Monday, August 25, 2014

Paper Anniversary

Yesterday B & I celebrated one year of married life! They say your first year is the hardest... I didn't find that. However, we'd also been together almost 6 years, had a child, had purchased 2 homes and moved across the country before we said "I Do"...

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

I don't know how I got so lucky - to find this wonderful man who loves me unconditionally, supports me, laughs with me.... and let's me know when I'm being a little crazy or over the top. He is the best husband I could ever ask for, and also my best friend.

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

He's also the best father to our sweet girl. I love hearing her shout for Daddy every day that he comes home from work.

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

Happy Anniversary B! I love you with all of my heart. Here's to many more happy years together!

(What a great time to look back! I know I have a few new followers since last year - so to see our wedding & honeymoon photos, you can follow the links below!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Canadian Blog Home Tour

Last month I got an email from Shannon at AKA Design, asking if I would like to take part in a Canadian Blogger Home Tour. I jumped on the opportunity... and a few days later reality set in and I freaked out a little. I kept thinking "Our house is a mess and not really anything special"... then I told myself to breathe and thought about this realistically. We've lived here just over a year (15 months to be exact)... and I'd say that in that time, we actually have done a reasonable amount of work to make this home reflect who we are. 

Home's are always a work in progress and when we moved into this larger home from our tiny place in Toronto, we didn't have much furniture. We have been putting our home together on a single income, and I believe that we are proof that you can do a lot on a small budget. There is a lot more to do around here, but these are the rooms we've pulled together so far...

My Office

When we bought this home, I was so excited to finally have a space to turn into my own office/craft space. In our previous home the area was shared with our laundry room and it could get very crowded very quickly. 

The first thing we did in here was to paint the walls. I used the same two colours that were used in Halle's room (Pearl and Coral). The little bit of coral on the window wall was the perfect punch of colour but it's not too overwhelming in the small room since it's used sparingly, and the sheer curtains help to soften it a bit as well. I also replaced the light fixture with a paper lantern that I DIY'd , and we hung some pegboard on the wall to help with organization. My favourite part of the room though, is the huge desk B built for me that runs wall to wall. It's the perfect spot to spread out and craft, sew - whatever creative thing I desire. 


My Office - August 2014

My Office - August 2014My Office - August 2014

For my pegboard storage we bought some hooks for hanging my tags that I paint. I also used a small dowel on hooks to keep all of my ribbon organized. For my pens, pencils, etc I used plastic cups and punched two holes around the top edge. I then used zip ties to attach them to the pegboard. A perfect spot to keep everything easily accessible from my desk, and neatly organized. I also think it looks kind of pretty with the coral cups (that were left over from H's 2nd birthday party) offset in rows. Who doesn't enjoy some pretty organizational solutions?

My Office - Halle Handmade tags
{some of my newest tags for Halle Handmade}

The Dining Room

The dining room was originally meant to be two separate areas, with a seating area by the window and a smaller dining table located under that light fixture. When we bought the house we envisioned this area as one large dining room that could seat all of our friends, so that is what we did. 

Dining Room - August 2014

B built the table for around $100 (it's 12 feet long) and he also constructed the light fixture using pine boards. We ordered the wire from a company online and bought the mason jars from someone local. We bought the filament bulbs (plus some extra's) from Restoration Hardware during their lighting sale early in the year. To keep the jars from getting too hot we just drilled a few small holes into the snap lips. 

First Time Fancy DIY Dining Room Light Fixture

First Time Fancy DIY Dining Room Light Fixture

I found the small table at Salvation Army for $3, and it's perfect in here since the wood tone works with our dining table. Our large family photo I had printed when Shutterfly ran a "free" 16x20 deal and the frame is a simple IKEA Ribba frame. Artwork is one thing we need to add more of to our home - it's slow going, but we're getting there.

Dining Room - August 2014

On the table is a burlap runner that my Mom sewed for us, using burlap left over from our wedding tablecloths (she sewed those for us as well). We have so many more plans for this big room (like the 11 foot church pew we are working on for the opposite side of the table), a built in where the too small bookcase currently lives and maybe even a window seat. I'd also like to paint in here, but that is a much larger commitment as our house is pretty open concept.

The Kitchen

Since moving in, in May of 2013 we've done quite a few things in this room. We started by replacing the light over the kitchen sink, with a fantastic $7 find at Home Depot. Then around Christmas last year we made some bigger changes, including a new dishwasher (after the old one started to leak and flood the kitchen) and a complete makeover of our kitchen cabinets. Not only did we change the colour using Cabinet Transformations from Home Depot, but we also upgraded the hardware to something more substantial. It's not a forever solution, as down the road I think we'd love a full kitchen renovation, but this has made us very happy with the space for the moment.


Refinished Cabinets - January 2014

Refinished Cabinets - January 2014

Refinished Cabinets - January 2014

The room has come a long way, but I'd still like a new fixture over the table, a seating bench in the window area and some shelving in the bump out where my "A Nice Cup of Tea" print hangs.

Refinished Cabinets - January 2014Refinished Cabinets - January 2014

The Family Room

The family room was bland and boring when we bought the house. It hasn't been painted yet since it opens into our dining room, kitchen and main entry. We've done what we can with what we have though. 

Living Room Wide Angle

The pallet over the fireplace is one of my favourite pieces. It's a pallet that B got for free. He ripped it in half and attached two oars that we purchased on sale from Canadian Tire. We originally planned on using hinges to hang it so we could keep seasonal decor behind it in the "alcove", but it wouldn't fit properly. B ended up screwing it directly to the wall and it works perfectly. We're so happy to have that hole covered by something we love!

