Day 299: Bathroom Renovation Update

At the start of 2020, I signed a partnership with American Standard to assist in our upcoming bathroom renovation. We’d been talking about doing this for ages so when this opportunity came up, I was so excited to get started. We ordered two new sinks, two toilets, and assorted matte black fixtures for both bathrooms. The first shipment arrived in February 2020.

I was planning to document the process and share updates as we did most of the work ourselves. Well, well well, along came the pandemic, which threw us and everyone for a loop. Everything shut down, a lot of my work was canceled, and we made a decision to ‘wait it out’ at the cottage. The American Standard boxes sat unopened in our living room for months.

In August, we came home for a couple of weeks and hired our friend Lindsay to help get things moving on the downstairs bathroom. Lindsay normally works in set design for film and is an incredibly skilled carpenter, builder, and all-around handy-woman. Since film production was at a standstill, she was looking to work, and we were happy to have a woman doing the job. ??

We tore out the old sink, toilet, and fixtures, then painted the bathroom in Benjamin Moore OC-65, Chantilly Lace (the perfect white!). Lindsay built a new cabinet out of wood and installed it. I am so happy with how it’s coming along! The matte black faucet from American Standard looks SO GOOD with the new Boxe Semi-Countertop Sink.

It’s not finished but I’ve been meaning to share the recent update!

Our fancy new toilet cleans 2x better than conventional toilets and the flushes are quiet. I’ve dreamed about this!

Next, we’re finishing up the tile, accessories, and adding shelving made with reclaimed wood from the cottage. I think we’re going to paint the floor instead of redoing the tile.

If you’re interested, I blogged about our plans some of my design goals with the products we ordered from American Standard in this post. I’ll be sure to share updates as we finish the renovation. Once this is complete we’ll be starting on the upstairs main bathroom. ?

This post is in partnership with American Standard Canada.

Day 298: Stewart Sisters!

Had a nice walk with my sister today after work. Always great to see her and laugh together. It’s such a hoot when we hang out, we’ve got the same mannerisms, talk alike, are about the same size, and for the first time in 20 years, we both have long hair. I love her so much!

Gave Jenie one of the new masks I was given by my friend Anela, designer of Considerate Goods. Her masks are my absolute favourite! See more in this post from Day 169, August 2020, or on her website.

Considerate Goods

Day 296: Click and Collect

The mouse for my computer died so I ordered a new one from Apple to be picked up with click and collect. The process was very organized but still, a bit weird. I drove up to Yorkdale Mall, parked, and went to the entrance where I had to show the order on my phone to get past security.

Once inside, I was directed down a walkway where I showed my order again. I was instructed to take my place on my given numbered spot where my order would be delivered to me. It took about 15 minutes and everyone was wearing masks.

I have to admit it was strange to be inside the mall like this. I couldn’t’ help think about all the stores and how empty the parking lot was. I drove home feeling sad for lost jobs, revenue, and how the pandemic has hurt small businesses.

I wonder how long we’ll be in lockdown? The cases keep going up and things don’t seem to be getting better. ? I try not to read the news too much but this is the reality we’re living in now.

Please be safe and wear a mask when you go out!

Day 295: Fasting + Habit Stacking

When it comes to goal setting or creating a new routine, there is no day like TODAY to start. You are the director of your life and you make the decision each day how you live out your 24 hours. Just because we’re starting a new year, you don’t need to lead with the ‘new me’ mentality. I’m moving forward with my quest for constant improvement and giving myself the freedom to follow what gives me joy.

I’ve mentioned how over the last year my focus has been on health & fitness. Working out has been a big help in getting me through the cold, dark days of winter and months of quarantine.

This year I’ve added a few new things to the mix, I’m focussed on mindfulness, skincare, and what I put into my body. My commitment to fitness has become a lifestyle and I wake up to workout first thing each morning, even on weekends.

I’ve been stacking my habits by adding a few extras to things I’m already doing. It helps me stay on track and it feels like less work. Here’s a few new things I’m adding to my daily routine!

The NRC & Zero apps are free and I’ve linked to free trials for Calm and Peloton.

