{I Heart} The Elephant in the Room

Last month I entered Yellow Brick Home's Jonathan Adler ornament giveaway courtesy of Pop Deluxe ...

And I won!!

The package arrived last week, just in time for Christmas! (Not that we put any decorations up what with the renovations going on and my mom still hobbling around a bit so we haven't had anyone over this holiday.)

I had a hard time choosing, but ended up picking the Elephant with Peanut ornament. So my little Elephant with Peanut box came in a big box of Styrofoam peanuts!

Pop Deluxe even sent a cute "Good Tidings To You" holiday card by egg press along with the ornament.

I've since tied the ribbon into a bow since we have no tree, but I haven't given her (yes, it's a "her" and her name is Effie) a permanent home yet. There's still a lot of shuffling going on with shelves and whatnot but she will definitely be on full display once things settle down and she'll be out all year round when I get the condo!

So a huge thank you to Kim & Scott and Pop Deluxe!!

I love it, but I'm so afraid of breaking her! I love Jonathan Adler too. Now I just need to win the lottery so I can buy more of his stuff...

{At Home} Powder Room Progress

We finally finished replacing the carpeting in the bedrooms to oak hardwood (I hope to have pictures of that within my lifetime...) so then we've now moved onto replacing the toilets on the main and upper floors. But before the new toilets go in, we have to paint the bathroom walls!

After living in this house for almost 24 years, we still haven't really painted most of the rooms aside from the bedrooms, the main hall (which we had the contractors do when we had the basement finished), and the family room which is wallpapered (horrible 90's floral). We're pretty indecisive about the colours since there is absolutely no cohesive look to this house. It's just mish mash of things from before my parents met to new purchases since moving in, as well as taking things in from family when they downsize their homes.

For the powder room on the main floor, I wanted to fancy it up a bit. I thought about doing an accent wall but since it's a small space with no window I realized that stripes were the way to go! It's more interesting to look at and the lighter colour keeps the room a little brighter while the darker colour gives it some oomph! Some of my inspiration photos below:

 One . Two . Three . Four . Five . Six

This is what we've been living with for over 20 years! I took these photos after removing the art from the walls though.

Pardon the terrible lighting in these photos although the walls were pretty yellow anyway. Taking photos at night in a room with no windows is really not conducive to good photos. I tried to fix them but they're too far gone. Ignore the yucky standard light fixture...

I penciled out all the lines before taping, but next time I'm just going to make a few markings here and there. The height of the walls were about 91-92", so I measured out nine 9" stripes and the bottom stripe was about 10", give or take. I'm not sure where the level made up for the crookedness of the walls.

This is where a glob of paint dripped while I was trying to paint the inside edges above. I wiped it down once and it was good, then I wiped again and didn't notice I was wiping with paint. Oops.

And here is where some paint peeled off while I took the tape off. Sad face. The one on the right is blurry, but I touched it up and it's only slightly noticeable now!

The next two photos are oddly yellow.

So I used Behr's Gallery White and French Lilac. The colours are actually a bit more muted than this. I originally wanted grey stripes but somehow we ended up with purple...

Close up shot. I'd say the actual colours are a bit of a mix between the photo above and the one below. I don't know why but whenever I'm in there now, I want to eat candy. I can't even think of any purple sweets.

Luckily the plumbing stuff for the sink landed right in the middle of the second-from-the-bottom stripe so I didn't have to do any weird maneuvering, and then I just taped off the purple stripe so that I wouldn't have to tape and paint behind the hoses.

Up next, I have to paint the baseboards before the toilet can go in. All the baseboards in the house are so yellow when you compare them to the trim that we've already painted in glossy white.

New toilets sitting in the front hall.

Since my mom and I want to replace the old light fixture and get something that's chrome or brushed nickel, the faucet has to go as well, which is fine by me! I hate this faucet. Using the cold water, it screams at you unless you turn it all the way up.

