Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas Tree Theme Ideas

It is minus 1 billion degrees outside, so I thought I would take us back on a trip down memory lane to late when I went to the Rona preview of their Christmas lines! Ok, still on the winter theme, but at least this will conjure up memories of hot chocolate and snow gently falling instead of the freezing wind gusts and shoveling. :)

A lot of people struggle with coming up with a "theme" for their first Christmas tree. You know, in the years when you are just getting your feet as an adult and you don't have 1000 family ornaments or you are simply on a budget looking to fill up a tree. I thought these collections from Rona would really help so I want to share them!

First there is the Wood Lodge Collection...imagine pine cones, woodland creatures, twigs, birch, and lots of natural colours!

However, if you consider yourself a sleek and modern kinda decorator, then the Winter Wonderland Collection is up your alley- black, silver, gold, glass, and all the bling a tree can hold without Yukon Cornelius showing up.

But honestly- this last collection won me over and is the reason I wanted to share the Rona lines today...The Vintage Collection! A few years ago I got this idea in my head that I wanted a "peacock tree" full of bright jewel tones, sparkle, and intricate designs but had SUCH a hard time finding these decorations in a sea of gold and red. This collection clearly scooped my style! But that is OK, because this means you can easily create a colourful tree youself! I love the really retro looking ones too...remind me of the ones I had growing up before the tree-falling-over-and-smashing-all-the-ornaments incident of my youth.

I won't be able to put up my tree until AFTER the big move next week, which is killing me because I am totally a "decorate ridiculously early" kind of girl, but I am making up for that by helping my dad decorate his trees this week! Maybe I can convince him to switch up the theme on our formal tree? :)

PS- Rona did not in any way compensate me to write this post or even ASK me to write this post. I just was really excited about their vintage decorations and wanted to share them and their other lines!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Floor Planning in the New Condo

On Saturday I had my walk-through of the new condo (I am entitled to two chances to visit the condo before moving in so that I can take measurements and double check that there are no outstanding issues). I brought my parents along so they could see it too!

Firstly, lemme say, the condo is SO DIRTY. I swear every time I am in there I find some new disgusting thing that makes me consider a hazmat suit on move-in day. It was previously a rental and then sat empty for a year or two so it had just not been kept up. But it is their lost and my gain because all that crud scared off other potential buyers! I just have a lot of deep cleaning to do before I unpack.

Oh, I also bought a bed this weekend! Nothing too exciting, but it is a pillowtop queen (I am currently on a double) and I am super excited for it. I was ready to take a nap on it in the store. It gets delivered the day after I move in so I only have one night roughing it on an air mattress.

I have a few more photos for you:
Bedroom (the gap fits a queen)
Bathroom (sadly, this light fixture is the nicest one in the condo...and you are looking at ALL the storage this bathroom has to offer)
Balcony and filthy door

World's tiniest washer/dryer


Other side of living room (that's an 11ft wall), and parents/realtor admiring world's smallest washer/dryer

Living room (with dad model)
Living room (with world's filthiest air intake vent)

I have lots of plans circulating in my brain for the various rooms (I have ROOMS!), but today I am showing off a little room planning I did for the living room (I used for this). You can see in the photos above the awkwardness of the space. That column is smack dab in the best place to place a couch! I am also planning on a table by the kitchen, since there is a nice spot to hang a light (already one there), so I gotta work on the other side of that column. I tweaked the floor plan based on a few measurements I took while I was there. I didn't bother measuring every inch, but this is closer to the truth.

Here are some options for a chaise lounge type couch:

And here are the couch + arm chair options:

So looking at these, there are a couple I can scratch off right now. I hate how the living space is really blocked off visually in 4, 7 & 8 and waste the use of the ONLY wall in this space, so I think putting the TV on that bottom window wall is a huge no-go. I also think 3 just looks silly and is fighting the space, so angling the furniture is a better idea. I think with 6 the chair is a little lonesome and pointless (can't even see the TV), so I think we can eliminate that.

Therefore if I go with a couch, 5 is the best option. If I go chaise, I can put it against the window or the wall. If the TV is on the window, then the couch will face the view instead of a wall. If the TV is on the wall, I can put a fireplace under it and that would be nice. There might be glare issues with the TV across from windows so I would need to keep the blinds closed when watching. Though, I don't think the condo ever gets direct sun.

As for couch and chair vs chaise lounge, I LOVE the look of an armchair, but there is no denying that a sectional would be comfier to cuddle up on with some popcorn! So many decisions, but don't worry- I am having tons of fun planning this! Chime in if you have any ideas I haven't considered!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Condo Camping

Condo Camping: noun; To sell all of one's furniture and move into their new condo with just a camping chair and an air mattress.

Guess who is going condo camping in a couple weeks?!?!

Yup! I sold all of my furniture last night to the buyers of my place. It is sad how little money a person can get for all of their furniture... but I think the price we agreed on was fair. The most expensive pieces are the bed and couch (basically everything else was Ikea), and soft items are tough to sell online anyway. Heck, that bed is 15 years old! I got enough cash that I think I can turn around and get a nice new bed! And maybe have enough left over for TV stand! Hurray!!

I am happy that it is all sold because now I don't need to move it. Plus, since none of these pieces work for the new place, I would have had to sell them at some point down the line and selling stuff online is a pain in the patootie. I based my price to the buyers on what I thought the resale value was and we ended up in that area.

