Monday, April 29, 2013

We love Aruba

 I just have to share with you some of our family vacation photos from our recent trip to Aruba. 54 was our spot to be.
 The sunsets were beautiful.
 The beach we were at was Palm beach , it is a beautiful beach, so much to do and see.
 We would have our lunches here at the pool side bar .
 This was the view from our room.
 On our way to dinner , I loved all these lanterns.
 So many iguanas hung around the pool every day it was amazing. One day at lunch an iquana come over to me and I fed it some lettuce from my salad it was fun.

 We hung out on the beach every day.
 Me and my girls on the way to Aruba. I am not a good flyer at all. It's just really the take off that leaves me in a panic. It was a 5 hour flight, when we left it was snowing in Toronto which is crazy for April.
 The weather was perfection every day,it was in the 90's. It is a battle there to not get a sun burn, the sun is very strong.
 Look at that view and sunset, this was the view from the open air restaurant call Sea Breezes , it was breath taking and it actually overwhelmed me and brought me to tears. The kids laughed at me, kids!
 Where we stayed at The Holiday Inn Resort was right across from a great shopping area which was so charming. So many shops and restaurants that came to life at night.
 How cute is this little sea star , it was so tiny it washed away right after I took this photo.
 One thing we really loved about Aruba is that it is a very safe place to explore. We took the city bus into down town Oranjestad which had some very swanky shops like Gucci and Louis Vuitton and Cartier  but they also had lots of great shops here in this plaza, it was so pretty.
I have to show you this boat, well it is coming in from the ocean into the lobby of the the Renaissance marina hotel, it was quite a sight to see. 

 We took a guided jeep tour to the other side of the island which is very rustic. This is the small natural bridge. There was a large natural bridge also but it collapsed in a few years back, I didn't feel the need to walk on this one , if the other one collapsed than I am playing it safe and keeping my distance.

 When I called to book the tour they asked if we would be up to driving one of the jeeps if the group was big enough, my husband was game and so he did just that , drove us and two other couples off road on the most crazy tour of the island.

 On the tour we followed this travelling restaurant , it made me laugh, you don't see that every day.
Thankfully we didn't see any rattle snakes that day either.
 The coastline on this side of the island is quite a contrast from Palm beach where we stayed.
 It was a bumpy ride.
 This was the walk down to the natural pool , I wish I had a photo of the pool to share but I really just wanted to experience it. It was amazing and we even snorkelled there, the fish were amazing.

 I will miss doing this.
 Aruba was truly beautiful.
 The one thing I asked for while in Aruba was to go on a boat. We found a great deal and went of a sailing snorkelling trip which was 3 hrs long. It was a complete deal at $35 per person. This was our first snorkelling stop. Turns out I really like snorkelling, it is amazing. Sophie even tried to get out into the water at our second stop in the deeper water over a ship wreck , but the water was too choppy for an 11 year old. I was impressed that she even tried. Jumping into deep ocean water is not the easiest thing to do .
 The water was stunningly beautiful.
 It was a great time I will remember so fondly.
 Don't you just love being on a boat , I sure do. What a life , what a job to take visitors out on the water and to snorkel.
 We enjoyed some great quality family time. This resort did a great job with my daughter Sophie's peanut allergy , they let us know what was safe and what was not . Everything went well and we had no incidents with her allergy,  which was a great relief.
My little girls have grown up so fast.

So there you have it , a little snippet of our trip to Aruba.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

bamboo blind love

It took over a year for us to decide how to address the front entrance windows. We could leave them bare, which we did for a year, of cover them. We felt the need to cover them , sometimes we just felt so exposed. 
There are so many options , films, blinds, new inserts and sheers.... I don't like films and "decorator" cut glass inserts aren't really appealing to my style sense, although there is one option I would consider. I really do like this x detail design and maybe at some point we will make this upgrade but not right now.
 Because I also love bamboo blinds. 
I have 17 bamboo blinds in this house. 
So I went with bamboo blinds for the front door and side lights. They add just enough privacy, because it is just strange to walk down your hall and make eye contact with someone trying to take a peek inside your home while they are walking by...

I also installed a blind to the laundry room. We sometimes have the dogs sleep in the laundry room and once at 3:00 am a dog started barking at bunnies milling around the backyard so blinds were a must . No one want to hear there dogs barking in the middle of the night. 
The best thing about adding the final window coverings now is that they were on clearance at Lowe's for $5.00 , how could I lose.

Privacy and barking control is priceless!

Friday, April 12, 2013

transformation with wainscoting

Good morning. As I wait for the rain and freezing rain to settle so I can get back to this trim project I am working on at Ellen's this week I thought I would share it with you as well as most of my trim projects I have completed over the years. 
As you can see I have been adding an applied wainscoting with an extra little trim detail. So far I am 17.5 hours into the installation. It's not always a quick process but what a difference it makes.

Nothing transforms or elevates a space like trim. I really believe to get the best result in decorating , the way I like to , is to start with beautiful bones. I think that rooms should be beautiful empty, you will start off the decorating process ahead of the game and get a better layered and finished end result.

 This is my favorite new chair rail .
Varied panels add interest to a blank bit of wall and create a feature.

 Here is another recent project I completed, it was the finishing touch , it was a bit backwards ending with the trim , but as long as it got done it was all worth it.
 My last house where I learned all of my carpentry skills, I can't remember if I started on this trim or on the applied mouldings in the family room. Either way I loved them both. White moulding makes my hear sing.
 More of my last house.
 I adore and miss this panelled wall from my last house and the vaulted ceilings , I loved that house.
 This is the house where I am working now , Ellen's house . Do you remember her entry/mudroom. I love seeing how it functions over the years.
 How can I forget my beachy bedroom and the board and batten, it was so cottagey.
 My current homes main hall wainscotting still in progress.
 More of my current home.
 This image I captured on our moving day , it was a good bye old girl shot, such a pretty space.
 My laundry room, I used shoe moulding to create the panels and flipped a large baseboard to create a generous trim for lots of hooks.
My stair wainscoting.
 One of my first projects I tackled while my husband was out of town on a business trip.Applied wainscoting. How cute was little Sophie , this was taken three years ago or so when we had our first magazine photo shoot , what a cute shot.

So what do you think ? Do you love trim like I do ? Would you tackle this type of project yourself ? Would you love a ladies only carpentry 101 class to go to learn these skills? Just wondering...