Monday, September 28, 2015

Family Movie Night & Popcorn Bar with Netflix

Hey everyone. Hope you had a great weekend! There was an awesome eclipse last night, did some of you see it? We bought our big guy a telescope for his birthday in the summer and it was one of the best presents we've ever bought. It's been super cool to check out the night sky with the kids and our big guy has taught us so much about space. A nice way to end off a great weekend.

I’ve recently joined the Netflix Stream Team and I’m very excited! We are Netflix addicts. Yup, addicts. Who watches cable anymore? Our kids are whizzes at figuring out what Netflix show they want to watch on the iPad and Mr. Fix-It and I are total binge watchers. We can’t help it. The shows are just awesome.  Being part of the Netflix Stream Team means that every month I’ll share with you the new tv shows, movies and series on Netflix. 
With the cooler air coming in, getting cozy on the couch with popcorn just feels right. For about 6 months we’ve been doing Family Movie Night in our house. It’s either Friday or Saturday depending on which night we’re home. We pull out the sofa bed in the tv room, load it up with pillows & blankets and the 5 of us watch a movie. They love it, we love it. Once the kids go to bed, Mr. Fix-It and I park ourselves back on the sofa bed, usually order in, open a bottle of wine and watch another Netflix movie. Wicked.

So…last weekend these were the top choices for the kids…

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey...Umm I remember watching this with my brother and my mom getting all teary. Yup, now I’m that mom. The kids loved the movie, about these three pets that escape from a California ranch to find their owners in San Francisco. It’s adorable, its cute and has it’s teary moments.  A good one to watch with the kids.
Then on Sunday, they got to watch another movie. The weather was so gorgeous in Ottawa that we spent most of Sunday outside. Around 3 o'clock they needed some much needed downtime (so did Mummy and Daddy). So they watched Nanny McFee Returns. Also super cute.  I love how they cuddle up together around the iPad.
I made them up a little Popcorn Bar
This is super easy and can also work for sleepovers. A bag of popcorn, cute popcorn boxes and candy. The kids each got their own popcorn box and added the candy in they wanted.  Honestly, if you have random candy hanging around the house (we definitely do) then just use those. No need to make it difficult.
I would love to know what your favourite family Netflix shows and movies are. I’ll be sharing our binge-watching favs soon, but we’re always looking for more to watch.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Basement Renovation Is Complete...well, Almost!

I can't believe I'm actually writing this but it's official...our basement is complete. Sortof. When I say complete, I mean we have a finished empty space with a laundry room, bathroom, workroom, furnace room, a space to watch tv and play. Phew! (Oh by the way, this is a long post, just warning you).

When I started this blog, Mr. Fix-It was talking about renovating the basement. With an entire house to renovate it was always on my "that's nice honey, but not happening anytime soon". Three children later, it was time. It was time to expand our space and create another floor to live on. You'll remember, this is what we started with.

To this...
To this...



To this...

The "whipped" walls are gone. The stairs will be carpeted, but it will be the last thing to be done once everything is down there. I'm thinking a dark, durable, grey carpet. This is a side door.
 This is the first space when you come down the stairs. That wall is partially painted because we'll be adding barn board to that wall and creating a gallery wall.
 These are the laundry room doors. They fold open and in behind lies the laundry and a pantry. The pantry is yet to be built but it's coming.
 You'll notice the little cut out for our kitty's litter ;)
 Our contractor added these built-ins where he had to build around a major supporting post. Just in front of that beam (in the centre of the room) was where the main stack was to our house. It's been re-routed, along with all the ducting.
 That back wall is where the built-ins will go. We're currently working with a carpenter to work his magic. The pocket door on the right leads into Mr. Fix-It's workroom. You might notice the green painters tape on the floor. Once we found the couch we wanted, we taped the measurements on the floor to make sure it would fit. It's like it was built for the space, it fits perfectly. Although, it almost didn't make it down to the basement. Keep reading, I'll tell you more. That's our giant cat Cooper.
 An additional electrical panel has been added and the whole thing will have a white panel to cover it.
 This little door leads to a storage space under the stairs. Although the kids have been playing in there, building Lego so we're going to try our best to squeeze in our storage in other places and keep it as a fun hideout under the stairs for them for now. I have a few ideas to decorate that little space.

