Two Day Transformation - Forever Home Update

Over the course of seven days we worked on the Forever Home for 2 days.

March 30th - Morning capture of the home.

The plan:

1. Burn all of the wood below the left side large window.
2. Stuff the garbage bags with all of the insulation sitting outside the left side large window.
3. Install as many windows as possible.

Completed at the end of day March 30th:
1. Two windows installed and wrap around the front left side of the house.
2. All of the wood was burned and most garbage collected.

Sunday, April 3rd.

1. Collected more exposed wood to burn
2. Put up wrap front right side, back left addition, and side left addition.
3. Installed 4 windows. ( 2 front right side, 1 side of addition on the left wall, and 1 back window left addition)
4. Cut down OLD TV tower that was located centre back of the house.

April 3rd Side View:

Next step will be to finish off the wrap in the back of the house and start preparing to shingle roof. 


Random Acts of Kindness

DATE NIGHT!!!!!!!!

We all get excited for date night especially us girls since we generally like to get dressed up, do our hair and make-up and go out with our husbands. Whatever it is the night may entail a nice dinner, a hockey game maybe even just a couple of drinks at your local bar. 

Our date night usually involves dinner and a hockey game. I get a little more giddy then Branko because lately we haven't had time to get out like we used to...as the B-man would call it back in our "Honeymoon" stage when dinners were our thing and we would go all the time. 

We had tickets for the hockey game that started at 7pm, so we left the house early and mapped out a restaurant on our way downtown. Milestones is one of my favorite places since it's not too casual but also not too fancy plus the Bellini's are amazing! (maaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe I really go just for the Bellini's ;)

Our waiter Matt was awesome! Nothing can ruin a night out as quickly as a bad waiter. But he doted on us all night and didn't rush us to get out of there.

I was kidding, I like the steak too.

At some point Branko says this "what if we just give our tickets away to a random father and son". Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm WHAT - it's our DATE NIGHT! 

But my selfish thoughts quickly went out the door and it became a game of eyeing creeping out families in the restaurant........when we said OK lets just do it we called our waiter over.

Conversation with Matt went like this:

US:  "we have a question??" 

Matt: " ya, sure go ahead"

US: " we want to randomly give our tickets away to a father and son in the restaurant"


US: (totally caught off guard by Matt's response) "ummmm I dunno just to do something nice, so can you look for a father and son and ask them if you had the opportunity to go to the Leafs game tonight would you go?"

Matt was eager - him and 2 other waiters quickly started searching the restaurant. The first family was a fail because they wanted 3 tickets. But then the next family - a father, son, and what looked to be like the grandparents were completely shocked and excited(Matt told us that)

Branko quickly ran to the car and grabbed the tickets. The father looked so excited and said to us " Are you serious???" The son just had the biggest smile on his face. The grandparents looked beyond elated. We didn't exchange names or anything like that. We were at the table for about 1 min and had our jackets on since we were done dinner. 

We left that restaurant like 2 little kids practically skipping out of there. The feeling of random acts of kindness is pretty awesome. We are day in  and day out extremely hard workers. We are thankful for everything we have and never want to take for granted the opportunities that we have been handed. Neither of us came from extremely wealthy families but hard working families. 

I'm sharing our story because I hope it encourages more people to take this lead. I can tell you this isn't our first random act of kindness but probably our biggest. Time and time again the feeling is always the same, the feeling of gratefulness.

This is how we ended up watching the game....Starbucks in hand.

Have you ever done a random act of kindness?????? I hope you share below.

(sorry for all the crappy pictures, they were taken with my blackberry)


Forever Home Update

It has been a while since I provided a Forever Home Update. If you looked at the weather network forecast you will see no sign of spring. When we looked at that Friday night we knew that we couldn't slack off like we have been and get to work.

The next steps for the Forever Home are to wrap the entire outside home with a hard insulation(we need to do this to meet code requirements based on our addition and the old house). Once that is done we will wrap the house.  

As of Sunday night this is where we stand, the entire back is covered with the insulation.

 The 2 plywood pieces are going to be windows 

 I am still so in LOVE with the overhanging roof above the entrance doors. 

This pictures proves no perfection here, so much mess to clean up but progress is really happening! 

If we didn't have so much amount of snow sitting around the house this job would have taken us at most 2 days. Those insulation pieces are incredibly light. So working together I could bring them all out of the basement to where ever Branko was and he would nail them down. 


