Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Shit's Getting Real

OK. I have spent the last week INTENSELY SHOPPING FOR FLOOR AND BACKSPLASH TILES. I mean, super intensely. There are a few different tile places in Ottawa, and I have to say, that none really gave me the inspiration I was looking for. It's is important to keep in mind, that I am looking for things that are different than most people would put in their house. And that of course makes it very difficult to find what I want.
I went to EuroTile a few times, and I saw these AMAZING tiles:


I especially liked this one:





Then, we measured our space. Sadly, these tiles are 8"x8" and way too big. Our backsplash area is quite short. So, that took them out of the running. However, I am keeping them in my idea book in my brain for a bathroom... just in case...

I went to all the big box stores. Nothing nothing nothing. Everything is BROWN. Or GREY. and the white stuff all looks cheap and shitty.Everything seems so outdated. Especially at Home Depot. Home Depot, you are lagging behind in the design arena! Take note!!

We looked online. Greg found some cool tiles on Wayfair.com and these ones had us excited:



  They are small, and cute! They are different, and would totally work in our kitchen.

But then........

We went counter shopping.

Again, big box stores had zero laminates we liked. Laminates are so cheap and durable, and also authentic to the 50's kitchen. We had always thought we would use one. (I will give props to the people at Wilsonart, who have amazing patterns available!! Visit their website and see for yourself!) I had noticed this particular Quartz sample at Rona, and tucked it away in that brain idea book, and when we were being dismayed about crappy fake stone laminates, I took Greg over to the Quartz section and showed him this one. And you know what? He really liked it too. Now I know that quartz is like a million times pricier than laminate... but we have a pretty small counter space... so really, why not splurge??????

Here is a picture of the one we like. It is called Montgomery, by Cambria.



There is a bit brighter of a soft turquoise in there that wasn't picking up on my phone. but I think it's lovely!!!

And this brings me back to the backsplash.
None of the tiles we like would go with this counter. I have been hesitant to use subway tile. I feel that, while it is considered timeless, it is way over used and sort of expected. I wanted to try something more fun. But, I am willing to sacrifice my want for uniqueness for this counter. Also, there is a pretty serious lack of options anyways. So, it looks like we will be going with a subway tile after all. That being said, there is a pretty diverse range of subway tiles out there. I want one that is very glossy and very flat so that the wall will appear nice and flat and level and glossy.

I also picked the colour I want for the two walls and random other areas. It's Farrow and Ball's Blue Ground, which is just about the perfect colour that has been in my head since we started talking about this kitchen.



Here it is in action. Isn't it the best thing ever??????

I think so.

I took some flooring samples to Rona with a paint chip that was similar (because I am very forgetful these days and forgot the F&B one at home) and made a little mood board on their desk. I think that this kitchen is going to look amazing.

Friday, January 2, 2015

How's About Some Pintrest?

First off, you should be following me on Pintrest. I don't pin a whole lot, so don't be scared!

Find me here!

As I am thinking more and more about this kitchen that I am going to be designing (omg omg) I am really drawn into these warm turquoise rooms. Turquoise can be a very cold colour; but it can be warm as well. Striking the right balance between the accents colours will be the key I think.

I'm going to share a few pics I have pinned on my various kitchen boards. These are the ones I am using as my main inspiration. I want a vintage kitchen, but I can't have one, so I'm going to make a close one dammit!!

FLOORS

Flooring is one of the first things I would like to pick out. It will really change what colours I choose for walls, for counters, and back-splashes. I think that the right hue will hit me and it'll all come together. Here are a few of the looks I really dig:






CUPBOARDS

I love white cabinetry. I think it makes the space so bright and happy. It's also timeless. I don't want to do a kitchen again for 20 years. Here are a few styles that I think are groovy:

um, can we please discuss that SMEG fridge??????????






COUNTER

So I have one pic of a counter that I like that isn't butcher block..... however that's not a practice surface for this family!! I do love the Formica counters, and they are DURABLE, for ever. And that's what we will probably go with. Here is my lone pic:

hello Catherineholm I see you!



And now, to show you the main three Inspiration Pics that I am working off of, one at a time so we can discuss amongst ourselves:


I really love the dark floor in this one, and how the wood pops against all the white cabinets. I enjoy how the turquoise is kept to the backsplash, which gives it a bit of a showcase without being overwhelming; it keeps it modern. Yellow is probably going to be my main accent colour as well, so this has all the bases covered!




This one is pretty "retro". I am trying to stay away from full blown kitsch, but that'll be more dependant on accessories not cabinet styles and wall colours... right?


