Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Extra Pieces

When John and I moved out of the condo I made us move a giant box with extra pieces to our nightstand that I never took out of the box because I didn't like the floor model with this part attached.

We'll a few weeks ago we finally cracked open that old box and looked at what this extra part was actually all about... and I think it's kinda cool.

light up night stand

The piece actually goes on the back of the nightstand and just makes it as tall as the headboard.... I feel it just makes the headboard look way too big.  

But it lights up so therefore it's pretty cool and something that we should take full advantage of... just in a different place.

So how could we DIY this into something else?

I was thinking a tall shelf of some kind for the basement one day... the problem is I would think this part would be the top of the shelf and it's kind of heavy.

And that my friends is pretty much as far as my thought process went.

Any ideas?  
What else could we use this for?
(FYI... there are 2 of them!)

Friday, 6 October 2017

A Ranking of Bathrooms

In case you were wondering we have 4 bathrooms in our new house.

Were we looking for a house with 4 bathrooms?


But I'm not going to complain!... one day we might need all those bathrooms.

We haven't altered any of them... yet.  Some might need updating more than others though so today I'm ranking them from the best to the worst (based soley on the way they look... not function).


1.  Copious counters and cupboards!

main floor half bath

This lovely bathroom is located on our main floor just off the kitchen (if you look close you can spy our oven in the mirror).  It's actually the bathroom with the most counter space which is why I ranked it in the #1 spot.  It's a bit much considering it's a half bath on the main floor.  But since it has all the counter space I'm using it as my "getting ready" bathroom.  My hair stuff, makeup, and at one point even my jewelry is in there.  There is even a spot for a chair if I really wanted (I don't think I need that chair in there yet though)

2.  The Ensuite


Never did I ever think I might have an ensuite.... this is the stuff dreams are made of (although, I don't really care about an ensuite currently since John and I could technically have 2 bathrooms each to ourselves).  It's nice enough and the only updating I would request would for it to one day include a shower... Although I'm not sure how that would work out since there currently isn't room for a shower... so if we are magically getting more room in our ensuite what I really want is a nice soaker tub with a separate shower, 2 sinks, and lots of counter space.  That's the stuff dreams are really made of.  Currently we use this bathroom for brushing our teeth... and that's pretty much it!

3.  Carpeted Commode

basement full bath

I know what you're thinking.... the bathroom has carpet in it?  Our realtors told us that would have been a luxury they paid extra for (along with the sparkles on the ceiling on the 2nd floor apparently).  You can't see the carpet in the bathroom because I put down our bath mat since this is the bathroom we were using to shower in at the time.  If you ignore the carpet and the yellow it's really not too bad though.  So I guess the only part of this bathroom that got it into the #3 spot is the fact that I don't mind the tiling in the tub.  Anywho, this is our basement bathroom.  Personally, I don't think we need a tub in the basement so I think the plans for this bathroom are to get rid of the tub and put a shower in instead and then make the bathroom smaller because it's actually quite large (or well larger than the main 4 piece bathroom upstairs).  John dreams of changing the location of this bathroom to the other side of the wall... we'll have to see the cost of moving basement plumbing before we commit to moving it over though.
Sidenote:  This bathroom also has the hot and cold water mixed up in the bath.  So, if you ever happen to be over and needing to shower in the basement turn it towards the cold water side to make it go hotter!

4.  Everything is Brown(ish)/Pinkish

Upstairs full bath
My cousin insists this is one of the finer bathrooms in the house.  She insists all you would have to do is change out the counter top and put in a few shells and you've got yourself a nice beachy bathroom.  To be honest, changing the counter top would probably do wonders for this bathroom but I'm still ranking it dead last.  Prior to moving in they had a pinkish shower curtain in there too... adding in our white and black one helped too.  As the main 4 piece bathroom (this one is located upstairs) it needs more counter space (we didn't have a whole lot of counter space at the condo but I think it was even more than this!) which I think we could get by switching out the toilet which is a little large and since we are swapping that out for a newer better one we may as well redo the tub too.

And there you have it folks... our bathrooms!

Which do you think is the worst?
Which is the best?

