Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Home Outfitters Is Not My Friend

Last week I really wanted to go to Home Outfitters. Upon cleaning my wallet I had found a long forgotten $60 gift certificate to HBC, which includes the Bay, Home Outfitters, and Zellers. Now, the Bay doesn't have much to interest me, and Zellers is all the way out in the suburbs, but Home Outfitters is right up my alley! Unfortunately it is an hour by TTC from work so I couldn't go last week with all my camping preparation.

So I went this week!!

I was very excited for this expedition to Yorkdale Mall, as I was hoping to score a pretty mirror for my living room. See? I don't forget these things- I just procrastinate. haha. I had been waffling over DIY vs buying this mirror, but I really felt like a DIY option wouldn't look as nice in person as I have seen on other blogs. Plus I am lazy. So to Home Outfitters I go!

Upon arriving I found LOTS of pretty mirrors.

I was initially attracted to the silver one in picture two (with thin silver spikes). Except upon closer inspection, the two they had in stock were totally bent. Plus they were missing price tags. Then I really started to warm to the mirror at the top of picture one. It looked much less "cheap" than the bent ones and had a fun convex mirror. I didn't love the bronze finish, but I thought I could paint it something fun.

But alas, I am not 10 ft tall so I couldn't even check the price. I went to the cash registers to find an employee (other side of the store!) and they paged someone to "mirrors" to help me. However no one came to help me. So THEN I went and found an employee who was using a ladder and I asked her to help me with the mirror. She rolled over a clearly-too-short ladder and I asked her to check the price first (I didn't want her to lift it down if it was out of my budget). She scaled that ladder in a way that is in NO WAY safe and said it was $129. I said "sounds good!". Then she climbed down and walked away. I assumed she was getting a taller ladder in order to lift the mirror down. But she never came back! I later saw her restacking stock elsewhere. I mean, this is retail! You should try to close a darn sale, even if you aren't on commission! She must have interpreted my "sounds good" as "dang, that is a good price for a mirror so I am going to leave it on the wall for someone else". Anyway, in this awkward interim time I started second guessing my choice and my ability to carry it home.

So I left.

But I did buy something pretty which I will show later this week!

I did spend some time window shopping for things I don't need, so I thought I would share.

I thought these three colourful prints were super cute for a bright, fun, bathroom. However they were $49.99 each and I am pretty sure you could find a better deal for sea-inspired prints on Etsy, or even DIY some.

This chair was $299.99 (and I couldn't figure out if it was 30% off like that sign says because it referred to red-tagged items and this wasn't red-tagged). I loved the green graphic pattern!

I thought this clock would look great in a modern room! But I would take the batteries out and put it in a bar, always pointed to 5pm!!

I saw these at a Solutions store a month or so ago and I loved them then and I still love them now! They are fun ring holders! My favourite is the giraffe (bottom right). They were $10 each.

So that covers the 3 hours I spent during my Monday evening at the mall. Whoever said living in the city means everything is close at hand is crazy. Also, I found out this weekend, upon arriving at Union with all my camping gear, that the 509 streetcar (which runs from Union station to my condo and therefore is super handy for visiting the downtown core) is on shuttle buses for a YEAR. I am soooo upset. I hate waiting for the bus at Union, especially in the winter!! Luckily this doesn't affect my commute to work. Just my commute to fun :(

Monday, July 30, 2012

Why Camping Sucks

1. Tiny Accomodations
Only sleeps 12? How disgusting

Technically, this was last year's tent, which went MIA this year
2. Health Food
I don't know WHY someone invented giant tutti-fruitti marshmallows, but good on them!
It may take two hours to cook over the fire, but it is dang good bacon when you are done!

Why not make nachos?

Again, we never bothered with regular marshmallows
Making sandwiches for the cast-iron sandwich makers

3. Unreliable Furniture (probably related to all that health food we were eating)

Ok, maybe it was me....

