Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Going Grey

Selecting a grout color for the backsplash feels like a bit of a big deal... cause once the grout is mixed and it's being troweled onto the wall there is no turning back... you better like what you chose!  Over time I've come to realize that when choosing grout, not every white is created equal, and the perfect shade of grey can be a lot more difficult to find than you think.  I've outright avoided using the grout sold at at Home Depot because their grey options are either really dark or very beige-y brown, and it seems like people feel like the color samples they provide are not a true representation of what the final color will really be.  For the bathroom/kitchen tile in this project we ended up purchasing several shades of Flextile grout and were really happy with the colors and the way they ended up looking.  So today I popped into a local tile shop that sells Flextile grout (Tiles for Less here in town) and picked up some samples of their different grout color choices.

So far I think I'm leaning towards the "Bone" color... it's a nice light shade of grey that contrasts the tile nicely and works well with the countertops.  (the sample is perched on one of the top tiles in this picture!)

I'll probably stare at it for several days in varying shades of lighting (because that's just the way I am) before deciding... and may see if there are any other brands out there that have a grey that could work...

Anyone out there have the perfect shade/brand of grey grout they'd like to share?

In other "grey" news, the kids have their new headboards up in their room... and they're grey!

Originally we were planning to build the kids beds with drawers for clothes storage but as time went on we realized that we would never have time to get that project started.  So... time for plan B!  I scoured craigslist for some cheap wood headboards and found two that were pretty similar.  I opted to paint them grey... and am really happy with the way they turned out!  I used Rustoleum's Slate Grey in a gloss finish in case you're wondering-- they look pretty dark in this picture but it's actually a nice medium grey.

The next part of the plan is to instead outfit the closet with custom shelving/drawers for all the kids stuff-- which will be quicker to build and way cheaper to accomplished than building beds.  In the meantime we've got dressers in the closet!  I've got some more details to finish up in this room... then I'll have to share more pictures!

Friday, November 30, 2012

gotta get my sewing machine out...

Okay, so it's almost December.  Tomorrow's December.  Which means that I should have started thinking about Christmas gifts at least a few weeks ago.  But I didn't... not really.  It's time to start shopping.

Now.  I'm always a fan of a handmade gift or two.  Christmas is always a time for me to try some new crafty project.  Last year I made sock monkeys for my kids and nieces and nephews... this year Emerson will be the lucky recipient of some handmade gifts.

I've been stashing aways some scraps of vintage-y cute fabrics for a while now...

And I'm thinking that Eme would be just a little excited if I made some mini blankets for her dolls and some of these super cute doll sized diapers...  adorbs... eh?

And once my sewing machine is out... I'll probably feel inspired to make other things too.  Like these burlap and felt initial pillows...

And maybe some things for the new baby.  Purlbee has a ton of sewing tutorials... here are some of my fav's...

Super soft super cute hooded bath towels for babe... yes please.

These swaddling blankets with hand stitched edging totally had me at hello.

And these handmade bibs are so stinking cute.  I received a few bibs like these from a friend when Eme was a baby and they ended up being my favourites--- not only were they cuter than the plastic store bought ones... but the industrial strength snaps used to secure the bib to the baby's neck were impossible for them to rip off.  Genius.

Well... maybe it's time to start sewing... or take a nap... 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Update of Sorts

It's not even December yet... but things are already getting crazy around here.  It seems like I'm constantly running (but not really-- more like waddling) around town with a thousand things to do... which means I rarely have time to bring out my "real" camera....

thank goodness for iphones and instagram... right?  Here's what's new...

Eme's become a real chatterbox.  She talks  Just about every sentence starts with the word "where" and her favourite line is "where's daddy mom?"  She asks this question approximately 300 times a day.  Doug will be in the same room-- sitting right in front of her and she'll say "where's daddy mom?" about 10 times in a row.  It's cute.  It also drives me crazy.

