Mother’s Day 2017

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommy’s out there! I’ve been a mom for 4 years now but THIS year is actually the first year that I was actually celebrated by my husband. I know, that sounds bad doesn’t it? Let me explain:

Year 1 – This was my first Mother’s Day. I actually became a mom on May 11, 2013 and Mother’s Day was the next day on May 12th that year. May 11th also happens to be my mom’s birthday so my son and my mom now share the same birth date. Needless to say we all “celebrated” in the hospital.

Year 2 – My oldest turned 1 years old and my poor mum who was gifted the best bday AND mother’s Day present EVAR (and she can’t even argue about it lol ) finally got to celebrate her day again. I honestly don’t remember doing anything other than something for Riley and my mom and then my mother-in-law.

Year 3 – My oldest turned 2. Again same as the year before. Just like year 2, I don’t even remember getting flowers or a card… actually I think I did get a card from hubs. I THINK. My youngest was born a couple months later as well.

Year 4 – My oldest turned 3. We planned his first birthday party. I know.. bad parents. Giving him his first birthday party when the kid’s 3 years old lol. I’m not big on children’s bday parties. No offence. I mean, great on the mom’s that do plan something EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR since their kids were born but I’m not one of them. Hubs was also out of town for work for a week during this time and I was suffering from PPD. I had sent Riley over to stay with my mom and dad while hubs was gone so I can have a little break with also caring for a 10m old. I asked my mom to bring Riley home so I can see him on his bday. Once again, my poor mum got shafted this year lol. My sister and I did get her and Riley separate cakes to celebrate though.

This year, 2017 – I formally requested to hubs back in March that I want a handmade gift from him and the kids this year. This was going to be my year. I never really thought too much about it in previous years because it was all about my son and my mom and I honestly didn’t mind it too much but it’s also nice to be acknowledged at some point in my life. When I told hubs I wanted something handmade that’s all I was really expecting. I would have been just as happy with a couple of cards with crayon scribbles or a macaroni necklace. I’m big on handmade gifts from kids. This is what hubs came up with:

Bouquet

And let me tell you… I LOVE IT. Hubs is not a creative man lol. That’s why I had to give him 2 months notice to come up with an idea. Riley gave me a small hint about what the gift involved because last week when I came home from work one day, he told me that he made something for me with his hands and feet.. kids lol.
Hubs also surprised me with a gift himself:

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

For years I have been wanting to get a charm bracelet but finding the right one was difficult. I am not a fan of the bead charms ie. Pandora, Trolls etc. I like the more traditional, old school charm bracelets like we had when we were kids with the plastic charms. But finding an adult version that wouldn’t cost a mortgage was difficult.

The Tiffany’s ones are nice but I already have the heart tag charm bracelet and I didn’t want to get another similar bracelet to hang the charms on. The other option was the Wire Bracelet but that would mean the charms would slide around and hang all on one side. I may still get the wire bracelet and wear as a bangle.
Then I found the Sweetie Bracelet from Links of London. I was in love.

Sweetie bracelet

The bracelet is great looking just on it’s own as well. I was a little surprised at how heavy the bracelet is though. Definitely has more weight to it then my other Tiffany bracelets.
I didn’t actually think hubs was going to get this for me. I had sent him the link a week before mother’s day with the caption in the email: For Mother’s Day or because you love me. But I send him links to things I like all the time and I never see any of them… which was why I was greatly surprised when he pulled the bag out lol. I think it also helped that we had a massive argument last month that landed him in hot, shark infested waters for over a week. Hubs also took me us to brunch at the Boat House Restaurant and then we had to make a quick trip back to the store to exchange the bracelet because the sales person actually gave hubs the wrong size.

I can’t wait to buying charms to my new bracelet… the only problem is, where do I start?!

How was your Mother’s Day?

Until next time!

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52 Week Money Challenge

Ever say to yourself “I’m going to start saving some money for a rainy day”? I have. Many times. Have I ever? A few times. Did it work? Yes… it did… until I stopped. And used the money.

Having a mortgage (and a Vancouver, BC mortgage at that!), 2 kids and an unending list of bills to pay, we’re usually left with very little to put aside. Especially now that we’re also putting aside money every month for 2 college funds.

I’ve had some “money saving” tips pinned for awhile and thought I’d finally give them a try. It’s not a lot of money we’re talking about, just a few dollars here and there but it’s supposed to add up to $1378 by the end of the year.

saving

It looks easy enough and the amounts are small enough that it won’t leave me crying every month. I’m actually going to try 2 different ways to save a little money; the top one for 52 weeks is for our “rainy day” fund and the one beneath it is for Christmas presents for the kids.
I normally try and start shopping around August for xmas gifts, just so it’s not a huge expense all in one month. The original dates for the second list is from June till the end of November, so for me I’m going to start saving in April till September. I’ll likely continue putting money away instead of stopping… so I’ll see how much I actually end up with lol.

