Resolutions for 2013

1. GET ORGANIZED – I have 10,000 projects that I want to do around the house. I want to sort through our closets and drawers and cupboards and get rid of all the extra stuff we have. I probably have over 1000 pieces of clothing, but I literally wear the same 20 pieces over and over again. I made a huge list of EVERYTHING I want to get done, but Olivia takes priority for me and I would rather spend the entire day snuggling on the couch with her and get nothing done than not give her the attention that she deserves for a single second.

2. BLOG MORE OFTEN – My blog writing has been severely lacking since I had Olivia. I just haven’t had time to blog. But now that she’s sleeping earlier and getting up later (and not at all during the night!!), I’m going to make a conscious effort to blog at least once a week.

3. BE A BETTER WIFE AND MOTHER – Sometimes I feel like a total failure in these departments. Any wife or mother can attest that these feelings are completely normal, but I want to keep striving to be a better wife and mother.

4. LOSE WEIGHT – I make this resolution every year. Last year’s resolution to do this got completely derailed on January 1st when I found out I was pregnant. I’m already down 21lbs from my weight as of January 1, 2012, but I still have a long way to go (I have a very specific goal in mind, but I’m not comfortable sharing my starting weight at this point). I’m still trying to figure out how to diet and exercise properly while breastfeeding, so anyone with any advice on this subject, please please please chime in and give me any tips you have! It would be greatly appreciated!

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New Bookcases…

I finally found some new bookcases that I love! We’ve been searching for bookcases since we moved. We originally wanted to get the same ones we had before, but they stopped making them in the colour we wanted, so we’ve been searching for an alternative. We finally found some on the weekend at Canadian Tire of all places, so we went and bought two. I only get one right now though because my Mom wants to give me one for Christmas, but I’m super-excited to unpack some books now! 99% of my books are still in boxes in the spare bedroom and I can’t wait to get them out! The book case we finally got is pretty big too. It has five shelves and is about 6 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide. It’s huge! And heavy! Which is good because nothing sucks more than a fallen over bookcase.We got them for $79.99 each, which isn’t too bad of a price, especially considering that they seem to be pretty good quality.

What do you think?

Our Dining Room…

Our dining room is now officially completed as well! We didn’t do much with the dining room because we already liked the colour, but we did set up the table and chairs (we had to build all of them). We also fixed the blinds, hung some pictures, and bought a hibiscus tree for the area.

I don’t really know what else to do with the dining room. There isn’t that much room and one wall is a big window. We usually have something decorative on the table so that often jazzes up the area, but there was nothing on the table when I took the pictures.

What do you think? Is there something missing?

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Completed Living Room…

Tyler and I finally hung the last picture in the living room on Tuesday, so the living room is completely done now! The painting is done, the curtains are up, and all the pictures are hung. Everything except the pictures have been done for a while, but my sister got me some nice prints for my birthday, so we framed them and hung them up on the walls on Tuesday.

What do you think? The living room used to be a forest green colour, so it’s a big difference. The room looks so much lighter now!

Living Room - Before

Living Room - Now

Living Room Mantle

Living Room - Now

Living Room - Now

Hallowe’en!!

Tyler and I LOVE Hallowe’en! Now that we have our own house, we put up a ton of decorations and got really into it this year. This was the first year that we could hand out candy too since our apartment building didn’t allow trick or treaters in when we lived in Guelph.

We had 139 kids come by and one little girl who was too scared to come up to our door. Poor thing!

We got some grave stones, skulls, ghosts, cobwebs with spiders, orange lights for over the garage, a black light for the front porch, crows perching on our porch railing, and some orange lights for the railing. We each got a pumpkin and carved it and we had a whole bunch of decorations on our door. It was so much fun! Tyler has always been very into Hallowe’en and I definitely caught some of his enthusiasm this year.

Here are some pictures of our house and our decorations.

Our Jack-o-lanterns

Our front porch at night!

Our house all decked out

How many trick-or-treaters did you have this year? Do you put up any decorations?

Things I’ve learned since buying a house…

There have been some major things that I have learned since buying a house. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, but they’re all a life experience.

1. Getting mail is not really that exciting – When I was a kid, I LOVED getting mail. My grandmother would send me cards and I even tried to have a penpal a few times. Getting mail made me feel special when I was little. Now we get bills and so much junk mail that I sometimes dread going to the mailbox. If I get one more Papa John’s pizza coupon, I’m going to scream.

2. Owning your own home is SO much more work than you anticipate – My biggest thing that I notice all the time is cutting the lawn. Who knew grass grew so fast? There’s also trimming the bushes, shoveling snow, painting the walls, and raking up all the leaves. Oh and putting the garbage out. I always took it for granted that one of my parents would do this stuff and when you’re in an apartment, you can’t paint and you don’t have to do any exterior maintenance stuff.

