January 31, 2015

dj skate night

attending a dj skate night down at harbourfront has been something one our "things we want to do in the city" list for ages.  when we started compiling ideas for the fun things we wanted to do in 2015, it had to go on.

we bundled up, grabbed our skates and spent an evening skating to 50s/60s music down at the harbourfront centre in toronto.  the rink was packed.  the music was good. and the weather wasn't too cold.

i am not a strong skater, so i spent the night holding onto b's hand for support. the photo above is the one time i went off on my own (and it lasted about 30 seconds!).

it turned out to be such a fun date night.  something that will need to happen again.


last night we went bowling to celebrate a friend's birthday.  i always forget how much fun bowling can be.  good friends, cheap beer, & silly shoes  - what more could you ask for in a birthday party!

January 26, 2015

before pictures

before i can show our progress on the place, i should show you the before pictures.  below are a few of the pictures that were online while the unit was up for sale.

first is a view of the living room. it's a pretty simple room, with the nice big open windows & doors at the end.  the second photo shows how each rooms flows into the other, with the living room at the end.  we both have so many ideas for this space!
next is the kitchen.  compared to our old kitchen, this space is amazing.  it's large enough that two people can fit in the space together, but small enough that everything is just an arm's reach away.  while i love the shape and size of the space (remember, we do live in a small condo!), i don't love how dark it is.  i shared a few ideas on how we could handle this space here.
this is the "den".  upon moving in, we have actually turned this nook into the dining room.  it's the perfect size for a nice table, and is located next to he kitchen.  here are a few of the goals b & i have for the dining room.
and, the bedroom.  again, nothing fancy about the space.  this is one of the rooms i am most excited about decorating, with a ton of ideas here.
and last but not least, the bathroom.  it's such a tiny room with no natural light.  this room going to be a challenge...but we are both up for a challenge.  here are some of the ideas for this room.
both of us love how bare & simple the space is. there is so much room for potential & imagination.  searching sites like pinterest and houzz for ideas on things has become something i am looking forward to doing.  it's such a great way to visualize an idea before you commit to it.   

b & i are so excited to work on our little home.  diy's are something we both enjoy doing.  each idea is something that we develop together, which will truly reflect the place as our home. i cannot wait to share the transformation!

arrow jewelry holder

i've been trying to come up with a cute way to display necklaces for a while now. it has to be something mounted on the wall so the little kitten won't play with them.  then i stumbled upon this adorable arrow jewelry holder.  it's perfect for what i have envisioned for our bedroom.

her steps were very easy to follow.  i was able to find almost everything easily at either michaels or canadian tire.  unfortunately, i could not find the beautiful gold rub that she used in her post, so good old martha stewart acrylic paint in gold had to do.  i did do a quick spray of lacquer over top of the paint to protect it a bit.

i am so pleased with how the arrow turned out.  once the walls in the bedroom are painted dark, it's going to really pop on the wall.

do you guys have any creative and fun ways to hang jewelry?  i'd love to hear your ideas.

January 20, 2015

60 fun things

i came across this neat blog a while ago.  it's called 100 things in 2014.  from there i found another neat blog called 365 things in 365 days.  i am so in love with the idea of making small goals to motivate you to get off the couch and do things.  

so, inspired by these two blogger couples, we have decided to create a list of 60 fun things that we want to see/do/accomplish in 2015. while some ideas were borrowed, many are items that have been sitting on our to do list for months (if not years).  we have tried to come up with a complete list that finds a nice balance: cheap or free activities vs expensive, local vs out of town, developing new skills vs developing old ones, simple vs adventurous.  some are also very general and some are very specific.


here are the things we hope to accomplish in the upcoming 12 months:

1) go on a relaxing vacation 
2) bake homemade bread 
3) have an indiana jones movie marathon 
4) attend a live music concert 
5) bike along lakeshore 
6) visit ripley’s aquarium 
7) go through a corn maze 
8) paint the bedroom (finally!) 
9) have a picnic 
10) try tubing in elora 
11) visit toronto island for the day 
12) fly a kite 
13) go on a hike in the east end of toronto 
14) make homemade ice cream 
15) go canoeing 
16) try rock climbing 
17) see a movie at the drive in 
18) visit a cottage (or go camping) for a weekend 
19) watch a classic movie on the big screen 
20) hop on hop off the queen streetcar 
21) make homemade gifts for christmas 
22) donate time or money to a cause that is important to us 
23) get your fortune told 
24) brew a batch of homemade beer 
25) explore parkdale for a day 
26) try a new brunch spot 
27) visit st. jacobs 
28) check out niagara falls in the summer 
29) go tobogganing 
30) bike to work once 
31) attend a fair 
32) go to a museum 
33) go on a tour of a winery or brewery 
34) go to a live sporting event 
35) get a hot chocolate from SOMA 
36) wander kensington market 
37) explore a new city 
38) join postcrossing 
39) ride a carousel 
40) try stand up paddle boarding 
41) go bowling 
42) make french toast kabobs 
43) paint a picture 
44) send someone a letter by mail
45) see a production at the fringe festival 
46) visit the christmas market in the distillery 
47) take photos in a photobooth 
48) make each other a mix tape 
49) bake a cake from scratch 
50) spend an afternoon go-karting 
51) play the lottery 
52) build a snow man 
53) can whole tomatoes 
54) spend a day at the beach 
55) dress up for a fancy date night out 
56) go mini golfing 
7) make a gingerbread house 
58) go skating during a dj skate night down at harbourfront 
59) make homemade vanilla 
60) have a no-excess spending month

