Friday, February 27, 2015

Well This is Alarming

About a month ago, Cam mentioned he would like some sort of clock in the bedroom, because he never knows what time it is when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I keep my phone on my nightstand, but he isn't really a phone-next-to-bed type. So agreed that we could get a clock for him, but I wanted to pick it out.

See, I don't like the bright light that comes with an digital clock, and I am not generally a fan of the style of 90% of the cheaper alarm clocks out there. So I hopped onto Amazon and fell into the world of cute clocks. I ended up ordering this white, subtle wood grain one, and it took a few weeks to ship out- but actually came a couple of weeks before I expected it!

I know- white on white on white...I really branched out here.

Anyway I really liked it because it was small and sleek AND the clock only comes on with a loud noise or being tapped- meaning Cam can check the time when he wants, but it won't be lit up 24/7 keeping me up.

Now the downsides to this puppy? The first was the small chip in the top-right. I emailed the company and they did get back to me and said it was "supposed to be chipped", but I think there is some sort of translation issue at hand here. They told me to email them a photo and they will consider a full refund if it is indeed defective. So we shall see on that!

I will also say that all the instructions are in some sort of Chinese (?). They emailed me English instructions when I asked, but they weren't much better. I was able to figure it in about 10 minutes on my own, thankfully! I also have no idea how to use the alarm clock function, but neither of us need to use that anyway...we just needed a clock. I should also mention it works on batteries or cord, but it is just a USB cord so you need you own wall adapter.

Oh- and like anything sound or touch operated it once in awhile has turned on by itself. I blame ghosts :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bedroom Art

I have been looking around for awhile now for some sort of large artwork to display on the big empty wall over my dresser. I am really into florals and watercolours right now (I think spring is calling me) so I have kind of had my eye out every time I passed through a HomeSense or Marshalls...which is very often.

Finally last week I was in Marshalls and I found this nice big flower canvas! And it was in neutral colours so it would go with whatever colour I paint the room! And it was only $60! Score! I carried it home on a very windy and cold day, but it made it here in one piece.

Also, if you think my dresser is always this neat and clean, I need to laugh at you. Oh the web of lies we bloggers weave in our photos! But yes, the painting is really nice and has lots of texture so it is visually very pleasing in person! Plus it is nice to finally have something to look at when I am lying in bed.

Also, if you were wondering about the stuff on the dresser, the box is something I picked up at HomeSense ages ago for around $10 (they seem to be everywhere and in every kind of pattern/colour at HomeSense right now if you want one!). I really like peacocks so I got me a peacock one. It holds my hairdryer, straightener, curler, and a bunch of other random things that don't really have a place to live in the condo. The box also covers up a weird stain on the top of the dresser (shh).

This jewellery stand at the end of the dresser is actually my old cutlery holder from the old condo! It is a little short for the job, but holds tons of necklaces so it has been super handy. Eventually I plan to come up with some sort of hidden storage for necklaces (like a hinged mirror or picture?), but for now this is working out perfectly. My earrings and smaller jewellery in in the copper tin in front...which randomly enough came with a set of copper cookie cutters.

I still also plan to get a new dresser. The pine dresser is nice, but it is really not my style and I think I need something with 8 drawers instead of 6 (which is really hard to find! I am thinking of hacking two 4-drawer Malm dressers together or something). Right now Cam's clothes are being stored in a small dresser in the living room, which clearly isn't an ideal situation. And me paring down my clothes isn't an ideal situation either ;).

Monday, February 23, 2015

The CN Tower & 360 Restaurant

Sometimes when you live in or near a big city, you don't necessarily do all the usual big attractions. When Cam and I started dating, we both discussed how we would like to go up the CN Tower one day because I hadn't been since I was a kid and Cam had never been! For Christmas this year, Cam surprised me with a gift card for the Tower and I decided to use it to take him up for a special 30th birthday lunch at the 360 Restaurant this past weekend.

PS- Lunch is a much better deal than dinner, but both of us were discussing coming back sometime in the summer during the evening to see the city all lit up. I was worried that it would be poor visibility on Sunday, but it was pretty good! And it certainly wasn't busy due to the snow and cold, which was nice!

The restaurant rotates around the top of the CN tower and take about 72 minutes to do a full rotation, so you get some amazing views of the lake and the city. Lots of fun trying to find landmarks and name streets.

