Monday, June 30, 2008

Bathroom makeover nearing completion

Here is the before :

It was pink and little girly.

This is the before of the mirror , just regular unframed mirror.
I have finished the glass wall on the opposite wall of the other tile wall, that was quite a long process, I just kind of ignored its unfinished condition , when I did go to get it done the tile color had been altered , but I did find the matching tiles eventually, and it is now done and is so pretty and nice to touch.
I decided to add a nice heavy frame with MDF we found while cleaning out the garage , I just need to paint it .

However I will still need to paint a little bit of pink hiding between the door frame and bathtub tiles ,and touch up any flaws.

It has turned out really well, it is a higher end bathroom finish but with a cottagey feel , it would use a new faucet now . Icing on the cake.

So what did I do ,
-took out old trim and replaced with thicker pretty trim and baseboards
-applied tile to opposing walls
-installed junction box which was non existent due to ugly make up strip lighting that was there
-installed Restoration Hardware light that was a gift from MIL at our old house which we brought here, it is so pretty
-painted cupboards
-changed knobs
-cut large hole in the wall to build a recessed storage area
-painted walls
-built frame for mirror
-moved plug outlet out to re install over the tile
I think that is it , I took my time learned a lot about tiling , not as hard as it used to be ,did a bit here and there and now it is a lovely bathroom that I would be happy to have any guest in my home use , young or old.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birthday madness complete

We took Sophie and 5 of her little friends to see Wall-E , really cute and a nice message as well.
I wish I had some pictures to show more than I have here , my camera was set with the flash off and I didn't figure out how to fix it until it was all over.I wish I could show you how all of Sophie's friends are a mix of culture's I am so proud of that , Todd and I were thrilled to see that our children are being raised in a melting pot of culture's where they can experience many different culture's and not just grow up thinking that everyone looks like them.
Oh and the little darling's didn't want my treasured cupcakes, what kid doesn't like cupcakes, Todd kept calling them muffins, crazy boy , one kid tried a cupcake, I don't like it ...argh! are you kidding , Sophie had fun , I felt stressed , timing the seating Todd kept that under control, keeping all the kids from breaking our eardrums, getting 9 popcorn packs to all the kids, Sophie isn't normally hyper but she was Friday night along with all her little friends which meant she was happy , it wasn't without spills , seat complaints (not by my kid) too many bathroom breaks , thankfully no more parties until next year.Sophie and Mason had nice little friend parties just like they asked for , they are happy and now both a year older , success !
And relax!

Friday, June 27, 2008

my Birthday Girls

They were destined to be close sisters, my dear Mason is 10 today , Mason was always happy to be having a baby sister right from the start, Sophie was a bit of a surprise baby , we blamed it on our neighbour , he gave us a bottle of red wine and somehow I ended up pregnant , I remember having Mason go give her dad the positive pregnancy test pure shock , Mason was oppositely planned and planned.
Somehow Sophie and Mason were due to be born around the same time,Mason's origional due date was June 14th , she didn't arrive until the ungodly day of the 27th purely because it was 13 days past her due date , you may know how it is.
Sophie was due right around the 14th as well ,we tried to jump start my labour as MIDWIVES can sometimes be convinced to do with the dreaded STRETCH AND SWEEP"{Membrane sweep", also known as membrane stripping, or "stretch and sweep" in Australia and the UK - during an internal examination, the midwife moves her finger around the cervix to stimulate and/or separate the membranes around the baby from the cervix. This causes a release of prostaglandins which can help to kick-start labour.} doesn't that sound fun its not around it is in the cervix, it worked for Mason so we tried several times and no labour , after begging my midwife to get this wee Sophie out of me because I couldn't sleep and the daily pains were too much and my emotions were having the best of me ,it was hot and with no air conditioning I was clearly not going to survive, I wanted to have this kid and relax in the hospital for as long as they would let me .
Although we tried to keep the girls birthday's apart by at least a week it was fruitless, so I was schedueled to be induced on Mason actual birthday , if they were going to be close than why not the SAME day , so I stayed up June 25th and baked a lovely white cake for my daughter's 3rd birthday because I would be in the hospital having Sophie for her big day , at 1:00 am I laid down on the sofa to sleep or try , and I woke up about 4:00 with a POP , I got to feel my water break which I had always wondered about, problem I was on my white sofa , so I woke by leaping onto the floor so that I would not have to clean my sofa, so Sophie came into the world one day prior to her sisters birthday , guess she wanted her own day , she got it , Mason was born one minute to 11:00am on the 27th with her left hand on her cheek , Sophie was born one minute to 10:00 am the 26th with her right hand on her cheek , one day short of three years of course.
That is the story of my two birthday girls.

devine cupcakes

Todd pick up these Divine confections in Toronto at that very special nut free bakery amazing work , this is butter creme icing , with vanilla cupcake , they got the hot pink just right , I need to know just how much work goes into these, when Todd picked them up they asked him where they were going , to put them on the floor of his car , to get them into a fridge asap they wanted these babies properly cared for .
Well worth the effort and cost , they will be eaten today by Sophie and her little friends when we go to the movies to see Wall-E tonight , happy weekend all .
Today is my sweet mason's birthday she is turning 10 today , wow , double digits.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Selba kitchens

I am always a big fan of a clean white kitchen with beautiful lines, I love this one , I would take it as is , it is sheer perfection.

