Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Taste of Spring

We haven't been to the greenhouse since Christmas and so recently Rob and I decided to take a trip over to check out the spring plants.  It is definitely how to feel spring in the air when it is still winter outside.

They set up a tropical botanical garden complete with a pond and fish.  Cafe tables line this area for customers to stop for a latte and treat.



Here are some close ups of the beautiful plants.





Next we went over to look at some of the plants for sale.  Love this fuzzy guy.


This bloom is from an orange tree and the fragrance was amazing.  I can only explain it as smelling "like spring".


At the Orchid section I asked a question of a fellow customer about orchids, only to learn that not only does Edmonton have an orchid society, an upcoming orchid show in April but also that this lady was a past president of the society.  Talk about accidentally directing a question to the right person!  She was lovely and very helpful with the information she gave to me.


Then we walked past this little golfing area.  It costs $3 to play a bucket of balls with the proceeds going to the children's hospital.  Of course, the grass is real.


What made the trip the best... well meeting up with some amazing little four legged friends.  ;)  Meet "Alley". 


A blurry photo of a moving dog but the story needs to be told.  She was rescued from Mexico.  Her new "mama" has only had her for the past 10 days.  She first saw this little beauty 3 years ago while visiting a friend who lives in Mexico.  Alley lived in an alley near a restaurant.  She could not be pet because of her infestation of ticks.  Fast forward three years and the friend tells mama that this little one still hangs out at the restaurant.  This amazing woman contacted a shelter society in Mexico who picked Alley up and the adoption process began.  She has been spayed and spent some time in a foster home and is now in her forever home.  As is obvious, she has had a litter somewhat recently.  The vet who spay her said that she had given birth to many litters.  Her scars are proof of a difficult life.  When I pet her she shook a little and turned away in avoidance.  Behaviours I remember all too well from a certain little Lady when I first entered her life.  The happy ending in Alley's story make me remember that people are good.  I love happy "tails".

Then we bumped into these little cuties.  They ran up and welcomed everyone who came remotely close to them.  More blurry dog photos but too cute to not make it onto the blog.  A Havanese Poodle mix and a four pound Maltese. 



And because I love to bring a little bit of spring into the house this time of year,  I came home with these two lovelies.



It's feeling less like winter already.  :)

Jen

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

That 70's Tangent ~ A Place for Pyrex

I have finally found a place to properly display some of my favourite Pyrex pieces.  Last night, Rob dragged this old cabinet up from the basement, where it had been housing DVDs.


There is a story behind this old cabinet.  It came from the railway office that my FIL worked for in Montreal.  When the office closed in the early 80's and the furniture was being gotten rid of, George brought it with him to Toronto.  For some time my MIL used it in her kitchen to store some crockery and then eventually it made it's way down to her basement when she moved to a smaller condo.  It held old books for some time until it was passed onto my home.

On and off since starting my Pyrex collection, I toyed with the idea of bringing it up to the kitchen but wasn't sure how it would look.  I'm really glad I decided to give it a go last night.  Take a peek inside.


The scary thing is that taking all of this out of the kitchen cupboards has freed up space... space to store future Pyrex?  It's a sickness, I tell you.  ;)







Not only is every piece in this cabinet thrifted, even the pieces on top are second hand found treasures. (The cloth runner was bought at HomeSense.)


This is such a solid piece of furniture in its original state.  This little metal plate makes me think of home.  


When Rob was in training for the RCMP and I was still at home in Montreal, I sometimes visited George at his office downtown. He was such an amazing man who I still miss.  I always feel very grateful to have had him in my life.  It makes me happy to have this old piece of office furniture sitting in my kitchen.


Jen

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dreaming on Such a Winters Day

It's February in Alberta and there really isn't much to do.  It's when we start to get antsy for Spring to hurry up and get here.  We want to shed our outerwear and feel some sun on our faces without the burn of the winter wind that is.  It is the perfect time to visit the Lottery Show Homes and start some dreaming of what it would be like to win one.  Tickets are $100 and the chances are slim but it is an excellent donation that benefits Edmonton's hospitals and did I mention that it is really fun to dream.

