Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vacation Drama Update

Hello!  Do you miss me?  I sure miss the blog world.  Last night Katie and I came into town because it was raining and we needed a little break from the cottage.  Not because we weren't enjoying it but simply because we needed to start fresh.  In a 24 hour period we had nothing but DRAMA!!!  I'm serious.  It was unbelievable.  First came the family drama out of left field through texting and then phone calls (not between Katie and I). Once we sorted through that it was time for bed. 

Our first night alone in the cottage EVER!  We have never stayed there without our parents and that would be fine in normal circumstances but Monday night was different. We hop into bed (together because it is the first night alone).  The lights are turned off and we are just about to fall asleep when we see a flash of light.  No idea where it came from but it was freaky!!  (You should know the cottage is very remote and surrounded by trees.  It's lovely during the day but for a city girl who hasn't spent much time there in her adult life it's a little freaky at night).  I digress… anyways we freaked out and thought it must be the silly touch lamp beside the bed.  We unplug it to be sure it won't happen again.  (It did not ease our increased heart beats).  Finally, we fall asleep only to be woken up by what we thought was an intruder!  I'm not joking.  It was one of the scariest moments in my life.  I thought they were in the cottage creeping around.  Katie thought they were on the roof creeping around.  I swear they could have heard my heart pounding.  We got out of bed ready to protect the cottage and defend ourselves.  With what you ask?  We asked ourselves the same thing given we had only clothes and a little lamp in our room but off we went to investigate with our cell phone in hand.  The intruder, a family of racoons!  They were having a party on the roof of the cottage.  I swear it sounded just like human footsteps ready to get us.  

We settled back in bed after we calmed down and talked to our dad (superman… we laughed the next day at calling dad because he was 45 minutes away.  What would he have done if it was an intruder?  Put on his cape and fly to our rescue?!).  Just about to fall asleep and we hear a loud bang of some sorts.  We decided not to ask questions and just lie as still as possible until we fell asleep.  

I can't tell you how hard we laughed on Tuesday morning/afternoon.  We were having a great time relaxing by the lake swimming, floating around and reading our books.  After a while I thought it was time to get a snack.  I go back up to the cottage only to find a snake slithering its way into the cottage through the front door that I left a little ajar.  After a panicked scream Katie came running up the stairs.   I freaked out but somehow managed to prevent it from going in.  It was caught between the door and it's hinge.  I had to hold it open for it to slither away.  Let me give you a little picture.  Both Katie and I (I'm holding the door open) are standing on deck chairs screaming at the snake to just get out of the door and go away.  If neighbours had seen  us they would have died laughing.  We should have taped the entire 15 hour period and posted it on YouTube because I'm sure it would be a huge hit!

So after that we decided to sleep at Tara's place (she's my sisters best friend and a fourth sister to the rest of us).  Thanks again Tara for saving our day.  xo

Ok.  This post is much longer than I thought it would be.  Here are a few photos from the week so far.  

Have a great week!  I'll be back on Monday with hopefully no more drama.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Essentials for the next week!

It's finally Friday!  I made it through my first full week (5 days) of work in over 3 weeks.  Hard going!  (I know... I can hear the laughter but for a pregnant lady who is incredibly tired it was tough!)

I'm on vacation (AGAIN) as of right now.  I'm headed to the cottage for a week long rest with my sister and dad.  Ryan is joining for a few days.  I have tonight and tomorrow morning to get everything in order.  Luckily I have the best husband in the world who started laundry on his morning off and cleaned the house. :)  Ladies are you jealous?

