Posts Tagged ‘5518 Spruce Ave’

It’s not often that I have an entire weekend to spend with Chris.  He works so, so much…a “short” day for him is usually still a 12 hour shift AND he works on Saturdays.  Luckily for me he told his boss he was NOT coming in this weekend, so I got to spend a whole TWO DAYS with him!

My plan for the weekend consisted of:

Book Reading
and Sleep.
…yeah, right.  With Chris home for two whole days we ended up doing the following:

Kitchen renovation (fixing hole created by Chris & my dad while fixing the plumbing in the bathroom above)
Bathroom renovation (removing everything from the walls, painting & installing new fixtures)
We DID manage to get to the cinema last night!
And we did manage to have at least one meal together lol

I can’t complain though…we have a lot of great ideas for this house and with him working all the time nothing ever gets done.  I know that makes me sound horribly lazy…”Why doesn’t she just do it herself?”…The answer, my friends, is that although I’m not Canada’s Worst Handyman, I’m not great at it either.  My dad has taught me a lot, but I don’t feel comfortable doing most of the work without help or supervision. lol

Take, for instance the bathroom project.  I’m totally fine painting and lying floor tiles…but I can’t paint until the light fixtures, mirror & (gigantor) medicine cabinet are off the walls.  I wouldn’t have an issue with the medicine cabinet if it wasn’t as big as my closet (seriously people..it’s unnecessarily large), but I definitely don’t want to mess around with anything electrical (history of electric shock) and the mirror is a total no-go.  I’d end up shattering it and/or slicing myself up.  My bathroom would end up looking like a scene from Dexter.  I’m too accident prone…  Half the time I can’t even walk straight. lol

The bathroom is pretty small though, so it’s not a huge project.
Here’s a before and during (still waiting for paint to dry):



it’s already bigger without the medicine cabinet/closet in there. Here’s the new lights & cabinet we’re putting in!


Then we’re installing a rounded shower curtain rod.
The last things on the list are new floor tiles and a new counter top to match everything, but those are also the more expensive things…so they may have to wait a bit.  I’m also still not 100% sure what colours I want for either.

As for the kitchen…well that’s still a work in progress.

One leaking drain = one big hole in the kitchen

But Christopher knows drywall, so it’ll get done…eventually lol
Once it’s complete we’ll be repainting & wainscotting the  kitchen. I’d like to get new cupboards too, but I highly doubt that’ll be anytime soon…so for now we’ll just repaint them white, and try and keep chris’ dirty mits off of them! lol

We have a list a mile long of what else we plan to do, but it’ll be spread out throughout the year.  We also plan on vacationing to Cuba (or somewhere warm) this year, so I don’t want to spend ALL our money on home projects!



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WOW!  I apologize for my long absence!  This post is long overdue.

I’ll make this quick, and maybe later this weekend I’ll update you all properly. lol  I’ve had a lot going on since my last post…. my photography has been going extraordinarily well! I’ve done some couple shoots, siblings, maternity & even my niece Alyssa’s Christening!  And of course, my wonderful, patient husband is always close by to be my test subject before shoots ❤

for more of my photos please visit my LD Photography blog!

Or check out my website!  www.ldphotography.ca

Our dogs are doing wonderful too!  Leia and Artoo are getting along better and better every day!  Artoo is a gigantor of a Boston Terrier…at 10 months old he’s already over 30lbs, and not fat at all! Just huge.  Every once and awhile we catch them doing something awesome; cuddling:

Yeah…that just happened!

Personally though, I have recently become uber obsessed with How I Met Your Mother.  Like, really obsessed.  For Christmas I went out and bought myself the first 4 seasons on DVD! (I would have bought the 5th too, but it was $60!)  I spent the entire Christmas vacation watching them all…and I don’t regret a single second of it! BEST…SHOW…EVER!!

I got my feet tattooed! ❤  (i now have the most awesome, legendary feet in the world)
and we (once again) got some new furniture and awesomed up our kitchen!…yup. that’s a word.

We also painted and totally re-did our basement, but that will be a post all of it’s own…

More to come soon! ❤


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This past weekend Chris and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary!
WOW! How fast did that year go?!  We celebrated on and off all weekend long with Star Wars in Concert (our second time seeing it…STILL AMAZING!) on Saturday night, and dinner & a movie on Sunday night.  It was so much fun, and I loved the low-key-ness of it!

