27 February 2012

The House Number/Mailbox War Has Been Waged & Won ... The Light, Not So Much. And A Little Oscars Rehash Thrown In For Good Measure

Good morning, everyone!! Or good afternoon ... or evening ... good WHENEVER you've popped in on my little corner of the world today, really. Did you enjoy the Oscar telecast last night? Did you watch?

I am a rabid Oscars fan and diligently watch every year, so it's with some experience that I say: what the hell? As I tweeted last night during a robust and incredibly funny Oscar-Twitter party (which, I'm not afraid to say, was way more entertaining overall than any of Billy Crystal's work, excluding maybe only the opening montage and his hawt man-on-man action with George Clooney), the whole telecast had the production value deserving of a Razzie award at best: I mean, it's the OSCARS, people. Can we not get a microphone that works? Or place the speakers somewhere that we won't get feedback during the whole thing? Seriously.

The whole reason we tune in, though, is the fashion, and the ladies and gents of the red carpet did not generally disappoint. There were a few misses for me (I'm looking at you, Sandra Bullock) but overall the celebs were at their shiny, happy best. Here are a few of my favourite looks of the evening:

Michelle Williams & Kristen Wiig ~ images via Harper's Bazaar
Gwyneth Paltrow (in a cape: LOVE) & Angelina Jolie ~ images via Harper's Bazaar
Blogger's Note: I know Angelina took a lot of flack last night for the whole leg thing and yes, we can universally agree that she desperately needs to eat a burger or seven, but to all the LegGate haters I say, how can you not throw out a gam at every opportunity with a dress like that? It was MADE for standing just so and telling everybody by the jut of your hip that you're better than them. I'm not going to lie: if I had her looks and her money and her influence and her career and her husband, I'd stand that way too. Just sayin'.
Ellie Kemper via InStyle & Penelope Cruz (who looked like a Spanish Grace Kelly) via NowPublic 

And of the gents? They all looked handsome (everybody looks good in a penguin suit, no?) but the most dashing man on the red carpet (I thought) was Jonah Hill in a tone-on-tone tux, and who was made even more awesome by the fact that he brought his mom as his Oscars date (which is both classy AND adorable). Nipping closely at Jonah's fashion heels was the always dashing (even at 82!) Christopher Plummer, who totally nailed it in a navy velvet jacket and accessorized later in the evening with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Nice.

Jonah and Mrs. Hill via TresSugar & Christopher and Elaine Plummer via International Best Times

But since I was neither on the red carpet air-kissing the other beautiful people, nor tag-teaming with Carl the Seat Filler inside the "Chapter 11" Theatre (apparently my invitation was lost in the mail), let's get down to the really important events that happened this weekend:


That's right! We waited until we-couldn't-possibly-find-a-colder-day (Saturday) and then set about trying to make our numbed hands do actual work in what turned out to be some substantial winds, but we won! They did our bidding, and now our house that used to look like this

now looks like THIS

We will have a little work to do in cleaning the brick (the white marks you see there are paint marks, where the original board has rubbed against the brick for 35 years. It'll take some scrubbing and some weather to work it off, but we're patient people and we'll just keep at it 'til it knuckles under). The mailbox, which used to be silver and looked like this

was a great find at Rona and, after a couple of coats of black spray paint (Tremclad, also from Rona) was perfect for our new look! The numbers were a stylish steal from Lowe's, which we opted to floating-mount (rather than flush) to keep consistent with the mid-century look and feel we're aiming for. Here's a shot of the numbers from the side, to give you an idea of the "float":


The install went fairly smoothly, if you don't consider the weather (freezing) and the fact that our exterior light was missing a critical piece and couldn't be mounted after all (grrrrrr...). We solved the temperature problem by tucking all Daryn's shirts into his pants (to prevent the up-draft) and to wear gloves, which seemed to make him happier. We don't have a small ladder so we used this instead:

Yes, safety first, people (pffft!) That is our daughter's toddler chair that hangs around our house for occasions just like this. And kudos to my husband who, throughout the entire process that included me hovering in the doorway (because I DIDN'T have gloves) and taking incessant photographs instead of actually helping, patiently stripped the entrance down to a clean slate and built it back up again. Here's a couple of "action" shots that he was so excited for me to take:

"How is this thing even ON here?"  Nailed in, that's how. And not so easy to pull out of
brick, as it turns out.
"So this is basically just a piece of 2x4 laid crossways across the siding. I've got to cut it open. *sigh* I LOVE THIS HOUSE." Ilovethishouse, Ilovethishouse, Ilovethishouse is a constant refrain muttered by both hubby and I as we constantly discover new and fun things that are broken/falling apart/weird/jerry-rigged/dangerously-close-to-self-combustion around here
"None of these fracking drill bits are labelled! This better be big enough, 'cuz I am NOT
 this again!"

