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our dining area through the ages

Previous owners stuff (pic taken during our final walk through…)
previous owners
Immediately after we moved in. Cracks me up how bare it was! We had hardly any stuff at all!!
moved in!
We went from a white apartment (with white furniture) to a white house (with the same white furniture), and felt a desperate need for colour in our lives. Unfortunately we chose puke green and burgandy! Oh well, guess you have to learn somehow!
puke green!
When it came time to finally paint again I did a LOT more research and testing of colours. We settled on Smoky Green by Benjamin Moore and 2 years later I love it just as much as the day it was done!
kitchen table after
Jon slaved away to put the laminate floors in (with help from my Dad too!), which were an amazing change from the old grey vinyl we had before! I’m not sure why, but the slight marble pattern on the vinyl always seemed really busy to me. I much prefer the warmer (and visually quieter) laminate.
And then of course, our latest! 🙂

I read a lot of decor blogs, so I have this idea that our little changes are so small and simple compared to the gorgeousness that is to be seen elsewhere! But at the same time I do want to show it off because I love the way it is slowly becoming more homey and more me.

I also lean towards embarrassment because truthfully, at each stage of our home I loved it. When we bought it I thought it was amazing. When we painted it green, I thought it was so warm and retro…. etc etc. Now I look back and cringe! Perhaps one day I’ll look back and cringe at this stage! I guess I should be thankful that I have so loved this little house and also that my tastes have changed! 🙂

I am very thankful for a husband that knows I see our home like he sees his work computers. An upgrade is always nice! lol But really… I’m so thankful that he sees the value in investing in our home and furnishings, that he recognizes what it means for me to be able to change and grow and create our home. And that he recognizes a need to add function for ease in homeschooling too.

So… there you have it! As per Jon’s request- our dining area through the ages…

PS.. my crooked wall of pictures is slooooooooowly coming. It’s something I wanted right from the start (not the crooked part!), but it made me laugh to see that one lonely picture hanging there for so long! Now I just need to extend it out more towards the walls to balance things a bit better.


round is the new square

This oldie…
…became this oldie this weekend….
…except now it looks like this!

And I LOVE it! It’s definitely not perfect (the table top is not solid wood, so even with sanding and lots of coats of paint and primer some of the wear shows through… but I really love everything else about it. And I might even love the fact that it’s not perfect, because the whole reason I wanted to make over a cheap table is so that it will fit our space better, look nice, but not be too precious to use hard (and we use our table hard… eating, crafts, school, play, etc!).

The table itself cost 40.00 and the paint/poly/rollers were around 30.00, so approx 70.00 for the table. It came with a leaf, and on sunday we fit 7 people reasonably comfortably, could probably squeeze in an 8th person. But we will generally use it leaf out, so a round table that seats about 5 comfortably. I love the difference between a round table vs the rectangle we had before. There is ample room in the center of the table, yet I can reach everything and everyone. Very cozy! Plus with downsizing the table on a day to day basis I could squeeze in this expedit unit for homeschooling storage!
Man alive! These expedit units hold SO much. The cloth baskets are amazing- huge and durable. A couple months back we got one for each of the kids rooms, and that’s when I knew I wanted one for the kitchen too! My playdough bin had been exploding from it’s big rubbermaid container, with one dump it found a new home- with room to spare!
I also found the map I’ve been looking for online, I love the muted colours and that it is laminated so little fingers can touch all they want! Maps fascinate me and I want the kids to grow up with daily perspective on how big the world really is! We are going to star places where loved ones live or places we are praying for. So happy with it! ($36.00 from World of Maps in Ottawa)
And of course, the chairs… we finally replaced our SUPER uncomfortable old chairs (the bane of Jon’s existence!)
Here’s a little then vs now action…. (with terrible lighting in true before photo action!)
The chairs came from IKEA (of course… we do love IKEA). In traditional IKEA fashion, it took a little of this face (x4) to put them together…
It also took a little convincing to get Jon to go modern with the chairs, he didn’t love the legs. But they are actually quite comfortable and SO easily wiped down (as opposed to all those black rungs and food trapping wicker seats we had before!).

