Month: February 2012

One Step Forward, Thirteen Steps Back

After my relaxing weekend up north, I felt refreshed to tackle another busy work week and inch towards finishing the bathroom renovation.

On my to do list this evening was the quick and easy installation of this soap dispenser in the shower from Home Depot.

We have one in our basement bathroom shower and we love it — no more bottle clutter! In fact, when I purchased the dispenser for the basement bathroom, I bought a second one as well for our future upstairs bathroom renovation.

Fast forward, oh…..a year or two (okay, fine, maybe three…), and tonight was the night that the upstairs soap dispenser would finally be unboxed and installed! I was excited to cross this item off my long and ever-growing to do list!

Before I started gluing up a storm, I wiped down the shower tile with rubbing alcohol to ensure that the dispenser would adhere well. Then, as I was finalizing the placement of the dispenser on the wall, I noticed that one of the nozzles was lose broken right off.

Dammit.

My one step forward to finishing the bathroom has now resulted in:

  1. Cramming the parts back into the opened box (why is this always a challenge?!)
  2. Finding the receipt from three years ago (ha….good luck with that one, Michelle!)
  3. Changing out of my PJs and getting into the cold car to go to Home Depot (today was a work from home day, hence the jammies and the cold car)
  4. Walking allllll the way to the back of Home Depot (where they keep these damn dispensers) and retrieving a new one (they better not be discontinued!)
  5. Opening the box to ensure that the dispenser isn’t broken
  6. Cramming the new dispenser back into the box and swearing under my breath in the store
  7. Walking alllll the way to the front of the store to dig the receipt out of the depths of my purse to exchange the dispenser
  8. Getting back in my now semi-cold car
  9. Stopping at Tim Horton’s for a coffee (because at this point I’ll likely need one)
  10. Unboxing the friggin’ dispenser AGAIN
  11. Determining the exact placement of the stupid dispenser, because at this point I have already forgotten where I wanted to install it
  12. Wiping down the G-D shower tile wall AGAIN because I’m OCD like that
  13. And, lastly, installing the *insert foul word here* soap dispenser for once and for all

Breathe!

So, no. Sorry. No photos of my installed soap dispenser tonight. You’ll just have to wait.

In the meantime, here is a snap of some gorgeous hydrangeas sitting pretty on the bathroom vanity…

Fancy.

Don’t you hate it when a quick and simple project turns into a major pain in the A? Please tell me this doesn’t just happen to me.

Behind the Lens: An Instagram Weekend

After a hellish work week with impending deadlines and not enough hours in each day to complete all of the copywriting assignments crossing my desk, I was ready for a restful weekend up north at a friend’s chalet.

Prior to hitting the road, I indulged in a little retail therapy to compensate for my exhaustive work week.

I picked up four Denby Truffle mugs to add to our growing collection of pieces that we started as a newly married couple almost four years ago. Growing up, my parents had the Denby Gypsy collection and, ever since then, I am extremely nostalgic about Denby stoneware. My Dad eventually passed the collection on to my aunt, but I kept my Mom’s favourite mug, which I drink my weekend coffee in. I snagged these Denby Truffle mugs at my local HomeSense for a whooping $7.99. I might go back and pick up a few more, since they normally retail for $45 a pop.

After some retail therapy, I got to work in the bathroom and started styling the space for its upcoming reveal. On Valentine’s Day, Ted surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of bright and cheerful flowers (which I will take any day over roses), but after a week and a half, they were looking tired. Rather than relegate them to the green bin, I re-arranged the flowers in a small, rounded vase and placed them on the bathroom vanity. An unconventional room to keep fresh flowers, but I’m not one to always follow convention.

On my same trip to HomeSense, I picked up some 100% Egyptian cotton towels and this brushed nickel hand towel valet. Retail therapy never looked so good!

Then it was time to hit the road for my weekend of relaxation. And, treacherous roads. I will admit that it was a white-knuckler of a drive up on ice-covered roads with blowing snow.

Thankfully, I arrived at my destination safely and awoke to this wintery scene in the morning.

