DIY Picture Ledges

Hello friends and happy FALL !! Today's post is not about my favourite season although I do hope to post one soon! Today I'm talking about the rustic picture ledges I made for our living room. By the end of summer I start to get bored with my interior decor so I always look forward to the change in season to change up my decor and colours. I have been staring at this wall and wasn't loving the simplicity of just having a print hung here so I decided to add picture ledges. I considered a gallery wall but these picture ledges provide more flexibility with changing frames and the arrangement without having to put additional holes in the wall. And the best part about them? I made them for FREE!! We recently replaced our roof and had a bunch of leftover 1x3s used for strapping. Although I could have purchased new wood for about $7 which is very affordable, my handy and frugal fiancée suggested using the existing wood.

The plans I used from My Divine Home called for a 1x4x8, a 1x3x8 and a 1x2x8. I used a 1x3x8 instead of the 1x4x8 and had Tk trim a 1x3 down to 1x2. We also cut the length of each piece down to 42 inches. Once we were done cutting, I had (4) 1x3x42 Inches and (2) 1x2x42inches. Each shelf requires (2) of the 1x3s and (1) of the 1x2s. I used liquid nails and our brad nailer to assemble the shelves. I didn't take photos while I was assembling but you can find a more detailed tutorial here.

Once my shelves were assembled I stained them using my favourite Minwax Dark Walnut. I knew I wanted a rustic, distressed look so I applied two coats of flat white paint on top of the stain. I then sanded the shelves heavily by hand using 100 grit sandpaper. I had TK help me hang them to ensure they were level and used 2 inch wood screws, drilling into the stud. 

I have lots of frames kicking around but decided to grab a few new ones from Homesense using a gift card as well as the square black frame from Walmart. I framed some free printables as well as pictures and was ready to style the shelves.  


I am so happy with how these picture ledges turned out and love the interest that it brings to this wall. I am excited to change out the printables for holidays and seasons, frame engagement and wedding photos and eventually baby pictures :):):).  

Jess xx  

Backyard Updates

It's hard to believe it is already September so I figured it was time to share our backyard updates! I am always a little late to the game, sharing summer stuff when most people are starting to decorate for fall but better late than never! Last year I posted about all the plans we had for updating and improving our backyard.  I am very happy to report that this year we were able to achieve a lot of it!! This corner of our yard was my least favourite because of the gap in the hedge and just generally looking unappealing. Thanks to my super handyman, this corner is now my favourite!! He built a beautiful bench swing all by himself and it is a much better focal point than our patchy hedge. He built it and I stained it so we make a pretty good team :) He also did all of the landscaping - removing the grass, edging and adding crushed stone. Sooo much better!! 


Last year I also talked about adding a conversation set to the patio. As soon as I saw this set on sale at Jysk earlier in the summer I jumped on it and am so happy I did!

outdoor pillows- Target, outdoor rug- Real Canadian Superstore  

outdoor pillows- Target, outdoor rug- Real Canadian Superstore  


It is so much more comfortable and better to entertain guests rather than always having to sit at the patio table. Which is looking rather dated and is already on the list to be updated next year ! 

With the new conversation set, we noticed it was a bit too dim after dark with only the light above the basement door and the string lights above the patio table and chairs. I decided to add string lights to this area as well using the same method to create my light poles -  galvanized buckets half filled with cement, 2x2s + top soil and some flowers. Additional details on my DIY string lighting can be found here.  


I bought this vintage bottle opener from a local farmer's market that I attached to our deck post along with a little dollar store bucket underneath to catch bottle caps. Easy and accessible DIY opener that doesn't get lost when we are entertaining in the backyard :) 


I keep things pretty simple when it comes to gardening. I buy a few planters and my favourite Boston ferns and try my best not to kill them before Labour day :) I do not have a green thumb and have already destroyed my little herb garden. Thankfully our beautiful hydrangea bush continues to bloom more and more each year, unfortunately I managed to kill a new bush :(  


I have to best honest, at this point in the season I start to get lazy and care less about outdoor plant maintenance and start looking forward to leaves falling and crisp mornings and nights!! Speaking of leaves falling, our poor tree starts losing leaves at the beginning of August and they are not the pretty kind! By mid- late August I start to feel like summer is almost over despite having another month of warm weather ahead. But rather than be sad I get excited for what's next - - F A L L !! It's been a bit cooler and rainy lately so it's got me excited for sweater weather, scarves and boots. I start to feel a bit uninspired by the end of summer as I usually take a break from projects. The start of a new season always excites me for the change in clothing, decor and weather. We are ready to enjoy the last long weekend of summer and then welcome fall with open arms!! 


Wishing you a safe and sunny Labour Day!

Jess xo

our ENGAGEMENT story

One month ago today, I woke up to what I thought would be an ordinary Sunday. I had worked late the night before and we had brunch plans with my dad, my sister and brother-in-law who were in town for the weekend. After a lovely brunch, we were heading to TKs parent's for a pool day and BBQ but it was forecasting rain so we didn't know how this would affect our plans. We packed up with our pup in tow and headed to his parents. As we pulled in I noticed tissue paper pom poms by the pool, not thinking much of it but that it was cute his mom had decorated for us to come over. As we walked towards the pool, I stopped dead in my tracks, covered my mouth and started to cry. I hugged TK as he was softly nudging me to move closer to the chalkboard that read "Doods Will You Marry Me?" sitting beside a pillow with a ring box on it. (Yes my nickname is doods, long story :) At this point I am half laughing, half crying and asking what is happening. Then I noticed our best friend Elise pop out from where she has been hiding, recording a video of the whole thing. TK got down on one knee and said "well, will you marry me?" I said yes, we hugged and kissed and he almost got up and walked away without putting the ring on my finger. I'm surprised we didn't drop it because we were both shaking so much! I then noticed that the pool area was decorated and there was a sign that said "Jess & TK's Engagement July 16, 2017" and was told that our family and friends were on their way to celebrate with us!! TK's parents were looking down on the whole thing, taking pictures from the upstairs windows. I was still in shock that this ordinary Sunday had now turned into our engagement party! I couldn't stop staring at the ring on my finger and asking TK details on how he set the whole thing up. He had bought the ring just before my birthday in June and had asked my parents for permission the week leading up, along with telling our friends to join us for the party. He had our family and friends help him set up and decorate the night before while I was at work. He had trouble finding a weekend where we didn't have plans or I wasn't working so he was happy to finally lock down a date. I always thought he would do something simple at home, involving the dog somehow. He always leaves gifts and cards on my pillow so he made sure the ring was on a pillow and Poppy was running around right beside us as it all happened. He did such an amazing job surprising me and I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate! We enjoyed lots of champagne, swimming, BBQ and only a small amount of rain came through around the time we cleaned up.  I am so incredibly excited to plan our wedding (which in reality is really already planned :) I am the luckiest girl to get to spend the rest of my days with this guy and I can't wait to call him my husband!! Get ready for lots of wedding planning and DIY decor !!


Jess xx