Category Archives: chit chat

Blogpodium recap, daycare + house news

17th September 2014

How has your September been so far, guys? It has been a busy one in our neck of the woods.

Like I mentioned before, we started daycare with Maya, which overall has gone well. The first few days she bounded in with a huge smile on her face. Now that she gets what’s going on, she cries when I drop her off, which totally breaks my heart. I’m hoping that that will subside soon? It’s funny right – one the one hand, you want them to miss you, but on the other, you want them to be really happy and love going to daycare/school/etc. The good news is that I really like our daycare provider and feel super comfortable with her, so I know I’m leaving Maya in good hands. I get the report back everyday of what activities they did and it always sounds like tons of fun. Way better than boring old mummy – ha!

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Such a cheeky monkey.

It has been nice to get my head back into work. I am doing some consulting in my field – public health and development – which is great. I really enjoy the flexibility of contracts and consulting. Because Dan has a full time, stable gig, if I have small gaps between contracts it’s not the end of the world. Right now I am doing a 3 month contract for a small hospitals initiative around Ottawa. I have also been helping a few folks/businesses setup websites (not sure how I got into the business of website creation… but one thing can lead to another sometimes), been busy with my Etsy shop (I’m in a big craft fair in a few weeks – my first one!), and keeping this blog afloat. Oh, and you know, the whole house renovation stuff. Needless to say, it’s been busy. Plus the long commute while we are living an hour outside of Ottawa (during the reno) has posed an extra challenge. It’s all fine – we just need to be hyper organized and don’t have much of a social life right now.

Since the last time I posted about the house reno, we have been able to actually go up onto the second and third floors and walk around. It’s really amazing to get to stand in this new space that we spent so much time planning and thinking about. It was good to get a feel for the sizes of things, and roughly plan out where furniture might go. Framing is pretty well finished, the roof is on, and the windows are going in as I type. The trades – electrical, plumbing, and HVAC – have also been busy doing their thing. I would guess that we are about a month away from drywall, which is the part that I am so pumped about.

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Probably the space I’m most excited about – my 3rd floor loft studioIMG_20140905_153622

We have been making decisions daily about various things – where plugs should go, how to integrate the older windows that we are re-using (to save $$), how to deal with the angles of the ceiling in the bathroom we didn’t anticipate, what roof and siding material to go with, etc etc. Plus finishing details like hardwood floors which need to be ordered and booked. It’s busy, but both Dan and I totally love it. We can’t help but chat house all the time. IMG_20140905_153626

I also headed off to Toronto this past weekend for BlogPodium – a conference for design + lifestyle bloggers. It was FABULOUS, as usual. This year, I went to a mixture of “the business of blogging” type workshops, and the crafty ones. I made a penant with the girls from We Create Hoopla (LOVE them!), and a shelf with the folks from Ryobi Tools. Oh, and did I mention that I got to meet Scott McGillivray and Bryan Baeumler? Yep, pretty much in DIY girl heaven.

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No big deal. Just Alicia, Heather and I with BB.

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blogpodium 2014

C/O Snapshot Photobook

There were over 25 amazing brands there, so I got to chat with them directly about possibly working together in the future. And of course, I got to see and meet so many of my blogger friends. It’s funny you know – like being in a room with a bunch of friends that you have never actually met in person, but know a ton about. I adore those girls (and a few fellas – I’m looking at you Chris!).

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So that’s the scoop on life around here lately. I have a few DIYs that have been sitting waiting to get completed and I just haven’t had the time. Need to get a move on, as spray painting weather is soon going to be a thing of the past.

What’s been going on with you guys lately? Has it been a busy September? It has all of a sudden turned into fall weather here, so I have broken out my boots and light jackets. Although I’m not pumped by the fact that winter is around the corner, I love sweater weather, don’t you? 

blogger conference numero deux

1st October 2013

So I told you guys how I went to BlogPodium last week… well, I’m at another blogger conference in Toronto this week! It’s funny how things like this end up being one right after the other. I’m at the LINK 2013 conference put on my SheBlogs. I’m having a great time connecting with other Canadian women bloggers and learning about working better with brands, being social media savvy, and growing the blog. We’ve had a chance to hear Jeanne Beker, Bob Blumer, and some fabulous bloggers speak.

