August 26, 2009

Five things you didn’t know about…


Kathy from Creative Home Expressions has a new weekly feature on her blog.

Called “Five things you didn’t know about …” she has tagged 5 fellow bloggers with answering 5 questions, and I am honoured and excited to be one of them.

So, here goes….

Favourite music at the moment:

Tough question – music has been a major part of my life since childhood. My parents always had music on and I grew up with the likes of Nat King Cole, The Ink Spots, Pat Boone, Sara Vaughn and more. The Garrard stereo console was never without a spinning vinyl disk. My Dad played guitar at parties and campfires, and we all sang along to 8-track tapes during those long car rides to summer vacation destinations.


These days I like to listen to all types of music – country, rock, oldies, jazz, blues and more. Apart from my hubby’s music (he writes his own songs), my favourite music right now would have to be along the lines of Norah Jones, Adele (who I discovered through another blogger – except I can’t remember which one ;( ), Corinne Bailey Rae, Dawn Tyler, etc. Easy listening and soulful.

If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live?

This one is E-A-S-Y!


A tropical island somewhere (like this one owned by Johnny Depp in the Bahamas) with a powdery white beach with all of my family and friends and a sailboat at the ready!

Favourite cocktail:

847034840_cmin_lgEasy - new one I just found in a Bahamas insert in the latest Conde Nast Traveler magazine – called “The Bahamas in a Glass” (by chef Kent MacDonald of the Runaway Hill Inn’s restaurant on Harbour Island) (are you sensing a theme here??):

  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1 oz Ricardo coconut rum (although I used Malibu Rum)
  • 1 oz Myers or Bacardi Select rum
  • 1/2 oz apricot brandy
  • 6 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 8 oz ice
  • Splash of grenadine

Shake, and float a dash of dark rum on top if you dare. Serves two.

This is followed closely by the Strawberry Daiquiri with Baileys instead of rum, which I tried last week with Kelly from Design Ties.

Best advice you ever received:

Another tough one. I am blessed with many good friends in my life, including a group of 7 women who are my trusted and loved support group.


We are in constant contact and provide each other with sounding boards and mentorship when necessary and great friendship ALL the time. They have provided me with many pieces of advice over the 30 years of our friendship.

Best piece of advice from my gal pals would have to be to trust my instincts and follow my heart.

Person you most admire:

Easy. This is definitely one of my good friends, who, although she suffers from MS continues to amaze me with her positive attitude and unbelievable sense of humour. She ROCKS!


There you have it .. now head back to Creative Home Expressions and learn Five things you didn’t know about some amazing bloggers!

August 24, 2009

Psst - another giveaway :)

Laura Trevey is an amazing watercolour artist!

Check out her shopping spree giveaway on Watercolors by Laura Trevey.

While you are at it check out her other blog - Bright, Bold and Beautiful.

August 23, 2009

Gone for a Sunday Sail ...

This afternoon we are going for a sail ....


Nothing to do with decor, gardening or home projects - except that this is what takes me away from those, and may be the source of my love of the colour blue.

Not quite as exciting as this ...

Or as picturesque as this...

But enjoyable nonetheless...

Happy Sunday everyone!

August 21, 2009

Hooked on a Beach Bathroom!

Thanks to Julia for hosting Hooked on Fridays!  Make sure to head over to Hooked on Houses to read more of what people are hooked on!

Thanks (and happy 2 year blogoversary) to Melissa at The Inspired Room, for hosting the A Beautiful Life series!

When I was thinking about what I was hooked on this week, this picture popped into my mind.  I took this picture on a vacation in Mexico in January 2008.  We took a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women – woo hoo) and spent some time on this beach.  As I ALWAYS do, I roamed with camera in hand to find inspiration.



I’ve always loved beach inspired bathrooms, in fact today I have a triptych of photos from another beach vacation (French River PEI – July 2004) on my bathroom wall (are you sensing a theme here ?????).

100_0905100_0906  100_0903    

Problem is the bathroom is sunshine yellow – not really a beach colour – unless it’s on an umbrella like this :o)…



So, as I was browsing the fantastic world of design blogs the other day, I came across this bathroom tile that would be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G in my beach inspired bathroom (thanks to Design Shrine).

evit iceberg bathroom tile

I checked out the website of Evit from Italy, and found that this tile also comes in various colours.  This one looks just like pebbles on a beach. (sorry I couldn’t get a bigger picture).

m18' evit

For the walls I though a light grey-beige colour like Benjamin Moores OC-19 Seapearl to represent the sand



And a dark countertop to represent the drift wood like this (again sorry for the size – hard to find a bigger picture)


Then I could accesorize with goodies like this …

riverrock accessories5DSC00014-19

Spa up my bathroom with linens like this (all care of Restoration Hardware)…

prod1233119_SUM3-09 prod1410050_WIN08 prod1262014_WIN09


And then maybe add a little fun with this!  toilet%20seat%20cover_%20bathroom%20accessories_264

(just kidding!!!)


