Last Week’s Loves: August 18th to 24th, 2014

Good Morning!

Hoping you all had great weekends. It was a nice weekend here in Toronto, and actually warm enough on Sunday to believe that summer maybe isn’t QUITE over yet.  And I’m crossing  my fingers for a warm September too.  And as it is Monday, here are some of my loves from bloggerland last week.

This recipe that Jacquelyn featured on Lark & Linen looks delicious.  A must try for me.

For those of you considering installing radiant heating in your homes, the Dreamhouse Project featured a great summary of things you might not know about it in this post.

Summer fires, either for camping or on the beach, will be winding down soon, so why not make the most of it and cook on one.  And you could do so much more easily with this DIY cooking station found on Poppytalk.

Don’t know you love it when good people have exciting news?  Well, I love it when good blogger peeps do too…..

Victoria, formerly of VMac & Cheese has rebranded her blogging and styling prowess into one new site called Victoria McGinley Studio and Blog which launched last week.  You can now find all the things you loved about VMac & Cheese and Vivaleur in one easy to navigate and beautifully designed place.

 

And in other awesome news, my friend Lindsay Stephenson Little House Blog and Penny Paper Co. recently announced that her adorable Penny Paper Co. prints are now available at Indigo!  You can find them here!

Good news all around!   Have a great week!

XO,

Signature- new

 

 

 

Fashion Friday: Fall-Winter 2014 Trends I Can Pull Off

Hello!

For the last week its felt A LOT like fall here in Toronto.  I’m not happy or ready for it to be fall but since it feels like fall, why not plan for fall?  And today I’m talking fall fashion.  I’m not particularly fashion forward and I don’t buy into every trend that comes around but there are a few every season that fit with my style and I feel like I can get on side with.  Over the last few months the fall fashion trends have been circulating and I’ve discovered a few fall/winter trends that I’m liking and that I could pull off.  Despite not feeling ready to wear them quite yet…..

 

STRAP HAPPY SHOES

Shoe trends are the most common for me to latch onto because they are an accessory. Easy way to add a little sumpin’ sumpin’  to any outfit without worrying about whether it suits my body type.  Plus my shoes size doesn’t change and my body size often does.  And I love a little extra interest on a shoe, like the ankle strapped ones that are trending for fall.

 

Strap Happy Shoes

THE MIDI DRESS

This trend can be a tricky one.  This isn’t a dress length you can pull off with short legs. Even if you are above average in height like me (5’8′ ish) you still need to rock heels with this kind of dress to not have it make you look shorter.  But with the right cut it is a very chic way to pull of a sexy yet conservative look.

 

Midi, Vidi, Vici

SHEARLING

OK fine, this may be pushing it for early fall but in late November this is one trend I’m liking.  Warm, cozy and cute.  Am I ready to wear it now?  Hells no. But when the time comes, it’s hard to go wrong with this trend.

 

Sweet Shearling
I’m sure a few more trends will come around that I might want to try out as well get closer to fall….but this is a good start.  You can see some of my other outfit ideas on my Polyvore.
XO,

Tasty Tuesday: Simple Lemonade Syrup

Good Morning!

This may sound odd but one of the things my Mom makes that I LOVE is lemonade.  I know what you are thinking…”Did she say lemonade? Like the stuff that you get from a can that take about 5 mins to make?”  Yes, lemonade, but definitely NOT the kind from a can.  Today I’m sharing a recipe for lemonade syrup which, in my opinion, makes much better lemonade than the cans.  It takes a bit longer to make but it yields a lot more lemonade.  And it is no more expensive than the canned kind (trust me, I’ve done the math).

Simple Lemonade Syrup copy

This is what you will need:

  • juice of 6 Lemons + zest of 4 lemons
  • 10 cups of sugar
  • 6 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp tartaric acid
  • 3 tbsp citric acid
  • 1 tbsp epsom salt

Makes 2+ liters of syrup.

For the last 3 ingredients you may have to get those at a health food store or pharmacy, although some grocery stores may carry them.

