A Photo A Day For Seven Days - Day 4

4

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wish I'd Bought a Chocolate Bar

After a fun little coffee date with friends, Alex and I were driving home in contented silence (mmmm, fancy coffees) when both of us pointed and yelled, "Hey, S and A!!" at the exact same time. 

Odd that I drive down same street every day on the way home from work and never noticed the sign before.

I ran up, snapped two pics on two different settings, and ran away. The neighbourhood was a bit sketchy and about 50 people (okay, more like six people) went in and out of the store during that one minute. 

Yes, all of them stared at me like I was a big weirdo. One lady kindly reminded me that there was no-one in my photo. I thanked her for the tip. ;)

P.S. I don't know how to take pictures at night. Any suggestions?
P.S.S. Speaking of corner stores, don't you just love going there to buy chocolate bars? Or Ruffles with onion chip dip, or Oreo ice-cream sandwiches?
P.S.S.S. Can you tell that I'm addicted to junk food I've been watching what I eat and haven't had any treats in three days. I'm dying over here!

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Joining me are:

B & B's Mama from B & B's Nest
Robyn from Out of Ours
Carmen from This Is What I Love

A Photo A Day For Seven Days - Day 3

9

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I don't know what the weather's like around your parts at this time of year, but up here in the frigid north it's still pretty chilly. We've got about two feet of snow on our front lawn, and the driveway is literally like an ice-skating rink. I can only imagine how ridiculous I must look in the mornings as I shuffle/slide my way to the car juggling my purse, schoolbag, lunchpail, coffee mug, and car keys. The ground is frozen solid and there won't be any yard/garden work going on around here for quite awhile yet. 

BUT, there is one plant in the house that is blooming. Hot pink flowers even. Oh yeah.

At Least Something's In Bloom
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Four adventurous little picture-taker-bloggers decided to join me for the photo-a-day thingie that I made up the other day. Let me know if you want to, too. :)

B & B's Mama from B & B's Nest
Robyn from Out of Ours

A Photo A Day For Seven Days - Day 2

12

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Don't you just love it when you're in the middle of taking a "fancy" photo of a dead leaf in the park and your dog randomly wanders into the background to do his business? Classic.

Oh, Roary.

P.S. Dawna agreed to a photo a day for seven days, too. (Woohoo!) I have a feeling that her pictures are going to be waaaay better than mine. Anyone else wanna join the fun?

A Photo A Day For Seven Days - Day 1

15

Monday, March 28, 2011

Because I'm bored. I mean I love taking pictures with my new camera.

The hubs is out with the boys at a hockey game tonight. What are the chances that I can't find any good chick flicks to watch on the night he's gone out!?!?

Maybe I'll watch Waitress for the umpteenth time. Aren't the pie names in the movie hilarious? 

"Baby Screaming It's Head Off In The Middle Of The Night And Ruining My Life Pie"

"Earl Murders Me Because I'm Having An Affair Pie"

Soooo, back to the picture thing. I'm kind of bored and don't have any projects to share. This weekend I worked on repainting our breakfast room table and chair set from off-white to white. Not the most exciting project. But, it's on the list and needs to get done. The table is sanded, primed, and painted but that still leaves the four chairs. Doh.

Okay, back to the picture thing. Since I need practice with my new camera I thought I would take on a photo a day project. Anyone want to join me? Come on, it'll be fun. I'll be your best online picture taking friend.

So here is my first photo. I tried to get Roary to sit still and pose for a picture. At least I knew enough to put my camera on the action setting. ;)

Day 1:

I'm Outta Here

Carrot Muffins. With Icing. Because Icing Is Good.

27

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This one was eaten up real fast.

Hello. You sure look nice today.

I, on the other hand, am wearing a mismatched jogging outfit (no real jogging going on, don't worry) with a bedhead side ponytail. It's a really good look for me.

This weekend has been sloooooow-paced. I did manage get out of the house for a few minutes of fresh air today. I tried to smash the last piece of ice that's frozen on our back deck. Just so it would look more like spring. It turns out that ice chunks are hard to break with flimsy plastic shovels. So I came back in the house and made muffins instead. 

Earlier this week I promised Alex that I would bake him a cake. I was dead set on making a big, round, two-layer, frosted carrot cake. Buuuut, since it would only be the two of us eating a giant cake, I thought muffins would be a better idea.
I'm seeing better already.

I found the best recipe ever from a blog called Culinary Life in Berlin. The blog's name sure sounds fancy. It was the only (good-looking) carrot muffin recipe I could find that didn't have apples and coconut in it. The recipe claims that the muffins are very moist. The recipe is........ correct. Mmmmmmmoist. (I totally didn't make that sound while I ate the first one. That would be creepy.)

