DIY Play Kitchen - Imaginary Sails Blo

Up-Cycled Furniture: DIY Play Kitchen

I am so excited to share this DIY Play Kitchen with you guys! It is such a fun project and I just love how completely customizable it is! I did a relatively simple one without a back or back splash, but really the sky is the limit, I have seen ones that are quite big made out of whole entertainment units with back splash tile etc. to match their actual kitchen! I chose to do a small and simple one so 1) I would actually do it and not get overwhelmed with the scope of the project and 2) it was for my niece and my sister didn’t want or need a gargantuan one ;)

When I first started looking for ideas to make this, I got a little frustrated because there was nothing giving exact instructions unless you were buying a certain new night stand from Ikea. As I worked my way through this project I realized quickly that you really can’t make exact instructions for someone else because the way the hinges might work, etc. will vary a lot depending on the piece of furniture you start with. I really love the idea of up-cycling old furniture and it is a lot more cost effective, there is also the bonus of finding a piece to use with extra character like this one, I fell in love with the feet (and it only cost $15):

Side Table DIY Kitchen - raw

Once I found the night stand I knew next I would need to find paint and a reasonable sized bowl for the sink and had a few ideas for the tap (a few that I have seen used are upside down silver painted letters: “J” or “L”, an actual old tap from a used supply store which I wanted to do but the only one our local re-store had was rather hideous). I actually used an over the door hanger from the dollar store and it was perfect, I also got a small shallow bowl from the dollar store for the sink as well.

So from those supplies you can see this is shaping up to be a pretty inexpensive project, there was one item that I kind of splurged on though which brought the price up a little, which is FAT Paint Chalk paint, I chose it for a few reasons though and only used about 1/5th of the can so I have lots left for other projects which I am excited about!

I love the chalk paint because it goes on easily and covers well, the surface prep necessary is minimal, it is low VOC and comes in great colours, I picked “apple”. I also think it’s great to support local companies, I knew this company was Canadian but didn’t realize they were so close, in New Westminster! I also purchased the clear top coast for added durability. For the “burners” and “dials” I used the black and silver acrylic paint I had on hand, from the dollar store too.

DIY Play Kitchen - Chalk Paint

So the first thing I did before painting the Play Kitchen was cut out the hole for the sink, my hubby drilled the starter hole and I used the jig saw to cut the hole. It wasn’t perfect but the rim of the bowl/sink hides that.

DIY Play Kitchen - Cutting out the sink

DIY Play Kitchen - Bowl Sink

From there I painted two coats with the green chalk paint and then needed to figure out what exactly I needed or wanted to do from there… the fun part!

I painted a silver back ground with a black border for the “stove top” (the coffee table seemed like a reasonable work bench :D), and my hubby who has a much steadier hand than mine did the burners later, you can also do 3D burners with a round of wood or something if you prefer.

DIY Play Kitchen - Stove top

DIY Play Kitchen - Stove Top

I went to home hardware and got the rest of the components, a spring curtain rod kit for the little curtain $3.99 (it comes with the necessary hardware), for the tap handles I bought two of the basic “12 point handles” $4.49 each, a magnetic catch to keep the “oven” door closed $4.59, and little hinges $3.99. I had previously found stove knobs from the re-store and cleaned them so they looked like new, you could also buy them new from an appliance store if you have something very specific in mind and cannot find it used.

I had a mis-step in my planning (as usual) and forgot about the shelf so we had to get creative the night before our Christmas morning with our niece and improvised, using random items in our garage. I also bought some matching drawer liner to make the shelf pretty, and also to apply to the back of the Play Kitchen, so depending on where it is placed it is still pretty from all sides!

All in all, this project cost less than $80 CDN!

Magnetic Catch to keep the Oven closed:

DIY Play Kitchen - Magnetic Catch

DIY Play Kitchen - Magnetic Catch

Shelves:

DIY Play Kitchen - Shelf

DIY Play Kitchen - Shelf

Here are a few photos of the finished product, I hope this has been helpful and has given you some inspiration for a project of your own! Sorry the photo quality isn’t great, I had forgotten to get some finished product photos until my sister was ready to load the car up and head home with it – oops! If you love it, please pin and share :) if you have other questions, please feel free to contact me, my email is imaginarysails@gmail.com, or DM me on Instagram!