Essentials list:
  1. Beach towel - almost impossible to find this time of year.
  2. Bathing suit - still need to pick up black bottoms as I had to shop for a new top since my older ones don't fit right now.
  3. Gummy Bears - this is a cottage tradition that my Nana started when we were young.  I must continue it.  (I don't get to drink anymore so this will replace my alcohol consumption.)  :)
  4. Floating device for the lake!  A must for those hours of lying around I plan on doing. 
  5. Bug repellant - hello mosquitos!
  6. Sweatshirt - preferably one of my sisters because wearing her clothes is so much more fun than my own (but will I fit into it is the question because my tummy is growing!)
  7. Charger for my blackberry.  I need to stay connected to the outside world or at least my husband.  No internet at the cottage.
  8. Mocktails - again I can't have alcohol so I need to shake up something special.
  9. Music!  Ipod needs to be updated with summer tunes.  
  10. Plan out meals.  This is my least favourite task!  I'll wait until I'm in Kingston with my sister before doing that.  
  11. Pray the toilet at the cottage is fixed by Sunday morning so we can actually go to the cottage.  Fingers and toes are crossed! 
I"ll be back in one week.  If I get into town I'll try and update.  Have a great week!! 

p.s. I noticed I just passed 50 followers.  That made my day!! Thank you to all of you who care about what I write about.  It's so much fun!! 

p.p.s I'm writing really fast so if there are spelling errors - oh well! 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Golden Living Room!

I'm not sure if I have shown you this room yet by Grant K. Gibson Interior Design.  I keep it in my files and look at it every once in a while.  It was the inspiration for my living room.  I love the golden hues of the fabric, the curve of the fire place wall, the goregous peice of art (would love to find something like this for under $200) and the light grey paint.  Doesn't it look inviting? 

I'm off to my office summer party.  We're headed to the beach to play games.  It should be a fun afternoon in the sun and sand. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paint for the Kitchen & Baby update

I had my second doctors apt this morning.  My due date has been moved from Jan 17th to the 13th.  Apparently its rare for it to be moved up.  Haha!  Today I'm 14 weeks and 4 days.  Yeah!! 

On another note, here is a shot or two of the paint colours we are considering for the kitchen.  From left to right BM OC-90, BM HC-45, BM HC-81 and BM CC-140.  It's between HC-45 (Shaker Beige) and HC-81 (Manchester Tan).

The kitchen is quite visible from the living room where I have ordered upholstery in golden medium browns.  Which paint colour is best in your opinion?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Hallway Paint Recap

I had a very successful Monday!  My big presentation went well.  It always feels good when the client says how much they appreciate  our perspective and that we are all on the same wave length in thinking.  :) 

I have been meaning to share photos of the hallway paint job.  The first two photos are the before shots.  The yellow is much worse in person!!  It had a horrible green undertone to it that made me want to hurl when I got in the door.  

This photo really makes the yellow look good.  Trust me, in person it was horrible!

We chose BM OC-01 Natural Wicker.  The hallway is quite long.  I was thinking about putting a gallery wall of different sized black frames with white matting.  What do you think?  Would it be too much?  I also want a long runner for the floor.

I would like to put a skinny skirted table in this corner with a mirror and tall light on it.  Somewhere to put our keys and change, etc.  The Ikea curtains were there before our time.  I will replace them one day with something more stylish.

I have another busy day ahead of me.  Knowing that I'm going on mat-leave in 6 months has put a fire under my butt!  I need to make more sales.  Or at least make up for those that have recently cancelled on me! I'm still a bit bitter. 

Have a great day!! xo

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home Improvement ROI

I came across an article this wekeend on the Financial Blogger.  I thought it was something I should share with all of you.  We are constantly investing in our homes so it's a good idea to know what we'll get on the return once we sell them.  Are the hardwood floors we want so badly worth it?  Should I put money into landscaping or is that money best used to refinish the basement (or at least start since it's probably 4x the cost).  Keep this in mind, if you don't plan on selling because this home is it then it doesn't matter what the ROI is financially.  You should do the upgrade you've always dreamed of having.  Here is the breakdown for those flipping and those who know they need to sell to move up the real estate ladder (me).  

