You've Got Mail.....

Came into work to open up an email from Branko....

Whenever the email subject line says  "SCHEDULE" I know we are back in business.. 

My weekends of slacking, taking afternoon naps, frolicking around the city in my free gas driving car, and pretty much doing nothing to the point of boredom days are over. 
Say Hello to "Boss" he usually monitors what we are doing and enjoys taking breaks with me.  

To be honest...I'm pretty happy about this because seeing the "Forever Home" come together is going to be very exciting. 

So here it is kids....the start of schedules and busy weekends. 


Take important note to the excitement Branko has with the fact that the truck is back up and running!  

Hope you all stick around for the ride!! 


Forever Home Update

It's time Branko and I kick it into high gear and start working on our "Forever Home". We have some major decisions to make in the next couple of weeks in regards to the layout of the house and trying to figure out how we are going to move the stairs. 

I must say it has been challenging! Last night we went over to the house and started measuring the 2 additions. One where the current main entrance is and one on the opposite end. We would like to have the drawings approved and get started on the base and framing.

Currently you walk into the house and straight into the kitchen, as soon as you walk in to the left are the stairs. The stair location right now is very awkward, you almost can't even see them when you walk into the house and we feel in the future it will be a real hazard. If we have people over I will always be worried that they might take a misstep and fall down the stairs, if we have kids I'm sure they will fall down the stairs, when we are grey and old WE will probably fall down the stairs. They also take up some extra dining space that I would like to have back so that I can properly fit our dining table to align with the window.

The plan was to make a 100 sq.ft addition to the entrance and create a nice foyer with storage room for firewood, pet food, jackets, shoes...you get the idea. The other end was going to be a 500 sq.ft addition for a master bedroom with an walk-in-closet and large bathroom.

After some serious thinking we realized both ends need to be the same size in order for the front of the house to still look consistent. We decided that an equal amount of 420 sq. ft on each side will work well for what we need. This now leads us with an option to try and move the current stair location into the foyer facing a different direction and completely out of the way.

The complexity of this is obviously way more then we planned for but since we plan on staying here forever then we may as well do this right.

We are not sure if this will fully work yet, once we speak to some family members and the engineer we will have a better idea of any problems that we could potentially run into and then decide if we should move the stairs.

Here is a shot of the front of the house to give you a better idea of what we are trying to achieve in regards to aesthetics from the outside.

The idea is to have the additions up before winter that way we can work inside over the winter and have the upper floor completed by next year.

If you have any ideas please feel free to through them out there!! 


Friday Dreaming....Vacation

Venice, Florida

This is our "Home" away from home vacation spot.

Before we owned 2 homes and divulged ourselves into a sea of renovating we would drive down twice a year since we had a place to stay and drove for free it was a very affordable vacation. 

I miss the sunsets. 

Don't get me wrong, we've taken time off and mini vacations. But nothing is the same as this place and how it makes us feel. 

We plan to go back soon...

But until then I can Dream.....


Weekend Things....

I wish I could say we did a bunch of things this weekend but truth be told we didn't. Well we did work at the new house and cut some more bushes down to go forward with the landscaping outside. But we really did not get done as much as we would have liked. 

I was sick all week and right through the weekend, this darn cold has really worn me down. Yesterday I took a 3 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon. So unusual for me. 

I managed to finally make my first Beet Smoothie. You can find the recipe here. Although I changed it up a bit...I removed the Kefir and added 1 cup almond milk and added 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. 

I also forced myself out of my house on Sat. and met up with my mom in Burlington. My only purchase from Sears as I went to use the ladies room and was passing these...

Mini Milk Jugs...how cute! They were only $3.99 and I figured they will be handy when you have people over and put milk out on the table for coffee. 

