Envelope Back Pillow & A Lovely Vintage Fabric

We’ve been working on our bedroom recently: painted the walls, hung curtains/valance, built and hung floating night stands and finally got our new duvet cover!  We bought a white duvet cover so we can display our beautiful wedding quilt that my incredibly talented cousin made, plus it’s easier to clean (‘ello bleach!).  However, I wanted some more colour/pattern on the bed and remembered that my Mom had given me some beautiful vintage fabric: thus leading to a new pillow!

The lovely fabric from my Mom is  a Greeff fabric, Tennessee Nightingale from Golden Odyssey, printed in England in the 1970’s.  I just love the colours and the sweet little birds.

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Our Lake Life has an easy tutorial on how to make an envelope back pillow (check it out here).  My pillow form was 16″x16″-speaking of pillow forms, they are incredibly expensive.  One of my girlfriends (check her out at Beautifully Contained) suggested buying the discounted ugo pillows from your favourite home-style store. So that’s what I did. Thrifty friends are the best.

It didn’t take that long to throw it all together and I just love it!

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I need to find a couple more simple patterns in the same colour scheme to round out the throw-pillows. As you can tell, I’m loving the blue/yellow/green colour scheme.  

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Easy-Peasy Curtain Valance

I always thought curtains were such a grown up thing when I was little.  Add a valance and I could swear I was headed to my Oma’s house. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate curtains and how they can transform a space.

I bought curtains from Ikea ages ago (Vivan White Sheer curtains @ $15 for two panels) and have been meaning to hang them up in our bedroom.  I had washed and ironed the curtains and then they sat in a laundry basket in one of the spare rooms for three weeks (oops), until today.  I finally decided to hang them up.

I’d done a bit of research on how to make rooms look taller (our ceilings are about 8ft-9ft or so), and if you hang your curtains as high as possible, and a little larger than the actual window, it will make your room look bigger. Sidebar: the comforter on the bed is not our normal comforter, our new devout cover is being shipped!!!

Our bedroom window, all sad.

Our bedroom window, all sad.

Our window happens to be 61.5″ wide, so I went two inches out on each side to nail in the hangers (also from Ikea $3 for two).  I only tacked up the second hanger and put the rod between them and levelled it out.  The window instantly looked taller and I was pretty content for about 45 seconds…I hated the naked curtain rod. It was just taunting me in all of its ugliness.

Curtains are up, but I'm not happy with it.

Curtains are up, but I’m not happy with it.

I decided to make a valance to cover that puppy up and take care of some of the empty wall space.  I found this fantastic post from Bibbidi Bobbidi Beautiful about making a valance…from CARDBOARD! I kid you not. I happened to have some cardboard around  the house (aka, boxes I still have yet to unpack from moving in…I knew I was saving it for a good reason!).

Soon to be a valance!

Soon to be a valance!

(On a side note, when we moved, we did a scan tracking system, hence the bar code on the top of the box, so we would know if all of our boxes arrived and were unopened.)

I measured the width of the curtain rod and added 2″ to give more than enough clearance on both sides. I took the distance from the top of the curtain rod to what I wanted to cover up (roughly 12″), then measured from the front of the rod to the wall (6″).  I added a 5″ piece on the back of the valance to tack it to the wall.

Dimensions of the valance in inches

Dimensions of the valance in inches


Then I got to cutting.  I opened up the box so it was totally flat. I was able to use all of the pre-bent sections as they matched my measurements, so that was super simple.  I taped on the back piece to be in the middle of the valance, because I didn’t want to worry about the wall mounts.

Just doing a test fit to make sure everything is a-okay!

Just doing a test fit to make sure everything is a-okay!

Luckily I had a plain white sheet that I was able to use to cover the cardboard. I ironed it before I started working with it and then just moved it about until I got it where I wanted it on the valance. I used duck-tape on the backside, where it wouldn’t be seen, and hot glue to secure it! The front of the valance has three layers of fabric because at two you could still see through it.  I took the curtain rod down, centred the valance and tacked it up with six 2″ nails. It was super simple and is really light weight.  All in all, it took…1.5hrs to do? And for the entire window treatment it only cost me $20!

All done!

All done!

