Category Archives: fun

The Big Bedroom Makeover!

I’ve been itching for change lately, and now that I have all this spare time on my hands I’ve been working on some “projects” that I’ve wanted to do for a while.

My most recently completed one was the bedroom makeover!

My old room was awesome, but it was cluttered, busy and not very relaxing. I had my computer desk in there and basically did everything in that room. It wasn’t a very peaceful environment to fall asleep in, or just relax in general. I have issues with sleep as it is, so I decided that I’d make a big change and move the desk out and do the room over in an effort to make it more serene.

I moved the desk into my media room/spare room (Photos to come!) and set to work.

Working With What I Had

The biggest challenge was trying to get all my disparate elements to come together, with little money. I really didn’t have a budget at all.

Everything in my room is second-hand. I don’t think there is a single piece of furniture in there that is new! That certainly posed a unique challenge. I also fell in love with the purple bed set on vacation and had to work a new colour into my palette that wasn’t there before. Originally I was aiming for whites & pinks since I had a white bedspread and pink pillows & curtains to work with. Then I remembered I wanted to bring my big black chaise into the room for a reading nook. *sigh* there’s another colour to work with!

So now I had 4 main colour accents: Purple, pinks, white & black.

Goals

The goals for this room makeover were:

  • Create more space both physically and optically
  • Declutter & organize
  • Use the furniture and stuff I already had and find a way to unify it better
  • Make the room more functional with separate spaces for makeup, jewellery/accessories, sleeping and reading
  • Make a more relaxing and calm space

My main inspiration for this room is the pink & cream bird curtains. I made them when I moved in and I still love them! In the photos below, see if you can pick out all the little bird elements I used to tie everything together!

Since I was starting with the curtains, I decided to go with a lighter wall colour to brighten & enlarge the room. I picked a very light, creamy bone shade that closely matched the cream in the curtains. It’s a neutral enough shade to achieve all my goals and provide a nice backdrop for the splashes of colour in the art & accessories.

The final product

With the desk gone from my room there was tons of space for a new vanity and reading area. I got the black chaise off of Craigslist last year and the “vanity” that you see is actually a sewing table from my late aunt. I think she’d be happy with how I arranged it! I also had an old chair sitting around the apartment, so I painted it and upholstered the seat in a shiny black to match the chaise. My mom thought it came with the table! Score!

Vanity & Reading Corner

 

Close up on the vanity. I reupholstered & painted the chair to match!

I also took this as an opportunity to go through all my accessories and prune them down. After that I had to find a creative way to keep most of them in sight so I could remember what I had! (I couldn’t keep them all out, I have an insane amount of stuff, so just the faves are on display)

I found an old cork board hiding in a storage space and my problem was solved! (Everyone knows the cork board trick for jewellery now, right?) I painted it the same colour as the walls so it would blend in and provide a good backdrop for my pretties. Not bad! Again, just working with what I had on hand, folks!

Part 1 of the "jewellery bar"

I also finally found a way to display some of my floral hair fascinators creatively, while finding a home for my tiered tray (that thing is impossible to store!!!!)

Click to enlarge
May I offer you a rose for your hair?

All said and done, I think I did a pretty swell job of pulling everything together, and I was able to achieve each of the goals I set out for this project.

click to enlarge
The "Other Side"

The funny thing about this room is that I really didn’t set out to have it bird-themed. It just sort of worked out that way. I went with the motif from the curtains and tried to have little details throughout to provide continuity. I may not have chosen this myself, but I think it worked out well! Sometimes you just have to let your project choose  YOU.

Birds

click to enlarge
Curtains - The Inspiration
click to enlarge
More bird details

If you also like the bird theme, I got the hooks and white wall-birds from Umbra. I buy from the concept store downtown, but there are lots of other retailers that carry them as well. As for the spunky wall decal, I got it at the dollar store for $2!!! Amazeballs. I bought it months ago because it was pretty and it sat around until I finally realized I could use it in this project. Win!

Royal-Tiger approves this room makeover!

Review: Snakes & Lattes Cafe, Toronto

I have a new favourite cafe where there is rarely a seat, the service is slow and the coffee mediocre.

 

BUT THEY HAVE BOARD GAMES. THOUSANDS OF THEM.

I love the concept of Snakes and Lattes, a board game cafe located just west of Bathurst station on Bloor St. In Toronto.

A $5 cover charge gets you in for an unlimited amount of time to play as many of their board games as you like. The place is crammed with tables, which are in turn crammed with folks of all stripes playing board game after board game.

A staff of young (and cute!) men man the cafe, serving up sandwiches, coffees, booze and sweet treats. They are all knowledgeable on board games and can help you find one, make recommendations and even play a couple of rounds with you! All in their official job description 😉

My friends and I have been there twice now, within that many weeks. We love the atmosphere, the eye candy and the wide selection of board games!

Both times we have spent hours there, sipping our lattes and enjoying a variety of games. The staff were helpful, recommending a new game for us, then even playing a few rounds so we could get the hang of it. Very nice indeed!

