Friday, March 27, 2015

Den Progress: Part 999

I have been working on installing the shelving in the den (which is a never ending project because it is an easy room to ignore for weeks on end...). When I left off last it looked basically like this:

And now it looks like this:

Taking it up to the ceiling was soooo worth it!!! I bought the Ikea Billy and Besta height extensions, and it looks amazing. Somehow the taller storage makes the whole room seem bigger! Eventually both side bookcases will have full length doors. I got the glass ones for the height extensions. I just haven't bothered installing the doors while all this other work is going on in here. I am prone to breaking things...

Oh, and please also notice that the trim at the bottom of these units is totally just propped up and uncut right now. I need to buy some slightly taller trim (which I will get into shortly).

But let's back the den train up! First thing I had to do was remove the trim all around the unit so that the bookcases would actually fit in wall-to-wall (there is only a 2 inch clearance!). That was tough work! Then I had to boost the height of all the units so the trim in the corners of where the wall and the built-ins meet would look even. I just cut down the extra shelves from the Besta height extension, since I don't need them, and used them under the legs of the Besta and the Billys. I was hoping that they would be completely pressboard, but the Ikea secret is that the middle is actually corrugated and useless. But the edges of the shelves were thankfully enough pressboard for my needs!

It was so much fun using my new saw that Santa gave me last Christmas!! I made a big mess, but didn't screw up so go me. :)

Getting the units onto the pressboard was super fun since the Besta unit weighs roughly a billion pounds. Through some rocking and tipping, Cam and I got it all done, though. Of course right after Cam pointed out that I forgot to permanently attach the Besta height extension to the bookcase and we had to pull it out again. Oh- and we broke the light fixture in the room! Talented couple we are! But I was always planning on replacing it, so I didn't really care.

ANYWAY. Finally got all the units in, and everything is really secure. They are all anchored to each other and the wall so hopefully it will not fall down on me any time soon.

I cut down and reattached the trim to the wall, but not the quarter round because I am not so good at the angled cuts...I am going to buy a miter box so I can finish that off. I still need to get more trim to fill in the gap on one side the top of the unit, and around the Besta. I am reusing the old trim on the Billy bookcase bottoms, but the Besta is slightly taller so I need to get trim around 1/2 inch taller. The other issue I am having with the Besta is I originally installed these fancy legs that unfortunately are flush with the sides of the unit at the top of the legs...which makes attaching the trim tougher on the sides. On the front I can just sit the trim in front of the legs, but the Billy doors get in the way of just going in front of the legs on the side so it has to be flush with the Besta unit.

It is a little hard to explain, sorry. Anyway, it is only a tiny gap showing so I am sure I can just fill it in with something and no one will know :)

Ignore the condition of the trim, this is what I had pulled off the wall
But in GOOD news, I totally thought the lightswitch in this room would need to be moved, but it is perfectly in line with the edge of the Billy! The right side of the built-ins is flush with the back wall, but I left a small gap on the left side so the Billy door wouldn't get in the way of the switch. It will be filled in with trim when I am all done.

After everything was installed and looking fab-u-lous....I remembered there was an outlet behind the unit I wanted access to. Facepalm.

I had a rough idea of where it was so I cut into the back of the lower Besta and thankfully found it! It looks super messy, but a shelf actually perfectly hides the hole. And it is at the back of a deep cabinet so no one will ever see (except for the entire internet right now...)

My eventual plan is to drill a hole down through the whole unit or through the back so I can plug my wireless printer in here and hide the cords. I also plan to cut out the hole a little bit more for safety, but I broke my last exacto-knife blade.

The den is really coming along! I can't wait to finish these off and then install the slim desk across from it, a larger fold down desk on the back wall, and a comfy office chair on the other side of the room. It is going to be a fabulous space for doing sewing and crafting!!

Desk will go here!
And yes, I know one of the bookshelves is yellowed in the photo above (it was a freebie from Craigslist), but it will eventually have a door on it so you won't be able to tell at all. If it bothers me I will paint it out. The really annoying part is that apparently it is an "older" model of Billy and the holes for the glass door are not pre-drilled so I will need to accurately measure it hang the door. Measuring is not my strong point, so that'll be interesting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Desk for My Main Man

A couple months ago my work got all new iMacs. Cam had mentioned that his computer was reaching the end of it's life so I brought my old work computer home for him (it was a little slow, but still worked perfectly fine). Now that Cam is pretty much here all the time, he asked if he could bring the computer to the condo so he could work on practicing his guitar. So we needed to find a desk!

