Staying Home Just a Little Bit Longer


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Must. Stay home. With this guy.

Just popping in to share some very fun news.
With my one year of maternity leave coming to an end (waaaaah) it was either start getting ready to go back to work (eeeeek!) or extend my leave for a little bit longer.
My super cool hubs agreed that staying home is a good fit for our family right now. So, instead of heading back to work at the end of April, I've extended my leave for the months of May and June. With the summer after that it means that I won't have to go back to work until the new school year in September.
Four extra months with the Coopster is pretty awesome. I'm very grateful and relieved.
I've got a few posts lined up (some cute Homesense finds, a basement design board, some Fixer Upper bathroom progress, etc. etc.) but I just haven't had a chance to sit down and write any of them!
I'll be back. But in the meantime, how squishy are those cheeks!?!?! ;)

The Fixer Upper - The Kitchen


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I've been avoiding writing this post for quite some time. It's kind of hard to explain without sounding like a whiny brat.
Basically, The Fixer Upper has a nice, new, updated kitchen. It's got new drywall, paint, floors, cabinetry, cabinet hardware, countertops, sink, and faucet. It's got a bit of a new design that includes a large island with seating, space for a dishwasher, and an extra pantry. When you take a look at the disgusting before pictures, you'll notice just how many improvements have been made to that poor kitchen.
However, this is where the whiny brat part comes in, the kitchen is just not my light and airy cottage style. I pretty much would have chosen different e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. 
BUT, having said that, we are very fortunate that the completed kitchen was included in our weird house purchase and we didn't have to do any of the labour. Most importantly, our rental property has a fully functional, clean, and updated kitchen that the renters (Alex's parents) really, really like. 
So, while The Fixer Upper's kitchen may not be an example of the light and white cottage kitchen of my dreams, it's still a darn (or is it darned?) good before and after.

Alright, enough blabberjabbing. Let's do this. 
The first three photos are from our second walk-through of the house with a realtor, after the people living there tidied up. Sooooo gross. The Flippers bought the house in this state and completely gutted the kitchen before we eventually bought it from them.
Alex standing in an ugly kitchen.

Oops. Some random realtor guy is in this one. Hahaha.

Grime and stains everywhere. Yay.
This next photo is of the kitchen after we bought the house from the Flippers. The floors haven't been refinished yet, it doesn't have any trim or baseboards, it hasn't been painted, and there are no pendant lights over the island.
The next few pictures are of the kitchen now!

I whipped up a few side-by-side comparisons just for fun:

So, that's the kitchen. I've got a really funny (to me) story about this post and Pinterest that I'll try to come back and share later on in the week. :)
What do you think? Not too shabby, eh?
P.S. There are a few more small updates we'll probably do to the kitchen in the future (backspash, etc.) but the hubs says no to cabinet painting or to a marble for granite counter swap. Sigh. ;)

Fabric Swatches Part I


Thursday, April 4, 2013

When it comes to decorating, there is one thing that I am definitely not good at. That would be mixing and matching different fabrics. I think my main issue is that I always want everything to be too matchy-matchy.
I am truly envious of those people out there, you know who you are, who can just throw four or five different patterns and colours together and have them look like they belong together.

Here are a few of my inspiration pictures from Pinterest:

Source: Daniella Witte
Source: The Elegant Abode
Source: Proverbs 31 Girl
I also find it difficult to coordinate different fabrics because I can't seem to find any that I like locally. Fabricland is a total bust. Every once in awhile I go in there in hopes of maybe finding one fabric that I like. I always walk out disappointed. Not to mention the ladies that work there are the un-friendliest bunch that I've ever come across in a retail store! (Seriously. They're kind of mean to me, sniff sniff.)
I also find choosing fabrics online difficult. I can't get a good sense of the true colours or materials on a computer screen. I need to see it and feel it to know if I really like it. 
I remember coming across a post by Jen over at Rambling Renovators awhile back and she shared some photos of fabric samples from Tonic Living. They looked so much nicer in her photos than they did on the website!
Since repainting the living room and dining room from bright yellow to light gray, I've been inspired to finish decorating them. Both rooms were feeling pretty stark. I feel like I'm on the right track now that I've added in a cozy living room rug and some curtains in the dining room. Now it's time for me to add some cushions into the mix.

