UpCycle that Vintage Bar Cart

This post is part of a Blog Hop featuring other super fun posts on flipping furniture by ECM bloggers. Be sure to check out all the links after reading this post and follow the hashtag #ECMFleaMarketFlip

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I absolutely adore being able to rescue a dated piece of furniture by giving it new life with some simple upcycling tricks. Sometimes pieces need a bit of restoration and sometimes they only need a fresh coat of paint.

When I found this tired old bar cart at the Halifax St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, Hand in Hand, I was thrilled to snatch it up for only $10.

Now, I love faux bois as much as the next gal but the cheap MDF shelves didn’t exactly scream chic. For that matter, the tarnished brass frame was also crying out for help.

At first I wanted to remove the casters and shelves to paint just the frame. Unfortunately, those shelves were there to stay. Seriously! Try as I might I just could NOT pry them from the frame.

So, onto plan B.

I painted the shelves white and decided to just percolate some alternatives while I went on to spray the frame with Rustoleum Paint & Primer in Copper Rose.

It took three coats in the humidity but eventually that lovely sheen had covered up the sins of this bar cart’s past.

Eventually, I decided to pull

out the big guns: that’s right, découpage. I started by covering the shelves in the same Copper Rose as the rest of the frame. Then, I found these lovely thick scrap booking pages that complimented the colour perfectly.

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This is the best my iPhone could capture the colour but it really does have a lovely glimmer to it.

Enter Mod Podge.

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Mod Podge is an easy medium to work with, even for beginners. If you look closely at the above picture, you’ll see the hint of white starting to fade around the sealed paper. Fortunately, it dries clear so after a few coats, the paper was secure and there was nary a trace of Mod Podge left. The best part is that it also lends a touch of water resistance to increase durability of the over all piece.

By morning, everything was dry and ready for business. I decided to nix the casters full stop since I’ll be using the cart in my home office and not for serving drinks (or hey, maybe I’ll do both!).

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Happy upcycling!

Design

Click the blue frog below to view the other links in the #ECMFleaMarketFlip

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Unhelpful Recipes: What the Heck is a Fiddlehead?

This post is part of the ECM Fiddlehead Bloggers Hop! Be sure to check out the other fab posts on Fiddleheads from some other local bloggers.

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Until I moved to Atlantic Canada, I had never heard tell of a Fiddlehead – with the exception, of course, of the genuine article that’s found at the top of a violin. Typical Ontarian, eh? That first spring of my residence in New Brunswick, I began to see them around the Farmer’s Market and at the grocery store. Curious, I began to probe…

For those of you who have also been in the dark on this weird and delicious springtime green, a Fiddlehead is actually a type of fern. They’re only delicious while they’re young and curled so the window of the season is quite short. Sometimes you can spot them in the forest – but definitely wait until you get home to properly clean and cook them before eating.

Personally, I was taught all this great info within seconds of asking “What the heck is a fiddlehead?!” It seems my Maritime friends were eager to share in the secret delicacy. What I didn’t expect was to open up a great debate on the best way to devour these delicious green morsels. I’ve discovered that there are two schools of thought on the matter: Team “Butter is Better” vs Team “Tart and Tangy.”

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Edit: This picture is NOT an example of the genuine fiddleheads that are safe to eat. True fiddleheads are covered in a brown paperlike coating and are never fuzzy even as they grow. Shoutout to reader Rhonda for the wisdom that only a Maritimer would know!

Since, as you well know, I’m not really here to be of any help to any of you in this arena, I’ll just give you the two unhelpful recipes and let you make up your own minds.

Team Butter is Better

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain fiddleheads. You’ll want to make sure you pull off the brown/white papery sheath to reveal just a fresh, green curl.
  2. Steam in vegetable steamer or over shallow boiling water.
  3. Toss with copious amounts of butter.
  4. Serve.

Team Tart and Tangy

  1. See above.
  2. See above.
  3. Drip on a vinegar of your choice. Personally, I like a nice balsamic but cider vinegar also works well in this context. But I’m not your mother. Use whatever vinegar you want.
  4. Serve.

I have to admit it: Fiddleheads are delicious either way (and many other, more complicated ways) but I’m definitely team Butter is Better. Butter forever! Butter for all! You might even want to add a wee sprinkle of parmesan, if you’re so inclined.

If you don’t like either suggestions, that’s fine too. As I mentioned at the top of this post, I’m participating in the ECM blog hop, providing links to some other amazing local bloggers who will probably have much more detailed and helpful guides on how to prepare these curly tendrils. But we both know that’s not going to happen here on this blog.

Happy fiddleheading!

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Mindful Water Use on #WorldWaterDay

It’s World Water Day! So, what’s the big deal?

Well, access to clean water is something that many of us take for granted. Unfortunately, for so many others that simply isn’t the reality. You may be surprised to know that even in Canada, a country filled with lakes and fresh waterways, there are still communities who live with long-term boil advisories for drinking or bathing or brushing their teeth.

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So, what can we do?

Well, like with any issue of this size and scope, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of solving the problem alone. Fortunately, we can share the burden together.

5 Mindful Ways for Water Consumption

  1. Shower shorter.
  2. A reusable water bottle is your new best friend.
  3. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge and ice cubes in the freezer. It will save you from running the tap to get it to the right temperature.
  4. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full.
  5. Share! Rather than dumping that extra gulp left in the pitcher, pour it into a pet’s dish or onto a houseplant.

Bonus: Never, ever, EVER buy bottled water. If you live in a community where clean drinking water is available, then you really shouldn’t be supporting water privatization by purchasing water from a company. It’s unsustainable, expensive, wasteful, and, in extreme cases, entirely stolen away from non-western communities.

Thirsty for more?

One of the best ways to embrace and enforce change is to stay informed. Here’s some reading to get you started.

Statistics Canada’s water study should spark federal action to protect water

36 eye-opening facts about water

Take back our water: How Trump’s appetite for privatization threatens your drinking water

How are you saving water this #WorldWaterDay?