Its been so long since I've written anything on the blog. The reason is my entire purpose of writing here was to document our home building adventures. If you've been following along the last 3 years we have been building non stop. We've missed out on vacations, important family functions, and some serious time to ourselves.

Then we had a baby and reality hit us in the face. It wasn't that Dominik took up all of our time and we were overwhelmed it was that we wanted to slow down to ensure we didn't miss those special moments with him. Safe to say he was a blessing in disguise, he showed us that constantly running on empty was the most unhealthy thing we could have been doing to ourselves. He reminded us to slow down and soak in the special moments.

Plans for 2016 will include.....

 Mini road trips with Dominik - Ontario has so many lovely towns and beaches that are within easy driving distances to home.

  Overdue road trip vacation to our favorite little town in Florida.

Staying accountable to my health. I have always struggled with my health but I really want to stay on track this time. I have been tracking all of my food intake on My Fitness Pal. In order to get in at least 3 workouts a week I have been using the Nike Training App and also doing some home workout DVD's.

Continue our work on the Forever Home. Obviously we still have a home to finish as you can see in the above picture. Hopefully I can get back into things here on the blog and start documenting our journey of building this home ourselves.

I'm looking forward to 2016. We've sat and talked many hours about our plans and what our future holds for us and I feel like this year will be nothing short of amazing.

Living Imperfectly

This little old blog of mine has fallen off the radar. My own radar that is, you see when you are living imperfectly or under a state of constant renovation it's hard to write and provide pretty pictures. If you have been hanging around here for some time you know that I always keep it real. I have no interest in writing filler blog posts with a ton of other people's pictures. I am not exactly baking up a storm or crafting. Sadly I have no want to even do those kind of things.

The other day I contemplated buying flowers but then thought who am I kidding, who will notice the flowers in this mess.

All of this leaves me with today's post title and what I plan on sharing with you. Please don't judge. Look pass the plywood floors, the unfinished drywall and mass collection of baby stuff and dream with me of what this home will be one day...... 

The kitchen, dining and living room are all open to each other. The ceiling above the living room has no drywall since we plan on doing a wood feature in that area.

The kitchen layout will actually be very similar when completed. The island will be longer with stools and the stove will be moved over. We are hoping that after Christmas we will purchase all of our new appliances.

Ignore all of the mess and look at the sunlight shining.

We had this custom harvest table made for us almost 2 years ago! We sourced the pine planks on Kijiji for $150 and took them to local guys to have the table made. You would never believe that they only charged us $700!!. Those 2 chairs were left in the house.

There you have it, bedrooms obviously not being shared here or the entrance which we have closed off to the main part of the house since it has no drywall or insulation. Because winter is quickly coming Branko will be working hard on installing the Geo-Thermal unit with hopes that it will all be completed around mid December. Once that is done we can really shift all of our focus to the inside of the house. Completing the drywall, painting and then installing flooring. The hopes are that by next year around April most of the inside of the house will be completed.

I will try and keep up with sharing our next steps around here, I am sure I will have some fun Geo-Thermal install adventures to talk about.

Hopefully you follow me on Instagram, where you can catch so many adventures of building our Forever Home.


It has been a while since I really talked about the Forever Home and what is happening. Truthfully I miss sharing our weekly updates on building but because work has basically come to stop for so many reasons I didn't want to come here and do filler blog posts.

Today I am going to take you back to the start....

Feb, 16th, 2012 to be exact. That was the day we took over the Forever Home while still owning our first home which was exactly 5 min. away.  You can see here from one of my old post May/June 2012 the amount of work that was on our plates. The old house still needed minor changes before it went up for sale. Finally in August 2012 the old house was up for sale.

Aug, Sept, and Oct flew by quickly with many viewings of the old house but we had a major problem. The house was small. Most people loved the yard & the garage but a two bedroom home was not cutting it for almost everybody. We had to make a big decision so we did in Nov 2012.

