Friday, April 29, 2011

My Top 5 Mirrors

I'm back in the swing with my top 5 lists again. This week is mirrors, the perfect way to add sparkle, shine and glitz to any space. 

#1 The Ever-Lovely Venetian Mirror. These come in all shapes and sizes, but here are two rectangular variations I found to be particularly stunning.

Via Decorpad

The Lennoxx

#2 Ornate Floor Mirror (I quite like this one in white)

Via Decorpad

Via Decorpad
Note: Room Design by The Cross Design & Decor

#3 Lavello Mirror by Ballard Design (It can also be hung on the diagonal so as to look diamond shaped.)

#4 Octagonal Horn Mirror by Wisteria

#5 Suzanne Kasler Starburst Mirrors by Ballard Design

And that's it! I somehow managed to keep it to only 5. Happy Friday! I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.


Spring Clean It!

I've neglected to do a spring cleaning post for a few days now, and the month of April is nearly over! So for today I thought I'd put one together with a whole host of ideas and tips for keeping house. There isn't really any theme to the various ideas, but I've tried to make them quick and easy to read through. Here we go...

Pre-Sort Laundry with a compartment laundry cart. This definitely cuts down on laundry time since all the sorting is done in advance. On laundry day you simply have to wheel the cart into the laundry room and throw the clothes into the machine. 

Do all your ironing at once (if possible). This ultimately saves you time and stress when you're rushing to get ready one morning, and the shirt you want to wear is ready and waiting for you. (Ironing is one of my least favourite things to do, so I'm still working on this one.)

 Set aside time once or twice a day to check your e-mails, and don't open an e-mail unless you have time to read it and respond. This saves time and increases efficiency. 

Install low hooks, shelves and bins for your kids. Putting things at their level means they can put their own things away; you don't have to do it all! Opting for hooks instead of hangers makes it easier for kids to hang their own coats up.

Designate one spot for keeping mail and other paper. Try to deal with things ASAP to avoid having piles to go through later. 

Stop getting paper flyers and sign up for e-flyers and coupons instead. Only sign up for the discounts from the stores you frequent.

Any other good tips come to mind? Do share (leave a comment).

Also, a reminder that we'll be drawing a winner for the "Home Keeper" book this coming Monday (May 2nd). If you'd still like to get in on the draw, "like" the Prairie Perch facebook page, and I'll add your name. Thanks to all those who have already entered.


photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bright, Bold & Blue

This is my coffee table. I know it's a rather unconventional colour, but it actually works quite well in our living room. My husband was kind enough to sand and paint it for me just before we moved into our townhouse. (I was doing my best to recover after giving birth to Luke, while packing box after box after box in preparation for our move.) 

We purchased the table second hand. It was worn with water marks and scuffs. We chose it because we wanted something with rounded edges for kid-friendly purposes. We also wanted something that wouldn't be too fancy - something that could get used. We'll go for a more stylish, high-end option once the kids aren't chewing, drooling and climbing on everything. This is a solid table that currently serves us well, and we aren't afraid to put our feet up on it. Family-friendly! 

Do you have any painted furniture around your home? Any in bright & bold colours?


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Snapshots from our Recent Trip Out East

As I've mentioned, we were away last week visiting family in Ontario. The weather wasn't great and we ended up staying indoors for most of the time. I still managed to get some pictures though.

This will give you a bit of a look at where we were and what we were doing. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Lovely silver carving set my husband's Grandma sent home with us. The set belonged to her parents. 

The house my husband's Grandfather (Poppa) grew up in. The house continues to be kept "in the family."

A few other old homes in the area. There is so much brick out there! It's really quite lovely. 

A local fishing business where we picked up some fresh lake trout for supper. Mmmm. 

Signs of Spring: A few brave blooms ventured out in the snow and cold.

Air Dry: Grandma still likes to hang some of her laundry out to dry.

Down by the Bay (Georgian Bay, ON) 

This is the same Georgian Bay where Sarah Richardson has her cottage. It is a very pretty spot. My husband's grandparents have a view of the bay from their backyard.

We did spend three days in Toronto as well, but since it was so cold I didn't get out to take any pictures. Maybe next time we'll get some sunshine. It felt like I was back in SK with the weather the way it was!

That's our trip in a nutshell. We enjoyed our time away, but it's always good to be home.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tomato Sauce Recipe

I like making a tomato sauce from scratch when we have pasta and I've found a fairly quick, easy and delicious recipe that I always go back to. It's from the Joy of Cooking (one of my all time favourite cookbooks). Any recipe I've ever tried has been delicious. That makes it a winner in my kitchen!

Tomato Sauce:

Heat in a large skillet over medium heat:
2 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib with leaves, finely chopped 
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds:
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. chopped basil, rosemary, sage or thyme

Stir in:
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juice (or 1 3/4 pounds of fresh tomatoes peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped)
2 tsp. tomato paste
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Simmer uncovered until the sauce is thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Pass through a food mill if desired.

And Enjoy!

Source: Joy of Cooking (Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker) 

Meal Plan (April 25-May2)

Here's what the MacMillans will be munching on this week...