Also, the amount of sugar MAY alarm you (it did me….) but keep in mind you are just making the syrup (and A LOT of it) which you will then add water to to get the lemonade.  And you will only use about 30-40 mls of the syrup per glass so it’s actually not as much sugar per glass as it sounds.

lemons

Take your lemon and grate the zest off of 4 of them.  If you are lucky you have a master zester like my dad to do this part.

Zesting

You will get this….

rinds

Then juice all six of those lemons.  My mom has a electric juicer which speeds it up,  but with only 6 lemons it won’t take long to do it by hand.

juicing

Then in a LARGE pot or bowl (at least 2.5 L) add the acids, epsom salt and sugar.

Chemical incredients

Sugar

Add in your lemon juice and zest and then pour in 6 cups of BOILING water.

Sitr it Up

Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved and let it sit until cooled.  Then transfer to a container or containers.  I like the zest in it but if don’t you could strain it out.  But if you plan to do that I would let it sit overnight to make sure you get all the flavour before taking it out.

To make the lemonade just add about 30-40 mls of syrup (can vary depending on how sweet you like it) per cup of water (250 mls approx).  Or by using a the same measurement but scaled up you can make a whole jug of it!

Finished Lemonade Syrup

This is a sweet, delicious lemonade.  It does have a few more grams of  sugar in it than a regular lemonade (per glass), but it doesn’t have the high fructose corn syrup that most canned and bottled lemonades have and has fewer weird unpronounceable ingredients, so I would argue that it is more natural than the processed canned kind.

And once you have made it, it lasts for a long time.  You get almost 60 glasses of lemonade per batch where you might only get 5-6 per can.  And it’s almost the exact same cost per glass cost (about 20-25 cents) as the canned kind.  Better tasting, more natural lemonade for the same price as the can?  #nailedit  Totally worth a little extra prep time.

It also could make a great hostess gift for summertime gatherings.  Put some syrup in a mason jar with a pretty bow and a tag, and voila!  Instagift.

So, I obviously think this recipe is the bees knees,  but now it’s time for you to try it!   Let me know how you like it!

Signature- new XO,

Last Week’s Loves – August 11th to 17th, 2014

Good Morning!

As the first weekend back after my vacation, it was full of projects and errands.  I finally finished the two client chairs I’ve been working on for the last few months.  Yes, months.  The project was wrought with frustrations that I will get into when I post the before and after.  But needless to say I’m happy that they are finally complete!  I also worked on my 2014 Upcycle Challenge Project for the Toronto Home Show coming up in the Fall.  Stepping out of my comfort zone on this one and I’m crossing my fingers that it works out.  I did so some other non-work fun things like visiting the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market, brunch and dinner with friends and of course, catching up on my blog reading.  There were a few blog posts that made my Loves list this week.  I hope you enjoy!

This stunning photography collection by Australian photographer Tom Blachford, called “Aerial Summer” on This is Glamorous.  You can see a slide show of all the lovely works here.

These opal circle earrings by WWAKE on Design Sponge.  I always loved opals as a child, perhaps because of the lovely iridescent quality.  You can read how WWAKE came up with the design of this simple pair of prettiness here in the post.

This closet by Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies found on Marcus Design.  If only I had the space and the shoes (and $$) to have this closet.  See more pics here.

This crazy cool DIY on Little Green Notebook.   If you can believe it, this is a container of colourful Sharpies!  Yes, this would be a time consuming project, but you can’t tell me these won’t look 100% better than a regular bin of markers on your desk.

That is it for today!

XO,

Signature- new

Making Progress: #oakpointporch

Good Morning!

As you may recall from my post a couple of weeks ago, while I was at my cottage last week I was to be doing some work on the #oakpointporch project, which is the porch in my family’s cottage.  And there was some great progress. As soon as my Mom picked me up at the airport we headed to Fabricland in Moncton and picked some fabrics.  We came up with this lovely light and airy palette of blue, gray and light creamy yellow.

FABRIC

Then we drove to the cottage and I was very excited to see the new flooring that my Dad recently installed in the porch.  A huge improvement over the yucky carpet and flooring that was there before.

