Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh Baby!

B had to work over night last night... so he's taking a little hiatus from the blog world today. He'll be back next week with the second half of his blogging about our multi-zone heat pump. In the meantime, some fun stuff to share!

It seems like everyone we know is having babies (except us)... which we're okay with right now. We're a long way away from that actually... so we're enjoying being Aunt Kerry and Uncle B.

Two of our close friends are expecting a little boy this fall, and this past weekend I stepped forward to ask Mommy if I could help decorate the nursery. She excitedly agreed, and last night we sat down to talk, paint, colour and style.

We started too look at pictures for inspiration and this is the one we landed on.

It's pretty cute, right? Mommy was surprised at how much she loved the grey, and since Daddy paint's for a living - he may even attempt the argyle (and B stepped up to the plate if they decide to go for it). So we'll see how the walls turn out.

Now, the happy couple will be moving into a new place in less than a month. In the meantime, Mommy and I will be doing some shopping to see what we can find based on a little moodboard I created to give the two of them an idea of the colour scheme. We'll see what the furniture actually ends up being, but here is our jumping off point...
I created this using Olio Board (which I was made aware of by @amandalaird on Twitter - Thanks!). It was super easy, and I found some interesting pieces. Mommy fell in love with the hippo, so I'm on the hunt to find one for her. The rest, will have to come as we go along!

I've just recently been in love with orange for boys rooms, ever since seeing the room that Ashley Ann did for her three boys, and I think that this little man will be able to grow into this one! First shopping day is this Sunday. Looking forward to it, and can't wait to share the progress with you as we build little Baby P his new room.

What do you think of Orange for a Boy's room, or a nursery? Or are you more into traditional blue for boys and pink for girls?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend Recap

WOW! What a weekend! Left for Ottawa Friday morning and spent Saturday cuddling with this little man...

Not my photo... but I do have a ton of them that I haven't had a chance to upload yet...

While a whole lot of this was going on back in Toronto (how embarrassing)...

...and B was slaving away down here...

While he accomplished A LOT (that I can't wait to share) I accomplished very little in the studying department for my final this evening. Once I have that wrapped up, we'll be as busy as ever racing towards finishing the basement in time for our party on July 17th, celebrating the one year anniversary of moving into our very first home!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend, and that those of you in the GTA were far away and unaffected by the madness that marred our downtown core on Saturday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fancy Friday Love

Another Friday, which of course means a collection of Fancy Finds!

First off, Shannon from 8 foot 6 shared this gorgeous photo of her bedroom this past Sunday.

Isn't is lovely? I guess I just love the clean simplicity of it. If you haven't stopped by 8 foot 6 before, now is probably a good time. Shannon is in the homestretch on their basement renovation! It's been incredible to follow all of the work that is going on over at their place and I'm itching to see the final product! I just KNOW it will be gorgeous! Oh yeah, and Shannon ALWAYS shares the best craigslist finds for the Toronto area! Go check her out!

These paper flowers are absolutely gorgeous! Stumbled across them on the blog Oh Happy Day!

After spying these here, I headed over to Livia Cetti's website, and learned she had done some floral and prop styling for Kate Spade! No wonder I loved her flowers so much! You can check out her work at The Green Vase!

I'm sure you all caught it, but I loved the feature that Camila from High-Heeled Foot in the Door did this past week on Vintage Travel Posters! I love to travel and always try to find a way to bring the places we've traveled to into our home. No surprise, I enjoy doing that through unique prints. A while ago I shared with you these cute little gocco prints from Art Shark Designs.

This sweet little NYC print already hangs in our home as a reminder of the place we first met and fell in love. I revisited the Etsy shop a little while ago and discovered that Megan (the shop owner) has also recently created a Dublin print!

I'd love to add this as well, as a little reminder of our trip to the Emerald Isle. I could go in the direction of vintage travel posters... but I'm tempted to create a small gallery with a collection of these fabulous gocco prints to represent our favorite cities! Aren't they fantastic?

Want this floor for our front entrance...

Photo is from CAR Möbel, found on automatism. Isn't it lovely? Any ideas where I can find something like it?

