Happy Valentines Day + Two Years of the Penny

Happy Valentines Day, friends!! Today is also the two year anniversary of launching my blog, The Penny Drawer!! Time flies when you are having fun :) I want to thank my friends, family and readers for continuing to support me and my blog and providing honest and positive feedback, it is so appreciated!!

I have said it before, I am not the most consistent blogger and rather than set goals I may not be able to maintain, this year I am striving to drop the guilt and the comparison I sometimes feel as a blogger. In an ideal world I would love to have a few scheduled blog posts each week/month in addition to posting regularly on Instagram. I do admit that I often find myself comparing my projects and my photos to others and although I do find lots of inspiration from the people I follow, I am learning not to make myself feel bad, guilty or upset if I am not at the same level or consistency. I work full time at a community mental health agency in additional to a casual position with a crisis service. My job can be difficult and challenging and I started my blog as a creative outlet from my “real job”. But working 6 sometimes 7 days a week, I don’t always have the time I would like to spend on DIY projects and home decor. With that being said, I go through phases where I am working on multiple projects at once and then don’t do anything for a period of time. It's called balance and something I preach on a daily basis to the individuals I am supporting so it only makes sense that I practice it in my personal life as well. I also find winter especially challenging to take good home photos given the lack of natural light. I can only imagine how challenging it will be to maintain a blog and social media presence once we have a family, but I am so excited for that chapter to start and to share it with you!!

Anyways, I don’t want to make excuses I just want to provide some insight and also take some of the weight I feel off of my shoulders :) I really love having the opportunity to share my projects and decor with you!! I am really proud of what I did accomplish in the last year; helping plan and decorate my sister’s wedding, stencilling my bathroom and kitchen floor, multiple wood projects including floating shelves, picture ledges, painting numerous pieces of furniture and my biggest project was our laundry room makeover. Not too shabby! 

I didn't really decorate for Valentines Day this year as I have been enjoying my neutral winter pallet and red isn't my favourite. Blush on the other hand probably needs to make more of an appearance in our home. Maybe someday.... :) Here is a super cute fabric sign I scored at the Dollartree. I think the quote is a good reminder, today and always;


As mentioned in last month’s post, 2018 is wedding year so I am putting home projects on hold to a certain extent in order to focus on wedding planning and decor.I do have a few home projects on my TO DO that I hope to accomplish prior to being in the deep of wedding planning. I am so excited to share some of my planning and progress with you soon!! 

Happy Love Day, everyone!!  

-Jess xx


Hello friends and happy New Year!! I think I’m still allowed to say that, right?! I hope everyone had a great holiday season and start to 2018!! I came down with a nasty cold after the holidays so my new year motivation and to do list took a major hit. I spent lots of time on the couch resting and as always, spent way too much time on Pinterest and made tons of plans and goals for myself, my home and our wedding. 2018 is wedding year!! We are saying “I Do” on October 13th and although it seems very far away, I know the next 9 months are going to fly by. In addition to our wedding we also have our stag and doe in May as well as bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties along with other friends’ weddings. We are both standing up in our friends’ wedding in August so times all wedding stuff by two and that will be how we spend our spring, summer and fall. We are so excited for the coming months and all the fun it will bring!! Currently, I am working on updating our wedding planner timeline and determining what we need to do and when. We were able to get a ton done shortly after our engagement in terms of booking and paying initial deposits. I am planning and decorating the entire wedding so I have my work cut out for me but thankfully I am an organized person and I have been enjoying each step of the process thus far. This time last year, we were in the midst of wedding planning and DIY decorating for my sister’s February wedding. This was obviously a much shorter time frame and I think we pulled it off beautifully with little to no stress. After my sister’s wedding I thought “Hey, maybe I should be a wedding planner” and thankfully we got engaged not too long after so I get to try my hand at it again :). 

