Thursday, February 29, 2024

I Turned this Abandoned Fairytale Tiny House into an Elegant 2 Bed Home

Now obviously I personally didn't do this, but I discovered a lady who makes YouTube video's showing how she would redesign, abandoned buildings etc.  She is super creative and as I love looking at home designs, this was right up my alley of interest. 




I must say though I really enjoyed this video and this design could be very usable in inner cities:

I hope you enjoy these video's let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Busy day on Tuesday........

 Not sure about you, but I don't leave the house everyday.  I hadn't left the house since Saturday, so on Tuesday I ran some errands.

Headed out to Costco for a few things.  This little lot cost just over $86.  I spent $105 at Walmart on Friday.  I guess you just have to smile and pay up right?  Pointless complaining about it, despite the fact it's ridiculous the price of food nowadays.  

The good news, some of this stuff will last multiple weeks.

Popped into HomeSense and picked up these dryer balls.  I have some wool ones and they are icky, so figured I would try the plastic ones.  I paid $9.99 for these.  I could have got a pack of four for the same price, but they looked a lot cheaper quality.  I only use two normally so figured I would give them a try.

Thought it was interesting that it had this little comic strip on the side of the box.
I also picked up this art kit on clearance for $12 and the little sketch book.  I figured I would give my artistic side a whirl with the help of the tik tok videos, to see if there is an artist lurking inside of me somewhere?
I decided to make a quick couscous salad.  1 cup of couscous in a pan of boiling salted water (1 cup of water)  Leave for five minutes or until cooled.  Add in veggies : finally chopped red onion, grape tomatoes, baby cucumber, and a handful of crumbled feta cheese.  Add salad dressing of choice, I used the Kraft Balsamic. 
I decided on a different plan of action with this flipping puzzle and sorted the remaining pieces into same shaped piles.  I WILL GET THIS PUZZLE FINISHED THIS WEEK!!!
Decided to get a 45 minutes session in on the treadmill.  I try and do this a few times a week.  As you can see I walked 2.362 miles or 3.8 km.  The 317 is calories and my speed was between 3.0 - 3.2 miles per hour.  Incline only got up to 2, as my ligaments are tight behind my knees.
Wednesday will be a day spent in the house.

Update: by supper time on Tuesday I had finished the puzzle, sorting out the puzzle pieces into shapes helped a lot.



Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Mini Closet makeover

One of the jobs to do this year was re-jig the coset to make more use of the 45' by 60" space.  We haven't touched it since we moved in other than paint it.  The first thing I needed to do was have a clean out of things we haven't used or worn in an age.

All the empty shelves were ones I wanted to remove, other than the bottom two on the right.

Hubby removed all the shelves I wanted rid of, and then we made a start on filling all the holes in the walls, which I sanded and then painted.  Yes that's a safe in the wall.
This is what I donated to the charity shop from out closet, although one bag was from our linen closet, as I had a clean out there as well.
The biggest expense in this closet mini makeover was the purchase of this chest of drawers.  I got these from Ikea.  I wanted a certain size, it had to be white and I didn't want drawer handles that stuck out.  These are from the Nordli collection.  

Although the reviews weren't hugely positive, we are very happy with them.  They are sturdy, not the easiest to put together but that's typical of Ikea.  Plus you could do different "layouts/combinations."  This one was the best for us and our space.

I spent a delightful hour or so, doing the Marie Kondo folding method of placing our clothes in the dresser.  However although I like the way the clothes are folded, I don't get the:

"Joy Tip: While folding, apply firm, loving pressure and thank your clothes for supporting you."

Just saying!!πŸ™„

Now the following photos are out of order and for some reason I can't move them around????