Winter wrecked havoc on us and this job has taken us over 4 days combined. Walking through the snow carrying these things are a pain in my arse. Then we had to dig up the snow around the entire parameter of the house. 

Here is our to-do list for the next 30 days. We have a week vacation in April which we are praying for some decent weather because we feel a lot of work will be done. 

- Shingle the entire roof
- Run the floor joists in the master bedroom
- Remove the remaining ceiling and insulation 
- Rebuild and move the stairs to the new location 
- Start running the plumbing from the old house to the new part
- Run all of the electrical in the old and new part 
- Move the electrical panel

The list might be a little ambitious right????


Princess Margaret Lottery Home Wine & Dine Night

The Princess Margaret home wine & dine event request could not have come at a better time. I was in need of serious inspiration as this winter has made it terribly difficult to work on the Forever Home.

My response was YES please to the RSVP. The home was in the King/Vaughan area, I was able to head over after work and enjoy a night filled with food prepared by the amazing Chef Steve Gonzalez from Valdez Restaurant located downtown Toronto on King St. and wine tasting prepared by Krystina from Rosewood Wine which is located in Beamsville. 

The night started off with a private showing of the 3.85 million dollar home by the designer himself Jack Celli of Greenpark Homes.

The first thing I noticed in the entrance were these chairs. So grand and beautiful that I was too scared to sit on them! Behind the entrance was the dining room. The design feature I enjoyed the most in here were the velvet stripes on the wall. As you can see in the picture the mirror reflects the other wall which matches. I love that they covered both walls instead of doing 1 feature wall.

photos via Andrea(my guest of the night) 

The next room I enjoyed was the master bath! So many things that were just stunning in here. I loved how the Hackwood flooring continued into the main bath area from the bedroom and tile was laid down to step out of the shower(which was massive). I love the faucets on the free standing tub. An island stood in the middle of the room with a sink on each side. 

photos via Andrea(my guest of the night) 

I'm pretty sure you get the idea of this room! Truthfully the thing I loved the most in this room were those 2 lights on each side of the runway! I could see this room being used for that little princess daughter having the time of her life trying on her mamma's shoes and walking down that runway. 

photos via Andrea(my guest of the night)

Only a veranda like this can make winter look beautiful. This area is going to be great for those long summer nights and watching the sun set. 

photos via Andrea(my guest of the night)

The picture below was provided to us by the amazing host of the night Laura Z. The stunning kitchen! Jack told us the entire design inspiration around the house started off with those hanging chandelier. 

photo via Laura Z. 

Now onto the food & wine! 

Everything Chef Steve made was soooo tasty! We don't get into Toronto too often but I am sure Branko would love the food he cooks. Hopefully during the summer we have a chance to check it out! 

photos via Andrea(my guest of the night)

In that little cup is dessert! A coconut rum raisin mixture frozen on a stick. If you follow along on my blog you know how much I love coconut!!!

photos via Andrea(my guest of the night)

Oddly enough Rosewood Wines is down the street from our parents Restaurant in Beamsville. The next time I visit my parents I will be sure to stop in and pick up some of the wine we tasted with Krystina! Especially the first one she talked about, it had such a beautiful taste to it. Krystina also comes from a family of bee keeping! She educated us on the process of making honey and taking care of bees which was pretty interesting and gifted us all with a bottle of Wildflower Honey! Probably one of the best honey's I have ever tasted! The honey will be available in Chapters so make sure you keep your eye out for Rosewood estates honey and the wine will soon be available at the LCBO. 

Jordana from White Cabana and myself with our honey. 

The evening turned out to be so much more than I expected. From the personal tour of the home to the wine and food as well as running into Jordana and hanging out with my sister, it was a night full of laughs. 

This home is stunning in so many ways and I was definitely able to soak in all of the inspiration I needed. Even though I know our Forever Home will never be worth 3.85 million dollars in my mind it will be forever priceless. 

Now that you were able to hear about how amazing this home is make sure you link up HERE and purchase your very own ticket!!!!


Spring - Are you alive???

I've been down in the dumps about the weather, it has put me into a constant cranky mood. 

Spring - Are you alive? I need you. 


Things I'm Loving Lately

Since my last post of "Things I'm Loving Lately" was so popular I thought maybe it would be fun to continue sharing with you all some more new items I have been really loving.

