Bottom’s up

I mentioned the other day, and waaaaay back here that we had new floors installed in the house (now our old house).

It was such a worthwhile project and really made a difference in the space. The carpet was umm… well-loved. And had seen its fair share of traffic and wear and tear. It was the only route to or from our deck and had had many hours of play, laundry, movie nights and regular family life to put up with. It was time for a change.

This is what the room was looking like before we tore out the carpet.

Family room

 

Family Room 2

 

DSC_0206

 

Family room 4

You can really see the beating it took in that last photo above. The carpet was pretty badly stained in spots.

Since our kitchen and foyer floors had been updated at some point by the previous owners to hardwood, we wanted to keep that continuity going rather than going with something completely different or trying to get a close match. Luckily the previous owners had left us all the details of the house including the details of any updates they made. So all it took was a Google search for the name and brand of flooring and then looking for a local distributor.

Actually, we even knew who had provided and installed our kitchen floor so we started with them first. But it turns out they were in the process of closing their business so our emails and phone calls went unanswered. We thought we were getting the runaround. But it turns out they weren’t closed enough to have had their phone disconnected or their website down, but they weren’t checking or responding either. (We learned all of this when we found another distributor who had the inside scoop on the flooring gossip).

Once we finally found our guy, who was not closed,  we paid his showroom a visit just to be sure of the match and we decided that since we were tearing up flooring in the family room, why not do the garage entrance/hallway/powder room/laundry room that is on that level too?

Just your typical project snowball effect.

One thing that didn’t take us long was to decide on our flooring. We chose a large scale vinyl tile. But it’s not just any tile, its groutable vinyl tile, designed to look just like stone or ceramic including the grout lines! We had seen it installed in a family member’s house and loved it for the look, durability, and practicality. It’s just like stone or ceramic but a lot warmer under foot. And even though we weren’t doing the installing this time, if you’re thinking about DIY-ing it, it is also very easy to work with for installation.

The vinyl tile was selected for the garage entrance (landing spot), the hallway, the powder room located in that area, and through to the laundry room. That whole area had the original laminate flooring from when the house was built in the 80s. It was in pretty good condition given the age of the house, but it was certainly dated, and in the more trafficked areas was starting to show hints of wear.

We decided to have the existing carpet removed and the floors installed by the supplier, so that we didn’t have to worry about calling in friends for help, or just generally making time to do it ourselves.

What we did decide to do ourselves was repaint the walls in the hallway, powder room and laundry room – which included removing wallpaper in the powder room and laundry room.

powder room 1

 

powder room 2

We also painted and installed all the trim for the family room, hallway, powder room and laundry room. We installed a new toilet, new sink and new faucet in the powder room and updated the light fixture and mirror. We also painted the existing vanity cabinets to match the same white as the trim to freshen it up.

laundry room 1

 

laundry room 2

Check out this awesome wallpaper!

laundry room 3

And it took us a little while as we plugged away at the trim as I painted each area, it was well worth all the elbow grease! Removing old wallpaper might be the best and worst thing in the world. So tough and frustrating at some points, and also so rewarding when it’s gone!

wallpaper

Even with the wallpaper still up the space was looking so much better with an updating flooring.

laundry tile 1

 

laundry tile 2

In the process of this mini (that snowballed into medium) makeover, I found one of my new favourite paint colours – Benjamin Moore’s Fossil. When I went to the store to pick out a colour, I knew I wanted and needed something pretty neutral and pretty light. BUT, I also knew that I wasn’t changing out our almond coloured laundry pair (wop wop!), so it had to play well with them too. I described the colour I was searching for to the sales rep as “latte foam” and she pointed me to Fossil right away. It didn’t hurt that the name referenced our love of all things dinos in our house.

And I forgot to mention that all of this was taking place in the winter of 2015 as we were deciding whether or not these upgrades and renos were for us or for a potential buyer. As we plugged away at the updates, it became clear that our time at this house was coming to an end so some of the projects we finished and didn’t even have the time to take “after” photos. Oops!

So, by the power of the magic of the internet here are the few “after” photos that we have of the renewed spaces.

Family After 1

In the family room the major change was the flooring as well as the new beefed-up trim painted white. We also found the rug at Home Depot for a steal.

