Last Minute Man Gifts

It’s days before Christmas and you have nothing under the tree for the men in your life. Why are men always so hard to buy for? It’s because when they want something, they go out and buy it for themselves. New smartphone? They have it the day it comes out. So what do we do? Buy them socks or blindly guess what they want. So here are my fail-safe last minute gifts for men. Continue reading “Last Minute Man Gifts”

Gift Ideas for the Handy Woman

The themed latte’s at Starbucks, and the Christmas music at the mall may have given you an indication that the Holidays are soon upon us. I am a bit of a procrastinator, so I try to start early in my holiday to do’s and my gift shopping. So to get myself started, and to give you all a hand, I will be DIY’ing and shopping for you in the next coming weeks. Hopefully I can give you a few ideas on how to make your holidays extra amazeballs.

So first up, do you have a DIYing Handy Woman in your life? Need some holiday gift ideas. Here are a few of my best bets this holiday season.

  • A small, lightweight drill. Just because we’re girls, doesn’t mean we cant use power tools! It does mean however that most tools just were not meant for our more petite hands and muscles.  So treat your lady to a drill made for her, but for Gods sake, do not, under any circumstances buy her pink tools. You heard me. NO. PINK.TOOLS. We want to be taken seriously. No one takes a woman wielding a pink hammer seriously…
  • A small hammer. Just like my comments above on drills, I cant stand El Granto’s framing hammer. It’s giant, heavy and unwieldy. Years ago when I moved out on my own, my Dad sent me off on my own with a small toolbox packed with things from his own garage. Included in that was a seemingly Kristen sized hammer. I have used it ever since. Its the right weight, fits well in my hand and I can swing it like a lumberjack.
  • A Sewing Machine – This one is a bit stereotypical, but its oh so useful. You don’t realize how many sew-able items we have in our homes. If the lady in your life knows how to sew, but lacks a machine, buy her one! If she doesn’t know how to sew, include a few lesson in her gift. (I recommend the workroom in Toronto.)
  • 2 tape measures. Yep, that’s right two. One regular framing tape measure (although again make sure its a reasonable size and weight! The last thing a girl needs is a tape measure so heavy it pulls down their jeans when they attach it to their belt!) And secondly get a tailors measuring tape for her to keep in her purse (cause we’re always out at furniture stores asking sales people for measuring tapes so we can see if it’ll fit in the car or in the living room). Bonus points if you find a retractable tailors tape. That way it will stay neat and tidy in the bottom of her purse.
  • Her own work gloves. Oh I know, you handed her an old pair of yours last time you were working together in the garage, but they were giant, and terrible, and useless. So get your lady her own work gloves. They don’t even need to be work gloves, a (non dorky) pair of gardening gloves will work. Just make sure they’re made for women’s hands.
  • A set of commonly used tools that stays in the house. Do you like your flatware? Do you want to keep it looking nice/not have to buy a new set next year? Then make sure you have a set of easily accessible tools in the house, or your wife will be using that butter knife as a screw driver.
  • A Dremel. Why? Cause you can do a ton of stuff with that mini tool. You can cut, grind, sand, buff, polish etc. Buy a good accessory pack to go along with it, and she will get a ton of use out from it.
  • A staple gun. Useful for all sorts of upholstery projects, and a generally handy tool with a small price tag.
  • A palm sander. I don’t know why but sanding, painting and finishing tasks always seem to land on my plate (and my Mom’s plate from my childhood memories.) Make this easier and get her a palm sander!

What is your gals favourite type of DIY? Is she a painter, a tiler, a wood worker? I personally am the trim/detail person. I do all the finikity work, and finish and trim work. So my ideal gift would be a sliding compound miter saw.

Good luck on your Christmas shopping, and if all else fails, buy her some diamonds!

Under the Weather

Hey Kids! Just a quick note today to say that posting and projects may be a bit light around here for the next little while. I have been suffering some health issues that are really taking it out of me. My energy levels are non existant, and while I really want to be writing and project doing, my body has alas told me that aint gonna happen. I also will be heading in for a gaggle of tests at the end of this week, and will be even more under the weather. Please have patience with me, I will be back again soon I promise. I have a load of house buying info coming up next week in celebration of the anniversary of closing on our house, as well I have been working on some gift buying and DIY holiday projects. I shall be back in full force soon, until then I am going go get some much needed love and snuggles from my puppy & hubby. xox – Kristen Continue reading “Under the Weather”

My Most Popular Pinterest Pin

I got a Pinterest account two years ago, mostly for pinning my wedding ideas, and then when we bought the house it extended into home decor. I am by no means popular on Pinterest, I just do my thing and at time of publishing this I only have 1576 followers and just over 2000 pins.

I do however have one popular Pin.

