Monday, April 25, 2016

3rd Annual Pinterest Party

It's official, I now hold annual Pinterest parties, because I am just that cool. The first year (which I blogged about here) was a total hit and we all had so much fun, but I wasn't sure if it was something I would continue to do. But then last year I hosted another one and once again, it was a hit. Unfortunately I took no pictures of it and consequently didn't blog about it, but it really did happen. This year was my third one and for some reason, I feel like it's more officially an annual thing once it happens three times. So there you go, I am officially the coolest Pinterest party hostess.

You should consider yourself very lucky because there are pictures from it this year which means there is a post about it! My super amazing sister-in-law Trish is the photographer for these parties and she very kindly obliged when I asked her to take pictures again this year. The reason there were no pictures/post last year is because Trish wasn't able to come. She is obviously a very important part of my Pinterest parties, especially this year when she helped out in way more ways than just taking pictures.

For those of you who are new to Pinterest parties, it's basically just an excuse for a bunch of ladies to get together and have fun. There are many ways to host these but how I do it is like this: 1) invite ladies, 2) find two fun crafts off of Pinterest for us all to make, and 3) ask each lady to bring a dessert or appetizer that they found the recipe for off of Pinterest. Then we all get together and chat, craft and eat! It's pretty much super crazy fun.

The food was amazing this year, I fee like each year it gets better and better. Then again, I couldn't eat 90% of it, so maybe it just looked good. Either way, there was lots of food!

Even though it doesn't look like it, I was having fun
 For crafts this year, we made mason jar soap dispensers and embroidered heart cards. The soap dispenser is visible in the first picture in this post, so scroll up again and look at that. We didn't get a close up of it but if you want to learn how to make it yourself, click on this link.

The embroidered hearts took a while and were a tiny bit frustrating, but they did turn out beautifully and I'm totally in love with mine. I may have also made a few more since the party last week. To learn how to make them, click here.

I think everyone had as much fun as I did and that my 4th annual one will be an even bigger hit. Even if it isn't, I had a good time and it was nice to socialize and show off the progress we've been making on our house.

Does anyone else host Pinterest parties or something similar? If not already, you should consider starting it up. So much fun.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Five Things Friday

Ahh, Friday, how nice of you to come. It's been a long busy week for us and I'm ready for some relaxing. I thought I would end this busy week with one of my favourite blog posts to write, mainly because they are quick and easy and enjoyable.

1. This house used to be so ugly. We just keep unearthing horrible colours of walls or patterns in floors and it's slightly ridiculous. I thought it was bad when we moved in but it was nothing to what it looked like when it was first built. Don't you think this nice kitchen flooring would have gone nicely with yellow walls? No? That's weird.

2. Dan visited his parents last week and dug through the attic to find his old slot car race track. He brought it home so that he could play with it with our niece and nephew, but I'm not so sure it was just for them...

3. We had a campfire last Friday night, to burn through a bunch of cardboard and scraps from the house, and it was finally nice enough weather while doing this that we could sit outside. So nice to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine again.

4. I have been colouring again (shocking, I know) and thought I'd share this picture with you guys. It turned out nicer than I was expecting too, since I wasn't that inspired to colour this particular image.

5. We finally hung our bathroom doors! It was more eventful than planned but they are hung and looking fabulous. Here is a sneak peek of the powder room door.

And that ends another week. But in case you didn't notice, I was totally awesome this week and got three blog posts up! Woohoo! I hope you all have a splendid weekend and I will see about getting some more posts up next week.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Beautiful Weather

I don't know about the rest of you, but we have been enjoying some beautiful weather here lately. At the beginning of April we had cold temperatures and snow and gloominess, but halfway through it was like a switch went off and we have been thrown directly into summer! We've been enjoying sunshine and warm temps and lots of happy feelings. Nothing like spring when it finally does arrive.

One fun thing about moving to a new house in the fall/winter is that you have no idea what the outside will look like come spring. It's been really fun to watch things pop up in the assortment of run down garden beds and guess what the different plants are. I'm really not a flower person but I have deducted that I have daffodils and tulips coming up in random places.