The other day she brought me the globe and asked "Where's Canada?"  Apparently she's listening as I give Caleb many geography/history lessons... :)

Caleb continues to love school.  This smile says it all.  
I recently made up a crazy (and loud) "we love school!" cheer that the kids and I scream all the way to school.  It's a short drive... don't worry.  It get's Caleb so pumped up about his day that he is literally attempting to jump out the door while the car's still moving so he can run to his spot in line by his classroom door.

In other news...

I may or may not have created a swimming lesson monster.

Caleb is insanely passionate about his swimming lessons... and it's become apparent that I will tire of taking him to swimming lessons long before he's ready to take a break.  You'd think that he'd be tired after a long day at school... but twice a week he happily goes off with his instructor and literally jumps for joy the entire lesson with the hugest grin on his face.

I've also created a "mom... do my hair" everyday monster.
I curled Eme's hair for church one morning and now she thinks hair straighteners and hairspray should be the daily norm.  Oh dear. 

Over the weekend I started spraying some headboards I picked up for the kid's shared room.  They should be ready for action shortly!

Meanwhile... we moved both kids in together tonight even though their room isn't "ready".  They were quite excited (although Caleb does look like he's about to cry in this picture).  Let the sleepless nights begin!!

And tonight after the kids were tucked away in their shared room asleep in their beds... I stood in Eme's room and felt a teeny bit sad that she wasn't in there... 

So crazy to think that this room will be inhabited by another child soon!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Who's tired of hearing about us working on the kitchen?  Not me!!  Any time there's a bit of progress I'm a happy lady.  This weekend Doug started doing the tiling... he got about half of it done, and let me tell you, I am loving it.  We went with 3x6 basic white subway tiles from Home Depot and they look awesome.  They are a warmer white that works well with the cabinetry color-- Cloud White.

We debated the grout line width for a while and decided to go with 1/16" spacers.  Since the tiles are a bit rounded at the edges the grout lines will be a bit wider than 1/16" but still nice and tight... which I like.  Doug totally blew me away with his tile expertise... the rows are nice and neat and spaced perfectly... which means I can go with a light grey grout-- just what I wanted.

And that was the weekend!  Doug worked on the kitchen while I attempted to keep the kids out of trouble.  Easier said than done :)

In other news, I've been eating/cooking sugar free this week ever since I found out that I've got gestational diabetes this time around.  It's really not all that bad-- a lot of veggies, meat, eggs, cheese, and whole grains.  With the arrival of each child I've had to adopt some interesting diets-- in the weeks after Caleb was born I had a pureed diet as my jaw was wired shut, with Emerson I ate dairy free for 6 months due to her allergies, and now-- a diabetic diet.  Out of all three diets, eating sugar free is by far the easiest.  I'll let you know how it goes...

After this I should really write a cookbook-- the dairy free, sugar free, pureed diet.  Definitely a best seller :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Busy in the Kitchen

We made some serious progress in the kitchen over the weekend.  Yay!  Doug built the last cabinet needed for above the fridge and installed just about all the finished parts (end panels, open shelves, carrier, crown).  There is a little bit of touch up work to do and then we can start tiling.

I don't know if I've taken a picture from this angle yet... but I'm loving the open shelves... can't wait to get that tile in... it's going all the way up from counter to ceiling...

Meanwhile... there were kids that needed to be kept occupied while we were working.

Rainy day movie?  Sure.

Soon we had to get a little more creative to keep the kids from getting in the way...

(no-- we don't really stick our kids in cabinets and give them scissors to play with... Doug and Caleb schemed up a way to effectively give me the fright of my life and Eme decided to "fix" her blanket... thinking we're going to have to put some locks on these cabinets real soon... )

Saturday, November 17, 2012

So Canadian, eh?

Hope you're all enjoying your Saturday!!

Today I'm honoured to be interviewed by Barbara of the blog hodge:podge!
Barbara has a great series called So Canadian, eh? where she interviews Canadian interior designers and bloggers from across the country.  Some favourite bloggers and designers of mine have been featured in the past-- definitely worth checking out!  You can read my interview HERE.

