What to Wear Wednesday: Old Navy

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by

Happy happy Wednesday!  So I haven’t ever talked about clothes or fashion here before, so this is a first.  And I do love to shop, especially for a good deal.  While I’m no expert I do think a little bit about what goes into my wardrobe and love to pass along a good shopping tip.
While you are all cobbling together fantastic costumes for yourselves and your children (OK I’m dong that too) I have waited till the last day to spend my SuperCash at Old Navy.  Now that we are into real fall weather it’s time to establish some go-to outfits that are stylish enough to head out the door in, but cozy enough to hunker down on the couch with my laptop too.  old navy snip october
Here’s what I bought at Old Navy.  Sweatshirt dress, leather belt, sweater tights, and animal-print flats.  The flats are discounted in-store, so for about sixty dollars less twenty dollars in SuperCash I have a great new multi-purpose outfit!  No SuperCash?  They also have 20% off your purchase right now on-line and in-store. 
If you know me then you know this will also get worn with a big scarf and tall boots on occasion.
(Hey, not terrible for the first selfie on this blog!)  Stay stylish and stay cozy!
…personally, Andrea

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How to Make Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Friday, October 25, 2013 by
Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Oh yes, my friends.  You can totally do this.  And not just for special occasions and fancy parties and impressing your in-laws.  No, you could start dreaming it right during supper…and while the rest of your fabulous family is clearing the table and loading the dishwasher (is a little bit of bribery required?) you could be casually just stirring together some homemade chocolate sauce for dessert as if it was a completely normal thing to do.

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Birch and Candle Centrepiece

Monday, October 21, 2013 by
Hey everyone, welcome to a new week.  Are we all getting out to see fall colours, pick apples or choose pumpkins?  Enjoy it all while you can!

Birch Centrepiece | birch, pinecone, moss, candle | personallyandrea.com

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Fall in High Park

Friday, October 18, 2013 by

An end of the week walk through Toronto’s High Park to bask in a perfect fall day.  With some photos along the way of things that inspire me…


High Park Fall Colours | street signs | personallyandrea.com
High Park Fall Colours | lifesaving ring | personallyandrea.com

Does that qualify as a sign?  I dunno, but still inspired.
Paths.  Magical.  Imagine what might be around the next bend.  Possibilities.

High Park Fall Colours | leaf covered path | personallyandrea.com
High Park Fall Colours | path | personallyandrea.com

Benches.   An invitation to pause.  And reflect.

High Park Fall Colours | park bench and pond | personallyandrea.com
High Park Fall Colours | park bench | personallyandrea.com
High Park Fall Colours | park bench | personallyandrea.com

Why don’t you take up the invitation?  Pause.  Reflect.  Bask in the perfect fall Friday.

xo andrea

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Bargain-Hunting, Beauty and Browsing

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 by
Happy Tuesday everyone.  Hope you are all experiencing the same fabulous fall days we’ve had so many of here in Southern Ontario.  Some of us are closely monitoring the Fall Colour Reports here and will soon be heading out with our cameras to capture the beauty.  In the meantime,  I think we have time for a little shopping, don’t you?  A little post-Thanksgiving bargain-hunting, beauty and browsing.  Hmm that’s catchy.  I’m going back to change the title of this post.  Not telling what it was before!
First up bargain-hunting.  So I was checking out the IKEA website to see what might be on clearance from the summer season.  Everybody does that, right?  So I did find these shelves which I posted on my Facebook page.  They’re going on the shopping list.  And then I came across this awesome bargain.

Admittedly, it doesn’t make for a spectacular photograph.  This is the FLYN LILL curtain panel.  Ten feet by two feet of sheer fabric that doesn’t need the edges hemmed.  Is anyone else thinking table runner?  At Hallowe’en with black and orange and purple…at Christmas obviously…in the spring with yellow and white…  Or how about twisted with a length of burlap for a winter garland around your door, or your mantel, or as a tree skirt…  How much for this extremely versatile item you ask?  THREE DOLLARS.   If you have any event decorating in your future ever you must run and buy five of these while they are still in stock.

Next up a bit of beauty.  Do you ever flip to the page in fashion magazines where they list the makeup and hair products used on the cover model?  To me this is a reliable source of information on what the pros actually use, and who doesn’t want to be like a pro?  And when there is a clear, shimmery, touch of pink nail polish being used…it’s usually this one.

It’s Essie Mademoiselle.  Easy to apply and to wear, helps you look that little extra bit polished for, you know, Friday night at Jack Astor’s with the fam.  It’s what the pros use, so make your life easier and pick up a bottle at your drugstore.  Don’t be seduced by all the other shades of sheer shimmery pink.  Get the Mademoiselle.

