Friday, July 27, 2012

Deck Furniture!!

We got a patio set for our deck! And it fits in the small space! We have lived here for 3.5 years and have never found something that was functional, the right size and in our budget (the latter being the biggest obstacle).

If you recall, here is what we were working with previously:

Same amount of seating, but no ability to eat outdoors, plus the chairs took up tons of the precious little space that there was. It was awkward, but we lived with it for lack of finding anything better. Those chairs were a $20 special from Home Depot a couple years ago, and I think the little tables were $10 so no major funds spent. Plus, they aren't going to be wasted... we have a patio right underneath the deck, so we'll just relocate them down there!

So fiiiiiiinally, I happened to be in The Bay (just passing through, I swear) and noticed that they were clearing out their patio furniture. I saw a few that I thought might work:

Option 1 (came with an umbrella that we don't need and the chairs didn't seem as nice as some others):

Option 2 (probably would have been too big, there were actually 2 chairs and definitely not really in our budget):

Option 3:

Ultimately, we went with option 3... Here it is all set up!

I already had the pillows and they are obviously too big for the chairs, but they'll do for adding a little colour for now. By the way, check out the "previous" pictures compared to these ones - can you believe how much those hostas have grown?? Clearly they are enjoying our less than ideal weather! Sigh.

The bonus behind this? It was regularly priced $700 (ouch), marked down 50% plus an extra 15% off... Aaaaand we had about $225 in gift cards from our wedding. So it ended up costing us $114. Awesome... staaaaaaart the caaaaarrrr!!!

We got right to our first outdoor dinner and it was so nice. Nice enough that I couldn't believe we had waited so long. The timing was right tonight! I'm looking forward to summer dinners and cocktails over the next couple months!

Soooooo thrilled!! Have you found any bargains lately? Or improved your patio/deck situation somehow? I am thrilled with our results!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living Room Tour

Okay, so I'm finally doing it. Sharing our living room as it is right now.

There are things I would like to change (although this room tends to change constantly), like the art above the couch. That hasn't happened because I still clearly remember the torture it was to measure it out and hang it in the first place. I'm lucky Kris still married me after that. Anyway, here it is:

Sectional - Urban Barn (several years ago)
Rug - Urban Barn (last year)
Water Canvasses - Urban Barn (several years ago)
Lamps - Home Sense
Coffee Tables & Side Tables - Urban Barn (last year)... ummm, starting to sense a pattern here? I wasn't that creative when we bought our major furnishings! One of the reasons we bought a lot there was for the scale and functionality of the pieces in relation to our small space.

Chair - Ikea
Throw - Urban Barn

The built-ins next to the TV are Kris' pride and joy, one of his first diy's when he moved in. We had this awkward nook that was just a waste of space, so he made these built ins to fit the TV components (vertically) and fill up the space. We Kris installed the TV with a friend of ours who is an electrician and ran all the wiring through the walls, which is also not allowed according to our strata bylaws as the developer pointed out later when doing warranty repairs. Ooops. Glad we didn't know that at the time, because it's a way cleaner look. All of the walls are pale gray, except for the fireplace/TV wall which is charcoal gray. 
Urn - Home Sense
Votive Holder - Pottery Barn
Coasters - Anthropologie


Blue ruffle pillows - Iviemade on Etsy
Green pillows - Pier One
Hand stamped printed pillows -Giardino on Etsy

 All of the white accessories on the tray are from Indigo/Chapters

Console Table - Home Sense plus a makeover. Read about it here.
Basket - Anthropologie
Urns - Home Sense
Vase - Ambiente
Owl bookend - Torre & Tagus

My to-do/wish list:
  • One day I'd like to put some carrara marble on the face of the fireplace surround and beef up the mantle with a big piece of reclaimed wood... one day.
  • Curtains! I know I will have to make a custom rod because of how big the window is and I haven't found any ideas that I love yet. 
  • Crown molding
I actually only started infusing colour into this room last year when we got the rug. Prior to that, everything was white, gray and really pale blue. That got boring pretty quickly so I decided to start putting colour in through accessories because they are easily replaced/changed inexpensively. This room really does change constantly (it already has since these photos!), so I prefer not to commit to anything too deeply!

