Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Got You Covered!

We recently re-started the bootcamp training at the work gym.. While I have been in consistently working out at the work gym since I started there, I am definitely someone who benefits from a group/teacher-led class.

Cory and I also committed to working out consistently this year.  I set myself a goal of 5 days a week, and while I haven't always been able to do the full 5, I am pretty happy if I get in 3-5 sessions a week. 

I know a lot of training experts advise to invest in some cute, well-fitting workout gear, to keep you motivated but I am much more a fan of weearing a great pair of yoga pants with one of Cory's loose fitting t-shirts.  (why are men's t-shirts always so much softer???)

However, I do find that wearing some great fitting underwear are key to a ensuring a workout won't be cut short!  For working out, I prefer a bikini style reminiscent of little boy's underoos and have long been a fan of the great little ones from Walmart.

Of course, I had to stop and grab a few pairs today when I spotted a little birdie!

(excuse the iphone photo)

At 3 for $9.00, these are a great little investment.  I like the bright colors and patterns, plus they have just the right amount of spandex in them to give them a perfect, comfy fit!
I chose the single birdie, a full print of flying birds and some cute turquoise polka dots to add to my collection.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekly Re-Cap and a Tweet Little Find!

Last Friday evening, I started getting a pretty bad sore throat.  Things got drastically worse over the course of the week.  I was having quite a hard time breathing, especially after taking the stairs (embarassing...), and every time I blew my nose, my ears popped and I was having a heck of a time hearing.  I also didn't have much of a voice left by the end of the week and ended up missing a few days of work. While I am feeling a bit better, I'm still pretty congested and am not sure if it's from this cold OR possibly allergies.
Regardless, I spent a lot of time sleeping and hanging out around the  house.  I was feeling well enough to hit up the dollarstore today after dropping my laptop off for repairs.  I needed a few little odds and ends for the house but of course couldn't pass up checking the "seasonal" section to see if I could find anything to perk up our outdoor spaces.
Low and behold, I came across these little cuties and couldn't help but smile:
Aren't they cute?
We still haven't cleaned any of our outdoor spaces or taken any of our patio stuff out of storage yet, so things are pretty ugly and bleak outside.  But for now, I can't help but smile everytime I let the dog out!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

High v.s Low: Turquoise Trellis Outdoor Rug

So one of the reasons I decided to start this new feature was simply, because I'm cheap!! 
 I love what I love, but a lot of the time, just honestly can't justify spending the amount of money that even "mainstream" stores seem to charge for things. 

Today's item is a prime example of that!

The other day, I was tootling around online, you know, as I do and came across this beauty:

If you know me, you know I am a huge fan of both turquoise, as well as this pretty moorish patern (I mean, I did spend an entire weekend stenciling it on our Master Bedroom wall
Of course, when I looked at the price  Pier 1 was charging, I let out a little "WHHHHHHAAAATT?" 

And then I realized that the price I was looking at was US and that I'd be paying even MORE than that!!! 
Cause would you believe it, but I bought a very similar rug last month:

Except I only paid $30 for mine!  At Jysk  of all places!
For those of you unfamiliar, you have to check them out! I've found a bunch of real gems there at UNBELIEVABLE PRICES!!
Oh, and the best part?
Yeah, mine is REVERSIBLE!

Sure, they aren't exactly the same and mine appears to be made out of significantly less fancy fabric, but considering the weather here, I prefer the plasticy-fabric for the 3-4 months it's going to be used, so I can just hose it off whenever needed and before I put it away for the colder months.
Besides, if I decide to change my color scheme up next year, I won't feel so put out!
What do you think?  Would you rather go the cheap route or shell out a little more for your outdoor space?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Housewarming Gift for my Bestie!

What do you get a trendy interior designer bestie, who's pretty particular and shops for a living as a housewarming gift?

Yeah, I was stumped too.  Since I've already been to her place a few times, I already knew what her "look" was:  glam, sexy, modern, eclectic, fun (with the tiniest hint of slightly vintage in there as well)  Was that specific enough for you?  Ha ha, me neither!

