Discovery: Shed Workspace

Good Morning!

I have recently completed a few more small upholstery projects out of my apartment, and while I love the work, it wreaks havoc on my tiny space. For larger projects I am lucky enough to work in the Re:style Studio space, but I have always daydreamed about my own workspace (I showed some cool ones here). However, since I don’t have a car unless a space is right next door, it’s a pain to travel back and forth. But recently I discovered that it’s possible to have an awesome studio or office right in your own backyard by adding a shed workspace.  The first company I stumbled upon whose products totally caught my eye was StudioShed.  They make very sleek modern prefab do-it-yourself sheds that can be used for various things, like home offices,  arts or craft studios, music rehearsal space, or cabin bunkies.

You can choose from various sizes, layout and features and they come with instructional videos so you can help put them together yourself.  You can have installation included in your price and add things like electrical, fancy flooring and more. The also have a greenhouses and dog house lines. Now, I share this information with few caveats.  Right now they only ship to the US, and therefore installation services are only offered there.  However, with the US shipping address services (like box hop, etc) they still could be an option if you are going for the DIY packages. Also, they are not cheap, even the DIY version. If you want a super sleek workspace in your backyard, you have to spend some money.

But never fear, I did find a somewhat similar company in Ontario called Sheds in a Day that offer more basic rustic wooden sheds, but in similar sizes. You can also pick and choose features and they are significantly cheaper.

I expect there are similar companies in other parts of the country too. I rent my apartment so neither of these are likely an option for me right now, but it’s nice to know that you can create a fabulous, functional workspace right in your own backyard.


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Decor Scheme for My Backyard Update

Good Morning!

I’ve been working on getting my backyard/patio cleaned up over the last few weeks, and I’m making some changes to the space. Nothing drastic, just some updates while using the furniture I already have.

You may have seen my recent post about painting my exterior door. After getting lots of opinions from you (thank you!), I’ve decided on the blue, more specifically Para Paints Bluenose (P2116-03).



 That decision led me to a create a nautical-ish navy/red scheme. I’ve done a round-up on what I have already and what I will need to complete my look.

backyard copy

What I have (clockwise from the top left):

1. Red and white cushion by Colin and Justin from Marshall’s, which goes with my…

2. ÄPPLARÖ bench from the IKEA  

3. Blue Cynthia Rowley table runner, which will go on my…

4. ÄPPLARÖ gateleg table from IKEA.  

5. 2 rattan lounge chairs from IKEA which they no longer carry but look similar to these ones, and have creamy white cushions

6. 2 Nisse white laquer folding chairs from IKEA

What I need (clockwise from the top left):

1. Patio lights!  The string kind. Simple ones I can drape around my patio or in my garden for extra light. Like these Allen & Ross ones from Lowe’s.

2. I have some throw pillows but I need some fabric to make new covers. And these 3 fabrics from Tonic Living will be perfect! (Small Ikat Dot in Navy, 10 oz Canvas in red, Starfish in Navy)

3. My door painted in Para paints bluenose

4. Good quality stake lighting for my garden. The solar ones that I currently have are terrible and don’t emit enough light, but I don’t want to have to run a cord across my yard from my deck so I’m stuck with solar.  I like the look of these copper ones from Westinghouse. But I’ll definitely want to be sure the ones I buy give off sufficient light.

So what do you think of the scheme?  Any suggestions?  Any recommendations for good stake lighting that actually gives off good light?  Let me know!

Have a great day!


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Floor Mirrors

Good Morning!

Can you believe that I don’t own a full-length mirror. Seems crazy that I’ve gone all this time and I don’t have a mirror where I can see my whole outfit at once.  I have bigger mirrors in my bedroom and kitchen but neither of them are full length.  I could go to walmart or target and just buy a run-of-the-mill mirror but what I really want is a beautiful giant floor mirror.  You know, to lean up against one of my non-existent large wall spaces. An architectural  gem that is not JUST a mirror but a furniture piece.  Like these beauties…




1 /2 /3/ 4/ 5  6

I have one wall that I could MAYBE see one working on but it couldn’t be too big.  Maybe.  But a girl can dream for now, right?

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Dinner Party: Tacos Around the World

Good Morning!

Normally I don’t do posts about my weekend, but I just had to post about a dinner party I went to on Saturday night. My friends Rena and Stefan hold an annual wedding party reunion dinner as thanks to those who stood up with them when they got married 3 years ago.  Let me start off by saying these two are the hosts with the most. Typically they send out a list of menu ideas in advance for voting.  The menu that won this year was “Tacos Around the World”.  They took six places they have traveled to and made tacos inspired by those locations.  Can I just say that Rena is a rock star?  First , here are a few shots of the prep work.  I took these pictures while I sipped a glass of wine and observed in awe the many moving parts of this meal.

prep copy

And then came the tacos, there were a total of six but I only got pictures of five for some reason.  (OK, the reason was tequila.  This group LOVES to eat but they also LOVE to drink.) Back to the food. WARNING: the following content may make you go into a jealous rage, proceed with caution.

