Monday: Confessions of a Shopping Diva

So, I mentioned in my At Home blog yesterday, that I bought the Cayman Egg Chair at the Home Depot. It is a fabulous addition to my deck plans for the summer, and I’m thrilled about the look that I’ve put together, and I can only hope that if all goes well, we will have the best isolation time right from our backyard;) We can only smile now. Here are my ideas put together:

The seating area will include the area rug (Millville outdoor 5×8′ rug, $88 at Wayfair), the seating set (Hampton Bay Patio set, $1700 at Hoe Depot), and the fireplace (Hampton Bay fireplace, $298 at Home Depot). Last but not least, the Cayman Egg Chair for $398 at Home Depot. I will be interchanging the table from the seating set to double as a dining space. I will use the Bykbee Teak Garden bench, $359 at Wayfair, the Nakagawa Wicker patio chairs, $289.99×2 at Wayfair, and the Union Rustic picnic bench, $229.99 at Wayfair.

It is really coming together and I can’t wait to see it completed. I will definitely add in some dramatic yellows, blues and greens as accent pieces. Live potted plants will also be essential to create that nature feel, and I will choose plants that I can care for inside during the winter months. Lights will include string lights, and wall lighting that will illuminate the area for evening barbecues, and gatherings. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?

If you have any ideas that you have put together for your space, be sure to share. We would all love to see your sense of style, and for you to share in helpful tips and advice. Remember to shop online if you can, and take full advantage of doorstep delivery. Stay home as much as you can, and enjoy your space. Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday: At Home

This Sunday turned out to be a really pretty one, with a high of 13 degrees! It was rainy at the start, but the sun finished off strong by the end of the day. I hope everyone was able to get outside and enjoy the good weather. I, myself had an exciting Sunday trying to track down this item at the Home Depot:

This is the Cayman Egg Chair for $398. A gorgeous addition to the outdoor thoughts I’ve been having these past few months. Isn’t it cute? The price is pretty reasonable and a few kids can cozy up, or a grown-up could snuggle with a book easily in this. The only problem was, there was none in stock! I searched the first store by phone and they said they found one in another store not too far away. When I called that store, they told me that their inventory says they have none!! I was devastated because this chair has been part of the plan, and I assumed I would have it.

Then an amazing thing happened. The associate told me that she would check the floor just to see if the inventory was wrong. I’ll pause here to say that if you’ve ever been to a store, and the item that you are looking for is not within plain sight, what can you expect? The associate would say that if you don’t see it there, we probably don’t have any left, right? Nine times out of ten, they are wrong, but we will never know because they refused to check. I’m soooo thankful for people who still go out of their way to make sure they are providing the best customer service. It is refreshing to have someone take a second look, just to be sure they didn’t miss anything.

Low and behold, on her quick scan of the back of the store, she found my chair!!! I told her to hold that baby because mommy was on her way;) A few other customers tried to buy it before I got there, but she was very persistent about saving it for me. I will definitely be doing the survey on the associate’s behalf. I am happy to announce that the Cayman Chair will be joining the outdoor living plans I have in store for the summer after all! Yay! I realize it is not easy to shop in the middle of this crisis that is on our hands at this present time, but make note that Home Depot is delivering their products for a fee. Purchases over $1500 would be free to your doorstep, just to sweeten the pot.

I did have that birthday party for my son this week, and the cake was awesome! So the big reveal, a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing, a chocolate ganache drip, and goodies on top!

It was a lot of fun to make, and I purchased the cake topper download from Sometimes Pie at etsy.com. Everything looked phenomenal, and my son was so happy! I definitely hit this week out of the park, and I think it calls for a glass of White Zinfandel and a good back rub. I’ll see if the hubby is up to it;) Until next time, happy Sunday everyone!

Friday: The Socialite

The end of the week already! How did you make it through? I hope in good spirits. It is Friday, which is a perfect night as any, for a feel-good family movie. I took the time to look up a few that I thought I would mention, in order to give you some ideas as to what people are giving two thumbs up. Some are oldies, but goodies, which only makes them must-see classics.

best-inspirational-movies-netflix-india-the-persuit-of-happyness-image

The Pursuit Of Happyness

Director:  Gabriele Muccino

Star Casts: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith

The Pursuit Of Happyness is a golden eye in the list of best inspirational movies on Netflix. It is the story of a struggling salesman who takes custody of his son, then later the life takes a U-turn in his career and how the tasks of responsibilities transform the nature of the character is the most interesting part.  

best-inspirational-movies-netflix-india-my-life-as-a-zucchini-image

My Life As A Zucchini

Director:  Claude Barras

Star Casts: Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud

An animated movie with an inspiring storyline. A boy who loses his mother is sent to a foster home then what all changes he encounters, what all things he learned is scripted beautifully. The story of this great movie to watch throws the spotlight of the life of orphans that how they survive in the world without a family.

best-inspirational-movies-netflix-india-the-shawshank-redemption-image

The Shawshank Redemption

Director: Frank Darabont

Star Casts:  Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

The Shawshank Redemption is a story that portrays the beautiful friendship of two men which was on the walls of the prison. But the bond leads a long life even outside the walls of the prison. 