All in all… I LOVE it! I’m always so thrilled when we can add a bit more function in our little house, and save a couple hundred bucks while we are at it!

Now I’ll send you off with a little sugar from my sugar…
and Grandma (both of you-lol)… she misses you! Drive safe!

Family, Projects

Table progress…

Well, I was hoping to do this all in one post, but this blasted table is taking FOREVER to finish!!

Here is my kijiji table after I sanded it down (but before I washed it down…):

So I washed it and primed it with this:

And then I started painting it Cloud White by Benjamin Moore in their Aura paint (matte finish).
Ok so… has anyone used Aura? I have painted furniture white before using normal latex paint and have found 2 coats enough. I currently have at least 3 on there, with possibly 1 more coat needed. Is it just me? Just my table? Or is it the paint? I picked Aura because it takes 2 weeks less to cure before I can poly over it, and it is low VOC, considering we will eat off it. But seriously…. this table feels like it will never be finished!!!!
After these pics I sanded it down again and added another coat. I do like how it is looking… I just hope the paint ends up smooth enough, it’s hard to tell in a dark basement – compared the the sunny kitchen it will be standing in eventually!!

And… just cause they are too cute… Juno and Knox. Auntie Sarah is very brave, and we appreciated it greatly! What a darling baby to snuggle!!
Knox and Juno


White is winning

Thanks for all the amazing advice and suggestions!! I’ve been mulling it over and google imaging my little brains out. So far I think a white table is winning. (and my decor hero SG approves) Still kind of leaning towards a different colour for chairs. These red ones are fun, but I also like the idea of black chairs. We shall see….
This pic with the map has totally given me some design inspiration. Jon and I were talking awhile ago about how much we love maps, we just have no where in our little abode to put such a big one. Well, if I can hunt one down with the right shades of blue and red I will replace my chalk board calendar with it! I LOVE it. I also kind of like those blue chairs too… hmmm…. good thing I don’t have to pick out chairs yet!
Though I have had my eye on these cute ones from ikea…


Pedestal table and my indecision.

Our kitchen (decked out for a partay). 🙂

I just bought an oak pedestal table off kijiji (been looking for a good deal for 2 months!). I plan on refinishing it (as per my resolution number 11), but I can’t decide on a colour… (will post before pics at some point, but it’s still in the back of the van!!).

Here are a few different rooms for inspiration…

I love the idea of a red table (same colour as the star on the wall), but it’s pretty bold for a couple of wusses that usually pick white. I like the freshness of white, but is that too matchy matchy with the rest of the house? And I like black because of the contrast. I also don’t mind the thought of a white base and red tabletop. Or…. I don’t know. White table, all different colour chairs? White table, black chairs? Black table, red chairs? Black table, white chairs? red table, white chairs?

So… thoughts?

(all these pictures were quickly snagged off google images, I’ll be deleting them when I make a choice because I didn’t have time to source everything properly tonight!!)

Family, Projects

Rodent Kisses

So dearest Darby made these rodent kisses last year and I thought they were the cutest things ever. I showed Rusty and he wanted to try them to give to his friends with their Star Wars valentines on sunday.

We popped out to Zellers this morning to get supplies, but of course Zellers is the crappiest store in the universe (bring on Target baby!!), and they didn’t have everything we needed. So we improvised with giant eyes and some candy Nerds for noses. Here are the supplies:

And here is the finished product:
rodent kisses

To be honest, they weren’t as simple to stick together as I thought, they took 3 photo squares to stick (the glue didn’t dry fast enough to hold well, must be the wrong kind) and the noses wouldn’t stick at all. So in the end Juno munched on Nerds (oh joy!) while Justus punched hearts and stuck on eyes and I did the rest. Still, for all the stress crafts inevitably are, the kids loved making them and will for sure love handing them out. Justus made some special one eye and three eye alien mice, guess he had to balance out the cute factor with his boy-ness. 🙂
counting mice


The Joy of Love

I’m going to try this little photog challenge this month, not too late to join, and it’s FREE! 🙂

“participants will receive daily email prompts/photo assignments with some tutorial/instruction built into the daily email lesson. it is that easy. i email you every morning, and you follow the assignment/prompt if you would like. i will create a public flickr gallery where you can share if you so choose.”