Tacos copy

Here are the tacos from the top down:

  1.  New York –  Eggplant marinara on salad greens in a crispy parmesan taco shell (inspired by a similar taco they had at Torrisi’s Italian Specialties)
  2. Spain – Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) on tomato paella cake-taco
  3. Hawaii – Grilled mahi mahi with coleslaw and jalapeno mango salsa on a corn tortilla
  4. Peru – Roast chicken with charred corn and asparagus with asparagus crema and puffed quinoa  on a corn tortilla
  5. France – Boeuf bourguignon with salade Lyonnaise (baguette “tortilla”)
  6. Korea – Kalbi (Korean short ribs) with kimchi and pickled daikon and carrots in a steamed bao “tortilla” (Not pictured)

They were sooo delicious. Hawaii, Peru and Korea were my faves for sure but they were all amazing.  And then after all that we got not one but TWO desserts…..

dessert copy

Salted caramel pots de crème with roasted hazelnut shortbread sand and devil’s food cake with salted caramel and fudge sauce. OMG. They were both to die for.

So much food, so much fun (too much tequila), and a great night.  Thanks Rena and Stef for hosting such a fabulous dinner.


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Navy Blue Walls

Good Morning!

This year I’m expanding my wardrobe out into the world of navy blue.  I’m trying hard to switch my idea that black is the only acceptable neutral.  And often when I’m looking for wardrobe ideas I look to design/decor for inspiration (and vice versa).  Which explains my love of  navy blue interiors right now.  I would have to say my favourite way to use navy blue is on the walls.  Navy is usually thought of as a traditional colour, but slap  a little navy paint on your walls you have instant drama.  If you don’t believe me, check our these lovely rooms.

Designed by Jan Showers via Traditonal Home

Designed by Levenson McDavid Architects, shot for Domino Magazine by Melanie Acevedo


Designed by Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle for Elle Decor

Designed by Victoria Smith (sfgirlbybay), Rue

Designed by Abigail Ahern

Navy looks great against white decor or paired with other dark, moody colours.  A winner in my books!

What do you think of navy blue on the walls?


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Weekend Musings

Good Morning!

Well, I was planning on announcing a winner to my giveaway today, but no one officially entered.  That is a first! I suspect this may have something to do with the fact that many of my readers attended Blogpodium and one of the items in the gift bag was Fall Home Show tickets.  Not to worry, I won’t let them go to waste!

Here is a little synopsis of my weekend….

My weekend 1.  I did a tiny bit of shopping. I dropped into a Target on my way to do some other errands and found some fun herringbone pieces for fall.  Great prices.  Of course, I didn’t find any casual clothes to buy. My curse of not being able to pick out casual clothing continues.

2.  I almost finished up a DIY fall decorating project that I’ve been working on that will be on the blog soon!

3.  I bought some fall flowers. I love fresh flowers in my place….it just makes me happy.

4.  However most of my weekend was spent sewing and installing an upholstery project for a client.  I did my first “on location” upholstery job.  It was a breakfast area bench that was constructed in place. And because of how it was constructed and attached I couldn’t upholster it in pieces, so I had to do it in place.  Definitely a learning experience but it turned out well. I’ll have some pictures once the cushions are all complete and in place.

And that was my weekend!  Mostly work but sometimes that is just the way it is.

Also, if you haven’t voted in the Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged contest, I so would appreciate your vote.  So far I’m not doing great at defending my title from last year!  To vote go here.   And you can vote every 24 hours, in case you feel like voting more than once.




Good Morning!

I am trying to be more creative with my hair these days.  This is partly out of desire to mix things up, but also out of necessity. My hair gets greasy fast so my bangs get pretty gross unless wash every day. So, I’ve been experimenting.  I’ve tried out some braided looks recently, and now I’m thinking about venturing into hairbands.  I don’t know if hairbands are “in” right now (I usually don’t pay much attention to hair trends) but over the years celebs have had some pretty lovely ones….





And here are few that I’m enjoying.

Hairbands copy

clockwise from top right: Gold Rush Headband, Hoop Claw Handmade Phoenix Wing Hairband, Jennifer Oullette Perforated Dotted Leather Turban, ATHENA Grecian Leaf Headpiece in Raw Brass, lace headband by fashionmeme, Plumo fabric headband (sold out).

Pretty fun, huh? The lace and beaded ones are my particular favorites!

