Dear Vacuum...

You suck. Not in the literal sense that every vacuum sucks, but in the sense that you are a pain in my butt and suck.  You suck because you don't suck.

My dear Vacuum, we have been together since I had my very first apartment.  You were ecstatic when you were pulled out of that old woman's house and given to me to use.  I had my doubts about you at first, but you seemed to do the job quite well.

Years passed, and I moved into a condo without carpet. You probably hold a grudge against me due to the fact that Mr. Swiffer got all of the attention, and you sat, all alone, in a dusty closet once again.

When I moved you into this new house, I thought you would be in your glory... so much carpet waiting to be cleaned! You would finally get all of the attention you deserved after years of waiting on the sidelines.  I had forgot to mention that we had since acquired three cats. To my dismay, Vacuum, your ability to eliminate their furry messes has put me at wits end. 

I have tried, over and over again, to tweak your settings in hopes of finding one that you are comfortable with, which would allow you to easily make those fur clumps disappear. You have failed me.  I find myself running you over certain spots dozens of times and you fail to impress. 

So, Vacuum my love, I believe it's time that I start looking for a new cleaning partner. One that has no trouble picking up the plethoras of kitty hair.  One that leaves my carpet looking fresh and new again... and most of all one that does not require me to finish the area with a lint picker-upper. 

I'll be looking for a new vacuum, and stashing away some savings to make this a reality. Until then, can we try to get along?

Any recommendations for a pet hair vacuum?

xo Dana


8 Step Everyday Neutral Makeup Tutorial

I kind of love makeup. I thought today I would pull out one of my old tutorials and share it with you! Here's how to get a clean neutral look in just 8 simple steps!

This is probably my trademark look. I am not shy to colour, but I love neutrals for everyday. This look is super easy to do and takes only about 10 mins once you've mastered it.

I used:
Brown: Mac eyeshadow in Espresso (I also love Rock & Republic's eyeshadow in Tribal)
Base/ivory:  Rock & Republic eyeshadow in Veil
Eyeliner: Rimmel Soft Kohl eyeliner in Black
Mascara: Rimmel Glam Eyes in Black. My absolute FAV mascara ever!

Like this post? Please follow my blog by clicking "Join This Site" on the right! -->

shop this look:

More makeup tutorials:
Mermaid Eyes
9 Step Smokey Eyes
Bronzed Beauty: Golden Smokey Eye Tutorial
Probably the Easiest DIY Lip Gloss Ever 
Green Is Good
Glam Pink Date Makeup
Golden Sunrise: Burgundy and Gold Makeup Tutorial

Are you a makeup junkie like me?


Hanging up my hat.

As some of you may know, I'm a website/graphic designer in real life. This has been my career for over 10 years and I've developed quite a huge portfolio because of it. I was always super busy with my company and had jobs lined up for months.

Things change, and I've slowed down quite a bit.  I've realized that so much of my company was consuming my life, and sometimes it felt like doing what I loved was a chore.  Your passion should never feel like a chore.  The whole reason I got into this business in the first place was because I loved doing it.  I could share my artistic and technical skills with the world and that gave me great pleasure. I never imagined I would have the opportunity to go as far as I did with it. I went from working in my mother's basement until 3am (and working other part time jobs the rest of the time) to owning a beautiful house and the top design company in my niche, working with clients like Lenny Kravitz, Kylie Minogue, and literally hundreds more.

I had my work showcased by Myspace Inc. at a freakin' Microsoft conference with Bill Gates.  Never in a million years would I have thought that would happen.  Never in a million years did I think that the president of Myspace would personally contact me just to get my input on their new system from a design perspective. (By the way, I completely told him how horrible their new ideas for the profiles were... and if you used to be on Myspace, well, you know how it turned out when they actually went through with the changes despite all of their bad ideas. It was the death of the site just like I predicted.)

However, after so many years of working my butt off and modestly bringing in big bucks, I am realizing that that chapter of my life has come to a close.  I no longer have the constant business (read: the death of Myspace as 90% of my business came from there) and sometimes find myself searching for jobs. Something I fortunately never had to do before as they always just came to me.