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Arriving into Toronto. Takes a little longer to get here now with a baby in tow!

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Jeanne Beker (from Fashion Television) giving a keynote presentation

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my little lady in a big hotel room!

This time I’m here with Maya, and brought my Mum (ie. Nana) here with me to look after the baby during the day. Thank goodness for lovely grandmas!

I’ll be back to the regular programming here on the blog later in the week… have a good one, you guys!

it’s hot. plus some news.

19th July 2013

Guys. It’s hot. We have had super hot and humid weather here in Ottawa for about a week now. I am usually someone who really enjoys the heat (and I look forward to it all winter long!), but at 37 and a half weeks pregnant with only a window air conditioner unit in our bedroom, I am not lovin’ it. I’m hoping we get some rain and this humidity breaks soon. Plus, my hair is totally whack.

Okay enough complaining. There are much bigger problems out there then my sweaty belly and frizzy hair! Plus, it’s a good excuse to consume a ridiculous amount of fudgsicles, right?

I don’t have a blog post setup for today, but thought I would let you in on a little scoop. Guess what we did this week? Officially hired an architectural draftsman to start drawing up plans of our addition/second storey. Wooot! We had an initial meeting with him, then he came over for a few hours one day to take tons of measurements and chat design elements, and then the other night we met with him again and he brought his basic first drawings to make some major decision points (where should the garage attach to the house, where should the staircase go, etc etc). It’s e.x.c.i.t.i.n.g.

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The thought of making this home into somewhere we could stay for the long term, is amazing. With its current size, we would probably grow out of it in the next 2-3 years. Obviously Dan and I have been nonstop chatting about it ever since our meeting. It was so neat to see ideas actually down on paper. D even brought the plans into bed that night so he could study them before going to sleep (romantic, huh?). Haha.

We’re not jumping into this quickly – we figured we wanted to give ourselves lots of time for the designing/drawing stage, and then move forward from there. We have hope that we might be able to make the reno swing next spring (hello, rhyme much?!), but we’re also being realistic that we may need to save our pennies for another year or two. We’ll see!

Anyway, happy weekend you guys! Any fun plans? Enjoy it! 

the before-baby list

17th May 2013

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I am starting to get a little anxious about getting things done around the house before I get too huge/less mobile, and before Baby Sprout makes her big appearance. So as usual, I created a little list. I don’t know about you, but I live by lists. They totally help me stay on track and not get overwhelmed, and it feels so good to cross things off.

So here we go. I broke this list out into two main categories — the things we need or at least really, really want to get done before babe, and the things that would be nice to get done but will play second fiddle.

The “need/really really want to do” list:

1. Finish nursery!!! Check out Wednesday’s post for the full to-do list for that room. This is really the only “need to do” with some big items like cribs left to buy (oh and get and install a carseat… this isn’t related to the nursery, but definitely a need-to-do!).

2. Re-paint the two white dressers in the living room and replace the knobs. These two dressers (the ones on either side of the TV) are slightly different whites (one is an antique cream colour and the other bright white) and it’s always bothered me. Plus, one is getting totally scratched and dinged up because it wasn’t finished with the right paint. Time to haul them outside and give them a makeover. Oh and I have some lovely glass knobs just waiting to be installed.

I also need to do a bit of tweaking to the living room. We’re changing out the rug, de-cluttering, getting rid of the Poang chair, and getting some storage baskets to hold baby things. I want the space to feel a bit more minimalist before baby comes, as I know we will suddenly have an influx of more stuff all around.

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3. Finish “phase 2″ of my side entry makeover. You saw how I painted and added a wall gallery to the vestibule area, but I have to tackle these awful stairs. Pull up that runner, paint and install a new one, and stain the stair railing a darker colour are all on the list.

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4. You can’t see it in the photo below, but our shoe storage situation in our front hall closet is terrible. Just a crappy mat with piles of shoes all toppled on top of each other. Handy hubby has been tasked with installing some custom shelves, like the ones he recently put into the nursery closet. Oh, and I need to get new deeper baskets for the top shelf so we can really pile everything in there – the ones in there now are just too teeny.

