Broken Dishwasher Disaster

If your here reading my blog, I take it your dishwasher broke?

I don’t have any advice for fixing your broken dishwasher. However I will be sharing our experience and what to expect.

Over 2 weeks ago, this is how the disaster hit our home. Half an hour before guests where about to arrive our dishwasher made an odd dinging sound. I was sitting in the living room and asked the kids in the kitchen where that sound came from. The said ‘the dishwasher’….

I jumped up fast as I knew that was a normal sound and sure enough when I came into the kitchen the water was pooling out from the machine onto our floor FAST. I ran and grabbed a beach towel to soak it up. My husband came into the kitchen and started pulling the cabinets apart to check the hoses. Our kitchen is OLD and the appliance is an after thought that someone added. I have hoses going through cabinets in a weird way.

No one needs an unexpected expense right now. At least this appliance is a convenience appliance and not a NEED.

Well after my handy hubby checked things over and diagnosed the problem. The dishwasher was officially out of commission. It didn’t even want to start anymore.

Turns out a part is plugged and in order to fix that we have to pull our kitchen apart. Well that sounds a bit extreme doesn’t it. Here’s why…

Kitchen BEFORE the new floor was installed

When we put our floor in, we learned our cabinets were installed wrong. My dad who is a cabinet maker said the builder cut corners and our counters are missing a piece so the height is lower then it should be.

So – Our flooring could not go UNDER the dishwasher as it should be.

The joys of owning a fixer upper home we now have a broken dishwasher disaster.

We are truthfully in a season of things breaking. I won’t get into all the things. Amongst the negative there is positive.

Life without a dishwasher means we live like it’s the early 1990’s and my parents didn’t get one until My oldest brothers moved out. Did you grow up with or without a dishwasher? My oldest brother brings up this fact that we had it ‘easy’ in the kitchen with the dishwasher when he had years of doing it by hand.

Apparently the dishwasher was invented in the 1880’s, crazy!

In all honesty it’s making us keep better attention to our kitchen. Teaching our kids how to do dishes, not just load, throw a tab in and hit a button. My dreams of a new kitchen may just be around the corner.

It is reminding me of the time our roof, hot water tank and the first dishwasher in the house died in the same week. Unfortunately the things breaking are probably MORE money we need to spend then that previous time. We got through this before and we will get through it again.

My hands are currently permanently chapped as I type this.

I’ve never done the cost savings of life with and without a dishwasher. I just know the last time this happened our water bill went down.

Life without a dishwasher isn’t terrible. People have done it for many many years prior to it being a modern day convenience. Although I think we have more kitchen items then ever before.

How about you? Do you have a dishwasher or not?

I’ll continue to take you along our home and garden journey. More to come. Subscribe and follow along this home journey with us.

Carrie Plantinga

Overcoming Reno Burnout, starting with a small paint job

Spring and summer flew by and now it’s fall. I started posting again and then got side tracked. Something I noticed through my blog stats and comments is my blog burnout post got lots of attention.

I seemed to have many people who read my blog, understand our struggle. Owning a home isn’t all happy days and always relaxing. It can be stressful not always having a finished home.

We live in the Fraser Valley, an hour or so (depending on traffic) from Vancouver. Houses are crazy expensive here, cost of living in general is high and then there’s gas and food costs insanity right now. Somewhere amongst all that my Husband and I are getting over our burnout and feeling inspired to reno again.

Overcome burnout

Get Inspired and Start SMALL

We FINALLY finished little things that have been piling up and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seem that in my stories. Nothing big to write a blog post about but something. A keyring holder, bedroom shelves and an electrical plug. I said it’s wasn’t anything to write a blog post about, but do something.

Don’t be afraid to shop around and look at items you want to add to your home. Once you know where you want to start again, set the budget aside and schedule the time. It will happen sooner then you think.

Simple Reno – Hallway Painting

Noteworthy Tip: When I said, set aside a budget…DO IT! We save money in a separate account for reno’s. We’ve owned long enough to know to have this. When we didn’t do this, reno’s count us off guard. That’s a shitty day when it happens. We finally got our account $$ up again and selected our next reno, painting the upstairs.

Step 1: We bought paint samples and painted them in important lighting areas to choose which one was best.