For the planners peeps out there, you will notice that I have made it so I can insert the charts into my planner and I also laminated it because I know it’s something I will continually use.

What are you ways of saving money?

Till next time!

New year, New Planner

The last time I used a planner was when I was in high school waaaaaaaay back when. Since the days of smartphones (ie. my blackberry) I have been using the calendar on them to record and remind myself of important days and events and it has served me well. But sometimes it’s just easier to have everything written down and able to see all at once vs opening the scheduled event on the phone.

Meet my new planner, The Happy Planner, from Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI for short in the planner world).

planner

The Happy Planner

I’ve been eyeballing this planner for months but never saw a reason or justification in getting one when I have my trusty smartphone. I also may or may not have scoffed at the thought of people still using these paper forms of organization. Boy was I wrong!
Did you guys know that there is a whole different universe of “planner people”?! I mean, it’s really insane! There’s even a whole aisle now at Michaels dedicated to planners and accessories for them.
This particular planner was given to me as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. You should have seen my eyeballs when I opened it lol. I knew about the planner but I didn’t KNOW about the planner… you know? Lol. Anyways, I looked around on Pinterest and instagram to see how people were using these things and WOW. It really opened up a whole new world for me. I am a scrapbooker. Well, I guess I was a scrapbooker. That’s how I started out in paper crafting. Then I moved onto cards. And then I had babies. And then everything just sat there.. collecting dust. Until now.

This new planner phenomenon (it probably isn’t but I’m going to say it is because I’ve only noticed it now lol)combines everything into one. You can personalize your planner based on your personality and what you want to use it for. For me, and a lot of other people, a love of paper crafting and staying organized. And with hubs travelling for work more and the two terrors getting older and attending preschool and other activities, I need it more than ever!

This is what the next 2 weeks of my planner look like:

page-1

page-2

Don’t mind the crappy pictures and lighting. This is what happens when you try to quickly snap some picks of something before little hands tear it away from you and rip it to shreds.

I’m still new to this whole planning thing and trying to figure out my planning “style”.
Are you guys planners as well? If so, what planner are you using and let’s check out those layouts!

Till next time!

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day was a few days ago on Sunday. I asked hubs what he would like to do for his special day and his response: “Build the deck”. Well alright then. Who am I to argue with a man on a mission lol. We’re doing some work on the house and building the deck was #1 on the list. Sorry… no pics yet. Ill try to remember to snap some pics of the disaster zone that is my backyard.

I was a bit preoccupied this year so I dropped the ball on planning and getting a gift for hubs on Father’s Day. We needed a new BBQ and hubs had been scoping around and checking out prices. We finally found one for a stinkin good price at Home Depot when we went to pick up some things to build our deck.
The was a lineup of BBQ’s in the “dents & scratch” section at the entrance so we stopped to see what they had. There happened to be one that had a broken wheel and a small dent in the back. Original price was $549, on sale for $230. Hubs basically ran to the cash register to pay for it and snap it up before anyone else saw it.

I wanted to get something else JUST for hubs and I had 3 days to think of something. I had found a book about beer and craft beer from around the world at Winners for $16 that I thought he might enjoy but I still wanted to get home something from the boys. Enter Pinterest.

father's_day

I already had the canvas on hand for a nursery project that I never got around to and it happened to be the perfect size for this project.

I used grey paint for my hand, let it dry for about an hour and then put some teal paint on Riley’s hand. His hand print is a bit smudged because he decided to move his fingers around. Even harder was trying to get a 10m old to keep his fingers straight and hand still. Although he did get a good laugh when I was putting the paint on his hand lol.

Till next time!

DIY: Shower Curtain

I’m not a really great crafty DIY-er. Everything I want to make always looks better in my head than it does when it’s finished. But one of the things that I am pretty proud of is the shower curtain that I made for Hub’s bathroom downstairs. The entire downstairs area (excluding the crawl space and laundry room) is actually “his area” lol. He laid claim to it when we decided to buy the house.
The idea was that because the lower floor is a cold zone, hubs would be using that bathroom in the summer for showers etc to refrain from waking the baby. That never actually happened. In fact the only time that shower was used was when I was giving the dog a bath. Somewhere along the way that bathroom had turned into a home brewery. Don’t ask.