Tip: Don't grate your fingers. It hurts.

I made a few tiny tweaks to the recipe (half the salt, canola oil instead of olive oil, etc.). I'll post the adapted recipe.



Carrot Muffins That Will Make Your Husband Like You Even Though You Dragged Him to Five Different Home Decor Stores This Weekend

Ingredients:

3 cups grated carrot
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (I reduced the salt to ½ tsp)
2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/4 cups of oil (I used canola oil)
(I omitted the raisins and walnuts, blech)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 310°F. Butter and flour or add paper liners to muffin tins.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and oil together. Then add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds each.

4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just blended. Fold in carrots.

5. Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. Cool muffins in the pans for at 10-15 minutes before transferring to wire racks.


Makes about 20 muffins. That's 10 each if there are two of you.

Cream Cheese Icing:

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar

In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Beat in icing sugar, one-third at a time, until smooth. Spread over top of muffins.

So, so, so, so good.

Another Old Window and A Guest Post and Ramblings

12

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another Old Window

It turns out that a friend of a friend of a friend, in a city a few hours away, finds and restores old windows as a hobby. I ended up seeing a picture of a large, 12-pane window that he had and just knew I had to have it. I emailed to see if I could purchase the window frame from him as-is. What do you know, the so sweet guy said that I could have the window for free. FREE! Who does that nowadays!?!?!

It was delivered right before I left for my trip. I've already got plans to paint it and add mirrors just like my other window project.  

Here it is:


Isn't it lovely?


Our empty front entry has needed a mirror for a long time. This could be the one.


It will need a bit of TLC since it's a tad rickety. However, I'm very excited and I can't wait to get started on it this weekend.

A Guest Post
Image: Country Living

While I was away on my lovely, fantabulous holiday I sent a guest post over to super-cute Cassie at Primitive and Proper. She invited me to write about decorating with white. That wasn't hard at all since you know I love white. I included some pretty pictures so if you'd like to check it out just click here. Thanks so much, Cassie!

Ramblings

Speaking of lovely, fantabulous holidays, can I just say that coming back to real life is really, really hard??? Apparently I've got all kinds of responsibilities like getting up and going to work on time,making beds, refilling my own drinks, and making my own meals. Sigh. 

Where is my beach chair!?!?! Why am I not applying sunscreen!?!?!?!

I think mother nature is trying to punish me for loving the sun so much. 

The temperature when we left Punta Cana: +28 degrees Celsius (+82 F).     

The temperature this morning in our poopy town: -28 degrees Celsius (-18 F).

Booooo, booooooo, booooooooooooooooooooooo. Okay. I'll suck it up now. Off to read a trashy novel on the balcony go make tomorrow's lunches.

Pails Make This Girl Happy

28

Monday, March 21, 2011


I had been eyeing a little metal pail at one of our local home decor stores (called Rustic Craft).


I really loved the grey/blue/green colour.


It turns out I had a gift certificate left over from Christmas.


So I bought it.


I used some loose change that was clinking around in my wallet to purchase the plant from Home Depot.


Conclusion: Pails make this girl happy.

New Pendant Light

18

Sunday, March 20, 2011


When we got back from our trip on Saturday there was a message saying that the pendant light we ordered for our breakfast room was in. Woo woo!! We picked it up this afternoon and installed it lickety split.


It was like opening a present.


I love presents.


Since this room is so close to the kitchen we wanted the finishes of the fixtures to be somewhat consistent. So we went with brushed nickel.

It's pretty darn cute. The smaller version of this light is adorable, too. Possibly for our kitchen reno later on.... ?


And this is how you see the light as you are walking into the room.


Next up for the breakfast room is:
  • curtain rods (I've got some crackled glass knobby ones picked out)
  • curtains (possibly the white Lenda curtains from Ikea)
  • round rug (from Pottery Barn)
  • repaint table and chairs (Cloud White by Benjamin Moore)
  • recover chairs (possibly with striped fabric)
  • door?? (there used to be a bifold door)

So much to do, so little time!

P.S. Here are the links to the light fixtures: Brookside Pendant (12") and Brookside Mini-Pendant (8").

I'm Ba-aaack (and Tanned)

20

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I ♥ vacation.

I ♥ sunshine.

I ♥ the Dominican Republic.

And now for some photos:

Staring at the ocean.

Admiring pretty flowers.

Admiring pretty flowers and playing with my camera.

Admiring pretty flowers and dreaming about spring back home.

Wishing that palm trees grew in my yard.