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Lion

Director: Garth Davis

Star Casts: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara 

Lion is one of the best inspirational movies on Netflix. The story of an Indian boy who lost himself in the streets of Calcutta and after that, he faced a lot of problems until he was adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later he set to search for his Indian family. The movie has an incredible emotional story line. The scenes will be remembered forever of this great movie that everyone needs to watch. 

best-inspirational-movies-netflix-india-the-blond-side-image

The Blind Side

Director: John Lee Hancock

Star Casts: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw 

The beautiful movie which is full of love and support. Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who turns to become a football player with the help of a woman and her family. The movie shows the role of humanity. The women understand Michael and helped him to take himself out of depression. Later, the love and acceptance of the family gave the boy was incredible.

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Into The Wild

Director: Sean Penn

Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener 

Sometimes when life gets tough, we fantasize about sacking everything off and heading out on an adventure. But then it dawns on us that doing something so spontaneous would actually require a lot of efforts, so, instead, we shrug it off and go back to watching movies like ” Into The Wild” on Netflix. One of the best things to watch on Netflix that would refresh you and make you think about the inviting feeling of wanderlust. Into the wild tells us a story about a guy named Christopher Johnson McCandless who gives away $25,000 to charity, burn all the cash after abandoning his car and hitchhike to Alaska. 

*Movie info taken from magicpin.in

Six different films, and they all have special moments where you will definitely need to wipe your eyes. I can’t guarantee they are all suitable for young children, so you will have to look into the ratings before viewing. I also found the perfect nachos recipe to make for your Friday night event. I hope you enjoy it! Happy Friday everyone!

Sheet pan with nachos topped with cheese, tomatoes, ground beef, olives and green onions
Easy Nachos
Ingredients
1 Standard Size Bag Of Tortilla Chips
1 pound block of cheese such as cheddar Monterrey Jack or Colby Jack, shredded
Optional Topping Such as:
Seasoned Ground Beef
Shredded Beef Pork or Chicken
Black beans or pinto beans
Tomatoes jalapenos or chilies
Corn black olives, avocados
Use as little or as much as you like of toppings this is a personal choice type of thing!
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or foil.
Spread chips over cookie sheet.
Sprinkle toppings over the chips and cheese.
Sprinkle on remaining cheese.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until cheese is good and melted.
Serve warm with sides such as guacamole, sour cream or salsa.

* Recipe taken from lovefromtheoven.com

Thursday: What’s Baking?

So, it’s my son’s birthday tomorrow, and he can’t stop talking about how his day is going to go. I had to venture into Walmart to get the gift he wanted, which is a VTech Smartwatch. Family members ordered his other gifts online via Amazon, and gifts apparently are on their way to our home. What a strange time we are in now. Anyway, with the help of his younger sister, and older brother, I also plan on baking a cake tonight for tomorrow’s festivities. He’s lucky he has siblings! Otherwise, he would be eating cake with mom and dad;) I have picked out a few cakes that I have the ingredients for, and I want you to guess which one I will be deciding on.

Oh my! Don’t you wish you were invited? We have the classic rainbow cake, a deluxe chocolate, or a delicious peanut butter cake. I will decide tonight and start baking. There will be a big reveal on Sunday, so don’t miss it! I will also throw in a couple of handmade birthday decorations, including a banner and a birthday boy badge! Dinner will be special. I am baking a salmon, and will compliment it with asparagus and a hearty bean salad. We will play games, watch movies and go for a walk. The best we could do for now. It will be a lot of fun! Hang in there, and all the best to you tonight. Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday: Do it Yourself Challenge!