Yeah, good times. But what matters is that at the end of the day, our entrance went from looking like this to looking like this:

And when the light goes up, it's going to be spectacular. Just wait for it! (and wait, and wait, and then wait some more ....) Check back in tomorrow when I'll have an update for you on the hallway beautification project, and I'll let you in on my newest project around the house.

I hope everyone had a great weekend? What did you folks do that was productive, useful, satisfying and/or just plain awesome?

24 February 2012

My Weekend Plans: A {Brief} Photo Diary

It's a weekend respite between volleyball tournaments and I suspect the weather will keep us mostly indoors, which means we'll be tackling some of those project that I keep threatening to finish and share with you. You can count on some updates next week!

To make it interesting (for you, I mean, not me. Its my stuff so I'm already interested :) and to play around slash exercise my mad shutterbug skillz, here's my two-day to-do list in photo format:

This is ~ no joke ~ ALL I plan to do this weekend (outside of the usual cooking and grocery shopping and maybe, if the kids talk sweet to me, some laundry). But I think that's enough.

What about you folks? Any big plans for the weekend? Or are you, like me, planning to hibernate until this full-on winter weather passes us over?


23 February 2012

Inspiration Gallery #15 | Sexy {Painted} Ceilings

Yes, it's true: I have been known to sometimes, occasionally, every now and then, have a one-track mind (try not to die of the shock). And with the painting well underway in the hallway (and the testing of the gold ceiling paint a dismal failure), I'm spending my mental hours obsessing about that painted ceiling. With that in mind, I took to my favourite time-waster the 'net for additional inspiration. I hope you find these inspiring too!

Strawberry pink is sweet but not saccharine
{image by}

This high-gloss orange makes my heart go pitty-pat
{image by}

Painting the ceiling sky blue lifts it right off the room and makes
it feel like it goes on forever ...
{image by}
{originally appeared in Domino Magazine}

I'm not sure a striped ceiling is in my future, but I love the interplay
between the dynamic ceiling and wall colors
{image by}
{originally appeared in Domino Magazine}

LOVE the high gloss black ceiling ... so sexy
{image via}

This high-gloss yellow looks great during the day, but
imagine it at night? It would glow like candlelight
{image designed}

The combination of vibrant colours makes me happy just to look at it

I WISH this would have worked .... *sigh*

22 February 2012

Holy Hairdo, Batman, That Hallway Looks Terrific!

So as promised, I took the day off from blogging yesterday to actually get stuff done around the house, and a good thing I did. No sooner had I packed the kids off this morning when I got a phone call from A's elementary school. Turns out the little one wasn't so much kidding when she said at breakfast that her stomach was hurting, and she had already been laying in the nurse's office for 20 minutes before she had a "breakfast revisited" situation all over the floor ... and all before 9.15am!

She was back home by 9.30 and spent the day wilting on the couch, demanding tea and toast and hand-holding and head rubs; time and attention and a bucket and a cold cloth; the TV remote and that I put her hair in a ponytail and then that I take it out; more toast and a blanket, her stuffies but not that one, no the other one ... no, the jaguar, mum; socks please and can I get her her robe? Thanks.

But despite having a disease-ridden mini-Mariah (read: a sick little diva) hanging around all day making demands or the hostages will be shot, I still managed to tick some things of my to-do list, including the first coat of paint in the hallway. And Holy hairdo, Batman!, what a difference a lick of paint makes!

My thoughts on the transformative power of white are well-documented, but once again my socks were knocked clean off by the whole look and feel of the hallway after the base coat was applied. Our ceiling looks ~ no exaggeration ~ ten feet high. The hallway itself, a fairly narrow affair, looks way wider; it's like the walls just disappear. And bright?! It's so ridiculously bright in there, I sort of feel like I need to wear shades (it's all, Calm down, Corey Hart up in here right now)

Here's what it looked like "in process" (with just the cutting in completed)

These shots are taken standing at the entrance looking straight ahead (though slightly skewed to the left) [left] and to the right [right]. You can see how dark and cave-like it looks, even with the cutting in and two walls partially completed

Let's pretend you don't see that sock and that shirt and that fan, just sitting in a sad jumble in front of my hall closet. And let's also pretend that you don't see my closet doors hanging open (because they're old and they don't close properly any more especially when my kid fills them with her laundry, and because I was too lazy to try and force them shut for the photo). And finally let's pretend that you don't see our laundry hanging in the bathroom from the shower rod and over the side of the tub, because we all know we all do this but it's better not to admit it so just politely look away (but not before you check out the paint situation, which really is the point of these pictures anyway).

And here is a glimpse of phase one of the After photos:

Photos taken from just outside the entrance to the hallway and looking straight ahead [left] and from J's room [right].
The yellow chair is my improv version of a step ladder.

Can you even believe the difference a single coat makes??! Now of course I can't just leave well enough alone; that just wouldn't be like me at all and I'd really hate to disappoint the fans* by keeping it simple. I'm going to stick with the white theme for all the door frames, just to keep it consistent with the bathroom, and I'll do it in the same high-gloss colour as well (Ben Moore's Oxford White). Nice and clean, easy wipe-down, kid-friendly and classic. 'Cuz that's just how we roll around here.

