Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Spring Entry Way {...and a bucket list}

It is finally here.


I feel like Olaf from "Frozen" and want to start busting out a song about....

Bees a-buzzin', kissable dandelion fuzz
And I'll be doin' whatever snow does in springggggg
A drink in my hand, my snow up against the burning sand
Probably getting gorgeously tanned in springggggggg

I'll finally see a summer breeze, blow away a winter storm
And find out what happens to solid water when it gets warm!
And I can't wait to see, what my buddies all think of me
Just imagine how much cooler I'll be in

Okay Okay, I will stop.

Clearly I have a young daughter at home and I have just given away what our favorite movie is.

But, truly, I could not be happier about the arrival of longer days and sunlight on top of that!

Yesterday was the first day of Spring and it was a gorgeous one. The sun was shining, it was a Friday, and I was cruising in my Mom-mobile with the sun roof open feeling all cool and happy and stuff.

Since we are fully embracing the changing of the season around here by burning all the winter hats and singleton mitts, I felt like it was only appropriate to give our little entry way a little spring time flare.

First up I filled my over sized glass seeded jars with moss balls, (not to be mistaken with moth balls) and I love how they effortlessly bring the color green indoors before we actually grow any green outdoors.

I hung these pretty,wooden floral wreaths a few weeks ago and I am so happy that I waited for them to go half price so I would have an excuse to snap up two.

I used some wide burlap ribbon in a tan and white chevron pattern to add some fun to the space and hung them in front of the two mirrors we have in our entry way.

They are a beautiful pop of texture and I love how neutral they are as well. Also, thank you to my family for the Target gift cards for Christmas. Clearly they came in handy.

They now mirror each other which I think is punny. 
(That joke is for you Dad!)


I killed this violet in 2.5 seconds, but it impressed me since it lasted through this quick photo shoot.

Im still loving these prints that I got at Michaels last year, so they have stayed in place at the front door as a great encouraging reminder to us as we come and go.

I got this gorgeous blue jar after Christmas on clearance at Target. Right before they announced in Canada that they will be closing. I'm so glad I snapped this beaut up for $6. It is heavy and gorgeous and is acting like a night light at this point since it holds lots of sparkly lights on a string.

A perfect solution for some ambiance during these spring months, since it still gets dark at 7:30 PM. 

Which is obviously much better then 5PM a few short weeks ago.


Since spring is here to stay, we have already started compiling our spring bucket list.

If you are in need of some to add to yours, here you are:


  1. Jump in puddles WITH boots on this time
  2. Outline our bodies with chalk on the driveway inform the neighbours that their is no crime scene
  3. Go on a nature treasure hunt
  4. Play "Chubby bunny" at Easter (Just an excuse to eat all the marshmallows and act like a glutton -- But who is judging.)
  5. Find the perfect blade of grass and make it whistle
  6. Plant flowers in pots and paint them. That did NOT read plant pot. FYI for all you "skimming readers"
  7. Name the ducks at the near by pond
  8. Make homemade bubbles for hours of fun. Or for five minutes of fun; before the baby confuses it for a beverage or before the kids fight over it so hard that it falls from their grubby (Soon to be inadvertently clean) paws.
  9. Clean up garbage from our favorite park
  10. Knit dandelion stems into flower crowns

That is all we have for now, but it is still a pretty solid list for us. Soon we will be scrapping it anyways and making our yearly epic SUMMER bucket list. 

The season that us and our good friend Olaf the snowman, LIVE FOR. 

How about you? Have any amazing things we should be adding to our spring bucket list???

Hoping it is sunny and gorgeous where you are too today! Happy Saturday lovelies!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life Progress {on the sunny side of the street ;)}

One again, we are covered in dry wall dust and drowning in power tools over here. 

But for once, I don't blame our indecisiveness and stalling, no, instead I blame this beautiful spring weather we have been having and the beams of sunlight that stream into our home -- beckoning us outside.

Seeeeeeeeeee?????? Sunlight at its finest.
It has been a long winter up here in Canada and the drip drop dropping of the melted snow along with the warm streaks of sunlight streaming indoors, are keeping us distracted from finishing projects.

Running down the street, walking on soggy forest trails and meandering through our cities parks are way more interesting then finishing our closet reno. With day light savings setting back our beloved sun sets to 7pm and later, we have been losing a few hours of prime time working time because, you cant blame us, we want to be out enjoying this long awaited awesome Spring-like weather and not wasting it cooped up in doors.

So, just know that we are trucking along still. PROMISE.

Staying out later, enjoying this weather and taking full advantage of plus degree weather has meant that I have been staying up till well past midnight on certain days, building our little-house-that-could. 

 Caulking, painting and more painting are filling up my nights. 

So, while we are still building our master closet, I wanted to share with you an area of our home that has been through a few different stages.

I will be sharing some pretty pics with you soon, and look forward to all that pretty! 

I mean, since the inside of our closet is a freaking disaster at this point. 

Cant wait to show you our sun filled spring entry, what we have been up to in the closet and the joy and messes along the way.

