Sunday, July 31, 2011


The past 8 or so months have really taken their toll on me.  I honestly feel like they have touched every part of my life, and while I know it's all worth it, well, that doesn't mean that there hasn't been downfalls and disappointments.

In an effort to gain more balance (notice I didn't say control?), I figure I need to start a mission.  The mission is the BeGood2Me-my own creation, as silly as it might sound.  Its a daily effort on my part to not only do the little things, but take pleasure in the little things that surround me.  Its an effort to put energy back into myself so I can began to feel more like myself.

So for the month of August, I'm going to do one thing each day just for me. Not because I have to, but because I want to and because I need to.  I'll post each day on this little journey of me being good to me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thrift Store Finds

So on Wednesday, I had to make a trip to Portage along Highway 16 in order to see if I won $10, 000.  Confused?  Because I'd purchased a vehicle from my dealership at a time when they were celebrating their 25th anniversary, I'd been entered to win the money and door prizes.  Unfortunately, I didn't win, and was the 6th person to be taken out of the race.

The day wasn't a total loss though.  I hit my favorite thrift store and find some really awesome things, one of which has me beyond happy!

The first was an old toaster from 1915.  I don't know if you had ever seen one of the older toasters, but they're not easy to find.  I've always seen them before just on TV.  Well, I found this lovely piece for only $6!

To me, she looks like a piece of art.  And for those of you who don't know how she works, look below:

On both sides, the "gates" pop open to put the slice of bread in.  From my way of thinking, you'd then place it on the element.  Pretty cool!

So this isn't a formal display, but just something I set up for you to see.  In the middle in the antique hand garden rake that I found for only $1.  I've seen them attached to walls as hooks, but how this particular one is made, I don't think it would work that well.  I think it makes a cute display piece for the summer though!

I nearly squeeled when I saw these.  I'm in desperate need of organization for the classroom, and as we all know, organization usually means dollars!  This pack of three was only $3.50.  The idea that I have for it is to store the kids toys and gear for outside, like balls, frisbees, etc.

And these are all the books I got for only $5.45.  Now one of them I think I have (a professional development one), but if I come across mine, I'll just share it with a fellow teacher.  Now, originally these books used to cost $98.39 (plus taxes) so I did amazing.  What I also appreciate is that most of these look brand new.  The only old books my students tend to touch is the joke books, so having a book that looks great, means it will get read!

I love my favorite thrift store!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Not As Easy As It Looks

So I am in the midst of a whole bunch of projects that unfortunately, are on hold...what am I doing?  I'm painting furniture.  It's not as easy as it seems.  The reasons?

  1. The type of paint that I decided to use which is top quality is showing itself not to be the best for furniture.  You go to sand a piece and it strips whole sections away...
  2.  The drips-As much as I try, I've had a few drips on the furniture and with the sanding problem, well, it's a little difficult...
  3. It's time consuming with coat after coat, turning furniture, twisting your body to reach weird places in furniture nooks, and the patience...
  4. Being far away from supplies-I need fabric and paint, and I can't get it right now as it's 1 1/2 hours away...
So what am I working on?  Remember though, that these are work in progress pics!

Chair:  Before

I found this chair at a yard sale and thought it had great lines...I pictured it in cream with a great new fabric in either gray or purple tones.

Chair:  Ongoing 

So here's the chair painted-I think already it looks way better.  The problem?  The fabric I bought wasn't large enough for the seat.  I calculated the fabric needed for the top, but not enough to secure it underneath 

Fold Down Desk:  Before

So this piece I found at a yard sale and I instantly fell in love with it.I loved the detail.  Just don't mind the mess you see-it was just pushed in there after the move...organization wasn't my priority at that moment!

Fold-Down Desk:  Ongoing

This piece is coming along, but when I put the two pieces together (the top and the bottom shelves separate) I realized that I needed to do some more painting.  As well, I plan on applying a glaze still in hopes that it will bring out the exquisite carving!

