Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Florida Living and Dining Room

Our days are running our here in Florida  to get our house sorted out.  We leave on Friday just as we are getting a feel for the area and our neighbourhood.  You could walk for miles here admiring the beautiful historic homes.  We have the living room pretty well as we like it. Our cottage things fit in here quite well and it is starting to feel cozy and bright.

Above the day bed seen here on the left will be our TV mounted on the wall.  We carefully found the stud, measured and made level, but when we drilled into the beam.....poof....we hit a wire and blew the electrical to half the house.  Luckily the neighbor has an electrician working there right now and he is coming over to fix it........ 

Behind the sofa on the right there, I am having bookshelves added to the 2 odd niches which are now just empty space.  Because the ceilings are low here, the shelves will visually heighten the room.

In the dining room, I have an old table that my MIL gave me, and two Louis chairs that my friend left behind when she went to Abu Dhabi. I think they work well in here, although I would like to get rid of the velvet fabric.....not in the budget for ages yet.  I used metal Tolix chairs as they are simple and versatile.  The chandelier came with us and the sofa is actually a futon that turns into a double bed for extra guests.  With only 2 bedrooms I needed to create as many sleeping spots as possible.

Beyond that door is a screened in porch.  It has a bit of a leaky roof, but could be really pretty with a  little bit of work.  It runs the whole width of the house and is very shady.  With a little porch paint and TLC, it could be a good spot.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Florida Day 10

Front door and staircase.
The house is pretty well set up now.  We've hung blinds, bought a TV, security system etc. and are starting to feel quite at home.  We had supper out on the weekend with people the Raz Man does business with here, and they have invited us to their favourite Italian joint on Wednesday night. Lat night we met some great neighbours who have offered to keep an eye on the place while we are gone, which makes me feel much better.  You feel a bit vulnerable in a new city with no contacts.

What I love about this house are the window sills...still with original tile from 1936 when the home was built. Perfect for all my bits.  This large bottle is a Jumbo the Elephant Orange soda bottle.  Marbles I picked up in the UK shopping with my Grandad.  Baby cups from Mexico. 

The upstairs hallway is my favourite spot.  Here I've put me shell and shell box collections.

The guest room.  We removed a shelf from behind where the daybed is.  I HATE when people don't paint behind things!.  This room is quite large and has a window seat (not shown) with a built in cedar lined blanket box. This house is 2 bedrooms.  We need places for people to sleep.  Hence the daybed in this room.  If my kids come and bring friends, it's a good place to extra people to sleep. 

View from guest room into the hallway with original arches.

Master bedroom....this room is more shaded as there is a covered porch off the french door that is screened in. It has been too hot to open these doors so far, but in cooler months it will be lovely to sleep with them open.

This house was originally a garage apartment converted into a 2 story house.  The upstairs master bedroom was originally the living room, hence the large stone fireplace and enclosed patio.

View to the JUNGLE.

The yard is full of old brick patio, hex block paths and a rain forest of palms and other plantings.

To the left is where we hope to put a pool.........It is very pretty, but quite dark.......

The crew hired to trim back the massive trees and limbs that were overhanging the house......a full day's work for 4 men. The picture above from the balcony was taken AFTER the trimming....you can imagine how full it was before.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Beach Day

We gave the house a break today and headed over to Passe-a-Grill Beach,  It was a perfect beach day on the Gulf side, unlike the awful storm hitting the other side of the peninsula.

This picture above is taken from Johns Pass at Madeira Beach. about 15 mins from our house. We went there to visit our new neighbors who own an action business and suggested we come to a warehouse they are liquidating.  It was full of treasures.  I filled a large box with glasses, plates, salt and peppers and a huge beautiful old seashell. They gave everything to me for $10 to welcome me to the neighborhood.

 The waves were spectacular today and the kite boarders were out in great numbers making some huge air.

My pretty plates and glasses form my neighbors shop..

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  I hope if you are in the hurricane zone you stay safe.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pink Petticoat Pillow

We've come a long way from the roll of paper towels we used as a pillow on the first day here.  I have loved the Pink Petticoat Pillow from Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic for ages, and since I could have it shipped here to Florida, it worked out perfectly.  It's a little more dusty rose than the Ballet pink that I had expected, but quite lovely all the same.

