Do you want to see the before photo of our kitchen? I recently found a photo of our kitchen from soon after we moved into our house and it really shows how much the kitchen has changed. You know you want to see it! Just pop on over to Thrifty Parsonage Living where I'm guest posting today while Joy and her family move across the country, to see the photo and read an update about how the kitchen has stood up to the daily living it gets.
Do you need a last minute gift for a preteen or teenager on your list? I have just the idea and you can find everything you need at the grocery store. Check out my snowman lab at Atypical Type A where I am guest posting today.
I am pleased as punch to have been asked by Rayna, from Bright Copper Kettles, to be interviewed for her blog. By the way, isn't that the sweetest name for a blog - the song, My Favourite Things, from The Sound of Music just floods me with happy memories. And isn't that the sweetest thing that she asked me to be the first person she interviews for her new series, Simply Lovely Interviews.
I bet you are dying to know how I came to be a blogger, some of my best travel tips, and other interesting tidbits about me. Come on over and have a read - you can find the interview here. Were you a strange youngster too (I bet you are curious to know what I mean - check out question #1)? I'd love to know.
Thanks Rayna - it was a lot of fun thinking about the answers to your questions.
My post about making freezer fairy soup has been posted over on Simply Frugal - you can find it here. I wrote that post way back in my early days of blogging so if you recognize it then you have really stuck with me for thick and thin. If you haven't read it then hop on over for some tips on how to use up all those leftover veggies and make healthy nutritious soup.
In other news - don't you love it when the very thing you need shows up unexpectedly. For example, I was just thinking I needed a mini shovel when what should be sitting by my paints at art class, but a mini shovel. I asked my friend if I could borrow the shovel and she agreed. Perfect!
And if you are wondering why I wanted a mini shovel - stay tuned!!!
I want to thank Donna for volunteering to do a guest post while I am away this summer. I am very happy that many months ago I stumbled on Donna's lovely blog - not only does she have a gorgeous home, but she lives in one of my favourite parts of Canada - Quebec - and she writes about it on her blog. You can find her at An Anglo in Quebec. Thanks again Donna!
Grace was one of the first bloggers that talked to me
in the blogosphere...
and for that I will always be grateful
to my fellow Canadian
here is my take on her questions
and it is all
Juste pour toi Grace...
What is the oldest thing in my home?
The oldest piece in my home is from my
grandmother .... Sarah Jane.
She had a spectacular garden and this fern stand sat in her livingroom window....
I know, it needs new stain but it has such sentimental value to me right now
I love it just as it is!
and this chair was given to me by my mother,
It has this lovely needle-point seat.
But, probably the oldest, date unknown, are these plates...
they were given to us as a wedding gift.
Together they form an antique dessert set.
They have been passed down through several generations
and we will certainly pass them along one day ourselves.
Okay, next question Gracie!
What is the favourite thing you have made?
Yikes....tough one Grace...
I don't seem to have "made" too much these days...
but here are a few simple things I am feelin' rather proud of.
Feels like a game of Where's Waldo?
What did she exactly "make" here?
Yes, well, this is not much I know but extremely practical by our side door!
It is simply a wood frame I assembled for hanging coats, purses,
oh ..... and the odd helmet has hung from the higher hook!
This multiple cast iron hook affair makes it all work...
But this is my favourite.... again simple but practical
I made this curtain as a result of looking for a way to hide my washer and dryer
which is in our pantry off the kitchen
and visible from several vantage points in our open floor concept...
it is a simple combination of material and velcro.
So simple, that you can easily change it up for different effects
at different times of the year...
our red velvet Christmas fabric.
Oh and I am looking at a red chintz for next year!
Okay, je sais...je sais
I am almost done here Gracie!!
What is the favourite room in your house?
Well, hands down on that one for the whole family!
We have been slowly renovating our home over the last few years
and last year was the "real deal" renovation to the main floor of our house.
I say real deal because we camped on the front deck for about 2 months!!
Open concept is what we were after.
I love to cook and entertainso the goal was to optimize our small space!
So .... voila
our open concept main floor.
I hope I can count this as one room.... ????
Standing at the kitchen island you can have a take on everything.....
or if you are sitting in the livingroom....
or looking to the diningroom...
you get to be part of it all!
