Friday, July 30, 2010

Grass Watch 2010


Still a lot of growing to do!!  We have a super shady yard so this is impressive in my eyes!!  Now if we could just get the darn racoons to stop digging!! Isn't eating my garbage enough?

Happy weekend everyone!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Update to the Wallpaper Update you'll never guess who called me yesterday. A rep from Graham and Brown! They apologized for my experience and the subsequent lack of customer service.

The "interweb" is a small place sometimes.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Wallpaper Update - Because I Care!

So I know I left some of you hanging with my wallpaper experience from a little while back. Recall: I ordered wallpaper that I lusted over for eons for my dressing room and it came with a massive flaw on it (every roll).

So here is the follow up post.

1. After freaking out and painting my room, I contacted the place I purchased the paper ( to find out about returns, etc.  They said a return was possible but that a) I would have to pay for the shipping since they originally sent it to Florida (my mom was there for the winter), or I could HAVE THE WALLPAPER SHIPPED TO FLORIDA and THEN get free shipping back to California. 

Seriously - after they send me visibly flawed paper, I couldn't believe that I was having to pay for shipping. However, after chilling out a bit:

I realized that it did make sense. It is one thing that I'm just in Canada, but imagine I had the paper shipped to Florida and then went on a plane to Hong Kong. Is it fair to make them pay for return shipping then? For sure not.  So fine, I'll pay for shipping. 

2. Next I find out they won't refund my credit card until they receive the paper to confirm the flaw. Even though I sent them a number of pictures (see link), they wanted to wait until receipt. Again, makes sense but now I had to deal with paying off my US credit card and then putting a credit on it (which as you know does not put the money back in your pocket). Fine.

3. received my wallpaper, promptly gave me a credit and sent a nice apology email. Would I order from them again? Yes, I think. The prices were outstanding. I'd figure out the shipping thing but all in all I think the price difference was worth the hassel (I imagine flawed wallpaper is not the norm).

4. On to Graham and Brown.  The design world LOVES this paper. Everyone talks about it and recommends it.  This was a splurge for me but I wanted the best. Massive FAIL on G&B's part. While I understand they didn't deliver the paper to me directly, I think they should take responsibility for their product. I emailed Graham and Brown USA with an explanation of what happened, with photos. I didn't ask for compensation (obviously) but just wanted to let them know what my experience was.

5. No reply. It has been 2 months. No apology. No explanation. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.  Again, I have to imagine that people like me are part of their target market - that is why they blog, are on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, they don't know who their purchaser is (i.e. girl like me who bought their product because of bloggers and then wasn't able to provide a good review), but I truly thought that I would get a reply. I am down with mistakes happening. I get it. I just like a good old fashioned "we screwed up" (and a 10% off your next order coupon doesn't hurt, either).

So there it is. Would I buy from Graham and Brown again? Nope. Even with their awesome desgins. If they don't stand behind their product, I can't stand behind them.

Designyourwall? Yep - if you are in the states (so easy shipping) I would defintely give it a go. Prices are great (half off what they charge in Canada) and if I'd been in the states, it would have been an easy return.

Anyone else deal with bad customer service? Anyone like me and take it really personally? Ha.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Re-Living My Youth

Yesterday I trekked out in the rain and humidity (their goes the straight hair) to go to the 2010 instalment of Lilith Fair! I went in 1997 and 1998 and as soon as I heard it was coming back, my friends and I bought tickets!

In 1997 it POURED all day long and I had grass seats (therefore uncovered), but it didn't matter. People made slip 'n slides on the hill and danced in the rain. It was a memorable blast!

Now that I'm older and wiser, we splurged on actual seats under the covered area at Molson Amphitheatre. MAN am I glad we did that! The tickets were pricy, and when we saw the final line up we felt like the tickets were over-priced, but once we saw the performances, it felt VERY worth it.

First up (on the main stage) was the "Court Yard Hounds".  Who? You might ask? (I did).  2 of the 3 friggin DIXIE CHICKS! I love the Dixie Chicks and these lovely ladies were amazing!!

Next up was the lovely Chantal Kreviazuk - now THIS lady can sing. I was pretty ho-hum about seeing her live but she was fantastic!

Now I'd never heard of the next singer, Lights.  Or so I thought.  I've actually listened to some of her songs on the radio, and was actually surprised that she was a) on the main stage and b) came AFTER Chantal Kreviazuk, but honestly, she was amazing! She is super cute, energetic, and has a really wonderful voice. My friends and I all said we'd buy her album!

Take a listen for sure to this one:

She is even cuter live - she plays two different keyboard type instruments and one of those bad-ass keyboards that are held like a guitar. Awesome!

Next up was the incredible Mary J. Blige. It was a party the entire time!!! She seriously owned the stage and everyone one was on their feet and she sang her heart out!