When working with clients it it really important to measure precisely, both for floor plans and furnishings. Since we only had one visit to this house when we purchased it, I relied on the real estate listing to provide measurements for the living room. Which was subjective to where you stand when you measure.  The result is the room was not wide enough for the daybed I purchased to go where I thought it would.  I will have to play with location once the rest of the furniture arrives, but it looks like it has to go on this wall in the living room, which is fine as it provides extra seating.  Since this house is 2 bedrooms, we need sleeping spaces wherever we can find them.  Hence this daybed.....a perfect place for a guest (or me) to snooze)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Florida Day 3,4,5

Things are progressing at a snails pace right now.  We await our POD (storage container) which should arrive Thursday if it isn't delayed by the hurricane heading this way.  Not likely to hit St. Pete, but we have been having rain and thunder.  We've also had to stay close to home to receive deliveries.  Yesterday we had the jungle tamed and large branches lopped off before the stormy season arrives.  Today we wait for the contractor to look at the disaster of a master bath.(the only thing not redone in this house).  So, I've been wasting time with magazines and blogs. 

Since we sold the cottage sofa with the cottage, I was able to pick a new one for here.  I opted for white because the ceilings are low on the ground floor and I didn't want a coloured sofa to cut the room in half. And the rug is for my Ky, who thinks her mother is afraid of colour......well I'm not...and this is proof....this rug is from my online shop and is called Bed of Roses.  A Kaffe Fassett rug for Dash and Albert....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Florida Day 2

Day 2 was for exploring where to shop for food, wine, bedding etc.  And discovering what I love about the USA....and Florida so far.....................................

1.  Target......plus Rachel Ashwell at Target
2.  Buying wine and beer in the grocery store. (In Canada, only Quebec allows this)
3.  Cheap liquor......crazy cheap wine prices
4.  Friendly People.......super friendly.....customer service oriented......
5.  Fiber Optic Internet......10 times faster uploads of photos for blogging...

Other than a couch and bed, we have no furniture.  Not even a box to use as an end table....But at least we have a comfy place to sleep and sit.  And to wake up to this view of the garden from the master bedroom balcony is really special......I hope everyone is having a fun weekend........

Friday, August 19, 2011

Florida Day 1

Florida Day 1....and exhausting day.  We arrived at the airport really early because the line up at US Customs is very long, only to be divided into lines according to what time your flight left.  We got in the line with the same folk who arrived an hour before.  There were about 2,000 people forced into "holding areas" to wait for their turn to wait in line to go through customs.  For the second time in a row I was flagged for "Special Security" which is no big deal...a quick check.  After 2 1/2 hours waiting for customs with 5 minutes until boarding, I get flagged again and sent to Secondary Screening.  After a short wait, I was asked some questions, then had my luggage checked, quite pleased that my new lacy bras were the first things to pop out from the suitcase.  Finally let go.  Sure I had missed my flight only to board and have another hour wait as 15 people had still to clear customs.  Is it ME or are any of you getting "Random" checks at security or customs?

Then to the Agents office to get our keys, off to the house where we had nothing at all to sit on until 6 pm when our bed arrived.  Thank you Tampa bay Discount Mattress for delivering between 5 and 6 as promised.

My sore knee was so bad from all the standing and the sprint from customs to the further gate and we were so tired, we slept on a beach blanket on the floor.  The Raz man made a pillow with a roll of paper towels.....
We pottered in the garden and met with the Tree Guy about getting this all under control......The elephant is a fountain and the previous owners left him for me.  Thank You............we'' take good care of your house....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here's the thing

Did you know you can order Shabby Chic online now?

We leave for Florida tomorrow to set up our new home.  I know that a second home is a blessing, , however things have been crazy getting everything set up.  Banking has been an issue as well as setting up payment methods for gas, electric etc. Despite Canada freely accepting the US$, it does not work the other way.......Even paying with US funds from a Canadian bank has been an issue.

Since we sold the cottage, we had a truck load of furniture we decided to take with us.  After 30 pages of forms and declarations the load was ready to go, however we have to be in the USA before the truck crosses the border, so we leave tomorrow, the truck later....then a 5 day wait for our stuff.  Sheets, hairdryer...beds....chairs etc.COFFEE MAKER......obviously I will have to hit Super Target tomorrow night.  

