4theloveofkids's Profile

Display Name: 4theloveofkids
Member Since: 5/3/11

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Our Best Bargain Ever happened to come from Goodwill. It was a Kid Kraft Play Kitchen. Paid $12.52. It was all pastel in colour and very dated with a damaged counter. Fast forward... a little elbow grease, a few tweaks including a trip to IKEA and we created a new kitchen that even a master chef would be proud of! Have a peak and see for yourself. We actually did this 2 years ago and it still looks exactly as if we did it yesterday. We blogged before and after pictures with a bit of a how-to:


What's Your Best Bargain Kids' Room Find?
5/27/14 10:09 PM

As a homemaker and Mum of 4 living in Toronto this post is spot on and much appreciated. Thank you. I can truly identify with emma.pino.7 - I moved to Toronto from Barbados and despite living here since '91, the winter gets to me every year. Some winters are better/milder than others and I have to say that in all my years of living in Canada, this winter ranks by far as the ONE to make just about the happiest person SAD!

All the points above are great. As a homebody by nature, the mere thought of going for walk seems elusive. I have not tried light therapy... just seems like is a sad substitute for a trip home to Barbados (or Spain)! Instead, I take 2000 UI of vitamin D in the winter (before bed is supposed to be better). I have also decided to take 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) to naturally help with feeling "SAD" without the kind of side effects or complications that prescriptions provide. I like to think that "HTP" stands for Happy Time Pills :) I am not a doctor and you have to do your own research but I will say that after a week of gradually introducing this health supplement, I am thinking the sky is looking a tad bit brighter :)

How To Overcome the Winter Blues...for Parents and the Rest of Us, Too
3/4/14 10:09 AM

OK, here is my take:

- If you are itching for a challenge, then by all mean paint the cabinets. I did a similar makeover on our honey oak cabinets almost 4 years ago and they are still holding up. All the comments above are great in terms of advice for colours - going with 2 different colours for upper and lowers. I personally think you cannot go wrong with white. I chose Benjamin Moore Simply White which matched our white appliances well and used a special paint made for this type of project, called Cabinet Coat. In Toronto, it was sold through the Ben Moore paint stores. Prep work is key. The finished product will be a direct reflection of the effort you put in to it.

Here is my mini facelift: http://loopylocks.ca/2010/05/10/house-tour-our-galley-kitchen/

- Changing hardware is an option to bring it up to speed but it can get pricey on a tight budget. If you do go that route, save the rental hardware in a Ziploc and put it back when you leave, taking your updated hardware with you :)

- If you decide to keep the cabinets as it, I highly suggest using some heavy duty cleaner like TSP (sold at Home Depot) to scrub them well. Use gloves. Your hands will thank you! In fact, that is the first thing I would do if I were you. You might be surprised how much a clean cabinet changes your opinion of it!

- Play up the "new" cabinets with a fun backsplash. An easy enough DIY project. If it seems too much consider peel and stick - the new options are very impressive but on the pricey side.

- Another option is under cabinet lighting to brighten the space. IKEA has cheap options and it will give new life/light to the space.

- As per floors, I have noticed a huge improvement in peel and stick vinyl tiles. There are even some that you can grout so they look like the real deal without the real work!

- Declutter. Hard to do. We are creatures of habit. My fridge looks just like yours with stuff all over it. After all, you gotta live!

Good luck! Whatever you do, it will be better than it is now and your landlord will appreciate it too!

Ideas for Refreshing a Rental Kitchen on a Budget? Good Questions
2/14/14 09:16 AM

Measure the width of the entire wall space from the sink to the shower and install a pair of the GODMORGON series of mirror cabinets from IKEA. They come in a variety of widths and would give you epic storage space. It has clean lines and no embellishments and would go nicely with the chrome legs of your sink vanity. They are mirrored on the insides of the doors with glass shelves. We are considering these also for our small main family bathroom that has to be used for a family of 6. Here is a link:


Creative Storage Ideas for Tiny Bathroom? Good Questions
10/16/13 09:25 AM

Two things/tips for your kit...

One: a tape gun is a life saver. Cheap and useful and it makes the most awesome/irritating/addictive sound! Failing that a simple plastic bread tie helps to keep your tape edge from disappearing in the roll.

