Chalk Board Art Wall

So much for last week’s posts, eh? (Yah, I’m Canadian.. we all know.)
I got into a bit of a slump and while I had all my projects ready to share, I just wasn’t feelin’ it. And if I’ve learned one thing from Blogland… it’s don’t post if you’re not feelin’ it!

You can’t force this stuff, people. It’s gotta flow.

So this morning I’m back, ready to share a recent makeover that I did and this is a good one. The kids are in heaven and I’m actually able to get some stuff DONE upstairs now while they keep busy in their room…

Check it out, yo… the wall of fun!

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Hooray! See what I’ve done here? I turned this weird dud of a wall into an awesome spot for the kids to play… just by adding some chalkboard paint and some molding! Since I’m always doing these projects by myself I’m not very good at taking process pics, but really it couldn’t be easier…

I popped out to Home Depot and picked up a bucket of Rusto-Leum chalkboard finish paint for $23. (Not sponsored, it’s just the one I bought.)


Then I went by the ReStore and got that piece of trim that runs across the top, it was a remnant that was $2. While there, I also had the idea to use those half moon drawer pulls as chalk holders… I got them for $1 each. So the entire project cost $28 and only took about 20 minutes, not including drying time of course.

The first thing I did when I got home was make room to work and  wipe down the wall. I measured how high I wanted the paint to go, and drew a line to guide me. I painted one coat and it was NOT looking to great at that point… lol

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I was a little nervous, I admit it.. but I kept going.. Here is coat #2:

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Now we were gettin’ somewhere! This stuff went on super easy and each coat took very little. I still have 75% of the paint left after doing three coats.

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Then I measured from one side to the other and cut the piece of trim to fit. I gave it a few coats of some white paint I had lying around, and once it dried I attached the drawer pulls and hung with a hammer and some nails. I used wood filler to cover the nail holes and then painted over those spots again… it looks great!

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The reason I chose this wall is because it’s totally weird. Our house, as I’ve mentioned, is almost 70 years old and has more than a few quirks. The biggest one is in this room. While I LOVE the fact that we have a “functioning” attic space that we can actually use for storage (ala Christmas Vacation), I don’t love that there is a weird, terrifying, dark little staircase in the middle of Cal & Ella’s room that leads up to it…

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Totally creepy. And totally in the way. So you see, the wall on the left of it is where I painted. It’s a very odd room. Hard to describe and even harder to photograph!

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This gives you a better idea… That’s the entrance to the room over on the left. Off camera to the right is the closet, and behind me to the right are the kids’ beds and a window. Weirdest room ever.

Anyway, as you can see above, I didn’t stop with just the chalkboard paint. I made an art wall too! I simply took a bunch of stuff I already had around the house and got creative.

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The pieces on the right are the kids’ artwork that I framed…

samsung aug 11 2014 017One of Ella’s first drawings

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One of Cal’s finger paintings from nursery school

The twine “SOAR” on canvas is something I made and then I added the Ella and “C” to keep it representin’ both kids. LOL. The shadow box that is around the “C” is from Ikea… I found it at the thrift store for $1 and it was black… I just spray painted it and it looks great!

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Altogether the wall looks pretty cool and the kids spend a ton of time there! It’s a bit of a pain to clean, but I just use wet rags and it all comes off pretty quick. I love having a spot to display their creations and it’s nice having a spot for them to play that doesn’t include 791 toys on the floor!

I would definitely recommend this one if you have a spot for it… I’m not sure how it will translate when we go to sell the house, but I figure it’s easy enough to undo if I need to, and if the kids are quiet happy, mama is happy!

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Oh and did I mention that the hubby is away on business? Muah ha ha ha… big things are happenin’ my friends. Off I go to pick up plywood and fabric!


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Filed under Kids, Renos & Makeovers



The word tomorrow is precious to me. It’s so full of promise and hope… a gift dangling just around the corner that I always look forward to discovering… but it isn’t always easy to keep my eyes on the prize, I’m the first to admit.

In a 48 hour span, Robin Willams lost his battle with depression, and I took my final pill for postpartum depression.

It was a cruel coincidence.

Sure, I’m a cryer. I’m a sentimental and emotional person. I know that it bugs some people – or at the very least makes them roll their eyes at me – but it’s just who I am. So when this man who I’ve never met before took his life two days ago, I was bummed. I was sad and I shed more than a few tears. But it went deeper than that.

Something about what happened to him was just enough to remind me that no matter how well things might be going, the demons that live deep inside me are still there. The dark thoughts, the feelings of hopelessness… they never really go away. It scares the crap out of me.

