Monday, 2 December 2013


I've been waiting to post about a new experience we've embarked on, but haven't had a chance! Today's post is extra special because it includes a discount that you can use to make your life easier!

We started using eMeals a few weeks ago and have really liked it so far! It's an online meal planning service. Basically you pay a small fee and have meal plans with recipes and a grocery list sent to you each week. You can choose from 13 different meal plans, ranging from your everyday Classic to more specialized like Paleo and Clean Eating. You can change your meal plan once a month, so if you want to try a few that's a great option. We started out signed up for "Low Fat", but I didn't find it a lot healthier than the way we already eat, so we changed to "Clean Eating". So far we've really enjoyed it! My favourite things:

  • The grocery list makes shopping so easy! It's divided by department so going through the store is pretty quick. If you're in a rush it's as quick as printing it our or accessing from your phone and you can get all your groceries done in one trip. (We only opted into dinner plans as we usually just eat leftovers for lunch and cereal or toast for breakfast - but you can have your meals complete which would make the grocery list even more handy!)
  • We've tried a lot of new meats and foods. I'm mostly a chicken and fish kind of gal, and before this had only bought red meat I think once not counting it's been an interesting change eating sausage, pork, steak, etc. Definitely adding some interest to our meals. 
  • I find that it makes it a lot easier to remember to take out meat to defrost, and to get started cooking right when I get home. Sometimes thinking of a plan is so hard, and then even when I make one by the time I get home I don't feel like making that particular dish. Ay ay ay. Anyway, now I get home, open my binder where I have the recipe print outs and just start following the instructions. I know that I have all of the ingredients so it's just as easy as following the step-by-step guide. 
If you think this sounds as heavenly as I do, give it a try! eMeals is offering 30% off for Cyber Monday, so hop over to their website at and start eating delicious meals with less effort :).

Disclaimer: I wasn't paid to write this post, I'm part of their blogging network and believe in their product so I was happy to write about it and share a great service with people I know and like! I am in the process of being approved as an eMeals affiliate in which case I could make money if you visit their site through a link on my page, but as of right now this post is written with no money in mind!

Do you have trouble thinking of meal ideas too? I hope I'm not the only one who comes home starving at 5:30 to a freezer full of rock hard meat that will take way too long to defrost so I dig into some scrambled eggs...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

4 Saturdays

It's official, there are 4 Saturday's until Christmas. That is exciting, but also makes me nervous about all of the shopping we have to do! 

Has anyone started shopping? I've completed 10 out of 19 gifts so far, plus whatever gift exchanges and parties come out of the woodwork. Ay caramba. 

Philip & I have already distributed our Christmas lists which are sometimes fun to put together. Since sending it I've seen a few other things in stores that I'd love, so I've been keeping notes for my July birthday. Not trying to be selfish, I think because we've been putting most money into our house it's just exciting to get to have some of the things that I wouldn't buy for myself right now with all that we have going on. 

I love Christmas! We have 2 gatherings already planned for the 14th & 15th (one at our house!) followed by countless more right around Christmas. 

My goal was to finish all Christmas prep before the end of November, so that in December we can take some time to relax as we both have 2 weeks off. We have less than one week to go so I'm going to be furiously shopping online, doing my Christmas baking, and organizing our plans for the holidays. This past weekend we put up our tree and decorations and we've been playing Christmas music non-stop so we're well on our way to the Christmas spirit! The other thing we've been trying to do in preparation is to finish as many of our house projects so that we can relax guilt free when Christmas break comes around.

What have you done to prepare for the holidays? I'm hoping that all of our preparation means a calm and jolly holiday season!

Christmas Projects

- Decorate
- Bake
- Shop
- Wrap
- Bathroom
- Guest Room
- Office
- Cleaning
- Basement
- Host
- Celebrate

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Double Vision

We currently have 2 TVs in our living room. Ay caramba. If anyone's wondering why our bathroom takes so long, it's partially because we've jumped between projects a lot - that and we have a busy schedule, and we are learning as we go. Anyway, we're close to a reveal on the bathroom, but in the mean time I thought I'd share our plan for the guest room/eventual nursery/potential foosball room/exercise studio (I decided to use the word studio because it makes our exercising sound much more glamorous than it actually looked when we do it). 

