House Floor Plan

I’ve had a request to post the floor plans for the new house. At first I thought “haven’t I already posted them?” but a quick check and it turns out that I have never posted them on the blog. As soon as I tried to get screenshots I realized why I’ve never posted them….they needed a decent amount of manipulation before I could get them into a usable image from their original PDF format. Unfortunately the labels are pretty small, so it is hard to read everything, but these should give you the gist of house. Of course once we actually get the house built I can do a fancy little home tour with lots and lots of pictures. 

If you want to go back and read about how the floor plan came into existence you can read about the start of it here, here, and here

Here is the floor plan of the house….

Main Floor
Main Floor

Continue reading

Welcome to our Hole


We waited and waited and the day finally came…the day we got a hole!

On Friday morning we headed out to our lot to meet with our builder for the very first time. He was out there with the excavator and they were surveying our land. Our land is on a bit of a slope, so if you are looking at the land from the street the left side of the house (where the driveway will be situated) is higher than the right side of the house. It was really interesting to realize that the main floor on the right size of the house will actually be over 4′ higher than the ground. We also learned that we won’t be able to use the RockWell window well that we were originally planning on using for the basement egress window in the spare bedroom. The window is on the lower side of the house, so it is not going to end up requiring a full window well. We were originally considering doing a timber well, but decided to go with RockWell because of the insane price difference. Now that we can’t use a RockWell, we’re actually getting a small (1′-2′) timber well. Because the well will be so short, it will allow people in the basement guest room to have a decent view! Continue reading

Friday Favorites

So many link-ups, so little time. I think I might be able to combine all THREE of the linkups I want to participate in today into ONE post. Seriously.

We’ve got Oh, Hey Friday with Karli and Amy



Then one of my other favorite girls, Meagan over at All the Joys started up Friday Favorites….

All The Joys Friday Favorites
With Friday Favorites you share your five favorite blog posts that you’ve read in the past week. I think she picked a great week to start this up because I am sick and tired of all the negativity in the news lately. Ukraine and Russia are still going at it, and manage to shoot down 300 innocent people out of the sky, which also happened to be the second Malaysian Airlines tragedy this year, Israel is invading the Gaza Strip (for the billionth time), Syria is right next door and in the middle of a civil war, and I’m assuming ISIS is still taking over Iraq but there’s so much other horrible stuff going on that it’s not even making the news any more. Oh, and apparently life in other countries are so bad that people are trying to flood (illegally) into the United States in hopes of a better life. I love my Nightly News with Brian Williams, but if he doesn’t start adding more “Making a Difference” reports to his half hour I might need to take a break from the overwhelming amount of negativity I have to see each night. Anyway, Friday Favorites will be a great way to find other bloggers, put a smile on our faces, and share a few of my favorite reads with you! Which brings us to…

Continue reading

To Build a Home

I’ve had the song “To Build a Home” by the Cinematic Orchestra in my head a lot over the past few months. The problem? We haven’t actually started to BUILD a home…yet. “To Plan a Home” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it…know what I mean? We were delayed a while back when the blueprints we being prepared because the company was down an architect. I get it, that’s cool. We finally got the blueprints finished and all of our permits approved by the city at the end of June. I thought we would walk the lot with the builder and architect then start excavating within a week. WRONG. 

Do you know what's wrong with this picture? THERE'S NO HOLE!
Do you know what’s wrong with this picture? THERE’S NO HOLE!

Continue reading

Cody & Amanda’s Wedding

Honestly, I’ve been looking forward to this past weekend for so long that I have to admit I’m just a little sad that it’s behind us. It certainly lived up to its expectations. Cody and Amanda are such special friends to us, and we were thrilled to be there on their wedding day. As you’ll recall, Cody was an usher at our wedding and will forever be a part of our story given that he introduced me to Dave. I can’t take credit for introducing Cody to Amanda, but I can take some credit for providing him with his second cat, Huxley. That counts for something, right?  

Ring-Bearer-and-Flower-GirlAnyway, on to the wedding recap. We showed up at Valle Vista, a golf club in Greenwood, IN for the 6pm ceremony. The ceremony was in a gorgeous indoor / outdoor area near the putting green. It was covered, and there were fans (thank goodness, because this Canadian does not handle the hot and humid Indiana summers well at all), but we still got to enjoy the fresh air. It also allowed the bride to be driven up in a horse-drawn carriage. True story. Obviously it was the first time I got to see Amanda in her wedding gown, but she had described it to me a bit in advance. Her description of the dress was spot on, and it looked exactly like I had imagined it in my mind. Obviously she was gorgeous, but the thing I loved most was that the dress was just so Amanda. It’s hard to describe, but if a wedding dress can emulate a person’s personality, this one did to a tee. Continue reading

Oh Hey, Friday!