Two: I noticed in your survival box that you do not have a simple notebook to keep track of all your packed boxes. The BEST advice I ever got from my Mum who has moved more times than anyone I have known is this: number your boxes and itemize the contents of each box in a simple notebook. That book will become your bible in no time.

As the boxes grow in numbers, you have an easy reference for where everything is. Each box is numbered on every side with a brief description of what room it belongs to (just in case you lose that notebook). In our last move, I used my list to direct all the boxes to the right place as we had movers. I stood at the front with my list and was able to say where each box needed to be put. The itemized list helped me get to what I needed when I needed it so I did not have to sift through every box just to find a specific thing. FYI... The last box you pack is often the first box you will need in your new place! So make sure that one stays in sight at all times :) Good luck!

Moving Box Packing Survival Kit
6/17/13 01:56 PM

I love and use Pinterest for all 6 types of pinning you perfectly defined. I think that we are all visual people and Pinterest has captured the ability to inspire people by allowing them to categorically link to images that appeal to them. I would also like to suggest a 7th type of pinner which I will define and explain:

A Creator - You use Pinterest to pin images to links of projects you want to work on or recipes you want to create yourself. I have a laptop but do not like to have my laptop hanging around when I am creating something. So I like to pin images specifically so I can convert my tablet (iPad) into an e-reader. With a tiny kitchen and limited counter space, I like to create recipes I have pinned by taking my iPad and converting it into a recipe book propped against the backsplash. Likewise, I have a pair of DIY framed chalk boards in my house and like to pin things I see under "Chalk Art" so I can "re-create" them using my iPad as a guide. My new mantra - I pin, therefore I create.

What Kind of Pinner Are You? 6 Types of Pinterest Users
4/23/13 03:02 PM

Thank you. I love that pillow too. It is from IKEA and is called LAPPLJUNG RUTA. It is zippered and fits with their 16 x 24 pillows.

Rachel's Heirloom History Bedroom My Bedroom Retreat Contest
4/7/13 11:39 PM

The brass lamps are vintage (1989) and were originally purchased from a store in Toronto called Sescolite. They belonged to a friend who used them in his home for many years. He gave them to us a few years ago and we had them tucked under our bed waiting for the right moment. They are crucial to displaying the headboard. Brass is trendy at the moment but despite this, it is also timeless. The fact that they are still so handsome 23 years later speaks volumes. Thanks.

Rachel's Heirloom History Bedroom My Bedroom Retreat Contest
3/25/13 06:54 PM

Thank you very much. We are really proud of our headboard. We first gave it a light sanding with a palm sander and then treated it with 2 coats of Minwax Teak Oil which is made for indoor and outdoor use. Because the wood is extremely heavy, we mounted it using a "french cleat" system where we cut a strip of 3/4" oak on a 45 degree angle and mounted one side to the wall into 3 studs, then the other side directly into the top of the headboard. We then mounted another strip of the oak directly on to the wall at the bottom so the headboard would sit flush. For more on how we did it, you can check it out here on my blog:


Rachel's Heirloom History Bedroom My Bedroom Retreat Contest
3/25/13 10:12 AM

As posted earlier, I think this would be a great project for you and your daughter to work on together. These pieces may yet have a few more years of love to them. Can they be relocated to another part of the house to tackle your clutter problem? Or perhaps store one.

We recently acquired a similar play kitchen for our 2 year old son and made it into a cool mini kitchen makeover project. Our 10 year old got right into the project and in fact now plays with it more than our toddler! Play food has gotten so cool. Your daughter can make her own felt food - our daughter cut up a piece of beige felt into long strips and made instant spaghetti! IKEA has some cool food that is dirt cheap too. Now when my daughter has friends over, I catch them playing like the good old days... in a super cool kitchen :)

For some inspiration, here is a peak at what we did with our play kitchen with less than $75 (which included the price of the kitchen from Goodwill).


Ideas for Outgrown Play Kitchen? Good Questions
3/5/13 02:40 PM

For the love of paint... go white on the upper walls... you will not regret it. Especially with the hassle it will entail in painting it as a DIY project. I notice that the ceiling has an uneven shape in the upper left side above the window - all the more reason to make that disappear.

The handrail could be fun wrapped in rope (seems to be a trend of late to wrap stuff up) yet I am not sure if it would not lead to splinters in the fingers! Painting it out a high gloss black would be a safe and somewhat dramatic solution that would give the small space some pizzazz.