The paths that led me here led me here for a reason.  I feel indifferent about the whole thing because on one hand, I miss having clients lined up and the security of knowing that I have jobs each month. On the other, I like my simple life now. I like not having to work until 3am. I am ready to settle down and start a family one day.

I see other people in this industry doing exactly what I was doing. Working their butts off, buying expensive things.  Talking about themselves so highly as if they were the first people to have successful businesses. I laugh because I was there once... and it doesn't last forever unless you dedicate your entire life to it. I didn't want to dedicate my entire life to it anymore. There are so many other things I want to accomplish now... and while I may be starting at the bottom again, I will always have my past achievements, and no one can take those away from me.

Sometimes you just need to take a step back before you can move forward.

So with that said, I'm going to be offering some custom design services right here on this little blog. I enjoy doing small projects and I am excited to be able to work with people on a freelance basis since I never had time for it before.  If you're interested in checking out the brand new page I added to this blog, go here.

xo Dana



So, remember when I asked for all of your help choosing a colour for this? Well, I finally made a decision over the weekend and finished this baby! 

The comments started out favoring yellow, but then white started to get a greater response, and I still couldn't decide. So, I did the next best thing and grabbed an old can of paint I had lying around. Lemon white!  It's actually much more white than yellow but still has a tiny tint of sunshine. Plus, I didn't have to buy any new paint (bonus!):

What do you think of the outcome? Not bad I think, considering it started out like this:

Do you follow my blog on Bloglovin yet?  I just added a cool little "like this on Bloglovin" icon to the bottom of each post beside the facebook/twitter links, so feel free to give my posts some hearts whenever you please! And don't forget, you can still enter the {just.lovely.things} giveaway for a custom headband!

Now for a question I've been pondering for a little while... What time of day do you normally check out your fav blogs? Do you do it at work or wait until you get home?

xox Dana


Garage Sale Success

Hey loves! Have you entered the {just.lovely.things} giveaway yet?? Do it!

This past weekend seemed to go on forever. Probably because I took Friday off. My mom came down and we hung out and and ate pizza.  It's ok because it was the weekend... that's a good excuse to eat horribly right? I got to show her my craft table and she was highly impressed.

Saturday morning, Dustin and I woke up early to get our garage sale hopping started!  I always scope out the best ones in the newspaper first.... I've even gone as far as making maps on Google with all of the points of interest pinned.  Sure saves time driving around looking for some ;).  This time though, we just headed over to the one that immediately caught my eye... the ad said it had "craft supplies", need I say more?

When we got there, there were two happening beside each other. The first place had some pretty nice furniture and this amazing antique looking floor lamp.  It caught my eye but I was sure they were going to want at least $20 for it.  That's when I saw the jaw-dropping $2 price tag attached to it. WHAT?! Mine!

Then, we headed next door.  I saw a table full of unused fabrics and am pretty sure I squealed with excitement.  I started picking through it all, putting aside the ones I wanted. The woman hosting the sale brought me a box and I offered her $5 for whatever I could stuff into it. I knew in my mind I was totally lowballing her because these were definitely worth more than $5, but she looked at me like I was crazy and said "Oh no dear... One dollar."  !!!!!!  I was like "What? are you sure?!" and she was... but I felt bad so I gave her $3 instead haha.  She then told me to take it all. ALL OF IT?! I was shocked once again.  I told her that I didn't need all of it and that I was going to look at her other items too.

As we were getting ready to leave, she came up to me again and started piling fabric on me!  "This one looks nice.  Oh yes, this is a good one too..."  I was laughing as this lady was unloading the entire table on me.  She literally gave me the WHOLE thing and wouldn't take no for an answer!  Finally we were able to leave, a huge box of fabric in D's hands, and me, with a pile of fabrics so high in my hands that I couldn't see where I was going.

We drove the opposite direction to hit up our last garage sale of the day. Normally this would have lasted a couple hours, but we were so tired from waking up early.  I had been looking for a small table with a shelf on the bottom for quite some time... and at this sale I just happened to find one! Only $5!

