Friday, November 30, 2012

Instagram Lately {and a little heartache}

Little snippets of life over the last couple of months.... if you don't already follow me on Instagram, my username is andrea5e or click the link in the top right of my sidebar. 

I promised all sorts of Christmas craziness last week (it's still coming), but had an unexpected family situation arise. It's with a heavy heart that I share some personal news with you. Sadly, my grandma passed away on Monday morning. I have been out of town this week to spend time with my family. As heartbreaking as her loss has been for all of us, we have had some light moments and hearty laughs remembering how much fun she was. I have found this the easiest way to cope with the gap left behind. My grandma was so many things, to name a few: 
  • a fantastic chef and baker - the center of so many family gatherings.
  • had the best laugh - a throaty noise followed by silent hysterics (if you weren't already laughing, you couldn't help but to join in).
  • a lead foot - pedal to the metal for my granny!
  • she despised being called granny - it made her feel old (which of course, inspired us to whip it out every now and then).
  • so very stylish- always dressed to perfection. I used to spray her fancy perfumes or play with her cosmetics every time I went in to her bathroom (shhhhh).
  • she was so stylish, she made sure that we were stylish too. To the tune of boutique dresses for our entire childhood.
  • hated the rain - it ruined her hair. So she wore rain hats.
  • when my grandpa was still alive, it was tradition to get a shiny loony (Canadian $1 coin for those of you not familiar with our currency) every time you visited them. They kept them in film caps in a drawer special for when the grandkids came over. It was so exciting for us (keep in mind, loonies were pretty new when we were little... we're talking about the late 1980's!).

I'm going to miss her like crazy, but my head and heart are full of happy memories of her. I'm hoping that her and my grandpa are catching up over the last couple decades and watching over us down here.
I'll be back later on this weekend, promise.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Bathroom {Mini Makeover}: Reveal!

Our bathroom makeover is mostly done... I've been busy painting some of my own art (addicting). So this is close enough to make me happy... there are a few things I am sure that I will tweak but it's good enough for now! So, just a reminder of the before:
 Here's the after:
I used regular window curtains from Ikea because I wanted to frame the tub. We moved the curtain rod up higher, and I kept the plastic curtain behind the regular curtains. We don't ever use this as a shower so we shouldn't have any trouble with that.
Blurred out the picture on purpose... sorry, it's a secret! 
The art is diy with acrylic paints. I was going for ikat looks in the the bigger ones and ombre in the small one. I used neutral colours with metallics. I made some for our bedroom too, so I'll have to post some updated photos once I get everything on the walls. The shelves are from Ikea.
For details on the makeover process (including painting the stripes on the walls!), check out this post. And see my inspiration post here. As for the things that may still be changed, I might add some art/photos or something to the wall where the door is to blend in the light switch and thermometer... and may still change up the arrangement on the shelves.
My goal was to give the bathroom a face lift without changing anything big since we don't plan to be here forever, and everything is so new. Have you completed any mini makeovers lately?


psssst... I am definitely decorating for Christmas this weekend so expect an onslaught of photos soon. I go a liiiiiittle crazy for Christmas. 

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bathroom Sneak...

So sorry for not posting any updates after my weekend o' painting - our wireless router bit the dust so we were without internet for the week. All fixed now! And ready for a little teaser of the bathroom evolution. So here's where we started:
I decided to paint the whole room white again (which is kind of funny, since it was all white to begin with). It took 3 coats (!!) and a toll on my body for all the awkward positions required of ceiling painting in a tiny space. I tested two different greiges (gray-beige):
I went with Benjamin Moore Collingwood (on the left) for my greige because it looked a bit moodier, and the classic Benjamin Moore Cloud White because I knew it was a close match for our trim colour. I got both in the flat finish, because the girl swore to me that it wouldn't show water marks, etc. We didn't go with the bathroom paint because the shower is never used and we have a fan so mildew isn't a concern. But first, I had some hole patching to do. I decided to ditch the glass vanity shelves for something a little more substantial so had to patch those holes as well as some various picture holes. And my true levels of impatience really showed themselves here:
Yes, I used my hairdryer to speed up the drying time on the spackle. Shameless, but genius. Also, here is a moment where I'm so glad to be married to a plumber. That unpainted space behind the toilet drives me mental everytime I sit in the bathtub. He just whipped the tank off in 2 seconds flat. Love that man.
So then I got started... all white for the walls and ceiling. 3 coats. I was a little frustrated with that considering we had used the BM Regal line which says 1-2 coats and the existing colour on the wall is not dark by any means. But 2 coats looked rough. So I bit the bullet and did another, used almost the entire gallon in this itty bitty space. Ridiculous. But it's done. Here is what it looked like after that... crazy how much brighter it was!! So refreshing for my eyeballs.
Then the taping began. OHHHHH, the taping. I let the paint dry for 24 hours and then crossed my fingers the whole time that I wasn't ruining all of my hard work. Let me provide all of you with a valuable marriage-saving tip when painting stripes. SKIP THE LASER LEVEL. Seriously. Go old school. Use a level, and pencil your lines on. Follow your penciled line to tape. If you tape right up to the pencil line, you will paint over it anyway. And save mucho frustration. You heard it here first.

