Some things never change

Uncategorized June 24, 2015

Once upon a time, I refinished garage sale and thrift store furniture like it was my business. In fact, it was my business. I had a fun little furniture refinishing company and made a good go of it as a young mom! But my dreams and ambitions had me set my sights a little higher and instead of refurbishing furniture I now refurbish houses! Not really related, but you can kind of imagine how my mind made that leap.

But I still feel that urge to give a little furniture face lift every so often, specially when I see a good piece. Not doing this daily has forced me to really become picky with bringing home refinishing projects. If we don’t NEED a piece, it stays at the thrift store, no matter how amazing the price. Back when Ruby joined the ranks we got rid of a lot of furniture in the family room since it seemed more functional to have some open room and less stress over tipped trinkets or drinks, but now that she’s a bit older and calmer we need a little something in here to set stuff on. I wanted it to be CHEAPPPPPP in case of an unfortunate bump LOL, and totally unsurprisingly within 48 hours of our return I have already hit up Ikea (for items for our Quesnell Flip) and a thrift store (it was an innocent drop off turned shopping trip).

The stop at the thrift store turned up this little gem for $5

Cute, right?? Just not my style. But I love the lines and simple style. Plus it was $5! I can’t argue with that.

So I got out a can of spray paint, sanded down the splintered areas and gave it a fresh coat of paint! Then when I was at Ikea I found this adorable little remnant of fabric for $3 and decided to throw a LACK table ($9.99) into the mix for more presence.

and voila!

The perfect footstool/table combo for a little interest and utility. And the BACKSIDE of a new rug from Urban Outfitters since they keep shipping me the wrong colour combo on the one  I want so I’ve given up returning and reordering after the 3rd go round and just flipped it upside down for a cream flat woven rug.

And a goodbye from this little man, because, well how funny is he looking these days?

Mini Art Center

crafting, Uncategorized, Wren June 12, 2015

Today Wren got to flex her art muscles at a fun little art space that opened a couple weeks ago just down the street from our rental here in New Orleans. It is called the Mini Art Center and they have a mix of crafts you can pop in and do with the kids for only $5 a kid, as well as a really funky gallery space where real artists showcase their creations in a way that allows kids to get up close and personal with them.

If you are ever in the area and looking for a way to fill an afternoon I highly recommend checking them out! I really wish there was something like this at home as well, because it is so nice to hang out, make a little mess and not worry about cleaning it all up! We are pretty artsy at home, but by the time I bring out the materials and then clean up again at the end it turns into a big production.

We even got Sean to do his first painting in forever and caught him playing with the blocks while we made finger puppets LOL.

 

Frenchman Street Art Market

Holidays June 6, 2015

It was a hot, humid Friday night, and we made the short journey over to the art market on Frenchman Street.

The music, the lights, the people, all at sunset. It was filled with creativity and excitement and there is so much to take in. I actually felt more like a scene out of a movie.

I left with a really beautiful piece by a local photographer, capturing a Banksy installation on a local wall that just happens to be an amazing pink colour.

bridges of New Orleans

inspiration June 4, 2015

The bridges here are unreal in scale. I have been amazed by the sheer number of them, and how they work in such a wet climate.

But more than anything I have been so inspired the by faded shades of metal mixing with the blue sky and water. It is a colour palette I picture being the starting point for a quiet master bedroom or fresh kitchen.

As always, I’m looking everywhere for inspiration. And there’s more than enough of it going around here!

Ship Island

Holidays June 3, 2015
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Last week we packed up a picnic, all our bathing suits and some towels and boarded a boat for an hour long journey off the gulf coast to a place called Ship Island.

It is a small island with nothing but beaches and a little brush and the boat drops you off in the morning and comes back for you in the afternoon. Nobody lives here and there is only one or two attendants working a little shack that sells sunscreen and floaties and such, but the island is just big enough that despite arriving with 40 or 50 other people we felt like it was our own private island!
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It was slightly overcast when we arrived for the day but the heat was amazing and the water is warm.

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Wren collected hermit crabs, we examined starfish and even saw dolphins swimming just off shore throughout the day! If I had to imagine what paradise looked like I would guess this is it.
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The waters on the south side of the island are really shallow and Wren and I loved walking knee deep and just seeing all the fish swim around our ankles.
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We had such a fun, relaxing day stranded out there, it was one of those days you imagine you will never forget the feel of.

Hello from New Orleans!

Holidays, inspiration, Instagram, Wren May 22, 2015
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So we packed up a jumped on a plane for New Orleans a couple weeks ago! I have never in my life been here and to see it all for the first time is nothing short of spectacular. 

