Designing a bedroom for kids

No matter what age your kid is, designing their room is always fun. You get to work with bold colours and lots of imagination.

Photo courtesy Decorating Den

Photo courtesy Decorating Den

The most important thing to remember when you are designing your kid’s bedroom, whether or not they are helping out by giving their input, is flexibility.

“When you are deciding on redecorating a kid’s room, choose a theme or colour combination that will grow with your child,” says Sherrie Patterson with Bracko Brothers Quality Home Furnishings. “Toy Story might be great for your child’s age right now but in a few years they will want something different.

“If you decorate with colour, then you can add accents that can be changed out as they change their interests.”

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How do you feel about the “hottest” colour trends this year?

I love where colour trends come from – it literally can be from anywhere. I think that job, the traveling around the world and deciding, yup, pastels are in this year, would be very fun. Here are some of these colour experts weighing in on what we’re going to love this year from my Calgary Sun column:

Photo courtesy Behr Paints - Sweet Jazz colour palette

Photo courtesy Behr Paints – Sweet Jazz colour palette

Paint companies often look into the hottest inspirations of the year, from fashion to furniture to social media. Their design experts compile palettes to inspire new looks and let homeowners explore exactly what style they would like to put forward in the new year.

The overarching themes for annual colour palettes have many influences, from world travel to industry to fashion shows.

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Beauty Beat


This is a new mascara by Cover Girl – Clump Crusher by lashblast. It sounds like it could be hardcore. I think this isn’t available in Canada yet, but it can’t be long before we get it as well. My sister was trading some Canadian-based makeup with someone in the US (I think?) to get her hands on it. I appreciate the effort – this mascara is awesome! It’s good for a day mascara. It doesn’t go on very thick and, as the name implies, there are really no clumps to be found, so it has a great natural look. I have been blessed with really long eyelashes, but it can lead to sticky spidery clumps if you’re not too careful, so this is perfect. Hopefully we’ll be seeing this in the aisles of Shoppers before long!

Update: Apparently, Cover Girl’s clump crusher is available right here in Calgary, and has been spotted in Shoppers. Try it out – nothing beats inexpensive mascara.

Word of the day:

Vitriol: something highly caustic or severe in effect, as criticism.

New Adult vs. Young Adult: Book reviews

Okay, here’s a round-up of the latest books I’ve been spending my time with, from best to worst:


Still Alice, by Lisa Genova

I found Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, was both beautiful and terrifying. I highly recommend this book, but only when you’re in the mood to read something truly disturbing (you know how you get in those moods sometime?) The book, and the main character, was so engaging that you get wrapped right up in her life, and her terror, and I’m actually happy I finished the book before going into labour. I need to read something light and happy after this.

It’s about early-onset Alzheimers, and the brilliant women who deals with the slow horror of losing her mind and her loved ones at the age of 50. For me, I found myself relating a little bit. Not that it’s anything close to the same thing, but this whole “pregnancy brain” thing is real and quite annoying. I’m constantly feeling and thinking through a fog, have trouble remembering and concentrating, and sometimes I truly don’t really understand what’s going on around me. I miss my brain. People have assured me it will come back (eventually), but I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for it to progressively get worse. I slowly fade away like that – no one deserves that. Anyway, read this book. Then go read something really funny afterwards.

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Easy, delicious and vegetarian

Since I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted lately, not to mention enormous, I’ve been trying to find some easy vegetarian recipes that are healthy, as well as providing good nutrients and enough protein to get me through these last (endless) weeks of pregnancy. Here are some of the goodies I’ve made:

Quiche1I found a delicious recipe for a tomato-basil quiche. It’s awesome because it uses mainly staples you’d probably have in your cupboard and fresh ingredients from the fridge (okay, maybe not the basil, I don’t know you). Also, I happened to have an empty store-bought pie shell I wanted to use up to make room in my freezer, so that is probably what make this so incredibly easy. Once you have that, it’s simply a matter of layering the ingredients into it.

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Garberators: Terrifying or environmentally friendly?


Garberators might not be as evil as I thought.

The list of things that scare me is both varied and plentiful. One of those random things that has just always freaked me out is garberators. I always view that gaping maw with suspicion, like it is two seconds away from chopping off all of my fingers. This perception widely comes from a Fear Street book I read when I was young, where a possessed house did exactly that to someone. (Btw, if you’re interested in that book, or any of the Fear Street books, read the recap here, brought to you by some sisters who had too much time on their hands.)

Anyway, when I moved into my husbands apartment, I first viewed this contraption with a mix of distaste and fascination. So scary. And yet so convenient. All those potato peels just disappear! So garberators can’t be that bad.

It turns out, not bad at all. One really interesting thing I’ve learned by talking with trades people and plumbers over the past few years is that garberators are in fact … good for the environment. At first, I didn’t believe it. How could anything that is actually convenient be environmentally friendly? I thought all planet-saving endeavours were supposed to be costly and time-consuming, allowing you to feel really smug about going out of your way to help Mother Earth. Not so.

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Designing nurseries – the little details


When I started to put together a look for our nursery, I wanted something that was classic and sophisticated … after all, it’s more a room for me than for the baby, for the time being, anyways. We already had some framed nautical maps on the walls, so we decided to go with a travel theme, with understated furniture in rich colours. For me, it was really the little details that pulled the look together.

The only big project I took on for this room was redoing a really gross IKEA dresser into something a little more pulled together, with a distressed finish (click here to see what this originally looked like, and how I got it into this shape!). The final product turned out really nicely. I went with a lightly distressed finish – nothing too extreme.

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