Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Basement Column

Finishing the basement is progressing. I hope to have some pics in the next few days to show where we are in the process. Currently the floor is being installed, which is very exciting! I am tired of looking at the subfloor.

One of the items that we needed to address what the basement column. I did not want a standard square column. I wanted something that had some visual interest. When is comes to basement columns generally you see the standard square column.
 There is nothing wrong with this column, but not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something with a little more visual interest.

The Standard round column, I just don't care for it. It seems like every new build home uses the standard round column. Just not my thing.

Now this is something that I like! I like the style of the shaker column. This one is bigger then I would like, and I would paint ours white, but I like the idea.
 We have decided on a shaker style column, with a chair rail height middle divider. It is already built and hopefully will be installed in the next day or so.

And the floors that are being installed, here are a few pics for you. These were taken with my phone, so they are not the greatest, and there is a lot of dust on the floors but you get the idea of what it will look like.

 It is hard to see the actually colour and style of the floors in these pictures, but it is a dark hand-scrapped 14mm oak laminate floor. The lighting and my phone give the floors a bit of an orange tone, which they do not have in person.

I can't wait for the rest of the installation to be complete! This is a small storage closet that will be used for toy storage.

One last look. The shiny silver underlayment is perfect for basement floors, as it cushions the floors, but also will add some warmth to the floors. We have also added a subfloor which I will write about in a few days.

Now back to shopping. I have so much more to buy to finish this space off.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Meal Plan Monday - January 27 to February 2nd.

 Monday - Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots, Yorkshire pudding, and of Course Gravy.

Tuesday - Pancakes, Bacon, Strawberries

Wednesday - Spaghetti with Meatballs, Salad and Garlic Bread

Thursday - Sausage and Peppers, Salad and French Bread

Friday - Chicken Pita Wraps, with Baba Ganoush, Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Cheese, with Sweet Potato fries.

Saturday - Roast Chicken, Roast Potatoes, Salad.

Sunday -  Homemade Takeout. Breaded Shrimp, Lemon Chicken, Peanut Noodles, Veggie Stirfry, and Spring Rolls.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Front Hall Closet DIY

I have been dreaming for a long time about converting our laundry room/mud room closet to something like this.

The House of Smiths site is one that you definitely need to check out. This beauty of a front hall closet is from their site. After seeing this picture I am determined that one day (hopefully sooner than later) we will convert our closet that is just not functional into this beauty.

Honey's (I pluralize a lot of words, not sure why but I do, it adds to my charm). Where was I? Oh right, Honey's when you read this, start getting ready. This is our next big project, after the basement, after the office, after the kitchen...well who knows what order we are going to tackle these projects but the closet is officially on the list!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kids and their Chores

We are entering the stage in our home where we actually have to list what we would like our son to complete everyday as part of his chores. Prior to this he would happily volunteer to complete everything and anything but times they are a changing. Now I have to ask him more then once to complete something even though he knows he is supposed to these chores everyday.

To try and help with this task we have now created a chore chart for him! Kids chore charts can be very helpful for little ones to remember what it is they are to do everyday as long as they are not to complicated.


Chore charts can be very simple to implement into your daily routine as long as you keep them simple and easy to use. There is no need to create a complicated process if what you are actually trying to do is simplify your life.

Currently in my Etsy shop I am have some digital downloads that you can purchase to help start using a chore chart in your home.

When you have your chore chart ready, there are a couple of ways of using it. Just print it off on card stock, laminate the chart so that it does not get damaged, or you can purchase an acrylic frame at most dollar stores and just insert the chart in the frame. If you are using a frame you will need to scale down the document before you print it as most frames are only 8x10 and not 8.5x11 paper size.

We chose to Laminate ours, since I now have a lamination machine at home (super excited about that). We use a dry erase marker on it, and it has been working out very well. So well that I also created a Homework Organizer for him as well.

We have only started using it today, so I can't say how well it will work out in the future, but so far so good!

It give him a sense of control, and 6 year old are all about "I can do it myself".  I want to start him off now with the tool to keep himself organized when he actually has a lot more homework. Right now it's only about 15 minutes a day of work, but when he does have 3 hours of homework, he will have the skills to help keep hom o track.

What tools do you use to help keep your kids organized?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We bought a Couch! Or is it a Sofa?

This past weekend, the Hubby and I went out in search of a Couch for the basement.We are restricted on the size because of a support post, that I wish was in a different position.We have been talking for some time on what we were going to buy to put in that space. We knew that we wanted a sectional, but what kind? What Size? Does it have a chaise? Do we get one with a recliner? What Colour? Leather or Fabric? What Style? How will it fit down the stairs? The list goes on and on.

