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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Black or White

So last week, I got my painting mojo on and started painting everything in sight, well not everything, but a bunch of things.  I was in a mood to paint.  I thought I had a clear vision of what I wanted, but now I'm stumped, and I need advice.

So here is the wall that I painted...

Sorry, it's a dark pic, but you get the idea.

So I painted the top half Martha Stewart's "Ladybug Red".

But now here's the dilemma...

1. Do I paint the bottom half in white?


2. Do I paint it in MSL 277 - Anvil?

I have chosen Anvil for the front foyer wall (s) and the remainder of the house will eventually be painted in a light grey colour (which I haven't picked out yet).  The black and white Quebec City prints will eventually be hung over the red wall (as soon as I find the hammer).

My stalling dilemma came about because I started noticing that my children were leaving dirt marks all over the current creamy coloured walls and I figured... white will get really really dirty.  Oh what to do?!? What to do?

By the way, this is what that wall looked like before. 

And here it is again with the ladybug red... and the boob light is still there too.

So what are your thoughts? Should I paint the wall section under the red, white or the Anvil?

Monday, 29 July 2013

Colourful Kids Bath

Hey all!

So I last left you talking about the blogs that I was looking at for inspiration.  If you follow along on Facebook page, then you know that I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and adding colour into my new house to spice things up (I've always been a neutral girl).  I don't know if it's a mid-life crisis or what, but it's cheaper than a car.

So, this weekend I spent quite a bit of time painting, and my hand now resembles a claw.  Ooooww. I'll show you the rest soon.

First last start with what the kids bathroom looked like when we moved in.

Before - previous owners stuff

So what started this slight makeover, was that towel rack above the toilet!

It was not practical at all.  Three kids use this bathroom on a daily basis and none of them, were putting those towels back the way they were supposed to be. I was constantly going in to check whether towels were on the floor, in the sink, or in the tub.  Yes, REALLY!!

So I  mentioned to hubs that I wanted to remove the builder-basic towel rack and toilet paper holder and while I was out picking up a new towel ring and paper holder, I came home to find this.

Lovely right! 

The towel rack was glued/siliconed on to the wall, and it ripped the top layer of drywall off the wall! 

I forgot to take pics of toilet paper holder, but the same thing happened!

Let's just say, I quickly ran to make sure we had the paint in storage to fix our little problem. Although I'm not in love with the bright green colour, everyone that has seen it, say they love it and that I should worked with it.  So my lazy self has obliged... for now. 

I didn't bother taking pics of how I fixed the torn drywall, but Sherry did a post about it last week.  

It was basically the same process of the patch job that I did. 

So in the end, this is what we have now...

I picked up the shower curtain from Target.  It's Threshold™ Large Ikat Print Shower Curtain.
It's funky and bright. I think I paid $19.99 for it on sale.

This print was picked up in the Algarve, Portugal about 5 years ago.
I've never had a place for it, until now.

I think the colours in the picture match perfectly with the wall and the shower curtain.

I picked up this towel ring from Home Sense for $9.99 and the hand towel from Target for a couple of dollars. I bought two towels actually, one for the ring and one for when that towel is in the wash.
I like back ups. 

This is the matching toilet paper holder.  I went with the slip-on type holder, so that I don't hear the "but I don't know how to replace the toilet paper".  Easy peasy, lemon squeaky. And yes I folded the toilet paper to make it look pretty, and no, I don't expect the kids to do it every time they use it.

 And to add some bling to the room I picked up this fun soap dispenser  for a couple of dollars at Homesense (it matches the colours in the room).

And to solve our "towel" issue, I added three hooks to a piece of wood we had in the basement and then hung it up.  I may add the kids names above the hooks... maybe.

 You can see it behind the door. I picked up the hooks in a 5 pack at Rona.

And because I love a before - after.... here you go.



So what do you think?  Should I keep the bright green colour or go to my safe neutral- beige colour. It's only paint after all.

psst... follow my adventures on Facebook.


