Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
What I love most about it is how versatile it is. The top is hinged, and has a very spacious storage space inside – I use it for extra throw pillows and blankets.
The colour and height are close to that of my love seat, so if I’m having a lazy TV-watching day (which is pretty much every Sunday), I can push the two pieces together creating a double loveseat chaise. I have been known to sleep out in my living room on this makeshift “chaise” on more than one occasion :)
With the addition of a tray (I got mine for 50% off at Indigo), it could be used as a coffee table/foot rest – this was actually my original intention, but I didn’t like the way it looked in my living room. I think a more petite/slender coffee table would look better in here.
I currently have it pushed up against the wall, opposite my love seat. I use it as extra seating and with the cushions along the back and the one on the side, it’s pretty inviting! People always tend to gravitate toward that seat. I currently have a tray on my ottoman – contents include 10 or so home/health mags, a candle oil diffuser thing, and a plant that I bought from Ikea 2 years ago. Side note: It came in the tiniest little pot and I’ve re-potted it two times! That plant is down right flourishing in my care and I could not be more proud!!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The old adage is “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. I don’t know who came up with that, but it’s wrong wrong wrong! At least for fruit flies.
Here’s how the traps work:
The fruit flies are attracted to the vinegar. They travel down the funnel into the cup, where they get stuck. They’re not able to get back out through the funnel tip. The dish soap breaks the surface tension on the vinegar, so any flies that touch the vinegar immediately fall in and drown within 5 seconds. Those that don’t fall in straight away eventually meet their demise as well. Because this trap kills them very quickly, no breeding takes place, which is why it works so well and fast. I’ve also tried this trap with different kinds of juice, but vinegar works the best.
Here’s what you need:
- a plastic cup (I prefer clear ones so I can see how well my trap is working!)
- tape (ideally masking because it sticks better than clear)
- dish soap (one drop per cup)
- white vinegar (no more than 1/4 cup per trap)
Here’s how you make it:
- Create a cone out of the paper. You want the tip of the cone to be about halfway down your cup, so make it as deep as needed. Use the tape to secure the cone.
- Cut a very small bit off the end of the tip. The hole should be no wider than the width of a pencil. Put the cone aside for a moment.
- Pour vinegar in your cup until it is about 2cm/1 inch high
- Pour in 1 drop of dish detergent. Swirl gently but don’t create any bubbles
- Put the paper cone in the cup, tip down. Tape the cone to the cup and ensure there are no gaps.
- Optional step: Cut away the excess paper above the tape. This will make your trap smaller and more discrete.
To give you some perspective, the glass above is very small, probably less than 200mL total. This trap is from work.
There is s horrible fruit fly infestation at my work (yuck!) and this works like a charm every. single. time. I place 5 or 6 traps around the different work areas in my end of the building.
Ideal placement of the traps:
- You may be tempted to put it right beside your fruit bowl or green bin, but don’t. Between the trap and the fruit/compost, the flies will choose the latter. Put the traps on the other side of the room and you’ll have much better results!
- Put the traps where there isn't a lot of people traffic. Maybe on the fridge or on top of the cabinets. Somewhere high and out of the way is ideal.
At my work, I change the traps about 2x/week, but we have a lot of flies there. I’ve noticed that the traps are most effective on day 1 and 2, so if you have a lot, you may want to switch out the vinegar 2-3x/week as well. To change the traps, just remove the tape holding the funnel to the cup, pour out the old buggy vinegar (ewww…), rinse the cup, pour in the new vinegar and dish soap, and then re-tape the funnel back on the cup! I reuse the funnels over and over. As long as they don’t get (too) wet, they’re good for many many uses! If you give this trap a try, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear some feedback.
Monday, July 9, 2012
I haven’t done much blogging lately… been enjoying summer too much to get on the computer!
I think I’ve got to start setting a blogging schedule to get back into the swing of things! I’ve got plenty to write about but haven’t sat down to write it.