We originally were thinking of the Karlstad at Ikea. I really liked the lines of it and I thought it would fit perfectly. I liked that it had a Slip Cover. With a 6 year old and a dog, being able to wash the cover was a plus
 The cons were that I did not like the colours that it came in. From my last post on the basement, I talked about wanting the basement to be light and airy. The lightest colour it came in was White. Ummm I don't think so with a 6 year old and a dog. The other con was that it did not fit in the space as well as I had hoped. It would have been a little to big on one side and and little to small on the other. The other thing was that really the couch is only has 5 functional seats. The corner is not functional because it is not a wedge at the front, and on sofa, while you could fit more people, one would be sitting on a crack. Cushion crack that is. It just did not seem like Karl was going to work for us.

I started to concede on the clean lines that I was originally looking for since I could not find one that worked well for the space and had the clean lines. I started to think that maybe it was best if we went for more of a traditional couch. Our neighbours have a sectional couch that you can pick the configuration that you want. Basically you can purchase almost a seat at time. The cost of this couch was more then we were wanting to spend but as it would fit the space better we had decided that if we could get the price within our new budget, we were buying this couch.

Off we went shopping for this couch, with an idea in our head of what we were going to purchase and hoping that we could get what we wanted within our budget. We were looking for an Elran sectional. Elran is a Canadian Company that produces a large line of furniture, including specialist furniture for home theater rooms. We went to a local small furniture shop that we knew carried that furniture line, and we purchased our new sectional for the basement. I can't find a picture that allows you to see exactly how it looks, but here are a few examples.

The one that we chose will be in a durable fabric that is soft to the touch, and yet I can easily clean it from dirty little fingers. The colour is a soft cream colour. Perfect for a basement where even with the 3 windows in that room is not the brightest. The Sectional we chose has 3 recliners, a wedge seat for the corner and a pull down drink holder/drawer. In total it has 7 really comfy seats.

This picture shows the drawer under one of the seats. How great is that! Perfect for storing anything from Toys, blankets, video game equipment. I don't know yet what we are going to put in here, but I am really happy to have it.

The same section that has a drawer, also has a pull down for your drinks. Love this idea. I can just picture us watching a movie in the basement on a cold winters day.

I am so pleased with our purchase. We have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for it to arrive, which is perfect since the basement will probably take another 4 weeks to have the construction completed.

I can't wait!!

Now to find some chairs for the space. Thinking of maybe 2 slipper chairs. Not sure yet.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Getting Healthy in 2014

At the end of last year I decided that in 2014 I would become more healthy. While I would like to lose a couple of pounds, that was not the reason for why I made this decision, it was because I felt that our Family could eat Healthier and that I could become more active.

I sit at my computer or desk a lot of the day. When I was working outside the home I was on my feet much more. Running to meetings etc. Ever since I started working from home I have noticed that my activity level has become almost non existent. In the summer when my son is off from school, we as a family are more active. In the winter I sit at my desk, work and hibernate. Who wants to go out in the cold. This morning with wind chill the temperature outside was -30 Celsius. I am not walking to drop off or pick up my son from school when it is this cold, nor am I walking the dog in these temperatures.

What have I started for this upcoming year to be more healthy? Well I am tracking what I eat more closely, and I am tracking my activity. To help organize myself I created some tracking sheets so that I can plan ahead, track what I am eating and track how active I have been.

I know there are a ton of apps out there to track your progress etc, but for me to see it on paper helps me feel more in control. I don't like typing my progress into a spreadsheet, or into an app, I want to write it down on paper with my trusty pen. This may not be the best approach for some people, but for me this will help keep me on track.
First I made a Meal Tracker. Every week when I am creating the Meal Plan for the week, I created a weeks worth of Meals for myself as well. Basically I eat everything else the family is eating, cuz I am not a short order cook, so everyone eats the same main meals. What is different for myself is the snacks I will eat. While my son may eat a yogurt, I will may have an apple with peanut butter. Every morning I look at my meal tracker and make sure I am staying on track. I will also set a Goal for the day. This could be as simple as make sure you eat your breakfast today before 10am (I always eat my breakfast late)

There are many different apps out there to track your calories and they do work well, but for me I need to see it on paper. After I eat each meal, I write down the calorie count, the fat, Protein and fiber. This helps me keep an eye on how much I have eaten that day.
 I will be honest. I do not like working out AT ALL. I will never join a gym and I will never ever just work out because it's fun. I work out because I should work out. Since I am not going to be doing the conventional working out like most, I  am tracking what activities I completed that week, the reps/sets or the distance/time. This way I can see what is working and what is not working. What I enjoyed and what I did not enjoy. I plan on using things like Just Dance or Dance Central to dance myself to a healthier, thinner me.