So overall this garage sale trip was a success. I spent only $10 and got some awesome things! Is it weird that I feel a sense of accomplishment over silly things like this??

On Sunday I finished that piece of furniture that I asked for your help with!  I decided on a colour thanks to you guys, and will post about it soon! (probably tomorrow).

What is your greatest garage sale find??

OH p.s. I've added a couple new things to my shop!! Check them out:

xo Dana


Finally! A Craft Table!! How To Make an Easy Craft Table with Storage!

Last week, I made a vow to myself to finally get a craft table on the weekend.  Whether it meant buying one or making one, I was bound and determined to make this happen.  I've had my craft supplies scattered around the house, in every closet imaginable for far too long!

After searching for a proper table that would do, I wasn't able to find anything pre-made.  Ding ding! Genius idea alert!  I found these Martha Stewart white Stackable Cube Organizers on the Home Depot website and at that moment I knew what I had to do.  I was going to make my own table using these babies as the base.

It just so happened that these were the perfect height... 36" tall which would make my craft table about counter-height.  They were also already white so I knew I wouldn't have to paint anything (I had wanted it to all be white). So the fiance and I headed over to Home Depot to pick some up. We also grabbed a standard pre-cut melamine white coated board (again, no painting yay!), size 30"x60". Perfect!  The storage shelves were 24" wide so this would allow for a 3" overhang.

The assembly was super easy. All you need is a hammer and a screw driver.  D looked like he was doing a good job so I just let him do it himself ;)

Once he was done, we could pop the table top on. First though, we measured a 3" overhang on all sides of the board with a pencil. This would allow us to easily line up the top of the shelves with the lines on the underside of the table. We're smart ;)

I also added the backings that came with the shelves in a checkerboard pattern, just because I liked it that way.

I was very adamant about there not being ANY screws going through the top of this thing. I didn't want any signs of a make-shift table. After convincing D that it could in fact be done by just using shorter screws up through the underside of it, he finally gave in.  Oh and guess who was right? Yep, me.  I believe the screws were 1" screws, which worked perfectly because the top of the shelves were half an inch thick, and the table top was about an inch thick. Anyways, it worked very well.

My table ended up being 5 feet by 2.5 feet.... and I absolutely love it! (don't mind my ugly unfinished basement... I'm working on it!)

This whole project cost me $130. Which is more than I wanted to spend, but less than any other table this size would cost retail.  The shelves were $44 each and the table top was about $25. Overall I am thrilled and have been spending a lot of time in the basement lately!

xox Dana


Rappy Rirthday Rittle One!

Guess what today is my friends!?!  It's only one of the most important birthdays in the world!  My little Bear is FIVE years old today!  My baby is all grown up *tear*!

I am so thankful to have this little furball in my life.  I got him 5 years ago when I was living back at home.  I had been looking for a Maltese for a little while and suddenly an ad for him popped up on Kijiji.  It's like Craigslist for those that don't know.

I was hesitant purchasing a doggie off of a classified ad, but I took a chance and emailed the poster.  He sent me photos of him and I made plans to go and check him out in person.  Alright, so I kind of made "secret" plans to go see him... as in not telling my mother where I was going.  She was always a tough sale when it came to new pets but I knew that if she saw him she would fall in love, as she had done with all of the previous pets I convinced her into owning haha.

So my brother's now wife and I drove out to this family's house one night about an hour away.  We pulled up and knocked on their door. I still had no idea if I would even like the dog or what kind of situation I was getting myself into, but when the door flung open and a little 3 year old girl was standing there shoving him in our faces my heart just melted.  He was so tiny. So white and fluffy with the cutest little button face. The family spoke Chinese and were pretty hard to understand, but from what I gathered they had purchased him from a breeder and had only owned him for 2 weeks. They realized what a chore having a puppy was and just didn't have time for him... not to mention the little girl was obviously way too rough with the poor little thing.

I fell in love instantly with him. I told them that I wanted him. So I took him home that night, after successfully prying him out of the little girl's arms. Poor thing, she had no idea what was going on and started WAILING when we left with him.