This is a finished view of the closet.
This too is the completed look, notice how there is nothing on the floor now.
I purchased a couple of lidded baskets to put some odds and ends in.  They were in Shopper's Drug Mart as a seasonal product and around $15 each, I got two.
I got this shoe tower from Amazon and it is perfect.  It technically hold 7 pairs of shoes but as you can see I have more there.  You can see the product in more detail here on the Amazon website.  This unit was flat packed but was simple enough to put together, for hubby.
I also picked up this divider set to store my handbags, again from Amazon and you can see it in more detail here.  The dividers can be used for many other reasons as well.
Now the key to everything fitting and looking tidy was giving the closet a good clean out, as what we had before wouldn't fit like it does now.  The top shelf by my handbags is all hubby's CPAP stuff, and I have yet to have a clean out and organize that, as hubby is getting some updated equipment.  So will sort all that out when he gets the new stuff.

The black handbag is a Coach one, I am going to hopefully sell that one as it is way too big for me now.  Plus the bigger the handbag, the more stuff you lug around I find.

Finally, budget.  I had originally hoped to do this for around $500.  BUT, the original unit I was looking up went off sale and it doubled in price to over $700.  So I went with plan B, and bought the units from Ikea, which in fact worked out better with more storage.  Although I have given you links to the products I got from Amazon I was able to get both the shoe storage and the dividers at a slightly cheaper price.  The baskets from Shopper's were spur of the moment buys, not planned.

All the supplies for fixing the walls we had on hand, so that was free.

So all in all I was probably $160 - $175 over budget.  Coming in at around $660 - $675 for this.  A lot cheaper than having a company come in and it suits our needs exactly.

So that is one job ticked off the list for this year.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Cross Stitch and Puzzle update.........

Another week and nearly another month over with.  Again another mixed bag of weather this past week, and this week won't be much better.

This is how much I have done on the puzzle:

It's as hard as it looks.  However I am not giving up!!!  

I also managed to read a couple of books, one which I reviewed here.

How was your week?

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sunday Song

This is such a good song, for a Perfect Day!!



Love this version also........you'll see a couple of faces you know.....well when they were younger this one is also good

Saturday, February 24, 2024

If you have a KitchenAid mixer

 have you seen these:

They are hooks/knobs that either stick or can be screwed into your cupboards to hang up your mixer attachments too.  I didn't use the screws, just stuck them up.  Other's don't come with the adhesive, just screws.

They come in packs of four and I got mine from Amazon.  I find them awkward to store, so popped mine in the back of a cupboard.  They are $16.99 per package and you can find them here.  I don't know if it will work for other stand mixer attachment brands.

I just realized while I was writing this I have had my mixer for 20 years.  Mine is cream in colour and still works great.

Do you have a KitchenAid mixer, what colour is it, and how old is it?

Friday, February 23, 2024

Bonus points if you can identify what it's supposed to be:

Wednesday was the monthly craft club meeting.  I managed to snag a spot again, so that was good.  Now I knew from the meeting last month, that the regular woman who runs it was away and another woman was taking over this meeting.  So imagine my surprise when I walked in and a young-ish guy was there and was handing out supplies.

Turned out he had drawn the "short straw," and although he is a librarian, he is also an artist on the side.  He was a smashing young man originally from Nigeria; but he had such a long name that no one could pronounce in this country so he went by the initials of his name.  Unfortunately for him they were very close to be IBM.  So all I could think of was IBM, so whenever I asked for him, my mind went automatically to IBM, then I had to think to remember the one initial it wasn't.

He started handing out supplies, first there was a sheet of legal size paper, then a piece of card stock, then a paintbrush......at this point I asked him are we painting, and he said yes.  I said you do realize that I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to painting, and a couple of ladies said they were the same.  He said this project was super basic and anyone could do it.

He handed out kids washable paints and some kids stencils and told us to experiment on the legal size paper.  The card stock was to mix our paints on.  I just sat there looking like a deer in the headlights........totally and utterly clueless.  He then announced we could transfer what we had done onto a 4 inch square piece of plywood/coaster.  So I made he give me the coaster, to help visualize the finished product and everyone else wanted theirs as well at that point.

My stencil was a bee, which turned out to be useless with the brush, so I gave that up pretty soon and my neighbour took it.  We fiddled on for a while, then I gave up and did my own thing on the coaster and this is what I did.

While talking with another lady we got talking about these Tik Tok video's we watch called Andrea Nelson Art, if you click on her name it will take you to her page.

