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The big reveal – my dream kitchen!

24 Sep

This is my most favourite reveal to date…

As you may have noticed, I love to cook & bake.  I have never had a proper kitchen to be able to do so in before so this was a room I wanted to take extra special care in planning.  The kitchens while I was in university consisted of a single counter which also housed a double sink, dish drying rack and microwave which meant there wasn’t any counter space.  Once hubby & I finished university (we met while I was in my third year – we were roomates, moved in through mutual friends but that’s another story!) and moved closer to a bigger city and into a small one bedroom apartment.  The apartment wasn’t fancy – it was an older building and the kitchen had even less counter space!  While we were living there I started baking cakes (fancy fondant cakes) and let me tell you, rolling out huge sheets of fondant on a tiny surface is not fun! 🙂

When we stepped into the kitchen of the house we just bought my stomach jumped.  Let’s face it – whenever you have people over, they inevitably end up in the kitchen, was I ready to have people in my kitchen?  Hubby at that moment walked up beside and smiled and told me to picture the kitchens in the magazines.  It might take a while but we would do it!  Once our offer was accepted on the house there began the million (maybe two million) trips to Sears Liquidation Centre, Sears Outlet Centres, Home Depots, Ronas, Lowes – you name it we were there!  I knew I wanted stainless steel appliances but how could I make them fit within our budget?  Helllllllllo Sear Liquidation Centre!  Essentially it’s a scratch and dent place but it’s first come first serve which means you need to go there every weekend (and we did – for a couple months!) to find exactly what you want.  For example, I had fallen in love with a Samsung fridge (which was wayyyyy out of our budget) but one faithful day we walked in and there it was at 70% off the regular price.  I stood in front of the fridge to guard it as Jeff ran to find an associate!   Signed, sealed, delivered it was ours ❤  That is essentially the same story for every piece in our kitchen (well, our house!).  We searched and searched to find the absolute best price on everything – took a lot longer but it allowed us to do more and of course doing almost all of the work in the house (the only thing I wouldn’t let Hubby do was hang the kitchen cupboards – plaster walls, I was a little nervous!) took longer but really stretched those dollars!

If you’re been reading my blog, you must remember our kitchen before’s.  Yes – it’s scary.   Here’s a run down of what we did to turn it into my favourite space:

  • Opened the space up – goodbye walls
  • Moved the sink to underneath the window – who wants to stare at a wall when washing dishes?
  • Replaced the cupboards
  • Added a quartz counter top (I wish I could capture this in a picture better – it has pieces of glass throughout it so it sparkles when the light hits it)
  • Did a marble floor (we caught a lot of flack over this – it’s a high maintenance floor but once I saw it I couldn’t imagine anything else in this space – it is so beautiful)
  • Added a back splash
  • The facet is touch activated – a must for anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen!  No more guck all over the facet!
  • New kitchen light – and missing is the 3 hanging lights over the island (to come soon!)
  • Added a giant island – critical for my cakes, and we added a few stools so it doubles as a cool little breakfast nook!

Before I refresh your memory as to what we started with and our dream kitchen I’d like to send a quick note out to our friends and family.  Thank you all for your help, time, conversations and keeping us sane throughout all of this.  Buying a house and doing all of these renos at once was certainly a feat that we couldn’t have done without the love from all of you.  We are so grateful to have amazing people like you in our lives.  Don’t worry – we’re going to take a break before we tackle the basement 😉


This was looking into the kitchen from the top of the stairs

This was looking into the kitchen from the dining room

Looking out of the kitchen towards the stairs.

And drum roll please…..

Sigh – isn’t it beautiful? That island is PERFECT for rolling out fondant!

The kitchen overlooks the dining room – which is great because I love entertaining!



Pinterest project!

19 Sep

I have to admit – I love Pinterest.  I can get lost for literally hours going through all of the amazing things on there – where has it been all my life?!   I am growing my “dream house” folder and “next projects” and can’t wait to begin!  I wanted to share a project with you here that I started after seeing a pin posted from a blog here.  I absolutely love the idea of having pictures of family & friends all around your house – but in an organized fashion.  This allows me to display a bunch of beautiful photos in an organized yet a bit chaotic way!

I received the photo frame in the middle and decided to build everything out around it.  Hubby & I received this as a gift from my dad & stepmom and since moving I’ve been looking for the perfect place for it!  After being inspired from the post I visited my local dollar store and picked up three different types of black frames.  From there I picked out a few of my favourite family photos, printed them in black and white and laid it all out on my kitchen island.  I had seen on Pinterest that  people were suggesting that you use wax paper to lie everything out and then tape it to the wall so it lies out perfectly – but once I get excited about a project I’m not that patient!