My condo is in this shot ;)
I had informed the restaurant when I booked that it was Cam's 30th birthday, and they decorated his dessert all pretty!! Isn't that nice? The service was great there.

After dinner we went down to the observation deck and the glass floor. The observation deck is outdoors so we just made a quick loop (brr!) since we had seen the view from the restaurant already. The glass floor was actually kind of busy so I can't imagine how crazy it must be during the high season! I liked that the aquarium roof was decorated with the glass floor in mind!

Then we took the elevator (where there is also a glass floor!) down and made the short walk back to the condo (I actually live just a 5 minute walk away). It really was a fun little excursion playing tourist in our own city and hopefully we can do it again! I've always wanted to take one of those city tour buses...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Casey Gets Fit: 1 Year Later

Hello!! Welcome back to once-weekly-now-never fitness update! It is officially ONE full year since I got all serious about my fitness level. What a great year too- I lost 20 lbs, ran two 10Ks and a 15K, and started buying a bunch of smaller pants. It has been great! I don't have many body shots of me, but here is a shot of me on Christmas Day when my hair was being very cooperative.

Christmas 2014!

So where am I now? About 146 lbs! Which is only up 1 or 2 lbs from where I left off last fall. Pretty good considering I feel like I have done nothing but eat candy and carbs since the weather turned cold. I have no desire for vegetables when it is -40 out. And I am still TRYING to do some workouts, but it is really like a twice-weekly run on the treadmill. Lame.

I did accomplish my fastest 5K recently though!

Thankfully I have managed not to pile on the weight this winter and I am hoping now that spring is coming (it IS coming right?? They didn't cancel it this year??), I can get BACK into my healthy living and hopefully get down to 140 lbs. My girls and I are planning a trip to Vegas in the late spring/early summer so I need to get bikini ready by then.

I am also going to start blogging about my efforts again, because I think that really helps me stay on track. And once it hits 5 degrees I am going to start hitting the pavement again! I am secretly hoping to run a 1/2 marathon in the fall. Well, not so secretly since I just told you :). I just can't train for one on the boring treadmill so I can't wait for warmer temps.

But for now, I need to eat this cronut (donut/croissant). Diet doesn't start until Monday, right? ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Feeling Blue

...paint that is!

I really want to get started on painting the bedroom. I know that paint should come last, but I am really disliking the off-white, marked up paint job in here and I am hoping that picking a paint colour will help me pick the other elements of the room. I need to start somewhere.

I decided to move away from my paint-everything-grey phase and try some colour in here. I want the bedroom to feel light an serene and after a LOT of thought, I think a blue/green tone would be perfect. The greenish tinge will hopefully keep it from feeling like "baby boy blue" and more like "sunny day at the beach blue". The room is really dark 90% of the time, so light colours are better. Right now I am leaning towards Clear Sailing by CIL, but I haven't a chance to see it in different lights yet. Will need to get a sample pot!

I am also thinking of painting the "bed nook" a bright and high gloss white with maybe adding in some trim to give it some dimension. I think my furniture choices in here will be a mix of white and dark...we shall see!

In the meantime, here are some examples of light blue-green bedrooms!





Monday, February 16, 2015

Ice Ice Baby

This has been a record cold weekend. It got so cold on Sunday that it didn't matter if we were talking in Celsius or Fahrenheit. I basically didn't leave my condo for 48 hours because nothing was worth going out in that cold!! I even had ice form on the insides of my windows.

Anyway, today is a holiday in Ontario and Cam and I were planning on sleeping in and being lazy but we were woken up by a fire alarm at 5:30am!! It went until SIX THIRTY. And then we finally went back to sleep and it went off again at 7:00am. Very annoying (though, at least we didn't have to evacuate- they came on the intercom and told us all to standby). I distinctly remember checking the thermostat at 6:30am and it was normal and warm. However I woke up at 10:00am freezing....checked the thermostat and it was only 68 degrees! I am a mid 70s kinda girl!

Turns out a pipe burst down in the boiler room and my whole building has no heat (and apparently no hot water, but today isn't a shower day for me anyway). Latest update is that it may be back up this evening, but who knows. In the meantime, the condo dipped down to 61 and I plugged in the ol' space heater! I borrowed it from my dad years ago for some reason and kept forgetting to return it. Sure glad I still had it! As of writing this the condo is up to 62 degrees, but I am sitting in the direct line of fire so I am feeling toasty.