 This is my #1 favourite kitchen. I don't like the black dishwasher, but whatever. I love the subway tile. I love the sink. The floor is great and probably very close to what I am leaning towards. I like the style of the light above the sink with the wood valance and side shelves. This pic is pretty much everything.

So... as you can see, I have some decisions to make! This is going to be hard... wish me luck!!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Putting the horse before the cart

This year I dragged the family all the way to Aylmer Ontario for Christmas holidays. That is the very small town I grew up in. There is not much going on in Aylmer. On Tuesdays, from farther back than I was alive, there was a market. It was a farmers market, which slowly turned into a resale junk market and is now mostly dead except for a few cheese and deli meat vendors, fabric people, and a few used furniture guys. We went on Tuesday to get a bunch of stuff for Christmas, and we saw this green sink hanging out by some couches. I took this picture of it, and we left.


I posted the pic to Instagram, with the caption to the effect that I loved the sink, but we left it behind, though it would probably still be there next year when we came back.

Then this happened:

 We paid $14 for this sink. It is made in Canada in 1954, has the original water spout but not handles, and is in excellent condition. We are going to sadly have to rip out our glorious pink bathroom, but now that we have some sink inspiration... I might be ok with that. Now to find a matching toilet!!!

Merry Christmas :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kitchen Reno: It's Happening!

Well, I know I don't post too often on here these days. I have been so consumned with kids and life and work, that we haven't been doing a whole lot of stuff with the house. Well, let me tell you: the year 2015 is going to be filled with a whole bunch of renovations! yay!! I am excited. Scared, but excited. Greg worked long and hard on an Ikea kitchen planner to come up with this, our future kitchen:


I went to Ikea today, and it appears they are switching their kitchen system to a new one in Feb. I am looking forward to seeing what it is like! I am sure it is pretty much the same as this one, I mean really, how innovative can you really get on pre-fab kitchens? In any case.. this kitchen project is happening!! IT'S TIME TO SHOP FOR TILES

We aren't totally sold on an Ikea kitchen at this point, and while most of the reviews I have had in real life are very positive, buying something like this is scary to me. It's my first time. Eek.

Get ready for some posts, people!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage: you are a vegetable I have grown to love in life. You are so versatile; so tasty. And the way your inner leaves weave around inside when I cut you in half make me happy.

My mom used to make cabbage rolls all the time. When I was a kid, I would take off all the cabbage and eat the meat inside with copious amounts of ketchup. To this day, I still use copious amounts of ketchup on my cabbage rolls but now I very much enjoy the cabbage and the *secret ingredient* as well. Mom's cabbage rolls are always a big hit and I have myself brought them to many pot lucks by request. I guess at one point she got sick of making them for me all the time so she showed me how to do it. And now, I can bring to you, the cabbage rolls of my youth.

Mom, I am sorry to be sharing your recipe here online. But every time I make them, people ask me, no Beg me, for the recipe. So I am going to type that motherfucker out for everyone. Now I have a place I can send them to when they say "OMG those look so good can I please have the recipe??!!" You, dear reader, just may be reading this because I have sent you here. So, please forgive my lack of pictures. Please forgive my flowery writing style. It makes a difference when you are trying to explain such things as cutting the stalk part out of a leaf, when you can't show someone in real life. So saddle up my future cabbage rollers! Here, we embark on adventure :)


RUTHY'S CABBAGE ROLLS

One head of regular or flat cabbage
Ground beef, approx 1lb or more depending on size of cabbage

Minute rice, or cooked regular rice
Can of mushroom pieces, drained, or some fresh diced mushrooms
Green Pepper, diced
Onion, diced
Worchestershire Sauce
One egg
Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Can of Heinz tomato juice (large can)
Medium to large jar of sauerkraut

Get a big pot of water boiling. Cut downwards into the cabbage around the stem, to loosen the leaves from the stem. Stick it in the boiling water. Let that sit for a bit. In the meantime, mix the meat, and all the other ingredients (not including the tomato juice and sauerkraut) in a big bowl. Mix it up real good. Now your cabbage leaves should be getting ready. Make sure they are cooked well or you might have crunchy cabbage rolls. Take a layer off at a time, three leaves usually, or more if they seem cooked. On a cutting board, cut in a V shape, the thick stem part off of the leaf, so that it isn't tough and thick. Take a handful of the meat mixture, roll it a bit, then fit it in the stem half of the leaf. Tucking in the sides, roll it up nice and tight. Place in a roasting pan, and continue on until the pan is full. You may need to layer, especially if you do two heads of cabbage at once (which I recommend because you can freeze them!) Once you have everything rolled, you cover it with sauerkraut and then tomato juice. Sometimes you may need more juice than is in one can. I find that minute rice sucks up moisture but pre-cooked rice doesn't so it needs less juice. Cook for 3-4 hours, covered, at 350. Check periodically to make sure they aren't drying out. if they are, add more juice. Serve with sour cream or ketchup!