Paint colour:

Shower curtain and towels:

 Target - Threshold™ Large Ikat Print Shower Curtain

Towel ring and toilet paper holder:

Home Sense


linking up:

Throwback Thursdays

TDC Before and After


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Finding Inspiration


Do you ever wonder where people get their inspiration from?  I do!

I know alot of people that walk through new home developments open houses and check out what designers are doing.  I've done it too.

Lately though, I've been drawn to blogs, specifically home decor blogs.

I thought I'd share the blogs that have caught my attention, and that I'm stealing borrowing ideas from for our new house.


Our Fifth House

I love the dark wall with contrast of the white spindles and dark banister.

Our Fifth House
That Red!  I love it! Especially with the dark frames.  I'm pretty sure I have black frames around the house! :)

Master Bedroom

the Hunted Interior

The plum colour of the bedding! Although, I might use it as a wall colour with my grey bedding.

And what about this closet? Delicious!

Honey We're Home

The Girls Room

Hi Sugarplum
I love this colour combo, and so do the girls.  I especially love the window treatment and it will be something I will D.I.Y. for sure.

Boy Room

Thrifty Decor Chick
I love the blue walls, and red accents.  Funny enough, I took Anthony to Home Depot to pick up something that I needed and I asked him to pick out paint chips for his room and he picked out similar blue and red as in the picture above.  Kid has good taste!

Oh, and of course Pinterest is another place I look for inspiration.

As you can see, my goal is add colour to our house! In my previous house, I stayed in the neutral zone and stayed away from colour as much as possible.  I think I was afraid of it!.

So, tell me, where do you find inspiration?  Any blogs I should be checking out.


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

It's the little things

We lived in our last house for exactly 8 years.  When we bought the house it was over 25 years old, so alot of little things had been added to it, that we didn't think about or have to buy (of course we had to spend our money on other things.) And over time we added little things that made our life easier as they the need arised.

This house is about 9 years old.  I think we are the third owners of it, and yet there are alot of little things that are missing, that I came to believe were standard in every house.  Well, they have been standard in all of other previous 4 houses that we have owned.

So, what am I talking about?

Well, for one hooks in the closet.  Now I'm not talking about big decorative hooks that used in my mudroom, to hang your coats and such, I'm talking about cup hooks. You know, the kind that you  use to hang up extra keys, lint brush or small umbrella.

Like these...

I picked up a couple of packs of these at the dollar store and just screwed them right into the wood shelf supports in closet by the front door. I have them on either side of the shelf and they are perfect for hanging little things that you need frequent access to and don't want to go digging through baskets for.

The other thing, that I had forgotten we had replaced in each one of our houses was the thermostat.

I have become so accustomed to a digital programmable thermostat, that I sent hubby out to pick one up within days of moving in.

This what we had in the house on moving day...

I could never get the temperature right.  Was it 19 or 22? And for about $20

It was really easy to install, and now I can program the temperature as we need it and save energy.
As an example, in the winter time, I usually set the temperature about 1 or 2 degrees lower than throughout the day.  We're sleeping, so we don't notice the difference, but it's saving us money while we sleep.

The other thing that was driving me crazy, was the garage door!

It was making this awful sound of metal-rubbing-on-metal, that was driving me absolutely batty.  I was avoiding opening and closing the garage door!

We called Paul (the guy that we had used to repair our last garage door before we moved), to do a service call and  to make sure there was nothing wrong with it and to get rid of the noise.

Thankfully all it need was lubrication on the hinges.  He said it's a smart idea to lubricate the hinges about 2 -3 times a year.  He said you can buy a can of lubricating oil at any hardware store and just spray them into the hinges as I've shown you below.

These are the hinges that go into the track on side of doors.  Spray between the metal pieces as well as into the "tube on the sides.