Happy Friday everyone – have a great weekend!

Now head back to Hooked on Houses and see what everyone else is hooked on this week!

August 18, 2009

Summer Kitchens ... redefined!

So, this post was supposed to be about summer kitchens. You know, the old summer kitchen, that was either a separate room or building open to cool summer breezes, allowing the heat of a kitchen to dissipate quickly while all the summer kitchen chores get done without cooking the "cook".

If it is a room in a house, the summer kitchen is like the back porch, where windows/screens would provide a good flow through for summer breezes. If in separate building, the summer kitchen housed makeshift shelving and cabinets to provide the worksurfaces required to get the job done, be it canning the summer garden vegetables, making jam or peach pies.

Summer kitchens were found in large homes or estates, most likely where the summers were oppressively hot and humid. Cooking in the main kitchen would heat up the house and it's inhabitants too much - and there was no such thing as air conditioning.

A search for summer kitchen in Wikipedia returned NO results ... hmmmm ... although I learned an awful lot about "kitchens" and their evolution from a fire in the atrium of a Roman Villa and public kitchens for the less fortunate, to the raised hearth and chimneys of the early medieval kitchens.

FYI: Did you know the Japanese were the first to have what could be called a "stove"? It was called a kamado and dated back to somewhere between the 3rd to 6th century. Wow!

But nothing on summer kitchens. Hmmmm - well lets look at the pictures generated by googling summer kitchen. So, here's where my definition of summer kitchen gets updated. These babies are a-m-a-z-i-n-g and I want one!!!

Any of these strike your fancy??? Well, a girl can dream ... sighhhh ...
Photo credits: 1,3,;; 4-Sydney Morning Herald (; 5,6,7,8,9,11,12-Better Homes & Gardens (;; 14-FrontDoor Unlocked: the Blog (

August 15, 2009

Giveaway time (literally!!)

I L-O-V-E Giveaways! Check this one out ...

Kim at Charmed I'm Sure is having a clock giveaway sponsored by CSN who carries everything from clocks to mattresses. Stop by before 11:59 pm Mountain Time on August 28th and enter to win.

Here are a couple of my picks....

The Ashton Sutton Copper Sun Indoor/Outdoor Clock - I would love to add this to my backyard decor this summer!


I love the quaint charm of the Morning Birds Wall Clock.

August 10, 2009

Project completion (large and small!)

OK – I’ve been blogging about several of the projects we have started (and want to get started) since June – time to deliver!


First was the purchase and installation of our new hot tub.  It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since we purchased it – I talked about it in this post – and told you about the preparation in this post.  There were some obstacles to getting the wiring connected (new GFI plug, new wiring on our panel, wrong GFI plug, sighhhh) but here, finally, is the final episode …

Because we have a very narrow entrance to our backyard, the delivery guys had to roll it (don’t worry it’s covered with a plastic protector) into position in the backyard. (I have a better picture, but there’s a plumbers butt problem that is just NOT blog-worthy – ewwww – and I still took they picture - ewwww)!


Here we are in place – but still empty – just calling our names …


When not in use (this doesn’t happen often) with the cover on.


And, finally full, with the power connected and jets on (and a beverage for hubby!)


We are extremely happy with our new toy and use it almost every evening!  The deck planning has begun!



This project is a prelude to the painting of my dining room table.  This is a small magazine stand/table that I purchased years ago at Michaels – one of those put together yourself jobs.  Well, years ago, I put it together and intended to give it a distressed look with several coats of different coloured paint, sanded on the edges and finally varnished.  I got a few coats of paint on – and then I guess life intruded and I haven’t done a thing with it until now.  I am using it as a guinea pig before the dining room table.  Here’s the picture book story:

Day the hot tub arrives, I decide to put the final coat of black over the white, then blue coats (all latex):
IMG_2023 IMG_2024 IMG_2029

After finishing the black coat, I let it dry for a few days and sanded it to obtain the distressed look.  After this, I applied two coats of poly varnish, the first with a sponge brush and the second with a synthetic paint brush.  The first coat of varnish resulted in bubbles in the finish.  After sanding again and applying the second coat by brush, I ended up with even more bubbles as you can clearly see below.

IMG_2277      IMG_2309

After consulting a couple of experts (thanks to my sister-in-law in NB) I decided to give it one more shot.  Another sanding and then the final coat with a sponge brush and a different poly varnish:

 IMG_2310 IMG_2311

 IMG_2312   IMG_2315

And here’s the final product:

IMG_2358 IMG_2359


Thanks to my Mother in law, Sister and Brother in law for the beautiful birthday flowers!


Well PHEWWWWW – two projects off the list – just in time for the four new ones I added :)

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