Family After 2

Changing out the old carpet made the whole space feel new again despite the fact that we barely changed anything else in the room.

Powder Room After
The powder room is a whole different story. In here we replaced or updated everything except the cabinet countertop. We replaced the floor, trim, toilet, sink, faucet, mirror and light fixture. I also painted the cabinet white in the same colour as the trim and updated the hardware. The whole space was completely refreshed.

Both these updates and the updates in the laundry room (which included removing wallpaper and painting – again Fossil – and of course the flooring) were definitely of the “Why didn’t we do this sooner?” type. We *almost* starting to rethink our decision to move out.

That’s a story for another day!

 

Another New Year

Happy 2016! It seems the new year always seems to bring me back to the blog. There’s just something about a fresh new calendar that makes me want to start everything over, pick up old (good) habits, and start the year off right.

And 2015 was a big and busy year for us. There’s so much to recap so I’ll spend a post doing a full recap of our amazing year, but since I’ve been gone so long I thought I’d share a few of the highlights so you know what’s in store.

We had new hardwood floors installed in our family room to replace the old carpet.

We updated our powder room on a budget.

We removed all the remaining wallpaper in the house (powder room, family bathroom and laundry room) and did small updates in each of those rooms.

The Pats won the Super Bowl!

Husbandman and I went to Cozumel

Harrison turned 4.

We started house-hunting!

Foster turned 2 and our niece was born on the same day!

We decided to not buy an old house, but build a new one.

Husbandman and I went to Hawaii

We sold our house.

We not-so-patiently waited for our new house to be built.

We took a family vacation to Nova Scotia.

Harrison started school.

More house anticipation.

A jaguar and a cow were the costumes of choice for Hallowe’en this year.

More waiting for the house and packing up the old one.

House day!

Our nephew Jack was born!

Our annual Christmas Open House (3 weeks after moving into the new house)

Christmas mania

A trip to Punta Cana with the family to cap off the year and ring in 2016.

Some of these will require their own post (or posts),  but I do want to try to catch up since there’s been so many exciting things to share.

What’s up with you? New babies? New houses? New jobs? Tell me all about it. Let’s catch up.

 

 

 

 

Foster – 2 years plus

Dear Foster,

I have a wish. I want you to stay this age forever. You’re absolutely killing me with your cuteness lately. I mean, you’ve always been cute, but lately, as your brain wraps itself around the new words you’re learning every day, the result is just priceless and I can’t get enough. And its not just the funny or sweet or unexpected things that come out of you’re mouth that I’m talking about when I say cute. Its the whole sweet package. I don’t know if its the contradiction of your built-like-a-tank exterior with your soft and sweet personality, or if I’m just a sucker for your curly hair (or both), but you’re charming the heck out of me.

I know that I still owe you a newsletter to cap off your first year, but for now let’s just skip ahead to today so I can tell you how you’re so quick to give a hug or a cuddle. And you’ve adopted a very European way of giving kisses when you give them.

One on each cheek.

And if your recipient is really lucky, they get one on the nose too. Dad and I usually get all three at bed time. And if you’re feeling extra generous you’ll put both hands on our heads and pull them down towards you so we can have a forehead… and top of head… and an anywhere-else kiss too. To delay bed time one kiss at a time. How could I refuse?

And though, you’re much too big to fit entirely in the crook of my arm any more, you will still ask for a snuggle in the chair after bedtime stories. Sometimes we’ll just rock so you can have some quiet time. Sometimes you ask me to sing you a lullaby. It doesn’t seem to matter much what I start singing. Usually you’ll interrupt me with a request to sing about trucks. Excavator doesn’t rhyme with much.

Once you’re in bed, you get tucked in with your buddy, “Woof”, the pillow dog stuffy that you can’t sleep without. Just the other day we forgot him at school and you woke up in the night sadly saying “No Woof. No Woof”. You have a special blanket too. Once you’re all tucked in and I’m standing in your doorway, you say to me “Night, Mom” with a little toddler pause between the two words and it just melts my heart.

When you’re not settling down for bed, or otherwise being especially cuddly, you have very busy active days.