I was pretty excited to hear that there is another Friday linkup starting while the “Five on Friday” gals are on vacation. Thanks so much to Karli over at September Farm and Amy over at The Farmer’s Wife for putting “Oh Hey, Friday!” together! 


For this very first Oh Hey, Friday! I’m pretty excited to continue updating everyone on our house building process. This week we went and picked out….KITCHEN APPLIANCES! You know you’re old when you get excited about kitchen appliances. Whatever. I love spending time in the kitchen, but my current appliances can drive me a little bonkers. I will definitely be moving into my dream kitchen in 6 months or so! Continue reading

Bye Bye BMW

Dave and I were glad to see the month of June in the rear view mirror. July (so far) has been much better to us, albeit a little on the chaotic side. I feel like today is really the first day this month that I’m getting to sit down with a cup of coffee to write a morning blog post, which is always a great relaxing way to start the day. Anyway, here are some updates from the chaotic Mathew household…

Obviously we’re still dealing with Dave’s car accident. The claim was referred to the “Total Loss” department, so we were pretty sure they were going to say his car was a total loss. Apparently not. We think they really over-valued the car, but whatever. The thing was….we were originally planning on putting the car up for sale in October. The collision repair shop couldn’t get the car back to us until the end of July (about 5 – 6 weeks after the original accident date)! We would have to pay the deductible, which was no small sum, and we would be trying to sell a used car that had been in an accident. It really didn’t make a lot of sense. Instead, we decided to take a cash settlement from the insurance company (the estimated cost of repairing the car minus the deductible), because that amount was just a bit less than we figured we would have sold the car for in a couple of months. The problem? We were then left with the car. A car that needed to be removed from the collision repair center but couldn’t be driven anywhere. Dave contemplated having it towed back to our apartment and then salvaging and selling the remaining parts. I wasn’t a huge fan of the idea. We would have to pay to have the car towed to our place, then Dave would have to put the effort into dismantling the car in the middle of the summer heat, and then figure out how to sell the parts and ship them to the buyers. We might have got a bit more money out of the car, but it sounded like way too much of a hassle. Instead, Dave actually ended up finding a buyer for the car. It sounds insane, but Dave called up the shop where he normally takes the car to ask if they had any suggestions. It turns out that the owner of the shop was looking for a car to fix up for his grandson. Given that the bulk of the repair costs were from labor, and this guy could do a lot of the labor himself, it actually wasn’t a bad deal for him. Plus, he could tow the car away from the collision repair center and take it off our hands completely….and we got a bit of extra money out of the car. It was pretty much a win-win situation. I think we both felt a bit better knowing that the car would eventually go to a kid who would enjoy it rather than to a scrapyard. I guess we’re just a little sentimental. So….the BMW is no more. It’s still a little sad, because Dave really loved his car and has been driving it since he graduated college. 

IMG_0728 Continue reading

Pre-Foundation Selections

There really hasn’t been a lot to report about our home-building process lately. It took a good month or so for the creation of our blueprints, and our blueprint meeting was exciting but there really wasn’t a whole lot of new stuff to share. Now we have a final set of blueprints and a building permit from the city so we are almost ready to DIG! And by dig, I mean excavate. On Memorial Day I told our family that I figured we would probably excavate by the beginning of July. We’re obviously a little behind schedule from that, but we are set to excavate some time between July 7th and July 9th. We still need to walk the lot with our builder and architect and we met with our design coordinator to make our pre-foundation selections yesterday. 

We’ve been making a lot of decisions about this house from the very beginning. That’s the deal with building a custom home. We could customize anything and everything. We wanted a wall bumped out here or there? Done. We wanted an entire room moved from one floor to another? Done. We wanted to add fancy trim around the door of the study? Done. The structural options were endless. Making decisions about the structural options was fun, but you have the pressure that a lot of the decisions are very permanent. There are some changes that are just too difficult to make after the house has been built. Additionally, we really had to sit down and think about how we would use our house, despite the fact that we have never shared an entire house together as a couple before. Talk about pressure. Honestly, we never really stressed out about it too much (how we can have a screaming match over laundry but get this far into building a house without so much as an argument is beyond me….). But NOW…this is the really fun part. Instead of structural options we get to pick design options. 

Despite the fact that a lot of the design options could eventually be changed if we decide that we made a mistake, some design options aren’t quite as easy to fix. So we’re still in a pretty high-stakes portion of the decision making process. I’m talking about things like our front door, our garage doors, and the stone that will be used on the side of the house. That’s all stuff that we are never going to want to mess with ever again. In this case, I think making structural options was a little easier because we could think about how we wanted to use a certain area…but this is all about the look. We don’t have a whole lot of objective data to base our decisions….and I think that makes us both a little anxious.

