Saturday, August 1, 2015

Superheroes Have United

Last night our boys watched in awe as Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America and other Marvel heroes battled their way on stage to save the universe on an epic quest.

Marvel Universe Live hit Ottawa and is here to stay until August 2nd with 5 shows in total. The show is fantastic! Non-stop action, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, and superhero power. Our boys were super pumped and loved it all.

Of course, who can go see their favourite superheroes and not be one themselves!
The show was just under two hours. Yup, there were lots of spinning, light-up things to buy, along with, fighting, explosions and loud noises but this is all part of comic book superheroes. And the ramped up (literally) motorcycles had our boys yelling for more. We had a blast! Who doesn’t want to be a superhero? There was non-stop action until the end.  The kids saw their favourite heroes in the flesh working together to ensure good always conquers evil. Sounds like a good lesson to me. If you have a superhero lover in your life, this is their event! Overall, a great thing to do this weekend in Ottawa (tix still available) or check the website to see when the show is coming your way.

You can buy tickets here and I have a 20% discount code: MULOC


Keep It Beautiful


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Basement Bathroom Design

Hey guys!

I wanted to share an update with you on the pretty parts of the basement bathroom reno.

This is what it looked like last week and here is what has been going on this week.
The sub-floor has started making it's way in. We opted to go with DriCore.  Heard of it? If you haven’t, you likely know who their spokesperson is...Bryan Baeumler. He hosts the show “Leave it to Bryan”. I met him at my fav blogger conference, BlogPodium last year. He’s super nice, way shorter in person and easy on the eyes ;) I also follow him and his beauty wife on Instagram…along with 1000s of other DIY, renovating lovers.
Anyway, DRiCore is awesome.
it's a subfloor specifically designed for basements. The raised moisture barrier covers cold, damp concrete to protect, insulate and cushion your finished floors. It allows the concrete floor to breathe. You can lay it down and just leave it as is, or if you are fully re-finishing your basement you just add your under pad right over top. They come in individual squares and aren’t in-expensive, however the floor creates a warm and dry basement. Yes please.

Okay, let’s talk pretty. Let's talk bathroom. Here’s our layout.
We’ve purchased all the fixings for when it’s time to install and here is what we’ve got.
I had mentioned that we really wanted the grey barnboard-looking tile with the random writing on it, however when we went to buy it…it was gone. So we decided to go with the same look, but in brown. Brown was not in my original plan, but we we’re really digging the distressed look in the showroom. So that's going on the floor with a few of the writing tiles intermixed.“New York”, “Fragile”, “London” etc. Love the edgy feel.
In the shower, the base is white acrylic so no need for tile. The shower doors are glass with two walls that need tile love. We chose white subway tile to go horizontal “brick pattern” and a taupe glass water tile to be stacked vertically down the middle of one of the walls. Fingers crossed it will look fab.
I also picked up the Ikea Hemnes High Cabinet with Mirror. We were going to put a PAX system in the bathroom for mucho storage but I think we’ll be able to store what we need in this. Fingers crossed. 


We picked up the Hemnes vanity and Rattviken sink. I haven’t chosen a mirror yet and I'm in love with the light I just ordered (I'll tell you more about it later). The toilet was on sale at Rona. I just can’t get excited about a fancy toilet, so we didn’t choose the most expensive or the cheapest. Somewhere in between.

Let’s talk hardware. While shopping around Wakefield on the girls getaway, my friend Lisa and I came across this little store with so many hardware options. I’m in hardware heaven. They’re heavy, black metal pulls with some distressing. Of course, I forgot about a few throughout the basement so need to go back to Wakefield and pick a few more up. Good excuse for a country drive.
So, whatcha think? Think it will all come together?
Soon, I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks on in-floor heating. Yes to warm winter toes!

Keep it Beautiful.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fabulous, Starts From the Ground Up! Let's Talk Laminate Flooring.