Hope you had a week full of beautiful things as well, with more to come this weekend. I'm off to Ottawa once again, this time for a bridesmaid dress fitting, my best friends new condo house warming, and a visit with one of my favorite boys of all time! I can hardly believe little Brayden is almost 3 months old now! Unreal! Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Okay... I absolutely fell in love with the table in the pictures below. I stumbled across it while getting my daily dose of Desire to Inspire yesterday, via this post.

Yes, the table in the foreground of the photo... with the wooden legs! Seen anything like it!? Know where I can get it? I'm looking for the perfect round table for our little living room... and I'm pretty sure this is it.

(The whole apartment is pretty incredible... go check out that blog post!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nuts 'N Bolts - Going Ductless

Installing a multi-zone split heat pump may sound like an intimidating task given the fact that the name alone sounds like a serious piece of hardcore technology. However it might be a lot easier than you envisioned, provided that you have a basic electrical and plumbing know-how.

First, I'll give you a little background as to what exactly one of these units are and how they operate along with what lead us to make the decision to go this route instead of a traditional Furnace/AC combo.

From the Mitsubishi Website:
"Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to pump refrigerant and transfer heat from one space to another. When we transfer heat from within our home to the outdoors, we call it “air conditioning”. Conversely, when we transfer heat from the outdoors to within the home, we call it a “heat-pump”. Because refrigerant is naturally much colder than outdoor temperatures even on a very cold day, it actually absorbs heat from outdoors, and transfers the heat it absorbed outside to within your home. The refrigerant’s physical properties do this naturally. What you pay for is the electricity to pump refrigerant via copper tubing from outdoors to indoors. Because we move the heat rather than create it (as electric baseboard or resistant heat does), we can deliver up to 4 times the heat for the energy we consume!"

The heat pump system is comprised of two main parts, the outdoor unit which houses the pump and the condenser and the indoor unit which distributes the conditioned air. The outdoor unit is similar to the traditional AC condenser that sits in many homeowners front or side yards like an old broken down Chevy. The heat pump condenser is much more compact and can be placed just about anywhere outside the house. The other difference is that this condenser can be reversed to provide not only cool air, but heat in the winter as well.
Indoor Unit
The indoor unit resembles that of an air conditioner and base board heater love-child. Being a multi-zone system you can place multiple units throughout the interior of the house and choose to heat or cool certain areas at a time, increasing efficiency. Depending on the size of the system you can have up to 4 interior units for each outdoor condenser. Our system is designed for 20,000BTU with each indoor unit providing 10,000BTU. The indoor unit is comprised of a blower with vanes which directs the air flow through the apparatus providing hot/cold air into the house. The indoor and outdoor units are connected by copper tubing(to transfer the refrigerant) and electrical wiring.

Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit has a large fan mounted vertically that acts the same way as your automobile radiator does. It draws air through the metal radiator composed of aluminum fins containing the refrigerant. The unit also contains a pump which transfers the heated or cooled refrigerant to the indoor units. In the summer it uses the air to cool the fins turning the refrigerant into a liquid which chills the air and in the winter it heats the liquid to a gas, creating heat and warming the fins. One downfall of this system is that it is only effective to -15*C, so in the event of any extreme cold temperatures, the system switches to defrost mode and no longer heats the air. As a backup we will be installing a gas fireplace in the basement as well as utilizing the wood fire place in the living room upstairs.

When we made the offer on our house and had our home inspection, (nobody should leave home without one) it was confirmed that the furnace and AC unit were both 20+ years old and on their last legs. We figured they would have to be put out of their misery sooner rather than later and to avoid the risk of losing the house in renegotiation, we bit the butter and made due. Shortly after moving in, we realized that the AC barely made a dent in the upstairs oven we call our bedroom. Fast forward to the fall, Kerry and I attended the fall home show in Toronto in search of a reputable company to price up some new HVAC systems for us.

