Friday, November 28, 2008

31 weeks and counting.

I haven't blogged forEVER. I'm sorry. 
I really miss it actually.
I just can't believe how busy things have been at the store and now that it's dark by 5pm, it feels like my productive hours have been significantly reduced.

I'm at 31 weeks pregnant now (can you believe!) and I am definitely much more tired. I think the reno squeezed out the last of my high energy phase. I'm average to low energy now I'd say. 

I'm pretty sick of everyone saying "sleep while you can". 
If I have a free afternoon, momma's going to make the most of it. 
It's getting a bit more challenging to be working with the public so much at this stage. Everyone's just got so much to say. Friendly advice, and otherwise. I could do without another "oh wow, but you're so big!" response to learning of my Feb 2nd due date. It's NINE WEEKS people. And the way time is flying, it'll feel like 3 I'm sure.

I even had a customer tell me she thinks I'm having a girl since my butt has gotten so big.
All I could say is "you're kidding me".

Somedays I would love to just stand behind the counter and make airplanes out of tissue paper. 

My next day off is Sunday and my priority will be to build the small door for my Kid's Only Shopping Nights (Dec 11th and 18th!). I have a couple of old barn doors in the garage that I'm going to try to convert. Sadie's helping. Obviously.

I want it to feel really magical and exclusive.
This year you'll literally have to be small to get in.

I guess my big butt will have to find an alternate entrance.

No pretty pictures this time.
Until Sunday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Party party party!

After a few days of much needed rest, I'm back at the store and feeling my chipper self again.
Probably mostly because I was finally able to pay some bills today, and I learned from Donna that we actually came in UNDER budget for the reno. I certainly didn't anticipate that!

Friday night was beyond my wildest expectations!
At 5:45pm we started peeling the paper off the windows...
...and the shoppers quickly followed.

We literally did 3 weeks of business in 4 hours, making the entire week well worth the effort. 
And, bonus!, It was fun fun fun!
Colleen sewed up the cutest little stockings which we stuffed with candy canes wrapped in discounts between 10 and 30% that customers could pick from once they got to the cash.
And the wait for the cash was OUT THE DOOR!
I stepped outside to snap a few pics through the windows.
I served warm rum and cider, which helped make the line up more bearable, and my rep for all my gourmet food products brought tons of delicious samples.
Christmas music piped through the store and it was soooo cozy.
It just feels right in here now.
I'm so happy with the reno, and I'm so grateful to all my wonderful friends and employees (all of whom definitely fall under the "friend" category now) who helped me get through this week.
I have put a call in to Santa for all of you.
I mean, we all know Sadie's on the NICE list, but just in case the rest of you needed a little help.
Hugs and reindeer kisses,

Friday, November 14, 2008

Progress Report: Day Five

I can't. I can't. 
I'm like night of the living dead right now. One more day would totally do me in.
Luckily, I don't have one!
The store is looking amazing, but sleep trumped blogging last night and I've got to get back in there for 8:30 this morning.

Yesterday's progress included:
-Finishing the polka dot curtains.
-Putting all furniture in place.
-Bringing out all holiday merchandise (and displaying a good chunk of it).
-Eating more than my fair share of "Monkey Munch". Christina's scrumdidliumpcious concoction of Chex Mix, chocolate, peanut butter and powered sugar.
-and Not showering.

So just picture it until I'm able to post pictures.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Progress Report: Day Four

I'm sorry. 
I am way too tired to blog anything substantial tonight.
It was another really long day, but lots got accomplished. By the end of the day tomorrow I will have some gorgeous pictures for you. I promise.
Until then, you'll have to live with the only shot I took today: of my beautiful new chandelier. It hangs ever so spark-ily above what can now only be called the "princess of all cashes".
This picture does it NO justice.
Neither does all the junk around it.
Until tomorrow. 

