Wednesday, February 25, 2015

That 70's Tangent ~ A Place for Pyrex

I have finally found a place to properly display some of my favourite Pyrex pieces.  Last night, Rob dragged this old cabinet up from the basement, where it had been housing DVDs.


There is a story behind this old cabinet.  It came from the railway office that my FIL worked for in Montreal.  When the office closed in the early 80's and the furniture was being gotten rid of, George brought it with him to Toronto.  For some time my MIL used it in her kitchen to store some crockery and then eventually it made it's way down to her basement when she moved to a smaller condo.  It held old books for some time until it was passed onto my home.

On and off since starting my Pyrex collection, I toyed with the idea of bringing it up to the kitchen but wasn't sure how it would look.  I'm really glad I decided to give it a go last night.  Take a peek inside.


The scary thing is that taking all of this out of the kitchen cupboards has freed up space... space to store future Pyrex?  It's a sickness, I tell you.  ;)







Not only is every piece in this cabinet thrifted, even the pieces on top are second hand found treasures. (The cloth runner was bought at HomeSense.)


This is such a solid piece of furniture in its original state.  This little metal plate makes me think of home.  


When Rob was in training for the RCMP and I was still at home in Montreal, I sometimes visited George at his office downtown. He was such an amazing man who I still miss.  I always feel very grateful to have had him in my life.  It makes me happy to have this old piece of office furniture sitting in my kitchen.


Jen

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dreaming on Such a Winters Day

It's February in Alberta and there really isn't much to do.  It's when we start to get antsy for Spring to hurry up and get here.  We want to shed our outerwear and feel some sun on our faces without the burn of the winter wind that is.  It is the perfect time to visit the Lottery Show Homes and start some dreaming of what it would be like to win one.  Tickets are $100 and the chances are slim but it is an excellent donation that benefits Edmonton's hospitals and did I mention that it is really fun to dream.

There were three homes.  The first one was huge at almost 6100 square feet.  Very modern on the outside and I wasn't expecting to like the interior.


But I was so wrong.  I loved it and could totally live here along with all of its excesses and extravagance.  It had that minimalist look of the late 60's and early 70's and it had lots of gold!

Gold granite and gold tiles in the kitchen make me happy!


This sofa sat in the sunken living room.  Let's have a party!  Martinis anyone?


Who would think that these three pillows match but they do.


Check out this staircase.  Yummy.  Not conducive to grandchildren or seniors but remember, this is all a dream.  We aren't thinking of cracked skulls or ambulance trips to emergency.


I'm all set to move in once we win it.  Now all I need is a full time maid because this sucker would take about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to keep clean,  a chauffeur to drive me around Edmonton because it is kind of away from everything and I'm too afraid to drive in Edmonton and of course an elevator operator to work the elevator.... yes there is an elevator in this house.

The second house was my second favourite.  It was very white with a very urban look to it.  The fixtures and furnishings had that look of Restorations Hardware store.  Not really my style at all but the main bedroom boasted a bird theme!

Check out this wallpaper!  Wasn't there a BG patterned paper out that was very similar to this?


There were pillows with birds on them and bird art prints.


The big draw of this house is the ice rink in the basement.  The floor is made of a plastic material that can be skated on and there is even a score keeping board.  My future grandchildren would love to play here!  ;)


The third house was ugggllly!  If we won this place and had to live in it for a year before selling,  I think I would cry every day.  ;)  It was super modern and graphic and mostly black and white.


Then there were pops of bright green and orange.  :(


The light fixtures were super shiny and super modern.  :(  There were even some water features in the walls that changed colours... all neon of course.  :(


The only thing that I really liked about this house was the baby in the bathtub.  Cutest little guy ever admiring his reflection in the silver drain cap.


But alas... he doesn't come with the house.  ;)

At the end of the day,  I came away with a decor idea.  It is the real reason I go to these show homes.   Now I will be on the hunt for a glass canister for my main bathroom.