You can kind of see how the faucet part is a bit more yellow than the knobs and sink bowl. I hope it'll be easy to replace since we're keeping the rest of the sink and I don't want to be patching up and repainting the walls.

Painting stripes is tiring! It's taken me 7 days over the last two weeks to get this far since I only do a bit after work/dinner and other nights I'm out or at my part-time gig. But soon we will have a toilet on the main floor again!

{Deals & Steals} Poppy Treffry & Tina Fey

I love shopping and nothing thrills me more than finding great deals, especially by accident!

Last month while I was in NYC, I found a pile of these unbleached cotton tea towels by Poppy Treffry in the sales section of Anthropologie. Cute, right?

Whenever I find something on sale that I like, I look at every tag to find the lowest ticketed price since some items get passed over when being marked down. Here, the tea towels were originally $22, marked down to $12.95, then some were marked down to $7.95, but I found a few that had $3.91 written on them.

I figured they were marked down incorrectly because who prices something at 91 cents?! Anyways, I took a chance and brought four tea towels to the cashier and sure enough, they each scanned as $7.95. I pointed out the $3.91 so the cashier altered the price while he asked the manager who was doing the mark downs. Oops! I may have gotten someone in trouble, but if there's a deal, I'm going to take it!

Why do I need four? I don't but I'll probably keep two (they're already in my box of things I'm saving for the condo) and then gift the other two. Who knows. I might just keep all four to use because it'll be tough to find cute tea towels for so cheap! Just looking on etsy right now, there are a lot of cute ones but none that I can afford to buy now.

Here's a better (smooth) picture of what they look like. They're pretty big at 80cm x 50cm.

Then, two weeks ago I was in Buffalo and there was 50% off all sale merchandise at Urban Outfitters. For some reason I kept thinking it applied to clothing only, despite all the posters saying "all sale merchandise". I was happy enough to buy Bossypants for $9.99, so I was slightly confused, but delighted, when it rang up as $5 and change. I actually almost bought it the week before for $20, so I'm glad I waited! Now it joins about 15 other books that I still have to read...

Moral of the story kids? Always look for the lowest ticketed price! I think there's only been one instance that a store didn't sell me an item for what it was marked incorrectly as. Also, be dumb like me and not pay attention to signs so that you'll be pleasantly surprised at the register if there are further sales!

{Out & About} Evan Starkman (aka MTV Nobody)

Unless you love crap reality TV like I do, this post will be of no interest to you!

So, I am obsessed with the (RW/RR) Challenges on MTV and I have no idea why. It might be because we were deprived of it up here in Canada for so long (the same goes for The Real World), but I cannot stop watching all the drama that unfolds during all the challenges the competitors have to face!

At the Union Square Holiday Market this past weekend, all I got was this creeper picture of Evan Starkman!

I love/hate him. He's got such a d-bag persona on the shows, but it's why I love him since it's great entertainment!

Seriously, this (sadly) totally made my day. Especially with the new season coming up! (Without Evan.)

(Well, it made my day until I saw ONCE, soon to be on Broadway. Go see it. I never saw the film and now I have no desire to because it'd probably ruin the stage show for me.)

Are you obsessed with any bad reality TV shows? 'Fess up - I know I'm not the only one!

{I Heart} Bookends

I love buying books though I have more books than the time to read them! My novels are jammed pack on my bookshelf, but I only have a few cookbooks and design books which keep toppling over since I like them on a separate shelf.

I've been meaning to buy bookends for quite some time but never looked too hard or couldn't find them for the right price, so it just never got done. But with my cookbook and design book collections slowly growing I've been wanting a pair more and more because this is not a nice look:

My pitiful substitutes for bookends: Playbills from the summer, hungry piggy bank, and stuffed animals that couldn't hold up a magazine.
I haven't put the Playbills and programs away yet because then the books would fall over...
I almost bought these online for 30% off ($20 for the set) but decided to browse Indigo in person because I love rooting through the sales racks. Seriously, I could spend hours in Indigo without even reading any books. I just love looking at their home decor section and wandering through the book racks. 