Add drama in a fantastic piece of art that makes you feel like wanting to start your day with your best foot forward :) Good luck. Would love to see the after shots...

Reader Poll: What Should I Do With This Stairwell?
3/4/13 04:44 PM

What a great example of practical elegance. Hands down the best teen girls room I have ever seen. Every detail is thought out and executed perfectly. I love how everything that is near and dear to this teen is given the place to be admired and used. A true inspiration for what every girl would love!

A Teen's Pink-Turned-Blue Dream Room My Room
2/17/13 07:35 AM

Love this home! I would pay money if someone could tell me what colour white paint was used. I also live in a craftsman and am wanting to show off the wood with a white to contrast and let the light in. I am curious to know if the same white was used in the entire house?

Kathryn & David's Mix of Modern & Craftsman Apartment
House Tour

9/13/12 08:07 PM

Great post with practical tips. Thank you. Going to call a relative!

10 Simple Things to Make You
Happier At Home

8/15/12 05:56 PM

Like the first four comments, paint is your best bang for buck. We had a similar problem with our 30 year old honey stained oak cabinets. It has been 2 years since we have lived with the makeover and I am still so happy we did it. Hardware changes we actually did first and choose handles that would work in the existing 3 inch holes from the original brass handles. I highly recommend the investment on this. Since your counters are a cream colour, I also suggest finding a creamy off white to compliment them. Straight white cabinets will make the counters look dirty.

If you would like to see the before and after with details on the type of paint we used, have a look here: http://loopylocks.ca/2010/05/10/galley-kitchen-facelift/

Minimize Paneled Look in Old Cabinet Doors? Good Questions
7/17/12 10:34 AM

PAINT IT WHITE. With 4 kids and a tiny galley kitchen, it goes without saying that one must clean as you go. At the first opportunity we painted our dated solid oak (well made) cabinets all white to fool the eye. Now the space looks bigger than it really is. Counters cleared are a dream I aspire to achieve one day. I also elect NOT to hang out in my kitchen if I am not making a meal... out of sight out of mind!

Make Small Kitchen Living Easier With This One TipSmall Kitchen Tips & Tricks
3/20/12 02:41 PM

**good. Oops. Mind you, "god quality yogurt" sounds even better!

Soft, Easy-to-Chew Meal Ideas for a Recovering Patient?
Health Questions

1/31/12 10:52 AM

What about regressing to the good old days and take a trip down the baby food section of your local supermarket. I am a sucker for baby jarred food and any excuse to eat it without the guilt is a treat. I also love baby cereal/pablum made with milk to a thin consistency. My guess is that your patient may not be feeling like cooking after surgery, so why bother? Go for it - be a baby :) Heck, throw in some good old favourite cartoons or Sesame Street and Voila... pampering in the truest sense! If you want to take it up a notch, then stir any of the fruit purees into some god quality plain yogurt with a touch of honey if needed and that will add some protein too.

Soft, Easy-to-Chew Meal Ideas for a Recovering Patient?
Health Questions

1/31/12 10:49 AM

What a delightful, cheerful, whimsical kitchen. I like that it is not all matchy matchy and predictable. I do have two questions. Given how much you dislike your dishwasher, what would you prefer as a replacement? We have a tiny white galley kitchen and despite the popularity of stainless steel, we opted for a white Asko dishwasher with a flush handle. That way it disappears into the white cabinets. I would really like to know what the blue paint colour that you used is? We are looking for something similar. Thanks!

Annette & Gustavo's Homey & Delightful California Craftsman Kitchen
Kitchen Tour

1/31/12 09:12 AM

Go for it! For the first time in our holiday decorating history we have said good bye to white lights for our tree and gone with mini coloured lights on a dimmer. Love that the dimmer makes all the colours a bit more muted. Christmastime is about fun. It is permission to be a bit gaudy and over the top with your decorating. Our tree is filled with homemade decorations from our kids and one of a kinds we have collected over the years. I love the look of themes trees but then they always have a bit of a retail cold look to them. I say go for it... have fun. In no time it will be the new year and our homes will be back to business as usual.

Christmas Decor: How Much Is Too Much?
12/6/11 08:32 PM