Monthly Archives: April 2010

hello may


Goodbye April, Hello May…

I can’t believe how quickly the past month has gone by. I love the month of May. Everything is green and fresh and new. The vegetable stands are brimming with produce and the farmer’s markets are starting up again. I love that you can just throw on a skirt, t-shirt, and pair of sandals and be dressed for the day.

I have some exciting things planned for the month of May. First up is the baby shower I am helping host tomorrow afternoon. I’m excited to see it all come together. And finally, this month I will launch my redesigned blog which I have been eager to show you.

Here are a few images from my kitchen this evening in preparation for tomorrow’s baby shower. Have a great weekend.

Filed under cheers

cast your vote – displaying books


My question to you this week is what do you do with your books? Do you arrange them by colour, do you place them randomly, or do you cover them all in paper for complete uniformity?

It can be a bit daunting to be faced with a big empty bookshelf. Many times, I have started to unpack boxes of books only to be surrounded by more books on the floor than on the shelves. Should I arrange by height, by topic, alphabetically, by shape, by colour, or just place them randomly. Usually, something organically comes together but it take a lot of shifting and moving around before it begins to feel right.

At the moment, most of our books are still in storage as we don’t have a place for them yet . I’d love to build floor to ceiling bookshelves in our living room. For the time being, I’ll have to make do with small piles of books on the floor.

Below are examples of different ways to display books. Let me know what you would do…

Books organized by colour. From Eccentric Scholar.

Blue and green, oh my! Via Angela Shetler.

More subtle colour coding. Via Eclectic Interior Design Group.

Randomly arranged books. Francois Halard

Random books. Via the style files.

Random books mixed with objects. Via the style files.

Some colour blocked books in a random selection. Francois Halard.

Kraft paper covered books in India Hicks library. Via Apartment Therapy.

More paper wrapped books. Via Apartment Therapy.

White paper wrapped books from Commute Home.

Cast your vote: what would you do?

Filed under please, cast your vote

spring cleaning


It’s not all decorating and design over here at The Marion House….

This weekend, the two things I was most proud of were cleaning my shower head and repotting the plant in our bedroom. I have been meaning to do both of these things for a really long time.

I hate to say it, but the shower head in our bathroom has been needing a good clean since we moved in here two years ago. This is what it looked like:

Kind of gross…those are calcium deposits caused by hard water.

To remove them you have to soak your shower head in either a chemical cleaner which will do the job quickly but not be very good for the environment or use vinegar. The results look something like this:

There are a few rusty looking spots remaining probably due to the fact that it wasn’t cleaned for so long but what a difference! Very satisfying.

My other weekend project involved rescuing the poor fig plant (ficus lyrata) that resides in our bedroom. I bought this plant in the middle of winter for a steal. I knew from the moment I bought it that it needed to be repotted but I waited until spring when the weather was warmer and I could do it outside. Here is what it looked like in its tiny, sad pot:

When I removed it from the pot you could see how root bound it was.

When repotting a plant, you want to use a pot that is about one size bigger than what it was previous in. If it is root bound, like mine was, you can break up or loosen the roots. Finally, you want to repot the plant at about the same height it was potted before.

Little hands like to help and get dirty.

The final result. I think the fig plant is much happier in its roomier home.

Filed under house projects

pecan coconut granola


Have you ever made your own granola?

Once you do, I don’t think you ever go back to buying the store bought kind. Anything that has been sitting in a box for a few weeks (months?) starts to taste like cardboard.

And making your own is so easy. You don’t even need to follow a recipe.

Granola is made up of two main groups of ingredients: the dry ones and the wet ones. The dry ingredients are things like rolled oats, whole nuts like pecans, almonds, or walnuts and coconut. The wet ingredients are what makes it taste good. I always stick to butter and honey. The ratio I tend to use is about 6 cups of dry ingredients to a quarter cup of butter plus a half cup of honey.

Melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan and pour this goodness over all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and bake the granola in the oven at 300F for about 30 minutes.

The most important thing to remember is to stir the granola every 10 minutes or so while it is in the oven. It can burn quickly. I also switch my baking sheets halfway through the process so that the granola cooks evenly.

I like to eat mine with plain full fat yoghurt and some fruit.

Before the oven

After the oven

The granola can be stored for up to two weeks in a sealed container like these beautiful vintage, Canadian Crown canning jars.

Filed under in the night kitchen