Monday, November 29, 2010

Winning Stuff is the BEST! Giveaway Time!

I mentioned last week that I was the lucky recipient of a free...yes FREE hair treatment courtesy of GKhair.

This isn't just any old hair treatment, this is the Hair Taming System - worth approximately $250 bones!

This is the description on the GKhair website:

The GKhair Taming System with Juvexin starts with a professional salon treatment that penetrates the cuticle of the hair to condition, improve texture, and reduce frizz for up to 5 months. The Hair Taming System restores hair by repairing and providing long-term conditioning and protection. The long protein chains of Juvexin closely mirror the hair’s own keratin structure. Unlike hydrolyzed keratin, the critical amino acids in Juvexin remain intact restoring and maintaining the hair’s youthful vitality. The GKhair Taming System with Juvexin comes in 3 formulas for all hair types.

I went to the salon (L'Attitudes at the Eaton Centre) and asked for the first level - my hair isn't really curly or anything - just wavy with a decent amount of frizz, so I didn't need anything too strong.

The procedure was pretty simple:

1. Wake up and go to the salon (this was the hardest part of my day). 
2. My hair was washed with a special clarifying shampoo.
3. The special treatment was painted onto my hair (like a hair dye).
4. My hair was then blow-dryed (with the product still on my hair).
5. The stylist then used a super hot flat iron and straightened my hair uber-straight.

And that was about it! The entire process took about 2 hours (I have long hair) and I left with a bag of the special after-care shampoo and conditioner (thanks GKhair!), with strict instructions not to get my hair wet or put it back for 48 hours. 

Here's me and Paolo, my stylist!

I'll admit it - my hair felt a bit funny for those two days. You know how it is when you leave the salon and the stylist put too much product in? Like that. But 2 days later when I got to wash it, it was awesome.

I have also been using the GKhair leave-in conditioner and serum, which I was so lucky to receive in the swag-bag at the Canadian Design Blogger Meet-Up and it has been working SO well. 

My hair now feels like it is so much healthier! Smooth, soft and no more frizz.  I used to straighten my hair every day - when I'd wake up in the morning my previously straight hair would have re-waved and required another pass under the hot iron. No more!

It isn't a chemical straightener - it is just a smoother, frizz-free version of my own hair.  A colleague of mine with curly hair had hers done, and she still has curly hair but without frizz and it takes much less time to style/dry etc.

Anyways - just so everyone knows, GKhair didn't ask us to write positive reviews of the treatment when we were offered them. When I emailed the rep to say how much I loved the treatment, she offered to giveaway an awesome prize to TWO of my readers!!!

Up for grabs is a full-sized bottle of the smoothing serum and an angled vented brush!

Pretty sweet, no?

Here's how to win:

1. You have to be a follower of this ol' blog!
2. Head over to Facebook and "like" GKhair's fan page
3. Comment on this post!
4. You have to be a resident of Canada or the United States - sorry to the out of towners!

The contest will be open for a week - some computer program will randomly choose 2 winners next Monday night.

Good luck! And thanks to GKhair :-)


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Good find at Home Sense

Anyone looking for a sweet ottoman? Home Sense at Vaughan Mills shopping centre.

Happy weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Funny Family Photos

A while back I promised some updated family room photos - I know that I've been pretty negligent in that area, so I took a few this weekend. I think I left you hanging after the great Paint Debate of 2010.

We ended up using our leftover Silver Fox (by Benjamin Moore) from the dining room. I think it does the trick.

You will see there is still lots to do, but that we've definitely made progress:

Yes - I still haven't purchased the fabric for the chairs - I'm working on it!

Here you can get a good view of the spot on our ceiling that was damaged by the
leak of 2009 - funny it isn't that visible in person, but the camera seemed to love it!

And just for fun, here is some weird stuff from our kitchen/family room:

Yep - that is the tag still on our couch. We've had it for over a year. To be fair, it isn't the only item in our house that still has its tag attached.

And here is our fall "to do" list! Thank goodness it warmed up here in Toronto, otherwise I'd feel pretty behind.

