Reds and whites and sparkly silvers and golds!
More holiday centerpiece decor
Now if only I had those mercury glass owls from West Elm and my collection would be complete!
|The Science of Married||
Last Friday I went to Home Sense and got a few things for Christmas, and yesterday I unpacked some of the things we already had. I am nowhere near ready to start really decorating, since we are in the middle of many projects, but I wanted to at least see what we had and decide what else I need to get, if anything. Here are the things I found to use this year for sure:
The only place for Christmas right now is in the basement!
Reds and whites and sparkly silvers and golds!
Wreath for the front door - which matches the holly in the living room already
Holiday napkins and rings for the holiday table, although both could be used year-round!
More decor for the holiday table - a bit of sparkle
I like the silver wooded look of the candles - I only wish they had more for me to buy!
More holiday centerpiece decor
Ohhhhh I found some owls - I think I will hang these in the door handles in the dining room
Now if only I had those mercury glass owls from West Elm and my collection would be complete!
These two we already had - silver Christmas ornament seating charms given by Matt's great aunt and uncle last year, and silver beads from my parents that they no longer use - yes FREE Christmas stuff!!!
I did put out my Pottery Barn reindeer
...and my NOEL wine bottle charm (which I like here instead) given to me as a gift a few years ago
...and did some decor for Caroline's visit in the guest room as well!
Mmmm the smells of Christmas!
So I have a lot of blue stuff from the past 4 years...hmmmmmm...
So here are some sneak previews of our three main projects going right now - all quite similar in some ways - they are all framed, and required a compound miter saw for the cuts (thanks, Dad!): the chalkboard for the kitchen, the mirror for the dining room, and the HBC point blanket painting. None of them are quite done, but close! I will go into detail about how these things came to be in another post, but I'm still sick, and tired, and don't feel like editing and uploading a lot of pictures...plus I need Matt to tell me a lot of the things he did himself!
Here is the mirror - framed!
The frame still needs to be painted and it needs to be hung in the dining room.
Here the chalkboard - painted and frame!
I did the painting and Matt framed, and it only needs to be hung in the kitchen.
Here is the HBC painting (sort of) and frame.
This will eventually be a big post - the frame was the most tricky to assemble, and it has one coat of stain on it.
It needs some more sanding and maybe staining (I like the darkness now, but it is a bit patchy in places), and needs to be hung with the picture. I will show more of the painting when it is all done!
So I'm pretty sure I have strep throat...ugh. I used to get it quite a bit when I was in high school and university, but it's been a while since then. I am in agony and so tired, yet have to go to school tomorrow in the morning at least to give a unit test and assign topics for an ISU for my grade 11's. After that, heading straight to my GP for some antibiotics. I'm allergic to penicillin so I need to start the other stuff (erythromycin) ASAP because it takes longer to work. Then I'm going home, and to bed...and hopefully will feel better by Tuesday! Strep throat is not so good when you just started vocal rehearsals for the school play, but what can I do?
This weekend we did a lot of stuff. In terms of the art project, Friday Matt finished up the painting, and it was varnished on Saturday. He also assembled the frame for it, and stained it today - it still needs another coat, but both the painting and frame are looking good - can't wait to show it off!
He also built the frame for the mirror, and it is currently setting (amazing Elmer's glue!). It will be spray painted over the next few days and then hung. He was originally going to do a "French Cleat" on his own with the wood he bought, but supposedly making a 45 degree cut through the length of a long piece of wood is quite difficult, so he is going to buy one instead. It's used to secure heavy objects to the wall, without it pulling down our plaster!
Lastly, I primed and painted the wood for the kitchen chalkboard, and the frame pieces as well. Similar to the one in the basement, although the frame trim is different. That will be assembled and hung tomorrow. So a ton of work done, but still lots to do to complete these three projects. The only other things I want to do before Christmas is get the top to the sideboard purchased, cut, stained, and assembled, and get the railings in!
I also saw my lovely friend Caroline this weekend, who stayed with me from Ottawa on Saturday night, and we went out to dinner with Stephanie and caught up. It has been far too long, and I'm sick of saying that, so I have made a pre-New Years resolution to see my friends more! We had a great dinner at Joey at the Eaton Center and did a lot of catching up. I woke up with my throat on fire and it has progressively worsened throughout the day. *sigh*
Tomorrow - pictures to go along with these updates, and some Christmas decor purchases!
...when you think about SEUSS!!!
