Kitchen Makeover - REVEAL!


The day has come when I can finally show you what we've been working on for the last 3 weeks  
{and what's been percolating in my head for 2 years!}

I'm kind of in LURVE with it. I hope you like it too.

We still have some finish touches {under-cabinet lighting, area rug, wall art, curtain, etc}, but I can't exactly show you a finished product every post - I need time to curate...and build up the war chest again! Haha!

Without further ado, here's our new kitchen!

 So...what do you think?

Here's a "Before" when the previous home owners lived here.
NOT our stuff. NOT our style. And that's not even my arm either! Haha! Very dark, cocoon-like and "Tuscan".

Now you're asking what did we do to make it so lovely?

Well, my amazing husband did a lot of the work {remember, I'm the brains behind the DIY. Oh, and I'm also the Mummy, so I look after the kidlets...for the most part, ahem.}.


 Big A took down the cabinet fronts to paint.  We used Benjamin Moore's OC-15 - Baby Fawn. 
It's a light, bright greige. It's perfect to match our granite {which we were NOT going to change!} and it also complements the floor tiles - which I don't like, which is why I need an area rug for the kitchen. 
Big A used the paint sprayer to get good, even coverage on the cabinet fronts. His paint sprayer is set up in the basement. I should really learn how to use it. While the paint was drying, it was time to tackle the backsplash.


Most people would think the tumbled marble cobblestone-y backsplash is nice enough...and it is, but it's just not the look I wanted for my kitchen.

We found cool tiles for the backsplash at Costco of all places and planned to tile right over the marble. But Big A decided he didn't want to do that. He wanted to remove the current backsplash and do it right the first time. You can't argue with that!

So when you remove a backsplash, most of the drywall comes with it so he had to replace the drywall - something he's never done before. Actually, he never tiled before either. But he accomplished both tasks with great success and relative ease, as far as I know anyway!
A close up of the Costco backsplash tile & the granite. I really like the colour of grout we choose - it's called "Antique White" and it really brightens and punches up the backsplash!

Another gratuitous photo - I love my new kitchen!

After several days of very hard work, we he completed the big stuff and my kitchen became usable again, and oh-so-lovely!

Here are some "Before & Afters" to compare.  
Please ignore the poor quality of the "Before" photos, my camera was acting up - so I borrowed a camera from my dad for the "Afters"!


Moodboard Monday - Modern Mad Men



EZ - 1st Day of Sportball this Season!

EZ absolutely LOVES his Sportball class. It's a weekly class where the kidlets learn the basics of each sport. This week was soccer & hockey, so you can imagine how cool EZ thought it was.

We practice jumping jacks, running and stretching at home too so he's all set when his "cwass" comes on Saturday mornings.


Making it Work: The Unexpected Yellow {Drapery} Rods


Oh Yes, indeed.

When I purchased the West Elm drapery panels last week, I didn't know how I wanted to hang them. Frankly, with our kitchen reno underway, our budget was stretched to the max.

Then this old adage came to mind and it seemed so fitting for us:
Image via Pinterest

It then dawned on me that we had all of the former home owner's drapes & wooden rods in the basement. 

I wonder if I could DIY them into something cool & workable for our stylish little dining room?

This is what we came up with.  

We first sanded down the pieces we needed, then spray painted a few coats the rods & finials in my FAVOURITE yellow: 

RustOleum's Gloss Sun Yellow.  A bright, bold & brave choice, but I love a pop of yellow where you'd least expect it. And I'm all about taking risks with yellow!

Image via here
I am very pleased with how it turned out {although I hope no one looks too closely at my quick & dirty spray paint job. I think chimpanzees could have done a better job, but what can you do?}.

I think the patterned drapery panels look AMAZING with the yellow rods. I'm kind of in love with them.

All it cost us was a few cans of spray paint and elbow grease. Oh spray paint, is there anything you can't make more beautiful?

