After much finger crossing, hoping, wishing, and hunting free wifi, the light has been delivered and picked up. Now we are safely back in the good O’Canada and heading home to enjoy the rest of Victoria Day.
It has been about 10 months since the bubby and I bought our first house, but somehow we still feel like renters … renters who pay for every little thing, shovel all the snow, do all the yard work, and stay up nights worrying about frozen downspouts.
We haven’t yet gotten to the really fun part of owning our own home; doing whatever we want with it!
So it’s time we start decorating our house and making it feel more like home. Once Easter is over and the family visitors are back on their way, we are going to renovate the smallest possible space; the powder room. I think it’s a good idea to test our DIY skills on only a few cubic feet at a time. See how it goes.
Step One has been to spend crazy amounts of time on the internet looking for inspiration.
From this I have learnt that I like light greys, geometric prints, and the contrast between modern finishes and natural wood.
Step Two has been to spend even more time on the internet looking for products that match my style and that I can actually get my hands on (this is a challenge because apparently the USA thinks Canada is an inaccessible arctic country and doesn’t like to ship here).
Here is my plan for the Powder Rooms project … even if I have to drive to the damn border and pick most of it up myself!
The image-map above is a little off, but all the links are there, somewhere. Scroll over for more information on each piece.
The light fixture is what sets the whole thing off for me. It’s from Shades of Light and is the piece it will be hard for me to get, since there is not shipping here to Canada. But I HAVE to have it. I love drama of it and the Edison bulb is to die for.
At first we were going to leave the floors as tiles over-lap with the hall. This is another challenge as it will mean re-tiling outside the powder room as well. I think the classic and clean look will be well worth it.
The budget for this Reno is $1700, which is high for a 12 square-foot room (think $142/square foot, yikes!). But this is a total gut job (new toilet, paint, floor, et cetera) and we think it’s worth putting higher-end quality products in a so often used space.
That’s how I’ve been waking up every morning lately; squealing ”spreeee!” in a high octave voice as I stretch in bed. The bubby loves it I swear.
The reason I do this is because we are going on a shopping spree this weekend. Finally! No more battles with the closet every day, flipping through hanger after hanger, over and over, convinced that this time I’ll find something that
It’s a challenge.
But to get the most out of my shopping trip I realize I probably shouldn’t spree at all. I should have a plan … and a list. I love lists! So with the help of my brain and in internet, I have come up with a list of basic items that I should absolutely have for work this fall and winter.
All the images are from BananaRepublic.ca and are merely examples of what I should be hunting for on my very focused and organised shopping spree.
Nothing says “I’m a professional” like a blazer. You feel boss in a blazer, like literally a boss. You can wear them over everything, even dresses, and your salary jumps up a decimal point instantly. Have a black one and a grey one, also have a cardigan for more casual days.
It is the law: no work wardrobe is complete without a few formal shirts. Layer under your boss blazers, or wear on their own tucked in or out of pants and skirts. Get a black, a white, and a colour.
Blouses are office-appropriate tops that aren’t formal shirts (see above). Look for high quality fabrics like silk and stay away from jersey or cotton with their more relaxed looks. Have some long-sleeved, short-sleeved, and sleeveless for layering options, and feel free to add colour!
I live in Canada, its cold here. Sometimes you need to leave the silk shirt at home and throw on a chunky sweater. This is absolutely appropriate and encouraged, because a frozen worker is a slow worker. Try to coordinate them with your bottom pieces.
Don’t forget pants, that’s a textbook nightmare. Make sure you have a pair in black, grey and navy and/or brown. Spend some time finding the right fit and flare for your shape. I like a wide trouser leg for my curvalicious body.
Skirts are the flirty younger sister of pants. They fill the same role in your closet but look hotter and show off your shoes. I love skirts. Get the same colours as your pants but also get a lot more.
Dresses are easy because you don’t need to think about matching anything; just throw it on and off you go. But they also tend to draw attention and look maybe a tad too formal … at least in my office. Well suck it, I look awesome in dresses. Save them for when you have dinner/drink plans after work and you will transition from day to night with ease. Get basic black, grey, and one fun colour.
La la la la lee lee la … Oh sorry, I was distracted by shoes. If you are a girl who likes shoes (like me) congratulations you’re done reading my post! If not, you still need a few basic pumps for work. They are polished and professional and can be worn with pants, dresses, AND skirts. LEARN TO LOVE THEM, they are versatile. You don’t need ridiculously high heels and they can be very comfortable. Get grey, black, and a nude at least. It’s winter so keep those toes covered.
Heels are amazing but flats are cute too. Especially if you know you will be running around a lot that day or have errands after work. They look best with pants but can work with skirts and dresses too. You can find these quite cheaply so buy a bunch to add colour and pattern to your basic outfits.
I’m terrible at accessorizing so I’m not going to give any tips on scarves, belts, or bags. I will tell you that you need hosiery though. Get some black and nude stockings for under skirts and dresses. People think you wear them because you are a lady, Ha! you’re not, you are a wild-thing that hates being cold. Lose them when summer hits but hoard a good supply all winter long; those friggers tear every time.
So that’s what you need for a basic work wardrobe according to me. I actually have a lot of this stuff so will only need to fill in the gaps, mostly in the blouse and pant categories.
Looking up at these items it all feels kind of dull and neutral … just like my office job. But these are basics that are meant to mix-and-match with each other and the more interesting pieces in your closet.
I’m very excited to get to the end of this week because we are going across the border for some The-Canadian-Dollar-Is-High (a.k.a Canada rocks) shopping!
Thinking about trying on clothes has me taking note of my rather ‘pear shaped’ body and reflecting on all the indulgences of the summer.
