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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Kitchen Reno Phase 2–Demolition!!!!

Dun Dun Dunnnnnn DEMOLITION!!!!! Needless to say this was one of my super favourite parts of this reno; particularly because I got to help! Let’s just say that this Thanksgiving I was thankful that I got to spend the day wielding a sledgehammer to our kitchen walls, muahahaha….and yes, this was how we spent our Thanksgiving day, although we did go to Charles parents’ place for dinner after which I was also VERY thankful for!

Here’s our naive before picture…or maybe I was just naive, and Charles was just being Charles hahaha….darn demolition is really hard work, fun yes, but hard….


And you can’t forget, safety first!


Here’s a line up of some of our weapons of mass destruction…from left to right, a chisel, a crowbar, a burke bar, and a wonder bar! Also not shown is a hammer, and yes, we had a pink one hehe.


Action shot!!!!


Let the demolition commence! We are slowly phasing out our various styles of ceilings in this house (I swear we have like 5 different kinds) and switching it all to drywall. The sad part is their lath and plaster underneath whatever style it is which makes this one messy job! Also their was one wall in the kitchen that was panelling over top of lath and plaster that had to come down, which we will get to shortly. (That’s where a lot of my sledgehammer fun came in! hehe )


First tile down!!!


The wonder bar was taking to long so we recruited the burke bar and those bad boys didn’t stand a chance!!!


Do you find it odd I want to start playing “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor” by Drowning Pool? Maybe I enjoyed this a touch to much….


Now for round 2! The lath and plaster…yuck. Tearing this stuff down was extremely difficult and made for some very sore arms; just getting started involved some very heavy smashing to finally expose the laths.


Cue the sledge hammer!


Once the laths were exposed we made “fast”, dirty work of the ceiling, using a crowbar to pull down the laths which caused a lot of the plaster to come with it. This was where our respirators were very, very crucial.


Break for lunch! *elevator music plays* then commence some very fun sledgehammer action on the wall!




The next victim to our mass destruction was the dining room ceiling which was some foam board; due to the dining room being an addition there was no lath and plaster there, and all the walls were already drywall that will just need to be patched in some areas. (And yes, we are tearing out that old air conditioner!)


Last of the day was that little island!


And boom! Shocker! Stucco siding….like seriously??? Gotta love old houses! After some thought we came to the conclusion that there must have been a door and a window on the exterior wall of the old house, and they decided to just frame around where the window was and stick the counter on top, and make the doorway the new pass through to the dining room….sigh.


And behind that stucco? Joy of joys! Shingles lol


Time to bust out the reciprocating saw and cut that bad boy down!! Another day Charles completely removed that wall, and then just added in a beam to make sure it was sturdy, although in technicality it was not a load-bearing wall.


Oh what a mess….


Check out our trash piles outside hahahaha. Renting a garbage bin would have been very practical, but because we are doing this in stages and we didn’t want to rent one for more than just a day, we will just rent one at the end of this all…or perhaps come spring lol.


Our beautiful, dusty after shot hahaha.


And after much picking up, shovelling, sweeping, and vacuuming….here is what we were left with! During the clean up phase we also pulled up all the laminate flooring that was in the dining room.



Next week I’ll share with you the rest of the demolition that Charles did later on – involving tearing up the kitchen floor, dealing with the chimney, and the commencement of drywall!

How did all of you spend your Thanksgiving? Have any of you ever wielded a sledgehammer or burke bar? If not you most certainly have to put it on your bucket list ;)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Kitchen Renovation Phase 1–Organization!

IT HAS BEGUN!!!!! We have officially started our kitchen renovation!! As I write this our cabinets are out, walls have been torn down, and we are eating out of our living room off paper plates hahaha. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s take a step back!

The first step to our renovation was organization; setting up an appropriate area for us to store food, prep and cook food, and to eat. Our goal was to still make as many home cooked meals as possible, and to make this process as easy as possible. Thus our slow cooker, and our BBQ, will definitely be getting a good workout!

We started out by cleaning up our living room, and making space for our dining room table, thankfully it’s small!


Then we made room to set up another table for all of our food prep. There is also a night stand now underneath our TV, there to the right, which we had to move from it’s initial home to make way for our fridge; conveniently we were able to empty it out and use it to house all our snack food – crackers, granola bars, apple sauce, nuts, raisins, etc.

