Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blurb $35 Photo Book Giveaway

  • Is your little bundle of joy on the way or did you have a new baby?
  • Did you just say Yes and are now planning your big day?
  • Are you hosting a graduation or birthday party for your loved ones?
  • Or are you like me, an interior decor enthusiast, that are looking to get noticed in the industry?
  • Are you looking for a creative and unconventional gifting idea?

If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, you would want to look at Blurb,  a dream-made-true company that provides you with necessary tools, print and finish your photo books for you!

Just to give you an idea, you can almalgate some of your best photo shots of the rooms you decorated or DIY tranformation projects, Blurb them into a book and that will become your best resume/portfolio for your prospective employers!

This is the opportunity for you to receive $35 to be used towards any products you want on Blurb.  

Here are the two easy steps to enter:
  • Follow me by clicking "Join This Site" button on the right; leave a comment to confirm so.
  • Leave another comment on what type of book you would like to create with Blurb.
  • That's it!
Each comment will receive one entry. This draw is open to readers in US and Canada. I will announce the winner on Friday June 8th.

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Laundry Room Paint Color

I received a coupon for a free can of Para Ultra Hybrid Paint at BlogPodium, and am thinking of using it for our laundry/mud room.

We still have the builder's super flat paint in there since the makeover from over a year ago. The paint color is off white, not ugly but plain. I have always played safe when it comes to paint color, but this time around I am tempted to try something new and bold -- not chartreuse type of bold, but a dark charcoal color maybe?

To recap, this is my laundry room. White cabinets are Ikea Adel. Countertop is Formica's Smoke Quartz in glossy finish.

Here are the paint colors I am tossing around.

This is what the Herringbone looks like in real life, image via Style At Home.

Another image with Herringbone paint, via HGTV.

Which one would you prefer for a laundry room with white cabinets and appliances? Or would you go for a lighter shade to keep the room white overall?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cheap n Chic: Capiz Drum Chandelier

Welcome to Monday, and the heat alert! I hope you are staying cool and hydrated. Here are a couple of eye candies to help you through a few more working hours.

Oly Studio Senera Capiz Drum Chandelier via Lightopia at $3,250.
 It looks so elegant and cozy in a bedroom. Picture via Decorpad.

Or how about hanging it in a least expected place over the kicthen island to add some glam? Picture via Oly Studio.

Wicker Emporium's Capiz Hanging Lamp at a Cheap-n-Chic price of $40!

Oly Studio's Serena capiz lights also come in floor lamp. Price undisclosed.
 Or how about snatching a similar one at Wicker Emporium on sale now for $72!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BlogPodium: Recap and Reflection

I had an amazing time at BlogPodium's "The Business of Blogging" event this past Saturday.
Clockwise from top left: BlogPodium's stylish program guide and note pad; Table setting; BlogPodium's co-founders Jen and Lindsay kicked off the event; Freebie by EQ3; Free paint decks by Para and BM.
The event was a huge success, in my opinion, for the following reasons:
  • I finally met the lovely Jen and Lindsay in person, together with a few other fabulous ladies such as Sundeep, EJ, Britt and Beatrice, etc. Shannon and Janice were MIA so sadly I'd have to catch up with them next time.
  • The venue Arcadian Loft was tastefully decorated. I liked the intimate round table settings -- it felt more like a gala/party then a seminar.
  • The topic "The Business of Blogging" was intriguing. I was surprised to find out many other bloggers started blogging as a means to share their life stories with friends and family outside of the province/country. Though I don't see myself ever getting into the blog advertising world or using my blog to generate income, I found the speaker and panel discussion focused and well prepared.
  • The sponsor welcome by Para was short and sweet -- Thank you Jen and Lindsay for not putting us through vendor brainwashing sessions like some other event organizers would do.
  • The sponsor meet-and-greet had certainly benefited some bloggers who wish to get into the design industry. I personally would like to see more vendor items on display for someone that also wished to shop at the same time. :-)
Overall the event was flawless executed so kudos to Lindsay and Jen for putting together such a thoughtful get-together for GTA bloggers. It shows impeccable project management and event planning skills. In the next BlogPodium, I hope there would be some discussions along the line of "self-made decorators" and "bloggers-turned-decorators". It would be really neat to hear how some DIY bloggers end up taking clients and morphing into an interior designer: 
  • How did they convince clients to hire them?
  • Did they start with their friends and family?
  • Did they do some free work to build up references/word of mouth? Did they take any decorating traininng/classes through Sheridan College or Humber College? Yes that's right...I am seriously considering taking some part-time classes.

I already can't wait for the next BlogPodium event! Well done, Jen and Lindsay!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cheap n Chic: Nautical Coral Decor

I have always been a big fan of nautical decor in a subtle way. You are never going to see key elements like anchors, ropes or ship wheels in my house, but you will spot coral branches, nautilus shells and blue/white wide stripes pop up here and there. Since summer seems to have arrived early this year, I thought I would post a few great finds of coral sculptures. After all, who can get the beach out of their head with gorgeous weather like this, right? Most of these coral branches are natural. The lucite stand/base adds elegance, and gives the nautical theme a more polished spin.

Natural coral branch on a lucite base via Seashell Collection on Etsy, cheap n chic at $24.

