Category Archives: Home

Storing Your Stuff In Ziploc Bags With Easy Open Tabs And A Giveaway

2nd June 2015

ziploc bagsZiploc has released a new line of bags with Easy Open Tabs, that are easy to grip and easy to open. They come in many different sizes, including:

  • Snack  Bags
  • Sandwich Bags
  • XL Sandwich Bags
  • Small Freezer Bags
  • Medium Storage Bags
  • Medium Freezer Bags
  • Large Storage Bags
  • Large Freezer Bags
  • Large Fresh Produce Bags

The tabs are also colour coded – BLUE for freezer, PINK for storage and GREEN for sandwich and snack, to easily identify the contents. Ziploc bags are great for food storage but I think they’re great for travel and organizing things at home. For example:

  • Use them to store craft and art supplies.
  • Use it as a pastry bag to pipe frosting when you don’t have the real thing.
  • Fill it with ice and put it on a little person’s booboo.
  • Use them for snacks in your handbag.
  • Use the larger size to protect and store your kids’ art.
  • Great for travel and keeping your bottles away from your clothes in case of leakage.

I could go on forever really, but who has that kind of time? Thanks to Ziploc, I have a giveaway for you! This prize pack includes:

  • A variety of Ziploc bags with Easy Open Tabs
  • A salad spinner
  • A cutting board with color-coordinated mats
  • Blank recipe cards
  • Vegetable Steamer
  • Chip Clips
  • Sharpies
  • Cooking for the Rushed cookbook by Sandi Richard

The giveaway is valued at $150 and is open to Canadian Residents only. The giveaway will run until Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2015-2016 BAN.DO AGENDAS #OMGBandoAgenda

29th May 2015

I’ve just discovered the most adorable, yet practical agendas by BAN.DO!

bando

They’re colourful, fun, absolutely unique and feature the most gorgeous covers.

bando-agendas

The agendas are filled with cute artwork by the Ban.do Girl Gang, and I might have to frame some of them when I’m done with the agenda.

bando-agendas

What I love most about these agendas is that they have a sense of humour, like most of the band.do products. They feature fun suggestions like, “Take a nap on a pool floaty!” and “Hang a disco ball in your room!” They include cute stickers, fun holidays (yes, National Pina Colada Day should be a thing) and even a Ban.do Girl Girl secret code.

bando-agendas

On the practical side, they’re 17 month agendas, in two sizes and several patterns. The smaller size (5.5 in. x 8.5 in.) and the larger (8 in. x 10 in.) and both feature a lay flat design, which is awesome. I picked up the larger one and I love it.

bando-agendas

In Canada, you can pick them up at Chapters – I found mine in store but they’re also online. In the U.S. you can get them off the ban.do site.

bando5

I have no doubt these will sell out, so if you love them as much as I do, you might want to pick one up soon!! You can also find ban.do on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest too.

*This post is not sponsored – It’s just a non-sponsored love fest over here.*

The New House – The Powder Room

14th July 2014

Next up, the powder room! The powder room is just off the front hall and like the front hall, it was a good size and didn’t need a lot of work short-term.

We knew that some of the renos we were planning to do would be mostly cosmetic, at least in the short term and the powder room was one of them. We never considered keeping the wallpaper, although at one point we were planning to have new paper hung but it wasn’t meant to be.

Here’s what was on the powder room short term list and our yet to complete long term list:

SHORT TERM TO DOs:

  • Remove wallpaper with questionable stains. DONE
  • Remove towel bar. DONE
  • Remove useless fan and drywall over it. DONE
  • Remove wall cabinet. DONE
  • Replace register cover. DONE
  • Replace switch/outlet. DONE
  • Paint walls, trim, ceiling. DONE
  • Replace light fixture. DONE
  • Remove and replace mirror. DONE
  • Replace knobs on cabinet. DONE
  • Hang towel ring for hand towel. DONE
  • Buy and hang art. DONE
  • Buy basket(s) to fill bottom of cabinet with reading material for the husband. DONE

LONG TERM TO DOs:

  • Replace wood flooring with porcelain tile. I find the wood flooring in the room just bizarre, although it does hide the fact that my son can’t seem to aim into the toilet to save his live, quite nicely.
  • Replace cabinet/sink.

Here is what our powder room looked like the day we got the house.