Here’s what I was up to this weekend:
1. I’ve made it a habit to go to my parents’ house on Friday nights for BBQ, beer, and the card game Phase 10. We’re all obsessed with it!
2. My parents’ cat, Angel, was lying on his back and using the door threshold as a pillow. Crazy cat.
3. Kev and I enjoying patio season on Saturday afternoon. We sat under an umbrella and it started raining seconds after we got there, but we stayed out and the rain soon passed. It ended up really hot out there!
4. I passed out on Saturday night and woke up feeling overheated – one look down explained why! This little fuzzball is like a radiator and was cozied into my side.
5. On our drive through Milton, we passed this sign and obviously stopped to take a picture!… and maybe pose like a zombie hahah
6. This pretty waterfall was the highlight of our hike through Hilton Falls
7. We started off with the Hilton Falls Trail (4km) then walked the Beaver Meadow Trail (9.5km), which unbeknownst to us, was swarming with mosquitos… might explain why we didn’t see anyone else on that trail!
I hope you’ve all been enjoying this summer as much as I have! I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Green onions are so versatile! Here's a short list of how you can use them:
- Rolled in olive oil and then grilled
- Baked into a quiche
- On/in pretty much anything Mexican
- On/in pretty much anything Greek
- Sprinkled on:
- baked potatoes
- soups right before eating
I tried it a couple of years ago and really doubted that it would work, but it did! I recently started “growing” them again, except this time I bought more stalks so it looks substantial enough to put in the window alongside my other plants.
The tip is to make sure you cut the stalk all the way down to the white at the bottom or the stalk just dries up like the stalk in the lower right picture below. I also put an elastic loosely around my two bunches to keep my stalks more upright.
What do you think?
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
In my almost 3 months here, I’ve found a couple spiders, a couple silverfish (they give me the shivers)… and more than my fair share of carpenter ants.
Just to clarify, my bug tolerance is super low. Every time I enter a room I scan it for bugs. It sounds pathetic, but I can’t help myself. I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Any fleck of anything black or brown and I have to investigate to make sure it’s not a bug. In university, I once found 2 spiders in my dorm room on the same day and I woke up screaming, “SPIDERS! SPIDERS!” from a nightmare so loudly, I woke up my neighbour. (Sorry Jen Ma!)
So when a silverfish scurried out from under one of my moving boxes in the first couple weeks, I was scared, but I didn’t completely freak out.
Then when I was making juice for my brother and found a dead silverfish in my mother f-in Brita filter, I was scared, but I didn’t completely freak out. And I made him flush it down the toilet, just in case it was playing dead and jumped out at me.
Then a few weeks later when I was on the computer and felt a tickle on my shoulder, only to realize it was an ant on me, I freaked out… but just a bit.
The final straw was when I went to bed on Thursday night. I was exhausted. I turned on the light. Guess what I saw? A freaking ant crawling on my freaking bed.
I. LOST. IT.
I went ape $hit bananas. Seriously, coo coo for cocoa puffs crazy.
It was almost 11pm and I didn’t hesitate in the slightest to call my landlord. I basically told her in no uncertain terms would I continue living in a place where I had to check my bed (my bed!!) for bugs. Nah-uh. No way. NOT happening. She very sweetly invited me (and Kevin) to sleep upstairs for the night, which I fully appreciate, but I know she has ants up there too, so I declined. And she said she would call an exterminator to come to the house ASAP. Boy oh boy did she hold up her end of the bargain. By 4:30pm on Friday (if you’re still reading this far, I called her on Thursday at almost 11pm) an exterminator was at the house fumigating. Me and Riley went to my parents house for the night, and I put my plants on the front porch.
I came back on Saturday afternoon to find about 10-12 dead ants around the baseboards. Yuck. But they were dead, so yay! The exterminator said we’ll continue to find dead ants for about 8 more days. He wasn’t lying. Every day since I have walked in to find a few writhing around dying. I know it’s evil to just let them suffer so I squash them all and end it quickly.
