Seedy Sunday – Our Starters

We started planting some starters today.

We started various squash, peas, melons, sunflowers, cucs, chard, kale and pumpkins.  We used Westcoast Seeds at the recommendation of my sister in law at Many Hands Farms.

LINK to their site on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Many-Hands-Farm/264794086932497)

WEBSITE for WestCoast Seeds:  http://www.westcoastseeds.com/#sthash.Hd1YBf5T.dpbs

This is our first time doing starters and we picked out some beautiful varieties.  I can’t wait to be able to walk out to my garden, grab some food and cook it!  Hmmmm…..

 

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Happy Planting,

 

“US”

losing “the one” only to find the “right one.”

Isn’t it funny how things have a way of working themselves out?

Just the very day after we lost “the one”, another home came on the market.  Better location, better house, beautiful property and walking distance to some key places for us.  (rec centre, farms, stores, pub, school, etc).  It was a bit more price-wise than the other but it definitely was special.  As we walked around the property, I knew instantly why we didn’t get the other house — because the other house wasn’t “the one”, this one was…

The stars just happened to align for us in that we were the first and only showing that day with everyone else being shown tomorrow (and there were several others lined up to view it).

We offered, they accepted and we are SO excited to start living and creating at our new “hobby farm”.

We plan on doing veggies, some chickens, maybe some bees…  Either way, we have finally after 6 years found a place that truly feels like “home” to us all and we are so excited to begin to put our touches on this gem.  Its perfect for us and we couldn’t be happier!

 

Our new Farmhouse!

 

Look at this gorgeous backyard!

 

We take possession at the end of June and can’t wait!!!!  This summer is going to be a fantastic one!

 

Losing “The One”

In the past 6 years house hunting, I haven’t really come across a house that Ive walked in and said:  This feels like “home”.

That happened today…

At first glance, the house wasn’t so impressive.  I mean, it was nice enough, but not spectacular and certainly not on par with our current home as far as curb appeal goes.  It was on a busy street and the MLS photos didn’t look very impressive but the size of the lot, floor plan and write up made it worth viewing.  When I first pulled in I thought that it was nice enough but the road in front was very busy, and noisy.  Chris and our realtor were already there in the backyard so I headed to the rear.  As I rounded the corner I immediately knew I wanted to offer.  A cosmetically appealing garage with fully fenced in veggie garden and very nice chicken coops made up the rear of the back yard.  In between was a lovely manicured yard that met up with a concrete patio, water feature and a huge wrap around deck with pool.  It was immaculate.  As soon as I saw my husband I said: let’s offer.

As I walked throughout the house, I noticed some things that were awry: no open kitchen and a mish mash of flooring throughout. Light woods, dark woods, tile, carpets.  Blech!  Yet, the space was there and it reminded me of my home in Southwestern Ontario.  I wanted it.  Bad.  And the more we walked around, the more I felt “it”.  It was a different feeling in that it felt like it could be a forever home because it was the first time I had the feeling of “home”.

We knew that it would go quick and we were told two others had viewed and one was offering.  It was the homes first day on the market!  Knowing this we had to put our best foot forward.  Chris and I haggled a bit at what we should offer and Chris and my realtor were siding against me on a few things so I reluctantly agreed and we put together a solid clean offer and waited… and waited.  Honestly though, even though it wasn’t what I thought we should offer, I wasn’t even fretting because I stubbornly and arrogantly assumed that we would get it.  We usually do… Plus, I figured our offer was going to be too good to pass up.

When our realtor called to tell us we didn’t get it, I was crushed, then I was angry.  I stomped upstairs shooting a dirty look in my husbands direction (because I had said we should go 5 grand higher and we didn’t and the other party did.)  He followed me upstairs yelling back at me and I hollered that it was the only house I’ve ever wanted and he retorted that I say that about every house that to which I threw him an incredulous look and a few choice words. (its true though… I think I have said that for every house we have ever offered on.  Im certain I said that about Moss… Rhapsody… Dysart… you get the idea).

Anyhow, after I calmed down I realized it clearly wasn’t meant to be and figured if I kept telling myself I didn’t really want it then I might start believing that.  I apologized to Chris for raising my voice and acting like a spoiled brat.  He was just upset that we didn’t get the house that I so dearly wanted.  He knew that this one WAS different then the others I had looked at in the past and that we were for once, actually looking to make a home.  Our realtor also was pretty choked he wasn’t able to secure this home for us.

I am a believer that things happen for a reason and I did learn a good lesson out of all of this.  The lesson I learned was that Im usually right (actually that is not the lesson as Ive always generally found that) and the next time we offer, I am calling the shots and making sure the offer is done MY way if we go up bidding against someone else.  Of course I didn’t tell Chris that… but he will read it here 😉

All kidding aside:  Ive readjusted my attitude and onwards and upwards with the search.  Sometimes, things really just are not meant to be…

Hide and Seek- Perfect Home we WILL find you!!!

As we start our search for a new home (ok, let’s be honest here… we are addicted to MLS and the search is never-ending).

But even as veterans in this “fun hobby” we call of ours, frustrations exist.

First of all lets be clear in stating the Pacific Northwest has the mildest weather in Canada.  Up here in the land of igloos, hockey and lumberjacks lies a real gem:  Vancouver Island.

