Things I Love

A cozy little room for reading & visiting

I have always loved a good guest room.

In her house, my Nan had this beautiful blue guest room. When I slept over, I always shared a room with my Nan - we’d watch Murder She Wrote, do the dinner dishes together, and then turn in with my hopping up onto her giant bed with a little step stool. Her bedspread, curtains, and wallpaper all had the same wheatfield pattern, and when my Nan fell deeper into dementia, I would sometimes wander into her room and feel so much comfort in that connection of memory between the quiet routine of our sleepovers and how much her personality was reflected in how she decorated her tiny little duplex - wood paneled walls, teak furniture, brown rug hook hangings, and violets everywhere.

I was rarely allowed in the blue guest room so that it stayed nice for guests, but it, too, reflected her personality. Purple and blue floral wallpaper with one white stucco wall. A chenille bedspread, decorative blue and purple pillows, and blue shag carpeting - it became my mom’s room when we moved in with my Nan, my brother’s when my mom moved into my Nan’s room, and my room when my brother moved out. It was fitting because no matter how long I lived in my Nan’s little duplex it was always and forever still her home, full of her memories, and reminders of the vibrant person she was in every carefully curated corner - it made sense that we all spent some time in that room she’d allocated especially for caring for and comforting visitors.

I was always taken with the fact that she had this dedicated, decorated space just for helping people feel at home in her home. One thing I was really excited about in moving into our little house was making our own little guest room - and while in between visitors it doesn’t stay as pristine as my Nan’s did (it’s a bit of a storage collector), it’s been really lovely - almost therapeutic? - to prepare it for visitors, and think about all the ways I can show them love, and care, and comfort in this tiny bright space.

I’m moving into this house s l o w l y it turns out, and that has meant waiting for each room to really become what it needs to be. I think the guest room is finally finished, so I wanted to share it with all of you. We just had a good friend come stay for a couple days, and next week my dear friend Amy is coming to stay, so I’m looking forward to getting it ready for her, too. My goal is always to have a space where people feel comfortable just closing the door for a bit for an afternoon nap, or reading a book or two, and recharging, with the lovely trees overhead behind the house, and the stellar jays & sparrows flying around the garden, and occasionally our cats aggressively sneaking in for cuddles.

One of my favourite parts is that that white chenille bedspread is the exact same one my Nan had on her guest bed.

So here’s our bright & cozy guest room.

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Some guest room books, and a cute little house planter from Spruce Collective, vintage quilt from Circa Vintage, and that white bedspread is the very same chenille cover that sat on my Nan’s guest room bed.

Some guest room books, and a cute little house planter from Spruce Collective, vintage quilt from Circa Vintage, and that white bedspread is the very same chenille cover that sat on my Nan’s guest room bed.

This sweet Cultus Lake photograph was thrifted.

This sweet Cultus Lake photograph was thrifted.

Beans and this Boston Fern are best friends and the fern should probably be a bit frightened. Little purple violets like my Nan loved.

Beans and this Boston Fern are best friends and the fern should probably be a bit frightened. Little purple violets like my Nan loved.

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Rocky Mountain Soap Company wellness spray (this stuff is delightful). The piano has nowhere else to live, so it’s serving as a little bookshelf/tv stand for now.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company wellness spray (this stuff is delightful). The piano has nowhere else to live, so it’s serving as a little bookshelf/tv stand for now.

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Jack and Audrey’s lovely body oil bought at Pick Eco Refills downtown, and a Minter Gardens pilea.

Jack and Audrey’s lovely body oil bought at Pick Eco Refills downtown, and a Minter Gardens pilea.

Antler from Kilnhouse Studio

Antler from Kilnhouse Studio

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Sweet little Godin mushroom print is thrifted, and the painting of my Grandpa is by Nichol Duenes of A Vintage Cloud.

Sweet little Godin mushroom print is thrifted, and the painting of my Grandpa is by Nichol Duenes of A Vintage Cloud.

Majestic. This poor fern.

Majestic. This poor fern.

Movies for Halloween that are amazing*

*Amazing being a totally subjective term. 

Every Halloween I break out a few movies / specials to watch, usually while editing, burning gingerspice candles and thinking about how much I loved Halloween as a kid. The movies below are all ones I watched when I was little, but may not be for everyone - I think I had nightmares about Mr. Boogedy for years. But honestly, that's fine because I also thought that Blair Underwood from the Facts of Life was a monster who lived under my bed. Does anyone remember the murder mystery episode of Facts of Life? Because NOPE. (Also, writing this post, and realizing that not everyone may get my Facts of Life reference... makes me feel super old.) 

Halloween 1990: a beautiful princess, Donald Duck, and me, an awkward, mulleted cat in sweatpants. 

Halloween 1990: a beautiful princess, Donald Duck, and me, an awkward, mulleted cat in sweatpants. 

So here's my go-to list for Halloween movies that (might) make you feel super nostalgic!

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The Watcher in the Woods. I love this movie! It's classic, unsettling Disney AND it stars Bette Davis. Full movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0owgDMDBg4

Bride of Boogedy. Also categorized under movies that terrified me as a child, this movie is a super weird (and not necessarily for super young kids) Disney classic. Wax museums, magic cloaks, movie monsters, it's got it all! You can actually find it (and the original) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLVBidR-8cU

Ernest Scared Stupid. The trolls are so, so, so gross. Jamie can't watch this movie while eating. Trailer here.

The Monster Squad. Maybe not for little kids (although that's totally when I watched it), this movie is like a movie-monster themed version of The Goonies. My favourite line will forever be: "My name... is Horace." Trailer here

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The House on Haunted Hill. This is the original movie, with Vincent Price. When I was a kid, my parents wouldn't let me rent Nightmare on Elm Street, etc (with good reason) but sometimes I'd be allowed to watch the old classics. I watched a ton of Abbott and Costello + monsters movies. This one still probably isn't great for kids, but it's definitely tame in comparison to the most recent version! 

Return to Oz. I think a lot of people thought when this came out that it would be a direct sequel to the Judy Garland Wizard of Oz, but it's really, really not. At all. Nope. The Wheelers are basically handcrafted straight out of nightmares, as is Princess Mombi's gallery of heads. Trailer here

If you're looking for something really scary, check out Nightmare on Elm Street, It Follows, Insidious, The Conjuring, and the Shining! If you're looking for more specials (that you're likely to find on YouTube), check out Garfield's Halloween Adventure, The Real Ghostbusters: When Halloween was Forever, and the Tower of Terror.

If you have a favourite Halloween special, or something to add about the ones listed above, please leave a comment below!