Yep, it’s official. I have a problem. A problem turning down the zig-zaggy goodness of a chevron stripe. Proven here, and here.
I also love when Olivia’s toys are organized. So, I was so happy when I found these storage cubes to help us do a little more stashing and hiding under the TV, but… you’re going down, plain, green, boxes.
When I found these boxes, I said, “Yay, they’re the right size!”
And, then I said, ” Boo… too bad they’re green.”
Time to get around to fixing that.
First, I prepped with a nice bright yellow (perfect for the living room). I used Krylon Fusion, and as promised, it worked great on plastic.
Then, the fun part. Planning the chevron pattern. My first shot at it was freehand. So was shot #2, it was not working… Because of the uneven front surface, it ended up looking wonky. I needed to get a chevron “peak” in the centre.
Now, it’s finally getting there. The trick was to decide where I wanted the peaks placed, and work out from there. I began in the bottom left corner and worked up.
Once I figured the first row out, it went fairly easily from here. It should end up looking a little like a pie crust. Then I took an exact-o knife to exclude the unwanted pieces of tape.
The pattern starts to emerge! This is the second-most-fun part.
Now, it’s time for paint job #2. A simple greige colour, until the exterior has noooo mooooore greeeeen!
Now, to wait for it all to dry (that was the hardest part), but before long it’s time to peel your tape people. THIS IS THE MOST-FUN-PART! Yipee!
Olivia looked a little confused as I exclaimed “Weeee!” when the tape was completely removed. I usually reserve my “Wee’s” when twirling in circles with the Kiddo, or driving over a bumpy road with her — which most times gets a pretty big smile out of her. But, you understand where I’m coming from, don’t you?
Time to slip back into your cubbies my pretties…
All ready to hide the Kiddo’s toys. Pretty and organized, what’s not to love?
Paint is a wonderful thing. Can’t find exactly what you need? Customize it until you get it! In one afternoon, we got from function to beauty AND purpose.
Ooooh, a girl can dream.
The best thing about Spring? Being outside! We are outside All. The. Time! It’s fantastic. The worst thing about Spring? All that time outside is making me notice the lack of curb appeal.
The snow is gone, there is nowhere to hide. The upper deck is pretty tired, and has seen much better days. The lawn is plain, not a lot of colour. No garden, no landscaping, just… not a lot of LIFE.
So the plans have begun to inject a little energy into the front entry area.
Here is what we’re dealing with…
The upper deck is original to the house, with a rough plywood floor. The wood stain is a little messy and too red. The front “rock garden” doesn’t have a lot going for it. Nothing is growing and it looks dry and lifeless. The lower porch is uninviting, with utilitarian lighting, and skinny posts.
So… time to let our imaginations go a little…
I think ditching the rock garden in front, in lieu of a longer veranda style deck is called for. It would create enough room for a nice seating area maybe? And, we definitely need a new light fixture. Maybe a beautiful hanging star??
How about colour? I love charcoal. Painting out the posts, front and garage doors are a must. I think it would look great with the red brick fireplace on the front of the house. But how about a little colour on the front door only? Yellow is one of my favourites…
Yes! I like where this is going. I think I’ve just created a lot of work for myself. Hmm…
But for now, I think my big beautiful Mother’s Day flowers will improve our view for the time being…
I found some large wood stumps left over from the previous owners, stacked them up, and popped the flower pots on top. I think they add a little sumpin’ sumpin’ ya?
Thank you for my flowers Miss Olivia!
We had such a great time in Paris, and now we have little memento to remember it by, at home.
There are many bridges along the Seine River where couples from around the world add a lock to symbolize their love for each other. We got in on that action while visiting. It was fun, a little silly and sentimental, and a great memory.
Here we are decorating it with a special thick hardware paint (no luck finding an engraver). We included Olivia on the back… maybe she’ll go find it one day. It was a little arts-and-crafts, but it worked out.
And, we had some fun finding just the right spot. The Notre Dame is one of my favourite places on earth, and there was a lock bridge close by with a great view.
Right away we thought it would be a great idea to bring the keys home. Thankfully, they made it home safe and sound. And, after a quick visit to Michaels, I found this graduation shadow box frame.
The frame already had a very convenient hook (for a graduation tassel), that I could use for the keys. I thought hanging it with red thread was a nice contrast against the white background – and used a matching pencil to write “Paris 2013″ onto the matting.
It took a little while to choose just the right photo. We can still pick out our lock in this image, and I like that we can see the river too. The red thread was a great match and the cut-out for the tassel was perfect for working with a small set of keys.
It was turning into a very nice keepsake, now to add it to our art wall in our living room.
This time around I used an E-Z Hang hook (I found mine at Canadian Tire). I’ve also seen them called Monkey Hooks. And, these things are fantastic! No hammer, and apparently it can hold a fair bit of weight with no anchor.