There were three homes.  The first one was huge at almost 6100 square feet.  Very modern on the outside and I wasn't expecting to like the interior.


But I was so wrong.  I loved it and could totally live here along with all of its excesses and extravagance.  It had that minimalist look of the late 60's and early 70's and it had lots of gold!

Gold granite and gold tiles in the kitchen make me happy!


This sofa sat in the sunken living room.  Let's have a party!  Martinis anyone?


Who would think that these three pillows match but they do.


Check out this staircase.  Yummy.  Not conducive to grandchildren or seniors but remember, this is all a dream.  We aren't thinking of cracked skulls or ambulance trips to emergency.


I'm all set to move in once we win it.  Now all I need is a full time maid because this sucker would take about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to keep clean,  a chauffeur to drive me around Edmonton because it is kind of away from everything and I'm too afraid to drive in Edmonton and of course an elevator operator to work the elevator.... yes there is an elevator in this house.

The second house was my second favourite.  It was very white with a very urban look to it.  The fixtures and furnishings had that look of Restorations Hardware store.  Not really my style at all but the main bedroom boasted a bird theme!

Check out this wallpaper!  Wasn't there a BG patterned paper out that was very similar to this?


There were pillows with birds on them and bird art prints.


The big draw of this house is the ice rink in the basement.  The floor is made of a plastic material that can be skated on and there is even a score keeping board.  My future grandchildren would love to play here!  ;)


The third house was ugggllly!  If we won this place and had to live in it for a year before selling,  I think I would cry every day.  ;)  It was super modern and graphic and mostly black and white.


Then there were pops of bright green and orange.  :(


The light fixtures were super shiny and super modern.  :(  There were even some water features in the walls that changed colours... all neon of course.  :(


The only thing that I really liked about this house was the baby in the bathtub.  Cutest little guy ever admiring his reflection in the silver drain cap.


But alas... he doesn't come with the house.  ;)

At the end of the day,  I came away with a decor idea.  It is the real reason I go to these show homes.   Now I will be on the hunt for a glass canister for my main bathroom.


When we arrived home, my house seemed freakishly small.  It's funny how that happens.  Here's to a simpler life sans elevators, ice rinks, water features in walls and endless cleaning and maintenance.  Home is where the heart is and I wouldn't have it any other way.... but it is still fun to dream on such a winters day.  :)

Jen

Monday, February 16, 2015

Postcards, Pom-Poms and This & That

It's been awhile since I posted.  Things haven't really been busy around here but sometimes it just seems like there really isn't much to blog about.  Here's whats been going on.

I've been receiving some happy mail thanks to Sian's Valentine's Postcard Exchange.  There is something so great about sending and receiving postcards from different parts of the world.  Yay to snail mail!


I've been on a hat making tangent and it is all about the pom-poms.  Here's one of my favourites.


And a little stash to keep me inspired to keep on knitting my charity hats.


On the green living front,  I think I was in heaven when I accidentally discovered an environmental boutique called Carbon, in Edmonton.  This place carries everything non-toxic from cleaners to make-up, from mattresses to paints and floor coverings and from candles to coffees.  I could have spent hours in there.  I discovered a new cleaning brand called Sapadilla.  It is made in B.C. Canada.  All natural with natural essential oils like rosemary and peppermint or grapefruit and bergamot.  They smell amazing.  The best part is that you can bring in your own containers and have them filled from their bulk section.  You save some money doing it this way too.  They are really big on using mason jars in many ways.


And finally, in an attempt to feel a tiny sprig of spring, I found these two tea towels at Crate and Barrel.  I am somewhat addicted to their beautiful tea towels and have more than any person could possibly use.  I think it might be the colour and pattern that sucks me in.


Hope you are all having a good Monday.

