Sunshine, More Toddler Fun and a Bike Ride With Friends

patio lights

Hello everyone. Time is flying by so quicky, I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the year!

Had a bit of a quiet week the week before last. We had Neil on the Wednesday and planned on a picnic at Garry Point in Steveston, but it was so windy we got straight back in the car and drove home again :(. In the picture below, the guy flying the kite is actually on wheels and was being ‘towed’ around by the wind.

Garry Point

So, we just hung around at home. It wasn’t so windy in our area.

The next day, Tori gave Chewy a hair cut

As you can see, she’s not very impressed!

Neil was back with us on Saturday night for the night while his parents had a date night

Not sure what’s going on there, but it looks like a serious conversation! :). Maybe they’re planning their gaming strategy.

And then we got some sad news on Tuesday. Tori’s Dad passed away. Only 3 months after his Mom. We’ll be travelling up to Northern Alberta in August for a memorial with the family.

Mid-week saw Neil back with us again and we went shopping

and then played at the park for a little bit

On the weekend I started two new series on my blog, The Jane Effect. The first one is on the top 12 beaches in BC (I love beaches). You can read about the first two here. There really are some beautiful beaches in BC that rival anything you’ll find in Mexico or the like. The second is a more permanent fixture – wine pairing. You can read the first in the series here. I know absolutely nothing about wine pairing, but would love to learn. Follow along if you would too.

We ended off the week with a bike ride with about, oh, 200 other riders

There’s me in the red.

And a barbecue and party at the end of it, complete with live band

Yes, that’s me in the red 🙂

Cheers for now.

But First, Tequila

 

 

 

 

 

Fairy garden loot

 

Saturday, June 3

Poker Run

 

 

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Herbs, Sunshine and Good Friends

bird in the dawn

bird in the dawn

Hello everyone! It’s been a busy week. Alex and Neil dropped by on Sunday and gave me an Amazon gift card for Mother’s Day :). They stayed for a few hours and brought me up to date on all their news. I’m not sure what I’m going to buy yet – maybe put it towards a new motorbike helmet. It was raining of course, so I spent the afternoon watching a chick flick. Not something I do very often, so it was wonderful to just relax for a few hours.

 

It finally dried up on Tuesday, so Tori made the most of it and put up the patio lights

So pretty – I love them!

We had Neil on Thursday and we started the day by spending the morning in Steveston.

Steveston - Fisherman's Whart

We were going to go to the beach, but it was still a little chilly for that. Instead, we wandered around the wharf. Neil loved all the fishing boats

Steveston fishing boats

And then we sat and had ice-cream (chocolate gelato, of course) and mini donuts (Tori’s favourite) before heading off to the Prickly Pear Garden Centre to buy some herbs. We love this garden centre – it has all kinds of cool stuff, inside

prickly pear, Steveston

and out (I don’t think the cat was for sale 🙂 )

The Prickly Pear, Steveston

And then off to Ikea to buy a high chair for Neil and have some of their delicious Swedish Meatballs!

Somewhere along the line, we picked up a little wooden train set for him and set it up on the patio when we got home.

Trains

He played with it for the rest of the afternoon while we set up our new plants in the back yard

We ended off the week with a bike ride with our friends to Spences Bridge and back on Saturday

Ha ha – Tori thinks his mask is so cool 🙂

It was hot out there – 29 deg. C! Fortunately, the beers were cold. As you can see, I got a little pussy at the bar! LOL.

And a barbecue on Sunday

I love my life!

Until next time …

But First, Tequila

 

 

 

 

Re-organizing, Re-decorating & Baby Fun at the Beach

Beach fun at Blackie Spit

Beach fun at Blackie Spit

Hi everyone. It’s been a flurry of activity around here lately. My son and his little family (that’s my grandson in the picture above) moved got their own place about 2 weeks ago. For those of you who have been following this Blog, you may remember that they moved here from Edmonton in September last year. You can read about how we transformed our house to make room for them herehere and here.

So that means that hubby got back his Man Cave

We still need to do some tweaking here.

and I got a new office!

Also need quite a bit of tweaking in this room which will take a few weeks, I suspect.

We gave our bedroom dresser to the kids, so we bought a new one from Ikea, put it together

and painted it

Our patio set needed a bit of an upgrade (the understatement of the century!)

so hubby painted it blue and white.

It’s such an amazing transformation, I would never have thought it was the same set! It changes the entire look of the patio.

