Posts made in October, 2013

Baby steps (turning an old mauve house into a pretty little home, one fixture at a time)

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 2 comments

When we (rather bravely) bought our old mauve house, it looked like this…

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

And then we pulled up on our ill-fated house possession day (aka the day the previous owners would not leave) and (much to my horror) the house looked like this…

But, a couple of days later, thanks to some crazy amazing gardening efforts courtesy of my awesome parents, the house suddenly looked way better, like this…

Mauve siding on old farm house with red burgundy shutters and door

But, from day one, something didn’t quite look right.  This:

Yep.  The wonky, too large for the space, perpetually crooked, bargain bin exterior light.

So Sweetie swapped that light for a smaller, updated one.

ORB exterior light

And now our house looks like this…

Pink mauve burgundy and white old farmhouse exterior with oil rubbed bronze light

Which is way better, if you ask me!

Pink mauve old farmhouse with front deck and red shutters and door

Next up?  The house numbers will soon be getting a wee coating of ORB spray paint.  And then (next spring) a new screen door is on the agenda, since our existing door isn’t particularly cat friendly (and it is very very important to keep the kitties happy!)

Until then, I’ll likely continue to squeal and clap my hands excitedly each time I pull into the driveway.  Progress makes me giddy.  :)


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A bit about my kitchen (and badgers) (and big 80s hair)

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Kitchen | 0 comments

So it was only a matter of time before I started nattering on about my kitchen.  You knew it, I knew it…  it was inevitable, really.  Kitchens are my thing.  I don’t know why.  I’m not an especially good cook (although I excel at brownie making, and I can whip up a mean batch of soup when I put my mind to it.)

This time, I don’t hate my kitchen.  Really.  I pinky swear.  Yes, there are many MANY areas that desperately need improvement (since squishy floors are a tad annoying) but all in all my kitchen features a fair bit of awesomeness.  I love the layout.  I love the window over my kitchen sink (my first window-adorned kitchen sink ever.)  I love my dishwasher (I feel truly grown-up now that I can mechanically clean my cutlery.)  I adore my beadboard walls (nothing screams “super cute farmhouse in a tiny little rural community” like a wee bit of beadboard here and there.)  And I’m even growing to love my tiled countertops (trivets for hot stuff?  Heck no.  We don’t need no stinking trivets!)

(The rather random movie reference above is from UHF btw, and involves badgers, not trivets.  But the overall message is the same.)

Here’s what I’ve got…

White and navy kitchen with beige tiled countertops and white sink

Open shelving in white and navy kitchen with big clock over sink

White upper cabinets with navy lower cabinets in old kitchen with tiled countertops

See?  Not terrible.  Perhaps even sorta cute.

What needs improving?  Despite my overall quasi-happiness about my kitchen, sadly, there is a lot that should change.

There are the aforementioned squishy floors.  Apparently, when you add layer upon layer of linoleum and laminate and such to a floor (without ever reinforcing said floor, or, you know, removing a layer or two of the existing flooring along the way) the result is a certain amount of squish.  How do we know we’re dealing with a lot of layers?  Check this out.

Gross multi layer kitchen floor in old house

Yep.  That’s right.  Due to the (obviously) lacking transition strip from the dining room into the kitchen, we can see the many (many!) layers of flooring that make up our kitchen floor.  That represents at least 25 years of flooring, I’m guessing.  Those layers?  They’re all going away.

And then there are the countertops.  Yes, I know.  I just said that I like them.  And I do.  Sorta.  But I can’t seem to shake that feeling that they’re never ever fully and totally clean.  And, if we remove the countertops, we could also remove the odd, plastic, cream coloured sink.

Beige tiled countertops in white and navy kitchen

That sink might be the deciding factor.  It’s a little…  strange.  (Although I LOVE my faucet!  Swoon!)

Then there’s the colour.  Admittedly, the colour isn’t awful or obnoxious or anything like that.  But it’s very…  gold.  And it’s just not ME.  I like pretty, peaceful-coloured kitchens.  Like my bluey-gray-ish Stonington Gray kitchen at our little 1940s house.  Or the lovely and fresh mint-coloured kitchens that I’ve been most recently happily lusting over.

Red and gold kitchen with white cabinets

Yes.  I have future projects.  Lots and lots of future kitchen projects.

But first, I must finish unpacking.  And pre-winter gardening.  And the living room should really take painting priority (since there are no fewer than a gazillion nail holes in the walls and the paint colour there is rather putrid dark-ish mossy green.)  Sigh.  Yep, I’m guessing my kitchen may not have its hot date with a can of paint until sometime around next April.  And it’ll be quite a while before we complete our other kitchen projects too.

