I have been meaning to post this for such a long time, but every time I think I will, I always say to myself, "no! It's not totally done yet", or "I'll wait until I'm totally finished and am totally satisfied with it". This has been going on for about 3 years now. Well actually, it's been way longer, but we really got down to business in the last 3-4 years . When we bought this house, it was just a long grass back yard with small trees right down the middle of the yard. There was no back door to the back yard and no patio or deck, just the back of the house. I hated it! What a boring back yard. We knew that it needed to be changed, we just weren't exactly sure what we wanted. We moved in August, so that first summer was a write off, we were too busy unpacking and getting settled in the house for anything else. We spent the rest of that year trying to figure out our next move for the summer.
Once the next spring came around, we had decided to remove all the trees in the backyard except two. The decorative tree in the back left corner where there was a flower garden, and a brown maple tree that is in the back right corner of our lot even though the flower garden was ok, but not what I wanted and the grass under the brown maple was non existent. After a few weekends, we finally had all the trees taken out and boy did that make a difference. We added more grass seed under the maple, in hopes that it will grow, and cleaned up the flower garden to look okay.
The next spring/summer, I decided to tackle the flower beds. I'm not one for flowers, so we pulled out all the flowers at the front of the house and along the side of our house and the back left flower garden. We got rid of all the roses, and the bushes as well. I like a clean looking garden, and not one that has a lot of flowers in it, so I stuck with Hostas, and black mulch. We planted some and separated some that I already had. We laid landscaping cover over every garden, so I wouldn't have to deal with weeds. I'm not one for weeding. I don't want to spend a lot of my spare time gardening. That's just not my thing.
As you can see here, we had just put our new door on, which hadn't been painted yet. I love looking back at these pictures to see just how far our home has come. Removing and replanting the gardens, pretty much took up most of our time in the back yard that summer. The next summer we got offered some free paving stones, so we decided to lay them at the back of our house so at least we would have a place to put our lawn chairs and table to have some sort of place to relax. My husband worked a part time job on the weekends that year, so not much went on with our back yard makeover, but all that was about to change in the fall.
I had been tossing around the idea of putting in a pool. I had grown up with an in ground backyard pool and was always in it. It was my absolute favourite thing to do in the summer, and I spend hours in it. Convincing my husband was another story. It took weeks! He was NOT INTERESTED AT ALL. He said he didn't want to wreck his backyard, he didn't want all the up keep, and he didn't want all the work. After weeks and weeks of begging, I had him somewhat on my side. When we looked into pools, we found out that it would be nearly impossible to put an in ground, in our backyard. There were so many obstacles that we had to contemplate, that we were unsure at that time if we even wanted to proceed with it. I really wanted a pool though, so for the time being, I thought, why not purchase an above ground pool. We knew that we could put that up in our backyard for sure. Because we were unsure if we wanted to pull the trigger and install an in ground pool, I decided that I would look for a used one. We didn't want to purchase new, if we were just going to get rid of it in the next year or two. I scoured Kijiji daily, and found one that I liked. Every week throughout that summer, I would contact the seller and ask if they would take a really, really low ball offer. We weren't interested in paying a lot, if we were gonna just change it out the next year, like I said. This went on for two months, but they wanted more for the pool, and were not budging. I didn't push, as this was just a tide me over, until we put in the "real thing." Finally in September, no one had purchased it and I contacted them again with our low ball offer. They came back with a counter offer of $50.00 higher and I took it. So off to London we went that next weekend to take it down and take it home!
We really weren't sure what shape it was in, as I purchased it sight unseen. It had looked good, but sometimes advertisements could be deceiving. To our surprise it was in fantastic shape. The only thing that it needed was a new liner, as they had emptied the pool when they purchased the house. They knew they didn't want the pool, so they took all the water out. Little did they know that if you let the pool sit with no water in the liner, it ruins your liner. That's was OK though, as we got it at such an amazing deal, it was nothing to buy a new liner for it. We gathered a few fellows to help us de assemble the pool. I just walked around behind the guys and put the hardware in labelled bags, and took pictures of how it was assembled, so we would know how to assemble it when it was time to put it up next year.
My husband borrowed his Part time job's delivery truck and we loaded it all up in it. We took it home and covered the pieces up with the old liner to keep them in good condition throughout the winter, as we were tossing that liner anyway. Boy was that one of the longest winters EVER! Spring arrived and we decided to start the process. Throughout the winter, we had decided that this pool, the above ground, WOULD be the pool we stayed with. Just with the size of our back yard and the obstacles of trying to get the machinery in between our house and the neighbours house, would be next to impossible, this pool would do the trick. Looking back, I was young when I used the slid and diving board, swam laps and swam end to end under water in my parents in ground pool. I had gotten "a few" years older now, and all we really wanted, is a pool to relax in and lay around in. We would just make do with what we had. (We couldn't have made a better decision! We love it!) Because we had decided to stay permanently with this pool, we then decided to level out our back yard properly. Our back yard started low and went up a small incline to the back fence. We needed to call in the big guns.
