Friday, September 30, 2011

Run for the Cure giveaway!

I want to send a MASSIVE thank you out to the lovely readers who have been so generous and kind by sponsoring my run this weekend. I know times are tight for many of us and that even a few dollars can be a squeeze so I thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of all the Breast Cancer survivors out there.

I have the full cabinet crew in here today finalizing all our cabinetry so I've been eagerly rifling through the massive pile of accessories and items in an attempt to get organized and ready to move everything back in. I looked to my right and saw a huge pile ready to go off for donation when it occurred to me that I should use it towards supporting the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation.

SOOOOO here is my proposition! For every donation of $5 or more you can receive an entry into a draw for these fabulous prizes. For every donation of $10 or more you get 3 entries. If you were so kind as to donate before this post you have already received double the entries.

What are you trying to win, you ask? I will be doing 2 drawings for 2 separate prizes. Of those 2 winners the person who donated more will have the first choice as to which prize they would prefer. If they both happened to donate the same amount we will have to do a coin toss (which I will vlog for verification).

The first prize is a whack of accessories and goodies that I've collected.

The first item in this package is a mail/key sorter

Including 2 enamel tins

A stack of antique sheet music.

A handmade antique dish towel (anthropologie's got nothing on the real thing!)

And a funky antique thing-y that I use to hold letters, photos and post cards.

The second prize is a closet cleanout item that never made it on the blog. A 100% authentic prada belt bag. Great for us mom's who usually don't have a free hand to tote a purse.

Sadly, I think I missed my calling as a Price is Right model.

It is fabulous for travelling because there is no outer zipper, so it keeps all your credit cards and ID safe.

So there ya have it! 2 awesome prizes and a pretty good chance at winning (right now the odds are about 1 in 2). All you have to do is donate before tomorrow night. We will announce the 2 winners on Monday along with our report on how the run went down!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paint perfect

I know that greys can be such a toughie when picking a wall color. Some are cold, some are too purple, some are beautiful under the flourescent lights at the store (and not at home!), and some are.... well, perfect!

You know I love me some white, but I think white makes a much more dramatic impact when there is a little contrast and grey is usually that color for me. It is soft, gentle and neutral. But since our family room only gets East light (aka morning light) which can be cool, specially in winter months, I wanted a warm toned, beige based grey. I am so glad that I went with sample cans first in here and lived with all of them for 2 weeks to get a feel for what I really wanted. Right off the bat 3 of them just didn't look like I envisioned them (1, 3, 4). I love those colors, just not for here. So it came down to dark and dramatic No.2 and simple No.5.

In the end No.5 was my choice, which you can see in the entire room just a couple posts below. It is definitely the perfect warm beige for this room, and at night with the new recessed lighting is really is cozy and inviting. But I am definitely looking for the perfect place/thing to go to town with No.2 on because that color is amazing, just a little dark for us up here in the North where the sun is known to set at like 3 in the winter.

In the event you have been hunting for the perfect grey and like any of the colors above here are all the details:

No.1 is CIL Snowfield
No. 2 is Martha Stewart Bedford Gray
No. 3 is CIL Touch of Grey
No. 4 is CIL Whiter Shade
No. 5 is CIL Barley Beige

AND please please please don't forget you still have 2 days to make a donation for my Run for the Cure. Just think, if every follower donated $1 we would be making such an amazing contribution!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A very important message

my grandma, a survivor

I need your help! As you are probably already aware October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sean, Wren and I are participating in this year's RUN FOR THE CURE on Sunday, running for all the moms, sisters and daughters out there fighting for their lives. I am sure you already know someone in your life who has been affected by breast cancer, and if you don't statistics tell us that at some point you will. My own grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and I will be running this Sunday for a cure so that we can hopefully put an end to this horrible disease.

If you can help in any way shape or form please pop over to my Run for the Cure page and make a donation. There is no donation too small and every. single. dollar makes a difference (I know the donate links look like big amounts but please just click OTHER amount to donate whatever you are comfortable with. Of course, I will be sharing photos of our progress at the run this Sunday which should be a bit of spectacle since none of us are runners in any sense of the word.

All the donations are Tax deductible and tax receipts are emailed out within 30 minutes of donation.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for taking the time to support us in this walk to end breast cancer!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Putting our life back together

We're getting there folks! It finally feels like home again, no longer a family of 3 imposing on a construction site.

Of course we are reminded constantly of the loose ends that will be tied up this week when the cabinetry is finished on Thursday. But life actually is starting to resemble normalcy in all areas aside from cooking/eating.

So much has changed even in the last couple days since I took these photos. The crown is up along the ceiling now and all of our trim work is done in the family room. Sean still has 1 light to fit as you can see, and I have a small repair to make on the fireplace thanks to our clumsy electrician chipping off a chunk of marble with his ladder.

The one thing that will be a bit of a wait is the edging along the step into the family room. We have to order a minimum of 400 feet to get the color and wood to match ours and so we are waiting until we finish the stairs and have room in the garage again to finish all that up. But I am REALLY proud of all the floors in here. Sean's back has been horrible this summer and I represented girl power to my best ability by single handedly laying all our floors in the kitchen (just one of the many things that had taken my time away from blogging!). I am pretty proud of them if I do say so myself!

