Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Kitchen Files: The Great Cabinet Debate

So with the closing date fast approaching (25 days now) I have been feeling increasingly pressured to have things for the kitchen all set and ready, so all we have to do is either order or install when we get the house.

We do have most aspects chosen...

we know we're going to use the Black Beach glue down cork flooring. Which is $1.99/sq.ft. 
We know we're getting a 31" white apron front double sink. (Not with ugly fixtures like that picture has though) We'll be getting a large one whole goose neck faucet with a pull down sprayer. 

We bought our fridge and stove, both of which ended up being Kitchenaid, from the gigantic scratch & dent/new appliance store on Brydges. I was skeptical at first of scratch and dent, but this place is GREAT! Seriously! They have TONS of appliances (and furniture if you need it) to choose from. We got at 23cu.ft. stainless french door fridge and, stainless gas convection range for super cheap! The stove itself is normally around $2,300. The only "problems" are there is a tiny dent on the freezer door handle, and the stove was slightly used, so the burner plates are a little scuffed looking...to us this really isn't a big deal, and is more than worth saving the $1,400 we saved by not getting them at Home Depot. 

We know we're going to DIY concrete countertops, that will look something like this when they're done.

I've narrowed it down to three paint colours haha, haven't been able to decide for sure which one I like best, and obviously Jason is no help...so I'll probably just end up flipping a coin or something haha. Which one do you like better?

But what we can’t seem to agree upon is the cabinets. Jason is dead set against Ikea cabinetry, and I can’t seem to understand why. I want the Ikea cabinets. I like the look of them, I like the options for drawers, baskets, lazy susans, (whatever I want) for the inside, and I really like the price. Sure, I get that Ikea isn’t the top of the line maple, or cherry, or whatever cabinets, but they are durable. I have friends, and friends of friends that have Ikea kitchens, and they are perfectly happy with them. They haven’t broken, they don’t look bad, they are perfectly great kitchens! Would I prefer to get a completely custom kitchen? Obviously. Can we afford a completely custom kitchen? Obviously not! If we were merely painting cabinets, or were having to match cabinets to what is in the kitchen then maybe we could get a couple custom cabinets. Or go to the habitat re-store. But unfortunately (or fortunately) we have to get ALL new cabinets, and I do NOT want to have to mix and match.
  Like I mentioned before, when we were at the auction they were selling cabinets…12 pieces (uppers & lowers), but they weren’t what I was looking for. We would’ve had to paint them for starters. And they were only about $100 cheaper than what I had priced out in terms of Ikea cabinets…so those were obviously a no go. I went into the Habitat Re-Store to see what they had to offer. They had a number of cabinets that were in good condition, that I would've been all over if we were trying to tie in with current cabinets...but they only had about three matching ones...so they were also a no go. I looked into countless stores online that were decent options, but most were WAY over budget. I got excited, when the Warehouse guys advertised a massive kitchen sale – but alas, the savings were on basic 8ft kitchens. UGH! I don’t have a problem with “basic”…that’s pretty much what I’m looking for, just basic, white, flat front…but we need more than 8ft of cabinets…and we need a bit more than 12ft (just on the bottom) so again, that was a no go.

Just a few of the options that Ikea has to offer that I like.

Jason is coming around to what I’ve been saying all along, that Ikea is the route to go. He just needs to get over his dang issues with the Swedes. Because the grand ol’ Ikea cabinets end up being less than $100/lin. ft. including handles, legs, toe-kicks…everything. AND, they have the look I like the best, plus the stuff inside the best.  Long story short, I’m pretty sure I’ve got him convinced now that we’re going to have to go with Ikea cabinets. It basically came down to me telling him that I spend significantly more time in the kitchen than he does, so why does he care what they have on the inside, or what brand they are? Suck it up Jason, I believe we're going to Ikea.  