Floors Before and After copy

My main task for the week was to paint and recover the 2 ugly office chairs.  We decided to use the blue and cream fabric and to paint the arms the cream colour.  My Mom did most of the painting while I focused on the re-upholstering.  I think they turned out pretty well in the end.

CHAIRS BEFORE AND AFTER copy

Then I tackled the cushions on the sofa and the rocker which previously were that outdated red, yellow and orange ikat pattern that totally darkened the space.  I made the cushions out of the yellow and gray and the striped fabrics to lighten things up.

Sofa before and After copy

rocker before and after copy

Since my parents had a severe flood in the basement of our house back in April (1.5 ft of water in the basement) and are spending most of their time and resources renovating and replacing a huge amount of things there, a new couch for the cottage isn’t in the cards right now.  But, we did find a large quilted bedcover to cover it instead of the light brown one we had before. We didn’t get to the painting of the faux-wallboard but my parents are going to tackle that in the fall.

Here is the room before and after up to this point…..

ROOM BEFORE AND AFTER

The room looks so much lighter and brighter now.  A real seaside cottage feel.  There is still more to do, like replacing the ugly yellow blinds, but this was a really good start!

XO,

Signature- new

Anchor’s Away

Good Morning!

I just got back from a week with my family at our cottage in New Brunswick.  My cottage is pretty much my favourite place on the planet, and I always hate to leave. While I did get lots done for my #oakpointporchproject while I was there (post coming soon!), I’m now back to real life and already miss the smell of the ocean air . Sigh.

Now, when I think of the ocean I often think of nautical. And what is the classic symbol of nautical?  Most certainly the anchor. Today I’m sharing a little anchor themed round-up.  From home décor to jewelry, there is no shortage of adorable anchor-donned products. I hope you enjoy!

anchors away!

While I love all of these items my favourites have to be the bottle opener and the adorable earrings.  So great.  You can find this round-up and more fashion ensembles here on my Polyvore.

Anchor’s Away!

XO,

Signature- new

Family and #Oakpointporch Project

Good Morning!

It is official, I am turning into my Mom. It gets more apparent everyday. Not that I’m complaining, my Mom is a pretty amazing person,  it’s just that it is happening quicker than I anticipated.

How does this relate to the #oakpointporch project?  (you can see the before pictures here and the initial scheme here)   Well, I happen to working on the project with my mom, as this is the porch in our family cottage .  To demonstrate the Lindsey turning into Carolyn phenomenon, I will use one of our recent exchanges related to said project. I sent her a bunch of fabric swatches in the colour scheme we had discussed, which was light/pastel blues, greens, with maybe some greys and yellows for good measure.  Only one really jumped out at her from that bunch of samples I sent her.  No big deal, she said she would go to some fabric stores on her own.  She went but felt overwhelmed by all the choices and gave up.

Hmmm, feeling overwhelmed with too much choice, finds it hard to make a decision:

Mom……√ 

Lindsey…..√

So then I suggested that she should let me decide so she doesn’t have to, and she could just know that I will make it look nice.  A brief pause, some nervous laughter followed by ….”well, I don’t know about thaaaat…..”

Despite feelings of being overwhelmed, not really willing to relinquish too much control:

Mom ……√ 

Lindsey…..√

This is just ONE conversation, with TWO instances where I realized we have similar reactions.  The good thing is that because I am so much like her, I understand this so I really wasn’t expecting her to just give me free reign, or agree with my choices the first time around.  Ahhhh, family, what would we do without them?

But back to the update on the project…..one of the biggest jobs for the porch revamp was new floors, which my Dad installed a few weeks ago.  Out with bad carpet and linoleum, in with some laminant flooring.

My focus while I am home will be to paint and reupholster the 2 chairs like this one.

Also, I’ll be doing some painting.  On one wall there is gorgeous cedar, but on the 3 outside walls we have ugly faux wood paneling that you can kinda see below the windows in the picture below.  Long-term we will be replacing the windows and putting up cedar in the rest of the walls, but in the interim I have suggested we paint out the paneling, likely in white or off-white.