The hall closet, though, I think presents an opportunity for something dynamic. I could paint it out in the trim colour and be done with it: it would disappear into nothingness but by extension would make our hallway look ninety feet long** By the nature of its placement at the end of the hallway, however, it's a natural focal point and the more I consider it, the more I think, Why fight it? If it's already a focal point, why go to so much effort to disguise it? Would it be easier to dress it up? That way, when your eye is drawn to it naturally you're not all, like, is that a cupboard way down there, or are those just weirdly placed hooks?*** Makes sense, right?

So here's where we're at: the walls need at least one more coat of both rolling and cutting in, but realistically they probably need two to get full, saturated coverage. I'm still looking for some fab-freebie wallpaper scraps for the bathroom door (so if you've got any that you'd like to donate, let me know!) and once that's nailed down, I'll draw a colour from the paper to paint the hallway ceiling**** (in high gloss, so it's reflective and will bounce light around the space) and the cupboard doors. And THEN I think I'll put up some artwork on the cupboard doors, as well as above them, to make it an end-of-the-hall gallery.

So what say you, peeps? Have I hit the nail on the head, or would you do something completely different? I'm always open to ideas: lay them on me! Otherwise, third-party validation is always nice :)

Don't forget to check in tomorrow for this month's inspiration gallery! Ciao for now!

*By "fans" I am loosely referring to the family, who actually would prefer that I keep it simple, so really what I'm doing here is employing irony for the purpose of humorous entertainment for everyone BUT the "fans," who sometimes don't appreciate my sense of humor at all
**A rough estimate
***Referring to the cupboard door knobs
****Yes, I'm abandoning the gold metallic ceiling paint idea. Good concept, but rather sad in test-execution. High gloss colour is my Plan B, and I'll get my gold on somewhere else in the house (just as soon as I figure out what and where that is). Some way, some how, this gold idea WILL WORK. Please stand by ...


21 February 2012

I'm Making Like A Kit Kat ....

... and taking a break today. Today is shaping up to be a busy day for me, so instead of trying to squeeze in a blog posting (and mostly likely botching it up and/or creating the most boring posting ever), I'm just pulling the trigger and saying, I'm out for the day. See you tomorrow, peeps! But before I go, I'll leave you with this image, just because I like it and it makes me happy to look at it. Could you live with this much pattern for an hour? A day? Forever? I don't know what it is about it, but I love it. Can't get enough. See you tomorrow :)



20 February 2012

Tagged!! I'm It ... Are YOU Next?

I'm a huge fan of all the games and awards floating around the blogosphere designed to share the bloggy love, to network and to just generally get to know your fellow bloggers. So when Martina (from the fabulous blog Adventures in Building Beauty ~ check it out if you haven't already!) tagged me recently in a game of Blog-Tag, I was so down with playing!


Of course, there are rules (because there are always rules):
  1. You must post the rules
  2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself in your post
  3. Answer the 11 questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create 11 new questions to ask the people you've tagged
  4. Tag 11 people and link them in your post
  5. Let them know you've tagged them!

So without further adieu, let's get this party started!

Martina's Q's:

Do you collect anything?
I'm not the type of collector who scours flea markets or eBay for their particular collectible ~ no dolls or dishware or what-have-you for me (though I've often thought maybe I'd like to be: trolling antiques markets searching for just the perfect spoon seems like a really fun thing to do on a Sunday morning). We have recently started collecting the works of a local artist named Sarah Joncas, though, so I suppose that counts? We have four original pieces and two prints, and I've got my eye on several more that I'd like to obtain over the next few years. Also I "collect" magazines (in that I buy them and then don't have the heart to throw them out) but that's more a lack of willpower than any real intent. So, just the artwork then.


What is your favourite comfort food or recipe?
I have different comfort food for different situations, but all of them originate from my Nanny. The food that tastes the most like "home" and that I find comforting after a really bad day, or any kind of emergency, is homemade chili. I've messed around with the original recipe on occasion but generally I stick pretty close to the letter and it never fails to make me feel more relaxed and happy. And when I'm sick, there's nothing better than a toasted tomato sandwich: lightly toasted white bread with lots of butter, and thinly sliced fresh tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper ... Mmmmmmmmmm. My Nan's the only one who can make it so perfectly, though (it never tastes right when I or anyone else makes it; I don't know why), so I haven't had one since she passed away in 2004. It's just one of the million little things I miss about her.

