Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Bedder Idea?

I have a bedroom problem. Mostly, it is a problem with the fact that due to a LACK of bedroom, I am forced to squish a bed into a corner (that isn't even really a corner). There is nothing amazing about my bedroom. The duvet is it's best defining feature (It is the Pintuck Duvet from West Elm)! If you are in my bed, you would know it is a delicious pile of softness and comfort (memory foam pillows and mattress will do that!), but it's awesomness doesn't really come across in person.

Usually, it looks like this:

The other day, I tried styling the bed more like a day bed:

But it also doesn't really work! Because the couch is just north of the bed and its like one side of the condo is sitting and the other side is furniture. It is a strange dichotomy indeed. So I do not think that my bed can pretend it is a day bed. It needs to embrace it's bed self (it's inner bedness, if you will). Therefore I have been doing the only logical thing and scouring Pinterest for bedroom inspiration. Here are the looks I am swooning on.

I looove this corner headboard thing. It really works for me because my bed is also in a corner (you rarely see beds in corners in designer rooms- but trust me when I say it is the best option for me). Weird thing is that this was one of the first photos I ever pinned to Pinterest and now it is gone off my Pinterest? Strange. But I found it again!

I love the idea of facing my bed the other way (and by that I mean moving my pillows to the other end) and anchoring it with a big piece of furniture. But this option wouldn't really work unless I got rid of, or downsized, some of my other furniture so the condo doesn't become overrun with furniture. And I ain't ready to go through all that.

I pinned this one purely for the awesome teal wall/coral headboard combo. A girl is allowed to crush on a colour scheme right?

Another colour combo I love! Again that teal showed up- how interesting! But this one mixes it with pink and yellow and is beautiful :)

I love the deep grey and yellow and this picture, along with the muted picture frames! But the reason I pinned it is because of that bedskirt. I have been seeing so many pins and posts about DIYing a bedskirt and I don't know why I didn't think of it before! Right now I just have my box spring covered with a cheap white fitted sheet. Hmm I sense a fun sewing project coming up! Not fun part? Lifting my giant pillow top mattress up. haha

Want to know something strange- each of these photos has a white or very pale bedspread! Like mine! Totally unplanned and not noticed by me until writing this post, but kind of neat to see that my original choice of bedspread two years still works with my vision for the bedroom area.

So tell me what you think! What do you think with take my bedroom from a snoozefest to VA-VA-VOOM?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Truth About Living Alone

I have a lot of friends that have always lived with someone else, whether is roommates, family, or a spouse. They often remark to me "I always wish I had had the chance to live on my own for a bit". Because, when you live with another person, those alone times are these strange, stolen moments that they enjoy. They envision living alone as peace and freedom. I thought I would write a bit today about the truths of living alone.

1. You are alone. A lot.
I work in an office of 3 people. There are many days where I am the only person in the office all day, and then I go home to my condo and sit at home all night. I actually can manage to go through an entire day without speaking! It is really weird at first, but I get used to it. And if I get bored, I make plans with friends to go out. I also talk to people online all day so I never truly feel disconnected. Point is- you have to be prepared to spend the day with yourself. Luckily I have found I enjoy my own company!

2. It's quiet
Like, really quiet. When I lost my voice at New Year's due to a bad cold, I actually found myself talking to myself to test my voice and it was very strange. I also have my TV going all the time at home. I cancelled my cable for a year, but I still found myself turning on Netflix or putting in a movie to break the silence. I don't even watch the TV much, I just enjoy having noise around me. When I have the TV off I feel sleepy because my body has learned that silence= bedtime :)

3. The most terrifying noise is a knock at the door
I know I am not alone in this. I am terrified to answer my door and I often mute the TV and pretend I am not home. The one time I opened the door some kid roped me into buying a bunch of chocolate covered almonds (kid was good). The problem is it isn't always a cute kid selling deliciousness. Most of the time my mind thinks "AXE MURDERER!". But the polite kind- the kind who knock first.

