Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Great Locker Clean Out

This happened last night:


I emptied out my locker!!!!! Also, this photo is really misleading because it makes my locker look square, when it is really an awkward trapezoid. Very odd. And it is about 24 sq ft, but looks super small here.

A couple weeks ago I had organized and packed up the whole locker. However there has been a rash of locker break-ins (and car break-ins) recently, so I got a little freaked out and decided I was NOT comfortable leaving all my stuff in the locker. Therefore I spent my wednesday night wheeling it all up and stashing it in the hallway. I think I will borrow a car and drop it all off at my parent's for the next month.


Oh, can I also take a moment here and talk about how much I love my dolly?? I think I was able to move all of this stuff in just 4 or 5 trips and I didn't even break a sweat. Seriously...everyone needs a good dolly (I think this is the same one as mine).


I still have a LOT to do to get ready to move and now the countdown is on because I am less than one month away! I already called my insurance company and the cable/internet company...but there are still a lot more people to call and things to do. Oh and packing. You know, that thing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Condo Dreaming

It is under one month until I get possession of my new condo!! And yes, I still plan on showing you guys more details about my place, but the sale still isn't finalized due to some small delays in paperwork so you must be patient. Well, more patient than me because I am NOT patient! I am so excited to get my grubby little fingers on my new place!

I have been planning two rooms so far (in my head)- the living room and the bedroom (I'M GOING TO HAVE A BEDROOM, PEOPLE!). The kitchen is in good shape, besides needing some updated appliances, and the bathroom is kind of boring so designing those rooms hasn't been at the forefront of my mind. Oh, and did I also mention the new place has a DEN? I actually have no idea what to do with that room, which is amazing feeling to have. A whole room to grow into!! I'm thinking craft room right now, but I may change my mind 100 times in the next month.

Let's play condo dress up, shall we?

Living Room Inspiration
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For the living room I am envisioning lots of light colours. The room is literally 50% windows with the kitchen on one end so there is basically one wall. I was thinking of doing a taupe coloured wall for a change, but the floors are kind of reddish so I think maybe grey is once again the way to go. The window wall is also at an angle so it will be an interesting room to put together. I am thinking a big cozy rug to cement the living room space. I never got to have a rug in my current condo because my living room was too small and I always thought it would look too cluttery.

For furniture I am thinking a nice big couch with a chaise lounge in maybe a white or grey. I'd probably do some white furniture, but I also want to pull in some natural woods. I am also thinking of getting a fireplace! I also need to get a table and have a dining area, but I haven't had any inspiration there yet.

Right now the windows have vertical blinds (yucky), so eventually I'd like to upgrade to some nice white shades and maybe some gauzy white curtains to soften the wall.

Onto the bedroom!

Bedroom Inspiration

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For the bedroom...I'm thinking pink and gold! Well, today I am. Tomorrow is a whole new indecisive Casey. The first picture above is really overboard for my taste, but my bedroom is currently set up to have the bed snuggled between two closets like that, so I liked that photo. I may end up renovating and removing those closets, but we shall see once I've lived in it a bit. I think it is cool to have that accent wall in between them for the head of the bed, but it is a challenge for bedside table needs.

I also think I will put a nice plush carpet in the bedroom and some thick curtains. I really want the room to feel cozy and a nice little retreat. It is a small room, so I don't think cozy will be too hard to achieve. :)

Obviously these rooms will slowly evolve. There are a lot of expenses with selling and buying (oh hello, double land transfer tax, real estate fees, and lawyers fees), so I am not exactly feeling flush with cash and willing to drop a lot on furniture in the next few months, especially since I want to look into replacing some appliances. Baby steps!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Plants Update!

I brought in my plants from the balcony a couple weeks ago as I was worried we were going to get a frost. Some of the them died this summer, but overall they are doing well! I brought up my turquoise cart from the locker (I had moved it down there while doing showings of the condo), and it is now my new plant stand! Hopefully they don't mind being inside if they get some sunshine :)


I am happy about how big they are! The yellow pot is my pink flowery plant that I got in the spring. It bloomed all summer with little care, but now I think it is done for the season. I never thought I would see the african violets bloom again, but they literally blossomed this year! And my spotted plant from the spring died, but somehow a seed of it sprouted and planted itself next to the african violet, and it's baby is seemingly happy. I think I overwatered the big one.



On the bottom shelf is my new little succulent that was a gift for visiting the Princess Margaret Lotto Penthouse. The instructions said it needed lots of light so I gave it it's own little shelf so it wouldn't get dwarfed. It is so tiny and cute!


My tree plant thing is still going strong and is back in it's place at the end of the bed. It didn't enjoy being indoors last winter, but the new condo has tons of windows so hopefully it does better indoors this year!


I am excited to get some nice big indoor plants in the new condo! This place doesn't have enough windows for plants, but the new place should be perfect for some greenery.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Princess Margaret Lotto Penthouse Tour

This past weekend I was invited to visit the Penthouse Suite that is one of the grand prizes in the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Welcome Home Sweepstakes. Even though I love home tours (condos especially!), this was really exciting as the Penthouse is not open to the public to check out so this was the only chance for me to see it before winning the lottery and moving in (ha!).