You just push it into the wall and twist, and it’s ready to go. I will definitely be using it again.
Done like dinner! We have a meaningful keepsake, that is easy to see, beautiful, a great memory, and something Olivia has noticed and will ask about.
The great thing about an art wall like this, is you can curate pieces and memories, and keep adding along the way, as much or as little as you like.
This is not a travel guide. However, I think Paris deserves a little attention here on the blog since it kept me in radio silence for the last couple weeks.
And, that alone was a vacation within a vacation. No email (except to keep in touch with the Kiddo). No phone. No work. You don’t realize how many buzzes and rings and blips our phones make until you’re not carrying them around anymore. It was lovely.
We packed our 10 days in the City of Love to the brim! A very walkable city, however, I tested just how walkable my body was. We estimate we hit an average of 12 kilometres per day. Whoa.
Never mind the 81 (82 if you ask Steven) stairs we climbed at least once a day to get up to our apartment each day. So, clearly… the heart rate was at a healthy clip for our trip. No complaints there.
One of our first stops was the Notre Dame. It was a short 15 minute walk from our place, and ended up being a frequent sight for us as we trekked along to other parts of the city.
We were lucky enough to visit Paris the first time, 14 years ago. And, I have definitely confirmed with this visit that the Notre Dame is one of my favourite places on earth. I mean, look at this place!
The Cathedral and the surrounding garden is so beautiful. This is a happy place for me. And, believe me I could post about 50 images if I wanted to. It’s one of those places that you walk 10 feet, see a new angle and NEED to snap another photo. Thank you digital!
We chose the bridge on the Seine River closest to the Notre Dame for our “love lock”. Yeah, we did that. It’s in there somewhere… I’ll post a little more on that later.
And of course we needed to revisit the scene of the crime. The crime being our engagement over 14 years ago. Yep. Just babies deciding to get hitched. Not too shabby Steve!
It’s hard to chose highlights. It’s honestly one big highlight. It’s all good. If you like history, architecture, beautiful people, walking, good food, and always having something new to do — this is the place for you.
We thought this was pretty charming. A Parisians version of sunbathing at the beach. Apparently, when the weather gets nice, they shut down a road along the river and fill it with sand and volleyball nets and all that good stuff, and create a beach where there isn’t one.
We made our way to Louvre Museum and saw this young lady…
And the ensuing traffic she creates… elbows out!!
A revisit to Venus de Milo.
And, Olivia loves the owls… so I snapped this little buddy for her.
So much to share, I could go on and on. Yep, it was a very nice break away. It was a bit of a test for me… 12 nights without my baby girl is a new record. But, we all survived, and are so amazingly fortunate to have such loving Grandparents — not to mention an amazing kid (we’ve been told she was not problem at all, and we’re stickin’ with that story).
It was a fantastic couple of weeks revisiting some old memories and creating a ton of new ones. Look at these faces… these are happy people.
Bonus round! Look at these babies on the evening of their engagement 14 years ago. BABIES! Ahh!
A fresh find today! And, it’s a good one.
There is something shiny and new sitting on my kitchen counters these days. No really, it’s literally shiny and new. We decided to kick the fruit and veggie intake in our household up a notch and start juicing.
After doing my research I landed on the Omega J8006, (this post was not sponsored in any way) and the number one reason this was the winner? It seemed easy to clean. Easy to clean = I will actually use it. Does that make me sound lazy? Meh, I am when it comes to cleaning small appliances.
So… drumroll… here it is…
And there is all the fruit and veggies used for the first run. Made about 4-5 glasses. And it was TASTY!
Everything stayed nice and tidy, and it was truly easy to take apart and clean. 5 minutes tops for clean-up.
And of course the reward. But… after some experimenting, I will share my favourite recipe to date:
1 beet (and, I don’t eat beets)
and a handful of fresh pineapple
So, a VERY fresh find today! We’re really liking it so far… and I guess it makes fresh pasta too… I’ll have to try that one of these days.
It all begins here (forgive the strange angle, we took this photo during one of our pre-move visits). This big furniture might be gone, but the day we moved in, this closet stayed the same.
Three, big, heavy, mirrored doors for a little two year old wasn’t going to work. Plus, she’s so rough and tumble, even if she could manage the door on her own, I was nervous it would come off the tracks or the mirrors would shatter. Never mind the 1970′s flare.
She absolutely loves her books, and I started to get inspired during a few Pinterest visits. I mean, how cute are these???
Image from Thrifty Decor Chick
Image from Mama Papa Bubba
So let’s get those closet doors off and see what we’re dealing with. It is a GREAT size closet. I sure would of appreciated all this space when I was a kid! I decided to partition off a section with a new wall. Here it is framed out…
And then drywalled, ready for mud. The smaller space on the left will be “the nook”. We’ve got plans to keep it open, build a bench with storage, add some comfy cushions, book storage, and a really cute DIY lighting experiment with no need for new electrical (excited to get to that one!)
