Saturday, January 18, 2014


So here's the thing.
I'm starting back at my full-time teaching job on Monday. And I still have a baby. He's turning 1 in a couple of weeks.

What that means is that this blog is going to take a back-burner. 
It might be a permanent thing, it might not. I haven't decided yet. What I know right now is that I want to focus on my job, my family, my other relationships, and doing the other things I love before this blog. So, I won't be writing anymore, at least for a while. 

That being said, I have enjoyed writing here the past three years. It has been a great way to keep people up-to-date with what I'm up to. If you still want to keep up-to-date with me, I'll still be on Facebook. Or better yet, let's hang out in real person! 


Friday, January 3, 2014

A few DIY blunders

I don't know about you, but whenever Joe and I have holidays together, it usually means tackling a home project or two while we have the time. Unfortunately, this holiday, our projects weren't completely successful. (Don't worry...there are some successes among the mistakes!)

Let me tell you about the first blunder. Although the colours of the house were mostly neutrals when we moved in, both Joe and I felt that we needed to freshen them up and make them more "us". I vowed in this house NOT to paint everything beige and grey. 

When it came to our living/dining room (the biggest room in the house, which was painted a yellowy-beige colour), my biggest challenge was to find a paint that matched the original, oak trim in the windows, and that wasn't one of those light neutrals (even though in my heart I knew that would probably be best).

The "before" colour

So, I spent a lot of time going over inspiration photos online and looking at paint samples before I decided to go with a light blue-green called "Amusement Park" by Beauti-tone. We had already decided to paint the trim on the doors and baseboards white and started with that. Then we started painting. It became clear almost immediately that the colour was NOT what I had envisioned. It was coming out a light, frosty blue which came across as quite cold... definitely not the warm look I was going for. But, we kept going in hopes that once the original dark yellowy-beige colour was covered it would look right. Well... it didn't! It still looks quite cold looking.

Somehow...this photo makes it look how I wanted it to look!
Which brings me to my second blunder. Although I did spend too much a lot of time choosing the colour for the living/dining room, what I didn't consider was the rest of the main floor, or how the blue-green would look next to them. Not only was the colour not at all what I had envisioned, but it looked even worse next to the hallway and kitchen. Oh man. Unfortunately I was in such a painting frenzy that I forgot to take photo evidence of the mis-matchedness (although you can see a little bit in the photo above. And I'm too lazy to go photograph the kitchen mismatch.)

I thought that maybe painting the trim in the hallway would brighten things up and at least make the blue a little bit better.

Hallway before
Hallway before
When we bought our home, I always envisioned painting the trimwork. I know... painting original, almost 100 year old trim would seem like a HUGE no-no to a lot of people. In fact, I heard so many strong opinions against painting it that I doubted myself. However, I love the look of white trim (and really love the look of big, old trim that is painted), so I decided "this is my house, I want to live here a long time...I'm gonna do what I want!" And... well, I am quite happy with how the trim looks painted. Don't worry, that wasn't one of the blunders. (And I think I'll do a how-to post on painting the trim soon).
Hallway after
Hallway after
We also decided to take out the large, oak wardrobe that we had since it made the entry feel so much smaller and darker. And it was becoming a catch-all. So, we moved it to the back playroom to see if we can make it work. I'll give more details about our plans in my next post.

Fortunately, painting the trim also helped the blue look better next to the hallway. So there, one little success. (Although I'm still thinking about repainting the blue... we'll see)

Now let me tell you about the last blunder. I had always been up in the air about whether or not to paint the window frames white in the living/dining room. Quite frankly, the two larger windows are in beautiful condition. I mean, really, even for someone who doesn't love the natural trim look, they are so nice.

You can kind of see the trim quality in this terrible photo.
However, the smaller, stained glass window's frame is in not-so-good shape. It is full of nail-holes and has a lot of random paint splotches, and is generally just bad looking. So, while we were putting wood-filler in the trimwork of the hallway, I told Joe to do the same with the small window in hopes that it would look a little less ratty.

Well, apparently once you put on the wood filler, you are supposed to paint or stain it to match the trim and it is basically impossible to wipe away the excess filler. Basically... the wood filler made a hot mess of the trim, and we may need to paint. I may try one more time to get the excess off before doing so, but it is a little frustrating. Although, maybe it solved the painting debate... paint it is! (Or is it?)
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Henry at 11 months

Henry is 11 months old! The craziest thing about that is how close he is to turning one.
He was a little sad during this months' photo shoot, but he smiled like a trooper!


We had a fun-filled holiday month. Henry got to play in the snow, toboggan, and was spoiled with lots of gifts. He also got his first bad cold, which was less fun. He grew a few new teeth and became much more daring when walking around on furniture. It has been another busy month.

Enjoy some photos from this month!


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone!