4. No one is watching out for you
The first thing I thought when I moved into my own place was "I am going to eat healthy and exercise more because I will be responsible for only myself!". You know what actually happens? You eat an entire large pizza in one evening because no one is there to witness your shame. I also miss sharing junk food! When I had a roomie, she and I would split that large pizza!    

5. It's all on you
No one is there to buy the groceries, clean the condo, or pay the bills but ME. If I lose my job, there is no second income to coast on until I figure stuff out. When I am tired after work, there is no person to cook me dinner and do the cleaning up (I assume all husbands do that, right?). You have to become pretty independent because no one else is going to be looking out for you. For instance- right now my fridge has half a green pepper, some eggs, and some moldy cheese in it. I have no one to blame but me. There is also no one to share the chores with. If the bathroom is disgusting I have no one else to blame.

6. No one is there to take care of you
A couple of years ago I got the flu- bad. Then I was prescribed Tamiflu, which I ended up having a bad reaction to. I have never been so sick in my life! It was horrible and there was no one around to help me. If I wanted ginger ale or crackers I had to put on pants a drag my butt through the cold to buy some. There was no one to rub my back, bring me meds and water, and help me feel better. One of my biggest fears is breaking my leg because I have no idea how I would survive on my own.

7. It's expensive
You can rent a one bedroom apartment in Toronto for like $1600 (depends on the area, but just go with me here). If you are sharing with a significant other, that is only $800 each! A bachelor apartment? It will be at LEAST $1000. Units comparable to mine go for $1200 a month. It is insane! Factor in the fact that you can't split cable, internet, or buying furniture, and you are looking at a pretty expensive lifestyle!

8. Cooking for one is hard
Unless you enjoy eating the same leftovers all the time, cooking for one is hard. I often find I am finding ways to halve recipes or I have to eat the same dish for 4 or more meals! I also find ingredients take so much longer to use up, and this is a problem when a recipe calls for something perishable! You soon learn to shopping and cooking carefully because you and you alone are responsible for eating all that food.

9. No "helping hand"
Need someone to hold up that frame while you look at it from a distance? Or how about zipping up the back of that dress? You won't find any help around here! You will have to get creative or just accept that it will take you a few tries to get something right. I haven't had a properly sunblocked back in years, but that is a sacrifice I make.

That being said, I don't think I will ever regret the decision to live on my own. I love the freedom of living on my own and I think there is no better way to really learn about yourself and become accountable to yourself. I just hope that I haven't become so selfish that living with another person will be a hard adjustment ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bathroom Planning!

So on Saturday I met up with my contractor Ky (and my best friend, who happens to be dating said contractor) and we discussed the upcoming plans for my bathroom!

1. Replace counter top. 
Cait at Hernando House sent me a link for a company called Solid Surface that manufactured bathroom counter top to custom widths! And the price is MUCH lower than I had imagined. So now the plan is going to be to just replace the counter top with a stone counter and an undermount sink! I am going to shop around for the best deal. I mean, if one company doesn't bat an eye at cutting a vanity top to 33.5" wide, maybe others don't. I actually have no idea if Solid Surface even ships to Canada. Probably not. Point is, this option is probably more budget friendly than it first seemed

2. Replace faucet
Not sure what style to go for here, but I definitely want to upgrade. All I know is I am not a huge fan of waterfall style because I think it will be hard to keep looking clean.

3. Replace or frame out mirror
Bye bye builder grade mirror! I intend to make this a little nicer

4. Bigger medicine cabinet
I would love to only have storage on one side of the bathroom to make it look less crowded in here. That means finding a bigger cabinet or putting shelves over here. The only problem is that a lot of medicine cabinets have mirrored fronts so I would need Ky to redo the front of whatever I choose.

5. Recaulk tub
The tub caulk is badly stained and needs replacing. I figured I might as well get Ky to do it while she is in here!

