Thursday, December 30, 2010

What goes up, must come down!

Since Lee has the week off the first thing we tackled was getting down the Christmas Decorations. Usually I do it myself but since this year we have a tree the size of a house it was not only nice to have Lee's help, but completely necessary!

Here are some of our tricks to make next years set up a bit easier:
  • First is the Christmas Tree duffle bag!  It's bigger than me! It's much nicer then a torn up box, it stores just as well, and because of it shape there was also room inside for our garland! and the bag will hold up better then the box! plus, we have a tree in a duffle bag, that's pretty cool :)
  •  We have big red storage bins for our Indoor and Outdoor decorations. 
  • To keep our lights from tangling we wrap them around cardboard.

  • We keep our  wreath in a storage container made for wreaths. I've had wreaths I've loved before but one year crammed in a tote and they're destroyed. $7 is a good investment to save a  wreath.

  • The red Storage bins for Christmas are an investment I would definitely make again! I know red means Christmas I don't have to open boxes trying to find something I'm looking for in July. And I don't have to take time trying to read labels on bins that are 6 feet above my head. RED=Christmas! Simple
  • We I wrap all of our delicate ornaments in paper and store them in small plastic containers inside the bigger plastic containers I don't have many precious ornaments but the ones I do have are worth the extra effort to keep them safe!
That's about it!
Tomorrow we are working on some Garage storage solutions for our Christmas Decorations because as I write this the giant Christmas Tree duffle bag has taken my parking spot in the garage :(

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Projects 2010

Rhonda from Southern Hospitality is having a linky party that I couldn't resist joining :)

So here goes, these are my top projects from this year, I chose the ones that got the most comments, questions or views!
Hands down the most popular post from this year was the Pebble Boot Tray All I did was throw some pebbles in a boot tray but there you have it, like most great things it's simple, functional and pretty.

Next would have to be the Computer room/ Craft Room: Bathroom turned computer room, how could we not LOVE it!

Then there was the Kitchen Organization Post: Specifically the one under the Kitchen sink!

The Baskets in the Bathroom always get lots of attention. They are from The Real Canadian Superstore here in Canada.

But hands down the question I get the most "Is your ring a real DIAMOND?" hehe
The Answer: No, it's not. It's a 6.25 carat Green Amythest. There are little diamonds on the sides and the band is a custom made band with 14 little diamonds because we got married on the 14th. So there you have it I've let my secret out! hehe

And last: My personal Top Projects of 2010 would be Flowers on Friday! Not only because of the meaning behind it for us but I just plain love fresh flowers, although in 2011 we'll be making more local choices for flowers. I recently read an article on "Flower Miles" and all of the fuel it takes to ship flowers from overseas, so we'll be on the look out for more down home flower arrangements :)

and of coarse anything with Max :)

 Any favorites I'm missing? anything You particularly liked that I didn't mention?

New Coffee table + Slip and Slid

We moved all of the furniture to lay down our area rug pad, which gave us a clear shot of the coffee table, and the new dog toy storage I found at Target :)
The coffee table is a Homesense find. I LOVE the rustic nature of it. I LOVE it's size, Lee loves the Metal I Love the wood, If Lee and I could make a biological coffee table baby it would be this one.

As I mentioned before the Bins under the Coffee table are from Target, they are canvas and super handy. We now have 3 under there 2 for Max's toys and 1 that's empty, I'm planning on using for quick clean up.
In case of emergency (yes I kind of consider un announced guest an emergency) I can quickly throw any magazines, newspapers, flyers, etc into the bin and have a clean and clear coffee table.

Also, last week we took care of the slip and slide we called our living room rug.We bought a Rug pad and gripper for our Living Room Rug and now we are safe and sound!

A couple of mildly twisted ankles,  a number of close calls and a near concussion made us finally decide to secure our area rug. Plus, we found a smok'in deal, $15 for a 9x11 rug pad!

So there's what we've been up too. We've accomplished a lot so far, and have big plans to end off the week :) Lee has this week off of work so we'll be taking full advantage, and will be finishing up some lose ends around the Manor. Pictures to come soon :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fantastic Freebie!!

Elle from SWITCHEROOM asked if I would take a peek at her free printable calendars for 2011, and I was so happy she did, I love them!!!
And as all things that are meant to be it came with perfect timing! I still hadn't picked out a desk calendar yet and with 4 days left to the New Year I was cutting it really close :)
So if you're like me and spent all December baking, cooking, cleaning, shopping and didn't have time to grab a calendar, for once our procrastination has payed off and we get an adorable, FREE calendar!
Here's an example:
Hope you like it as much as I did. And super thanks to Elle for sending it my way!
We'll be back from visiting the 'rents (my parents) tomorrow and start the marathon of house projects this week and will be sharing some BIG reveals in the New Year :) and maybe one later this week ;)

SWITCHEROOm free 2011 calendar

Monday, December 20, 2010

$1 Dog Bed

That's not a typo, we fashioned a $1 dog bed! Kind of :)
Here's the details:
I went to Ikea this week, midnight madness and all, and found sofa cushion covers in the AS-IS section. As long as I've been going to Ikea I've always seen cushion covers in the  AS-IS area, I always looked at them and never had any idea what to do with them, until now!

