Before and After

The Boy and I just enjoyed a full 2 weeks off of work for the holidays.  It was much needed and completely glorious.  We spent time with family and friends, between Christmas and New Years, but the bulk of our second week was spent turning our house into a beautiful after from a very blank, very white before.

We had some help, my mom’s interior designer came over and helped us pick colours.  Some people might love working from a completely blank slate, but I found it really overwhelming and was very grateful for the help – and the ability to choose from bigger swatches than just the 2×2 inches you get at the paint store.

When we bought our house, all the walls were builders white. Personally, I don’t know how the people we bought from lived with builders white for a 5 years.  It was driving me crazy! It might be because it was the crappiest paint job I have ever seen. I might have been able to live with a decent looking builders white for a while, but really – for me the starting point is paint on the walls.  I’ve lived with white walls before, many of my apartments were white walls, but for some reason, likely because it’s our house (and did I mention the crappy quality and dinginess?), I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel like we should bother hanging many pictures or find a rug, or even organize our small book shelf before we put a some colour on the walls.

Before CollageSo over the last week we did just that.

Day 1 – ceilings.

Day 2 – living room – October Mist

Day 3 – kitchen – Windham Cream; small bathroom – Wheat Penny

Day 4 – entrance and up the stairs – Raintree Green; upstairs ceiling.

Day 5 – trim

Day 6 – new IKEA wall unit –  installation and filling/decorating

Day 7 – just as God did when creating the world – we rested.

In between we had a small break for New Years Eve and we (and by we I obviously mean the Boy – I showed up for unpacking) moved the Brother.

My God, we are tired.

In Progress CollageBut it was totally worth it.

Now we’re decorating, choosing a rug, looking for pictures and it generally just feels so much warmer and more homey.

Seriously love it.

A sneak peek at the after - some better ones to come.

A sneak peek at the after – some better ones to come.

What was your first project in your house?

Random Check in

  1. The Boy just told his Grandpa that he has 3 more weeks of school and then he’s off for 2 weeks.  This gave me heart palpitations. Not because of Christmas, but because of work.  That means year-end is in 3 weeks.  I have so much to do.
  2. Gordon is growing up so fast.  We took her for her last booster shot last night and she weighed in at a whopping 2.8kg or 6lbs 2oz. What happened to our little 2.5lb baby?
  3. Yes, we are those pet owners.  She is our child – without a doubt or apology.
  4. We’re still a 1 car family. For the most part it’s fine, except when it’s not.  Both the Boy and I go back and forth between being fine with it and needing a second car TODAY.
  5. The Boy has finished his first Long-Term-Occassional position.  It was great having a consistent morning routine, it sucks walking to the gym at 6:30am. See #4.
  6. The gym is still going well – it must be I’m walking there for goodness sake!  I haven’t remeasured yet, but I did put on my skinny jeans this week with minimal dancing and no need to lie down to do them up.
  7. Everyone does that right?
  8. The Boy is currently watching the Chinese News on OMNI1.  He says he’s trying to learn the language.
  9. The Boy and I went curling with Sista and the Physicist. The Boy said I should wear my bike helmet.  For the record I did not fall on my head once.  I did return with some bruises though.  Mainly from when I fell… on my hip… on my first rock.  It all made me feel very Canadian
  10. We decided not to go away over Christmas. Instead we’re painting our house and have made the definitive plan to go somewhere far in the summer.  I say Europe – anywhere in Europe.  The Boy says he likes the idea of the East Coast – Cabot Trail area. It is a beautiful area. But does anyone have suggestions for a “first trip to Europe” tour?

What’s new and random in your life?

 

Under the Tree

Somehow I managed to make mad progress on the knitted gifts this Christmas.  Not only did I make cowls, mittens, toques, socks and my very first pom-pom… I did it all with time to spare.
I give you the knitted round-up

Like the cowls? Various simple patterns found on Ravelry by searching the yarn – Estelle Drake you can find the blue and orange one modeled by Miss Erin here, the pink one I also found on Ravelry but I’ll be damned if I can find it again – basically alternate squares of knit and purl.  The one in the middle is simple moss 60 stitches in the round.  Mittens for The Boy were too small so I ended up with new mittens. But The Physicist’s mittens fit perfectly! I made Sista’s toque (which she loves BTW – just doesn’t look like it in the picture) from the same pattern as the ones I made for the little ones this fall – but added a pompom for good measure. And the FIL (Father-in-Law) loved his socks so much last year – I made him a second pair (he has requested 7 pairs).

