Wednesday, September 21

Just thought I'd take a break from refereeing a carrot fight to blog before bedtime....Derick's at cubs, Baker is in bed early (he's teething, and he's been super sad all day), so I'm just chilling with Van and Boston, and seriously, carrots? How many times do I have to ask Boston to not throw the carrot? At least 15 I guess. At least they're fighting over something healthy. 
Anyway....check out this kitchen! Sorry the "before" picture is actually an "in progress" picture...I forgot to take one and didn't feel like searching through archives for a better pic. You get the idea I think! The tile wasn't ugly by any means before, it just wasn't spectacular. 
We had never taken tile off before, and we were experts at learning the correct process...meaning we didn't even really google anything, just took a few tools to the edge and hammered them right off. By we I mean Derick, of course. Here's a picture of a few places where the drywall came off with it, so he just nailed up some new pieces. For the most part the tile came off fine though!! Yippee! And yes, I loved our new purchase so much I took a picture petting it outside of the store. Doesn't everyone? 
So I have been wanting to re-tile our kitchen backsplash since we moved in 4 1/2 years ago, but it was a bit hard to convince Derick it was a job worth bothering with. Understandable. But this summer was THE summer, and when me and Derick went to Kalispell just the two of us at the end of August, we came across this marble tile at Lowe's for $9.99 per square foot. We really stewed about if we should just go ahead and buy the tile without even price comparing other places, or even LOOKING at any other tile in general...especially since we couldn't even take a square home and hold it up in our kitchen to see what it would look like, but being in the states, we just took a leap and bought it! Sometimes it's so nice to just buy something spur of the moment like that...especially when it works out!!
WHICH IT DID!! According to us anyway. :) We're in love with it...yes, I said WE. Derick loves it too...it cost us $400, which when we bought it, felt like a TON of money and made us super nervous. Especially me, since I basically begged/convinced Derick to buy it and not think twice! Now that it's in and looking all pretty and stuff, I would have paid even more for it...I'm just so happy with how good it looks!!! 
Really though, it may not seem like too drastic of a change, but it really, really is for us! We spend so.much.time in our main area of our house, and it was just so dark and enveloping in the kitchen...things just got lost in there. Especially flies! Lol.

And now the lights reflect off of the tile, and it seriously feels like we have twice the lighting in our kitchen!! And I also strongly dislike our lighting...so it's GREAT that the tile makes it brighter. I really could not be happier with the outcome...in case that's not obvious yet! Ha ha. 
Here's some close-ups. Sigh....if only my kitchen was always this clean. Though, we are better at cleaning it because we just love our shiny new tile so much, it's much more rewarding to clean it! We even moved our toaster and blender off of the counter so as not to block the view. Ha ha. 
We didn't even have measurements. We called Landon and Sam who are awesome because they were watching our kids, so he did some measurements for us, and we bought a little extra for good measure. And when I say a little, I mean a little! We had two and a half of those little bricks you see there left over. Yup...that's cutting it close!! Seriously. Two and a half. 
And the "Big Dad Big Hunk" award definitely goes to you babe. That's only the second time you've done tile, and it's immaculate! You are the best!! We took this picture also in Kalispell...so it's all relative, right? Actually..that Big Hunk was pretty darn tasty. Just almonds and nouget. If anyone feels like picking me up one (or 5) next time they are in the U.S. it would be appreciated. :) 
And if anyone's paying attention...I took a break in the middle of this post and put the kids to bed. The carrots were getting on my last nerve...and side note, Derick just came home and found a carrot on the floor and ate it. Yum. 


