7.5.14

Calendar fun


Today I've got a short post for you. It's an idea that I've been doing for a year or so for Chace (my little five-year-old). 

Chace loves knowing how his week is going to look. He likes to know if he's going to daycare, has a sports activity or a birthday party. He often looks ahead and will count the days to something he's looking forward to. It also helps Chef Kev and I get him out of the house in a timely manor (kind of an oxymoron with a five-year-old) if he knows how his day is going to look. 

Since Chace isn't quite reading yet, I found that little pictorial icons work the best. If I were to only write on his calendar then he'd constantly be asking what everything says. This way gives him the freedom to review it on his own. Which he does a lot.

The perfect spot for his calendar is in the little nook where he has breakfast. That way he can review what is in store for the upcoming day!

 



To make the stickers I simply purchased a package of Avery labels. I used Avery 02102. They are small 3/4" round labels. 

I googled the things I wanted to make stickers for - skating, tennis etc. and downloaded some simple icons to represent each one. Here is a sampling of what I did - from left to right: stars and happy faces (special one-off events), robot carrying a gift (birthday party), ice skates (skating lessons), tennis ball (tennis lessons), little guy with a water dingy (swimming lessons), little house (cabin trip), airplane (flying on an airplane/vacation), soccer ball (soccer game), blue soccer ball - I just used a highlighter to colour those (soccer practice).


To print each one in the correct spot, I downloaded an Avery label template. I got mine for my design program (Adobe Indesign) but you can get them for Microsoft Word and other programs. Once I had my digital layout done, I simply printed them on my home computer. If you do this at home you will need a manual feed tray as the label stock is smaller than a regular size sheet of paper.

Each month I load up Chace's calendar full of events!


The sticker not explained above that you see a bunch of (little guy with the red hat holding some art supplies) is Chace's sticker to symbolize a daycare day. 


Chace takes pride in crossing each day off as it passes. 

How about you? Do you have a calendar for your kids or any neat ways of keeping the family organized? Does your kid tap his foot impatiently and point at the calendar if you forget to get his stickers up by the first of each month? No? Okay, just mine then. 

I've created a calendar monster but luckily he is kept under control with ice cream.

Stay in touch!

    

5.5.14

Bathroom brightening

After recently refreshing our family room and kitchen area, our chocolate brown bathroom - located just off the family room- looked ridiculously dark and out of place.

When we moved in (back in 2006) the bathroom was painted in a chocolate shade - which I actually didn't mind - but it had 'had it's time'. I wanted a cleaner and brighter space!

It's a hard room to photograph as it's just a powder room so very small, plus it doesn't have a window so natural light = zero. However, here is how it looked before:






A few weeks ago I set about changing her from a chocolate cone, to a vanilla one. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this photo I posted as I began...


Two coats later, I had a vanilla cone.


The colour is called "Painter's White" by CIL which I had colour matched in Behr paint. The name is really deceiving as it's not a 'white' at all. In fact, it falls right in the middle of the paint chip and is rooted in the brown family.


Like 'white' though, the colour does make the room feel bigger, fresher and more modern.


I know my new vanilla cone is kind of well, 'vanilla' (excuse the bad pun) but after having the chocolate so long this new colour is rather tasty.


While doing this mini-makeover I also decided to embrace the gold trend and spray the picture frames, towel rack and toilet paper holder. Again, if you follow along on Instagram you may have seen this...



I used this gold from Rustoleum and was really happy with it. It wasn't a shiny metallic finish (like the brassy 80's gold) but a much more modern champagne shade with a satin finish. 



These frames used to be silver but I think they are much more luxe in gold! The art they hold are some old 'mill swatches' from my industry (graphic design) - learn more about how I use mill swatches for free art here. The frames are old Ikea ones from years ago. And the mats are ones I had custom cut to make the art look a little fancier (also years ago).



I know you don't need to see the toilet paper holder but here is how the towel rack turned out... :)



Overall I think it brings this little powder room up-to-date and definitely ties into the flow of the main floor better. 

As they say, nothing can change the look of a space easier than some simple paint!

What about you - painted anything lately? What are your thoughts on gold coming back into décor and fashion? Love it or hate it? Running towards it with open arms... or running as fast away from it as you can?  



2.5.14

May Calendar Roundup

Yay it's May!

If you are like me and pretty up your computer desktop each month, then take a look at the calendars that caught my eye and snag one for yourself.

To use, simply click on the link below the one you like to redirected to the download. And if you're in the mood, don't forget to leave a comment or a thank you for the great bloggers who have designed these.

Enjoy!

Sarah Hearts

Ashlee Proffitt

All things pretty


Oana Befort

Making it blissful

Nicoles Classes

Going Home to Roost

Paper Leaf

Cala Lily


1.5.14

How I redid my family room for $10

Hello! Long time no type. I've been busy over here - both on and off blog-worthy projects - but am back to share some updates I did in our family room that is off our open concept galley kitchen.

And the coolest part? I did it for only $10 outta my own pocket! Seriously. I'll explain as I go, but basically it involves a present, some gift cards and Craigslist.

First up, the present. Chef Kev gifted me this awesome rug for Christmas (Jernved rug from Ikea) that I had been eyeing. I wanted to infuse some colour into our family room area (it was suffering from a bad case of the beige) and I thought this was a good contender, so put it on my Christmas Wish List. 