In light of my one year of epic awesomeness I thought I’d give you a rundown of my year of marriage.

Here’s a photo-enduced list of everything awesome that has happened this past year!

Starting with the obvious:

1. Chris Hobin & Lori Mannell Get Hitched!
It obviously all starts here. What an amazing day! So many friends and family came from all across Canada and the US to spend our day with us! We’re so very lucky to know and love people like all of you!  We did hit our speed bumps that day mind you, but aside from rude people and torrential downpour we made it through!

Got Married! July 25th 2009!

2. Chris & Lori HOBIN go Honeymoonin’
We spent an amazing week in Wasaga Beach, soakin’ up some sun and hangin’ out with our pup Leia.  YES! We brought our dog with us! Why the hell not! ❤


3. Bought our First Home!
The day after we got home from our Honeymoon we grabbed our shit out of our 2 bedroom apartment in downtown Burlington and  headed for the East End!  Right off of Burloak Drive, we settled into our little Dream Home.  Over the past year we’ve painted, we’ve decorated and we’ve torn apart the front & backyard to transform it into AWESOME!



4. Chris cuts his hair off!!
Chris wakes up on the morning of his birthday, February 20th, and decides he no longer wants long hair. (his hair was almost to his butt!).  We make an appointment, chop it off and surprise the SHIT out of everyone who came to his birthday dinner!  He looks more handsome than ever ❤

Hobin-long hair


5. Increased our little family by ONE!…we bought Artoo 🙂
Leia told me that she was a lonely little pup and that she desperately wanted a little brother.  Specifically a boston terrier brother…ok, ok! That’s at least what I told Chris after making a super sad pouty face.  After whining for weeks he finally caved and let me…err, i mean Leia get her little boston terrier.  We named him Artoo, after the most amazing character to ever grace a movie screen.


6. The Hobins celebrate one year of awesome!
As I mentioned before we spent the weekend overloading on Star Wars, beer, wine & our first 3D movie, Despicable Me! (it was insanely cute and funny by the way!).  I am so, so grateful for everything that we have…we worked damn hard for it all!  I love my husband so very, very much & I know how lucky I am to have him.

6 years ago when Chris and I first started dating we were out to dinner with a bunch of friends. He didn’t have any cash and wanted a beer…nervously he asked me to buy him one and of course I did! (even though I was only 18…don’t ask how I managed it! I guess I looked older lol).  In return Dear Christopher said he’d buy me a Bucket ‘o’ Beer (East Side Mario’s offered it).  Well…he never did.  And for 6 years I’ve been hilariously holding it over his head.  SO for our Anniversary dinner he sought out the only place around us that still offers these Buckets and took me there to surprise me with my long waited Bucket ‘o’ Beer.  It tasted more delicious than any beer I’ve ever tasted before.  Sweet Redemption! Followed by a couple glasses of red wine and I was well on my way!

Bucket 'o' Beer!


Star Wars in Concert-R2D2!

Star Wars in Concert-Obiwan! ❤

Star Wars in Concert-Leia!

This past year has been the best year of my life!  Made even better with the help of our family and friends! …you know who you are! We love you all very much!

Here’s to many more awesome years to come! This is only the beginning baby! ❤

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Over the past couple of months Chris and I (and my Dad, Mom, brother, sister and some super kickass friends!) have been yard at work turning the shitty outside of my house into our new Outdoor Haven.

Through blood, (alot of) sweat and tears we’ve made it through some hard, hot days!  It’s been exhausting but absolutely rewarding in every way possible.

I can’t possibly start to thank my Father for all he has done for us in the past month or so.  There were many days that I’d come home from work to find our “Deck Fairy” had come to visit that afternoon.  He’s helped us out more than we could have ever asked for…or that we even deserve.  I seriously have the best dad in the world!  That’s not to say we didn’t have alot of other help along the way!

My mom is a garden wizard!  Helping us move plants, plant new plants, and dig up new gardens!  She even kept working when I had to sit a round out. lol  My brother also helped a great deal with the lumber and putting the deck together!  God knows how much I friggen love that kid!  Andrea helped too…I guess. lol She helped look after little Artoo while I hustled around helping out where I could.  Without her I would have had to put him in his crate…which would have made me sad.  Even the little details are amazing 🙂

Liz & Dave helped us put together our kickass new gazebo and were there for support throughout our financial woes (which, of course, we’re still dealing with lol).  We haven’t known each other for very long, but I couldn’t ask for better friends!  You’ve always been here for us and I’m still kicking myself in the ass for not knowing you sooner! (like the time you were at my stag n doe AND my wedding and I didn’t have a fucking clue! hahaha) Go Me!  Love you guys to bits!

