Hitting Pause

The time has come to talk about the little slice of internet diary of mine. I've been blogging for FOUR years now. Can you believe that, four years! When I first started I knew zero about the blogging business. All I wanted to do was share our journey of building homes as a married couple. 

Along the way I have learned so much and met so many great people but in the last year I've hit a real slump. Having a baby meant building this forever home of ours had to slow down. It also meant I was much less involved. That made it so much more difficult to blog about for two reasons. I wasn't getting the hands-on experience of the work that was being done and only running out to snap pics and see progress. The other thing is projects are being completed in a much longer time frame. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining because our little dude has brought so much pure JOY to our lives. On many days we take that "fuck it" mentality and soak up all of our time with Dominik. 

Something else I've been mulling over is that since I have started this blog, I have grown as a person. I cook more, I care more about my beauty routine, I've always loved fashion and shopping! (Possibly why my husband found our forever home an hour away from the mall.) I feel like this blog needs an update because the name doesn't jive anymore with who I am. I really love so much more other than just renovating homes. 

With that being said... I am hitting pause. I want to re-name this space of mine. I want to introduce some fun recipes that have been on repeat in our busy household, share some of the newest beauty products that I love using, and so much more.

Until I get this change figured out you can find me over on Instagram where I share REAL LIFE. I want to motivate people to be the best they can be and show that it doesn't always have to be perfect and pretty. 

Stay tuned......

Home Update

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We sat back and listed all of the things we've done over the course of the summer and couldn't believe how long our completed list actually was. When Dominik was born we knew family time was going to be important but we have a house that needs to be finished. We definitely do not want to go into next year with too much landscaping left simply because he will be two and running around so much. I'm sure I missed some small projects we worked on but below are a few of the "big" things we managed to get done. 

Branko had to clear cut more forest so that we can have a proper backyard and also remove ourselves from the risk of a massive tree falling on our home. (More on this will come including a run in with a by-law officer!) 

The below picture was taken on April 27th, 2016. As you can see, no deck addition and we were just starting the clear cutting of the trees. 

The photo below was taken today. Eventually that firewood will be moved behind the retaining wall and closer to the forest. All of backyard will have grass. You can see we also finally finished the deck other than some railing on the stairs on the front part of the house. We were able to get a lot of use out of our back deck and front porch this summer which was amazing. 

We originally had the idea of using large stones for retaining walls and landscape features around the house but when we realized it would cost us over $10,000, we nixed the idea. After some research we decided on using wood. It turned out so much better than I expected. Once the grass grows and the flowerbeds are done, the walls will stand out so nicely. I also plan on sharing more about our retaining walls -- we built our posts out of concrete instead of wood for longevity, and that needs an entire blog post in itself! 

Lastly, installing our pipes for Geo-thermal. This has been a labour of love project for Branko and he is determined to finish this himself. One trench has been completed, our second trench is currently in the process of being back filled. Once this project is completely done I will be sharing a full post on the system we bought, how we attempted to dig trenches three(!) times and all of the problems with sandy soil and digging. 

Hopefully you come back for some more exciting updates! I plan on sharing how we chose to use cedar shakes on the exterior of our home, installing board & batten, and stone feature walls we plan on having. Plus a post on taking down all of the trees and installing our Geo-thermal unit. 

If you want to follow along I still keep it real over on Instagram. I keep our day to day progress over there and throw in a couple photos of Dominik because he's the cutest out of the three of us. :) 

Blogpodium 2016

I've started this post at least 10 times, not sure why it's been so hard for me to articulate my thoughts on Blogpodium. One thing for sure is that blogging this year has really been a challenge for me. I love talking about our journey about this home but the reality is that our projects don't get done overnight. This is real life. I am looking to make some big changes to this little space of mine. Maybe talk more about parenting challenges, new beauty products, travelling.....because we do those things even though it looks as though we just build. 

Now, more about this year's Blogpodium. I had the opportunity to see the "behind the scenes" of how the event plays out. For me it wasn't only learning about how to grow my blog but it showed me how well this team works together.

There was so much going on from the Speed Networking, to the learning sessions, Cricut and their amazing giveaway (if you attended this session, I was the girl helping out in the black jacket) and lastly Tiffany Pratt as the key note speaker. 