All I need now is a super long extension cord and some wheels and then I can just tie this baby to my leg and have it follow me anyway. The cold doesn't seem to bother Cam so I am just going to keep this by me at all times.


PS- I use Fahrenheit for indoor temperatures and Celsius for outdoor temperatures. Does anyone else do that?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 2015 Running Playlist

We are into mid-February now. Holiday weight is hanging on, New Year's resolutions replaced with evening naps and waiting for Valentine's chocolates to go on sale. The thought of going to the gym makes us go EURGGGH....especially since we have forgotten what a bikini even looks like.

I have really been working hard to get over my winter running slump and get back to the gym (and running outside ain't ever gonna happen in this cold). I have no sure-fire fix, but I recently updated my running playlist and thought I would share my top 10 songs that will hopefully take your treadmill time from:


1. Walk the Moon- Shut Up and Dance (this is my favourite song right now. I am literally like treadmill guy up there when it comes on. It is so catchy)

2. Sheppard- Geronimo

3. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars- Uptown Funk

4. Taylor Swift- Blank Space

5. Bad Suns- Cardiac Arrest

6. Linkin Park- Bleed It Out (this is really old, but I love running to it)

7. Kongos- Come With Me Now

8. David Guetta- Every Chance We Get We Run

9. Hozier- Take Me to Church

10. Spice Girls- C'mon C'mon (another oldie but this my "finish strong" song!)

(PS- I may have shared some of these songs before, but I really really like them!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bed Side Shelves

When I lived in my old bachelor condo, there was no room for a bedside table, because my bed was squished into an awkward space, so I built a shelf at the head of my bed for storing my alarm clock and lamp. When I started looking for a new one-bedroom home, I was very excited at the prospect of bedside tables because I think they are really fun to have! Alas, silly me ended up buying a condo where the head of the bed is in a nook and bedside tables are again not an option!

However, a girl still needs a place to store things like books and iphones so some sort of storage was needed... time to bring back the bed side shelf!

I actually bought the materials for these ages ago, but got lazy when it came to install because I have barely started decorating in here. I have lots of plans for how to decorate this nook and want to get a proper bed frame and headboard, which obviously affects where to hang these shelves, but I take forever to make decisions so I might as well hang them now and deal with patching the walls later if I need to!

Also- these are CHEAP. They cost me $1 each! The board is actually drawer fronts I found in the "as is" section at Ikea, and the braces were just bits of wood that my dad happened to have lying around!

To hang them, I had Cam help me figure out what height they should be at (to prevent head-bonking), and then I just leveled them out and screwed into the two walls for maximum support. They are pretty sturdy!

The undersides are not pretty, but no one sees those. I wasn't even going to bother painting the wood, but it was more visible than I thought so I quickly painted it after I had them up.

They have been working out great! I have also ordered a really cool alarm clock online, but according to Amazon it will take over a month to arrive so for now we are relying on phones!

What book is on your nightstand right now? I just finished the last Game of Thrones book (to be honest I found the books kind of boring since I only like a couple characters so it has taken me forever to finish them), and now I am onto the 14th book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which I really like and recommend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Map Gallery Wall Version 2.0

One of my favourite projects in the old condo was my gallery wall of maps in my hallway. Basically, every time I travel to a new city, I save my walking map and frame it when I get home to remember my trip by. Now, I only started this a couple years ago so I had to buy/print some maps that I no longer had, but the memories are still there in those streets and monuments! I finally got my maps back up in my new front hall and I love them!

You may have also noticed my new welcome sign! I had just hung the hook there a week ago, but then someone on Craigslist was selling this adorable yellow welcome hook and I was all "well that trumps my single hook", so I scooped this baby up for $10. I think it was originally from Urban Outfitters.

This is hung directly across from the front door and it is such a cheery site when you open the door and complements my gallery wall of maps perfectly!

