Thursday, November 22, 2012

We Already Decorated.

First of all....


I know that proper etiquette says that one must wait until after Thanksgiving to break out the Christmas decor. Our celebration of Christmas seems to get earlier and earlier each year (November 17 to be exact). Since I'm Canadian and their Thanksgiving was celebrated last month, I'm actually right on time. Boom.

I love everything Christmas (except for the consumerism, of course) and that definitely includes the decorations + Christmas cheer. It does make me sad to think there are people out there who find this holiday depressing, whether it be because they are alone or missing someone or because it reminds them of what they don't have. And it'd probably be a good idea for me to start thinking of ways to reach out to those people and try and make their Christmas spirit bright. But I'm also really thankful that the Lord has blessed me with a family and friends to celebrate with, and a home that has a spot for our (fake) Christmas tree, and for Marc's discount store where I got a 9ft string of garland for $4 to make my kitchen pretty.

I love the lights, I love the movies, I love the excitement that surrounds the season.

I also love Christmas music and the fact that this time of year is the only time in our culture where we hear the Gospel proclaimed wherever we go in the form of Christmas carols. Carols are some of the most powerful hymns ever written and my favorite, by far, is O Holy Night. I'm moved every time I stop and really listen to the words. So. profound.

Thank you Lord, especially on this day of thanks, for giving my soul worth and hope and life. You are so good, all the time no matter the season.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Hair Reveal!

Guys, I'm sorry that for all your input and voting it's taken me this long to post a picture of how my hair turned out. To be honest, I couldn't seem to get a good picture. And the day it was in it's prime (the day after the salon before it had any chance to fade) and the day that Tim and I were looking all good for a wedding, I didn't get one picture. Or so I thought. Thank you to Ainsley's photographer for getting an a beautiful picture of Tim and I. Seriously, in the history of pictures of us, this is probably the best. You may have already seen it on Facebook, but here it is!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Seasonal Robot

Yesterday I had big plans. Big plans for great art. I had this frame that seemed perfect for a four seasons theme and I had big plans to hang it somewhere in Jack's room. At first I was thinking I'd just find some images on line. And then when that wasn't happening, I thought I'd just draw them myself.
The results, in my opinion, were totally underwhelming and not really what I had envisioned. However, Tim loved it and insisted we hang it somewhere where we'd see it often. That somewhere was next to the bathroom sink - the "go to" spot for most priceless art, right? Anyways, here it is:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Fort Reveal!

Ta da! Here it is!

And here's the break down in cost + supplies:

Obviously this project is far more expensive than $21. Just because I had a lot of things around the house I could use doesn't mean I didn't pay for them at one time. Something like this, when starting from scratch, probably would cost over $100 to make. If you think that sounds unreasonable, consider that it took:

Four curtains (never cheap!)
Four pillows (2 large, 2 small)
A sleeping bag
A duvet cover
The IKEA star (which probably cost around $15 at the time)
Fabric + ribbon for the bunting
A hula hoop (which wasn't cheap at $7!)
And a spring hook

I point that out only because I know when I see DIY stuff like this on Pinterest I think "Wow, it'll be so much more cost effective to make this then it would be to buy it." At $100 plus, I'd say you're not really saving all that much money - unless, like myself, you happen to already have most of the supplies needed. And of course, I also get the pleasure of saying I made it myself (with the help of others). Thank you to Tim for being patient with me as I fussed over the whole thing and to my sister Andrea for making the bunting. It was the finishing touch!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's Clean!

Remember that time I said I'd clean and organize my house every day 
for 31 days and then quit after Day 2?

Yeah, well yesterday I did about a week's worth of organizing in less than 12 hours. I barely ate or drank anything because I was so committed to the task at hand (I'm pretty sure I was dehydrated by the end; my lips were all shriveled and I felt light headed). Once I get it into my head that I'm going to do something, there's no stopping me. Just ask Tim, who very kindly watched the kids for most of the late afternoon/evening so I could carry on interrupted.