Antique Buffet:  Before

This particular piece was bought from an auction for a steal!  I got it for $50 when I should have paid over $150.  See my auction posting if you're interested for more information.  I personally am not a fan of stained wood and despite a few friends begging me not to paint it, I decided to do just that.  My plan was to have two paint colors, one for each stain of wood that you see.

Antique Buffet:  Ongoing

This particular picture is of the top drawer; the parts not painted are going to be a soft grey.

Yes, it looks a little scary, but I tell you, this is going to be beautiful when it's finished!  I tried to paint over the hardware though as I was having issues removing it.  I decided it wasn't worth the hassle, and painted over it.  The problem?  The hardware reacted with the paint, and massive rust flecks came through even though there was no rust on the hardware!  I pried off the hardware, and will be obviously looking for similar hardware.

These are the cabinet doors.  Grey will go around the perimeter of the cream and then I plan on going into the swirls with black...haven't figured out exactly how I'll do that yet.  

So it's all a work in progress, work that I'm very excited to do because I think it's going to look amazing in the end!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Death by Paint

Have I ever shared with  you guys that things seem to just happen to me?  Call me a klutz, unlucky, cursed,, it was death by paint...

I was attacked by a gallon of paint.  You heard me, 1 GALLON.

The situation?  I was bringing paint into the house and I kind of stumbled on the front wasn't even a bad stumble, but the paint can (which was bought on clearance as it was a mistint of paint) I guess didn't have it's lid properly applied (I mean with a rubber mallet) hit the side of the step, and paint went, my bag, my steps, and my flowers.  I'm still trying to get paint out of the dress I was wearing.  As soon as it spilled I got inside the house and put on other clothes to try to salvage my dress.  I'm still trying to salvage my dress.  I don't think I'll find that color of paint again as a mistint.  Enjoy the evidence (minus a picture of my dress-that's in the kitchen sink)...but what's your paint goof?

The evidence on the steps

The paint can hidden in a bag...the outside of the can is completely soaked...

The evidence on me....

Monday, July 25, 2011

The New Place

So I finally have internet and phone in the new place!  I have to find my special jack attachment that allows me to use both phone and internet, but for now, at least I have internet!

Everything was moved successfully, thanks to a couple of friends, especially one in particular, Michelle.  Michelle and I probably moved 98% of everything I owned and that had help with a few things from my friends Brian and Judy.  How did it go?  Good other than the near 35C heat!

I was finally able to see the place too, which I hadn't before.  Overall, it's a bit quirky-lots of doors, no proper closet, but it has potential.  Here are some pictures to show you:

A picture of the kitchen

The other half of the kitchen

Very narrow bedroom; you'll notice the "closet"; the lamp was left as the only room that has lights other than the bathroom is the kitchen...

Other direction of the bedroom

Part of the living room

Another view of the same space

When you first come in, there's like a little space apart from the living room.  This I'll use for my work space.

Weird blue cupboard in living room area; door that you see leads to bedroom

Teeny bathroom but with beautiful tiles

Wild and wooly front "garden"

Side of the house

A view of the backyard

Back of the house; former owner loved plants and had a greenhouse of sorts...eventually I want to try to use this, but first I have to somehow get the door opened!

Back view of the garage

So, all in all, quirky, but totally manageable.  There are a list of things that need to be fixed, but in the meantime, I have so much assurance about being so close to work and not spending so much on gas or putting my life on the line in our winter weather.

Stay tuned, lots to come in the next few months!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hi people! Just an update that things will be slow for the next couple of weeks on my end. What was supposed to be instant, not have to wait for Internet has now changed due to no phone jack at the new location. Bear with me please!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DIY Mason Jar Projects

Mason jars have been around since the middle 1850s, and while typically used for canning, have found a unique spot in crafts, organization, and decorating.  Here are some awesome ideas from some very creative people...

