Summer Lovin’













We’ve been making the most of summer the last couple of weeks and it’s been so sweet.

We had a little getaway in Manitoba. We stopped by the fair, ate a bunch of crazy things (red velvet mini donuts!!!!) and saw April Wine & Loverboy with my parents, which was awesome.

We’ve hung out on the balcony whenever possible and taken Nix out for lots of runs and my basil is growing like crazy. I’ve also read a ton of good books lately and I’m drinking iced coffee every single day without fail. The beginning of this season was so hard but I think it’s made us appreciate the good days and life’s simple pleasures even more.

Tommy’s birthday is this week and we have overnight guests coming this weekend. I’m trying to convince him to watch Stranger Things with me because everyone’s talking about it and I’m super curious. We haven’t been on the water once this summer and that needs to be rectified ASAP. Soon, I think! How has your summer been?


Flower Love

colorful bouquet

Flowers make me ridiculously happy. I’ve forever wanted to be one of those ladies who always had fresh flowers in my home and more recently I’ve made it my mission to keep them around regularly. They add such a happy and welcoming vibe to our space. The cost used to be a concern for me but I’ve figured out how to keep my fresh flower habit affordable and thought I would share what I’ve learned.

Shop Around

The most cost effective place I’ve gotten flowers is the grocery store. I’m partial to Safeway and Save-On-Foods. Both stores have a good selection that changes all the time and regular specials, as well as helpful staff.

Choose Well

It’s no secret that different flowers vary in their lifespan. Once I figured out which flowers lasted the longest my costs went way down. For example, if a bouquet of roses is $20 and lasts a week and carnations are $6 and last three weeks, it’s easy to see which option is most cost effective. I’ve found that anything that has a tougher, woody stem usually lasts a long time. Also, use your judgement when looking at the condition of the flowers. If they are already soft and droopy in the store, they won’t last long at home.

Stay In-Season

When something is in-season the store gets more of it so they can sell it cheaper. The flowers will also be in better condition because they are in their prime. Look for the in-season bunches to be displayed in a high visibility area (in front of the till or store entrance) with a sign like, “Market Bunch” or “Special of the Week” and a price tag under $10. I’ve gotten peonies, hydrangeas and sunflowers for just $7.99 a bunch this way. Even if one of those seasonal bunches only last a week (and they have lasted much longer!), that cost is well worth it to me.

full peony


You know those bouquets that are already put together with a bunch of different flowers? They look pretty but if you want long lasting and budget friendly, step away. Those pre-made bouquets can easily cost $30-40 even at the grocery store but the value typically isn’t great. They usually include a few more expensive flowers (like roses or lilies) which jacks up the cost and those tend to die faster, also decreasing the life of your bouquet overall. You’re better off to choose a few long lasting varieties and put them together yourself. You’ll easily cut your cost in half this way while increasing the lifespan of your blooms. Safeway has a 3 bunches for $18 special that I like for this. The first photo in this post is of a bouquet I put together myself using a mix and match special!

Great Greens

Most stores sell bunches of leafy fillers that tend to be very long lasting. I am STILL reusing the greens I purchased for our wedding flowers; they were $4.99 a bunch and are still in perfect condition two months later! Including greens makes your bouquet look full while keeping costs down and I’ve just been swapping out the flowers as they die. I’ve also had just greens themselves in a vase and they look great. Bunches of mixed greens are inexpensive and a unique way to add colour and freshness that will last a long time.

Clean Them Up

Once you get them home, don’t just stick them in water and forget about them. Trim the ends of the stems on an angle and remove all leaves that will be underwater. If you don’t, they will rot once submerged and the flowers will die faster. My flowers lasted way longer once I started doing this.

Water Works

Change your water regularly to keep it fresh; I change mine every two days and always use cold water. Also, use the flower food; it really does help increase the lifespan of your flowers. I like to ask for an extra packet too.

orange sunflowers

What’s your favourite flower?

Mine are peonies, of course!  They remind me of being a little girl, running around my great-grandma’s yard. She had tons of them…it’s a nostalgia thing for me.


Summer Living Room Refresh

main pic.JPG

We’re doing something a bit different today! I love home tours and thought it would be fun to do a little one of my own.

