Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saying Goodbye!

"The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on"
-Henry Ellis

As we say goodbye to our Beloved Manor it's not without heavy hearts. While I am soooo excited to get into our new house (manor #2) it's hard to leave our little townhouse. We've poured so much of ourselves into this place and it's harder then I thought to let it go. Thankfully, we have tons of pictures to remember it by (Thank you!).
With that said, we are so happy and grateful and just plain excited to move into the new Manor. Today is THE day! We get the keys this afternoon and officially start our new chapter. :) (super smiley face) 

On a super duper happy note we scored the:
Deal of the week century, we bought my dream stove! I have always dreamed of a professional gas range (but have always re-fused to buy a stove worth more then my car, seriously) but thanks to a ton of leg work, great timing, a super picky original buyer, and some wheeling and dealing, we were able to secure it for $1400 CRAZY we've been calling it the cherry on top of our sundae.

So, fingers crossed the move goes well, and not too much gets broken. But, my grandma always said, "three moves is as good as a fire" so here's hoping we loose less then 1/3 of a house fire :)
Thanks for sticking with us! Can't wait to share!
Lots of Love:
Ashli, Lee and Max!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Moving Tips!

The big day is quickly approaching, we are doing our final walk through on Sunday, then Keys on Thursday. That's only  . . . . . . . . 6 days away! (commencing shrieking!!!!)
For anyone who is moving I compiled some of my favorite moving tips, tricks and techniques.
If you aren't planning a move, this post won't be of much use to you, Maybe pop over to one of the following blogs:
Layla from The Lettered Cottage has a fabulous Fall Mantle post today!
Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms has a beautiful DIY Bamboo light fixture!
Kate from Centsational Girl has a great pumpkin inspiration post "POSH PUMPKINS"
Julie from Knittlebits did a detailed DIY Pumpkin carving and stencils post!

If you're moving in the near future here's a fabulous Martha Idea for Handles on Boxes, perfect for those of us who might be lacking in the bicep department.
Also here's her moving checklist if your looking for a printout!

But in the words of Montel Jordan "This is how we do it"
~One month Before: Go through your stuff and sell, donate, or trash everything you don't want anymore. DO NOT move things you don't want! (seems like common sense but, there you have it) We use Craigslist or Kijiji to sell unwanted items. Ebay is good for smaller items, Craigslist for larger ones.

~3 weeks before: Gather supplies, tape, boxes, sharpie, labels, etc . . .
Pack up your storage areas, holiday decorations, the attic, memorabilia things that you don't need to function in your day to day life.
Start alerting services that your moving, Gas, Electricity, Cable, Phone.
File a change of address with the post office. We had our mail forwarded to our new address for 6 months, for $40, totally worth it! Not having to worry about who I didn't tell. Now if it turns out I forgot someone, I can just alert them after the move.

~2 Weeks before: The bulk of your items should be packed by the end of the 2nd week countdown. Our solution is to Pack for a weeks vacation one week before the move date, Pack a suitcase like you would if you were going away! It makes it really easy to keep out what you need and really easy to pack up the morning of the Big Move.

Here's where funny Martha Stewart comes in, She suggests at the two week mark to alert your magazine subscriptions that you are moving. So at our two week mark I alerted Martha Stewart Living Magazine that I was moving. At which point I was told that my change of address wouldn't be in effect until the January 2011 issue. I found that Kind of funny. Good thing we payed to get our mail forwarded for 6 months :)

~The week of the big move: Finish Packing! I plan on spending this time to clean the house as we empty the rooms. This should save me a lot of work and time on D-Day. Hopefully the day we move I will only have to Vacuum, sweep and mop under the furniture!

Couple of Bonus Ideas:
-if your hiring movers, you might consider documenting your valuables, just incase something goes missing you'll want to be able to prove you did own.
-Make sure to line up home insurance before you take possession. Have you policy take effect the day you take possession!
-Wardrobe boxes with the metal rod, make great containers for moving chandeliers, you can hang the chandelier off of the rod.

The A B C method of packing, we didn't do this but I could see it being very useful!
Not all boxes need to be un packed right away. Make each box with an A, B or a C. A being High priority unpack. Things you need daily, the toaster, clean underwear ;) B being important but not critical items and C being the decorations etc . . . .

Make a Survival Kit- We use our suitcase with our week's worth of "Vacation Packing" inside. Then at least for one week we know we have what we need! Some people might pack a box with the coffee maker, and other breakfast supplies. We however live in Canada and a Tim Hortons is never very far away, infact I think the closest Timmy Ho's is about a 1 minute car ride from our new house :)

If you're looking for labels, Martha has some printable labels very cute!!!

