Terrarium #1

I have done it! I have finally used the plants that have been sitting on top of my fridge for 2 months, and the rocks sitting in the bookcase just as long, and the vases I bought at Home Sense 3 weeks ago for some good (this round one was a whopping $7.99).  I have made my very first terrarium!  Isn’t it pretty?

I’ve obviously been meaning to get to this for some time, and last night I just decided it was finally time.  I got the remaining ingredients needed and got to work.  Would you believe this only took me about 30 minutes to make?  And that was with taking photo breaks and petting the dog/getting him off the table breaks!  I quite love it.    The little round fuzzy plants are my favourite.  And the moss… love moss!  Ok show and tell time!  Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: Put rocks in.  I used 2 bags (purchased at IKEA) because my container is very wide.  The rocks are there for water drainage.  Wouldn’t want to drown your little plants!

Steps 2&3: Add charcoal/carbon.  I bought this little container in the pet section of Walmart.  This is an important step because it keeps the water clean in your pretty terrarium so your plants won’t die.  Now add the soil.  I just got some regular potting soil for this.  There are fancy schmancy soils out there, but my plants have been living in crummy IKEA soil on top of the fridge for 2 months – I didn’t think they needed fancy!

Step 4: Get your little pretties in there!  Here are my beloved.  You can also see the container with just soil in it.  I have 2-3 inches of soil.  You can use more, but probably not less.  Some of these little plants have lots of roots, so they need space to grow.  You can see I got my assorted succulents for $3.99 at IKEA.  Good deal?  Not sure… If they live I say yes!

Step 5: Moss.  I happen to think the little plants look nice with just the new fresh soil, but I did add some fancy moss (purchased at Michael’s for $9.99, which was the moss variety bag).  I like whatever that tan/brown moss is.  It’s different, and the texture is so great!  There’s some super fuzzy moss in there, but you can hardly see it.  I might move it over to the edges for some more visibility.

Step 6: Sit back and enjoy your little creation.  Then get real up close and look at your mini-forest in all its cuteness.  Awesome, right?

I moved the little forest from the kitchen to its new home – the living room.  I like where it is because being beside the candy, I know our visitors will always get a peek at it! (Sorry about the picture quality on these – it was late and dark… not a good photo-taking combo!)

One last look?  Ok 🙂

Here are the other 31 days of House to Home.

Linking up at these great places, including: The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry and My Repurposed Life

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Home Stories A to Z


I had a goal this month. Well, actually, I had two goals… one of them was to write 31 posts.  I almost made it, but not quite!  I will fulfill my 31 posts, though they will not all be in the month of October.  Sad.  My other goal was to reach 2000 visitors on my blog this month, and guess what?  I just made it!  I kind of knew it would happen after seeing my stats yesterday, but now it has been confirmed.  Check it out!

I realize you might not be able to see, but that says 2001!!!

I know this has nothing to do with making a house a home, but it has everything to do with making this blog an important part of my life.  The fact that over 2000 times this month my friends, family, and total strangers have taken the time to read what I have to write is so incredibly shocking, and I am in complete awe of it.  I guess I should keep going?

Thanks to all for reading!



Master Bedroom Wish-list

It seems this week I am not actually doing anything around the house.  Wonder why that is?  Just take a look at this post about the new addition to our house, and it’s enough said – Luther takes up a lot of our time!  So rather than make something, or fix something (which believe me, I have plans and materials for), I am drawn to the computer, because that is much easier to put that down and tend to whiny/hungry/playful/badly behaved dog than a hot glue gun and some sticks!  Sounds like a thrilling craft project, by the way, doesn’t it?  Wait until I actually make it!  Today’s wishful thinking blog is around the Master Bedroom.  If I ever get around to it (which I eventually will, of course), I think it’s going to look fantastic!  Here’s what I’m considering:

This is what we currently have in the room.  That’s right… a bed and a dresser.  LITERALLY no other furniture.  There’s a collapsible hamper in the corner and an old pillow turned doggy bed resting beside me.  Fantastic, right?

Here’s an idea of what’s in the room:

Courtesy of Ikea

I have no idea about the wall colour yet.  I can’t decide on whether we should go with a warm grey, all white or possibly an off white.  Tough call… I have a very hard time deciding on wall colours.

I have big hopes for this room and lots of inspiration to go with them.  My favourite parts are: the textured wall in image 1, the sunburst mirror in image 2 and the knitted pouff in 3 (I would be happy with one of those in each room of the house!) Of course I love all of the white, but I also love what happens when you mix white and off-whites together.  It creates such a subtle and yet rich texture that makes me think of the foam on a perfect cappuccino.  It’s delicious looking!


