A Rainy Day Calls For Some Blogging

Happy Wednesday, friends and followers! I hope the weather is nicer where you are… it’s pouring here, and cold and WINDY! But, nevertheless, it’s Fall ❤ – which I know a lot of you love – and it’s another day on earth. A great day to be alive, and there’ll be sunnier days ahead for sure!

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, and the inconsistency has been bothering me. I’ve not only been busy working, but lately I’ve definitely been feeling the pressure of prepping as best I can for our baby’s arrival. I’m 34 weeks and he’ll be here before we know it!

We arranged for a day last week to just focus on “Baby K” – and it was so nice. We scheduled a 3D ultrasound in the early afternoon and it was such a cool experience! We only really went because we had heard that the military offered free packages with this one ultrasound clinic…and it just so happens to be in one of the cities we pass through on our way back to our hometown to visit family (I believe God is in the small stuff too 😉 ).

It was SO personal, very comfortable (didn’t have to drink all that water beforehand!) and as non-medical as any ultrasound can be. No gown was required, and we got to view our baby boy on a big screen T.V.! Matt even got to watch from one of the leather couches in the room!

Ultrasound1 Ultrasound2 Ultrasound3 Ultrasound4

The package we were entitled to included a free 30 minute session (it actually went longer as we were trying to get him to move a bit for a different picture than what she had already taken), a DVD slideshow (set to nursery music, of course 😉 ) of the whole thing! Also, we got 5 photographs (of our choosing) while he rest of the pictures taken were put on a CD. This is great because we can make as many copies of prints as we like! We also could have had an online broadcasting of the ultrasound (if we were posted where family wasn’t so close by) – which is such a nice thing to have in a military package!

Ultrasound7Ultrasound6 Ultrasound5

The pictures were pretty clear, although a lot of them are quite similar as he was (trying) to sleep! There are subtle differences as we saw him move his lips around ever so slightly in a sucking motion. 🙂 From what it looks like, he definitely has his daddy’s chin. And we saw that he has hair already, too!

We even saw him PEE – SO crazy! – but that was before she “started” officially recording or taking photographs 😛 .

I just can’t wait to meet this cute little guy! ❤


Later that evening we met up with our talented photographer for a maternity photo shoot! I was really excited to have some Fall pictures, and we planned for an outdoor session at this beautiful picturesque site called Decew Falls. Home to two waterfalls, hiking trails and a historic mill – I knew we’d get some great shots! Matt and I used to hike here before he joined the Canadian Forces, so it was nice to revisit. Our photographer was awesome, and she really was able to capture my vision in all her pictures. I’m so pleased with the lighting and the angles of every shot! She was quick to put up a “sneak peak” of our maternity session with her! Here are some of my favourites:

Maternity1 Maternity2 Maternity3 Maternity4 Maternity5 Maternity6 Maternity7 Maternity8 Maternity9 Maternity10 Maternity11 Maternity12 Maternity13 Maternity14 Maternity15 Maternity16 Maternity17 Maternity18 Maternity19The trees were in all their colourful glory and Laura Fretz Photography surely did not disappoint! I’m eager to see the rest of the pictures. 😀

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A Place To Call Home

The house we just bought is lovely. It’s not exactly a character home, nor as charming as I would have hoped, but it has great potential. Our last house was the same type of layout, so I was super hesitant to walk through this one. Moving into the same type of home as before – how boring! There are so many more interesting homes out there. However, Matt is pretty persistent and he convinced me with his eagerness to go check it out. I kind of hate to admit it – but he was right! Once we walked through it I was tickled pink with it.

It has good bones, and lots of room to grow into. The finishes throughout this home are nice as well. It isn’t something that we would feel like we need to re-do to either a) correct what was wrongly done, or b) suit our tastes more.

