Sunday, July 10, 2016

Remember the playroom reno?

I'll admit it.  I've been a tad bit distracted with all this summer weather.

I may have proclaimed things like, "The world is our playroom!", "who need a playroom when you've got mother nature" and "We'd be wise to do the backyard first!" and then it rains (or is +30), and I'm all, "Where the #%@$ is my @#$%ing playroom!" 

So, rain or shine, this week it's back on the agenda.

The playroom is slowly but surely coming together.  Electrical has been put in, drywall is up, mudded and sanded, and we are prepping to paint ALL the things starting with the exposed ceiling.

The way it works around here is that I will come up with an idea (ex. paint the exposed basement ceiling) and Ryan will be left to figure out the details (ex. how to go about painting the exposed basement ceiling)...which he hates doing.  So, he procrastinates until the cows come home.  Which is never.  We don't have cows.  But I mean, how hard could it be?  It's been done many, many times, and it seems pretty straight forward, right?

Recently, my sister was visiting so we dumped the kids on her let her have some quality time with the kiddos, while we got the ball rolling on painting the ceiling by taping off an area for Ry to "practice" with the paint sprayer.  We are using a compressed air sprayer, which there are minus none tutorials for, so I'm preeeetty sure we are starting off on the wrong foot, but once that area is done we will put all the junk that's in the other corner, and spray that area and then we are one step closer to a finished-ish space. I'm optimistically hoping that the ceiling will be done by next weekend.(I can hear you laughing from here. Stop it.)

For the floor we keep waffling between putting laminate, vinyl tile, or just painting the concrete.  Since we are renting, we really don't want to invest too much money, but I want it to feel welcoming enough that we will actually want to go down there and hang out. I'm still torn on what we should do.  Any thoughts?

Either way, we will need some soft spots to land.  Emily Henderson recently had a great post about mixing rugs in the same room that has given me some great inspiration. 

Here are some contenders.

I'm thinking we will need at least two rugs, maybe three.  But first we need to figure out this whole paint sprayer situation. #wishusluck

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

With the wheels in motion for my return to work (August 22...Wain!! *cue ugly cry!) I've got "real" clothes on the brain. 

As I was shopping for some summer staples on the Joe Fresh website (i.e. my work) I noticed a few things that I would totally be buying if I was already back to the grind. 

I thought I would share with you not only what I'm buying for now, but also what I would be buying if I had got to wear outfits that are a leetle bit less kid friendly, cause let's be honest, it's still pretty cas' .

What I'm actually adding to my summer wardrobe. Kid friendly, comfortable, and one small step up from pyjamas.  

Kicking it Cas' with Joe Fresh summer staples.

And, although these items are much more typical of my usual style, they are definitely not the kind of outfits I'm wearing on the daily hanging out with the boys. 

So, here's what I would be buying if my days consisted of less diaper changes, park outings and food throwing.

Killin' it in Joe Fresh summer work staples.

This is the kind of capsule that I put together on a regular basis for work. Since I'm always buying new arrivals (which come out roughly once a month) I buy a mix of prints/statement pieces and mix and match them with staple pieces already in my wardrobe for a month/six-weeks, then I keep my favorites and donate or trash the rest (some items get worn to death in that time!) That way, I'm never over run with clothes and my sister-in-laws don't seem to mind getting first dibs on the donate pile.

Later gators,

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Ok, you guys, we are well into June. Whaaaa...? Where is the time going? Before I know it, I'm going to be back in the rat race and a mere stranger to these three kiddos...Gah! #shiftworksucks.

That being said, Ryan and I are desperate to pack in as much summer fun as we can this year. Since I'm not working any evenings or weekends (or days, but I digress.) The kicker?...Doing stuff costs mucho dinero, which adds up fast if we're not careful. We are quickly becoming experts on how to have fun family outings on the cheap. And guess what folks? I'm going to let you in on our top 5 Summer favourites. Now obviously they are for the Ottawa area, as that is where we live, but I hope it gives you some inspiration for some fun, frugal family outings no matter where you call home.

Going out as a family of five can be expensive as all heck. Here are five of our favorite summer outings that are free (or almost free) to inspire you to get out of the house without spending all of your hard earned moola.

1. Go to the airport and watch the planes land.

There is a spot on Leitrim Rd. where you can pull over and park your car right across from the landing strip. (check your local airport to see if you are as lucky as we are) it puts you right under the landing airplanes. (as long as the wind is blowing in the right direction, otherwise, they are using another landing strip without the same vantage point). It's beyond crazy. It feels like you can reach up and touch the airplanes...but you can't, don't worry.

a few things to consider:

-I don't recommend taking a stroll around the area. Teens People use the area to "party" so there is the usual paraphernalia lying about.

