Backyard Updates

It's hard to believe it is already September so I figured it was time to share our backyard updates! I am always a little late to the game, sharing summer stuff when most people are starting to decorate for fall but better late than never! Last year I posted about all the plans we had for updating and improving our backyard.  I am very happy to report that this year we were able to achieve a lot of it!! This corner of our yard was my least favourite because of the gap in the hedge and just generally looking unappealing. Thanks to my super handyman, this corner is now my favourite!! He built a beautiful bench swing all by himself and it is a much better focal point than our patchy hedge. He built it and I stained it so we make a pretty good team :) He also did all of the landscaping - removing the grass, edging and adding crushed stone. Sooo much better!! 

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Last year I also talked about adding a conversation set to the patio. As soon as I saw this set on sale at Jysk earlier in the summer I jumped on it and am so happy I did!

outdoor pillows- Target, outdoor rug- Real Canadian Superstore  

outdoor pillows- Target, outdoor rug- Real Canadian Superstore  

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It is so much more comfortable and better to entertain guests rather than always having to sit at the patio table. Which is looking rather dated and is already on the list to be updated next year ! 

With the new conversation set, we noticed it was a bit too dim after dark with only the light above the basement door and the string lights above the patio table and chairs. I decided to add string lights to this area as well using the same method to create my light poles -  galvanized buckets half filled with cement, 2x2s + top soil and some flowers. Additional details on my DIY string lighting can be found here.  

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I bought this vintage bottle opener from a local farmer's market that I attached to our deck post along with a little dollar store bucket underneath to catch bottle caps. Easy and accessible DIY opener that doesn't get lost when we are entertaining in the backyard :) 

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I keep things pretty simple when it comes to gardening. I buy a few planters and my favourite Boston ferns and try my best not to kill them before Labour day :) I do not have a green thumb and have already destroyed my little herb garden. Thankfully our beautiful hydrangea bush continues to bloom more and more each year, unfortunately I managed to kill a new bush :(  

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I have to best honest, at this point in the season I start to get lazy and care less about outdoor plant maintenance and start looking forward to leaves falling and crisp mornings and nights!! Speaking of leaves falling, our poor tree starts losing leaves at the beginning of August and they are not the pretty kind! By mid- late August I start to feel like summer is almost over despite having another month of warm weather ahead. But rather than be sad I get excited for what's next - - F A L L !! It's been a bit cooler and rainy lately so it's got me excited for sweater weather, scarves and boots. I start to feel a bit uninspired by the end of summer as I usually take a break from projects. The start of a new season always excites me for the change in clothing, decor and weather. We are ready to enjoy the last long weekend of summer and then welcome fall with open arms!! 

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Wishing you a safe and sunny Labour Day!

Jess xo

our ENGAGEMENT story

One month ago today, I woke up to what I thought would be an ordinary Sunday. I had worked late the night before and we had brunch plans with my dad, my sister and brother-in-law who were in town for the weekend. After a lovely brunch, we were heading to TKs parent's for a pool day and BBQ but it was forecasting rain so we didn't know how this would affect our plans. We packed up with our pup in tow and headed to his parents. As we pulled in I noticed tissue paper pom poms by the pool, not thinking much of it but that it was cute his mom had decorated for us to come over. As we walked towards the pool, I stopped dead in my tracks, covered my mouth and started to cry. I hugged TK as he was softly nudging me to move closer to the chalkboard that read "Doods Will You Marry Me?" sitting beside a pillow with a ring box on it. (Yes my nickname is doods, long story :) At this point I am half laughing, half crying and asking what is happening. Then I noticed our best friend Elise pop out from where she has been hiding, recording a video of the whole thing. TK got down on one knee and said "well, will you marry me?" I said yes, we hugged and kissed and he almost got up and walked away without putting the ring on my finger. I'm surprised we didn't drop it because we were both shaking so much! I then noticed that the pool area was decorated and there was a sign that said "Jess & TK's Engagement July 16, 2017" and was told that our family and friends were on their way to celebrate with us!! TK's parents were looking down on the whole thing, taking pictures from the upstairs windows. I was still in shock that this ordinary Sunday had now turned into our engagement party! I couldn't stop staring at the ring on my finger and asking TK details on how he set the whole thing up. He had bought the ring just before my birthday in June and had asked my parents for permission the week leading up, along with telling our friends to join us for the party. He had our family and friends help him set up and decorate the night before while I was at work. He had trouble finding a weekend where we didn't have plans or I wasn't working so he was happy to finally lock down a date. I always thought he would do something simple at home, involving the dog somehow. He always leaves gifts and cards on my pillow so he made sure the ring was on a pillow and Poppy was running around right beside us as it all happened. He did such an amazing job surprising me and I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate! We enjoyed lots of champagne, swimming, BBQ and only a small amount of rain came through around the time we cleaned up.  I am so incredibly excited to plan our wedding (which in reality is really already planned :) I am the luckiest girl to get to spend the rest of my days with this guy and I can't wait to call him my husband!! Get ready for lots of wedding planning and DIY decor !!

