Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fabric Love

Now that I am sewing I find myself drawn to fabrics even more so than before.  I stumbled across Maramiki a while back on  Etsy  and then also noticed her on Decor8.
I love her work!  The simple and subtle nature of her hand drawings I find particularly lovely.  Her work is strongly influenced by nature and would be a breath of fresh air in any home.
With items available for the bedroom, kitchen and living areas of the house, along with yardage and a kids line (called Maramini!!), Mara is giving us all a reason to have a bit of Maramiki in our homes.  Perfect for Spring, don't you think?

Sunrise, Sunset

I woke up this morning and saw the most magnificent full moon from my front windows.  When I walked into the kitchen to make my coffee, a beautiful morning sky was unfolding!  Today is good.
via Flickr
via Fickr

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thinking About...

Built in beds!

via Bluelines



Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning - Kitchen

Ahhh,  Spring! A time of renewal and rebirth,warmer temperatures and fewer layers of clothes (hopefully).  It's also a time when most of us are anxious to scrub and clean our homes, tidy our yards and streamline the amount of time doing inside work so we can get out and enjoy those longer days!     
Personally, I can think of at least a thousand other things I would prefer to do than clean out a closet or scrub a toilet but it's got to get done!  With two adults working from home, two kids and their stuff plus a cat there is always something that needs to be cleaned, picked up or put away...this is just life.  
Over the years I have found some small things that help to make these daunting tasks a little more tolerable. I figured we start with the kitchen because this is our most used room in the house...
  
A sturdy caddy to carry all of your products: make sure it fits under your sink or some other handy spot to keep everything contained and easy to find.  
Cleaning cloths: I love a good linen cloth for drying and cleaning up.  They are amazing at holding water, leave no lint and have a better shelf life than most other cloths.  I recently found these gorgeous cloths by Jagneus Designs out of England.  They are made of natural materials, are bio-degradable, machine washable and come in the BEST colours!!  
            via Woods of Harrowgate

 Caldrea
This is my weak spot!  I'm a sucker for a nice, environmentally friendly cleaning product and Caldrea is my favourite!  The scents are the best and they really do a great job at cleaning.  Also, they don't strip my hands completely dry (this is a big thing for me because my hands are in bad shape )...my next best product is Clorox Green Works.  Budget friendly and hard working, these products are a kitchen and bathroom staple!
latex gloves
These are my new favourite cleaning accessory!  Thin, latex gloves.  They're like the ones that doctors and dentists use.  My husband has a laugh at me when I slap these babies on - but they do the trick!  They protect these severely damaged hands and they aren't all big and bulky like the regular kitchen gloves.

I love my lamp berger!  It gets out the toughest cooking odour and just makes the house feel cleaner!  Especially great before guests arrive or during the winter when it's too cold to open all the windows to let the fresh air in.  I recommend one of these for every home!  

My cleaning caddy and supplies, composter and bags.  They're all here, in one place, under the sink!  Makes my life easier for sure...

recycling collecter available at Solutions
Simply the best kitchen solution for a house full of recyclers!  A slim line, door mounted container to collect all of our recyclables.  Once it's full we make a trip to the larger bins in the garage.  It keeps everything off the counter (counterspace is at a premium in our kitchen!) or just piling up in other areas.

These are a few of my favourites and they make the daily task of keeping the kitchen clean just a bit easier!  I'm not looking to have a spotless house (I'm more realistic than that!) just clean and as tidy as we can do on any given day.
Do you have any secrets to keeping your kitchen clean?  Favourite products?  I'd love to hear!! 
Next week, I'm tackling the dreaded front hall closet!!  Stay tuned...