Thursday, September 15

So maybe it was ten years ago (this September, in fact), but me and this pretty girl were roommates in Edmonton together. And we had LOTS of fun in that house! 
Isn't her family so adorable? Shouldn't she have like ten more babies? :) 
This is Jaycee (older) and Logan...you have no idea how hard we worked for Logan's little smile!! She was having a bad day...but we worked it out anyway!
I actually just barely took these pictures not even a week ago. Yeah, I'm a keener like that. When I have something that needs done, I can't help but DO IT. 
Logan was looking at the train going across the bridge behind me. (We were at Indian Battle Park). I don't blame her...even I think that's cool. 
I was so excited when I saw these big metal tunnels...culverts I guess? I had seen them in June when I ran slowly-yogged (it's a soft J) Ladiesfest, and I remember thinking, "those would make for some cute pictures." So I was happy to get to shoot with them!
This is supposed to be a sneak peek...but this is more like a reeaallly long looksy-lou, because there was just too many cute pictures, I had to post more than a few!!
Love this one of Lane with his girls...Lane is Derick's first cousin...I suggested Randee meet Lane eight years ago...and just look at what it's blossomed into! Lol. The one of Jaycee on the right is funny...Randee told her she could just play for a minute, but I still decided to take some pics, and she stopped and looked at her mom like, "uh, mom, she's STILL taking pictures of me...what do I do?"
Smoke show on the right, eh? She gave me some smily ones too, but I loved the serious one. And honestly, I have no idea how they are going to choose one family shot...because I seriously love them all. Print them all Randee, k?
But if I HAD TO CHOOSE, the above one would be my second favourite...and the one below would be my VERY favourite!! Thanks for having such a cute family to photography Randee...and for being a great roommate to boot. :)

Saturday, September 10

I was so happy when Bonnie chose for me to re-design her Blogger blog. As you can see, her "before" was pretty plain jane! It was almost a crime for her to be putting her awesome pictures on such a boring blog! It sure made for a fun, dramatic before/after though! Isn't her navbar so ridiculously cute??? She all ready owned the frames we used in the header, and the background is, again, from Image Garden. Pre-buying your background is such a great way to keep costs down with me, then I can just spend time on the navbar and making everything work and look good together! Love how this shows what great things can be done with a Blogger blog!!! Thanks Bonnie! 

Friday, September 9

My basement is FINISHED! Hip hip hooray! We actually finished it only a few months after moving in four years ago, but then repainted it and REALLY finished it this past month. It originally was a super dark grey/green. Depressing. 
I LOVE my basement!! I think especially since I just finished it and because since it's downstairs, I felt like I could have a bit more fun with it. Okay, so tv stand is from Ikea. I haven't seen it there since though...not sure if they still sell it? Tall tin can is from Station 8. Where else? I was looking for something to store the kids' tall toys in, and when I saw it at first, wasn't sure if it was what I wanted. Went home, got really mad I didn't buy it, luckily my mother-in-law was there next week and picked it up for me!! YES!
 
The Cuddle Bag is the worst/best part of the room. So comfortable if I'm in the right mood and it's fluffed just right...the kids' favouritest thing ever to jump on, but the WORST piece of furniture to try and decorate around! Can it even be referred to as furniture? I'm going to say no. And not sure if you can see very well, but the yellowish bag on the cuddle bag is a rice bag I stuffed and made a pillow out of. So is the one on the right...looks like a small burlap bag or something. And the "U and I Sugar" bag was also stuffed by me and turned into a pillow. It was from an antique store. They suit the basement I think...but yes, we don't necessarily cuddle up to the rice bags...because, well, they smell like rice. Maybe I should wash them! I should have taken some closer-up pics of those.
Laundry cart blogged about previously from The Barn in Great Falls. Antlers above the tv from my awesomest brother-in-law!! ( He's huge into hunting and thought it was so weird I was putting them above my tv in the same vicinity as an old typewriter. Lol!) :o) Pots/flowers from Michael's. I don't actually love those pots..I think I just need to change up the colors, paint the pots and stuff...they are there bc they hide the cords perfectly! 
The coolest coffee table with the most personality ever seen in the world is from my awesome Aunt B. EVERYONE needs an Aunt B. She is the ultimate thrifter/antiquer, and she hooked me up with this table for $12!!!!! Actually, that's a lie, she swapped me...some of my stuff I was getting rid of for some of hers. You can't beat that! Wait until you see the yellow chair she also hooked me up with that's in my bedroom!! Typewriter from an antique store in Lethbridge (my mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas...awesome, eh?) Globe from Ross. Lightning insulators were antiqued, magaziney-baskets from Urban Barn. Orange egg basket was antiqued. I've been looking for some antique croquet balls to fill it with, but them balls are expensive! 
Yellow rocking dog (Derick says it's a dog...not a horse.) from a garage sale spray painted yellow. (It has ginormous drips all down the sides...I'm an awesome spray painter?).  
Little white chair from an old elementary school's library. Coolest map that I love was bought from a paper antique shop my Aunt B hooked me up with from BC. They emailed me a pic, and I bought it through PayPal and they mailed it to me. I should have asked the dimensions first...as it totally doesn't fit the space...a map of Canada probably would have been better....much wider and stuff, but this map is SO old and cool, that I don't mind. Maybe it will fit the next house just perfect! :) It was $40 plus $20 shipping. Not too bad I didn't think! 
Chaise couch from Gabe's in Pittsburgh...it's Pottery Barn and the whole thing only cost $250. Cue moment of silence for not living by Gabe's anymore. Oh yeah, and that "coffee table" is a PICNIC table! It folds up like a bit metal suitcase....it's seriously awesome! I need to re-stain the top so it's more even and stuff, but I have like the whole rest of my life to do stuff like that. :)