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Play Kitchen - Back with drawer liner

DIY Play Kitchen

DIY Kids Play Kitchen - up-cycled bed side table from Imaginary Sails Blog

Some other DIY projects I have done are hereand here!

 

 

 

Happy 2016! - Imaginary Sails Blog

Happy New Year!

Whew! Where has the time gone?, I have so many great plans and amazing things lined up this year and I can’t wait to tell all of you all about them but I thought today I would just hop on and give a quick update!

First of all I can’t believe this blog is already almost 4 months old, and I am finding it even more unbelievable that it is 2016, so Happy New Year to all of you & thanks to each and every one of you who takes a minute to hop on and check it out, it means so much!!!!

We have had a crazy and great last few weeks, lots of visiting, lots of eating, lots of family and friends! It was busy! It always is, and I always plan a lot more in my head than I accomplish and this year was no different. It has been a little quiet on the blog and next year I will definitely know better & will have at least a few posts done and ready to go for December. Time flies and although I didn’t do everything I wanted to, it felt kinda good to just let it go and enjoy the moment I was in (for the most part). It was refreshing, and also gave me a chance to reflect a bit and perhaps recharge, and I am excited about the direction I am aiming for in 2016.

We’ve also burst into the year with a totally new experience, an emergency room visit with our little guy. He had a little cold when he was a few months old but other than that we have been super lucky to have a healthy little kiddo aside from some snotty noses. The poor little bean has croup and we rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night because he was having trouble calming down enough to breathe properly. Luckily I had it a lot when I was little (maybe luckily isn’t the right word but it has come in handy now) so I recognized the sound of that seal bark cough and although it was scary I did have a bit of a sense of knowing what to do.

We’ve just had a little insight into having a sick kid and I cannot imagine what I would be like to be constantly be dealing with illness, a big hug to all of the parents out there who have that on their plate! He’s doing a bit better today and slept much better last night once we finally got him to go down, (thank you baby carriers and cool night air!)… I had some fun trying to get a picture with him this morning, all he wants to do is play with the toilet flusher, the heat control on the wall or demand a bath, another reason bathroom selfies are a bad idea ;)

Imaginary Sails Blog - bathroom selfies

Anyway that is about all I have for you today, hope you have all had a great start to the year and, if you are a resolution person I hope you are still going strong and staying focused on why you made the resolutions you did! I have not been a resolution person in the past but I am trying it on for size this year in a bit of a different way that I will share with you all soon! I have a fun post coming up soon for the DIY up-cycled bedside table play kitchen & also a post with me pouring my heart and dreams out, because this year I am turning 30, eeek!

 

xo Tanitha

HouseBox Review - A great Subscription Box

House Box: A Subscription Box I Could Get In To!

House Box: A great solution for Canadian Homes!

I don’t know if you have noticed the trend but subscription boxes are big right now & I totally understand why. However, up until this point I hadn’t seen one that I thought I would really want to commit to that wouldn’t just add to the clutter of my closet, my desk, my house…

House Box is different & such a great idea, I absolutely love that the focus is household products, the products are mostly consumable and therefore because you will use them up, they won’t add clutter! I love this quote from the website and couldn’t put it better myself:

“We wanted to provide a service to customers who care about having safe, natural and lovely products in their home, and to companies who have not yet reached all Canadians with their product offerings.”

It’s a beautiful plan, matching Canadians up with unique products, and matching up these lesser known companies with their potential customers, seems like the perfect match to me! I think most people in general and definitely parents do not always take the time to find products that they absolutely love, and will keep using what they have always used just because it is easier, so this is a great way to discover those products you love without having to do the searching, House Box has done it for you!

I have felt the need for a while, I think since becoming a Mom, to at least try to remove unnecessary chemicals from our home so I especially love that the products in the box are natural and safe. I think a lot of people are making a shift in this direction if they aren’t already there, and House Box could definitely help introduce me to the products that I want to have more of in our home!