What did you knit for Christmas?

It’s a Puppy Surprise!

New year and all that, but I still haven’t covered the last of last year… so we’ll get to that today.

The Boy and I travel over the holidays, every year we are reminded how lucky we are that we get to see everyone, blah blah blah, but every year we think at some point, one day we will stay put and tell people to come to us… not going to happen for a while I know, but it’s nice to dream.  It’s not that we don’t love seeing everyone it’s just that by New Year’s it’s time to go home.  Sleepy, sleepy.

December 24 we went to my parent’s house and were greeted as we came in by an early stocking surprise.

A 3lb, Shi-poo, little fluffy black ball of a surprise.

Meet Molly or Suga’ Mama – whatever you prefer.

Look at that face.

And that is basically how we spent our week, squishing her and cuddling her.  Sure, we went to the Boy’s parents too and we spent a few days in London while the Boy coached volleyball.  But mostly, we just wanted to come back to my parents and play with the puppy.

Wouldn’t you?

The new addition has made great strides in our own puppy vs. laundry debate. In our current apartment we can’t have a dog.  I know I know, a landlord cannot tell you – you cannot have a dog. It’s against the law.  But we also don’t really want to make our landlord pissy since they live right across the street from us.  So we’ve put it off. The Boy and I have been half-heartedly looking for a new apartment, but so far we have had very different lists.

The Boy wants – Laundry, and pay as little for rent as humanly possible.  He doesn’t really care if it’s a basement, if it’s in the same town, if it’s 600 square feet, if it’s got 7 foot ceilings. None of it matters.  Is it under $1000/month inclusive and does it have access to laundry on site.  Sold.

Call me picky, call me a princess but I’ve got a few more things on my list. I hate moving and if I’m going to do it, I want everything on my list so we are definitely happy there until we are able to buy something.  My list includes, pet friendly, laundry, outdoor space, NOT a basesment, good size bedroom, workable kitchen, an extra bedroom would be nice, access to storage, not a highrise and a clean/cleanable bathroom.  And I’m willing to pay a bit more. I understand the theory of paying as little as possible while you are renting but I also know we are further from buying than we would like to be – so I want to be comfortable and am willing to pay for it.

So what does this have to do with the little face?

One of the first things the Boy said to me after seeing her was, “we need to move… and I want a puppy”

Thanks Molls!

Happy January 2nd!

Let’s recap shall we? The Boy and I generally feel like we’re never getting ahead, but this year I made him recap all the things that changed in 2011 to make ourselves really take stock of all that we accomplished in 2011 and all we have to look forward to in 2012.

So here it is The Twenties Roar, year in review.

Early January The Boy got The Interview we had been waiting for and is now officially an employed teacher.  He’s still daily supply but there are some Long-term-occassional positions on the horizon and we’re hopeful that one of these days he’ll get a call for a more permanent position.  Daily supply is working for us though for the most part.  He works probably 4 of 5 days not always the full day but somewhere which makes for a way better paycheque than grounds crew at the golf course – though he still did that this summer.  Good work Boy!

We spent the winter finding vendors and wedding dresses, and generally getting all the big ticket items checked off the list. I still had delusions of being completey finished by August.  Silly rabbit.

April we headed out to the great white West to celebrate my cousin Stacey’s wedding to her teacher man Paul.  Their wedding was beautifully them, and the happy couple’s spirits refused to be dampened by the foot of snow we woke up to that morning. Crisp white fluff – their pictures are beautiful! Since I had to conserve vacation days we only went out for a long weekend, but we were able to see BFF Kate and make a quick trip to Banff while we were there.  All around a great weekend as we inched closer to the big event in September.

May had me celebrate my last birthday of my 20s, and while I’m still thinking about a blog redesign I decided I could cut The Twenties Roar short – and resolved to see it out to the big 3-0 in 2012.

