Changes at home, new finds and what’s next. (personal life update)

Welcome to a little life update on recent changes in our lives, is there travel involved, are we moving, what will I make next and more! - Including a new picnic table find.

Welcome to a little life update on recent changes in our lives, what’s next and more!

I’ve been meaning to write a personal life update post for a very long time. But each time I write one then go to press send, I’ve hesitated.

So consider this my 8th attempt!

Because now I’m feeling a little more ready to share a little behind the scenes on what’s been transpiring lately.

It’s been awhile since I’ve connected with you this way. Too long in my opinion! And I’ve missed sharing a little more deeply. So today’s that day to share what’s been going on in this life update.

My son moved back home


Ever since my son moved out approx 6 years ago, I’ve felt unsettled, as in, ‘my son isn’t where he ought to be’ kind of feeling. I felt he left too soon and I didn’t get a chance to guide him into adulthood.

Life carried on, and there were lots of things I did enjoy about becoming an empty nester, but there was always this something that was missing. An unrest if you will.

However he’s now returned home. For how long I don’t know. But now that he is home, it’s like my inner soul has been topped up once again and we have been taking off where we left off years ago.

Just know how good this is, because it’s so SO good!

However, over the past while, you may have noticed a lack of home decor projects. Here’s why…

Imagine being given an assignment that needs your total attention, concentration and the highest level of creativity possible. But the room around you is so noisy. Lots of chatter, quick decisions, and constant runs into town that push away those quiet, creative moments. “I’ll get to it later.” But later didn’t come because something else topped the list. Constantly.

That has been this summer. It’s been a summer of adjustment, getting acquainted and discovering our new normal again.

So I had to give myself permission to just live. Because this season is really the most important DIY season of them all. This is a GOOD thing. It’s just different.

Building DIY flower box planters for the garden shed - life update

Find all my DIY projects HERE

Where’s the home decor projects lately?


Have you noticed a rise in just DIY link party posts?

It’s not your imagination. My own DIY projects slowed right down.

One reason is, I need my home as a staging backdrop, but my home hasn’t been tidy enough to take photos of for the past 2 months! It was just needed for real life in a big way. So I relaxed the pressure to perform, and we just did what we needed to do… live in our home the way people who don’t photograph theirs for the public do.

It was a pleasant break from perfection. And by perfection, I mean, before the shot only. Because as soon as the camera clicks, clutter piles roll back into view and we are yet again living our best relaxed lives.

Now that we are finally getting settled into a routine of sorts, I feel like my old self is starting to emerge again. I can apply my energy to being creative again, to keep up with some corners of the house to shoot (LOL) and just get back into the swing of things again.

My only regret is that I was hard on myself when I wasn’t creating. What I’d like to tell my previous self is, “Take the time to live. Your house will not fall over if you kick back a little!”

And it’s still standing, so there’s that. Take that, life update!


Other summer projects and finds:


However, here’s a few summer projects and posts you may have missed…

How I keep my white sofas white 

My secrets to growing cheap ferns

Window box planters on the shed

Retro Star pillows for the patio

Penny tile TV tray makeover

DIY stenciled star pattern door mat

Pallet side table with log storage

Chicken coop nesting box potting bench

Dresser plant stand with vent holes

Visiting Cultus Lake, BC Canada

Welcome to Cultus Lake

How our summer went


We BC west coasters are a little spoiled, because we rarely break out into a sweat where our weather is concerned. However I feel that due to changing climate, this is changing. We now appear to get real summers that require central air. Or, in my house anyway.

Unlike last year where we were hit with one big heat dome, we had a series of heat waves which really shut things down for me. It was too hot outdoors, yet it was too hot to work or decorate indoors, so what does one do?

They flick on the window air conditioner in the bedroom, and get through the hottest periods with Netflix on the bedroom TV!

I kept thinking that ‘it will change soon!’ but when the heat waves kept happening, in hindsight I could have moved my office into my bedroom temporarily. So if it continues, I will do that!