We went with 10" stripes because we had 90" of wall from the baseboard to the ceiling. Less math = happy girl. I also really wanted to avoid having any stripes that were wider or narrower than others at the top or bottom. Before I painted the colour into the stripes, I went over the tape with my white paint (only on the gray sides) to "seal the tape" and prevent any bleeding (if there is any bleeding, your first colour is the one that bleeds, therefore it's not visible). Worked like a charm.
Oh, and one other valuable tip. Frog Tape. No other. Frog Tape all the way (which did no damage to my freshly painted walls and no leaking).

And just a little sneak peak...
I have put up some diy art since this picture, but still have a few things to finish off before I do a reveal. Coming soooooon!! So do stripes tickle your fancy? I have to say that I love the way they turned out!!


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Bathroom Makeover: Inspiration

So, I mentioned that this bathroom needed a makeover yesterday. This is our main bathroom that guests use, it's small, too dark and has no style. None. When I first decorated this place 3.5 years, I didn't really have a sense of what I wanted. It seemed to be more about filling it up as opposed to going with a cohesive style. Well, now I hate it. The paint colour in the bathroom is too dark (especially considering there are no windows!) and is on the ceiling and the walls. And the floors are dark. Ack. So, I have no plans to replace anything major but I need to give it a lighter, brighter look.

Here is what it looks like right now:

Blech. I'll be happy when that decal is off the wall.

So, I'm thinking along the lines of wide horizontal stripes, lots of cream/white and neutrals (shocking, I know), double shower curtains to frame the tub like curtains and something that is generally a little easier on the eyes. Maybe a little like this...

Unidentified source via Pinterest (if you know it, let me know!)
small bathroom
Unidentified source via Pinterest (if you know it, let me know!)
february 2012 master bathroom after 057 1
Unidentified source via 346 Living

How glorious is that sparkly striped tiled wall?!! A little rich for my tiny little budget though :( Since I am off on Friday, I think I might get started! So weigh in... got any ideas for me??!! I'm all ears.


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Bath Tub Shelf

So, this was originally my Fall Pinterest Challenge project... until it took... longer than I thought. I hate waiting for things to dry. I have no patience for waiting. It was a quick and easy project, aside from the waiting. I was inspired by this bath shelf I found on Pinterest a couple months ago:
I read through the tutorial and thought it was pretty simple. So I whipped one up with a little pine, glue, stain and poly :) Here's how it turned out:
I used pine 1x4's for the wood and oak 1x2's (oak was all they had at Home Depot) for the supports/ledges. You can tell that they are spaced a little wonky and that's because we had to custom fit it to our tub - there is no ledge on the wall side. I used Lepage No More Nails glue for the whole thing (no nails!) because it's what we had on hand. After that I sanded (skipped distressing), stained with my favourite Minwax Dark Walnut and put several coats of poly on. We had everything but the pine on hand, so it was under $10. All done! If you skipped the staining and just poly'd it, you could get this done in a couple hours. Finally, a spot for my wine glass and book while I soak in the bubble bath!! I foresee many more bubble baths in my future...

I'll be back this week looking for some inspiration for this very same room. I have some ideas, but it needs a MAKEOVER. Hope you're feeling creative!!


