Friday, August 27, 2010

For SJ

Here is a close up of what the mantel looked like in its previous incarnation. I guess really these were on the cabinets next to the mantel, but you know what I mean. It didn't make the cut. I lived with it for a bit and then changed to what is up there now. In reality it looked better close up than it did as a part of the bigger scheme. But SJ said she liked it so here are the detail pictures... so if you read this you'd better comment!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting there

Aaron has been working downstairs again, on the never ending reno. The first owners of this house, it seems, glued down the carpet in the basement. They used VERY strong glue. It withstood water and scraping, carpet glue remover, and even straight paint thinner poured on it. Nothing was budging that stuff. So Aaron rented a cement grinder and ground down the floor bit by bit. Did you know cement dust is finer than drywall dust? Ya, it is. Looks like fun.
Then the in-floor heating got laid down. Ain't she purdy? Now it's covered with a coat of thinset, just waiting for tile....

Here is the rest of the progress...
Coming along.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I wore a new necklace

This week just a few little outfits are making there way to you...

One under accessorized tank (old Navy) and jean cutoffs (Costco jeans cut and "hemmed" by me with IKEA iron on hem tape, klassy, I know), and sandals - I honestly don't know where they came from.
And this one is a bit more of an outfit....
white tank - RW & Co
navy T - GAP
Jeans - GAP curvy bootcut
belt - Alfred Sung Pure for Zellers
green Mary Janes - Keen (my Mommy bought the exact same ones after I told her they were on sale ;^)
green purse - Sears (on sale, it was a deal)
green necklace - my latest creation (beads from Michael's, little beads from my sis)

Somehow this outfit very much feels like me. Just enough to call it an outfit, but still casual. Nothing exciting but I feel cute in it.
linked up to the Pleated Poppy 'what i wore wednesday'

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One, Two, Three

I like the number 7. Not sure why. One day when I was a teenager I proclaimed my favorite number to be 17 and I have loved it ever since. When we moved we put a few offers in on different houses, they all had 7's in the address. Weird, huh?
Numbers on stairs have been rattling around my head for quite a while. I have seen it done by Pottery Barn, and more recently by Linda of Restyled Home when she flipped a house, oh like a year ago....
Linda's stairs
Don't you love them? Maybe I should paint my handrail, hmm.

And since my staircase has 7 steps up top, I knew it was meant to be!

So when I painted the fireplace, I also refreshed the stair risers so I could then get these numbers and make my entry way a bit more fun. Originally this staircase had a dark teal, traditionally patterned runner on it. We ripped that baby out pretty much right away! And the stairs have been in need of something since then.

stairs BEFORE
I think it's cute. And totally non committal as always, the numbers can peel right off. And want to know a secret? The 3 is really half an 8 and the 1 is a modified L. Apparently Canadian Tire isn't big on stocking all the numbers, even if you check multiple locations!

I plan on doing the bottom half of the stairs too, but I need to find a 5. Next time you're in Canadian Tire, just peak at the vinyl house numbers for me will you?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Organizing and Finding the Floor

Last week I spent some serious time cleaning out closets. Mine and all three kids. I did a bit of inventory and made a shopping list for the fall. This is the corner of Lainey Janey's closet...
Yuck, I know. That is the pile of everything she has grown out of since we moved into this house. That's like 2 years people. It reached to my chest height! So I ripped it all out and sorted and sorted. I got 7 bags of clothes to donate in all! This picture is just halfway through the purge.

These are the hangers left over after doing the boys closet! It feels nice to be done! Now bring on the shopping.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A little bit green

Yes, it's fake. But it doesn't look too bad. In fact I kinda like it.

There is much stress going on in my little brain, this is all I can manage for now. But I thought a little pretty picture or two might make the whole thing seem a bit better. Mission accomplished I would say.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daddy's little girl

I stopped by to see my Dad last weekend on my way to work. My husband's schedule includes 8 weeks in a row of weekends off. That means for me, 8 weeks of working weekends since we alternate to avoid daycare right now. Anyway. Sometimes I leave early for a night shift, go get a take out dinner (Quiznos) and see my Dad on the way to work.

He was already in his bed, but not asleep. He was fresh and clean and changed into his pajamas. They leave the bed low and the siderails down, a policy that is supposed to prevent falls. I pulled up the chair and started dinner as he was resting and sometimes quietly talking. I didn't understand what he said. Sometimes I would talk too. He didn't understand what I said either. But we were both ok with that.

