Friday Reading: Part 1

It's Friday and I would love to just slip back into bed and catch a few more zzzz's.  The picture above is of Barkley.  In the condo, he would sometimes sneak into bed with me.  I would wake up expecting to see Corey and I would come face to face with ... well, you can see the picture!   (Sigh)... I miss that white bedding but it didn't make a lot of sense considering we have a black dog who likes to climb into bed with me.

Seeing him so cozy somehow makes it a little easier to get my butt in gear today.  For those of you with desk jobs, I thought I'd leave you with a little fun internet surfing for your lunch break.

This video of two guys experiencing simulated labour pains was hysterical!

These margarita popsicles would be a hit at any weekend bbq!  I actually want to host a BBQ just so I can try these.

It's almost "date night" so I'm sending you these 18 Frugal and Romantic Dates at Home to try this weekend.  We do #17 all the time but I'd like to try #11 this week.

I loved this article on How to Talk to Little Girls.  Isn't it funny that, even those of us who admire and respect women often seem to jump to the "Oh, your dress is so pretty" compliments when speaking with little girls?  This is going to be a game changer for me.

This touching NY Times article about Siblings was actually sent to me by my own little brother.  We're 3 years apart and, yes I also happen to think that's the perfect age difference.  We were far enough apart to develop separately and not compete, but still close enough to be BFFs.  By the way, he would HATE that I use pop-culture abbreviations like "BFFs".

I was shocked to read about A viral campaign to end violence against women on Facebook.  I am fortunate enough not to have come across some of these Facebook pages glorifying rape or domestic violence but it is shocking that we (as a society) still question whether or not this constitutes "hate speech".

Because, in our casual society, I sometimes forget how to set a proper table, this post about Dinner Eiquette clears up some common questions.  ...Or you could just have Hector Alonzo give you a quick lesson, since that scene from Pretty Woman is usually (and weirdly) where my mind jumps when I think of dinner etiquette.

This funny Craigslist ad seeking a Crazy Roommate made me laugh ... Haven't we all been there?

For those of you who commute to work via the TCC, these pictures of Beautiful Subways from around the world will make you J-E-A-L-O-U-S!

That's all for today.  What are you planning for the weekend?  Anything fun and exciting?
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If The Shoe Fits...

As we become better acquainted with our new/old house, we are constantly evaluating our "To Do" list.  Our priorities change as we see which updates would make a bigger difference to us right away and we compare them against our budget.

While we would love to enclose the porch in order to have a mudroom, this is just not a priority to us right now.  For now, we are keeping coats in the upstairs closet, but our narrow entrance hallway does not offer any room for shoes.

Before opting to build something, I checked Ikea to see if they had a cheaper and easier option.  They had some great solutions which are only 7" deep and I loved that they would still leave our hallway pretty open.  Unfortunately, Corey's work boots are HUGE and would never fit in one of the dainty storage solutions.  Look at his massive boots next to my old size 7 Birkenstocks.

We opted for the Ikea Bissa storage unit, which is a whopping 11" deep.  Sometimes function trumps fashion.  I do like that it has room for Corey's shoes, my shoes and even Barkley's coats, leash and spare bags.
At $39.99, it was cheap... even by Ikea standards.  But just because we're buying Ikea, doesn't mean it needs to look like we're buying Ikea, so we decided to personalize it a little.

Before we assembled the shelf, we sanded and spray painted it white to give it a more matte finish.

Then we used painter's tape to make a geometric pattern along the edges and covered everything else.

Tip: We sprayed another layer of our base coat (white) to allow for cleaner edges once the tape was pulled.

 Then, we used black spray paint over the pattern.

We removed the tape while the black paint was still a little tacky.  It came out pretty well but not perfect so I used a Q-tip for some touch ups.  What do you think of our design?

Nothing transforms a piece of furniture more than custom hardware.  Look that these little vintage pulls I found on ebay.

Cute, right?  We marked the screw holes by tracing directly from the pull, onto blue tape.  We then used this as a template to line up on the actual drawer front.

Corey screwed the pulls in while I was working on something else one night and he surprised me with the finished product.  Voila!

Unfortunately, it leaned a bit forward and didn't sit flush against our wall due to the tall baseboards.  Since we already bought the 11" deep version instead of the 7", we decided that we needed all the space we could get.  We ended up buying some brackets so that we could mount it against the wall. 

It still eats into our hall space a little, but something mounted always seems to feel less imposing than if it were actually taking up precious floor real estate.  Barkley decided to see what all the fuss was about...

Now, we each get a drawer (that's right, Barkley too!) and I can't believe how much this thing holds!


We have yet to paint baseboards, walls, change the light switch or hang any art so I can hardly post a "before and after" for the hallway.  Still, perhaps it's time for "before and during" pictures.

And just like that, our new/old house is beginning to feel like home.

What do you do for storage in your home?  We're all ears!