In the Kitchen
One of my favorite ideas with Mason jars include using them as a gift package.  Here Relatively Reagan uses them for a cute cupcake idea, perfect for any little gift!

In the Garden
Amanda at The Hand Me Down House came up with this awesome garden idea, that not only is cheap, but extremely pretty!

In the Living Room
I've seen versions of these popping up in magazines and blogs, and it truly is pretty.

In the Washroom
This particular project from Liz Marie is so cute, and so functional.  It's definitely something I would consider for my new place, but I would make one little change.  I would place lids on the jars as the bathroom can be a place of bacteria and I like to know that what I use on my face has been protected!

In the Craftroom
Along the same line, one of the special publications of Better Homes and Gardens (which I drool over) came out with this idea that is easy to adapt for storage and organization.

It's amazing how useful a common thing can be, isn't it??

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heads Up...

So I just want to give the heads up that things may be extremely slow at this end for the next week and a half...I start moving stuff on Friday to my place (inside is sight unseen!), but in the meantime, I am surrounded by boxes.  I'm cleaning as well, taking care of the lawn, and gee, I'm tired.  I've got to contact utilities and phone/internet to get hooked up, and hopefully I can be hooked up right away.  If not, I guess I'll be watching DVDs while I wait for internet.  I'm hoping to get one more post in before the move, and then after the move there should be lots to share with you (including a picture of the couch that I got for $10!!) and the furniture that is on the brink of being made over.  So please be patient, and bear with me...


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Without Cable

So I have been without cable for probably almost a month.  Honestly, it's not that bad.  Yes, I do miss a few of my shows but between the station internet sites that play episodes of their latest shows and YouTube, it's actually been pretty painless.  In fact, so painless, I really can't see myself going back to it.  When I get to my new place, the plan is to took hook up my tv to the net and then I can be watching on the big screen.  I can handle a few "stops" here and there for free shows!

So, if you're a Canadian, try the following sites out to preview what full episodes they have!

I've also been told about but I haven't done much investigating into that...

If you know of any more let me know, and I'll post them for everyone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Before and After: Garden Obelisk

So the other day a friend passed on to me a very tall, very ornate garden obelisk/weathervane.  She and her hubby were flipping a house and didn't have need for it.  I loved the details and took it in an instant when she offered it to me...I figured it just needed some loving.

Here's the before:

Notice the greyish color?  What you can't see in the picture is the pieces of rust throughout too...There's also a medallion, look for the white spot that I figured I would replace with some scraps from my stained glass collection.

After taking a whole can of flat black spray paint, specifically designed to cover and combat rust on metal, this is what it looked like!

Once spray painting it, I realized that I loved the medallion black and won't be changing it!  I love that all the details of the obelisk finally stand out and think once it's placed in a good spot, it will look amazing!  Not bad for $7!

What do you think?

I'm linked to the following:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Moving: Need Boxes

So as you all know, I am moving shortly.  I am thrilled!  But as we all know, there's a lot of work in moving, and one of the biggest challenges is getting enough boxes.  I am a firm believer that you should never have to pay for a box.  Yes, you can purchase them from some dollar stores and even from U-Haul companies, but why pay for something when you can get it for free?

In the past, I have loved Liquor Store boxes...they're strong as they've held glass bottles of liquor, but here that's not easy to get.  Our local grocery store though has been awesome.  By simply asking, I found out that there best dates to get boxes is every Monday and Thursday when their trucks come in.  They put the smaller boxes at the front, and any large boxes, they leave at the back.  You just need to let the teller know that you're looking for them, put your name and number on a piece of paper, and they'll call you and set up a time when you can pick them up.

