Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thrifted Jewels

Did I hit the jackpot last week or what?!

Mom and I were nosing around at our local thrift store, and one of the ladies told us that they were putting out some jewellery. Apparently, they only do it twice a year - that way they can have a big selection all at once. Mom and I were like a couple of kids digging through the baskets! Here's what I came home with:

A beautiful beaded bracelet

A darling bird necklace

A chic ivory and gold chain bracelet

An adorable green apple necklace

A chunky grey and black bracelet

A stack of adjustable bangles

A dainty multi-strand necklace

A handmade heart pin

Wasn't that a great find? I also got a royal blue tie-neck blouse there, too. All of the jewellery came to around $12. Crazy, right? It was hard to pass up the bargains, even though I need more jewellery like I need a hole in the head. I was selective, though, and only came home with the pieces that I absolutely loved. Yay!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tips 'n' Tricks: Icing 101

I decided to make some cupcakes on Saturday to bring to our church on Sunday. There's a tea after the remembrance meeting every Sunday morning, and I hadn't brought anything in... ahem... a very long time. I usually have lots of baking ingredients on hand, but I wanted to do something a little different. So... I started with a chocolate cake mix.

Same old, same old, right? Wrong. These chocolate cupcakes are adult friendly: they are topped with a chocolate mocha icing. Mmm, mmm. What kid likes coffee? Not a single one that I know. Wondering how to make a mocha icing? I'm going to share my top secret tip with you.

Always have instant coffee on hand.

I don't drink coffee, but the instant stuff sure comes in handy. I have a little jar of it tucked into my cupboard for times exactly like these. To create the chocolate mocha icing, all I did was replaced the liquid in my regular chocolate icing recipe with extra strong coffee. I used (about) 1.5 tsp of instant coffee granules to 2 tbsp of water. Mix them up in a little mug or bowl, then add to your icing. Easy breezy!

I piped the icing on the cupcakes using a star tip, and topped each one with a tiny piece of chocolate. I had a semi-sweet chocolate bar hanging around, so I chopped the last two pieces into enough squares to top my batch of cupcakes. Resourceful? I should say so! :)

That's my latest kitchen trick for you! Are you itching for a cupcake now? 
I know I am!

Multitude Monday

I love that little plate. I found it at Urban Outfitters, and it's perfect. Mom used to  sing my that song all. the. time. when I was a kid. Every once in a while, a new/old random song will pop into my head and I know that Mom put it there. If I could only remember all of them when I have kiddos, I'd be a lucky lady. She sang to me all the time. Love it.

Aren't we all blessed so much more than we can even put into words? God fulfills all of my needs - I'm never hungry, cold, unclothed. I have people who love me. I have more than I could ever, ever ask for, and yet sometimes, I'm ungrateful. I'm so thankful for my family - safe, and living right down the road from me. A childhood neighbour of mine was killed tragically over the weekend, and it's a grim reminder of how much we have. Love the ones you're with. 

Multitude Monday is a great way for me to reflect on the positive things in my life each week. Today, I'm thankful for:

360 - having lots of healthy snacks in the house
361 - beautiful thrifted jewellery that I found last week
362 - getting to have a great big chat with Kelsie
363 - finding the perfect birthday present for Dan
364 - being so blessed.
365 - so so blessed.
366 - spending time with other people. Busting out of my little self-made cocoon.
367 - my family. My young, healthy brothers and my loving parents.
368 - my darling husband - best friend and spouse all in one, can't beat that.
369 - my precious friends - mostly far away, but we still manage to connect using all of that there new-fangled technology.

What are you thankful for today? I'm thankful for you, too, readers!

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Link It

Don't you just love clunker boots? Dan rocks his all. the. time.

Yay! It's Friday! 
Here's a little link love of some things that I've been enjoying lately:

I have pumpkin apple spice muffins are cooling on my counter as I type. 
I may or may not have snuck a bit - yummo! It's a big batch, too - perfect for sharing.

I'm in need of a watch, but I've been looking for, ahem, years. 
This one just may fit the bill!

The Nesting Game is a great little blog that I stumbled upon. 
If you like home decor, then check it out!

Someday soon, Target's coming to Canada. 
Too bad it wasn't here now, though - I. want. the. red. skirt. with. bicycles.

Wouldn't a tilt-shift camera be so much fun?

I gave my sister-in-law this heating pad for Christmas. 
It was so easy to make, and I scented it with loose peppermint tea. 

