Monday, 30 July 2012

Bike Basket

I've been wanting a basket for the front of my bike for a while now. My bike handles are on the narrow side so I've had a hard time finding one to fit it. I saw this great idea to use plastic storage containers from the dollar store to make one so I thought I'd try it out. I picked up one that had compartments in it.

 I removed the handles and spray painted it white. 

I took a strip of Velcro and cut it in half to make in narrow enough to fit through the handle holes. I then sewed the two ends together, right sides both facing up.

The spray paint specifically said for all plastics and that priming wasn't necessary. It didn't love the dollar store plastic, it bubbled a little and chips off easily. Oh well it works and it matches my bike better than bright blue. 

Mostly Homemade Mondays

Check out Mostly Homemade Mondays at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Umbrella Stand

I got a new umbrella for the backyard. I needed a stand to go with it and decided to just revamp my sad rusty one with a fresh coat of spray paint.

I ended up going with brown mainly because it's what I had on hand that was specifically to cover rust. I also figured it would disguise dirt well.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Garage Sales

We've only just gotten into going to garage sales. Today we had excellent garage sale karma on our side. We've had several items we've been looking out for and we found them all. We got three more bikes to add to our collection. Most importantly we found one to fit our seven year old nephew, we didn't have anything his size for when he visits. We also got combination miter saw, a chariot, and cross country skis. All for $80. All in all a great day of shopping.
We also got a combination miter saw, a chariot, and cross country skis. All for $80. All in all a great day of shopping.

Friday, 27 July 2012


Usually I'm not a big sports fan but I LOVE  the Olympics. I'm super excited for the open ceremonies tonight and the events to finally start. I love to watch all the different events, see the athletes compete their hardest for their country. Seeing the Canadians in the opening ceremonies carrying out our flag. When they medal to see our flag raised or to hear our national anthem played when we win gold. Here's to a great a Olympics. GO CANADA!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Basement

We've been thinking about the basement reno for a while now. Planning out where we want all the walls to go. Watching sales for supplies and bathroom fixtures.

In the back corner we're putting in another spare room.

This area will be split in half, the left half will be a bathroom off the spare room and the other half will be part of the storage room.

The area under the stairs and where the shelf is will all be storage room.

The other half of the basement will be a gym / den / library. I'll finally be able to unpack all my books and have a home for them. There isn't really any other space in the house to put a lot of book cases up in.

And will have a nice clean finished laundry room.

One of our local hardware stores had a great sale a few weeks ago so when we bought our deck we also bought all the drywall for the basement as well as the framing materials and doors. So hopefully in the next couple of weeks will get started.

Monday, 23 July 2012


This weekend we finally stopped procrastinating and got the gutters up on the garage. The gutters itself went 
together quite easily, we pieced them together out of 10 foot pieces using the rivet gun and caulking. The hole for the drain was a little tricky the first time round. After doing the first one and attempting to cut around the edge of the hole with the tin snips I figured it would be easier to cut from the centre out to each point of the octagon and fold the metal downwards then trim it off. 

I have to say I'm not to keen on heights and trying to wedge the gutter up under the flashing while balanced on a ladder wasn't much fun. Thankfully I got the sturdier of the two ladders and it wasn't too bad lol. The second one went up much faster and easier than the first. Definitely a learning experience, it was a proud accomplishment for us. The gutters held up to the first down pour but we still need to get the drain pipes on. The plan is to get water barrels to go under each drain pipe to collect water for the garden.

Mostly Homemade Mondays

Check out Mostly Homeade Mondays on Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Tool of the Week

We got a new pry bar set to help dismantle the giant pile of wood in our backyard.

The Liebster Blog Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Cocalores. Thank you so much. The word Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. 

Tell us 11 random things about yourself. 
Answer the questions that the person who tagged you asks.
Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
Tag 11 blogs and link them to your post.
Contact them and let them know they have been tagged.

1. I drove nearly 3000km to go to a Star Wars convention
2. I'm terrified of fire.
3. I do not have a middle name
4. I have a maple leaf tattoo
5. I don't drink tea or coffee
6. I always check the sheets for spiders before bed
7. I got into working in TV on the suggestion of a clairvoyant
8. I'm about to celebrate my 1st wedding anniversary
9. I'm a neat freak
10.  I'm terrified of heights. I had to climb a tall ladder today and it was not fun.
11. I hate animals movies.