The problem was also that her place was fully furnished already and she doesn't have a lot of room for accessories or tchotkes, nor is that really her style.  She's not much of a plant girl either, so I really had to think out of the box.  Or should I say "out of the condo??"

The only space that wasn't touched yet (save for a few gnomes) was her balcony.  It's a reasonably large size, considering the size of the whole condo.  She did mention that she was looking to get either a sectional or conversation set out there, in addition to a bbq.  Since I know she likes to cook and entertain, I knew the patio would most definitely see some action. 

Located right off major nightlife area, Whyte Avenue, the condo is going to be a major place for us this summer, so why not get her something to help decorate THAT space?

My first thought was a nice, modern planter.  I even thought of including a gift card for a greenhouse for her to get some bedding plants, but figured she'd never do it herself.  I then thought of including a card that said I would come by when the weather warmed up to plant it for her, but figured it might still never get done.

I thought about getting her an owl something or other since they're her favorite, but she already got a ton of owl gifts from everyone, plus she's got a funny little collection of gnomes that used to be her grandma's so I didn't want it to be too figuriney out there.

Next idea was the best!  What about a lantern?  The balcony faces a back alley, so she could definitely use a little extra lighting. Plus, a lantern could help set a theme and is a great accessory!

Of course, this was the tricky part, I wanted it to be glam and modern and not too themey, since she hasn't purchased her furniture yet.  I had just about given up when I turned the corner at HomeSense  and found the perfect one!

Apparently, I deleted the photos without the candles, but this lantern is (in my mind at least) absolutely PERFECT! 
First of all, it's HUGE.  It's kind of deceiving in these pics, but it's a nice big size.  It was super simple, chrome and glass so it had a pretty bling effect and the light kind of bounces off of it like mirror.
It would work hanging or even on a table or the floor.
My favorite part and the reason I chose this one over some similar versions they had?  The handle!!

Yup, it's got a rustic/nautical rope handle.  Which I thought was absolutely amazing and really "Jill".

I originally wanted to get a ginormous three wick candle, since I think real candles are always better.  But I couldn't find one a reasonable price, plus I reasoned that since it's for someone else, they might not want to bother with the mess of cleaning drippy wax from the inside.  Plus, I stumbled upon a pack of 6 flamless candles (with timers) 2 small, 2 medium, 2 large for an amazing price at HomeSense.  Since I wanted a few more for myself, it was a great deal!
Of course, just for kicks, I also threw in an owl shaped wine opener that I found for something cutesy!
I'm hoping to spend some time on the balcony enjoying some frozen margaritas as soon as the weather warms up and think this will be the perfect starting place to complement whatever decor she chooses.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guest Room - A Before Tour

I've mentioned before that the room we did the least in when we moved in, was the guest room. We literally moved in some furniture from the old place (most of it from my childhood bedroom) and other than that, I bought new bedding and swapped out some lamps when I changed the ones in my bedroom.

Truth be told, the room is actually quite nice and I'd actually quite happy to have a room like this to stay in if I was visiting friends or family.  :) 

My biggest complaint is that all the furniture is pine and has been left in it's "natural" state, which I'm honestly, OVER.  I have big plans this summer to get all the pieces either stained or painted out - I haven't fully decided yet what route I want to go. 
 I'd definitely be up for some suggestions if anyone has any...?
One of the first things I want to do in this room is create a headboard.  I'm thinking I might just cut down an old Ikea duvet cover and wrap it around a canvas and mount it on the wall.  I still absolutely LOVE the bedding so I definitely want that to be the starting point in this space.

I brought in the white table I scored from a showhome furniture sale at work a few years ago, to see how I liked the lighter colored furniture in here and I definitely do.  However, as it's a one off, I think it will be moving to our bedroom for a little reading nook.  I'll definitely try and get another one of the ikea nightstands though.