I think it makes a world of difference in our bedroom and the Mister was even impressed! Do you have any surprising uses for cardboard?

The Red Wall

Men used to own our house.  There is nothing wrong with this, however, their decorating choices were…well not to my taste.  Thankfully, some paint, curtains and pretty pink things wipe away that masculinity. ha.

There was a red wall in our front sitting room:

Pre-us moving in: Red wall & massive black couch.

Pre-us moving in: Red wall & massive black couch.

It was so dark and overpowering, plus with the big ol’ (working YAY!) fireplace, it was just too much. I hated it.  So I set to painting it. We went with Duo Inspirational White from CIS.  It has undertones of Grey in it, which works really well with the rest of the sitting room, which are a lovely (shockingly) light grey.  As the paint was a primer/paint in one, it only took two coats to cover that horrible red.   Painting the walls white made a drastic difference.

Already looking better!

Already looking better!

Woo! Both sides painted and painters tape removed!

Woo! Both sides painted and painters tape removed!

Then, we came to all this wasted space. We searched  long and hard: we looked for pre-made bookshelves, but they were all so deep (we are working with a 9″ wide area because of how the window is situated).  We then went to pre-made shelves, but they were too expensive for what they were offering.  After that we decided to DIY it.  We attempted this shelving unit thing…needless to say, we all have projects that take a total dive bomb and this was one of them.  The  shelving unit is now tucked away in the basement and I’m using it to store crafts on.

After hemming and yawing a little longer, we decided floating shelves were the way to go.  Thank goodness for Young, House, Love and Build it with Ana, we did not have to search long! Check out the fantastic post here!

Anywho, our space was 52″ on one side and 53″ on the other (from wall to wall), so we decided to make them 48″ and centre the shelves.  There might have been some math mis-calculations on my end, which the Mister had to adjust…twice. Oops.  Good thing he loves me! 🙂

Please ignore the mess:) The TV will eventually find another place, just haven't gotten there yet! :)

Please ignore the mess:) The TV will eventually find another place, just haven’t gotten there yet! 🙂

It’s a work in progress, but I think it looks a MILLION times better! What do you think?

Halloween Wreath

Halloween is upon us and we finally have a door to decorate! Woo-hello wreaths! I was at Michael’s and they had some Halloween wreaths that were on sale for $40 (normal $80), I nearly died.  They were okay, but not worth $40, let alone $80! They must have gotten into the candy a little earlier and were on a sugar high when they did that pricing.

I decided to make my own and looked at the foam wreaths at Michael’s again-for the size I wanted it was like $12. Come onnnn! For some foam? The thrift (cheap?) side of me did a little more research and found that people were using foam pipe insulation from Home Depot! This is in bulk (50 pieces), but I only bought one piece for around $2. I was able to cut it in half, so two wreath rings for $2-take that Michael’s! You just need to stick them together (take off the yellow stripping and stick it together!).  Then you’ll need to just duck-tape your two ends.  Anyway…

I headed over to the dollar store and picked up some Halloweenie things.  Two big spiders ($1 for both), some black streamer rolls ($1 for two rolls), little spiders and their webs (12 for $1) and some orange paint ($1)- a total of $4!

Onto the construction-sorry there are no pictures of the process, I was watching M15-Spooks (BBC show) with the Mister and totally forgot, oops! I wrapped the wreath in the streamer, I went around twice.  Then I pulled out the hot glue gun, stuck on one big spider and went crazy with the spider webs and itty-bitty spiders.  I used some cardboard I had around the house and cut out the word “BOO” and painted it orange; once dry I stuck the letters on the wreath.  I just used some more of the streamers to hang it up on the wreath hanger.

For $6 (with left over pipe and Halloweenie things), I think it turned out pretty well and I didn’t waste a fortune on it!

Halloween Wreath: Property of Lemon Delights

Side view of the Halloween Wreath: Property of Lemon Delights

Eh-oh Canada, go…finally!

Preface: This is an incredibly long post about our PR journey.  I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, but am simply sharing my experience of the process.

