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.

ba

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…
MB

About these ads

Leave a comment

Filed under Furniture, Renos & Makeovers

Mish Mash Monday!

No, don’t worry.. this won’t be a weekly “thing”… lol. I’m just trying to get caught up after taking a little vacay, so this week will likely be a bunch of updates on the projects I’ve been working on. I vanished for a little bit because at the last minute the hubs decided to take last week off of work and we packed the van full of kids and dogs and off we went to my dad’s cottage!

samsung july 21 2014 366

It was absolutely crazy and a ridiculous amount of effort for the actual time we spent up there, but the kids had a ball and it was pretty great to get away and not have to spend every minute entertaining toddlers and cleaning my house!

Oops.. sorry daddy… this is as good as it gets I guess!

samsung july 21 2014 468

Before we left, our new *CUSTOM* (teehee!!!) bathroom vanity was delivered and installed, and let me say… it’s AWESOME and I LOVE it! Here is a before & after so you can see why I just stand in there gazing at it until someone cries for me…

samsung july 21 2014 059

We also purchased and installed a new sink and faucet, and I can’t believe how seriously excited I am about it. It’s embarrassing. Really. I’ve never had anything in my homes other than builder stuff, so to have something like this is just decadent, I’m not even kidding… here are my new babies:

samsung july 21 2014 301

So that’s it for reno updates – for now! I’m not going to post anything else bathroom related now until it’s DONE! Ya gotta leave a little something to the imagination, ya know? What’s left now is finishing the wallpaper, added some glass tile backsplash (an amazing ReStore find this past week!) and then adding the final touches like the valance, shelves and decor. I have everything ready to go, and in hindsight maybe we should have spent hubby’s week off finishing this stuff instead of going away? Oh well… it will get done. Whatareyagonnado?

Other than the bathroom reno, I’ve been plugging away on all my little bits and pieces that always keep me from doing housework happy! Today, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Fish:

samsung july 21 2014 080

He’s ugly. He’s totally 80’s, he’s brassy and he’s pretty much just awful. But when I saw him at the thrift store I knew he had potential! I brought him home, cleaned him off and gave him a coat of my new favourite colour – Lagoon by Rustoleum – and he got pretty handsome! He’s been living happily on a shelf in our bookcase for a few days now, and I think I like him a lot.

samsung july 21 2014 527

I also gave my kitchen utensil holder a sever case of multiple personality disorder when I attacked it with the spray paint as well.. LOL. As you may recall, I went through a 20 year phase where everything was earth toned and RUSTIC. (Thank god I’ve moved past that…) so when I picked up this pretty little pot from HomeSense about seven years ago it looked like this:

iPhone pics June 2013 128

Forgive the grainy photos… I had to snag the images from the background of other pics…

So then a few months ago in my “Colour Induced Haze” I spontaneously spray painted it silver:

iPhone Pics Oct 30 2013 053

I’m not sure why I did it… lol. I just needed it to not be RED anymore!! But yesterday I looked at it and realized that it still didn’t look right. Basically everything in my path these days is being painted in “Lagoon”… so, you might not want to come visit for a while. Just sayin’.

samsung july 21 2014 531

Ahhhh… there we go!

samsung july 21 2014 530

 

Now I’m happy. It’s amazing what a little spray paint can do, isn’t it?!

Spray paint a thrift store find for a HomeGoods look!

I have a lot of grey and green happening on the main floor, so I’m trying to add some more colour where I can. I also found these goblet style glasses as the Salvation Army this weekend – can’t wait to clean them up and display them on the white shelves in the dining room!

samsung july 21 2014 533

So there’s bit of a hodge podge update… I have a LOT more but to put it all in one post would be weird. I mean, even weirder than this one.
If that’s possible.
Hope everyone had a great weekend and I’m so happy to be home and up to my eyeballs in all my madness once again!
xoMB

3 Comments

Filed under Crafts, Personal, Renos & Makeovers

Counters and cabinets and cupboards – oh my!

Holy cow, I don’t even know where to begin with this one! To bring you up to speed, let’s do a quick recap…

When we bought our house, the main bathroom (the ONLY one in the entire house other than a small powder room in the basement) looked like this:

NEW HOUSE 030

After six years we finally decided to update it, and when we left off a few days ago, I was drowning in the reno and losing a bit of faith in the whole process. We had ripped out the original vanity, found a great one at the ReStore, then discovered it wouldn’t work and dragged it all the way back. It was a mess, and 48 hours later we are still brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink, and our bathroom still looks like this:

samsung july 8 2014 022

Oy.

