Friday, 7 October 2016

A year after spray painting our doorknobs--the truth about how they've held up

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Remember about a year ago when I decided to take on the monumental task of taking all 21 doors off in my house, painting them stark white, then spray painting all of the gold door knobs and hardware? 
(click HERE to check it out and see all the before and after pics)

Well, I really had no idea how well the knobs would hold up. I hoped for the best, but it was really a bit of a risk. BUT, my theory has always been that certain risks are good to take--because really, what is the worst that can happen. 

So we went from 80's gold....

to beautiful black, with just a bit of spray paint and a lot of determination. 

We went from old cream coloured doors...

to stark white beauties. 

So if you're still thinking of taking on a little DIY spray painting project of your own with your door knobs and hardware, here is a little update on how they've held up over the year. So you can decide for yourself whether it's something you want to take on.

So, the big question is....what do they look like one year later? 

Well, here is the truth. 

Almost ALL of them look exactly as they did one year ago when I first sprayed that beautiful black all over them. The kids rooms, our master bedroom, the bathroom upstairs, our front hall closet...all of these knobs and hardware still look amazing. 

However, there are about 4 knobs in our house that I have had to re-touch. 

These are the 4 knobs in our house that get used and abused--so I'm not really surprised that they've had a little wear and tear. Our main floor bathroom, our garage door, basement and laundry room doors definitely get the most use and definitely get a little beat up with all of the people going in and out so many times a day.

So when I noticed some scratches on them, and some wear on the lock on the bathroom door I decided to forgo taking the whole door knob off (since some of them were a bit of a pain to take on and off) and I instead just sprayed them right there on the door.

So I taped some flyers tightly around the knob...

and just lightly sprayed the 4 knobs that had a few scratches on them.

(then left them over night to dry and then got out my white paint and touched up any spots on the door where the spray paint landed by accident).  

 So, here's the thing--would I do it again? Totally.

Is it a bit of a pain to spray paint a couple door knobs once a year? A little. But no big deal really.

And still, the amount of money that we saved by NOT having to replace a million door knobs and hardware is so worth the one evening of throwing a bit of spray paint on the four knobs that get the most abuse.

So there you have it. If you want to try it yourself, I'd say go for it. I had so many people emailing me telling me that they spray painted their own door knobs after I wrote about doing it myself a year ago, because honestly, it changes the whole look of your house, with just a bit of paint.

So get your spray paint out and just go for it!

And now, for a little baby love, just because...  

a toddler in a tiny doll stroller is funny.

And it's pretty much the new favourite thing around here.

And the big news around here? Well, this little boy turned 4 today.

So he woke up to his chair full of balloons this morning, some party plates and straws to eat his breakfast off of and cheap table clothes to add to the festivities...and some ice cream at 7am, because you always get ice cream on your birthday morning. Clearly.

And after dinner tonight we had our family over for cake and presents...with lots of helpers to get all those presents unwrapped.

Happy birthday sweet, sweet Carter.

We love you more than you'll ever know.

Happy long weekend everyone!

Erica xo

Friday, 23 September 2016

First few weeks

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Oh my goodness we made it. 

Three weeks into school already, and we're all still alive, we're all still breathing, we've got lunches packed, forms signed, clothes picked out, teachers met and first week fears settled.

And our kindergarten classroom? Well, we have floors now.


Once our floors were finally in, my teaching partners and I were scurrying around literally the day before school started trying to put furniture in the right place, put furniture together and set out activities with the hopes of fooling kids and parents into believing that we didn't just pull this off hours before those school doors opened.

And that very day before school started as I was rushing off to finally be able to put our classroom together, I also rushed our poor baby Sophia to the only walk in clinic that was open on that holiday Monday to find out that she had Hand Foot and Mouth disease. Just for kicks, ya know.

One trial day at daycare gave her a nice little gift that lasted over a week.

So, when I say that we made it...we really did. It's been like a 3 week long marathon of excitement, emotions, anxiety, stress, happiness and everything in between.

And our kindie class? Well, we made it through the first few weeks of peeling scared, crying kids out of their parents arms and snuggling them and distracting them until their tears settled and their smiles came back.

But this little guy...well, he didn't even look back once those school doors closed.

He was thrilled, excited and pumped beyond belief to finally be going to school like his big sister and cousin.

So we packed their backpacks, filled their lunch pails, kissed their cheeks, hugged them tight... 

and sent them on their way out into the big big world of school.

And that little monkey in the middle started daycare a few days a week too, while my mom is watching her the other days. So big changes, hard changes, exciting changes all around.

And after school sibling snuggles from kids who now miss each other all day long are a regular occurrence.

So we made it, this little family of ours.