In June The Boy celebrated his big 3-0. Apparently we needed to do it all this year, and forced our friends and family to celebrate us constantly.  Just kidding.  We kept it fairly low-key with a baseball game (14 innings that I happily skipped) and a good ol’ fashioned roof top BBQ. Our friends are popping out babies like gang-busters so we made sure to include pregg0-friendly fair including eggless cesar salad dressing and avocado buttercream icing for cupcakes.   The Boy and I both sucked the big one when it came to gift giving for the big b-days, but made an agreement to not let that happen again!

In July JULY I applied for my now new job, I added a tinge of panic into w-planning that I would be starting a new job right before I got married.  Turns out no – just interviewing. We were also showered with a crazy amount of love over the summer, had engagement pictures taken, took in a concert, went on a tour of wine country, bachelor and bacheloretted, and started counting down the days.

September was obviously the big show. And it was awesome.  September 10, 2011 you will forever be my favourite day. We were surrounded by family and friends, we were a little nervous but mostly SO excited that it was finally here. And while they say that something goes wrong at every wedding… not true.  We had a perfect day. PERFECT.

The Boy and I spent the rest of September recoverring and most of October as well, but just after Thanksgiving I got to cross another thing off my list and started a new job. (This is what The Boy and I focussed on in our own 2011 recap – both of us with grown up jobs, outstanding progress I’d say!)

November we made our annual trip back to the sunny south, took in a boat ride and saw a ton of dolphins.  We may have nearly died twice on that trip (another story for another day) but what would a trip to Florida be without my life flashing before my eyes!  November also brought us the last of our new little babies for 2011, BFF Kristyn delivered one handsome little boy, and while I may have banked my knitting marbles on a girl – I wouldn’t change him for anything he’s so sweet!

December flew by, with renewed promises to increase my blogging time – (epic fail) and Christmas being on a Sunday, it threw the whole month into a bit of a tizzy.  But I got all of my Christmas knitting done not only on time but with days to spare.

2012, I’m looking forward to see what you have in store.  The Boy and I have some plans, not of the baby variety so calm yourselves.  We were saying goodnight to my parents last night and they said “2011 was a big one guys, maybe relax a little in 2012.” Sounds like a plan to me.

Some things I’m hoping are including in the recap of 2012:

  1. The Boy and I finally feel a little more financially sound – perhaps even have a plan!
  2. We are both incorporating a little more physical activity into our days
  3. We go on a honeymoon, or at least a trip by ourselves.
  4. We celebrate 3 more weddings that go as perfectly as ours did.
  5. We move
  6. We get a puppy.
  7. The Boy gets a full-time permanent contract… okay, I’ll take a long-term position too.

Finally, thanks for sticking with me loyal readers. I know things have been a little lax around here, but I’m going to stop appologizing for it and start typing! What can I say… I’ve been a little busy!

What have you got on your 2012 list?

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to one and all.

My Christmas present to all is I’ve sat myself down and rocked out a week of Wedding posts (it occurred to me that this is going to go on a REALLY long time if I only post once a week). But then Christmas was on a Sunday – and that screwed me up…. so you get a Saturday post this week.

If you’re interested in all things wedding – enjoy the week! If you’re not well – sorry…. enjoy your week off.

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as The Boy and I did. We got a wonderful surprise at my parents house…..

But you’ll have to wait.

Merry Christmas!!

Oh Christmas Tree

I love Christmas. LOVE IT! I love all the traditions, I love finding the perfect something for every person on my list. I love the treats, I love the delicious meals. And not to get too sappy but I love the opportunity to take a little time out and spend some down time with the people I love the most.

I love the decorations and I love the tree. LOVE IT!

Enter, point of contention in the newlywed household.  Last year, you will recall the Boy and I got our very first Christmas tree together.  It was little but it was well loved. It may have been a bit of a Charlie Brown tree but it was our Charlie Brown tree and that counted for something.