But then a wee miracle happened, and that’s where this sad little tale of woe turns around. I got a phone call on Monday afternoon from my mom’s best friend, very curious to know why on EARTH I hadn’t called her when all this began. Why would I call her, you ask? Oh… because she and her husband own a CUSTOM CABINET COMPANY. *face palm* Oops. Forgot about that.

She asked what our budget was and immediately sent her husband over to take measurements. I was in awe… he came in, wrote down a few things, took a few measurements, told me to come into the showroom the following morning at 9 and then he was gone. He was like Santa!

It was magical.

So, yesterday morning I begged my mom to come along to wrangle my kids, and off we went to the Frendel Design Centre in Mississauga to select my cabinets and counter top! I felt like I was on a television show, and this place was UNBELIEVABLE. Let’s just take a moment to bask in the glory of their showroom…

samsung july 10 2014 044

Drooooooooool….. LOVE the sage-y grey bathroom cabs below:

samsung july 10 2014 027

Look at those light fixtures!!

samsung july 10 2014 032

The two-tone look is so hot right now… 

samsung july 10 2014 033

I tried to climb in this tub and my mom yelled at me.

samsung july 10 2014 025

I heart built ins!

samsung july 10 2014 043

Um, this island is the size of my ENTIRE KITCHEN…

samsung july 10 2014 030

Just perfect.

samsung july 10 2014 031

I’ll take one of everything.

Holy. Mother. This place was awesome and my son said, “I want to buy this house, but why are there so many kitchens??” LOL… me too, bud… me too. I hope to heck that someday we will have our “forever” house and we can go to Frendel for some serious kitchen and bathroom makeovers!

Oh, and in case they’re looking for an executive in a few years, I have the perfect candidate:

samsung july 10 2014 024

I also can assist in some promo pics for their next brochure…

samsung july 10 2014 041
So, to make a very long story short, here is what I selected:

This style of door:

samsung july 10 2014 049

But in this colour:

samsung july 10 2014 048

With this counter top:

samsung july 10 2014 050

I. am. so. excited.
We could have splurged and gone for granite, but I keep reminding Alex myself that all this work is simply to get the house ready for an eventual sale, hopefully next summer. So let’s save the fancy stuff for the next house! I think it’s going to look amazing, and while our original vanity was 37″ wide, the new one will be 60″!!! It’s going to straight over to the window, even incorporating the vent in the wall and adding tons more storage and counter space. HOORAY!

And get this… if all goes to plan, it will be here TODAY!

Because of that, I rushed out with the kids last night to buy a new sink so that I could give Tony the template and he could make the necessary cuts to the counter. Yup… once again we are stuck with something that isn’t going to work. LOL. Remember the solid surface one piece counter and sink we bought that served as our inspiration point?

sink

Yah. It won’t work now that the counter is 60″ wide. NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING! The only bummer is that once again I cannot do a return. We bought this sink months and months ago, and I can’t even find the receipt. I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that Lowes will give me store credit for it. In the meantime, we picked this little beauty up last night:

samsung july 10 2014 064

Nothing like running out to make a major purchase when your husband is out for drinks with a client working late and you have to bring the kids right at bedtime!

samsung july 10 2014 071

Such troopers!

Anyway I think it will look great with the new cabinets and counter, and I LOVE that it’s square – I think it looks much fancier than a little round sink.  And while I initially bought a cheap little faucet for it I think I will use my store credit to get something nicer. I mean, if we’re having all this custom work done I don’t want to cheapen it, ya know?

So, that’s where we stand today. This has been a LOT of work for poor me. LOL… All this running around with toddlers in tow has been exhausting but I am so crazy excited to see this bathroom when it’s complete. I’ve never done any kind of renovation before, much less had something custom built for our home!! I cannot wait to share the finished product and I am so super grateful for my “other mother” Carole and her hubby Tony for doing this all so quickly for us. Not having a working bathroom with three kids is a little rough.

Off we go to bring back the first sink and beg for credit… put on your cute faces, kids!!
xoMB

ps – I was not paid or compensated in any way to share my love of Frendel Kitchens, I was just blown away by their showroom and how helpful everyone was, I couldn’t wait to share the photos and my excitement that my little bathroom story has a happy ending! Yay me!

