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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
I ended up having 4 boxes in the end. Old decor, toys and kids stuff they have grown out of .
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?
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
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.
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!
Need to talk about self care today. Especially around this current time we are in. While walking with our puppy and the kids this morning all of this was heavy on my mind.
I’ve always been a ‘rule follower’. I’m not saying I am perfect at following the rules but , I’ve realized this whole stay home order that we have in Canada is kicking in all my childhood thoughts and feelings? Why?
How am I feeling?
Left out, like a failure and alone…
Last week my son noticed our neighbor having friends over. It was obvious by conversations that all the adjoining yards to hers that they are front line workers.
‘Mom, if I’m not allowed to have friends over why is she?’ Good question?
We are blessed to live by lots of parks and trails. Recently the bc parks got closed, which meant we’ve been sticking close to home more then we have. I recently learned friends going for walks and right away felt ‘left out’. Again, those childhood fears crept right back up.
An order is an order, doing our best to be an example to our kids to ‘follow the rules’. Then there’s doing ‘crisis homeschooling’. Last week I completely missed read a section of the school website and missed several day’s worth of learning that I should have been doing. Those old feelings surfaced of being a failure and not ‘understanding’ the teachers directions and doing it wrong. All came back. Create and hands on is how I learn. Written directions have always been a challenge.
As much as all these feelings of left out, failure and alone. Seriously, grocery shopping is just silently weird. I’m almost always that annoying chatty person in the line up. As much as I can come across as shy I like meeting new people. Spaced out line ups and sparse shoppers in the stores is weird and kinda lonely.
Managing it all
As I write this on my phone, my son has his class zoom call soon and my neighbor just dropped off dalia tubers in my mailbox.
I allow these feelings to come up, acknowledge them and move on.
Truth is I’m so exhausted at the end of the day. It’s a good exhausted feeling. One that tells me I’m not giving up on life. I’m keeping more busy then I ever have and am very grateful for what I do have.
I’ve been through too many ‘rough’ patches to know it’s temporary and the know the feeling of freedom once I’m out of the worst of it.
Flute playing, gardening, family birthdays, decor projects, Reno projects, organizing, running a ministry, blogging, studying, housework and family life. I think that’s it? I couldn’t do any of this without my faith or my amazing marriage with my husband.
How are you managing this Coronavirus self isolation order?
It’s almost 2020, Here’s my last blog post for the year! Thanks for you support and have a great night!
I love writing these posts. I’m starting to enjoy this side of blogging where I can look back and see which posts were my top posts. Having an overview look at how much things have changed, mostly for the better.
How was 2019 for YOU?
This year has been intense. That’s how I can describe it. To only give a small look at the intensity it had to do with the following: 2 Family Deaths, 2 Plumbing issues, unexpected electrical inspection, Financial tests like we have never experienced and much much more.
My husband and I both lost Grandparents. Truth is both Grandparents had long lost their spouses and have suffered with physical pain and I’m thankful they are relieved of that now.
There’s no amount of pictures or special videos that you can make in today’s day to capture the last moment I had with my Grandfather and my daughter as he was in Hospice. He turned with the little strength he had left and gave his youngest family member the biggest grin and she smiled back.
What a legacy both of these people leave behind for my husband and I.
I don’t believe in coincidences, my BIGGEST blog post of the year had to do with my own personal Grief.
I guess there’s something about sharing a testimony of a difficult part of my life to give YOU who read my blog a real “Heart to Heart”.
You all LOVED it. I suppose my approach to not be a “selling” blog means something still.
This biggest thing I’ve learned from being knocked down is to just get right back up.
Remember, I said this year was intense.
I will confess I was up to 4 cups of coffee a day and pretty much consumed a full Costco bag of chocolate chips in a month this past fall. Not ashamed to share my stressful glutenous outbursts.
This all still didn’t stop me for writing and creating content for here on the blog. I had big blog posts planned relating to our house for 2019. Considering a big water leak was involved in that area of our home…that post is still yet to come.
Instead I began a journey in our home to be more “Homemade and Local”. These were some of my favorite posts to write.
Oh! I almost forgot I started adding FREE printable for you! Check out: Creating a Homemade Home to get yours. Yes, the plates are something from my Grandparents. There is something “home style” about hanging old plates.
How am I ending 2019 on a High Note. My husband and I suspected at the beginning of the year that one of us would possibly loose a grandparent. We didn’t expect us both.
Our BIG RENO project is still in “Reno mode”, and the storage room reveal needed to get re-opened again.