The not so great thing about moving in the fall/winter, is that the previous owners decided they weren't going to rake any leaves. And we have a lot of leaves.

Our front yard is basically a fine mix of old leaves and moss. I have yet to really find any grass, which is kind of unfortunate. Moss is very delicate and Mia seems to be tearing it up quite nicely, but I'm not sure if grass will even grow in our nice shaded sandy front yard. Sigh.

While Dan was switching the car and truck tires over last weekend, I opted to spend some time outdoors with him and start raking. I chose a nice little patch in front of the house and set to work.

I worked and I worked and I worked for what felt like hours, but was probably only an hour in reality and barely made any progress. I cleared a 20'x20' patch and that was it. There are so many leaves!

See how proud I am of that little area of cleared lawn moss? It's because I worked my butt off for it.

I decided to call it quits after that and planned to get back at it over the next few days. But the wind hasn't been cooperating and I haven't been able to clear any more of our front yard. Maybe this weekend? Although it is calling for rain...

Our outside to do list is about a mile long so we haven't even actually written anything down on it. Maybe when we are feeling less overwhelmed by it, we'll put some pen to paper and show you what we plan to do. Or maybe break it down into years to make it more attainable? Hmm...

Anyone else been enjoying some outside time in the lovely weather we have been getting? Or has it not been so nice where you are?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm Good

It's been a while since I blogged about me, how I'm doing with stopping fertility treatments and how I'm coping. So I thought I would take some time out of this beautiful spring day and do just that.

As a refresher, we did our final IUI in October and got pregnant from it. But then the beginning of November, about 5 days after finding out we were pregnant, we were told we were having a chemical pregnancy (a very early loss) and thus experienced our fourth miscarriage. This marked the end of our journey, as we made the decision to stop treatments and stop trying on our own. This was the end, by our choice, but still the end. It was heartbreaking and freeing all at once.

To be completely honest, the winter was rough on me. Really rough. I was grieving the loss of another baby while also grieving the loss of pregnancy all together. And to top it all off, we had just moved and were living in a bit of a disaster zone. I cried a lot and was angry a lot and questioned a lot. I felt like life was unfair (because it is) and felt very lost. I had no purpose, no goals, and no future. Well, that's how I felt at least. I kind of had a mini life crisis.

But fortunately, like all things, this pit of despair feeling did eventually diminish. Things slowly got better and I had more good days than bad. Our house was coming together a bit more. Dan and I were talking about things more. The sun started shining more. And my heart started to heal a bit more. I began to see the good again and be able to appreciate what I had. Yes life is unfair, but it is still beautiful.

Lately, I've been doing really good. I'm in a good place and I feel like I'm healing more and more each day. I've been able to do things that I never thought I'd be able to do, like go to my sister-in-law's ultrasound appointment and look at the screen. That office has only held sadness and heartache for me and going back there for a happy thing, for someone else, was hard. But hard in a good way. I felt like I was taking a step forward and I am so appreciative that she allowed me to take that step with her.

I know that my heart will always hurt over our road of loss and infertility, that I will never be the same again, and that hard days are for sure in my future. Those days could be this week or next month or next year. This is a rollercoaster I will never get off, but I am trying my best to enjoy the highs and work my way through the valleys.

So dear blog readers, right now, today, this exact moment, I am good.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Painting Party Success!

Well here it is, the post you have all been waiting for since last week when I mentioned we were having a painting party. The house is looking way better and the difference is totally night and day. It's so much brighter and cheerier and happier in my living room now and I'm super happy with our colour choices.

Let's get started showing off the difference! Although please keep in mind that my camera isn't stellar and these photos don't show the true true colour of the new walls, but I did my best and you'll just have to imagine the rest.

Living room - Before

Living room - Before
The before shots of the living room were taken by a professional photographer, hence their awesomeness. Although once again, the walls were more brown and darker than the lighter colour shown. Still, wretched colour no matter how you look at it.

