Archive for October, 2012

October 30th, 2012

10 Black Rooms

Black and White Room

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

Black is a colour often reserved for furniture and accents, or paired with white for balance, but as you can see here black is chic and beautiful all on its own. Perhaps a few of these rooms would be better suited to Eric Northman, but hey, we can admire him, er, them today right?

 

What I love about these rooms is how classic and elegant they become with pristine white accents. With a black and white fixed palette, you add colour pops as you see fit with accents or introduce gray and silver accents and keep it demure and glamorous.

Black Living Room

The Every Girl

Pure white light keeps the black bright and the room feels airy and exquisite and not dingy or small. The mirror, light fixture and art add a little shine and polish.

 

Shiny Black Bedroom

 Zsa Zsa Bellagio

I must admit this one is a little vampire-worthy or at least Poe-worthy. I could easily see a raven perched on that ornate footboard!

 

Black Walls with Plates

Freshome

This is pretty with a capital P. Love it. It would be so cute to add framed photos and develop it into a gallery wall.

 

Black Dining Room

Freshome

This room must be so cozy for a dinner party. The black wallpaper has a lovely sheen that reflects the light as it shows off it’s pattern. The centerpieces define this space for me. I would love to see more green in here.

 

Black Hot Air Balloon RoomPinterest 

 

Hot air balloon photos framed against this black wall with the luggage all packed up below makes me want to take a trip. A whimsical trip. One that definitely involves a hot air balloon. Although probably a tethered one.

 

Elegant Black Bedroom

Pinterest

This black beauty of a bedroom is dark, yes, but in all the right ways. Imagine if you needed to sleep during the day? Well, who doesn’t? But, if you worked at night and this was your resting place for the morning. A little spooky reading before bed and you are all set!

 

Black Office

Natural Beauty

This is the office of a manly man who gets things done. Don’t you think? The owl tells the tale. His tell tale heart.

 

Black Bedroom

Porter House Designs 

Yes, ok. Another villainous vampire’s lair. But well stylized, right? I would add a velveteen tufted gray headboard to soften the vibe.

Black Sitting Room

Open Wardrobe

So Happy Halloween! I hope you enjoyed these 10 black rooms, now go eat some candy!

 

 

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October 27th, 2012

5 Second Painted Key

Painted Key

Ever fumbled in the dark through a chain of keys looking for the right one because you forgot to leave the porch light on? Ever fumbled with your arms full of groceries and/or kids looking for that key of keys when they all look the same? Ever tried to not turn into a popsicle because you live in a partially sub-arctic climate as you searched for the key that will end your foray into chill? Do you have 5 seconds to spare? The 5 second painted key will take the guesswork out of getting into your home.

 

I saw these painted keys on Pinterest and I thought, what a simple, yet great idea. I should try that. And in literally 5 seconds the mini project was done. Yay Pinterest! And yay, painted keys! All you need is your favourite shades of nail polish and some keys. Remove each key from your key chain and paint the end of it. You could get all fancy and paint stripes or polka dots or a French manicure, but for me a couple of coats of my dazzling red sparkle polish was just the thing. I also tried cotton candy pink. I know some people have lots of keys, why not try doing a sparkle set, a greens and blues set or a random rainbow set? Have fun with it!

 

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October 24th, 2012

White Sheers

Sheers in the Bathroom

House Beautiful

Back in the eighties, it is entirely possible that my mom had sheers in every window. Sheers in lovely shades of dusty rose, peach and beige. Sound familiar? In spite of the flashbacks, I love pure white sheers. In a monochromatic white room they keep the light pure. In masculine or dark rooms they bring a touch of femininity. And in every other room they become a layer of texture, and help to soften hard lines from furniture, wood and stone elements. White sheers can be used in many curtain layering combinations.

 

Monochromatic White Sheers

Malia Maui

On their Own

 

White sheers are frequently hung on their own in rooms with abundant natural light. This is a good choice for rooms where you will be happy with constant light. Another point to consider is privacy, because with sheers hung alone, you won’t get much!

