On your 5th Birthday

January 12, 2018

Dear Lucas,

On this day five years ago you changed my entire life! I still remember when the midwife placed your slippery 9 lb body on to mine and I started screaming “Oh my gosh, HELP! He’s slipping off of me!” like it was just yesterday. You were this wrinkly old looking little baby with swollen eyes, so tiny yet so perfect. I loved you before you ever entered this world. When I finally managed not to have you slip off my arms, I loved you even more, more than I ever thought was humanly possible.

Both your dad and I opted not to sleep that night. We didn’t really speak to each other because we were both exhausted. We just sat in silence and stared at you through the glass bassinet making sure we saw your chest go up and down the entire night. We didn’t know what to expect as first time parents.  The one thing we did know was that we desperately wanted you to be healthy and strong.

Before you were born, I had all these ideas of how I was going to be the perfect mom to you. I was pretty certain I was never going to raise my voice at you, say things I didn’t mean, make empty threats, be overprotective, bribe you with candy or just give into whatever it is you are doing so I could avoid the potential of a meltdown . Well, we all know how that went!

Just like that, you are 5 today! Now you have to use an entire hand to show people how old you are.  I know you’re pretty ecstatic about that. I know you’re going to continue to grow up a lot faster than I will ever be prepared for.

I want you to know that I am sorry for all the times I raised my voice at you when it was probably not justified or because I was having a bad day. I am sorry for the times where I was not able to give you the undivided attention you needed because I was preoccupied with something that was far less important than you are to me. I am sorry if I ever made you feel unimportant because there is nothing more important to me than you, your brother and your dad.

I hope that as you grow older, that you will not remember me for those moments but for all the tears I cried silently when you came home crying because someone at school was not nice to you; for all the guilt I felt for not being the perfect mom that I had hoped to be; for all the nights I chose not to sleep so I could watch over you and make sure you were ok while you were sick; for the countless hours I played playdoh with you despite how much I hate playdoh; for all the scooter and bike rides we took daily no matter how tired I was, for the endless hugs and kisses I gave you everyday; for the times I built courage to initiate our first conversation after a fight and for how I devoted my entire life to provide you the happiest experience I know how. By no means am I perfect, I have made many mistakes but I am only human. I am still figuring out this whole motherhood thing, so I hope that you be patient with me as I am patient with you. I promise you I will only get better with time.

Today we celebrate you, celebrate the happiness that you have brought into my life and the unconditional love you have taught me. Thank you so much for changing my entire life starting this day five years ago. There are going to be some bumpy roads along the way as you walk through life. I might not be strong enough to lift you up physically when you fall, but trust that I will be there by your side. I am hurting as much you are hurting. I promise to provide you the support you need to get up and stand on your own two feet. Because I am your mom. Despite how tough some days are, I would not have it any other way.

XO,

 

Your mom

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Thanksgiving Tablescape

Thanksgiving 2017

This past Thanksgiving was the first Thanksgiving we spent in Florida since our relocation from Toronto. Every year Thanksgiving falls around my birthday weekend and for as long as I could remember, we have always travelled to celebrate my birthday. However this past year, we decided to travel the day after Thanksgiving and spent it with our friends in Tampa (Friendsgiving).

To celebrate our first American Thanksgiving, I decorated my entire table using mainly Chip and Joanna Gaine’s Hearth and Hand collection from Target, everything from candle holder to napkins, to napkins rings, flatware and lanterns.

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Details on items used:

Hearth and Hand Collection

Glass and Metal Taper Candle Holder – Brass

Artificial Cypress/Pine/Sage Stem Bundle 

Black Taper Candle

Cedar Magnolia Candle – I am obsessed with the scent of this candle

Small Black House Lantern

X Pattern Napkins

Gather Napkin Ring

Black Flatware

Other

Gold Table Runner

Gold Square Charger Plate

Crystal Wine Glass – I grabbed these from Home Goods last year but these wine glasses are pretty similar.