All of our work has paid off! AND HERE’S PROOF!!!!

Before & After shots of the FRONT!

Before & After shots of the BACK!


Another HUGE thank you to everyone who helped out on these projects!  Every little bit counts and we love you all very much!

Summer BBQ’s and parties to come! ❤

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•On The Prowl•

I am currently obsessed with trying to find a new way to organize our massive DVD collection.

I love the wall mount shelves we are using now, but as DVD collectors, it’s just not practical.

Currently we have about 8 of these, arranged portrait (not landscape, as shown above) on our basement wall.  They’re placed semetrically between two light fixtures on the wall.  They look fantasic, and I love the fact that they’re off the floor leaving more room for our 2nd couch.  The only problem being that we now have more movies sitting around, and nowhere to put them…adding another shelf means placing it to the left OR right of the currently semetrical shelves.  I cannot deal with it being un-semetrical.  Cannot deal with it lol.  BUT we don’t have enough movies yet to put up TWO more shelves (so it’ll be balanced).  See my dilemma?

We’ve been to Ikea a couple of times now, and have failed to find anything awesome that I can use.  We used to keep them all on two BILLY bookcases, but I didn’t like how deep the bookcases are.  I liked the height and width of them, but the depth was about twice the size of a DVD.  Being a short person, seeing DVD’s on the top shelf was just a pain in the ass.  I really like the BILLY Bookcase though! Especially these nice wooden ones:

They’re about 6′ tall and 3′ wide (give or take).  Two of these bookcases didn’t hold all our movies….I’ve found DVD equivalent shelves, but they’re too short or not wide enough (I’d end up having to buy like 4-5 of them just to fit all my DVDs!)

See how little! They’re not even 4′ tall!  I don’t want white shelves in my basement, but they are $29.99/ea compared to the brown one shown that’s $49.99!  Plus, I don’t want to have to spend another $20-$40/ea on shelf height extenders.  I’m just trying to find a shelf the same DEPTH as the two above cases, but the height and width of the BILLY bookcases! Why is this so damn hard?! lol  I’m also on a budget here….otherwise I’d buy this and just deal with it:

It’s almost $500 for the whole thing….I’m sure it wouldn’t even fit nicely in our basement, but I wouldn’t even care lol

My REAL solution: Win the lottery and buy a bigger house 🙂
But I don’t even play the lottery….so I don’t see that happening lol

Where in God’s name can I find decent DVD shelves!?  I need a better solution….

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I’m not big on New Years Resolutions…I never have been.
I’m great at keeping promises to others, but I am terrible at keeping them with myself.
I tend to think about/care for/make happy everybody else before I think about myself…which, you know, isn’t a terrible thing (I have amazing friends and family!) but it doesn’t hurt to be a bit selfish sometimes. I do have to think about my needs and what makes me happy too!

So…for the first time since Elementary School (when the teacher made you write them down), here are my New Years Resolutions for 2010!

#1: Be Optimistic!

I am a terribly pessimistic human being.  I always assume the worst in almost every situation, and usually end up disappointed because of it.  I constantly fret about the “what ifs” and show total disregard for “living in the moment”.  My main goal in everything I do this year is to be optimistic! Fuck the “what ifs”!  2010 is the year of “living in the moment”!  I have everything I want in life right now; a husband who loves me, an adorable husky puppy who couldn’t possibly be more affectionate, 2 quirky kitty cats (although I think one of them can read minds is quite possibly planning his World Domination…), a new house, and a lifetime of happiness ahead of me!  I should have nothing to fret over this year!

#2: Take More Photos!

I know, I know….I take enough photos as is, but I really want to work on expanding my portfolio this year.  I love photography so much, and I really want to spend more time focusing on what could possibly be a new career path!  I want to have some great shots to show potential clients!  I want to expand my knowledge of photography…it’s history, it’s future and how to work some of these damn buttons on my camera! lol
I want to go on more adventures and plan new photography-based trips…which leads me to Resolution #3…

#3: Go on Adventures/Trips!

