Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

One year I would love to decorate our house like Mrs. Limestone from Brooklyn Limestone...

Halloween2012ExteriorWATERMARKED (12 of 18)

Halloween2012ExteriorWATERMARKED (16 of 18)

Halloween2012ExteriorWATERMARKED (1 of 18)

Halloween2012ExteriorWATERMARKED (11 of 18)

Unfortunately, we are almost never home for Halloween. Last Halloween we were deep in the mountains of Nepal and this year we are only just landing back home from our trip to Turkey... should have tons of photos to share in the next couple days!


PS. Happy Birthday to two of the most important people in my life... my Grandma and my best friend Lana!

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Rug Shopping II

Inspiration for my rug shopping ventures in Turkey...

Via Apartment Therapy

Via House & Home

Via Summer Thornton Designs

Via Birch & Lily

Via Apartment Therapy

Via Georgiana Design

Via House & Home


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Post 300

Coincidentally, today marks our two year blog-iversary and the 300th post!

When we started our renovations in October 2010, I decided to start this blog for two reasons.

First, as a personal journal of our renovation experiences - we completed the kitchen renovation with only a handful of pictures and a convenient case of amnesia.

Second, so that we had something to share with all of our family and friends who were constantly asking for progress reports. It seemed much easier to simply write the story once (complete with pictures!) as opposed to having to repeat the same story every where we went. No offence - we love that our family and friends are so interested in our renovation.

I figured I would get bored and stop blogging three months in... as happened to my spreadsheet keeping track of our renovation costs. I never dreamed I would write 300 posts.  I never dreamed that I would get over 100 page views a day. I never dreamed I would have complete strangers following our renovation progress. We love that so many are so interested in our renovation adventures and our other adventures.

At times I have dreamed that I could take the blog to the next level and eventually become a full time blogger but I know I am kidding myself - as the $14.57 earnings on my Google AdSense account would prove. This blog is nothing more than a personal journal that happens to be extremely public!

I find it hilarious that one of the highest hitting search phrases for the blog is "mahindra camper" - a silly truck mentioned in one of our Annapurna Circuit posts! Absolutely nothing to do with our renovation!

Even worse... I was completely thrown aback when I noticed the phrase "bound and shaven" in the list of search phrases linking to the blog. At first I thought that it was the consequences of mentioning Fifty Shades of Grey but actually it was due to another completely random photo from our time in Delhi, India. I am sure I am going to regret mentioning this when the search hits skyrocket...

Thank you for following along over the past two years.

Here's to the next 300!


PS. Today also happens to be my brother's birthday... Happy Birthday Brian!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The List

After our mediocre performance on the "30 before 30" list, I thought I would check see if we were doing any better on the "to do" list. Surprisingly we have made some real progress!

Two years into the renovation and we are definitely down to the nitty gritty details...

"To Do"

  • Install bathroom door
  • Install trim around vent pipe in bathroom
  • Paint interior doors
  • Paint inner front door
  • Install closet doors, everywhere
  • Install door hardware, everywhere
  • Install powder room window and hardware
  • Install stair railing
  • Complete drywall in linen closet
  • Install linen closet shelves
  • Build Install office shelves
  • Paint Build office desk
  • Build spare bedroom desk
  • Paint front entrance
  • Complete front entrance bench
  • Get front door and dining room windows repaired
  • Install crown moulding on main floor
  • Install baseboard on main floor
  • Paint main floor walls and trim
  • Complete fireplace mantel
  • Install gas insert in fireplace
  • Paint windows
  • Touch-up paint, everywhere
  • Remove and replace siding, on the entire house
  • Replace eavestroughs
  • Rebuild front steps
  • Complete furnace inspection
  • Build concrete patio and sidewalk
  • Complete french drains for the eavestroughs
  • Complete raised flower beds in the front yard
  • Fix raised flower bed in back yard
  • Complete irrigation system
  • Build bike shed
  • Complete electrical inspection again
  • Fill nail holes in hardwood floors
  • Complete trim on exterior of house
  • Complete brick on front steps
  • Complete concrete edges on front steps
  • Install mail box
  • Install juliette balcony railing
  • Replace all the plugs with tamper proof plugs
  • Install return air vents
  • Install hooks in the main entrance
  • Install bathroom fixtures in powder room
  • Install blinds in spare bedroom
  • Install dining room light fixture
  • Complete shingles on roof

  • Amy

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Rug Shopping

During our upcoming trip to Turkey, I am hoping to find rugs for our living room and dinning room.

Pinned Image
Via Pinterest
So I was quite happy to find these handy area rug size guides prepared by Lisa Furgeson at Decor Mentor.