We grabbed many brochures and talked to various 'experts' on different units and we felt most were just talking heads who just wanted to sell us the most pricey, luxurious model to up their sales quota for the year. We found one guy who truly seemed he wanted the best for us and talked us down from a Cadillac and showed us something more in the Honda range.
I had scheduled an in house visit with him to show him our current system and provide us with a quotation. When he came by we talked about what I was looking for in a new furnace and AC and that I would probably need to upgrade the duct work as well since there was no return air ducting in the upstairs, hence the oven-like quality of temperature at night. We discussed various plans and the quote he gave me was something in the $6000-7000 range for a new system including the duct upgrades(this did not include any and all repairs to the drywall that would be ripped up in the process). It also didn't take into consideration the necessary upgrades to the existing duct work which was a result of the previous installer's less than stellar job.

After presenting the price I discussed doing the duct work myself to save a thousand dollars or more and just before he left he asked me if I had checked out the ductless system at the show. I had never heard of it and how no idea what they entailed. After handing me some literature he priced up the unit for me and instantly I became a fan even though the price was comparable to the furnace/ac combo. However no ducts meant cleaner, filtered air being distributed throughout the house (with two dogs and 2x the fur and dander this was a huge plus) as well as no need for expensive metalwork and drywall replacement.

One of the perks of being in construction is the connections you make along the way. Lucky for us, I had made friends with a subcontractor that had done some welding on my previous project. He had mentioned that he had his HVAC license and dabbled in that work on the weekends. I gave him a call and he told me he would look into pricing one up and get back to me.

Once he had quoted me a price with a savings of nearly $1500 plus installation materials I was sold. Scheduling in time to install the unit was a project on its own as we were both busy most weekends but we were finally able to free up some time after about 3 months of trying and thankfully the installation (which Ill get into in my next post) only took about 3 days.

In Part II of Going Ductless I will go over the installation process which is a lot easier than you may think. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you. Cheers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Basement Keeps Progressing

This past weekend B spent a lot of time working in the basement and boy did it pay off. When I say "a lot of time", it almost seems like an understatement. After spending all day Saturday down below with a good friend putting up the new ceiling drywall, he headed back down around midnight (after our date night) and continued to work until about 3:30 in the morning. Mind you, it was well worth it as our basement now looks like this...

Thanks B for being so wonderful and hard working!!

See where that small square of dirty old carpet ends closest to the drywalled area? That's where the original wall was in that basement that concealed the furnace and water heater. Crazy how much space we've gained from doing this! 

I was also excited that on Sunday, B and my Dad got to talking and it seems that they plan on working together this coming weekend to get the shower enclosure all tiled. I'm starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel! I cannot WAIT to have this basement finished!

I'll leave the rest of the updates to B. Apologies for the short post, but all of my own time and effort is currently being put into finishing up my final project.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mexican Engagement Party

Two weeks ago, our family was thrilled with the news that my brother had finally made the jump. While on a mini-vacation in Niagara-On-the-Lake, my brother asked his girlfriend of almost 4 years to marry him. Her answer of course, was "Yes"! With looking at getting married in October of 2011, the wedding planning is well underway, and an engagement party is set for this August at my parents home. I was told they are planning to have a mexican themed engagement party, which inspired today's post! Here's some Mexican themed inspiration...

Love the simple elegance of these. I know they are save the dates, but they could easily be used as invitations as well! I'm loving the colour combinations as a great jumping off point for a colour scheme. Found in the Etsy shop of Earmark Invitations.

Love these hand cut tissue paper banners! I think they would be gorgeous strung up in my parents back yard, displaying their names and the date they have chosen as theirs! Found in aymujer's Etsy shop.

LOVE the use of bright colours at this Rehearsal Dinner (shared on this blog). It says Mexican without being cheesy (and we all known that Mexican themed parties ALWAYS have the potential for cheese-factor). I love the use of ribbons on the chairs, as well as the table runner! Gorgeous!

I think that creating a bunch of brightly coloured tissue paper pom-pom's (and maybe some napkin rings as well?) would be a great addition to the decor! Just think of using some of those punchy colours from the invitations and the rehersal dinner photos! PERFECTION! (image found here)

To light up the party when the sun starts to go down, I think a bunch of brightly coloured paper lanterns, along with some brightly coloured candles would be the perfect way to light up the night. 

(Found here)

(Found here)

Of course, what would a Mexican themed engagement party be without some delicious Margarita's!? There would definitely be some of those served!