Next up was finding a room for the kitchen items we use most – a few pots (to be used on the side burner of our bbq), tupperware, and our food.

Stored under the table is a box with our teas, a box of our spices, our tupperware, and two boxes with our non-perishable food – cereal, pasta, oils & vinegars, beans, etc.


On top of the table we stored our most commonly used items – oatmeal, chocolate chips, brown sugar, granola, peanut butter, protein powder, vitamins, etc. We also housed our small appliances here (slow cooker, blender, and toaster), our mixing utensils and cutlery, plus papers plates, bowls, and cups.



Now I would like to state, normally we are hugely against waste. We avoid plastic plates and utensils at all costs, or reuse them if necessary; however, during this kitchen renovation we are doing our dishes in our bathroom sink or bathtub, so we decided that our sanity is worth more than some paper plates for this short time period. Sometimes, you just have to do what it takes to survive.

Last was taking down our microwave! Eventually we will be buying a new, significantly smaller microwave, but for now we just set up our old, above the range one…which resulted in a rather gross find…for the longest time I always saw some….legs dangling down past the microwave and sadly what I feared to be the grossest possible scenario was deemed true. A giant spider had somehow gotten stuck in between the microwave and the wall and died, leaving only a dangling pair of legs for evidence until the microwave got taken down. So gross. I’ll save you the gory picture though hahahaha.


And here are some full view shots of our new kitchen/living room!



Cozy isn’t it?? We have been living like this for about 3 days now and it honestly isn’t all that bad, definitely not as terrible as I imagined it to be, but we will still be very grateful for our new kitchen!!

Finally, we set up a plastic barrier between our living room and kitchen to keep out as much dust as possible during the destruction that was to come; we set up two layers worth, with an opening on alternate sides. Note you go in on the left, walk through, come out on the right side…I hope that makes sense!


While setting up the plastic we couldn’t resist having some fun pretending to be zombies as it greatly reminded us of World War Z hahahaha.


And on that creepy note I sign off! Be sure to stay tuned for next week when I share Phase 2 – the Demolition Process! Do you have any tips to help us survive a kitchen renovation? Or have you ever had a dead dangling spider trapped somewhere? Be sure to share any and all thoughts in the comments below!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

DIY Rustic Picture Frame

For the longest time we have been on the hunt for some really nice, large, artwork for our living room, but despite some amazing lust worthy finds, our budget has not had room to spend on actual art due to all our other pending renovations.

I have even spent countless hours scouring Pinterest for DIY ideas but nothing seemed quite right either, so finally, one day I just took the plunge and attempted to create some art with the kids, all the while fingers crossed, that it would look good enough for our living room and it shockingly turned out better than I could have imagined.

diy rustic frame

I don’t have any actual pictures of the process of the kids creating the art since it was so last minute. This was pretty much just thrown together using what we had one rainy day when the kids were driving me up the wall hahaha….in essence I just pulled out some regular acrylic paint from the dollar store in colours that suited our theme, and I also grabbed a large piece of kraft paper I had been saving from when Charles had once bought me flowers! I then gave each the kids a brush, and while I squirted paint from above, they set to spreading it out. Occasionally I gave some direction, or had to tell Anna to stop blending the paint so much, but it’s about 98% pure child original.


Once I was happy with how it looked we hung it up on a wall to dry and there it sat for about 2 months until we (aka Charles) finally made a frame for it!

For our frame we collected some rough old lumber that Charles’ dad had laying around. These pieces happened to be approximately 1x6 rough cut hemlock/pine.


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Autumn & Halloween House Decor!

Happy October everyone! This year has just flown by! I look around me and cannot believe how crisp the mornings are getting, or how much the leaves have changed! It seems like just yesterday the lilacs were blooming and spring was coming, but ever since we’ve had kids the years just disappear! Every day seems like a challenge but before you know it a month has flown by!

Maybe the largest reason I decorate with the seasons is to help me accept them, and to recognize to take a second to step back and appreciate the moment that is here before the season changes once more. Either way, enough sentimentality, come join me on a little tour of my house at the moment!

Recently I have been on an organizing kick, so we bought this great wicker “dresser” for our entrance until we manage to make our apple crate bookshelves. We secretly stash all of our dvds in it, along with gloves and touques – just in time for the cooler weather! I also love having another space to decorate as there are so few in our house at this time!