I'm not a glitter girl, but I sure would like to dress like one.

Isn't this hairdo sweet? Looks relatively easy, too.

That's all for this week, folks. 
I've got some fun thrifted finds to share with you the beginning of next week. 
Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Polyvore Loves

Yeesh! Just got in a few minutes ago... what a long day! I'm fighting a serious cold, and all I wanted to do this morning was stay snuggled into bed, but I straggled out of the house for the day. I went to a ladies' Bible study this morning, and then stopped in at Mom and Dad's place on the way home. They asked me to go with them - Mom and my aunt take a water aerobics class, and they also had a few errands and appointments. I met Dan on the highway in the late afternoon, and we went back into "town" - the nearest town is about half an hour from home. We had a yummy supper out (maple nut chicken wrap and a salad) and then Dan played racquetball with a friend, and I went and hung out with my friend Thianna for a bit. We picked up some groceries, and then made the trip back home. My brother has a big project due tomorrow, so I went to Mom and Dad's house and helped David with his resume. We finished that up, came home and put our groceries away. Now I'm relaxing with another coconut chai tea :) Whew!

Little did I know, but I got prepared for today's lengthiness last night. I created two Polyvore Loves outfits to post! These are cute ones, too. Ready to hear more?

It's "date night" on Polyvore Loves! I based two outfits around the same Marc Jacobs blouse. One is girly and fun, and the other is hot and sleek. Which style do you lean towards when it comes time for a date? Hey, girls... I mean date as in evening out. It can be with your significant other... or with anyone that you love: gal-pal, friend, parent - whatev! Whenever you get a little gussied up and spend an evening out, that's a date to me. Hear what I'm saying?

(There's something up with Safari right now so you'll have to wait for linkage!)

I'm longing to have this outfit in my closet! For starters, that polka dot blouse is sososososo cute! I picked up a very similar one a few weeks ago, but it's black with white polka dots. We all know that the mint colour is my fave... and I love me some cardigans, too (bought another leopard print one today... shh!). Funky geek glasses and red lipstick give it some class. The cute glittery t-strap heels help push the outfit into date territory. Love it!

If you're more into the sleek date night approach, I've got you covered. A cute leather/pleather jacket, black clutch, an armful of black and gold bangles, and some hot pointed toe heels - your polka dot blouse won't know what hit! Are you ready to go or what?!

Which outfit do you lean towards? Are you ready to get all dolled up? Do share!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Me Wanty

Katie Daisy has a brand-new print in her Etsy shop, The Wheatfield. 
Let's just say that I want it a little more than I should. Eek!
Should I/will I cave? Only time will tell! :)
She's so great... her art makes me happy and giddy inside.

Detergent DIY

After countless pins and bookmarks, I finally took the eco-plunge. I've gone granola - well, more granola than I was before. :) Our household now uses "handmade" laundry detergent!

I'm a sucker for sales on household supplies, so I waited until my detergent supply slowly diminished and started on this new adventure. When purchasing the ingredients, don't be afraid - the initial cost is a bit expensive, but the large containers of ingredients go so far! You only need one tablespoon of the mix for each load! Crazy, eh? I found the ingredients in Sobeys - I couldn't find all of the products in Superstore, Walmart, or Shoppers. The ingredients are on the same shelves as regular laundry detergent.

The ingredients needed in my recipe are:

One box of Borax
One box of Arm + Hammer Washing Soda
Ivory, Sunlight, or Dr. Bronner's Bar Soap

The recipe? One, one, and one! One cup of Borax, one cup of washing soda, and one bar of soap. Grate the bar of soap and mix with the other ingredients. It comes together so quickly, you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. I used an antique jar that I bought this summer, and I was unsure as to how much it would hold, so I doubled the recipe. I used one bar of Ivory soap and one bar of Dr. Bronner's almond hemp soap (remember seeing it in my purse?).

I had an adorable ice cream scoop from Heidi that I wasn't using and it fits perfectly inside the jar. I just guesstimate around a tablespoon. So far, so good! There is a way to make it a liquid detergent, but I really couldn't be bothered. You would have to make a big batch, store it in a bucket, and use an old laundry detergent bottle to dispense it. So not cute. As long as you put the powder in as soon as you start filling the washer with water, there really isn't a problem.

I really like the detergent. It smells good when I put it in the water, and the clothes are scent-free when they come out - they just smell clean. Clean = good. I haven't tried the detergent on anything that was stained, but there are natural pre-treatments that you can try out there.

