leo's first year: photobook

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My best friend C had a great idea after her first-born turned a year old: make a photobook of all the pics and milestones of her daughter's first year. I love the idea, especially because no one seems to print photos anymore! Well I do print some of them and then they stay in the envelope until I find a frame or somewhere to put them.

Anyway, I'm a bit of a Grouponer (just a bit, I'm not crazy about it or anything. So what if I got a Groupon for a night out for 6 to go bowling - I thought it would be fun!). Well Photobook has deals all the time for photobooks (duh), so I snagged one to make a book for little guy. Basically the deal was $35 I think for a book worth $115 - pretty good deal if you ask me!

(NOTE: If you're going to do this, just keep note of the timing of when you get the Groupon. The deals typically last a year - so that means you have a year to make your book. That also means you don't want to be buying your book when you're 8 months pregnant because you're going to have to finish the book before your mini-me is a year old - defeats the purpose!)
When it was time (and I wasn't propping my eyes open with toothpicks anymore) I went through all my photos on the computer and made a folder for the photobook. I then downloaded the program from the site and spent about 3 months procrastinating working on the book. It actually takes some thought as to where you want the photos to go. There are cheesy backgrounds you can use. I started off with a white background, but Mark talked me into doing black and I like it much better.

After adding my photos and playing around with the layout, I came up with an over all look that the hubs and are pretty happy with. It helps that I used some photos from family photo shoot care of our amazingly talented friend Jennifer Kirk. It looks so professional (well her pics do ;)).

Here are more shots of the inside of the book - I know it's likely weird to look at pictures of pictures but it's fun at the same time right?
Ahh that last pic is so sweet - one of my favourites...

So there you have it! My book of Leo's first year. I'll likely do one for the new babes too but have to wait until she gets here!

(fyi - I didn't work with Photobook for this post - it's all me! Oh and my crazy Groupon habit)

weekend recap + blogger fun

Monday, May 28, 2012

This past weekend was another really fun one thanks to a couple things: my afternoon on Saturday with group of fun bloggers and a fun afternoon with my sisters at Kensington Market for Pedestrian Sunday.

1. Bloggers extrodinare: Jennifer Flores & Lindsay Stephenson getting things started at BlogPodium which was at the very cool Arcadian Loft downtown Toronto.
2. Nicole Balch from Making It Lovely - the keynote speaker and a super down-to-earth chick
3. My BlogPodium attire
4. One of my favourite swag items - jelly beans!
5. Another awesome grab - a new mug from Gluckstein Home
6 - 10. Hanging with the fam in Kensington Market

Hope you had a great weekend y'all!

porch pillows part deux

Friday, May 25, 2012

Last night while the hubs was out for a bike ride, I set up my sewing machine on the dining room table, flipped on the computer to watch a few episodes of Glee and got started on my new porch pillows. 

A couple years ago I made pillows using some Ikea fabric I found for $4.99 a yard (so cheap!), but I left them out at night and some rascals got their nails into them. Plus they faded (the pillows, not the rascals).

I ordered the fabric from Tonic Living on Tuesday and got it in the mail yesterday - amazing. I love ordering from local companies!

Just realized this pic is a bit wacky - I feel like I'm a bit lopsided when looking at it!
I wanted something a bit brighter for summer so I thought I'd have some fun with the porch. I'm really craving colour around this house since everything is grey! The fabric is rated for the outdoors so they shouldn't fade and hopefully the little rascals will stay away. 

I've been keeping my eyes open for a little table to fit between the chairs for awhile now but haven't seen one I quite like yet.

Speaking of rascals... this is what I found in the kitchen when I came in from taking my photos. 

The little bum.

garage progress

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One of the projects 'we' (aka Mark) did over the weekend was paint the garage. We weren't sure what to do with it since we're planning a complete exterior overhaul in the next 3-4 years; basically we just wanted to clean it up a bit so we could live with it. It wasn't really bothering me, but Mark hated the yellow and wanted to clean up the stucco as much as possible.

The first step was to sand the whole garage down and parge the cracks in the existing stucco. When we moved in, there were vines all over the place, pretty much covering the side and the door. We aren't opposed to vines, but they make painting a bit impossible so we got rid of them last summer. There were still vine bits however that we had to sand down.

Mark then got started on painting. We chose a pretty neutral pallet (reminds me a bit of chocolate milk!) mainly because we wanted something that would match our brick, but also something that was in-line with the rest of the homes on our street since you can see the garage from the street (I realized as I was writing this that the neighbour who shares the driveway with us has a bright pinky-red garage door [you can kind of see it through the fence to the right above], but I digress...).