Do any of you wear hairbands regularly?



Tasty Tuesday: Peach Chutney

 Good Morning!

Millions of peaches, peaches for me….remember that song? (If you don’t, please don’t tell me as I am probably aging myself). Well, I don’t have millions of peaches, but I do love them especially when they are in season in Ontario.  You may have noticed on my instagram feed that I made some peach jam a couple of weekends ago.  I had quite a few leftover peaches so this past weekend I decided to make some peach chutney with the extra!  I used this recipe from Epicurious with some of my own added ingredients.  It turned out pretty darn good (insert “pat on back” here), so I thought I would share what I did with you today.


  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, seeded, diced 1/4 inch, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded & diced, 2 tablespoons (I didn’t use this because I didn’t want it to be too spicy)
  • 1/3 cup white raisins
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm, fresh peaches, blanched to remove the skin, pit removed, sliced into wedges.

Then I also added:

  • 1 tsp. dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin

What I did:

Add vinegar and both sugars into a non-reactive pot, cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the red pepper, onion, jalapeño, raisins, garlic, ginger, salt and the additional spices I used, and simmer 10 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Add the peaches and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes or longer if your peaches are still firm. If you would like it thicker you can cook a bit longer to reduce liquid.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes in the pot. Serve at room temperature. Transfer to container and refrigerate or freeze some for later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I used mine on pork tenderloin on Sunday night, which was delicious. (It helped that is was one of the few times I didn’t totally over cook my tenderloin….).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Now I’m itching to make other chutney for winter.  Do you know of any good chutney recipes I should try?

Have a great day!



Last Week’s Loves: August 12th to 18th, 2013

Good Morning!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!  I spent some time working on my Fall Home Show Upcycle Challenge project. It’s still in early stages but I’m having fun with it.  I made Peach Jam. Yum. And I also hit up the Leslieville Flea Market yesterday.  There was some great stuff, but I only came home with a few goodies.  I’ll share more on that in another post.  Today I’m back with some of my loves from last week’s blog-readin’.

1. The ever-witty Uncle Beefy participated in Wit and Vinegar’s Popsicle Week and he provided this recipe for buttermilk blackberry crumble pops.  I love blackberries and this looks delicious!

2. This Philidelphia loft apartment, featured on Design Sponge, has a unique mix of styles happening but it works exceedingly well!  I really like their kitchen pendants. You can see more pics of this eclectic space here.

My dad’s old camera had this really cool vinatge-y looking leather case. This DIY camera strap made from a vintage belt that I found on Poppytalk reminded me of that.  Hey Dad, do you have any old leather belts?  This could be your first foray into the world of DIY crafts!

Ever wonder how to make a balsamic glaze?  You know, that delicious stuff that restaurants use to zhoosh up a plate? Well, it can be used for lots of other things and last week over at Camille Styles, she provided great step-by-step instruction on how to reduce balsamic into a glaze.

Listen, I know that all scheduling is done electronically these days but I do long for the time of daily planners. I’m a list girl, and a daytimer is much more akin to a list than using my phone or iPad.  Just to make my conversion to the electronic world a bit more difficult, the Simplified Bee featured 7 Stylish Daytimers for 2014 this week. I particularly enjoyed the one below but all of them were pretty lovely.

Also did you see the awesome projects completed by Life Begins at 30, Right?, Jen of Rambling Renovators, Brittany of My Daily Randomness and Shannon of AKA Design for the Home Depot DIY Challenge? I’m pretty impressed with their power tool skilllzzz.

 Have a great day!



Technologically Dependent

Good Morning!

Aaaaand is it ever a good morning.  As you may have noticed I haven’t been posting this week.  That is because, after dropping my phone in water last week (and having since determining it is totally pooched), on Monday night I came home and my computer had crapped out. Clearly the technology gods are not on my side recently. And, of course, I hadn’t backed up my files in a dog’s age so I was pretty terrified I wouldn’t get all my files back.  But (thank effin’ goodness) they were able to fix it with no loss of data!  Ab-so-lutely freakin’ amazing. So I’m giddy today with that good news.


What I found amazing is how disconnected I felt, both without the contacts in my phone and then without the ability to blog. And the even scarier part?  I was still partially connected in that I have an iPad mini and a work cell phone to use, but still felt strange without the technology I am used to having.


This experience has reconfirmed for me why it is good to take a step back sometimes; take a day or two where you limit the use of your devices. We forget sometimes that technology is not 100% dependable.  And unplugging willingly from time to time might help lessen the blow when disconnecting is forced upon you.

Oh ya, and it also taught me to back up your stuff.  If you are reading this, go back up every device own….right now.

I’ve got lots of content for next week, but until then, have a great long weekend!