These are the hinges that are in the middle of the doors. 
Spray the oil in between the metal pieces as above

One other thing, that I learned that the last time we had garage door issues is that not all hinges are made the same.  If you ever have to replace a hinge on your door, be aware that each hinge depending on where it is on the actual door has a number between 1 - 4. And each hinge moves slightly a little different. They are fairly easy to replace, as long as you have the right hinge. 
Ask me how I know this >:(

This is where you are looking for the number.

So Paul got rid of the wretched sound and now I can park my car in the garage.  

The last little thing that has made life easier was having a second car remote for the garage. The previous owners only left us one.

All I had to do was hold it up to the motor in the garage and press the learn button on the motor and badda-bing-badda-boom, it programmed itself.

If you have keypad on the outside of your garage, you can also program it this way.  Press the "learn" button on the garage door motor, wait until it blinks once, at this point you have about 30 seconds to  walk to the keypad and press the new code into keypad.

So that's some of the small changes that have made a huge difference around here.

Now, it's your turn.  

What little things did you find you needed to your "new" home when you moved it?


Monday, 22 July 2013


This year, Anthony had 3 birthday parties for his seventh birthday.  And yes, there was cake and gifts at each one of his parties, which he will proudly tell you about. Yeap, were crazy!

Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.


Well, ever since he was born we have had a pool party for his birthday.  It was cheap and easy to entertain 10+ rambunctious (usually) boys.  So, we figured, since this would be our last Anthony birthday at our Somerset house, we decided... pool party it would be.  The only problem, was that we had to be out of the house by end of June and Anthony's birthday was not for a few more weeks.  So we decided to have the party mid-June, so that he could still have a pool party and invite all of his school friends over.  Of course that week, as the Saturday approach, the weather man was predicting a big thunderstorm for the time period we were having the party.  In previous years, I would just would have brought the party indoors, but this year my house was packed to the hills with boxes.

Thankfully, the rain held off for about two hours after the last guest left and a good time was had by all.

No time for posing, the kids were constantly on the move.

Anthony surrounded by his girlfriends...  friends who are girls and his best friend Andrew.

The entire group.


On Anthony's actual birthday, I was overseas, but I had enough time to go out and get him a gift and I gave it to the girls to give to him on his actual birth day.  The only problem, was that one day, while Anthony was looking for his soccer shin pads and shoes, he came across a gift bag with Star Wars Lego and Lego Ninjago kits inside.  The girls tried to throw him off by saying the gift was for someone else, but he says he knew it was for him, he just pretended to believe them.

So for his actual birth day birthday party, Anthony, the girls, and his dad  and his grannie went to Eastside Mario's restaurant for dinner.  The staff gave him a birthday brownie and the restaurant sang happy birthday to him.  He also finally got his lego gift, as well as gifts from his grannie.
(No pics for this party, since the main family photographer was overseas ;) )


With us having his friends party early, and me missing his actual birth day, I needed wanted to have a"family party" for him.  So while I was still in Portugal, I started to plan another birthday party, where we could invite his uncles and aunts and cousins over to celebrate.  So that's what we had this past weekend.

Of course, there was cake and lots of presents.  My brother and sister and their spouses and kids, live a few hours away, so it was nice to have them over to our new house.  There was no theme, or fancy invitations.  It was very casual, which is all I had the time to plan for.

There was some lunch, some cake, some presents and then a quick run to a nearby splash pad with the little ones while the dads stayed behind to watch t.v.

Here are some pics...

Anthony and his cousin.

Who needs a pool, when you have sprinklers. ;)

This is Anthony with his two cousins and my cute sister-in-law 
with a teeny tiny baby-bump in the back.

(in case you are wondering the image on the cake is a golf course... hence the 18... you know 18 holes.)

So, tell me, any other crazies out there that have 3 parties for their child? Really, just me?  ;)


Friday, 19 July 2013

Saying Goodbye

Hey there... I'm back from my trip to see my grandma!

It's taken me a few days to get back into the groove and to shake the jet-lag.

Before I go into trip details, I did manage to see and hug and kiss my grandma.  Of course I'm not sure if she was able to hear or see me, although I'd like to think she felt my presence.

