this ol house

Our house is almost 100 years old – built in the early 1920’s, shortly after the Halifax Explosion.

When we moved in eight years ago, the house had only one previous owner who had recently passed away. The family freshened up the house for selling by pulling out all of the dated pieces and restoring the original details which gave the home its character. I have no shame is saying they did exactly what they needed to do to convince a gal like me the house was absolutely perfect… And for a few good months, I kept that thought.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved this house and the neighbourhood, but I quickly found faults: No closets, small bedrooms, no open space, darkness, rot, dampness, etc. and by the time David was born, less than two years later, Mike and his Dad tore off and rebuilt the back mud room that was rotting. Next up, the bathroom! And after spending a few weeks in a house without a full bathroom and an eight-month-old baby, we realized we were the type of people who could conquer any renovation thrown at us!

Why not rip apart the entire main floor, dig out a basement, and replace all the windows? Hire a contractor from hell and go wild! Who needs a kitchen when you have a retro toaster oven and a bathtub? We lived upstairs above all of the dust and chaos for seven months when David was three. It was nuts but worth it when all was said and done.

Since then, we’ve scaled back on renovations but have done some landscaping and updates to David’s room and our bedroom room.

Now that it has been over four years things are starting to need a little TLC.

I read about the idea of creating a WHOLE HOUSE TO DO LIST on Young House Love and thought it’d be fun to write one for our home.

So here is the list. Some big. Some small. Some that will happen. Some that likely won’t:

Main Floor:

  • Paint the stairs (they’re chipping) and add a runner (not sure if they will stay purple)
  • Wallpaper the powder room
  • Repaint the hallway
  • Paint the playroom – keep it as a playroom or make it an office?
  • Replace the broken TV unit
  • Build built-in shelving for the playroom
  • Replace the broken pane of glass on the french door
  • Replace the coat rack in the front room with wall hooks
  • Fix the under cabinet lightening in the kitchen
  • Paint the bathroom door deep navy?
  • Replace the rug in the living room
  • Replace the hallway rug
  • Replace the coffee table – move coffee table to basement
  • Add more pictures to the gallery wall
  • Fix the clutter problem with the closet under the staircase and add lighting
  • Mount the TV or fix it so it looks like it is not supposed to be mounted


  • Finish building the laundry room
  • Paint the stairs
  • Paint the railing
  • Mount the TRX
  • Buy a deep freeze
  • Build shelving for the old basement storage
  • Declutter!
  • Move the washer and dryer out of the new basement and into the laundry room that needs to be finished
  • Add baseboards and repaint the new basement
  • Install the Flor floor tile carpet we have
  • Furnish the basement so it’s an awesome rec. room

Second Level:

  • Fix the cracks in the walls… plaster woes
  • Paint the bathroom
  • Fix the window trim in the bathroom
  • Replace the bathroom mirror
  • Replace the current hallway linen cupboard with a floor to ceiling closet (but account for the attic opening)
  • Figure out a plan for upstairs…
    A. Move the office down to the current playroom and make the current office a closet. This will give us a proper guest room.
    B. Move the office to the current closet/guest room and bust out the wall between the current office and our bedroom to make a bigger bedroom with a closet.
    C. Move David’s to our current room, keep the office where it is and bust out the wall between the current closet/guest room and David’s room to make a big master bedroom with a closet.
    D. RENOVATE: Build out on top of the flat roof to make a big master bedroom with a closet and ensuite that wraps around David’s room. Move the window in David’s room to accommodate this. Keep the office where it is and make our current bedroom the guest room.


  • Get a swing for the front porch
  • Hang the mailbox
  • Stain the decks
  • Get a hanging flower basket for the side entry
  • Move the vegetable garden
  • Get a new outdoor dining set
  • Install a lap pool
  • Add outdoor lighting to the shed
  • Add tall grass to the back of the backyard
  • Get a new BBQ
  • Get a mechanical shade awning in the backyard
  • Finish sealing the patio stones

I know, it seems like a lot of stuff right? But I think it’s smart to write it all down so we can keep track of our goals and priorities. We probably won’t get a lap pool but it doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of our wish list!

Do any of you have a crazy list like this or is it too overwhelming to write down? Let me know!
IMG_0557IMG_0562IMG_0605IMG_0650IMG_0972IMG_0973IMG_0997IMG_1016IMG_1018IMG_1087IMG_1165IMG_1175psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

neighbourhood stalk

Truth time. Two things about me you may not want to know…

  1. I think the best time to go for a neighbourhood walk is late in the evening, when the lights are on inside and hopefully, the curtains are not drawn. You can peak in to people’s houses! I don’t care what they’re doing… I just want to know how they decorate.
  2. If David is invited to a party or playdate I will likely say yes and do the drop-off just so I can see inside a new house. I love seeing where people live.

