Friday, April 29, 2011

Boost My Blog Friday!!

In an effort to get myself some more followers, I am joining in on the fun with Boost my Blog Friday's!! So, if you are here from the blog hop check out my blog and if you like what you see, new followers are welcome!! I love getting new followers...

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!!

Today I'm linking up with 5 Minutes for Mom and am leaving you with this super cute photo of Hannah from Saturday... yep she's eating (...and LOVING...) a lemon...

Thanks for stopping by!!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Harvesting the Heart" - Jodi Picoult - Book Review Journal #2

" I don't find it strange that I would give my right arm to be inside the house, watching Max grow up before my eyes-doing, really, the things that made me so crazy three months ago. I'd just been going through the motions then, acting out a role that I couldn't really remember being cast in. Now I'm back on my own free will. I want to spread chutney on Nicholas's turkey sandwiches. I want to stretch socks over Max's sunburned feet. I want to find all my art supplies and draw picture after picture with pastels and oils and hang them on the walls until every dull, pale corner of that house is throbbing with color. God, there is such a difference between living the life you are expected to live and living the life you want to live. I just realized that a little late, is all." pg 324

This passage, spoke to me from many angles. I truly feel as though I have treasured Hannah for the gift she is, from the very moment she was born. It's hard for me to imagine anyone not feeling this way. My world was lit up when that little girl was born. But, after reading this book, I realize not everyone feels that way. Picoult conveys the emotions of Paige so well, I can almost relate to her emotions, personally having experienced the opposite, but totally believing that those emotions are very real, very possible, and very heart-wrenching. Throughout the course of the book Paige almost models herself in the footsteps of the men she loves, the people she cares about, because it's easy then being herself, confronting her issues, finding her passion. She gets glimpses of her passion, but is very easily redirected, almost seemingly when things get to "real" for her. When she stops looking at someone else and seeing them, but sees parts of herself in them.

I think there's a lot of truth in the statement 'there's such a difference between living the life you are expected to live and living the life you want to live'. Paige spent a lot of time doing as she expected she should do, not fully knowing what that looked like, or especially felt like. So every feeling was foreign, nothing FELT right, she was forcing herself through the motions. It's kind of like she was depressed, she was stuck in a sense in a life that felt so foreign to her and she had no one to turn to for advice. Being a new mom is hard, it's fabulously hard. There are soo many moments of pure joy, but soo many moments of frustration. How can you experience all these in the same day. The first time your child smiles at you, coincided with the first time you couldn't get your baby to stop crying to save your life. Intense fear, clashing with the calamity felt when your child is nuzzled up against you deep in sleep, her little hand curled around your back. The best way through it really does seem to be the reality check that comes with "this too shall pass", sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes, it's such a profound blow it knocks the breath right out of you. She will never smile at me for the first time again, I need to soak this is in, and at some point she won't be curling up in my lap anymore, she won't fit in my arms. It's a riveting ride, but one with an amazing view, and one that spans all emotions. I wouldn't miss it for the world, so I can truly feel the desperation that she is expressing when she realizes this, albeit later then she would have liked to.

I loved this book, it dealt with some hard emotions, but it was extremely well written. At one point in the book I was felt so sorry for Paige, to feeling soo frustrated with her I might have shaken her to life if she was standing right in front of me, to so angry with her for being such a coward, to in complete admiration of her for being so strong, and in complete awe of her for being so devoted. Great, great book. Highly recommend it. Anyone else read this book, or a book that evoked similar emotions?

Stay tuned for the next book I'm reviewing, "The Rescue", by Nicholas Sparks. Thanks for reading!!

- Amy

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm Featured!!!

Super exciting news for Our Crazy Beautiful Life today!! I was featured for the first time ever. Sarah over at The Ugly Duckling House featured our kitchen makeover!! See for yourself by clicking here!! Thanks for the super sweet shout out Sarah!!

I hope everyone had an amazing Easter weekend. Ours was awesome!! This was the first year that Hannah actually grasped the concept of hunting for Easter eggs, and I loved every second of watching it!! We started off the weekend on Friday by celebrating with Eric's immediate family, we headed down to his parents (who live like 5 mins away) for dinner and an afternoon of Hannah and Jack (our nephew whose 3 1/2) playing the afternoon and evening away.

