Monday, September 27, 2010

Getting there: new flooring goes down

The basement is coming along. There is still a fair amount of finishing work to be done, but I love it. I am juggling all these ideas in my head:

- Built ins by the fireplace, or move the cabinets from upstairs down to the new family room

- Put the hand me down cream loveseat (looks like new) in the new family room or switch it with the comfy upstairs couch

- Paint the furniture for downstairs white or shades of grey

- Leave the ottoman as brown leather or try to slipcover it, perhaps in the burlap coffee sack I have laying around (see this post)

The best kind of decisions as far as I am concerned. Just a question of what kind of pretty do I want. Love it.

As I am a BEFORE/AFTER junkie I thought I would include a few progress shots of the basement. A few BEFORE/DURING shots if you will.

The new family room BEFORE. Checkout the vertigo inducing plaid wallpaper that was everywhere. We honestly spent 10 minutes looking for the electrical panel in this room, it was hidden by plaid.

DURING. This is a hint at the new wall colours Classic Grey up top and the ever popular Cloud White below. There will be a Shaker style panelling on this wall. A version of something on almost every decor blog I read that they refer to as board and batten. All with MDF, hopefully cheap and easy. See the floors here? Nice, eh? That red stuff is the vapor barrier/underlay so just ignore it.

The bottom landing BEFORE. Nice white walls and green carpet. There is now a bathroom where that laundry room once was and the stair runner is gone.

The bottom landing DURING. Can you believe there was green lino under the green carpet? It looks like industrial flooring you would see in a school or something. Now it is the nice laminate like the family room.

A wide shot of the plaid family room BEFORE. There was a wood stove there initially but we removed it right away due to house insurance requirements. And sold it to some crazy guy off Craigslist.

And here is the family room DURING. My lovey was just putting the new (very cheap) floor down in this picture! New insulation, drywall, potlights (the whole basement rewired actually), and a lovely gas fireplace. I know it is just an empty room but it looks beautiful to me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Song Lyric Sunday

So there are so many thing going through my head this week. I know I need to make more time for the serious stuff but the everyday often drowns that out.

I read Ephesians 2 last night and was struck by verses 4-7.

4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Lots to get there but the phrase "expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus" is what got me. It reminded me of the line "It's your kindness Lord that leads us to repentance" and also of this song I heard first this week on Meg Duerksen's blog Whatever. I love David Crowder Band. So here is How He Loves Us. Just what I needed to hear this week.

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

a little bookshelf for a little girl

Another little detail of Lainey's room is her little book shelf next to her bed.
This is sort of an IKEA Hack. Have you seen that site, IKEA hacker?
The picture is older, note the old colour scheme, but the shelf hasn't changed.

I may have even gotten the idea from that blog or maybe from a random decorating blog or linky party or some other internet source. Anyway, the idea is not original. It is a kitchen spice rack - the Bekvam spice rack for $6.99 to be exact. I spary painted it white. Gotta love the spay paint. Then made Aaron hang it next to the big girl bed.

Voila, cute book storage for cute little books.

As an aside we have sooo many kids books. They are everywhere. Besides getting rid of them, my husband's idea, how can I deal with the abundance? Any ideas out there?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A little turquoise for the girlie room

Just a minor tweak, but I added some turquoise to Laine's room and it is finally clean during daylight hours so I took some pictures. I think I mentioned starting the project way back here. I saw a sheet set in some kids catalogue that was coral pink and turquoise and fell in love. Here is my attempt.

A canvas with her initial (sort of, her real name doesn't start with an L but she hardly knows that!). I had a left over canvas from the bedroom art project and I saw some cute inspiration art on an episode of Pure Design and thought it would be easy enough. So a big L from a font off the computer, the canvas and craft paint was all it took. Ok, and the steady hand of my creative husband - I made him paint it, I am not at all artistic.

Her is her sweet little self reading to bunny and dolly. She is reading Wendell Gets Dressed, a favorite right now. I added a turquoise table cloth to the end of her bed as a throw blanket. It was from the grocery store on sale for super cheap.

I changed out her pink one year birthday dress that my Great Grandma made for this slightly bigger and appropriately coloured dress that my Great Grandma made.

The lovely quilt/waterproof pad my talented friend Christina did as a baby gift for Lainey Jane makes the chair coordinate nicely.

Tell me I am not the only one who gets obsessed with a colour and wants to put it everywhere. Turquoise you're still my fav.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

fall colours on my mind

School is up and running and the routine is hopping. I forgot how busy it is to cart the boys off to school (in different directions) and fill out notices, pack lunch and snack, and on it goes. I have been just going with the routine, and taking advantage of having less kids around during the day by ahem, shopping.
Does that kinda explain why I suddenly stopped posting? Sorry 'bout that. Today I have an unexpected day off so here is a sneak peak. Fall has been on my mind and I have done a tiny bit of rearranging....

Hey Jo, those are the books I bought because of their colour.
I can see you cringing from here! You too sis!
At least my mother is proud of me, I got the idea from her.
There ya go. Just a touch of fall.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I wear a uniform to work so all the advice you read or see on TV about having pieces that are good for work and casual wear are really not that useful for me. It means I really don't have to dress up much during an average week. So, I wear a lot of jeans. A lot. But I still want a way to look interesting, cute, and feel like myself. All while being just a little bit trendy. That's why I love What I Wore Wednesday. Did I mention I just came off 6 years straight of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding? Yikes. The figure has settled down and now the wardrobe needs to be rebuilt.