Here are the next contenders.  I love love love that window seat in the first image (and that view), along with the wall sconces that are so practical, simple and attractive.  I have to say the chandy and that crazy adorable ottoman are my faves in the second picture. The third one kind of has it all – the textures, the lamps, and the natural fiber rug.


Here are my dreams for the dresser.  I would love for the mirror to just sit on top of the dresser rather than be up on the wall.  The big green monster came with a big green mirror, and if redone properly, it might just do the trick!  Also loving the lamps on the dresser.  Are they practical?  Maybe not… I could just have one on it and still get the look without taking up all the space that two would need.

12 & 34


On the wishlist for the bedroom is also a bench of some sort.  I want to be able to put our pillows on something so they don’t end up on top of the dresser at night.  We can no longer drop them on the floor because Luther will make a doggy fort out of them!  Here are the options I’m considering:

1 & 234

I do want the room to be a bit romantic, and also modern.  Sounds impossible?  We’ll see!  I have a couple of DIY projects I want to get started on to get a bit of the look into the room.


Check out the full series here.

DIY Daydreamin’

All of this writing has made me look around the house a lot.  I already look around the house a lot on a regular day, but since starting this series I’ve been pushed to really look at everything, almost critically.  Well, maybe that’s an inappropriate word choice… I don’t mean I’m critical of my house, I mean I look at objects more critically and ask more questions about them like: Do I need this?  What can I use it for? How can I turn this into something that brings purpose into my home?

With that being said, looking and questioning and thinking have me daydreaming of DYI projects all day long!  Here are some of my current faves.  Just click the photos to be taken to the original sites these came from.

We have some pallets currently sitting in our garage, just begging to be made into something awesome… like these shelves!  With 100’s of pallet projects out there, I could do a blog post about them alone (and I probably will!)

Too Much Time on My Hands

Chalkboard anything is almost an obsession these days.  Let’s face it, it’s just so convenient to have a surface you can write on over and over , and personally it takes me back to elementary school – all kids ever seemed to want was to write on the chalkboard.  Holding chalk had power somehow!  So, why not use trays to have these magical surfaces on?

Signature Style Blog – link will take you to the home page. I can’t find this particular project anywhere!

We have this huge walk-in pantry at our house.  It’s magical, but it’s also a mess – as you can imagine, it’s the black hole, where everything goes!  It badly needs to be organized and I have dreams that it will someday look a little something like this, oh and it brings my love of organizing together with my love of the dollar store.  YES!

I heart Organizing

Now that we’re on storage and organizing… How awesome would it be to have a linen closet like this?  Doors are overrated anyway, right?  I would just change the labels for towels, sheets, etc.

Sweet Pickins

This is a little wishful DYI project for the office, or master bedroom (for my jewelry), or even the bathroom.  I think it’s just so darn cute, and looks like it’d be fun to make!

aka Design

Lastly, I contemplated whether or not to even post this because if I post one picture with a glass container and label I love, I thought I’d have to post them all!  And I have lots.  But I love the labels.  I love labels, period!  This has such appeal to me because of the phonetic component and the dictionary look.  Maybe it’s the teacher in me, or the fact that these are just plain adorbs!

The Painted Hive

This is it for now.  It’s a lot to do, but I think slowly we can achieve some of these goals, right?  It’s these kind of details, this care and time put into a place that help me nest and help me build a home for us.  I think it could be pretty great!

Check the full 31 day series here.

Real life

For about 20 or so days I have been writing about things that make our house a home, and occasionally moments that make our house a home.  This is not a thing, and it’s not really a moment.  It’s a chore!  A real life chore.


Why and how does a chore make anything better?  Because we do it together, my husband and I.  Yes, even laundry is a good thing these days.  By no means am I saying that I enjoy laundry – no one I have ever met enjoys it!  What I’m saying is that I love being able to do things for and in our home that seem so mundane and ordinary.  This is the newlywed in me talking right?  It must be… And who knows, maybe I’m just writing this to remind myself years from now that I once enjoyed these moments shared folding clothes with my husband.



More 31 days here.

Puppy love!

He’s here, he’s here, he’s here!  And he is the BEST!  I cannot even explain how in love with this little dog I am right now!

Here’s what little we know about our pup: He’s about a year old – they estimated his birthday to be August 1st 2011 but we ave no way of knowing exactly.  He’s a Bluetick Coonhound and German Pointer mix.  He came from British Columbia and could not be cared for, and that’s how he ended up with the Quinte Humane Society.  He’s not exactly house trained and he has major separation anxiety.