  • 10-minute meditation before I get out of bed each morning in the Calm app and a sleep meditation at night
  • A shot of Apple Cider Vinegar w/ water first thing in the AM for digestive health
  • Fresh lemon juice in my room temp water each morning
  • Running at least 2k/day w/ Nike Running Club App (Last year I started with 1k/day!)
  • 1 workout in the Peloton App (at least 10min)
  • Washing off makeup before bed and using face oil + night cream (I need it for my wrinkles lol)
  • Taking breaks from social media whenever I want
  • Getting 8hr sleep
  • Tracking my daily fast in Zero App
  • Reading before bed
  • Drink less alcohol (Currently trying Dry January ?)

Over the past year, I’ve come to really love fasting! I used to be a hardcore late-night snacker, chips, chocolate, whatever snacks I could find. Intermittent fasting has big a big factor in curbing those habits and reaching a weight where I feel like myself again. I fast each day from 8 pm and have only black coffee/water until noon/1 pm each day. Imm less hungry during the day and I have fewer cravings for unhealthy snacks. I’m on day 273 of consecutive fasting!

Day 294: What Does 2021 Have for Me?!

Feels great to be home! Who would have thought we’d spend most of 2020 up at the cottage. Being home has a different vibe and feels a bit more like normal life, despite the fact we can’t really go anywhere because of lockdown.

I’ve been playing around with my iPad pro a bit more. I’ve dreamed of making fabric, more art, and creating. It’s such a great little tool! I mostly use Procreate App with the Apple Pencil.

What does 2021 have in store for me?

According to my 12 most used emojis (this is social science haha), it’s looking like 2021 will have:

Happiness, praise (clapping), love (red heart + pink heart to me means friends & family), star (success), more cute hearts, a crown, laughter, high fives, art/creativity, brains/nerding out, silliness, home, kindness, and rock on (hopefully this means some partying with people!).

Day 293: The First Day of 2021

Hello gorgeous, beautiful new year! I greet you with my love, kindness, hope, and joy! I have high hopes, a renewed sense of self, and a positive outlook.

I know the world we live in is going through a rough patch but each of us has the ability to shift our perspective and see the light. There are heaps of things to be grateful for each day, the moon and a pink sky on a cold January morning, a new book, exercise, food, love, health, friendship. We have all grown so much in the past year as the world has changed, we’ve learned and unlearned. The world will never be the same and neither will we.

This morning I did Peloton cardio and ran 5k on the treadmill. Listened to my latest read on Audible while cleaning.

We’re heading back to the city today and I’ll be at home for a little while. I’m looking forward to going back to work on Monday and being at my desk.

Here’s to a fresh start and high hopes!

Day 292: New Year’s Eve 2020

Here we are, we made it to the end of this insane year, New Years’ Eve 2020. I had a nice day & went to bed before midnight. Feeling good about the year ahead. We have a lot to be grateful for. Looking back at everything that happened this year, I learned a lot. Despite being home/cottage for 90% of the year I did a lot of new things, ditched some old habits, made some new ones. On a side note, I’m really glad to have grown my hair out. I wanted to do it for years and this is the most un-dyed it’s been since I was a teenager. I’m celebrating the growth.

My word for 2020 was BLOOM.

At the end of 2019, I had a deep-rooted need for change, I wanted something different in my career and was well on my way to leading a healthier lifestyle. In my mind, by the time spring arrived in 2020, I’d be ready to bloom. In January 2020, I went to Cuba, stayed in a hotel, went to events. One weekend in February, I met with some friends and one specific conversation bloomed into something really great career-wise. In March, most of my work was canceled and I ended up on CERB until the end of summer.

During that time I did a lot of creative things, I wrote every day, did tie-dye, learned to propagate plants, read books in the sun, and worked out heaps. There were a lot of hard times too, don’t get me wrong, but for the purpose of documenting this memory, I want to be thankful for all the ups and downs. I am grateful for the opportunity to slow down, to create, to be in the moment and not the rat race. As a working human, I might never get to do that again!

We’re getting close to Day 300 of my Pandemic Diary and I am pretty glad I stuck to writing (almost) every single day. Even if just a photo or a quick note, a journal is an incredible tool for self-discovery and reflection. If you want to learn more about yourself, keep a daily journal. No matter what, you’ll be able to look back and see how you have grown and changed.

BYE 2020, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.

Day 291: Wild Woman, Onesie, Winter Wear

I’ve had this suit from The Drake General Store for ages and finally decided to wear it. ? A onesie makes great winter wear, cute, cozy, and warm. FYI The Drake has a great habanero hot sauce you can order online or with your takeout order. Highly recommend! I like to add it to pasta, stir-fry, or just about anything deep-fried.

