Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bleep Cancer!

Hi Everyone,

I know it has been ridiculously long since I've posted anything (sorry!).  But I do finally have a post for you.

Last weekend Jeff and I hosted our very first F*@ck Cancer BBQ Fundraiser for the Cross Cancer Institute.  With both my parents receiving treatment there this year, we really wanted to raise funds so that this facility continues to have the best means of treating this disease.  

The theme for our BBQ was Lavender, the ribbon which represents all cancers.  We chose this colour as it best encompasses everyone's struggles with fighting the disease (whether it be a personal battle or watching loved ones fight on).  Everyone has a story and we really wanted to be inclusive.

Our goal was to raise $500 by throwing a small, backyard BBQ.  With a little over 30 attendees, we managed to raise over $1100.  We thank everyone who came out to support us, everyone who was able to donate, and everyone that helped with the event.  We would also like to thank the following business that donated door prizes and food:

Rocky Mountain Soap Company
William Lutsky YMCA
Custom Costumes
Madalayna Spa
Great Canadian Bagel
Adam from Smart Technologies

If you would like to make a donation, you can visit our fundraising page here (thanks!!!).

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Lavender soap favours for our guests.

Amazing Cupcakes made by our friend, Rachel.

Our Event Invitation

PDF Printable Version
For all those fighting and in loving memory of those lost, including our dear friend, Marilyn who passed on this week.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

En Suite Reno Part IV: Painting and a Herringbone Ceiling

Our half bath en suite is tiny, as you can see in our before pictures here.  So we needed a way to create the illusion of it being larger than it actually is.  We did this by painting a herringbone pattern on the ceiling.  We chose to do this on the ceiling to draw the eye up.


  • Paint (with built-in primer)
  • Painter's Tape
  • Ladder
  • Paint Tray
  • Rollers
  • Paint Brush
  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
  • Stir sticks
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic Sheeting or Drop Cloths
  • Credit card or similar object

1.  Prep walls for painting by filling holes and wiping walls clean.  You can read more about that here.

2.  Remove switch plates and tape any trim and fixtures you do not want to paint.  Cover the floor with plastic sheeting or drop cloths if you don't want it to be damaged.

3.  Make sure paint is well mixed and pour into your paint tray.

4.  Using a paint brush, paint along all the trim and corners where the roller will not reach.  Hint:  Feather the paint away from the edge/corner you are painting so that it blends well when you use the roller to paint the walls.

5.  Using your roller, dip into paint tray and ensure that it is evenly coated.

6.  Roll paint onto walls with even pressure.  You will need to do 2-3 coats for even coverage, allowing time to dry in between coats.

To paint a herringbone pattern:

7.  Make sure your base colour is complete dry before you begin to mark your pattern (minimum of 24 hours).

8.  Using a pencil and measuring tape, mark your template.

9.  Tape your penciled template.  Hint:  Use a good quality tape; this really makes a difference.

10.  Go over your tape with a firm flat edged object (like a credit card) to make sure that paint won't bleed.

11.  Paint over your taped stencil with the same base colour that is already on the wall.  That way if this first coat bleeds, it will still be the same colour.

12.  When that coat is dry to the touch, paint over it with your next fill colour.  You will likely need to do 2 coats.

13.  Once you have applied your final coat of paint, peel the tape off carefully without allowing the paint time to dry.  Hint:  Do not let your last coat dry or you may end up peeling the paint along with the tape.

14.  Enjoy your finished project!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

En Suite Reno Part III: Prepping the Walls for Painting and How to Remove Drywall Anchors

Our en suite walls were littered with probably over 20 of these randomly placed drywall anchors.  Needless to say, they all had to be removed prior to painting.  Here are some instructions on how to prep your walls for painting and how to remove drywall anchors.

  • Eye Protection
  • Dust Mask
  • Drill
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Drywall Putty
  • Drywall Spatula
  • Sandpaper
  • Wet/Dry Vacuum

1.  Find a drill bit big enough to carve out the inside of the drywall anchor.  We used a 13/16 drill bit.  Hint:  You must use a drill bit made for metal.  When in doubt, use a larger drill bit.

