Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Yummies: Fruit & Veggie Wash

Hi guys,

So, have you seen that "fruit and veggie wash" in the grocery store? It's usually in the produce section, hanging around in a random basket. I've always wondered what was in it and wondered why would people buy something that likely had chemicals in it (although don't quote me on that because I've never read the ingredients, but still...can't there be an easier/free option) to wash my fruits and veggies in?

So last Saturday, I told you we were going to go apple picking on the weekend? Well, we did, on Sunday. Of course, the kids loved it and picked every apple they could get their hands on. Total cuteness. Anyone need apples? Please, come over and have some! Notice the grass? Our 3 year old decided that the ones on the ground had to come home too.


So as my kiddies have been eating them, I was washing them as we went, until I thought of that random "fruit and veg wash" in the grocery store. I scoured Google and found out how to make your own. ENTER IN....a FOOD DIY! I swear, it's easy peasy!

Here's what you do:
 
- Fill your sink 1/3 to half way with luke warm water.
- Add 1 cup of white vinegar
- Mix it up
- Let your fruit & veggies get happy (for about 10-15 minutes)
- Drain and give the fruit and veggies a good rinse. I promise your fruit won't smell like vinegar.
- Drain the sink and let your fruit dry (I let it hang out on a clean dish cloth on the counter for awhile)

That's it. Easy eh?

Please come over for an apple! Some of these will definitely be in our Thanksgiving apple pie. Yes!

Keep it Beautiful.





Saturday, October 4, 2014

Apples, DIY & Bob Villa!

Hi everyone!

It's been a busy, busy week in the office and this weekend we're hanging with the kids with zero plans. Okay, well except that we're thinking of going apple picking on Sunday. The last time I was apple picking, our big guy looked like this...
That was 6 years ago, so it's most definitely time to head back with our now 3 minis!

Hey, remember Bob Vila? I grew up watching Bob on Saturday afternoons with my Dad. My Dad was the first Mr. Fix-It in my life and my love for home projects came from Dad. Dad still continues to find regular projects at the cottage! Anyway, Keep It Beautiful Designs' bookshelves are being featured on Bob Vila's website. Cool eh Dad?

So one of my besties, Julie just finished a fresh.fabulous.sophisticated project. She found this cabinet at her local antique store...

Headed into the garage for a little hole filling and sanding...

Voila!! A new home for Julie's tv and storage! Didn't she do such a great job? I'm so proud of her. How great is that gallery wall? Can you see that trunk peaking out from the bottom shelf? Love it!This is a perfect example of using pieces that you already have and reviving treasures.

If you're a reader and ever thought of buying a tablet for books, I had the chance to review the new Kindle Fire HD over on the Ottawa Mommy Club. Head on over if you want some more 411 on this cool tablet and you can enter for a chance to win one!

Happy weekend.

Keep it Beautiful.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Prince Edward County is Good for the Soul! A Girls' Getaway!

Hi friends!

Hope you had a great weekend! Last weekend's weather was so gorgeous in Ottawa that it's hard to believe it's October 1st today! I feel like it's practically Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas...dare I say, is around the corner! Gulp.

Although the temperature felt like summer, I spent last weekend touring around Prince Edward County's gorgeous fall leaves. Two of my girlfriends and I set out for a care-free, no plans, no kids weekend. All we knew is that we wanted to experience the food, the wine and the hospitality that Prince Edward County prides itself on.

If you're looking for a great place to getaway for the weekend, you should head into the rolling roads and wineries. We shopped in the cutest shops in Bloomfields....
 
 I loved these antique clocks and how cool are those giant numbers painted on those doors?

We visited about ten wineries. Doesn't that sound so great? They're all very different and each one with it's own charm. You can sample all their wines and learn about the winemaking process. We tried them all, I mean our fair share ;) and had delicious food throughout the weekend.

 If you're into antiques, this is another great reason to visit this area.
 

It really was a magical weekend for us. If you love food, wine, cute shops, winding roads of beauty and no schedule then you need to head to Prince Edward County...fresh.fabulous.sophisticated.

It's amazing what this little fruit can do for three friends :)


Keep it Beautiful.





**Prince Edward County has no connection to this post. All the words are mine, I just wanted to share the love with you for such a gorgeous and fun place**



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Mantle for Fall

Hi everyone!

