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.

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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

Christmas 2020 at Notefull Living

It’s Christmas Eve 2020. What am I doing. Writing a blog post and not spending the day with my family over Christmas. Why – Simply we aren’t allowed. One thing I won’t do – be defeated by this intense year. I’ve been super careful not to vent on here about current world events.

Tonight, not being at my parents house in the country, by the woodstove and watching my kids play in the snow at their grandparents sucks.

Snow at my childhood home. With the rope swing under the honeysuckle bushes.

By the way. I had some awesome pictures of the snow at our place. We don’t often get much snow here in the Fraser Valley – well it comes and doesn’t stay long. Those pictures I accidently deleted.

I’m just a tired stay at home mom of 3 kids and finally has her husband home on christmas holidays and I’m crashing hard.

Not having a date night or childcare in over a year is taking it’s toll.

Our tree was cut down a few weeks ago and the kids and I decorated the mantel at the end of november.

I haven’t written on my blog in over a month as life just has been FULL at the end of the year. So much so – I dropped social media and seriously considering dropping it all together.

But…

My husband and I have made a motto this year to keep life as normal as possible and not allow this year (FEAR) to overtake our lives. Fear is something bully’s use to control others they are intimidated by. I’m grateful for my Faith in my Lord Jesus Christ who is my Saviour.

A few weeks ago I asked God what to do about this year and what’s happening. All I heard was this: SPREAD JOY.

My son had a dress up day at school and to support him I wore my fun suit all day too. Instead of getting dirty looks when I’m well away from others and not wearing a mask I got smiles when people saw my outfit.

This year isn’t over.

I will say this – I truly felt like the entire world needed a hug this year. And for all those affected by current events, I wish I could afford to give you a dinner.

In our house we don’t celebrate Santa Claus, even though we have these suits as a last minute purchase last year trying to make a fun family photo. We do share with our kids the biblical account of Jesus’s birth. Plus share the story of the man who inspired the ‘fictional’ character of Santa Claus.

I really look forward to sharing meals with friends and family again. Like this ham we cooked up for our families dinner tonight. Our kids were fighting over the cracklins.

Here’s the Video Christmas Video on YouTube with more behind the scenes of our December.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas

Notefull Living

Disclaimer: You may have noticed I carry a very different view then most of what is being told to us by the media in regards to current events. By no means do I mean any disrespect to those impacted by this virus.

Remembrance

It’s November 11, 2020. I have a message to share with you Today.

Today I need to pause my usual writing about our home and garden in the Fraser Valley and share something on my mind that needs to be shared.

Today is Remembrance Day. My husband is home and we watched the ceremony that was done in Ottawa on TV this morning with our kids. It’s the closest thing we could do this morning to participate aside from being silent at 11am and wearing a poppy.

Our son actually hand made poppies for the entire family this morning.

One of my grandfathers served in the army and another one hid. Both are passed on now. The one who hid had a disability and wasn’t able to serve even though he was old enough. I’ve also heard stories of soldiers living with one of the families. I don’t remember all the details anymore, that’s just the nuts of bolts of it.

Knowing my family is connected to the wars of the past makes remembrance day all the more real.

Remembrance Day is a Holiday that we as a family stand up and remember.

Notefull Living

Thing is (not everyone will agree with what I’m about to share), war is happening all around us, not everyone is aware of it. I’ve never been ashamed for my relationship with Jesus.

There’s a spiritual war raging all around us and I would think from seeing our world lately, even if they don’t believe in Jesus, can all see the intensity of evil happening.

So why write about Remembrance Day and Jesus?

The word Remembrance is something I grew up hearing a lot. Not just for Remembrance Day. In Church we had a massive table upfront with the inscription ‘Do this in Remembrance of Me’. I would watch the pastor break bread and theatrically pour ‘juice’ from a nice looking jug into a metal cup.

As a kid this was just something I saw our church do and my parents participate in what is known as ‘ The Lords Supper’. As an Adult I witnessed many different ways churches did this.

One church was so small we passed a loaf around. Another church we stood in a circle with others passing the bread and juice. We would say to each other “Christ’s body broken for you” and “Christ’s blood shed for you”. Yes – sounds gross but the significance is huge.

Here’s the thing: The Bible is a LOVE story FILLED with war stories. It’s also filled with warning, prophecy and instruction on how to battle spiritual warfare, particularly in Ephesians 6.

As I said – I’m not ashamed for believing in the truth. The Spiritual warfare in my own life has intensified this year and I’m so grateful for those who have put on their armor/gift (of deliverance) and with the Holy Spirit are helping me fight.

