Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Day of Work!

It's here! My last day of work has finally arrived!!! I've been dreaming of this day for almost 3 years now and it has finally come.

But now that it's here, I'm kind of sad. While I'm excited for this adventure I'm starting on, it's always a little sad to close a chapter of your life.

I've worked in this office for almost four years. Seven hours a day, five days a week, 49 weeks of the year.

I'm sad to leave my beautiful desk behind, the cheery office, the friendly coworkers. This has been such a huge part of my life these past four years.


But I am on to bigger and better things. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a good and important step. This is what I want and I don't think I will regret it.

It's not like I'm moving away. I'll still be able to come in and visit every once in a while. And I know I'll keep in touch with at least one coworker.

So good bye job that has served me well. I shall miss you in some ways.

New life adventure, here I come!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 Goals: Progress Report #2

Time for another goal update! We're now halfway through the year and I think I'm making decent progress on my goals so far. Although I know that the next six months will fly by so I really need to step up on some of these!

1. Make my own cleaning supplies I'm still working on this one. I have purchased some of the "ingredients" and just need to pick up some spray bottles and a few more things. Honestly though, I just have to start switching over instead of putting it off. 

2. Buy more locally grown food Once again, it's still happening. We have our 1/4 cow in the freezer and are looking at getting 1/2 a pig in the fall. We have also been buying more and more produce from the Farmer's Market and will soon be harvesting our own veggies.

3. Take a yoga class I took a hot yoga class back in April and actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

4. Read 10 books Done! I think I might have to up my goal though, since I'll most definitely be reading more in the next six months!

5. Quit my job As of tomorrow, I'm done!

6. Gain 10 pounds I've gained 5 but seem to be stuck there. At least I'm maintaining but it's frustrating not being able to gain any more.

7. Reupholster couch cushions No progress here. I really need to get on this.

8. Have an herb garden It's planted but not looking as promising as I had hoped.

9. Learn to parallel park No progress.

10. Plant a hedge and build a fence The hedge is planted and the fence should be coming soon.

11. Learn to live on one income The real test is about to start! As of tomorrow, we are officially down to one income.

12. Raise and sell meat birds We raised and sold 19 just last week. We have another batch of 25 chicks that are arriving today, to sell some more and keep some for ourselves. But since we already completed one batch, I'm crossing it off.

13. Try 10 new recipes I've tried five so far. So halfway to ten, halfway through the year!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's Growing Wednesday

Time to show off my garden's growth this past week! I'm actually pretty impressed with how things have just shot up, especially the zucchini.


I now have to take two pictures of the garden since the potatoes are so big it blocks the view of the other half.

 The zucchini seems to be doing well, despite the rough start it had to life. The leaves have just exploded! Although it is still looking sad.


The cucumber plants are doing okay. The new ones are popping up and hopefully survive whatever bug ate the first two plantings.


A tomato is growing
 Our beans are doing well and I can't wait to get the first fresh beans in the next couple weeks.


Our smaller tomato plants
 Our pepper plants are starting to flower, which is super exciting! Yay for colourful peppers later in the summer!


Our carrots aren't doing too well though, I'm going to have to replant some or else my carrot crop this summer is going to suck. I really have to get on that though.


Potato plants!

And this is all the grew in my gutter herb garden, just two tiny basil plants. I'm pretty sure it's because I didn't water them for a full week and they dried out. Oops! I'm thinking I might pick up some plants from the Farmer's Market and become a little more faithful at watering them. I still want herbs.


  It's looking better and better each week, wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day on the Water

We spent Sunday afternoon leisurely cruising down the river. It was the perfect day for a boat ride and the weather was gorgeous.


 

We started up the river and came down through five locks, on our way back home. I didn't photograph every one but here is the first one we went through.





It's always so weird to be down in the bottom of a lock, waiting for them to open the doors and let you free. Although one plus to it on Sunday was that it was cooler down there instead of scorching hot like it was in the sun.

We saw lots of cool things along the river, like people on horses, baby ducklings and a guy standing up in his canoe fishing.




The best lock to go through though is the Lift Locks.











 

We then spent the rest of the trip blasting along in the wind and enjoying the sunshine and the summer weather. It was amazing and totally needed.



Who wants to come visit us? We'll take you for a ride in our boat.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mia is Famous!

Remember way back in February when I wrote this sad post about Mia destroying my beloved signed copy of the Young House Love book? But then remember this awesome picture we shared about how we dog shamed her?


Well something else that I did but didn't mention was that I submitted the above picture to www.dogshaming.com and hoped that they would put it up and share her silliness with the rest of the world.

Well that was in February. With each month that went by and still her picture didn't go up, I figured they were inundated with a crazy amount of shamed dogs and didn't have time to put them all up. So I moved on with my life and kind of forgot about submitting the picture.

Until a week ago when I received an email from them saying this:

Hi Jenn,

I just came across your submission and loved it so much, I reached out to the authors and we're going to replace your signed copy that was destroyed with a brand new signed copy!!
If you email me your address, I'll get the book to you ASAP.
 
Hope you have a great weekend!
 
How awesome is that? It totally made my day. Although I was honest and told them that I had actually already replaced my copy of the book but thank you for the offer. Which they then said:
 
Thanks so much for your honesty. Since I've already talked with the authors, why don't we still send you the copy?
 
Have I mentioned that I think these people are awesome? Wow.
 
Back to why Mia is famous. She got put up on their site! I feel so proud of her, even though the whole reason why she is there is because she was a bad dog to begin with. But still, I was pretty excited. Check out her submission here!
 
