Mar 112015
Are photo albums a thing of the past

In this age of digital everything, are physical photo albums a thing of the past?

A LONG Winter and Now:  Bronchitis

I recently shared how my husband and I survived this LONG winter.  I really should have said “mentally” survived!   The day before I shared the long winter post,  I went out snowshoeing with my friend and our two dogs for an hour or so.  It was a bit longer than planned because even before we started, I commented I felt I was getting a cold.  That afternoon we were hit with a big ice storm (yes, ,more crappy winter weather!) and in the evening we lost power until nearly noon the next day. 

I am sure it was just coincidence but I woke up in the cold house with whopping, nasty chest cold!  Bronchitis to be exact. 

Why me??

Today is Day 8 and it has let up a bit but not to the point I can be really busy and actually move around a lot and “DO” something.   It seems if I move a lot, like dash up the stairs, I have a 15 minute coughing fit.   I am very fortunate, in that I am not working outside the home and do not have small children.  However,  I am in my 50s and this has really “Socked it to Me!”.   (You may need to be a child of the 70s to get that Goldie Hawn line.)

Photo albums a thing of the past

“SOCK IT TO ME” (source)

Sorting Photos

Okay enough “Poor Me”, so what does all this have to do with PHOTO ALBUMS?

You see, I have been an avid photographer for years.  I even developed my own black and white way back in the day so I have DOZENS and DOZENS of photo albums.  I also have HUNDREDs of printed pictures, needing sorting, labeling, filing and framing.  Some stacks go back 3 or 4 years.  These are mostly travel photos along with some family and artistic attempts.   Not all will go into albums, it’s also time to update the gallery wall.

With this bronchitis, I have barely gotten out of my PJs, or bed for that matter, meaning I have been unable to tackle active, productive projects like sanding and painting.  Looking around,  I decided it is time to get out the boxes of photos and empty albums and get to work on them.  Nice quiet, non-stressful activity.  This will also be a MAJOR de-cluttering / organizing task that is SO LONG OVERDUE!

Photo albums a thing of the past

Sorting and Filing is well underway.



This is most but not all of my albums. Looking from top to bottom, you can almost see the “History of Photo Album Styles”. The top row are the peel and stick type!


Photo Albums

I love printed photos. 
Do you?
I love to look at them. 
I love to touch them. 
I love to remember and reminisce over them.

Will my daughter and the next generation value photo albums and the memories they hold as much as I do?

Are printed photos and photo albums following a similar path as music?  I distincely remember my first stereo receiver, turntable, cassette deck and then CD player.  Now all gone.

A couple of summers ago, at the encouragement of my husband and daughter, I sorted through all of my albums, selecting HUNDREDS of  important pictures and sent them to be digitized. I have them on both CDs and a dedicated hard drive.   I did the same with the literally hours and hours of family and vacation video we have on 8mm.  It was an expensive venture but it is very important to me that we preserve these memories.

To date, neither my husband or my daughter have taken a look at what we now have on digital.

Is that not a telling sign?

 Is the effort of labeling and filing photos, in order to capture memories of precious times together, now a  futile effort?

I have also realized I have not printed and filed away our pictures from the trip we took in August of 2013 to Prague and Vienna.  Should I bother?  Will this be the last of my photo albums?

Maybe I am just getting old and old fashioned.

Yes, we are all busy.  Life is moving so fast.   Maybe too fast.

Capturing special moments seems to be no longer all that special.  It is instantaneous.  Then it is on to the next “special” moment. 

Regardless, I will continue to tackle this task over the next few days when I need to sit quietly and watch NetFlix or listen to a book from Audible on my phone.

Do you still print photos and fill photo albums?

Do you think photo albums will go the way of records and CDs and maybe even DVDs?

I would love to hear your thoughts!