In the middle of all this, our bulbs started blooming, giving us a splash of colour in our cloudy days (we’ve had unusually rainy weather for this time of the year)

and then the sun finally came out, so we took Neil to the duck park

and the beach

I had a lovely mid-week lunch with a friend that I’d lost touch with – it was lovely to reconnect and catch up again

and ended off the week with a couple of drinks with good friends. When I say a ‘couple’ of drinks, I mean a bottle of white wine and a Caesar! That’s two, right? 🙂

Until next time!

But First, Tequila

Snow, Rain, Snow, Rain, Snow. New Furniture and Some Cute Owl Cups

Hello everyone. Well, it’s been snowing pretty much on and off since my last post. When it’s not snowing, it’s raining. So I’ve been doing indoor-sy stuff in between shopping for new furniture.

Thought I’d do a tablescape to improve my photography skills and give that space a more Spring-like feel. I’m SO ready for Spring.

Once I re-decorated our mantle last month, I noticed quite a few things in the house needed updating.

Our old dining room chairs were definitely ‘passed it.’ I had been looking for chairs in various thrift stores and flea markets for about a year now, but wasn’t able to find find what I wanted, so we picked up four at Ikea last week.

I love them. They brighten up that entire space. Mr. Lifeology is going to make a bench to go along that far wall for extra seating. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. We’ll also be re-staining the table top, so check back to see how that turns out.

We also picked up a love seat to replace this ugly one
This was one of those ‘seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time’ purchases, but, clearly, it was not. Not only was it waay too big for that space, it was also the most uncomfortable love seat I’ve ever sat on! Back to the thrift store it went. The love seat we bought matches the couch that we got at Ikea a few years ago.

So much better and way more comfortable.
We also repainted our Pantry and reorganized it from this uninteresting-looking piece
old-pantry
To this
pantry finished
pantry filled
Pretty cool huh! I LOVE it. You can read the full post about how we did this here
In between this, we managed to get out of the house for some much needed fun with friends

And then back to indoor-sy stuff – I painted these cute little mugs that showed up on my FaceBook page. They were so cute, I had to replicate them. I got the mugs from my favourite dollar store and then just copied the picture. You can read the full post here.

I’ve kept the best for last. This weekend, Mr. Lifeology turned this Ikea kitchen island

Into this amazing drinks trolley

I absolutely adore this and it fits perfectly into this space

Read about how Mr. Lifeology did this here

The sun came out long enough for us to visit beautiful Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. Really incredible park and well worth the visit

The Lighthouse at Lighthouse Park

Juniper Point

starboat cove

Lighthouse Park Trail

Read the full review here

We also managed a couple of hours of toddler fun with some bubbles

I’m hoping someone will tell Mother Nature that it’s Spring and sunshine and warmer temperatures can start any time! My daffodils have started blooming – beautiful yellow in an otherwise gray environment.

We have plans for a patio makeover which we can’t start until the rain stops.!

Until next time …

Jane

February Stuff

Hi everyone. This photo was taken from my patio a couple of weeks ago. Just as we thought the snow was gone, it started up again. So we were stuck inside for another week or so. Tori hurt himself at work so he’s at home on WCB and will probably have to have surgery on the torn muscle in his shoulder – ouch!

I spent a lot of time working on my new Blog, thejaneeffect.com. It’s sure been a learning experience and I’m becoming quite tech savvy! I’m enjoying every minute of it.

I’m slowly getting the house decluttered and organized. Last week, I turned this clutter

into this

You can read about how that came about here
and then I had to clean the bedroom carpet, so I decided that I might as well spring-clean the whole room as it had started to look like this

When I was done, it looked like this

You can read the details about this here

As soon as we got a break in the snow, we took the dogs and Neil to the park
And then I went with my Red Hat ladies to see The Comic Strippers. Well worth it – it was tears-rolling-down-my-face funny.
Yesterday, the sun came out and we took Neil to Ikea to look at a bench for our dining-room upgrade (coming soon, I hope)
And then we played outside on our patio for a while

The tulips and daffodils that I planted in October are already starting to come up! I can’t wait to Spring so that we can start our back-yard makeover.
All in all, a not very exciting start to February.
Talk to you soon
Jane

A New Look for our Fireplace and Getting Fit

Hello everyone! As you can see, winter is in full swing. Not a leaf in sight! But the snow’s melted and the rain’s holding off, so it’s a perfect time to get outside and do some walking. There’s a small dog park down the road from us right in the middle of an industrial area. It’s not very pretty, but it’s a great place to let the dogs have a good run.

