Monday, January 18, 2010

My new signature,
isn't working how I'd like it to. When I made it in photoshop, I made sure to create an opaque background so the big, ugly, white box wouldn't show up around it. Any ideas on how to fix that? Maybe I just have to mess with it a bit. Until then, it'll look a little strange, but who has the time for such things? The really sad part is that I have a diploma in graphic design and shoulda noticed before now.

because I know how you love pictures...

I had every intention of writing last week, I really did. But then I didn't and I can't really figure out why. So, instead of dealing with that issue, I think ima just gunna distract ya with pictures, m-kay?
This past weekend Jason and I headed to Home Depot to buy an air compressor for Jason and seeing as how I was already there and all, I decided to pick up some paint.
There are five rooms plus the main hallway that require paint so I picked up enough for three of those. It took me about a month to finish painting our upstairs bathroom so I figured any more than three rooms may be a bit much right now.
Strangely, the room Im most excited about painting, my kitchen, was not one of the rooms I bought paint for. So instead, Im going to first tackle another area that is driving me crazy: the hallways. This is the first part of the house when you walk in the front door and it looks terrible.
Maybe it's all the years of renting that have made me detest off-white walls. Or maybe it's because they're ugly. Who knows?
The main hallway is attached to the half stairs that lead to the bedrooms:

Which also means that whatever color I chose had to go with not one, but THREE different flooring styles:
It's also the area that I see most when sitting at my desk, in my living room. And yes, I do feel like Im in a prison with those dang things.

It's funny how light makes everything look different. The walls in the following picture are actually the same color:
The other issue I have is that above the stairs, going into my family room is home to some ugly ceiling. I wish the builders had just drywalled this wall, instead of making it to match the ceiling. I mean, it's not even above any one's head! How is that a ceiling?
Those walls that you see adjacent to the ugly ceiling/wall, ya those are textured too. and painted. They match the walls I'm attempting to paint and so I'm stuck doing them as well. For this I have no idea.
I know you're just dying for an after picture, but I sadly do not yet have one. Those pictures above were actually just taken minutes ago. But! I have the next best thing! Jason didn't believe the color I chose would dry darker than the color the walls already are, so I showed him:
The actual current color is somewhere in between both of those.

The new paint is Perfect Taupe by Behr which I got in their paint and primer in one line. Silly me thought I'd be able to find a color sample online, but it aint happening. Hopefully when I'm done painting I'll get some decent true-to-life pictures of what it really looks like.
Hurry back, I've got lots of posts lined up for the week, including my prep for a fabulous winter BBQ!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

Today, Im participating in my first-ever WFMW! And wouldn't ya know it's the backwards edition?

So my question to you is this:

What brand of paint is your favorite? I painted my first room a few months ago and apparently bought a really bad paint. It has taken four coats so far and it still needs another! I gave up though and just left it as is. So now that I'm about to start painting the bedrooms, I need some help.

If money wasn't an issue, what brand would be your definite choice? And also, when money IS an issue, what brand(s) do you find still work great?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

plans for our front entrance

Over the past several years since the divorce, I've been busy moving us from a run-down apartment to a couple of small houses (where I rented the top floors) and finally to this full size family home. It's been a challenge in a lot of ways, but we've done it and I can't express to you the pride I feel in doing that. Part of the reason why we can afford to live here is because Im no longer doing it on my own, Jason has been living with us since June '09. But added to that are the numerous sacrifices the boys and I have made, especially over the last year and a half.
One of the things I credit the most to the drastic change in our living arrangements is my unwillingness to spend money on things. There are a lot of things I don't buy but would love to have and I've been OK with that. I know we ALL do that, but for me it has even meant passing up that $2 item that I've been wanting for years. This past summer I actually went out and forced myself to buy a new outfit. And I just don't do that. Jason is really supportive of this and is always encouraging me to indulge in the odd treat and because of that I've gotten better. But I still have trouble parting with large sums of money and a lot of thought goes into my purchases.

So, what all this means is that my house is furnished with cheap, gifted or free items. Now that I have this house, I want to make it feel like more of a home. The hard part is doing that while still being able to AFFORD the house! I've got a million projects running around in my head but I've been slack on making them a reality. Not anymore!

I started with our main bathroom when we moved in because it had so little to do. I changed the paint color and decided on accessories but the rest was already done for me. I've got a couple things left to add to that room and then I'll do a reveal.

The next room should be my living room, because it's the room designated for ME. Jason has a workshop downstairs and the kids have pretty much taken over the rec room, so I get the living room. There is no TV in there and except for my computer, we don't use it a lot. But it is a beautiful room and I can't wait to get it done. Even with my frugal nature, it'll cost a fortune to do it up like I'd like, so instead I've focused my efforts on the front entryway. Im really great at coming up with what I'd like in a space, just not so good on the follow-through.

