Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nursery Reveal - BabyGroupie

The nursery was a long work in progress but we managed to finish it before Owen was 2 weeks old - with many thanks to my mom who came down to help with Owen, and ended up helping huge with the nursery! We had a lot of DIY projects in the nursery - namely the artwork and mirror, the fabric circles, the roman shade, and the chair cover. Here it is in full:


The chair was a Craigslist steal – it is a Dutalier glider, and is SO comfortable. I initially wondered whether I needed a chair for the nursery and was told by friends that Yes, I definitely needed one. I can now confirm for anyone wondering – YES YOU DEFINITELY NEED ONE! A chair with a high back so you can rest your head during late night feeding/rocking/comforting is an absolute must. I generally think gliders are ugly, and this one was no exception with cream microsuede cushions when I bought it. My mom is a great sewer so I knew I could ask her to make a cover, but I couldn’t find any fabric that I liked. Instead I headed to Target and bought 2 drapery panels that worked perfectly for the chair! The fabric is heavy enough that it will wear well, and I liked the subtle ikat pattern. My mom used this tutorial for the project and I think it turned out amazing!

The bookshelves are an Ikea hack of Bekvam spice racks – perfect size to put low to the ground for a child to have their own library. We’re in the works of building up Owen’s library – any favourite children’s books that you think are a must?


I shared a mini tutorial for the porthole mirror, and more details on this art in my previous post.


I think I came pretty close to my initial moodboards (still on the hunt for an area rug and a footstool for the space!), and I am loving the space. Owen is loving looking around and seeing all the different elements of his room!
 


Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY No Sew Roman Shade

I hope you all had a good weekend - weekends have taken on a new form since the little guy showed up - gone are the weekends of epic errands/running around and projects, and now we have leisurely, relaxing, weekends with walks, playing, and cooing. Kind of cool :)

I do have another DIY project from the nursery to feature - my no sew Roman shade!

The roman shade was meant to be a simple DIY no sew project…I started it before Owen was born and my mom had to finish it! It was still pretty much no sew, but took a while to figure out the placement of the pleats and how to maneuvre the whole blind.  I wanted the shade to be functional to offer light control, but a lot of the tutorials I found involved mini blinds on the back and to be honest it was all just a bit too involved. I finally found what I wanted andused this Thrifty D├ęcor Chick tutorial as our main guide. 

Since this window is right next to our neighbour’s window, I wanted to keep the slat blinds for privacy while still letting light in. This meant that I couldn't mount the roman shade within the casing, which would have been easy peasy. Instead we added a small block of wood to the top of the window frame and used a tension rod between that and the wall to hold the roman shade.

I wanted the shade to be blackout to darken the room for Owen’s naps and (hopefully) early bedtime when he’s a bit older. I didn't have the patience to wade through a bunch of fabric looking for the right price so I bought a white table cloth at Homesense, and some navy ribbon from Fabricland to get the look I wanted. I cut the fabric to size and added blackout lining with hemming tape. This was the part that I did...

Then the challenge of how to make the shade WORK. The tutorial uses eye hooks for ribbon, but I wanted everything on the blind itself. To allow the blind to be raised and lowered easily, my mom sewed 1 button on each side of the back of the blind, and then added ribbon (ribbon lengths get longer as you go down the blind) at three points to be our gathers.
 
When the ribbons are hooked over the button, you get the casual roman shade pleats, and it makes it easy to put the shade up and down. And finally, my mom added the lengths of ribbon using heming tape to adhere to the shade.

I’m really happy with how it turned out, but I definitely couldn’t have done it on my own (preggo brain / new mom brain did not make it an easy project! Aren't mom's the best??). Stay tuned for a full nursery reveal later this week...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

DIY porthole mirror and nursery art

You know my baby's growing up little by little when I actually have a few moments here and there to blog :)

Here are another few touches from the nursery - full reveal coming next week! I wanted some art over the change table, and had 2 gold frames that I wanted to use. I also had the idea to do a round industrial looking mirror...I looked everywhere for one but I couldn't find one (that was less than $100), so I took matters into my own hands and made one.

