Thursday, September 30, 2010

Max Quacks - I'm A Big Boy Now!

Taken 35 days ago...

And the most recent picture... Big Boy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time To Second Guess!

We had our final design appointment on Monday. It went a lot better than we expected because we came in under budget. We decided to "shop" a little and got some different touches that we probably wouldn't have gone for if the cash wasn't free. Let's get down to it!

I'll start with the exterior. I liked the other elevation our model offered... but Ian won out. At the very last minute, Ian offered up a solution that made me love the elevation we picked. He had an idea to switch out the brick on the second story for siding and make the siding in the triangle "cedar-like" shakes. It's a perfect solution to make me happy. We changed the 2 aluminum posts on the porch to be 1 half round resin/half stone column. It should look really nice. With our extra dollars, we switched out the garage for a craftsmen garage. Think barn-ish type.

This is our exterior package... except different brick and stone. The roof will be the dark gray shingles and the doors are brown (we will probably paint them at some point).

This is the brick... the picture makes it look more beige-y yellow but it's really just gray tones.

The stone "skirt" for below the brick and around the bottom of the column.

The most dollars were spent in the kitchen. We upgraded to a wall oven/cooktop. Added granite... white shaker cabinets... and a pantry. We lost a window in the process but we have a huge slider right there. Plus the cabinets are white and should add to the lightness of the room. I was going for a clean simple look. I think we have achieved that but we'll see when it's built - 1 year. =P This is the designer's notes for all of our kitchen changes.

This picture was from our last design center visit. The granite on the left will be much darker. But the tile and the cabinet style are still the same.

The main bath. I think I took a bit of a gamble with it... mainly because of the brown tile. It's such a "bold" color to go with. It's not entirely visible in this picture... but it went nicely with the brown cabinets and bluey/beigey/browny countertop. Yes, those are words.

With the help of our designer, we came to an agreement to do a Caesarstone countertop in the Master Bathroom (NOT ENSUITE). So, light gray with flecks of dark gray tile, white shaker style cabinets, dark gray countertop. The color to tie it to the master bedroom will be blue. Yay.

Here is part of my second guessing. We have 3 different types of faucets going into the master bathroom. While they all have the same finish and roughly the same style... I'm worried they won't really go together.

Bathtub faucet with handheld diverter (I fell in love with this one because it has old fashion H and C on the taps).

Sink faucet - this will be in every bathroom in the house.

Shower fixture - taking a minor gamble with a giant showerhead.

The last big change (this post represents about 1/4 of all of our big changes...) is the built in entertainment center. Our designer totally got our vision for it. Something simple to cover the wall around the fireplace... The drawing is exactly what I wanted. A couple shelves and low-ish cabinets to hide electronics and for storage.

For those that don't know what beadboard is... it looks like this. I love it! I would have used this all over the house but our doors are going to be Cheyenne style (see below).

All in all, this is going to be a very nice house. Thank you to everyone who submitted an opinion on anything! (We ended up with an ogee edge for the granite... it came down to price and ogee was free!) Ian is a little sad that this process is over. I am Switzerland on it... completely neutral... We had many, many, many discussions because you can make this house as custom as you want. The amount of options combined with the cost is so overwhelming. Our appointments were a ton of fun though... I never thought that we would be going through something like this... or that we would be doing this the same year we got married. But it's kind of a payoff for all of the things we have had to go through to get to this point. Ian's long hours... my crazy ex-boss... all of the issues with transferring countries... It all works out in the end. For me, I still feel 15 years old inside. I feel like we are too young for this... or that it's too big of a deal to do this. In reality though, the timing is perfect.

As much as I want the house to be delayed to give more time for my permanent residency to come through... I am still excited and a bit emotional to hear that the digging has begun on our block. In 11 hours, we will be under the 300 mark for days until closing. Crazy! Last picture... latest shot of the dirt. (There is a change!!! That hydro pole at the back of the lot is new - temporary but still new!)

I Also Love Otters

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Love Fall!

Max Quacks - I Got Da Croup!

This little guy is a little sick. Okay, a lot sick. Get better Maximus Prime! Kisses from Aunt B and Uncle Ian!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Ma!

See? It only took me 5 million years to get the date right... For some reason I had it in my head that her birthday was the 16th. It has taken a few years to shake it. I still question every time though... Like I've convinced myself it's the wrong date or something... Anyway, my mom is really the best. She is the voice in my head telling me what's right and what's wrong. I am successful today because of her. And the best of all... as much grief as I have given her... She still loves me. So happy birthday ma! Wish I could be there but I will see you soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The New Great Debate - Granite Edges

Ian and I have had many great debates in our apartment ever since we started designing the house. The latest great debate has been the granite edge in the kitchen. I fall into the camp of the more formal look - specifically the Ogee edge. Ian has voted for the 1/4" Bevel edge. Please keep in mind that our cabinets are shaker style - so pretty plain.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cloud Mountain

This shot was taken on my way to work. There was this long low black cloud in front of me. I'm not exactly sure why but it was very disorienting. It reminded me a lot of California. Mainly because the cloud felt like it was a mountain. In Thousand Oaks and the surrounding areas, you can almost always see a mountain or hill in the distance. My area of Canada is actually pretty flat... especially on the way into work. There are few areas that have sort of "rolling" hills... but nothing like the Santa Monica Mountains or anything. Our house seems a little up on a big hill... maybe that's why I like the area so much. I kind of miss the mountains... can't wait to go back for a visit!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Coop Scoop - Pirate Party Particulars

I had such a fun time in Virginia this past weekend! The day Ian and I arrived the weather was AWFUL. Humid. Hot. Gross. The day of the party was cool, a bit breezy, and sunny. (No bugs - woot!) Absolutely gorgeous weather. I like to think that Erik had a part in it! It really felt like fall almost - my favorite season... We couldn't have asked for anything better!

