Friday, July 18

What's the most exciting thing you did this week?

Please tell me...tell me something saucy! Or at the very least, tell me that we are all middle-aged and boring together!

We are almost done the renovation. We went past our due date and the end is getting closer...but still so many little jobs to complete.  I was getting jumpy this week, because I thought they might be able to finish by Friday. It didn't happen. The house is exactly what you expect it to look like at the end of renovating. Oh, and with a living room full of condo crap. Clutter everywhere.  We rented a van to haul the cottage stuff away this weekend (small win!). Unfortunately the couch is staying in the centre of the living room until September*. The bottoms of my feet are sooooo dirty*. I am ready for whatever comes next...

As for excitement? I want to buy second hand textiles for the deck. Second hand or Target, I suppose. Plaids and southwestern and more pillows. The squirrels ate 6 of the 12 pillows (or 7 of 12?) two winters ago, and I really miss them. Time to buy more stuff.*  Hipster it up!

Actually, the fact that we got the deck back is pretty exciting. We reclaimed this area six days ago.

Anyways, I have to run again. Again I hear the boys. I am going to chop up that half melon and put some 5 minute fries into the oven and carve up a chicken.Voila.

ps. I am going to light a bon fire tonight. That's exciting. Maybe hang some of those globe bistro lights we all have. Dinner Al Fresco? Maybe even wash my feet. 
pps. I want to invite you all over for my bon fire! 

 *not my favorite

Life is all about the kids and the house and the cottage right now...that's ok...I will take my excitement in small doses! 

Monday, July 14

Near the end of construction

This is the last week of the reno, more or less. The contractor leaves Saturday and returns in September.

The master suite will be complete. The hardwood gets installed tomorrow, as does the bathroom vanity. The marble tile will be grouted today.

Lets talk about the bathroom a little bit!

- We put up a wall between the vanity and the toilet, for privacy, also, I saw this bathroom by Thom Filicia that I adored and I wanted to copy.

- They trimmed the mirrors out in simple shaker panel. A last minute change. I wanted to trim them in marble, but the contractor thought it might be too clunky chunky. They are both good looks. From this angle it would have worked, but looking the other way, at the door, you would have run into problems with the light switches and the door casements. Plus a lot of grout lines.

- The marble is calm, sedate. The best marble the contractor has worked with in thirty years! He speaks in superlatives, we get along.

Monday, July 7

Trim work complete

Doors, casings, and all trim work was finished today. The electricians are done. Plumbers come back tomorrow to install the tub faucet (centered on the six foot tub), then the tiling in the boys bathroom can be finished. There is marble in the master bathroom!

Tomorrow they are going to build the shelving system inside the master closets. The glass guy is coming to measure for the bathroom mirrors (I am also setting mirrors inside the master closet doors again). The contractor wants to take away all the garbage and make space for the aluminim guys. That crew will be here Wednesday/Thursday to do the soffit, facia and eaves. (I picked the colour, pretty close match, cross your fingers)

The contractor is leaving next week for the summer, coming back sometime in September. He is confident we will be done in a week. I don't know about this. That's not a lot of time.  

The vanity in the master bathroom is coming soon. I am bracing myself for disappointment. They couldn't give me the wood doors I was requesting. Why? Because I am vague as hell and don't really know what I am talking about. I sent him several sample photos of wood I adored, but none of said wood happened to be on cabinetry. Plus we aren't spending a million dollars, and he would rather not get into exotic veneers. I ended up okaying bookended maple doors today.  I have no idea what stain colour. I gave them this olive wood container I love the tone of and they are going for that...but it had many tones in it. I asked for know? Can you send me a photo of this thing being built? Can I go see it? ...Nope. I guess I have to trust them and be prepared for something average. The plus side is that it is a custom floating vanity with lots of storage. Even if it's ugly (it wont be ugly), at this point I am still spoiled. Really, it will be fine. Worse worse case I throw up and cry a bit before I fall in love with the drawer space and forget that anything else mattered. It's odd to invest so much emotion into a stupid built in (very un-buddha, but I don't have to tell you)...we all do it, don't we?    

The floors are supposed to be a perfect match. They will arrive tomorrow or Thursday and get installed early next week.

Bathroom tile, mirrors, fixtures, painting, flooring, exterior. I think that's it.

ps. I still do not have light fixtures for the boys bathroom. I need two sconces and a ceiling light.
pps. little feet again...have to run!

Friday, July 4

Thrifting in Barrie

We hit up the Goodwill, Value Village and 400 Antiques Mall in Barrie and came home with a ton of new stuff! Most of it will be sent up to the cottage. I have maybe seven minutes to type up a quick post when I should be a) washing my feet, I cleaned the floors but my poor feet! b) folding laundry c) washing dishes

Oh well, let's go, here's what I bought and why!
1- Chunky acrylic painting. Fell in love. It's the chunky goopy paint. Who doesnt love a good thick gob of dried paint on canvas? From the 400 mall $45. You will find a bunch of small landscape paintings there in the $35-50 if that's your thing!
2- plant watering dodad for cottage so I can have a plant without actually watering it
3- pretty dish
4- covered basket that makes me cross-eyed. to put ugly stuff in, obviously.
5- basket with handles, for other stuff to go in
6- tablecloth
7- cutlery
8- bowls. I need cereal bowls, these brown ones (ridgeway?) are a nice size, the amber bowls I don't need but couldn't pass up because matchy matchy*.
9 - wooden bowls and a perfect salad dressing serving thing
10 - 3 West Elm hammered metal bowls and a little copper dish

 Ok, I hear little feet running up the stairs...later!