And what is it, you ask, that I was so consumed by? Our Hoarders worthy spare room + closet. The one our baby sleeps in (room, not closet). It's one of those rooms that requires a closing of the door when guests are over or that requires a disclaimer before someone's allowed to enter "Yeah, this room is kind of a disaster, sorry...." Don't let the following images fool you (which were taken mid-purge) - Moses' pack n play is the only livable area in the room. The closet was about three to five feet high in stuff (depending on what you're looking at) and completely impassable. And yesterday, I'd just had enough. It was time.

Again, these were taken after already having cleared out stuff. As you can see, the mess took over most of the apartment.  

Um, we don't normally keep boxes stored in Moses' was a temporary holding place.
All those empty diaper boxes came in handy for the donations + recyclables!
Tim had to go to a meeting while I was in the thick of it, so Moses kept me company even busier for about an hour before I had to pause so he could nap in the still hazardous room. He enjoyed army crawling from box to box so he could tip them and pull everything out.

Tip: Don't let your 10 month old crawl around in random junk because soon enough you'll find him chewing on a tiny piece of plastic. Then you'll wonder where that penny went that was sitting on the floor next to him. After that you'll have to google "what to do if baby swallows something?" and will be paranoid until said penny is located. 
 Twenty four hours later, I am still dealing with the after effects of cleaning out three years worth of stuff. Things like spare buttons and an old file box that I don't want to throw out/ give away, but that doesn't exactly have a place either. The good news is, the stuff I did put away now has a place and a location I actually know. I also found $15 cash and discovered our awesome, thought to be dead pocket camera has been given a second chance at life. These next pictures were courtesy of it's revived body parts:

The closet: It finally has space to walk! And I actually know what is in every one of those boxes.
Sorry for the terrible yellow hue in all of these pictures - as great as our camera is, it's no match for bad lighting (and I hate using a flash).

I'll be doing a future post on organizing and staying organized, but one of the keys here was getting rid of the desk. This was mostly prompted by the need to reclaim floor space without moving Moses out of the room (I'll talk about why another time) as well as the fact that we don't actually use the desk, except as a catch-all. The only real purpose it served was to hold the printer, which now happily lives on the book case.

We also needed a place to keep the IKEA Poang chair + ottoman, since Jack now has a sweet fort hanging in his room! It still requires a few finishing touches but I can't wait for the reveal - coming soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

DIY Forts (an Ode to Pinterest)

Ok, confession. I was all "I'm swearing off Pinterest" and then I literally signed up for it (a second time) the same day. Sure enough, I spent about 40 minutes pinning tons of ideas that I'll probably never get around to implementing.

Here's the thing: I've said before that I'm terrible when it comes to coming up with creative ideas for fun activities to do with my kids. Pinterest is great for that. Hello homemade finger paint and glow in the dark bubbles!

My main reason, however, for re-subjecting myself to such a time-sucking website is that I really (really) want to create some permanent nooks around the house for Jack and Moses to hide away in. Jack is already in love with forts but I find them a bit of a pain to set up and tear down (laziness, straight up.)

Teepees are the trendy hipster thing for kids these days.

And what's not to love? They're cozy, they're spacious, and they blend well with surrounding decor. That said, they sound like an absolute pain to DIY - not to mention you have to be a sewer. Of course, you could always buy one on Etsy - for like two hundred ridiculous dollars. So, as much as I would love, love, love to have this be what my boys play in, it's just not practical at the moment (re: space, time, cost).

Thankfully (because Pinterest is the place for Plan B's and C's) there are some other options out there that I think I'll try to recreate. The first is totes ingenious!

Um, obviously I'd change the color scheme to be more boy-friendly. But this is created with just a few tension rods! Naturally, there's no link to how to make it step by step, but I'm sure I could figure it out. And we have a perfect spot in the living room that would work for this! Exclamation points unite!

This I would put in their bedroom. It's more open than a tent or a teepee, but it's still a neat little spot to go and sit. Not to mention, it's probably super inexpensive to create (I might try using some spare curtains to create this). Apparently all you need is a quilting hoop. I say apparently, because yet again there isn't a link to the original source on this image. However, here's a link to something similar, using a hula hoop instead.

Man, I really hope these things don't turn out to be expensive or time consuming to create. Of course, if anyone feels like making me a teepee - we would probably be best friends forever.

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