When we arrived home, my house seemed freakishly small.  It's funny how that happens.  Here's to a simpler life sans elevators, ice rinks, water features in walls and endless cleaning and maintenance.  Home is where the heart is and I wouldn't have it any other way.... but it is still fun to dream on such a winters day.  :)

Jen

Monday, February 16, 2015

Postcards, Pom-Poms and This & That

It's been awhile since I posted.  Things haven't really been busy around here but sometimes it just seems like there really isn't much to blog about.  Here's whats been going on.

I've been receiving some happy mail thanks to Sian's Valentine's Postcard Exchange.  There is something so great about sending and receiving postcards from different parts of the world.  Yay to snail mail!


I've been on a hat making tangent and it is all about the pom-poms.  Here's one of my favourites.


And a little stash to keep me inspired to keep on knitting my charity hats.


On the green living front,  I think I was in heaven when I accidentally discovered an environmental boutique called Carbon, in Edmonton.  This place carries everything non-toxic from cleaners to make-up, from mattresses to paints and floor coverings and from candles to coffees.  I could have spent hours in there.  I discovered a new cleaning brand called Sapadilla.  It is made in B.C. Canada.  All natural with natural essential oils like rosemary and peppermint or grapefruit and bergamot.  They smell amazing.  The best part is that you can bring in your own containers and have them filled from their bulk section.  You save some money doing it this way too.  They are really big on using mason jars in many ways.


And finally, in an attempt to feel a tiny sprig of spring, I found these two tea towels at Crate and Barrel.  I am somewhat addicted to their beautiful tea towels and have more than any person could possibly use.  I think it might be the colour and pattern that sucks me in.


Hope you are all having a good Monday.

Jen

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Knit, Knit, Knit & Dyson Review

I've been MIA as of late.  Well, "action" isn't quite the word to describe last week.  The word would be "inaction".  I've been knitting.  It's been cold and snowy and therefore set the perfect mood to stay home and make some headway on my current baby blanket.  I'm hitting the home stretch with only about 6 inches left to go.  I'm hoping to finish this weekend.


Last week I blogged about my doubts about my recent purchase of the Dyson Animal 62.  Well here is what I have been left with.


Yes, it is holes on my laundry room wall from where it mounted to the wall.  Boo to that but at least it will get Rob motivated to get out the polyfiller and paint and fix up the other marred walls in that high traffic room.

So here's the update on the Dyson Animal 62.  For the cost of $549 Canadian dollars... don't bother.  It looked a bit cheap and junky on the exterior but the amazing sucking power drew me in.  I figured it would be amazing to have in the laundry room / mud room for quick clean ups between vacuum days.  While using this tool, I did not like that the fan blew the hot air back onto me while I vacuumed.  I'm hot enough these days when I clean without this addition.  There is no "on" button on this machine.  Instead it is a small trigger in the handle that has to be continuously held down while vacuuming.  It isn't a large area so my hand never felt comfortable holding the trigger down.  It worked for all of 5 days.  Keep in mind that it wasn't used every day and when it was, it was just for a small fragment of time.  By day 5, when I held the trigger down it would not continue to run.  It would go on and off repeatedly.  Bad connection?  Who knows?  That sucker was brought back to Bed Bath & Beyond in a hurry.  They are amazing for returns and happily refunded me my money.  I have given up hope on the cordless rechargeable vacuum.  I'll be kicking it old school and dragging out the broom for in between floor touch ups in my somewhat sandy mudroom.  Boo to icy roads and sand trucks that dominate our Canadian winter.

Hey, tomorrow is a big day around here.  It's Maggie's birthday and she is turning 9!  Yeah, I know she is only a dog but I honestly had serious doubts that she would be with me this long.  Both Gus and my first dog, Toby, came from the same breeder as Maggie.  Sadly, they both developed life threatening illnesses at the age of 7 and had to be put down.  I appreciate this little one every day that she is in my life.... even when she is whining to come in and out just so she can sniff the night air... even when she punishes me for leaving the house by picking through bathroom garbage if I dare forget to close the bathroom door and even if she barks at me like a crazy dog when I return home, letting me know that it is not cool to go out without her. In her 9 years of life she has had bladder stones removed, a lump removed which was thankfully not cancerous and a knee surgery.  She has arthritis in her "good" knee and is on daily pain medication so she doesn't limp and has a good quality of life.  But, she is still going strong.  Heres to making it to the double digit number of 10 in 2016!   I love this little one.  :)


Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Jen

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Monday

Remember that song from the Mamas and the Papas?  Okay, I'm probably really aging myself here.  ;)  It's just an ordinary Monday in the month of February, around here.  It's snowing softly outside which is making me feel quite cozy to be just staying home today.  I was debating on taking down these... but maybe I can stretch keeping them up until March.