6. Convert false front "drawer"
I want to have this little drawer front flip down and have some small storage. Like this!
7. Paint!
I am thinking of going really bold in here just for fun. You can always paint over paint right?
Sherwood Forest by Benjamin Moore

As you can tell, I am leaving the floor alone! Yup, not gonna mess with tile this time. I really don't want to lose my bathroom during this and I think upgrading everything else will make the floor less boring to me. I still kinda want a darker vanity, but I am going to make these changes first and then see how I feel about attempting to stain it.

Oh, and as for accessories, I am totally loving this West Elm shower curtain

Monday, January 28, 2013

Colourful Appliances

I am not feeling very well this evening, so I thought I would write up a quick post about something I love- colourful appliances! It is a huge risk to commit to a bright, permanent fixture in your kitchen, but boy oh boy do I swoon when I see one!



Via Pinterest


What do you think? Would you have the guts to take the plunge?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hiding the Electrical Panel

Before I start this post, I want to say that you really shouldn't alter your electrical panel without making sure it is within code for your area. I tried to find the code for Ontario, but had no luck. All I know if that you really aren't supposed to build a permanent structure in front of a panel (like a pantry), it should not be near water (so don't build a bathroom around it!), and it should not be blocked from easy access. I am also pretty sure you cannot store anything in the surrounding structure, if you chose to build a cover box.

Anyway, this post is because yesterday Cait at Hernando House and some of us on Twitter were discussing how best to hide her electrical panel, which is randomly next to her master bedroom in the hallway of her house. I realized that I don't think I have ever properly showed how I hide mine! If you have been reading this blog for awhile (or have visited my condo), you might be realizing right now that you have never seen the panel!

That is because it is one of the first things I focused on when I moved in. See, my electrical panel is RIGHT in your face when you enter the condo! Yuck! I decided to cover it with a mirror because you need a mirror in a front hall regardless. My dad brought me over some mirrors to cover it years ago, and this one chunky one fit the bill!

Now You See It

Now You Don't!
This particular mirror was perfect too because the frame was a inch deep in the back, meaning it would lie flat over the panel. Originally it had paper backing, but dad and I just ripped that off. So my recommendation if you go this route is to look for a mirror like that :)

Other ideas for hiding a panel:
- Painting the panel to match the wall (maybe with chalkboard paint!)
- Hanging art/or an old shutter over the panel
- Leaning a mirror against the wall
- Build a box over the panel, with a door for access (just make sure it is to code!)
- Hang a curtain over the area
- Cover it with framed corkboard and make it a message centre
- Hang a framed calendar over it
- Hang a frame around it and pretend it is modern art ;)

If your panel is not centered in the wall, don't be afraid to use a covering that is larger than your panel to make it look nice and even on the wall!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Little Online Shopping!

I know I don't usually post fashion stuff on here, but I just had to share the great service I have experienced this week (and the cute stuff I got for cheap!). You should know first that I don't buy clothing a lot as I prefer to stock up when I get a chance to go to the outlet malls (and because I prefer having less clothing that is better quality aka- pricy!). I also have never ordered clothes online so this was a new experience for me.

I got my end of year bonus from work a couple of weeks ago and I knew I wanted to spend some of that money on some new spring clothes (like work dresses!). So I set aside a budget for it, but I didn't actually buy any clothing.

Oh wait- I DID buy new boots from Hush Puppies on sale for about $175 in Boxing Week sales!
Love them! Needed a new pair really badly and these hopefully will last me a few seasons so it was worth the investment!

Back to clothes. I was sitting at work last Monday and I got an email for 30% off at the Gap. Even off sale items. Hmm...had to check out! Then before I knew it, these three items were charged to my credit card and being sent to me! Ahh!
Regular Price $65, I got for $35

Regular Price $70, I got for $35

Regular Price $80, I paid $21.70

The site did have free shipping and easy returns but I was still concerned that I was creating an extra hassle for myself by ordering clothes online vs. trying on in the store.

