I'm Dreaming of a White Kitchen

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I don't really need a new kitchen. My 'old' kitchen is from the 90's, and we did a mini-update with new handles, countertop and backsplash about 6 years ago.

It's a nice-looking kitchen, BUT there are a few things that really annoy me about it.

  • The lighting stinks. We have two huge flood lights that make the room hot.
  • The fridge/freezer is tiny (18 cubic feet for 5 people - are you kidding me???) It came with our old house when there were only two of us.
  • We don't have enough room for compost/paper recycling/plastic recycling and garbage under the sink.
  • The dishwasher needs to be duct-taped and propped closed to work.The bars holding some of the fridge door items in are broken and have been replaced by a bungee cord. Classy.
  • The floor is cream with teal and pink highlights!
  • The oven runs about 25 - 50 degrees hotter than I think it does so everything cooks in less time and/or burns.
  • The hood fan over the stove doesn't exhaust outside, although it hardly matters as it's broken too! It turned on spontaneously one day and the only way to shut it off was at the fuse box.
  • The only logical place to store the dishes is immediately above the aforementioned dishwasher and you cannot load the dishes in the cupboard when the dishwasher door is open so everything has to be unloaded to the counter first, then the cupboard.
  • There's no island or anywhere for people to hang out when we're entertaining.
  • The under-counter lighting is flaky and will turn on and off spontaneously, plus the apron that covers the lighting comes down so low that the back of the counter-top is basically inaccessible.
What I do like about my kitchen
  • The skylight.
  • The back splash.
  • The pantry built into one wall.
  • The sink overlooking the backyard.
  • The double sink and single-handle faucet.
  • The big pot drawers which we use for tupperware, small appliances and spices.
  • The lazy susan in the corner cupboard.
The IKEA catalogue came recently. I noticed all the wonderful kitchen ideas in it, and had already downloaded the kitchen planner, so I plugged in the particulars of my own kitchen and started playing with the cabinetry. What I could come up with? Could my kitchen actually fit an island? Or at least a peninsula? Could I make it look anything like the kitchen in the movie Something's Gotta Give?
I played with a bunch of configurations. In one, I even got my dreamed-of island (at the expense of a big fridge and a pantry). Since I captured these images of my white kitchen in the IKEA kitchen planner, I've gone through at least 5 other changes, including making all the upper cabinets black or making all the lower cabinets black, or just the pantry, etc. It's still black and white, but just different amounts of each.
If we did put in this kitchen, some other things on my wishlist are:
hardwood flooring with perhaps a tile 'mat' near the sink
a little flat screen TV easily visible to the cook
a place to put the laptop while I'm cooking or for kids to play on the computer at the kitchen peninsula.

A girl can dream, can't she?

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End of Summer Bowling

Friday, August 27, 2010

The summer is almost over. The weather is cooling off at nights and I find myself wearing a jacket occasionally. School starts in another week.

This summer, I had a list of things to do with the kids.
Cottage
Water Park
Camping
Pony Ride
Petting Zoo
Mini Putt/Driving Range
Bowling

We didn't make it to the water park this year, but maybe next year.

We've done the cottage and camping, the petting zoo and mini putting and the driving range.

Ever since we got the Wii and played Wii bowling, Sweet Pea has wanted to try 'real' bowling.

We finally made it on Wednesday. We got there just after 10 a.m., since Precious had speech therapy at 1:00 (which ended up being canceled by the SLP).

Sweet Pea was hoping for loud music, which she got. It was a bonus that they had black lights and cool shoes that glowed in the lights. We all had fun bowling. Mr. Boy was pretty good at it, as was Sweet Pea. Precious was hopeless at first, but was able to bowl independently by the 8th or 9th frame. The kids wanted to stay longer, but we had to get home for lunch.

Now I want to organize a bowling tournament!

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A Week in the Muskokas

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I've been out of commission on the blogging front because I took three weeks of vacation and was out of town for much of it.

My first week off, we were lucky enough to get an invitation for to stay at our friend Bob and Sheila's family cottage.