So hopefully one day the 3rd bedroom will be a baby room, but until then, we don't want a room sitting there and being of no use to us. We painted it "Quiet Nest", so when the day comes we won't need to repaint, but it's a soft enough colour that it works as a guest room too. Our original plan was just to put the day bed and vanity in there and use the closet for seasonal storage and the occasional guest. This was a little silly because we will probably never have an overnight guest. Perhaps a friend who is too tired to drive, or a babysat kiddo needing a nap, but both of these seem pretty unlikely. Almost all of our friends live here, as well as our family, so we've never had a guest. 

The next plan for this room came about by Philip's cousin generously gifting us their foosball table. We thought that room could work for it since our basement isn't finished and it's just off the living room. We have the table set up in their now, but I think it's about to move into the basement. 

Poor foosball, being kicked back downstairs. We'll probably try and buy a cheaper rug for the basement and set it up down there for the time being. It can still be used and stay nice, but just not upstairs because we came up with yet another plan! Plus this one we sank money into so it's likely to stick.

Our exercise regime is a Wii program called EA Active, it's awesome but since moving we've both fallen out of the habit. We're really hoping to get back into it, but the problem is that our living room is not a great set up. Any time we need to exercise we have to move our coffee table, which is too heavy for one person to move. This means that if I decide to exercise on a day off and the table is there it isn't so easy for me, or else it means that we keep our table off to the side for weeks making our living room look less than presentable. After thinking it through, we decided that a great option would be a TV in the guest room with all the gaming consoles set up in there. We can exercise out of the way, keep our living room weight free, and have a separate room for playing games too with friends. The day bed works as a great couch so it should be a fun space.

Right now our guest room is being used as an interior door construction zone, so we haven't set it all up yet, which means the TV we bought off Kijiji is hanging out next to our other TV. It makes us look very tech-savvy. I can't wait to have it all set up and maybe do a video showing how our house is looking these days! 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Warm & Toasty

While we've been keeping pretty busy with our bathroom, we've jumped around a little bit and finished some other projects too - that would be easy to skim over because they aren't so thrilling.

As you might remember, when we gutted our bathroom and took down the ceiling, the insulation fell down on us. This is when it was revealed that we had 3 layers of insulation: saw dust, batts, and blown fibre glass. Too many layers. It was time to clean that all out and start fresh.  

If you're handier than we are, I know that you can rent the machine from Home Depot or other places, but we just aren't that skilled. I would rather pay to have someone else vacuum it all out and blow it back in than pay for repair on a Philip sized hole in our ceiling. Just not worth the risk, and it's a gross job. 

We got a few quotes, and ended up going with a company recommended by my cousin, Airborne Insulation

The journey of having our cellulose insulation blown in was a little trickier than we, and the insulation company, had anticipated. They had a crazy summer and we had a lot of delays waiting for them, but eventually it got done. The first day they came in and realized that the scope of the project was a lot larger than they thought. They had planned on spending the morning vacuuming and the afternoon blowing in, this turned into 2 and a half days vacuuming and half a day blowing back in. We were pleased to see that they didn't change the price on us though, the guy that quoted saw the attic and we didn't hide anything so it was their mistake and they took the hit on the extra labour. 

It was a gross job, the attic is messy and dusty, I felt so bad for the guy who had to be up there all day vacuum in hand. I told him he has a terrible job (was that rude? I'm not normally that blunt :S). He has done it for 25 years and he's good at it! I'm glad he can still be happy while stuck in a dingy attic.

Anyway, now hopefully our home is more energy efficient. Since we've moved in we've replaced the windows, replaced the exterior doors, the furnace, air conditioning, hot water tank, and attic insulation. I think we're well on our way to low heating bills! 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


I don't know how much Philip's childhood swimming lessons inspirational motto will help us, but we've made a lot of progress, had a lot of determination, and done a lot less swimming this summer than we would have liked due to being busy with the house.

It's hard to believe it's been 2 months since we've updated this blog, we definitely didn't mean to give up on it, but life just got away from us! It's interesting reading the last bathroom update, and about our front doors, because that feels like it was a while ago. This might be a long one, but I'm going to try and bring everyone up to date!

