Back to School Again…

This time next week I will have three children in three different schools. What has happened? Where has the time gone? Oh my heart.

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I’m pretty used to sending Taya off on the bus now… she’s starting grade five this year and she’s got it all under control. It’s never really easy to wave goodbye as she heads down the driveway, but I’m at least used to it.

But Cal… well, my little man is starting JK in four short days and I’m just not sure how to feel about it. My little man is heading out into the world and going on some great adventures. I’m so happy for him, and excited… and terrified, and sad. He has his new back pack and he’s all ready to go. But kindergarten here is full day now, and for a little guy who is used to spending every minute with mommy, well… I’m not sure who is going to have a harder time with the transition. Hopefully it’s me.

And then there’s my wee Ella. My little spitfire of a toddler who is the most adventurous, loving, brave two year old I’ve ever known. She’s going to miss her siblings so much and I know it’s time to let her spread her wings – just a little. She’s starting nursery school, two mornings a week, and it was a pretty big deal for her to pick out a back pack with her big brother in anticipation of the big day!

(Spiderman and Bubble Guppies, respectively, if anyone’s interested…)

This time last year it was Taya hopping on the bus while my two little babies waved in the window…

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My gosh how things have changed.

So as I prepare for the madness that next week will bring, I’m so overwhelmed with emotions. Pride, stress, fear, excitement… and a million others. Mainly I’m panicking about lunches.

SO. MANY. LUNCHES.

Thank goodness for Pinterest, although while I’m happy to get ideas of what to pack, there will be no landscapes or animals made from sandwiches. I don’t know who the moms are that do this, but I don’t really like them. No offense – go on with your bad selves, but I’m skipping that party.

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I will just consider myself lucky if I get the food in the box and the kids out the door. It’s gonna be interesting. And exciting! And I’m definitely going to cry on the first day. And maybe the second. But hopefully not after that.

More than anything? I can’t wait to take a photo of my three beautiful kids on the first day. New clothes, bags bigger than they are, hair brushed and excited, nervous smiles… I’ve been preparing for this moment for years, and preparing them especially. I’m so proud and I know this is going to be an amazing year for them – and for me! A few mornings a week with no kids in the house is totally foreign and will definitely be good for me. A chance to do my own thing and reclaim a little bit of myself is pretty awesome, I must admit.

And, because I have this song in my head on repeat EVERY year at this time, I will subject you to the same fate…
Hope everyone’s back to school experience is a good one, and that all these wonderful kids have a fantastic year!
xoMB

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJQGkx5LpuA

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Filed under Kids, Personal

A Masterful Mess

WARNING:
This post may not be suitable for some readers.
Those who enjoy tidy rooms, laundry put away and beds made should proceed with caution.
***

Our master bedroom is lacking, my friends. It’s small, it has ONE tiny closet and no en suite bath. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never really wanted a huge bedroom. It just seems like wasted space since I’m really never in there, but it would be nice to have a PRETTY bedroom. An organized, functional bedroom with storage.

Yah. I’d like that.

When we first came to view this house in 2008, this is what the master bedroom looked like:

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Fancy, right? SO fancy. Purple-y blue walls, one sad little window and a ceiling fan. SO much awesomeness. We painted before we even moved in, (a colour that I now regret but am not changing) and pretty much did nothing else. I’ve had our furniture arranged at least six different ways since then… it’s a frustrating space and here’s the scary part… as we began working on other areas of the house, our room became the dumping ground.

I cannot be the only person this has happened to… lol… I like to think of it as a great, selfless act… taking the hit for the family by keeping the other rooms attractive and clean, and letting the junk pile up in MY space. At its worst, it looked like this:

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Oh my…

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There’s just no excuse…

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I’m so ashamed…

Okay. Deep breath. Now that’s out of the way, allow me to explain. While our bathroom was being remodeled, I needed SOMEWHERE to put all the “stuff” from in there, and this was the only option. I always have laundry issues that I’m attempting to get under control. I DO the laundry, I SORT the laundry, I just don’t always end up putting AWAY the laundry.

The struggle is real.

Anyway this room does NOT look like that anymore… I did a really big purge this past week and also cleared out some furniture and put it into storage for now. It’s tough – sometimes I think I should sell the furniture I’m not using right now, but then I think about how our next house is going to be (it HAS to be!) so much bigger than this one, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of something that I know I will need when we move. So, those items got stored in the attic and garage, and everything was either cleaned up or donated.

