Reisenthel giveaway…

The perfect beach bag is up for grabs. I’m giving away an authentic canvas Reisenthel Cityshopper ’cause it’s such a great all-round bag, and summer is the season of bags for the cottage, beach, market, and country fairs (gotta love summer)! Reisenthel is an award-winning German company that produces outstanding canvas shopping bags, baskets and home decor. Resienthel is one of Nicole Jane Home’s most popular brands.

Reisenthel Cityshopper in Art Deco print

All you have to do is leave a comment below, and I’ll pick a winner on July 6. Good luck everyone!

shiny vinegar hair…

Just had to share some of Heloise’s helpful household tips that I found on Good Housekeeping’s website. I was particularly impressed with the uses for good old-fashioned natural vinegar! If you already know these uses, can you come over and help me clean up?

photo courtesy Enigmahippie blog

Who knew that you could get shiny hair just by rinsing with a solution of water and vinegar? (Here’s a shout out to my Twitter friend @HammocksHighTea, who saved me from the worst case of greasy hair I’ve ever experienced. Remember? I accidentally put bodywash in my hair instead of shampoo? Hammocks and High Tea suggested red wine vinegar & water. It worked instantly and my hair felt fabulous!!!)

Here are Heloise’s ingenious tips for using vinegar:

photo courtesy Good Housekeeping magazine

  • Eliminate paint odors: Place a bowl or two of vinegar in a freshly painted room to dispel the odor. (Did not know that)
  • Clean chrome: To remove soap or hard-water buildup on chrome fixtures, put tissues over stained areas, then pour full-strength vinegar over them. Let sit for about five minutes before removing and rinsing. (Did not know that)
  • For a crispier crust: To improve the crust of homemade bread, brush the top of the loaf with vinegar just before baking. (Did not know that)
  • Wash away odors: If your hands smell from handling fish or an onion, wash them in apple cider vinegar. Odor gone! (Yeah. Knew that)
  • Stop the itch: For relief from insect bites, soak a cloth in vinegar and place it over the affected area.(Did not know that)
  • For shiny hair: Rinse freshly washed hair with a solution of 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup water to get rid of soap buildup and give shine (figured it out after above-mentioned hair catastrophe)

winning streak…

Believe it or not, I am on a little winning streak. I can’t blog for long ’cause I’m jumping into my Volvo wagon and burning rubber to the corner store for some lotto tickets!!! I just got a phone call from cutie-patootie celebrity designer, Angelo Surmelis, who informed me that I won a set of his Nesting Ottomans.  I’m jumping for joy ’cause they’re Gorgeous Smorgeous and they’ll be perfect in my bedroom sitting area.

photo courtesy angelo:HOME website

SIDE BAR: Never, ever, ever let your 14-year-old knuckle-head teenage son answer the phone. Medical experts claim (duh…any mother coulda told you this) that boys’ brains do not have impulse control until they reach their 20’s–I concur!!!! When Angelo called my home this morning, said knuckle-head answered the phone and stomped through the house with the phone in hand, pretending to be a Frankenstein receptionist calling out in a theatrically deep voice, “JENNIFER FINDLAY, THIS CALL IS FOR YOU, MRS. FINDLAY. CALLING JENNIFER FINDLAY…” Are you kidding me? Excuse me while I take this opportunity to chant, “Namaste” 10 times and do some deep-breathing exercises. It’s going to be a looooong summer.

Back to my winning streak…the local CIBC bank branch also called me on Friday to say that I won a gift basket from a draw I entered during a community festival. I love this week!!!!

crazy for daisy…

One of my best friends sent me this delightful picture of her daughter, Riley, enjoying the Crazy Daisy teapot her mom bought for her. May she have many wonderful tea parties with her new treasure!

Pssst…Riley…I know where you can get LOTS more Crazy Daisy…call me!

Riley and her Crazy Daisy teapot

it's all about scale…

Just wanted to share this picture with you. I love the scale in this room. It’s obviously quite spacious with very high ceilings, and the designer has done a terrific job making it seem warm. The the large piece of art (as a dog lover, it really appeals to me) and the huge vase with tall branches brings everything into proportion.

photo by Virginia Macdonald via Shelter blog

happy summer happy color…

Can you hear me sighing with relief? It’s finally summer! Although the sun isn’t shining here, we’ve been promised a peak at it later in the week. When I think of summer, I think of color, so what better post than one on color in decor? I’ve collected an eclectic assortment of colorful rooms.

