Vintage Highchair Find and More About Floor Refinishing


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ever since we made our first adoption plans I've been on the hunt for an old-school wooden highchair. To refinish of course. In white. With distressing. And cuteness.

Basically I've been looking for a highchair that will look more like a piece of furniture and less like a neon hunk of plastic in the dining room. If-ya-know-what-I-mean.

So I've seen a few here and there over the past few years but none of 'em came home with me. Some of them had trays that didn't work. Some of them didn't have trays at all (um, where does the food go?!?), and some of them were too ornate for my taste. 

I hit up Kijiiji (kind of like Craigslist) the other day and actually found a vintage highchair listed locally. I drove right over to have a look, bartered the guy down 20 bones from his asking price (yay, me!), and lugged it home.

It needs a makeover ba-ad. Hunter green cushion? Come on now.

But,  it does have good bones. And a tray. Woohoo!

So here it is pre-makeover:

I guess that means I'll have to dust off my sewing machine to make a new cushion, too. Eek! I'm scared!


In floor refinishing news, the floor guy came over on Monday to look at the condition of our floors, take some measurements, and give us a final quote.

We said yes!!!

Because we are oh-so-crazy, we are getting this done from December 12th - December 16th. That means we will need to empty three bedrooms and put all of the furniture, clothes, and miscellaneous contents of those rooms into our living room / dining room A WEEK before Christmas.  

I'm telling myself that this is totally do-able. I'm also telling myself that it will be a fun little adventure.

Okay I'm lying to myself. I'm freaking out. 

But it'll totally be worth it, right? 




Drooling Over Doors and a Floor Quote


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lowe's had a sale on their interior doors last week. We didn't end up making any purchases yet.But we did go in to drool and to get some ideas for the basement. I think we're going to end up using two different door styles, even though I usually like to have everything pretty consistent.

You see, we have a storage room with one window and a laundry room with two windows. We want to let as much natural light as possible into the living space down there. So we've pretty much decided to use frosted french doors on those two rooms. 

They would kind of look like this:

We will also need a few other doors for a bedroom, a bathroom, and the furnace room. Since we already used shaker-style bifold doors on the main floor closets, we are thinking we might also use 5-panel shaker doors for the other rooms in the basement (and eventually to replace some plain doors upstairs as well).

The solid doors would look like this:

Even though they're different, I think they'd both look good down there. What do you think? A cute door is a cute door, right?


I finally made the big call to a local floor refinisher for a quote on getting our hardwood floors refinished. I've wanted this for sooooooooooooo long. Even though it's a chunk of change (we're talking 4-digits, oy) I know it will be so worth it once they're done. This guy has been recommended by several friends so now we just have to decide if we're gonna go for it. We also have to decide when to do it. He gave us two possible dates before Christmas and will need about five days to finish the job since they will be doing three bedrooms, a hallway, and a staircase. The dates he gave are: December 5th or December 12th. Uh, that's coming up kinda quick. The fun part will be camping out on a mattress in the living room and having no shower or tub to use during the work week. What a fun little adventure to look forward to!!! Any tips on that one?


Ugly Kitchen Quick Fix: Paint


Sunday, November 20, 2011

I gave you a peek at our ugly kitchen last week. We've left it as is since we moved in with the intent that it would get a full overhaul within the first few years.

Hmmm. It's been more than a few years. Five actually. With no kitchen reno in sight.

I finally had enough of the crusty walls and trim and decided to put in a little effort to spruce them up with some leftover paint that we had on hand. 

Even though I already know that paint is the easiest (and usually the cheapest) way to transform a room, I still left this easy quick fix for way too long. 

First I painted the walls with some leftover 1/2 tint Gray Owl paint from the living room / dining room.

Today I finished painting the window and door trim, baseboards, and pantry door with some leftover Simply White.

Now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to do this. Silly, silly me.

Here's how it's looking now. Still ugly, but not as bad.

Except now that the walls and trim are nicely painted, the cupboards look extra dingy and chipped.

Hmmm, do I see more painting in my future???

Maybe a light fixture?

Maybe a window treatment?

Maybe new cabinet hardware?

Uh oh. ;)

A Small but Exciting Adoption Update


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's always fun when I click on over to a 'decor' blog and get to read a tidbit or two about the person's real life, so I thought I'd share a bit of good news from ours.

I mentioned before that my hubs and I decided to start our family through adoption a very long 2 years and 10 months ago. We had a rocky start considering that 10 days after we submitted our completed file and adoption fees, our local adoption agency declared bankruptcy. It was a horrible experience and one that made our adoption wait so much longer.

