May 31, 2011

Our House Part 1

This is my house,





 and this is our new lawn ornament.





I've mentioned before that we felt God pushing us in this direction and well it's a looong story of how we came to this point.  Here's the short and sweet version. For a year now we haven't known what it was exactly we should be doing - we tossed around ideas of moving to a duplex, flipping a few houses, moving to a new city, selling off everything and traveling across the county, staying put, you name it and we've probably contemplated it! 

Then we were certain for a long time that God was calling us away, to a city about 8 hours from where we live now and it was this calling that forced us to finally finish the renovations and get our house market ready. 

So we did, finished it up and after much prayer and some more contemplating we have listed it.  But I'm not sure what the next step is. 

Truth is I had started this post over a week ago and in the original draft I was telling you all about the wonderful country home we had put an offer in on....but since then we got beat out by another offer.  So we sit with our house on the market and no idea where God is taking us....

So until I know more I shall just delight you all with pictures of our house.  It has been three and a half years of renos and I have a few before shots but not many.  I guess moving into a reno home when your first baby is only five months old means you don't think to take pictures of the dumpy wreck but instead, a few thousand of your kid!    For example, here's Olivia at 5 months old, shortly after moving in.




Awww baby girl!  Don't you love her mohawk?  She had it from the day she was born until she turned one and her hair got too long to stand up.  I'll have to show more pictures another day about that....but not today, today is suppose to be house pictures... ;)




I'll start with the living room.  We didn't do a whole lot in here, paint, crown molding, new ceiling fan, refinished the floors and my hubby did the built-in corner book shelf.  It's a nice cozy room that gets great afternoon sun!









Next our dining room.  Again, mostly cosmetic.  Removing wallpaper, painting, new chair rail, refinishing the floors, new light fixture, removed a wood stove (because it took up the whole room and there was no where to put a table) and fixed the hole in the ceiling from the chimney. 



Before
 

After
 
I'll post another time about how I fixed the whole in the ceiling.  It turned out great and keeps with the original character of the house!


Now, my favourite room - the kitchen!

I didn't get a picture of it with the old appliances, the ones here are the ones we bought when we purchased the home, the old ones were black....and kinda scary....  but yes, that is the floor, not sure why the previous owners did that to the floor....but anyways, we fixed it up good!


Kitchen Before

Kitchen After
And my beloved window seat - this is the space before:

Before window seat

And now, ah bliss!  This is where we have our morning coffee and I usually have my devotional time and quite often blog from here.  And bonus - it has storage underneath! Love it! :)





So obviously we redid the floors, sanded them down to their original glory.  We also refaced the cabinets, painted, added crown molding, re-arranged the fridges location, new faucet and of course some loving personal touches!



Off the back of the kitchen is our laundry/mudroom with second stair case and a four piece bathroom.  Here we mainly did painting and a new sink and counter top.  My hubby also re-enforced the floor as it need some extra bracing.








 That sums up the first floor for yah.  I'll post again with the second floor and maybe by that time I'll have more info in regards to where we're going and what God has in store for us.....then again maybe not! ;)





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May 13, 2011

Fun and Games - Baby Shower Style

Last weekend, amongst Mother's Day and our anniversary, I hosted my sister's baby shower. It was a blast! When I plan something, I like to keep it slightly out of the box. So I found a few games I hadn't seen before and put a spin on a few classics. I love entertaining and love making sure everyone has a great time - so this was to be a baby shower unique to my sister.
Our theme, because all good parties have a theme, was cute animals and neon - and truly, that sums up my sister! She's a sucker for all things cute and cuddly and as a child of the 80's she has not been able to give up her love of neon!
We played the classic "Guess Her Age" game, done up on a bright neon orange board. It was too funny - especially the fact that my sister did not win!
There was, of course, the "Don't say the word 'baby' " game, except we did not use clothes pins, but neon hair clips! Just look how great they are, especially on her friend Jessyka - needless to say, she won!


Well I'm sad to say that we played this hilarious game and I completely forgot to take any pictures of it!! I'm soooo sad, it was super funny and I would have loved to have shared it with all of you!!! Let's just say it involved melted chocolate and diapers.....


At least I have one more game to share with you and I have pictures of it, including process shots. It's a cute game, one that you leave set up and people can play as they mingle and munch - good ice breaker/social kind of game.

