Friday, July 29, 2011

Gotta Find New Digs

Kevin and I moved into our apartment in July 2009. It's a house split into 2 units - we occupy the top floor and my landlord (a guy in his mid-thirties) occupies the first. A few months back I asked him a few questions about the house - how long have you lived here? how long will you live here? - stuff like that. He told me he listed the house on Craigslist a few months back just to see if there would be any takers at his price point. There weren't. But this had me worried that he might try to jump ship (aka sell the house) before we move into the condo. I asked Kevin that night what he would like to do if our landlord sold the house before the condo is built and he said, "If we have more than a year, rent another apartment. If we have less than a year, move to our parents' houses."

I love my family, but I definitely fall into the distance-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder category.

A couple weeks ago, I got this text from my landlord:

I just wanted to let you know first that I’ll be meeting with a realtor to discuss plans about putting my house on the market. I will keep u posted with any decision I make so as to not leave you guys in limbo.

Mother Ducker! (that was not a typo - I'm just trying to keep this PG)

We'd just paid our July rent a bit over a week before and our last month was paid when we moved in. So even if we moved out as soon as possible - August 31st - it gives us less than a year before we move into the condo, which means...



we're moving to our respective parents' houses for the next 10-ish months (depending on when the occupancy date is finalized for our condo)
Our landlord was very surprised when we gave him our (almost) 60 day notice the same day he sent the text because he hadn't even met with the realtor yet and it could be months before the house sells. I figured if we have to find interim housing anyway, we might as well do it sooner to save the rent money and to avoid doing a move in the winter months (less than ideal in Canada). 

I want our move to be little less this and this:

and a little more this :-)

So, to end this very wordy post, I'll let you know that I'll be posting some unDIY (undo it yourself!) projects in the next few weeks to restore everything back to how it was when we moved in :-(

Do you all hate moving as much as I do? What would you do if you were me? Rent again or live with the 'rents again??...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

Gary and I came across some interesting finds when we went to the 3 Goodwill stores for Friday Fever. I saw some great furniture, but it was all either sold already or way too big to fit into the car. I also ran into my cousin's wife, Annafel, who just recently started a blog called The Lewis Family Values. Check it out! She actually reads my blog, which makes me happy because I'm pretty sure my parents and siblings don't :P (Dear family, to prove me wrong, feel free to comment on this post!)

I looked at these lamps for long time and thought about spray painting them, but ultimately walked away because 1. I don't need any more lamps and 2. I don't want to buy lamp shades.

I was really drawn to this clay meat loaf pan. It says "Northern Clay Works" on it and it was WAY bigger than any pan I'd use to make meatloaf, but I thought it would make a super cute planter for herbs. I stared at this for a long time too, but it was more expensive than I'd like so I walked away. I'm sad I didn't get it, but Riley eats all of my plants anyway. Maybe I should've bought it and filled it with cat grass...

If cat grass gets cats high like catnip does, I need to get some for Riley! She's hilarious after eating the stuff. If you've never seen a cat eat catnap, watch this video - if you only have a couple seconds to watch, skip to 1:03 to see a super stoned cat lol

Now on to the (more) random sightings:

This was absolutely the weirdest mirror I've ever seen. So obviously we got a picture of Gary holding it while I'm being reflected back. We're dorks. I know.

 I burst out laughing when I saw this plate. Doesn't  it look like Lady Gaga!?

Now on to my actual purchases! 
I found these two frames and took home the one on the right. It is perfectly sized for my Ork poster of Toronto and it cost me...$5!

I also got this drying rack. Kevin does the dishes and has said several times he'd like a 2-level drying rack. I've seen them in stores before, but they're around $50! Madness!! I picked up this rusty bad-boy for $3 - gave him a good scrub with soap, and then wiped down the rusty areas with some CLR and now it's good as new :-)

This was our old drying rack, which I accidentally melted when I had the two stove burners closest to it on high :-(   Syonara! 

Last but not least, I bought this cake stand...for $3!! I keep reading tutorials for making cake stands (plate+candlestick+epoxy glue), but while they're really cute, plates have lips and I wanted my cake stand to be flat. I was too cheap to buy a new one considering I'll probably only use it a couple times a year, so this GW find made me very happy! I'm hoping to make a bake this weekend so I can put it to use :-)


Have you scored any Goodwill deals lately? I love hearing about bargains!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bedside Tables

I was searching through Craigslist when I came across these tables:

I think they're the same, except for some reason the hardware is different - maybe they were used in 2 different rooms...

