Spring Has Sprung: Time to Get Refreshing!

Realizing that we are tempting fate by writing these words (it snowed inToronto on Friday am, but it’s apparently spring now and is going to be 20 today), it’s finally beginning to look a lot like nicer, warmer weather? We’ve already started getting things spruced up now that light has come back into our lives and we are no longer inside 100% of the time. Which means chores. Which can be… a chore. But what are the absolute must have things you can easily do that will get your abode back into shape and reinvigorate your cynical winter soul? Allow me.

BFD’s TOP 5 SPRING CLEAN MUST DO’S

Purple Irish Mohair Throw from Avoca.com, Black & White rug from Ikea.ca

  1. AIR, AIR, AIR:  Cannot stress enough the importance of taking all those blankets and pillows and airing them out! Whether you take everything and create a bohemian den of sunshine inequity in your backyard or your balcony, there’s a lot of dust and smells that have been hanging around all winter inside that stick to your fabrics and textiles and need to be exorcised! We also suggest using a fabric refresher like this one by Canadian eco-friendly brand ATTITUDE to help level the playing field and get things fresh-i-fied. If you don’t have a specifically outdoor space, laying cushions on chairs in front of open windows is a good alternative. Wherever possible, take cushions out of their covers and air out the actual pillows themselves. It also goes without saying that you should open up as many windows in your house as you can to get a breeze going, disrupt stale air take advantage of the fact that you ACTUALLY can open your windows now and don’t need to be dictator about the thermostat.

    ALL CLEAN! Footstool cover from Bemz.com, Pink cushion from heavenly chair we bought on Kijiji, Palm Print bolsters from ThreeDesign.com and Salmon Velvet pillow cover from WestElm.com

  2. WASH ALL THE THINGS: Seriously. Anything that has a cover, take it off and wash it. And sometimes even things that don’t have removable covers but will fit in a washer/dryer anyway, like pillow inserts. We are lucky that we also have a couch with removable covers, but apparently the one we have (which we were going to feature)  isn’t made with removable covers anymore! As a household with pets, kids or messy eaters, being able to wash the upholstery is SUPER helpful and necessary if you really want your furniture to stick around for more than a few seasons and not require dry cleaning that costs an arm and a leg.

    And if this is too Ikea-y for you, check out Bemz.com where they sell custom covers for Ikea couches that are a delicious departure from the standard colours/designs on offer.

    Airing out our ENDY Mattress; Bed from CB2.com

    3. SORT OUT THAT MATTRESS: Now if you’re like us and your mattress is in a relatively good state, it is recommended (according to the internet, which is always right) by multiple blogs/sites that you flip your mattress at least 4 times a year. We also like to freshen it up by shaking some Arm & Hammer baking soda on the mattress, massaging it in with a dishtowel, leaving it sit for 45-60 minutes, and then vacuuming it all up. This deodorizes and cleans the mattress, and vacuuming will also take care of any dust mites hanging out in there too. Some people also add essential oils (like lemon or lavender) to their baking soda mix for a nice fresh scent: just make sure you add it in to the box and shake it up good or else you’ll get clumps which are a pain to work with. If this is all blah blah blah cause you’ve been doing this for years and your mattress is getting harder and harder to freshen up, well maybe consider getting a new one? You’re supposed to replace your primary mattress every 8-10 years, so if you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress you’ve had since you used to be able to party all night and barely get a hangover? Time to get a new one.

    Having recently purchased an online mattress, we definitely think this is the way to go in terms of convenience and competitive pricing. Leesa is currently having a promo that saves you $130 CAD(enter code SPRING130 at check out) / $100 USD off the above price and they donate 1 mattress to a shelter for every 10 they sell and plant a tree for every single sale. AND they deliver (for free) right to your front door (shipping usually happens in 3-5 biz days)!

