Friday, March 28, 2014

Daily Baby - Owen's First Year

We just got the photobook of Owen's first year in the mail.  I'm really proud of myself for weeding through the couple thousand photos, keeping it down to only 88 pages, and actually finishing it before he started Kinder.  I know I can't bring the book around to share with everybody, as much as I'd like to (although if you're ever at our house, you're more than welcome to peek), so I made a short video from the scrapbook pages that I created.  I really hope I captured the essence of the tiny little goofball I'm proud to call my son!

The scrapbook pages were created using My Memories digital scrapbooking software.  I ended up ordering the book through Winkflash, who were having a flat page book sale (up to 100 pages for a flat rate, which saved me $66 according to my checkout receipt).  I'd say they run that sale a few times a year, so worth looking out for if you have a big book in the works.  Winkflash seems to be a lesser known printing company, but they do good work and the only complaint I have about their photobooks is that they don't print the album title on the spine.  

Anyway, enjoy!  I'll be back soon with those kitchen before and after photos!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Daily Art - Foto Friday, Jellyfish edition

Today, I wanted something soothing and pretty to share, as a contrast to the mayhem that's happening in my house.  So, here's some pictures of jellyfish that I've taken in the last couple of years.  Happy Friday all!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Daily Ramblings - So that's what was under reno (Part 1)

Welcome to March. So far, the month has been taken up by dust and home improvement, so here's a quick breakdown of what's been going on! (Right now, I'll share everything via Instagram photos, but proper before and after shots to come later...)

Here is the original kitchen. That's a lot of little white tiles, right? In fact, our kitchen table (not pictured) also featured little white tiles on the top, a leftover gift from the previous owners that we never bothered to remove. The problem with little white tiles everywhere is that they are impossible to keep clean....and, without anything on the counters, it's quite apparent how bland this looks!  We've upgraded the appliances in the last couple of years, but notice the beautiful trash compactor in the lower left corner?  We don't even know where the key for that thing is, so it's mostly been taking up space.  We had it removed and I can't say I miss it.

Whomever laid the tile previously never bothered to do the laundry room, or under the dishwasher or stove.  The gap between where the tile stopped, and where the dishwasher was placed, was about a half inch collection point for things that had been swept over time.  Gross, I know, but I certainly wasn't about to go fishing around in there to get things out.  To be honest, when we first moved in, 5.5 years ago, we knew that the kitchen would eventually have to go.  I'm surprised it took us this long!

One advantage (if you want to call it that) of the bad tile job, was that it wasn't a complete shock when the tile was pulled up to reveal this beautiful linoleum underneath.  The building was built in 1981 I believe, which means that's probably the original.  Gorgeous isn't it?  I thought about keeping it, I'm kidding.  That stuff had to go asap.  Three guys spent an entire afternoon scraping it off the sub-floor.  I was at home that day, and not at all jealous of what they were doing.

The counter-tops were demolished on day two, after the floor was pulled up.  Needless to say there's a lot of eating out/ordering for pick-up going on right now, and I'm grateful for the paper plates and plastic cutlery left over from Owen's birthday.  Our fridge is also in the living room, which makes for easy access at least...and we'll just say that's a silver lining.

The cabinets are the one thing that we're keeping, although we will be adding hardware.  Our new floor tile is a slate color with brown tones that match the cabinets, which they are starting to lay down today.  The granite is going in this weekend along with a new sink and faucet.  We're finishing everything up with a pretty glass mosaic back-splash, which will be started next week and is likely to be the most complicated part as it is the most intricate.  It might also be the part that I'm most interested to see come together as the granite and flooring are quite dark, so the back-splash (and paint) is where we decided to bring back some lightness.  

I stood in the kitchen this morning to take a look at/admire the paint color in daylight. As I was contemplating how much I enjoyed our chosen color (BEHR "Sculptor's Clay, which is essentially a neutral somewhere between brown and grey), I laughed at teenage me who would have undoubtedly thought being excited about such things was lame.

Any kind of remodeling can be stressful, even more so with a toddler in the house.  We've had various adventures this week just trying to keep him out of the house as much as possible.  When we did our bathroom, there were at least other bathrooms available to use.  Not having access to the kitchen, as a household that cooks 5 nights a week, is definitely a unique situation that I'll be glad to be done with.  It's a small price to pay for getting to cook in my new, awesome kitchen soon!  I'll be back with an update next week...