2015 is going to be a good year, i can feel it.  this is going to be such a fun project - i cannot wait to share our experiences!! 

what do you have in store for 2015?  have a great suggestion? comment or email us at ourlittlehome.23@hotmail.com

January 17, 2015

childhood dresser redo

i love this dresser. it is simple in shape, has deep drawers to hold lots of things, and it's from b's childhood so it holds sentimental value to him.  the only problem was the colour.  light wood, untreated.  didn't exactly match our decor visions for the room.

so, while on a mad house cleaning tangent (some friends were coming over to see the place for the first time), i naturally decided that this dresser needs a face lift - asap!  being the wonderful guy that he is, b went out to home depot and picked up a can of paint (sometimes he just lets me go on these tangents, sometimes it's best) and let me go at it.  in just a few coats, it was totally transformed.  it doesn't even look like the same dresser anymore.

unfortunately i didn't take too many before pictures. i was just so eager to paint, it slipped my mind.  here are two not-so-great one's that i did manage to find.


and, after a few coats of paint.  

the blue drawer knobs were a fun way to add a pop of colour to the piece.  since it is quite simple in shape i thought a little character would be fun.  they were a sweet score at anthropologie, just a few dollars each in the sale bin (anthro has the best sale bins, especially for housewares).  the brass in the center of them match the four bottom handles, which are the dresser's original handles.  

i am so happy with the results, doesn't it look so much better!  the white really brightens up the piece, and work's well in a darker corner of our living room.  i couldn't imagine this dresser any other colour.  

January 11, 2015

minneapolis [minnesota]

the first weekend in december we packed our bags & headed to minneapolis for a long weekend.  the reason for our trip was to surprise a friend that got married overseas a few months earlier.  we got to explore a new city, hang out & do a lot of catching up.

a few details from our trip:

[accommodation] air b&b.  this was the first time using this website, and it was amazing. the apartment had a kitchen for breakfasts/coffee, a living room to hang out in (we did a lot of catching up & card playing), free wifi, and enough bedrooms for everyone.  it was perfect for the 7 of us.

[sites] we visited the city's sculpture park, explored the downtown core, stopped into the holiday market for some boozy hot cider & mulled wine, and spent an afternoon checking out the massive mall of america & the aquarium inside it.

this trip was a total blast!  minneapolis is a great city, full of art & culture.  we both cannot wait to go back!

January 01, 2015

goals: 2015 edition

happy 2015!

i love january 1st: a fresh start, new goals, and so much opportunity.  a clean slate.  the beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on the past 12 months, and dream about the next 12.

here are a few of the goals we hope to accomplish for 2015:

[1] be more adventurous.  this is a pretty vague goal, but that was it's intent.  we both want to be more adventurous in general, whether it's making travel more of a focus or exploring new neighbourhoods in our own city, the goal is to actually go out, explore and do more.  [2] paint the bedroom. instead of saying we wanted to get everything done, we set a more realistic goal to focus on one room & really put our energy into that.  we have so many ideas, and so much eagerness to get started.  see our bedroom inspiration here.  [3] cook more at home. we have a beautiful kitchen, and we were lucky enough to get a bunch of cookbooks over the holidays (expect to see a few recipes from them soon!), so this year we want to make it a priority of utilizing the books, expand our culinary skills, and make as much as we can at home from scratch. [4] de-clutter & find a home for everything. this is something that we both struggle with.  it is so easy to drop a bag on the table or counter and leave it there.  but, our space is small (only 650 square feet) and clutter just makes it look messy (and i hate messy!).  for 2015 we really want to keep the items that we truly love around, adopting the one in one out philosophy and find a practical home for everything. [5] take more photos.  last year we did the 365 photo-a-day challenge.  man, it was tough, but it taught us a lot!  while we have both decided to pass on doing the challenge in 2015 we want to continue to keep photography an active part of our lives, not only documenting the big events but the small ones too.

we are both really excited for 2015. a lot of thought has gone into our goals - why we want to accomplish them, how we plan to stay focused and how we will accomplish them.  we cannot wait to start!

what are you most looking forward to in this new year?  what are you new years goals?  are you as excited for 2015 as we are?