Sunday, January 23, 2011

Super Side Stair Storage and In Case You Didn't Know

Hi again!
Thought I would share with you some more storage Todd has been building. You see our
old home is short on built-ins and to have her keep up with
the Jones's we have been adding where we can.  

So we are blessed with 5 doorways in our 12 1/2 x 18 foot
kitchen and the one on the far right
leads to the basement.

The old doors are beautiful but since we were 
not opening any walls up we chose to remove
them including the basement door (safely stored
in the attic in case anyone ever wanted to put them back)

which gave us an opportunity to use the back wall
to hang a chalk board and have a  space for a small
table and as well for cook

or at one time was a great
place for  

this sweet girls water and food dish
to be out of the way of the main
areas of the kitchen, she always had
a thing for getting under furniture.

The left side.

 and  the right side.
There will be shaker doors covering 
all the openings except where
you see the beadboard. I'm 
a pretty good shot and can hit
the recycle bin from the top
of the stairs, actually I made a very calculated
decision as to just how high that cabinet would be
above based on a trial couple of throws!

I love the barn style lighting that will go
where the pig tail light is now. I stained a
piece of pine for the base top and gave
it many coats of poly.

You know building a new house is so much  
easier than working around an old homes
oddities. We didn't want to lose any height 
going down the stairs for taking taller 
items down. Just look at that nasty underside of the 
upstairs landing

and so Todd performed framing and drywall magic!

Just look at those angles, I just love it.

Finishing touches, paint  and doors are needed so will have to 
share  again when it's all done but so far I'm loving it.

and now 
for a very important message
to all the lovely ladies (and some gents)
who have the pleasure (or displeasure) of
doing there own house cleaning



Just turn these little guys to the left

and lift the seat to the left and then 
the right and they pop off the 
plastic plugs

and now you have every woman's dream,
an easy to clean toilet and toilet seat!
So if you don't have
one run right out and get one
(or maybe spare him the agony of what
to get you for Valentine's day ? ha ha with 
some flowers of course)
and  trust me you won't regret it. 
Oh ya, I like the plastic
model over the wood moulded white one 
any day but hey to each her own.

Have a cozy weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Few of my Fantastic Finds


I've been struggling a bit physically  these past weeks but I
have made some changes and fingers crossed feel I've turned
a corner.

I love love love thrifting and have not been in  a while since
I have quite a few pieces that I already acquired that still  need  there
makeover  so I thought I would show you what I think are
some neat second hand finds that I scored.

One day a while back we decided to take a gander through  
the local Habitat for Humanity Restore at 5 minutes to closing. 
Since I have an obsession with lighting (too many lights not enough rooms) I made a bee line for the lighting section and low and behold this chandelier was sitting there, 
I could not believe my eyes. 

It of course did not have a price on it and it weighed a ton. So
very very casually
(trying to supress my inner squeal of delight)
with a poker face I sauntered up to the cash and 
asked how much they wanted for it.  

It hangs in our still to be reno'd living/dining room that definitely
does not show it off to it's potential.
Apparently some guy just dropped it off and 
thought it was junk, JUNK! Can you believe it?

$75.00 he said. Sold I said!

As you can see it has this gorgeous patina on it.

It needed a ceiling canopy and rewiring so off I hauled it
to an older gentleman who has been 
restoring chandeliers
for years in nearby Aurora 

and he custom matched the canopy

and you know what he told me?
It is not brass, it is solid cast bronze!
I would like to find some crystals for it but I
do love it without them too.

I love the ball shape and the organic style of this vintage
light, another Restore score for $15.00
I picture this one sprayed a fun colour.

This little lovely was a Good Will deal of just $13.50.

I guess a little straw in the seat means it's old
and not a repro

I love the casual shabby style of this very heavy iron chandelier. It will take a lot of 
work to get all the rust paint off it but will be well worth it. At $75.00 it is a
one of a kind diamond in the rough that will look 
wonderful in our master bedroom.

Value village never lets me down, $50.00 for a solid maple dresser with
great deco style handles. It had a burgundy stain that I stripped and still needs a
final coat of colour and finish.