Even though it’s a bi-level/raised bungalow/raised ranch, the entrance is a pretty good size. The banister and spindles are perfect, as is the front door. The stairs are even wide enough for two people to walk up side by side, if they really wanted to ;). It’s also nice that the side window is there to let in more natural light.

Banister

Foyer

Rustic looking “hand scraped” hardwood floors are throughout the upper level, and an unfinished basement is the perfect clean slate for a decorator at heart wife and a carpenter husband team 😉 .

Hardwood floors

There’s already been several trips made to Home Depot, Lowes and many decisions have been decided regarding renos (which is great, seeing as how Matt can sometimes take a little while to “commit” to an idea) 🙂 . We have our “to-do” list made and we’re thrilled to start projects together! I look forward to sharing DIY tutorials on my blog! Some of the inspiration for this new home consists of:

Immediately:

Exterior:

– Repainting shutters (to freshen them up. Colour still TBD). 🙂

– Planting both perennials and annuals (front gardens and planters for deck).

Planter idea

– Painting walls (throughout main floor)

We prefer neutral, earthy tones:

Neutral paintNeutral paint colours 2014Neutral paint colours LOVENeutral paint coloursNice paint colours

Foyer:

– New light fixture in front entryway

Light Entryway

– Table, shelf or bench for entry (on opposite wall of closet).

Raised ranch entryentry shelf and baskets underneathraised ranch entry way bench

Ikea table front entry

Eventually could turn that IKEA table to this (DIY card catalog):

DIY Front entry table

Living Room:

– DIY end tables (pallets)

End tables

Bathroom:

– Installing a fan (they currently have a ceiling fan in their upstairs bath – kinda strange).

– Painting bathroom trim (it’s blue like the walls – blech!)

Still a little unsure of how I feel about the bowl sinks they have in there, but love that we’ll have the double vanity.

Bowl Sinks

Kitchen:

This will be our new kitchen:

Another angle kitchen

– New range fan (theirs is white, and we’d want it to match our stainless steel appliances that we already have).

– New dishwasher (we plan to sell theirs along with their white fridge and stove so everything matches!)

Can we just take a moment to celebrate the fact that I’ll have a dishwasher once again?!! And a DOUBLE sink!! (Our first house had 1 & 1/2 sinks, and this rental on base has ONE sink and does NOT have a dishwasher). I miss the dishwasher for sure…

– Finishing backsplash behind stove (was left blank for some reason)

– Repainting kitchen island (antique white)

The kitchen cabinetry has a cherry finish, but painting the island with white chalk paint is a good compromise to my LOVE for antique white cabinetry, Matt’s distaste to painting cabinets, and my dislike of cherry cabinets. (This way, the painting of the cabinetry is minimal!)

Cherry cabinets offwhite island

This gives an idea of the cherry with the white island.

The island we have has this cool feature where the garbage and recycling are on a slide out drawer!

Garbage and recycling drawers

– Finding décor for top of kitchen cupboards and for corner shelf on end cabinet

Kitchen cupboard decor

Decor on kitchen cabinets

I love the vintage pieces! 😀

Kitchen shelf on cabinets

There’s a shelf like this added to the end of one of our cabinets by the window.

– Adding some art to our current coffee station 

Coffee bar

Our coffee/tea station will be set up at the one end of the kitchen, and I’m looking forward to it having a more permanent residence 😉 . Pinterest has cute coffee printables and chalkboard art that will make it complete! (I just might be a tad obsessed with chalkboard art!) 🙂

Coffee station chalkboard printableChalkboard printable coffee nookChalkboard coffee bar art

Basement:

– Adding a sliding barn door to conceal laundry room (it’s the first room you see as you head downstairs into the unfinished basement)

Laundry barn doorsBarn doors laundry closet

SO psyched to have this!! 😀

Master Bedroom:

The master is a good size, as is the closet. We still would like to attempt to make our headboard, though not entirely sure if we want to make it with old barn wood, OR if a more elegant, upholstered/fabric one would go better. Time will tell 🙂 . We have espresso coloured furniture, but got some pieces used, and others at IKEA. I’d like to replace the hardware on the dresser and night tables so they all match. I hope to decorate with lace, mercury glass and candles, making it kind of a vintage/rustic/romantic space ❤ .

