Pfister Tamera Pulldown Faucet Review (Mom’s Kitchen)

In the budget-friendly kitchen makeover my Mom and I are working on, over at my parents’ place, we’re trying not to replace too many things and work with what’s there as much as we can.  Cabinets, counters, appliances – they’re all staying.  But the white acrylic sink (that Mom had to regularly bleach, thanks to years of use and the resulting cracks where coffee would settle and stain) and old faucet (with a dint from a knife – long story) were just in really rough shape. 

Because the old sink was really bumming her out, she “splurged” on a basic – but new! – stainless steel sink and Pfister stepped in with an offer to review a faucet.  Here’s a peek at her new Tamera Pulldown Kitchen Faucet:

Thoughts on How to Choose a Kitchen Faucet:

There were many reasons my Mom chose the Tamera faucet. 


My Mom loved the modest size of the Tamera.  So many faucets today are designed for much grander kitchens than the one in my parents’ tiny, post-war home.  She looked online at the specs, and some of the faucets would have reached really high on the window – or had a really substantial, chunky look – so Mom looked for a faucet that still had a graceful, arc spout but wasn’t so incredibly tall or heavy looking.


My parents’ postwar home has a lot of original details (almost all of the wood interior doors, thick wood trim, original hardwood floors, brass door hardware) but my Mom’s decorating style is fairly modern, with some vintage and midcentury touches.  We’re going for a look collected over time.  The Tamera doesn’t look too traditional, nor does it scream modern loft condo – it’s the perfect blend of old and new, a great option for a transitional decor.


Although we’re dabbling with some brushed gold, I’m encouraging my Mom to mix metals in her house.  We liked the stainless finish on this faucet because it matches her new sink perfectly, so the overall look, even though we’re mixing metals, won’t look too busy or disjointed.


Having seen how wonderful a pulldown kitchen faucet is at my place (I have the gorgeous Lita in the stainless finish), my Mom wanted that same feature.  It makes cleaning out the sink or filling a nearby pot so easy.  I can’t imagine my kitchen without this option!  The dual-mode spray head is super handy too, so my Mom had that feature on her checklist.  The optional deckplate was perfect, because the sink came with three holes.  Beyond that, she wanted a single lever for ease of use, but no other bells or whistles.

Here’s a peek at the “before”:

You’ll have to excuse the mess, but when I went into town to start the kitchen project, the clouds were forming and the whole house looked dark.  I wouldn’t let her putter or tidy because I needed to take “before” shots ASAP before I lost the light completely – as it was, they turned out so dark and barely visible thanks to cloud coverage, so I edited them quite a bit and lightened the photos so you can actually see what we were working with.  Frankly, the before photos still make the kitchen look way better than it looked in real life!

But you get the idea: 1980s white acrylic sink with a standard issue 1980s faucet.

Already it looks fresher and newer!

Mom is THRILLED with her new sink and faucet – and kitchen progress in general.  It’s actually so sweet to see her beam with every new detail, even though in the beginning I really felt like we were just putting lipstick on a pig over there.  Sometimes it’s just nice to freshen things up a little, even if it’s temporary and not perfect.

The faucet, however, Mom can take with her when she renovates for real.

I know I’m such a tease, doling out these tiny morsels of my Mom’s kitchen makeover!  The kitchen to-do list is progressing nicely, though, and this is what we’ve already checked off:

  • Paint cabinets 
  • Paint walls
  • Paint kitchen/porch door
  • Repair and refinish laminate counters
  • Refurbish brass knobs
  • Hide fluorescent light
  • Install new sink and faucet
  • Paint tulip table base 

Still to do:

  • Reupholster vintage teak chairs
  • Find and stain solid wood round top for tulip table
  • Make art
  • Window treatment
  • Repair the floor and put down peel and stick flooring
  • Install new baseboard trim
  • Peel and stick backsplash tile (so excited to try that!)
  • Hang up new light fixture 
  • Install under cabinet lighting
  • Accessorize!

Kids craft DIY: food and flora collage

My favourite crafts are the ones where you can use what you have already – or use things from a little hunt and gather around the neighbourhood. Then it’s a drawn-out craft with bonus exercise! I was looking at the bow pasta the other day thinking how cute it would look as a little bow tie on a illustration. And so today’s craft idea was born! I told Layla what I was thinking and she was in – she went around and picked some flowers and greenery from the garden, thought up her scenario of a ballet dancer and asked me to draw the girl. She then glued on the tutu from flower petals, painted a tree (“an autumn tree”) and after changing her mind from rice snow to glitter snow, she then painted an ice rink and drew some ice skates onto her ballet shoes! She thought the couple would look pretty smart with a top hat with a feather and framed with some elbow pasta. I love watching her in creative mode and seeing what she comes up with. We hunted around the craft cupboard for little beads and other sequins and had fun getting creative – I had to make one too! This kind of craft is really only limited by your imagination – so many things in your garden, your pantry and craft cupboard can be used: beads, gum nuts, sticks, tiny stones, foil, confetti, leaves, feathers, sequins, buttons… you get the idea. I think a really small version could be sweet made up as gift tags or a birthday card. And while white or coloured backgrounds would look great too, I can’t help but think things stand out a little more on the black cardboard. And happily, the watercolours worked too – although a little less bright than they’d appear on a white background.
Black cardboard
White ink pen
Watercolours – these ones are the best (Spotlight also sells it). I must have bought 5 of these palettes over the past couple of years. The colours are pretty and they dry so quickly – I’ve even used them on the wall of my home.
An assortment of food, flora and any other crafty bits and pieces you can gather together
Easy how to:

