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Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

We (by ‘we’ I mean the Dude =)) painted a chalkboard wall to chronicle the height of our growing Bean.  Can’t wait until she starts walking so we can begin…or maybe when she stands still enough. #33of365

Chalkboard wall

Chalkboard wall

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It’s been a long road…

Nothing makes time stop like having a kid.  The Dude and I welcomed our baby girl, we’ll call her LB, back in February, and it has been a roller coaster ride ever since.

Perhaps some day I will blog about the whole experience in that first month, but today is not that day.

Since I am currently on mat leave (a whole year here in Canada), I’m going to try to get my butt in gear again, and revive this blog.  I’ve been wanting to write an update for a while, but have been distracted (I wonder why?), but have finally decided to write from the iPad.  So my apologies upfront while I get used to posting from here, and trying to figure out how to get my pictures up.

The Dude recently got me to start using Dropbox, so cross your fingers that I don’t mess this up too much…

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We got our first snow fall of the year this past Saturday, and it was glorious:

Brrr....

Brrr….

 

I love snow.  I know, I know.  We don’t get nearly as much as a lot of people, but I’ll take what I can get.  It was also the perfect excuse not to venture outside (I don’t want to risk falling at this point), and to stay in, watch movies, and knit.

This is what I made:

 

1 Up!

1 Up!

 

Neat, eh?  It’s from Super Mario Bros, for those of you unfamiliar with it.  I learned to do it using double knitting, and it should function nicely as pot holders.  I’m making a pair like this for a friend, and then another pair for me.  Turned out better than I thought it would =)

For those of you interested in the pattern, it can be found at Ravelry.com.  Just look up 1 Up mushroom.

 

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I used to really like collecting things.  I don’t really know why.  Postcards, shotglasses, things like that.  But now that I’m older and have moved a few times, and share a house with the Dude, real estate is at a premium, and I no longer have the space to house these things.

I’ve been slowly paring down on my belongings over the last 3 years, and just did another stint in the spring.  But now that we’re expecting Baby 1, it looks like I have to do it again.  And for those of you who think that my minimalist Dude is asking me to do so, he is not.  I suppose his non-hoarding ways have rubbed off, and I just don’t feel the need for more STUFF.  ESPECIALLY with a baby on the way and all the things that come with that.  I just no longer feel attached to so many material things, and have gotten really good at just keeping things that have nostalgic and sentimental value.

Which is why when we were in California over the summer, I decided that WE should have a mug collection!  For display purposes!  I know that there are tons of people out there who don’t like the new ‘You are here’ collection from Starbucks, but I like that they are simple and stackable.  (A friend does collect the Global Icon ones and they are really cool).  So I’m starting to collect the city mugs for display in our kitchen.  Up until yesterday, I only had 5, but now I have 2 more!

Mugs

Mugs – Thanks, cousin!

 

My cousin and her husband just came back from LA and Hawaii for their 10th anniversary, and brought me back more mugs.  The collection is growing!

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Part of our spring reno project.  Grouting in our newly tiled garage floor.

#83:

Grouting

Grouting

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So we’re finally trying to get some finishing touches after our renovation of the master bedroom, and we got some night table lamps.  Plenty of light to read by now. =)

#47:

And it can recharge my phone!

And it can recharge my phone!

 

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To help motivate us into saving anywhere we can, the Dude and I got matching his and her’s piggy banks.  The ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ was written by me.  Alternately, I suppose we could have written what we were actually saving for, like ‘Savings’ and ‘Vacation’. =)

#39:

Heeeeerrrre piggy, piggy, piggy

Heeeeerrrre piggy, piggy, piggy

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So when we got Lily the Kitten, we also bought one of those cheap little scratching posts, which she never used.  The Dude thought that he could do one better, and make her a cat tree.  So he set to work a few weeks ago, and I just finished sewing the edges in place.

She seems to like the tree so far, and I think the high perch is something that she really appreciates.  If she ends up really liking it, we may make her another one for the bedroom.

#3:

Scoping it out

Scoping it out

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The Dude spent a lot of time during the renovation of the master bathroom trying to figure out if the new water-efficient toilet that he wanted to get would fit.  He used templates, and aluminum foil imprints, and even asked both handy parents for advice.  In the end, he trusted his own estimates and put it in.  And it fit quite nicely, and the only requirement was cutting the hole for the water supply a bit bigger.  Nicely done.