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5. We had originally planned to replace the 3 interior doors down our hallway (leading to bathroom, nursery, and bedroom), but recently measured them and found out they weren’t standard door size. Because we’re going down the road of possibly doing the second storey in the next year or two, we don’t want to invest in doors right now that may not work once we go ahead with the reno (if they were standard size, we knew we could re-use them anywhere else in the house). So, I need to freshen our current ones up a bit with some new white paint (hard to tell in this photo but they are all banged up), and if I have time, spray all of the door hardware a matte black.

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6. I don’t even have a photo for this one since it’s way too embarrassing, but we need to give the garage a serious overhaul. Major purging and organizing is needed in there right now. It’s a nightmare! We won’t get into any fancy stuff this summer, but just a basic toss and a few new shelving systems is in order.

7. Last but not least, the white paint around the foundation of our house needs to be spruced up. It’s looking a little grimy in some areas. An easy sunday afternoon project.

 

Now for the  “might be wishful thinking, but would be nice to do” list:

1. Replace the light fixture in the dining room. I am really craving something darker and more industrial for this space to go with our harvest table and eames chairs (excuse the old photo that doesn’t show our new chairs!). I have been scouring for some good deals but coming up short. Maybe I’ll have time to DIY something?

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2. We probably aren’t going to tackle much in the way of our garden this summer, but it would be really nice to spruce up the curb appeal a little. I’ve love to add a window box, and paint our front door. Red maybe?

3. I keep going back and forth on the idea of installing some sconces in our bedroom to free up the space on our night tables. Again, I’ve been searching around for something reasonably priced and keep coming up short. Will keep looking!

4. The space above our bed in our bedroom has been neglected for ages. I would love to DIY a big piece of artwork for above there.

So that’s it! Too ambitious? Maybe. We’ll see how it goes. Even if none of these things get done, I’m still so lucky and grateful that we have this cozy roof over our heads to bring baby home to.

Well happy Friday guys! Have a great weekend (and long weekend to all you Canadians!). Doing any special? Cottaging? Gardening? Hanging out with friends and fam? Enjoy it! 

gettin’ personal up in here

21st March 2013

So my 3-year blogiversary is right around the corner. 3 years?! I can hardly believe it! This little blog has come a long way since my early days, and I am so grateful to have you guys popping in here on the regular. Thank you!

I have a fab giveaway from Reminded Designs and some other goodies planned for next week, but I thought it might be kind of fun to answer any questions you guys might have about me. Is there something you’ve been curious about? Where I got a something? More about my background? Something about my bevy of DIY projects? What products I use? Something about my family or the hubs? Or Baby Sprout on the way? Why I love turquoise? Haha.. Ask away!

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You can leave a comment on this post (scroll to the bottom and click on ‘comments’), email me (thesweetestdigs@gmail.com), or drop me a line on facebook.

Whatever question you have – big or small – I want to hear it!

xo.

the sweetest valentine

14th February 2013

This is probably the most fun blog post I have ever written. I am very, very excited to let you guys know that we are bursting with some extra love this valentine’s day…..

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……yep, I’m pregnant!! Weeeeeee!!!

We’re due on August 6th… which just so happens to be our wedding anniversary. Sweet, huh? So that puts me at just over 15 weeks along.

We found out in early December, and told our parents the news on Christmas day. We called Dan’s parents, and got to tell mine in person (we were on holiday with them in St. Lucia). Needless to say there were tears and giggles and excitement from all parties! Here are my parents – I had made them little onesies to tell them. They were the last gifts of our Christmas morning present opening. We had them open them at the same time — my Mum’s said “world’s greatest nana” and my Dad’s said “#14 for an awesome grandpa” (it’s his 14th grandchild!). Of course my Mum burst into immediate tears before she even got the present open, and my Dad roared with laughter.

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Overall, I have been feeling good. The first trimester was pretty par for the course- luckily I didn’t have too much nausea (not throwing up all the time like I know some women do – more of a constant quease), the extreme tiredness was crazy (I think I may have fallen asleep standing up on a couple of occasions?!), and I had some low back pain which has been resolved thanks to an amazing physiotherapist (it seemed ridiculously early for back pain?!). And now that I’m into my second trimester, I’m feeling like a million bucks! My energy is back and I’m definitely getting rounder.