As for the nightstands, I think they'd be nice painted out white.  I'll definitely be swapping out the shades on those lamps since the original ones went to live in our bedroom.
(excuse the water bottle up there, I use it to water the plants!)
My mom built the armoire back when I was a teenager.  It used to serve as a linen closet when I moved down stairs to the spare bedroom as a teen.  Now, it houses seasonal decor items.  I'm thinking I might want to stain it in a grey stain or white washed-type finish.
The nice big closet houses a dresser where we keep off season clothes and shoes, as well as gifts I pick up throughout the year.
The dresser was mine as a baby and has travelled with me ever since.  It could definitely use a little paint job and some new hardware to bring it up to date!
I've dressed the top with a few favorite things.  The painting my mom had commissioned for Christmas, modelled after a pair of ones she has in her place.  The ginger jar is absolutely stunning in person and I just find it beautiul.  The silver vanity set was a gift from my grandmother - there was one in the guest room I stayed in at their house when we visited.  Of course, who doesn't love Essenza  home fragrances, like this one in Sweet Pea.
At the foot of the bed is the hope chest my mom built when I was a teenager to store the all the dishes and random household hings I had started collecting.  Now it stores spare linens and provides guests with a place to put their bags, etc.
The artwork above is something I'm not entirely sure about but I think when the wood color is changed, it might stand out a bit more.
While I don't have a shot of the window (the sun was too bright and I couldn't get a good shot), we do need some drapes in addition to the dark wood blinds.
As soon as the weather gets better, I hope to get started updating this space. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Give a Hoot!

Well, I never made it to Urban Barn on the weekend, but I DID make it over to HomeSense.....

I was there picking up a housewarming gift for a gf (more on that in another post though) and stumbled across a slew of owl vases.  My gf has a thing for owls, but of course, I couldn't decided which one I liked best between these two:

This guy seemed a little sleeker and modern, which is very much her thing.  He's taller and could really read as a statue if she doesn't buy flowers often.. which is possibly the case since she's kind of a brown-thumb.
Then there was this guy.  A little more stout, he seemed a little cartoon-y.
Since I couldn't decide in the store, I figured I would take them both home, decide and return the one I didn't pick. 
Well, turns out I picked based on the one I wanted to keep instead.....
Yup, owl number 2 looked so good sitting on the table at the end of the upstairs hall, that I thought we'd keep it as his permanent home! 

I reason that I already have a thing for white animals, especially birds.  Plus, he would look amazing with a bunch of fuschia tulips!!!

The best part?  For $12.99, he was a nice addition to our home and serves more than one purpose: decorative and decorative with flowers  :)
So, needless to say, tall/skinny/modern owl is being saved for my gf's b-day since I decided on something else for her housewarming gift!
What great finds have YOU scored at HomeSense/Home Goods lately? 

Monday, April 8, 2013

5 Minute Faux Bois Transformation!

I was feeling a little crafty when I got home from work today so I ventured into the office to see what I could get my hands on. My craft-spirations are pretty fleeting so I knew I had to act on it right away.

I had just cleaned out a cupboard in the dining room yesterday and had a few placemats that needed to find a new home. Truth be told, I never actually use placemats but I absolutely loved the fabric when I saw them on clearance ($.98 each at Superstore!) so I HAD to snatch them up. I really didn't want to get rid of them, so I figured I could turn them into something else!

Why not a cute little toss cushion? Sure, why not? It took only a few minutes and I am super pleased with the results!
- placemat
- seam ripper
- poly fill


1. Use a seam ripper to open up a small secion of the placemat.

2. Stuff with poly-fill.

3. Once full, pin edges together

4. Stitch back up. ( I could have used the machine, but it was much faster to hand sew, since my machine was buried in the back of a closet.
5. Fluff everything up and sit back and admire your handiwork!

Maybe I should have ironed it before I made it, but the fabric is a bit starchy, so I figure it will soften up over time...

I really like silver with the new sofa.

Looks pretty good with the other cushions too!

