Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things are Crazy around here!

To say things are simply "Crazy" around here doesn't do the situation justice.

Yesterday I cooked a turkey at 4:30 am! And last night I went to bed at 4pm and woke up at 3 am this morning . . . wide awake!
I've been grocery shopping at 6 am this week, which by the way is an awesome time to grocery shop, it's dead and you get first pick'ins of all the produce!

So why all the madness?? Lee's work has been crazy, so he's been working weird hours and my attempt to match his schedule so that we would have more time together over the last two weeks, has done a tailspin into some very weird hours that in no way match Lee's hours.
Points for trying???
So, Hopefully I'll be back to a regular sleeping schedule by the end of the week, which will result in a regular posting schedule . . . apparently sleeping and posting are inter-related in my world.

Thanks for your patience!
Anyone else ever flipped their schedule?? Better yet . . . anyone ever grocery shopped at 6 am??? haha

Friday, November 23, 2012

Flowers on Friday: Orchids and Thistle

As I mentioned it was my Birthday on Monday! I turned 29, the real 29 . . . not the 29 I'm planning on telling people I am for the next 10 years ;).

For my Birthday some very sweet friends of ours picked out an amazing bouquet of flowers for me!!
I LOVED this bouquet! And it takes some very special people to pick out the perfect vase to go with it!
There are orchids, some tropical leaves, some thistle and I have no idea what those puffy yellow things are but I'm IN LOVE with them! If Lee and I were getting married again . . . THIS would be my wedding bouquet! The combination of bright yellows with dark purples has always been a favorite of mine!
A BIG thank you to S, M, C and C! And of course Olive!  You all have been a HUGE blessing in our lives!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Handbuilt Home by Ana White

There are a lot of DIY books out there right now. I'm sure you've been just as bombarded as I have with book endorsements and blog posts.
I'm not going to rattle off a list of all the DIY books out there, I just wanted to share with you my favorite one, The Handbuilt Home! It's awesome!!! There are some amazing projects, organized into price and skill level. My favorite project was this amazing kitchen island on wheels, seriously awe worthy!
Don't let the pink binding fool you, I've caught Lee on numerous occasions over the past few weeks sneaking peeks at the projects. I've kept it out on the coffee table and so far every man who has visited has picked it up, thumbed through it and had at least one or two projects to show their wives!
All of the projects are beautiful and functional, and the way they are described (just like they are on Ana White's Site) make them seem very achievable . . . dare I say Easy??? 

I loved the whole thing, but if I had to say one thing about it . . .
It is a great book for couples, the men love the drawings and technical side of it (cut lists, etc) and women love the beautiful styling! It's win win! 
I hope you'll give it a read! I really think you'll like it as much as I/we did!!

* I was NOT paid at all for this endorsement, I just really loved this book!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hunter Boots

For my Birthday Lee picked out something that I've wanted for years now . . . HUNTER BOOTS.
I'm in love with my new rubber friends. The best part is . . . it's pouring rain out!
 I've been having the best time outside . . . poor Max I've been making him go for long walks in the rain so I can wear my new boots . . . yesterday I had to carry him home because he had enough of the rain!

Their glossy shine should wear off in the next year (did you know that happens? I didn't) then I will have my much anticipated Matte Black Hunter Boots!!! :)

A RED living room rug!

If you had told me last year that we would have a red rug * in the living room . . . I would have called you crazy! But somehow it's happened. I blame Sarah Richardson. If you've seen her Farmhouse mudroom you'll know what I mean.
I blame the perfect storm of . . .
-Lee spilling slurpee on the beige carpet this summer (a stain that is more stubborn than any surly teenager).
-The previous purchase of a wool rug that was way too thick and had us tripping over it on a daily basis.
-Sarah Richardson's Farmhouse Mudroom.
And
- The fact that we're into the colder seasons, where a nice warm color palette is oh so appealing!

So without further ado . . . may I present "Lucy" (I named her that because she's red like Lucille Ball's  hair!)
 The addition of  a little red pillow on the couch helped make Lucy (the rug) feel more at home!
  I hope you like it as much as we do. It warms the room up so much and makes everything feel cozy.
 I can't wait to add some red Christmas accents!
p.s. You can find the rug at Ikea. It's called the Kattrup Rug.
I'd LOVE to know what you think . . . Layered rugs YES or NO?? 

Check back this afternoon when I finally reveal my Birthday Gift!! 

 *Contains Sponsor Link.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lessons I've learned, and a Birthday Giveaway!

This Giveaway is Now Closed and our winner has been notified. 

Thank you SO much to everyone who entered!  


