Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Basement Playroom

I love my kids. I DO NOT love how messy they are. Kids will be kids, yes its true but look at this disaster:

Mr. Bliss and I got sick and tired of cleaning up the playroom and eventually we threw our hands in the air and walked away. Unfortunately that was not the best idea.. the mess grew and we knew we had to clean it up and find a better way to organize the toys.

We definitely needed more storage options so when I came across these brackets at Ikea on clearance for only 30 cents I couldn't resist! especially since the bars they hook into were only $3

The next step was to find shelves and they can be EXPENSIVE. I opted for a sheet of good old plywood which ran about $8 and I had Home Depot cut it into 4 shelves at no extra cost.
Since this is a playroom I didn't want to leave the wooden shelves exposed, especially with little ones and the risk of slivers. I used an old table cloth to wrap one of the shelves and wall paper remnants for the others

The result although not fancy or elegant is still such an improvement!

cheap Ikea brackets and plywood shelving perfect for toy storage and the little ones have easy access

Clearly we have an unfinished basement and it will stay this way for a long time. In the meantime we wanted to make a fun space for the kids that didn't feel too dark and dingy and wouldn't cost us a whole lot. Here are some things we did:

1. Wallpaper samples are slowly becoming a patchwork wall covering. I think its one of those things that you love or hate but we feel it adds a bit of color to the area which is currently pink insulation. Each time I visit the store I grab a few more..
2.  Open shelving  is perfect for our youngest so she can easily see her toys and start exploring
3.  Bunting Banners from previous parties we have had now adorn the ceiling and add a pop of whimsy and color.
4.  Baskets, baskets and more baskets! Its amazing how much each of these baskets will hold. We placed less used toys up top. Labels are written on with chalk for now but we will also add a picture to each basket so the kids can identify the contents easily.
5. Open Bins are ideal for various items too small or random for their own large basket, also great for rushed clean up.
6. Unfinished basement means concrete floors. We placed leftover floor insulation on the ground and covered it with outdoor carpet. Keeps little feet and bums warm while playing.

Thanks for checking us out

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gimme a break

We have been fortunate enough to escape day to day life and head to our home away from home at Fairmont Hot Springs British Columbia. My family has been coming here every year for nearly 30 years. I remember being the same age my son is now when this magical place was first introduced to me. My parents celebrated every wedding anniversary here and this is also where Ken proposed so many years ago.  Its definitely a treat to get away and it means the world to me that I can share this beautiful place with my kids too.

Quick stop in Banff
Alex loves Fairmont and is so excited to get there, only a couple hours to go

Welcome to our home away from home, isn't she beautiful?

Backyard view from the deck.. its hard to tell from this pic but there are mountains and a lake in the distance

Lovely day for a bike ride, fortunately no bears on this trail (they were everywhere but only when we didn't have the camera with us)

Of course every mountain getaway requires smores

If you didn't notice in the previous picture, these marshmallows are enormous! We ended up cutting them in half and they were still too big.

Ahhh vacations, gotta love them, is there a destination special to you and your family?


Thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Granny presents the chair sock!

I sometimes get a bad rap for being the granny of the group.. "did you wash your hands?" " I need to get home its pretty late", "no its midnight, I cant go for coffee right now", "seriously who calls the house this late? its like 9:30!"

I suppose motherhood has made me even more granny like than before but I'm going to own that shit (an ecard taught me adding "shit" to the end of any sentence will bring out my inner gangsta and make me sound much younger - more on that later) and embrace it.

Where am I going with all this? When I was younger my parents had these knit / crochet things on the bottom of our kitchen chairs. I couldn't believe how lame this was and did a silent cheer the day my mom realized she needed to catch up with the times and removed them.
Chair socks? seriously?

Here I am today with wooden chairs and wooden floors and regardless of how clean the floors are the chairs always make a lovely streaky mess, especially if a small piece of fruit gets stuck underneath. The  felt protectors always seem to fall off and I worry about huge scratches running along the floor. My first thought? the freakin chair sock. With my tail behind my legs I asked my mom if she could make me some.

Ive never been happier to let my inner granny shine!

And guess what? As I did a quick google search for other like minded people who have brought back the chair sock and discovered that I'm not a granny, just cool. There are alot of chair socks out there.. and some are pretty darn nifty. Check out this awesome design featured on apartment therapy, updated but still a chair sock!


Directions for the chair socks:
Use 5 mm hook and cotton yarn.
Chain 6, slip stitch to join.
Rd. 1 Chain 1, 2 single crochet in each chain, slip stitch to join, Chain 1
Rd. 2 1 single crochet through the front loops only in each of the 12 single crochet, slip stitch to join, Chain 1.
Rd. 3 Though both loops 1 single crochet in each of the 12 single crochet. single crochet to join, Chain 1.
Rd. 4 - 10, repeat Rd. 3
Cut yarn and fasten off.
Secure socks to chairs using double sided tape.

Enjoy your week and let your granny shine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ruffle Curtain from Bedsheets

I am still in awe of my beautiful ruffle shower curtain made by my mama. I have no sewing ability whatsoever and to finally have a white ruffle curtain that is floor to ceiling in length is AWESOME. The curtain was less than $25 to make so of course I had to share this awesomeness with you. Here is our very first GUEST post from my mom Ramona

How to make a ruffle curtain from bedsheets

Materials for an extra long ruffle curtain
1 double flat sheet
1 king flat sheet
1 queen flat sheet

Step One:

Wash sheets in hot water and dry on high heat, this way if they are going to shrink it will happen before you sew them. Iron sheets if needed.

