Friday, December 31, 2010

Tis the Season

I have been very low on creative energy for a while now due to various factors. Nevertheless here are some close ups of our festive decor from December. I couldn't find the energy to style the whole room so all you are getting is close ups. I was the only person in my family who noticed it wasn't "done" so I think it's OK.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reno news - the paneling

I have seen the board and batten style wall paneling oh, um, let's just say on every design blog I read. Ya, that would cover it. So I have been dreaming of it for quite some time. Yes, I doodle pictures of wall paneling on the note pad by the phone. A lot.

So to say I am pleased with how this turned out is a bit of an understatement. The hubby wasn't exactly sure what I wanted or why you would want to go to all this trouble for rectangles on the wall. But bless his heart he agreed to it anyway and I think it makes the room. Don't worry, because I know you were, there will be many more paneling pictures to come!

The Walls...
ok you can kinda see how plaid the wall was on the left of this pic

Now some pictures on that wall and all will be right with the world.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Reno news - part two

And more of the same. Here is the ongoing progress in the new family room. It is far from done, the trim and tiles around the fireplace are still on the list. Also the cover for that electrical panel and another one for the crawl space on the opposite wall. A window sill, curtains, and much decorating is still to do. Please note the (very ugly) surround sound system for the (very large) TV is all set up. Ahem, priorities. But anyway, here is the progress.

Family Room Fireplace...
I think the IKEA hacked built-ins turned out ok. And the mantel my smart hubby made all from one flat sheet of MDF. Can't wait to decorate all that mantel for Christmas! What do ya think? And I do hope it's obvious that the before pic is BEFORE we bought the house. Please tell me you knew that!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reno news- it gets worse before it gets better

I am doing a few little update posts about the basement as it is coming along v e r y s l o w l y.

And as much as I love before and after pictures it will be a while 'til it's done and we get some pretty pictures. I have decided to show it just as it is now. So here is the progress so far.

Downstairs landing....

The doors to the rooms are paneled but the closet doors are flat. Although this is a room in the first picture now it is a closet for A's tools. I need something cute for that wall...
And sadly, despite my lovely mudroom, I need more space for shoes and coats downstairs so I might hang another peg rack on the right on the wall you can't see in this picture.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The boys room and a LEGO solution

I have shown many pictures of my little girl's room and only a few of the boys' room. It is true that her room is cuter and she is young enough that I can pretty much do what ever I want in there.

But there is another reason the boys room is photographed less. In a word: LEGO. All of it lives in there room because they started acquiring LEGO while Laine was a baby. To prevent any unfortunate choking incidents we limited LEGO to their room and when they played with it we simply shut their door. Worked great, as evidenced by the fact that Laine is breathing even to this day.

But as the LEGO piled up we needed an organization system. We sorted all the pieces by colour which is great! But the bucket of guys, ahem, I mean minifigs was constantly getting dumped on the floor. Some creative minds like to build different guys every day apparently. So here is what I came up with...

It was a mini loaf pan initially but was rusting as the coating peeled. I decided it wasn't fit for the kitchen any more but wow it's great for minifigures! Heads, bodies, legs, hats, accessories, weapons and full guys each have their own spot. It makes for much less dumping all over the floor.

And lastly here are some pictures of their room on a rare day when it was clean...

There is just something about twin beds. Ahh.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Renewed Master Bedroom

So last post I showed off the dressers I repainted.
I am pretty happy with the way the room turned out. I still would like to change the wall colour but I am telling myself one day we will do some drywalling when we remove those valances over the windows and that will be my chance. Maybe if I bribe him with coffee??

So besides hanging my jewelry and getting new bedside tables I convinced him to get a rug! Well really it is two rugs but more on that in a minute. Here is the whole room....
What do you think? I am so happy with it. The rugs are from IKEA, hey when it's so close you have to take advantage of it! It is really two of the Gislev rug pushed together.

I ginormous rug big enough to fit under our whole bed and stick out enough to make it warm on your feet when getting out of bed would not be cheap. So I entertained the idea of 2 smaller rugs. And I knew I wanted grey.

This rug is 6'5" x 4'4" and two pushed together is about the perfect size for under our queen bed. Did I mention each rug only cost $29.99? IKEA I really do love you, despite the questionable lunch I had the other day. I guess I can forgive you now that my floor is warm and cozy for 60 bucks. Thanks IKEA!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dressers Reinvented

Have I told you that before and afters are my absolute favorite things ever. Never, ever tire of them. I love it. This is another one of those painting projects that was completely free. I love free too. Who doesn't, really?

Free Labour

These dressers (really one bedside table and one dresser) came to us by way of Aaron's grandmother. The dresser we have in our dining room was also hers that we painted about 7 years ago. She is a special lady so that makes this furniture special too! The paint (one primer coat and 2 coats BM's Cloud White eggshell) was in the basement and the knobs were part of one of those mega packs that Aaron bought super cheap. Most of them are destined to go in the downstairs rooms we are working on but I did the math (right I hope) and we could spare 5 for this job.

They are wood and fairly solid. A bonus for starters. There was a bit of a striated yellow beige finish on them that was fixed by a little sanding. Then I painted them up and that was it. I decided not to break out the paint sprayer for this job. Since they are so flat with very little detail the roller was sufficient. Also Aaron was using the air compressor for trim and such so it was just easier to do my own thing.