Monday, 28 November 2011

Mood Board: The Kitchen

We bought a fridge and stove this weekend! We initially liked this fridge, and this stove, which would've cost us over $3,000 before tax. We went to the scratch & dent appliance store on Brydges (right near Highbury) that a friend we met in Cuba owns with his dad. This place is huge and we were able to get an OUTSTANDING deal on a fridge and stove. They're essentially the same as the ones we liked from Home Depot, only they're Kitchenaid brand instead of GE. We were able to snag both fridge and stove for such a cheap price, I feel like we stole them!!! SO...for those frugalites like ourselves, that saves us just shy of $1,400!!! If you want to get even more specific...the retail for the models we ended up getting total around $4,200...so that means we saved $2, 500! So for all you haters out there, that more than paid for our trip to Cuba, so I'd say the trip was worth it! (although it was worth it to us before anyway haha)

So, now that we have decided on the floor (we're going with the cheaper, Black Beach glue down cork), we've bought our appliances (still looking for a dishwaser - we've decided to not get a drawer one, and just go with the regular one) and know the layout I figured it was time to put together a board for our kitchen.

Alrighty, so whatcha think? Is it what you thought it'd look like?
  1. Since I got a Kitchenaid Artisan mixer in red as a shower gift, and I knew I wanted to display it on the countertops...red is a natural accent colour hehe. In terms of wall colours - I haven't quite been able to narrow it down to what I want to paint. I'm thinking something greyish and light. As for the flooring, we decided to go with the "black beach" tile over the "Gemwood." If you remember, Jason liked the Beach better, while I liked the Gem. I didn't like the other one better enough to justify spending the $1.50 more per square foot. So, in the spirit of saving more money (we didn't want the floor to get jealous of the appliances) we went with the just as nice looking, cheaper version. We also liked that it was a glue down tile better. (Plus in my pick testing, it seemed to stand up a little better.) So the grand total for the floor tiles will be around $600...which is music to my ears...and means we'll be saving another $1,000 from the cheapest cork I'd priced out before. So, before even getting in the house, we're already about $3,000 under budget.
  2. Since we got a gas stove, we needed to get a range hood - which is ok, because we wanted one anyway! We like the look of the stainless ones, but past that, we haven't really narrowed it down to even which brand we like best. Good thing that's one of the last things we need to pick.
  3. There are two windows in the kitchen. One small one above the sink, which is where we'll hang a "roman" shade type dealeo in a natural fibre. As for the larger window, which you can see is between the fridge and the table we'll probably do the same thing, since curtains wouldn't really be very practical.
  4. On the wall above the sink, flanking the window I want to do open shelving to display some of the pretties I have - like cake stands, fun glasses, etc.
  5. Ah, cupboards...I am wanting something basic. Just a flat front in white, I wouldn't have thought that would be so hard to find. But so far, it hasn't exactly been easy, and there's been a few arguments over what to get haha. What we can agree on though, is that they need to be white haha. As for hardware, we've narrowed it down to two different handles. The long stainless ones like from the mood board, or a smaller more "invisible" looking one
  6. Like I've mentioned before, we are planning on doing a poured concrete countertop, in black. We're going to do a few tester pieces in a little while, so stay tuned for THAT haha.
  7. I plan on hanging a big bold DIY pendant over the table. Either a geometric one like above, or a simpler string one.
  8. We haven't decided if we're going to do a backsplash around the whole kitchen, or just behind the stove up to to the hood, regardless of how much of it we're doing, we're liking the white subway tiles.
  9. As I have mentioned many times before, I REALLY wanted an apron front sink. And because Jason is awesome, he came through for me, and we were able to get one! We ended up going with a double sink; a) because they were cheaper than a single, and b) double sinks are a just more practical. As for the faucet, we both want a large goose neck with a pull down spray function. 
  10. We plan on bringing in some red with four bar stools at the peninsula, and possibly the table or chairs at the eat in area.
  11. Lastly, we'll bring in some more red, and fun with some tea towels. I already have some fun red ones, but it's time to get some more!
There ya have it! I can't WAIT until the 22nd, and we can get started with the demo...hopefully in a couple months, we have something that looks spectacular.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Etsy Six-Pack: Winter fun