[ 7 am flights are probably the least glamorous thing… ever]
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We are here for 6 weeks so we rented a little house in one of the older neighbourhoods, just a couple blocks off the Mississippi River. This way we fully settle in and have some sort of routine during our stay as well as getting a full New Orleans experience. 
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All our neighbours have a front porch as well and it has been amazing to see how neighbourly and friendly EVERYONE is here. I honestly keep saying to Sean “it feels like we went back in time 40 or 50 years!”. The little girls on the block all love to go catch bugs, everyone has welcomed us with open arms and we even had invitations to come over for dinner after only a day here. The reality is that I know nearly every person on our. whole. block. on a first name basis which is not common back home. It has a lot to do with how close houses are here, but I think that it is also that southern hospitality that people here are raised with.
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I could spend days just admiring the houses here. Our own house, although small, has incredibly tall ceilings (it goes up another foot or so from the picture rail in this shot of Wren squished between the pocket doors LOL). Every room has a fireplace and every door has a transom window over it, and I cannot get enough!
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Some of our neighbours are so creative in their gardening and house paint colours that I have to document it all for future reference! I would love to bring back a little of this flavour somehow in a future project at home.
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Wren in particular has just taken to New Orleans. She has a love of plants and animals and between the gorgeous blooms everywhere and the countless friendly dogs and cats that call our street home she is just in heaven.
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This beachy blue house down the street has stolen my heart!
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But really, every house is special and makes me fall in love.
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We live across the Mississippi from the French Quarter so on the days we want to go into the city we catch a 5 minute ferry ride then take trolley cars where we need to go.

The faded out chairs on the ferry deck just make my heart sing!
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And of course Wren thinks it’s amazing!
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You really could get lost just taking in how beautiful everything is down in the French Quarter! From the creole cottages to the townhouses to the taller buildings, everything is dripping in beauty. 
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I have been so busy and excited to get out and explore that I actually haven’t even whipped out my Canon at all, just shooting with my iPhone, but I definitely need to make a point of snapping some more of our little neighbourhood and I can’t wait to share the rest of our stay in my next post!

Happiest of Fridays guys!

2 Months

inspiration April 29, 2015
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I’ve shared here! I even went a week without posting on Instagram which is unheard of in my world but life is moving at warp speed right now and I am doing everything I can to just document it when possible. The sharing stuff can come later (or now!) but I just want to make sure I don’t let the sands of time slip through my fingers without at least capturing a few to cherish forever.
We had a great Spring Break a couple weeks back. Sorely needed by all, as Wren is one of the youngest grade 1 students and between the long days and the long winter she was starting to get a little bear-like by dinner time. So we headed just a few hours south and did a fun couple days in Calgary. We made reservations at the Aloft hotel and stayed there the whole time, just enjoying the amenities. Wren is a water baby and we enjoyed most of our stay pool side.
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Wren has also become really interested in photography! I’d say it’s probably her first true hobby and so I’ve been teaching her some of my limited knowledge. It’s incredibly fun to scroll through her memory card every week or so to see what she has captured, including plenty of less than flattering shot of Sean and I LOL, but it’s kind of nice to finally be the one not stuck behind the lens, even if most of her shots catch us in our jammies and without our hair or makeup done for the day. But she manages to capture a lot of our ‘real’ life.
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Life with three dogs is also adding a lot of fullness to life! We are working on training and containing the madness but there is such an abundance of love that I can’t complain. 
There have been birthdays on top of birthdays, but even an otherwise quiet Tuesday can deserve a little celebration. The memories of an average day being ended with a little love and making them special are what I aim to leave Wren with of her childhood. This past year of full school days really drive home the fact that her days of being little are really really limited and I need to make the most of them.
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In other, more vain, news. I dyed my hair back to brown! I loveeeeed the purple but it was a) a ton of work, and b) not the look I was aiming for with an upcoming project. So I went back to my natural colour and kept it interesting by adding bangs to the mix.
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I had to adjust to the bangs, but I have really been digging them so I think they will stay for a bit. They add a little more style to my usual top knot or ponytail. Try as I might, if I wear my hair down it is usually up by lunch time…
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And that’s been our March/April. Bring it on May!!

Pinned Bob

fashion March 5, 2015
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I have done long long mermaid hair, shorter, chin length hair and pretty much everything in between. I always LOVE LOVE LOVE my shorter hair, but about 3 or 4 weeks in I start to miss the versatility and ease of just being able to throw my hair up in a pony tail or messy bun and begin the long process of again growing it out. About 2 years ago I discovered the awesomeness of pinning my longer hair into a messy bob for the day. No more craving shorter hair since I can play with it for a few days then go back to long, easy hair.
The secret is having layers that are the length of the bob you want. Specially in the front. Mine are between shoulder and chin length.
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Some gentle teasing around the hairs on my neckline and some pins are all I use. Just pulling three or four sections up in total. I simply tuck the hair under then secure with two pins criss crossed over each other and it seems to hold all day!
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A little messy length in front keeps it fun and easy to pull behind my ears.
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You can adjust and play with it until it feels about right, there’s no wrong way to do it 
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And now I am patiently going to wait a few more washes for my hair to tone down to the perfect pastel (oops! got a little carried away with the last colour touch up LOL).