It started on the long weekend in May. What a huge project! It would take us from Friday to Monday to get it done! We had to level out the back yard. We used the bob cat to push all of our backyard back and forth to make it level. After the lawn looked as level as it would get, then we had get the load of sand up the side of the house to the backyard. Once in the back yard, we had to build up a round area for the pool floor to sit on. Throughout this process, we would have the machinery going up and down the side of the house. Since the lawn in between our house and our neighbours is shared, we wanted to be respectful to our neighbours, so we laid large sheets of plywood between the houses, so the machinery would not wreck the grass in between the houses. Thankfully we have some great friends, to help us with getting and dumping the sand and hiring the small bob cat and the "digger" as I like to call it. Half way through the weekend, I think my husband had a bit of an anxiety attack when looking at his back yard. It was such a mess, along with the front of our house. I think he thought "what the hell did I do?" We did get it all done and by Sunday we were ready for pool assembly. This was such a big task, We had our very good friends help us and thank God for them. I got sunstroke and kept getting sick to my stomach and my husband lost his cool a couple times when things just weren't going our way. We had to call over our next door neighbours and a neighbour that was walking by to help us erect the walls, but we got it up. It was all hands on deck, but we did it! But by the time the weekend came to a close, we had it up and ready for filling with water. What a weekend!!! It was one that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
The next few weekends consisted of filling the pool with water and constructing the fencing around the top of the pool. We also had to get the town building inspector over to make sure we had put the pool in the correct spot (we had previously went to the building inspector to make sure where to put it, and all the measurements needed to pass inspection) We also had to make sure the fencing was sufficient for the town bylaw and what other things were needed to be upgraded around our house and backyard to pass the inspection from the town. The next couple weekends consisted of getting everything up to passing code with the town. Which we did. With all the work and machinery that went into getting the pool parts and sand up to the back of our house, our side grass took a beating. We then decided to sod the side of our lawn and also make our driveway 2 feet wider, while we were at it. Again we were back to the town for permission and once again our driveway had a large pile dumped on it and we were playing in the dirt again. This pretty much took up most of the rest of that summer! They really don't last long when you are busy making a home!
So after all that, this is what our pool looked like for a year and a bit....
What a work in progress!! Now you can see why I was never ready to post our makeover until it was done....it just looked unfinished and a mess!
I'm leaving this right here, but keep an eye out for the final stages of our makeover in the upcoming days. It took a few years to get it there, so I'm taking a couple posts to show you our progress!
Until next time
Cheryl Ann xo
I have been a little slack with posting lately, but I thought since my old blog posts were not transferred to my new blog, I would do a blog post with some of the updates we have done on our home. If you have been following my blog from the beginning, some of these will not be a surprise to you. When we first bought our home, the decorating was a bit out dated. And when I say a bit, I mean way back in the eighties! With wall paper borders and all! Here are some of the little updates we did!
Our home is one of the many cookie cutters in our neighbourhood, so we felt that we needed some changes to make ours stand out from the rest. We decided to do some decorative trim on the wall going up the stairs. This will be seen as you first enter our home and all the way up to our main living area! I had thought that it was just " make a square and stick it to the wall", however there where angles and cuts that required math, so I contracted that shit out!! We decided to go with larger trim squares that would stand out well. Here are a few pictures of our journey!
My walls at this point were painted Benjamin Moore Stormy Monday, and I used cloud white porch and patio paint for the white. However, I have now painted the walls Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist and changed the white to Decorators White by Benjamin Moore. But I haven't gotten any pictures of it yet with the new colour.
Another update that we did was change all of the gold/brass door knobs to a dark brown. I got this idea from pinterest, and since it was budget friendly, I was all for it. I first took off all of the knobs that I wanted to change and place them in empty toilet paper rolls. I then sprayed them all the brown and let them sit over night to dry. I repeated this process a couple times, to make sure that they didn't look spotty , and replaced them on the doors. What a difference it makes! Everything looks so updated! I also painted our brass light switches as well!
This is the paint I used for this project! I used Rustoleum in Matte Black.
I have to say that I was very happy with the results. Although our most used door knobs are starting to have some paint wear off, this was all in all a great way to spruce up your home! You can find it here!
Another project that was budget friendly for me to do was update the colour of my bathroom vanity's. This gives your bathroom a "new feel", but you are just changing up the colour. I went from brown to grey in these shots!
I used the shade Amherst Gray from Benjamin Moore for the final coat.
This is the only photo of the painting of the vanity. The colour of the photo isn't very good here.