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Pinterest Challenge Fail

Well, the jig's up. I clearly missed the Fall Pinterest Challenge. I had really good intentions, but a slow start and a slower process. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would (which seems to be a common thread for me and projects, haha). Fear not, I still have a project to share but it's getting a final coat of poly (hint, hint) tonight so the post will have to wait till tomorrow!!

In the meantime, I will occupy my spare time with THIS (!!!!):
So excited to dig into Young House Love's book!! Although, I'm a little sad... my book arrived with some ink transfer on the cover. I'm too excited to read it to bother with exchanging it with Amazon. It'll just go on the shelf spine out when I'm done :) Have you picked up their new book yet?


Thursday, November 01, 2012

Beer Tasting Party

It's been a little quiet around here lately.... rest assured, that is only because we have been busy with projects (and life) soon to be shared (I DO have a Pinterest Challenge project coming shortly!). As for the life aspect, my lovely husbie just turned 30! To celebrate, he decided to have a boys night this year. We usually have a big party with some sort of costume theme, but this year... we just weren't into it. His birthday is just days from Halloween which lends itself to a Halloween/Costume theme but we just felt like giving the costume parties a rest for awhile. And Kris is normally ALL OVER THAT SH*T. Seriously. He has a costume collection housed inside the "Tickle Trunk". It's as creepy as you think it is.

He has been on a huuuuuge craft beer kick over the past year or two, so I decided to run with that theme. He is passionate about it and has even started brewing his own beer at home with a couple friends. Because we have limited space in the house, we use the garage (aka man cave) for his birthday parties. It has become a bit of a beer hall theme with Guinness posters that Kris has collected and other random beer paraphernalia.  I was actually really hoping to amp up the photo wall and create more of a gallery (instead of random pictures spaced out, ha) but ran out of time. I wanted to make a chalkboard for tasting notes too, but then decided that the boys probably really don't care about the note aspect. Just the drink-it aspect.

We used some borrowed area rugs to make the floor a little more cozy, set up a space heater and tables with benches. I picked up disposable table cloths (not plastic) and made a runner by just cutting up some kraft paper that we had on hand. I used it to line some dollar store bowls for the snacks too. I used some beer growlers to put dried grass-type stuff in and filled up the space by spreading food down the table, plus tons of mason jars with tea lights. Much to my displeasure, we ended up going with plastic cups. In the end, I was so glad for the lack of clean up and breakage.

A few years ago, we hung hooks down the ceiling, brought some chain and hung Ikea lanterns from them. We have used them every year now, it adds to that "beer-hall" or "tavern" feel. The benches were also made by Kris and his brothers a few years ago, using an old bed frame. They aren't pretty, but they sure are functional for parties like this. I think this is their last year and we'll be renting chairs in the future - they just take up too much room when they aren't being used.

For the food, I made about 12 lbs of pulled pork (!) in my crock pot. It was easy, just a rub on the pork and a couple things in the pot. Super easy and got rave reviews (albeit from a bunch of drunks, but I'll take it). We had ciabatta buns, coleslaw and a couple BBQ sauces to make sandwiches with. I made a few bowls of veggies/dip to place down the table along with pretzels and chips. I was hoping that would ensure that they ate throughout the night considering the emphasis on beer drinking! I also had taquitos as a late night snack and I baked carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing for the birthday cake. The boys were tasked with bringing one craft beer to share with everyone. Despite my best efforts, the party still got a little rambunctious, but I think good times were had by all. Here's how it looked...

The beginnings of pulled pork
Cupcake Babies
Cupcake Grown-Ups
In the Garage/Beer Hall/Tavern:

At the Front Door:
A little area for cigar smoking (inevitable so might as well make ashtrays that AREN'T my planters)
May have spray painted a few pumpkins in the morning... and yes, my mum (the flower kind) is just about dead.
Thanksgiving gourds are still hanging in there....
All lit up for night time

My quiet evening away:
Thankful for this little bit of heaven, especially when I got back home!
This was so good! Cod Ling in a red curry sauce... be still my heart. 
So it may not have been the prettiest party I've ever thrown, but it was for a bunch of dudes who couldn't have cared less (for the most part)... haha. Considering the condition of most of the invitees at the end of the night, I'm going to call it a success :) So, are you thinking of entertaining with any new theme ideas?


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