This chocolate!!! One of the main reasons I am loving the Alter Eco chocolate bars is because of low amount of ingredients in each bar. You can purchase these at Whole Foods or Bulk Barn. I keep them kicking around and sometimes will break 1 or 2 small pieces off and bring it to work. The Mint one is by far my favourite.

A paleo friendly dessert that I have become in love with and so simple to make:

Toasted Coconut:
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tsp maple syrup

Whipped Coconut Milk:
2 tbsp coconut milk(preferably cold)
1 tsp maple syrup

Whip the coconut milk and add the maple syrup. You can also add some frozen raspberries to this or skip the maple syrup all together.

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan and add the shredded coconut. Once it starts browning add the maple syrup. The maple syrup gives the coconut a special crunch and sweetness.

1 cup fresh blueberries or 1 banana. (OR BOTH) :)

Put the berries in a small bowl and top with coconut milk whip, then top with toasted coconut.

I took a small shopping trip on Valentine's Day as I needed something from Sephora and popped into Zara. I normally don't find anything but the second I saw this vest I knew I had to have it!

A "Love Day" gift to myself! My favourite part is all of the small leather details.

I was on the hunt for a nice throw/blanket. My sister came across Cambie Design and picked up the one below for me.They currently have no stock on the website but new product will be coming in shortly in the mean time you can just follow them on Instagram @cambiedesign. Make sure you check them out and they are Canadian!

I absolutely love this blanket. It's light but warm. We use it all year. In the winter I sometimes bring it with my in the car when I am driving and in the summer it's perfect for those chilly nights outside. I plan on buying a second one when the Forever Home is done because you can never have enough of these lying around. 

I joined MyFitnessPal!! Now I know everybody knows about this website and if you don't and are looking to track your food intake this website is great! I signed up to myfitnesspal last year but was not impressed with some of the functionalities with saving your food and changing your portion sizes but I am pretty sure they have issued some upgrades because I found that using the app on my iPad was much easier this go around. 

My eating habits have changes drastically in the last 3 weeks. When I first started I could not believe the amount of food I was eating during the day. I would love to build my friend list on here because I feel that it keeps you more accountable! So if you are just joining or are a member already send me a quick email with your contact information and I will add you as a friend! 

A day trip to Buffalo always involves grocery shopping. You can't go wrong with the products available and the prices!

Trader Joe's:
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - $5.99 (In Canada the one I purchase is $10.49 and the jar has less)
Coconut Cream $1.49 (A good quality coconut milk in Canada is $3.49)
Coconut Water - $2.99 (Ummmmmmmmm WHAT THE HELL - in Canada it is between $4.99 & $6.99)
Organic Gluten Free Chicken Broth - $1.99 (In Canada I can pay up to $4.99-$5.99 for this)

The other products I don't think are even available in Canada:
Chobani Almond Coco Loco - these are so tasty! This one is Almond + Coconut and I scored them on sale at Target for $1.00

Larabar ALT Chocolate Chip Macaroon - pretty sure these are not available in Canada. I don't eat powerbar/granola bars too often anymore but when I do I always stick with Larabar.

Angie's BOOM Chicka Pop - White Cheddar - I know BOOM Chicka pop has become more available in Canada but I am not sure I have seen the White Cheddar flavour anywhere.

Peeled Snacks - All gluten free - Peeled snacks are available but not the new clusters! These are so tasty!

I also picked up this cute dress and button up shirt from Target! I paired the shirt with the vest up top!

Hope you enjoyed all things I'm loving lately! I would love to hear of any products or stores you love to check out when crossing the border OR even any local shops in the GTA!


Forever Home Blues

3 Weeks.....

That's the amount of time that we have not worked on the Forever Home. It feels like time is passing and the Forever Home is just standing still.

It's been tough for us to cope with this nasty weather and yes we fully understand that we cannot do anything about this but owning two homes is taking a toll on us. We need to get our feet moving, dig deep and find the motivation to go and work.

Everything is 100 times harder when you have to do pre-prep work to actually work.

Shovel the additions out for an hour

Layer on the extra clothing

Work in big winter gloves that make it hard to carry wood

Stand on ladders that are barely safe due to snow and ice below

Deal with a runny nose

Shovel one driveway, snow blow the second driveway

Split wood for the fireplace

Fix the car, fix the car, fix the car(don't ask, we are pretty sure my car has put a spell on me)

This list can go on and on and on.............................

I suppose I need to look at the positive side - the insulation is sitting in the basement ready to go

To leave you on a positive note I came across this quote and had to share since "it was rather beautiful"