{Last} Weekend's Project #2 - Stripping the Bergere Chairs


In preparation for the reupholstering of our furniture pieces, we had to strip them of the current fabric and padding. We decided to tackle the two bergere chairs first.

I figured this was a straightforward task, so I assumed it would take an hour or two to get the job done.

Oh how terribly wrong I was.
Between me & Adair, we're figuring we're at more than TWELVE hours {and counting, because we're still not done one of the chairs!}.  Here's what we did.

Nice chair, just not done to our taste!

Time to rip off the fabric! 

A sideways view of the foam covered chair back.

Ripped off the old foam to the back of the chair,  removed that fabric and the gazillion staples.

Next we tackled the arm rests.  Simple enough...

But wait!  There's another layer of fabric and foam underneath.  Good grief!  Oh the staples!!!!

Finally we reached the wood base and removed another bajillion staples.

Now to attack the seat cushion -- gross foam!

And underneath that, more fabric and gross old foam!!

But we stripped those suckers off to reveal...

Ahhhh...finally...the base of the chair!!


There is MUCH work left to be done, but stripping this fabric, although tedious at times has been very educational!

Now we have new foam being custom cut and we still have to paint the chairs!  More to come as we go along!  


My trip to Nine West!

I went shopping today, and found myself at Nine West -- face to face with these SHOES. I had to have them.

Here's a side view of the same shoe, but in gray. I got black. Of course!

I also got these cool retro chic sneakers for $39 {down from $115!}

I didn't see these, but they were on the Nine West website. So sparkly and happy. These are wildly impractical for a SAHM, but oh-so ridiculously FUN!

I saw these too.  I think they are a lovely summer sandal. So cute with summer-y skirt!


Looking to Payless


After 2 pregnancies, my feet have grown.  I'm told that I'm not the only one.

I used to be a size 6 1/2 or 7, but now I'm about a 7 1/2.  None of my 100+ pairs of shoes fit any more.  Being a mom to 2 kidlets, I'm on a tight budget. I can't replace my shoes at once, and I definitely can't replace them with the fun, expensive, and uber-trendy shoes I used to have.  I have to be practical.  I like quality shoes.  

For my practical shoes, I always choose quality. But if I'm looking for trendy shoes, I look to Payless!  

I was perusing Payless online yesterday, and came across these beauties. Now if only I lived in the US, as these styles are only available there.

Brands Christian Siriano for PaylessShanghai Exotic Peep Toe Pump
Adore the rope detail!

Brands Christian Siriano for PaylessZanzi Exotic Wedge
The thick straps are gorgeous! Again, they also have that chic rope detail!

Womens Z LondonGlitter A-Line Slip-On
Toms-esque in the lovely pewter colour.  Will go with everything!

Womens Lela Rose for PaylessBolivar Wedge
Teal canvas juxtaposed with the patterned raffia wedge.  So stylish!

Brands Christian Siriano for PaylessCaged Strappy Shootie
Black croc cage-style stilettos.  I need to own these. 


Red Felt Roses


Here's a little craft I've been working on this February.  

I found this amazing blog {Creative Jewish Mom}and was inspired by her tutorial on making a Felt Rosebud Bouquet. She has a full tutorial on her blog, so I won't repeat it, but here are some photos of my progress.  

I'm not done yet -- these babies take a long time! But they are worth it :)

So you first outline various sizes of circles on the felt.  Then cut out the circle shape.  Then within that shape, cut a spiral pattern.  Repeat for each circle.

Unravel each spiral, the take the pointy end and start rolling it in on itself.

As you roll it, keep the felt taut as you don't want floppy flowers.

Almost done! With your hot glue gun, adhere the centre part of the spiral {the butt if you will}, to the bottom of the rose.  This will help the rose maintain its shape. Since you have your hot glue gun out anyway, you can always secure the sides of the flower if you feel like you need to.

And voila. A completed rose!

I love how each rose is individual, depending on the size of the original circle and your freehand spiral cut.
I then adhered the roses to a styrofoam ball {try 5-6 inch balls}, and all of my many roses only filled half the ball! So here's a shot of my yet-unfinished bouquet.  I'm interested in making another one for my dining room in shades of gray and white, so I'll leave my red one till next February.
Hope you enjoyed my mini-tutorial!


African Design Elements

For those of you that know me well, know that I'm obsessed with the Middle East.

From my undergraduate degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies {I studied ancient Israel, Egypt & Mesopotamia}, to my passion for bellydancing, to my travels to Israel and Morocco, I've always adored everything from the Middle East & North Africa. Including interior design styles!

To add a bit more texture and style to my dining room design, I've been ogling these beautiful pieces. I haven't made any final decisions yet, but I wanted to share with you what I'm thinking dreaming about.