Hi guys,

I just got back a couple of days ago from Toronto, watching some of the PanAm Games. Awesome! My brother got the ladies in our fam, tix to see some of the Games for Christmas. The feel in the downtown core of the city was great. Lots of activity, excitement and energy for the Games. We saw Rhythmic Gymnastics. I can’t even hool-a-hoop around my waist, let alone launch it in the air with my toes and catch it beautifully with one finger! It was awesome.

As you know, we’re in the midst of our basement renovation and wanted to give you an update. We’ve always done our own renos and I have to say, it’s been wonderful getting home from the office and not having to tackle the depths of the basement till the late hours. Like any home renovation, we’ve hit some roadblocks and we’re about 3 weeks behind schedule.  Our contractor has been wonderful and really helped us get through various issues with the City and what they have required. Let’s just say…frustration! We have one more minor adjustment to make, and then, fingers crossed we can continue to move ahead! Biting tongue now.
While making the adjustments to meet the City’s requirements, we have made lots of progress on moving the main plumbing stack of the house from the centre of the basement, to run alongside the main pillar and out through the front of the house. A new furnace was installed and all the ducting and piping was moved and some of it was re-worked into the ceiling beams. The electrical was all done with a new panel added and LED pot lights installed. They require almost zero space in the ceiling which is great for achieving maximum ceiling height in basements. The vapour barrier is up, insulation and framing complete. It’s starting to feel like a space, instead of a beach!
The main obstacle we had with the City’s requirements was the ceiling height. The main ceilings met the height requirements, except for the height where the main beam holding up our house was. So, what were we going to do with that? Replacing the 100 year old beam with a new steel one didn’t add height and underpinning the house was going to be an additional $50,000. Nope, no thank you, not an option. Our contractor worked hard with the City to come up with an option. The solution was to cut a 4 ft. hole out of the main beam and support that load with a new post.

This way we technically have a “breezeway” from one side of the basement to the other that meets the ceiling height. I wasn’t thrilled that it added a post, but our contract is going to hide it in a wall and in the end, the ceiling height does create a good amount of height. These old houses are so beautiful and so finicky at the same time!


Can we start talking about the pretty things? Let’s talk flooring. I love carpet in a basement, however we just didn’t feel it was the way to go for any water issues.  We also didn’t go with hardwood for the same reason. Laminate was the choice for us. Laminate has come really far. The options are endless and the price is right. We shopped around, looked for sales, picked up samples and made our decision. We knew when we started that we wanted a grey floor…  
In our search for the floor, we learned a few things. I thought I would share a few tips when shopping for laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring has a:
BACKING layer to provide a barrier against moisture and gives the floor support.
CORE layer, mostly made of fibreboard.
DÉCOR layer, a photographic image that makes it look like hardwood. The images have come a long way on laminate and often it is very difficult to tell that it’s not real wood.
WEAR layer, this is what helps keep the floor looking oh.so.pretty and not scratched.

Thickness.
Thickness of the laminate does not necessarily mean that one is better than the other. We learned that buying quality over whether a board is thick or thing, as well as, having a really good underpad is more important. It is the materials and the way the board is made that is more important, otherwise you just might be buying more fibreboard.

Underpad
This is really important. If you are installing laminate in a basement, the recommendation is to get the underpad that is designed for areas where water could potentially be found.

Sale
Look for a sale! After scouring the city’s big-box stores and smaller flooring companies, we went with laminate from Rona and waited till it was not only on-sale, but the weekend we bought it, they had a “get 15% back in gift cards”. Win! Don’t forget to buy about 10% extra for any mistakes.
Definitely try out the floor in the actual space. What you may think you love in the store, can look completely different under the lights of your room. We're loving this soft grey, with lots of grain-looking texture. Let’s hope we can get it out of the box soon!
Have you recently put laminate in your home? I would love to see where and what you chose.
Keep it Beautiful.

 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Escaping to the Wakefield Mill

Happy Friday my friends.

