Friday, November 30, 2012

Decor Dreaming

I must first start off by saying the amount of love, support and excitement people have been sharing with us as we've found our home is amazing. The faith people had as we looked, and the joy they share with us now has BLOWN me away. I went to a women's prayer night last night and I had woman after woman come up to me and say how excited they were for us! And they let me ramble on about the house, so you know they meant it! I've received blog comments and facebook comments, emails and so much more. I am amazed by how loving a community of people can be. 

Growing up I always blogged in a vacuum, meaning no one really ever read my blog except for LeAnna and Lance...and then slowly I gathered a few (like 4) followers in college, but in this past year I've gone from having on average 10 people read each post to between 60 and 130 per post! It's amazing to receive love and support and just to know that people are reading what I write. It's pretty awesome. Because I love to write and I love to share and I'm so glad I'm not just doing all that only for me. So thank you for reading this!

And now onto something that is currently making my heart it's not Paul, it's dreaming of decorating our new house.
OH! The joy.

I honestly feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, waiting to decorate my house. It's insane. 

So without further ado. 

Bedroom Plans:

Here are some shots of the room.

And here are my rough (very rough) of what I hope the space will look like. 

The dressers that we have will go against the wall with the door and under the window. I already mentioned what I want to do with them here. But to recap we will be painting them, most likely a deep grey, and making them new and pretty again. 

I want to change our room colors from grey, brown and green to Grey's, Whites & Yellow's.
Here are some of the inspiration Pin's. 

Tara Morgan's pin on Pinterest.

We currently have a grey comforter so only need to add some pillows and we'll be set. Here's a photo of our comforter and some pillows that might work.
Thus far we haven't had a I think I'll make one. Kind of like this!

And I love the idea of the DIY Starburst mirror on top

I feel like this is the type of room I may actually keep clean! We'll have to see though. 

Ready for more?

The Den (Office/Craft room/Guest room!)

Ok...I'll admit I'm struggling with some sadness. I was hoping to do this in one of the nice big rooms, but reality prevails and we should leave those as bedrooms. So we'll be taking the tiny, wood pannelled, closet-less room. 


So to deal with the color I think we will be painting 3 of the walls. One of the walls actually looks cool, the rest look cheap. So we'll leave the cool wall (obviously) and paint the others...probably a like army green or light grey. 

This also rough drawing shows the room from above and then a front on view of each wall. Since I drew it though we realized we won't have a closet, so the chair in front a closet where I'd hoped to do a closet desk will just be an actual desk. 

This is what I'd hoped to do

Oh well, it's still going to be awesome! Here it is!

Basically the room will have a desk and bookshelves for Paul along one wall, a corner craft nook for me with a small desk and a futon for guests to stay on. This also gives us a place to be together if we need to just have a moment to chat, we can easily, comfortably sit on the futon together. This room gives me a place to house all my craft stuff and gives Paul a place to study/work with the door shut. It's perfect. 

The Futon we have will be recovered in white and I will add pillows that link our two decorating styles.

My section is inspired by Pinterest and especially the pin that is linked to the Johnny' in a Dress Craft Room.

And on the back of the door...

And Paul's is inspired by the Green Bay Packers, Oregon Ducks & all things manly.
I want his side to be functional but also fun...a place that can house all his books but also disply his WW2 memorobilia and rock collection. A place where History, Americana and Sports meet. Plus there needs to be space to put up his Speech & Debate plaques. I'm excited to make a space for him that he can love and that he can be proud of!

The main colors on Paul's side will be Brown, Green & Gold. 
On my side it will be Grey, White, Bright Green, Turquoise & pops of yellow. 
The futon will be solid with pillows or throws in these colors and designs ranging from leopord (for me) to map print (for him). 

And lastly, for today, we have... 
The laundry room!

I read Jen @ iHeart Organizing's blog regularly and what she and others do in their laundry rooms and have been excited to have a chance to do something awesome here. For the last 2 and a half years our laundry has been shared and it's been on an outside porch. This mean whenever it's cold (below 0) we can't do laundry or the pipes burst. It's frustrating!

Our new laundry room is pretty random. The machines are laid out strangely and the room is fairly barren. It also houses the hot water tank. BUT the room is large and clean and workable! On top of that our garage and downstairs hallway go into this space, so it's a great place to put a mudroom as well. And as we own a freezer and fridge of our own we'll need a space to put them. So instant plan!