4 Comments

Filed under Furniture, Organization & Storage, Renos & Makeovers

Bathroom Update!

Spoiler alert – it sucks. Our bathroom started out decent enough. The style definitely wasn’t ours but it wasn’t so awful that we couldn’t live with it.

So live with it we did…

NEW HOUSE 030

for six years…

NEW HOUSE 031

NEW HOUSE 032

Until finally a few months I just couldn’t take it anymore and started tearing it apart. (My excited post about that can be found HERE.) So off I went, ripping off ugly maroon wallpaper and throwing out dusty old window valances – hooray! It was a process, and I knew it would take time, but I was cool with that. We selected a solid surface sink and countertop from Lowes, and I started to “build” my idea of the bathroom around it:

sink

So pretty! So beachy! So EXCITED! I put together my mood boards and got busy buying lots of stuff that didn’t really matter – wheeeeeee!

iPhone pics March 8 2014 262

I tend to jump ahead to the fun part and avoid the work sometimes… I mean, shopping is FUN! Can you blame me? So, I spent a few weeks gazing at my pretty little things and not doing much else in there. Finally, my mom stepped in and said “Um, you need WALLPAPER in here, B!” and up it went. You can see it above, it’s a beautiful grass cloth paper by Allen & Roth and I love it. I needed something with texture since the walls in this old house are ridiculously bumpy in places – especially the bathroom. So once that was done we went through a period of “Well we can’t finish all the trim until we put the new sink in, but we can’t put the new sink on the vanity until we get a new drain…” etc, etc, etc.

This put us off for another month, and during the time we had a problem. One day I came downstairs and saw water dripping from our kitchen ceiling. A lot of water. Like, a BUCKET of water. I cleaned it up and turned off the pipes, but the vanity that we were planning to reuse was ruined.

Sigh. It was like the ONE PLACE I was managing to save some money… I had painted it and it was going to work just fine!

vanity side by side But nope… now it was garbage. This past weekend we were hemming and hawing over what to do about it, when I happened to drive past a new Habitat for Humanity ReStore a few towns away as I was coming back from my daughter’s soccer game. “Why not?” I thought… so I popped in.

BAZINGA!!!

samsung july 8 2014 007

Yes yes yes OMG yes! I was so excited… it was perfect and it even came with the damn basket! LOL… I called my hubby and got the green light. The best part? The retail price was $260 but the ReStore price was $100 – no tax. What a deal, I was so happy and I knew it would look amazing with the counter/sink that we had! I brought it home and within an hour the bathroom looked like this:

samsung july 8 2014 022

Oh boy… this is commitment – we’re really in it now!

samsung july 8 2014 021

Doesn’t the wallpaper look awesome? And you can see to the right of the tub where I’ve begun to paint the paneling white.

So as you can see, the old vanity was ripped out, demo’d to pieces and removed. But there’s no happy ending to this story, because the new vanity doesn’t work. Nope, no joke. I wasn’t home so I’m not sure exactly what the issue was, but essentially the solid surface counter and sink that we have will NOT fit properly on top of it. So, the bathroom is pretty much non-functional and the vanity has been loaded back into my van to be returned.

Oh, did I say returned? I meant exchanged for store credit, because that’s their policy. SOB. I can’t even get my money back. And did I mention that the only other bathroom we have in this house is in the basement? Yah… it’s a grand ol’ time around here these days! lol… oh well, we shall survive.

So that’s my bathroom update – I warned you that it sucked! At least the wallpaper is up and I can see that when it finally gets done it WILL look awesome. Worst case scenario we have to spend a few hundred to get a brand new vanity = not the end of the world. I was just so excited to find such a nice piece for such a great price. Today I am heading two towns over to take the darn thing back, and hopefully within the next day or so we will have its replacement, so stay tuned!

Oh and as always, I had to salvage a piece of the original to use for a future project…

samsung july 8 2014 023

Yup – this former front panel from the old vanity will eventually be painted and made into a lovely rack with vintage hooks!

Anyone else working on a bathroom remodel? This is the first real “reno” we’ve ever taken on… so far it’s not going so well! LOL.
Have a good one!
MB

2 Comments

Filed under Crafts, Renos & Makeovers

Bad Blogger…

SIGH.