- We can officially go to the bathroom upstairs, which is handy, but we don't have a unless you feel like being really public with your bathroom needs you might still want to use the basement. Let's just say that having no bathroom door isn't my favourite part of our so far. 
- We installed the floor all by ourselves which was exciting! For the most part, Philip & I work as a pretty great renovation squad, we don't normally lash out at each other or disagree too much while trying to get things done...but the floor was definitely trying to challenge that. It was tricky because you have to put the glue on, and then try to position the tile perfectly, and it was just stressful as we got close and tiles were having to be put in so exactly and I was getting emotionally distressed. It looks beautiful though and in the grand scheme of things I'm glad we could DIY that portion of the bathroom. 
- Our lighting and electrical were all completed, our light is so bright and beautiful! It kind of makes the bathroom. I can't decide what my favourite part is yet, but the light definitely helps me see it all!
- We installed our Ikea vanity, medicine cabinet, and well as bringing in a drawer unit from Kitchens 2 Go to replace the old linen closet. All of the installations went well, and we're so happy with how much storage we were able to cram into such a small bathroom. My favourite part are the Ikea drawers, they're maple and can fit so much! Plus I bought lucite organizers for them which make me really happy. Organizing those drawers was the highlight of my weekend #renolife. 

We're drawing near to the finish line, our plumber will be coming back this week to finish up in the shower, and other than that the major things are having our linen cabinet top sprayed at my work, installing our mirror, and buying and installing a door. After that it's just the pretty touches!

After finding a method soap that coordinates beautifully with our bathroom scheme, we've affectionately themed our bathroom "Silver Birch". 

So that's where we're at bathroom wise! As soon as it's complete I'm planning to do a quick video tour since it's kind of small for picture taking!

Now for a couple of questions for you!

1. We've been debating on interior door options. Philip would love to do frosted glass interior doors, I've seen them at Home Depot and they're beautiful! Plus they don't show much through so privacy isn't too much of a concern. Cons: They are more expensive, breakable with kiddos, and might make people feel less private? Pros: They're interesting and unique, spread light through the house, and look super stunning. What do you think we should do? Also, have you installed an interior slab door (as in, not pre-hung) before? We don't really know what we're doing.

2. We're planning a bathroom launch party when our bathroom is done. Anything that takes this long deserves celebration. Any bathroom themed foods you can suggest?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Painting the Town Light Grey...and Mint

Last week we finally got some paint up on our brand new drywalled walls. I am so beyond thrilled with how the bathroom is turning out! After much dispute about bathroom paint colours, we went with a bland and beautiful light grey and it looks amazing. 

We’ve typically bought our paint at Benjamin Moore, but we were on a time crunch and needed to buy a bunch of things at Home Depot so we just decided to make it a one stop shopping trip. We’d heard that Behr paint doesn’t cover well and requires a lot of coats and did find it to be a bit true, but it wasn’t bad enough to regret it. We spent all day Saturday priming and painting ceiling paint, white upon white upon white, but finally Sunday my mom came over and helped us to get started painting with a real colour. We painted the bathroom on Sunday, and then later in the week we got to the guest room which we painted a light mint colour. Finally getting some green into our grey/blue house. 

For reference, as much mine as yours, the bathroom colour is Sterling by Behr and the guest room is Quiet Nest. 

It was hard to find a photo that showed the colour Sterling. It's a light silvery grey, 
the link comes from this blog.

Apparently finding pictures of paint colours is not easy. Quiet Nest was impossible, but when it's lighter out I can take a picture of it. 

So happy to have paint on the walls.

We're working on smoothing out our bathroom floor as we speak, and then the vinyl tile can go down! 

Getting closer and closer!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Curb Appeal Improvements

While waiting on various bathroom items to come to completion, it was hard to keep from making some outdoor improvements in the beautiful Winnipeg summer weather! 

New Front Doors

Our old doors were drafty, and left some security to be desired. They had bathroom door knobs, the kind you push in and turn to lock. Not only was this less than the security offered by a dead bolt, it left us locking ourselves out of the house more than we'd like to admit. No keys were needed to lock up, so we'd end up outside with no way back. 

We had planned to get doors from our local Home Depot, and even asked for a quote on installation, after hearing from multiple sources that installing doors yourself isn't as easy as you'd think. The installer ended up calling us back, and promptly informed us that we should order doors from somewhere else that has better quality. Great sales pitch from someone who's contracted to by Home Depot, they should probably check on their installers more often. Anyway, this lead us to get back in touch with our window supplier, who had quoted us a lot more than we were planning, but half the price of the Home Depot install company. 

The new back door in all its beautiful windowed glory. 

The front door doesn't have a window,
but will hopefully be sporting a colorful and welcoming wreath soon enough.
The doors took a few months, but they're in and they're beautiful! Plus they protect us from exterior threats like elements and intruders, which is about as much as you can ask from a door. Success!