DIY Pallet in Living Room

Our gallery wall in this room holds a lot of meaning. B is from Massachusetts, hence the cutting board we have hung. The picture in the top right is a watercolour of the Spanish Steps, which I bought when I was in Rome in 2005. The print in the white frame below Massachusetts is of a couple in New York, a reminder of where we met and fell in love. The small white frame is an anniversary Eagle Scout badge B received - and of course our family photos always make us smile.

Living room gallery wall

The Master Bedroom

When we bought our home we thought it was great that everything was neutral and grey... then we lived here for a few months in this rather grey climate and realized it wasn't as wonderful as we thought. This past winter I finally painted our bedroom - choosing a dark moody blue, inspired by the room we stayed at when we were in Scotland for our honeymoon.


Master Bedroom

We're slowly adding artwork to the space. Family photos over the bed with an ampersand that my father made for us. The frame between our closet and our bathroom is a piece that I created for B for our 1st Anniversary (which is on Sunday, but I gifted it to him early). 

Master Bedroom - DIY ArtworkMaster Bedroom

Our most recent artwork addition is this large print that I took from the top of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh last September. This is my favourite photo from our honeymoon, and again I had it printed when Shutterfly ran a promo for a free 16x20 print. It's the perfect addition to our room, and the best reminder possible of our incredible honeymoon!

Master Bedroom Artwork


H's Bedroom


When we got the keys, H's bedroom was the very first one we painted. B spent a night sleeping on the floor here since we wanted it all painted before we moved in. The walls and closet doors were horrible and dirty. We took the room from a bubble gum pink nightmare to a bright and airy little girl's space.

Halle's Big Girl Room

The bedframe was a $6o score on craigslist. The shelves were left by the previous owners and we painted them coral (her closet doors are the same colour). The dresser is a DIY project that B and I tackled when she was a baby. I was thrilled to find the IKEA PS 2014 Duvet Cover for her bedroom, as it ties together the coral, teal and yellows that are scattered throughout the space. Her boxspring is covered in a coral fitted sheet from Target and her sheets are a plain white. 

Halle's room - DIY BookshelvesHalle's Room

Her bookshelves may be my favourite part of her room. My father made them for us when I was pregnant with her and they are perfect for her ever expanding book collection (I may need him to make her more).

Halle's Room

Halle's RoomHalle's Big Girl Room

Halle's Room

The gold plumes were a cheap, but not quick addition to make her room a little more fun. I handpainted each one last fall using metallic gold acrylic paint. Each plume needed two coats of paint and it took a while as I had to free hand them, but I think it was so worth it. Whenever people visit, she loves to show off her bedroom and announce "My Mommy painted these for me!". I love that she loves them so much!

Looking for some more fabulous interiors and inspiration? Make sure to check out all of the Canadian bloggers that are giving you a look at their home! If these teaser shots don't convince you, I don't know what will! Stop by and show them all a little love and be inspired! Links below!

Canadian Bloggers Home Tour

Monday August 18


Tuesday August 19


Wednesday August 20


Thursday August 21


Friday August 22

Monday, August 18, 2014

This Is Life

There has been so much silence this year, and I say it every time I post, but it is so true. I feel like I have been at odds about my blogging. I still love it and I love the inspiration that I get from other's blogs, however recently I have just enjoyed focused on being present each day to do things with Halle. To be out in the real world exploring and making memories with this little family.

Most recently, we took a little family "staycation" and enjoyed some time on Vancouver Island. We spent a few days in Nanaimo, broken up by a camping trip to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. One of the benefits of living in BC is being surrounded by so much natural beauty. There is always something to explore and discover, and we are so happy to just disconnect and be outside with Halle. Here are a few photos from our recent travels here on the West Coast...

We started off with a few days in Nanaimo, eating yummy food, exploring and playing.


Nanaimo Trip 2014

A sunset ferry ride to the Island, with a view of Mt. Baker.

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Nanaimo Trip 2014

H and I loved walking along the waterfront trail in Nanaimo. There were tons of boats and geese to look at, and the best part was watching all of the float planes landing and taking off.

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Once we left Nanaimo, we drove towards Victoria and on the way we stopped at a pretty fantastic winery. Tried a bunch of delicious wines and came home with a bottle as well.

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Our camping location was at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. A beautiful area, made even better by nearby China Beach. The beach was only a 1km hike from our campsite, and we visited a few times. The best was on our first evening there. We headed to the beach for a little while before the rest of our friends arrived. It was absolutely beautiful and we had the whole place to ourselves...

China Beach - August 2014

China Beach - August 2014China Beach - August 2014

China Beach - August 2014

China Beach - August 2014

We spent the next full day swimming, splashing and playing in the Sooke River.

Sooke River - August 2014Sooke River - August 2014

On Sunday, we spent the day hiking around and exploring at Botanical Beach. What an incredible place to be when the tide is out. All of the rock formations you can climb and walk around on, and the sea life you can spot in the little tide pools. We all loved it!

Botanical Beach 2014

Botanical Beach 2014

Botanical Beach 2014

Botanical Beach 2014

Botanical Beach 2014

Botanical Beach 2014Botanical Beach 2014

Botanical Beach 2014

After a few nights away camping, it was nice to return to a hotel in Nanaimo and take a hot shower again. Best.shower.EVER! The remainder of our time on the island was low key, lots of walking around and hitting the park and waterfront trail again. We also did a little fishing at a small pond, which was a lovely evening activity.

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Nanaimo Trip 2014

Have you been off exploring recently? Taken any trips far or near? I'd love to hear where you've been and tips on what to see and do! We're always on the look out for new travel destinations. Feel free to share any summer travel blog posts in the comment section!
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