Please Note: Click here to see a before of our kitchen
For us (and for so many) the kitchen is the heart of the home and where we wanted to focus a lot of our energy (and money) to making our new house feel like ours.
Over the past year we replaced the counters, backsplash and most of the appliances. To me this really made our kitchen feel like a personalized part of OUR home. As an avid baker I love having stone counters, I really do notice a difference when I roll out dough on them.
We worked with a family friend/designer to pick our Cambria Summer Hill counters. When you look at the sample it seems a bit bold, but seeing it in the space it really felt alive with the different veins of light and dark grey and the glittery accents.
For our appliances, we opted to go all-in with Samsung. We have loved our washer and dryer and really liked the features of the kitchen appliances. The fridge is huge, the oven is a dual oven with one handle which makes me feel safer with my little guy.
My only complaint with the appliances was my original Samsung stove/range came very damaged and had to be sent back. I'm not sure where the error occurred but somehow between Samsung and Home Depot both said it was the other's fault and it would take two to four weeks before they could get me a working stove.
I spent a lot of time on the phone with both Home Depot and Samsung and was often left with the feeling that regardless of the issue they simple weren't going to help. The stove would get there when it gets there. I was lucky to be on leave as dealing with the issue took up a ton of time.
My experience dealing with this issue was so negative that I will definitely go to another retailer like Lowes or Rona in the future versus Home Depot, but I was glad to finally get my new stove.
This is our stove, our fridge and our microwave. I'm thinking of doing a full review of the appliances after we've used them for a month or so. Let me know if you would be interested in that.
How did you update your own kitchen? What lessons have you learned doing home renos? Leave your comments below.
I feel very cliché saying, yet again, that time is going by quickly. But it is. If you've read my other baby updates (check them out here) you know that we've had a heck of a ride with Finnley and getting him healthy, well rested, and well fed. Now that he's on track it is amazing to see how far he has come.
He likes to be independent when feeding himself a bottle. It's rather bitter sweet, I used to love our feeding cuddles but now he likes to lay down and feed himself. He's trying to take over when he's eating solids too, but I haven't let him win that battle yet.
He's sitting very well; strong and sturdy and independent. He's enjoying reaching for toys and spends his time either trying to get what he wants or learning how to move (the latter of which is a bit of a slow process).
He's also developed a rather strong personality. He likes what he likes and has no problem letting you know when he would like to change things up. I can see him getting frustrated and when you change up the activity (or food, or whatever) he's all smiles again.
He's also cut two teeth and a third is on the way. To be honest, the first tooth was rather hard. He was cranky and was of course surprised by the fact that a something new was growing in his mouth (and hurt!). The second tooth though was much better and it didn't involve as many wake ups (thankfully).
As we move into the eighth month I know that crawling or cruising will be just around the corner, and maybe even a word or two in the next few months.
When did your babies meet their moving milestone? What surprised you about the last months of their first year? Leave them in the comments below!
Do you have a recipe from your childhood that just reminds you of a simpler time? That you could still identify from the first mouthwatering aroma coming from the oven? For me that was always my Mom's blueberry muffins.
In my family we've always believed that the muffin batter is simply a vessel to barely hold countless blueberries in check. And I'm not ashamed to say that half the fun of these muffins was trying to pick the one with the most blueberries!
What's a recipe from your childhood that you love? Let me know in the comments below.
I am sorry that this is a day late. My husband has been travelling and yesterday Finn got a bump on the head, so obviously my time was largely spent googling things and freaking out. Fear not, it really was absolutely nothing as a very polite nurse told me.
I wanted to share with you our kitchen before we started doing some updates. We didn't want to completely rip out our kitchen because we loved the layout, but we did want to make some changes to make the space feel our own.
In my family we spend most of our time in the kitchen. It doesn't matter if there are two people or twenty people we will all try to cram into the kitchen. I also love cooking, and wanted to enjoy the space as well. We ended up making some major changes that really place the place ours. Next week, I look forward to sharing our reno updates with you and the 'After" pictures.
What do you think we changed? How did you update your kitchen? I can't wait to show you the final results!
If you have read my posts about food you know that I love to cook from scratch, but i love a good cheat too, and that's where Bisquick comes in. I can make pretty much any meal on short notice if I have a box of Bisquick.
Last week my cousin came over for a visit and I wanted to have something yummy to eat but had a pretty awful night (first tooth!) so I needed something quick and easy, so I made these guys which were like two bite brownies.
So you may be wondering why this is so important to me that I'm writing a blog post about it. And, in short, this movie has been a huge part of my life. Not just because it was a fun rom com with deeper values about how you can achieve what you dream, but because it was my Grandma's favourite movie, even at 92.
Yes, the movie taught me how to "bend and snap" and the subtle art of telling someone off without being rude. But it was also much more than that. For fifteen years it brought a great deal of enjoyment to my Grandma. She would watch it once every week on VHS. She was legally blind and couldn't operate a DVD player.