So mine is sort of inspired by what she does.  It's a flower in case you didn't know, and I won't be at all offended if you had no clue....LOL

It cannot be used as a coaster unless I decide to put some varnish on the top of it to protect it.  Did I enjoy doing it...........not really but it pushed me to do something I would not normally do.  I don't have enough imagination for this sort of thing.  Paint by numbers is more my thing.

Although he was a lovely guy, he didn't really instruct us in anything.  I enjoyed doing the mobile more.  Everyone else was a mixture of very creative too, very basic and child like, like mine.  

Again I don't have a spot for next month's session, so will have to wait until the beginning of March to see if anyone drops out.

P.S. The children's paint which was washable, stained the tables and your hands like crazy..........goodness knows what was in it!!



Thursday, February 22, 2024

Popcorn

I purchased a Tupperware Popcorn maker the other week.  I LOVE Tupperware.  I am not obsessed with it, but do enjoy Tupperware and have been buying it for many years.  When I saw this come out I knew I was going to purchase it.  One of the upsides to this is that it microwaves popcorn without the need to use oil or butter.  So for one portion you need 2 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn, which is around 110 calories.

Another upside it flattens into itself.  Taking up less storage space.  This is it when collapsed.

In the bottom of the popcorn maker is a glass "plate" which you put your popcorn on.
It also comes with a lid, and below is when it is full height.
I tried it out and put it in my microwave for 2 minutes.
It turned out perfectly.
I sprinkled some of the this ranch style mix on top, but it wasn't that nice, I need to buy actual popcorn seasoning.
Overall it worked great and the portion size was perfect for a snack and low on calories.  

It wasn't cheap, but it will pay for itself over the years.  You can see it here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

I'm cheating and thank you

Now that I have my painting finished, I decided to bring out another puzzle.  I got this one for Christmas.  To be honest, I think I will be pulling my hair out with this one.  All those pinks and purples will make it hard.  This also is not my typical type of puzzle, but I am ready for the challenge.

Now where the cheating comes in.  When I get a puzzle, the first thing I do is separate the edge pieces from the rest of the pieces.  Generally when pieces are stuck together like the ones in the photo below I separate them, as I class this as cheating, when I haven't put them together myself.
As I said though, I think I am going to have a witch of a time putting this together anyway.  I have set this up on the kitchen table and will pick away at it whenever I have a few minutes.  Trying to put together a lot at once isn't my thing.

Do you enjoy doing puzzles?  Do you set them up and pick away at them, like I do?  What size of puzzle do you like to do?  I prefer 1,000 pieces as I can set up everything on the kitchen table.  Anything bigger and I am struggling to get all the pieces laid out.

Also a huge thank you for your input on air fryers.  I will be honest I am still on the fence about it.  Will think about it for a bit longer.


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Question for you

Do any of you own an Air Fryer?  Family members have them and are encouraging me to get one.  The two family members love theirs.  What is holding me back from getting one is that I use my upper/small oven all the time; it's the perfect size for the two of us.  The second thing is space, I don't want any more clutter on the countertop and storage is limited.

So what are the pro's and cons for you who own one.  Also if you have one, what size is it and how many people do you feed?  What brand is yours?

Thanks for your input.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Cross stitch and paint by numbers

Another week done on the temperature cross stitch.  As you can see, we have some more blue this past week.  It has been colder and we have had a bit of snow, probably 6 + inches.  Have had to get the snow blower out.  This upcoming week's weather is going to be all over the place.

I finally finished my paint by numbers picture on Sunday.  From a distance it looks really good, and I am very pleased with it.  For a dollar store product I think it was well worth it.  I would do another one.  I found it very therapeutic and this one didn't require you mixing the paints to get the correct shade; some do.

I would do another one, as the more I look at it the more I like it.

What have you been doing craft wise this past week?





Sunday, February 18, 2024

Song for Sunday

I am going to post a song/video on a Sunday.  It's one that I haven't heard in a while, or one I have never heard of at all.  Or even a new to me song.  I hope you enjoy.