Square dinner set

XO,

Kim

Master Bathroom Remodel

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This is where it all began, a hobby turned into passion and a passion turned into a new endeavor! We moved into this home in January 2016 and lived in it for about 5 months without ever stepping foot into our master bathroom (it’s a long story…I’ll probably share it with you one day in another post). My husband, the two boys and I all shared the guest bathroom which I renovated remotely while we were up in Toronto for the holidays before me moved in.

Renovating a bathroom can be a costly expense and since we are unsure of how long we would be staying in this house, the decision whether to renovate or not was a lot tougher for us than most.  You see, our plan is always to return home to Toronto, we just don’t know when. However, not having a functional master bathroom was not an ideal situation to say the least, especially since we had frequent visitors staying with us for extended periods of time. Eventually renovating the master bathroom became a no-branier. My sanity and happiness is worth the investment. Having said that, I wanted to ensure that smart decisions were made so keeping a tight budget was key.  This meant we kept most of our purchases from big box stores, searched for sales and adjusted design to accommodate our budget.

Here are some BEFORE photos of the bathroom prior to the renovation.

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The existing bathroom had two single vanities. To maximize the space, we opted to remove the smaller vanity by the bathtub. We then converted the larger one into a double vanity. You will see overtime that I love a a fresh clean look so this white marble countertop vanity  was a perfect fit.

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For the shower, we extended the width and length by 1 foot so it is now 4×4. Since I was keeping everything pretty neutral, I knew I wanted a statement tile for the shower floor. This whole bathroom design revolved around this beautiful pattern tile we picked up at Home Depot. Because the shower floor tile had a pretty pattern on it, we chose to keep the wall tile simple to balance it all. This beveled subway tile was perfect for the space. It was clean but the beveled edges added just the right amount of interest and detail.

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To keep the bathroom looking open, we chose to have a frameless glass shower wall and protected it with this glass shield to prevent calcium build up.  Our local provider had the shield applied at the manufacturer. We chose to do this because that meant there was a 2 year warranty on the glass but you could also do it yourself for a fraction of the price.

To be honest, I am not a bath person but keeping resale value in mind, we chose to add a stand alone bathtub. Even though I have hardly used it, it is quite a beauty to look at and I absolutely love the elegance it added to the overall design. We managed to grab this beautiful tub when it was on sale for $649. (Note: I just checked and it is on sale for less than $600 now).

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Being a mom of 2 boys, low maintenance is absolutely crucial in all our design choices. That is why we chose oil rubbed bronze finishes for all of our faucets and hardware.

Keeping in mind that we will be selling this home in the near future, instead of extending the shower floor tile throughout the bathroom, I chose this neutral wood plank porcelain tile as it would appeal to the majority.

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Lighting, I have to give the credit to my fabulous husband, There were a lot of materials and finishes that were needed to complete this bathroom so I opted to delegate the lighting task to him. I always knew he had great taste but I was completely blown away with his choices. The geometric pendant light hanging over our bath tub is probably my favorite purchase so far in this house. It is absolutely gorgeous, adds so much interest while not occupying a lot of space visually because of its design. To top it all off, it’s handmade from an Etsy shop in Greece. This is how the box came in the mail. There must have been over 50 stamps on the box. LOL

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The vanity light is also from Etsy and we went with the brass finish and it complements the space perfectly.

The distressed ship lap wall behind the bathtub was a last minute decision. I never considered having a feature wall because of our tight budget. As the project progressed, I knew that if I didn’t add something, I was going to be disappointed. For a few hundred extra dollars, we decided to grab this distressed ship lap from Lowes and my husband was going to install it himself to save cost. I ended up painting it myself  and the result was better than I had imagined.

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To finish off the space, we added these vanity mirrors from Lowes.  In terms of paint color, after many sample purchases in search of the perfect gray, I finally settled on this light gray, Shoreline, from Benjamin Moore. If you are ever looking for a perfect barely there light gray (no undertone) then this is your color.

XO,

Kim