While the frames were lying on the island I got the general idea for how I saw the frame lying out together and then I hung the middle photo frame first.  I then started placing the frames on the wall using the outside frames to guide where they would lie – I measured to make sure that the frames were all 1 inch away from the middle frame and the rest was eyeballing it!  If you’re not good at eyeballing frames I would definitely suggest using the wax paper method mentioned above.   I’ve gotten tons of compliments on the piece and I am super excited!  With buying the frames from the dollar store and printing out all the photos it ended up costing me about $25 total – even better!

So – what do you think of my new living room feature?  As our family grows, so will our living room wall!

Reveal – cozy master bedroom!

14 Sep

You might remember the before pictures of the master bedroom – scary!  The half ripped down walls, signature terrible floors and certainly lots of work to be done to make it the blissful place that a master bedroom should be!

I would like to say that this is only the beginning – next on my project list for the master bedroom is a homemade fabric headboard and wispy beautiful white curtains hanging from the ceiling like a four poster bed…  And of course – more pillows!! 🙂

I’ll put a call out there too – I just got a sewing machine and will slowly be learning how to sew.  One of my first projects will be curtains for the windows.  Take a look at them – what do you think I should do?  Tall, short, patterned, solid?!  Curtains are my LEAST favourite part of decor – for some reason I can never find anything I like!!

Here’s the reveal…. but before we can reveal we must revisit where we came from 🙂  Enjoy!

Remember the lovely closet before?

And the window before….

Perfect for a snuggle! I’m sad the picture didn’t turn out with the lamps… I’ll have to take another picture of the lamps (an amazing find on Kijiji!) and the sticks!

My gorgeous new closet! Oops – we’re missing a piece of molding above the door 🙂

Annnnd what I need your help with! What should I do with this window for a covering?! Right now we have a blackout shade out of pure necessity. Help!

DIY – Front Entrance Table

30 Aug

As you may have noticed from some of the pictures – I like my house to be as organized and uncluttered as possible.  Since we did not have a table at the front entrance, hubby had a habit of dumping his pockets (wallet, iPhone, keys, work badge, etc) on the kitchen island as he walked in.  After a few months of this I knew I needed to get a table for the front entrance that could house a little plate for him to put all this belongings on when he walked in the door.
My search began at Winners – I found some *beautiful* tables that would have been perfect however the price was ridiculous ($100-$200).  I checked out Ikea and same deal.  I thought – who is going to pay that much money for a little table that’s not even made from real wood?!  After checking out some blogs and cruising through Pinterest – Sidebar BTW is anyone else addicted to Pinterest?!  I totally wish I could get paid for pinning!  🙂  I thought about popping into my local thrift store to see if there were any tables that I could pick up and revamp!  I pulled up to the curb of my local thrift store and sitting right in front of the store was my perfect table.

Oh the possibilities!

Now I know it might not look like much right now but I could see how beautiful I could make this!  I ran inside half dragging the table (because I didn’t want anyone else to take it – like it was the latest Michael Kors watch or something :)) and asked the cashier how much they were asking for it.  I was slowly calculating in my head what I would pay for it factoring in that it was second hand, but it was also wood.  I was bouncing somewhere between $20-$40 in my head when she spoke the magical words “does $7.99 work?”.  I almost jumped for joy and hugged the woman and hurried to get my cash out – “oh that’s tax included” she continues.  Can I just go ahead and tell you how amazing you are now?!  Thank you local thrift store worker!  So I dragged the table out to my car and called my husband and ecstatically told him about my find – surprisingly he wasn’t near as excited as I was 🙂 but I knew I’d change his mind!
I got home and started right away.  I sanded that baby down, put a coat of primer on and a coat of black.  While I was literally waiting for paint to dry, I went over to Home Depot and picked up a beautiful fake diamond knob (I think it was $4?).  Isn’t it beautiful!?

Love ❤

I was able to get away with one coat of paint – truthfully I probably could have done another coat but I was too excited to get the table in place.  I’ll take another pic with it in place once we have finished the work on the front entryway but here it is – isn’t it beautiful!?  Not bad for $12 eh?

Hello beautiful!

Intermission – DIY Project

8 Aug

I couldn’t wait to post this 🙂

I had already created this in 3 separate frames ($1 each from Walmart) but I just didn’t like the look of it.  I had seen a picture on Pinterest (my addiction!) that had the maps in a frame like the one in the picture below.  I had bought this frame from the dollar store a few years ago and it was actually in my pile to get donated.  My girlfriend pointed out that it would be perfect to put this into and she was right!  I love this concept… and it was super economical!

Original 3 frames purchased for project (Walmart $3)
“Old” frame (Dollarama $2)
Map (Walmart $5) & I already had the other map I needed (free-ish!)

I didn’t have a cut out for the heart so I found a picture online of a heart that I thought the size would work, traced it onto a piece of paper and made a template from there.  I found the locations on the map for where we met, where we married and where we live and wrote “we met”, “we married” and “we live” under each heart map.  It was a super easy project and very economical!  Don’t forget to look for old frames you can reuse, thrift shop or check out some yard sales!


we met. we married. we live.