Funnily enough, when I moved into my current condo I had only 2 camping chairs, an air mattress, and a TV stand that came with the condo. So crazy to come full circle and be back to that again now in a new condo (minus the TV stand). I hope that this time around I can buy pieces that are really nice investment pieces. The tininess of my current place meant that I often went Ikea or undersized with my furniture pieces. Now I can buy real sized furniture that doesn't need to fold down.

Though if I come across that chair I am totes buying it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Condo Sneak Peek!

All the conditions of the sale have gone through so now my "new" condo is officially off the market and I can share it with you guys! I had made an offer close to a month ago, but there were some hiccups with the status certificates and some other issued (I will do a later post on this), but the sellers made some concessions and we are all good in the hood! Just have to wait for closing in a little under 3 weeks and I will be moved into my new place :)

I thought today I would share some photos and a rough floor plan because I have been super excited to share my new place! Did I mention this new condo is almost TWICE as big as my current place and not only has a bedroom, but a small den? And that the kitchen has a 6ft island? And that it is full of windows and light? I am super excited!


I whipped this up from memory and from pictures so it is probably incorrect in a few spots, but it gives the general idea of layout for you. I am quite sure there is something off with the entrance/den/bathroom area, but I am not sure what. The only things I have measured is the den (which is roughly square and 50 sq ft), and the gap between the closets in the bedroom, which I believe was 67 inches. Oh, and that island, which I am SUPER excited to roll out some cookies on!

I am a little confused with the bedroom because it doesn't have an angled wall on the inside, but it is definitely angled in the living room. Perhaps the bedroom is actually on an angle? I think living room furnishing will be a challenge because of the triangular shape of the room- but I also think that is one of the reasons this condo sat on the market so long. They didn't stage it at all so buyers were unsure how to work with it. I have lots of ideas and I have seen lots of different options from the comparables that had furniture in their listing photos.

And now for a couple terrible iphone shots!

Den (I had my realtor stand in for scale)

Living Room (you can see where the angled wall is on the right, and the corner of the kitchen island in the lower left)
Kitchen/Dining Space (that pole is the same one on the left in the above living room photo)
Incredibly blurry bedroom
I have no photo of the bathroom, but it is a pretty standard small condo bathroom.

I have so many plans for this place! Besides the floor (which I'm not a huge fan of, but they are new), nothing else in the condo has been updated since it was built. The appliances are kind of old, the lighting is ugly, there is random carpet around the base of the columns in the living room (I shall allow you to scroll back up to that photos and laugh). These issues, mixed with the lack of any staging, the lower floor, and incorrect pricing meant the owners struggled to sell this place. I think it had been on the market for almost 2 years. Hence why I was able to scoop it up for a great price! A lot of comparable units have been updated and I think I can do a LOT with this place.

Current Plans
- add attractive storage near front door for shoes (I am thinking of hemnes shoe storage)
- add built in storage and maybe a desk to den
- focal point of wall behind bed, add a shelf for storage
- new stainless steal appliances in kitchen (the cabinets are in good shape and the countertops are granite. Even though they aren't my first choice for colours, from an investment standpoint I will probably leave them). I have seen comparables and stainless is the way to go with these cabinets
- backsplash in kitchen
- change out vertical blinds for white roller blinds. Maybe add in some sheer drapes to soften the room
- might move TV to the wall (right now wired to be by the window), and add in an electric fireplace.
- add flooring to balcony. I might actually have enough leftover from when I did the balcony in my current place!
- paint, paint paint. I don't think the cheap builder's paint has ever been painted over. I might go grey or taupe. Need to work with those reddish floors. For the bedroom I might go a different colour- maybe a soft pink. For the den I am thinking a bold wallpaper someday
- update lighting throughout condo
- buy lots of furniture! I want to get a queen size bed, a nice dining table and a big sofa. Definitely going to get some rugs too

Obviously I am going to start slow as I just dropped a lot of moola to buy this place and furniture itself is going to eat up a lot of my savings. But for now I am just super excited to just get in there!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Break-In a Freedom Wig

Step 1: Do something you had never been able to do before because your wig would fly off:

Step 2: Laugh at how bad of a bull rider you are :)

(PS- turn your sound down unless you want to hear the high-pitched screams of my friends)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 36

Weight: 144.8 (20.2lbs down)

Yay to being under 145! Though, I think I only weighed in that low because I was getting my drink on Saturday night and that tends to dehydrate me. I wish I had a lot to report on, fitness wise, but I am definitely in a bit of a rut. I am eating probably around 1800 calories a day (sometimes more, like when you are at a party with a dip contest) and I am only working out about twice a week right now. But I am also weighing myself every few days so I can catch any weight gain before it gets out of control. And so far I have been hanging pretty steady for the past few weeks so I am glad to see that I am not THAT bad at doing a maintenance diet, even though it feels like a ton of food after so many weeks of being so careful.

I am also still learning my weaknesses. When I was calorie counting I always had a small dessert in the evening, whether it was a fudsicle or a couple cookies. Now that I am NOT calorie counting I find I am reaching for these "treats" way more than once an evening. I think I need to get back to the gym because sitting in the condo, next to the fridge, is dangerous. However, I do miss the evening sun because I really hate running in the dark. Therefore I am back to the treadmill, which is le boring.

I am kind of excited for my new place because there is so much room in the living room to work out at home! I am also constantly reminding myself that I won't be a magical new Casey just because I am in a new condo. Just like how you aren't going to be able to magically master a diet just because it is Monday. Therefore I am not "waiting" to be in my new place to keep trying to get fit! I turn over a new leaf every day!
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