So what are our door options anyway? Affordable was a must — we didn’t want this turning into a runaway cash train. I found this sliding door set with hardware for around $100 depending on the size you buy. However… the doors were a little plastic-y. Looking a little… cheap? Certainly wanted to keep looking.
Then I found this track system for $20!
And then snagged a couple hollow wood doors for around 38 beans each! So.. still around $100, with the same quality door as her main bedroom door (same bevel pattern too!) — it was win-win.
There is a lot of work ahead of us still… but I’m excited for the pay off! I think this is gonna be a goooood onnnnnne!
So the paint is finished, and we love it. It’s great. But — the walls are lacking personality. We need to get cozy, add warmth, add the pretty. Let’s get some art up there people!
See what I mean? Booooring!
But there is zero dollars in the budget for this project. We need to use what we have, but I wanted something different than our last home’s living room.
I think another photo grouping is in order, but… just not the same one. A couple mini makeovers will help with the job. I’ve always loved this leaf image, but, I’m not so crazy about the frame.
Working with a selection of existing frames, I thought I could find it a new home. Since I was moving away from a “family” wall… I thought one of the large white frames would do nicely.
Lets make like a tree, and leaf! (Yep, I said it). Well, let’s pop it out of the frame anyway…
Play around with the cropping a little bit…
Now, for the hard part, figuring out exactly what frames I want to use and how. Here’s a couple more to go along with the others…
There’s still something missing from the bunch. I love this print from an old calendar. It has some special meaning for Steve-o and I. Paris, got engaged there (yeah we did!!), and the month and year marks our 10th anniversary (did I mention I got married when I was twelve??)
So I decided to do a quick switcher-oo with this blue floral print… turned out to be a pretty nice fit.
Hmmm… still needs… more. Let’s play around a little bit.
Yep, that’s it! Okay… now to get it up on the wall. I took a quick measurement so I know I’ll have it centred on the wall.
Now it’s time to get jingle bells stuck in my head while I pull out the Christmas wrap. Now, I get it, this seems like a “do I have to??” step. But, if you want to avoid a bunch of extra nail holes in the wall… I’d highly recommend it.
I don’t get too hung up on this being overly precise. I just want to know is it centred? Does it look right (from every angle)? Is the height right? And how much white space do I want between each piece?
Use a little bit of math (thanks grade 5!) along the way, and it’s one nail per piece, centred, and evenly spaced. Keep plugging away until it’s all on the wall.
It’s looking good!
I love how each print is so different, and adds a splash of colour to the wall. I think the Paris text gives your eye a place to rest so it’s not so overwhelming. I think it’ll work.
Gotta check the angles!
Love it when a project works out. And, right on budget. Worked with what I had and spent zero dollars. I think my favourite new perch will be an armchair eyeing up these beauties.
Well, we did our FIRST paint job in the new place! It looks alright… right?! But, I think I should revisit where we started out.
This pinky-beige was in every room of the house so we definitely needed to break it up a bit. Here’s how she was looking a couple days before we broke out the paint-cans (with everything shoved in the middle of the room prepping for the big day!).
The living room paint is nice and fresh! With this colour the two picture windows on either side of the fireplace will frame the outdoors so nicely. Can’t wait to see the buds forming on all the trees in Spring.
The grey and yellow in the furnishings makes so much more sense now against the clean off-white background. Looking for a fresh start of your own? We used Benjamin Moore “Soft Chamois” OC13.
(Now, just to get a little art up on the walls)!
Next, was finding the colour for the dining room/kitchen. It has some separation, but the main floor is still quite open. So, the trick was finding a combo we could handle staring at from both rooms. Benjamin Moore’s “Dexbury Gray” HC163 seemed like a good choice.
I had to do a few test swatches (just to make sure), always a good idea anyway. See? There is that pink-beige again…
And, there it goes…
Boom! It’s a nice hit of colour, right when you need it too — having your morning joe, about to start the day. Now, I just need to do something about that light fixture (a few of them actually).
(What’s that in the distance? I might of found some time to hang a little art in the living room, but, more on that another day).
Bonus for “Dexbury Gray”… it works with our rug, and the existing flooring and counter tops. That wasn’t a necessary goal as we’re eventually going to change these down the road. However, it was a nice surprise how well it all works together, instead of making our problem areas pop out.
A couple extra shots…
Sadly, there isn’t a paint that is going to help me with this backsplash situation. So, we’ll add this job to the list too!
Paint is a wonderful thing. Inexpensive and easy to change. A win-win combo.
Pax is moving in, and he’s bringing a lot of stuff with him. This is about a third of the boxes we lugged up the stairs, all in an effort to solve the lack of closet space in our master bedroom. (Olivia actually has a bigger closet than we do).