#285:

Where's my toilet?

Where’s my toilet?

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Still trying to figure out the best way to organize the kitchen.  Perhaps some OXO containers and Rubbermaid bins to start?

#258:

Trying to Organize

Trying to Organize

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So these frames are still empty.  Although I think we’ve got 4 pics picked out…

#169:

:sigh:

:sigh:

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We have a large plant in our office, and Lily the Kitten had decided that she really liked to scratch at the dirt and the tree that is growing in it.  Which would have been okay, except that meant that said dirt would get tracked all over the house.  Not good.

So the Dude took matters into his own hands and decided to cut a piece of cardboard into the shape of the pot, so that when Kitty scratches, the dirt stays where it is.

Here is Lily helping out:

#167:

Area of a circle = Pi*r-squard...

Area of a circle = Pi*r-squared…

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Hello, Kitty!

So on Tuesday, the Dude and I were only planning on heading to the pet store where the kitten we wanted to adopt was being fostered, to meet her and pick up some cat essentials.  You know, litter box, some toys, a scratching post… We came home with the cat.  She’s so tiny!  And so cute!

I was convinced later that night that the kitten hated me, because I had the unlucky task of driving her home in her new carrier.  But she seemed curious and cuddling after sniffing out her new digs.  We live in one of those tall skinning townhouses with 3 floors, so we just keep her on the top floor for now.  I didn’t want her roaming around the house all at once, as I thought it would be too overwhelming.  But she’s going around like she owns the place now =)

One of our concerns about getting a solo kitten was that the Dude and I are both at work during the day.  But yesterday when I got home, she just seemed very pleased to me, and there were no surprises waiting.  I’m hoping this trend continues. I have to admit though, originally, I wanted to just keep her in the one room for a few days , to acclimate, but last night, I decided to let her roam around our office…then the second floor…then the main floor.  I have to say, she was a bit timid at first, but prowled like a champ after.  Can you tell that I’m so proud of our girl? I only let her roam for about 45 minutes though.  One, because I didn’t know when she would have to use the bathroom next, and it was 3 stories up, and two, I wanted to see how she navigated the stairs going back up.  She’s just small enough now that going from step to step is a bit of an effort, so I think we’ll keep her house-roaming to shorter stints for now. She’s so cute!

 

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So the Dude and I have decided to expand our family with a cat.  Both of us are unabashed cat lovers, and we thought that this would be the perfect time to get one.  I didn’t grow up with cats, but the Dude did, so we decided to take the leap.

The question, of course, was “How do we go about getting one?”  We are opting to adopt from the Animal Rescue, which was recommended to us by a friend, and are currently waiting to hear back from them.

We can’t wait!  We’ve already been googling how to teach them not to scratch, and I came across this link about leash training.  Crazy!  I am totally trying that.

Cross you fingers for us!  I’ll keep you posted on the developments!

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So the Dude and I are finally moved back into our bedroom this past weekend, and I am super excited about the results!  Blog entry on that renovation to come soon. =)

All that’s left to do in there is to get some decorative pieces, and a queen-sized mattress.

It got me thinking on the next project already though.  And since the wedding is less than a month away, I’m currently trying to talk myself down from the ledge.  Who needs the distraction of new reno planning when there are flowers to be chosen and schedules to finalize?!?!  I DO.

So I’m thinking our next task will be the kitchen.  Now, to be honest, we do have a fair amount of space.  The problem is that a lot of it is not easily accessible (ie. cupboards that are 4 shelves high).  I need to rework the space from the drawers, and try to store everything in a much more efficient manner. 

The good thing is that we don’t need to re-tile the backsplashes, and the floors are hardwood that extend into the living area.  

I’ve been Googling ‘How to organize your kitchen’ the last couple of days, and have gotten some great ideas.  I’m hoping to get some measurements and drafts up, as well as an inventory of all our stuff in the next few weeks.