The rest of the weekend was blissfully relaxing with rounds upon rounds of Catan…

Walks in the brisk wind and sunshine…

And, endless cups of coffee and my Kobo.

I feel refreshed and recharged for another hectic week. 

Love is in the Air: Liebster Blog <3

Awww, shucks. A few weeks ago, April from Money Pit Love awarded my ‘lil ol’ blog with the Liebster Award! Thanks April — such a sweet honour to be included alongside other amazing blogs that I read every day. I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but finishing the bathroom reno and recovering from my fourth illness (since December!) took precedence.
The Goods
The Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other newer bloggers, who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help newbie bloggers gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:
  1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
  4. Share five random facts about yourself.

April’s five random facts had me laughing out loud. Seriously, this girl is funny (and slightly twisted — but in a good way!) April and I had the pleasure of meeting (in real life) at BlogPodium and, man, I had a blast getting to know her! If you are looking for a giggle, you can read her five random facts here.

Five Random Facts About Me
ONE: My happy place is Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Ted and I have been lucky enough to travel there the past two years and we love it. As much as I would like to explore other parts of the world, I’d be happy to return to HHI time and time again. It’s such a lush, laid-back place with beautiful homes, beachy decor, endless bike paths and the ocean. Here are some snaps from our most recent visit in September 2011…

Massive beach front homes

Lush, winding bike paths leading to the beach

Gorgeous sunsets each and every night

TWO:
I’m pretty much obsessed with the colour combination of navy blue and orange. Our living/dining room decor has stumped me from day one (I’ve already painted the space twice in two years), but every time I see a room with hits of orange and blue, my heart skips a beat. I especially love the classic appeal of navy broken up with bright punches of orange. Once we finally tie up the bathroom renovation, my next task will be sourcing fabrics for the living room. My initial idea was to sew my own curtains and pillows, but lately, I’ve been lusting over these pre-made pillows…

[Source: WillaSkyeHome]

THREE:
As a copywriter by trade, I spend my working hours in front of a computer writing for a variety of clients in varying sectors (from automotive to consumer packaged goods) and this, as you can imagine, eats up a lot of my daily inspiration and energy. After a long day of writing, I struggle with finding time to blog — I feel like I have no words left in me at the end of the day. However, writing outside of work hours has helped me rediscover my passion for writing, editing and social media — something that I lost over the last eight or nine years by focusing specifically on my career. I hope my future includes more time writing about my passions, such as DIY, design and life in general, and less time writing about someone else’s passions. Ahem, “Universe”, are you listening? This is me putting that out to you!

FOUR:
Contrary to popular belief, I despise painting. Like really, really despise. Having said that, I do enjoy the thrill of a freshly painted space. It’s such an easy, affordable way to change the look of a room. So, I guess painting is more of a love/hate relationship. Thankfully, I managed to finish painting the bathroom over Family Day weekend, so I don’t see any painting in my foreseeable future! Yes, I have taken paint to every. part. of. our. house. Maybe that is why I am so sick of painting?! Likely.

FIVE:
If you follow me on Pinterest, you will notice that I pin quite a lot. I love to troll the ‘net for inspiring interiors, yummy recipes, crafty DIY products and other cool things. I also like to pin my own projects from this blog to help generate some traffic — and, boy, does it ever. Even though I am a “pinner”, I rarely ever peruse the actual Pinterest website. Why? I find it very aggravating when “pinners” don’t pin back to the original source, or the original blog posting. Nothing like finding a great DIY tutorial on Pinterest, only to click on the image and be taken to a blog homepage and not the tutorial. Frustrating, with a capital F! For me, I treat Pinterest as my very own virtual corkboard and that’s it.

So, there you have it — five things about moi! Thanks again April for the kudos! I’m now passing on some Liebster Blog Award lovin’ over to some of my favourite bloggers:

Martina from Adventures in Building Beauty

Erin from The Stucco Bungalow

Michelle from Sweet Suite 10

Nette from This Dusty House

Sarah from ReDesigning Sarah

Bathroom Reno: The “Almost There” Post

When people ask me how the bathroom renovation is going, I keep saying, “We’re almost there!” I sound like a broken record.