Here’s what was in December’s Box:

Essential 8 Organic All Purpose Cleaner:

This cleaner not only smells great but works really well & I don’t have to worry about where I use it because it is safe on all different surfaces and it is non toxic and not dangerous for my little guy.

HouseBox Review - Essential 8 Organic All Purpose Cleaner

Lunatec Odour Free Dishcloth:

This cloth is amazing, I conveniently had a pan leftover from last night’s appy supper that had baked on debris and it worked super well to scrub it off – great find! A huge bonus too is that it is odour free, I have been have a tough time with stinky cloths until I remembered the old trick of microwaving the damp cloth for a couple minutes to kill the stinky stuff! Either way I love that I won’t even have that issue with this cloth!

House Box Review - Lunatec Odour Free Dishcloth

Tupperware Citrus Peeler:

Did anyone else grow up with these? I love love love them and was so super excited to find one in my House Box! (more…)

Mason jar glasses: Buffalo Plaid Christmas

A Very Buffalo Plaid Christmas

Table Scapes: A Very Buffalo Plaid Christmas

If you know me, or have been following along for a while you know how much I love these sorts of things but also that I don’t ever execute them myself! This year my brilliantly creative Sister in Law hatched a plan for a Buffalo plaid themed Christmas dinner and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

If you are like us and Christmas itself is only the beginning of many family meals in many different places you might still be looking for some ideas to break away from the traditional festive feast decor & this is a great one! With Buffalo plaid being so in right now you can actually find quite a few different things to add to your decor just at your local craft or dollar store!

As we are in Pemberton this year there was no shortage of firewood and trees to add to the effect, but you could always use whatever branches, berries or boughs you can forage wherever you are at!

Here’s quick run down, but you could do as much or as little as you want and add your own touches too!

  • Wrapping paper table runner! Inexpensive as well as easy to clean up, just toss it in the fire (or recycling).
  • Paper straws – can be found at most dollar stores and craft stores these days and add a great touch!
  • Mason jars for glasses, I had just bought a pack of 12 for freezing smoothies in but hadn’t put that plan in motion yet. You can buy them at most grocery stores this time of year, or in the canning aisle at your hardware store.
  • Place cards – plain white with plaid ribbon detail and little bear shaped paper notes with names written on them.
  • Black or brown plain wrapping paper in the centre of the table – you can write on it easily with chalk however you want to add some detail!
  • Red and white votive candles to add that nice glowy light.
  • Tree boughs, a wreath, pine cones and firewood to keep on the lumberjack theme!
  • You can even ask everyone to wear plaid too, it added an extra element of fun!

A very Buffalo Plaid Christmas: napkins

A very Buffalo Plaid Christmas: table scapes

A very Buffalo Plaid Christmas: firewood centre pieces

(more…)

Nawgum Teether Review [ & Giveaway!]


As parents we are bombarded by so many products promising to be better than the rest and it can be totally overwhelming to wade through all of it and end up on the other side with something you not only trust but also gets the job done.

Nawgum Teether by Mello and Co - Review by Imaginary Sails Blog

Nawgum Teether Review and Giveaway- Imaginary Sails Blog

I was intrigued at first sight of this little cactus shaped Nawgum teether & was all the more interested by the fact that is was designed by a Mom who couldn’t find anything just right for relieving the incessant bother of teething. She founded Mello & Co and the teether is available through their website as well as in stores – she has a great store locator on the website. For my local Mamas, she has them stocked in Crocodile Baby Stores, there are three locations in Vancouver and one in South Surrey at Morgan Crossing.

Nawgum Teether Review - Imaginary Sails Blog

This design is unique in that it features the longer and textured arms specifically designed to get way back to those molars that can be hard to reach with other teething products, the arms are also easy for little ones to grip and there is a little round bulb on the front that is perfect for the front teeth. Teething is a tricky thing and is different for every child and probably for every parent as well, and this is a great tool that can definitely make things easier!

My little chomper has never been a huge chewer while teething, we tried the frozen wash cloths, the chilled butterfly shaped things, wooden teethers and everything in between and he just wasn’t hugely interested. This one though, he’s used significantly more than any other teether we’ve tried!