    This is the mattress we have, and we ordered a King size which was delivered within 5 days of us ordering it. We have honestly never slept better, but I think that’s because we are also sleeping in the biggest mattress we have ever had. We chose this for its firmness rating, and the fact that it’s made here in Toronto and we are impatient. ‘

    Dirty shower curtain from CB2.com (but from like 5-6 years ago)

    4. CLEAN YOUR SHOWER CURTAIN: Again, another relatively easy thing to do, but when was the last time you were bothered? Seriously? If you have a material liner, it’s easy enough to throw in the washing machine and boom, but if you’ve got a plastic one, like we do, I suggest laying it down somewhere you can spread it out as flat as possible and giving it a 5 minute scrub with some CLR. Easy peasy, and will make your next shower brighter and YOU a happier, more productive member of society.. .or something close.

    InterDesign Shower Curtain, Flamingo $19.99 from IQLiving.com

    But in case it’s time for a change, there’s always flamingos…

    Fabulous crap corner. Pink corner cabinet from Ikea.ca

    5. AND FINALLY, CLEAN OUT YOUR CRAP CORNER (or closet or whatever): This is mine. We all have it, and it piles up and takes over and before you know it… So whether it’s Craigslist, Bunz.com (we LOVE Bunz, but it is addictive, be forewarned) or a local Value Village, get it organized and get it out of there. We’ll try to do it too. Before the end of the week. Seriously.

bfd

 

BFD Gifting: Our faves from local shops you can buy too! And last minute!

There is nothing that this person who is typing right now loves more than buying presents. As such, she now has a reputation as a bit of a gift advisor, which would also be a kick ass dream job, but currently is a talent that goes unpaid and requires a fair amount of ground work to get her name out there as a reference. She is also speaking of herself in the third person which will stop… now.

The holidays crept up on people in Toronto a bit this year as it only really started getting cold and snowing this past week, so there are going to be a lot of ‘Oh sh$%’ shoppers oot and aboot trying to get organized but not panic but still find cool stuff beyond 3 for 2 deals on socks. Not to knock socks, but there’s still plenty of places and things available in our fair city (and shippable across the country). AND BFD IS HERE WITH OUR GIFT GUIDE!

If you can’t figure out what to get someone, but you got them in the Secret Santa draw, or you’ve been invited to a little holiday soiree, you can’t got wrong with a funny food or animal decoration like these from Outer Layer in Toronto.  Film buff? Godfather nightmare x 3. Food lover? Tacos. Duh. Animal lover? If they don’t lose their s%& over a pug in a hat, they’re not a real animal lover. Or worthy of your friendship.

REINDEER DIY CRACKERS Kit $26.95 from The Paper Place (Queen West at Trinity Bellwoods)

REINDEER DIY CRACKERS Kit $26.95 from The Paper Place (Queen West at Trinity Bellwoods)

Combine with wine as a dinner party thank you so the kids can go and do this in the basement while you do wine in the upstairs. Everyone wins!

BTW you are loved. #youareloved #bestgiftever #beaded #love

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A favourite shop of ours that has everything from snarky cards to scented candles and even a Tiny Record Shop, Token at Queen and Boulton (just before Degrassi) is sure to have some hilarious pop culture relevant stocking stuffers if not a gorgeous piece of beading or handmade jewelry…. That could also fit in a stocking.

Kate Beaton 2016 Tea Towel - Pony! $18.00 from PageAndPanel.com (located at Toronto Reference Library)

Kate Beaton 2016 Tea Towel – Pony! $18.00 from PageAndPanel.com (located at Toronto Reference Library)

If you haven’t been to this shop at the main level of the Toronto Reference Library, you GOTTA go. Books, comics (from local and international authors), paper goods, designer dishware, textiles, all sorts of gifty treats abound, though another cannot go wrong gift idea is a tea towel like the above, for those who would prefer to wipe dishes with 2016 instead of acknowledge where humanity is from a development/doom perspective.

Storage Basket $20 by luuee for sale this weekend till the 23rd at Evergreen Brickworks Winter Market

Storage Basket $20 by luuee for sale this weekend till the 23rd at Evergreen Brickworks Holiday Market and at Etsy,com

Or maybe go to the Brick Works and check out the Holiday market they have going on till Xmas… Somewhere the kids can go run around at while you peruse the locally made wares like this adorbs little catch all by Canadian artist Luuee… Good for clothespins, keys, treasures and maybe even a little pine tree! (combo eco gift alert!!!!)