So when her copy of Legally Blonde got worn out we would take to Amazon to find her a new one. Her only request was that it not skip in the same spot as last time. It was okay if it wasn't perfect as she knew all the words by heart. The movie brought her a tremendous amount of joy and laughter.
When my Grandma passed earlier this year and we got together to celebrate her life we didn't wear black, we went in pink instead (in true Elle Woods Style) in honour of Grandma. So "Happy Anniversary!" Legally Blonde, you meant more to me than you'll ever know.
Hi everyone, first let me apologize for the gap in posts last week. You will understand when you read my upcoming posts about my kitchen transformation, but anyone who has done renos/updates can tell you things don't always go as planned.
Anyway, I'm back! And to celebrate Mommy Monday ('cause why not celebrate), I wanted to share with you ten things I've learned since becoming a mom.
1. It's okay to not enjoy all of the little moments.
People will tell you to "enjoy the little moments" and "they won't be like this for long", both are true. But you don't need to enjoy EVERY little moment. For example, that time I had rocked my son to sleep for four hours when he was sick at three am? I'm good, once was enough. There are so many special moments with a baby but not all of them are winners, so don't feel bad if you put a few in the mental recycling box.
2. Doing things for yourself doesn't make you selfish.
I've just started reading again. I mean reading stuff not baby-related. I've spent so much time reading blogs, parenting books, and sleeping books and anything kid related that I forgot that sometimes it's nice to read about two vampires falling in love against all odds. Also, when I take time for myself I'm happier with my family.
3. Asking for help isn't weakness.
Why do we have to do it all ourselves? I thought it takes a village to raise a child? Why now does it seem if we need help we're not doing something right, and why is it mostly other moms that make us feel this way? The best thing I ever did was ask for help with sleeping (read about it here) and it was amazing.
4. Freezer food is the only way you'll eat.
Batch cooking has saved my family, Because somehow even though I can't tell my husband what I did all day, I have no time to cook.
5. I could be part of the paparazzi.
I've very good at taking 95 pictures of the same moment and being unable to part with any duplicates because they're all worth something.
6. Mom guilt is hard (and totally self-imposed).
That's all I have to say for this one, haven't found a way to navigate or let up on myself, any tips?
7. My definition of clean has changed a lot, personally and for my house.
A "top knot" is a classy way of saying "I didn't wash my hair because I'm too tired to dry it". If you're a guest please stick to the main level because I likely only had time to clean that if I had less than 24 hours notice of your arrival.
8. I actually don't need a hell of a lot to be happy. One of my best days to date was a day where we didn't really do anything. My hubby and I didn't do chores or go out or have any special experiences. We just chilled with the baby. Mostly sitting on the floor. And I loved it.
9. It's hard to find yourself amidst all the mommying.
I'm still trying to figure out this new version of me and it can be really hard to have an identity outside of Finn. But I've always been an individual and it's okay to still want to be one.
10. It's hard and that's okay.
I had a difficult time getting and staying pregnant and so I wanted Finn to have a Pinterest worthy first year and I wanted everything to be wonderful. But to be honest, it's not the case (the Pinterest part is wonderful). Being a new mom is hard. Being a new Dad is hard. Being sleep deprived is hard. Finding your confidence as a parent, individual and couple is hard. My mom always says all change is hard, even good change and welcoming a baby is the biggest change you'll ever experience. Knowing it will be hard is one thing, but admitting it's hard and moving forward is equally as important.
For Mommy Monday I was going to tell you all about Finns's first swim. But then instead, I went to bed. At like 6:30. Ever have a day where you're just overwhelmingly tired and everything else can wait? That was yesterday. Maybe it was the heat and the toll of a little guy who has been cranky AF for three days, but Momma needed a rest.
As for the first swim, to be honest it wasn't the magical experience I'd dreamed of. My little guy who LIVES for bath time was underwhelmed by pool time.
However, in general he was pretty cranky that day so it could have been that. Getting ready for his first swim was monumental, the right floatations devices, sun shirt, sunscreen, swim diapers, hat and towels. In the end what he liked best was being held by Mom or Dad.
Especially when it was just all too much and he had a rest on Momma.
How was your first time swimming with your little one? How do you get them used to and excited for the pool?
To celebrate Canada Day I asked my twitter followers what truly Canadian dish they'd like to see and "Maple Anything" was the winner. When I told my hubby about this he suggested Maple Bacon Cheesecake, and since I like maple, bacon and cheesecake I thought it was a great idea.
This is actually pretty easy to make, just takes a little time because you have to bake the bacon at a really high temperature so you can't do the cheesecake at the same time.
Top your maple cheesecake with the maple bacon and enjoy!
What are you doing for the Canada Day long weekend? Want to have a say in what I make next? Follow me on Twitter!
I love to cook, entertain, craft and create - all while being a wife, friend, daughter and a mom to a little boy.