Barn door headboard

Cluster of candles inside deep glass canisterMercury glass clocheRomantic lace and flower in vase

Vintage mercury glass drawer knobs

Eventually:

So, the basement is unfinished, but is framed and ready to go! The family room and bathroom are our first priorities, and we’ll likely drywall/mud/tape every room at right off the hop. Once completed, assuming time allows (before we move again), we move on to finish the other rooms.

Family Room:

– Create accent textured wall (wood pallet)

Barn board pallet wall basementPallet wallPallet accent wall

– Carpet throughout basement (Something neutral, thinking maybe a berber).

Neutral carpet samples

– Pot lights (LED)

– Wood beams on ceiling (another feature that I am SO excited for!)

Wooden beams

DIY wood beams

– Gas fireplace insert with stacked stone and a rustic mantle ❤

Gas fireplaceFireplace rec roomFireplace for family room

We like the stone that has a mix of greys and browns.

Stone for fireplace

– Purchasing a sectional (maybe in a dark grey!)

– DIY sofa table (to go behind the sectional)

console table

– DIY Industrial shelving (for some books and board games)

Industrial shelving

– Vintage media/games room décor (a lot of this stuff is DIY and seems fairly easy!)

Movie reel decorMedia decorTheatre room decor

Media room artRec room movie decorDIY Dominos for media roomBasement media room decorCards framed for media roomDIY basement rec room

Scrabble wall art

…complete with a snack station!! We’re both pretty big movie buffs, and it will be a great space to relax, have friends over, play games and just hang out.

Snack station media roomBasement media room snack stationBasement snack bar

Maybe hang this by the snacks – I know Michaels has a bunch of them 😉

Marquee arrow

Bathroom:

The bathroom is already roughed in and ready for fixtures, which is cool. We both really like spa-like bathroom décor. Since there won’t be a linen closet in there, either a wood cabinet and some shelving will be great for storage.

Wood cabinet

Shelving bath

Ladder shelf spa accessoriesRustic bathroom storageSpa bathroom ideas

Fish

We found a vanity that we both love, that comes with the countertop and sink as well. I love the open shelving on the bottom of it – perfect for storing rolled towels or baskets of accessories.

Vanity for basement bath Vanity countertop basement

Bathroom lightsStarfish basket

We’re thinking of going with oil rubbed bronze fixtures, tile flooring and a shower with an acrylic/fibreglass base (easier to clean when you don’t have a tiled floor/grout). We also want to put a nook inside for shampoo/soap.

Oil Rubbed Bronze Fixtures

Shower tileBasement bath shower tile colour

We haven’t yet decided on the accent tile, or the tile/layout for the floor, but there’s still time for that 😉 .

Laundry Room:

I will decorate the laundry room just as I had intended to before. Beauty and function with vintage touches throughout.

Safety Pins hungLaundry room proceduresLaundry room washboardLaundry room shelving and hooks

Utility/Furnace Room:

It’s GREAT that these two rooms are separate. More storage space, for sure! We don’t have a garage, so all Matt’s tools and our camping gear would be kept neatly in here.

Utility room storage

(4th) Bedroom – Guest Room:

I’m pretty set (unbeknownst to Matt) on having a travel themed guest room. It’s super cute and so easy to find home décor for. Pictures for inspiration for that room are here. Because it’s in a basement, I’d want to keep the curtains long on the windows just to give it the illusion of a long window, when they’re closed.