My new chair

4. Being unable to do anything productive


5. Terrifying Pyrotechnics

6. Having to spend an amazing weekend with three amazing girls

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Anthralin Update: Week 3

I am on week three of my treatment: which means I have moved to full head treatment! All I can say about week 3 is that it is messy. I have not yet solved how to do this neatly. I use a glove to cover my head in the cream, but now I find I can't easily remove the glove and save it, so I have been tossing it. Then I need to wipe it all after 15 minutes with papertowel or something. Kleenex won't do it!! Except I am out of papertowel so I am using TOILET PAPER. It is just a very unattractive procedure.

Then I need to wash it off, but I haven't removed as much as I like with my TP solution, so it is so messy in the shower. And this showering is a two-glove one for sure! So that is 3 latex gloves per day for treatment. I need to go to Costco for a better deal. Anyway, Anthralin is everywhere. I found it all over my shower curtain liner, which has me kicking myself for just hanging up a new one! It has also stained my white hand towels...I guess I will just keep using them for next 3 months instead of dirtying new ones. But Anthralin stains brown...so ya...not a good look in a bathroom. hahahaha. It also somehow got on my one white towel. This stuff LOVES white.

Also, this stuff makes your head itchy, and now my nails are stained brown from scratching!! So I have to keep these puppies polished or risk looking like a bum.

So onto my head. It is still way too early to SEE anything (this can take 5 weeks- 3 months to show anything). Now, I should point out that I have had small white hairs on my head for months now, and I recently found a small patch of hair in the back. These are unrelated to my treatment and very normal with Alopecia and have come and gone over the years. I WILL point out if I see any growth. Don't bother looking in my photos!!

One day after full head treatment, I am definitely feeling it. My whole scalp is sensitive to the touch and itchy. Bad combo! It kind of feels like a bad burn. Or if you have ever had a tattoo, it feels like one right after it is done. So wearing my wig is starting to become uncomfortable. A lot of people have a misconception that wigs are heavy, itchy, and uncomfortable in and of themselves. But mine is very well made and I usually can't even feel it, and it holds up to most levels of wind. However now I breathe a sigh of relief when I get home and take it off.

Really, I just long to have normal skin up there again. It is stupid, because I clearly want to grow hair again, but I dread putting my cream on. My poor head just wants a break from this onslaught. When I am sitting at home I just long to rub soothing creams on it, but I don't think I am supposed to.  I always do it just before bed so that I can sleep right after, because my scalp throbs a bit after and it is slightly uncomfortable. It is just so odd after all these years to be putting myself through this discomfort with no promises of a cure. But I maintain my motto of "you miss every shot you don't take". So I am sucking it up. And by sucking it up, I mean complaining to everyone who will listen. hahaha. It really ISN'T that bad, but it is like having the sniffles- it is just annoying and always there.

I also find my skin is breaking out. I think it is because the medicine gets all over my pillow and therefore onto my face. I am not sure if there is a connection. Could be the the 1.5kg of chocolate covered almonds I have eaten at work this week.

Funny thing: only the top of my head stained. The rest of my scalp is just slightly pink from the allergic reaction. Kinda looks like a heart in this photo :)

I love you too, you crazy, itchy head.

Oh, and in case you think I was exaggerating about the chocolate covered almonds:

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Tips: Picking Colours

Say you have moved into a new home and you are now standing in the paint section of your local hardware store and you are LOST. Where do you start?

Well you may have an inspiration photo, like me, and then you are all set to create a palate. But what if nothing has inspired you? Well there is one easy place to start:

Your closet! There is an endless supply of colours in there! And they are colours you LIKE, because you wear them every day! So why not look at your favourite outfits and pick and choose some colours off of there. Bonus- you will look as good sitting in your house as you do walking in your clothing.

This is my favourite summer outfit:

By the way- it is really hard taking self portraits when you live alone!

So yes, I love turquoise and it appears a lot in my closet! I also like ruffles, clean whites, and a little bling! And as for the shoes, these are my new Rockport boat shoes and I completely love!

I think after all this time you can see how my favourite outfit and my home reflect each other!


Yes, my bathroom is very bright turquoise, but it is hard to photograph

White, Grey, Ruffles:

And a little bit of yellow:

And, of course, some bling:

So, if you are looking for a little inspiration, there is a simple place that you can now examine!! Happy weekend! Pray it doesn't rain on me while I am camping!

