task list (aka getting sh*t done)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I get questions now and again about how I get so much stuff done around the house. I have two kids who are 20 months apart, how do I have time to do X?

The honest truth is that I have no idea. Sometimes a weird thing in my brain takes over and when I come to stuff is done - ha! This happened once when I made a slip cover for one of my chairs. I have no idea how I did it, I just know that I was watching Anaconda one Sunday afternoon and by the time the movie was over, I had a new chair cover.

Even though I do tend to get a lot of things done, I'm still not overly efficient with my time (hello Internet time waster!). So a few weeks ago I was excited to discover the Reminders button on my iPhone. Yes I know it's just a task list (and I'm likely the last to know about it), but I'm not really a list maker and this one looked like it would be easy and fun to use.

As I think of things to do in my head, I add them to the list. It could be anything. You can see from my list that I have "Glue bottom to blue cup" (one of Leo's sippy cups needs fixing) so it literally could be anything. When I have five extra minutes, I look at my list and see what can be done in that five minutes. Then I check it off which is the best part!

Anyway I feel way more organized this way for some reason. It helps me feel like I'm accomplishing things throughout the day.

Of course, I could always just take a picture of my chalk board lists too which is what I did this morning on my way to the grocery store ;).

How do you keep things under control? Are you a list maker? Don't you just love checking things off?

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organization domination - the bedroom

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Monday y'all? Yes I say happy because it has to be a good week around here. Last week was not fun. Let's see. I had a touch of the flu, threw out my back and capped it off with a little cold. Thankfully the flu and cold were not as bad as what I've been hearing is going around, but it still sucked. And sucks even more when you have to take care of two kids! I'm lucky that Mark works close to home and was able to come home to help out.


Because last week was such a flop, I got into high gear with organizing over the weekend to start this week off right. 

Aww poor empty frame! Need a pic for that one!
Nothing makes me happier than starting off a week with a clean house, so when I was dusting the bedroom yesterday I decided to switch things up a bit. I don't have a before pic, but just picture a million things on the dresser and side tables and piles of clothes on the chair. I moved a few things here and there and I'm pretty happy with how it's looking. It just feels a bit more serene.

Here's the thing: there is a lot of brown in this room (aka matchy matchy furniture) so I'm going to see what I can do about softening it up a bit. I can't paint it, but I do have some ideas on accomplishing this.

I also want to get that nice little chair in the corner reupholstered and I've got my eye out for a new duvet cover. I want something a bit lighter.

Got any plans for your bedroom?

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Sunroom revamp: the bench

Monday, January 21, 2013

Good afternoon friends!

I certainly hope my Monday afternoon is better than my morning. The little folks in this house are sick and grumpy and it's making me grumpy! Mila is currently on her third nap and I'm pretty sure Leo has an imaginary friend because he's yelling "MINE!" from his crib. Not sure who's trying to take his toys...

But I'll tell you one thing that's making up for it - my bench!

Remember this bad boy? 

Yes. Pretty awful. I had everything but the kitchen sink shoved in there and it was proving to be a major eye sore inside and out. We don't have blinds in this room yet, so every time I would walk by I could see all the junk from the outside too - not nice!

Anyway I made a plan which forced me to clean up the room and organize. I bought some nice fabric from Tonic Living, along with a long piece of MDF and foam and stapled away. 


I got a sweet deal on baskets which was perfect timing - I bought some last week at Ikea and they were about two inches too long. These were $3.99 at Canadian Tire this past weekend and fit perfect. I even bought two extra for Mila's room.

Things are looking up in this room! I don't even know what to do with the cleanliness to be honest - what to do with all this floor (hmmm maybe a rug...)?

I'm currently waiting for some fabric I purchased for a bench pillow and I'm also working on a few other details on the other side of the room.

I will also be requiring a new light fixture since the one there now is a ceiling fan from the 1960s and doesn't work due to faulty electrical wires.

I'll show you the whole thing soon!

Makers and Eaters Unite: 100 farmers, 1 city

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So I don't talk about this too much on this blog, but if there's one thing you should know about me, is that I'm pretty passionate about food and what goes into the ol' bod. Included in that is a love for eating local. The problem is that eating local and organic is not readily available to everyone in this city.

I just heard about a very cool project called Makers and Eaters Unite: 100 farmers, 1 city. Fresh City Farms, the organization behind this project, aims to get 100 farmers growing one million pounds of organic produce in Toronto within the next two years. It's the ultimate urban farming project.

But in order to do this they need our help. They're asking for as little as $1 to get their project funded and going. One buck!

I think we'll be happy we contributed to this cause over the next several years as food prices begin to soar - we'll be able to easily get yummy food from our own backyard.

Watch the video above and learn more here.

Oh and don't forget to eat your fruits and veggies!

miss mila - five months

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mark says she looks like she's doing The Sprinkler
Miss Mila turned five months old yesterday. As I write that I can't believe it, but really the last month seemed a bit slower than the others. She's still growing up too fast!