3. Owning costs SO much more than renting – I know that we’ll own this beautiful house at the end of our mortgage, but there is so much more to owning than renting. Who knew that you had to set up a ton of accounts with deposits for everything? London Hydro charged me a $280 deposit plus a $60 account set-up fee! That doesn’t include ANY electricity or water. Union Gas charged us a $250 deposit! Cause we’re not going to pay you $1000s over the years to heat our home. There’s also the fact that I now have to find time to pay bills all the time. Every company is different when it comes to setting up automatic withdrawals and there are always so many phone calls to make! I don’t know how people did this before the internet and online banking. I can’t imagine having to go into the bank all the time.

4. Being alone in a house is so different from being alone in an apartment – I’ve never really been a person who likes to be alone. Even when Tyler was working in Guelph and I got home an hour before him, I never really liked it. I tend to get bored easily and only indulge in so many one-person activities. Being alone in a house is so much weirder! Houses creak and sometimes there’s no explanation for it. In an apartment, you just assume it was the person next door. I now also have three floors to check when I’m freaked out. Before I would just check our room and that was pretty much it. Someone rang out doorbell at about 8:30 last night and there was no one there when I answered. I think it was the first night that I was here and Tyler wasn’t with me, so it freaked me out. I know that it was probably just a neighbour or some teenagers playing games, but it still freaked me out.

5. Redecorating SEEMS fun – I love redecorating rooms. I love buying paintings and wall art and picking out accents and paint colours. The thing that I really don’t like is painting. I can’t believe that people do that as a profession. I’d kill myself. My back aches and the smell makes me nauseous. I love seeing the finished product and every time I finish a room, I feel like the house is becoming more “our house,” but I don’t know what I’d do without my Mom and Tyler helping me out.

Anyways, my plan is to completely finish the living room this week. I have to finish a little bit of painting, touch up the trim, hang some pictures, buy a picture for our big wall, and then just set up some small stuff. The dining area is done, but just needs to have the pictures hung up. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some more pictures next week!

Kitchen: Before and After

I have been ridiculously busy with work and our house and everything extra that the summer entails and just realized that I have yet to do any posts about the house since the weekend we moved in!

So far, we’re completely done the kitchen. We’re really close on the bedroom, living room, and dining room, and hopefully we’ll finish them up this week and I can do a few more posts about the house next week.

I’ve included a picture of the kitchen before we moved in and then 3 of what it looks like now. We loved the colour of the kitchen, so we decided not to paint it. We’ve done a few minor things, but other than that, we’ve just unpacked all of our kitchen stuff.

We’ve also made a message board that’s posted below. We’ve had a lot of people ask us about it, so I thought I’d share some details. We purchased the black board squares over a year ago at a store in Vaughn Mills Mall called De Serres. We also got the fancy chalk-paint pens from there as well. The idea is to stick them to your wall and apparently they come off really easy, but we were a bit worried, so we went to Michaels and purchased a frame. We’ve put the black board squares directly on the glass, which seems to work perfectly. It was a bit of a challenge to get the squares to fit together perfectly and I thank God that my husband is one of the most patient men in the world (I did the first two squares and then gave up, lol). The whole thing cost us about $50, but we had a coupon for the frame. We absolutely love it. It keeps everything organized and it’s a fun way to pass messages along since Tyler and I sometimes work opposite shifts. You’ll also notice that I’ve left Tyler a message saying that I love him and calling him my “chickadee” – I literally have about 100 cutesy nicknames for Tyler, but that’s a blog post all on it’s own.

Anything that anyone likes about our kitchen or any suggestions for improvements? I think my favourite thing currently is the dishwasher. My parents have one, but we weren’t allowed to use it growing up, so I’ve always had to do dishes by hand. I’m also in love with our message board, but I think I’ve talked enough about it for now, lol.

Hopefully I’ll finish the living room this week as planned, but it’s Tyler’s birthday on Saturday, so I’m not going to give up celebrating that for painting, lol.

Kitchen - Before

Our island and the view into the living room. I mostly just wanted to put this one up because you can see my puppy in the corner, lol.

Kitchen - After

Tyler and I made this message board for the kitchen. We've had a lot of buzz about it, so I thought I'd share some details.

We Are Officially Moved In!!

We have officially moved into our new house! We took possession on Friday and decided to spend the first night in it. We moved all of our stuff on Friday night and Saturday morning and now everything is here. There are boxes everywhere, but it’s starting to look like our house. We got our new furniture minus a nightstand (it was on back order STILL) and they all look amazing! I think the bedroom set is my favourite, but the couches are a close second.

We’ve got some of the kitchen stuff put away, but there’s still so much to unpack. We’ve bought paint for the living room and our bedroom, so we’re hoping to paint those in the next week and then we can finally put everything away. I’m nervous to unpack most of the clothes because they’ll make the dresser and chest SUPER heavy and I know that it’ll be a pain to take all the drawers out just to move them and paint behind them.