And last but not least, we decided to put in a barn door. Yes they are very trendy right now, but we were looking for something different. I didn't want the same old "barn door", but yet a contemporary feel to a barn door. Well we ended up finding one that gave us the feel we were looking for. Here is the outcome.
We were looking to put the door in our downstairs hall way. This would give our son a bit of privacy when he closes the door. First we had to build a bulk overhead to hold up the weight of the door.
We then needed to put a runner up for the door to slide open to. I have left it plain and haven't yet painted it, as I am not quite sure what colours I am going with down there.
As you can see here, we went with glass door and not a door that looks like a barn door. The frosted glass gives just the right privacy we were looking for. I have since painted the bulk head white to blend in with the ceiling down here and we just love the look of it!
These are just some of the small updates that we have done in our home lately. All of these are budget friendly and all for under $1000.00. Although they aren't that expensive, they still give our home a face lift and some well needed updates!
What have you been working on in your home? Do you have any ideas for me?
Until next time
Cheryl Ann xo
Now you know I can't go a holiday without decorating my bar cart right? Yep that's right, I decorated it for Easter! Check out how awesome it looked! ( At least, I think it was! ;) )
Very festive right?! Because my bar cart isn't very fancy, I have to dress it up for the holidays! I just added a few items that were in the same colour scheme as my easter decorations, and it seemed to all go together quite nice!
I used some of the same candy's and treats that I used on my table scape, to make them tie in together, and I also used a couple of the pink tiny tea cups on the bar cart as well as the table! Again sticking to candy that were the same colours as my Easter decorations, or resembled Easter colours!
I added this awesome purple rabbit garland around the top of my bar cart, cause well, IT'S PURPLE!
I bought extras of the glass rabbits from the Dollarama, and I changed up my books on the bottom of my bar cart. I used ones with colours that matched my theme.
And you know that I had to bust out my kitty plates again! That is a given!
Will you be decorating for Easter? I would love to hear how you decorated and what kinds of decor you used!
Until next time
Easter is fast approaching, and you know what that means?! A brand new table scape to do! So let's see what I came up with this time!
I kept things pretty similar to the St Patty's table scape, however I did change up a few things. I purchased easter colour Hersey's kisses this time around and also added more pastel colours as well.
Pinks, Mint Green and Light blue were my colour choices this time around!
I added these sweet glass rabbits that I purchased from the Dollarama! A little piece of cute for a fraction of the price!
I also added pink jelly beans around the place settings. I thought they would help bring out the pink in my decorations. Again, I cost effective way to tie in your colour scheme! Below, I have also shown different ways to style the napkins.
Right after styling this table, I went to Pier One and had classes on styling table scapes and napkins. I should have waited to do this, until after I had my quick lessons! But regardless, I have tried to do a rabbit ear in one and just a plain style in bottom one! Both work fine!
I also used some antiques again for my center piece! I chose this old sugar/candy bowl that I was given! I love it and I thought it had all the colours in it I was looking for! I added some easter decorations around it and placed it on top of my cake platter and Voila! Instant center piece!!
Making this table scape was fun! I really enjoyed the colours! I love pastels! Are you hosting an Easter meal? What will you be decorating?
Until next time
Along with a St. Patty's tablescape, I also decorated my bar cart as well. I spent some time the other day setting it up for guests. Here's how it turned out! I'm really happy with it!
I used the same decorations I bought at Dollarama. I cut some shamrock necklaces and made the garland out of it!
I added "green mix" to the top and a bit of fun with Fun Dip. I added some green "bubbles" in a champagne glass for fun and some stir sticks and paper straws on the top of the bar cart! Look at me, all "environmentally friendly"
I decorated the bottom with a couple glasses, more candy and some flowers and books for show!
Any time I have the opportunity to break out the kitty dishes, I'm all in! I added green Hersey kisses!
Aren't they the cutest kitty plates ever!
Bar Cart ~ Structube, Champagne glasses ~ Winners, Stir Sticks and Straws ~ Homesense, Decanter ~ Homesense, Beer Glasses ~ c/o Adams, Kitty tray ~ Hobby Lobby, Gum and Fun Dip ~ Dollarama, Hersey Kisses ~ Bulk Barn.
Whatever you get up to on St. Patrick's Day, stay safe and have fun! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Until next time
Cheryl Ann xo
St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching and I wanted you to take a glimpse of how I prepared my table for us for our meal that day. You will see 4 settings on the table, however, I did this to show 1 setting without the plate charger! I just have to say that I took a whole day and got my pictures all ready, only to put my card in another computer and for some reason, I lost ALL MY PICTURES!! So this is round 2!
Since St. Patrick's Day is mostly green and gold, I have used only green accents on this setting.
