Baby it's cold outside - Beam Love

We worked over the weekend - in the bitter cold.

I would like to just complain about how horrible that was but I am too excited to share with you the big changes we made in the Forever Home. Too many low beams and walls was making this place look so dark. So we contacted the engineer and decided to change some of the beam heights.

Let me remind you and take you back into the time warp for a second.

Before anything was touched. 

Removing the walls and checking what is load bearing. 

New extended beam & the post in which we thought we were going to leave. 

Let's play a game - can you see what's missing in this mess??????

The post is gone!! Go back look at the time warp and now this! 


When ripping the walls apart the post on the right has the height of all of the family members (only 1 owner ever lived here) We installed a new post added our heights and also added the old families heights. 
FUN right! 

The aftermath - the mess - we accept free labour if anybody wants to come over and help clean up. 

Tell me, what do you think of the "Forever Home" changes so far???????


Friday Dreaming - Kindness Take II

If you missed it you need to go back to last week's Friday Dreaming - Kindness post and take a look at a few fellow bloggers who made an impact towards myself when I first started out this little old blog of mine.

Let me tell you, I could probably write a "Friday Dreaming - Kindness" post every Friday because of the number of individuals who have impacted me in a KIND way.

But I am focusing on the first bloggers that I came across and how they helped me to continue on with this journey of writing my own personal online diary as I like to call it.

Alexsandra from Realty Queen - I mean this girl is not just a realty queen, she is a renovating queen as well! She has a list of homes on her blog that she has flipped and sold. I came across her blog early on in my blogging days and instantly loved her style. Most times when you come across somebody who is really great at something and you are just starting out you would think might be a little snobby. Not this girl. She was always so KIND to me. Whenever I needed an opinion on something she would come up with some ideas right away. Go follow her right now! Oh and if you actually need a Realtor I suggest give her a call.

Thalita from The Learner Observer  - Let me tell you a story about this KIND lady. I met Thalita later on my blogging life. Again through twitter - and started following her journey. When I met her for the first time at Blogpodium I was shy and at that time figured she probably totally forgot who I was and what my blog was about. (I pretty much assumed most of that day that nobody knew who I was, therefore refused to give out business cards for fear of that look in somebody face - like who are you??) So I didn't take the opportunity to chat with her more. But she had this radiant smile and just seemed so genuinely friendly. Then we ran into each other at the Princess Margaret House. Yup - she was still the same person! Bubbly and funny that kind of person you know being friends with would be awesome. (OK, im sort of sounding like a creeper here, but there is a story to this) We pretty much follow the same people on twitter and have some many chats and laughs as well as follow each others blogs. One particular day we both joked about how much fun it would be to attend the Chapters Spring Preview event. Well guess what - Thalita got an invite!!!! Pretty awesome eh! It's gets better she could bring a friend and she decided to bring ME! WHAT - she could have asked anybody, a family member, a close friend. BUT nope she knew that I had really really wanted to go and asked me. No more words are needed that should be enough to help you understand what a KIND person she is.

I hope you have a chance to go and follow these ladies!

Before I end this note there are a few other fellow blogging buddies that I just love the follow along and pretty much keep me laughing on our social media platforms so take a second and check out their pretty little spaces on this world wide web of ours.

Alex from Northstory - she's pretty much famous, created an awesome facebook group for us ladies to share ideas and her blog is full of fun craft ideas with a touch of genuine words.

Amy from Love on Sunday - I could just stare at her header on her blog all day,  I love the simplicity of it. Check out her amazing design ideas.

Julia from Home on 129Acres - ummmmm the name of her blog says it all - 129 acres!!! Now that is awesome. They have a pond that is a skating rink in the winter and tractor with a name. Just for those reasons you should follow her.

Cate from Cate Moore - if you are not into following blogs at least go follow her on twitter because her 140 word statements are moving - so that along with her blog just makes you instantly in a happy place all day.

So there you have it....do you have anybody you want to share about??? Please leave a comment below I would love to hear about somebody that maybe I need to be following!

Have a great weekend and be sure to check back on Monday - BIG things happened this week at the "Forever Home"


DIY Home Additions - Part 3

The entrance to the "Forever Home" was probably one of my biggest hates of the house when we purchased it. Imagine walking into the house with no where to place your shoes or coat and walk straight into the kitchen. As well the stairs to the basement were immediately to the left of the door.

There was no grand feature because at that time the focus was on the front of the house which had a 1/2 wrap porch and sliding doors that allowed you a beautiful view of the front yard.

