Tag Archives: home projects

I’m in a nesting phase of my life

Last night after I made that delicious casserole, I was still hungry. I’m not sure why as I ate really healthy yesterday and filled up with delicious foods. Maybe it was hormones or just boredom. Anyway, I decided to make a single serving of mug cake. It’s an easy recipe with just four ingredients. You mix it all up in a mug, and cook it in the microwave.

I got everything ready. The main ingredients are flour, sugar, baking soda and milk. I poured everything into my little bowl which is just easier for mixing. Went to pop it in the microwave when I felt my spoon hit something hard. I thought maybe some of the flour had gone bad. Or something fell into the bowl. Oh, how wrong I was.

It was a freaking BONE! A bone was in my bowl.

It was a small bone but had ridges which made me think it may have been a spine or neck bone. From what animal? I had no idea. But I had all these visions of rats and mice crawling into my food and I panicked.

I tossed out ALL of my baking ingredients. The flour, which had been newly ordered from Walmart. The milk which I had just drank that morning with my breakfast. I thought it tasted funny. And the baking soda. I had no idea where the bone came from.

I’m not worried about a rodent being in my home as there are no droppings or signs anywhere. I had cleaned out the flour bin before even dumping the flour into it. And the baking soda I knew was clean – but I was just so grossed out. I’m so mad still. I tried to forget that I found the bone but I couldn’t. Everything went into the garbage.

I just hopped onto Instant Cart because I had great plans to bake this week. The weather is supposed to be cool all week – lots of rain – so I thought it would be a good project to do around the condo. But my god. I was seriously grossed out and freaked out. Such a waste of baking products.

I took my complaint to Walmart on Twitter but they haven’t responded. No pictures, I just tossed everything straight into the garbage. I’m so glad I found the bone before actually eating it. Could you imagine? Ugh. I’m traumatized.

No Frills is now delivering

I got an order ready last night for the City Market in my area and hit the “order” button just now so I could restock my baking ingredients. And of course, City Market does not deliver in my area.

I’m annoyed as I had just received my biweekly grocery order yesterday from Walmart. After that, I decided nope. Hell, no. I’m not ordering in food from Walmart for a very long time. I know the problem likely came from either Rogers or Dairyland – where the products were made. But what if?? I don’t want to think about it.


I use Instant Cart for all my shopping needs these days. I was surprised to see that No Frills and Superstore have been added in my area. I can’t use PC Express which is usually my preferred service. So, I just ordered $70 worth of baking ingredients to replace what I tossed out. I’m so mad still. What a waste of food.

I’m wondering what could have possibly happened here. I know that there is a certain amount of bugs and fecal matter that slips into our food in the factories. But most of the time we don’t notice this. I mean, this was an all out BONE from some kind of small animal.


The good news is No Frills is decently priced for baking items. The price of meat however is crazy. I added some chicken thighs and shake and bake as I want to cook up some chicken this week. I’m also going to share my meal plan for the next two weeks for you. I’m still working on the post.

I’m in a nesting phase

I’m not sure if it’s because it’s fall, or the weather is chillier, or that Thanksgiving is coming fast, but I’m in a total nesting phase. I’ve been home for so long now that I am comfortable being at home. The thought of going out and being social is exhausting to me. I have to go to a family event next weekend and I’m dreading it already.

I have some medical testing coming up in the next couple of weeks. I need to get some xrays done and labwork. Fun times.

Now that my living room has been finished and is looking great – I’m focusing on DIY home projects. I’m going to hold off on decorating my bedroom until Christmas time. I have been shopping around for a vintage tv cabinet to match my furniture but I’m not finding anything I like. Online shopping is a fun thing to do while binge watching funny shows like Parks and Rec. I also started watching Gilmore Girls again last night.

The room is coming together. I need to find some affordable and budget friendly canvas art – and a few accents. I’m thinking maybe an area rug too. But we’ll see. I’m also in love with my new couch. And the slipcovers for the chairs look pretty good too.

Kitchen organization

I spent a long time decluttering and organizing my kitchen cabinets yesterday. I’ve ordered too much for a single person. My goal is to waste less food and use up any ingredients that are close to expiration date. So, I ordered in a few cheap Sterlite organizers and my cabinets are starting to look really good. I’m shopping around for good mason jars so that I can store some of my baking items like oats and cereal properly.