 
What kicked off the whole DIY idea was that I found the perfect round mirror at an antique store on Queen St East after a glorious pre-baby massage.  There is no doubt in my mind that it is not an antique given it had a made in China sticker on the back :) 
 Thus, no guilt in spray painting over the tortoise shell finish!
I taped it up and the Mr spray painted it for me since I was pregnant.Once it was painted, I got my glue gun and some large twine, knotted it and got to work.
 I wanted it to look like it was hanging from a knob but knew my glue wasn't that strong (or the plaster walls for that matter). So, I hung it using the notch on the back of the mirror, and then spray painted an extra cabinet knob I had from our old kitchen cabinets. I put the knob on the wall hanging on a nail to use as the fake hanger, then I laid the rope over top (hang the knob first so you know how much twine you will need when attaching to the mirror). Faking this is a reeeeaaalllyyy important step for it to stay on the wall and not crash on the change table :)

The gold frame closest to the mirror is Ikea and has card stock and a heart I cut out from a paint chip (I did the art once Owen was born so I went with blue). The top mirror was a Goodwill find, as was the bottom one.  I did simple blue and coral paint chip art in the bottom frame to finish it all off.

Simple, cheery, and cheap!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DIY Nursery Fabric Art

I'm finally getting around to posting about nursery projects! I completed a few while I was off before Owen arrived, and my mom was a huge help with a number of projects (to be revealed)...

With the nursery we decided to keep the paint colour that we had on the walls - it's a gray-sage green (I could look up the Benjamin Moore colour...but I'm not...), and we thought it would work for a boy or a girl (babygroupie was a surprise for us!). That cut down on some of the baby room prep, and to keep it gender neutral, I decided on a navy and coral colour scheme. To add some interest to the walls I did a simple DIY art project - it's all over pinterest / blog land and is the easiest craft ever.

Start with wooden rings that you can get at any fabric store - i lucked into a buy one get one 50% off at Fabricland, so I picked up a number of rings in different sizes.
From there, cut your fabric to size for the loop you are filling. Tighten the wooden loop over the fabric, and trim the excess fabric.

To lay the art out on the wall, I cut out circles in newsprint and taped them up until I was happy with the arrangement.

And voila! DIY nursery art that adds a pop of colour (and catches the little guy's eye!)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Throw Back Thursday - My Pregnancy #tbt

I'm jumping on this #tbt (Throw back Thursday) bandwagaon with pictures from my pregnancy! I was pretty good at documenting my pregnancy with photos of my growing bump every 2 weeks (every week towards the end), but I never got around to posting the series of photos.

Overall I had a great pregnancy - I felt good, had pretty good energy (all things considered...including the fact that I was working 50-60 hour work weeks through my last trimester - does that help explain the lack of blogging?), and don't think I was too crazy (oh, except the pregnancy brain forgetfulness and general impact on measurements, ahem mis measurements, for our bathroom reno...right...).

Here's how it all unfolded (edited down to keep things simple!)::




Good thing I took that last photo in time - I think I took it the day before I went into labour, Owen was born at 39 weeks + 3 days!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Things I have learned in the past month...

My little Mr. celebrated 1 month this week - time flies I tell you, time flies.

In the past month...well really in the first week of Owen's life I realized some lessons:

You actually don't have time to have a shower. When I heard this about new mothers I would always think Really?! You can't just put the baby in a bouncy chair outside the bathroom and shower? Well you can, but when they are really young they will be wailing before you even set them down and you can't let a one-week old "cry it out". Water savings here we come.

People say the first two weeks are the hardest. Yes, they are hard - you have no clue what is going on, but there's nothing magic about the 2-week mark. Week 3 and 4 (and probably many more to come) are just as hard! We are settling into our days, but what has helped me the most is the appreciation that a "schedule" is not attainable right now. For a Type A like me this was / is a really hard thing to adjust to - feeding and sleeping patterns change daily and you just have to role with the punches (thank god for Canada's long mat leaves).