Here’s what I told myself…
“No matter what hurdles keep me from doing what I need to get done,
I’ll not let that slow me down”.
I had hoped 2019 was the year I launched my piano tuning business officially. N.O.P.E. But, I’m playing my nicely tuned piano again as I finally overcame all this years DRAMA FEST, which I didn’t add on my list from above.
Since November, I’m down to one cup of coffee a day (not 4). Today I’m removing sugar from my day to day food that I consume. Our boys actually passed swimming lessons recently and our youngest finally started walking last week. I actually did a workout today, been trying to fit that in also since November.
Me and 3 kids doing a workout video with Jillian Micheal is a site to see. I personally don’t post my kids for their privacy. If you have kids and have tried fitting a workout into your day and are too cheap to bother going to the gym it’s entertaining.
One last High Note (aside from a nicely tuned piano in my home), my most liked Instagram post was my wedding photo.
Love this Man and the life we have, it is worth all the storms that we face together.
If 2019 was intense for you, especially if it comes an important thing like your marriage. I don’t know your story but know this, whatever storm your facing you can overcome it.
Just like the example set before my husband and I with our grandparents and our parents, it’s not worth holding grudges or being bitter, but forgiveness and working together that counts.
Our marriage is built around our relationship with Jesus Christ. Not everyone agrees with that choice that we made. Not sure what life would look like without that important relationship that my husband and I hold with HIM.
Thanks for your support this year and taking time to read and comment on my blog.
“Living in the Suburbs”, whenever I hear that phrase as a kid I didn’t think that would be me.
Plus as a kid “Suburban Living” was a place where they lived in the US. The Movies might have something to do with how I got that idea.
In my teens, living in the country I was going for a bike ride in the summer and got stopped by a vehicle. A bunch of ladies in their 20’s poke their head out. “Where’s the LAKE??”, “We’ve been driving for like EVER!!”. So I gave them directions and told them it would be maybe another 40 minutes (depending on which beach they go to).
Their last comment to me was, “You live in the BOONIES”.
It turns out a bunch of them from San Francisco where here visiting their friend from Vancouver.
The boonies comment has stuck with me because I thought they were crazy to think that. But now when we do go visit Vancouver and drive back home I think about those ladies. I put myself in their shoes and I would think driving it for the first time and when you go through to the turn off for Cultus Lake it’s mostly a lot of trees and farms (for a visitor that may seem like the boonies)…
Today, The Fraser Valley area outside of Vancouver where I grew up is vastly changing and definitely the “Suburbs of Vancouver”.
It’s becoming more like the suburbs that I saw in the movies as a kid.
Top that off, LOTS of movies and TV shows are filmed here. I recently bumped into a prop guy in the flower aisle at a local dollar store. We got chatting and he told me there was 20 filming contracts currently in town.
Living in the Suburbs is different for me. My husband grew up in town, where as I grew up in the country. As I said in the beginning I didn’t think I would be “Living in the Suburbs”. Here I am.
If your currently living in the suburbs or thinking of moving there, here’s some insight.
I honestly thought I would have to give up so much of what I love (open space).
If I could be a mini backyard homestead I would in a heartbeat.
But, our Suburban City lot is still JUST to small for that dream.
You can still live and create your home to be the home you’ve dreamed of living in the suburbs.
Everyone has their own likes and dislikes or styles. There’s a place for community and getting to know your neighbors (or not, if you don’t want to).
I didn’t think giving our realtor our wish list that he would hit most of the check boxes for example: Family Home, Room for RV, Big backyard etc…. Then we came to this house and there was a bonus on my dream list, the greenhouse.
Along with those likes and dislikes, there’s so many options in the Suburbs. For us right now, we’ve been able to buy an affordable, “fixer upper” home. We’ve done a big renovation on our townhouse (meant to be short term to flip) and yes, it’s a LOT of work, and it paid off in the end.
I’m planning to share those renovations in the near future. I love a good “Before and After”. I’m a massive binge watcher of anything Reno and love watching the transformation. We’ve done a small upgrade in our kitchen that’s made a massive impact already.
We’ve already done some much needed work in our backyard and our house has forced us to do the major updates for the important things like the furnace and roof to name a few.
Yes, my big dream is to have acreage and if I could write a “Homestead blog” I would fully do that. BUT, like I’ve shared before we live in the suburbs and our lot won’t be able to be the little homestead dream at this time.
For now, I get an abundance of raspberries and lovely flowers from the lady behind me. Our neighbor beside has a lovely grapevine and mini orchard and we share garden tips all the time. Love where we are at and our little community.
If you like what you read, LOVE to have you SUBSCRIBE to my blog.