Jen

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Knit, Knit, Knit & Dyson Review

I've been MIA as of late.  Well, "action" isn't quite the word to describe last week.  The word would be "inaction".  I've been knitting.  It's been cold and snowy and therefore set the perfect mood to stay home and make some headway on my current baby blanket.  I'm hitting the home stretch with only about 6 inches left to go.  I'm hoping to finish this weekend.


Last week I blogged about my doubts about my recent purchase of the Dyson Animal 62.  Well here is what I have been left with.


Yes, it is holes on my laundry room wall from where it mounted to the wall.  Boo to that but at least it will get Rob motivated to get out the polyfiller and paint and fix up the other marred walls in that high traffic room.

So here's the update on the Dyson Animal 62.  For the cost of $549 Canadian dollars... don't bother.  It looked a bit cheap and junky on the exterior but the amazing sucking power drew me in.  I figured it would be amazing to have in the laundry room / mud room for quick clean ups between vacuum days.  While using this tool, I did not like that the fan blew the hot air back onto me while I vacuumed.  I'm hot enough these days when I clean without this addition.  There is no "on" button on this machine.  Instead it is a small trigger in the handle that has to be continuously held down while vacuuming.  It isn't a large area so my hand never felt comfortable holding the trigger down.  It worked for all of 5 days.  Keep in mind that it wasn't used every day and when it was, it was just for a small fragment of time.  By day 5, when I held the trigger down it would not continue to run.  It would go on and off repeatedly.  Bad connection?  Who knows?  That sucker was brought back to Bed Bath & Beyond in a hurry.  They are amazing for returns and happily refunded me my money.  I have given up hope on the cordless rechargeable vacuum.  I'll be kicking it old school and dragging out the broom for in between floor touch ups in my somewhat sandy mudroom.  Boo to icy roads and sand trucks that dominate our Canadian winter.

Hey, tomorrow is a big day around here.  It's Maggie's birthday and she is turning 9!  Yeah, I know she is only a dog but I honestly had serious doubts that she would be with me this long.  Both Gus and my first dog, Toby, came from the same breeder as Maggie.  Sadly, they both developed life threatening illnesses at the age of 7 and had to be put down.  I appreciate this little one every day that she is in my life.... even when she is whining to come in and out just so she can sniff the night air... even when she punishes me for leaving the house by picking through bathroom garbage if I dare forget to close the bathroom door and even if she barks at me like a crazy dog when I return home, letting me know that it is not cool to go out without her. In her 9 years of life she has had bladder stones removed, a lump removed which was thankfully not cancerous and a knee surgery.  She has arthritis in her "good" knee and is on daily pain medication so she doesn't limp and has a good quality of life.  But, she is still going strong.  Heres to making it to the double digit number of 10 in 2016!   I love this little one.  :)


Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Jen

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Monday

Remember that song from the Mamas and the Papas?  Okay, I'm probably really aging myself here.  ;)  It's just an ordinary Monday in the month of February, around here.  It's snowing softly outside which is making me feel quite cozy to be just staying home today.  I was debating on taking down these... but maybe I can stretch keeping them up until March.


It is definitely a burning candles kind of day.


As much as I am itching to start this cross stitched pattern found free on Pinterest by Diane, for my Dr. Who loving Lisa (it's a Tardis box to be put on a tea towel)...


I know I have to keep working on this baby blanket for Lisa's friend Erin.  Her baby boy is due in a couple of weeks.  Big sister Isla was made one in aqua.


What else is running through my mind?  Well, I'm wondering if I wasted money investing in yet another cordless vacuum.  My last two by Electrolux ended up in the landfill after failing to hold a charge after about a two year life.  Is this just another piece of junk?  Don't let me down Dyson.  Yes, we are still suckers for floor cleaning tools around here.  This is just so easy for touch up jobs through the week between real vacuuming day.


Lastly, I'm feeling purple.  Painting purple nails... to match the vacuum.  haha


Wishing you all a happy Monday.

Jen

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