When I met the Mister in 2008, I never knew the difficulties we would face when trying to decide where we should live. This decision was particularly difficult because the Mister is Canadian and I’m American and our families live on opposite sides of the continent (West vs. East).  We first lived in Vancouver (2009-2011), then moved to Toronto (2011-2013), there was some NY time (Buffalo and Central NY too) tossed in 2012-2013 and now we find ourselves in Calgary.  I was able to work and live in Canada under open visas and a sponsorship through a job.  I knew visa’s would always be an issue, regardless of where we wanted to live…

While in Toronto, I studied at LSE (In the UK) and then landed a job in Buffalo, NY (2012) because my Visa had run out for Canada.   We knew that we needed to apply for my permanent residency for Canada. Now, we did this after much deliberation on where to live, we even toyed with buying a house in Buffalo, NY.  We went back and forth on the pros & cons of the two countries and finally came to the decision that Canada would be able to afford us the lifestyle we want right now.

Now, I’m not sure if anyone has gone through the process of PR (for any country), but it is the most emotionally draining experience we’ve ever been through.  We started our application in October 2012  as an out land sponsorship (because I wasn’t residing in Canada at the time) and it took two months to fill out all of the paper work, gather all of the documents and check (double, triple check!) all of the documents. We paid all of our fees up-front and I had my medical completed even before we sent in the application so there would be nothing to delay the process.

We finally got the documents in on December 4, 2012. And then we waited…the Mister heard that he was approved to sponsor me (support me and such) in January 2013, which is the first step. We were elated, we thought our case was trucking along, but then came April 2013, when the PAFSO went on strike (they are still on strike as of September 2013…) and everything came to a halt.  We waited and waited. We searched the internet for information, scoured over chats and forums, we attempted to get in touch with Ottawa (where our case was being processed) but they do not list their phone number online and don’t have to get back to you via e-mail.  So…we waited in limbo.

Life went on, as best it could, we had our wedding in June and I was able to visit the Mister in July.  Then July 11th, 2013 came: we received an e-mail from an immigration agent asking for more documents!!! They were documents we had already sent it, but we sent them again.  Then the Mister received a phone call from the agent who was processing our case on July 12 to verify some information (my birthday, where he was working etc.).  We couldn’t believe our case was FINALLY in progress.  Our E-case (online tool to follow the progress of your case) was updated on July 15,  2013 to decision made!!! We were so incredibly happy, we might have cried.

You know how I mentioned we surfed chats and forums for information? Well, while they offer some fantastic advice, they can also turn you into a raving nut! Once a decision is made your e-case doesn’t actually inform you if you’ve been approved or not…so you have to wait…and wait…and wait.

I checked the mail every day for nearly a month straight.  I cannot describe how it felt to be let down everyday, to have so little control over the situation and to not know when you’d be out of limbo: it was truly depressing.  I was fortunate enough to have my wonderful family to support me through all of it and make me smile daily.

Finally on August 17, 2013 my Conformation of permanent Residency (COPR) arrived in the mail.  I was out shopping when my Mom phoned: I did a dance in the mall, I was so, so, so happy I nearly cried. Yet, there were still so many unanswered questions-which is why I am writing this post.

Inside of the envelope, there were a couple of sheets of paper: two copies of my COPR and some standard letters with basic information.  Luckily I had been on the forums (oh love/hate relationship) and knew I had to fill out a B4 form (to claim anything I was bringing over) and that I had to write a detailed list of everything I owned and assign a value to it all.  Depending on how you are immigrating into Canada, there are limitations on what you can bring: because I was entering as a new resident of Canada, I was able to bring over a bit (any one item over $10,000 would be taxed, and all items, unless wedding presents etc. had to be used: i.e. you couldn’t buy a brand new computer just to bring it over kinda thing, and all items had to be meant for personal use and not re-sale).  I also imported my car into Canada.  You need to have an official title of the car, in your name, and fax that over to the border crossing you plan on going over AT LEAST 72 hours before you cross. Make sure you actually export the car once you get to the crossing.  We (brother and I) missed the lane for this and had to go through immigration on the Canadian side, just to turn around and go back to the US…to export the car…to enter into Canada.  The reason you need to export the car is because if you don’t and then you want to go back into the US with said car, you can pay heavy fines.  Once you land in Canada you need to pay your fee (roughly $200) to the RIV and have your car federally inspected.  You have 45 days from when you land to do this.  To do this, you go to a Canadian Tire and bring all of your documents and receipt along with you.  Make sure you phone the Canadian Tire to see when they are actually doing the inspections, just so they don’t turn you away.  You’ll have to pay an additional tax on the tires ($4/tire, including your spare, if it is a full one).  After you get your go-ahead from Cad Tire, you’ll need to bring in your documents to a Registration office to file the paper work.  That’s another $10.  Cad tire failed to write down the weight of our car (awesome…), so I had to take a photo and e-mail it over to RIV.  After your file is complete, they apparently mail you a sticker to put on your car to stat it has been properly imported.  Depending on the province you are calling home, registering the car will be different.  We’re in Alberta, so when I filed the RIV paperwork, they handed me the import for out of province inspection paperwork.  Apparently there is no deadline on when you need to have this done, however, when you DO get it done, you only have  14 days to file that paperwork, along with your insurance and change over your driver’s licence.  I am sure there will be more fees behind that too.

