Sunday, October 30, 2011

Old House vs. New House

Since it's been a year since we moved in (1 year on Oct.30th),  it's about time to share a side by side. Because there are still some rooms we haven't touched it's not a super accurate comparison! :)
Please keep in mind that it took over 3 years to get the townhouse to where it is, and we've only been in our House for 1 year!! We've still got TONS of plans for this old place!!! ;)

Front Entrance:

The Verdict:
Hmmmm . . . I can't pick a winner on this one. They are two very different styles, the old house had a funner, bright feeling to it, while the new house, has a more formal feel to it. I like both styles and I can't pick a favorite!

The Verdict: While I LOVE the white color of our last cabinets and the light and bright feeling of our old Kitchen, I still have to give the win to the NEW kitchen. It's twice the size of our old kitchen, the cabinet doors are solid wood and the floors are stone. The lighting in our new kitchen is a HUGE upgrade from our old florescent lights, and on top of all that, there's the granite counter tops, cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, and my favorite, our gas range!!

The Verdict: The old library space had a bit more room for books, so it wins on that count, but overall I have to give this one to the new house! It's at least three times the size of our old one (which was really just a large bookcase against a wall ;), just the addition of reading chairs puts it way ahead of the old library!

Dining Room:

The Verdict: This on is really tough for me to decide. I LOVE the new chairs in our Current dining room, and our dining table, and the wall decal art was a success, but I have to give the win to the old dining room. To me it doesn't get much better than a long harvest table, with a crystal chandelier. Oh and the Church Pew, man I miss that!

Living Room:
OLD HOUSE: (sorry it's the only picture I have on this computer of our old Living Room)

The Verdict: This one was easy, Our New Living room wins every time. It's much larger, our new couch is bigger and therefore comfier. Our new living room has lots of room for guests too, our old living room could only seat 3. I do LOVE the green color from our last living room and I'm trying to bring more of that fresh, clean color to our current living room!

Master Bedroom:


The Verdict:
Our new bedroom is, like every other room, much larger then our last bedroom. The walk in closet is a HUGE plus for the new house, and the panelled wall is one of my favorite all time projects. But our old bedroom had the shiny floral wallpaper :). All in, I would have to give this one too the New Bedroom.

Guest Room:


The Verdict:
I liked the farmhouse touches in our old guest room, but the win goes to the new guest room for sure. The new room has a bigger bed (queen, instead of a twin), but most of all the new room multi functions way better, it's a guest room/ wrapping station/ craft room all in one!

And the Last comparison:

Laundry Room:


The Verdict:
I think the new laundry room wins strictly based on size and our crazy teal laundry machines. But the part I like about our old laundry closet was that it was small! Everything fit into the one closet, and it was on our upstairs floor. So maybe it's a tie :)

Overall, it seems like we prefer our new house to our old house, which makes sense because if we liked the old house more why did we move right?  One thing that has surprised me about moving to a bigger house is that I missed the small little spaces. I thought I would LOVE large rooms but so far my favorite rooms are the smallest ones, the library and the laundry room.

I hope you enjoyed our comparison post. Drop us a comment and let us know which rooms are your favorite?

Friday, October 28, 2011

HASS avocado recipe contest

This post brought to you by Hass Avocado Board featuring Hass Avocados. All opinions are 100% mine.
Here's something I don't usually tell people but I LOVE recipe contests! I was even a runner up in one a couple of years ago (okay technically runner up to the runner up :)
So when Social Spark told me about this recipe contest I went to add my guacamole recipe, not because it was super fancy but because it was super easy and when the winner of the contest gets a trip to the Rose Bowl, simple is what I thought they'd be looking for.
I got my recipe together, took my photos and read the instructions for the Kick Off with Hass Avocados Recipe Contest and found that you have to be a legal resident of the US.  US residents get Target and Avocado recipe contests    . . . not fair! haha
I was finished entering the contest before I found out that I'm not eligible to win, I thought what a great Christmas gift for the Hubs right?
The contest was easy to enter, I just signed in using facebook, . . .  2 min later I was entered!

Here's my recipe: (did I mention it's super easy)
2 avocados/ 2 jalapenos (seeds included)/ juice of 1 lime/ half a small red onion/ 1 Tomato, seeded/ 1 tbsp Hot Salsa, we use Archer Farms, a sprinkle of cilantro. DONE! It's best if you refrigerate overnight, but we've eaten it right away and it's still yummy!
Like I said super easy, super hot, super yummy!