I scoured Craigslist/Kijiji for desks for sale in my neighbourhood and I quickly came across a nice big desk for only $20. I had no idea of my long-term plans for the far wall of the condo living room, but I certainly didn't mind spending only $20 for a desk in the meantime. Cam and I walked the 5 minutes over to this guy's condo with my dolly and brought it on home. We both ended up really liking it for this space and so I think it is going to stay!

I was pretty sure the desk was Ikea, so I looked it up and it is the Linnmon table. It is a really cheap table, but it is actually pretty sturdy and nice-looking in person. I still want to get an armchair for where the plant is now, but I love seeing this end of the room get filled out! I am ashamed to admit my old dishwasher sat back there for almost 2 months....


Let's hope the view out the window is spring-like soon!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Casey Gets Fit(ter): Week 4

Weight 146.2 (Up 0.6lbs from last week). This fluctuating weight is getting on my nerves.

Anyway, I want to talk today about my new weight-lifting routine! Yup, this girl is lifting weights and feeling the burn!! I have wanted to build some muscle for awhile now, but I get so overwhelmed in the weights room because I simply didn't know how to work the couple machines we have, and I didn't know enough free weight exercises to effectively use the dumbbells. Thus, I began my search for a beginners weight lifting routine.

However, every program I came across was suggesting exercises that required equipment I didn't have access to or exercises I didn't know how to do and it was confusing! I began to look into apps and finally came across the perfect one- Jefit. This app actually offered a weight lifting regimen that was dumbbells only, which is perfect for me! Once you sign up and give your details, you can pick from a list of various workout regimens for various levels and commitments (I am on Dumbell-Only Full Body home Workout, which is 3 days a week). You can also just make your own schedule and it has tons of exercises for various muscle groups.

Each day you open "today's" workout and it gives you a whole list of exercises to do.

The idea is to do 3 sets of each exercise and each set is 10 reps, although you do have the option to do less reps once you are in an exercise.

You tap on the first move "Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift" and you will see this screen:

Here is where you log in the weights and number of reps you have done. You can change it up for each set and you can see what you did last time you did this exercise, which will help you slowly try to increase weights when it becomes too easy. If you don't know how to do the move, you just tap on the little guy in the upper left corner and you will see a gif of him completing the move and then also instructions on how to complete it and proper form.

You also have the option to time yourself while completing the move. I tend to skip this. Once you have completed an exercise, it takes you right on to the next one, which is a feature I really like because I can take each move as they come and I never really know when my workout is over.

I am working really hard at doing each move nice and slow and holding for a count each time. It is much harder that way! Right now I seem to be moving through a workout (which is around 10-12 different exercises) in about 35 minutes. Once my muscles stop screaming in pain from all this new usage, I am hoping to run and do my three dumbbell training sessions, but for this past week I only did the dumbbells and wow am I sore!

I just thought I would share this app today, as I am really enjoying it! Let's hope I stick with it and get some sweet muscles!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Big Blue

I've been trying to pick out the perfect blue/green for the bedroom, and it is turning into a Herculean effort. I originally thought CIL's Clear Sailing would be, well, clear sailing. I picked up a sample can, along with a sample of CIL's Vienna Lake as a comparison colour. I painted two coats of the samples on the wall and stared for a bit.

Vienna Lake on left and Clear Sailing on right

I came of the room and Cam asked me what I thought of the paint colours and our conversation went exactly like this:

It just looked....really blue. I apparently like either really light neutrals or really dark colours because these medium hues are impossible for me!! I want the room to feel airy, bright, serene, and I went back to the store and got another sample..this one with more green in it and I picked the lightest shade, Storytime. It is painted on top here:

I think I am going to go with Storytime, but it sure isn't a simple choice! Cam likes that one the most too, so that helps. Part of me thinks maybe I should look for something greener, and the other side of me knows I don't want to end up with a mint bedroom (I love mint, just not what I am going for in here). It is funny because the paint chips are very green in some lights, but when the paint is on the wall in this room these colours are super blue! Just proves to me that sample pots are always a good idea.

Of course, if I end up hating it, it isn't a big room so I can always repaint!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Throw Pillows Made From A Tablecloth!

I made these last week!

I originally planned to post about these pillows last week, but holy moly they took me sooo much longer than I had intended! If you read about my living room plan, I had planned to make some pillow covers from a Ralph Lauren table cloth I had picked up at HomeSense. The pillow inserts were these large ones from Ikea. I loved that the tablecloth mimicked watercolour and was the right shade of blue for accenting the cool tones for the living room.

