Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One % {P}inspiration: Art Edition!

It's Pinspiration Challenge Time! You might remember our post from last week, we've teamed up with Amanda from Our Humble A{Bowe}d and Sarah from Russet Street Reno to bring you our One % {P}inspiration Art Challenge! (Thank you so much to Amanda for organizing One % {P}inspiration!!)

 I decided to tackle some guest room artwork. (You can check out last weeks post to see our inspiration).
All I needed was:
~My sewing machine, some scrap fabric, and some RED thread! This project cost us $0 to make! 

It was really simple:
  1. I cut out a square of White Fabric large enough to fill the space inside the matting of an Ikea Ribba Frame.
  2. I cut out a bunch of triangles, large and small ones. 
  3. I picked where they should go pinned them in place and ran two stitches in a contrasting thread to hold them in place! 

Lastly I used my sewing machine's Letter function to write a little message . . . I chose "Be Our Guest" because after all it is going in the guest room!

Here's the final product:

Now it's your turn, what has Pintrest inspired you to tackle and please link it up to our first ever linky party:
Grab a button and Link UP!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Take Out Menu Organization!

I Love cooking, but sometimes the answer to what's for dinner is take-out!
We have a small collection of take out menu's, mostly things like sushi, pizza and a restaurant with really good Curry!
Thanks to Martha (or more specifically her new organization line at Staples) I have a way better way to organize them.

I bought one of the small plastic pockets! We hung it in the pantry cupboard!

It's awesome! So awesome that we ordered pizza for dinner last night! ;)
I'm headed back to Staples tomorrow to pick up another one . . . for the laundry room.
I also picked up some Kraft Paper Labels, the spice rack is going to get a serious spruce up!

Anyone else picked up anything from Martha's New Line???

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Master Bathroom color is:

Thank you so much to everyone who weighed in on our Big Bathroom Color Debate.
It was a really close race between #1 (Sharkey Grey) and #2 (Bedford Grey), but in the end Sharkey Grey snuck out a very narrow win and that's what we went with!


I found it funny that most people picked 1 or 2 and those were the two colors we were struggling with. I Liked #1,  and Lee liked #2. Although I put some SERIOUS consideration into the lighter/brighter color number #3 (Westinghouse Grey). I decided that I didn't want something so high contrast. In the end I'm so happy with Sharkey Grey!!

Now on to my favorite part accessorizing!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Need your help to decide!

Okay I'm in need of your help again!
I'm trying to decide on Master Bathroom Paint! I am super tired of the "doo doo" brown.

Here's the Deal:
  • We have light grey tiles (with a small purplish grey undertone). 
  • There are creamy grey tiles in the shower. 
  • The floor is dark. 
  • The cabinetry is Dark (like the rest of the cabinetry in our house). 

The first color is: Sharkey Grey (this picture doesn't really do it justice it's a touch darker than seen here, sort of a medium light grey).

The second is: Bedford Grey

The third is:  Westinghouse grey- almost White, but with a very light grey undertone!

So please let me know what one's your favorite . . . because I picked grey and that as far as I got . . . wouldn't life be easier if grey was grey and that was it !!!

Thank you in advance!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Family Sign WINNER!!

First:  I wanted to thank all of you for making our Family Sign giveaway our BIGGEST giveaway To Date.
Second: Thank you Saltspring CNC for sponsoring our giveaway with a little "family love".

The winner of the Custom Family Plaque is  . . . .

Gina Evans from San Antonio, Texas!

Congratulations Gina!! Please contact us at ashli@minimanorblog[dot]com and we'll get your plaque started.

If you didn't win but can't live without one of these family heirlooms you can definitely still buy one . . . they ship worldwide so anyone anywhere can have one of their own.

and please keep them in mind for Address Numbers, Custom Signage, Custom metal work and well basically anything else you could think up!!
A special thank you again to Saltspring CNC. 
Thank you again to everyone who entered!!!! Congratulations GINA EVANS!!

The Best BROCCOLI you've ever had!

