Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just this

...giveaways list for today :)

For baby:
  • Win a $25 gift certificate to The Baby's Bundle at Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House. Ends August 5th.
  • Win a $40 gift certificate to Chick Pea Boutique (a Canadian store) at Organic Girl. Ends August 31st.
  • Win a $75 gift certificate to Zutano's Itzy Bitzy (newborn) shop at Mommy Reviewed. Ends August 20th. But you won't really want to enter this one, right? Because I totally want to win it! Oh, who am I kidding! Of course you will want this awesome prize if you know someone expecting or are yourself.
  • Win a Soothing Blanket (swaddle blanket) from Luna Lullaby at Barefoot Mommies. Ends August 5th.
  • Win a BumGenius One Size Pocket Diaper from Eco Baby's Hut at Dirty Diaper Laundry. Ends August 5th.
  • Win a Sweet Pea One Size diaper at Dirty Diaper Laundry, too! Ends August 5th as well.
  • Win a Cuddlebunz diaper at Organic Girl! You even get to choose from 4 styles. Ends August 27th.
  • Win the Anka high chair from Scandinavian Child at Simple! Ends August 10th.
  • Remember Affordable Baby Organics? Dirty Diaper Laundry's hosting a giveaway for the Karma Pouch sling and a pair of BabyLegs from ABO! Ends August 5th!
  • Win your choice of Baby Blend tees at While They Nap! Ends August 1st.
  • Get your last minute entries in for the notNeutral blocks from All Modern at Le Petit Elefant! Ends tonight at midnight, MST.
  • Win a Wubbanub (the cutest, cuddliest pacifier!) at Monkey Mayhem. Ends ??
For grown-ups:
  • x-rated! Win a We-Vibe from Pink Cherry at Bargain Moose. Open to Canadians only and you must subscribe to their email list. Ends August 21st.
For anyone:
  • Win a $30 gift certificate to Skin Free at Thrifty Minnesota Mama. Ends August 12th.
  • Win a $35 gift certificate to Skin Free at Jamerican Spice. Ends August 17th.
  • Win a $50 gift certificate to Gorgeous and Green at Prissy Green! Ends August 9th.
  • Win a Stork Craft glider and ottoman at Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House. It's sort of for nursing but I can't think of anyone who doesn't enjoy a comfy glider. I would so love one of these for my office that hopefully will one day be a nursery. Ends August 31st.
And holy cow, I just had a guy in to quote on painting our house - he wanted $6825. Um, what? Do I look like I'm made of money? Just to put things in perspective, the house is only 1945 square feet. And we don't need the trim, ceiling or closets done - just walls. Yikes. I have two more guys lined up for quotes, I hope they're a little more reasonable!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Colouring my world...

Colour is basically my job. I mean, I'm a painter - the artist kind, not the house kind - and I spend my days looking at colour, mixing colour, playing with colour. So it is a mystery to me why it's so hard to pick paint colours for our walls at home!

My last house was a 1920's brick house with warm wood floors. I ended up painting every single room a variation on yellow - which was perfect for that house and made it feel very warm and sunny inside, even in the rooms with small windows. My favourite was the kitchen, which I painted a pale yellow and I did the cabinets in a warm "Squirrel Grey", with new brushed nickel knobs, which looked both modern and classic at the same time.

This house is a new build and we have been living with builder beige since we moved in nearly two years ago! Finally today I went around and picked some colours. Unfortunately my husband has a say (I'm joking, I don't mind - we do both have to live with it!). So I have set out my colours in a list, room by room, and hope when he comes home he will like them. I'm going for mostly pale shades of tan, pale blue-grey, a pale grey-green, and two darker colours - a dark grey-brown and a dark grey-teal. That last sounds weird but I'm not sure how else to describe the colour (I could mix it with oil paints, but I can't name it!). Kind of... natural, sand, rock and water colours. The darks are for the powder room, which I want to feel like a jewel box with its chrome hardware and accessories, and for our great room, which has grey-blue curtains with a gold sheen (prettier than it sounds) and beige carpet and sofas. I think the dark paint will make it feel cozier in there and better for tv watching.
It's hard to pick and I confess I used the paint brochures with the colour sets - then added my own colours to the four in the set. Yeah, I've chosen about 7 colours for the house, but all in the same family. I hope it looks good. We're probably going to hire someone, since we have tall ceilings, especially in the hall with the stairs. I don't mind tackling the smaller rooms myself at all, though! I kind of like painting walls, it's so satisfying and amazing to me that such a small thing can make such a big difference to a room.

