Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our Basement Kids' Art Wall & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #76

Last week I showed you our basement bar set-up. This week I'm sharing a look at another wall in our basement. Quite honestly, until I started sharing thrifty finds on this blog, I didn't realize how many items in our house were picked up at the road side, purchased at a thrift store, flea market, auction or garage sale or passed along from others.

We live in a suburban home, completely free of any of the grand Victorian touches I had always imagined my future home would have when I was a teenager. I think that's why I gravitate towards furniture that is contemporary (and fits into a new home) but then mix things up with lots of thrifted and inherited finds and personal touches like children's art work.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Big Ideas, Simply Explained from DK Books

Over spring break we enjoyed a "staycation" of sorts (if you call de-cluttering the house a staycation). We had some extra time to enjoy our giant collection of books, including our most recent finds - two wonderful books from DK's Big Ideas Boutique. These books tackle big topics (think philosophy, science and even Sherlock Holmes) with simple explanations and great big, beautiful pictures. My husband picked out The Movie Book from the boutique because he and I have long been extreme movie addicts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

An Easy Wooden Table Makeover (#12MonthsOfDiy)

This diy thing is loads of fun (and a bit of hard work too)! March is month three of the #12monthsofdiy project I'm participating in with 11 fabulously talented Canadian bloggers. Our month three material is wood. Fortunately I had a wooden table handy that was just begging to be refinished. It was sitting in our kitchen, serving as a homework station with a carousel on top for supplies such as pens, pencils, glue and rulers. On the bottom shelf, we had placed a storage unit with a couple of drawers and some shelves for more homework-related materials and books.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our Basement Bar Set-Up & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #75

I took a bit of a break from blogging this past week, not to soak up the sun in Florida or some other warm destination (although that certainly would have been nice!). Husband and I spent at least 12 hours over three days tidying, sorting and tossing stuff from the basement rec room and storage room. (We signed our daughter up for art camp so she wouldn't be bored and our son hung out with friends and attended a soccer session.)

While it certainly wasn't a relaxing spring break, it was satisfying in a big way. This is the first month of my new 4-month purge (2016 version) and so far it has been going well. (You can follow along on Instagram and share your own de-cluttering sessions using the hashtag #4monthpurge. Let's cheer each other on!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Books To Help Us Build Stronger Families (Giveaway)

As I said in this New Year's Tree post back in January, family is one of the areas of focus I have chosen for 2016. Of course, as a mother family is always a focus. But I made it one of the "branches" of my New Year's Tree with the intention of seeking more resources and reminders to help me be a better parent and to help my children navigate the challenging preteen and teen years. As we all know, there are significant hormonal changes to deal with at this period in a human being's life. Think terrible twos. And then triple that.

Like I said in that previous post, we are often busy running around to appointments and activities and pushing the kids to get homework done. We don't take enough time to sit and chat, play games and just hang out. No matter the age of your child, their favourite activity ever is just being with Mom or Dad. Trust me. Who doesn't love a compliment, a kind word, a thank you or a hug from a parent or other loved one?

Raincoast Books was kind enough to send me three books to help me on my journey as a parent. Read on to enter a giveaway for Raising Stress-Proof Kids: Parenting Today's Children for Tomorrow's World. Is it just me or do you find that children today are more stressed than ever? I feel like in our quest to make perfect beings we ask too much of kids now. Everything is scheduled and they don't seem to have the chance to head outdoors and learn things on their own. Like I learned to skate by putting on skates and getting on the ice - it seems like kids take lessons for every single thing now. Do they have as much fun as we did?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Antique Dining Room Chandelier & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #74

As I mentioned last week, I have begun another 4-month purge of all things excess in our home. So today, rather than sharing a thrifty purchase, I'm taking a closer look at one of my most prized decorative possessions - this antique metal bronze-look chandelier. My parents were kind enough to give us this lighting fixture after they sold the house I grew up in. This chandelier was in the tall entryway of our 1971 raised ranch house for as long as I can remember, and now it's in my dining room.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Make Your Own Healthy Alternatives to Soda Pop With Bonne O

Like my mother before me, I am absolutely addicted to kitchen gadgets - helpful small appliances that make your life easier and, in some cases, more fun. The kids and I have been playing around with our new Bonne O Sparkling Beverage System to create healthier alternatives to soda pop.

We tend to get takeout food on most Friday evenings in order to celebrate the upcoming weekend and give Mom and Dad a break from cooking. Some of that takeout food comes with pop (soda), and even when it doesn't the kids always ask if they can have pop. We all know that soda pop is just bad for you. Period. (Don't kid yourself that diet is any better!) Regular consumption of pop has been linked to overweight, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other serious illness. Plus, who knows what kind of chemicals they put in there? It's clearly not what we want for our children or ourselves.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A New 4-Month Purge & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #73

Given that it's Vintage Bliss Tuesday, I should be writing about my latest thrifty purchase - another vintage dish or a fun thrifted pillow. But it's March 1st and my thoughts have once again turned to purging excess stuff from our home. Today I'm launching another 4-month purge! Will you join me?

Let's get rid of things in our home that clutter, irritate, bother, hide out in boxes and generally just get in our way. They don't bring us joy, they aren't ever going to be useful and their work for us is just done. Let's get rid of stuff in a BIG WAY. My goal is to look around at the end of these four months and have trouble finding anything that could be purged. If you have similar goals, join me in encouraging each other on Instagram using the hashtag #4monthpurge.

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