It is definitely a burning candles kind of day.


As much as I am itching to start this cross stitched pattern found free on Pinterest by Diane, for my Dr. Who loving Lisa (it's a Tardis box to be put on a tea towel)...


I know I have to keep working on this baby blanket for Lisa's friend Erin.  Her baby boy is due in a couple of weeks.  Big sister Isla was made one in aqua.


What else is running through my mind?  Well, I'm wondering if I wasted money investing in yet another cordless vacuum.  My last two by Electrolux ended up in the landfill after failing to hold a charge after about a two year life.  Is this just another piece of junk?  Don't let me down Dyson.  Yes, we are still suckers for floor cleaning tools around here.  This is just so easy for touch up jobs through the week between real vacuuming day.


Lastly, I'm feeling purple.  Painting purple nails... to match the vacuum.  haha


Wishing you all a happy Monday.

Jen

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Question....

I recently came upon a list of questions on Helen's blog over at I Will Bloom.  I love these interview style posts where readers get to catch a little bit more of a glimpse of who we really are.  It has been far too long since I did one of these posts, so here goes.  :)


What are you wearing?

Jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt.

Ever been in love?

Yes, and still am.

Ever had a terrible break up?

Yes but looking back to teenage years, who didn't.... drama!  ;)

How tall are you?

5'7"

How much do you weigh?

Too much!  I've been wearing my "fat" pants far too much recently.  :(

Any tattoos?

No but I toy with the idea of getting one with Rob.  Something that will connect to his.

Piercings?

Ears

OTP (One True Pairing)?

Rob

Favourite show?

The Goldbergs.  I love Beverly Goldberg and the reminders of the 80's makes me chuckle.

Favourite Band?

Maroon 5

Something I miss?

My girls being little.

Favourite song?

Lips are Movin' by Meghan Trainor (this week anyway)

How old are you?

50

Zodiac sign?

Cancer

Quality you look for in a partner?

Honesty and the ability to make me laugh.

Favourite quote?

"A mother is only ever as happy as her least happy child. "  Not sure who said this.

Favourite actor?

I don't really have one.

Favourite colour?

Gold!!

Loud or soft music?

Soft music.  Loud gets on my nerves after a short period of time.

Where do you go when you are sad?

Inside my head.

How long does it take you to shower?

10 minutes.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

I'm not a morning person and need to ease into my day with some tea and blog time.  From shower to dressed is about 40 minutes.

Ever been in a physical fight?

Never

The reason you started blogging?

To share my scrapbooking pages.

Fears?

Getting lost.  I have a bad sense of direction.  Actually, I have NO sense of direction.

Last thing that made you cry?

Watching the three sons of the RCMP member who was killed on duty recently.  They were invited to an Oilers game to drop the puck.  We were watching it on the computer.  So sad that their father is gone.

Last time you said you loved someone?

Today.  I tell Rob daily... many times.

Meaning behind your blog name?

I'm always on a tangent.  I start something and then I am totally into that thing for a period of time until the next thing comes up.

Last book you read?

Gone Girl.  Loved it and then saw the movie.

The book your reading currently?

Nothing on the go.

Last show you watched?

Downton Abbey.  Love it!!

Last person you talked to?

Rob

The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

I don't text.  I don't even own a cell phone.  Last person standing I think.

Favourite food?

BLT from The Sandwich Shoppe in Sherwood Park.  Yummy!!

Place you want to visit?

I want go back to Montreal to see Thomas, and his parents, of course.  ;)

Last place you were?

Banff

Do you have a crush?

Yes, it's Kevin Costner.  He's my Hollywood husband!

Last time you were insulted?

Can't think of when.  It's been awhile thankfully.

Favourite flavour of sweet?