So if your a legal resident of the United States and have a great Avocado recipe try your luck and enter the Kick Off with Hass Avocados Recipe Contest. If I can't win, I want one of you too :)
But make sure to let us know your what recipe you entered! I LOVE a great recipe!
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Halloween Baking!

A Halloween classic around our house would be Witch Finger Cookies, they're super easy to make and a holiday favorite of Lee's.

Here's the Recipe:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla 
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
1 tube (19 g) red decorator gel, (blood for fingers)

In bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla; beat in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (I'm not going to lie I totally didn't refrigerate the dough :)

Press almond firmly into end for nail. Squeeze in centre to create knuckle shape; using paring knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle.

Place on lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 325°F (160°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Apply nail blood with  red decorator gel. Remove from baking sheets; let cool on racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

And it wouldn't be a holiday around here without cupcakes!
Devils food cupcakes with vanilla icing, and chocolate sprinkles!!

Have a great weekend!!!! We'll be working on the Barn Door, around here, hopefully it will get completed and we can move on to the hardware part of the project, with any luck . . . and no more illness . . . we could have a new door this November!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yup, I made new Pillows . . . again!

You might be saying . . . "this chick is crazy" and I couldn't blame you. Not that long ago I shared our new green pillows for the living room chairs, but somehow one made it's way on to the couch and it looked great so I moved them over to the couch permanently! So I had to find/make some new pillows.
I found the fabric at Jo Ann fabrics (it's a Waverly fabric), and then I just used my trusty envelope pillow technique to sew up a couple of covers.

I think they turned out great (I had some serious concerns about matching up the stripes with my limited sewing skills) I love 'em, but who knows next week they could be somewhere totally different . . . it's a sickness people . . . A SICKNESS!


It seems like everyone in my family has artistic talent except for me, my sister is an amazing oil painter, my mom is a great water color artist, and my husband is a fabulous pumpkin carver. If it were up to me the pumpkin would have two triangle eyes and a triangle nose :)

Here's this years pumpkin during the day:

and at NIGHT!!!

and here's his MAX pumpkin:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Part 3 of 3 Outside

Thanks to a terrible cold Lee caught this weekend, our front yard might escape the addition of fake blood and guts. Lee was suppose to add his "special" touches to the Halloween decor but came down with a HUGE fever this weekend. He's still feeling under the weather, so the cut up bodies might have to wait until next year (Darn :) But before he got sick he did manage to add a bunch of skeletons:
There's skeletons on the posts:

There are skeletons in the grass

Is it just me or does this one look like it's having a baby??

A couple of severed appendages,

and a random sprinkling of skulls (yup . . . I just said "a random sprinkling of skulls!" and they say T.V. is getting too gruesome ? ? ? pfffff . . . )

Lee added Green lights at night. Along with a smog machine for Halloween night. It's turning out to be quite the party on our street there's going to be a DJ and two haunted houses, Tim Horton's in coming to hand out hot chocolate and we've been told to expect around 1000 kids (seriously . . . . 1000) So if you come by the house and our lights are out, it means we've run out of Candy :).

Make sure to check back this afternoon for our pumpkin photos! I thought this post had enough pictures in it!! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Part 2 of 3

We're almost done with the Outside Decorations for Halloween, but I thought Max would like to get in on the Halloween Action too.
I'm far too nice of a puppy mommy to dress him up as a hot dog or giant pumpkin, so I pulled out his little Halloween sweater. And maybe it's a case of my kid's the cutest but I think he's adorable!!

I also grabbed a shot of Max out front by the mums.

And maybe just one more for the road!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fashion Friday: Suits

This post brought to you by Express. All opinions are 100% mine.

It seems like an entire lifetime ago now, but at one point in my life I worked as a sales rep for a women's silk lingerie line. I think the part I liked about it the most was that I got to dress up for work. First thing I bought was a suit. A very poor fitting suit, somehow I always felt like an  imposter in it, like a little girl playing dress up. It wasn't until a year at the job that I bought a beautiful well fitting suit and I felt like a stylish young lady, fast forward 5 years and my "suit" is now yoga pants and a long sleeve t-shirt, but I still have that suit in my closet and it still gets used often.

Express has a great line of Modern cut women's suits ( no 80's suits here).



Because I'm a house wife I don't need suits for my day to day life, but I still do use my suits. I like to break them up and use the jacket during the day with jeans.

And maybe the pants at night with a sparkly top and high heels.  

Express is running a contest I thought you would like a $500 Suit Makeover in their Express sweepstakes! Just 'Like' them on Facebook, then go to the "Work it Sweeps" tab for your chance at one of four $500 gift cards .! !   ...