I have wrote so many weird things I never thought I'd ever write and today is no exception, today I'm sharing The BEST BROCCOLI recipe I've every had!!! Seriously Delicious!!!
Other things I never thought would happen, Lee might have been working late and I might have eaten 4 cups of this Broccoli to myself . . . :S
I call it Lemon, Pine Nut, Parmesan Broccoli! (A little more descriptive then needed but it really gets the point accross).

You'll need:
Some Pine nuts for 4 cups of broccoli I used 1/8 of a cup toasted in a pan quickly!
4+ cups of Broccoli (I use about 3 or 4 broccoli Crowns)
1/8 of a cup shredded Parmesan Cheese (don't use the cheap kind in the shaky jar at the back of the fridge splurge for fresh grated)
Juice of half a lemon (Use a fresh Lemon) you can add more lemon if you like, I usually add more to mine after Lee's taken his.
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut up Broccoli, place on baking sheet. Toss with a drizzle of Olive Oil and a generous sprinkling of Salt and Pepper.
Roast broccoli in oven for approx 10- 15 min . . . seriously keep an eye on it, it goes from done to burnt in like 2 seconds!
Toast pine nuts in pan.
Add Broccoli, Toasted Pine Nuts, Lemon Juice and Parmesan in a bowl together!

Get a Fork, eat Broccoli! HANDS DOWN BEST BROCCOLI EVER!!!!
if you don't like lemon you probably won't like this broccoli . . . I'm talking to you Dad!

A little Broccoli info:
Broccoli is rich in cholesterol-reducing fiber and has antiviral and antiulcer activity. It is a super source of chromium that helps regulate insulin and bloodsugar. Broccoli is also a good source of calcium, thus help fight osteoporosis. Broccoli has large amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber!

*Check back later today for our Family Love giveaway winner!!! Yup it's a two post kinda day!*

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Brown Pillows

This weekend I made some progress on my Living Room Plan. {If you missed our living room plan you can check it out here.} I sewed up some of my famous envelope pillow covers, (btw anything pinned more than once I declare famous ;)

I found the floral fabric at Fabricland and would you believe that the dark pillow on the right and the light pillow on the left are the same fabric??? The darker color is the "wrong" side of the fabric (I actually prefer it).

I didn't sew the middle pillow it was from Homesense and it was on serious markdown . . . $11.00 that's crazy! It's my new favorite pillow!

and the last picture is my attempt at artsy . . . it didn't really work out but I thought I'd throw it in there!

Next on the Living room list is, one pillow with a little bit of color in it! And some homemade gear artwork . . . assuming I can find gears (I might need some of Lee's help for that).

Monday, February 20, 2012

One % {P}inspiration Challenge

I've made my fair share of Pinterest projects . . . some worked out, and some definitely didn't. But just as sure as I can't walk past a shoe sale, I'll keep trying new Pinterest Projects!

Which brings me to Today's Post. I Joined up with Amanda from Our Humble A{Bowe}d and Sarah from Russet Street Reno for the One % {P}inspiration ART Challenge!

I LOVE a good challenge! So I picked one of the many art projects I have pinned and I'm going to attempt to replicate it (with my own spin of coarse).  I've been dragging my feet trying to think up some guest room art work. I wanted it to be fun, and bright but not so jarring that our guests can't sleep!
 Here's what I'm thinking:
Inspiration found here.
 Inspiration found here.

Amanda and Sara have picked their own and personally I can't wait to see what they're up to.
I also can't wait to see what you've been up to.

Next Wednesday February 29th! We'll each be holding a Linky Party (Mini Manor's first ever linky party!!) I HOPE you'll join in with your latest and greatest Pinspired Creation!!

Don't forget WEDNESDAY FEB.29TH!!! WOOO HOOOO (sorry it just felt like a woo hoo moment!).

