Personal: A Birthday Week

It was my birthday last weekend, and while there were no balloons or sprinkles à la every-Pinterest-party-photo, I had a few days of celebratory fun.

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my birthday crown

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lazy morning patio time

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a birthday selfie – wearing my new favourite sweatshirt

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Cutting pizza with scissors – doesn’t everybody do this?

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flowers from the Kitchener market

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homemade chocolate cake by my mom – delicious!

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Elora, Ontario

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The Friday Five: Uptown Update

So, it’s been a while since I’ve shared an update from my home uptown. You would think that because I have completely hibernated this winter, I should have been able to tackle a lot indoor projects, but with the evening darkness and my general laziness, I really didn’t get that much done. Plus, I am dealing with the most ridiculous kitchen cabinet maker (more on that one day soon), which has stalled much of the work that I needed to get done in the kitchen. Nonetheless, I have made some progress and¬†here are a five updates:

1. Kitchen: The last time you saw the kitchen, it looked like this. Since then, one of the new cabinets was installed, and my dad installed my over-the-range microwave. This made a huge difference in the kitchen as it freed up a whole counter section and really makes things feel lighter.

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2. Kitchen: Since I took the above photo, I finished installing the backsplash (thanks to Tia and Jeff for cutting the tricky ones for me), but I still need to grout it (hopefully after work today).

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3. Big Bath: I have shared a small peek of my big bath¬†and a couple of before photos here. A lot has changed in the big bath. In addition to the tearing off of wallpaper, new paint on walls and ceiling, and new towel bars, I now have a modern rectangular sink on top of a new laminate counter and updated vanity doors (thanks to the power of paint!). I wanted to keep the current reno cost down just in case I want to plan a bigger reno down the road (ideas, ideas!). I’m still looking around for lighting options and I have to hang up the mirror. It’s by no means a beautiful room (yet), but it’s a big improvement from day 1.

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4. Big Bath: It has taken me quite a while to figure out what kind of art to put in the bathroom. At first, I thought I wanted something huge and loud. But then I couldn’t find anything that I liked, and I wasn’t sure I had time to paint something myself. As I unpacked my old gallery wall, I thought I could put it up in the big bath. But when I laid it all out, I felt it was too colourful. Then I leaned my DIY Rorschach-like art against the walls and I kind of liked it. Left it there for a few days to see if my thoughts would change. They didn’t. I painted up some more Rorschach-types, framed in frames that I already owned, and then hung them up on the bathtub wall. I’m really really liking the black & white art wall and I’ll continue to add to the grouping.

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5. Dining room: I hung up my white doily art on one of the dining room walls. I lined up the bottoms as I had done in my last apartment, but I just read somewhere that art should be lined up from the top. Have I made the biggest faux-pas ever?

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Bonus:

6. Entryway: I used Capture to give the carpet in my entry a refresh. It worked! Here’s the before (top) and after (bottom).

White-Cabana-Uptown-reno-4So, that’s a quick update from Uptown to end the week. My to do list is look pretty great – even though I keep adding to it. Here’s where I stand (see¬†original to do list):

–¬†change all the door locks to¬†these Schlage locks
– remove wallpaper in¬†all three¬†bathrooms ‚Äď one left!
–¬†choose a paint colour
–¬†paint the whole house white (the walls are currently¬†brown, beige,¬†burgundy,¬†pink, and green)
–¬†plant hostas
–¬†install a new vanity in the powder room¬†and upstairs bathroom & install¬†these gorgeous Delta faucets
–¬†install a screen door off the kitchen so that I can open the door to the deck without letting in all the bugs
–¬†buy a Ficus plant
–¬†break the big wall down that exists between the living room and dining room
–¬†break the small wall down that exists in my kitchen
–¬†patch up the walls after so much destruction
change all the light fixtures (I started with this one)
–¬†buy a new couch (looking at¬†these ones)
install new kitchen countertops
– install a shower in the basement bathroom
–¬†buy tiles for backsplash &¬†install backsplash

Here are some of the new additions:
– paint touch-ups (all over)
-office organization
-office art wall
-install fire smoke alarms (again)
-plan patio

I LOVE seeing so many things crossed off the list! Yay for progress. This spring I’m looking forward to (learning how to and) installing a stone floor on my small back patio and watching my hostas grow.

Have a great Friday & happy weekend, everyone!

The Uptown series documents my experiences as a new homeowner. Fun times ahead!

Personal: Weekend Recap

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good! It was my convocation on Friday which means that I’m now officially Dr. Jordana! So excited! It was a very special moment to walk across the stage, be admitted to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the president of the university, and to be hooded by my supervisor. The ceremony was perfect – fancy, traditional, and the orchestra performed beautifully. The day went by quickly but I was so happy that my parents and my aunt were there to celebrate with me.¬†I wore my regalia proudly and my family were great paparazzi.

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¬†me and my new favourite outfit; don’t be surprised if you see me wearing this often (ignore my hair – I didn’t brush it and it was really windy – oops)

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words of wisdom; yes, indeed!

On Saturday, I zipped around the city, worked on getting more work done at the house, and, for the first time, hung up coats in my hall closet (this is an amazing achievement as, up until now, it has been filled with packed boxes). Huge progress!

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one my Venini-like chandeliers

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finding my old friends with each box I unpack

Sunday was a day for organization and virtual family time. We are so lucky to have things like Skype and Facetime, aren’t we? My immediate family lives in three different cities but we talk every day through various means. It’s pretty amazing how we can stay so connected.

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Thanks Zia Silvana – they’re beautiful!

The weekend was also a day for remembering Zia Rose¬†who lost her battle with breast cancer two years ago. I can still hear her,¬†“Have you met my niece, the doctor”¬†(she was saying it pretty much since the day I got into grad school). If she were still with us, I know she would have come to my convocation and I would have heard her use her “football cheering” voice to cheer me on.¬†I listened to The Rose a few times throughout the day in honour of her. Listening to the song always gives me happy memories of my aunt.

How about you? What did you get up to?

Images by me (and my paparazzi).