Tuesday, August 28, 2012

End of Summer

Still incredibly busy. 

I can't wait until my kids are old enough so I can say something about summer being relaxing.  I love that I have active, energetic, non-stop, on-the go boys.  But I do get a bit jealous when someone tells me how they have to take the book out of their kid's hands in order to get them up off the couch. 

Never mind that my kids can't read yet.  I need that book.

So here's what's been keeping us busy lately.

#2 Along For The Ride

I needed an eye exam to order more contact lenses.  When you have three little kids, going to get an eye exam is like a mini-vacation.  Except you feel guilty the whole time.

Because I don't wish the potential chaos of my three kids during the weekend on my worst enemy, much less my husband, I always offer to take either #1 or #2 with me.  Can't take both because of the fighting.  So I pick the one I'm least frustrated with at the moment.  Today's winner was Henry. 

#1 Shoe Shopping

I wish I would have taken a picture of the boys' shoes before I threw them out.  Both Geox.  Both shredded.  Anyone who saw Henry's right shoe could have called Children's Protective Services on me for neglect.  But they loved those shoes.  I had to sneak them into the trash.

Back to school means new shoes for the boys.  One pair for outdoors, one pair for indoors during winter.  Jake is the most particular when it comes to choosing something -anything- so I took him shoe shopping for both boys.  That and he was the least frustrating at the time.

It took him over 35 minutes to choose these two pairs of shoes.  I can't write the story about that 35 minutes because he just looks so happy in this picture.  Why ruin it?

Post Drills

One of the best memories my kids will have from growing up will be the weekend mornings when daddy took them to the local public school and they did drills.  Push ups, burpees, sprints, long jumps, monkey bars, balance beam, "how long can you hang," "climb this," and my recent favorite - "scale the fence."

I'm not going to tell you about my most recent trip to the park when the ball went over the enormous chain link fence and suddenly Henry was on the other side of it.  Instead I'll tell you how amazed people are when they see Jake run and how impressed Henry's gymnastics camp counselors were this summer.

AGO With Friends

We are also saying goodbye to an amazing family we met in the Spring.  A new boy joined Jake's kindergarten class in May.  I met his mother in the hallway the next day after drop off.  We've been friends ever since. 

But they live in Spain and were only here temporarily through the U of T.  Her three children and my three boys have enjoyed spending so much time together this summer.  They leave on Saturday, so we are trying to make every last minute count.  We will miss them terribly.


Speaking of terrible, that's what I think of my kitchen faucet.  We got a box in the mail from Toronto Hydro.  It had a low-flow shower head, bathroom faucet aerators and a low-flow kitchen faucet head. 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I forgot all about that. 

I stripped the kitchen faucet when I tried to put the new aerator on it.  So now when you turn it on, sprays of water come out sideways.  With an impending kitchen renovation, I'm trying to suck it up.  But if I see a pull-down kitchen faucet go on sale soon, you know what my next post will be.

So, here's to the start of school and slowing....down........maybe?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Love It or Do We List It?

KIDDING!  We love our house.  All we ever talk about is how we're never going to sell.  We're leaving feet first!

We love the size.  We love the location.  We love the parking pad, neighbors, schools, proximity to transit, walkability...you name it, we love it.  But loving our house brings up all kinds of discussions that can be just as costly or scary as moving.

Like changing it.

*-get ready for a wordy post-*

Since we don't plan on moving, we daydream about making our house more functional for our family.  Having lived here for 9 years, we've come up with many ideas.  But we've also come up with same idea again and again.  Which is where we're at today.

And it all comes down to this:

Our Dining Room Right Now

As much as it pains me to say it, we don't need a dining room.  I love the idea of it.  I really want to want it.  But in our house, it's a repeat.  We eat in the kitchen.  Always.

Instead of a place to eat, our dining room is used: 

1) as a dumping ground
2) as the way to get to the kitchen or the way to get to the living room

So, since square footage is a premium in this house, we've decided we need to replace this space with something that works better for us.

We're looking at reconfiguring the first floor.


Of course, this idea requires a lot of thought and a money tree. 

Our touchstone with the basement renovation was to spend our money on the right things.  We didn't want to regret NOT investing in something, but always gave our decisions a second thought based on what the budget could handle...or based on other more expensive "wants" we were considering.  We will be doing the same thing this time around.

Our first decision based on that touchstone was to consult a professional in the design and layout of the whole floor.

Source Here

Source Here

I am lucky enough to call the person that designed the first floor of this house my friend.  She's a mom at my kids' school, so we've gotten to know each other at morning drop off over the last two years.  In fact, we went for mani-pedi's, birthday drinks and a road trip to Buffalo before I even knew what she did in the "real world." 

She stopped by last week to discuss some ideas about our main floor.  Steve & I loved every one.  Though terrifying to think we would be drastically changing the house we love so much, it's overwhelmingly exciting to imagine the possibilities.

There is a lot of prep work to do, and tons of planning, re-planning and planning again before any work takes place.  But I'm excited to document it all and share the process as we go.

Hold on for the ride!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kids in the Kitchen

Remember when I added some Spain to the kitchen?


I still had to hang actual frames instead of looking at bad placeholders over dinner.  Well, I did that before our July-long summer vacation, but forgot to post about it.

So here's the post:


Fast forward to today when I picked up some pictures for those bad boys.  Bad as in, I'm sick of looking at the inserts with "IKEA RIBBA" every day.

Black's Photo was having a big 8x10's for $1 special this weekend, so I got a few black & white favorites developed. 