Via Decor Mentor

Via Decor Mentor

Via Decor Mentor


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

30 Before 30

So apparantly we suck at completing lists.

We both barely made it through a third of the items on our 30 before 30 lists...

Amy's List
  1. Complete a sewing project - I made Dave a felt case for the laptop, still need to finish the clasp though...
  2. Learn how to do basic graphic design and programing for my blogs
  3. Create and print a photo album from our wedding (only four years late)
  4. Try CrossFit - I am still scared of all of heavy weights
  5. Take a cake decorating class - planned to take a class this fall and then the whole fall just disappeared...
  6. Run in a race
  7. Volunteer - I did sign up to be a volunteer with the Weimaraner Rescue Society but no opportunities presented themselves
  8. Do a full moon hike/ski
  9. Dress up and go on a date with Dave
  10. Have a Mom/Daughter day
  11. Own something from Tiffany's
  12. Learn how to use the camera in manual mode - I have been working on it but would not call myself proficient just yet
  13. Read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility - they are loaded onto my Kobo for the trip to Turkey, hopefully there are no good movies on the plane...
  14. Attend a Pecha Kucha presentation - as luck would have we were out of town for every pecha kucha night over the last year!
  15. Participate in our Community Association
  16. Host a dinner party

  17. Throw Dave an amazing birthday party - check! 
  18. Complete a painting - does painting all the windows and doors count???
  19. Attempt glacier travel
  20. Make it to the top of one of the 11,000ers
  21. Try meditation
  22. Eat strictly paleo for 30 days - did it!
  23. Buy bike and a) ride to work b) go on a road ride
  24. Buy myself perfume
  25. Visit a museum or gallery - I am sure we will visit at least one in Turkey...
  26. Watch a foreign movie with subtitles
  27. Go to a concert
  28. Paint pottery
  29. Build or refinish a piece of furniture
  30. Go on a trip with my best friend Lana who turns 30 two weeks after me - a plan is in the works...

David's List

  1. Make sausage
  2. Cure meat
  3. Build a bar-b-que and/or smoker in the backyard
  4. Finish the house - ambitious plan...
  5. Complete firearm handling course
  6. Learn how to hunt
  7. Learn how to skin and butcher an animal
  8. Try yoga
  9. Try meditation
  10. Lead a 5.9 trad climbing route
  11. Hike at least one portion of the Great Divide Trail
  12. Complete/challenge the EMT license - recently received recognition for nursing experience and only needs to complete an ambulance practicum to become an EMT-P!
  13. Complete Advanced Life Support Instructor training
  14. Go on a backcountry camping trip with just a tarp (no tent)
  15. Go on a winter camping trip with Shane
  16. Go on a ski tour trip with Shane and Dad
  17. Go on a canoe trip
  18. Make a fly for fly fishing
  19. Summit a mountain with Dad
  20. Print and frame one of our photos
  21. Cook Amy an unforgettable meal
  22. Make a piece of furniture

  23. Enter a ski mountaineering race - check! 
  24. Start an adventure blog of my own - started to write a blog but have never actually posted anything...
  25. Volunteer
  26. Eat strictly paleo for 30 days - did it!
  27. Complete in the Crossfit games
  28. Learn how to wax and sharpen skis
  29. Start a backyard bee hive - turns out you have to register to have a bee hive and we missed out
  30. Build and use my own backcountry equipment