Step 2: I washed and prepped the walls. I learned a little trick from a Youtuber from Europe, she loves dish soap. So that’s what I used and my water was GROSS.

Step 3: Mud and Sand. My husband watched his parents do lots of Home reno’s growing up and he taps any hole in the wall with the end of a screw driver and then adds drywall mud. Follow up with Sanding the now dry drywall mud.

Step 4: Cut in the trim. I’m no pro, but I try.

Step 5: TEAMWORK. My husband and I have done lots of projects together. Since he’s tall he gets the roof trim and I do the lower stuff. We thought we were being productive with the drop sheets. We still got paint on the carpet!

Step 6: Paint! We got our kids involved on the main part of the wall and we finished the rest. My husband has high standards when it comes to renos and did the second coat. He let it dry while we left the house to avoid the lovely paint smell.

Step 7: Enjoy! We are loving the peaceful color of blue.

I’m dreaming of the carpet and trim to get done…but, it’s a dream for now. You see our kitten there, he’s done a wonderful number on our carpet. It’s not just him or his fault, our carpet was done when we bought the house. Just need to get that reno account with more money in it.

What’s Next?

We will keep painting throughout our house. I’ll take you along. I love a good before and after, I think our hallway looks amazing now. The trick is too keep our kids from climbing the walls like spider man. I’m not joking…they really do that.

My husband and I are working on a new project that would benefit my followers and those who live locally to me. I’ll be sure to keep you posted once all the details are worked out.

Until then, I hope this post motivates you in your home.

What Home DIY’s are you working on?

What would you like to improve in your home on a small budget?

Comment Below, I love connecting with people and we will see you on the next Blog Post.

Carrie Plantinga

Notefull Living Blog Update

Hey Everyone,

I thank you so much for your patience, as I have not written in a LONG time.

Where have I been? At the Barn, with the animals. That’s the short version, more on that later.

I realized I’m way overdue for a Blog Post and hasn’t published one since the new year has started and there’s lots of reasons.

Most of my viewers know I’m a stay at home mom with 3 kids. My family has needed my full attention recently and I know my blog would always be there to pick up and write again when I was ready too.

On that topic of being online and having my own website. The online space has become incredibly horrible place to be over the past 2 years.

On another personal note I am someone who naturally processes and looks at anything I’m offered…. the current world events has been slightly exhausting. I have a deeply caring heart and don’t like seeing people in pain. There’s a whole lot of healing and restoration needed in our world today.

As a Christian, I’m glad I walk with the ONE who has the power and authority to bring us through this difficult place. I share more on my Praise and Worship Coach Channel .

Home Reno Update

We are RENOVATING again!! Here’s a sneak peak. It’s small space, but it’s made a huge impact for our family. This is a never before seen area of our home. This is the basement entrance from the garage to our home.



The shelf is reclaimed wood from the old fence on our property. My husband is super handy with tools and sanded the wood down and finished it with wax.

Here’s another angle, finally a mud room.

Still a work in progress as our home always is. My Husband jokes he is wanting a brand new home next time. We bought low in the market with a home that needed some extra work. Work it sure is.

There is lots of other things we’ve been working on. One post at a time. You get to enjoy the journey.

Blog Expanding…NEW Possibilities?

Home and Garden Consulting?

I get asked ALL the time…

‘Carrie can you help me with this space….?’

Please COMMENT if this is of interest to you? I’m still working out the kinks. I’m not a professional, just someone who loves making a home a HOME. I must add, on a BUDGET. Yes, that annoying ‘B’ word, I promise it makes all the difference.

I have several spaces and one garden plan set up with friend’s to get started and I’ll give you an update once I have more things worked out.

New Adventures

As I’ve shared earlier my family needed me and I knew my blog had to wait. During this time a blessing came into my life, a long time dream. Horses…

2021 was a year of grieving (lots of loss), chaotic weather (massive wildfires and floods) and HOPE with new beginnings. That’s best way I could describe the year. During hard times you learn who your people are.

My friend invited me in the fall to come ride her horse and aside from battling the floods and both being stay at home moms with young kids…. we are at the barn together each week.

I could easily post tones of animal photos from the adventures at the farm, especially when the evacuated cows from the BC Floods where there.

I will add this, it’s light a fire inside I thought was long gone. I look forward to start collecting my own gear to be around horses more.

I’ll end my blog post there.