After being diagnosed with postpartum depression two years ago, I decided recently (with my doctor’s supervision) that it was time to wean off my medication and really try to take my life back in an organic way. I’ve been trying to make time for myself, pursue my own interests and remember each day that I am more than just a wife and mother – but it’s difficult. In any case, a few weeks back I started to wean from the meds and while some of the days were pretty brutal, it was more physical than anything else. Head aches, exhaustion and those damn “brain zaps” made for a truly crappy experience, but I pushed through. To be honest, I’m not really sure if I’m ready to go med-free. I don’t really feel like I am, but it’s been two years so I feel like I should, you know?

Next month I will have two kids in school full time and I will be home with just Ella, so it’s got to get easier, right? Easier to manage, clean, cook, shop, fluff & fold? Right? RIGHT?? This is what I tell myself and basically anyone who is listening. I sure have put a lot of pressure on myself for what it will be like… and now the weight of that is stressing me the hell out.

So anyway, I had one pill left when Robin Williams died. And now as of today, it’s just me and my thoughts. My fears, inadequecies and doubts.

It’s terrifying.

If someone like him could entertain the WORLD for decades with his wit, charm and brilliance, but still ache so completely that he couldn’t live another day, what chance do I have of EVER making it through this?!????? Do you know how scary this is to someone who suffers from depression?

It’s almost crippling.

So I’m feeling low, and more than a little scared. I know that there are major world issues happening.. there are wars and injustices and atrocities every single day… and I know that I may come across as vapid and selfish but this stranger dying has really cut me deep – and I don’t think I’m alone in this, either. All over social media I am seeing people stepping forward to share their stories of depression, or to encourage others to be supportive of those who struggle. There are stories just like mine of people who have been shaken by this death and are going through the motions right now as they try to keep their head above water.


Sometimes I feel like the worst mother and homemaker in the world. If I’m cleaning one room the kids are making a mess of another. If I’m cooking and folding laundry then I’m not interacting with them enough, but when I’m playing with them and making sure they’re out having fun, the house isn’t being taken care of. Most days I feel like I can’t win, and try as I might I can’t help but compare myself to those around me who seem like they’ve got it all together. Maybe they really are amazing and I’m some freak of nature who just sucks, but I know that more likely than not I’m just seeing the “Facebook” version of their lives and not the entire picture.

It’s important to remember that, I know. But it’s hard. Some days it’s harder than others – like today. Today, it’s really hard to look around me and think that I’m doing a good job. I know that I try, and I will continue to try, but I just don’t know if it’s ever enough and it’s pretty heartbreaking.

So, if you’re having a tough day too please know you’re not alone.
I’m having one too, and all I can do is try to make tomorrow a great one. It’s really all anyone can do. What I do know, is that tomorrow is important. Tomorrow has to happen. For every horrible no good very bad day, there is a tomorrow. While some days ‘tomorrow’ will come easily, on other days it will be a struggle to get there… but I will always get there.

As a character in one of my favourite movies once said…
“You can always start everything fresh tomorrow. Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.”

I hop you have a wonderful tomorrow.


Filed under Personal, Postpartum Depression

Ten Things That Robin Williams’ Movies Taught Me

“Carpe Diem”… seize the day.

We’ve all said it a million times, but do we do it? Do we live like each day is our last? Is that even possible?

I’m sitting here completely heartbroken as I watch the news and learn that the BRILLIANT, enigmatic, effervescent, hilarious, eclectic legend Robin Williams has died.

The world has truly lost a bright light, and I admit it… I’m in tears.

I sit here thinking about the quotes, the jokes, the one-liners and cinematic masterpieces that he brought to generations, and I knew I was a fan, but even I was surprised by just how many times he has made me laugh, cry, and THINK over the years. It made me want to say thank you, and pay homage to the gift that he gave us all. So, this is what I came up with…


10 – Laughter is the best medicine.


9 – Always speak your truth – even when you know there will be consequences.

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8 – We should all embrace our inner child.


7 – It’s okay to make a fool of yourself.

Robin Williams In 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

6 – Humans and aliens can peacefully co-exist.


5 – It’s important to see things from a different perspective once in a while.


4 – We all need someone to listen to us.

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3 -It’s okay to show that we care.


2 – We are all connected, and everyone has a story.



1 – Seize the day. Every moment is precious and every day is a gift.


Robin Williams was a gift. A genuine talent who needed nothing more than a microphone and a stage to entertain and engage, teach and amaze. I hope that his passing will remind us all that sometimes our demons are too difficult to overcome alone. No one should suffer in silence.

Rest in peace, sir. And thank you for sharing your spirit and talent with the world…

Walden Quote


Filed under Personal, Postpartum Depression

Happy Monday!