I Believe in PINK

For as long as we've been together Lee and I have shared a desk space. But now Thanks to an old laundry room cabinet I now have my own Desk space. So when it came to organizing MY desk I decided PINK was the only way to go!
Here's my PINK progress:

The color is Martha Stewart's Persimmon RED! The pre-made testers are on clearance at Home Depot right now for $1. So I was able to paint all 8 wood boxes for $1!! (I also picked up a tester or two of every other color they had pre made! I looked CRAZY!)
Next step is to add some labels and then fill 'em up with all my office odds and ends!
Hope you had a Great Weekend! I took full advantage of an at Home husband this weekend and rested, I'm feeling so much better!! Thank you so much for all the well wishes you sent!!! I plan on writing up some extra posts this week to make up for my absence last week!!

Starting today! Check back in a couple of hours I have a GREAT collaboration post with . . . Amanda from Our Humble A{Bowe}d and Sara from Russet Street Reno!

And Last . . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Calling in SICK!

Today I'm calling in SICK! I wish I had a new project to show you but I haven't moved off of the couch since SUNDAY!
 Image found Here.

Poor Lee,  I believe he Just ran out of socks . . . so I'll spend half of today mustering up the energy to put a load of laundry in, and the rest of the day recovering from my big laundry event! But Yesterday was the first day I could smell so that's improvement . . . although the smell was Max's accident beside the back door while I was napping on the couch :S So maybe it wasn't  win win!!
I've been splitting up my time between sleeping and redecorating rooms in my head!
I've come up with an entirely new feng shui Layout and color scheme for the entire house! (Keep an eye out for a post on that).
But mostly I've been watching awful daytime television . . . where's Oprah when you need her!!! 

Here's my Super Sick Survival Kit:
I have a STACK beside me . . . Martha's New Organizing Magazine (although at $10.95 it's more like a flimsy book).

House and Home's February Issue, as well as Style at Home's February issue.

I also have my collection of Martha Stewart Magazines scattered about . . . mostly her spring issues (might as well start planning for Spring).

2) Gingerale! Drink of mildly queezy!

3) My laptop with a constant Pinterest Feed! And I'm now so caught up on facebook I've reached creepy and borderline stalker status.

4) Movies . . . I have watched every free movie our cable company has to offer . . . word to the wise . . . Step up 3 is as bad, if not worse, than you thought it would be!

5) And, One fluffy, very lazy, little doggy to keep you company!

6) Oh, and if at all possible Fresh Flowers! Thankfully Valentine's Day was this week so I get to stare at a lovely bouquet of Gerbers (I should have pictures up tomorrow for a V-Day Flowers on Friday!!!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Decor and a DIY sweater!

Happy Valentine's DAY!!!!

What incredibly romantic plans do we have for Valentine's Day?? you ask ;)

Lee's going to watch me blow my nose 500 times and then listen to me complain about how sick I am, then I'm going to go to bed early with a water bottle and a humidifier!! . . . all the while I'll be wearing my Flannel Monkey Bowling Pajama's . . . sooooo sexy!

But before I came down with what can only be compared to the bubonic plague. I managed to do some Valentine's Related projects.

First: This one is for all the flower snobs out there ;) A very cute little bouquet of Pink Carnations! I'll just say it . . . "I like BIG Fluffy carnations and I can not lie!"

I also strung a up a pink banner along the fireplace (I made it using this technique).

Second: I made a little rag wreath using scraps of fabric. It was soooo easy! Lee took some wire and made a circle for me (you could use a metal clothes hanger or anything similar), and I just single knotted strips of fabric around the wire until it was full!!!

Third: I sewed CUTE little hearts on to a simple grey sweater I had! The little pink hearts are cashmere . . . just say'in ;) I found a cute cashmere sweater at a second hand store and it was in bad shape, but they only wanted $2 for it and the back was in great shape. So I bought it and cut two little hearts out of it and sewed them on!!! I think it might be my new favorite sweater!

and last . . . a little Valentine's Day Gift for us.
I was at Jo Ann fabric and Lee was as he puts it "trying not to explode from boredom" anyway, he found this picture (I think more as a joke) anyways, I loved it so we bought it and it found it's place above my nightstand!

Happy Valentine's DAY!!! cough, cough, sniff, sniff!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Family Sign Giveaway!

