Big baby news

A couple of weekends ago, Adam and I went to pick up our latest Kijiji purchase - a crib. No, it's not to pamper the dog (pet cribs actually exist, I looked it up). We're having a baby!

via Pinterest (source unknown)
That's why it's been a little quieter than usual around here lately. I can honestly say I've never been more tired in my life (for awhile there, it was all I could do to stay awake for dinner). There are also a few projects I had planned that I couldn't do when I found out I was pregnant (like staining our interior doors). Luckily Adam has really stepped it up and he assures me that he'll stain the doors as soon as the basement's finished (we're at the trim painting stage, which I can totally help out with).

via apartmenttherapy.com
I'm a little more than 12 weeks along (we're having an August baby) and starting to get my energy back. My stomach is also feeling better - I was never throwing up, I just felt like I had a month and a half long hangover (you know, when you feel hungry but everything you eat makes you feel sick?). I also managed to faint on the bus on the way to work one day (hello, embarrassing), but I've been carrying a water bottle around since then and that seems to be working.
via DwellStudio
My sister-in-law and a friend have already loaned me a bunch of maternity clothes and books, so for now I'm focusing on the fun stuff, like daydreaming about our future nursery (which also helps me cope with the exciting but totally terrifying reality that I'm going to be responsible for a living, breathing human). Oh, and the crib is a future DIY project, so if you have any tips on crib painting (like what kind of paint is safe to use) please share!


Pillow talk

After a week of working in Toronto and a weekend of visiting friends in Ottawa, I arrived home today to discover that a) my husband seriously got down to business in the basement while I was gone, and b) my Etsy pillow covers had arrived!

Yes, the coffee table desperately needs to be cleaned. It's on tomorrow's to-do list.

Quite lovely, no? I'll likely add another pillow or two (when I come across the right ones), but I love how these guys help tie the room together. Now I'm even more excited for my white canvas fabric to arrive so I can get started on a permanent slipcover for the chair - I'm envisioning contrasting black piping. Thoughts?

Oh, and I can't wait to share a basement update with you! Adam made a TON of progress while I was away and the transformation is pretty incredible.


Basement update

I'm off to Toronto for work this week and I'll spend the weekend in Ottawa visiting a friend and her new baby girl. Adam tells me he'll have the basement painted by the time I get home, which I couldn't be more excited about. Every other project in our house is on hold until the basement is finished, so I can't wait for the painting to be done! As a reminder, our basement basically looks like this:

Unfortunately I didn't take any true 'before' photos, so picture a 70's man cave complete with half-stucco, half-wood paneled walls, a giant vinyl bar (maroon), lots of mirrors and no light. It was bad.

Now the paneling, stucco, mirrors and bar are gone, the exterior walls have been insulated, framed and drywalled, and we have more outlets and overhead lighting (don't let that one sentence fool you - it was A LOT of work). Because the 'den' is so small (and framing/insulating the walls cost us more space), we decided to lose the window and create a storage room. Here's a terribly-lit progress photo:

We're thinking about adding loads of shelving in here at some point, so getting rid of the window made sense. I convinced Adam to leave the ceiling unfinished and just paint it (we got rid of that fiberglass insulation though). I figure drywall is really heavy, I'm short and it's a storage room. In other words, the cost-benefit ratio isn't good. Painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls will help it blend in and adding some simple trim along the tops of the walls will help it look more 'finished' (we're thinking thin pine strips painted the same colour as the walls/ceiling). This beautiful artist's rendering of said trim gives you an idea of what I'm talking about:

Of course we're also going to paint the floors and add baseboard. Here's another terrible progress shot - this time of the 'rec room':

You can see there's one remaining section of gross stucco. Since this room will be Adam's teaching studio and rehearsal space, we're going to cover that section of wall with pegboard to create a storage area for headphones, microphones, cords, etc. (I've come across tons of great inspiration photos on Pinterest). We'll likely switch out those lights for something nicer too.

The ceiling in here is pretty low, but luckily much nicer looking than the storage room's, so the plan is to paint it the same colour as the walls. With everything the same colour, the wires and pipes will hopefully blend in and the whole room should feel more open and light than it would if we 'finished' the ceiling. We've chosen Behr's Premium Plus Ultra Interior Eggshell Enamel in Desert Springs (it's kind of a greeny-grey) for both rooms:

We like that it's a paint and primer in one, and that it's durable, scrubbable and mildew resistant. For the baseboard and trim, we're planning to use the same colour we've got upstairs (did I mention we already have the paint?) - Sico's Cotton Rag Paper:

Adam and his father have already added trim to the window (and created a nice ledge for a plant or two). We're planning to use similar trim around the doors and a wider version for the baseboard (we'll also fill those screw holes and paint the window for a seamless finish).