I’m BACK. Feels great to hit publish! Until the next post!

Carrie Plantinga

Home and Garden Blogger

Home Renovations During Difficult Times

What a title right? However this blog post is actually a FULL circle moment here. This blog was birthed…yes, birthed from a place of grief for me.

I need to come back to doing this and that is sharing Noteworthy Tips. This Blog and my Story has had a lot do with grieving and moving forward. Home Reno’s and grieving for me…have gone hand in hand.

When I lost my Job in 2011 we lived in our townhouse that we were renovating. Bring on that sweat equity, like we are now. I was broken hearted, this job seemed like a DREAM JOB. I told my husband I was going to rip down the wall paper in the staircase. It actually came down super fast and my moment for getting my frustration out ended super quick. I’m actually super lucky the glue was old on this wall paper and it came off in sheets, instead of tearing.

When we lost our Baby at 17 weeks during pregnancy in 2014 within 3 days after giving birth we started working on projects. I mean, my husband did. I was out on the couch in pain. I remember him asking me what he could do to help me? I turned around and said, ‘put the shelves up’. He did it and this became the push to get our reno’s completed and list our townhouse on the market.

In May a close family member for a cancer diagnosis and in march 2021 we had to put down our family pet. We have had fish die, however putting out dog down wasn’t easy. I’m not up for sharing all the details. Let’s just say we learned a lot during this process and our family needs time to heal.

Just like all the other times when life gets rough, my husband and I move forward into a project. Our dog actually had destroyed the fence behind the hedge and it needed to get done. It was turning into a hazard for our kids too.

Well, speaking of difficult times. I haven’t posted much on my blog because so much horrific stuff has been happening. I’ll explain more soon.

I truthfully wrote this post intended to be published in march…Here’s the after picture of the fence.

Well…Difficult times hit harder this year then expected. Our province got hit with Wildfires which affected our summer holidays. It was a wild ride trying to get to places and a whole town burned behind us as we traveled. Just recently the town we live in got hit with MAJOR flooding. My husband spent the last couple weeks keeping his work dry and I was helping at a local farm, hosting friends who were displaced and dog sitting.

But, amongst all this…we bought some stuff for an upcoming reno. One I haven’t shared on here yet.

Amongst all the chaos this year we still found Joy. The kids got a dirt bike and we added a new family pet. Plus the year isn’t over yet and there still might be a reno that gets completed before this year is over.

Had to share this one last adorable photo of our new kitten. She came to us around Fathers Day weekend. she’s much bigger now.

It’s probably the most cliché thing to say this. When life gets difficult and you have a home like ours that needs renos. It’s ok to feel burnt out and overwhelmed.

Take a break, and keep going.

A home is a place to be in the good times and the difficult times. I have so many friends and family gutting their homes and barns from the recent floods. My heart just breaks knowing the journey they have ahead.

I just try and remember to be grateful and thankful for what we have. Even if all the reno’s aren’t done.

Blessings and a Merry Christmas.

Carrie Plantinga

Home and Garden Blogger

DIY Home Renovation Burnout

I’m finally admitting this. I haven’t blogged in a while…why? Simply put, burnout. If your reading this, then maybe that’s you too.

We have had great benefits to DIY Home Renovation. We have saved lots of money, learned a ton of skills with construction and had a great time with family doing it.

Here’s what’s happening with our house right now. We are 7 years in this home and we have gone as far as we can. We have, upgraded the kitchen floor, rebuilt the fences, deck and basement playroom. We also have done lots of painting in the kids bedrooms.

Home Renovation Burnout is real. Even if you have someone doing the renovation for you, there’s delays on materials and deadlines get bumped for example.


Your like us and Do It Yourself. It’s great – save us some money, we put some sweat equity into our home. Yes, we have saved lots of money, but we are burnt out.

The only thing we had done by someone else in our basement was the carpet. Our deck, we got a quote…then we decided to do it ourselves.

The only reason why we didn’t hire a company, is because we got to built a BIGGER deck for close to the same amount we got quoted for a smaller deck.

Our deck reno we hired out the vinyl and the railing. Truthfully, the deck AND the basement still need some extra work.

We don’t like be the 90% of completion people. That’s not our style to not complete a reno…but honestly, it comes down to burnout.