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Jess xx

DIY Stencilled Kitchen Floor

I am trying my best to catch up on blogging about some projects I already shared already shared on Instagram. Since I completed stencilling my bathroom floor I was fixated on the idea of making over my kitchen floor the same way and I am so happy that I did it!! Our laminate kitchen floor was so so gross! It was dated, stained, chipped and all together horrible! When I made over our kitchen by chalk painting the cabinets and replacing the counter top, we considered replacing the flooring but never did.

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Eventually, I would love to replace all of the main floor flooring for a consistent look throughout. Until then, painting the existing laminate gave it the updated look I was going for.  

To start, I swept and vacuumed the floor a few times, then cleaned it using a mop, hot water and TSP. I let it dry and taped off the bottom of the cabinets, appliances and trim and applied Zinsser Bathroom and Kitchen paint + primer. For my bathroom I used Zinsser's Bullseye 1-2-3 primer that I love! Unfortunately, I didn't have enough on hand when I decided to start the kitchen so I went ahead with the paint and primer and it did the trick!! I used a brush around the edges of the room and then applied two coats with an extendable roller. Painting floors is the best because it is so easy! You literally just dump a small amount of paint on the floor and spread it out with your roller. Make sure you don't paint yourself into the corner!

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My planning for this project wasn't great so I ended up leaving the floor painted white for a few days. Unfortunately someone walked over it with very dirty feet so I had to sweep and apply another coat of paint before stencilling. My bad for not planning my time better to avoid the additional steps. 

I bought a stencil from Michaels for $8 (originally $16 with a 50% off coupon) that was larger than what I used for my bathroom and had 5 of the designs in the stencil. I used Behr Silver Drop because I had it on hand since it is the wall colour throughout most of my house. The kitchen walls are Dolphin Fin which is one shade darker than Silver Drop on the swatch. I started in the corner, laying my stencil down and securing it with painters tape. I used a small foam roller to apply the Silver Drop. I was amazed by how much easier it was doing a light colour on top of white in comparison to the bold contrast using black and white in my bathroom. Additional details on the stencilling process can be found in my bathroom floor makeover.   

I worked my way throughout the room in approximately 5 hours. I was determined to get it all done at once since I had to work that afternoon so I didn't even take any progress photos!

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This is a project that requires patience but it is so so so worth! And because I had all of the supplies on hand except for the stencil, it only cost $8!! You cannot beat that price for a kitchen floor makeover! 

I applied a thin coat of minwax polycrylic with a small foam roller to seal it. I haven't decided on a new rug for in front of the sink yet. I would love a jute one but am having the hardest time finding one. 

I absolutely love the look of my new floors and am so thrilled that it was also such a cost effective project.

The power of paint is unbelievable and has been the key to updating and improving the interior of my home! This can be seen in my last post on my laundry room makeover which was primarily updated with paint. I am almost running out of things to paint... just kidding, I'm sure I will find something else :) 

Jess xx