Step 1: Suggest a scenario or have your child think something up. Draw the basics – a simple person is easy and they can “dress” them and fill in their surroundings. A house is also a good one.
Step 2: Let them go! Let them paint, glue, rearrange and sprinkle till their heart’s content. The pasta can be painted before or after it’s glued in place. It’s really not worth of a step-by-step, is it?! Here are  some close ups of the others…

Kids craft DIY: paper plate lion mask

I have this great love of paper plates. I use them for everything. A pile of 50 goes really, really quickly in my house. Aside from parties, they’re often folded up into little boxes for mini craft storage or picnic packaging, cut up into gift tags or just used as craft paper – they kids draw on them and cut them up into all sorts of random things – and then we even make good use of the off-cuts for maths homework working out! They’re also so brilliant for crafts. I’m running a free kids craft stand at an upcoming fete and decided pretty quickly I’d create some crafts around paper plates. One of them will be these lion masks for the younger kids. We’ll most likely shred some newspaper or whatever paper we can get our hands on for the fete, but these shades of tissue paper and tinsel are perfect for a lion’s mane. 
Paper plate
Shredded tissue paper and tinsel (from dollar stores)
Single hole punch (or just use the scalpel)
Face paint or eyeliner pencil
Easy how-to:
 Step 1: Cut around the base of the paper plate with the scalpel so you have a hole.
Step 2: Using the circle you’ve just cut out, cut two ears and set aside.
Step 3: Punch a hole on either side of the plate. Thread and tie your elastic to create a mask.
Step 4: Cut your shredded tissue paper and tinsel into smaller pieces so they’re not too much longer than the edge of the plate. Mix them up a little for a more “natural” mane! Glue the face of the paper plate and stick the mane in place.
Step 5: Glue the ears in place.
  Step 6: Gently cut around the inside of the mask to trim away excess “hair” so it doesn’t tickle your child’s face! Be careful not to snip through the elastic.
Step 7: Leave to dry in the sun and in the meantime, paint on a nose and some whiskers. Once the glue is dry, pop the mask on your child’s head. The plate can be popped outwards to sit nicer on their face. ROAAR!

Wintery woodland queen

 Ugh, winter. We don’t get on at all. I quite enjoyed winter when it was still summer-like weather, but then the cold had to come and ruin everything. And now the school holidays are here and of course so is the rain! ALL WEEK, apparently. So it’s going to be one big craft-a-thon here these next few days, me thinks. I have a few up my sleeve and I’ll do my best to post them here in case you’re in the same boat and after some kids craft inspiration. 
Perhaps you could start with a nature crown. Last week, a flower hunt on the walk home from school yielded lots of pretty flowers, so I added them to a stick crown I’d started making a day earlier. A little greenery sandwiched in-between and it became quite the flora headpiece. It’s not one to last for long – and it’s hardly made delicately (hello glue gun!) – but they’ll have fun feeling like a woodland fairy queen for a day…


Two strips of fabric

Sticks in assorted lengths

An assortment of flowers

A bit of greenery – we used a few sprigs from our conifer trees

A hot glue gun

Easy how-to

1. Glue your sticks to one length of the fabric in the centre.

2. Glue on the greenery followed by flowers

3. Run the glue gun along the whole length of the fabric over the flowers and press the second strip over the top, sandwiching the sticks and flowers in-between the two strips of fabric.

4. Wrap around the head and pin place or use velcro dots to hold in place.

See? Easy! I’d have made the fabric strips slightly narrower as it did swamp Layla’s little head! Ha! Contrary to the first few pics where she is all Grumplestiltskin* (because my camera not focusing was keeping her from running on the rocks. The horror), she loved the crown. Tomorrow? We’re making lion masks. Rrrrrooooarr.
*Grumplestiltskin is my favourite tease for when they’re grumpy. Annika is the grumpiest Grumplestiltskin of all. She’s hilarious. Keten 52-Piece Magnetic Building Blocks Set for just $35.89!

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Tour Our Ticon 30 Sailboat

Happy Canada Day, friends!  I consider myself very fortunate to call a beautiful country like Canada home.  I don’t have any red and white themed recipes or crafts for today, but I did want to pay homage to one of the many wonders of this country (which we share with our neighbours to the south!):  Lake Superior.

Because we live on a small, shallow bay of Lake Superior, I often forget the powerful force behind this body of water.  When we were driving back from the Toronto area after a week of sailboat shopping, we stopped at Katherine’s Cove for a break.  While breathing in the fresh Northwestern Ontario air we had missed so deeply, we spotted a boat.  It didn’t look tied up, and I started to think the worst.  Hubby and I ran as quickly as we could through the sand but, to our relief, the boat looked as though it had simply been stolen from a dock by the powerful waves.  We reported it and hopefully it was reunited with its owner after being tossed around like a pop can by Lake Superior.