In my opinion the most important part of packing is LABEL, LABEL, LABEL. There is nothing like opening 10 boxes trying to find a bra, only to find the box with all your bra's in the kitchen a week later.
And bring a roll of toilet paper with you! Never expect the previous owners to leave you toilet paper!

I'll be back later today with a bonus post:
Then I'll be gone for two weeks. Don't forget to catch us on Twitter, we'll be tweeting like crazy while suffering from blogger withdrawl :) Although I'm sure there is no way I'll be able to stop cold turkey. I'm sure by Wednesday I'll have a relapse :) and be back for a pop in, update!

Can't believe move day is finally here! Thank you so much to all of our fabulous readers, who have followed us through this down time, and shared in our joy! The day we announced our big purchase was the most comments we've received here at The Manor. I truly believe that our house is so blessed already having all the well wishes and sweet comments from our readers!
From our hearts Thank you again!!

~Ashli and Lee
and Max

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Master Bedroom Plans

This probably won't surprise you but I'm in love with our new Master Bedroom~ although I've been in love with almost every aspect of our house.
The Master Bedroom is Big, I don't know exactly how big but it's way bigger then any bedroom we've ever had before. We need a king sized bed, it's not a luxury, it's a necessity! Lee's a giant, I'm a sprawler and Max takes up an obscene amount of space for a 5 lb dog! And finally we have a room that will hold a king size bed. All of our other bedrooms including the one we are in right now just barely contain our bed, it's really a bounce in bounce out situation. But our new bedroom has more then enough room.
We are planning to put the bed on this wall,

We are planning on moving the sconces down so that we can have some lights like these on either side of the bed.
Photo via Pottery Barn
I love the vaulted ceiling and can't wait to find the perfect fixture to hang up there, I'm thinking something simple like a drum shade, but with a very cool fabric around it!

Oh and there's a walk in closet, My shoes are very excited!!!

Check back tomorrow, and see what else we are planning, there was just too much to fit in one post! I'm hoping to have a mood board done, and some inspirational rooms.
8 days to go!!! eeeeeek! EXCITED!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

T-9 days!! Crunch Time people!!!

That's right It's 9 days until D-day or should I say M-day(moving day)! Around the end of last week the boxes started to take over our living area's, not to mention the fridge in our living room (long story I'll explain in a bit). Our little townhouse is very narrow (12 feet wide) and a good 6 to 8 feet has now been annexed by boxes. Come moving day it will make it a lot easier to have all the boxes close to the front door, but for now we are living in the upstairs, dinner in bed? Heck yes! hehe
Now as for the fridge in our living room that story goes something like, we needed a fridge as soon as we move in, we refuse to pay full price (around $2000), so we went to an outlet store (sears outlet to be specific), found one for $1320 minus 40%(weekend sale)  = a fabulous, brand new, side by side, counter depth, stainless steel fridge for just over $700. Totally worth living with a fridge in the Living Room for two weeks (although I'm not the one who has to move it down the stairs :)
I wanted to share with you the other area's of our house that are a little less 'high profile', the bathrooms, closets etc. . .

Again, sorry about the poor quality pictures I only had my phone with me that day, but as soon as we are in I will take some great photos that really show off the space, at the very least these terrible quality photos will make for great Before pics :)
Here's our full guest bathroom: Again with the open toilet lid, geez!

Our master bathroom: This bathroom we will be doing a big of work. I love a bright and airy bathroom, so the wall color as well as some of the fixtures will get changed (the baby poop wall color is just not doing it for me)

Here's our powder room: I probably should have closed this toilet lid too, before I took the picture, oops

Our coat closet, I know it sounds silly but I am so excited to organize it!

and the door leading to the basement! (I don't know why I wanted to share this but I really like it!)

Since we are nearing move day I thought I would share with you the schedule for the next couple of weeks.
Our move date is Oct.28th and 29th.

Tomorrow's post- master bedroom plans
Thursday's post- master bedroom products
Friday- Moving Tips, tricks and idea's round-up! (So if your not planning a move maybe hop over to one of the blogs on our blogroll today).
Then we'll be gone for 2 weeks! I'll pop in a couple times to shoot and up date but for 2 whole weeks we'll be moving and suffering from blogger with drawl!
Our twitter account will be holding the day to day updates during those two weeks, you can check in or follow us here.
However, Moving isn't terribly exciting, our twitter updates will probably go something like this:

Moving today
Hurt my self moving today
So tired of moving today
Thank goodness I'm not Lee today (Lee has to move all the really heavy stuff, did I mention the fridge).
All done moving today :)

I am so excited to start sharing our simplified, organized, green life with you again.
Lately life has been anything but simplified!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin on Friday?