Saturday morning, our little village hosts an Easter Egg hunt, so we took Hannah and Jack over to that first thing in the morning. Hannah arrives, and announces to everyone, "Where eggs go?", as we had told her we were looking for eggs. It was soo funny. She gathered a TON of eggs, and loved it. It was soo funny. At one point before they started the hunt, she was anxious to get the show on the road, and I said "No, you have to wait until the lady says go", Hannah's reply was a very loud and authoritative "GO!!", it was hilarious. We headed for lunch with Aunt Ash and Bubba (as she calls Uncle Mike - where she gets that from I dunno...). Then had dinner over at a neighbours, where Hannah didn't play nice with their 10 month old son.

Sunday morning, we had an Easter egg hunt here for her. We hid about 12 of the re-fillable eggs (filled with chocolate Goldfish, and mini Bear Paw cookies) in various locations in our living room. She loved finding the egg that was sitting on the potty in her Little People house. She laughed like she got the joke. It was soo funny. She loved her "Tigger Pooh Treehouse", as she calls it. Then we sat down to a nice breakfast with the three of us of homemade blueberry muffins, and hot cross buns (mmmhhmmm...). Next we headed to Eric's grandparents house for lunch, and then finally dinner at my aunt's place with my side of the family.

Enjoy the photo montage below:

Hannah finding one of her Easter eggs...

Yep, I'm that mom that she will hate later in life...

Hannah loving her cousin Jack....

...trying to get a nice picture...

Mommy and Hannah heading out to the Easter egg hunt...

Splashing in the puddles waiting for the egg hunt to start...

Hannah hunting for eggs...

Playing on the swings after the egg hunt with Daddy...

Hannah and Jack, and her great Grandma "napping", a photo we will treasure forever...

Hannah and Aunt Ash and cousin Brittany enjoying their meeting of Hannah Minnie Mouse...LOL..

Have a great day!!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter!!

I just wanted to check in a leave you guys all a Happy Easter Weekend message!! I hope that everyone has a wonderful Easter filled with lots of family memories.

This year for Easter I had to come up with creative things for the Easter bunny to hide for Hannah, as I really don't give her a lot of chocolate. She loves her Goldfish and Bear Paw cookies just as much, so I decided that that would be what I fill Hannah's re-fillable Easter eggs with. I think she will get a really good kick out of looking for Easter eggs around our house, she loves looking for things so I am really looking forward to it. So I am going to fill her eggs with Goldfish, and mini Bear Paw cookies, and hide them around the house. We bought her a couple of new Mickey Mouse books, and a Winnie the Pooh Tiger's Treehouse toy, so she'll be a happy camper. So stay tuned Monday for all the super cute shots of my girl hunting for eggs. Oh and I'm sooo excited to announce that I'm being featured Monday as well, for the first time ever!! Ugly Duckling House is featuring my kitchen reno's, so it's very exciting!!! So be sure and check that out Monday!!

Have a safe and wonderful Easter Weekend from our home to yours!!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Budget Busters- A Breakdown of the costs of our recent reno's room by room!!

Breakdown of the supplies needed for the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Reno's

We bought 4 kits, but soo far have only used three, so I am not factoring in the expense of the 4th kit...

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations - $79.99 x 3 = $239.97
Paint brushes - Home Depot - (2 x 2" @ $9.98 each, and 1 x 1.5" @ 5.98) = $25.94
Foam Brushes - Canadian Tire - 2pkgs of 30 (we could have only used one but since we opened both of them and can't return one I am including them both) - 2 @ $2.99 = $5.98
Drop Clothes - Dollarama - 8 x $1.00 = $8.00
Cups - Dollarama - 2 x $1.00 = $2.00
Rubber Gloves - 2 x $1.00 = $2.00
2" Painters Tape - 4 roll pack $12.99
Lint Free Rags - 4pk - $1.49 x 4 = $5.96
Labour - free we did it ourselves, and couldn't be prouder....

Total Cost for Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Product and Installation  302.84 plus 13% tax here (even though we bought the kits in the states, I am still adding tax onto it because I'm not sure what the tax rate is in the United States...)

So the grand total is a whopping :    $342.21

Now, divide that by 5, as we did 5 separate "projects" with it and you get $68.44.