I usually whip up quick pillow covers using an envelope technique, which is super fast and not fancy. However this time I decided (very unwisely) that I wanted piping and zippers on these covers. I had not sewn piping since I was in high school...

Anyway, the fabric store only had a couple colours of pre-made piping and I picked up plain white, but the table cloth was off-white, so I decided that I should recover it with the same fabric as the rest of the pillow. I didn't do it 100% properly, as I didn't know you should cut on a bias, but I ended up with some decent-looking piping when I was done! I think this step took me 2 hours in and of itself.

I thankfully read in advance that you should use a zipper foot for sewing piping, and it was amazing! I remember piping being really tricky in high school, but the actual sewing with piping on this project was easy! Yay zipper feet (foots?)! Here is a shot of the zipper foot in action.

This post is 100% not a tutorial, because I really had no idea what I am doing. But I did make this piping, then somehow sew it into a pillow and somehow sew a zipper on the pillow. Two pillows took me pretty much all week :\. I will say I learned on my second pillow that it is easier to sew all the piping to one side, and then attach the other side of the pillow, rather than trying to wrangle loose piping between two pieces of fabric.

Look at that piping!

I also want to show off my zipper. I had no idea what I was doing, and it certainly isn't a neat job up close, but I love that it is hidden by the piping! It actually takes me a few seconds to find it!

 I am super proud of how they turned out and I can't wait for my new couch to come (hopefully in the next couple weeks!) to put them on as they SUPER clash with my existing couch. I covered it with a sheet to save your eyes.

I also might eventually get some more stuffing for them, as my covers ended up an inch or so too large. The Ikea inserts are a little thin on the thin side for my liking as well, though these pillows are super comfortable for napping with.

After this project, I can definitely see why people pay for professionally-made pillow cases! However, I think I learned a lot by making these and hopefully it will be much easier next time.

Total Cost:
Tablecloth: $20
Pillow inserts: $14
Piping and Zippers: $16
Total Cost: $50 for two giant pillows! Not so bad!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Casey Gets Fit(ter): Week 3!

Weight: 145.6 (down 1 lbs from last week).

Sorry for disappearing for a week- things got crazy busy around here! I managed to stay on track with my eating 5/7 days...which isn't great because I usually prefer to only have one cheat day. My workouts weren't amazing either- a run on Tuesday and Friday and that was all. I wanted to start weight training this week, but I didn't at all. Must do better next week!!

My first cheat day was Thursday when I met up with Michelle, Lindsey, and Shanondoah for gnocchi poutine at Mildred's Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village. It was sooo good and worth every calorie!!! For dessert I had an After Eight hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow that was roasted table side. MMMM

So naturally after work on Friday I decided I NEEDED to go for a nice long run. I have started running outdoors again now that the snow and ice is gone and I am loving it! The cable man was coming at 6pm (I got a Nextbox 3.0 so I can record TV!), so I didn't have a huge window of time. However I was making excellent pace and feeling great so I decided to stretch my 8km run into a 10km one. However, when I hit 5km and turned around I realize I had been running with the wind at my back. Omgosh the run back was tough and I needed to get home because Cam needed to leave at 6:30pm and someone needed to be home! I made it in at 6:20pm!

You can see how much my pace slowed at 5km! Anyway, In my rush to shower and clean (ha!) for the cable man, I somehow completely forgot to drink water. I don`t drink water when I am out on my runs unless it is hot and I am sweating...I usually just drink a lot before and after! Anyway I felt sooo sick all Friday night. I will never make that mistake again. Dehydration sucks.

Thankfully I was feeling better Saturday and I ran a bunch of errands all morning and then I was off to Das Gasthaus the Danforth for a birthday brunch (more of a lupper) for my good friend Lisa`s birthday! I knew it would be deadly on the ol calorie count, but that schnitzel benedikt was amazing. I also got sausage on the side, which turned out to be a giant German sausage, which Cam had to help me eat! I almost took a nap right there in the restaurant. Of course after lunch was video games and snacks and later pizza at Lisa`s. I needed a forklift to get me home!

sidenote- my weigh-in this week was before Lisa`s party... I was afraid of the scale on Sunday morning!

Anyway, I don`t have any more diet breakers on the horizon for a few weeks so I have lots of time to get back on track!
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