You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Did you set new years goals? I’ve changed how I approach new years goals. I stick to a word, my word this year is consistent.
2019 I want to be consistent with my blog.
Does using one word make a difference?
2 years ago my word was “Fearless”. I fearlessly set up my first blog (no longer exists) and started writing. This was after 2 years of that nudging that I should do this, I finally listened. I didn’t know what to expect, I learned I loved it. Last may I switched to a new platform and I’m very glad I did.
2018 my word was “brave”. Brave to me also means to be strong and courageous. With blogging you become your own “brand”. I personally find this part a challenge. Being your own brand with blogging means being in front of the camera, A LOT.
Writing a blog post and sharing some pictures is one thing. Constantly posting in stories on Instagram and Facebook, learning Twitter is a whole other learning curve.
Your welcome to follow me on any of those social media pages.
If you looking into starting a blog, a big thing is photography. I’ve always loved photography. If I look back of my years of pictures I’m always taking artsy shots.
If Blogging is a future goal of yours, get a good camera and start practicing.
What’s a niche?
The other thing about blogging is finding your “niche”, which lots of people say you can make lots of money at sharing your “hobby”. Well, maybe I’m a little off in saying this. I think blogging didn’t start out that way. It used to be a place for people to share stories and recipes.
As much as I love music, my everyday living keeps going back to a more country way of living. Like making our own broth, or grape jelly.
Definitely live a suburban life in the Fraser Valley.
Something about keeping it simple is appealing to me. Let’s just say I haven’t noticed which blogging niche I’m in yet, just enjoying blogging for now.
Picking a Blog Name
My blog name is “Notefull Living”. The word Notefull has a different or deeper meaning to me then just “noteworthy tips for everyday living”.
To share a small piece of my story. I’m a musical person and honestly there was a time where I couldn’t hear the music. Sounds weird, to be playing music and not hear it.
My Faith has a big part in making me whole again.
When I got into a better place and not dwelling on all the hurt from my past or recent loss in my life, I looked to lots of blogs (and books) for DIY, recipes and gardening ideas as I recognized they were a great outlet to make and create.
If you have something to share, share it!
Some people use the phrase that their heart is full, well literally the notes are full in my life again and I couldn’t be happier.
Everyday Living Goals
I have 3 young kids. Technology at this time with them being young is only hindering the time I have them, which is only for a short while that they are small. I would love to shut the technology all off. That’s not the world or time we live in. So being consistent with my blog is a big challenge. One I’m ready for, now that I’ve been growing and starting to become established.
My niche isn’t keeping with the popular themes “mommy blogger” that people pick. I’m just being myself. If you meet me in person, I hope I’m the person you like meeting online.
When I’m not online, I keep up with friends, hiking and getting outside in the yard with my garden. Something about gumboots that feel like home when I slip into them.
I know there’s lots of wonderful blogs out there that outline “How to make a blog”.
If it’s your 2019 goal to make one, I would love to read it.
Finding a niche isn’t easy. Just enjoy the process as you learn.
It actually just arrived a week ago. 2018 in general has been a full year for us. December was quite a ride, full of fun, but a ride and I was trying to keep up. Still am, truthfully.
Tomorrow I get to do a “Christmas at my house” presentation with my son in his classroom. So, keeping in step with that same idea I’m just going to share on here the same thing.
Here’s the deal, I have a huge appreciation for Home Decorating and by no means am I an interior decorator. Do I binge watch on YouTube and Instagram at the beautifully decorated homes, yup.
Enough of that. Here’s our home. I usually decorate more in my home. Christmas is just sticking to the living room.
I’m excited for the 6 stockings. We are a family of 5, now with our little girl. A student staying with us for Christmas makes 6. Each stocking is marked by a special ornament to represent a member of the family. No – I didn’t make the stockings. I’ve been asked several times. I would like to make them in the future, once these give up.
Our mantel normally has a garland on it. With our kitchen shelf not up, the boys wanted the train out, so the mantel is full of extra fun Christmas trinkets.
OK, there is a touch of homemade on here. I made my ornament one year, with the intention to finish the other ones for the family. I think I’m missing letters for everyone else. Isn’t the stocking cute? I was happy to find these for my husband and I to hang.
On the side of our fireplace sits the favorite spot for everyone in the house. Our big black leather chair. We moved our wooden box for the tree to fit. I won this table runner at a market several years ago and love pulling it out every year. Yes, Style at Home magazine tends to reside here and I flip through it often.