So here is the list of stuff to do in the family room:

1. Paint the ceiling (duh)
2. Paint the french doors (navy, like the doors to the dining room) and remove the criss-crossy plastic thingies (that is the technical term, naturally!)
3. Figure out what to do with the lamps. I'm still not loving them.
5. Figure out what to do with wall behind the tv - art? suggestions?
6. Window treatment. The plastic mini blinds are pretty horrendous, but they do the job for now.

Anyhoo - that is all for now!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Living Room Layout Fun

So up until about 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave for the Blogger Event, I was trying different layouts in my awkwardly designed living room.

I had been avoiding this for a while, but Saturday brought sunlight and some new tables that I picked up from GUFF here in Toronto. And by picked up, I mean "hauled ass after work on Friday (on a bus, no less) to get there before they sold and/or closed".

Saturday morning started with cleaning the tables with Brasso:

(extra points if you notice my sleek and shiny hair thanks to GK Hair)

And my Vanna moment:

Once the tables were cleaned, it was time to get moving!

So here are the options:


Option #1b -

To be fair, I don't really want these chairs to leave the family room because I love them too much to exile them to the living room since we rarely go in there - but I though I should show you since I took the picture :-)

And option #2 (don't mind the photos - took these at night!):

I haven't moved the rug around etc. in this option, but you get the general idea. So what do you guys think? Option 1? 2? Something in between?

I'm also thinking of putting a mirror into this frame that I picked up at the St. Lawrence Market Sunday antique sale (or the sh*t sale, as my husband calls it) - you think it will work for over the fireplace?

Or does it need something bigger/flashier/different?

Anyhoo - let me know what you kids think on the layout. I'm also open to suggestion, including ideas for drapes and other accessories!!



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Post-Game Wrap Up - Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup Styles

So last night was the amazing Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup here in Toronto! Organized by the lovely women behind the fabulous blogs of Verdigris Vie, Dress, Design & Decor and Rambling Renovators.

Held at the hotel where hubs and I had our bacon-eriffic anniversary dinner, Le Germain on Mercer Street, I was lucky to meet some lovely local bloggers - some that I knew from pouring over their blogs, and some that were new to me that I will be reading starting now!

The event was sponsored by some amazing companies: GK Hair, Delta Faucets, and Penny People Designs and Coriander Girl, to name but a few. I was actually VERY lucky!! I was one of a few bloggers who were selected to receive a free Hair Taming System treatment from GK Hair (upcoming blog post about this :-) and when I was at the party last night, the ever-lovely Jen Selk (have you read her blog? It's pretty amazing - check it out!) won a prize from Delta and gave it to me! Seriously!!

She won the Delta In2ition Shower Head, and lucky for me unfortunately, Jen is currently renting and knew that I had an upcoming bathroom reno, so she graciously offered it to me!

Seriously - how lucky am I!?

I only took one picture at the event - of Jen and I once we realized that we actually went to undergrad together! Small world, eh?

Anyways - it was a great night and it was lovely to meet so many bloggers that I regularly follow. Can't wait for the next one!

So upcoming this week - a review of the cool hair treatment that I received (no frizz, smooth, shiny hair for months? SWEET!), some (half) decent photos of our family room and living room, including some new tables we found at a local used furniture store, and the installation of my crazy new shower head!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rain and Wind Couldn't Hold Me Back!

Torontonians will know that the weather here has been gross the last two days. Last night the wind moved in and it started pouring and did. not. stop.

You'd think that would stop me from making the trek out to Ikea to buy something that would have to be transported in a car with an open trunk, wouldn't you?

Well, if you thought that, you don't know me at all :-)

Lookie what came home with me!!

(Sorry for grainy photos - will take decent ones later this week)

I'm so happy she's home!!  It really is perfect - the colour matches the knobs on the kitchen cabinets and the pulls on the tv stand.

And the other one that we bought all of two weeks ago? Did I take it back?

Heck no! Because then I'd have one LESS mirror in the house, and from what I understand, there is a design rule about that :-)

She is seriously perfect in the master bedroom - I'm VERY happy  :-)

Now, I know I owe everyone half decent pictures of this stuff. Let's hope for good weather this weekend and I will go on a photo-spree.  The sun going down at 4:30 p.m. is making bright-ish pictures near impossible.

See ya!


Monday, November 15, 2010

This is what being impatient gets you...

Remember that mirror that I was holding out for from Ikea for the family room?