Things of note are that she's really starting to become more and more vocal. I call her my little Taradactle - she's got quite the lungs! I'm sure she'll start talking early like her brother. If that's the case, I probably won't get a word in edgewise...

She's pretty close to rolling over, but hasn't quite figured it out yet. She's also starting to like the bumbo a bit more. Typically she lasts five minutes and starts to yell in her little dinosaur voice that she wants out now!

As far as sleeping... she was waking up a bit more in the past couple weeks, but I think she's starting to get back into normal routines. We'll see about that!

Well that's about it! They don't do much at this age that's for sure! You realize that after having an active two-year-old.

Take care and be well!

I didn't post last month's photo because it was the same day of that horrible shooting in Connecticut and I just didn't feel right posting it. So here is her four month photo.

the twelve dates project

Monday, January 14, 2013

This Christmas, the hubster and I decided not to buy each other gifts. The reality is that we do this every year (well we're supposed to do this every year... last year he surprised me with a diamond pendant necklace.). This year we decided that in lieu of gifts, we'd give each other dates, since, like many new parents, we're severely lacking in the dates department.

I called it the Twelve Date Project. We each had to come up with a date a month and although it would be tough for us to go on two dates a month, we'd at least have some nice ideas to run with.

I presented my dates in this little book fashion. I used Pixlr to create 12 cards and stuck them together with a ribbon. It's really small; something Mark can put in his pocket so he can remember our dates!

So there you have it! A very cool way to celebrate just being together and hanging out.

small things: taking off the french doors

Friday, January 11, 2013

We had a few people over on New Year's Eve and we were discussing various things and our French doors came up in conversation. They haven't really bothered me too much, but I haven't really loved them either. First off, the left one doesn't close all the way so we've had to prop it open in front of the side table and they don't look balanced. Also they are really old and have been painted over a million times, so they didn't look great. 

One friend suggested I just take them off - why not? So the next day we decided to take them off to give it a try. It looked pretty bare at first but with a few picture changes and some time to get used to the space, I'm rather liking it!

And now we can actually see the table and I can have fun with little vignettes (if I ever get around to it!).

Now to just find some darn pillows! It's starting to be an issue!

ps- sorry for all the wonky photos and colours - I'm the worst at taking photos at the right time and just take them on the fly!

mudroom touch-up

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hi folks! I wanted to share another quickie project that we managed to get done over the holidays and that's the window frame in the mudroom. It's been on the house list since 2011, so I was pretty happy to get it finished.

I have to admit that the pictures in this post are deceiving. Personally when I'm looking at the photo above I prefer it to my after shots and that's mainly because the before photo was taken when the room was empty (a rarity these days!) and the after shot is smack in the middle of Christmas chaos, so the room is pretty messy.


There's the before up there...

And the after!

 Now this window is pretty big for the size of the room and the frame makes it look even bigger, but we wanted to mimic the style of the bathroom door frame which is directly across from the window.

It makes such a big difference. Just cleans it up (when the room is clean of course!).

Next up is a nice roman blind. Who knows when I'll get to that!

chickpea flatbread with onions and rosemary

Sunday, January 06, 2013

I hearby introduce you to one of the easiest and yummiest flatbreads known to humankind. This recipe is from the book Food Matters, by Mark Bittman and I made some this morning for a little brunch I had with my sisters. I took the photo for my January 6th 365 project.

When I posted the photo, a couple of people wanted the recipe, so I hope Mr. Bittman doesn't mind that I relay it here (maybe it will help if I tell you all to buy the book because there are some yummy recipes in it!). You're going to laugh at how simple it is.

Chickpea Flatbread with Onion and Rosemary
(Or Easy Whole Grain Flatbread which is what it's called in the book)

  • 1 cup of chickpea flour (also called garbanzo flour or besan)*
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons or so of coconut oil
  • 1/2 a large onion, thinly sliced (Mr. Bittman says this is optional, but I highly suggest you use it)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves (also optional, but why would you leave it out?)

1. Put the flour in a bowl, add salt and slowly add 1.5 cups of water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Cover with a towel and let is sit while your oven heats, or for as long as 12 hours. The batter should be the consistency of thin pancake batter.

2. If you're making this right away, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the oil, onions and rosemary to a cast iron (or oven proof) pan and put it in the oven to heat up until you start to smell the rosemary and onions. About 5-7 mins or so. Just keep an eye on it. Remove the pan (make sure you're wearing your oven mitt!) and set it on top of the stove until the oven is ready.

3. Once the oven is ready, add the batter to the pan and swish around the onions and rosemary for equal distribution in the batter. Then return the pan to the oven.

4. Bake for 30-40 mins depending on the size of your pan and the heat of your oven. Mine was done in about 35 mins (my pan is about 10 inches). The bread should be slightly browned, firm and crisp around the edges and will release easily from the pan when it's done. Let it rest for a few minutes and then cut it into wedges to devour.

You honestly don't need a dip or other accompaniment for this - it's delicious on its own - but I'm sure it would be yummy topped with roasted tomatoes or peppers. Oh how I wish I had some left!

