Thursday, May 23, 2013

High v.s. Low: Classy Flip flops

The other day, I realized that I didn't have any "nice" flip flops to wear with a sundress when we went out. I'd actually thrown away a ton of stuff at the end of last summer and then (whoops) forgot to stock up when all the summer clearances happened.  So off to the mall we went....

My goal was to find a pair of simple flip flops that were nice enough not to look like I'd just come from the beach, but still casual enough to be like that amazing pair of flats that look good with everything in your closet!

In my head, I was picturing these:

Yup, the dreamy Tory Burch Tumbled Leather Thora Flip flops I love everything about them.  They're simple, but with the tumbled leather and the iconic gold logo, so classy.  Priced at $125, they're certainly not off-limits, but I'm ridiculously rough on shoes and I'm lucky if they ever last more than one season, so come on, you can always do better right?

Which is what I did!

Our first (and only stop) ended up being Aldo which is where I buy most of my shoes, to be honest.  I actually ended up trying on a ton of different styles, but of course I either didn't like something, or they didn't end up having my size.  Luckily, there was one style that fit the bill:

Yup, they're pretty darn similar!  I mean, these are synthetic, but I would have paid a little more if they'd had the real leather version.  Of course, the medallion is just decorative not a status symbol, but they're pretty darn close if you ask me.  Oh yeah, and they were $35.00!!   Way cheaper than some of the more "casual" looking options they had.  

In the past, I have bought plain leather strapped ones (in every color they had) for around $70, and worn them until they've either fallen apart or ripped so badly on the foot bed that they became painful to wear, so I wish they had done these in the leather, but for the price, I am now kicking myself for not getting a backup pair.  Plus, I wish I had picked up a pair in the 3 other colors they offered.... Guess I know where I'll be this weekend!

Have you scored any great deals lately?  How about some Designer-Inspired pieces?  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Garden Party

It's been a busy week around here - I've been working my butt off prettying things up in the yard. 
The backyard was looking pretty rough - half the yard is dead again.  The perils of owning a female dog I suppose....

We haven't entirely decided what we're going to do about the grass yet, but I am leaning towards having a company come, rip it out, re-level the yard and re-sod.  But in the meantime, I knew I wanted to add some lushness to the yard.
Enter these little beauties:
We picked up 4 of these Emerald cedars for the back of the yard and I love how green and lush they are!  They were the absolute best choice, in my opinion.   However, I will note that if I had my way, I would have added another 1 or 2. 
But Cory wouldn't carry any more, so my hands were tied.  However, I think it will be nice to add more trees/shrubs and perennials over time and see how the area progresses.
My dream has always been to make some raised flower beds along the back and as you can see above , we started....
I've run out of blocks and need to pick up a few more from my dad's place before I show off the finished product, but I'm really loving how it's coming along!
Until the yard fills out a bit (or someone comes to re-do the sod), I wanted to add a little something to make the space more welcoming.  I've typically always found lawn ornament type things to be a little "kitschy", but I recently saw a friend's yard and loved the way her ornaments looked and figured I couldn't hurt to find some that worked for us.  Well low and behold, what do we see here:
Yup, we added a little prettiness to the yard, here are some close-ups of the items I picked up:

I only chose items that spoke to me.  They had to be pretty and have a slightly vintage/shabby chic vibe.  Most of them are in fact metallic or on metal.  I'm interested to see how they will wear over time, with the weather.
I also scored a few of these beauties and I'm entirely in LOVE.  They are the prefect turquoise color with a nice worn-in look to them.  I'm not entirely sure whether or not I want to use them as planters, bird seed holders of bird baths, but either way, I added them to a couple of the posts and want to return and get one for every post!
I really love how the addition of the decorations to the fence add a little something to the yard.  Whenever we get around to fixing up the lower patio and adding a firepit area to the middle of the yard, it sure will make things cozy out there!
Another cute (sorta) find were these solar power bird spotlights.  They were similar to the bird lawn ornaments I picked up a few weeks ago, and I will be putting them in the back by the cedars to illuminate the far back a little bit.
Here's a quick peek at where one of those little birdies ended up:

He seems right at home on a little table on the upper deck.  
I made the brave mood of adding lime to my color palette this year.  I was a little nervous about it initially, but now I am really loving it!
I planted the pots less than 2 weeks ago and they are doing wonderfully!
That's just a quick look at some of the things we've been up to around here.  So tell me, how does YOUR garden grow??

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Target Comes to Edmonton!

I was a little surprised this morning when a co-worker called and said "Did you know Target opened today?"   WWHHHHATTTT??

I mean, I had been talking about it for MONTHS!!  Pretty much mentioning to everyone who would listen, how excited I was to finally be able to snag the same sort of cute/gorgeous/fun/inexpensive
home décor/fashion/shoes etc.  that "all my blog friends" are always posting about!  We had signed up for the email notification and everything.  Then, of course I find out there was a launch last night.... a little disappointed we hadn't heard a thing!

So needless to say, I counted down the minutes til I could leave work and check it out.  Needless to say, it was packed! 

However, I have to say I was a little disappointed.  It's possible I had hyped things up too much in my head, and perhaps a lot of the types of things I was interested in (home décor mostly) had been snatched up, as there were many empty shelves, but it seemed to be lacking the "name brands" that I associated with Target.  Yes, there was a few Nate Berkus pieces and Simply Shabby Chic bedding, but that was pretty much it. 

Granted, I didn't tour the entire store just the two departments I was most interested in, as once I saw the line, I knew there was no way I was waiting around to buy anything.  But it felt very much like the now-gone Zellers.  Albeit, with a few fancier Target brands.