-It's loud. If your kiddos are terrified of loud noises bring earplugs.

-you'll want to check the wind direction, and the flight plans before heading out. It's more fun if there are lots of planes coming in.

2. Catch an outdoor movie.

Last year, our City Councillor hosted an outdoor movie at a local park, and it was awesome. We headed out with two other families and enjoyed the park, popcorn, and obviously, the movie. I wasn't sure if this was going to be a hit but it definitely was. Ottawa has many outdoor movie nights (Friday Night Flicks (formerly Movies on the Beach), and Centretown Movies, to name a few) and we will be hitting up at least one this summer, that's for sure.

a few things to consider:

-Bring camp chairs, blankets and pillows for comfort/warmth.

-remember the show starts after dark so you will want long-sleeves, and pants to keep the mosquitoes away. If it's too hot for full coverage than you'll want to bring bug spray.

*For Jonas, we also have this stroller mosquito net that works great to keep him protected from the buggies.

-Bring lots of snacks to keep the kiddos content and sitting in their chairs.

-Bring a flash light. For finding dropped items, packing up, and getting to the car. Most outdoor movies are, understandably, set up in darker areas.

3. Hike in the Park.

We always manage to make it to Gatineau Park at least once in the summer. It's a great place to take visitors, like Granddad. There are many areas to hit up, but we normally park at Mackenzie King Estates and walk the waterfall trail (super easy) followed by a picnic on the grounds, and then we hit up Champlain Lookout on the way out to check out the view. The trail around Pink Lake is also easy enough for young kids/Granddads.

a few things to consider:

-Bring some cash. You have to pay for parking at Mackenzie King Estates (but a lot of the other parking areas are free)

-We like to bring a picnic lunch to have on the grounds. It's beautiful and a great spot to rest after a hike, but you can buy BBQ hot dogs if you forget, or don't want to pack a lunch, or you lurve hot dogs. If you don't have crazy toddlers you could also have a fancy lunch on the porch of the estate. (I've done this with my Mother and Mother in-law and it was lovely!)

-Even though it's an easy trail I would still recommend that the kiddos (and yourselves) wear sensible attire and footwear. I would also leave the stroller and diaper bag at home and bring the baby carrier and a backpack filled with essentials and lunch, instead.

4. Watch fireworks.

We've seen the Casino de Lac-Leamy Sound of Light Show from the side lines before but last year we actually went to the designated venue with Lilah and Vaughn (the Canadian Museum of History) and it's definitely something we want to do again this year. It cost $8 per adult, kids are free.

a few things to consider:

-Go early to get a prime spot and enjoy all the pre-show activities, live music, and beer tent (just saying.)

-see all the outing #2 tips as this is also an outdoor, evening event.

-Again, if you think your kids might not like the loud boom of the fireworks bring earplugs. They work like a charm!

5. Enjoy the RCMP Musical Ride's Sunset Ceremonies.

Ryan took the kids to see the Musical Ride last year when I was working, and they had such a great time that we are all going to go this year.

a few things to consider:

-Get there early. It's popular and there are only a few dates per year. This year it's June 22-26th. It gets crowded quickly.

-You can bring camp chairs and/or a blanket to sit on, but people tend to stand up to get a better view, so prepare to have a kiddo on your shoulders.

-Bring a few things to do outside (a ball, bubbles, etc.) that way you can waste a bit of time outdoors before heading back to the car. The traffic leaving is bonkers. So why not just enjoy a bit more time in the fresh air vs. being stuck in traffic in the car.

All of these activities are easy to do with another family, so you can get in some adult hang time, too. Always a bonus. 

Thanks to Personal Capital for inspiring this post. Check out their FREE financial software to keep your spending (and saving) on track.

Later gators,

Thursday, June 9, 2016

If you've ever used Polyvore Clipper than you may know (or maybe you don't, and here is my PSA) that it shares to Blogger. Which means it directly posts to your blog...Um, wtf Polyvore. Anyway you can unclick the box and live your life, which I did, but not before posting a lovely sample of some contact paper to the blog (see last post) *facepalm.

If I had seen it right away I would have just deleted it, but I didn't realize until this morning and some peeps have already viewed it so I'm turning it into a cautionary tale, and don't worry, you will soon see why I was clipping contact paper in due time. For now here is a look at my plans for our entry way.

entry way plans by five jones road

Entry way may be a bit misleading as the front door is actually down the stairs but our shoe cabinet and coat closet are on this landing.
It's a bit confusing to describe so here is a photo of the layout.