Yep that’s right, one. I am not even sure how or when it got popular. I posted it almost two years ago. One day it just had tons of repins.

So here it is, my most popular pin!


Right now it has over twenty thousand repins.

Whats your most popular Pin?

Craft Fail

Have you checked out Craft Fail yet? It’s great, it chronicles peoples adventures epic screw-up’s in crafting/DIYing/cooking things they found on internet tutorials.

As you may know by now, I often get an idea in my head and insist on trying it out. (Like when I cut a hole in the wall.) Sometimes it turns out to be an awesomsauce idea and sometimes not so much…

So this weekend I wanted some bedside table lamps for the Guest Room, but I couldn’t find what I wanted for the price I wanted. So I started looking around the house for stuff to make lamps with. We have two of these $9.99 Ikea Grono table lamps just sitting around collecting dust. It’s like the sad Ikea lamp commercial all over again…

Ikea Grono Table Lamp

I also happened to have two of these pretty white vases.

I thought it would be a brilliant idea to make lamps out of my vases using the lamp hardware from my Grono’s. All I needed to do was cut a hole in the bottom of the vases…

Turns out, glass drill bits are EXPENSIVE. And both El Grant & I were convinced I would bust the vases all to hell while trying to drill holes in them. So Instead I thought of all the hipster ahhem cute painted mason jars out there, and decided I should just PAINT the inside of my Ikea Grono lamps with white paint instead.

So I broke out my white chalk paint and gave it two coats. It It was all uneven and streaky. I then thought I maybe should have poured the paint into the lamp instead of painting it. So I taped off the bottom hole, poured some chalk paint inside, swirled it around, then tipped it upside down and let it dry.

THIS is what I found the next day.

Whats that? Oh its all my paint PEELING off
An aerial view to show more of the epic failing going on

Today’s lesson: Sometimes you FAIL HARD.

Today in Toronto – Spot a Super Holmes

To kick off Mike Holmes’ new show Holmes Makes It Right which premiers tonight at 9pm on HGTV, Mike Holmes & some Holmes “look-alikes” will be gallivanting around Toronto in capes between 11am-4pm today. Spot a Super Holmes or a Holmes Look Alike and enter to win $5,000 cash or prizes from Milwaukee Tools and Roxul!

Check out the contest page here for more info, and watch HGTV Canada’s Facebook page and twitter today for hints on the Super Holmes locations.

As you may know Mike saved us from our leaky mess of a home when he fixed our house as part of a Holmes Inspection episode. Check it out here. We owe the world to Mike & his team, and we’re excited to see the families and homes he’s going to help this time around!

Toronto Beer Quest

I’m exhausted! Yesterday we participated in Toronto Beer Quest 3, which was awesome. It just involved more athletic ability and less beer drinking ability than I expected… I actually RAN…lots. Running aside, it was a ton of fun.

We had 10 Prohibition beer related questions to figure out, leading us Amazing Race style to locations around the city. Once we found the locations, we needed to take a photo of our team in front of it to prove we’d been there.

Posing in front of the building which once housed the Toronto Labor Temple

We were allowed to use our feet, and TTC as our modes of transportation. They did however make it good and tricky by placing the locations away from the subway, so you did have to get out there and run or get lucky with buses and streetcars. We were allowed to use our smartphones to help in figuring out the clues, and I don’t know what we would have done without them. I had done some research on prohibition and Toronto beer history figuring I’d get a leg ahead. It did me no good! The questions usually involved a twist, heading us to find a specific item at a location and taking our photo with that. It was an urban adventure race at its best. We had a blast, managed not to freak out on each other like Amazing Race participants oft seem to do. The best part was than when we returned to the Charlotte Room (the start and finish line for the competition) we were rewarded with Mill Street Tank House Ale and pizzas and nacho’s. Running is worth it if its rewarded with beer & nachos. We will definitely be participating again next year, and bringing along some friends to join us. Now to check out more events for Toronto Beer Week!

Weekend To-Do

It’s the weekend again. YAY. I am looking forward to having a nice weekend at home, getting some work done around the house, and competing in Beer Quest on Sunday.

Here’s my to-do list for these two days out of the office. Whats on your list this weekend?

Weekend To Do

  • Paint guest room board & batten
  • Paint guestroom walls, and put the room back to some semblance of order
  • Convince El Granto to let me cut a hole in the wall (more on that later, I hope…)
  • Do some small maintenance on the exterior of the Storefront in preparation for winter. WINTER IS COMING. Will also try to get a new mailbox and install that.
  • Clean up the vegetable garden (or whats left of it)
  • Oh and clean the house, cook, walk the dog, do laundry and all the regular stuff…

I am considering giving up sleeping…I hear its overrated anyways