Weekend Snippets

Happy dreary Monday...
urgg.  What an unispiring day we've woken to here.  It's been a very wet and chilly weekend and to be honest, we spent a large portion of it in the house.  We ventured out a couple of times for some paint (a new project for later this week!), food and to look at toys.  It's going to be a very busy week though so no time for dragging around!
My friend Jules Power is having her debut at Toronto Fashion Week tonight, Easter preparations are in full swing (at least in my head), I have a ton of interior work to do but most importantly, Max is turning 10!!
Whew...this is a big birthday. Double digits. I can't believe it!  
I'm getting prepared to make my lists for the week in the hopes that I don't overlook anything!  Wish me luck!!
he's got the itch to go outside!
a new bunny friend almost done...
cat love
more recipes coming this week!!
my trusty boots
new Etsy updates coming!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Things that make me smile

Spring Jam 10'
A good friend of mine from my childhood has spear-headed this awesome tribute concert that is taking place in the Niagara Region April 9th and 10th...
What really makes me smile about this (other than the fact there are a ton of great local artists playing and it will be such a great time!) is that they are doing this to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross and their disaster relief efforts in Haiti!  Tickets are a steal for $12 (advance) or $15 at the door.  If you are local or are interested in taking a trip to beautiful St. Catharines this Spring, why not plan for the weekend that Spring Jam is on?  Go see the sights, do a wine tour maybe and then pop over to Robertson Hall (85 Church St., St. Catharines) to enjoy an evening of fantastic music and  to do just a little bit more to help those struggling in Haiti.
Here's where you can find out more about Spring Jam 10' and purchase your advanced tickets!  

Almost There

Here's a couple of 'in progress' kitchen shots...  

The tiling is all complete now (I ended up doing the laundry room too!) and it looks great.  The grout will be done this morning so by this afternoon I should have everything back to normal in the kitchen.  Can't wait to share the final results!  See you in a bit...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Love This!

I love the Smiths and I would really like to have this on my wall!!

Spring Cleaning Time Out

I had planned to share with you some of my all-time favourtite cleaning products/tips etc. this week BUT instead I'm getting my backsplash installed!  I am so excited I can't stand it!! 
My house (well my kitchen) will be a mess for the next day or two so I am moving the cleaning segments on to next week when they will help to remind me that it really isnt that bad!  
What, you ask did I decide on doing?  Well, I am going with a classic white subway tile and grey grout.  It is not very adventurous (I know) but it really goes well with the kitchen and house in general.  I'm always thinking re-sale so this is truly my best bet.
Here's some before pics so you can get an idea...
and here's the inspiration shot:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shoe Crush

I am having a major crush on these handmade shoes!  I am not usually a huge shoe-aholic (that award goes to someone else in our house!) and will most of the time pass up new shoes for something for the house or the kids but things may change now that I found The Generation on Etsy!  Here are a few of my favourites!
Look at these!  They're handmade with sustainable and organic fabrics using zero chemical adhesives!!  Why can't all shoe companies be this responsible?  Amazing!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chickpea & Carrot Salad


I thought I'd post one of my favourite light lunches for you today.  This is dead simple to make, tastes incredible and is packed with goodness!  
Chickpea & Carrot Salad (adapted from Fine Cooking magazine)
1 can (19oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 cup loosely packed shredded carrot (about 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
3 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground corriander
6 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Put 1/2 cup of the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash them into a coarse paste with a potato masher.  Add in the remaining chickpeas, carrots, parsley and scallions.  Stir to combine.
In another bowl whisk the lemon juice, corriander, 1/2 tsp salt and some black pepper together.  Continue whisking while you slowly add the olive oil.  Pour dressing over the salad and season to taste with salt and pepper.  
Serve as it is with toasted pita bread or over mixed greens if you like.  I also love it served inside of a pita!  A little portable salad.  Perfect!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Black & White

Just a couple of examples of black and white living spaces done right.  All three of these rooms have elements that make living with starck contrast colours easy and inviting (which is not always that simple).  I personally love the first room with the only colour being the pop of green in the floral arrangement.  I also love the addition of texture through the wood and coral accessories...
modern and minimal
a conservative take on black and white with shots of bold colour using accessories
all images vie decorpad

Weekend Snippets

Monday is here and another school lunch under my belt!  
We had a pretty relaxed weekend at home just doing some spring cleaning and getting ready to go back to school.  I got out my favourite flats (which Liv has taken a liking to) and some fun green zippered jeans in a nod to Spring!  I also managed to get some work in as well this weekend. I took some shots of new vintage jewellery pieces I've been working on as well as getting a few detail shots of one of my clients custom built-in units.  Oh, how I love a nicely designed and built piece of millwork!! 
I'm looking forward to a great week..check back for more recipes as well as some of my favourite products and ideas to help Spring cleaning go a bit quicker and be a little less painful.