Monday, December 27, 2010

Such a wonderful holiday!

What a wonderful past week and a bit spent with fam and friends! I can't get over how fast the time flew by...back to work tomorrow.

I was able to get home to my parent's and spent a good amount of time outside with the dogs.

This is the sunrise on Christmas morning...almost eerie, but very picturesque!

The snow on the trees was spectacular and I was able to get some great pics! Boxing Day also had a wonderful sunset that I just had to snap a few shots of.

I was lucky enough to get a sewing machine and acessories from Santa and I also received items so that I can begin to knit.....I have a feeling its going to be a very crafty 2011!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's been a while.....

Wow! It sure has been a while since my last post! So much has been going on and I don't have a clue how it's almost Christmas.

This is my table full of gifts, wrapping, ribbon, cards etc etc...

Here are some decorations, waiting for me to find just the perfect place for them somewhere around the loft......I love those deer!

The tree is up, decorating is pretty much complete, I have started writing cards....and I may even do some baking!

I was in Sudbury, Blind River, Espanola and Little Current for meetings earlier this week. On my way back from Blind River, I came across this amazing Trading Post on the highway just north of Espanola. They had wonderful Christmas decorations, rugged and rustic clothes for winter (ie. fur lined trapper hats and I just had to get one for my Dad), cute kitchenware, and just a great selection of home decor items.

It was just great to get north, be by the lake....and I must admit, smell that pulp and paper smell again!

It was also a roller coaster week in the fact that my dog Charlie, had a run in with a car and ended up with a dislocated elbow, cuts in his mouth/muzzles, and a bunch of scrapes. He/we are very lucky.....and I am just so happy to have my guy home safe! I love you my Char Bear!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Kitchen Renewal

It has been a while since my last post as life sure has been busy!!

I have been working on renewing some areas of my loft, the biggest being the kitchen. The 'bones' of this loft are wonderful...original 100 year old wood floors, brick walls, exposed wood and iron beams, 14ft ceilings with wood panels etc.

I love the colour of my cupboards and wanted to jump off from there. This is the 'before' of the kitchen.

As you can see...great place to start but a bit plain. I wanted to pick up on the grey tones in the cabinets, so here are some 'after' pictures.

As you can see, I need a 'prettier' coffee maker!

The counter is granite which I had installed through Home Depot. I can't get over what a beautiful piece of stone it is...the pictures don't do it enough justice! Home Depot's customer service was amazing and so much so, that I ordered a bathroom counter too (pics to come soon). The backsplash tile was inspired by a friend's kitchen tiles and they were installed by my very talented brother, Mike McDonald.

I am also having a butcher block top made by local Mennonites for my 8'x3' island and once that is completed, I will post pictures. I can't wait to see the finished product!

Needless to say, I LOVE my new kitchen and a HUGE thank you to everyone that helped put it together! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dog Park....

Charlie and I hit the dog park this morning....only to find, to his delight, a rain made pond that he could wade through, chase tennis balls in and literally, just splash around in.

Charlie is my 5 year old Chocloate Lab...and the Retrievals portion of the name of this blog/hopefully soon to be small business, comes from the fact that he is a Retriever and joins me on many of my trips through the countryside, looking for those rustic pieces.

We spend a great deal of time outdoors and have gotten to know many of the rivers, lakes, streams etc of southern Ontario because if he wasn't a furry four legged creature, I would swear he was a fish! He just cannot get enough of the water and this morning was no different.

When we aren't outside enjoying the sun/rain or whatever the weather may be, he can generally be found, maxin' and chillaxin' on some soft surface in the loft. Couch, bed...possibly even his own dog bed! Haha....

This has to be one of his favorite positions to lie in....and as you can see, he has little to no shame!
Well I am off to make brunch....ok, maybe lunch, and then am off later this afternoon to a friend's place for dinner and a visit with old work chums!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Productive day!!

Wow! What a productive day! Having lived in Guelph for almost a year, I'm still finding little hidden treasures in this of them being one of my new favorite stores, Creative Edge ( The store is full of rustic barnboard frames/mirrors, pegboard shelves and the pegs are made of golf club heads, one of a kind chairs etc etc. I also found an independently owned pet boutique called Tattle Tails ( I purchased a GREAT new, multi-function leash for Charlie (my 5 year old Chocolate Lab) and I will definitely have to head back there for more goodies! I also found a new hair salon, called Acqua ( and am sooo happy to have found a great stylist named Nikki! No better way for a quick 'pick me up' then a good hair cut!

But prior to finding all of these wonderful places/things, I hit our local ReStore (Habitat for Humanity ) to see if I could find some tile for my bathroom backsplash. Did I ever luck out!! I actually found 2 sets of tiles that I LOVED and got more than enough of each to do the space in the bathroom...and all for less than $30!!

This is the first bunch I got....slate 4x4 squares that are both sleek but rugged all at the same time.
This is the second set...they remind me of the oceans with the waves and colours.

As you can see, they are VERY different styles but I really, really like them both.
Everything in my bathroom is white (vanity, shower tile, floor tile) and the new vanity top (which I just ordered today) will be white with a slight hit of grey running through. I definitely have a beach/cottage theme going in the bathroom with shells, sand and accent colours of aqua, light blue, brown, sandy beige, silver etc. I even have a rough wood post running down the wall of the original feature of the building (a loft conversion) that I live in.
I hadn't been to the ReStore for a while and everytime I go, I always leave with something...and today, I am extremely happy with my finds! :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Treasures..

I have made my way indoors for a bit, taking a break from the heat! It has been a very productive yet relaxing Sunday, taking it all in in Huron County.
My Dad and I started/completed a few projects, the main 2 being building a structure to allow a BitterSweet Vine a place to meander and a coffee/side table for me, recycling an old iron frame and deck/barn board. I can't wait to see the finished products of both....the structure covered in vines and the table being put to use in my loft!

Iwas also able to plant those herbs and can't wait to get them home and get cooking! I haven't has a great deal of luck growing herbs indoors, so fingers crossed these survive.

It's back to the city soon, after a wonderful weekend at home...relaxing, catching some rays and working on some rustic revival projects!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Relaxing, Sunny Saturday!

It is great to be able to get home and visit my parents and to also be able to take full advantage of this great weather! As I walked up the back deck to enter the house, I noticed a plethora of herbs and plants, just waiting to be planted into either containers or into the ground. Needless to say, I commandeered some clay pots from my Dad's greenhouse and will begin planting quite soon as I am in need of some more herbs at my home (I live in a loft conversion so gardening is not an option unfortunately). Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano...the list goes on and on. I am also starting to plan meals around my newly obtained 'goodies' as I'm sure you all know how fresh herbs really can make the biggest difference in many recipes!
I am debating heading to some of the local antique stores to see if I can stumble across any finds to add to my retrievals! Last weekend will be hard to beat though as a small town near me was having one of their summer festivals and one of my favorite stores had quite the sidewalk sale on...AND, I also found out that they have a warehouse!! Needless to say...I am well stocked up from all the finds during my time in rural Ontario last weekend!
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