…or even A trip for that matter.  In the 5 1/2 years that Chris and I have been together we’ve never gone on a trip together.  Sure we’ve gone to places like Grand Bend, Wasaga Beach, Niagara Falls…but I mean a real trip.  I want to see something exotic!  Something new!  Something I’ve only ever dreamed of or seen in pictures!  Somewhere I can take my own pictures, show them to friends and have them go “WOW! I wish I could go there! You’re SO lucky!”  (…because that person is usually me lol).  Even a smaller scale trip somewhere outside of ONTARIO would be nice.  I want to see something new.

#4: Become More Active!

I’ve been struggling with my weight for a couple of years now…well, actually ever since we moved home from Manitoba.  I gained about 40lbs while living there…and we only lived there a year…yeesh.  Being the procrastinating pessimist that I am it’s been really hard to take it off and keep it off.  I lost about 20lbs last year, and then gained it all back a few months later….I’ve taken some steps at becoming more active already.  I totally don’t feel comfortable in gyms…even when I was super skinny I hated them….so my wonderful husband took all my not-so-subtle hints and bought me a Wii and Wii Fit for Christmas.  I’ve already used it a few times since then and I adore it!  I love the fact that I can do it in the privacy of my own home…I can choose when and where to do it, and I can work at my own chubby girl pace! lol  I want nothing more than to lose weight this year….this really should have been my #1 resolution lol

#5: Learn More Recipes!

I’m not too shabby in the cooking department, but I’m stuck in a rut.  With both of our jobs being so busy I tend to just cook the same several meals over and over again…I know them, they’re easy and they are pretty damn delicious!  BUT, I want to learn more!  I want to be able to cook extravagant meals…something new and fun!  I don’t even know how to cook a turkey for christs sake! It’s not that I think it’ll be difficult or anything, I just never have! lol

#6: Completely Settle into our New Home!

This includes everything from hanging frames & mirrors, to painting the basement and re-doing the bathroom in the basement.  I’d love to have it all done before the end of 2010!  The basement will be a huge job…there’s alot of trim to do, and alot of wall space to cover.  The basement by far is our biggest project for 2010.  We keep changing our plans for our bedroom…it’s already half painted, but we keep switching back and forth between wallpapering the one wall or painting it and we just can’t seem to make up our minds.  We also have alot of outdoors work to do this spring/summer.  We want to take out a couple of the gardens, re-sod parts of the backyard (due to Leia digging humongous  holes…), tear out the crab apple tree in the backyard and rebuild a newer/taller fence at the back of our property.  The tree and the fence are my #1 priority though.

#7:  Keep in Touch with Friends!

With my two best friends (my maid of honor and Chris’ best man!) moving to Prince George, BC and with us moving to the other side of town we really want to keep in touch with our friends.  Alot of our friends live closer to/in downtown Burlington, with a few more scattered across Hamilton & Oakville we don’t really live central to anyone anymore….AND we don’t own a car.  It’s hard to get around to see everyone, and we just can’t afford to spend nights at bars and cab it home.  Whether it’s through facebook, this blog, or starting to use that thing called a telephone I want to keep in touch more with my friends.  I feel as if I’ve lost touch with a couple of close friends in 2009 and I’d like to work towards gaining those close friendships back.

It’s been really tough since Chelsea and Paul moved to BC….I feel a little lost in the friend department.  I’ve known both of them for so many years now, and now that they’re so far away I can’t help but feel a little lonely at times.  That’s not to say that I AM lonely….we’ve also made a few new friends recently who are fantastically amazing people!  ….I just miss my Chelsea Buns ❤

#8: Keep Away From Drama!

2009 was The Year of Drama for Chris and I….between the wedding, the stag n doe, family and friends we had drama coming out our ears!  Planning the wedding and stag n doe was a near disaster due to wedding party complications, some of our close friends’ relationships and lives took a serious turn for the worst, and I’m still not 100% sure what’s going on with a few members of my family….but in 2010 I want it all to just disappear. I’m very proud of my friends who have turned their lives around and have taken the necessary steps to making a better, brighter tomorrow!  I wish you all the best and I love you very much! (you know who you are!)

