Monday, October 15, 2012

Handmade Table Linens

My mom stopped by on the weekend to take me for dinner.  Her bithday gift for me this year was a little something for the house.

Her neighbour is a wonderful quilter who made me a small quilt a few years back.  She had me come out to the house and select some fabrics from her stash as well as look through some of the quilts she had made and select a pattern.

She surprised me with a set of table runners and placemats in some beautiful greys and blues.  It was an incredibly thoughtful gift and I absolutely love them, even though are quite a bit different than my usual style.
Everythng was made reversible which perfect for days when you have unexpected visitors - I can just flip it over!
Here's the reverse of the runner. 
My favorite part is actually the detailing on the front, especially the ombre stripes:
The gift included two runners and 2 placemats.  I wish there were 4 so I might have to see if I can get her to make a few more.
I really like them but I am too worried to get them dirty, so while I am eating on them, I have a paper towel between the placemats and my dish....  at least for now!
For an 80 year old lady, she really nailed down some pretty great fabrics for me.  This black and white one is even laced with metallic threads!
It's a great addition to the table, especially until I refinish it and no longer need to cover the scratched sections!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Last Day as a Twenty Something....

Today was officially my last day as a 20 something.   I've been ridiculously scared to turn 30 for some time now but now that it's here, I'm remarkably calm!

My mom came in last night to take us for dinner which was nice.  I will be sharing her birthday gift tomorrow.

She left early this morning and while I was supposed to work a furniture sale today, I managed to get the day off since it was slow and I had a migraine for most of the day, which I appreciated since I got to spend the day being lazy and hanging out with Cory. 

First up, he gave me my Birthday gift early!

The first thing (which wasn't technically a bday git but a replacement) was a new ipod since he accidently threw mine out a month ago. They no longer sell the one I had, so I got a better one!  YAY! Was starting to miss my pinterest and instagramming! :)

I also got the beautiful Coach bangle I'd had my eye on:
(via my Instagram)
Love me some zebra print!
Plus the sweet guy threw in a little something else, just because he knew I'd like it:
Simply Vanilla candle was the perfect thing to add to the desk in my office tonight while I was making my calls tonight.
It was just a little something, but with him going back to school, we're minding our spending and he listened to exactly what I wanted!
We spent the rest of the day at the dog park. What a great day to prepare for ushering in 30!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


A couple months ago Cory stopped by a buddy's house while they were having a Garage Sale.  He was picking something up and stayed for a few beers before coming home.  When he came home, he had little gift for me!

I was BEYOND suprised as it's been quite some time since he's shown up with a present out of the blue.  At first I thought it might be one of the neat items they had for sale that he sent me pictures of, like the old steamer trunk that would have been kind of cool as a coffee table, but I think that sold.

What he did have was a cute little bath product gift basket dealio, cause "I know you like all that bath stuff..."  :)  Now, in all honesty, those baskets can be hit or miss.  A lot of the times the stuff smells awful or the quality is kinda crappy.  But I lucked out - this set was huge, smelled good AND the creams were nice and nourishing.  Plus it came with a nice nail scrub brush, the mesh poufs, cotton moisturizing gloves and all that jazz.

But of course, this post isn't about the bath products, it's about re-using the container that it all came in.  That's usually one of the best parts of these things isn't it?  They always have it all packed into something neat that you can re-use.

In my case, this three-tiered wood caddy.  I was glad to see it was something nice, bur then stared at it for a couple hours before even having an idea of where to use it.

Then I had a brilliant idea.  You see, we have a couple of these weird little nook things in the house.  The first one in the main hall where they installed a corner shelf...??  And the second in the powder room, where they decided to extend the countertops all the way across, but not the cabinets...????

We've been in the house 3 years and the only thing that had ever sat there was a little basket that I used to throw dirty handtowels and rags from the kitchen into, as a hamper of sorts instead of tossing them down the stairs in a dirty pile.

Since the caddy was a gorgeous dark wood, it would blend nicely with the flooring and cabinets and would be the perfect size to hold extra hand towels.