I love winter, next to fall it's probably my favourite time of the year, it's just so pretty. When the rain from the day before freezes on the road and gets covered in a layer of light snow, causing cars to dance. There's also that beautiful salt line that decorates your car after the city dumps 90 tonnes on that small stretch of road from your driveway to the stop light.  The most prettiest thing of all I think, is the different colours your nose turns, and the presents that come out of it after some generous stranger gives you a cold. Isn't winter lovely?
But, in all seriousness I really do love winter, and I really do think it's pretty. The way the snow and ice glisten off the tree branches, transforming them from some ugly, dead thing into a thing of beauty. Tobogganing, skiing, making snowmen, trudging out to the pond for a game of pick up hockey. Being Canadian, we know how to do winter in style. So that is the theme for todays six-pack...the beauty & fun of winter.

We'll start off with Wild Ridge Design. They have a bunch of nice wreaths to decorate your front door to kick start the winter festivities. Many of them come scented too - peppermint, vanilla, etc - give people a whiff of happiness when they knock on your door! They also have other rusticy type decor for your home.

Tiki Fiber Crafts has a wide variety of hats, (and a few scarves) for the winter. I love the knitted/crotched look, they always make me think of something your Grandma would've made you.

In keeping with the personal warmth theme, FM908 has some nice fashion coats. Just becuase it's winter, doesn't mean you can't look good. Quite a number of them have a 50's retro type vibe that I love, and everything is very reasonably priced.

Changing things up a bit is Elle Moss, where you can look at the beauty of winter without having to actually go outside. This shop has a great selection of photos and prints, to help get you in the winter mood. Or, if you are still in denial about what season we're pretty much in, there are many other gorgeous summery options.

Susanjie3 has some very sexy options for that man in your life that actually has style. I look longfully at these sweaters, and how the mannequin can layer so adeptly...because everyone knows Jason is not like that. I don't think he'd even know what to do with a sweater like that.

Since we've kept both the lady and the man of the house warm and cozy, it's time to think of your pets. For the love of all things adorable, think of your pets people! Cozy Horse is the place to go. They have a whole bunch of great winter coats for your pooches to keep them nice and cozy on those fridged walks. They also have these hilarous things called "snoods" never heard of them before, but the dogs seem to be enjoying them haha. They also have some collars, and play toys in their shop. Whether you have a big, or small dog they've got you covered.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Colour Files: Dining Room

Since we can't afford to put all new floors in every room right away (what with the kitchen renovation and all), we have to make do with what we have. After we finish the kitchen, we plan on doing the floors in the living room & entry next, because that's what people will see first when they walk in our house, and we are SOOOO over the blue carpet out there. While the dining room carpet is nasty & mottled, it is not blue...so it is a bit easier to work with haha. 
   I don't mind painting, but I also don't particularly enjoying doing it if I don't have to, so we only want to have to paint the dining room once (until I'm ready to change it again hehe). So we have to pick colours & decor that will "go" well with the current carpet, but will also look good when we put the new floor in. (We are hoping to install a medium-ish colour) I know what kind of look I am going for, but am having trouble choosing the exact colours that would be perfect for the room. I have narrowed it down to my favourite three, (and there are ones that I am leaning more towards) so I would like your assistance, help me choose the right colours.

Ok, so I wrote that above part obviously before we bought the lovely floor that we are now going to put in here. And while we now have floor, I am no closer to deciding which colours I like best.

