attend a good friend's wedding. The wedding was beautiful and Adam and I loved having a night out together. It was so great to see all of my closest friends from college - I really miss those days sometimes! We keep saying that we need to get together more often, but have yet to make it happen.
Anyway, here are a few several shots from our trip. Let's be honest, they're mostly just pictures of Hannah :)
{Our first pit stop in Sackville, New Brunswick}

{Quintessential Canadian road trip photo}

{Uh, this is a new face!}
{Early birthday presents in America}

{She was obsessed with this walker at the lake}

{Swimming at the lake}

{The lake has it all}

{Hannah and her new best friend, Trigger}

{Loving her first boat ride; the life jacket, not so much}

{Fascinated with the boat's wake}

{Awkward family photo}

{Ogunquit, ME}

{Eating sand at the beach}

{First dip in the ocean}

I didn't want to lug my camera around at the wedding, so I'm afraid I don't have any photos to share. Also, I try not to post pictures of friends and family on my blog, since I'm conscious that not everyone wants to share their life on the Internet (cue side-eyes from Adam and Hannah).

Back tomorrow with a little bedroom update!

snapping photos underwater

Aubrey bought me an underwater digital camera for my birthday and I had an opportunity to snap some photos of Oscar swimming at my Mom's yesterday. We ended up going for the FujiFilm FinePix XP60 Waterproof Camera after reading positive reviews online, the price (it happened to be on sale at the time we bought it) and that my brother & (soon to be) sister in law also have the same model and were happy with it.  Some of the shots above crack me up of Oscar. I'm not sure adults will love you snapping photos of their lower half (I'd be mortified if someone did that to me) but snapping babies is pretty fun. :) The one awkward thing about underwater photography (next to having someone snap photos of your lower half) is that as the photographer you float. So it's hard to snap the perfect shot. I took 345 pictures and maybe 10 are worth keeping and maybe 2 are worth blowing up into art for the house. I had taken scuba diving lessons as a teen to get certified and used to have a weight belt that would have come in handy to try to keep myself underwater for longer than I was able to without - but that's getting a bit "serious" about getting the shot so not really necessary for all. ;) Anyhow, just some cute baby legs swimming. :)

Ps., I got Oscar this new "Puddle Jumper" from Canadian Tire after a friend of my Mom's recommended it. It is ah-ma-zing. It allows him to swim and get comfortable without me having to hold onto him as I have been. He LOVES it. 


Still loving all things mint, maybe its because the garden is looking so dull this midwinter and I am dreaming of fresh green spring leaves already

Simple entrance area for small alcove, Fern botanical print

Mint bathroom accessories from Freedom, mint tea towel calender

So many minty things to share.  I couldn't even get them all in this post.  Enjoy!

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