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Apple Buns

apple buns!

In case you haven't heard we have an apple tree.  Which means... we've got a fridge full of apples!  We gave a bunch to John's mom shortly before we moved in and she made us some wonderful apple crisp out of them but we still had a full grocery bag left at our house afterwards... so if you are like us... with an abundance of apples at this time of year... might I suggest apple buns!

The recipe linked above recommends resisting the urge to add sugar or cinnamon to your apple mix.  I've made these twice now (the first time was a number of years ago though) but the first time I did add the sugar and cinnamon.  This time John told me to make it liked the recipe suggested... he agrees now that they could be even tastier with the addition of a little cinnamon and sugar for next year though.

We ended up bringing a dozen of our apple buns to our bible study and they were a big hit... we ended up leaving the extras with the host but I think there was only about 2 or 3 left in the end.

We've been cooking up other stuff from our garden already... here is our salsa.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Prior to Renovations Kitchen

John and I had about a month in between purchasing our home and getting possession of it.  This gave us oodles of time to hum and haw about how we might change our kitchen to better suit us.
Currently, our kitchen is an eat in and to be honest functions better than I thought it might.  There is room for all of our stuff (which is surprising because I don't feel like we have much more cupboard space than in the condo).  But it isn't exactly what we want (plus we don't even have a table to put in the space!).  So it's the first bit of major renovations we are planning for.

view from dinning room

dinning room

A few things..

That is a door to the bathroom on our one kitchen wall

We don't currently have a dishwasher

The stove is original to the house (not that you can see it)!.... and I think we have officially learned how to use it!

Yes, that's carpet in the dinning room

Yes, there isn't a whole lot of counter space considering the space that we have.

So, how are we going to change it?

We've drawn diagrams and we've used apps but in the end the best thing we used to help us design our kitchen was to use the Ikea kitchen planner... mostly because I knew the stove and the sizes of everything actually existed (and as a nice bonus the chairs and table that we added to our design are actually the chairs and table that we own!)

Do we plan to actually make an Ikea kitchen?
Probably not
But it is a good tool for planning for right now.

Anyways.... here are 2 options that I've come up with for what might work in our space.

Ikea's kitchen planner

The option on the left has us swapping the current dinning room and kitchen and taking down the wall that separates them.  The 3 white boxes along the bottom would act us our pantry and coffee bar area.  Probably a bit more money than the option on the right but I feel like it is the better option.

Then there is the option on the right.  The kitchen stays relatively the same size as it currently is, however, the wall separating the dinning room and kitchen still comes down to make room for the peninsula.  Not a lot of room for upper cabinets because there are 2 windows that run along the wall where the sink is currently located. 

We don't currently have a backdoor to our house (well we do, you just have to go through the garage) and so with the option on the left it might also give us enough space to add in a backdoor of some kind... eventually.

Of course, we can sit here plopping things into Ikea's kitchen planner all day but it still doesn't tell us what's in the wall we want to take down, how much will it cost to move plumbing or if any of this is even possible.  

BUT... since we are likely not going with an IKEA kitchen I also went to a store in our area to inquire about kitchen designs (and talk to someone who actually designs kitchens daily)
Here's what the girl at the store came up with:

swapping the kitchen and dining room

Pros: lots of counter and cupboard space, big fridge, lots of space in our new dining room
Cons: Those cupboards and counters that line the bottom of the top picture are only 12 inches deep... 12 inches!  That's the length of a ruler people... not too big

keeping the kitchen where it currently is

Pros: We don't have to move plumbing or anything, all cupboards are a regular depth, the kitchen looks very spacious.
Cons: small dining room, smaller fridge, 

I'm still learning towards the swapping of the dining room and kitchen if possible.

BUT, I'll definitely be visiting another store sometime and this time getting them to totally work their magic and come up with something they think would be best for the space we have.

Anyways, it might not be getting done any time soon... but hopefully within the next couple of years we'll have a kitchen that better suits our needs.

Anyone who has gone through a kitchen renovation and wants to chime in with their opinion is welcome to... we aren't married to either of the above 2 options yet.