Monday, April 29, 2013


1.  Reading

This book was Canada Reads selection this year and I love, love, loved it.  Heartbreaking and beautiful.

2.  Watching

My team is in. the. playoffs.  For the first time in nine long years.  So exciting!  So much fun!  

3.  Wearing

In honor of my team, I'm donning the blue and white.  I pretty much wore this outfit last week.  Minus the shoes, cause mine aren't swanky like that.  

(my team)

4.  Eating

 I can't get enough oatmeal with berries.  Every single day for breakfast.

5.  Working

It was a sunny weekend here so I spent as much of it as possible outside in my yard pruning, weeding, raking, and mowing.  Progress is slow but very rewarding.  I'm hoping to have a reveal of my patio this week.  It's starting to look pretty nice.  I mean, relative to the before:

And moving on the basement.  Family room all mudded, just onto the hallway now.  The left side of this picture shows the framing for my laundry room.  The right side shows the spot that still needs new drywall and will eventually be my built-in storage area.  We certainly could use the storage.  

What'd you get up to this weekend?

xo Meg

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Backyard Zones and Inspiration

I don't know about you, but all this outside work is making me think about relaxing in the summertime.  

I love a backyard party in the summer.  I love to entertain in our backyard.  There's lots of work to do before that can happen but we're basically creating a few zones in our yard. 

 First, there's the dog area.  

We are fortunate enough to have a big yard.  Gilmore loves to run around and he is often outside for hours at a time.  So we need to make sure there's enough room for shennannigans and stick throwing. 

Second, there's a firepit area.

We are building one similar to this one.  Our resin wicker lounge furniture will be going around the firepit for comfy seating.  And I'm also considering cantina string lights.  I've always wanted them and I think I can work them in back there.  

The third sone is our eating area.  I still have to clean and condition our teak table and chairs.  They are looking pretty grey and worn but a little elbow grease goes a long way, right?

If you're looking for patio inspiration, check out the beautiful patio projects from the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge

The Hunted Interior

Brittany Makes

So many projects, so little time.  

How's your backyard looking? 

xo Meg

Friday, April 19, 2013

Basement Reno

Oh, I hope you have better plans than me this weekend.  

I'll be down here shop-vac-ing the dust and priming the walls.  

Living the dream.  

I'm looking forward to showing you some of the progress we've made down here next week.  What are you getting up to this weekend?  

xo Meg

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pulling Together the Patio

It's an amazing day - the sun is shining and I'm so looking forward to sprucing up our patio.  Right now,  it looks like this:


This patio is really the only existing space for our lounge furniture, table and chairs and firepit area.  That's a lot of function for a small, cracked up patio.  Removing the patio and replacing it is not in the budget for this summer.  Instead, we'll be camouflaging the cracks defining the space for the table and chairs with a rug.  We'll also be adding some new pillows.  Budget sprucing.

We bought some amazing pillows from Tonic Living a couple of years ago  in the Sweet William Teal fabric.  Although this isn't an outdoor fabric, we store them in inclement weather and they have held up beautifully.  We are planning to add an additional set of outdoor pillows from Tonic Living to the mix. I can't say enough good things about this fabric store - an amazing Canadian source for beautiful fabrics. Until I discovered them, I would head state-side to make all my fabric purchases.

I pulled together a board of the things we'll be using on the patio.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The Dash & Albert rug is a bit of a splurge for us right now in the size I need, but I love it.  I'm saving my nickels!  Of course, there will also be containers and plantings too.

Any suggestions for budget friendly additions to my patio?

xo Meg

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dining Room: Before and After

     I'm so excited to share the progress we made on the dining room this weekend!  While we complete the basement renovation (more on that progress later this week), many of our things are still in storage.  This weekend, I took stock of our artwork and came up with some pieces that will work in the dining area.  If you recall, first it looked like this:

Then we changed out the light fixture, painted the walls, and painted the sideboard green.  This weekend, we installed some artwork in a gallery.  Here's the after:

Here are a few more detail shots of the room:

I love the green patina on the light.

The pieces in the gallery wall all have meaning to us.
Two of them were created by friends of ours.

And just for reference, here's the before and after comparison:

We still have some things we'd like to do in here.  I don't love our walnut dining set.  I really liked it in our old house, where things were decidedly more antique. But it certainly serves it's purpose and we have 8 of the press-back chairs for entertaining.  I will probably also do some styling on the buffet.

For now, I'm enjoying looking at the gallery.

Happy Monday!

xo Meg

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Casual Spring Style

I will be the first to admit that I'm a Gap girl.  I love the Gap.  I can consistently, without fail go in there and find something to wear that looks good, fits well and washes nicely.  I also like their other brands.  So when I was looking for some spring style inspiration, I naturally checked out their site to see what they had going on.

 A preppy mix of colours and a length of shorts I can actually wear.

Polka Dots!  

Another plan for my fave chambray shirt from Gap. 

I love this cognac colour with black and denim.

I like the styling of this dress with the oxford underneath.  I could wear this to work.