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Fun Wallpaper

This has kind of been a hectic work week for both of us (...not that we're complaining!) but I'm hoping to post some project pictures by next week.  Expect to see some new drapes and a storage solution for our front hall.  We're still psyching ourselves up to tackle the living room and some new bedroom lighting in the next couple of weeks.  I'm dying to paint!

For now, I thought I'd just leave you with some eye candy in the form of fabulous and unique wallpaper!  I'm seeing so much wallpaper in home design and I'm wondering if we should add a touch to our home.  Which is your favourite?  I'm thinking of an accent wall in the bedroom.

I love the idea behind this wallpaper from Mine Heart Store which actually mimics architectural detail but I can't decide whether it would just end up looking cheesy...

I adore this cheerful floral pattern from Abigail Borg.  I love how it blends modern and vintage.

This textural black on the gilded gold from DesignYourWall.com looks like it would be very luxurious in a bedroom.  I think it would compliment our tufted headboard.

If the last sample was "too much" gold, this pretty floral from Hygge and West may be a nice compromise.

I love the chic vintage vibe I get from this Kreme Life pattern.  So simple, yet still elegant.

Generate Design offers this funky concrete style paper.  I love it in theory and may have tried it in the condo but I don't think it would work in this home.

GetItCut.com had this great picture of luxurious damask paper behind a tub.  I'm not sure how practical this is so close to a tub, but it's giving me ideas for when we can afford to renovate our bathroom.

I found this picture on FresHome.com.  I don't think it's my style but it's a great example of a modern twist.  This could actually be fun in a child's room.  Imagine hanging brightly coloured art against this simple alphabet print...

I love this picture of textural wallpaper from HomeKlondike.com.  I'm not sure of the source but I love that it creates (quite literally) a new dimension on a classic white wall.

I have always loved the idea of wallpaper that actually looks more like art, than background decor.  I saw this bold pattern on QuakerRose.com and I love the idea of hanging a large, bold painting against it and making them compete.  I haven't asked... but it's fair to assume that Corey would give this idea a big fat veto!

So which is your favourite?  Are you a fan of wallpaper or do you prefer to paint?
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Top 5 Daily "Fun" Reads That You Won't Feel Guilty About:

Note- As I edit this post, the squirrels are playing on the roof outside our bedroom window and Barkley is whining at me because he wants to go outside to chase them.  It's 7:30 on a Sunday morning and Corey and I both worked until late last night and have more work to do today.  I think our perfect Sunday night will include an 8:00 bedtime.  Who else had a busy weekend?

Which websites do you check every day?  I'm not talking about the usual suspects, (news, social media, or if you're like me, MLS) but the other sites you check while you're having your pre-work coffee or killing time on your lunch break.

Now that we have access to the internet, most of us use it for entertainment for at least a small portion (larger for some) of each day.  I like to think of our usual cyber hangouts as being grouped into three categories: Necessary, Embarassing and Fun-But-Guilt-Free. 

Necessary Websites for me would include the news, my google alerts, my email... you get the picture.  Basically, for those of you with 9 to 5 jobs, these are the sites you'd leave open on your desktop during lunch and not care if your boss walked by. 

Embarassing Websites would be the addictive Buzzfeed posts about "How you know you're an 80's kid", all those funny cat videos my family sends me, basically any funny videos which are currently trending on the internet and (although I'm not actually a follower of celebrity gossip) sites like Perez Hilton.  You know the sites I'm referring to, and yes, you should feel just a teeny bit embarassed for checking in on Honey Boo Boo (Just because it's on TLC, does not make it worthwhile.) or browsing pics of Kate Middleton's baby bump... although we all read trashy gossip from time to time. :) For me, this would be DogShaming.com.  I don't check it more than once a week and it's not exactly quality literature but one look at all those naughty puppys is sure to brighten my day.

Today, I'm sharing my personal favourites from the third (guilt-free) category.  All of these sites are addictive (so watch your time) but they also provide some value.  I feel totally guilt free visiting these periodically during a productive day:

1. Vocabulary.com is an addictive and fun way to build your vocabulary.  It's filled with mini quizzes and it really helps you learn a word because you see it used in common conversation.

2.  A Cup of Jo is a fabulous, funny blog written by self described magazine-writer-turned-blogger, Joanna Goddard.  Not only are her posts short and sweet, she is witty and engaging and she discusses a range of women's topics.  It's a great light read.

3.  Wise Bread is full of articles realted to money and frugal living.  It's one of those "something for everyone" sites and it's updated daily.

4.  Apartment Therapy is full of decor inspiration and tips for the home.  I don't read every article because it's updated constantly but there's usually something of interest on the front page.

5.  Lumosity is a subscription website with daily memory building exercises.  I'm still in thr free trial period and I have no idea if I would actually pay for this but the exercises are pretty addictive and I can see that I'm improving.

Happy internet surfing!  And I'll leave you all with these funny videos about celebrity tweets (I think may be from the "Embarassing" category) because they made me laugh:

So what are your favourite "Guilt Free Fun" websites?
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