One Year Ago

One year ago today I was enjoying a well-deserved day off.  After an exceptionally busy March and early April, I had arrived home from work the night before and polished off several glasses of wine.  It was my day off and I felt a little odd that morning.

I had purchased my first two-pack of pregnancy tests the week before because Corey and I had agreed that a December or August baby would work well with my work schedule.  We didn't expect it to happen and were prepared to try again late in the fall for an August 2015 delivery.  We were just sure we wouldn't be those lucky people who get pregnant really easily and we had prepared ourselves for a long road.

Our upstairs bathroom was currently under renovation and I remember taking the test in the basement bathroom before driving Corey to work.  I didn't wait long enough and tossed the test as soon as I didn't see a second line developing.  I didn't even want to tell him because I felt silly for getting my hopes up.  It wasn't until later that morning that I pulled the test out of the waste basket and saw a faint pink line that changed my life forever.

Corey and I often laugh at the degree of shock he felt when I told him.  I believe the phrase he used was something like "But we only pulled the goalie, we weren't really trying!"

So much has happened in this past year and, as my stretch marks begin to fade, Corey and I still remember how worried and nervous we were in the beginning.  For those of you with kids, you know what I mean: Isn't it sort of surreal and... well... terrifying in the beginning?  I think I must have spent days worrying about how I wouldn't be able to swear... or walk around in my underwear... or sleep in... or make irresponsible decisions anymore.  Then there was budgeting the cost of a baby, which made my head spin.  I kept having these crazy thoughts like OMG, We're going to have to keep the bathroom sooo clean so the baby doesn't think we're slobs.  Luckily, it's one of those things that's going to happen no matter what so you sort of have to jump on the train!

Having Rudy in our family feels like the most natural thing in the world now... Just like another member of our team.  It's funny how that works, right?  I can't believe one year ago she was our abstract and scary future and now we have a bright, babbling and animated little girl who imitates the noises we make, puts everything in her drooly mouth, tries to suck our faces when we kiss her and makes every day so SO special.



We're at it again!  And by "it" I mean, optimistically choosing paint colours when there's still too much work to do on a room to be thinking about painting.  We have a deadline though for some of the major renos because I'm hosting a client appreciation party at the house in early May.  Will we be ready?  Probably not completely but at least this gives us a tangible goal!

Corey's already working on enclosing the duct that runs up through our dining room but I'll write about that in another post.  Right now, we are narrowing down our paint choice to either Farrow and Ball Oval Room Blue (top) or Farrow and Ball Stone Blue (bottom) but we ran out of steam and only used one coat for our test swatches.

I think we're leaning towards the Stone Blue for the dining room and the Oval Room for the upstairs bathroom.  It's also time for new curtains to go with our colour palette and, I'm skipping this DIY (I don't have time during the spring real estate market) in favour of these budget-friendly velvet curtains from Ikea.  I actually have them in grey in the living room and they're so thick that they act as insulation for our window, which we'll need to replace eventually.

Considering we're thinking of using the bottom paint colour, we just need to determine whether we want curtains in a similar or lighter shade.

I think I prefer the darker curtains because monochromatic rooms can feel so sophisticated.  What do you think?

Also, the wall that we used to test the paint has now been completely replaced since the plaster began to crack and the wooden lathe wasn't secure.  Here are the photos:

I arrived home from work this weekend to a brand new wall and to Rudy's first real laugh.  It sounded like a hearty chuckle!  What a day!

By the way, this is a cool way to look at choosing paint colours.


It Takes A Village...

It really does take a village to raise a child.  Growing up, I remember having adult role models besides my parents who taught me different lessons.  Sure, I learned the most from my own parents who took us camping and taught us all the most important lessons, but it was fun to learn things from other "grown-ups" as well.

I remember there was a friend's mom who taught me to french-braid hair, my grandpa who taught me morse code.  My Nana collected fossils and taught me how to find them and I had an uncle who would prepare and garnish food beautifully.  Then, as I got older, there were important teachers who helped me improve my writing and babysitters who taught me to do my own french manicures.  It's funny how all the little things that you learn really do come from such different facets of your life.

Of course, I want to teach Rudy so much about life: from lessons about science to how to make a friend and how to stand up for herself... But I'm also excited to see what she'll learn from the other grown-ups in her life who aren't me an Corey.  We hope many of our friends and family will share their skills and interests with her as well.