Pouf blanche
Luscious leather Moroccan pouf from Just Morocco.
Egyptian brass pendant lanterns from Snob.

cameroonian juju hats
A Cameroonian Juju Hat from L'Aviva Home.


Weighty Matters


 Have you seen those amazing Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers ads? Well, I'm a total sucker for advertising, so I joined WW in mid-January.  I've been reluctant to share the news because I've joined WW before and was disappointed with their previous programs. 

But the updated PointsPlus program is AWESOME. Trust me, I'm a professional dieter. The best part is that fruits & veggies are ZERO POINTS!  I always that it was weird that a banana was 2 points on the previous programs - I'd rather eat 2 mini chocolate bars! Anyway, I'm really pleased with the results.  Below is a post from another blog I post on with a few workout diva friends :), and I thought I'd share my self-reflection with you.


I've been doing GREAT. I'm down 10 lbs since mid-January! YAY me! I haven't really been working out because: 1) I'm lazy; 2) Still trying to juggle life with 2 kidlets; 3) I {and the 2 kids} were sick a couple weeks ago, and I can't get back into the swing of working out again.

But I'm feeling really great and a lot more comfortable with my food choices.  Here's what I'm realizing about my "dieting personality, about food and my toxic relationship with it:

1. Food isn't my best friend and it isn't my enemy. It's just food. And EATING food {in proper portions!} will allow me to find my comfortable weight.

2. Deprivation breeds rebellion. I have the kind of personality that if you tell me I CAN'T have something, it's all I want. I'm learning that if I allow myself to have something, I really savour the portion or sometimes I don't even want it at all.  But the mere fact I'm deliberately depriving of it is the driving factor in obsessing about it. You'll NEVER catch me on Atkins again.

3. Slow and steady wins the race. I'm still nursing my 11 week old, so I can't lose weight quickly as it deleteriously affects my milk production  THIS IS A GOOD THING. Usually when I'm on a fad diet, I get so excited about dropping 20 lbs in a couple weeks, then the diet becomes unsustainable -- they ALWAYS do -- and I "fall off the wagon" only to gain the weight back {and then some!}.  Right now, I'm dropping .5 - 2 lbs per week and I'm eating REAL foods I enjoy {I eat chocolate and chips almost daily!} and I'm eating a TON of fruits and veggies.

4. Weighing myself everyday is CRAZY. But I still do it. I'm trying to stop because it only makes me anxious and puts me in a bad mood if I'm .5 lb, or alternatively makes me over-elated if I'm down 2 lbs. Once a week is enough. I'm trying to NOT throw myself into a tailspin over silly water weight.

5. I need to give myself more love and more credit. I'm a total self-hater. I say terrible and mean things to myself.  Even when I was 135 lbs, I would constantly write in my journal that I was such a cow. Oh, what I'd give to be a 135 lbs again. I'm learning to be grateful for my body, even at this size. I can move - I can jump - I can walk - I can even run - I can dance - I can give my kids kisses - I am worthy of love. YES, even at my current weight. This way of thinking is totally radical to me.

I'm really looking forward to hitting the gym soon and getting out on the roads to train for my half-marathon in May.  Anyway, I feel like I've got a good momentum going, and I just want to continue going in this positive and healthy direction.


Weekend Project #1 - Chevron Wall


I've been really inspired lately by chevrons {so graphic, modern, bold!} and wanted to incorporate them into our dining room design project. I already chose a chevron fabric for a chair in the dining room, but I decided I wanted to make a bolder statement wall.  

I originally thought of just painting a chevron pattern onto a large canvas, but I had this blank wall that was screaming to be a feature wall, so I decided that the chevrons should be painted onto the wall.  
It turned out to be a lot of work {probably about 7-8 hrs total} because it's not merely sticking up painter's tape and slapping a coat of paint on.  I wish it were that simple.

First we had to decide on the width and angles of the chevrons, then calculate how that would translate onto the wall.  Then Adair started taping {I'm horribly & tragically impatient, so I'm often just the brains behind the decorating operation!}.  The taping took about 5 hours or so. Seriously. Luckily it wasn't all in one stretch.

Then the painting began. I chose Cement Gray {2112-60} from Benjamin Moore. It's a fabulous gray with purple-y brown undertones that matches the fabric of our yet-to-be completed chairs.  

We also used BM's Aura paint in the satin finish. It's an amazing quality paint -- BM's top of the line paint -- and it's well worth the money.  You can do a second coat within 20 mins or so, and it goes on really brilliantly {or so I'm told by Adair, because Heaven knows I didn't touch a paint brush in this process!}

The complex taping process begins...

The taping in and of itself is a masterpiece, no?

