October 31, 2011

happy halloween

To wish you all a Happy Halloween I want to share this video. I'm sure many of you have seen it but it's just too good to not pass along. I showed it to Neil and told him he's got his work cut out for him next year. Oh yeah!
(The video is fairly long but it's worth a watch right to the end, I promise.)

surprise weekend away

My thoughtful husband decided I could use a break after our stressful summer and September-spent-apart. He was right. He booked us in at a little condo at one of our favorite spots, Radium Hot Springs. We spent our honeymoon and first anniversary in Radium and we love to go back. He told me Tuesday night about his surprise, giving us just enough time to pack up Wednesday and leave first thing Thursday morning. He is seriously a gem.

On our way to Radium, a stop at Norbury Lake.

I didn't take a single picture (boooo!) but our first night we drove to Canmore (sharing the highway with every deer and elk and mountain sheep in the area..... my nerves!!) to meet Colin and Cynthia to see Cuff the Duke play. It was fun to meet up with them and to enjoy the show together. Cuff the Duke is incredible and sharing the evening with Colin and Cyn was awesome. (Expect a CtD post soon.)

The next morning we got up and went to Lussier Hot Springs - a natural and undeveloped hot spring where you just plunk yourself right down in the rocks with the river rushing behind you. It was absolutely amazing. 

All bundled up after a dip in the springs. It was not a warm day.

Our condo was beautiful with a fully equipped kitchen. I made us a (round) pan of brownies for a movie treat.

Neil built us a fire each night. It was warm. And romantic. 
(I forgot my slippers so I wore Neil's flip flops around... classy.)

 Neil was on breakfast duty. He makes some mean eggs. It's true.

We spent the better part of the next day and evening at the Radium Hot Springs. It's pretty beautiful nestled right in on the side of the mountain.

After we checked out of our condo we did a little sight seeing and exploring of the town. It's a beautiful part of the country.

Thanks to my babe for letting me be "Michelle" instead of "Mom" for just a few days. :)

October 27, 2011

our humble abode

Over 4 years ago we purchased this little duplex with Neil's brother and his wife. We live in one side and they live in the other. (Awwww.)  When we first bought the house we developed the unfinished basement and completely renovated the upstairs. It's an old home but the inside is pretty adorable. The outside has been completely neglected and with us going away every summer it makes it a little difficult to do much landscaping or updating to the exterior.

This fall we decided that the time had come to finally give the outside the improvement it's been needing. We picked (and re-picked) paint colors and got to work. We used a sprayer and the job went relatively quickly and easily. With the onset of colder weather we still have yet to do the second coat and trim work but I think now it's going to have to wait till spring, but at least it's getting there!

 Here is the before:

and here is the after:
(You can see the 2 tone parging and what I meant about "re-picking" colors. We'll fix that.)

and here are our paint speckled faces! 

Happy house-painting!

October 26, 2011

Esther Beazer Photography

While in Saskatoon my friend Esther moved into a beautiful home with a living room full of windows. She was itching to take photos using this amazing natural light and I am honored that she asked me to be her subject. I came to her house in a (dirty... woops!) white shirt, my hair somewhat unkempt, and at a complete loss for poses (I only wish she would have sent me some of the seriously awkward shots! Haha!) and this is the product of that. She. Is. Incredible. Esther studied art with a focus on photography. She is not just another gal with a nice camera, she understands and knows her stuff and produces it as real ART. As Esther herself explains it, she is a natural light photographer that likes to do as little post production as humanly possible. She uses lighting and exposure to get as close as she can to the look she wants, right in the camera. While working with Esther I felt her artistic mind working and I'm so thrilled I could be part of her creative process.

Here is a sample of our (I say "our" like I had anything to do with it! Ha!) work that day. Thank you again Esther, you are a talented artist.

Please see more of Esther's work on her photography blog.

October 25, 2011

'brothers' crate sign

I'm not usually one to decorate with a lot of words or sayings but when I saw this on pinterest I thought it was absolutely adorable (I'm such a sucker for anything to do with 'brothers'!) and would be so cute in the boys room I am currently redoing.

 My handy husband built me a crate and my little helper and I got to painting it.

After my little helper had gone to bed I stenciled the words onto the crate with some craft paint and a set of stencils from the dollar store.

After the paint had dried I took some sand paper to scuff it up quite a lot. I then took some dark stain to give it a further worn and roughed-up look.

I'm going to wait to show you how I hung it and where I placed it in their new "big boy" bedroom until I can show you the entire room. I'm really happy with how the sign turned out and love the sentiment behind the saying. I'd like to think my boys are superheroes for each other....

although, sometimes it seems they both want to be the villain...


October 20, 2011

a gift for me

My good friend Marshal recently visited London and brought me back this shirt from the OFFICIAL Beatles store. Legit. I wanted to post it because I like it, and I like him.

Thanks Marsh!