Once again, congrats to M & A! I know how excited you both are and I look forward to celebrating this exciting time with the two of you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fancy Friday Love

Friday already!? My how this week had flown by. Must be all of the fancy things that I stumbled across this week... so why not get right into it?

Have you been visiting Lavender & Lilies recently? Well this past week it's been "All About Neutrals", and really - it's all about gorgeous! If you've missed out, then head on over now and check out all of the beautiful rooms and images that have been shared! I've always been a sucker for a gorgeous neutral room...

If you read my blog on the regular, then you are more than aware of my love of art and prints. I can't get enough of beautiful pieces to hang on my wall and as soon as I saw this fantastic print on Designwali this week, it was love at first sight!

If you love it as much as I do, you can get it right here.

This past week was also Kate Spade's sample sale - absolute heaven for me... or at least could've been if we had a little cash to spare! Since we don't, I'll just pretend that I purchased this gorgeous Classic Noel Stevie

Love the soft neutral with the pop of bright pink and orange! So summery and girly! The best part? This bag that was originally $395 and is now only $179! Anyone want to buy a friendly blogger an early birthday gift? (very early... like 3 months early...)

Thanks to this post on Oh Joy! I have discovered the wonderful etsy shop vesselsandwares'. The store is filled with all kinds of beautiful handmade pottery that just made me swoon! I adore the cake plates with the ribbon weaved through them, but my favorite has to be the sweet little berry strainers! So unique, and what a fancy way to wash and serve your freshly picked summer treats!

Lastly, I want to feature a company that frankly, I'm surprised I haven't featured sooner! I first came to know about Holley & Gill by connecting with the lovely Michelle on Twitter. The headboards designed and created by Conrad and Michelle are absolutely gorgeous, and this one has to be my favorite...

I would most definitely have sweet dreams if this fancy headboard graced our bedroom! And you my friends, can pick one of their gorgeous creations right here. Aren't they so incredibly talented?

Just a couple of my favorites from this week! Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fabric Fun

The absolute best part about the course I am taking at the moment (Residential Materials), has to be all of the beautiful fabrics I have had a chance to find, collect and use. From the smallest swatches to some of the bigger pieces, I'm in love with every fabric I've laid my hands on. Since most are being used for school projects, I thought it was only fair to share these beautiful fabrics with all of my lovely readers, so let's see what I've been up to... shall we?

Sunshiny Yellow's

I figure I'll start off, with the least exciting of my fabric choices, that resulted in a little project I am thrilled over!

For my very first project, textile application, I came across some gorgeous yellows. After purchasing 10cm of each, and using them for my assignment, I was left with some extra and knew it would be a shame to hide them away.

So, after being inspired by all of the photos of beautiful pennant banners (including this adorable one Lindsay's whipped up for her darling Oscar's nursery), I knew what I wanted to do. This past Sunday, I pulled out my fabric, some sharp scissors, a ruler and this fun twine that B had in the garage, and got to work.

I measured my first pennant to be 5 inch's long and 4 inch's wide, cut it out and then used it as a template to trace the remainder of my little flags. I made five of each, and then made a few small cuts at the top of each pennant to allow me to string my pennants. It only took me about half an hour from start to finish, and I think our little pennants look summery and sunny in our front entry.

Even B commented on them looking good, which made me happy. Who knew B could form an opinion on pennants!?

Fun Florals

Last week while I was sourcing fabric for my final project, I stumbled across these three fabrics. 

I didn't know right away what I would be using them for, but I knew they were substantial sized samples that were FREE (yes, FREE!!) and I loved them... so they were coming home with me. Since then, I've found a use for the blue floral, and have started to come up with some potential places for the other two. I can't wait to use them in our house. Aren't they gorgeous?

Final Project Fabrics

Earlier this week, another trip commenced to find fabrics for my final project (which is now due is less than a week... oops!). These were the first four that I was drawn too...

I am certain that I will use the floral and geometric fabrics, but I'm still trying to come up with all my final choices. I'm so in love with the big floral print which is what originally grabbed my attention. This is one project that I will most definitely be sharing with you all once I wrap it up.