I want them!! And I want to do this to them (à la Kerry) and add these Anthropologie knobs to them

Wish me luck that the seller didn't already get a million people emailing about them and I can buy them :-)

The price is only $10...for both!

My Weekend Follies

On Friday, my friend Gary and I went to not one...
Dufferin and 401

not two...
 but three Goodwill stores for Friday Fever
Eglinton and Brimley
Unfortunately, Gary didn't find the kind of frames he was looking for, but I found a few great items. I'll post about those this week :-)

On Saturday, we went on a hike in Rouge Park. If you live in Toronto and you've never been, I highly suggest going! You can hike through it alone or tag along for the volunteer-run hikes they hold several times a week all-year long. One of the guys on this walk was a trained-ecologist and shared his cool ecological knowledge with us.

Kevin and I tried to get a nice photo of the two of us...I'd say the last one is ok, but he's fake-smiling grrrr! Also, I wear my painting jeans when I go hiking (I pretty much wear them when I do anything that might involve getting dirty and I have the foresight to put them on). I love those jeans. I wish I had another non-paint-covered pair...

After the hike I went to the Eaton Centre with Gary and Marcel and I bought a very well-fitting (but expensive!) bikini from Bikini Village. I wanted to go swimming last weekend, but the fabric from my favourite bikini had deteriorated in some spots and practically fossilized in others... I have other bikinis, but I don't like them as much - they don't fit as well. Don't get me wrong - I'm (mostly) happy with my body, but when I go swimming for the first time each season, I need to wear my best-fitting, most flattering bikini! The shape and pattern of it looks like this, but the colours on mine are different.
And as a random side note, I saw JP and Juan from One Girl Five Gays (best. show. ever!) while walking on King Street W on my way to MEC!! I really wanted to ask them to take a picture with me, but for some reason I can never bring myself to harass tv/movie people for photos/autographs. 
Case in point: My friend and I once had backstage passes at a Mariah Carey concert (don't judge me! She was awesome in the 90s!) and I was awkwardly standing beside her while a group of us were getting ready for a photo with her. I had my CD in hand ready to be signed and I couldn't bring myself to ask. But you know what? She asked me if I wanted her signature! Ha!

I know it's a little late in the game now considering it's Wednesday, but did you have a good weekend? Do anything fun?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spotted at Utopia

I can't believe I forgot to post about this before now...

A couple weeks ago I was having dinner at Utopia with some friends when in walked a woman. She looked familiar, but it took me a moment to place her. Once her family walked in, the light bulb went off and I said to my friends, "That's Erin McLaughlin!"

They both looked at me like this...
So I said, "Erin McLaughlin...The editor-in-chief of Style at Home magazine...?"

Continued stares

Oh well. When we got home I Googled the above picture of her and her hubby and they said, "Ohhh! Yeah, that was definitely her!" I think they thought I was loony in the restaurant, but I'm good with faces! It might take me a minute, but I can almost always place a face.

Have you ever spotted someone (a celebrity or someone quasi-famous) where it's taken you a minute to realize who you're looking at?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Fever at Goodwill

My mom and Michelle left for England last night and Michelle said I could borrow the car for the week :-) While I am not a fan of owning a car when living in the city, it sure does make thrift and Ikea shopping a heck of a lot easier. This car could not have come at a better time because it's Friday Fever at Goodwill today!

Um, hell's to the yeah!

I'll be scoping out furniture and frames mostly. My friend Gary ordered a bunch of prints from ThisTinder on Etsy and he asked me to help him with cutting mats and framing. I seriously considered taking a vacation day today so I could spend the whole day going from one Goodwill to the next... sad, I know...

What are you up to this weekend? Anyone else gonna stop by Goodwill for some thrifty finds?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Domino - The Book of Decorating

On Saturday, after watching Harry Potter 7, Michelle and I stopped in Chapters to look around. I'd put Domino - The Book of Decorating on hold at the library, but I was like, the hundredth-and-something person on the list.  I knew it would be a WHILE before I'd get it and I was pretty sure it was a book I'd want to be able to reference again in the future (for the condo!), so Michelle and I impulsively went on the hunt for it in the bookstore. There was only one copy left (fate!) so I grabbed it and grinned all the way to the counter to buy it.

