My 400th Post!

Hi guys!  You know what happens when you don't blog for three months?  Your 400th post totally sneaks up on you!  I thought a video would be a fun way to commemorate this post.  Hope you enjoy it.  :)

By the way, we have some exciting things to share this week including a closet makeover for Rudy's room and an Ikea hacked toddler chair.  Stay tuned!



Kitchen Reveal

So I've been holding out on you guys when it comes to our kitchen.  After spending months and months on renos, we finished it last spring but I took a break from blogging before I could share all the photos!

Thanks for your patience but I finally have my act together and would love to share the finished product.  Things to note: With two big dogs and a baby, it's not usually this neat and tidy.  It's also technically not 100% finished since we still need to plug all the little Ikea holes inside the cabinets but I got impatient.  

Remember how sad our kitchen was when we moved in?

I prefer to think of it like this:

There was practically no counter space and hardly any storage.  When we finally installed our dishwasher, we had to remove our only drawers, which we replaced with an armoire and kitchen cart.  We also had that (formerly) exterior window, which looked into a standing shower left by the previous owner.  We had expected to add a powder room when we removed the shower but we've actually come up with a better use for the space and I'll blog about it later.

Another thing we changed was the side of the door to the basement.  We ended up opening an entrance to the basement landing right off the dining room.  This allowed us to close the wall in the kitchen and gave us more cupboard and counter space.  We even found room for a narrow pantry.

During the process, we updated the electrical work, added many lights and tore up our old tile flooring to lay new Marmoleum.  You can find several of our kitchen progress posts like this one under the renovations tab at the top of this page.

Are you ready for the actual "after" photos?  We are really excited to share them!  Here they are!

I love that we chose two toned cupboards!  We also opted for gold-hued pulls, which I tried to pick up in the vintage rug.  I also have a copper cookware collection that will eventually be stored and displayed above our cabinets.

Pictures usually tell it best but here are some details behind some of our design choices:

We LOVE our durable quartz counters and our giant double sink, which is usually filled on one side with bottles.

We love our cabinet lighting, which makes the kitchen feel more expensive for a relatively small cost.  We also decided to splurge on a marble backsplash to tie in the white and grey cabinets.

While we were tempted to install a gorgeous range hood, we opted instead for a microwave with a good fan because I really wanted to maximize both the counter and cupboard space.

We bought extra tall cabinets so neither of us can reach the top shelves without a stool.  The tops of the glass cabinets house decorative vases but the opaque cabinets are ALL functional storage.

You can see the door to the pantry at the far right of the photo below.  Had we not moved the basement door to the dining room, we would have lost all that space!

We have a little breakfast station set up in the far corner.  That's where we make coffee, toast and smoothies in the morning.

In order to maintain a clear passage to the family room, we had to end our counter with lots of space to spare.  We finished the room with shelves.  We plan to display Rudy's artwork in the frames. :)

There it is!  It's been a long road but it was worth the wait.  We hope you enjoyed the photos because we've really been looking forward to sharing them!  Our new kitchen is functional and modern but it still feels like us.

Stay tuned for our upstairs washroom and main floor family room reveals.



Many of you have asked to see a floorplan of the new/old house and I know the layout is hard to picture from the photos I post.  I haven't posted anything until now because Corey and I just haven't had the time to make one up.

Now that some of the larger renos are complete (photos soon, I promise!) I asked Corey to come up with a rough floorplan (the measurements aren't exact) that I can share with all of you.

Here are some things to note, now that you can see what I mean:
  • Many people who live in old semis like ours have opened the front hallway walls to create a more open-concept layout.  We initially chose not to because of the expense, but I've actually grown to like having a separate living room and hallway space.  
  • Initially, the door to the basement was in the kitchen, but we moved it to the dining room (not shown) to allow us to install counters and cupboards right to the wall of the kitchen.
  • The family room is an addition to the house.  When I write about the old shower in the family room, it was in the bottom left corner.  I still entertain dreams of building a small powder room in that corner, but for now, we've found another way to make the room work for our family.
  • Upstairs, we created a large closet in the master bedroom along the bottom wall, as shown in the diagram.  We hope to eventually create a door from the hall to the old master bedroom closet for additional linen storage.
  • Eventually, we may add a second storey to our addition.  It would involve extending the hallway through the nursery along the bottom wall for access to a fourth bedroom. 
Those are our plans for now.  At least now I can show you what I mean when I mention future renovations.

,,, And here are a few photos of the new/old house as it is today.  We've renovated our kitchen and bathroom this year so these are "after" photos.  We are currently working on an update for our family room and it's looking quite transformed from the day we moved in.  I'll share the rooms in more detail later but let's call this a sneak peek.