What features would your dream home have and where would it be?
Let it be known that I fully realize how nerdy this is going to sound (as well as sounding like a little bit of a cop-out, too) but we already live in our dream home. Yes, there are lots of things we'd like to change about it, both large (I'd love to add a small second story with a larger master bedroom, en suite and office for Daryn and I, then knock down the wall between J and A's rooms to make one large room, and move one of them into our current master + renovating/expanding the kitchen + landscaping, Landscaping, LANDSCAPING!) and small (installing a tray ceiling in the living room, making the "wreck" room functional, painting, etc.) but overall we live on a beautiful lot, in a fantastic neighborhood, in an amazing town. Our kids go to terrific schools with lovely teachers and have a great group of friends. We feel safe letting our kids roam around town (within reason, of course) and they have an incredible amount of freedom. We have everything at our fingertips but still maintain a small town feel. It's perfect.

East coast or west coast, where would you choose to vacation/travel?
West coast. Definitely. I would love to travel to the east coast if we ever get an opportunity, but mine is a family of skiers (even our littlest has recently been turned to the dark slope-y side!) so the mountains are where it's at for us. As for me (the devout non-skier), I love hiking in the mountains, and sleigh riding at the base of mountains, and taking photos of mountains, and admiring the mountains while indoors drinking hot chocolate, so it all works for me.

Name two modern (2009 - present) trends that you either like or dislike.
Industrial accents in the home and more Canadiana (see: Hudson's Bay blankets, fur throws and anything birch bark) are two fairly recent design trends that I can fully get behind, 100%. The resurgence of neon colours and brass? Um, noooooo ....

Milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate?
Mostly I'm a milk chocolate girl, but I've been known to indulge in some dark every now and again. There's nothing like a big mug of hot tea and a Burnt Almond bar to while away an afternoon reading magazines.


Favourite quote?
Equally divided between two (is that cheating? sorry if it's cheating)
"It's a traaaaap!" ~ Admiral Akbar, Star Wars (this quote is applicable everywhere, all the time; think about it)
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning" ~ Catherine Aird (I live by this motto; it's really freeing)
When eating out do you tend to 'play it safe' and order something familiar, or do you prefer to try something new?
I used to be that girl who had to know exactly where we were eating well in advance, so I could check out the menu online and decide on my order. If I didn't know, I couldn't go (yes, I'm a little bit crazy), and I suspect it really took some of the fun out of eating out for my friends and family (nothing like sucking all the spontaneity out of things to really ramp up the fun factor for all involved!). Lately, though, I've been trying to "grow as a person" by leaping out of my comfort zone inch by inch. We try new restaurants pretty regularly, and I've stopped checking the menu in advance. Also I try new dishes at familiar eateries, just to see if there's anything I like better than my old standards. There are definitely some days when I backslide into my old habits, but more and more I'm living life on the edge of the menu. Yeah, I'm that bad-ass ...

What do you do when you're stuck in traffic?
Honestly? It depends. Some days I can while away the time grooving to the radio or to my iPod, singing along (like the secret rock star that I am) at the top of my lungs. Other times I lose my g-ddamn mind. I curse at other drivers and at the universe in general, I shake the steering wheel like I'm throttling it and sometimes (not often, but sometimes) I have been known to cry. I hate traffic.

Vintage, modern or a mix: which do you prefer?
Definitely a mix, but more heavily weighed to the vintage side of the spectrum. When Daryn and I were first married, our entire house was furnished in hand-me-downs from friends and family. I hated it ~ I wanted all new stuff, because that's what I really thought grown-ups did (they bought new furniture and didn't always live with mismatched items like they were in perpetual university). As we got older and a little more financially comfortable, however, I discovered the joys of second-hand items that were of my own choosing, and my own style. Awesome. Now I can't imagine not having vintage items in our home: I love that a lot of our furniture has a history, and has been pre-loved by someone else. It gives it soul.

If you could add one tool to your repertoire, what would it be and why?
A chop saw! I'd choose a chop saw, for a number of reasons: 1) I'm terrified of it, and would like very much to overcome my fear, 2) they're bad-ass and awesomesauce ... I would feel very grown-up and accomplished if I owned one AND I knew how to use it, and 3) I have a lot of plans for the house that include a great deal of mitering. If I could do it myself, I would save myself a ton of money, and just imagine the sense of accomplishment! I could look at my cove ceiling or my chair rails and say, Yeah, I did that. BY MYSELF. So yes, definitely a chop saw.

11 (Fun) Facts About Me:

1. I've broken many bones in my lifetime (collarbone, hand, nose, elbow) but the first time I was ever put in a cast was when I broke my leg coming down the stairs into the GO station during my morning commute in late 2009 (some dude stepped on my foot and pinned me to the stairs, and I went forward ~ landing on my face two steps down ~ with my foot still firmly planted under someone else two steps up. Basically snapped my leg in half). I made up for lost time on the cast front, though, by having to wear one for five months. It did not smell good.

2. Once during an event that I was managing at a downtown hotel, I struck up a conversation with a couple of patrons at the bar late in evening while I was preparing for session the following day. It turned out that one of the patrons was a Giller Award-winning writer (whom I greatly admired, and still do), and when the conversation turned to houseplants, on a complete whim the writer, the bartender and I took a mad-cap dash around the city at midnight looking for paper (for me) and the perfect fern (for the writer). The search was in vain, but oh-so-much fun.