So coming up for fall I have thought about clothes and what I can feel good in, afford and mix and match nicely. Besides enjoying WIWW at the Pleated Poppy (where I am linking up today), I have taken some cues from this post about the mommy uniform at Sensibly Styled, and from Angie's Mom On The Go formulas from last fall at You Look Fab. I have also taken some inspiration from Jill at the Good Life for Less and her trendy self, I even bought her fall looks:book and it's very fun.

My uniforms or formulas are going to be based on the jeans as that is the hardest spot to fill in my wardrobe. I have 3 types of jeans and I made 2-3 formulas for each. Here is a glimpse of what I came up with.


I was totally inspired by Jill, Reachel, and Lisa. More dress type tunics are on my list, and I bought a darker long cardi today.

Formula #1- Tunic + skinnies + flats/boots
Skinnies comfort fit - Reitman's
Navy tunic T - H&M (as a side note, wow do they have cute stuff in that store!)
flats - can't really remember!

Formula #2 - T + long cardi + skinnies + flats/bootsSkinnies comfort fit - Reitman's
Aqua boyfriend T - Superstore ( Joe Fresh)
Grey Jersey cardi - Target (please come to Canada Target, I am begging!)
necklace - made by me
Grey loafer wedges - Payless

Straight Leg Jeans

Formula #1 - long sleeved T + straight leg jeans + flats/boots

Jeans Comfort fit - Reitman's
Grey top - Banana Republic
Multi strand necklace - Reitman's (hey, the jewelry was buy one get one free)
Black flats - Mark's Work Wearhouse (you can't see them, but they are super cute leather flats with a gathered detail)
Another version of formula #1
Straight leg jeans - GAP
Grey striped boatneck top - Superstore
Silver Hoops - Target
Grey loafer wedges - Payless (a yr or 2 ago)
Formula #2 - cardi + T + straight leg jeans + flats

This is the formula I have the most options with, I have many cardigans to choose from.
Straight Leg Jeans - GAP
Navy boyfriend fit T - Superstore
Green Cardi - Gap
CZ studs - Jewelry home party (can't remember the name)
Brown suede loafers - Lands End at Sears

Another version of formula #2
Straight Leg Jeans - GAP
White Ruffle T - Superstore
Brown Cardi - Banana Replubic
Blue pendant - Reitman's
Brown flats - Payless
Then I have some thoughts for bootcut jeans, but no pictures of that today.
I also made a few templates for skirts but that is also for another day.

This may seem over the top in terms of the amount of thought put into clothes. Maybe it is, that is my tendency. But I was hoping that by thinking things out I would save myself money (only buying what would work in my wardrobe) and time (in getting ready for school day mornings). It has worked in the budget department - so far - as I have bought jeans (but I really needed jeans, remember 6 years 3 babies?) and just a few tops. And when I was picking outfits, the possibilities were endless!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A new peice

I have fond memories of this coffee table at my Grandma and Grandpa B's house growing up. There is even a family legend (which is most likely true) of my Grandpa following us babies as we held onto the table and cruised around so he could polish off our grubby handprints!

My Mom has had this table in her living room for a while. Now it has come to live with us. I have no illusions of keeping it handprint free though and am planning on painting it light grey sometime soon.
It fills the space much better than the old ottoman. And it has great details...
I was going to post pictures of this sooner but I just cleared all the clean laundry off the couch today!

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Display

On a recent trip to my Mum's house I was very impressed with how she stores her earrings! Little candle holders have been transformed into jewelry display. Pottery Barn, are you paying attention? I think you should takes notes!

I am a very visual person, my mindset being "if I can't see it, then it doesn't exist". Maybe it was some issue when I was a baby but I never developed object permanence! That means if my jewelry is in a drawer, then I probably won't think to wear it.

Look how she has all her earrings out on her makeup table! They look beautiful and they are also very accessible. My kinda storage!

And now for the gratuitous cute baby shot:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Townhouse Powder Room

It seems with everything I hate while it is happening, I love to brag about how great it was once it's over. Renos are no exception. Maybe because the current reno though long and drawn out, has been relatively painless.

And since my current reno is still in the rough stages I am bringing you a flash from the past Before and After. This is the main floor powder room in all it's flower border- paintable textured wallpaper- hand stenciled glory. Yup, it was quite the work of art.
Ignore the potty and step stool.
I didn't take this pic to share with the world, it just worked out that way.

This whole place was fixed up quite affordably, and the powder room was no exception. It got the same laminate floor as the rest of the main floor.

After the wallpaper was carefully removed, which took a while, it got a coat of blue paint.

The mirror came down too, it was replaced by a mirror from my Grandma B which I painted white. I couldn't part with it so the mirror is now in my baby girl's room.

The door got painted, the door knob replaced (huge difference). The new light fixture over the sink isn't pictured here.

The counters got painted and held up very well for the 3 years we lived there.

Then we hung a new towel holder and some shelves left over from our last place and there ya go.


It doesn't look like much but it made a big difference at the time!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What the heck should I do with these?

Any ideas?

These are 2 full sized fair trade coffee sacks that I got for a dollar each last Christmas.
A ton of design blogs are featuring grain sack/burlap pillows but these are too scratchy for that.
I was thinking of covering the back of my Living Room bookcases with them, but I think it would get lost, they are pretty dark already.
Anywho, I like them but I am stumped as to how to make use of them. Any thoughts?