 

French Room with Sheers

Metropolitan Home via Elle Decor 

Over Blinds

 

Soften the look of wooden slat blinds and hang white sheers over top of them. This will work with a range of decor styles. I love sheers in a nursery, but the practicality suffers when you want baby to sleep and all this luminous white light keeps him/her awake. Solution: blackout blinds plus sheers. This way, you get the look and the nap time. The sheers over blinds is a pretty option for any bedroom.

 

Under Heavy Drapes

 

Whether or not you are privy to a formal sitting room, you can hang billowy white sheers beneath a heavier set of drapes. What I like about this look is that you have options. Open both sets of drapes and tie them back letting a peek of the sheers poke out from behind the drapes. Or leave the sheers closed, but pull back the drapes and let them hang. Another option is to leave the sheers closed and tie back the drapes.

 

Layered Ruffle Sheers

A Beach Cottage

In Between

 

The layered curtain look is my favourite right now. Hang different drapes and sheers on one single curtain rod to create a varied, textured look or a wall of curtains. Mix sheers with solid colours, prints or patterns.

 

Polka Dot Sheers

Country Curtains 

Patterned Sheers

 

Modern sheers can be found in a range of patterns to add just a little more textural appeal to your windows. Polka dots, diamonds, stripes and more are available.

 

Patterned Sheers

Horchow 

Length of Sheers

 

Like any curtain, sheers of different lengths can be used for different applications. In the kitchen, for instance, you might want a short variation. Try sheer cafe-style curtains, modern ones are pretty and campy all at the same time. In the bedroom, hang extra long sheers and let them pool on the floor.

 

Overlapped Sheers

Pinterest via Bing

 

The versatility of white sheers makes them a sure bet in any home as they can be moved from room to room. Your windows can wear them with many other fabrics and colours. Sheers also come in a range of colours, while I do adore some of them, I will beware of colours that might not date so well so be gone dusty rose!

October 22nd, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe has been in my recipe box since I first baked them on November 19, 2008. I know this because I dated it, a practice I am so happy I started. I have done this in cookbooks too. I love looking back and remembering the first time I made something. I also include variations, if any have been made. This is my go-to recipe for a yummy breakfast. You can view Tyler Florence’s Banana Nut Muffins at the Food Network where I found it, but here is my version of this scrumptious recipe, which is ever moist and delectable.

Tyler Florence's Banana Nut Muffins with Variations

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 overripe bananas

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled)

1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips

 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fehrenheit and line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Mash two of the bananas in a bowl leaving them a bit chunky. This is a great job for a helper, if you are baking with little ones.
  • Whip the remaining bananas together with a hand-held electric mixer or a Kitchenaid. I have used both and both work. Whip them like you mean it, as Tyler Florence says, for three minutes.
  • Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat well and scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. This will result in a light fluffy muffin. Over mix and you will have a heavy tough muffin.
  • Fold in the mashed bananas and the chocolate chips.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.
  • Bake until lightly browned on top and so that a toothpick comes out clean if you stick it into the center. About 18-20 minutes.
  • Let cool in the pan for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.
  • Bake 12 muffins if you want big ones. Bake 24 muffins if you want small muffins. Or, what I did, is bake 12 regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins.

 

Toppings and Variations:

Sprinkle brown sugar on the tops of each muffin before baking.

Add a handful of oats to the mixture when folding in the chocolate chips.

Add a 1/2 cup of coconut when adding the chocolate chips.

You could add nuts like Tyler Florence did, I have tried sunflower seeds, walnuts and pecans (not at the same time).

Raisins or dried cranberries would also make a lovely addition.

Top each muffin with a sprinkling of granola.

 

 

October 21st, 2012

5 Things to Do on a Perfect Autumn Day

Autumn at Dreaming of June

It is undoubtedly a perfect autumn day here in Edmonton. Clear skies, chilly breezes and bright beautiful sunshine. In case you have such a day on hand and you don’t know what to do, I thought I would share 5 things to do on a perfect autumn day.