And finally up was Sarah McLachlan! I would have paid all this money just to see her. She was obviously very good, but as much as I hate to admit it, Mary J was better. She sang some of the regular songs, but missed a lot (IMO) and played too many new songs for my liking. Don't get me wrong - she was good and I will still go see her whenever I can, but something was missing last night.

Was anyone else there in Toronto? Anyone go in their city? I encourage everyone to go - we had probably the crappiest lineup and it was AWESOME. It was really nice having all these women around celebrating music! They even turned the mens bathrooms into ones for women!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Stalking Paid Off!!

I'm not sure if you remember, but I usually stop in at Home Sense and Urban Outfitters at least once a week on the way home from work. That is how I snagged these tables.

Anyways, ages ago I saw this pouf at Urban Outfitters in a gorgeous dark purple and thought it would be great in the dressing room.

But at $100 Canadian, it was out of my already depleated dressing room budget.

Until this past Monday!!  I went in for my weekly perusal, and saw one lone pouf sitting there - marked down by FIFTY PERCENT!


So of course I grabbed it into my excited arms and ran right to the cash register. I felt like I was in one of those Ikea commercials "GET THE CAR!! GET THE CAR!!!" (please say someone knows what I'm talking about!)

When I got up to the cash, I found out that EVERYTHING that was on sale was a FURTHER FIFTY PERCENT OFF!! No kidding - I got this sweet pouf for 24.99!!!

Excuse the bad blackberry photo - doesn't do the colour justice - but I was too excited (and late) to grab the camera this morning!

So now you guys know - I'm a stalker and it WORKS!

And in the spirit of stalking, here is a video of a song that people in high school told us was about stalking. Probably not poufs, though. Well...maybe?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We've Got a Winner!!!

First off, thank you to CSN Stores for making me a Preferred Blogger and offering to host an awesome giveaway for my lovely readers!!

Second....the WINNER of a $50 gift certificate that can be used at any of the 200+ CSN stores is (drumroll please)....

(sorry for the JUMBO image!)

That means that Sara @ Russet Street Reno gets to go shopping with the awesome $50 gift certificate!!!!


Thanks to everyone for entering - hopefully I will have another giveaway when I hit the elusive 100 followers!!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend Update - I've Got the Dirt!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend - we had a great one and got a lot of things around the house done.

First up was a small spray paint project. My parents gave us these old lanterns that were in rough shape and not really our style, but they could be nice with a little work.

Here is one of them before with painters tape covering the glass.

Here is a photo mid-project:

And the outcome after all of 25 minutes of work (most of that was taping the glass bits):

Perfect timing because we had some friends over for a bbq that night!!

Sure, old Christmas lights are the cheap version of the Restoration Hardware string lights but they did the trick!

Today, hubs did some heavy lifting and unloaded about five tonnes of DIRT into the backyard.

Next up we are laying grass seed and hoping for the best!!

In other news, the siding was delivered today so that project will be starting shortly, and later this week I will have some photos of my DIY-ish light fixture for the dressing room, inspired by Shannon at 8 Foot 6.

Hope everyone is doing well - tomorrow is the last day for entering the CSN giveaway so if you haven't entered, click here to get in on the fun!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Store and New Art

First off - Monday is rapidly approaching so if you haven't entered the GIVEAWAY click on over and get in on the fun!

I went on a little ride today on my NEW BIKE!! My neighbour had a bunch of old bikes and gave us this one in exchange for some leftover wood from our garage project. Here she is...the BOSS CRUISER!

She's pretty sweet isn't she? The gears don't work and the brakes suck, but it is so fun having a bike!**

Anyways - back to my tour around town today. I hit up a few garage sales and ended up at a new store on Carlton called "Labour of Love". It opened up all of a few days ago and I was drawn in by a really interesting art installation.

Here is a photo I nabbed off the Cabbagetown Newspaper of the cute owner in the store:

There is some really interesting jewellery, shoes cards and of course art!! How it works is that a local artist is featured every month (I think - maybe 3 weeks?) and does an installation at the front of the store. This month's artist is Gosia and her work is really beautiful - a combination of paintings, prints, frames and sculpture.

Anyhoo - I couldn't resist this girl and she came home with me!

 It is a painting and the heart is actually sculpted and attached. I find it really striking and I think she might make an appearance in the dressing room.

I also realized I never showed you guys the other print I ordered off of Etsy from Cozy Little Cave. It is called "I See You":

Long term this one will be in our master bedroom, but for now I have it perched on our fireplace mantle.

Anyways - just an artistic update for this lovely Saturday!!

** by fun I mean fun until I fell off on the way home from work yesterday. The bike is too big and the brakes suck (as discussed) so when I couldn't stop in time and couldn't reach the ground either I went flying***

***and by flying I mean I came to almost a complete stop and tipped over until I was as* over tea kettle in the middle of the lane in front of a Starbucks. Mortifying. Ugh.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Mesmerizing!

I'm not sure if any of you remember, but sometime last year hubs and I went rug shopping and came home with the most amazing shag - seriously - every guest who comes over and walks on it goes NUTS about how cozy it is.