Tuesday: Russian Chicken; Rice; Peas; Roasted Cauliflower

Wednesday: Cheesy Corn Chowder Soup; Egg Salad Sandwiches

Thursday: Chili; Buns

Friday: Pasta; Fresh Tomato Sauce; Caesar Salad 

Saturday: Grab It! (You have to do this once in a while.)

Sunday: Omelets; Pancakes; Orange Wedges

Monday: Baked Fish; Rice Pilaf; Zucchini & Peppers; Broccoli & Cheese Sauce

Monday, April 25, 2011

Flower Poufs and Eames' Stool Look Alike

Monday is here again and a new week has begun! I hope you had a Happy Easter. 

We were away last week and just arrived home Sunday evening. It's so nice to be back in our own nest. Travelling with two little ones can be challenging at times, and gives the phrase, "There's no place like home," even more meaning. We had a nice holiday though and we especially enjoyed seeing our family out east. 

I've been busy unpacking, doing laundry and restocking the fridge today so I haven't had much time to sit down and blog. I hope to get back into the regular swing of things soon though. 

For today, here are some pretty flower poufs I've been eyeing recently. I think they would be perfect in a girl's room, but they can look great in an "adult space" too (as seen in the second image). 

Modern Dose

Via Decor Pad; Ottoman by Modern Dose
Modern Dose

You may remember the walnut Eames' stools I had in my top 5 recently. 

Eames' Walnut Stools

Well, fellow blogger Meesh at I Dream of Chairs sent me a link to Nood Furniture where you can pick up a look-alike stool for a fraction of the cost. Nood calls their look-alike the bishop stool and they sell three variations, all made of solid walnut just like the originals. The stools are even on sale right now. Thanks for the tip, Meesh! 

Nood Furniture

It's warm and sunny where I live so I think I'll be heading outdoors for a stroll this evening. It's good to be home!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Blogger Feature: Carissa Erickson (The Fabulous Design File)

I don't have a top 5 for today, but I do have a fabulous blogger and her latest DIY project to feature. 

Carissa is a full-time mommy to two busy boys and writes a blog called The Fabulous Design File. She is a prairie gal, living in Saskatoon, SK (woo hoo!). 

Carissa seems to have a knack for coming up with creative and completely stunning DIY projects. Her DIY chevron rug has been popular in the blog world and has been featured numerous times. 

For today though, I'm featuring her lastest (and possibly greatest) project yet! A globe pendant for her dining room. 

Isn't it lovely? And can you believe that she made it!? If you'd like to find out how, you can check out the details on her blog here. And while you're over there, why not have a look around. She does a whole lot more than create amazing globe pendants!  

Good Friday to you all!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Clean It!

The spice rack. The spice cupboard. The spice shelf. I think I've had each of these variations and others in an attempt to bring order to the assortment of spices in my kitchen. The one that I've finally settled on as being my personal favourite is the spice drawer. I like it because it's out of sight, but with one quick pull of the drawer, I can see all the spices and have them in ready reach. I've given up trying to keep them all in the same kinds of jars and usually just keep them in the jar I purchase them in. A label on the top of each lid lets me know what's inside. Easy Peasy. 

I think it's best to choose a drawer close to where you do your food prep and be sure to check the height of your tallest spice jar to make sure they will all fit standing upright. 

If you don't already keep your spices this way, it may be worth a try. 

Here's another great idea, say if you don't have an appropriate drawer. Try using velcro to attach spice jars to the inner part of a cupboard door. I guess you would need to glue velcro strips to the door and little bits of velcro to the back of each jar. This would take a little bit of work but I think it would be well worth it. (This is one variation I haven't yet tried, but it looks like a great option! Think of all the cupboard space you'd be freeing up.) 

I hope your week is going well! 


Photo Sources: 

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Book Review in Pictures: Easy Elegance by Atlanta Bartlett

"How can you read this? There's no pictures!" - Gaston, Disney's Beauty & the Beast (1991)
Here's a little "review" of one of the design books I've recently been reading. Since the book has way more photos than text I decided to do a visual review for you. Here we go!

(click on images to enlarge)

I could curl up and fall asleep here on a warm summer's day...

Aren't the colours amazing? Can you tell I like pink? 

Sorry if you're feeling a little off centered because of the tilt of the photos. Next time I'll try to take the photos more straight on. 

Hope you enjoyed the book review! I know Gaston would like it - lots of pictures!


Friday, April 15, 2011

My Top 5 Ottomans

Here are some stylish ottomans for this week's roundup (Yee Haw!). Ottomans are one of those versatile pieces for the home. They can be used in a variety of different ways: coffee table, foot stool, seating, etc. 

#1 Oliver Ottoman by Oly Studio 

#2 Velvet Tufted Ottomans (two variations)

Velvet Ottoman - Charcoal by Brocade Home

Estelle Ottoman by Urban Outfitters 

#3 Tangier-Hassock Ottomans by Michael Burman

#4 Wessex Upholstered Ottoman by West Elm

#5 Akamai Large Round Ottoman - Pink at Target

OR Large Floral Print (available in yellow, blue or red)

Have a lovely weekend! (We're making our way eastward today.)