However, I did manage to snag a few shots of some pieces I AM interested in!  :)

They of course have a wonderful selection of glass lamp bases, but I knew that thanks to  
In addition the glass, they also had mercury glass and that gorgeous rusticy-wood base that was very men's-club/Restoration Hardware-y.  I am probably gonna go back and pick up a pair.  I don't know for where yet, but I like them enough to buy them without a plan!
Of course, they had the new honeycomb vases that everyone's been snatching up.  I didn't realize there were 3 different sizes, but I have more vases than I'll ever need, so none came home with me.
I absolutely LOVED these huge baskets with chalkboard labels (they also had a medium size), but I couldn't justify paying $49.99 for something I was just gonna put throw blankets in.  So I may need to knock-off my own...
I was quite taken with this huge white skeleton key and am kind of regretting not picking it up as they only had one.  I think it might be just what I've been looking for, in the front entrance.  I think it's kind of elegant and romantic but still rustic/French country, which sets a nice tone for the rest of the house.
Who doesn't love this cute grey chevron slipper chair?
I wish it hadn't been so high up on a shelf so I could have gotten a better picture and maybe even sat on it!
My happiest find was probably these dining chairs!  At $79.99 they are exactly the right price range I am looking for!  But I am not entirely sure they are the right colors, but I will definitely keep an eye out for fabrics betters suited to our space.   Especially in the tufted style!
  ( I can always add my own nailhead trim )  :)
I was also pretty pleased to find these Fieldcrest sheets.  They feel so smooth and soft, come in amazing colors like this moody chacoaly grey and deep teal color (my Blackberry camera did NOT capture the true colors at all).   The best part?  They say they fit up to a 20" mattress so we're hoping we might be able to squeeze them onto our 22" one.
The new Threshold line features the amazing Pintucked Duvet sets that everyone has, but in new (dark) colors like this gorgeous deep teal, grey and dark eggplant.  If I thought I could cram my ginormous duvet in one of these, I would have snatched it up then and there!
If quite taken with this mirror.  It's the perfect mix of Masculine (rustic wood and metal finish) and Feminine (curved edges and panes).  If I had a space that was in need of a mirror, this would have come home with me.... in fact, I'm not so sure it won't!
These Captain's mirrors are everywhere and again, I like the masculine vibe!
These are just a few things I was interested in.  Did any of you locals visit your nearest store?  How bout those of you who are Target regulars, any special pieces you recommend I try and track down?

Patio Loves

Since we finally had some nice weather this weekend, we spent Sunday cleaning up the yard and pretty-ing up the front porch.  Since we don't really have any greenery to speak of yet - the grass, tree and shrubs all still look a little DEAD....  I knew I'd have to bring in some accents to make things look more Welcoming.

  Our exterior is very beige and after a long winter (and all the dirt and dust that brings), things were pretty bleak looking, so first thing we did was pressure wash (someone was too lazy for that) hose off the front of the house. Which may not have looked that different, but I definitely took note of how much dirty water was coming down.... ewwww!
The only piece of furniture we had out there was the LINDVED side table in cream.   It's super handy when your hands are full, plus it adds some space and different height for creating a little display.  For example, last year's Halloween display
But, I really like having a chair out there and have been looking for a suitable option for the last 2 years but hadn't been able to find something nice looking that wasn't too expensive.  However, a quick peruse around the Ikea site, I found this lovely little option.
At $45, the LACKO was more than I wanted to spend on a chair that really never got sat in and only sat out there for a few months of the year, but I figured it ticked off every mark on my wish list (black, plastic-rattan, have arms, comfortable, under $50) and I was hot and tired, so home it came!

Of course, with the main pieces taken care of (and neutral in color), it was time to add a little bit of fun and color to the space! 
A month ago, I picked up some fun outdoor toss cushions for the yet-to-be-furnished lower patio and figured that one wouldn't mind hanging out on the front porch until either:
a.) I get something completely new and different for the front porch OR
b.) I just admit that I am addicted to this print and get another one of the exact same

I mean, who doesn't love turquoise trellis??

I kept the black lantern on the table and just added a simple little bird garden figurine I snagged from the Dollarama  a couple weeks ago! 

I didn't really do any plant buying until the long weekend, but I wanted to brighten the space up so I popped over to Costco and grabbed 2 hanging baskets and a small pot to add a little color.
(I'm excited for these to bloom and really get full)

Obviously, it's just a start, but I think it's much improved.  However, I'm not mentioning the fact that yes, our Christmas lights are still up.  No, it's not on purpose - we don't keep them up year round.  Unfortunately, we don't currently have a ladder that reaches above the porch so we'll be borrowing one the next weekend Cory  has off.

I think it's the pretty little perch for when I need a break from weeding the front beds, don't you?
I just noticed I failed to get a shot from the street. 
That just means I'll need to get some shots once the flowers have really started to bloom!
Did you get any yard work done this weekend?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Club: Latest Reads

My library card has been getting quite the workout lately.  (I've never been someone who purchases books (since I never read them more than once.)   I've been stopping in probably once a week to pick up items from my queue.

Here are a few picks and a few of my thoughts:

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
I actually really liked this one!  I was surprised as it's a bit more "science fictiony" than I'm used to.  It had drama, suspense, romance and was a quick, light read so it got a lot of points!
Indiscretion by Charles Dubow
This made me think of The Great Gatsby (not sure why) and was a super easy read.  The ending is what makes it worth a mention!
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
I liked that the main character was a bit neurotic and the style of writing - told from the perspective of a collection of emails and correspondance the daughter obtains in her search.  Interesting and fun.
I'm always looking for new books to read, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know so I can add them to my library queue!