We also rediscovered our local lake and of course, there’s always the river (and trails) just down the road from us to enjoy. But for the most part, we just wanted to stay OUT of the heat. I enjoy heat but it’s more fun when you are travelling in Maui, know what I mean?


The blessing of a declining budget


Something else transpired during this time and that was a declining budget. Actually, it transpired  before. But now I know why.

I know a tighter budget was meant to be, because if that hadn’t transpired, I wouldn’t have been able to teach my son how to budget to the fullest extend. We would have just kept buying everything we need, and doing whatever we wanted to do.

Try going into town for a 30 min drive for one thing and not stopping for a quick lunch although you were hungry. If it wasn’t in the budget, we drove home and ate there instead. 

This new budget thing is hard, but a massive blessing all the same! It taught us both how to really pull back on the non essential stuff which will only help us in the future I’m sure.

However, a tighter budget also redirects your life that feel too restrictive. Now that the fog is clearing, it’s time to get going again with lessons well learned.

BC box home renovation

Thoughts on moving still?


I’ve written a few times over on this push (or desire?) to move, renovate or both. But for years, this wall of indecision kept building, getting in my way.

So I’ve basically done nothing about it.

And I NOW see why. I needed this special season to stay put and not do anything new, because my time  would ultimately be needed for rest, recuperation, and growth.

When you choose to become a DIY blogger, your work tends to dictate that you work on something so you have something to share. Trust me, there’s plenty of house updating to do because I’ve lived here so long, it’s time to update again! How many bloggers get to say that? haha

While moving is still in my dreamy future, I don’t know what we need yet or where to go. But it’s still a yearning so I’ll continue to work at finishing the house then it’ll at least be ready to sell when we are ready and see a clearer path ahead if a move is meant to be.

However the longer I stay here, the more I realize we have everything we need. I often visit open houses but have always come home grateful to have what we do.

And our current needs over this past while have proven yet again, we ARE home. Or at least for now.

Pipiwai Trail in Maui during travelling times

Pipiwai bamboo forest trail in Maui

Is travel in the picture?


Goodness I miss big scale travel!

But I think it would benefit us more to travel locally a little more because perhaps our new home-to-be is located somewhere we haven’t yet visited. So as soon as the budget allows, I’d love to visit Vancouver Island or other neighbouring areas and take you along for some new adventures.

Our Canadian travel world has been quite messy lately anyway with jammed airports and I didn’t have the desire to deal with that. I’ll take my travel leisure-style and to just happen as we expect it to, so I’m good with a little extra waiting.

cabin getaway in front of Cultus Lake, BC Canada

Check out my fav local VRBO in this cottage

I did peek through a few local VRBO listings though just for fun! And will continue to do so but they are all so expensive, so I’ve resisted.

However, travel needs a healthy budget as well, so I know it’s just not our travel season quite yet.

There’s also comfort in knowing you can’t go even if you want to, because at least that decision has been made.

I’ll take my son moving home vs. travel any day anyway. So I am GOOD!

bike on the Vedder River rotary trail during summer

Biking the Vedder River Rotary Trails

Still bike riding?


My son and I did start a nice new habit together though, and that’s biking the roads together.

You may remember this story of visiting my childhood home we did together way back.

However my son no longer had a bike nor the budget to get a new one, so I put a call out to a local place that fixes used bikes and gifts them to those who need one. We were the very fortunate recipients of the perfect bike my son adores, so now we can get out there in a moment’s notice anytime desired!

He prefers biking on roads though, so I escape to my own preferred nature trails when I can.

Vedder River Rotary Trail bike ride during spring

How I started biking

I haven’t been sharing bike posts on the blog any longer because I broke my fav point and shoot camera I used for quality outdoor photos. It took much nicer pics than a phone does so I hope to replace it one day soon again once budget allows. I really, really miss it!

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Chicken coop nesting box potting bench

Any new finds or projects?


You know me… I can’t pass up a good find on the side of the road! So yes, there have been a few new freebie finds over the summer! I’ve collected lots, but have also given away lots without doing anything to the finds because of lack of space and diminishing desire. 