We're still researching floor paints, but we're thinking of a colour like Behr's Intellectual:

So that's the progress and the plan, and now we'll see how much Adam can get done while I'm away!


Weekend wish list


Technically my birthday is only a few weeks away, so here are a few things I've been coveting lately, in no particular order. What's on your wishlist these days?

Happy Friday!


More living room tweaks

I'm trying to slow down this year and focus on one room at a time, starting with my living room. I've been making a lot of tweaks to it lately, but I can't seem to get it right (it doesn't help that I hate our couch and Adam has vetoed replacing it for now). Thank goodness for Pinterest. I looked back at the inspiration for my colour palatte and compared it to my room. The rug needed to go.

I actually love the rug, it just wasn't right for the living room. Oh, and there's the part where our dog thinks area rugs = dog toilets. I know. I can see the rug as part of a future outdoor seating area, so I'm holding onto it for now. With the rug gone, the room feels a little bare, but I'm convinced it was the right decision. I also decided to re-paint the frame of the couch. It had already gone from espresso to black, but this time I decided to go from black to white.

Like I said, not having an area rug feels weird, but it's better than having the wrong one, right? I also did some Etsy shopping and ordered two new pillow covers for the couch...

And several yards of white canvas. The plan is to make a permanment slipcover for the chair in our living room, using my first attempt as a template. Oh, and I'm going to fancy this one up with a little piping. Some simple changes, but I think I'm on the right track!


Got slats? Repairing a bi-fold door

Last week I shared some of my goals for my home in 2012. I couldn't have picked a better time to take it one room at a time - I've got a cold that's kicking my butt, so making dinner is considered a serious accomplishment.

Yesterday I decided to take on a small project that I've been meaning to finish for months. When we moved in, the closets in our bedroom didn't have any doors. I found them stashed in the garage and decided to revive them with paint and new hardware. There was only one little problem - two of the doors were missing a slat, which meant that even after many, many coats of white paint and some pretty new glass knobs, they looked like this:

Please excuse our floors, refinishing them is on the 'to do' list. The missing slats were nowhere to be found and everything I read online implied that slats are only replaced if the door's frame somehow comes apart and one falls out (in which case you'd still have it), so replacement slats were apparently not going to be easy to come by. Months go by and then while Adam and I were picking up some more supplies for our basement reno this weekend (because apparently we can't accomplish anything without going to Kent and Home Depot 18726318763 times), I checked the mouldings aisle for something that could reasonably mimic a slat. Of course I didn't have any measurements with me, so I just picked out a piece of pine that looked like it would do the job. It turns out it wasn't quite wide enough, so definitely measure before you go to the store (duh). Anyway, I measured the openings when I got home and Adam cut two slats for me.

I painted them, added some wood glue to the edges and gently tapped them into place with a hammer. Then it was just a matter of touching up the paint and waiting for them to dry. As I said before, they're not a perfect match, but I don't think they stand out either.

You can see the difference between the two types of slats in this slightly out-of-focus close-up:

I assume no one will be closely inspecting my closet doors, so it's good enough for me. Did you finally finish any projects this weekend, or are you good about not letting projects get away from you?

In other news, it's my husband's birthday today! We celebrated with friends over the weekend, but I want to wish him a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY here on the ol' blog. Happy 29th!!


2012 Home Goals

When I heard about The Nester's Home Goals Linky Party, I thought it would be a great opportunity to figure out what I want to accomplish in the year ahead. I started making a list of all the projects I'm hoping to check off my list, then decided to really focus on my goals for my home this year instead. So here they are, in no particular order:


I mentioned earlier that my garage looks like an episode of Hoarders right now, so this goal is a BIG one. I want to be able to look around my home and only see things I love, even if that means a lot of empty space (hey, I've got a limited budget). And hopefully by getting rid of things we don't want or don't need, we'll not only make space for the things we do, but also find it easier to figure what those things are (see my next goal). I have a feeling I'll realize and appreciate how much I already have, too.

Slow Down

I'm definitely guilty of putting pressure on myself to create the perfect room, the perfect home RIGHT NOW. Especially since I started blogging. Even if I could afford to run out and buy everything I want, I don't think I'd end up with the home I really want that way (if anyone wants to give me a bunch of money so I can test my theory - I'm in!). Rushing seems to lead to regrets. I can't tell you how many times I've rushed out to the store to buy something, only to realize that my room still doesn't look the way I want it to. Which leads to me rushing out to buy more stuff and now you're probably starting to understand why my garage is overflowing with crap. I know it will be difficult (for me), but I'm going to try to slow down this year and really think about what I want my home to look and function like, and what I need to do to make my home one I love.