I arrived on July 8th at about noon, and although I wanted to go straight to hospital, my mom suggested we go home and I rest and eat before we headed to hospital.  She was in "Medicina 1, bed 63", which I gathered was a form of intensive care for older patients.  They allowed two visitors per patient, and they monitored it by taking your I.D. and giving you a visitor card  specifically for that patient.  There was a security guard to let you in and out.  I found it very strange that people were able to use their cell phones anywhere through out the hospital.  Very different from Canadian hospitals, especially intensive care wards.

We arrived at the hospital at about 5:00 and my two aunts left when we arrived.  My aunt warned that their was no change from previous day, and that the room was extremely hot (there is no air conditioning in the hospital).  When we (my mom and I) made our way to the room, I was prepared for the worse, but I didn't expect to see what I saw.  My grandma was peacefully sleeping.  Other than a feeding tube, you would think nothing had happened and that she was just taking a nap.  And she was like that for most of our visit.  Her hair was completely white (not grey) expect for a small tuft of peach hair by her forehead.  She was immobilised, so that she could not pull out her feeding tube.  The room was very hot, and even with the window wide open, their was no breeze.  At the time, the area was experiencing over 40C temperatures, and the hospital had no air conditioning.  It was h-o-t in there.  At about 7:00 p.m., she woke up and started to cross and uncross her feet, and fidgeting with her good arm (as a result of the stroke, she is paralysed on her right side).  The nurse and nurses aid showed up with her food, and shortly after they fed her, she became very still again, and fell asleep.  I joked to my mom, that she was hungry, and that's why she was agitated.  We left at about 8:30, which is when visiting hours ended.

The following day, we arrived at the same time, and my aunts warned us that she was not having a good day.  That day was probably her worst day.  She was extremely agitated the entire time we were there.  She constantly grabbed at her gown, cross and crossed her legs, and grunted.  Every so often she would coil her legs up to her chest and breather hard. It was hard to see her like that.  The room was extremely hot as well.  I asked the nurse why she would be like that, and I was curtly told that "she was probably hot and uncomfortable".  We left again at 8:30, and she had just fallen asleep, and but she was still agitated, constantly moving her arm and legs.

The following day (Wednesday), my mom received a call from the hospital... my grandma was being discharged.  Based on her state the previous day,  I was shocked.  According to the hospital, there was nothing left they could do, and the family could look after the rest of her care. We headed to the hospital and about 5 hours later she was discharged.  She was moved by ambulance to the private care home that she has been living for the past year.

Over the next few days, I visited her at least once and day, maybe twice. She slept most of the time, so my visits were short.  Apparently the evenings and nights she was very agitated.

The last time I saw my grandma was Tuesday, July 16th.  I dreaded that visit all day, because I knew it could possibly be the last time I see her.  My parents and I went to the beach to walk on the boardwalk and I kept stalling leaving so that I didn't have to go see her.  She was sleeping when we arrived.  She was very still.  Other than breathing, she did not move.  She had been like that for a few days. While visiting, she became very sick and brought up her dinner.  She did not move.  She had to be lifted so that she would not choke.

I cried.  This strong lady that had raised me and been such a big part of my life, was so weak now and helpless.

I cried for all the times, she had said to me after one of my visits to Portugal "I'm probably going to die, and we'll never see each other again." I would laugh every-single-time, because I knew I would see her again, because she had been saying that line for as long as I can remember.

I cried for all the times that I gotten mad at her,  that she had given my kids a couple of euros to buy some candy.

I cried for all the times that I gotten mad at her,  when she would come into my room as teenager as I was trying to catch up on previous sleep, and she would flick the lights on and say very loudly say "are you awake?".

I cried for all the times that I had gotten mad at her for  shooing my dog Bubbles away, when I was younger.

I cried for all those times, and all the good times too.

I cried for the time, that I got my call for my first post college job, and she was standing behind me, so I grabbed her and I danced around with her.

I  cried for when she held my children for the first time.

So many memories.

