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  • originally made with eleven wooden boards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.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Who Needs A Blanket Rack?

Hey everyone!

How was your weekend? We have officially started our vacation…woot! On Saturday we celebrated our big guy’s sixth birthday…six already? I’ll have more details on his birthday party with a few ideas to share, soon. In the meantime, I wanted to show you my new blanket rack.

 
Do you have a blanket rack? I feel like most people don’t actively go out and shop for blanket racks all that often, right? I’ve always wanted one and it seems like one of those items that someone passes down to you or it’s just always been there in your room. Well, it didn’t look like anyone would be dropping a blanket rack on my doorstep anytime soon, so I went on a mission.  I saw a few online that caught my eye, but to be honest, I really didn’t want to spend $75 on a blanket rack. They were super nice, but there are lots of other areas in my house that need $75 worth of love. So…I hit up UsedOttawa.com.
Yup, they’ve got it all. From couches to hair dryers, people are selling and buying everything. You can find really great stuff and I’ve sold tons of things on there. And…guess what I found...a blanket rack! It was in great shape, wooden and only $5! What? It also helped that the guy selling it lived five minutes from me. Enter in: another DIY!
So…I took a picture of my new purchase and somewhere in downloading it, my photo is gone. Ugh. However, picture a light wood basic blanket rack!
I headed over to my local hardware store to purchase my favourite transformation tool:
Sprayed on a couple coats and voila!!!
 
 

 
From drab to fab blanket rack!


Don’t forget to check out your local UsedEverwhere.com site when you’re looking for future DIY pieces, furniture, baby stuff…anything! Oh and remember to take the quiz I told you about a few weeks ago. You can win  $500 cash or a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Yes please!
It’s been cold in Ottawa. Let’s hope it warms up so my throw can stay put on my new blanket rack!

Keep it Beautiful.
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, August 15, 2014

Cottage Living: Muskoka Living

Happy Fabulous Friday y'all!

So in about 8 hours, I'll officially be on VACATION! I'm so ready to relax, hang with Mr. Fix-It, snuggle in the hammock with my babies, eat yummy food, drink lots of vino, stay in my jammies until noon and have no schedule!

You know how much I love being at the cottage. Well, I came across this incredible dreamy site that I have to share with you. This takes luxe at the cottage to a whole new level. Get ready to drool. I present to you, Muskoka Living Interiors.
Muskoka Living Interiors
This is a boat house? Yup. Gorgeous...
Muskoka Living Interiors
Now this is living in country style! This kitchen makes my heart flutter...
Muskoka Living Interiors


Are you drooling? Aren't these cottages dreamy? Fresh.Fabulous.Sophisticated.
Happy weekend my friends!

Keep it Beautiful.





Thursday, August 14, 2014

You Don't Have to Eat Your Mac 'n Cheese on Milk Crates!

Hey everyone!

Hope your having a great week! I'm counting down the days until vacation time. Woot! Woot! It wasn't easy, waiting all summer to take vacation, but I'm looking forward to spending the last couple weeks of summer with Mr. Fix-It and our 3 minis and easing into "back to school"!

Speaking of back to school...
I’ve lived in a lot of different places. Between living in a residence dorm to my current house, I’ve seen a fair share of paint chipped walls, carpet from God-knows-when and dusty old furniture. However, from my very first space away from home, I knew that I wanted to live in beautiful spaces.

One of my favourite bedrooms I had, was in a house that I shared with 4 of my best girlfriends in University. It was on the second floor of a big old house and the ceilings were sloped with dormers. With the help of my mum, we shopped for sheets, drapes and towels to create something beautiful. I wish I had a photo to share with you, but of course, those were before the days of online everything! I’ll have to head down to the basement and dig through the photo boxes for that one!

Creating beautiful spaces when you’re a student isn’t impossible even when it feels like there is next to no budget. I too, dined on many boxes of mac ‘n cheese and searched between the couch cushions for beer money. However, loving your space is so important and you can do it on a very limited budget.

You all know that I write for Wicker Emporium and they have some really, really great things that will take your boring drab student apartment to oh-so-fabulous. Their pieces are priced right and gorgeous!

Here are some tips and tricks:

Multi-purpose: Try to choose pieces of furniture that are functional. You likely won’t have a huge amount of space so look for pieces like this trunk. It not only holds tons of storage but it works great as a coffee table! Or, if you are living in a giant room that acts as your bedroom, kitchen and living space then think about a screen. It will define spaces beautifully.

Desks: Desks and students go together like peanut butter and jam. Look for something that has storage but doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. This desk could also function as a kitchen table/desk combination. Desk by day, entertaining space by night.

Décor: Colourful throw pillows, lamps and candles create finishing touches. They are beautiful, inexpensive and will create instant wow factor in student digs.

Hampers: You may not have a huge amount of time to do your laundry on a regular basis, so why not hide it away in these sizable and lovely hampers? I still use this tactic!

Seating: If you like to entertain, think about ways your humble abode can take advantage of space for guests. I really love stools that can be moved around easily. Ottomans that double as storage or large throw pillows that can be used as floor cushions are also a great way for guests to be comfortable.

