Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Update


I have been missing my little blog this holiday season.  We have been busy with activities and life; and packing and organizing. 
   Last year, I thought I'd participate more in the holiday link parties and festive goodness this year.  Our temporary home isn't a hovel by any stretch of the imagination, but our holiday decorating has been a little *ahem* understated this year.  It has been hard for me to really get into the spirit of the season.

this is jen's tree.  mine is too ugly to post

   But I'm feeling festive this week.  I'm so looking forward to the long stretch of holidays that my family is taking (starting on Friday!!!).  I am especially looking forward to the skating and hot chocolate date that our family always has on Christmas Eve.  Maybe even more so this year, since I won this fabulous giveaway from Hat Attack over at Shorely Chic. 

(hope i look as cute as she does in my new fisherman knit accessories!)

We have been sipping on lots of hot chocolate over here at my house.  And I even made this Pinterest craft for some of my co-workers.

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I also made Toblerone Fudge this weekend.  My sisters-in-law are big fans and I make it for them every year.  It always makes me happy that they love it so much.  Especially since this year two of them are expecting babies so they deserve as much fudge as they want to eat. 
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(it's a Kraft recipe, pic from here)
I won't wax poetic about why I haven't been a very active blogger lately.  This blog is an outlet for me and a source of joy.  I just haven't had a whole lot to say lately.  I do keep up on my blog reading though. 
I wish you all a happy holiday season and the Merriest of Christmases!
xo Meg

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Inspiration and Audrey's Room Fabic

I am feeling so inspired and excited about moving into our new house!  I have been trolling pinterest for ranch home inspiration and am working on pulling together schemes and design plans for each space.  It's tricky because we have too many furnishings to fit into the house so I'm doing a lot of editing.

Remember this mood board for Audrey's Room?

Well, yesterday I tweaked it and ordered the inspiration fabric.  It's Robert Allen's Kiki in Pinata.

Here's the revised version of the mood board:

Once the fabric comes in, I'll be able to select the colour to paint that bed we found on the side of the road.  We'll be using the turquoise/aqua colour most likely.

Danielle also used this fabric in Emory's big girl room.  Here's a picture of that so you can see how Danielle rocked it.  We are doing one long lumbar pillow for the bed in Kiki and using the bright colour palate for the rest of the room.

Cute, right?

Hopefully all this inspiration leads to more regular blog posting.  I've really been missing my blog but I just haven't felt much like writing with everything that's been going on.  Thank you for sticking with me, friends.

xo Meg

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ranch House Here We Come!

Yesterday we completed the home inspection on our new home.  There were a few surprises on the exterior of the home that will require a little extra expense to fix.  But other than those few things, things are looking good for moving forward with the property. 

This home is considerably smaller than the homes we've lived in before.  And so very different!  I think both these things are good for us right now.  It seems like we simply don't have enough time to take care of an older, large home.  There was just always so much to do to maintain it.  This was one of the reasons we made the decision to sell our big old home this fall. 

That being said, the layout of our new house looks something like this:

 It's well laid out for our family but it will require some new storage and organization solutionsin order to work for us.  And we'll be selling/donating a whole bunch more furniture. 

First up, the 'tiny bedroom' on the main floor will be converted into a music room/office, as it's the only place that we can put Audrey's piano. Additionally, the kitchen will need an overhaul. It's in good shape and is newer, but it's not a style I love so we will definitely be making lots of changes there.

 Elliott really, really wants a bedroom and lounge space in the basement.  He's 12 now and just wants a cool space he can go with his friends and play the xbox in peace.  I am ok with this as we are completely renovating the lower level and the windows are actually above ground level down there.  I'm choosing to think about fire safety, rather than a  teenager sneeking-out here.  I'll post more about this phase of the reno another day, when we have it more sorted out.  It's likely the first thing we will be completing once we have posession.

We are going to live with the home in its current footprint for a while.  We want to see how it works for our family before we decide on the additional renovations (if any) we will want to do.  I would like for the small space to work for us but I just don't know if it's possible.  The home is on an amazing lot, on a great street so we would consider an addition like this:

(I forgot to label the bathroom in these graphics - it's the small rectangle in the middle)
This small change gives us a little more breathing room.  But we haven't made a decision yet. We want to see how the house works in it's current state before we decide to renovate.
So there you have it.  I'll probably post a few pictures of the house once we have signed off.  We get the keys in late January, so I have lots of time to dream, plan and organize!  If you have seen an awesome 60's ranch renovation online, send me the details.  I'd love to see what other people are doing to modernize them.  