Thanks again for including me Barbara!  I'm definitely honoured to be included in your series!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!!

Friday, November 16, 2012


We're gearing up for the beginning of the third trimester... to celebrate, I purchased the one thing at American Eagle that actually fit me.  It's warm, cozy, kinda like wearing a blanket instead of a sweater, kinda awesome.  And it was also in the clearance section AND an additional 40% off today.

And another super exciting thing about today... more of my kitchen is ready to be installed!!  

The excitement is starting to get to me... nerdy things like "booyah!"  and "woot woot!"  keep coming out of my mouth :)  Can ya blame me?

Happy Weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baby's Room

I can hardly believe Eme's room will soon be inhabited by a third Toewsie kiddo!  Yikes-- it's already November!  Three more months!!  

So, I'm not planning on doing too much to the room-- other than setting the crib BACK up.  I love the current paint color, the crib/dresser/chair/rug are all great, but I might switch up just a few little things.  The pink will be gone (for now... at least!), I'll probably buy a new crib sheet since I figured it's the LEAST I could do, and put a few gender neutral things up on the wall.

But, I have started on one little project that I'm pretty excited about.  I'll share more about it later on (once it's all finished) but here's a little hint...

I am totally inspired by anything Lauren Liess does in her home... and the art work in her basement family room was no exception...

Are ya curious yet?  

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to get your kids to sleep in...

I don't know about you... but our kids have been waking up SUPER early all week long... like 5:30 am early.  Darn time change.  It'll get you every time.

Well, I finally figured out how to get your kids back onto a normal  7 am "sleep-in" schedule.  Here's how:

Spend the weekend in downtown Vancouver with family.

Strap on lifejackets and repeatedly throw your children into the pool.

Keep them up waaay past their bedtime and eat dinner at about 8:30 pm even though they look like they might fall asleep face down in their fries and chicken fingers.

Make them walk everywhere, outside, at all hours of the day.

Take them to the Telus World of Science.

For 6 hours.

Suspend all naps.

Make them run like crazy.

And when they start to look tired make them keep running.

Throw them back into the hotel pool.

Keep them up late again.

This is a sure fire way to exhaust your children and will guarantee a return to normal sleeping patterns and an overall enjoyment of their own beds.

A weekend in Vancouver with family is also guaranteed to be the funnest... most exciting time of their lives :)

And in case you're wondering...

Wanna know how to exhaust a pregnant lady?  Repeat all the steps as outlined above AND add packing, unpacking, laundry, and 2 nights of sleeping in a hotel bed to the list and you've pretty much got it figured out... :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

For Your Information...

I went with the red ones...
they feel a little fall-ish... don't you think?

Monday, November 05, 2012

something pretty for a monday morning...

Instead of complaining about the fact that it's monday... I thought I'd just skip right to something pretty. I picked up this cute vintage-y butterfly poster from Spruce Collective a while back for Eme's side of the soon-to-come shared kids room.  Isn't it cute?

If you live in the area and haven't stopped by the shop yet-- you've gotta do it!  They've got so much great stuff.  And tons of other great vintage inspired posters (kinda like this one) for like $5 that are perfect for kids rooms and fit perfectly in an ikea frame.  Really... $5... it's cheaper than a Starbucks coffee!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Chair Makeover Time

There have been plenty of chair makeovers happening over at Lark & Lily Interiors these days.  Up next... a double chair makeover!  We're helping out with a top to bottom house renovation... and getting to help source furniture too.  A few weeks ago I was at a thrift store here in town and found a pair of super cheap, super comfy arm chairs.  They need a bit of help, so we're getting custom slipcovers made to give them new life for the living room of this home.

Here's the plan:

1.  the "before" picture of the two chairs.  Pretty basic, straightforward design.  Easy to slipcover.
2.  The fabric that's been selected.  We wanted a basic geometric that would complement the grey living room sofa and were looking something really reasonably priced.  When you've got a house to renovate and furnish-- you've gotta try to keep things affordable!
3.  Chair inspiration from this living room designed by Kelly Deck.  Loving a pair of matching chairs.  We decided to make a new cushion for the back of our chairs-- kind of like these ones.  Instead of an over sized "T cushion" we're going to make a separate rectangular cushion that will add a bit of height to the chair and give it a more casual feel.
4.  Slipcovered chairs from Serena & Lily.  We're loving the geometric pattern on this particular chair and the separate back cushion.

