Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Our 2015 To-Do List

With 2014 behind us, and our list reviewed, it's time for us to set our household goals for this new year. For those who don't follow me on Instagram, we found out on Christmas Day that we are welcoming a baby boy come May and are so excited! This means a lot of our to-do list will be geared towards preparing for his arrival. Here's what we have on our list...

The Front Entry:


The Stairs: Just after Christmas we both got tired of trying to maintain the carpet on the stairs. It was just dirty and dingy and hard to keep the dog fur off of it, as it seems to be where they enjoy hanging out. It made the house smell like dogs, and it was just time for it to go. B has ripped off the carpet and we are in the process of pulling staples so we can refinish them. We hope to get the risers painted white, the treads stained and some trim added to the wall side of the stairs. Hopefully this will be done sooner rather than later. 

Paint: Just after ripping up the carpet we started priming this hallway. I've found it too dark for too long down there with not much natural light, dark floors and grey walls. We plan to paint the walls the same colour as the rec room and can't wait to share this transformation.

Storage: B and I have agreed we'd like to add a seating bench with storage, and some hooks on the wall for hanging jackets. This will go on the wall by the front door close to my office. We think it will be a much better place for Halle to sit while putting on her shoes so the dogs are constantly running past her. Hopefully we can find time to do this.

The Rec Room:


Finish Painting: We completed so much painting down there between the summer and early December. All of the walls were done and we also transformed one wall into a magnetic chalk wall for Halle that she loves drawing on! We left one nook unpainted since we originally planned to fill it with some built in bookshelves for storage. However, when we rearranged the rec room to our new desired layout we discovered that nook is the perfect play area for Halle. This means in the near future we will need to move her toys out and finish painting that area.

Artwork: We have tons of artwork we need/want to hang down here - many pieces need some new frames so we're on the hunt for some affordable frames. Hopefully we can have these all hung before my parents come to stay with us for little man's arrival.

The Guest Room:

Downstairs Guest Room - October 8

All of It: I don't even know where to start with the breakdown of what we need to do in here. We put this original guest room together in October of 2013 when we were welcoming some extra guests for Thanksgiving. We put it together quickly, using what we had and it was functional. However, now that we'll be moving the upstairs guest bed down here this room needs to be cleared out and we'll start all over decorating it and making it more welcoming and comfortable for the many guests that we expect with our new baby coming!

The Master Bedroom:

Master Bedroom

Storage: I'm moving this forward from last year, as I'd like to find a long low dresser for this room before baby arrives in May. It will give us more storage space in our room which will hopefully allow us to eliminate the two dressers that are in there now (one in our bedroom, one in our closet). We may use one of the current dressers in the baby's room, or we may get him a new one - we'll see what happens.

Lighting: Maybe we'll finally address the light fixture in our room after living here for two years (Yup - it will be two years since we moved in come this May!). Fingers are crossed for this!

The Nursery:


All of It: Much like the downstairs guest room, we have a whole room to work with - essentially starting from scratch. I've found some inspiration shots and B and I have begun our hunt to find pieces we love for a good price! I can't wait to start pulling his room together and sharing it with you! So much to do and I'm so excited about it!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Look Back at our 2014 To-Do List

Well, another year has come and gone and it's a little crazy for me to think that 2015 has arrived. We have a lot to accomplish this coming year (especially before our new little one arrives in May), but before we get to that I need to take a look back at what we accomplished from our 2014 to-do list.

Exterior: (1/2 Completed)

Front - without number
(at the start of 2014)

Details: Our original plan was to build a railing between the two posts at the front of the house in front of the window. Instead, B ended up making us a lovely porch swing, which we love! Once it was built and put in place, we learned that there would not be enough room to put in a railing as well. As nice as it would look to have one, we prefer to have a nice place to sit, and watch Halle play in the front yard! So we'll consider this item checked off our list!

Landscaping: We has big plans to fix up the front garden and fill in our lawn and come up with some really great ideas for this area to spruce it up... LAST SPRING! Unfortunately, this item was never crossed off of our list as much as we would have liked it to. B did work on getting rid of some of the moss in our grass, to allow for the grass to grow in thicker, but maybe this year we'll finally get around to landscaping!