I know all my American friends are preparing to celebrate the things they're thankful for this weekend.  And there really are so many things to be thankful for, aren't there.  We celebrated here in Canada a few weeks ago - I hope you all get to enjoy some family time with the people who are important in your life. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

xo Meg

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good News!

I think we've finally found a house! 

We're still working out the details but I'll keep you posted.  Just to get you in the right frame of mind, this house couldn't be any more different from our last one.  It's a brick ranch - a total departure from anything we've ever owned.

    It seems like there's lots of inspiration for the fixing-it-up process.  Just take a look at these:

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Sherry's house via  BHG

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Amazing exterior reno via TPH

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via cottage & vine

We are going in a completely different direction with the design and decorating in this house. I'm excited to try something new.  If you're curious about my plans for the new digs, you can check out my ranch home inspiration board on pinterest.  I'd love it if you know of any other great ranch renos to share with me. 

xo Meg

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Project #1

As promised, I'm going to keep myself from wallowing about our home situation by doing some projects.  Today, I'm going to show you the bed I found at the side of the road for Audrey's room.

But first, how could I have a bad day when my favourite marble rye toast came out like this?

{at least my toast loves me!}

Here's the headboard of the bed:

 There are also two thick, carved rails that go on the sides and a footboard.  It's in pretty good shape, despite it's terrible orangey stain.  

This is really the only problem with it:

See the little curved piece of trim that's missing?  Luckily I know a guy who can probably fix this little section.  I'm just waiting for him to do it.  I'm hoping he gets to it soon.

In the meantime, I'll do a sanding and priming job on the rest of the bed.  Surprisingly (not at all) Audrey has chosen turquoise as the paint colour.  I'm off to pick up some more fabric to use as my jumping off point.

{a reminder of the direction we're going with her room}


I'm so excited to get started on this project!

xo Meg

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Writer's Block

Our house closes on Friday.  You know what that means?  I'm officially homeless...

   You see, Jay and I bought our first home together a when we were in second year university.  We've moved four times since then.  But this is the first time we'll be moving where we don't have a new house to move into. 

  Don't get me wrong, we're not out on the street!  We just can't find a home to purchase in the neighborhood we want to live in.  There are only three homes listed in the neighborhood right now and none of them are suitable for us. 

   I've been incredibly busy with the move and searching for a new home.  We have packed up our house and moved most of our things into a storage carton which has gone to a storage facility until we can find a property. 

   But I'm also kind of bummed out.  I was really looking forward to finding a house, working on the design with Jay and making the changes we'd like to it, etc.  Figuring out the decorating on a home is my favorite thing to do. 

   Right now we're stalled out.  And as a result, I don't have a whole lot to say.  And you know me, that's driving me crazy.  I love to hear myself talk!

All this has prompted me to think of a few cool projects I can work on while we're in our temporary home.  Projects that will transport  Here's my list:

1.  Paint the headboard and footboard I found on the side of the road.  It's going in Audrey's room.
2.  Paint the sideboard from the dining room. I currently hate it and hope a lick of paint will help.
3.  Design a fabric plan / mood board for the living room and purchase the few things I need.
4.  Finalize the fabric selection for Audrey's bedroom and get some sewing done.
5.  Subway Art Project.

Starting next week, I'm going to pick on a project to work on each week. That way I can attempt to keep my sanity.  I'll keep you posted. 

xo Meg

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Elliott's New Room

I've been pulling together some inspiration for Elliott's bedroom in the new house (which we have yet to find, but that's a post for another day).

If you recall, this is Elliott's room now:

He's definitely outgrown the bed.  There's no way he can fit into a twin bed anymore.  We have a lovely, simple dark wood headboard to use in his new room.  But the bedding will be changing, obviously.  I'm on the lookout for great rustic bedding.  

The room will be heading in a slightly different direction.  For one, we don't have much barn board leftover, so there won't be a barnboard wall.  But we will probably keep his desk and just upgrade the chair.  
The turkish rug will also be staying. 

Elliott loves the red colour in the rug.  I really struggle with decorating using red.  It's just not a colour that speaks to me.  But apparently it is loud and clear for him.  He's gone so far as to ask for red on the walls.  I don't think I can go that far, but maybe a red desk chair and a few other accessories.

