Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Permanent Marker Removal

It's that time of year when those who organize and decorate for a living should be talking about 


But temperatures that insist on dipping into the -20's during the last weeks of March are causing me to feel quite hibernatey.

So instead, let me send you into Spring Break week with a tried and true stain removal tip.

At a family gathering we had the kids write their names on their pop can or plastic cup with a permanent marker.  
And as often happens with sweaty fingers and dewy drinks, some marker smudged.

Here on the left you can see a spot on our wood dining table.
On the right...gone!


And just in case you don't believe me, I did a purposeful stain on my laminate countertop.


The no fail stain remover?

Works every time.
On permanent marker and pen as well.

Happy Spring Break everyone! 
See you back here in April.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Photo Collage Trick

 We've talked about tracing out your frames and taping the papers on the wall to determine how you want to hang a photo collage, but I added an extra step the other day that made it even easier.

Sometimes working with these big papers gets a bit finicky...they're always rolling up on you and you have to keep standing back to see what you think, pull off, re-position, re-tape.  
You know.

Southern Living
So when I planned out a photo wall for a volunteer job I did a few weeks back, I cut out miniature frames from graph paper first.  I did them more or less to scale, and then worked them around until I figured out a pattern that I was happy with.

When it came time to hang the actual frames, I continued the old method of trace and tape, but I knew exactly the pattern I wanted and by starting with the centre photos and working outward, I just recreated the look.

This method takes a bit of time, but I promise you, it works great and saves hours of headache in the long run.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Organizing Your Pantry

The pantry is one of the most constantly changing spaces in your home.  It has the potential to look different after every trip to the grocery store.  So when you organize it you need to be flexible.  
The other day I organized a pantry for a client.  
You may recognize the's a fairly common design in new homes now.

What I find works well is to purchase a whole load of these bins from Dollarama.  They come in a variety of sizes and they are completely affordable.

Then I sort food into categories and load the bins.  

I put things like soups, lunch items, or cereal together.  Onions and potatoes I just dump into their own bins.  Everyone's needs are client for example had a whole bin for tea.  Once you unload your pantry and put like items together, you'll see what makes the best sense for your family.


Some items are too big for bins.  Those you can store on the floor.

Remember to leave any breathing room you can.  Things will fluctuate and change.  It's not about perfection, it's about keeping items in a place where they are readily accessible and about keeping your space organized.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I love holidays!  
Even less noted ones like St. Patrick's Day.  
Because any time we can be with friends and family and celebrate together is time well spent.

So call up some pals and throw green food colouring in the mashed potatoes and enjoy some time with those you love.

Here are a few quick and easy ways to pop some green around your house.

These little green plants were a mere $3.99 at Safeway and they will last all spring.

I switched out my normal pen holder for a green one and added a shamrock plate.

I popped another plate in the front hall to greet guests,

and gave the chalkboards St. Patrick's messages.

The kids joined in with paper chains,

and some festive table creations.

From this semi Irish family to yours, 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Procrastinating On Using Gifts

Have you ever been given a gift that you love, 
but you just didn't take the time to put it to use right away?

I try not to let that happen but I got a cutie new towel hanger over the holidays who ended up sitting on my desk for ages.  I finally got my husband to hang him up.

What was I waiting for?  I love it!

Is there something you've been given that just needs to get unpacked or opened or hung?
Why not do it today!?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tidying Up a Storage Room

 Oh those storage rooms can be both a curse and a blessing.
I mean it's fabulous to have all that space to store stuff, but it's also really easy to let the stuff pile up in there since it's one of the only spots in your home that people rarely see.

When you have a storage room that needs to be organized, the best thing to do is just dig in.

Grab a friend, or, you know, me, and get started.
Recently I worked with a client on her storage space.
Adding two new shelves along one wall was a big help to get items up off the floor.


Remember awhile back when we talked about breathing room?
When you organize an area it's a good idea to leave some empty space.  That way when you need a spot for another item or if you end up buying some bulk groceries or whatever...the space is ready and waiting for you.


Even when you're the only person who sees a room on a regular basis, it feels good to have it organized.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Storing Recyclables

 I've always envied people who have pullout drawers in their kitchens to store their recycling.  It's so nice to keep it hidden.  
We store ours here...just outside our door on the deck.

Which was not a big deal until Winnipeg became the North Pole and one day I decided I'd opened the door to minusamillion degrees one too many times.

I found this in a magazine and got to work.

Houes and Home March 2014

I bought this felt bag at Homesense,

popped in a bin from Dollarama to catch any spills,

and am now happily tossing my recycles into it without risk of frostbite.

Where do you store your recycling?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Final Word on February

Thanks to all of you who joined me for February's Things I Do Not Love series.  I thought you might like to see what I found in my magazines after I'd written the posts.

If you were miffed at me for disliking Ikat, look!  These people would have been too.

House Beautiful March 2014


And if you disagreed regarding benches, Style at Home does also.
Here they list the daybed as an excellent way to divide rooms.

Style At Home March 2014

The truth of the matter is that there is no right or wrong.  Your house is just that, YOUR house.  So do what you like and what you think is pretty and what makes you feel at peace in your space.

Love it.