You are a typically “boy’s boy” who loves the rough and tumble play of rough housing and jumping on anything that has even a little bounce to it. You don’t sit still for too long. Though, those stints are getting longer depending on the activity.

You LOVE trucks (construction trucks and trains and cars and any other vehicle that moves). And you have a special fondness for fire trucks in particular. In fact the only “joke” in  your repertoire is about a fire truck. It goes like this:

Knock Knock!

Who’s there?

Fire truck.

Fire truck who?

WeeEEOOoo WeeEEOOoo

Sometimes you get excited and don’t wait for the “Fire truck who?” part and skip right to making the sound. Sometimes you tell that joke in your sleep. You find it endlessly funny.

You are your brother’s biggest fan. You follow him around. You want to do what he’s doing, play what he’s playing, and see what he’s seeing. Harrison doesn’t always find this as endearing as I do. But now that you’re talking more, the more Harry is able to play with you and communicate with you. He’ll often ask you yes or no questions (or other “easy” ones) so that he can work with you to play a game, or find out what you want.  You’ve called him “Ra-Ra” for a while now, but you’re starting to call him Harry. Sometimes you revert to the short-form. Usually I think its just because you’re in a hurry to get his attention.

Sometimes he’s the only one who understands what you’re asking for. Like the time not that long ago when we were all sitting around the breakfast table after we’d finished eating and you looked me squarely in the eyes and said, “Tree bow”.

Hmm… that was a stumper. I didn’t know what you were asking for. You cocked your head to the side in that adorable way that you do when you’re asking a question, trying to get out of trouble, or just generally trying to get your way and said it again.

“Tree bow”

I looked over at Harrison who had a little twinkle in his eye and he got up from the table and walked around and whispered to me, “Treat bowl”.

Yep. You wanted to eat a treat after breakfast and of course, Harry knew just what it was you were after. Adorable, but no.

My dear little Sprout, you have certainly lived up to the nickname I gave you before you were born. You’re growing so quickly and catching up to your brother in both height and weight. You may not be the “little” brother for long. It seems as soon as I’ve put the clothes Harrison has grown out of away, its time to take them back out again for you.

So, if you could just stop that I would greatly appreciate it.

I know my wish won’t come true, so each day I try to remember to take in all the little moments with you, make memories with you and hold this time of you in my heart and mind forever. And take lots of embarrassing pictures too.

Love,

Mama

More about you:

You’re not a picky eater but it takes you FOREVER to eat.

You love to dip your food (most any dip will do).

For months you have exclusively had milk out of your “truck cup”. The only sippy cup that will do.

You love daycare.

Most mornings when I ask you if you’re ready to go down for breakfast you respond with “Yes. Pancakes?”

You will sometimes surround yourself with pillows and blankets and tell us that its your bedroom.

You refuse to wear sandals of any kind.

You always ask to be wiped up after a meal. You will sometimes ask for your hands to be wiped during a meal.

If you can see your rain boots, you must wear them. (rain or shine)

You call Redden, our 20+ pound cat, “Baby Cat”. Which is weird because you usually call things that are small “baby” and the larger version “daddy”.

You have an adorable crush on our friend Priya. You ask if we’re going to her house all the time.

You have a facial expression for every mood. You can pout with the best of ’em.

Your hair is wild and crazy and I love it.

Cool Foster

 

fire trucks and building blocks

 

Park Foster

 

Sweet Foster

 

Playful Foster

 

Halloween Foster

 

Birthday Foster

 

Me and Foster

 

Foster

 

Foster and Mama

 

Friday Finds

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first day of spring!

I hope you had a great week. Being that we’re Irish we were all clad in green on Tuesday to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. How cute are these little leprechauns?

Luck of the Irish

 

This week I’m loving that I took a fashion leap (no pun intended) and bought this jumpsuit from Forever 21.  I’m also seriously coveting this one from ASOS, but it’s out of stock in my size.

I’m devouring this month’s Food & Drink magazine from the LCBO. Looks and tastes like Spring!

And speaking of drinking, I’m loving everything lately from One Fine Day, but I can’t wait to try this cocktail. Because me and gin are a perfect pair. I bet it tastes like summer in a rocks glass.