Hi everyone. I was curling up in front of the tv watching Netflix, and it came to me that I would love to have a chunky blanket! The comfort of a warm, and fuzzy homemade blanket would keep me busy, and make my movies cozier in the evenings. What a great challenge! I thought I would share a video on how to make them so that you could give it a try at home too! If you love colours, this is your chance to be creative and choose from a wide variety (online;). I know that my go to is usually the greys, because it matches the furniture I have, and will not stain easily. Here is a video that will tell you how to create the blanket, step by step:

It doesn’t get any better than $35 to make your very own blanket! While you are sitting at home, thinking of what to do to occupy your time, you could be making one for yourself! I will definitely try one too if I could manage to get my hands on the yarn. I did see the yarn at Superstore, but did not get a chance to see how much they were selling them for. If anyone knows a good place to look, even if it’s online, please let the rest of us know.

I will send you a pic with my chunky blanket, and you could send me a pic with yours! We are moving into Spring, but the nights are still chilly enough for a great, big blanket. Have yourself a wonderful night. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday: Confessions of a Shopping Diva

I thought we could dream a little, and pretend that the warm weather is already here! Picture yourself sunbathing on the deck, taking in the blue skies and warm breezes. Do you feel it? I have a picture of a deck below that needs your summer inspiration. All you have to do is pick the deck furniture that would suit your taste the most, in order to give that outdoor space your magic touch.

Lucky you! Your backyard is magical! Let’s see which wicker dining set would suit your look?

SIGNATURE DESIGN BY ASHLEY BEACHCROFT 6 PIECE OUTDOOR DINING SET $3,299.97 (reid’s.furniture) beachcroft collection SKU: P791-625+600+601+601A Available To Order 7 to 14 Days
POB Teak Dining Table $1,776.00 (bonairecoastalliving.com)

Trevisio 7-piece Dining Set Your Price3,999.99 (costco.com)

I would personally go for the first look. It has a cozy feel to it, but also ties in with the grey on the brick wall of the deck. The bench allows for better views of the yard space, and makes the seating feel less formal. I also love how they have extra cushion on the bench to makes it super comfy spot! Now that we have picked out the dining look of your choice, we are now on to the lounge area.

Home Decorators Collection Gwendolyn 5-Piece Wicker Patio Deep Seating Set with Sunbrella Cast Ash Cushions $1,499.25 (homedepot.com)
WoodWorks HF Outdoor/Patio Amazonia Malta 4 Piece Eucalyptus Light-Grey Patio Conversation Set, IHMMalta-Set at Woodworks Home Furnishings **Scroll Down Page for more Product Details** Sale Price: $2,899.00 (woodworkshomefurnishings.com)
Breckenridge Collection $4,493 (lazboyoutdoor.com)

I am definitely all about the first set from Home Depot. Once again, the look is cozy and laid back. The furniture looks like you could take a little fiesta in the afternoons! Even if the price is almost $1500 US, it is still reasonable once you do the conversion to Canadian dollars. For that look, the price is right!

I hope you had a good time shopping for furniture that should lift your spirits, and prepare you for the summer ahead. Prices can be a bit daunting when you check the tags, but remember to shop out of season for sales, and compare online prices to the ones in-store. Sometimes, you can find a better deal that way. My advice to you in this time is that you keep dreaming of your shopping from home and stay safe! Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday: At Home

I have been working diligently on a client’s master bedroom. The theme she has chosen is “African Roots.” There is a bit of a challenge in purchasing the final pieces because of the stores being closed. Today, I went in with my husband to put up the electronics and lighting.

We had a little issue with the lighting. In order to make the chandelier a bit shorter in length from the ceiling, we had to change a part in order to eliminate the extra rod. I will have to look around Home Depot tomorrow to see what I could find. The tv was a hit! The 55 inch went up without a fuss, and we were pleased with that. The pictures I took did turn out a little dim, but we were installing as the sun was setting.

It will definitely take more time to complete everything on the list being that the stores are not open for shoppers, but if there’s a will, there will definitely be a way! I managed to do what I could in her space, but was also able to complete the Banana Bread Cheesecake I promised for today! I am SuperWoman! Here is a picture of the finished product:

Not bad, eh? Looks delicious! The husband will be the taste tester tonight. The cake turned out well, but I have to admit that am really bad for reading over recipes before I do them! So, I happened to miss the part where it asks for two eggs and a yolk, and two eggs and egg white. I threw the yolk away before I realized that I needed it for another step. Read it through. Don’t be foolish like me;) I decided to skip the chocolate chips because I thought it was sweet enough, and I was right! You could definitely rock this cake without them!

I hope that you were able to accomplish much today, and that I was able to inspire a little baking action in the kitchen! I encourage you to cozy up with a cup of tea now, and watch a series because we have time! Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday: Reflections

The saying says, “Patience is a virtue.” It’s meaning being an example of moral excellence, which lays the foundation of an honourable person. Patience gives more time where it is needed, to areas of our lives that require attentiveness. Where do we usually need patience?

