Moving Thoughts

Monday, 17 April 2017


Hello blog readers!

I can feel my life slowing down by the minute!  These past few months has been so hectic.

But....we made it!!!

We moved in to our new home at the end of March.

I tell people that the Saturday we moved in...I was floating on air.  Nothing could get me down!

I was in love with everything and everyone.

I liken it to when you have a baby and you have tons of oxytocin coursing through your veins and you just feel so high!  (btw I didn't have that experience at all, when I had E.; just speaking from what I have read ;) )

The next few days after the move was a real test of mental endurance and resiliency.

Not only did I have to clean the new house...I had to clean my old one (including the basement which was scary and gross), unpack in a house that was still under construction, manage my work schedule, my child's schedule and extracurricular activities and my husband's lack of home schedule because of a filing deadline on March 31st.

It is a time that I don't wish to repeat.

I couldn't have done it without some real champions!  I want to publicly thank each and every person that helped me pack and move our house.  I reeeealllly want to thank some real special folks (and there were many!!) who took Emma to their house on the weekends leading up to the move, during the move and after the move, so that I could pack/unpack and clean in peace and productivity (cuz it's hard to be productive when you are tending to a constant chorus of requests for snacks and demands to immediately get rid of boredom).  I also want to thank my mom who kept up with my cleaning demands and kept Emma entertained and busy.



On another note...some thoughts about moving into a new build...and things to keep in mind prior to moving in...

- Figure out your Canada Post stuff

I was scrambling to figure out a place to forward mail to. Technically, our address didn't exist before. I needed proof from the municipality to provide Canada Post proof that my house actually existed....get all that stuff prior to moving as there can be up to a 10 day delay in introducing a new address.  In addition, there is a delay when you put in a request to forward mail from your old address.

You also have to figure out if you want to go the mail box service or if you want your mail delivered to a superbox that is more secure.

- Figure out your waste management stuff

Again, we called our local waste management company for a green bin for our organic waste.  There was a 10 day delay in delivery of our large bin.  For over a week, we had to put our organic waste in a large garbage bag, that we emptied in the green bin when it arrived.  We had to keep the organic stuff inside because it would have been ravaged by raccoons.

- Figure out your power and other hookups prior to moving

Man, we lived without internet for a week.  It. was. rough.

- Make a list..check it twice.

Make a list of all the little things that you notice around the house that need tweaking, fixing etc.  Make it electronic and take pictures on your phone to give your contractor.  It helps ensure they know what concerns you have and demonstrate the issue just in case they have to access the house while you are not around.

- Be thankful and try to take perspective

It's not the end of the world if something is temporarily messed up...cuz you just moved in to a new build....the majority of people will never have the opportunity to do that.

K.


The view from our bed


The last picture I took in our old apartment...Emma's height chart

Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, 23 February 2017

So everyone wants to know when we are moving in!

The short answer: very soon!

We are in the thick of installing cabinets, flooring, tile...we have countertop people coming next week...looking at installing our stairs next week...

It's a lot of nitpicky decisions: faucets, trim, sinks..

I enjoy some of the nitpicky stuff.  Not so much others.

The kitchen has been an interesting project.  We purchased online from Ikea. We (i.e. Andrew) assembled the cabinet boxes/frames and our foreman and another carpenter have been doing the install. It was a steep learning curve for them.  Not one that was necessarily enjoyable; I would think.

Thankfully, they are pretty easy going and don't hold grudges (btw my contractor is Graham Surette from Graham Construction and my foreman is Pat.). It's been a very collaborative experience, thus far, and I can't really think of a time where we felt out of the loop or upset.  If anything, I was afraid I would upset them sometimes with my requests and they have been nothing but accommodating.

I just joke with them and say that I am their Ikea kitchen guinea pig, as I am sure the requests for their kitchens will increase when Ikea opens in Halifax, later in the year.