I'm using up the last of my jumbo-sized fabric softener box. I ordered a few dryer balls on Etsy, but they haven't arrived yet. They are in four beautiful colours, and vanilla + pomegranate scented. I'll let you know how it goes once I start using them! Once I do, I'll be using all homemade/natural cleaning products in our home (other than the occasional bottle of regular dish soap). I use Melaleuca cleaners and vinegar, baking soda, and water a lot. It's a great feeling!

Have you made any healthy changes in your home lately? Tell me about them!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Right Now

Right now I am:

... happy that I had a little crafting time today.

... sipping coconut chai black tea, trying to stave off my cravings for snacks after 8 pm.

... contemplating the invitations for an accessories swap at my place for a few local gals.

... pleased that I'm going to get a phone chat in with Kel this week.

... pumping myself up about going on the treadmill in the morning.

... feeling so stuffy and sore-throaty. Boo hoo.

... trying to get used to using iPhoto instead of Picnik.

... excited that I actually made a trip to my favourite post office today. 
Yes, I have a favourite.

... feeling ambitious about blog plans for February.

... getting excited to make valentines. No, I'm not 7.

... wishing I was in Halifax for this workshop on Sunday.

What's up with you?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Multitude Monday

It's Multitude Monday! By now, I'm sure you know the drill. Each week, I come up with ten things that I'm feeling grateful for. It certainly helps me keep track of all of the things that are going smoothly in my life, instead of focussing on the yucky, not-so-fun stuff. Heidi gave me the idea, and so far, this is the 36th Multitude Monday post! 

This week, I'm thankful for:

350 - hanging out with friends... two days in a row. It's a lonely life in the country sometimes!
351 - trying out a "secret" recipe for a soup from my favourite cafe - it'll taste even better tomorrow
352 - having my black wool winter coat white dog-hairless again. That was a mission and a half!
353 - buying a new white bathmat (on sale!) to dry off our toesies
354 - cheering on my cousin's basketball game on Saturday
355 - my littlest bro recovering well from toe surgery
356 - my middlest bro winning his big basketball tournament on the weekend 
357 - celebrating a family friend's 71st birthday with a surprise cowboy party
358 - rockin' my $6(!) Frye leather boots in the snowy weather

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Things I Heart

Jadeite dishes, driftwood, candlelight 
lace, acrylic paint, vintage tea saucers 
wire baskets, bright colours paired with a neutral 
craspedia, chippy paint, ribbons, bows, buttons 
knitted blankets, borrowed socks, emptied toiletries
new garbage bags, Pinterest, sleeping in on Saturdays
clomping through snow, leather, looseleaf
stick-on stamps, postcards, clean laundry
holidays, rain hitting the window, old electronics
wedding planning, missing buttons, fresh starts
worn out jeans, plaid shirts, cuffs, scars
zippers, dahlias, yarn, wrinkles

I haven't shared one of these in a while... so it's a bit all over the place. 
What have you been loving lately?

Anyone else get the sad e-mail announcement that Picnik is kaput? Boo. I am the only one that resists change? I don't WANT to use Google+. Have you tried it? Is it good? Is it free
Tell me, tell me!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Love

I did a little bookshelf rearranging lately, after keeping it the same way for what felt like forever. Daniel made the bookshelf for me last Christmas, and it's my favourite piece in our living room. The six compartments are fun to decorate and arrange, and the wide top is great for tablescapes and our television. After staring at the same old thing for far too long, I grouped all of my "pretty" books together on a shelf, along with my 12 x 12 scrapbooks.

All of my home decor and crafting books are grouped together in one convenient location. Curious about what's on my shelves? Here's what's there:

Stay Stitched by Erin Arsenault
Monarch Illustrated Guide to Knitting by Pam Dawson (vintage)
52 Scrapbooking Challenges by Elsie Flannigan
Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones
One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins
Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan
Modern Vintage Style - Emily Chambers
How to Never Look Fat Again by Charla Krupp
Junk Beautiful by Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer
Decorate by Holly Becker
The Complete Family Interior Decorating Book (vintage)
Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
Domino - The Book of Decorating
Love Your Handwriting by Heidi Swapp
Those Who Love by Irving Stone
Craft Inc. Business Planner by Meg Mateo Ilasco
The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

Have any books that should be on my "must-read" list? Do share!