Ok, this is taking a long time! Lol. Scrapbook desk, chair, small wooden drawers and white wire basket from Ikea. Swivel pen holder and square box/drawer things on top shelf from Michael's. Red pen holder from 3 Potatoe 4. Metal buckets from the dollar store. Light pendant from Lowe's in the states (for only $30!). Frame with milk caps blogged about here. 
Cork board from Staples. It comes rolled up, and you have to be so careful putting it up, it tears easy!! And it still sort of curves out...so I just stuffed a bunch of pins all over it and it flattened out pretty good. I just pretty much pinned up everything I had stuffed in a little basket in my office...I think a more "prettier" mood board will take a lot more time and effort! I even have memorabilia up there that Derick saved from us dating in high school. (Yes, he saved stuff...not me...cue the "awww".) Including a movie ticket to "Double Jeopardy" which was one of the only "real" dates we went on...a ticket to Waterton Parks when a bunch of us camped there for the weekend...and, get this, the FLOWERS from my hair on our grad date are there in a little baggy. I didn't even know he'd saved them...didn't even remember taking them out that night! Ha ha....I'll let you guys decide if it's creepy or cute. :) Actually I'll decide for you. IT'S REALLY REALLY CUTE!!
Oh my, how did that turn into a trip down memory lane? I apologize!! That last little metal thing on the wall is from Target, and it's awesome. I use it to put whatever pictures are waiting to be scrapbooked...up off the desk, safe and sound from curious hands...and it's empty right now, which means I'm ALL CAUGHT UP. :)

Wednesday, September 7

Cue cuteness overload...in my oh-so-humble opinion. :)
I've been wanting to do this photoshoot since about October last year, so it's been pure torture to have to wait until it was nice enough again to do it...and until we could get the timing right to go to my parent's house. 
Whenever I get to dress the kids up or something like this, I just start to get really excited and it feels like Christmas morning!!
Baker didn't cooperate quite as well, but that's to be expected! My bro-in-law ordered these awesome cute little coveralls for the kids when they help Papa in his shop, and my kids ask to put them on almost the second they step into the shop. 
Then they immediately look for a few tools to stuff in their pockets. I love it!! And I love how much they love following around their Papa. 
So cute how Boston looks up at Van to see what he's doing. If Van is smiling, he'll usually give me a smile, but if Van is being grumpy, then Boston decides not to cooperate either usually. Bros got to stick together I guess. 
It's been a loooong long weekend. I wouldn't be lying to say I'm glad it's over! And it's been a bit of a blogging break...yes, five days is a break. :) So I thought I'd come back with a bang and share this little photoshoot. Who says you can't dress up little boys as easily as little girls?? :)
Okay, weekend rundown. 
Picked up quad/trailer at Derick's parents' house in Raymond Saturday morning. 
Ran out of gas about seven minutes from Lethbridge, camper on truck, trailer in tow.
Derick quaded in the ditches to our house. Got the jerry can, the car, rescued us.
Home again, packing the final things to camp at Dutch Creek.
Dropped my iPhone and SHATTERED my screen to smitherines. 
Finally left for camping, which was overall fine, but DUSTY dust city. 
No surprise when I was ready to get home...I always leave Dutch Creek with that sentiment. 
Dutch Creek is basically government-owned land where everyone camps for free and dirtbikes/quads/fishes.
Next day on our way to Babb, Montana (over an hour away) to pick up some packages we'd had mailed there.
A third-way there realized we had forgotten passports. Went back for them.
All the way there realized we had forgot money to pay the package lady. 
Scrounged up $7 Canadian in change, she begrudgingly accepted.
Made it back safe and sound though, now Derick's back in school, and summer is officially over. Sad.
What a string of bad luck, eh? It could be worse though, and me and Derick just kept laughing everything off, so it wasn't all bad. 