But some I have kept. In fact, I have this amazing wooden antique chair that I haven’t even shown you yet!

vent holes dresser and cupboard - part of a life update post

Plant stand dresser with vent holes

And another more recent find was this tall skinny dresser I flipped into a plant stand, and ultimately created a new stencil to use on it.

picnic table on the patio

Awhile back I also landed the perfect picnic table I now have sitting on the patio. It really suits this space and doubles as a grill stand as well!

I don’t have a post on this so you’ve seen it here first right here, right now.

potting bench made with a chicken coop nesting box - part of a life update post

And remember the nesting box potting bench? What a yard statement this makes!

However as soon as I finished up this photo shoot, we started getting one heatwave after another. So I tossed out the notion that I’d actually keep all these plants alive in a spot with no water hose in sight… heh…

plants on the patio - part of a life update post

… and placed all the plants onto the patio instead where I do hang out. All. The. Time.

pallet sofa on the patio - life update post

Visit patio posts HERE

Plants sure love this covered patio! And so do I. It’s my little escape where I start each morning with my coffee and journal writing.

Journaling really keeps my head on straight during times that are filled with constant change and juggling. THIS is how I get back on track.

And my son and I also landed a cheap used IKEA sofa for his room, so one day I may share some updates in his space again as well. As soon as he cleans it maybe…

Chicken coop potting bench with stenciled planters - life update post

Nesting box potting bench

Botanical Flowers and Plants stencil

Are you still designing new stencils?


When life got busy, I put down all my designing tools, which included my creativity to develop new stencil designs.

As I dabbled on summer projects, there was the odd new stencil I released to chime in with a project, such as Vent Holes, as well as Botanical Flowers and Plants, along with the 4 camping series stencils.

However, now that things are levelling out in life, I want to start designing a Christmas collection and may even release 1 or 2 fall stencils although it’s late in the season for fall.

So yeah… stencils are still in the picture, and of course, I could create forever with what stencils there already are. However I also know the value of adding to the collection so there’s always something new and interesting to check out. So I’ll be in that saddle again very soon!

Any suggestions? I’d love to hear.

Other upcoming projects and plans


Renovating the kitchen. Again.

Finishing up tile floors

Painting the rest of the basement concrete floor

More flowerbeds outdoors

A potential move (to a cabin on a lake in a forest! Ha!)

More travel! To Scotland, Ireland, England for the first time would be nice.

Get on the email list


Don’t want to miss any of these new upcoming projects? I’d love for you to sign up to my newsletter, which I send out each time I create a new post to keep you updated on all things new!

Life is such a mysterious meander. Time and circumstances change us, yet we tend to dig in our heels and resist change because it’s uncomfortable. Different is new. New is challenging. Challenging is more work.

So I’m resigning to not put pressure on myself to figure it all out in a day. We have gone through lots of life update changes, and it’s a given that we’d need time to walk through this special season with hope, promise and a willingness to change.

And now that you know about this new season, you know where I am… and why. Thanks for joining me on this little life update!

So I hope you will continue to visit the blog when I offer weekly link parties, or special round ups of say, all my fav TV tray makeovers.

Because your visits, comments, shares, fellowship on social media and any affiliate or stencil purchases mean the world to me, AND ultimately help keep food on our table too.

Thank-you for your patience, and waiting for me until I’m back at full speed once again doing whatever I’m told to do by the Big Guy Upstairs!

Because He’s ultimately in charge after all…

Have any other questions I may have missed in this now very long life update? Fire away! I’d love to hear from you and what you’re up to as well! It’s been too long. How are YOU?

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Categories: Junk Drawer

26 thoughts on “Changes at home, new finds and what’s next. (personal life update)

  1. So we’ll written and so many things I could relate too so thank you! After my husband died in 2013, my daughter quit a career job as a surgical asst., sold her house, moved home with me in 2014, and got a fun job bartending (she’s now the restaurant mgr.). We travel together, kayak, and tour the Black Hills of SD where we live. So many days I’ve chosen spending time with her rather than cleaning house or working on a project and it’s brought me so much joy. We budget too, stay in hostels when we travel, and shop at thrift stores together. Enjoy every minute of every day with your son.