Here are my favourite three colours for the main walls:

Cream...how many different names can you be called? Cream is essentially the colour I am looking for haha. All of the above colours are by Benjamin Moore, and they are fairly similar. the first, "canvas", has more pinky undertones, next up is "cotton tail", which is a more true "cream" colour, with the yellowish undertones. Lastly is "white marigold", and has more greyish undertones. Any of them would be fine on the walls, the trouble comes when trying to pair with with a brown for the accent wall. We plan on painting the wall with the window a brown colour, to add some dimension in the room (because 4 cream walls is a bit boring...and we are NOT boring people) Here are my 3 favourite brown choices:

First up is "appalacian brown", then "mustang" (even though all mustangs I know are purple!), and last but most certainly not least, "night horizon." Again, these are all by Benjamin Moore, and again, are all perfectly delicious on their own, but may not be the perfect match with each cream. Here they are together now:

Here are all the selections paired together...just in case you needed a hand visualizing. Like I said, I have one pairing that I am leaning more towards, but I want everyone's opinion, which do you like best, which pairing do you think would work best in our dining room? In terms of what we're doing with trim, it will be a pure, crisp white (the trim is along the bottom - where the walls meet the floors, surrounding the window, and the opening into both the hall and the kitchen) So there's the first sneak peek into the dining room...we'll keep you updated with

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The house...the way WE want

OK, so I hope you all enjoyed the “tour” the other day, and are ready for more today. Lets just jump right in.

So, the first change we’ll highlight, is the Dining Room. Call us crazy, but we decided we didn’t need TWO front doors & entry points – odd I know – but we did need a dining room. And, presto, chango, we have a dining room.  We plan on closing off the front door there (and probably replacing the window at the same time), we’re going to rip up the carpet & the tiley things they had in the old entry, to make one, cohesive floor. We also plan on knocking about 1.5ft from the corner of the room to make the opening into the kitchen bigger (and to avoid having to walk all the way around the corner – those extra 5 steps made me too out of breath, so we had to eliminate them). We are also knocking out the closet that was there to add more space in the kitchen. A “breakfast nook” will take the place of the closet & pesky built-in space, the benches for seating will also double as more storage. The kitchen…tada! Doesn’t it just look so much more open and welcoming now? And since neither of us are hobbits, we have the appropriate amount of room to move, and counter height that better suits us. Because the large window that is there is so low, we aren’t able to add anything in front of it, so by putting our new (and significantly larger) fridge in the previously unoccupied space beside the window we can increase the amount of counter space in that corner. The stove will be moved to the other side, flanked by more counter space & a peninsula. By rearranging the kitchen like this we’ve tripled the amount of counter space, and also added significantly more upper cabinets, that in a miraculous twist of fate allow us to fit not only our plates, but so.much.more! For both of us, the biggest upgrade will be adding a dishwasher! Thank you, Baby Jesus! While neither of us overly dislike doing dishes, it is definitely safe to say, that neither of us actually enjoy doing them either haha…we do them about twice a week (if we were being good), but a lot of times they would pile up, until they were out of control, which was/is a huge embarrassment. SOOOOO, we cannot WAIT until we have a swanky dishwasher of our own. While any dishwasher would be an upgrade, we have our eyes on something, a bit…special.
  Ok, moving on, because I have a whole bunch of posts in the not so distant future, that are all about the kitchen, so I don’t want to give too much away now. We are going to put up a half wall in the living room to create a designated, separate area for entry. A place to hang coats, and store shoes (since there isn’t anywhere currently to do that.)
   Next we have the bedrooms. Before anyone sees “nursery” and runs away with the idea, NO, we do not have anything to announce at this time…and do you honestly think, that I would announce it like this!? We do however plan on having children at some point in time, and this will be the room that the cuties reside in. If you remember the layout from before, the bathroom, was a lot smaller and there was a laundry room. Here’s a side-by-side just in case you forget.


We are going to move the laundry room to the basement to make more room for the bathroom & the guest room. We are also going to get rid of the tiny linen closet to make the Nursery closet bigger. In order to make the bathroom bigger, we have to take out a window. I think my favourite part about looking at the side-by-side is the floors haha. Just look at how much better the “laminate” looks next to the “carpet”…so much better than the sea of blue!