When Tom and I moved into our new condo last spring, we didn’t have much time to truly settle in. We had a crazy busy year between my sister’s wedding, my mom’s cancer battle and then our wedding and as a result not a lot of time was spent on the finishing touches that really make a space feel like “home”. We spend the most time in our open concept kitchen/living room area and I found myself growing more tired of the setup lately so we decided that some updates were in order. It was a lot of fun giving this area a little face lift so I thought I would share! Here is a shot of the view from our front entry to give a better idea of the layout:

lr-full length

I didn’t actually take before photos, because it only occurred to me to blog this after we were almost done. However, I do have a recent photo of the living room area:

living room

Because the paint and flooring are pale gray and our place gets lots of natural light I wanted to amp that up even further by adding white and some pops of bright color. I tried to go for a summer-y feel with the new accessories and chose things that played well with some of our existing art work and décor, like this yellow painting:


First things first: the area rug. This is our third attempt and I’m thrilled to say I think we’ve finally found the right one. The last one was a shaggy silver number that we loved the look of. It felt lovely underfoot and was pretty practical aside from the fact that it was shedding like crazy the entire time we had it. Guests would get silver threads all over their clothes and we could never sweep or vacuum enough to keep the mess at bay. It’s driven us nuts for months and we knew we’d have to get rid of it eventually. The problem was that we couldn’t find anything we really loved, at least not without spending $500. However, as soon as I saw this woven leather rug, I was intrigued. I love the unexpected texture it adds to the room and we only paid $100 for it! Huge steal.

rug corner

I’m big on keeping fresh flowers in my kitchen and decided that this vase would be a nice upgrade for the basic clear glass I usually use. I love the statement it makes on my island.

new vase

The old runner on our bar cart was a piece of vintage fabric that was looking pretty tired and this new one perks things up nicely. It fits the cart perfectly and the firework inspired print is a nice nod to summer.

bar cart full

You may also notice my new succulent! When I picked up basil plants for the balcony, I decided to get this one to add a little more green indoors. This is my first houseplant so let’s pray I can keep her alive, alright? I love that cream pot as well.


Something small that we needed and finally picked up: coasters!


And a pretty new basket to corral all the dog toys…

new toy basket

Remember when I wrote about creating new art in my summer bucket list? This is what we came up with! The piece we had in there before had a lot of different blues and felt a bit dark for the season. We decided to do a large triptych of ink paintings. Tom is more into color but he very kindly agreed to try a black only piece with lots of white space. I love how modern and clean it looks and it gives us a lot of freedom to play with color in other areas in the room.


And now for my personal favorite: throw pillows! These are also the bane of Tom’s existence, I might add. I love how switching them out can give a room a totally different feel with very little effort. For the refresh I kept the silver and black and white ones that we already had. I’ve been wanting one of those fluffy pillows for a long time and decided it would be a good, versatile addition to my collection while also brightening things up with white. When I saw those turquoise tie dye pillows I knew they would be perfect; they remind me of a swimming pool. I am still waiting on this throw pillow I ordered online to put between the silver ones. I think it will work great with the others.


I’m so excited about the finished look and we’re really hoping to do more hosting this summer; that bar cart isn’t going to drink itself!

lr-close up


  • Area Rug– Winners
  • Gray Vase- Winners
  • Bar Cart Runner– Urban Barn
  • Succulent Pot– London Drugs
  • Coasters– Winners
  • Toy Basket- Superstore
  • White Pillow- Winners
  • Black Ink Paintings- DIY
  • Turquoise Pillows- Chapters

Recent Obsessions #9

hashbrown pizza

I’ve been making this tater tot breakfast pizza whenever we have overnight guests. It tastes as good as it looks and is pretty simple to throw together.

After a crazy long dry spell, I’ve been able to catch up on my reading! I finished When Breath Becomes Air, which was both heartbreaking and thought provoking and now I just started Where They Found Her. I loved the author’s last book, Reconstructing Amelia, and so far I’m enjoying her new one too. It’s also my favorite time of year when it comes to books; Elin Hilderbrand’s summer novel came out yesterday! I ordered Here’s to Us on my Kobo and am hoping to savor it at the lake sometime soon!

Tommy surprised me with Hillberg & Berk’s Picadilly earrings a few days before our wedding. They are the perfect mix of delicate and edgy and I also love that they can be worn multiple ways. Definitely a worthy investment piece.

Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino. I got to knock this one off my summer bucket list last week. They nailed every component and the s’mores flavor was prominent, which I appreciated. I’m already craving another.

My peony addiction is in full swing right now. I love that I can pick them up at the grocery store these days and I’ve been keeping a bunch in my kitchen since the wedding.

Are you watching The Bachelorette this season? I’m a little scared for JoJo…so much drama! I saw a spoiler early on and now I can tell where things are headed which isn’t as much fun. The Chad story line is super distracting, although it makes for good entertainment.

My mom was raving about some pretzel buns she found at Save-On-Foods recently so I stopped by and got my own. OMG, these were unreal. They seem to go fast, so go get some! You won’t regret it.

Remember when I said I wanted one more dress to add to my most recent capsule? I found it! I’ve had my eye on this one for a while and after trying it on multiple times, I bit the bullet. I love the lady-like shape and unique print. It’s also on major sale now (of course!) and is perfect for wedding season.

If you’ve been in our home you know that I have a bit of a throw pillow addiction. I’ve been hunting for new ones for our living room refresh and when I saw these beautiful tie-dye inspired ones, I knew they’d add the perfect summer-y pop of color.


What are you obsessed with lately?