Saturday, 31 March 2012

It's Maple Syrup Time!

Once a year we go to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival.  It happens every year in March and I have yet to understand why we go, but it has become a bit of a tradition.

The Maple Syrup Festival is a one day Festival that takes over the main street of Elmira.  There are tons of booths set up selling crafts, baked goods and food.  We get up bright and early (so early it's not even bright out yet) and head out to beat the rush.  Ryan goes for the back bacon on a bun.  We walk down one side of the booths, Ryan gets some back bacon on a bun, then walk down the other side, Ryan gets more back bacon on a bun and then we go home.  All before 8am.  This year was no exception.  The boy won't even let me go into the pancake hall to get pancakes that actually have maple syrup on them.

There are no pictures of me eating my sausage on a bun or apple fritter because Ryan was too busy with the back bacon.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Sunny Side Up - Part 2

So here we go with a happier post about the sunroom! 

We still weren't really sure what we would do with this room so that it would actually get some use.  I figured in the future, it might be a good place for kids to play so that I can close the door and work in the kitchen and they won't be too far away.  (This theory was put to the test when we babysat my 3 year old cousin.  She went in there by herself, closed the doors and sat up on the chairs to colour). Or my desk might have to move out there once my office gets turned into a nursery.  But for now, we wanted it to serve a purpose.

I came across these chairs at Ikea for a reasonable price, and my mom found this little table for $35!  We call her shopper Sharon for a reason. 

There was a window in the sun room that opened into the bathroom.  Yes, opened.  It had no lock on it either.  So if someone was going to the bathroom, someone else in the sunroom could potentially open it and look right at them.  I thought that this was likely to happen to me when Ryan's friends were over.  So my dad got us a sweet deal on this frosted window.  (He is in the window business, its great knowing people who know people). 

For comparison purposes, here is the before and after (from different perspectives, but you get the idea).

Ryan calls it the smoking room.  He doesn't smoke, and there is definitely no smoking in our house, so I don't get it but whatever.  It makes him happy to say he is going to the smoking room and close the pocket door.  It's also nice to sit in and drink our coffee in the morning.  And another advantage is that I'm pretty sure it heats our whole house.  In the afternoon when the sun shines in it gets real hot!  This isn't an advantage in the summer, so we will have to see how that works.  We are thinking we might need blinds of some sort, but don't want anything that will take away from the room.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sunny Side Up - Part 1

So this is part one of the sunroom post.  When we bought the house, we weren't really sure what we would do with the sunroom.  It's not very wide, so it's kind of an awkward size.  The previous owners used it as a plant room I think, and they had a TV and a love seat out there.  We already have two rooms with TV's in them, so we didn't realy want another one.   

The pocket doors are a nice feature, because most of the time it can just be an extension of the kitchen, but they can be closed as well to separate it.  It gets real hot in there in the afternoon, so maybe the doors will prevent the heat from coming through the rest of the house.

We decided to extend the hardwood into the sunroom, so that it really felt connected tot he kitchen.  Ryan began pulling up the carpet and this is what he found.
That right there is some nice 80's carpet underneath our nice nicotine filled carpet. 
Then he had to scrape the underlay off the floor because it was so deteriorated from the sun and heat in the room.  I was glad I was working that day.

We also had to paint all the trim in that room.  I did actually contribute to that!  Below is a picture of some of the priming.  Take a look at the other pictures to see how much trim this sunroom had! We had to prime it and do a couple coats.  The priming took me basically a whole day.  And we still haven't actually done the trim around the doorway because we are waiting until we paint the door this summer.  We primed all of the trim in the house with regular primer (whereas we used fancy BIN primer for the walls to cover the stains and nicotine so they didn't bleed through).  We realized after painting the sunroom trim that BIN should have been used on it as well, because the white primer started to turn yellow.  With all the coats of paint though we haven't really noticed it since.  
So there we have it.  Those are basically most of the in progress pictures.  The next sunroom post will be sunnier with less 80's carpet!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Ya Ya We Got Spirit!

Since I was wee, I have been participating in Synchronized Skating.  I think I started when I was in Grade 3, and continued on for 10 years.  I was a bit off and on during university since I wasn't living at home most years, but this year, my sister and I decided it was time to make our return.

There is a team of girls that are our age, but they are super competitive, have multiple practices a week, and live and breathe synchro.  We just weren't up for that, so we joined the adult team. Buh Buh Buh.......(I hope you know the sound that I am making there.)
We stayed in a hotel...since I'm not in this picture I can post it

My sister - The blue eyeshadow makeup artist
The adult team has never been good.  They generally come in last.  This is because most adult teams have a small range of ages.  For example from 30-40.  This year, our team ranged from approximately 22 to 70ish? (I don't know how old the oldest skaters actually are).  Needless to say, once again we didn't really stand a chance.  But whatev Trev, it was fun (frustrating at times, but still fun). 
This weekend was our last competition of the year.  We go to three.  We came last at the first two.  But there were only 4 teams at this competition! We only had to beat one team.  We thought about tampering with their skates, but decided that wasn't a friendly thing to do. (Ya think?) Unfortunately, we were so behind in points I'm not sure that tampering would have even made a difference.  Despite this, we had our best score ever, and had 2 really good skates, so that's the best we could ask for. 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Choosing the Hardwood

This is a bit overdue, but since the hardwood will appear in most of the house posts, I thought it deserved it's own post.

