Saturday, 6 April 2013

Sparks and Recreation

This week, there weren't as many articles that I found to share, but these four are a good representation of quality over quantity. 

The first is another example of simple living and finding ways to do things yourself at home with ingredients you already have. 

This next article is a new homeowner's guide, with a lot of great tip on home maintenance. 

If you`re looking to add some character to your home, this door trim tutorial is really helpful. I love Craftsman style homes, especially exteriors. 

This last article provides just the inspiration you need to put together your beginning of Spring party. It has a bunch of menu ideas for buffet style/make it yourself dining that can be really fun in a group. 

Hope you had a great week, I try to provide links to a variety of topics that might be of interest to our readers - DIY topics ranging from home improvement, to beauty, to money saving tips. Let me know in the comments what types of articles are your favourite or you'd like to read more about here and I'll do my best to oblige!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Summer Bucket List

The fact that we're anticipating snow here in Winnipeg this weekend has us anxiously awaiting Summer and what is has in store for us. We spent some time this week writing down some fun Summer ideas that we hope to do. There are 50 of them - are there even 50 Summer days here? We'll have to see how far we get. 

Here's a list of 50 fun things to do if you're going to be stay-cationing it this Summer in Winnipeg. My friend Brittany and I sat down and each made a list of 50 - there is a lot of overlap - and I'll share mine here. Warning, this is a long post - but I hope it will inspire you to do some great things this Summer. We would love to spend the summer being tourists in our own city and creating some fun days to spend together.

Summer 2013 Bucket List

1. St. Norbert Farmer's Market (with Brittany)
The market is hosted every Saturday starting June in St. Norbert (south of the city) and they sell farm fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, and flowers. They also have craft stands selling various other wares. We're looking forward to heading there bright and early on a Saturday morning, and then spending the afternoon cooking up a feast that we can share with our Manitoba grown purchases.

2. Gimli
Last year we went to Gimli for the day, and I'd love to do so again this year. My hair dresser is also planning to move out there so I might have to stop in for a new hair-do. It's a great beachy small-town to spend a day in.

3. Outdoor Movie at Assiniboine Park
In the Summer, Assiniboine Park plays popular movies outside. We didn't have a chance to go last year but would love to go this year! 

I'm a zoo freak. I love going to zoos. Nuff said. 

5. Prairie Dog Central
I've never been on a train (aside from the commuter in Chicago), and this makes for a great day trip. I've wanted to go for a few years, and I'm hoping this will be my year. The train takes you to a couple of small Manitoba towns and you can get off to eat lunch/see the sites. 

6. Mennonite Heritage Village
Have to learn my new heritage one of these days. This will not be Philip's favourite thing, but we have to get 'er done. 

7. Strawberry Picking
I've never been strawberry picking, it would make for a good day out in the sun, and some pretty tasty treats later - so this summer strawberry picking it is!

8. Road trip for shopping weekend (Minneapolis or Edmonton or somewhere else driveable)
We've gone to Minneapolis almost every Summer, so we're thinking of switching it up this year with somewhere else within driving distance that provides us with some shopping. 

9. Camping
We'd love to spend a weekend camping with our friends. We don't have anything planned yet, but if we don't get out in a tent one weekend we'll certainly be sleeping on the couch in Philip's parents trailer at some point. 

10. Bake a pie
I've never made a pie - gasp! I'm thinking rhubarb.

11. Golfing
Last year I didn't get out golfing at all, but it's a great Summer sport that both of my parents enjoy so it would be nice to give it a go at least once this year.

12. Have Each of our Family's/Friend Groups Out to the House
We're hoping to host our family's and friends this year at some point as not everyone has been out to see our place yet. BBQs will abound. 

13. Portage la Prairie
Another Manitoba town to visit, I don't know if I've been there before. Definitely looking forward to lots of day trips!

14. Go to IMAX
I have very happy memories of going to see Mount Everest in IMAX with my Oma & Opa as a kid, and would love to relive the experience.

15. Rainbow Stage
Every year we go to Rainbow Stage, and this year will be no exception because Mary Poppins is playing! 

16.  Fishing
While it seems boring, I'm willing to give it a go. When we camped as a kid we used raw hot dogs as bait, might have to upgrade to worms.

17. Amusement Park or a Rona Parking Lot Carnival
I'd like to go on a ride this summer. Philip doesn't like amusement parks, but I think I could convince him to at least go on a Ferris Wheel or something at a parking lot carnival. Oo this reminded me that the circus should be on this list somewhere, I haven't been there since I was a kid!

