Monday, 11 December 2017

It's go time!

Just over 1 month ago Jake and I gave ourselves a deadline to have our drywall completed.

We do this from time to time.

The problem is that life usually knocks on the door and offers something way more enticing than renovations so we tactfully ignore the deadline like an acquaintance that just won't take the hint.

Things like... literally anything to do with Christmas!

"We don't want to be rude, but really... we just don't want to hang out okay?!"

Monday, 27 November 2017

We're all winners!

Ever since we bought the house (about a million years ago), Jake and I have been arguing over one particular topic.

The Garden

July 2016

We're both on the same page for what we want, we're just on very different pages on how to get it. 

From day one, Jake has been team "Rip it Out" while I am firmly on team "Save Money and Use What We Have".

Well folks, I am here to tell you that The Great Garden Debate has come to its happy conclusion and with ZERO losers!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The ramblings of a mad woman

Here's the thing.

I'm too excited to write about the stuff that's already happened.

Our first pile of drywall. Brought into the house in August.
That is how far behind I am...

Friday, 3 November 2017

FINALLY! - 2nd floor tour!

Soooo clearly I'm something of a procrastinator.
The downstairs tours were posted way back in May... MAY!

But to make up for it, I'm not going to split the second floor tours up into multiple posts.. I'm just going to go ahead and dump them all here for your viewing pleasure!

Welcome to our second floor!

Monday, 30 October 2017

For the first time in forever...

First, I'm sorry for everyone who just started singing Frozen songs. But it had to be done. 

Because it's official. For the first time in forever, our house is warm!

Insulation is 100% complete.

Main floor bathroom before: 
Main floor bathroom before insulation
Main floor bath after:
Spray foam insulation in main floor bath.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Mixing up the monochromatic - A quick and easy bathroom door improvement!

This is a bit of a deviation from what I've been writing about recently, mainly because it's a decorative improvement in a house that has all its walls...

I cannot wait for the day when I get to do projects like this (well not exactly like this... too modern!) around our own home. But until that day, my mom has commissioned me to do some around her house!

A few months ago (aka in January) my mom had the idea of lining the barn-style door into her laundry room with wallpaper. She looked online and found a good candidate and bought a roll.

It arrived in the mail in February while she was on vacation and I was way too snoopy and excited to just wait for her to get home. So I opened it up and discovered that the roll of wallpaper was not wide enough...

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Impatience is a virtue... right?

REALLY quick note: I got some pie baking in this season after all!

Yay for pumpkin pie!
Now, back to the previously scheduled program.


I can't wait to share this with you.

I probably SHOULD wait.

Because now you're going to get a post that won't have a completed, happy ending.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Toasty Warm

I'm going to blend two topics within this blog post today.

For the extremely simple rational of actually moving forward.


One of our crazy bonfires this summer.

That is what we're going to discuss in very brief and totally unromantic terms. (Post-blog-writing-edit: I seem to have gone on a bit of a tangent and MAYBE this post isn't as brief as originally stated. You have been warned.)

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Leather Year

Happy Anniversary to the only guy who can infuriate me and make me laugh within the course of a single sentence. He's also the only guy who could possibly handle all of my crazy and for that, I am grateful.

Yep! One more year added to the Jake and Alison marriage tally. 3 down, 22 to go! (Or something like that..)

Monday, 28 August 2017

Where do I even begin?!

So much has changed at the house recently that I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what I need to write to catch you guys up. 

I will try my best and start with the electrical.

As I mentioned before, we were frantically trying to get a number of things completed so that electrical work could begin. This included finishing framing up walls and creating a comprehensive map of each room. 

electrical plan
My beauty of an electrical plan for the master bedroom ha ha!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Up to speed

Wow. It has been well over a month since my last post and for that I sincerely apologise.

In my last post, I explained that Jake and I were in "psycho mode" trying to get a million things done by a specific deadline.

That deadline was set because we had booked the electrician in to wire the whole house while we were on vacation (over two weeks of cruising around Scandinavia = pure heaven).