Admittedly, the towels, when rolled are actually a little big for some of the shelves, but I crammed them in there and love the way it looks!   Plus, it makes the little nook space look a little bit finished!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Porch

Usually, I keep my fall porch pretty reserved.  There's two reasons for this:

1. I don't have a lot of fall/harvest/halloween decorations to work with.  Plus I either never seem to have much of a budget to work with this time of year, or as is the case this year.  I forget that fall stuff comes out BEFORE fall and I fail to get in on the good stuff like hay bales (if you are in Edmonton and have seen them around, please let me know ASAP - Michaels South Common is SOLD OUT !!)

2. I never really know until last minute what I want to do.

This year however, I had the Monday off and Cory was working, so I thought it would use my day wisely and create something FUN for him to come home to.

The first thing to go up is always my wreath.  I made this beauty a few years back and am still absolutely in love with it!  It's super simple but really makes me smile!

I've been wondering lately if I should paint out front door?  It was actually SUPPOSSED to be painted a dark brown like our trim and garage door. But somehow that was forgotten by the builder and I didn't realize until last year when I was going over some paperwork.  We had a chocolate brown door in our last place and I loved it.  But this door has more glass.  Thoughts?

This skeleton in a cage found a home on the handle to the screen door.  Mostly because I broke the hook and needed something to wrap the "chains" around.
Next to the door, we have the little cream table that sits out there year -round.
I decided to keep the enclosed black lantern I bought this summer and was about to change our the flameless candle that melted and got all wonky in the extreme summer heat when I realized it might add to the Halloween vibe.  I threw in some fake leaves that came off a garland.
The scarecrow I've had for a couple years.  I was gonna stake him into the shrub bed, but thought he added a nice friendly touch up here.  Especially with his hand wrapped around the doorbell!
The skull and pumpkin were new purchases this year.
Skull -Value Village (new) - $5.99
Metal Pumpkin Tealight holder - Dollarama - $2.00
I had a couple lengths of leftover leaf garland from when I did my wreath so I just wrapped them around the railing and up the pillars for some color.
My newest and favorite addition this year is the basket of "harvest goodies".  The basket has been sitting in our basement stairwell for a couple years now.  I got it as a planter from my boss' wife but really wanted to tidy it up and possibly spray paint it.  I'm really glad I didn't as it adds the perfect touch here!
The mini pumpkins and gourds and from a box of assorted decor I bought at>Walmart years ago.  It has definitely served me well.  I threw in some natural colored raffia balls from Dollarama, some faux berry springs and some orange and gold pheasant feathers. along with some more errant leaves.
Taking place of a hanging pot on the hook is a strand of skull and cross bone garland.  Kinda spooky lol.
Last but not least is one more mini scarecrow.  I wasn't able to find any potted mums today (might be too late in the season).  But my current pots still had a few blooms hanging on, plus I thought the dead ones added to the spooky vibe, so I stuff him inside!
Lastly, an overall look at the whole shebang!
I'd love a little Harvest or Welcome sign to hang on the siding above the table.  I might take a look later this week for some good sales.
Oh and of coourse, can't forget my pumpkins.  The white one is a brand new find today at Michael's on sale. The orange one is a plug-in jack o'lantern, but I flipped him around.
We'll also be carving a few later this month so those will get added to the bunch!
Hope you're all having a great fall day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Down Came the rain... of glass!

A couple weeks ago, I got a call at work from Cory (who had the week off) and the first words out of his mouth were "don't be mad...."

Sentences that start like that, never go well, so I braced myself and just went with a simple "what?"

Apparently Finley had decided to chase Greyson and ran right off the bed, smack into the 7 foot tall mirror we have leaning against the wall directly across from the bed  :(

Yup, my gorgeous, leaning mirror, custom built by my mom.

The good news was, that even though the mirror shattered into a million and one pieces, the frame remained intact.  Save for the very attractive blood smear on the back of it, from where Cory cut his hand while trying to pick everything up and get the animals outta the way.

I originally thought we'd wait a little bit before we got a new piece of mirror cut as I know they can be pretty expensive but I have been going insance these last few weeks without the mirror.  It is the only full length we have in the house and since our bathrooms are so small, we can't even get a good look.  I had taken to standing on the bed, peering into the master bath if I needed to get a good.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a good option and yesterday I sported an outfit that really should have stayed home!!