The hours of operation are pretty great, too. From 11am-2am every day gives you lots of timing options. And you’ll need them.

One of the downsides to S&L is that it’s a little too popular. It’s hard to get in, with wait times exceeding an hour on occasion. The place is also packed, making it noisy, squished and negatively affecting the service. This plays out in a couple of ways: poor coffee and food quality, slow service and in some cases, dirty dishes/cutlery (the dishwasher just can’t keep up!).

But once you’re in there and playing, you hardly notice any of that!

 

S&L is still relatively new, so I hope that they will continue to iron out the kinks in their shop. I would love to see them expand into another location, and also offer some better pricing options such as a loyalty card with discounts or free admission, or waiving the cover charge if you purchase a certain amount at the cafe.

All in all I think it’s a great place, and will definitely be back! Keep your eyes peeled for the chick having a little too much fun playing Mad Gab, Monopoly or You Might Be A Redneck If…!

A Tale of Two Citrus

Went to the market the other day, hungry for some tasty citrus.

I found a couple of nice looking oranges and brought them home. They seemed pretty happy to be here.

.

.

.

All was good.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

And then I found out she was pregnant.

>-<

.

.



Orange babies!

.

.

.


Tea Party Prep

This coming weekend I am hosting my very first tea party for my closest friends.

I’ve been mulling over the idea for quite some time now, and with the popularity of Alice in Wonderland bringing the focus back on this tradition, I thought the time was ripe for my own!

While I myself am not the biggest tea drinker (although my collection would beg to differ!) I have always loved the classic idea, rituals and etiquette of a traditional tea party.

The usual elements of a tea party include:

  • formal table settings
  • petit fours (little sweet cakes and pastries)
  • tea sandwiches
  • scones with jam and cream
  • TEA!

When most people think of tea parties, they think of stuffy old ladies with hats and gloves sitting around with pinkies up and “hemm-hemming” over the latest faux pas someone in the community has committed. But this isn’t always the case!

I think tea parties offer a great way to get your friends together to appreciate the civilized side of life that we so often neglect in society these days.

Tea parties can be in any theme that you like, from classic traditional to wacky, zaney or even morbid! The key to setting the mood is the decor, menu and etiquette that you choose to observe during the event.

For my party, I’m going with a “funky & elegant” theme, and have asked my guests to dress up with their interpretation of the term “tea party”. I have some diverse friends each with their own unique style so I am really looking forward to seeing their outfits! With their permission I will be posting them on the blog afterwards :) Of course I’ll be dressing up, too!

I don’t have a ton of money to spend on this event, so the decor will be a bit on the eclectic side as I pull together all the cool serving dishes, decorations and linens that I have to make one cohesive theme. Good thing I’m an old hand at the eclectic look!

So far hot pink seems to be the dominant accent colour, but we’ll see what shows up in the end!

This week I will be pulling everything together, including the decor, table set-up, menu and trial runs of some of the tricker treats that I am preparing and posting about it on the blog.

I would love to hear of your own tea party experiences, and if you have any tips or tricks to share with me as I prepare for my own.

Thanks, and cheerio, darling!

Clothing Swap FAQ

Are you wondering what the deal is with these new-fangled clothing swap things?

Are you thinking of hosting or participating in one? Look no further! I have complied the answers to a few frequently asked questions about clothing swaps.

Behold,

Ginger’s Clothing Swap FAQ:

What IS a clothing swap?

Organized by a fashion community or group of friends. Everyone brings their gently used clothing, shoes and accessories they no longer want to the swap. Then the madness begins! You are free to choose and try on as many of the donated clothes as you like, and bring them home for free! The best swaps are when there are loads of clothes and ladies to try things on.

Is it really free?

Yes! A swap is an excellent way to get rid of your old things, and get some new-to-you duds at no cost. Perfect for anyone on a budget!

How much do I have to bring to a swap?

You should try and bring as much as possible to a swap, keeping in mind that your donations should be nice enough that someone else would actually want them.

It’s OK if you only have a few items though, someone may really like what you have brought! Ideally other women will bring large quantities to swap, so things usually even out in the end.

Check with the organizers first to determine whether you can attend a swap without bringing any items to donate.

What is the swapping process like?

Every swap and group will be different, but in general everyone pulls out their items to donate and quickly displays them to the group, then places them on a table or pile for someone to scoop up. If you see something you like you can grab it off the table or call dibs on it.

Part competitive free-for-all, part fashion show a swap is a really fun experience with the right group of ladies. If everyone remembers to be fair and gracious it will go swimmingly with a feeling of sisterhood and friendship all around.

What happens if two people want the same thing?

This part is a little tricky and can bring out the mean in people. Try and be on your best behaviour! Generally the person who indicates interest first (by touching the garment or calling dibs) will get to try it on. If they like it, they keep it. If not, the next person (second dibs) gets their chance with it. And so on.

If someone grabs something you like first, be sure to call second dibs, just in case they change their mind!

Is it really competitive?

Sometimes. Everyone is looking out for themselves, so there is a bit of competition and testing of wills in any clothing swap, particularly if you have two or more women with the same sense of style and size!