Flight to europe
Just boarded the plane.
Super excited.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Psycho Mode

"What is Psycho Mode?"

Well friend, let me tell you! Psycho Mode is a state in which one is frantically trying to get things ready by a very specific deadline and has neither the time nor the energy to post frequent updates. Especially since the work that is being done is really rather boring. 

It is also what I am using as my excuse for leaving everyone in the dark lately. 

Things are totally happening at the house... it's just that they're kind of happening in random order and with finite levels of completion. 

But for your viewing pleasure, I will take you on the journey that is the main floor bathroom (it will be a quick journey, don't bother even packing a carry-on)


Bathroom Before
Obviously the wall had drywall on it. And a door...

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Yet another hoarding casualty...

Believe it or not, this is a happy post.

I know, the title is depressing. It's accurate too, but this POST is happy.

Trust me.

Why? Because the plumbing is almost done!

Last week the plumber started working on the house. Which meant we went from having these great big dirty cast iron stacks:

I SWEAR I took a real picture of the old stacks... but now I cannot find one anywhere...
Top left corner (in case the red circle didn't give it away)

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Things are happening! - Laying sub-floor upstairs.

We're in the thick of it now friends!

This past Saturday we were able to get a start on removing the flooring upstairs and laying the sub-floor.

Don't panic old house lovers! We're keeping all the best pieces of the flooring and will re-purpose it elsewhere in the house (specifically as back-splash in the kitchen)

Picking up the sub-floor!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Happy Blogiversary to me! - A guide on not killing one's spouse during renovations.

One year. I can't believe I have had this blog for a full year.

When I thought of what I could write about for the anniversary post I was pretty adamant that I didn't want it to be a mere recap of the past year

There's something nice about doing that at the end of the year where you can also take stock on the goals you want to achieve in the year to come. New Years Resolutions and what have you...

But that meant I was stuck. 

It didn't help that I made the realization that the anniversary was coming up only three days ago.

That meant I wouldn't have time to do some crazy, awesome, pinterest-worthy project. 


So instead you get my personal guide (with a little flavour of Jake's input) on how to not kill one another during renovations (and house projects in general).

Friday, 12 May 2017

Video Tour #4 - Kitchen

Our final stop (for now) on our "During Renovations" video tour is the kitchen.

It is the final stop (again, for now) because my phone maxed out on space while I was filming it. So I had to re-do it twice trying to speak faster to get it all in before the video cut out on me.

If this tour comes across as something rather rushed... now you know why!

kitchen video tour

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Video Tour #3 - Office & Bathroom

Third day in a row of posts!

I spoil you.

But really, I filmed all of these on Monday and it's just been a breeze to post them. This is totally the way to run a blog!

Today's tour is of the office and the main floor bathroom (in case the title didn't explain that already).

Office & Bathroom Video Tour

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Video Tour #2 - Dining Room

The next stop on our tour through the house is the Dining Room.

Dining Room Video Tour

I've learned a few things after listening to these videos...
A) I say "kind of" a lot...
B) While I am definitely known in life as a talker apparently when I film myself speaking, I forget things like how to breathe normally. I'm totally not kidding... I was trying to catch my breath for like an hour after doing all of these.
C) There is no logical sense to the order in which I decide to talk about things...

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Video Tour #1 - Living Room

As promised, here is the first of what will hopefully be many video tours.

Living Room Video Tour

Obviously this is in the "during" phase of things.

I asked Jake if he'd help me make these but he started questioning me on why I was doing them at all and that was when I realized I would probably rather be alone while filming them anyway, so I don't feel like a goof... even if I totally am one.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Free is good. - Rain barrels installed!

You know what is awesome? Free stuff.

You know what is even better than awesome? Free stuff you actually want. 

You know what is even better than better than awesome? Free stuff you actually want when you don't have the "pay for it" version hooked up. 

That's right my friends, today we're talking about water!!

As the world becomes more environmentally-friendly and the cost of living goes up people are discovering more and more blended solutions to those issues. Rain barrels have been around for centuries. Back before people didn't have water at the touch of a button, catching rain water was a totally viable option. 