What you do is, using the letters from BABY SHOWER, you find an item (baby related) that the first letter of the item matches with the letters in baby shower. So, a bib for B, apple sauce for A, bottle for the second B, etc. (Those are just some ideas, not ones I actually used.... I had to be much more creative then that! ;) Oh and by the way...have fun finding something baby related that starts with Y!!!)
Next, backing on neon paper, I printed the letters to spell BABY SHOWER. Then I adhered each letter to a paper bag. Using a hole punch I punched a hole through both side of the bag at the top. I then stuffed in the items. Some I took out of the packaging, some I did not. I then added some tissue paper to deter peekers and threaded ribbon through the holes and tide it in a pretty bow. (I love attention to detail...though sometimes this is not a positive!)

Anyways, then you line them up and people can touch, feel, squish and squash the bags, just no looking into them, to try and guess what is inside. Once everyone had a chance to guess what was inside, my sister got to open each bag and reveal the contents. The nice thing is she also got to keep what was inside so it's like a gift and game in one! And it was surprisingly harder then I thought it would be but it was also very enjoyable!



So there was good fun and lots of nice gifts for her baby boy....who is due in about a month now!


 


After presents and games was CAKE TIME!!! ;) I bought a couple of cheese cakes because my sis does not care for regular cake. Using homemade marshmallow fondant and some creative energy, I created some darling creatures to top it off with!





Seriously - it was fairly easy. Once you make the fondant it's just like working with play d'oh!! And making the fondant is not hard! I'll post the recipe at the end of the post - but you really should give it a try, it makes anyone look like a professional! ;)


 


Anyways, I'm pretty sure my sister had a good time - I think everyone did. And once again I'm sorry I didn't get pictures of the "Guess the Chocolate" game - the one with melted chocolate and diapers...but I'm sure you can use your imagination...oh too much fun!




I'm so excited for her and can't wait to meet my nephew!!! SO excited!!!!



Well have a great weekend and get creative, I'd love to hear and see what you come up with!!!







Marshmallow Fondant - So easy, I could do it! ;)



Ingredients:
•8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)
•1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), plus extra for dusting
•2 tbsp water

•Food coloring or flavored extracts, optional


Preparation:
1. Dust your counter or a large cutting board with powdered sugar. Place the marshmallows and the water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.
2. Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. If some unmelted marshmallow pieces remain, return to the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth and free of lumps. If you want colored or flavored fondant, you can add several drops of food coloring or extracts at this point and stir until incorporated. If you want to create multiple colors or flavors from one batch of fondant, do not add the colors or flavors now. Instead, refer to step 6 below for instructions.
3. Add the powdered sugar and begin to stir with the spatula. Stir until the sugar begins to incorporate and it becomes impossible to stir anymore.
4. Scrape the marshmallow-sugar mixture out onto the prepared work surface. It will be sticky and lumpy, with lots of sugar that has not been incorporated yet--this is normal. Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the fondant mixture like bread dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow with your hands.
5. Continue to knead the fondant until it smoothes out and loses its stickiness. Add more sugar if necessary, but stop adding sugar once it is smooth--too much sugar will make it stiff and difficult to work with. Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be used. You can now roll it out, shape it, or wrap it in cling wrap to use later. Well-wrapped fondant can be stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator, and needs to be kneaded until supple before later use.
6. If you want to add coloring or flavoring to your fondant, flatten it into a round disc. You might want to wear gloves to avoid getting food coloring on your hands during this step. Add your desired amount of coloring or flavoring to the center of the disc, and fold the disc over on itself so that the color or flavor is enclosed in the center of the fondant ball.
7. Begin to knead the ball of fondant just like you did before. As you work it, you will begin to see streaks of color coming through from the center. Continue to knead until the streaks are gone and the fondant is a uniform color. Your fondant is now ready to be used or stored as outlined above.





ENJOY!









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May 9, 2011

Celebration Weekend

Phew, what a weekend!  We crammed it full!!  It was, of course, Mother's day - but it was also my sister's baby shower and our seventh wedding anniversary! :)

I'll post about the shower later, for now I'll share details from our anniversary and our Mother's day fun.



We were able to go out on the Friday night - seeing as our actual anniversary is the 8th, better known this year as Mother's Day. we settled for getting out on Friday.  So with a sitter at home, we escaped, the two of us, alone together! :) So, of course, our anniversary date, would not be complete without a drive in the country.... predictable, I know! :P  But lovely - especially when we found this adorable stone wall lined with daffodils! *heart*










So yes, lovely, flowery, romantic ish....but our next stop on our outing....well slightly less romantic ish...