Hardwood wasn't in our original plans, but then we found some at a good rate and decided that it was the best option for us.   It lasts longer than carpet, and would provide continuity throughout the house since it could be put in the living room, kitchen, hallway and sunroom.  Otherwise, we would have had different flooring in all of those areas, plus different carpet in the bedroom. 

At first we wanted to go light.  I'm not much of a cleaner, and light shows dirt the least.  But Ryan liked a mid range colour.  I wasn't fussy on it to be honest.  I thought it was a bit dull.  We brought home three samples to make our decision.
The lightest one is a hickory.  It was really interesting and had a lot of character.  There was the mid range and then at the last minute we liked the dark and brought it home as well.  The mid range and dark wood were both maple.  We knew we didn't want oak because it was too traditional.  We thought that the dark looked nicest with the couch, but in some of the pictures you could really see the dust, so we decided it wasn't for us. The hickory had an interesting feel but we didn't think that it fit the feel that we were going for, so we went with the mid range that I originally hadn't liked all that much.  It definitely grew on me.  I had just been used to hardwoods that had either a yellow or red tone, and this one is just a brown tone. 

We weren't sure whether we would have to paint the pocket doors (but really didn't want to), and it turns out that the flooring looks great with them! So the brown can stay!

Overall we are really happy with the floors.  They are fairly classic and should look good for years to come, but they are modern at the same time.  Every scratch and dent is still bothering me and I can't wait til the time when it doesn't!

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Case of the Missing Contact

Even though I just posted, I feel the need to share this immediately. 

Yesterday morning, I put my contacts in, and then sat down at the computer and realised I couldn't see the screen.  So I went back to the bathroom and realised that one was no longer there.  (Actually both were no longer there, I have a feeling this is a sure sign that you have been wearing your contacts for longer than a month and it's time to switch them).  So I found the one contact by looking all different directions, and eventually I could see the little bit of blue and pull it out.  But the other one was no where to be found.  I started to wonder if I was losing it and hadn't put it in my eye at all.  Maybe my eye hurt so much from me poking around in there and lifting up my eyelid.  So I put on my glasses and carried on. My eye hurt all day, and I was sure the contact was in there, but everything online told me to just wait and it would come out by itself.

So this morning I wake up, and my eye is kind of gunky (yum).  It kept hurting all day, but by this point I figured no way was there a contact in there, I probably had an eye infection.

So after my last post, I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and started to take off my makeup.  That's when I felt it.  I opened my eye and there it was! The missing contact! All rolled up in a ball but still in my eye!

Finding my missing contact might have been the best feeling in the world.  So here is what I have learnt from this:

1. Be more diligent in making sure I only wear my contacts for a month. 
2. Contacts cannot get lost behind your eye, impossible, so no need to overly panic that your brain is going to have a new friend.
3. Eventually, it will come out.  Some people on the interweb said it happened while they slept, some just popped out, for me I guess it was the rubbing my eye with makeup remover.

I'm probably more excited about this then anyone else, but it's all worth it if just one person reads this who has lost a contact in their eye and are afraid that it will never be seen or heard from again.

My China Cabinet

One of my favourite things about this house is the built in china cabinet.  It is in the dining room in the space over the stairs, and is just so practical.  It serves it's purpose without taking up a ton of room in my dining room!  I didn't mind the way it was, but Ryan thought it would look cleaner if it was white.  It smelt pretty badly like nicotine, so it was probably a good call. 

We will start with a before and after.  The before was taken when we did our walkthrough, so it is not our china in there! What an improvement eh?

So in preparation for my surprise party (I just wondered why Ryan was so frantic about getting everything done), he decided to redo the whole thing. 

He pulled out the old box, and put in a new white one that he made at work.  He made new doors too and bought some new glass for it. 

Once it was all finished up, my parents happily delivered all of the china that has been sitting in their basement since the wedding.

I think it looks awesome, and the white was a great choice.  It looks really sharp with my white dishes.  I need to get a little bit of colour in there still, but it's good enough for now!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Pinterest Challenge Failure

For all of those people waiting for a post for the past week (aka my mom), my internet has been down. This post was written on Wednesday....I really don't have an excuse for why I did not complete the challenge between Wednesday and Saturday.