Percentage recovered upon resale:
Kitchen upgrade: 75% to 100%

Bathroom upgrade: 75% to 100%
Interior painting: 50% to 100%
Roof replacement: 50% to 80%
Replacement of furnace or heating system: 50% to 80%
Expansion (addition of family room): 50% to 75%
Doors and windows: 50% to 75%Deck: 50% to 75%
Installation of hardwood floor: 50% to 75%
Construction of a garage: 50% to 75%
Fireplace (wood or gas) 50% to 75%
Central air conditioning: 50% to 75%
Finished basement: 50% to 75%
Wood fence: 25% to 50%
Interlocking paving stones on driveway: 25% to 50%
Landscaping: 25% to 50%
Asphalt driveway: 20% to 50%
Pool: 10% to 40%Skylights: 0% to 25%

Monday is a very hectic day at work for me.  I have a big pitch presentation at 3pm and I still need to finish the proposal.  YIKES!! 

I have wanted to post more but just haven't had the energy.  I really hope it returns sometime soon.  Pregnancy is much harder than I ever anticipated!!! I do have a full week of posts ready to go so this week will be good.  I promise.  

Have a great Monday! xo

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wall Vinyls

There is so much to do in the house.  The hallway was painted on Monday/Tuesday.  Pictures will be posted tomorrow.  It looks much better.  I still need to decorate it.  That will be a work in progress. 

The nursery is front and centre in my mind.  I have been browsing Etsy for ideas. So far I really like the idea of using wall vinyls like these ones. 

This is my favourite!  I would use different coloured flowers though.

This would look great in silver! I think it's too harsh in black. 

These are individual cut-outs. 

You can choose any colour and also make a few of them various colours. 

Has anyone used wall vinyls with success?  Please let me know.  They don't seem too costly.  I think it will add a lot to the room. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Which Colour will I Choose for...

Our nursery?  That's right folks, I'm just over 13 weeks pregnant!!  Our little one is due January 17th, 2011.  As you may have already guessed, this is my real reason for not posting as much (not the lame ass excuses I gave two weeks ago).  The last few months have been a rough ride for me.  I've experienced everything under the sun - morning sickness, dizziness, exhaustion, digestive issues...etc.  You would be hard pressed to find a symptom I haven't experienced yet. 

I started to feel more like a healthy version of me two weeks ago.  I still get very tired and have a bit of nausea here and there but for the most part I'm feeling more energized and very excited. 

Now that it's out in the open I need to start talking colours.  We are not going to find out the sex of the baby (Ryan's wish) which is making it slightly difficult to narrow down colours.  I don't want the typical green or yellow room.  It's just not my style.  Our house already has way to much yellow on the walls which I'm painting over (well not me but my uncle and Ryan).

I was thinking about something like the Natasha bedding from Serena And Lily.  Do you think it comes across as more girlie or could it be a good start for me?  I like the turquoise and green mix. 

Let me know your opinion.  I'm dying to get started on the room!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Living Room Update

Good morning!

I'm making progress.  We have ordered our living room sofa and matching chairs.  The sofa will be in a velvet like material in a golden caramel colour.  The chairs are a bit darker in a cotton basket weave.  One set of down pillows (18" x 18") is a damask silk type print in light gold and light blue.  The other down pillows (22" x 22") are a very soft silk mix in a darker blue.  The blue is almost silvery.  It's not baby blue at all. 

Here is a photo of the sofa from the print out at the store.  It does not do the sofa justice.  Its beautiful in person and very comfortable.  I love the classic english roll arms and lines of the sofa.  The side view is the best as it has a subtle dip towards the back.  Our sofa and chair legs will be in espresso.

We have also picked out the kitchen paint colour but I've forgotten the name.  I'll update you next week once the painting commences.  :)

This weekend we have a busy house hold.  My aunt and uncle (Karen & Don) are house hunting (fingers crossed everyone!) in Milton.  I get to take their daughters out (my cousins) to a water park and who knows where else.  I'm thinking maybe to get our nails done.  The day will be sunny and warm but not too hot as this week was horrible!  At least it made my cousins feel at home since they just moved up from Virginia and are much more use to 3 digit temps. 

