Saturday, September 08, 2018

MIA - My Life and Where I've Been

Hello Friends!

I can't believe that almost six months has gone by.  Can you believe that summer is over already?

I certainly can't!  Life has really been getting in the way of my getting here. However, if you follow my Instagram account (@thecreativeme23) you would have seen some of what's been keeping me so busy.

Since I started back to work part-time (over 2 years ago already), things have been slower moving here at home.  It probably also has a lot to do with the fact that we don't have very many spaces left here in this house to complete.

Spring saw the completion of our family room.  I haven't done a proper reveal post, but here it is today as I type this...It's a cool, grey day here today.

This is everyday life here today, lol, and we love how it turned out.  As you can see we added some shiplap to the walls around the closets and painted an accent wall of Dorian Grey behind the fireplace.  Gone are the 8 foot brick walls that actually made the room look smaller.  The fireplace is free-standing now which we think gives it a more modern look.  We have yet to paint out the closet doors, and to be quite honest, it most likely won't be done anytime soon!

September is upon us and hunting season for McG is just around the corner.  We also have a grandson that is due to arrive in about 6 weeks!  We are soooooooooo looking forward to his arrival and have been helping our daughter and her partner get ready. 

A good chunk of my free time this spring and summer went to planning and throwing her a baby shower that was everything she had dreamed of.  Our daughter is a girly girl and wanted a Kate Spade inspired shower, and that's exactly what she got!  Baby blue and gold with polka dots. I made the centerpieces and the food was a group effort from all of her Aunts and her Grandmother and I.  It was a perfect day and she was showered with lots of love and gifts for her and the baby.

Any spare time that McG and I had, we spent by the pool!  It was a HOT summer here in Ontario, which was just fine with us.  We got a huge amount of use out of our backyard oasis.  We fit in a quick trip to Shipshewana Indiana at the beginning of July which is always fun.

McG also built a few things for the yard, including a great bar height table for under the covered porch and a BBQ cabana.  The cabana is something he has wanted for awhile.  The kids and I gave him Home Depot cards for Father's Day so he had a headstart on funding the project.

Here it is all completed.  I will post a kind of How-to later this week (hopefully!)

This bar table he built from scraps that he had lying around in the garage.  One Sunday we had no plans and he was bored so this is what I got as a surprise.  Sometimes it's really great to have a handy hubby with ADHD.  He creates his own projects when there's nothing to do! LOL

In order to help our daughter organize her kitchen before the arrival of the baby, McG built her a coffee bar.  She has a small galley kitchen with not much counter space.  In order to free up some of the space and still have a place for her small appliances, like a coffee maker and toaster, she wanted something that wouldn't take up too much space in her dining room.  This is what he built for her...

 It's 4 feet long and 18 inches deep.  Just the perfect size.  She has it fully stocked now so I will have to get her to send me an updated photo.

Well that's what's been going on here for the last 5 months or so.  The cooler weather is here this week and it's giving me the urge to nest and change up some of the decor around here.  I will be sure and pop in to show you really soon! 

Until then, I'd love to hear about your summer!  Drop me some comments, I'd LOVE to hear from you!


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Plugging Away...

It's been almost two months since I've popped in and time are passing quickly these days.

In my defense though we were away for two weeks in March on our annual pilgrimage to the sunshine state of Florida.  Boy McG and I really love it there.  It was cooler this year than it has been in the past, but we still manage to soak up every bit of sun we could.  Poolside is where we stayed the majority of everyday.

We had hoped to bring the sun and warm temperatures back home with us, but alas, that was not the case.  We actually had snow here earlier this week...and if you can believe it, Thursday night we had a small earthquake that registered 3.6 on the scale.  It didn't last long, but let me tell you the china shook in the cabinet when it happened.

That's not something that happens around here.  But the weather really does seem to be changing here.  Last year at this time, the magnolia tree in the front was in full bloom.  This year the buds aren't anywhere near opening.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they won't even flower because we had an ice storm last weekend.  If they do open I will really be surprised.

Here's what it looked like last year on this day (you gotta love Facebook for sending you reminders...)

And here's what it looks like now...

The sun is out today and it's finally made it into the 50's today.  Spring is definitely late around here!

As for the family room, this is pretty much the state right now. Flooring is next up on the to-do list.

This week we installed the 68 inch ceiling fan that we bought in Florida last March when we were there.  It's been sitting in the spare bedroom waiting for this project to come up on the list!

Last weekend we purchased the flooring for the family room at our local Home Depot.  We had $200 in gift cards that we used to help offset the cost of this.  We decided to go with tile from the back door to the stairs leading to the kitchen and laminate for the rest of the room.

They were having their spring Black Friday sale last weekend.  We purchased this 12mm laminate with attached foam back for just $1.37 per square foot.  A STEAL of a DEAL!!

We bought it in "Sanded Oak" which is a greyed brown.  The planks are 6 inches wide and it comes with a 35 year residential warranty and a 5 year for heavy commercial so we are thinking it will be more than able to stand up to the wear and tear.

