Friday, 29 March 2013

'Good' Friday

One photo is worth a million words.

Since Finley can't share his week in words - not just yet anyhow - he has cleverly opted to do so via photograph.


One sock on, one sock off, diddle diddle dumpling...
Precious Moments
Naked Time

Easter Bunny meet Shannon

It certainly is a 'Good Friday'!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Mac Mac & Mac

The sun is shining in through the windows - I am opting to ignore its ability to showcase the dirty floors and rather to look on the 'bright' side. Our little family has just returned home from a morning workout at the gym and we are settling in for lunch, coffee and serious play time!

*And can I just say that I love when Robert is home so I don't have to make every single meal. Things just always seem to taste better when someone else makes them - even if it is just a grilled cheese.

Hot peppers, mushrooms and chicken {or whatever you have in the fridge really}
add a nice twist to a simple grilled cheese.
But the real hype and buzz here at the MacDonald/Gaudett household, more exciting than a delicious grilled cheese sandwich {Imagine} - is my new phone! 'Mommas got a brand new bag'!!

My good ol' reliable phone just up and died last week. Not so reliable after all I suppose. It finally succumbed to the dropping and spit inflicted by Finley and my years of abuse. Thankfully my contract was just coming to an end and I was able to switch carriers - Pictou County was a headache with its lack of service areas - and get a smoking deal to boot!

Of course Robert was all over it. He did all the research on the best deals and plans in town and then off he went to barter with the Bell people.*He is always on top of these things. It is fantastic! When I was pregnant for Finn, Robert did all the research for the best and safest cribs, carseats, everything! I just get to reap the benefits of his efficient nature! And the iPhone 5. Free of charge for moi!

Common-Law is way more excited than I am. He is like a kid on Christmas morning! But I will admit, it does make me feel like a grown-up. Seeing these kids around town with fancy phones and here I was with this childish white and green flip phone. I mean, come on!

Technology here I come!
I told Rob there was something wrong here. We have committed to the iMac, the iPad, the iPhone, but I have yet to commit to the Mac himself! Ba-dum-dum-shh!

Happy Thursday all!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Thankful Momma

He's Baaackkk! Robert arrived home! *Wooohooo!!! 

Finley and I were beyond excited to get dressed up - aka out of sweats - and scoot off to the airport to see and smooch that Pap! The last time Robert flew in after his two weeks away Finn played shy for a few days before warming up but thankfully this time around he was more than delighted to snuggle in and give is Pap all the love he desired! *Yet another reassurance that this venture is going to work and benefit us as a family.

There are times, usually while Robert is away and I am tired and admittedly smelly, that I question the choices we have made to uproot the male figure in Finley's daily life. And for what? 

So easily I seem to forget all the good that will come from this decision. It is in the simple moments when I see my oh so handsome common-law partner snuggle or play with my sweet boys that it all becomes clear. Though our time apart can be difficult, the consecutive weeks together will make all the difference for years to come. 

*Even now as I sit here writing, my heart overflows as I overhear the uncontrollable belly laughs coming from Finn as he and his father play and Moe sneaks in for full face kisses - better known as 'bizous' at our house.

And how can you not smile when you walk in on this sweet scene?

And on top of such excitement, Pops also arrived home this week after two months away! With eyes only for Finley, we were his first stop.

There is love a plenty for my sweet boy. This Momma has nothing to worry about!

*Except maybe the dirty floors I have chosen to ignore in all this excitement! But they too will keep!

Happy Wednesday! Hoping your home is overflowing with belly giggles too!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

One Stop Coffee

One Stop Coffee Station. Bam!

Need I say more??

Well...I guess maybe just a tad.

So as I was working on giving our pantry a makeover this past week {which you can check out here}, I decided I needed a better solution for my coffee maker and its team.

Up until now we had been shuffling everything back and forth between the counter and the pantry just to make a hot beverage. This doesn't sound overly tedious when in reality our kitchen island is one step away from the pantry. But the fact is that we here at the MacDonald/Gaudett residence are beverage people. We could brew coffee all day long and think nothing of it. And when my family comes to town, we most certainly do.

So just leave the coffee items out - simple as that eh? Ahhh...No!

Yours truly is not a fan of clutter. Surprise! Almost as soon as the coffee is poured into awaiting mugs it is all packed up and put away. Great! Again, no such luck. Common-Law and I are cut from completely different cloths so to speak {If that is even the correct saying}. Consider me burlap and he can Maybe... the other way around? Can't be sure. Either way, he does not overly enjoy the fact that I am on his heals putting things away {Somewhat constantly}. Alas, the issue.