Once landed in Canada, you must keep track of the days you are outside of Canada, as you need to be in the country for so many days out of the year.  Also, if you’re aiming to eventually become a Canadian citizen, you need to be in the country for 3 out of 4 years, so it’s imperative to keep track of the time you spend away from Canada.  I’m using my google calendar to keep track of the days here/outside of Canada.  Before you can leave Canada, it is recommended that you wait till you get your actual PR card-this takes up to 90 days.  Now, you can request that they expedite your PR card, but you must have a pretty good reason why.

Anyway, applying for PR status has been the most arduous journey and you only do it either because you truly love someone or because you truly love (need to leave your old country) the new country. I’m still trying to find my footing as a PR of Canada (which is all a bit strange to me…!), but keep my American roots.  I’ll keep you posted on when my PR comes and how the process for eventually applying for citizenship goes! 🙂

To all of you who are applying for your PR status, keep your head it…it will happen. Also, if you have any questions, do feel free to drop me a note and I’ll try to help you, based on my experiences 🙂




Yellow, neighbours!

We’ve moved in (both of us…post about the PR process coming soon)!! I am so excited to finally be a homeowner, as is the Mister.  We made a long list of things to do, but, I decided to stray from the list while he is travelling for work:)

When we first met, the Mister lived in a flat that had a bright pink front door and I forever fell in love with coloured doors.  I knew that once we finally owned a house, I’d be painting the door.  I looked all over for inspiration (‘ell pinterest) and just loved all of the colours I saw.  So I went to the local Home Depot and picked up a mess of paint chips in a range of colours (blues, greens, yellows and reds).

I taped them to the door and made the Mister and my brother (who is visiting) stand back until we figured out which way to go.  The greens I had picked out were too dark, the reds looked funny (although I do love Behr’s coral colour and hope to use it elsewhere in the house), the blues (a beautiful peacock blue) just didn’t pop enough.  I mean, if you’re going to have a colourful door, it should pop! So then came the yellow: Yellow happens to be my favourite colour, it makes me instantly happy.


“Sundance” by CIS

We took the door off the hinges, took off the hardware and sanded it.

Brother getting his sand on

Brother getting his sand on

Then we got to painting. We had a primer/paint combo, so priming necessary. (Sorry about the limited number of pictures…getting  your brother to slow down for photos ‘your blog’ is rather difficult).


Jasper wanted to be involved in the process

We did 3 coats of paint because it the brown was so dark, which means extra drying time.  Thankfully it is so dry and hot here that it took no time at all.


Drying door

So here is the before:



And after (Please excuse the quality of this photo…took it from the iPad):


What do you think? Do you have a colourful door?