3. I'm just a normal girl who really doesn't get out much or do anything exciting, but I've met a statistically disproportionate (I think) number of celebrities in my lifetime: 11 introductions/conversations, 17 other sightings that I've been close enough touch and 1 innocent, squeeze-by ass-grabbing of a gorgeous A-lister at a party, for which I did not get arrested: woot. Pretty good for a small town chick.

4. Even though I don't read comic books of any kind, I luuuuuuuurve any and all movies based on comic books (yes, even the bad ones ... I'm lookin' at you, Daredevil ...) I drive my husband insane with a constant flow of questions during the movie(s) like Why is he doing that? What's his back story? Does she love him or not? What's her power????? but he never fails to answer them because lets face it: it's better to have a wife who likes that genre of films than not, no matter how long it takes to explain it to me. At least, he thinks so!


5. I'm not a big fan of the telephone (read: I hate it; thanks for nothing, Alexander Graham Bell!) I've been toying with disconnecting our home number for about a year now but haven't pulled the trigger yet, mostly because in the event of emergency or natural disaster, land lines will remain active while the cell network will disintegrate. But I think it's really rude when people call me at home, ever (it's unreasonable, I know), and I totally screen my calls. All the time.

6. I get seasick in the bathtub.

7. I'm one of those weirdos who only names their pets with human names, causing much confusion during play time at the park. We've had dogs named Molly, Luca, Tommy and Chloe, and if we ever have another and it's a male, I'm going to name it Steve. Or Kevin. Because I think it would be hilarious to say Kevin, get off the furniture! or Drop it, Steve! and watch how people react. Besides, let's all be honest here: a shih tsu named Kevin is just comedy gold.

8. I live in constant fear of home invasion by a psychotic killer. We sleep with a baseball bat by the bed, and I will sometimes check that all the doors are locked two or three times before being able to sleep. Criminal Minds gives me nightmares on a regular basis (but I can't stop myself from watching!)

9. I still watch cartoons, and not just because my kids like them and I have to. I genuinely like them and I choose to watch. Scooby-Doo is my favourite (both the original version and the updated series), but I've also been known to indulge in The Justice League, X-Men, Fairly Oddparents, Johnny Test and Avatar. And I LOVE Phineas and Ferb (in fact, my car is named Ferb, so that I can go out every morning and say Ferb, I know what we're going to do today! I wish I was making that up)

10. I'm not a winner. The only time we've ever won anything was a small chest freezer from our local grocery store about 15 years ago, and it was because my husband filled out the ballot. I submit my name in every free draw and giveaway around, all the time, and I never win, not ever. I'm just not lucky that way.

11. I don't know my right hand from my left. When hubby and I are traveling anywhere and I'm navigating, he knows to follow where I point, not where I say. I always mislabel my hands and as a result, have given many people very bad directions. There are lots of folks who've been lost in the world thanks to yours truly.

Wow, that was waaaay tougher than I thought it would be! I'm actually pretty boring, so drumming up some "interesting" facts about myself was challenging (especially when I shot some of my "funny" bolt in the Liebster and 7x7 posts! :)

11 Terrific Blogs That Are Now IT!

1. Shannon at 8foot6

2. Janice at Life Begins at Thirty, Right?
3. Lisa at Wicked & Weird
4. Sundeep at Designwali
5. Dana at Bungalow'56
6. Heather at Heather & Mike's Brady Bunch Remodel
7. Kelly at JAX Does Design
8. Lisa at ...Just over the River
9. Amy at aDESIGNdock
10. EJ at Not A House, But A Home, and
11. Michelle at Sweet Suite 10

... And Here Are Your Questions!

1. How would you describe your design style, in 5 words?
2. What features would your dream home have, and where would it be located?
3. If you could be besties with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
4. Vintage, modern or a mix of both: which do you prefer?
5. What is your favourite colour?
6. Describe your perfect Sunday morning.
7. Who would you have attend a fantasy dinner party? Guests can be anyone living or dead, famous or not.
8. If you could become (or meet) any fictional character, who would it be?
9. How much time do you devote to blogging each day?
10. What skill would you love to learn?
11. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

Thanks for the tag, Martina, I had a great time playing!

17 February 2012

Friday Rundown: Week in Review

Good morning, peeps! Anyone else have a bit of a slower start this morning? We've got a big weekend ahead of us: J has a tournament tomorrow in Strathroy (more than two hours away from us ... ugh!) so today is all about tourney preparation and then hopefully, early to bed for a good night's sleep. We have to be out the door at (the ungodly hour of) 5.45am and it'll be a long long day on top of that, so I'm thinking of hitting the hay at 8pm like a third-grader. We'll see how it works out.