The fabric is set to arrive any day now... and we've got a "spot" booked in with our seamstress.  When they're done I'll let you know how they turn out!

Feel free to check out the Lark & Lily facebook page for more updates on our projects!  If you're interested in working with us feel free to send me an email or visit our website for more information.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Time for Toms

It's officially time for some new Toms.  I bought the Ash Canvas ones a long time ago and wore them out.  Seriously... they smelled... badly... so badly they were un-redeemable.  After wearing them non stop in Italy walking for 12 hours a day I had no choice but to throw them in the trash when we got home.  It was a sad day.  I miss them.  And I need a new pair because they are just so comfortable.

But, as much as I loved the Ash... I'm hesitant to get the same color again.

I don't really like black shoes so those are out... my next choice would be the olive green ones but most of my jackets are of the olive green color so I want something that will contrast.  I'm kind of feeling like color might be my best bet since I tend to wear a lot of black, grey, brown, olive green, and navy during the winter months...

So, I've narrowed it down to the following...

(top left and moving clockwise): red canvas classics-- love em... and Eme has a pair of red toms too so we'd match.  Wine Canvase Classics-- I feel like these could be the ones but darn... they're out of my size.  Burgandy Wool Cordones-- this color is everywhere this fall and it's kind of grown on me... I'm liking the style of these shoes too.  Multi Knit Women's Classics-- I guess if you can't decide on a color you could always get shoes with all of them?  Either that or get a pair in EVERY color--- but I'm pretty sure Doug would say that's not an option :)

Decisions, decisions.  What's a girl to choose?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Counting Down the Days...

Yup... I'm still counting down the days till our kitchen is done.
I'm here to tell you that the end is in sight folks.  The last of the finished parts have been dropped off at the sprayers (yay!) so in 1-2 weeks they should be ready to be installed... hopefully :)  Then we've got some tiling to do!

Just thought I'd let you know that we haven't abandoned the kitchen project... it's still a work in progress... but the end is in sight.  I hope :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nursery Gallery Wall

Every so often I stumble upon things like THIS...

The gallery wall in Eme's room somehow made it's way into this nursery gallery wall "how-to"...

Glad other people like the art wall in her room as much as I do!  Too bad it's going to be changing in the next few months as the nursery will soon have a new occupant...

Friday, October 19, 2012

October so far...

busy month.  here's what's been up around here...

spent thanksgiving weekend in whistler.  hot weather and outdoor pool at thanksgiving?  when does that ever happen?
boots weather arrived... Eme approves
fall weather means baking weather around here... Doug approves
purchased some usbourne activity cards-- draw on them with dry erase marker-- hours of fun
made a quick trip to the new west elm in vancouver and got a gorgeous kantha throw-- kids are not allowed to touch it
Eme got sick last weekend.  boo.
as of today (friday) I finally got caught up on laundry after Eme's "frow up" fest.  boo.
under cabinet lighting finally got installed.  yay!
Caleb's got a day off from school and decided to practice his letters.  he's loving kindergarten :)

And... I'm glad it's friday :)  how bout you?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Building Boxes

Work in Caleb's room has begun.  Moving the toys on out has been in progress over the past two weeks.  The closet needed some organizational help so I was pumped to find these cute cute cute storage boxes at Ikea for dirt cheap... $4.99 for two.  They are cardboard-- but they'll be used on the top shelves out of the reach of the kids determined to seek and destroy.

I was super excited about these boxes-- until I tried to assemble them yesterday afternoon.  I wrestled with one of them for about 2.5 minutes, flipped it over to glance at the instructions, and gave up.

Seriously now.  What on earth does this mean!!?