( Did you happen to note the irony in the last sentence before my question? )



Oct 162014

Book Club “Retreat” at Limberlost Forest Reserve

A couple of weekends ago, Mr. Nice and I headed a few hours north of Toronto to  Muskoka “Cottage Country” to spend time with our book club friends.  I think you will love my photos of the amazing place where we stayed.  It is an idyllic location every autumn lover would dream of.

book club retreat

Autumn in Muskoka, Ontario

Here in Toronto, the autumn colours are showing their loveliness.  But north of the city, in “cottage country”,  the fall colours have been spectacular since late September.  Friends in our book club rent a cottage / lodge every year the weekend before the Canadian Thanksgiving at the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve near the lovely town of Huntsville, Ontario.   This 3000 square foot lodge is a very spacious with SEVEN bedrooms and is on Buck Lake!  Buck Lake Lodge is the ONLY cottage on the lake.  Needless to say, the location is spectacular.

(BTW: NO affiliation)

The Good Friday Book Club is comprised of 4 married couples and 3 ladies whose husbands don’t care to participate. So seven bedrooms was just perfect.  The common area is large and spacious and the kitchen is well equipped which is important to this group of literary “foodies”.

The Lodge

book club retreat limberlost common area

Common area: There is nothing fancy making it oh so homey.

The decor has some very cool lamps made of birch logs and an elk head on the wall.

book club retreat limberlost

One of the fun birch log lamps

book club retreat limberlost

The smiling elk can be a bit creepy

In the common area the dining table is so PERFECT!  And so is the view!

book club retreat limberlost

Don’t you just love this table!

book club retreat limberlost

The pictures are not magazine worthy but there were 11 of us!

book club retreat limberlost

The view from the interior upper balcony. So nice to wake up to!


Let’s get outside!

book club retreat limberlost

The main entrance is on the level of the deck. Below the main floor is a sauna and 3 bedrooms as well as an exit outside to the lake.

 Can you spot Chester, my fur baby, and his little nose between the rails, wondering what I am doing?

Around Buck Lake

There is a trail in the woods, near the lake’s edge encompassing the lake.

No more words are needed.

book club retreat limberlost

Winter is coming

book club retreat limberlost

Mirrored silence

book club retreat limberlost

Golden splendor

book club retreat limberlost

Courageous fern

book club retreat limberlost

Morning Mist

book club retreat limberlost

Autumn glory

book club retreat limberlost

Nature’s Mirror


Alone in the woods

book club retreat limberlost

Brillance at every turn

book club retreat limberlost

View from a lookout close to the lodge

By the way, we really did have a book club meeting and the book we discussed was Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.  In this first book of her trilogy, the world she writes about is as far away from this idyllic setting you could possibly get!

book club retreat limberlost
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve and the sampling of photos I have shared.


If you like photos and photograhy PLEASE stop by at my Silent Sunday Linky Party
every Sunday beginning at 6:00 am EST.

It is my new venture and I am so keen to see inspiring photos!


I love comments and especially dialogue with readers.
So please leave your thoughts and questions below.


Oct 142014
Toy box to Union Jack

Before and After

When a client dropped off an old toy box her son had outgrown and asked me to “do something” with it, I was a bit apprehensive to say the least!  It was the cutest toy chest with Nursery Rhyme scenes painted on each panel. But like my client, I know there is a time when the nursery rhyme stuff is OVER.  I was pleased with her confidence in my creative ability but I really wasn’t sure what to do with it!

Luckily, she later sent me pictures of the rooms where the box might become a coffee table.

After looking at them, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to try.  

living room copy

Client’s living room

For ages, I have wanted to try my hand at a Union Jack.  I loved what Alison  over at ReFunk My Junk did to an old trunk and I used her design as my inspiration.


I printed out Alison’s photos and did the math

The toy chest needed quite a bit of preparation. The client had added texture on her vignettes: clouds and wool on sheep etc.  And may I say again …SO CUTE!