Sometimes his brain makes him very unsettled and the opposite of peaceful and quiet. But that time came earlier in the day and for me he was content.
hanging out with the family

After I had finished my dinner I put my hand on his arm. He didn't seem to mind. I was happy in the moment. I decided to try and hug him, so I lay my head on his chest. I felt content. In that moment, not sad that he didn't put his arm around me or kiss my head as he once would have. Just happy that he was there. Happy to be close. I love my Dad.

Many times in these last years I have been sad at what was happening to him. What he was missing out on, what we were missing out on. But that didn't occur to me at all. I was happy he was there. Thinking it is a blessing to have him, even if it is different than it used to be.
There is a lesson I have been slowly learning through this experience. Very slowly. I am sure there are lots of things to be learned but it is hard sometimes for me to get over myself and start trying to understand. Self pity and clarity don't go together.

I think the truth that He is "A father to the fatherless" (psalm 68:5) is sinking into my heart. Not only is my security and comfort to come from my Heavenly Father. That in itself is a big lesson that I am easing into as my own father slowly slips away. But also that I am arriving into a pitiable state. I am humbled to becoming one of the least of these. Not that I am not taken care of, I am well loved and well fed every day. I know it is mostly symbolical, a representation of need in that day. But just a reminder that I am in need and I should associate myself with others who are too. "He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing." (Deuteronomy 10:18) That is what my Heavenly Father wants me to do. And my Dad probably wouldn't mind it either.

We will never again say 'Our gods' to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.
Hosea 14:3

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WIWW a touch of fall

Somehow outfit pictures have not happened this month. I haven't been shopping for the fall yet. I am kinda denying that September is nearing.

But I went grocery shopping with my little princess and we happened to peek at the clothes. There were tons of cute fall things, it *almost* made me crave that crisp fall air, and wearing socks. But not quite. I am still happily getting dressed late and never wearing socks and real shoes. I actually bent my toenail back (ouch) today because I was playing soccer barefoot in the backyard with the boys.

So here is one outfit I wore this weekend when it rained...
Ruffle blouse - Joe Fresh (from said grocery shopping trip)
Trouser jeans - Banana Republic outlet
Tan flats and a grey purse (not shown)

Close-up of me makeup less and in between work shifts (ie- no sleep)
I am pretty sure this outfit needs one more thing. Just don't know what that is. I actually sat down and "researched" a bit before we left the house. Check out Jill's suggestions on this guest post(and her blog 'the good life for less' too) and this post from sensibly styled. I am open to suggestions.

And on to the fall tops. I bought both of these because I felt they could be straight out of the J Crew catalogue. And sure enough a quick search when I got home showed almost the exact 2 tops on there website. Mine were less than 30$ combined. Not my usual style but I thought I would try it out for that price.

This is cream and grey striped with little buttons on the shoulders.
Shirt - Joe Fresh
Photography - my 6 yr old (the ones by the 4 yr old are too blurry!)

This white ruffled one I have seen in tons of blogs. I picture myself wearing it under a jacket or cardi in the fall.

That's all I got this time. Linking up to What I wore Wednesday over at the Pleated Poppy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Grainsacks

A while back I posted this picture of some fabrics I was considering for living room pillows. Instead I decided to stick with what I've got, and even added some matching "home made" pillows the other day.
But I did use the white grain sack fabric in my kitchen (see the picture at the bottom of this post). So I thought I would show a quick how to. I was actually planning on posting this and linking it up to a party or two right when I did it. Then I saw someone had done that exact thing before I had a chance. Oh well. I am doing it anyway!

I am trying hard not to spend too much money lately so I used all things I had on hand for this project. Painters tape, craft paint, and a white tea towel I bought long ago at IKEA for next to nothing. Since it's craft paint I am not so sure it is washable. In fact pretty sure it's not. But it was free, so there.

There is not much to it after you have the supplies, I just taped it out and painted in between the tape with a foam brush I had in my craft box. I did try to use the least amount of paint possible so it wouldn't be stiff and wouldn't bleed through the tape.
I spaced the stripes differently on the 2 that I made. I think I prefer the mix of thin and thick stripes on the one below better than I like these even stripes. Also If I were to do it again I think I would center them on the fabric, these are off to one side.
See here is one in the kitchen hiding our recycling bin in an awkward open cupboard that came with the house. What do you think?