The Dining Room: (4/5 Completed)

Our DIY Dining Table
(At the start of 2014)

Seating: When we started 2014, all we had were two end chairs (as seen in the above photo). We lucked out and in late January I found 4 pretty green x-back chairs and later in the summer we scored an 11 foot church pew off of Craigslist. We completely transformed the pew into a beautiful piece for the opposite side of our dining table, and we have officially found all of the seating we need for our dining room! We're loving how it all came together, and are happy this was checked off of our list!

Lighting: The light fixture actually came together a lot more quickly than we both expected. B put it together in a couple of weeks back in February as we prepared to host a dinner party for Brett's birthday. We always get compliments on it when people visit and the way it lights up the table always gives the perfect ambiance for dining. Check, check, check!!

Storage: We had talked a lot about building something in where our IKEA bookcase stood. Unfortunately, with so many other projects going on, this fell to the back burner. We considered it low priority since there was already a bookcase there providing some storage for us. We did however, add a small table to one corner which gave us some room for a picture frame, some house plants and lots of my books and magazines. It was a small step, but for $3 it was exactly what we needed to add a little bit of storage in our dining room. At the end of the day, I consider this step a success!
Paint: While we are getting tired of the grey in this space... and the WHOLE house, we never got around to painting the dining room as it will be a big commitment. Painting the dining room will also involve painting the family room, kitchen and upstairs hallway. For now, this has actually been moved off of our list.

Artwork: When we rang in 2014, we had no artwork hanging in the dining room. We made some baby steps (not all are permanent) by hanging a mirror, our Boston OrkPoster and a large family photo. We have some plans to add some new art in this year, hopefully this year, but for now this one is complete.

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014
(at the end of 2014)

The Master Bedroom: (2/4 Completed)

Master Bedroom - August 2013
(at the start of 2014)

Bedding: We crossed this one off right at the start of 2014. We took advantage of the white sale at The Bay in early January. We got some lovely Gluckstein sheets for a great price and they ACTUALLY fit our bed. We love them and the steel blue colour we picked is perfect with the next item we crossed off.

Paint: This was another item I took care of early on. I started painting in February and didn't finish until March (that's real life with a 2.5 year old... who is now 3.5). I picked a dark blue called "Wrought Iron" by Martha Stewart and I'm glad I did this one when I did as the Martha Stewart line has since been discontinued at Home Depot. 

Storage: I really wanted to replace our tall IKEA dresser last year. I knew something longer and lower would fill the far wall much better, but we never got around to it. Again, this ended up low on our list as we already had a dresser that was doing it's job.

Lighting: This one makes me laugh since it's been on our list since we bought the house and we STILL have not found something we like for this room. In time we'll replace that light fixture!

Master Bedroom
(at the end of 2014)

Halle's Room: (2/4 Completed)

Handpainted Plumes
(at the start of 2014)

Toy Storage: We made some small progress on this front, but of course the amount of toys she had in there seemed to multiply - so I'm not sure how helpful our storage additions were. I picked up some small stacking boxes for a steal, and we also got some cute giraffe hooks for her wall on clearance at Target. We did make a nice change in her closet, giving us plenty of more storage room in there and that was the biggest progress we made by far!

Big Girl Bed: We had planned to build Halle a big girl bed, but it never happened. Instead we got a good deal on a bed frame for her on Craigslist. It was perfect and we got her some plain white sheets from Target, and a pretty duvet cover that matches her room from IKEA. She loves her big girl bed... and it definitely makes her seem all grown up. It happened just in time too, as she is so excited to give her old crib to her baby!

Curtains: I was worried that the curtains were too short and wanted to add some fabric to the bottoms of the curtains. Now I'm starting to think that we should just drop the curtain rod a little bit and the problem should be solved. We'll take care of this one soon!

Lighting: We still have replaced the fan on her ceiling, though we still have plans to do so. We just havent' found something we love. I'm just hoping that we can find one for her while we are making up the nursery... I'd like her to still feel special and do something for her as we are preparing for the baby.