18. Read One Book a Month
We both love to read and don't always have time. If I could read one book every month this Summer I'd be happy. Maybe in a hammock??

19. Go to Library with Philip
Philip doesn't often have time to go to the library because he's at work during the day, but it would be nice to get there together at some point. 

20. Picnic
Who doesn't love eating outdoors once in a while?

21. Do a 1000 piece puzzle
Maybe we'll save this one for when we turn 65. Puzzles can be fun though, and it would be a fun thing to have out throughout the Summer and slowly work away at. 

22. Hike in White Shell
Definitely want to take some time to get outside as much as possible. It's easy to forget that we have this beautiful a  place in our prairie province. 

23. Stella's Patio
Last year I ate on that patio at Stella's for the first time, it would be nice to go again!

24. Gelato & 25. Shopping in Osborne
Paired with number 25, this would be a great day.

26. Folklorama
I haven't been to Folklorama in a few years, but we used to go a lot as kids because of the Holland Pavilian that actually doesn't run anymore.

27. Make a new summer flavour of homemade ice cream
We love making new kinds of ice cream - maybe this year we will make a new kind to top last year's Rhubarb. 

28. Make popsicles
Another great homemade summer treat, I need to buy those popsicle molds and it'll be just like elementary school days. 

29. Grand Beach
I can't remember if we went to Grand Beach last year. This year it's going on the list. 

30. Spend a day in Steinbach
We'll have to pair this with the Mennonite Heritage Village. We recently went to Steinbach for my cousins hockey game, and 2 of my aunts & uncles live there so we'll have to head out for a day to do some visiting and sightseeing an hour from home.

31. Go to Brandon
Brandon is another Manitoba town that I haven't been to in a long time, what's better and more cost effective than being a tourist in your own province?

32. Plant Vegetables
While we plan to get rid of our huge farm-like vegetable garden that we currently have under the snow somewhere, it'd be nice to still plant some vegetables. I'm not sure in what capacity - at some point we plan to do raised beds but I'm not sure if that's on the agenda this year. Either way, maybe raised beds or maybe a container garden.

33. Cross the border for dinner
When I turned 21, we went to Grand Forks just for dinner. It was fun and felt adventurous to tell the border patrol - "We'll be back in a couple of hours, just going out for dinner 4 hours away", I'd like to do it this year again!

34. Watch a movie outside
As a fun date night, it might be fun to take the laptop outdoors next to a campfire and watch a movie.

35. Have a garage sale
Many people know we plan on a garage sale this year, hope it'll be a hit and we'll see lots of you there!

36. Meet our neighbours
We've only met one neighbour. To our credit, we only have one direct neighbour due to the power lines on one side of us and across the street, as well as the park behind, but hopefully this Summer we'll venture over to meet a couple more and be friendly.

37. Sit in our new seats at the Bomber Stadium
We have Bomber season tickets once again this year and I for one am super excited about no more ramp, and no more bench seating. 

38. Get a mani-pedi
My feet need some love. I'm dreadfully bad at painting my own toes.

39. Buy our 2nd anniversary keepsake (or make?)
On our honeymoon we bought a clock at a store in the small town we stayed, then on our first anniversary we were in Chicago and bought a large stone W to hang on the wall in our future frame gallery, this year I was thinking we could make sometihng. This has started our tradition of buying/making something together that will be a keepsake as an anniversary gift to ourselves instead of buying each other gifts, especially since our birthdays are also in Summer. 

40. Make a mix cd to represent our Summer
Ah the days of the mixed CD, do people still make them or is it all iTunes playlists? Philip and I will definitely conflict on the contents of said CD, but I think it'll make for a good Summer.

41. Take a lot of pictures
At some point we'll probably get a higher quality camera, but for now you'll have to tolerate iPhone 4 photos. I'm always bad at taking pictures, but would love to have lots of photos of family and friends to display around our home.

42. Roast hot dogs on the fire
Confession: I'm really bad at roasting hot dogs - at least without dropping them in the flames. They always fall off the stick! This year I will learn, or Philip will roast them for me.

43. Jiffy Pop!
Need I say more?

44. Carve our names in a tree in our yard
Might be a cool memory to show the kiddos one day, or for when we move on to another house and the next homeowners can see it. 

45. Go to The Melting Pot
I've wanted to go there for a few years (although I've heard mixed reviews), it's a fondue restaurant!

46. Refinish a thrift furniture find
We've been keeping our eyes peeled for a couple of furniture items we have in mind places for. We'll keep you posted!

47. Go for a walk at Kildonan Park
Maybe we can pair this with the trip to Rainbow Stage. Have to get all 50 done some how!