This song is from 1984.  She is a Canadian singer and is one of the most successful female musicians in Canadian History as per Wikipedia; more about her here.  I heard this on the radio on the other day.  I had never heard of this song or the singer before.  Have you?

What I found ironic is that the normal saying is "the calm before the storm," whereas this song is the opposite, "Storm before the Calm."  I can't say it's something I have said before, "Storm before the Calm."  Have you?

Saturday, February 17, 2024

How am I doing..........

thank you for asking.  I am feeling a little under the weather.  Had a busy week so planning on having a quiet couple of days to hopefully shake off whatever I have got.

Hope you all have a super weekend!



Friday, February 16, 2024

So what do you say?

Over on Marmelade Gypsy she wrote this post that included a part about Elmo asking everyone "How is everybody doing?"  You can read more about it here. 

Which got me thinking; when someone asks you "and how are you doing today," what do you say back to them?

In my case it all depends on who is asking, but more often than not I will tell people if I am having a good day or a bad one.

Why do I do that; I would prefer it if people didn't bother asking me at all if they are not interested.  I know it's good manners to ask after people's health and mental well being, but why bother asking if you're not interested?

I will also just give folk a long winded account of something random, just for the hell of it, especially when I can tell they really don't care how I am........I know I have a very sad sense of humour!!  Hopefully they'll never ask me again.

When I say and "how are you doing?"  I am not alarmed when people give me a long winded answer, because I asked because I care.  If I didn't care I wouldn't have asked in the first place!!

Oh, and before I go, "and how are you doing today........I do really want to know and I do care."


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Ikea

 I haven't been to Ikea in forever and a day.  We don't buy a lot there, but I do love looking around the place.  I mentioned back in January here, that I wanted to re-jig our closet.  After looking on the internet for suitable storage solutions, I found something I liked and that would work in Ikea.

So on Sunday morning we made the 40 minute drive to Ikea.  We arrived just after opening and it was nice and quiet as everyone was having the $1 breakfast.........or is it still $1?  I have no idea.  Regardless the restaurant area was super busy.

Ikea always has the quirkiest things don't they?  I took some random photos.

Didn't know Ikea sold hats made of plastic with their name on it?

It's the same material as the bags.  I guess they'll be waterproof if nothing else?
This display caught my eye.  Love the green and lemon colourway.
In the "Gamer's" section, yes they have a section dedicated to people who spend their lives gaming.  There was this neat head light that changes colour.  I caught it during it's "blue phase!"  A teen would love this,
These hands also caught my eye, especially as a way to hold your headphones.  It too was in the "Gamer's" section.
Now I did buy a couple of things.  These cookie scoops make sure each of your cookies are the same size.  I have always wanted some and at $7.99 they weren't too bad of a price.
I needed new plastic chopping boards and a two pack was around $3.
Hubby also found this cool bag, that will keep my frozen stuff cool when I am grocery shopping, again less than $3.  Also it's the same material as that hat!!
I picked up a couple of units for the closet and will show you them when we have finished the closet.  It's a long weekend this coming weekend as it's Family Day here in Ontario on Monday, so it will give hubby an extra day to get stuff done.  It's an easy job this closet, so should only take us a few hours to do.

Cleaning out the closet will be the longest job!!!  I need to be firm with my decluttering!!


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Christmas Lights

 As we are now more or less in the middle of February I feel it's safe to say Christmas 2023 is over and done with, right?

I know some people keep their Christmas lights hung around the outside of the house, year round.  Fair enough, they're not the easiest things to hang up.

BUT, what are your thoughts on having them still lit up every night?  Also having multiple animals/decorations lit up on your lawn?

I could understand it if we were under a foot or six of snow, but other than the odd patch we have no snow.  I remember during Covid folk down the east coast had Christmas lights hung and lit to cheer folk up.  Maybe it makes people happy?

Personally I think it's odd.  It's not doing me any harm, but I am curious as to why people do it?  We turn ours off on January 1st.  We do take them down also each year, as we are able too.  We live in a bungalow, so it's easier for us.  Our son gets a company in to put his up and take them down each year.  People make money doing that, who knew?

