fenced in

Monday, December 17, 2012

We decided to take advantage of the mild temperatures over the past couple of weeks to have a new fence and gate installed. It's something we weren't going to do originally, but to be honest, we wanted to clean up our yard a bit more and gate off the driveway so the kids could play in the yard without fear of them running onto the road. Plus we had a fence we loved and really miss at our old house and so we decided to use the same style for this one. Here are a few before/during shots.

View into our neighbour's yard who share our driveway
View on the other side of the yard
No offense to our neighbours (they're great people!) but we just didn't dig the chain fence
We had to get rid of a few branches to fit the fence right to the chain link. 

So, as you can see from the photo below, the only snag is that our neighbour to the north didn't want to change his fence so we're stuck with what we've got back there. When we stain everything, we're hoping this just blends in with everything else somehow. We're also planning on planting some grasses similar to what is on the deck (pic a few above) so hopefully that will help hide it as well. 

Not sure what colour we'll stain it but our last fence was black if you can believe it and we just loved it. It made the green garden pop (ugh I hate that word but it seemed appropriate for some reason).

So now that it's done, the snow can come... it's going to come in time for Christmas right? :)

giving the gift of photos

Monday, December 03, 2012

Four generations: my grandmother, Leo, me and my mom
Some of my favourite gifts to give in the past have been photos. They're so easy and they mean so much to the giver and the recipient. I love taking photos from the past year to give to my Mom or Dad so they can keep that special moment with their grandkids with them for years to come on their mantel.

Grandpa and Mila in those delicate first couple weeks
Grandmaman and Mila in the hospital
My sister Kaite with Mila
This year, if I can get my butt in gear, I'm hoping to get some photo books made for the same purpose. I love the idea of having all of those special moments in a nice coffee table book. I was thinking of making an Instagram book, but I might just keep it classic - we'll see.

If you're thinking of getting a photo book too, Blurb is offering an amazing 25% discount off your total book order from now through December 12*. Just enter GIFTIDEA in the promo box when you check out. 

So how about you? Thinking of making a photo book to give this year?

*Fine Print: Offer valid through December 12, 2012 (11:59 p.m. local time). A 25% discount is applied toward your product total with a minimum order of 1 unit or more. Maximum discount is CAD $150 off product total. Valid for printed books only. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders. 

Note that December 10th is the last day to order to get your books by December 24!

quick gift tag diy

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I was organizing my tea this morning and emptied out a Yogi tea box. Instead of throwing it out I decided to do something fun with it. Make a gift tag!

Have you ever noticed the inside of the box? It's so pretty! I was actually thinking of cutting out one of the squares to frame. But since Christmas is around the corner I opted to go the gift tag route.

Here's what you need:

  • Empty Yogi tea box
  • Exacto knife
  • Ruler
  • Cutting board
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon

Directions: Cut into any shape you like, punch a hole and voila!

Pretty cute!

the party

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our party for Leo kind of turned into an adult party... I didn't really do much for the kids: I put out some Annie's Bunny crackers and printed some colouring pages that I forgot to put out. But the kids always seem to have fun anyway. 

We went for a cars & trucks kind of theme. I ordered a banner and cupcake toppers from Little Birdie Prints from Etsy. I was going to make my own but it was taking too long and I'm impatient...

I made these cupcakes (so good!!) that I found on Pinterest. I've never made icing before and I cannot believe that's basically tons of butter and sugar. Yikes! Oh well, good thing I don't make these very often!
Doesn't our cat look enthused?

It was a fun day to share with everyone!

and the boy is two!

Monday, November 26, 2012

 Wow... I'm tired. This weekend was Leo's birthday weekend and we had friends and family over since Thursday. It was a busy few days but fun as well.

Thursday was Leo's actual birthday so Mark took the day off and we headed to the zoo. I highly recommend going on a week day - no one is there!

I didn't think any of the animals would be out because the weather is getting cooler but we were in luck! Leo got to see all of the animals he's seen for the past two years in his room in real life. He was pretty excited.

Later that day I was able to snap a few pics of the little man as a two-year-old.

I can't believe he's two already! A little then and now...

I'll share a few pics later this week from his party. Happy Monday! I'm off to get some more coffee...

and the fabric winner is...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Waverly Cross Section!

I'll be honest, I prefer the Geo Maze, but I don't think the colour is right (might look more brown next to my grey chair), it was significantly more expensive than the Cross Section, and the Cross Section description says it has a soil and stain resistant finish, very important for a family with kids and a furry cat.