I love houses and I love spying on renovations – a newly painted door or some great landscaping – yes please. It’s probably why I log so many miles running around the city. My routes are often in and out of nice neighbourhoods and because I can’t take all of you on a run or fit you into my VW, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favourite finds in the city. A few weeks ago, on a long wet run, I was pleasantly surprised at how many houses are being built/renovated and in Halifax, I  guess MODERN is the new black.

IMG_3043Above: This is a legit Halifax Hydrostone but with a modern twist. I love their door and wish it was mine. The mail slot would solve my mailbox situation.

IMG_3111Above: Still within a kilometre from home, I love how they enclosed the underbelly of their staircase with the prettiest storage shed ever. The flower box is dreamy too.

IMG_3112Above: This house (office?) stands out on the street but it is not offensive. I’m all about a hidden garage – and the glass door is icing on the cake! Not shown is their other driveway. We somewhat copied their turfblocks. 

IMG_3113Above: Seriously, what’s not to love about a bright pink house with the most amazing flower pots?
IMG_3178 Above: This house may of been the launching of my front-exterior-inspiration-board. Tucked away in the West End, I found it, photographed it, and showed it to the contractor and said “THIS!” … I still have a ways to go with my painting and landscaping. IMG_3365Above: This is another house that inspired my front exterior however, they are way better at gardening than me.IMG_3205Above: to the right of this house is a trail… and one day I was running along the trail and stopped dead in my tracks. THIS HOUSE! Don’t tell them, but from the trail, you get a great view of the kitchen. But what’s crazy-cool about this house is the front of the house is at the end of one cul-de-sac and the back of the house (and the second driveway/garage) is at the end of another cul-de-sac. They live on two totally different roads that do not connect.IMG_3364 IMG_3363Above: This is a house that really took advantage of their lot. The first photo is the front, which is set back a lot further than the other houses on the street… see the house next door on the corner? Go around the corner and voila, here is the side entrance to the house with a separate garage. Amazing.IMG_3360Above: Newly renovated… what are your thoughts on the front railing. Love or hate? I haven’t decided but I do know I would love to see inside that window dome-peak at the back.IMG_3358Above: This is Mike’s favourite house. The double-door basement garage on the side is probably why he loves it so much. That plus, it looks like a ski resort.IMG_3357Above: I am a fan of the carport. This photo is not great but the bungalow sure is. Did you know I love bungalows! IMG_3356Above: As much as I love bungalows, I love contempo houses even more – both inside and out.IMG_3355Above: A good paint job goes a long way. This house is so cozy.IMG_3354Above: This is a great renovation. A subtle addition added to the back with the traditional Halifax peak on the front. IMG_3352Above: Sorry guys, I was hoping for a red light… regardless, I am sure you can make out the stunning PINK door. Big fan on the navy-pink comboIMG_3350 IMG_3349Above: Arn’t corner lots great for stalking? From these two pictures, you can see so much of the house! Thank you homeowner…IMG_3351Above: … And, right next door are two more newly renovated houses. Neighbours who renovate together, stay together.IMG_3348Above: Another home with a front peak. This is very common in Halifax and I love it.IMG_3345IMG_3346 Above: A little cottage in the city… but then you go around the corner and… check out the back patio! Difficult to see here but at the end is an outdoor stone fireplace. I want to sit there every.single.night of the summer.IMG_3341Above: This garage and fence are the nicest and most often painted garage and fence on our street. Maybe even in the whole city. IMG_3343And finally… seeing this house makes me wish our window frames were black. Should of could of…

I hope you enjoyed the tour. There is so many more beautiful homes in the city – let me know if there is one you love.

psst. Sorry about the crappy photography, as a stalker, it’s a quick and dirty snap with my spyPhone… Also, I am only now seeing how green our city is. We have some impressive gardeners and tons of leafy trees. Awesome but challenging for spying.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

a pickle on the side

Out and About

If I had a food addiction, this would be it.


The Veg Hero from Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria: A New York-Italian hero sandwich, made with fresh baked garlic bread, mozzarella, cheddar, onion, tomato, romaine and mayo. Toasted.

Salvatores is less than a kilometre away; located in the lovely Hydrostone Market. When we first moved to the neighbourhood, the proximity to the Hydrostone was a huge selling (buying) feature because of the bakery, restaurants and boutiques. And although we were new to the North End, we were very familiar with Salvatore’s Pizza. So familiar, that we ordered them frequently and never considered trying the rest of the menu.

However, one day it all changed when we ordered the hero sandwiches (me the Veg and Mike the meatball).

At this point, I have their number on my fav-contacts list and no joke, probably order a sandwich at least once (but more like twice) a month… they are the best! The winner for the best Sandwich in Halifax. So, if you haven’t indulged, please do so and thank me later.

Click here and here for the other sandwich reviews. xomeg


Photos taken with my iPhone