So...the couch. Oh man. I love these old houses, but they can be so difficult! The door frames are smaller, the hallway sizing is wonky, nothing is standard. Last Friday it was being delivered. It's a sectional with a Queen sofa bed in it. The delivery guys tried the first piece and it was just too wide to get down the stairs. Ugh. They were sure if we took off the inside trim from the door, it would give the extra few millimeters to slide that baby down. So they left the couches in the backyard.  How were we going to get these back to the store if they don't fit?!
Mr. Fix-It took off the trim after work before the kids got home. Together, Mr. Fix-It and I moved the first piece through the door, onto the landing. It started to go down the stairs as I was at the top, and Mr. Fix-It at the bottom. got stuck. Not just a little stuck. The couch was literally in mid air wedged between the new basement walls. Awesome. It wouldn't move up. It wouldn't move down. To top it off, the only way Mr. Fix-It could get out was to climb his way out of one of the basement windows. Both of us were SO done with the couch in this moment. So.DONE!

Literally this baby was stuck!
So now we had a wedged couch, damaged walls (Mr. Fix-It literally put a body print hole in one of the walls) and I crushed my thumb during the process. With the rescue of our friends Graeme and Carlos, that couch went down and will never come back up in one piece ;) Good thing we love it. I'll share it with you soon.

A process that was planned for four weeks, turned into 17 weeks. Although we still need to get those built-ins done. Renovations are awesome and crazy at the same time. However, we're thrilled with the results and we're so ready to get the rest of our house back and move our storage back downstairs, decorate and use the space. It will definitely be on a tight budget so thinking about creative ways to do it. 

I haven't shown you the bathroom yet. I will. Baby steps.
Have you done a big renovation lately? I would love to hear your stories and share what you've done.

Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Kids Party Series: It's a Digger Party!

Hi everyone!

Did you have a nice weekend? It's been a busy couple of weeks over here with school starting back but I'm happy to say (fingers crossed) that so far so good. Our big guy was excited to connect with his buddies again and our middle guy was filled with the nervous excitement of starting school. So was Mummy! They looked so cute in their new threads and packs. Adorable.

Our middle guy is having a birthday this week and so I thought I would do another round of party ideas. He has asked for a "Paw Patrol" birthday this year. In light of his birthday week, I thought I would share some ideas on throwing a "Digger" party if you have any little ones that are all over trucks and diggers. We had a digger party for our middle guy when he turned 2.

I had talked about how kids birthday parties can still be fabulous without having the stress in my last post. For the digger party, I stuck with a few theme colours, kept the food simple and fun for the kids.

Set the tables with a plastic tablecloth (easy just to wrap the entire table up in a bow and stick it in the bin when you're done) and disposable everything. A few toys from the playroom as the centerpiece and a trip to the party store and you have a couple of digger party tables.

Fruit, veggies and snacks are easy finger food for the minis.
These cupcakes were really easy. I just laid them on a bed of oreo cookie crumbs and added in a few more playroom toys and a yellow jellybean. Easy peasy and super cute!
The lootbags. Buckets are a great way for kids to transport their lootbags home and they can re-use them. These yellow sand buckets were $1 each and you can fill them with just about anything. These ones, I filled with construction stickers, bubbles, a toy digger, ball and candy.
Having a toddler party is already going to be a total zoo in the house. Keep it simple. It will be fabulous...promise.

I'm really excited to share the basement with you. Our contractor is wrapping it all up today. It's still pretty empty but we just ordered our couch on the weekend and I can't wait to show it all to you.

Need ideas for a toddler girl birthday? I did a pink party for my baby girl that you can get some ideas from here.

Keep it Beautiful.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kids Birthday Parties

It seems like in the last 10 years, kids' birthday parties have gone from a small birthday at home with boiled hotdogs and pin-the-tail on the donkey to expensive, everything matchy and perfect parties. I'll admit, when my oldest turned one I was determined to pull off one of those perfect parties. I quickly realized that they can become stressful, expensive and your kids could care less whether the napkins matched the icing. I love to plan parties. I grew up with parents who put on great birthdays and hosted fab parties. I knew that I could somehow find a balance between creating a pretty birthday party without the stress.

Our oldest son turned 7 last week. Holy time flies. Between my three kiddies, I've planned a few kids parties and I thought I would do a little series of Kids Birthday Party posts in case you are looking for easy themes, with little stress.
In no particular order I thought I would start with my baby girl. When my oldest turned 1, we threw this big party with family, friends and neighbours. Of course, as child number 2 and 3 came, their parties got smaller and smaller. Typical first child and third child parenting ;) However, what I also learned was that I put way too much pressure on myself with my first. Enter in, an easy and cute party for a toddler girl.
Invites: My mommy friends who have little ones my baby girl's age. These are the kids who are in our baby girl's world anyway and I love their moms. Double win.
Menu: Snacks, cupcakes and wine for the mummies.
A quick stop at the dollar store and party store and we have the makings of a birthday party. I didn't plan any games, because this age, all these little muchkins want to do is play with toys and hang with their mamas.