Jar of samples for guestsTrunk as side tableFramed wifi passwordCompass beddingGlobes

Basement bedroom

I’m sure ideas will change, and renos will get done bit by bit as time and money allows. Things happen in life, and sometimes other stuff comes up and needs to take priority, so we need to be flexible! It’s just great to get the ideas flowin’ and to shop around for deals and get quotes. We are SO READY to get in there and start making it our own! The only downfall to this property is the closing date that came with it!! We unfortunately don’t take possession until early JULY. They are also military, and so we needed to stick with that date. So, until then we will have fun shopping, planning and idea bouncing! And all the DIY projects we do end up completing, I’ll be sure to share! 😉

Wishin’ & Hopin’, Thinkin’ & Prayin’

We have found our dream home. It’s so beautiful…a century old, red brick, story and a half farmhouse. It’s nestled on a corner lot on a quiet, dead-end street. It has a spacious living room with a front bay window. The entryway has a beautiful winding staircase to the upstairs. The eat in kitchen has an island, antique white cupboards, and there is also a formal dining room (with wainscoting!) It has 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, main floor laundry, and a garage. The master even has a sitting room off of it!! We think it would be so perfect to have a nursery in that area 🙂 . It also boasts hardwood floors, a metal roof, 2 lovely outdoor patio sundecks and beautiful garden(s)! Just chocked full of character and charm. Even the name of the street is elegant sounding – “Prince Albert Street” :D. Can you see what I mean about “dream home”?! It meets close to everything on our needs AND wants list.

Delight

Matt graduates from his training course March 20th. Afterwards, the relocation services company arranges a house hunting trip for us. So we can see it in 3 weeks! Until that time, when we can get down there to walk through this lovely abode, we wait and trust that God will keep it aside for us if it is His best for us.

Gods Favour

I hope to paint a picture of this particular house and I will share my hopes in what I wish to add, and complete in there (décor- wise). For privacy sake and copyright purposes, I won’t be sharing the actual MLS listing.

Entryway:

Historic Home

So this isn’t THE HOUSE but it is a red door on a red brick historic home that has similarities. I want to add my urns (filled with seasonal flowers) to the steps and a front door “knocker”. Then the front will be welcoming and just add even more curb appeal!

Urns

Door Knocker - PB

This one is from Pottery Barn and I think it would look lovely!

I’m not too sure if there is a closet at the front door or not, so I would want to try and create an entryway/foyer! So many ideas on Pinterest just gets the creative juices flowin’ :)…

Foyer:

Light Entryway

This light has been my favorite light ever since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Ok, maaaybe that is a slight exaggeration, but I have always loved it. It’s also from Pottery Barn <3.

The stairs in this house are also stained darker on the treads and risers, with a dark handrail and white painted banisters. I think eventually I would appreciate a runner of some kind, just for coziness and a non-slip surface for kids. The stairway also has an elegant curve to it (almost giving the entrance a Southern charm), which I find so endearing.

I also would like some sort of “drop-off” spot (in the most elegant way 😉 ), so a console table would work nicely as a catch-all.

Entryway stairs and console

Entryway staircase runner

Stair runner

Love neutral runners with texture!

Entryway with console

A console similar to this one, with a mirror mounted above.

Entryway cubbies, hooks, bench

Entryway with bench and hooksEntryway coatrack

I love the idea of building (with the help of my handy hubby, Matt) a bench with cubbies, a shelf and hooks for some outdoor wear. I like that second last picture because of the shelf that is also included in the built ins. If we opt out of building that, then a bench with a cute coatrack could suffice (at least until we have children).

Living Room:

Speaking of built-ins, I also was hoping thinking we could have some on at least the one side of the bay window in the living room. It would be a great spot to feature some of my antiques and collectibles.

Built in shelves in living roomBuilt in bookshelves with vintage items

I also pictured us angling one or two arm chairs under the bay window, with either ottomans and/or a little end table in between.