Also, I am doing an Anthralin update tomorrow, so come take a look!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Need Your Help!

Oh friends and random internet peoples, I am in a conundrum. I cannot make up my mind on what to do in my front hall AND living room!

Let's start with the front hall. Right now it looks like this:

All nice and neat and pretty, right? Well here is the problem:

Whenever I open the doors, I have to move everything! These doors are 30" long and they take up SO much room when I need to get into the laundry or front hall closet. So I think I need new doors! Here is where I get stuck- what style should I get?

My dad thinks bi-fold doors would be nice. I think sliding doors. Are sliding doors passe? My only concern with bi-fold is that I would still need a foot of clearance to open them. Also, I don't need to open both the front hall and laundry at once...so I don't know. Also, with sliding I would need to install tracks along the bottom, which isn't entirely desirable. So please- give me some opinions!! And also help me with some finishing options for the choice you like.

Second concern:

That curtain! Originally the idea was to visually divide the bedroom from the living room, without blocking light. Now I am getting tired of it. Is it time to remove it? I wonder if there is another idea to visually divide the room. I am not keen on a big piece of furniture because it will block the light. And possibly make the room seem smaller.


Lastly, this is one thing I am NOT indecisive about.
This is the Ikea Raskog Kitchen Cart. It is $70 and comes in turquoise and grey. I am just in love with this little cart!!! Here is where I think it could work in any home:

Kitchen: Small rolling pantry, or a beverage cart

Dining room: Beverage cart, wine stand, replacement for a sideboard, if you have no space

Living room: small bookshelf, kids toy/book storage

Bedroom: Bedside table for those prone to knocking things over

Bathroom: Storage for toilet paper, toiletries, hair straighteners/driers

Patio/Garden: garden tool storage, plant stand, small garden stand for a balcony (for herbs or something)

Regardless of where you put it, I think it is just too cute with it's little wheels and it's fun colour! I hope one magically appears in my condo this weekend. I have plans for this bad boy. What would you use it for?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou DIY Art?

So on Monday I left off that I was stumped on what to do with all my canvases. I had given up on embroidery or painting because I am not very artistic with either of those mediums. I went back to what I know best- jamming staples in things!!

I lay out all my canvases and I stapled the heck outta them to make one giant piece. Now some people would say, "Casey, why not buy wood and make a frame?". To which I say "how the heck would I get giant pieces of wood home and where is this mysterious wood store in downtown Toronto?". And I already had canvas so, ya know, use what you got!!

You can see a failed embroidery attempt here! And In case you think I went staple crazy- I did- but half of those were already there holding the canvas on. You can also see the material I will cover my giant canvas with!! This is an Ikea curtain that I got at Value Village for $7. Woohoo!

I needed more canvases to reach to the ceiling so on Monday I went to Dollarama and attached those as well.

I then glued some cork board behind two of the canvases so that I could hang things from my new giant wall art! The two pieces of cork came from the Dollar Store for 2 for $2. I was a bit worried the glue would go through the canvas to the material- but it didn't! Yay!

You can see in this shot how big it really is. Not too heavy though, at least!

Then I hung it up! Hurrah! Now, I just put four nails in the wall and it isn't hanging completely flush, so I may back it up with some Command picture hanging strips or something. You can really see how it balances out the somewhat small frames in the hall and living room. Filling up this wall is difficult!!

It still looked a little plain, so I put some push pins in where the cork was placed (it worked like a charm!) and hung my new favourite DIY art. haha

So that is my new art for over my table! I think it anchors my little dining room. I am still not 100% on the fabric. Navy isn't in my colour inspiration, but I do love navy and grey, so maybe I can get a bit more navy in here to pull it in. We shall see.



I have the table pulled away from the wall in case this feels like crashing down tonight. Haha, I am a terrible DIY-er.

Edit: I updated my "Pin It" button. Before it wouldn't pin directly to a post. Now it will, but to see the button you need to be clicked ON the post, not just scrolling through from my homepage. This HTML stuff is beyond me. haha
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