Work has been steadily progressing on the veranda, so I thought I’d give you a little update.
The railings are on, and just need to be trimmed.

I finally finished stripping the beams today.  What a big, crappy job in the crazy heat wave we’ve been experiencing!  I literally had sweat dripping down my body the entire time I worked!  I guess it didn’t help that I used a heat gun to strip the paint, lol. I am so not looking forward to heading out into the heat to work again tomorrow, but I guess it could be worse; I could be suffering through Carmageddon, instead!  

Here’s the view from the street.  Unfortunately, by the time I remembered to take pictures, it was night time, so these aren’t the best shots in the world, but you get the idea.

I love, love, love the new columns!! I also ripped the metal flashing off of the large beam at the front and sides of the veranda roof.
I started stripping them late this afternoon, and I’m already almost done.  This was not my favourite job, since I’m terrified of heights.  Next I get to hold a belt sander over my head for hours on end to sand it all.  Yay!  

I wanted a wide stair set leading up to the house, so our new set are about twice as wide as the old set. We My dad still has two large posts and railings to add to the stairs.  They should look amazing when they’re done!  

I removed the ugly metal flashing that was covering the original wood door trim, so next I get to strip and sand that. 

But when I saw that original dental moulding that had been covered up, I knew it was worth it! I can’t wait to see it all repainted and with our new green door installed!

Because as I told you yesterday, I hate the hell outa this door.

I’ve already sanded all of the pickets, columns and handrails, but then I went around and re-filled any spots that were still too low, and little knicks and cracks that had been missed the first time, so now I get to go around and re-sand all of those spots.  But then it’s on to priming, and eventually, painting.  We also need to line the ceiling with tongue and groove to cover the roof trusses.
I can’t wait to see it all done!  We’ve had so many neighbours, and random people driving by stop to tell us what an improvement our new veranda is.  It feels really great to know that we’re helping to make our neighbourhood a nicer place.

Check back next week for another update on our veranda progress!
(Hopefully I’ll have something to show you ;))

Ready to see some of my latest thrift store finds?  

First up we have a little table that you may recognize from a previous post.  I bought it for $4!

Next is a vase, also from the aforementioned previous post, which was purchased for 50 cents.
I picked up this cute portable record player for my husband for $10.  He’s been pouting ever since the kids broke his record player 6 years ago, so he’s pretty excited to dust off the record collection!

I got this cute little owl for $1. 
This little pottery bird is made by Tremar U.K. and was purchased for $1.  

This cute little bowl was also $1.

As was this little hinged shell box.

This perfume decanter was from a fancy shop, and still had the original price tag of $29.99 attached.  I paid $4.

I love this cute little watercolour print!

I have a thing for old lamps.  This one was $6.

I got this cute little fan for $2 at a yard sale.

This pretty little urn was a whopping 50 cents.

And finally, one of my favourite purchases, and a story to go with it!  Last time my husband and I were in Montreal, there were lots of artists selling their beautiful watercolour paintings of Quebec, on the streets for $20 each.  I wanted to buy at least one painting, but then I started to think, “well, where am I going to put it?  Do I really need one?”  We didn’t get very far outside of Montreal before I started kicking myself for not buying a painting or two.  So about a year later, what do I come across in a local thrift store?  Not one, but TWO framed watercolour paintings of Montreal!  I was so excited, and even more excited when I realized that they were only $5 each!  

Happy thrifting, everyone!

As I may, or may not have told you, I hate the front door that came with our house.  It’s just friggin’ ugly.

So Mike and I went to our local Restore, and bought an antique door.  The best part?  It came with antique hardware, which we plan to have re-keyed.

I’ve been busily stripping our new door, and will soon begin sanding and painting it.  I can’t wait to see it’s bright green goodness welcoming people into our home!

Here’s the paint colour I’ve chosen, to refresh your memory:

And here’s our new door:

I’m hoping my front door will have the same kind of impact on our house that this door has on this house:

Hey everyone!  Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!  We had beautiful weather this weekend, which was nice since it was my sweet little lady’s 3rd birthday AND Ribfest! My kids just love going to Ribfest, and look forward to it all year.