 

Thrift Shopping

Look for end of season garage sales and pounce on them. End of season garage salers are looking to unload whatever remains of their treasures, so they don’t have to keep them all winter long. Bargain with said folks and you might be surprised at what they are willing to throw in to sweeten the pot and lighten their load. While the weather is still nice, head to thrift shops to look for furniture you can reconfigure, upcycle and make your own. Look for character pieces to mix with your existing furniture and haul it home before the snow flies. Trust me, we had a mini taste of it yesterday (don’t worry, it melted!) and let’s just say the cold was no less shocking than it is any other year! So grab that vintage-y table and run.

 

Baking

 

Open the windows and air out your home as you bake something deliciously apple-liscious. Fresh air + bakiing apples = autumn day heaven. I promised the boys we would bake banana chocolate chip muffins, so the apples will have to wait till tomorrow. However, I did buy giant bags of apples and pears which will make a delightful crisp together. Yum!

 

Painting

 

Enjoy the day and get something done at the same time. Multi-task with the right mix of things and life is grand!! Realistically, how many diy outdoor paint project days are left in this northern climate? Finish that chair, table, headboard, etc., you know it needs to be done. I have a small kid’s Ikea table that needs work as it is currently covered with randomn doodles, and a peeling paint surface. Wait till you see what I have planned for it!

 

Outdoor Clean Up

Lucky for me, the great big winds have been blowing the leaves straight out of my yard, but YOU might have leaves to rake. Of course there are other chores to get done–wash windows, decorate your home for the season with autumn and Halloween decor, some of us northern folk may even take this day as an opportunity to hang Christmas lights (yes, I know its early, but we won’t turn them on yet, well, except for my one neighbour) or hang a seasonal wreath on your door. And then, when you are done, why not take a walk?

 

Visiting

Throw a dinner party, put on a pot of coffee or tea or head out somewhere! This is my plan for the day. My brother and his family are coming over for a visit with me and my boys! And as a special added bonus, he might even bring some wood glue so I can begin the Ikea table makeover. Whatever you do today, I hope these 5 things to do on a perfect autum day brought you a little inspiration. So light some candles, take a breath of the freshest air and enjoy your day!

 

October 19th, 2012

8 Clocks to Count On

Be Here Now Clock

M Bart Studios

If you have to think about time and check on it and work with and essentially live by it, it only makes sense to count on a clock that will serve that time up to you with a little beauty. I think we can all agree we need more time! I need more time in at least two categories of my life: organization and enjoyment. They go hand in hand. My goal is to organize daily details with the idea of freeing up extra time to enjoy the little things that make me happy. What would you do with more time? I found 8 clocks to count on, but you really only need one. The inside one.

 

Red and White Plate Clock

Making Time TC

I imagine this red and white beaut would be adorable in a kitchen.

Time to Organize:

 

The back closet

The kitchen drawer I swear I keep organizing!

My schedule

My writing time, fiction vs. non-fiction!

 

Scallop Clock

Uncommon

I love scallops, not the ocean ones, the pretty pretty ones!

Time to Enjoy:

 

Sunsets

Reading

Sleep

Making messes with the kids in the form of baking and crafting.

Meditation

 

Vintage Book Clock

Bertrand Musset

This vintage book clock would be perfect for an office space or library.

 

Goethe Clock

M Bart Studios

A Goethe quote on a clock? Um, yes please! Decorate your time with literature? Why, sure! “Everyday we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and if possible, speak a few sensible words.” So true.

 

Birds on a Branch Clock

Shelly Ka

Birds on a branch is a popular motif for nursery decor and kid’s rooms. And how cute, right?

 

Wooden Damask Clock

Wavy Navy

Damask painted on wood, what a lovely design.

 

Now Clock

M Bart Designs

I couldn’t agree more. The time is now. It always has been and always will be. So look around and enjoy it!