Thursday, September 3, 2015

Around the Island - Tofino

This month will be my 30th birthday. Originally B and I discussed making this year a big European trip to mark my birthday, but with the arrival of Nolan in May, we won't be travelling without little one's again for quite some time. In lieu of a big adventure overseas, we opted for a big adventure, family style, right here on Vancouver Island.

Purchasing our Boler trailer back in May was a great decision, and we couldn't wait to get it out on the road for a big trip. Our adventure started mid-August in Tofino, a place on the top of my "to-visit" list for quite some time now. We stayed at Crystal Cove Beach Resort and loved every second of being outside, playing and exploring. Our first full day, B went out on a fishing trip so Halle and I entertained ourselves at the park and exploring the beaches on site...


Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015
{We loved that she could ride her bike around the resort & right down to the beaches}

Tofino - August 2015
{Looking back at the resort from the cove}

Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015
{The fog started to roll in just as we got to the beach - made for some beautiful pictures!}

Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015
{Halle had so much fun jumping and digging in the sand and eventually getting soaked in the ocean. I captured so many photos of her giggling and running in the ocean!}

Later in the afternoon when B got back from his trip we cleaned up and headed into Tofino for something to eat. We picked SoBo, a fabulous restaurant with fresh delicious meals and very kid friendly. Afterwards we popped into Tofino Brewing Co for some beer to drink around our campfire and then to Chocolate Tofino for a delicious treat!

Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015
{Drinks at SoBo while we waited on dinner - Tofino beer for B & Phillips Root Beer for me}

The next morning we enjoyed breakfast on our campsite and then B and Halle went off to play and explore together while I laid down with a napping Nolan (my time to rest and read). When they returned we headed back into Tofino for lunch at Wolf in the Fog and a walk around town. We walked down to the docks and popped into a few stores and an Art Gallery - coming home with art work for us and a kite for Halle... which we tried out back on the beach. 

Tofino - August 2015
{Breakfast on site with my babes - the free Starbucks coffee got us out of bed every morning!}

Tofino - August 2015
{Our little  set up - we're still working on figuring it all out}

Tofino - August 2015
{My delicious Lamb Gyro at Wolf in the Fog}

Tofino - August 2015Tofino - August 2015


Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015

Tofino - August 2015Tofino - August 2015
{Kite flying on the beach and a campfire - FINALLY}

We had such a great time in Tofino and were a little sad to leave, even with all of the adventures that we had ahead of us. Tofino was great, with some cooler temperatures and the foggy conditions that keep the place damp enough for campfires while everywhere else is under  a campfire ban! Come back tomorrow from some photos of our visits to Ucluelet and Stamp River in Port Alberni.

Has anyone else taken any exciting trips this summer? Anything planned for the fall or winter? 

Monday, August 24, 2015

2 Years!

Two years ago on this day. I said "I do" and made a vow to be honest, loyal and love this man every day for as long as I live.


View More: http://kthompsonphotography.pass.us/kerrybrett-sneak-peek

Today, I love him even more than I did on that day... or even when I first fell in love with him eight years ago.

Since we made our vows we have traveled to Scotland, San Diego, around Vancouver Island, Newport Rhode Island, and made a couple of trips back east to visit family and friends. We also purchased our Boler trailer so we can continue to travel and explore as a family.

We've added a little man to our family, and seeing B be a Dad to 2 makes my heart swell even more than I thought possible.

Tofino - August 2015


So, since we've just returned yesterday from 10 days travelling around Vancouver Island in our Boler and have a lot to catch up on, we'll grill some steaks for dinner tonight and crack a bottle of wine to toast to two wonderful years of marriage.


View More: http://kthompsonphotography.pass.us/kerrybrett-sneak-peek

Thank you for loving me the way you do B. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Time Fun!

Life gets in the way a lot, doesn't it? It seems like things get crazier every year and this year is no exception, with the addition of our newest family member. I feel like we are constantly on the go, but it's been so nice squeezing in so much family time, and making use of our new to us Boler travel trailer. Of course, the best part is getting to do everything with both of these munchkins!


Canada Day 2015
{Canada Day}

We embarked on our first camping trip in the Boler the weekend after Canada Day. Halle loves having the trailer to sleep in, but especially enjoyed that trip since she had two of her friends along to play with. Nolan did great sleeping in the trailer and really made it easy for us to camp with a 6 week old...

Ross Lake July 2015
{Swimming at Ross Lake}

Ross Lake July 2015Ross Lake July 2015
{Surrounded by beauty!}

Ross Lake July 2015


Ross Lake July 2015
{Just me and my babes}

Ross Lake July 2015
{Heading Home}

Camping aside, we've also been lucky to enjoy some time on our friends sailboat, which is moored right downtown. We enjoyed one Friday afternoon BBQ on the dock, followed by a boat ride, then headed out again another Saturday afternoon for a BBQ on the boat while we secured a prime spot to watch the Celebration of Lights from the water. 

Sailboating 2015
{Nolan's first boat ride... and he slept through it}

Sailboating 2015
{Halle taking in the view}

Sailboating 2015Sailboating 2015
{Heading back in - Halle had a chance to steer for a bit}

Celebration of lights 2015

Our second trip out, Nolan was more alert. He enjoyed the rocking of the boat and staring up at the mast. He did really well and promptly fell asleep just before the fireworks began...

