Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Make a Black Frame Shine

I don't quite know how this happened but I have about 100 black picture frames sitting around the house.  In spite of what it looks like I have never been entitled to an Ikea discount and I have never worked in an art gallery.  Rather than donating all of them I thought I'd try and give a few of them a new lease with some paint and stripes.

What I used:

- Plain black frame
- Frog Tape painter's tape
- Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding

How To Do It:

1. Tape all the way across the width of your frame.  I think this gives you the perfect balance at the end as opposed to trying to eyeball where the tape goes.

2. Cut the tape in the centre and tuck underneath the frame.

3. Use your liquid gilding or any other paint you're using and paint the areas that aren't taped off.

4. Pull the tape off immediately before the paint dries so you don't end up pulling paint when you remove the tape.

I actually really disliked this print in a plain black frame (booooring!) but I love it like this.

This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Monday, Already?

How did this happen?  It's Monday again.  Already!  I don't like that but what can we do?  

I had a lovely weekend including getting lots of chores done (yay), having some great family time and taking some girlies to see Life of Pi.  I was seriously worried about seeing this movie because I LOVE the book.  If you are feeling the same, let me assure you that Ang Lee has proven himself to be the Director of the Century with this one.  It was brilliant! 

Today I'm over at My Best Friend Craig blog talking about my Craigslist acquisitions.  Charmaine is the queen of the deal but I'm willing to share my rookie finds.  Come by and visit..

Have a very happy Monday my friends!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Get Organized with Emily A. Clark

First, I wanted to take a second to thank all of you who joined in for the lively discussion that resulted after my last post "Are You a Slave to your Blog".  I think it's great for bloggers to put it all out there once in a while and we sure did that.

Today, I'm over at the lovely Emily A. Clark's blog where I'm offering up one of my tips for Kitchen Organization.
I'm still obsessed with these jars I painted last year and I love how organized my pantry still is because of them.

Emily's going to have oodles of ideas about how you can get more organized so get over there...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Are you a Slave to your Blog?

I've been blogging for a couple of years now but I've never seen or felt such a shift in the energy around blogging as I'm seeing right now.  

Bloggers are using words that we've never heard used before.  Words like tired, frustrated and lacking.  There's a shift in the content and every day I notice another of my go-to blogs has packed up and gone home.


I started a few conversations with bloggers that I really trust and here's what's being said.

1.  Too much time has been spent on building their own blog without any financial gain and it's time to pull back and look for ways to make money elsewhere.

2.  Too much of the same thing in every blog category.  It's hard to be fresh and unique without feeling like "been there, done that".

3.  Too hard to maintain the pace of a post every 3-4 days.  Burnout!


One of my biggest motivations for continuing to blog regularly is that I use my blog as the inspiration to get things done.  I have a penchant towards spending too much time researching and studying when I should be doing.  The blog forces me to "just do it".  I wouldn't have completed half of the projects that I have in the last 2 years if it wasn't for the blog so I"m sticking with it for that reason alone.  Here are my thoughts on how we can maintain the balance and still love blogging.


1.  Love It or Leave It - Focus on what you love about blogging and do more of that and less of the other parts.  

2.  You Don't Need to Write Their Blog - Blogging takes up enough of your time but being asked to guest blog is another time sucker.  Only do guest posts if you have a relationship with the blogger asking and if you know that there will be a reciprocal agreement if you ask.  Otherwise, save your energy for your own blog.  

3.  Get paid -   I have a sponsor that I love.  They are encouraging and respectful and they pay me an extremely fair price for blogging about them.  I would never blog about a company or product that I didn't  love using but if I'm going to use the product and talk about it I am thankful to get paid to do so.

In the past I've written about how Bloggers are the Best Kind of People.  It's a community filled with support and encouragement and the people are really amazing.  Why not just remember that and be brave and speak out.  If it feels like too much just pull back and know that you're not going to be forgotten.  You'll be missed and you'll be welcome as soon as you feel like coming back.  If it's not fun, don't do it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Make Your Own Chalk Paint

If you are a diy'er then you likely know all about chalk paint, particularly the famous Annie Sloan brand.  If you don't like to do-it-yourself you may be thinking I'm referring to chalkBOARD paint but no, I am not.

Chalk paint can be applied to furniture and it is not necessary to sand or prime beforehand.  It's a bit thicker than conventional paint and dries with a chalky finish that will usually require you to wax.  It's a dream to work with but it's pricey and often hard to find.  When you do find it you may not be happy with the particular colour selection.  After seeing a few folks on Pinterest sharing their homemade versions I thought I'd try my hand at making a batch for myself.


Here's what you need and what it cost

1.  I used leftover paint - free
2.  Unsanded Grout - $9.99 (you might want to buy a small bag:)
3.  Stir stick, container and water - free

Total cost - $9.99 versus 1 litre of Annie Sloan at $49.95

Here's how to do it

1.  You will need 2 tbsp grout for every cup of paint.  Mix the grout and water until they are blended together and there's no lumps.
2.  Add the paint and stir.  Many of the recipes I saw suggested using a food blender but I didn't and it wasn't lumpy at all.


- Make sure the container you use has a good seal.
- If you don't use it all at one time you will need to add water when you come back to                         it.  Don't make it too thin.  It should be like a thin pancake batter.


I have used Annie Sloan in the past and I've always liked it but at $50 a pop I'm definitely sticking with my homemade version.  It's hard to detect any change at all so I'm going to say it's worth the tiny effort to make some.