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Monday, October 15, 2012

Amy @ Thirty

In honour of turning 30, I thought it would be fun to document/share 30 random facts about who I am at this point in my life...
  1. I really want a British bulldog... I would name it Ranger
  2. I would love to have a pet duck
  3. I would love to have a pet goat
  4. I would love to have a farm with an endless list of animals
  5. I live to travel
  6. If I don't have plane tickets booked for a trip in the near future, I get antsy
  7. I have a spreadsheet to plan and maximize my vacation time from work
  8. If I could jump on a plane tomorrow to any where in the world it would be to Iceland... or the Maldives... or Patagonia... or any where really
  9. My ultimate romantic dream is to have my husband whisk me away on some amazing surprise vacation that he has planned with out me knowing including getting me the time off work (hint, hint, hint)
  10. The food I am most likely to crave is cheese... but this has been waining since we have been trying to eat paleo
  11. Ironically I can not drink milk
  12. Ironically the only food I truly dislike is blue cheese
  13. I love to cook
  14. Ironically I am absolutely useless (Dave will say dangerous) with knives... and have the scars to prove it
  15. I love to bake, especially cupcakes 
  16. Ironically I don't really like sweet things... most of the time I don't eat any of my own baking
  17. I dream about owning a six burner stove
  18. I recently discovered there is such a thing as Gelato University and I want to attend
  19. I love my job as a structural engineer but dream about one day doing something more creative... wedding invitation design, a food truck or cafe, a bed and breakfast...
  20. I still wish I could be a ballerina when I grow up
  21. I am a compulsive list person (can't you tell?), it drives Dave crazy
  22. I own (and love) a label maker
  23. I am a compulsive spreadsheet person
  24. Not only do I have a spreadsheet to plan my vacation time but I also generate detailed spreadsheets to organize and plan each vacation
  25. I can not focus if things are out of order
  26. I am known at work for having a compulsively clean desk... however when life gets crazy the first thing I abandon is keeping my house clean... this does not bode well for someone who doesn't like things out of order
  27. I hate doing dishes and putting away laundry... this does not bode well for someone who doesn't like things out of order
  28. I am scared of running but will jump at the chance to do a long hike
  29. I am a book worm, I often stay up till 3AM on a work night if I am reading a book... it doesn't even need to be a good book
  30. I love all things pink but am more likely to choose blue in the end


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 30th birthday - gasp! Most days I barely feel like a grown up... so when did I get so old???

I spent the day with two of my amazing girlfriends in Banff. They treated me to pedicures and brunch at the Banff Springs Hotel. The rest, relaxation and girl time was the perfect gift!


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweater for the Floor

With the onset of fall, I seem to be attracted to all things warm and cozy.

Which is probably why I am so drawn to the new Sweater Weather carpet tiles from Flor. I love the woolly texture, chunky cable knit detailing and cozy neutral colours.

FLOR Product
Flor Sweater Weather

I am thinking this might be the perfect solution to replace the ugly plastic floor mat we use under our chair in the office.

There are actually several Flor designs I would love to incorporate into the house...

Flor Waxing Poetic

Flor Remembrance
Flor Shadow Play
Flor Suit Yourself
Flor Full Kilt

No, I was not compensated by Flor for this post. I just think that washable, replaceable floor tiles at $10 to $18 each are a very appealing solution in a house with animals.

Yes some days I *almost* regret installing white carpets...


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Friday, October 5, 2012

(Not) Priceless

During our recent landscaping binge, we hauled, lifted and shovelled:

4.4 tonnes of black rundle stone
6.8 tonnes of fill to the dump
1.6 tonnes of crushed gravel
0.9 tonnes of drainage rock
9.6 tonnes of concrete

No wonder our arms (and credit cards) hurt so bad!


PS. To further emphasize how heavy and expensive all this landscaping was... hauling all of the material around blew out the leaf springs on my dad's truck leaving Dave stranded on the side of Deerfoot Trail and leading to bills for a tow truck, a rental truck and new leaf springs. Ouch.

PSS. I promise this is the last post involving math!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

More Shades of Black (and a Lesson in Fractions)

The saga of black continues...

We have now painted about half of the windows in the house black. Thankfully we both love the General Paint Black Bear shade we chose.

However we weren't so lucky when it came to the shade of black for the concrete sealer for the new patio in the backyard.

Like we did last year on the patio in the front yard, we wanted to use a lightly tinted concrete sealer to accentuate the stone stamp pattern. Unfortunately the product we used last year was no longer available.

So Dave purchased a 5 gallon pail of clear concrete sealer from Northland and, at the recommendation of store, took it to Benjamin Moore to be tinted. He told the attendant that he wanted the sealer to be "barely black" so she agreed to only add a "half of a half" of the tint they would normally add - or a 1/4 for anyone good at math...

Dave took it home and promtly began to seal the concrete only to find that the "barely black" tint was very, very black.

Very Black

At least he was smart enough to test the colour where we will eventually be building a shed to house our bikes.

The next day Dave returned to Northland to buy a second 5 gallon pail of clear concrete sealer to which he added 6 cups of the black sealer from the previous day. Once again we did a test patch in a conconspicuous spot and thankfully this time the sealer was "barely black". Just black enough to highlight the texture in the concrete.

Barely Black

For those who are still folllowing the math, we diluted the tint to less than 1/10 of the 1/4 strength tint she originally sold us. That is 2/100 of the normal amount of tint they use. Something tells me she tought she was tinting paint and not concrete sealer...

Very Black on Left, Barely Black of Right

So anyways... we now have a beautifully sealed patio, 3 gallons of 2/100 strength black concrete sealer and 4.5 gallons of 1/4 strength black concrete sealer.

Anyone need some black concrete sealer?


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