On the other side of the room I switched up by pillow covers for my DIY pillow cover made from a sweater. Above that our kids make big glittery snowflakes with their Oma this year to hang in the opening.
Had to add the piano in here of course. This was the first to get decorated. I’m thankful my flute isn’t used as a weapon anymore and actually fits there with the music books so I can still play Christmas chorals (when I can).
A sneak peak at the Christmas Tree. Had to share this lovely little country girl. The only ornament from my childhood tree as a kid. My initials are penned on the bottom of her shoe. Along with my new favorite Music garland.
Here’s another snapshot of the ornaments on the tree. It’s real, every year we have a real tree. Yes, needles are everywhere, It’s hard to get the garland to fit just right and ornaments are hard to hang. BUT, we LOVE having a real tree. It’s great fun taking the kids to a local tree farm and cut one down.
There it is. Our real family inspired Christmas tree. Can you tell where the kids decorated? I keep finding ornaments all over our house from our 3 year old. Or find them moved all to one branch. Either way they are loving having Christmas set up.
Is 2018 really almost done? I’m ready for 2019. How about you? I’m looking forward to sharing more with you in the new year.
I’ll be doing a series of post with a Home Tour of our home. We are finally have the time to start the much needed renovations. I’ll be sharing our Kitchen, Living Room and Upstairs bath.
Noteworthy Tip: If you are buying a home and it’s been “renovated”. Take someone with you that’s done renovations or does renovations for their line of work.
No one wants to re -renovate a “reno”.
Since before my husband and I got married I’ve binged watched on home renovation shows. Have a huge appreciated the work of Interior Designers and their creativity with designing and Home Decor.
We live in the Fraser Valley, just outside of Vancouver BC. The housing market here is nuts. 4 years ago we sold our renovated townhouse and bought this house.
With our budget and the neighborhood we wanted to buy in, this was the right house for us. Since we had already done renovations with our first home our realtor knew he could show us homes that needed some much needed reno’s but still livable.
The only rooms that have done are the kids rooms. Everything as you see in the photo’s is still as is.
The Kitchen – 1970’s anyone? This kitchen is hanging onto the 1970’s.
We suspect there was an attempt to paint the cabinets? I think that’s why there’s a 2 toned thing happening? At some point this kitchen got a new counter top and flooring.
This kitchen may seem big, but this is it for cabinets, it’s a challenge for food storage.
I’m not an expert on home decor or furniture. There’s lots of “styles” out there. Here you get a glimpse of what we like. Home Decor and Furnishings can get expensive fast. Working at a home decor store and helping interior designers taught me that. I’ve done what I can currently with a limited budget to still have solid pieces.
When it comes to “styles”, I found this in one of my magazines which sums up what I think is my style. I would change the word cottage for country.
Rustic Cottage Style: Distressed paint, tarnished metal and reclaimed wood; collected antiques, heirlooms and flea market finds. This style is a reflection of a well-loved space with a story to tell that gets richer over time. Style at Home Magazine
There’s a lot in our living room of heirlooms, antiques that is well- loved with stories to tell. When it’s time to fully renovate the kitchen and living room, you will see the Rustic Country style more in our home.
Currently we have bought a custom designed couch and my hubby got his big leather chair. We are looking forward to the day we can get rid of the carpet.
On the listing for this house, it claimed to have an updated bathroom. This was the first house we settled with living with someone else’s DIY Reno. This is why I shared my noteworthy tip in the beginning.
Our realtor commented we weren’t his usual clients and picked out things most people wouldn’t.
You learn a lot about a house when you renovate one.
The blue, in my opinion is intense. It’s on the ceiling too. I’m glad my decor from our townhouse fit in. I also found a shower curtain that works with this space.
I’m not a pro photographer, this picture was hard to take.
This bathroom is functional (ish). We have gotten used to the outdoor tile on the floor. I’m surprised the cabinet doors and drawers are holding up, considering the granite (I’ve learned to dislike) is custom fitted. The under mount sink also doesn’t fit the counter top, it’s a mold fest under there. We’ve stopped trying to fix the drain plug.
We’ve been shopping for supplies and this weekend will be moving things around to start making this place more our own.
If you have been reading my blog, you will know Music is a big part of my life. To give a hint of the space we are updating, you will notice my piano isn’t in these pictures.
My Piano is in the area of the kitchen.
When the renovation is done I’ll post a before and after.
Until then I’ll give a tour of the kids rooms. I love how our boys room turned out. I’ve already shared on Instagram a sneak peak.
If you haven’t already, Please follow my blog and for more everyday living of what I’m up to you can follow me on Instagram or like my page on Facebook.