big beautiful life changes

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You could say I had an interesting couple of days last weekend.

This has been a secret for only a short while, but it’s after the fact, so I decided to write about it here. Brandon and I took Friday off work and eloped to Banff! We stayed the weekend in a beautiful lodge with wonderful food, and it was pretty much a perfect mini-honeymoon. It was a full honeymoon, really. I’m quite happy with the time we had and the ability to be spontaneous. While Friday was more of a schedule(a wedding was still happening), Saturday and Sunday were filled with us going at our own pace and loving every minute of it. We did miss the cats, but we had the amazing Devin taking care of them, and a picture of them at the ceremony so we could sort of have them there.

Brandon and I weren’t quite sure how some family members would take the news, but I’m happy to report the response from most everyone was happiness. They understood that’s what we wanted. It was better then any large-sized wedding we could have planned in a year or more. It was just us, the the legally-mandated number of witnesses(the photographer and the commissioner’s wife), and even then, when I saw him in his suit, it was like we were the only ones in the room. I couldn’t stop smiling. Neither of us could.

I’m so excited to see the photos Michael took. While there was that first winter chill in the air, the autumn colours were still vibrant.

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On the organizing side of things, I need to kick my butt in gear. I still have a bunch of books to donate, but at least I finally sent out invites for the clothing swap. October was too crazy to even think of booking it then, so I’m hoping the weather isn’t terrible in early November. My after-work duties are getting busier. I’ve begun taking a course at work that will involve a lot of studying, still attempting to work on the correspondence redesign course, and of course keeping up with writing on the blog. I’m so thankful Jessica and Emma have been so giving of their time in the last couple months with guest posts about their renovations, but I need to step back up to the plate. I hope with the redesign course on my mind, I will have more content and be inspired to create more decluttering projects for myself. The last couple months have been full of me closing off from everything. I hope the next couple will be just the opposite.

Hope you’re all well, and I will talk to you soon.

- d

small reno, big changes: week five renos

More from guest-posters, Jessica and Emma. This week, more painting and looking ahead to the tilework.

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Monday/Tuesday

As mentioned in Week Four, we added some more painting for Clint and Lyle – extending the Poolside Blue to the front door. This added about a days work onto the original paint job, but we’re really happy we made the decision to include more colour. It looks fantastic! On Monday and Tuesday the painters finished the final coat of Poolside Blue, and started the top coats for the Chartreuse.

paint after

Wednesday

Lyle plastered the cement column in our place and did a great job! The plaster we used is by American Clay and you can get it from Carbon Boutique in Edmonton, AB. The colour we chose for the plaster is called Wild Horse Smoke. It goes on darker than we anticipated but dries much lighter. You can see the difference between the wet and dry colour here:

 
grey concrete post

Personally, Emma and I prefer the light dry colour. It makes the column feel less heavy and looks more natural in our place. The colour also blends in well with the spots of the sides of the column that have a bit of crumbling. It looks more like the original colour of the column. Some painting was also completed in the bathroom. Just a layer of primer on top of some of the mudding so the tiles will stick properly when they go up.

 

Thursday

The last day before our vacation so we completed some last minute errands and made sure most stuff was in place before leaving for a week so the work could be completed while we were away. This meant making sure everyone had keys to our place. We made sure we had several people in our building who also had spares to let in contractors and workers (really happy that we have a doorman that could keep a key on hand for us as they have been really great at working with our contractors. We also need to give a big shout out to our friends, Nick and Sarah, for keeping an eye on our place and picking up our mail). I also ran down to Airdrie, AB and picked up a cool, old Pedlars People Ltd. locker that we thought would really suit our place and would work perfectly as a place to store all of our cleaning supplies.

locker

Some more layers of Chartreuse went up (that colour needed a lot of coats, my god!).

There were also some issues with the bathroom plumbing that we made sure to try and get sorted before we left. We had to email both the condo board and the building’s management company to ask for permission to reconfigure some of the plumbing for the bathroom. This meant that we would need access to the unit below us. Luckily, our contractor is great at working out this type of stuff with our doorman and the owner of the unit. We barely had to do a thing about it (besides the initial emails and, of course, worry). He just took care of it. Basically, our contractor is wonderful and got it sorted by the next week (week six) so no work was delayed. Or as far as I know nothing was really delayed so…hooray!