Finally, a rug in the living room.

Finally, curtains in the dining room.

P.S. I did end up going back and ordering two more curtain panels for the living room. Thanks for your feedback!

So, I've started my swatch shopping. My first stop was and I placed an order for six different fabric swatches. The following are the ones that I want to see in person.

P.S.S. These fabric choices are not intended to all go together. I may or may not choose any of them in the end. 

P.S.S.S. Why am I so annoyingly picky?

So, those are my first set of fabric swatches. I have a few other online fabric stores that I would like to order some more from. But I'd better space these little swatch shopping spurts out so I don't get asked too many questions from the hubby. ;)

Do you have any go-to online fabric stores? Tell me, tell me, tell meeeeeeeeeeeeee. :)

Living Room Toy Explosion, I Sucked Up a Curtain Panel With the Vacuum, + Other Random Schtuff


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

If you're in the mood for the most random post of all time, then this is the one for you. Let's start the randomness with a keeping-it-real photo. 
Oh boy.
Living Room Toy Explosion
I had a really cute email from a reader mentioning that she had two little boys and had a hard time managing their daily messes. She then went on to give me a compliment on having such a neat and orderly home with a baby boy on the loose. I had a little chuckle as I responded, sharing my #1 organization tip: move all the clutter out of the way before taking a picture for the blog. :)
So here is a real life picture of our living room  / sun room from this morning:
Why oh why is my baby obsessed with the dusty vacuum cleaner!?!?!
Since the basement is still being renovated, we spend the majority of our time playing in the living room and sun room. As the toys pile up, I'm wondering if I should start thinking of some toy storage / organization that will keep the clutter under control for the time being. Ooooooh... another excuse for online shopping? Sweeeeet.   
I Sucked Up a Curtain Panel With the Vacuum
So just when I was giving myself some super-mom praise this morning for being showered, dressed, and vacuuming before 10:00 a.m., I had a bit of an unfortunate accident. I managed to vacuum the whole main floor without incident, however when I got to the breakfast room I found a giant mess of leaves on the floor. Our pup Lexie always jumps up to look out the window and jostles the indoor tree that I keep by the window. There were so many leaves that I decided to take the floor attachment off the vacuum and just suck the leaves up with the hose.  
Except, horror of all horrors, the stinkin' vacuum cleaner sucked up one of my beautiful, white, Crate and Barrel curtain panels. In a moment of panic I yanked on the curtain while the vacuum was still running, thinking that it would slide right out. Little did I know that the inside of my rotten vacuum has these little prongs that apparently like to rip holes in fabric. Who's super-mom now? Um, not me.
I may have cried a little inside when I finally got the darned thing out. There are four or five spots that look like the above photo. I'm trying to pass the blame onto the dog. Or the vacuum. Or the curtain panels for being so light and airy and suctionable.
Our Ikea Slipcovers Are Here!
We had the best delivery last week - our Ikea slipcovers! Usually I am too afraid to answer the door when someone knocks and I'm home alone (my irrational brain always thinks it's a murderer disguised in a delivery costume who is going to stuff me in the back of his van). Luckily for me Alex wasn't feeling well and had taken the day off from work so he was home to answer the door. :)
Even though I want to open the boxes and spiffy up our living room with some new crisp covers like right now, I came up with a brilliant plan. Since Cooper's first birthday is coming up in a few weeks, I thought I would wait until the day before his little party before putting them on our living room furniture. That'll mean one less thing I have to worry about before we have company over. 
What can I say, I'm lazy like that.
(Last week Alex spilled coffee and chili on the loveseat. CHILI people. Guess who's never allowed to eat or drink anything in the living room again?)
Coops' Easter Basket
I made up a little Easter basket for Cooper. Except instead of a basket I used a bucket. And instead of chocolates I filled it with toys. Just a few. Because he's cute.
Crinkly Paper - Michael's
Pail - Michael's
Scoop & Strainer - Michael's
Fisher Price Piggy Bank - Wal-Mart
Play-a-Sound Baby Animals by Eric Carle - Wal-Mart
Bubbles (not pictured) - Wal-Mart