Lets go downstairs now, because that has a lot more changes than the upstairs haha. This is how we think we would like to layout the basement…keep in mind we wouldn’t even touch the basement to start these changes for 5 years, unless of course we win money, or someone would like to impart a large chuck of change upon us. (We really would welcome that at any time) So this area is the one that has the potential to differ the most from these plans we've come up with.

The basement…dun, dun, dun. We have the biggest ideas for this space – mainly because it is a blank slate and we can do whatever we want. Three cheers for being able to do what you want! We decided you’d come down the stairs and be in the family/living room (we wanted a large enough room that we could fit a sectional…one with a lovely chaise lounger type dealeo. Off the new living room we’ll add a fourth bedroom. (There are two windows in that room we'll have to dig out...not sure why no windows showed up on this plan) Through the livingroom you come into the laundry room, as well as where we'll keep the large freezer, and our seasonal stuff that needs to be stored. To the right will be another (albeit small) full bathroom. Then the room where, “all the magic happens” (so says Jason), the Man Cave. I have always wanted to create a “man cave” in my house, and my hubs deserves one for sure! (Especially after he does all the hard work with the kitchen, and the bedrooms, and the windows, and the bathroom, and the everything hehe) He is rather excited to get this done haha. (Especially since I said we could make a secret entrance for him) Off the man cave is a cold cellar, which I told Jason he could use as his beer fridge…because it’s not like I do much “canning” haha. Then finally we come to the utility & storage room. We are also adding storage under the stairs, and there is also a storage shed type thing on the back of the garage.

Last up we have the master suite! The biggest changes up here are in the bathroom.

We are going to use the closet space (and a bit of the room) to bump out the bathroom. We have big plans for this bathroom – a large 2 person shower, double sink, some storage – like I said before, we have a thing for bathrooms. There was a small closet on the other side of the room that we’ll make enlarge, and add some built-ins and more hanging space (for all of Jason’s t-shirts). Even by shrinking the room, we’re still keeping it large enough for that king size bed we will be soon getting.

There you have it folks. The modified “tour” of our new house, it’ll probably be 5-10 years before we have the place looking like we have it here haha. And even then, I’m sure our plans will change. Stay tuned for all of our kitchen remodel play by play - we'll get right into the nitty-gritty as soon as we can!

Kitchen Files: Choices

Kitchens and bathrooms have always been my most favourtist parts of houses, so how lucky for me that I married a plumber. (I knew there was something else drawing me to him other than his animal magnetism hehe) So, since the kitchen in this house should be taken out back and put to death by firing squad, I (we) get to completely overhaul it. While looking for houses I would always check the cupboards in the kitchen, to see if we would be able to reuse them…there’s a lot you can do with the look of a kitchen by simply painting or staining the cabinets, and that’s what I was hoping for in the houses we looked for. Because we were looking for houses that were needed  a lot of work, (meaning a lot of time & money) re-doing all the cabinetry wasn’t top of my priority list, but there isn’t really a hope in hell we will be able to use the cabinets from this darling kitchen in our new one. Since the current kitchen space is SOO small – it’s a 6 x 5.5 set up –  we’re planning on takin’ er out and using more of the large 10 x 20 space. But the main reason we can’t re-use the cabinets ourselves, is they are only 33” tall!!! Eegads! Normal cabinet height is around 35/36”, and considering Jase and I want to make them higher, at around 36-38” there is no hope in hell we’d be able to use them…well without having to build a sizeable extra drawer for under them. So we’ve decided to go with everything brand new. I guess our motto is “go new, or go home” with this project. We are trying to keep the whole project within a modest (for a kitchen) budget. Which may be hard since we want things like cork flooring 

that we haven’t been able to find in our research for less than $5/sq ft, or the apron front sink 
(that I refuse to let go of) which average around $1,400…or how about the double drawer dishwasher that we have both recently fallen in love with 
(even though any dishwasher would be a HUGE upgrade for our hands – we’ve decided to shoot for the stars). So we’re going to be calling in every favour in the book to keep ourselves within (and let’s just be honest – well under) budget.