Dec 2012 - I wrote this post. We took on two home renovating projects at once. We worked hard from Dec 2012 up to July 2013 on the old house. Everything inside that house was updated but we missed the good time to sell a home in our area.

Once the old house was up for sale and out of our way, all of our attention was back onto the Forever Home. We desperately needed a garage because if the old house sold we would have no where to store our goods. We moved all of our attention onto building Branko's Dream Garage.

If you are a regular follower around here you know what happened next. It was probably the hardest blow to all of our renovating projects. Branko and I worked very very hard for a good 3 days on the Dream Garage. In two days the two of us put up 68 sheets of plywood on the walls. We were almost done! We were over joyed and couldn't believe we took on this massive project and were close to finishing the outside.

Nov 1. 2013 When disaster strikes - we had a massive wind storm. Saturday I had left to my parents to do some shopping in Buffalo with my mom and Branko headed to the Forever Home to do some minor work himself.

To this day I really don't know how well he kept it together, I cried and cried and cried when Branko sent me this text message "The garage is destroyed" WHAT! I frantically texted back, what do you mean destroyed??????? Was he exaggerating....maybe just a wall came down. NOPE. The wind took down the entire garage. The weekend became increasingly worse on Sunday night Branko received a dreaded phone call from his mother that his Uncle passed away.

At this point the stupid garage just didn't matter.

Now what.....we had the old house up for sale, a destroyed garage, and a 2nd home that was under construction. To top it all off Branko was devastated hearing about his Uncle passing. The following week was a blurry mixture of visiting family and Branko frantically calling engineers and insurance for the garage.

We decided that re-building the garage before the winter was not possible. We turned all of our focus back onto the Forever Home. We took the old house off the market for the winter and decided to hit the market again May 2014. The old house sold quickly this time and by June 2014 we had 60 days to move. Our Move date was Aug 2014.

We moved into the Forever Home and were living in one very small room. It was basically a closet. Branko woke up one morning and said "I'm scared we will make the same mistake on this house that we did the old home" Meaning rooms too small, ceilings too low. What if one day we wanted to sell.

Sept 2014 construction started. We added an addition to the back of the house as much as we could and ordered new trusses to make our ceilings much higher. We went from 7ft walls to almost 10ft walls. In center of the house the walls are 15ft high. We changed our 2 small and 1 large room layout too 4 bedrooms. One large master with 3 good size bedroom

Nov 2014 - We find out I'm pregnant!!!! YAY! We also still have no heat. What we did next would seem un-imaginably to most people heck some days even we were like WTF are we doing??!!!! We decided to seal in our Mudroom it was 400 sq ft and live in there for the winter with 3 baseboard heaters. Our washroom was across the house and we had one large industrial heater in there. In the morning I would wake up 30min early to go and plug that heater in and warm up the washroom so I could get ready for work. Our pipes froze on numerous occasions and we cooked dinner in our Parka's. We had a wood stove but it was really only good to us on the weekends. During the week we are both at work and nobody was home to stoke the fire.

Dec 2014 - April 2015 - We worked and worked and worked. All winter on whatever we could get done even though we went thru the worst winter ever. No joke. Our driveway is 300 ft long and sometimes we would come home after work and would have to walk up the driveway in snow up to our waists. We ordered out a lot of food since our kitchen area was NOT heated. Slowly, the forever home started coming together and the dreaded winter months were ending. Insulation was filled into the walls and ceiling. Electrical work was completed and passed.

May 2015 - Dominik arrived!!!! May 20th to be exact! Our hopes were that during the month of April we would pay somebody to finish our drywall the mud and taping part. This would have meant that the house would be primed and in a very good condition. Well, as it is with contractors which we normally NEVER work with they asked for more money on the 2nd day! They wanted $3000 more to be exact which means our cost to finish drywall would have been over $10,000. This was out of budget for us and we ended our deal with them.

May 2015 - Sept 2015 - Only two rooms have been primed. We moved into those two rooms as the mudroom was not suitable with a baby. Our deck is mostly finished so that we can walk up to the house properly. Our fireplace is almost completely installed.