DIY Home Renovation Burnout from our experience is getting the space planned out to what we need it to be, working hard at it and near the finish line we stop.

Can you relate?

Burnout happens in all areas of our lives at one point or another. When it comes to the where you live day in and day out it becomes stressful.

There is the excitement in the beginning! The planning and envisioning how it can look. Today, there is so much available to get inspired. I actually got so addicted to Interior Design magazines and TV shows I had to completely cut myself off.

I love seeing the transformation happen on other peoples homes, when it’s yours, that’s a whole other experience. The experience can be great or not so great. We did our townhouse “flip” without kids. Now we are in our home and doing reno’s with kids…not so great.

How we are managing with DIY Home Renovation Burnout?

Simple put, taking time OFF. Enjoying our family and focusing on ourselves. Our home was always LIVEABLE when we moved in. It’s just the reality of buying a fixer -upper.

We go AWAY on the weekends. Day trips or camping if we can!

Yes – can we make time to complete these last few things, absolutely. Our kids know when it’s a working weekend. Those are becoming far and few between now.

With my husband’s recent job he goes on call now. Our kids know if he’s on call that means we are working on something for the house.

Will we buy a fixer upper again – NO. My husband and I are both in agreement on this.

Is this our forever home? NO

Our dream is still property. We are praying like our friends did for property. That’s my husband checking out their 130 Acres of absolute bliss.

They recently bought a large parcel of land and are in the beginning stages of clearing it, getting the services in and next year building a brand new home.

This is still a dream, which may feel a long way off right now, but we aren’t letting go of that.

It’s sure great to visit and cheer/support our friends.

What’s next for our Home?

Yet again our home has dictated that for us. Our good old fixer upper sprung a leak again.

This is in a part of our home I haven’t shared on the blog…..yet. It’ll make for a great transformation photos I promise you that.

I actually had a great before and after for one of the areas and our home AGAIN was non stop with water leaks…and here we are again.

Can you guess what our next reno is?

Some way, somehow the funds become available and we plug along.

Good thing we live super frugal lives. People are always shocked when I share some of the things we do.

The joys of homeownership.

Hopefully the burnout feeling ends soon and we get our energy back. We simply can’t live with another possible flood in our house. I’ve stopped a few. Good thing I’m observant.

I’m off on another getaway adventure. Yes – I’ll be taking you all along on the journey of that next reno. We choose the DIY life and have learned a lot and now it’s time to keep resting and saving for the next reno.

Carrie Plantinga

Vegetable Garden Planning

Hello! Lots is happening here at our home in the Fraser Valley of Beautiful BC., Canada. Technically we aren’t allowed to leave our area so we have been working hard at our backyard and garden.

This year I’m actually being somewhat organized. More then I ever have, and I’m already noticing a huge difference. Always write your goals down as to what you want to do for you garden (or any project) and get to work.

Yard Preparation

First things first…FIX MY MISTAKES. I wrote a raised bed mistake blog post last year. I was NOT doing another year with an invasive plant coming up.

I dug down and buried cardboard like I should have done and so far nothing has come back up.

Next, We made MORE GARDEN SPACE. I have a BIG goal of making our property a suburban homestead while still having space for the kids.

I can’t wait to share the final reveal for this area. It’s changed so much already. If you watch the video at the end of this post on YouTube you will see more of what we did.

Here’s how the raised bed is today. It’s needs some maintenance for weeding but no more invasive plant.

DIY Vegetable Garden Planning

Anyone else just throw some seeds in pots and water and hope for the best? This is how I used to be. I just bought seeds and just went with it. Not this year. I felt strongly last year for plant more and learn a better way to grow food for my family.

This is the most simple and EASY way to plan. It’s never too late to make one of these.

I literally just bought a binder (white with clear plastic slip cover) from the dollar store. Grabbed some gardening magazines and some paper and tabs. With the gardening magazines I found words that fit my goals and pictures I’m inspired by for my garden.

I now have a planning binder. For barely any money and simple.

I created a map of our backyard. I have to update this as we have planted more trees and such.

I also made tabs for Seed Inventory, Planting Log, Gardening Goals and Garden Maps. Make tabs for whatever you feel fits for what you want to keep organized.

Have fun with this. Each Garden is unique because we are all different people. I l hope this was helpful to you in your gardening journey.