If you've been reading for a while, you know I'm not exactly a fashionista.  I like clothes and accessories as much as the next gal, but I often feel like styles are too young for me.  Or meant for someone ... thinner?  There is something inherently wearable about Gap clothes for me.

You should check out the  We ♥ Outfits  section of their site.  I use it to give me ideas for how I can take all my basics and combine them in new ways.

Now, if the weather would just co-operate.  It's the middle of April for crying out loud!

xo Meg

Monday, April 8, 2013

Landscape and Garden

As I mentioned, there are a lot of projects we are working on around our house this spring.  This weekend, the sun was shining and the temperatures are inching upward, and the garden centres have opened around us.  

  I have been hesitant to post photos of the exterior of our new ranch for several reasons.  First of all, when you compare it to these, it comes up wanting.  

our last two homes

Secondly, although we have plans, I don't really love the look of our home.  I am drawn to older cottage style homes, with cedar shake, lovely brick, charm and curb appeal (see above).

That being said, I'm working with what I've got.  Here it is:

I discussed curb appeal here, but to recap: this summer will include painting of the brick, addition of shutters and window boxes, new front door, etc.

I have certainly been pinteresearching lots of ideas for the gardens and landscaping around the house.  Fortunately, we have some awesome large trees and perennial shrubs and plants that I actually like.  I'll just be adding some more flowering plants to the front of the house.

The backyard is kind of a blank canvas right now.  We probably won't be able to stretch our budget enough to do much back here and we're working with what we have.

We already have this table and chairs.  It's older and grayed now, so it needs a little elbow grease.  Isn't the banding on that tablecloth gorgeous?  I'm thinking DIY painted rug and perhaps a little ribbon trim to a tablecloth I already have.  

I love this garden gate and brick pathway.  Probably for another spring, but it's in the files nonetheless.

This is my shutter and window box inspiration.  I usually prefer to keep my gardens white and green.  Jay loves colour so sometimes we throw a little in but this is my preference.  The window boxes will go on the three smaller windows on the front of the house.

The sources for these photos can be found on my Backyard & Pool pinboard.  Perhaps you'd like to follow me on Pinterest?

Are you getting ready to dig in your garden?  Got any big landscaping plans?

Enjoy your Monday!

xo Meg

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Look

You might have noticed a few changes to my blog.

You might notice some changes to my links section at the top of the page.  I'm working to update these links with more current info and photos.

I've also added some social media icons - please be patient with me while I get everything set up.  I'd love to follow your twitter, facebook, pinterest and instagram accounts.  If you leave the info in the comments, I'll add you.

What do you think of my new look?

xo Meg

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On Blogging... And the House So Far

I'm not sure what has happened around here for the last little while.  I haven't been feeling very inspired to write.  I also haven't been finishing many projects lately.  I really can't say why.  I've certainly been working on lots of projects lately.

   Everything in the new house seems overwhelming to me.  There is so much to do in so many areas that I almost feel paralyzed! I thought I'd make a couple of lists here to help get me moving on some of the little projects.  I started this blog to chronicle the work we were doing on our last home and I'm hoping to get back to that as the focus of what I blog about.  You know, instead of my propensity to attempt to keep up with the blogging Jones'.

Here is an update of the changes we've made to our new house, and the stuff that still needs to get done in each.

before, obviously

Audrey's Room
Prep walls for Paint
Paint walls purple (yuck! but it's her room!)
Install curtain rod
Hem and trim turquoise curtains (pompoms? rickrack?)
Find bedskirt and add trim (pompoms? rickrack?)  OR
Make bedskirt out of striped fabric or co-ordinating fabric
Sew long pillow for her bed
Paint dingy trim
Closet Makeover - paint or wallpaper and organization
Gallery Wall / Art Installation
Find or Make a desk that fits!
Find a desk organization system that works for her  Thank you Ikea Raskog!
Install shelving above desk for books and treasures
Install mirror on back of door
Re-vamp and install chandy I found on the side of the road

perfect for organizing my little girl's odds and ends!

sneak peek of the purple walls and turquoise curtains

Dining Room
Lay out all artwork possible for the space above the sideboard
Choose art and frames from existing
Hang the darn things up!!!
Make and install barn door with slider or pocket door for closet
Re-Organize closet and maximize space in there
Make built-in bench with cushion for under window
Find dining chairs we like that are comfy
Find a fabric for short curtains
Install curtain rod

Master Bedroom
Paint walls and trim
Sew pillows
Edit Closet
Organize closet, under-bed storage
Find a bedskirt
Hang up some art
Hang mirror

   Currently, we are in the ugly phase of basement renovations.  I don't even want to think about the list for this one.  To be honest, I think we expected to have this project completed already.  We are no where near done.  In fact, Jay is taking advantage of his Monday off to complete a little more of the drywall work so that he can tape and mud the rooms.  As soon as that is complete, I can get out the primer.  We are making progress but it's sure slow going.

I'm hoping to share a couple of finished projects that I've been working on while Jay has been busy in the basement. I appreciate it that you're still reading.

 xo Meg