When we arrived home, I wondered what my mother would think. I hid him under my jacket and walked through the door. She was standing there and said to me "what did you do?" in that way that mom's do when they know that they've told you "no" but you do it anyways. I unzipped my jacket and his little head peeked out. "Oh my gosh!" my mom said... and then her heart melted too.

So today he is 5.  This little pup has been by my side since day one, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Working from home and always being around him has been amazing... he's such a momma's boy.  He is sitting here right now as I type this. If only he could understand how much I love him, how much I adore cuddling with him every night and waking up to his little button nose in my face. How I can't help but squeeze him and how he makes me happy when I'm not feeling my best.  How he runs over to me if he's scared, like a little child.  How even if he's been bad (because believe me he can be a pain) I still can't help but smile.  I think he knows though. If there's one thing animals can relate to us with, it's love. All animals love... don't let anyone tell you differently.

Today we have some walks planned, some presents, and some treats.  He'll be getting a brand spankin' new collar and his favourite doggie snacks.  Is it weird that I keep his presents hidden from him? As if he would even find them!

Do you celebrate your pets' birthdays?
xox Dana


Close Talkers

I'm pretty sure that everyone has experienced a close talker in their lifetime.  You know, those people who just can't get their face out of yours during a conversation?

We had a man come to our house recently to talk about lawn treatments and he was one of those.  We started our conversation in the backyard by our house and I swear to you, by the end of it we were in the middle of the lawn because I was forced to keep backing up.

When I was younger, I knew a girl who couldn't talk to you unless her face was a foot or less away from yours.  So what's up with people who do this? I was curious so I did a bit of research.

It turns out that there is a bit of science behind the people known as "close talkers".  Apparently people do this because there is some sort of damage to the part of the brain that triggers feelings of fear and anger.  A person with this particular form of brain damage is generally not as distrusting as most of us, so they don't feel the uncomfortableness of communicating with someone inside their personal space.  They are generally very trusting people who have trouble noticing any discomfort or fear in another person's facial expressions or actions.

Whew, how's that for sounding smart?

So what are you supposed to do when you're personal space is invaded by a close talker? I've come up with some simple solutions, so you'll never have to worry about your space being compromised again!

1) Become a hand talker. Flail your arms around as you speak. If the close talker just happens to get hit in the process, they'll back up a little to avoid your uncontrollable hand movements.

2) Turn into a mouth breather. No one likes a mouth breather.

3) Eat some spicy food with either garlic or onions before your encounter.  Guaranteed to ward off close talkers.

4) Talk LOUDLY.  Unless your close talker is hard of hearing, he'll want to move away simply to stop the screaming in his ears.

5) Pretend you have a cold. Cough, sneeze, and blow your nose right in that close talker's face! It will buy you at least 2 extra feet.

Follow my simple steps and you'll rid yourself of those awkward conversations in no time!

Do you get uncomfortable when people intrude on your personal space?

xox Dana


Help Me Choose a Paint Colour!

Alright Blog Land... I need your help!

Remember this antique piece of furniture that I got after I went here?  Well, it's time for the much anticipated makeover. 

I got this fabric to recover the seat, simply because I just loved the print, and need to decide on a paint colour to disguise that hideous wood!

Originally I was thinking I would just do it white... but now the idea of a matching yellow is stirring around in my noggin.

So... this is where you come in. Help me decide!!! White, or yellow?

xo Dana


Preparing For The Journey...

When I thought about packaging for my little critters, I wanted something with an organic look.  I wanted my customers to feel as if their package was arriving wrapped in love!

I recently shipped off a couple of little plush fellows, and thought I would share with you how I prepare and ship them off to their new homes!

So here we go!

First, they get tagged.  I printed off a whole sheet of these round tags on a thick cardstock and cut them all out by hand.   Then I punch a little hole and thread some twine through to tie around their necks.

Next they get bagged!  I have two different sized muslin bags I use to keep them cozy.  Larger ones for the larger plush, smaller ones for the littles. 

