Posts Tagged ‘House’

Well, there is one last step to be done (sealing the stone) but then it’s officially done. 🙂 I thought I would take you through the process since it took several months from start to finish. We got a design done – a process that started back in March 2014. After a few months of back and forth and changes, tweaks, etc., we had our design. We were put in touch with a contractor and work actually began in August 2014. This is what our yard looked like before any work was done (these are actually the pics from the real estate listing right before we moved in) – it really was a blank slate:

Old yard 2

Old yard 3

Old Yard

Next came the design – and we still made a few changes to it (removed some planters, added a path to connect the patio to the gate) – I have lots of 3D design images but this one shows all the different areas quite well:

Design - Top View

Then came the demo of the existing backyard the hole digging:


deck holes

Then the decking:

deck layout

pre grouns 2

pre ground

pre ground 3

Started to lay the composite – love the herringbone pattern and colors we chose for the decking, stone and decorative walls:

pre-bbq wall

pre pergola

pre lounge

Choosing our wall (rundle ridge)

Then came the structural bits for the BBQ area, pergola, pathway:

Path and behind bbq



The lighting…  We have two zones – post lighting and stair lighting – all around the deck and it comes with a remote control:

Lighting in prog

And finally, they installed the BBQ, did the landscaping, we ordered our furniture, they stained the parts that were wood and did all the little odds and ends (except sealing the stone – to come in about 1-2 weeks after a power wash, and I have to put on our BBQ cover that I picked up yesterday) and we have our dream backyard:



Dining and Firepit





It took a while but the workmanship was really great throughout. There are so many little details – I really love it. So excited to spend the summer out there!  We will be replacing the firepit that came with the house for something a bit larger and more functional – like a firepit table that we can put our wine glasses on 🙂 and landscaping the rear of the yard is planned for next year.

I crossed off a Life List item too – Have my dream backyard. 🙂


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Well, not really so big…we moved just 15 minutes west of where we were. But, with all moves come lots and lots of details and, you know me: LISTS to get it all done!

We are now happily settled in our new home with a very short list of things left to do.

For a couple of weeks, we debated on whether it would make more sense to reno our existing house to meet the needs not currently being met (more like nice-to-haves) or should we look at moving to a house that already has those desired items. We decided we didn’t have the space to renovate and achieve what we wanted, so a move was in our future.

As soon as a decision is made, I typically shift into an organizational tyrant dictator diva extraordinaire to get things done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Hence all the lists and tendency towards military precision and flawless execution. I take no prisoners. 🙂

But, honestly, I thrive on projects like this and truly enjoy coordinating all the details and timing things perfectly.

And here we are! 🙂 Everything went fine with the packing, the pre-move renos, the actual move, the unpacking, all the move-related tasks, everything. We’re looking forward to making new memories in our new home, enjoying our new space, exploring our new neighborhood and learning about the differences between our old town (Mississauga, ON) and our new one (Oakville, ON). Crossed off a couple of life list items with this move too:

  • Have my dream bedroom
  • Have a walk-in shower

We’re planning on redoing the backyard in the spring to create our very own oasis with multi-level deck and outdoor living space – looking forward to that as well. 🙂

Good times!

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We’re Moving!

Yep, we’re moving! We’ve bought a house and will soon be listing ours. Super excited! 🙂  About 1-2 months ago, we started talking about possibly moving or possibly doing renos. When it came down to it, there’s no way we could reno our existing home to include the things we’d like to have. The two deal breakers were 1) a nice master ensuite – right now we have a small ensuite with toilet, one sink and combo shower/tub. And 2) a yard large enough to have a good size outdoor living space. Right now, the pool takes up pretty much the whole yard.

So, house hunting began. We currently live in Mississauga and we were looking anywhere between Mississauga to Burlington. Since I take the train to work, I needed to be close enough to a station. Our wish list going into it was:

  • Large, modern master ensuite with separate glass shower
  • Large yard with enough space to create a nice outdoor living space
  • Large master with enough closet space
  • Modern kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances
  • Garage
  • Finished basement
  • 4 bedrooms (master, office, 2 guest rooms)
  • Wood floors
  • Close to train

The house we bought is in Oakville and has all of the above (yay!) except it has carpet upstairs but we’ll be redoing the floors prior to moving in. We’re also already planning on building an awesome deck and outdoor space next spring (think pergola, gazebo, the works). 🙂

We’ve started with the cleaning/purging/packing and it feels good to get rid of so much stuff.

Stay tuned for our progress!

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Might be Moving

We’ve been toying with the idea of moving. Not that we don’t like our house – we do – but it’s still missing a few things that we’d really like to have in a home. Some things we’d be unable to do with renos (i.e. enough room for a good-sized outdoor living space). Some we would be able to do (walk-in shower in the master ensuite).