Last but not least, I am tracking my progress. I want to make sure I am losing inches and weight, so I will be tracking both. Some will only be interested in the weight, but I also want to make sure that I am losing inches. This tracker allows me to keep an eye on my weight as well as those inches which are just going to melt off of me. A girl can dream right?
I have added a package to my Etsy Shop which includes a lot of printable documents to help organize your health and fitness as well as your daily life. You will receive the 4 fitness documents as well as a 2014 calendar, a family meal planner and a Grocery List. This package will help jump start your healthy Lifestyle as well as Organizing your day to day living.
Wish me luck!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meal Planning Jan 20 to 26

Do you think we are eating a lot of Salad this week?

Monday - Greek Pasta with a Green Salad

Tuesday - Enchilada's with Rice and a Green Salad

Wednesday - Tuna Casserole with a Green Salad

Thursday -  Stuffed Peppers with a Green Salad

Friday - Breakfast for Dinner

Saturday - Grilled Marinated Sole, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Green Salad

Sunday - Italian Meatloaf, Baked Breaded Cauliflower, Mashed Potatoes and Glazed Carrots

Oh For The Love of Basements.

We are in the process of finishing our Basement right now. This is has been a long process, but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now.

My loving husband had the vision of doing everything ourselves. It seemed like a great idea. We could bring in the experts when we needed them, but to save costs we would do most of the work ourselves. Again it seemed like a great idea 3 years ago when we started. That's right!  We started finishing our basement 3 years ago.

The reason why it has taken this long is that we have other things that we enjoy doing instead of just working on the basement. Instead of us working on dry-walling all weekend, we would rather go out and spend time as a family. This has caused the basement that we thought would be done in about 6 months to be 3 years and still not done. After much thought we decided to bring in some help to finish off the rest of the work. While this is costing us more money then we originally had planned for the basement, it is well worth it.

Since we have someone working on finishing the basement right now, it means that I, oh sorry I mean "we" have to make a lot of decisions when it comes to finished, colours, flooring, tiles etc. I have always had an idea of what I wanted the space to look like, and how we were going to bring in cabinets to help keep the space organized for quite some time. It will still be a slow process to have everything completed to the way I, sorry We want it, but at least we are closer to accomplishing that task.

The Basement will consist of 3 main spaces, with storage rooms as well. The Main space will be a Family Room/Play room, an Office and a powder room.

For the Family Room/Playroom, I would like this room to function in a way that the Playroom toys do not over take the space. I would like for the toys to have clean organized storage that keeps the toys hidden away when not being used, however still easily accessible when it is play time. The other part of the room will be our Family Room/TV room. I want to be able to curl up to watch a movie with the Family and not worry about Food Stains on the Sofa.

There is will be an Office that my Husband and I will share. I want the room to be light and bright. I do not want to feel like I am working in a basement.

The last room would be the Washroom. This room I would like to have as a clean and crisp with a dark wood vanity, grey floors in 12x24 and light walls.

Here are some of the ideas that I have been loving for years and would like to incorporate into our space.
sarah richardson sarah 101 red basement den

Having the furniture light in colour, and wrapping the same wall colour up on to the ceiling is a great idea. I love that the pops of colour are in the cushions, and the accents. We will have a wooden floor instead of the carpet, and I would like to accent in Oranges and Blues.

Great idea to keep the window treatments floor length. It makes the room feel taller. LOVE this idea.

Laundry Room

This is the best idea of the bunch! Do you see that framed picture on the left hand side? Well that is not just there to look pretty, it covers the electrical panel. We will have the same issues in our office and will be doing something similar in our space.

There are much more ideas, and I will be going in to more detail as we go, but for now this gives you an idea of what I have been thinking.

Can't wait to share more as we move along. Things are moving quickly now and it is very exciting.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Meal Plan Monday - January 13 to 19

Happy New Year Everyone! Here is our meal plan for the week.

Monday - Tomato Tortellini Soup with Foccacia

Tuesday - Chicken and Vegetable Stirflry, Jasmine Rice, Asian Salad.

Wednesday - Baked Potato Soup, Salad, Grilled Cheese

Thursday - Spaghetti with Salad and Garlic Bread

Friday - Fajitas and Salad

Saturday - Grilled Chicken "burgers" with oven fries and Quinoa Salad

Sunday - Oven Fried Chicken, Quinoa Salad, Garden Salad.

What’s on your menu?

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