A new mom I know just started a brilliant blog which does just that!  It allows all the important people in her little son's life to share a special skill or lesson.  It's called Sebastian's Village and I think the idea is inspirational.

What skill would you share?  For me, it might be how to start a campfire or maybe I'd pass my Nana's lessons on finding fossils along too.  I'd also like to share how to fly a kite or how to make a really good monkey sound or maybe how to tell a scary ghost story!  Isn't this a great idea?  What would your skill be?

A New Built-In

Do you have a dream home wish list?  I do and it's always included (among other things) a window seat and built-in display shelves with pot lights.

The window seat will have to wait, but I finally have my display shelves in the dining room!

Remember when we had ducts installed in the house for central air?  I blogged about it here and here.  Well, that part of our reno was bittersweet because, as important as central air was to us, we were disappointed to lose the space in our dining room and third bedroom.  At the time, we decided to find the silver lining by turning them both into accent features instead of plain columns.

In the dining room, we decided Corey would build shelves to showcase some of the pretty treasures we've collected.  This project was completed this past week after Rudy's bedtime.

Corey began by framing the shelves with wood.

He then added drywall.

He added a pot light to the ceiling of each shelf and a separate switch within the unit

He used plaster to conceal the seams and sanded between coats.

The finished product is beautiful and we can't wait to paint it!

We're going to use the unit to showcase a vase and an art bowl given to us by two of my bridesmaids as shower and wedding gifts.


DIY Stained Glass Planter

Work has kept me so busy that I'm often coming home after Rudy's asleep and I've been working on some crafts to wind down before bed.  This one is really easy and quick (except for the drying time) and this technique would also be great to decorate the outside of teacups or coffee mugs.  In fact, for older kids, it could make a great Mother's Day or Father's Day craft.

I wanted a plant in our bathroom, which is soooo close to being ready to paint.  Those of you who read my blog know that I don't have the best luck with plants, but I figured a bathroom fern would be low-maintenance and safe from Barkley and Cheetah.

I picked up a cheap planter from Value Village (Note: None of my precious milk glass was harmed during this craft) and I bought some tissue paper, dishwasher safe Mod Podge and a sponge applicator.  

I cut the tissue into little squares and "painted" on a small area of Mod Podge before placing each square.  I then gently painted over each one like a glaze.  I decided not to totally cover my planter and I let it dry when I was satisfied that I had covered enough.  When it was fully dry, I did one last coat of Mod Podge before letting it dry overnight.

I think it will be a sweet addition to our bathroom and hopefully, I'll keep this little fern alive for a while.  After all, I take care of a human being... How hard can a fern be?

Kitchen Progress

It seems that this time of year, I always take a little vacation from blogging in order to work longer hours.  This year is no exception, but I promise that some late nights of work have left me with dozens of half-finished posts so I'm hoping to be publishing them more regularly for a while.

Corey's been making incredible progress on the kitchen.  He's hustling to finish for a party I'm throwing for some of my clients next month and we're super excited to have such good motivation.  I'm really looking forward to showing my clients and friends the progress we've been making on our new/old house!

Most recently, Corey has added the spacers between cabinets and the hardware as well.  Doesn't that brassy gold just pop against our grey cupboards?  

He still has some drywall to touch up but we're so close to being ready that we ordered our paint today.  I can't wait to show you guys the finished product!


Allow Me To Shed Some Light...

Friends, how do we feel about pot lights?  I've always been on the fence and (probably a symptom of my job) they always remind me of finished basements with beige furniture.  Is anyone with me?

When it was time to think about lighting for the kitchen, I surprised myself by suggesting them to Corey.  You see, he had already installed all these fabulous cabinet and under cabinet lights and I didn't want some awkwardly retro-modern fixture that I rescued from Craigslist to detract from the clean vibe of our kitchen.  

Corey still has some patching to do (from running new electrical) but so far, I think I like them.

... And just to show you that I don't fully worship the god of neutral décor, guess what's back in our dining room!  I'll give you a hint- It solves a pet peeve I've had about the room since the day we moved in and it looked like this:

Give up?  Here it is:

No, it's not the painting.  I wrote about the painting here.  It's the light, which I wrote about here.

Remember when we had it in the condo?  I had loved it and it was one of the few things I actually cared for enough to move to our new/old house.  I remember our buyers had wanted it but I refused to give it up.

I know it's loud and maybe a little tacky but I just love it so much and now that it's up in the dining room (and the old fixture is sitting in a snowbank at the bottom of our driveway) the new/old house feels a teeny bit more like home.

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