After the kids were in bed I informed Doug that he had 4 boxes to build.

He quietly set to work building the boxes... and all of a sudden I hear him muttering under his breath:

"build a box for your wife and she'll ask you to build three more."
"teach your wife to build a box and she'll build them herself for the rest of her life."

Nice try buddy.  I ain't touching those boxes :)

But I will admit that I giggled out of control over that comment for close to an hour.

Well, more work has got to happen in this room before it can be converted into a shared room for Caleb and Eme.  But, most of Caleb's "stuff" has been moved out (with the exception of his clothes), I gave the walls a fresh coat of paint a week ago (similar color to what was already in there), and the rug I ordered for their shared room arrived.  Just need to get the bed situation figured out and then we'll be open for business!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Free Specs

Yup.  Free.  The best kind of new glasses are the free kind.  You can get a free pair too at Clearly Contacts... I ordered these ones.  I only had to pay for shipping, and they arrived on my doorstep less than 48 hrs after I ordered them.  

What did Doug think of my new specs?  He said, "wow, you look like a nerd... but a cool nerd."  I'll take it as a compliment, right?  I have a feeling that I may look back at pictures of myself in these glasses in 15 years and go-- what was I thinking!?  But today, I love them :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thrifting again...

Was at the thrift store today shopping for a new project (a top to bottom house renovation that also needs some new furniture!) and found some great chairs needing a makeover.  Check one thing off the project to do list :)  As I was about to leave, I spied this little moroccan inspired side table sitting in a corner topped with a huge ugly lamp.  I thought... yes... I could do something with this...

So I brought it home.  Turns out it fits nicely in the living room, could work beside my chair in the nursery, and could be a great table between the 2 beds in the kids shared room.  Love a good find... just needs a coat of paint... now, just gotta decide on the color :)

Oh, and apparently tomorrow is 50% off everything in the MCC furniture store here in town.  I opted to not pick up the table tomorrow as I didn't want to have to brave the crowds and parking lot with my stroller and Eme while trying to carry the table to my car.  It was cheap enough already.

But, apparently there will be coffee and danishes... tempting... I may show up just for the free breakfast :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monkey Monday

This weekend I whipped up a little monkey for my latest and newest little niece.  Auntie Elissa's monkey club now has 7 members.  I must say, they are pretty fun to make.  And this time around I had two little helpers watching with extreme fascination as I was sewing... they started to realize how their own little monkeys came together.  Caleb think's it's pretty cool that I know how to sew and wants me to teach him how-- guess it doesn't take much to impress a 5 year old :)  Crazy to think that I wasn't much older than him when I first started learning how to use my mom's sewing machine...

Anyhow... making monkeys!  Fun stuff!  Easy to do, and super cute... if I do say so myself :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just had to share...

Cutest kids room... designed for a girl... but could be a little boyish too... :)

And that's all I've got to say right now... well... back to enjoying my mid afternoon coffee in a quiet house... nap time rules :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Personality and other Things

I have been spending a whole lot of one on one time with this little lady.  

Let me tell you... she's got personality.  She's a talker-- and a loud talker when it's just the two of us.  High pitched, shrill, loud... "MOM!!!!!" is her favourite word to shriek.

When she wants to come out of her crib from her nap she starts by calmly calling out "Hi Mom!"  If I don't come, it turns to "LOVE YOU MAMA!"  Trying to butter me up.  Then, if I still don't come she has started to call out: "LISA!  COME!"  Since when am I on a first name basis with my 2 year old?

Every morning when we head out to school to drop Caleb off Eme's got all her accessories ready to go-- a bracelet of some sort (today it was my neon yellow wrist band from the most recent Coldplay concert), a tiny purple purse she got along with a McDonald's happy meals months ago swinging on her arm, inside the purse is always a hot pink bouncy ball that she got from Castle Fun Park, and she never leaves the house without her purple ray bans.  And they are usually on up side down.

Man, do I love this girly.

While we're on the topic of kids...

