Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Summer Fashion 2014 #1

I know it's still spring but we've had some really warm days, so I decided to put together a look I'm loving right now. 

The striped maxi skirt with flats is very on trend for this summer.  It's such a ralaxed comfortable look - great for weekends, casual parties or travelling.  The skirt and top are made of cotton so they're easy to wear and easy to wash. You could also put a wide black belt around this if you wanted for more layering. The denim jacket is classic and you will have this in your closet for many years, so it's always a great purchase. 

If you're thinking you might not be able to wear this because of your height, don't worry you can.  The long top will give you a longer torso, and I'd suggest getting a skirt that has vertical lines instead of horizontal lines.  Also, a  shorter necklace and a casual wedge heel for a sandal would be best for you.  
All of these things combined will make you seem taller

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

My Annual Flower Must Haves

Love this quote!!

 The garden centres in this part of the world (just North of Toronto) are full of flowers right now, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite annuals.  You can tell from the pics below that I like shades of blue, purple, pink and white in my garden.  For some reason I don't like yellow, orange or red flowers, and I've met other people at the garden centre exactly the same. I've also met people who only like yellow, orange and red flowers - must be a personality thing.


Heliotrope and Blue Salvia are the two flowers I put along my borders.  Usually I put the Heliotrope in the front garden and the Blue Salvia in the back garden.

Blue Salvia

Double Petunia

The shape of the Double Petunia reminds me of a rose.  I think that's why I like it so much.  You can also get trailing Double Petunias, and I like these in my hanging baskets along with Ornamental Potato Vine.


Cosmos are great if you have a wide open space and want a more wildflower or English garden look, much like the Bachelor's Button and Poppies below.   Cosmos, Bachelor's Button and Poppies will all self-seed, which means the seed will fall to the ground, withstand the winter and a new plant will come up the next year. 

Bachelor's Button


One thing to remember about the annual Poppies is that they don't like to be uprooted or transplanted. They will actually die if you try to move them to another spot, so just remember this when you're putting seed down.

Ornamental Potato Vine

I love the chartreuse colour of the Ornamental Potato Vine with the deep blue of Blue Salvia.  I usually put them together around my borders or in pots.  This is as close to yellow as I can get.  (Sorry to all you people who like yellow flowers.  Hey we're all different.)

Double Impatients

If you like Impatients, try these Double Impatients for a change.  Again, like the Double Petunias, the shape reminds me of roses.  These are beautiful shade plants and look best in masses under a tree or in other shaded areas.

 African Daisy

I always have African Daisies in my pots.  They look great just on their own in a pot or sometimes I put them with Lobelia.


Morning Glory

Morning Glory is a gorgeous annual vine, and like it's name, blooms in the morning.  This looks best along a fence, pergola or deck, and like some of the plants above, will self-seed. I planted it along my fence because I was waiting on some perennial vines to get established.  Morning Glory can be a great filler while you're waiting on other vines to mature.

It always amazes me how just a few seeds can grow into massive plants.  Below is the Morning Glory in my garden.

My Garden
All photos except this one, Morning Glory and Blue Salvia
are from Flickr or Pinterest

This is a pic of my garden from last year.  It's more of a fall garden, meaning a lot of my plants bloom in the fall.  You can see some Blue Salvia at the front and some Morning Glory at the back.

I hope I planted a seed today.
If gardening is new to you, my advice is to start small.

I know gardening and flowers can be a bit overwhelming, but just try it.  
You won't regret it!!  

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Black & White Outdoor Inspiration

I'm starting to think about my outdoor space right now and was totally inspired by Kristin of The Hunted Interior.  She was asked by The Home Depot to make over her outdoor space and wow, what a transformation.  You can see more of it  here.  The pic below is her patio which she made over last year as part of The Home Depot's Patio Style Challenge.  
Love the bold impact of the over-sized stenciled floor!!  Beautiful!

Here are some more amazing black and white outdoor spaces from Pinterest.   You'll see all sorts of great ideas of how to incorporate black and white into your outdoor space - whether your space is big or small.  The great thing about a black and white colour scheme, is that it's classic and goes with any other colour.  I love to see traditional plantings like boxwoods and ferns with black and white.  They're also pretty easy plants to take care of
 if gardening's not your thing. 

Were you inspired?  
I'm definitely thinking about stripes in my backyard, some ferns, some boxwoods, maybe a chandelier, some lanterns, maybe a pergola...the wheels are turning. 
We'll see.I

You can check out more of what I'm pinning on my Black & White board here.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

East Coast Architecture

My husband was recently in Eastern Canada on business and took some photos for me of these homes in Fredricton, NB.  He knows how much I love spending time driving down streets and looking at beautiful architecture.

He was also in Halifax, NS filming a piece for CBC on an amazing community initiative called Hope Blooms.  Some of the youth involved were recently on Dragon's Den , and you can check Hope Blooms' site out here.  Rumour has it that these kids will be getting a Royal visit later this spring.  

I'll keep you posted on where you can see the Hope Blooms' story, but in the meantime you can enjoy these inspiring old homes.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Laundry Room Progress

It's been awhile since I talked about my laundry room and it's really starting to come together.  This is my Ikea hack - I took two Lack end tables and stacked them.  I also removed the shelf from the bottom Lack table to allow storage for taller things like my HomeSense fabric baskets which I'm loving.  

I'm going for a  farmhouse-industrial style in here, so I used a wooden shelf and old  egg crates which I've had for years, to add some country. I found two very graphic black and white mats at HomeSense and used one on the floor and used one for a window covering.  (I just used velcro strips to attach it to the window). I needed something great on the window because it is the focal point in  this room, and it looks out onto my neighbour's brick wall.  It's also a very tall and narrow room so I needed to anchor it a bit with the black on the floor.   Now, when you walk in you don't see a brick wall or cheap tile anymore.  You see amazing graphics, which is very important when you're doing laundry! 

All of the tins, glass jars, lanterns, wicker baskets and the white garbage can came from Ikea. I'm using the tins for storage and eventually some will have plants in them - when it warms up.  Unfortunately, there is an electrical outlet right in the middle of the wall.   Visually, it's a bit of an eye sore and really bugs me, so I'll have to think of some way of covering it.  

I'm thinking about these pulls from Anthropologie on the cabinets.  (Anthropologie has lots of wonderful things - I'm just saying!!!) The cabinets are quite cheap so these pulls would make them look a lot better.  They would also add some black and white on the other side of the room and balance it out. Haven't quite decided yet on pulls.

Right now my first choice for a light is this Hektar black light from Ikea.   There are two sizes available and I think I would go for the bigger one. 
Love, love, love this look!!

I could also go for this light from Ikea but I think solid black would look better.  

I also love the industrial look of just an oversized light bulb hanging down like this one in my son's room.  (Yes that is stucco and one day it will come down).  
It's the Beacon light from Rona.

So that's the laundry room update.   Right now I'm working on my dining room drum shade trying to alter it.  I'll let you know if it works.