Angled chairs with ottomans

Angled chairs with end tableAngled chairs by window

We both really like the casual coziness and function of a family room, and this house only has the one living room. For that reason, I think this room is going to be the most challenging to rearrange/decorate. We hope to find a sectional couch that isn’t too informal, but just comfy enough. It may be a bit too much pressure to put all on one little couch, but I’m confident a couch can handle it ;). Even finding a used one and adding a neutral slip cover would be an option! I like these ones:

Sectional love

Sectional

Sectional with table

End tables

Pallet side table

We also have some pallets that we are wanting to make into end tables! Could be a fun joint DIY project 😉 . We would stain them to match our distressed coffee table. ❤

Dining Room:

The formal dining room is wonderful and has my favourite wall design – wainscoting! Along with the beauty of that architectural feature, I love the idea of hanging plates or a serving platter to decorate one wall:

Dining room plates hung

I also like the idea of a chalkboard in the dining room. Whether it’s a leaning, giant chalkboard, or it’s an entire wall covered with chalkboard paint!

Dining room big shelves and leaned chalkboardDining room chalkboard wall

Dining room wainscoting and lantern light

This picture illustrates the wainscoting, and I love this lantern chandelier hanging over the table. ❤

Another piece of furniture that we would need to be on the hunt for would be a hutch/buffet/sideboard. We could go with something new, or makeover an old piece! I’m fine either way 🙂 . I thought it was so nice when some of these hutches had burlap in the back of the top half for textural interest. You can even add wallpaper with a pop of colour or fun pattern.

Dining room hutch collageHutch with burlapHutch reno wallpapered backDining room buffet

 I love ’em because they’e not only aesthetically pleasing, but they’re entirely functional as well. You can organize napkins, placemats, as well as cutlery. You can even display serve ware! I’m not too picky with how I would want ours to be, as long as it had a combo of both drawers and cupboards.

Even something like this rustic/industrial piece off to the side helps corral extra dishes and could look great.

Dining room industrial storage

 Kitchen:

What to say about the kitchen? It has lots of the antique white cabinetry that I so love.The listing did mention that the owners are taking their island and bar stools with them, so we’ll want to replace them at some point. Because the house is a historic farmhouse, I’d want to keep some of that within the décor. I love rustic, vintage, country, cottage, farmhouse chic, but I also like some more industrial pieces mixed in there as well. This is what I had in mind for the kitchen:

Kitchen island white with wood topKitchen island

I love butcher block countertops, but a butcher block island would be just as awesome! We would either buy it (or build it – we saw a really great one at a flea market that was handcrafted by Mennonites!) maybe with about a 12″ overhang, so that we could have a couple stools for people to sit at.

Bar stoolsBar stools industrialMaybe add some industrial influence there. 😉 And with pendant lighting too:

Industrial lighting in Kitchen

Farmhouse sink

Apron Sink

Another thing I really appreciate is the classic look of a farmhouse sink (sometimes referred to as an apron sink)! I’m not entirely sure if one could fit, or how expen$ive one would be, but what good is a farmhouse without the farmhouse sink?! That’s what I have to convince Matt of! 😉

I found a cool tutorial for spray painting your fixtures with a Restoleum paint so it looks like oil rubbed bronze. It seems like a great way to transform what you already have, instead of just replacing them! You can do the same with your cabinet hardware too.

Kitchen oil rubbed bronze hardware

Oil Rubbed Bronze Fixtures

The kitchen is an eat-in, although I’m not entirely sure how often we would use it when we have a dining room. I do love hutches though, and what I love even more is coffee/tea nooks! I think I would hang my industrial shelf unit which has hooks for teacups/mugs, wire baskets for storage, and a shelf above. A hot drink station would be perfect set up off to one end of the kitchen…

Kitchen

Eat In Kitchen Breakfast nookCoffee stationCoffee bar

Coffee stations are just plain awesome. Think of all the free space you’d have if your coffee maker, Keurig/Tassimo, french press, teapot, mugs, filters, loose leaf teas, sugar and creamer (I could go on and on 😉 ) were out of your pantry and off your counter top? ❤

I also think a bistro type set would go beautifully in the eat-in kitchen area, and if Matt builds a banquet of sorts, more of a casual meal time area would be created.