Taping is DONE!
Thanks for taping dad - EZ thinks it's time to read a book!
Now it's time for paint!!!
Adair taking the paint off around 11:30 Saturday night. Oh how the romance in our relationship has changed. B.C {before children} we'd be out to dinner and a movie -- now we paint our dining room walls <3

This is the finished product in the morning light! GORGEOUS RIGHT?! Just waiting to be styled up with my mirrored sideboard.  



A taste of progress in our dining room


We're currently working on the "easy" project. A decorative paint job on one of the walls in the dining room. I figured it would be a super easy project - we'd slap some tape up, paint and then be done with it.  However, my hubby being the mathematical genius that he is, figured out that there was a lot more work to the project than I thought.

The above photo was taken after about 2.5 hours of work -- and we're not even close to being done.

Oh well -- it's cheaper than wall paper, and will be much cooler!


In lieu of Thrifting Thursday...an Update


As expected with 2 under 2, life can get pretty hectic sometimes.  Things come up and life doesn't go according to plan. It's been a whirlwind of crying babies, kidlet crafting, napping, design dilemmas,and other busy nothings. So I didn't get to thrift this week...yet. 

Stay tuned for next week.  I'm sure I'll have some glorious finds.

In lieu of Thrifting Thursday, I'll briefly bring you up-to-date on the goings-on @ our crazy house.

1. Valentine's Day
  • We had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  For the first time, my husband actually planned a dinner and bought me a gift. It was supposed to be a surprise {he even arranged a sitter!}, but I was pressing him to go to an auction, so I kind of forced him to tell me. I guess I'm a good cross-examiner - he gave up the details of his plans pretty easily
  • Adair bought me Apple TV, which is pretty awesome considering how much time we spend at home and how hard it is to get out of the house with the 2 kids - GOOD GIFT
  • We went to a very nice restaurant for dinner and I splurged on steak and chocolate mousse -- possibly the best chocolate mousse of my LIFE!
  • He also got me tulips which I heart.  I'm not a rose person, and the tulips are so cheery and spring-y, which is what we need after this cold, snowy, dreary, miserable winter. 
  • Valentine's Day didn't end on the 14th because Adair also put away 5 loads of laundry yesterday while I was napping. He's awesome like that.
  • EZ made the cutest Valentine's art.  I should probably be a good mummy and take photos, but alas, we can only do so much.  By the end of V-day, EZ was saying "Heart" & "Love", so that's pretty awesome.

2. Dining Room Update:
  • Fabric for bergere chairs has been purchased {gray, yellow, birds & chevron!}
  • I sold the Goodwill chairs I found in January and bought new chairs
  • I picked out paint for the chairs and the wall design
  • I found the dining room chair fabric on eBay for $15/yard {better than the $50/yard I was going to purchase it for at the fancy fabric store!}
  • My amazing friend is going to reupholster our pieces - we met today and I'm EXCITED
  • I went to a foam store and had foam custom cut for our furniture
  • I'm finalizing fabric and trims. My latest dilemma is the front hall bench, which is currently a hideous shade of dusty rose velvet. Should I reupholster in a silvery microfiber velvet OR go crazy and choose a gray crocodile vinyl. I'm thinking vinyl, but I'll keep you posted.
  • I have some great ideas for lighting & accessories which I'll post about in the future.

3. Other home design issues:
  • I decided on paint for EZ's room - hopefully we'll get that finished this weekend.
  • I got a quote for $1100 + paint to finish painting the 2nd floor of our house, including our banister.  It's a little steep because we can do it ourselves, but I guess you're paying for the convenience {Patience is NOT my strong point!}
  • We need to strip the chairs {dining room & bergere} this weekend, so we can get started on the reupholstery as soon as we can 
  • I'm also really keen to put our new paint sprayer to work and spray our kitchen cabinets!
4. Misc...
  • I signed Aviva up for a class - Baby Milestones - we make little keepsakes and stuff
  • I found some new local baby & kid stores. It's so great to support local businesses! 
  • EZ is chatting up a storm. He's a sponge and a parrot. He's repeating EVERYTHING you say. I'm amazed by his progress in the last few weeks. He's really growing up. 
  • I'm REALLY stoked about this weather warming up - I HOPE IT STAYS! I'm so ready for Spring!



My 500th Post. Seriously.


Wow. My 500th post? Seriously?

I wish I had something more profound to blog about for my 500th Blog Post.
I started this blog in 2007 as a way to document the fun adventures of my life.  Adair suggested I reflect on what we've accomplished since 2007, and there is so much to cover.  We have been incredibly blessed. 