 

Friday

Our lighting arrived but we weren’t there to pick it up. But our wonderful friends did! They are the best!

Clint and Lyle finished up some painting and cleaned out their stuff so the contractor could start their work with the tiling the following week.

Photos from Week Five.

small reno, big changes: week four renos

This week , Jessica and Emma did what I’m dying to do to my space. PAINT! I’ll admit it, I’m totally envious. Every little picture I see is making me so excited for when it’s all done, and I get to see their place in real life again.

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Monday/Tuesday

Our contractor built a bunch of supports for our bathroom sink, medicine cabinet/mirror and the radiator above the toilet because they are all really, REALLY heavy. Apparently a lot of things that we like are just ridiculously heavy and need to be well-supported so they don’t fall and kill whomever is on the toilet.

Wednesday

Optimal Painting Ltd. arrived and started by spraying our ceiling white. We have been waiting nearly three years to paint that ceiling white! And we are extremely pleased with how bright it looks and how it opens up our space!

Thursday

More painting, mudding and sanding. The great thing about hiring professional painters is they take the time to repair your dinged-up, damaged walls. Our walls were really messed up but now they’re looking top-notch! If we had done it ourselves we would have just slapped on some paint and all of those little dents and nicks would have bugged me endlessly. Another great reason to hire professionals, especially really good ones like Clint and his crew – they will provide cool painting ideas like this:

painted window shot
We painted the inside of our window sills the same turquoise from the kitchen! It adds such a great pop of colour to the room and when we put up our curtains we’ll have all of our colours in one area to really complete the space.

Friday

Really, guys…just so much painting! We chose Benjamin Moore’s Chartreuse and Poolside Blue – the Poolside Blue apparently was a breeze to use but the Chartreuse was a pain in the ass. The thing about Benjamin Moore is their colours are fantastic but their paint is apparently meh. It’s not easy to use and you will likely need several coats – so this is another reason why we’re so glad we had professionals come in. There’s no way I would have had the patience to deal with three coats of Chartreuse and my lines would have sucked. By the end of Friday, the painters had finished the ceiling, the Poolside Blue and the tinted base for the Chartreuse. When we popped by our place that evening we were blown away by how good it looked! The colours were great together! We just had one minor concern: we wanted more Poolside Blue. We felt that the kitchen cabinets and the backsplash would cover a lot of the turquoise and it looked so fantastic that we asked the painters if we could add on a bit more painting to their job and we decided to wrap the Poolside Blue all the way to the front door:

painted door
Finally, some photos from Week Four.

coming clean

I’ve been hiding something from you. Well, I’ve been hiding. It’s a bad habit I fall into whenever things start to get rough. I pull back. I pull away. It’s not healthy, and although I know better, I continue to do it.

Things haven’t been great lately. I’ve had stresses at my job, haven’t been working out on the bike, haven’t been working on any of my self-driven projects. My brain automatically goes to “failure” setting, which is never helpful. I have always been a self-fulfilling prophecy and I’m starting to become annoyed with myself. Or maybe I already am, I’m not sure anymore. This time, it started with the blog. I took a step back, and then another, and then another.

I don’t have any answers right now, but I’m hoping to be better. And, not to be rude, to start with being better for myself. I’m too good at making myself better for others, whether or not it’s what they want. I will try to get back on here more often, because writing makes me feel good. I will try to do a whole bunch of other stuff that ideally makes me feel good. Knitting, my redesign course, organizing and decluttering the apartment. These are all things I would do when I’m the person I feel good about being, when I’m not being an awful witch to humanity. Which happens more then I would like to admit.