Remember how it was pictured in the new catalogue, but for some reason was never released in store?

Well I got impatient - figured there was a manufacturing problem like the mystical white Iphone 4.

So I bought this:

It works pretty well in the room, but I still thought about the Songe. And then I broke the cardinal rule of shopping.

Once you buy something, stop looking.

That, my friends, I couldn't do. I still went on the Ikea website probably once a week to see if they ever came in.

Today, my searching paid off (sort of). This beauty if finally in stock! 12 in North York, 3 in Etobicoke. SWEET.

Of course, that means that I have to either take Mongstad back, or find another home for him. I'm guessing he will find a new home in the master bedroom, which is still a work in progress.  Sigh. Isn't everything in my house a work in progress?

Thank goodness for understanding husbands who don't put their foot down on the number of mirrors purchased for one home.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

It is a VERY big day in (my) blog-land

I know that I promised that some great after-pics of the living room were coming, but I wasn't able to take any good photos this weekend.

However, in bigger news, this little blog finally hit 100 followers!!

It is so exciting to hit the 100 mark - I never thought I would get there and here I am! I have big plans for a giveaway soon, so stay tuned (and nobody can 'un' follow me now, because then the giveaway will be cut ;-)

In the meantime, here is a teaser of the state of the living room from my phone - lots of work to do still, but I feel bad having left you all hanging so far!!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Living Room Issues...Part I.

I'm Janice, and I have a oddly shaped living room.  There is a fireplace that sticks out in the room, but not in the centre. It is opposite the doorway into the room, making it challenging to place chairs, art, the dining room table, the couch, etc. It isn't even that nice. But one day we'd love to give it a proper makeover so in the awkward spot it will stay.

As a reminder, this is what it looked like when we went to the open house. Pretty good, right?

Well it is a trick of a great photographer and a smart stager. The couch is probably 3+ feet away from the window in this picture. You could fit a small dining room table behind the couch as a 'console' table. The armchair is fine there because the staged dining room had an itty bitty dining room table.

We bought a big table though. We thought that having a table that family could actually sit at would be useful. You can see though, that in order to centre a couch/chair around the fireplace, it would be up in the dining room's grill, so to speak.

Plus, instead of buying one accent/arm chair, we bought two of these to use as extra dining seating when necessary (but in charcoal grey):

So if we centred them around the fireplace, you wouldn't be able to walk into the room. Plus we'd be wasting the 3+ feet behind the couch.

We we had to make do. The fireplace was going to be sort of covered by chairs. I don't know how else to fix it!

But the room was missing something - something to centre it and make it feel like it had a purpose. You know what I mean, right?

A RUG :-)

But with the funny fireplace issue, a rug that fit between the wall and the fireplace would be too skinny to properly fit under the couch, and one that fit under the couch would lay on top of the fireplace. Gah. Man those stagers and photographers were good when we came for the open house. Scroll back up and check out that first picture.

So what kind of rug would work?

A...cowhide... you say?

OF COURSE!  A cowhide is purposely wonky, so it wouldn't have to be perfectly fit for the room. We could turn it/put it on an angle/ and the natural ebbs and flows of the rug could work around that darn fireplace.

Here is a collection of gorgeous images collected by Willow Decor:

I started by checking Craigslist, but nothing jumped out at me. Onwards to Ikea - cheap cowhide rugs that have half decent reviews. Works for me. Unfortunately, they didn't have very many and the selection/quality wasn't what we were looking for.

The search would have to continue...and would land us at an agricultural fair, of all places.

And no, we didn't buy a cow at auction.

To be continued...


Friday, November 5, 2010

Seriously GREAT News

Everyone please knock on wood, but it looks like I will....


Thanks to Mr. Crazy Looking Space Man...

And just in case I was tempted to go in one more time....

We had the entrance sealed by foam as well!! I know it seems crazy - what if we need to get in to deal with a pipe or something right? Well in that case, the foam can just be essentially cut off or scraped or something. But until that fateful day arrives, this provides the best seal to keep the cold (and our furry friends) out!!


Seriously though - this is the end of a long, gross and totally unglamorous job and even though I'm thrilled, I'm sure my husband is even more relieved (he spent about twice the time down there that I did).

Next big job - THE BATHROOM RENO!!