This past fall I took advantage of the sales at Michael’s and bought dozens of their faux flowers and greenery. I want our wedding to have an autumn influence but not scream FALL with pumpkins and foliage everywhere. Instead I will have rich coloured flowers like plum and cranberry along with blush and cream with gold accents as well as eucalyptus and other greenery. We are getting married at an old train station with beautiful old wood floors and exposed brick. I want the decor to match the vintage vibe of the venue. I was lucky enough to get a bunch of barn boards from a local barn that was being torn down and plan to incorporate this into the decor by making some flower boxes for centrepieces. I also rented several vintage pieces of furniture from ‘Found Decor’ a local decor rental company. I chose a few beautiful loveseats for ceremony seating, a mantle that will be the backdrop to the ceremony and a gorgeous white wood buffet for our dessert table. I am so excited to see my vision come together and I will try my best to share my progress without giving too much away :) 

I also want to take advantage of some weekends I have off of work over the winter and tackle some stuff around the house. I went ahead and finally painted our basement TV room this past weekend. It is the only room in our house I haven’t really touched so I am so happy to have given it a bit of a facelift. It still requires lots of attention as it includes some pretty ugly, mismatched furniture that is not in the budget to replace just yet. I also have plans for making over the fireplace as well as I have a 14ft beam also scored at the barn prior to being demolished.

Other home plans include refinishing our upstairs bathroom tub and tile using the Rustoleum refinishing kit so I will let you know how that goes!! I am super excited to imagine a bright white shower instead of the current cream coloured tub and surround with floral decorative tiles (YUCK). I started my spring cleaning early this year and have been trying my best to declutter and organize our home, especially closets and storage spaces  I have dropped off a few car loads if donations to Goodwill and it feels so great to start the year off fresh! 

So those are some of my plans for 2018, what plans or goals have you made?  

-Jess xx

Holiday Home Tour

Hello friends!  It's the most wonderful time of the year and the busiest! I can't believe how fast December is passing by. I say this every year but it always amazes me how quickly the Christmas season comes and goes. I have been busy with work and preparing for the holidays. Thankfully I don't have much shopping to do as our family does minimal gift giving, just buying for my niece and nephew. This makes things much easier and more affordable. I cannot stand malls and parking lots at this time of year so I try my best to avoid it. I do love to cook and spend lots of time preparing a menu for what I plan to make over the holidays. Lasagna and garlic bread are a staple for my family at Christmas time. I also like to do some sort of breakfast casserole and this year I plan to do quiche. I love having lots of different appetizers and snacks and try to make something new every year but often return to favourites like bacon wrapped water chestnuts, crockpot meatballs and shrimp cocktail. I am so looking forward to having time off of work spent with family and friends over the holidays. Unfortunately I am working Christmas day but then I have 7 days off!!

This year for décor I really stuck with greens, gold and white with some touches of burlap. I love getting a fresh tree but found this faux, pre lit one on sale for $100 at Canadian Tire and I am so thrilled with it. I cannot tell you how much I love not having to string lights! My ornaments are mostly gold, silver and white along with some flocked pinecones which I love.


I use a piece of burlap as my tree skirt and I have found Poppy cuddling in this spot on several occasions. 


I also purchased a few 9ft faux eucalyptus garlands with battery operated twinkle lights. I thought they would be great for the holidays and I also plan to use them for our wedding next fall. They were $50 each on Black Friday so I grabbed 4 of them and have two on display, one for the mantle and one on the railing.


I recently replaced out cheapo coffee table with this cedar trunk my mom gave me. I chalked painted it and lightly distressed it and love how it fits with our living room décor.


I used some faux greenery and garlands I have picked up over the years from the dollar store throughout the main floor and on our floating shelves in the dining room. My goal was to keep things simple this year as I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with the "clutter" that Christmas décor can bring.


I love birch logs for Christmas and winter décor. I framed some Christmas song lyrics and also used a potato stamp and craft paper for this DIY Christmas Tree décor. This is also a great way to make your own wrapping paper! 


In the basement I like to incorporate more classic and rustic red décor.


I hope to finally tackle our downstairs TV room in the new year. It desperately needs a fresh coat of paint and I also plan to paint the laminate bookshelves and change up the decor. I have an amazing beam from a nearby barn that was demolished that I want to add to the fireplace mantle and also add some shiplap above it. We are not quite ready to replace our upstairs living room furniture so our mismatched basement furniture will have to do a little bit longer. I am hoping we can afford to replace our couches after the wedding *fingers crossed :). I would really like to add a flocked tree to the basement next year with some awesome rustic, woodland inspired ornaments. Think cozy!!

I decorated earlier than I ever have this year but have had a hard time getting good lighting (+energy) for photos. I love the evenings most with the glow of Christmas lights!! 


Anyone else in hibernation mode yet? (my hand is raised). I was so thrilled that we got snow recently but the temperatures gone up and it’s even been raining so I’m not sure we actually will have a white Christmas. A girl can dream tho right? :) 

Wishing you and yours the merriest Christmas and happiest New Year!!

Jess xx