Isabella enjoying the wading fountain at Ribfest on her 3rd birthday

I also got a tonne of work done on the veranda, which I’ll be showing you later this week.  We’re getting very close to being ready to paint, and I think I’ve decided on colours.  A few months ago, before we took possession, I chose some colours for the house which I shared with you in this post.  But what can I say?  I’m indecisive.  I’ve changed my mind.  
So here’s what should probably be my final decision on house colours.  Most likely.  Unless I change my mind. 😉
Ok, first of all, you have to picture it all with these shingles, not the horribly ugly brown ones that are on our house now.  We’re going to need to re-shingle in the next few years.  
The brick will be painted with “Pepper Tree”
The surface of the veranda will be painted in “Mount Everest”
The railings and columns will be painted white (I haven’t chosen a specific white yet)
The handrails will be painted black (again, I haven’t chosen a specific black yet)
My mom and dad gave us a couple of Adirondack chairs that they were retiring, and they’ll be getting a coat of “Soaring Eagle”
Our new front door will be painted “Mozambique”
I picked up this fabric from Value Village for $7.99, which I’ll be making into pillows for the Adirondack chairs:
This is the light fixture that I’m planning to install.  It’s really quite big AND it’s on sale this week for $20 off!  Sweet!
We’re also thinking about putting a picket fence around our entire property.  
And I’m going to build some wooden urns to mimic the style of the bottom of our columns, similar to these:

I also really, really, REALLY want to make some black and white striped curtains to surround the veranda, like these:


I want to make and install some window boxes:


And some shutters for the windows (only in black, not the blue shown):


So that’s the (new) plan for the veranda.  What do you think?

Hi faithful blog readers!  Sorry again for barely blogging all week!  I’ve been so busy around the house that I completely forgot to blog!  I’ve got lots to write about next week, so make sure you pop by and take a look!

I thought I’d share a project with you that I completed a while ago.  I found a large artist’s canvas (3′ by 4′)  for $6.99 at a local shop.  I considered creating my own “Jackson Pollock,” until I remembered a t-shirt that I had recently seen.  Maybe you’ve seen it before…..

 I decided to make my own version of the t-shirt with my new canvas.  First I typed out the names of my family members in Microsoft Word, and played with enlarging the font until I found the size I wanted.  Then I printed them, and cut out each individual letter.
Then I traced each letter onto cheap MacTac that I bought from the dollar store.  After I finished tracing onto the MacTac, I then cut out each letter, like so….

It took forever….

Then I painted the entire canvas white, using a roller.  This is an important step, because if you have to touch-up the white letters, the paint will not perfectly match the white canvas unless you have painted it first.  
Once the paint was dry, I used my t-square to draw straight, evenly spaced lines along the canvas.

Then I peeled the backing from my MacTac letters and stuck them along my pencil lines like so:
After I pressed each letter firmly into place, rubbing along the edges of each letter, I then used black spray paint and painted the entire canvas.  

When I peeled the letters off I had to do a bit of touch-up with my white paint, but it turned out pretty well.  See for yourself:
Now it hangs in one of my favourite places in our house; the top of the upstairs landing:
Happy Friday, everyone!  See you Monday!

Hey everyone…. sorry I’ve been M.I.A. for a few days.  Now that the kids are finished school for the summer, my workload seems to have increased tenfold.  The veranda renovations are taking up a lot of my time; check back later this week for an update on that project.

So any-who, last weekend Mike (my husband, for those of you just tuning in) and I had dinner with an old friend and her boyfriend, and had such a great time, that all I can think about is when we’re going to do it again.

Now if you knew me better, you would know that I love to bake, but I really, really don’t enjoy cooking. Maybe it’s because it’s become a chore, or maybe it’s because at least one of my ungrateful offspring will complain about what I’ve made.  The only time I do enjoy cooking is when I’m trying a new recipe, or when I’m entertaining, which is a very rare occurrence.

Since it’s our turn to have our friends and their kids for dinner next, I’ve been dreaming up dinner ideas that would be tasty, and fun for the kids.

So here are a few of my ideas so far:
Pizza Party

Our family always has pizza on Friday nights, and my kids just love when I deviate from our usual frozen pizza, and let them make their own personal pizzas.  I start by making fresh pizza dough, and then let my imagination run wild with sauces and toppings. 

Shish Kabob Party

I also thought that since it’s BBQ season, maybe we could have a shish kabob party.  I’m thinking chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.  

Or maybe we should just skip dinner, and have a……
Cupcake Party

So what do you think?  Any other ideas for an interactive dinner party?  I’d love to hear your ideas!  