After the bankruptcy, our file was given an estimated number on the wait list. Since we were one of the last families to sign on with the agency before it went under, our number was waaaaaaaay down at the bottom of the list: #222.

Our small, but exciting news is that our wait list number is finally in the double digits. The last referral put us at.....................

Wooooohoooooooooooooo! And since some families ahead of us have different age and gender requests, that number could technically be a bit less. I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel!!!!

Our other good news is that as soon as our documents are updated (they all expire after two years), our file will finally be sent over to Ethiopia. Since we were so far down on the list, it's been sitting in a filing cabinet in Ontario this whole time. Once I get the confirmation that our file has been sent overseas you can bet I'll be doing my own awkward version of the Carlton dance. :)

Let's hope our next update will be soon!

Tiny Bedroom Progress


Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm heading upstairs to show you some progress we've made on the tiny bedroom. Yup, that's what we call it. It's a cute little 9.5x11 room that's had a few improvements since we moved in.

Here's how the room looked on move-in day:

Ahhhh, pink carpet with blue walls and trim. So dreamy! Not. 

One of the first things we did was to rip out the pink carpeting to reveal the hardwood floors underneath.

Then we sanded all the walls and trim, patched and sanded all the cracks, and painted. The colour is called Old Prairie by Benjamin Moore and it's the same colour as the stripes used in the stripey bedroom. The colour is actually a lot subtler in person but the photos are trying to trick you. It's a lovely light greyish-green colour that looks green in some light, grey in other light, and cream in others. It's purty.

I painted out the ceiling, window trim, baseboards, doors, and the interior of the closet in Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

Alex changed all of the painted electrical outlets and light switch thingies to new ones.

I spraypainted the metal heating grates with white to blend in with the baseboards.

And last, I installed my favourite roller shades of all time on both windows for a bit of privacy since this room faces the street.

If you're wondering where this post is coming from since we're all over the place over here, blogging about renovating the basement, repainting the main floor, building the deck, decorating the breakfast room, etc. It's because I've finally convinced Alex that it's time to refinish the hardwood floors on the whole second level.

I've been giving, selling, and tossing old furniture and decor items in an attempt to declutter and empty out the rooms. Alex will have to move everything from the second floor down to the main floor while the floors are being refinished. My goal is to call and get some estimates from two recommended companies this week so the floors can hopefully be done by Christmas. 

What!?!?! We're not DIY-ing the floor refinishing ourselves, you ask? Nope. We were gonna, but we just have too much on our plates right now. Alex is working full tilt on the basement and I have a million and one projects to finish before we host Christmas dinner and my cousin's wedding shower here in the new year. 

Plus, workers can get our floors done and the whole place spotless in like, two days. Totally worth it if you ask me. 

So, that's our progress on the tiny bedroom so far. The next few items on the to-do list are:

- refinish the floors
- install crown moulding
- intall quarter-round along bottom of baseboards
- stencil one wall (more on that later!!!!)


P.S. I've got a bit of an adoption update to share tomorrow so come on back!

Our Kitchen Is Oogly


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just keepin' it real here peoples. I was thinking about it last night, and if you're anything like us, renovating your home room by room (by ourselves)(on a budget) then you know it takes time. And rooms can't look perfect all at once. It takes time, patience, and well, money.   

Since the kitchen is one of those rooms that needs a lot of dough, we haven't touched it yet. When I say we haven't touched it, I mean we really haven't touched it. The walls are dingy. The cupboard doors and drawers have knicked, dented, and peeling paint. The hardward is old-fashioned (and not in a good way). The 25 year old wheel-to-the-sink dishwasher is broken. The fridge sits on a completely empty wall with no cupboards and looks like a monstrosity. The vinyl flooring is starting to break off in places. The ceiling is cracked. The outlets have about 20 layers of paint on them. The trim is yellow, not white.  

Just. Plain. Narsty.

Here are some photos but keep in mind these are conveniently disguising the hideousness. 

After repainting some other rooms on the main floor I decided to use up some extra grey paint and give the kitchen walls a fresh coat of paint.

Why oh why did I wait so long to do this!?!?!???!?!?! The walls look so much better. So much better that I have to paint all the trim now too 'cause it looks extra dinged up,  and yellow next to the freshly painted walls. 

But, even a little bit of paint can't create the Country Living kitchen of my dreams. You know the one: white shaker cabinets, hardwood floors, brushed nickel hardware, pendant lights, apron sink. Dreamy.