I didn't even have to paint this one, found it as you see
it for $15.00 at Good Will.

Some people think pressboard Ikea dressers are 
a great deal, I beg to differ. $175.00 for a 4'x2' wood 
empire style dresser complete with it's harp
and mirror. The mirror found a home in our mudroom
over our huge cast iron sink and
the dresser which is now painted white gets moved to various places
in our home but right now resides
in the front porch.
If we didn't need our microwave in our kitchen island this dresser would have
been a great piece to use at 4'x2' with a some salvaged brackets for
the back and counter overhang and a butcher block top, again
a one of a kind design with lots of drawer storage

Now that is a deal.

This coffee table was one of the first pieces I found for $40.00 at 
Value Village when we bought our house 10 years ago. It was a
regular table height and Todd cut the base down
for a coffee table height. The lamp is one of two we 
found for $30.00 and I added a new drum shade to it.
The love seat was $250.00 and  is a very heavy good quality 
second hand down filled William 
Birch style in a gorgeous yellow
chintz that  I  slipcovered for it to match our sofa
that was purchased new. 

Our home is filled mostly  with wonderful old but not precious
pieces and I wouldn't have it
any other way.  I love recycling and I love the
quality that was from yesterday and whenever possible I try to
buy not "made in China"!

And last but not least this cute 
wood slat  bucket was just $10.00 from 
a private flea market. I just love it's hand made quality.

So where do you go looking for your deals and what do you consider
a deal?

Sunday, January 9, 2011


There are still missing pieces to my health puzzle. When it comes to rebuilding your health you have to get to the bottom of it. I won't  drag on with  my details except to tell you that a voice has been telling me for a long time now that my liver is not doing so great and  that I don't believe anyone can become healthy if their liver is compromised or congested.

Today I start  a very very easy liver cleanse from the book "The Detox Solution" by Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald. I have had this book for a long time now and she is brilliant at writing for the average person to GET IT.

I am certain that years of being hypothyroid has compromised my liver and when you are hypothyroid then you cannot detox naturally the way someone has healthy thyroid levels can, so it has created a vicious cycle. Now that I am on natural thyroid and am almost optimized on it I am doing this easy 5 day cleanse. Normally one does this in the spring but I have no time to waste!

Put in a blender the following

  • one cup of citrus: use orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and or lime. Make it as sour as possible. You can dilute it with purified water
  • one or two cloves of garlic ( I use organic as  we seem to react to the garlic from China that is not organic, )
  • one small piece of ginger
  • one tablespoon of organic garlic
Blend the above ingredients and drink immediately. 

Follow with two cups of cleansing tea, such as Jason Winters or dandelion tea.

It is preferable to do it in the morning on an empty stomach and then wait an hour before eating.

It is suggested to do the liver flush four times a year (as the seasons change) or whenever you feel you need a boost. Five days in a row each time is recommended.

It is a finally a beautiful sun shiny but bitterly cold day that is putting a smile on my face and I am so excited that I have the energy to forge ahead and try things that are only as simple as a few ingredients from my fridge awash.  I can't wait to see if this helps me and I will let you know if it does!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Easy Chicken Soup

Now that I'm back to work I can't tell you how many people have told me they had the
24 hour flu bug over the holidays and am so thankful I didn't get it. If you are wanting
an easy peasy soup that is hands down delicious that you probably already have the ingredients for then  you've got to give this a try and if anyone is sick in your family then it will surely nurse them back to good health!

The base is an original Martha Stewart recipe but I have added celery, removed the
parsnips and opted for rice sometimes or you can add your own cooked noodles. My
honey prefers it without the rice.

  • 1 3/4lbs of carrots chopped or 2lbs if you like carrots a lot, I use the smaller amount 
  • 12 cups of filtered water or enough to cover chicken
  • 3 medium sized onions rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons good quality sea salt
  • 3 large stalks celery chopped
  • 1 whole uncooked chicken 3-4 lbs

Put all the vegies in the bottom of a stock pot. Add chicken breast side down. Add
water, it should cover chicken. Turn on to boil and then lower to simmer for 35-40
minutes. If I decide to make it a chicken and brown ricesoup  I cook it up separately
while the soup is cooking as takes 50 minutes to cook. Skim any foam off that rises
 in your soup. When it's done remove the whole chicken and being careful not to
burn yourself remove the skin and chicken meat, cut or shred it the meat and add it
back to the pot. Add your rice if desired and enjoy!