Sitting down at the computer and starting it up was literally the equivalent of getting a massage for me just now. The last few weeks I haven’t had much to say. I’ve doubted the value of blogging and questioned why anyone would ever care what I have to say about anything… but it doesn’t matter, because the feeling I got just now when I logged in was all I needed! :)

I love writing, I love sharing, and that’s enough for me.

I’ve been pretty unmotivated lately – as my absence accurately indicates.. lol – and it’s been tough. I just can’t keep up the pace of doing a project every day and then writing out the process and details. Especially now that school is out and I have all three kids home, it’s just a mad house here.

So, my pace will slow – at least for summer – which kind of sucks. I hate when I check my favourite blogs all the time and there’s no updates. It’s one of the reasons I fell hard for YHL – the daily posts were awesome and quenched my blog thirst! I have always wanted to be like that and share new posts daily for anyone out there who, like me, can’t get enough of ANY kind of blog, but it’s just not realistic for my life right now.

Oh well… I’m assuming someone cares – lol – let’s not get ahead of ourselves here!

Anyway I am here today, and am excited to share the cutest little set of tables I scored a few months back. They were posted on an auction site that I frequent, and I got two of them (identical) for $10. They sat in storage for some time, I wasn’t sure what to do with them and they were a little shorter than I realized. I initially wanted to use them as bedside tables, but the height just wasn’t enough and, let’s be honest, we need all the storage we can get around here. So, they sat. Until yesterday!

samsung july 4 2014 230

Well that worked out nicely, didn’t it? lol… The wood on the top of the table matches the wood of the chair perfectly, and the green even ties in with the room’s accent colour! I only brought out one, I’d love to use them both in the living room but there just isn’t room for the other one right now. I love the base on it! At first glance it appears to sit on the square bottom, but in fact the square rests on these wooden balls and it’s so neat. It’s the perfect little side table for this chair. (Forgive these grainy pictures… I don’t know what happened and being unmotivated I don’t really care. LOL)

side table

The top definitely needs some work… both of them look like this and will need to be sanded down and either restained or painted. Which one I choose will depend on where they end up living permanently. If they stay in here I will keep the wood for sure!

samsung july 4 2014 232

But, for now I’ve made my little blogging corner even better – and yes, I’ve added yet another lamp! It’s a thrift store find that I painted and added a funky blue/green shade to. The shade was on clearance at Target for $7, and since I have two of these lamps I grabbed two of the shades! The lamp is a little big for the small table, but again… not really caring right now. haha. I like it, so there.

more little tables 003

You can read about the amazing makeover that I gave these lamps HERE - it’s one of very favourite transformations that I’ve done!!

I hope that all of my wonderful friends, family and readers in the US have a happy and safe 4th of July… and hopefully I can leave this blogging funk behind me and get back to down to business!
:)
MB

9 Comments

Filed under Furniture, Renos & Makeovers

Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill.

Or, making a super-useful closet out of a really crappy one.

So I have a thing for closets. I think they’re pretty awesome, as you know.

Remember when I turned Ella’s closet into the sweetest little reading nook ever?

Chrissy's wedding etc 179

 Yah… that was awesome.

Living in a 70 year old house that has barely any storage has seriously made me appreciate the wonder of organized space. This old house doesn’t have fancy things like walk-ins or built-ins or even sliding door closets. Each bedroom has a single door with a knob that opens into a small closet that stores about HALF of what it needs to. We make it work, especially in the kids’ rooms where pretty much everything can be folded and stored in dressers, but in the master it’s pretty tough, and don’t get me STARTED on the front hall…

samsung june 26 2014 899

It’s just not okay. We are a family of five… two parents, three kids, AND two dogs and a cat. This closet is totally unacceptable and I absolutely hate it. How on earth am I supposed to make this work?!

samsung june 26 2014 901

The previous owners tried to maximize the space, they really did. There is a mishmash of DIY plywood shelves and a strange kind of bench that is neither strong enough nor placed properly to actually sit on. It’s dark, dirty, and ridiculous…

samsung june 26 2014 904

It’s also going to be the biggest job I’ve ever taken on by myself, but I’m determined to tackle it. I recently pulled up some weird flooring the previous owners had installed, which has left me with a two-toned wood floor and nails sticking up everywhere.  Yay.

samsung june 26 2014 906

So now I have to fix that too. I want to keep it simple and inexpensive like always, and I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas. I just want clean, organized storage for coats, shoes and school bags, along with a space to keep hats, mitts and all the other “stuff” that needs a spot of its own. I love some of these ideas:

1
Clean, bright, colourful and a place for EVERYTHING – perfect!

3
Amazing use of a corner space… this would allow room for hanging coats as well as storing shoes and accessories,
but I definitely can’t handle this myself, so it’s a no-go.

