Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Clarisonic





Last winter I treated myself to a Clarisonic Aria. (I thought I had blogged about it, but searching through my archives I can't seem to find any review so I guess I didn't!) Anyhow, purchasing it was a bit of a gamble - I'm always leary of these things - especially when it comes with such a high price tag. But after a lot of research, I decided on getting one. And. Loved it. My $200 wasn't a waste, and all of the reviews were correct. The machine was worthy of all the praise it was getting. It made my skin glow.

Personally, I use my regular face cleaning gel with it, and then afterwards, use my face with moisturizer as I normally would. Having used the machine (It takes 1 minute, it times you) preps your face to absorb moisturizer so much better. In the morning, I'm looking refreshed.

But as the story goes, I loved it so much I brought it with me on the Delta trip, and .......... proceeded to leave it behind in the hotel, long gone, never to be seen again. (My heart sank when I realized this) Because it was such a hefty investment and we're not made of moulah - I decided that was that, and it was a gonner. But over the summer, my skin began looking dull. After much deliberation, I bit the bullet and, bought it again. Within 2 days of using it -  my skin was glowing again. I can't rave enough about this contraption. So although in the end, the unit ended up costing me twice as much because I had to replace the one I lost, it's so worth it because it totally works. Just a big shout out for this machine.  I purchased mine from Amazon - I found the pricing to be the best on their site. Although you can also find the Clarisonic line on Sephora, and in stores in your hometown. That is all. Highly, highly recommend.

See the post and comment on Instagram


Ps., Read Kisha's review on her blog. It's really what helped me seal the deal over her to initially buy it. My review isn't as grand as hers - I'm like a fan girl for this thing so feel like I'm blabbering on a mile a minute about it. Whereas Kisha's is really a true, lovely review. Check it out! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

mini makeover / cottage bedroom





Last Fall, when we were closing down the cottage for the season, we vowed to do update one room of the cottage - and that one room was my Mom's - somewhere comfy and cozy - just for her. Before we opened up the cottage for the Summer, my Mom and I went up to do some painting. As the Summer winds down, I realized that I had yet to post this pretty cute makeover that was done on a shoe string budget.  Armed with paint brushes and a pretty heavy duty paint gun - we got to work. To save money we used the furniture that she already had in the room. So first things first .. I sprayed...


.... and I sprayed,


.... and I sprayed. :) Mom chose the paint colour for the dresser and I picked the gray/white for the side tables. 

Primed the cedar shakes
We decided to paint her wall of cedar shakes that we felt really made the room dark. But it also added some great texture to the room. So instead of taking them out (who knew what lay behind it - so ignorance is bliss) we painted the wall with a white oil primer to keep the cedar shingles from bleeding through any paint - and then I got out my paint sprayer and sprayed that whole wall down with Cloud White. It was GLORIOUS!

There was no budget to re-carpet the floor as much as would have loved too. (We had hired Tom, our local contractor to replace the ceiling tiles, and two windows in the room - so we blew our budget right there) When Tom pulled the old orange carpet out thankfully there was a wood floor in good shape underneath it - I painted it with a floor paint by hand and let it cure. Next up we started to fill back the room with furniture..


Mom and I found this rug at HomeSense for a whopping $80 and it was perfect. Although it's technically too small for the room, the the room is SO small that we could fudge it by moving the rug more to one side, so that when you walk into the room it looks like it is larger than what it is.




One thing I did insist on for my Mom were some big, monster Euro pillows to bring some pattern into the room. The fabric on the front is by P. Kaufmann  and Retreat Blue Citrine. I purchased it at Designer Fabrics but it has since dissapeared from their online store, so you can find it here.  The back of the pillows, which is hard to see above is Tuscany Blue from Tonic Living. The blue matches the floral fabric perfectly - adding a nice element / dimension to the pillows. This is an economical way of getting a wow factor with your pillows - spend more on the front fabric, and find a less expensive coordinating fabric for the back.