Again running low on Flowers on Friday, so I thought I'd share a Pumpkin on Friday!!
Last year we did our little tribute to Max, here's our Yorkshire Terrier Pumpkin!

Lee is in charge of Carving the pumpkins!
I'm in charge of painting pumpkins, In case your wondering we usually have around 5 pumpkins during the halloween season!
Some are carved, some are painted,

and some are just plain pumpkins, Like this one:

And I love a simple pumpkin on a chair! (with a severed foot in the corner)

Hope you enjoyed our Haloween Manor tour, (from 2009). Wish I had some 2010 decor to show you but since our official move date is one day before halloween we have forgone halloween this year :(

T-13 days until the big move!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's all in the details: Kitchen

"It's the little details that are vital, 
little things make big things happen."
~John Wooden

"Success is the sum of details."
~Harvey S. Firestone

"The details are not the details. They make the design."
~Charles Eames

I really do believe that good design is in the details. Maybe it's because small details make up the overall design, or if someone put thought into the details it probably means they put a lot of thought into the big picture haha
But, for this reason we've bought a counter depth fridge and freezer, we lost a couple cubic feet of space and spent a bit more money (why something smaller costs more is beyond my comprehension) but the fridge will be in line with the counter and cabinets,  giving it a cleaner look.
Here's some other details that will make up the kitchen:
Some monogrammed Tea Towels, like these ones from Martha

A new chrome faucet for the sink,
Here's the sink:

Here's the faucet:

We'll be needing a new toaster, coffee maker, and kettle.

Photos via
Or this toaster, that has an egg cooker attached, almost easier then getting a mcmuffin from mcdonalds!

Photo via
Love this Kettle/Tea pot! Lee's the tea drinker in our house, and 99% of the water that gets boiled in our kettle is for tea so this is a great option:
photo via
Or this kettle, I don't know if I ever seen a more stylish electric kettle:

Photo via

Now for the pendant lights. I have a small problem! Sometimes I do this to myself, I see something, I get that idea in my head and nothing else will do. I saw some amazing pendants a long time ago on Design Inc. (a design show featuring Sarah Richardsons Design Co.)  Here are the fabulous Pendants:

photo via
They kind of look like this:
Now here's what I'm thinking, either someone will have seen these somewhere and let me in on their whereabouts, or, we'll work on a homemade version (last option as we already have a lot on our plates these days).
We found these beauties at Pottery Barn, so far they are our number one contenders, but they aren't as "frilly" as I would like them to be, and at around $150.00 they are at the top of our price range for pendants.

photo via
So, anybody seen anything like these in your travels?
I've seen them, now I have to have them, even if I have to make them myself . . . . .  by make myself I mean ask Lee to make for me :) I tell you, husband of the year :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's getting Hot in Here!!!

With 16 days to go until the big move I've made my way into the kitchen and have started some plans.
White kitchens usually make me swoon, but like most of my fellow bloggers we are capable of loving many different things all at once and I truly am in love with our new Kitchen.
So here's some of the details:
Looking into the kitchen from the dining room, (those pendants have to go :)

I am head of heels for the 9 foot ceilings, and the cabinets that go all the way up. The little glass doors at the top have lights inside so that I can display some of our many white dishes.

The hood vent is also something I'm loving, a little fancier then I would normally like but I have some plans for toning down the fancy :)

Granite counters and natural stone floors round out our new kitchen, I cannot wait to get in and start cooking!

and a perspective shot, looking into the living room from the kitchen,

So there she is! Can't wait to share our plans for the kitchen, those pendants will be the first thing to change :)
Be back tomorrow with all the inside information!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Flowers on Friday

Another Oldie but a goodie!
Since we are moving we haven't been doing our usual flowers on friday, so I've been sharing some Oldies. Here's an October Bouquet Lee brought home right before halloween. I love the little orange lanterns!!!

