M is Nine Months Old!

But we’re on vacation, and I couldn’t accurately pre-draft a post about her, two weeks in advance of the occasion, and I wasn’t sure if we would have the best internet access while we were away (and honestly, I wanted to avoid blogging while we were relaxing!).


So, the nine month update will be a few days late. I’m planning to get it posted next week, once we’ve made it home and settled back in to our regular lives. Stay tuned! :)

Posted in Parenting & Baby | Tagged | Leave a comment

Comparing BeautiTone Paints

Here’s a sneak preview of our entryway:

BeautiTone Moon Dust

It’s all a work in progress, and heavily so (the trim isn’t painted, the flooring sucks, so on and so forth).

I wanted to paint it all a dark shade but Matt pointed out that the living room’s Moon Dust colour might translate nicely to these walls, which are very visible from the living room. I thought about it for a while before agreeing – and I’m glad we went that direction because it’s a nice, light and bright change compared to the dark green that was in there before. I plan to share more about the entryway soon, but for now, I want to talk about the paint itself. I haven’t found much in the blogging world about BeautiTone paint!

Because we chose to paint our entryway the same colour as three of our living room walls, I was able to try two different formulas of BeautiTone paint in different formulas, on walls that were essentially the same material and same colour before I painted them. We’ve used the less expensive formula, Signature Series velvet, in our house before, as well as the more expensive type, Designer Series suede (which is about the same finish as velvet – both should be comparable to an eggshell finish, I think).

My observations? For the price difference, there doesn’t seem to be a HUGE change in using the lower-quality paint. The coverage seems to be nearly as good, though I did find I had a few more dappled places where the paint hadn’t hit at all on the first coat. Still, with two coats, it’s pretty much flawless, and the colours are bright and true.

I actually found we had more drips with the Designer Series paint, but then again, we were painting paneling so that could be why.

In terms of durability, it’s hard to say, but we painted our bedroom with Signature Series and the nursery with Designer Series within a few months of one another and they appear to be holding up equally well – the paint only comes off if it’s under stress, i.e., we hit it with furniture.

The one major boost to the Designer Series, in my opinion, is that the paint is cured in seven days versus 30 days for standard latex paint. The other bonus is that it’s a primer and paint in one, but in my experience, I’ve still gone ahead and primed every time we used it, when necessary (on new drywall, over patched areas, and over super bright/dark colours), namely because primer is way cheaper than high quality paint.

So – if you have the extra funds, the Designer Series is gorgeous and really wonderful to use, but if you don’t, the Signature Series is just as serviceable. We get the expensive stuff if there’s a sale, or if we’ve earned a free bucket on the buy six cans get one free card, but I’m perfectly happy using the Signature Series for every day paint jobs.

Posted in Home & Garden | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Home Harvest: Lettuce


I’m so glad I grew lettuce! It has been wonderful to have greens, fresh and healthy, readily available in my own backyard. There are only two of us (well, three, but M doesn’t eat much lettuce) and I always found grocery store lettuce would go bad in the fridge because I couldn’t use it up in time. With my loose leaf greens in the garden I can walk up and pick a handful for a salad, or just one or two leaves for wraps or sandwiches, without wasting anything.

With our Cook Smarts* meal plan, greens come up on the ingredients list a lot. I only grew one type of lettuce this year – Black Seeded Simpson, which I picked because it’s an early variety. I’ve used it in basically every recipe that calls for lettuce, in place of romaine, mixed greens, even arugula when it comes to salad. But, next year, I want to grow a wider variety, because it’d be nice to switch things up, especially when I’m using it multiple times every week.

Black Seeded Simpson is supposed to be easy to grow, and that has been my experience thus far. It seems like it grows back as quickly as I pick it, and I haven’t had any problems with pests or disease. Sometimes the tiny outer leaves seem to be browning and wilted, but there is more than enough good lettuce to go around. It hasn’t shown signs of bolting yet, but we’ll see what I come back home to… ;)

So, in short – planting lettuce = good idea. Definitely doing it again. Wish I could have fresh lettuce all year ’round!