With all of the construction going on in the backyard, I started feeling like it was taking too much abuse. I seriously baby this rug - when family comes over for the holidays I actually put it away just in case a glass of red wine goes flying.

Anyhoo, we decided to move it to our bedroom for a while to give it a break so we made a quick trek to Ikea and came home with this bad boy:

It is the Stockholm Rand and I love it!! It is light and still soft on our feet but I feel like we could clean it if it gets dingy (which it will, of course).  Plus it was much more reasonably priced than the lovely shag.

(ETA: Yes, the rug is crooked in the pics - I have since straightened it up and put down a rug pad, but I was too excited and posted the before pic!)

What do you think?! Credit must be given to Jennifer at Fog City Sparkle who posted a pic of her family room with this rug and told me that I should go for it!

The room still needs the following:

a) Paint on the walls - suggestions?
b) The chairs to be recovered and possibly painted
c) New side tables
d) Art/accessories

Any suggestions on finishing off the room? Thanks!

PS: If you haven't entered the CSN giveaway yet, click on the linky and comment to win!!

ETA: OMG check this out from the most recent issue of Lonny:

 tee hee hee - I love it even more now! haha

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Likes Puzzles?

I'm not sure if you guys remember, but when we bought our house, our backyard looked like this:

Pretty, right? I mean - I loved it when we bought it and never understood why J wanted to rip it up! Of course, I think the backyard looked like this for all of a few days. It didn't take long to see that the quality of the workmanship wasn't so hot and soon enough it looked like this:


The black tarp that was 'preventing' weeds from growing through the woodchips started uncovering and weeds were definitely overtaking the backyard. Flowers would come through the flagstone and while it was pretty, it wasn't quite the look we were going for.

So of course, when it came time to dig up the parking spot in preparation for the garage building, J decided that since this was our last chance to get any kind of machinery into our backyard, we should dig it up now and start from scratch.

So then the backyard looked like this;


I'll admit it, I panicked. In my mind, the backyard looked like photo number 1.  I quickly forgot the pictures from the fall where everything looked rough and overgrown.

So that brings us to a few weeks ago.  J and his dad built the form for the new path and we brought in loads of screening:


So here is where the puzzle comes in - how do you take a pile of flagstone and make a path?

It starts out like this:

And after what feels like days and days of work (according to my husband who did it all!), it now looks like this!

He also built up two small gardens right in front of the garage:

I'm so pleased with how it has turned out so far! The stones still need to be adjusted so they are more level, and we are waiting on some loads of topsoil to be dropped off to bring the rest of the yard up to the same level as the path.

Anyways - there is the backyard update for now!  Soil, more screening, and then siding - can't wait!

PS: If you haven't entered the contest yet, click here to enter!


Monday, July 12, 2010

I Promised, Didn't I? It's GIVEAWAY Time!

Thanks to Holly over at Life in the Fun Lane (see my blogroll if you haven't visited yet!), I had an UNPRECEDENTED number of page views last Friday and over the weekend (I'm talking 950 hits on Friday alone!), this little blog now has 53 followers!! Thanks to everyone for stopping by, and a special thank you to the 5 new followers that pushed us past the threshold for...


(yes - I know that is creepy - she looks excited though!)

When I made the promise to do another giveaway when I reached 50 followers, I actually had nothing in mind. I figured I'd find something to giveaway when (and if) the time ever came.

Lucky for me, I received an email from Jess at CSN Stores letting me know that I am now a PREFERRED BLOGGER and could do another giveaway!  For real - I'm a preferred blogger! I'm not sure what that means exactly, other than the fact someone at CSN must be reading this blog and loving all of the random stuff we are doing to the house and my lovely readers who are making this blogging thing worthwhile!

When Jess contacted me, I had the option of either giving away a $50 gift certificate to any of their stores, or to use the $50 myself and review a product.  Remember my post about wanting to buy that lovely bed from CSN? Well - I won't lie - I thought about taking the $50 and putting it towards the bed.

Of course I gave my head a shake and realized that having people read and comment on the blog is by far better than being $50 closer to the bed - so I want to give it away as a thank you for reading!!

Soooo here is the deal!

1. Go over to any one of the 200+ CSN stores and pick what you would put the $50 towards. It isn't just pillows and beds - planning a bathroom reno? What about a a vanity? Or are you a mirror hoarder like me?

I for one, as you all know, would buy this lovely:

2. You must be a follower to win!!

3. Comment on this post with what you would buy with the generous $50 from CSN stores.

4. Extra entries for blogging or tweeting about it - just let me know with a link that you did it!

5. This contest will be open until next Monday, July 19th and then I will find some computer thingy to randomly choose a winner!

Good luck!


Friday, July 9, 2010

One more thing...

Sometimes I check out what words people use to land on this ol' blog because I find it interesting, but today is my absolute favourite! Hope they found what they were looking for!

Amazing :-)

Happy weekend everyone!