Birdcage Veil

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m drawn to the vintage life.  I love (almost) all things vintage, but I adore the style the most.  When looking for a veil, there was no contest: I wanted a birdcage veil.  They are vintage and glamorous, but incredibly expensive at bridal shops and even on Etsy.  So off to Pinterest I went. I found a  couple great tutorials from: Wedding Chicks, Project Wedding, and Martha.  My MOH  and I tried to make a veil…this is also the same night we decided to try out different alcoholic drinks for the wedding. We tried to make a fabric flower to put on the veil too…we kept burning our fingers. The tutorial is really great though, check it out on The Polka Dot Closet.  Anyway, we learned that drinking and veil making do not go together…so we gave up on the veil making and continued the necessary task of trying out the drinks. I decided instead of trying to make a flower from scratch, I took a stem flower from JoAnn’s and disassemble it.  I bought a 25″ Gardenia Spray (found here).  I also bought a fancy button (sparkles and all) from JoAnn’s, it was under $5. After the flowers were disassembled, I used one of the green center pieces to the flowers and started from the largest petals on the bottom and worked up to the smallest.  I then strung the button with some thread and fed it through the green stem.  I did this back and forth a couple of times to secure the petals.

Flower: Property of LemonDelights

Thankfully my Mom is super crafty (she is also a florist and did all my flowers for the wedding!!) and helped with the veil.  We used a plain hair comb because the flower covered it up. After some adjusting the length, it was perfect! We ended up using about 14-16″ of veiling material. I think it turned out lovely and only cost $5 for the flowers/button, $2 for the hair comb, $3-5 for the netting, a total of $10-12! A savings of roughly $50-$60!

Me: Property of LemonDelights

Post nuptials :)

Post nuptials 🙂

I am so lucky to have such a beautiful MOH and best friend.

I am so lucky to have such a beautiful MOH and best friend.

Twine = Adorable Flowers

I am addicted to Pinterest (probably not a good thing), but there are so many ideas for wedding DIY’s.  I loved making my wedding board (check it out here). It really provided a great way to bring together ideas and for me to remember them!

Our wedding evolved on Pinterest: I knew what I wanted the wedding to be, but putting it into pictures really helped convince the Mister on the feel of the wedding!  I knew I wanted a casual, vintage garden party and that is exactly what we got! To get this “style” we thrifted all of the flatware and dishes.  The mix of old vintage dishes really made that happen, plus now I have over 80 of everything (plates, dessert plates, bowls, salad plates etc.) I am not planning on keeping them all…maybe…but rather re-selling them.  I am keeping one full set that services 20 (‘ello dinner party!!) that is a plain white with a lovely gold trim (and made in the USA!).  So, because it was cheaper to thrift the flatware (and I can re-sell that too!), we needed napkins, thus needing a napkin holder.  We purchased oversized napkins (those puppies were HUGE) from RealDeals (a dollar store), 2 for $1.  We were able to cut the napkins in half, and re-did the hem along the cut side (yea, they were that big), and brought down the average cost of our napkins to .25cents a piece! You can’t even rent them for that cheap!  We washed them in clorox (they were white), hung them out to dry on the clothesline and then ironed all of them.

Okay, so we had all of the napkins and flatware, so we needed something to hold them together.  I saw these adorable twine flowers-I loved them, so I started making them, without thought as to what they’d be.  I made them while the Mister watched hockey (eh-oh, Canada!).  They are SUPER addictive to make, and even after I had enough, I found myself wanting to keep on making them!  Check out The Bugbytes for the full tutorial.

I used a glass to measure the ‘loom’ and used simple sewing pins to keep everything in place.  I made sure to keep the strings long enough to tie around the flatware bundles (this was after my Aunt and Mom complained they were too short. hehe!) Once we tied a couple, they looked a little plane, so we decided to bejewel them!

Silverware Tie: Property of LemonDelights


Here one of the guests, my MOH’s (check out her amazing blog at Beautifully Contained) sister, added them to our wedding favours.  Too stinking cute!

Twine flowers


Stuffed Owl-Jasper’s Toy

Jasper loves stuffed animals. We were buying them monthly because he would eat through them, ripping their stuffing out and leaving just the shell of the creature.  It was actually really sad. So, I decided to actually make him on. I had some extra duck canvas lying around from a gym bag I made the Mister and some scraps of colourful fabric too. I wanted something pretty simple to make, with NO extremities, they are too easy to rip off-so I decided on an owl. Look at this poor animal-Jasper destroyed it.  This little reindeer donated his stuffing and squeaker for the new toy.

The innards have been removed.

The innards have been removed.