Here’s a video with more of how our yard is currently with a sneak peak of our new fence. There’s much more to come. Subscribe to the Blog and My YouTube Channel for upcoming content.

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Carrie Plantinga

Home and Garden Blogger

Spring To Do List

Hello Hello, It’s been a little while since I’ve been on my blog. We’ve been busy working, as you will see in this blog post. Our Backyard is going through ANOTHER MASSIVE transformation.

I have another blog post I wrote a few years ago where you can see everything we have done. You can read that HERE

Last Year we finished our Deck and this year it’s our back fence, plus other stuff that is coming.

I haven’t done ANYTHING with my Garden this year. I’ll be doing a beginner gardening blog post shortly.

Spring To Do List

Home Decor

I’m super happy how this turned out. It’s simple…very garden inspired and a bit of rustic farmhouse. I honestly use what I have and don’t spend much money on decor. This is the result. Be creative in your own home and have fun with what you have.

This BIG transformation is the backyard, yet again. We get super busy with our property every spring.

Everyone’s backyard to do list is different. Here’s what’s going on in our backyard.

Hedge and Fence Removal!

Here’s a great BEFORE shot. I still can’t believe we looked at this for 7 long years. Everyone said we would loose our privacy, blah blah blah. Well, here’s what it looks like today.

Massive change right!! It’s been a lot of hard work. With what’s coming is so much better then what was there before. Yes, we will get some privacy back. I can’t wait to share with you what’s coming.

You can watch the hedge removal HERE!

Garden Bed Clean Up

My Gardens are FINALLY showing some life again. My chives are coming along nicely. I moved them last fall.

I also moved my rhubarb and it’s coming back…Some tasty treats coming to our kitchen soon. Both of these used to be in my raised garden beds and they were taking up too much space…They got a new home and I think they are happy where they are.

Backyard Planning??

So, you have seen that we ripped out our hedge. What is going to go back into there. Here’s a sneak peak. My suburban homestead dreams are starting to coming TRUE…

Those right there friends are MATURE blueberry bushes. I’m so hoping I get a great harvest from these plants. They are HUGE….

Also, on the to do list is the greenhouse. I saw an opportunity to remove the dirt while our backyard is mayhem at the moment. I’m taking out the garden boxes in the greenhouse. Just another spring project.

Coming soon, a vertical gardening post for those who live in town and have small spaces. I scored this pallet from my neighbor. Those asking on Instagram, it’s coming. So many options to grow on a patio.

FYI – I got a new camera lens as mine broke and was missing a lens cap. I’m excited for more creative pictures like this one.

One of the reasons I wasn’t blogging for a bit. My equipment was down, AND we had to say goodbye to our family pet. I’ll be updating my puppy post in the near future. I’ll explain more on there shortly. Just need some more time to heal.

We will see you VERY SOON. I have lots of content to create and make.

Have a great day!


Basement Reveal

It’s HERE, We finally got some custom orders we have been waiting for arrive. We still have some things to finish, as most DIY reno’s go. Here’s our DIY Basement Reno.

Completed Playroom

We are so grateful for how this turned out. We thought we had to space this reno out. The funds became available and since we had the plans sorted out we got to do more then we thought possible.

So much of what fits in this cabinet was spread out throughout our house. Now it finally has a home. We’ve already been spending lots of our time down here with family movie and game nights.

We often (not this past year of course) host family and friends from out of town. We got this sofa that has storage in the chaise and pulls out into a bed. It’s almost always out. Plus the kids toys are already getting pulled under the pull out portion.

Work in Progress

Paint the Door, Paint the trim, install the trim, secure the bookshelf and create secret door for the storage….is just a few things that needs to get done yet. Yes – we found a fun solution for the under stair’s storage.

3 Doors…3 DOORS used to be in this space. It now opens up to my working desk area. The desk will also be multi purpose for a board game/puzzle table. We still have to make a simple desk, a folding table is working for now.

Oops. This picture turned out blurry. I’ve already be plugging away at my sewing machine making projects. I have some DIY stuff coming up that needs to be made. Plus lots of more blogging and a music ministry to get going.

Once We have this area more put together I’ll share that at a later time.

Until now we just enjoy the view.

This is our friend Rino Favlo’s photo. You can go to his website HERE. It’s been a dream of ours to start bringing in either our own photography on the walls or that of family and friends.