Here’s what I know about where this room is headed:
- The dark wood dresser stays
See that big dark dresser up there? Well, it’s not my favourite thing in the world, but my husband made it, so it’s going nowhere. Yes.. I mean HE MADE IT. From pieces of unfinished wood, with his bare hands and some power tools. We’re not talking “assembly” here, folks… this piece is special to him because he created it from scratch, and it stays.

- The bed goes
Well, it either goes or it gets made over. It’s “faux” leather, it’s too big and it’s too dark. So I’m either covering it all with fabric to freshen it up, or it’s leaving altogether and being replaced with a beautiful rattan headboard that I bought from Kijiji recently. We shall see.

There are new night tables in there now that will be painted “Old White” by Annie Sloan and that chair you see in the corner is being painted as well… not sure yet what colour.

I stumbled across this mood board yesterday on Pinterest, and I couldn’t believe how bang it it matched our room…

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I emailed it to Alex and he wrote back, “Did you make this?” LOL… see? It really matches our plan. The dresser is similar, the night tables will look like those ones, the fabric I bought to cover the headboard and frame is almost identical and the wall colour is a dead match for the background of the roman shades. The only difference is that in our room we will be incorporating some blues, so I will have to figure that part out.

So that’s what’s taking up my free time lately. Emptying the room out and working on it is pretty challenging when all of our stuff still needs to be accessible AND we have a two year old who insists on napping in “mommy’s bed” every afternoon. Sigh.

Oh well, it will all get done eventually… and starting next week I will have TWO children in full day school, so being home with just Ella should free me up a bit to tackle these things.

I hope I didn’t terrify you with my AWFUL master bedroom… I promise it won’t stay this way!
xoMB

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Filed under Furniture, Organization & Storage, Renos & Makeovers

Creative (and cheap!) Solutions for Hiding Cords

Today’s post might not be flashy, but it still brought me big time joy.

My house had CORD issues. We are a tech house – as in, my husband needs to own every freaking gadget there is, and he needs to own what appears to be multiple versions of each one. lol… we have xboxes and Wiis and blu ray players and dvd players and all kinds of components that truthfully I have NO IDEA what their purpose is.

What I do know? CORDS. So. Many. Freaking. Cords. I hate it. I work my butt off to decorate and make it pretty, but then there are these black and beige cables hanging everywhere and it makes me RAGEY. Yup. I think that was the first time I’ve ever used that word.

I like to think that I can be handy on occasion, but nope.. there’s no way I am opening up walls to hide these things. And my hubby IS handy, but as the sole breadwinner in this house, the man just doesn’t have the time. So, as always… I got creative.

pin it

Yeahhhhh… we lived with that “before” picture in various states for SIX YEARS, people. We’ve had different media consoles and they’ve been against different walls, but the bottom line was always the same… the look was ruined by cords. So I started to dig around on Pinterest and found some really great ideas…

box em up

(source)

velcro

(source)

I also saw a few… umm… “other” ideas…

bad idea

 Seriously?? Just no.

Anyway, in the end I came up with my own version which is what usually happens… I was at the thrift store, keeping in mind a few “issues” I was having at home and keeping an eye open for possible solutions when I found THIS:

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Remember these cheap coat hooks from Ikea? I don’t think they carry them anymore but you can find similar ones pretty much anywhere. It was $2.99 and I immediately envisioned it as a holder for all the crap you see above. LOL. I pulled the console away from the wall, drilled it into place and then weaved the cords around the hooks to keep them off the floor. Once I had them all wound neatly I laid the power bar across the top and I was done! Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier..

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Side view

It looks SO much better and I honestly cannot believe that it took me so long to come up with such a simple idea. Embarrassing, really…

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So there’s my easy-peasy solution to a very common problem. I LOVE finding ideas that work for so little time and money… especially when it’s something that no one is ever going to see anyway. Hope you found it helpful!
xoMB

ps – click below to share!
pps – hubby is home tonight, and thank goodness… I’m TIRED. I wrote this entire post using the word “CHORD” and caught it right before hitting publish. Help me.

 

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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.)

paint

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!

chalkboard wall b&a

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!
xoMB

 

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Filed under Kids, Renos & Makeovers

Tomorrow

rrrrr

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.

deppppp

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.
xoMB

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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…

TEN THINGS THAT ROBIN WILLIAMS’ MOVIES TAUGHT ME:

10 – Laughter is the best medicine.

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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.

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

Robin Williams In 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

6 – Humans and aliens can peacefully co-exist.

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

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4 – We all need someone to listen to us.

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3 -It’s okay to show that we care.

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

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

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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

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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!!

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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…
xoMB

TDC Before and After

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

 

 

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Filed under Organization & Storage, Renos & Makeovers