I'm a chronic multi-tasker and I don't mean that in a good way. In trying to do everything, it's hard to do anything really well. It also leaves me feeling like every room in our house is unfinished, whereas focusing on one room or one project at a time would give me a place to escape to when the rest of the house is feeling particularly chaotic. So this year I'm going to try to focus on one room at a time, one project at a time.

What are your home goals this year?


Door inspiration

I hope everyone had a fun, relaxing weekend. I wasn't feeling too well, so while I was in bed watching episode after episode of Dexter, Adam got some more work done in the basement. We're thisclose to painting...I just need to pick a colour!

As soon as the basement is done, the next project on the list is staining our new interior doors. The picture above my inspiration - I love the contrast between the dark wood and the white walls. I chose a dark walnut stain for our solid pine doors and man is it stinky! Stinky enough that the doors have to be stained in the garage for ventilation. Unforunately our garage looks like an episode of Hoarders right now (I wish I was exaggerating), so until we can move a few things into the basement (OK, we also have a bunch of stuff to get rid of) there's just no room in there for door staining. For now I'm staring at this picture and fantasizing about how great those doors are going to look. And how awesome it will be to have doorknobs again.

Have you had to put any projects on hold lately?


Wallpaper your filing cabinet

I've been slowly converting the area behind our couch into a workspace for yours truly. It consists of our old dining room table, which is pretty beaten up and needs to be re-painted. I'm trying to brainstorm something a little different, which may or may not involve stripes. We had an old filing cabinet in the basement that I had fancied up with some fabric, but unfortunately my cat mistook it for an awesome new scratching post. Still, I thought it would be a good place to stash my sewing machine, fabric scraps and other bits of craft supplies. I had some leftover wallpaper from good ol' Home Depot lying around, so I measured and cut and glued it onto the filing cabinet with a combination of spray adhesive and modge podge (at the time, this somehow seemed less messy to me than just using water).

I didn't have enough wallpaper for perfect pattern matching and I swear the pattern was more stretched out in some places than in others (this can't possibly be true, but go with me), so the side that faces the wall is a little funky (luckily you don't see it) and you can the seams on the top are visible up close (the plan is to find a brightly-coloured tray that will hold jars of pens, coloured pencils and other office-y supplies, so that shouldn't matter too much either).

Plenty of room for my sewing machine and basket...

And my scrap fabric. This is only some of it - yes, I have a habit of putting things "away" and then not being to find them again. The phrase, "I think I saw it..." is uttered frequently and totally drives Adam crazy.

Now to figure out what to do with that desk...


It's here!

Guess what arrived over the holidays?

If you guessed the totally awesome lino block print I won in Designwali's giveaway, you're a really good guesser (I, on the other hand, get really excited by questions that start with "Guess what...?" only to remember as my mind instantly goes blank that I'm terrible guesser).

Anyway, back to the print. It arrived with a sweet little note from Toronto printmaker Ele of Minouette and went straight into a frame and up on the gallery wall in my living room.

Obviously my photography skills don't do it justice, but I assure you it's lovely and adds an interesting pop of colour to my gallery wall. Be sure to check out Ele's Etsy shop to see all her great pieces and a huge THANK YOU to both Ele and Designwali for this awesome Christmas gift!


Hello 2012!

Happy New Year and Welcome Back! I hope you're already enjoying 2012, despite the apocalypse waiting around the corner :) It feels like forever since I've logged into blogger and I admit that I missed you all terribly. I can't wait to catch up on my blog reading and find out what everybody's been up to!

As for me, I got to spend some time catching up with family and friends, making a few teaks to the house, and entertaining my nephews while Adam, his brother and pretty much anyone else we could trick into coming over toiled away on our basement makeover. Nothing makes you appreciate your friends and family quite like home improvement, eh? The exterior walls are framed, drywall is up, mudding and taping has begun, and we've got some new lights and outlets to boot. We've decided to keep the ceiling exposed, so the plan is to paint everything the same colour and embrace the industrial look. Which means we get to buy a paint sprayer! Yup, can't wait.

There are still a few steps before we get to painting - like choosing a colour - but I'll have some 'before' and 'progress' shots to share soon. In the meantime, here are a few updated pictures of our living room and the new office area I'm creating behind the couch (I've got a filing cabinet makeover to share with you tomorrow). I started vacuuming the living room rug one afternoon and ended up rearranging the entire room. Please tell me I'm not alone here.

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