I do have two big displays of greens out front from Christmas.  I removed the Christmas decorations and lights from them. So they look like big pots with greenery in them, very neutral. 

What are your thoughts?

Monday, February 12, 2024

Temperature cross stitch update.

Well as you can see by the colours we had a mild week this past week.  We even broke a record last Friday for how warm it was.  I was out and about with just my cardy on.  Friday is the darker yellow day.

For this coming week, we will see more blue and green days. no yellow for this week.  We have a tiny bit of snow still hanging around, but nothing to talk about.

I managed to get a bit more done on the paint by numbers.  It's starting to take shape.  You'll notice I found a use for the magnifying glass.  The numbers are that small, so it's coming in handy for that.  Although painting isn't my thing I find this very relaxing.
I haven't done any reading this week.  Must start another book.

What have you been up too?


Sunday, February 11, 2024

Song for Sunday

I am going to post a song/video on a Sunday.  It's one that I haven't heard in a while, or one I have never heard of at all.  Or even a new to me song.  I hope you enjoy.


This is one of the best songs and voices I have heard in a long time.  It's so catchy.  What's even better is when Teddy and Kelly Clarkson do a duet.   I love how Kelly holds back with her voice until close to the end.

Have you heard of this guy?  I hadn't.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Follow up to two prior posts

1. The Fridge

Back in December my fridge was playing up.  The day before my warranty expired (sheer luck there) I called and they scheduled a visit for a repair guy.

He came the week later diagnosed the issues and said he would return when he had the parts.

Just before Christmas he returned with a circuit board which he replaced.  Also he brought a new door seal, mine had torn.  Tried to take it off the door it was glued on.  Left it and said he would see what's what.  Turns out they needed to replace the whole door; which too my mind is a major design flaw.

Got a call in the New Year to say the door would take 4 - 6 months to arrive.  I said fine as it was the outer seal that was torn not the inner, so the fridge was remaining at temperature.

Fast forward to the beginning of last week and the guy turns up with the door.  The didn't send the handle or the inserts, just the door (we used the ones from the old door)...LOL  I guess KitchenAid has to save money somewhere.

The repair guy said the door was worth $800, then include his labour and that was a $1,000 visit.  You can buy a cheap fridge for that price. (see here)  Good news the new circuit board has done the trick and so far hasn't turned off.

Now for the bad news, I have no warranty on either my fridge or stove.  However, as per the repair guy the life expectancy of these appliances is under 10 years πŸ˜• Which begs the question, why buy expensive appliances in the first place when they will only last a few years????

2. Hearing Aids

Again back in December hubby went to get his hearing tested, after he heard I had survived the test; yes I have to go first so that he would go!!  The test showed he needed hearing aids and she suggested applying to Worker's Comp. (WSIB) as he lost his hearing due to his work environment.

He wasn't keen on applying but he did, and multiple forms later, (I know our life involves lots of forms) he has been approved.  He should get the letter this coming week and then he will go to the store to see what's what.

He only needs them when there is a lot of background noise; he cannot wear them at work due to the noise.  His hearing loss is typical for someone his age, and the fact he has worked in noisy factories all his life.

The funny thing is, he was saying that all of a sudden, warning signs have been popping up all over the factory about the high noise level and advising people to wear noise protection.

Too little, too late for hubby!

Friday, February 9, 2024

$22 a day = over $8,000

Hubby and I were talking about smoking the other day.  Neither of us have ever smoked.  We had no idea about the price of cigarettes.  I saw a couple of guys smoking by my car the other day when I came out of the grocery store.  So I asked them the price of a pack of cigarettes.  The one guy said up to $22 CDN per package.  I think he said there are 25 cigarettes per package.

So if you smoke a pack a day, it will cost you up to $8,000 CDN per year. 🀯

If you go to the coffee shop every day for a coffee.  Here a medium coffee at Tim Hortons is around $1.90, if you go to Starbucks closer to $3.  You buy a coffee say five days a week, you could spend at least $500 a year.

