Category Archives: House Beautiful

No Woman is an Island

Out of all the annoying things in my apartment, one of the most annoying was the kitchen island. The top had an overhang so it’s like you should be able to sit at it, but the overhang was so shallow that it was impossible and/or uncomfortable for anyone over, say, 4’7″. Since I’m 5’9″ and Taylor is 6’4″, it was pretty much unacceptable!

Not a Sick Mess Anymore!New Kitchen Stools

I’d been trying to come up with a cost-effective solution for this problem for a while, and a few weeks back I bought the stools pictured above so it was really time to get to it! On Sunday Taylor and I made a trip to Ikea and I picked up three $9 Vika Amon desk tops. A little time with a cordless drill and a screwdriver and voila!

New Island
New Island

I stupidly didn’t take a proper “before” picture but the old counter was about 75 x 145cm, and the new one is 100 x 180cm. SO MUCH SURFACE AREA I CAN’T HANDLE IT OMG. I’m planning on putting clear vinyl over it for protection and putting a couple brackets for extra support but all in all I’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

Some other weekend stuff:

Cocktail Party
Cocktail Party

My friend Mandy sent me green (lime), blue (wildberry) and purplish-brown (chocolate) maraschino cherries and Taylor and I tried some of them in drinks this weekend. He had rum & pineapple juice with a blue cherry and I had gin, St Germain, Rose’s lime cordial and club soda with a green one. To be honest I don’t actually like maraschino cherries so I gave mine to Taylor to eat. They look cool though!

Little Twin Stars World

A few months ago I bought Sym a Re-ment Little Twin Starsblind box toy and she became OBSESSED. I rarely go to the store here that carries them but I happened to be in the neighborhood this weekend so I bought her a couple more and she made this little world for them.

Sym & Little Twin Stars World

Today was the first “day” of school, but there’s no classes; the kids just get their attendance taken so the school can figure out the enrolment. I’m back to work after a lovely long weekend, I’m not super excited about it but OH WELL.

Pets on the Couch

At least there’s pets.


Windowscape Update

Windowscape Update
Windowscape Update
Windowscape Update



Basement suites aren’t generally known for their stunning views, and the view from my living room window is particularly ugly: the old green mouldering fence of the house next door. Of course, the house is for sale and whoever buys it is likely to tear it down, so the imminent construction site view won’t be very lovely either.

Stunning Vista

I was sick of looking at that ugliness so using some vases, candlesticks, glasses and one empty gin bottle, plus twenty-four dollars’ worth of peonies I made something much lovelier.


When Sym got home from school she added our collection of Tokidoki Unicornos to give it a little something extra.

Improved Windowscape

The little red devil, Pepperino, is new, Taylor picked it up for me on Wednesday when I was having bad day.


Actually this whole week has been terrible, but! I forgot I’d booked all of next week and the following Monday off. WOOO TEN DAY WEEKEND!!

Weekend Wipeout

Friday night started awesome; I fished work half an hour early and was able to run out and get beer before the hockey game started. Sym and her friend Ali made this great sign for the living room and then went over to Ali’s to play.

Crafting Kids
Go Canucks Go

Of course all the beer I bought inevitably led me into DISASTER and I want to warn you now that if you are faint of heart or easily grossed out STOP SCROLLING or at least scroll very fast until you get to the Saturday part of the post.

During the second intermission I went on a mad scramble to the store for snacks, and as I was hurrying home I injured the CRAP out of my pinky toe. Here’s the thing about my pinky toe: I break it. A lot. I’ve broken it so many times that it basically shatters now if I just look at it funny. But I didn’t break my toe on Friday night; no, I broke my toe last week. What I did to it on Friday night was WORSE.

I was in a big hurry and as I was rounding the corner into the alley I passed by this house whose garden has a lot of rocks in it. Big rocks. Like bigger than bowling balls. Just scattered around the garden and there is one RIGHT on the corner. Now, I mentioned I was hurrying, but did I mention I was wearing flip-flops? And that I was kind of drunk? Well, I was, and as I rounded that corner I just straight up SMASHED that poor broken pinky toe right into the rock.

I managed to hobble home and when I got there I looked at what I’d done and basically I skinned the whole end of my toe. But not skinned it like a skinned knee; skinned it like SKINNED ALIVE. Are you ready?


BARF. Like my feet aren’t gross enough already. And nevermind the horrible skinned part, look at what shape it is! That is not a normal toe shape.

ANYWAY. Taylor and I taped it up with a ton of gauze and I did the only thing I could do in that situation: I DRANK MORE. Which led to this:



Yep, that’s me, desperately clinging to sleep on Saturday morning even though I’m surrounded by pestering pets and a husband who thinks we make the perfect photo opportunity.