  • We bought our first home!
  • We went on a dream vacation to Morocco
  • We moved into our new townhouse
  • I started bellydancing and discovered a new passion for performance {and sequins!}
  • I became President for the YW program for our Church
  • I discovered SCRAPBOOKING!
  • I got a permanent position @ my job
  • Adair's brother got married in Hfx - travelled there @ 7 months preggo!
  • Babymoon trip to Banff! 
  • I had a BABY!!
  • I had a horrible delivery that left me with major nerve damage in my legs 
  • I enjoyed my 1st mat leave with my AMAZING son EZ and the MANY adventures of being a first-time mummy! {take that, nerve damage!}
  • We ventured to the Great White North and Vancouver Island with EZ when he was 6 months old
  • We sold our first home and bought a bigger home in a new town
  • We moved into my parents house until we moved into our current home
  • I went back to work and loved being a Working Mummy! I got to wear power suits again!
  • I discovered another passion - home decorating and design
  • We took a trip with our friends to NYC w/ EZ
  • I have become obsessed with other blogs, organizing and DIY projects
  • We had our 2nd child - our gorgeous daughter Little A
  • I'm now on my 2nd mat leave and enjoy being a temporary SAHM
  • I'm sure there are more things, but I'm getting tired :)
So thanks for following my little blog!  I hope you join me for many more adventures to come.  It's hard to believe that Adair and I started like this:

  and now we've THIS!
This is truly the BEST time our lives. Thank you for sharing in our FUN and ADVENTURES!


My Sarah Richardson Moment


I heart Sarah Richardson, and especially her new HGTV Canada show called Sarah 101. In this show, she breaks down the requirements for gorgeous design and style for a room - like a crash course in interior design. LOVE IT!  

She always says you need a jumping off point - something to inspire the feel of the room.  So yesterday I went to the fabric store to be inspired for our sad little dining room.  Currently our dining room is a barren landscape of whiteness. Our furniture is in the basement, waiting to be painted and re-upholstered, but all of that is dependent on my fabric choice.

I drove down to the amazing Ottawa Street in Hamilton and felt like I died and went to textile heaven! There are SO many fabric stores.  I was completely overwhelmed. I fancy myself to have some sense of my style, but I was totally out of my element in these stores.  There are  thousands of bolts of fabric to choose from - where was I going to begin? And how will I know that the fabric I choose is the right one?

Then, in the 3rd fabric store, after trudging around with Little A in her giant stroller for more than an hour, I spotted the fabric. I knew that this was my inspiration - My Sarah Richardson moment, if you will.
My less-than-stellar camera on the iPhone doesn't do this beauty justice.
The fabric is a crisp white cotton with shades of gray, black and a pop of yellow.  I also love the nature theme {it also goes well with the carpet I already purchased months ago!}.  

I wanted my dining room to be all tone-on-tone white, but once I saw this fabric, I changed my mind.  This fabric was my inspiration for other options.

A bold stripe perhaps?

A gray menswear-inspired tweed for the settee?

I even spied this rug at HomeSense for $79 - I didn't buy it, but I may go back and get it :)
These are the swatches I came home with - photo was taken in the dark!  At least Ginger approves!
I don't know for sure if I'll end up going with this colour scheme, but having this experience really improved my confidence in my own design aesthetic. You know what you like and you know what looks good - so trust your instinct and go with it!


Thrifting Thursdays - Week 4


This has been a crazy week for me. Both kidlets and I have caught a cold.  Plus it's FRIGID outside, which doesn't entice me too much to venture out into the cold looking for old stuff with 2 sick kids in tow.  

But alas, I did.  
Today was our first day out since Monday {when we went to the indoor gym! and to Value Village's 50% off sale for Family Home Evening}.  Thursday mornings are usually reserved for thrifting, but I didn't want to risk it with both kids.  I shopped full retail this morning - I'm looking for good sheets.  All I found in the colour I wanted was 1000 thread count sheets that cost nearly $100. No thanks, I'll pass. 

I wanted to thrift this afternoon, but my priority was to peruse fabric stores for the perfect upholstery material for my upcycled dining room projects.  I'll write about that in a separate post.  
I did, however, manage to hit a couple thrift stores today, but everything was a miss.  Luckily I scooped up these sunny little gems earlier this week.  Both items are yellow {as is a juicer I also purchased but didn't photograph}.  Yellow is becoming the accent colour in our home - you'll see this tomorrow when I show you some fabric I'm looking at!

Sweet sunshine-y shoes for Little A. They are unworn and I paid a whopping 49 cents!

A mustard yellow vintage Pyrex casserole dish with darling fleurs - with a lid! LOVE! Sadly, this may be my last Pyrex piece for awhile...unless I see a PINK piece or a fridgie!  I am running out of storage space for all my vintage Pyrex.  But in my defence, I do use them daily!


Heart Day Printable


Isn't this adorable! Get your free printable from this website

I heart the gray & pink, but it comes in other colours too. 

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