December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

happy new year

Lots of good wishes to you in 2010!!


December 28, 2009

Some Important “Thank Yous” and a Recycling Re-visit

DSCF0219Kelly and I are so very blessed to have such great blogger friends – thank you to everyone who dropped by over the last week to wish us a Merry Christmas!! We hope that each of you had a wonderful, joy-filled day with your friends and family!

DSCF0230If I could, I’d send each of you some of the special Norwegian cookies (Krumkake) that I make for my family each year. Instead, I’ll simply wish each of you the very happiest and successful of years. 2010 has GOT to be fantabulous, don’t you think?!

2009 has sure been terrific… early in the year Kelly and I started DesignTies and we’ve had a whole lot of fun sharing interior design loves, DIY accomplishments and client projects with our readers. AND – like I mentioned above - we’ve met some wonderful bloggers! There are two bloggers in particular that I’d like to quickly acknowledge ~ Maria from Colour Me Happy.

DecorPadToday Maria honoured me by listing my Black & White interiors post as one of her “Colour Me Happy top 10 posts”. How fantastic is that?! Thank you Maria!!

And Rebecca at Harmony and Home for including Kelly’s post about doors in her Favorite Posts of 2009. Thanks Rebecca!!

houston doors all things cool

Speaking of favourite posts… one of my favourites is my Ultimate in Recycling post! Why? Because it involved OLD HOUSES… and I LOVE old houses!! And what better thing in the world is there (at least to me!) then reclaiming an old house and moving it to a new lot? Is that not the ultimate in recycling?!

DSC01399 I’m drawing your attention to this post because – just last week - one of the old houses I showcased was MOVED to a new lot. If you’re familiar with the city I live in you’ll know that maintaining heritage is very important. When I first learned that this 1920 Four Square house was for-sale-to-move the first thing that came to mind was how sad it would be for New Westminster to lose one of its valued heritage houses.

Well… the new lot for this Lovely is RIGHT HERE IN THE CITY!!

DSCF0243 DSCF0244

And even more cool… the lot is right next to one of my favourite old brick store-front buildings!! It doesn’t look like much with all that scaffolding, but I promise it’s a totally fantastic building! For years I’ve day-dreamed about winning the lottery, purchasing this old building, restoring it and then – in my day-dream – setting up a home furnishings/interior design store on the main floor with a loft-style home in the floors above. Ahh… dreams!! While it wasn’t ME who purchased it in the end (nope… no lottery winnings in my bank account), I was very happy to see the scaffolding because that meant that SOMEONE was restoring this beauty. And now the old 1920 Four Square is right next door!! I’m pretty sure that this area isn’t zoned for single-family dwellings so my guess is that the old house will become a business of some kind.

I can’t wait to find out!!

The second heritage house – the 1912 Craftsman and my favourite of the two – is still at the original site waiting to be moved. Rumour has it that it’s been purchased and slated to be moved to a lot in Queens Park, a neighbourhood here in New Westminster that’s filled with historic homes. I hope this fantastic house is going there!!!

In the mean time… it’s looking lonely next to the empty lot left by the Four Square!


But don’t worry… I’ll keep my ear to the ground on the move for this wonderful house. Not only do I want to keep track of its restoration, I also want to get photos of the actual MOVE!! How cool would that be?!


December 24, 2009



December 18, 2009

In The Mood for Christmas, eh??

I finally pulled out my swingin’ Christmas CDs, and now I’m In The Mood for Christmas

Seeing as I have a lot to do the next few weeks — Christmas of course, drafting homework (last assignment, yeah!!), plus a few painting projects, walks at the dog park, hopefully some skiing, visiting family, maybe a bit of relaxing… I’m taking a blogging hiatus till the new year. But I can’t go without wishing you a very Merry Christmas the Canadian way… eh?? :-)

Merry Christmas & Happy 2010!!

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December 17, 2009

Christmas in Belgium (and Luxembourg too!)

In 2006, hubby and I went to Europe for Christmas. It was kind of strange not being home on Christmas day. In fact, our Christmas day consisted of driving from Luxembourg City to Esch-sur-Sure, then on to Leuven in Belgium, where we had Chinese food for supper :-)

esch sur sureEsch-sur-Sure, Luxembourg — December 25, 2006

leuven Leuven, Belgium — December 25, 2006

We took a bunch of pictures, but a lot of them were at night and didn’t come out too well. Here are some of the better ones, starting with this super-huge ornament hanging from the ceiling of the airport in Zurich:

zurich airport

Santas hanging from window sills or crawling through windows or sticking out of windows were popular…

hanging santa

santa shutter

santa window 

inflated santa

Christmas lights in the square in Bruges. This is where the Christmas market is—do you see the little wood huts?? There’s also a skating rink.

bruges market2

bruges market

Here’s a much better picture from Flickr:

bruges lights flickr

Lights on a street in Luxembourg City…

luxembourg street

A shopping mall in Ghent…

shopping center

Decorations in Damme, which is just outside of Bruges… this guy sang a Christmas song when you walked by him :-)

singing deer

damme marie trees damme restaurant greenery

Festive doors…

door bark wreath door pinecones

I love the architecture in Bruges.

red brick building

The city is over 700 years old, and a lot of the buildings date that far back, including the B&B we stayed at. Some simple and pretty decorations at the B&B…

tree mini

mantel BB 2  tree BB

Shop windows in Bruges… I LOVE these hanging balls!!