My mother and I are going to attempt to get some fabric in Moncton when I fly in on Saturday.  We will be limited in terms of number of fabric stores, but I think with our heads together we can find some fabrics that work well.  I do know that we are on the same page in terms of a general palette that I mentioned above. Light blues, greens with some yellow, and maybe some greys. Here is a little mood board to help demonstrate.

cottage palette copy

Photos from top left:  1 (unknown), 2, 3, 4, 5,

It’s a pretty palette to be sure, and these are some of my mother’s favorite colours.  Light and airy.  Sort of how I feel everytime I step inside my cottage. Wish us luck on our fabric journey on Saturday!

XO,

Signature- new

 

Convert it: The Ace Hotel LA

Good Morning!

This morning in my Convert It series, I’m sharing the adaptive reuse of the United Artist’s building and theatre in Los Angeles which was recently converted into the Ace Hotel.  This theatre building was the flagship for United Artist’s Circut’s West Coast operations. The United Artist’s Circut was started when director D. W. Griffith and screen stars Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin broke from the studios to form UA  in order to gain complete control over the creation, production and distribution of their work.

The building, built in the mid 1920′s in the Spanish Gothic style, includes a thirteen-story steel-framed office tower which was designed by Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen, and the UA theatre  designed by C. Howard Crane.

The office building above the theater was occupied for many years by Texaco.  In 1989, the building was bought by the University Cathedral Church of Dr. Gene Scott, and it served as the headquarters of the church until 2011. You will note on the right side of the picture below, sticking out from the back of the building part of a “Jesus Saves” neon light that is a remnant of the previous owner, which remains there today.

The restoration and design the new Ace Hotel was led by the LA design collective Commune.  From the modern style rooms to the morrocan-esque rooftop patio, they have merged the gothic/early art deco feel with a modern LA hipster vibe.  And surprisingly, it works really, really well.

 

 

 

The newly restored 1600-seat theatre.

Photos  1 to 3 via the LA Conservancy Website (from the LA Public Library), Photos 4 to 12 via Remoldelista, Photo 13 via Commune, Photo 14 via Curbed

An amazing upgrade and re-design.  I love the entryway, the interesting lighting and the super stylish rooftop patio.  It is no surprise that this adaptive re-use project won the LA Conservancy Preservation Award this year.  You can learn more about the history and significance of the building on the LA Conservancy website.  And you can find a lot more pictures of the hotel and theatre space in the posts by Remodelista (here and here), and Curbed.

XO,

Signature- new

 

Amazing Spaces: California Beach House

Good Morning!

I’ve got the beach houses and cottages on the brain these days.  Probably because I’m going to be at my cottage in a little over a week.  I’m all for a more rustic lived-in look when it comes to summer homes.  Obviously there is a scale of rustic, some are closer to homes than cottage cabin, but I appreciate rustic elements  This California beach house designed by owners Erin Martin and Kim Dempster, while certainly not totally rustic, has a light and casual feel.  The combination of both new and vintage decor elements give it a true “put your feet up and chill out” vibe.

Lovely, right?  And let’s be honest, with that view, I could be living in a cardboard box and it wouldn’t matter much.  I can almost hear the sounds of the surf. You can check out the rest of the images over at House Beautiful.

xo,

Signature- new

 

Last Week’s Loves – July 14 to 20th, 2014

Good Morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a last week’s loves post, so I thought I would get back to it this morning!  Here we go….

I loved these tips on how to style your coffee table from Coco & Kelley last week.

I always love reading Lynne Knowlton’s blog, and I really enjoyed all the avocado tips and tricks she shared last week in this post.  As usual, there was just the right amount of hilarity balanced with helpful information.

My family’s cottage is on the ocean so I spent a good chunk of my childhood summer days playing at the beach.  I also recall having to hose myself down with freezing cold water when home to ensure that we didn’t trek a whole bunch of sand inside the cottage.  So, this DIY outdoor heated shower found on Poppytalk last week would have been a welcome addition at our cottage!

I love cherries, but I have to say I hardly ever cook or bake with them.  However, after seeing this post over at Camille Styles of the 10 best cherry desserts, I’m inspired to start!

 That’s it for today!  What inspired you last week?

XO,

Signature- new