Which suits are your favorite? And how you you use your suits, all together for work or broken up for day to night?  



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Outdoor Lighting LOVE

I'm in LOVE, but it wasn't the LOVE at first sight kind of LOVE. It was a "hey I've seen you a few times so you're kinda growing on me and there doesn't seem to be anything better out there" kinda LOVE. But what started out as a Let's try it out and see has turned into full blown "I can't live without you, I Love you so much I want to wear your dirty shirts to bed" kind of LOVE.

We've been looking for new outdoor lights since the day we bought the house, the old lights reminded me of something . . . oh that's right . . . they reminded me of really ugly lights hehe. Okay so their not that bad, it's more of a case that they didn't match the house, they seem very Victorian to me and our house if definitely not Victorian.

Lee was determined that the lights be motion activated because during the winter he comes home when it's dark and has stepped in one or two of Max's "booby traps" or should I say "poopy traps" (I crack myself up) anyways,
I don't know if you know how hard it is to find attractive motion sensor lights. . . but it's really freak'in hard.
I found these ones at Home Depot for $56 each over a year ago, in fact if you remember our first Living Room planning post I picked them out to use as Living Room Sconces on either side of the fireplace (until I noticed they were motion sensored and way over scale).

I put them in the back of my mind and set out to find more attractive and more affordable options . . . I found nothing (did I mention how hard it is to find attractive motion sensor lighting?).
So back to Home Depot, where the lights were starting to look better, but I still needed to see what else was out there.
Long story short . . . nothing else was out there so I decided to give 'em a try.
And I'm in LOVE. Head over heels in LOVE. Screaming at your parents because they just don't understand, run away in the middle of the night LOVE!!! 

So it goes to show you, sometimes the first one you see turns out to be perfect . . .  and you shouldn't waste time looking for something better . . . but I've been burned when I'm looking for something specific, find something  I like, buy it, then see something perfect two weeks later for half the price. So I guess there's no lesson to be learned here . . . just enjoy the pretty lights :)

p.s. LED bulbs definitely the way to go for a motion light, they use so little energy, and don't take a minute or two to warm up because by the time they warm up, Lee's already inside the house, not very useful at all. And, because you can see the bulb in these lights, the LED bulb is a bit more attractive than a regular CFL (they look just like regular incandescent bulbs).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween: Indoor Edition

Halloween around this Manor is a two part affair, indoors and outdoors. Since this is the first year we have both an inside and an outside to decorate we're a little bit overwhelmed! I've taken over inside decorating tasks and Lee is the boss outside.
Lee's still working on his outside decorating so you'll have to wait until next week to see that (apparently there aren't enough disemboweled bodies out there yet ;).
I decided to keep the Halloween decor to the library and front hall, I've been in a bit of a minimalist mood lately so I wanted to keep the clutter to a minimum in the living room and kitchen.
In the library I added skulls, skulls and more skulls :)

We bought an angry black cat years ago! (Max hates the black cat poor little guy won't go into the library anymore . . . the angry black cat might have to head outside).

A crow and a huge chrome skull found their place on the coffee table. Along with some black bound books, I picked those books because they're black not because they're particularly scary . . . unless you consider Martha Stewart scary then one of them is scary. hehe

I bought a package of small mice from Walmart for $2.00 and that's the only money I spent on the library decorations.

For the Front Door Console I added the table runner from our thanksgiving table, it's a little less spooky then I was hoping to go, but I liked the little hint of orange it gave. I added a couple of candles and wrapped them in black patterned scrapbook paper.   We still needed a lamp there and since our white ceramic lamp wasn't very Halloween-y I added a burlap ribbon and some tiny little skeletons. And I thought the bloody hand prints added a murderous feel haha.

I put out our candy cube, just a box for Candy that I picked up at Homesense a couple of years ago, I like that it has a lid on it, it makes it just that much harder for us to grab candy out of (heaven knows if it was an open bowl of candy there wouldn't be anything left come Oct.31st).

A couple of black books I found at the Dollar Tree, labeled THE DARK SACRAMENT  oooooooo . . . spooky!

And of course skulls, skulls and more skulls. I LOVE putting them under glass, I think there's something very classy about a skull under glass . . . kind of like a specimen.

Total Cost for Console:
$1 for Mice
$1 for two sheets of scrapbook paper
$4 for bloody hand prints
$1 for library mice
$7 spent on indoor decor, we had everything else we needed (thanks to Lee and his creepy love of skulls).

We must have done a good job because I peeked in at the library and found this guy, relax'in reading a book!! haha


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