I am shocked at how much I love this kitchen , so more modern than I would ever usually be drawn to , I love the doors , the dark floors , that fantastic back splash this is a lottery home .
I am not a fan of the bottom color it could be many other more inviting colors , but a pretty color.

I like the dark with the light.
This one is crazy amazing, look at those chairs , everything here, all a daring combination , what a brave designer , incredible.

This a local Toronto kitchen design and manufacturer, I have not heard of them until today , big fan.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What would you do if you found yourself with some leftover spindles, I picked up the white ones for $5.00 , well priced I thought , for that gap under the counter , why does it over hang there , it stands out now because of the stainless , I was thinking I could attach a spindle right into that spot paint it white and call it a day , the leftover ones will fit perfectly , for the shorter ones I was thinking into the inside corner of the uppers those gaps are fine for adding some detail , I will try it and see how it feels.
I admit I do not spend enough time on being a girl my hair color is over due by two weeks and my nails always look a mess , I just pretend not to see the chipping polish , but I decided to have a little fun did some polka dots all my myself, don't know what possessed me?

I am losing two of my daycare kids that I have had since we moved here, 4 years I have had this one girl from 18 months to first grade in the fall ,I have seen her start as a shy timid little toddler who now can stand up for herself and has grown confident, they are like my second kids, usually here 5 days a week that a lot of time learning , bonding , this home is as much theirs as my kids , they have probably spent more time here than my own kids , wow ,they will move away to start a new life with their mom ,it will seem strange not to see their little faces Monday through Friday , its a real turning point , I find myself feeling sad and distracted , trying to make this little time as fun as possible they are nice little girls and I take credit for a great deal of that , mother hen I am ...

This was a timely surprise , right in the thick or warm weather and grass pollen season , my central air froze up , water all over the furnace what a fright , not cheap either but it is singing now, the repair guy was out so quickly , I wish the fridge dude was as fast. This is a view from the top of the unit in case you are wondering.

One more day of school , the teachers gifts are all given and the kids are excited to say good bye to the school for a while anyway , the school years go by so quickly don't they.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wouldn't you love to spend time with family at a place this beautiful?
I know everyone love's this room the whole set , it is perfection, many houses have since been modeled after its great design, I don't want to replicate this house but I suppose if I had endless amounts of money and a devine lot to build on I surely would consider making a clear copy of this house. I have decided after 5 years I need to start a makeover on my stairs which are soft greys , they need to be white a black or deep grey we will see, I can't wait to see it all freshly painted in white, so classic , not looking forward to doing the painting though.
I wish I had a cottage to escape to on the weekends , that would be a dream come true, I think mine and my husbands is the only family I know without a family cottage , how did that happen.
I still need to complete the dark brown paint job to my bedroom , I have just been ignoring the fact that that is in flux....boy I am draggin my feet a lot on these many projects I have on the go , can you blame me , who wants to paint.
This would be what my cottage looks like, over looking some water , modest and comfortable with classic details. this is a great show that pits a designer host against a homeowner that believes they are great at design , usually they are wrong but in this case the Robin's room the homeowner was far nicer that the designers, although his was nice too , I loved Robin's take.
Here are my stairs when the walls were blue , but now that the walls match it all blends away , won't that look amazing in white and black ?

Monday, June 23, 2008

What a weekend

My big girl is almost 10, wow how time flies, as all mother's know, I remember having her like it was yesterday .
I found quite a photo shoot on my camera after the sleepover was through.
The girls helped themselves to my makeup they were pretending Mason was a pop star and needed her make up done , of course.
This was this morning , I am having trouble with my camera settings, I gave the girls some new fresh hi-lights for summer and their birthdays.
I didn't ever get around to showing my other mother's day gift from my family , I saw it at Pier 1 and they picked it up for me, it is felt circles sew through the middles , in my favorite color.

This was quite a weird weekend , busy and challenging because I was burdened with my first migraine , which started the day I made all those cupcakes on Wednesday and it finally stopped last night, I though it was just a really stubborn headache or some kind of sickness but I was nauseous and weak and shakey, I had every symptom on the list , coupled with allergies and itchy inner ear driving me insane , I was not very productive, I hate not feeling myself , I just felt trapped in a crappy state , I am thankfully feeling much better today . I don't know how people deal with this on a regular basis I think it was mostly caused by the awful stormy weather we have been having.
Back to myself , now I can deal with the world and this week , the last week of school I am looking forward to a little more sleeping on a daily basis and some days off here and there to enjoy with my girls and maybe even my husband too, if I can convince him to take a day off here and there, he is hard working man who takes wonderful care of this little family of ours , he has been helping out in the mornings with the girls , it has been such a treat to have the help and have him around in the mornings, I really needed it .