Happy Birthday to Me! :)
Today I turn the BIG 2 9! Wow, 29 years old here's a condensed list of everything I've learned in my 29 years.
  1. Always keep your mouth closed when using the toilet brush to clean the toilet.
  2. Vinegar is an amazing product, always have some in your home. From softening your laundry to getting out carpet stains, right down to pickling your cucumbers . . . Vinegar is Awesome! 
  3. You cannot please everyone, that's true in real life . . . and in blog life! :)
  4. You will always find what you seek out. I know that sounds very touchy feely, but I have found that when you look for the good you'll find it . . . when you look for the bad you'll find it, when you look for faults you will find them.Try to look for the good.
  5. Being on time shows respect.
  6. Sometimes you have to give up control of things you had no control over in the first place :) haha. This made sense in my head, I hope it makes a bit of sense when you read it.
  7. When posing for photos always assume your grandma is going to see them! 
  8. Friends are the family you get to choose, and family is everything. 
  9. Everyone loves someone who gets to the point quickly!
  10. Marry Lee, he makes life awesome! (sorry girls he's taken ;) haha. 
 That's my list . . . I'm sure there are other important life lessons I've missed like . . . don't eat yellow snow and don't poke the bear, but this is what I've learned in the 29 years I've been here.

So since it's my birthday I thought I'd give something away to you!!!!
 I made another batch of fabulous soy candles and fancy tea towels and I thought I'd give some away! :)
I'm so excited to be giving away some of my very own creations!

Here's the details: 

To Enter: Follow us on Facebook! Pop over to our page here give us a follow come back and let us know!!
Bonus Entry: Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Come back and let us know . . . or follow us on all of them and enter to win 4 more times! :)

Prize: One Large Soy Wax Candle (Lavender Scented) over 40 hours of burn time and Two Fancy Tea Towels!
Open to: EVERYONE! World Wide.
Contest Closes: Friday, November 23rd, 2012 at 11:59pm PST.

*Check back this evening for a bonus post about what Lee picked out for my present this year . . . he hit it out of the park this year!!!! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flowers on Friday: Farewell to Fall

We hosted some friends and their super sweet kids on Halloween night. It was so much fun to trick or treat around with the kids and walk through the haunted house!
As a thank you for having them we were given a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers!
I thought I'd share them with you today because after this it's going to be all Christmas Flowers! Paper whites, poinsettias, mini spruce trees, amaryllis, the list goes on.

Here's our farewell to fall!
We have tons to show you next week . . . we have a giveaway, some book reviews, and a couple great project! I can't wait to show you!
See you then!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our Chair had Cold Feet!

Our Chair had very cold feet . . . our black Windsor chair refused to marry the bench! ;) hehe Just kidding!
He had actual cold feet! Just kidding . . .
Would you believe that he was scratching up our hardwood floors, ah yes . . . definitely more believable!

I could have titled this post "I Hate sticky pad floor protectors" or "I'm tired of finding sticky pad floor protectors on the bottom of my slippers!" Those darn little floor protectors never stay on!

This black Windsor chair is my FAVORITE chair in the house. I saw it for $75 at an antique store (although I don't think it's an antique) but I love it so much! We use it as an extra chair in the living room, an extra dining chair, an extra desk chair, and extra back yard chair, I even sat in it on the front porch handing out candy Halloween night!
Because I have the upper body strength of a kitten I tend to drag the chair around and those sticky felt pads weren't cutting it, errrr . . . . sticking it, as it were.
I found these chair socks at a local store (Diaso) they sell everything Japanese! At first I thought they were dog socks! But then I realized they were something far more ridiculous . . . chair socks.
Long story short! They work, they stay on the chair no matter what and they are pretty darn cute!
So if you are tired of sticky felt pads stuck to your sock instead of your chair I would highly recommend chair socks (there's a sentence I never imagined I'd say).

p.s. You can find your very own chair socks on Amazon, or Ebay

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside . . . because we have no back door.

Baby . . . it's really really cold outside. In case you didn't know we live in Canada. And while it's the mildest part of Canada . . . it's still Canada and Mid-November is COLD!!!!!!

I'll back up and give you the whole story. This summer we bought a beautiful french door in very rough shape for $45! I never loved our builder basic back door and when I found a solid wood, double paned french door at a salvage yard for $45, I jumped on it.
The key to this story is . . . we bought the door this summer. Summer the perfect season for projects that involve your house having no door! We didn't get around to it until this weekend, in the middle of Fall, with the temperature hovering just above freezing, right on the tail end of a mean case of strep throat and a bad cold.

The reason for our delay was, one part over excitement, and one part terrible measuring skills (on my part). You see . . . I got so excited I didn't notice that it needed WAY more work than I thought. I also blame over excitement for my measuring the door wrong . . . turns out it was 1" too wide and 1" too short. Errrr . . . oops ;).