We hope to paint them at some point, but just waiting to get a feel for what we'd like best.

New Door Hardware

In preparation for the new doors, we went to select some hardware. Our door supplier suggested Schlage or Weiser, so we stuck to those brands, which can sometimes be nice when there are so many options out there.

We ended up with a sleek and modern set for the front door, and some basic levers on the back. Exactly like you see below. We're super happy with them! 

We also did quite a bit of gardening but we'll have to talk about that another time! Do you think next we should update our banner to reflect the weather outside? Christmas in August anyone?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Many Steps Closer to Bathroom Launch Success

Since we haven't blogged in so long, this post has been ongoing for a month or two, it has made it hard to post because every time I have time to work on it there's more to add! We don't have a lot of pictures, blogging hasn't been top of mind and so when we were doing boring things like putting up insulation, the camera wasn't always at hand. Today I'm posting this thing, even though it isn't perfect. Our main computer is having issues, so I'm also doing this post on my super old laptop which has a faulty space bar and no photo editing software. These pictures are grainy at best. Let's call them "artsy." It's time to get you caught up on how our bathroom went from this...

To how it looks today...

We left off having our roof inspected and we've been given the go-ahead that our roof should be water-free in the future. That left us to continue making progress in the bathroom, and hopefully one day it will be usable.

Bathrooms have been a major part of life lately, with our renovation in the evenings and at work I was designing 7 bathrooms for one home. Definitely having lots of bathroomspiration, and the occasional bathroom related nightmare. I can't even imagine having a finished bathroom, but we're getting close!

Philip reinsulated our exterior wall, and it proved to be one of our best DIY projects to date, in my opinion. Everything went smoothly, it wasn't too difficult to figure out, and it made a big difference! We started out by removing the old insulation, they had actually spray foamed from the outside from what we could tell, but we didn't really know that going in so it was still good to get it freshened up. Also because the spray foam didn't extend all the way to the edges and had a lot of places for cold air to leak in. Next up we measured the width between studs and cut the insulation to size. After that it's just a matter of sliding the insulation easily into place. 

Philip also put up the vapor barrier, we weren't really sure how to do any of this but we spent the morning watching You Tube videos of people putting up insulation and vapor barriers, and then we just worked away! You Tube and Google are definitely great resources when you want to try and tackle something yourself, there are a lot of great tutorials out there that can help you get an idea of what you're doing.

Next up, the plumber came in and worked at installing our bathtub, as well as reconfiguring plumbing and improving some of the plumbing that was there before since it's all exposed anyway and we may as well do it right. We have a new stack, and a brand new bathtub. 

Our electrician came one evening and roughed in all of the wiring for 3 brand new GFCI's - in the old bathroom there was one plug, which only worked for 60s razors. He also hung our vent fan, which we ducted ourselves. We still have to drill the hole to vent it outside, but the ducting is all ready to go.

We purchased a light fixture last week online, crossing our fingers that it doesn't get back-ordered like crazy and that it looks okay in real life. It's a sleek fixture, that we hope will look great in the end. It's hard to choose these things when the room just looks like a gutted box! 

Finding flooring that met our criteria was a challenge. We didn't want tile because it's cold on the feet, hard to install yourself without some know-how, and would make a big ridge from our wood floor = stubbed toe central. We ended up with a vinyl tile from A&R Carpet Barn, they're big and rectangular and the installation sounded very user friendly. Basically each tile can be glued in place, and cut to fit with a utility knife. The tiles are a grey/white with a linear pattern. 

We've had to reframe the linen closet wall 2 times now, but hopefully we did it for the last time now. The main reason was to make the vent fan fit inside the wall, and we're actually kind of loving the wider 2 x 8 wall next to the shower giving it a more built in look. 

Once everything was framed, and electrical and plumbing were completed, we were ready for drywall. We called our friends to book it, right under the wire too as a couple days later one of them had a baby! Philip took the day off that they were coming so we could finish up with sound insulating and ducting, but a twist came when we realized the night before that the tub surround needed to go up before the drywall! 

After calling a number of friends/family who seemed handy to us, my aunt & uncle came over in the morning to give us a hand. It was terrifying drilling the holes through acrylic side walls, but it all went okay! Basically it was just a matter of putting silicone in a groove, putting each wall into the silicone, and drilling screws all along the top for extra support. 