What about you, are you colour shy or colour crazy? Neutrals or statement?


Monday, July 23, 2012

Blog MIA & Anniversary Weekend Recap

Siiiiigh... I haven't been around much. Apologies. In all honesty, I just haven't been motivated to write posts, mostly because of how much I hate editing photos. Hate. It takes so long, and I am not patient. I really don't enjoy spending the time on photo editing. Maybe I'm just not that skilled at it and that's why I get so frustrated. So you might see more cell phone/Instagrammed photos around here in an effort to make it a bit quicker. The good news on that is that I have a new iPhone 4S and the camera is pretty stinking good for a phone! All that being said, get ready for a photo-heavy post. End rant.

On a better note, last time I was around I promised a recap of our first anniversary weekend staycation. It was awesome. We had so much fun. We spend the weekend at The Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier in North Vancouver which is right at the Quay and overlooking the water. We happen to be good friends with the Concierge there who made sure that we had a fabulous time complete with VIP treatment (thank you Corey!!). We had champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and rose petals on the bed and a yummy bottle of red vino sent up complements of the hotel. Corey also made our dinner arrangements at Coast, where we had special treatment as well. It really made our weekend extra awesome.

When we checked in, we decided to head over to the Quay and check it out... I hadn't been there since I was a little kid with my parents, so it was fun to see it again - the market is so neat.

We had lunch at Pier7 on  the waterfront patio (apparently it had only opened a couple weeks earlier so there is a wicked roof deck that wasn't open quite yet). It was sunny and hot, hot, hot so that was really nice.

Later on we had a drink at the hotel bar before heading over to Coast on the seabus for dinner. We had a delicious dinner - We started with the Chef's Choice Oysters, then had a surprise Chef's Amuse of Halibut Ceviche. I ordered Halibut and Kris had Salmon and Scallops. The restaurant sent us a dessert (please don't ask me to remember it all, but it was glorious) and then went to the Shangri-La for a cocktail before heading back.

My husband looooooves soccer, played all his life and of course, the World Cup was on this weekend. So, we watched a lot of soccer too! So we had a slow start the next morning, watching the game in our room. Afterwards, we walked over to the Quay and had crepes for breakfast before catching the seabus.
The constant morning view!
Smoked Salmon, creamcheese, spinach and capers - mmmmm
Banana and Nutella? Ya, I did.
We walked around downtown for a few hours, did a little window shopping, grabbed some lunch and headed to the Vancouver Whitecaps game (see the soccer theme?!). It was a great game (we won) and our seats were front and centre.

We did a little tasting tour of our own after that... have you ever seen the show Drinking Made Easy? Kris loves watching it and was ecstatic when they did a Vancouver episode. We ended up checking out a few of the places that were featured on the show. We went to Rogue (at Waterfront station) before the game:

How cool is the bar behind me?!

After the game, we walked around gastown and hit up Salt Tasting Room (located in Blood Alley which made for an interesting walk!) where we had flights of wine paired with artisan cheeses, condiments and cured meats. One of the cool things about this place is that their menu changes all the time, so you can almost never repeat the same Salt experience:

Next up was Guilt & Co. where they had live music and jenga at your table (would make a great first date spot!):

Giant size Jenga and games in one of the old prohibition tunnels that still exists at the back 

Live tunes... and they covered Beyonce. It was rad.
Jenga loser!

Lastly The Diamond where I discovered the most amazing olives -  Sicilian Castelvetrano olives, buttery and heavenly:
Awesome view from our table

The next day, we watched the game while eating breakfast at the hotel and then headed home. On our way, we stopped at a local cheese shop and picked out some cheeses, meats and those to-die-for olives to make our own charcuterie for dinner. We had some wine at home that we had been saving for a couple of years because it's one of our favourite treats (Silver Sage Sunset, not available in most liquor stores) It's safe to say we had stomach aches after that - maybe a little too much of a good thing, but so yummy. The weekend was a blast and it was fun to tour around the city and check out places that we normally wouldn't.

What about you, have you done any staycations in your hometown? Visited places you normally wouldn't? Do tell!