This gorgeous table is inspiring my HomeSense searches lately. Must.have. two large vases for our dining room table!

Foosball1_1024x1024

Now this is a foosball table I can agree to having in the house.

A gorgeous spring printable for your home.

You may have heard about March Madness. Here’s a guide for beginners to help you enjoy and even get in on the action.

I always enjoy the lip sync battles on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show and now they’ve made a whole show out of it. Here’s an epic preview to end your week. Hope it’s sunny and springy where you are!

 

Friday Finds

Can you believe it? I’m even squeezing in a Friday Finds for you this week before my holiday.

Speaking of vacation, I ordered two new bathing suits from Victoria’s Secret last week while they were having a sale.

The knockout bandeau (in green)

The getaway halter (in black refracted geo)

This is a bit old, but I thought it was still worth sharing for its comedic value… an infographic of the best and worst “first pitches” in Major League Baseball.

I love Jones Design Company and everything she does. Last week she shared her tips on how to organize your iPhone home screen. Love it!

Can’t wait for spring so I can wear bare legs again, and I might even buy myself this gorgeous skirt.

gap flare skirt

I love this nursery.

This cat cracks me up.

 

And of course, I couldn’t let this Friday go by without some Valentine’s day links. I have a serious crush on Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show has created some “Fallontines” for the big day. The fourth one cracked me up. (It will make sense if you’ve seen this interview in which he finds out that he went on a date with Nicole Kidman)

Gotta love Etsy to come up with the awesome and the quirky. I almost got this card for husbandman this Valentine’s day, but we decided not to get each other cards. (And also, I didn’t order in time).

etsy valentine's card cute butt

I also liked this one, and this one. And would definitely believe it if I was on the receiving end of this one.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Have a great week!

 

About time

I’ve finally updated the “About” page on the site. It was waaay out of date.

About out of date

 

The info was from before we even had kids! Crazy.

I still need to make more updates to the site, like changing the header image (sorry Foster) and I’m going to try to figure out a way to get the links to show up better/darker. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Also, I promise to get to the house reno stuff (which we are still working on) that I mentioned when I returned from the dead checked back in last week , but first husbandman and I are off to Mexico for a week in the sun!

Goodbye -25 degrees with the windchill… I’ll take +25 with a humidex instead!

Hasta la vista!

Late to the party

So I had this grand plan that I would come back in January and say Happy New Year to you all and kick start this little blog of mine and it would be like I never left. But alas, that is not the case. It has taken me all month to sit down to write this little blurb. Bear with me I’m kinda going train of thought on this one and I haven’t blogged in 8 months!

You guys… Life.Is.Busy.

I went back to work full-time in April and that’s pretty much where I fell off the Internet. I was truly surprised by the amount of work going back to work full-time with two kids would be. I really thought that since I’d been back to work once before and handled that reasonably well, how hard could it be? How much more work could sending one more kid to the same daycare be?

I’ll tell you how much: More than twice as much. Much more. I was completely blindsided by the sheer amount of trivial information I’d have to keep in my head just to keep our family functioning (Did we take his blanket home? Where are the other ones “outside” shoes? How did he nap today? ) and to continue sending our children to school well-fed in washed clothes with washed faces. Not to mention feeding them again at night. They want to eat twice a day at my house? Freeloaders! I’m not complaining, I’m just saying I did not see it coming.

And so, the blog has taken a back seat to our busy life. I’ve missed it. And thought many, many times about coming back to write something. Anything.

I wouldn’t say life has settled down at all, but I just want to get back in the habit of coming back here to chronicle our happy little life.

In the grand scheme of things you haven’t missed much. Not much work done around the house, and life has been “normal” (just busy). The boys are getting big. I’ll share a few pictures soon. Work is work, and that’s pretty much all we have time for.

But, I do have some house progress to share. We have new floors on one level of the house. And let me tell you, if you want to get a project kick-started, start with the floors. Everything else will HAVE to go! Now that the floors have been professionally installed we’ve been spending most of our evenings DIY-ing the rest: Wallpaper removal, baseboard and trim painting, wall painting, outlet switching, light installing… the list goes on… and on!

I think that’s about it for now. I’ll be back soon (hopefully) to share some progress pics of our new floors.

Happy New Year!