Ikea's Ranarp Lights were the perfect added touch. New bed linens and a fresh coat of paint on the walls make a huge difference.

I found an old wooden tray at Value Village and it had a weird duck motif on it. I just spayed it Designer Gray by Dulux and voila! It's perfect. We picked up the little Ralph Lauren light from HomeSense and it's a nice sweet light for at night. I kept wanting to bring in some greenery or something but Mom was pretty clear that the less - the better. It's not a room for clutter - which means when she comes up she can put all of her toiletries out and.



It's kind of hard to get the entire look of the room because it is so flippin' tiny but I do hope what you feel is a cozy warm room that now feels fresh, clean, and inviting. :) A few updates were all that were needed - the most expensive updates were what we hired Tom for - the new windows and, new ceiling tiles. But what makes the room is how we kept going with the new decorative pillows that you can prop up to read with, a fresh coat of paint and some new lighting.

SOURCE LIST
Wall Colour: Cloud White by Benjamin Moore
Side Tables: Designer Gray by Dulux
Dresser Colour: Can't remember but I'll find out
Pillows: Hired Tonic Living to sew, Front Fabric purchased at Designer Fabrics, Back fabric purchased at Tonic Living
Quilt - HomeSense
Sheets - HomeSense
Lighting - Ikea Ranarp Lights on the side tables, Ralph Lauren light from HomeSense on the dresser
Side Tables - My Mom's own
Bedframe - My Mom's own


Friday, August 29, 2014

end of summer sale


Not to bombard everyone with a ridiculous amount of posts in one day but I figured this one was too good not to post. Save 20% on everything in the shop. Enter SAVE20 when checking out. That is all! xo

bits + pieces

I haven't done a bits + pieces in awhile. I love having a theme on the blog but life takes over. This summer has been filled with being outdoors, hosting potluck dinners with neighborhood friends and kiddos, enjoying the sun with Aubrey and Oscar, cottage trips with my family, getting Oscar prepared for starting school next week and lately, just hanging out with girlfriends once the kids are asleep. It has been an amazing, amazing summer. Wait. Can I backtrack for a second? I seriously can't believe Oscar is going to school in a matter of days. It's a weird mixture of excitement, nervousness, and this lady over here freaking out. I'm not going to cry when I drop him off. But I will be feeling a little anxiety I think - anxiety hoping he likes it, is happy, likes his teacher. Anyhow, but really ..... having the WHOLE day to myself? Yup. No really, I think I'm going to be waiting on my front porch for hearing the bell ring, and then I'll run down the street to go get him.

Annnnyhow. All of this being said, I don't have much to share for a "bits + pieces" post because everything I'm working on, I really want to share via their own dedicated posts. Once we're into a routine over here with Oscar in school, and me having the day to work, I think I'll have way more time to actually regroup and post what I have been wanting to post over the last month!

Have a great weekend! xo

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIY Wood Candle Holders


When my Brother and Sister-in-Law were planning their wedding, the theme, much like their living room inspiration was to be rustic and comfortable, outdoorsy and have elements of nature and wood. It was then that I came across imagery of candles on wood as centerpieces, and fell in love with the look.  I had seen similar looks on Etsy, like this one, and this one. House and Home did a wood candle holder look that I loved - using grey stain, which stuck out to me as far surperior than the darker stains others had been using. So, combining all of that inspiration, I vowed to one day make my own.

Aubrey made a wood shed at the cottage during our vacation and one day I walked by the scrap wood and realized the 4'x4's that were left over, would be PERFECT for this project. Aubrey's tools were already out, so he just chopped some down to different heights for me.

Once your wood is cut, sand the edges and sides. (I used my mouse sander)

I wanted to use these primarily for votive candles (even though you see taper candles in the very first photo) so Aubrey took his drill and added a drill bit to it, wide enough to hold a tea light.

Next, I debated leaving the pillars as is in their "natual" look (leaving them "as is"). But with House & Home's look in my mind, I decided to go with some stain I already had at home, some of Varathane's Sun Bleached stain. 