As you can see, this closet isn’t going to cut it for the two of us. Plus — see the door to the left? There is a little 2-piece ensuite there. We are scheming to add the existing closet space to the washroom to add a shower! (… someday… not now).
I won’t bore you with a documentation of the assembly of our PAX base cabinets. But, you can see, the full floor to ceiling size is going to help us out quite a lot!
We knew when we took our trip to IKEA, we wanted to do this once, and do it right. No skimping. So We invested in the doors, drawers and other accessories we needed to keep us enjoying our wardrobe for years to come. I have a shoe drawer now! Faaaaancy!
After 3 base cabinets, 6 drawers, 6 shelves, 3 rods, and one sliding pant organizer, we were hitting the 6 hour mark in assembly. We started to get the doors on when we finally called it a night.
That would be 12:30 am. When you add the driving and shopping, we had been at it for 12 hours… (we know how to do a “date day” right, don’t we?) and, we decided sleep wins over finishing.
And then… uh-oh. I realized the next morning… PAX was getting a little bossy. Something was going to have to change with my nightstand situation.
Lamp with a smaller table? Not a lot of nightstand function here. I’d have to take the lamp off every time I wanted anything from inside this little guy. Not so good.
Small table with a floor lamp? Looks kinda cute… but I’m a sucker for symmetry, and I think the view from the door with two different lamps might make me a little nuts. (Yep, I’m like that).
See what I mean? The weight of both the lamps and the tables are completely opposite, and you can see it all as soon as you enter the room. Hmmm…
So after aaaaall of that rearranging and experimenting, I thought, maybe there’s a little more room for the bed to get closer to the door? So I yanked on my bed frame as far as it would go to the left, and what do you know?! It worked.
Yep, my old nightstand fits just fine. Go figure! Sometimes the most simple answer is staring you in the face the whole time.
And yes, the wardrobe doors still have plenty of room to open. Win-win!
I gotta say, Ikea has got organization figured out. We have twice as much space as the original closet, but less space than our old closet before the move. But — you’d never know. Everything we had in our old walk-in is in this PAX system, and with Ikea’s Komplement system, it stays neat and tidy. I think I’m a convert.
There is still LOTS to do in here, but at least all our clothes have a home and we feel 10 times more organized than we did last week! It’s a work in progress, but we’re getting there.
Now that we have some fresh paint up on the wall (photos coming soon!), this wire mess just won’t do.
Recognize the shelving unit? Yet another repurpose for the new place. We need something to safely hold a couple components, and this will do for now. However, it doesn’t help us hide any of the accompanying power cords.
All we need for the job, is a handy dandy plastic shower rod cover. Yep, a shower rod cover. They are great for hiding wires. Never mind the drill, you’ll see what that is for in a minute.
I added the extra step of mounting my power bar (that’s where the drill came in) to the back of the cabinet (look for the keyhole on the back of yours, there’s a good chance you can mount it wherever you need to).
Give the plastic rod cover a light sanding, and then paint the same colour as your wall. Let it dry and you’re ready to go!
Measure the length of wire you need to hide, and cut your painted cover down to size. Then, easy-as-pie, slip it over all those pesky cords.
See? There they are hiding in there. And, because it expands, you can hide quite a lot.
The tension from the wires is enough to hold it in place, no securing needed.
Muuuuuuch better, am I right? A $5 fix, to a pretty ugly problem. Not too shabby, another reason why I LOVE the hardware store.
I just had to share the winter storm that passed through the other night. Steven couldn’t resist going outside in the dark to snap a couple photos, and we took a few more the next morning.
It came down very fast and steady. Nature kicks butt when it comes to REAL makeovers. So beautiful.
Whether you are enjoying sunshine or snow, I hope you enjoy your Monday everyone!
So today is a big day. The colour in our little piece of the world is changing. I love this part!!
Alright, so the living room is getting the “Soft Chamois” OC13, and the dining room / kitchen is getting the “Dexbury Gray” HC163. (The yellow tone is there to help me represent the kitchen cabinets wood tone).
Did a very attractive paint swatch up on the wall. Lovely right? Well, trust me, in person it did the trick. Lets hope I’m still happy with the decision about 48 hours from now when the furniture gets shoved back into place and I relax on the couch staring up at the freshly painted walls for the first time. Eeeeee!
This will give you an idea of what we’ll see from the living room. Surrounded by the a soft creamy beige/gray with a view of the bolder, deep, gray-blue.
A pretty bold colour, but that’s the beauty of paint… it’s JUST PAINT! Yipee! Wish me luck!
PS – Never mind the strange furniture placement, we’ve shoved everything together for the painting. However, did you notice something? Yep! The newest addition to the furniture family — the armchairs… Hello! There will be a better shot in the after photos.