Sometimes my cabbage rolls drip so make sure to have a pan or something under your roaster to catch the drippings. Also, you can use pork in these as well but we always used straight up hamburger. There are many versions of this recipe out there, but this one is the most flavourful one I have ever had. I do swear by the Heinz tomato juice, and do use their saurkraut as well but any sauerkraut will do!

As for the rice, I use more if I need more meat mixture, or if the mix seems too wet and sticky. Usually for one batch I use 3/4-1 cup.


Happy Rolling!!!



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Good Bye, Ugly Front Door

Ever since we moved into this house, I've had a hate on for the front storm door. The brown was dusty. The yellow side panels were dim. I love a good retro piece but this door was just UGLY. Last summer we had a pretty intense hail storm. It ripped a few holes in the screen and shattered a spot in the yellow panel. The kids took to sticking thier hands through the holes, which slowly increased in size until this happened:

not ghetto at all.


 I looked at Habitat For Humanity ReStores but never found the right sized door, so then I went to Home Depot, Ronas, and finally Lowes. We wanted a fairly nice yet plain glass fronted door with a kick plate, as we have children. We wanted something that was fairly open so that you can appreciate the awesome white main door. I finally found the right door for the right price at Lowes and trucked it home. Or rather, I drove really slow down the quietest roads home because I was afraid the door was going to fly off the top of my car. Even though it was absolutely super secure. Those tie ropes from Ikea make a loooot of wind shear noise!!

astroturf is rotting away. awesome

the men doing man work

Eddie was very helpful

die and rot in hell, door

The new door was a snap to put in. It helps that Greg is handy, but regardless he had it up in no time at all.


 DEFINITELY A MARKED IMPROVEMENT.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I'm still alive!!!

Hellooooo out there. My sincere apologies for disappearing off this blog. You may know, I stay home with my two kids and life is b.u.s.y. even though they aren't in school or doing any extra curriculars. I also haven't been doing much around the house except trying to keep it clean.
Clean means something different to everyone.
Two small kids can create a tornado.
I really dislike housework.
You can imagine what my house has been looking like. Nobody wants to see that!



Truth be told, I am on the internet plenty. I have a slight (ok ok heavy) addiction to Instagram.

There. I've admitted it.

I opened an "Instashop" about a year ago. I was getting quite dismayed with Etsy. I wasn't really selling anything, I didn't really have time to play around with listings, photos, etc etc. I didn't like the 20 cent re-listing fee they charge. That adds up, especially if an item sits for a long time in the shop. So, I was looking at alternative avenues to sell vintage clothes and housewares. One day while scrolling down my feed I came across this account that was selling stuff! I looked at her profile, who was following her, etc, and it was like the angels sang, man. It was an epiphany.

I opened my own Instagram account for my vintage shop a week later. I now have two, one for adult clothes, house wares, fun stuff, and one for kids clothes that are my kids preloved stuff but also lots of vintage!! The audiences for the two are completely different.The communities that are built around them are diffeent as well. Its actually really interesting, from a social/anthropological view.

But it takes up a lot of my free time.

Cause I'm not just selling. I'm BUYING. Mostly for the kids, but sometimes for me. Here are a few things I have purchased, these are my favourites!








Anyways, I ended up "running into" a reader of this blog through my kids shop! (Hi!!) She recognized my house from my pictures on here. She said she'd been wondering what I was up to and what had happened to me. Believe me, I think about what to write here often but by the time the kids are in bed I am wiped out and can barely think straight! So it's been like 10 months since I sat down to write you you. And I feel really bad about that.

But I have to say, that "blogging" has never been my kind of thing. I have zero discipline to sit and write once a week, once a month, whatever. I am a great procrastinator. Instagram is an immediate Blog post. I take a pic, post it, say a little blurb, the end. I like immediate gratification. The medium works really well for that.

So that being said, if any of you would like to check out my instagram shops, the kids one is www.instagram.com/lilynymphkids and the main one is www.instagram.com/lilynymphvintage

Feel free to follow me even if you don't want to buy stuff. I like to post random thrift store finds and other vintage-love type things on it.

And I promise I will write out the rest of the story of our deck. I have to, cause we have some plans in store for this summer!!!

Thanks for sticking with me, y'all!!!