Life is changing, life is moving, life is carrying us along and big changes, hard changes, exciting changes are all what this life is really about.

And whenever I've come home from a long, tiring day of 26 kindergarteners, this little baby Batman always makes me laugh. 

So even the hard days are still pretty darn good.

Good job parents for pulling it together and getting everyone set over these past few weeks, great job teachers for making it all happen and good job kids for making it through some new, scary, great firsts.

And thanks to my superb teaching partners for a great start to the year.

Happy weekend everyone--enjoy every minute of it!

Erica xo

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Is everyone kinda falling apart just days before school starts? ...ya, us too.

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I snapped this picture and literally 2 seconds later the relax police told me to please put my camera away and "just relax please". But what he didn't realize is that I was actually documenting my relaxation, so that I could look back at this moment in time when--by the way relax police, I was actually incredibly relaxed-- so that I could look back on this picture and feel all calm and peaceful and zen-like...and so that I could pull it out on a day like today, when zen-like was out the window. 

Because sitting at the Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain, just Terry and I, having just gotten out of one of the hot spas, reading my trashy magazine and sitting by the fire is pretty much the most relaxing feeling ever.

So I'm taking a moment tonight to look back on our little mini-vacation away last weekend, so I get my zen-like mojo back again.

 Because taking myself back to the beautiful gondola ride up the mountain...

to find a wedding scene at the top, getting ready for their big day...

or when we sat by the water, and just let our cares wash away--well, it will bring me right back to that calm feeling, and I can forget for a second that when I stepped into my school on Friday we still didn't have any floors in our classroom.

*Insert calming-thoughts right now*.

Because the reality of this week--just days before school starts, has now hit us, and we all need a little zen.

So if your kids are all out of sorts this week---if siblings are bickering, if kids are crying over the smallest of things, or if it just feels like they're irritable towards the world..take a second and feel a little zen today.

It's days before a huge change for everyone, and kids feel it the most. So if it is starting to feel like everything is starting to crumble just a bit in your household, just remember...anxiety can cause adults and especially kids to act sometimes in the most unflattering of ways. And starting back to school for everyone can be an exciting time, but also an incredibly anxiety-ridden time for everyone.

So chillax. Find something that makes you happy. Give your kids a break when they're falling apart and being anything but reasonable and enjoyable. Go somewhere fun. Know that once everyone gets settled into their new routine this year things will start to settle again (and as I reminded myself today, this could take a good month to happen).

So, with that an effort to forget that my bare-bones empty classroom is completely out of my control at this point (praying for floors when I go in to check again!), and in an effort to remember that even though everyone in our household is feeling a little out of sorts around here, we've got some good happy stuff still going on--and sometimes those little things are really the things that we should focus on the most.

So this is for me--a little reminder that life is still oh so good, even when things are anything but settled around here.

Cause sisterly love can make you instantly forget that school is only a couple days away.

And man does this big sister ever adore her little sister (and vise versa). Mya would literally take her as her own if she could and never give her back to us if she had it her way. Both Mya and Carter are a little more than obsessed with this little girl, and the fight over who gets to hold her, walk with her, play with her or feed her more is a daily conversation.

I can't blame them. I feel the same way.

And our vegetable garden? Well, the joy that this little garden has brought to these kids will definitely make me forget and not care about the fact that I have totally forgotten how to pack a school lunch.

Because remember not so long ago they planted these tiny seeds and prayed for something (anything!) to grow?... 

Well, check it out now. 

Those exact little snow pea seeds grew into bowls upon bowls of delicious snow peas that we've been eating all summer long. 

and beets...

and massive zucchinis that are still sitting on the counter waiting for me to bake up some chocolate zucchini bread like I've done a million times before. 

and cucumbers that we've been eating like apples...

and tomatoes that don't last two seconds on the vine before little fingers pop them off and eat them.

and strawberries that were constantly being picked way too early since little hands have no patience for the perfectly red strawberry to ripen...

and holy lettuce!!!

So with strawberry picking on a hot summer day (at someone else' huge garden)

and a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants I have no idea what I'm doing decision to buy a bushel full of peaches one day at the market and teach myself how to can them...

life is still full of such good stuff (and some now delicious peaches)--thank you YouTube and several emails to my amazing friend Elana who answered some of my how-to-can-peaches questions (check out her blog post HERE to get full instructions if you want to try it yourself!). These peaches sitting on my counter right now make me so ridiculously happy. You should give it a try-even if you have no idea how to do it.

So hang in there teachers, kids and parents. Everything will settle soon.

And in the meantime, go can some peaches (you know, with all the free time I'm sure you have these days).

It will make you happy.

Erica xo


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