Lake Superior Boat Lost
Katherine's Cove, Lake Superior
Boat Washed Ashore, Lake Superior
Picnic Table Lake Superior Beach
Old Boat on Lake Superior

When I announced our plan to buy a boat in Toronto and my desire sail it home over the Great Lakes, everyone thought I had lost my mind and I was inundated with intimidating – at times contradictory – Lake Superior facts.  Did you know that Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and, if you’re considering surface area, is the largest freshwater lake in the world?  By volume, it’s the third largest.  The deepest point is 1300 feet and it holds enough water to flood all of North and South America with a foot of water.  Waves taller than 40 feet have been recorded on Lake Superior – 51 feet is reportedly the highest!  That’s incredibly scary!  Perhaps the saddest fact:  I’ve read that more than 10,000 lives have been lost, with more than 350 recorded shipwrecks.  

Okay, okay, it’s probably a good thing we ended up buying our Ticon 30 from a local sailor because I don’t think we were quite ready for that epic a journey.  But I’m excited to get out on Lake Superior and explore it more!  In our last sailboat, a small Fireball, we never ventured very far from shore but with the Ticon 30, who knows how far we’ll sail?

We’ve been working on the boat and we’re hoping to launch soon.  The tired and torn cushions are already with a local upholster (I chose Loft Indigo by Sunbrella for the new cushions – I’m definitely going for a different look, design-wise!).  I snapped some photos the day we purchased the boat and already it’s looking so much cleaner.  While Hubby has been tinkering with the engine, I’ve been scrubbing, decluttering and oiling wood.  On one particularly frigid day, soaking wet from the rain and wearing five layers of old coats I stole from my parents’ basement, I had shimmied into the quarter birth and was oiling the teak.  I shouted to Hubby, “this sucks!”  But then I thought for a moment and yelled again, “this is what sailing is going to be like, isn’t it?  Cold, wet, and oiling teak”.

We laughed because while we know that’s partly true, we also know it’s going to be amazing!  We even bought an aerial camera so I can bring you all along for the ride – minus the motion sickness and endless teak oiling.  For now, here’s a tour of the “before” – with better photos and a video tour coming once the sailboat is looking a little more…shipshape😉

When you first enter the companionway, this is what you see:

Tour the Inside of a Ticon 30 Sailboat

Actually, this is what I saw first:

Ticon 30 Sailboat Wood Floors

I can’t wait to polish up those beautiful wood floors!  The steps are really gorgeous too (and they remove to reveal access to the engine – so clever!):

Sailboat Steps in Companionway

To the left when you first clamber down is the little galley.  I’ve got my eyes peeled for a retro stove, but they can be super pricey!

Ticon 30 Galley (Kitchen)
Sailboat Ticon 30 Galley (Kitchen)
Sailboat Interior Photos

Beside the galley is a seating area that slides out to form a double bed.  Our new cushions will have a really high end mattress-grade foam and we’ll be able to sleep six people!  On the wall is my favorite feature, a table that swings down.  When I snapped these photos the cabin was full of sails and the former owner’s stuff so I couldn’t easily pop it into place (there were also three of us in here), but for the “after” tour I will – it’s gorgeous!

Sailboat Getting Decorated - Before

On the right is the quarter berth (with panels that slide out to reveal more engine access), navigation table, and more seating.  I still need to read through a book, no fewer than a million pages long, and pass a test to get my operator’s certificate to operate the marine radio.  Don’t they know I’m too busy thinking about how to decorate my boat?

Ticon 30 Cabin
30 Foot Sailboat Interior Photos
Quarter Birth

Beyond where Hubby is standing in the first photo, toward the v-berth, is our toilet and shower on the left, with the tiniest bi-fold door you’ve ever seen.  You may not refer to this as the washroom, it’s called the “head”.  Don’t worry – the bucket does not serve a functional purpose in this space.  Near as I can tell, it’s decorative.

Ticon 30 Head

To the right is hanging storage and teeny tiny drawers: 

Beyond that is the v-berth, with bunk beds and drawers – and a hatch above, for staring at the night sky…

It looks a little rough in these photos – they’re just cellphone snaps and there was still a tarp covering the hatches and portholes, making it seem much more dim.  It already looks so different because we removed bags and bags of stuff left behind, plus I’ve been scrubbing, cleaning, and teak oiling my heart out.  But I love these photos because they show exactly what our Ticon 30 looked like when we bought it and it will be exciting to see it transform with the new upholstery and a few decorative accents.  I already bought some insanely gorgeous linen for some throw pillows.

If I had the budget and time, I’d be tempted to do a major reno on this sailboat but, for this year at least, the most important goal is to just get this beast on the water and sail it home!

Tour a 30 Foot Sailboat with Teak Wood Interior

Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian friends, and an early Happy Fourth of July to my friends a little more South.  I hope everyone has time to get out to explore these beautiful countries of ours this long weekend. 

I will be celebrating by oiling some teak. 

But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for beautiful weather for us all!  Have a great weekend!