Here we go again…

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It’s amazing to me that these days, houses seem to have very little storage room.  The size of the closets in our extra bedrooms are laughable, and our linen closet is barely big enough to hold linens.  Our walk-in closet in the master bedroom was a reasonable size, but somewhat oddly shaped.  And it only had one rack.  One rack!  How was I….ahem, I mean how were we, supposed to fit all our stuff in there?! Cut to the before pictures:

Before shot 1

Before shot 1

Before shot 2

Before shot 2

See all of that untapped space above and below?  Wasted!  And to top it all off, the door didn’t fully open, leaving a gap behind it because the shelf above the rack jutted out a bit to far.  Argh! Thankfully, my Dad had remedied this sort of issue in my last closet at home, so I knew that we could do something to fix the problem.  I outlined what my Dad had done to make more space to the Dude, and using his engineering powers and general love of precision, mocked up a 3D layout of a potential solution.  Not bad, Dude, not bad at all:

Closet blueprint

Closet blueprint

Such attention to detail!  He even put hangers in there! Now I know that there are people out there that think Ikea furniture is flimsy and cheap, and that may be true to some extent, but I’ve always thought that there were some good pieces to be found.  And really, depending on what your budget is, it can be a real saver.  In this case for us, Ikea’s Stolmen line allowed us to mix and match pieces to our specific specifications. We got all the pieces that we needed to put everything together in one shot, to eliminate unnecessary trips:

The pieces

The pieces

After clearing out the closet, the first thing was to take out the existing fixtures and fill in the holes and sand down the walls.

Empty closet

Empty closet

The odd thing about the closet (other than the shape) was the it was the only place in the entire house that still had a speckled (or popcorn) ceiling.  Personally, I did not have an issue with this.  But the Dude was quite riled up about this.  So he took matters into his own hands and smoothed down the ceiling.  And before you go thinking that it must have taken forever, there’s actually a trick to it.  Instead of using sand paper and sanding it down, what you can do is spray a tiny bit of water onto the ceiling, and then essentially “shave” it smooth.

Smoothing out the popcorn

Smoothing out the popcorn

After everything was sanded out, it was time to take measurements and tape out the places to drill.

The Marking Begins

The Marking Begins

And after all the filling and sanding and sanding and taping and painting…

Our new hampers

Our new hampers

Double rows!

Double rows!

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I am super pleased about the result.  No more having to store stuff  in bags and boxes, and we are able to use pretty much all of the available space in there.  Huzzah!

Edit:  Just wanted to add the different products in case you’re thinking of renos too!

Closet system: Ikea Stolmen
Laundry hampers: Steele Canvas
Pendant light: Muuto
Light bulb: Plumen
Paint: Benjamin Moore Elmira White

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We’re well into our latest renovation project: the Master Bedroom.

Because we were going to sand and paint, we had to figure out where to sleep while the renos were going on.  Sure, we have a spare bedroom, but we had opted not to put a bed in there when we moved in, and it stayed that way.

So really the only option we had was to clear out the spare bedroom, move the mattress down and sleep on the ground.  We’ve been sleeping in there for a few nights now, and I’ve got to say, it’s been pretty relaxing.  I thought that it would be cramped and uncomfortable, but it reminded me of sleepovers and camping (or in my case “cabin-ing”).  I know it sounds s bit silly, but it made me feel like we were sleeping away from home, but we weren’t.  Does that make sense?

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Into the second month.  Woooo!

So when we renovated one of our bathrooms, one of the things that we got for it was a new shower curtain.  We had seen some that were landscapes and such that we liked, but when it came time to make our purchase, we just had to go with the map of the London tube system.  Remember to Mind the Gap!

#30 – March 1:

Map of the London tube

Map of the London tube

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Project 365 or 366 – #25

We made a trip to Ikea for some stuff like iron boards and the like.  It never ceases to amaze me how huge those places are.  Surprisingly, I didn’t see an Ikea while in Stockholm…

#25 – February 25:

Ikea aisles

Ikea aisles

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So after moving into our home just over a year and a half ago, the Dude and I have steadily settled in and started some renovations.  Nothing big, as our place is fairly new, but we wanted to freshen up the place by painting, re-doing our bathrooms, etc.  So far, we’ve re-painted two rooms, renovated 1 bathroom, and re-did our closet.  By re-did, I mean gut out the existing fixtures and put in new ones to suit our needs.  But the details of that will come in a later post.

I’m excited to say though, that we are just over 2 months out from our wedding, and what’s a better way to spend our time leading up to this milestone, than to start work on our bedroom!  Seriously though, we are planning to start this in the next couple of days.

:sigh:  Nothing like sleeping on the floor while your bedroom is being re-sanded.

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