In case any of you were wondering (and miraculously read to the end of this post), the exterminator sprayed the basement, upstairs, and the perimeter of the house. And he gave my landlord a 6 month guarantee, so she can call him to re-spray if we find the fumigation loses its effectiveness.
BLAGHHHHH!! Let’s just all hope that day doesn’t ever come.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Overall there are 5 windows downstairs – one very large window in the dining room, and one large window flanked by two tall thin windows in the living room. My parents recently invested in blinds for all of the windows downstairs and they look SO. MUCH. BETTER. It’ll probably help my sister with her allergies too because they won’t hold onto as much dust and fur as the sheers did.
I took some pictures – the quality isn’t that great because they were with my phone. The first one is of one of the small windows in the living room, and the second one is the dining room window.
My mom inquired at several places before placing her order. She called Blinds-To-Go first, thinking they would be the least expensive, but they weren’t by a long shot. She ended up getting a much better deal from Select Blinds, which is something I’ll be keeping in mind for when we move into the condo and have two walls of windows to contend with… although we’re definitely looking more for roller blinds, not slatted blinds like these.
Overall, the best price she was quoted from Blinds-To-Go was over $600, but the valance was very thin and to get a different pull cord was an added cost. At Select Blinds she got a much thicker valance (standard) and the price was $330 total! Literally almost half the price!! She asked at Blinds-To-Go if they could match that pricing and they said no. I was surprised because I always thought they would be the least inexpensive.
Have any of you gotten a great deal of window coverings? It’s one of the first things I think people should put up in their homes when they first move in so I’m doing my research early! Help a gal out!
Thursday, June 7, 2012
A few weeks ago I went to West Elm for the first time – and it lived up to its hype. The store was set up beautifully, with some really nice displays and great pops of colour.
This mix of driftwood, candles, jars, and bottles was set up as a centrepiece on a reclaimed wood table. I would never have thought to put these pieces together, but it looks great. I also really like that they’re using multiple smaller-scale items as the centrepiece, whereas I think most people usually just use one big item.
I was crushing hard on this coffee table. I really like it. Like, a lot. I have to really restrain myself from buying furniture until we move to the condo, but it’s. so. hard.
How awesome is this string of pendants?! It’s so cool. I love the impact of having 5 in a row, but I think even just 1 (or maybe 3 if you have the space) would look great too.
We found this bookcase that was very well styled. I like that the bookcase has open and closed sections too. I love the idea of using open bookcases like this as a quasi-room divider. As we headed to the back of the store, we found this same bookcase in the As Is section for less than half the price ($239.97) of the original ($599)!! The only issue was the top section was missing the screws (where I put in the arrow) so that is easily fixable with a quick trip to Home Depot, etc. If either of us had a car big enough to take that home, it would’ve been mine!!!
Have any of you been here lately? Do you like to get inspired by store setups like I do? The merchandisers do such a good job of making the displays so pretty!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
MY 2012 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
1. Stop swearing
You know what? While I haven’t been actively working on this one, I have really curbed my habit here! In my new position at work I work with a guy who non-jokingly says things like, “Gee Whiz” “Hokey Dinah” “Bass Ackwards”… what do these words mean? I have no idea lol but it’s hilarious. And makes me want to clean out my mouth with a bar of soap
Goal achieved? It's coming along
2. Improve my photography skills
Eeek, still off the bandwagon with my photography challenge. When I moved I misplaced my camera and its accessories (charger, tripod, SD card). I have since found everything, but something is up with my SD card and I can’t take photos off of it… Anywho, my photo challenge will be up and running again very soon!
Goal acheived? Fail... womp womp
3. Learn Photoshop
I’ve been playing around with GIMP, a freeware photo editing program. I learned how to add washi tape to photos, which makes me a very happy girl. I’ve learned that watching YouTube videos for specific issues is much more helpful than reading any user guide.