Step Two:

Cut out a total of 16 strips from the length of the Queen and King flat sheets.
Don't worry about the length of the queen being shorter than the King the difference should be minimal.

3 strips 9 inches wide
10 strips 8 inches wide
3 strips 7 inches wide

Step Four:

The double sheet was used as the actual curtain. Opening the ends at the top of the 4" will allow you to slide the your curtain rod throughout it or if you are really handy you could sew button holes on the hem.

Step Five:

For each of the cut strips use an iron to press a hem around the sides and bottom, I found this made it much easier to sew. I then sewed them all and zig zagged the top of each strip twice.

Do a loose and wide stitch about a quarter of a inch down from the zig zagging stitch, once this is completed, gently tug on the back tread and bunch together your ruffle.
Repeat for all 16 ruffles.


Step Six:

Measure from the bottom 9" for your first ruffle. Make this ruffle tighter or looser to fit the width of the double sheet, pin on ruffle, then sew.
The next two - 9" ruffles I measured 7" from the top of the last ruffle and added the ruffles.

For the 8" ruffles I measured 6" from the top of the last ruffle and kept on adding until they were all sewn on.

For the 7" I measured 5" from the top of the last ruffle.


Step Seven:

Once all the ruffles are sewn, stitch the sides of the opening on the double sheet by hand.

It looked like a huge wedding dress towards the end, swear I would never do it again, but here I am making curtains only a lot shorter for the guest room!

HINT: Make sure you use good quality thread, if you use the cheap thread it will break when pulling the bottom thread of the ruffles.


Thanks mom! xoxox

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bathroom Renovation is complete!

When we looked at this home for the first time the bathroom was definitely a no discussion situation. The bathroom original to the house was an 80s flashback (not in a cool way) and definitely was not going to work for us.

We ripped almost everything out and started fresh

New toilet and paint

Granite and marble flooring, new vanity with granite counter and the mirror once sat in our entry at the last house

We still have not found a new light that would suit the vintage vibe without causing alot of work.  The problem is that the base of the light would need to be quite long to conceal some holes in the wall otherwise lots of patching and painting will be needed. Luckily the existing light  has really grown on me and I think it suits the space, unless the perfect light comes along I don't have plans of changing it.

Still in love with the shaker door.. and lookie what my mama made me!!
A floor to ceiling ruffled shower curtain in white. This took hours for her to make using bedsheets! stunning isn't it?

I love our bathroom, just wish we wouldn't have been scared of getting a larger tub. With two little ones we thought there would be many years where more than once person would be in the space at a time so we didn't want to be tub greedy. Now that its all said and done we definitely had enough space to work with. Oh well.. its still a soaker and I'm a happy girl.

shower curtain

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

the end of another canadian retailer

 Zellers is one of my favorite Canadian stores with amazing prices and oddly enough childhood memories. I remember many midnight madness events in which my parents and aunt would head down for "blowout" deals and midnight balloon drops where some balloons held a ticket for special prizes. Although I never won a special prize I'm pretty certain Zellers at midnight was the perfect hide and go seek playing ground and the parents loved the super cheap dinner in the cafeteria. I'm saddened to see another Canadian retailer bite the dust especially one that I grew up with. I thought with new lines like Alfred Sung and Martha Stewart the retailer got better. Sadly Zellers stores are clearing our to make way for the American giant Target.
I have only been to Target once and it reminded me very much of Zellers but I wasn't thrilled until I got to the home section. I must admit that I am very excited for Targets home line. The beautiful lamps, trays, frames, ottomans and vases were super cool and very reasonable in price. If Canadian Targets end up getting any of those items I will most likely be a regular and most likely broke.
Here are some items from Target that have been making me drool and curse since they do not ship to Canada.



Target stores will be opening in Edmonton this winter and spring, will you be a fan?


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thankful for laughter and some other things too

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Nothing beats the beautiful weather, spending time with family, enjoying a delicious turkey dinner and avoiding all the stress of gift exchanges, party outfits, scheduling and decorating
This evening I quietly stared at some of the most valuable people in my life and silently gave thanks for each and every one of them. My amazing husband who has been my partner and best friend for over 17 years, my beautiful children who make me smile and fall in love again and again, my brother who reminds me of childhood memories of a simpler time. My sister in law and niece who remind me that our family continues to grow and become stronger each day (after losing my dad 10 years ago this was a thought that I never imagined I could have) My beautiful sister who although we are not related by blood will always be my family and reminds me that I'm old and not cool.
My mom, who has always been there for me and although we can sometimes drive each other crazy as most moms and daughters do I have never questioned the amount of love and pride she has for me and my children. Her love has always been unconditional and for that I am thankful.
I could spend hours writing about all the people and things I am thankful for and perhaps I should. It’s easy to forget on a daily basis how blessed I am.
To lighten up this post a bit, I am also thankful for laughter and have decided to share some funny cards from someecards.com that made me laugh out loud and pee a little in my pants.

Happy Thanksgiving and THANKS for reading my little blog