So that's the winner for my sunroom/office bench! I should get it this week and then I'll get to work!

Happy week!

customer service award - Birds & Beans

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ok so I'm not really giving Birds & Beans a physical award, but I have to tell you this place just upped its customer service a notch.

Last week I got a message on Facebook from Madeleine, the owner of Birds & Beans, asking me if I had purchased decaf coffee beans that day. The first thing I thought was: "How on earth did she know that? She wasn't in the store when I was there!" I replied yes, that I had in fact bought decaf. Well it turns out the decaf I bought was mislabelled: it was actually caffeinated. I had a latte when I went in to get the beans and after awhile my veins were telling me that it wasn't decaf, so must have been the same batch.

Anyhow, Madeleine offered to switch it for me. I offered to come in the next day to make the switch, but instead, she drove it to my house. On a Friday night.

I say whaaa?

That, my friends, is customer service.

I asked her how she knew I had bought decaf beans that day and she told me she went through the receipts, found the times that the decaf buyers were in the cafe and then went to the security camera to see who was there at that time. I had been conversing with her on Facebook earlier in the year about making an almond milk latte, so she recognized me and had my information already (plus I'm in there all the time). Nothing like a little investigative research to get the job done!

So thanks to Birds & Beans I wasn't up all hours of the night with a baby as a result of drinking full-caf coffee. My veins thank you.

miss mila - three months

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Man is it just me or is time seriously flying by? I can't get over it to be honest. I have to check a million times that, yes it is in fact the 14th of the month and yes, Mila is another month older.

So far Mila is one happy baby. She still has a bit of her shrill crying going on (I have a bit of a ear drum impairment to prove it), but over all she's full of smiles. She's really starting to coo and 'talk' to us which is cute and I even think she's starting to teethe! She can't get enough hand-to-mouth action.

Mila is an excellent sleeper... once she goes down. Some nights it takes an hour and a half to get her down but others she'll go down right away. Once she's asleep, she doesn't wake up until 4-4:30 which has been amazing for my beauty rest. Leo was never like that so I just hope she keeps it up.

So Happy Three Months Miss Mila - here's to another fun month!

Get more Mila here: one month | two months

new project: sunroom office

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's time to work on my next project - the sunroom! It's been a bit of a sore spot because it always seems to be the gathering place for everything that doesn't fit anywhere else. I'm always trying to keep stuff to a minimum, but it never seems to work. It's where I work so I'm looking to make it a place that's fun and inviting.

I'm pretty sure I know the culprit - the bench! 

It always looks messy because I've been using it as a shelf for some of my papers and things, but I'm ready to make a change. I'm going to put a cushion on it (a la this bench from I Heart Organizing) with pillows and find somewhere else for all the stuff (it's questionable I even need this stuff!).

I also want to get this room cleaned up because you can see it from the dining room so something a bit more inviting would be nice.

A couple more shots of the really neat space :).

I want to keep the bench fabric pretty neutral and I'll dress it up with some pillows. Here are some options from Tonic Living I'm looking at:

Courtyard, Oyster
Cross Section, Charcoal
Geo Maze, Ash
Graphic Fret, Flax
Small Ikat Dot, Buff
What do you think? What would you choose? Any others from the site? The Geo Maze, Ash and Courtyard, Oyster are speaking to me, but I'd love to know your thoughts!

ps-Thanks to Shannon for giving me some tips on taking pictures of windows! Getting there!

my pick: 2013 calendar

Friday, November 09, 2012

I honestly can't believe we're almost into 2013! Where did the year go? Man time flies when you're chasing after kids...

With the New Year comes a new calendar which I love. I don't know why I love them so much - maybe it's just fun to start a new year?? Sometimes I'll get a calendar on my own or sometimes my Mom will give me a fun one.

A couple years ago I got a Labokoff calendar and I loved it. I'm planning on getting one again for 2013.
All images above from Labokoff
I'm a big fan of the artwork and the colours which fit with our style. I typically put the calendars in our kitchen which is grey and white; these calendars just adds that extra hit of colour.

I also love that I can use the art after the year is over. When we added the bathroom to the basement, I needed a piece of art so I took one of my favourite months from the 2010 calendar and framed it in a simple silver Ikea frame. The colour was a perfect fit.

Whatever calendar you choose, have fun with them. There are so many cool artists to choose from - it's a great way to add something fun and different to your home.

Happy Friday!
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