How has it been two weeks since my last post? The last two weeks has been seriously nuts! My office job has me working harder and longer hours than ever before. I'm really loving my job right now but with all the busyness at the office and working at night, it's been hard to talk to all of you. I also attended an incredible conference a couple of weekends ago, called BlogPodium. I had such a great time! If you can believe it, it was the 3rd time in 6 years that I was away without any of my kids! Yikes. I've gone away many times since they've been born but I've always had at least one babe on my hip. This conference weekend...I.was.free! Yup, it felt so great! I learned tons, met great people, connected with fellow bloggers, saw some of my family, went to see the musical Wicked with my mum & Aunt Mary and RELAXED. I so needed it.

Please bear with me while my day job has me working ALOT! I have lots of ideas I want to share with you, it just might take a little while to get them all to you. With the arrival of Fall on Sunday, I did say good-bye to summer and hello to crisp mornings, cozy sweaters and a new mantle for Fall.

Have you decorated for Fall yet? I went hunting around my house and came up with this simple mantle.

I used these faux pumpkins on my Halloween mantle last year but paired with this square Fall wreath (it was my Nana's), they don't look so Halloweenie!

This is one of my new brown insulators that I got at an amazing Antique Shop. I will definitely tell you all about it soon. It was like nothing I had seen before. Have you seen the show Hoarders? Well, this place could have it's own show! But, there were lots of great gems waiting to be scooped up.

VOILA!



 
So that's my simple, clean and fresh Fall mantle. As much as I love summer, there is something about creating cozy Fall spaces with pops of colour as the weather cools. Keep it easy. Fresh.Fabulous.Sophisticated.

Keep it Beautiful.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A New Playroom for the Minis!



 
Hey guys!
 
With all the "back-to-school fever" hanging around our house, Mr. Fix-It and I started to make a list of all the things we want to do in the house this year. You all know that I've been wanting to re-paint the playroom for months now. The playroom was a yellowish-beige colour that we did when we first moved into the house and I never loved it. I always felt like it looked dirty. Blah. Yellows can be tricky for this very reason. Since the initial paint job, we've painted over most of it, except the playroom. 
 
So....when Benjamin Moore reached out to me, I reached back with open arms. They have something fabulous that you will love. It's called ben & ME. Honestly, it's just like buying a Bed in a Bag. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you need to paint a room is in the ben & ME bag. One happy package!


 
In the bag you get all of this!


So great right? Here's what's in the ben & ME kit...
  • 2 gallons of premium paint and 1 quart of trim paint
  • sleeve roller, paint brush, paint tray, drop cloth, paint can opener & green painters tape
  • How-to guide and even a playlist to get you on a roll! Ha! What a funny girl!
Next up was choosing a colour. Just because it's a playroom, doesn't mean it has to be painted every primary color under the sun. Remember, your home should flow from one room to another. Here were my thoughts...

And the winner is: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal for the walls and Cloud White for the trim
 
I felt like it would flow well with the Benjamin Moore Stonington Grey in the living room and dining room. Plus, the dark colour would be a great anchor to the back of the house.
 
Here we go! This is what I was working with:
PLAYROOM BEFORE
The colour felt flat and dull. This project would also be a great excuse to organize all that stuff!



I turned up the tunes, put on my painting clothes and it was just ben & ME


Tape Trick. Here is a master taping secret: heat-seal the tape's edge (with friction!) by running a smooth tool like your finger, a spoon, or a paint stick along the edge. Heating up the sticky stuff helps it form a stronger seal against paint seepage. You don't want seepage!
Also, don't wait to pull your tape. Remove it, preferably while the paint is still wet, downward and at a 45-degree angle. Otherwise you risk puling some paint off with the tape, making your hard work for naught. If that does start to happen, run a sharp blade lightly across the painted edge of the tape before pulling. Phew!

Another tip: Wrap it Up! If you don't finish the paint job all in one go, don't let your brush or tray dry out. Wrap them super tightly in plastic or foil (I usually use Ziploc baggies) and seal all edges to keep the air away from them, then store them in your fridge. Don't eat them.

Okay, I've got one more tip to share: Defeat the Drips! When you dip your brush straight into the can and wipe it against the sides, you get messy drips on the can and, eventually, the floor. Ugh. Take a rubber band and wrap it around the can, forming a band across the top of the can. Now you can wipe away excess paint without a drop in sight. 

Ready for the new and improved?

VOILA!