So today, because my attention span (if measured on a scale of gnat-to-10) is definitely at gnat level, I thought I'd give you the general rundown on a handful of little things that deserve their own update but aren't exciting enough to warrant an individual post each. Ready? Here we go:

1 - That gold paint is becoming my nemesis. Or at least, definitely not my best friend. I tried it on the hallway ceiling yesterday as promised, but it's not going to work. This is how it looked in flash photography

which gives it the shiny effect, alright, but the application is splotchy and uneven. Even when I tried to smooth it out to create a uniform coat, I can still see the swirl marks from application and some areas are darker than others, despite my best efforts. And without the flash ...

my ceiling looks like it's been peed on. Nice. And while I have every confidence it would look a thousand times better if the walls were white instead of brown, you can see even more clearly how streaky and uneven  it looks, which is definitely not ideal. I'm not ruling out gold metallic paint in general, but this little pot is not the one. I'll have to keep looking.

PS ~ For anyone wondering, yes, Daryn is super-excited at having yet another paint swatch on what previously was a perfectly good (and uniform) painted surface. He luuuuurves it when I get in these moods ...

2 - One of my plants is dying. Already. *SIGH*

Even after I went to all the trouble of re-potting it, feeding it, watering it religiously, talking nicely to it and turning it this way and that in the sunlight to ensure all the leaves get a little sun-love and not just one side, that ungrateful little bastard is being totally unreasonable and has started shedding leaves ~ perfectly good, not-even-a-little-bit-dead leaves!! ~ all over my floor for no good reason! I'm out of ideas: it can go ahead and die if it wants to. It's a good thing it was free.

3 - Ages ago I mentioned (briefly) that I was in the process of selecting and scanning old family photographs for a recipe book project I've been threatening to complete for several years now. No progress on the actual book, but I've got all the photos back! How awesome is it that I now have digital files of some of the best photos of two of the people I love most in the world? Hint: it's awesome.
My grandparents in Lakeview, 1955
Their wedding day ~ February 14, 1958
Good times at the cottage

4 - I've also been pining after a photo of Daryn and I that was taken forever-ago and is my absolute favourite of the two of us. I finally, finally got it scanned, and we. are. adorable. (in my humble opinion)

5 - Our exterior light has arrived! I'm picking it up today and hopefully this weekend (or sometime very soon next week), this bad boy is going to get installed.

It's our first step to beautifying our exterior facade, and soon the pizza guy won't have any trouble finding us!

6 - The delightful Martina over at Adventures in Building Beauty has tagged me in a game of "Get To Know Your Fellow Blogger" ... thanks Martina! I love me some reindeer blogger games :) Be sure to get to know Martina a little better here, and check back on Monday for my answers and to see if you're it!

I hope y'all have a great weekend, and if you're looking for a little light reading, check out some of these terrific blogs I've added to my reading list week: you'll love them! 'Til Monday!

New to the reading list ... enjoy!!:


16 February 2012

Mirror Beautification Project = Epic Fail. Bummer.

Apologies for the late post today, peeps. The doggie drama continued early this morning but after spending the day chasing down information and making (or, in this case, postponing) some very difficult decisions, she and my mum are resting relatively comfortably at home, if a little disoriented (the dog, not my mum. well?? no, just the dog ...)

Anyhoo, it's been a busy day and now is the first opportunity I've had to sit down in front of my computer, but I've been busy behind the scenes trying to put the finishing touches on A's mirror (and finally get the fracking thing UP!). I'm not going to lie to you: it's not going as well as I'd like.

First of all, a quick recap (just in case you're just joining me and aren't familiar with the mirror makeover). Ages and ages ago I purchased this mirror from a dude on Craigslist for fifty bucks or so:

Quite the looker, no? That was a rhetorical question: it was ugly as ... well, let's just agree that it was really, really ugly and leave it at that. But for fifty bones plus a quick trip to Mississauga, it was worth it. With its size (approximately 3 feet by 3-and-a-half) and its amazing fluted (is that the right word?) frame, I knew it would be the perfect statement piece in A's room once it was all spray-painted and accessorized and just generally beautified.

The actual spray-painting process was an adventure, but once done it looked spectacular (cough, cough ... *asexpected!* ... cough)

Gorgeous, right?! I knowwww ... I was pretty chuffed about the update, but I still felt like it needed a little somethin'-somethin' around the edges, sort of here and here:

Since I posted the update slash sort-of reveal way back in January, I've been searching high and low for something cool to apply to the perimeter. My first thought was glass tiles, but I haven't been able to find any that are thin enough. Then I was thinking fish scales or shell pieces, but they also were impossible to find, and I came up scratch at the Dollar Store, which is my usual go-to source for awesome and cheap art supplies. Bummer.

So anyway, yesterday I zipped out to DeSerres to see what was what and while I totally struck out on anything fancy that I could glue down, a little pot of gold metallic paint caught my eye. And for a mere $9.99 (plus applicable taxes, o'course), that puppy was mine!