Going down memory lane has been pretty awesome for me. Branko and I have accomplished so much from 2012 - 2015 for just two people. We did 90% of the work on both homes ourselves.

What's next you ask????? Well tune in next week as our updates were be more frequent now. We have a major change happening this weekend to the Forever Home and we are beyond excited to get this project under way. I plan on also sharing our fire place installation soon as well!

I hope you have enjoyed following our crazy adventures! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, I normally share what is happening around here and how we are living.

Always keeping it real!



Here it is, my I'm a parent post.

It will be long. It will be a mash up of my feelings. It is only the beginnings of my thoughts.

Let's back up a little about me.....when I was younger I was always the one who said "I am never getting married, I am never having kids" I wanted to be a free spirit. Travel the world. Live in a big city. Then I met Branko and marriage was certainly a step I wanted to take. Before we were married we had already decided that living in the country was going to be best for us. We took our time on the kids front though. We both knew we wanted to have a child one day but we had so many other things we wanted to do first. We traveled to Florida twice a year, we visited Boston and New York City. We built a home (sold it) and in the process of building a second home.

Then last September we found out I was pregnant and due in May 2015. I was so naive, I knew having a child was hard but I also thought I would still be able to do all the things I used to do. I thought once he was born I would put him in the car and trot off to the mall and stroll around. Visit friends and family freely. Was I ever wrong.

I am not a home body kind of person unless I am building something with Branko.

After my first solo car ride with him to the hospital when he was one month old I knew then and there that car rides were not going to be our thing together! Remember I live in the country, the closest grocery store is 15 minutes away. That day he had a complete melt down driving home. Screaming his head off to the point of not breathing. I panicked pulled over and tried to sooth him for 30min in the car. Finally I was able to get him in his car seat and get home. That day I felt so disappointed in myself. Like I was failing at this parenthood thing. I see other mothers all the time out and about with their little ones.

Passed out while being pushed around in the grocery store. Shoes are baby converse. Shorts, sweater and socks are all from baby gap.

I was jealous. Living in the country with a newborn was going to be much more difficult then I thought.

Everybody told me to be patient, he will change. Become easier to handle during the day. And he did. He really is a great kid. He is mostly awake during the day and takes small naps. Night time he sleeps from about 9/10pm till 4/5am.

Two weeks ago I finally attempted the car ride alone with him again. It went fairly well, I quickly walked thru the grocery store picked up what I needed and went home. Last week I tried again and it was a fail. Once I arrived into town he woke up and started crying and trying to get out of his car seat. I decided to just go home. The following day I tried again and that time was much better. He fell asleep on the car ride there, woke up in the grocery store and was just looking around. He fell asleep on the car ride home again. Any long drives are with somebody in the back seat with him. My mom has been great and coming up on the weekends. We made a trip to the mall even!

In the last two weeks he has changed so much. His smiles are natural now and come all the time. He loves to talk and have conversations. He eats well and chews on his fingers and thumb like crazy. He is getting so much better at holding his head up on his own.

I'll admit buying baby clothes is addicting. Donaldson Blue Jays Jersey and baby mocs that I won from Minimoc. These mini mocs are amazing quality and Canadian made in case you are looking for a pair.

I am looking forward to the days ahead as I am already noticing them get easier. I can get laundry and cleaning done. I can take time to sit and have a coffee. I am looking forward to Christmas when we light up our big Christmas tree and watch his eyes go big with excitement.

Life with a child is amazing and I couldn't imagine a day without him. I feel forever blessed that he came into our lives and I could sit and stare at him for hours.

On the Forever Home front, we will be getting back into things full force starting at the end of August. Branko has plans to have the garage finally closed in before the winter. We are changing the roof on the entrance of house(the only remaining old roof) The new fireplace will be installed following that and then Geo-thermal. This will have the house ready for the winter with heat. Once all of that is done we will complete the drywall and continue working inside the house during the winter months.