Until then, I’ll remain ever joyous about our dishwasher.  And window.  And countertops.  Sorta.

And, just in case you’ve never seen the movie UHF (complete with big 80s hair, a whole lot of silliness, and a little Weird Al Yankovic too) here’s a short clip about badgers…

Yes, it’s absolutely ridiculous, but it’s such a funny movie.  :)

Happy Monday!


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I spy, with my little eye, something that is beige (the art of swimming through a sea of boxes)

Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in The old mauve house | 1 comment

Oh, the boxes.  THE BOXES!  Sigh.  It’s like a never ending sea of cube-shaped beige-ness in our old mauve house right now.  When will we be unpacked?  Soon, perhaps.  Maybe eventually.  Possibly never?  Afterall, we never did fully unpack from our move into our last house – we found boxes that were still packed up from nearly three years ago while preparing to sell our little 1940s home.

It’s sad, and a little embarrassing, and quite true.

This time, on the unpacking list of priorities, our kitchen came first, followed by our bedroom.  Sadly everything else is still in boxes.  Our dining room, our living room, the spare bedroom, the office…  The miscellaneous furniture, the random boxes, the extra stuff…  it’s everywhere.

Please let me present to you Exhibit A: our living room…

Ack eh?  Yep, definitely ACK.

It’s absolute madness.

My friend Jess (who blogs over at Little Townhome Love) would have had her entire house unpacked by now.  And she’s probably chortling away (in her lovely, clutter-free living room) at my terribly unorganized and unpacked state as we speak (hi Jess!  Love you!)  Jess is an expert unpacker.  She has unpacking skills that I will never ever ever master.  She’s like an unpacking ninja, some might say.  Others might call her the great relocation guru.  She’s crazy for corrugation.  She’s bonkers for bubblewrap.  She can unpack an entire house in one, two days tops.  She’s darn impressive, that’s for sure.

Am I jealous?  Absolutely.  She has unpacking panache that I will never be able to match.

Me?  I’m a (painfully) slow unpacker.  And I’ve fully accepted my box-engulfed fate for the next week.  Or two.  Or twenty.  I’m sure eventually I’ll be unpacked.  I hope.

Until then, look for me under the sea of cardboard.


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Home sweet (old mauve) home

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in The old mauve house | 2 comments

It happened.  We’ve moved into the old mauve house.  We’re officially home owners once again.  And we’re officially elated.

Our move wasn’t without its fair share of drama, of course.  Our second floor bannister was rather ruthlessly torn apart by the previous owners at some point during their departure (likely to facilitate the removal of a box spring or an elephant or something equally awkward and obnoxious.)  And there was the discovery that all of our upper-level window screens are missing (so we’ve been left with a rather stuffy second floor – and while we could open the windows upstairs, we’d likely end up with a house full of wasps.)  (And wasps are like little scary flying nightmares, if you ask me.)  And there was an ongoing and very frustrating struggle with the past owners who were still slowly removing their possessions from our front lawn more than 24 hours after we’d officially taken ownership of the house, and who didn’t actually return for their final load until a full week after our closing date had passed.

Drama indeed!  But it’s done now.  And we’re in.  And we finally have a house of our own again.  And we’re absolutely thrilled and happy and giddy and all sorts of silly.  It’s pretty awesome.

And our move wasn’t without its triumphs.  Remember how the house used to look like this?

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

Thanks to some crazy awesome, heroic and rather epic let’s-make-a-good-impression-on-the-new-neighbours gardening, courtesy of my mom and dad (hi mom and dad!), our house now looks like this…

Mauve siding on old farm house with red burgundy shutters and door

It looks so much better!  (Thanks mom and dad!)  There’s still a lot of work left to do, of course, but the house now looks like a real house.  And a not too shabby house, at that!  One might even call it a cute little old mauve house with character and potential and lots of happy moments destined to happen within.

And, yes, that is a random garden gnome that you see there in our yard.  The previous owners left him behind.  I call him Harold.  :)

We’re now faced with the seemingly monumental task of unpacking what appears to be no fewer than a gazillion boxes.  In a house with very few hiding places.  Yep – apparently little old mauve farm houses don’t come particularly well equipped with coat/linen/storage/anything closets.  Did people in the early 1900s own winter coats?  I’m guessing so.  But perhaps they were “casually hang it on the back of the chair” sorta peeps.  Or nudists.  I’m not sure.  Needless to say, I’m already scouring Kijiji for cute (paintable!) wardrobes to fill this gap.

And, regardless of the boxes, the wasps, the drama, the ill-fated bannister, and all of the forthcoming work that’ll be required, we’re in.  We’re in!  It’s ours, squishy floors and tiled countertops and screenless-windows and all.

And I love it.


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