Not sure why I’m feeling so “up and at ‘em” this morning, but I am. We had a great weekend here that was super busy and lots of fun, and we’re finally experiencing some real SUMMER weather which is just awesome. I got a lot accomplished over the last few days too, so I’m actually very excited to be able to say that I have my week’s posts all lined up and ready to go!

This first little project makes me super happy and while it fed my need to paint and use power tools it is also really functional and only cost me $2.99. Winning!

Check it out!!


Oh yah, baby! No more cords and chargers on my kitchen counter! Inspired by this post on Pinterest, I grabbed an old dingy breadbox from the thrift store the other day…

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I actually lucked out finding this one that had the upper shelf – I’ve never even seen one like this before but it made the project even easier since I could use the top level for the phones and the lower one for the iPad! I dug through my paint collection and chose a really nice Blue that I got for $5 at the ReStore months ago… it’s called “Mariner”.

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 Or maybe that says $5.80? I have no idea…

Before painting I broke out the drill and made holes in the back of the box to allow the cords to feed through. All you need to do with this step is ensure the holes are big enough for whatever cords you’re using. For mine I needed the a larger hole on the bottom for the iPad cord.

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Then I got to painting… I hate sanding so I basically just don’t. LOL. It took a few coats but it went on beautifully and once it was dry I just chose some hardware from my ever-growing collection and it was good to go:

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Voila! There she is… my sneaky, pretty, cord-hiding, not-really-a-breadbox breadbox. Cool idea, huh? In the end the whole project cost me less than $3.00 and took about an hour. And believe me, the happiness that I feel not having to look at seven different wires and devices on the counter is pretty serious. This is an intense happiness. Overwhelming, actually.

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 So tidy! So clean! So organized!

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Hope you have an overwhelmingly happy day too… this is definitely a project I would recommend and if you try it I INSIST that you show me when it’s done!
Have a great morning…

TDC Before and After

PS – this is definitely one worth pinning… sharing is caring! Click below to spread the love! :)




Filed under Organization & Storage, Renos & Makeovers

Living Room Reveal… Again!

Well, how about that! Just when I thought my living room was all completed and lovely, it turns out it wasn’t.

Last we left, my living room was looking like this:

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And now it’s looking kinda like THIS:

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Whoops! How did THAT happen?  hahaha… Allow my to explain! As much as I do love that white floral Ektorp sofa from Ikea, it was pretty tough keeping it clean with three kids, dogs and a cat. Whew. That’s a LOT of spilled juice and pet hair. I really would love to have white couches some day, but that day is not today. So, while I wasn’t actively searching for something new, I was keeping an eye out… just in case something popped up.

So when I just happened to spy this INCREDIBLE sectional on Kijiji for less than $50 (I’m not even joking!) I was in my van faster than you can say “OMGgivemethatsofa!!!” and on the road to Toronto to snatch it up before someone else got it!

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Thank the lord that my mom lives ten minutes away and I can dump my kids on her at a moment’s notice… and you guys, I’m serious.. this was STRESSFUL. It was HOT and like a 45 minute drive and there was a moment when it looked like I was going to have to make TWO TRIPS to fit it in… Um, NO WAY, dude! The poor husband that was helping me load it up was dripping in sweat but I was pretty serious about not driving all the way back down there… lol. Eventually we wedged that sucker in there and off I went!

When I got it home my amazing neighbour helped me bring it in, and I was in LURVE…

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It’s a nice THICK fabric that will wear so much better than the thin cotton of the Ektorp. It’s enormous and super solid… just what we needed! I got busy adding new pillows and a super cute rug that I found at Target. I also ditched the grey and white curtains and replaced them with a really soft linen pair that I found at Home Depot. I also decided that the small round coffee table we were using didn’t work there anymore, so I had my husband get out the HUGE coffee table that has been in my family since I was a baby…

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People… I LOVE this thing. It’s actually an old dining table that my dad cut down yeeeeeeeears ago. You can see the split in the middle from where the leaves you to go, and it’s pretty funky underneath…

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Love love LOVE it. I have some big plans for it too. I’m thinking of sealing that opening down the middle with some wood filler, sanding it down and painting it. Going to take my time on this one though, I want to make sure I love what I do to it since it’s so special to me. I used to sit at this table every day after kindergarten, eating my lunch and watching “Leave it to Beaver”!

I also added some detail to the media console, and I LOVE how it turned out. It initially looked like this:


And after much Pinterest browsing research, I decided to give it a coat of white paint around the exterior, and it looks really awesome…

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Overall, I’m pretty in love with the room. And never fear – we didn’t get rid of the super comfy and pretty white floral sofa… it just found a new home down in the basement rec room!