What I learned is that I am kind of a jerk. That jerky person that judged Tiffany Pratt because of her "look". I automatically assumed that her speech was going to be over the top and that this lady would be too much for me. BUT -- fuck, was I ever wrong. Tiffany is that kind of person you could only dream of working under. Tiffany inspires people to be themselves. She spoke with so much passion about her journey on how she got to where she is today. One of the things I loved the most was when she spoke of her joy about being able to employ people. I never really thought in depth how cool that must be, to know your business is doing so well that now you can create jobs for others to live. She talked a lot about how there is enough room in this world for all of us. Let's stop hating on each other and support each other more. Lastly, she seemed genuinely kind. If you are not familiar with her you can do yourself a favour and start here on Instagram

With all of  that being said, I went to Blogpodium with a closed mind. I mainly wanted to help out and catch up with some old friends. I walked away being less of a jerk (I hope!), finally met some cool friends in real life (I'm looking at you, Lesley from want.folio) and learned that what I have here is a very unique space filled with so much passion and heart.

Hopefully you will stick around and let me guide you into being less fearless in your own life adventures. 

Before Photos of the Forever Home

True story behind the Forever Home. When we had our second visit and Branko said "this is the house" I really want to buy this house. I cried. I felt like it was too much for us, we were looking for something where the inside needed some updating. Not a 70's wallpaper and wood filled home. 

So without further waiting here I share with you the very first pictures I took of the Forever Home. Missing is the full bathroom and bedrooms which makes me sad but at that time I had no intention of wanting to live here never mind writing a blog about how much I now love it here. 

The outside. this was a 70's Viceroy Bungalow Home

The kitchen, the main bathroom was to the left and a powder room to the right. Beside the powder room was the entrance of the house. 

The dining room across from the kitchen and stairs going to the basement. The steps were so dangerous since the entrance of the house was right at the top of the stairs. 

Looking into the living room from the kitchen corner. 

View across the house from the entrance of the house. If you look straight ahead on the right you can see the hallway to the bedrooms

The powder room. All tile and wallpaper. 

The living room. That door on the right was the main bathroom. The tub was green and the toilet was purple. Right in the middle of the house beside the kitchen. Very weird. Also, behind that wall is a very tiny bedroom. 

The view outside sitting on the couch. This view sold the house. 

I wish I had more pictures of the bedrooms, bathroom and backyard. Sadly I don't. The foundation of the home still stands but everything else we took down. Follow along on here and on Instagram for an update of what we have done! 

Easy Avocado Black Bean Tacos

Bringing to you today one of the easiest recipes you will ever make!!! Can I even call this a recipe??? With our house being under renovation I have a hard time finding the motivation to cook anything. I am working with one outlet in the kitchen that is tied to the range. My dishes are scattered everywhere. 

I've been on a big avocado black bean kick lately, basically eating them in everything! Today I bring you the easiest Avocado Black Bean Taco you will ever make! 

The ingredients are so basic. 1 Box of taco shells(I found these fun dish taco shells in the states but we have something similar in Canada). 1 can of Black Beans. Salsa of your choice. A chipotle or hot sauce. Nutritional yeast to bring some cheese flavour, and Avocado of course! That's It!!! You can add lettuce and tomatoes for some added veggies! Watch the video below to see how easy they came together! 

Hope you try them out! 

 

 

Saturday Love

Today I bring to you the American Saturday Love version! I am so jealous of all of the things you can buy in the states that are not available in Canada. 

I have tried these Chobani flip cups before but they have come out with some new flavours! 

You can find Annie's popcorn here in Canada, but we never get the unique flavours like the S'mores or BBQ. If you find the Sweet BBQ buy several bags, it's that addicting! 

Larabars have been a favorite of mine for some time and I have been hoping the mini's would come to Canada but I haven't found them yet! I grabbed a box PLUS these Chocolate Macaroons bites! 

I love my morning cereal, when I saw this Special K Chocolate Almond I knew I had to pick it up! 

Lastly, whenever we head out for the day I always through some baby food packs in my bag for Dominik. I love the limited ingredients in these Beech Nut Baby Food jars plus they came in the cutest little glass jars! 

Do you have any favorite American purchases that you can't find in Canada??? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!  

Summer Nights

Stopping in to share a quick post today on our outdoor space that we have been slowly working on. If you follow along on Instagram you know that we built our very own outdoor furniture that we absolutely love! We haven't had a chance to finish staining some of the pieces yet, so that still needs work. 

We also put up the TV last week, Branko has been waiting all summer to watch his beloved Blue Jays while sitting outside. Even though the days have been really warm the evenings are still nice and breezy. Beyond our DIY Deck we have 50 acres of forest when the trees sway it sounds like ocean waves. 

We have been taking it easy with all of this heat but Branko will be starting on the Geo-thermal soon and he finally moved everything in its proper place in our mechanical room. 

Hopefully I will be back soon with some good updates about Geo-thermal successfully being installed on our third try! Fingers Crossed!!