Going back to school is always an exciting time. Even though I'm no longer a student, I still get those exciting butterflies as September approaches. If you’re a student or sending a loved one off to school, remember that creating a beautiful space to live will bring comfort and pride. By buying smart pieces that are functional and on budget, a starving student can also be house proud...and that box of mac 'n cheese will taste even better in a beautiful room.

Keep It Beautiful.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Let's Talk About Annie Sloan, Shall We?

Hey everyone!

Long time no chat! It's been a busy couple of weeks around here. My in-laws were visiting, I wasn't feeling all that great, my office job had me swamped and Mr. Fix-It was away this weekend. Yup, I'm super happy he's home. I love my 3 minis but holy smokes, I was tired last night! I also managed to make a good dent in the vino. A total necessity when you're solo parenting! I digress.

So, you all know how much I love to make old things new. I also told you that my parents' have recently sold their home in Toronto to move to Ottawa. So awesome! My great grandmother's table sat as our hall table in our Toronto family home for...well, since I can remember. At one point, I'm sure it was in its original wood condition but over the years its been black, purple and brown. I've always loved it and over the last few weeks, it made the trek to our home in Ottawa.  However...I wasn't loving the dark brown in the living room....

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do so the table was sent down to the basement. Until a package of Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan arrived at my door...enter in another DIY!

Have you ever used Chalk Paint® before? It's POPULAR! If you are on Pinterest, then you know about Chalk Paint®  paint. The best part is that you don't have to sand or prime anything and you can get lots of different looks with it. You can go vintage, distressed, "chippy" or modern.
 
So here's the table. So long brown....
 
The paint is really thick! Depending on the texture you want, you can thin it with a little water...



 
I wasn't sure if there was going to be enough coverage as there were still a lot of streaks after that first coat
 

After a second coat (it dries really fast!) there was total coverage. Now it's time for the wax. Without the wax, you get the finish of exactly what you would think chalk paint would be...chalky. No, it's not chalkboard paint (that's what my mum thought), the finish is "chalky". The soft wax makes it oh-so-smooth.
 
 

 
You apply the wax with a soft cloth, pushing it into the corners and crevices. Think hand cream and apply it in the same way.
 
 And so, my Great Grandmother's table has been reborn and has a new home in our living room.


 
Keep it Beautiful.
 
Alicia



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Are You A DIY Diva?





So you all know I love a good DIY, especially when it’s taking something that can be transformed into something oh-so-fabulous.

For example my Nana’s chair. It had been in her house and her mama’s house for eons. It sat in the “parlour” and I can only imagine the stories that were told from the chair. However, the seat cover was really damaged and let’s be honest, I just wasn’t diggin’ the red corduroy.


Between Google and Pinterest you can essentially “DIY” anything out there. Whether you’re being crafty or repurposing old furniture, you can get your DIY on anywhere.  Last week I was checking out UsedEverwhere.com… and took their “What’s your BIG deal personality?” quiz.  It was a quick quiz that spit out my DIY personality. Yup, DIY Diva is what came out. Hmmm, well if it’s going to call me a diva, a DIY diva isn’t so bad ;) I do love a good DIY challenge!

Have you ever posted anything on sites like UsedEverywhere.com? Mr. Fix-It and I have had great success selling off stuff and buying stuff on there. Some of the BIGGEST deals are found there. One person’s junk is another’s treasure right? The perfect spot to find your next DIY for a steal!  

What’s your BIG deal personality? You’ll find out here.

Keep It Beautiful.




Monday, July 14, 2014

A little this and a little that

Hey everyone!

Hope you had a really nice weekend! We decided to stay in the city, got lots done around the house, hung around the park, walked the neighbourhood, had a delicious Saturday night with great friends and just enjoyed the summer weekend.

I don't have anything specific for you today. Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that to tell ya.

Stay tuned for a little series I'm putting together this summer called "Cottage Living". You know how much I love to be at the cottage and all it has to offer.



So our friends Suzanne & Jack had us over for dinner on Saturday night. Oh my Lord, we love when Suzanne cooks because she's one of the best cooks I know. Amazing!! If you are looking for delicious recipes to entertain friends, here is what we had on Saturday night and it's definitely a crowd pleaser! The flavours are amazing!

Grilled Bread Salad w Sweet Peppers and Onions

Smashed Fingerlings with Jalepeno

Grilled Rib eye with Paprika Vinaigrette

I picked up this pallet sign in town while up at the cottage a couple of weeks ago. I'm loving pallet signs right now. Pinterest has lots of "how-tos" for making them yourself but I spotted this little gem in a store filled with cute signs and sayings. It's found a spot on the side of my fridge. A fuzzy warm greeting in the morning...

I have a few projects coming up this month that are pretty fun. One of them is using chalk paint. Heard of it?

I also have a client that I've been working with the past few months and her house is looking oh-so-great. We just chose this fabric for the set of roman blinds in the kitchen. So pretty eh?

Have any big home decor projects planned this summer? Would love to hear all about them. Send me an email or let me know in the comment section below.

Have a great Monday!

Keep it Beautiful.
 
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