Sleep when the baby sleeps - this is also advice countless people will give. I couldn't understand how you can sleep when the baby sleeps considering you have to shower, eat, and maybe talk to your partner at SOME point. This has gotten a bit easier in that I have realized that if I rest while the baby sleeps - even if he wants to be held - I can rest with him on my chest or in my arms and still get some rejuvination.


Even on the tough days the little one has more cuteness than you know what to do with. Frowns, tears, and wailing can be all be the cutest things you've ever seen...no wonder parents will do anything for their children...they suck you in from day one :) Countless minutes are spent staring at that little face - thinking of how the face will change, and how it will stay the same as the baby grows up. 

And my final lesson learned...a baby demonstrates the strength of your relationship - when your partner is there to give you a break after a tough day, when he makes dinners, cleans up, does the dishwasher, laundry, cleaning all without a comment you realize how good you have it, then you see him with the baby...melt.

I will be back at some point with nursery details and other fun stuff...until then, Happy Fall :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Introducing #babygroupie: Owen

I've had a really really good (and cute) reason for my most recent blogging absence...

We had a baby boy! Everything is going well, Owen is growing and happy, we are learning and learning and learning and trying to figure him out :) A few other things happened the week Owen was born - we had our contractor in doing our tiling and baseboards (yes, he was the first person outside the hospital to meet our son...), and we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on Day 3 of Owen's life.

I'll be back at some point with more on the nursery, our flooring project (finished!!), and other news!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Flooring Update

Well friends, I am still alive and well, and baby is still cozy in my belly :) I thought I would have tons of time for blogging since I finished work last Friday, but turns out that I've been cooking, cooking, nesting, cooking, nesting! Today is an exciting day though - install for our tiling and baseboards starts (which means no oven until the tiling is done...so blogging it is).

Here is what we are going with for baseboards and tile:
 6x24 tiles in a charcoal colour
This will have shoe moulding added (new term for me too...basically a finishing piece on the bottom)

Yes, the flooring was installed more than a month ago...but these baseboard / tiling people are B-U-S-Y. So we're hoping the guy we have coming in can do the job cleanly and quickly so we can have some more normal life before #BabyGroupie (leave it to my friend Lindsey at Recreated to come up with a hastag for my baby - Lindsey IS the one who talked me into joining Twitter after all!). I'll have a #babygroupie post coming up to update everyone, and will post the finished photos of our main floor (finally) when it's done!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday faves - What I'm wearing with my pregnant belly!

Happy Friday!

It has been another busy week...each week is ticking by closer to my due date at the end of September (I am 35 weeks right now...or 8 3/4 months...getting up there)! Some things have come together in the nursery but there are some tricky things to figure out (anyone know a good place to take a rug to be cleaned / de-oderized??) and a lot of other things to finish up.

I have been taking photos throughout my pregnancy and looking back the changes are amazing! I'll post a series of photos once I get them organized...until then here are some of my favourite outfits that I've been wearing to work during my pregnancy:


1. Tahari Dress, The Bay
2. H&M navy blazer, H&M Mama white t-shirt; Mossimo striped skirt (Target)
3. Merona Floral dress (Target)

All of these outfits (except the white t-shirt) are non-maternity items. I have found if I go up a size or two and the cut is right I can generally wear whatever I want for stretchy skirts and dresses (which is amazing). I was also lucky enough for a great friend to give me a huge lot of maternity and non-maternity clothes that I can wear to supplement my own finds above. Here's another fun Target mint and gray maternity tshirt (and a shot of my shower curtain!):

Enjoy the last weekend of August!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Project Baby Room - Moodboard

I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head of what I want the nursery to look like...I'm getting to a point where I really should get going on some of these ideas, so to help me visualize it better, I created a couple of mood boards.

 


Since we don't know whether this little baby is a boy or a girl, I want to do a gender neutral nursery without doing green & yellow or gray & yellow. I like a lot of nurseries in those tones, but I want something a bit different so I am thinking navy, gray and coral. The current walls are a green-gray and we won't be painting (there are enough other projects going on around here!), so I also wanted something that would coordinate with that.