Monday, August 9, 2010

kitchen, pass through

This is just a little quick before and after. I love Before and After pictures.
It thrills my heart. I am not quite sure why... but it does.

These particular pictures come from the first place we owned, a 1200 sq ft townhouse. I have written about it before. We bought it for pretty cheap and it was kinda run down, and everything was pink or beige. The floor in the kitchen was pink tiles, the cabinets were very rough honey oak. With the sexy hardware in the middle of the door. And the walls and counter were beige.

Remember it was the time when everyone had a very dark brown wood kitchen when you look at the pics.

The pass through was tiny. I have seen this before, it's not great but I've seen it. Aaron on the other hand was baffled. In the kitchen is a giant sunny window, in the living room is kinda dark. Why wouldn't you take advantage of that? So we consulted our friend who checked it out, wrote up plans, we handed the plans to the strata council, and waited.

Then we made it bigger.

And we painted the walls blue and added new track lighting and replaced the pink floor with dark laminate, and replaced the ancient dishwasher and stove.

And redid the cabinets with dark brown oil based paint, took the doors off the one cupboard, took one section out, and refinished the wall, added the wood ledge. And tiled the backsplash with white subway tiles. And re-drywalled part of the other side of the wall around it. And filled and sanded, and filled and sanded. You get the idea.

And it only took a few MONTHS. Nothing big.
And I wasn't impatient once.
I made that last part up.

But it did look good. And I loved it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I have seen walls painted with chalkboard paint everywhere. On blogs, on houzz, in magazines. It has been around for a while, and it is dramatic.

In our old place we painted the old fake bleached oak closet doors with chalkboard paint in the kids bedrooms and it looked great.
And it saved a bunch of money as we didn't need to buy new ones. I can only find pictures of my kids being monkeys. How fitting. But you get the idea.

Another AFTER if you can take your eyes off the 2 year old in mid air

But painting a whole wall black does make me a tad nervous. So I got the look without the commitment by using vinyl adhesive chalk board panels! It all started with the animal shaped ones you see at the bottom of the wall.
I got them on sale at HomeSense and I thought they would be great for the kids. So I put them up in the kitchen. But I am a list maker so I wanted one for me. So I bought some rectangles. Then I liked it so I bought some more!
All over a period of about a year, all from HomeSense. No complaints from the hubby because it can all peel right off! So I made him help me trace a big calendar and I made a spot for my to do lists, grocery lists, the kids pictorial to do list (make bed, get dressed, brush teeth). Up top is a spot for verses I am thinking on. Use it all everyday.
So feel free to call me noncommittal. I agree.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fireplace revealed

I told you I was working on the fireplace, so here it is...
A while back we got a new couch cover in dark grey and that threw off the balance of the room. I have added quite a bit more white to the room to balance it out because dark grey monster sofa across from screaming white fireplace doesn't feel so harmonious.

I also went downstairs and brought up the little rocker my mom handed down to us. I used it over here to bring white to the couch side of the room.
And let's face it - it brings super cuteness to that side of the room too. You should see it with my little sweetie rocking away. I was going to keep the rocker for the still-in-progress basement but the progress is slower than expected and the rocker was too cute to leave in storage.

I am also quite proud of myself for using the fan and samovar that belonged to my mother's two grandmothers. I love that fan but have trouble making it work in a display, although I see them all over the internet looking perfect. It's been pretty toasty around here so I figure it is certainly the season for such things.
this picture is from last time I tried it in the living room

Of course I moved the mirror I painted from by the top of the stairs to over the mantel.
And when I say "I" I totally mean Aaron. I just commanded it, he did the work.

Oh and the white vase on the left of the mantel? I am planning to use part of my Michael's gift card to find some greenery that looks real to balance that side. I also intend to paint the bottom "bricks" black to match the slate. And I might just pain those side cabinets white after all.

Ok, I think I am done rambling. So once more for fun:

Before - ish (for more of the fireplace evolution click here)


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don't you have a sewing machine?

Yes. I think. Somewhere in the basement.

In the mean time the glue gun is being put to good use. These napkins are from Target 4 for 4 dollars. You could never buy 2 pillows for that.
Can't beat it, and they match my other pillows pretty much exactly. So just like last time I glued them together over other pillows to give them a fresh look for almost nothing.And yes, I redecorated my living room mantel. Again. I'll show it all off tomorrow.