*I posted a picture of my cottage dishes on IG earlier today.

Wednesday, July 2

Party Deck

The best part of the cottage is the second floor 'party' deck. It's a giant, about 18x24'

The rails are red.

Yeah, red.

Do you ignore the red (can't change it), or do you work with the red? I am going to work it! Here's the plan:


  • I have two red tea light lanterns (thrifted) that I am going to pull out of the utility room as soon as I finish this post. 
  • We bought a basic teak picnic table last weekend*.  75" long.
  • We need to buy six CB2 Rex chairs or their equivalent. I've been googling for a cheaper version of this super common restaurant chair, but I can't seem to find a Canadian website with a chair that is just as good looking. We could pick them up in the states if the savings were large enough.
  • Then somehow install a 16 foot sun sail from Home Depot. I think we need permission from the condo board to attach the polls. If we can't do a sun sail, we will get one of these.
  • Cushions, red black and beige.
*We talked about a DIY table, but we have several projects to tackle and no skills, so we went retail...

Friday, June 27


The drywall went up this week.

The next step is trim, baseboards, door casements, etc. Then tiles and hardwood. The exterior will get painted, soffits, facia and eaves troughs installed.  
The guys will be working through the long weekend to keep things going.

A few more weeks! That's it!

Thursday, June 26

Painting the Stucco

We went with a stock colour for the stucco. It was a bit lighter than the old addition, but really hard to see much of a difference, and they told me that it would darken over time.

I tried to like it.

I tried to be chill.

I'm not that person*.

So we are painting it, painting everything!...and soon. I set out for Benjamin Moore yesterday afternoon dragging my two boys in the wagon (one fell asleep, the other took truck photos). I bought some sample pots. Put the colours up, watched them dry and we had a clear winner. 

Benjamin Moore River Gorge Grey.

I painted several large areas to test it (you can see them above). It is darker than what we had. I don't dare go darker than this, because the windows will start to look wrong.

*It's too white, too yellow, too pink, and just not working...if the entire addition was all the same colour, I could deal, but because only the top is off, it just looks wrong.

Sunday, June 22

New art, new rug

I bought a rug-hooked rug ('folk art') and a painting today from  "...Of Things Past"

Really excited about both finds. I went in hoping the painting was still there, but doubted it. I looked, and looked. The boys were waiting outside in the car but I took my time. After I gave up and started looking at the dishes, that's when I saw it! Sitting on a hutch in the middle of the store. The store is jam packed full of furniture right now. This is the fullest I have ever seen it!*

I came across the rug on my way out. I want to rug hook rug pillows (upcoming project that may take me two years to complete), so this caught my eye. This rug has been there for ages so it was heavily discounted. I love it!! I think I have the perfect spot for it at the cottage, I just need to shake it out and clean it up a bit. 

I want a large worn out Persian rug for the main area of the cottage. I don't have enough rug knowledge to spot good value. Not sure that I want to trust Craigslist with this purchase. Perhaps an estate sale would be a good place to look? I would be comfortable trusting consignment shops (who have appraisers). We could also go retail but it's such a big ticket item. I am not sure. We aren't quite ready to buy yet. Would you buy a second hand rug?

*I just signed up for updates on Of Things Past website so I don't miss any sales....feels like they will need to move stuff soon- they are jammed!

Monday, June 16

Clover Yard

Every spring we question our decision to put in the clover lawn. The lawn looks patchy and sad, like an empty weedy mud lot.  This year I bought a jumbo bag of clover seeds to help it fill in. Only thing was - I bought dwarf clover seeds*. 

So, I am back to my starting point (3 years ago) of nagging the landscapers for a source for the seeds they used.

Small annoyance, because the clover we have has sprouted up and looks wonderful!

I don't want to mow it this an experiment.  A few more seasons and I will be able to create a city dwellers guide to clover lawn. I am determined to get this right. It is definitely not as carefree and easy as it seems....or maybe it would be, if I had the right seeds!

*I've used at least two small bags of clover seeds on my lawn already, but it never seemed to make a difference. That's why I went for the jumbo bag this year - and the description on the jumbo bag says "dwarf!" The website and the small bags don't mention it.

ps. you can see how other weeds have taken over in several areas around the edges. This is where I over seeded with the smaller clovers. They are there, but tiny. You can also see them in the bottom photo in the bottom right corner.

Sunday, June 15

Yard work

My dad gave me three clumps of mint from his garden yesterday. I transplanted it behind the garage. This spot gets a little morning sun and that's it. I hope the mint lives, and takes over!! I'd love a wild mess of green back here!

update: I have been reading a bit more about mint and I will try to use it as ground I better put some sort of barrier along the fence to keep it away from my behind the house neighbour's manicured (& heavily mulched so maybe ok) garden.