Nawgum Teether- Review and Giveaway

When we got the Nawgum teether, the first thing little H did was grab onto it, the little cactus arms are perfect for little hands to hold on to making it easy for them to get it where they need it for relief. When I was first in contact with Sue, the creator of the Nawgum teether, H seemed to be teething but of course when we received it he seemed to be past it, but sure enough we just needed to wait a few weeks and some more signs of teething would come!

He seems to take particularly to the little knob in the center putting it to the side of his mouth to get at the area bugging him. Not only that but in the past couple days he has been utilizing the longer ‘arms’ of the cactus to get farther back in his mouth.

I would definitely say this this is a large cut above the average teether you would get at the drug store! As always, safety is important to me too & I love that the Nawgum is made from seamless food-grade silicone, is BPA free, is nontoxic and is top-rack dishwasher safe! Aside from all of these great features it was designed by someone passionate about providing something different who knew exactly what was needed – pretty cool!

Sue at Nawgum has graciously provided one for me to giveaway to one of my lovely readers and I’m so excited for whoever gets to try this product! It is new to the Canadian market so you will likely be the first of your friends to check it out! Enter below and share with all your friends that has a little teether in the house!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Local Wanders: Pemberton

Pemberton

Oh Pemberton, it holds a very special place in my heart simply for the reason that it was here I laid eyes on my hubby for the first time in years which led to some extremely awkward non dates which led to real dates, falling in love and getting married – in Pemberton. Ah sweet sweet love! But alas this post is not about our pretty awesome love story but rather about Pemberton, or also affectionately known as Pemby. Look, the fungus even grows in a heart shape!!!

I love the idea of setting out somewhere familiar with the intent of enjoying it like you are just passing through and trying to take in all of its wonder as if you won’t see it again and I don’t do it nearly enough but today I did!

Local Wanders: Pemberton BC

Bryn’s parents live in Pemberton so we are up here a fair bit, but to be honest we usually settle in at their place and barely leave (something about it just feels like a retreat). But when we do that I always feel like I’ve missed out on something as we drive away because it is just so gorgeous and there are some many great spots to check out. It is a haven/heaven for outdoor enthusiasts from mountain bikers to sledders (not to be mistaken with toboggans, like snow mobiles), not to mention back country skiing and snowboarding.

At this stage in life we really aren’t any of those things, so I can’t give you the inside scoop on any secret spots but I can share some great places you should check out if you are in the area. Speaking of which Pemberton is a mere 30 minutes (or less depending on who is driving) from the famous Whistler.

Easy Family Friendly Walks

Two easily accessible and family friendly walks are One Mile Lake and Narin Falls. You can’t miss either of them if you are headed to Pemberton from Whistler.

Local Wanders: Pemberton @ One Mile Lake

Narin Falls is a fairly easy and super beautiful 1.5km walk along the Green River to a great view point for the falls. You can see more info about the park and campground on the BC Parks website here. I’ve seen families with kids of all ages on the trail right up to elderly people with canes just taking it easy down the trail! I haven’t taken or seen any strollers, I would recommend a carrier if you have little ones that can’t walk it (or at least at a reasonable pace – you know what I mean if you’ve tried to get a toddler to go the direction you want them to while also not stopping every three seconds).

Local Wanders: Pemberton BC Beautiful Forest Trails

Fun fact! There is a trail that actually goes from Narin Falls to One Mile Lake which is right in Pemberton, also very easy to drive to.  One Mile lake has a great loop trail around it which consists of some Boardwalk and some forest trail all right along the lake. It is absolutely gorgeous 100% stroller friendly and it’s nice to have the option to keep doing loops or just do one loop if you have a restless little one. There are also work out stations which are handy so you can do more of a fully body work out without having to think – I am a fan of not having to think.

Local Wanders: Pemberton BC

Good Eats

(more…)

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie - Be kind to Santa and give him (and the reindeer) the gift of health! Imaginary Sails Blog

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie

What could be more delightful than a Christmas themed smoothie? How about a beautiful Christmas themed smoothie that is not only a festive colour, is packed full of anti-oxidants, and tastes great?