So this week is all about healthy low-calorie meals that fit in with a kicked-up workout schedule. Not sure how much difference a week can make but hey, you gotta start somewhere.
Monday - Some kind of fresh fish, grilled with a Spinach and Blueberry salad
Tuesday – Summer Vegetable Crêpes
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken Wraps
Thursday – Black Bean and Salmon Tostadas
Friday - Dinning out somewhere in the US of A!
Saturday – Leftovers
eatingwell.com is full of healthy recipe ideas!
I lied. This isn’t about moving day at all. This is about the day before moving day, the day we got the keys to our first home.
Moving day was far too chaotic for picture-taking, and I looked way to frazzled to be seen on the internet. But the day we got the keys we went directly from the lawyer’s office to our new home and captured the moments before we crossed over the threshold of home ownership.
Maybe it was silly, I’m sure the neighbourhood thought so when they saw us running back and forth to a tripod in our drive way (we really need to get a remote shutter release). I sincerely hope our neighbours were not at home, otherwise we made a truly odd first impression.
But it was a special moment for us. Seven months ago we took notice of the decreasing interest rates in Canada and decided now was the time to buy. We had planed to wait another year but didn’t want to miss an opportunity. We scrimped and saved and seven months later we had our down payment plus a little bit extra to spare. I can’t believe we were able to save so much and the reward for doing so is amazing.
A lot of couples get married before they buy a house, and the wedding is a big deal because it’s a public deceleration of love and commitment. I see us buying a house together as no less of an occasion; we just did it first because it made more financial sense for us. Still a good reason to put on a white dress, take pictures and drink champagne.
Oh yes we drank champagne. After running through the house like chickens and opening up every drawer and closet door screaming “they left this!” and “did you notice that?” we got changed and got down to work cleaning the loos in preparation for moving day -this is where the wedding metaphor falls apart badly. We picked it back up though with a decadent fast food dinner in the garden and a bottle of my very favourite sparkling beverage veuve clicquot.
My parents were even there to give us a little toast, and it was the first of what I hope is many good times in our new place. I still very much want to get married, but every couple is different and takes their own route through life. I am loving our road so far and want to document every milestone in it.
Silly or not, I think I will be very glad to have these pictures to look back on one day.
I started this blog right before my last birthday, and I wrote about a fabulous wine I was looking forward to having again. Well it’s been a year! And as awesome as my Birthday’s always are, I have to say I out did myself this year for my 25th; I went sky diving.
It was a ‘bucket list’ thing (check!), and I was pretty bummed about reaching the ripe old age of 25 and felt like I had to trump it somehow. Liam called it my “quarter-life crisis”, but that didn’t stop him from coming with me! And it was phenomenal, the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced. I was terrified for about half a second, and then I was utterly thrilled in the most literal sense of the word.
One of the first things I said after landing was that EVERYONE should do this, at least once. It’s pretty expensive, I paid $400 for the full video and picture package at Mile High, and Liam paid $280 for just the jump; but seriously, would you want it to be much cheaper than that? We are talking all the equipment, expert Jump Masters, a plane, gas, everything. And it is SO worth it. Make it a once in a lifetime thing you will never forget.
Take a look at some of my pictures and videos, and be inspired to jump from 10 000 feet and gain a whole new perspective on the world by the time to reach it.
A quick slide show:
The full experience:
Today is the day after the Ottawa Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Today is the day my legs are so stiff I cannot move them, and my feet are so sore I can’t put them on the floor. I underestimated walking 60 km; it was so much harder than I thought it would be. I thought the hard part was raising the $2000 needed to participate. I though that was the accomplishment me and my team, Quest for The Breast, had each attained. No no. The hard part was earning that donated money; proving our faith that a cure, a vaccine, a better treatment for breast and gynecological cancers exist.
At the end of Day 1, and the first 32 km, I had pretty much given up hope. I was already as stiff and hurt as I feel today. Even with good shoes, fancy socks, and copious amounts of Body Glide my feet we covered in blisters. I don’t want to get too graphic, but my pinkie toe had a blister on it bigger than my pinkie toe. When you wake up in the morning hardly able to move, you can’t image that you can walking another 28 km. But willpower is amazing; you ignore your body for a while, you force your feet down, you tell your legs to move, and after a while the pain numbs, you muscles warm up and stop resisting you and you start having fun again.
Now I understand the magnitude of 60 kilometres (37 miles). If you know Ottawa; driving from Petrie Island to the Scotiabank Place is only 45km. Prince Edward Island, at its widest point, is 64 km. It is great to know, that for the right reason, I could walk across a province. Great to know that I can push myself to accomplish something I’ve put my mind to. I hadn’t considered the mental part of the journey; and the wall that popped up inside my head that said I couldn’t do it caught me off guard. I am proud of myself for pushing through that wall, but I am overwhelmed with respect for the cancer survivors, young and old, who crossed the finish line with much more grace and perseverance then I could ever achieve. Yesterday is the day I learnt that it always seems impossible until it is done (Nelson Mandela).
I worship David Suzuki and visit the David Suzuki Foundation website pretty often. There is a page discussing bees and their habitat loss, with helpful links to find out why bees are so important to us people. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and don’t want to surf on-line for answers, I recommend watching Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie; hilarious and illuminating.
So as awesome as all thing David Suzuki are, I find the list of “ plants, organized by when they bloom, …[that] are a few of the species native to Canada that attract bees” pretty un-inspiring. So I turned the list into an image that showcases the lovely flowers you can have in your Canadian bee-friendly garden. I will absolutely keep them in mind when I start gardening.
These are just the spring suggestions. I will pretty-up the lists for summer and fall as we get to those seasons.