So that is it, no more questions from Grace,
thank you ...... I had lots of fun ...
merci beaucoup from your neighbour here in la belle province!!
Anita from Going a Little Coastal (I love her blog's name, by the way) volunteered to do a guest blog post today and tell us a bit about herself. Wait until you read about the hall piece she made - I'm already in love with it and wish I had thought of doing something like that in our front hall. You should check out her coastal inspired blog for lots of great decorating, cooking, and gardening ideas. Thanks Anita!
Hi everyone, I’m Anita and I blog at Going a little Coastal. I am filling in for Grace while she’s is flying all over the world. Lucky girl! Grace asked me to blog about 3 things today.
The oldest thing in my home, a favorite item that I made and my favorite room.
Old and vintage items always appeal to me. It’s like they have a story to tell. I love painting furniture but sometimes there are pieces that just shouldn’t be painted.
This piece I found at an antique market in Mt. Dora FL.
It was really dark and dreary when I bought it but I just cleaned it really well and fell in love with the warm patina of the wood.
I would not be painting this one!
The guy I bought it from called it a linen press so that is what I have stuck with.
It has a deep drawer that I happen to keep linens in and lots of space below where I store photos.
My favorite item that I made is probably this hall tree.
When I lived in GA I did not have much of a foyer so I came up with this piece to put by the door.
It gave me a spot to drop the mail, hang a jacket or display some flower.
When we moved to FL once again I did not have a foyer.
It happens to fit well in a narrow hall going to the kitchen.
It was put together with a set of bifold doors, a board, some corbels and some molding.
Very easy to do and very easy to personalize to fit your own needs.
My favorite room? Well this might seem silly but it’s my half bath.
It took us a year to get this built and we were so happy to when it was finally done.
We had no guest bath on the first floor, only my master bath and I always hated that.
So we carved out some space from a closet in the laundry room and a few feet out of the garage and it have us the guest bath right next to the door to the pool. I just love it!
Gina, from Three Ring Cottage, and I have become friends over the past year and half of blogging and I count myself lucky that I found her (or did she find me???) early in our blogging careers. I just knew Gina would have some interesting things to share in her guest post and boy am I right - I love old photographs and hers are amazing. If you haven't found Gina's blog yet, you should head on over and have a look at all the chippy, industrial, vintage loveliness. Thanks for volunteering to do a guest post while I'm away!
I'm so happy to be guest posting at Sense and Simplicity while Grace is away in Bangladesh training students so they can improve speech-language therapy services in that region of the world.
I run a little blog called 3 Ring Cottage and I'm a fellow Speech-Language Pathologist just like Grace. Over the last year, we've become good blog friends so I was thrilled when she asked me to guest post about three specific things: the oldest thing in my home, my favorite thing I've made and my favorite room in my house.
The oldest thing in my home
I'm fortunate that my family keeps a lot of stuff and values things passed down through the generations. I have a lot of stuff that is really old so it's difficult to pinpoint which one is the oldest. Some of my favorite oldest things are pictures...old family photos.
Now when I say "old", I mean really old.
Here is my favorite old picture from around 1912.
That is my maternal grandmother in the chair and her brother beside her.
Isn't she the cutest thing?
I also like the blue color that is part of the picture.
This is my father's maternal grandmother.
I'm not sure of the date but I'm guessing late 1800's to early 1900's.
This is my great-great grandparents on my mom's side.
The girl to the far left is my great-grandmother, Mamie.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess we didn't come from a lot of money.
This is my dad's father. He was born in 1880 so this was
probably taken around the turn of the century because he was in his 20's here
(my dad was born when the guy was 50).
I'm guessing this was taken in Texas purely because it looks like
an early Texas background although he was born in Canada (Ontario)
which is where his family lived before moving to Texas.
My favorite thing I've made
My favorite thing I've made is my big red sign which hangs in my entry.
It greets when I come home and I love it.
It has two of our family names on it and it's my favorite color!
My favorite room in my house right now
My favorite room in my house right now is a toss up between
my front porch and our main living area downstairs.
I've always loved our front porch but our main living area has been
my most frustrating and least favorite room since we moved in.
This room should have been the first to be completely decorated because
it is the main room where visitors gather but it's never been even close.
It has too many windows and open areas and one gigantic blank wall.
In the last few months, I've finally had a vision for that room and it's starting
to come together...finally. It still has a long way to go but I'm loving the progress
right now and it's no longer an embarrassment.