The one thing I'm not looking forward to is moving all the furniture!

Do you have a method of choosing paint colours? What are your favourite colours for a house?

Okay, on to some giveaways for today...

For the ladies:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Big plans

I'm excited about a couple things coming up for us... we have a two-week trip planned to go out west (Victoria, Vancouver and Edmonton) to visit friends in September, and also a one-week trip to Mexico with friends and family in November, that will be an absolute riot and also coincide with our one-year anniversary. We got married in Mexico so it's pretty cool that we'll be back there for our anniversary!

This coming weekend we're heading to Stratford with friends, to see a play and eat... Eat, because my friend is a big foodie and makes a point of finding the most delicious food around no matter where she is. I can't wait. We're staying over, it will be fun to get away and spend the night in a hotel!

Lots of vacation coming up for me. Yay! It will be nice to take my mind off things at home and just relax some.

Now some giveaways for today....

For baby:
For the ladies:
For men or women:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to it

...After a hectic week!

I made it through the baby shower and totally held it together, phew. My friend loved the quilt :)

On Saturday we drove up to Algonquin Park with my husband's brother and his wife. We did some awesome hikes and ended the day with dinner at Bartlett Lodge. It's a cottagey restaurant right on Cache Lake inside the park, you have to take a boat to get there, which is fun. The restaurant is pretty casual; the food is anything but. We have eaten there three times now and never been disappointed. For $55 you get a five-course meal that is absolutely gourmet. And they always have awesome vegetarian options which is really nice for me... sometimes eating out at restaurants is simply disappointing with the only offerings being pasta or salad. Here's my menu from Bartlett Lodge on Saturday:

Amuse-bouche: a baby pattipan squash with red onion and pomegranate confit, and steamed arugula
Appetizer: oh my gosh, I can't believe I have forgotten this!
Soup: Cream of roasted parsnip
Entree: Fresh spinach tagliatelle with a white bean puree and roasted peppers (amazing)
Dessert: Chocolate orange creme brulee with biscotti

The breads with the meal were delicious, too - a caramelized onion focaccia, pine nut loaf, and tiny multigrain buns.

And we took a bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella (a gorgeous red) - which went perfectly with the meal. They don't have a liquor license, but if you bring your own wine they are happy to open it for you (no charge). After about 6 months of no drinking those two glasses of wine hit me like a Mack truck :)

On the way home we saw countless raccoons, a deer, a fox, an owl that swooped low across the road, lots of frogs and a massive house fire - the fire was huge, about 4 storeys high, and had taken the bungalow down so fast that as the fire engines were pulling up, only the 2x4 framing was still standing. Wow.

Unfortunately with the 3 hour drive, DH was trying to cut it a little shorter and managed to hook us up with a speeding ticket on the way back! Oops. Luckily the officer was very nice and reduced the ticket... My hubby's first ticket ever!

Okay, now what you have probably all skimmed past the text to get to! Some giveaways :)

For baby:
For anyone:

Winner - Affordable Baby Organics!!

Time to draw the winner for the adorable organic hat and onesie from Affordable Baby Organics... Who will it be?!

Hmm, heading over to entering the numbers... there was a non-contest entry comment in the batch. which I deleted so that the draw would be from contest entries only... And from only 18 comments (crazy, eh? With such an awesome prize?)... picked lucky number 6!

Which is...

Morgan from Mon Petit Amour!

Morgan is expecting, due in November; this will be a sweet addition to her little one's wardrobe! She is a Canadian blogger, based in Calgary.

Morgan, I'll be emailing you shortly!

For the rest of us, we can still shop for the perfect organic clothes and carriers and stay in budget at Affordable Baby Organics. Don't forget that coupon code to save an extra 10%: "emilyisland10"!

I do have another giveaway lined up, which I will post details about later this week! :)