Friday, September 2

Ingenious name, right?
What a dreary day! I really detest how in Alberta as soon as Labour Day weekend hits, it seems like summer is just OVER. Anyway, it's my aim to add something to the downloads area once a month, and it's going to be completely random stuff, that's all I know! :) So again, if you have any requests...
Anyway, ever wanted to make your pictures with two rounded corners like the ones in my header, and the one below? Now you can! :) Just copy the file from the downloads area onto your computer, open it in Photoshop, and follow the directions for a clipping mask. Let me know if you have problems, I'm sure it will be an easy fix! Just change the shape to a square or flip it vertical if you'd like to use it another direction. 
When you're done, just flatten and drag it onto whatever project you are working on, be it scrapbooking, or a header like mine! Or if you want to load it right onto your blog like that, then my only tip is to save it as a .png file first, then Photoshop won't add white corners in the background behind our rounded corners. Blogger adds a border around all of my photos (and I like it, so I've left it), so you don't get the full effect really on mine. Hope that makes sense! 
Here we are in front of Cameron Falls at Waterton Lakes. I think I'm one of the few people who aren't in LOVE with Waterton...and it's probably because it's always even MORE windy there than home, the water is ice-cold freezing, everything is ten times more expensive, and I never was one for hiking...but we do try and get there once a year if we have family there all ready, and this is that once a year...and I do love the classic family pic in front of the falls. It just seems like a rite of passage if you live around here!


Thursday, September 1

I Love Lamp



Kids are in bed, and I should be showering before we start our movie, but I decided to skip the shower and blog instead. Anyone who knows me won't be surprised. I HATE showering. Not so much the showering part as the combing my hair afterward part. Okay and rinsing my hair during the shower part too. Anywho...it's a good thing I work from home.
We are on the brink of being completely done some huge (to us) projects, and I'm so freaking excited about them! But they are not totally put together yet...of course, so I thought I'd share some quick projects I've done that are helping in putting those rooms together. 
Exhibit A. Classic Ikea-framed art that EVERYONE has. Come on, I can guarantee at least ONE reader has this very picture!! If you do, please prove me right and comment! Lol! I would love it! I even had Derick pull the old picture out of the garbage for a "before" picture. I'm getting better at this. I had wanted to frame these old milk caps I had picked up for $1 for all of them at an antique store. I LOVE the way they turned out. The picture doesn't do it justice. :( Neither does the matte that we cut out ourselves with an exacto knife! Yeah, I should have listened to the girl at Michael's and just ordered one custom, but that was going to be $50!! I didn't want to spend that. So I spent $8, and did it myself. And it looks like I did it myself. Lessons learned.
Exhibit B. A lovely lamp shade I picked up at Bargain Barn in Cardston for $1. Took awhile to cut/tear/unpick a dear old lady's original hard work in customizing this lampshade for the first time. It actually made me kind of sad to rip it apart, you could tell it had been homemade by someone. 
But isn't it cute just bare?? Ha ha...I'm positive no one agrees with me, but I love it. :) That wasn't saracasm...I really do! It lets off so much needed light in my scrapbooking space, and it looks so eclectic to me now. I think Anthro might have done something similar but with hanging pendants? I haven't seen them, but I got the idea from Holly at White Berry (her furniture is amazing if you haven't heard of her). Anyway, I might pretty up the frame somehow at some point...but it would only be something very bare if I did. 
And check out that pretty picture on the right...yep, that's our big project number two. The first was the basement. Which is DONE-ZO! And the tile is all but grouted, and I'm in love with it, and I CANNOT BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE IT MADE!! Don't worry, pictures soon!!