Halle's Big Girl Room

Halle's RoomHalle's Big Girl Room
(at the end of 2014)

The Kitchen: (1/2 Completed)

(though the cupboards were almost done at the start of 2014, this was the photo I shared from one of our first walk throughs of the house)

Storage: We had hoped to get a seating bench into our window nook last year, but it just never happened. Over time the conversation of storage in here at evolved into talks of putting shelves into the other nook. It didn't happen last year, but we hope to do it this year and create a new home for my cake plates, stand mixer and growing collection of cookbooks.

Lighting: We never expected this to happen, but during a trip across the border in the fall we came across and inexpensive light fixture and made it over with a little spray paint in one night. We love the look of it in the kitchen, and I'm so happy we did cross this off our list. 

The Backyard: (1/1 Completed)

(at the start of 2014)

Gardens: We wanted to make some big changes out here, including garden beds for vegetables and expanding one of the gardens over by out covered patio. We managed to get some fabulous gardens that supplied us with tons of tasty fruits and veggies that we ate during the summer, but also froze to enjoy over the winter months. B was also successful at creating a run for the dogs along the side of the house which solved the problem of the dogs digging holes and destroying our grass.

Bonus - Sandbox and start of playhouse: Though we didn't put on our list B was successful at building a sandbox for Halle and starting construction on a playhouse for her. Hopefully the playhouse will be completed for her to enjoy this summer!

The Back Deck: (0/1 Completed)


(at the start of 2014)

Seating: We had hoped to build some outdoor seating using pallets this past year, but it just never happened. Instead, B used those pallets to create a small herb garden for us, and also build some planter boxes that we had tomato plants in. We didn't increase our seating, but utilized the space on our big deck and the tomato plants also offered us some more privacy on the deck as the summer wore on!

There were some bonus projects we completed this year, including a makeover to our downstairs rec room, and some work we've begun in our hallway. Both of these should come up on our 2015 to-do list, more as items to finish up! I can't wait to share what we've done in these two areas!

Overall, I'm happy that we finished up what we did. 11/19 isn't too bad since we had a busy year getting outdoors, exploring, travelling and having visitors here as well! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

By now, most of our family and friends should have received our Christmas cards, so I figured it was as good a time as any to share this year's family photos and send a little Christmas cheer to those of you who are still reading along with my mostly silent blog!

We had our photos taken by B's cousin back in September when we were visiting family in Massachusetts. You can find her website here. She had the perfect location suggestion and nothing makes it easier to get in front of the camera than knowing your photographer! If I have any readers in the Boston area, I highly recommend Amy! Seriously, just look at these smiling happy photos!

Family Photos 2014

Family Photos 2014

Family Photos 2014

What makes these photos even more special to me, is more than likely these will be our final photos as a family of three! We are expecting a little bundle come May and we are all so thrilled that our family is FINALLY growing. It took us longer to get here than we hoped, but it all seems to work out perfectly and Halle is anxious to be a big sister! She asks almost daily, "is the baby coming home today Mama?". 

Family Photos 2014

Family Photos 2014

Family Photos 2014

So that's our big news, and a look at our family for 2014. I can't believe Halle is getting so big... and that soon there will be another tiny one around here. Life is crazy and full, and I am so incredibly happy - for real. Of course, new baby also means relocating our upstairs guest bedroom downstairs - which means a whole new room makeover down there, as well as some nursery decorating in the future! I can't wait to get on top of all of it... and maybe I'll even blog about it along the way?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mission Seating Complete!

Well hello blog land. It has been a while, and I've honestly been a little torn on whether I miss blogging on not. I miss the community, but I feel like I'm still connected to a lot of those people on other social media networks. I don't miss the pressure I used to feel to constantly be putting together quality, inspirational content. It's not always easy to come up with something that is worth blogging about these days. I am sure a lot of you can relate to that! Honestly, today I was supposed to be taking part in a really awesome Canadian Bloggers Christmas Home Tour, but we just weren't in a place to share anything really fabulous and inspirational from around here, and now I feel like I've let down a bunch of really awesome bloggers. For that I feel awful.