PowderBefore.jpg

I didn’t totally despise the wallpaper but it’s just not my style at all and the questionable stains on the paper just grossed me out completely. As mentioned, we were planning on wallpapering the powder room and had even purchased the paper. However, after thinking about it, and considering everything from budget to time frame, we decided against it. Instead, last minute, we decided to paint it a dark grey, the same as our bedroom. Here’s where the powder room is right now:

powderafter1.jpg

powderafter2.jpg

powderafter5.jpg

powderafter6.jpg

And here’s a little side by side comparison for you as well.

powderside.jpg

I’m planning to spray paint the soap bottle a fun color and add a plant in the space next to the cabinet which is actually pretty big. Long term I’m thinking gut job, but that’s really not a priority right now.

What do you think of the transformation?? If you have any questions, let me know below! Next up, the kitchen.

The New House – The Front Hall

8th July 2014

I can’t believe it but we’ve been in the new house now for just over FIVE MONTHS!

Sometimes I can’t believe we actually even bought this house to be honest – it definitely wasn’t planned.

The husband was in Amsterdam last October when I noticed that the house across the street (ie. the one we’re living in now and yes, it’s literally across the street from our old place) had a sale sign on the front lawn. After checking it out online, I called to make an appointment with the realtor, who coincidentally was also our realtor. The next day, my mom, my older sister and I went to check it out, and we all gave it the thumbs up. I knew it needed some work, but the size and the layout were there and a gorgeous backyard was an amazing bonus. So I emailed the husband, sent him links with pics and told him I wanted this house for us. The next day, I put in an offer and poof, I bought a house. Luckily, the sale of our house was a dream – we listed and sold it the same day. It was meant to be.

We got the new house three weeks before we had to be out of our old place, which allowed us to get most of our renos and all the painting done before we moved in. It was the best thing we could have done.  We’ve accomplished and completed a TON since moving in, but there’s still tons to do yet. Sadly, the money tree eventually runs out and you need to slow down, which is where we are now. Boo.

A lot of people have asked that I share my before and after pics on the blog, after seeing some of my pics on my Instagram account. I appreciate all of your feedback and suggestions that I should be a decorator/interior designer. If only I had the talent to do so, but alas, I do not – but it sure is fun trying. Also, I don’t have a camera that is any good, so the pics leave much to be desired – I’ll apologize for that in advance. Become an amazing photographer is on my to-do list, after laundry and losing half my body weight.

THE FRONT HALL

The great thing about the front hall was it was nice and big, and the front door was in good shape but that’s about it. Here’s my ultimate to-do list for the front hall and what has been completed to date:

SHORT TERM TO DOs:

  • Remove all the hideous crap all over the walls and patch. DONE
  • Paint all the walls and trim. DONE
  • Replace all three light fixtures. DONE
  • Rip out closet organizer, paint inside closet and install new closet organizer. DONE
  • Replace closet doors. DONE
  • Move doorbell to another wall. DONE
  • New front door lock. DONE
  • Replace register cover. DONE
  • Replace all outlets and light switches and covers. DONE
  • Install Nest Thermometer. DONE
  • Hang framed photos and art.
  • Buy a piece of furniture and a mirror for the empty wall.

LONG TERM TO DOs:

  • Replace ugly tile floor with dark grey porcelain tile. Because we could live with this for now, we decided to put our money on things that needed to be finished asap.
  • Paint inside of both doors black – still undecided, so I’m waiting on this one.

Here is what our front hall looked like the day we got the house:

fronthall1.jpg

fronthall2.jpg

fronthall3.jpg

fronthall4.jpg

fronthall5.jpg

I think the design esthetic they were going for was a whole lot of brown and beige and hideous – mission accomplished!

And here is what we’ve done so far:

NewFrontHall1

front5.jpg

NewFrontHall2

NewFrontHall4

front4.jpg

Again, my photos aren’t great, but you get the idea. I’m a big fan of clean, minimal, and grey so I think we’ve accomplished that. Of course, we still need to hang art on the walls, and we need a table or cabinet and a mirror for the empty wall with the two round lights. I’d love an area rug or two to hide the tile, at some point as well.

And some side by sides to compare:

FrontHallBA1

front6.jpg

FHCompare2

FrontHallBA2

So what do you think? If you have any questions or what any source info, let me know  below! The powder room is up next!!

We Bought A House!

14th November 2013

Have you ever done anything so spur of the moment that it’s almost hard to believe it actually happened?

Me too.

I bought a house.

I saw a house, went to see the house, put in an offer, negotiated it and it was mine within a day.

Did I mention the husband was in Vegas “working?”

Did I mention that it’s across the street from where I live now? Or perhaps that we move in, in the dead of winter and it’s going to be damn cold carrying all my heavy furniture across the street?

