Dublin in December

There’s something about this time of year – the dark nights and twinkling lights – that turns me into a tourist. I can’t help it. I’ve acquired quite the library of Christmas pictures on my phone over the past few weeks [mostly Instagrammed], and I thought there’s no better time of the year to share them. For me, the ultimate destination for Christmas lights – in and around Grafton Street. Photo dump commencing …

Regardless of the unseasonably warm December we’ve had, Robert and I went skating at the Point Village. Me on skates is about the only time I can show off my Canadian-ness. I have to say, for an Irish guy, Robert is a much better skater than me. He grew up obsessed with The Mighty Ducks so he roller-bladed throughout his childhood. 

Then there’s the Hole in the Wall pub on the perimeter of the Phoenix Park. They took the term deck the halls pretty literally, and every inch inside is covered in garland and fairy lights …

This photo does it zero justice. If you’re around, I strongly suggest you check out the Hole in the Wall for a well deserved drink after surviving the holiday mania. Speaking of which, I just finished our holiday shopping this morning and am ready to slip into hibernation. I hope you’re all much more organised than me and have been chillaxing for weeks. xx A

How to repair a very worn rug (and why flatwoven rugs suck)

Yes. The wildly shameful image above is our IKEA Stockholm rug. This is it, 18 months after we bought it. 

When I first brought our new rug home, it was heaven. It fit perfectly under our couch and coffee table, and gave a serious punch of black and white to the room. It really anchored the look of the space and I couldn’t have been more smitten. However, as the months went on, I realized exactly how difficult it was to keep. And I realized why.

The IKEA Stockholm rug is a flatwoven rug; meaning, it is tightly woven in a loop vs. regular low pile rugs that aren’t woven in a loop. Meaning, it ages quickly. 

The area between the coffee table and our couch got the most ware. This is where we would walk from our kitchen [to the left of the picture above] and cut across the living room to get to our dining area [on the right]. We also spent a lot of time here as this is where we watch TV, entertain guests and sometimes work.

Another reason why flatwoven rugs are a bad idea is cats. For anyone who doesn’t have a cat, I will explain that cats have a natural urge to sharpen their nails. As Toshi is demonstrating so gracefully below. I trim our cats nails regularly, so that minimized the damage that could have happened to the rug. Whenever they picked at the rug, it would pull at the flatwoven closed-loops and sometimes snag. Not cool.

It’s something that didn’t even occur to me when we bought the rug. But now I know. I’m in no way mad at our cats because it’s a natural urge of theirs. They can’t help it. So maybe if you have a cat and are on the lookout for a rug, you’ll know too. Learn from my mistake. Low or high pile rug = good. Flatwoven rug = bad.

Case in point – we have a black and white IKEA Virring rug which the cats also scratch, but because it’s a low pile rug, their nails sail through it like a breeze and it has zero damage.

So if you have a flatwoven rug that is damaged like some of my incredibly embarrassing photos above, do not fret. There is a way. And it is a breeze.

I first started to trim the rug with scissors. That was laborious and tedious. I quickly had a eureka moment and realized – why not just use husbands electric hair trimmer? So I plugged it in and it was like some form of wizardry …

Trim. Vacuum. Literally good as new. I was nearly in tears. It was perfect. No word of a lie. I will accept baked goods or folding money as a thank you. You’re welcome in advance. 

I should explain that my husband doesn’t use this hair trimmer so it was okay to use it. When I was finished, the trimmer wasn’t dirty and was in perfect working order for the next flatwoven mistake that comes our way. Or you know, for hair. 

Our rug turned out so neat, tidy and nearly new that I was in fact able to sell it. I wouldn’t have been able to sell it if it wasn’t to a high standard. It’s all part of my attempt to make our apartment less obviously IKEA and I already have my eye on a couple of second hand low pile rugs to replace it. These colder months really call for rugs. Neatly trimmed rugs.

Instagram roundup – May

This week alone has been a bit of a bombardment of inspiration. I have a couple of very exciting projects about to kick off in the coming weeks, but I’m sworn to secrecy on them for the moment. I’m going to do that annoying thing Bloggers do where I tell you about something, but at the same time tell you absolutely nothing.
Enough about that. It’s Friday. Here in Ireland it’s a bank holiday weekend and I can’t even. I’m so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. I woke up this morning way too early, thought to myself ahh it’s Saturday! And then experienced the crippling realization it was only Friday. I hate brains sometimes. 

I have a few DIYs and home improvements lined up for the long weekend. I made a head start and primed the spare bedroom bedside table last night ahead of its mini makeover. I’m thinking black and white. Nothing too shocking, and maybe when I’m finished with it I’ll sell it. That’s if it doesn’t turn out like a heap of crap. 
And with that I bid you a happy Friday, homies! I hope you have something awesome planned this weekend. We’re due some cracking weather tomorrow and I will personally be spending it BBQing, with a beverage in hand. Expect and onslaught of Instagrams if you follow me. You have been warned. xx A