Eventually I dragged myself out of bed and with enough coffee, toast, Advil and vitamins I was able to kick my hangover in the butt and go to the farmer’s market. I forgot to take a picture of everything I bought but we ate most of it for lunch. I felt like I needed something really healthful to finish curing me, so I made us what Sym likes to call a “Snacky Lunch” of veggies, pitas and dip.

Snacky Lunch

The homous, cherry tomatoes, radishes and cucumber were from the market; the only unpictured item is some mint Oreo fudge which is basically so yummy I don’t even want to eat it because then it’ll just be gone.


Seriously though, SO GOOD. Bye, hangover!

Sym and I made a plan a few weeks ago that we’d do a craft every Saturday, but then last weekend we came up with a NEW plan that if it was sunny, we’d go to the beach. This Saturday was overcast, so it was a craft day! She has this book of like ~crafts for girls~, and for this weekend she selected a gingerbread house collage. Since I hate to keep things simple I decided it would be better if we made a 3D gingerbread house. Unfortunately we didn’t finish it before her dad picked her up, but we made a good start and we’ll keep working on it this week.

Gingerbread House Decorations

Sym painted lots of little candies, treats and gumdrop people we’re going to cut out and glue onto the house, which I made. I’m really thrilled with how well it turned out, actually.

Little Brown House

I know. I’m amazing. This was actually pretty simple to do, and if anyone is interested in learning how to make one I could throw together a tutorial. Let me know!

Sunday was pretty laid back; Taylor and I worked on our ongoing closet-organizing project, ran a few errands and hung out with our dogs. Hope you all had a good (injury-free!) weekend!

Serious Georgie
Silly Georgie

She really is the best.

A Tale of Two Desks

Tiny Triangle Organization

One thing that’s always annoyed for me is that I didn’t really have anywhere to do my crafts. I mean, I did have places to work on them; I was always covering the kitchen island, the dining table, the daycare kids’ dining table, and basically any surface I could find with my projects. The problem was whenever I needed to cook or eat or serve food I’d have to clear those surfaces off. There was never anywhere for me to just leave my stuff out.


A couple of weekends ago I rearranged my side of the “office,” and using a little drawer unit I picked up at Ikea on Easter and parts of Sym’s old desk (which was also my desk for a while, before I refinished Old Yeller) I made myself a little craft table that fits in right next to my computer desk.
left side:

Old Desk

right side:

New Desk

Awesome, right? I just need to get one of those plastic carpet protectors for rolling chairs so I can just roll from one desk to the other. I’ll be able to glide seamlessly from internetting to crafting. Living the dream, over here. Although the real best part is I no longer have to pack my projects away before they’re done, I can just leave them on the desk. This is especially nice for when I’m making oh idk, stuff out of tiny pieces of paper that tend to blow around when you move your work surface.

Ready to craft!
New Paper

I got a whole bunch of new paper on the weekend so I’m kind of re-inspired to start making micro bunting again.

Too Many Bunting

… because I need more of that. I’ve had all these micro buntings up on this magnet board for a while, but it was just propped up on a shelf and kept falling over and smashing stuff, so when I rearranged the room I put it up beside the window.

Office Corner

I’ve also started using mini-clothespins to put pictures up on the bamboo roller blind over my computer desk. This is the newspaper Sym made me for Mother’s Day.

World's Best Mom

And I put this corkboard up over my craft table. It was cheap and ugly, but I painted the frame to match my yellow desk and stuck all my message garlands up, along with some fairytale creature silly bands Sym gave me.

I Need These

lol I know these are so cheesy but they actually make me feel better when I’m having a stressful day, like yesterday when I smashed a table into my face, splattered spaghetti sauce all over myself, stuck my hand in vomit, and got a handful of hair torn out.

It’s so nice and organized in here now! I love it. Well, my side is at least. Taylor’s side is another story.

Fern & Fawn

Sometimes I like to set myself goals.

glass jar + rocks + dirt + fern + moss + plastic toy =
Asparagus Fern & Fawn in a Jar

I’ve been wanting to do this for about forever but for some reason (my black thumb?) I never got around to it. A few weeks ago I bought a little asparagus fern on a whim and realized it would be perfect for this project. I already had the jar and the toy fawn, the rocks I actually had to buy (I could have picked them out of my backyard but WHO HAS THE TIME I mean really) and the soil I got from my neighbor, who has a huge bag of it outside his door. There are three types of moss, two I harvested from behind my house and the third I liberated from the landscaping of an apartment complex down the hill. So. This was a very cost-effective project! I just hope it doesn’t all die, like my houseplants always do. FINGERS CROSSED!

Sym’s Room

Sym spent a lot of time perfectly organizing all the toys on her bed and wanted me to share her pictures with you all (although, I seem to recall there being a rule about only having five toys on the bed at a time…)

Sym's Room
Sym's Room
Sym's Room

This stuffed strawberry is a new addition, I bought it for her on Sunday when we stopped at Ikea on our way home from Kelowna.

Sym's Room
Sym's Room
Sym's Room