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


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.




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!




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?



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


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

Time to Enjoy:





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



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!

October 14th, 2012

Painted Front Doors

Turquoise Door

Image via 20 State


Shut the Front Door!


I love it when people paint their front door in a wild bright colour. It lets you know ‘fun’ people reside within. Is your front door painted? Are you ‘fun’? I would like to test and prove this theory. In terms of curb appeal, the front door is a pretty important place. You can leave the front door neutral and let it blend in to every other house on your block, or you can paint it and stand out! Painted front doors can give your home a whimsical, polished look especially if you choose to accessorize and style it accordingly.


Yellow Door

Image via Pinterest


When you style your front door consider fixed elements (stair rails, fences, steps, hardware, lighting, house numbers, etc.) and changeable elements which you can switch throughout the year. Changeable items like planters, urns, a welcome mat and other styling props will pull the whole look together. And you can create different vignettes for different seasons and holidays.


Red Door

Image via Houzz


The red door flanked with twin topiaries is just lovely. Red is probably my favourite colour for a front door. It pops out at you more than any other colour, yet it retains a certain sense of classic-ness.


Green Door

Image via This Old House


Not only do I enjoy this painted door because it is the exact colour of my living room walls, but it works well with this whole porch area.


Blue Front Door

Image via The Design Files


Painted front doors like this pretty cerulean blue are a quick fix way to bring energy and increase curb appeal. Plus, don’t you want to let everyone know how fun you are?

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October 9th, 2012

Bookshelf Love

Bookshelf House Beautiful

Image via House Beautiful

When it comes to thankfulness of course, of course, the first on the list are my two beautiful boys, followed by family and friends and light and love and hope and beauty. After the biggies I started thinking, and looking at my life and what I hold dear. Anyone who knows me knows books are stacked in every corner of my life, so it only seems natural to pay homage to the books in my life and give you a little bookshelf love!


Bookshelf and Globes

Image via Pinterest

There are a zillion ways to arrange your books—vertical, horizontal, alphabetical, colour coded and more. I tend to arrange mine in groupings of favourites. Favourite authors and favourite books. The rest get randomly shelved together according to height. No matter your method, a bookshelf is a personal display of the literature and stories you contemplate and reflect upon. I love having my books cozied around me. Each book on the shelf holds the memory of the story. Like that of a photograph.


Bookshelf and Fuzzy Chair

Image via The Art of Doing Stuff

Whether you choose to build the bookshelf right into your space and make it part of the room’s structure or choose a freestanding shelf, many options are available. Let the book spines shine or paint the interior of the shelf with a jolting shock of colour. You can also wallpaper the inside of the shelf for another look.


Bookshelf Pink InteriorImage via Pinterest 

How unexpected the peekaboo pop of pink is, but I love it! Don’t you?

Bookshelf and Dog

Image via Pinterest 

What living space couldn’t use a little bookshelf love? I know I dream of built-ins to house my collection of novels. One day. Dream house. Until then, I remain ever thankful for the books in my life amongst other things!