a little SPRING in my step!

Everyone! It’s SPRING outside! I’ve been wearing crop pants and light jackets all week and I am just. so. happy!

{source}

In light of all these positives … I am also feeling extra motivated to do my spring cleaning. Something I have never really attempted in the past because it all seems so overwhelming. There’s still left-over renovation mess and dust … along with our everyday chaos. But I’ve got a couple bright, sunny days (even though there is a chance of snow!) ahead of me … what a perfect opportunity to get cracking on this big task. It may take me more than two days but at least I will get a good start. I just feel like jumping out of my desk with excitement … I’m SUCH a cleaning nerd. Oh my word.

AND a list nerd. So, I pulled together a list of lists to help me get the best spring cleaning possible! Some are more detailed than others, but it’s all about personal preference if you’re going to snag some of these for yourself. I will probably follow Imperfect Homemaking’s pretty closely with some of Martha’s tips thrown in for good measure. I use Martha’s daily and weekly cleaning lists to keep on top of every day stuff and I find them super helpful.

If I get tired … I will probably resort to Real Simple’s plan of attack. But we’ll see how this thing goes.

Without further adieu:

Spring Cleaning Checklist-Palooza

1. Imperfect Homemaking

2. Homemakers.com

3. Mrs. January

4. Martha Stewart

5. Real Simple (Spring Cleaning Shortcuts!)

And, I’ve learned you can’t do any hard-core cleaning without a sweet playlist. Some may make fun of me for my choice in cleaning music. But I’m not offended. I sing along at the top of my lungs and then the list seems to get shorter MUCH quicker.

Do you spring clean every year? Do you have a list you usually use … or do you just “eyeball” it? Do you have favourite cleaning songs? SHARE!

retreating into the woods

This past weekend I went on a women’s retreat with church. I am not one for being surrounded by 100 other women or feeling like I’m being pressured into crying. But. I did enjoy this retreat. There was lots of quiet time to actually reflect on life and take time to deal with what’s been going on lately. Instead of saying “I’ll think about it later”, I actually sat down and worked through things. We were given time and direction to go about this and I was so appreciative of that opportunity. This week I’m feeling quite reflective and contemplative. There’s a lot to take in.

I went for a walk in the woods by myself on Saturday and took some pictures with my iPhone. Thank goodness the camera works without reception or 3G!

A cute little “shelter” in the middle of the trail.

This reminded me of my childhood when my dad would snow-blow the driveway and I would dig out forts in the mounds of snow. This one is cooler because it’s in the woods. And I’m pretty sure wildlife lived in there at some point.

Sun through the trees.

Some other fun pictures from the weekend …

I slept right by this old stove. I loved the rustic touch.

Through the doorway and into the woods …

The actual retreat center.

Finally getting around to a good read accompanied by a cup of White Christmas tea on the bus ride home.

A good weekend, all in all.

blogroll

This list is mostly for myself as I try to remember all the places I like to visit on the internet … but it could be helpful for you too - to find some REALLY good reads!

1. Birch & Lily

2. Suzy Krause & the Skyscrapers

3. What I Wore

4. A Beautiful Mess

5. Kendi Everyday

6. Cupcakes & Cashmere

7. Making It Lovely

8. I Heart Organizing

9. Keiko Lynn

10. eat.sleep.wear

and found today…

11. Sincerely, Kinsey

*edit*

aaand this one:

12. Imperfect Homemaking

You’re welcome. Enjoy.

just a little touch of DIY

Last week, I decided that my house needed some sprucing up. It’s been the same since we got married … I hadn’t really changed it up at all. So, since I don’t necessarily have the budget to do an entire overhaul, I took things into my own hands (and picked Suzy’s brain) to come up with some DIY’s. 

First, we decided to do a project inspired by Elsie at A Beautiful Mess. See her version here. Also, just poke around her blog. It’s so fabulous!

We printed out the letters for a favourite Bible verse and taped them onto an unused canvas. We decided that in the future, it’d be best to use sticky letters instead. Even if it does cost a little more. The tape pieces were darker than the letters. It still turned out though. 

Then we spray painted over the letters, let it dry and promptly peeled off the letters. {We’re a little impatient.} 

Here’s the final product. I’m SO excited about it! 

Cl-cl-close up!

We left the spray paint at one coat so that the picture underneath faintly shows though for a unique twist. 

Another project for the day was a little less intensive but inspired by this pin. Something simple and pretty to add a punch of colour to my hallway.

I bought some sale fabric and dollar store canvases and joined them together with a heavy duty staple gun.

We just made some small art in a three part series to hang up.

Easy, peasy. It honestly took ten minutes. 

I am on the look-out for other DIY’s or home projects (for a small space). If you know of any, let me know.

I love some good organization.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: our kitchen is small. And with a small kitchen comes limited counter space. And with limited counter space comes a very frustrated Kiersten. So a couple weeks back when we were in Edmonton, we made the mandatory trip to IKEA. I hadn’t really thought about the trip that much, so I didn’t have a list going in to the big blue box. We were mostly picking up for others. I like going into that place with no expectations … usually I’m disappointed if I do.