Happy holiday weekend, everyone! 
 We have a fun weekend planned!  Our city hosts free concerts in the park every Wednesday and Friday, so we’ll be walking the 10 minutes downtown to watch the concert and fireworks with the kids.  On Saturday, we’re going to an old friend’s house for a BBQ, and then Sunday we’ll probably get some more work done on the veranda, which, by the way, is looking fantastic!  
Before the long weekend fun begins, grab a cup of something steamy, and take a peek at the posts I enjoyed this week:

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!  
See you Monday!

Word up, blog friends!  I thought I’d share another blog that I recently discovered, and fell in love with.  Chantelle Ellem is the author of Fat Mum Slim, where she blogs about her life and experiences. I normally just read a lot of design blogs, but something about Chantelle’s writing style is really captivating!  Her newly designed blog is just full of her own beautiful, unique photography, and everything is well organized into an easy to read format.
Besides being full of cute/funny/sad/witty/smart stories about her daily life and family, Fat Mum Slim also offers great recipes, and tonnes of blogging advice.  
For instance, this recipe, which I am totally going to try!
Plus, she has a totally adorable baby that she writes touching letters to.
No, really, go.  Right now.  I’ll meet you back here again tomorrow. 

Well, today is a busy day for me, because when the kids are finished school this afternoon, they’re done for two long months!  I both look forward to, and dread their summer holiday!  I enjoy having the kids home more, but the fighting and mess-making…. not so much.

In bigger news, my (almost 14 year old) son, Liam, graduated from elementary school last night, and now I officially feel old!  I can’t believe I’m going to be the mother of a high school student!  It feels like I was just in high school yesterday!  It also feels like just yesterday that I first dropped my little guy off at Jr. Kindergarten.  Here are a few shots of him on his first day:

 Liam told me that I couldn’t come to his graduation ceremony if I was going to cry, but I couldn’t promise anything.  I was also supposed to stand far enough away from him so that no one would know that I was his mom, but then he needed the car keys, so he was forced to talk to me in public!  Teenagers!

Here are a few pics of our night:

While Liam waited for his dad to finish getting ready, he went out to skateboard.  I just about had a heart attack.  Why, you ask?  Well, because Liam assured me that he owned at least one pair of black skinny jeans without holes in the knees from skateboarding.  Long story short, I discovered at 2 PM today that he does not.  So I had to go to the mall and buy him jeans, and then I got roped into West49’s “buy one get one for $15 off” deal, and by the time I left the mall, my wallet was considerably lighter.  I warned him that after tonight, the jeans are going away until fall, so I was about to kill him when I saw him skating in them!!  He is a damn good skateboarder, though, I’ll give him that!

I forced the kids to stand together for a picture.  Note how thrilled Liam looks.

 Liam didn’t want me to photograph him and his friends, but I reasoned with him that since all of the other moms were doing it, I should be allowed to do it too.  

Liam shaking hands with the principal.  Notice how he’s leaning away from her?  That’s because she hugged a bunch of students, so when she leaned towards him, Liam wasn’t taking any chances!  

I forced Liam to pose for a few more pictures after the ceremony.  I told him to be grateful that unlike the other moms I was just taking a picture of him, and not forcing him to get his picture taken with me while I hugged and kissed him.

I tried to make him smile, but the more I told him to smile, the more he scowled.

I cannot believe that my little boy is headed off to high school in the fall!  I am the mother of a high school student!?  Weird!  I’m going to have to practice saying that it the mirror until it feels natural! 😀
Congratulations, Liam!  Your dad and I are so proud of you!  I can’t wait to see where life will take you, and what you’ll make of yourself!  (No pressure)

Hey there Internet friends!  It’s been a busy week of renovation madness around here, and I figured I’d better get around to showing you some progress pictures of our veranda!

Let’s take a look back at what the veranda looked like when we bought our house in December:

Ugh, terrible and dangerous.  The roof was beginning to pull away from the brick.  No wonder, since it was being held to the bricks by nothing but 100 year old rusted nails!  
I could not wait until the weather warmed up to begin tearing it apart!  I started the demolition by tearing the railings off, but Mike and my dad (who was not very enthusiastic about being photographed for my blog) certainly finished it!
Well, a lot has happened since this photo was taken!  We’re not done, but we’re really getting there!

 We had to completely redesign the columns, since the bottoms were rotten and home to a colony of carpenter ants.  I absolutely love how they turned out!  In fact, I like them more now than I did before!

There’s still a lot of work to do, but the end is in sight!