So as of tomorrow, I will be calling the glass and mirror company we use at work and getting a  new piece cut.  A girl at work used them to get the glass fronts for her new kitchen cabinets and said they were reasonable.  Plus, the installed them for her, which is good since there was a tony bit of damage to my frame.  You know, and the fact that it was homemade to begin with, so probably isn't the most sturdy construction.  haha

I can't wait!  What other "decorative" items around YOUR house have become indispensible items for you?

Monday, October 8, 2012


Today is Canadian Thanksgiving!  The best part of which, means I am NOT working! I opted out of doing a dinner this year.  But we did go on Saturday evening to Cory's mom and dad's and had a very low-key dinner there. 

I've never been one of those people who really ever acknowledges what she is thankful for come Thanksgiving but this year was a really tough one for me so I thought it was due time.

Earlier this year, well actually it started last year - mom got really sick.  No one knew what was wrong with her she was in a lot of pain and got down to a very sickly looking 85 lbs.  She was gaunt and fraile and freezing cold all the time.  The only part of her that was big, was her stomach.  What initially started as a lump that popped her belly button out like a baseball, turned into her stomach being so enlarged that she looked about 12 months pregnant, WITH TWINS!!!

She was barely able to walk, was in a lot of pain and could barely go any amount of time without rushing to the bathroom.  She saw all sorts of doctors and specialists and was in and out of hospital.  Despite not knowing what was really wrong, they took to draining her stomach to get it down to a "normal" size.  But it never really went down all the way and of course, it would fill back up in no time.  Of course, mom's will to live worsened and she was pretty sure she had some sort of cancer that they hadn't been able to diagnose.

Then, earlier this year, I got a call at work from a nurse saying that my mom was being transported by ambulance from her small town of Smoky Lake to the city and should be in, in about an hour.  Needless to say, I left work.  When I met her at the hospital, tears came.  She was in ridiculously bad shape.  It took hours, but they determined that she had a hernia and part of her bowel and intenstine had gotten twisted up in there.  They were recommending surgery that evening.  However, with her ailing health and of course the pre-existing heart conditions, she was definitely at risk of complications.  The biggest one of course, was that her heart would not be able to handle the stress of things.

Again came the tears.  Years ago, when my parents separated, my mom thought it was time that she speak with me about her wishes and presented me with a copy of her living will.  She had always expressed that if her health failed and all that was keeping her alive, was machines, that she would not want to live like that.  So, as she was unable to do so, I spoke to the doctor aboout her wishes. They read out some options and she advised them of her wishes.  I asked if there was a form we needed to sign and they told us no, they would indicate everything on that chart.

It was getting late, so I headed home. They said that surgery would probably start around midnight.  The whole way home, I cried on the phone to Cory, worried that something bad would happen and maybe I should just stay there.

When I left the hopsital, I called my brother and my dad to keep them up to date on everything.  I had a rough time sleeping that night and was woken up very early by the phone.  It was my mom's doctor.  The surgery was complete and mom was in recovery.  There had been a few problems but she seemed to be doing well. 

When I arrived, I noticed mom was hooked up to many machines, which surprised me, but I kept quite.  I spent the next few days at the hospital, sitting by her bedside.  Mom was in and out most of the day and on a lot of painkillers.  So I broguht magazines and read, just being there.  It wasn't until 2 or 3 days later that we found out she had "coded" on the table in surgery.

When I heard this I was confused.  I was under the impression that as part of my mom's instructions, that she was not to be assisted if her body was unable to continue on it's own.   I immediately had the doctor paged to find out what was going on - turns out her wishes had not been relayed to anyone in the operating room.  They had proceeded as they would with any other person when her heart stopped. 

Relief was the only thing I could feel.  As much as I was mad at the hospital for not respecting her wishes, I was soooo glad they hadn't. 

Fast forward 8 months, mom is doing remarkably well. They diagnosed her with Celiac's disease shortly after her surgery and having made a complete 180 in her eating, mom's recovery is pretty much a miracle!  Her stomach never grew big again, and she has gained all her weight, and then some back. She is able to do simple things such as clean her house and got lots of gardening done this summer.  She also likes to assist the other ladies in her community with odd jobs - gardening or painting, etc. 

This year, I am most thankful that a hospital error is the reason my mom is still with us.  Although the family opted out of doing a Thanksgiving dinner this year, we are all happy and healthy which is the most important.  Mom will be visiting me next week for my birthday so I look forward to seeing her then!