* That’s a referral link! Now is a good time to try out Cook Smarts, if you’re curious – they’re doing a really neat culinary tour of the world, with each week devoted to a different country’s cuisine, and I’m sad that we’re missing it.

Posted in Home & Garden | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Our Updated (Upstairs) Colour Scheme

Remember the paint colours we picked out when we moved into this house last year? We have barely touched any of the walls with paint, so you may not recall our choices – here’s last year’s picture as a reminder:

Upstairs Pallette

(These are all BeautiTone shades.)

Well, we changed our minds on every single colour except Coast Guard, which made it onto that palette after we already used it in our master bedroom, and Sensation, which will be the exterior front door colour when we get around to painting it.

Fava, the living room colour, was nixed because I decided I was sick of earth tones, having lived with the pre-existing green paint in the house for a year. Morel was nixed for the hallway for similar reasons. Luminaria was the original nursery colour and it read as too warm for us, so I chose a new shade at the paint store on a whim. Drawing Room was for the bathroom, which has not been painted still, and I don’t dislike it but honestly have no idea what direction I’m going in that room, now. I don’t remember what Powder was for – maybe the office? We obviously didn’t use it, and that room remains unpainted. Wish of Luck was for the kitchen and again, thumbs down to all the green now that I’ve had time to think about it.

So – what do we have, now?


Totally different, right? The hallway and kitchen are not painted yet, but this revised colour scheme is definitely more cool-toned. It seems very gray but in real life, the living room is filled with bright green accents, the nursery has lots of aqua and purple (and other random shades thanks to the zillion toys in there!), and so it doesn’t seem as one-note as it might when you just look at the paint itself.

I didn’t include the door paint on here because we will be doing the inside of the door a different shade, and while we’re 90% sure which one we’re going to go with, when the time comes, I’ve learned my lesson about making paint decisions until I have the mixed bucket in hand! The bathroom, like I said, is another mystery, but will more than likely be in the blue family. And then there’s the office.

The office is likely going to become our bedroom, sometime in the future. We realized we want a king sized bed, and it’s the only room in the house that will accommodate such a large bed. Essentially, once we get it fixed up and painted, we’re going to set a goal for buying a new bed, and when that happens we’ll move. M will probably take over our room (I’m envisioning a fun pink and navy palette!) and her nursery will be an office until if/when we have another kid. Make sense?

Anyway, bearing in mind that it will be a bedroom and not an office, I kind of want to paint that room another bold colour. Matt mentioned he was thinking mustard, and my favourites have been all over the place:

Office Colours

Of course, knowing us, it will turn out to be something entirely different from any of these swatches. We’ll see!


Posted in Home & Garden | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On the Road (Again)

We’re off on another adventure! Being on maternity leave has some hidden perks – travel seems a lot more accessible when you don’t have to schedule two different work vacations. So, while I’m still on leave and Matt has tons of time to use up, we’re heading down to Southern Ontario (which in Northern Ontario parlance is basically everything south of Sault Ste. Marie).


Ah, the rocks and trees of Highway 17… again… This is our car’s inaugural long trip, too!

We usually set out from here and drive to our destination without stopping for anything more than food and washroom breaks, which makes for a drive of about 24 hours straight. I don’t think we can or will do that with an 8.5 month old, though, a) because she will need breaks to eat and get out of her car seat and b) because I can deal with being a bit sleepy while driving, myself, but I don’t think I can feel comfortable doing that with a baby in the back.

I have no idea what this road trip holds in store for us, especially because M is going through some separation anxiety lately and as of last Monday, needed to hold my hand after being in the car for an hour. I may be spending some quality time in the back seat of the Focus. We’ll see. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure! Luckily, as soon as we hit the Manitoulin, we only have short-ish drives until we’re on the way back home. By the time you read this, hopefully we’ve made it.

Posting will be light for awhile, though I do have some scheduled posts set up. :)

And, for the usual disclaimer – we have a sitter, who is there to secure the house, cats, and garden (and I feel strangely sad that I’m leaving the garden behind!). If you are a burglar, please steal some kale and dirty laundry.

Posted in Life | Tagged | 2 Comments