I made an outline of the owl on wax paper after looking on Pinterest for some inspiration. I cut out the two pieces of the duck canvas first and then cut out all of the little pieces: the eyes, beak, wings and chest portions.

After everything was cut out, I pinned them onto one piece of the duck canvas.

All pinned up!

Then I got to sewing those parts on.  The eyes were the trickiest.  I made sure to stitch everything down really well as it was going to the dog’s mouth.

Sewing him up: Property of LemonDelights

Then I flipped the ‘face’ of the owl, right side down, onto the other piece of duck canvas and stitched almost all the way around, leaving an opening to put the stuffing and squeaker in.

Then I stuffed everything in and stitched up the little opening. I gave it to Jasper, and he love(d) it! I made the toy about 6 months ago, and it’s still in one piece!!

Jasper and his Owl: Property of LemonDelights

In total this revamped toy cost me NOTHING! 🙂 Have you ever made a stuffed toy?

Wedding Day Reflection: Destress

My mother is a florist (on top of the million other things she does, really-she’s amazing).  She is currently working on flowers for another wedding that is happening this weekend (congrats to you!!), and I’m pitching in where I can.  As I work on some arrangements, under strict guidance of course, I can only think of the bride and if she is stressed or is really sitting back and taking the whole experience in.

When I got my hair done, the hairdresser couldn’t believe I was getting married because I was so calm. I wasn’t freaking out, I was simply taking it all in.  That got me thinking, why freak out? I mean, yea, it’s a big day, it changes the rest of your life, but it’s about you and your partner, it isn’t about the party or if something isn’t right.


Don’t get me wrong, I was stressed the month before the wedding (my family and Mister can attest to that! Sorry! :)).  The little things were bothering me (the white’s weren’t the same white, my tan line (rather off-whiteness) wasn’t the same shape as my dress) really, silly little things that I am sure no one noticed.  But it took my Mister to remind me that it was our day, and we only get one, so to simply enjoy it.

And that is what I did.  Our rehearsal was small and intimate, and the dinner was a BBQ in our backyard.  We tested out the garden games for the wedding and had an early night.  I spent the evening frosting cupcakes with my Aunt,  MOH, a very dear friend and the MOH’s hubby.  It was so fun and carefree.

The morning of I woke up around 8 after getting a full 8 hours of sleep.  I wasn’t stressed or worried: at that point, what wasn’t done wasn’t getting done and really, what did it matter if there wasn’t humus for people to dip their veggies in? There was dip! My MOH picked me up for our hair appointment, where it was just the two of us (and Atira!!!) in the shop.  We had so much fun, laughing, relaxing and simply taking in the day.  One of my favorite memories is watching Sara getting her hair curled and realizing how lucky I was to have her as my best friend and MOH (and how darn pretty she was/is).

I was able to get ready surrounded by my incredibly close friends.  We laughed and there was no stress. None, at all.  I loved being able to share a drink with some of the most important women (womyn) in my life.  And being in a room with that much beauty can only make you happy/  I knew I was marrying the right man, I mean, he was the whole reason for the day.  That and I looked good ;).

As I walked down the aisle, there was no one else, just the Mister.  I stopped at the bottom of the aisle with my father and did a little head nod, to let the Mister know everything was okay, I was ready, and to say “Hey, what’s up?” I am sure no one else noticed, but he did, and it set us at ease.   He was/is my guy. I wasn’t stressed, I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get to the “I Do’s” and to just kiss him! That was the most stressful part, not being able to give him a kiss when I saw him because he looked so darn handsome and I could tell he was nervous (that and it was so sweet when he cried as I walked down the aisle!!!).

But really…thinking about how stressed people become over their weddings…there is no real reason for it.  There are things that need to get done to have the party, but really, no one will remember that the peanut butter brownies weren’t put out (sorry guys…they were amazing though!). They will, however, remember how the Mister and I looked at each other, the love and warmth from the entire party, how comfortable and fun it was, and that is was truly a beautiful day.

So, take a step back from it all, remember it’s only one day and it goes by far too quickly.  Enjoy every second of it, and to the beautiful bride tomorrow: I hope you are totally relaxed and may your day (and lives)  be filled with love and laughter.