The cottage was originally Sheila's grandmother's, and it's in a community of cottages that shares a beach, volleyball court, play structure, boat launch, etc. The cottage itself is rustic (ie. no potable water and only an outhouse). It's one of those classic cottages with hand-me-downs, and quirks about it. It was perfectly suited for the two families and was wonderfully comfortable.
The boys slept in a tent outside and the girls shared a small bedroom with bunk beds and a single. DH and I were lucky enough to have a nice room with a double futon. Surprisingly, I've never had less back/neck issues than I did that week as the futon mattress was firm and perfect for me. Bob and Sheila shared the other 'big' bedroom.
The family has a canoe and a motor boat (and now a kayak!) so Bob and DH took the girls for a boat ride to one of the islands on Lake Vernon. They were gone a long time and based on the photos they brought back, they had a great time.
The weather and the beach were just perfect. There was shade at the beach, muskoka chairs and picnic tables, as well as a play structure, and lots of sand and water toys. There was a big, metal slide for sliding into the water, and a raft pretty far out, with a diving board. The kids loved getting noodles and heading out to the raft. Precious loved making sand castles with the other girls.
In the cottage, there was lots of reading and playing of games. Guess Who was particularly popular. Mr. Boy and Duncan took turns reading pages from Harry Potter 4. I was knitting a lot and the adults read the paper and various books in the evenings.
One day, the boys went to the community association's cliff jumping spot and jumped off the 'small' and 'medium' rocks. I'm glad I didn't get to see it! It was really high! On the last day, the boys jumped again, although Mr. Boy said the medium rock made his stomach feel funny and he didn't want to do it.
But that didn't stop DH from trying it!
Or Duncan!
On the second last night, we watched Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs at the beach, with free popcorn.

On the second last day, the community association had their annual fun day. There was face painting and old fashioned games.


Earlier in the week, we had gone to Bob's sister's cottage for the day. She's on the exclusive Lake Rosseau, home of celebrities and sports figures. Her cottage was beautiful, completely wood inside and out, and perched on a cliff with a wraparound deck, and stairs and decks all the way down (way down) to the water.

Bob's sister has three young girls, so add my three and Bob and Sheila's and it was 8 kids between 8 years and 2 years.
Here are all the kids starting supper on the top deck, with DH admiring the panoramic view.
The bottom deck.We had a wonderful time in Lake Vernon and hopefully we'll get invited back!

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Camping Goodness!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

DH couldn't afford to take any vacation time. I, on the other hand was not satisfied with having taken only one camping trip so far this summer, and I get more vacation than DH, so I asked my dad, who is retired, if he'd accompany the kids and me on a camping trip. He was so keen, he mistook the date of our trip and was ready and packed up a month early!

Once we got the dates straightened out, everything else was pretty smooth sailing. The kids were up and ready to go on Wednesday. I had packed everything the night before and had DH help me load the car before he left for work.

The trip took close to three hours with a long break at Tim Horton's part way, and we arrived on a warm and sunny afternoon. Dad had been there a few hours already. We hit the beach and checked out the adjacent play structure. The park had a great setup, a little store, and we were really close to the 'comfort stations' (euphemism for flush toilets and running water).Dad helped me set up the campsite and he gets an 'A' for effort as he was always asking how he could help throughout the three days. It was really handy having another adult around when trips to the bathroom, store (to get ice for the cooler) or back to the campsite were warranted. Dad had his little tent and Mr. Boy slept in there with him. I had the girls in my mammoth tent.On the second day, the kids and I took a hike through the woods. There was a bit of rain, but not too much. Throughout the three days, we had campfires, and cooked marshmallows, made s'mores, swam, made sand castles, read and played. Dad brought his canoe and took Mr. Boy fishing. They caught lots of fish but threw them all back. The five of us all took a short canoe ride, but it was pretty windy that day, so we didn't get far before we decided to turn back.
Mr. Boy checking out the water (below).
Gramps reading to Precious by the fire.
Sisters playing at the beach on the last morning.We ran into a girl on Sweet Pea's soccer team and her twin brother at the campground. The kids all played together quite a lot and it made the trip even more fun for them.

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