I decided to use 2 different goblets for this setting, 2 green large ones, and 2 green small ones! I thought I would mix it up a bit.
I used glitter and plain foam shamrocks to add the feel of St. Patrick's day, and green candy! I purchased the shamrocks at Dollarama, and the green candy at Bulk Barn! In order to give it the St. Patty's feel, I felt that these bits of green gave it just that.
Below is the setting without the charger under it! I also added the third plate and changed up the napkin display.
Below is the setting with the charger! Notice the different napkin shape.
For my centerpiece, I decided on an antique sugar bowl. Inside, I filled it with, what do you know, more candy!
I decided to play around a bit with some shamrock necklaces. I used these for my bar cart decorations, (which you will see soon) and also around the neck of my glasses to differentiate between who's glass is who's!
Chargers ~ Pier 1, Dishes ~ PC Financial, Glasses ~ Mikasa
Are you having guest for St. Patrick's Day? Are you decorating for it?
Until next time
Cheryl Ann xo
So in a couple weeks I will be done with my living room remodel! I'm so excited to share it with you! However, now that it is almost complete, I must say, I've got that itch to move on to another room! Now while I had said that my downstairs bathroom, (or as we call it "Our Son's bathroom"), would be the next project, we are at a stand still, because of flooring! Our entrance way flooring runs all the way down the hall into our family room, (Or as we call it "Our Son's bachelor pad"), and into his washroom. Plus a bit goes into our laundry room as well. So re-doing his washroom would then require us to lay all new flooring down stairs, and we just aren't ready for that yet. There is a lot of planning to do before this, like how we will remodel the laundry room etc. So... I guess that means, I have to work on the upstairs. I really, really, want to re-do my kitchen, but because of the extent of work that I will have to do with making it over, I really need to do this in warmer weather, so we can open the windows and doors. The main stair case needs to be redone as well, but there again, I need warmer weather, so we can use our side or back door, to enter the house. Right now with the weather, it really is not the ideal weather to use these doors, as they aren't shoveled and people would track mud all through my home. Now that we are finishing my office, and my nail room, they are out of the question, so that only leaves the bedroom!
I know what you must be saying, "Geez Cheryl, don't you ever finish a project, before you start a new one?" Well to answer that, yes, sort of! Let me explain.... The Major parts of makeover are done, flooring, painting etc, however, furniture pieces still need to be bought. It takes me FOR.EVE.R to find the ones I like and save the money to purchase them, so while the room looks new, there still is "stuff" that needs to be purchased for that said room! Does that make sense? When a room is totally complete, I will for sure do a blog post on the "finished product". Now back to the Master bedroom.... I have been pinning like a mad women! I have some ideas in mind for the over all look, just need to make the final decisions. Here are some of the ideas I am thinking of...
Paint ~ I'm really hoping to go more of a bright white or one of these following ones.
or Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore
Or White Heaven by Benjamin Moore
Notice, that White heaven is the biggest of the others... lol.... What do you think? (you know the last one is really speaking to me!) For me Benjamin Moore paints are the only paints I use. One of our local store stocks Benjamin Moore paints, thank goodness, so I don't need to go to far to grab paint samples!
If you are in my area, you can purchase Benjamin Moore Paints at Partners Paint and Paper! They have 4 stores to serve all of your paint needs! They can be found here.
Next is Trim! I love decorative trim! We have done it throughout our home and I love the idea of this..
How hard do you think I would have to talk my husband into doing this in our room? He hated doing the last round of trim! But I personally think this look is so classic and nice, and we have a large wall in our bedroom where our bed backs up to. I think it will work perfect!
Next we are looking to upgrade our bed to King size. We currently have a queen, and since having hotel rooms with King beds in it, we have wanted to upgrade to bigger! After purchasing the bed, I am hoping for a headboard like one of these..
Next we need some side tables! I'm looking at these two! Which one is your favorite?
I think I am leaning towards the round one! But can't make up my mind...
And finally a new duvet! I haven't looked around too much at duvets, but here is the idea of the one I am looking at, so you get the jest!
Funny story, I have one similar to the one above that I got for Christmas one year, but with our dog's jumping on it, it got stained and has a little rip in it. I decided to bleach it out one day at the local laundry mat, and without reading the instructions, I dumped the bleach right into the washing machine at the start, and now not only does it have a rip and a stain, but bleach stains on it as well.............. geez!! Yep, if you haven't guessed it already, I have NO PATIENCE!
Help me decide on some of these ideas, would you? Which ones are speaking to you? Which ones are your favorites? If you made it all the way to the end of this blog post, you have a chance to win a "thank you" from me!! A gift certificate from Partner's Paint and Paper!! ** All you have to do is make sure you are following me on Instagram and email me your name and favourite paint colour choice! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. ** Good Luck **
Until next time
Cheryl Ann xo