2.  Drill out the middle of the drywall anchor.  Hint:  You should always wear eye protection when using power tools.

3.  The flange should pop out when using a flathead screwdriver.  If it does not, use a larger drill bit.

4.  Using sandpaper, clean up the rough spots.

5.  Fill the holes with drywall putty and scrape off excess. Allow to dry for approximately 24 hours.  Hint: The putty inside the hole takes a longer time to dry, so while it may seem dry on the outside, it probably isn't.

6.  Sand the drywall putty and apply a second coat.  Allow to dry (this will take less time than before) and sand again.  Hint:  You should definitely wear a dust mask for this step.

7.  Wipe walls clean and vacuum the dust.  Hint: When vacuuming drywall dust, always use a vacuum that is rated for drywall dust (ex. wet/dry vacuum with a fine dust bag).

Monday, January 14, 2013

En Suite Reno Part II: Gutting the Bathroom-How to Remove Fixtures and Install Cutoff Valves

Here is a quick little guide on how to rid your bathroom of the sink/vanity and the toilet.  As well, it explains how to install shutoff valves for your plumbing.  Hopefully you find it useful.

  • Pliers
  • Plumbing Pliers
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Utility Knife
  • Teflon Tape (optional)
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall Spatula
  • 3/8 Connector Shutoff Valves (3)-one for toilet and two for sink


1.  Shut the main water off.
2.  Check that the water is off by turning the sink faucet on.
3.  Drain the toilet by flushing it a couple of times (check that the tank is empty).
4.  Unscrew the water supply pipe for the toilet using pliers.

5.  Screw on one of the shutoff valves and make sure it is closed (switch will be in the off position).  Hint: Use teflon tape if you're worried about leaking and your valve does not have a rubber gasket (wrap the teflon tape twice around the threaded end of the water supply pipe).

6.  Unscrew the water supply pipes for the sink.  Hint: Use a crescent wrench if you're having difficulty reaching with pliers.

7.  Disconnect drain by unscrewing it.

8.  Disconnect sink from the cabinet and remove sink.  Hint: If you're having difficulty, use plumbing pliers for added torque.

9.  With the sink removed, it is easier to get to the screws that connect the cabinet to the wall.  Unscrew the cabinet from the wall.

10.  Using a utility knife, cut the caulking around the vanity.

11.  Tear out the vanity.

12.  Put cutoff valves on the sink water supply pipes (make sure they are in the off position).

13.  If the screws connecting the tank to the toilet bowl aren't too seized, unscrew the tank of the toilet and remove.

14.  Remove the toilet bowl from the floor by unscrewing the nuts.  Be careful not to damage the flange on the floor.  Hint: The flange is what connects your toilet to the plumbing.

15.  Gently rock the toilet bowl loose from the wax ring and remove.  Hint:  If you still have water in the bowl, do not worry.  Just try to keep it level while removing it — you will have a little water drip while carrying it out.

16.  Remove old wax ring using a drywall spatula and clean up.  This step is really messy and even more yucky!  Hint: Make sure you scrape as much wax using the spatula as possible.  This will make clean-up easier.

17.  Disinfect EVERYTHING!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

En Suite Powder Room Reno: Part I

We recently decided to make time to renovate our hideous, half bath en suite.  It's incredibly tiny and horrifyingly ugly!  Lilac purple vanity and toilet, yellowing linoleum and a sagging boob shaped light fixture.  It's just awful.  You can see for yourself.

As you can see, it is in need of some much overdue updates.  Here is an idea of what we're looking at doing with the space.

The paint colour we chose is called Shadow Play, by CIL.  We have already picked out our mirrored cabinet, vanity, faucet and light fixture (all from Rona).  As for textiles, shelving, and organization, that is yet to be determined (inspiration board items are from: shelf-Ikea, mat and towels-Bed, Bath and Beyond, Fabric-Hawthorne Threads).
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