One of my favorite finds this summer was actually not even found by me! My sister was driving over one afternoon when she scouted this old dresser at a garage sale. We went back and even though it was missing the center drawer I decided I would try to find something to do with it since it was only $15.

To me $15 is a screaming deal but for most people I am sure you couldn't have paid them to take this thing because it was truly in sad shape

I did various layers of white and cream paint to give it some interest and dimension, scratched it up a little to play up the already obvious defects and threw on new Anthropologie knobs.

I scratched my head for about 2 days after bringing home trying to decide what I should do with it when I took the dimensions and realized it would be perfect for the TV.

new knobs and original escutcheons (lock cover).

I cut and glued some beadboard into the drawer opening and had Sean drill me a hole for all the cords.

Original casters always make my heart melt, and those curvy legs are so dramatic!

I still have A LOT of work left to get this room fully furnished and accessorized but I am soooo happy to be in here in time for fall so we can get the fireplace up and running on those cool fall evenings.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hi Guys!!

I just wanted to stop by real quick with the great news that our cabinets should be arriving in the next day or so!!! Since my last post I've been feverishly working on completing the family room (I have a fun TV console project I'll be sharing in the next day or two). When you think of renos you never include all the time dedicated to things like switching out plugs and switches, touching up baseboards, painting and the list seems to go on and on. Anytime a free moment arises I whip out my supplies and get back to work! Anyways, I've been making a really strong push to have everything finished this weekend (although we will still be waiting on counters) so that I can get started with planning our first ever massive Halloween bash! I can't wait to share my plans and ideas for all that, but it feels like life is on hold in a sense until all this kitchen snafu is cleared up.

Besides scraping caulking out from under my nails, I've also been spending some time hanging with my sis this week. She had surgery on Tuesday to correct her broken nose and she has been home bound since then. We plan on maybe doing an outting to Michael's this weekend to load up on party supplies and I was thinking of doing a vlog post of our finds!

Stay happy my friends!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dining Room and Wren mini-makeovers

I am such a proud mama this week! Wren announced to the world last Monday that she was going to go get her hair cut, which was news to me since she barely lets me wash it. On Wednesday, our first day back home, I got us all loaded up into the car and drove over to a local kids salon. I decided not to book an actual appointment, thinking it would be better for her to just get a feel for the whole thing first before I commit to it specially since I knew she was having a somewhat diva-ish day (the fact she insisted on toting her favorite purple purse during the whole ride there was another dead giveaway). But as soon as we walked through the doors and she spied several kids sitting in cars while getting their hair cuts she was totally game and the salon was nice enough to squeeze us in. Fast forward 10 minutes later when they are putting the smock on her and I was wishing we would have drove straight on to the park! She wanted nothing to do with anyone touching her hair, but with a few bribes, a sucker and a promise of a new coloring book she caved.

And I am so happy she did! There isn't a whole lot of hair on that smart little head yet, but I think it needed a little style and she is beyond smitten with it now along with letting me wash it and style it. So much so that she has been hijacking all my attempts at taking blog photos in order to model for me.

And speaking of makeovers, our dining room was due for one. I was so dead tired of the situation around here that I felt I needed to jazz something/anything up. You may or may not remember our dining room of last spring (if you are wondering were my pink table is, I'm saving it for an upcoming birthday party *wink*). Fairly muted, a few pops of black with linen drapes and slipcovers.

While I still have a massive metal rack serving as my pantry along the wall formerly situated with a dresser/buffet, I spiffied up the room by pulling it together with the living room a tad more. In the living room we have all white slipcovers so I went back to my white Ikea dining chairs for a little more modern feel. I also switched back to our OLD pedestal table because I think I am digging round tables just a tad more these days.

Once the replacement cabinets arrive and all the dust FINALLY settles I look forward to using my $10 HomeSense urn for holding fresh fruit. Until then it looks more like an architectural element.

The only things I actually purchased for our mini-makeover were these two trees ($39.99 each). I had a bit of a blonde moment and threw out the buckets they came in on trash day before I remembered to check what kind they were. All I know is the garden associate assured me they would be fine in low light so I hope they live for at least a year or two! I like how they add a lushness to the room and add some height and scale at the same time.

My model hijacking another shot!

Does the change in seasons have you itching to make a few small changes of your own?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Kitchen Chronicles: As it stands now...

I am hoping it will only look like this for another week and a half at the most, but like everything else I am sure it will be delayed in some way.

The installers have left the 2 offending cabinets that needed to be reordered in place and the longer I am living like this the more I hear myself saying "it's not that bad, we should just leave them". But I know in the long run I will be happy I waited a few extra weeks for new cabinets that aren't slightly warped (which makes them impossible to level correctly apparently).

Looking in from the dining room now!! Before I only saw ugly pantry doors. Now it is bright and open.