Enjoy and hope you are having a wonderful week!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bedroom Quandry


I thought I would do some of my own relaxing today and
 ponder the state of our master bedroom while
someone else is nursing an extreme hangover from last
nights festivities (poor poor guy) in this room. 

Well not quite this room, this is how our  bedroom we currently use
as our master  looked  when we moved in.  Wow, it looks pretty scary
but I didn't see it that way then, I was smitten with the ol girl that had become our 
very own big beautiful century home. 
That's my stepson Josh peeking around the corner. What a cutey huh?

Although we have renovated the room by stripping wall paper off 
both the walls and the ceiling and kept the  original plaster, we  removed the  plaster 
 from the outside wall to insulate it and added crown moulding. I
have not given it any sort of attention after that and it shows.

We have one more bedroom to overhaul in the future and that will end up being our master and this one will be the office/exercise room so until then I still want to make some changes to this room to get
us by until then.

I did this little sketch a couple of years ago when I thought that we
would stay in this room. I now want it to look a little more
relaxed than this design feels.

Don't you just love dressers as night stands?! In a small bedroom I say they are a must.
Both dressers are cheapo second hand finds and the white one is being replaced by another $20.00 
kijiji find that as it is the exact same size as the dark one. They will both get a coat of paint to match each other. 

I found the chunky mirrors at our Real Canadian Superstore 
grocery store I think for $30.00 each and they may need 
a transformation as well. One thing for sure is the wall colour
has got to go! It's a dark room with east light 
and either needs to get more vibrant or go 
a shade of white. 
We have a new recycled paint line with premixed 
paint colours and I can get a gallon for under $10.00 with
 my staff discount. 

 I really hate east facing
rooms. I find picking paint for them a great challenge as I 
am drawn to cooler lighter colours and they end  up looking
cold or dead in this light.

We bought our antique burled walnut bed I'm guessing 
 maybe 7 years  ago and unfortunately the headboard 
veneer has developed a crack in the veneer due to winter dryness. We finally
invested in a humidifier for our home but the damage is  now done and a repair
would be expensive. Soooo, we are thinking of painting it. I'm just 
so terrified to paint a bed like this and devalue it and yet the wood is not rocking 
our world at all anymore.  I see this style of bed all the time 
painted with a antiqued paint treatment and think they are
just gorgeous and Todd is all for it.

So  I'm curious  what would you do, paint it or sell it and 
get something new to paint that is not an antique? 
What light wall  colours have you successfully used
in east facing rooms, I would love to know.

Please don't judge me on the length of my curtains, that is a 
goof up that I never corrected but will do with these changes.

I found this chair at Value Village years ago for just  $40.00 that  is a stunning
(I mean shocking)
colour of orange that hurts my eyes so I happily  covered it with a vintage
bedspread that I had. This chair is a dead ringer for the the spectacular Sarah Richardson's 
  Elsie Chair  (which retails for $2200.00)  and  I will get it slipcovered one day or maybe even 
reupholstered when funds allow.
I bought the mirror from work and it was  on clearance for  $30.00. 

The footboard has a chippendale style ball and claw foot. I would love
to know how old the bed is. 
I tried to find out but can't seem to get a date. I'm guessing
late 1800's or early 1900's.

I will have to do some more kijiji selling of items I no longer need  as I would like
to have  more modern lamps. I can then move these more feminine lamps that I have had for forever
to the guest room. I just love to reuse and recycle and  love even more
what it does for 
my pocket book!

So tell me is your master bedroom the room you have dreamed of? If it is I would love
to see what you have done or are you just 
like us and just haven't checked it off that great big fat to do list?

Hoping your 2011 is off to a smashing start.