Today though, I FINALLY have something worth sharing and there is more coming soon! We're finally crossing some big projects off of our list, which is great because we are adding some more big projects to our list for the new year. For now, I'm excited to share our completed church pew in our dining room!

Back in May we picked up this 11 foot church pew off of Craigslist for $100...

Dining Room Pew - Before

We spent a lot of time in the spring and summer just trying to strip and sand all of that glossy black paint off. It was truly a labour of love...

Dining Room Pew - Stripping

Church Pew

Church PewChurch Pew

Church Pew

Church Pew

It was SO MUCH work, but we both agree now that it was totally worth it. All of that stripping and sanding revealed some gorgeous cedar on the seat back. The wood of the seat wasn't quite as nice, but still had a neat grain to it that we really liked. After some discussion we decided to clear coat the back and seat. There is still some paint stuck between the boards, and a lot of variation in the colour of the cedar since some spots needed more sanding than others, but it looks so great.

Completed Pew - Nov 22, 2014

Since these wood tones differ from our dining table, we decided to break up the colour a bit and paint the arms and legs of the pew. I picked out a variety of warm white paint chips from the Home Depot and we started by comparing the chips to our head chairs in the dining room. We were able to narrow it down to 4 colours, and once we had all of the cedar stained on the bench we compared our colours again. Our final choice was called "Clean Canvas" from the Home Decorators collection and it is perfect!

Completed Pew - Nov 22, 2014

Completed Pew - Nov 22, 2014

B finished it last week and a friend came by on Friday to help him move it into the house (and up the stairs... a little awkward, but they were troopers). We'll be using it this Thursday to host our annual Thanksgiving dinner, just as we had hoped!

Completed Pew - Nov 22, 2014

Completed Pew - Nov 22, 2014

I honestly cannot believe this is the same piece of furniture that we brought home. It adds so much to our space, though we are far from finished in the dining room. At least for now we are ready to host our friends on Thursday!

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

At Halle's request we ate our pancakes at the table on Saturday morning, and all agreed that this room is exactly how we imagined it! Such a great space for a large table for gathering family and friends... or just enjoying a yummy Saturday breakfast together!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Four New Beauties

Welcome September! My favourite month of the entire year - one that brings the feeling of a new start, the beginning of fall (my favourite season as of late) and of course my birthday. And this September 1st, I have one more reason to love this month. Today Farrow & Ball is launching 4 new stunning wallpapers, inspired by Japanese craftsmanship.

Using their own paints and unique production methods, Farrow & Ball have created the perfect papers to bring pattern, colour and texture into your home. When the samples arrived on my doorstep late last week, I was instantly won over by the quality of the paper and the texture of the designs. Though they offer big bold patterns and colours, I found myself more drawn to the subtle tones and finer designs.

Yukotori (meaning birds flying away in a group) is, without a doubt, the design that I am most drawn to. The pattern is simple and delicate, and could bring a sense of calm into any room, no matter which colourway you choose.


My guest room walls are screaming to be covered in this gorgeousness! 

If the birds aren't really your thing, Amime is the other subtle pattern offered in this collection. This design is taken from a Japanese pen and ink drawing and the name means the space between netting.


Moving towards the bolder patterns, Aranami will bring the rolling waves into any room you choose. What I adore the most about this paper is how the waves rise up to meet one another brings so much depth to the paper. I'd love to see this in a dining room (mine to be exact) over a chair rail with a solid colour below.


Last, but certainly not least, Shouchikubai is what I believe to be the showstopper (specifically in the metallic gold colour). The paper features flowers, bamboo and trees in hexagonal frames, all of which bring a very obvious Japanese feel to this design, which is taken from a metallic print found in Kyoto.


As much as I found these wallpapers gorgeous when I saw the first photos from Farrow & Ball, nothing can compare to seeing and touching these works of art. The quality and craftsmanship that Farrow & Ball is known for, is present in each of them and I'm certainly itching to wallpaper all over this place!

Which one is your favourite, and where would you love to use it in your home? Don't forget, they are all available for purchase as of today. Visit their website here to find your nearest stockist!

While this post is brought to you by Farrow & Ball all opinions are my own! I would never, ever share something that I didn't absolutely love with my readers!

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"...

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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