Oh yes, our cast is chosen and our rehearsals have begun for Seussical the Musical! We started with the opening song "Oh The Thinks You Can Think" which is pretty much about a girl named Jojo who has a crazy imagination and creates all this incredible world around her, filled with Whos and jungle animals, and of course, The Cat in the Hat. So yes, it is almost all in rhyme and singing...shoot me now - it's going to be a long year, but it will be a great show in the end! Here is a YouTube video of this song in a stage production:
This past weekend was cooking light, and at least start of project heavy, plus some fun. Friday night went right out when Matt came home to see Breaking Dawn!!! Yes, I am a 13 year old girl...the movie was terrible and I loved every minute of it! Matt is a great husband for coming along with me, but I think he secretly likes the movies too! Saturday we started on the point blanket painting, which currently has one coat of paint on the striped section, and should be done by tomorrow. We are going to build the frame for it this weekend (maybe). We also rearranged some of the living room, which I posted about previously.
Canvas and paint ready to go!
I also cleaned out the spare bedroom so that my good friend, Caroline, who is visiting this weekend, will have a clean room and clean bedding (although no one ever sleeps in there, its nice to have fresh sheets anyway).
One of my now more organized drawers in the spare bedroom - yep, all the girl stuff is hiding in the dresser!
Sunday we decided to do some actual work, and it started with a trip out to Pickering to get some things from my parents, including the compound miter saw and the saw horses. With these we are going to do the railings (for real, we are actually going to get to it, I promise!), the frames for both the painting, the big mirror, and my kitchen chalkboard. Oh yeah, I have to prime and paint the wood for the kitchen chalkboard...By the way - my parents are redoing their master bedroom - stay tuned (as in, hopefully before Christmas?) for before and after pictures! Oh side note - we painted the basement hall baseboards - they were white, now they are Moonshine like the rest of the walls and frames. We did this so that instead of this small area looking all chopped up, it looks like one long hallway, even with three doors along the way.
Here you can see the "stuff" that has piled up in our basement...meaning tools and wood. This is my life.
Also you can see the baseboards drying...
Oh yeah, and I saw my brother - he is doing Movember too, so of course I snapped a picture of the two boys and their scruffy Sunday look.
Brothers-in-law with matching facial hair...gross...
After that we ran errands - went to Home Sense and got only a few things - a Christmas hand towel (white with a piece of holly and ivy on it for the bathroom upstairs - I didn't go nuts), a wreath, and some holly to go in our wicker basket. I'm not going Christmas crazy yet - not at least until after American Thanksgiving, and even that's early - December 1st seems to be a good date. Did another Home Depot run for more materials (somehow we never have enough to do the projects), and came home to relax after hours of running around. Pretty productive, yet fun weekend. Hopefully we can keep this up!
My Holly Berries...
We have a lot of projects on the go right now - painting a canvas for above the couch in the living room, painting some of the basement baseboards the same as the walls in BM Moonshine (they look better monochromatic than the white they are right now), making railings for both stairways, framing and hanging the mirror for the dining room, making a chalkboard for the kitchen, and generally keeping our sanity while doing everything. So since none of those things are completely done, yesterday we rearranged the living room furniture a bit. Here's its evolution before yesterday:
When we first saw the house - it was actually their dining room
*Makes sense because it is right off the kitchen, but we really don't dine that often with company...
This is when we first moved in...complete with sky blue paint, lace curtain, chandelier, and a lot of mess...
After we painted - Benjamin Moore Cloud White - on walls and trim
After we replaced the brown chair with some new chairs (still wrapped legs)
After we bought a carpet with the right colour scheme, but the wrong pattern and wrong size
*It was quickly returned...
Since then we have thought about what to do with the room. The chairs we got go great, but the one near the dining room was always in the way, and we thought that the room needed to be sectioned off more. We thought about getting a sideboard to go against the back kitchen wall and having a chair out in front, but then that was another purchase and more money. Yesterday we decided to make a little sitting area along that wall instead, using our chairs, and saving money! We still have lots to do - replace the end table and coffee table with a new one, stain the TV stand...which I guess will just become a media console when we mount the TV, get a new couch, new lighting, and add some decor to the wall. Well, baby steps! Here it is as of last night:
The room doesn't feel so long anymore with the little cozy nook in the back corner
Closer view of the corner
*Now where are we going to put a Christmas tree????
So besides the great food of the weekend, we did a bit of work around the house. I cleaned...the entire house...it took a long time but needed to be done - the usual tumbleweeds were blowing around the living room. Meanwhile, Matt spent a fortune at Home Depot getting wood for the railings, wood for the back of our huge mirror we still need to mount in the dining room, hooks for our front hall, and a board to make a chalkboard out of for our kitchen. Oh yes, and leaf bags. Don't forget about the tree that was still shedding in our backyard. So after the cleaning, the front hall hooks were hung - 3 up high, two down low. Before this, this is where our coats and stuff hung:
After that, it was time to tackle outside, and 10 leaf bags later, plus the 4 from last weekend, the shedding tree leaves were gone!
This is the amount of leaves 3 days after we raked and bagged 2 weeks ago...so quadruple that to imagine how many leaves were actually there (I'm bad at "before" pictures!) - it was a good foot of leaves with no ground showing!
That's a lot of leaves...