Progress Report: Day Three

Yep. Definitely wasn't feeling in tip top shape when I got to the shop yesterday morning.
This cold has me by the horns. Probably more so than normal because it's annoyed about being ignored by it's host body.
I woke up at about 7am and decided to finally start painting a polka dot curtain. 
It looks cute. From a distance anyway.
I decided to use a martini glass dipped in acrylic paint to form the circles, and all was going well until Bernice (one of our two cats) decided she wanted to chill with her mom on the dining room table. And until I decided I wanted to fast forward through both curtains and attempted to drag the first panel through the house only to have it fold over itself and smear and smudge and make me wish I could jump into a time machine and go back in time 5 minutes.
So I only have one curtain started:
And I still need to fill in the outlined dots.
I arrived at the shop yesterday at 9:30 (later than usual because I had a much needed Chiropractic appointment) and, sure enough, Tim was there finishing up the cabinet. 
It looks so fabulous. The pictures really don't do it justice.
He came back at the end of the day to stain it. 
At which time I promptly left figuring this unborn baby has probably had enough toxins for one day.
Poor little thing.
Today we're hoping to get ALL the painting finished and start firing out the Christmas merchandise. The chandelier over the cash should be hung by the electrician by the time I get in this morning, and I'm hoping for a really productive day.
Here we go! Day Four!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Progress Report: Day Two

The big job at hand yesterday was to make 20 cabinets  look like one big hutch, so the tasks were a little more labour intensive and a little less "let's let the pregnant girl handle this one".
I arrived at the store at 8am, where my amazingly talented (and generous and patient and wonderful) friend Tim had already convened with Donna (designer) and her husband Jack, and quickly put my head down to knock out the last of the cabinets so the boys could start working their magic. 

It was a crazy long day. 

8am to 9:30pm (though I left at 9) and, again, we got a lot accomplished.
Moved the cash area into place, finished mounting the cabinets, put up bead board wall paper, painted the window sills, and my darling hubby who came straight to the store after work, put together and installed the two chandeliers for the windows.
Apparently by the time I get into the shop this morning, these will have a countertop and sides courtesy of Tim's tireless efforts.
Needless to say I got a great sleep last night, but I woke up in the first stages of a cold (Fight! Fight! Fight!) and I still haven't painted those dang curtains.
Today Colleen (possibly along with her sister) and Sadie are in to work with me and Donna.
Four days to go!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Progress Report: Day One

2:22pm on Sunday and we've almost finished everything on our list for today.
We got a great head start last night.
With the help of Sadie, Brad, Dad and Christina, we packed almost everything up, (which is totally incredible considering I had envisioned gingerly sliding everything to the centre of the store, painting, and sliding it back), covered the windows and patched all the nail holes.

We were back this morning to start painting the ceiling and the walls and even mounted one of the shelving units.
Brad hates painting and he's done almost all of it.
I love Brad, don't you?
Apparently Christina is enjoying herself. This isn't supposed to be fun Christina.

Sadie and I painted the paper for the windows on Friday and they look super cute. Very suspenseful!
We even cut out a little hole for people to sneak a peek, and put a mirror behind it. 
And boy do we think we're hilarious.
Still on the list to do tonight:
Paint polka dots on the curtains, buy trim and baseboard, assemble the IKEA shelves and maybe chill for a minute or two on the couch.
Until tomorrow!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let the reno begin!

Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh. 
Are you as excited as I am about my renovation? 
I am. I am as excited as I am. (what?)
I will try to blog during the week, but if I can't I will definitely take progress pics and post the second it's all done.
So this is what Christmas looks like right now:

You can see the potential I'm sure. Especially the cardboard boxes in the basement. Those are definitely full of everything you're going to want for Christmas.
And this is what the store looks like from the cash view, and and an older shot of the view from the front, lifted from my website.

Take a good look because it's all going to change.
Maybe I should take a picture of myself too. 
So you can see the circles under my eyes get darker as the week progresses.
We'll see.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Party Planning

Reno week is almost here and it feels like there is just
so much still to do.
Probably because there is.  So. Much. To. Do. 
I know that it will all come together, it's waiting that's the hardest thing. 
I know we're in for quite a week of packing, unpacking, painting, building, cleaning, merchandising, decorating and, finally, partying!

The store will be closed end of day Saturday until Friday November 14th, when we'll reveal the final look and launch all of the fabulous Christmas merchandise that has been stock piling in the back room since...oh...I don't know...August?

So, if you're in Almonte Friday November 14th, join me here from 6pm-10pm for some holiday fun. For all the details, check out the tres adorable invite my talented girlfriend Melissa designed for me:
Be still my heart with all that cuteness.