Hope you continue to follow along our journey to building our Forever Home. I am really looking forward to sharing with you our custom Ikea closets for the bedrooms, plans for the kitchen along with all the new appliances we decide to buy,  and which flooring we choose. Basically every step of building a home. We need to choose paint colours, buy all new furniture, pick out tiles for our bathrooms, choose our soaker tub, toilet, custom vanity counter top. Sooooo much to talk about!

baby news and forever home update

Hi!!!!!!!!!! Anybody out there????

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you are probably fully aware we had a baby!!!

Dominik arrived on May 20th @ 1:15pm weighing in at 7lbs 9oz. I will spare you the birth story since it was not anything overly dramatic. Thankfully he was born healthy and happy. I feel so blessed to have such a happy little baby. He sleeps all night with waking up only once to eat. During the day he is pretty peaceful and is starting to really smile more and more.

Some pictures below and then more on the forever home!

Dominik - 5 weeks

Dominik -8 weeks & 4 days

Dominik - 8 weeks & 4 days. He was such a champ at his first wedding!

My blog was supposed to be renewed on May 30th. I came home and was overwhelmed with a newborn that I completely forgot to go in and make these changes. The blog went down and since then I had one heck of a time trying to get my domain back. Google had since made some changes and since I use square space now I had to go through GoDaddy directly to renew my domain.

I'm not going to lie since having a newborn home the building has slowed down but it sure hasn't stopped.

We have completed the drywall and priming two bedrooms that we are currently living in. One room has our bed, baby crib, and clothes. The next room is set up as a mini living room with a coffee table, tv, couch, and a small twin bed for a guest. The remainder of the inside is at standstill and will not be continued until late September.

Below are some pictures of the deck that Branko has been working hard on and some plans on what we want to do with landscaping and decor.

For the main entrance we have plans of lots of Armour stone like in the below picture and hopefully a hanging chair. We opted to go with pressure treated wood and will eventually paint it to suite our colours that we choose for the exterior of the house. We did price out composite decking but it was three times the price of pressure treated. Our siding is going to be grey board & batten with stone features all around the house. The peaks will be finished with cedar shakes.

The above picture is close to what we have planned but our siding will be vertical and our stone features will be on the corners. We plan on using cedar shakes but only on the peaks. Original image found here.

 This Armour stone will be used all around our house with a similar layout as the above picture. Original image found here.

Currently how the forever home is looking below. This will be the main entrance of the house, in September we are planning to re-do the mudroom entrance to the house to align with the new roof we put on last year so the peak will be different. We will have a 8 foot double door and windows around the door.

I found this swinging chair at Pier 1 imports and fell in love immediately. I can picture this hanging on the entrance area of our porch.

Swinging chair link found here at Pier 1.

For the back portion of the deck we have a door that enters the kitchen. This will make entertaining so much easier! We plan on installing a TV on the back wall so Branko can catch his sports while being outside. I love the idea of hanging curtains and lights off of the support posts.

I tried searching for the proper image location but couldn't find it! But I really LOVE all of this! The seating, lighting, curtains, and wood paneling on the ceiling.

Here is a picture of how our current porch looks! So much to do.

A second tier is going to be built to this deck next year.  It will stretch into the trees and make more room for a large dining area.

The morning coffee & tea will be perfect with this morning sunrise back here. This is the view from the seating area in the above picture.

Any thoughts on the above? Any ideas that you would love to share in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Looking forward to getting back to sharing our journey here on building our "Forever Home". So far it has truly been a labour of love. Each and every day we feel more blessed to be able to build such beautiful home for our family. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram where I share many instant updates of what is happening around here!

Drywall Party #2 & Drywall taping Dilemma part 2

It happened! It finally happened!!! It really is unreal how much a home can change once you put up drywall.

Branko had another drywall party weekend, two of his friends (who he is paying) came up for two days while I vacated the house again. They managed to finish almost ALL of the remaining drywall in the house other then above the dining area and kitchen. During the week Branko hustled and finished all of the remaining drywall that needed to be done because we had found tapers to come and finish the work. See this post (more on this fail later after the pictures).