For now, I have a few pictures of the house when it was completely empty. I will post pictures of each room as they are painted and unpacked.

Kitchen

Living Room

Backyard.

Part of our bedroom.

17 Days….

There’s only 17 days left until we get the house and I CANNOT wait! I’m so excited to get into our own space! There is still a RIDICULOUS amount of things to do, but at least we’re starting to get a move on them. This week has been crazy busy so far and looks like it will only be getting worse until Friday. Tyler defended his Masters thesis yesterday and it went great! I have to work crazy long hours today and Thursday and I have an interview for a Program Manager position with my current company on Thursday morning. I don’t know if I’ll get it, but I figured that it’s worth a try. Even if I don’t get it, at least I’ll have been through an interview for that position and I’ll know what it entails for next time.

Tyler also bought me a new bedroom set a few weeks ago and I’m so excited to get it! We had a beautiful bedroom set from my grandfather, but it was really old-fashioned and HUGE! The dresser literally would not fit anywhere in our bedroom because the bedroom has nooks for dressers and things like that and our current dresser is about TWO feet too long for it. It would have fit along one wall, but then it would have partially covered up a window and it probably wouldn’t have looked that good there.

We’ve also decided on what colours we’re painting the living room and bedroom too. The living room will have two grey walls and two light blue/teal walls and our bedroom is going to be sort of a light-grass green. We went out and spent quite a bit of money on new sheets and a few other decorative things, so we’ve made the decision that we won’t buy anything else for the bedroom until we get the room put together and see what it looks like.

Tyler has also been working at STIHL for almost a full month now and I’m so proud of him! He also defended his thesis yesterday, so he just has to make a few small changes here and there and his degree will be completely finished! He has worked so hard for this and I’m so proud of him! He’s done a great job!

We’ve had lots of great things happen to us this year and it seems to just keep on coming and I’M LOVING IT! Last year was a bit of a bummer year because we couldn’t find a house for us and we had to stay living with my parents when we weren’t finishing things up in Guelph for my new job in London. 2011 seems to be our year so far – Tyler finishing his Masters and getting a great full-time job, me working in London [and potentially not going back to Parkhill! :)], buying a house, getting Tyler a new car, my niece being born, etc. It’s great to finally have some good luck! (Touch wood!)

Anyways, below is the closest picture I could find of our new bedroom set. The knobs are different on our set and the drawers aren’t set up the same on the dresser, but most of the other stuff is close. The headboard on ours is totally different, but the rest of the room is what looks the most similar. Don’t worry though, I will definitely be posting a ton of pictures on here after we get the house! Let’s hope the next 17 days fly by!

5 Weeks To Go….

We get the house in 5 weeks! I am so excited!! It feels like it’s taking forever! I can’t believe that we bought the house 10 weeks ago. I’m even starting to have a hard time remembering what everything looks like. I can’t even remember what colour the carpet is in our bedroom. Or what colour the laundry room is. We’re supposed to get to go through in about 4 weeks to make sure that everything is the same way it was when we purchased it, but we haven’t scheduled that yet.

We still want to buy a few things, but we don’t NEED too much now. We still need to get non-burst stainless steel pipes for the washer and dryer, but other than that, we don’t NEED anything. I’d really like to get a new bedroom set because our old one won’t really fit into our new bedroom properly. There’s a nook in our bedroom where the current owners have their dresser and it looks really nice there, but our dresser is over a foot too long and won’t fit. That’s really the only place I can picture it though, so I don’t know where we’re going to put it. Hopefully we’ll find one we like in the next five weeks and everything will work out. If not, we’ll use what we have for now and then buy something once we’re in the new house.

I have not done a single thing towards packing in quite a while. My hours have changed at work, so instead of not starting until 3, I now start at 12:30. Tyler also got a new job at STIHL as a Computer Programmer, so he’s not here during the day and it can be very difficult for him to pack because a lot of the stuff that is out is mine. He only really has clothes and his computer and games unpacked and he’ll need all that stuff until just before we move. I have so much stuff unpacked – clothes, books, movies, computer, board games, all of my Christmas gifts. I really wish that I could just take a full week before we move and after we move to get everything ready and then unpacked. I’ve been trying to get up with Tyler in the mornings so that I can see him before work and I always think that I’ll spend my morning packing, but there’s always so much other stuff to do. I’m off today and I still don’t know if I’ll have time to pack. I have errands to run and laundry to do and vacuuming and it’s just never-ending, lol.

Hopefully the next five weeks zoom by. I’m getting really tired of all of my kitchen stuff being packed away and I really want to have all of my belongings unpacked. We literally have a full bedroom at my parents’ house filled with boxes of our stuff. I can’t wait! I wish I could fast-forward through the next 5 weeks!