Sometimes you see something and you just have to have it. Like a sweater, or a pair of shoes. Or a house.

Our home now is where we’ve lived for the last 12 years. I’ve brought my babies home here, and raised them here, laughed and cried here. Every inch of this house is marked by a memory, an event, an experience and I’m trying to get over that or I may never be able to actually move out. But then again, I have no choice.

We’ve already sold our house. We listed it and that same night, it was sold to a sweet young couple. We sold in a day, we bought in a day. It was meant to be. Of course, our new best friend Krishan (Best. Realtor. Ever.) was amazing and had everything to do with how quickly everything happened. We owe him expensive whiskey and many Greek desserts.

We live in an established, quiet neighbourhood with big trees and great neighbours (well, most are great – we tend to avoid the annoying ones). So the house we bought is not new, and it needs work but the bones are there. It needs A LOT of paint (every surface, everywhere), floor refinishing, new light fixtures, and a sense of humour for starters. Starting over in a new old house is exciting and overwhelming at the same time but we’re excited.

I’m thinking about posting about our new house and our attempts to make it fab, from time to time. I promise not to claim to be anything but a regular schmo trying to make my house less ugly. Making My House Less Ugly – I think I just thought of the name for all my house related posts!

Look for my next post titled….Packing is Going to Suck.

Getting Organized with Ziploc Products – Giveaway

14th May 2013


It’s that time of year when Spring cleaning, purging and getting organized are just a fun thing to do.

It’s weird how happy getting rid of things we don’t need anymore can make a person.

I’m in the process of doing just that right now actually. I’ve been going room to room and getting rid of things and trying to be ruthless about it. It’s hard for me to get rid of things actually – for some that’s called hoarding. For me, let’s call it not hoarding, but a deep appreciation for things I’ve spent money on and am unable to toss.

Also, known as hoarding in denial.

I was recently sent some of the Ziploc Space bag product line to help me as I organize and and try to gain some room in my closets and storage areas. I’ve used some of these before and I’m a big fan. I especially LOVE using them for winter items not currently in use. I’ve used them for storing out of season blankets, duvets and comforters that take up so much space in the linen closet. The bags come in tons of sizes so you can use them for bigger items like I’ve mentioned, right down to smaller ones for travel.

They come in Jumbo, X-Large, Large, Large Cube, Medium, Carry-on Travel Size and Suit Size hanging. It’s kind of insane how much will actually fit into just one bag. The Jumbo size will hold 2 comforters and 4 pillows. The large will hold 10-12 sweaters – that’s just crazy talk.

I didn’t even know the suit size option existed – I think the Suit size hanging bag is perfect for storing all the winter coats/items that we lovely Canadians get to enjoy for months on end (BOO – DOWN WITH WINTER!)

When you finally do re-open the bag, the items inside will be wrinkled so you need to get over that. Personally, it’s a small price to pay when you consider the advantages of the amount of storage you’re gaining in the end.

GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away a Ziploc prize pack (including some great valued at $70!! To enter, please leave a comment below with your best organizational tip! That’s it!

RULES:

  • Open to Canadian Residents
  • Giveaway will run until Monday, May 21, 2013
  • Winner will be chosen using Random.org
  • Make sure to leave a valid email and/or Twitter handle so that I can contact you if you win. Winners will have 48hrs to respond and then a new winner will be chosen.
UPDATE: Congrats to my winner – #31 Maria Oliveria – thanks to everyone who entered!!!

Martha Stewart Home Office Products With Avery

12th April 2013

It’s no secret that I love Martha.

When I found out about the Martha Stewart Home Office product line with Staples I was beyond excited. I was there on the first day, buying it all up  – fantastic, practical items in classic Martha colors.

Well, Martha is now back with new some new additions and they are fabulous!

TOTES & CASES

Martha now has an entire line of cute totes and wristlets which are great for work or travel. The line carries cases and sleeves for your laptops and tablets too, all in gorgeous colors and great price points.

WALL MANAGER SYSTEM

Love, love, love the new Martha Stewart Wall Manager System – great for the kitchen or the office. You can incorporate different pieces and create the setup that works for you.  Available are various boards like bulletin boards and white boards, as well as drawers & shelves and accessories to make it your own.

DISCBOUND NOTEBOOKS

The Discbound Notebooks are my favorite new product and I had the chance to review one for myself. They are really nice quality with a textured feel to the notebook. I love the classic Martha Stewart blue colors – it’s really pretty. On the inside, you’ll find room for business cards, a pen holder and an elastic band closure to keep everything together.

