Friday, March 31, 2017

17 Goals for 2017 - Progress Report #1

Time sure does fly and here we are at our first goal check-in. Let's see how I've been doing with my 17 goals of 2017!

1. Read 12 books I've read 5 so far, so almost halfway! I did make an easy goal for this year though...
2. Renovate basement In progress! Updates will be shared on here soon
3. Run my fifth 5k Have sort of started training for it and it's scheduled for April 30th
4. Set up a nursery Not yet, the room is still full of stuff
5. Blog at least twice a month So far I'm doing okay with this one (barely)
6. Take a pottery class with Dan Done! We had so much fun and I will be blogging about it soon
7. Visit the ocean Still just a dream
8. Go on a weekend camping trip Waiting for warmer weather but are excited to plan a few of these!
9. Clear backyard and bring in fill We have to wait for the snow to melt 
10. Make a budget Have been making monthly budgets and have sort of been sticking to them
11. Go on a date once a month with Dan Success for the first 3 months of the year
12. Buy new windows for the basement Not yet
13. Start a couples infertility support group This is in the works
14. Colour more often This is ongoing but so far I'm doing okay with it
15. Start organizing photos on the computer So daunting...
16. Attend a dance workshop Attending one this weekend!
17. Do bookkeeping at least once a month So far this has been a success!

So far I've been doing good! I've only crossed one thing off but a few more are in the works and should be done by the next time I check in. Plus, a bunch of them are for the whole year so I can't cross them off until December. I'm proud of how I'm doing though!

If you made goals, how are you doing with them? Care to share? Anyone else shocked at how fast the first three months of the year flew by?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kitchen Renovation - Part 3

Now that it's been two months of waiting for you guys (well, those of you who don't follow me on Facebook at least) to see the final pictures of the kitchen, I thought I would get around to writing up part 3 of the kitchen renovation! Aren't you excited? I know you are.

So in part 2 of the great kitchen overhaul, I ended with this picture that shows you a little bit of how our kitchen was going to end up, minus all the pretty stuff.

Oh what fun it was to see our kitchen coming together and have more of a feel for the layout! Despite having no counters or sink or functional space, I still managed to cook us meals. Sort of. We ate a lot of noodles and sauce.

We got the counters cut and in place pretty quickly and then Dan shaped the peninsula to make a nice little seating area. He's got mad skills like that.

This part was really dusty again. Sigh. It seems like all parts of renovations are dusty. Except for maybe painting.

Once the counter was in, it felt like things moved fast. We oiled it with a food grade butcher block oil and sanded between the many coats. Finally, after 5 months with no proper kitchen sink, I came home to this beauty one day!

I may have squealed and then gone and hugged it. For real. Doing dishes felt so glorious for a few days. It's amazing how much you can appreciate washing dishes normally after washing them not so normally for so long. The novelty did wear off eventually though.

Once the sink was in, we moved some stuff into the kitchen to make it feel more real. Important stuff like wine and chips.

Isn't it beautiful? At this point I was feeling really good about things and thinking how we were almost done. Oh bliss! I could see the finish line and took off on the last final sprint!

Which led to priming and painting the cabinets. Now, if you've never primed and painted cabinets, you don't quite understand the painful process that it is. It takes so long! And it is so frustrating and time consuming and awkward. Oh I hated it. So much. Especially the open shelves and the wine rack. That wine rack was a beast to paint.

But I persevered and pretty soon the cabinets were looking fabulous. We chose a lovely off white colour for the cabinets called Spun Cotton and we love how they turned out. Nice and bright but not too stark. Just perfect. And it blends with the wood so nicely.

We then got a dishwasher! And back splash! Oh so exciting! We totally lucked out on the back splash, since everything we were looking at was so expensive. We couldn't quite justify almost $20/sq.ft. But we found this gorgeous grey subway tile at Lowes for $5/sq.ft. and it goes so nicely with the kitchen. Win for us!