I'm pretty obsessed with that little piggy bank. Best.Toy.Ever! Cooper has been playing with it all week so far. Okay truth.... I've been playing with it all week. I'm not usually a fan of annoying toy sounds but the piggy bank makes the cutest cha-ching! sound every time you drop a coin in. Also, when you pull the tail, the pig sneezes and the coins all roll out. It's pretty adorable. I'm pretty sure that Cooper will be good with his money in the future just because of this little toy. ;)
Oh yeah, when I let Cooper have a liiiiittle lick of a Lindt Easter egg on the weekend he, how should I put this, wasn't quite satisfied. He didn't want a lick, he wanted the whole thing. Takes after his mama I guess!
Well, I think that's enough random stuff for today. We'll be staying close to home and drinking lots of fluids for the next few days. First Alex caught a cold, then Cooper came down with it, and now after lots of slobbery kisses (from Cooper not Alex) I woke up with a sore throat and runny nose this morning. The perfect remedy? Movies in bed. When Cooper wakes up from his nap he and I are watching Definitely, Maybe with Ryan Reynolds. Hee hee. He's dreamy.

The Fixer Upper - Our Bathroom Vanity Pick


Monday, April 1, 2013

If you remember from The Story of The Fixer Upper - Part II, there were many renovations left to be completed on the house when we took possession. The main floor bathroom was a major one. The contract that we made up with the Sellers/Flippers made them responsible for a bathroom rough-in and that's it. We were planning to tackle everything else in the bathroom when we got around to it. (There was a fully functional washroom on the second level hence the no rush approach for the main floor one.)

However, when trying to close the house purchase the unfinished bathroom became a very large problem. In order to pass the final building inspection we had to have a functioning sink and toilet in there!

What that meant for us was that before we even owned the house, we had to rush out and buy a toilet and vanity for the bathroom and have them installed by a plumber before the final inspection date. It was pretty nerve-wracking as I'm sure you can imagine. (Seeing as I'm one of those people that likes to surf Pinterest for decades before choosing something as big as a bathroom vanity.) But, I didn't have that luxury then. We drove out to Lowe's / Home Depot and after browsing for ten minutes I just had to pick the one I liked best.

I'm pretty sure this is going to be very predictable (heh heh heh), but I ended up choosing the Martha Stewart Living Seal Harbour 30-inch vanity.

It's a bit of a tight fit for that small bathroom but with a little bit of rearranging (sorry Alex) we can make it work.

Since the sink needed to be operational we also had to choose a faucet during that ten-minute-panic-stricken-we-might-not-get-the-house-shopping trip. The knobs on the vanity were polished nickel so we went the safe route and just chose the matching Martha Stewart faucet. For some reason I can't find a picture of it online so I will have to share the info about it later on.

The reason I'm sharing our vanity choice now, almost a year after purchasing it, is that The Fixer Upper bathroom reno is finally underway! Alex is over there right now (at 8:45 p.m. poor guy) wiring up electrical outlets and moving the plumbing for the tub. I'll explain more about that switcheroo in a future post as well.

I hope you don't mind some more bathroom progress over the next few weeks. We're hoping to create a cute little bathroom on a very small budget!

P.S. After doing some searching online, I found out that Holly from In the Fun Lane chose the same vanity for a bathroom in her Lexington house flip.

Image: In the Fun Lane

Once I saw the pictures, I was completely reassured about my decision. The vanity looks super cute in there!
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