At about 6:30 p.m., I kissed her on the forehead, and said "Adeus Avo", ("goodbye grandma" in Portuguese). And I walked out. She was peacefully sleeping.  That is the memory I will cherish forever.

I said goodbye for the last time.


Saturday, 6 July 2013


The move went well last week.  Everything went according to plan.  We got possession of the new house one week earlier than we closed on our Somerset home.  We were able to go in and clean, and also move all the boxes and little things that we could fit into our cars.

Hubby and the kids, had a few sleepovers at the new house in sleeping bags.  I filled up the fridge, so that they had food to munch.  I like my own bed, so Jovi and I would head back to the Somerset house to sleep.

The moving trucks came at the end of the week, and moved all the big furniture over.

I got everything organized and set-up how I liked it.  I started making my list of what I wanted to do in each room.

But sometimes, things don't go as you planned.

My grandma who lives in Portugal, was admitted to the hospital with several health issues at the beginning of July. She was severely dehydrated, her kidneys were not functioning well and she was fighting a respiratory infection. She was released and then two days later, had a massive stroke.

Not being there, I didn't know how bad it was.  I couldn't get ahold of my parents, or of my sister, who is visiting them.

Finally this morning my cousin message me on Facebook, and told me she had heard from my sister. So I checked my own phone and there was a text there from my sister too.  When I read her text, I finally broke down.  At the time hubby had taken the kids to the movies, and it was probably a good thing.  I cried and cried. My sister had gone to see her and my grandma was unresponsive, and they didn't think she would pull out of it.  She was alive, but not really there anymore.

I went to the computer and looked up flights to Portugal. I couldn't find anything, it was like my mind went blank. I finally found one that I could afford, but it leaves the next day, tomorrow).  And there was one other problem, Haley is having surgery this coming Tuesday.  It's minor surgery, she has having her ear tubes removed that the doctor put in three years ago.  I desperately want to be there for her, but I also believe this might be my last chance to see my grandma alive, that is if my flight makes in time.

So, when hubby got home, we talked. He told me to go.  He would get Haley to her surgery, and Sydney to summer school and everything would be ok.  I asked him to find me a flight, and I ran to find my passport.  Thank god it was still with the lawyer documents for the house purchase the week before, I had used my passport as proof of identity.

So as I write this post, I have to say that although I had planned to have a bunch of projects to share with you this coming week, I have to postpone them.

I am off to say goodbye to my grandma.  I called her Avo, and my kids called her Vovozita! She was a big part of my life growing up.

I really hope I make it in time to see her again.

Keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

And also my little Haley.

I will be back in two weeks.


Friday, 5 July 2013

The New house - Basement and Backyard

Yeap it's me Jovi again.

So, yesterday I showed you the second floor and now it's time for the basement and backyard tour.

Going into the basement, halfway between the first floor and basement, is this powder room.

A close-up of the sink and faucet!

The basement family room...

Basement spare bedroom...

The back of the house...

A different angle...

Looking out from the back door...

So that's it.

Don't forget to check out first floor and the second floor tours.

I'm sure mom will be back on Monday, and if not I'll keep hacking into her computer and posting myself.

Over and out,

Your lovable fur-friend,


Thursday, 4 July 2013

The New House - 2nd Floor

HI, I'm back again.

Everybody is busy with moving of the big furniture over to the new house today, so perfect time to show you pictures of the house.

These were taken on the last walk through of the house before we took possession.

(the furniture belonged to the previous owners.)

The master bedroom!

The master bathroom...

And the other side...

Anthony's Room...

The other side of Anthony's room.

Sydney and Haley's room.  Those built-ins are staying but the blanket covering the window is gone.

The other side of the room.  The chandelier is being replaced.  That is a double size bed in there, so it should be no problem fitting in two twin beds.  It's a huge room.

The kids bathroom.  That green is bright!

The loft area, overlooking the front door.

So that is the second floor!

In case you missed it, here is the first floor.

Come back tomorrow, I'll show you the basement and the backyard.



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