Eat in kitchen corner banquetEat in Kitchen corner banquet inspiration

I think it’s safe to say that I’m pretty attached. Even though it’s not actually ours yet (I’m getting a lil’ ahead of myself, I know 😉 ). I picture myself baking in the kitchen, and having a friend over for tea. I can start planting a vegetable garden, and Matt would have a spot for woodworking in the garage. We could raise our family here, celebrate Christmases and birthdays, host dinner parties …it truly seems like it’s perfect for us! I really love re-designing and decorating rooms, and Matt has heard that he will be posted to this base for at least 7 years. He is going to be busy with my “honey-do list”, but he loves carpentry and worked in residential construction prior to this new-ish military journey. He’ll be working 24 hour shifts and therefore only 7 or 8 shifts a month (sometimes even only 6!). I gotta keep him busy somehow 😉 . All these little (and some fairly big) projects are a great way of really making this house our home. Now, we just need to buy it first…

*Follow me on Pinterest for more décor ideas! Check back again soon to see my inspiration for the upstairs!*      

 Happy weekend!

                                          




An MRI, Among Other Things

Hey – It’s been awhile! Things have been busy here. I’m afraid I’m running behind in the blog world! I’ve been trying to get things sorted out with our posting, as well as the details regarding our house hunting trip. We are SO looking forward to moving and just having a chance to put down some roots in the community. We have been looking at real estate and we are excited to buy again! We’ve really been praying that we find a welcoming church that we can be a part of, and that honours God’s truths in the Bible.

A couple weekends ago we drove down to Niagara Falls to visit with some family. On the Saturday we went to a play place for a party to celebrate our eldest nephew’s FIFTH birthday! It was a pretty awesome indoor playground. There was a climber with 5 slides, mazes, zipline and plasma cars to ride. There was even an area for basketball and air hockey! You could tell the kids had a blast – they were running around all over. My nephew didn’t even want to stop to open his birthday gifts – he was having too much fun. 🙂

Monday “Family Day”, a statutory holiday here in Ontario. Matt didn’t get the day off, however, so it was back to the training grounds for him! We are excitedly counting down the days until he graduates!  He only has one more test to go, which is awesome 😀 .

Last Tuesday I went to IKEA with a friend. Oh, how I love IKEA. I feel more organized just browsing around. I picked up this cool (and super affordable) storage unit that I’m going to use for our office/craft room. I came across a cute idea on Pinterest for this item as well. So I’m going to spray paint mine black, and add wood to the front of each basket. I’ll paint the front with chalkboard, label the drawers and add handles :).

Wire basket storage IKEA Antonius

Wednesday I had my MRI. Read my story here. It was a bit nerve wracking… knowing that it was a mid day appointment, and Matt would be training. I’d never had an MRI before and it was a different medical centre than the one I was used to (I never had any reason to visit it before now). Anxieties were kicking in. I was BEYOND thankful when my friend, Grace, wanted to know how it was going with the medication I’ve been taking. I updated her, mentioning the MRI, and she jumped at the chance to offer to come along with me! So wonderful. So she drove 2.5 hours to see me for 2.5 more hours before we headed on over for my appointment. So supportive <3. It really helped to have her there and we just kept on chatting/visiting up until they called my name in the waiting room. It was a successful test, however, they injected something called “contrast” intravenously, which apparently I am allergic to (who knew?! 🙂 ). It is something that allows them to see more abnormalities and (in my case) brain tissues more clearly. They took scans with and without the contrast agent. They unhooked my I.V. only to see hives breaking out on my neck. Ugh. Soo, we had to stay a bit longer! It was nothing that some antihistamines (Benadryl) couldn’t fix, but definitely didn’t get out of there as quickly as I would have liked to. After a cold compress and a drowsy car ride, Matt had a beautiful bouquet of flowers waiting for me on our dining room table. It was a lovely surprise! Now, we are just awaiting the doctor’s report 🙂 .