Think I might make the other 3 pillows!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Currently Loving: Urban Barn

< ahref="http://urbanbarn.com">Urban Barn
has long been one of my favorite places to check out for home decor.  Well this season, they are definitely NOT letting me down!  Here is just a sneak peek at a few things on my WANT LIST!
p.s. Did I mention that I am heading there today?  I'll let you know what I pick up!

This "Hoot" Owl stool is so cute!  I've been looking for a drum stool for a while now, but this is MUCH cheaper.  In Aqua or white...

I am absolutely head over heels in LOVE with this piece.  Except I want it to be HUGE and it's not....
Love the color, love the ampersand, love the weathered look.... LOVE!  I definitely want this piece!

 The Austin collage frame is super cool (even though I would maybe have painted out that one yellow frame).  Only problem?  My gf snagged it first!

The Cartwright II trestle table is EXACTLY what I want.  It's smaller than the original, weathered, rustic and perfect.  Unfortunately, we're not in the market for a table right now....

I'm crazy for these magazine files.  There's also one that says "Anyhing" which is more appropriate for the way I currently file things.  I think these would be perfect.  I have a feeling these will come to live with us!
The Coppola table lamp is  crazy awesome.  But a little too manly for my space (maybe if the basement EVER gets finished...).  Also a little too pricey for me.
However, more along my price point is the Hibou lamp.  It plays to my love of white ceramic animals.  However, I'd most likely swap out the shade for something darker to make the owl "POP".
Speaking of white ceramic animals... HELLO!!  These safari wall vases are KILLER!  There's also a rhino and I think I need all 3!

 The Grasty Throw in jewel is so retro/vintage cool and I think the colors would look amazing against our new grey sofas!

Both the Isabel and Kingsbury frames come in various sizes and both come in white... I feel very strongly that these might make an appearance in our house eventually for a project I am working on.  LOVE!
So that's a little peek of a few things I am loving.  How about you?  Scored anything amazing there lately?  Have your eye on anything?


Friday, April 5, 2013

High v.s Low: Ghost Chair

My gf (an Interior Designer for the company I work for) recently moved into a new condo. As she's a single gal, I was obviously a little jealous of the freedom she had to decorate without having to consider a male presence.  Her place had a very distinctly feminine/sexy/glam/urban vibe about it.

While I don't have any pictures to share (yet), I was pleased to know that even though she has the same appreciation of nice things as well as  access (and DISCOUNTS) wherever she likes, she still gets excited over a good deal like the rest of us, and of course, furnished the place on a modest budget.  Which of course, inspired this new feature:  High v.s Low!

This is where I will feature items I've seen around town, all available on a Real Girl's Budget (probably even on the "high" end).  First up, the iconic "Louis Ghost Chair".

Of course, these are just similar styles, but nonetheless, provide the same style!


The Aurora Transparent Chair is what it's called over at Urban Barn  and it's regularly $219.  Currently on sale for $149.99, it's now priced similarly to most dining chairs.

Jill purchased her 4 "Luxe" chairs at Structube for only $79 each!  Definitely the best price I have ever seen these for!  No wonder she snatched them up!

While I personally, don't find them all that comfortable to sit in for any length of time, I've always been slightly enamored with the clear lucite.  I love how great they are for small spaces since they don't create any visual clutter.

What does an interior designer pair her clear lucite dining chairs with?  A vintage brass faux-bamboo round table with glass top!  The exact same style as one I almost bought on Kijiji for $20 a few weeks ago!  There's a reason we're friends!  Good taste!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up!

Yeah, I'm a little late, but I've been struggling pretty bad with some blinding, debilitating migraines again :(  NOT fun....

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite shots from last weekend:

Finley wasn't too sure what to make of Phoenix's new pony  (who neighs, makes trotting sounds, moves his head and tail!)

This boy sure loved posing and smiling for his Auntie!

She couldn't get enough of him either...

This boy loves anything with wheels!  Like this horse/donkey backpack we got him that also comes with a wheely attachment.

Phoenix and his daddy (my brother) checking out the new gift from Grammy!

Last, but not least, in addition to the requisite tulips, I loved these gorgeous Pussy Willows in the afternoon sunshine!