I would recommend calling dibs as fast as you can on pieces that are most likely to be a “win” for you. That is, garments that you have been searching for specifically (such as a Little Black Dress) or something that you know instantly will look gorgeous on you. You should know your shape, colours you look best in, and also clothing cuts you look best in before going into a swap. This will help you focus on winning the pieces best suited for you.

You may also consider tag-teaming with a friend. You can keep an eye out for things that your friend would look good in, and she will do the same for you. This can also help you bargain with other ladies when there is a hot item up for grabs.

What if there is still a bunch of clothes left over?

This is an easy fix. If you held your swap in a consignment or thrift store (both popular locations) the store will look through the remainders and take whatever they think will sell at their location. Anything that is left over after that step should be donated to a charity or women’s shelter.

It’s a win-win-win all around!

Is there any other swap etiquette that I should be aware of?

Most likely, yes. If you are ever unsure of a process or have any questions, you should contact the organizers of the swap and ask away! It is much better to ask and receive clarity than risk raising someone’s ire at the swap itself. Some ladies can be very aggressive!

Depending on the swap and group involved, there may be ground rules that you should be aware of and observe. If nothing specific is said, remember to employ common decency and fairness, but also remember that the whole point of a swap is for YOU to benefit, and to spiff up YOUR wardrobe! Don’t be afraid to dive in!

Clothing Swap, FTW!

Ever been to a clothing swap?

I just went to my first one ever and had a great experience! I teamed up with some fellow GTA fatshionistas from the fatshionista (plus-size fashion) community and we organized a mid-winter swap on Sunday.

I think it went pretty well! We started with a brunch for the organizers beforehand, followed by the swap proper.

The normal fatshionista! swap location downtown Toronto was undergoing some changes, so this time it was held at a plus-size consignment shop in Vaughan. What a perfect place to hold one! They provided us with space to dump our stuff, beverages, mirrors and changerooms, plus we all received a discount on any of their inventory. In the end they also had first dibs on the leftover clothing. Anything that would sell they took, and the remainders were donated to a women’s shelter.

I didn’t have a ton of stuff to contribute, but a few of my tops and skirts were snapped up lickety split that day. It made me feel good to know that they were going to someone who would love and care for them the way I did!

Some women brought absolute MOUNDS of clothing to donate. It was truly spectacular.

Overall it was a really great experience. I met some new friends, got to parade around in all sorts of clothes and be paid compliments and of course no one can deny the thrill of the hunt! There’s nothing quite like finding an amazing dress or pair of jeans that fit you like a dream and are FREE!

I really lucked out at this particular swap, and I can’t wait for the next! I’ll be posting some photos of the things I got, but until then here is a list of what I came home with:

  • 1 pair dark wash jeans that make my ass look great
  • 4 gorgeous vintage dresses that highlighted all my assets. I finally understand why women love vintage so much! Vintage clothes really beautify the female form!
  • 1 nice Nygard summer suit set, with skirt
  • 1 denim skirt
  • 3 Torrid vintage-inspired dresses
  • A few miscellaneous tops

I’m really stoked about all the dresses I got. They’re ones that you can’t get in Canada and they look SO GOOD. I will totally be doing outfit posts :)

I was hoping to find some shoes as well, but most of the selection there was for the bigger sizes so I didn’t get anything. My mom actually came with me to this event and while she didn’t get quite as much as I did I know she got some nice things for her upcoming trip to Mexico. She came home with me for dinner after the swap and we modeled all of our new clothes for each other.

I’m really glad that I participated in this. It helped me clear out some of my older stuff (which I had been meaning to do) and I met some awesome gals while I was there. I will totally hang out with them again!

I love the idea of a swap… and I got out of this one without spending a dime! Can you believe that? I’m really pleased with myself. I’ve had the “shopping itch” for the past couple of weeks, but couldn’t justify spending any money right now (it’s been an expensive few months!) so this swap satisfied my urges while keeping me frugal!

I’ve been exposed to more fashion and I hope to keep incorporating more of it into my life, and I’ll also be doing some photo shoots in the spring with the photographer that came to our event. Yes, my friends! Ginger is going to be a model!

Vogue with me now!

LOL

it’s just to help her beef up her portfolio, but it will be a lot of fun for me! I get to dress up, get my hair and makeup done and pretend I’m someone else for the day.  Plus I’ll be helping create art :)

So, THAT is how I spent my Sunday! I still have to report on the rest of my activities, and do that dang shoe post *glares at Pear & Melanie* but keep your eyes peeled for a quick Clothing Swap FAQ!

Ginger’s Most Wanted

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I REALLY want the following:

Morocco Snake print bathing suit by Monif C

Marilyn short convertible dress in fuschia, also by Monif C

Blueberry Babe hand-painted heels by Jellyfish

Black Diamond Platforms by Iron Fist

Flaunt dress (in any colour!) by Kiyonna

Fierce Leopard Dress also by Kiyonna

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about fashion lately which isn’t necessarily a good thing! Because then I end up with lust for so many items…