As our home is in the West Coast of Canada this picture suites our basement. Plus it’s covering our control panel.

I added some before photos here included in the video on YouTube. I DON’T miss how this used to be.

Hope you enjoyed this room transformation. I look forward to lots of great new memories in this space.

Coming soon on the blog, SPRING is in the air isn’t it?

See you on the next blog post.


Have a great day!

Carrie Plantinga – Home and Garden Blogger

Home and Garden Niche

Hey, Carrie here sharing today all about my experience this past year defining my blog into a niche. Last year I finally ‘Niched down’, if that is even a phrase?

Narrowing down my niche made a huge impact. Yes – 2020 people where online a whole lot more then they probably already where. So how is being in the Home and Garden Niche? How did I realize it was for me?

Why Home and Garden?

Answer this question: ‘What is my home filled with?’ , ‘Is there a recurring theme in your Décor?’. When I heard that question on the radio when I first got married in 2008 something clicked. I have something Nature related all around my rental home.

My blog for 3 years or more, had no real direction. I kind of shared random blog posts that I thought would be helpful. I’ve got lots of odd posts that have nothing to do with Home and Garden. BUT…BUT…I was already doing it without knowing it.

What is truly on your heart will come out in how you speak/write/talk. I spoke more about this on my blog post I wrote HERE.

What Changed with My Blog?

My subscribers became stable. People subscribe and unsubscribe all the time, I do that too. However, my numbers grew. Even the blog itself on it’s views DOUBLED.

I got to collaborate and be featured on another blog. Sharing about easy garden vegetables to grow.

I also got a discount on one of our reno’s to feature their logo and company on my blog.

Added Bonus – I get to live my life I normally do and share about my Home and Garden, which come easy to me. Home life being a stay at home mom makes it a challenge to keep up.

Blogging Challenges

I MUCH prefer being outside then creating content. I really love to get the message out to get OFF your screens. Writing a blog that’s Home and Garden, means I’m busy taking care of the HOME AND GARDEN. I make sure to remember to grab my camera. I’ll post this here shortly and walk away, because my garden is calling.

Being online is all about pictures. My house is a living house, not one that’s on display all the time and it’s not always perfectly clean. Most days I could care less to clean up and get that PERFECT shot. I much prefer to be REAL.

Lastly, it feels like from what I read about blogging. I should have AMAZING CONTENT and it should be INCREDIBLE all the time. Yah, nooo…life is life.

Time for me to get OFF the computer. Spend time with my kids and get outside.

Hope this blog post was helpful. I’ve had lots of other bloggers that have inspired me along the way.

Here’s a video to catch more pictures of what I do.

Back to ‘Normal’, New Year

Hey Everyone, January is 1/2 over! I’ve told myself to stay positive and keep my head above all the sad media that’s been going on over this past year. Plus coming into the new year. I like to just say, after Christmas and New Years, plus my sons birthday this past week we are getting back to ‘normal’.

All the regular house cleaning still chugs along at it’s regular pace with making food, dishes, laundry and cleaning. Those things never change. I’m super grateful the kids still go to school for in class instruction.

Something I haven’t jumped back into is blogging and creating content. I’ve been enjoying the break. I’ve actually heard a few other content creators admit the same thing. This past year was hard for being online with an online presence. I’m super small with my corner of the internet but, that small part of me that wants to shut this all down, was very strong last year.

Truthfully though, I love taking pictures and being creative. I share about our home and garden, not because it’s about me. This blog isn’t just about my home and garden. I love helping others too. Plus I wouldn’t get to share fun projects like our current reno.

Yes – Our project got a little further then we expected. It’s all coming together though! Carpet is coming Friday, We just finished the last sanding. Some more prep to do and then Paint! I’ll update you all about that very shortly here.

At the moment after I publish this and edit my YouTube video, it’s back to laundry. Stay at home mom life never ends. House work always needs to get completed.

We have LOTS of projects this year. Including painting of other rooms in our house. We have LOTS of backyard/garden projects happening too.

Be great to have you subscribe.

Thank you to those who read and subscribe to my blog. 2020 was a massive growth year, blog views DOUBLED. 2020 was actually a huge blessing to our family. My heart goes out to those who had a tough year.

Until my next blog post have a great day!

Carrie Plantinga