October 19, 2011

paint chip wall art

When I was visiting my sister a few weeks ago she showed me some of the projects she was working on and I fell in love with this one. It is cheap, easy, customizable, and I knew right where I wanted to put it! This is how her's turned out and here is mine: (I noticed this on Sharon's and here mine also looks more glossy than it really is.)

The fun thing about this art is that like I said, it is so customizable. You can do any color palette you want, any size you want, 1 big block or a collection of them like I did. Sharon did her chips all square, I chose to do mine different sizes - the possibilities are endless!

If you would like to make one too here is the tutorial where Sharon first saw the idea.

Just go to your local Wal Mart or Home Depot (Sharon got her chips from Wal Mart but my Wal Mart only had the long strip samples with 5 or 6 colors, not the individual color samples, so I went to Home Depot) and collect samples in all the colors you want. I stuck to about 4 different colors but got many shades of each. Get some that are light and some that are dark, it adds great contrast. I went to Dollarama and bought 4 8 x 10 canvases and some sponge paintbrushes. I came home, measured and cut my chips to fit and then to the best that my OCD tendencies would allow, I randomly placed my chips on the canvases and mod podged them down. I had to turn them upside down and really press on them to get them to stay but as the gal in the tutorial mentioned she used spray adhesive which I'm sure would have been better than the mod podge. When they were all stuck down I did 2 coats of mod podge over the top to seal it and when that was dry I did 2 coats of dark wood stain over the top until I was happy with the look. *TIP* - paint or stain the edges of your canvas before you mod podge - as you can see some of my edges got mod podge on them and then the stain would not take. Ah well.

I think it's such a fun project for $5 - FREE paint chips, dollar store canvases and sponges, with mod podge and stain I already had at home! I'm really happy how it fills the space and adds some color and detail.

October 18, 2011

the things Rigby puts in his mouth

No seriously, this list is ridiculous.

I think it was at Christmas time when we first realized that little Rigby put everything and I mean everything in his mouth. Lots of crawling babies do it but it was like as soon as you had one thing pulled out of his face he already had his fist in his mouth stuffing it full of something else. There was no keeping up to him and it became something of a joke. Over the summer while we were frequenting spray parks, parks and paddling pools Rigby began putting things in his mouth other than just an old cheerio from the floor or a paperclip he found on the carpet. It's only gotten worse since then and the list is continually growing. Some have suggested he is lacking in some sort of mineral but no, he is just a curious, busy boy.

Here's the list of non-edible items Rigby has put in his mouth in the last 10 months or so.

In no particular order:
  • cigarette butts - and he gnawed on the spongey filter part for quite a while before I realized he had something more in there
  • bandaids a plenty
  • a bandaid for CORNS, with that little round padded part. (gag!)
  • an ear plug (gag again!)
  • he chewed up a small Christmas ornament, bit into it... and kept going
  • he ate a whole hard boiled egg with the shell still ON
  • a Finish dishwasher detergent tab
  • straws, popsicle and sucker sticks he finds at the park
  • his own poop - twice. Yeah.
  • craft paint
  • handfuls and fistfuls and more handfuls of sand
  • at least 10 foamy Vivint balls, probably more
  • and last but not least (and I'm disgusted to even write this) a tampon applicator from the bathroom garbage. HE DID NOT HAVE THIS IN HIS MOUTH, only his hand - but I knew exactly where it was headed.

This list looks like I should be talking about a puppy, not a child! This may be usual to you but Porter was never like this so I can't help but make mention of it.  You're probably wondering where I am while all of this is going on, but I told you the little guy is quick! I promise I watch him. Can anyone relate?

We'll keep him anyway.

October 13, 2011

Hi, my name is Michelle

All of September went by and now half of October is gone and I haven't even logged in to my blog! Can you say crazy life?! And I have so much, so. much. to blog about. My September was spent as a Vivint widow while Neil did post season in St. John's, Newfoundland. He said it was absolutely beautiful and reminded him a lot of Finland where he served a mission. (subtle link, ya like that?!) I took the boys out to the coast to visit my parents, my sister and her family and my Granny. We had an amazing time and were so spoiled. It made the time apart from Neil go a lot faster for me too. Bonus.

Now we're home and I've been in major project mode (thanks to time spent with my totally awesome, super talented sister!) I've got so much to show you. (Side note: those posts are going to be another while yet as we are still camera-less at the moment. Boo.)

Mostly to remind myself of everything I want to blog about, but hopefully to entice you back as well, I'm going to make a little list of upcoming posts - so come back and hang out!

  • paint chip wall art
  • faux roman blinds
  • organization around the house
  • what Rigby's eating now (this one's a doozy, I tell ya!)
  • new bunk beds
  • a rant for skinny people everywhere
  • 'brothers' crate sign
  • our freshly painted house! (exterior)
Just to name a few. 

I hope you haven't forgotten me, thanks for coming back. :)