Flowers

Bathroom Stylin’

I shared the good news that Matt received about his posting late last week. We have been excitedly looking at real estate and are looking forward to being home owners again. Some of the homes are super cute, charming, character homes. Often either bungalows, storey and a half (cape cods), or the odd 2 -storey. I have seen a few that are my favourites, and they have the cutest…bathrooms. One might say, “it’s just a bathroom”, but honestly, a cute bathroom can be a huge selling feature for me 😀 ! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the spa look in a bathroom. The fluffy towels (white or not), the apothecary jars of pretty soaps, the candles…all the touches that say this is ain’t no other bathroom 😉 .

The one house had a claw foot tub that was to die for. AND a pedestal sink. My mind keeps thinking of ways to decorate this bathroom. Of course, I went on Pinterest for some really cute “throne room” inspiration. From small storage space, to bathroom styling, I have pins for all these ideas. Take a look for yourself:

Antique furniture in bathroomI love this flooring in here! The antique table works for storing things on top of, as well as under. I like the cute long basket used for bath towels.

Sarah Richardson design bathroomSarah Richardson is my favorite interior designer!! This bathroom was part of her farmhouse reno. I love that the claw foot tub is painted yellow. So cheery! The curtains are cute and country-like and they match. Simple, and beautifully done.

Wire basket towel storageIf you don’t even have room (in a powder room, perhaps) for any piece of furniture (dresser/vanity) in your bathroom, and have a pedestal sink, consider a wire basket for face cloths or hand towels. Tub caddyI ADORE this tub caddy. Reading with a cup of tea is the best while having a bath. So relaxing. I think the price of this particular caddy is quite $$$, so I would get Matt to make me one 😉 .

Painted IKEA cabinet

I love this cabinet! The colour is so awesome, however I think I would prefer something grey or a shade of blue. A little more spa-esque.  Did I mention this is an IKEA hack? Yup! Totally doable. Just paint it with Annie Sloan chalk paint!- comes in 30 colours. <– LOVE that stuff! ❤Love the step stoolAgain, love the floor. And I also love the wooden stool. A chair would also work well.  Tray with bathroom accessoriesAnother tray used for holding bathroom accessories and for bathroom styling. Shelf over doorwayI think this is an INGENIUS idea- a shelf mounted OVER the door/doorway. Nice to have that option for extra storage. Stand for bath accessoriesGreat use of a tiered stand basket to keep toiletries organized. Stool with plantAgain with another stool for décor. I love the chippy white paint on it. It was probably a flea market find! AdorableBeautiful shower curtain around a claw foot tub.  Bathroom Stylin I love this silver tray on the counter top used to store jars of Q-tips, cotton balls, and perhaps bubble bath or incense oil. A candle would work too, and the flowers look so pretty. If the bathroom had a pedestal sink, there wouldn’t be any counter space. However, a dresser or vanity would work. And you’d even have storage for towels!

Birdbath to hold bath salts, soaps by tubThis is actually a BIRDBATH! How quaint! In this bathroom it’s used for holding bath salts, soap, facecloths and what looks to be lotion. Such a clever idea. I love the bronzed look it has, too.

Ladder shelf in bathroom

This ladder shelf has to be my absolute favourite! I believe this exact one is from Pottery Barn. While I love their home décor, they don’t always have the most affordable items. I found a replica of this shelf on interest and Matt is going to help me build it! It looks pretty simple, and I would also paint ours white.

Do you see what I mean by “CUTE”?! With some vintage touches your bathroom can be charming and elegant too.