This had to change. We knew right away that an addition would have to be done to create a more welcoming entrance and more space for important storage areas such as a bench with coat hangers, proper closet, powder room, a place to move the stairs, and storage for fire wood.

Here is how the entrance looked when we purchased the "Forever Home"

The main entrance is that door on the side of the house. 

This is the view once you enter the door, to the very right of the picture you can see the door handle of the door to outside. The other door is the powder room and right across the powder room are the stairs. 

As explained above imagine walking in kitchen, dining room, powder room, stairs all in reach of each other.

Basically a home owners nightmare. 

When we were designing the main entrance addition we went through many different layouts.

First we had no plans to move the stairs and the room was only going to be around 200 sq ft. The door would have been removed but not enlarged.

Second layout we decided to enlarge the space so that it did not look off set to the master bedroom addition, so we created a larger 420 sq. ft area but because the master bedroom was going to be 560 sq ft. we decided on a 6 ft over hang to equalize the roof line. Still no plan to move the stairs.

Third, once we realized how much room we had the decision to move the stairs was easy. We spoke with the engineer in how we could break a portion of the wall in the basement and support the upper wall with an extra beam. When pouring the cement for the entrance addition we also added a stair shaft.

The fourth and final layout was that we decided to double the open door space between the the addition and the new house. Again, we consulted with engineer and he advised which extra support would be needed to tear down an extra portion of the wall and create more of an opening.

With the fourth layout we have now moved the stairs completely out of view when you enter. The powder room will no longer be beside the kitchen. Tons of storage space. We also decided to remove the upper glass on the peak of the entrance and leave that all open to the  new entrance.

Over the weekend we finished supporting the over hang by putting up the remaining rafters on the peak (just Branko and I did this) I might have cried a little holding the ladder that Branko was standing on. The remaining plywood was also put up to finally close the entire space.

Here is a view of how it currently stands:

I cannot wait for this room to be fully closed in. The stairs will not be moved for at least another month but having the plywood up really gives us a nice feel for the size of this room!

Have you built anything this weekend? Any tips for us on that over hang? We are still deciding if we want pillars and what sort of porch we will build here.

Hope everybody had a great weekend!


Friday Dreaming - Kindness

I've been reading many posts this week about all of the bullying that is happening among the blogging world and as I was driving home yesterday I thought to myself - screw all those assholes (the bullies) the fact is they aren't going away.

I know my "Friday Dreaming" posts are normally based on things I am dreaming about our "Forever Home" but you know what there has been a lot of kindness that has come along with all of this so it needs to be shared and I hope and dream that going forward more Kindness will appear.

So today's post is going to focus solely on all of the KIND people I have come across through blogging.

When I started all of this I was scared....I mean I am certainly not the best writer and I wasn't making super cool crafts to share. I just wanted to share a journey of building a home with my husband. Just the two of us.

Sooooooooooooooo without further waiting here we go.....

Jeanette from This Dusty House - When I first came across her blog I felt an immediate connection. Her and her husband are on a similar journey of fixing up there home together. I loved the way she shared her thoughts on her blog. I started following her on twitter and she was immediately KIND. We shared some laughs and one day I must meet this lady!

Lynne from Design The Life You Want - I clearly remember the first time Lynne started following me on twitter. I started following her after somebody shared a post of hers ( a very touching one). Then she tweeted me one simple KIND comment about my blog and I was on cloud nine. That's all it took for me to be forever grateful for reaching out to me I no longer felt completely alone.

Barbara from Hodge:Podge - I started following Barbara when I came across one of her showcase posts about Canadian Bloggers. I thought to myself, how KIND is this person! She's not just into the whole blogging thing just for herself but to promote other bloggers as well. One day she tweeted me something along of " I added you to my blogs I love list" WHAT! Thank you Barbara - also she's got some pretty cool design tastes!

Casey from Waffling - I developed a hastag for Casey - #CaseyJustWantsToParty - this just shows you how much we interact over twitter. Casey is one pretty funny lady but she also has a very KIND soul. You feel that as soon as you meet her. (Yes, we've met - YAY for Blogpodium) Casey shares her journey through life on her blog and it's pretty awesome. Make sure you check it out.

There are many more bloggers I would like to highlight so I am going to try and keep this up for next Friday.

Before I end off for today there are 2 more people I would like to give a shout out:

My sister - Andrea - she has helped me figure out the design on my blog and if it wasn't for her it would probably still look really tacky. She is a graphic designer and has some amazing skills. I love her dearly and the person she is molding out to be. She has a KIND heart. Thanks sister!