Description from Amazon

Domino: The Book of Decorating cracks the code to creating a beautiful home, bringing together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and insiders’ secrets from today’s premier tastemakers in an indispensable style manual. The editors take readers room by room, tapping the best ideas from domino magazine and culling insights from their own experiences. With an eye to making design accessible and exciting, this book demystifies the decorating process and provides the tools for making spaces that are personal, functional and fabulous.

In all honesty, there are parts in the book that I loved...
  • "The Big Piece:"... Kitchen/Bathroom/Dining Room/Living Room, etc - This section breaks down one key component to each room - ie: the cabinets, vanity, dining table, and sofa, respectively - and discusses different styles of those "big pieces".  
  • "Very Important Tips" - this gave some very helpful information and comparisons on different materials, fabrics, lighting, furniture 
  • "The Decorator's Handbook" - it's a guide to window treatments and upholstery - 2 things I would like to learn about more, especially considering we'll have 2 full walls on windows on the condo!

 ...and parts that I felt like I could skip over completely
  • I didn't like any of the "How To Mix and Match" designs 
  • Chapter nine - The Kids' Room (cute, but not relevant to me right now) 

If I had to give it a rating, it'd probably give it a solid 4. The cover is super cute and I love the colour so it'll be residing on my coffee table for a while :-)

Random side note: For some reason, I keep pronouncing this book "Dom-EE-no" instead of "DOM-in-oh" lol  
Someone please tell me they do that too??

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Canadian House & Home - August Roundup

Here's my roundup of Canadian House & Home's August issue.  I noticed they focused on lighting and I saw some really cool stuff in this issue!

The bases of the two top right lamps here really caught my eye. I love their organic shapes. These lamp bases are all really unique looking with classic shades.


These are some fun, colourfully patterned lamp shades. I would pair these shades with more classic bases - opposite to the lamps in the photo above. I've actually recovered my bedroom lamp shades with some fun purple fabric. I'll post about those some time soon!

These are the coolest looking hanging lights! The bowler hat light is way more whimsical than anything I'd put in my house, but I can definitely appreciate the aesthetic. I also don't think it would diffuse light very well, but who cares?! It would be a great conversation piece! The hand-blown glass one has an industrial feel to it and I like it. Are exposed bulbs making a comeback? I'm seeing them in all the magazines lately...

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Weekend Follies

My weekends are usually laid back because by Friday afternoon, when I ride the subway home, I'm pretty much drained and look a lot like this guy...

I always wake up disoriented and panicky, wondering if I missed my stop, wondering if anyone saw me drooling/falling over, etc. Of course someone did. And they probably took a picture of it. (There are websites that are dedicated to posting pictures of sleeping subway riders. You've been warned folks!) By the time I get home I walk around in a haze, willing myself to stay awake, but by 9:01pm I'm practically sprinting to bed.

This Friday my 9:01pm bedtime didn't happen. Kevin's friend was celebrating a birthday up in the 'burbs. I had a good time - ate a little, drank a little, danced a little, then by 2am, I looked a lot like that guy up top again lol. This happens every time I go out and Kevin's learned to live with it. We had a car for the night, so I went to sleep in the back seat until he was ready to go. This is the benefit of being relatively short :-)

Also, I got a delivery on Friday! A pair of earrings that came in the most ridiculously huge packaging! The earring box inside a small box inside bubble wrap inside a thin cardboard envelope inside a huge box...

On Saturday I played a game of soccer at Riverdale Park with my sister, Michelle and a few other people. It was a scorcher out there on Saturday! We would literally play for 10 minutes, then take a 5 minute time out for water, then play for 10 minutes, and on and on. 
Here are some fun pics from the game...

Michelle with one of the other players (she loves this photo of herself!)

Sara and Darcy duking it out for the ball... 
but really, I just posted this one because it looks like he's gonna boot her in the arse lol

 Then Sara, Darcy, Michelle and I went to the Indian Bazaar Festival on Gerrard Street later 

Michelle and I wolfed down some veggie samosas, and then we all got butter chicken. Yum!

Apparently there was like a live "So You Think You Can Dance" India-version going on. 
This girl wasn't too happy with her reviews...