We ended up going with a recommendation from a friend (Hi Heidi!) for our countertops: Livingstone out of Mount Uniacke (www.livingstonehfx.ca)  They are close to Halifax but their wholesale prices for quartz are amazing (with a $300 price for delivery).  Their email correspondence is soo sharp (which I love cuz I hate cold-calling) and they are super organized thus far.

Our appliances are all through our local Leons.  We spent a lot of time researching appliances. While of course, I haven't used any of them yet....hopefully the excellent reviews on the brands we chose will hold true.  We decided to go with a Bosch dishwasher, an LG fridge and a Samsung range.

Hold up....I know Samsung doesn't have a great rep....hear me out...

I wanted a dual fuel, propane convertible, induction, double oven, slide-in range. Pretty darn specific....basically a step under some small commercial grade ranges. It's not a common occurrence. Kitchen Aid sells one, Samsung does...and I have seen an LG one. The Samsung version has awesome reviews...not so much the Kitchen Aid.

I wanted the ease of the propane with the best oven for baking...with the convenience of a double oven...without paying the price for double wall ovens.

Got it?

Stay tuned to see how it works.

Finally, we are working collaboratively on our flooring and tile with our local C & C flooring.  We have been working closely with Kirk and our installer is Jamie.  Both are amazing! I am super pumped about our tub tile surrounds (check out my posts on Instagram) and our backsplash.

Here's some kitchen inspiration to leave you with:









Happy Thursday,

K.

Light Fixtures

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Hello folks!

Happy New Year to you all :)

Things are buzzing along on B. Street.  We have a special little girl's birthday this weekend.  Tonight, I was lying on my stomach on the kitchen floor and she came over and pretended to be a baby koala on her mom's back..."Mom, do you know baby koalas stay on their mom's back, while the mom looks for food?".

Wow.

All of a sudden she's 6!


In the words of Emma: "What the??"


Yep.



Things are going pretty well on the new home front as well.

One of the biggest challenges I am having right now, with the house, is lighting.

All of our lights have been purchased online or in Halifax.

For those that may follow me on Instagram: our show stopper is a 9 light fixture from Attica (that we got on a great sale before they moved in the fall). That is going over our dining room table. It's basically a light fixture that we never could have bought..so I am super pumped to see how it looks.  (On another note, light fixtures just like it are featured in House and Home magazine in their February issue).

Our other kitchen lighting is our pendant lights over the kitchen island. I originally wanted 3 pendants over the island. We ordered three from Structube.com.  I love love them.  One problem:  they are a lot bigger in person.  So we have three light fixtures.  But only two will fit..(anyone interested in an industrial light fixture? They only have a 14 day return policy and we are not headed up to their Dartmouth location, anytime soon.)

(courtesy of structube.com)


C'est la vie.

We also have purchased a super sweet pendant from Ikea for Emma's room. Emma has requested a pale pink ceiling and pale yellow walls. I think she has perfect vision for her room...and this fixture will compliment it.



Finally...we are in limbo for the main pendant fixture in our bedroom.  I ordered one on sale from Pottery Barn Kids (of all places!).  It's a Moroccan-inspired brass fixture that will fit in well with my navy blue accent wall I have planned..


(like this blue wall!)



or

I have a Sputnik inspired light that I purchased from Costco (of all places!). It would go well with the mid century modern furniture in our bedroom.







What do you think?  Are we Team Morocco or Team Sputnik?

K.


Christmas Wishes

Friday, 23 December 2016

Season's Greetings, Blog Readers!

How are you all?

We are working, dancing, skating, baking, cleaning, house designing up a storm over here on Brunswick street

Still a winner, Mark B.
.

Standard fare is to ask if we are ready for Christmas.  I am ready for a rest!  Is that what they mean?

But yeah...Santa will find his way to Brunswick street.



As per usual, we have made our usual Christmas Crack (the family demands it in their Christmas packages), Sarah Richardson's Pecan Puffs, and Five Star Bars. We added a new recipe to the repertoire.....Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Basically, you take my favourite Choc Chip Cookie recipe by America's Test Kitchen...CLICK HERE...and add 15-20 crushed small candy canes or 3-4 large crushed candy canes.  These make chocolate chip cookie magic!  The candy canes melt and re-harden as they cool...giving it a crunchy and soft texture at the same time. It definitely adds a festive flavour and appearance!