48. Do the Forks River Walk
Apparently we're going to be getting a lot of outdoor exercise this Summer.

49. Have a Movie Classics Marathon
Have to rest from all that walking.

50. Make a Bucket List for next Summer
Comment below or on Facebook if there are things we've missed! What are you looking forward to doing this Summer, in Winnipeg and beyond? 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday: Target Excitement

If you're a Winnipeg-er like us, you're anxiously anticipating the opening of Target here in our fair city. For years we've had to venture across the border to visit this exciting department store, but no more Winnipeg, no more. It is opening in May (correct me if I'm wrong?), and I'm already perusing their website to see what we might want to purchase there - some call this materialism, I'm going to go ahead and call it the joy of life. 

Along with Target, we have kitchens on our brain. There's a good chance we're going to be able to do our kitchen this year - but don't hold your breath, things could change, and it won't be for a little while most likely (I don't want to get my hopes up!). No more washing dishes for me. So anyway, I thought that I'd window shop Target's website this week for some great kitchen finds. 

Wow. That is one vivid mixer. I realize you can buy this at places besides Target - but I want this and saw it on their site. How can I have it? I've been putting off buying a Kitchen Aid mixer because I don't really have the counter space for it. So we'll see if our new kitchen has a sensible spot for this beauty.

This kettle is so wonderful. It's a ceramic electric kettle! Have I been living under a rock or is this new to everyone? I didn't know you could buy a ceramic electric kettle, 
puts the fancy in convenience that's for sure. 

I don't drink tea much, but if I had this I think I would! I am in love. Philip - you thought I was crazy with those owl mugs we have - wait till this gets displayed in our kitchen. Another perk - it's only $15!

This is off the kitchen topic - but I really like these as side tables for our bedroom. A nice pop and color in an otherwise pretty monochromatic room. I think we could probably find some tables at a thrift store and paint them yellow though - they wouldn't even have to match just same height and then paint them a bright yellow!

Something for every room at Target! I love the Dollar Spot when you walk in to, for a good bargain. Definitely going to be hitting it up in May when they open - and then I'll have to share some more pictures. Does anyone know for sure when they open? Also, I've heard they're going to be carrying more Canadian products - what would you like to see them carry there? Anything specific you're planning to buy when they open their doors?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Would You Tues: Favourite Daily Reads

To tie in with our Sparks and Recreation posts we do each Saturday, we thought we'd ask you what your favourite daily reads are. In the comments or on Facebook, let us know about an article or blog we should be in the loop on. The Sparks and Recreation posts are really fun or me so far, as I read blogs throughout the week if there's something especially useful I'll save the link and then on Saturday I put it all together (for example, this week I already have 2 links saved for Saturday). It makes browsing a bit more productive, and it's always good to share another bloggers work to help them out. They don't ask to be posted on our Saturday posts, we just like what they did and want to share it. Have you read anything interesting lately? Answer one or all of the below questions to join the conversation and help us to learn more about each other.

How many blogs do you read each day? 
I read about 5 daily, and if I have time there are a few more that I browse a couple times a week. 

What is your favourite blog? 
Hands down mine would be Young House Love. I'm an addict.

Which types of articles interest you? 
I like articles about home improvement, and have lately been more interested in some of the simple living articles. I'm certainly not as domesticated as a lot of those bloggers are, but since I don't work full time I feel like it might be a good idea to use some time each day to implement some of the greener and more frugal alternatives to some products. You've been seeing examples of these in the Sparks and Recreation posts lately.

Thanks again for reading, Happy Tuesday! 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Bathroom Reveal

You never thought the day would come (I sure didn't at least), but our beautiful bathroom is finally a reality. It was nothing but sawdust insulation and revealed studs for the past couple of months, but we're happy to show some finished photos of our bathroom renovation. 

Wow. I can't even believe it's the same room.

Our favourite things:

1. Doesn't it look bigger? It seems like this bathroom is at least 10 times bigger than the real thing.

2. That bidet in the corner is fantastic, nothing like clean nether-regions to start out your day after moving up from the dungeon basement bathroom.

Okay...if you haven't caught on by now, it's April Fools Day. Our bathroom is as gutted as ever, and isn't changing anytime soon. We can dream though right?? 

We had mentioned starting a new series today, but it's going to wait until next Monday because we are super behind and need some time this week to catch up! Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, did you think this was really our bathroom? What tipped you off? Is it the primarily towel based styling efforts? I'll be sure to incorporate some seriously folded towels in our real bathroom reveal one day. Get excited!

Photo credit for the above bathroom can be found here