One of the best examples of War on this earth and Faith is from a movie called Hacksaw Ridge. Which I plan to watch tonight after I publish this. True story of a soldier fighting in world war 2 and he saves many wounded soldiers while praying out loud to God “Let me just find one more”, He proceeds find and repel 75 wounded soldiers over a ridge.

In our country in Canada we have one day a year that we pause and remember those who have fought in war. Everyday as a Follower of Jesus I stand and fight with the armor of God and Pray for just one more soul to turn to Him.

On my blog I share about our Home and Garden. The more I share on here the more you will see we don’t live like the ways of our culture. I have no words to describe our world, it’s sure looking and sounding more like Sodom and Gomorrah from the Bible. The Bible doesn’t really explain what it was like before Noah built his ark, before God wiped out all the wicked.

For those tired of waiting, He’s coming. I’m not called to be ‘of’ the world just live ‘in’ it till Christ Returns.

I hope you have read this far to the end. I’m sure I’ve lost a few along the way.

I wasn’t expecting to write this post today, but this message needs to be heard. Even if this post helps “just one more”, like Desmond in World War 2.

Remember – There is a war raging all around us, God has already won. What’s happening in our time isn’t really a surprise, it’s all written in the Bible. He’s coming soon.

Peace be with YOU,

Carrie

I’m expecting this post to be deleted from certain social media networks, if this has resonated with you and you want to share this, e-mail this post.

Basement Design Plans

Our basement is starting to take shape! Yes – we are only focusing on ONE wall right now. As it is with any reno just the act of getting started is exciting to know your making progress for a better home.

I can already tell as a family we are missing this extra space. Especially with it being colder the kids don’t play outside and we are all inside in each others space.

Our trailer will be winterized soon and picture like this one with the boys on the lake in our fishing boat in September are now just fun memories of summer.

Add COVID into this where we can’t really see anyone at the moment – we are all super cozy and getting closer as a family. We are seeing lots of blessings during all this.

Basement Update

Here’s the wall and what it’s looked like for the last 6 years. I’m NOT missing this at all. Did it function, yes, but we’ve learned we made a good choice to open it up with the issues we found – just like any reno.

Here’s the wall all after all the demo. A blank canvas. I was excited for the next step. FYI – Any home reno you do on your own takes TIME. This room sat like this for a few months during the summer after we did the demo.

Progress

Once that insulation went into the fireplace the room got INSTANTLY warmer. Even though the room is a construction zone, we enjoy being down there now that it’s warmer. Plus, we are coming into winter and this room is warm, it’s just awesome.

Design Plans

I’m not a designer and as much as I write a blog and now have started with YouTube this year I like being hands on. I’ve tried putting my designs into google sketch up over the years and I just like drawing it out.

Obviously there’s a TV in the center of the wall. The brown lines are live edge shelves. The ‘bear’ picture (4 year old thought it was a pig), is covering the electrical panel. The cabinet on the bottom of the wall is from Ikea. We looked long and hard to find something that fit for an affordable cost.

We learned we have a gas line coming down out of the ceiling. So we made a bulkhead that goes all the way across this wall. We will be installing 4 lights that will light up this wall.

If this was hard to understand, I explain it more on the video on YouTube found here:

It’s a day off tomorrow and there’s already been lots of progress since I made this video. Tomorrow we remember those who died during war and will hold a moment of silence at 11am, and keep working at it.

I hope you enjoyed this little update. I personally greatly appreciate watching others renovate their homes. It’s great to see how it all comes together.

Have a great day!

Our NEW 2021 Forest River Grey Wolf RV

This might be a bit OFF topic on my blog. However family time and camping is a huge part of our life here at Notefull Living. We counted the days this year that we have been RVing and it’s 25 and counting.

We SOLD our old RV Trailer last month and bought a NEW 2021 Forest River Grey Wolf.

RV Tour

We have already taken it out for a camping trip and the FIRST night we had it home we slept in it.

Our Dog Kona wasn’t too sure what to do with all the space it has now.

Why Forest River?

1: Table and Banquet are bigger.

2: Fire Place

3: Built in ladder for the bunks

4: BUNKS! These bunks are huge and have a big opening to climb in.

5: Access the bathroom and kitchen with the slide in while traveling

Traveling tip: Eat your own food on the road. Saves you LOTS of money and much healthier then fast food.

Notefull Living

6: STORAGE: I’m so happy with our little bedroom. I can stand by the bed and just get something from the cupboards above the bed. Our old trailer – which I don’t miss – I had to jump on the bed.

Plus there’s the pantry – storage under the banquet and the outside storage is great. Plus a rack on the BACK of the trailer so we can store our BIKES!

My DIY RV Decor fit right in on top of the fireplace! Click on the link to get the FREE printable welcome sign.