When I plan parties like this, the whole two I've done, I never really know how it's going to turn out. But as kids started to arrive I thought it would be good. Then I saw my sister surrounded by kids digging into the treasure pit! Some of my ideas turned out to be really good... Best of all - my sister scored a castle playset. It was the highlight I'm sure! There was a plank to walk, a photo prop to pose as a pirate, a pirate ship cake and some pirate tunes playing in the background. I think the adults enjoyed it just as much as the kids! I look forward to the next birthday party I can plan... probably for Max's 2nd or Cooper's 4th birthday. All I need is a theme and I can run with it! [As long as there is a rubber ducky that fits the theme~]

It was great to see my mom and the rest of the family. We're still ironing out plans... but I'm sure we will get together soon! Below is set of photos from the party - Arrrrr enjoy matey!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quick DC Trip

My brother-in-law is a bit of a bad influence. While posing in front of the Washington monument, he said to Ian... "Turn to the side and pretend like it's your..." Yeah. And Ian did it! Bad Ian! Bad Derek!

The family - Me, Ian, my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and 2 nephews headed down to DC for a little bit. Emphasis on the little bit. After my last chiropractor appointment the right side of my back couldn't hold out for very long.... It was still fun! I'm not going to post the bad picture here... but this is a picture of Ian and I. =P

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Choices Choices!

R rrrrr.. Matey! We have a lot of decisions to make. (See how I'm getting into the Pirate spirit already!) Last Saturday Ian and I visited our dirt and future neighbor Alicia and then headed down to the design center. After spending roughly 3 hours looking at tile, cabinet and paint samples... we've made a few decisions. Please bear in mind that the pictures are not the greatest. Colors may differ in person. =P

Let's start with the kitchen - my area. Not that Ian doesn't have a say but I have a VERY clear vision in my mind. Specifically this one.....

I loved everything about this kitchen minus the fake decor. It just has this clean simple look to it. It's bright and airy... I may not copy it exactly but it will be pretty darn close! Below are the choices we made for the kitchen. From the left, dark gray granite with flecks of light gray and black. I think the edge of that sample piece is the edge we are going to go with - not 100% though. The floor tile in the middle is what will be throughout the 1st floor - foyer, mud room, powder room, hallway, dinette, and kitchen. It is mostly gray but with flecks of brown and blue (both super faint). It looks lovely paired with the hardwood, which you can kind of see up above the tile piece. The hardwood will be in the library and dining room. On the right is the cabinets - shaker style in white. The hardware is just going to be silver knobs for now... they looked the best.

Close up of the tile... again, really hard to see the colors in it.. but I love it!

Blurry picture of the hardwood. It will be made of ash with a dark brownish/reddish stain. The staircase will match sort of. The benefit is that the hardwood will not touch the staircase so they don't have to match. But at least Ian and I are on the same page that we want it to be dark brown but not too dark. The staircase is oak and will pick up the same stain differently.

Oh man... the BIG "discussion". We want to go with gray tones in our Master Bath or as these damn Canadians INSIST on saying... "ensuite". The cabinet will most likely be shaker style (not shown) in white. The floor tile is that bottom tile that has flecks of darker gray in it, the lighter tile on top of it might be the shower tile. The two pieces of caesarstone on the cabinet are where negotiations break down. The lighter piece... it's "okay". To me it blends in too much. The darker piece, which looks like coal in this picture even though it's not that dark, would stand out. I can just see it with a nice white sink and bright silver faucet. Ian's opinion is that the styling is too much like our kitchen. On one hand, I see where he is coming from and on the other, I think he is crazy. We also want to tie our "ensuite" to our master bedroom. Currently our bedroom furniture is brown. We would like to stick with it. We are thinking of having a green color make that connection. But... it's an ongoing debate.

The main bath styling was A LOT easier. Blue and brown. Easy cheesy. The cabinet is the one on the right - shaker style again in a dark brown. The countertop in the middle is just a plain countertop (no granite in this one!); it has flecks of brown, beige and blue. Very light... but very nice. The floor tile is brown; still having anxiety about it... but the wall color will be the one to make it come together. We really like that blue - second from the left. We have a shower curtain that will match perfectly.

If I can get the colors adjusted slightly, I really want this print for the bathroom. It's kiddy but my style.

Carpet... no pictures but we did decide on colors for the living room and upstairs. I think we will be happy with our decisions. Unfortunately, we won't know until it's all over with. At least we have a few more weeks to mull this over.

I have to give a frickin' HUGE thank you to our future neighbor Alicia. She supplied us with some photos from the Losani models. It helped SO much in our decisions. Even at our last appointment... I was able to just point to the picture of the staircase and say "Make it happen, cap'n!" - so thank you again, Alicia! She also took on the role of photographer at our dirt over the weekend. We hadn't gotten a picture of us in front of our lot sign. Please excuse the hair - a tad windy out in the desert!

And that's about it... Ian and I leave on Friday for Virginia. Very excited! Here is the latest picture of our dirt. You probably can't tell... but some rocks moved a little to the left. Awesome.