Three Deck Projects That Are Totally Getting Done This Year


Friday, April 24, 2015

Now that the weather is warming up a teensy, weensy bit (Oh how I love sunshiiiiiiiiiine) I've started dreaming about our back deck and how I'm going to spend the entire summer out there drinking homemade lemonade and suntanning while the two kiddos happily entertain themselves and the dogs lay calmly at our feet.

{Oh who am I kidding, I'll be out there with bedhead and shorts from 1999 trying to enjoy the weather while the dogs dig holes and bark at the fence and the two kiddos constantly demand silly things like food and diaper changes. Hee hee!}

Sorry, let's get back to the dreaming part. Last summer the boys did some work on the deck by adding some finishing touches like building the wide stairs, adding stair railings, replacing the warped post caps, and enclosing the upper deck with skirting.

I also decided to splurge on some outdoor cushions to make our inexpensive outdoor furniture (from Canadian Tire and Lowe's) look a little bit more Pottery Barn-ish. Oh Pottery Barn, why do your outdoor spaces have to be so darn magnificent?

This year, I'm trying to keep things real (oh hello, newborn) and limit my to-do list to three manageable projects for the spring / early summer. 

Here they are!

Project #1: Stain the deck.

Oy. We put this project off for a loooooooong time. Originally we said we were letting the pressure treated wood sit (is that even a thing?) but then it just became pure avoidance because staining a two-level deck with a thousand spindles sounds absolutely terrible. But the wood on our deck is starting to split and dry out. It really needs some protection from the elements ASAP. 

We've got deck wash, deck brushes, and large / small stain brushes purchased and hanging out in our shed. All we have to do now is settle on a stain brand and colour. I can't decide whether to go with Behr deck stain or with Benjamin Moore. Any advice or recommendations? I'm hoping to find a nice, medium brown shade with some grayish undertones. 

And pretty much the only reason that Alex and I are going to take this project on is because our super awesome family offered to do it all help. Sa-weet!

Project #2: Build a privacy screen.

Our lower deck is open on all sides (no railing) and is kind of close to our neighbour's yard. My plan is to build a three-panel privacy screen along the back of our lower deck so that I can sit down there in a tube top (pretending that I'm 21 and don't have wiggly jiggly cellulite) whilst not scaring our neighbours. Also, I think that the privacy screen will help that sitting area feel a bit cozier since, again, it doesn't have a railing around it. 

The plan for the screen is to have it centered behind the lounge furniture and be about as wide as the stairs. I would love to plant some fast growing vines as well as some flowering perennials to climb up them this summer. 

I'm thinking of a simple design like the following picture, except with three panels instead of two and without the top arbour thingie. I have a fear of bugs falling / jumping on my head. I would like to avoid that at all costs.

Project #3: Plant a container garden.

Last summer I found some pretty galvanized planters and scattered them around the deck with some easy to care for flowers. It was a start, but the deck still looked pretty sparse. 

I'm hoping to step it up a notch and add some more plants and flowers. You know, like those Better Homes and Gardens pictures. 

Herb Garden - Better Homes and Gardens

I might also be on the hunt for outdoor dining cushions, cute place mats, white lanterns and outdoor string lights. But those purchases will only happen by accident when I'm out shopping for bathroom cleaner and diapers. I will stick to our three-project deck plan this year. (Pep talks are good.)

How 'bout you..... what are your project plans for the spring / summer?

Nursery Bedding


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

So I'm pretty much squealing with excitement that I'm officially on maternity leave! I will not miss the crazy morning rush where we all try to get out of the house on time despite a certain toddler's many, many stall tactics.


I have about a thousand things on my to-do list for the week. While I would love to be crossing off items like......

- frame cute pictures for nursery gallery wall
- order cute fabric for nursery cushions 

....... my to-do list items look more like this.......

- find headrest for baby car seat in the packed-to-the-ceiling-laundry room
- find a place for photo albums from 2006 that were jammed in Cooper's big boy closet

I absolutely cannot complain though, because a) I'm wearing comfy joggers and a new super stretchy hoodie, b) I'm drinking a half-decaf coffee in a real mug, and c) It's sunny and warm today and if I get all of my jobs done Coops and I are having a picnic lunch outside!

So, how about that nursery bedding.

The last picture I shared of the nursery looked like this. The walls had just been freshly painted in Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

Since I'll be using quite a bit less furniture in this tiny room this time around, I thought I would try the crib in between the two windows so that you can see it right when you walk in. (Last time it was tucked along the opposite wall in the corner.)

I ended up purchasing a crib skirt because I accidentally washed the linen/cotton one I made last time on warm and, well, shrunk it to bits. When I took the new one out of the packaging it looked huge. However in the picture it looks kinda small. Ah well, no time to worry about it now!

I added a simple pink and white crib sheet to the mattress.

Then, I threw a pretty little quilt over the railing.

Isn't it cute? It's a little on the bright side, however it's got lots of white, simple hearts and stripes, and some pink, yellow, and green just like my inspiration picture.

Of course I had to add a little stuffie just for fun.

Crib - The Land of Nod
Crib Skirt - Pottery Barn Kids
Crib Sheet - Pottery Barn Kids
Quilt - Pottery Barn Kids
Stuffed Duck - Homesense
Tiny Bench - Local Home Decor Store

At first I was nervous about the white walls, but now I am LOVING them. Thank you for all of your comments on my last post. They were so reassuring that I made the right choice! Wish me luck on my boring errands this afternoon. If you don't hear from me for the rest of the week you'll know that I was toppled by Christmas tubs in our laundry / storage room, hee hee.