Okay, I'm done bragging about my dog now. You can return to your Monday routine. :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Simple Pleasures - June

This past week was a good week for little things making me smile. Some days I struggled to find one thing and other days I couldn't pick just one! Life is good.

Saturday: My new basket I found at a thrift store for $2!

Sunday: Flowers through the window

Monday: My amazing granola that I am slightly addicted to

Tuesday: The spider plants that actually survived the transplant

Wednesday: The blue morning sky

Wednesday: Dan made me "fish and chips" for supper (he caught the fish)

Thursday: The painted turtle that tried laying eggs in our front lawn

Thursday: My wild strawberries growing in my flower garden

Thursday: Enjoying a cup of tea by the campfire
 It was a good week with lots of small things making me smile. I love taking the time each month to slow down and appreciate the little things in life.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dear Readers

Dear faithful blog readers,

I have a confession to make. I'm in a blog slump. So much of a slump that I very nearly didn't post today which would have made it the second time in the month of June to skip a day because I had nothing to blog about.

I guess that is a lie. I do have things I could blog about but I'm not feeling the inspiration to do so. And I'm lacking in time. This month has been busy and has flown by, leaving me with not much time to work on projects let alone snap pictures of things.

So that leaves me in my blog slump. I'm trying to come up with ideas of things I would like to work on or do once I have more time (a.k.a. when I'm a SAHW). But since I'm in such a slump, I'm having a hard time thinking of things.

Which brings me to you, dear readers. I need some feedback and ideas. Let me know what you like about my blog/posts and what you could do without. What would you like to see more of? Decorating? DIY projects? Cooking/baking? House tours? Dog or chicken updates? Budgeting? Anything else?

Tell me what you think! And please be honest. I love blogging and will continue to do so whether I get replies to this post or not. But I do like hearing from you guys and like making you happy.

Love from your not so motivated Canadian housewife,
Jenn

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's Growing Wednesday

Another garden update and so much has changed since last week! It's amazing how fast things grow and fill out.


Our zucchini seems to be holding on okay, despite getting eaten by something. I wish we could figure it out and stop the poor things from getting so scraggly looking.


Our seven heirloom tomato plants are doing well, with one of them already producing a small green tomato. I'm happy that they are growing and looking happy, since they were a little more costly than normal Home Depot plants.


And our potatoes! They are growing like crazy and filling out fast. We are pretty excited about this, since our barrel potatoes last year were a complete fail. Maybe we'll get a better potato harvest this summer!


I'm also thrilled that the beans are growing and the new ones we planted have popped up as well. I think that beans are my favourite fresh garden vegetable, so we need a lot of them. Especially since I also freeze them to eat throughout the winter months.


Our lettuce isn't doing as well as I had hoped. Last year we had more than we could handle and ended up giving most of it to the hens, so we planted less this year. And of course now it's not doing that great.


Eeek, the above picture really shows how much I need to get to weeding. The garden has been slightly neglected for the last week and you can totally tell. The weeds grow faster than the veggies do!

The below picture of the peas also shows how badly we need to weed. And get a fence up for them to start climbing. We really need to get on that soon.


One more picture of our beets (with our pepper plants in the background) and then I'll end today's garden post.


Isn't it looking good though? Just imagine how much better it will look once we spend some time in there this weekend pulling weeds and getting fences and stakes up. I'm excited for it to keep filling out and soon being able to pick fresh veggies from our garden.

I can't wait to see how much it has changed by next week! I think I'm going to like these weekly garden posts.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Disaster of a Sunroom

When we first moved into our house, the sunroom looked pretty nice. It wasn't some big gorgeous room but it did hold a lot of potential. I was kind of excited to make it into a nice room to sit in on sunny spring days.

Except for we then used it as a place to keep Mia contained when we left for work and bad things happened to it. I mean seriously though, what were we expecting? A little black lab puppy left for hours alone each day. Of course she would have fun with it!

Chewed up doorframe
One thing I don't have pictures of is that she chewed a huge hole in the linoleum flooring so it had to be replaced. We chose tile since it was nice and sturdy and the risk of damage was minimal.

View of the sunroom from the house
Two years after we moved in, I have decided it is time to fix up the sunroom. I want it looking nice and less like a small war zone. So I went around with my camera over the weekend, documenting all the before pictures.

The blinds Mia attacked.
She sure did have fun in there when she was a puppy.

View of the sunroom from the sliding door
And since the door frames, baseboards and window blinds were all nicely destroyed/damaged, I wasn't feeling overly inspired to do much cleaning. So the walls need a good wash, the windows need to be cleaned, and the flies need to be removed.

The collection of flies in the window
I also need to patch the walls in a couple places and give the whole room a good coat of paint.

The hole Mia chewed in the wall, as well as some more chewed baseboard
The whole room is just grungy and gross. It's hard to keep clean since flies and bugs fly in there constantly and since the sliding door is almost always open, leaves and pollen and other random things float in.

The gross window ledge
I may also need to rethink the decorations, since there used to be three of these cute square mirrors. Guess what happened to the third one?

Cute mirrors, there used to be three
Things are just a mess in there. I did start cleaning it up a little bit over the weekend but then decided to stop and wait until I had a good chunk of days in a row to do it. I think it will work best if I can finish the whole thing in a week or something.

The knotted together window blind cords (from two separate blinds)
Good thing I'll be a stay-at-home-wife in a couple short weeks. I'm pretty sure this will be one of my first projects.

So I realize that this post is just full of "before" pictures but I wanted to give you all a good idea of how it looks now, so that when I put up my "after" pictures, you are all amazed. Smart thinking, eh?