To shield our guests from the unsightly mess down there (and with the intention that SOMEONE would at some point be using the shower, I wanted to put up a shower curtain. I decided on the colour navy blue and wanted a blue and white stripped curtain. Finding it proved a little harder. It was either the width of the stripes wasn’t what I wanted or when I did find what I like, it was too expensive. Hubs had bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a couple years back so I decided to put it to use.

Navy and white stripped shower curtain

Navy and white stripped shower curtain

This project was actually pretty easy. The inspiration for it actually came from Pinterest. This was EXACTLY what I wanted. I bought the fabric from Fabric.com and it’s the Bekko home decor line from Michael Miller. The tutorial I used to make it can be found here.

I didn’t punch holes in the fabric and used grommets, instead I just bought regular curtain clips to hang it.

The whole project cost me about $45 because I also bought the fabric when it was on sale.

Cost
Fabric: $35
Thread: $2
Curtain Clips: $7

New Closet: Part 1, Painting Stripes

*Sigh* Where do I begin. Before I started this ambitious project (and I say ambitious because this is really the FIRST home improvement project I have done. Period.) I looked around on Pinterest for inspiration on how to remake my closet. Because our house is a pre-sale and we didn’t want to pay for the all “extras”, all the closet racks were the plain and simple wire ones. Did I mention that ALL the walls in the house is white? This will be a never ending project. Good thing we plan on staying here awhile!
In my excitement of starting the reno, I forgot to take a pic of what my closet looked like with all my clothes, shoes… and other crap. Here’s what it looked like when Helpful Hubs started removing the yucky wire racks:

Helpful Hubs

Helpful Hubs

Yes my friends, that is indeed a chandelier you see. If you’re asking how I managed to get hubs to agree to let me put a girly chandelier in there, the answer is quite simple; this is MY own personal walk-in closet. Yes MINE. ALL MINE. And now you’re wondering how I managed to kick hubby out, well he also has his own. Our master bedroom has two, I repeat TWO, walk-in closets! It’s paradise. It would be Utopia if my closet were just a tiny bit bigger but I digress. I’m happy not having to share closet space as it is lol. On another note, hubs has made a few comments about me putting a chandelier in there not to mention the fact that he doesn’t understand why I need to paint it either.

I decided I wanted to paint black stripes in my closet and went about reading on how to go about doing it. All the sites I read say that it’s “easy” and “simple”… they’re not true. Well at least not in my case. There was a lot of trial and error not to mention a crap load of patience and an insurmountable amount of determination. But having gone through it all now, the next time I decide to paint a striped wall it will definitely go a lot faster and easier.

It all started when the calculator app I used on my iPad gave me the wrong calculation. The walls in my closet are 90.5″ in height and I wanted an uneven number of stripes because I wanted the very top and the very bottom ones to be black. So I divided 90.5 by 9. Now this is where it all started. The app on my iPad gave me a calculation of 13.64″ for each stripe. Helpful Hubs used a tape measure and went about the room marking 13.64”. Now hubs is quite notorious in our household for not making straight lines so I was a bit skeptical of his abilities. After he finished his markings we started to tape. This is when Helpful Hubs turned into Angry Hubs. I questioned his measuring because it didn’t look very straight to me. He started taping starting at the very top because I wouldn’t be able to reach that high and I started painting over the patched up holes with the base paint (more on that later). Before I could tell hubs where the tape was supposed to go he had already started on the third stripe. I decided to keep my mouth shut and just redo it all the next evening. We finally finished taping about 30mins-45mins later and that’s when I noticed that something was wrong. The last stripe on the bottom was about half the width of the others. I scratched my head about it for a bit and the next day I used my calculator app on my phone to recalculate the numbers. 90.5 divided by 9 = 10.05!!!!!!! A few specific words ran through my head. How could I have not noticed that it was miscalculated in the first place?! Fortunately I was going to redo the tapes anyways. I ran out to Home Depot on my lunch to grab a laser level. The one I bought was the Johnson HOT SHOT. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on one and since I was planning on remarking and taping the stripes myself and didn’t want to put nails in my wall, I decided not to get the chalk line. Review of the Johnson HOT SHOT will come in a later post.