I have a fellow from a Mattress shop who willingly took my money and claims he will be there with a bed by 5pm tomorrow...or we go buy an inflatable raft......if he doesn't deliver, I'll post his name here tomorrow night....if he does...I'll post that too....

I have a few deliveries (sofa) etc. that I hope are arriving on Friday.  The main issue right now is we don't have a key.  The agent picked it up from the Title Company after closing and he seems to have gone AWOL.  

It may be a good way to test the Neighborhood Watch when we have to break into our new house.........

Monday, August 15, 2011

Surprise a Bride

With about 7 weeks till the BIG DAY, it was time to surprise the bride with a shower.  Organised by her sisters and friend and held at Angela's house, it was a fabulous event.  Every detail was just lovely.

The bride's sister made the gorgeous cake.  I do love a pink theme.  All I had to do was show up and drink champagne, which was wonderfully easy to do.

And here's our beautiful bride.  I love the look of happy shock on her face and the hand over the heart.........

The 3 wicked sisters....

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I need a lot of coffee today.

Yesterday was a completely crappy day.  It all started off with a visa card issue, followed by a mistake I made on a Government Form, which is going to cost money.  Then I helped my sister move.....scrubbing the filth left behind by previous owners.  Upon leaving her house, I headed home. I am not sure what really happened, but I was stopped at a red light, then when the advanced green flashed, for some daft (distracted) reason, I went.  Only the dude in front of me didn't.  Smack.  Into the back end of his Lexus.  Of course!.  He hopped out.  Holding his neck!!!! I obviously didn't hit him hard, since I had stopped, and my air bags didn't deploy.

My license plate cover had a crack, but no damage to my car.  His fender had shifted 1/2 inch, and the paint from my plate had imprinted on his fender.  Anyway, he was actually very pleasant, although still groaning on about his neck. He took my information while rubbing his neck with his other hand. Off to police reporting station today.  He told me he will get a quote from the place he's been to the other times he has been hit.......

I've been driving for 32 years and have NEVER hit anything or been hit by anything.  I've been feeling bad because I was distracted. I wasn't paying attention.  $$$$$$$$$

Goodbye lousy day.  Hello today!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spectacular Giveaway

I debated the odds of me not posting this great Giveaway(s) over at Suzan's lovely blog OLD GREY MARE.........  If fewer people know, the odds are better for me.

But I get an extra entry if I post this..........hmmm, one entry for posting this........vs. 100 people entering the giveaway....

OK, I'm not really that nasty an OLD Cow NOT to tell you to head over and check it all out........

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birthday Boy

My boy is 26 today.  About to marry his Love in a couple of months.  We joke in our family that he was born an old soul.  He's always been fiercely independent and mature beyond his years.  In Grade 1, we went o parent teacher night to discover all the kids sat in groups except ours.  He had his own desk.  Teacher said because he was Student of the Month, he got to pick where he sat.  He told her he liked to sit on his own.  He's a lone wolf this boy.Following his own path  But his flip side is that he's hugely social. His days are so full with work, the gym, visiting grandparents, hockey, golf, travel and good friends, he barely sits still.  And he's got his Love who he puts ahead of anything.  He's a tower of strength this one.  Forget the glass is always half full attitude to life.....his is always overflowing.  He's smart, frugal, careful, hardworking, and when he puts his mind to something anything is possible.  This year, he demolished his kitchen and installed a brand new one all on his own. He's Treasurer on his condo board.  If he gets cash for a gift, he throws it in an investment account.  Because being secure and careful and planning for his future is more important to him than buying new STUFF. One day he wants to teach high school and collage kids how to manage money.  I thinks that's a life skill that's gone by the wayside.  If he has one trait that carries him always.  I would say that is Confidence.  Which make me so proud and happy because that has been the one thing most lacking in my life. LOVE you Boy.  Happy Birthday.  Sorry your cake didn't make it to Montreal.  It was so delicious.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Makes you want to jump right in doesn't it.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you are in parts of the world enjoying/suffering this heat wave, I hope you find relief with a cool pool, pond, shady tree or 
Banana Popsicle.