So as we were roaming the pathways, Jordan stopped at the kitchen section. I’ve been pining for a kitchen re-do since day one in our condo but we just haven’t had the time to do the overhaul I really want. So it’s sat, stuck in the 1970’s and not functional for a woman who likes to cook every night, but maybe not wash the dishes every night by hand. (Don’t judge.) He picked out the under cabinet rail system that IKEA has so cleverly put together and decided that it would be a great thing for our kitchen. Organization? CUTE organization? I’m TOTALLY on board. So we decided what we would need and guesstimated the lengths of the cabinets and were totally excited to bring these new elements into our home.

Now. As excited as I was, I had no huge hopes of having the rails installed any time soon after our trip. I assumed they would sit in our storage room until I had whined enough that Jordan would put them up. But! Whaddya know? I came home one day and found this:

Fully installed! How awesome is my husband?

Can you see the 1970’s peeking through in this picture?

SO ecstatic to get organizing in my kitchen! Functionality, here I come!

(Photos with my iPhone)

PS: did you know guesstimate is a real word? I just always assumed it was something my math teachers made up!

getting up before the sun

I was having a hard time getting myself to work today. I didn’t really feel like rolling out of bed, showering, or getting dressed up. But I made it here … and it’s still dark. I plugged in the Christmas lights at the front desk and the whole room just lit up. It was a good feeling … it makes me so excited for Christmas (NEXT week!).

Garland that we made, inspired by Pinterest.

Sparkle garland from Canadian Tire (2010) and a vase of Christmas balls = instant happiness.

(Pictures with my iPhone)

Crafty Christmas

This year, with the help of Pinterest, I decided to switch up our Christmas decor. I had previously gone with a very sparkly, blue, green and silver theme which worked out great in our living room. However, my husband was not a fan of the sparkles which then loomed throughout the year on our floor, being picked up by his socks and occasionally, the little glisten on his cheek as he lay on the couch watching football. So he was on board with my decoration overhaul. I had seen this picture of paper-covered Christmas balls and I liked how they looked so I decided to do it with newspaper.

Started by making my own decoupage.

(1/2 glue, 1/2 water. Put in jar. Shake. Voila.)

Bought myself some sweet kindergarten-approved paintbrushes for $4. I’m so pro, guys.

Cut about a million tiny strips of newspaper to cover the ornaments with.

I used my old (sparkly) balls as my base for this project as I will no longer need them around the house.

A few of the finished balls. This was my first night. It took me a total of three nights’ work (and some husband assistance … although, he may not want you knowing that). I set them out on a plastic lid to dry. This method actually worked quite well.

Still drying … 

Finished product, hanging on the tree. I can’t decide if I should add tags to them or not. I kind of like how rustic they look.

I also used wicker balls and pine cones hung with twine as ornaments.

I kept some of my sparkle-less blue and green ornaments to add a bit of colour to the tree and keep it from being so monochromatic. Especially with that superb burlap ribbon … 

My centerpiece vase complete with all the elements from the tree.

I am actually impressed with how it turned out. And I think hubby is too. Although, when I start sentences now with “I saw this thing on Pinterest … ” Jordan retorts “Do you know how many times I’ve heard those words lately?!” It’s OK. I’m being resourceful … right?

Next on the list: No-sew canvas ruffle tree skirt

lighting issues

We have some lighting issues in our condo. The sconces and entry way light look like jam jars. I am SO not a fan. So when Lowe’s opened up, Jordan and I spent a good chunk of time wandering the aisles and dreaming up wonderful things to do in our house. {This doesn’t happen often as Jordan is a realist. I always come up with these elaborate ideas and he is quick to give me a reality check.} So we came to the lighting aisle and I think we may actually, sometime in the future, maybe change out the lights in our house. Here are some of the ones we looked at.

This is actually for our bathroom. J really liked them. I cannot decide if they are cool or granny-ish. Can you help?

This was my pick for the bathroom.

For the entry, something a little more contemporary.

Our mutual pick for sconces. I think they’re really fun.

Oh, home renovations. How I wish they were easy and inexpensive. My dreams will have to wait.

i suck at social networking

My blog, Facebook and Twitter pages all sit - lonely, unloved, dusty and horrifically outdated.

It’s not that I don’t want to keep people updated. It’s just that it’s so. much. work. I don’t feel particularly inspired to write about wonderful things or put up funny/quirky/witty Facebook statuses or tweets. I sit, I work, I go home. Repeat.

I know a lot of people do it. They work all day, they have crazy, funny, awful stories and can write it down for everyone to see. I would rather just curl up on my couch and watch NCIS … I am totally addicted to cop shows. {Do you KNOW how many cop shows are on TV? My DVR works double time every night just so I can keep up-to-date!}

I also have just been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. F’real. So when it comes to down time, writing a wonderfully inspiring blog post doesn’t really seem like tons o’ fun. I do have some ideas though…it’s just taking me a while to get them from my camera to the blog.

I’m going to try and keep you updated. All three of you. Because you’ve been asking and I can’t help but give the people what they want!

my first polyvore outfit!

my first polyvore outfit!