 
I LOVE IT! You? It's fresh.fabulous.sophisticated. Clean and crisp. We added a few new hooks to the walls for the kids growing pile of dress-up clothes...

and...whipped out the old spray paint for the frames


Thanks to Ben & Me, our kiddies' playroom has gone from drab to fab. Honestly, this kit is amazing! If you're thinking of painting a room but don't want the hassle of picking up all the materials or unsure what rollers/brushes to buy then you need to march into your nearest Benjamin Moore Signature store and get this kit. Oh and did I mention it's only *$109 (value of $169). AMAZING! Go get it fast, this cool promo is only on until October 5th!

Oh and for all you Twitter party lovers, sheblogs Canada is hosting a ben & ME Twitter party on September 18th from 7-8pm EST. You can win some fabulouso prizes! I will definitely be there. Follow @sheblogsmedia and use the #DIYWithBen. Don't forget to RSVP here

Like it?

PLAYROOM AFTER
Here it is. Our new playroom!

 
Keep it Beautiful.
 

 
 
 
Although this post has been generously sponsored by Benjamin Moore, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Benjamin Moore.

* With a qualifying purchase of two cans of 3.79 l ben® interior flat K625, eggshell K626 or semi-gloss K627 and one can of 946 ml ben® interior semi-gloss K627 for $109.00 suggested retail price, receive a FREE ben® & Me tote and painting kit at participating dealers. Limit one (1) per customer. While supplies last. No substitutions. Qualifying purchases must be made in single transaction. Actual price will be determined by dealer at checkout. Offer cannot be combined with other offers, discounts or promotions, or applied toward prior purchases. Offer valid August 25, 2014 – October 5, 2014. See your local participating dealer for details. Void where prohibited.


 
 

 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School!




That's a wrap! Hard to believe that summer is over and a new school year begins today. Why can't winter fly by that fast?!
 
Our big guy started a new year at school today and the air in our house this morning, was filled with first day excitement and jitters. As I watched him line up with his new class I was excited for him, but as the big blue doors closed behind him, my heart pounded. Oh my big boy!

 I don't have too much to share with you today. We savoured every last minute of our last day of summer vacation yesterday and didn't leave the cottage dock until supper time. I did do a round-up of some back-to-school lunch ideas from Pinterest. You can head over there by clicking here if you need some ideas on how to get your little ones to eat up their lunch at school. 
Back to School Lunches
If your have kiddies that went off to school today, I hope they (and you) have a great day and few tears (I definitely had some...mom's are always allowed to shed happy tears as their babies start a new school year).
 
Talk soon.
 
Keep it Beautiful.





Friday, August 22, 2014

Cottage Living: Adirondack Chairs

Hey everyone!

Happy Friday! Did you have a good week? As you know, we've been on vacation this week and it's been amazing. Mr. Fix-It and I really needed a vacation! We've been swimming, playing, eating, boating and just hanging out. It's been awesome to be with our three minis with no schedules, no routine and just play. Heaven! Their tired bodies and sun-kissed cheeks at the end of the day make my heart melt.

Life truly is better at the cottage!  One of my fav places to sit and chat at the cottage are, of course, on the classic Adirondacks.  For real, whenever you see these classic chairs, don't they remind you of being at a cottage? Or sitting by the sea?

Adirondacks are classic, gorgeous and comfortable. I did a little "Googling" and here is what I learned. A few facts:
  • originally made with eleven wooden boards
  • designed by Thomas Lee while vacationing in the Adirondack Mountains in 1903
  • Thomas Lee met a carpenter who needed some cash-o-la during the winter so while the carpenter was making them, he saw the value they would have to summer customers and applied for the patent. Ooooh sneaky guy.
  • Adirondacks are also known as "Muskoka Chairs"...for those folks in the Muskoka area.
It's hard to think of a cottage without the classics and Adirondack chairs are one of them. They come in every colour of the rainbow. These beauties are a permanent fixture on our neighbour's dock. A perfect spot to watch the sunset with a glass of white. Can it get any better?

There is a store in Westport, Ontario called Lake Effects. They have a huge selection of the classic chair, including some that rock!

They even have them in mini size. These are our kids' Adirondacks at the cottage. They even look inviting in the rain...
 In a few hours, some of our very best friends will start arriving at the cottage to celebrate a great summer and enjoy the love the cottage brings. This is "Cottage Bash Encore".  Cottage Bash was so fun, we can't not do it again. We'll definitely be hanging out in the Adirondacks for many hours, sharing stories and bevvies. Cheers to a chair that's comfy, classic and has provided a home for people to be together for many years!

Happy weekend my friends!

Keep it Beautiful.


 
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