I went during Black Friday weekend when all the Canadian retailers were throwing sales events our way and I found these on the sales rack (score!) for 50% off (aka $15 - double score!!) AND I grabbed the last two pairs that were packaged in bubble wrap in boxes. If you were standing near me, you would've heard me gasp in amazement. The other ones around were just shoved together on a shelf with no packaging and were slightly chipped or scuffed.
Look how straight the books are now! It just blends right in
So neat and tidy!
... just ignore the other corner where I've dumped my old "bookends". Let's pretend this side doesn't exist, okay?

This is one of those items that seems easy enough to make with a block of wood and wooden letters if you can't find one that you like, but laziness wins out. And for $15, I'm happy! Even my cashier was freaking out about the price.

Since buying these bookends, I've been obsessively looking at other ones. Some of my favourites:

Bookends or not, I want these on my shelves!

How adorable are these little guys?! I wish I could afford them all!

The always classic running away from the falling books. I like the ones with people holding books up too.

Simple Matryoshka doll.

I kind of want to buy more books just so I can buy more bookends!

{Out & About} Fall in New York

I love New York in the fall... and in the spring... and in the summer (despite the ridiculous heat bouncing off the cement sidewalks and buildings). Winter... eh. As long as I'm dressed for it, I'm okay, but since I often line up early in the mornings for rush tickets at Broadway shows, I'm not too fond of it then.

I take fewer pictures each time now since I've been going several times a year for the past 4-5 years, but there are still areas that are uncharted territory for me.

During this past trip, I finally visited Chelsea Markets. It's cute! I don't know where these elevators go but I like it. There was another one next to these two that I guess went to some MLB section since there were baseballs and bats. (I think. For some reason I didn't take a picture.)

I tried an original Fat Witch brownie from Fat Witch. Deeelish! I like to try "original" foods before trying their variations, because if you can't perfect the basic then what's the point?! Lol.

I walked through Eleni's. I want to know who's decorating those cookies! Seriously, amazing. I wouldn't want to eat them, they're so pretty! (And pricey.)
I browsed through the independent designer pop-up shops for way too long... but at least I came out with a necklace I've been lusting after and it was way cheaper than the original one I wanted.
I really wanted to climb over the bars to look down the hole.
High Line Park! I love all NYC parks and squares but this is in my top 3. No one lives in those condos on the right yet, but they are SO close to the park! I'd be paranoid all day.
A look down W 23rd St? 
This man is pretty freaky, but it's less freaky then another window that only had a waving hand. The paper on the air conditioning unit is one of those barcode things for your phone so I'm curious what comes up when you scan it.
Privacy fence using tree branches.
It must look amazing inside this art studio. There were maybe 5-6ish windows with coloured mason jars all lined up.
Unrestored (is this a word?) section of the High Line.
Chicken biriyani in Times Square. Yum!
Me and Judith Light. I love her. She's the nicest woman ever!
Harry Connick Jr.'s crocs lol.
A look down W 45th St.
Union Square preparing for the Holiday Market. I love love love it!
Mmm... donut. Coconut glaze and coconut cream doughnut. Valrhona Chocolate doughnut? My brother's 8 month pregnant friend said donuts from Doughnut Plant are all she's been craving for with her second daughter so we decided to take a trip to the actual location rather than just buying from Dean & Deluca (and I finally got to see Alphabet City! Only a million more neighbourhoods to go...). They are heaven. 'Nuff said.

Next week I'm off again for a weekend visit and since I'll be in the Union Square area more this trip, I am definitely going to take my time looking through all the stalls at the Holiday Market. I love little markets, especially holiday ones packed with people and you can sip on apple cider or hot chocolate while browsing, don't you?