We have all of the pieces of furniture - crib, dresser/change table, and a glider. I was debating getting a really nice glider / rocker, but I just can't picture it in an area of my house after the baby grows up. So instead, I got a great deal on a glider from craigslist and will be recovering the cushions to zhush it up.

The plans above are me playing around on the internet, so who knows what we will end up with but what do you think?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Project Baby Room - before

Alirght...now that the flooring is done it's time to get moving on Project Baby Room! I intended to post this post a million years ago...before the flooring project...but then life (and flooring) got in the way so here we are (our progress on the baby's room in those million years has been null). Like many other people, this project could easily be named Project-get-rid-of-all-of-our-junk.

The baby will be taking over the room that we used to use as our office. To be honest, the only time we used it as an office was when we were working from home (and not working at the dining table). Overall it provides extra storage for my clothes and shoes, some books, university textbooks (ha!) and an old computer (we both have laptops that we use day to day).

Here's a picture in all its beauty:

In a word: Messy.

This is not how it was day to day when we had it as an office, but more of a transition photo where we are getting ready to get rid of stuff.

The Mr. sold the desk and the chair via Craigslist in less than 24 hours. He has a real knack for posting things at the right price and the right time (sort of like when he sold our window A/C unit last year in the height of a heat wave...Sales 101).

Now we need to figure out what goes IN here. And there comes the fun, and the challenge. We will be leaving the wall colour as is, which is a greeny-gray colour, and we have some unique challenges along that back wall with the radiator, the window with no room for curtains on either side, and the angled closet. At least it's all on one wall so we can make full use of the other walls. And, as a reminder, we don't know whether this little human is a boy or a girl, so gender neutral territory is where we're heading.

We currently have a dresser/change table, crib, and glider (to be made over...) Do you have any "must haves" or key tips for the baby room (or babies in general...let's get serious I'll take all I can get!)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Flooring is IN!

Wednesday was flooring install day - and it all got installed!

Woot!


Pretttaay exciting.

The first and last photos are most true to the colour...having them installed make all the work associated with demo disappear (we still have to clean up the basement though...) Now that the floor is in, we have to put in baseboards, do tiling for the kitchen and closet, and drywall / casing for our newly opened up hallway, but we're getting there. We will hire someone for the remainder of the work because the tiling will be finicky due to the radiators, and we want the baseboards and casing / drywall done right...now just to find said handy-person who can be available, at a reasonable cost, and done in early September...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Progress: Project Flooring

Another month, another blog post. I thought that I would have an easier time blogging of late, but life is just very busy. I'm working away at my day job and unfortunately that means that "free time" at night is spent on projects for the house, regular day to day chores, and sleeping. Oh, and some planning for the little human that will be joining us in the coming months. Until then....

Things are happening on the flooring front!! As part of our 2013 goals one of the longshots was re-doing flooring at least on the main floor. Why not do it when I'm 8 months pregnant? ;) Better than post baby, that I know FOR SURE. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know some of the progress that was made this weekend (if you don't follow me, then you should, I am able to update those easier than updating the ol blog!).

All weekend the Mr worked away on the project (help from friends for demo day was greatly appreciated). My specialty was doing puzzles with plywood  measurements to ensure we got the most our of each sheet!

Here is the demo:



The living room and dining room demo was "easy" according to the guys - the trouble came in the hallway where there was hardwood on top of linoleum on top of plywood on top of another linoleum on top of plywood on top of floor planks. Yikes (they didn't get a chance to take a photo of that beauty).

The second demo photo shows some of the debris and mess caused by demo...which all fell through the floor plank cracks into our basement onto this:

Thank god I had some foresight and threw plastic over the china/crystal and a drop cloth over the dining chairs on Saturday morning before demo started. We still have a hell of a mess to clean up in and over other things, but at least some of it was spared and I don't think there is any damage (fingers crossed....). The day didn't finish without any damage though...the Mr. had to get a couple of stitches after getting caught in the face with a plank / nail during demo! He's OK and stitched up following a 3 hour wait at the hospital on Saturday night (I plucked some of the many many nails from the floor while he was getting stitched up...he pushed through the rest of the day so he could finish the demo before going to the hospital!).