This red coral sculpture via Vivre Collection has a Hollywood Regency vibe, and a fabulous price tag of $90.

Pottery Barn carries a lot of nautical decor items. This faux prickly coral is a substantial piece at $99.

Last but not least, this dramatic and one-of-a-kind blue coral sculpture is available at Burke Decor for $245.

With that, I am going to sign off for the rest of the week, and look forward to meeting all of you fabulous peer bloggers at the BlogPodium this Saturday.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Green Thumb

The Allium Globemaster came out early this year thanks to global warming. Within a few days, the Alliums in our front yard turned from this:

into this! They are almost as big as my head! I wanted to cut them and put them in a vase indoors so badly, but on a second thought, I've decided to leave them as is and add some colors to our yard. I consider myself an avid gardener and find myself spending most of my early evenings outdoors taking care of plants. We have a young garden that requires a lot of TLC. 

French Lilacs also blossom earlier each year.

And we had a quick BBQ this past Saturday. We will be hosting a backyard party for 20-30 people soon so I'd better go and find a larger table set. Any suggestions?

Borghetto Flaminio Flea Market

While in Roma we set aside a couple of hours to go to Borghetto Flaminio Flea Market near Piazza della Marina. It's only open on the first Sunday of April every year. To our great disappoint, the market is nothing but a household garage sale. Whatever other web site reviews tell you they are overrated. There are nonetheless a lot of varieties: antique silverware, porcelain, figurines, and picture frames, jewelry, clothing, etc. What it's lack of is what I like and real solid quality pieces.

This is FUGAZI Italian Style, baby! (Does it sound like Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss?)

This vintage white chiffon dress is so pretty! Yep, I could probably fit into it when I was 18!

More "Your Junk, Other People's Future"

We walked out of the market, empty-handed.  

Borghetto Flaminio

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top 100 DIY Sites

As I was getting my head back into the working day after a fantastic long weekend, I received an email from Lauren at Construction Management Degree that they have shortlisted my blog into the "Top 100 DIY Sites for Home Improvement Fanatics"!
I feel so honoured to be among those super fantastic sites such as #5. Remodelaholic, #7.Young House Love, and #18. Dans le Townhouse, etc.

You should check out the site and the list to see if you've made it. It was a great moment of escape and now I have to go back to the reality (aka rat race). Ciao!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cheap n Chic: Criss Cross Bookcase

I first spotted this super chic criss cross bookcase in Style at Home magazine. I love everything about it -- elegant lines, sophisticated finishing touches with finials, etc., well, except for the price tag.

Super fab criss-cross bookcase in glossy back via HW Home, Blue Hand Home or One Kings Lane, ~US$895.

JYSK's Magnus 5-Tier Bookcase comes stained or unstained, and as a perfect fixer-upper on sale now at $103! I just need to pick up four wood curtain finials and screw them into each post. Can you see an awesome DIY project coming?  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Recap

Friday night Mom told me she read in a local newspaper that Jingdezhen Art Porcelain Fair is on in Toronto, and numerous vases and porcelain wares are on sale at 70% off. Jingdezhen is known for its blue-and-white glaze porcelain ware.

So today while Anthony had to work weekend shift saving lives, my Mom convinced me to go to the porcelain fair with her, and wasn't I glad that I went! I was overwhelmed by the colors, shapes, patterns and textures of all the porcelain ware ranging from under $100 for everyday decorative vases to over $100,000 for collector-worthy can truly find something that suits your style and budget. The only thing difficult to do is to decide which one(s) to buy! The fair is on for a limited time at 3280 Midland Ave, Unit 22-24, Toronto, ON M1V 4W9. They are open 7 days a week from 9:30am to 8:30pm and their phone number is 647-534-3138.
Can you tell I was exhausted afterwards?

After circling the store for almost an hour, I finally came home with this: an underglaze blue-and-white porcelain vase that's about 20" in height. It's now sitting in my foyer.

After that I took Mom out for dinner to celebrate the Mother's Day, and we wish the restaurant served Francis F Coppola's Sofia Rosé. For some reason the world's largest wine buyer (guess who?) has been running behind on the Francis F Coppola collections. I l-o-v-e everything in this picture, don't you? Picture features Sofia Rosé via Francis F Coppola Winery.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Apple of My Eye This Week

My fave this week undoubtedly is about my newly finished master bathroom (sorry for the narcissistic act), things I still need to make the bathroom more comfortable.

This is the bathroom, and my plan is to add a magazine rack/basket in the left corner of the room.

Why do you need a magazine rack in your bathroom to make it more comfy, you may ask? Okay I confess, I am a potty reader so I always keep a stash of the latest magazines near me for the life's most relaxing moments.

Here are a few options I like...which one is your favourite?

From the top left clock-wise: 1. Umbra Vogue Magazine Rack, 2. Kamui Magazine Rack, 3. Bonsai Magazine Rack, 4. Charles Hollis Jones Square Magazine Holder, 5. Charles Hollis Jones Lucite Magazine Holder, and 6. Ikea Branas Basket in White.

We are finally going to have a weekend without any renos at home, and the weather is going to be gorgeous. Time to fire up the BBQ and load up some beer! Have a great weekend everyone!
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