Now I will breakdown the costs of the various projects:
  1. Main Floor Bathroom Vanity -
      $68.44 - Rustoleum divided cost (with supplies and installation)
      $15.00 - New Handles purchased off Ebay - for 2.50 a piece
           Total = $83.44

 2. Master Bedroom Bathroom Vanity -
      $68.44 - Rustoleun divided cost (with supplies and installation) and furthermore, we re-used the handles off the kitchen cupboards, so there was no added cost
                                                                      Total = $68.44

3. Pantry, and two wooden chests (in great room) -
       $68.44 - Rustoleum divided cost (with supplies and installation) also no further cost
                                                                       Total = $68.44

4. Queen size bedroom set, with two armoire dressers, large nightstands, and a headboard
     $68.44 - Rustoleum divided cost (with supplies and installation)
     $  9.59 - Rustoleum Satin nickel spray paint-to spray paint the existing ugly brass handles
                                                                         Total =$78.03

5. Kitchen Cabinets
     $68.44 - Rustoleum divided cost (with supplies and installation)
     $60.00 - New handles purchased off Ebay for $2.50 a piece x 24
     $33.89 - Wireless undercabinet lighting purchased at Costco
     $18.08 - Casing trim mounted on the bottom of the upper cabinets (to hide lighting and achieve a finished look)
                                                                          Total =$180.41

So, there you have it my budget busters in a room by room fashion for our recent reno's. I think we did really well at keeping the costs down, and I feel like the reno's were well worth the money we spent, and the work we did too. We are very pleased with the results. Stay tuned for a breakdown of our flooring costs and recent closet and pantry makeover budgets.

P.S - I'm linking up with Paisley Passions Thrilling Thursdays, head on over here and link up...


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Harvesting the Heart" Book Review Journal #1

"Harvesting the Heart" - Jodi Picoult

This book is about a mom trying to feel her way through her relationship with her child, after not having a mother figure in her life, for so long. It dances around the issues of nature versus nurture, and how we are influenced by those around us, or in this case seemingly have gone before us. Paige (the main character), has a lot to deal with, she's a new young mother in an unplanned pregnancy, and she has yet to deal with the issues that are residual from her own mother leaving her when she was a young girl. She doesn't have that mother figure to turn to with questions, and we all know having a newborn allows for all kinds of questions.
This is one of the questions Paige deals with (she asks of her Dr.):

"..."How long does it take?" I asked, a thousand questions at once. How long before I know what i am doing? How long before I feel like myself again? How long before I can look at him with love instead of fear?" ...."It will take", she said, "the rest of your life."

I don't know that I totally agree with this line of questioning (not that it is for me to agree with or disagree with...). I can relate to the whole afraid to do anything wrong thing, afraid to wake the baby up for fear of the repercussions, but I know that while I am fearful I know it's because I love her so very much I couldn't imagine anything happening to her. So I feel I fear as I love. And I do believe I will do this for the rest of my life.

Being a mother is such a delicate fine balance, and I do not blame Paige for not knowing how to handle it all at once, and seeking out her own mother, following in her footsteps, seemingly. However, there are a lot of things that are different between Paige and her mother, but all the while there are a lot of things the same. Paige gets to struggle with a lot of her own demons, and gets to ask her mother all the questions she always wondered about, but may not necessarily like the answers and then has to deal with that repercussion, like I said it's a fine balance.

Stay tuned for the second installment of my review on this book.
Thanks Amy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Two Tuesday!! and Payback...27 Years Later!!!

Today I'm doing the Top Two Tuesdays Bloghop, to play along head on over here

The topic today is things we collect:

  1. I collect beads, I have an addiction, beads, beads, beads, insane amounts of beads, but I love them, and I love working with them.
2. I also collect picture frames, I have an entire shelf of them that I haven't put out, that I probably never will put out, but I have them, and for some reason can't get rid of them, and for some strange reason at least 50% of them don't even have pictures in them (of us anyways lol)

Now onto a nice fun little story of two little girls....

Well once upon a quiet Saturday morning, when I was a little girl myself, I decided it was a good idea to play quietly in my crib while my mommy and daddy slept unknowingly in their bed. the object I was playing with.... Zincofax.... baby bum cream....all over me, my crib, the walls around my crib. Let me tell you my mom and dad were happy to see me that morning. Of course they snapped pics, but in this digital age, I don't have one to show you guys, so use your imagination.

But, you don't have to imagine for long, because, one quiet Tuesday morning, one sweet little girl decided it was a good idea to let her mommy get some extra sleep, and she would play quietly in her room. The object she was playing with... Penaten cream..... baby bum cream.... all over the floor, her clothes, her hands, dresser, her blanky. Mommy opens the door and she says, "Mommy lipstick", with this unbearably cute grin on her face....

..... and that my friends... is payback 27 years later....


Monday, April 18, 2011

Manic Mondays and Meet Me on Monday!!