Only a few more classes left for this girl, and my first course of my part-time program will be done. I may do a course wrap-up, or just a final project post... or maybe if I feel ambitious, I'll do both. Either way, right now I'm focusing on surviving this final week before I have the chance to sit back and enjoy the rest of the summer (a.k.a get busy with finishing up this basement reno!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Time Blogger

Before I begin my adventure in this space I'd like to introduce myself and give a little run down of what you can expect from me.
Growing up near Boston and closely following the 'Big Dig' Ive always experienced and had an appreciation for construction. I have always been fascinated by construction and was first introduced to it hands on by my grandfather. I remember helping him mix up batches of concrete around the farm since I could first hold a shovel (fully getting that concrete dust embedded in my blood).
I also preferred watching This Old House on weekend mornings over the cartoon network (I'm different, I know this) I even went to school for it (BS in Construction Management). I hope to provide some of my knowledge I've learned along the way through school, personal experience and watching old Bobby V himself. I will try and provide the 'nuts and bolts' aspect to our renovations and projects giving you a dose of the technical side of things.
Since I spend most of my time doing the manual labor it will be a nice break to get on here and share what Ive learned and some of the knowledge Ive gained while helping Kerry bring our designs to life. Keep an eye out for 'Nuts and Bolts with B" here at First Time Fancy and feel free to ask any and all questions and Ill try to get them answered during breaks in the renovation action. Now back to your regularly scheduled programing...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coming Up Roses

When we moved in last July we were thrilled with the two large rose bushes in the front yard. Right outside our front door there were gorgeous mini red and white roses. 

This past spring I spent a full day outside cleaning out the garden and pruning back the plants to allow for new growth. Just over the past two weeks the bushes have absolutely exploded and we have a ton of gorgeous roses decorating the front of our little home.

This past Sunday morning B and I headed out to the dollar store, at my request, and found exactly what I was looking for - a fantastic small square glass vase for only $2. When we arrived back home I snipped a few blooms, and clustered them into my new little vase. 

Love the way they look sitting on the pass through between our living room and kitchen. What's even better is that it only cost $2, as the roses we absolutely free! It made me think, I'd like to go back and pick up a few more of these small vases to use in other rooms around the house.

Have you been enjoying any blooms from your own garden recently?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Scotts EcoSense Weed B Gon - Product Review

If you are from Toronto, or the area, you are familiar with the bylaw against using particular pesticides. Or, on a broader scale, you are also probably aware of the provincial ban which supersedes all municipal bylaws in Ontario. Of course, with bylaws aside, it is not always easy to get a beautiful lawn and be kind to the environment all at the same time. In our case, I was feeling especially hopeless, as the state of our backyard was beyond embarrassing.

Here's the disaster in early May. So. Much. Yellow. 

This is a small patch of  our disaster yard... 

Come May, I was thrilled to hear about the newest product from Scotts EcoSense, Weed B Gon. The product is advertised to "kill weeds, not lawns". The active ingredient is Iron, which apparently, when applied to the weeds in an excessive amount will cause "oxidative damage... at the cellular level". Good to know. Well, I'd finally had enough of looking at our backyard, and last Monday B went out and picked up a 2L spray bottle of Weed B Gon.

Being the thoughtful man that he is, he left the weed spraying to me as he knew I had a personal vendetta against the weeds that are choking out the grass in our yard. I was quite happy to get my "spray-on" and headed out back to see what needed to be done. According to the bottle it's as simple as spraying the weed to wet it with the brown liquid (colour comes from the high volume of iron in the solution) and then just let it do it's job. Results should appear in approximately 72 hours.

Seeing as our yard looked like a refugee camp for dandelions (and other odd weeds), I decided I would go around and spray some test weeds before I went nuts cramping my hand by spraying every individual weed out there. I got a whole lot of them, and in just a little over 48 hours I was happy to discover this is the back...

Look at how black that stupid dandelion is and how GREEN the rest of the grass is! No dead spots on the grass! It's fantastic that we've been able to find a product that is more environmentally friendly, and that will kill the horrible weeds crowding the yard, but keep our grass green and growing. If you're looking for some spot treatment for the weeds in your yard, I'd definitely recommend giving Scotts EcoSense Weed B Gon a try. I know that we'll continue to use it for all of our weed killing needs around here!