We’re all busy. Busy, busy, busy. About a month ago, I was sitting on the couch at home, sipping on a glass of wine and thankful. I was thankful that the week was over. The week had been busy, the kids had been fighting and whining and I had “had it”! I needed a night away. Away from “the busy”. So, I immediately texted my girlfriend and told her I needed a night away. In a heartbeat, she was in. I knew she would be, she needed it as much as me. We all need our me-time, our space to breathe, escape the demands that life brings and just be. When the Wakefield Mill invited me to spend the night, I knew that a Girlfriends Getaway was born.

The Wakefield Mill is only about 30 minutes from Ottawa in the beautiful town of Wakefield. Tucked into the Gatineau hills, it’s a beauty.

 First stop. The spa. Lisa and I both had a massage and pedicure.  I’ve had a lot of massages and this was by.far.the.best relaxation massage I had ever had.
There was something ritualistic about it and it was amazing. I felt like butter under those magic hands.

We finished off our pampering with a pedicure, looking out through the beautiful glass windows and the pouring rain. Having the rain stream down the windows and the sound of the rushing waterfall outside was exactly what Lisa and I needed. Away from the busy, away from the demands of life. Just the girls. Girl talk. Girl time.
Our dinner reservations weren’t until later in the evening so we spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in our robes, drinking vino and we watched a girly movie in our room J Can you guess what we were watching? So good!
The Wakefield Mill has a number of different rooms to choose from: Heritage, River Grand & Park room. We stayed in the Heritage Room with a queen bed and futon. While our room was fine, I would recommend choosing one of the others. We felt a little tight in our room and didn't love the idea of a futon for a third guest if there was one.
Muse is their fine dining restaurant. Delicious. Delicious. The staff were wonderful and the food was incredible.
Morning was lovely. Quiet, relaxing...bliss. Breakfast was delicious. Filling, rich...yum. We both treated ourselves to the eggs benny. The food truly is amazing here.
 We finished off our getaway by poking in and around the little shops of Wakefield.

I even found my hardware for the basement :) More on that later.

Overall, we were only gone for 24 hours but we came back to our families feeling rested, refreshed and happy. The Wakefield Mill is a wonderful gem for the next time you need to escape "the busy".


 Keep it Beautiful.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Life is Better at the Cottage!


Hey guys!

Hope you're having a good week. Holy cow, how is it already Wednesday? We spent last weekend with friends of ours and had a blast. Honestly…sun, water, friends, boats, swimming, tubing, food, wine, smores, kids, great friends & family = cottage heaven. To me, these images are all things summer...








And, who can forget the need to BBQ in summer. I mentioned last week that I was BBQ-ing up a yum dinner. This past weekend we enjoyed another delicious meal. Our friends brought up 80 day age steak....butter in your mouth! We grilled it on the BBQ along with lobster tails and have a massive feast! Who doesn’t think of summer when they smell someone’s BBQ feast in the neighbourhood?! I think Weber Grill has taken the best of two worlds (cottage life & BBQ) and turned it into an awesome video showing how a group of cottagers celebrated Canada Day.



Cool eh? This video makes me smile ear-to-ear. I remember at my cousins' cottage, folks would tie up their boats every summer on the long weekend and float together on the lake :) You can check out more Weber videos on their WeberGrillsCA YouTube














Here's to short work days, delicious BBQ meals, long vacations & cottage love. Hope you get a chance to experience cottage life sometime this summer.
 
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Weber Grills Canada for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Visit Sponsors Site

Keep it Beautiful.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Date Night Menu with Ricardo Cuisine!

Happy Fabulous Friday y’all! Hope you all had a great Canada Day. The weather in Ottawa was changing at rapid speeds so we did a mixture of celebrating on Parliament Hill with the kids, relaxing at home and having a BBQ with friends. It was also our wedding anniversary so it’s always nice to have a holiday together on your special day. This weekend we’re heading up to the cottage with some friends for good food, good wine, good fun.