This room is hard to imagine because I'm hoping to move the dryer slightly so it's less awkwardly placed in the room, but with wiring, etc it might not be possible and I won't know until we're there trying. 

However here is the rough layout of the room.
H = Hot Water Tank
D = Dryer
S = Sink
W = Washer
R = Fridge
F = Freezer

I'm hoping to put a small room divider around the hot water tank so that it's less obvious/ugly. 

Here are some of my laundry room inspirations

As well, I want to use this room as a mudroom. My inspirations are as follows.
And here is my rough drawing of the space

So there you go. These are some of my thoughts and dreams for our house. I still have NO IDEA what to do with the living room. with only vague ideas for the kitchen and dining room. But that will come as we settle! And Hooray! We gave in our notice last night! We're officially (again) moving!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thoughts on Hospitality and some more house photos

Firstly, I want to take a quick second to share a beautiful blog post I read this morning. 
It's about the heart behind hosting, the heart of being open and available verses perfect and prepared. I loved it. 

Growing up my mom was always inviting people over. To me it makes sense that you would go to church, meet someone new and immediately invite them over for lunch. Even if you hadn't remembered to plan anything for lunch, or hadn't cleaned. People came before looking perfect. 

My mom always tells the story of her friend Ann. Ann reached out to my mom and she is the reason my mom was able to hear of the love of Jesus. Ann not only spoke it but showed it. Mom tells of the moment that Ann first invited her over for dinner. They were both young college students and Ann was only renting a small one room place with no real kitchen. She had a hot plate though. She had also recently run out of dishsoap and used perfume to wash her pans after her last meal. She'd made mom a meal using her hot plate and including carrots that tasted of perfume. They'd eaten on the bed since there were no chairs or couches. And Mom felt loved. While yes, she noticed the imperfections of Ann's ability to host in her space, she mostly felt the warmth and love extended to her. Thus began Mom's constant reminder, it's better to offer love imperfectly, than not offer it at all. 

This has stuck with me through basement suits and low income times, through business and in more prosperous times - my goal is to love people. 

Romans 12:13 (NLT)
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:9 

Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

I never realized this was a command in the bible mostly just seemed like the loving way to act but now, oh now, it's on. Getting ready for hospitality to be ramped up a notch! 
Though to be fair, I'm not sure many more people we can fit into our schedule or homes, but that's not going to stop me from trying! I can not wait to move into our bigger house, purely to have the space to draw more people in!

Speaking of our house, while we were at the house on Saturday I took a few more pictures. When you're deciding how to decorate a house and how to fill the space it's helpful to have documentation of much of the space, and I'd realized there were whole rooms or sections of rooms that I couldn't see in the pictures I'd taken.
We also took measurements. We made some more plans.
There are so many things that are up in the air and that can't be planned for and that will just have to resolve themselves once we move in - for example how to set up the living room - until I can actually play around with couches in this space, we just won't know where everything works best.
But there are some things I can roughly decide on.

Here is another shot of the living room - I'm curious how to proceed with these brown railings in the window! Any ideas?

The living room is quite spacious, which I definitely like. And very bright!
Now to figure out how to set up the seating so that it's cozy for groups of 2 or 4 but also comfortable for groups of 20+.

Next to the living room and at the top of the entrance is a coat closet. I'm glad for that! 
We're always bursting coat racks at lifegroup. This will help!

And I'm making a personal promise now - this will not have our coats in it.
Biggest pet peeve; coat closets that aren't helpful for guests. 

Front Entrance! I'm going to put something to help gather guests shoes and to help contain the mail, since currently it just drops in. 

Storage room under the stairs.
I'm in love.
Extra storage for the win!

This goes into our laundry room. 
To my right is a bathroom (ugly) and a bedroom.

And the machines themselves.
I'll have a post coming on my thoughts to make this area less utilitarian but ugly, and more cute and super useful.

This is the ugly bathroom. 
1. Why is that toilet paper roll so high?
2. I hear you can pain tile/laminate - I think that wall ugliness will only be short lived.

Master bedroom! Nice bright window.
The room is bigger in real life than it looks in this photo.

Closet and ensuite.