The rug was awesome but immediately made everything look dingy and super-beige.

(Sorry for the bad lighting but I took these at night). 

Beige walls, beige couch, and browny/beige furniture. It didn't feel too uplifting!

The couch looked dingy, the cubby system clashed and the coffee table just looked wrong. I had big plans originally to refinish the coffee table when I got it second hand, but never got around to it. Whoops.

Looking at the room it had issues. Big ones. There were too many tones going on and eventually I couldn't handle it anymore. My design brain twitched whenever I walked into the space.

After seeing my face scrunch up for the 757th time, Chef Kev said "I don't care what you do to fix it, just don't spend any money". Well, that sounded like a challenge to me!

Guess what it looks like today? Ta da!

So, let me explain how this little room grew into her new rug. 

This is where Craigslist comes in. First to go was the Ikea Expedit cubby unit. I ideally wanted a real-wood, mid-century modern credenza to go along that wall that I could turn into a media centre. However, after months searching Craigslist and second hand shops I realized that one just wasn't in my budget. Sure, I could sell the coffee table and couch and then MAYBE have enough to buy one, but I'm sort of partial to couches and coffee tables and wanted to replace those too. 

In the end I realized that the Expedit unit itself actually worked okay, it was just the colour that I hated for this space.

So out went the 'birch' finish. I sold it on Craigslist for $50 (minus the baskets)...

and in entered the 'black/brown' one that I purchased on Craigslist for $50. The cool thing here was that this replacement unit actually came with six of the same wicker baskets as the one I had. I ended up using them down in our recreation room where we have another Expedit unit.

Next up was the old couch, well, actually it's a love seat but who's counting?

I wanted something darker - either a brown tone or a gray, and definitely something more streamlined and modern. 

So, out went the old love  seat - sold on Craigslist for $80...

and in came the 'new' love seat - also bought on Craigslist - for $200.

Last but not least on my furniture hit list was the coffee table. 

Out with the old (sold on Craigslist for $40)...

And in with the 'new' - purchased on Craigslist for $80!

When I saw this coffee table I knew it would look really cool in this space. It is actually an old coffee table that had been sandblasted down and professionally repainted this awesome red. 

Sadly, after chatting with the seller, she had a change of heart and decided not to sell! She had listed it as she was redecorating and didn't think it would go with her new décor. But she loved it so she also wanted to keep it. Due to the enormous response she second guessed herself so decided to hold on to it. 

I was upset but kept on hunting. After a few days I dropped her an email saying that if she had a change of heart again then I was still interested. She emailed back that she was actually thinking of selling it again as she just didn't think she could make it work in her new space. She asked me to give her the weekend to think about it, and on Monday let me know that I could have it! So, word to the wise - if this happens to you, a friendly follow-up email may work in your favour!

I love how this coffee table plays off the pattern in the carpet. And I  LOVE the awesome curves and super cute legs!





Now, if you've been doing any math then you may have noticed that I sold $170 worth of furniture but purchased $330. There is no mathematician anywhere that can make that add up to a difference of $10 right?!

Right. However, I also sold a few other things that did not need replacing so that helped my cause. 

I sold our second desk (currently being unused in the guest bedroom) for $100 and the old desk chair in that room as well for $10.

I also sold the four old Ikea bins that we were using in the recreation room Expedit unit when I got the six wicker baskets with the unit I purchased. I sold my old ones for $40.

So, in the end I sold $320 worth of furniture and purchased the stuff for my new family room for $330. 

I know Chef Kev said not to spend any money (such an accountant!) but he was more than okay to let go of the $10 when he saw how good it looked. :)

An astute eye may have also noticed that I painted. That is where the gift cards come in! I received some Home Depot gift cards for Christmas and knew I was going to use them on paint. Even before the carpet/beige issue, I had been wanting to repaint the family room and kitchen area. They actually function as one big open concept space but had been painted two different colours and it always bugged me slightly. I think living with it that way since 2006 (when we bought our townhouse) was being more than patient!

So, here is the old again - a beigey colour...

And the new! 

The colour is a nice light gray shade and is called "Barley Beige" by CIL. I had to laugh at the name since I was trying to get away from the beige and ended up with a colour that had 'beige' in the name. Weird. Definitely a gray though!

You can see it better here against white.

The other colour that was in this open concept area was an avocado green that the old owners used around the kitchen table nook and in the kitchen.

See how both the beige and green are here? Weird.

The same view with the new gray paint.

Looking the other way we used to see the same old green...

But now we see calming gray (yay).

Looking from the family room to the kitchen you can see how the old colour used to break up the space.

But not anymore!



Overall, the whole space feels larger, brighter and more connected. I love it.


I also took the opportunity to paint the 'cable hide' in the same colour as the wall paint (it used to be white if you noticed it in the photos above).

Now it blends in seamlessly!

I also restyled the shelves over the couch in a lighter and fresher way.




I'm really happy with how the space feels now.

Once more, the family room before:


And after!


Best $10 I ever spent. 

What about you? Any Craigslist scores lately or rooms that you refreshed with paint? 

It feels like Spring cleaning has officially started! What are you up to?

Stay in touch!

    
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