We have the painter coming on Monday/Tuesday for the hallways.  I still haven't picked out paint.  I need to get on it this afternoon/tomorrow morning.  My cousins and I (by the way they are 4 and 6) will most likely be headed to the paint store Saturday morning to get a few testers.  Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend!! xo

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paint & Wall Paper

I finally made it to my local Benjamin Moore store yesterday to pick out paint chips and look at wallpaper for the powder room.  Of course my eye was drawn immedialy to the most expensive designer wallpaper.  We haven't picked out the paint yet. I hope to get test strips for the hallway on the walls by Thursday night.  The painter comes first thing Monday morning so I need to tell him which colour by Saturday or Sunday. 

Here is what I was thinking for the powder room.  I want to do something bold.  Not sure how colourful I'm willing to go though.  I was also debating paneling on the lower half. 

I like this one below but not in green. 

I like this colour more!

I love this pattern but think the colour needs to change.

I prefer something more like these....

I love the feel of this one.  It will remind me of the beach.  :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Cottage

I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend!!  I enjoyed my time in Kingston with the family.  We shared delicious meals at home and at my favourite restaurant (If you're ever in Kingston you must go to Wooden Heads!), watched movies (The Step Father seen during the day but I still screamed my head off!) and relaxed on the cottage dock by the lake.  It was glorious!!  We didn't want to leave the cottage.  Especially with a long drive back to the city ahead of us (3 hours turned into 4 hours and 45 minutes!).  Today I got to thinking about what makes a cottage for me. 

It isn't having a huge designer home like this one.  Don't get me wrong, if I won the lotto I would consider upgrading to accomodate all our family members.

For me it's about spending time with the family doing what we've always done at the cottage.  Relaxing by the lake, enjoying delicious BBQ'd meals and laughing at each other as we become cheerleaders in the water or remembering funny events from the past.  The family cottage holds so many memories.  We've been going there since I was a little girl.  My dad has been going ever since he was a little boy.  Over the years the cottage has expanded thanks to our talented and handy grandfather but has always kept it's charm.  For instance my first bathing suit still hangs in the enclosed porch with old fishing rods.  The cottage brings us all back to the carefree days of our childhood.  

The back porch of the cottage is a bit dark.  My Nana and I have been dreaming of painting some of it white to brighten things up a bit.  I love the porch below.  It's durable and fresh.  I could definitely have lunch here in my bathing suit.  :)

What did you get up to on the weekend?  How did you celebrate Canada Day or The fourth of July? 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tasty Marinade

Morning folks!  I hope my fellow Canadians enjoyed yesterday.  Ryan and I spent a lovely day together.  We had a picnic in Belfountain, ate ice cream, toured the little town and conservation park and then had dinner with his parents.  I love when we get the same day off.  It's so rare which makes it all the more special.  :)

Today I'm off to Kingston.  Ryan is staying back here.  Before I leave I wanted to give you my mom's marinade recipe.  I'm sure it can be used on many most meats.  We also use it on peppers before we BBQ them.  It's simple and delicious!!  Try it out on pork tenderloin (our fav!).  I promise you will thank me.

2tbsp Soy Sauce
1tbsp Maple Syrup
1tbsp Rice Vinegar
2tsp Mild Curried Past (or any curried past since mine was not mild it worked fine)
2tsp Dark Sesame Oil

Soak the meat for as long as you want. We usually do a few hours and it's perfect!  Enjoy!!

I can't leave without providing a pretty picture (again!) so I thought I would share this outdoor living space.  Isn't it perfect!  I love the white arches, the armless chairs that look like I could sink into them, the palm trees galore and a fabulous striped outdoor rug to tie it together.  I could definitely have mojitos or two on this patio.
Southern Living