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Multitude Monday

Yay! It's Multitude Monday! Each week, I document ten things that I am thankful for. 
I got the idea from Heidi, who got the idea from another blogger friend. It helps to keep me looking at the positives - since I know we all have a problem focusing on the "good" things in our lives. 
Sitting down and thinking of ten new things every week can sometimes be challenging, but it's a great way to reflect on the past seven days. 

I've had a Multitude Monday post for 35 weeks! Not consecutive, of course. 
I'm not that good. :)

This week, I'm thankful for:

340 - having a supper out with some great friends - it's been far too long
341 - spending quality time with my niece and nephews - a few days!
342 - hanging out with my sister-in-law - and giving her a little break from the kiddos
343 - getting a keyboard cover in the mail - no more worrying about stickiness
344 - making some exciting plans for July (more info soon!)
345 - finding recipes for healthy treats - makes you feel a little healthier :)
346 - getting on the treadmill more regularly - now just to keep it up
347 - an appointment next week (who else gets excited for appointments??)
348 - starting to plan for Dan's 25th birthday next month - I want it to be good
349 - having a spotless living room (for now!)

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Polyvore Loves

This time of year, we're all dragging our feet when it comes to our closets. Everything feels pretty ho-hum and neutral. I wore an outfit to church last weekend and received lots of compliments - simply because I had some colour mixed in with my neutrals. I can't even remember what I had on, just the fact that I had colour compliments. All a grey/brown/black ensemble needs is a hit or two of colour to bring a little sunshine into your day! Today's Polyvore Loves outfit reflects that belief.

Today's outfit is based entirely on Ruche products. Have I ever confessed my love for Ruche? I am a serious website stalker - I check their new arrivals several times a week. I've been putting off ordering anything but I may have to cave very soon. Ruche has great prices for Canadian shipping which is a real plus - since most companies have brutal shipping policies. Their ladylike, modern-vintage style is modest and classy, yet tastefully stylish and fun. There's a little something for everyone!

Ready to take a peek at the outfit? Okay, here we go- enjoy!

january 01

january 01 by littleohme featuring clutch bags

I chose a classic A-line belted grey skirt - dressed up here, but it could also be worn with a white tee and a statement necklace. The bow-neck blouse (tucked in, of course) is in my favourite colour, and wouldn't it be cute with a pair of trouser jeans, too? The shoes are perfection... can't go wrong with a good mary jane. The mint green ring provides another pop of colour, and the clutch looks a lot more expensive than it's $31 price tag. 

You could were this ensemble to a brunch with some girlfriends or even to a more formal event. It would be cute to wear if you work in a business-casual environment. Toss on a sharp-looking blazer and you're good to go... and slip a pair of flats into your bag, too, just in case.

(If you want to go shopping for any of these pieces, click on the photo's caption for more information!)

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blog Memories

Want to reminisce with me about previous blog posts? I thought you would! Here we go:

I was scrolling through blog photos and came across this one ^. I forgot all about that rug! I bought it at Urban Outfitters in Toronto on our trip in 2010 and only used it for a little while. I folded it up when we moved, and I think it's tucked away on a shelf in our laundry room! I'll have to shake it out over the weekend. I love the pattern and colours, but it doesn't match a single thing. It's a super fun, graphic rug - and big, too. Maybe I'll jazz things up in the living room over the next few days. It's fun to gather decor elements from other rooms and spaces and refresh a room with items you already have!

I was shovelling off our step today and Sage was doing exactly what he's doing in the photo above: flipping and flopping. That crazy dog! Every time I would throw a scoopful of snow off of our deck, Sage would leap into the air and do summersaults. Silly pup.

I sure live in a beautiful place. This was a hike that we took a couple of summers ago.

My pretty friend Janelle and I at a wedding. I miss those curly locks, J-dogg! :)

Best. car. colour. ever.

A view of Toronto from the CN Tower.


Pretty sunset. Glorious.

My brother in law's wedding - I love their rings!

Dan and I on a whale-watching tour - we'll have to do it again this year. So much fun.

Our zip-lining adventure. This is also on our do-again list.

Sage all dressed up for Halloween :)

I miss my craft room :( The best part of that apartment. 

My two boys relaxing. Cuties.

Thanks for reminiscing with me - quite the flashback. I've had this blog for a lot longer than I thought. I love my Polka Dot Soup readers :) Hope that you're gearing up for an exciting weekend.

Happy Friday!
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