So here is my side of the bed. I get the smaller one because I have less room. I also have the phone on my side so I am not sure how that worked out! Isn't it cute?


And this is Aaron's side of the bed. I am hoping he will move some stuff out of the closet and into these drawers thus giving me more closet space. So far no luck. He maintains I already hog the closet.

So there you go. It was a fairly minor project but it really makes a big difference. There is one other new element. I'll show it off in the pictures of the full room next post.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back with a bedroom update

Holy smokes I have been gone from the blog for a month! I think it was the combo of Thanksgiving at our house, then a 3 day course for me, then a 41 person potluck (at our house), and the little ones having a respiratory virus for 3 weeks overlapping with a stomach virus (which they shared with me) for 2 weeks. Then we had Halloween with 1 completely homemade costume and one partially homemade. So yeah, I have been doing stuff but it hasn't been pretty enough to blog, let alone having the time...

Glad that's over with. Now on to the fun stuff. The basement is coming along so fast, I am very excited. My hubby is the most amazing handyman ever. He has created the mantel, built-ins and paneling all from pictures I drew, and all while holding down his full time job and taking a course by correspondence for work. The basement pictures will have to wait but the master bedroom has been progressing as well.

The first thing I did was to hang all my necklaces where I can see them at one glance. I am super visual so out of sight really does mean out of mind. I find I am more likely to wear a necklace in the summer when layering is less of an option, but in the winter I feel like there is lots going on with cardigans and scarves and all. So this has helped me a bit.

Remember I showed you a while back how my mom displays her jewelry? Another visual thinker. So this is basically the same idea just more one dimensional.

It is a very fancy arrangement of 8 hooks - 2 packs of Blecka hooks from IKEA - $6.99 for 4. And don't look too close because it is not totally straight. Yes. This is a project I took on myself with minimal help from the hubby. So the third hook doesn't quite line up. I said don't look! He makes it look so easy ... measure, drill, bam your done. But it is kinda tricky, I even used a level. Since it is located behind our bedroom door I can overlook the imperfection.
I have seen this idea around lots of places but Lauren from Pure Style Home has a beautiful arrangement in her bedroom and it looks great. I love how her rooms are very collected and personal looking, and of course beautiful.

So there are a few more bedroom updates coming up in the next few days. Now I am going to go pick a necklace for tonight!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pretty pillow and a little reno update

We went to IKEA recently to buy our cabinets for the downstairs, and we also bought some upper cabinets to serve as built ins around the downstairs fireplace. It ended up being a very long trip, but we got gift cards (part of the promotion they are doing this month). And with those gift cards I bought most of the fun things I wanted from the new IKEA catalogue. And I still have money left over!

Here is a pretty little throw pillow I bought to spice up the living room for fall. You know I love to change the pillows...
Isn't it cute? I really love it and that doesn't happen with me and pattern very often!

And finally a little glimpse at the work downstairs...
My talented hubby made the fireplace surround out of one sheet of MDF and you can see the IKEA cabinets to the side. They will be raised up a few inches so the bottom piece matches the height of the baseboard. A little trim here and there and then the MDF will be painted all white and the doors will go on the cabinets.
There you go, they will look just like built ins. *I hope*

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Online shopping? Yes please!

Recently, Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic have developed a canadian website. That means online shopping that ships without the ridiculous shipping charges of ordering from the US. I in fact got free shipping since I ordered more than 50 bucks from Old Navy.

I do have access Old Navy and Gap stores in our local mall. I find they can be out of stock, or carry less variety than what I see online. And Banana Republic. Oh Banana. I love Banana Republic but the nearest store is Metrotown, not close enough to visit in the 2 hours of preschool. That my friends means I never go. But online? Very easy to shop with kids running around.

The biggest issue is not being able to try things on. Especially at Old Navy, seriously cheap means serious inconsistency of sizing. But thankfully everything we bought this time fit!

When the package was delivered Tuesday morning, it was like Christmas! See, I ripped the packages open...

And we tried on the outfits right away. A shirt and dress for me and a dress and cardigan and tights for Miss L. Here she is showing off her new dress...

And here are a few more pics of her just for fun!
So my only caution besides sizing, is the length of wait. It took a full 2 weeks from ordering to delivery. Not so quick. I actually forgot what I ordered and had to look it up twice while I waited. I almost bought duplicate tights for L because I forgot the colours I ordered. In the end I just held off on buying new tights while I waited. But the convenience is undeniable and the prices were as cheap as I can imagine. Now I just have to wait for something to go on sale at Banana....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We hosted Thanksgiving dinner here on Sunday night. Fun and relaxed. Both sides of the family hung out, the kids all played so well, and of course the food was yummy! Thankfulness flows pretty naturally from a dinner like this...
My lovely sister took care of the turkey, it was yummy!
And we had lots of room for everyone! Don't you just hate a holiday dinner where you are jammed together? Oops, I just noticed I put the lefties in the middle of the table... in stead of on the end. Sorry guys, I'll think of it next time.

And look what this handsome man made...
One pretty delish pumpkin cheesecake with graham cracker crust...

And two lovely apple pies, his specialty...
Yep, he's a keeper!