And rain barrels have come a long way. They are now designed with ease of use in mind. But do you know what is not great about them? They are bloody expensive....

List of rain barrels at home depot
Taken from
I set it to sort them from low to high price and these were the lowest.
The highest priced rain barrel on their website is currently $340.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Junk be gone! - A REALLY quick update

Remember this?

Snow crushed gazebo
My glorious protector from the sun met an early demise this winter.

When the gazebo fell over from the weight of the snow, Jake dismantled it immediately and stacked it in front of the barbecue until we could take it to the dump.

We never took it to the dump.

It's just sat there. Month after month.

Ignored because it was out of the way and out of our line of sight.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Bit by tiny bit - GARDEN UPDATE!

On Saturday, after Jake and I built the wall in the living room, we were cold. Even though it was really quite lovely outside, inside the house was bitter.

We wanted to stay productive but we also wanted to feel our fingers again, so we opted to work in the backyard for a bit.

Daffodils in the backyard.

Then Monday rolled around and Jake needed to cut the grass.

Obviously I didn't want to be stuck in the dirty (it had gotten quite messy) house so I decided to bring our backyard successes to the front yard where the neighbourhood could see them.(And maybe then the neighbourhood would think that the people who owned the house actually DID care about it, even if said people killed the grass last year by throwing lath all over it and leaving it for months on end....)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Like a boss! For one day...

First, a confession.

I feel like a fraud. A DIY blogging phony!!

Jake and I decided to hire some work out. And by some I mean, all of the plumbing, electrical, and drywall.

We were originally scared off by the crazy prices of hiring that stuff out, but if we want to actually live in the house some time this century, we have to make concessions somewhere. And those concessions are officially blowing any kind of budget we had out of the water.

So if you are our friends/family and happen to read this (looking at you Liz...) just know that we will be dirt poor for the foreseeable future. Ergo, no spending money.

Now, onto the happy and fun stuff!


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The tour I never gave you

Lately I've been toying with the idea of giving you guys a video tour of the house as it currently is. AKA in complete renovation-mode.

It would totally appease my vanity by allowing me to be narrator/host. Plus it would give me more blog content while Jake and I wade through this tediously slow part of renovating.

So I think I might do that.

But thinking about how I actually should do that, I realised that I never took you on a photo tour of what the entire house looked like before.

If I was any kind of GOOD blogger I would have taken a million more pictures than I did (I was too excited to get started when we bought the house) and I would have done this months ago.. but alas, here we are...

So sit back and get comfortable, because this is one doozy of a post!


Monday, 17 April 2017

Random updates! (Plus something tiny in the grand scheme of things but feels like a big step)

A little while back I posted this photo to my instagram account:

With the following caption:

Finished tearing up the living room floor yesterday and we discovered sections that were stained! I wonder if this is the original colour or if someone tried it but didn't like it? I can't figure out why there's only a few sections that are stained and the rest is sanded down. Once we clean up the floors I'll take a picture of it all to show you, but just with this picture as your guide, anyone have an idea? 

Monday, 10 April 2017

First sunburn of the season and happier neighbours

This weekend Jake and I had all sorts of plans for working on the house.

And if you've followed along in our journey at all, you'll know that nearly all plans we make regarding the house change... like... a lot.

Plans changing completely. = This weekend.

We started checking things off our list like normal. Did a dump run, went to the house to calculate how much lumber we needed to pick up to finish blocking the living room ceiling, and then we saw that Home Depot had a great deal on rakes.

$10 for a 24" rake? Yes please!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Bad weather means I get sidetracked

Earlier this week I posted this picture to instagram by way of explaining why I couldn't finish painting my vanity light:

Rainy days
Well last night things progressed to snow, and this was the view I was greeted by when I got to work this morning:

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Rain... you're ruining my blogging capabilities

A few weeks ago, the day after I lost out on that gorgeous antique desk, I showed Jake another ad on Kijiji, hoping he could see what I saw.