Life, Projects

Greetings 2011

Goodbye 2010, hello new year.  I love new days, mondays, new seasons (spring and fall specifically), new jobs, new hairstyles, new years.  For a good starter and a bad stick-with-it-er and a rarely ever finisher, the promise of a fresh start is wonderful.  It’s what I do best!  🙂  I love goals and resolutions, and this year I’m going to share my list with you!

Christa’s 2011 goals:

  1. Learn to use (and actually use!) a calendar/planner and address book
  2. Master a proper Thai red curry dish
  3. Record one main thought or idea from each day in a moleskine notebook, could be a complete thought or even just one word! (so I can a.) have a good reason to buy a moleskine and b.) sound cool when I casually mention said moleskine, oh yeah and c.) record the lessons and challenges and victories of every day life.  My memory fails me and often if I don’t have to verbalize a thought it passes right through without really registering.)
  4. Watch at minimum 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls each week while walking or running on the treadmill
  5. Replace all juice and milk with water
  6. Purchase and read 1 book of poetry
  7. Memorize at least 1 chapter of Psalms.
  8. Purchase and read 3 Christian biographies
  9. Sit outside to watch the stars come out
  10. Get a really beautiful picture of Sarah (my sister) and I
  11. Buy and remodel a round pedestal table for our kitchen (with 6 chairs)
  12. See the sunrise on the beach
  13. Write and MAIL 1 letter every week
  14. Replace all negative comments about my children with praise for them
  15. Read Little Pilgrims Progress to my son (1 chapter at a time)
  16. Take a photography class
  17. Have 3 nature dates with Jesus
  18. Do 1 adventurous thing.
  19. Write thank you letters to my mentors (mostly authors who have no idea who I am!!)
  20. Give up something for Lent
  21. Collect used classic literature.  Used (previously loved) books give me the warm fuzzies and I want my kids to grow up with well loved books

And now the tricker ones to measure…

  1. Be real and really honest.  I found this old quote that I saved on my computer a million years ago (have no idea who wrote it, from a blog I think)…  “If you want to know yourself, let others know you,  Let them know the good, the bad, the incredibly misshapen and ugly parts that embarrass you.  Let them see your scars and wounds, and let them re-examine those wounds, which will be painful.  Let them know your hopes and where your hopes have been killed.  ALlow them to hear the dreams you had of saving the world when you were a child.  Let them speak into your life, and find people that will value your voice and will let you speak into their lives as well.”  I like this because it reminds me of this and this.
  2. Remember that I am not in control.
  3. Smile A LOT.
  4. Work harder.
  5. Play every single day.
  6. Be immersed in Scripture (be it one verse or multiple books, just be soaking it in all the time).
  7. Love more, the real self-denial kind of love.


    My new floors!

    How good is Jon?! He did this all!!!
    And the grand finale… somebody pinch me… this cannot be MY kitchen!
    Let’s remember for effect….
    kitchen before
    <3 <3 <3


    Organization Love

    We used to have a folding door on our pantry…
    That was the one of the only photos I could find of it, it’s almost always open, which reveals my messy cupboard, so I always try to avoid letting it sneak into my pictures!

    It basically just gets in the way. Our garbage can sits behind it and is hard to reach, plus the back of the cupboard is hard to access and hard to clean. The other day when Jon was emptying the bin and fighting with the door as per usual he made an angry comment about just getting rid of the door. You could practically see the lightbulbs go on above both our heads!

    So today Jon removed the door!! But that left this:
    Not exactly what I want exposed to the world.

    So a trip (or two) to the storage solutions store and this is my pantry now:
    Oh, so happy. I may pick up a 3rd basket for the second row (and if I get really ambitious I may paint the inside the same colour as the walls)… but really, I’m thrilled. Now I just want to sit and stare at it while blocking out the rest of this messy house! 🙂