For more bathroom inspiration check out my Pinterest board

Cruisin’

Hello bloggy friends! It’s definitely been awhile, and for that, I apologize. Things have been UBER busy and unfortunately I haven’t had much time to sit at the computer to enter a blog post. I did miss it and thankfully, today is the day that we are reunited! So, how are you doing? I hope your month of January is off to a good start. It has been super chilly here today – a rough -35 degrees celsius today! Let’s just say that I was hibernating. My in-laws, however, were boarding a cruise to Hawaii – LUCKY DUCKS!! I can’t help but feel a little jealous as I look out my window at all the snow we have.

I’m reminded of the cruise Matt and I took this past year to the Caribbean! It was in the late Spring, after Matt returned from his basic training. This was our first cruise and was kind of like our 2nd honeymoon. The trip lasted for 7 days and we were able to visit 6 different islands and it was AWESOME!

St. KittsAt the pool

Ready to go for dinnerSt. Maarten

St. MaartenOur ship

Those last two pictures I think are gorgeous and frame worthy 😉 . We were blessed with warm, sunny weather for the duration of our vacation.

Gros & Petite Pitons - St. Lucia

Probably the highlight of the trip was being close enough to view the GORGEOUS Gros & Petit Pitons in St. Lucia. Such a beauty view!!

Barbados

We were able to do a good amount of shopping and sightseeing, along with lots of relaxing , so it really was the best of both worlds! We also did a few excursions. A 4×4 off-road island adventure in Antigua (with a stop at one of their many beaches), and a botanical garden walk tour (where there was a really pretty waterfall and a dip in a hot springs). Our favourite one, though, was parasailing in St. Martin!

Parasailing

We had a fantastic time together on this vacation. So lovely to reconnect after months of being apart. We met some great people, had too much to eat and as you can see from our pictures, the sights were stunning. I pray we are able to go on another cruise in the near future!

Where did you take your favourite vacation? What was most memorable about it?

Sparkling Cranberries

Happy Friday! Or should I say, happy “less than one week until Christmas”?! 😀 Matt and I have been scrambling to get ourselves packed up to go down to Niagara for the holidays to visit our families. This includes clothes and hygienic products (enough for at least 2 weeks), baked goods and serve ware for a Christmas Eve party, presents for parents, grandparents, siblings, nephews AND everything that Mocha requires to live. Yes, our vehicle is going to be jam packed, and our cat is going to hate the car ride even more.

So, to take a break from all the packing, I wanted to stop and post these deliciously sweet AND tart sugared cranberries. “Sparking Cranberries”, if you will 😉 .

Sparkling Cranberries


Sparkling Cranberries:

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

2 cups cranberries

3/4 cups sugar

Directions:

 1.) Rinse cranberries and set aside.

2.) In medium saucepan, heat 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil.

3.) Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

4.) Once syrup is cool, put cranberries in a bowl with a lid, and pour syrup on top of cranberries.

5.) Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.

6.) Once cranberries have soaked for allotted time, drain them with a colander. Syrup can be reserved for other recipes, if so desired.

7.) Pat cranberries dry with a paper towel. They should be tacky, not wet.

8.) Pour 3/4 cup of sugar in a shallow bowl.

9.) Working with small batches at a time (3-4 cranberries), roll cranberries in bowl of sugar.

10.) Place sugar coated cranberries on either a baking sheet or cooling rack and allow sugar to set. Approximately several hours. Store at room temperature.


Some recipes for your sparkling cranberries include:

Crock-Pot Cranberry Cider

Sparkling Cranberry Bites Appetizer

Sparkling Cranberry Party Punch

…And that’s not all!

sugared-cranberries

Life,love and sugar

Christmas sangria

Okay, I’m done. But aren’t they so pretty?! And such great recipes, too.

Sparkling cranberries are SO simple and can really add that wow factor at your next holiday party! They are also perfect for snacking on or for dressing up a dessert. I like being able to make something that can be so quick and easy, and yet looks incredibly special. This recipe is bound to get people oohing and ahhing over just how pretty and tasty they are. They’re sure to be a show stopper at your next get together!