Recently we bought a Molly Mutt bed for Max (if you missed that post HERE it is) and we loved the premise behind it! A washable doggy duvet stuffed with any soft cushioning you can find, old clothes, sheets, towels. This is the same idea.

So we took our $1 AS-IS bin find.

Recently we switched all of our towels to Organic ones (Post coming later this week) and all of our old towels made the perfect stuffing for Max's new bed $0

So there's our $1 dog bed and the best part is Max likes it too :)

Ikea almost always has cushion covers in their as-is section for way under $5, the most expensive one I found was $4. I'll definitely be checking back, I'm hoping to get one in the Ektorp White color too!

I realize this would only work as a dog bed for the little puppies or kitties of the world, but this would also work as floor cushions for kids, or adults who enjoy sitting on the floor :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flowers on Friday

This week's flowers on Friday is my favorite! If you've followed our flowers on friday chances are you've seen an alstroemeria post, or two!
They are my GO-TO flower! They don't make a big show stopping arrangement, but they fall nicely and make a great Powder accent, or beside bouquet!

I've also been looking forward to sharing my most recent find, the little chrome vase! I found it at Michaels in the wedding section! I love this little vase! It was a great price $12.99 cdn, especially when you take off the 50% coupon! $7.50 !!!!
I hope you like it as much as I do!!

Wishing you a fabulous weekend!!! We are thinking about visiting Ikea for their Mid-night Madness sale :) If we can brave the crowds.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

EAT sign; Inspiration from Cougar Town

I don't know if you've seen Cougar Town, very funny by the way, but I love the houses. Half the reason I watch the show is to see the interiors.
I saw an EAT sign in Courtney Cox's kitchen. I believe it's from Anthropologie and I think it's just under $50. There have been a few of our fellow bloggers who have done takes on the EAT sign, Here's mine:

First I bought the letters from Jo Ann fabric, they were around $2 each.

Then I took Fabric from the pillows I recently made and cut it into strips.

I used Modge Podge to to glue the fabric to the letters!

It was all very easy, and now I have a sign that matches my decor perfectly :) And for under $10 (fabric was free because it was leftover from my pillow project, and it only took half a jar of modge podge).

Project Tips:
  • Use thin fabric, thick canvas won't bend into the corners well.
  • wear old pants, I ruined my sweats :)
  • Be liberal with the Modge Podge
  • cut your fabric into thin strips about 2 inches thick by 4 inches long works best!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Super Simple Welcome

Here's the close up of the Christmas outside Decor.
Our amaryllis wreath:

And Our Christmas Planter:

Because the Christmas Planter sits beside the front door I tried to match it to the Wreath. I used some Large Fake amaryllis flowers and mixed them amongst the greenery.
This Planter is probably my favorite christmas project each year, it's super simple and really in-expensive.

First you need some branches or twigs to stick out the top (I bought mine from Michaels for 40 cents a couple of years ago)

Second you'll need some flower that matches the decor. The flowers should have a long stem.

Third you'll be needing a lot of greenery. We don't have any readily available cedar bushes around so I bought one bunch from Walmart $3, then I went outside where they were selling the real christmas trees and asked if I could have some of the bottom branches they cut off - Free I also trimmed up a couple of bushes we have on the proporty (ones that we were planning on removing this spring anyways)

Next, you'll need some sort of planter filled with dirt.

I started from the outside and worked my way into the middle, making the flowers the last part I put in.
We make a version of this planter every year. This years total cost was $3. The overall cost if I had bought everything this year would still be way under $10 (not including the planter). At 3 flowers for $1 each, and branches for 40 cents it's very easy on our pocket book, even easier if we had trees and bushes of our own to cut down :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meanwhile back at the MANOR!

The halls have been decked, so we moved on to the outside!
The wreath is on the door, a fake amaryllis wreath I picked up at Target last year. I love it!!! In fact I love it so much I spent more on a wreath case to keep it safe in storage then I did on the wreath itself.  CLOSE UP TOMORROW!
Since simple seems to be the theme, we went with three simple strands of lights across the porch railing!
I made a "Christmas Planter" outside the front door CLOSE UP AND DETAILS TO COME TOMORROW!

And my favorite part . . . . The Christmas Tree in the Window. I've always wanted a Christmas Tree in the front window of my house!! Bonus we didn't have to hang any lights on that side of the house and it still looks decorated!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flowers on Friday: Poinsettias

It's Christmas, and we couldn't have Christmas without a Poinsettia!
Don't judge me but, usually I have  eeek . . . . Fake . . . . poinsettias around the house, but with good reason. I always believed that they were poisonous and I didn't want to risk Max sneaking a taste of it, as it turns out . . . it's NOT TRUE. Poinsettia's aren't poisonous!
Apparently it all stemmed from the death of a small boy in Hawaii, in 1918. It was believed that he consumed a Poinsettia plant, and later died. Recent Tests, have all come back conclusively that in fact NO part of the plant is poisonous! And today, all poison control centers list the plant as non-poisonous :) So, this year we are celebrating with a tiny Poinsettia!

