Tag Archives: small space living

#82 – (Attempt) to grow our own vegetables

WE DID IT!  I have had a few super failed attempts to grow vegetables over the years, so I was hesitant yet determined.  Our balcony doesn’t get any sun, and our little backyard is home to a pretty aggressive gang of raccoons, so I decided the best place for our little garden was in our bedroom window (Adam was thrilled).  We went simple, just a tomato plant, and some herbs (not veggies, but guys, close enough).  I also grew green onions from scraps (cool!) and garlic chive from seeds (triumph!).

Every morning after Adam left for work, Henry and I would water the plants, count the tomatoes, and cheer on our little plants (well, I cheered them on any ways).  I’m pretty pleased we managed to grow anything and now have much loftier goals.  Henry and I were hanging out in the High Park Children’s Garden recently and I was having veggie envy over the variety and exuberance of their vegetable gardens. Next summer we might figure out a raccoon proof vegetable garden solution.   Goals!


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#86 – Get a BBQ

One of the big bonuses of our new place (we’ve been here a year, and I can’t break the habit of calling it new), is that it has a backyard. We’ve only been in high rises before this, so having a backyard is just the best.  We didn’t really use it to its full advantage last year, so we really wanted to make sure we did that this summer.  So, first thing every good backyard needs is a good BBQ, right?  Check!


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#63 – Make baby sensory toys

When we were looking into sensory toys to make for Henry, we kept seeing these sensory activity walls on Pinterest, and really like them.  Our apartment has a fairly sizeable hallway between our bedrooms and the bathroom, so we’re using it as additional play space.  Since it’s a hallway though, we didn’t want large toys in the space, so using the wall space was the perfect solution.  We did have trouble finding flat toys that easily affixed to our board, so we improvised with balls, rope and some IKEA finds.  We have some large wiffle balls and drawer pulls for him to pull himself up on, a knotted rope for the same purpose, some small wiffle balls on a rope to push back and forth, a magnetic board and a bin that we’ve put some bumpy sensory balls in.

Henry was a big fan and tried out everything on the wall after we installed it and let him loose on it.


Details: The rope & wiffle balls are from Canadian Tire.  The magnetic board, green storage bin and drawer pulls are from IKEA.  The jumbo magnetic letters are from Indigo.

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#85 – Create a reading nook for Henry

I bought Henry his first book when I was seventeen and an exchange student in Japan; the Hungry Caterpillar in Japanese.  Since then, every country I’ve visited, I bought a children’s book for my future kids, and when Adam came along, he started doing it as well.  So little Henry has books from Japan, Australia, Ireland (x2), France (x2) and South Africa.  Add to that the incredible generosity of our friends and family, plus the crate of books Adam’s parents gifted him at Christmas, Henry has quite the library.

We just installed some extra ledges to hold them all, and bought a couple throw pillows to make a little nook for him (more for our comfort than his at this point!).


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#69 – Install bird feeders on the balcony

One of the big benefits of our new place is that we are no longer in a high rise, and it backs onto a ravine, with lots of big trees surrounding the property.  Since we’ve moved here in April, we’ve seen all sorts of birds; Jays, finches, chickadees, robins, woodpeckers, etc.  We wanted to put up some bird feeders on our balcony to get them a little closer for the little guy to watch once he gets a bit older (and to torment our cats, evidently).  We installed them at the beginning of the week, and for a couple days they were only used by one cheeky squirrel, but this afternoon a little crew of chickadees discovered them.


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#83 – Plant an indoor succulent garden

We have a pot of succulents that are the only plants to have survived our care from the Spring.  Their resiliency made us love them, so we decided to expand our collection to fill our bedroom window.  Adam’s Mom gave us a giant box of beautiful teacups to re-purpose as planters which was a great starting point.


Details: All the teacups and a couple of the plants were given to us for Christmas, collected in the Niagara region.  The rest of the plants came from Botany Floral Studio at 626 College Street (at Grace).  Information about Botany Floral Studio can be found here.

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#54 – Frame and hang all the art in the apartment

We had collected a fair amount of art in 2012; from prints I’d bought on Etsy & Society 6, art that we had been given by my grandparents when they downsized, to hipster embroidery from my sister-in-law.  It had all been sitting in our closets, so I’ve spent some time finding frames and places to hang everything, as well as update some of the photos on our photo wall.  The print we bought back in September was the last hold-out, but it is officially all up.


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#98 – Purge our apartment of anything we do not know to be useful or beautiful

Oops, definitely thought we were done the mundane household list items back in August when we finished organizing our closets.  We’ve spent a fair amount of time purging our apartment of excess stuff and after two trips to Goodwill, 4 giant garbage bags of clothing donations, and innumerable trips to our apartment dumpster, I think we did it (at least for now).


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#56 – Organize the storage closet

It is only my deep love of a truly good before and after comparison which is allowing me to share these embarrassing before photos with you.

That’s it for the boring list items, I think it’s all fun and games for the rest of the year!


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