English Walnut Door StainThe nice thing about our pre-foundation selections meeting was that we had already made several of the decisions. We picked out our front door ages ago. We still needed to decide on a stain color (we went with English Walnut, which is pretty much what every other person in the entire neighborhood has used) and on hardware. Honestly, hardware was a bit tough for us. Picking out the actual lock set was easy, but it took us a bit before we decided to go with an oiled bronze color instead of nickel.  Continue reading

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Flag

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends! In honor of the day I’ll be sharing the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Canada with all my American readers. Some of the questions I’ve been asked are ridiculous, others have been made out of pure curiosity, but I’ve been asked some variation of all these questions at some point in time. So here is your Canadian-themed education for the day!

What province are you from?

I’m rarely asked this question – because I’m much more likely to be asked what “providence” I’m from. “Providence” is the capital of Rhode Island, “provinces” are the equivalent of states in America. Geographically, Canadian provinces are much larger than states. There are a total of ten provinces and three territories. I’m from the province of Manitoba. 


Continue reading

Five on Friday

I didn’t get the memo about the Five on Friday link-up being on a summer vacation until this morning, and I already had this one ready, so you’re getting it anyway! This post could be titled “shop til you drop.” Honestly, between the fact that I had to return some previously bought stuff and I found some sales and coupons….I haven’t ended up spending all that much! I originally ordered a bathing suit and cover-up for our trip to Las Vegas, but it didn’t arrive in time, so I had to go purchase everything again in Las Vegas. That meant when I got home I needed to return the original order. I had also ordered a new skirt, but I found that it fit kind of funny and wasn’t very happy with it….so back it went as well. Given that I was already at Macy’s, I figured it would be a good as time as any to replace my black heels that broke in Las Vegas, given that I would be needing a pair for an upcoming wedding. You see where this is going….


I was originally looking to purchase a pair of heels that looked pretty much like my last pair. When it comes to heels I always buy Nine West. They’re classic, stylish, and way more comfortable than anything else I’ve ever found. The pair I wanted looked like this:

Nine West Heels

Unfortunately Macy’s did have this pair in stock. Instead I ended up finding this pair on sale:



These were originally $89, but I ended up walking out with them for about $59. #winning. I told Dave to budget $150 for new shoes, so I ended up with a happy husband as well.



Originally I had ordered this white maxi skirt by Style & Co. I had forgot that Style & Co tops and dresses fit me fine, but their bottoms…not so much. For the record, finding shorts / pants has always been a nightmare for me due to my disproportionately large thighs and read end. I pretty much have to go with skirts and dresses. Thank goodness leggings have come back into style, because I don’t know what I would do without them in the winter. Anyway, I digress. This skirt was made for someone with much more normal-sized thighs than myself, so it was returned. Sigh. Thankfully as I was browsing the store I came across another skirt that was really similar, but made by INC International Concepts….and it fit much better. Obviously I made the exchange. 



While browsing the racks of INC clothing, I came across another maxi skirt I liked, so I grabbed it as well. There were several good reasons for doing this. 1) It’s light and airy. 2) It’s comfortable. 3) It can be converted into a strapless dress. 4) It was on sale. 





My Essie obsession causes me to go through bottles of nail polish at a decently rapid pace. Unfortunately my bottle of Watermelon had seen its last day, so I was in need of a nice bright pink for summer. Instead of restocking my Watermelon, I decided to try out Fiesta. We got into the check out line and my husband told me to go grab another bottle because he found a coupon for $4 off 2 bottles. You don’t have to ask me twice to go get another bottle of Essie! I ran back and grabbed Ruffles & Feathers from the Summer 2014 collection. Can’t wait to give them a try!

Ruffles and Feathers
Ruffles and Feathers


Yoga CapriI looooooove Costco. Love it. I usually don’t buy a whole lot of clothing there, other than socks. Recently I found a pair of yoga pants that I really liked, which is great because I needed a couple pairs for slumming around the house and doing chores. Originally I picked up a pair in blue, and on my next trip in I decided to get another pair because I liked them so much. Then my husband talked me into getting three extra pairs instead of just one. Obviously my husband is brilliant and the best person to shop with ever. So in addition to the blue, I now have them in green, black, and pink as well. They’re just $17 each. Just add it to the list of reasons I adore Costco. I feel like I’m turning into my father, who has worn Costco-bought fishing pants on a daily basis for years. Sigh. Oh well. 

Until later, Ashlen