He sits on a ceramic white tray I found at Homesense for $12. In a small tin pot I sprayed white, free. With a little acrylic deer Lee bought me at The Real Canadian Superstore for $8. Including the poinsettia the whole arrangement was under $20.

Caring for your Poinsettia:
  • Poinsettia's are Tropical Plants so they like LOTS of light. Think, west or south facing window.
  • A house between 65 and 75 degrees F is best, if it drops below 60 at night, that's ok too.
  • Make sure the plant, isn't pushed up against a cold window, they will drop their leaves.
  • Since they are tropical they like the air Moist, a little mist from a spray bottle would be much appriciated by these guys.
  • The amount of water they require will vary a lot, depending on the size of plant, how dry the air is, how much light they get, but a good rule of thumb is to water when ever the surface is dry to the touch! 
  • Water until it runs out the bottom of the pot.
  • DO NOT let your poinsettia sit in water, they don't like it!
So if you thought they were poisonous like I did, no need to worry, you, your kids and your fuzzy friends are safe. Although I wouldn't make a salad out of it anytime soon :)

Also, in the interest of full disclosure this is what the coffee table looked like before I moved all of the mail to take the picture. It's been covered in Christmas Cards for a good 3 days now!
They are going out Monday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

From our Family to Yours!

With it being the first week of December, every year that means I'm parked at the kitchen table, pen, address book, organizer and cards in hand sending out our Christmas cards!
We don't have a huge list, maybe around 60 but every year it seems to grow (god willing).
I really do wish I could send every reader a card! A simple Thank You for Following, thank you for commenting, thank you for your questions, suggestions, and kind words, and thank you for not pointing out all of my spelling and grammatical errors :) hehe

So, From our Family to Yours With Love!

(I'm not really sure why Lee is squinting in this picture, but I picked it because it was the only decent one of me, haha I'm the one compiling the cards I get final say) hehe

The reason we have two is:
The first one of Max goes out to everyone!
And the second one (of the three of us) only goes out to family! One to our parents, one to Grandparents. I figure the friends we see every week don't really need a picture of our mugs hanging around :) They know what we look like!

Here's a couple of out takes,
Mostly because Lee thought it would be funny to hold a cigar and have a drink in his hand, I think he just wanted an excuse to have a drink on a Tuesday night haha
I found it funny because there is no way in the world he'd smoke that inside the house haha I don't know where it even came from, but there he is beside the Christmas Tree Cigar and drink in hand!

This one was a close contender, it's the only one we have big smiles in, Max was making funny noises because my sister was squeaking a toy and he was dying to get it, made us giggle.
But alas,
I have a five head in this picture ( a five head is a really big fore head) so put the kibosh on this one!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rock'in around the Christmas Tree

The lights are on, the bulbs are hung. No one fell off a ladder, SUCCESS!
Like I mentioned yesterday! This year (and for many years to come) we have an 11 foot Christmas Tree. With our vaulted ceilings we needed a BIG tree!
Finding one on a budget wasn't the easiest thing to do! We eventually found ours on Craigslist! A very nice woman was selling it, because all of her kids had moved out and It was a lot of tree to tackle by herself.
We Picked it up for a song :)
Here's she is, Lee says it's a she, because it's so big, like a boat haha.

Close up:
While we have many, many regular bulbs and decorations on the tree, every year I buy one super special ornament. Something lovely, something a little more expensive then our usual bulbs.
It's nice because we usually pick the ornament out together and each Christmas we reminisce about where we found each one.

Christmas Card Tester Shot:

Every year we also take a photo by the Christmas tree, usually I take tester shots, set the Camera up, get all the angles right, then add Lee (and hair and make-up for me ) when everything is just right! A few years ago we figured out that it worked better this way. Lee would get frustrated sitting in the same spot in uncomfortable clothes while I set up the SHOT, and with this being a new house, I didn't want to make the poor guy sit there while I figured out the best spot! So Here's a sneak Peek of our Christmas Photo, minus Lee, Hair, and Make-up : S

We also got busy on the stairs (wait that came out wrong). We got busy Decorating the stairs. Just some super cheap garland, and I mean super cheap, it's the $2 garland from Walmart. I added a few little red berries to the branches and secured it with red satin ribbon. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Deck the Halls!

Christmas is in full swing around The Manor, the tree is up, all 11 feet of it! The Exterior Lights are up, then fingers were thawed before Christmas Wreaths were displayed!
Arthur The Antelope was the first recipient of a wreath!
The Theme this year seems to be SIMPLE! Fitting as we have just moved in and are still settling in. I opted for a super simple wreath around Arty. Just a faux green wreath with a satin, wired bow tied at the bottom!  Maybe SUPER simple is this years theme :)

I'm busy getting the tree all ready for Tomorrows post! Fingers crossed I don't fall off the ladder!


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