I was tired of not being able to find anything when I needed it. I need to get a smaller tray as this one was too long for the shelf. But at least now I can easily grab stuff without having everything fall over. The shelf above this is full of oats, vinegar, oils. This is a work in progress.

A couple of years ago, out of sheer frustration, I bought a stand up pantry shelf from Facebook. It was a second hand Ikea pantry and that’s where I store most of my dried goods like pasta, rice, etc. The great thing about my kitchen is the amount of storage I have. I just have to find a system that works.

My next step is to organize and find a home for all my art supplies. Everything is just sitting on top of my kitchen table. If I want to have company over for dinner, that’s not going to work. I’ll need to get on that this week. I also want to reorganize my storage room and music room. That’s going to happen by decluttering. It’s a good winter project I think. Maybe take a while.

Healthy meal planning

I’ve spent a lot of time on YouTube and TikTok sifting through recipe ideas for fall. There are a lot of recipes I want to try. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with for the next couple of weeks based on what I have in my pantry.

  • Roasted chicken thighs, with a side of mashed sweet potatoes
  • Mini tarts filled with chicken or beef filling like my mom used to make
  • Zucchini muffins or loaf
  • Butternut squash and apple crumble – yummy!
  • Something with bell peppers – I accidentally ordered these
  • Spinach wraps – for daily lunches, maybe a soup too

I have a problem where I ordered too much for myself. But — I’m down to ordering twice a month for groceries. Today’s order was only to replace the baking items I had to toss out. At least they will last a long time.

So, stay tuned. I’ll be sharing a lot of recipes over the next while. And I’ll be going through some older recipes and revamping them. I posted a casserole recipe earlier this morning. It was just OK. I still have some ham left I need to use up.

So, that’s life in a nutshell right now. Focusing on healthy eating, cooking, exercising, getting some fresh air. Stocking up my pantry and freezer with healthy meals to eat over the next couple of months.

I’ve also been feeling nostalgic for older home design shows. Remember the days of early TLC shows like Trading Spaces and Divine Design? I’m also missing Anna and Kristina’s Shopping bag which was a fun show. I learned a lot about cooking and shopping habits from that show.

For now, I’ll leave you with this episode of one of my favorite design shows – Color Confidential.

Is this midlife? Am I having a midlife crisis? Or is this just a natural phase of life? Whatever it is – I’m loving it. And excited to share my creations with you.

Follow my blog for recipe ideas, cooking tips and home DIY projects!

Home decorating challenge on a budget – update

Since moving into this condo in March, hard to believe it’s been almost six months, my balcony has been one of my main areas to focus on. It’s gone through many transformations since moving in. And after this last step, which was very affordable addition to the balcony, I can honestly say – that I’m pretty pleased with myself.

I’m running out of time as the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. But ideally, I’d love to transform the balcony into a welcoming and warm space in winter months. I might not sit outside for hours at a time like I have this summer – but I hope to get outside for at least 10 minutes daily. Unless it’s -40C outside. Because no one wants to sit outside in -40C weather. Even with an outdoor heater.

( I have 40+ draft posts ready to share…some days I might share more than one post!)

This was the view during a June snow storm. It can get pretty miserable.

Balcony #1: April 2021

This is a before picture from when I first moved in. It started with my sister who graciously offered to buy me an outdoor area rug. The rug has held up wonderfully all summer though it does need a good cleaning. I’ll get my vacuum outside when it’s less windy.

I’ve shared pictures of the updates on Facebook and the one comment I hear from all my friends is, “I can’t believe how big that area is!” I love it. I don’t think I’d love it as much if I had neighbours across the street. But I love it for what it is now. My little cozy reprieve.

My sister who spoils me, also bought the flowers for me. They’re now pretty much dead thanks to all the heat, lack of rain and high winds. You also know about the smoke. It’s been a bad year for gardens and flowers. Hopefully next year, is better.

First balcony update

Balcony 2 Update: May 2021

It was early May when my sister texted me and offered up her old patio furniture. She had ordered a new set in from Canadian Tire. “It’s a house warming gift, you don’t have to pay me.” She said when I offered her cash. It took us a couple of weeks to find a time to drop off the furniture. I was blown away when I saw how much furniture she included. Even down to the rest cushions!

The chairs are a little sun worn, and one chair is wobbly, but otherwise – this set is in really good condition. I know, because I’ve used it ALL summer – almost every night.

As you can see, the balcony is badly stained from previous tenants. They had a gas bbq and I think that’s where the stains are from. The rug covers most of the area. It’s pretty huge.