McG pulled up all the carpet and backer this week and also removed the hardwood flooring that was laid from the back door to the stairs.  Our decision for taking this out was purely for water reasons.  We use this entry quite often in the winter and it was hard to keep the snow and water off the floor.  We also have a pool and we use this entry for coming in after a swim.  We both felt that tile here was the best option.  It also allowed us to put laminate into the rest of the room, since we didn't feel that the transition from hardwood to laminate was the best choice and we didn't want hardwood in this room.

So far we have completed the following projects in this room.

* pulled out the brick from behind the fireplace
* pulled down the existing panelling and took out the old insulation and installed new, higher R value
* installed new electrical outlets and switches, along with adding 5 new pot lights to the ceiling and
   upgrading 3 pot lights that were already in the room
* added vapour barrier and new drywall to the room
* spray painted the fireplace with high heat BBQ paint in flat black
* took the old insulation and added to the attic insulation above this room
* sanded and painted the drywall and painted the ceiling as well

Next up on the list is:

*  Removing all the nails and staples from the sub floor
*  Screwing down the sub floor to help re-inforce it (it was originally only nailed down)
*  Adding a waterproof membrane from the door to the stairs
*  Tiling that section
*  Installing the laminate flooring and adding a transition piece from the tile to the laminate
*  painting and installing the crown molding, window trim, and baseboards
*  Adding ship lap to the walls around the closets

This really has been our largest project to do and we are hoping to have it finished up in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned for more progress!!


Thursday, February 01, 2018

Using Mood Boards to Help You Curate A Look

Hey there!  Things are moving along here with the family room project.  Most of the trim is now off and the paneling is starting to come down.  The whole purpose of this project was to beef up the insulation in this room.  It is very cold in here in the winter and hot in the summer. 

McG also started breaking up the brick by the fireplace.

In order to get a vision for what I'm hoping to achieve in a room, I sometimes use or make a mood board.  I shared the one I made for the laundry room with you back in the fall. You can check it out here.

I found some mood boards that I really like on Pinterest.

This one is from Studio McGee, you can find the link here.  We are considering a small sectional instead of a couch and love seat this time, along with two chairs.  This is the color scheme that I would like to work with in this room, soft grays with punches of navy and green and weathered wood.

I also really like this neutral option from Brass and What Nots.

I love the calmness of it and with just some simple pops of navy and green I could really make it mine.

So, if you are considering a renovation in your future, I really suggest checking out some mood boards on Pinterest or even creating one of your own.  I find that it helps to keep me on track and focused when I shopping for pieces for the room.

Although I wanted to take out our current fireplace and replace it with a more traditional looking one and not a "woodstove" looking one like we have currently, it is not in the budget for this project. So I am currently trying to design around it.  We are considering two options right now.

Planking painted white, similar to this but without the shelving...

We have a large amount of pine planks leftover from the wall project in the master bedroom. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

...or a more modern look similar to this using a large porcelain tile.

Are you using mood boards?  I'd love to see some of yours!!


Monday, January 08, 2018

2018 - a New Year and some New Projects!

Hello friends and Happy New Year!!!  Again this little blog of mine has been neglected as I just realized that I haven't posted anything since November of last year!  If you missed it - we finally finished the laundry room. It had been in a closet in our family room when we first moved in, but now has a room of it's own just down the hall from our bedrooms.  Here's a peek.

You can see more of the details here.  We have recently added a small antique wooden desk that we are using as a folding table and the laundry sorter that McG bought for me for Christmas.  These two items have made the room so much more functional.

Now that all the holidays are behind us (so sorry for not posting any photos of the house decorated), and I am finally starting to get over the flu, we are brainstorming some ideas for the family room, which is the next project on the to-do list.

Here are some photos I took this morning.  Keep in mind that this room is dark and we are in the midst of a snow storm, so the lighting is not the best.

A big pet peeve of mine are these ugly closet doors.  Finding something to change these up is paramount on my list!

This little half wall at the back entry is going too!  It really hinders people from entering our home.

The paint color is definitely being changed as the paneling is coming down to make way for better insulation.  This room is the farthest from the furnace and a/c unit and as such is very cold in the winter and warm in the summer.  We have added vent boosters that help somewhat but McG's whole agreement to this project stems from the fact that he wants to beef up the insulation in this room.  

Last, but not least, is this fireplace.  It is a gas fireplace that looks like a wood stove.  While I would prefer to change it out to a regular gas fireplace, it's not really in the budget.  So right now we are looking at ways to change the surround and make it more modern.  (if you look closely, you will see what I am hoping will cover the closet doors on the hearth)

We also will be addressing the lighting in this room and have already purchased a much larger ceiling fan for this room.  I know that they are taboo in the decorating world, but it really is a necessity in this room in the summer time. The flooring will be addressed also.  This room will most likely be one of the most costly renovations we will tackle in this house as there are so many things that need to be done.  We have a tight budget to work with so there will definitely be lots of DIY! 

Stay tuned and please send us your suggestions for dealing with the fireplace surround - we are definitely open to hearing what you think!!