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

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

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!


Suburban Gardening

It’s Harvest Time! 

I live in the Suburbs of Vancouver in the lovely Fraser Valley and I’m happy to say we scored a decent backyard with the property we bought. I’m still dreaming of an acreage, but for now I will soak up all I can from our little home in the burbs.

I’m a country girl deep down and I grew up with helping my grandparents harvest out of their big garden in the country and their suburban home that they downsized too. I grew up gardening with my mom and my grandpa ended up having a garden on our property too.  It’s just in my veins I guess you can say.

To me, our backyard is small. This year we made planter boxes.  Wow, I wish we made these sooner. We are actually planning to make more in another area. Dreaming big over here.

I’ve shared in my 10 Reasons why I love Gardenening that you can garden anywhere. 

Here’s a look at our garden looked like in June.IMG_0294

Here’s a recent photo in the end of July. We have 4 boxes this year. The wooden Tee Pee’s are covered with snap peas and green beans.


This year I didn’t have as big of harvest as I have had in previous years. Still, anything in our freezer or in canning jars is a win win. 

Our kids love running to the garden to pick a fresh snap pea and for me, I’m just simply in my happy place.


Our harvest this year was lots of Pole Beans, Snap Peas, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Maggie, White Onion, Lettuce, Arugula and Chives.  


I think my favorite so far was making the blueberry rhubarb sauce with local blueberries. We made a cheesecake and brought that sauce along to a friends luncheon. Lets just say the dessert was DEVOURED. It was so good. I’ll have to remake it again and take pictures next time!!

I love summer. Especially our camping trips and time with family. But gardening to provide fresh food for my family, you can’t put a price on that.

_Growing your own vegetables never looses it's value_

It’s worth all the hard work that does into it. Once you have a system, it doesn’t take much to keep the maintenance going with it.

Do you have a garden? Like mine in town?  If I could I would expand on the whole property…then we would really need an acreage.

What’s your favorite thing to grow?


Living in the Suburbs

“Living in the Suburbs”, whenever I hear that phrase as a kid I didn’t think that would be me.Living in the Suburbs

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.Notefull Living (2)

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. IMG_9995

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.

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Until my next post, have a great day!