Yes, he peed in the kitchen the first day we got him, yes he has now peed on the carpet twice as of this afternoon, yes that’s likely to happen a few more times, yes he climbs on the kitchen counter, yes he jumps up on our bed when he’s not supposed to, yes he keeps us up at night with playing with his toys, and yes he does bark and howl when we try to put him in the back of the car.  Cross your fingers for us that all of those things WILL change please!!

Honestly though, the good outweighs the bad.  He makes me laugh with his funky sleeping positions, he genuinely wants to be around us all the time, he wags his tail so hard it is constantly hitting something, he snores very quietly, and he’s an extremely quick learner – sit, stay and lay down are coming along nicely!!!

The house is quickly becoming his own, and as the days go by he is more and more comfortable here, which is so nice to see.  We’re both extremely happy to see our family grow and our house become a home to this little pup!

Here are the other 31 days of House to Home.

I’m dreaming of a white… office!

Yes, I do realize I have not been doing well with this 31 day series because I haven’t actually posted every day.  I don’t want to place any blame on our beautiful new pup (whom I will also post about because he is so awesome!), but he does take up a lot of time and energy, you know?  And I hate to say this,  but I kind of like spending time with him right now a little bit more than writing!  I know… crazy right? 🙂
Anyway, I felt inspired to write about what I want my beautiful home office to look like because lately I have been looking in there, and it just looks like a random, bright yellow room – exactly what it is!

Here are some of my “I wish my office could look like this” pictures, and keep in mind these are also “one day soon my office WILL look like this” pictures!  You can find most of these on my Office Pinterest board, but the images are all linked to the original sites these came from as well so you can see in full detail how these masterpieces were made.

I would basically like an ombre anything in my office (curtains maybe?), but these colours are so delicious, I think I will just have to make it a piece of furniture.  This could be amazing on the back of a big bookshelf too!

House and Home Ikea Tarva makeover

This other Ikea hack really has me thinking.  I basically love the idea of dressers in just about every room of the house now, which is why I have the giant green one in the living room instead of a typical “media unit”.  You can never have enough drawers, especially if you can put your ugly printer inside them!  We do have an old (FREE) dresser int he office now, and I really want to make this happen to it:

PB&J Stories

Re-purposing old things is definitely a new passion of mine, and I love the idea of windows for several reasons but I’ll only give you two: 1. You also cannot ever have enough windows in a  home! 2. They come in all kinds of sizes and shapes.  I love the idea int he picture below, I would just change the pattered areas to something less busy so I can use the glass as a dry/erase area!

Button Bird Designs

As usual, The Nester is one of my main sources of inspiration.  I swear to you, I could just move into this woman’s home and I wouldn’t change a thing!  Her office is pretty much ideal, and what’s one of the main things in there?  You got it… a dresser!  My favourite things about this room?  The big white desk, the round white tray with that adorable little tree in it (because who doesn’t love a touch of nature?), the page-book wreath (!), the pink wreath (am I loving wreaths right now, or what?), the white board and batten and that chair!  I’m never ever going to have another typical desk chair again.  They are too ugly!  Isn’t that parsons chair just so much more pleasant to look at (and probably sit on)?

The Nester

The Nester

Though I love the current weird tan/brown carpet in the ‘office’, I’d love some wood floors and one of these in there.  Ohhhh chevron… such a lovely pattern, isn’t it?

Rugs USA Spectrum Chevron

I realize I just mentioned putting a large pattern on the floor, but I also love the idea of a large pattern on the wall.  Of course it would only be on one wall, and of course it would be totally classy and amazing like this one!

Good Girl Gone Glad

More patterns?  Yes please!  Look at these!  AHHHH!  Gorgeous!!!

Caitlin Wilson Textiles

Lights!  Shiny lights.  How appropriate!

August Empress

And of course the all white concept.  I think this is both luxurious and simple all at once, and it makes an office feel so much more special that way!

Susan Hopkins

Susan Hopkins

So there you have it.  This is how I picture my office looking so far.  Lets hope I can pull this off!

Check out the 31 day series here.

The surprise

This has to be, hands down, the most exciting yet anxiety inducing thing we have done to make our house a home.  Did the feature image give too much away? We got a dog!  Well we don’t have him yet, but soon.  I found our precious little guy online via Petfinder and it was love at first sight (for me!).  We drove a little over an hour to meet him last weekend, took him for a walk (if you can even call it that… he dragged us for most of the 20 minutes we spent with him) and we signed the papers with the Quinte Humane Society to adopt him.

We have to wait until Saturday to pick him up since he needs to get neutered before he comes home, so we have spent a good chunk of our week thinking of how to welcome our new family member.  This is how far along we are so far:

The pup now has a cozy sofa to hang out on when we hang out on the human couch.