This not being my first time with experimental products, I did a test run on a piece of paper before committing to the mirror. It turned out fabulously, like so:

You can't really tell from the photo, but it has this gorgeous soft glow to it, it looks almost like velvet in some lights, and then it's shiny metallic in others. It looks liquid, even though it's dry. It's awesome, actually, so out came my rag and I set to work applying it to the mirror.

... and it FAILED. It looks AWFUL. I've only done one side and I had to stop; it's ALL WRONG. The paint isn't taking to the mirror at all, which I suppose is what I get for rubbing it into a spray-painted surface; the instructions did say the paint could be applied to almost any surface as long as it's absorbent. I sort of overlooked that part. My bad.

Yeah, see the difference in colour between the raised edge and the flat one? Epic fail.

Bottom line is: this is not the solution. Instead of being all beautiful and soft and shiny like the paper sample, it's streaky and sort of dirty and basically looks like it's nicotine-stained. Awesome. Because hard-core chain-smoker is exactly the design aesthetic I'm going for. Want another look?


I don't have the patience to re-spray it though, so now I'm looking for more of a cover-up solution: a little rouge-and-lipstick action ought to fix that right up. I hope. Keeping my fingers crossed. And if anyone knows where I might be able to obtain mosaic tiles that are really thin, or where I can buy dried fish scales (it sounds gross, but they're actually really awesome to craft with), let me know! My internet searches have turned up nothing so I'd be glad of any referrals.

On another note, it's hubby's birthday today so we're celebrating {in style} by going to watch J's volleyball practice together, and maybe ~ just maybe! ~ staying up late to watch the Daily Show while cuddling on the couch. WOOT! We really know how to live it up around here :)

Ciao, peeps!

PS ~ If you're wondering about the metallic paint, I'm still deeply in love with it even though it totally almost a little bit ruined the mirror (but I know it didn't make me not read the instructions properly on purpose, so I forgive it). I'm thinking this might be the solution for the hallway ceiling ... it could really work. I'll try a test patch tonight and let you know how it works out!

15 February 2012


I'm having one of those weeks. You know the ones that feel like they're going to be really energetic and productive, but then turn out to be total duds and you can't put your finger on precisely why? That's it exactly.

Which is not to say that I'm not accomplishing anything; I am. My never-ending war against the dishes is still being raged, somewhat successfully; the children have a great deal of clean clothing, and even though none of it is folded (it's littered around the house in various laundry baskets, separated by colour) it's still spotless and fresh, if a little wrinkly, AND there are matching socks (miracles do happen).  Also the living room is vacuumed within an inch of its life which, in the interest of full disclosure, it owes less to my zealous pursuit of cleanliness and more to my having knocked a glass off the coffee table yesterday, which smashed into a bajillion pieces and which I could hardly leave just laying around. Whatever. Clean is clean.

But doing a few loads of laundry and loading the dishwasher once or twice hardly classifies as a blistering pace on the productivity front, and every time I think about doing something more demanding (like dusting the house, which it desperately needs, or actually finishing the dishes) I get distracted and then sigh a lot, and then decide that a hot chocolate and a cheese string snack is in order, and then this happens

Desperation, thy name is "Chloe" ... Please may I have some cheese string please please please?

and after determining that the internet is much more fun than dusting, I sacrifice valuable daylight to intense periods of blog-readingweb-surfing and general time-wasting.

Or, as happened yesterday, I decide that my most pressing domestic concern is not the dishes or the laundry or the dusting or the vacuuming, it's PAINTING. In particular, I decide that my hallway desperately needs a fresh coat of paint because I'm sick and tired of looking at a whole bunch of brown when all I really want to see is a sea of white. So after a snack of hot chocolate and cheese strings, during which this happened

OK, so I'm just gonna snuggle up right here on your chest and don't you mind me one bit because I'm nothing but casual all day long, and I'm not gonna actually look at you at all because then you might get the wrong idea about what I'm doing here (which is definitely not begging), but if you find that for whatever reason you can't finish that whole [delicious, salty, tangy, drool-worthy] cheese string thingy then you can feel free to, you know, send a little bit my way because I try to be as helpful as possible and I want you to know that I always have your back in these stressful food-related situations. I'M JUST SAYIN.

I washed down all the walls and the baseboards, broke out my trusty paint brush and cracked open the can of paint, and proceeded to cut in around all the door frames and most of the baseboards before getting distracted again. Also I realized that I didn't have any foam rollers left in my stash, which was very disappointing, but trekking all the way to the Depot seemed like a lot of work (that would only in result in more work when I got home, since it would then be incumbent upon me to actually roll if I had the roller in my possession) so instead I took a break, sat down and sacrificed more valuable daylight to blog-readingweb-surfing and general time-wasting.

