Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cozy Christmas

We have finished the decorating in our house, and I must say it is feeling pretty cozy!
We also got a great deal on a teak coffee table to match our teak hutch in our sitting room. It really makes the room feel a lot more usable. I'm starting to get really excited for the holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kitchen update!

As usual, Joe and I have been busy around the house!

A couple of weekends ago, we finally got around to painting the kitchen.
I had originally been putting this off, since we weren't sure whether or not we would be renovating the kitchen. I looked into cabinet refacing, and the $9,000+ estimate was a little steep for my liking.
So, since that has been put on the back-burner for now, Joe convinced me to paint the walls and help spruce it up! It was definitely a good idea, since the kitchen looks much warmer and more welcoming now.
Let me remind you what the kitchen originally looked like: The same, baby yellow that used to fill our house. (Thankfully, painting the kitchen walls means our entire main floor has been repainted! What a relief!)

And here it is now! We chose a warm brown colour. We had a similar colour in our old house, and I never got sick of it. So, here it is again!

I even think it might make the ugly cabinets a little more bearable...

On top of repainting, our cooktop decided to stop working.
I have to admit...I wasn't that upset. The who-knows-how-old, stainless steel cooktop was the only stainless steel appliance in our kitchen. Everything else is black. I saw it as an opportunity to make the kitchen look nicer! The problem was that the old cooktop is a Jenn-Air, down draft. That means that it basically needs to be replaced by a Jenn-Air, down draft, unless we want to add in a hood vent of some kind. So, I went on Kijiji and found a black cook top that was the same dimensions as our current one. Perfect! We picked it up for a mere $150 (compared to about $1000 new) and had it installed the next day (by an electrician that we also found through Kijiji).


I have to admit... it would have been worth the $220 (including installation) even if the other one didn't break, so I'm pretty pleased!

See how it matches our kitchen?!

There you have it. I'll leave you with a before and after. It's still not the kitchen of my dreams, but it looks MUCH better!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bathroom Makeover!

It is finished at last!
After a lot of elbow grease, our upstairs bathroom is done!

In case you forget what it looked like before, here it was in all of it's glory:

The previous owner of our house was a tiler by trade... yet he still chose this colour combo? I also question the choice of the blue and maroon light fixture? So special. To put it simply, it was a mismatched mess.

As you can see, there was a very unsightly sliding door over the tub. We chose to remove this and add a fun curtain instead.

We also decided to take down this shallow cupboard, behind which were holes right into the tile. We patched them up with regular drywall mud... so far it seems to have worked ok!

Before we started, I read online that it is important to thoroughly scrub tile using TSP before painting. That way there will be no residue between the tile and the paint, which makes the paint stick much better (and more permanently).

We started by taking down the light fixture, mirror and cabinet. Then, I painted on 2 coats of all-surface primer. It was extremely tedious and took way longer than expected. I thought it would be a one weekend job start to finish, but after one weekend I only had the primer down! It was a little frustrating.

Once the primer had thoroughly dried, it was time to paint! I did 2 coats of bathroom paint in a neutral, warm white. It looks much better!

My original plan was to buy a new light fixture for above the mirror. However, when I went looking there didn't seem to be any that would fit perfectly. So, I decided that instead of replacing the whole light fixture, I would simply change the glass covers. I got these two for about $16 at Lowe's. A much cheaper option and I'm happy with how it turned out! I'm also loving how the bathroom looks without the awkward cupboard. I will need to get some artwork to put up in it's place.

I found this shower curtain at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I really wanted the floor-to-ceiling look, so I found a regular curtain I liked and actually ordered the longer version online. I love the colours and pattern! Such a nice change from the ugly sliding doors. And it will be much easier to bathe a baby in that tub now :) 

All in all, I am very happy with how it turned out. I still may one day paint the vanity, but that will have to wait for another day!

And let me show a Before and After, so you get the full effect :)



As for the price break down:

Paint & Primer: About $80
Shower curtain, rod and hooks: About $100
New glass light covers: $16

Total: $196

So, for less than $200, it feels like we have a whole new bathroom! Love it. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Crafting!

This past weekend, my Mum, my two sisters and I got together for a Christmas Crafting Girl's Weekend! 

Surprisingly... we actually got some Christmas crafts made. I'm especially excited about this since this is the first year Joe and I will be hosting my family for Christmas. I'm also having a friends' Christmas party, so I want to make sure my house feels festive!

Before the weekend, we got all of our ideas for crafting together on Pinterest.
The first craft we tried out was this one:

Instructions can be found here.

It was surprisingly easy... and with some tinsel from the dollar store and some cereal boxes, we made these bad boys! My sister and I may attempt to make a few more if time permits.