For a couple to eat out at a chain restaurant, you will on average spend $50 on a meal.  I am basing that on us going to Boston Pizza, each of us having an entree, hubby having a soda and me having water.  Yes with tip that will cost us $50 CDN.  Even if you only go out twice a month that's $1,200 CDN a year.

Even going to MacDonalds, you will spend $25 CDN for a couple no problem.

A lot of people think that a couple of dollars spent on a coffee now and then doesn't seem a lot, but it soon adds up.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

It's not as simple as it looks.........

We are going to be entering another phase in our lives at the end of the year.  Hubby will be "retiring," at the end of September, but will be paid by the company until the end of the year.  So in theory we won't be living on pensions, investments, savings etc., until 2025.

Normally filling out these government forms should be easy, but when you have to have forms notarized, signed by a professional, photo copied etc., etc.  These things take a bit longer than normal.  We have to show copies of immigration, marriage, birth certificates.  We have to supply dates of where hubby worked in the UK, and for how long.  Where we lived in the UK and dates; my info even though I am not applying for anything.  If we got child allowance in both countries, and on, and on it goes.  Good news though, they don't need to know how many times a day you go to the toilet 😜, yes I am being sarcastic!

Both the Canadian and UK governments have different requirements which is normal.  One down side is that hubby will have to go to Service Canada to get items stamped.  That involves lining up for an extended period of time as we only have one location in the city we live and believe me when I say it's busy.  We could go to other cities but it's the same everywhere.

There is an office in the same building as our doctor and the line is generally around the block of people waiting to be seen.

Luckily getting paid by the Canadian Government is pretty easy, as we are all set up with our tax returns.  The saga we went through to get the small pension from hubby work place in the UK took three months to get sorted, but hopefully we can now copy and paste the banking info and it should work for the UK Government.

However, as we all know what works for one official office, is the never the same with another.  So that being said we are going to start the applications by April/May in the hopes everything gets sorted by the end of the year.

Which is quite sad if you think about it, that we just don't trust any government to get anything right?

Now that being said, we are so grateful that we are able to qualify for multiple pensions, as if we had to rely on just the two Canadian government pensions we wouldn't be able to survive on those.  

You have to work 40 years in Canada to qualify for full CPP and the OAS.  As hubby has only 35 1/2 years he gets reduced pensions, which will total less than $2,000 per month, despite the fact he paid his full amount every year he has worked here.

Anyway, all of this is keeping hubby and I busy trying to sort it out.

Then there's the pension and income splitting saga..........but that's enough for one day...LOL  Luckily our son is an accountant, and between me and you he owes us😜


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Belated Christmas Present

My mother gave dh and I some money at Christmas I popped it in the drawer and promptly forgot about it.  The other day I remembered about it as I wanted to buy a smaller hand held carpet cleaner.  I have the big Bissel upright carpet cleaners but they weigh so much.  I keep it in the basement, so it's to drag upstairs when I want to clean the rugs.  I figured a smaller hand held one would be ideal for small spot cleaning.

As luck would have it this model was on sale at Canadian Tire for $99.99  So I saved $40 there, plus I had some Canadian Tire money saved up.  I bought a bottle of the cleaner as well, so all in all I paid around $105 for everything.

On Tuesday I decided to give it a go.  Followed the instructions to put together and it was super simple.
I decided to spot clean the rug where we sit.  I think I spilled some coffee on it and also this is where we walk to most.  This rug was from Pier One and expensive, so I want it to last a number of years.
As you can see, something was dirty!
I can still see a brown spot, so I need to clean it again.
However from a distance it's not too bad, and this photo shows the true colour of the rug.

Overall I am very happy with how this machine worked.  It weighs 9lbs when empty and probably 10 or 11 lbs when it has water in it.  I found it easy to use.  I will clean the rug again next week to see if I can get that brown stain out.  Will probably pre-treat it as well.

This will be perfect for cleaning the car upholstery as well.  



Sunday Song - A classic

This song never gets old  I get goosebumps every time I hear it.  We have seen Sarah Brightman in concert twice.  Now I love her voice, but ...