I stripped off the textured paint with a paint stripper then I proceeded to sand down the rest of the piece to a smooth finish.  I primed it using my new Home-right Paint sprayer (NO affliation).  It was one of the first projects where I used the paint sprayer and it literally took a couple of minutes!  After the primer dried, I sprayed the chest with an off white, Navajo White from BM.  (All my trim and ceilings are this colour).  I allowed it to dry a day or two and then I taped it up as per Alison’s design.

To ensure a tight seal, I brushed a coat of the off white over all the tape edges. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR A CRISP LINE!


It is so important to paint over tape with backgound colour!

Starting with a  sample pot of a bright red, I mixed it with some burgundy paint, both of which I had on hand. This created a lovely deep red to work with.   I purchased a litre of SW Seaworthy.  (I have plans for the leftover paint. . Using the printed photo as a guide, I applied two coats of the colors.

When I removed the tape, I cannot tell you how excited I was!  I just loved it!


I LOVE it!

I also added a couple of coats of Water Soluble, non- yellowing Diamond finish by Varathane.  (No affiliate)

Finally, to make it moveable and more “industrial”, I added 4 small caster wheels.


New casters make it portable!

A mutual friend picked up the chest and dropped it off at the client’s home for me.  I seriously believe I could hear the client’s squeals of delight all the way across the city!

Union Jack toy box

Makes me want to visit the UK soon!

Don’t you love when some an attempt at a new design turns out perfectly!

chester and chest

Chester theLabradoodle pup is forever by my side!


Mr Nice is a “City Fan”. Do you follow “football”?

Toy box to Union Jack

I just love this transformation and I so want to do something like this for our home

Mr. Nice is from the UK and perhaps I should do something for our home …. or maybe a Canadian Maple Leaf Flag version!

What do you think of this transformation?

Do you love Union Jack decor?

Do you have any in your home?

(NOTE:  I was rather happy the Scots lost the referendum… I would have had to change the design!  LOL!)

I love comments.  They make my day!


Oct 102014

It has been a few weeks since I attended my very first bloggers’ conference, BlogPodium, here in Toronto.   My mind is still mulling over all I learned and I would like to share my experiences.

As many of you know, I have been blogging for just over a year. It has been a great journey of learning, experimenting and growing as a blogger and a DIYer.

In spring 2014, when the dates and registration information was announced for the Toronto bloggers’ conference, BlogPodium, I swear I must have been one of the first to register. At the time, I was in a bit of slump and knew I REALLY needed to attend the conference.

Age Demographic

At the same time I was very apprehensive. Why? To be honest: my age.  Let’s face it, on average there appears to be more bloggers out there under the age of 50 than over 50. I fall into the latter group. Looking at the pictures of the attendees from the previous BlogPodium and other conferences, it seems everyone is young, pretty and “hip”. I was worried I would be out of place. However, this is an apprehension I have ignored many times before. You see, having my first and only child at 40 sure helped. I kept me young even though I was often the oldest of the dance moms, the oldest of her classmates’ parents, etc.
Having said that:

  • I was the one who took them to Canada’s Wonderland,  a big Toronto area amusement park,  AND rode all the roller coasters with them… and I still would if they would let me go too!
  • I was the one who finished two university degrees after the age of 40.
  • And I was the one who started a blog after the age of 50.

The BlogPodium conference was held right downtown Toronto at the beautiful and historic, Royal York Hotel which happens to be linked underground to the subway and commuter train (GO Train) station.

The schedule for the GO that morning meant I either arrived very early or quite late. I chose arriving early. Wandering around the hotel lobby and the reception area for the conference, I thought “Yep, look all these “young” ladies.”

Regardless, I grabbed a coffee, found a table in the main ballroom and hung out. As the room began to fill, two ladies sat down at a table near me and they looked over 50!!! so I joined them! Perfect! My apprehension, like so many times before, was totally dispelled.

Keynote Speaker

After following Donna from Funky Junk Interiors for some time, I was aware of her journey and it was exciting to hear her share it with the audience. She was so inspiring and made me feel a bit silly for my “age” apprehension.