PS: I would take more photos of the dining room drapes, but all of our kitchen items are currently being stored in there. Oh and our camera is on its last legs. Excuses, excuses!

PSS: On that note, our kitchen is quickly coming together! Very exciting indeed! Can't wait to show you pics!


Faces of Little A: Lunch Edition



Fall is Here & the Changing of the Mantel!

The weather is chilled, although the sun still has me convinced that it's still summer.  Then I step outside in the crisp autumn air and realize that Fall has arrived.  Time for cozy sweaters, apple picking, boot season, and the changing of the seasonal mantel in my kitchen.

I put this together this afternoon while watching SATC reruns and waiting for the Emmys to begin.  Still some tiny tweaks needed, but it looks pretty good just using what I had!
Linking to:
Nest of Posies Fall Festival Link Party

The Lettered Cottage - Ideas for Fall Linky Party!


EZ's Room Project Progress


Today I'd planned on revealing a little DIY project for EZ's still unfinished room. But life {being sick & tired, our kitchen renovation, our flat tire} and my regular duties as Mummy of the Year {ahem!} to my kiddos got in the way of my post.

So in lieu, please accept my DIY project as a work in progress, with the final reveal sometime next week!



Kitchen Makeover Update - Day 3?


We had a busy day here!  When EZ came home he remarked that Daddy broke the kitchen!

He's right and this is PROGRESS! Cabinet fronts are off, some had to be removed completely for installed under-cabinet lighting, the fridge is out of place, and there is debris everywhere!

Big A has sprayed some cabinet doors and they look awesome! So glad we built the big shelves in the basement because we need them for this project! The cabinet doors need a good drying place.

We also had to pick grout today for the new backsplash tile {remember the tile I got from Costco?}. I imagined it would be an agonizing process like it is on tv, but we found the right colour straight away.  Well, I hope! We shall see in the days ahead :)
Tonight Big A picked up a tile saw we're borrowing from a friend, so fingers crossed, we'll have some progress on that front soon too!  We're thinking about tiling right over the existing backsplash? Crazy? Smart? Who knows, but it's my idea so I'll have to take the fall if it's an epic fail! Haha!


Little A: New Dress & Audition Re-cap!


Little A rocked her 1st Missoni outfit today!  It's the little sweater dress, and it's so adorable on her. She's very squirmy now so it's hard to capture the perfect shot, but I think she did alright all things considered.

Little A had another audition for a national commercial for a large retailer earlier this week. She did really well, but we haven't heard anything yet. It was so fun to go on the audition though! She filmed a scene and she did really well. Other babies came out with screaming & crying, but Little A is a pro!  

She just smiled and was cute for the camera, despite the fact that she is teething quite badly and has a cold. Fake it till you make it, girl {that's something my mom always told me and it's TRUE!}.

The commercial shoots next week, so there's still time to hear back. We're not banking on it, but it was so fun any way! And having fun is what it's all about or else I'd be on Toddlers & Tiaras!


Missoni Accomplished!

It was the day I had been waiting for with great anticipation for weeks.

Upon waking, I immediately checked only to realize that my fave home items were already sold out! So we had to make the trek to the US to see if my heart's desires were in store.

We arrived about an hour after the store opened to discover the Missoni shelves were bare. The staff seemed to be clueless as to why there were so many people asking for Missoni items. We paced the aisles and grabbed anything that said "Missoni" on the tag. I even asked the cashiers to look underneath their till for Missoni items.   

There were women there with 2-3 cart loads FULL of stuff. I couldn't believe my eyes! I wonder how much they spent on their wares?  They probably suffered from Missoni Mania like I did.

We found a few things for Little A and a couple of framed wall tiles for our living room. We decided to check another Target.

As we left our "Check Tire Pressure" light came on and we had to pull off the highway in the middle of nowhere to change to the spare tire. And by "we" I mean, Big A all by himself. I did my part by  Googling a nearby tire repair shop.