Now for some pictures of the rooms. You can see the changes from my Drywall Party #1 post to now.

Kitchen - one of the best decisions we feel we made was to add a door to the back yard where we will build a large deck. The second change we made was adding the small wall to the ceiling to hide the view of the fridge from the living room.

Master bedroom - this room is very large but I couldn't be more happy with the size. It will be a true retreat bedroom with an area for two sitting chairs and a small table.

Bedroom one - this room is slightly larger then the second bedroom. Both rooms have three windows for great natural light.

Bedroom two - This room will have natural light all during the day. The one window is lower then the two side windows so that the front of the house windows would all align.

Hall way - The first door is the master bedroom and then the hall way leads to the linen closet, two bedrooms, and second full bathroom for guests and the two rooms.


Our attempt to hire tapers to finish the house ended up being a fail. In the end they felt the job was much more then expected and wanted to be paid more then we could afford to pay. They did do a small amount of work for two days but because of the miss-communication they refused to take the money we offered them for two days of work. I truly think they thought we would just agree to the higher price and pay them but it was something we were not ready to commit to pay.  Branko will now finish the taping and sanding himself with some help from my dad and his friends that he has been paying to help out with heavy lifting work. But 75% of the work will be done on his own.

Because we have a baby due to arrive any day now we have had to change our game plan on getting the drywall done. Since August we have been living in a 400 sq ft area of the house that we turned into our room, along with TV, couch, and clothes. We've decided to set up the crib in here as well which still leaves us with plenty of living space (really surprising how much you can fit in 400 sq ft.) until we can have all of the drywall completed. During the time sanding will be done I will pack up the baby and head to my parents house.  It is not the most ideal situation but the baby will be warm and safe. Also, he will probably never remember this part of his life so I am OK with this. We should be able to move into our master bedroom and use our other rooms in about a month and half.


As always come and follow along on Instagram! I post many up to date changes involving the #foreverhome construction process!




Drywall Taper Dilemma

The title of this post is pretty clear, will I even have pictures to share probably not but I feel like sharing our dilemma so we can look back one day and laugh - or not.

You see back in February. yes wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back then. We called a guy for pricing and asked if he would be available the last week of April. We specifically advised April 27th - 30th. As any contractor who probably had no work over the winter he said YES! Yes, I am available. GREAT! Branko called him again late March and said I will be ready for you still, are you still available. YES! That was his answer. We advised him everything about the house.

April 25th the dude comes to our house to see what the work will be like and the conversation goes like this:

Contractor: OH man those ceilings, they are so high!

Branko: Yes, I told you that.

Contractor: OK, I will write up a quote for you and get back to you.

Branko: YA, but will you be able to start work on Monday?

Contractor: WHAT?? No, I only work on weekends.

At this point I am pretty sure Branko was not impressed. He told him to send him the quote and asked what weekend he can start. The contractor told Branko he needs SIX WEEKENDS to finish the job.


You can't do any other work until drywall is done. PLUS we have a baby coming!!! MAY 13th!


By some grace of god our neighbour stopped by asking Branko if he had a certain tool he needed to fix his car and they got to talking. The neighbour gave Branko a phone number to a guy he used a couple of years ago.

We called the guy that night and thankfully he didn't have any work lined up for the next two weeks. Probably because he just got back from Vietnam.

AND there you have it, this new guy will start on Sat. May2nd but he advised us he might need at least 10 days. That gives us 3 days before baby's due date.

YES, I am hoping baby stays in for a couple days longer. Five days maybe??? Baby if you are listening I need five extra days to clean and put together a crib OK!


I'm now talking to my baby over the blog which means I've probably lost my mind.

I will you leave you with one picture because sunsets at the #foreverhome are glorious and I love this quote.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and these hashtags #foreverhome #foreverhomebabyprep #countryliving #webuild