nerd alert

Oh man, you guys, something has changed my life and I’m so excited to share.
I got a new household appliance on Friday. I hesitate to call it that though, because I’m pretty much ready to make it an honourary member of the family. It’s a Black and Decker Steam Mop.
I have been in the market for a steam mop for a while, but there are so many to choose from. Just about every cleaning brand has their own version, and they’re all quite similar. I knew for sure though that I wanted one that boasts the ability to kill 99% of germs on your floors. With a baby and a cat who like to lick get up close and personal with the hardwood, the idea of cleaning without chemicals was pretty appealing.
I decided on the Black and Decker mop after reading a great review by Mag Ruffman in my newspaper’s Homes section. I then read several blog posts recommending it, too. I was convinced, and I’m happy to say it’s everything I hoped it would be.
– It heats up in seconds. The light on the front changes from red to blue when it’s ready to go.
– It comes with three washable pads — no need to buy any expensive refills.
– It runs on water alone. No chemicals.
– The swivel head rotates so easily around edges and in corners.
– I could instantly see how much cleaner it makes the floor.
– I really can’t think of anything. If I had to say something, I guess it’s that I now have another appliance to store, but it’s still more convenient and cleaner than a traditional mop and bucket.
Plus, listen to this:
Me: Oooo it’s awesome! Husband, do you want to try it?
Husband: [thinks about having to do another chore] No … knock yourself out.
Me: [happily steaming the floor] Ahh this is so satisfying, and easy! Look how clean the floor is!
[Five minutes later]
Husband: OK, can I try now?
Any appliance that can make Husband ask to do an extra chore is worth its weight in gold, wouldn’t you agree?

before & after

I’m sure this isn’t going to be nearly as thrilling to you as it is to me, but …

So. Much. Better. We can actually close our closet doors now! Hallelujah. I was on a super roll, which lead to clearing out our coat closet and tearing apart the spare room, too. Bascially organizing is my middle name.

that’s a load off

Among my summer, and specifically my Canada Day weekend to dos, was a plan to purge all previously-intended-for-yard-sale stuff from our spare bedroom.

And I may have mentioned this plan to lovely friend A who has, shall we say, a fondness for cleaning.

And that may have resulted in a Wednesday-night, pre-Canada-Day, mega purge.

And, oh man, it felt so good.

lagging behind

Now that I’m back to work, my free time seems to be devoted to the sheer upkeep of the rest of my life — housework, keeping (somewhat) up with correspondence/social commitments, grocery shopping/cooking/packing lunches, and maximizing snuggle time with my boys.

Among the things gnawing at the back of my mind, besides having more time to read, opportunites for date nights with Husband, and keeping up el bloggo, is Jacob’s scrapbook.

I have one scrapbook filled (a couple dozen completed pages) — but I’m pretty sure he was wearing still wearing size 1 diapers in the last photos I included. He’s now in size 4s.

There are many uncharted months, and literally hundreds of photos, taunting me every time I open the door to our spare room and lay my eyes on the huge pile of paper craftings supplies that is gathering dust.

My friend H recently made an adorable photobook online for her son’s first birthday. It turned out so nicely, and she was able to do it all without getting scraps of paper all over the floor. I must also point out though, this is the same friend who has about 10 completely filled and beautiful scrapbooks of her son’s first year already completed.

Then I consider traditional photo albums … slide the photos in and bam, you’re done. I keep a log of milestones in a Google docs with dates, times, weights, lengths, etc. I could easily format little blurbs, print them, and include them in the slots among the photos. Not really as artisitic, I know, but much more time efficient, right?

Am I letting laziness take over? How do you or how do you plan to record your childs’ first year and beyond?

your new addiction

Not sure if you’ve heard of this little thing called Pinterest?
I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. Another site to subscribe to and keep up with just didn’t seem worth it, regardless of how many bloggers/tweeters/FBers swore it was the best. thing. ever. But then I gave in, thinking I’d just unsubscribe if I didn’t like it. Ha. I dare you not to love it.