Straight after this Michelle and I went downtown to watch 
HARRY POTTER 7 in 3D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We bought UltraAVX tickets from the Scotiabank theatre on Friday (for Saturday) and were SO HAPPY we did. The seats for that specific theatre are reserved so you don't have to line up early to get your seats. We got to the theatre ten minutes before the start of the movie and got our seats with no problem. It was Michelle's first 3D movie (I saw Avatar in 3D) and it was fun to see her reaction. She loved the 3D experience :-) Plus the glasses helped conceal some of our tears. We cried like a bunch of babies lol. Happy or sad we knew we'd cry so we went in prepared with a bunch of tissues. 

Sunday was a much easier day spent (mostly) napping on the couch and reading magazines (when I could manage to stay awake), and then Kev and I headed to his mom's house for dinner.

Did you guys get out and enjoy the weekend? Or did you stay inside in the AC?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Entryway Inspiration

I was looking around Style at Home online a little while ago. I came across this entryway and literally gasped - it's so beautiful! I looked through the rest of the house and it definitely lives up the the entryway - the architecture of the house is traditional (beautiful floors, mouldings, doorways and windows), but it's got contemporary design elements that are glamorous and sophisticated - I love it!

The entryway's clean lines and touches of sparkle are just perfection to me 

The living room is so bright and airy. I love the mix of the round 
espresso side table and the square glass coffee table. 

I have a full-on addiction to banquettes. This is unlike any banquette I've seen before though 
because it has a dramatically high back with built in lighting and it's not located in an eating area

This sitting area off of the living room is also stunning. I love the chairs and the side table between them. 

If my dining room could look like this... sigh. Well, first I need to get a dining room.  Also, 
do you notice the fire place?   How lucky are they to have 2 very elegant fire places!
I only wish I could see the kitchen!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Style at Home - August Roundup

Some of us Canadians are probably just starting to get our backlogged mail due to the Canada Post strike. I just got my August S@H at the end of last week, so here's my August roundup:

Recently, I was flipping through a nature book that I was given as a gift at my last job. While I hate defacing books, I love the idea of finding a group of similar photos to frame in a group, like what was done below with the botanical prints. The book I have has more landscape/animal photos, but the same concept applies. I was thinking it might look good on the bare wall in the bedroom, beside the window

While I'm not a fan of skirts of any kind on furniture (they're impractical with shedding pets), I love the look and feel of this living room and bedroom. They're so airy and calm! They remind me of the beach. The blues, whites, greens and beiges flow together beautifully. 

I love maps and when I saw these aviator map cushions, they reminded me of the hand-stitched KETTY VARLD cushions I picked up from Ikea not too long ago. I checked Ikea's website so I could reference the pillow, but it's like they've vanished. I think they were a limited edition :-(

I'm a sucker for anything sparkly! I was eying these clearanced mercury mushrooms from West Elm a couple of weeks ago and then I saw this mercury glass lamp in S@H. The vase is hammered-silver, but it has the same feel as the mercury glass, so I added it to my sparkle section :-) They all look so glamorous! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pride Parade 2011

As you may already know Toronto hosts an annual Pride Parade each summer and it's awesome! For some reason, I'm always unavailable when they hold the parade, so last year was my first time going. I also went this year with my friends, Gary and Marcel, and we all had a blast.

For some reason, we decided all-you-can-eat sushi would be a good idea right before having to stand outside for 3 hours in the sweltering heat... Bad move! When we got to Yonge St, this is the scene we were met with:
So we ran to the dollar store to pick up umbrellas, and a funny hat for Marcel, which made him look like Crocodile Dundee. We looked like a bunch of grandmas with the umbrellas, but we were SO happy to have them because it's was HOT outside that day!

About an hour after we staked out our parade-watching spot, the street looked like this:

This guy was shooting water from a second-story window and was getting the crowed riled up (in a good way!) by yelling and screaming out the window

I thought this was really sweet. Although the little girl was practically slumped over (probably from the heat), but they were only about 20 minutes into the parade route, so hopefully she was able to hold it together  

This marching band was awesome! They were playing something that I knew was familiar, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then they got to the chorus and I realized they were playing "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. SICK!!!

There were a lot of banners and signs to this effect. And a LOT of defaced Rob Ford masks. Rightly so though. That's what you get when you're the first T.O. mayor in years not to show at a Pride Parade. Shame!

This was defintely the high light of the parade for me: The cast of 1 Girl 5 Gays - one of my favourite shows. Of course this was the moment that my stupid SD card was full!!!! I was furiously trying to delete photos so i could take pictures of these guys, but no dice. This is the only shot I got. But I got a high five from Philip! Hola!
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