Last up, a bit of browsing.  So once you’ve creeped the hair and makeup credits in the fashion magazines at the grocery store checkout, put it back, and this is the magazine you should actually buy.

Style At Home Entertains.  This one’s a keeper.  Beautiful inspirational photography on every page.  Simple tips on shopping your house and using what you already own.  Right up my alley.  Elegant recipes as well as basic ones and tons of tips for seasonal decor and centrepieces.  I also love that they have separate sections for Holiday and Winter.  Because once the holidays are over there is still a lot of winter happening, but the Christmas decorations need to come down people.

Flip through the whole magazine once, making note of items you already have, and items to keep an eye out for.  Both pantry and decor.  Then keep it with your cookbooks and you’ll never be at a loss when you need to entertain. 
Three things to step your life up a notch.  Sorry, no beautiful photography in this one, but it’ll be coming with the fall colours photos soon!
…personally, Andrea

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Pillar Candle Gift 3 Ways

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by
Pillar Candle Gift 3 Ways | personallyandrea.com
In Canada this week we are approaching Thanksgiving weekend.  A much-needed reminder to count our blessings, and be living a life filled with gratitude.

If you are so fortunate as to have someone host you for Thanksgiving dinner, why not be prepared with a small gift to show your appreciation?  And no, your contribution of food towards the dinner does not count as a hostess gift.

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How to Set Up a Toaster Station

Friday, October 4, 2013 by
Organized Kitchen | toast station on a vintage tray | personallyandrea.com
So I’m sure all of you have figured out a fix for this long ago…toast crumbs on the kitchen counter, toaster in the way of making dinner, toaster inaccessible during the morning rush.  That’s been my kitchen…for a long time.  But now, as part of my mini kitchen improvement, I decided to fix it.  And it was actually easy.

toaster tidy up_12
Who knew?  A tray, a jar, move the bread, done.

Organized Kitchen | toast station on a vintage tray, chalkboard art, coffee accessories in a basket | personallyandrea.com
And now we have this cute little toast-making station that’s away from the rest of the kitchen busy-ness.  It stays in the same place.  All The Time.  It’s easy to  keep clean.  Did I mention it was cute?  Well, I helped it out a little bit with the cuteness because I saw this adorable sign on Pinterest.  I don’t really do signs, but I do chalkboards and I just copied the idea.

Chalkboard art in a distressed frame | Give us this day | personallyandrea.com
Distressed chalkboard frame | personallyandrea.com
I’m loving me a little upcycled distressed frame chalkboard.  They really work for me…when I’m feeling creative it’s a blank slate.  When I make a mistake, I can erase it and start over.  When I’m fickle and change my mind, guess what?  Erase it and start over.

But back to the toaster.  So I had rediscovered this vintage silver tray.  (A lot of stuff has seen the light of day since we’ve been renovating the basement, by the way.)  And I love it and have used it in a few places, but now it’s found it’s home.  Set it on the sideboard and moved the toaster there.  Already brilliant. 

Vintage silver tray patina | personallyandrea.com
Set out the butter in a butter dish and moved the butter knives there too.  There’s a key concept of organizing right?  Putting stuff together that gets used together.

Organized Kitchen | toast station on a vintage tray, chalkboard art | personallyandrea.com
Then remember that I had bought a set of three nesting seagrass baskets?  The first one was used for the coffee station?  Well here’s the largest of the three holding the bread right underneath the toaster tray.  I made the same kind of fake, I mean faux, chalkboard tag with black cardstock,  white paint marker and twine.  In case anyone couldn’t figure out it was bread in there.

Toaster Tidy-Up | chalkboard tag on a basket for bread storage | personallyandrea.com
Now the bread, toaster, butter and knives all live together.  The cream cheese and the peanut butter and jam live right next door in the fridge.  I have had requests for the Nutella to live on the tray as well.  Hmmm, well, maybe.  If they would just package it in a prettier jar.

Toaster Tidy-Up | Nutella on toast | personallyandrea.com
So if your toaster situation is causing you stress, this is something you can do.  Any style tray that’s large enough to hold your toaster plus your extra toasting stuff would be fabulous.  It has made the kitchen ridiculously more efficient, and so much easier to keep tidy.  Well worth your time, I promise you.

Toaster Tidy-Up | toaster, mason jar for knives, butter dish on a vintage tray| personallyandrea.com
Daisies | personallyandrea.com
Can you name this movie?

I love daisies, they’re so friendly.  Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?   

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