As we were finishing up sound insulation our friends showed up and drywalled everything in an hour and a half. It looks awesome to have a bathroom with walls again!! First time since January!

Mudders & Tapers are almost done, one more coat to go, we delayed them a bit by going on vacation (we just got back from Minneapolis on Wednesday night). 

Next Steps:
- Choose paint color
- Prime
- Paint
- Install Flooring
- Casings & Trim
- Think of a Linen Closet Solution
- ....start our kitchen?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

House Update - Finally

Since we've been behind on posting, we might be abandoning our regularly scheduled programming for some house updates. We've been getting back to work since warmer weather has arrived, and it's been going great! We'll do our best to keep you in the loop! We've been jumping around between rooms/projects, working outside, bathroom, garage, exterior doors, and some Spring cleaning. 

As we'd mentioned in passing a couple of times, we ice dammed this year. This happens a lot in Winnipeg (although being the handy woman that I am, I had never heard of it), and our house was no exception, as it resulted in water coming into our unfinished bathroom. We weren't exactly sure what to do at first, which is why we've had a huge delay in our bathroom renovation. It helped make the decision to wait for warmer weather to continue, just so that we'd have a chance to check out the roof, make sure everything was okay, and deal with insulation to prevent it from happening in the future. We took the first step in that paragraph recently, and called the original roofer who did the roof two years ago for the previous homeowner. He was so nice and helpful, if anyone is looking for a roofer in Winnipeg, let us know and we'll give you his number! He came over one afternoon, climbed up on the roof, took up a vent so that he could see how the roof looked, checked that it was all fine, and didn't charge us anything. Definitely went the extra mile to make some homeowners happy, and we felt reassured about our roofing situation. Next year, we'll probably buy a roof rake and just keep the snow situation under control as much as possible. So this was the first step in getting back into motion when it comes to our bathrooms, next up dealing with plumbing and electrical, and having our attic reinsulated!

What else is in the forecast for our June-August Summer 2013 to-do list? Obviously we're really behind on our March-May list, so we'll do what we can here (Spoiler Alert: We've finished a few of these items and we're just behind on sharing them!). A few of these items are also going to be relocated to next Summer, because we just know we won't get to them this year, and they aren't really a priority anymore (sorry raised beds). 

Spring 2013 (March-May) 

Upstairs Bathroom
Reinsulate Attic
Reinsulate exterior wall
Sound insulate interior walls
Install new shower/tub
Install new lighting
Install new flooring
Re-install toilet
Install new cabinets
Install new sink
Install new mirror
Reconnect plumbing

Lower Yard Maintenance
Plough in garden, unwanted flower beds
Sod remaining open spaces
Build raised beds
Reshape right side flower bed to be curvier
Replace bricks on right side flower bed with rubber trim, or other edging that is more aesthetically pleasing
Replace petunias with perennials
Plant hydrangeas in front flowerbed
Move peony to somewhere else away from the house
Repair front steps

Cut Insurance Rates
Have electrician address electrical issues
Correct other inspection issues
Present evidence of repairs
Brace basement stairway
Plans Plans Plans
Design/quote kitchen
Design/quote deck
Design/quote basement
Design/quote upstairs ensuite/walk-in closet
Design/quote landscaping and outdoors
Interior Doors
Remove bedroom/bathroom doors
Rehang bedroom/bathroom doors

Summer 2013 (June-August) 

Exterior Doors
Get new exterior doors
Alarm system
Paint exterior doors
Garage and Shed
Remove garage shed
Sod empty space
Replace garage windows
Paint garage floor
Put up shelving/cabinets in the garage
Backyard Safety and Fun
Build a gate to close off the white fence for safety
Build/Purchase a fire pit with a proper cover to meet code
Lighting solution around fire pit entertainment area
Plant privacy bushes at back of yard
Remove clothes line
Buy a barbecue

What are your Summer tasks? Anyone been outside gardening? (We have!) We'll have to update our banner also, getting a bit tired of the snowy background!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday: EQ3 Warehouse Sale

As you may have noticed, we've disappeared. My mom even sent me a text to ask if Grandpa Joe died. I've been working a fair amount, and our evenings have been getting filled right up! We'll keep trying to blog as much as we can, but forgive us if we miss a day - or fifteen - now and then. We do have a bunch of exciting posts planned and during our busy evenings we've started moving forward some of our renovation projects so we'll finally have some updates for you. 