We’ve contacted our real estate agent and he’ll be coming to see our house today to set a list price, etc.

So over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be visiting homes in and around our area to see if we could find a house that has everything we’d like. If not, we’re probably looking at some renos.

Either way, this will be a fun project over the next few months. 🙂

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We moved into our house almost 4 years ago now and we never got around to painting the extra bedroom we’re using as our gym. And by gym, I don’t mean anything extravagant – it’s the room we keep the treadmill, stationary bike and a few free weights. The previous owners used it as a bedroom for one of their kids and the walls were pale yellow. Not really my thing. I had spackled the nail holes a couple of years ago but never painted. Until now!

I had a week’s vacation planned and decided that it would be a good time to get this room closer to completion. So, off to Rona I went for some paint, paint tape and a new roller and brush and I finally got her done!

I chose a neutral color – Stone Harbour (left) since there’s a beigey carpet in there):

Next, we moved the treadmill and bike facing the wall where we’d eventually put up a TV. I ordered white sheer curtains from Amazon – because we don’t really want our neighbors watching us exercise. 🙂

Next I started thinking about what to hang on the walls. It’s a gym, where you go to be active, so was thinking about motivational stuff. We travel quite a bit so I decided to select our favourite photos of us doing something active during our trips. It’ll bring back good memories and we can keep adding/updating as we do more. Buying frames and getting the pics printed is the next step.

So the room is still a work in progress, but it’s much closer to the end result and the vision has been established. Not much to show yet but I’ll post pics once I get a bit more done.

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During a discussion with friends this past weekend, it occurred to me that I’ve evolved quite a bit over the past couple of years. If I look at the “me” from a few years ago, I didn’t have the faintest idea about home ownership, was afraid of bugs, killed every plant I touched, stuck to my usual hobbies/activities… Mind you, I was very happy at the time but I had no idea what I was missing. Don’t get me wrong, bugs and I still don’t have a warm and fuzzy relationship. BUT, I no longer run away squealing with arms waving if a bee is in my vicinity. My, how I’ve grown!

I am proud to say report (with confidence) that I am about 80% of the way towards conquering my fear of spiders. I have killed so many spiders in the past year, I can’t even count them. Those who “when me when” will find this absolutely shocking. The remaining 20% are the big mamas – but I will get there. I’ve killed one so far. We don’t get very many where we live. Maybe I just need more innocent victims…

I have also managed to maintain landscaped front and rear yards (oh all right, with the help of a gardener, but still)… 🙂 I have also grown my own herbs and tomato plants which we’ve been eating all summer – and they’re still alive!

I learned “home”-stuff like taking care of a pool (skimmer and all) and building a fire. I tried new activities that I would never have tried before: archery, ziplining, riding a Segway, yacht racing, horseback riding and more! And discovered a new hobby and appreciation for learning about wine.

Here is a look back at some old posts from “back in the day” that give me a chuckle when I read them now. 🙂

Val the gardener: https://valcitygal.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/feb-23-val-the-gardener-strikes-again/

Val the hardware store expert: https://valcitygal.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/nov-29-christmas-preparations/

Val the pool cleaner and gas stove cook: https://valcitygal.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/toronto-day-8-oct-3-2008/

Looking forward to more of the same!

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For all of you who, like me, are looking forward to the return of our most-loved shows this fall, I present a quick reference to The Schedule (my faves anyway – you’re on your own for the rest :P):

  • The Big Bang Theory: Premiere Thurs. Sept 23rd 8pm ET (Note: the fact that it’s moving to Thursday, the prime time prime real estate slot, says a lot about the success of this show. Love you Sheldon!)
  • House: Monday Sept. 20th 8pm ET
  • Glee: Tuesday Sept. 21st 8pm ET
  • Fringe: Thursday Sept 23rd, 9pm ET
  • Grey’s Anatomy: Thursday Sept 23rd 9pm ET
  • Survivor Nicaragua: Wednesday Sept 15th 8pm ET
  • Desperate Housewives: Sunday Sept 26th 9pm ET

So, looks like the vast majority are all premiering on the same week. And with TBBT moving to Thursday, followed by Greys? Thursday is still the best slot ever. And look – Survivor got bumped to Wednesdays! Very interesting indeed.

Will Cuddy and House finally hook up?

How will the doctors at Greys cope with the aftermath of the shooter?

Will we ever see the real Agent Dunham return to their universe?

Looking forward to all of them.

And of course, there are some new shows too. A couple that I’ll probably take a look at:

  • Hawaii 5-0
  • $#*! My Dad Says (the new Shatner comedy – c’mon it’s Shatner – gotta watch it)


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