We have a very special giveaway for you today.
I've mentioned before that I am the least talented member of my family in this post. I have some more proof of that today! My aunt and her very talented husband Ron make amazing signs. Cottage signs, business signs, and now family plaque signs!

They made us carved us this beautiful sign out of MAPLE they harvested off of their property.

I had only 2 questions:
1) How do you do that??? 
They burn the images and letters into wood with a laser which is how they get such amazing detail.
 2) Will you host a giveaway on the blog???
They said YES!!! 

Aunt Donna and Ron, through their company, are offering a custom family plaque for one of our lucky readers!!!


Here's the details: 

Prize: One custom family plaque, with your family name and established date!

To Enter: Comment below "Family Love"
Bonus Entry: Go to and pick out your favorite sign, come back and let us know which one it is!!!

Contest open to: Canada and the United States!

Contest Closes: February  21st, 2012 at 11:59 pm PST.
Winner will be announced February 22nd!!!!


A special thank you to Salt Spring CNC for sponsoring our giveaway today. Make sure to check out their custom metal work, address signs and custom lettering too.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Powder Room Art!

Blue and Green go together like ice cream and hot fudge, like politicians and scandal . . . like cheese and . . . everything!! :)

With my blue and green scheme in mind I went on the hunt for artwork. I knew I wanted something green but I didn't want to buy something JUST because it was green I had to LOVE it too. So I waited and waited some more, until one day we were at Canadian Tire . . . Lee was getting oil for and oil change on the cars. I was browsing their very sparse Home Section when I came across some canvas art Clearance Priced at $5 and there she was All Green and Perfect!

 Some times what your looking for is in the last place you look . . . like finding your future husband at a volleyball tournament when your wearing no make-up and a sports bra ;) haha.

I hope you're enjoying the Blue and Green as much as we are!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Review: Wheat Belly

The last couple of weeks I've been reading "Wheat Belly: Loose the Wheat, Loose the Weight, and find your way back to health! "  By Dr.William Davis

First a short story about how I came to be in possession of the book . . . my mother in law mailed it to me for my Birthday. I'd never heard of it before, all I saw was "Wheat BELLY, Loose the Weight!!"  haha
I had a mild freak out (seriously my mother in law just bought me a weight loss book for my birthday), I then remembered that My Mother in Law definitely doesn't think I'm fat (quite the opposite in fact, she always says I'm too skinny) so I started reading it!! And I'm glad I did!!! It just proves Mothers Know Best!

Half of the book I loved and couldn't put it down and the other half of the book ? ? ? just seemed like a re-packaged Atkins Diet!

The first part of the book spoke about what humans have done to wheat. We have genetically modified it so badly that we've basically ruined it! When I think of wheat I think of 4 foot tall fields of amber colored plants, but currently Wheat has been genetically modified to be much smaller, around 2 feet, and now produces more wheat from a smaller plant. Which sounds great . . . but . . . these new smaller plants only share about 95% of the same genetic makeup as ancient wheat!!! (to put that another way . . . humans and Monkeys share roughly about the same percentage of DNA as these two forms of wheat).
Furthermore, these new hybrids are unable to live in natural conditions and require large amounts of pesticides and chemicals in order to live.

Then the book segways into how wheat affects us . . . Wheat raises your blood sugar more than any other carbohydrate (even more than a candy bar). Dr. Davis Lists off a number of medical disorders and diseases and just plain ailments that can be the result of wheat consumption (number 1 being obesity).

Dr. Davis provides TONS of hard evidence to prove his theories (which really aren't theories because the evidence is very undeniable), but this is where the book looses me.

At this point in the book he moves into diet recommendations . . . most of which seem . . . well. . . . a bit EXTREME. I agree, we (as a society) shouldn't be eating so many wheat products, but then Davis goes on to recommend cutting out all Carbs everything even starchy vegetables like potatoes and Legumes. That seems extreme and un-necessary to me, and the evidence he uses to support this theory is shaky and definitely NOT as concrete as the evidence he used earlier in the book.
Also . . . . Artificial Sweetener goes against everything I believe in . . . you know things like Taste Buds and nature etc . . .