I'm thrilled... I guess now it's time to get out there and tackle the rest of them. Look out weeds....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fancy Friday Love

Back again with another Fancy Friday Love! It's been so long since I've shared beautiful things that I've found! Now that I'm trying to stay on top of my blogging, I thought it was the perfect week to get back into it! Here are just a few things that I found, and loved, this week!:

This lovely print was sent to me by the wonderfully brilliant Brittany over at My. Daily. Randomness. She is also the talented designer behind this print that I shared a while ago, that now hangs in our guest room.

It's adorable, and I know exactly where I plan to hang it! (Just give me a bit of time before I can actually share it in it's proper place!)

Moving on into the tasty department, I picked up these tasty treats at our Organic Grocery store! They are cranberry, hazelnut crackers, and adelicious, light snack for when I'm sitting at my desk at work...

They are delicious, and apparently commonly used to replace crostini's for hors d’oeuvres. They have a bunch of other varieties that I would love to try - especially the cinnamon raisin! Yum! Check out the company's website here.

I am head over heels in love with this Mountain Home designed by the Mother Daughter team of m. elle design. I've seen photos of this talented trio's work in quite a lot of places recently, and it's very deserving! Found this home featured on Desire to Inspire this past week. Go here to check out all of the gorgeous interior photos! (I'm packed and ready to move... when do we go?)

I must say, it's been a pretty crazy week - so it's a short post... but you can expect my lists to grow in the future! Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Little More Fancy

I'm extremely discouraged by my lack of blogging recently. In the last little while I have spent some time trying to brainstorm more content for blog posts, and have started to create an "Editorial Calendar" for myself. It will be helpful in mapping out what's to come, and make it easier for me to get posts together in advance so I can get them up for your reading pleasure. As part of this, I hope to go back to including my "Fancy Friday Love" feature on a weekly basis. Why am I telling you? Well, partially so I can prepare you for some (hopefully) more regular blog posts on my part. Also, because you can expect to see some posts from someone else around here a little more regularly.

B and I got to talking the other night, and it appears we are both on the same page that it would be fantastic if we could get some posts up from him on the regular. Afterall, he is the one doing a LOT (a.k.a pretty much ALL) of the heavy lifting in our renovations! This should give him a chance to give you a little more detail about what's going on at our abode. He also hopes to share some of the knowledge he has gained through school, work and experience, as well as some of the new things he is learning along the way. I hope that his insight will bring a bit more technical knowledge to the renovation portion of our life / this blog. You can watch for B's posts on Wednesday's in a section we'd like to call "The Nuts & Bolts with B"!

I hope you'll welcome B to the blog as a regular and that you enjoy his posts! Things are about to get a Little More Fancy around here!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Paint it Blue

Once this past weekend was upon me, I was thankful to a little bit of time to get work done around the house. Today's post is just about a little project I made time for on the side.

Saturday afternoon, as B was working away with a contractor friend on getting our multi-zone heat pump installed, I was craving creativity. In an effort to avoid studying for my midterm I began my search for something to beautify in our little house. That was when I stumbled across this old photo box that we currently use to store extra cords and game system controllers:

I must say... gold cherubs don't really make up my idea of "style"! Thus began my mission. I figured since I had some of the yellow and blue spray paint left over from my patio set transformation, I would put it to use. 

Initially, I thought it would be a great idea to go with the yellow since our living room in predominately grey, black and white, and I knew we needed a  littlecolour pop. However, after getting a coat of yellow on the box, I discovered it was not to be. The yellow wasn't going to cover those cherubs. So onto blue it was...

After getting the paint on, I let it all dry out in the garage over night and Sunday morning brought it back in and put all of our cords back in. 

It's nothing exciting, but a small change that I am happy with. I have an identical box on the bottom shelf of the same bookcase that I plan on giving the same facelift too. I'm just happy that I was able to take this storage and continue to utilize it in our home. 

Have you been able to take an old storage container of some sort in your home and give it new life?
Related Posts with Thumbnails
© Life on Misneach Ridge
Blogger Designs by pipdig