It's a mix of cottage, farmhouse and vintage industrial styles.
pardon the dog bed and shoes...this is how we live folks.
I want to welcome Stephenie from Decorating Addiction as a guest blogger today. I've known Stephenie for over a year now and in that time she's hatched a baby and done lots of decorating. You will definitely want to check out her blog after you see read about the transformation she and her husband have done on their home. And if you want to read a wonderful heart-warming stories you should read this post on Stephenie's blog about the benefit concert that her ten year old daughter organized and performed in. It will bring tears to your eyes. Thanks Stephenie!
I am honored to be among the many talented and creative bloggers who are guest posting for Grace while she is away. It's a real privilege to be able to share with you a bit about my home.
My husband Jason and I bought our house about five years ago. It was our first home. When we first walked in, Jason wanted to exit immediately, but I had vision and saw past the rainbow colored walls. The previous owners had literally painted every single wall a different primary color. Don't believe me?
Take a look (and please forgive the poor photo quality . . . I didn't have a digital camera at the time because it was packed in a box somewhere).
My poor husband didn't even own a power tool, but I somehow convinced him that we could fix up this little Cape Cod and make it our home.
Thankfully, he listened because here we are five years later and my house is totally transformed.
That same room above now looks like this:
This is our sitting room and it is my favorite room in my house. You can see our dog Maggie loves this room too! She likes to sit up on the couch and take long afternoon naps or watch anxiously for Jason to come home.
I love this room because it is peaceful and serene. There are no electronics in this room so it's a place where I can sit and read a book or knit. I love the light colors and the antiques we've collected along the way to decorate.
I also love the picture frame that hangs above our couch in that room. When we first bought the house, Jason wanted to throw out the old windows and I insisted we keep them because I wanted to turn them into picture frames. We compromised and some were kept while others were thrown away. Jason surprised me one Valentine's day by painting this window and putting a bunch of our black and white wedding photos in to create a picture frame.
Another thing I love about this room is that Jason took the nasty staircase and turned it into exactly what I wanted. He cut the wall and put in spindles to create a more open look.
Yes, the man who never owned a power tool learned how to install boxed mouldings, crown moulding, tiled floor, wood floor and a whole host of other things he never dreamed he'd be able to do.
When we first bought our house it was in such disarray, we all lived in one bedroom until Jason was able to get our bedrooms in livable condition. We didn't even let our parents into our house to see it . . . it was THAT disgusting. You can read all about the transformation here if you're interested.
The house was actually an estate so not only did we purchase the home with all of its bizarre colors and smelly carpets, but we also got a whole life's worth of belongings to boot. The woman who had owned the house was not wealthy and didn't have much worth anything, but it made me really sad that her children had gone through and taken what they wanted before we bought the house and had left so many sentimental items. It was disheartening to me to see boxes of letters, journals and poetry left behind.
We didn't know what to do with all of the furniture and knick knacks so we hauled the futons, cigar boxes and other items out onto the lawn and had a big ol' lawn sale the first weekend we moved in. We made over $1200 in one day.
We did keep plenty of stuff, including this fireman certificate, which is probably the oldest thing we have in our house. It's dated 1890.
It was hanging in our spare bedroom, but since we recently turned that into our baby's room, we haven't found a new home for it yet.
I love that bit of history tucked inside this house.
Finally, my two favorite projects that I've done without my husband's help would have to be two things I've made for my children. The first would be Imani's quilt. I love it because I am NOT a seamstress and had no idea what I was doing. I gave it to her for Christmas and she was thrilled. I love that I made something I didn't think I could and that she will have it forever as a good memory.
The second thing I love that I've made is the chandelier that hangs above my new baby Noah's changing table. It was inspired by a Pottery Barn nursery chandelier and with the help of Imani, we made our own version for Noah's room.
I love the design, but what I REALLY love about this chandelier is how much Noah loves it. Take a look:
Thanks for coming along on a little journey through my house. I'd love to have you stop on over and find out more about me, my family and our addiction to our home! Visit us at Decorating Addiction.
Hi, I'm Grace from Toronto, Canada. Welcome to Sense and Simplicity. This is my little corner of blogland where I like to talk about family, decorating, photography, food, and travel - all done with sense and simplicity.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org