Which brings me to my solution - this week. *I tend to change things around from time to time. {Understatement alert}

When we designed our kitchen island I insisted on having an open space for displaying pretties - and wine naturally. I knew this space would come in handy when it comes to my need to constantly rearrange. So over the past few years it has played host to many a seasonal display or organization solution of the month. I am particularly thrilled with its latest turnout.

An idea of the overall kitchen layout.
By now I assume you have deduced that it is now home to all of our coffee brewing items. Well look at you and your smarty pants! Gold star!

The coffee/tea station has set up shop at the islands end - insert joke here, sadly my mind has drawn a complete blank for humour. It is a perfect space for our hot beverage selections, sugar, filters {They will never be lost again}, favourite mugs, and the maker itself. *Coffee maker that is.

Keeping with a similar theme and feel from the pantry, I transferred the sugar, teas, coffees, and hot chocolates to various jars and canisters and labelled them.

A drawer from a vintage sowing machine {which I plan on redoing one of these days} breaks up the cluster of said jars and canisters in a way that, I think at least, makes the station appealing to the eye.

The bottom shelf holds a basket filled with a variety of mugs - our favourites have their own spot on the top shelf.

Such a simple solution to what seems like such a silly problem - now.

Happy organizing!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Pantry 101


That was, finally, my sigh of relief. Bee-Caause... I finished my pantry! Ta-da-ta-daa!

Can you feel the excitement I am exuding? I sure as heck hope so! *Pardon my language. The potty mouth comes out when I am in intense situations.

So, that is where I have been hiding for the past week or so, if you have been wondering. Tucked in between the shelves stencilling away any chance I got. And as life would have it, those chances were sparse, because Finley decided to take short sporadic naps and while awake wanted nothing but to hang with his Momma. *This is natural I suppose, I am rather fantastic to be around. Modest is my middle name by the way.

And who could deny such a sweet boy?
Im easily distracted...back to business.

In order to get the full effect, allow us to rewind a few weeks to the disaster zone that was our Pantry {which you can get the full scoop on here.}

Now that we are too well reminded, and slightly frightened that such a space existed in my home, allow me to introduce you to the final product after my labour of love and stubbornness...

'Hot Dawg'
 La la la la la la la....Oh sorry! I drifted off into a lala land of sorts, where I am in crazy love with the tidiness that is my pantry and the fact that I have found a special spot for my coffee filters that they will never be lost again!

I am not going to lie to you, the stencilling was DIFFICULT! It tested my patience on countless occasions which led to me calling Common-Law and admitting defeat. *As I reflect, those calls were wasted energy because really, what can the man do? He IS on the opposite end of the Country. And, I know him well enough that he will surly be a Positive Patsy {which he was} when all I wanted was a Debbie Downer friend... He was in a lose lose situation pore man.

The stencil itself was great and would have worked like a charm if I were a normal person doing a full wall with fewer corners and shelves. So unfortunately, in order to save myself from myself, I had to cut it to do between the shelves. But, I would argue it was worth all the effort because it really does bring the space alive and create a lovely backdrop.

Ill take you through a few of the steps of how we made it to this final product.

First, naturally, I took everything out. *What a sad little space.

At this point, when the rest of your house is oozing clutter you need to remind yourself that the mess will come before the calm. Just breath...

Then, I removed the blue lining I had put down to save my shelves from the wear of cans and such. Alas, that had been a flop because I still had many a ring left behind.

This left me contemplating a solution while I worked away for hours on that bloody stencil.

My lamenting aside, the concept is rather basic. Attach the stencil to the area you want stencilled, with low tack painters tape and then roll over it. The only catch is to pat your roller down with paper towel to prevent the paint from seeping through. Once that section dries, pick it up and move on. *You can watch an instructional video on the Cutting Edge Stencil site here.

 Slow and steady certainly is the perspective to have while running this race.

Speaking of running. I ran out of paint one night after all the hardware stores were closed so I opted to paint the front edge of the shelves with chalkboard paint to help with the labelling process.

*I love labelling everything. It helps make and keep things organized when you are living in a group setting. My issue is however, that I love to change things around more. So, if I go through the time and effort to create a custom label on something and then I decide to change its location or bin/basket or what-have-you, I'm then back at square one. Which brings me to chalkboard paint as an easy solution. No matter how many times I change somethings spot or flip its packaging, it can easily be relabelled and found by a searching Common-Law partner or guest.