Which is where being married to a plumber comes in handy! He brings home presents like THESE! 

He sent me a text while I was at work that said, “I grabbed as many flyers as I could carry” and considering he has substantial hands, I was super excited. Does my husband love me or what!? It does not make me pathetic that I liked these flyers more Paula Dean likes Krispy Kream bacon double cheeseburgers! It makes me a totally sane, normal woman…albeit a woman who gets more excited over sinks & faucets, than purses and shoes. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I bathed in these things. Now, let me tell you why I was so excited about them…it wasn’t just their aprony goodness, it was the fact that they were all options for us at Jason’s wholesaler price…which means we’d be saving an average of $600/700 on whichever one we choose! (I know that even though we're saving $600/700, the sink is still costing $700, which is an expensive sink. However, it is something I really want, and since we're doing this thing from scratch, I'm not going to settle. This is the kitchen we're going to have to live with for at least 10 years, so I want it to be perfect from the beginning.)
The only “downside” is that it has a four week lead time, but considering we have at least a month to do the kitchen reno that doesn’t really seem like a problem to me. I count this as the first small victory in the “go new, or go home” kitchen challenge.

The second, even better than a  Charlie Sheen "winning" moment - because we were actually winning - was when I found a place online to order our cork flooring from, for CONSIDERABLY less than retail prices! AND they sent free samples, woot woot! Gotta love free samples. So our samples came, and we narrowed it down to two choices.

First is Black Beach, which is a glue down tile, and more of a solid brown colour...it is much lighter than this picture depicts. It is only $1.99/sq.ft.

Second is Gemwood, which is a floating floor, and very similar to black beach, with some darker swirly, textural things thrown in there. (This picture is a bit truer to actual colour. It's a bit more, at $3.95/sq.ft
  While we both agreed that we liked these two choices the best, (our of our 4 samples) we disagreed over which one is best. Jason likes the black beach, while I like the Gemwood. Jason can't quantify why he likes his better, but I like the Gemwood better because it has a bit more visually going on, is a bit more textural, and is more "plank-like" as opposed to just longer tiles. Although I do like the price of the other one better. Neither of us are so strongly drawn to either one that we "have to have it", so we'll probably just end up tossing a coin haha.

We went to an auction on the weekend to see about buying some cabinets for cheap, cheap...but we weren't really struck with anything. So we didn't get any cabinets (again, I'm not willing to settle, just to save a few hundred dollars, if it was more than $500 we would've saved, then I probably would've got them) We were however smitten with some engineered hardwood floor. 

It is Armstrong flooring, and generally retails for a minimum of $6.95/sq.ft. and we got it for....wait for it...ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS!!! That's right, we bid and got it for $1.50/sq.ft. We got 300sq.ft. of it, and plan to use it in the dining room, and possibly the laundry room downstairs. It's called "antique hickory natural" and it is antiquey looking, with a some-what distressed look. We love it. We love it even more because we saved a boat load, and are now able to do two floors for the price of one!

Now if only we could settle the cabinet debate, we'd be all set to get things started...but we're on a pretty good roll so far.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Man Files: Jason's "Movember"

Ok, everyone knows that Jason can't grow facial hair. If someone held a gun to my head and said grow a moustache or I die, I will unfortunately die. When he is able to grow a small, tiny bit of hair, it is platinum blonde, so you can't see it anyway. Unless the light hits it the right way...then you can see the sun glistening slightly off of something. I affectionally call my my little goat, because he can only grow hair (that you can see) on his chinny-chin-chin. We're both ok with the fact that he can't really grow hair...him, because he only has to shave like once a month; and me, because I don't have to kiss that scrapey terribleness. Although he is aware that since "hair growth" (or lack there of) generally comes from the mothers side, our 12 year old son will most likely be able to grow a much better beard than his dear ol' dad. 
 So how does Jason deal when Movember comes around? Well he grows away, and hopes like hell that you'll be able to see it by the end of the month...OR he goes out and buys some just for men to colour his face into submission. 