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We have been doing weekly photos since we found out, so here’s where we’re at so far with bump watch (well, this is up until week 13 – I’m a couple weeks behind in the photo editing). Starting to get more noticeable, for sure. I officially can’t fit into my jeans anymore without a bella band (those bands that let you wear your jeans with the button undone), and I have even gone out and bought some maternity pants already, which by the way are ridiculously comfortable. Can I wear them forever from now on?

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So basically… we’re pretty darn thrilled! Best valentine’s day present ever.

I promise this won’t turn into a baby blog… but there may be some serious nursery decor coming in the next few months! I may or may not already have a whole secret pinterest board dedicated to all things baby. Ha! I just can’t help myself. C’mon, who’s surprised?

the resolutions

4th January 2013

I haven’t ever been one to set major resolutions at the beginning of each year. I think because I set goals and make lists throughout the year (this girl LOVES a list!), sitting down at the beginning of each year and writing out resolutions just hasn’t done it for me.

Plus, I wrote down a bunch of goals and things to do in my 30 before 30 list that I’m still working on hammering out. Better take another look at that bad boy. Here’s a resolution: I’d like to be halfway done that list by the end of the year. Time to get crackin’.

This year, I thought I’d throw a few things down on paper…. er, blog.

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When I started the blog, I focused solely on decorating/inspiration/DIY tutorials. Since then, I have started to branch out a little more and write about other random stuff (whether it’s travel, things you might not know about me, our quirks and traditions, etc) and you lovely folks seemed to dig it. This year – more of the personal stuff. No, I won’t be starting posts with “Dear Diary,” or get too cheesy up in here, but let’s get to know each other a little more. What do you say? Anything you want to know about me? Would you be down with filling out a reader survey?

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I never went to business school or took a commerce class, but I’m definitely an entrepreneur at heart. I had all kinds of little businesses when I was younger (lemonade and brownie stand, anyone?), and that passion has re-surfaced recently with my little etsy shop and even this blog (I have started to monetize a bit over this past year). In 2013, not only do I want to continue to focus on etsy and the blog, but I also have big plans of launching another business. Something that’s been in the works for a while. Clue: it involves collecting and decorating. I’ll spill the beans sometime before February. Promise!

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There is a ton of stuff on the ‘house list’ for this year. Somehow, no matter how many things we finish, the list never seems to get shorter. How does that happen?! Things we’d like to accomplish over the next 12 months include creating a much better storage/laundry area in our basement, replacing the interior doors in the house, landscaping, deck-building, getting drawings done for the second story idea (we like to plan and dream!), turn the garage into a more functional space, and tons of other small stuff (like room tweaking, which is constant in this pad). And who knows when we’ll throw in a whole room makeover in for good measure.

 

Daniel and I set some other personal goals too. Things like doing sports/exercise class/gym at least 3 times a week consistently (it’s the consistency we have an issue with!), eating more “clean” (cutting down on processed foods, sugars, etc – we’re pretty good in this department already, but there is always room for improvement), and adding to our savings account (safety net, peeps!).

What about you guys? Do you set resolutions? Why or why not? Lived up to your 2012 resolutions? Set any for 2013? 

#pinterestfail

6th December 2012

Just a funny link I saw on facebook for your Thursday morning, guys.

Ever spot something amazing on Pinterest, try it yourself, and end up as a big fail? I can’t be the only one. I tried painting a tray recently that was horrific – I’ll post photos soon, promise. Anyway, if you want to commiserate with other projects that took a turn for the worse, check out this compilation on Bored Panda.

Some of my faves?

(all photos via bored panda)

That last one has me seriously giggling right now. Just look at that girl’s expression and her hands. Bahaha.

Alright guys, truth time. Any failed Pinterest projects that you’ll own up to? Got any other funny links like this one to share? Send them my way – I always love a good laugh.

black friday dealios

23rd November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to my American amigos out there! Hope you all had a beautiful time with your loved ones yesterday.

So what comes along with American Thanksgiving? Black Friday. This day (aka super-sale shopping extravaganza) used to not be so popular up here for us Canadian folks, but it seems to be creeping across the border, eh? So many stores are offering crazy deals and getting in on the pre-holiday shopping action.

I thought I would do a round-up of some of the fab deals from my fave shops. And the best part? You can shop online and save yourself the combat-sport that I think shopping on Black Friday has become.