  2. Oh Donna, you are such an incredible person. Putting yourself out there for the world to see….sharing your personal story….I am so happy that you are in a good place….you must not let the small things in life….like a messy house… your joy for one moment. I love your projects….even if I don’t actually recreate any…hahahha. they are so enjoyable to read about and look at. Hug your son today…..and smile!

  3. What a wonderful update. I had wondered off and on, if maybe you just decided not to blog about your life anymore. It’s nice to see you back. 😊

    I’m so happy for you that your son is back home. It’s good to take the time to adjust and get reacquainted, let life roll in one day at a time. My son is one of my closest friends and I so enjoy time with him.

    Seems so many people(especially women entrepreneurs) are taking a step back, taking a breath and seeing what’s next. I’m starting to do the same (why does guilt always come with this??).

    I look forward to future happenings.

    Keep enjoying time together!


  4. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. You are choosing the better part of life by being there for your son. Our 38 year old son is once again living with us due to some life changes for him. But it has been sheer delight to share these days and at 72 and 76 my husband and I just count it a privilege. Because now he is also being here for us in ways that we needed him. Relationships and God’s word, the Bible, are the only two eternal things! God bless you for focusing on the right things!

  5. Creativity comes in different forms. Now that your son is back home, you are showing/teaching him how to manage on a budget and that certainly takes creativity! During the past year I have started to focus on cooking & feeding my family as much “farm to table” as I can. I’ve been having fun going to local farm stands and buying fresh from the field fruits & veggies and cooking with those. I’m learning a lot about the differences between what is considered organic, pesticide free, and how much better super fresh foods taste. I also enjoy the challenge of trying to plan meals in my head when I see what is available at the farm stands. Another form of creativity I guess! I’m also learning about freezing and preserving fresh veggies & fruits while they are the least expensive in season. Embrace the winding path you’re on right now, sometimes the winding path in life is worth the extra time it takes! 🙂

  6. Thank’s so much for sharing this! One of my sons moved back in for 2 years and he’s back out on his own after buying (rents are scary high in Connecticut) a fixer upper town house nearby, being back home allowed him to save for the down payment. It was wonderful having him back and I still have all my sons and their families over at least once a week and that includes my 4 year old grandson ❤️ Enjoy your time with your son!!

  7. Donna, you are, and have always been, one of the sweetest people I have ever come across. You really are a special person. You Always add to our lives. I really enjoyed your update. I took a break from social media, last December, and missed your bike rides, and all that nature. 😉 So happy that your son is home, and that you are happy. You really are a treasure! Enjoy life, it’s short!

  8. Donna! Donna!
    So good to hear from you & learn what’s been happening in your life. Your stories & vignettes are always so real & heartfelt. I missed them & thought I had been dropped from your subscriber list. I wondered & worried.
    Glad to know all is well.
    Thank you for sharing….welcome back….I missed you!!

  9. So happy to hear from you, Donna! You were so wise to focus your energy and attention to the most important life issues!! We’re happy for you, and hope each day forward brings a smile to your heart. : )

  10. So glad your back and back to feeling yourself. Love your ideas. You are so creative! What a blessing to have your son back home. Embrace it. As we get older, we realize how precious family is.

  11. I love everything you write! I love the bike rides and your creativity. I love that you have a roommate who happens to be your son. Thanks for letting me peek in once and a while!