I will cut right to the chase, cranberries are fabulous for your health, high in nutrients and mix well with other flavours. This is a great addition to your smoothie rotation and chances are at this time of year you will have the ingredients on hand.

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie, a great way to get some goodness into yourself in an indulgent time of year! Imaginary Sails Blog


Ingredients:

2 Cups of fresh or frozen cranberries

1 Whole Banana

1 Whole ripe Pear (or even two if they are on the small side)

1 1/2 Tbsp chopped Ginger (I am a huge ginger fan, if you are not, simply omit. If you are also a fan, check out some other gingery smoothies here and here)

1/2 Cup Cherries (optional: I added because my pear was not super ripe – see notes below)

2 Cups Liquid (I added one cup water, one cup coconut milk – if you prefer a sweeter smoothie I would recommend one cup of juice such as orange or apple. You could also add some yogurt if it tickles your fancy)

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie, a great way to get some goodness into yourself in an indulgent time of year, blend it up! Imaginary Sails Blog

Directions:

Toss it all in your blender and blend well! Pour and enjoy, if you have a festive straw – even better ;)

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie, a great way to get some goodness into yourself in an indulgent time of year, blend it up! Or leave it for Santa to give him a boost on his big night! Imaginary Sails Blog

Notes:

  • Although I had them for days fully expecting them to be quite ripe my pear was still on the firm side, so you may not need to add cherries, or you may need less liquid).
  • My hubby tried it with some black rum and said it tasted better without, so if you are opting to spike it maybe something more mild like white rum! (you are welcome)
  • Our little one loved it & I love adding new tastes and foods to the rotation as much as possible)

I hope you enjoy this so much & it makes you feel so great to get some extra goodness in! I’m all for cookies and milk, but I’m sure Santa gets tired eating his way around the world so you could leave one of these for him too!

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie - Be kind to Santa and give him (and the reindeer) the gift of antioxidants! Imaginary Sails Blog

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie Give yourself and Santa the gift of health this year. Imaginary Sails Blog

Why I am NOT Hibernating this December

So it’s December! How in the world did that happen? The last two months have been a complete blur, I think I have my baby (okay fine, he’s pretty much a toddler but I just can’t bring myself to say it yet) and my other baby – this blog to thank for that swift flight of time. There’s something that I tend to do at the beginning of December, and it has nothing and everything to do with the upcoming Christmas festivities. And winter. And Bears. I pretty much start preparing my body as if I am going to be hibernating, at whatever stage I am at with my fitness (or most often lack of), I pretty much just let it all go and figure that I will deal with it once it is all over in January which needless to say is not a great route. I always feel like a blob by January. So gross, and feeling guilty because I haven’t been taking care of myself and then it just takes that much longer to get motivated, the worse it is the longer it takes etc. etc. – you get the picture…

So I mentioned a few posts back that I had run a 5km fun run and it wasn’t as bad as I thought so I wanted to do a little more running. Well that was about two and a half weeks ago and although I’ve been for a few walks and have done one Barre workout via YouTube (if you haven’t heard of those they are pretty awesome and intense and not too loud if you have a sleeping little one you don’t want to alarm with a bunch of jumping around). No runs. Not that running is the be all end all of my fitness but it is such a good release!

I dragged myself out for a run tonight, checked the time and told myself I couldn’t go home for at least 20 minutes. It was pouring rain, cold, windy, dark, I was by myself – all of my least ideal scenarios when it comes to a run. Pretty much all of the excuses I usually use to talk myself out of a run. I considered finding a video on youtube, or sitting and writing a blog post but instead I put on bright turquoise pants and a neon pink jacket (that doesn’t currently zip without looking ridiculous thanks to not enough runs and too many chocolate breaks), and got my booty out that door. (more…)

A Good, Good Night…

I’ve gotten into a little habit. There’s a little thought I think every single evening and I share it out loud with my husband every few days or so. It’s always similar always around the same few words ‘tonight’s the night! He’s going to sleep all night! 8pm-8am!’ Which is a bit ridiculous to even say out loud since it has never ever happened in his almost 14 months of life.