First off, Window Shopping Wednesday. While taking a break from some of our other projects, we got a chance to hit up the EQ3 Warehouse Sale on opening day. It's open through June and we'd definitely recommend it! There's a lot of stuff, and some pretty decent discounts. 

Here's a look at what we saw while we were there (excuse the cellphone quality photos with no editing):

Philip's Photos

At some point we need a new bed frame, ours can probably never be taken apart and put back together again, it's pretty done. Screws are stripped, this last time we had to improvise a bit. Here's a bed frame Philip liked as a replacement. It would look great with our green and ivory duvet!

These chairs are really fun and they have tons of patterns!

We could really use a new living room rug. Ours could be vacuumed every day and still look gross.

These pendant lights were interesting, they have a barrel style in this light that I love!

We thought about buying this dining room table, because it actually shrinks to be a decent size for our basically non-existent dining area. We thought it'd be better to wait till our kitchen is done though and we know how much room we have. 

Cassy's Photos

I am loving this cobalt blue wheely desk. I'd use it as my office console table, 
but I'm aiming for a dresser in that spot for storage.

I loved this light, except for the fact that the light bulb gets put in on the side so it's not as clean looking. It definitely tempted me for the guest room though. 

We've wanted the Boom bookshelf forever, and have never seen it at this sale. This time it was there, along with a new walnut version that we liked even more!

We almost bought this couch, except for the left hand side was slightly darker coloured. No good. It was a neat shape though and would look beautiful in our living room. 

I'd love to lounge on this and read a book. 

We'd recommend you stop in at the EQ3 Warehouse Sale this month, even just for a browse. It's off of Gateway by the MPI, and there are great deals to be had. Let us know if you find anything to take home!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Head to Head: Birthday Edition

What's the coolest gift you've ever received?

Cass: By far, the vow art Philip made for Christmas this year. A homemade gift that will be treasured in our home forever.

Philip: When I was in my teens I got the Adobe Creative Suite of design programs, which set me on a pretty solid path of design and creativity. I used to design logos and jerseys, and now I still use it when planning out plans for our home, creating our blog banner (don't worry, I'll try and produce a June one this time), I even designed our wedding stationary. 

What's your favourite birthday dessert?

Cass: Ice cream cake! Hands down. The most refreshing and delicious cake, can be made in a bajillion flavours, and even shapes! Mm I want a heartshaped strawberry ice cream cake right now. Never had it but picturing it is beautiful in my head. 

Philip: Cheesecake is my answer, no matter what the occasion

Invent a party game and explain how it works.

Cass: For our Christmas gift exchange one year we had to make homemade gifts. I crafted a family trivia game, which is a great idea for anyone on a budget who needs a neat birthday/Christmas/other event gift. Think up some categories, questions, and print them out on cards to play at your next family gathering.

Philip: Pin the insulation in our ceiling. It's like pin the tail on the donkey, except you take down old insulation and reinsulate our attic while blindfolded. Great for all ages.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sparks & Recreation: May Long Weekend Edition

For Canadians celebrating Queen Victoria (correct me if I'm wrong?) we have this Monday off which means a long weekend! In the spirit of fun things like long weekends, I thought I'd share some more fun parts of the internet. Here are some of the sites that we go to for a good laugh after a rough week.

Hyperbole & a Half just started back up again, and her posts are hilarious. There are for sure more famous posts than this one, but it makes me laugh a lot. I also like reading about her dumb dog and guide dog

The Oatmeal is hilarious (but not always very G-rated). Definitely not everyone's sense of humor, but we thoroughly enjoy it on occassion, and have 2 of Matthew Inman's books. 

Jake & Amir are hilarious. Their videos can be found on College Humor, or their dedicated site that I linked to. They also recently started an advice podcast (that I'm listening to for the first time right now while writing this). 

What do you read when you want a good laugh?

Friday, 17 May 2013

Philip's Official 2013 Birthday List

What? A Friday Phil post? Yes, it's been a while, and this post is even late in the day.
But there's only one way to get back on a horse, and that's to just go ahead and do it! (Or so I'm told, I've never done it.)
The rest of my sports room post will get published shortly. Suffice it to say, it was a bigger undertaking than I anticipated; each image took me approximately two hours to produce, and that kind of time is hard to set aside. So in the interim, you get the following:

This weekend is not only a long weekend in Canada, it's my birthday weekend. Yes, Queen Victoria and I are sharing a day for our respective festivities. A particular tradition of mine--as it is for many people--is making a birthday list.
Now, people say I go overboard with it. I just think I do a good job of organizing it; true, in the past, I've supplied prices, places to buy the items, even themed title pages. This year, I scaled it back a little, which meant only listing the product and a link to where you can buy it online (more for the benefit of my own family than you readers, but hey, don't let that stop you!). So without further ado...