As you probably noticed, the sink is not centered in the window. This was our BIG point of contention. Do you center the sink in your window or in your cabinets? We obviously wanted as much countertop space and storage as possible so centering both cabinets and sink wasn't going to happen. We decided to center it with the cabinets and then run our lighting off that new center point as well. And once the counters are in the corner can be filled with cannisters and such that visually balance it.

We are soooooo happy we splurged with the windows. It was a little extra but we also brought our windows lower by 3.5 inches. You don't really take into account how close to the house you can't see when you were standing there before. With a 2 year old I want to be able to see every inch of yard if she is out there by herself while I'm in the kitchen and from 24 inches away (the depth of the cabinets) I could only see about 20 feet from the house and farther until now. It does make it difficult to decide on new trim though, so we are waiting until the counters are in to do moulding.

(and no! we aren't keeping that hideous light in the nook. We are just waiting to put in our hanging fixtures.)

The pantry cabinet on the left is the other offending warped cabinet. We LOVE that instead of simple shelves there are big wood drawers that pull out so we won't lose stuff in the back!

In fact, besides a couple warped cabinets we have been blown away with the quality of Martha's cabinets. We thought we ordered the most basic of basic cabinets, splurging on finishing touches instead, but it seems even her basic cabinets are really nice.

This cabinet beside the stove surprised us by also having pull out wood shelving.

And the insides are nice, solid wood.

(if any of the cabinets look funny in the photos it is the cellophane wrap we've left on them for now. It freaked me out when I first saw it because I thought the doors were all funky LOL)

(one of) The last frontiers: painting the walls. I've settled on the color on the far far right. Barley Beige by CIL. We wanted to go with something other than white to off set all the white cabinets and the board and batten in the family room. So I don't think it will darken up the room too much, just give us some contrast.

Our dirtiest, most time consuming project in this whole reno (besides removing floor tiles) has been the pine ceiling, but we are the most thrilled by this feature. We like how it sits quietly up there, making the room feel a little more homey and adding texture. I will do a fully detailed post on the whole process after everything is done (and the ceiling trim is done) for anyone interested.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back to the Daily Grind

Hi Friends!

I am happy to say we are all doing great and have been a little recharged after a little getaway last week, but more on that later. I have had a couple emails and comments asking how we like our new cabinets and what is going on with this kitchen of ours, and I would love to have a great response, but the only thing I can say is that I am tired to death over the whole thing. Sean, my Dad and I had been working furiously up until August 29th to have absolutely everything done before the cabinet installers arrived and we managed to get all of it done with the exception of painting the walls and installing baseboards. Pretty good if you ask me! It took many late nights and we relied on my parents a lot as they so graciously invited us to move in for a couple weeks during the worst of it all. I kind of felt like Jekyl and Hyde because by day Sean would go to work and Wren and I would go out to amuse ourselves at the park.

Or the splash zone.

And by night we were dedicated construction workers. We were so excited to feel like we crossed the finish line as the installers started unwrapping and placing the cabinets in the kitchen but our hearts dropped when they informed us that they were missing a few items and there were multiple cabinets that were damaged during transportation that would need to be reordered (it just so happened to include one next to the fridge and another next to the stove so we have been instructed not to bring either of those appliances in yet!!!). It felt like a bit of a blow, specially to those of us in the room who had been living without a refridgerator. So that caused us to cancel the counter top install and now we are waiting on the rush order for our replacement cabinets...

But as they say, when the going gets tough the tough get going. And so go we did, just this past week/weekend.

Wren at the airport. She is mesmerized by airplanes right now so it was very thrilling for her.

Where did we go? To a wonderful family gathering in Vancouver to celebrate my grandmother's 75th birthday. It was the best few days, catching up with all my cousins and watching all our kids play.

We were excited to get a pool side room, and Wren was excited to steal my sunglasses.

Wren and her grandma.

In the few days we were there it felt like we hit all our favorite spots and managed to lounge by the pool non-stop. Wren with her mom and Aunt Torri in Steveston.

I have become completely accustomed to having bent and crooked sunglasses. Wren does not play too gentle with them.

Our favorite times were at the pool. Everyday we would eat our breakfast and then lay by the pool for a few hours while the kids all played, or until the adults started up a who-can-flip-into-the-pool-the-best contest.

Wren choreographing me into some sort of pin-wheel routine. And I just noticed my cousin Taylor's crazy face. Thanks Tay!

My Grandma's big birthday dinner was such a beautiful night. My Aunt Sherry did a massive collage of family photos and all my grandma's friends and family were there to celebrate. A BIG hello to Sandra and Diane, two of my grandma's friends who are probably reading this!

Of course we had to take Wren to the Kids Market on Granville Island. You can barely see her and her Poppa driving the tug boat.

Sean bought us bird seed to feed the geese, but after one nearly attacked me I decided to watch from a distance. Wren with her Daddy and Nanny.

We just got back on Tuesday and I already feel recharged despite the fact that we have been cleaning like crazy. It seems that the dust will get everywhere during a reno, despite the amount of time and energy spent closing off the work area. I have made a couple fun changes to the dining room now that our life is getting somewhat closer to back to normal that I can't wait to share!
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