I also was very disappointed that this tire problem was going to cut short the trip and prevent me from getting to the 2nd Target store. Boo hoo :(

The tire repair place was in a very sketchy 'hood.  We drove around for a bit, and all of sudden I clued into where we were and determined that we were about 3 minutes away from the sketchy Target where I got the Moroccan pouf a few months ago!

Minutes later we were in the Target parking lot and I literally raced inside!  The Missoni stuff was picked over, but there were, at least, more options. The "Missoni Mania" hit again and I hoarded every Missoni item I saw. My cart was full {even with a King Size comforter set! Why would I need that?} and I decided to pare it down a bit. I just hollered out what I was giving up and a flock of Missoni-obsessed women with carts appeared gratefully taking it from me!

When I got back to car to show Adair my findings, I realized that I had indeed overspent for items I didn't really need. I went through all the stuff I'd purchased at both stores and decided to return about $170 worth of items. I was very proud of myself :)

We then had our tire replaced {yes, it couldn't be fixed apparently} and were on our way home. Then Big A realized we forgot to buy "fun pop" at Target - like Cherry Coke Zero, Diet Vanilla Dr. Pepper & Cranberry Sierra Mist - so we drove back to the 1st Target store. 

I found a few more Missoni items upon my return {mostly stuffed in random places like between potato chip bags and pasta sauce on the shelves}, but like a big girl, I decided not to purchase any more.

Here's what I picked up - most of it is my beloved chevron pattern, so that's why I bought so much:

I still have a few items I'm not sure of, so I may decide to sell them on eBay. If you see anything you want, email me!
Here's a close-up of the all the zig-zag awesomeness!

Baby girl sweaters {in 2 different sizes!} & a skirt, a baby blanket, two wall tile hangings, a tote bag, photo frames, serving dishes, notebooks, even a make-up bag - I got quite a lot of stuff!
When we got home, I was still disappointed to that I didn't get the throw blanket I was hoping for. I checked out eBay and saw them selling for 3-4x the cost in store. I decided to check out the Target website again to see what was left.

I had seen the ottoman online earlier but I didn't know what to make of it. They don't sell it in store, but they had some left online. So I took a chance and ordered TWO of them! Crazy, I know!  I really want them for my living room re-fresh project.

Anyway, my TWO POUFS should be here next week! I think they are going to be AMAZING! Just the right amount of pattern & pizazz to my living room!


New Dining Room Drapes!


For months I've been looking for inexpensive yet irresistibly chic drapes for my lovely re-decorated dining room.

I've researched online, perused Pinterest, blog-ogled, but never really found the *perfect* drapes for the room. I even thought of stenciling a pattern onto fabric, but I never felt really inspired by that idea.

A few weeks ago I purchased plain white faux silk drapes for $50/panel.  They were ok, but I never ended up hanging them.

I guess I was waiting for these new drapes from West Elm that were recently released.

They are Cotton Canvas Faux Bead Window Panels.

Images via West Elm
Here's a close up. Aren't they divine?

 I like these drapes for a few reasons:

 1. I love mixing prints. I think these will go well with the bold graphic of the chevron wall.

2. The pattern itself is circles - which ties in the lighting in the room {the arc lamp & the Cluster Glass Pendant from West Elm}.

3. They are cotton and machine washable. Seriously.  Also, cotton is less stuffy and I like my dining room to be sophisticated but also comfortable.

4. They were 20% off because West Elm is currently having a sale on drapery panels. Then my mom gave me a card for an extra 10% off {thanks mom!} -- so that's 30% off! I paid $28 per panel -- much better than $50 per panel!

5. The design matches my blog design. Haha. It does, but that's not why I bought them. Right?

Anyway, I'm super-excited to hang the drapes and I was going to get new hardware, but then I had an idea for a cool DIY using stuff I already have {See, my creative mojo is returning from its summer hiatus!}.  I hope it turns out and I'll post on my progress!


Kitchen Makeover: Day One



Sunday Funday with Cousins!