I pre-stamp all of the bags with this super awesome custom stamp I had made courtesy of JLMould on Etsy. I love love love this stamp and could stamp it on everything in sight if I could. All I had to do was send her my logo and she did the magic! It arrived super fast too. Highly recommend JLMould ;)

Next I get the box ready.  Sticking with my "organic" earthy feel, I use kraft boxes... and of course I stamp that up as well! I have different sized boxes for different sized items.

Then all of the goodies go inside and I close it up and tape everything! My creations will be nice and happy during their journey across the country.

That's how it's done, my friends.  I have a few items on their way to brand new homes!  So if you are ever expecting something from me in the mail, you now know what to look for ;)!

xox Dana


The Anti-Outfit Post

Do you ever just have one of those days when you wake up and everything is frustrating you... and to top it off you have an extremely busy day ahead of you?

That was my life today.  I jumped into Monday knowing all of the work I had in front of me and was on a mission to get it done.  When I have days like this, there is just no point in even hoping that I will look cute or have the patience to properly do my hair.

The first hour or so of my morning consisted of me getting angry at my own reflection because nothing was looking right on me, and my hair was just not cooperating. "I don't have time for this!" I actually yelled this at myself while throwing my comb at the bathroom mirror.

Enter: mismatched comfy clothes.  I ripped off what I was wearing and threw on the first thing that looked comfortable to me. I introduced my hair to a clip and pinned it out of my face and I was through.  Off to tackle the millions of things that awaited me.

Does this ever happen to you? Or am I just insane for getting frustrated when my daily "get dressed" routine just isn't working out?

In other news, this weekend seemed to go on forever.  D's friends from the States were visiting since Thursday so we had a full house.  After they left on Sunday, we completed the final extended version of Lord of the Rings.  I had never seen any of those movies before, so about a week ago D and I made a pact to watch them all and love them.

First one I was totally into. I liked the story and adventure aspects, and it didn't even seem like I had just sat on the couch for 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Second one was good too... and third, also good. However, I could have done without a bunch of the fight scenes.  I much rather would have seen more magical-ness (new word?).  The fighting in the third one just seemed to drag on forever... was it like that in the non-extended versions too? And how come every time Frodo and Sam would look at Mordor from on top of a mountain or something, it always still seemed SO FAR AWAY!  Even when they finally made it there, it was still miles away. They should have just hopped on one of those giant eagles and flew to the top. That's what I would have done. I was also pretty proud of myself when I suggested to D that they take an eagle back down the exploding mountain at the very end, and watched that actually happen.

So last night I dreamed of Hobbits and wished I had a cute little house with a round door... and that is my story.

OH NEWSFLASH! I just hit 1000 Facebook Fans! Which means, my friends, that I will have a giveaway for you soon!!!

xox Dana

top: wildfox couture; sweats: primp; fuzzy socks: gift.


Small Shop Update

Happy Sunday!  I just wanted to let you know that my shop has been updated again! A couple of brand new camera straps have been added!  Check them out here!

What new colours would you like to see in stock??

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!  I'll promise you some more interesting posts this week ;)

OH p.s. I have officially added a sponsor page to this site after having a couple of requests for one. Click here if you're interested in promoting your blog/shop on my site!!

xox Dana


In Case You're Pinterested...

I finally signed up for a Pinterest account.  I admit, I had been stalking and lurking the site for months now, but had been afraid to create an account in fear of becoming addicted. Well my friends, I gave in. I caved!  My will power ran away.

You can follow me if you would like to check out things I find interesting/lovely/magical. My link is pinterest.com/wonderforest, obviously ;).  I don't have much up now, but believe me, I am just getting started... oh yes, I have caught the bug.  Now I just have to remember that work comes first, and Pinning comes after.

Here are a couple of my most recent fabulous pins from my Decor Inspiration group:

1. Scrapbook paper as wallpaper? Yes please! 
2. I NEED to make some of these asap!
3. These colours are my latest obsession
4. Must have this craft room. That table in the center is calling out to me...

