Monday, August 3, 2009

A New Duvet Cover AND Loveseat!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about wanting a new duvet cover. Well I found the perfect one at HomeSense (love that store!). The green leaves match the green wall in our bedroom, and the white keeps it nice and light and summery. I couldn't help but buy matching sheets while I was there too!

I also blogged about wanting to find accent chairs for the living room. Instead, I came across this bonded leather loveseat at The Brick and couldn't pass up the deal... at $399 it was half off!!! I think it fits perfectly in that space... looks like a Man Cave!

We moved the futon upstairs to the guest room. Its comfy enough for overnight visitors, and folds up for everyday use (AKA a place for Ben to throw his clothes!)

That's it for now. Next major purchases will be for our bathroom reno in the fall... stay tuned!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A New Flowerbed!

Mom and Dad are up for the weekend and they brought the best housewarming gift we could ask for- perennials and free installation!! After over 26 mm. of rain yesterday, we were rarin' to go today and git'r'done!!!
Here is all the flowers and soil, ready to go. Some of the flowers are from Vanderwees Greenhouse in Thunder Bay and some are right from my parents' gardens!

The first thing we did was lay out garden hose to determine where we wanted the "edge" to be. We decided on an irregular shape- nothing too formal looking. Next, Dad put his tough looking boots to use to cut out the grass.

We loaded up all the grass and hauled it away, then picked any big rocks out.

Next, we put plastic edging all the way around the dirt. This keeps the grass from growing in on your plants.

Next, we laid out the bags of topsoil and then spread it out evenly. 10 bags were just enough for this 3ft x 11ft. bed.

Now the fun part- deciding which plants go where! We put the tall plants (or the ones that will be tall eventually) at the back and the lower ones at the front.

And one by one, we planted each flower.

Finally- the finished product!! It will fill in over time, or we can always add another plant here or there.
Below, my favourite flower- the Foxglove. Unfortunately it's a Biennial so I will have to enjoy these blooms while they last!
Thanks, Mom and Dad! I love it and will enjoy it for years to come!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Search for the Perfect Duvet Cover...

OK, I really want a new duvet cover! Something a bit more light and calming than what we have had for the past couple years.
Here is our bed now (LOVING the new box spring by the way- totally beats sleeping on the floor!)I have been surfing for ideas and here's what I came up with so far- I seem to be drawn to soft neutrals or whites, and nothing too modern or trendy. One accent wall in our bedroom is a sage green colour, the rest are white, and the bed frame is wood- as you can see.

This first style is from IKEA. Not sure if the colour is right but I love the pattern!This colour would go really well in our room.

I am a sucker for paisley! This next set is made by Nautica, but it might have too much blue for my liking.

What can I say, it's an obsession! this set below is from Williams-Sonoma Home.

Or I could just be boring and go with clean, classic white.
Pros: easy to clean (Bleach if needed), can accessorize with different throws, pillows, etc.
Cons: Black dog hairs would show reallly easily! too boring!(?)

What do you think?? Any other ideas?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rain, Rain....

It's been raining all week! Luckily today it appears to be breaking up and the weekend forecast is looking good :)

The poor weather gave us a chance to get some stuff done around the house. We finally hung our hard-earned University degrees and some artwork in the office:

I brightened up the kitchen with these lilies from the garden- aren't they pretty!?

And now I am waiting for the split boxsprings to arrive (our queen sized boxspring wouldn't fit up the stairs...) Last night we assembled the bed. It was given to us by Ben's parents, who received it as a wedding present 34 years ago!!! It's made of barnboard from their family farm.. cool, huh? There is even a light behind the headboard for a retro 70's feel...

Here's where we had to sleep last night. It will be nice to finally get off the floor!
PS- I am in the market for a new duvet cover... any suggestions for colour/ style??

OOH! I think I hear the delivery truck!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garden Update

First off- we have eavestroughs!!! Should help keep the basement nice and dry, especially with all this rain we've been having lately..The skies aren't looking too friendly this evening...
My Lady's Mantle is just starting to bloom. Not the most showy plant, but that's ok- it was one of the plants that "came with" the house!