I have taken it upon myself to stay away from ridiculous teenage, high school drama from here on out! Who needs it!? I’m married! I’m not a kid anymore, and I don’t need to be the person sitting in the middle of an argument passing information between 2 people who refuse to talk to one another….Nor do I want to be the middle man in any situation anymore!  I will always be here to help a friend in need…but only if they’re willing to help themselves too.  I can’t do it all, nor do I want to…sometimes you’ve got to help yourselves.  I have enough of my own stress to worry about, and stay positive about as per Resolution Numero Uno! lol

#9: Read More!

I do read quite a bit as is…I’ve always been an avid reader…But as I read through Adriane’s Resolution blog the other day I realized I tend to do the same thing as her…I stick to one type of book.  I love a good horror book! Something with mystery and violence and detective work (currently reading the latest installment of the Dexter series, “Dexter by Design” by Jeff Lindsay).  My 2009 book collection consists mainly of mystery, horror, ghost & vampire books and biographies…wrestler’s and Elvis Presley’s biographies in particular.  I really need to expand my horizon and delve into something new.  I like to collect things…my book and movie collections are beyond normal…so I tend to buy books that I know I’ll read rather than take out Library books.  I need a new Library card.  Up until 2008 (when my wallet was stolen from a McDonalds…) I still had my Library card from when I was just a little kid.  With my name written on the back in my adorable little kid scrawl and everything!…damn I miss that card lol

Getting back on track, I’d love some recommendations of fantastic books that people have read.  I need a new theme for my 2010 book collection!

#10: Keep Writing.

This last resolution is very important to me.  I’ve had a few different blogs over the years and I’ve always lost interest in them.  I absolutely love to write!  When I was younger I spent days on end writing poems and letters and notes about everything and anything that was going on around me.  Given, alot of them are pretty teen-angsty, but they’re still good regardless.  I haven’t written a poem in several months, and that kinda makes me sad.  I got my poem-writing ability from my Poppa I’m sure.  He was an avid poem writer, and continued to write poems to my Nana (his wife) up until his last few months of life.  If you’ve read through my long blog posts before you’ll know how much my Poppa and his poetry mean to me, and my family as well.  I’ve always been very proud of my poems and my writing because of my Poppa and I’d like to get back on track with it.

When I was younger most of my poems were about being lonely, about being a loser and a nerd, and about not having any real friends…which were all true feelings at that time in my life….Now I’ve embraced most of those feelings and I love the fact that I’m a Star Wars geek!  I love that I only have a few close friends (I know I don’t need everyone to like me lol), and I absolutely LOVE how nerdy and retarded I am most of the time lol.  I have a husband now.  I have a wonderful family.  I need to start writing again, otherwise someone’s going to look back on my poems when I die (like my family did after my Poppa passed away), and think I was some strange, delusional, emo psychopath hahaha!  I think the last notable thing I’ve written was my blog post after our wedding entitled “Kilts, Poems, Namesakes and Important Dates”. (you can find that here: http://loridark.com/2009/07/28/•kilts-poems-namesakes-important-dates•-a-closer-look-into-our-wedding/)
I’m a pretty emotional person (I get that from my father…if you were at our wedding, you know lol), and I need to write, and I need to write more often.  Even if it’s just here, in this blog.

Thank you to everyone who does visit here and takes the time to read my blog.
I love hearing your comments, whether it’s about my ramblings or about my photos!
I know some of these posts are long and probably boring, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Cheers to a fantastically awesome 2010!

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My apologies! I haven’t updated in a few months…but I have reason!

Our house is looking more and more awesome by the day.  We’ve been working really hard on the kitchen & dining room…we wanted it painted and finished before Thanksgiving! We’re all done, minus one wall that still needs wallpapering. 



The bedroom still lingers on being painted. I had a whole plan for it, but now I’m not sure….so I’m giving myself time to think more about it.  For now I’m just buying Ikea things for it and trying to make it look as cute as possible.

The basement is starting to come along nicely…as nice as the rest of our house becomes ourr basement still remains our dirty bar/rec room.  We spend most of our time down here considering it’s where the tv/xbox/bar resides….but I have recently become quite fond of my quiet living room and jazz radio.


And speaking of peace and quiet, our street itself is absolutely amazing.  Everything around here is beautiful, and you should see the fall colours! (coming soon!)  Even the view to our front yard from my jazz-filled living room is breathtaking.

I have lots more to update on, but I’ll leave that for another day.
By the looks of it, I’m going to have alot of spare time on my hands…that is, if I’m not totally over run by my job.


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