I also made a small purchase on Thurs...a Mint Blazer! (To my husband, it was on sale!) But I had a mini breakdown when I came home and tried it on with my maxi dress and realized that after I washed the dress as per instructions it shrunk a little. You can't really tell in the picture but it is shorter then before. Ahhhhh well  still going to wear it! (Also, this picture is just horrible...my sister is probably cursing right now as she reads this) 

And finally a quote that I enjoyed today....

Hope everybody had a great weekend! 


Friday Dreaming....The Master Bathroom

I am loving this vanity and mirror...

(above picture sourced via http://pinterest.com/pin/118430665174051248/)

Now because we don't have millions of dollars to spend on what ever I want we will have to be creative and use things we have...like this antique side dining hutch:

Isn't it stunning! The plan is to remove the top(it's not even secured down) and replace it with a marble counterop. The middle part pops out and is perfect for one nice square sink. We also want to refinish the colours on the vanity(although Branko would prefer to leave it as is). 

Here is another picture of the detailed carving:

 We also have this antique gold plastered mirror. It does need some work as well but we know a few people who might be able to help us out..

This bathroom will be large enough for a stand up shower and a soaker tub. We will probably go with something a little more affordable but the below soaker tub is too stunning to not post:

(above picture sourced via http://pinterest.com/pin/118430665174057185/)

Feel free to go on over to my Pinterest Bathroom Board here. I have a few more pictures pinned of large mirrors and vanities that I am dreaming about!

Any master bathroom tips for me?? Would you transform those beautiful pieces above or leave them as they are?


Lets Get Real.....The Veggie Oil Talk

I've realized something about my blog....you may know that we renovate homes and work like crazy people but other than that I have not talked about much else around here. "LETS GET REAL" will be sort of a mini series that will pop up here and there and I will mostly talk about something unique about myself or Branko so you can get to know us better! 

Hope you enjoy! 

Us as kids....

One of the most unique things is that we drive our cars on used vegetable oil. 

what, what, what.....you say! 

When Branko first moved out to the country he knew his gas guzzling car was not going to be affordable any more so he started doing some research and came across the website Grease Car

The quick story is if you have a diesel car(mainly older models) ours are both 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wagons that run on Diesel you can purchase a conversion kit from Grease Car and install it in your car. A separate tank comes with the kit that is installed in the wheel well usually in the trunk and an on/off/flush switch is provided to install on the dashboard(or where you prefer) ours is installed under the radio where it's hidden. The kit allows you to run your car on both diesel and oil so if you run out of one or the other you always have a back up! 

This is what the kit looks like

Actually, you always need to have diesel in the car. When you first start your car it needs to run on diesel for at least 1 min before you can switch it to oil. This allows the veggie oil to heat up prior to it running through the hoses. This will prevent anything from clogging as you know when vegetable oil gets cold it will thicken up. Same goes for when you are about to turn the car off for a long period of time. You hit the switch to flush out the oil and then on to diesel for about 30 seconds. 

In the summer time when you are running errands, you normally don't have to switch to diesel because the oil always stays warm. 

It can work on both automatic or standard cars. 

It does not change the effectiveness of your speed. 

It burns roughly the same amount as diesel would. 

The kit which you order from Grease Car cost just over $1500(they were around $1000 when we purchased them). Branko is pretty handy dandy with cars(it's his hobby to work on classic cars) so he was able to learn and install the kit himself. The kit takes about 6 hours to install.  

Now of course like anything else there is some extra work to be able to do this, one of things is you must do is filter the oil. Grease car also sells these filtration systems so you can filter the oil or you can construct your own. 

We have been driving our cars on vegetable oil for over 6 years! We save between the 2 of us at least $10,000 a year on gas!! 

Now do we plan on doing this forever, probably not but for now its works and it works well so no point in stopping! 

If you take a look at the Grease Car website it provides a list of the types of cars that can run on this system.  If you have any questions for me feel free to leave them below and I will respond. 

Sooooo there you have it!  Now whenever I tweet something like "the squirrels ate through our veggie oil line" (Lynne I bet you can relate to pestering squirrels!!!) you will know what I'm talking about! 

