Friday, November 30, 2012

Elf on a Shelf Announcement

How is it that my gorgeous bust is looking so hip in her scarf?

Anyway, let me introduce one of my most beloved Christmas decorations.  This little guy has been around for longer than I have.  My mom put him out every year and I've always loved him.  He still brings me joy each season.

Which is perhaps why I adore Elf on a Shelf so much!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this new Christmas tradition, Elf on a Shelf is a book you can purchase that comes with its own little elf.  Basically the idea is that the elf has come to observe your kids.  He is not allowed to speak to them but they may talk to him.  The only rule is that they cannot touch him or his magic disappears and he will not be able to go back to the North Pole each night to report to Santa how they've been behaving.  
Now, I'm not overly fond of children obeying for the sake of pleasing Santa...however, what I love about this guy is that he is a wee bit naughty and he gets into some trouble here and there.  Each evening while the kids sleep he is free to roam around your home.  There is no end to what sort of mischief he gets himself involved in.  We started this game last year and my kids enjoyed it but it is certainly something you have to plan ahead a bit.  So this year I will post a photo of our elf's nightly endeavours and if you want to copy our ideas, feel free!

Our elf, of course, is named Buddy.

He will make his first appearance tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welcome Ikea

Ikea opened in Winnipeg today.

Welcome Friend!

Opening day was pretty fun!  
The crowds were not crazy.  
The meatballs were fab.  
The company was delightful!

What I bought:

1.  Christmas napkins
2.  Cute ribbon
3.  Christmas gift tags
4.  Tape refills with dispensers for kids' stockings
5.  Most amazing tray ever
This is the least I've ever purchased on an Ikea trip.  I am quite proud.

What I want very, very much:

Crazy fantastic cart

Very lovely fern

I look forward to many more meetings Ikea!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Basement

I was so excited to finish the den and show it to you that I completely forgot that I had not ever posted our new basement!  

In March of 2008 a water main on our street burst and filled our basement with 30" of water.

It had never been a finished basement but the water didn't really help and two of the walls where the water had rushed in were damaged.

And so, in the summer of 2011 we had our house lifted and rebuilt the basement.

And finally, over a year later, it is, for the most part, done!

Join me for a tour!

These over-sized scrabble letters set the tone for a fun, family focussed rec room.
The shelf is from Ikea.  We laid it on its side and added castors.  In a pinch it can double as extra seating.

Here we have the games area.  Our dvd's and board games are stored on the shelves.  I stained and varnished this $15 table that I bought from Kijiji.  It's nice to have a spot to play games or to do puzzles.

We can't decide if air hockey or ping pong should live here.

This is our entertainment area.
All the video games are in boxes and the controllers are tucked in the baskets.
I know I've already gushed about it but I'll tell ya again...I adore that my husband hid the cords so beautifully!!!

We all enjoy our little kitchen.

These are my World Market stools that we dragged home from Seattle.

The backsplash is chalkboard so we can write fun notes to each other.

I LOVE a checkerboard floor.  LOOOOOVE.
This is one of my most favourite things in our whole house.
See how my thrifted metal baskets have found a home?

We got a cozy new sectional that all 6 of us can fit on.
No more sqashing into our double bed for movies!
Now, I am dying to be laying out pretty blankets and pillows, but I've decided that in fairness to the kids, this should not become a space that belongs to me and has to look a certain way to please my tastes.  It's not fun for a kid to have to keep fluffing pillows and refolding blankets.  So instead we have one blanket for each family member stuffed into the ottoman.  Clean up takes seconds.

My dream was to have a tin ceiling.  However, my dream was crazy expensive.  I am thrilled with the second place and far less expensive bead board panels.

The curtains are from Target...cut apart and hemmed.  Two curtains covered four windows with some extra left over.  The curtain hangers are Ikea.

I chose these doors to tie in with the bead board on the cupboards and ceiling.  And the knobs are so much fun!  Love this shape.

I put some fun vinyl wall words on the way down the stairs,

along with the kids' school photos and their little hand tracings.

We are so thrilled to have this amazing new space to play and relax and hang out with family and friends.  It has been a looooong journey but the end results were worth it.
Thank-you Daddy (Dino) for your endless hard work!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One More Thing About the Den

When we had our floors redone, Dino took out the radiator.  
See it down there?  
It was white.

I'm kind of in love with the after colour!!

It was inspired by a great friend who is also knee deep in reno!  
Don't be afraid to go off the grid...try something a little different.
(Of course, in this case, maybe Dino would not have happily repainted this if I had not liked it, but it was worth the risk!)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our New Den

In my last post you saw how the den has been sitting for a year and a half.  
In the past few weeks Dino has been busy.

First he filled in some big holes.

And some more.

And a few more.

He painted and did baseboards and we had the floor refinished.

And finally this past weekend the room was ready for me to load!
I was VERY excited.  Filling an empty space is one of my favourite things.

 It can be daunting though, to start with a clean slate.  
So take it one step at a time.

First, figure out furniture placement.

Remember to place lamps in a convenient location for both light and outlet availability.

Put curtains up.

Next start loading shelves.  I start with books and plants so that I can get them balanced well.

Then I gathered all the decorative items I'd been saving for the room and brought them in.

Shelves can be tricky.  You have to be willing to move stuff, and move it again.  Balance books with decorative items and picture frames.

The table got a dark stain.

The bench got some white paint.

The new purpose for the den is to give the kids a dedicated place to study.  
I used an old window as a white board so that we can list their homework each day.  
I made sure they had the supplies they need right at their finger tips.  
And I added our family motto in there for fun ~ "BE" ~ as in, be here, in this moment, satisfied, content, not wanting more or wishing for different.

These old chairs were given to me so I updated them with some white paint and new fabric.
(My lovely sister Leanne sewed the cushion covers.)

My final step was to add some pictures and wall words.
I stuck a vinyl chalkboard on the piano.

My fantastic hubby bought me this cowhide at the Texas State Fair.  
I love him.  He is a long horn.  The rug...not Dino.  I love him too! 

And here they are, trying it out for the first day.  

And that, was my weekend!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Den

31 Days of writing and then I had to speak at a mom's group.  
This weekend I get to do what I do best.  
(And what will not cause me to feel beyond ill with nerves.)

Once upon a time our den had a fireplace and built ins.  

And then when the fireplace was preventing our house from lifting, it got torn out and tossed all in about 20 minutes.

And this is how it has been for over a year.

C'mon back after the weekend and see the new look!