Biking past some sugar cane fields.

Exploring an untouched beach.

Finding a coconut!

Zooming around the island in some dune buggies (that's us in the white one)(Alex's idea).


Visiting a tiny rural village.

Bringing a few treats to some local children.

Shopping at the market.

Touring a nearby town.

Being happy.

I ♥ vacation.

I ♥ sunshine.

I ♥ the Dominican Republic.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

16

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've been looking for a good banana muffin recipe. Good muffin recipes are hard to find. Too many of them turn out, you know, rubbery. This recipe didn't. These muffins turned out sooooo good. I did end up cooking them for a bit longer than I would have liked (whoops). Mine were a little too brown on top. But that didn't stop me from eating:

3 fresh out of the oven
2 for lunch
1 as a tide-me-over-snack before supper

Note to self: Six muffins in one day is not going to help me fit into my bathing suit. 




Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 large)
1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz/113g) butter or stick margarine, melted
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease 12 large muffin cups (or about 18 regular muffin cups).

In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

In small bowl, blend bananas, melted margarine, milk, eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring only until just blended (do not over mix). Fill muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes (slightly less if you are making regular sized muffins), or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Makes: 12 large muffins (or 18 regular sized muffins).


Original recipe was found here.

I came along, and then there were six.


Before and After: An Old Window Turns Into Something Cute

97

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old windows are pretty.

So I mentioned yesterday that we had an old window from our basement laundry room. Since old windows are another one of my mini obsessions, I knew I would keep it and turn it into something cute.  

Here are a few pictures of the window before:



The window had a variety of paint on it already: blue, green, and yellow.

The first thing I did was scrape off the putty that was holding the glass in place. I started with an exacto knife, moved onto an old kitchen knife, then moved onto a chisel and hammer. It was almost impossible to get off. It took forever.

Removing the putty.

Once the first pane of glass was removed, I brought it into my local glass shop and had 3 identically sized mirrors cut. Three mirrors only cost $19.95.

Removing the first pane of glass.

Once I had all three panes of glass removed, I filled a few small holes with wood filler.

All three panes of glass removed.

I then gave the whole window a light sanding with fine-grit (150) sandpaper and an electric sander. I made sure to leave some blue/green paint on so that it would show through when I distressed the window later.

Lightly sanded and smooth.

Next I primed the window with Fresh Start Primer from Benjamin Moore.

Primed.

Once the primer dried I painted the whole window with two coats of white paint. I used some leftover Simply White from my last project.

Two coats of white paint.

Once the paint was dry (I used my hairdryer for help) I once again sanded the whole window with an electric sander and 150-grit sandpaper. I took off quite a bit of paint so that I would see some of the window's character: the old paint finish and where the hinges were, etc.

Distressed all pretty-like.
Next, I placed the mirrors face down into the window openings.

Getting ready to place the mirror in.

I got some of these tiny clips while I was at the local glass shop. The lady at the cash gave them to me for free. People at local stores are nice.

Placing 4 clips on each mirror pane.

I (actually Alex did this part) used a block of wood and a hammer to jam the clips into the wood.

Securing the mirror with clips.

Once the mirrors were in I attached two heavy duty picture hangy things in each corner.

Adding hangy thingies.

For the finishing touch, I purchased five oil-rubbed bronze decorative hooks to add to the bottom of the window. I spaced them out first, marked them, and then pre-drilled some holes.

Marking the spots for the hooks.

I screwed in the hooks by hand with a screwdriver.


Finally, we hung it up (securely with some big anchors and screws) by the door in the breakfast room.

Ta-da!

Can you see the blue/green showing through?

Can't wait to hang something up there!

Oh yes. I like it.

My pictures were getting a bit fuzzy by the end since it was getting late in the day when we were finishing up but I was determined to get this project done today. I wouldn't have been able to do it without Alex's help since he took an emergency trip back to the hardware store before they closed at 5:00 since I bought two pewter hooks by accident and needed to exchange them.

And here is the final before and after shot:


I'll be sharing this project at these lovely places:

Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table and Dreaming, Week-End Wrap-Up Party @ Tatertots and Jello, Show Off Your Cottage Monday @ The House in the Roses, DIY Project Parade @ The DIY Show-Off, Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle, Making Monday Marvelous @ C.r.a.f.t., Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch, Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm, Tutorials and Tips Tuesday @ Home Stories A to Z, Tutorial Tuesday @ Hope Studios, Good Life Wednesday @ A Beach Cottage, Power of Paint Party @ Domestically Speaking, Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage, How-To Tuesday @ The Lettered Cottage, Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

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