If you're anything like me who is reluctant to ask sometimes, it's really not that hard and the truth is, is that as much as they are doing you a favor, you're doing them a favor by taking them off their hands.  Plus, you're helping the environment-you're reusing them again (then I usually send them to recycling).  Free is free, and since almost nothing is free these days, take advantage of it if you find yourself moving!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Deadheading: Getting the Best Out of Your Flowering Plants

Whether you have a couple of plants or many, plants cost a lot of money these days.  Having gone from a very large garden to only two hanging baskets (see previous posts for more explanation), it's just as important to me that my two baskets look as good as my big garden did.  I love plants that flower and provide color-it's a simple way to add some curb appeal to your home.

(forgive the crooked cane, the cane will not go into the ground anywhere on the property, but I'm only here for two more weeks!)

One of the best ways to do this, is by deadheading.  Deadheading is the process of removing dying or dead flowers from the plant.  A plant pours energy into all of its flowers, living, dying, or dead.  By removing the unwanted flowers, you actually allow the plant to focus on the healthy flowers and buds.  Does it make a difference?  Yes-huge.  If you have a lot, your plant make look a little bare the first couple days, but the plant will thrive.  

Signs that you need to deadhead include:
  • torn flowers
  • brown edges around the flowers
  • lifeless flowers (they look like they have collapsed)
  • dead and dried flowers
I do this on a daily basis, literally; flowers die often and to get the healthiest plant, it does need to be done on a daily basis.  It's actually kind of relaxing unless the flowers you need to pick are tiny and many and then it just gets annoying!

But I promise you, just by deadheading, you'll notice a huge difference in the amount of flowers you get.

Auction Purchase Reveals

So I promised you all pictures this weekend showing you what I purchased at last weekend's auction...well here you go!

This is my antique sideboard.  It also came with little castor wheels on the bottom which we took off for now, and there were also little attachments on the handles that fell off.  As you can see it's not a perfect peace, but most things old are not.  My plan and I know a few people have cringed at this is to paint it.  To remind you, I got this piece for $50 and it should have gone for $200 at the auction.

If you can ignore the crooked floor and the messy garage, than you might see the potential in this little table.  I picked up this guy for only $3.  I thought it might be good even at the front door for keys or such.  

I bid on this piece and I was the only bid, winning it for $2.  It's a bevelled mirror, and while in good shape, will be painted completely.  My plans?  To make a Chalkboard framing out of it...

However, nothing will be done until after I move which is in less than 2 weeks.  As paint takes time to cure, I don't want to risk the idea of scratching it and also, with the cost of moving, paint is going to have to wait.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Got Bites?

The other day I was packing up the back of the trunk to take a few things to work.  The result?  I ended up being mosquito bait.  A couple hours later as I was lying in bed, did the results of those nasty little buggers started to erupt.  I got up, and the whole top of one foot and around the ankle were completely swollen with bites.  I didn't have any After Bite, Calamine Lotion, and knew that I needed to try something to make me not start itching.

So I did some research...and one of the weirdest things that was suggested was deodorant or an anti-perspirant.  I used what I had on hand, which was Nivea's Double Effect Anti-Perspirant, which is a stick.  Within seconds, I had relief.  The next morning I woke up and even the swelling was down probably by 80%.  I did find that I needed to reapply when I woke up, but I felt so much relief.  On top of it, the anti-perspirant I use has avocado extracts, so my foot didn't feel too dry.

So, what do you use in your fight against mosquito relief?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

So today is a special's Canada Day!  Despite being under the weather and a bit strapped for cash (things will lighten up once I'm moved considerably), Canada Day is a very special day for me.  For me, I see it along the lines of Thanksgiving-it reminds us of what we have to be thankful for.

I realized this morning that this is the first summer in the past 9 or 10 years that I am getting paid this summer...I haven't had that before.  That's huge.  It's also the first summer I've ever known that I have a permanent job to go back to.  For others, it might mean being granted time to build more dikes in southern Manitoba as their fellow neighbors and towns help them.  It might simply mean having the freedom to be you.

I hope you all have a wonderful Canada's Day, and for my American friends, have a wonderful 4th of July.  Be safe!