  1. Are you an older sibling, a younger sibling, an only child...? What is typical for them, in your opinion? I am an older sibling, I have one younger brother.
  2. What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Definitely read or to sew.
  3. What's the thing that makes you really angry / frustrated / upset when you see it in another blog? I'm pretty new to the blogging world so only just recently started reading a lot of blogs. The only things so far I've found frustrating are contest that are only open to US residents.
  4. Who would play you in a movie? my husband says penelope cruz, not sure i agree haha
  5. What is your best blogging advice? Just be yourself 
  6. Did you find it hard to come up with eleven blogs to nominate? (Because there were not enough or there were too many good ones to choose from?) Kinda as I said I'm new to blogging so I'm not familiar with lots of blogs yet though I do follow quite a few
  7. What is a true cliché about your nation? We're friendly. 
  8. What is the skill that you are proudest of? My sewing skills and hand embroidery.
  9. Have you ever gotten suspended, thrown out of a classroom, been sent to detention? Nope never, I always do the right thing lol
  10. Have you ever been to Germany? If yes: What did you like / not like about it? If no: Would you like to go? I have never been, I would really like to go though
  11. What was first: the chicken or the egg? that's tough, the Chicken.

Here are the bloggers I've chosen to nominate in no particular order
(Even though there are many other blogs that I like I tried to choose blogs with less than 300 followers.)

Here are my 11 questions.

1.  What made you start blogging?
2. What country would you most like to visit?
3. Whats your favourite item you own?
4. Whats your biggest goal for 2012?
5. Paper, plastic, or bring your own bag?
6. What do you collect?
7. What is a true cliché about your nation?
8. What's the most beautiful thing there is in your city?
9. If you could have any super power what would it be?
10. What are five things you can't live without?
11. Whats your favourite post you've published?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Food Festival

Our local food festival started yesterday so we went last night and checked it out. So many yummy things to eat. A few were on the too greasy side but overall a delicious selection.

Mango Lassi

Stuffed Mushrooms, these were probably the best of all the dishes we tried.

Hurricane Potato. Last year these were our favourites, this year they just weren't anywhere near as good.

Grilled Mac and Cheese with Chicken sandwich. This was probably my second favourite dish.

Cookies Sandwich

Dry Spicy Chicken

Golden Alaska Roll with Sweet Cajun Mayo

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Once our garage was done the next thing on the list was to build a deck. We decided on a 20' by 10' deck of treated wood. We decided to build it low enough so that it didn't need a railing or a permit.

First thing we had to do was extend our ledger board on the house so it was long enough to support the deck. We also had to trim the siding and finish it off around the board.

We used lag bolts to secure the ledger board to the house.

Next came the joist hangers. We made the mistake of using galvanised nails to put them on. We had to take them all off and put them on again using deck screws.

Next came the holes for the deck support posts. We used concrete pavers, pier blocks and small adjustable teleposts to hold up the deck. We put in five. Three for the main beam and two to support the beam in front of the window well. We had to frame out around the basement window.

Next we got our main support beam in place and end beams in place and squared them up.

Once it was square we put the deck joists on from the ledger board.

 Once all the deck joists were on we put blocking down the centre of the joists to give it lateral support.

Once that was done we put the facing board on the front of the deck and then we finally got to start putting on the floor boards.

Here's where we made a huge mistake. We placed the first board on, thought it was all good and straight and proceeded to screw the rest of the boards down. We used a nail as a spacer between the boards. Pulled and pried to line them all up perfectly. When we were about half way down my Dad come over to help us finish off and informed us they were all crooked and we had to pull them all off and start over again. Blah. Unfortunately we were crooked right from the very first board.

On the second attempt we used a nail and string to make sure all the boards were perfectly lined up and spaced out. This worked much better and faster. There was a lot less prying and pulling to get the boards straight as we were no longer working off a crooked line to start as the first time round.

Yay the deck is finally done. We just need to take a skill saw to the ends and trim the boards to the same length. We used the stairs that were originally at the back door and placed them at the end of the deck. I originally thought this would be a two day project. When my Dad and I built my last deck that's how long it took. This time it ended up taking a week. Our wood delivery arrived a day late so we had a Sunday afternoon start rather than a Saturday start. The trimming out of the siding took a while as did everything in general lol. Not to mention all the work we ended up having to rip up on the floor boards. Oh well its done now and I love it. Next up is some deck furniture and finishing the rest of the backyard.

Frugal "I Did it!" Tuesday

Check out Frugal "I Did it!" Tuesday at Off the Grid at -30

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Garden

We came back from vacation in May to find out that the next day our grass was to be installed. The landscapers that the builders use to do everyone's front yard had already put lawn edging down to make a small flower bed. I wanted a really big flower bed so we pulled it all up and started over putting it in going up both sides of the side walk and around the porch. We also put a smaller bed farther down the side of the house for raspberry bushes.

I got 5 planters for the railing and filled them with Pansies.

To fill in the large space in the flower be I put in a lot more pansies in yellow to tie into the trim of the house, and some petunias. I love hydrangea bushes so I got one of those as well as a rose bush. The builder also gave us a variety of 6 different bushes to fill out the bed. The builder put in the grass for us in the front and down the alley side of the house. The back yard and other side of the house we have to landscape ourselves.

A couple friends gave me plants from their gardens as well. I got bleeding heart, hostas and sweet peas. I planted sweet pea seeds along the porch wall so they will grow up against it. 

Next up is the back yard.