4
This one is just me being a dreamer… I’d LOVE to turn the front closet into a storage space for all of the toys and games that junk up the house, but it’s just too valuable of a spot to give up. Maybe if we lived in a warmer climate and didn’t have 824 boots and coats to store half the time!

I’ve seen a lot of beautiful, functional spaces, but many of them are far beyond my skill set or they are meant for bedroom closets and don’t really take into account the shoe storage or that fact that long coats will need to be hung up. I’m think I’m just going to have to take ideas from a few different photos and come up with my own plan. I really love the first photo of the green and white closet, although it’s not a corner so I’m not sure how well it would translate over here.

What I do know is that this has to go…

samsung june 26 2014 902
I think I’m just about brave enough to take this project on. The big part will be taking a crow bar to the existing mess that’s in there, and then I can patch up the holes and give the interior a fresh coat of paint. I’m sure that alone will be an awesome change! I’m also thinking of painting the door… I love this look:

paintsource

And I just happen to have a quart of that exact colour (Mermaid Net by Behr) sitting in my craft cupboard… so stay tuned, I’m going to start working on this one tomorrow!
MB

 

11 Comments

Filed under Organization & Storage, Renos & Makeovers

Nailed it!

No really… I did. Lately this expression seems to be used mainly for failed Pinterest experiments, lol, but today I am sincere.

I weighed in on Saturday for the first time at Weight Watchers. I joined the Saturday prior and was SO diligent about eating well, tracking my food and exercising as much as possible.

And like I said… NAILED IT!!!!

weight loss

I am so proud of myself for having such a strong start. I know from experience that the first week is usually the biggest loss, but this was more than I expected! I didn’t even feel deprived or like I was “dieting”. I ate well and was always full. I’m SO happy and feeling super motivated.

I can’t give up this time – I just CAN’T. I am so tired of hating how I feel and refusing to wear tank tops. I want to wear cute little dresses with straps and little leggings with ballet flats and flowy tops… seriously, people.. I have a vision. I’ve found that smoothies are DEFINITELY my friend. My saviour, in fact. You can throw pretty much anything in there and if you add a handful of spinach or kale even better. I’ve been walking, wearing my pedometer and trying to hit my 10,000 steps each day. I’ve been doing squats, lunges and sit ups, and just generally trying to squeeze in movement whenever I can.

Here are a few more tips I’ve picked up over the last week that I find helpful:

- I brush my teeth IMMEDIATELY after dinner. Maybe I’m lazy but if I do that, I won’t eat anything else because I don’t want to be bothered brushing them again. lol

- I eat big in the morning, and taper off to smaller meals as the day goes on. People often have a smoothie for breakfast but I have mine for lunch and sometimes even dinner. I don’t want to eat the bulk of my fat and calories right before I lie down for eight hours, you know?

- I hate water. HATE IT. So I add the flavouring that you can buy now. There are a million kinds out there and they make it a lot easier for me to drink as much as I need to.

- I always have a healthy snack on me. ALWAYS. Never know when it will hit you.

- Last night we were out celebrating my sister’s wedding at a lovely Italian restaurant. As soon as my dinner arrived I pushed half of it to one side to box up and ate the other half. No one needs that much food in one sitting.

One thing I refuse to compromise on? Parking. LOL. People say park far away and walk… Nope. If there was parking in the Olympics I would win gold. I am the best parker ever. I get the BEST spots every time and it’s seriously one of the joys in my life.

They may take my food, but they will never take my parking!!!!!!

Sorry, very dramatic but I seriously have mad parking lot skillz. With a “z”. They’re THAT good.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and I REALLY hope that I can report back in a week with another loss. In the meantime, if anyone has any tips or recipes that might help, please share! And I will try to get back to my DIY madness this week, I know it’s been a while and I miss being covered in glue and paint.
: )
MB

7 Comments

Filed under Personal