Autumn Decor @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Autumn Decor @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

When decorating I always try to do so as cheaply as possible; mostly items from nature, or a few cheap things from the dollar store! I got that ceramic pumpkin on clearance one year after Halloween, the tree I just made (see that post here). Then I just added some feathers I found in a vase, some decorative gourds in a basket, and some fake leaves from the dollar store.

The chalkboard is also a great way to come up with a seasonal message, you can get my diy here, or you can fake up your own by using a white marker on black poster paper and throw it in a frame from the dollar store!

The next space I had fun decorating was above my kitchen cabinets…

Autumn Decor @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

For this space I actually always have a few staples such as the wicker balls, white owls, books, and candles. Then I just add in a few items depending on the season – for Autumn I attached some leaves to the candles, some pinecones and red berries, and for Halloween the owl and crow. This way you don’t have to have a billion different items for each season!

Autumn Decor @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

The other trick to decorating is to layer - having different items at different heights; a great way to achieve this is even by stacking certain items on top of other ones; hence the tea pot and owls on the books.  Or the little crow and red owls in front of the tall bottle, and bowl of wicker balls.

Last trick is texture; the milk glass, the wicker, the feathers, the wood, all add different dimensions, texture, and color to please the eye.

Autumn Decor @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Autumn Decor @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Granted I’m still learning how to best layer items but really, just have fun with it! And if it looks good to you then that’s all that matters!

My final spot to decorate is our kitchen window ledge. For there I just added a piece of driftwood, my favourite little brass elephant, and a pine cone; this really just goes to show nature, and sometimes simplicity, is one of your best friends in decorating!

Autumn Decor @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Do you have any tricks for decorating for the seasons? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to share a bit of some Halloween fun with you what with October just around the corner! While I have always decorated my house for fall I have never partaken in any of the Halloween festivities; this year though I thought I’d spice things up a bit!

While I’m not huge into the zombies, scary, bloody decor I do love various cutesy or classy Halloween decor! Hence why I decided to have fun with my daughter making this ghost tree! All you need for this is a branch, a vase, vase filler, cheesecloth, cotton balls, and some sort of string.

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Step one is to simply find a branch! Easy enough right? Not when it’s raining and you don’t have a nice tree in your yard haha. A Manzanita branch would work really well for this but if you don’t happen to have one of those fancy branches, any old dead branch will work that has a decent amount of scraggly ends.

Trust me, the rest of this project gets a whole lot easier and is actually a really quick project you can whip up in an hour! Just place your branch in a vase of your preference, and fill it up with your choice of filler to hold the branch in place; I chose mixed beans and coffee beans. I love the bits of white, orange, and green from the mixed beans along with the black coffee beans.

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Next, give your child the remaining beans and a water bottle….Anna spent the rest of the duration of this project just sorting her beans and making a shaker out of them! Sadly I had my mind on mission mode getting this done before needing to prep dinner and didn’t take any pictures of her, bad mama. Either way, now you get to commence, Mission Ghostie!

Cut a square of your cheesecloth, ensuring you have a few layers stacked together. Place your cotton balls in the middle and wrap the cheesecloth around them. I love how the cheesecloth makes your ghosties so much more wispy and airy then just tissue paper.

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Tie off the head with either string, sewing thread, or what I used – fisherman’s string. I personally preferred this as it’s slightly invisible, although it definitely made tieing knots a wee bit more difficult.

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Next you get to grab a sewing needle, thread it with your string of choice, and puncture your poor ghostie in the head haha. This is how your going to attach it to your tree; you just have to use the short end of your string to make a knot over your ghosties head, and then use the long end of your string to attach it to your tree.

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Trim any loose ends, attach to your tree, and boom your done! Put it in your special place, step back, and admire your ghouly ghostly tree. Feel free to even add little black dots with a sharpie for eyes if you like! You could even cut out some bat shapes from felt and string them up with your ghosties if you like.

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

DIY Ghouly Ghost Tree @ Pink Hammers & Sippy Cups

Next week I’ll be sharing a post with all of my Autumn and Halloween decor so stay tuned! Do you regularly decorate your house for Halloween or will you be joining me on the bandwagon this year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!