Last and final reason why we bought this trailer:

7: It’s our anniversary gift! My husband and I rarely buy gifts for each other and sacrifice a lot for our family. This trailer means lots of family adventures ahead.

While cleaning our daughter wanted to hangout in the bunks.

Watch the full video Here:

Do you own an RV? Do you go Camping?

I love hearing where people go camping.

Comment below the places you have been!

Fall 2020 Home Cleaning and Organizing

The time had come. Summer is gone and colder weather means more time indoors. I’m not sure if anyone else feels this way but the Fall home cleaning and organizing can seem like an overwhelming task.

I’m not here to promise you some fast and easy tips. But I can take you along with me and how I do it.

Fall Home Organizing

At some point you pause and look at the mess you’ve been walking around and dig in to deal with it. This was the state of just our living room a few weeks ago. I had had enough.

Problem is – We have a reno started in the basement. As most DIY projects go, it’s slow. This means our kids toys are in transition from the basement playroom to their bedrooms. On the way, they literally took over our living room.

Here’s a few areas I covered:

Bedrooms:

Sorted and rotated all the kids clothes. My husband and I have a fairly minimal wardrobe so ours didn’t need it. Also sorted toys and made the kids clean out under their beds. Plus switched around dressers.

Recycling:

Glass bin was taken to the recycling depot. We also took 7 bags for the bottle return to get some cash back from all the cans we collected during camping. FYI – we don’t drink that much. Our kids collect cans and then get a cut from the money we get back.

Textile recycling – I always keep a bag going of ripped, torn or stained clothes or bedsheets and recycle it to a local Thrift Store.

Thrift Store:

I ended up having 4 boxes in the end. Old decor, toys and kids stuff they have grown out of .

Dump Run:

This is becoming a regular thing around here. With an old house that needs work. At least twice a year now we are doing a dump run. We had a stash beside our house that needed to go.

1: Just START!!

I knew I needed to deal with my kids clothes. It’s like the snowball affect. Start in one spot and let it just keep rolling. I needed the clothes cleared out and switched over in our daughters room.

Then I went to the boys room. The process took MUCH longer. 2 boys sharing a room. Plus saving clothes for the next kid is still happening. At least with my daughter I can just pass off what doesn’t fit her and pop it into a bag for a friend.

I managed to get ALL her current clothes in the top 3 drawers plus one of the bottom drawers and the rest of the drawers in the next sizes for her. It’s much easier to manage now and pick out her outfits.

2: Clean as you Go!

This room got out of control with 2 boys sharing it. So much stuff was under the beds and so forth. This room took close to a week to deal with. It’s small, but they have a lot of stuff.

We included them too. We believe it’s important that they learn to take care of their stuff. That’s a big reason why it took so long. It’s only been a few days since it looks like this, hope it starts sinking in for the boys.

4: Sort through the unexpected areas

I ended up going through shoe bins, snow pants and toys. I had 2 pairs of size 3 and size 6 snow pants. I don’t have twins in my house. Those were taking up space!

Yes – My entrance is super small, so sorting and purging is very needed. We have a large house, yet this split level entry keeps my on my toes of keeping it clean and organized.

As I said – snowball affect. It’s fall and I even pulled out the winter bins to double check if I needed any shopping to do or if I had stuff to get rid of.

By this point I had 3 bags of clothes for a friend, 4 bins for the thrift store, 7 bags of bottles to return and a bin for glass recycling.

5: Make money

I’m personally not a huge fan of posting Facebook market place items online. But, when I have some items I’ve bought and still have decent value I’ll put them up for sale.

I was able to make some extra cash on hand for our family. I still have more items to post. I’ve learned to only post an item at a time and post the next one once the current one is sold and picked up.

No – We didn’t sell our Table. Just sharing this as a reminder of what great deals you can find for second hand. This set we found on Market Place.

6: Enjoy and Relax

This took close to a month, between back to school and my ministry work starting up again to get this together. Plus we have had a new addition to our family that I look forward to sharing soon.

So yes – sit back and enjoy all the hard work you have done, maybe spend that extra cash you made on your self.

Full Video found here!

Are you doing any home fall clean up and organizing?

Fall Home Decor Tour 2020

Hey, It’s been super busy around here for our family with school starting. I haven’t had much time to keep up with content. Until now, now that we are getting our new routine with 2 in school and such.

So, it’s passed the date that it’s officially fall. I don’t get my decor up until middle of september. I just can’t bring myself to get stuff up in August still. Fall decor around my birthday is just weird.

Fall Home Decor Tour

Outside!

Lets start outside at the front of our house. If you’ve been following me for a while you know I love the outdoors. When I can get natural decor pieces for my front door or even inside I’m so excited.