For the gallery wall, the frames are Ribba frames from Ikea and I laid them out on the floor and was pleasantly surprised to see that the 5 horizontal and 6 vertical lined up perfectly. And happily I had 16 maps! The only downside is I can't travel anymore because then my maps will no longer line up so perfectly :P

To hang them I just penciled in 3 long, level lines, using a frame and a one inch piece of wood to space out the lines evenly. Then I just nailed away, using that 1 inch piece of wood as a spacer, though this size of Ribba frame is really just a couple nails that the frame sits on, you don't have to get the spacing of the nails 100% right. Also, one of the frames fell off the wall during this (I probably shouldn't have been nailing while some were still hanging...), and the frame and glass broke. But I just repaired the frame with my staple gun and I will pick up a new one next time I am at Ikea.

Sure is a nice sight when I open my front door now! Feels a lot more like home :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

New Appliances and Faucet!

I finally took some photos this weekend so I could show you guys all the improvements in my kitchen!

Can you tell what is different? (hint- look at the title of this post)

I got a new dishwasher, microwave and faucet!

During boxing day sales my brother mentioned that the dishwasher he owns (a Bosch SHE3ARF5UC)  and loves was on sale for $498 at Lowes, which was more than 50% off the regular price. So my mom and I went by Lowes and I bought the dishwasher! I am so indecisive about stuff like that so knowing someone with this exact dishwasher who had no complaints kind of sealed the deal for me. While I was at Lowes, I also saw an LG microwave on sale for $100 off and it had decent reviews so I decided to add it on as well. I figured if I need to pay for shipping, might as well load on the ol' order.

The dishwasher was on backorder so both appliances didn't come until Jan 11th, and then the following week my stepdad Lee and my mom came over to help with the installation. The dishwasher was pretty straightforward, though it took awhile to get everything hooked up. But it runs SO quietly! It is so nice to have a quiet dishwasher when your living space is all open concept.

The microwave was horrible to install and Lee ended up having to come back another day for it. You have to install a back plate into the wall and it attaches to that and to two holes through the cabinet above. Of course condos have concrete walls and even with my hammer drill it was no fun getting that plate hung. And then one of our two holes in the top ended up just ever-so-slightly off (they give you a paper template but it is tricksy to get it perfectly lined up). So we had to widen the hole, but then of course now the hole was too big for the bolt! However, we ended up finding a metal brace of some sort in my pile of repair stuff and we used that to brace the bolt. A metal washer would have worked perfectly, but alas I had no washers! But that is just an FYI tip if you ever drill too big of a hole...metal washers.

Anyway the microwave is in and working great!

Lastly, we installed my new Delta Trinsic faucet! Which I got for FREE. As you may recall, last fall at the BlogPodium Conference I won a kitchen or bathroom faucet of my choice from Delta. At the time I was gearing up to sell my old condo, but it already had a great faucet so I didn't see a need to replace it. Therefore I waited until I got my new place to pick one out!

I really wanted an arcing, pull down one and was all set to order one from Delta, when it dawned on me that my cabinets sit really low. I quickly grabbed my tape measure and found out that I did NOT have the clearance for that type of faucet! That would have been really sad if I had ordered one. However I talked to their rep about what I wanted and she recommended the Trinsic pull-out faucet, which was perfect! I really need the ability to move and have a built-in sprayer because I wash my wig in the sink :). It is also really handy for filling pots on the counter.

The installation was really simple. Only issue we ran into was that when we removed the plate at the bottom we discovered my sink actually had three drilled holes, and this faucet is designed for one and I hadn't thought to ask for a plate for it. So we reused my old plate, which isn't a 100% fit, but no one will ever notice (except I just told you...).

Anyway, I am loving the new faucet! It is really powerful and looks great.

Now I just can't wait to shop for a new oven and fridge! The original dishwasher and microwave weren't in great working condition and are relatively cheaper appliances, so I had no hesitations buying new ones, but the oven and fridge work fine so I am taking my time to figure out exactly what I want and then pouncing on sales. I have read that fridges go on massive sale in May so fingers crossed!

As for the white vs stainless debate, I had seen comparable units with my kitchen colours and I really preferred the look of stainless with the cabinets and countertops. Plus I am making these decisions with resale in mind, and I know people just love their stainless. I do need to get some of those cloths designed for fingerprints once I have more stainless to keep clean! Oh, and I REALLY need to buy some new handles because the fingerprints in these photos is driving me batty!
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