In other news, my latest round of scrunchies are white organza! The fabric is from a sheer curtain I ordered on Amazon ages ago but was the wrong size. This one turned out so good, she pretty! I can’t wait to gift a few of these to friends as a surprise by mail. I’m quite behind on sending out anything Christmas-related (as planned) but maybe Valentine’s Day is a better time to send love anyway. ?

This was the moon last night over the cottage, the last full moon of 2020. I stared at its beauty, then closed my eyes, and took a few deep breaths. Before going inside, I made six wishes and gave a howl like the wild woman I am, as a way to say:

‘BYE 2020 I AM READY FOR NEW!’

Day 290: This is Me on Zoom

Look at the camera. Check the lighting. Fix your hair. Grab a pen and notebook. Pay attention. Mason jar of water. Listen, respond. Don’t touch your hair. Have some coffee. Smile. Look at the camera. Smile. Write something down. Look at the camera. Stop looking at yourself. Listen. Don’t touch your hair. 2020 work in a nutshell.

Day 289: Last Monday of 2020

What a year it’s been! I’m planning to write something thoughtful about the things I’ve learned this year before the end of the week. We’ve all grown and changed so much. It’s crazy to think we’re almost at 300 days of the pandemic with no end in sight. As this is the last Monday of 2020, think about how you can make Monday your fav day of the week in 2021.

Today is a holiday (Boxing Day) and I’m looking forward to being back in business tomorrow and meeting with a colleague (over Zoom of course!).

We have to clear off some snow from the last couple of days but we’ve got a skating rink and cold-plunge pool down by the lake. Sean has really been into cold immersion this year. I’m not as experienced but I love the idea and how it feels (after, not during!). Planning to do at least one more dip before 2020 is over.

Day 288: Snow Queen

No, I didn’t change my face! These were taken with an Instagram filter! It’s wild how they can change your face to look different. I see how smooth my skin looks, eyes bigger, lips full, and all the comments about how great I look. No wonder people have body image issues! I am not this glam in real life haha.

This is my fav hat from Rudsak a few years ago for their 20th Anniversary, they only made 20 of them. Coat is the kids Jilly Jacket from Joe Fresh.

That’s all for today, not much happening up here in the woods.

Day 287: Boxing Day 2020

Drove back up to the cottage today to spend the last week of 2020 in the woods. It’s SO snowy! The roads were pretty crazy once we got out of the city as we drove through the snow storm.

Sean did a bit of shovelling as I collected wood for the fire. I’m gonna bo back to eating less meat after indulging a bit over the holidays. I’ve also ate more chocolate and candy in the last few days than the entire year. Felt good tho, I earned a good binge.

One of my fav things to make is a simple chickpea curry in the Instant Pot. While soaking the chickpeas, I sauté onions & garlic with olive oil, then add spices to activate them. I add in some broth and chickpeas without the shells. I like to throw in tomatoes, potatoes, or cauliflower depending on what’s in the fridge. I set the timer for 12 minutes and once done, I add in chopped spinach. It is so incredibly good, especially on cold winter days.

Day 284: Christmas Eve Eve

Traditionally Sean and I give each other our gifts on Christmas Eve Eve. We’re back downtown and it’s so nice to be home. I met up with a friend for a brief distance hang then Sean and I celebrated the holidays with some drinks. We’re both officially off work for a few days and it feels GREAT. 

Today, Sean gave me an Apple Watch and I’m really excited about it. I’ve wanted one for ages and we’re gonna do so much working out together.

This year I was really focused on getting to a weight where I felt good. For 2021, I really want to work on strength and muscle.

Day 283: Whatever is Better!

This year we decided to take a ‘whatever is better’ approach to Christmas. Meaning, we don’t need to do everything according to tradition and whatever we do is good enough. We opened presents and burned the wrapping paper in the fire with intentions, letting go of things we want to leave in 2020.

We had a casual Christmas style dinner on the 22nd with a turkey breast, gravy, vegetables, and cranberry sauce. It was good. We haven’t been eating meat much this year so it was a treat. I’ll make some brother with the turkey leftovers.

Spent a bit of time playing outside on the lake but it was SO WINDY. We were hoping to do some fireworks but they’ll have to wait for another day!