This year, maybe it’s the rain, the unseasonably warm temperatures, the lack of fluffy white snow – the Boy has been a bit lacking in Christmas spirit and had the audacity to suggest that we forego the tree this year.  Forego? The tree? Are you cancelling Christmas too?  He tried to use his powers of logic –
“We aren’t at home for Christmas” – What is your point exactly?
“It’s so hot in our apartment the tree will be so dry by the time we get home and we don’t have a vaccum that works worth a damn – what a mess, let’s forget it.” – I’d rather not.
“I can think of other things we can spend the money on” – Saving is for suckers
“I can’t believe this is $25 for a tiny little tree!” – I could insist on a full size $80 tree if you prefer.

Since the name of the game is “I win” I being me – we obviously got a tree, though he did make me decorate it myself.


Falala-lala-lala-la-la

Last year in addition to our little tree, my lovely parents happily settled into their new home in the north went out hunting for a beautiful tree to grace their new high ceilings.  It was beautiful alright, but it nearly cost us the life of my dad as he is no longer 25 and should not be pulling a 12′ tree through 3′ of snow… by himself.  So this year in an effort to have the best of both worlds we all went tree hunting as a family.

I haven’t done this in a really long time. I actually can’t remember the last time we went to cut down a tree ourselves.  We used to do it every year, but somewhere along the line (I’m thinking probably when the siblings went to univeristy and there wasn’t enough people around to cut and carry a tree out of the bush) we stopped, and kept it real, but with lot or nursery trees. I may have forgotten how to dress for the activity, but we had a lot of fun, and the Boy may have found just a little Christmas spirit (although he’ll deny it to the end).

Tall and skinny, the perfect tree to get the festivities kicked off.

Are you ready for Christmas?

Is it just me or is the whole Christmas on a Sunday thing throwing everyone for a loop?

Is everyone else this busy?

The Boy and I have been home from Florida for a little over two weeks. It occurred to me when we were there that all of our weekends were accounted for until January.  For reals.

I know ’tis the season and all that jazz but seriously? This is crazy.

Part of the busyness is because The Boy is coaching again this year, and his two weekend away road trips both happen to be in the first half of the season.  Part of it is because Christmas is coming and we’ve got some pre-Christmas stuff coming up.  And part of it is because we’re just so popular. Ha! Just kidding.

This weekend was going to be our only nothing weekend before Christmas but plans changed when The Boy’s brother and family made an unexpected trip East home.  They’re living in the land of milk and honey Alberta and made a trip back before their little one turns two and is full price on the airplane.

Needless to say with the littles (ages 3 and 2) living on the other side of the country we don’t know them terribly well.  We’ve only seen them three times and twice respectively but they are blog worthy because a. they are our only nieces, b. they are two of the most loving kids I have ever met and c.  we used our new camera. 😛

I give you little 1

This little likes to pose for the camera

and little 2

This little likes to grab the camera - pose not so much.

Funny things we heard this weekend:

1. When we arrived on Friday and were greeted at the door by Little 1, the following conversation happend:

Little’s mom: “Do you know who these guys are?”

Little 1: “No.”

Mom: Who have you been waiting for all night

Little 1: “Uncle The Boy and Aunt Meaghan”

Mom: Well that’s them!

Little 1:”No.”

Mom: “Yes it is. That’s them – can you go and give them a hug and say hi?”

Little 1: (After thinking about it for a minute) “Oh! Uncle The Boy and Aunt Meaghan! I’ve been waiting for you!”

2.  While sitting on the couch shortly after arriving and being introduced to Little 2:

Little 2: “Aunt Meaghan.”

Me: “Yes Little 2”

Little 2: “I love you.”

Me: “Oh! That’s so nice I love you too!”

Little 2: “Okay”

3. Our wake up call:

After 5 minutes of listening to Little 1 call out “Uncle The Boy, Aunt Meaghan. Uncle The Boy, Aunt Meaghan” I opened my eyes at 8am to find her standing beside our air-mattress in the basement.

Little 1: “Mommy and Daddy said they’re still sleeping so you need to make me breakfast”

Me: “Oh, did they.  What would you like for breakfast Little 1?”

Little 1: “Um. I don’t know.”

Me: “Well you decide and then come back and let me know.”

Little 1: (After considering for a good minute) “Aunt Meaghan, I should have Fruit Loops because they’re my favourite”

Sounds like a good reason.  I got up and made her breakfast.

 

Next weekend the Boy is away.

The weekend after that we’re back at the in-laws (hehe) for some Christmasing .