Pictured is also one of my favorite halloween decorations, painted pumpkins. Carved pumpkins are great too, but I love a painted pumpkin!
Also, pictured is Lee's favorite decoration, severed limbs, there are no PG halloweens around here, it's all severed fingers and spooky skulls.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our little Manor feels so Empty :(

Poor empty house!! It feels so devoid of life, our house use to have a soul, a personality, now he's just empty (our house is a he by the way :) a lot of our living room and mini-library are packed now. The dining table and chairs are sold, they have been replaced with boxes. There are dirty dishes in the sink and the laundry is starting to pile up. I've been busy packing, running around signing papers, I haven't signed my name this much since I first met Lee and scribbled Mrs.Ashli Malinek on every scrap of paper I could find.
I've been finding the chaos difficult, I'm a stay at home wife/newbee blogger and I've always had dinner ready, lunches packed, clean underwear available (don't get me wrong, we are still wearing clean underwear it's just in the morning they can be found in the dryer instead of the drawer). I'm a little lost right now, but with all good comes a little bad, I should count my lucky stars I'm able to pack, last time we moved I was sick and stuck in the hospital, it was awful, my dear friends had to pack for us. Just a little overwhelmed today I guess.  I'm posting this from our couch, as the office has been ripped out and we no longer have a dining room table. Maybe a coffee shop tomorrow :)
Here's a peek at the chaos, this use to be our dining room:

Max is so helpful, he's our 5 lb guard dog, no ones getting in these boxes without his say so . . . . . Careful he'll lick ya!
And the empty bookcase, the new owner of our beloved manor  included the bookcase in their purchase price so we are leaving it for them :( We're planning of a similar, shorter version in our new house.

So there's the Manor being slowly emptied and boxed up. Back to packing for me, although it's not the packing I mind. Each piece I put in I can't help but remember where I'll be taking it out and it makes me happy.

Yesterday's post brought out some great moving tips from some smart ladies:
Lauren from Simply LKJ suggested Color coding your boxes and your rooms for the movers! 

Janell of Isabella and Max Rooms suggested moving your picture frames, lamps and mirrors the night before your move, or at least move them yourself in your own car, I agree movers aren't the most careful, neither are husbands for that matter. She also suggested stacking the boxes near the entrance, but stacking them in groups i.e. bedroom boxes together, kitchen boxes together etc . . . .

Shell from Scrapes of our lives suggested Looking for boxes at Military bases, those families move a lot! Here in Canada we don't have very many military bases, infact I don't know of a single one, but you ladies to the south of us might know of some.

KDot of Confessions of a wannabe fashionista suggested buying used moving boxes from a moving company, she did that and only paid $3 per box. 

Laura from Life on the Cheap she suggested trying freecycle for boxes.

If anyone else has any packing, or moving tips I'm all ears! Heaven knows I could use the help!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pull up a chair . . . . . or two!

Just a quickie for today, I'll be starting to pack today!
Today's packing goal is to get the bookcase, all the magazines and everything we don't need in the living room packed up!
Someone is coming to look at the dining table this afternoon and once the tables gone we can start storing boxes in the dining room.
Packing tip:
Designate an area close to the entrance to store your boxes. Now instead of  having to go all the way up stairs to grab boxes on moving day, they boxes will be super close to the entrance and we'll be able to save tons of time on moving day not having to go up and down the stairs. So, as soon as any upstairs boxes are packed they are making their way into our dining room. Now if we had a garage I would probably store boxes as they are packed in there, doing it this way saves sooo much time on move day! 

I picked up our new Library Chairs, my mom doesn't like them, but Lee and I do. haha One of the things I love about my mom the most is her unwavering honesty.
I wanted to have two formal chairs, I was thinking wing back but I thought that true wing back chairs would be way too stuffy. I chose these ones instead because they have the wing back feel but take a modern twist. And they were a Fabulous Price at $248 each. (from Scan Designs if you live in the lower mainland area).

There are our new chairs, so are you siding with my mom (kinda weird but maybe I need to see them in person hehe) or with Lee and Me (Love them).
Love you Mom!!! It's really ok you don't like them :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Library Plans

This is probably my favorite room in the new house. It's the first room you see when you walk into the door, it has my favorite part of the house, the staircase, running through it, and it has 18 foot ceilings. I know yesterday I said we were going to add our current couch to the library but I'm loving the idea of two chairs so we are going to sell the couch (if anyone in the lower mainland wants to buy our couch shoot me an email :) and replace it with two fabulous chairs. 
So here's a little tour of our Library.
The staircase is hands down my favorite part of the house! It's the first thing I saw when I walked through the front door and it's a big reason we bought this particular house. I also fell head over heels for the coach light over the stair case (that light is also the ONLY light in the house that's staying the rest are really UGLY unappealing :)
Again sorry for the poor quality pictures:

Here's a close up of the light:

Here's our paneled walls, another huge reason that the library is my favorite room in the house. The open door is our coat closet, I forgot to close it before I took the picture, its become apparent that I wasn't paying too much attention during this photo shoot, oops.

