Thursday, November 28, 2013

Renovation Reveal - Dining Room

Here's a before of the dining room.  
The window had to be filled in since there is now a room on the other side of it instead of the outdoors..

And here it is now!

Take a closer look at some of my favourite features.

My hutch travelled from its 1994 state into the 21st century, providing my milk glass collection a home.  


The stippled ceiling got a make-over.  

 I've always wanted to add some writing to the wall!

These guys have been in storage for quite awhile.

And probably my favourite feature in the entire renovation, the pantry doors.  Dino did an amazing job of making my exact request a reality.
I just LOVE them.  
And him.

It's been lovely to get to sit down to eat again.  Squishing into our 4 stool kitchen was getting old.

HUGE thanks to all our friends who so generously gave their time to help us see this project through!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Renovation Reveal - Living Room

 As you may remember, the last peek at our living space involved this wall

coming down to open into our addition.

Here's the view from the other the addition looking toward the old living room.
Obviously, a lot had to be done still...tape, mud, baseboards, trim,

and paint.

One more time?

Ta daaaaaaaaaa!

My very fabulous and talented husband has been working tirelessly on all the finishing touches.

Let's take a little tour.

The baseboards are fantastic.  LOVE them.
And having trim around our front door (rather than insulation) is dreamy.

Here we have the beverage corner.  Now you see why I needed so many chairs!

One of my very most favourite details are the curtain rods that Dino built using plumbing piping.  He did an amazing job!

On the decor side, my skis are a favourite.  I got them last year at a yard sale for $5.  Love them.  And my newly bashed up chairs are pretty happy in there too.

It's so nice to have so much space for a Christmas tree!

And over here, we have another whole room!  We're calling it the sitting room...I know, so original.  

Favourites here include a school house light from Old House Revival and a fireplace, and, more skis!

Let's have a last look...



If you are wondering about the paint, I did choose the dark sample which is Benjamin Moore's Templeton Grey.

Dino, you are a miracle worker.
Thank-you for the sleepless weeks and countless hours of work you put in to give our family this dream space.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving a Chair a New Look

Chairs are one of the easiest pieces of furniture to make over.  
They are not that hard to find if you can be patient and search around a bit and usually quite affordable.  A little paint and fabric and presto,  a new look!

I got a set of 2 chairs from Kijiji awhile back for $30.

It was tempting to keep the wood on these ones but it had a bit of that fake veneer look so I decided to go with paint, and then recovered the cushion which only involved staples, no sewing.


I'll just mention here that the staple gun has much the same effect as using the sander which I discussed a few days back.

Imagine all the different looks that could have been achieved here.  Painting bold pink, vibrant teal, or even black or white would have given some very different looks.  
Using leather, faux fur, velveteen or a floral on the seat would change things up so much.  

Chairs are a great way to really add your own personality to a room.
And, who couldn't use some extra seating?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Target Canada

Poor Target.  
I've heard much disappointment over the new store that just opened up close to me.  And I guess they're right about most's understocked, it's not the same as the U.S. stores, it's expensive, there are products missing...

But baby, do they have some Mrs. Meyers going on!

And so for that at least, I am thankful.

(Oh, also for the cute pillow I saw with the retro car with the Christmas tree on top, and for the fabulous red metal basket, and for the really cool antler candle holders, and for the baskets with the little chalkboard labels, and...)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Chair Therapy

We're in the home stretch of being done one of the major phases of our reno - the main floor.
Why does it get so much more stressful as you near the finish?

I needed a little stress release so I took these chairs that I'd started refinishing the first summer of our renovation...three years ago.

I didn't like the print I'd started recovering them with and the "new" white paint was chipping anyway so I got out an electric sander and some burlap and made myself feel a whole lot better.

Before - half finished

This sort of aged rustic look may not be for you, but I promise, sanding the heck out of a chair is for everyone!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Magazine Featured Recipe

You know how I like when things I use pop up in magazines?
Well imagine my surprise when my 15 year old recipe was suddenly featured in the latest Kraft issue!
Oh m'gosh and Holy Cow!  I'm a hip dessert maker!!!

(I know, I'm so not...but it's nice to be featured in a magazine!)

(I know, it wasn't actually me featured...but just about!)

In case you're wanting to try it out and be super hip too, here's the recipe or you can link to it here.

what you need

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (250 g) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping, divided
2 oz. Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate

make it

HEAT oven to 400ºF.
BRING water and butter to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in flour until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition; spread onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 25 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely.
MEANWHILE, beat pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min. Refrigerate 5 min. or until thickened. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in pudding until blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
SPREAD pudding mixture over crust; cover with 2 cups Cool Whip. Spoon remaining Cool Whip into microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 min. Add chocolate; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended. Drizzle over dessert.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A New Office

Recently our sweet Director of Children's Ministry had a mishap that left her with both wrists in casts.
Not fun.
She was in the middle of moving to a new office in our church and all her belongings were in boxes, so I was allowed the amazing task of organizing her new space!  
SO fun!!

First I got to go spend some money and provide her with a new storage unit,

and a place to hold meetings.

I just discovered that these chairs were recently featured in my favourite magazine!
I get super excited when that happens.

 Next we had to unpack all her boxes and sort her stuff onto these shelves.


I chose a white theme to keep the space fresh and peaceful.

Plants were a priority for me so I made sure to make space for them in the budget.  
Without plants an office is so...dreary.

These white file boxes are super inexpensive and look great with the cute labels I found as a free download from

I used larger boxes up high for storing all those crazy fun props that Children's Ministries, you know, pink bubble wrap.

Sometimes when life around you is chaotic, what you need is a calm, peaceful space.

Thanks for the countless hours you give and the amazing way you minister to our kids Beth!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Lesson in Purging

Usually I'm pretty good at getting rid of what I don't use, but I've had this one recipe in my stash for over 15 years.
Last year I showed you how I organize my recipes on cards and keep them all in one box.
I only keep recipes I use except for this one recipe I have for a dessert.  I remember clearly loving the dessert but every time I get the card out to consider trying it, I chicken out.

It says to boil water and butter.  No problem.  Then it says remove from heat and add flour.  The dough should pull away from sides.  

And that's where I stop every time.  Should pull?  What if it doesn't?  What if I have this big doughy mess and wreck it and then have no back up plan??
(Have I mentioned I HATE cooking?)
So I've read that thing a million times but never tried it...
until Thanksgiving.  

They liked it!!!  It was a big hit and now I wonder why on earth I didn't just try it 15 years ago?

Is there something around your house you're scared to try?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Last Word on Legacy

Darla reminded me of another legacy my mother passed along...

I mentioned last Mother's Day how I wore my mom's wedding gown, but today is a perfect day to talk about it again since today is my parents 56th wedding anniversary.
I was allowed to play with this dress when I was a kid and always assumed I'd wear it one day.  One of my fab sisters altered when the time came and I am so thankful my mom was so generous with handing it down.

And now it waits...

for one of these peanuts to wear it some day.

Or maybe...both of them!