I rode the elevator up to the 31st floor and got off on a floor with only two suites on it. I was greeted when I came in by the designer Andrew Bottecchia. Once we were all there, our little party of bloggers and media got a private tour from him about how he designed each room. I kind of loved being in a professionally designed condo vs a house because I could see all the issues he had to face with strange cutouts and wonky floor plans that come hand in hand with condo living. (See the floor plan here).

At one end of the condo is a great living/dining space. I loved how Andrew made the fireplace a focal point by framing it in shiny black. He kept the living side of the room very traditional, but went modern in the dining space at the other end. The custom wallpaper by the dining table really was beautiful in person! Right by the living room was a small powder room, which I had thought was a closet at first (the condo is FULL of closets). Andrew chose to go a bit bolder in here with the wallpaper, but it still tied into colours used throughout the condo. I think that keeping a common colour scheme is key to decorating a small condo.



Right outside this room is one of the THREE balconies that grace the sides of this condo. This one was the main one with gorgeous outdoor furniture and durable and easy-to-clean outdoor carpet. The patio also had a gas barbeque hookup and a view of the lake, so it would be the perfect place to entertain on a warm, sunny day.


Going back in through the hall, you come to the front hall on your left (with a mirrored wall on one side and two large closets on the other) and a galley kitchen on your right. Condo kitchens rarely have windows, and we all loved the more traditional windows in this space that really let you feel like you were in a house, not a condo (unless you looked out them and saw the view!). The kitchen also had a hook up for a gas oven, but the real draw to me was all the storage! So many cupboards and there was even an additional pantry in the hallway. There weren't a lot of countertops, but Andrew solved this with a gorgeous narrow marble-topped table that doubles as a breakfast bar.


Do you see the gorgeous floors in here? They continue throughout the home and seem more grey or more taupe, depending on the rooms decor. They are engineered hardwood (so good for kitchens!) and I loved them.

After the kitchen was the media room- which was one of my favourites. The room is a den that originally had french doors but Andrew took them down because they got in the way of furniture placement. This room is so awkward being 13ft long and only 7ft wide with weird cutouts everywhere, but he made it work as a cozy TV space to lounge in after a hard day. The bookshelf wallpaper was custom made to pick up the orange accents in the space. There are two windows in the space, but they were mismatched so one was covered with drapes that matched the wall colour.


After the media room was the laundry room! Yes, there was an actual laundry room in this condo. And it even had a window so it was very bright and welcoming. Andrew had actually switched the original layout of the machines and the sink, which made the room seem larger. I think I would actually enjoy doing laundry if I had a space like this.


After the laundry room was the guest bedroom. It was a very small room and only really fit a double bed and two nightstands. However, it actually had a walk-in closet with a window so I really don't think any guest would be complaining about a lack of storage! As you continue down the hall you pass the guest bathroom (small, but very lovely in marble finishes).


At the end of the hall you enter the master suite, which has a little seating area at the entrance, and then the main space is past that. There is a door to a balcony from the seating area. Andrew faced a challenge with fitting a king sized bed in here. While the room has space, there was a cutout in the wall that forced the bed into a tight space and no room for side tables. By floating the bed forward, with a table behind to take up the empty space, he was able to center the bed and make the flow of the room much better.


The master bedroom also had a large bathroom with separate tub and shower, his and hers sinks, and a water closet! I think it was bigger than the guest bedroom. There was also a large walk in closet with custom shelving (and no, we asked and there was nothing in those Burberry bags....)

Isn't this place gorgeous? I was definitely hunting for some design ideas for my new place. Would you believe me if I told you that most of the artwork, decor pieces, and lamps in this space were from HomeSense?? Andrew also mentioned that he was on a strict budget and carefully hunted for sales through this whole process, which definitely shows that you don't need to spend a lot of money to make your home look like a $1.4 million dollar penthouse! Though, having a penthouse to start with probably does help :)

If you saw any items you liked, there is a source list available on the Princess Margaret website here. Most of the furniture was from Casalife and the Art Shoppe. I know that I, for one, am keeping an eye on this dresser, which is similar to the one that I saw in the bedroom at the penthouse...however I think I may have to wait for it to go on sale.

Of course, if you liked everything in these photos (and who wouldn't?), you should enter the lottery because this baby comes furnished if you win! You can buy tickets from the Princess Margaret Lotto Website. The only stipulation if you win is that you have to invite me to live with you. I will even let you have the master bedroom, because I am generous like that.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 34

Weight: 145.8 (down 19.2 lbs)

Let's talk about motivation this week! I get a lot of questions about my weight loss and motivation as I have been very open with friends, family and you guys on the internet with my desire to lose some weight and get in shape. My mom actually asked me "why now? what changed?". Not in a rude way, but as my mother she knows I have tried many times to lose a few pounds but always lost motivation after a couple weeks.