Family requires a great deal of the patience we possess. We strive to make those we love happy, and find the tolerance to work through the painful process of finding balance and autonomy in the relationship. There is no greater joy than the comfort of knowing that a family’s wholeness is due to contribution of patience that comes from each member.

One of the hardest things that I face is giving my children the space to be kids and make mistakes. It takes an enormous amount of effort to see them spill the milk, or forget their homework on the kitchen table, without chastising them for their clumsy or forgetfulness. Breathing out and counting backwards from ten, or picturing them as the babies they once were, will sometimes help me through each episode. However, there is a peace in patience. Understanding that there will always be a time when milk will spill, and homework will be forgotten, but allowing the moment to be just that. We can mop up the milk and drop off the homework, but we can never relive the time spent with those we love. So, we take the good with the bad and cherish every minute of it.

In this life, we give out patience where patience is due, never considering that we will need some for ourselves. We are our own biggest critics; never allowing mistakes, or rebuking who we are simply because it doesn’t meet society’s standards. We judge ourselves harshly, and leave no room to grow and mature. We expect to always have an answer, and already know everything without ever having to learn, which limits our life experiences, and keeps us from spreading our wings.

My biggest learning lesson about myself so far, has taken place in the last year. I have always had an issue with weight loss, and have also been timid in times where boldness mattered. I have been fighting for the two equally, but never able to win. I promised myself recently that if I were to fight for something, it will be for me. You can’t lose weight because the world wants you to be thin, and you can’t speak up only because people can’t hear you.

You have to decide what kind of life you want for yourself, and work at it each day. There has to be patience in the process because it is a defining moment that changes your direction forever. It is the “absolute” that will take you to another level, never going back on your final answer. So, I decided that I will give myself time to evolve into the woman I want to be. Weight loss and a sense of boldness are both important to me, but I will not do it in a hurry. I will consider what I am fighting for, and give it the time it takes to blossom.

For all of you who struggle with patience for those you love, or even yourself, you have to remember that there is nothing to gain in your haste. There is a great responsibility on our shoulders to nurture the people we love around us, and the individuals we are inside. It begins with love as a sprout. Virtue grows from its roots, and patience is watered over it, only for “relationship” to flourish in its fullness. Good things take time to grow. Be patient and wait for it. Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday: The Socialite

Today, I thought I would look up some board games that might be new to you. There are so many out there that it’s hard to choose, but I will also include ratings so that you know how well the game plays. We are definitely not going out this weekend, so we might as well plan to stay in!

Board Games

Jumanji, Indigo $27.96, 4.1 out of 5 stars 720 ratings

Villainous, Amazon.com $44.99, 4.6 – ‎1,071 reviews

Sequence, Indigo $19.96,
☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆4.7 out of 5 stars. Read reviews.
(33)

5 Second Rule, Indigo $23.96,  Rating: 4.5 – ‎89 reviews

Hopefully, these games will get your collection started, and will have you doubling over in laughter. Don’t forget the snacks! I also found a recipe for the famous “Chicago” popcorn that will bring everyone to the table for games night.

Cheddar & Caramel Chicago Mix Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 7 quarts plain popped popcorn , about 30 cups of popped popcorn or 2 1/2 bags of microwave popcorn
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup , I use homemade
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 6 cups popped popcorn or 1/3 cups popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

For the Caramel Popcorn:

  1. Place the popped popcorn into two large baking pans.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  3. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend.
  5. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
  7. The mixture should bubble rapidly.
  8. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat.
  9. It is okay if the popcorn isn’t completely coated yet the oven will help us out.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes but stir the popcorn every fifteen minutes.
  11. When it comes out of the oven, try to separate the pieces as much as you can before it cools completely.

For the Cheddar Popcorn:

  1. Put a 1/3 of a cup of kernels in a medium brown paper bag.
  2. Roll the top of it closed.
  3. Microwave until the kernels stop popping at the rate of at least 1 per second.
  4. In a large brown paper bag, combine the popcorn and butter by shaking the bag while pouring the butter in a slow stream.
  5. Once all the butter is in, roll the bag closed and shake it REALLY well.
  6. Combine the cheddar cheese powder, mustard powder and salt in a small bowl.
  7. Sprinkle over the popcorn while shaking the bag.
  8. Roll it back up and shake vigorously.
  9. Enjoy immediately!

*Recipe taken from dinnerthendessert.com

I hope you all enjoy the weekend ahead. Stay safe and have fun! Happy Friday everyone!