I think I've learned my lesson and I'm actually going to test some paint samples before committing to a colour. I really want to go with a true black. The plan is to paint just the wall with the shoe cabinet on it and the little wall by the closet. Maybe one of these might work. I guess we'll see.

So, here is the plan:

1. remove track from above doorway into the kitchen
2. paint wall
3. hang mirror
4. get rug
5. sand hand rails and paint ( I think white. I don't know, any suggestions?)

I'm hoping to get the paint samples this weekend so stay tuned. I may need help choosing a colour!

Later Gators, 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Swimwear Capsule Wardrobe for Kids


As you guys know, I'm a huge fan of capsule wardrobes for kids

They make getting ready way less stressful, and although it's not high on every one's priority list, it makes me feel less like a hot mess when my kids appear pulled together. So, I'm willing to put in the time. (to each there own, amiright?)

Also, I find it super fun. So there is that ;)

A swimwear capsule wardrobe might seem overboard, but unless you only hit the pool, beach or backyard with the hose once in awhile, you'll need to have options for when you lose, forget, or haven't done the laundry in a few days weeks.

We love to hit up the local pool, splash pad, or kiddie pool in the backyard pretty much any time the weather permits so I need to have a good rotation of suits.

Here are my picks for this year.


I like long-sleeved rashguards for spending a full day at the beach, but if we are just in the backyard under the shade of the umbrella, it's nice to be in just a suit to keep cool. I also like the kids to wear hats because they are so fair, and they're really into wearing sunglasses these days which is so cute and it keeps their peepers safe from the harsh rays of the sun. #winning.

You can wear both rashguards with all three bottoms, or even the solid bottoms with the patterned top. All the hats, flip flops, and sunglasses go with each of the suits, as well! 

Row 2. sunglasses/long-sleeved rash guard/swim trunks(sold out,boo!)
Vaughn is not having it with flip flops, but these perforated shoes are great for playing in the water or sand, and bonus, they are super easy to clean. Again, all the suits can be mixed and matched.


Row 3. short-sleeved rash guard/swim trunks/flip flops

Jonas is unable to voice his displeasure over flip flops, and they make a great distraction/teething toy, so #alltheflipflops for him.

Time to hit the beach! 

Later Gators,

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Nursery Update (a work in progress)

Now that Jonas is almost eight months old, I figure it's time to get serious about finishing up his nursery. #thirdchildproblems

I mentioned when I talked about Vaughn's old nursery that I moved the big kids into the small room (into bunkbeds) and the nursery into the "big" room. Here was my logic...When we have guests, we move the baby into our room for the duration of the visit and set up an air mattress in the nursery. The kicker being that we would have to dismantle the crib for the air mattress to fit. It was a bit of a pain, and we were worried about taking apart/rebuilding the crib that many times. So, this way, there is just enough space to set up the air mattress without taking apart the crib. #onlythebestforourguests

Truth be told, we are kind of hoping that we will be able to set up a little guest room (i.e. have a pull out couch) in the basement, so this might eventually become a moot point.

When we moved into this house, Lilah's room was the first to be painted. We used the same colour that we used in the old house, but her room at the old house had two large corner windows that let in a ton of light and here she has a tiny north facing window. The colour looks totally different-not in a good way. It seemed really saturated and green, not at all the breezy turquoise it was at the old house.

You would think that I would have learned from my mistake and ensured that I tested the next colour with samples (or at least held the paint chip up in the room)but nah. I live on the edge. I like the colour ok. Crushed Ice by Sherwin Williams, but I do find it reads a touch purple so we will see. It might last until we room swap again, but you never know.


five jones road

five jones road

five jones road

five jones road

All of our favourites from the old nursery have made it in here, but there is still a lot to do. Like,...

1.Get a rug (I would really like a vintage (or vintage-look) Persian. I saw this one at HomeSense and have regretted not buying it so badly.

2.Paint a large painting for over the crib. 

3. Get a rocking chair. This one.

4. I haven't decided yet whether we should paint the dresser (it's a Malm) or buy the Tarva and paint it. With new hardware.

5. I want to replace the white shelf with some kind of wall shelves.

6. Add/replace lighting.

7. Replace blinds and jazz up the curtains.

So, yeah, it might be done by the time he graduates High School, but you got to start somewhere, and it's giving me something to focus on as the boring stuff get completed in the basement.

Later Gators,