I will let the pictures speak for themselves. He wasn't very happy I was taking pictures, but I assured him it was something our children would want to see someday. (As well as the world wide web right now haha)

The before...really the only hair you can see is on his chin. Had to read the instructions very carefully hehe.

Mix, mix, mix!

Applying it all over.

All up on that! I am especially fond of how far up his lip he went haha. Still can't really see any lip hair can ya?

The after: it's noticeable now eh? He's actually got a moustache! I apologize for the crappy pictures, he was really not into me taking pictures of him haha. 

It was a hilarious process to witness! Unfortunately I don't really have any pictures of him before we washed it off. When I stepped into the shower, and he turned around and said, "so whatcha think?" I just about died. He looked like he was playing the homeless bum in a play. I was sorely tempted to jump out and shove a bottle of vodka in a paper bag for him. I couldn't even feel bad for laughing haha...it was that bad. His face was stained, because he wanted to accomplish the "chin-strap" effect, but had no hair to dye. So he scrubbed and scrubbed, and finally it left his face. In the end, it doesn't look that bad...pretty good actually. Takes some getting used to. He did this Friday, and I finally no longer laugh when I look at him. 

Whatcha think? Do you like it? Should he keep it? Should he do it again? I can't wait to see what it looks like when his platinum hair starts growing in again...and it's half brown half invisible hehe.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Etsy Six-Pack

Back again for another Etsy six-pack...I feel like they'd be better suited for Fridays, becuase really, you'd be more likely to drink a six-pack heading into the weekend...and since I base all my decisions around when it's appropriate to drink a lot, Friday's shall be the day.

First up is SolBijou, they have some great wedding related products. Be it a gorgeous statement necklace, or pretty clutches to give as a bridesmaid gift, or little flower girl slippers, they know what they're doing. They even have some "non-traditional" type things, like a broach bouquet...anything to help make your day that much more special.

If you're anything like me, you could spend hours browsing through the felt menagerie that Feltmeup Designs has. Everysingle thing in her shop is absolutely adorable. Those awesome little faces! Cute little wire feet! Look at that toucans nose! Or, if you don't feel like a real, soft, adorable felt bird, there's always Christmas cards with their pictures you could send ;)

I don't know what my favourite aspect of Book Hou At Home is. The fact they have nice, interesting products, or the fact that they're the most random assortment of products. Totes, tea towels, mobiles, alphabets...where else could you find such a fun random bunch of goodies, without leaving the confines of your comfy pants?

This is a bit of a random pick for me, because really, what right to I have to talk about fashion? ME, who has no issues leaving the confines of my comfy pants even if I am going somewhere. But here I stand, thinking if I did have style, money and the right body I wouldn't mind shopping at a place like Marinaasta. I really like the coats, they're my favourite. They look warm, but not too sure how they'd stand up to a Canadian winter. (Ugh, had to break my hat out this morning - my poor little ears got cold yesterday)

Geekling Desing...this is my favourite shop of the day I think. I'll give you 3 guesses why (and the first 2 don't count)...HARRY POTTER!!! I am not above decking my child out it hilariously awesome HP gear. I mean come on...Accio Milk! Hilarious! They have other non, Harry Potter related gear, that I felt I had to show, but lets be honest, I don't really care about that other stuff. Don't be surprised to see my child crawling around in an "I solemly swear I am up to no good" onesie with awesome leg warmers. (Deal with it Jason)

Last up, we have Love Maude. They have some cute headbands, bracelets, and bookmarks...just all around pretty embroidery related things. I think I would use that yellow headband as a bookmark, just 'cause.

In house related news, we had our inspection yesterday, no real surprises, so we're good! Lawyer approved everything, financing was approved (more on that on Monday), and inspection was pretty good, so ladies and gentelmen, we have fulfilled all the requirements, we can for sure say we have the house now! Yippee!