When hubs came home I told him that there was a miscalculation and I would be redoing the measurements and the tapes. He came up to help me a few mins after I had started.
This proved to be the most frustrating part. I relied too heavily on the laser level and thought that all walls should be level with one another, because really… why wouldn’t they right?! *Sigh* I ended up only marking the new correct measurement in ONE spot and only ONCE. I realized my error when I started to apply the tape on the second wall. The marks didn’t match up. Turned out that the laser level was shifting on the wall. The sticky tack that keeps it on the wall was actually not so sticky. Back to the beginning we go. Fast forward an hour, while I was almost half way done retaping, I asked hubs if he could start priming the edge of the tapes for the stripes that were going to be painted black.
Because the walls were already white to begin with and I wanted black and white stripes, I only needed to buy black paint. Hubs had picked up a small can of touch-up paint for us to cover up the patched up holes. The paint was supposed to be same colour of the existing colour of paint on the walls but we couldn’t get in the smaller sized can because that specific colour of paint was only available in the gallon sized cans. The girl at the store said it was 99% the same colour. I’m pretty sure she’s colour blind. Either that or she played a pretty mean prank on us.

Ready for the first coat of black paint!

Ready for the first coat of black paint!

This was the result after two coats of the “same” colour of paint. Now, I would recommend you prime the tape even though it adds more time to finish your project. The reason for that is because this actually helps seal the tape and prevent any of the paint from bleeding. I did two coats of this because hubs used a foam brush (!@#$%^&*) to do the first coat of the first couple of stripes and it just didn’t look like it would do much of anything. I also marked the ones to be painted black with tape.I would also recommend the use of wide painters tape. As you can see in the picture below, I only used the thinner ones because that was what we had on hand and yes, I did paint over the tape a few times.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

I should mention that I had to cancel all my plans that I had for the day to finish painting my closet. I didn’t really have to do it all that afternoon but by the time I had finished the first coat of paint it was already 2:30pm. Even with the taping done the night before, it took me until 5pm to fully finish that one little room *sigh*. I did make time for a shower, lunch and a quick clean of the house before starting on the second and final coat of paint.

Isn't it beautiful?!

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Voila! Part 1 of my new closet is complete!

Paint I used:
White touch-up paint: Cloverdale
Black: Behr, Carbon

Creative Wedding Favors

We’re almost there… just one more day before the weekend folks!
I wanted to share the wedding favors that my sister and her husband were giving their guests at their wedding. They’re little bottles of Rosemary Infused Olive Oil and Vanilla Infused Balsamic Vinegar.

 

Homemade Rosemary Infused Olive Oil & Vanilla Infused Balsamic Vinegar

Homemade Rosemary Infused Olive Oil & Vanilla Infused Balsamic Vinegar

 

Everything except the bottle and label on the bottle were homemade. My sister commissioned me to make the tags for them which were quite simple to make using just MS Word and a regular printer. The tag itself, I bought the cardstock paper from Michaels and used my trusty Slice Crafts machine along with the Noel cartridge to cut the shape of the tag.

What are some of the most useful and useless favors that you recieved at weddings?

Spring, Summer… and Fall Recap

Yes I know it’s not Fall yet but seeing how it’s been like what? 5 months since my last post and with how busy I’ve been lately I might as well add in a post-recap for the Fall lol.

After Baby Boy’s bday back in May, I returned to work from maternity leave the very next day. By lunchtime, it was like I never left! I missed the Boy of course and I have to say that I was pretty proud of myself that I only called my Mom (who’s babysitting Riley for me) twice the entire day! The first couple of days were a bit rough for both the kid and I. It was a huge adjustment especially for Riley as he’s only ever been away from hubs and I for max 4-5 hours. The longest was when we were moving and my Mom watched him for about 7 hours and Riley wouldn’t have remembered that since he was only 4.5 months old at the time.

Water table

Not only is Riley’s bday the same day as my Mom’s bday, this year it also happened to land right smack dab on Mother’s Day as well. My in-laws live about 45mins outside of the city and my MIL (who is by all accounts, the most wonderful and understanding woman in the world… no seriously, she is! I totally lucked out! lol) understood why we weren’t able to make the trip out to celebrate Mother’s Day with her until the following week. She took advantage of the Babies ‘R Us sale we had and bought Riley a niftly water table. That thing is AWESOME! So awesome that Riley threw a hairy fit when it was time to get dried off and cleaned up for dinner. But really those water tables are pretty cool.

All through Spring and the beginning of Summer, I was a busy little bee helping my sister plan her wedding which happened on August 2nd.
As part of my wedding gift to her and her new husband, I made their wedding invitations for them.

Invitation

Assembling took the most time but luckily it was a small and intimate wedding so I only had to make about 25 invitations. And somehow my arm was twisted to include Thank You cards as part of the wedding gift as well… hmmm. If you’re on instagram check out #goldieandjasongethitched for the bevy of photos from the event.

Sisters

Stay tuned for my next post on my outfit details as MOH! (I promise it won’t be another 5 months!)