Celebration of lights 2015
{Halle was thrilled by the Red Bull stunt plane}

Celebration of lights 2015

Celebration of lights 2015

Celebration of lights 2015

So far, it has definitely been a fun summer, full of family, friends and new adventures. There is still plenty more to come as well.

What kind of fun has everyone else been getting up to? Big trips? Small adventures? I'd love to hear more about your summers too!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Love Your Wood!

Last month I was contacted by the good people over at Rust-Oleum Canada, asking me to take part in their Love Your Wood challenge. The idea was that they sent me (and 7 other DIY bloggers) a box containing a wood stain, a clear coat, five mystery items (which ended up being a hook, a drawer pull, decorative stones, wire and rope) and a $75 gift card to help buy any additional items we needed. Each blogger had to refinish a piece of furniture or build something using wood, stain and three of the mystery items. If you follow me on Instagram then you've seen a few of my sneak peeks over the last little while. 


Love Your Wood

Love Your Wood

For my wood I picked tongue and groove cedar and some pine boards and the 3 mystery items that I picked to work with were the rope, hook and drawer pull (we bought extra hooks and an extra pull). As we worked we also ended up purchasing 6 brackets and an extra Varathane stain, in weather grey, to work with. 

Rust-Oleum had provided me with the One Coat Coverage Ultimate Wood Stain in golden pecan. The stain covered wonderfully in one coat, and it was the perfect colour to put over my lovely cedar! It really brought out the beauty of the wood!

Love Your Wood

Love Your Wood

Love Your Wood

Hello beautiful golden cedar! It was the colour of the stain that led me in the direction of this wood, as I knew that would pair nicely. Sure enough, we had a beautiful result after just one coat of stain.

Love Your Wood

To be completely honest, I was a tad nervous about the clear coat they sent. It was metallic accent in silver and I wasn't too sure what to expect. I ended up being pleasantly surprised, seeing that the clear coat just added a really beautiful shimmer to both of the stains I worked with. I just went with the recommended minimum of two coats, and it was perfect. I'm sure if you added another coat or two, it would bring a much more metallic finish to the piece. I could see it working great on a pink dresser in a little girl's room - would give it a great shimmer!

Moving on, with everything stained and protected, it was time to get into building. I was excited to get involved since B is usually the one doing all of the building. The best part, this wasn't just building something, we were also transforming a small corner of our home! The wall right by the front door to be exact...

Love Your WoodLove Your Wood

This too small table operated as a dumping ground for items when we walked in the door. When I started brainstorming for this challenge, a new functional front entrance space jumped out at me right away! It was time for ME to tackle it. We took everything away and I started by removing the baseboard (as you can tell, I was dressed appropriately for this part of the project).

Love Your Wood

Then things had to be nailed. I love using our nail gun attached to the compressor - makes me feel tough and useful. Unfortunately, no photos of this nail gun toting Mama. B actually attached some large pieces of scrap wood to the studs in the wall to make sure that when I nailed my wood in place it would be securely anchored to the wall.

The cedar was nailed in place first, followed by the side trim and then the top trim board. The top shelf first got nailed into our trim boards to make sure it would stay put, then I drilled pilot holes for the decorative brackets and finally screwed them in place. Our bench is secured in place using larger brackets, so again I drilled pilot holes and then secured them in place with screws. 

Love Your Wood

Our hooks went up in a very similar fashion, after being measured. I drilled pilot holes, then screwed them in place by hand. It took a lot longer, but I knew if I used the cordless screwdriver that I would strip the screws, so by hand it was. Once I was done B did go back over them with the screwdriver to make sure they were nice and tight.

By this point in installation Nolan had, had enough so I let B take over for the  installation of the rope and drawer pulls. The rope is attached to the corner of our pine trim and cedar using u-nails that he nailed into place. He then drilled a hole in the corner of the bench which he thread the rope through and nailed it into place as well. This was my favourite part of the project, I think the rope adds something to the bench, so it doesn't just look like it's floating off of the wall. The knobs I decided to use more decoratively (my initial idea was to have drawers under the bench, but that was too time consuming and complicated). B drilled holes only slightly larger than the back of the pulls and then pushed them into place.  

Love Your Wood

I honestly love how it turned out more than I even thought I would. It will be a much more functional space for us as we come in the front door to hang jackets and bags, and I may hunt out some trays for under the bench for our shoes to dry in the coming wet months (oh how I hope the rain will one day return). It's really perfect timing as Halle begins preschool next month too! I can already see her tiny pink backpack hanging here every day when she arrives home! It's a much more beautiful space overall, and I'm glad our top shelf can provide a safe spot for our artwork to sit (away from little hands), and we finally have a home to display that piece of driftwood B brought back from the island and carved up!

Now for some awesome before and after, side by side comparison shots!

Love Your WoodLove Your Wood


Love Your WoodLove Your Wood

Now for the fun part! There were 7 other talented bloggers taking part so you need to check out what everyone else came up with (I'm excited to see what was made as well). Then - VOTE! As much as I want you to vote for me (please, please, please vote for me!) you need to pick your favourite of the 8 projects. There's $2,500 on the line, and if I win, I'd like to renovate one of our bathrooms - preferably the master bath!

Voting starts today and ends on August 31st at 11:59PM (EST). You can place a vote once per day over on the Helping You Finish Facebook page - so make sure to visit daily to support your favourite project! Thanks so much for checking out my project! HAPPY VOTING and may the best blogger win!!
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