I am also making Brown bread today by hand....recipe from my friend Sherrie's old blog on Twentytwo pleasant.

Tomorrow: homemade white bread for toutons and maybe a pie...we'll see!


We are getting a turkey from 1000 Hills Farm...and Andrew is spearheading a spatchcocked turkey baking plan...don't ask me why...but we are gonna try it! (Read about the turkey tales HERE)

We also brine the turkey with Chuck Hughes Brining Recipe (see that HERE).

Anyhow, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with food, friends and family :)

If you can't tell...we are all about the food in this house!



All the best,

K.

Kitchen Tidings

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Hello again!

I find myself apologizing frequently for my lack of blogging.

It's interesting...a friend of mine recently asked me if I had been doing much blogging lately...and of course I said no. She asked why.

I thought for a moment and said:  I think the blog was initially a creative outlet for me...and now putting together my house is my creative outlet!

It's true I spend my evenings, (after Emma is in bed, and all the usual chores are done) looking at home stuff.

What's on my list?

Well we have been working on ikea-designing the kitchen. Picking out siding, vanities, roofing, lighting.

All kinds of fun stuff!  For real...a lot of people get overwhelmed with the shopping side of things.

I prefer to be decisive.  Plus I really know what I like.  Even when I am forced to reconsider an item, based upon price. I treat it like a giant puzzle...looking for all the things to make it fit together.

Ikea has a (really) slow web-based app that allows you to design you kitchen.  Andrew has been fiddling with it mostly.  It allows you to design your kitchen based upon your measurements and allows you different cabinet choices/options depending on what you think might be best. e.g. cabinets vs drawers; pantry cupboards, microwave niches etc.

I had done some research and found this link particularly helpful when it comes to planning a kitchen:  Of course, some people while building, get a kitchen designer.  We are on a budget..and in that case it comes in handy!

We are hoping for ours to look similar to this:


We want to have the sink in the island, and the dishwasher hidden in the island...along with a microwave niche. We are hoping to have tall cabinets on either end of the kitchen with some open shelving around the range hood. 

Certainly not everyone's cup of tea...but we are pleased as punch to design a clean, modern looking kitchen.  We chose Ikea's high gloss white cabinets: Ringhult.





I had done some research and found this link particularly helpful when it comes to planning a kitchen:  Of course, some people while building, get a kitchen designer.  We are on a budget..and in that case it comes in handy! It helped us make decisions about the width of the space between the island and the stove etc.

This link on lighting in a kitchen is also a great one!

Finally...we chose a dual-fuel gas cooktop/convection oven...

Well you soon learn that you need to choose an appropriate vent hood that will take care of any airflow that is required when you are using propane in your house (cuz of course, Yarmouth does not have natural gas in the area).  This link makes sure that you are using a strong enough range hood based upon the BTUs of your cooktop.

I seriously don't know how people independently planned kitchens before the internet.  Now, if you have a question, you can just type the question into google...and poof there ya go!

The only thing we haven't for sure decided on is countertops.  I am hoping to get at least the island in the kitchen as a solid surface countertop.  Not sure what direction we are going with the other counter top, that surrounds the cooktop...stay tuned!

K.




September

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Gosh darn it.

Where have I been?

Truth is, I have a tendency to feel blah after vacation and have a hard time getting back into routine. So bloggin falls by the way side a bit. Sorry y'all. I really do miss regular blabberings on this little piece of the internet.

In the meantime, we have been making slow and steady progress on the house front. Including actually doing the whole mortgage signing with the bank etc. It's been a very interesting learning process.  In fact, some people have approached me to talk about the logistical process of building...and all that goes into it.  While I know not nearly enough, I think for sure I would like to share all the things you don't realize or think about when it comes to building..maybe it might be helpful or interesting on some front.