Yesterday, we bought coffee and muffins

 and sat on the bench to watch the ducks

and check out parts of New Westminster across the water

There’s something strangely beautiful in the unattractiveness (is that a word?) of it all.
While we were enjoying our coffee and the muffins – and the view – the dogs were supposed to be running around enjoying the park, but they seemed more interested in sniffing everything

There must have been some very lovely-smelling dogs that came before us!
I’ve been wanting to redecorate my fireplace and mantle ever since I took the Christmas decorations down at the beginning of this month, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted. This is what it looked like before

Very uninteresting and not very pleasing to the eye. And then last week I found this on Pinterest
and I used it as inspiration for my own mantle. Now, bear in mind that there’s no way that I could duplicate this one completely – having a toddler and kittens in the house takes care of that. But I did have a lot of the same kind of things already in my house. This household runs on a very tight budget, so I end up shopping my house first and then visiting the dollar store. This is the end result – and it only cost me about $10!

You can read about the details of the mantle/fireplace transformation in my organization and decorating blog – The Jane Effect – here
To end off the week, Mr. Lifeology and I joined our local gym. Apart from having all the equipment and classes, they also have hydro-massage beds, massage chairs and tanning booths. Yesterday, after my workout, I lay on the massage bed for 20 minutes – bliss!! Today, my muscles are complaining just a little, so I’ll be back at the gym tomorrow.
I’m off to enjoy the sunshine and then an evening out with my Red Hat Society ladies.
Talk to you soon!

The Usual Yearly Clean-up

Hello everyone,

This was taken from my living-room window just last week! Now it’s all melted and yesterday’s temperature was 10 deg. C! Crazy weather. How temperatures can go from -10 to + 10 in a matter of days is amazing.

I’m always a little disoriented at this time of the year. The crazy rush of Christmas and New Year is over and all the decorations have been packed away. Everything is, well, kinda quiet. On top of it all, I lost my job just before New Year, so I have all this time on my hands! I started a new blog in the hopes that I can earn an income from it and do something that I love and I’ve been spending this last week learning all I can about blogging and e-books. It’s called The Jane Effect and it’s all about organization – household management, meal planning, budgeting, decorating – that kind of thing and much morend. If you get a chance, pop over to thejaneeffect.com and take a look.

Since I do have all this time on my hands, I decided to do some decluttering a reorganizing. I’ve been putting it off, but the other day I misplaced something and am still searching for it! I hate that. I like to be able to find things quickly.

Since I need to save some (more) money on the grocery bill, I started with the pantry and fridge.
The fridge looked pretty full just a day before grocery shopping day,  and I wanted to see exactly how much food we already had before I bought any more.

So I took everything out a put in on the kitchen counter
That’s a lot of food! It didn’t look like that much when it was inside the fridge!
Then I made a list of everything I had on hand from the fridge, the pantry and the freezer, and tried to match up some meals – list of food on the left, possible meals on the right
I managed to find 8 dinners, 2 weeks’ worth of breakfasts and a couple-three lunches. That’s a LOT of savings.
Before I put everything back into the fridge, I gave it a quick clean (I couldn’t resist!)
And threw away some dubious-looking stuff
And gained back some containers

And moved some fridge shelves around so everything would fit properly
Next – the paperwork. I’ve been meaning to sort out our paperwork and file it all properly without much luck. This time, I don’t have an excuse, so yesterday I got down to it. When the kids moved in, we made some space in our bedroom for some of our things. It all looked pretty organized 4 months ago, but yesterday, I opened the closet to this

And this
Horrors! How did it get like this? I needed a better solution. But, first things first – the paperwork. A week earlier, I had bought a concertina file as a better way of filing our papers. After going through it all and throwing out a lot of unwanted papers
I put them into categories – you know, Taxes, Personal, Miscellaneous, Bills – that kind of thing. And then filed them all in the concertina file
Perfect!
I had freed up two drawers by filing the paperwork in the concertina file. This meant that I could transfer the stuff from the small drawer unit to the two free drawers in the larger drawer unit
Things like envelopes, printer paper, tape, ribbon and other odds and ends.
With a little help from Moggy
This meant that the small drawer unit could now go into the garage for Mr. Lifeology’s tools – or something.
Next, I tidied up the wardrobe 
and purged some stuff
And now I could store the two tubs from the closet shelf in here
Freeing up space for my hats. (I belong to the Red Hat Society, so I have a lot of red hats!)
Cool huh?
Tomorrow, I’m going to tackle the kitchen. I didn’t think it was that long ago that I turned this

into this

But it was, in fact, January last year. Not only is this cupboard a complete disaster, so are the rest of the kitchen cupboards. I’m pretty sure that I can find better storage solutions than the one that’s going on right now. Check back here in the next couple of days to see how I did.
Until then
Cheers!
Jane
PS: The picture below is of light coverings in a new mall we visited last weekend. They are made up of umbrellas – beautiful!