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I think it will be a lot easier to keep clean down there… the kids never bring food or drinks down there and while I was having to wash the slip cover every week before, it’s been down there for almost a month now and I haven’t had to clean it yet other than the odd vacuuming of pet hair! HOORAY!  And the living room upstairs has been so much easier to keep clean too… this new sofa is very forgiving and I am so happy with it.

Still lots I want to do, but overall I really do like how the main floor is coming along. Considering it was a sea of red and brown just a short time ago, I think it’s come a long way! (Seriously – click that link above with caution. You’ve been warned. It’s not good.)

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So there’s my little surprise living room makeover… again. Seems like I just did a reveal of this room like two months ago!!
I guess I’d better go update the House Tour page… lol


Filed under Furniture, Renos & Makeovers

Makin’ Memories…

I have to admit… I had serious anxiety when it came to preparing for this past weekend.

I mean come on – 21 people at ONE COTTAGE for THREE DAYS? OMG. My kids still nap, my littlest still wakes up in the night, and I just don’t deal well with stressful situations in general. lol.

But my goodness that was a great time. Can we do it again?!?

I guess I should back up a bit and explain how this all came to be. On my mom’s side of the family I have a step dad and three siblings that are his kids from a previous marriage. My sister (I never use the word “step”, just my own personal thing) and her husband have a beautiful cottage that they spend a lot of time at with their two teenage sons.

They decided that it might be fun to host a weekend where ALL of us went up there, and that is indeed what we did!

My two brothers are twins, and they have two wives and five kids between them. Add it all up, and you’ve got one big crew!  Our first night there was Friday, and there were a total of 15 people and two dogs. My one brother didn’t make it up there until Saturday and then the group was complete! 11 adults, 10 kids, three dogs… and lots of fun. Alright now, brace yourself for a seriously photo-heavy post!!!

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and immediately it was just so relaxing and lovely!

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 Even the kids were chilled out… lol. It’s so special to me to see how close the cousins are, that’s how I grew up and I loved it!

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My little man was SO excited to fish with his daddy.

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And of course no cottage weekend is complete without a camp fire…

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… and some S’mores!

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I admit that I had more than one moment of feeling like I was in a movie…

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And then the sun began to set, and I was convinced that I was!

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My brother in law had one stipulation when choosing this cottage: there needed to be a sunset over the water.

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And now I really, truly understand why…

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This is one of my favourite pics… each night, my brother in law sits by the water and enjoys the sunset that he is so happy to have in his backyard:

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Day Two: Ella wakes up at 6am…

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When you have 21 people staying at the same cottage, you gotta split ‘em up.

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Mommy and Ella took the bunkie, Daddy and Callum took the tent, and Taya was in the main cottage.
On Saturday morning, Cal reeeeeeally wanted his cousins to wake up…

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And once everyone was awake, the fun began! Gorgeous weather meant lots of swimming and time out on the boat.
We MAY have almost lost my niece at one point – lol – okay, we did… but we picked her up and off they went again!

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And heck, even I got in on the tubing action with my niece and daughter!

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All the action and fresh air was just too much for some people I guess…

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But once back on land, the fun continued as the rest of the family arrived!

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The girls took the paddle boat out to a little island and naturally got stuck… so the boys kayaked out to rescue them…

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We celebrated my nephew’s birthday by the fire…

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… and spent another beautiful evening watching the sun go down.

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The next morning we had a big family breakfast and the girls begged to go tubing once more…

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And then it was time to pack up and head out! The little ones were asleep before we even hit the main road…

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And now? Well, we’re back home.. safe and sound! Reminiscing about the amazing weekend we had, and dealing with the aftermath…

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Cottage bugs are SO MEAN.
So that was our epic long weekend! Oh and did I mention that Alex and I celebrated out 5th wedding anniversary on Friday?
What a great way to celebrate!!! Hope everyone had as lovely a weekend as we did.

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Filed under Kids, Personal, Relationships

You Can Look at This, or You Can Look at That…

Today’s post is going to be pretty brief, but only because I’m directing you elsewhere… LOL.


I’ve gotten a few requests lately to post my “Before & Afters” in one spot, and hey – when you speak, I listen. I’m just really super nice like that. So I’ve added a page to the top menu of the blog, called – wait for it – “Before & Afters”

I’m nothing if not original.

So click above to check it out, or you can click this handy dandy link right HERE to get there.

I know – so helpful!

I will add to the page as the list grows, and I’ve also included a link with each photo that will take you to the original post about the project, just in case you’re interested in seeing what I did and how I did it.

So that’s all… back to work I go! I’m painting this week – hooray! AND the hubs is away on a business trip tonight, so it’s my chance to work on the stuff he would normally say no to. HA!
Have a good one…

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Filed under Furniture, Renos & Makeovers