Day 2 was picking up the plywood from our friends at Home Depot:
 Yes, I did get to drive that puppy around and it was great. The rest of the day was the Mr. and I pulling out some more nails, measuring, cutting, and laying plywood.


Monday was spent screwing in the plywood and doing some final measurements and cuts. It's amazing how much better it looks already!

If you have seen my house tour, you know that on our main floor we had the hallway blocked off with drywall and beatiful 80's glass blocks. We covered up this side of it with a dresser and mirror, and while that was nice for extra storage we are liking the airy feel of the house opened up, so I think we're going to keep the hallway!

Hardwood installers come later this week...can't wait to see it all done! We will be tiling the entry way and the kitchen with a dark gray tile...more on that to come (anyone know a good tiler / baseboard installer who isn't crazy busy into September??)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2013 Goal Update

Since we're in July and now officially halfway through 2013, I thought I would check in on my Big Hairy Audacious goals that I set in January.  Yes, wayyyy back in January (doesn't it feel like ages ago?). Here's an update on my goals:

1. Finish the Living Room
Status: hmmmm not so different from January. I had big pillow goals, and my mom made fantastic pillow covers....however I (or my pregnancy brain) gave her the wrong dimensions. I needed 2 18x18 and 2 20x20 and I asked for 2 18x18 and 2 16x16. Woops. No wonder there was so much extra fabric left over. Does anyone need 16x16 navy and white pillow covers? Oh, and we are STILL SEARCHING for a coffee table that is "airy" but not glass.

2. Flooring
Status: This is HAPPENING, we ordered the floor yesterday. And it has to happen in August so it's done pre-baby. We decided to only re-do the flooring on the main floor, but it will be great to have consistent flooring throughout the main floor (currently we have carpet, bad quality cherry hardwood, and peach tile. Do you see why we don't love it?). We want to go with a medium stain on the hardwood and I love seeing grain so we are looking for oak floors. I still want tile for the entry way and the kitchen (I like the practicality of tile over hardwood), so I'm on the look out for options. I was thinking charcoal tile in a 3x12 to mimic hardwood planks, the colour along these lines, but with darker grout:
deep gray porcelain tiles from Marazzi - MARAZZI Porfido 12 in. x 6 in. Charcoal Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile.  http://www.homedepot.com/p/MARAZZI-Porfido-12-in-x-6-in-Charcoal-Porcelain-Floor-and-Wall-Tile-UJ56/202072420#.UZLgXaLbO8A.  $3.99/sq ft
 via

The only thing I am not sure of is if every little water drop will show on the charcoal tile (and thereby drive me crazy). Thoughts?

3. Bathroom Reno
Status: DONE!! This one actually happened, and it was a big one (you can see the full reveal here). We've even hung a towel bar and towel hooks since I did my reveal. We couldn't love this bathroom more. I would say this was the biggest "reno" that we've done in the house, and adding 20" to the bathroom was the smartest move we could have done. I love how everything turned out and am still amazed and how airy it feels (and how the 20" we stole from the guest room pretty much makes NO difference over there, and every difference in the bathroom).

4. First Sundays
Status: This was my plan for the first Sunday of every month, to ensure it didn't include running around to Costco or doing a million errands. It worked pretty well the first few months, but then as it got nicer outside we got busier, and we had some projects on the go so it's fizzled.

One goal that we didn't list at the time was Project Baby. Consider this Goal #5, with the least wiggle room out of all the goals. I'll do another post about how we're fairing in that regard and what progress we've made on the baby room (hint: not much).

How are your 2013 goals coming along? Do you check in with them part way through the year, or is it more of a new year's resolution that gets lost by the time summer comes around? I hope everyone is coping (or loving??) this heat that is finally here - it's summer folks :)

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