Month: May 2013

Playstation – old school style

There’s a fine line between clutter and creative inspiration in my little nest. I have stuff because I do stuff. I need pencils, markers, paints and all the fancy papers, glue and washi tape I can get my hands on. Storing this stuff away in tidy bins seemed like the right thing to do and it worked for the short term. Then I found that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ crept in. It’s not that I’d forgotten about my crafty supplies, it just became a chore to dig them all out of their respective bins and back corners of closets. Spontaneous creating took a back seat to organization and that wasn’t ¬†good.

imageMy solution was to round up some of my most often used supplies and corral¬†them in a clear vase. Tidy on the outside, wild on the inside. This has become a display of sorts and sits on the sofa table between my living room and eating area. I pass it multiple times a day and it’s always at the ready to spruce up a card, doodle or just play. Now this is what I call contained chaos…and it works for me!

imageimageHow do you control clutter in your home? Any good tips for storing often used items?

The white phase

I’m calling my current decorating style “the white phase”, kind of like the Beatles’ White Album but slightly less epic. This started very innocently with the white mouldings, blinds and doors my new townhouse came with. So fresh with clean lines, love it. It’s definitely snowballed – pun intended! I took a chance on a fuzzy flokati rug. Next came picture frames and mats. I had a hodge podge of photos and art that are all in white frames now. Then a couple of chairs slid into the living room while pale dishes found their way into the kitchen. Towels then linens. And the most dangerous of all….paint! Nothing is safe. I’ve restyled a big pine wardrobe, bookcases and sprayed many lamps, boxes and trays.image

The verdict? My small space appears lighter, bigger and I daresay, cleaner. White helps mismatched furniture pieces blend and makes accent colors really pop. It brings a unified look and a bit of calm. I like it and I’m sticking with it for awhile. Especially since my phone and iPad match my decor!

This doesn’t mean I have one of those white-washed ceiling-to-floor homes. Far from it. I still have a lot of wood in the mix with furniture pieces and kitchen cabinets. Actually, the looks complement each other nicely. It may be this little home or just where I’m at right now, but I am learning to appreciate and embrace the wonders of white.

What about you? Any phases of your decorating life you’re willing to share?

Cinnamon dolce coffee syrup

You know those really great flavour combinations that make your taste buds dance?…like peanut butter and chocolate or tomato and basil. Well, separately cinnamon and coffee are two of my all time favourites so when they blend together it just makes me enjoy them even more. I confess to having a bit of a coffee habit, which became a bit of a Starbuck’s addiction which became hard on the ol’ budget. My solution is to limit the coffee outings and make the best I can at home. I figured out how to get the great taste of my beloved cinnamon dolce latte without breaking the bank. Homemade cinnamon dolce coffee syrup, of course! Want to make some too?

imageimageYou need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a glass bottle (this one is from a Dollar store) or canning jar with lid
  • 5 minutes!

Bring the water and sugar to a boil then stir in the cinnamon. Mix this really well until the cinnamon has dissolved and there are no clumps floating. Don’t tell Martha or Julia, but you can do this in the microwave in about 3 minutes. Pour some into your coffee and bask in your cheap delicious treat! Store in a glass container with a sealed lid. You can leave this out on your counter for over a week, although it doesn’t last that long in my house!