I came away with this message:

Be authentic.

Write out your mantra. Then stay authentic to it.

Session Highlights

Reviewing the schedule, I realized I must have signed up for nearly every breakout session by some misunderstanding of the process. Or perhaps it is just they all sounded so great! Regardless, it did give me some choice.

I also had a chance to say hello to a few bloggers I follow on Bloglovin who came from a considerable distance:  Donna from Funky Junk Interiors came from British Columbia and Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies came all the way from Massachusetts!  I also met some great new people including Jordana from White Cabana and the lovely Jennylyn, president of Homestead House Paint Company which manufactures and distributes a number of great products including Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and the new mineral paint Fusion which I am dying to try soon.

What I Took Away

My head is still hurting with all the info and ideas I picked up at this conference.  Other than what I learned, I came away with a few things:

  • I wish I was two people so I could have attended more of the breakout sessions
  • Jennifer Flores and her team sure know how  to run a great conference
  • The Royal York caters great food!
  • Don’t leave your business cards a home!!!

and lastly, as I have discovered in so many situations in my life “

You CAN teach an old dog blogger new tricks!


Did you attend this conference? 

What was your experience? 

Have you implemented what you learned?

Love to hear from you!


Nov 232013

On-line estate sales can be addictive, fun and lucrative if you are into vintage stuff! Because of them, my garage and workshop filled up to the point where I needed an intervention! This intervention came in the form of Autumn and the approach of Winter. And my promise to Mr. Nice that he would be able to park in the garage before snow came. BTW, I’ve already cleared his half of the garage. I am still checking the estate sales …. but with caution and control.

The main company I follow is It originated out of Kingston, Ontario but operates all over Ontario and the north east United States.

Back in October, I checked out an auction taking place in Toronto. A few items caught my eye. But knowing I already had numerous pieces to work on, I just put in low bids and waited to see what happened. Well, NOTHING happened. As in, no one bid or if they did, my measly bid won!


Wait until you see what I got for $35.

$13.50 got me these 2 vintage side tables.
They weighed a ton and I had to solicit the aid of a nice gentlemen in return for helping him with his haul!

I think these two have potential!
AND I’m open to suggestions!




For the grand total of $10, I also scored the matching coffee table.



Nice wood. Beveled glass. Perhaps a dark stain and painted pillars?


I think this may have a spot in my living room!
Right now everything in my loving room is so square and rectangular… a circular table could be nice!


The next item, I had been looking for.
A friend of mine wants me to make her a Tufted Bench for her front entrance.
Not only did I score the perfect table / bench,
I got TWO step side tables
Drum roll please!




TWO of these little lovelies.



Now there are bargains and there are near freebies!

I got the following THREE items for


MaxSold often combines items and oft times you just don’t want the other items.
OR in my case end up with NO ROOM!

I loved this mid-century side table! It had seen better days but for 50  cents, could I go wrong?


Look at her! she is gorgeous!


Tongue and groove construction


Okay not perfect!

She was grouped with these two side tables


I liked this solid wood night stand.


But did not want this one.

When you win an auction, you MUST remove ALL the items at the allotted time or you are charged for disposal.

Sadly, my surprisingly spacious Rav4 just did not have any room left!

Sadly, my surprisingly spacious Rav4 just did not have any room left!

However, John, the nice man who helped me had a trailer and he took the last two items.
John owns a wonderful thrift / antique shop in a lovely historical town of Shelburne, a ninety minute drive north of Toronto.
I plan to visit to Yesterday’s Home Furnishings soon. Based on his website he has some great finds!

How’s that for $35 and a Sunday morning drive across the city?

Share your great finds and stay tuned to see how the bench and the 2 drawer side table turn out!