The weekend after that we’re decorating and tree cutting.

The weekend after that it’s Christmas.

Falalalala indeed!

What funny things has a little said to you recently?

I did that already

I knit the Whisper Cardigan from 2009 Spring Interweave Knits magazine for my Sista for Christmas.

It didn’t fit.

Like it REALLY didn’t fit.  She couldn’t put her arms down.  Seriously too small.

The annoying part is I knew it wasn’t going to fit but I kept knitting hoping that when it was all finished it would somehow grow and miraculously fit.  It didn’t.

I thought about simply tearing it out.  But I hadn’t blocked it. I’ve been putting it off. I don’t see the point.  It’s SO small. I repeat – SHE CAN’T PUT HER ARMS DOWN.

There might be another thing too.  I’ve already knit this sweater. It hurts me to tear it out and start again. It just doesn’t seem right.

And another thing… it’s now February. February means I’m no longer late with a Christmas gift… I’m starting early on next year.

So what do you think knitters?  Any suggestions on other lace weight sweaters…. or other sweaters I could knit up with ease – I love top down.

What do you think Sista – any requests?

How do you gear up to re-knit a sweater? Can you do it? Or do you start again with something else?

Christmas Round-up

No YouTube Friday today… instead knitting.

It started with 2 pairs of socks, and a knitting fair.  I decided I would knit a pair of socks for a couple of friends for Christmas, an easy budget friendly, thoughtful gift.  4 individual socks… 3 balls of yarn.  No problem.

And then it grew… and grew and grew.

And by the end of my Christmas 2010 season I had completed and gifted 7 pairs of socks, 2 toques and a sweater.

How did this happen?  It started innocently enough I finished the original 2 pair.  So I bought yarn for another pair. 3 pair… not bad. Definitely not biting off more than I could handle.  Then I was knitting at the Boy’s parents house and they asked what I was working on.  I said, “I’m knitting socks for Christmas, everyone’s getting socks”   The Boy’s mom said “Oh! That’s great! I’ll look forward to it.”  I didn’t mean EVERYONE everyone, but since that was still October I decided no problem… I could take on a couple more.

I forgot to take a complete picture of all 7... here's 4

Then about 2 weeks before Christmas my lovely sista had a question. “Do you think you could knit a toque for Christmas?”  The sista doesn’t knit… she makes requests. This request was for her man-friend.  Since I still hadn’t thought of a gift for him, I took on the challenge, with the understanding he might get it still on the needles.  I went over how many projects I still had on the go, and pointed out that My Boy, would be getting balls of yarn since he told me not to worry about knitting for him.

Sista gave me shit.  Apparently it sounded terrible to say my Fiance (BTW the Boy hates that word) only made the B-list.  I should really knit him something if I’m doing it for everyone else.

So I headed back to the yarn store.  Serenity Knits in Newmarket is a little closer than my usual Mary’s Yarns in Unionville and since I was on a deadline – I had no time to spend on a longer trip than necessary.  So I picked two toque patterns.  “Ribbed for his Pleasure” and “Knotty But Nice“.  And I knit.  And I knit. And I knit.

And I finished The Boy’s Toque – described as a perfect thank you for the man in your life who doesn’t mention that your stash is constantly multiplying and that you’ve brought your knitting to bed while wearing scrubby pajamas.  Sounded perfect – and if he didn’t love it I did.

Look how cute!

Sista’s man got a toque still on the needles… but it was finished, torn out (too long) and re-knit by December 26 so that’s not bad.  It was a 2×2 rib, and described as nothing fancy.  Just a plain hat for a plain toque lover… with a dirty name.

The Boy modelling another man's toque

And the sweater… oh the sweater.  It was supposed to be a plain stocking stitch sweater… nothing too complicated about it.  I thought it’d take me 2 weeks at a leisurely pace. I was madly trying to finish it December 24th, all the while fairly certain it wasn’t going to fit.  I finished it.  And I was right.  It didn’t fit.  Unless of course my sista didn’t want to put her arms down. So it’s back in my knitting bag and I have to attach it to the wool winder this weekend and rip it out… completely.  Argh.

Other than that, look at all of these happy faces.