The recipe also gives an option for using this as a pizza crust which I want to try soon, as well as one for a custardy type dish. Get the book to try them all out!

*You don't need to use chickpea flour for this recipe (you can also use whole wheat, cornmeal or buckwheat), but I think it truly adds to the flavour of the flatbread and it is an excellent source of protein since chickpeas are legumes and not a grain. Win-win in my book!

Try it and out and let me know if you liked it!

365 photos

Friday, January 04, 2013

I'm a bit late to the whole 365 photo deal, but my mommy group here along the lakeshore is doing it so I thought I'd tag along for fun.

Here are the first four shots of the year.

I'm just posting them on facebook so if you want to follow along, the album is public.

Happy Friday!

powder room revamp

Thursday, January 03, 2013

As I mentioned yesterday, we were able to do a quick and dirty revamp of our powder room just before Christmas. I'm so excited to get this done. The room is COLD people... as in cold temperature because it's on an outside wall and even though there's a radiator in the bathroom, it's still cold on the tushie. Darn old homes...

Anyway I thought that by revamping the room it would help make it feel warm. 

Here's the pic rundown:

Doesn't it just look cold in there???

And the after - along with our Christmas decorations - yay!

I chose the colour at lightening speed! We knew the bottom was going to be white (I don't know what white it is so don't ask!) and for the upper portion, I wanted something dark, warm and brown/grey. I did a search on the Benjamin Moore site for brown/grey and found Eagle Rock. I love it! I kind of tricked the hubster because really... it's grey...like the rest of the house. But because I told him it was brown/grey he was ok with it. Truthfully it is different from the other greys, but it's not far off.

Also I didn't show it in the pic, but we painted the ceiling too which really ups the coziness factor. It's kind of a big powder room so it helps it feel a bit smaller. 

The only thing left to do is get a light for the room and I'm leaning toward a star pendant. I think it will glimmer on the ceiling!

Well that's it! Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Well that pretty much flew by didn't it? One second I'm scrambling to get some gifts wrapped and today I'm polishing off a box of Pot of Gold.


I think Mark and I decided to get all of our hosting out in one week because we did a lot of it. Christmas Eve we hosted a neighbour visit, we had 14 people for Christmas dinner the next day, then came an unexpected break over the next two days due to the snow storm, but reconvened on the 30th for a dinner with my dad and his wife. Then we decided, hey why don't we have a few people over for New Years Eve? Don't get me wrong... it was all fun. But somehow it went by in a flash!

So here we are today. The hubster has gone back to work. We had a play date this morning and now the  kidlets are sleeping and I decided to write something in this darn blog.

Why not see what I got accomplished from 2012 and see what's on tap for the big '13?

Let's see:

Last year I wanted to add some finishing touches to the main floor powder room: Guess what? This is DONE! Well almost done, but if you can believe it, we got 99% of it done a few days before Christmas. It wasn't even something we were going to do right now, but the guy who built our fence said he could do it in a day, so why not? Pics to come soon!

Also on the list were some finishing touches to our bedroom: Not done. We've done a couple things here and there but nothing that really makes a big difference yet.

A relaunch of my etsy shop was another addition to the list last year. I kind of started to do this with some pillows I made, but I just wasn't feeling it. Some of the pillows are now on my couch and I rather like them there. We'll see if I come back to this. I kind of like sewing on an ad hoc basis and not having pressure to fill a shop. Maybe one day. I do, however, want to sew some things this year for myself so we'll see what fun projects I can come up with.

The last thing on the list was to get some photos framed around the house. I did manage to do this in the basement:

Was that really this year? Man seems like a long time ago! I also have some frames around the rest of the house that I'll share later.

One other thing that wasn't on the list was my office/sunroom! It's almost done. The bench is done and new shelves are up! I'm just waiting to get some pillows and get all the Christmas crap outta there...because of course it was a catch-all for everything over the holidays.

Ok so what's up for 2013?

Just a couple things:

1. A place for everything: Since cleaning out (for the most part) my office, I've decided that this year will be the year of organization. We're well on track for getting things organized, but I really want to put an effort into it this year.

2. Going Veg: I've decided that I'd like to try to be a vegetarian - Mark is on board with this too which is great. We watched a movie over the holidays called Vegucated that literally had me in tears (mostly hormones I'm sure!!) and it's really making me rethink my meat-eating choices. It won't be hard at home - we don't really cook a lot of meat dishes although it does make it more challenging to come up with dinner ideas sometimes! We'll see. We might just keep it as a 'Week Day Veg' type thing where we're vegetarian at home and eat whatever is offered to us when eating with friends and family.

3. On a related note, I want to become a better cook: I love cooking and looking up ideas for cooking, but I'm not a great cook. My cooking lacks flavour many times and it's something I want to change.

4. Get Leo potty-trained: It's a biggie, but I'm really hoping to get this done in the first half of the year.

So those are the big goals to obtain, but I think I can do it!

What are you going to do this year?
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