One of my neighbors cut down a huge tree so I grabbed a few BIG stumps. Plus an added bonus I grew pumpkins this year and have just enough for decor out front and lots to make pies and soup with!

I picked some hydrengeas from my purple bush. Next year I want to make sure I dry them properly. Here’s also another stump. The down side of using natural decor like these stumps in the sap that’s oozing out. Again, super excited for the pumpkins.

This year I skipped the wreath. I figured this was enough. My front area isn’t that big and have learned not to overdue it. Although it’s super tempting to do that.

Inside

Last year we took down our TV from above the mantel. I’m so glad we did. I took down my old barn window and made this chalk art.

My kids were annoyed that Mom was creating and not them.

I kept it super simple this year and has me considering purging the rest of my fall decor.

Also in my living room is my piano. I’m pretty sure it’s not trendy to have mason jars as decor anymore. In my house they still are. I just switch out the bunches of white flowers I usually have for these nice fall looking leaves.

Here’s our kitchen table. This is a table runner I repurposed from curtains I bought that were too long. Again, I kept it simple. This set up I can easily move aside for meals and after cleaning the table just slide it back.

I’ve been doing a bunch of fall cleaning and happened to move this little table to the other side of this wall. If you watch my video you will see I had it on the other side.

I love the thankful, handmade sign from my sister in law.

I’m super grateful how it all came together. Simple and not over done. I love decorating. I find it to be a great outlet.

Here’s the latest video. Now that I’m done decorating the kids get to have fun with the chalk board and display their art above the fireplace. Got to love rainy fall days!

How about YOU?

Did you decorate for Fall?

Preserving the Harvest 2020

preserving theIt’s September 2nd.  I’m still here.  Just super busy with getting a camping trip in and then coming home to my garden and bringing in the harvest.

For me this is the best part.  I love seeing the plants start and grow from seeds.  An added bonus, my husband went out and bought a TIMER with a splinter and my garden and greenhouse got water twice a day while we were gone.

I’ll write a post next year in how we set it all up.

You can watch our camping video here:

I hope you got a chance to get out this summer.

Garden Harvest + September =  CANNING SEASON

We stopped in Keromeos BC, Canada on our drive back and bought peaches and salsa making supplies. It’s a great place to go and visit if you live in BC.  It’s right next to wine country, how could you not stop!

Picking the Harvest

I’m so grateful.  My garden is STILL pumping out harvest.  I’ve done a fall garden as well this year and things are still growing strong. I must say though….the weather has definitely shifted. Fall is coming quickly.

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I think this is round 3 of Harvest that I got this year. Lots of Tomatoes – Kinda thought I would have more, but that’s fine.  LOADS of beans. I’ve been getting good at making Rhubarb juice and using that more smoothies. I sadly lost my lettuce, which we loved having fresh most of the season.

Since this photo, I’ve been able to get more yet. Plus small fall Harvest that I planted. I can’t get over how abundant this year has been. I still feel like a new gardener as there’s lots to learn but I think I’m starting to turn a corner.

Preserving the Harvest

Now that everything is getting ready to pick it’s GO TIME. I’ll be honest and admit it’s tiring to do canning and I’m only doing a small scale.

IMG_2052I get help.  I don’t do it all on my own. My mom has come over to help with the Apple Sauce (she has an awesome machine that I borrow), plus she came and helped with the pears just now.

61939602015__140C4C82-8A8F-48D2-821C-7FEBA57D89F1My sister in law and husband LOVE their salsa so she pitches buying half the supplies and we all do Salsa together.  My husband comes home from work and he comes for the adding spices part which he enjoys.

The Strawberry Jam and Beans my husband and I did, plus a friend came over and helped with processing the beans.

Do your research if your starting out.  It’s easier and simpler then you think.

Make sure you ask a friend to help whose done it before or ask to come over when they are doing it.

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We are working on our storage room again and I had to move all my canning at the moment. It made for a nice picture I think!

Here’s a video that I made for YouTube where I take you along with me.

Other ways we Preserve:

Just a last thing to note. We have often frozen most of our harvest with a vacuum sealer.  I usually have my blueberries, blackberries, beans and apples in the freezer.  As I shared in the video we have a whole pig coming so I’ll need the space.

We also have a smoker and in the future I would like to dehydrate the harvest as well.

Last few thoughts to leave you with.  I’ve been feeling strongly about being self sufficient or being more PREPARED in general. Life is getting more challenging and being prepared is more important then ever.

I’m grateful I have a simple lifestyle and don’t need lots of “things” to be happy.  It makes me very happy that I have some food to have on hand that was fresh and freshly preserved.

How about you?  Are you prepared if there is an upcoming food shortage?

Do you can and preserve?