Friday, 22 September 2017


Welcome to our backyard!

Our patio area and shed

We have a decently sized backyard with a garden already in place... which is perfect because if there is one thing John wanted was for there to be space for a big garden (and if this garden space isn't enough for him there are some community gardens that we can rent space from about a 5 minute walk away from us)
What have we changed?

Not much

The day before we moved here there was an estate sale around the corner so we picked up some hose and a rake.  The following week I was at Dollar Tree and saw they had spray nozzles for the end of a hose and picked up one of those (which is actually holding up surprisingly well).

We took out a few bushy plants to transplant our strawberries that we had on our balcony.  Not knowing what exactly our plans are for the garden for next year we just chose a spot at the end and figured since we didn't really know what the plants were we wouldn't miss them.

There are however some plants that do seem more like keepers

This one is hard to see because apparently we are also using it to support a tomato plant that didn't fair too well during the move.  It's a small bushy little tree that I'm assuming will be around next year.

Also not sure what this one is but it had a flower on it (and there were the beginnings of more of them at the top) but it seems to be doing well... is it one that continues to bloom year after year?  I haven't a clue.

There are also a bunch of these in the garden.  I actually bought 2 of these a few years ago to keep on my balcony.  They require next to no work and have survived many a winter.  

One day I want to make a flower garden under our bay window at the front of the house... and maybe just maybe some (or all?) of these plants could be moved there... because although we may not have much planned for the garden I do know that all that space will likely be filled with fruit and veggies.

Psst.. the last couple of Friday's I've been posting about our [new to us] house... it's kind of a thing I'm doing now I guess.  Here is last week's post

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Other Wedding Stuff

What seems like eons ago I posted about possibilities we were considering for our wedding guest book.  John ended up making the decision and it was likely the most expensive of the options (especially since we haven't used the camera since).  But here are a couple of pages of the book...

Our wedding guest book

Originally I picked up a large scrapbooking album for Michaels hummed and hawed about the size of it for about a week and decided I likely wanted to go with something else... but what that something else was I wasn't sure.  Then while wandering the aisles at Michaels (on one of my twice weekly Michaels visits... seriously... they basically sponsored our wedding and weren't even aware of it!) I found a small 3 ring binder (the outside of it was a plain white fabric and we never added anything more to it) with a bunch of pages and envelopes included.  It was probably about $10 which was a fraction of the cost of the original album (I don't recall the cost of it.. probably at least $30).  We set it on a table with 2 of our friends manning it to take photos of our guests and left pens, markers, and glue sticks out for them to decorate and write a message.

I don't think I ever shared what we did for our table seating chart either.  We also kept this pretty simple.  In fact, the hardest part of the seating chart was finding a frame that included a bunch of spots for photos... that I actually liked.  I actually just came across this as we were moving (yes, the seating chart came with us... I'm sure we might reuse it for something other than a seating chart sometime!).  Anyways, I found this frame at JYSK for a good price... we decided on the black frame versus the white because the tent and so much of the decor was already white.  The paper was scrapbooking paper from Michaels.  Did you know you can pretty much return anything to Michaels?  A potential guest book that you decide is too large but lost the receipt for and even their open stock scrapbook paper.  

Our wedding seating chart

We hadn't used our engagement photos at all (other than the one that was on our invites) and so we used some of the extra spots to in the seating chart to add some of our engagement pictures... whether people spent time looking for more than their name is beyond me but we did it anyways.
 The venue had an easel we could use so we set this on the easel by the guest book table and everyone seemed to find their spot.

Also, to see some much better quality photos of our wedding click here

Friday, 15 September 2017

Home Renovations - 4 days prior to move in

Last Friday I talked about how we had been scrapping the popcorn ceilings and the mess it was leaving... It's not the best picture (apparently I didn't think to turn on any lights for pictures this day) but here is a shot at the "messy room" (we designated one room as the messy room where we put tools, vacuums, curtains... just anything that was going to make a mess so that the others could be cleaned and this one would be the last to be cleaned).  Anyways, all that white stuff along the wall... that's all ceiling.

Our messy room

Last week I also mentioned how we had an arsenal of vacuums at our place... 
4 vacuums should clean up a room don't you think?

A variety of vacuums
It should be noted that the 2 red ones are both partially broken... they are also the two that John and I actually own.  Maybe the next time Dyson is on Sale at the Bay we'll use up all our wedding gift cards on a fancy new vacuum.

Here is our "messy room" all cleaned up 4 days before we officially move in!

Our clean "messy room"
On this day I also wiped down all the walls and above the doors and the door handles and hopefully everywhere that those little bits of ceiling got.  I'm not so naive that I think the ceiling scrapings are all gone... but I think 90% of them might be.  The other 10% we'll be slowing cleaning up over the next few months probably.

We also painted the master bedroom this week!  We went with Benjamin Moore paint because I knew it would be the best out there but instead of using their very top level of paint I took the guy who worked at Benjamin Moore's advise and went with the Regal level (which I think turned out great!).  The gray colour is called Edgecomb Gray and the turquoise colour is San Jose Blue.  We also used their Waterborne Ceiling paint on our ceiling.  Our plan is to eventually paint or replace the wood around the window, the baseboards, and the door (which you obviously can't see in this picture) but we'll wait until our condo sells and we have a bit more money to do those updates.

Master Bedroom

I've been slowly emptying out the condo... everytime I go to the house I take a few boxes of things with me (and I send John to work with one since he passes the house on the way home to the condo).  When I came back to the condo on this day it was already looking so bare... nothing was left on the living room shelves!

Condo living room

We officially moved out of the condo and into the house a week ago... once our condo sells we have big plans for the house (new kitchen, new bathroom(s), the basement)... changes that will likely take a number of years to finish but slowly the house will be transformed into something that is more our style.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Clear Lake 2017

This almost didn't happen this year!

But we can't mess with tradition and so off we went on our annual excursion to Clear Lake while in the midst of house renovations, condo selling, and packing.

Every September long for who knows how many years (every year since I've been around) we've gone to Clear Lake for a family gathering.

The highlights?

1.  Dinner Boat Cruise

We went on the dinner boat cruise this year!  It was something different and we learned some interesting information about the area while on it (and the weather was perfect to be out on the boat!).  It was however pretty expensive and now that we've done it once I'm not sure we'll need to do it again.

2.  Bald Hill

The top of Bald Hill
Confession: I was almost too scared to hike the fairly short but narrow path to get to this point... I thought the breeze would send me over the edge.

We went on the Bald Hill hike this year.  14km later we got back to the car.  I think someone had figured it out and thought it would be about 10km which seems pretty doable but then we ventured off the main path to get to Bald Hill and didn't park exactly where we maybe should have... by the end I was pretty exhausted and it took me the rest of the weekend for my muscles to re cooperate.

3.  Outdoor Movies

My sister and brother in law borrowed a projector and big screen so that we could watch movies outside after it got dark.  It was the first year we ever did it and I would say it was a big success!  It did get a little chilly though so for the 2nd evening of watching movies outside we built a couple of fires to stay warmer

4.  The Food

The food is always good.  Imagine a couple of picnic tables filled with a variety of foods for dinner.  No one goes hungry at the lake!... in fact it takes a couple of days afterwards for you to actually become hungry again!

The regrets?

Just one...we still haven't gotten our Beavertails!  Come on!