Please keep in mind this post was not sponsored by Grease Car and all opinions and thoughts are my own. 


Friday Dreaming.....The Dining Room

It's that time again...the Dining Room. 

The dining room, kitchen and living room are all open to each other in the new house which I absolutely love! 

 Friday Dreaming short and sweet....

The table has already been made...it's a beautiful 6(or 8 if we need) setting table made out of solid pine wood. We had 2 craftsmen custom make the table for us from wood that we purchased off of Kijiji for $150. In total the table cost just over $1000. 

What to do for chairs is still up in the air but we did acquire some antique chairs that am I thinking about refinishing and re-upholstering.

We figured out that they might be late 1800's or early 1900's Spanish style chairs. We have 12 of them! I plan on having 6 of them stained and fixed by the same craftsmen who built our table and then we will re-upholster the cushions.

I really like this fabric colour from tonic living

  When it comes to light fixtures I keep on leaning towards the lantern styles.

Last but not least I am really hoping I find the courage to paint one wall a navy blue...although there have been days where I just want to paint the entire house white so who knows.

Anything about your dining room that you love/hate? Have you ever used such a dark colour and regretted it?? I plan on sticking to mainly white and light colours in all other areas.


Canada Day Long Weekend Re-Cap

If you've been following along around here for a while you will probably think that we worked like crazy people all weekend. That we completed some long list of things that needed to be done....


Guess What......

We functioned like normal people over the weekend! We had guests over, we hiked our trails at the new home, we took a cruise in the Cutlass, we met somebody new(which actually felt like hanging out with friends we've known forever) and we worked one day at the new house. 

Saturday was filled with baking healthy treats and having some visitors over. My brother-in-law came up with his girlfriend Caitlin....Well Dr.Caitlin now! 

Congrats on graduating from chiropractor school and becoming certified! 

(Caity: I totally stole this picture from your facebook page, you can kill me later!)

This was the first time I ventured into our 50 acres, Branko has been twice already. The trails are awesome and the trees are huge(at least 100feet) I wish I had brought a camera with me but we will be going back there more often now so pictures are sure to come! 

Sunday morning was spent cleaning our cars and being officially lazy. We had made plans to go for a cruise and meet Lynne (you MUST check out her site here http://www.lynneknowlton.com) She is funny, welcoming, caring, did I mention funny?, has a beautiful home and a beautiful family. 

We hung out for most of the day in her stunning treehouse...you can also follow Lynne on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DesignTheLifeYouWantToLive)

I did not want to leave that hammock(poor Lynne gave up the spot for me and I'm pretty sure I didn't budge for hours) 

There are moments in your life when you meet somebody and feel truly inspired. Her home is filled with love and her Husband Michael welcomed us even though we have never met before. Her children are outgoing and happy. You can instantly see the respect they have for their parents. I wish I had taken some pictures but was so caught up in conversation that I didn't even think about it.  

I could probably go on for ever about what an amazing day this was, I hope that this friendship will build and be long lasting. I feel like I have so much I can learn from Lynne.


PS. and thank you for letting us overstay our visit! 

Monday was spent working on the new home and some of the landscaping. 

The grass was in dire need of a cut and after 6 hours on the lawn mower the front 3 acres was looking much better(I've already advised Branko that once the old house sells we are investing in a better lawn mower!)

Grass Before:

Grass After:

We also needed to start hacking away at the crazy bushes that have grown out of control! 

Bushes Before:

Bushes After:

Exciting Right! 

I cannot wait for all of them to be gone! The house will look so much bigger and feel more clean. Next year we plan on some major landscaping projects like re-doing the entire deck and creating some beautiful landscaping in the front. 

We hope to use some large boulder rocks and create something like this:

Well with that said I hope everybody has a great short week! 

Also....don't forget at the top right hand corner of my page you can follow me on Bloglovin using the link!