What I learned quickly, was that the chair placement was fantastic for working on my summer tan. I face the sun during the day and it was awesome for tanning.

Second balcony update

Balcony 3 Update: June 2021

After about a month of this set up, I realized the above neighbours could see me where I was sitting. I used the two seater more often than not to listen to music or read. I was also a bit worried about storing outdoor supplies on the balcony. Our condo board has some really strict bylaws. We can’t store any household items outside, nor can we hang anything on the railings.

So, I got crafty. I moved the two seater over to the corner. Not only did this provide extra shade, but it hides the planters and supplies very well. When it rains, I store the cushions in a large plastic bag behind the seat, and no one but me can see it.

I don’t have a picture of this layout, but this is my view from the corner.

Balcony 4 Update: August 2021

All summer long I thought to myself, there must be a way that I can get around the condo bylaws in order to have some more privacy. My issue is that I love sitting outside at night time. Not evening time – the kids are still outside at the park playing. On really hot nights, I would sit outside between 11 pm and 1 am to cool off. Not only were the kids in bed by this point, but the stores were all closed except for the one restaurant that is hidden by a large tree.

I loved curling up in my two seater while listening to podcasts or watching TikTok. I used headphones for this to block out the noise from traffic. The issue here is privacy. Even though the stores are closed by 9 or 10 pm, a surprising amount of traffic still moves through the parking lot. I’ve even caught some people sitting in their cars late at night facing my condo.

And before you say I’m paranoid, I started using my green chairs as a shield to hide myself from people’s views. One night, I noticed a car sitting in the lot. I moved the chair to block their view. Moments later, the car moved. I moved the chair a second time, and third time – and the car moved with it too. I finally got up and put a towel over the railing. And wouldn’t you know it – the car left.

So, I searched the internet high and low for options. I even asked some Reddit groups on what to do. We can’t hang anything and we can’t block visibility of the balcony deck.

I considered room dividers but they were too expensive. The easiest answer would have been shades – but they are no longer allowed as they “block management from seeing what’s on the balcony.” And so, yesterday, I discovered that Rona had a sale on a privacy latte. For $25 per piece!

I ordered this 4×8 ft slab, and it works pretty well.

My friend Wally picked this up for me and helped me set it up. What would I do without him? We had a chat over how much sun it blocks. And while people can still see through the holes, this little fence gives me that sense of security that I needed more than anything. Plus I love the pattern that the sun casts on the rug.

After Wally left, I hummed and hawed about the height. The main idea was to have something minimal that wouldn’t be too obvious to someone walking by. And unfortunately, this fence was just too high for my liking. It definitely needs to be cut by a professional with a saw.

But for now, I got a little crafty. The fence bends a little and so I came up with this:

The fence is tied with string – but you can’t see that from the street. This isn’t a perfect solution but for now — it works!

I also decided to leave the left part of the fence open so that the condo board can still see the balcony. Technically, this doesn’t break any rules. And I think it looks really pretty.

Condo decorating continues

And so, the evolution of my balcony continues. I really wish we could hang little flower pots on the railings because it would look so cute. I’m looking at alternatives for next summer. Like maybe a plant stand and then hang metal flower pots. But we’ll see how it goes.

My next focus is on how to keep the area warm for fall. Sitting outside last night was COLD. I had a towel with me but I think I need to get an outdoor blanket too.

I’m also looking at outdoor heaters. Luckily, the balcony does have an electric outlet. So, I’m searching Etsy and Amazon for ideas. Maybe Canadian Tire or Home Depot will have something affordable in a heater. That way, I can cozy up with a lantern, a blanket, a cup of coffee, and read books on my Ipad – if it ever gets here.

I also want to get some soft white lights to hang in the kitchen window. Again, technically, that doesn’t break any rules. They will be inside – but visible from outside. And in December, I plan on hanging some lights – I just don’t know where yet. I’ll keep it simple with white or LED lights. There are so many things to choose from!

The other thing that I am excited about is that I finally ordered a sofa for my living room. I’m still searching for slipcovers for my red chairs. Once that project is done, I’ll share some photos. But one step at a time. Decorating is so expensive!

Stay tuned for home living updates and project ideas! For now you can read related posts under my “Home Living” category. Or just use the right side bar to select your category of choice. As you can tell, I write about anything and everything that sparks my interest With fall fast approaching, my main focus is on home living and making my new home cozy and comfortable for the winter months.

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