Décor - Stick with one or two colours. If you're looking for something soft, go with complimentary colours. Want to add punch? Go with colours that are on opposite ends of the colour wheel from each other.
My baby girl is really into princesses right now. But it doesn't mean that every thing from the table cloth to the cutlery to the balloons need to have a princess on it. Remember, she's 2. So, a few princess straws and she's happy as a clam to be able to choose which princess straw she gets.

Snacks: Keep them simple. A little fruit, a little junk = toddler food heaven.
Dessert: Cupcakes are easy for little fingers. Whip up your favourite cake recipe of bring on the mix. These...are mix and the kids ate them up. They were easy, cute and delish!

  Lootbags: Keep it easy. I added some princess necklaces and bracelets, bubbles, suckers and a mini stuffty.

Toddler birthday parties can be a total zoo so keep your décor simple. Stick with a colour theme and just go with it.

Here she is, our big girl!
Keep it Beautiful.

Friday, August 28, 2015

In-Floor Heating!

Hey guys,
Happy Fabulous Friday!
Mr. Fix-It and I took a couple of vacation days to hang out. It's a nice way to end off the summer. We're heading up to the cottage today and having a big "pig roast" party. So fun! My dad and two other cottages are hosting it with about 80 cottagers coming. Another great way to say farewell to summer. 

Although the basement is behind schedule there has been tons of progress and I'm happy to say that it's almost finished. Woot! We've picked a paint colour. I’m a big believer in splurging on testers before making your final decision. It’s a lot cheaper to buy tester pots then repaint an entire space if you’re not happy with the colour. It’s funny, I can go into a client’s space and pick colours with total confidence. In my own home, I get all in-decisive. Ha! After 10 tester pots on the wall...
the winner is…
Tulle White by CIL
It’s pretty. Very soft grey. I have never used this colour in my home or clients’ homes, so it’s a newbie to me. I love it!!
Speaking of bathroom, I promised you that we would talk in-floor heating.
Do you have heated floors in your home? Living in an old home, we're accustomed to drafty spaces and cold floors, so I’ve always wanted to feel the consistent warmth on my toes.  One of the first things I said to Mr. Fix-It when we started to plan the basement, is that heated flooring in the bathroom was on the list! For sure.
Who doesn’t want warm feet going in and out of the shower? It’s a no-brainer. So, before the tile was laid, the in-floor heating went down. After doing a lot of research, the flooring that we put down is by Nuheat. We really loved their customizable option. They make standard in-flooring heating mats, however with all the curves and corners a bathroom has, you may miss some areas to heat. We went with the custom mats and it couldn’t have been easier. Our contractor drew us up a simple design of the bathroom with all the measurements.
We sent it to Nuheat, they sent us back a computer generated drawing and boom! off to the warehouse it went to be made. It couldn’t have been easier. Often times people think that custom means that it's going to take forever to receive the product but the whole process of drawing to mat can be done in days. Yes!
The flooring comes with install instructions, and they’re available on the website. Something we thought was super cool, is the floor comes with it’s own testing device to make sure the mat is working when you receive it and throughout the installation process.
To secure the mat to the floor, you have to mix up the thinset and spread it out onto the subfloor. Then you need to squeeze any air out between the thinset and the mat.
Secure the floor sensor probe to the top of the mat.

You’re now ready to tile

So, can we talk about why we chose this thermostat? It’s capital AMAZING. It’s programmable and the best part…it’s WiFi. You can control it by your phone, or iPad or any device that has WiFi. So cool.
Do you know what this means? While up in my bedroom on the third floor of the house, I can turn up the heated floor to be all toasty warm for my shower. Yes please. Mr. Fix-It and I have an ensuite but it was probably renovated in the 80s and the size of a closet. I’ll totally be taking my bathroom stuff and getting ready downstairs! Except for one minor problem, we're still waiting for shower doors. Soon. Baby steps.
It’s also great being able to program the heat to turn down when we’re not there, or when the weather changes. It also monitors your energy use so you can modify if necessary. Win.
We have drafts in our house, some of them pretty freezing in the winter. I'm so excited that at least one room in our house will have warm floors. When it is time to do our ensuite, I’ll be adding in-floor warmth love in there for sure.

Small toes love toasty floors also.

Something to think about when doing a reno is that this product can also go in the floor of a shower and on countertop. Heaven.

The bathroom is almost done. Like the tile? You got a sneak peak. We’re waiting for the lighting fixture to arrive, the glass shower doors and I haven’t bought anything yet to make it our own space. Hmmm, I think a little bathroom shopping is on the radar. I have a few more fun bathroom gems to show you before the big reveal.
I would love to hear if you love your in-floor heating or if you’re thinking of adding it to a bathroom reno.
Keep it Beautiful.
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