Shortly after this point we were able to start putting things into the kitchen for real. Like actual things that stayed put in the cupboards. I still had no drawers (they were being painted) but the upper shelves were usable. Hallelujah!

I was getting excited and feeling like we were nearly done. Again. You'd think I'd learn and stop thinking we were nearly done until we actually were. Because if I thought painting the cabinets sucked, try painting a bajillion doors and drawers. Okay, so maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But there were a lot of doors and drawers. And I wanted to make sure I did a good job so I sanded and washed them well and then did two coats of primer and two coats of paint. I loathed those doors by the end of this process. Thank goodness for Young House Love Has a Podcast to keep me company or else I would have pulled my hair out.

It did finally end. And I didn't die. The whole painting process was really hard though. The basement was cold and dark and the floors were hard and my hands got cramped. I may have whined a lot to Dan during the process, because by this point I was so over this kitchen reno.

But oh boy was it worth it. Our kitchen is beautiful (although not quite done yet) and I love using it on a daily basis. Plus, I'm proud of the fact that we basically built it!

We love the colours and the flow and the stools at the counter with the pendant lights. We love the back splash and the brightness and the stove. Every little bit we love. Well, minus the fridge. I hate the fridge. One day we will get a nice new one but for now, I will glory in the beauty of my mostly finished kitchen.

We finished it on Christmas Eve and it was the best Christmas gift ever. Over 6 months of renovations to end with this transformation. (Excuse the crappy dark iPhone pictures for the afters. We are waiting until everything is done before taking fabulous after photos. But you get the idea.)



Improvement right?

So there you have it, the great 6+ month kitchen renovation. I'm not sure if I'll ever be convinced to do this again, since I honestly don't know how I survived it. But it's done and it's beautiful and that is what I'm focusing on.

Anyone care to share their kitchen renovation stories with me? Tell me I'm not the only one who nearly lost her mind during the process.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Five Things Friday

It has been forever since I wrote a Five Things Friday post! I like these little posts because I get to share random tidbits of my life with you that normally wouldn't get a whole post written about them. Plus, they're quick and easy to write and fun to read! Or at least I think so.

1) I finally caved and bought myself some essential oils! I'm pretty excited about them and am starting to diffuse them and research how to use them in my everyday life. It's going to be slow going because that's the way I roll, but for now, super excited about this fun adventure I've started. Plus, some of them smell so good!

2) We were back in Quebec last weekend for my sister Cora's 30th birthday and the whole family was there. Pretty much super crazy busy and hectic but oh so fun. It's especially fun to see the little ones who change so fast, like my nephew Liam. He absolutely loved Mia (and Dan) and was a pretty cute ray of sunshine over the weekend.

3) I've been stepping up my breakfast game lately, which you might already know if you follow me on Facebook. This week the breakfasts have been apple crisp with plain yogurt and hemp seeds. Super delicious and I plan on sharing the recipe with you guys next time I make it. And if I remember to take pictures. For now though, just know that everyone should be eating apple crisp for breakfast.

4) Because of our crazy backyard goals for this summer, I am unable to plant a vegetable garden this year. Which makes me crazy sad but I am trying not to dwell on it too much or else I just get depressed. Looking back at old garden pictures also makes me sad. So instead of moping about my lack of garden and fresh veggies, I have signed us up for a local CSA program! Fresh veggies boxed and ready for pick up every week all summer long? Sign me up! Which is what I did. I can't wait for June 27th.

5) I hate drywall dust. So.freaking.much. We are currently having our basement drywalled (we hired it out this time since it's such a big space) and there was a mess up the other day. Super not anyone's specific fault, just an unfortunate incident that included the furnace fan running while the drywall was being sanded. Which resulted in drywall dust coating everything in my entire house. I may not have handled the situation well. I have been saying I needed to do a full deep clean of the house, so I guess this is my push to actually do it.

So there you have it folks, some five random things that have been happening in my life lately. There are a few changes happening in our personal life over the next little while and I will hopefully be sharing some of them here with you guys soon. I'm also thinking it's time for a fresh new blog look. Thoughts on that?