Making it work – Before & After Laundry Room

It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally getting my dressing room that I’ve dreamed of since I picked up my first home decor magazine.

I had moved in a year ago from a modern condominium to a 1960’s bungalow. The condo had two walk-in closets, and I mine had 18ft of hanging space and now, I am down to a 3.5ft wide closet. No matter how much I purged, I couldn’t get my clothes to fit. I resorted to using the front hall closet, the home office closet, my bedroom closet and I added two rolling racks, and it still wasn’t enough for my clothes.

I’ve been designing this [in my head] for the last year. I knew the best place for it was in the laundry room because it was the only unfinished space in the house. The added bonus is that we’ll be washing our clothes in the same room. Which means no lugging heavy laundry baskets up and down the stairs.

Here’s where I take something that could have cost me $10,000 with custom designed [everything] to having it all done for less that 1/10th the price:

  1. Hardware for closet system $200
  2. Dresser and room divider (to hide furnace) $300
  3. Foam floor pieces $70
  4. Paint/Drywall + labour $350
  5. Ideally, I’d like a new [sexy] washer/dryer + light fixture, but that will need to come down the road…

[I’ll update the post with the full before and after pictures next week]



I’m learning a lot owning a house. … I’m learning that I don’t know a lot about owning a house. Well, maybe it’s more like ‘maintaining’ a house. Today new challenge is Pests.

I work up this morning with a plan.

Get some work done, drop off the kiddo to grandma’s, tea time at a SMWTO (Social Media Week Toronto) gathering and then finally ending my day with dinner with a client. That plan quickly derailed by little black dropping in my kitchen (and they were not from my dogs). Black specs on my stovetop that I hoped was burn pieces of spices that I forgot to clean up last night. But who’s kidding who? It came from a mouse/mice! ARGH! The thing that I haven’t had to deal with since the last time I lived in a house. That was over 12 years ago. Suddenly I missed living in a condo.

So after speaking to my good friend, who talked me off the ledge [of selling my house], I realized that it’s not the end of the world. And that it really isn’t the end of my day either. So… I take the time to clean the kitchen (which I probably should have kept clean in the first place – as my mother would say), and lay some traps out and hope that I have someone to dispose of anything it catches.


I think that it was easier for me to jump into parenthood as a single parent than owning this house. I think that someone should write a book “What to Expect When You’re a Home Owner” (okay… I know that there probably is a book out there like that already, but probably isn’t a best seller like What to Expect When Your Expecting). Looks like I found a new topic to write about. Keep an eye out on more postings from me…learning all about Ownership of a House

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Happy New Year! The Year of the Rabbit.

Gong Xi Fat Chai! Kung Hei Fat Choi

This Chinese New Year seemed to have crept up on me. Normally (or previous years) I used to decorate the house, get everything ready (buying new things, having the red pockets ready etc). But this year, the only thing that I remembered was that I would get time off from work.

To prep for Chinese New Year, I would get out our decorations, clean the house and buy something new (face cloth, slippers or PJ’s). I would get some red pocket envelopes and some crisp new bills and get it ready to give to my daughter. I’m still figuring out what traditions I want to continue/pass down to her. And I try to remember what my parents had done. Here’s what I remember:

Days leading up to New Year’s Day, you clean your home from top to bottom. The sweeping of “bad luck” allows good luck to come into your home

Day 1 New Year’s Day you put away all the brooms and dust pans so not to sweep away the “good luck”. The purchasing of something new to wear or getting a haircut represents a fresh start.

Day 2 (doesn’t apply to me) have married daughters return home to see their birth parents, as they might not be able to see them often after they are married. Also the second day would be the day that new businesses would start.

Day 3 is the day that you would stay home. You wouldn’t socialize with friend and family to avoid saying bad things or fighting with them.

Day 7 is the common man’s birthday. This is the day that we are all a year older.

Day 15 is Lantern Festival. This is the day that I’ve known to be like a Valentine’s Day where single women and men seek each other. This also marks the last day of the New Year celebrations.

All of these might not be 100% accurate, but it’s how I remember it to be.

So for those who celebrate Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year

Grocery shop on my goal to a new lifestyle

This shop included as much whole foods as possible.
When it comes to dairy, I try to get organic everytime. And I was keeping in mind the rule that my father gave me, nothing WHITE (white bread, salt, sugar etc).

As I was walking throught with my daughter, and was going through a list of things that I pack in her lunches to see what we needed.
We were in the bakery section, and I saw all those cookies. And although they were baked there, I thought that was the one thing that I knew that I could do without any problem. And this way, I know exactly what goes into them. So, sticking with the no white rule, I was in the search for unbleached all purpose flower.

Anyhow, here’s my grocery bill.

2010 © doris chung

– Posted using BlogPress and
Photos taken on my iPhone with Hipstamatic, CameraBag, ShakeItPhoto and Polarize apps.

Olympics and Canadian Pride

This being the last day of the Winter Olympics, I have time to reflect on what this has meant to me.

To my great surprise, this Winter Olympics has been fantastic to watch. Although we [my daughter and I] have been home the whole time (and not been lucky enough to go out to Vancouver to witness it), we’ve had CTV on almost 24/7 to watch the coverage.

From the time we wake up at 7am, we start with the Olympic morning. Then off to school with my daughter, where I return to watch recaps of all the previous’s day’s highlights.  By lunchtime, there’s an event that I am watching live from bobsled, cross-country skiing or curling [note to my boss, I am working while the TV is on in the background]. After picking up my daughter from school, I’d take her to her after school activities, I find myself checking on my iPhone, through the CTV Olympics app, anything that I am missing because there’s no TV around. Then we come home, have dinner while watching the event that night, while I Twitter with others what I see on TV.

Now, let’s be honest, my 6yr old daughter won’t be able to sit down for the whole evening watching one event, but I kept her apprized of the number of medals Canada had received.  And I can tell that she’s honestly excited and proud of the athletes there representing Canada.  And that she was proud to be Canadian.

We look forward to the final Hockey Game tonight, Canada vs USA, and we know, either way, we will have earn a medal and we’re proud of the Men’s Hockey Team.


How I’d like to improve my home

Here is my wish list for my home. Things for me to save up and work towards (they are in no particular order).

1. laundry room: washer/dryer in one; and finish the laundry closet to allow for hanging of clothes to dry etc.

2. kitchen: microwave drawer

3. kitchen: undercounter Fridge/Freezer (still searching the right style)

4. den: well designed Den (just can’t find the right configuration and furnishing)

5. master bedroom: wall mount [new] TV in my bedroom + connect a computer to it.

6. change all my doors (first the bedroom doors, then bathrooms, then closets)

7. bathroom: change 2nd bathroom vanity and sink

8. master bathroom: change sink in ensuite bathroom

9. kitchen: change cabinet doors in kitchen

10. kitchen: new dishwasher

11. kitchen: new sink & faucet

So, when I have $20,000 dollars lying around or when I win the lotto, I’ll be able to strike things off my list.