We considered returning the door, we ran around the house trying to find another opening, we cried a little (just kidding . . . only Lee cried . . . just kidding no one cried).
Lee decided that we could use the table saw and trim the door down half an inch on each side. Then a trip to home depot for a small piece of Fir 1" thick. Lee attached it to the bottom of the door, using glue and screws! Since it's the bottom of the door no one would ever know! ;)

Okay, all is fixed here's how it went down.
This post could have been titled "15 Hours of my life I'll never get back" or "Seriously can you believe that we spent 15 hours on this door" or "OUCH, my back".
We really did spend 15 hours on this door. First we had to clean years of dirt and grease off of the glass, then we had to scrap off old paint and stain from the window panes. Just me, a small razor and every square millimeter of each pane of glass, front and back.  Lee taped of each pane of glass, perfectly so that no stain would get on the glass.
Then we sanded the door, using a small orbit sander for the face of it, and doing all of the trim around the windows by hand!

Then we Stained it! I chose 'Dark Walnut' for the inside because it was exactly the same color as the floor, I wanted it to look like the floor color ran right up on to the door. The other side of the door we painted the same color as the outside trim.

Next, Lee cut out the door knob cut outs using a jig you can buy at Home Depot for $20 . . . word is, totally worth the $20 investment.
An in case you're wondering the $45 for the door, the $20 for the jig, the $6 pot of stain, and the 15 hours of manual labor . . . all completely, totally, utterly worth every penny and every minute!
Judge for yourself, before:
After:
I think that in New Build Homes (aka. Builder Basic Homes), it's the special touches that add the charm and keep your home from looking like a big beige box. There was nothing 'wrong' with the old door, in fact it had some nifty little blinds between the glass, but it was a bit on the boring side, and I really didn't like the plastic trim holding the glass in.
This wood feller takes my breath away.

I LOVES HIM! (Yes I meant to add the extra S).
Speaking of things I LOVE! Our New Door knob! While I think that the lever style door handles (like the one in our before picture) are probably a bit more functional . . . but I LOVE a oil rubbed bronze Knob! Oh the simplicity! (sorry for the bad picture I was having 'camera issues'/ 'camera operator issues'.
And Yes . . . that chair is wearing socks (more on that later).
 
I Hope you like the door as much as we do. My favorite moment of any project is when Lee looks at the finished project and says . . . "Oh Wow, you were right that is SO much better", maybe it's just the "You're Right" part ;).  

Taking a second look at these photos, the actual door color is a little less "redish" than the photos. It's closer to walnut color, than the cherry color it's showing. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bird Shaped Shelf

I hope everyone in Blogland is doing well . . . we are both SICK! Lee has strep again, poor guy he gets it almost every year . . . I on the other hand have what can only be compared to as the bubonic plague ;) or a minor cold. Apparently it didn't stop me from shopping . . . I like to get all of our Christmas shopping done by Dec 1st (only because I HATE malls in December).

I popped into Homesense to look for a gift for MOM! And in true amazing daughter style I found nothing for my mom and something amazing for us!
I fell head over heels for this wall mounted, bird shaped book shelf! It doesn't look like much now . . . there is cardboard protecting the beak and the tail, but once it's up and styled I think it will be amazing! I can't wait to show you!

Monday, November 5, 2012

2 Year's in our new House! Where we started, where we are.

We have officially been in our house for 2 years now. It's really odd because some days it feels like we've been here way longer and sometimes it feels like we just moved in! Either way . . . we're happy to be here and feel very blessed that we are able to live in a good neighborhood, with great neighbors.
I found some, TERRIBLE, before pictures (they were all cell phone camera pictures, and not 'good' IPhone picture . . . I'm talking Motorola flip phone pictures).

So grab something to drink and maybe a snack because this is going to be a LONG POST!

Outside:

I don't actually have a starting picture of the outside, but here's one from last year after we planted the hydrangeas and boxwood.
Here's this year:

Front hall:

My favorite part of the house has to be the paneled walls in the front hall.
After:

Office:

We painted all the of the Olive green paneling in Martha Stewart's Heavy Cream. Added some Custom Ikea bookcases.

 Dining Room:

 We changed the chandelier, added a barn door, and my favorite addition . . . the new jute rug.

Kitchen:

Changed out the pendants over the island. Used the space above the cabinets to store our Cookbooks.
And added some window shelves above the sink:
 After:

Living Room:

We filled in the weirdly shaped cut out above the fireplace with a piece of MDF on hinges for storage behind, and painted it the same color . . . most people didn't know that it actually opens up!

Laundry Room:

Super basic laundry room, we took away a cabinet, added a hanging rod, a counter top, some big wide stripes, window treatments. And now, it's my favorite room in the house.

Staircase:

We painted out the Olive Green paneling on the staircase as well, Added a couple of birdy prints!

Master Bedroom:

Did some DIY'd paneling on the wall behind the bed (one of my favorite projects to date)
Added a fireplace to the other side of the room.
Phew . . . I think that might be the longest post on Mini Manor! I hope you enjoyed it! 

If you have a second we would LOVE to know what you're favorite rooms or projects were !!!??

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