Its a place where you can surf, golf and ski all in one weekend, or possible day.  (bucket list maybe?!)  Some of the Islanders even think it is so tropical they plan palm trees in their yards!  (not us, my husband is obsessed with bamboo!)

All this makes for expensive cost of living.

The housing market here can be tricky and a real challenge to find a decent house in a desirable area for a reasonable price.  Be prepared to give your arm, leg and unborn child – not to mention every last penny!  Ok, maybe thats a slight exaggeration but only just!

The way that we are able to do what we do is by watching the market very closely for properties with excellent opportunity to make a great home.  We don’t have a disposable income, so for us, finding that diamond in the rough is how we are able to transform our spaces.

Since having our daughter, we have wanted a hobby farm with close proximity to the city (shouldn’t be hard right? HA!).  We love the thought of an idyllic country life (and I, Alison, grew up living just that life!), but being in town and able to walk to all amenities is also a value to us as well.  In a perfect world we’d have both city and country life combined, but I know thats like finding a needle in a haystack.  Factor in budget and your looking at virtually impossible for us!  (though I am a dreamer and will never say never!)

Our wish list for this search and new home is:

-flat, sun drenched USEABLE land.

-a property (acre or two?) for veggies, fruit trees, chickens and a pony.  What?!  Every little girl needs a pony, didn’t you know???

-a home with nice flow (we really don’t want to have to start taking down walls to reconfigure a lay-out)

-rec/family space separate from the living room.

-large kitchen space (or the possibility for it)

-suite potential (income or visitors)

-close proximity to town (be great to walk to restaurants or pubs… I feel a bit like an idiot saying I want to live farm life in the city but hey! one can dream can’t I?)

-Chris wants a workshop/man cave.

We have yet to find anything that really fits the bill.  We have been viewing a mish mash of houses and looking a fixers and acreages alike.  Problem is the lay-outs don’t work, they are overpriced, or too far out of town.  Finding that special place seems near impossible.  And it very well may be!  Our approach has been that we will not narrow down to a specific part of town or type of home and instead will keep on the look out for anything that appeals to us.  We figure when we know, we will know.  But ideally, we would love a little hobby farm but also know this may not be realistic for us and we could wind up with the opposite!

One thing that I don’t particularly like about the search this time is that at this point deals are not to be had.  Because our market has softened but many refuse to admit it there is a lot of overpriced homes on the market.  This means that when a quality listing comes up you need to act fast and be prepared to go in aggressive.

So far nothing has caught our eyes that has really truly wowed us.  Thats not to say we didn’t offer on a house already because we actually did.!  We offered on a property with a large yard and lots of square footage.  The problems was it was farther then we wanted to go and every square inch needed to be touched (at this point I was still fixated on having a BIG home.  I really wanted the walk in closet and ensuite and wasn’t sure I was prepared to give up all our square footage!).  Add to the fact it was overpriced.  We submitted what we believed to be a fair offer but no agreement could be made so both parties walked.  The house has the  potential to be glorious but I think for us we would have bitten off more then we could chew.  In retrospect, I am so glad it didn’t work out.  It was a good house, but not the one for us.  We will keep our eye on it and see what happens in the coming months.  If they can bring the price to where it is agreeable for us then it might be a contender.

Either way, I am feeling excited about this particular house search.  This will be the 6th house for us in our 7 years together and we really do want something that we can sink our teeth into and put some roots down.  This time around we are ready to create a home for US.  In the past, we have simply created homes for the next person.  Our way of thinking has been more along the lines of: polish it up, show it off, and proudly present it to a new homeowner who loves what we have done.  There is pride associated with our homes but no emotional attachment.

This time I want to make a home for us and that may be why this search seems like the most important one of all.  I feel like we will find something special and we have agreed to go with our heart and gut this time instead of our brains and numbers.  Just having this approach should make for an interesting search!

Welcome along for what is sure to be an interesting ride!

 

Listed and Sold – over asking 1 day on the market!!!

I can’t believe it sold in one day.  Well, actually – scratch that- I can.  This place is the definition of luxurious living and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sad to leave it!  The House is simply STUNNING and so well built.  It is custom from top to bottom and I’m pretty sure we will never live in anything like it again.

As much as I admit to being a bit sad to leave my massive ensuite, expansive walk in closet and gorgeous kitchen, it has always felt just a bit too fancy for us.

From the moment we saw it online, it awed us and living in it has been so wonderful.  Huge expansive rooms, this house had nothing to do but move in… and therein lies the problem for us.

We are creative by nature but all the creative work has been done here.  And its been done perfectly, maybe too perfect.  For us, anyways.

To give you a glimpse of just how lovely RHAPSODY was Ive attached a few photos.  These photos are not doctored or photoshopped.  The home is THIS lovely!  We sure will miss it!

 

The RHAPSODY e8ce985139b8ad3b394bbc7391c09787

 

Home is Where the Heart is….

Its been a long time coming but we have finally decided to start a blog detailing our passion and love: beautifying houses.  We don’t do this for a living but since 2007 we have bought, renovated, and beautified 5 houses:  for fun, for kicks… because we like it!

Crazy, you may say?

Well for us, there is nothing more satisfying then seeing potential in what others shake their heads and think: no way.

When I go through a home, I can feel the life there and to me there is nothing more satisfying then watching your house “bloom”.