I thought that was it. A little $100 shopping spree. But then on Tuesday (the next day) I got an email saying Banana Republic was having a sale of 40% off of sale items! Soooo....I busted out the credit card again!
Regular Price $240, I paid $108

Regular Price $74, I paid $30

Regular Price $95, I paid $36

Regular Price $85, I paid $42

Regular Price $175, I paid $66

I had to show the back too!!
The crazy thing with the Banana Republic order is that I accidentally hit order without entering the code to get 40% off!!! I immediately called their customer service line and they fixed it in an instant. So thankfully I ended up spending $318 on this little "spree" vs. the $530 I would have been charged without the 40%!! Yikes.

I had picked free shipping, which means I was waiting 7-9 business days. This was the downside to ordering online I guess- EXCEPT I DIDN'T HAVE TO WAIT! My Gap order arrived in two days (ordered Monday, came on Wednesday) and my Banana Republic one came in three (ordered Tuesday, came on Friday). I was shocked. Turns out one of their warehouses is in Bolton, Ontario so they were able to ship sooo fast.

Then I got to try them all on in the comfort of my home! I ended up returning the pink wrap dress from the Gap (looked like a bathrobe on me!), the trench coat from Banana Republic (too big in the arms and shoulders), and the gingham shirt from BR (I was drowning in it/didn't like it). Here was the amazing part- If you buy items for extra sale from the sale section of the stores, it is final sale and you cannot exchange or return. If you buy these items online you can return or exchange! And returns are so easy. they give you a prepaid label in your box that you can slap back on the box and mail the items back for a refund. Or you can just bring it to the store (I did this). In the store you only needed the item, the bag it came in, and the receipt. You don't need to bring your credit card because they have it on system!

I hemmed and hawed on the last pink dress (it's much more red in person, but that wasn't the reason). I wasn't sure if a smaller size would fit better and they didn't have it in store. I called the exchange number on my receipt and Banana Republic sent me the smaller size with free shipping (my item would have qualified for free shipping anyway but she said all exchanges were free shipping as an FYI). I called at 7:30pm on Tuesday this week and I came home on Wednesday and my smaller dress was already waiting for me at home!! Insanely fast! The smaller size was 100% better so now I just need to return the larger one.

Anyway, this was a really long post about new clothes, but I just wanted to say I was super impressed with my experience ordering from the Gap and Banana Republic. The people on their customer service line were so helpful and accommodating and I found the whole process so painless! Plus I didn't have to go out in the cold and deal with rude people at the mall (it is a serious problem at the Eaton Centre). Next time I might even order two different sizes if I am unsure and then just return the other one :)

Oh and nothing beats buying $500 worth of clothing for $200!

Have you ever ordered clothes online? And horror stories?

Note: this post was not sponsored by Gap or Banana Republic. I was just that impressed with their service and I wanted to share!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bathroom Plans (Yet Again)

Remember back in August how I announced I was going to reno my bathroom and then all I did was shop for tile one day and removed a towel bar? Yup. Only been five months in progress and I sure have got a lot done!

The name I gave my blog makes a whole lot of sense now!

So update: I have not forgotten the plan to renovate, I just have been ruminating/too lazy to go shopping for stuff. I have no idea where to begin with this and it is intimidating! It isn't just a vanity and is plumbing, grout choices, new trim, etc etc. How do you even cut trim in a condo? how do you even cut tile? I have NO idea!

But I have decided who is going to be helping me tackle this and she is a pro (she does it for a living) so I think the two of us really need to sit down and make a list of what we need for material and tools and make a PLAN. Then I think I can actually wrap my mind around this!

I have definitely made some decisions based on conversations with my dad about return on investment and saving my pennies for my forever-house renos. I am going to put in a new vanity and therefore I am probably going to redo the floor. The floor is very builder basic and I think it would be a smart update. I may decide to forgo the floor if I can get the right vanity solution (the floor choices and actual tiling terrify me). The vanity is the most important thing though because it is kind of cheap looking and the comparables in my neighbourhood have much nicer finishes (my condo was one of the first on the block and now newer, more modern ones have been built).

The issue with the vanity is that it is custom built into an alcove and I am not confident putting a new vanity top on would be a smart idea because it would need to be custom and the base might not be built for the weight. Plus I need more storage in the bathroom.

