Thanks to everyone who sent along warm wishes and positive thoughts for my return to work. The transition has gone smoothly so far - I even managed to get out for a run after putting Hannah to bed last night. I can't describe Hannah's excitement when I walk through the door at the end of the day, but I don't think I've ever seen her that happy and it feels pretty awesome to be the cause (Adam tells me she's been great during the day, too). Of course, we're all still figuring out our new schedules and routines (hello, pumping at work), so I really do appreciate your encouragement.
One of the projects I'm hoping to make some more progress on soon is our (future) backyard patio. I was inspired by Tracy's gorgeous backyard makeover in the May issue of Style at Home to put together a mood board. Our next step is to start digging the patio itself, so hopefully this will help inspire us through all that manual labour!
1 - Since the first moment of patio scheming, I've imagined string up lights. Without an outdoor outlet, this may not be possible, but I'm not giving up yet!
2 - I received two handmade navy blue and white striped pillows for Christmas (similar to these outdoor pillows) and I've been trying to figure out the best spot for them. They can't stay out in the rain, but they'll add some much needed style to our patio when the sun is shining.
3 - Thanks to everyone who offered their two cents on my side table makeover. I'm still tempted to go bright, but I'm also drawn to the classic appeal of this West Elm version. I can see it standing the test of time, or at least my ever-changing tastes.
4 - We already own these chairs in dark brown. Someday it would be nice to upgrade to the real thing, but they do the trick for now. Plus, I like that they're lightweight, stackable and easy to clean.
5, 6 & 7 - I know I'm a little late to the party, but I'd love to try making my own DIY concrete containers for the patio. These planters are sold in Australia, but they're great inspiration. I'd love to have separate planters filled with a brightly-coloured flower like angelonia and ornamental grass. We already have lots of ribbon grass on our property, so it should be easy to transplant.
In case you missed it, you can check out my inspiration for the patio itself here.
I hope you had a great weekend. Even better if it was a long one. I like to think we made the most of ours, the last before my return to work.
We spent most of Sunday outdoors, working in the yard. I added two new boxwood shrubs to our upper garden bed, along with a few heather plants. Next spring their purple flowers will be a nice addition to the greenery in that section of the bed, I hope. I also moved a few plants around to help fill in some empty spots. It's our third spring in this house, but we're still figuring out what should go where. We got a start on our veggie garden and I also planted some annuals, but I'll share those when they're in bloom.
My mom came to watch Hannah so we could have a late dinner with friends at 2 Doors Down. The restaurant opens to the public on Tuesday, but we were lucky enough to enjoy a little sneak preview. Our friend is the head chef (he did the food for our wedding) and the menu is amazing. My mouth still waters when I think about that fish taco and the strawberry rhubarb cheesecake I had for dessert was incredible. I highly recommend checking it out if you're in Halifax.
Wish us luck tomorrow! I think I'm ready to go back to work, but change is always a bit tricky. It's a short week, and my only goal is for all of us to survive it :)
|source: From Scandinavia With Love|
I've got shelving on the brain, obviously. Our dining room (if you can call it that; I think it's technically more of an "area"), is pretty so-so. We basically stuck some furniture in there and called it a day. Lately, I've been daydreaming about adding built-in shelving - inspired by the images above - on either side of the window. I think it would add some much-needed interest to the space and extra storage in a small space is always a good thing.
Here's an older picture of our dining room so you can visualize along with me (with the exception of a pretty awesome gilded mirror on the wall you can't see and a high-chair, it looks about the same now). I'd like to switch out the light fixture for something larger (and move this one into the bathroom). And because we're planning to replace the flooring and baseboards, I'd like to mount the shelves off the ground - like in the second picture - and extend them all the way to the ceiling.
Now I just need to convince Adam that this project should move to the top of our priority list (alongside my three other "top" projects).
Happy weekend (especially if you're in Canada - it's a long one)!
Here are your links:
-I have trouble believing that even a mature 16 year-old controls "his own agenda", but maybe?
-Kirsten and I have the same dream house.
-I know these are for kids, but is it wrong to want one for myself? I'm only half-kidding.
-An illustrated guide to shorts.
-They forgot old school pencil sharpeners. Also, I don't remember my school having any left-handed scissors.
-I want to go to here. And now I wonder what they're serving.