“We’re almost there!”

“We’re almost there!”

“We’re almost there!”

And, despite the last bathroom renovation post on day seven, we really are almost there — the bathroom is almost done! In fact, Steve finished the job, ohhhh…..ten days ago. But, over the past ten days, I have been sick as a dog and in no mood to paint the bathroom or add the finishing touches and accessories. While I was sick, I practically lost my voice — maybe it was the sickness, or maybe it was from me saying , “We’re almost there!” waaaayyyyy tooooooo muuuuucccccchhhhhh.

The bathroom is far from being reveal-worthy, so instead, I’ll share a few sneak peaks of the bathroom tiling in the tub/shower and on the floor. And, as usual, please pardon the nighttime photos. Daylight is a luxury for a full-time working gal like me.

This photo was taken pre-grout. We ended up going with a white grout and it looks fabulous (you’ll have to wait until the final reveal to see it!) You can also sneak a peak of the wall colour to the right of the tub. It’s more green than I anticipated, but it actually works well with the mosaic tile, which is a green-grey. If you recall, the paint was a find at my local Habitat for Humanity Restore. $10 for a gallon of Benjamin Moore paint? You can’t go wrong.

And, the floor. Oh, do I ever love the floor! Sure, I love that we paid under $30 for our floor tile by shopping at the Restore, but I also love the Carrara marble look of the tile. Legit Carrara marble would have broken our modest budget into about a billion little pieces, so this ceramic look alike is a great second choice. As you can see, we opted to go for a slightly grey grout colour, since white grout would discolour pretty quickly.

Want to see more? I’m sure you do! But, you are going to have to wait for the final reveal, which I’m hoping will happen over the next week or so.

My task for this week — painting. That includes another coat of ceiling paint, two coats of trim paint and two coats of wall paint. Seeing as I work full time and commute too much, this will be a challenge. Hopefully by the time that Family Day weekend rolls around, we’ll be installing all of our fixtures and accessories.Fingers crossed!

 

In the Workshop: Custom Wood Sign for a Sweet Baby Boy

When Ted and I found out that our friends Mark and Melissa were expecting their first little one, we were so excited! Mark and Melissa are a truly awesome couple. Mark has a sense of humour and wit like no one we have ever met and Melissa is so sweet, kind and caring — oh, and a wicked awesome baker! They are, hands down, going to be fantastic parents!

For a shower gift, I decided to make a personalized custom wood sign for their soon-to-arrive baby boy named Nole. When thinking of a theme for Nole’s sign, I decided on trains. What little boy doesn’t love a choo-choo train?

To make the sign, I used a 24″ x 5″ piece of wood, a vinyl stencil using my Silhouette Cameo and layers of white, black and red spray paint. After the piece was dry, I distressed the sign to give it some added character.

After gifting the sign to Mark and Melissa, I found out that the theme for Nole’s nursery is airplanes. This little boy is going to be in the know when it comes transportation! Congratulations Mark and Melissa — we can’t wait to meet Nole.

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If you are interested in purchasing a custom wood sign of your own, please contact me for details and pricing.

In the Workshop: Custom Wood Travel Sign

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” — Unknown

When I first read that quote,  I instantly thought of Ted’s parents — Chris and Bill. As retirees, they love spending their time traveling and planning vacations. Their love of travel is what spurred them to downsize their home (which is now our home) and buy a condo that they could close the door and head off on an adventure without worry.

When I selected Chris’ name for our Christmas gift exchange, I decided to make her a custom wood sign featuring the travel quote.

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer

To make the sign, I used a 24″ x 5″ piece of wood, a vinyl stencil using my Silhouette Cameo and layers of white and black spray paint. After the piece was dry, I distressed the sign to give it some added character.

Now, when Chris and Bill are planning their next vacations, they can be reminded of all of the riches they collected along their travels and look forward to collecting more. Happy trails you two!

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If you are interested in purchasing a custom wood sign of your own, please contact me for details and pricing.