Yesterday, EZ & Little A's cousins came over for the afternoon! They just adore their cousins!  

They brought a gift for EZ - these cool new packing peanuts from a German company called Play Mais.  EZ & his cousins spent hours creating & playing with these cool little nuggets. They are made of corn and they stick together with water. Simple & clean.

EZ fell on the pavement while playing outside so that's band-aid on his head {"My Monkey George" he calls it!}, not a sticker :)

The boys spent a lot of time playing hockey in the backyard, while the girls got their craft on - creating felt rosettes!

 We also watched a kids movie on Netflix, ate pizza for lunch and burgers for dinner! So fun!

We love spending time with our cousins!  We miss our other cousins that live far away though! Nothing is more important than family and it's so sweet how well the cousins get along :)


EZ's First Skating Class


Ever since we bought EZ his skates earlier this week, he's been begging to go to his "hockey class". Thankfully for my wallet/sanity, his hockey career doesn't start for another couple of years. 

EZ must learn to skate first. And today was his first skating lesson!
He was giddy with anticipation and started wearing his helmet yesterday! They suggested that the child wear the helmet & skates for a bit so that it's not "scary" when they go to class. 

Yep, not a problem. 

EZ wasn't scared at all.  Once we got the helmet yesterday, he wore it out of the store and proudly paraded all around the mall with his new headgear!

He was so happy to have his "hockey helmet".

We arrived about 20 minutes early for class {and happy we did because there was a house fire across the street and we all got distracted with the fire trucks and excitement! No one was hurt but scary all the same!} to allow EZ plenty of time to get his skates on and such.

Once he skates were laced up, helmet and mittens were on - he was ready to go! Granddad & Nana also joined us for this fun day - Thanks to Granddad for the photos!

EZ was a bit apprehensive once he felt how slippery & fast the ice was, but his dad was there to help him feel more confident.  And I'm sure "The Wiggles" music blaring on the speakers in the arena made EZ more comfortable. I know any time I hear "Hot Potato", it makes me feel warm & fuzzy. Haha! 

Seriously though, I'm not joking about The Wiggles music playing in the arena! I was expecting more upbeat, pop music. Or none at all. Anything but The Wiggles!

 EZ was able to stand up on his own and is learning how to get up. Thank goodness daddy is able to skate, because Heaven knows I'm useless on skates! 

Little A was in the arena too. She kept herself busy by removing and chewing on her pretty silver shoes, kicking off her blanket, ripping off her snuggly hat, & throwing her bottle on the floor as a "fun game". What can I say - she's a Canadian girl - she doesn't mind the cold chill of the arena!

All in all, it was a great first class. He's already asking to go back to his "skating class" - little does he know that his SportBall class starts next week! So much excitement for such a little dude!


Paint it Black


I wanted to give my entry a little more "oomph" so I daringly painted it to give it some personality.

Like a lot of people, I live in a builder-grade house and I'm eking out any possibility of a more custom, less suburban-y look.
So enter in the painted door. I thought about gray, but getting the perfect shade of gray was a constant challenge in all my other rooms & projects, so I bit the bullet and chose a BOLD BLACK.
Hey! Who's that little guy trying to camouflage himself with his Penguins hoodie! EZ ran into the camera and insisted one some shots of himself - clearly he has no shame, wearing just his hoodie & a diaper. Well, I guess he has socks on...
His "smile" shots are slowly being perfected into a more natural "blue steel" look instead of his former toothy grins.

Anyhoo - back to my beautiful black door post...

Here's a "before" shot so you can see the difference. See how the white door just fades into the background. Totally not my personality. I'm not a wallflower kind of girl.

I think I *really* like the black. It adds the perfect punch of drama to the entry way.  

What do you think? Do you love it? Would you try it in your house?

Now I need to refresh my entry way. I have the bench there, but what I really want is a console table and poufs.  Specifically a mirrored console table and these poufs from CB2.
Find them here!
So much to do -- so little money and time. Isn't that always the way?

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