Living room/dining room - After

Living room - After
The walls are a grey, called Planetary Silver, and they work so well with our new floor and lighter look we are going for. Like I said, night and day difference. Just ignore the giant mess I didn't feel like cleaning up.

We also painted the back guest bedroom, which if you remember was a horrible blue/green that hurt my eyes.

Guest bedroom - Before

Guest bedroom - Before
We did some closet rearranging in this room, hence the reason why it looks different in the pictures below.

Guest bedroom - After

Guest bedroom - After
This room is grey again (I really love grey) and it is lighter than the first picture shows, but darker than the second. Like I said, it's really hard to capture the true colour on camera. Now we only painted three walls this colour and planned to do an accent wall in green (on the original chalkboard wall). Trish came and painted it with me on Tuesday... but more on that later. It deserves a whole post of its own.

The hallway got painted too, in a nice Pixel White. I have no before shots of it but it was the same colour as the original living room, which means it was bad.

That is what was painted on our painting party day and we were super pleased with how much got done. We had three extra helpers show up and we really really appreciate them taking 6 hours out of their Saturday to help get our house looking a little more put together.

Now for some more mentions, my incredible mother-in-law Joanne came on Friday to help prime the walls and she was pretty much a life saver. We would not have completed all the priming in time for the party if she had not shown up. Thanks Joanne!

Dan and I have also been busy painting when parties aren't happening and together we have completed the master bedroom and closet and started the stairwell.

Master bedroom - Before

Master bedroom - After
The bedroom is a bluish/greenish/greyish colour, called Sea Salt. The closet is the one we built and we painted it the same colour as the living room, it just looks different in an enclosed room with no natural light.

The stairwell (painted in Pixel White, the same as the hallway) still needs another coat of paint, it's just really hard to do since the ceiling is so high. Dan and I hope to get it done by the end of next week.

That about sums up our painting adventures of late. We are almost done with painting (for now) and I'm pretty excited. Soon we can put up trim and start moving furniture in!!!

Anyone else been painting lately?

Monday, April 11, 2016

27th Birthday Celebrations!

For those who don't know, I absolutely love my birthday. Like so so much. I count down to it for months and get all giddy with excitement as the day nears, driving Dan nuts with my constant birthday comments. Last week (Thursday to be exact), I celebrated my 27th birthday and it was a fabulous day. Nothing extravagant happened but I enjoyed it so much and am really happy with how the day went. It was much better than my birthday a few years back where I ate lunch alone in the mall and cried all the way home.

So here is a small recap of how the day went. I woke up at 6am with Dan (I know, so early on my birthday, I was shocked) and he wished me a happy birthday and we talked about how wonderful I am. Kidding, but we did focus on me an awful lot. I read text messages, Facebook messages and received phone calls, starting from the minute I woke up. I even received a lululemon gift card via email from my good friend Tory! My family and friends sure know how to make me feel special. Dan and I ate breakfast together and then he headed out to work and I headed out to the walking club I lead. I brought along cupcakes that I had made the day before and shared them with the other walking club members and volunteers.

They all loved them and I was pretty excited about that, since they were gluten/dairy/corn/egg free. It's an amazing recipe, that's for sure. I received more phone calls at walking club, because I'm just that popular, and was feeling pretty loved by that point. I returned home for some yummy leftovers of pulled pork, roasted potatoes and steamed veggies and after I finished eating, I headed over to my sister-in-law Trish's house.

Upon my arrival there, I was greeted with a beautiful birthday banner!

Zeke, my five year old nephew, was shocked when he discovered I was coming over for my birthday but there would be no party. So Trish and the kids pulled together a little celebration that included a banner, balloons, fake cupcakes (from Izzy's play kitchen) and a fabulous birthday present.

Everyone needs a Large Utility Tote!
 It was a super sweet party and I loved every minute of it. We coloured for almost two hours (because what is a fabulous birthday without some serious colouring therapy) and then I headed home to meet Dan there.