I'm still keeping my eye out for another beauty like this.
After a little bit of convincing, Jake picked up this vanity light for a measly $10.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Under the old flooring is even older flooring!

As you all know, Jake and I are putting in new flooring throughout the house. I'm not going to go into detail on WHY we're doing that, mainly because I already have. But also because I don't want to derail the point of this post.

The flooring we bought.

I think I've already derailed it...

Monday, 20 March 2017

In which I try a new tool but chicken out

If you've been following my blog at all you'll know that I've been working on something called blocking for like... ever.

I've even got a whole post about the first wall I did (which was way back in September... oh man that makes me feel uncomfortable).

And if you follow me on instagram or facebook you'll have seen this picture a few weeks ago:

Tap, tap, tapparoo!
Needless to say... blocking takes a while to do. Not that I have been working on it non-stop since September of course, but it's a rather slow process.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The great perfume bottle fiasco of 2017

Sounds ominous doesn't it?

It totally was.

I mean, not REALLY, but I definitely felt stupid.

Let me bring you up to speed.

If you remember, when Jake and I last went antiquing we came home with some pretty cool things. Once of which was this totally awesome perfume bottle:

Gorgeous beast of a perfume bottle.
One day I'll get a delicate little one.
But today is not that day.
I had no clue what was in the bottle previously, so before I added my own perfume, I wanted to make sure that it was cleaned and sanitized.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Antiquing, or, buying things you didn't account for because you couldn't find the thing you needed.

As I mentioned in my last post (which was a while ago... ) Jake and I recently went antiquing, one of our favourite pastimes. I know... we're ancient.

I can't remember now why we weren't at the house, but I'm sure there was a perfectly valid reason for slacking. *cough*

We went out with the express intent to buy a new, old, newel post. In my constant "things for the house" research I came across a salvage shop in St Jacobs that people seemed to love.

I started following them on facebook and decided to message them to see if they had any newel posts in stock. In less than a day I got a response back saying that yes, they did, and then they sent me some pictures!

I kept falling for the over-the-top ornate ones (seen in pictures below)
Jake was far more sensible and liked the light one in the middle of this picture.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Sometimes it's just not meant to be

I have a bad habit. A really bad habit.

No, it's not smoking. Or texting while driving (I've FINALLY broken that one. Much to Jake's delight).

No, my bad habit is browsing. The "window shopping" of the internet world.

When I am bored, I like to shop. And since getting married and suddenly having real bills, I can't just go buy clothes and shoes. So for two years I could only really get my fix leading up to Christmas. That was the glorious time when I suddenly felt like the justification to spend money on something other than practical things existed.

Then Jake and I bought a house.

A lovely, old house.

That we were gutting, true, but only to bring back that beautiful old charm.

That's when the bad habit struck back with the vengeance of two years in exile.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Syrup Season 2017 - Tapping the trees!

As I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, my parents live on 47 acres in the country on a maple farm. It's just a hobby farm, but every year we do roughly 1,200 taps. And since Ontario made Family Day a thing, it has become our tradition that Family Day Weekend is the time we all go to my parents and tap the trees.

My cousin, Spencer, drilling into a tree close to the Sugar Shack.

Friday, 17 February 2017

It's the little things in life

As I mentioned before, Jake and I spent our Valentine's Day framing up the doorway to the master bathroom. And strangely enough, this was the best Valentine's Day I've ever had (honestly, I loved it)... so Jake has set the bar REAL low for the future (his master plan I'm sure).

We had planned on framing up the door and then working on a bunch of blocking, but we only managed to get the door done. Why? Because one of the most evil things known to mankind intervened.


Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

Original entrance to the back bedroom. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

So beautiful I could cry

Happy Valentine's day! Jake and I are spending the evening framing up the new doorway into our master bathroom. Super romantic, don't be too jealous! (I'm actually really excited to be getting this done ha ha. I've become so lame)

This past weekend we FINALLY finished demolition in the master bathroom.

You honestly have no idea how utterly thrilled this makes me. This room has been the thorn in our side for quite a while, mainly because we hit a snag and then suddenly didn't want to deal with plaster, or lath, or insulation anymore.