I'm doing two bloghops this week. Starting first with Meet Me on Monday, link up yourself by clicking here and following the instructions....

This weeks Meet Me On Monday questions are:

1.  Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?
-Caesar Salad is my favorite, especially with hard boiled eggs... mhhmm I could eat one right now...

2.  Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?
- nope I gotta admit I haven't been following it at all
3.  Last thing you spent lots of money on?
-all our home reno's as of late, not that they were super costly, but that's where our money's been going, stayed tuned for a budget busters post coming in the next week or so
4.  Window seat or aisle seat?
- window seat, because a) I'm flying with a two year old that needs containment b) I like to look out the window

5.  Do you know your blood type?
- O- universal donor....

Now onto my favorite way to recap my weekend, with Manic Mondays a fun bloghop hosted by Ashley at Life As I Know It, head on over here to link up....

So, what happened this weekend around our place... hmmm, lets see.... a whole lotta nothing and it was wonderful. Glorious. After the last three weekends of intense reno's we (well Hannah and I especially R&R'd) we played hours of Mickey, and had tons of fun.

Friday night, Eric worked until 11pm, so I watched the movie Charlie St Cloud, after reading the book, I have to say I liked the book better but the movie was a good adaptation. I wasn't sure how it was going to be but I must admit I really enjoyed it.

Saturday, unfortunately Eric had to work all day (7-3), so Hannah and I just played around the house. It was soo nice spending time with her, but she was definitely missing her Dadda. Eric got off work early, very surprisingly (2:30, but hey every little bit counts), and came home in time to wake Hannah up from her nap. She loved seeing him, it was soo cute. Then Eric set to work in the garage, cleaning it up from last weekend. I had a roast in the slow-cooker, and dinner was smelling delicious, and low and behold, Eric gets a firecall, to a house fire. He will be gone the entire duration of the evening, until 11pm :(. That was sucky, because we were headed over to friends after supper, but luckily they are our neighbours, so Hannah and I still got to go. They had just got their daughter, Hannah's best friend (she is three months older then Hannah), a mini trampoline, and Hannah was loving it. We watched the girls play and watched "The Time Traveller's Wife" movie, which seemed pretty good, but not a great movie to watch when you can't devote your whole attention to it. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

Sunday morning, Eric had to run back to the firehall to gas up the fire trucks from the night before, then we headed into town for groceries. We came home and I worked in the office, gathering our income tax papers (yep we sucks we like to leave it to the last minute...). Then Eric's parents came over for chicken dinner, and we watched the movie, "The Story of Us", such a great movie, I love it everytime I see it.

So, that was my weekend in a nutshell, uneventful and fabulous....


Friday, April 15, 2011

Five Question Fridays!!

I am linking up again this week for Five Question Friday, and these are the questions....

1. What is your favorite sign of spring?
  • The sun going down later, and being able to have my windows open and clothes out on the line....

2. What was your best birthday ever?
  • I think it was my 25th birthday when my hubby surprised me with a trip to Webster's falls, and then after the falls we went to this awesome little bead shop in Dundas and then he had a suprise party planned for me when we got home, it was pretty awesome. Here's a picture of me in the bead store

3. What is your favorite dessert?
  • Umm, what isn't would probably be the better question, but my favorite dessert (that we can no longer get in Canada is the Triple Chocolate Brownie Cake from Costco, oh my goodness, what I wouldn't do for one of those right now....

4. What is the best excuse you've ever used to get out of a ticket?
  • I've never gotten a ticket, so no excuses required (not driving makes that one real easy :) ) 
5. Do you wake up before your alarm, with your alarm, or after hitting snooze several times?
  • Usually I wake up before my alarm, but that usually depends on how late I was up the night before, but I used to be a big fan of the snooze button back in my working days, these days, nothing beats a happily chatting two year old :)

Can't wait to see your answers to five question Friday!!

To link up with the Boost My Blog Friday, link up here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Design Dilemma!! After Pics of Main Floor Bathroom

So, here are the after pics of the main floor bathroom (after the vanity was transformed by Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations - you can read about how we did it here). You'll remember the vanity looked like this before:

(complete with the ugly brass and porcelain handles - ugh...)

And now it looks like this:

BUT.... now I HAVE to paint the bathroom. That's not totally a terrible thing I always intended to paint it because the whole house was pretty much painted this same color (which I LOVE in my great room, but HATED in my bathrooms, as it is really golden looking in some lights and even depressing in no light - natural that is as my main floor bathroom doesn't have a window). But I was hoping to not have to paint for a little while longer, but I fear the color clashing we have going on in there drives me nuts everytime I go in there, and I spend a fair bit of time in there trying to potty train a two year old (more on that one some other time...) and bath nights.