Next, we decided to try this one.


Luckily, my Mum's husband, Rick, has a massive and ridiculously well-stocked shop, so we had no problem preparing the wood. It turned out ok...not really my style and not sure how I'll hang it. We'll see!

Next, I had originally liked this idea, found here.


But when I started actually thinking about it... I remembered that Joe has a dislike for all word-art in homes. This may not work so well! So, I decided to give a silhouette of a reindeer a shot! I googled and sketched a picture... and used a dollar store canvas and dollar store paint. Not bad for about $3!

It may need another coat of gold paint, but I think it's a nice addition to my mantle...which will be more decorated this weekend :) 

Finally, my Mum had the great idea to make a greenery "swag" for our front doors. It was a last minute greenery-collecting-in-a-forest and throwing-it-all-together craft, but might be my favourite! With some more dollar store red berries, twist-ties and ribbon, it turned out pretty fancy on my front door! It is dark all the time these days, so these night shots will have to do.

I can't believe it is December this Saturday! I'm getting pretty excited for the upcoming holidays!
Hopefully this weekend I'll get around to posting our bathroom update!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks!

I am 30 weeks today. Only 10 more to go!

I think I'm officially in panic mode... 10 weeks doesn't seem like a long time any more! And there is so much to do.

Angle #1

Angle #2
Answers to commonly asked questions:

1. How are you feeling? Tired... heavy... but excited! And anxious. 

2. Are you sleeping? Sometimes yes. Sometimes not so much. Which adds to the tired.

3. Do you have names picked? Yes! But they are a surprise!

Other cool facts:
- The baby weighs over 3 pounds right now. Whoa!
- If it were born now, it would probably survive and be completely OK.
- I can sometimes feel a knee or elbow sticking out from my belly! Wierd!!
- My grade 2 girls are obsessed with my belly. It gets more attention than I do some days. I'll be sad to say goodbye to my little munchkins when baby is born :(

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Few Sneak Peaks

I've been so busy lately with working on various projects around the house that I haven't had time to stop and blog about any of them! (Not to mention that none have them have quite been completed :)

He are a few ideas of what we've been up to around here.

1. Fall garden clean up: I thought this would take a solid day to do. Apparently it needed to be spread over 3 Sundays... We have a lot of gardens. And I'm pretty low energy these days :) Joe was definitely a big help with those as my energy wavered...( photo!)

2. Nursery Prep: we have the crib, the change table and a glider/rocker. We even have a few newborn hand-me-downs from my sis. That being said, the room still looks pretty barren and boring. It's proving hard to decorate before knowing the sex of the baby. Some things will have to wait :)

3. Painting the bathroom tile: I finally got around to painting the bathroom tile. Again, I thought it would be a weekend job.... but there were a lot more little patch-ups needing done than I expected. Plus I'm working at preggo speed. So, I got the priming done so far. I'll definitely be doing a more detailed post about this when things are more finished!

4. Starting to decorate for Christmas! This will be our first year hosting Christmas for my family, plus a party with friends. I'm really looking forward to it!

On a completely unrelated note, I have been OBSESSED with this gingery kale and tofu recipe from my Simply in Season cookbook. We've made it 3 weeks in a row and I am already planning the next batch :) (It's even better with avocado...but what isn't?!)

More updates should be coming in the near future!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Today I am 27 weeks. Only 13 to go!

And here is a picture of Joe. Creepy!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Soups and Stews

Fall is my favourite season. I LOVE the cooler weather and the fall colours.
I'll let these pictures of our weekend hike speak for themselves. Could it be any more beautiful?!

Another one of my favourite things about fall is that it is cold enough to justify making soups and stews. Which I love.

I have an amazing cookbook called "Simply in Season", which has been a go-to for me when it comes to recipes. It's great because it has it's recipes laid out by seasonal fruits and veggies and herbs, so it's easy to find recipes for our Saturday market purchases.

One soup we made this weekend from this cookbook was the butternut bisque (a creamy butternut squash soup). We ate it with some delicious City Café Bakery bread. It was yummy!

Butternut Bisque
We've also made the vegetarian chili recipe twice this month, altering the veggies and beans each time to mix it up. Scrumptious! Another recipe we enjoyed was the stuffed acorn squash using turkey sausage. It was also quite delicious, and very filling! I recommend this cookbook to everyone... I have enjoyed so many of it's great recipes. Let me know if you would like more suggestions :)

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Another recipe, which I found online here, was a beef stew. This recipe was a-mazing. Although we altered it by letting it simmer for a full 2 hours to make the beef even more tender! It was so good I started eating it before I could take a picture...

It has been yummy! I would love to hear about any of your favourite fall soups and stews!