Door & window frame

Upper portion (triangle)

Body of the garage

(sheesh these all look the same here!)

These weren't our first choices to be honest, but Mark got a deal on Benjamin Moore paint so we had to match what we chose as close as possible.

Once Mark finished the door and started the trim we quickly realized that they were very close in colour - like too close. But we were lazy and didn't feel like going to get more paint, so he kept painting...

We decided to paint the trim and the top middle section the same colour, which included the window frame, but it wasn't really doing much for us so we painted out the window frame the same colour as the door.

So here's where we left off. The next step will be to paint the rest of the garage in Inukshuk (there's a small splotch painted on the left of the door). Honestly, we aren't entirely sure of this look, but it's growing on us. Anything is better than the yellow that was there!

What do you think? What colours would you have used?

one point five

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mr. Leo turned 18 months yesterday...really??? Yikes that means I only have just over two months left with one kid!

Every parent says this, but he has changed so much since his first birthday. He still isn't a great eater, but I'm working on it!

  • Trucks! Apparently everything sounds like "Daddy's truck" to him: Garbage truck (Daddy's TRAU!), Fire truck (Daddy's TRAU!) Daddy's truck (Daddy's TRAU"), diggers ("diggeuurrr"), cars ("CRAR!"). These are capitalized because he yells them.
  • Walking down the sidewalk towards the busy end of the street. He's trying to give me a heart attack already!
  • The park: slides and swings are his faves
  • Art: Leo seems to like drawing and painting at daycare and the drop in. I have the quite the little collection already.
  • Books: He takes after mommy on this one - he loves to read!
  • Toast ("Toooeee"), blueberries, smoothies, crackers ("cwracrewww")
  • Shoes - he has more shoes than I do already thanks to some great handmedowns from his cousins! He's not wearing shoes in this pic, but this is quite rare - the first word out of his mouth after "Gualk!" (milk), in the morning is "CHEEWWW" (shoe).
  • Hats
  • Eating anything I really want him to eat at the time we're eating it. Please tell me what kid doesn't like pasta, cheese, or pizza? Now that I write this down he does seem to like healthier things more - maybe I shouldn't complain!
  • Getting his diaper changed. I'm trying to get him to tell me when he poos and pees, but he doesn't get it yet. He's still a bit young, but I thought I'd start ;).
I can't really think of many more dislikes to be honest - he's a pretty content kid all around!

Happy 1/2 Birthday Big Guy! Here's to another six months and hope that you don't go crazy terrible twos on me as soon as your sister gets here!

photos not working

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just was told my photos aren't loading in IE! Who knew? I don't use it and figure no one does anymore but if I look at my stats it turns out a lot of people do :). I'll see if I can figure it out. Until then, get on Firefox yo! ;)


long weekend in pictures

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wasn't this weekend fabulous!? The weather was perfect in every way and I really don't want it to end... here is our weekend in pictures during these amazing four days:

1. fabric for the baby from fabricland || 2. love letter on the kiddie slide at the park || 3. trying to catch leo before he runs off || 4. dining al fresco all weekend || 5. clock project for the baby's room [ran out of sticks!] || 6. 29 weeks! || 7. leo's makeshift water table || 8. painting the garage! || 9. reading with my little guy in the back yard || 10. tractors! || 11. Q & A for Margarita at the TIFF Bell Lightbox [my friend's sister produced it and my sister was the line producer] || 12. my sister and leo at Sunnyside Park for my other sister's birthday picnic brunch. || 13. breakfast at Cora's [not my most favourite breakfast place, but it's kid-friendly and leo practically ate his whole breakfast! This is unheard of] || 14. veggies in the driveway [it's the only place that gets enough sun]. || 15. the flower box I made - hope the plants get bigger!

Hope you had a great weekend!

small things

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sometimes it's the small things that make me the most happy. Yesterday I headed out the door to grab something for lunch and I ended up at Staples. After revealing the disaster nursery the other day I wanted to get started organizing the filing cabinet in the room. While at Staples I found a wall of Martha Stewart fun and grabbed a cute little document hanger thingamabob to hold all the crap we keep at the entrance into the kitchen.

I didn't take a before shot (I didn't think you needed to see more mess!), but here's the after. Ahhh I love how everything is off the counter and out of the way and the colour kind of blends in with the backsplash.

Neat and tidy.