An old cemetery.  I know we're not alone in our liking of old cemeteries...there are many out there who enjoy meandering through this testament to history....but probably not many who do it for their anniversary...!  ;)

It was quite lovely and the craftsmanship of the old stones is something else! 





















We found this old broken angel statue tucked away on a rock ledge....










...and then a movie and coffee summed up the rest of the night.  It was nice!  Some years we get away, out of the city for a day or so and then some years we stay closer to home.  I mean the best part is just being together, so it never matters where you are really!  At least that's how we feel!

Saturday was pretty much taken up with my sister's shower, which was a blast but that's for another post!

Sunday, Mother's Day and our official anniversary.  I awoke - after being able to sleep in....to 7:30, woohoo! to hear my hubby and little ones downstairs.  This was the breakfast he so lovingly prepared for me!



So yeah, I already told him that everyone in blog land is going to think I'm one spoiled gal!  And I am! ;)  But trust me, he's one spoiled man as well! ;)


I don't care for breakfast in bed, so that's why we eat at the table.  It's really not my thing....can't even actually figure out why people like it?!?!  But that's them not me - so this was super sweet.  I love my man and well, obviously he loves me!  Poor guy - having to combine Mother's Day and our anniversary!  Lucky enough though, we don't get gifts for either.  Just a card and sweet expressions of love and appreciation! 


We're slight romantics....can you tell!?!?


Breakfast was great, then church, a visit to see my two moms and then for the first time this year we broke out the ol picnic basket!
















I must say it was a prefect day! 



....ah but hubby wasn't done yet....one last surprise....a sweet treat to end the day!




...okay so I am pretty spoiled! ;)







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May 5, 2011

For now...

Okay, so things have been busy....real busy lately....not to say that no one else's life isn't busy - just that mine has been and that means I don't have the capacity to blog.  Things, on  a whole, are good and well I can't complain, just busy....you all know how it is! 

So anyways, heres what's up. 

I asked about the music and my blog.  Turns out most of you don't listen to it but those that did, loved it!  But sadly to say, the non-music group will win out....for now.  For two reasons.  One, is that I am currently too preoccupied to hunt for another way to share music on my site and secondly it takes less time to make a post when I don't have to find music to match.  BUT that all being said, I still favour it and I love setting the mood with music, so possibly, some day, I will reintroduce music with my blog again.  So we shall be music less...for now.

Ah, what else....

Well the endless renovations seem to have come to an end.....for now.  That, in it of it's self, is a long story and I haven't yet decided to bore you with the details or not.  Let's say, on the short and sweet side, that our gracious God has put a fire under us to finish up our house and now after four years, we have!  Okay so it's not finished, finished, but it's at a point where we've put in a ton o' work and if we went to market it would be a gem of a home to sell!  Unlike the state in which we purchased it.  :P

In regards to all that....we do think God is calling us to sell....the when and why, we are not sure of....for now.  Until then, we live in a nice home, complete with walls and closets!  And if anyone has lived with out either, you understand how exciting that is! ;)  I think I may share some before and after photos with you soon.  I just sadly think though, that we didn't take many before photos....hmmmm.

Onwards....

I have been having some good ol' fun with my camera.  Completely with an engagement photo shoot for my sister-in-law a few weeks ago.  I haven't been out with it much as the weather here has been really crappy....and I mean crappy!!!  But I did get me a second lens and started to advertise myself for professional photography work and yay, I have booked my first official client for July! :)

Thus, with all that, I have been spending what little free time I could find making a website for my photography.  Check it out here if you like:  kaitlinandrews.com  It's pretty bare right now as my professional portfolio is small but you can at least see some of the photos from the engagement shoot.  Let me know what you think, I'd love some honest feedback!!!

Oh, yes, planning my sister's baby shower for this weekend.  She's due in the middle of June....that's crazy...where the heck did March go....and wait just a minute what happened to April?!?!!??

Anyways....

Somewhere in there our car broke, we towed it away, got it fixed, it broke again, we towed it again and finally, it should be good.....for now.  We've also attended a few birthday parties, had Easter, some illnesses, a few drives in the country, ate a ton of kale chips, blew some bubbles and got new neighbours.

There, I think that sums up the last few weeks and should sufficiently excuse me from my lack of regular posting...for now.... ;)   I do hate to do these, "I haven't wrote in a while so I'll cram a bunch of stuff into one, almost-too-long, post."  But that's what you got!

Love ya!

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