I also decided on covering the shelves with cork as a solution to the 'ring' issue above. Not only will it protect the shelves but it also helps keep my glassware secure while still looking great in contrast with the black and blue paints.

Now for the really fun stuff!

I scavenged my house for different bins/baskets and such that could be repurposed in this space. I also scooted to the local DollarStore for inexpensive canisters and boxes to bring it all together. Mixing new and old is a great way to find that custom look without spending a small fortune.

A closer look shall we?

A lot of different types of items need to go into a pantry. When we moved in I group all like things together. One whole shelf for small appliances, one for food, one for dishes, etc. But as time passed and  we started adding things to the pantry the space couldn't handle it and just evolved into a hot mess.

When organizing this time, I opted for a slightly different approach. I still grouped like items together but made the groupings smaller. Instead of all the food together I went with seperate sections such as pasta, a breakfast bin, canned goods, extras, treats, baking supplies, kid snacks, etc. That way, every thing is accessible but not overwhelming.

Left Side View
Right Side View
While I had the chalkboard paint out I tapped off the bottoms of the white canisters below {which I had had in the pantry before but they were always empty}. A simple way to make solid canisters a little more user friendly. Like-a so:

Using differently shaped and sized containers really helped make this space a success. And then to tweak and personalize them helped take it to another level. 

The clear oval canister with silver top holding the nuts and the clear angled ones holding the rice and lentils on the second shelf down are all from the dollar store. {As are the tall ones holding the spaghetti noodles in the pasta section. I chalked their tops because they had an ugly white cover}. I tapped the prep directions for the rice to the inside of their lid in order to keep the change in bin practical. The wire bins were a bit of a splurge at 12-16$ each at Winners but worth every penny.

Old strawberry courts keep the smaller veggies from getting lost in the larger bin.

The breakfast bin holds the toaster, bread items, and appropriate condiments - it is light enough to carry in and out of the pantry for each use.

The labelled canisters that I made here are put to work holding many baking ingredients, the rest of which are found in the wire basket near by. The decorations are in smaller clear containers for easy access.

A picnic basket, that I saved from my neighbours throughout pile, is put to use housing the garbage/recycle bags. They can easily be transferred to another basket when we are off picnicking.

Two old boxes house the larger items. Pepsi on the left with the extra flour and birdseed. Mundet on the right with all of Moe's gear. *Make sure you put felt pads on the bottom to prevent scratching your floor.

The glassware is now on a lower shelf for easier access. *I found it difficult to get what I needed when they were up high before and would often settle for the closest vase. You know, for all the fresh flowers I receive!

Recipe cards and smaller packets of jello and spices are hidden away in boxes next to the cookbooks. I did give in and make labels for these not expecting to change them anytime soon. *Fingers crossed!

I hope you have enjoyed the tour or our newly tidy space and have picked up a few helpful tips and ideas along the way! Hopefully it motivates you for your week ahead.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A Cats Life

'While the dog is away, the cat can play.'

So technically the above is true...but my version goes something more along the lines of, 'If the dog were home the cat could be taking a nap.'

That being said, this needs to follow - I detest being wrong. I am tired. My child has been a touch fussy this week. And by that I actually mean - I quadruple hate even the slightest inkling at the minute chance that I may be wrong. I have not slept a full night sleep in months. And finally, Finn is teething and will not stop crying, bless his heart. *Unless he is getting up to no good with his new found skills doing this priceless little number...

'Bee-Boop. Look what I can do...Oh no, I've been spotted!'
So why in heavens name did I think it was a good idea to start stencilling my pantry to add disaster zone to the equation? *Enter the time I should likely admit to having slightly misjudged the situation, even a smidge - but I will not! The logical answer is clearly because a normal person could not stand to wait days to get started on such a fun project that will better our home in so many ways... Right?

Well, now I come to the point in my argument that I must admit defeat and confess that maybe, just maybe, I over estimated my ability in the present situation - *Don't get used to that Robert! - because allow me to introduce you to the current state of my home...

Rice cake anyone? 
Ahhh...and I just fainted!
On the more positive side of things... *Because up until now lets admit that this post was rather down in the dumps, just like my dinning room. Ba-dum-dum-Pssshh! And I am officially laughing at my own lame joke. Lame?! No, I feel good about it!