balls in window

Simple but elegant lighting display with a Christmas tree… 

chandelier in window

More trees…

souffleur resturant

wood tree

And I just love these colourful trees…

orange tree

multicoloured trees

I HAD to buy one!! Well, actually, I started out buying a little bright pink one…

pink tree

…then a friend convinced me to go back and buy a little bright green one too :-) I did that the next morning while hubby was still sleeping :-)

green tree

I love the itty-bitty balls, especially the pink disco ones :-)

green tree 2

So there’s a little taste of Christmas in Belgium & Luxembourg for you :-) Have you celebrated Christmas in another country or in an unusual way?? Or is there somewhere you’d like to go for Christmas?? Leave us a comment and tell us about it :-)

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December 16, 2009

What I don’t want for Christmas

A hippopotamus. Seriously, if I hear that song one more time, I very possibly will explode.

And just so I don’t suffer hippopotamus overload alone…

Gayla Peevey is the singer. She was 10 years old at the time, and guess what – she actually DID get a hippopotamus for Christmas!! She donated it to the zoo in Oklahoma City. Because really, where would you keep a hippo??

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December 14, 2009

Better Off Ted

Ted cast

The thing I really dislike about sitcoms is that they just aren’t all that funny. And I especially hate when the canned laugh track kicks in after a totally un-funny line. Which is why I love Better Off Ted — it’s genuinely funny, it’s charmingly quirky, and no silly  fake-o laughs.

After a long hiatus, Better Off Ted is back – yeah!! If you haven’t checked it out, you really should — because if enough people watch it, it hopefully won’t get cancelled like all my other favourite shows!! RIP Pushing Daisies and Without a Trace.

But back to Ted…

Need cow-less meat grown in a test tube? Done.

Need pumpkins that also double as weapons of mass destruction? No problem.

Better Off Ted is a satirical office comedy about successful good guy, Ted, who runs research and development at the morally questionable Veridian Dynamics. No achievement is too far-fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Ted's a single dad to a seven-year-old girl, and he loves his job, but he's starting to take a closer look at the company's extremely dubious practices. Do you manufacture the best teeth whitener ever if it could also kill off all of the planet's fish? Probably not, but...

See, I told you it’s quirky :-) It’s also very clever, and Portia de Rossi is FANTASTIC as Veronica. She’s sort of a combination of a strict elementary school teacher, Donald Trump, and a dumb blonde. Cold and unemotional are two words to describe her — the woman has a chrome desk chair, for crying our loud!!

ted office 1

Scientists Phil & Lem are hilarious — typical nerdy genius stereotypes who belong to a medieval fight club that meets in Veridian’s basement to sword fight in full attire.

ted phil lem

Linda works in the testing department. She decides which Veridian Dynamic products are safe and which ones can kill all the fish in the sea. She's creative, independent, and idealistic. Every time Linda gets drunk, she ends up either getting fired or getting laid. She has the hots for Ted, and is frustrated by his "one office affair" rule (he already got it on with Veronica).

ted linda

And Ted… he’s stuck in the middle of this wacko bunch. Ted is senior vice-president of Research and Development at Veridian Dynamics. Nothing is impossible to Ted.


Ted does the Ferris Bueller talk-to-the-audience thing and kind of brings the viewer into the world that is Veridian Dynamics. Scary as it is…

Veridian Dynamics is one of the largest companies in America. We're everywhere. In everything. We specialize in products ranging from space exploration, industrial foods, weapons systems, technology and consumer goods. We even make formal wear and a meat-based space tuxedo -- something we haven't yet found a use for. With offices around the world, even in the silly countries, Veridian is working hard to make the world a better place for humans and other sentient beings.

Founded by Phinnaeus Veridian in 1842, Veridian Dynamics began as a neighborhood general store specializing in tobacco, killing machines, and party favors.

Veridian Dynamics is a company that prides itself on two basic fundamentals: pioneering products that make lives better and leading the world in weapons technology. Our diversified corporation is building a brighter future through our patented system of science and innovation, known as "sciencevation."

* Veridian Dynamics. Making your world better. Whether you want us to or not.
* "Sciencevation" is a copyrighted term. We've also copyrighted the terms "innoscience" and "Scinnovationience."

And to tie in the home decor angle (after all, this is supposed to be a blog about home decor!!) Veronica has a super-sleek and modern and cool apartment!! Sorry the pics are a bit dark & fuzzy – I used my handy-dandy screen cap program SnagIt to steal them from the ABC web site. Wahahahahah!!! I mean, borrow them legally from the ABC web site… ;-)

I love the swirly black & white wallpaper…

ted 2

And the cool white leather chair & red accents…

ted 3

And check out the round shelving unit — how cool is that?!

ted 4

Did you notice that Veronica and Linda are wearing outfits that coordinate with the apartment?? I do that all the time in my house ;-)

Better Off Ted is on ABC Tuesdays at 9:30pm. If you live in the US, you can watch full episodes online at ABC’s web site. If you live in Canada or presumably anywhere else in the world, you’re outta luck. Boooo!! Can someone please tell US TV and radio operators that the WORLD WIDE WEB means ALL AROUND THE WORLD, not only the US.

Anyway, if you can watch episodes online, I highly recommend you check out Trust and Consequences from July 14th.

Hmmm… maybe this is the evil work of Veridian Dynamics…

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