The notebooks comes with 60 sheets of narrow-ruled paper and a clear storage pocket but you can buy additional pieces to make the notebook work best for you. Additional options include filler paper, plastic dividers, task pads, planner pockets and calendar pages.

If you find the discs are too small, you can even purchase expansion discs to increase the size and hold more. The notebook is available in two sizes (6.5 x 9 in and 9.5 x 11 in), smooth or textured and four colors.

They’re really nice quality and very affordable – so make sure you check out the line at Staples. They’re available in Canada and the U.S. in store and online!

Organizing the Linen Closet

18th January 2013

Oy, the linen closet.

Is it me or is that thing just a disaster all the time? Mine isn’t that big but it should be able to fit all the linens for four people.

Cue the purge!!

I took everything out of the linen closet, and started with redoing the shelving and covering it with prettier contact paper that I got at Homesense.

Huge improvement just by changing the shelving paper. I’m loving a good chevron lately.

Next, I purged the crap that I’ve been holding onto forever. I still had almost all the towels I got at my wedding shower in 2000. I had duvet covers that were still in packages from the shower as well. I’m pretty sure after 12 years, it was safe to get rid of them. So, I was brutal in my purge – if it felt like sandpaper, if it had any stain or just looked old and nasty, it was gone. If I never used it, it was tossed too. I filled a giant garbage bag with the old towels and sheets and felt great doing it.

Of course, I had to replace what I got rid of, which was mostly towels and sheets. So, I got some really nice Pantone towels, sheets and a quilt from my mom for Christmas. I also got a Homesense gift card from my brother so I had some money to burn! The day I went shopping, I also found an unused gift card on it that I had totally forgotten about with $145 on it!! It was meant to be!

I picked up new grey towels in all sizes, three sets of sheets including a Ralph Lauren set (who in my opinion, make the BEST sheets I’ve ever had). I picked up some cute decorative boxes to corral the face and hand towels so the closet would look neater, and a large basket for blankets.

It took a long time but it was so worth it!

And a full shot (hard to get with a shelf on the right) so sorry for the meh quality.

Before and After shot:

Linen closet done!

Obsessed With Home Decor Blogs – My Favorites

6th November 2012

I realized today how obsessed I am with Home Decor blogs.

OBSESSED.

If only the obsession would translate to an ability to make my house look even remotely like what I’m seeing on these blogs.

Is it too much to ask that DESIGN OSMOSIS take place while I surf the net???

Anywho, here are the sites I check out at least once daily:

YOUNG HOUSE LOVE

CENTSATIONAL GIRL

LITTLE HOUSE BLOG (CANADIAN!!)

PANCAKES & FRENCH FRIES

RAMBLING RENOVATORS (CANADIAN!)

MAKING IT LOVELY

HONEY WE’RE HOME

THE HOUSE OF SMITHS

OH HAPPY DAY

 BROOKLYN LIMESTONE

DESIGN SPONGE

 decor8

APARTMENT THERAPY

DESIGN MOM

CHEZ LARSSON

 THE NEST


Seriously, I could go on and on but these are definitely my favorites. I know some are not exclusively home decor blogs, but I tend to gravitate to those posts regardless.

Do you have any favorite home decor blogs? Would love to hear about them!!

Rainbow Bookshelves

19th August 2012

I’m in the midst of my latest need to get my house more organized, neat, decluttered and accessorized. Every couple of months I look around, get a hate on for some room and then immediately head out to Homesense and buy a ridiculous amount of pillows.

My kind of fun.

We also just bought new furniture for our living room and as I sat there staring around the room pondering how many pillows I would need for the new look (seriously), I looked at my massive bookshelf and remembered something I had seen somewhere on Pinterest.

RAINBOWS.

And so I took every book off the shelf and rainbowed the hell out of it.

Yes, rainbow is a verb. As is unicorned and fairied.

I wish I could show you a before pic, but that would have required some forethought and planning, and I skipped that stage.

Isn’t she pretty?

In case you’re wondering, the reason the bottom two rows are rainbowed separately is because they’re cookbooks, and I didn’t want to mix them in with the novels.

What do you think? I’m digging it – so much so that I also did the kitchen cookbook shelf.

Yes, I have many cookbooks. Actually, more than what you see on both shelves above, but it’s a bit of an obsession I’m not willing to deal with at the moment.

There are tons of examples online if you want to rainbow a shelf at your place, and need more inspiration. If you do, feel free to share, would love to see how it turns out!

I’ll be sharing more of my home posts as I try to pretty things up over here, so I hope you’ll check them out.

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