I’ll finish up with a big thank you for hanging in there and reading my rambles. I appreciate every single one of you.

small reno, big changes: week three renos

Monday/Tuesday

The contractor plastered up all of the gaps and rough edges of the drywall. As the plaster needed to dry out for a couple days nothing else really happened construction-wise this week.

week three update

Wednesday

We met with all around awesome dude, Clint Frazier (who, when not providing rad beats for Shout Out Out Out Out, has a painting business) to discuss painting our place. It was nice to talk to someone who was really enthusiastic and not afraid to use bold colours!

(Optimal Painting Ltd. at 780-604-3105)

Thursday

Myself, Jostar and our contractor all met to go through some things (like tile placement/patterning, building supports for heavy things, and timelines) before Emma and I left for Toronto for Thanksgiving.

Friday

One thing that came out of the above meeting is that I found out that the lighting that had been suggested was ridiculously expensive (like blowing our budget type of expensive). Through emails to Jostar and the electrician supplying the fixtures we ended up being able to cancel them as they were on backorder and that saved us a whopping $4000. Luckily, everyone was very responsive and we got this sorted out fairly quickly. Emma and I then searched and scoured the internet for cheaper lighting alternatives. We stumbled upon Nud Collection. Nud allows you to order hanging lights and to customize your bulbs and cords which we think is pretty cool!

looking ahead to less

Well, Kijiji hasn’t been on my side lately. I haven’t been able to sell anything I’ve posted, so it will all be donated. I just have to make some time in the upcoming weekends to fill the car and drop stuff off at Goodwill or the ReStore. We also have a water cooler that has been useless for over two years and Brandon needs to take it to the Eco Station. Yep, I’m calling him out on this. He brought it with him from his old place when we moved in together, and it has been sitting in the dining room ever since.

With the numerous boxes of comics we need to store at my parents house(thank heavens for parents), and the furniture I’m trying to sell/donate that now just feels like dead weight, I’m feeling a bit stressed from all the clutter. Some of it is useful clutter, just not in our living room. I am trying to be patient, but I have moments when I’m overwhelmed. This is starting to sound like one of them.

I do often think of what will happen when we own a house one day. I try to factor in the furniture that will be passed down from my parents, versus what I actually want to take. I hope it isn’t too much. I hope that I can say no, whether I want to or have to. I try to declutter every time I visit my parents, so that when that day does arrive, it’s easier to pick and choose.

Though I would love a weekend where everything that’s clutter just disappears, it’s not realistic. As always, I will attempt to learn patience, and minimize slowly over time.

How is your decluttering journey going?

how do i have so much stuff?

Lately, I’ve been trying to pare down on the amount of Stuff I have in the apartment. It seems like no matter how much I declutter, I always have too much. Doesn’t help that I keep bringing Stuff home. Occasionally, the world convinces me that I “need” to shop, and while I am trying to fill some perceived holes in my wardrobe, this can(and should) probably be delayed for a while. This is one of the main reasons I avoid malls. The other is the people. I don’t like crowds, so malls are pretty much the worst places for me to be.

But, I digress.

I did a bit of shopping on my birthday last weekend, and found a gorgeous dress and skirt, so no regrets there. The dress was through a gift card, so I really didn’t spend a lot of money. Now that the seasons are changing again, I’m pulling my sweaters out of storage, and must go through my summer things to see what I didn’t wear. I have a couple items that need tailoring, but I’ve been hesitant to give that a deadline because of money and effort involved. Basically, I’ve been super lazy about everything involving clothes. I haven’t even booked my fall clothing swap yet, which I was hoping would be this month. October is somehow already filling up with plans on the weekends, so it may be early November instead.

The closet clean-out this week will enable me to do a Goodwill donation, and I have some books piled in the bedroom to go to Wee Book Inn. The ones they don’t take will be put in the free little libraries around the neighbourhood. We’ll be able to shed a bit of house weight this weekend. Also, I’ve had a couple ads on Kijiji the last couple weeks, and while most of the responses have fallen through, I’m hoping the little hallway table I have by the door actually gets picked up this Saturday. Kijiji people, I hate to say, are seeming quite unreliable. But I do want to try to sell a few of the bigger items before donating them.

What Stuff have you decluttered this week? This month?