Here are our double height windows. We are planning to run curtain panels all the way up, that's about 16 feet of curtains.

We are thinking the window alcove would be a great place to put a desk and personally I can't wait to start posting from there, here's a desk we are thinking of, and with a price tag of only $129 we won't need to sell Max to afford it. haha Just Kidding Max.

We are planning of adding a fan to the ceiling so that all of the hot air that makes its way up there can make its way back down, helping us save on our heating bills. Here's a fan option we are thinking of, but the color of the blades isn't quite right so Lee suggested we spray paint them the color we want,
he's not just a pretty face haha.

Photo via Home Depot
I'm hoping to add a patterned rug underneath the chairs but I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up picking a simple cozy rug for underneath, it seems to be my weakness, simple, cozy, cream colored carpets.But here are two options I'm loving!

 Images via West Elm
Then add the new ottoman we showed you yesterday, a row of these Ikea Bookcases, some trim around the top and we've got a library.
 Image via Ikea
Here's how it should all go together.


As for the giant question mark, we are thinking chaise lounge, maybe a bookcase with doors to hide our office equipment, who knows that's definitely one of the thing that will have to wait until we get the keys in: 23 days!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Progress Meeting!

I thought I'd schedule a progress meeting. A lot went on this weekend. I don't know if I've mentioned it before but, we bought a house : )
I found an amazing deal on a large, very large sofa for our Living room. Lee has always wanted a couch with a chaise off one side, and this weekend we were able to secure one for . . . . .$395. It's made by Stylus sofas, the same company that makes our current sofa, as well as my parents sofa they've had for the past 15 years. So we know it's good quality, we know it's huge (all 102 inches of it), and we know for sure it's a great price.
Sorry I don't have a better Picture of our new couch but here it is crammed into our storage space.

We weren't going to buy a couch until we moved but at this price we jumped on it. And if your wondering where our current couch is going to go it's heading to the "library" in our new house :). 
We also found an ottoman at Sears Outlet. I have a huge weakness for round ottomans, so when I saw this one for $179 I was seriously thinking about it, and when my eye hit the big 50% off sign . . . it was wrapped up and in the back of the car. I like the fabric, but am not against the idea of recovering it, we'll see how it goes.
I am super excited I think this picture really represents that :)

We also found a console table for our front hallway. I wanted a fabulous place to greet you when you walk in. A great place to drop your keys and spare change. Maybe a pretty mirror above it to check your make-up on the way out the door, and this piece was perfect. It's a little taller then it probably should be, but both Lee and I are on the tall side so it works really well for us.
This piece was a bit of a splurge for us at $300. But it's solid wood, and I love it, so that was reason enough to splurge.

Next we bought a rug for the Living Room. If you recall last weeks post we were planning on using carpet tiles in our new Manor, we are still going to use carpet tiles but with a 9 foot, by 12 foot rug for $150 we are saving a bundle. We'll have some lovely carpet tiles in the hallway and maybe in the library, although the jury is still out on that one.
And last but certainly not least we picked up a couple of FRONT PORCH ROCKERS. As long as I can remember I've always dreamed of having a front porch and on that front porch were always two two rocking chairs. And this weekend, thanks to an impulse purchase at Liquidation World, we picked up two beauties
for . . . . . $37 each. I know, crazy!!!
So that was our crazy weekend. Meet us back here tomorrow for Library Plans :)

Oh yeah, we also picked up a lot of boxes! 25 cents a box that's 40 boxes for $10 and that included 4 wardrobe boxes! The good deal gods were smiling down on us this weekend, fingers crossed the luck keeps coming :)
Here's our bounty taking up almost all of our dining room. I guess I'm not packing up the books first.

T-24 days until we get the keys!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Flowers on Friday: Oldie but a Goodie

Since we are moving we have temporarily postponed Flowers on Friday. There's really not much of a point of bringing flowers into the house. It's half filled with boxes and frankly there is stuff everywhere. Truth be told, I always thought that we were living very minimally, I guess you don't really know what you have until you take it all off shelves and scatter it around your living room. Geez . . . . . haha
So here's an oldie but a goodie. This is a bouquet of orchids Lee bought me a couple of years ago, I took a photo of it because I'd never seen orchids in a bouquet (in hindsight I could have left out the baby's breath).
I can't remember what these flowers were for, but judging by the size and estimated cost, I would guess it was either an anniversary or Lee was in trouble and they are apology flowers. For the life of me I can't remember which.

Hope you have a great weekend and we'll be back on Monday with Library Inspiration!


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