But that's where Jason comes in. These are pictures of what that space looks like right now. I try to keep it organized, but more often than not, this is the reality.

Jason tried to help me out a bit by putting up screws for the reusable grocery bags and that strip of wood to hang our jackets on. Thanks to that toddler, those grocery bags are usually on the floor and I still can't remember to use them.
BUT! I've come up with a plan! I tried verbally explaining to Jason what I was thinking for that space, but he just couldn't see it. So this past weekend we sat down and drew it out together. Then he took measurements and went to work. He ran out of material and so I have to wait for him to make a trip to Home Depot or Kent, but it's coming along.

Those shelves along the side are for baskets to keep the kids' hats/mittens/whatever in. Then there is the bar to hang jackets which will be more space effective that the present screws in the wall.
The bottom will be a little trickier because there were a few elements that we needed to incorporate. First, there will be a bench with space underneath for shoes/boots. Behind that is where the side shelf will sit and there will also be a flip lid to a compartment where the older two can fit their school bags.
Im so excited about this! Hopefully if I stay on him, Jason will be able to finish the main construction of this in a couple of weeks. In the mean time Im going to work on finding some cheap baskets for the shelves and deciding on a color scheme.
Be sure to come back for the reveal and stick around for a few more DIY projects I've got planned.

Monday, January 4, 2010

child friendly gift

I know that most of us are ready to take a break from reading about gifts for awhile but I had to share this child-friendly, homemade gift my boys made for their half-sister. I saw this done so many places this year and planned to try it out for at least one Christmas gift. But then my brain failed me and I found myself without a gift for my boys' one year old sister about a week before Christmas. I knew this is what I wanted to give her because it involved the boys so much but I had just completely forgotten about it. So I ran out to Wal-Mart, bought $10 worth of pretty fabric and put my guys to work.
The younger ones (3 and 5) didn't have as much interest in it as I had hoped, but the 8 year old stuck it out to the end. They all contributed in their own way and that's what I was really looking for.

I started by laying both pieces out flat and trimming them to match. Then I pinned around the edges to keep them together while I cut strips. This part was a little tricky because we did it on my living room floor and had to keep sliding it around so that I could reach.
When I was finished cutting one side, Rayden was able to start tying the pieces together. It was a little tricky to keep track of the pairs at first but after awhile, he figured out a rhythm where he held the finished pieces under one foot.

I think it turned out beautiful and the boys were really proud of the finished product. We tied it up ribbon-style with strips of the fabric that I had cut off to make the pieces match in the beginning. It's too bad I didn't take a picture of that (or more of the butterfly side, it was precious).

After all was said and done, I was very pleased with the whole project from start to finish. The supplies were easy to find, the concept was easy to understand and we had fun making it. Next time, I'll try for a larger blanket (we used a square metre) and maybe add some ribbon to the knots.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

spices and organization love

One thing that you'll likely get to know about me is that I love organization. Im a very Type-A meets obsessive tendencies kinda girl and I've been known to do some crazy things! Why just the other day I had a meltdown in front of Jason and his MOM because I came through the door and got bombarded with needs/wants/questions from everyone (including the cats!) and couldn't just put my darn purse away! I have a system, you see and when that system gets interrupted, AHHHHH!

Anywho, moving on.

So Jason being the observant obediant partner that he is, decided to give me a cute little spice organizer for Christmas. He got major points for that one, let me tell you.

And because I'm participating in TDC's before and after party, here's my before:

And my after:


I know you're probably a little shocked that I didn't have one of these before now, but seriously I don't spend money on myself. Technically this could be considered something for the family, but because it's not really needed, I could just never justify it.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Welcome! How have you been? Come in, come in.....don't just stand out there in the cold! Here, let me take that for you.

So this is it. This is the new blog. Exciting, isn't it? I'll have a proper tour up in a few days, but I wanted to make sure I welcomed you all here first.

I have a post planned for my family blog where I'll explain my reasons for starting this new space and what it's all about. But the short version is this: After years of fighting it, I'm finally giving in and declaring myself to be Decidedly Domestic. After much thought this past year, I have come to realise that some of the things that make me, coincidentally involve my family, home and food. In other words, I like domestic things. I think about domestic things. I live a very domestic life. And thus, Decidedly Domestic is born.

I plan to write every day of 2010 with posts full of DIY, recipes, kids, and anything else I deem to fit my definition of domestic.

So sit, stay awhile. Have a look around. It isn't much yet, but it's got potential!