White Painted Walls


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's just the weirdest thing. I have this unexplainable  love affair with white. I have no idea why I love it so much - but the obsession has been going strong for years n' years and only seems to be getting stronger.

In the past, I've always painted rooms with subtle colours and then added in a tonne of white furniture and accessories. I've never actually painted a room white (which is also weird because I have about 1000 pictures of rooms with white walls pinned to my Pinterest boards).

I've been itching to try it and I finally mustered up the guts to just go for it. Of course I would have preferred if the room were covered in cozy, cottage-y wooden planks but I'll take plain white walls for now.

{Wooden planks = googly eyes.}

I know these pictures aren't the most exciting but they will show how the new nursery is a completely blank slate right now.

{I pretended that I didn't hear Alex when he described the room as looking like "an asylum". Boys, am I right?!?!?}

I had a really difficult time choosing between Simply White and White Dove, both by Benjamin Moore. Simply White is quite a bit brighter, however White Dove would have provided a little bit more contrast against the doors and trim. In the end, I went with Simply White. 

And, uhhhhh, it's pretty white!

As soon as I finish up this post I'm hoping to iron the new crib skirt and sheets so that I can assemble the crib bedding and show you the sweet quilt that I found - hopefully tomorrow. 

Four posts in a row? Don't get sick of me, m'kay?


P.S. Have you ever painted a room white? Did you love it or, you know, not love it?

P.P.S. I only have two more days of work left and then I am off for sixteen glorious months. 

P.P.P.S. Of course I will be able to get into shape, be supermom, blog daily, and complete all of the DIY projects on my never-ending to-do list while I am off. Sigh, a girl can dream! 

Baby Girl Nursery Inspiration


Monday, April 6, 2015

Remember this?

Did I somehow forget to mention that that giant bump is a girl?!?!?! Ummmmm, I think I did. And I think it's because I am still in complete shock about the whole thing. For some reason I totally pictured a crazy house full of boys. I totally know how to do the dump truck thing. 

My Little Ponies, however? Panic face!!!!!


With only five weeks left to go (say whaaaaaat) I figured it was about time to get started on a little makeover for the nursery. Being utterly and completely surprised that it's a girl this time around wasn't the only reason for my late start on the room. You see, the hubs was absolutely against me repainting Cooper's old nursery. He thinks I am bonkers for wanting to change a "perfectly good room" with a "perfectly good paint colour".

The thing is though, is that I actually painted the room that colour like, five years ago! And while I loved Cooper's little room and the cute, stenciled wall - I'm ready to freshen things up. 

So, after explaining my rationale and batting my eyelashes for the last few months I finally convinced Alex to help me repaint. 

YAY, I WON!!!!! Oops, I mean yay! we came to a great compromise. Hee hee. 

Before I share the colour that I picked, I wanted to show you my inspiration picture. It's actually a picture of a breakfast room that I've had pinned in a folder on Pinterest f-o-r-e-v-e-r. You see, I don't really want a themed room, I don't really want an over-the-top girly room, and I don't really want a super trendy room. 

The look I'm going for? Sweet, simple, and cottage-y.

Here's my inspiration picture:

Source - Unknown
I'm hoping to incorporate a lot of white, some wood and woven textures, and then a little bit of pink, yellow, and green.

Here's my hero getting the room ready to go. He would like me to share that it took him four hours (yikes) to sand that stenciled wall. 

{I love you, honey!}

Here's the room sanded, with a coat of primer on the stenciled wall, and the first coat of paint:

Everyone thinks I'm crazy for painting the room white but I've always wanted to try it. So I just went for it. I'm hoping to add some colour and texture with fabrics, wall art, and accessories. It should be fun.

I'll be back with some photos of the entire painted room very soon! Yippee!

Happy Chocolate Day, Tee Hee


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Four day weekends are pretty much the best things ever. We've been keeping busy with brunches, DIY projects, Easter dinners, family time, movie dates, spring yard work, and, most importantly, eating chocolate (hee hee).

I splurged at the grocery store and bought myself some tulips. I split two big bunches into three smaller bouquets and stuck each of them in a mason jar wrapped with twine. The dining room looks so spring-y. It really helps that I packed away the last of the winter decor a few days ago. 

Aren't toddlers just the cutest things ever? Our little guy is currently in LOVE with the idea of Superman. He calls himself Super Cooper and flies around the house saving the day with his super powers. I find this so strange because he's only ever read one book about superheros. He imagination takes care of the rest!

I kept the Easter decorating pretty simple this year. A few bunnies, a few tulips, and a few pastel eggs scattered around. Just the way I like it.

Coops' Easter basket was a hit again this year. I tried to sneak in a few practical items like a toothbrush and some big boy undies. Here are a few items from his stash:

I'm always curious (just call me Snoopy McSnooperson) about other peoples' Easter baskets so here's what Coopie's looked like this year.

Easter Pail - Target
Crinkly Paper - Michael's
Easter Bunny, Marshmallow Bar, Peanut Butter Egg - Laura Secord Chocolates
Cars Underwear - Wal-Mart
Spiderman Spinning Toothbrush - Wal-Mart
Paw Patrol Sticker & Colouring Book - Wal-Mart
Sky from Paw Patrol - Wal-Mart
Sparkle Stickers - Dollarama
Glitter Chalk - Superstore
Bubble Wand - Superstore
My First Superman Book - Pottery Barn Kids


P.S. Did I ever mention how much I love brunch? Mmmmmm cheesy hashbrowns, mmmmmm fruit dip, mmmmmm blueberry pancakes, mmmmmm bacon.

P.P.S. I hope you have a lovely weekend! I'll be back tomorrow with a sneak peek of a little makeover in the works. :)
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