Lastly the book goes into a full blown weight loss program I totally skipped this part, I think that's what my Mother in Law would have wanted! :)

So there's my review. . . The first part of the book was AMAZING! And definitely still worth buying the book for.

On a side note: Does anyone else suffer from FOOD GUILT stemming from all the books and documentaries out there. Thanks to Food Inc. and Forks over Knives (an amazing Documentary by the way, one I might even say changed our lives) I feel awful about eating meat. And now thanks to Wheat Belly I feel bad about eating wheat! I'm glad people are shedding some much need light on these issues but I'm HUNGRY darn it! haha I'm headed to the bookstore to buy a Vegan Cookbook this week!!! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

White Bean Soup

This is one of our FAVORITE winter soups! White Bean soup with carrots, corn, celery and Bacon!

4 slices of bacon
2 14oz cans of White Kidney Beans
3 or 4 spring carrots
1 or 2 stalks of Celery
1 or 2 cloves of Garlic
1 Onion
1 Can of Corn
1 or 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
Small Pinch of Dried Thyme
1 Box (1 liter) Chicken Stock

Dice up bacon and fry large stock pot or dutch oven.
When the bacon is browned add the onions, celery and garlic . . . saute for 5 minutes.
Add Carrots and thyme to the pan and saute for another 2 minutes.

Add Beans, Corn, and chicken stock, whisk in Tomato Paste and salt and pepper to taste!
Cook on low for 45 minutes! 

It's truly delicious! and super easy to make!
I really hope you try this on the next rainy day!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

How To: Sew Napkins!!

Since Lee bought me a new sewing machine for my birthday (in November), I've been sewing like a crazy old lady making outfits for her cats (that just means a lot!).
I started with our recovered ottoman, moved on to some curtains, made a couple dozen bar mops, sewed some table runners for Chinese New Year, and now I'm making napkins!

I Love Napkins . . . They're the more eco friendly choice over paper towel, they come in great fabric, and they make the dinner table look AMAZING!!!

In the words of Montell Jordan "This is how we do it"
  • I use quilting fabric (usually from Jo-Ann Fabrics)
  • It takes 1 yard of Fabric to make 4 napkins. (That's 1 'fat quarter' for each napkin). There is NO wasted fabric!
  • And your iron is almost as important as your sewing machine.
1) Lay the fabric out flat and cut in half, then cut each half in half (so that you'll roughly have the size of napkin you want!!)

2)Iron you fabric, then fold a 1/2 inch seam down one side and iron into place, fold a 1/2" seam down the opposite side and iron into place.

3) Now fold over and iron 1/2" seams on to the other two sides.

 4) Now, I do a double fold because I like a nice finished edge, yes it's the back of the napkin, yes nobodies going to see it . . . but I still like the nice edge!
So if you're like me and still want a nice finished edge, repeat step 2 and 3, and fold those edges over on more time, in the same order.

5) For the corners I like them to look like a little miter corner, so I fold under the top fabric in each of the 4 corners Fold back over and Iron in to place!

5) Start sewing in a corner, and work your way around, when you get to a corner leave the needle in and turn the fabric, making sure those mitered corners are lined up before you sew them down!

End result:

Napkin making might be my new obsession, there are so many fabrics and so many different combinations.

So far I've created Yellow ones (my personal favorite):

A set 4 of Chocolate Cloud Napkins:

Chocolate Brown Paisley a set of 6:

Leafy multicolored ones with a red polka dot stripe running through them. To do these ones I just followed all the steps I listed above, then I took a strip of fabric and sewed it to the napkin just like I did with the Bar Mops I made a couple of weeks ago.

I also sewed in a little M :)

Making your own napkins is super affordable!! A yard of quilting fabric will cost you about $7. The Yellow fabric was $7 for 4 napkins.
The Chocolate Brown paisley was free because it was leftover from a recent pillow project!
And the red/multicolored napkins were $5 for a set of 4!

I think Napkins are the best part of a table! So what do ya think . . . planning on sewing some anytime soon??!!


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