I also picked up a bigger doc hanger for my take out menus! I got the idea from Maillardville Manor. Such a great idea. Now I just have to tackle the rest of the junk drawer :).

mmm pizza.

nursery progress

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My best friend C was over the other week and the next day she mentioned that she didn't get to see the nursery while she was over and "How was the progress?"

"Wow, you didn't get to see it?" I replied? "It's done! I can't believe I didn't mention it!"

So I thought, why not show YOU the nursery progress!


This room has never been organized. When we moved in, it was my sewing room, but then I didn't really like sewing in here because I prefer being on the main floor of the house doing stuff. It's also a spare bedroom. We have another nicer spare bedroom, so this is the one that gets all the crappy leftovers from my university days.

It's also (obviously) the catch-all for everything.

Last night I decided to start organizing in there and this is the result after an hour or so:

I know it may not seem like there's much of a difference, I did a lot I swear! Here's what I did:
  • Organized most of my baby clothes into two piles: 1. clothes that could possibly pass on a little girl baby; 2. BOY clothes that I've put in a bin to put in the garage a] in case I don't in fact have a girl baby for whatever reason and b] in the event that we decide to have a third kid and it is a boy (yes I know I'm crazy to be thinking like this).
  • I also had a bunch of maternity clothes in boxes and bags in this room which was really annoying me so I went through those and switched out all of my pre-baby clothes so I don't get annoyed with myself every morning when I try to find a shirt to wear.
  • Moved all of the books from this shelf to the other spare room bed (yes now the other room is starting to look like this room but at least there is a place for those books on a shelf in that room)
  • Moved the ironing board and iron to the spare room. I bought a nifty hanger to store it on the inside door of the closet.
Ok so here's the list of things I need to do:

  • Move the filing cabinet to the spare room (why we have a filing cabinet this size in the first place is beyond me!) and make a cover for it if time permits.
  • Organize my fabric and store in the filing cabinet like this!
  • Figure out if my sister needs her bed back/put it in storage.
  • Paint the room. I was going to leave it as is, but it's more of a bluey grey and I'm not sure it's going to go with the colours I'm thinking of using.
  • Set up the crib and get a mattress
  • Make a crib sheet (My friend C is giving me her crib skirt which just happens to match my colour scheme!).
  • Figure out curtains and rods (I got these from Ikea, but I don't think they're going to work after all).
  • Paint the side table and get some new legs.
  • Have the rug I have rolled up in there cleaned and figure out if it will work in the room.
  • Get a dresser!
  • Rework a mirror I painted that didn't work out.
  • Make some artwork with some mini canvases I've had forever.
  • Get a fun light for the room
Ok I need to stop making this list and get to work! Wow. Lots to do.

it's 'beer' o'clock!

Friday, May 11, 2012

oh how I miss beer in the summer! At least this has bubbles.

Have a great weekend y'all!

{random fun}

Thursday, May 10, 2012


One of these things just doesn't belong...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Last night after BodyFlow (yes I'm the only mega pregnant woman doing this class at the moment) I decided to skip over to Homesense to check out the goods. I came home with these cute elephant book ends for the baby's room.

Notice a book that probably shouldn't be there?? I swear to you I just pulled whatever books were on Leo's shelf for this pic...

I got that book from my sister in a Christmas exchange and somehow it ended up in Leo's book collection - oops! Might as well start him early?? :\

weekend: part 2 - save high park zoo!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

My sisters and I wanted to have brunch with my mom this past weekend so we decided to go to Grenadier Cafe in High Park and then check out the zoo.

Me with my sisters Stacey and Kaite

First off: I was super surprised to find the Cafe half empty. I thought for sure it would be packed at 10, but there was tons of room on the patio where we ate. And the food was really good! Leo threw his on the floor, but that's no surprise. In fact, he was super grumpy and basically just walked around the patio talking to people and going up and down the stairs...


...playing with Daddy... everything but eating...

After brunch, we walked over to the zoo. If you live in Toronto, you've likely heard that it'll be closing in June unless they can raise enough money to save it. So sad.

We strolled Leo around to check out the animals. He didn't have much of a reaction to be honest.

He did look a little startled to see the lama up close...

Whoa Lama

Looking as started as a 17-month-old looks when he's really grumpy.

After the zoo, we walked over to a plant sale they have every year. I believe this year the money raised is going towards the zoo. I was so happy to see that some of the cherry blossoms were still out in full force. It was gorgeous!

So that was my weekend!

As a bit of a side note, today is Mark's and my wedding anniversary! We got hitched 4 years ago which I honestly can't believe. Seems WAY longer! ;)

Happy Tuesday!
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