My inspiration for this blog is a bungalow designed by a fabulous Canadian designer, Jonathan Legate.

Photograph by Stacey Haines for Style At Home

I can see myself living happily in a room like the one above. The combination of warm buttery yellow walls with just the right red–especially the striped chair–and the gorgeous black toile drapes is such an inviting combination! Just the right degree of cozy & drama.

photograph by Stacey Haines for Style at Home

I think I finally get it…fabric is king! Look at how fantastic this room looks with that fabric. I might not give it a second look if I was leafing through swatches, but a designer like Jonathan has the experience to see the big picture and understand how it will make a room shine. Yet another example of why it pays to hire a designer.

photo courtesy Benjamen Moore

Pottery Barn’s summer paint colors for Benjamin Moore are really interesting. As paint chips, they don’t jump out at me, but once I see them in a vignette, they’re fabulous. The brown, blue and red in this room somehow manage to seem light and airy. Go figure! At this point, I think you’ve got a sense of how color-challenged I really am…lettin’ it all hang out here on the pages of this blog.

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

I just think this cozy turquoise room with the gorgeous-smorgeous bedding is the cat’s meow! I’d never leave my bedroom if it looked like this!

photo courtesy Lonny magazine

You know me…gotta get a little orange in here somewhere. This appeals to the modern side of me.

photo courtesy Midwest Living

For some reason, I’m craving a mojito and a fan! I doubt that Mark would actually join me on this verandah for a drink…hmmmm…wait a minute..!

photo courtesy Elle Decor

This rosy red is “in” right now. So if you want to be super cool (just like me), rose is the color for you! I just can’t decorate with it, ’cause it would be a major clash with my red hair–I’m  a big believer in decorating with the colors that flatter you! My mom would probably claim that horizontal stripes on chairs make you look wider…hmmmm!

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

photo courtesy Lonny magazine

The boldly colorful couch and the gold gilded picture frame remind me of some of the decor I’ve seen in Britain. It just says, “sit down and we’ll have a really good chat”.

I’m hopeful that this summer will be full of color. Full of friends. Full of fun!

cool collage…

Looking for a great weekend project? I just love these photo/picture collages. Who doesn’t have photos stashed away that need to be framed and hung?

This one is quite unique. I love that it wraps around the corner!

photo by Blount Architectual and Interior Design via Houzz

The collage wall is just so impressive in this setting. I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on that table and chair set too!

photo by Coburn Architecture and Interiors via Houzz

photo courtesy via Houzz

photo courtesy Houzz

And just when you thought you had to paint all your walls white…

photo courtesy Domino magazine via Houzz

What I want to know is who climbed up the ladder on this one…

photo by Tracy Murdock Allied ASID via Houzz

just give in to the serenity…

Sometimes the universe just forces you to slow down, whether you like it or not, and you better just deal with it. I’m having one of those weeks that just make you want to slap on a backpack, tie up your boots and head for the hills. The hubby is in L.A. wining and dining at a big gaming show, and I’m here at home running the other show.

Let’s review: So far I’ve had to fix a broken toilet (well…it’s a BandAid really, until Mark gets back), call the police to break up an impromptu drunken grad party on my lawn in the wee hours of the morning, talk a stressed-out boy down from the homework ledge, entertain visiting family, run a business, clean a house, clean up the mess from the other toilet I coincidentally broke (thank goodness for the third one or we’d be hooped). So far so good.

However, it only takes one grain of sand to bring the whole engine to a grinding halt. A virus hit and Jane has been knocked out with a bad cold! The poor kid has been lying in bed for two days, while I try to convince her to study for her last grade-five science test. Yowsa. I can feel the grey hairs sprouting all over my shrinking head!

I have had to admit defeat and climb right into bed with her. It’s like there’s a little heat generator in bed with me, so all the windows are open, and a breeze is wafting in.

So I’ve given in to the madness and the day is actually turning out to be pretty good! I finally figured out some tricky PhotoShop processes and I went to town. Although it looks simple enough (my graphic designer friends are howling with laughter), the summer entertaining collage I put together took some figuring out, and I’m patting myself on the back for turning 46 yesterday and teaching myself something new every day! Go me!

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