Guess what!? It turns out I have Japanese Tiger Lilies! They just sprouted these little stem bulbils- that's how you know they are the "real thing"- I can't wait to see the blooms, but it might be a couple weeks yet.

In the meantime, I have these pretty Asiatic Lilies blooming- this one stalk alone has 11 blooms on it!

The Purple Asters are becoming a deep purple- so pretty.

And the Thrift is just starting to bloom- tiny delicate white flowers.

Finally, the sunflower seeds I planted a couple weeks ago are all starting to sprout! Hopefully they will be able to flower before first frost!

I'm Baaaaack!

I'm back after a short hiatus involving a trip to Thunder Bay for one of my best friend's Bachelorette. Lets just say there was a falic cake, bull riding, and a biker bar involved... soo much fun!!
I also managed to squeeze in some shopping while there (naturally), and my new favourite store is definitely HomeSense!!
Here are some of my best buys from the trip.... also too boring to show: white bathrug, floofy new pillows for Ben and I, a garden hose reel that leaks like craaaazy (and is being returned), soy sauce, curry paste, and dog food!! HAHA.
Anyways- on to the good stuff!
First off- tomato plants that my dad lovingly started from seed! I better not kill them! I put them in the sunniest spot in my yard (basically in the middle of the backyard) and they seem to be doing fine... so far!

Next- some pretty Delphiniums my mom bought for me at the greenhouse. Both her and my dad are coming up here August long weekend with a trunk full of perennials and we are going to make a new flower bed out front for them! I'm really excited!

Below, a herb planter that my mom put together for me, don't you just love how it sits on the railing?! Now if I only knew some recipes that used fresh herbs. At least they are a nice smell at the front door!
I picked up these Adirondack chairs from Canadian Tire for under $20 each. Always looking for a bargain! They will be put to better use once we build a deck.

Molly showing off my new outdoor mat, and beautifully practicing "stay" :)

Love love LOVE this purse from Walmart... another bargain at $10!

And the mother of all bargains- a FREE handmade desk courtesy of Kijiji!!! Its a bit wobbly so we will have to add another crossbeam at the back. But hey, the price was right! And it almost completes our office- only thing left to do is hang artwork and Uni degrees!

Cute laundry hamper from Home Outfitters- looks kinda retro but I love that the liner is removable!
And now for the not-so-great buy of the trip, a pair of microvelvet chairs from HomeSense. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but as soon as we got them in the house we knew they weren't the right "fit". They are going back, and the hunt continues! (Something with arms as per Ben's instructions!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Indian Night!

I made a really delicious Indian-themed meal tonight: Butter Chicken, Coconut Rice, and Spicy Chickpeas. Super easy... here's how!

In your trusty rice cooker, combine 1 can coconut milk (make sure it's not light), 2 cups Jasmine white rice, 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar. Turn the rice cooker on after you start cooking your chicken.

For the butter chicken, I used a prepared Butter Chicken sauce from a jar- all I had to do was cook the pieces of chicken, then add the sauce. Easy peasy!

Now, for the chickpea recipe (which I am obsessed with right now and could probably eat it twice a week for the rest of my life)
You will need:

1 x 14oz. can of chickpeas (AKA Garbanzo Beans)- drained.
1/2 cup cilantro (lightly chopped)
1/4 lemon juice (fresh is best!)
1/3 cup purple onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne (depending on how hot you want it)
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground corriander
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1tbsp. water
2 tbsp. oil for stir frying
optional- 3 to 4 tbsp. coconut milk

I start off by chopping everything up, and then combining the fish sauce, water, and all dry spices (except pepper) in a bowl at the side.

Then heat the pan and stirfry the garlic and onions for about a minute.

Add the spice mixture.
Stifry briefly
Add chickpeas
continue stirring until chickpeas are covered and warm.
Remove from heat. Add lemon juice, black pepper, cilantro, and coconut milk (if desired)
Do a taste test. Adjust salt levels by adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, or more lemon juice if too salty. Serve with rice, ENJOY :)

The finished product. Quick, easy and OH SO delish!!!