So yeah, that's our ugly kitchen. For now. How's your kitchen treatin' ya?

Raspberry Streusel Muffins, More Butterflies, and Leaves


Sunday, November 6, 2011

After promising to make some homemade muffins yesterday and then conveniently forgetting (heh heh heh) I woke up this morning and started searching for the perfect recipe.

I came across a baking blog called Baking Bites that had a recipe for Raspberry Streusel Muffins. I had a huge tub of raspberries in the fridge to use up so I went ahead and tried them out.

These muffins were like juicy little cakes. SO GOOD I can't even tell you.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins
Source: Baking Bites
Makes: 12 muffins

Streusel Topping

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger (I used cinnamon)
4 tbsp butter, cold


2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (I used fresh)


Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

In a small bowl, make the streusel topping. Stir together all dry ingredients, then cut the butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Rub in butter thoroughly until mixture is very fine and sandy. Pick up the streusel mixture and squeeze it in your hand to form small clumps, repeating until streusel appears to have a much coarser texture. Set aside.

Next, make the muffin batter. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar and egg until well combined. Stir in half the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in remaining flour mixture, mixing just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in raspberries (toss frozen berries in 2 tsp of flour to keep them from “bleeding” into the muffin batter).

Divide muffin batter evenly into prepared baking cups. Cups will be fairly full. Divide streusel mixture over the muffins (be generous, and don’t worry if some of the streusel doesn’t seem to “stick”).

Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.

Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cooled muffins can be stored in an airtight container.

*Note: If using fresh berries, you may need to reduce the baking time by 1-2 minutes. (I baked mine for 18 minutes).

A long time ago I used a craft punch to make a butterfly collage for a friend's baby shower gift. I recently found out that another friend was expecting a girl and was doing a butterfly theme in her nursery.
So I busted out my craft punch again and created a new set of matching butterfly prints. This time I tried out some dark frames to match the crib in my friend's nursery. I also used a bit more blue to tie in the wall colour that she used. They turned out pretty darn cute just like last time. 
Al and I just finished doing a team front-yard-clean-up. There were soooooo many leaves out front that we decided to be lazy and use the lawnmower to chop up the leaves and the lawnmower bag to suck 'em all up. Little did we know that we would only be able to do ONE STRIP of the yard before emptying the bag. We came up with a good system though. I mowed a strip, Alex emptied the lawnmower bag. I mowed another strip, Alex emptied the lawnmower bag. It was like I had my own little lawn boy at my beck and call. Heh heh heh.
The sad part is that our silver maple still has almost all it's leaves and we'll have to do hours more raking or mowing in a few more weeks. See? Check it out. After a 1/2 hour, look how many leaves have fallen!?!?!? NOOOOOOOOOO!

Loving Your Living Room Suggestions and Other Stuff


Saturday, November 5, 2011

I just want to thank those of you who commented on my living room dilemma post with various suggestions for furniture layout. You guys rock!!! I'm going to do a more detailed post with actual pictures and dimensions of the room very soon but we still have furniture everywhere 'cause of painting. So save up your ideas because I sure do love hearing them all.

Today we woke up early, hopped in the car (all bundled up), stopped at the drive-though for some coffee, and took the pups on a nice, long hike on a local trail. The sun was coming up and the leaves were all frosty and pretty-like. We are so not morning people so we're ultra proud of ourselves that we were out of the house at 8:00 a.m. this morning.

Alex is psyching himself up to work on the basement today. We decided to take out another wall in the basement and so we will end up with an extra little nook to decorate and furnish. We'll need lots of storage down there so I chose this as my inspiration picture: 

Source: Unknown

Except in the middle section under the picture we'd try to add a built-in desk. Sort of like this:

I'm trying not to get too excited since the basement still looks like a warzone but Alex is almost at the stage where he can start insulating and putting walls back up. Can't wait for that let me tell you.

My mission today is to get a bunch of paint touch-ups done on the main floor before I lose my painting mojo. I ended up having almost a gallon of extra paint so I threw up a coat of that light grey in the kitchen, too. The walls in there still hadn't been painted since we moved in (shame on me, I know). I did one coat the other day and I'm going to finish up the second coat as soon as I hit publish on this post. No pictures of the kitchen though because it is still Hideous with a capital H. Well, we'll see. ;)

I'll be back tomorrow with some other random stuff just because. Have a great weekend!!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Cozy.Cottage.Cute. All rights reserved © Blog Milk Design - Powered by Blogger