Growing up I was always a pretty normal size and as I entered my teenage years I probably gained a bit of weight, but never really tipped into an unhealthy range. I did sometimes have a diary in high school so I know from that that I was in the low 150s during one of my brief weightloss attempts. Going to University I definitely ate like a pig but somehow didn't gain the freshman 15. I think that I weighed in the high 150s for most of those years as well. However after graduation I slowly put on about 15-20 lbs, probably due to the sedentary lifestyle that came with an office job, plus I eat when I am bored and long days at the office meant many trips for snacks. My highest weight was when I came back from Europe in 2011 and weighed in at 170 lbs. I worked at it and dropped 10 lbs, but then basically spent the next couple years between 160 and 165.

So why the push to lose weight now? I think it was a variety of factors. One of them being that I was starting to not like photos of myself. I always thought I looked great when I looked in the mirror, but then I'd hate how I looked in photos, especially when I was sitting. I also hated that my size was creeping up in stores and I was reaching the max pants size in my favourite stores (a size 14).

Dec 2013
Another factor was realizing I am getting closer to age 30, and most people will tell you it is a lot easier to lose weight when you are younger. I worried about my metabolism slowing down and maybe getting pregnant sometime down the road and what those changes would do to my body. It hit me that if I wanted to make a change I needed to do it NOW, I couldn't keep putting it off.

Mexico 2012
Another factor in my weight loss adventure was finding my love for running! I am such a lazy person, but I actually do love to run. I can't even describe how much it helps me with stress and clearing my head. I sometimes hate putting on my work out clothes and getting out the door, but I rarely have a run that I hate. And I always feel amazing after a run, even a short one. It took my awhile to build up to that love, but signing up for races helped me keep on track in those early days.

May 2014
I think writing about my journey here and being open about my weight loss plan also really helped! When I went over to my parents' homes for dinner they would prepare really healthy meals for me. When I went out with friends they never questioned what I ordered and respected when I turned down dessert or a 2nd drink. Having a support team was really awesome!

Now for maintaining motivation over 34 weeks, that is a different beast. I've lost almost 20 lbs since I started, which is awesome...but that means I averaged a little over half a pound per week. Sometimes I plateaued for weeks. Sometimes I went on vacation and didn't count calories or exercise (and I went on a LOT of vacations this year!). It was hard to stay on track, but I think the fact that I found an exercise I liked, and that I never denied myself any foods, just counted calories and watched portions, meant that I never felt deprived. I think one of the best tips is to make your calories count- don't waste them on food you don't love. 

So how do I feel now that I am down almost 20 pounds? AMAZING! I am at one of the lowest weights I have ever been and I love being able to shop for smaller sizes. I am now regularly in size 10 pants, and I am questioning if I should go down to an 8 at some stores. My closet is being stocked with medium shirts, rather than larges (I even own a size small shirt now!). I don't really see the changes in the mirror, since I see myself all the time, but I definitely see it in my clothing...my skinny jeans from last winter are hanging off me and I am on the first hole in my belt.

Oct 2014
I still have a lot of toning to do (I am hoping to maybe do some workout DVDs through the winter), but overall I have a lot of pride in my body now! I have no idea where my new killer arms came from, but I definitely want to keep those up! I also want to tone up my stomach and back, though I love how my tummy lies so much flatter and my back fat has really decreased!

If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pack It Up, Pack It In, Let Me Begin!

Now that song will be stuck in your head all day. You're welcome.

But yes, this post is about packing, even though I am not moving for another 6 long weeks (feels like 6 million weeks, when I make a decision I want to get going!). Since obviously I have a lot of time, I have set myself mini goals for packing up non-essentials and pre-moving some stuff to my parents' houses so that when it comes to actual move in day I won't be stressed or have to hire a big van.

My goal for the month of October was to pack up and move the locker and the balcony. I brought in the plants from the balcony, but otherwise there is not much to pack out there. The locker was an easy choice because nothing is critical down there. Plus my building has been having reports of locker break-ins, so I kind of want to get my stuff out of there...

I started tackling the locker on Monday since it was a holiday and I felt I needed to be productive at some point over the 3 day weekend. It ended up being a WAY bigger job than I anticipated and didn't finish until Tuesday night! Since the locker room is tiny, I actually brought everything up, packed it in bins in my condo, purged a bunch of stuff and moved it all back down. I actually used all the blue bins in this photo and one large box...oh man does my junk add up.


I actually think my locker is just as full now, despite being organized. I am hoping that is because some bins are not quite finished and will be filled once I tackle the condo.

But I am proud to say I am purging a bunch too! This whole box is full of decor items that I don't think I will miss at the new condo, so I am either giving them to a friend who needs some staging items, or dropping off the whole box at Goodwill. The decorative boxes are empty. I might hold onto them for moving purposes. Undecided. The stool is going too (new island doesn't have a breakfast bar anyway).


As for all my furniture, the buyer of my place has offered to buy it all off of me, but I am undecided! Certainly none of this stuff works in my new place long term (too small scale), but I didn't want to have to be "forced" into buying new furniture as I am definitely indecisive when it comes to buying big ticket items. I also really like my furniture and it will be hard to leave it behind. However, family has offered me a couch and a dresser and maybe a few other items so I may just sell it all. Would definitely help save on a moving truck! What would you do?

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