It’s essentially an online inspiration board builder. Instead of bookmarking or saving photos to your computer when you want to stash an idea for later, you simply pin it to one of your boards. Then the beauty is that it’s kind of like Twitter in that you can follow other people and see what they’re pinning, too. I follow like-minded gals, so for me Pinterest is full of diy ideas and inspiring quotes and drool-worthy decor and must-try recipes.
I used to have photos saved and ideas bookmarked all over the place, with no real system. Now, I’ve got my inspirations in neat and tidy categories. Love.
If you’re way ahead of me and are already Pinterest obsessed, feel free to follow me here.

project in progress

At any given moment, I’ve got a couple dozen projects floating around in my head. Surprised? I didn’t think so. There’s one popular concept all over blogs I love, and I’ve been dying to try it: gallery walls.


I love the idea of a collection to represent our family. I’d like to update it over time to include school photos, artwork from our kid(s), and old or new family photos. For example, in the first edition of our gallery wall, I’d like to include J-mans hand and foot prints.
So I’m keeping my eyes peeled for unique frames and small art pieces to build a collection for our hallway. I also don’t want to spend a bundle, so I’ve been scoping out Value Village and Frenchy’s. Any idea where else I could look for stuff like this?

getting my craft on

Oh, how I missed crafting! As of late, my projects are more of the baby-food-making, diaper-changing, wheels-on-the-bus-singing variety. This project has sparked my creativity though, and I have a feeling that this little blog is going to be seeing much more crafty action.
This wreath is not going to end up on my front door like I had originally planned — it’s not exactly weather-proof and it doesn’t coordinate with our red door. But I must admit, this is one of my favourite projects to date, and probably the cheapest.
It all started with this wreath for $1.99 from Value Village.

I decided to cover it with yarn. Seemed silly to buy anymore supplies when I’ve got all kinds of stuff in all kinds of crafty totes and drawers. I picked the chunkiest yarn I had, and it was dark grey.

It took a while to wind it around and around the wreath. I cut long lengths of yarn and did it in small sections, hot gluing the ends until it was totally covered.
Then it was time to embellish my fuzzy little wreath. First, I ripped strips of fabric.

I twisted and wound the fabric into tight spirals, using hot glue on the back to keep everything in place, to create these little fleurs.

Wait for it … Ta da!
I love the yellow and grey! Now I just need to find a place for it in my house. My first attempt at fabric flowers turned out better than I evert would’ve expected. I’m going to be slapping these babies on projects of all sorts … oh, the possibilities!

before and after

Thanks again to everyone who voted for their favourite fabric. I’m happy to (finally) share the results of the like a hamster on a wheel 2nd birthday chair makeover!
First, a quick refresher.
Fixing up this chair was one of my first blog projects. I picked this chair up on Kijiji. Well, here’s the actual story. I emailed the seller and sent Husband to pick up his chair. If I had been there, we wouldn’t have bought it. The metal piping had rust on it and the bottoms of the legs were sharp and unfinished. I had asked about these things when I corresponded with the seller and was told it was in perfect shape. Boo for dishonesty.
Regardless, I ended up with this chair for our office. I used cotton batten and a green and ivory stripped knit to cover it, used steel wool to buff the rust off (seriously, it worked like magic), and bought little rubber feet protectors to finish the bottoms of the legs.
I was pretty happy with the end result:

Nearly two years later though, and it’s starting to look a little ratty. We use this chair as a spare at our kitchen table when we have company, so it also has a few little stains on it. Time for a re-do. I put it to a vote, and here’s what you chose:
There aren’t any specific how-to directions. I simply unscrewed the seat, folded the new fabric over and staple-gunned the edges around. I did the same thing with the back — wrapped the fabric and placed a few staples in the under side, where they aren’t visible, to hold it in place. The trick is to wrap it nice and tight so the sides stay in place, too. Then I used my glue gun and ran a thin line of hot glue down the sides of the back of the chair, under the fabric, to keep it from shifting out of place. It was super easy — chair covered and photographed in one nap time!
What do you think?

holiday fashions

We’re heading to Cape Breton this weekend to visit with our fam on Husband’s side and enjoy a belated Ayyam-i-ha celebration with them.
There are two babes in our family right now, Jacob and his 15-month-old cousin Niamey. To help mark their first Ayyam-i-ha together, I made them matching shirts for the occasion.
I started with long-sleeved, white T-shirts.

Using an empty cereal box, I free-handed three triangles and taped them together to form a nine-pointed star.
I held the star against the shirt and traced it using blue fabric puff paint.
So easy! I think I’ll make Jacob shirts for other holidays too!