I am a Pinterest Challenge Failure and it is upsetting.  Note to self, don't make a committment to get creative when:
a) You are not creative
b) You are too dang busy (I had one week, from last Wednesday to this Wednesday, I had an exam Saturday morning so nothing was done before that, Saturday I had a birthday party, Sunday was a write off, Monday was my birthday that left last night)

I did attempt to make something last night.  I tried to make this.  A dry erase calendar made with paint chips and a picture frame.  I have most of the items required, but was missing a ruler, so I could not for the life of me get proper squares cut out of my paint chips.  I'm still going to work on it, because I have bought a frame and bristol board and I can't stand the thought of spending that money for no reason.

So hopefully in the near future I can share my creation.

For future pinterest challenges, I am going to preplan, and find items that I really want to make and do it.  This one I kind of chose because I thought it was neat, but also easy enough to do in a week. (In a normal week, not in this past week).

I can share a Pinterest idea that I have started.  It's called the $5 savings plan.

Basically any time a $5 bill makes it into our hands, it goes into a jar.  It's an easy way to save money.  Was kind of difficult when I went to Tim Horton's the other day and they gave me 3 $5 bills.  All into the jar they went.  But hopefully at the end of the year we have a nice little clump of savings that we can buy something with or put towards a trip!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Hey It's My Birthday!

Well not today...Monday was my birthday.  So on Saturday night I went out with some girlfriends to Wild Wing for some delicious Gar-Par wings and pickled willies.  Then we were going to have a quiet girls night back at my place, watching a chick flick and playing catch phrase.

Well was I ever surprised when I got home to a driveway full of cars! This is my fourth surprise party, and I swear they keep doing it because I'm surprised every time.

Here are some highlights from the night:

It wasn't exactly the quiet night I had planned but it was still a lot of fun! Until my sister's friend/my baby bear wandered into my room at 8 am Sunday morning and said mama bear? are you awake yet? Um pretty sure last time I looked at the time it was 4:30 in the morning due to day light savings, so no I am not awake.
I'm still trying to make up for the lost sleep.  25 is too old for those shenanigans.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Guess What Time It Is!!!!!

Ever since I saw Sherry's last blog post on this, I have been excited for the day when I had my own blog and could take part.  You don't actually need a blog to do it, but I think it's more fun.  So I was pumped when this was the post over here today.

PINTEREST CHALLENGE TIME! If Sherry and Katie say do it, I will.  Ya that's right, I'm on a first name basis......ok not really at all. 

Basically for the pinterest challenge, you choose something that you have found on Pinterest and do it! Stop pinning and start doing!  Otherwise Pinterest is just a lot of great ideas that never make their way into your life.  I haven't decided what my challenge item will be yet, but when my 2 exams are finished this weekend and I have a life again, I will complete my first Pinterest challenge!  According to Katie Bower, I have only one week to complete this challenge.  But if I blog about it I'm committed right?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


One day, while I was shopping with maw maw (that's what we call my mom sometimes, as in maw maw from raising hope, if you haven't seen it you should, but note that my mom is nothing like maw maw, it's just funny to call her that)....distracted much? So anyways, we were shopping at Ikea and walking through the  light section, this beautiful light caught my eye.  I thought, well isn't that different, but super neat, I would love it in my house!  You know, one of those fixtures that catches people's attention.  We decided it would be just perfect for my kitchen!  I said at the time, Ryan is going to hate this light.  And he did. 
He didn't even want to put it up, and when he tried it was tres frustrating because some of the lights apparently don't come with the piece that attaches them to the ceiling (I googled it and found that tons of other people had the same issue).  But he is a genius, so he figured it out and got it all hooked up.  But we don't like it. 

It doesn't give off enough light for the kitchen, and the light reflects weirdly off of the metal and we were all seeing black dots for about half an hour.  You definitely can't look right at it.  Since the light reflects down, you can't even see the beauty that is the light.

So Ryan was right.  He wanted me to post that on the internet for the world to see.  I still like the light and am trying to come up with a new home for it.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

You Light Up My Life

I have never had to buy light fixtures before.  Ryan has….but the amount of thought that went into them was probably much lower than the amount of thought that I put into these.  (That's typically how things go with him, he walks in, finds what he is looking for and pays for it, I think things over for days, weeks or months it seems).

Ryan didn’t want to go to Home Depot, so I went alone.  Bad idea.  When I go shopping for things like this alone, I generally just stare at the options for 2 hours, while messaging and sending pictures to Ryan to get some assurance that my choices are ok.  
I wanted some continuity in the house, so I picked lights with the same finishes for the front entrance, hallway, sunroom and over the dining room table.  The antique finish with the antique shades.  I didn’t want to go overly modern.  I just got a regular boob light for the office and spare room, and at another point in time we picked out a ceiling fan light for our bedroom.
Then I started second guessing myself.  As much as I didn’t want everything to be too modern, was the finish that I chose too old fashioned?  Then I saw this light on and fell in love!

Unfortunately, its slightly over the price that I would like to pay for a dining room light.  Especially since the first light only cost us $89 and was on sale. 

After a lot of searching, I found a new light that I liked at Homesense, for $79!  You can't go wrong for that price.  It goes better with the modern kitchen light that I found at Ikea. 

But more on that light later....