Thalita  from The Learner Observer - last night you did something so KIND that it made me realize I needed to write this post more than ever today. I will touch base more on Thalita next week and what she did for me.

Please share below the KIND things other bloggers have done for you and your thoughts on this! Let's focus on the positive of this blogging world we share!


Friday Dreaming - Forever Home Time Warp

Many of you may have just recently started following along with our "Forever Home" renovations so I thought today I would take you down a little Time Warp back to the 1970's when this house was completed and exactly how it looked when we bought it 2 years ago.

Fireplace/Living Room


Dining Room

Entrance View

Powder Room


Grey Kitchen (photo link here)

Rustic but fresh living room (picture link here)

Dining Room (picture via http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/

Wide Plank Floor (picture via pinterest - don't hate me OK)  

Massive Front Doors (we own a set just like this from an old church in the Beach or Beaches) 

Master Bedroom Oasis (picture via link here

What do you think?? Can you envision what I am envisioning???

We've already taken down so many walls, gutted the entire house to its bare bones and added 2 additions...next up this weekend tearing the cedar ceilings down! 

Hope you keep follow along this DREAM "Forever Home" transformation with US! 


DIY Home Additions - Part 2

I've been a horrible blogger - every time I thought about providing an update on the "Forever Home" I became lazy because nobody wants to read a blog post with crappy pictures.

We have been working but this cold, ice, rain, snow, more cold, a bit of warmth has really messed us up. The "Forever Home" is on a hill, there fore all building materials need to be lugged up the hill. No easy feat when the hill is now ice covered in snow. It was more like a death trap. Each day we went to work it consisted of the first 2 hours of just prep work. Shovel the ice out the work area and then go lug the materials in place. By the time this was done we needed a break.

The good thing to all of the above is that we are still on schedule for the most part. I believe Branko would wish we were further along but we have no control over the weather conditions so we have to work with what we are getting. (on a side note, Branko worked for 2 days without me in the -20's - I was a wuss and could not bare it)

So lets get to business - the second part to the DIY Home additions. (You can read about the Part 1 here)

The walls and roof:

Step 1: Make sure you measure and are sure where you want those windows!! Branko ordered all of the material as the walls/roof were being built with 2x6's. He measured the length of one section of the wall and built it on the floor in position so it could be lifted into place. This step is fairly easy. Build your wall, nail it together, lift in place, and secure it.

Step 2: Because this is a peaked roof installing the rafters were also an easy task. I carried all of the 2x6's into the work area and while I did that, Branko cut them into the proper length and prepared the top plate on top of the beam where the rafters would be secured. Branko used a high ladder in the middle to reach the top beam and I used a small ladder at the end. Once he was on the ladder I passed the 2x6 to him and would climb the ladder and secure the 2x6 so it wouldn't fall to the ground. It took us 45 min to install 18 rafters.

Step 3: Plywood the walls! Again we worked in a great team effort. I lugged all of the plywood over to our work area and while I did that Branko would mount them on the wall and nail them down. Normally just putting the plywood on the wall would be a 2 person job same as the carrying the plywood. But because there is only 2 of us we had to work a little harder to speed up the process.


Step 4: Plywood the roof. OK, I failed here and Branko pretty much did this entire job himself. I did bring most of the plywood over to the work area but on the last day the wind was just brutal and I gave up. You are probably wondering "How did he lift 50 lb awkward shaped plywood pieces on the roof himself" Well, he's smart(or crazy). He simply nailed down stoppers at the end of the roof line, carried the plywood in place and lunged it on the roof. It couldn't slide down because of the stoppers. Then he used a ladder to get up on the roof and nail them down. Once one piece of plywood was up he would add more stoppers so he could walk safely and nail each plywood piece down.

There you have it! DIY Home Additions Part 2!! I hope this helps push you to complete any large projects you have in place, always remember that if you put your mind to it you can get it done!

On a side note....you might be wondering (or maybe not) about a good old fashion year in review post or some new years resolutions. To be honest, I believe we already have so much pressure on us I don't want to set resolutions as well so here is a list of things that keep my mind spinning in circles:

build a home
sell a home
build a garage
go on vacation
be more healthy 
lose weight 
have kids
be less negative 
worry less
worry less about driving in bad weather
design a home
visit friends more
visit family more

You get the idea. No resolutions for this kid. 

Hope everybody had a great Christmas & New Years!!! Looking forward to 2014 and everything it throws at me.