Goal achieved? Coming along nicely
4. Read more news
I’m still doing well with my Twitter apps (CP24, Toronto Star and CBC News). But the news is so depressing! I don’t want to hear about drugs (bath salts??) that pretty much turn people into cannibalistic face-eating zombies… Sounds like patient zero to me. Time to start preparing for the zombie apocalypse!!
Goal achieved? Check!!
5. Do more DIYs on my blog
A big fat zip going on here. I haven’t done any projects in the last 2 months. Booo. But in preparation to start more DIYs I have been pinning like crazy! Check out my craft/diy folder on Pinterest!
Goal achieved? Room for improvement
6. Declutter each season
Nothing helps me declutter like moving and move I did! Packing helps me prioritize what’s important, which is seriously only about 30% of what I own. I still have 3 totes that I haven’t unpacked… and I moved 2 months ago lol. I’m slowly chipping away at it.
Goal achieved? Yes-siree!
7. Spend more quality time with the ones I love
Check! Kevin and I are still doing weekly dates. I’ve also caught up on my emails with friends.
Goal achieved? Yes indeed-y!
Overall I can say I'm still happy with my progress. I think I’ll focus this next month on doing some DIYs. I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon hard so I’ve really gotta pick myself up and get back into it! My walls are bare and they’re just crying out for some art or something…
How have your resolutions been going? If you made any, have you been sticking to them, or did some of them fall off the bandwagon like mine?
Image: zombie apocalypse
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The May issue of Style At Home is bringing in the summer! It makes me feel like we’re this close to summer when I see articles and photos about outdoors spaces. Yay!
Within the first few pages I saw a really fun and easy DIY by Jessica Waks that I want to try out – fabric covered flower pots! So smart. I mean, who doesn’t have some less-than-stellar looking pots and some nice fabric remnants hanging around?? Seems like an easy fix now, doesn’t it!
Lindsay Mens Craig (an intern turned designer for Sarah Richardson) decorated her 800-square-foot condo in downtown Toronto by mixing and matching styles, colours, and textures…and it all works together! My favourite spaces are her dining room and bedroom.
The dining room is a nook in the living room (as it goes with most condos in Toronto!), but it’s well-defined. The sparkle on the chair legs and pedestal base as well as the glass table top really make the the space feel airy. I love it.
I love all of the contrasting textures in her bedroom!
This kitchen and office space are from the home of Vancouver-ite, Effie Genovese, and was created with the help of Jim Bussey from Formwerks Architectural.
I love the cabinetry in here. There's a mix and match of solid and mirrored, which is a nice way to bounce light around the room. The mouldings are also great, as is the large island and pendants above it.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I got a new position in a new department at work, so to celebrate my friend Gary took me out for dinner at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. It was the first time there for both of us and we were very impressed!
Here was our menu. It was a four course meal and I took some photos because the menu looked delicious and the food was very well presented. We substituted the gnocchi poutine for a beet salad because the poutine was made with beef gravy and I don’t eat mammals.
As you can see on the menu, the fourth course was dessert. The waitress poured the espresso over top and I dug right in… about halfway through I realized I didn’t get a photo. Oh well…I’m not even sorry lol it was delicious!
The decor inside was really cool. One of my friends described it as a swanky café and I think I’d have to agree. It was very contemporary and minimal. Even the bathrooms were cool. Check out the photos!
Have you ever eaten here? Does this restaurant remind you of any others in Toronto?
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
So I called down the landlords. They’re a married couple – she’s pretty young (my age) and he’s.. I dunno.. late thirties? Anyhow, her brother did all the kitchen and bathroom renovations while her husband did all of the cosmetic stuff (painting, etc). If you just groaned at the very likely sketchy nature of my electrical work – you are. not. alone. I asked them where my kitchen outlets were and they just looked on, as dumbfounded as I was lol. Then she said, “Well can’t you just use one of the outlets in the living room?” Uh…no. Dear readers, how many small kitchen appliances do you have on your counter? Probably a microwave, a toaster and a coffee maker/kettle, right? How about all of those other small appliances? A blender, stand/hand mixer, food processor, waffle maker, slow cooker… the list goes on. While my landlords are very nice, I firmly let them know no outlets in the kitchen was a total deal breaker and if they want to ensure good quality tenants in the future (not people who are okay with plopping their microwave on the floor in the living room), they should fix this issue now.