Speaking of food, tis the season for BBQ-ing! Some of you may brave the BBQ in the winter but generally, outside grilling is where it’s at in the summer. Ricardo Cuisine asked me to try some of their barbecue recipes and after browsing through the recipes, I was game. It was a great way for Mr. Fix-It and I to have a “date night” last week and I saw that one of the recipes called for halloumi cheese. Heard of it? I hadn’t, until Mr. Fix-It and I started buying these pre-made kabobs from the grocery store that had this amazing cheese on them. The best part, is that it doesn’t melt all over the BBQ. Win!
So…the night before “date night”, I made up the marinade for the Flank Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce. Sounds yum eh? Flank steak is not a piece of beef that you want to pick up and throw on the grill. It needs time to get happy and tender.

The marinade was really easy. It called for olive oil (I find that olive oil burns so easily on the grill so I swapped it out for canola oil), red wine vinegar, shallots, a bunch of fresh herbs (oregano, thyme & cilantro – I’ve been growing the cilantro and love it, so added a little more in there for extra yum) and a dash of red pepper flakes.

I added the steak, put it in the fridge overnight and let the magic happen. Then, all it needs is a hot BBQ and a few minutes on each side…depending on how rare you like it.
Next up, Halloumi Cheese and Roasted Bell Pepper Miniature Skewers. Sounds good eh? These were also easy peasy.

I soaked the cheese in a bowl for an hour and put it aside, chopped the red peppers into strips and made up the sauce - oil, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, fresh cilantro (it called for rosemary but I swapped it out), salt & pepper. Then you just give the sliced peppers a toss in the sauce ;)
Cut the cheese into cubes so they will fit on your sliced peppers.
After cutting the peppers, I realized I hadn’t cut them long enough so it was hard to string them on the skewers wrapped around the cheese. So, I just folded up a little tinfoil package and placed them right on the grill. They just needed a few mins to get toasty.
I cooked up some wild rice and voila…Date Night menu complete.
We waited till the kids were asleep and everything was ready pretty fast. I love menus where you can do the prep work the night before. The food was delish, I definitely recommend these two recipes if you’re looking for a yummy meal for the weekend.
TGIF!

Keep it Beautiful.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Is Your Family Filled with Superheroes? Marvel Universe LIVE is Coming to Ottawa!

Happy Friday my friends! It's hard to believe that school is officially out! Our big guy finished off grade 1 and our middle guy is starting JK in September. Where has the time gone? Do you remember what the last day of school felt like? The best! Freedom! Our big guy wanted to hit the park yesterday afternoon with his buddies for fries and fun. Lost boys and summer. Adorable.

So, I wanted to let you know that Marvel Universe LIVE is coming to a city near you. Do you have superhero lovers? I'm sure you do. Superheroes are the bomb in our house. From Spiderman to Ninja Turtles, they're digging it.

Marvel Universe LIVE is coming to Ottawa! Woot! It will be at the Canadian Tire Centre from July 31st to August 2nd. What a fun way to treat your kids this summer. Here are the deets:

Marvel fans, assemble! Marvel Universe LIVE! is taking the live entertainment experience to a whole new level, with a mind-blowing show unlike anything you’ve seen before. Watch your favorite Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man and The Avengers (Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk and more) and threatening villains come to life in an action-packed arena extravaganza, coming to Ottawa. You’ll definitely feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more. It’s being hailed as the most technically advanced live show ever. Join Marvel fans of all ages for this once-in-a-lifetime, monumental performance. The fate of the universe depends on it!


Fun eh? You can purchase tickets here and I've got a coupon code for 20% off and a family of 4 pack to giveaway!! Enter MULOC for 20% off.

The Ottawa shows are on:
Friday, July 31 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 1 – 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 2 – 11 a.m. and a 3 p.m. French performance

Other major cities along this Canadian tour are Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and more
Marvel Universe LIVE!

Superheroes unite! TGIF!

Keep it Beautiful.
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