Adding touches to the living room

The living room

We moved in to our new condo in December and slowly it’s coming along. For the first few months a new place is always just the basics, liveable, and not the prettiest.  Now that we’re more settled in I’ve been trying to finish off our living room by adding pieces and decorating.

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The white candles and candle plate are from Ikea. The bicycle plant holder and pot are from my dad’s house!! I have no idea where he got them. I put a succulent inside. I looove succulents because I can forget to water them and they won’t die on me.

I love Ikea but I don’t love filling my place with Ikea stuff. I try and get basic items from Ikea, like lamps, side tables or a bookshelf… but when it comes to adding ‘touches’ around the apartment, I prefer they come from random places. That way it doesn’t look too Ikea catalogue-y.

D-Man and I picked up this bar at an antique shop when we were driving back to Vancouver from BC’s interior. We also got the tray on the bottom from the antique shop. The washboard in the back was his grandmother’s. She ACTUALLY used this washboard to clean her clothes, back in the day. Can you imagine?! Ugh, I’m getting tired just thinking of hand-washing my clothes.

The two decanters on the right and the bar tools on the bottom are all Ralph Lauren, from the Bay. The decanter on the left is from HomeSense.

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I just got this VITTSJÖ bookshelf from Ikea. I was going to spray paint it gold but I actually really like it white. At least for now. I’m not sure if I’m done decorating it. I really like to switch things up until I’m completely satisfied, but for now this is what it looks like.

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It’s a little short so I put some tall candles on the top to make it look taller. Those candles and candle holders are also from Ikea.

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These plants are from my awesome sister in law. The owl is from a good friend and the little glass elephant is from a lovely friend who got it for me while travelling in Europe.

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The wine bottle is what we drank on our first night in our new place and we got the elephant in Thailand. I’m toying with the idea of spray painting him white. We’ll see. DSC_0626

My dad gave me this crate. I don’t know where he got it and I don’t know the story behind it!! It holds my ukelele and a blanket. Below that is a rug that D-Man and I got while travelling in Morocco. It’s my favourite piece in our apartment and is also the thing that every dog who visits either shits or pees on. Seriously. It’s ridiculous.

The Moroccan rug is also one of JoJo's favourite places to sleep.
The Moroccan rug is also one of JoJo’s favourite places to sleep.

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This is an ammo box. D-Man put my engagement ring inside along with a few love letters and hid it in the bushes while we were camping. That’s how he proposed!DSC_0629 - Version 2

I dedicated this shelf to look a little manlier. Along with the ammo box are a stack of D-Man’s woodworking magazines and a picture of him with his dad and two grandfathers.DSC_0631The couch is originally from Urban Barn but I found it on Craigslist! The pillows are all from West Elm.

DSC_0637D-Man made this coffee table out of old wood used to make boats. A family friend’s dad used to make boats, they gave us the wood. It’s such a cool, unique piece… plus it’s really handy for storage. On top… more succulents!! The plant pot is from Art Knapps.

DSC_0585 - Version 2This picture is taken later in the afternoon when my living room gets sun. JoJo loves basking in the sun. I have just a folded up blanket for her in the living room (her bed is in the bedroom). I like having a blanket there instead of a bed so it’s quick and easy to clean when needed.

This POÄNG chair is my least favourite part of the living room. But I still haven’t found a chair I love to replace it. I refuse to spend money on a chair that’s just okay. I’m looking for an antique wingback chair to reupholster. Have yet to find an affordable one I like.

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Barcelona: Eight things to do while you’re there

What to do in Barcelona

Here are EIGHT things to do while in Barcelona:

Outside the Sagrada Familia
Outside the Sagrada Familia, still under construction!
1) Visit the Sagrada Familia

When you go to the Sagrada Familia, which you should definitely do, book your tickets ahead of time, online. After ordering tickets online, we picked them up at a Servi Caixa, it’s a chain of ATM machines. The closest one to the Sagrada Familia was right by the McDonalds. Easy peasy and no lines.

Stained glass inside the Sagrada Familia
Stained glass inside the Sagrada Familia

We booked a tower tour as well and it was well worth it.

One of the views from the tower
One of the views from the tower

Fabulous views from the tower.

Everything at the Sagrada Familia is so intricate.
Everything at the Sagrada Familia is so intricate.
The staircase winding down the tower at the Sagrada Familia.
The staircase winding down the tower at the Sagrada Familia.
2) A cooking class

Do a cooking class! One of my favourite things to do when I travel, is a cooking class. Oh and while you’re there, ask your instructor for restaurant suggestions.

Cooking class at 'Cook and Taste'
Cooking class at ‘Cook and Taste’

We did a cooking class with ‘Cook and Taste’ and really enjoyed it.

This is the look I often get from D-Man (heehee!)
This is the look I often get from D-Man (heehee!)
Cooking a yummy seafood paella
Cooking a yummy seafood paella

You get a meal out of it… and the wine’s included! The class also included a walking tour through the city’s biggest market – Boqueria.

Rows of dried peppers at the market.
Rows of dried peppers at the market.
3) Shop and eat your way through Boqueria Market

We went on our own as well as with the guide from Cook and Taste. It was fabulous to have someone explain how everything’s done there. Walking through on your own is fun (watch your wallet in here for sure) but it’s even better with a guide.

Lots of different seafood is available, fresh at the market.
Lots of different seafood is available, fresh at the market.
Jamon, or cured ham is sooooo yummy. The really good stuff is extremely expensive.
Jamon, or cured ham is sooooo yummy. The really good stuff is extremely expensive.
Learning about salted cod while at the market.
Learning about salted cod while at the market.
4) Explore Montjuïc

We went to Montjuïc hill, there’s lots to do and there’s great views of the city.

Barcelona's National Museum of Art Catalunya at the top of Montjuic.
Barcelona’s National Museum of Art Catalunya at the top of Montjuic.
5) Wander

From what I’ve heard, Barcelona has great museums. As much as I’d like to pretend I’m cultured enough to enjoy museums, I usually don’t. We didn’t go to any in Barcelona. What we did do… wandered. And wandered some more. Seriously, my legs hurt so much after our week in Barcelona… just from walking and wandering.

6) Go for a picnic.
Getting ready for a picnic!
Got pickled garlic, olives, cheese, chorizo, baguettes and croquettes for our picnic.

We went to the market, got food for a picnic then found a park and hung out. Sounds boring but it was great to sit and people watch.

7) Shop ’til you drop

Hopefully you like shopping… because the shopping is good!! The boutiques are pretty expensive but fun. Honestly, I just loved the typical stores – Zara, Blanco, Mango, etc.

I bought as many clothes as I could considering we did carry on!!
I bought as many clothes as I could considering we did carry on!!
8) Eat the donuts and drink the coffee

Like sweet things? Eat the donuts. Like coffee? Drink as much as is sanely possible. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Just do it, you’ll thank me. Actually, just eat all the food.

Oh man, I ate so many donuts.
Oh man, I ate so many donuts.
I'm still dreaming of the coffee.
I’m still dreaming of the coffee.