Nov 042013

Mr. Nice and I have a time-share through Club Intrawast but sadly, for the last couple of years we have not been able to use all our time allotment.   This year as our deadline approached, we offered up our time to our friends but in the end, we were still going to lose a few days.  At the last minute, I TOLD Mr. Nice who is also Mr. Busy, we were going to spend 5 days at the Club Intrawest property in Sandestin, Florida … so get packing!

We hadn’t been to Florida in years and when we did go, we were visiting Disney World with our daughter.  We didn’t know much about this part of Florida.  All we needed to know was there was GOLF!  and we hoped the weather would be warm enough for sitting by the pool and or the beach.

We were so pleasantly surprised!  We LOVED this area and hope to go back many more times!

First of all, the end of October is between busy seasons so it was not crowded at all.

Secondly, we were blessed with PERFECT weather!

Lastly and best of all, we could not get over the WHITE SAND on the beaches!
To us Canadians, it looked like snow!


When I say it wasn’t busy, I wasn’t kidding!
This is the beach near Seaside.


These darling little sandpipers kept us company and amused.
They’re so quick and cute!

The golf courses were also not busy and by shopping around on the net, we found fabulous deals on green fees.  BONUS!
We played  four rounds in total and usually around 7:45 and each time, we were the first or one of the first groups to go out.
So these beautiful courses were essentially EMPTY!
I felt like Donald Trump!


Beautiful, graceful egrets;


The Raven Golf club was one of our favourites and we played it twice.
There were beautiful ornamental grasses with reddish plumes. Gorgeous.
This egret seemed to be showing off for us.


The view of the bay and Choctawhatchee Mid-Bay Bridge from Emerald Bay Golf Club in Destin.
The Bridge is a 141-span, 3.6 mile (5.8 km) bridge connecting the mainland to the Destin beaches.


All the Golf courses had beautiful homes surrounding them. Imagine living on a golf course and a bay like this!


Looking the opposite way from the bridge.


Enough touristy stuff! Get back to playing! Mr. Nice teeing off.


The Links Golf Club has water on almost every hole making it very pretty and not mention, difficult!


I wonder how long it will take this guy to cross the fairway and reach the water?

Our golf games were finished in two hours so we were home for lunch and had the rest of the days ahead of us.  We checked out the beaches, hung out at the pool, browsed some funky shops in nearby Seaside and of course hit the outlet mall like all good Canadian tourists!


How inviting is this? Nap anyone?


Don’t you just hate it when all the lounge chairs are taken?

The nearby town of Seaside had a number of fun shops to browse around.  Sadly, the items I liked were a bit to big and bulky to take home on the plane. The little town is very funky and artsy and it was obvious it must be packed in high season.  There were so many places right on the Gulf.  All that white sand.  Heaven!


Cute little post office on the main street.
(Why is that pole right in the middle of my picture??)

In the heart of the town are a line of small Vintage Airstream trailers lined up, side by side.  In Seaside’s early days, many of the owners building homes stayed in Airstream trailers—“land yachts”—awaiting completion.  Now, they house independent food vendors.  The  food aromas were enticing!


Airstream food vendors.

There were so many cute shops and art galleries to browse through.  I particularly liked Amore By The Sea which offered a collection of funky art, unique home accent treasures from around the world, reclaimed wood furniture, jewelry and more.  I snapped a few pics but if you want to see more items, I’ve added the link to their website above.


I loved these unusual glass and wood / root sculptures. Sadly too bulky to take home on the plane.


Fabulous carved bowls and unique sculptures.



Isn’t he a cutey?

On our last full day, just as we were finishing our golf game a the Links, it started to pour.  PERFECT!  Off to the Outlet Mall!  Mr. Nice went a bit crazy and came home with 3 pairs of shoes, 4 golf shirts, 4 sports shirts, 1 dress shirt, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 caps, and God knows what else.  Needless to say, it was not a shopping day for me!

I wish I had more pictures to share!  Maybe that’s a sign I was having a REALLY GOOD TIME!

We can’t wait to visit the Florida Panhandle again!


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