He’s even got a little friend.  A bunny!

Some treats will be waiting for our little guy, and a toy to really keep him busy!

We’re also prepared for the surprises he will be dropping for us (not in the house, I hope!!)

And finally, we’re ready for the walking, and potential (temporary) pulling that is bound to happen.  Needless to say we are VERY excited!

See the other 31 days of House to Home here.


A funny thing happened

So… I had big plans yesterday, and the day before that.  I was planning on coming home, making a delicious dinner, enjoying it with my husband then sitting down to write all about it! 3 out of those 4 things happened.  Guess which 3?  Yeah… the first 3!  I started uploading photos for the blog and closed my eyes… just for a second!  At 10:30 Alex woke me up from my curled-up-with-the-laptop slumber and we went to bed.  No blog.  I was so looking forward to making up for my nothingness from the previous day too!  In an effort not to dwell on my sleepiness and lack of blogging, let me just tell you all about Tuesday night…

I stopped at Costco and Sobey’s on my way home for some groceries, list in hand for some delicious meal recipes I found online and couldn’t wait to try!  I have been posting so much about how to make our house look like a home, but I really think this is a huge part of what makes a house be a home – sitting down for a delicious meal together.  As a family.  Just the two of us!  Now because I had a lazy Monday and didn’t even make dinner (the popcorn doesn’t count… the Whirly Pop did all the work!), I needed to redeem myself.  How did I try to do that? I attempted to make 2 meals at the same time.  Yep… I did.  Here is how that went:

Firstly, here are the recipes which I got from The Nest:

Recipe 1: Pasta e  Fagioli

Recipe 2: Maple Salmon Over Nutty Couscous

Please note: these were not meant to be eaten together.  I was making the pasta and beans for us to have this week with lunch and as a warm stew/soup.  Plus, I loved the sound of it and I really wanted to try it!

So I didn’t wrap the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf into a cheesecloth because I don’t have one.  I just left them as they are.

Onion chopping.  No tears!

Butter and olive oil. Delicious!

Add pancetta (best part).  I did not measure this.  I thought it’d be better to just have as much pancetta as I see fit!

The recipe calls for 2 cloves… I used 3.

While the onions, garlic and pancetta sauteed, I got started on the salmon.  I forgot to take photos of the maple syrup and balsamic, but you get the idea… it’s a syrupy, dark mixture.  My salmon was frozen, so I put it in the oven for a few minutes to soften it up.

Here are the beans I used.  I didn’t want to use all kidney beans, plus I really like Romano beans.

Adding in the broth.  As a quick FYI, the container has about 3 3/4 cups, so just dump the whole thing in there and measure 2 cups from the next one.

I got pre-chopped walnuts.  I accidentally cut the bag upside down.  Oops!

And while the bean concoction was busy boiling, I got to making the quinoa.  That’s right… no couscous.  I thought quinoa would be a better alternative.

Here is what the kitchen looked like while all of this was going on:

The picture does not do the smell in the room any justice… honestly, it was heaven in that kitchen!

The recipe says to blend a cup of the stew in a blender.  We do not have a blender.  I thought I would be smart and use our food processor… huge mess!  But it sort of worked.

I would have used whole wheat macaroni, but let’s face it… white pasta alway tastes better!

The salmon was done before everything else.

Here is the finished Pasta e Fagioli… parmesan cheese and all.  It tasted better than it smelled, which I did not think was possible!

Yes, we did end up having both the beans and the salmon.  We wanted to try both dishes.  And finally the salmon.

Finally, the kitchen post cooking 2 meals and eating… not bad, right?  Alex did the dishes.  Love that husband of mine!!

Go here for the 31 days of House to Home.

Linking up here.

A whole lot of nothing and a bucket of popcorn

Maybe it’s because my husband is working late tonight, maybe it’s because it’s Monday… but I don’t feel like writing a blog today because I don’t feel like doing anything!  And you know what?  I realized that doing nothing made me love my home even more tonight!  I got to sit on the couch and talk to a very dear friend, and then I ate popcorn for dinner with a lot of white cheddar topping on it.  I ate 2 tiny Snickers bars and a handful of M&M’s, all while still sitting on the couch.  I turned on the TV, watched a few episodes of ‘Mad Men’, and I looked around my house.

I love this place.

This is my home.  Although I am alone tonight, and I much prefer to share this space with my beloved, being here alone made me just look.  I see how many changes we have made, how much work we have done, and how much love we have here.

I love this home.

Check out the 31 day series “House to Home” here.