We're a microwave family. I know lots of people who live without one, but I could not, for coffee reheating purposes alone. Our microwave had seen better days (like, I'm almost certain it was a fire hazard), so when I saw this nearly-new one on Kijiji for next-to-nothing, I snapped it up. We didn't want or need anything fancy and I like how the handle resembles our cabinet hardware.
The opening it sits in is anything but pretty, I know. I think the plan will be to paint the interior (and possibly the exterior, but we're waiting until we're done updating the kitchen to make a decision).
The picture in the lower right-hand corner shows you what the opening looked like before. We trash-picked the wood and Adam cut it down to size (this is one of two openings in the kitchen side of the chimney and we found two similar pieces of wood, so, one for each opening). We cut a large notch in the back corner so the outlet is easily accessible. The large wire hanging down is no longer active (we had both openings checked out by an electrician), so I just tucked it out of the way for now.
I think painting the interior will make it less of an eyesore and help the cinder block blend in with the brick. I'm leaning towards a dark colour and possibly painting just the sides (at least until we make a decision about painting the entire chimney). Here's a really terrible Photoshop mock-up to give you an idea, or possibly confuse you further (sorry about that).
What do you think, should I try painting only the sides? Paint the back, too? Do you reheat a single cup of coffee multiple times throughout the day? Or, are you microwave-free and loving it?
We added a new rug to the living room over the weekend, purchased from this ebay store. I was pretty thrilled to find a rug with all the major colours in our living room (usually you pick the rug and then the colours, right?). Plus, it helps break up the large jute rug with some colour and pattern. Originally, I had envisioned something bolder, but I think the muted colours really suit the room.
On the other side of the room - where the living room meets the dining room - I added this small print from Value Village (Hannah and I stopped in while Adam was at the dentist last week). I'm pretty sure it's a small reproduction print of a Peter Markgraf silkscreen of BC's Sunshine Coast (which I've never visited, but am now determined to). Regardless, it's quite beautiful and I love all the blues.
And last, I switched up our bedding for summer. Yay for finally being able to pack away the heavy duvet! Now I need to dig out my ikat pillows for a pop of colour on the bed (though, honestly, it's been kind of nice not to worry about throw pillows when making and unmaking the bed!).
|via Emily Henderson|
I'm IN LOVE with the massive piece of art behind the bed. It's hard to believe it's actually a DIY piece by the brilliant Emily Henderson. And then there's the rest of the room. I'm trying not to get upset about a 9 year-old having a way nicer bed than me. I'm sure he's not the only one. If you want to create your own fabulous painting, Emily posted a full tutorial on her blog.
Got any weekend plans? We're making visits to both moms for Mother's Day and we've got plans for a short Mother's Day hike - weather permitting.
Here are your links!
-If DIY isn't your thing, here are some other sources of affordable art.
-Escape the rain this weekend with a film shot and set in Nova Scotia. The topic couldn't be more timely.
-I'm not sure how we would fit in it, but I've always wanted to buy this house and now it's for sale.
-Speaking of small spaces, Apartment Therapy has put together a big list of small space inspiration and organization ideas.
-Sounds like the perfect Mother's Day list to me.
These monthly photos are starting to get tricky! I had to distract Hannah with this (clean) wet sack from her diaper bag to stop her from launching herself off the rocker.
Her nine month check up was on Monday; she now weighs 18 lbs. and grew 7 cm since her six month appointment (seriously, the rate at which babies grow is insane). She can move pretty quickly now (crawling) and she loves to practice balance poses (sticking her butt in the air seems to be her favourite). She must have learned a thing or two in our yoga classes ;)
She's starting to pull herself up onto objects and people, so we really can't take our eyes off her. She's fearless, this one. She's also loud. To her, yelling and talking are the same thing and she's always up for a good conversation.
She seems to be going through a little separation anxiety - she cries when I leave the room and sometimes when I enter the room and she realizes I'm not holding her. I'm headed back to work full-time in a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping this phase passes quickly. I'm looking forward to the return to work (I'm lucky enough to really enjoy my job), but of course I'll miss being home with Hannah and Adam (Adam works from home, so the past nine months have been especially awesome). She's so interested in everyone and everything now, it's incredibly fun to be around her. Oh, and when she sees herself in the mirror? Pure joy.
I'm taking a photo of Hannah every month until she turns two. You can check out the rest of her monthly photos here.