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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sh%t My Kids Ruined: Kitchen Chair Edition

I was once a non-parent. It wasn't even that long ago in the grand scheme of things, only seven years. We were newlyweds, regulars at the neighborhood pub and on a first name basis with Tom, the bartender. Everything we owned fit in two VW Jetta's and we regularly packed our belongings into the trunks and left town to follow the next flying contract.

There are many different types of people with as many perfectly valid reasons for not being parents. In the years before we started our little family, I was firmly planted in the "baby fever but husband not on board" group. We had decided that we weren't ready to start a family but that it could definitely be in our near future. We bought our first home, had plans on staying in one place for the next few years and were feeling like grown ups for the first time since we'd gotten married. It was at this point that we became slightly delusional.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall is here, and it brought back Pumpkin Spice!

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall, 2013. Fall absolutely rocks my socks. Almost as much as ...

...this Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake. The recipe is here at Sprinkle Bakes.  Really. Eat this. Thank me later. I take no responsibility for the damage done to your waistline as a result of this post. If you top this with espresso whip cream your guests will beg you to keep the recipe a secret. 

***Do not feed to the toddler who is already up past his bedtime. Espresso and babies don't mix, I know you are shocked. Be warned. ***

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend Work in Progress

Lakelse Lake, BC

There is something about fall and school being back in session that makes me really appreciate lazy weekends. Caleb just started Grade 1 this year and as much as he loves school, it has been a huge wakeup call. Driving home last week, our chatter went like this:
"Mom, can we go to drop-in gymnastics on Friday?" 
"No, you have school."
"Well, when can we go again?"
" approximately 12 years. Sorry buddy." 

For a kid who heads outside to ride his bike before breakfast, who would choose to eat every meal in his "sniper den" and smells like a combination of cut grass, fresh air and dirty dog, this 5 days/week school is a bit hard to swallow. I have let bed times slide a little bit while the days are still long because we are heading straight into a long, cold, Northern Alberta winter. Our noisy chaotic, kid filled street will be a barren wasteland until March...ish. When I asked the kids what they wanted to do this weekend, it was unanimous. Ride our bikes. Such simple pleasures. Why ever would I run myself ragged trying to plan and schedule when all they want, all they need, is to play outside.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Boy and His Dog

12 years ago I bought my dad a puppy for Father's day. I taught her all the tricks she knew, hiked mountains and swam in glacier creeks with her. She loved to pull me on rollerblades but hated coming along while we were cliff jumping. She was convinced that it wasn't safe and would howl and cry every time I jumped. I loved that dog and when she lived with us for a year, she was Caleb's best friend. My babies curled up in the warmth of her fur.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

My name is Julie, and I am an addict...

I left for church this morning without even a few sips of cold coffee. Some days I kid myself into thinking that I am not truly a caffeine addict, that I can function just fine without it. It was abundantly clear today, that I can not.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Learn to Crochet

I was maybe 13 years old when my Grandma tried to teach me to knit. It didn't take. I had much better things to do with my time like attempting to record the latest song from my radio onto cassette. It was all about perfect timing. You finally had everything set up, radio close enough to the cassette recorder but not too close, you pushed record at just the right moment and then... the DJ would interrupt with something not nearly interesting enough to justify screwing up your mix tape!  Kids these days have no clue how rough we had it!

Twenty years later I am feeling pretty confident that I can figure out this crochet thing. I opened up Google and started my search for any website that would get me started.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Paint Your Countertop: Giani Granite Countertop Paint

The next phase of my diy kitchen makeover project is a countertop update. If you missed the first step, you can catch up by reading through Fugly Kitchen: Phase 1. The glossy black/brown cabinets make my heart very happy!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Brass Ceiling Fan Makeover: Sophisticated Finishes, Blackened Bronze

Think 1995 - dusty rose and forest green.  Pink counters, pink linoleum and pink vertical blinds. Hand painted ivy on every possible surface, including the blades of the ceiling fan in my kitchen. Kill.Me.Now.

Success: Camera strap cover with pockets

Handmade goodies are starting to show up at this house!! So far I have attempted fabric coasters, a cover for my recently acquired sewing machine and a mat for under my Keurig. Blah. None of them terrible, but decidedly un-awesome. 

With so many new skills to learn this year, Pinterest has become my new best friend. The endless pages of easy projects and beginner friendly tutorials call my name and have me completely addicted. In one of my pinning frenzies, I came across this camera strap tutorial by Diary of a Mad Crafter and knew that I had to try it. 

Update Oak Cabinets: Old Masters Gel Stain, Spanish Oak

My kitchen transformation has been a work in progress since we first stepped foot in this house. The previous owners really had a thing for ivy. Oak and ivy, everywhere. Each wall was builder's white, every countertop cotton candy pink. I'd say that it wasn't really my style, but truly it was awful.