Chocolate and more chocolate, hence the "fat" pants.  ;)

What instruments do you play?

None.

Favourite pieces of jewellery?

My two Pandora bracelets.

Last sport you played?

Probably dodge ball in grade 10 gym class.  I'm not athletic at all.

Last song you sang?

Lips are Movin'.  It's stuck in my head.

Favourite chat up line?

I don't do this.

Last time you hung out with anyone?

Other than Rob and the dogs that would be last Monday when Susan and I got together to knit.

Who should answer these questions next?

Are any of my readers up for the challenge?  Lynette?  You usually like these posts too?

Jen

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm a "Clean Mama"

Warning:  If you hate cleaning chit chat just skip this post because it will totally bore you.  ;)

Earlier this month I posted about a new cleaning routine that I was giving a go.  My plan was to follow it through January and then decide if it was a good fit.  Well, it is the perfect fit!  Clean Mama focuses on doing just a little bit each day so that you stay on top of things.  I don't think I will ever clean another way again.  My house stays clean and presentable on an ongoing basis and I never spend the whole day cleaning, doing laundry and changing sheets on the same day.  It doesn't bother me that my entire house isn't totally clean at the same time because I am always keeping up on things.  I may not have cleaned my bathrooms on the same day I did the floors but you can be sure I have checked the bathrooms over and done a quick wipe up if needed.  I am a happier person if my surroundings are clean and organized.

As for the laundry, Rob and I don't generate too much laundry.  Back in the day when I had two teenage daughters that machine was always going.  But, I still like that I do a load most days and don't have to spend one day pumping through multiple loads.

There are free monthly printout schedules on the Clean Mama site as well as kits you can buy.  I spent $15 Canadian so I could set up this binder.


Having said that, other than the fact that you are getting empty documents that you can customize to your own plan and documents that set your cleaning up on a weekly basis etc. you can get most of this on the blog as far as information and the free monthly schedule.  I will use the empty documents to fill in for upcoming years, or will just wait and print out monthly schedules.  It does look pretty all together in a binder though and I have also incorporated a section for meal planning in hopes of keeping us on track with home cooked suppers and staying out of the restaurants.  ;)

Last year I purchased this book from Clean Mama for $18 and I have to say that it is worth every penny!  I bought mine through Amazon.


There are so many amazing cleaning recipes in here and the tricks of cleaning up specific issues are amazing!  Once I finish up my green cleaning products that are store bought, I am going 100% homemade on cleaners.  Most things can get cleaned perfectly if you have, baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, oil and washing soda on hand.  Throw in some essential oils and it all smells amazing.

Target has been my go to place for green cleaners and since it is closing out in Canada, I decided to give a few more prepared green cleaners a try,  in the past two weeks.  I figured that if there was anything totally amazing, I could order it on Well. ca.  Hmmmm  I think that homemade is the way to go.


The Seventh Generation bathroom cleaner worked great on the sink and toilet.  I never got to trying it on the tub because I couldn't get past the scent of it.  I hate the smell of lemongrass.  There is nothing lemony about it.  To me it smells like rubber tires.  You know the smell that hits you when you walk into Canadian Tire.... that's the smell of lemongrass.  It is going in the garbage. :(  The Method bathroom cleaner is terrific on sinks and I love the peppermint smell, but it does not cut through soap scum on the tub and tiles like it says it will.  And I have soft water so soap scum stays at a minimum.  I won't be buying it again.  The "Even the Kitchen Sink" worked okay on the kitchen sink but I think I can get a better clean with a baking soda and castile soap scrub.  I haven't given it a go on the tub yet but I'm not holding out hope.  I have yet to try the Attitude brand.  I'll let you know if I discover anything epic, but I think that is not likely.  So far the best green cleaners I have bought is the Green Works brand by Clorox.  The bathroom cleaner works great on the tub and is 99% natural.  The glass and surface cleaner is 95% natural.  They don't have the fancy amazing scents or the fancy packaging that usually draws me in but they work and are actually a better price point.

I am happy to say that I did finish my deep clean.... in a totally tangent manner.  ;)  I am now ready to receive the Queen!  Do you think she would be interested in popping over?  ;)

Jen

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