As you may have noticed, I've taken a bit of a break from blogging this summer.  Now that our family has changed, Corey and I are figuring out our routines and tricks for basically functioning as adults and getting Rudy fed, diapered, clothed and all the other good stuff new parents need to learn how to do.  Rudy is a really laid back baby (she sleeps through the night, doesn't cry at daycare... basically cue Wayne's World "We are not worthy" GIF and yet we still find that there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything we want.  I seriously don't know what people with multiple kids, single parents or even parents with more challenging babies do!  We are two on one and this is hard!

That's not to say I have nothing to write about.  Au contraire!  This summer has been filled with blog worthy moments and renos and I promise I've been taking notes and photos!

I think my hiatus (or blog-cation, as I call it!)  had more to do with my having a very busy spring at work and really wanting to stop and smell the flowers with Corey and Rudy this past summer.  I'm once again busy at work, and we're up to our elbows in home improvements, and Corey returns to work soon so I'm really glad I spent my first summer as a mom not taking photos and writing for my blog but just being in the moment with my amazing family!

Today is my 33rd birthday and it marks my return to blogging.  Last year at this time, Corey and I had recently returned from our honeymoon and the third trimester was kicking my butt!  This past year has been my best year yet at work, Corey and I have tackled even more projects around the house and (most importantly) it has brought us this big wump!

In 2014, we added a dog and a baby to our lives.  I don't expect any more additions for a few years.  I'm hoping this year, we can work on our parenting routine and tackle even more  projects around the house.  After all, we'll have help as soon as Rudy can safely wield a hammer! ;)

This year, more than ever before, I'm spending my birthday counting my blessings... and I can't stop smiling.


Father's Day Video

Happy Father's day to all the amazing dad's out there.  I'm always amazed when I hear negative comments about dads not being able to do everything that moms do because, in our house, Corey is a parenting rock star!  Seriously, he changes most of the diapers, books doctor appointments, keeps track of meds, stocks the diaper bag, reads stories, does loads and loads of laundry and has still found time to work on the house!  Rudy and I are two lucky women indeed!

A few weeks ago, Erica Ehm, founder of YummyMummyClub.ca organized a video sponsored by Huggies and featuring four new dads.  Corey was (of course) my favourite participant and I think the video shares some sweet sentiments about fatherhood.

Wishing you all (especially all the caring fathers) a wonderful day!


Chairish Mix and Match Style Challenge

I was recently contacted by the Community Manager for Chairish, which is a curated buy and sell site for vintage furniture and accents.  She asked if I would make a style board using mid-century modern items from their site.

With the mid-century modern trend in full swing, I wanted to use some mid-century pieces in a more fun and modern way.  Many people don't realize how versatile this style really is!  Instead of the traditional mid-century colours (like burnt orange and avocado) I chose bright colours that felt young and fresh and paired them with gold accents and lots of neutral space (think white walls to let the eyes relax) and I created a living room inspiration board using Polyvore.

Here's a link to my set.  Do any of you use Polyvore?  I think I'll be using it more often.  I've never really reached pro-level on Pinterest and I like that Polyvore will help you make style boards.  What do you think?

Mother's Day

Photo by Lew D'Souza

This was my first Mother's Day as a mother and Corey splurged on a pair of gold stud earrings to commemorate the special day.  I worked in the morning but we spent the afternoon with my mother, who played with Rudy while Corey and I relaxed and watched a movie.  It felt like a vacation!

Aptly timed, Saturday was RLP's annual Garage Sale for Shelter and I spent the morning volunteering at my brokerage to help raise money for women's shelters.  It seemed appropriate, right before Mother's Day, to help support mothers in our community who have left their homes in order to provide a safe life for their children.

Although my mother is low-maintenance and never wants a fuss, she is definitely reading this and I want her to know that my appreciation of her has deepened now that I am a mother too.  I finally understand the root of her unconditional love, unwavering support and saint-like patience and yet, I still feel that Rudy will be lucky if I am a fraction as good to her as my mother was (and still is) to me.

My mother always worked a demanding job, and yet she still found time to play with us, teach us things, read us stories and cuddle with us every night, take us camping, help with homework, take care of pets, volunteer on class trips, plan birthday parties, help navigate grade school friendship drama, volunteer as a girl guide leader... the list goes on!  How did she do it?  Maybe I'll learn her secret someday.

For now, I just want to thank her for being the best mother, role model, cheerleader, friend and mentor that I could ever ask for!  I don't know what we would have done if she hadn't moved in for three weeks when Rudy was born since neither Corey nor I had the first clue what to do with a baby!

Cheers to the amazing moms (and Nanas) everywhere!

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