  12. Good morning Donna. Great to hear all your life updates. You express emotions well. And I hear you. I’m finding I’m stronger and more independent than expected since the passing of my husband. I told friends that I don’t recognize myself. I’ve called plumbers and remodelers and had some much needed repair work done. I’ve scheduled the chimney sweep company and ordered wood for the winter. Next, will be our gutters. In spots they are pulling away from the house and if we get heavy snow this winter I don’t want damage to our home. This has been possible due to my husband having a life insurance program at work. I also journal. God and devotionals and Journaling have literally sustained me and helped me put one foot in front of the other. A lot of my time is spent learning. Learning to live without my husband here but knowing he’s with God. I sooo look forward to hugging him again when the time comes and hugging God to say thank you in person. I just am so darn grateful. Welcome home to your son Momma. It was really nice to hear how you are. Thank you Donna for being a light in this wannabes diyers heart.

  13. Good to read that everything is still good Donna… although different. I’m glad that you’ve got your son back home with you although I hope everything with him is ok. Self-care is so important and I think even more important to us bloggers, people don’t realize that our lives are sometimes dictated by our blogs and the need to create content to share. I’ve always enjoyed your blog and projects. Even though our styles aren’t the same, I still enjoy seeing your projects and home decor!

  14. Thanks for the life update! I can definitely relate! Congratulations on the new roomie! (Im hoping my daughter comes back for a hot minute when she graduates college!) I have also been spilling my wheels feeling the need to change it up in my life. So I thank you for sharing your journey. I can’t wait to see new posts, as well as any changes you make to your content! Also, we still have the window unit ready to go- last week was sooooo hot in northern Cali! 😅😁😂

  15. Thanks for the life update. Yes, even we DIY bloggers have dry times when life & motivation get in the way. I haven’t had any projects to even share on your link party lately:( Still in add on/move limbo over here, too. But at least feeling more content about it. Yes, living on a lake with some land and woods sounds pretty wonderful, but the comfort of familiar is nice, too;) Adult kids moving in/out definitely puts adventures in your everyday; so glad you can enjoy this time with your son.

  16. Great your son is home. Take the time you need. Holidays are so stressful, think LIGHT. Minimal this year. Your gift is time with your son. Everyone is on a budget now I think. Hard to change your home during such times. What is your opinion on greenhouses? Do you think one would be a good purchase with food shortages? Have you ever had one? Take care

  17. Time well spent I would say!! So glad you and your son have this second opportunity.. it is not always possible and your positive vibe is clear. Lots of us are busy getting our own lives on track fitting in all the time with loved ones since Covid kept us apart so much. No travelling for me either and the budget needs more attention than ever. Take care.. be gentle with yourself and thanks for the personal share.

  18. I absolutely LOVE your home and the area you live in is gorgeous! I wouldn’t think of moving unless I didn’t have the space I needed for all my hobbies if I were you. Its so beautiful. Yet I understand the pull for a new project!

    I left a farm with loads of outbuildings and room for every project I could dream of to move to a one bedroom apartment on a greek island. Yes, romantic as hell, living on a greek island, with the sea view from my porch and the cicadas in summer. But there are downsides to living in a tourist destination. Traffic, noise, people everywhere. UGH. I hate that part of it.

    But more than anything I miss having the space to paint, make stuff, sew, remake dolls, pick up roadside finds and store them till I have time to fix them up in my OWN workshop where my tools live. I have no space in a one bedroom apartment. My living room/kitchen is a studio/office/craft room and the small outside porch is also a dog grooming area and workshop when the sun or rain isn’t beating down on it.

    I want to build a small house with a huge studio/workshop. And I long for the time to fix it up MY WAY…

  19. I’m so glad to hear your inner soul is full again, Donna. While it’s fun to have the space and time to yourself, nothing beats knowing that the little people we birthed are right there, safe, sound, messy, and noisy. Enjoy it, and I’ll bet a million bucks that everyone who’s followed you all these years will wait with a smile, knowing you and your son are happy and okay.

    Oh, and next time a heat wave hits, get one of those patio misting kits. Do you get them in Canada? We use ours all the time, and our plants do a happy dance when they come on too.

    Sending you much love from all the way down here in Africa and hug that son of your tight.

  20. I had a long response typed out, but i managed to delete it, so all I’ll say is, “You’re a good friend, and I’m proud of you for reaching out”

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