As I have done the past 2 years (here and here), I am going to write my top 10 highlights of 2013! It is always fun to reflect on the past year and think about all of the exciting things that have happened. To be honest, every highlight this year could have been about Henry. He sure has changed everything! And most of this things we have done this year have been Henry-centred. However, I am sure I can think up some more varied highlights. Here goes!

10. Having an amazing class: Last January I packed up my things and left teaching for my maternity leave. I had very mixed emotions leaving halfway through the year since I had such a great connection with my students. Before I left, my amazing class threw me a surprise going away party (yes, completely planned and implemented by 19 grade 2's). It was one of the most special things anyone has ever done for me.

9. Going Car-Free: This was definitely a highlight. We feel good about saving money, lessening our environmental impact, and being more active since we need to walk everywhere!

8. Enjoying downtown: Now that we live downtown, we have really been enjoying downtown. We are close to the library, the museum, the market, many of our favourite restaurants, parks, etc. It has been great taking advantage of what we have right here.

7. An entire year vegan: We have been vegan for all of 2013. Pretty nifty! And I still feel great about it.

6. Enjoying our pool: We moved away from our house with a pool this summer. That doesn't mean we didn't take full advantage before we left! It was a lot of fun spending hot summer days in our backyard by the pool.

5. Family hikes: Hiking will probably always be a highlight since I love it so much. This year, we got to hike as a family of 3!

4. Cottage visits: I was lucky enough to make it up to my Mum and her husband's cottage 3 times this year! Our whole family even made it up for Thanksgiving. It was so much fun.

3. Family time: If I have learned one thing this year, it is that babies bring families together! Joe and I have spent a lot of time with our families this year, which has been great. My brother, Mike, even came home this past summer after living away for a few years. It has been awesome having him home!

2. Moving downtown! This was a huge one for us. It was a big decision to move again, but we are so glad we did. We are so happy here!

1. Meeting Henry. Our lives have changed forever and we love him!

2013 was such a special year for me becoming a Mum. I'm looking forward to 2014 and all that it will bring!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Fun!

I don't know about you, but for us this has been quite the busy Christmas season! We just finished a 5-day stretch of family gatherings. It has been busy but a lot of fun! Henry sure was spoiled by his aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends this year. We truly are lucky to have so many great people in our lives.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Organic Comparison

It’s Joe here for a special guest post!
Meghan and I have been eating Vegan or as I like to say, a whole food plant-based diet, for almost exactly a year. We’ve done lots of research into food and health over the year and have most recently been interested in organic foods. Some of the benefits of organic foods are that they are free of GMOs, pesticides, chemicals, and are farmed in a natural and sustainable way. They also tend to be more nutritious, even though they may be somewhat smaller than conventionally farmed produce.
All of the dried beans and grains that we get from our local health food store are organic but Meg and I were looking for a source for fruits and vegetables. Most grocery stores do carry organic produce but the selections tend to be limited, pricy, and often imported. Meg’s friend, Kate told us about Grand River Organics (GRO), a company that does organic produce deliveries from various local farms. GRO offers a wide variety of items delivered in two different sizes, a bag of 8-10 items for $26 or a box of 12-14 items for $38. There are options for all local produce or a combination of local and imported goods. You can just place an order and get the random, expected items for the week or customize your order and choose specific fruit and veg. We decided on a custom order, as we needed a heaping amount of kale for our morning smoothies! We paid $41 and this is what we got:

We were impressed with the freshness of the produce but a little disappointed that some of it did come in plastic wrap and containers, which we really try hard to avoid. We knew that this one box wouldn’t be enough for us for the week, but in general, we did find the amount of certain items to be small. On the plus side, our pick-up location was less than two blocks away from our house!
We did enjoy our delivery but thought that we should also try and see what was available at the Kitchener Market. We had never really sought out organics but just visited our regular local farmers. As we discovered, there were quite a few organic options from a number of stands. Most of the produce was local, but there were also some non-local options. We decided to see what we could get using the same $40 budget and here was our haul:

It was clear that we did get a little more bang for our buck at the market. It wasn’t quite as close as our GRO delivery but we do enjoy our trek to market every Saturday anyway. I do appreciate what GRO does, especially for those who may not be so close to a farmer’s market. We would order again from GRO, most likely if we’re away for a weekend and know that we won’t be heading to market. That’s another good feature of this service, there is no weekly commitment, you can order as you please. As it stands for now, we will use GRO occasionally and continue to search for organics at the market!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Christmas Cards

Since it is Henry's first Christmas, I couldn't resist sending out some Christmas cards this year. I decided to try taking some photos myself for the card, and I'm really happy with how they turned out!

After taking the photos, I played around on PicMonkey and made the cards. I made 5 different versions in total. Since I couldn't decide on my favourite, I printed some of each. It was a simple, fun project and will be a great memory! Here are a few examples of the cards. Enjoy!