When I arrived home, Dan had a surprise for me! He filled our bedroom with 71 balloons! There would have been one more, but it popped during the blowing up session. And FYI, he used a compressor to blow them up, not his breath.

He had even hidden my present in the balloon room so I had to search for that. But let me tell you, it was totally worth the search! He bought me super awesome quality pencil crayons!

He really is the best. And now I can continue to feed my colouring addiction. :)

The rest of the afternoon was spent with me colouring some more while Dan sanded down some walls and then we both took a break for a spaghetti supper while watching Full House.

After supper, we headed off to our College & Careers group at church, where there was another surprise! Everyone sang happy birthday to me and I was presented with two yarn "cakes"!

It was pretty great and once again, I felt pretty special and loved. I will end off with another present I received (but the day before) since it is too fabulous not to share. A large Tupperware Fridgesmart container (that I have had my eyes on for a while now) and a brand new cookbook with awesome recipes I can actually eat!

Thank you Vicky for spoiling me with the perfect gift, yet again. :)

So all in all, it was a spectacular day and my birthday will continue to be my favourite day of the year. Because I'm selfish like that. :::wink wink:::

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Glimpse Into The Mess

Phew, I'm just sneaking in this "later this week" post and I must admit, it will probably be short with mostly pictures to explain things. Because I am tuckered. I've spent the morning dusting down walls, vacuuming up dust and then washing walls all in preparation for priming tonight. We are having a painting party tomorrow and I need to be ready for the nice volunteers who are taking time out of their Saturday to help us paint our house. I just keep thinking about how nice things will look come next week when almost every single room on the main floor will be painted. Ahh...

But back to how things are actually looking, since the paint is not on the walls and things are still a bit of a disaster.

The ensuite is fully usable and we are thoroughly enjoying have a nice bathroom to use instead of a grungy funny smelling one. There are still a few finishing touches to do in there but overall, this room is complete.

Fixtures are in!

Dan built this contraption to hold a shower curtain so we can use the shower while waiting for the glass wall to come in (which we have yet to order)

Other half of the ensuite, looking amazing!

Our powder room is also mostly done but I don't have any good pictures of it since it's really hard to photograph. But here is the nice sink end of things.

The master bedroom has flooring, is painted and is almost ready for trim. Which means we can maybe move in there soon.

The second bedroom has flooring as well but is still in need of some work. It is mostly primed (needs a few touch ups) and the ceiling needs to be patched and then resprayed with popcorn texture. But it will be painted this weekend, so that's good.

The hallway is half done with flooring and is also primed and ready to be painted tomorrow. Once the walls are painted in the hall, we can then put up the bathroom door!

The living room and dining area have been the main focus over the past few weeks as we have been patching the walls and getting them ready to paint. There was a lot of little spots that needed attention so it took longer than planned. Oh and it didn't help that we had the ceiling and wall to patch from where we removed the wall that separated the two rooms.

We plan to leave the one wall (the sunroom side of things) unpainted until we get our new kitchen cupboards in and will then finish things off. And hopefully starting next week, we can begin to remove the kitchen flooring and get things looking a little more calm in there.

We have also been tackling the stairwell area and brainstorming ways of making it look better without putting a lot of money into it right now. We are going to paint and put up some new trim, but leave the rest as is for now, since doors are expensive and we're not sure how we want things to look. A work in progress it will be.

I did decide to remove the carpet from the stairs though, since it was pretty gross.

I was secretly hoping that underneath the carpet would be nice wooden stairs that we could salvage into something. I should have known better...

And once I removed the lovely linoleum, it was still crappy. The steps are spruce and the backing is plywood, so overall the stairs are crap.

We did remove the 70's paneling off the wall though and that improved the entryway immediately.

So that is basically how our house looks right now. Progress is being made and hopefully by the end of this weekend things will be looking more put together. I will do my best to keep you updated as things move forward, but no guarantees. Like I said, follow me on Facebook and you will at least get random sneak peeks of things.

Oh but I know some of you will be happy to know, we finally removed the lovely ugly picture from above our front door!

Like I said, progress is being made!