Within 3 days, an electrician came by to scope out the job of adding outlets. I eavesdropped on his and my landlord’s conversation. According to the electrician, the electrical work definitely was not up to code and is shoddy work at best, as I (and probably you) had suspected. The lesson here is to definitely get a proper electrician!! I creepily took this picture of the unknowing electrician while he was drilling a hole in my wall… muahahah!
The electrician originally planned to add in 3 outlets, but couldn’t make that happen. I ended up with one outlet (2 plugs) between the sink and oven that is on its own dedicated line and is grounded. It’s definitely an improvement, but I think this is a case where it would’ve been worth the extra cost to do it right (with a licenced electrician) the first time!
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The first night we took a stroll around the Falls. I’d never seen them at night before. This is the only shot I managed to get that was overpowered by the crazy mist.
The next day we did our tours. The four wineries were Joseph’s Estate Wines, Caroline Cellars, Riverview Cellars, and Reif Estate Winery. We also visited Chocolate F/X and a Peanut store. The way the tour was set up was pretty awesome – a mini bus picked us up from our hotel, then drove us to each of the locations, and then dropped us back off at the hotel. Kevin’s not a wine fan (except ice wine because it’s super sweet) so I drank most of his reds and whites and he drank most of my ice wines.
In terms of decor, I liked Reif Estate Winery the best. It was definitely the most luxe along the group. I’d been looking forward to going there for a few months because I had some red wine at a friend’s house in the winter that came from this winery and they don’t sell it in the LCBO (pretty much the only store where people from Ontario can buy wine) so I wanted to buy a couple bottles. The wine was Gamay Cabernet if anyone’s interested – it’s delicious! Reif also had the best ice wine out of the wineries we visited. I think the Niagara Region produces most of the world’s ice wine. It’s definitely the wine I associate most with that area. The grapes for ice wine are harvested in the winter, creating an incredibly sweet wine – a dessert wine. Reif’s ice wine was the most mellow (I didn’t give that sample to Kevin lol) so I bought a bottle of that too.
In terms of the actual tastings, Caroline Cellars had it going on! They give each person a list of their wines and let you choose 4 from the list. I’ve done wine tastings at several wineries and this was the first place that let me choose my samples. So Kevin and I (mostly me lol) went down the list and chose 2 samples each of reds, whites, Rieslings, and ice wines.
Here’s the wine I added to my collection:
- Caroline Cellars Riesling Late Harvest 2008 – 500mL
- Joseph’s Estate Wines Late Harvest Vidal 2008 – 375mL
- Riverview Cellars Fontana Dolce 2010 Vintage – 750mL
- Reif Estate Winery Gamay Cabernet 2011 – 750mL x 2 bottles
- Reif Estate Winery Vidal Ice Wine 2010 – 200mL
The tour bus also stopped at Chocolate F/X. A guide explained to us how the chocolate is made and the shipping processes. Most of the chocolate gets sent to third party retailers who wrap the chocolate in their own brand’s labels. The sample set up here was awesome. It was basically Bulk Barn, but free... And ALL CHOCOLATE!!!
It got pretty crazy up in the sample section for a good 5-10 minutes. There were about 20 of us on the tour and there was no lining up whatsoever…everyone just rushed the chocolate. It was hilarious.
That night we went downtown for dinner and stopped by for some photos
On Sunday we did a bit of shopping at an outlet mall near our hotel. I bought a new pair of running shoes, which I have been needing for way too long. My old pair had no more cushioning and a hole in the right shoe!
Have you been to the Falls lately? Maybe for a little cross-border shopping…