That’s where the Black Eyes Peas ‘I Got A Feelin’ song comes in – I don’t care who you are, you’ve heard it at some point. ‘Tonight’s gunna be a good night, tonight’s gunna be a good good night, 0000OOOO0000!’ That song goes through my head almost every night, often while brushing my teeth.

I think that’s something every parent can relate to. I have no idea if we will ever get 12 whole hours out of him, I’d happily take 10 hours with just one or two wake ups! id happily take the 7 hour stretch he’s done a handful of times just to get our hopes up.

Anyway what I am getting at is that as parents we are always hoping for an improvement somewhere, for many it’s sleep, for many it’s their child’s eating habits, perhaps behaviour. There’s always something.

And with that something can come frustration,  sleep deprivation, research, trying everything, not knowing what to try, and most importantly that hope.

I’ve been so surprised at how frustrated I can get at my sweet little munchkin in those wee hours during the multiple wake ups. He doesn’t seem like my sweet little munchkin by that second wake up forget the third,fourth, and fifth. He pulls on my hair for comfort and that drives me nuts and I always find it so hard to keep my zen once the hair grabbing starts and his little arms are getting so long that no matter how I hold him he seems to be able to get at the little curly hairs at the back of my neck – perfect for getting his somehow always sticky fingers caught in.

I’ve been getting frustrated with myself for my frustration with him and just when I was near the end of my patience (but really where is that for parents? The end? It might be a unicorn) I saw something on good old Facebook about enjoying all these moments and that we would never be so loved, so needed. That is so overwhelming. It is a big responsibility and you know that in a practical way but if you really really think about it oh my!

So enjoy is the wrong word but I’ve been trying to at least embrace some of those middle of the night  moments. Being more patient. Taking an extra long inhale of his baby smell. Noticing how big he is getting in my arms. And it all helps. I don’t manage it with every wake up, but with more of them and I love those moments so much. I won’t miss them when they are gone but I might as well soak them in for all their sweetness while they are here.

A good, good night. Trying to embrace the middle of the night with my littoe one.

 

Bébé de Luxe Feature and Give Away! - Imaginary Sails Blog

Bébé de Luxe Is Luxury in a Jar + Giveaway

I never win anything. Okay, that’s not entirely true, I once won a cake in a cake walk when I was five. That’s the only thing I can ever recall winning until one lazy evening I was made aware of a contest by my friend Kat over at The Pampered Baby Blog to win some pretty awesome sounding bath stuff called Bébé.de.Luxe. A couple of days went by and I got a message from Amanda saying I had won a Luxe Jar of the signature Coconut and Oat Milk Bath – this got me sooooo excited!

Part of entering the contest was liking her Facebook page and one quick browse through and I knew I was in for a treat (and I debated internally whether to share this treat with the baby and hubby too ;)  or to just hide it away and use it on the rare occasion I get a solo bath)… The package arrived on the perfect day, it was a dreary afternoon and H had taken a face plant sort of tumble while we were out running errands and I knew it was a bath, snack, nap type of afternoon. It had me at hello, the smell is delicious and I couldn’t believe how great my skin felt coming out of the bath, unshaven legs aside of course.

Luxury Baby Bath time - Bebe De Luxe - Feature & Giveaway - Imaginary Sails Blog

H doesn’t have any issue with super smooth baby skin but even he felt softer afterwards – and that isn’t even the part that really really matters. As a new Mom (well I’m over a year in, can I get some soft of different status now – not quite veteran but not total newbie?), I am definitely very aware of the kinds of products we use on him and I love the ‘no nasties’ approach Amanda has achieved. I love a product I can trust and use on my little one worry free! Bébé.de.Luxe Coconut & Oat Milk Bath is natural, vegan and free of all toxins, parabens and carcinogens the ‘Nasties’. It is made with 100% certified organic and food-grade ingredients. This is so great because my recent attempts to teach H to blow bubbles in the bath have been fruitless and he usually starts drinking the bath water instead of blowing bubbles which is actually fine, I can rest assured that no harm will come from this product being ingested. Plus I kind of think he just likes the taste.

A scoop of Luxury - Bebe De Luxe Coconut & Oat Milk Bath (more…)