I removed the seat pads and discovered that the caning on the seats is perfect BUT with a teenage boy in the house I think it's best for these guys to stay covered up at the moment.
1 down, 5 to go!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Be The Best You

So we're halfway through the first month of the year.  How are you doing with your resolutions?  Just in case you're feeling guilty that you didn't make any, here's a fun list that can give you some motivation to live your best life.  They're not really resolutions but just things that might make you feel like you're paying attention to your life.

A couple of years ago I was left at home alone when my husband took the kids to visit his mom.  I decided I would do something that was uncomfortable for me just to push myself a bit and I went to a movie alone.  It was a very liberating experience and I'm so glad I did it although I was pretty self conscious until the lights went down. 

Do you like pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bits and Bites

Happy Friday!!  It's been a busy week and I am very happy to see the weekend.  Here's what I'm thinking about this week.


One of my resolutions this year is to learn Photoshop Elements 11.  So far I"m off to a VERY bad start.  I purchased the downloadable version but unknowingly downloaded a windows version so of course it won't work on my mac.  Then I tried to correct that mistake and started downloading a German version.  Eventually I had to contact a rep who informed me that I can't download a windows and mac version so they have sent me a disk.  Quite honestly, I'm afraid to even put the disk in my computer.


The pantry is always undergoing some organizational changes.  I recently found these wire racks during a trip to Wally Mart and I can't believe how they've quickly become my favourite tool in the pantry.


Friday is the last day for entering the 5 days of giveaways over at The Bright Box's facebook page.  Here's what our last and final giveaway and it's perfect for the young or the young at heart.  The winner will be announced at 10:00 pm PST so head over before that and enter.


I never thought I'd make this decision but I have had to put a word verification on my comments section of the blog.  I have been inundated with comments from Anonymous lately.  You know those pesky commenters who are there to push their goods.  Often the comment isn't even in English.  I'm hoping it's a short term thing and I can turn it back off as soon as the spammers that are sending these leaves my blog alone.  Sorry for the annoyance.  


Cassie from Primitive & Proper has been awarded the Smartest Blogger I Know award for letting me know that there's a way to ward off pesky anonymous comments without having to enable the word verification.  If you are using a Blogger platform here's how you do it...Design--Settings--Posts & Comments--Deselect Anyone and chose another setting to block anonymous users from commenting.  Yay!!

I wish you all a happy weekend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Free Printable Meal Planners

Are you getting organized this new year?  I am working hard to be better organized and one of the things I decided to do was get serious about meal planning.  Not just the meals but the list of ingredients.  I hate going to the grocery store every day but this is what happens when I don't plan my menu.  I looked around and narrowed it down to what I think are the best and most creative planners.  

This Designer Cooks

Jenny Collier Photography

If your New Year's Resolution is to cook less then this is the one you're going to need.  

I hope you found one you like to get you started on being an organized cook.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Welcome The Bright Box!

So after months of teasers and hints I'm thrilled to be able to fully introduce you to my new baby today.

The Bright Box is an online boutique specializing in luxury beauty and lifestyle products for the Impossible Woman.

What makes it different from other online boutiques is that we searched for the best products and combined them into gift boxes.  They are all wrapped up in beautiful boxes so she'll be thrilled from the moment she receives the gift.


The Bright Box was designed with the Impossible Woman in mind. She’s impossible because she has impeccable taste and style. She’s smart, savvy and doesn’t consume without purpose. She’s impossible to buy for because she has her finger on the pulse of what’s current, can buy what she needs and knows what she wants.
How do you impress an Impossible Woman? You give her something that will wow her with its quality, beauty and unique appeal. An Impossible Woman takes note of every little detail so make sure it shines.  
The Impossible Woman takes pride in the way she presents a gift to others. We do the same on your behalf. Every Bright Box is beautifully presented and packaged so that when it arrives it lets her know that you’ve done the impossible. You’ve found the gift she’ll love...guaranteed.


We want all women to feel special. For every 10 Bright Boxes we sell we'll donate a Bright Box to a woman in need. Join our discussion on Facebook and help us chose our next donation.  If you know a woman who has suffered impossible circumstances we want to hear about her.  If you have a favourite charity that helps women in need, tell us about that as well.  


Now for the fun part.  This week while I launch The Bright Box there will be a daily giveaway on our Facebook page. Come on by and enter to win!

Other ways to keep in touch with The Bright Box...

Thanks so much to all of you who have been supportive while I get this venture up and running.  I have been so lucky to have such an outpouring of enthusiasm and optimism for this project.  You are truly appreciated!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Fresh Start

Happy New Year to all of you.  I love this time of year because it's a fresh start.  Anything and everything are possibilities in a new year.  I have some huge dreams for 2013 and I can't wait to make them happen.

I am serious about my goals for this year.  So serious that I spent an evening this week with my 11-year-old huddled around the dining table with our boards and sharpie markers.  We created a list of goals that cover business, fitness, food, personal growth and travel.  I didn't stop at setting the goal, that would be way too easy.  I also created a list of ways in which I will accomplish these goals.  Accountability is always key for me so I'm hoping that this keeps me in line.
Next week I'll be launching my new business that I've been quietly working on for a couple of months.  Things are almost finished so I can finally share with you that the business is an online retail shop specializing in beauty products for women.  Make sure you come back for links to my new business Facebook page because there will be lots of great giveaways happening throughout the week.  Until then, I hope your new year is off to a great start as well.

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