Double the closet space we currently have now.

And our useful but ugly half bath.
I think if I paint the brown cabinets it will be slightly less terrible.

In our last house we had a purple we'll have a pink one. At least we're consistent!

Coming up soon: Bedroom, office and laundry dreaming

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



It has been a fun week; signing papers for a rental house, dreaming of decor, planning a move, etc. 
But it's also been ordinary. Work every day, food to eat, clothes to wear. 

I wore this on Wednesday - this photo is taken downstairs at the Royal Palace (a house filled with lovely ladies from church in East Van) after lifegroup on Wednesday. 

I wore this outfit on Friday and Paul was raving. 
I never can quite guess what outfits he'll fall in love with!

And Saturday I needed something comfy, cute and easy to wear all day.
This fit the bill perfectly.

Also on Thursday I wore this outfit and couldn't quite decide if it looked best buttoned or not.


I wore this outfit on the day I had lunch with Arlene - we had such a lovely time! We didn't stop talking for an hour and a half, which if you know either of us shouldn't surprise you. I love getting to chat with that lady. 

Also this week I cooked....we had a friend (Kayla Wilson, shout out!) over for dinner and I made us Tortellini with Rose Sauce and Garlic Baked Salmon. It was awesome.

But lets actually talk about the week. 

Monday night I had a killer headache and stayed home from a church meeting that Paul went to. Tuesday night LG was bumped to Wednesday night so I got the night off! I am proof reading a book for someone so I worked on that. Wednesday night was our LG joining up with some other LG's from the church to hear Paul WB speak. Thursday night was dinner with Kayla and then we went over to hang out with Jenna. Friday night Paul had a guys thing to go to and I spent the evening hanging out with the lovely Lindsay McCarthy. Dang girl, if you read this, we need to get a photo together!

Saturday I was up pretty early, I couldn't really sleep. So I cleaned, organized and then worked on proof reading the book a bit more. Then Paul got up and we headed over to TC & Irene's to help them move....6 blocks. There were many hands so the work was light. We were finished helping and all eating Pizza together  in their new house by noon. The guys even had time to help them assemble some furniture for their new homestay student!

Then Paul and I headed out to Starbucks at Fraser and 29th to spend a couple hours studying. He worked on schoolwork and I worked on proofreading the book. You can see that the snowman on my cup was very intrigued by the book and was taking the opportunity to sneak a peak at it. 

Then we went to go sign the papers for the house we're going to be renting. You can read more about that here. I also took a few new pictures which I'll be posting this week as well as my decor ideas for our bedroom and our office/craftroom/guest room. We measured rooms, checked our details and filled in paperwork. We left ecstatic and excited. 

On our way into our house we saw this gorgeous couple!

Joel and Katie were headed out to a wedding and don't they look FABULOUS?
Katie looks amazing in green and I think Joel looks like Ryan Gosling here. 
Huge compliment.

I decided to set the table for dinner that night since we had friends coming over. 
As you can see Paul is relaxing in the background.

I love the bright flowers and grey and red napkins. I looked at this table far longer than was necessary.

The Froese's came over for dinner after that. We had great food (Lasagne, homemade) and then played an epic round of Agricola - which I'm more and more getting the hang of. 

Aren't Nick's homemade game parts awesome?

Sunday morning involved some sleeping in, some productivity and then while Paul did homework I worked on setting the table again and prepping food for a lunch meeting we were having. We were getting together with the Chibota's and the Morgan's to talk about planning for marriage ministries. It was a fun and productive time. 

I made my "go to" guest lunch items: Turkey Melts and Summer Pasta Salad. Both were a hit! You can see the recipe for the Summer Pasta Salad in the link above and the turkey melts are the easier thing ever. Mix bacon or crispy sausage with chunks of turkey or chicken, throw in some diced celery and mix that all with some mayo and garlic and onion salts. Put on bread or buns and top with Mozza or Parm or Cheddar Cheese. Bake until tops are golden. Voila! Always a hit.

Then it was off to church for Baptisms!

After church I got to chat and connect with a bunch of people and then it was home for leftovers and work - homework for Paul, proof reading for me. We were productive and we were in bed by 10. Success!