How about you? Have you had unexpected sunny days begging you to come enjoy them outdoors? OR, are you one of the blessed ones that live in the sun all year round?? Do tell, what makes you know that Spring is near?

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Closet makeover {Then and Now}

Last time we talked home renovations, this is what I showed you.


This pile of dry wall use to be our closet.

USE to be.

Main word.

I have been closetless for two plus weeks and my daily fashion sense is now totally waning and basically hangin' out on deaths door step. 

I know this is not actually the end of the world, and I am well aware that I am lucky to have more then one outfit to choose from each morning, but guys, I am falling apart over here and so is this closet.

I have never claimed to be overly fashionable, my little sister got the fashion forward gene. Come to think of it though, I didnt get the great singer gene or the technically savvy gene, my brothers stole those,  and I didnt even get the patient gene or the networking gene, my other sisters got those, I'm just over here waving a hammer around like a lunatic while wearing the same outfit for a week straight okay, actually, two weeks.

Where is that annoyed emoji face when I need to use it.

Enough complaining though, let me describe my daily life right now, so you understand. 
(If you are the visual type, just skip this blabbing until you come to the pictures)

First, I search dig like a crazy woman through my piles of clothing, make a big mess out of all the tangled hangers throw them every which way out of pure frustration, promptly get upset and then end up giving up wearing basically not basically, put on the same outfit as I have done for the past week straight.

Somewhere in there, I also end up crying like a five year old for a few seconds until I snap myself out of it.


This is the current state of our master bedroom.

I am trying to remember that though I cant reach my clothing without a struggle, that every single day for three weeks, I am being taught another valuable lesson in patience.


Can you see wayyyyyy back in the corner at the end of the closet?? That is our master bathroom that has been its own thorn in my side for four years, but right now it is serving its purpose as the place where we have haphazardly piled all of my clothing while we jumped into this project with both feet.

Even though it can be frustrating that we don't plan out our projects in a step by step form like normal sane people, with a time line and an end in sight, I DO love that we just get right down to it and figure it out together. 


PS: Dont ask my husband about this love of working together. Im sure he is done looking at all of my Pinterest posts and listening to my constant changing ideas and the theories behind each.

The above picture you just saw was what our master bedroom looked like right before we moved in, four years ago.

Here is another version of a "before" photo showing you what it looked like in the realtor listing. Our master was basically a blank slate for us and I fell in love with the idea that we could put our own spin and style on this room.

These pictures also show the small narrow hallway that houses our closets on either side of it which leads to our master en suite (that hasn't been useable since the day we moved in when we quickly gutted it. Note to self: it isn't always good to jump in to something with no plan. I would have loved a bathroom door for the first three years we lived here. #modestyisthebestpolicy) ;)

Even though we stalled on the bathroom reno and havent tackled the closet until now, we did move ahead with some bedroom changes. 

The first thing we did upon getting possession of our home was rip out the soiled and damaged blue carpet on our upstairs level and replaced it with a durable variety with a neutral tone.  I love a good hardwood like the next traditional home enthusiast, but the fact that our kiddies can roll around on the floor with books and trains and have a soft landing for their wresting moves, is awesome too. ;)

We added some simple chair rail around the bottom half of our walls and I painted the top a soft colour and added a large damask pattern on to it.

You can read about the cost of our bedroom breakdown HERE

I promise that after you read our cost budget friendly makeover, you will want to meet up with the kids and I at the treasure stores. I'll bring the coffee and we can meet you there for a leisurely shopping day, okay? :D

 Over time I added some DIY side tables, changed out the furniture, added a cozy carpet underfoot (Im obsessed with layering carpets!) added some drapery for some extra softness and added new lighting.

And now, after fixing up the "bedroom area" if you can even say there are "areas" within our itty bitty master ;), we are finally working on the other side of our room by giving it some extra lovin' and organization.

Hence this ole mess.

Obviously, it has to get really bad before it can look better, right?

This is the mess I have had to climb over during those middle of the night trips to the bathroom. Yeah, if you live in the neighbourhood you have probably heard me fall and scream a few times at 3am. Sorry about that. ;)

This messy view point will eventually turn into my side of the closet...

..and this side will end up being an extended version of my main man's closet. 

Did I mention yet that I love my handy hubby? 
I hope he started reading this blog by now, by the way.

In the near future, this wall will get framed in, puttied, sanded and painted to match the rest of our room. 

We also have big plans for a fun and interesting door to the closet that you wont want to miss.

Lets just say that we are learning and did do our research for parts of this project and we even dragged all three kids kicking and screaming to 6 hardware stores in one night this week.

We are hoping that the door we choose will still allow some light from our bathroom to filter into the room. 

Stay tuned!

As you can tell, currently the bathroom that is past the potential closet area is serving as a giant laundry pile.

Moving all of this electrical is what is holding us up, but we are going to work away at this thing this week before all the permanent wrinkles set into my giant pile of clothing/ wardrobe that is keeping our master ensuite floor warm and cozy.


Here is our present situation (see above)

...and here is where we started. 