Here's some inspiration:

(only using reds and grey instead of blues - love this room by Abby)

I actually think I could just shop for the room entirely on the West Elm site.  I and thinking about these two blankets:

We will also go with a darker, moodier wall colour... I think.  I'm working on an inspiration board.  I'm also looking for a red desk chair so let me know if you see something great!

xo Meg

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jimmy Stanton's Georgia Home

Many of you have probably seen this kitchen image floating around pinterest.  I'm sure it's been pinned a zillion times.  Something about the simplicity and warmth of this kitchen speaks to me. 

I love the industrial vibe of the old table and the planked walls and ceilings.  I love the green jug on the top shelf and am on a serious hunt to find one for our new digs. 
I thought you might like to see some images from the rest of this amazing home. 
All images via Country Living here

Friday, October 12, 2012

Keep Moving Forward

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If you're wondering where I've been, I'm neck deep in boxes attempting to pack up the house.  We're short on time and long on work.  The closing date is looming! 
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happy weekend!
xo Meg

Friday, October 5, 2012



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Sometimes in life, it's hard to be thankful. 

It's really easy to look at all the things in your life you wish you could change.  Life is sometimes complicated, isn't it? Sometimes things don't work out the way you planned or dreamed or hoped.  Sometimes, life hands you lemons.
This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.  This year, I am thankful for a whole lot.  Of course, those who are dear to me are at the top of my list.  But I'm also going to be thankful for my mistakes.  My screw-ups, challenges, and dumb moves.  There are plenty of them to be thankful for, after all.
Those mistakes have brought our family to the place it is today.  They've placed us on the path to creating the life we really want to live and made us into the people we are today.  Maybe it hasn't been perfect but I certainly wouldn't trade the people I share my life with for anything. 
I am so thankful to have them.

 Count your blessings and have the happiest of Thanksgivings!

xo Meg

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Riot of Colour

If there's one thing Audrey is certain of, it's that she LOVES colour.  Lots of bright, happy colours.

When we created her room in our house, we went with her all time fave, turquoise.  I was trying to make her room fit the overall look of our 125 year old home.  But it wasn't polished and the scheme never came together the way I envisioned.  It wasn't really the fun, happy space she wanted.  You can see for yourself, above.

We've been looking at some ideas for her room in our new house.  And she's not kidding when she says she wants it to be colourful.  These rooms are her favourites.

Apartment Therapy

House & Home
Lucy & Company

You can find all these rooms on my Kids Rooms pinboard.

Here's the inspiration board for Audrey's new space:

I think you all know that I'm a little colour shy.  The walls of her room will be an off white to dial it down a bit.  As will the furniture, except for maybe the bed.  She's currently trying to convince me that a rainbow chevron wall is the way to go.  Yikes!  A riot of colour!

Nothing like pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

xo Meg

Monday, October 1, 2012

Big News

   Last February, we listed our house.  I think you all know how I feel about my house.  I love it.  We didn't think we'd ever move again.

     If you are interested in the reasons why we were listing back in February, you can read this post.  If you'd like to see that listing, click here.  I think it's interesting because it shows the house pre-reno, and a few of you have asked about that.  Here are a couple of ugly process shots:

     If you recall, our house didn't sell after a couple of months.  The deals kept falling through. We determined the reason to be that there was simply too much work to be done on the property.  We thought we'd have better success if we completed a reno to the main floor, among other things you can read about here. Since we own a renovation company, this type of work costs us considerably less than it costs other people.

   We finished most of the work we were looking at completing with the reno, although there were a few things that still needed to be done.  We felt that the house was ready to re-list.

We listed the house on Thursday, September 20th.  We received an offer the following Wednesday and accepted it.  It's all done now, and the SOLD sign is up.

My feelings about this are extremely mixed.

We are actively looking for a new home now.  The neighbourhood we are looking at has old brick rancher homes.  With wide, beautiful properties, huge old trees and quite, rambling streets.  A completely different architecture.

We are waiting for just the right house to come up.  We have been to a few, but nothing that is just right yet.

So, for the next while, I'll be posting a little more about inspiration and a little less about reality.  We don't have very many real projects that we can be doing, although there are a couple of furniture painting projects I'll be working on.  Lots of inspiration boards coming your way!

xo Meg