But it is done!

Let's go through it all from the beginning (I can't believe I'm doing a "before" and "after" for this room when literally all that is done is demo... but THAT is how happy it makes me)

Entry to the back bedroom/bathroom.
This is directly at the top of the stairs and will be the future home of our master bathroom!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Too many ideas to pick just one!

When thinking of the design of our dining room, Jake and I have similar ideas on what it should look like in general, but how we achieve that look seems to differ. Jake had suggested using stencils to get our ideal look and at first I was hesitant to go that route (I was leaning more toward wallpaper).

Just search "glamourous wallpaper" and you will not be disappointed.
Photo credit

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Why we're doing what we're doing

I read a lot of old home renovation blogs. In the past year it has become something of an obsession. I adore binge-reading them and as I stated in my very first post they are part of the reason I wanted to buy an old house myself.

There are certain bloggers who are complete "renovators" and then there are die-hard "preservationists" and of course my favourites tend to lie right in the middle of those two extremes.

I would like to think that Jake and I fall in the middle somewhere, but perhaps leaning a bit more toward the "renovator" side of the spectrum.

To all of the old house purists and hardcore preservationists, here are our reasons for doing what we've done (which I'm sure is very appalling to most of you).

Monday, 6 February 2017

A necessary sidetrack

This weekend we had a very specific list for what we wanted to achieve at the house:
1. Measure the holes in the floor of the master bathroom and lay (and secure) plywood in them
2. Finish demolishing the master bathroom (holes covered so the debris won't fall down into the study)
3. Finish removing nails everywhere
4. Map out electrical
5. Pick up lumber and tools for dry rot replacement

We got a solid two and a half things done on that list. Sunday kind of threw us a bit of a curveball when we arrived at the house ready to finally finish the master bathroom and discovered that the door wouldn't unlock. 


We couldn't get into the house.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Many hands make light work

If you follow me on Instagram  or Facebook  you'll have seen my photo of the bracing wall that was erected in the living room this past Sunday and a brief description of the things we got done that weekend.

If you don't follow me on those social media platforms, you should. No, really. You should. Not even just for my own vanity's sake (although that is a REALLY important factor).

I post things on Instagram and Facebook that don't necessarily warrant a full blog post so you can see progress or fascinating finds or (I've decided this is going to be a new aspect) beautiful architecture that I come across without having to endure my endless talking.

BUT have no fear if you missed the photo mentioned above because here it is:

A view of the new bracing wall that was put up in the living room, looking toward the kitchen.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Hidden talent: Jake's hand made bench PART II

So as I've said before, I don't have any photos of this bench "in progress" because Jake didn't know he needed to take them. He has since learned of this necessity.

As a result, all photos will be of the bench after its completion (graciously taken by Jake's sister). I will ensure that they correlate to that particular step as much as possible.

Without further ado, here is how Jake made the bench! (An account as best as he could remember it)

We left off with owning a live-edge piece of wood and too many ideas of what we ought to do with it.

A couple of pieces of the live-edge wood.

After a while, Jake and I agreed that he should make something for his sister (we weren't sure what we wanted for ourselves at this point and didn't want to commit to something without knowing exactly where it would go in our house).

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Inspiration: Jake's hand-made bench PART I

Okay! Two things!

First: I interviewed Jake for his "Public Service Announcement" but we both agreed that we'll save his winterising advice for next year... BEFORE winter actually hits.

Second: As promised, here is the beginnings of a step-by-step guide that Jake gave to me (to the best of his memory anyway) to building the beautiful bench he made for his sister.

How to make a live-edge bench
The bench in all its glory!
So to begin, my parents "renovated" their home this past year. I use the term "renovated" quite loosely because what they did was tear down their old home and then build a brand new one. (I know I've promised a post on their new house but my mom doesn't have it furnished and stylised on the inside quite how she wants it yet and being of the same mind as her, I won't post pictures of it until it's what she wants. I might do the odd post here and there about elements that have been completed though)