Having started the painting project, however, I've got no choice but to finish it, preferably this week. I've got some big plans for my little hallway that include a fresh white palette, some new artwork and maybe ~ maybe! ~ a gold metallic ceiling?? I'm toying with it. And that g~damn light fixture is going up if it kills me. Which it might: I'm not known for my outstanding balancing skills in general, let alone on ladders. There's a real possibility of injury here, peeps. Keep your fingers crossed.

On that note, I'm off retrieve a Retriever (my mum's) from the vet and deliver her home, buy myself some new rollers, drop off some photos at our local photo shop to get scanned and then get moving on the painting! And of course, the dishes and the laundry and the dusting ...

Sorry for the boring streamofconsciousness post, folks. They can't all be winners.

'Til tomorrow!


14 February 2012

Love Is In The Air (and so is a 7x7 Award!)

Happy Valentine's Day, peeps! Since our hectic schedule breaks for no Hallmark holiday, hubby and I have agreed to a no-pressure day: between work and kids at school and kids at volleyball practice (and all the chauffeuring to and from in between), there's really no time to do anything especially romantic today (though I can't say there won't be some extra smooching here and there). So I'm celebrating with some bloggy love instead!

As I mentioned yesterday, Rachel at A Home In College Hill tweeted me this weekend to let me know she had nominated Money Pit Love for a 7x7 blogger award: Thanks, Rachel!! I am super excited not just for being recognized by my peers within the blogosphere but also because, through 7x7 and through last week's Liebster award, I'm being introduced to some fabulous new blogs that are quickly joining my ranks of "must reads".

As Rachel mentioned in her own post, there doesn't seem to be a standard button for the 7x7 award, so like her, I decided to make one up myself! Clearly I'm no graphic artist but hey, it works :) I went with a red and black (and sort of goth~glam) theme as a nod to the holiday.

There are, of course, conditions to acceptance:

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Share 7 blog posts that fit into 7 categories
  • Nominate 7 award-worthy blogs/bloggers, and leave them a message letting them know!

So here we go!

A big thanks again to Rachel at A Home in College Hill. If you haven't checked out her blog, you should. Go ahead. I'll wait here ....

7 Little~Known Facts About Me:

  • My husband and I were married in our pajamas. When we were planning our wedding, we wanted a friend of ours (who was pursuing her Masters of Divination but was not yet ordained) to perform our ceremony. It needed to be legal, obviously, so we hired an ordained minister on the side, and on the morning of our wedding he and I, with our honor attendants, were married in her living room in our pj's. Afterward we celebrated with a bagel breakfast at the Great Canadian Bagel.
  • Later that evening when we were "married" in front of our guests, our son, who was two-and-a-half at the time, escaped his babysitter and ran down the aisle to my husband and I. We paused the ceremony to pick him up, and my hubby held him while we continued our vows. And when our friend/minister announced the big moment You may kiss the bride!, little J. launched himself out of Daryn's arms and laid one on me! My first "official" kiss as a married woman was from my kid.
  • I am incredibly, stupidly, ridiculously stubborn. In grade ten I broke four bones in my hand playing bloody knuckles because I wouldn't concede defeat. And while you'd think that breaking my hand would teach me not to be such a stupid mule about things, especially things that don't really matter (really? bloody knuckles?), you'd be wrong. It taught me nothing, except that I have an incredibly high pain threshold. And friends who are just as stubborn as I am.
  • I've always dreamed of being on The Price Is Right. Actually, my original dream was to be on Let's Make a Deal but you know ... it's defunct, and I think we can agree that LMAD without Monty Hall is no LMAD at all. Also no one I know likes to dress up in costume except my crazy Hallowe'en friend, but she'd go as Morticia Addams and be all svelte and creepy and gorgeous, and I'd go as a giant chicken and end up feeling badly about myself (which would be a clucking shame, especially since I would supposed to be living the dream). So now my dream is The Price Is Right, but only while Bob Barker is alive. If he dies, my dream dies with him.
  • I have a deeply ingrained, deeply intense and deeply irrational fear of earwigs.
  • I have never read To Kill a Mockingbird ~ not once in all 38 times ~ without crying.
  • Do you remember way-back-when, when McDonald's would give you a free Big Mac if you could sing the McDonald's song in 30 seconds or less? I could sing it in 22 seconds flat and won so many burgers they cut me off. I got downgraded to cookies instead, but even those were pretty satisfying. It was just cool making them give me something for free nearly every day (every day because I could, not because that's all ate. I gave most of it away, not being a Big Mac or cookie fan, myself). {"Big Mac, McDLT, Quarter Pounder with cheese; Filet o'Fish, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, McChicken and McNuggets; tasty golden French Fries, regular and larger size; a salad Chef or Garden, or a Chicken Salad Oriental, ..."} 

7 Blog Posts in 7 Categories (more difficult than you might think to choose!):

7 Awesome Blogs!:

Thanks so much to everyone who pops in to my corner of the world every now and again: whether you've been with me from the beginning or we've just been introduced this week, I appreciate each and every visit!