Ahhhh...leaf-free! No more slipping on the way to the car in the dark morning...
Even cleaned away the creepy shared walkway...somehow had to do it, and the triplex renters next door on the right were definitely not going to the take the initiative! You can see the ground cover of leaves that has gathered - that was everywhere about 20 minutes before!
*Yes, those are someone's pants on the railing...*
Oh yeah...and George visited me while I was cleaning!
So now to actually put the railings down the stairs, and mount the mirror (although we'll need to borrow the saw again), and of course a list a million miles long of everything else that still needs to get done...
So on weekends Matt likes to crazy and cook - especially Sundays. The past few weeks have been great!
Two weeks ago, Matt slow-cooked a pork shoulder in our dutch oven for hours on end, from which he made pulled pork. Now really there was no pulling necessary - the pork just fell away from the bone it was so tender. But nevertheless, he scraped it into pieces, added more of beer/BBQ sauce/garlic mixture it had been soaking in all day, and it was delicious. Oh yeah, and it wasn't just pulled pork...it was pulled pork poutine - complete with cheese curds and green onion. Jealous? Yes, not the healthiest dinner, but we did have wedge salad too!
Mmmmm pulled pork poutine!
Wedge salad - I don't do blue cheese, so I had French dressing instead
I think that same weekend I was working my butt off marking or making tests, or something, and was surprised with a delightful snack of hummus and crackers, topped with bit of paprika. Gotta love the presentation for a lazy Saturday afternoon in sweatpants!
Hummus with paprika and crackers
This past weekend we felt like lamb, so lamb it was - again slow cooked for 6 hours until it was falling off the bone. It was soaked in good Spanish Tempranillo along with rosemary, garlic, and root vegetables like carrots and celery. All those juices were boiled down (with the fat removed) to make a nice red-wine reduction, and it was served on polenta and some steamed zucchini. We skimped on dessert and got the ready-made PC lava cakes that you just have to cook for 10 minutes, but added some Lindt chili pepper dark chocolate (sounds weird but is SO GOOD - you must try it), and raspberries. Wow, what a great couple weeks. Hence I have been going to the gym a lot more so I can enjoy it! I guess I will admit once again that I am lucky to be married to such an incredible cook!
Steamed baby zucchini, polenta, and slow-cooked rosemary lamb in a red-wine reduction
PC "The Decadent" lava cakes, with added chili pepper dark chocolate and raspberries
Yesterday I spent far too much time trying to update my header pictures. I have tried before, but it just says "loading" forever and nothing actually happens. So yesterday I erased all my pictures and started with one. It worked. Two - worked. Three - so far so good. Four - yep! Five - no deal..."loading" with nothing. I have asked Weebly before, but nothing worked. Finally I tried a smaller version of the 5th (which was nowhere near the largest file size), and it worked. But then I had 4 big pictures and one small one. So I shrunk all the other pictures and spaced them out, and the new header is what I got!
Now these pictures are all taken by Matt's cousin, Joni Allardyce. She is an incredible photographer (also took my profile picture on the right bar), and just an incredible person. She somehow managers to make all her pictures beautiful - the people look relaxed and like they are having fun, the light is great, and it just works.
These are pictures she's taken of us over the past five years. Now I don't have one from 2006 - Matt and I started dating in January but I didn't meet Joni until the following summer. The one on the far left is from Matt's dad's 50th birthday in August 2007 - we look so young, and I'm tanned and very blond! The second is from Thanksgiving 2008, which were our faux engagement pictures - as in everyone thought they should be! The middle one is an actual engagement picture, taken in September 2009, shortly after I chopped off my hair (seriously, who does that with less than a year before their wedding?). The fourth is from our wedding in August 2010 - where somehow my hair is long again (although some extensions are helping me have a bit of bulk with my thin hair), and the last is from this past Easter.
Anyway, just wanted to give people an update, and to praise Joni. If you want to see more of her work, her professional website is www.joniallardyce.com. From there you can access her site for client info, or her blog for examples of her work. Thanks for the beautiful pictures Joni!!!
Maybe it's the last Harry Potter movie coming out on video, or my geeky missing reading the books with all the adventures of Hedwig and Pigwidgeon, but I am LOVING owls lately! West Elm seems to be a great place to find owls, all squat and cute and full of interest in a home. So here are some owl things I've rounded up on Pinterest and the West Elm site that I would like for the holidays or even for year-round owl fun!
My inspiration - Hedwig on the left, and Pigwidgeon (Pig) on the right
Mercury Glass Owls from West Elm - I want one for my dresser and one for our dining room
Also from West Elm, but I'm not sure if I would ever actually use it as a candle - feels wrong to burn an owl
The rest are Pinterest Owl roundups - so cute and squat!
Wise Owl bookends - great teacher gift!
My favourite colour and with a cute poem = owl perfection!
These colourful guys would be fun to pair together in any room
Owl art - good for a child's room!