Mugtails Designed in Japan by Kinto. Porcelain – Animals available include Moose, Bear, Fox, Squirrel, Hedgehog, Cat, Rabbit $17 – $26/each from Len Studio (at Coxwell and Danforth)

Porcelain Mugtails Designed in Japan by Kinto. $17 – $26/each from Len Studio (at Coxwell and Danforth)

Fancy a mug? But like a nicer one that someone may not buy themselves but you will cause its time for cute mugs with tails from this adorable giftshop on the Danforh in the east end… Things are better with tails and ears. That’s #fact

canadian-tire-wreath

CANVAS Geometric Cut-Out Wreath, 20-in $34.99 from CanadianTire.com and in your local store

I had 3 people stop me in the store today asking while aisle I got this in (there’s 3 left at the Leslie and Lakeshore one, Aisle 12). This is a kick ass gift cause it’s Scandi chic on its own OR you can fill it with stuff OR clip stuff to it. Weave a garland or some copper wire lights perhaps? Or use it on a grand holiday table with some chunky candles in the middle. SO. MANY. POSSIBILITIES.

SKEEM CANDLES, SWEET BALSAM 50hrs $36 at ZiggysAtHome.com and in store (just east of College and Ossington)

SKEEM CANDLES, SWEET BALSAM 50hrs $36 at ZiggysAtHome.com and in store (just east of College and Ossington)

And for the never fails, will please everyone, nobody can talk trash because it’s always useful (Well unless the person is allergic to scents… then look for an unscented one, derp) gift, a scented candle in a gorgeous container that can be reused with a tealight when the candle runs out. Mic drop.

Happy Holiday shopping!

bfd

Houses We Love: Happy Halloween!

Probably the only time of the year where you can walk around the neighbourhood taking pictures of people’s houses without being suspicious… we just couldn’t help snapping a few of all the fab decorations around here when we were ‘walking the dogs’. (We totally went to check out everyone else’s decorations, who are we kidding). Judge not lest ye be judged? Judge away, we have a colour morphing giant light orb for a pumpkin, so we’re definitely no slouch when it comes to enticing porch decor solutions. Could look to do a little more with some giant ghost bodies I suppose… maybe some sound effects… check out some of our fave bits below…. IF YOU DARE!!!!

Wishing you and yours a very spooky eating candy until you puke day of celebration. #bestpart

bfd

Places we LOVE: PEI (and Charlottetown)

So sad to have left this gorgeous little island. We didn’t get a lot of time here, we would have definitely appreciated more, but now we know for next time… The shopping? Fab. The houses? Picture book perfect. The people? Friendliest Canadians ever. The weather in the winter which is keeping us from upping sticks and buying out here to live? Heartbreaking. We did run into a few city folk like us who said eff it, and moved out East and not one of them looked remotely like they cared they were missing out on anything. Lots of suspicious ‘smiling’ and looking relaxed …. If downtown Charlottetown can have a kick ass sneaker shop, then maybe there’s hope for us yet. Go to PEI. Go to Charlottetown. It’s worth the drive, could not have been a nicer place. (There’s enough filament bulbs and real Neapolitan pizza for everyone, don’t fret)

 

 

IDS 2016

Get out here if you can! Still a few hours left!

We’re here and it’s fabulous. Naturally. The shop area has some great smaller designers with functional and affordable pieces from shelf brackets to flat pack acrylic bowls and vases to wooden bowls. See below for inspiration and check out the works of each designer which are tagged in the photos!

It’s the IDS in Toronto This Weekend!

You going? We will see you there tomorrow, live blogging from the event. Tom Dixon is the guest of honour this year *drool* but a few of the other things we are super excited about:

Caviar 20’s Mini Exhibition entitled Decades of Chairs 

Because #chairs.

Designboom mart = shopping. Well thank you, don’t mind if we do… 

According to the site: designboom mart is a unique interactive platform where emerging and established designers test their new ideas. Visitors meet the young avant-garde talents personally and become familiar with their work. They can buy self-produced or limited edition pieces directly from the designers. 

See you tomorrow, peeps!

bfd