So I sketched out this idea of using a narrower vanity, but adding in some built in storage. Is this over the top complicated? Probably. But I would love your opinions!

Actual Bathroom Now:

New Idea (not 100% to scale):

Btw- does anyone else thing my sketch of a toilet looks like an angry duck??

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


If you're looking for instructions on throwing some punches (lol- shadowboxing), you need to look elsewhere. This post is about a fast project I did!

Sometimes I do my blog projects well ahead of time so I can relax in the evenings. And sometimes I go to the spa and get an amazing massage and a shellac manicure (OMG- I am a shellac girl for life now! Well, for the two manicures I get every year) and then I come home and realize I have nothing to blog about because I have been too busy getting pampered. :P

So last night that sort of situation came up, but I was inspired to put together a quick project and not be a lazy blogger! I decided to tackle this shadow box that has been sitting in my front hall for ages and frankly...wasn't cutting it.

When I bought it I threw in a bunch of photos of friends, but they really aren't the best photos and I already had cute pictures of my friends up around the condo so I decided to nix them (sorry guys) and just throw a bunch of cute stuff in there instead! Oh, and I wasn't gonna spend any money either!

First, I painted the background this pretty pale turquoise. It is called "Surfside" by CIL and I happened to have a sample pot of it on hand.

And then I made a fun fabric flower using this tutorial from Ruffles and Stuff. It ended up being a bit too big and got squished by the glass, but I still really like it! I then got a free inspirational quote, made by Ali Edwards and available for download from Paper Coterie.

Lastly, I added in a band of fabric and some adorable fortune cookies fortunes that I had saved! This is kind of my "motivational" shadow box that greets me as I enter and leave the condo now.

Except the two fortunes are:
"A good way to stay healthy is to eat more chinese food"


"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Wonton or Dumpling?"

Honest. To. God.

I loves them.

Everything is just pinned in place so I can always switch it up!

I love how it now ties into the turquoise art above it more. It's like springtime over here! That also helps because it is minus 5 billion outside this week :)

Anyone else throwing together any last minute projects? What about finding any hilarious fortune cookies?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Organizing the Hidden Storage

A big thing you hear when you buy a tiny condo like mine is "find furniture with storage!" And I followed this very closely when buying stuff for my condo. But now I need to say ENOUGH! Because you know what, having tons of places to hide the mess just means you have a lot of hidden mess. Of course I need some storage, but what I probably need is less stuff!

I spent Sunday going through a few of my storage spots at home and then I even spent awhile tearing everything out of my childhood closet at my moms (which was way more fun because of all the awesome old photos and treasures I found). So I think this means that even those of us with more space still find places to hide mess!

I wasn't home much this weekend, but I did manage to quickly sort through and organize two areas: my fabric drawer in the TV stand, and my ottoman!

I don't have any before pictures (just imagine a big ol mess), but now they are nice and neat!

I took all my fabric scraps and I rolled them up and secured with a piece of twine! Now no more digging for a piece and I can fit SO much more in the drawer. It used to barely close! For the ottoman I actually just folded the spare sheets and blankets and then I added in my box of knitting stuff (under the paper) and my DVD folder. I used to keep my books in here, but now that I have bookshelves I could store other stuff!

I still have so much more to organize! I need to tackle the other two drawers in the TV stand, the 6 drawers in my table, the medicine cabinet, and my darn front closet (and the locker, which always seems to collect random stuff). So much to do but I just need to take it one small drawer at a time!

Have you been organization those storage spots too??

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seeing Spots

I read something the other day (I think it was Apartment Therapy?) about how 2012 was the year of the chevron and 2013 is going to be...the year of the polka dot!

What do you think? Could you see polka dots in your home this year?
 Elegantly Understated


Caisa K



Style Me Pretty

Riches for Rags

Society Social
Country Living
Charlotte Minty
I am not entirely sure I would want a whole wall of polka dots, but I think a throw pillow or two would be right up my alley!

Happy Friday!

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