We are super excited on where this project is heading. (the kicking and screaming children in the hardware stores are a different story)


We are plugging away at this closet and meanwhile dreaming of relaxing on a clean bed in a room that isn't littered with power tools and dry wall dust. 

No one said living through a renovation would be easy, but we have learned that with a lot of dedication and some brow sweat, creating a space you love to live in, is worth all the time and mess.

If you need us, we will be comforting all the monsters that use to reside in our closet. 
Even they cant stand some living conditions.


Happy Thursday lovelies!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Gluten Free Banana Bread {Tried and tested from This Little Estate's kitchen}

Some of my fondest childhood memories are from the times I spent in the kitchen with my Mom. 

My loving Mama had limited sewing abilities and yet she slaved over the the cutest little aprons for my sisters and I, and even made us tiny matching oven mitts with little dancing teddy bears all over them.


Originally, for me, I loved baking because it was the chance to get to wear the cute baking outfits I loved so dearly. Then later, I would find myself pulling up a stool next to my Mama in our little country kitchen, because I loved the special memories her and I would make as we mixed, poured, stirred and waited anxiously for the oven timer to ring at us.

One of my first jobs as a young enthusiastic teenager, was at an authentic Italian bakery. This opportunity solidified my everlasting love affair with baking. 

I still feel like I was living the dream since I got to work doing one of my favorite things and they didn't even care how many cannolis and cream puffs and pastries and icing and macaroons I taste tested.

Fast forward 17 years (I cannot believe I just typed that) and I'm still in love with all things baking, but I have been successfully incorporating some gluten free recipes into our lives due to old lady tummy issues.

 If you have someone you love who is gluten free, THIS is the recipe that will make them love you forever. If you bake this up WITH them, they will probably love you for forever and a day.

Wet Ingredients:

    3 extra ripe bananas (mashed)
    ¼ cup of coconut oil (or substitute for melted butter)   
    ¼ cup maple syrup
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 large sized eggs

Dry Ingredients:

    ¼ cup coconut flour
    1 cup millet flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon all spice (or cinnamon)
    Optional chocolate chunks


 Preheat the oven to 350F   
Grease up a loaf pan.
In a medium-large bowl mix all the wet ingredients together.
In another small bowl mix the dry ingredients.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mix until most of the   lumps are gone.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
If you're feeling risky, drop big chunks of chocolate into your batter.
Shake loaf pan until batter is smooth. (this eliminates any air bubbles from forming in your loaf)
Bake for about 45 minutes. (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.    
Allow to cool for a few minutes and then remove from pan
Let cool and then slice and serve.

 This recipe is tried and true and all the baking lovers and cannoli enthusiasts wont even know that there isn't a drop of wheat in this recipe.

Nope, just good tasting goodness that will have you scribbling this recipe down on a 4 by 6 card in no time and adding it the classic recipes you keep protected in your recipe box.

All babies born post 1998 may not know what a recipe box is, but trust me, you may need one in case this whole Pinterest thing doesn't catch on. ;)

Happy Friday lovelies!

 I hope this recipe comes in handy this weekend when you feel the urge to make some memories stirring, pouring and cracking with the ones you love, in your kitchen.

Monday, February 23, 2015

20 Beautiful Closets {and a peek at our newest project!}

We are at it again.

This scene of closet carnage has been a foot away from where I lay my head each night  - for two weeks.

Nightmare inducing, yes.

Unfortunately for us, renos don't pan out in the same manner as they do on HGTV. I wish they did. But with two working parents and evenings full of children's activities, we typically only get a few hours a week to bust out a project.

BUT, this project has been a long time coming, so I am soaking in this big fat mess!

This closet makeover-overhaul has been four years coming.

When we bought this house four years ago, we inherited two of the tiniest master closets I have ever seen. We tried to make the best of our limited storing situation by adding more storage inside of our closets, but lately, it just hasn't been cutting it anymore. Even after I did a major closet purge, there just seems to be little wiggle room in our closets along with some bad design elements that make me want to live out of the laundry basket.

And, it's not like I need another excuse not to put away all those baskets of laundry, you know?

We have big plans for our little closet that could and hope our budget friendly tips and tricks will help you if you too are hoping for a fresh start with a fresh closet this year.

I will definetly be sharing all of our messy details with you in a future post; if you like that kind of mess-diy-during-destruction-pictures, but until then, wont you dream with me for a moment?

Here are 20 beautifully finished closets 
 (that will probably never be our reality, but boy do they make me want to go organize and color coordinate all of my  wrinkly tshirts.)

Contemporary Closet by Edmonds Home Builders Chermak Construction, Inc.

(IF you want to see even more closet prettiness, feel free to checkout my Pinterest board called "CLOSETS". It is full of my current inspiration!!)

So, what do you think? Are you as smitten as I am? These closets show organization and beauty combined and make my detail oriented self so happy! 

Tell me, do you keep an organized closet? Ive acquired a lot of organizational ideas after having a small closet for so long! Do you have any tiny closet organizational tips and tricks for me? I would love to hear them!

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