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Guess who refused to bake any more cupcakes, ME! I even drove 50 minutes into Toronto to go to this nut free cupcake shop , The Cupcake Shoppe it is Mason's birthday party today just three friends staying over , I love how birthdays are becoming more low key , Mason is June 27th and Sophie June 26th , so for the first 4 years they shared the party then again last year they shared , but this year just small parties a week apart , no family just their little friends , just the way they want it .

The green ones for Mason's birthday party are call "I'm special", the brown icing one are "sleepless in toronto" , the pink icing , "pretty in pink" the caramel ones "sticky and sweet" , aren't they cute. We ordered Sophie 12 cupcakes for her birthday the rose design in hot pink, you must go check them out on the website , pricey but worth it .
I decided that my reward for making all those cupcakes for the school and the income that it brought in that I would finally get the new slipcover I needed , due to the stains my adorable dogs have put on the old one , as well the seams were all splitting and the zippers had been broken and held together with diaper pins.
I love it it goes so nicely with the dining room carpet ,as the two rooms open onto one another , it is colorful and cheery , the pattern will help hide the dog wear . Funny it feels like a new couch , all clean and fresh . I love it , it is happy.
Need to make some new pillows.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Baking info

I would like to share my recipe for this frosting I make so much , it is simple, 1 pound of softened butter unsalted and I mix it well and add confectioners sugar or icing sugar powered sugar I suppose as well what ever you want to call it , I just keep adding until it is the right consistency ,feel free to add a tbsp of vanilla for flavour, it is just a trial and error thing, if it is going to be hot you can do half butter and half veg shortening, the white kind, then add the color you want , paste color is best a little goes a long way , to get the darker blue it takes a lot , I scoop it out with a knife, never double dip the coloring, add a little at a time as you can not make it lighter if you go darker than you had wanted.
Above is a picture of a second layer of frosting very imperfect.
This shows nicely how the dots clean up the edges.
I used this gum paste mix to make the flowers you just mix in a little bit of color and kneed until thoroughly mixed to the color you desire. Roll it out with confectioners sugar and cut out any shape you like , let dry. The tools can help you add texture , the kit comes with directions , its like playdough. I have been asked to share my knowledge of frosting or icing piping , how do I get those nice big swirls , well it is as easy as can be , you just need the right tools as for any job. They are very affordable and I am sure easy enough to find. I find mine at Michael's Craft store.

These swirls were made by using tip 845 above and below.

As you can see there are a few different sizes of bags and tips, up until recently I have always used the 10 in bags and small tips, I not too long ago decided to try the bigger size 16 , I was tired of constantly refilling the little bag after a couple of cupcakes as I usually make large batches for big groups. The 16 inch bag is the best ever, I love it , I have tips 845, 802 , 1M, and 4B for the big size and big effect. They also make disposable bogs for easy clean up.

I use off set spatulas for hand icing cupcakes , pile the icing on and flatten the top and angle the sides to create a clean look , as well I use only these for icing cakes, 1 great tip for cakes is to let cakes cool then refrigerate for at LEAST 4-6 hours, then apply a thing layer of icing just to smooth in all the crumbs, put back in fridge and keep adding layers of icing until you get a smooth uniform finish , you can cut the humps off of cake tops to get flat surfaces , and use icing to built up any areas. Now if you have tried to ice a cake without this information you will know it is near impossible, and you may now think baking is a pain and might even hate doing it , but let me tell you it is easy , as long as you know a few of these tips.

Look at the size difference , it is quite a difference.

The tip for the above style is 4B.

The above look is created with 802 , that tip is also good for making larger sized dots.
Big tip number 2 is that when making cakes it is better to have two layers , always trace out your pan shape onto PARCHMENT paper then after you butter your pan , with butter , add the parchment to the bottom then re butter , never forget to add some flour and coat the pan , then go ahead and add the batter, you will have a cake that will simple pop out of the pan after being cooled by tapping upside down, remove parchment then begin the icing process , yes it is a long process but not hard and you will get great results.
Tip 3 is just prior to icing place 2-3 inch wide strips of parchment just under the edges of the cake so that this can catch any messes and after the cake all iced is well chilled you can remove those pieces of parchment and add the dot detail to bridge the gaps or imperfections between the cake and tray.
I hope to see some pictures linked in my comments to show me that at least some of you out there have tried my tips.
HAPPY BAKING trust me you will be a big hit with your family and friends.