Blurb

Blurb, my favourite vendor for making photo-books is having a 25% off offer between today and Monday. I love, love, love the quality of Blurb books – remember how I made this one for our wedding photos? Make a book of photos from this past year, or of a trip, or special event. These make amazing presents for friends and family!

Offer: Save 25% on Your Blurb Book | Code: HOLIDAYTHANKS | Dates: 11/23-11/26

Sale Details: This offer is good for 25% off your product total up to a max discount of $250 USD, CAD & AUD, or 150 Euros. Each code may only be used once per user and on books made by you. Offer expires at 11.59pm (local time) on Monday 26th November 2012. Offer may not be used in conjunction with any other offers, volume discounts or retroactively applied to any previous orders.

Layla Grace

Layla Grayce, which sells seriously beautiful homewares, clothing, and accessories, is offering 15% off the ENTIRE site (some exclusions apply) with promo code HOLIDAY valid 11/22 through 11/27.

**Canadians alert: They don’t offer shipping to Canada, so you would need to have somewhere in the States where you can ship to. 

Stella and Dot

Stella & Dot, if you haven’t already heard of them, sells totally gorgeous jewellery. I have a some earrings from them that I ADORE. Anything from the store would make a great gift for a special gal in your life! They are offering an additional 25% off sale items.

If you are in Canada and want to order from my fab sister-in-law (out of Toronto), check out her stella + dot page here: http://www.stelladot.com/sites/ginnygonneau.

Stella & Dot will offer an extra 25% off sale items valid Thursday, 11/22 through Sunday, 11/25. No promo code required. 

Tiny Prints

I don’t know if you have come across Tiny Prints before, but they have the most beautiful personalized stationary. They are great for things like holiday cards or calendars (both are things that I make online every year!).

Today only, they are offering 20% off storewide. No minimum purchase, promo code: 20NOVSW.

Plus $10 off holiday cards (again, no minimum purchase and today only). Promo code: DOD1123

You know what I’ll be doing tonight!

Tiny Prints Holiday Cards

HomeSav

HomeSav, where I just bought some eiffel dining room chairs (still waiting for them to arrive!), have a special today on some KitchenAid mixers. They also have a bunch of other crazy good sales going on…

Joss & Main

Joss & Main, another flash sale site (like HomeSav), are having some great sales. I pretty much drool over their furniture, accessories, rugs, and lighting on a daily basis. You’ll need to sign up to see the sales.

West Elm

West Elm, one of my absolute favourite shops for beautiful housewares (they have some gorgeous winter-y accessories right now!), is having a sale with a higher percentage off the more you spend. If you had been eyeing something big there lately (like a rug or piece of furniture), now might be the time to buy it. We don’t have a West Elm in Ottawa (boo!), but they do have decent shipping prices in Canada.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg of the deals out there today and this weekend. If you have any favourite stores that aren’t listed above, you should check them out online and see if they have any promotions. I have a few things on my list (make holiday cards, a calendar, get stocking stuffers) that I will be doing today and tomorrow to save a few dolla dolla bills.

I love a good sale. I very, very rarely buy anything full price unless it’s handmade (like things off etsy or at arts/crafts shows). What about you guys? Are you sale shoppers? Love or hate the crowds? Prefer to do your shopping in person or online? Will you be doing any shopping this weekend? 

when to hire a professional

20th November 2012

You guys know how I love to DIY things around my place. In just about every situation, I would rather save myself some dinero and DIY it up. BUT… one area where I would rather pay the professionals? My mane. I got my hair did this past weekend, and it’s the first time I’ve been auburn/brown in FOREVER. I have been various shades of blonde ever since I grabbed that first box of bleach dye as a fourteen-year old gal. Well, no longer!

My hair stylist had actually done an ombre thing to my hair last time I was in — darker auburn roots, fading out to my usual blonde at the ends. It was a perfect way to test out whether I would like the darker colour and gave me a chance to get used to it before going full on. You can kinda see it in these photos from when I was working on my harvest table.

I’m definitely doing a few double-takes as I walk by the mirror, and my Mum even gazed over me in a crowd on Sunday because she was looking for my blonde head… but I’m digging it! It’s fun to change it up.

What about you guys? Let’s forget home decor today and just talk hair, shall we? Do you dye your hair? Do it at home or at the salon? Done a new colour lately that you’re loving?