This week I had the routine mid-pregnancy ultrasound for our still-in-womb child.  I think it was my favourite ultrasound so far.  As I watched that squirming baby on the screen, all I could think about was how that baby was going to grow up into another Caleb... another Eme... another child with personality.  Can't wait!

And the gender is a surprise-- as was the case with our other children.  Doug and I can't do it-- we can't find out-- being surprised is just way too fun!

While I'm on the topic of ultrasounds...

I have had many ultrasounds over the years and I have never, ever been able to figure out how much is the acceptable/necessary amount of water to drink.  Last time it was too little too late.  This time it was WAY too much.  I had to drive into Langley for this appointment (Abby's ultrasound tech quit so a bunch of people's appointments got cancelled) and I have NEVER been that uncomfortable before.  I was desperately praying that I wouldn't have to sneeze or cough.  It would have been game over-- instantly.  I decided on the drive that I'd never drink anything ever again.  I determined that having to pee that badly was worse than childbirth.  I pulled off the fasted parallel park job ever-- I needed to move-- quick.  As I was walking towards the clinic Doug called for directions.  I told him he was on his own-- I couldn't talk-- was concentrating too hard on not peeing my pants.  I got to the front desk and told them that I needed direction to the washroom-- right now-- I didn't care if I was allowed or not.  Honestly, I'll never be able to figure out how much and when.  The ultrasound tech kept sending me back to the washroom to keep emptying... oh well.  It's all a part of the process of growing a baby!

And while I'm on the topic of being pregnant...

My maternity pants crisis has been solved.  Made a quick trip to H&M this morning and found a pair of  fantastic emerald green jeans for an unbeatable price.  It was a tough choice-- emerald, red, or mint... but the green just felt fall-ish to me... even though this week still feels like summer!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Just a few random things for you on this gloriously gorgeous September Friday...

We are concluding Caleb's first week of Kindergarten!!  He started out with two half days on Monday and Tuesday and the rest of the week has been full days.  Let me tell you, he's been a Kindergarten superstar.  He's not the most outgoing kid out there, so I was a little unsure of how he would react to being left at school ALL day.  But, he's totally put his brave face on in the mornings, even when I can tell he's feeling nervous, gets into line with the other kids, and waves goodbye to me and Eme as he marches through the door.  And each day when I pick him up he tells me that Kindergarten is great :)

I had a few unused canning jars kicking around so I decided to use em up and make some red pepper jelly!  Let me tell you-- red pepper jelly is one of my all time go to snacks-- some cheese, crackers, and pepper jelly?  Yum.  The best kind is always the homemade version-- I have yet to find a store bought version that compares.  I used a recipe off the Mennonite Girl's Can Cook site-- easy peasy.

Thank you all for your feedback on shared kids rooms-- I've been shopping around to find a few things and measuring up the room to see what's going to work.  First up-- I've gotta give the room a fresh coat of paint (Caleb really did a number on his walls by his bed).  Maybe I'll even attempt it this weekend?? Maybe if I consume enough Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi??  We'll see.

I'm a little sad to say goodbye to Caleb's room... I've always loved his dresser/shelves space... cluttered little boy goodness.  But, gotta make room for....

... this little lady.  Who's been having a whole lot of alone time with Mama while Caleb's in school.  She love to shop... atta girl.  We hit the stores and the next thing I know she's decked out in bracelets and necklaces or she's on the floor trying on a pair of pants.  We're going to have fun together.

And... the bump this week.  It's growing... and that baby is moving in there!  I seriously need to get me some elastic pants... I've outgrown almost all of my regular jeans... just have the pinks and my green gap jeggings left...  but I hate maternity clothes.  They always look a little lame.

Oh, and my hardware came for the kitchen!!  I decided to skip the cheapies and go straight for the amazing ones... they really were the perfect fit for my kitchen.  Can't wait for them to go on!  Too bad my cabinetry guy's out of town for the weekend... guess it's going to have to wait a few days!

So, it's just me and kiddos over the next days... gonna have to get creative to keep them entertained!  Happy weekend everyone!