The only thing I don't like about Pinterest would have to be the fact that photo credits get SO lost in there.  I had a woman contact me on Etsy a while ago through my photography account asking me if I was the person who had created a specific digital art print.  I told her I was, and it was an older print I had created that used to be up in my old old Etsy shop. She then told me a story about how she found the image on Pinterest and was searching forever to find the creator so she could buy one.  Thankfully, I had put my full name on the photo and she somehow ended up finding me on Etsy after weeks of searching the net for me.  I was so happy she found me because after she told me her story, I listed the old digital print in my current shop and she purchased it, and I also made a couple other sales from re-listing it.

I would have never known my print was being passed around the internet if it weren't for that woman.  That is how I first found out about Pinterest. I found a bunch of people on there who were pinning my art and asked them to please put my shop link as the credit.

So, that's currently the only thing I see wrong with their whole system. Other than that though, I love it! It saves me from loading my computer up with random folders full of photos I find (yes, I do that. haha.)  I will also be putting my web address on all of my future home decor, art, or select post photos ;).

Oh and for those interested in the immigration status with Dustin, the last step they needed him to complete was to send in a copy of his passport.  He just got his passport in the mail, and sent them a copy today!!!  We also applied for a work permit for him, so he should be able to finally work in a short while!  YIPPEE!  Once the case processing center gets his passport copy, we should be hearing back from them with his permanent resident card!!! Finally! It only took three years! Me = happy.

xox Dana


Smile For The Camera

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Technically the weekend just ended here because for some crazy reason we had yet another long weekend.  I did have a great one though!

Sunday we went to the carnival that rolled into town, down at the main beach.  The beach was SO packed as usual on weekends but the carnival was pretty much empty. I know, weird right? Who doesn't want to check out a carnival!?  We played a few games, I won an ugly cheapo toy for Bear, and we threw away a few bucks trying to win a huge Smurf and a Domo plush. 

We headed down the the beach area for probably about 10 minutes before we decided to leave. I just can't stand the beach when it's that crammed full of people. Literally people taking up every square inch of sand, some lounging, some throwing balls around. By the way, WHY do people do that?! It is so inconsiderate to everyone around you... having to constantly watch your head because some idiots want to throw a football around right on top of you.  Please, if you insist of tossing things around, go somewhere else where people cannot be hit in the face!  Anyways, so we left.

I took some photos at the carnival, and I reactivated my old Etsy photography shop and added a few of them.  If you want to check them out or purchase, just go here!

Yesterday being our anniversary, we realized we had no recent photos of ourselves, so we went out back and took some. Maybe now our family members will stop asking us for new ones haha!

We also realized how Dustin constantly has a scruffy beard in every single photo we have of him (and yes, he's a giant... 6'4" to be exact!). In all honesty, the above photos were our "smile for the camera" type photos... the following ones are much more our style...

Hehe!  So there you have it. Updated photos... a good end to a great weekend. (p.s. I just love my just.lovely.things headband!!!)

In other news, I am going to be redoing my Wonder Forest shop and adding some new and DIFFERENT stuff to it shortly!  Get excited for Wonder Forest Living!!!

Also, my wonderful friend Jenni has written an equally wonderful review about me today!! check it out here!

xox Dana


With You I Am Me.

To my most favourite person:

Today marks another milestone for us. Three years, though it seems like forever (in a good way!).  It was three years ago today that I realized I had to have you for myself. Three years ago I was smitten and knew you were something special... more special than anyone else I had ever met. My heart actually ached when I had to say goodbye after our weekend visits, and I longed for your quick return, which happily happened more often than not. 

Today, those feelings still hold true. Two people, from different countries who joined lives and made it work because we both felt it was meant to work... and to this day I still believe it was. You came into my life for a reason, and have been more to me than anything ever has. My lover, my left brain, my accomplice, my biggest fan, and most importantly my best friend.

Look how much we've grown since that day three years ago.  If you asked me if I thought we would ever be here, my honest answer would be "yes."... because I knew you were it for me, I knew you were the one.  

With you I can be my complete self. I can expose my flaws, I can be vulnerable... and you love me regardless. 

I love you beyond words, and was finally able to understand what those words meant when you came into my life.  I love that we both understand real, actual love because of each other. 

Happy anniversary baby. 
xox Dana

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