20 Below: To Do List Notepad by Garance Doré

I love back to school season! Of course I’m sad to see summer end, but I love the energy and excitement¬†of September’s early days.

I’m heading back to back to school¬†(I’ve never really left, actually), and¬†one of the most essential things I have to have is my daily/weekly to do lists. I like to set attainable goals for my day/week, and if I don’t write down¬†tasks and reminders, I’ll completely forget about them.

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Garance Doré notepad, $5 (on sale at Chapters Indigo)

Isn’t this a classy notepad?¬†That Garance Dor√© has got some style!

Uptown: To Do List Update

I haven’t posted a house update in many months. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen some random¬†house photos already. Last year was full of major renovations, and so many changes happened in my once dark-burgundy home.

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white-on-white-on-white jewelry station

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teak and white in my living room

My original to do list (August 2013) was lengthy and full of major projects. Some additional items got crossed off the updated to do list (March 2014):

Рremove wallpaper in basement bathroom
– install a shower in the basement bathroom
– paint touch-ups (all over)
-office organization
-office art wall
-install fire smoke alarms (again)
plan patio

Since then, I have added – and crossed off – a few more tasks:
have a garage sale (read about my garage sale with Tim)
-finish touch-up tile work in kitchen (seal grout, add missing tile, caulk again)
-install foyer tiles
magically find 2 small side tables for my living room
-find one small table to match my chaise (to replace the existing ottoman)
-upholster my two Danish teak arm chairs (seen in photo above)
clean up/organize the garage (again)
-paint basement
BBQ a lot

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coffee Рjust because

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I’m starting to organize my not-so-pretty-but-oh-so-useful garage supplies

Renos have slowed down slightly¬†over the summer¬†as there weren’t immediate changes that needed to be made. My¬†basement (storage central) got cleared out a bit after my recent¬†garage sale. I have had the paint (thanks, CIL) for many months, and I’m itching to break it open and start slathering white on the dark walls. I could do a major bathroom/laundry renovation down there, but I honestly don’t know if this is the year that I’m going to do it. Please hold.¬†I have also had my marble foyer tiles stacked neatly for months, but I haven’t found the time or energy to focus on installing them in my foyer. Soon, yes?

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Ah, flowers, they’re so pretty (thanks, Anita)! They almost make me forget about the DIY to do lists that are waiting for me!

Uptown: Grouting Tiles

I’m pleased to announce that I have now completed the tile work in my powder room. I ordered the grout – smoke grey – from Twin City Tile¬†and grouted the floor over the Thanksgiving long weekend. I am SO incredibly pleased with the floor and I am SO glad I decided to rip out the vinyl.

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Grouting was easier than laying the tiles down. I was certainly less stressed about this part of the process. How did I get the job done? I followed the directions on the grout package as well as the instruction I received from the Home Depot tiling workshop I attended and the mini lesson I received from Silvano at Twin City Tile. I mixed the grout powder with water and stirred it all up (with a paint stick – it was a small batch so this was good enough) so it had the consistency of pudding or icing (tiling and grouting is just like icing a cake!). I used the spatula (grout spreader) and moved the grout into the spaces like I’ve seen on TV (honestly!). I let the grout dry for about 10-15 minutes and then spent quite a bit of time (over an hour maybe) cleaning the tiles very carefully. I knew I couldn’t leave any grout residue on the tiles otherwise my floor would be ruined. I spent so much time wiping the grout off with a damp sponge just as I had been taught (one direction, rinse the sponge after each wipe, etc.). It was time consuming but very satisfying. I then let the grout dry for a few days (I think it only needed 24 hours) before I actually stepped on the floor.

The room is¬†almost done. Since¬†the last powder room progress update¬†I bought a new toilet (dual flush – so fancy) and a new mirror.¬†I (and my handy parents) now just need to…

– sand the walls
– prime the walls
– paint the walls
– buy baseboards
– install baseboards
– install vanity (this one)
– install faucet (this one)
– install toilet
– install light fixture
– install mirror (from here)

And then the room will be ready for a big reveal!

The Friday Five: MoMA Store

The MoMA store is one of my favourite places to visit online and in person. It is an inspiring shop full of affordable (and some not so much!) art pieces for the home. Here’s a round-up of what has recently caught my attention.

Ryan McGinness to-do list calendar, $24.95

Netzwerk bowl by Hedwig Rotter, $45

button magnets by Ikuko Nakazawa, $25

Switch salt & pepper dispenser by Chetan Sorab, $14

espresso set by Fellina Sok-Cham, $65

Have a wonderful weekend!