Now that we are all laughing and having a good time. *Right? We revert back to the reason I have been eating on the sofa. The pantry project and all its glory. It looks AWESOME! *Said in a dramatic singing voice.

Would you like a little sneak peak-a-roo? *'Ah yah I do, why else would I have endured your ranting via blog if not to see the progress' you might say, give or take a few words.

Drum roll please...

Well la-tee-da right?!

I hope you are loving it as much as I do! Or more even, right now. Since I still clearly have a lot more work to do on it while you get to sit home and enjoy the eye candy!

The colour I went with is the same as our Laundry Room, a powderish blue. When the lights are off it looks quite grey though. With new storage bins and those dandy chalk canisters that we did here, I think this space is going to be a lovely addition to our home. *If you can't find me, I will likely be found hiding here!

Now, the cat is off to save the dog from doing work upon his arrival home.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Power of Positive Thinking

Do you happen to know anyone that just has a knack for having people give them things? And not junky things you feel obliged to take and then throw out at the first opportunity. NO - I  mean jackpot stuff! Stuff that you would have willingly paid for yet here they go offering it to you free of charge with an actual smile on their face.

This person I describe is sadly not me. *If something like that ever were to happened to me I would mirror the little lady in the ikea commercial and take off in a state of panic.

On the positive side of things, I happen to know not just one such person, but two! *Yes, this is an appropriate time to be jealous if there ever was one. My eldest and youngest brothers, Alex and Garry, have this uncanny ability to get the sweetest treasures going. I share this because up until recently neither one had a permanent home so I reaped the benefits of their gift. My house was scattered with lovely free things at my disposal to rearrange and enjoy.

This time has tragically come to an end and has thrown not only my house but household into an uproar. *Allow me to point out that of course I am over the moon for my brothers! There is a wonderful pride and joy that comes along with owning your own home and they are both so handy it really was a shame to put their energies into a place someone else would benefit from. But, with that being said, my house is depressed - and so is Moe.

The boys collected their vintage treasures, a record player, coffee table {which I had hoped to sway Garry to let me keep as a thank you for taking such good care of his things} and these two beautiful hand made rugs. Well, not only does the house look empty and just BLAH,  but Moe doesn't know where to lay to eat is bone and heaven forbid could never lay on the bare floor while relaxing and sunning himself! *He is not spoiled at all.

So in the spirit of thankfulness, I have chosen to focus on a few spaces in my house that have not been altered by the past weeks events. *This spirit has been forced upon me by the power of positive thinking - Moe is still working on it...

Each space has been organized to meet our families needs - functionally and visually. We hope you can find a few helpful ideas to bring into your home was well.

This chalk and cork board station help keep us on top of things. 
A tidy linen closet makes it easy for guests to find anything they might need. *And prevents Robert from insisting I cut back on my quilt collection.
I updated an old chest a while back by applying a fresh coat of white paint. It has been all over my house used for various functions - in the entry as a bench while housing seasonal items, in the den for extra seating while housing spare quilts, and can now be found in the spare room.
It is currently acting as a filing cabinet. Easy-peasy!
Common-law built these handy-dandy book shelves for Finns room. 
An easy way to add colour and style to any children space while still maintaining function and organization.
This is the linen closet in our master bath. Because we have a separate closet and bureau for our clothes, and space beneath the sink for towels, we have set this space up for easy access to his and hers toiletries and under-gear. 
A handy location to store his and hers under-gear. Not to mention a fool proof way to keep Robert tidy and helpful when putting away laundry.
A long thin drawer in our master bath vanity is prime realestate for any lady of the house. To make it functional we bought small plastic bins at the Dollarstore so everything had its own place. 

Knowing there are a few tidy spaces around here gives me hope that I'll be able to pull the rest of this sty back together. The work is never ending around a here.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Sunny Sundays tend to bring rays of warmth with them that shine through the windows directly inside to warm the soul. One just cant help but feel thankful for the simple joys so often taken for granted.

I wanted to share some of the simple pleasures i've been blessed to enjoy just this week. I hope they will bring a smile to your faces, or your hearts, just as they have mine.

Beautiful flowers filling our home with oh - so sweet aromas. 
A healthy babe ready to take on this world.
Everyone has a weakness - for this guy its a bone.
A long awaited visit from Uncle Garry.
Unquestionable Love.
Peaceful Safety.
My silly Owl who kindly holds my tea and can always be counted on for a grin.
Our Joy.
Don't recognize the good moments when its too late.

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