It seems the expresso color of the cabinet, really highlights the blue color of the countertop (which I'm not in love with either but am not redoing), and makes the wall color look totally out of place (the old cabinets were golden oak so I guess that's where they got there design sense from when picking paint colors???). See for yourself...

I'm not totally minding the blue, I don't love it, but it's workable...

See how horrible it all looks together... way to yellowy-dingy looking for my taste....

A further complication, my flooring, matches ok with the counter, but not with the direction I'd love to go with in here...

The shower curtain I love, but it's gonna hafta go too...

See how yellowey (is that even a word??) that it is.... 

Happy accident, bath rug, piece of inspiration for new paint color.... it's a lot fresher blue in real life, excuse my photography skills (or lack there-of)
So, where the design goes in my mind is that I paint the bathroom the fresh pale blue shade of the above bathmat, that goes really well with the counters and looks awesome up against the dark cabinets, and goes with the floor as well, and find a new shower curtain. So please help me shop for a shower curtain...

Right now I am loving this one, but I don't think it meshes well with the floor, looks great with the cabinet and the rug, but not the flooring....

Found on

And I am really liking this one I found on Bed Bath and Beyond... it resembles my current one....l

This one's kinda cute, but it is my main floor bath that any guests use as well so it might be too juvenile...

What are your opinions? Which one do you like best? Any other ideas or suggestions on what I can do with my design dilemma? Your input is greatly valued....



Thrilling Thursday!!

Today I am linking up with Paisley Passions for Thrilling Thursday. So head on over to her blog and check out fellow bloggers' Thrilling Thursday's.

And, of course this Thursday, the thing I am most thrilled about is my kitchen redo, so click to see what it looked like before, how we did it, and what it looks like now.

Stay tuned later today I will be posting the after pics of the main bathroom vanity, and asking your opinion about my design dilemma.....


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I Am Loving Wednesday!! and Wandering Wednesdays!!

So, today I am linking up with Paisley Passions Wandering Wednesdays, so head on over and check out her blog.

I am also linking up with Jamie for her What I am Loving Wednesdays, because I am loving sooo many things today :)

So, the first thing I am LOVING is that I am done reno-ing!!! ( I mean as much done as we can be for now I still have plans to paint the bathrooms, and we still have to put the flooring down in the office... but for the most part we are done reno-ing for the next couple of weeks!!) I love that our weekends are going to be our own again, and we can just chill out and hang out with Hannah, I've missed this girl, even though she was here all weekend, my mom was watching her while we were busy doing the cabinets.

I am loving that Allison from is loving her necklace she won from Ashley at Life As I Know It, made by me (you can read all about that here and here). Thanks for your kind words Allison, I am glad you like it!!

I am also loving all my new followers, and I love getting new followers as well as finding new blogs to follow myself, as I am new to this blogging world. So feel free to leave me a comment if you are following my blog and I'll be glad to follow you back.

I LOVE the look of our main floor now in all it's renovated glory. This is just what we imagined when we bought this house, so I am soo glad we have seen it through. I mean we went from this

To this

Don't you just love it??

I am also loving the gorgeous weather we have been getting here, it was 24 degrees Celsius plus humidity on Sunday, it was soo beautiful, Hannah had lots of fun outside with Grandma!!

And last but not least I am loving this girl, I was snapping the after pics of the kitchen (and the pantry behind her), and she was babbling on and I wasn't really listening, and then I clued in as she got louder and louder "CHEESE MOMMA CHEESE!!!!!" and this is the smile she gave me.... How could I not take a picture of that....

And then she followed it up with this silly face that I had never seen her make before...

I cannot even express how much I love this girl.....

So, how about you what are you loving today??


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Big Reveal!!! After Pics of the Kitchen!!!!!!

So, here are the most amazing after pics ever!!! I LOVE IT!!! To see the before pics click here, I cannot even express how much I love it!! We used the rustoleum cabinet transformations, in expresso, and we did use the decorative glaze that was included in the kit (the the breakdown of how we did it - check out here). It really goes well with our floors, and decor in general, and is just what we were looking for, so feast your eyes on these gorgeous pictures, and leave me a comment and let me know what you think...

The pantry we refinished as well....
So, that crosses A LOT of things off of our spring reno list.... stay tuned tomorrow for the after pics of the vanities...