September has been a big month so far. My little one has started school (gasp!) and I spent tons of time wrapping up with many kiddos on my caseload, as we say farewell, and they move on to school as well.

My down time has actually been spent perusing home stuff...preparing myself to make decisions (cuz I hate being indecisive...it's very wasteful IMO..but then so is browsing the internet). Sourcing has been interesting....but I think, all in all, I feel pretty confident about the aesthetic of the home we are building.  If anything, I am a bit too confident.  (Fingers crossed we can fit it in the budget!)

I hope to write some upcoming posts on the following...cuz I wake up some times and think about some of these things!!

- appliances (a doozy)

- light fixtures

- flooring

- kitchen

Cuz framing is starting and soon we hope to have a place to put all that stuff!!

Happy Fall!

K.



Newfoundland Vacation

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Well, tomorrow is my first day back at work, in what feels like a looong time.

We had wonderful vacation adventures in St. John's, NFLD.

Some highlights:

1) A seriously amazing trip to Ferryland, where we walked out to the lighthouse and had a wonderful picnic of Curried Chicken Sandwiches, Orzo Salad, homemade lemonade in Mason jars, and Apple cake with toffee sauce.  The selection of desserts were ridiculous and the sandwiches were on homemade brown bread. I love brown bread....


Emma tried her hand at some rock climbing and we foraged on berries along the trail. It was a windy day, but the moss under our picnic blanket held on to our body heat and I was so sad that I had a child to be responsible for at that point, because after that picnic, all you wanted to do was nap.



2) I really really wanted to go to Mallard Cottage, for supper while we were there, but they were booked solid on the evening that we had planned to go out.  Recently, I had heard that the Reluctant Chef was fantabulous so we made a reservation.

It was a 5 course tasting menu.  They accommodate allergies and aversions which is quite considerate.  I threw caution to the wind..and went whole hog into what the chef had in mind.

We had: Garden carrot prepared two ways - boiled and shredded/fried with ginger sauce and black sesame seeds.  (You really can't go wrong when you deep fry anything.  It was delicious.)

Scallop ceviche (!!!!!) with a salad made of a green similar to bok choy (he said the name but I can't remember the of it...) with a delicious citrus vinaigrette.  (Full disclosure:  I don't eat raw meats or seafood but it was pretty good!)

House made sausage with mashed potatoe, and a poached egg on top. (AMAZING!)

Cumin and paprika crusted sirloin with cauliflower puree (AMAZING!  Although the meat was a little rare.)

Vanilla poached pineapple with pineapple weed (which is all around us in NFLD) and a cardamom shortbread and toasted meringue (AMAZING!)

We had great company, great conversation, great drinks and a babysitter. Great evening all around.



3) Picking wild blueberries.  Anyone that has read {this blog post} knows how I have grown into my berry picking ways.

In a secret spot in Harbour Main, just a few minutes from my nan's house, you could pick berries by the fistful.  They were as large as high bush berries, you could get here in Nova Scotia.   Cue the sounds of the tide rolling in, a sunset and a child eating as many blueberries as one can grab...can't get much better than that!




4) A trip to Signal Hill.

I was a bit sad that we hadn't realized that Justin Trudeau was there the day before. Emma has a thing for him and would have loved a pic with him.  But we thoroughly enjoyed the interpretation completed by Parks Canada re: the shooting of the noon day gun.  Emma was thrilled and wanted a picture with the guy dressed in a traditional navy uniform.



5) A trip to the Rooms Museum.  We got to see a heartbreaking exhibit on Beaumont Hamel and tempered it with some wonderful interactive exhibits that are perfect for kids.

An extra long see-saw in the exhibit called Free Play
A piano that you play with light-switches (also in Free Play)

6) A visit with my 90-something year old grandmother. She's a sweetheart. Emma agrees.




7) Spending time with my nephew!  He has grown so much!! He's definitely Emma's favourite cousin.

Beach fires on a chilly evening at Topsail Beach



So it's back to reality tomorrow..but a vacation well spent. 

Looking to share some house stuff, soon!

K.