Paul is pretty bogged down in homework right now, I feel for the guy. Also our house needs to get packed. Can you guess who is doing that? At least I'm used to with having packed away for subletters this summer. 

So if I'm missing in real life that's because I'm at home packing for our move - because man! we have a lot of stuff!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A house!

We have found a house!
I had to wait to tell you until we'd signed the rental papers and paid our deposit so it was in fact guaranteed to be ours, but OH, we found a home. And let me tell you waiting to blog about it has been killing me. I've been dreaming about this home all week since we saw it!

Actually doing anything other than moving in has been hard, my mind is swimming with this house. I'm captivated by it currently...and by the idea of making it mine and making it beautiful. 

So without further ado, our new home! On Chester Street on the North East side of 41st and Fraser. 

Me in front of the house

We have the entire house; top and bottom levels.

A large L shaped living room/dining room!

And 3 bedrooms upstairs, as well as one and a half bathrooms and the Kitchen.

The kitchen is nice and big. 
It's a bit older decoratively but tons of space, storage and appliances.

There's also a patio off the eating area for BBQ's and outside eating. Love!

The entrance way will be a fun project to work on at a later date.

Downstairs there is a family room, two storage rooms, a laundry room, one bathroom, 3 bedrooms and the garage. That's what you call a rad basement.

I am in love. 

A couple weeks back I wrote a post about what we wanted in a new house.

Here are those wants again:

  • 4+ bedrooms - but oh do I long for 5 or more in reality. YUP
  • Dishwasher!!!! YUP
  • Laundry INSIDE (not outside like we deal with now) YUP
  • A whole house and yard (though we would do top half if everything else was ideal) YUP
  • More than one living space in the home - we need two separate seating areas so that we can do separate small group times at lifegroup YUP
  • A house built to host - we want to throw parties, feed lifegroup, have family dinners and invite the church and the world into our home. YUP
  • A kitchen with space, though anything bigger than what I currently have now would be a win, that's for sure. YUP
  • A pantry area YUP
  • A storage area YUP
  • Room for our deep freeze YUP
  • Little nook's throughout the house for storage, cozy seating and random awesomeness YUP
  • Shed/Garage for projects and storage YUP
  • Backyard! Nope but there's an elementary school out back
  • Patio! OH! BBQ's and dinners YUP
  • Bathroom in Master Bedroom! YUP
  • A space for an office for Paul - whether that's a room or a quiet corner or a space in our bedroom - he needs a place that he can leave all his stuff out, be alone and just study/work. And maybe a room laid out such that we could have a little seating nook so we can have privacy. YUP
That's only one "Nope" people! And that was one of the lower priorities for us. We are in awe. 

Because we have 6 bedrooms we'll be able to rent out two through the International Student Homestay Program with Langara, keep two for ourselves (bedroom and office) and use the last two to rent for good prices for students that we know and want to invite into our home for decent room and board. We are ecstatic. 

I've got so many decor ideas for the house but I'll leave those for another post. Because oh man, it's going to be awesome and you need to not be overwhelmed with the rest of this. 

So lets see, what other details must I tell you? Well as of January 1st we hope to have two Langara students move in with us. We will be keeping our eyes open for another student or two who might want to join our family for a while. 

This house's location isn't what we'd been looking for but couldn't be more perfect. It's at Fraser and 41st on Chester Street. My sister lives at Main and 41st, a bunch of our friends and family live around 53rd and Fraser and our church is halfway between Main and Fraser on 41st. There are even more friends and church family located in what we call "The Hood". This is roughly 41st to 57th, Main to Knight and man, a lot of our community is crammed into that area. We will know be living much closer to a huge percentage of our church population. 

Not to mention the DQ at Fraser and 43rd or Bubble tea at Fraser and 41st. Yay!

Also the 41 and the 43 buses both go down 41st Avenue and head straight to UBC, so both Paul and Laura have an easy commute to school. As well you can see Langara College is not too far from us on 49th and will be great for students that want to do Homestay. 

We are renting the house as of January 1st but they are graciously letting us start sooner than that - Paul finishes classes on the 14th so we'll be heading in to paint that week and the weekend of the 22nd (last weekend before Christmas) we will officially move in! 

To say we are pleased would be an understatement. We're freaking stoked. 

So be prepared for more moving and decorating blogs to come, because I am dreaming of our new house!


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