Philip’s Birthday List


A number of boxed sets top this list, led by the award-winning sports documentary series 30 for 30, which I missed when it aired originally but am really interested in catching up on.
  1. ESPN 30 for 30 Collector's Set (Blu-Ray Boxed Set)
  2. Friday Night Lights - Season 3 (DVD Boxed Set)
  3. The Pacific (Blu-Ray Boxed Set)
  4. Mad Men: Season 3 (Blu-Ray Boxed Set)
  5. Any Pixar Movie (Blu-Ray)
Oh yeah, and Pixar movies. Save for Cars 2, you just can't go wrong.


I'm all over the map here. A list featuring two spy novels, a young adult series' boxed set, and a literary classic is topped by (what Bill Simmons insists is) the greatest sports book of all time. 
  1. David Halberstam: The Breaks of the Game (Hardcover)
  2. John Le Carre: The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (Hardcover)
  3. Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series (Hardcover Boxed Set)
  4. Fredrick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal (Hardcover)
  5. Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary (Hardcover)
A young writer I know recommended these to me, because I liked Harry Potter. Sold.


I don't get to play video games nearly as much as I'd like anymore, and I play more board games now than I ever have. It's the price you pay for being married, my single male friends, and believe me, it's quite alright with me. That said, I've played every iteration of the Civilization series since #2, and I don't intend on ending that streak quite yet.
  1. Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gold Edition (PC-DVD)
  2. Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 Expansion (Board Game)
  3. EA Sports 08 Collection (PC-DVD)
  4. Days of Wonder: Mystery Express (Board Game)
  5. The Logo Board Game (Board Game)

Nothing wrong with setting the difficulty to "Settler" and beating up on some Carthaginians.


The way I enjoy music has changed since I discovered Noisetrade. That said, my love affair with the physical CD hasn't quite ended yet, particularly with the variety of new music I discover through RELEVANT Magazine and their fantastic podcast.

  1. Needtobreathe: The Heat (Audio CD)
  2. Broken Bells: self-titled (Audio CD)
  3. The Lumineers: self-titled (Audio CD)
  4. Foster the People: Torches (Audio CD)
  5. The Black Keys: Brothers (Audio CD)
This is an item on my birthday list.


This is the first birthday list to feature a category this practical, after my Christmas list broke the practicality barrier for lists overall. I've been lucky enough to have gotten a lot of the basic tools from my grandpa's old tool kit, as well as some pleasant surprises at Christmas time and throughout the past two years. And now it's time to venture into the world of scary, destructive tools.
  1. Circular Saw
  2. Reciprocating Saw
  3. Random Orbital Sander
  4. Tiling Wet Saw
  5. Tool Chest
It's time, fear of saws, thy reckoning has come.

  1. Anaheim Mighty Ducks 1997 Alternate Away Jersey
  2. Winnipeg Jets “Hawerchuk #10” 1979 Vintage Away Jersey
  3. Dress Shoes
  4. Golf Shirts
  5. Dress Shirts
There are a lot of unique jerseys in NHL history.
There are a lot of nice jerseys in NHL history.
This is one of the few that fits in both.

Household Gadgets

This is perhaps the most fun category for readers of this blog. There's a few electronics-related products, plus a couple kitchen gadgets. If you read our Would You Tues? post from this week, #3 should come as no surprise.
  1. Laptop Chill Mat (for up to 17” laptops)
  2. iPhone 4 Car Mount
  3. Fred & Friends Gin & Titonic Ice Cube Tray
  4. Breadmaker
  5. iPad
"I'm cooling, Jack, I'm cooling!"


In case our parents are reading this, this is the category where we watch while you work! (Just kidding. We'll be busy documenting your work for this here blog.)
  1. New Garage Doors/Openers
  2. Beam for our Living Room/Kitchen Wall
  3. Bathroom Flooring
  4. Paint
  5. New Interior Doors

As awesome as it would be to have a can of paint in all these colours, where would I store it all? A gift card would have to do.
That's all for this year's list.
Are you a May birthday? If so, what are you hoping shows up under the Birthday Tree? If not, what are you getting me? ;)