I liked the look of two coats of stain - no more. The more coats I did, the darker the grey got and covered too much of the wood grain, which is part of the beauty of the whole project. The result I think is stunning, and also a little reminiscent of concrete - which I'm obsessed with. I know we're still in Summer, but the above look I think would be ridiculously gorgeous on a holiday table setting.


But the look I think is really cool, is using this project to hold taper candles, like these gold ones. In retrospect you could drill a smaller hole, which would allow the tapers to fit in beautifully. If you couldn't decide what style of candles you wanted to go with, you could flip the wood over, so you had a multi-use candle holder (one side for tapers, one side for votives). For this project though, I used putty which held the tapers in place but had to only use the holders that were deep enough to really keep the tapers in place.

Shopping:
Wood .......... 4 x 4's
Stain ............. Sun Bleached by Varathane 
Tapers ............. The Penny Paper Co. 

Inspiration Posts:
(Just came across this one!! --->Design for Mankind) And of course, Pinterest, Etsy, and House & Home Magazine,

Disclaimer: Obviously when it comes to mixing fire and wood, please use caution and be sure you are always around them when lit. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Decorating with Leon's / The Couch (Sponsored)


So....time to reveal what the newlyweds picked as part of our Leon's collaboration! I'm going to break this up into two posts and as you can see from the above - I'm obviously revealing the sofa that they chose. The couch that they fell in love with is called the Tristan. Does it look familiar? If you recall from my first post, Peter really loved the Shea sofa - which looks idential to this one, but it was leather. If you've ever bought a couch, Leather is something you either dig, or don't - and Lindsay really wasn't into it - so this couch, an identical style but in a soft linen coloured fabric was an easy compromise. They loved the couch because of the style, but also, because this one was really, really comfy. Selfishly, I was excited about this choice because it really lent itself well to a a reveal. I mean, it's a GORGEOUS sofa. I've added in some fabric variations to the leather in this Pinterest board, to show you some varying styles that you can go, when you choose a sofa like this. But how are we going to style it? I wanted to go all Emily Henderson on them and add in awesome pops of colour like this.

But very quickly I realized that my style was very different from that of my brother and sister and pinks and purples weren't really on their wish list. While I was at the cottage for our vacation, I e-mailed my brother and asked him to just send me some words for how he'd describe how he wanted his place to feel. He wrote back "Rustic and comfortable". So, way off from what I was originally thinking.

So I'm leaning towards something like this. Plaid pillows, some finds that I've sourced from live auctions that I went to, etsy and other retailers. I wanted to show you both looks because a couch like the Tristan sofa can really switch from one look to another, with a change of things like art, and throw pillows.

I'm not a decorator, I just obsess over this kind of stuff and have a great deal of fun doing it. Personally, I think anyone can have a stylish home - given the right inspiration, tricks of where to shop and so on. Buying a gorgeous (well priced) couch from Leon's is a great starting point, especially for Peter and Linds who don't have anything yet. With that major item, we can source pillows from Etsy. Invest in a cool lamp from West Elm, add in cool rugs, and style that couch to really reflect someones individual style. Fingers crossed I can pull off the look in real life and not just here on the blog. Yikes! Anyhow, next up I'll show you what they picked for the bedroom!

Couch: Tristan Sofa, Leon's 
Plaid Pillows: Etsy
Floor Light: West Elm
Vintage Artwork: Etsy
Colourful Rug: Etsy
Colourful Pillows: Etsy 
Basket: Pottery Barn


This blog series has been sponsored by Leon's. I have not been compensated for this series, however Lindsay and Peter have been gifted key pieces of their choice from Leon's to furnish their place. All other items in the reveal are my own - so stay tuned to see what I've been picking up at antique shops and auctions. Follow my decorating fun for my little brother's first place by following the Hashtag #MyLeons and #DecoratingMyLittleBrothersPlace (Yup, that's a pretty long hashtag that I came up with)