Boys At The Beach

I know, 5 pictures and George only made one.  It's the breaks.  I have a gazillion pictures of Jake & Henry and only a million of George so far.  Good thing Black's has that 8x10 promotion every so often, so I can rotate with more of the littlest man.

Ready for the best part?

During (with fort under table)

I'm lovin' it.  Yes, the frames look a little float-y, only because I still have to figure out the pillow situation on the banquette.  But once those arrive, it will feel more grounded. 

I'm also thinking about painting the white frames a red/brown color from the Sevilla poster to give it a little more unity.  When I look at this picture, the walls seem very separate.  Hmmm...

Almost there...or are we...???  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Little Lovin' in the Living Room

Remember when I was contemplating pillows for the living room?

Well, here they are...

I'm in love!!!  And I owe it all to Misty at Milk and Cookies.  I emailed and asked her some really dumb questions about pillows...like how many, what sizes, types of inserts, complimentary fabrics, suggestions with prints, every bad question that I should know the answer to could think of.  And she responded with such wonderful, helpful hints.

Decorating does not come easy to me...I almost prefer a hand tool...and I find pillows especially intimidating.  Yes, soft, fluffy, patterned things scare me.  But Misty made it simple.  And beautiful!

Ready for a before and after?  I know you are.


Ahh, yes, a little washed out.  That's the mid-morning sun in my east-facing living room for ya.  But you get the idea.  The pop of yellow against the grey rug & curtains is eye candy.

My favorite part is the warm, fuzzy feeling I get every time I walk past the living room.  Or into it.  Or through it. 

I may or may not randomly get up and meander around the living room these days...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In Honor...

...of my parents being married 41 years today.

My Dad's Famous Martini

Thank you for meeting at the Mai Kai.
Thank you for raising 3 kids on Acredale Road.
Thank you for supporting us through school (me some more than others).
Thank you for being the best grandparents any grandkid could want.

Congratulations on 41 years together. 

I hope tonight's martini is the best one yet.  xoxo

George Lost Something

We left for vacation with a baby boy that looked like this:

Then this happened:

1st Haircut

And he turned into this:

Little Man!

Which is great, because now I get to take pictures that look like this:


Monday, August 13, 2012

NB Living Room: Before & After

Sorry it took so long to put this post together.  All good things take time.  Sorta like a living room I know...

So, let's get to it!

Here's the entry to the living room:



What you don't see anymore:  ceiling tiles, old wall paint, tired curtains, battered exterior door.

What you do see now:  crown moulding, sand textured ceiling, new wall color, new window coverings, darker stained trim, new outlet/switch cover plates, newly painted registers, some updated decor.


Another angle:


Other side of the room:


And here's the view leaving the living room:


What do you think?  My parents love it.  I just keep having flashbacks to that god-awful ceiling.  Remember this?

Peeling Primer

I'm trying not to.  Instead, I'm loving this.

Sand Textured

If you stand directly below and look up, squinting your eyes, while referencing my "before" pictures...you can probably make out where the patching begins and ends.  Otherwise, it pretty much blends in with the texture.  Plus, that beautiful satin crown moulding takes your eye right off the ceiling.  So don't even try.

Here are my other faves in the room:

Ceiling Tile Mess
100% Better
Newly Painted Register
All Registers the Same Color
New Lampshade
Pretty Couch

Even my sister's dog, Sadie, approves. 

That would normally wrap up a before and after for my project. 

Except, work continued after I left....

New carpet.  Someone got inspired.

The best part of the new carpet is the hallway.  The old carpet was coming apart at the seams.  Literally.

No Pulling Away

Here are some other "afters" of the whole room.

Living Room Entry
Opposite Bay Window
TV/Bay Window Corner

Even though I haven't stepped foot on the carpet, I love it.  Even the installers complimented my mom on how well the carpet goes with the wall color (yippee!). 

I'm just so happy with the transformation of the room.  My parents call nightly to tell me how much they adore it.  Mostly to inform me of the new no-shoes-not-even-house-slippers policy they've now instated. 

So, that's it for the living room.  We'll see what the next extended vacation to my homeland brings...

**A big thank you to Rick Sedmak of Custom Painting & Decorating for helping install the crown moulding - this project wouldn't have happened without you!!**

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Basement Bathroom Update

I'm behind!  I have to update the trip to Green Bay and the big reveal of my parent's livingroom.  But it is summer...and we are still BUSY! 

While I prep those posts, here's a quick one about a big cross off my to-do list.

Notice anything wrong with this bathroom? 

If you said a cluttered sink, you are right.  Still no towel bar.  No paper towel holder. 

Ok, it's been 10 months since the basement renovation was finally done.  Why is it that the finishing touches can take that long to complete?

Maybe because all towel bars in Canada are 18' or 24" long and the vanity I need to mount it to is 17" deep.  Fail.

In comes homedepot.com (not .ca - I tried) with the towel bar of my dreams.  9" long?  Squared chrome finishings?  Mine.  

Of course, the matching toilet paper holder would be on back order for months.

But 4th of July meant pick up in New Berlin.  And yesterday meant installation. 

Ready?  (Sorry for the bad brown-y discoloration of a grey bathroom)


Yes, I'm in love.

The best part?  You don't see the towel or the TP when you walk towards the bathroom anymore!!

(Color is better with the iphone)


Come closer.  See them yet?


Oh, there they are.

And they look good....


Again in brown-y??


It's a new basement bathroom all over again.